Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ron Paul Campaigns in Denver

Congressman Ron Paul
at the Renaissance Hotel in Denver
My husband and I have been longtime Ron Paul supporters.  When we found out that he would be in Denver this week, my husband made plans to go and hear him speak.  He made a stop here because of  the upcoming Colorado Caucus next week.  According to my husband, who is also a Precinct Captain, there were about 1200 people in attendance at the Renaissance Hotel on Quebec St. in Denver.   Afterwards, Congressman Paul was headed for another event in Colorado Springs.

Of course my Hubby picked up lots of bumper stickers and signage for the canvasing he and his Co-Captain will be doing later this week.  He also brought home something that I thought was really interesting.  It was the Ron Paul Family Cook Book.  Looking through it was pretty neat.  It included lots of pictures of Ron Paul with his own family and even his military portrait.  I'm looking forward to trying out some of the recipes from the book in the coming months.
My Husband
Supporting Presidential
Candidate Ron Paul

After the event, my husband headed over to the local Ron Paul office to volunteer for a few hours on the phones.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Beauty Supply Warehouse

The Big B.S.S.
Whenever I'm watching YouTube videos and there is a product suggestion I'm always certain I'll be able to get my hands on it.  I go to Ulta for anything high end or the Big B.S.S. (beauty supply store) in Aurora for everything else.  If you're in Denver or Aurora, Colorado this place is a must see!

The official name is the Beauty Supply Warehouse and it is located near the intersection of 6th and Potomac just off highway 225.  It used to be the old Skate City from my younger days but is now home to all things hair.  This place doesn't just carry a lot of different brands but in most cases they have the complete line.  Items from Palmer's, Mane n' Tail, Mizani, Hawaiian Silky, Aphogee, IC Fantasia and many more.  I'm not kiddin'.  The first time I went in there I didn't even know what to do with myself.  Sadly, there are a lot of products there that contain silicone, mineral oils and petroleum.  You know the products I'm talking about; the ones that say they're for ethnic hair.  Still, I love the selection of Annie's rollers, hair accessories, satin head coverings and synthetic hair.  Yes, I said hair!  If you are looking for half wigs, lacefronts or hair for braiding you should definitely stop in.  (Even if you just want to get a look at a product before buying online.)

Aisles and Aisles of Hair Products!
There is also a salon inside and usually a vendor or two.  I haven't looked into having any hair or nail services done there because I'm a DIYer to the core.  The stylists and nail artists always seem to be pretty busy though.

Rollers and Kanekalon Braiding Hair
When I stop in I usually grab my favorite shampoo by Elasta QP, rollers, Olive Creme Moisturizer by Hollywood Beauty and my Cholesterol conditioner.  I also like the fact that they carry a wider selection of the Organic Root Stimulator (ORS) products and the ECO Styler gels.   If I finally get my courage up I may stop back in soon for a half wig or maybe just a drawstring pony.  Last I checked the 100% Kanekalon braiding hair was under $4 (USD) per pack!  Hmmm. . . now where did I see that braiding tutorial?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Protecting Your Hair at Night

Satin Bonnet
for when I'm wearing rollers and
curly braid outs
I've been writing lately about Protective Hairstyles which can help with length retention.  Yet another way to protect the hair is by wrapping it up at night.  This may sound like a no brainer to some but there is a lot of benefit for the hair by doing this one thing.   This practice can be a huge help when trying to reach your hair length goals.

I  recently re-read a bit of Wanakee Pugh's "Practical Guide to Haircare" and something stood out to me.  She stated that even if your hair is too short to be pulled back into a protective style, you can still benefit from wrapping your hair at night.  This reminded me of the beginning of my Natural Hair journey because I did this faithfully every night.  My hair was maybe only 1 1/2 inches long at the time but I kept it wrapped up in my satin scarves when I went to sleep.  Now that my hair is longer I can tell a huge difference in my hair when I go to bed without covering it up.  I wake up to tangles and sometimes dryness.  I agree that it is not the cutest look going but it works.

I mentioned my satin scarves (I have a nice little collection) but you can also use a satin bonnet.  Satin is a man made material that is easy to wash and can be long lasting.  This is highly recommended as far as material choice because it does not draw moisture away from the hair and is smooth so it won't disturb it very much while you sleep.  When I wear rollers to bed I usually reach for my satin bonnet.  Otherwise, I have scarves in a variety of sizes for when I wear braids, twists and protective styles to bed.  Here's a few pics of how I wrap my hair.

Pineapple for the Corkscrew Braid Out
with my edges protected

Air drying while smoothing my edges 

Large Satin Scarf to protect my
 Roller Set from the rain

Satin Bonnets and Scarves from
the local BSS

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Protective Style: Flat Twist UpDo

I'm finally embracing the idea of protective styling to help me retain more length.  This concept has been so hard for me to grasp because I absolutely love wearing my hair out.  The more time I spend over at K.I.S.S. hair forum the more I see that during the week (Monday thru Friday) there really isn't any need to wear my hair down.  I'm usually shuttling the kids to school, exercising and running errands which does not require a glam look.  Still, when I want to look somewhat put together I just throw my hair up into two large flat twists and I'm good.

Before, I discovered this look I was always wearing two french braids (under hand braiding) or two cornrows (over hand braiding).  Sometimes though I think the braids made me look a little juvenile so for this reason I started wearing the twists
more often.

Flat Twists secured
with a Barret
My process is pretty simple.  I discovered that the flat twists have lots more volume when I allow my hair to air dry first.  Usually after my wash day routine, I apply my leave-ins and just pull my hair back into a braided bun for a whole day until it is mostly dry.  Then I take the hair down so I can apply my moisturizer and seal with grapeseed or olive oil.  After this step, I separate my hair into two large sections, parting down the middle and pin one side up with a clip to keep it out of the way.  I lightly comb out the other side with a wide tooth comb and begin flat twisting from the front of my head all they way to the nape.  I found that the twist looks best when I grab smaller sections for each turn.  After twisting all the way down I let the twist sit for a few minutes because it will gradually loosen a bit and look fuller.  I repeat on the other section.  Once both flat twists have "grown," I take the tail ends and twist them around each other.  I then tuck them at the base of the twists with a bobby pin or barrette.  If I want bangs I just take a small section at the front and do three small two-strand twists.  Then I swoop them and secure the bangs into one of the twists.  If I see any loose points along either twist I just use bobby pins to tighten things up.

I used three small two-strand twists
for a side swooped bang
I enjoy wearing this style because it has the potential to look really glam with a little makeup and some earrings.  This is also an easy style to take down so that I can moisturize and seal my hair whenever it is starting to feel dry.  The best thing is knowing that I'm taking care of my hair by simply keeping it tucked away.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Natural Hair Journey 2 Plus yrs. Video

I can't believe I will be three years natural in May. The time has flown by! This video is just me showing my current hair length and then lots of pictures of styles I wore throughout 2011. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Finally APL and Holiday Hair Styles

My Holiday Make-Up Look
with Roller Set hair
The Holidays were fast and furious which left me feeling like I needed another break after it was all over.  Still, it was a lot of fun dressing up and going out with the family.  I especially enjoyed finally getting to see how long my hair was after the two Hair Growth Challenges I participated in over at K.I.S.S. 
last fall.

One of the challenges encouraged participants to start using Hot Oil treatments on a regular basis while the other asked everyone to start using a Growth Aid to help speed up hair growth.  I kinda fell off the bandwagon on the first one because since I sometimes have gel in my hair, I wasn't too crazy about applying oils on top of that to do the treatments.  However, I do feel like the second challenge introduced me to an interesting growth aid that appears to actually work.  I'll speak on that later on down the road.

The two challenges ended in December so I was really excited to see if my hair reaped the benefits of all that hard work.  I am happy to announce that I have finally reached my goal of APL length hair!  The top layers are still hovering around my collar bone thanks to that mini big chop I did last year but the back and bottom layers are doing really well.  Since I like to wear my hair in big curls I can see that I won't be satisfied until my hair is around BSL or longer.  Right now with curls my hair sits just below my shoulders.

   I also needed a trim so I took care of that and decided to wear my hair down for the holidays.  Since I've been using roller sets to stretch my hair out I only ended up flat ironing the entire length of my hair once. The rest of the time I was able to enjoy a straight look with the help of my rollers and a little flat ironing at the roots.  My hair has reverted back and is going to be put away for awhile again but it was fun while it lasted.

Roller Set styled in a
Pin-Up Do with Back Down

Flat Ironed hair after
air drying in braids overnight
Flat Ironed Back View

Protective Style: The Puff Bun

I am slowly gaining on my third year with natural hair and am finding new ways to style my curls.  I have always known that I simply cannot keep my hands out of my hair so sometimes I have to put it away.  More recently though, I have been trying to keep my hair protected for the majority of the time so that by summer I will get to see lots more growth retention (a.k.a. lots-of-hair).

Before now I kept thinking that the only protective styles in my arsenal were Mini Individual Braids, the Donut Bun and French Braids.  Thankfully I have discovered even more ways to tuck my hair away.  I'll be sharing a few styles in the coming weeks so stay tuned!

First up is what I call the Puff Bun but I have seen others call it the "Cinna-Bun".  Basically, I pull my wet hair up into a puff by using an "Ouchless" headband that I wrap around twice.  I use Eco Styler hair gel to help smooth the sides and nape area.  I push the headband back towards the crown until it stops and then spread the puff out to expose the center.  After that I simply push the hair down towards the base.  I then pin sections of the puff with bobby pins and secure the ends of each section near the band underneath.  In the pictures posted I also left out a little hair in front for fluffy bangs.  I used a small clip to secure the ends of the bangs to make a side swoop.  This can also be done with dry hair that has been stretched from a braid-out or twist-out.

I like this style because I don't have to use any hair gel on the length of my hair for a curly effect because I'll be tucking the hair under anyway.  This also keeps my ends protected which will help me reach my hair length goals.

I used Eco Styler Gel on the sides
and nape

Ends are tucked under with Bobby Pins

Back View
More Protective Styles to Come!


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