Monday, December 22, 2014

How I use a Blowdryer and Diffuser on my Wash and Go


www.curlyincolorado.com how to use a blowdryer diffuser on wash and go
During the winter months I tend to shy away from wearing the wash and go style.  This is because I don't want to walk around with wet hair while it's cold outside.  Recently I discovered that, if I carefully wrap my hair at night, I can rock the curly look without re-wetting my hair in the morning.  So as of late, I have been doing the style at night and then blowdrying my hair before going to bed.  That's where my diffuser comes in.

The point of using a diffuser is to dry your hair without causing frizz.  Mine is an attachment for my blowdryer that I picked up at Sally's Beauty Supply for about 10 bucks.  Unfortunately, the attachment broke recently after years of use which I'll be replacing soon.  Nowadays you can find a blowdryer that comes with its own diffuser attachment included.


How I use my Diffuser

www.curlyincolorado.com how to use a blowdryer diffuser on wash and go
Using a diffuser attachement to
blowdry without frizz
www.curlyincolorado.com how to use a blowdryer diffuser on wash and go
Stretching my hair for more hang time
After I finish applying my leave-ins and gel to set my style, I like to let my hair air dry for about an hour.  At this point my ends will start to harden which lets me know that I can manipulate my hair without ruining the style.

 I like to use the diffuser all over but mostly in back where it takes the longest to dry.  Then I'll remove the diffuser attachment and just point the blowdryer at my roots until completely dry.  Sometimes I'll hold the ends of my hair and stretch it while blowing warm air on the section.  This helps give me a little more length in areas that really shrink up.

Using my blowdryer in this way makes it possible for me to continue wearing my curls even when it's cold out.  I can usually keep the look going by just wrapping my hair with a large satin scarf at night.  In the morning I just shake my hair out and fluff.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

In Review: Shea Moisture's Purification Masque

This morning I posted a video on my Youtube channel showing my first impression after using the Purification Masque by Shea Moisture.  The product claims to relieve itching from dry scalp caused by conditions like dandruff, eczema and psoriasis.  I suffer from scalp psoriasis which thankfully is a lot better after taking my vitamin supplements and eating healthy.  I still have a little bit of an itchy scalp so I thought I would try this product to see if it would help.  Check out the video to see what I thought!


MY REVIEW ON SHEA MOISTURE'S PURIFICATION MASQUE


Also, be sure to take a look at my recent posts on how I deal with my psoriasis.  It is an autoimmune disease that tends to flare up during the fall and winter.  I talk about how I cleanse my scalp without causing too much stress on my hair and also how diet and supplements help me to get my skin back
to normal.  

Friday, December 5, 2014

How I Clear Up My Psoriasis with Diet and Supplements

www.curlyincolorado.com combat psoriasis diet supplements

Psoriasis is a dry skin condition that can result in flaking skin on the body and scalp.  I have suffered from the auto immune disease for nearly 10 years now.   In my last post I described my current routine for cleansing my hair and scalp.  In my case, the psoriasis also shows up on my skin in little flaky patches that can leave unsightly scars.  Each year, I do my best to keep the dry patches to a minimum by changing my diet and taking supplements.  I am finally discussing it here on the blog in hopes that my experience may help others.


Initially I sought treatment from a dermatologist who prescribed steroid creams for my skin and scalp.  They only made my condition worse.  After prolonged use, the flaky dry skin, known as psoriasis plaques, spread out over about eighty percent of my body.  It was very embarrassing and disheartening.  I also got headaches every time I used the prescription scalp ointment.  This made me question the drug based treatments and I decided to search for a more natural approach.  I picked up a book at my local library called, The Psoriasis Cure, by Lisa LeVan.  In it, I found information on my condition as well as a long list of vitamins and supplements.  It also suggested that I follow a healthy diet and a regular exercise & sleep routine.  I had gone the medical route for long enough and thought it was worth a try.  I followed the routine outlined in the book and was surprised to see signs of my psoriasis clearing up after only three weeks.  I still follow this method somewhat but have made some changes over the years.  Here are some things that work for me.

Healthy Digestion
Since Psoriasis is an auto immune disease I find that a healthy digestive system is the key to my success.  The digestive tract makes up around 70% of the immune system.  When this area of the body is working properly it shows through our hair, skin and nails.  I use probiotics, increased hydration and foods rich in fiber to help in this area.  My current choice for a probiotic boost is a fruit juice called, Good Belly.  Otherwise, yogurt or probiotic capsules work as well.  For fiber I reach for fresh fruits and vegetables.

Whole Body Cleanse
This step is prescribed in the book so initially I purchased a cleanse kit that wound up being too harsh for my system.  Since then, I have used healthy green juices to detox my body.  Drinking juice from green vegetables helps to cleanse the body of toxins while also delivering much needed vitamins.  Green juices work best when consumed on an empty stomach because then the body can quickly absorb all of that green goodness.

Vitamin Supplementation
It turns out I was not getting enough vitamin D and Omega 3's. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to bouts with psoriasis.  Vitamin D is something that the body produces through sun exposure which can be harder to come by during the fall and winter months.  That is why my psoriasis shows up around this time of year because my body is not making enough vitamin D on its own.  Also, people with darker skin or who use sunscreen are potentially not getting enough of this important vitamin.  I take around 4000 IU with food each day and have noticed much improvement in my skin and scalp.  Omega 3 vitamins promote healthy hair, skin and nails.  I take fish oil capsules to supplement for this.  I also take a vegetable based multi-vitamin for women for all of the other vitamins I need.  

Lower Sugar Intake
Psoriasis is inflammation of the skin.  Through my own research I found that sugar is highly inflammatory.   In my case, cutting back on sugar made a difference in my skin.  I'm not just talking sweets though.  Other foods that convert quickly into sugar like wheat based products (i.e. bread, pasta etc.) are also culprits.  Once I went wheat free for six weeks and noticed my skin was much clearer.  That's a hard one for me though so I try to at least limit my sugar intake by making healthy substitutions (wheat bread instead of white or no bread at all) and eating more clean foods like fruits and vegetables.  

Sleep and Exercise
I can't forget this important part.  Some of what my body is going through is just that I sometimes don't get enough sleep and exercise.  The more you exercise, the more restful sleep so the two work together. This can also help with stress relief.

Disclaimer:  I am not a physician and do not have a medical background.  The aim of this post is to share my experience.  Please seek advice from your physician before taking any supplements or making changes to your physical health routine and/or diet.



Monday, December 1, 2014

Scalp Psoriasis and Natural Hair

www.curlyincolorado.com scalp psoriasis natural hairThe fall and winter tends to be the time of year when we hear more about protective styling.  With the colder temperatures and drop in humidity, a lot of naturals will do this in order to protect their tresses.  I admire all of the different styles from braids to twists and pretty up dos.  However, this is usually the time when I really just want to hide my hair from view.  That is because I suffer from scalp psoriasis which tends to last over a long period, beginning in the fall and lasting into the winter.

There is plenty of information online regarding psoriasis.  In my case it shows up on my scalp and skin in small spots that spread out over time.  Years ago, I sought treatment and advice from medical professionals who unfortunately did not help me to understand the condition.  They prescribed steroid creams which led to my worst spell with psoriasis ever.  Later, I found out that psoriasis is an auto immune disease which means the immune system is out of whack somehow.  Since the digestive tract makes up about 70 percent of the immune system, I tend to focus my efforts there.  I do this by eating a diet rich in clean foods and focus on staying hydrated.  I'll explain more on my diet and supplements in another post.

The tricky thing about having scalp psoriasis while having thick, curly, natural hair is that the flaking that develops can be hard to get rid of.  Using oils can reduce the appearance of flakes but can also increase the production of them.  This means I end up cleansing my hair and scalp more often.

I try to stay away from harsh shampoos during this time because the frequent washing is already a lot of manipulation on my hair.  Sulfate based shampoo leaves my hair feeling stripped and can lead to tangling.  When I cleanse my scalp with a sulfate shampoo I try to follow it up with a pH balanced shampoo or an apple cider vinegar rinse.  I'll do this once a week and then use a sulfate free shampoo on other days.  I end up cleansing my hair and scalp up to three times per week in total.

As far as protective styling goes I've found that wearing hats and wigs are the most comfortable for me right now.  I don't have to worry about flakes being visible when I'm out which is a boost for my confidence.  Other times, a wash and go style is my go-to because it is quick and easy.  I also don't worry as much about the frequent washing because I usually refresh the style every two or three days.

Read Here for  How I Clear Up My Psoriasis with Diet and Supplements

Thursday, November 13, 2014

In Review: Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk

www.curlyincolorado.com camille rose naturals curl love review
Camille Rose Naturals
Curl Love Moisture Milk
Earlier this year I celebrated 5 years on my natural hair journey and realized that I've pretty much stuck with the same products.  I am usually one of those gals who like to use affordable products that can be found locally in stores.  Once I figured out what worked for me, I stopped looking.  Still, I couldn't ignore all of the rave reviews that circulate in the natural hair world.  For this reason, I decided maybe I could tweak my routine here and there.  Who knows?  Maybe I'm missing out.

My Curls after using the Curl Love Moisture Milk
and Eco Styler gel
I was eyeing the Camille Rose products at my local Target store for some time and decided to try something from the line.  I needed a moisturizer for when I do my wash n' go so I grabbed the Curl Love Moisture Milk.  You get 8 ounces for about $15 dollars USD which seemed reasonable considering it contains all natural ingredients.  The product claims to,"nurture your tresses and aid in preventing breakage, shedding and styling damage."  The label also states that it,  "…will provide shine, protective anti-oxidants and long-lasting moisture to enhance the driest hair."  This sounded like something that would certainly provide my hair with the moisture it needed under a heavy styler like Eco Styler gel.  I love how gel makes my curls pop but I'm sometimes left with dry hair a few days later.

 I first tried it on wet hair after cleansing and conditioning.  Then I decided to use a little grapeseed oil to seal in the moisture.  Lastly, I sprayed each section of my hair with water before applying Eco gel.  I was very surprised to see how much my curls clumped together.  My hair also appeared to hang more than my usual wash n' go.  I let it airdry and realized that maybe adding the grapeseed oil was making my hair a bit too heavy.  The next trial I decided to skip the oil and use the Curl Love as my sealer because it contains Castor oil.  In this case I used Aussie Moist as my leave-in conditioner and then followed the same steps as before.  The result was okay but my curls weren't as juicy.  The combo that worked best was when I used a leave-in conditioner, grapeseed oil to seal then the Curl Love all before applying the gel.  This basically meant I was using the L.O.C. method (leave-in, oil, cream). 


Overall, I found that the product does what it claims by allowing my curls to hang more when I use it to do a wash n' go style.  It definitely feels moisturizing and leaves me with much softer hair after using the hair gel.  I did notice however that if I stuck with sulfate free products to cleanse my hair, the product would build up.  I am back to using a sulfate shampoo for when I need to clarify so this is no longer an issue
for me.

www.curlyincolorado.com camille rose naturals curl love review
Moisturizes and gives my curls hang time!
I agree with the price point considering I am still on the same bottle a couple of months later.  I realized early on that you don't really need to use very much of the product in order to moisturize your hair.  I even use it on my kid's hair and feel like we've gotten a lot of use out of it.  I would definitely purchase this product again in the future.

HAVE YOU TRIED THE CAMILLE ROSE NATURALS LINE?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Back to The Curly Girl Method & Switching to Wetline Xtreme Gel

www.curlyincolorado.com curly girl method wetline xtreme hair gel
My new wash and go product line-up
I recently decided to make some major changes in my hair routine as far as my products go.  After using chemical hair dye to semi permanently cover my gray hair, I switched to a sulphate free shampoo.  When I did this, I noticed that my beloved Aussie Moist conditioner was causing a lot more build-up.  This was because it contains a silicone and sulphate free shampoo isn't capable of removing heavy silicones.

This change in my cleansing routine meant that I needed to go back to silicone free conditioners or at least lighter silicone versions that were easier to cleanse out.  I decided to go with my old favorites Tresemme Naturals Conditioner for detangling/conditioning and Paul Mitchell's The Conditioner as a leave-in.  This basically put me right back at Curly Girl status which is fine but what about the gel?

I really like to use a heavy gel after I apply my leave-ins for
extra curl definition and hold.  It also guarantees me a wash and go style that will last a few days.  Normally, my gel of choice is Eco Styler gel.  However, my hair was not liking the product very much lately.  It was like it kept zapping the moisture from my hair no matter what products I paired with it.  The other day I went to reach for it to do my hair, but realized I was completely out.  I usually stay stocked on this product so that was surprising.  Then I remembered that I still had some Wetline Xtreme gel leftover from a trial I did this summer.  It was all I had so I had no other choice but to use it.

www.curlyincolorado.com curly girl method wetline xtreme hair gel
My wash and go still has lots of definition
after using Wetline Xtreme gel
I used it three times the first week and I still can't believe the difference!  My hair feels way better than when I use Eco gel and all I have to use is my leave-in conditioner and grapeseed oil underneath.  With Eco I had to also use a third, moisturizing product.  I think it has something to do with how Wetline gel is protein and glycerin free.  I have often suspected that I might need a glycerin free product but it's possible the protein was causing problems as well.  The other plus is that I still get the same curl definition as before.  I am so glad that I stumbled upon this discovery.  I'm pretty sure that my hair is too!

Friday, October 3, 2014

My Bali Girl Synthetic Wig by Freetress

www.curlyincolorado.com bali girl synthetic wig by freetress
I'm wearing Bali Girl,
a synthetic wig by Freetress
I had this brilliant idea this summer that I would give protective styling a try.  It's a great way to retain length while rocking a style that keeps your hair up and out of the way.  I like to change things up though so these styles never last for me.  That's why I figured I would just try a wig so that I could wear my own hair whenever I wanted.  Thing is, the Freetress Bali Girl wig I picked up this summer was only my second ever!  The last wig I bought, I wore a couple times and then put it away.

I was pretty excited with this one though because the front of it looked similar to my hair when I wear it straight.  My husband didn't even realize it was a wig until I told him.  Still, I just had to tweak it a bit here and there.  It was longer than I expected and it also had long bangs.  Check out my video to see how I adjusted it.






Update on My Bali Girl Synthetic Full Cap Wig by Freetress




WATCH MY INITIAL REVIEW ON THE BALI GIRL WIG HERE

Friday, September 12, 2014

Getting Too Cold for My Wash n' Go

www.curlyincolorado.com Wash n Go Braid Out

It is nearly the middle of September and I'm already shopping for knit beanies to wear over my hair in the snow.  Welcome to Colorado!  Home of the mild summers and early winters.  This would be fine by me if I wasn't having so much fun with my wash n' go style.  Yes, recently I've been rocking my curls and enjoying my curly afro.  However, last night it was forecast to drop down to good ole thirty two degrees or freezing as I like to call it.   

To prepare for the cold, my family and I quickly harvested our large, unripe tomatoes from our community garden plot.  We hated to do it but we just didn't want to risk losing them.  While standing in the drizzling rain and feeling my fingers go numb, I decided it was time to start wearing braid outs.  The style works for me  during the colder weather because I don't have to revive the look by rewetting my hair in the morning.  Also, my hair will usually lay flat enough for me to wear a warm knit beanie hat over it.  Braid outs for the win!

www.curlyincolorado.com Wash n go braid out
My High Puff
I might be making a warm headband
for when I wear this style during the winter
I like to knit and crochet so I may possibly construct a new hat for myself.  I might even look into making a warm head band for those days when I want to wear a puff or high bun.  Another option would be to head over to Natural Born Hats and order a couple of their satin lined beanies.  Either way, I'm not about that dripping wet hair life when it comes to the colder temps.  Sure, we still may have a couple of sunny days coming up but as for me and my curls, it's braid out season.

BE SURE TO FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM FOR A LOOK AT MY DAILY HAIR ROUTINE

Friday, August 29, 2014

My Wash n' Go Routine

www.curlyincolorado.com wash n goLong time no blog!  Hopefully I'll be getting back into the swing of things now that the kids are back in
school.  My hair routine is a little all over the place but lately I'm rockin' my wash n' go.  The weather here in Colorado may not be warm for much longer so I'm trying to take advantage of it.  Once fall hits, I'm thinking I might look into doing some crochet braids or twists under a beanie.

Anywhoo, here is my most recent youtube video which illustrates my current wash n' go routine.  Right now I am experimenting with different moisturizers and will have a review later.  In the meantime, you can watch how I apply my products to achieve this style.


Watch My Wash n' Go Routine

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How I Maintain My Straight Natural Hair

www.curlyincolorado.com How I Maintain My Straight Natural Hair
My Natural Hair Straightened
I've been wearing my natural hair straight more often recently.  My straight hair calls for a totally different routine than the one I would use for my hair when it is shrunken and curly.  My main objective for my straight hair is to keep it looking fresh while maintaining moisture levels.  Some naturals find this hard because our hair can revert back to curly so easily.

Hair that is moisturized looks and feels so much better after using direct heat.  I still moisturize and seal my hair while it's straight but I'm also aware that starting the straightening process with a moisture based deep condition is key.  I also use grapeseed oil to seal in the moisture from my leave-in conditioner prior to air drying, roller setting or blow drying my hair.  Ever since I added the grapeseed oil to my flat ironing regimen, I have noticed that my hair feels softer and more supple after straightening.  The oil also helps to give my hair a smoother finish without having to use extremely high temperatures.  


www.curlyincolorado.com Straight Natural Hair
Herbal Essence
Touchably Smooth Split
End Protector
Once my hair is straight, I continue to moisturize it using a leave-in conditioner.  I'm currently using Herbal Essence Touchably Smooth Split End Protector*.  The trick here is to use just a little bit so that it doesn't wet my hair.  I split my hair into two sections and then apply a dime size amount (or less) to one section.  I then use two to three drops of grapeseed oil to seal in the moisture.  I don't have to do this every day that my hair is straight because the oil does such a great job of locking the moisture in.

When I want to keep my hair really straight I just wrap it and then wear a wig cap to keep my wrap down tight.  I used to use a satin scarf but it kept coming off at night.  In the morning I just comb my hair down with a wide tooth comb and go.  If I have curls in my hair then I do five or six large pin curls and go to sleep with a satin bonnet or scarf.  The next day, all I have to do is take the pins out and finger comb my curls.  

www.curlyincolorado.com Straight Natural Hair
I use Grapeseed Oil
to seal in moisture
My straight natural hair isn't perfect though.  I still get fuzzy edges from when water seeps in underneath the edge of my shower cap.  My nape area also tends to revert back way before wash day but I've learned to just live with it.  I usually wear it straight for about a week but would like to start stretching that to two weeks in the future.

*Formerly and currently known as the Long Term Relationship Split End Defense Cream depending on which packaging is available.

Be sure to check out my Youtube Channel, Mitchellzee, for videos on my Straight Natural Hair routine

Monday, June 30, 2014

Straight Natural Hair Talk: Thoughts on the Texture Manageability System (TMS) by Beautiful Textures

www.curlyincolorado.com straight natural hair reversion tms beautiful textures
My straight natural hair
After spending several months wearing heat free styles, I decided to wear my hair straight for a few weeks.  A couple of months ago, straightening my hair seemed silly because I would only get to wear the style for a short period of time.  My psoriasis was in high gear so my scalp needed attention every couple of days.  This meant cleansing my hair and scalp multiple times each week.  At the time, it seemed necessary because my scalp was sometimes unbearable and had to be dealt with.   Once my psoriasis calmed down, I decided that I would finally straighten my hair.

Wearing my hair straight during the summer heat may also sound silly but I can get away with it here.  In Colorado we have a very dry climate so there is little to no humidity on most days.  Still, reversion is always possible with straight natural hair.  I have been hearing about the Beautiful Textures Texture Manageability System or TMS.  This product claims that you can use it on natural hair to help with straight styles over a 4-6 week period.  After a few weeks and multiple washes, the hair will supposedly return to its natural state.  Well, after reading this article by The Natural Haven blog I'm not so sure.
www.curlyincolorado.com straight natural hair reversion tms beautiful textures
Half up half down style
on my straight natural hair

The article gives a breakdown of what happens to the hair structure when using the product.  It appears as though the hair bonds are effected but not permanently broken.  So yes, the hair does return to a textured state after using the product.  However, the product also seems to slightly change the protein bonds.  This makes me wonder what would happen after using it multiple times.

www.curlyincolorado.com straight natural hair reversion tms beautiful textures
Back to curly after wearing it straight
It would be nice to have straight natural hair that lasts longer but I think I'll stick to my current routine.  I use several heat protectants including grapeseed oil, IC Fantasia's Heat Protectant serum and Tresemme's Heat Tamer Spray.  The serum helps to combat reversion while the spray and grapeseed oil protect my hair from heat damage.  While it's straight I use things like Herbal Essences Split End Protector to moisturize and grapeseed oil to seal.  I also do either pin curls or wrap my hair at night to preserve the style.  When I'm ready to go back to curly, I use Aphogee's 2 Minute Reconstructor to give my hair a light protein treatment.  My curls seem to always bounce back just fine with this routine so why change now?


What are your thoughts on the TMS system by Beautiful Textures?  Please share below in the comments section.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Denver Natural Hair Care Expo 2014 Recap

www.curlyincolorado.com Denver Natural hair care expo
Michaela Sanders and I
getting caught up
If you follow me on Instagram then you already know about the fun I had last weekend at the First Annual Denver Natural Hair Care Expo.  The event was one of many on the Evolution Tour which was founded by Malaika-Tamu Cooper, who was a special guest speaker.  Colorado Urban Naturals was the local group organizing the event with Phaedra High as the head coordinator.  The event was in the planning stages for 9 months and was received positively by many.  There were classes offered throughout the day on health, wellness, haircare and coaching for entrepreneurs in the hair field.

My mother, who is also natural, attended the event along with me.  We both enjoyed a Qi-Gong demonstration by Ronnie Ql and Pos from The Apprentice of Peace Wellness Studio in Denver.  I also caught up with an old friend, Michaela Sanders, who was an instructor for one of the classes.
www.curlyincolorado.com Denver Natural hair care expo
Natural men and women in attendance
at this year's Denver Natural Hair Care Expo

www.curlyincolorado.com Denver Natural hair care expo
Vendors selling jewelry, books and food
www.curlyincolorado.com Denver Natural hair care expo
Natural hair blogger, Sabrina Perkins  (left)
with Sister, Author Dormaine G.




There were many vendors present including, Melissa Vas from More Than Curly salon, Ron Springer from Akente Express and Dormaine G, an independently published author.  Also, I was glad to have the chance to reconnect with fellow natural hair blogger, Sabrina Perkins who writes for her blog, Seriously Natural.


www.curlyincolorado.com Denver Natural hair care expowww.curlyincolorado.com Denver Natural hair care expowww.curlyincolorado.com Denver Natural hair care expo


Pictured left; Melissa Vas discussing curly hair with an attendee, top right; Earrings from Akente Express, bottom right; Ron Springer, Owner of Akente Express.

















www.curlyincolorado.com Denver Natural hair care expo
Chatting with Facebook follower (and
future blogger ;) ) Keisha
Originally, I was invited to participate as a presenter on one of the discussion panels along with other bloggers and stylists.  Unfortunately, the heavy rain brought all of the outdoor activities inside which eventually led to a cancellation of our panel.  Still, the event kept on, regardless of the weather and concluded with an upbeat hair show that celebrated the beauty of natural hair.

www.curlyincolorado.com Denver Natural hair care expo
Myself with Pos (left) and
Ronnie Ql of
The Apprentice of Peace
Wellness Studio
I worked for several years as an event coordinator and realize that an event of this size is a huge undertaking.  There are always hiccups here and there in the first year and I know that this took a lot of man hours and planning.  However,  it would be nice to see more publicity next time because it sounds like there were a lot of naturals out there who didn't find out about it in time.  It also looks like a larger venue may be necessary so that all of the vendors, classes, presentations and shows can be held under one roof.  This would help streamline the event schedule and shelter everyone from bad weather conditions.  Overall, the event was given a huge thumbs up by the naturals who came out.

Hopefully, there will be even more support for next year's event.  It will take all of us to help make it bigger and better!  My thanks goes out to Phaedra High who had a vision for a Natural Hair event in Denver and saw it through.  Congrats!

I had a lot of fun meeting new people and reconnecting with old friends at the Denver Natural Hair Care Expo.  For updates on future events follow my blog and check out Colorado Urban Naturals on Facebook.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Denver Natural Hair Care Expo this Weekend

www.curlyincolorado.com Denver Natural Hair Care Expo
I'll be a panelist at the
Denver Natural Hair Care Expo
My online blogging and vlogging life has always been more about my own personal hair journey than anything else.  I've watched how other cities' natural hair populations have grown leading to large events for naturals.  I kept wishing the same for Denver and even discussed the matter with a fellow blogger, Sabrina Perkins, of  Seriously Natural.  A couple of years ago, we hosted a small meet-up in downtown Denver for naturals and transitioners.  It was tons of fun to see local ladies getting together and discussing natural hair.

Since then I have noticed that other meet-up groups have popped up in the metro area and meet on a more regular basis.  Now, Denver is getting it's own Natural Hair Care Expo which will be held this Sunday, June 8th, at the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theatre.  The event is part of the Evolution Tour which is, "an 18 stop tour that crosses the country, educating people on natural hair care, holistic health and beauty.



I'm so excited to announce that I'll be on the discussion panel.  Hopefully I'll get to meet some of my readers there but mostly I'm glad to be a part of it all.  Check out the promo photo below for more info.  Hope to see you there!






Friday, May 23, 2014

In Review: Satin Lined Military Cap from Natural Born Hats LLC

Recently I was contacted by a company called Natural Born Hats LLC.  When I saw that they
www.curlyincolorado.com satin lined hat review
Finally a satin lined cap that's stylish
and fits over my natural hair
offered satin lined hats at affordable prices, I jumped at the chance to do a review.  Why is a satin lining so important you ask?  Well, for starters, it can help minimize frizz and matting that can occur when wearing a hat without the added lining.  The smooth satin is what comes in contact with your hair which means less friction which in turn minimizes breakage.  That's music to my ears because I'm always concerned about how my hair will fare when wearing a typical hat.  With this I have no worries.

About Natural Born Hats LLC

If you head over to the website, you'll find the story detailing the relationship between the two friends who started the company.  They were both on a hair journey and using satin bonnets and scarves, as we all do, to protect their hair at night.  They, like me, wanted another option that was stylish for wearing out but still had the protective satin inside.

www.curlyincolorado.com satin lined hat review
Satin lining inside


www.curlyincolorado.com satin lined hat review
Military Cap Style 
What I like about their hats is the sound construction and the variety of styles that are available.  I was sent a Military inspired cap but they also carry sun hats, fedoras and lots of fun knit beanies.  The Military caps are produced using a cotton blend.  This is a plus because I'm planning to wear mine when I go on my walks this summer.  The other hats are constructed using materials such as straw plaiting, flax and polyester.  Each comes with a polyester satin lining. The knit beanies are polyester throughout which makes them machine washable but no dryer.  I like that because I'm planning on getting one for my very active 12 year old son.

I know my new hat will get a lot of use this summer.  I'm favoring braid outs lately which means my braids are sometimes not completely dry in the morning.  Now I can just throw on my satin lined cap and head out the door knowing my braids are still protected.  I've tried this before with other hats but was having trouble getting all of the braids to fit.  It even has room enough when my natural hair is in full swang.


www.curlyincolorado.com satin lined hat review
A hat that fits over my braids YAY!
If you're interested in a comfy satin lined hat for yourself, be sure to head over to Natural Born Hats LLC and use Coupon Code:  CURLYCO25 for an extra 25% off

NOTE:  The code will be active for the next 2 weeks and must be entered using all caps.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

May Onyx Box Review

www.curlyincolorado.com onyx box review
Goodies from this month's Onyx Box
I was recently sent a box full of goodies from www.WeAreOnyx.com.  This site offers a subscription service geared towards fashion forward women of color who are looking to try new hair and beauty products.  In each month's box, subscribers can expect to find full size items from well known beauty brands.  This month was geared towards nail art and skincare which was right on time for me.

The Colorado winter has been a beast and has left my hands wrecked and in need of some love.  So I was delighted to see that the Onyx Box for May had some new things for me to try when I do my next manicure.

I already tried out the Shea Moisture Shea Butter hand creme which felt divine on the skin.  I was upset though that the scent was a little overpowering for my taste.   That is somewhat of a turnoff when I buy products because it can lead to headaches for me.  The scent is similar to the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie so if you're fine with that, then it shouldn't be a problem.  If it wasn't for this I would probably use it often because my hands sure do need it.

Other than that, I'm looking forward to using the nail polishes and skin wash that came in the package.  Check out the pics below for a sneak peek at what was inside this month's box!

www.curlyincolorado.com onyx box review
I love the pretty packaging and full product sizes


www.curlyincolorado.com onyx box review
Products featured in this month's Onyx Box

If you're interested in subscribing for a monthly Onyx Box then head over to www.WeAreOnyx.com to get started.  The monthly subscription fee is $25 USD but is well worth it considering each box includes items that, when combined, can retail for much more than that.  You can look forward to receiving items such as hair, skin and nail products by well known brands.  It's definitely worth a look see!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Celebrating 5 Years with Natural Hair!

Happy to be Natural
Five years strong!
This past weekend marked the fifth anniversary since I went natural back in 2009.  I did my big chop on the third day in May after a nine month transition.  Recently I looked back on my natural hair journey and thought about how I would have done things differently.  It took a lot of trial and error to get to where I am today but I finally figured some things out.

In some of my more recent posts I discussed the different uses for hair oils.  I spent a very long time thinking that I was sealing in moisture with coconut and olive oils.  In actuality, grapeseed oil was the true winner when it came to this because it was heavy enough to lock in the moisture.  Now I know that coconut and olive oils are to be used to help moisturize and condition the hair; not to seal.

My Current Hair Length
Another new discovery is that hair gel is not the enemy.  I had so many failed attempts at styling my hair that I often blamed my beloved Eco Styler gel for the outcome.  I learned that if used in the right way it could enhance my styles and make them last longer.  Now I use the grapeseed oil to seal in moisture and apply the gel as a holding agent with no issues.

Watch my Youtube video for more on what I learned over the past five years with Natural Hair


MITCHELLZEE'S 5 YEARS NATURAL VIDEO
MYTHS AND TRUTHS ABOUT NATURAL HAIR


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Growing Heirloom Tomatoes in Colorado

www.curlyincolorado.com growing heirloom tomatoes colorado
Heirloom Tomato plants and hearty basil
I can't believe that it has been a year since our last Heirloom Tomato plant sale.  This will be our fifth year selling and we can't wait to see some of our repeat customers.  The weather here is still on the chilly side but with Mother's Day coming up, hopefully we will be planting in the garden soon.  In Colorado, we have a different growing season so growing good vegetables takes a little bit more planning.  That is why my husband started the seeds for our tomato plants months ago so that they would be ready for planting in May.

We still have a garden plot at a local community garden where we grow most of our vegetable plants.  At home we'll also be trying a few lettuces and leafy greens in a raised bed.  We're not sure how they'll fare though because there are a couple of rabbits in the area.  If we're lucky they'll leave enough for our family to have at least one salad.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT COMMUNITY GARDENING IN DENVER

Planning our garden is always fun because that's when the kids chime in with ideas of what they would like to grow.  It feels good knowing that our little ones are learning how to care for the plants and also how to prepare them for the table.  They call them, "free veggies," because instead of going to the store we just stop by the garden for some good eats.

www.curlyincolorado.com Heirloom Tomatoes gardening colorado
Getting ready for this year's Heirloom Tomato Plant Sale
If your in the Denver Metro area, feel free to stop by our Heirloom Tomato Plant sale.  It will be held at 1568 S. Fairfax St. in Denver 80222, May 2nd-4th.  We'll be starting around 9am on Friday and Saturday and 10am on Sunday.  We usually wrap up sometime around 4pm or until they're gone.  We'll have some customer favorites like Ananas Noire, Mortgage Lifter and Brandywine.  We also tried a few new varieties this year like Yellow Pear, Cherokee Purple and Green Giant.  We even have some basil this year which is always a favorite.  My husband has a wealth of knowledge and loves to share what he knows with other gardeners.  We also give tips on how to grow strong, healthy tomato plants in our climate.  Hope to see you there but if not, happy growing!



Monday, April 21, 2014

Thinking About Crochet Braids for a Summer Protective Style

www.curlyincolorado.com crochet braids summer protective styles For a while now I've been watching videos on Youtube that illustrate how to install crochet braids.  At first, I was just curious how the style was done.  The crochet braids that I remember were stringy, pre-braided strands that were attached to the hair with a latch hook tool.

It looks like the technique has come a long way since then.  Now,  people are using all different types of hair textures to create various looks.  This means the style can be worn curly or straight; short or long.  I'm interested in doing this type of style over the summer because it looks like an easy way to protect my growing hair while having the look of a style that is always ready to wear.  It may take me up to two to three hours to complete but can last four to six weeks.

I watched several videos on how to install crochet braids and this one, by MamiTresses, was the best at explaining how it's done.  Enjoy!


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tea Tree Oil for My Scalp and Skin

www.curlyincolorado.com tea tree oil scalp skinI love to play in my hair but lately my focus has turned to my skin and scalp.  My psoriasis is slowly trying to make a comeback, but hopefully my green juices and vitamin D will help me out there. Until it clears up, my scalp is sometimes an itchy mess.  Just oiling my scalp does not cut it because it results in more flakes and itchies, making my condition even worse.  I found this out when I mixed a few drops of the tea tree oil with my grapeseed oil and applied the mixture to my scalp after washing and conditioning.  A few days later my scalp was going crazy again!  So, this weekend, I decided to switch to a mixture of Aloe Vera gel and tea tree oil.  This way, I wasn't adding any oil to the area.  It's been a couple of days and I can tell that it's working.  I just tested a small area but will apply it to my whole head the next time I co-wash.

I also decided to add tea tree oil to my skincare regimen.  I have adult acne and it pretty much has me at my wits end at this point.  Tea tree oil has been known to have some of the same effectiveness as benzoyl peroxide in regards to acne.  I've been using witch hazel as a toner but it didn't seem to clear my skin on its' own.  This weekend, I purchased a new bottle of witch hazel and added 20 drops tea tree oil to it.  Then, I just applied it with a cotton pad like normal.  Thankfully, the tea tree smell didn't linger.  I have noticed that my skin is having fewer breakouts so I think it may be working.

www.curlyincolorado.com tea tree oil scalp skin
I added tea tree to my toner to
help with my adult acne
Tea tree essential oil has antiseptic properties, so when it is applied to the scalp or skin, it can help to get rid of any bacteria that may be present.  I've also read that it can help with dandruff and other scalp issues so that was my reason for trying it.  It comes in a tiny bottle but a little goes a long way.  I only use a few drops at a time so one bottle lasts a while.

The only thing is, essential oils like this should not be applied directly to the skin.  Tea tree oil should always be added to a carrier oil like olive, grapeseed, castor oils or, in my case, the aloe vera gel.  In some cases it has been known to cause irritation so discontinue use if this happens.  Also, the oil is toxic if taken orally, so topical use only!  It can usually be found at health food stores in the bath and body section.  I get mine locally at Sprouts or Vitamin Cottage but have also seen it at Whole Foods.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Grapeseed Oil for Hair

www.curlyincolorado.com grapeseed oil for natural hair
I use an old Hot Six Oil bottle
to store my Grapeseed oil
In the natural hair world we always hear about using oils for our hair but I'm beginning to learn more about how they work.  I've mentioned in recent posts how coconut and olive oils are both light enough to actually penetrate the hair shaft.  For this reason, they tend to make great moisturizers but not sealants.  It's important to moisturize the hair and then seal it in with something heavier.

In the past, I reached for castor oil to seal with because it has a very thick consistency.  However, it left my hair feeling really heavy so I thought I would give grapeseed oil a try.  Grapeseed oil is heavy enough to use as a sealant after moisturizing but is lighter than castor oil.  An added benefit for me though is that it has a high smoke point meaning I can use it when I use heat on my hair.  Now, I'm still not sold on the idea that it can protect against heat damage, but I have noticed a difference.

SEE HOW I STRAIGHTEN MY NATURAL HAIR

www.curlyincolorado.com grapeseed oil for hair
My straight natural hair after
using Grapeseed oil and a serum
for protection against heat
I recently used it when I straightened my hair and I was very happy with the results.  Sometimes after heat styling I'm left with hair that is dry and crispy feeling but I didn't get that when I used the grapeseed oil.  My hair felt very soft and moisturized after using my flat iron on a heat setting ranging from 370 to 400 degrees.

The only drawback is that I've read that other naturals noticed that their hair reverted quicker after using the grapeseed oil as a heat protectant.  For this reason, I also used a silicone based serum by IC Fantasia to help keep my hair straighter longer.  I was able to go a full ten days and probably could have gone longer but it was time to cleanse my scalp.

I've decided to continue using the grapeseed oil in my hair routine for oil rinses, sealing in moisture and for added protection against heat.  I prefer the Napa Valley Naturals brand which I found at a local health food store.  If you haven't tried it I say give it a go!





Wednesday, February 12, 2014

4 Month No Heat Challenge Results

www.curlyincolorado.com no heat challenge length checkI finally completed my No Heat Challenge which went from October 1, 2013 to February 1, 2014.  It may sound crazy but it was the longest that I had gone without using heat since my transition to natural hair.  At first, I thought maybe I was going to succumb to the urge to straighten my hair or use a blow dryer.  Once I got the hang of styling my hair in other ways, it ended up being easier than I expected.




During the challenge I allowed myself the use of my hooded dryer for roller sets and drying my wash n' go curls.  Other than that, I usually just air dried my hair.  My favorite styles ended up being braid outs and ponytail roller sets.  These were easy ways to stretch my hair that also gave my hair manageability.


www.curlyincolorado.com no heat challenge length check
My Current Hair Length
February 2014
Once the four month challenge was over, I straightened my hair for a length check.  I was happy to see that my layers were finally growing out.  After flat ironing my hair I decided to give myself a much needed trim.  One of the things I noticed though was how many single strand knots I had to cut out.  Not good!  My thoughts on that were that maybe I should stay away from tightly curly styles until I get to a length where I'm comfortable with just maintaining.  For now, I'll be using stretched styles to try and keep the knots under control.

I've decided that I'll probably go another three months before using heat to straighten my hair again.  I really liked how the new hair growing in felt so much thicker and healthier.  I don't want to damage it by using excess heat.  Overall, I'm pleased with the results and am glad that I challenged myself in this way.  I learned a lot about my hair and what it needs, which will help me obtain my goals.

Have you ever participated in a hair challenge?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Review: Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter

www.curlyincolorado.com revlon colorburst lip butter
Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Red Velvet #40


www.curlyincolorado.com revlon colorburst lip butter
I love this classic red tint
I am a fan of makeup but still tend to stay at the drug store level when I make a purchase.   I have a ton of glosses for my lips but recently decided to try the Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters.

I had been hearing rave reviews about the line for a while on the web so I figured I would give it a go.  At first glance, the line has a lot of different shades to offer.  I'm always a little leary though because I don't want to end up with a shade that is too light or ashy for my skin tone.  However, there was quite a range in color, so finding a shade for me was not very hard.

I first went for a pinky color called, Berry Smoothie.  This one is nice for when I want a wash of color and a little moisture for my lips on the go.  However, the shade that truly makes me gaga is the Red Velvet.  The color is pigmented enough to pull my whole look together without much effort but also helps with dryness.  I love red lips but this gives me a nice, understated red that still works for everyday.


www.curlyincolorado.com revlon colorburst lip butter
A swatch of Red Velvet
www.curlyincolorado.com revlon colorburst lip butter
Red Velvet on the lips 
The Lip Butter formula is hydrating to the lips thanks to the added "mango, shea and coconut butters".  It also imparts a shine which I love.  I tend to reach for either of these shades now when I'm in a hurry because they give me moisture and color in one swipe.


I highly recommend the Red Velvet for any women of color who are looking for a lovely red to add 
to their stash.

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