Thursday, July 30, 2015

My Summertime Wash n' Go Routine

The results from
My current wash n' go routine
with my new bangs
Now, we all know that a wash n' go is really just what we say when we wear a style that shows off our natural curls right?  Okay then, with that said, this is what I've been doing for the past few weeks for MY wash n' go (insert smiley face here).  To be honest, the hot, summer-like weather did not hit us Coloradans until mid July.  For that reason, I've only just recently gotten into a routine for my curly hair.

Last month I picked up The Conditioner by Paul Mitchell, which is actually a leave-in.  This stuff leaves my hair so soft and moisturized.  I decided to start using it under my hair gel in place of the Aussie Moist that I was using throughout the winter.  I found out that using too much of the Aussie product led to heavy buildup and dryness.  The Paul Mitchell product is lighter and doesn't have the type of silicones in it that will cause those problems.

Another star in my product lineup is the Curl Love Moisture Milk by Camille Rose Naturals.  It's a creamy moisturizer that always gives me more hang time when I use it on my curls.  I know we should embrace the shrinkage and all but, we are still not friends to this day.  So I appreciate the extra length I get whenever I use this product.

Something else I've started doing to keep some of my length is blowdrying my hair instead of air drying.  Yes, I know it can be bad for the hair but I use grapeseed oil to seal in my moisture.  This is considered a heat protectant.  I can vouch for that seeing as how it saved my curls from heat damage several times in the past.  Also, I usually don't pull out the blowdryer until my hair has had a chance to dry a little.  When I feel the gel in my hair go crisp, that's when I know it is safe to start drying it without causing too much frizz.

My all-star lineup of products
Camille Rose's Curl Love Moisture Milk,
The Conditioner by Paul Mitchell,
Eco Gel and Grapeseed oil
My whole process is pretty simple.  I cleanse and condition my hair and scalp in the shower.  I detangle while I still have loads of conditioner in my hair because it gives me enough slip to detangle with my denman brush.  After that I towel dry my hair.  I know that is another no-no step but I like for my products to soak in to my hair so, the dryer the better.  I apply my leave-in conditioner first and follow up with the Moisture Milk.  I seal both of these in with grapeseed oil.  Finally, I section my hair and spritz it with water before applying my gel.  If I'm going to use my blowdryer, I wait about an hour before blowing out the roots and any damp areas.  Otherwise, I just leave it to air dry.

There you have it!  That is my current wash n' go routine for the summer.  When I think about it, it's really not that different from before but still has a few tweaks here and there.  Be sure to check out my video on how I did my wash and go previous to this.  That's all for now until next time!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Letting Go of Heat Damage heat damageNaturally curly hair can take some getting used to.  When I first went natural I did all that I could to learn more about how to grow my hair longer and stronger.  Since I hadn't worn my natural hair  since I was a pre-teen, I was very new to the idea.  Because of this my hair journey began with a lot of trial and error.  Heat damage ended up being on of my biggest mistakes early on.  I created a regimen for myself that included straightening my hair once a month.  Of course, I knew about deep conditioning and heat protectant but still didn't know how MY hair reacted to heat.

At the time I was of the mind that hair of my type required at least 400 degrees or more for straightening.  I later found out that using the right technique also plays a huge role in how smooth my hair turns out.  Also, I was of the mind that having natural, unprocessed hair meant that my hair would withstand heat and manipulation differently.  This mindset eventually led to my misuse of heat on one occasion that left a section of my hair heat damaged.
Heat Damage in front kept me from having
a uniform look when wearing my curls
Fast forward a few years later and here I sit, on the rebound once again.  Earlier this summer I found myself dealing with heat damage.  Mind you, this was from an incident that occurred last summer.  I allowed the hair in my bangs section to regrow for a full nine months before I finally decided to chop off the damaged ends.  It was a hard decision to make but it really was a lot easier to wear curly styles afterwards. heat damage
My bangs after chopping off the heat damaged ends
The lesson I learned is this; listen to your hair.  When the hair is responding to a new technique or product in a negative way, don't ignore it.  I knew that the section had been compromised by the heat use but did not take the necessary steps to correct it.  Now, when I see a slight change in my curl pattern, I pay attention.  Heat damage is one of the ways naturally curly hair cries out
for help.

I have several posts here on the blog about heat damage and what I have done to combat it.  Although it can be irreversible in some cases, it still proves to be a way to learn more about what the hair can and cannot take.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

International Natural Hair Meetup Day Colorado Re-Cap

The Denver metro area looked more like Seattle during the month of May.  However, the sun finally   decided to make an appearance this weekend.  This made for great weather and a big turnout for the International Hair Meetup Day Colorado (INHMD) on Saturday.  International Natural Hair Meetup Day Colorado
Fashion Show Segment
 The event was an annual celebration of natural hair and this year Colorado was included as one of the participating locations.  The meetup was presented by Design Essentials and coordinated with the help of local group, Colorado Urban Naturals, which is led by Phaedra High.  It was apparent that a lot of hard work and care went into bringing this event together so kudos to all who helped out.  International Natural Hair Meetup Day Colorado
Andrea Grady of Colorado Urban Naturals
There were people of all ages present and lots of natural hair styles to admire.  I was there to participate in the Bloggers and Stylists panel discussion.  I enjoyed sharing information with the audience but also learned some things that may help me on my own hair journey.
Upper left; My Mom and I having fun at the event. Upper Right; Me speaking on the panel
Bottom; Rhonda Lee and fellow Bloggers on the panel
(upper right Photo Credit @NaturalCharisma on IG)  International Natural Hair Meetup Day Colorado
Lovely Naturalistas Asia and Kenya
with their gorgeous locks

It was also nice to speak with other naturals whether they were vendors or attendees. There were so many business owners there who really knew their craft and I loved hearing more about their products.  There was jewelry, bath and body, wellness products and more.  International Natural Hair Meetup Day Colorado
Tanya with Ajaya Body Inc.
who makes bath and body products
Thanks for the Shea Butter!

Having a little hair talk with Marilyn after the panel discussion  International Natural Hair Meetup Day Colorado
Tiara Beasley (CEO) and Micah Curtis (Co-Counder) of Chic Love Naturals
It was lovely speaking with these two about hair products
The event schedule moved along smoothly with the help of emcee, Carolyn King.  On the Blogger & Stylists panel we briefly discussed our natural hair journeys then covered a few topics.  Rhonda Lee, the meteorologist who joined the panel was delightful.  She reminded us of the importance of giving encouragement to those who are starting their hair journey.  I enjoyed meeting Naomi of @CoilyCulture, Abena of @NaturalCharisma and @TuffCurlz.  I also had a chance to chat with Sabrina Perkins from the blog,  Seriously Natural, whom I worked with before on another natural hair event.  International Natural Hair Meetup Day Colorado
Carol Richardson and Dana Simmons of
Succulent Sensations
who were food vendors for the event

The discussion was followed by a live performance by Ebony Lion and then a fashion show.
There was even a live demo of a crochet braids install at the Glam Bar.  International Natural Hair Meetup Day Colorado
I was so happy to speak with Micah Sims who is a
Hair Stylist who specializes in Natural Hair
She does braids and starts locs too

Overall the event proved to be a very positive one for local naturalistas and for the black community as a whole.  If you missed it be sure to follow Colorado Urban Naturals on Facebook for upcoming events.  It looks like they are currently working to bring us another Denver Natural Hair Expo in September.  Be sure to watch this space for more on natural hair tips and event updates!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

International Natural Hair Meetup Day in Colorado

Hey there Colorado naturals!  If you're looking for a fun way to get together with other naturals locally then you'll want to check out this upcoming meetup.  The event is part of the annual International Hair Meetup Day which is scheduled for Saturday, May 30th this year.  It was originally founded by Adeea Rogers, a.k.a The Trendy Socialite, in 2012.  It is a chance for people with natural hair to connect locally as well as virtually via social media all on the same day.  There will be meetups in cities throughout the country including Denver!

I'll be there as one of the panelists on the Bloggers and Stylists panel which will be emceed by Carolyn King.  Other panelists include Sabrina Perkins of the blog Seriously Natural,  Meteorologist Rhonda Lee, Tanza Trummel of @TuffCurlz, Abena Antwiwaa of @NaturalCharism and J. Naomi Johnson of CoilyCulture.  There will also be demonstrations, vendors, giveaways and entertainment.

International Natural Hair Meetup Day Colorado
Saturday, May 30th, 2015
The Summit Event Center
411 N. Sable Blvd. Aurora, CO  80010

The event is presented by Design Essentials with the help of Colorado Urban Naturals.  This is the same organization that put on last year's Denver Natural Hair Expo.  I'm really looking forward to participating in the event and also meeting naturals in my area.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Drugstore Product Haul and Review: Hair, Skincare and Makeup

I finally pulled out the old camera and whipped up a brand spankin' new video for my Youtube
channel.  I love drugstore products whether it be for hair, makeup or skincare so I thought I would share my thoughts on a few of them.  Some of the items mentioned are new to me while others are ones that I consider staples.

I've been on the hunt for a jet black eyeliner for creating a winged liner or cat eye look.  I have bought more than a few products that just didn't quite fit the bill.  I am so pleased to have finally found something that not only looks amazing but stays on until it's time to take it off.  I mean who wants to walk around with only one winged eye right?

I'm also looking forward to the summer months and getting my skin in shape is on my to-do list.  In the video I explain how I use my favorite drugstore scrub to get rid of that pesky winter skin.  I also picked up a body butter by Shea Moisture which looks promising.


For hair, I found a few items at Sally's Beauty Supply, which is one of my favorite stores.  I also headed over to Target and repurchased a staple conditioner for me and my boys.

Lastly, but mentioned first in the video, are the foundations I've tried and what I'm using now.  Drugstore foundation has come a long way.  Still, I sometimes have trouble finding something that works for my skin.  I talk about some of my foundation trials in the video.

As you can probably guess, I love to shop for things that I can find locally and affordably.  Maybe one day I will spread my wings and graduate up to bigger and better products.  However, today is not
that day.

Friday, April 10, 2015

In Review: Shea Moisture's Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque ReviewWhen I first started doing research on how to grow my hair long and healthy, I learned about the importance of deep conditioning.  At the time, I wasn't even sure if I was going natural or not but I knew that I could add deep treatments to my hair routine right away.  For my first time, I simply mixed a cheap conditioner with some extra virgin olive oil that I had in my kitchen cupboard.  It was very basic but effective.  Now, over six years later, I'm still doing deep treatments on my hair to help maintain my tresses.  It is an essential part of my natural haircare routine.

I have played with a lot of different ingredients and conditioner combinations over the years.  Recently, I decided to start experimenting with store bought deep conditioners.  My first one was the African Black Soap Purification Masque by Shea Moisture.  You can watch a demonstration and my first impression review on the product in my Youtube video.  I chose that product for my itchy scalp woes and it did help some with that issue.  This time I wanted to try Shea Moisture's Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque.  This one has always gotten rave reviews so I know I'm late to

the game.

The Rundown

The Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque is recommended for dry, damaged hair.  It says that it helps to, "heal, grow and strengthen" the hair.  Some key ingredients are sea kelp, argan oil, and shea butter.  You can definitely feel and smell the shea butter in this product.  Here is the complete ingredients list: Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque Review
This product has a thick, creamy consistency

Deionized Water, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter, Certified Organic), Argan Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Emulsifying Wax, Sea Kelp Extract, Panthenol (Vitamin B-5), Essential Oil Blend, Avocado Oil, Lonicera Caprifolium Flower Extract (Honeysuckle), Lonicera Japonica Flower Extract (Japanese Honeysuckle), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Hyssopus Officinalis Extract, Salvia Officinalis Leaf Extract (Sage), Equisetum Arvense Extract, Soybean Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa Seed Oil (Carrot)

You can see from the list that this product is all natural.  It is also free of sulfates, parabens and mineral oil.  In the directions it says that you can add olive oil for even more nutrients and a moisture boost.  I picked this product up at my local Target store for about $10 (USD).  I have also seen the line at Walmart, Sally's Beauty Supply and Walgreens drugstores for 
similar pricing.  

My Experience

Recently I reached for this product before and after applying direct heat to straighten my hair.  Normally, I would use my Aphogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor for a light protein boost before and after heat use.  I believe that this product definitely worked in a similar way.  My curls appear to be just as a healthy now as they did before I straightened my hair.  The shea butter in this product tends to stay on the hair after rinsing so I used it a couple days before flat ironing.  Then, I cleansed my hair with a clarifying shampoo followed by a moisturizing deep treatment just before straightening.  This way my straight hair felt lightweight without any heavy buildup. Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque Review
My curls after using the Deep Treatment Masque

I wore my hair straight for about ten days and clarified again to remove the silicone from my heat protectants and oils.  Then I used the deep treatment masque again to bring my curls back.  This worked like a charm in that regard.  

I always, always, always use my Tresemme Naturals Conditioner (the aloe one) for a quick pop of mositure after using a strengthening treatment such as this.  It gives my hair the softness and manageability I need to detangle and style my hair afterwards.  

Overall, I would say that this product is definitely a keeper.  I do look forward to using it in the same way the next time I decide to use heat or when my curls need a protein 


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

My Go-To Hair Styles for Working Out

This month I decided to get back to working out regularly.  Since I'm planning on exercising at least  four times per week, there are certain hair styles that I'm thinking will work best for me.  It has been a little over a month since I last straightened my hair but that style is not on my current playlist.  I was able to keep my hair straight for two weeks but I just don't see that happening while doing heavy workouts.  Here are some of the styles I plan on rocking while I'm getting fit this month. Hair Styles for Working Out

The Wash n' Go

I call this style the wash n' go but there is a little more to it than that.  This is when I rock my hair in its natural curl pattern.  I tend to use different products depending on what I have and how much time I want to spend.  Still, I pretty much always use a leave-in conditioner, something heavy to seal and then a hair gel.  You can watch me do this style here.

The Puff

This is fast becoming one of my favorites styles as of late.  I can wear my puff up high, low or somewhere in between and it still looks great.  This is usually my follow-up style after wearing a wash n' go for a couple of days.  My hair already has product in it so I just wet my edges and nape and brush my hair into a puff.  Sometimes I use a banana clip placed sideways while other times I simply use a ponytail holder.  Click the video link below to watch how I do it.


The Braid Out

This style can be worn up or down and is pretty easy to maintain.  It also is the type of style that looks great when it gets bigger so a little working out won't hurt it. Hair Styles for Working Out
The Braid Out
can be worn up or down
These are the styles that I'm gravitating towards lately but I may throw in a bun here and there.  Either way, it's all about keeping it simple and doing what works best for me.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Should I Go Back to Using Henna On My Natural Hair? Using Henna on Natural Hair
My hair in Feb. 2014 when I still used
Henna and Indigo for black hair
For five years I was a faithful henna user.  I had a pretty good routine down so it wasn't a daunting task for me.  That was until I started doing the two step Henna and Indigo treatments to cover my gray strands.  It worked like a charm but the process seemed to take ages each time I did it.  That is why I decided to start using an ammonia free box color.

Switching back to an easy option for hair color was almost a no brainer.  I wasn't using something overly harsh and drying so it didn't seem to make a big difference.  It still doesn't but now I'm beginning to wonder if my hair was stronger when I used henna.  My original intention for using henna was for the conditioning benefits.  At the time I was having scalp issues and also wanted the added strength.  When I think back on how my hair felt when I was using it, I remember it
being thicker.

Many assume henna for hair is a protein treatment.  Technically it is not.  It is a plant based powder with an active ingredient called lawsone.  This attaches permanently to the hair making it feel stronger and thicker.  With multiple uses some have even noticed a changed in curl pattern.  Lawsone is also what gives the hair a shiny reddish tint.  I really never liked the red color but it wasn't that obvious at first.  At one point though my hair was burgundy which sent me on a search for indigo powder.  With the two step henna/indigo process you get black hair as a result.  Thing is, you have to use both treatments separately in one night in order for this to work.  We're talking seven hours of applying, waiting, rinsing and conditioning.  Not to mention the cleanup!  No thank you.  


That brings me to where I am today.  I keep thinking to myself that maybe it is time to get back onto the henna bandwagon.  I remember reading a suggestion for using henna after hair color over at  It was said to help repair the hair after using chemicals.  My plan is to use the box color for root coverage and then follow up a few weeks later with henna.  I also want to add conditioners to my henna like coconut and olive oil.  These are things I avoided before because they slow the color process down.  The conditioning type of henna treatment is often called a henna gloss.  Hopefully I'll see thicker, stronger hair over the next few months.

Keep watching the blog for upcoming posts on my new, less complicated, henna journey. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Protective Style Challenge and Youtube Channel Updates protective style challenge

Here's my latest Youtube Video where I go over a few updates for my channel and natural hair
journey.  I even speak a little bit about what I'm doing with my hair now for moisture during the colder weather.


My Protective Style Challenge 

This weekend I posted a video to help keep all of my viewers up to date on my protective style challenge.  I started wearing my natural hair in protective hair styles in hopes to retain more length this year.  I would like to see my hair at least a few inches longer so I thought putting it away would help speed things up.

One Name to Rule Them All

Last month I took the plunge and renamed my Youtube Channel.  It was something that I was contemplating for some time now.  It feels good to have one name across all of my social media platforms as well.  Just makes things so much easier for me.

Winter Hair Routine and New Products

Lately I have been playing around with a couple of moisturizers to help boost my curly styles.  I'm having great success and mention both in my new video.

Be sure to stop by my Youtube Channel for more hair tutorials and curly hair updates!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

5 Signs Your Natural Hair Needs a Protein Treatment natural hair protein treatmentA few weeks ago I realized that my hair needed a protein treatment.  This may contradict what we are told in the Natural Hair community where popular belief is that natural hair doesn't need additional protein.  A protein treatment is often used to give added strength to hair strands.  A lot of people think that since natural hair is free from chemicals that alter the texture, then the protein core is safe.   However,  there may be other times when a protein treatment is needed.  The following are things that I look for when caring for my own natural hair

5 Signs Your Natural Hair May Need a Protein Treatment

1.  Excessive Shedding

When the hair sheds you'll find full strands of hair with a white root bulb on one end.  Shedding is considered normal at a rate of 50-100 strands of hair each day for most people.  However, you may notice a drastic change in your rate of shedding that continues for a prolonged period of time.  A protein treatment may aid in reducing the amount of shedding.*

2.  Breakage

As I stated above, a protein treatment can give added strength to hair strands which in turn helps to protect the hair from breaking.  If you are seeing small pieces of hair breaking and it's not shedding  then this may help.

3.  Change in Hair Texture

This can happen after using heat.  The higher the temperature the more damaging the heat can be.  For this reason you may find your hair is not curling back up or reverting back to your normal texture.  I have experienced this several times and I always turn to a protein conditioner to see if that helps.  If not, the damage may be permanent but at least the protein gives the hair an added layer of protection.

4.  Excessive Split Ends

A few split ends here and there can be considered normal.  It's when you're seeing a significant number of splits that you should be concerned.  This calls for a trim and then maybe a light protein treatment to strengthen the hair and prevent further damage.

5.  You Use Direct Heat and Hair Color

Some naturals are relaxer free but use hair dye and direct heat to alter the look of their natural hair.  These can potentially lead to damage (cuticle layer damage or porosity issues) that can cause dryness and breakage.  

What to Use for a Protein Treatment

A protein treatment can be made at home with mayonnaise, eggs, coconut milk and or avocado.  There are also store bought conditioners that claim to fortify the hair with added protein.  Look for things that say, "Strengthening" or, "for Damaged Hair".  This means there is protein in the ingredients list that may be helpful for hair that is dry, damaged and/or breaking.   I like to apply a light protein conditioner to my hair and sit with it covered by a plastic cap for about twenty minutes.  Remember though, anytime you use protein treatment on your hair it must be followed by a moisturizing deep treatment.  Too much protein can make the hair feel brittle so the moisture will help to balance things out.  

NOTE:  If your hair is sensitive to protein then this may not be an option for you.

*Excessive hair loss can also be a sign of stress or a deeper health issue.  It may be best to seek professional help if the condition does not respond to the use of protein or other at home treatments

Check out my video on how I do a diy protein treatment.  

Friday, February 20, 2015

4 Protective Hair Styles in 4 Weeks protective hair styles

In January I started my own protective style challenge to see if it would help me with length retention.  Normally I enjoy wearing my hair out because I love how versatile natural hair is.  This made it a little bit harder for me to decide on a style for the challenge.  To keep it interesting, I decided to change up my protective style each week.  Here's a rundown of each style I wore for the first four weeks of the challenge.


Protective Style #1-Synthetic Wig protective hair styles
Verona Girl by Freetress
Synthetic Wig

I've been experimenting with wigs off and on.  I thought that the challenge would be the perfect time to practice my wig skills.  I braided my real hair into two dutch braids underneath my synthetic wig.  I found that this was one of the easier styles.

Protective Style #2-The Bun protective hair styles
Easy Low Bun

Now that my hair is getting longer, I can actually work it into a pretty decent bun.  For me this style works best on stretched hair.  I usually put my hair into a ponytail and split the ends into two sections. I twist each of them then wrap the twists around the base of the ponytail.  Then I use bobby pins to secure the ends.  I really like how this look can be worn for an everyday, casual look or dressed up.

Protective Style #3-The Puff protective hair styles
Low Puff; Low Manipulation

Technically this isn't a protective style.  However, it is low maintenance and keeps my hair off of my shoulders.  After cleansing and conditioning my hair, I detangle my hair and slick it back or up high using hair gel.  I use a ponytail holder or banana clip placed sideways to secure it into place.

Protective Style #4-Dutch Braids protective hair styles
Dutch Braids on Straight Hair

This has been a go-to style for me for ages.  I just part my hair down the middle and do a braid on each side.  In the picture my hair was straightened but this look also works on wet, damp or stretched hair.

With each protective style I like to smooth my edges with Eco Styler gel which is a staple for me.  I also found that my hair needed heavier moisture for styles that are meant to last a whole week.  I think my favorite was actually the puff style.  My ends were out but it took the least amount of effort.  Overall, my first four weeks went well.  I'm planning on going for another four weeks wearing some of the same styles.  What are some of your favorite protective hair styles?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

In Review: February Onyx Box Unboxing from We Are Onyx February Onyx Box Review
This month I was excited to receive another beauty box from We Are Onyx.  The monthly Onyx Box subscription service caters to women of color and is always a treat.

The theme for February is, of course, love but more like pampering yourself.  Items like these are a nice reminder that it's okay to stop and make time to take care of your hair and body.

The Products February Onyx Box Review

A beauty box service is a fun way to find out about new products.  This month, I am delighted to find shampoo and conditioner from a brand called Acure.  Both are made with all natural ingredients including Moroccan Argan oil.  I recently switched back to using ammonia free hair dye so it's nice to find a shampoo and conditioner that are color safe.

 I've always wondered how my curls would react to using flax seed gel for styling.  Now I can finally put it to the test with Carmella Marie's My Gel.  The product also contains jojoba oil which I understand is good for the hair and scalp.  I can't wait to try it!

Speaking of scalp health, there is also a So Posh Beauty Herbal Hair Tea in this month's Onyx Box.  It has a blend of natural herbs for a tea that conditions the hair and treats the scalp.  With peppermint and rosemary in the ingredients list you know it smells delish.  Another product that smells good enough to eat is the Coquito Bubble Stuff shower gel by Honeycat Cosmetics.  This is what pampering is all about!  With ingredients like coconut, honey and rum you can't go wrong.

To round out the offerings in this month's box of goodies we have hair products from Creme of Nature. There are two samples from the new Straight from Eden line as well as a full size container of the New Butter-Licious Curls Styling product.  All three products are made with natural ingredients and are mineral oil, petrolatum and paraben free.

Shop the Box! February Onyx Box ReviewThe February Onyx Box will be available through the end of the month so head on over to to find out how to get started.  You can also find full size versions of these and many other products at

NOTE:  This month's box was sent to me courtesy of We Are Onyx.  I am not affiliated with any of the products and/or brands mentioned in this post.  Please visit for more information.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Aphogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor on Natural Curly Hair

When my hair was relaxed, I never took the time to deep condition my hair.  I had a pretty simple regimen which included shampoo, conditioner and a leave-in conditioner.  If I had been introduced to do the idea of using a light protein treatment, my hair might have been a lot stronger.  Since I was clueless back then, my color treated, chemically straightened hair broke off like mad.

I heard about the Aphogee line when I was doing research on how to keep my hair from breaking.  The two step protein treatment sounded a little too involved for me.  However the conditioner like Keratin 2 minute Reconstructor I thought was worth a try.  I started using it once a month during my transitioning period and experienced a lot more length retention.


After doing my big chop I figured I didn't need the product anymore.  I started wearing my natural hair straight once a month and quickly learned that my hair still needed protein.  That's why I still use the light protein treatment by Aphogee.  It is my go to product when my curls need a little help.  Now, don't get me wrong, this product will not bring severely heat damaged hair back from the brink.  It will however help strengthen damaged hair and lessen the chance of breakage.  Take a look at my video to watch a quick demonstration of how I use the product.

DISCLAIMER:  If your hair is protein sensitive then this product may not work for you.    Be sure to read the product instructions prior to using this product.  I consider this to be a light protein treatment but if used too often it can lead to dryness and breakage.  Always follow a protein treatment with a moisture deep conditioning.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Upcoming Natural Hair Event by Colorado Urban Naturals

It's a new year and we can expect lots of new events by the local group Colorado Urban Naturals.  This is the same organization that coordinated the Denver Natural Hair Care Expo last summer.  The event will be a smaller workshop on how to make a head wrap using your own fabric.  There will also be some discussion on natural hair color options for natural hair.  Tickets are still available for this event which is only two weeks away!

6:00-8:00 P.M.
at Pangaea Salon 4924 E. Colfax Ave.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Onyx Box Opening January 2015 Onyx Box January We Are Onyx
Recently I was sent the Onyxbox for the month of January.  What's this you ask?   It's a monthly  beauty subscription service that is geared towards women of color.  Previously, the box has featured items from Shea Moisture, Cargo and OPI nails and a host of other beauty brands.  So naturally I was excited to see what was in this month's box and I was definitely not disappointed.

There are so many natural hair brands out there who offer hair products for our textured tresses. A service like the Onyxbox allows you to try before you buy.  Inside this month's box were items from Woman to Woman Naturals, Anu Essentials and Beija Flor.  This is my first time trying products from these brands and I am interested to see how they work on my hair. Onyx Box January We Are Onyx
I already tested out the Creme Brulee Moisturizer from Beija Flor on my hair which is currently straight.  It did not cause my hair to revert but left me with soft hair that smelled like cinnamon.  The Anu Essentials line is one I've heard of on Instagram.  There appears to be a small sample packet of nearly every product they offer in this month's box.  Then there is the leave-in conditioner by Woman to Woman Naturals.  It has a citrus scent which will make for a nice mid-winter pick me up.

But wait, there's more!  The wintery dry climate of Colorado has left me with dry skin.  I was glad to find the Cracked Heel Stick Soap by Luxuriant in this month's offerings.  It says that it cleans and exfoliates so there may be hope for me yet!  Lastly is the Golden Ticket Nail Sugar by Cinapro.  To date, I have never seen a nail polish product with a light up cap.  Where have I been? Onyx Box January We Are OnyxOne of the best features about the Onyxbox service is that you can head over to and shop the collection of goodies offered.  There you can also sign up to receive your own monthly beauty box.  See website for details.

Note:  This box was sent to me courtesy of WeAreOnyx for the purpose of this review.  I am not affiliated with and/or any of the brands mentioned above.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Protective Style Challenge Week 3: The Puff Protective Style Challenge week 3 The Puff
Keeping my hair up in a puff for this
week's "protective" style
I have decided that in order to keep myself motivated to wear protective hair styles, I'll be wearing one

style per week.  That way I can try different styles while keeping up with my weekly wash routine.  This is my third week on the protective style challenge and I've decided to wear my hair in a puff.  Now, I know what you're thinking, a puff is not technically a protective style.  This is because the ends of my hair are not tucked away or, "protected".  Still, I figure this style will work for me because it will keep me from combing and manipulating my hair.

To style my hair this way I like to use a banana clip placed sideways.  This gives me a much fuller effect than your usual ponytail holder.  I used to cut apart hosiery and use one of the legs for a long wrap around hair tie which also works.  You can watch how I use the banana clip on stretched hair in my Youtube Video.

As far as the products I used, I pretty much followed my usual wash n' go routine.  After cleansing and conditioning my hair, I applied a leave-in conditioner and then grapeseed oil.  Then I added a thick creamy moisturizer to each section of my hair before applying hair gel.  My favorite gel at the moment is Eco Styler gel with Argan Oil.  I realized the order I used to apply my products basically meant I was using the L.O.C. method to moisturize my hair.  That means leave-in, oil and cream; in that order.  I'm curious to see if that will make a difference in how my hair feels
this week.

Next week I may end up doing a ponytail roller set on my hair so that I can experiment with an up-do.  Until then, I'll be wearing the puff with a mid week co-wash to cleanse my scalp and add moisture.  Then back to the puff to ride out the rest of the week.

Friday, January 16, 2015

How I Prep My Natural Hair for My Wig how to prep natural hair for wig
Rocking the Verona Girl Half Wig by Freetress
for my protective style challenge
It's official!  In today's video post I announced my protective style challenge.  Now I'm really on the hook to stick with it over the next couple of months.  I'll also do updates periodically to share about the products and styles I'll be trying so stay tuned to my Youtube channel,"mitchellzee".

I also thought I would share how I get all of my hair flat enough to wear my new half wig.   My hair can be pretty full when dry so my best option is to braid my hair while damp.  I also demonstrate what I used to moisturize my hair which we know from my last post was just okay.  Still, the braiding proved to be a pretty good option for me.  Check out the video to see how I did it and also what I thought of the, "Verona Girl" half wig by Freetress.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Keeping My Hair Moisturized While Protective Styling keeping hair moisturized protective styling
It's a wig!
protective styling with
this full cap wig by Freetress
Last week I started a personal protective style challenge.  A protective style is one that protects the ends of your hair by tucking them away.  My personal challenge is to style my hair this way for a few months.  This will be challenging because I prefer to wear my hair down more often than not.  Hopefully this will lead to the length retention I need in order to gain a few more inches this year.  I plan to do this by wearing my hair in up dos and
under wigs.

Right now,  I only have two wigs and plan to purchase a couple more.   I'll also be styling my hair in buns, braids and flat twists when I'm not wearing a wig.  I'm doing all of this to keep myself from manipulating my hair.  I suspect that the constant styling
I'm used to has led to my hair length plateau.  For me, more styling
tends to lead to more trimming. keeping hair moisturized protective styling
The moisturizer that saved the day!
Before braiding my hair up last week, I cleansed my hair and scalp with a sulfate free shampoo.  I towel dried my hair and applied leave-in conditioner and grapeseed oil to seal in the moisture.  I assumed that this would be enough to keep my hair moisturized for at least a couple of days.  I also used Eco Styler hair gel to smooth my edges down.  Lastly, I braided my hair into two dutch braids like the ones in my braiding video.  Then I wore my wig during the day and wrapped my hair up at night for about two days.

I  thought that the products and the fact that my hair was braided meant that my hair would stay moisturized under my wig.  Boy was I wrong!  A couple of days later I took my hair down and my hair was so dry.  I quickly applied some moisturizer and then sealed with the grapeseed oil again.  I braided it back up and hoped for the best.  The next day, I could tell that my hair was feeling softer but I still wanted to give it more moisture.  I ended up cleansing my hair again and conditioning.  I decided to do a wash and go style using a heavy conditioner as my leave-in, moisturizer, oil and then gel.  My hair had so much life!  The moisturizer I think was the key.  My leave-in conditioner was not enough on its own. keeping hair moisturized protective styling
My current combination of products
to keep my hair moisturized while protective styling
After wearing my hair curly for a few days, I decided to try again.  This time, after my cleansing routine, I applied a heavy conditioner as my leave-in, moisturizer and grapeseed oil.  Then I brushed my hair back into a simple bun.

I can tell a huge difference in how my hair feels.  If this combination of products works for me, I will continue to do this throughout my protective style challenge.

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year, New Hair Goals
Wiggin' It!
Wearing my new everyday
lookby Freetress
I want three more inches!  My hair has been stuck at APL (armpit length) for what seems like forever.  Part of this is due to my frequent trimming to even out my layers and add thickness.  Now that my layers are growing out, I want to concentrate on overall hair growth.

At the end of 2014 I started looking into ways that I could retain more length in the new year. Of course a lot of people with longer hair contend that protective styling is what got them the hair we all lust after.  I for one am not keen on putting my hair away for months at a time.  I love variety and my scalp does not do well under such conditions.  It looks like cleansing my hair multiple times per week is preferred.  So any type of long-term protective styling is out.

I do still want at least three more inches though and I want them this year!  I'm thinking along the lines of protective styling on the go with wigs and half wigs.  I can braid my hair up underneath the wig and no one would be the wiser.  This would also allow for washing and co-washing whenever I need to. 

So far, I only have two wigs and a diy u-part wig which requires that I leave some of my own hair out.  My current wig selection is okay but, I've got my eye on a couple of styles that may be more in line with what I'm craving right now.  I don't want to wear anything too outrageous.  Just something to get me through the next few months while I quietly hide my real hair.
Same wig with shorter bangs
As far as haircare goes, I plan to keep my hair in good condition by doing deep treatments weekly.  I will probably use things like light protein treatments, moisturizing deep treatments and hot oil treatments.  I have videos for how I do these on my Youtube channel.  I'm also putting away the scissors.  I can't seem to get enough of those blunt cut ends but I've been cutting off all of my progress.  I do like to do a light trim on my ends every three months though so we'll see.  Here's to reaching new lengths in the new year. . . fingers crossed.


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