Friday, December 31, 2010

Homemade Flax Seed Gel n' Twist Pt-2

This is the result of using homemade Flax Seed Gel on my Twists....

As always I started my regimen with co-washing using VO5 conditioner.  I used the Split Ends formula, although to me all the V05 conditioners work pretty much the same.  I know my kynxx luv it!  I DC"d using Brahmi/Amla powder with EVOO for about an hour and rinsed with cool water co-washing again to remove residual paste from my hair.

I stored the gel in the refrigerator over night.  I noticed the consistency thickened a little more between the time I'd made it and stored it in the container.  As soon as I removed the lid, instant Aromatherapy!

I sealed my wet hair with Organic Coconut..another one of my hairs BFF's. 

I wasn't careful enough during the straining process and a few seeds got into the gel...its all good though, its natural!  I dipped my fingertips in the gel and raised it to show the consistency.  It's not very heavy which is why when I first tried it, I didn't like it.  I was slicking my hair back into a bun.  It didn't have enough holding or slicking power for the look I like my buns to have. 
I repeated the steps below until my entire head was full of twists.

Sectioned into quads and applied Organic Coconut Oil from root to ends

Applied enough gel to the section to saturate my strands with flax seed gel from root to end.

I finger combed the gel into the section to ensure gel was evenly distributed.

And twist...

...until my entire head was complete accept the front section.  I flat twisted a section in the front to make it sassy!  My hair stayed in these twists for two days until they were completely air dried.

For the twist-out I unraveled each twist from end to root very carefully as not to cause too much frizz and keep more definition. 

What I luv'd most about flax seed gel was the strong scent which can be controlled by whomever is making the gel.  If lavender and rosemary aren't your thing you can switch it up with orange essentials or tea tree, frankincense and myrrh...whateva!  I luv'd the definition, shine and zero crunch factor.  I realize the coconut oil may have contributed to the end result as well.  This style lasted a full week, 7days including wearing the twists and day 4 to me was the best of all. I slept with a satin bonnet covering my fro in the back and applied coconut oil each morning then shaking my fro out and that was it.  Easy Breezy.


Homemade Flax Seed Gel n' Twists Pt-1

This post is dedicated to my wonderful Sista-Friend Trenice

Founder and Owner of "Nola Naturals" in New Orleans, LA...Who Dat?..smiling.

I first told my friend Trenice about Flaxseed Gel recipe I'd tried so time ago.  Since then, Trenice has been asking me to post a how-to of the homemade all natural gel. I tried the gel months ago prior to going full fledged no heat natural and I didn't like it.  I realize now it was mostly due to not knowing how to properly style my hair with the gel.  I gave it another go, this time adding some essentials, and to make a long story short...I'm not buying regular hair gel ever again for twists!  I LOVE flax seed gel.  It worked just as well on my hair if not better than the high cost all natural gel I usually use for my twists and twist outs at a tiny fraction of the price.  I used the same recipe as one of my fave channels Naptural85 on YouTube used for her video.  Very simple, budget friendly and it works...

I started out with a bag of Organic Flax seeds, cost about $2,
bottled water or pre-boiled water, cost 0-$1, lavender and rosemary essential oils both cost about $17 (only a few drops are needed to get a very strong scent so those oils will be used for multiple batches.

A small non-stick or stainless steel pot

Measure 2cups water to 1/4 cup Flax seeds

Bring water and seeds to boil on Med-High setting

After about 15 minutes or so water will thicken and become slimy (for lack of a better term).

At this point prepare the storage container with a strainer.  You can use an old nylon stocking. I used old material similar to nylon hose.  Whatever you use make sure the gel will strain from the seeds without the seeds getting in the gel.

This is the gel strained prior to squeezing out excess gel from seeds.  A set of plastic tongs can be used for additional straining.  I used my hands covered with rubber gloves...I didn't really like using that method so next time I'll use tongs.

As this photo shows the gel after seeds were squeezed with pressure and thickest consistency of gel was strained out.

Add 3 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
Add 3 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil...this oil is very strong.  My entire home smelled like Lavender and Rosemary for hours after making the gel with only 3 drops of each, container closed, and in my fridge.

If using the Flaxseed Gel for future use add a drop or two of Vitamin E Essential Oil as a preservative. 

In Part 2, I will demo how I applied the gel to my twists and post pics of the style.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Growth Challenge: Length Check #1

Originally my 12 month = 6 inches growth challenge was set to begin on my birthday 11/29/2010.  Nevertheless, I'm starting it today and have some pics to show my current length.  I'm going to depend solely on protective styling for the next 12 months to help me retain as much length as possible over the next year. 

Wigs, quick weaves, braids, twist, buns and head gear will be options that I'll start utilizing more often as well.  During the next year every 3 months I'll post the Growth Challenge update to show progress.  This will serve as motivation for me and hopefully others who are doing the same, to stay humble and stay out of my head.  I realize the key to maximum hair growth retention is to simply, leave it alone! 

I only use heat on my hair when I am DC'ing so for my first length check I co-washed with VO5 Split Ends Conditioner (I luv it), rinsed and stretched each section to show my current length as of 12/17/2010.

Stretched from bang

Stretched from top

Stretched from just behind ear

Stretched from just above ear

Stretched from center nape

Add caption
Top Crown

Stretched from lower back of head
My short term goal is to achieve BSL when stretching the lower back section of my head as photo shown above.  Since hair grows 1/2 inch each month and I'm guessing from APL to BSL is about 3-4 full inches.  It will take the majority of the year to get there.  I'm not going to break out a tape measure.  At this point I feel my hair isn't long enough for all that.  Also I read on Long Hair Care Forum the appropriate way to measure is to start from the front hair line.  If that's the case, I wont reach BSL for a cool 5 or 6 years...hmmmmm, I think I will be measuring from the back of my head...smiling.  I want to enjoy my journey and not focus on how far I have to go.  I can see growth without having to know the exact number of inches it has grown by stretching.  Now once I get to where I want to be then yep, I'm breaking out the tape measure.  For now... I choose to enjoy the ride as if I've already reached my destination.

 Next update:  3/17/2011!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Braid It Out!

Most naturals have a go-to style.  That fail proof quick and easy to maintain style that looks great everytime, for anywhere we go.  For me, its the Twist-Out.  Everytime I shop for new hair styling products, the first thought is, "how will my twist out look after I put this in my hair?"  Even though my go-to twists and twist outs are easy to manage and incredibly healthy for my hair, I wanted to try something new.  I'd been YouTubing and came across a beautiful Naturalista who was transitioning named Nina Pruitt- (click to see her hair) rocking thee most gorgeous braid out I'd ever seen.  In her video she used Garnier Fructis Leave-In which is a staple product for me. Thought I'd try my luck, and here it is...

I started off with a freshly washed head of hair using Organix Shampoo, followed by DC'ing with ORS.  While soaking wet I applied the Garnier Fructis Leave-In Conditioner and detangled my hair parting into quads and bantu knoting to keep hair untangled.

For all styling demos, I always start of with washing or co-washing depending on the amount of product build up I feel in my hair.  Followed with a deep conditioning treatment, alternating between Ayurvedic Brahmi and Amla DC treatments.  This is done on a weekly or twice weekly basis depending on the style Im wearing.

The Braids...
I sectioned my  hair into quads and sectioned those sections into four parts again.  Beginning with the top of the section I braided downward by french braiding large sections of hair from root to tip.  By french braiding (aka cornrow braiding) I learned from another YouTuber Naptural 85 (my all time fav) it eases the take down process from becoming a frizzy and puffy.  You can also do this with twists.

Because of my curly texture I stopped braiding about half inch from the ends and added the Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioner to curl them.

I completed the braids and slept with my satin bonnet over the next two nights to ensure my hair would be completely dry for the braid out.

The Braid-Out...

This is day one of my very first braid out attempt.  I luv'd it! One huge difference I noticed was the added length retention I'd gotten from braiding vs. twisting.  Yay!

...and the back looked huge too.  Braid-Outs definitely give me BIG hair.

I rocked the braid out and got soooooo many wonderful kudos that day.  I got ready for bedtime and I was clueless as to how I could maintain this look for another day without re-braiding.  I didnt want to chance sleeping on it and looking a hot mess in the morning so, I decided to re-braid my hair.  It was really easy since my parts were still embedded into my scalp.  I followed the same braid pattern from before, lightly spraying water and glycerin mix to each section to ease with combing and add moisture.

Braid-Out Day 2...

Day 2 was even better!  My length was retained more so then the first day.  I contribute it to the fact braiding stretches my kynxx more than twisting so re-braiding added additional stretch to  my tress!

I didnt have as much wave definition as I did on day 1, nonetheless, I luv'd the volume.  While unbraiding for day 2 I added some Organic Coconut oil for shine and moisture.

Can't say braid-outs will replace my old faithful go-to was a nice change for a few days though!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.  ~JFK
 In the past 4 months I have made being grateful for everything I have and dont have a priority.  This has been an intricate part of my daily life.  Without it I feel lost, with no guidence or protection.  I remember last Thanksgiving I wrote on Facebook that I was going to give a shout out of thanks everyday...that lasted about 3 weeks (smiling).  Most of the time, thanks for lifes happy days, things, and moments were the only time I reflected on or felt I had to be thankful for, and again on Thanksgiving.  My spirit has changed from what I knew as giving thanks to suffice gratefulness, to now making gratitude my attitude everyday.  Of course I go through things which sometimes cause me to feel I have no reason to be grateful they are happening to me.  It is in the midst of those situations I've learned to be even more grateful.  I made a gratitude list awhile back and when Im feeling the burden of lifes lows I turn to my sheet of paper and remind myself of all the wonderous and glorious things the Divine blesses me with waking up.  Waking up is so simple for me it became something that was unappreciated.  I saw it as an occurance that is supposed to happen in the morning.  In actuality, the very confidence I felt in knowing I would wake up the next day to new possibilities is one of the strongest signs of faith I had in a higher power. Nothing and no one is promised another day.  Realizing I was an ingrate (and still fall short at times), my heart longed for change so I strive to make gratititude my attitude, daily.
Luving Gratitude

God's love
My children
My mothers unconditional love for me
My father
My brothers
My family
My health and my childrens health
The ability to utilize all 5 senses
The gift of creativity
My life
My home and everything in it
My car
My clothes and shoes and the ability to provide my family with the same
My Job
This past year 2010
True friendship
My luv, passion and all that I know, so far, about natural hair care
My education and my childrens education
The conversation I had w/ my Mommy Dear this morning 
To know abundance surrounds me
My ability to write
Knowing right from wrong
Every book I've ever read
Giving love
My faith
All that God protects me from
The clients I have and to come
For all the love I receive
For every new person that enters my life
My past
For waking up everyday for the past 37 years.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fallacies of Natural Hair

It wasn't until recently when I decided to turn my dreams into reality and embark on my career as a natural hair stylist that I began recognizing the various meanings people felt defined natural hair.  Everyone is entitled to think feel and believe as they wish.  No opinion is better than another as only facts merit truth.  I was recently contacted by someone who watched my YouTube "Journey to LuvMyKynxx" video.  This person responded to it by stating, in their opinion, I was not natural when I wore my hair flat ironed over the years regardless of the fact I wasn't chemically relaxed.  In their opinion, natural means no straightening of hair.  Although their opinion of my video was unsolicited, I respect peoples views about information I share and want to address it.  My intention for Luv♥My♥Kynxx is to share what I've learned by providing correct and accurate information which is not misleading.  So, moving forward this is...

What "Natural Hair" means to me...

Plain and simple, hair that is not chemically relaxed which has permanently changed the texture of the hair.    Some may agree, some may disagree, its all a matter of  personal perception of what natural means to each individual.  Again, no opinion should be looked upon as fact, not even mine.  What concerned me most about the persons response to the video was the implication that somehow I was misleading others to believe I was natural when in essence I was not, solely based on their opinion of what natural meant to them.  To state that thermally straightened hair, without any chemicals is not natural, in my opinion is a fallacy.  One benefit of being natural is having the versatility to go from curly to straight, wash, and back to curly again.  Hair that has been relaxed will not allow such texture versatility.  Overtime, thermal straightening can cause permanent heat damage to where the curls will not revert back.  Heat damage was the issue I had that prompted me to stop using heat on my hair.  Nonetheless, in my opinion, my hair was still natural when it was being thermally straightened due to the fact it has not been chemically altered and the texture has not been permanently changed.

As I've stated before I am not a vegan natural product user. I've read opinions of other naturals that unless you use vegan organic products, your hair is not natural.  I don't, as yet, have the time nor desire to make my own products.  I will occasionally mix up homemade hot oil treatments, conditioners, gels and such when I want.  I read ingredients and make a  point to stay away from harmful agents like sls, petroleum, mineral oil, and a few others.  For me, as long as a product I'm contemplating on trying doesn't include the aforementioned harmful agents, I  will more then likely opt to try it.  Does the fact I don't use vegan products or mix my own discredit my ability to be considered a natural hair wearer or stylist?...its all a matter of perception and personal opinion.

My purpose for Luv♥My♥Kynxx is to unite not to divide.  I am not anti- relaxer nor pro- natural.  I am pro- Me.  I am pro anyone embracing what makes a person comfortable in their own skin.  It just so happens I am most comfortable when I wear my hair natural, thus my blog, and any future videos I make will reflect what I am seeking which is to achieve healthy naturally coily, kinky hair.  I will also address hair issues for those who have contacted me with relaxed hair and do not desire a natural head of hair, and help them find healthier ways to incorporated in caring for their hair was well. 

In closing, if you love weave, weave it up!  However, if a person is suffering from baldness, thinning hair and hair line as a result of wearing weaves with too much tension, I want to help find ways to correct the balding and to empower a person to speak up to their stylist or recognize if they are self installing when a weave is too tight.  If you love color, color it up! However, if you are continuously coloring your hair at home or having it done at a salon and your hair is breaking off and damaged, lets find out what is causing the breakage and address ways to correct that issue.  If you love your hair relaxed, relax it up! However, if your hair is breaking, thinning, dry, damaged and over processed, lets find alternatives, even if temporary, to regain the hair health that is desired.  This way moving forward with chemical processing healthier hair choices are made to maintain strength, density and length.  No matter which way a person chooses to wear their hair as long as it makes them feel they are being true to who they are and as beautiful as they can be...that is all that my opinion.