Sunday, December 16, 2012

Caring for Box Braids and Styling Tutorial

It's been two weeks and 3 days since I felt my hair and I miss my kynxx.  One thing about being a stylist is it spoils you because at any given time I know I can style it up!  With all goals though there is usually some type of sacrifice that has to be made to reach that goal.  I want to retain more length and dust less from single strand knots and wearing box braids I know is one of the best ways to do so.  I got a little bored with it and turned to YouTube for styling inspiration. There were tons of videos on how to style these babies.  I created the style above in the steps below.  I'll also demonstrate how I moisturize and care for them at night.

Moisture Routine

I add pure Aloe Vera juice to my spray bottle and spray it directly to my roots and braids ending where my hair stops. I pour aloe vera juice in a bottle and mist it over. This will also close the cuticle and remove frizz.
 I use half  Jamaican Black Castor Oil, 1/4 Hemp seed oil and 1/4 Grape seed Oil. Once the oil has been applied and massaged into my scalp for a few minutes I leave it alone.  I perform this routine every other morning.
One thing I noticed is after half hour or so, the new growth from my braids is much straighter then prior to adding the oil.  I think it's the weight of the Castor that coats my hair and causes it to lay down. Either way to me it's definitely a benefit.
 The photograph below was taken about half an hour after the aloe vera juice was applied followed by the JBCO mix.

I usually keep them down.
I decided to try a Ponytail...I wasn't too fond of it though.

Box Braid Styling Tutorial

Left                                                                       Right

One section of braids hanging in the front and one in back.

 I placed the front section of the hanging braids towards the back hanging braids creating a loop.
 I took the back section of the hanging braids and placed that section of braids underneath the loop and gently pull it through.

 I secure the back section and any braids that are poking out with open ended bobby pins.

Box Braid Wrap Around Bun

I wore the style down after wearing it 3 days and nights. No maintenance aside from wearing a satin scarf at night.

 After 2 night of wearing style

Night time routine...easy.


JBCO Challenge ~2 Week Progress Check In

It's been 2 weeks in for the JBCO challenge and I must say for me it is coming along great. Lovin' my braids and the ease in caring for my hair in them.  Let's get right to the participant updates.  The updates are not necessarily to see growth, especially since it's only been 2 weeks but for participants to share any helpful information about using JBCO or regular Castor oil. 

I noticed in the past two weeks my ends are more controlled and defined. Less wiry and no frizz. I think it's because of the JBCO which I mix with EVOO.

The castor oil was placed on the same spots of my scalp everyday. The photo is the best image I could take up close, but with the naked eye one can really see the thickness. The new hair is shinier and "wispier " than normal. It is filling in the spot that i have the least hair in. I have been wearing plaits for two weeks which saved on combing and tangles. I washed my hair twice this whole time and i will do the same routine next week!

Hair Regimen

 Nightly Routine:
 Spray hair with water
Apply Leave-in conditioner (Granier Fructis Intensely Smooth Leave-in Conditioner OR Herbal Essence Totally Twisted Conditioner)  Apply Castor/Coconut Oil Mix Put hair in Protective Style
Protective Styles: Single Braids or Twists  Flat Twists
One-Two large head band twists,   Buns,
Daily Routine: Spritz hair with water, Smooth Castor/Coconut Oil on twists or braids
Weekly: Shampoos: Dr Bronner's Castile Soap, ACV or Nothing But Shampoo.
Conditioners: As I Am Co-wash, Ren Cleansing Conditioner or Suave Almond & Shea Conditioner
Alternate Weeks:Deep Conditioner Moisturizer Treatment: Suave Shea Almond Conditioner, Honey, Castor Oil, Coconut Oil mix
 Deep Conditioner Protein Treatment:Suave Shea Almond Conditioner, Honey, Olive Oil Mayo, Castor Oil, Coconut Oil mix
My newgrowth is coming along great.  I find wearing my hair in braid extentions allows me to actually SEE the growth which in itself is highly motivating.  I am beginning to get a bit bored with them so to keep me focused on my goal of wearing them until February 1st I started accessorising more with scarves, my loc soc, and styling my braids to help comfort the fact I miss my hair, already.  As you can see from the comparison shot the past 15 days has been quite progressive.  I have nothing negative to report about using JBCO. I noticed when moisturize and apply the oil the  once the oil is absorbed the roots of my hair look much straighter.  So far so update in two weeks!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Castor Oil Challenge: Meet the Participants

First I have to say thank you to all who signed up to participate in LMK Castor Oil Challenge.  This will serve as motivation and support for us all and also for those who read LMK blog and want to learn how to care for their hair naturally. Let's get right to it and meet the participants who wanted to be included in the posts.

1. Scalp massages every day
2. Castor oil three times a week but more frequently on certain areas.
3. I am going to "steam" my hair with a shower cap at least twice a week. This is also known as the GHE (Greenhouse Effect)
4. Protective styles every day
5. Wash my hair about once or twice every two weeks.
6. Document everything in a hair journal
7. Document with photos
8. No trimming only dusting
9. No using heat (flat irons, blow dryer) until the very last day of the challenge for a comparison photo
10. Moisturize and seal

Products I will be using
1. One and Only Argon Oil Shampoo (wash)
2. As I Am Coconut Co-Wash Conditioner (wash)
3. Extra virgin coconut oil (more than once a week)
4. Unrefined Shea Butter (only when plaiting or twisting hair)
5. One and Only Argon Oil moisturizing cream (because my hair gets dry at the ends)
6. And of course.... JBCO! :D


My Hair Regimen is as follows :)
-Shampoo- Jane Carter hydrating invigorating shampoo SLS-FREE
-Condition- Clear scalp and Hair Therapy Ultra Shea
-Deep Condition- Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Hair Masque or Doris
Mud Minerals pack treatment.
- De tangle with denman brush
- Style hair in two strand twist with Eco-Styler gel or Shea Butter
-Co-wash- Clear scalp and Hair Therapy Ultra Shea
-Style hair in two strand twist with Eco-Styler gel or Shea Butter
-Moisturize with homemade hair spritz. Water, olive oil, jojoba oil
and coconut oil.
-Always making sure to wear a charmuse satin bonnet at night to protect hair.

Products used:
Pantene ProV Curly Hair Series Shampoo and Conditioner
Cantu Leave in Conditioner

My regimen is as follows:
Weekly co washing with tresemme moisture rich conditioner or herbal essence hello hydration....
Weekly deep conditioning with hair mayonnaise or cholesterol....
Weekly leave in conditioner either Alikay's leave in conditioner or cantu shea butter
Sometimes I pre poo with essential oils such as lemon, jojoba, rosemary, peppermint, and extra virgin olive oil........
I use clarifying shampoo approx. every six months

Every two weeks or so I steam my hair.....
Every 6 weeks or so I either use protein or henna on my hair...
Everyday I use extra virgin olive oil and extra virgin coconut oil - 80/20 ratio with a few drops of lemon, peppermint, argan, or rosemary oil....depending on what i felt like that day......

Hair Regimen
Nightly Routine:
Spray hair with water
Apply Leave-in conditioner (Granier Fructis Intensely Smooth Leave-in Conditioner OR Herbal Essence Totally Twisted Conditioner)
Apply Castor/Coconut Oil Mix
Put hair in Protective Style

Protective Styles:
Single Braids or Twists
Flat Twists
One-Two large head band twists

Daily Routine:
Spritz hair with water
Smooth Castor/Coconut Oil on twists or braids

Shampoos: Dr Bronner's Castile Soap, ACV or Nothing But Shampoo.
Conditioners: As I Am Co-wash, Ren Cleansing Conditioner or Suave Almond & Shea Conditioner

Alternate Weeks:
Deep Conditioner Moisturizer Treatment: Suave Shea Almond Conditioner, Honey, Castor Oil, Coconut Oil mix


Deep Conditioner Protein Treatment:
Suave Shea Almond Conditioner, Honey, Olive Oil Mayo, Castor Oil, Coconut Oil mix


My hair regimen is not major at all! The main product that I use is Shea Moisture. I use this to shampoo and condition. Also I co-wash with it. To deep condition my hair I use As I am hydration elation intensive conditioner. For daily moisture I use aloe Vera juice and Shea butter. When twisting my hair I use Shea butter and sweet almond oil. As you can see...nothing major, but I'm ready to make a change!

My regimen is protective styling with JBCO 3-5
times weekly on scalp, biweekly wash/conditioning with Pantene Relaxed
& Natural (for now) and JBCO as a hot oil treatment.


Regimen: Keep It Simple Sista (k.i.s.s. for me)
Wash once a week/ week & half (must for me because scalps gets irritated otherwise)
Moisturize ends at night/mornings with aloe vera juice and water
Apply JBCO every other day
Massage scalp daily
Two strand twists, pin tucks, protective updos
Hello Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner, Cream of Nature Shampoo and Condition

Last but not least...ME!

My regimen will consist of using 1/2 JBCO and 1/2 Grapeseed Oil directly onto my scalp 3 times per week.  I will steam my hair in the braids every two weeks and apply an astringent to my scalp as needed to remove dirt/build-up. My goal is to leave the braids in for the full duration of the challenge. If the frizz gets to be too much I will take them down the first of January, shampoo using Amazing Botanicals Black Soap Poo and DC using Honey Condish. I will seal with JBCO and Grapeseed Oil mix and re-braid my hair leaving them up until the last day of the challenge. I know I will get at least 1 full inch of hair growth...using JBCO Im hoping to get more than that. We shall see.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Protective Stylin' with Box Braids

I know one thing, looking at photos of hair styles will definitely impact the styling choices I make.  After posting several photos of women and even one man rockin' fierce Poetic Justice, Box Braids, or Individuals (what ever name floats your boat) I was compelled to braid my own in the trendy style.  So glad I did.  Here are the details on how to install box braids with zero damage to hair, hair line, and scalp.

It's very important you choose 100% Kanekalon hair.  I've been braiding hair with extensions since 2001 and the BEST hair I've found is Rastafri by Afrelle.  It's super soft and has a natural shine to it. It doesn't cause me to itch like many of the other brands I've used in the past and it doesn't snag or cut my fingers no matter how many hours I find myself braiding.  At an average of $3 per pack you can't beat it.  If you're thinking of braiding your own hair and need a quality hair this is the one for you. If your local beauty supply store doesn't carry this brand, Black and God Platinum (silver package) is just as good but tends to be even harder to find. At least here in TX. 

I bought 5 packs but only used just under 3 pks. I've seen and read all over the web of people using 8,9,10 packs of hair. That's fine in some cases. For hair that is extremely dense you will need more packs of hair even if the hair is short. However, if the hair is fine or thin less hair should be used to prevent the natural hair from breaking off due to it having way too much weight on it.

 I made sure I used the same amount of extension her per section or box I was braiding. Here is a close up where you can see the amount in the section I parted off matches the amount of hair used in each braid. This is very important to prevent breakage, bumps, and unnecessary hair loss.

It's important the hair is prepped for braids. Especially in cases like mine where the intention is to wear them for a month or longer.  The deep conditioning treatment I did added strength to my hair and moisture.  Should I decide to take them down and redo them in a month I will shampoo and deep condition again before re-installing the braids.  I took the time to dust my ends as I installed the braids as needed.  This for me will be the perfect style for the Luv My Kynxx Castor Oil Challenge.

It took me 2 hours to complete the section in the photo on the left and the photo on the right shows the amount of braids I was able to do with one pack of the Rastafri braiding hair.

As you can see from these close ups of my hair line I have no red bumps, no swelling between the parts, I didn't take any pain killers before during or after the install

 I cut them a bit since this photo was taken. Instead of full waist length they are mid back.

Since burning the tips of braids is no longer an option like back in the day it is a must that the ends of each braid look natural and not blunt. I used a razor comb to thin the ends of the braids out prior to dipping them in a cup of boiling hot water for 5-10 seconds to get them this way.

 Of the 3 packs of braiding hair I used, this was left from the third pack. I used just over 2 1/2 packs for my entire head.  They are extremely light and very comfortable. 

 Whenever I wear braids...cornrows especially I have to have some type of bead accessory to add to them.  I picked these hand carved wooden beads up for .50 each at the Texas International Hair Show I attended back in July this year.  I knew I'd get a chance to rock these babies one day!

I plan to do some really cute styles with these braids and will have styling post through out this month.  Depending on my tolerance level, I may incorporate the Crown and Glory method and keep this as my staple style for awhile to retain all that I grow through the course of the next year.  That's a maybe...don't  hold me to it :)
Some of  you may be asking yourselves what is the Crown and Glory Method? [click here for details about the Crown and Glory method.