June 24th OOTD: Remixing my Forever 21 Dress


Today I decided to try something different with my OOTD. I grabbed my thrifted purple skirt (Hillard & Hanson) and paired it a dress from Forever 21. With a little tucking and the right ear rings, I wound up with a colorful draping effect on top and a classic fit on the bottom. I wanted to be comfortable so I just tossed on some tan sandals (I think from Payless actually). Today was even better because I got to chat with an old friend. Now on to the video editing! My Youtube channel launches on July 5th. If you read my blog on the regular basis, feel free to let me know what you’d like to see. I’m thinking art, fashion, photos and logging.

Have courage,
Elle

My Friend Elle tries two skirts in one

Click here to return to my style gallery and pick another OOTD or Capsule Wardrobe!

My New Hair Moisture Routine


This post is for anyone who is trying to figure out a good routine for keep their hair moisturized. Not interested in hair care? Run away, before you get caught up in the parade of natural hair jargon and products! I’ve come up with a new way for my hair, and so far it seems to be yielding good results. Keep in mind, not all natural hair types are the same, so what works for me, may not work for you. Below, I’ve shared what products I use for my co-washing / moisturizing and daily moisturizing routines.

Co-Wash and Moisturize

Because it is a lengthy process, I only do this once or twice a week. First I co-wash (use conditioner instead of shampoo) my hair twice in the shower. The first time around, I use Fructis Triple Nutrition  or Africa’s Best Hair Mayonnaise.

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I like these products because they do a great job of cleansing my hair without drying it out. I start out with a generous amount in my palm and dab it throughout my hair before using my fingertips to lift any dirt or buildup from my scalp. I usually finger detangle when needed. For the second co-wash, I use Hollywood Beauty Olive Cholesterol Deep Conditioning Creme or v05 Strawberries and Cream Conditioner. I love using both of these products because they soften my hair and because they have a  lot of slick (they make your hair feel slick so its easy to manipulate), it so much easier to detangle my hair before rinsing. I rarely rinse all of the conditioner out. When it comes to natural hair, moisture is your friend, dryness your biggest foe.

v05 conditioner hollywood-beauty-olive-cholesterol-super-shine-moisturize-deep-conditioning-creme-20oz-1

 

After that, I just section my hair into small ponytails to keep it from bunching together. Then, one at a time mind you, I add shea moisture curl enhancing smoothie and smooth it (use my fingertips to rub the product in my hair from root to tip) into my hair. Then I add a little  Jam Conditioning Hair Gel before putting it into a 2 strand twist, smoothing as I go. By the end of the process, I usually have 25 big twists in my hair. All that’s left to do is slip on a scarf and go to bed.

jam mega hold      JAM Extra Hold

Daily Moisturizing

To keep my hair soft and manageable between co-washes, I spritz it with a mixture of water and v05 conditioner. Then I just seal (trap the water and conditioner so that it doesn’t dry out) with canola oil or Africa’s Best Kids Organics Growth Oil Remedy. Using oil helps keep moisture from escaping and provides a deeper level of hydration for each strand of hair.

growth oil canola oil

Hair Goal: Longer Curly Locks


Hello creative peeps,

As promised, I’m writing about my new goals. The first one is centered around my hair. You may not know it but I’ve dealt with sudden hair loss since I was in the 10th or 11th grade (12 years or so). There are some hair styles that I just can’t wear because my hair doesn’t grow in certain places, even with added weave.

After struggling to hide it with extensions or my own hair, I decided to shave my head during the summer of 2009. That was the most freeing experience I’ve ever had. Now that I’ve got a hair goal of bra-strap length curly hair, it feels like everyone can see large portions of my scalp if I don’t wear my lace-front wig. But thankfully, I don’t rely on my hair for validation. I’ve already discovered that hair was never reason for my beauty. True beauty comes from within.

I have been natural since 2007, having cut my relaxed hair off when I turned 19. Over the next nine years, I have done a little of everything including flat ironing, kinky twisting, two strand twists, afro hawks, bantu knots and even shaving it all off. I even cut about four inches off of it three months ago after becoming frustrated with my overly dried ends. I didn’t know what the heck I was doing, I experimented with styles and products but never really understood how to handle my ‘locks’. So I did what any girl would do, I looked to books and youtube for advice and inspiration.

Man, there are so many resources out there and vlogs where women are tracking their hair growth, teaching others about the science behind hair and making tutorials. After watching hours of vids and reading three hair books, I think I have found the ideal way to work with my hair. The first step is to accept my hair the way it is, not the way it was or the way I saw someone else’s hair. The second step involves paying more attention to the way my hair reacts to things and putting more intentional care into keeping it moisturized and clean.

I plan to avoid heat tools, shampoo, and styles/products that dry my hair out. But I’ve decided to use more conditioner, hair lotions, oils and whatever else I think will help keep my hair from breaking. The plan is to do this until my hair reaches armpit length while it is still in its curly state (no pressed or blown out, etc.). I will do my best to put pics and a few vids about this in case anyone would like to see how I’m progressing. I will also be open and honest about the struggles that come with managing the thin areas of hair.

More goal explanations on the way!
Elle