Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hot Honey/Oil Treatment

Last night I did a hot honey/oil treatment and Whoa Nelly! Oil + Honey = shiny, soft hair! I decided to use Brazil Nut oil because it acts as a mega conditioner, leaving your hair soft, and manageable. The addition of honey was for more sheen and also for it's humectant properties. Humectants attract water molecules [moisture] and binds them along your hair shaft. This results in hair that is properly hydrated, and less likely to break. This is a great treatment to try during these warm summer months if you are having issues retaining moisture.

Note: I use the double broiler method because sometimes heating up natural oils/butters in the microwave can kill a lot of their nutrients & moisturizing properties.

Here's what you will need:
Small Bowl
Small Saucepan

Here's what you do:
Fill your saucepan halfway w/water, and bring to a boil
Place your small bowl in the saucepan of water [like a double broiler]
Immediately add honey + Brazil Nut oil until it is the consistency of conditioner
Once the mixture is warm to the touch, remove the bowl from the heat
Apply mixture to WET hair, you can either do this as a pre-poo, or as a conditioner
Cover hair w/plastic cap and allow to sit for 30-40 minutes - You can sit under a dryer, or even a steamer!

Also, for all of you who asked about my scalp massages [mentioned in my previous post] here's the skinny: I use an equal mix of Kesavardhini Oil + Bhringraj Oil + Nagachampa Scalp Oil - These were all purchased at Pioneer Cash & Carry in Artesia Ca [Indian Grocery Store]. I can provide pics & ingredient info when I get back home!

I would massage my scalp three times weekly, once on wash day [after conditioning], then two additional days at my leisure. I used about a quarter size amount of the oil mixture, and concentrated on my scalp only. It is actually good to sit in a chair, laying back as far as you can while performing the massage [this is purported to help increase blood circulation].  

Chi Town Bound: What's In My Bag?

Patterns & Bold Colors

Some of My Favorite Accessories

Stuff to Keep Me Busy on the Plane: Sketchbook/Markers, The Life of Langston Hughes [Vol:2]

Zebra Platforms/Aldo - Gold/Brown Heels/Tory Burch - Black Peep-Toes/Report - Black Slouchy Boots/Michael Kors

Over-the-knee Mirrored Wedge Boot/Jeffrey Campbell 

I am so looking forward to the vintage shopping, cheating on my diet, inspiration, and of course pictures! I hope everyone has a dynamic week! I am bringing my laptop so I will most definitely update while on the road.

Sending you all love and light! :-)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Then & Now - Unlock Your Growth Potential

[It isn't a real cig just one of those candy puffers]

I came across this picture yesterday, and I could not believe the shape of my hair, it was extremely thin, fragile, and lifeless. I wanted to post this picture as a source of inspiration for others who have this as their starting point, as well as a quick recap of how I managed to go from thin to thick hair. Hopefully this helps others along the way.

 [My hair two months ago]

Cut back on the tight ponytails: Hair that is thinning and fragile should be maintained with low tension hair styles. Tension from tight buns, braids, and ponytails can lead to additional thinning around the hairline as well as the nape area. Breakage can also occur around the area of the ponytail holder as well. Opt for free-flowing styles such as braid outs, twist outs, flexi sets, and even roller sets, until your hair is strong enough to withstand the tension from ponytails and braids.

Go heat free for as long as possible: Hair that is damaged due to unhealthy thermal straightening practices needs to be nursed back to health. Going heat free allows for protein regeneration along the hair shaft, which strengthens the Keratin bonds, thus resulting in stronger hair. Try a series of protein treatments to fortify your tresses during this time. I would recommend doing two protein treatments the first month of your journey, then every 4-6 weeks or as needed. My favorite protein treatments are:
Sebastian 2+1 [2 Parts Moisture, 1 Part Protein]
Dudley's Hair Rebuilder [Great for correcting elasticity issues]
Keracare Super Reconstructor [A heavy duty protein treatment well worth it's weight in gold]
Try an Ayurvedic regimen: I maintained a strict Ayurvedic regimen for about the first 6-8 months of my hair journey, this included scalp massages [helps stimulate scalp, which in turn promotes growth], implementing an ayurvedic pre poo regimen, and also regular henna treatments to strengthen my hair. Most of my Ayurvedic products were all natural herbs and oils that are all purported to help thicken hair, and stop excessive shedding/breakage. My favorite oils are:
Bhringaraj - Nourishes hair and scalp w/essential nutrients necessary for healthy hair growth. I purchase this oil from my local Indian grocer.

Brahmi - Is another favorite of mine, it promotes a nice healthy sheen, strengthens hair, eliminates issues with dandruff, and also nourishes your hair and scalp. I use the Ramtirth brand, which has Coconut Oil as it's base vs Mineral Oil. Ramtirth Brahmi oil is infused with a proprietary blend of 22 Indian herbs. I also purchase this from my local Indian grocer. 

The classic wash & go is made a lot funkier by shaping the models hair, and adding bangs.

If you are on your last leg of your braid out/twist out, plop a hat on and pull out some face framing tendrils or bangs to keep from having to slick your hair back into a pony.

Although this is a wash & go - Flexi rod sets are a nice way to cheat perfect coils if you don't have this curl pattern naturally! [Wendy from Honey Brown Sugar shows you how she created this style here]

 A braid out with a side part is also adds a bit of funkiness to a braid-out. 

Air dry [this works best if your hair is shorter and has some type of shape to it]


Instead of bunning on a bad hair day, pin your hair up [similar to the way you would do an up do] and add a over sized chic headband, bow, or statement piece.

All pics courtesy of Fuckyeahcurlscurlscurls

Monday, June 28, 2010

I Am Always Doing Things I Can't Do, That's How I Get To Do Them - Pablo Picasso

It's Monday, which means it is time to announce the results of the Ruby Woo Giveaway! Thank you to everyone that entered, I am definitely going to try out some of the recommendations mentioned!  Our winner is; Ms. Princess! Please contact me via the following email address;, and be sure to include your name and address! - Also will Kimberly [Polyvore name KChapman] please contact me; you are the second runner up for Effervescent Evergreen from our Ododo Originals giveaway.

Is it me or are the weekends never long enough? I braved the crowds and mass traffic jams [due to the BET awards] to get out and do some networking & building with a few colleagues this weekend, so needless to say I got very little sleep. I plan to make up for it in the next few days as this Wed Lo & I leave for Chicago, hopefully I will be able to hit the "reset" button and get some serious R&R.

Last night at around 11PM, I attempted a bantu-knot out that resulted in me wetting my hair and slicking it back in a bun this morning. It was an epic FAIL. Maybe I need to watch a few more videos because clearly I missed the mark. I had somewhat of a frizzy hybrid mullet-shag. No bueno. 

My hair in the first set of pics [with the blue & white jumper] is the same twist out I wore all week, I simply re-twisted it and let it "set" for about an hour. What I love about the Miss Jessie's Buttercreme is how soft it kept my hair, as I didn't moisturize it all week. The second set of pics [with the colorful dress] my hair is a bit different, I wet it thoroughly [didn't shampoo, just wet], and re-twisted it [without adding product], then I untwisted my hair while it was still damp, so it gave it more of a curlier almost wash & go type feel. A word to the wise though when attempting this method; as time progresses, your hair will swell to the size of Texas, so if big hair isn't your thing..then let it dry all the way!

Messing around with the shutter speed & exposure on my camera..

Outfit #1
Blue/White Romper: Vintage [Estate Sale]
Gold Bracelets: Forever 21
Beaded Bracelets: H&M
Yellow Clutch Bag: Vintage

Outfit #2
Dress: "Image" -->Some random boutique @ the Beverly Center
Sheer Blue Tights: Forever 21
Shoes: LF
Yellow Clutch Bag: Vintage
Two Finger Hope Ring: Forever 21
Gold Bracelets: Forever 21
Beaded Bracelets: H&M

Friday, June 25, 2010

All Hail The KING

Dedicating this day of my 365-day self-portrait project to none other than the King of Pop. To say that I am a Michael Jackson fan would be a serious understatement; I still remember where I was when I heard my first MJ record, remember dancing feverishly for 90 minutes at my first MJ concert, remember driving to Neverland to watch Michael leave, leaving momento's and hand written letters outside of the family compound, and sadly.. I can vividly remember the feeling in my stomach when I heard he passed.

I am spending this day remembering someone who played a vital role in the soundtrack of my life. If you like, leave your favorite MJ memory in the comment section! 

Some of my favorite MJ albums

Some papers that I saved. 

Pics taken June 25th 2009 [Encino Family Home]
Me leaving a candle outside...

RIP MJ! 1958-Forever.
Sunnies: Michael Kors
White "T": Express
Jacket: Vintage
Belt "1" [used as sash] Vintage Michael Morrison
Belt "2" Forever 21
Studded Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell Winkle Creepers
White Socks: H&M
Black Skinnies: Seven For All Mankind

Thursday, June 24, 2010

In The Kitchen: Chewy Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had a major sweet tooth last night, and I thought I would afford myself one cheat day. I scored this recipe over at which is slowly becoming one of my favorite places to snag recipes! Of course I made a few changes; I added dried Cranberries, and substituted whole wheat flour in lieu of the all purpose white flour. If you are going to use whole wheat flour, please sift the flour several times to help incorporate more air, as baked goods made with whole wheat flour tends to be a little on the dense side.

These are absolutely delicious, not too sweet, and insanely chewy! 
2 cups of whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup of unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips & cranberries by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
  4. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Foto Grafik + Your Twist Out Questions Answered

More self portraits from my 365-day Foto Grafik Project.
All Hats: Vintage
Leather Gloves: Vintage
Rope Earrings: H&M
Colorful Bracelets: H&M
Nameplate Necklace: Custom
Sequin & Twig Necklace: DIY
Cuff: Forever 21
Ring: Forever 21

How do you get your hair so big?
When I take my braids/twists down, I separate each twist in about 4-6 pieces. This creates more volume, and also keeps it from appearing too "piece-y". Don't be afraid to rake your fingers through your hair to mess up the curl pattern a bit, this makes it more of a natural wave or curl instead of crinkles.

To add even more fullness, and a slightly funky effect, invest in a paddle brush. Simply take sections of hair and lightly brush the roots of your hair for more fullness. You can brush further down the hair as well, but take care when brushing towards the ends of your hair, you don't want too much frizz.

Did you cut your bangs yourself, if so how?
Yes I did, I cut my hair while it was wet because I didn't want to straighten it [my hair has a tendency to get semi-straight when it's wet]. I wouldn't recommend this for someone with extremely curly hair, as it will be hard to gauge where the bangs will fall on your head. Instead, lightly blow out your hair, then cut. Be sure to take shrinkage into account when determining the length of your bangs, for instance if my hair were straight,, my bangs would hit the tip of my nose. 

I didn't do any fancy cutting techniques, I just made a u-shaped part, and cut my hair in one snip. Be sure to have a firm grip on your hair so that you get a nice even cut. 

Is there a particular way you take your twists/braids down?
I make sure I have a little Monoi De Tahiti Oil, or Vatika oil on my fingers [Coconut Oil will do], not too much because you don't want your hair sticking together too much [as it will decrease the volume], then I begin to take the twists down. 

Here lately, I started taking my twists down from the bottom-up, and I like the results a lot better. The ends of my hair can get really frizzy if I start at the top of the twist. Just that little tweak has made all the difference in keeping the ends of my hair silky. 

How long do you leave your hair twisted/braided before you take them down?
I leave my hair twisted/braided until it is completely dry. If I don't have time to wait, I will sit under my Pibbs dryer for about an hour, then take it down as usual. If I take my hair down when it is still damp, my twist-out will only last about 2-3 days MAX, to get long lasting results, allow your hair to dry completely.

How many twists/braids do you do for your braid outs/twist outs?
The best results for me have come by way of 10-15 braids/twists. Smaller twists/braids give me more of a crimped, skimpy look, while fatter twists/braids give me more of a thick, bushy look.

Any tips/tricks for a good braid out/twist out?
-Detangle thoroughly before twisting/braiding; if you can, invest in a Denman brush and smooth the hair out prior to twisting/braiding by lightly brushing the hair. I find that doing this makes for a silkier "set", and prevents the "rough" look.

-I prefer to air-dry my sets versus sitting under the dryer because it makes my hair a lot softer/silkier. If you are pressed for time, use a lower heat setting [I use the 40 degree setting]

-Go easy on the styling products, using too much product can cause a dry, stiff looking braid out/twist out. I generally use about a dime size amount to be on the safe side.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Be Just Who You Are; Make No Apologies!

One of my favorite quotes of all. This is on my bathroom mirror for me to see every morning. I want everyone out there to believe these words, because I truly believe that we are all meant to shine if we just give ourselves the opportunity to do so.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. - Marianne Williamson
-- Marianne Williamson lectures every Tuesday night [7:30PM] in Los Angeles at the Regent Showcase Theatre. Needless to say, I will be there next Tuesday for continued spiritual guidance, and insight. If any of you in the L.A area happen to stop by, make sure to say hello so we can chat for awhile!

More pics of me making the most of my self-timer, tripod, and backdrop. I am working on a 365-day project in which you take a self-portrait every day for one year. I am curious to see how long I can keep this going, and I can't wait to show you all what I do with it!

This is a twist out I did last night using Miss Jessies Curly Buttercreme, surprisingly guys I am quite pleased with the results. I had a 16oz jar in my cabinet that I planned on passing down to anyone willing to take it off my hands, but now I am forced to renege. My hair is very defined, soft, shiny, and big, I was afraid that this wouldn't have much hold because it seems to be marketed as more of a "moisturizing product" however that wasn't the case.

I was completely out of my "staple" hair products last night [w/the exception of Paul Mitchell The Condish], so I used things that I had stashed away. Prior to twisting, I shampooed my hair with Goldwell Kerasilk Shampoo, and conditioned with V05 Moisture Milk Strawberries and Creme for about 45minutes w/o heat. I then used Paul Mitchell The Conditioner as a leave-in, and twisted with the Miss Jessie's Buttercreme. I let the twists air-dry overnight, and separated them until I got the desired fullness.

Make Up
Eyeshadow: Mekong [NARS]
Blush: Taj Mahal [NARS]
Lip Liner: Flesh [Ulta Brand]
Lipstick: Circe [NYX]
Lashes: Red Cherry [102]

To the folks requesting a tut on the make-up look from the last post, I will have it up this week!
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