Archive for the ‘My Hair’ Category

Curly Ombre

I haven’t given you a hair update via an actual photo since December 2012. So, here’s a picture of a braid out /roller set hybrid I did a couple of days ago. Please forgive the quality of the photo, I took it with my iPhone. I used Hair Art’s Super Rollers in orange. Those are the 5/8″ rollers (or flexi rods to most). This is a wet set where I loosely braided my hair 1/2 way and rolled the ends in the orange rollers. I may have done 4-6 braids. I use braids as a way to speed up the setting process. Where doing the 4-6 braids takes me only 15-20 minutes. Doing a full roller set can take me 30-45 minutes with these rollers. I didn’t use any products or very little which is probably why it’s already beginning to frizz in some sections for the photo, but because my hair is so fine, I get more volume by just using water for this set. This is one of my go to styles.

Curly Ombre

I have a name for this hair style. I call it the Beyonce Bradshaw. It’s a blend of 3 hairstyles including Beyonce and Sarah Jessica Parker, or as we know her better, Carrie Bradshaw. Anyway, there are 3 basic elements to the Beyonce Bradshaw: center part, big curls and curly ombre blonde highlights.

Beyonce Bradshaw

April 2013 Hair Update

Quite a few Mane and Chic fans have asked for an update of my hair. I don’t have any new photos at this time, but I did measure my hair the other day when I was wearing it straight. I might give you a picture within the month.

If you’re an avid reader, you’ll remember my length check from December 2012. My longest ends were grazing that 13″ mark on my tape measure, but by January 2013, I’d chopped off the ends back to roughly 12″ because I wasn’t happy about the condition of my ends due to the ombre highlights. I’m actually still not satisfied, but I’m hoping to reach my goal length before I do a big chop. My measurement from the other day showed that my longest ends were barely grazing 14″. That means there are roughly 2″ to go and about 4 months before I reach my goal of 16″.

Mane and Chic Length Check

You can see from the photo, that ‘Line 2′ is where the longest parts of my hair landed in December of 2012. That’s somewhere between 12.5 and 13″ on my tape measure. That is mid-back length on me and I have a long back. What’s back length on me is probably waist length or hip length on someone who is short-waisted. ‘Line 3′ represents my goal: waist length on me and that’s somewhere between 15.5 and 16″.

I know that these thin ends will eventually need to go and in January I got quite a bit of them off with that 1″ chop. I have to say that I’ve noticed in the past that a big trim has helped me achieve longer lengths much quicker than I expected, but I’m really reaching for that 16″ mark in 2013 — by any means necessary. Ha!

Once my hair reaches the 16″(waist length) mark, I’d just keep trimming probably once a month or to maintain that length forever or until I get bored. I really don’t have plans to grow my hair any longer than that. Long hair is a bit of a hassle. My hair gets caught in doors and car windows. I have to put it up whenever I drink or eat. It takes forever to dry. Detangling is a chore. I go through product like crazy. Windy days, forget it! People accuse me of having a weave. All that to say, I really love it but I’ll be satisfied at waist length.

I am focusing on gentle cleansing, deep conditioning, protein treatments, baggying, scalp massages and more. I used my favorite hair book: The Science of Black Hair to help develop a more proactive regimen because what I did to get past shoulder length has to advance if I ever want to reach waist length. I’ll say that the point between bra strap length and waist length has probably been the most challenging for me. My issue is that my hair breaks off at the ends and I really need to pay attention to them especially if I’m not trimming them regularly.

All of the items in my current regimen can be found in Mane and Chic’s Amazon store.

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Preview My 2013 Hair Regimen

It’s been quite awhile since I posted a picture of my natural hair in a completely natural state. I don’t typically wear my hair in a natural state. My norm is rocking wet sets be it roller set, felxi rod set, braid out, twist out or a combination of the aforementioned sets. My hair is a bit unpredictable and doing a wet set is a way for me to have more control of the finished product. That said, I probably should post a pic of my hair in a completely natural state, but I’m not going to say I will, if I’m not.

Anyway, here’s a preview of my Winter 2013 Hair Regimen. You’ll remember the goal is to get to waist length finally this year.

2013 WINTER HAIR REGIMEN

WHAT I WILL NOT DO

  • No cutting
  • No boar bristle brushes
  • No towel drying

WHAT I WILL LIMIT

  • Limit heat usage
  • Limit use of fine tooth comb to once a week to prevent one-strand knots
  • Limit detangling to wash days

WHAT I WILL DO

DAILY
  • Re-set hair at night
  • Sleep on satin pillow case
  • Sleep with satin bonnet
  • Baggy ends
  • Moisturize
  • Seal in moisture with oil or butter

WEEKLY

  • Cleanse hair once or twice a week with conditioning shampoo or conditioner
  • Detangle only on wash days in the shower under running water
  • Section hair for washing (part from forehead to nape, ear to ear)
  • Deep Condition with moisture-based conditioner (with conditioning cap for at least 45 minutes and/or overnight)
  • Pre-cleansing Hot Oil Treatment (with conditioning cap for at least 45 minutes and/or overnight)
  • Wet set hair after washing
MONTHLY
  • Clarify with a diluted clarifying shampoo

AS NEEDED (every 4-8 weeks)

  • Moderate to heavy protein treatments/reconstructors

December 2012 Length Check

I have a new length check photo for all of you that follow my hair growth progress. It’s been quite awhile since I’ve done one of these and I’ll probably do another in January. I’m debating about what I want to do with my hair in 2013. I definitely want to keep attempting waist length, but I might chop off a few inches and color it for a fresh start. So, without further ado, here is the update. I’ve made it like a chart in order to better illustrate some things.

Mane and Chic Length Check

You can see from the photo, that ‘Line 2′ is where the bulk of my hair and longest parts of my hair ends. That’s somewhere between 12.5 and 13″ on my tape measure. That is mid-back length on me and I have a long back. What’s back length on me is probably waist length or hip length on someone who is short-waisted. Oh well, nothing I can do about that. ‘Line 3′ represents my goal: waist length on me and that’s somewhere between 15.5 and 16″. As you can see, I am a mere 4″ away. Last I checked, my hair grows the average, roughly 0.5″ per month. That means that I’m looking at another 8 months of growing if I don’t cut it. Now, ‘Line 1′ represents where I think I should cut my hair, if I decide to do so. This is where my ends begin to look see-through. You can clearly see the 10″ mark on the tape measure and I could probably go up to 9 to 9.5″ to make sure I get all the thin ends.

I know that these thin ends will eventually need to go and honestly, I have noticed in the past that a big trim has helped me achieve longer lengths much quicker than I expected. I rarely wear my hair bone straight and this is really the only time you can see the real deal with my ends. Curly styles hide this and I was thinking I could keep doing this for the next 8 months while my hair grows out to goal length. Once it gets to 16″(waist length), I’d just keep trimming probably once a month or to maintain that length. If I cut my hair back to 10″, I probably won’t meet or will  barely meet my 16″ goal in 2013 which will mean at least another year of growing. I tell you I’m leaning more to cutting it back to 10″, but I have not made a definite decision. I’ll likely make the decision to get rid of the dip dyed/ombre hair and 3″ cut before the new year. I will keep you updated and will hopefully have some pics for whatever I decide. I’ll also have some inspiration on how you can adjust and improve your hair regimens in 2013 as I do the same for mine. Yes, I will definitely be getting back to my normal regimen in 2013. Focusing on gentle cleansing, deep conditioning, protein treatments, baggying, scalp massages and more. I’ll also have my new year’s hair resolutions in a couple of weeks. I’m actually prepping for that by referencing my favorite hair book: The Science of Black Hair. That’s all for now.

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Transitioning from Damaged Hair in 2013

Did you know that you could transition once you’re already natural? A lot of people don’t think about growing out damage as transitioning, but it certainly is. You’ll remember that I’ve been rocking ombre highlights for the past 2 years. Let me tell you, it’s done quite a number on my ends. Today I was just looking in the mirror and noticed my new growth. It is amazingly wavy, smooth and shiny. Because I’m growing out color, my new growth is very different from the length and especially the ends of my hair just like when I was transitioning from relaxed hair to natural hair.

Transitioning from Damaged Hair: Color and Heat

When you do ombre highlights, the ends are typically the lightest so my ends had to undergo more bleach. Is was really silly of me to do, especially since I am attempting to grow my hair to waist length. I desperately wanted a change and when I first did it, it was new and exciting. I wanted an edgy look that could still be professional and the ombre highlights just seemed perfect for me. Knowing all that I know about hair, I still did it and no one could talk me out of something once my mind was made up.

Color isn’t the only way you can damage your natural hair, there’s also heat. I had also been straightening my hair more frequently. I was really in my Zoe Saldana phase and you know she rocks the bone straight Dominican blowouts. I wanted to enjoy the length of my hair that I’ve been attempting to grow since 2007. Well, needless to say, the heat straightening didn’t do anything to help my already weakened color-treated ends.

I noticed after renewing my ombre highlights over a year ago that my hair didn’t hold a curl anymore. I’m not a fan of cutting my hair especially when I am trying to grow it out. I have been more concerned with length so anything more than half an inch is out of the question for me. When I straightened my hair now, it’s stick straight. If I do curls, they fall in 10 minutes.

I want to or I wanted to wait until I reached waist length before I started to really cut my hair. You remember from my last update photos? My goal is to reach 16″ on the tape measure? Well, you might want to know where I am now. At one point, my hair reached past 14″ on my tape measure, but I did a little ‘dusting’ and it’s roughly 12.5″ on the tape measure now. I don’t feel like I’m trimming that much off when I do my dustings, but apparently I am. I’ll probably be doing a length check soon to show you exactly what’s been up with my hair. I’m due for one at the top of the year, so we’ll see.

Straight Across Haircutwaist length natural hair

I’ve been doing this since 2007 and sometimes I find my self frustrated. My goal is to grow to waist length, but I do things that set me back. I can tell by my new growth that my hair is growing. My major problem is breakage on the ends and length retention. I know for sure how to fix this and how to prevent breakage/split ends, but for the past couple of years, I have a lot of other things going on and unfortunately, I don’t always use my healthy hair care practices. For example, I definitely don’t deep condition my hair every week like I used to and I definitely don’t baby my ends the way I used to. I will get back on track in 2013. I definitely believe that I can reach the goal, but it will require much pateince. I’ll be 30 on February 13, 2013 and I’ve just always envisioned myself with longer hair in my 30s and beyond. I might do a big trim to start the new year with a fresh start, I’ve not decided yet.

Are you starting 2013 off with a big chop or new do?

Share in the comments or tweet me at @maneandchic!

V Shaped Haircut

I’ve had several trims over the years that I’ve shared on the blog and I get a lot of questions about the V shaped haircut. I have shared this info before on the blog, but here it is again.

What we are discussing here is what your hair looks like from the back. There are three basic shapes: the U shaped haircut, the V shaped haircut and the straight haircut. If you’re looking for a step-by-step tutorial on the different haircut shapes, see this website.

Now, here are all the haircut shapes on me.

 

V Shaped Haircut

 

V Shaped Haircut

 

U Shaped Haircut

 

U Shaped Haircut

 

 

Straight Haircut

 

Straight Across Haircut

Now, the straight haircut is best if you want to have hair that is the same length. Most people don’t grow straight across, so you will be loosing some length if you opt for a straight haircut or trim.

The U shaped haircut is typically shorter around your face and comes to a subtle U curve in the back.

Finally, the V shaped haircut is dramatic and sexy. If you have a great waist and rear, it’s like an arrow saying ‘Hey, look at me!’ My favorite thing about the V shaped haircut is that my hair seems to grow faster in the back so I can appreciate longer hair faster. If I was trying to keep my hair all one length, like in the straight shape, it would take me months and months to reach my longest point with the V shaped haircut.

When I’m looking for a fresh start, I usually go for the straight shape. I know that I’ll lose at least 2″, but I’ve done that a couple of times over the course of growing out my hair. Lately, I’ve been rocking the V shaped haircut because that’s how my hair grows. I actually haven’t trimmed my hair in a few months.

My goal for 2012 is to reach the 15″ mark that you see on my tape measure, so I’m trying to hold off on any big trims or haircuts. That said, I did do a little trim/dusting a couple of weeks ago. I’ve said that 15″ was my ultimate goal and that I’d start maintaining my length at 15″, but now I don’t know. That 15″ mark on my tape measure is my natural waist. (I have a long torso.) Today I measured, and I am about 14″ or a little over. I don’t get into the .25 or .345… that’s much too much. It’s odd enough that I measure my hair. Ha! I really just do whole inches or .5 inches. So unless I get scissor happy… it looks like I’m on schedule to reach my 15″ goal (give or take .5″) by the end of the year.

Now, the original plan was to grow my hair to natural waist length (that 15″ mark) and then maintain that length by doing straight haircut every few weeks at that 15″ mark. That would allow my hair to get thicker and look stronger and healthier at the ends. Well, if you’ve been keeping up with the blog, then you might recall that I was considering changing my goal. I don’t know if I’ll ever stop growing it. I’m not satisfied; however, I’m not obsessed with it. I also have to say that I’m grateful for the length that I have been able to maintain. My hair used to be one of my top passions or obsessions and although, I still want to reach my goal… I’m calmer and more patient about the process. I think the perfect length for me would be in the middle of waist length and hip length. Of course, it’ll probably always look shoulder length or bra strap length when it’s in a natural state.

What’s your favorite haircut shape? What are your length goals? Please share in the comments.

My 4th Curlyversary Natural Hairversary and Updates

curlyversaryHappy Independence Day fellow Americans! Today is also my hair’s Independence Day: on July 4, 2008 I ended a 17-month long transition and chopped off all of my relaxed ends and I have been natural ever since. From what I’ve been reading, a lot of people choose this day to “go natural”, but honestly for me… it wasn’t planned… I did it on a whim. If you want to find everything you could possibly want to know about my 17-month long transition, read my e-book, Secrets Of A Long-Term Transitioner on Amazon. 

I am also due for a hair update, I do those quarterly and it’s about that time so stay tuned.

Many people have asked for the old archives, so there they are, back in effect. 

Here’s a link to Curly, Coily, High Texture Hair 101

Please follow me on Pinterest. Also, in honor of my ”Curlyversary”, follow my hair-related pinboards:

My Hair Journey From 2007 To Today (2012)

I was supposed to stay away from straightening my hair in 2012 and well I changed my mind. I have flat ironed my hair about 3 times this year, but it’s been very light. I do not use a lot of heat. I do roller sets and typically only do a maximum of two passes with my flat iron and I really try to take it easy on my ends especially since I have ombre highlighted/dip dyed my ends.

Since 2007, I have been growing out my hair and my goal used to be bra strap length and that changed to shoulder blade length/below shoulder blade length and for the last two years it has been been moved to waist length. I use a tape measure tied around my neck to measure my hair so the tape measure isn’t showing the actual length of my hair, but the length from my neck. My goal is to reach the 15-16″ mark. The other day I measured and it is reaching roughly the 13″ mark. The longest my hair has been as an adult is the 14″ mark. My hair was this length before, but I trimmed an inch or so off a couple of months ago.

I am hoping to finally reach my waist length goal in 2012. I only have about 3″ to go and that translates to about 6 months for my hair. Right now, I am evaluating my regimen and referencing my favorite hair book The Science of Black Hair to plan my new regimen. The things that really work for me is low manipulation and taking care of my fragile ends. For me this means rocking twists/braids or wearing my hair in straighter/stretched styles. I find that when I wear my hair in a completely natural state, that I end up combing my hair more than I would like to prevent tangles and matting. I think that coloring may cause me a bit of a setback, but I am being more proactive about caring for my ends.

MyHair

First Hair Update of 2012

waist length natural hair

You’ve been asking for it, here it is: my first hair update in 2012. This is a twist out where my hair was detangled with the Tangle Teezer. It was also my first time using Suave’s Captivating Curls conditioner and that’s all I have in my hair besides water. I have copious amounts of the conditioner in my hair… probably 1/2 a cup or more.

One of my goals in 2012 is to not straighten my hair with heat, so I’ll only be giving you curly updates for all of 2012. Well, I’m going to attempt to do that. I only ever straightened my hair to see how long it was and to change it up a bit, but I never keep it straight for longer than a couple of days.

I am not sure if you can tell from the lighting, but I have ombre highlights. I had them done last February for my birthday. You can’t really see them indoors, but they look better now than when they were fresh. It’s very beachy. I’ll try to give you some outdoor pictures soon.

I measured my hair for you too. My goal is 15″ from my neck (using my measurement technique) with my hair stretched straight. That’s natural waist length for me and as you can see the longest part of my hair is barely grazing the 14″ mark. I have to be honest, whenever I reach a hair length milestone/goal… I tend to want to keep going. Now, I’m thinking that I want my hair to reach natural waist length while my hair is in a natural state or in a curly style like this. So, I’ll be growing my hair probably for the next 58 years. It’s all fine because I am learning patience and enjoying the journey.

waist length natural hair

To Waist Length and Beyond – Current Hair Regimen

I exercise 5-7 times per week and I wash my hair quite frequently. I typically wash with a diluted shampoo once a week. I dilute the shampoo: 1 part shampoo to 3 parts water. Also, I conditioner-wash a few times a week. I use a deep conditioner once a week. I typically use Aubrey Organics, GPB Glycogen Protein Balancing Conditioner Rosemary Peppermint or Giovanni’s Smooth As Silk Xtreme as a deep conditioner. I use the Gold ‘N Hot Conditioning Cap for about an hour, using the condition and reconditioning method in 15-20 minute intervals. I only use warm water when I’m washing my hair and I always use cold water as the final rinse. Cold water shuts down the cuticle to lock in moisture. It makes a huge difference if you have frizz-prone hair like me.

After washing, I braid or twist my hair in about 10 braids (or more twists) and set the ends on flexi rods (using end papers). I use Kinky-Curly Knot Today or experiment with different cheap Suave conditioners to set my hair. When I’m taking the braids down, I fluff my hair for volume and clap through a quarter-size amount of jojoba oil. I like it because its lite and scentless. Oh, are you wondering what “clap through” means? I just put the oil in my hands and literally clap it through and fluff my hair as if I’m “playing numbers” with my head. It gives me more even distribution and more volume.

I also reset my hair every night with about 5 braids with the ends set on the super skinny red flexi rods. I am not interested in trying to sleep without re-setting, so I don’t care about second or third day hair. I’ve tried the “pineapple” and it works if I want to rock a ponytail, but otherwise it doesn’t work for me. I like to really sleep when I sleep and I’m a wild sleeper. I was never satisfied with my hair when I tried to sleep without resetting.

What else?

Detangling –  I detangle on wet hair in the shower with a Jilbere shower comb. Then with a small seamless comb and finally smooth with a Denman brush about once a week to cut down on one strand knots. I’m super careful when I detangle and I really take my time. I do everything in sections! Wash in sections, condition in sections, detangle in sections and set in sections. I also recently began to experiment with the Tangle Teezer and the jury is still out.

Smoothing – After my hair is detangled and before I set each section of my hair. I use smoothing techniques. This is very important and it makes a huge difference. If you don’t want know what smoothing is, I explain it here: Smoothing Explained.

Scissors –  I use the Search & Destroy method to get rid of bad ends as I see them. I don’t don’t keep track of how often I do this… maybe once every couple of weeks. I have high quality professional shears that I invested in, no cheap shears come near my hair.

Thermal Styling – No heat this year! I use a Pibbs Kwik Dry on a medium low heat setting after washing my hair sometimes, but especially if it is cold or I don’t want to sleep with wet hair.

Scalp Love – I give myself brief scalp massages whenever I feel like it, at least once a week.

Time – It doesn’t take long for me to do my hair. I spend about 5 minutes setting it at night, 5 minutes styling it in the morning, one hour per week deep treating, 15 minutes washing, 20 minutes setting and 1 hour under the dryer. That’s it.

Questions about my hair? Leave them in the comments or send an e-mail.

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Kai’s Hair April 2011 Update

Arm Pit Length Natural Hair

Here is my April hair update. If you’re an avid reader, then you know that I do this every 3 months and have been since April 2007. I started Mane and Chic back in April of 2007 when I was living in South Beach. It’s been about 4 years and wow has my life changed and my hair too. I started at neck length. Which was barely 1″ on my tape measure, but now you can see that my hair has grown to about 10.5″ on the tape measure.

I recently cut off about 3″. Why? It was part of my spring cleaning challenge. I didn’t like the way my ends were looking and I haven’t really been paying much attention to my hair lately so I wanted to start over by cutting off a couple of inches. It’s just hair, it will grow back… no biggie.

Did you cut it yourself? Yes, I did. I’ve been cutting my own hair since I was in high school (over 10 years). I’ve invested in high quality professional shears that cost upwards of $100. I think this is super important. This time I went for more of a U shape than my typical V shape in the back. What is a V shape or U shape? What am I talking about? Click here to see Feye’s Trimming Instructions and that should explain everything including how to do it yourself.

The goal is to grow my hair out to 15″ on that tape measure you see in the photo. That’s waist length on me. I have the longest torso ever! Before the trim, I was barely reaching it, but I’m happy with my decision to cut. If I don’t cut my hair anymore this year, I should get to about 15″ by January 2012. I’ll probably trim again before that though. It depends. When I wear my hair curly, I don’t care if my ends are perfect, but when It’s straight, I prefer super clean ends.

What am I using now? When I straighten, I typically use Giovanni Wellness System Shampoo and Conditioner with Chinese botanicals featuring Eco Chic Technology. When I wear my hair curly, I use heavily diluted (with water)Kinky Curly Come Clean and Knot Today as my comb-through and leave-in conditioner. I use Desert Essence Jojoba Oil nearly every day on my ends and to deep condition, I use anything by Aubrey Organics, but I prefer Aubrey Organics GPB Glycogen Protein Balancing Conditioner. I deep condition once a week. I also like hot oil treatments, using Carol’s Daughter Lisa’s Hair Elixir. I try other products and if they are really good, I rave about them on the blog, but the aforementioned products are my staples.

To see all the posts specifically related to my hair, click here. This is where you fill find literally everything you need to know about my hair.

To find out more about trimming, choosing shears, products, ingredients, techniques and etc., please view the 101 Guide To Hair. It’s literally a site map for all the important hair articles on Mane and Chic.