Tag Archives: hair care

Shrinkage is Still a Beast (Pic Update/Informal Length Check)

Shrinkage is still a beast! :-p

Shrinkage is still a beast! :-p

A Henna Kind of Day (Henna and Coconut Cream Recipe)

***Pics at the end of post***

I’ve been using henna for about three months and Katie is in love!

I tried a multitude of henna recipes in the past, but never incorporated it into my regular regimen because the process was extremely messy, time-consuming, and it was always difficult to rinse the henna out.  That is, until I came across the following blog posts: http://www.minimalistbeauty.com/henna-coconut-milk-the-perfect-combination-for-healthy-hair/ and http://www.minimalistbeauty.com/henna-for-hair-101/.  I was excited to learn that the key to successful henna application is in the recipe!!!!  And, after all the complicated recipes I tried in the past, the best one is also the easiest to use and prepare.  Who knew?!?

The Magic Henna Recipe:

  1. BAQ Henna Powder (75 grams)
  2. 1 can of Coconut Cream (or Milk.  I prefer cream.)
  3. 1/4 cup of EVOO

Necessary Tools:

  1. Latex gloves (or appropriate alternative for those with allergies) (I use black reusable gloves from Sally’s Beauty)
  2. Black salon cape (I use a plastic-like one, but once it dies, I will probably purchase a washable one)
  3. Plastic processing cap
  4. Satin scarf

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a glass mixing bowl and use a mixer until the batch is the consistency of smooth cake batter.  (Helpful tip: put henna in first and stir a bit to avoid a powder explosion!  Learned this the hard way, and no, I do not bake.)  I also usually let the mix sit for at least 12 hours, making it the night before I apply it.  To prepare Katie-kaboom for henna application, I wash, condition, detangle into three sections, and rinse all product out.  I squeeze dry each section, put on cape and gloves, then apply the henna mix section by section.  After thorough application, I clip each section up using a duckbill hair clip, put on a processing cap, and then wrap my hair with a scarf.

I leave the henna on for a minimum of four (4) hours, but really try to keep it on for at least eight (8).  To remove the henna, I take a shower rinsing my hair with water and using slippery conditioner to remove all the henna.  With this recipe, I can usually remove all the henna with only one (1), that’s right just one, rinse; two maximum!!!  I follow up with a moisturizing deep conditioner and, “Voila!”  Finis.

Benefits that keep me coming back for more: (1) increased manageability; (2) covers grays beautifully; (3) my fine strands feel stronger/more resilient; (4) less shedding when detangling; and (5) lightens my hair with red highlights.  Love it!

Cons: I do not experience any because the final step in my henna process is a moisturizing deep conditioner.  The few times I did not do this (with other recipes), Katie felt extremely dry, brittle. With this recipe, Katie feels soft after rinse, but since she gets dry easily, I still do the moisturizing deep conditioner.

Well, that’s it.  I still have another 2 hours, so I think I’ll read my book club book.

Until next time,

Xoxo Katie-kaboom and NaturalEsq

Katie-kaboom freshly washed, sans product, and squeeze-dried.

Katie-kaboom freshly washed, sans product, and squeeze-dried.

Henna applied.

Henna applied.

My Myriad Curl Patterns

Taking care of varying curl patterns is a challenge and a gift.  A challenge because finding just the right product combination took a long time (around 9 months post BC for me), but in the end it is so worth it. All the trial and error finally paid off and though shrinkage is a major part of my hair journey, Katie Kaboom’s health and growth are awesome.  A gift because it is so versatile and the arrangement of the different curl patterns and associated shrinkage on my head makes for a shaped wash and go, no stylist or scissors involved. 🙂  Though the shrinkage does require me to remind myself: (1) a lot of youtube naturals transitioned before the BC; and (2) hair grows at different rates for different people.

Grid 1 is a second day wash n go using the LCOG method (yup, I made up another acronym as if we need anymore!).  Leave-in: TJ’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner.  Creme: my revised Naptural85’s shea butter creme mix.  Gel: Ecostyler Olive Oil.

2014.1.14 GRID Curl Pattern Montage

Grid 2 is a montage of my hair over the past two months (except for the bottom).  Top left: wet and freshly out of the shower with TJ’s TTT conditioner only.  Top right: LCOG method.  Bottom left: 5th day wash and go.  Bottom right: 10.5 month shrinkage/length check.

2014-1-2-my-hair-texture-collage.jpg

Until next time, happy hair care! 🙂

Length Check – 1 Year, 1 Week, and 2 Days of Growth

2013.12 Length Check_Year 1My hair is healthy, strong, and growing.  Since I’ve received so many requests, here’s a pictorial length check.  More to come soon on my journey so far, but hopefully this will satisfy everyone for now! 🙂

1 Year Hairniversary: from Day 1 to Year 1

One year of natural hair. Loving the hang time and the journey continues! 🙂

20131207-185930.jpg

Protective Style: Crochet Braids

If you follow this blog, you know one of the main things missing from my regimen is “traditional” protective styling.  That is, styles that protect the ends because they are some combination of: (1) low manipulation; (2) ends are tucked away/hidden; and (3) last more than a week–from what I can tell, the longer the style lasts the better.  I avoided protective styles for two main reasons, my hair/scalp is not a fan of extensions or weaves–too much stress for my fine strands, and I did not think the appearance of some styles would satisfy my hair style aesthetic.

However, while fueling my natural hair obsession through research, I saw the emergence (re-emergence, for some, but it is the FIRST TIME I ever heard of them) of crochet braids and was immediately intrigued.  A protective style that did not take as long or cost as much as a weave; did not place too much stress on your strands during/post installation; embraced adding textured fake hair–I didn’t want to be without kinky-curly locks; and is touted by many across the natural hair online stratosphere.  I was sold, so on a sunny Friday afternoon (November 1st), I got crochet braids.

The process in a nutshell: cornrow hair, then crochet the hair of your choosing to the braids using the hair only; no thread is involved.  The cost of installation & cornrows $80.  The hair I purchased (see pic below) retails for $5.99/bag for 14 inches (I used three full bags).

IMG_6532

What I told the stylist: “my hair is fine; I have an extremely tender, finicky scalp, so no tight cornrows.”  After installation, my stylist said my hair was Diana Ross status, but I was going for more of an angled bob, so she set about shaping my newly crocheted mane.  The results:

Mosaic Crochet Braids

Until next time, Katie-kaboom says, ta ta for now!  Literally, because she is braided and hidden under my crochet braids.  🙂

Shrinkage Update: 10.5 Months

Pictorial of my shrinkage just 10 days shy of my 11 month hairniversary.  The styling method pictured is LCO (leave-in, cream, then oil) plus Eco Styler Blue while raking (in the back/nape area because my strands are extremely fine with a more loose curl pattern) and separating in small sections (everywhere else because my curls are tighter almost everywhere else on my head).  I do not really like this method because the shrinkage is IMMENSE!  As in multiple people complimenting me on my new hair cut…um, not so much.  Lol.  On the other hand, my hubby, randoms at the market, and a multitude of coworkers complimented my hair with this style…  I guess, I should try to keep it in rotation, but I make no promises…

I have a surplus of drafts, so sorry for the multiple posts in one day!

2013.10.29 Shrinkage Grid