Finals Week ‘n stuff

*Skipping a discussion about the 2016 Presidential election because…yeah…it’ll just stress me out.*

So, it’s finals week at the University, and things are slowing down in the library. I am really satisfied with what I am doing right now, though, I feel that tug of “There’s more that I want to do, let’s do it now,” which has caused great instability in my life. I’ve had to accept that I can’t sit still. I have a wanderlust when it comes to work, and fortunately this position has a lot of tasks to hold my attention. I now need to settle down and write — easier said than done.

I’m currently reading The Racial Contract by Charles Mills, a Caribbean scholar. It was suggested by a French political scholar on Twitter (I have a Twitter problem). It’s really driving home the point that racism is integral to the functioning of politics in the Americas (global white supremacy is more accurate). Racism is fundamental. And he uses philosophy (on which Western governments are based) to deliver his argument. It’s very good so far.

It’s now winter in the central Midwest (Chicago–the most important city in the Midwest, ha!). I crocheted a hat over Thanksgiving break. It’s beautiful and made with a wool/silk blend so that it won’t grab my kinks and curls. I am so happy with it that I am going to make another in a different color.

In any case, with winter comes the winter hair regimen. I don’t really do too much differently from season to season. I probably should, but my hair has medium/high porosity, so the most important thing is locking moisture into my hair. I’ve had to ditch the Lush Fairly Traded Honey shampoo. It was eating away at my hair. I mean…ugh, Lush! So I’m back with Aveda Rosemary Mint shampoo. I’m also experimenting with Kinky Curly’s Stellar Strands. It’s okay…smells really weird, but I do notice a difference in softness when I rinse it out. So I will use it up, and give a full review then.

So here’s what I learned in the past week about this shampoo. The reason why it’s not as drying/stripping as the other Aveda shampoos, is because it contains a watered down sulfate (interesting because it’s supposed to be a clarifying). My scalp likes sulfates. I’ve tried mostly coconut based shampoos — who am I kidding — most shampoos have coconut cleansers, but my scalp hates full on coconut cleanser shampoos (I’m looking at Shea Moisture.) My scalp goes into five-alarm itch mode. Also, there are so many different names for coconut cleansers that it’s impossible to find a shampoo without one unless you go straight clay. My hair loves clay, but my scalp does not. Simply, my scalp likes to be cleansed with a sulfate shampoo. But sulfates dry my hair and scalp out!

So, here I am with Aveda Rosemary Mint again because it just works. I still have to put a little bit of Jojoba oil on my scalp, but it just works.

Talk soon!

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Natural Black Hair Regimen 2013

Indie Black Hair 2013

Indie Black Hair 2013

So, I haven’t done an update on my hair regimen in a long time. In fact, I don’t know if I’ve even done a regimen post. I think I have, but I can’t remember, ha!

Anyway, let’s get to it. I still use a lot of products, but there are some that have been staples since I learned how to take care of my natural texture.

Keep in mind, I live in Chicago (extreme cold/hot/humid.) This regimen is pretty consistent throughout the changes in weather.

Styler: Kinky Curly Curling Custard
I can’t live without this stuff. I love it, love it, love it. I don’t think I will try to make my own, ever. I just don’t think it could compare. I do, however, keep track of how much I use by marking the lid with the month and year. I get the jumbo jar which is pricey ($29.99). Target sells a smaller jar ($17.99), but it doesn’t make economic sense–unless you have an emergency. Every time I think I am going to try something less expensive, or make my own, as soon as I get to that last, snotty drop I am racing to the store for another jar. Shame.

Leave-in: Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment (formerly Weekly Deep Treatment) I layer this over a lighter leave-in. This stuff is magic.

Light Leave-in: DevaCurl One I stopped using this for a few years because they changed the formula. But I’ve started using it again, and I haven’t had any adverse effects.

Sealant:  Homemade Coconut Oil blend  ( This recipe is based on naptural85’s coconut oil moisturizer .) Using a hand mixer, I blend coconut oil, shea butter, castor oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, rosemary essential oil, and jasmine essential oil (you can choose your own essential oils, but use sparingly because of the scalp.) Sometimes I will add grape seed or argan oil to the blend it depends on what I have on hand. Just enough to coat the strands, otherwise you will have an oil slick all over your ears and neck.

Shampoo: This has been a complicated one. I am currently using Terressentials lavender or left coast lemon. Now, I have a love-hate relationship with this clay cleanser. I LOVE the results, but my scalp hates the stuff, so I rotate this out ( I use the Terressentials every third or fourth wash) with As I Am cleansing pudding,  which I just started using. The cleansing pudding has an ingredient, piroctone olamine, which is known to be a great scalp cleanser, and to promote growth. It is a little drying, so I do a short deep condition( with Tresemme Naturals condish–I put a lot of this in my hair, and then briefly run it under the shower stream to activate, and then I detangle with my fingers, or a shower comb.) After I detangle, I leave it in, place a plastic cap over my head, finish my shower duties, take the cap off, and then rinse it out.

BTW: I use the Teri Laflesh method to wash my hair. Her website was the first one that I found when I began to research how to take care of my hair. I spent years trying to figure out how to wear my hair natural (Whew, I don’t miss the birds nest days, or people calling me Macy Gray, I like her, but I don’t look anything like her. But we know what that’s about…)

I would love to find a really moisturizing shampoo for my scalp, but I am going to ride this As I Am cleansing pudding thing until the wheels fall off. Every time I use shampoo it dries my hair out–it just isn’t the same. And some alternative sulfates are more drying/stripping than regular sulfates. The day will come…

I started working with ph a few months ago, and it has done wonders for my hair. This means that I try to use products that range between 4.5-5.5. I use the Terressentials with Aubrey Organics White Camellia conditioner. This feels really weird. BUT the Terressentials is really alkaline( maybe 9 or 10 on the ph scale? But it’s a solid, so I am not sure), which means that it opens up the hair shaft, and then fills it with moisture. When I put the AOWC on it feels really squeeky, which means that it is very acidic and that it’s closing the cuticle. I rinse this out, and then put the DevaCurl one in (acidic at 4.7.) I get fabulous hair when I use these two products together. Confusing, right? Well, the last leave-in/conditioner I put on my hair is acidic (between 4.5-5.5).

The Natural Haven has a ph list for both conditioners and shampoos.

WARNING: Don’t ever try to use the AOWC on it’s own( as a leave-in or co-wash–don’t do it!!) because it will tangle your hair big time. SERIOUSLY. I learned this the hard way.

Product Lines I dabble in:

Curl Junkie: I love the Smoothing Lotion as a light leave-in, and the Coffee-Coco Curl Creme as a curl refresher and a curly, pony tail poof refresher. That is, if I have been wearing a wash’n go for a few days, and one of the curls is kind of frizzy, or out of whack I will wet the strand down, and then slick some CCCC down the strand. This usually makes the curl snap right back. My only complaint is that her products are really expensive, and she has a sale once or twice a year. (Try Curl Mart? They have sales more often, but they don’t sell larger sizes.)

Oyin Handmade: HoneyHemp Conditioner I often use this as a pre-poo because it softens tangles. (Be careful how you store this because hemp oil goes rancid, so I would put it in the ‘frig for storage.) I get the big bottle from the website–it just, yes, makes economic sense.

*sigh* That was a long one, but I hope it helps somebody out there. It took me a long time to get to this point. I have gone through so many products to get to my hair’s maximum potential, but it’s been worth it. Yup.

Next post:  How I keep my hair moisturized in between washes.

Any questions? Comments?