Sunday, December 30, 2012

KCCM Castor Oil Challenge- Week 5: EPIC GROWTH!

These are my check in questions and pics from Kinky Curly Coily Me's Castor Oil Challenge- Week 5. My hair is loving this JBCO: it's growing a whole lot! 

Here are the pictures in case they don't show up at the bottom. 

1. What are your favorite natural hair styles? How long does it take you to style your hair this way? Which products do you use to get the best results of this style?
My favorite natural hair styles are two strand twists and twists outs. It takes about 15-30 minutes to style my hair (depending on how many twists I put it in), and I usually use my classic Shea Moisture Curl enhancing smoothie on top of an oil. Twists outs can last anywhere from 3-5 days depending on how well I upkeep them.
2. How did you do last week (week 4)? Did you follow through with your goals? Any challenges thus far?
My only challenge is running out of my JBCO (money very tight even without buying any Christmas presents at all =( ) and not being able to buy anymore at the moment. So I'm trying to scrounge and use a little at a time, mixed with something else. Other than that, I am really trying to stay up on oiling my scalp every other day. The greenhouse method works to seal moisture in and make the oil effect last longer for me.
3. Based on your length check pics, can you see a difference in thickness or length yet? For those of you focusing on your edges, are they growing in?
Oh, I have most certainly seen some length and some thickness! I am enjoying it. My roots are thicker than ever, but I kind of like it. It's harder for me to keep my twists twisted up because I need to focus more on moisturizing the roots well enough, but it's all worth it. My bangs have grown from the middle of my top lip to way PAST my lower lip!
4. Post your length check pics! DONE!
5. (Optional) How was your Christmas? What did you get?
Didn't get much but I'm okay. Kids got gifts from other family members. I wish that I could have gotten some hair products, but we're having job/money issues right now. Bleh. But I'm grateful anyway. At least my hubby was off for Christmas. =)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas & a New Shampoo!

Merry Christmas, everyone! I have a new shampoo! Now before you get all excited, this isn't a giveaway or anything. One day, those will come when I can afford it. LOL! But I got this two days ago from Walmart and I am in love with it.
It's another Shea Moisture shampoo, but I like it better than the one I was previously using. I couldn't wait to try it, so on Sunday, which I have officially named as my wash day, I tried it. It was absolutely awesome!
Truthfully, this stuff didn't even feel like a shampoo. It was so silky, it felt like a conditioner, like I was co-washing my hair instead of actually 'sudsing' it up. As usual there are all natural ingredients in it, and no sulfates! I'm so in love with this shampoo.
Wish that I had the money to get the conditioner to try along with it, which was also $9.99. Some people have said that the conditioner doesn't do as good of a job as the shampoo does, but I want to see for myself one day.
So I washed my hair in two sections, towel blotted it, and applied my castor oil and grape seed oil mixture on my scalp and ends. Then I used some of my Tresemme conditioner (which is almost gone) in my hair as a leave in and de-tangled with my wide toothed comb. I don't usually do this, but it has been doing wonders for my hair's epic dryness lately. I did my usual 6-8 twists in and tied it up to in a scarf to air dry.
The next day, Christmas Eve, I spritzed it with water, finger de-tangled it, and applied my whipped shea butter. Replaced the fat twists with braids so I could get the roots pinned up and not knotted together like they always do after one day of wearing fat twists. The JBCO has been making my roots so much thicker, so when I do twists, after one day, not only is there a bunch of frizz near on the top of my head, but the roots sometimes get tangled within one another. Sometimes braiding is better, even though it takes longer. But it creates a lot of stretch!
As of now, we're not going anywhere for Christmas, but I'm still going to play around with my hair and Syriah's and create some 'holiday style' just for fun.  xD

Until next time...
Happy Holidays, curly mamas!

~Epic Realist~

Friday, December 21, 2012

Bantu Knots and Babies

 Syriah has a new style! I'd never done this before, but had been meaning to try it. The famous bantu knots! I've done something similar a few years back, but not this.
These were mega easy. I spritzed her hair with distilled water and used a random product that I had lying around (III Sisters of Nature Lengthening Creme), de-tangled, and coiled the hair around with my finger. Then I wrapped it around itself like a mini bun and secured with a rubber band wrapped around once. She loved it.
The only problem I had, of course, was making sure that they stayed pinned up. Because she's an active 3 year old, she kept bouncing around and the coils kept falling out. But I just re-pinned them. Eventually, when it was almost bedtime anyway, I wrapped her head up with a stocking cap.
I can't wait to see the bantu knot-out when these get old and dried out. Lol!
My little one Symari's hair has been flourishing as well. When I wash it, I use Earth Mama Angel Baby shampoo and body wash (AWESOME stuff, organic, all natural ingredients, no sulfates or parabens) on her hair and body and moisturize her hair and body with my whipped shea butter or plain coconut oil. Sometimes, I use my JBCO/coconut oil concoction in her hair. It's been seriously growing. I'm glad that she's starting off with the right stuff already. Didn't have that opportunity with my other two babies.
I love her adorable little curls! This is how it looks 'stretched out' with shea butter. This is also her first COI hair update picture by herself! Awwwwww!
She cried getting this done because I don't do her hair often. No need for ponytails on a baby all the time. Her hair needs to breathe and grow and flourish without tight ponytails all the time. I didn't use rubber bands in her hair, but still.
Jam's hair is... well, low. I gave him a low haircut a few weeks ago because he couldn't take me combing his top fro anymore. Guess he'll never be able to handle long hair... or at least not now. :-/ All he can handle is his rat tail!
Hope you enjoyed my update. Add me on Facebook!

Until later, curly mamas. Peace!

~Epic Realist~

Monday, December 17, 2012

"I Was Natural FIRST!"

WARNING: This is a rant! Be prepared. 

Well, well, well, ladies. Look what we have done. Not only have we managed to create a war between natural versus permed hair, but now we have a war against who is allowed to be natural, who is allowed to big chop, what's considered a big chop, bi-racial versus black, and the famous, 'my-hair-was-natural-before-you-were-born' theory.
Why is it that every time I turn around, there's a new fight within the 'new' natural hair community? Do these things really matter? The other day, I read an article about Alicia Keys, who big chopped her hair at some point. Some loon was arguing that because Alicia Keys is bi-racial and was supposedly natural anyway, she didn't deserve to big chop; she wasn't allowed to and it was NOT considered a big chop.
WHAT!? Excuse my French, but what kind of dumb shit is that?!
When did we get these hair 'rules' and regulations? Is there a Bible somewhere that gives us specific rules to follow or else you're not part of the natural hair community?
Here is the article where this foolishness resides. It's a great article, but the epidemic that this woman is referring to is ridiculous. It's so much ridiculousness that the author had to stop blogging about natural hair because the 'rules' were so frustrating.

You know, we can all choose to be arrogant and flaunt certain things, but why do it? My hair has always been long, even when I was perming. I never had a problem with my hair growing at all, no matter what chemicals I put into it every day. People think that I'm mixed, but I'm not. Technically, I went natural before the natural thing even spread like wildfire like it has been doing the last two years. My last perm was April 7th, 2009, and I made up my mind then that that would be my last perm. But this was before natural hair was a fad. I could go around and boast and brag and flaunt that, saying, "All you guys are just copycats, copying off of one another... I was natural guys don't have a right to call yourselves're only doing it because everyone else is doing it... You guys aren't real naturals!"
And I say... "Who really cares about all that!? So what you were natural first? I don't care if you've been natural since 1982. Good for you. There's no need to flaunt that! You're no better than I am!"
I mean, seriously. Why are we fighting over who was natural first? How the hell can you define what a big chop is? It's just a slang term in the hair community, and anyone who whacks off 90% of their hair for whatever reason (damage, perms, color, new look, etc) has a right to say that they big chopped. Doesn't matter what texture they are. So what the person is bi-racial? Let them be who they are! Focus on your hair and stop hating on others!
To all the women who are creating hair products, keep doing your thing! That's another thing I choose not to brag about, the fact that I already had a passion for creating hair and body creams and lotions when I was a teenager because I hated dry skin and hair so much. So I'm creating hair products now, but I already had that desire in me for years!
Guess this goes along with women always being way too critical of one another... bashing one another's weight, hair, face, body, lifestyle, job, etc. Sigh... well, I'll still be blogging until this hair thing spins out of control to a point where even I can't handle it.
Oh the bright side, I made a new video a few days ago. It's about me attempting a deep conditioner mix that I made. I love the way my hair came out. Questions? Comments? Write me here or on Facebook.

Until later, curly mamas. Peace out!

~Epic Realist~

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Baby Baldness?

Do you guys know that bald line that babies have going through the back of their heads when they're young?

That, contrary to popular belief, is NOT from babies laying on their backs all the time. I have 3 kids, and all of them have always slept on their stomachs (yes, I am aware of SIDS), so their heads were sideways EVERY DAY when they slept.

My first two kids had that same bald line growing, 

although they were on their stomachs when they slept. My third kid (5 months old) began to show signs of that same 'baldness pattern' just recently, despite all of them being born with a full head of hair. She sleeps on her stomach as well. But you know what I decided to do? I put some JBCO on that whole spot, and now her hair is growing in there. That stuff works wonders! If I can get some pics, I will soon.

So don't be discouraged if you have a baby whose hair is growing in like that. Try using some castor oil on it, or lay them on silk covers. It's not about the positioning. It just depends on your child and your genes. Some babies get that bald thing going even though they sleep on their stomachs. It's not something you can prevent, but you can speed up the growth process back there. =) 

~Epic Realist~

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

After Shower Routine

Last night, I washed my hair. It has been a week and a half. Been going through a lot lately, and with me being a stay home mom, sometimes my hair care is at the bottom of my list of things to complete and well, keep up with.
So it was 10:00 p.m. when I hopped in the shower, but my hair didn't take too long. I used my usual shampoo and washed my hair while it was in eight fat twists. Felt good. I rinsed and used my Tresemme conditioner, kept that on for about five minutes, and rinsed it just enough to get the bulk of it out of the twists.
I left some of the conditioner in on purpose so my hair could be easy to de-tangle and have some slip.
I came out at 10:20, dried my hair with a T-shirt, moisturized my body, got dressed, and de-tangled my hair twist by twist. It was super soft and easy. I massaged my JBCO and coconut oil mix into my scalp, put some shea butter on each section, finger combed, and re-twisted. They were soft, plump, and juicy. Easy. It was 10:50 when I was done, though.
I threw my satin bonnet on for bed, went to sleep, and today, my hair feels wonderful. I love washing my hair in the twists. There are no tangles, and I don't get my everlasting shedding strands all over the tub! Instead, they end up on the floor, which I can easily sweep up instead of digging my fingernails into the drain for hair. -___-
I am still using that Dudu Osun soap for my body. It's wonderful... all natural black soap. The entire family uses it.
Currently, Syriah's hair is in semi-mini braids for the first time. They still look wonderful after almost a week. Pictures of those will come soon.
Here's a pic of how my hair looked last night after washing and de-tangling.
That's my quick little update for now. I LOVE having healthy hair!

Peace out, curly mamas!

~Epic Realist~

Friday, November 30, 2012

Tyra Banks and "Good Hair"

Last night, I just came across this for the first time on YouTube. Tyra Banks was talking about 'good hair' on her show. Apparently, this episode aired years ago, but I'm just now seeing it.
Don't laugh at me. I don't really watch TV.
It's a five-part show, so there are four other videos with this. She was talking about hair around the time when Chris Rock created that documentary called "Good Hair" (which I need to watch again, by the way). It was an interesting Tyra episode... very informative, inspiring, and sad at the same time.
How many of you have little girls who have gone to school and gotten teased for their hair? Perhaps their hair isn't long enough, or straight enough, or even short enough. There was one little girl on the show who was teased because she was black and her hair was too long. Really!? Since when are you ridiculed for having long hair? Oh, I know. Because the other girls in her class are ridiculously jealous of her. Poor thing. She has what most people want and yet she gets handfuls of her hair pulled out at school.
Kids are just so mean.
But what's even more sad is that you can't blame the kids. It's not their faults. It's the parents. However your child acts in school or behind closed doors is a product of what you created. If you are telling your little girl that her hair is ugly and nappy, then she will grow up with low self esteem, tease and bully other girls who have long, straight hair, and when she's old enough, perm her hair relentlessly and burn it all out. A lot of women don't realize that because they've grown up and their mothers possibly did the same thing to them, they are damaging their own daughters as well.
One woman on the show had even started to perm her 3-year old daughter's hair. Three!? Ouch! That's how old my daughter is. I wouldn't even dream of putting such a harsh chemical in her hair, especially at that age. Her hair is still growing in delicately!
I feel sorry for these poor little girls. Their mothers have already taught them that there is such a thing as 'good hair' and 'bad hair', and that if you have 'bad hair', you won't get anywhere in life. That's the negative perception that we all have about our hair. Society will not accept us with our knots and coils. There was an author of a particular book about black hair on the show, talking about why we all have this perception and where it came from. She said that it went all the way back to slavery, when the slave masters had sex with a black woman to get a mixed child, and that child was light skinned with long, wavy hair. That child got  opportunities in life that a regular, all black slave child never had. That light skinned child often got a greater chance at life... better food, shelter, clothes, and education. So we've automatically been brainwashed into thinking that if we are lighter and look as much as possible like a white person, we're good. We're on top of the world and we can get the same jobs as a white person. We can fling our hair like a white person. We can be rich like a white person... if only we had good hair.
It's just so sad that a lot of us still have that mentality. It's simply ignorance that we've grown into. We're portraying it to our youth and don't realize it. We have to do better with raising our young girls. I applaud the mothers who have gone natural and allowed their daughters to go natural as well. We should be embracing our culture. I don't mean do anything stupid... run a muck with afros, screaming 'Black Power', bring back the Black Panther party, protest in the streets or anything like that. Just give our youth better self esteem, and that there is no such thing as 'good' or 'bad' hair. If you have some hair at all, you're good. Ask yourself... would you rather be bald instead of having the kinks in your head, and not have the opportunity to wear a wig or a weave over it? I'd rather have something than nothing! Why do you think cancer patients have it so hard in the hair department?
Yes, taking care of our hair is difficult. It is. But that is where we educate ourselves on how to take care of what we were born with so that it becomes easier. This is where some mothers are just plain lazy. Instead of perming the kid's hair, they could braid it or do something less harmful that takes the same amount of time as perming it does. There are so many things to do to a child's hair so that it won't take long to quickly fix in the morning, or even at night. Doing those home perming kits takes about, what... 30 minutes or more for the whole process? In that amount of time, you could have detangled and done a protective style! Oh, and let's not forget the blow drying and the dreaded flat ironing process... that's too much for a little kid to go through. Some mothers are just lazy and lack the knowledge on how to properly care for the child's hair, so they make it as easy as possible... for them, not the child.
This is yet another reason why I am homeschooling my kids, because if either one of my daughters ever come home crying with a chunk of their hair cut off because some jealous brat got trigger-happy with scissors that day, or my son comes home with his rat tail gone, I'm going to go a-wall on somebody's parents.
So parents... let's get our acts together... for the sake of causing more harm to our kids.
(steps off soapbox)

~Epic Realist~

Friday, November 23, 2012

Shower Hair

Hiya, guys! Hope everyone had fun on Thanksgiving yesterday. =)
I just wanted to make a random post about how my hair looks straight out of the shower. It was detangled in the shower with my Tresemme conditioner, and then rinsed out. My hair is still drastically falling out, but I think it may be getting better because of the castor oil. Not sure yet; still in testing phase.
I don't really have much of a set routine as of lately. The only thing that is for sure is that I wash my hair every week, and the shampoo that I use has not changed. I still use my Shea Moisture Curl and Shine shampoo. I haven't really gotten hip to co-washing, mostly because I'm not in love with the Tresemme conditioner and the fact that I don't have much time to co-wash in the middle of the week. I do spritz my hair with distilled water throughout the week, though, and add an oil such as coconut oil or castor oil on top of it.
My hair never feels too oily until the end of the week on wash day, when there is some product build up from other products.
I haven't flat ironed my hair in ages... almost a year, probably. I am dying to see my real length, but recently, when I was going to flat iron it, the darn thing shorted out on me when it was plugged in for five minutes. So it on longer came on at all. I had to throw it away. Cheap thing. I'd only had it for year. it was brand new and it was a gift from someone. It was a Revlon iron, so I thought it was of good quality, but apparently not! Now I have to wait until I can get a new one, a much better quality one.
Right after a shower on wash day, I dry my hair with an old T-shirt and apply castor oil directly to my scalp, and give myself a 5-6 minute scalp massage with my fingers. It feels great and the oil absorbs in well. It doesn't make my scalp itch like everyone else says it does. LOL! It's probably because they put the JBCO on dry hair instead of on wet hair.
Any oil is best used on wet hair, and JBCO doesn't work best at all on a dry scalp.
This is a new thing that I added to my routine, and I'm looking forward to seeing more hair growth.
After I do the massaging, I separate my hair into four or six huge sections and gently detangle with my wide toothed comb, then just twist or braid each section. Then I wrap it into a silk scarf before bed. The next morning, my hair feels soft, fluffy, and amazing, and ready to style into whatever style I want.
Well, that's my little hair wash routine for now. I'll be back with more hair tips/styles. Peace curly mamas!

~Epic Realist~

Friday, November 16, 2012

Epic Dryness! O_O

The weather has been wrecking havoc on our hair lately. It's abnormally cold here in Georgia this year so far, and I'm trying to keep my hair and Syriah's hair pinned in up and moisturized at all times. Definitely no fros!
I love trying out new random styles in Syriah's hair. It seems like I never do the same style twice... except if it's just two strand twists for bedtime. Haha!
We're all struggling through a bad cold at the moment, yes, all five of us, so I've been slacking with everything. But I shall get back on things soon enough!
For the dryness, I've been doing the simple stuff... my shea butter and water. I spritz distilled water on the hair until it's damp, and use the shea butter mix to twist. With my hair, I don't have time to take down my twists every minute and re-do them. So I just spritz my hair while it's in twists, rub the shea butter on my palms, and smooth it into my hair. Very little manipulation. If Syriah's twists are not too frizzy, I'll do the same for her.
Last week, I washed my hair with fat twists still in for the first time. It greatly helped. I didn't have to worry about serious detangling, and the massive hair loss that I've been going through did not show up in the shower drain again. I washed and conditioned with the twists in, so when I was done, it was easy to apply shea butter and re-twist while wet.
I think that I will be sticking to this for the winter... or at least for now. Thanks to YouTube, once again!
Oh, and I ordered more of the Jamaican black castor oil!  Kinky Curly Coily Me ( is having a castor oil winter challenge starting in December and I have joined. I really want to see how castor oil grows your hair.
There's been a huge rave about this stuff, and I just ran out of the one that I'd bought at the hair show. I had already seen some growth then! My edges have gotten thicker since using it. I'm already amazed. Ha! Maybe it'll make my hair stop shedding. Hopefully.

Peace out, curlies!

~Epic Realist~

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hair and... Politics!?

I do not view going natural as a political statement, because frankly, I do not care about politics. I believe that politics are fake, and that they only portray into the media what they want the masses to believe.
I went natural for two reasons. For one, I was sick and tired of society's view on bashing black women who did not keep their hair straight and 'manageable', and secondly, I already had a passion for 'naturalness' my whole life but I didn't really know it yet.
I got tired of buying lotions and hair creams that 'didn't work' for my hair and skin because they were full of chemicals. I would complain to my sister about commercial lotions that we'd buy and use, and the next day, we were so ashy, it was as if we put nothing on at all. 
I would get utterly frustrated when I got a cream for my hair, lather my hair in it, twist or braid it up, and the next day, it would be as dry as the Sahara Desert. When I did get perms, I only got them every 4-6 months, so I was pretty much wearing my hair natural and curly, anyway. I went to college with my hair still wet a lot, and people called me 'white girl' because my hair was long and wet, and still looking good, even though it was damaged. So 'big chopping' after transitioning for two years wasn't hard for me and it wasn't a hassle. 
I did, however, have to learn how to really take care of it, and that's what I continuously do today.
The rise of natural hair products has definitely made me feel better as a black woman, knowing that we no longer have to succumb to buying crap in the stores because that's all there is. We can wear our natural hair as we have been so afraid to do for years and not have it break off due to overuse of parabens, sulfates, and petroleum.
Going natural is like going on a choosing a healthier diet; you cut out a lot of the bad things, but you have to learn what healthy things you should substitute for and put into your body as well as how to care for your body. You can't just say, I want to eat healthier but I'm not going to research how to do it, so you continue to eat the same way and not exercise. Sorry, not going to work. You won't get anywhere anytime soon with that kind of mentality. 
It may seem that going natural is harder than being relaxed, because in a way, it is. Everything that we are supposed to be doing right is automatically going to be harder. That's just life. We were born natural, so taking care of our curls is what we were born to do. Growing your own food will automatically be harder than just going to the supermarket and picking up any type of food you want with no hassle, because that's the way the world was originally supposed to work. We've just gotten lazy over the centuries, and we don't want to do any more work then what we are allotted to do. Constantly spritzing, detangling, moisturizing, twisting, parting, and styling seems to be harder than just going to the salon for a relaxer every six weeks or so, but that route has it's share of hard work as well. 
Technically, your hair may require more care with a relaxer than our natural curls, only because the chemicals wear our hair down, but hey. Either way you rock your hair is still work to look nice and be as healthy as we can.
Natural hair maintenance can be super hard work, but it's worth it, ladies! Peace out till later, curly mamas!

~Epic Realist~

Sunday, November 4, 2012

MASSIVE Hair Loss from Thyroid Issue!? O__O

Does anyone have or has ever had thyroid issues that made your hair fall out in clumps? I think that's what I'm dealing with right now. Been like this for about three-four months... and not letting up. In fact, it's getting worse.
I thought that this was still postpartum shedding from when I had my baby nearly five months ago, but this has gone way beyond shedding. It's falling out... literally... every time I wash/manipulate my hair.
I have 95% of the other 'normal' thyroid symptoms that have nothing to do with hair, but I do not have health insurance and I DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT want to take any freakin medications for this. It's only an iodine problem, but it's apparently not the type of iodine that we get from normal salty foods because I eat more than enough of that.
Anyone have any natural solutions for this? If so, please help a sista out because I don't want to lose my beautiful thick hair! T_T #haircatastrophe

Peace, my curlies!
~Epic Realist~

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Protective Styles, Shea Butter Smiles, and Hair for Miles

Hey! I wanted to post these new protective styles that I came up with in the last two or three weeks for Syriah's hair. I love experimenting and playing in her hair and being creative. I'm naturally a very creative person, so why not use some of that creativity for hair?
The last style is the best because all of her ends are protected, which of course, is the best way to do a protective style. The cold months are approaching, and I need to have her hair as well as mine pinned up more, out of the crisp fall air to prevent more dryness.
This second picture is my third ever batch of shea butter... it's only my third because I buy five pounds of unrefined shea butter at one time. I use about two pounds and store the rest for later. In all, it takes about 4-5 months for every drop of it to be gone. But that's a great thing, because it lasts forever and it's used for hair and skin. This stuff's gonna' be great for winter skin.
This time, it has the shea butter, coconut oil, Jamaican black castor oil, EVOO, grapeseed oil, and the usual lavender oil. The castor oil is a new addition. I hear that it's GREAT for hair growth.
I mixed it a different way this time... I melted all the shea butter in the oven down to a complete oil, and then I added the other oils. I hand whipped the stuff (because I didn't feel like using my blender, so darn hard to clean this stuff out of it) for a long time... about 5 minute intervals for about 15 minutes. My hands felt like they were about to fall off, but it was great exercise. I see what the women from back in the day went through when they hand-mixed things... but they had a hell of a strong arm!
I honestly didn't think that it would stay soft, but it finally did! I completed my quest for getting shea butter to remain soft daily! As you can see in the picture, the result was still super soft a week later, and it's still soft now. It's an awesome consistency. Woo hoo I did it! So proud of myself.
Now if only I could find this same enthusiasm when I need to mix something to eat, I'd be a great baker. But I'm just not much of a sweets person. Sue meh.
Oh, and one more picture. MY length check. I had done the kid's checks but I hadn't done mine. I finally got a clear chance to get my husband to take a good picture of my hair from behind while I held it. I didn't realize that I was almost BSL (bra strap length)!
Even though my hair has been shedding like a cat because of what I think may be an under active thyroid problem, my hair has still been growing like a weed. Very grateful for hair that grows no matter what. Hubby and I have always had fast growing hair, so yeah, the kids... no comment.
Woe unto me if we have another girl one day. Gonna' have to put daddy on hair duty... teach him how to do some simple, cute styles and help a sister out! LOL!
 Syriah's hair is actually getting thicker and thicker by the day... Yikes!
Well, that's all for now, folks. Gotta go feed the little boogers lunch. Working on revamping my schedule so I can have more time for myself in the morning and what not. Peace out, curly mamas!

Check me out on Facebook!

~Epic Realist~

Friday, October 19, 2012

Dr. Miracles Curl Care Review

Hiya, curly mamas! I got a new product completely by accident in Walmart... long story. But its this Dr. Miracles creme. I had seen this before in a beauty supply store, and I liked the smell of these products. Kind of therapeutic. It has menthol in it, so it's like using Vicks in your head. It also has a 'watermelony' smell to it. Well, I think it smelled like watermelons. LOL! I tried it and it felt awesome! It really was weightless like they claim it to be in the description. Creamy and silky like a normal natural hair creme.
Product description: Weightless Moisturizing Crème (8 Oz; $8.99)—Blended with Coconut & Vitamin E, use this lightweight, fast-absorbing crème to moisturize and add a natural shine while styling curls.
It had a heavy menthol smell, but I kind of liked it. I think I may have used too much of it, because my head was literally burning as if I had a freakin perm in my head! But it made my itchy scalp go away for the time being. I guess whenever my scalp is itchy, I can use this stuff, and it'll probably help on days when my allergies are tearing my sinuses apart and I can't breathe worth a lick.
It's something that I got just to try out, but I'm not sure I would keep buying this product. I don't think I'll always want that menthol smell on me, and because the entire product line smells like that, uh, no. Can't do it, rather not do it.
Besides all that, I finally finished and uploaded my mini twist review video with the III Sisters creme I got at the hair show. I should have done it two weeks ago, but it's been busy and hectic around here lately, with three kids under three years old, a house to keep clean, countless appointments, and endless laundry. But my second video is up on my channel. It's not very amusing like the last one, and it's pretty basic. I hope you guys enjoy it anyway.
Comment, subscribe, share!
Peace out, curly mamas!

~Epic Realist~

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Kid's Length Checks and Routines (Oct. 2012)

did this after the hair show, but I have been way too busy lately to make a post about it. As I like to do, the pictures speak for themselves. I am way proud that I have nursed Syriah's hair to full health since last year, and Jamian's is following right behind. He's okay, anyway, because he's a boy. But Syriah's hair is awesome right now.

 No breakage, no split ends, no falling out, no knots, and no dandruff for miles. Oh, and it sure is growing! =)

Syriah's Current Hair Care Routine:
~Hair Type: 3A-3B
~Pre-poo: Coconut oil saturation all through head for about an hour before washing
~Wash once every week with Shea Moisture Curl and Shine shampoo (because she likes to keep her precious little head on the floor, practicing gymnastics -___-)...
~Detangle afterwards with water and coconut oil, part into sections with shower comb, twist/braid the sections with my whipped shea butter (which has EVOO, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, lavender oil, and sometimes jojoba oil in it)...
~Daily Care: If we are in the house, I dampen her hair and apply the whipped shea mixture and/or coconut oil and re-twist/re-braid. Sometimes, if her hair isn't dry and frizzy, I'll just leave it alone the whole day. Less manipulation is always best.
~Outdoor Care: If we are going out, I use one of the many curl creams that I have now because of the hair show and style, trying to stick to protective styling most of the time. This can be a challenge sometimes because I have figured out how she can wear her hair out and her curls can look fresh all day, but I know her ends need to stay protected. Bad Mommy.
~Nightly Care: I dampen her hair at night (if I remember and I'm not too tired) and apply coconut oil and whipped shea butter to seal the ends. Then I put a simple stocking cap on her head. It doesn't come off in her sleep... for the most part. Her hair feels like butter the next morning, and not a tangle in sight.
~Deep Conditioning: This step is rare because her hair is so used to moisture that she hardly ever needs a deep condition. But occasionally, I do it anyway. I just use whatever deep conditioner I have lying around, which at the moment is a Tresemme Moisture Rich conditioner. It's not the best in the world, especially because it is kind of laced with chemicals like most conditioners, but it gives her hair more moisture and volume.
Doesn't do jack to my hair, considering that may hair is already way too thick on it's own. I don't need any more volume. O_O
Frankly, she doesn't need any more volume, either. She's got her daddy's silkiness and curl pattern and she got her thickness from me, even though her hair still isn't as thick as mine. Go figure.
So that's my daughter's routine for now. Sometimes, it seems like a lot, but because I am a SAHM, I can afford to spend extra time on her hair, whereas other mothers cannot. For Jamian, it's pretty much the same routine, except I don't put a stocking cap on his head because he'd probably just rip it off. I also don't have to section his hair. All he has are his little curls on the top of his head and that little rat tail, so it's pretty easy to maintain. He still hates getting his hair combed or brushed no matter what, but oh well. It's a part of life.
I am very strict about what goes onto my children's hair and skin, so I have been trying to use all natural products all throughout the border. I still use coconut oil and my whipped shea butter on Symari's delicate skin. All five of us use the same soap, a black soap from Ghana called Dudu Osun. It's so mild; it can be used on a newborn!
Of course, it's always more pricey to make adjustments to go the healthy way, but it is way more beneficial in the long run.
Well, I gotsta' go now and do a little cleaning. Can't let the house be a pigsty because I am only paying attention to everyone's hair LOL! I shall return... soon. =)
Until next time,
Peace out, curly mamas! Stay curly!

~Epic Realist~

Thursday, October 11, 2012

World Natural Hair Show 2012!

The World Natural Hair Show sponsored by Taliah Waajid was awesome! I brought Syriah along with me, and we hung out for hours. It was like heaven in there... hair products, skin products, jewelry, music, and other random products for sale. Hubby let me splurge because it was my first 'real' time out of the house in months, so I spent almost 70 bucks in natural hair products and jewelry. It was so worth it!
If you look closely at the pictures, I bought the Taliah Waajid Curly Curl Cream, the Jamaican Mango and Lime Springing Gel, the Tropic Isle Living Black Castor Oil, and the III Sisters of Nature Natural Lengthening Cream. I have never previously tried any of these products, and I have never heard of the III Sisters products at all. Apparently, they do knock-offs of Kinky-Kurly and Miss Jessie's products. I have used this cream already, and it's great. The smell if out of this world... it smells like raspberry sherbet!
No lie. The smell is GREAT, and it stretches your hair!
I also got lots of samples of other hair products and lotions, and I got the hair show T-shirt and I got another T-shirt for free with the III Sisters product.

Syriah had a good time being out of the house. She and I were kind of matching with our clothes, only she had on mostly pink and I had mostly blue. 
The winner of the natural contest was there, and she spoke on stage, looking very pretty. I think her name was Jessica Williams. I think I might enter one of those contests for next year, and hope to win mounds of cash, a year of Taliah Waajid products for free, and become a spokesperson for them. Sounds like fun. Hehe. =D
So we had a great time. They even had a little kid's corner there for kids to be creative and do some arts and crafts and play video games. Syriah loved it.

As if I wasn't happy enough, when hubby picked me up and took me home, he had a surprise waiting for me.. roses, a cheesecake, some jewelry, and the sweetest card I'd ever seen! <3 I was almost in tears. My life had been so rough and emotional lately, and I hadn't been happy in a long time. But that day was really awesome.
Oh, and I will sure be attending the spring hair show, since it's at the same place next year! =D
Peace, curly mamas!

~Epic Realist~

Friday, October 5, 2012

My First Hair Show... and New Curly Style!

I am super excited! Tomorrow, Saturday, October 6th & the 7th, 2012, there will be a natural hair show being hosted at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park. I am so grateful to live near this event, so I am going and I am taking my big girl Syriah Lynn. There are going to be so many hair products for sale and so much to do. It's going to be like heaven!
This is the first time I have ever been to a hair show, period, and the first time I've got a chance to really get out of the house in ages.
I have a new style that I made up on Syriah the other day. I used my shea butter on damp hair and flat twisted in two different directions. Looked really cute and lasted three days. It would have been longer, but I took them out because I wanted to style her hair in advance yesterday for the hair show. I did mine the same way... co-washed my hair with my new conditioner and twisted my hair with the Shea Moisture Smoothie and EcoStyler gel I used for my last twist-out in my video. Can't wait to see the results tomorrow!
I will probably make another blog post tomorrow after I attend this hair show and go broke buying a million hair products. I get to splurge. Woo hoo!
Until next time, curly mamas! Stay natural!

~Epic Realist~

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

╰☆╮What I've Learned During my Hair Journey

Hey, guys! I'm going to share what I've learned on my hair journey so far. It's been three years, and I've come a long way and still have an even longer way left to go. I'm not giving up! As I mentioned in the previous post, my hair texture doesn't hardly benefit from a perm anyway, so I shall never go back.

1. Transitioning your hair also means that you are transitioning your life. If you beg to differ, look at it like this... you're finding the 'black pride' within yourself, so you are becoming happy(er) about being African American. Therefore, you develop a new outlook on life that you previously did not have.
2. Technically, you do not 'go natural'; you were born natural. So you are only going back to how you came into the world, but this time, you're accepting it.
3. Water is not the devil. In fact, water is your friend, a good friend to your hair. You hear that, black women? Stop being afraid of putting water on your hair! Unless it's well, hard, not much you can do there except go buy distilled water or install a filter in your shower. Hehe.
4. Just because someone else has tried a certain routine and it has worked for them does not mean that it will work for you. Try your own regimen and don't be a follower! You'll be disappointed if your curls don't look like theirs. Talk about hating your hair all over again. Trust me. You don't want that.
5. Having several hair patterns can sometimes appear to be a curse. Literally. One side of your hair is cooperating so far, but the other side wants to act like it's on crack. Just gotta' keep working at it.
6. Trimming is not necessary to do by a certain time. Only trim as you need to, like if your ends begin to break or look split and straggly. If you trim too often, like every month, you'll never notice your hair's growth and you'll keep thinking that you're doing something wrong and that your hair isn't growing. Be patient... and drop the scissors, woman!
7. Less manipulation is best. Combing and brushing excessively is not good at all. Yes, that's for all you women who do this every day.  Try to do as little combing and brushing as possible to minimize hair loss and hair breakage. Fingers have become my friend when it comes to lazy nighttime parting and taking down twists for twist-outs. I barely ever touch a comb unless it's wash/conditioning day!
8. Rock what you like and don't be afraid. If your hair is acting flat that day, wear your slick back afro-puff. If your hair is busting with volume and frizz, throw a headband on it, wear your full fro outside and be retro. Women are wearing styles from the 40's again lately, and I think it's sexy. Who cares about the freakin year? There's no law that says if a certain style hasn't been 'popular' since let's say the 60's, then you shouldn't wear it. That's how I feel about my son's rat tail, and now my hubby has a rat tail, too. Rock what you like no matter the season!
9. Commercial shampoos should be banned. Like, seriously. Those sulfates make your hair dryer than the Sahara Desert.
10. The best deep conditioners can be found right in your kitchen. You don't have to spend an arm a leg, and your head on a platter to get silky hair. Got an egg, some mayo, and some olive oil? Yeah. Sounds gross, but that stuff actually works.
11. Constant stressing over your hair won't make the problem go away. It can only make it worse... and cause it to fall out. Research the problem, do your best to fix it, and leave it alone. Chances are, your hair will cooperate in time. Again... be patient.
12. You are still going to have bad hair days. Don't think that when you go natural, the decision to stay natural will be a walk in the park. Sometimes, you're going to want to revert right back to the creamy crack. I never did, but some of you will. Don't feel bad, and don't give in. Look at YouTube videos for inspiration! LOL
13. Begin the de-tangling process before you wash your hair. If you just took down a braid out, it's going to be hard to really wash and condition your hair with knots in it. Try putting coconut oil and/or EVOO in your hair an hour before you wash it, and comb the knots out before washing. It makes it way easier, and you don't have to lose any hair, either.
14. Protein-based creams and moisturizers will always have your hair feeling like butter... unless your hair is protein sensitive. My hair loves it, soaks it up.
15. Corn braids are not the only protective style in the world! I used to think that it was, because that's all I saw in little girls' hair and I still do. In fact, corn braids are one of the worst protective styles. Yeah, they look really nice and what not, but people often braid too tight and leave the braids in way too long, neglecting the hair's need for moisture. That tight braiding all the time can put wear and tear on your hair, and possibly create little painful, sometimes bloody bumps on your scalp. Then when you take the braids down, you have lots of hair coming out in your hand and the comb. Some parents don't realize this and they keep corn braids in their' kid's hair almost year round, over and over and they never know that the child is slowly suffering hair loss/damage. Ladies, cool down on the braids, please, and let your child's scalp breathe and be free!
16. Again, it doesn't cost a lot just to maintain healthy hair. Use natural oils, shea butter, and water. That's pretty much all you'll need. You don't have to try every new fancy product out there just to have healthy hair. Create your own concoction and work it. That's what I did, and my shea butter mixture has lasted me 3 months each time. FIVE pounds of unrefined shea butter for 17 bucks on Amazon... and lasts for 3 months... how the hell can anyone beat that!? I mean, come on ladies; let's be resourceful here, and not break the bank trying to look cute!
17. Just because something says it's organic, doesn't mean it is. Just because it says it's all natural doesn't mean anything, either. Read every ingredient, and do your research.

Okay, I'm all out of suggestions... for now. Gotta go feed my little desparatos. If I have more, I will most likely come back for a part 2 of what I've learned. Take care, curly mamas!
P.S.: Curls of Innocence is on YouTube now! Check out my first little bootleg video that I did a few weeks ago. Don't laugh at me. Hehe. Comment and subscribe!

~Epic Realist~

Saturday, September 15, 2012

My Hair is a Virgin! (Natural Hair Journey)

Virgin hair. This is something that I never imagined I'd have. Even though I had what everyone calls "good hair", I didn't actually know or believe that until I stopped perming completely.
I was always infatuated with hair, period. I played with my hair endlessly in high school especially. As a little girl, my hair was just like any other little black girl's hair... except that my hair was long and super thick. In a previous post, I've established the fact that I am not by any means mixed.
I wasn't tender-headed like my sister, thank God, but I didn't always like getting my hair done. I hated the hairstyles that I wore because I thought they were babyish once I'd gotten to middle school. My signature style was mini twists, but they always looked raggedy after a certain time, and I had so much hair that my mother often didn't know what else to do with it.
Childhood Years
I wanted my hair straight in high school like everyone else. Of course, we all know what it's like, being an outcast because of your looks. I wasn't allowed to perm my hair until I was 15, probably because my mom did not want me looking too grown, being 13 and starting 9th grade. I don't think she really knew the full dangers of perming, just like every other mother in those days. But I'd made the decision myself, so when I was 15, I got my first perm. I was thrilled. My hair was now straight and flowing like everyone else's, and I was able to comb it much easier instead of struggling and greasing it down, trying to get it to cooperate.
I don't remember exactly if, how, or when my hair went downhill as far as health, because at the time, I didn't know much about hair health, and neither did anyone else around me. I did get trims when I needed them, and I actually did not get perms very often. My mom did know that perming was bad, and if you were going to get one, you needed to do it sparingly, not like the cliche 'every 6 weeks' that women have been traditionally programmed to do. My sister was extremely tender-headed, so my mom had no choice at the time but to perm her hair when she was nine years old. Our hair was already longer than the average, so when it was straight, we were able to see the length better. A lot of people loved my hair, and everyone thought I was mixed. Rawr.
So I wore my hair straight a lot, and gradually started wanting it curly when I went to college. My perm time had gone way down to every six months, literally. I was totally stretching my perms, and I didn't really realize that I was helping my hair. Me, my mom, and my sister had all started stretching our perms, and that was when we realized that we didn't even need the 'creamy crack' at all! Our hair textures didn't even call for it.



So I wore my hair curly mostly through college, creating my own twist outs with permed hair. I obsessed in the mirror every morning with a full length mirror propped up on the door to see the back of my head, trying to get the perfect twist out. I could never get it. My hair was often stringy-like from using the classic pink oil every night. Between my sister and I, we went through that pink stuff like water. I liked the fact that my roots were flat, but I soon realized that they stayed flat enough on their own without a perm. I had almost gone a year without a perm once.
I got married and got pregnant with our honeymoon baby, which is the little hair model of mine that's all over this blog. (LOL!) During my pregnancy, my hair grew even faster than it usually did, of course, because of hormones and vitamins. This is my hair in 2009, after taking out braids. I did not perm my hair the entire time, because I had heard that it isn't good to have those type of chemicals entering your bloodstream during pregnancy.
After I had Syriah, I permed my hair and had it flat ironed. I felt good because I was able to get my hair done right after having a baby and look good again.
But I was really frustrated with my hair. I had a passion for natural/organic things, as well as overall health and fitness, so why was I perming my hair? I didn't even need it. I had gotten tired of sitting for hours and hours at salons, getting burnt when the damn stylist yapped on the phone and left the crap in my head too long, getting burnt from the flat iron of hellfire, and getting little random scabs in my head after all was said and done. My head had this irritating, itchy sensation, and my scalp had become very sensitive. I could hardly touch my scalp without this creepy, prickly feeling. I no longer had the excitement of going to get my hair done. The perm thrill was completely gone.  Plus, I had been doing my own hair at home forever anyway, and that was working out better than being straight all the time. So by the time I had Syriah in March 2009, my mom, my sister, and I agreed to stop perms completely and rock what God gave us.
Well, of course, you can't just stop perming and then say, oh, my hair will be fine. I'll figure out what to do with it and it'll be alright. No, you've got to do some research! I began to do research things to do while you transition from a perm, and how to manage the new growth. I began to love my hair. I had heard about 'big chops', and I was way too afraid to do that. No way. My hair was about 16-17 inches at this time, and I was not going to lose all my length just like that. I told myself that I would just grow the perm out, so that's what I began to do.



I learned about protective styling, and then I had a new signature hairstyle... twists. I had always been afraid to wear these out of the house because I thought it made me look younger, and I already looked way younger than 21 at the time. But I wore them, anyway. I began to protect my ends, and trim them when needed. I got pregnant again when Syriah was 8 months old, with our son. My hair was healthier then because I was no longer perming, and it grew like a weed. By 2011, I had transitioned for two years, so I decided to begin chopping off the old permed ends. It started in January. I was having a rough period in my life at this time, anyway, and I needed a change. I cut off  about two inches around this time, and in three months, I had gotten the courage to whack off literally about 6-8 inches of my hair. My husband was shocked, but he liked the new short look. It was a new me.
No, I didn't cry at all loosing all that hair. I was so ready to get rid of that old dead hair. It was like getting rid of the old me. I had grown tired of the two textures, and it was irritating, seeing the top of my hair nice and lush and thick, and the rest thin, limp, and broken. I felt very proud of myself, and I had a new look. I had to get used to seeing myself with short hair, but it kind of complemented my 'fatter' face at the time. I'd had back to back pregnancies and still had weight that I hadn't lost yet. So my face was still... round. (LOL!) As you can see, my son looked a lot like me as a baby.
I had even cut myself a bang at home for the first time in my life. For my birthday, I had gone to a Dominican hair salon and got it straightened to see how long it was. I originally wanted to ask then to cut it all the same length, but they would have charged more. Suckers. I was already paying 60 bucks just for a wash and flat iron. Ugh. What a rip-off.
The picture of me and my hubby was when I had tried something new with my curly bang... and I didn't like it much. That was our 3rd anniversary. =)


So, that was my big chop. I had cut my hair a little past my ears by that summer and I didn't care. I just wanted my hair to be healthy. I was going through a whole lot in life during this time, and that was another reason why I didn't care how short my hair looked or how many people were astonished. I had transitioned for two years and it was time for the 'big chop'. How much you decide to cut off your own head is always up to you. Big chopping doesn't mean that you have to be bald, unless you truly want to do that.
By September 2011, I was pregnant with our third baby, and my hair started growing like a weed again. This was around the time when our finances had picked up greatly and I was able to begin experimenting with natural products, I was overjoyed. I was tired of not getting the hair results I wanted with my hair as well as both my kids' hair. I bought EVOO for the first time ever this year, and began to use it on my hair and Syriah's, and also on our skin. I saw major differences already. I ditched the Pantene hair moisturizer I was using and the hair cholesterol from the dollar store and began using EVOO as an overnight conditioner before washings. My hair was silkier than ever, and I didn't even need a wash out conditioner anymore. By November, I had also ordered some unrefined shea butter and began to use that for styling our hair. Totally freakin awesome. 
Pink lotion wasn't even an option at all anymore. I researched and I researched hard. That was when I realized that I had a passion for this stuff, and that I might as well start a hair blog to help educate people about natural hair care. However, at the time, I was intimidated because it seemed as if everybody and their mama was doing a hair blog, and frankly, I didn't think that I knew enough about the subject yet. But I kept up the research. I joined every last natural hair care website I could find and bookmarked it. I tried different things and got great results. By the end of the year, I was totally satisfied with the way my hair was acting.
So the next year, 2012, I became totally serious. By February, I was 7 months pregnant and loving my hair growth and the way my curls were popping. In March, I finally got the courage to start this blog, and I couldn't have been more proud. I had found something that I'd LOVED to do. My hair health has only gone uphill since then. I have ditched sulfate and paraben shampoos for good. I purchased some Shea Moisture products for the first time ever, and they were awesome. I also found out about Eco Styler gel, and that's become of my best friends. (LOL!)



So, there is is, guys. My long hair journey. I have happily been natural now for 3 years, and every day, I'm loving it more and more. I'm proud to say that my hair is now fully a virgin! (LOL!) I'm learning more and more about what works for my hair. I believe that my hair is 3B-3C with a little of 4A. My hair had several textures in it, which as you may know, can be tricky to deal with. Syriah's hair is 3A-3B only, like my husband's hair. I have no idea how long my hair has gotten now, but pretty soon I will schedule an appointment to get a flat iron and an all-even cut so I can see the length.
You know I'm gonna post that update when I finally do it. Haha! It's been really busy around here with 3 kids, but I somehow manage to do something with my hair to keep it from over-drying and going to the pits. I hope I managed to get everything into this blog that I had done with my hair over the years. If not, I shall come and update it when I remember something. Let me know if you enjoyed this post about my natural hair journey!
Oh, and here is a video that I created after this post about my hair journey. Enjoy!
Peace out, curly mamas!

~Epic Realist~