Saturday, January 26, 2013

KCCM Castor Oil Challenge- Week 9

Here's the check in questions from week 9. :D

1. Do you think natural hair is a fad? Why or why not?
It's not a fad for me. I was natural since I hit 15 years old and then was allowed to perm, so it was no big deal giving it up. When I did not perm often, I realized what my natural hair was supposed to look like in between perms I and accepted it a long time ago. I'm in this hair journey for the long haul. Now, for other women, I DO believe that some others are doing it for the wrong reasons; because someone else made them, someone else pressured them, or perhaps they want to make videos and blogs and get the attention that other 'upcoming' naturals are getting. Maybe they could care less about the health of their hair; they just to get it long as quickly as possible so they can brag and flaunt it in everyone's faces. This is just my opinion because I see lots of black women becoming arrogant and telling others about their own hair. Here is a post that I made from last year April... natural hair rant! LOL!
And we've got different debates: Oh, she's not all natural because she straightens her hair, I was natural FIRST so you guys are copycats... who the hell cares?
2. What is something that your hair CAN’T do that you see other Naturalistas do?
Hmmm... I can't think of one thing, My twist outs are awesome, my braid outs are awesome, my wash and gos (even though I rarely do them) are great as well.The only thing that I sometimes wish is that my hair wasn't so darn thick because it can be a challenge to style. But I'm used to it now. Then I force myself to be thankful because a lot of women would KILL for my hair thickness! =)
3. How did you do last week (week 8)? Did you follow through with your goals? Any challenges thus far?
Well, since I cannot buy another bottle of JBCO at the moment (can't find it in stores and can't order right now), I'm only using my whipped shea butter that has some JBCO mixed in it when I made it. Been using that all over my hair every other day, using my new paddle brush to work it in.

~Epic Realist~

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Conair Paddle Brush Review

Hola, curlies! I purchased a new brush yesterday. I haven't bought a new brush in years. I have two other really soft brushes, but I have been really wanting to try a de-tangling brush, aka paddle brush. So I came across an epically cute one in Publix for four bucks and just had to have it!
As you can see, it's way too pink and adorable to pass up. Hubby let me have it. Yay!
 I was very excited to try it, so during Syriah's bath, I co-washed her hair with my trusty Tresemme conditioner. As it sat on her hair, I smoothed it through with my fingers first and then began to use the new brush.
Let me tell you, it was AWESOME! It smoothed through her hair like melting butter and every tangle was GONE. I was somewhat afraid to try it, because usually when you see a brush like this, you automatically think 'white people brush' lol! But lately, a lot of black people with mega thick hair have been using these types of brushes without their hair breaking off, probably because we are learning how to take care of our kinks so they won't be so nappy when it's time to comb or brush.
I think that this type of brush is great for people with type 3 hair. I'm not sure about type 4, although I've heard of some using them and were fine. But so far, I love it on Syriah's silky hair. I tried it on mine this morning when my hair was damp. I re-twisted my twists with shea butter, and de-tangled every section with this brush. My curls were tangle free and defined. Yes, some hair did come out when I used it, but my hair is falling out anyway at the moment due to either stress, thyroid issues, or both. Sigh...
I will also be using this brush for even distribution of natural oils and also for massaging my scalp. Woo hoo!
-Conair Impressions Detangle and Style Paddle brush: A+ + +!
I will keep testing this brush out because I do know that you have to keep trying something to be sure that it's working for you. Long term use could be detrimental if you're not paying attention to the signs. I'll have to see that after using this brush for a period of time that Syriah and I don't develop split ends from it (like the horrible reviews that I've heard from the Tangle Teaser). I haven't seen split ends in my hair for about a year now and I'm not going to start back seeing them now. :-) Syriah hasn't had split ends since she was two and she'll be four in March. So, yeah. If I see one split end on either of our heads, this brush may be to blame. I've worked too hard on our hair so far to damage it all over again because of a brush.
So, that's my little review. I say give this brush a try and use on wet hair for best results.

Peace out, curlies!

~Epic Realist~

Saturday, January 19, 2013

KCCM Castor Oil Challenge- Week 8

Hey guys! These are my check in questions from Kinky Curly Coily Me's Castor Oil Challenge- Week 8.
I'm sad because I'm out of JBCO and can't order more at the moment. Nooooooooooooooo! (throws fit)

1. How long did it take you to finally make the decision to become natural? When you became fully natural were you surprised at all by your texture? Why/why not?
It didn't take me very long to make the decision to start transitioning back in April 2009. My mom, sister, and I all stopped getting perms that month/year. I wasn't too surprised by my texture because I didn't perm a lot at all. I could go 4-6 months without a perm, so I pretty much saw my natural texture, anyway. I loved it, even though before I transitioned, I still had the notion that my edges and new growth needed to be slick down. Full hair story and video here. =)
2. How do you feel about HUMIDITY? Does it effect your hair in any way? If so, how so?
HUmidity does effect my hair a lot. It makes my hair frizz up, but on those humid days, I make sure to use shea butter and/or gel to slick it up so that it doesn't frizz up. it always works. A lot of times on humid days, I wear up dos (ponytails, buns).
3. How did you do last week (week 7)? Did you follow through with your goals? Any challenges thus far?
I've been... hanging on. Haven't fully stuck to my goals. Money is tight, I'm actually out of JBCO now and can't order any more at the moment (please don't kick me out of the challenge!). So I've been doing my usual hair routine, and also using my whipped shea butter which has a LITTLE bit of JBCO in it. Trying.
4. (optional) Post a pic of your hair after being effected by humidity. OR Post a pic of how you wear your hair to prevent it from being effected by humidity.
Awww... don't have one. I don't get out of the house a lot, so I don't even see many humid days.

~Epic Realist~

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mineral Oil...Do or Do Not?

Hey, ladies! Today's topic is a hot topic among naturals lately. It's our famous mineral oil.
Oh, the horror! How dare you speak such blasphemy! (covers mouth in shock)
So we probably all know by now that mineral oil, (aka baby oil) has gotten a very bad rap in the natural community. Some people still swear by it; others avoid it like the plague. Mineral oil is a super cheap form of liquid petroleum (Vaseline) that is supposed to seal moisture in to our skin and hair. But some people debate that it's the opposite.
Frankly, I don't really care. If it works for your hair, then by all means, stick with it. Me, personally, I hate the stuff. Before I became fully natural and I was stretching my perms by 6 months or so, I went through pink lotion like water. I had to use it every night when I got home from college or wherever I'd gone because my stringy, processed twist outs and braid outs were parched dry again. I used it every night to re-twist or re-braid my hair, but it was never as moist as I hoped it would be. It would always be dry by like, mid day. I wasn't doing much protective styling because I didn't know about that then, but either way, I didn't like the ingredients on the bottles of these products. However, there are some people who use it consistently and they still have healthy looking hair going down their back. O_O
I don't use mineral oil because I don't believe that it works for me. It isn't natural and in my opinion, does nothing but sit on your hair and prevent water from getting in. Then it takes a sulfate shampoo to wash these chemicals out, and I REFUSE to go back to using sulfates on my hair. It's been doing so well without it. I believe that once you go natural, there are certain things that you can always go without. Mineral oil is one of them.
It's basically Vaseline. I've never liked using Vaseline as a lotion. Yeah, it makes your skin all shiny and supple for the time being, but I always knew, even when I was younger, that it was unnatural and it was only 'sitting' on my skin. I'm a huge lotion fanatic... mostly because one of my biggest pet peeves is dry skin. I HATE dry skin... any form of it. Dandruff... ick. It just looks like dirt to me. When I saw lotions or hair products not holding in moisture, the first thing I used to look at were the ingredients. Mineral oil was always on the list. These commercial lotions out there... Vaseline, Jergens, St. Ives, even the awesome smelling lotions from places like Bath and Body Works or The Body Shop... all laced with mineral oil. They don't seal in moisture. It's only an illusion of it being a sealant.
If it's a lotion and it's job is to seal in moisture and keep it there at least for an entire day, then you shouldn't be ashy by 2:00.
So, I don't use anything with mineral oil in it. Not because I'm bashing anyone who does; it just doesn't work for me. For body lotion now, I either use a natural oil or I use my whipped shea butter that I can use for hair AND body. I like being versatile with my beauty products. My whipped shea butter will keep me and kid's skin moisturized for at least TWO whole days. They're not ashy when they get up in the morning, which has been such a blessing to me. Like I said, I HATE dry skin. I even hate it when my hands are super dry because my nails feel scratchy. Then I don't want to touch anything because it'll give me the 'nails on a chalkboard' feeling, even if I'm not scratching anything. Eh, I'm just weird like that. But I like that about myself. You won't catch me or my kids being ashy, unless I was just lazy that day or forgot to moisturize.
Other beauty products have mineral oil in them as well, like make up, lipstick (I think), facial cleansers, and lip gloss. I don't use make up at all anyway, and I am on the hunt right now for an all natural lip gloss/lipstick besides my trusty coconut oil. ;-) Same goes for my facial cleanser. Right now, I use my trusty Dudu Osun black soap for my face and it's doing just fine.

I've pretty much eliminated the stuff from any regimen of mine, and I am happy to have done so. Do or do not? I do not!

Questions? Comments? Hit me up here or somewhere else. =)

Peace out, curly mamas!

~Epic Realist~

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year and New Homemade Deodorant!

Happy New Year, guys! So thankful to be alive to see 2013. No more drama about the December 12, 2012 'Doomsday', eh? Yay for that.
Well, today, I am starting off the new year with something new... something that does not pertain to hair. I will use this blog for all of my homemade concoctions. I believe in being resourceful and making what we can with natural products and our own two hands.
That being said, I browsed YouTube for natural deodorant videos. I have been meaning to do this for months anyway, but I put it off because I kept ordering an all natural deodorant online or buying it from Walmart (Toms of Maine), but I trust nothing. They say that it's organic, but it might not be. You've got to be really careful with so-called organic products. Yeah, so they take out aluminum, but what else still lies within it? Besides, the prices of these things are beyond ridiculous sometimes. I'm tired of buying something that can easily be created and has the same, if not better, results.
So I found a video about making homemade deodorant and finally tried it. I had all the ingredients already on hand. Yay for me!
Here's a video of where I got the idea and recipe. She also has a blog post about it.

 So I followed the recipe with the above products.

6-8 Tbsp Coconut oil (solid state)
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch (arrowroot is preferred)
  1. Combine equal portions of baking soda & arrowroot powder/cornstarch.
  2. Slowly add coconut oil and work it in with a spoon or hand blender until it maintains a firm but pliable texture. It should be about the same texture as commercial deodorant, solid but able to be applied easily. If it is too wet, add further arrowroot powder/cornstarch to thicken.
  3. You can either scoop this recipe into your old deodorant dispensers or place in a small container with lid and apply with fingers with each use. Makes about 1 cup. This recipe lasts about 3 months for two people with regular daily use.

When I finished mixing this, it was more runny than I wanted it to be. So I added more cornstarch. That was because my coconut wasn't in it's fully hard state; it was slightly soft when I used it. But I didn't want it as hard as hers was, anyway. Looked like it was hard as hell to mash down. I added cornstarch until I got a consistency that I liked.
Then I tried it on my underarms. It felt good... not sticky or slimy. A tad bit oily, no white residue, overall awesome feeling. Oh, and I added a few drops of my favorite lavender oil for smell. So far, no stinky armpits! I will keep testing this out. If it works, then I'm never buying commercial deodorants again, and not even the ones online that claim to not have any chemicals. This homemade method is cheap as dirt and effective for a lot of people. I am eliminating chemicals and costs one by one.
My next goal is to create home made toothpaste. There are ways. Keep trying me. Hehe. >:-)
I need to research using cornstarch on hair... if that is a good idea or not. I know that baking soda isn't good to be left on hair; it's a cleaning agent. I liked the consistency that it created in the deodorant that I made... perfect for a hair product. I doubt it, but you never know. When you go natural, you should truly go natural... with everything!
It's a great lifestyle change, but it's so worth not depending on companies for everything, thus saving tons of money.

Hope you guys enjoyed this post. Let me know if you have tried this or something similar, or would like to try it. Peace out till later, curly mamas! Stay natural!

~Epic Realist~