Sunday, April 6, 2014

HAPPY NAPPYVERSARY! 10 Things I Learned In My 1st Year CURLY!

I think all naturals look forward to the anniversary of their first day fully natural. That first day is scary, exciting, and motivational. We love to watch our hair change and grow and what do we love most? COMPARISON PICTURES! So before we go any further... let's go ahead and see my 1 year comparison.
But first... let's see where I started...


This was my hair one month before I did my big chop and the last time I straightened my hair before I began the process of what I thought would be slowly cutting off my relaxed hair. My plan was to cut a few inches at a time... 2 weeks later I did a mini-chop... and then on April 3rd... I did my big chop. 


Not really knowing much about my curl pattern... I assumed I had heat damage and did a SECOND big chop in June 2013... cut about 50% more hair off... 



And here's my hair on April 3rd, 2014... One year later... 


After my second big chop my hair came right to my chip when pulled (or stretched)... my hair is now closing in on APL (arm pit length) when stretched. 

So now that that's out of the way.. here are 10 things I learned about my curly hair during my first year.

  1. My hair has 2, maybe 3 different NATURALLY occurring textures. After my first big chop I cut my hair a second time thinking I had heat damage only for my hair to grow back the EXACT same in that area. Had I known this, I probably would have been a lot further length wise and not continuously cut healthy hair. 
  2. Detangle in 6 sections, starting with the most difficult section (for me, the crown of my head) and detangle on dry/slightly damp hair BEFORE getting in the shower. <--- this cuts out MAJORLY on time spent in the shower and prevents cold showers!
  3. Always style on wet hair. Some naturals achieve amazing results when doing styles on stretched hair, for me, not at all. My hair is more prone to breakage, looks dry, and tangles horribly when I style on dry hair. For me, I'd rather deal with shrinkage. 
  4. LCO method works best for my hair type. 
  5. If your hair is too short for the pineapple method... 2 small pony tails (mini-pineapples) work just as well
  6. My hair is more susceptible to single strand knots when it's dry.
  7. Brown Eco Styler gel is the best for my wash and gos (and trust me... I've tried it ALL)
  8.  My hair does not like dry deep conditioning
  9. Coconut oil is the best for my hair when sealing in moisture (since my hair is more on the "fine" end of the spectrum)
  10. No twist out is created equal lol
I styled my hair is wash and gos 95% of the time when I had my natural hair out... which was for majority of the year. 

I'm excited to see what the next year will bring. Hopefully bigger, healthier hair!





Thursday, March 13, 2014

How I Cured My Eczema (and other skin conditions) In 7 Days!

Let's cut right to the chase. NOBODY wants flaky.. itchy... unappealing skin, no matter where it is. But when I started to get sudden and growing severe patches of dry, flaky lesions on my face I knew something had to be done quick!

I actually had two different things going on with my face.

The first, I knew right away was Eczema. For me it had been reoccurring in the same place since middle school - around my ears (which is a common culprit for Eczema).

The second was what alarmed me the most. I had about 3 or 4 round flaky lesions on my face and around my hair line that seemed to be spreading rapidly! At first glance, I thought maybe my new puppy had give me ringworm from always trying to lick me in the face (yuck!) Then, when it began spreading it looked more like Psoriasis (which I was familiar with from family members having it), either way... it had to go!

Now my first suggestion, if it causes alarm would be to immediately go see a dermatologist. However, since it is darn near impossible to see mine without booking at least a month in advance I had to take matters into my own hands.

I've spoken numerously about the wide spread benefits of African Black Soap. For the last 1+ years it's the only thing I will wash my face with.

Now I will admit, having extra time to get back focused on my fitness, and basically ALWAYS sweating, I grew lazy with my facial regimen. I got the point sometimes I was just rinsing my face off in the shower and keeping it moving! And my make-up brushes! I'm ashamed at how badly I'd been treating them!

Needless to say, this all created the perfect storm for whatever to... invade my face!

So what I did was I let my trusty friend go into over time.

Every day, 2x a day I washed the infected areas (the outside of my ears and over the areas on my face) with the African black soap - being careful to wash each section separately as to not spread the infection. 

I then followed up with Cortizone 10's Maxium Strength Intensive Healing cream.

And a week later... my ears are clear, no itching, and you can barely see where I ever had anything going on with my face (as far skin conditions are concerned).

The Benefits of African Black Soap include:

  • Correction of discoloration of skin tone and dark spots
  • Reduction of inflammation
  • Removes body odor
  • Extreme cleansing
  • Heals acne 
  • Heals and treats skin conditions such as fungus, ringworm, psoriasis, and eczema
  • Excellent exfoliate (great for reduction of blackheads) 
So by washing my face with it every day I was effectively preventing all these things... but when I became neglectful to my skin, I left the window open for problems I'm already susceptible to (because of genetics or otherwise). 

As far as what the actual diagnosis of what was going on with my face (psoriasis or not) I won't know until I actually visit my dermatologist... but the great thing is I was able to get it under control myself while I wait. 


Note: Psoriasis is a skin condition, that while it is common, it is reoccurring and  no actual cure for at this time. So if that is actually what I did/do have... this is simply a treatment.. not a "cure". 

Hope this helps!

-Amber





How I Do My Marley/Havana Twists

The first time I ever did Marley Twists on my hair was almost 2 years ago. I saw a gorgeous girl on Tumblr with these gorgeous twists that I had never seen in my area (Auburn, Al) and they seemed fairly easy to do so I wanted to give them a try.

At the time I wasn't even natural. So I wasn't sure how the kinky hair would blend with my texlaxed hair but I said whatever! At least I would be doing something different than everyone else.

I loved them!

Since then, this style and this particular picture (originally posted on my Instagram ) has gotten a lot of attention!

At least once a week someone texts me or messages me asking me if I knew my picture was on google, or someone's IG, or someone's blog. 

Just for kicks I googled Marley Twists before creating this post and found this in the popular images... 



lol... how cool!

And since you're reading this blog you know I LOVE to talk about hair and share what I do to keep my hair healthy and thriving! 

After being asked quite a few times, I decided to create a video and do a follow up detailed post on how I personally create this look for myself. 

So here is what you will need:

  • 4 packs of Marley (or Havana) hair. The name of the hair style basically just depends on what hair you used. Marley hair are Marley Twists and Havana hair are Havana Twists lol. The brand I use is Femi.
  • A wide tooth comb and a fine tooth comb
  • A moisturizer of your choice (preferably nothing too greasy or slippery) 
  • (Optional) A gel or hold cream

Now here's how I do my twists:

There are two ways to attach the marley hair to your hair. 1) Twist at the root method 2) Braid at the root method

For the Twist At The Root method:
  1. Take your section of hair that you want for your first twist, split that section into two equal parts (just like if you were going to twist your hair regularly) 
  2. Place the marley hair in the center of the two sections. 
  3. Twist the right section with the marley hair and your hair together going towards the right until it is tight and securre
  4. Twist the left section with the marley hair and your hair together going towards the right as well
  5. Once both sections are tight and secure, begin twisting regularly until you reach the end of your twist.
This method is preferred by some because it leaves a more natural looking root. The very first time I did marley twists I did this method. 

Since I did not record myself during that process here's another YouTuber showing how to they do this:

She does hers a bit different than I how I did mine but her videos are the best when it comes to detailed descriptions!

Your second option is the Braid At The Root method.
  1. Take your section of hair that you want for your first twist and smooth it all together. 
  2. Take your marley hair and lay the middle of the hair directly over your hair so that your hair is the center piece and the marley hair is the two outside pieces.
  3. Braid normally (like a plait) 3 or 4 times... making sure when you end, your hair is back as the center piece
  4. Split your hair into two pieces, combining it with the marley hair and begin twisting all the way to the end of the hair
The braid at the root method is my preferred method out of the two because for my hair, it lasts longer and the puffiness doesn't happen as fast. I also don't mind the "non natural" look. People already know my hair isn't that long or that texture! lol


Marley twists are my FAVORITE protective style because they are super simple and quick to do, they aren't heavy at all (like box braids), and they also have a super quick take down. 

I usually keep mine for 2 weeks... 3 weeks if I really take care of them. But obviously you can go way longer depending on how small you make them. 

I hope this helps those of you who are considering trying this style but if you have any additional questions, let me know!


-Amber







How I Do My Marley Twists + How I Blend My Blonde Hair With Black Marley Hair