Saturday, April 30, 2016

Castor Oil Eyebrow Growth Challenge

So, you guys may not know this, but I have pretty non-existent eyebrows. I'm one of those beauties who was blessed with VERY fine brows. Since infancy, I've had a pretty meager eyebrow and lash situation going on.


I love a full eyebrow look, but in order to accomplish that I have to fill them in, which I've been getting good at but I'm still no pro, lol.

Well, recently I came across a post on natural hair Facebook group called Tricia's Naturals by
someone who had decided to pamper her brows with Castor Oil, in an attempt to get them to grow back after over-plucking them. Now, I know that my situation is a little bit different from hers (as my brows are fine because that's how they grow,  not because of over-plucking) but this still sounded really interesting to me, so I decided to give it a try.

I know that Castor Oil is really good in promoting a healthy scalp and creating an environment for optimal hair growth, so I decided, why not apply it to my eyebrows as well.

Castor Oil has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and is also rich in minerals. It helps increase blood circulation to the scalp, thus improving hair growth. (For more information on the benefits of Castor Oil, check out this great review from Wellness Mama.)

So I decided to do my own Castor Oil Eyebrow Growth Challenge. I went and purchased this bottle of Castor Oil from my local health food store and have been applying it every morning and evening. I began on April 22, 2016, and I will check the results on May 22, 2016. One month isn't a very long time, but I figure I should see some kind of change by then.

I'll be sure to keep you guys posted with my progress. Check out my latest youtube video to follow along with me on this eyebrow growth challenge. #castoroileyebrowgrowthchallenge

Thanks for your love and support guys! I'll keep you posted!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Time For a Juicy Twistout!

Hey, y'all! Another week, another hair adventure! As promised, I twisted my hair up at the end of last week after that glorious puffed out twist and curl. (See last week's blog post if you want to peep the glory). I am not a fast twister, so I usually sit with a book, a towel, and my hair products and get to work. It takes me a couple of hours to set my hair in twists for a style (as opposed to quick night time retwisting.)

I know that many people swear by the LOC method (Liquid, Oil,Cream) but for years I have actually done the LCO method (Liquid, Cream, Oil) and it has always worked wonders for my hair, keeping it soft, manageable and well moisturized. The items that I use vary, but the method remains the same. Liquid, Cream, Oil (or oil based product).

This time around the tools of the trade were:

Warm water in a spritz bottle (liquid)
Kinky Curly Knot Today (cream)
Shea Moisture Curl and Style Milk (cream)
Karen's Body Beautiful Super Duper Hydrating Hair Cream (oil)

I really love these products and swear by them. They are my "holy grail" of hair moisturizing/style prep products. Well, all minus the Karen's Body Beautiful Super Duper Hydrating Cream. The verdict is still out on that one. I have no dislike for the product, in fact, I'm loving it! It's just a relatively new product for me, and I need to have been faithfully using a product for an extended period of time before I'm willing to list it as a "holy grail" product. ;-)


Just in case my LCO method isn't clear to you (you might be saying, "But Tanya, that last product with the LONG name is definitely a cream, as is stated on the jar, so you are LOCing as well, not LCOing", lol), let clarify for you. The Karen's Body Beautiful Hair Cream is oil based. It's first ingredient is shea butter. It also contains Argan Oil and vegetable wax. It has good non-oily stuff in it too, like Aloe Vera Gel, vegetable glycerin and vitamin e oil😁, but it behaves like an oil on my hair, sealing in the moisture nicely. A pretty yummy mix if you ask me.😋

So the first step to this process was to separate my hair into four big sections. This step just made the hair easier to deal with so that I wasn't working with a large mass of hair from the start. Also, it ensured that I'd have roughly the same sized twists around my head when the process was completed because I was working with four sections of roughly the same dimensions.

I took the first section, separated out a smaller section, spritzed the hair, applied each product one at a time, and then twisted the hair. I did not require large amounts of each product. A dime sized amount per section was enough for each twist. I often put Bantu Knots on the ends of the twists in order to ensure lovely curls, but I didn't this time, as I intended to wear the twists as a style and didn't want the ends getting in the way of my pinning and tucking, lol. Here's what the twists looked like when I was done.

As you can see, there's definitely some shrinkage, as I twisted the hair while wet (I got it well beyond damp, saturating it pretty thoroughly with both water and product because I wanted high definition.

I wore these twists (usually pinned back with a barette) for a couple of days, and rocked a twist out for church on Sunday.

Look at my SILVER STRANDS, tho!!!!! 💁🏾 Yaaaas, hunty!

Here's a little more sunday action:

Oh. And did I tell you that I'm digging the color yellow lately? I've been wanting a yellow dress for about a year. For now, I'm rocking the nail polish. The dress will come.

All in all, I feel like this was a good hair week. The twists worked out well as a protective style. I grabbed them up into about eight chunky twists for the night, and tied it up for bed. I am going to wear this twist out for another week or so, and then give it a wash.

So that's me. What are you doing with YOUR hair this week, lovlies?

Don't forget to check out my youtube channel to follow my latest hair and family adventures!
Black and Natural in Jerusalem
Love and blessings!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

It's a New Season!

Hello one and all! Well, it is a new year and we have begun some new things in our lives.

Over the past half year we have had an interesting turn of events in our family, and now find ourselves back in the U.S. while my husband pursues ordination in Christian ministry. We're excited about this new development, but it has brought with it some major changes. I now have access to tons of hair products (which is awesome) but I'm no longer in my beloved Jerusalem (which is not so awesome). However, I know that this will be a good season full of new adventures, and I'm looking forward to what God has for us during this time.

Now, on to hair! We have just passed the Easter season, and I decided to try out a Twist and Curl again (remember the last time I rocked this style in Croatia?) Well, a couple of months ago I trimmed my hair to the tune of two inches, and let's just say that the Twist and Curl looks different when you have two inches less hair, lol. I worked with it, though, and got a bit of length out of it.

Now don't get me wrong, I still loved it, I just had to get used to it. I rocked it for a week, and the following weekend I decided it was time to separate the sections and re-twist it for a new protective style to wear during the upcoming week. However, that was not to be. I came across this fabulousness as I started working on my hair:

I know, amazing, right?! So I quickly decided that this would be the hair of choice for church the following day. That night I twisted it into four super chunky twists and tied it up with a scarf then went to bed. The next morning I rocked it with some cute makeup and jewelry:

I love the stretch that the chunky twists achieved, and I was proud of this look. I realize that I definitely like my hair big and juicy, lol.

Alas, it is now twisted up into a protective style (simple two strand twists) which I will rock for the next week or two. I'm good at jazzing them up, so look forward to a pic or two of this week's cute protective style in my next post. Until then, Shalom, y'all!

Black and Natural in Jerusalem

Monday, August 31, 2015

Twist and Curl: A Style Tutorial

So I have been seeing a super cute hairstyle going around and I decided I wanted to try it out. The twist and curl is a super cute style and it lasted for a full week during my vacation.

Check out this video to see how I accomplished this look.

Thanks for checking me out guys! Have a blessed day!

Monday, August 10, 2015

I have been featured in!

Hey guys! I have some exciting news with you. I have been featured in the online magazine as their natural hair "Hairstory" for the month of August! I am was honored to be asked and wanted to share the story with you. Take a peek and check out the rest of this cool site.

Thanks guys! Stay blessed!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Flat twists, Cornrows, and Juicy Hair: A tutorial

Hi there, loves! Ok, I recently saw the CUTEST style posted by one of my friends on instagram, and I decided right then and there that I was going to try it out. Now, yes, her style was based on one of the fabulous wigs made by one of my youtube loves, Toni Daley, but I decided to give it a try anyway. Admittedly I didn't quite capture the look, but I was happy with what I came up with anyway! Check it out!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

My type 4 Wash Day Routine

Well, I have gotten lots of questions from friends and family on what the basic things are that I do during my wash day to take care of my natural hair. First, I'd like to say that these are the things that work for ME. Not everyone will benefit from the same practices and products. Many different factors come into play. Environment, lifestyle and diet are just a few factors which have an impact on haircare. Having said that, I will share with you my current wash day routine (I have been natural for nearly 10 years, so this routine has certainly changed over time). Try it out if you'd like, but remember, there's no substitute for experience. Keep trying until you find what works for you!

Prepoo (pre-shampoo)

My hubby questions the clever name of this vital step (lol), but it's really just based on the fact that you take this step before shampooing your hair. Pre-shampoo is shortened to "pre-poo". I am a HUGE advocate of pre-pooing, or applying an oil mixture to the hair before shampooing.I pre-poo for several reasons. First, applying the oils to my hair and scalp provides a pre-conditioning treatment and nourishes the scalp. The oils in the pre-poo mix are anti-septic and anti-bacterial, and also stimulate the scalp. Also, Coconut Oil penetrates the hair strand, and provides a measure of protection against hydral fatigue which is oversaturation of the hair strand. Finally, Coconut Oil also behaves like a protein, strengthening the hair strand, although it is NOT a protein, so you don't have to worry about protein overload. (FYI, I tend to stay away from protein treatments. The danger of damaging the hair with too much protein concerns me, and rather than figuring out the precise protein/moisture balance for my specific head of hair, I'd rather just pre-poo with Coconut Oil. Works for me!) My pre-poo consists of:

Coconut Oil (3 ounces or 150 ml)
Rosemary Oil (10-15 drops)
*Lavender Oil (5-7 drops)
*Tea Tree Oil (5 drops)

*these two oils are optional.

I have been known to put Avocado Oil in this mix as well.

So, first I separate my hair into 4 or 6 sections, and twist each section for easy access later. I mix the oils together in an applicator bottle, then warm the bottle in a cup of hot water. When the bottle is sufficiently warmed, I spritz my hair with hot water making it very damp (but not soaking wet) and apply the oil to my hair and scalp one section at a time. Make sure to get those ends! Once all of the sections are done, I cover my head with a plastic bag (or cap if that's how you roll ;-)) and let it sit for about 30 minutes.


 After 30 minutes, I apply an inexpensive conditioner  (Currently I am using Herbal Essences Moroccan My Shine Conditioner) to my hair one section at a time. The conditioner + oil combination provides excellent "slip" (a smooth, viscous surface) so that the hair strands can separate without knotting or tangling further. I slowly begin to finger detangle the section. As the section is already in a twist, I find that it is easier to work with one section of the twist first, and then the other. I tuck the section that I'm not working with back under the plastic bag. This step admittedly takes the longest, because this is when I am removing the shed hairs, tangles and potential knots from my hair and I have to be very gentle so that I don't break strands of hair and lose length. For me, this step takes about one to two hours. Remember, though, that I have midback length hair. For some people this step will take longer, for others, the time will be shorter. Also, note that people who detangle with a tool such as a wide-toothed comb or denman brush will not take as long. I prefer not to use any tools because it is easier to avoid breakage.

To finger detangle, I take each section and apply a generous amount of conditioner, then begin pulling the section apart bit by bit. I should be able to run my fingers through the section once it is thoroughly detangled.


My current shampoo love is Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo. It gently cleanses while not stripping the hair and causing that "squeaky" feeling when your done (that squeaky feeling means that you've removed your good natural oils from your hair. This is not a good thing.). The only thing I would recommend if you use this product is that you add some to an applicator bottle first and dilute it with water. I find that it is very thick and has a hard time spreading. Yes, this will impact the pH of the product. If this is important to you, then don't dilute it.

I open one twist at a time and apply the shampoo-water mixture to one section of my scalp, scrubbing with the pads of my fingers. I follow this by running the mixture down the section of hair in a downward motion rubbing the hair between my hands as I move downward (to avoid bunching the hair together and tangling). Then I rinse and retwist the section.

Once all of the sections are done, I'm ready for the next step...

Deep Conditioning

This is probably my favorite step because of all the good moisture that I know is being added to my hair. After all these years of trying different deep conditioning products both "natural" and "synthetic", I've found that what works best for me is good ole' LeKair Cholesterol Plus. ;-) I can't vouch for the other cholesterols (Queen Helene, for instance) but I love what this one does for my hair! My hair is always soft and well moisturized after using it.

To use, I open one twist at a time, apply the product rather liberally, work it through the whole section, and then retwist (again, don't forget those ends!) When all the sections are done, I put a plastic bag on my head, and sit under a hooded dryer for 30 minutes. If I can't sit under a dryer, I leave it on for a longer period of time (up to an hour). After this, I rinse the product from my hair one section at a time. I do not usually open the twists to rinse the product out, but I am VERY thorough while rinsing, particularly at the base of the twist.

Leave-in Conditioner, Moisturizer and Seal

After rinsing out the deep conditioner, I apply a creamy leave in conditioner and follow it up with a moisturizer. This is a vital step in keeping your hair supple and manageable after wash day. The leave in conditioner which I have come to love is Kinky Curly Knot Today. I started with it in the days of the Kimmaytube Leave-In (some of y'all know what I'm talking about, lol) blending it with other products. However, eventually I just began using it on it's own. I open the twists one at a time and apply a nickel-sized amount to each opened twist, making sure to concentrate on the ends. I then apply a dime-sized amount of the Shea Moisture Curl and Style Milk to my hair. Once those are on, I pour a dime-sized amount of my sealing oil onto my hands and apply it to the section (this just helps the product which you've applied remain on the hair longer.) I then retwist the section and move on to the next one. Once all of the sections are done I can either let it air dry and then style, or begin styling right away.

In case you're wondering, my sealing oil consists of:

Coconut Oil
Sweet Almond Oil
Grapeseed Oil
Vanilla Essential Oil

and it smells like a heavenly cookie. ;-)

Now before you say it, yes, I am mixing product lines like crazy! I am aware of this, and I know that products within a line are designed to work together and provide the proper pH balance throughout the haircare process. However, I have found that this combination of products work very nicely for my hair and after many years of being natural and experimenting, they have become my staples. I will say that the latest addition is the Moisture Retention Shampoo, having just been added to my regimen last summer. However, prior to this I used a mild, pH balanced shampoo.

So, this is my wash day situation, and it works very well for me. When living in Atlanta (a relatively humid city year-round) I followed this routine weekly. However, living in Jerusalem, Israel, the environment is very arid most of the year, so I only follow this routine once every three weeks, because the frequent manipulation was causing breakage. I have found that here, handling my hair less is a better option to washing and deep conditioning each week.

I hope that this information is helpful to you, I know writing it all down certainly was helpful for me!

Shalom, y'all!