Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Kiss (Condition) and Make Up

You know how they say no one is happy unless Mama's happy? Well, I've learned that Mama's not happy unless her hair is happy. And if the hair is happy, then Mama is happy, and everyone has permission to be happy again.

The egg conditioner turned out to be a good idea. Also a good idea: putting my hair into fat twists to dry. It helped my curls clump, and the placement of the twists turned my hair into a cute new style. Eeeeee! It's always good to discover new stuff for your hair repertoire.

It's a great day, so I'm going outside. You should get some sun today too. :o)
Monday, March 30, 2009

Kitchen Magician

So like I mentioned in the last post, I'm treating my angry hair to an all-out deep treatment today. I wanted to boost what would be my last "serving" of Elasta DPR-11 with some protein-y goodies. So I got off my butt and walked to the grocery store.

I came home and realized I had to make a decision.

Who shall I choose?

I went with the egg (which I already had, which means I didn't need to go to Giant in the first place). And I decided to use olive oil too.

I whisked the egg, added a teaspoon of EVOO (yummo!) and whisked some more. Then I poured it into the DPR jar, mixing it all together with a fork.

Hmmm, I thought. I think I want something more.

I went with a teaspoon of molasses (in hopes of shine) and a few drops of jojoba oil.

It smelled kinda funny. And the mixture turned out to be a significantly thinner consistency than I usually like in my deep treatments (I like em' thick!). It was almost like cake or muffin batter.

But a curious thing happened when I applied it -- the mixture seemed to thicken up as I worked it through my sections of hair, almost as if my strands absorbed everything else and left the DPR behind.

Sitting under the dryer now. Will update. :o)

Update #1: She's rinsed. She feels stronger, albeit a little stiff. Time to drench her in Giovanni Direct Leave-in.

Update #2: I wasn't playing when I said "drench." I used the GDLI and sealed with castor oil. I also made a slight adjustment to my style-and-dry routine and made fat twists out of my sections. I'm going to let it air dry and likely take it down tomorrow.

I hope my hair will be happy in the morning. If she is, this deep treatment will become a part of my regular routine. :o) What home-made concoctions have you tried?

Apologize, Apologize.

My hair is not happy with me.

I haven't been covering her up at night as I usually should. And as a result, she's snapping and breaking all over the place.

I'm shedding!!! AHHHHHHHHH!!!

Also, I noticed that strands were snapping more easily than usual when I washed my hair today. Methinks she needs protein. So I'm off to the store to pick up coconut cream and yogurt, and I'll mix one or another into my usual Elasta DPR-11 deep treatment when I get back home.

Maybe I'll even do an egg. Who knows.

Whatever I pick, my hair can look forward to an evening of pampering tonight.

I'll let y'all know what I decide. And how it worked.

V-Styles: Proper Topper

A little puff, a little bang, a lot of boing.

Monday Meditation

On hair envy among women:

"Admiration is cool, jealousy and negative feelings about your self are not cool. There is no standard or ideal ... so we should all learn to accept whatever we have been given and make it the best that it can be!"
-- Naturally Leslie
Saturday, March 28, 2009

Formal Curls: Karen's Wedding

Karen is a loc'd and lovely sista who blogs over at Natural Hair Beauty. She posted her wedding pictures a few days ago and I. Was in. Awe.

I asked if I could post her pics here for our Formal Curls series. For her big day, she set her locs on perm rods so she'd have a curly look, and her makeup artist (who is obviously multi-talented) helped her pull it all back into an elegant bun, accented with flowers.

Lovely indeed.

Make sure to check out more from Karen's blog. She has a bunch of great styles on there. And if you have pictures of your own lovely formal curls, feel free to e-mail them in -- marchemiller [at] gmail [dot] com. You could be the next "Formal Curls" feature on Blessed and Highly Textured. :o)
Friday, March 27, 2009

Would You Rock It? -- Extreme Updo

It's big. It's bold. It's high and highly textured.

Just one question though...

Would you rock it?

(Pics courtesy of Ambermag.com)
Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Great Lustrasilk Debate: Shea and Mango vs. Olive Oil

If you obsess over the natural hair care blogs like I do, then you'd be familiar with the hoopla over Lustrasilk's Shea Butter and Mango Cholesterol Conditioner. It's orange, it's creamy, and every body loves it.

So on a recent trip to Sally's (to buy a comb that I didn't find), I picked one up, wanting to see what all the fuss was about. But, lo and behold, there was another Lustrasilk product sitting right next to it -- this one creamy, and green .. the Olive Oil Cholesterol Conditioner.

Oh boy. Decisions, decisions...

Then I decided, "What the hey. I'll get both."

I mean, at $2.79 each, there's no reason not to.

Not to mention, I just realized there are tea tree and aloe vera varieties too. (My roommate has the "herbal" version.) I have my eye on the aloe one... but that'll have to wait. I already have these two huge, brand-new jars of "stuff."

Anywhoo, I'll be comparing the shea butter Lustrasilk and the olive oil Lustrasilk as styling creams. I'm not sure exactly what I'm looking for-- maybe some kind of hallelujah moment -- but if I figure out something groundbreaking, you'll know. :o)

Have you tried either (or any) of the Lustrasilk conditioners? What's your take?

Formal Curls: Flowered Updo

AHHHH! I need someone to get married (or have a garden party) like RIGHT. NOW. Because I soooo want to rock this style.

Naturally Leslie posted this pic on from Essence.com (they're showing curly styles in their bridal hair feature, can you believe it?!), and linked to the video below, by Autumn of CurlyChronicles.

Dude. I have MORE than enough flowers in my hair drawer. Let's get it.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Go Look: Curly Nikki's Top 10

Anyone who follows the natural hair blogs knows that Curly Nikki is our own resident Oprah. When it comes to hair, the girl knows what she's doing.

Now she's blessed us with a Curly Nikki Top 10 on how to care for your natural hair. While Nikki has a mass of long, black, henna-blessed curls, her tips will work for just about anyone who's natural. My favorite: Treat your hair like fine lace.

What'd I say, ladies? Love your hair, and it will love you back.

Go check out Nikki's top 10 on Wes' Honey Brown Sugar (the ladies switch it up every now and then guest post on each other's blog.)
Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rewind: Voyage to India

So, a couple of weeks ago, I met India.Arie. And it was awesome.

It's even more awesome now that I've gotten my pics! :o)

She came by the network for what's called a performance chat -- when an artist not only gives an interview, but also a performance. It was honestly one of the best experiences I've had, thus far, as a radio producer. She's simply amazing.

And just in case you're wondering... yes, she's extremely gorgeous in person.

Le sigh....

Click here, and then click the "Listen Now" link to check out the interview. And make sure to take a listen to songs from her live performance too.

Again. Simply amazing.

Sisterhood of the Spiraling Strands: Tara

This features Tara, one of my besties (hey boo!), and is looooooooooooooooooooooooong overdue. And because just because it's her, the answers come in pink. :o)

Age 26
Marketing Professional
Cincinnati, Ohio

Describe the fabulousness of your hair.

What's your favorite thing about your hair?
The thing that I love about my hair now is the same thing that I have hated about it for 25 years....the thickness. I always grew up hearing that my hair was too thick to do anything with, hence the relaxer that I wore from age 12-25. It wasn't until I got to college and a friend (hey Jazz girl!) looked at my hair after I had washed it and yelled at me after running her hands thru my hair that I realized that maybe I really didn't need the relaxer. From that moment on she made a point to inform me that "you don't need a perm, look at how soft and pretty your hair is". It still took a while before I gathered the courage to stop relaxing, but now that I have I love, love, LOVE running my hands thru my head full of curls. I promise there are millions of them, and I catch myself throughout the day twirling them around my fingers. I suppose it's just the newness of them but I love it all the same!

What's your favorite product to use? Why is it great?
Ha! Seriously are you asking me of all people this? I love sooooo many! Right now I have worked Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Leave-in, QP Elasta's Mango Butter, Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Leave-in, and coconut oil into my daily regimen. The combination seems to work to tame the frizz monster that resides at the crown of my head, gives me great shine, makes my curls soft to the touch and they smell FABULOUS together. It can't get much better than that!

What's your favorite style to rock?
My fav style right now is a coil out. I guess that's what you would call it. I let the back and sides air dry and I coil the top of my head around my finger, let it air dry half way and then use a hand dryer to get it the rest of the way dry while adding a bit of volume to it.

How long have you been natural? And how did you get there?
I chopped the last bit of relaxed pieces out in late October 08, so that means it's been just about 5 months.

How would you describe your hair's personality?
It definitely has a mind of it's own, but with a bit of tlc my curls lay just right.....until the warm humid months come. When this happens I just let it do it's thing and make sure that it has plenty of moisture.

What have you learned about yourself or your hair?
I've learned that natural hair, hair in general really, it not easy....and it shouldn't be. I think there is a myth that hair should be low maintenance and that the less you do the better it will be. Not true. Just like maintaining a healthy body, hair takes work and I'm learning that it's actually really fun to learn what my hair likes and what it doesn't like. It's also taught me to be more patient...and that's a hard pill to swallow!

What has surprised you most?
The fact that I can actually do this was the biggest surprise of all. I've talked about it forever but never felt that I was devoted enough to stick with it. I'm at the point now that I love my curls and couldn't imagine getting rid of them.

What are you still trying to learn?
A fast way to do my hair each morning!

And finally, tell us your favorite part about being natural. :o)
I love that fact that I don't have to be so anal about my hair any more. Anyone who knows me knows that I have always been more than touchy when it comes to my hair. If it doesn't look good, if it's raining, if it's humid, if the wind is blowing too hard....I'm not leaving the house....for fear of ruining my perfectly coiffed roller wrap. As corny as it sounds it's freeing to know that I am no longer a slave to my hair.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Beauty Buys: Milani Cosmetics Lip Mixers

Could it be...? Have I found that perfect gloss?

Methinks I have.
On a random (and totally unnecessary) run to CVS, I picked up Milani's new Lip Mixer lip gloss in "Lip Stir." Now, those of you who've seen my purse know that I really don't need another lip gloss. But when I saw it, I felt some stir deep within my soul, yearning and longing for a connection to this new concoction.

Why? 'Cause it's pretty.

It's a pretty cool product -- a base of creamy color, topped with two shades of shimmer. The three combine forces when you pull the doe-foot applicator out of the tube.

No sooner than when I bought it (along with a replacement Vanilla Silk conditioner and an Almond Joy) was I in my car trying it on. Nope, I couldn't wait. And I fell. In. Love.

For my skin tone, the Lip Stir color the perfect neutral. It's described as terracotta with a peach shimmer and beige shine. The mixture of warms and cools seems to work well for me, since my skintone doesn't easily lend itself to temperature matching. (It's maddening, quite honestly). The colors creates a shade that doesn't wash my lips out, but it doesn't look like a fussy, painted-on gloss either. Plus, it has just enough shimmer and more than enough shine. And it lasts -- at least it has since I tried it on about four hours ago. Haven't eaten with it yet.

Actually, that's a lie. I had that Almond Joy.

So yeah, color me happy... and glossy. I forsee this coming out every morning before I head out the door to work.

And for those of you who are wondering -- I've gone on a makeup tangent the last couple of days because I've done nothing with my hair. Whoops. :o) But once I figure out what I'm going to do with it this week, I'll be back in action. I promise.

Monday Meditation

(Many of the women in this online natural hair community have wonderful, empowering things to say. I thought I'd start sharing.)

"It is amazing to see the depth of a woman’s beauty once she accepts herself and decides to cherish her very own individuality."
-- Fleurzty

Remember that as you start off your week. You're gorgeous, so own it Beautiful!
Sunday, March 22, 2009

Gimme: Sand and Sea Eye Palette from Estee Lauder

First reaction when I saw this: "Oooooooooh."

Actually, that was after I wiped the drool from my lip.

It's giving me "beach" -- sand, sun, water, and a bronze-y deliciousness. It's part of the aptly-named Bronze Goddess collection from Estee Lauder, and it's $38. What say you, beauty buffs?

And by the way, there was huge ad in today's Washington Post... if you make a purchase of $27.50 or more at an Estee Lauder counter, you get a $75-value seven-piece gift set -- lipstick, eye quad, face cream, mascara, eye makeup remover, and two cosmetic bag -- for free. Yes. Free. Or, you can ask for a "2-Minute Touch-up" -- a quickie makeover -- and you'll get a complimentary 1o-days supply of foundation and mascara.

I'm just sayin'....
Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Thought: "Hair Like Yours"

Disclaimer: I try to keep it light and fun when talking about hair. But sometimes, it's simply hard to avoid the pathology that plagues us black women when it comes to our tresses.

My girlfriends are beautiful. Smart, educated, and good-hearted, they're some of the lovliest ladies I know. And they're fully aware of it -- high self-esteem runs rampant in my sister circle.

We can talk about anything and end up having either a good debate or a good laugh. But when we talk about hair, I always find myself cringing.

I'm the only one in the group who wears her hair in its unaltered state, so the subject of going natural inevitably comes up. And then someone says it -- "Well, I'd go natural, but only if I had hair like yours."

I wince. My face turns up. And I get this sad feeling inside. I never really know what to say. It's the one statement that bothers me more than anything else, because in those few words, I hear so many things -- a rejection of one's own natural texture, a belief that some hair is "better" or more wearable than others, and a flat out refusal -- or fear -- of exploring own's on hair in its natural state.

Basically, I hear my beautiful girlfriends saying that their God-given texture is something to hide, alter and be ashamed of -- and that if they wear it the way it was made, they won't be beautiful anymore.

Cringe-worthy indeed.

So what's a girl to say? Whenever that conversation comes up, a million thoughts and frustrations run through my head. I want to say, "You haven't even gotten to know your hair!" And I want to tell them that natural hair isn't impossible to care for... you just have to relearn how to care for it. And I want to get militant, go back in history and remind them that just like our ancestors were stripped of their language, religion and culture in the years of slavery, they were stripped of their grooming rituals too. So of course we'd be clueless about caring for our natural texture. But it doesn't mean we can't learn.

But then I realize I'm only one in a minority, and that they're already set in their ways. They'll likely have a counter-argument to every argument I make.

So I just keep it all in, and wait for our conversation to move on to something else other than hair.

For the record, I don't have an issue with those who choose to relax their hair. I'm not here to try to convert people, and I don't have a problem with women exploring their styling options. But I DO have a serious problem with many women believing that chemically alteration is the ONLY option for their hair; that there's no other way around it; that their natural, God-given texture is something to conceal and be afraid of; and that altering it is the only way they'll ever look attractive.

I adore my hair, but I really wish folks would stop telling me they wish they had hair like it. I want them to love their own coils, just as much as I love mine.

Feathered Friend.

I finally got one.

Ribbon Wrapped Feather Headband from Urban Outfitters.
Friday, March 20, 2009

Curl Alert: Alicia Keys

Grrrrrrr at Alicia. Not only because she has hair to die for, but also because she got to kick it with Fairy Fly Mommy First Lady Michelle yesterday as she visited high schools here in DC. (How do I keep missing these things?!)

Envy aside, I love that Alicia's switching it up and rocking the natural curl -- especially here in straight-laced Washington. It was refreshing to see on the nightly local news. Not to mention, that outfit was the hotness too.

Oh, and because we need our daily fix...


(Peep more pictures of Alicia and the First Lady here and here.)
Thursday, March 19, 2009

Update: Charter Day

I owe you guys an update, since y'all keep asking me, "So what did you end up doing for Charter Day?"

Truthfully? Nothing.

There was a bit of a mix-up when my roommate scored her free tickets. "Tickets" actually meant "ticket," as in one. So she went to dinner while I stayed home and caught up on sleep. No worries. Turns out my body really wanted that rest.

But fret not! All is not lost! Crown and Glory found some inspiration in my posts about formal hairstyles, and rocked this look for her birthday dinner last week. So those gorgeous styles did not go to waste. :o)

Anywhoo, thanks for checking in guys. Another event will come sooner or later. And I'll definitely keep looking for formal inspiration in the meantime.

Baltimore Natural Hair Care Expo

I yelped when I found this on NaturallyCurly.com... turns out Atlanta's not the only city with a natural hair expo.

The concept of a hair expo is still new to me -- I've only done journalism and dance conventions -- but the classes listed on the site look rather interesting. A few examples: "Basic Hair Braiding," "Adornment," and "Taking Your Hair to Another Level." (I'm reeeeally interested in the last one. Lol.) There's more information on the site -- BaltimoreNaturalHairCareExpo.com.

Have you ever gone to a hair expo? A natural hair expo? What can a newbie expect?
Wednesday, March 18, 2009

In Other News: The Story of the Mirror.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter and Facebook (all three of you) wanted to know what happened to my poor Lola. So here's the story:

Tuesday is my off day, and as I'm wont to do, I spent the morning snoring loudly on the couch. Until my roomate came in and woke me up.

"Uh, Veronica," she said tentatively. "I found your mirror on the ground."

I stirred a bit and then looked up.

Kelly was holding the casing to my driver's side mirror in her hand.

My first words of the morning: "Why the hell is my mirror inside the house?"

Kelly explained. "I dunno. I went outside and saw it on the ground. Someone must've knocked it off in the middle of the night."

"Is there a note?" Common etiquette tells me someone would have left a note.

Kelly went back outside to check, and then returned. "No. No note."


What the HELL man?! Seriously? Who knocks off a person's mirror and keeps it moving? And how do you even do it when my car is parked so close to the curb?!

At this point, I'm only half-awake but fully pissed. Kelly gingerly set the mirror casing down on the floor in front of me and left to go to class -- which she was on her way to before she saw the remains of my car mirror outside.

A few hours later, after preparing myself to get upset all over again, I went outside to see what happened to my precious car.

I found this.


But you know what's worse...?

Do you see those slightly darker spots on the mirror? The sort-of splatter in the lower corner?

That was blood, before it was washed away by the rain.

Yes. There was blood on my car.


To make it even more maddening, there was no other damage to any part of the car other than the mirror. No scratches, no dents. Just a splattering of blood and an obliterated sideview mirror.

My car was a crime scene. And I had no way of piecing together what exactly the crime was.

I was so pissed, I just went back into the house and sat down. Quietly.

* * *

I've knocked off a car mirror before. Lola's passenger's side mirror, in fact, not long after I drove her off the dealer's lot. (She's my first car, and I have a theory about people and their "firsts" -- invariably, they find some way to eff them up.) When I sought out a junkyard to replace the broken part, I came back with a white mirror that stood in stark contrast with my aqua blue car. Now here I was again, placing an order for a mirror whose color I wouldn't know until I arrived at the shop.

I shook my head in shame. Lola was about to have two mismatched mirrors. My baby was going to look so bootleg.

So imagine my surprise when, after arriving at the junkyard, I'm handed a mirror that's the same, exact color as my Lola. I'm especially thrilled because Lola's paint is a discontinued hue. What are the odds?

"Sweet!" I exclaim to no one in particular. "It's the same color as my car!"

I was hype. But for some reason, no one else in the shop seemed to care.


Fifteen minutes and 50 bucks later, Lola is refurbished with a new/old mirror. I thank the friendly mechanic who so quickly fixed up my baby, and drive off the lot.

"You're like new again!" I say to the steering wheel. Then I look over to the unpainted mirror.

"Well... almost...."

Twists Out

Wanna test your dexterity? Try taking out your twists while driving.

Actually, that's probably a bad idea, so scratch that. Don't try it.... and don't tell anyone I did either.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Finally! Twists

After mulling it over for about three weeks, I finally sat myself down and put in twists for the first time. It didn't seem to take as long as I thought it would... but maybe that's because I wasn't working on a deadline.

It was surprisingly easier than I thought... and actually kinda relaxing. Just sat down with my products, my clips, and watched an episode each of Seinfeld and Law and Order while I twisted.

Products? I used Giovanni Direct Leave-in right after rinsing out my weekly deep treatment, and sprayed a little Kinky-Curly Spiral Spritz on each section in hopes of hold. (I gotta say though, the spritz seemed to quickly dry out my hair if I didn't twist a section right away, so I had to re-wet with water.) I coated the ends with the Alaffia body butter (still got the same jar, Katie, it's paying for itself!) and coated it all with coconut oil.

It didn't come out half bad. The pros: Super easy to do, quite relaxing, and a cute way to switch it up a bit. And, if you like to be creative like me, there are endless possibilities when it comes to spicing it up. The cons: Parting equally is a bit challenging. And the frizz, dude. The top of my head has already started puffing up, and a few of the ends are trying to rebel, so I gotta figure out how to handle that. (Suggestions anyone?) Also... shrinkage. I was kinda hoping the twists would stretch my hair a bit, but no such luck.

So I can finally say I twisted. :o) I'll leave 'em in for a few days -- something tells me they'll frizz out sooner than later -- and then figure out where to go from there.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Because it's so cute.

More Formal Inspiraton: Carolina Herrera

Oh! Omigosh! How could I forget this fly picture of a young Carolina Herrera that I found on Latina.com?

Textured and gorgeous. I love it.
Thursday, March 12, 2009

More Formal Inspiration.

The Internet is great. Thanks to a commenter on Crown & Glory's formal hair post, I was led to a post on Rock Your Natural with wedding-ready styles. Granted, I'm not going to anyone's nuptials, but the styles could definitely work for black-tie events too.

I also ran across a site for a natural hair salon in Houston, called Natural Resources. If you browse through the pages -- not just the portfolio page -- you'll see a number of elegant styles for textured hair.

Mane and Chic also has a great collections of posts featuring bunned hairstyles.

This is exciting! Now I'm wishing I had more events coming up so I can try everything. *sigh* Ah well... it's not gonna stop me from looking. :o)

Charter Day = Formal Hair!

First, let me say, my roommate is the best. She scored two tickets to Howard's annual Charter Day Dinner! Wheeee! I've always wanted to be a good little alumna and go, but I just never had the chance to. Now I do. :o)

But you know what's even more exciting? I get to brainstorm formal hairstyles! Wheeeeeeee (again)! This, just days after Crown and Glory asked if natural hair could also be formal. ("Hecks yeah!" I said.)

So from now until Saturday (eek! Just two days!), I'll be looking for and posting ideas or inspiration for natural, formal hair. Feel free to leave me any suggestions too! And I promise to take pics once Saturday night rolls around. :o)

My first hit of inspiration... a feathered updo from the set of the new Mary Mary video...

For the Tech-Savvy Curly: Haircaster

I don't have an iPhone, but I'd have to check out this application if I did.

It's an app called "Haircaster," and it's supposed to let you know whether the weather will be a friend or a foe to your 'do.

The descripton says: "A simple 5 stage readout ranges from "PERFECT" to "STAY HOME!". And a customized paragraph gives further details and tips in relation to the hair conditions at your location. The algorithm was developed with input from hair care professionals based on live inputs such as humidity, wind, rain and temperature."

It's available on iTunes. If one of you curlies download it, let us know how it works.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Style Inspiration: Dancing With The Stars

My house is a house of dancers, so our lives aren't complete unless there's a dance show -- well, a good dance show -- to keep us entertained each week.

So of course, I sat up and tuned in when season eight of Dancing With The Stars premiered last night. And I found myself grinning in delight, not only because of the dancing -- but also because of the hairstyles.

Ballroom and television are two areas where hair and costumes must be over-the-top, and DWTS doesn't disappoint. And there were a couple of styles that will serve as inspiration the next time I have a formal event, or when I'm just feeling creative.

My favorite....?

... Melissa's sideswept updo. Not only is the girl a great dancer, but her hair rocked, especially with the oversize blue flower. And it seems easy enough to do -- a large, loose french braid in the front leading down to a low bun on the right side of the face.

Another cute look....

... Chelsie's double braids with the daisy accent. Super simple, and super adorable. (It's making me wish for spring to come even faster.)

And I gotta say....

...I was feeling the idea behind Lil' Kim's style. It's a large twist circling the crown of the head, with a metallic decoration woven throughout. The look was finished off with a rhinestone pin on the side.

The cool thing about styles like these is that they can be adapted and re-interpreted, no matter your length or texture. I want to try each of these on a good twist-out, though I think the Lil' Kim style would look especially cute with a curly 'fro.

Oh, and I promise, when I do try these, I will take pictures! :o)

Have you ever been inspired by flashy show styles?