Follow me on Twitter!

Follow Me on Twitter: @NaturallyAshes

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Product Review:Cantu Shea butter leave in conditioning repair cream

So. How do I say this? Hmmm. I am in love. Yes,Yes, with my husband, he's aiight, but I am talking about a new hair product. It this new (to me, anyhow) Cantu Shea butter Leave in Conditioning repair CREAM. I capitalized the word cream for a reason. Allow me to explain.

I have been looking for a good leave in for quite some time. I know that most of my fellow hair lovers prefer to leave in a little bit of their regular conditioner, but I wanted something that was marketed as a leave in. Just one of those things. Anyhoo, I tried some liquid leave ins. And let me tell ya, my 4b/c low porosity hair LAUGHS in the face of liquid leave ins. Not just regular laughter, but the maniacal, points and scowls and BWAHAHAH type laughter.

But I digress.

I must admit that I have walked past the Cantu line quite a bit in the past, because, well, I don't know, maybe there is something wrong with me. My friends are all like, "Get it! You'll love it!" And I'm like, " Yeah y'all say that about everything." No seriously, they really do. And only ONE of them has natural hair, but whatevs. One day I walked past it at Wally World (Walmart, for all you non-hipsters out there), and I noticed this CREAM. For, like, less than five bucks. LESS THAN FIVE BUCKS?! Into the cart it went.

So of course the suspense was killing me. I went home and shampooed with my Aussie Moist shampoo (which I also love), conditioned and detangled with my Tresemme Luxurious Moisture conditioner ( which I also love), 75 % t-shirt dried, and slathered this stuff on and sealed the deal with my oil mix. I pulled my hair into a puff to stretch and dry. I call this my lazy girl banding. Here is the result:

Yea, I know, you're thinkin, big deal, looks the same. But it doesn't. My hair has never had sheen like this. And it was SOOOOO soft.  But the kicker was when my Hubby got home. He took one look and asked how much oil I put in my hair. Poor thing. He knows nothing of the struggle, bless his heart. I told him to touch it. He said no. I insisted. He did. He says, "Hey its softer and there's no weird slime on my hands!"
Instead of deckin' him right there, I just took it as a compliment. In his own awkward way, he confirmed that my hair had sheen, was soft, and was not, ahem, "slimy" or oily.

So it's been a while since that afternoon, and I must say that this stuff lasts a loooong time, which is saying a lot considering my heavy handedness. It has worked like a dream for my low porosity strands. And it opened the way for me to introduce my Hubby to appropriate terms to use when we discuss hair. Slimy is NOT one of them, smh.

What's you fave new product?

Friday, December 14, 2012

And He will wipe out every tear from their eyes.....

And He will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away. 
-Revelation 21:4

For the Victims, Mourners and Survivors of the Tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary and the Entire Town of Newton, Connecticut. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

I'm feelin philosophical.....

There comes a time in every womans life (hopefully) when she finally feels comfy in her own skin. She has the right friends, the right man (sometimes) , the right career, or , if not, she's okay with what she has and is fine with what she doesn't.

I am beginning to feel that way with each passing day. Don't ask me why. Could it be that the big 3-0 is a mere 6 1\2 months away, or could it be that it is the end of another year and I am in reflection mode? Could it be that I have built strong, lasting relationships, the first and foremost being with my Creator, second with my hubby, and then with my very best girls? Is it that I have finally found my passion, which is to create and to make people happy, and THEN found a way to get paid to do so? Is it that I finally found a hair regimen that works, LOL? Or is it that I know ASHES, and I know that she will be fine no matter what?

Being comfortable does not mean being in a rut. It simply means that you are comfortable. And when you are comfy, you are confident, and when you are confident, you can take risks, and when you take risks, the chips fall where they may, you come out on the other side, and you are thus more confident, and, dare I say- more COMFY. (See what I did there, hee hee?)

I've been through a lot in almost 30 years. My own mother has told me that a weaker person would have crumbled a long time ago. And that's coming from one who's been through a lot herself. I've had doctors give me crappy news in one sentence then in the next minute they look at me incredulously, wondering how I have not turned into a quivering pile of goo in their office. Sorry, doc. Quivering goo has never been my thing.

I know that if I can get to this point in life, you can too. Maybe you are already there. Maybe you been there, have past it, and are on to something better. . Or you feel the same way for different reasons; you have a different purpose. Maybe you're not there yet. You will be.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Low porosity hair...WTF is goin' on?!

Howdy, Y'all!

Ya know, I have been natural for about ten years, and like I stated in a recent post, I JUST found out that my hair is low porosity. What, you ask, does this mean? Well, for starters, it means that:

*When I did the porosity test (placing a clean strand of hair in a clear glass of water)- My hair stayed on the surface of the water. OVERNIGHT.

*When I tried to use the LOC (liquid oil cream) method with water, oil mix, and shea butter, my hair turned every surface into an oil slick. *le sigh*

* It takes forever for Claudette (my hairs given name) to dry. Like, I dry her with a t-shirt, think she's d dry, then put her in a puff. Only to feel water sliding down my neck hours later. In public.

*Having leave in treatments form white balls on my  hair, or not getting my shampoo to rinse out completely, so I have random foamy spots.

So I would often finish up a wash session with my face lookin like this:
But, even though I have been natural for ten years, my Healthy Hair Journey only started at the beginning of this year, and HHJ's never end. So, I did some research and I learned that when it comes to low porosity hair, especially mine, that:

* I like butters. My hair doesn't need them, because they are too heavy. They sit on top of my hair. 

*When I'm done washing, my hair is filled with water, so it WILL NOT absorb any product. I have to get it about 70% dry so that I can cram a leave in in there. 

* My new LOC method consists of: 
  • Cantu Shea butter leave in for my liquid
  • olive/jojoba/avocado oil for the oil
  • That is all, I don't need a cream, so I guess I just have a LO method. Ha!
 So, My new regimen is changed to reflect not my 4b/c hair type, but my porosity type. It's been three weeks and even the hubs has noticed how my hair looks better. ( which is sayin alot, since he usually doesn't notice that type of thing. I mean seriously. If his life depended on him knowing any Kind of hair slang, like LOC, APL, or EVOO, He'd be dead, God bless him.)

Soooo, my new regimen is this:
  • Co-washand detangle weekly with TreSemme  Luxurious Moisture Conditioner, and once a month with either Aussie Moist shampoo, or my Queen Helene mint julep shampoo
  • Dry with a t-shirt until damp
  • Do the ol' LO method
  • Twist or band to stretch
  • Deep condition as needed
Will my regimen change again? Of course it will. I tried to swear off shampoo, but I LIKE shampoo. I tried whipped shea butter cream, and I like having it around, but I don't need it. I thought type 4 hair loved butters. Perhaps that's true for some, but MY 4b/c LOW POROSITY hair finds them unnecessary. Oh well. That's life!


How has your regimen changed?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

And I'm Back......

So, I have been offline for a while, dealing with health issues. Fun, Right? Anyhoo, I am back, and i will try to keep my posts to about once a week, I think that may be all I can manage. No big changes here, just trying to adjust to growing my hair.

Yes, growing it.and knowing it. You see, I have been " natural" for the better part of 10 years but I never really knew my hair until quite recently, perhaps around 2010, when i did my second big chop. So i learned a few things"

*I have a LOT of hair. I mean thick, floofy hair. A lot. Yeesh.

* I have low porosity hair. I was thinking that because my hair is so thick, that it must need heavy butters right? And often, right? Wrong! I just found out that my hair likes a good water based leave in, and then a light oil. I now only use my whipped shea butter for when I do protective styles that keep me from playin' around in my hair too much. But even then I have to use a light touch, otherwise I will be leaving and oil slick on all walls, car windows, and leather/pleather upholstery.

*I am still clipping off heat damaged ends, almost 9 months later. a bit at a time. *sigh*. But its almost gone! Almost.

* I am back to using shampoo, whenever my scalp itches. I found the best shampoo ever, Queen Helene Mint Julep shampoo concentrate. It smells like spearmint gum, and you mix it yourself, it lasts forever! yay!

* I tweaked my regimen.(again). And now I know that it's okay to do that. I'll post on that later, trust me, I am neurotic. So now for your viewing pleasure, here are some recent pics ( Guess which style is my go-to-I-ain't-got-time-but-wanna-look-fierce-style is!):

Ciao for now! Talk at ya later!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

So My Hair and I got into an Argument.....

Welp,  it's been one of those summers. You know, the kind where you don't know what happened or where it went, you just look up one day and it's just about over. I had a blast this summer, and I think I still have one more theme park visit left in me, and perhaps another park get together, but other than that, I am beat. And confused. Where did the time go? Wasn't it just June 1st?

But I digress. This post is really about how Claudette (my hair) and I got into it. I mean, really. Like the kind of you-are-making-me-so-mad-I-just-wanna-Big-Chop-Again mad. Cooler heads prevailed, however, and I did not Big Chop. I realized that I just did not feel like doing anything to her. At all. So whats a girl to do? I did not feel like throwing her up in a puff or steaming her or flat twisting her ( I have finally mastered the flat twist, thank you very much). At any rate, I was just tired. And Claudette was too. She was just as tired of the heat, and the spritzing, and whatever else, and she let me know it. She just refused to cooperate. Period. So we decided to take a break. I sent her to protective style camp for about a week or two.

So, Claudette is now in two strand twists that will last about a week or two. As the days go by, and she begins to frizz, I will pin her back and throw a flower in there or a cute scarf or something. But until then, we are both taking a much deserved and needed rest. Before we drive each other nuts, smh. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

You Are What You Eat, From Your Hair.....

Yummmm....... I love love love Qdoba and Chipotle restaurants. Maybe it's because I love anything with avocado. Maybe it's because I love black beans. Or maybe its because I love to find a favorite dish at a restaurant then eat it a few times to get all the flavors, then start making it at home. HA! I'm cheap!
Anyhoo, I made one of my favorite dishes the other day: Steamed brown cilantro-lime rice, with black beans,baked shredded chicken, corn salsa, and guacamole. Then it dawned on me that everything, yes, EVERYTHING in the dish was good for me. Hair, body, everything. Brown rice for fiber. Black beans for fiber and protein and b vitamins. Chicken for protein. Corn salsa for fiber and minerals and lutein. Avocado for- well, they don't call avocado a super food for nothing.

I have been trying to change me and The Hub's diet for the better. So far I am doing a good job of it. I thought that eating healthier would be more expensive, but the opposite is true. We actually save money by not having so much junk in the house, and by preparing healthy, filling meals that cause us to graze less.

I was thinking about my Qdoba knockoff recently ( I daydream about food alot) and I realized that maybe this healthy food kick is actually gonna work out. Yay! 
(Grazing: verb- one grazes when they are not hungry enough to eat a meal but is bored enough to convince oneself that they could eat something. My hubs grazes on cookies. If he is in the general vicinity of the cookie jar he will grab a couple and then walks around the house with them. He can't sneak up on me because I hear him crunching, or I turn around and his mouth is moving. Right now he is on an animal cracker kick; he says I can't complain because technically he's not eating cookies, he's eating crackers. The man can reason his way out of anything. He should have been a lawyer, smh.)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Bad Hair Day gone GOOD!

Sooooo..... I was literally soooo sleepy on tuesday night but could not get to sleep. I have been dealing with some health issues so my sleep is off kilter for reals! Anyhoo I figured that since I was up I may as well be productive. So i just threw in some random twists, knowing full well that free form twists do not work for me. I cannot just put in my twists without a plan of action. Sooo.. when I woke up in the morning and took them down, and fluffed and separated, I was not pleased. But... I had to be somewhere and I was already late soooooo....

Accessories to the rescue! One Goody ouchless hair band, four flower clips, a bobby pin later and-
Voila!  I was a natural Hair MacGuyver! I was feelin myself! Ha!

The Flowers and bobby pin helped me pin back my "bangs".

The other flowers Helped pin back poofy spots and helped hid the Goody band

In the pic to the left you can see my Goody hair band. Here's hoping no tall people were lookin down at my head!

I'm also gonna take the time to rave about my new favorite lipstick, which i am wearing in the pics. It's Revlon Super Lusturous Lipstick in Certainly Red. Fab fav! I also have a Revlon Matte red called Really red, but it kinda dries my lips out. The Certainly red super lusturous lipstick is really creamy, almost like a balm. I looooove, creamy lipstick. I tried the Matte, and it pops too, but I HATE feelin like my lips are dry. So there is my randomness for the day. Til' Next time!

Do you have a memorable Bad Hair day gone Good?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Flat Twist Out, Part Deux? Or Part D'Oh!?

Howdy, Beauties!

This is the update on my 2nd attempt at a flat twist out. This time I baggied my hair and used my new whipped Shea butter cream. For info on my homemade whipped shea butter cream, see here. Ok, so here's what we did (we as in me and my hair, Claudette. We're a team!) I got the idea for this method from Naptural85. You can visit her site, , and it will give you hair advice and links to her YouTube vids.

So, first put my hair in three mini puffs on each side for a total of six.
The hair is damp from the baggy  method.

While hair is damp, I put my whipped shea butter in and the wide tooth comb slid through it.  Then  I separated each mini puff into sections, flat twisting each individual section. I ended up with twelve sections. Make sense?

Here is the front of my head, flat twisted. Notice i have two on each side. 

The next morning, my hair was soooo soft and plush and lush! You can 't tell from this pic, though.......  

How 'bout this one? Look at that texture and sheen!

Even Hubby liked it. I got home that afternoon and he's like, "That whipped cream stuff makes your hair do that?! I like that ."  Smh at 'whipped cream stuff '.

Day 2 of the twist out. It kept very well, because I pineappled it before I went to bed.  This just means that i gathered my hair into a high, not-too-tight puff the night before and slept with my satin scarf and bonnet. I make sure not to disturb the pattern and  it actually stretched it and gave it more volume. 

Me thinks I'm in love- with the twist out and the whipped shea butter!

Chile, shoot. You could not tell me I wasn't cute!!!!!!

Soooo, I think my flat twist out part deux, along with the whipped shea butter mix, was a success! I think that the reason my hair hated butters before was because I used store bought ones that had other ingredients in them that my hair did not like. For instance, my hair does not like coconut oil, I know that it's supposed to work wonders, but Claudette is not havin it. So, the homemade shea butter was made with real, organic, raw, unrefined shea butter and oils that my hair knows and likes. So I will not go back. Personalized homemade whipped shea butter and flat twist out (and accessories, of course) FOR THE WIN!!!!!!!!

Hey, beauties! What style have you tried to pull off? Did you get it right the first time? If not, what did you do?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It's Here! It's Here!!!

Yesterday I was super pumped, because the Shea Butter I ordered finally got here! Here's the rap on how I made whipped Shea butter cream for my hair. 

Here is the Raw, Unrefined, organic, grade A Shea butter. This is 1/2 a pound or 8 ounces. I ordered it from an Etsy  retailer called GreenPlanetOrganics. 
I used this hand mixer ( which is my mother in laws and thus as old as my husband, lol) and this  1 and 1/2 quart bowl for mixing. 

I used about 2 ounces of olive oil.......

....and about 1 ounce of jojoba oil and 2-3 ounces of Avocado oil. The Avocado oil is one of my new favorite oils, with its monounsaturated fats and Vitamin E. A curls dream!

This is how it looked after I beat it, then whipped it with the mixer. Hubby thought it was food!

The finished product. The consistency was soooo lush! The container is actually bigger than it looks, I'm just awful at taking pics, smh.

Soooo..... Now that I have this Shea butter cream, I'm gonna try a flat twist out again! For my first attempt, see here.

I'll update my Flat Twist out Update (update) soon! Toodles!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Jumping in with both feet....

So, I  am by no means a natural hair nazi, or "Napzi" as one person called it. I am open to new things and techniques and I do not believe that everything works for everyone. I also don't believe that regimens stay constant. I think that over time, peoples bodies change and their hair may also change.
In my own regimen, I have noticed that my hair, although quite thick, prefers medium, all natural oils to butters. However, the butters that I have used have always been store bought, pre-mixed concoctions. Perhaps my hair would like pure butters? Say, for instance, if I bought some pure african shea butter and made it myself? Well, Beauties, my curiosity has gotten the better of me, so I'm gonna order some Shea butter off of Amazon, and try it, and tell ya how it goes. Let me know what experience you have had with shea butter. Talk to you soon!

Heeere We Go.........

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fresher Than a Certs Off in This Mug.......

Flower, Earrings, Necklace, Shades, Fro- BAM!

If there is one thing I love, it's accessories. I don't like to leave my house without them. I can run out without makeup, but if I do, I must have on either my largest earrings or most colorful scarf. As a matter of fact, the only reason I got an additional hole pierced into my ear was so I could keep the little studs in all the time, so even on the (very) rare occasions when I forget earrings, I always have those in.

Soooo... I would like to show you a few of my accessories. Notice how in the photos of me, the Big Azz earrings are almost always on.

My Favorite Scarf. Leopard, Meow!
My Trusty Prescription Specs. In Burgundy, of course.

Sparkly Headband, Big earrings
The sparkly head band was originally a gaudy necktie
My Drawers full of ribbons and scarves and material
Sunblock Swag. The hat's gone, but I'm going to get a new one!

Two of my favorite faux flowers
A silk Scarf that I got in Turkey. Yes, Turkey!

You Could Probably say that I am an accessory junkie. But that's okay. A lot of my accessories are recycled materials- meaning that I made them from something else. I have a basket in my Hobby room that is overflowing with fabric. You can bet your fur that most of that will be made into scarves, headwraps, bows, etc- OMGosh, the thought of it makes me swoon! Of course, there is only one, one, ONE accessory  that I love to step out with: My Husband, Alex. 
On our wedding day

Best. Six. Years. Ever. 

What's YOUR must have accessory?