Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Twist Outs and School Update

Hello everyone!  I want to give you all an update about my presentation for my master's degree.  July 19, I presented to my committee and besides some technical problems that I solved by being prepared everything went beautifully.  My committee gave me the highest score you can earn for your degree.  They were excited and very pleased with my work.  At the end of my presentation I was asked to leave so that the committee could discuss how to score me.  I had just sat down when I was asked to come back in and told that I had impressed the committee and they loved my work!  So, now I have earned my master's and all I need to do is finish up two classes and complete a practicum this fall.  I will be completely done with everything this December.  I will be the first person in my family (dad's side) to have earned my undergrad and graduate degrees.

On a completely different note I promised to update everyone about my hair.  Since my hair is getting much longer I have been stretching my hair through twists and then twist outs to prevent fairy knots.  I remember last year I would have hits and misses with twist outs, but this year I have been loving my twist outs.
Above is a collage of the various twist outs I have worn over the past several months.  This collage are first day twist outs so you can see how my twist outs vary.  They are all two strand twist outs.  Some were done with just conditioner on wet hair and some I did on dry hair.  I need to experiment with adding a gel to my hair because the humidity is a killer on my hair.  I have been using a curling pudding to better define my twist outs, but I find that it doesn't hold the curl definition like gel does.

Of course I get more definition when I do more two strand twists, but that takes more time and with my hair getting longer I have been exploring how my hair looks if I do about eight twists.  I have found the I get more stretch with less twists, but less definition with more fluffy hair.  My two year anniversary is August 9 and I plan to update everything then with a length check and maybe a short video.  Until next time....

Sunday, June 23, 2013

I'm back and I'm Bra Strap Length!

BSL June 23, 2013
Hello everyone!  Yes, I'm alive.  I'm sorry that I haven't been around to connect and blog with all of you.  I have completed my literature review and my action research project.  My adviser was so impressed with my action research project that she wants me to publish my results.  Needless to say that this has made me even more busy.  I'm also taking 9 credits this summer, working summer school and presenting for my Masters' July 19.  I decided to have a really busy summer to have everything done this December since my grant money runs out this fall. 

Anyway, since my first class starts tomorrow I wanted to post a quick post about my hair.  My two year anniversary of my big chop is this August, but I have met my goal I set for this year.  I wanted to have bra strap length by my anniversary and I have achieved it almost two months early.  I'm very pleased with my growth and retention.

For the past couple of months I have drifted away from my usual WNG's and moved to twist outs because I'm liking my results better now that my hair is longer.  I have been using It's Perfectly Natural product to twist up my hair and now I'm loving my twist outs!

Today's twist out that I wore to church.  The interesting thing is that two ladies at church today who hated my TWA told me how much they loved my twist out today.  One of them said that my hair was beautiful and asked to touch my curls.  Of course I remember that this same lady gave me the stink eye when I stopped relaxing my hair and her look said "that girl is crazy to cut off all her hair" and "natural my foot that girl is nappy!".  Now she thinks that my hair is beautiful.  Amazing how you get some length and now they have vision and love my curls.  Whatever!
To be honest I have been noticing that I have been getting Fairy Knots (single strand knots), so I had to do something different with my styling and I have found that I can co-wash my hair, then wear it in a bun (while wet) then that same night I will twist it up.  Sometimes I will wear my two strand twists for a day or two then as a twist out for about two days, then I will pull my hair up in a twist out puff for a day or two.  This has allowed me to go all week with only co-washing my hair once.  Now, the humidity is making my my hair huge!  I mean big fluffy, afro twist out huge!  This is fine for around the house, but at school I have to represent and I may have to flat twist the the front and then pin it back to control my rising of my hair.

I want to thank everyone who has newly joined my blog!  I promise that I will try to get more posts in this summer, but I will be in class, teaching and getting my presentation ready.  I do intend to make a post of some of the twist outs I have worn over the past couple of months.  Until next time...

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Snowy Days

Hello everyone!  I have been busy with writing my thesis, but I decided to take a quick break and get a picture of me coming home from church to show you how I have been wearing my hair lately and the snow that we have been getting up here in MN.  The past several days have been nothing but snow, cold and gray weather.  At this time last year the temps were in the 60's and 70's.  Now getting above 45 degrees is a warm day.

Anyway, I have been natural for 20 months and my hair is measuring a little above 11 inches in the front and on the sides.  I have been doing a lot of wash n go's because I don't have much time to do much else and it's pretty.  I pray all is well with my blog friends and I hope to have more time once I have finished my thesis.

April 14 and several inches of snow.  Welcome to MN!
I'm meeting with my adviser this Wednesday to go over my rough draft.  I have to turn in my first draft April 30 for a grade for my research class and then I will be given more feedback to expand it into my full thesis which will be due this fall.  Then in December I will have to present it to the committee along with my action research project that I'm conducting now.  I'm taking this one step at a time and so far I'm proud of my progress.  I was the only one in my research class that had a completed first draft last week, so that tells me that I'm a little ahead of my classmates.  I've noticed that the older students with families and a mortgage (like myself) do the reading, complete the work (on time), and don't miss class.  I'm sending a lot of money to get my Master's, but it's not just the money.  It's the time away from my family and the hope for a better life that push me to do well.  Anyway, I have to work on my action research project write up so I hope to connect with you all soon.  Until next time...


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I've Been Featured!

Hello everyone!  I have been soooo busy with my studies that I have been MIA for over a month, but I had to make myself stop reading journal articles to do a quick post.  I have been featured on my university's web site!  I did a flat twist out and I'm the only minority featured!  Check it out and let me know what you think.  Until next time...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

One Wash N Go and Three Days of Wear

Hello everyone!  I've been wearing my hair in a wash n go this week after wearing my flat twist out for three days.  I love wearing my hair in a flat twist out, but it only looks good for two days.  That third day was me being totally lazy.  Well the temps have been all over the place here in MN.  From below freezing and single digits to above freezing and warm for January.  So, the wash n go has been comfortable to wear wet if I pick the right morning to wash my hair, which of course is what I did this week.
Left is day one, middle day two and right day three.

Well, since my hair has been filling in nicely I decided to start playing with a center part.  I think that I'm pulling off the look without the spot being noticed pretty well.  I wore clips in my hair to hold the curls out of my eyes because my hair is getting longer (fist pump in the air) and I achieved this look with just conditioner.  No gel!  This time last year I was an Eco Styler gel wearer and I loved it!  Now, I'm busy and find that every gel I use eventually flakes but my conditioner is clear and stays clear until I wash it out. 

I'm finding that for me gel is better for the humid months when I want hold and no frizz.  I also like to use it to slick down my edges when I wear a puff, pony tail, or bun.  Now to be honest yes, I did spray some water in my hair and I did smooth some conditioner into my hair to revitalize my curls, but this is basically the curly girl method so that is not anything new.  Overall, my wash n go's keep there shape and slowly friz out, and softens as it frizzes.  My twist outs only look good on day one and start to look matted and undefined by day two.  That's okay a little bit, but by day three I'm starting to look like a hot mess!  I'm a professional and I need to look presentable.  So, I have to get creative by pinning up the sides and pulling my hair up into a puff, which is alright.  While my wash n go's are still rocking and looking awesome with no modifications on day three.  Let me know your thoughts, just be nice.   Until next time...


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Birthday Party at Feed My Starving Children

Hello everyone!  This was a wonderful day for me.  The hubby arranged to have us and 25 of our friends volunteer at Feed My Starving Children.  We spent two hours packing food for an orphanage in El Salvador.  Between my birthday party guests, a Boy Scout troop, and a church group we packed enough food for 70 children to eat one meal a day for one year. 

What I really liked about this experience was that all kinds of people were there.  My group alone had Christians and Hindus.  It doesn't matter what your religion is, feeding hungry children is the right thing to do.  Now, I did have to bring a babysitter for my son because he isn't old enough to pack food, but he had fun playing with his favorite babysitter.  Since this was so successful I just might have the hubby do this every year.  Why not make it a tradition!  I would rather volunteer my time and money than spend money on a party anytime.  Now, the hubby did order cupcakes and we handed out cupcakes at the end to everyone including some of the other volunteers not in our group.

Flat twist out with my no makeup makeup look.  Birthday party hair.
Now for my hair.  I put my hair into about 9 flat twists last night.  I used just a little bit of water and some gel.  My hair came out lovely!  In fact I got so many compliments that I was kinda gushing towards the end of the experience.  The lead volunteer actually stopped me to complement me about my hair.  I liked my hair so much that I wore a pink flower in the morning and then my purple and white flower in the afternoon.  I also got complements about my skin.  Many people thought that I wasn't wearing any makeup but I did admit that I was.  I call this my no makeup, makeup look.  I really wanted a look that showed my face.  Sometimes, I tend to wear really red lips, so this more natural look is more of how I look without makeup without having the "she's wearing makeup" look.
Let me know what you think.  Until next time...

Monday, January 7, 2013

My First Bun...The Good and the Cold

Hello everyone!  This past Friday I decided to do my first bun.  After blow drying my hair on New Year's Day I had this big fluffy hair that really showed it's length.  I then did a Bantu Knot out that was quite lovely with all my cascading curls.  For Friday I decided that I wanted to do a bun, so Thursday night I made a visit to Sally's and got a donut.   I totally cheated because I have never worn a bun and I wanted it to look good and install easily.  

 So, I did a bun on the back of my head.  I really liked the look, but there are some real pros and cons to wearing your hair up. 

Pros:  Protective styles that have your ends tucked away is great for length retention.  Sleek elegant buns can give you a very professional sexy look.  This bun was really easy to install and took only a few moments.  I felt like this style really put my face on display and if you like to play with makeup this is the look to show it off.

Cons:  It is really cold here in Minnesota and that wind blowing on my ears, neck and quite frankly my head brought tears to my eyes!  I can't emphasize how cold it is up north here.  I have a thyroid problem and I'm always cold to begin with, then 8 degrees windy weather makes it worse.  The bun didn't allow me to wear a hat and I ended up wearing a scarf and head wrap, but I didn't realize how wearing my hair down keeps me warm.  I also ended up applying a lot of gel to keep those flyaway hairs down.  This means that I will have to rinse out my hair to get all that crunchy out.  So, this was a one day style for me unless I'm wearing a bun the whole week.
I really like my new earrings!

I don't want it to seem like I'm complaining, because I really liked this look.  I just feel for me I need to consider doing this in the summer or warmer days. 

I'm finding that what works for me doesn't necessary work for others.  I can wear a wash n go with great curl definition, but my two strand twist outs can be hit or miss especially on day two.  My wash n go's get big and fluffy, I can wear them for days and I can do things like puffs, pinned up sides, and pompadours with little effort.

But, my two strand twist outs look good on day one and go down hill after I have slept on them.  Even when I pineapple!  Only my flat twist outs look good for a couple of days and that's because I re-twist every night.  I simple don't want to give the time and effort to re-twist two strand twists every night, so my twist outs just look slept on after day one.  Never fluffy or full looking. 
My hair is still wet, so those curls shrunk up something fierce.  This is my WNG from 1/5/2013

On a completely different topic, I want to show everyone my wash n go after doing my blow out earlier in the week.  This look was achieved with conditioner no gel applied.  Being that this was the first time I straightened my hair with heat I wanted to make sure my curls would bounce back and they did!  I really liked my stretched out hair with the Bantu Knot out and I think I will be exploring banding and African threading methods to stretch my hair without heat.  But, I can't beat how pretty my curls are when I do a wash n go.  Until next time...