Monday, January 25, 2016

Natural Hair: The Afro Puff

Every now and then, I simply DO NOT have the energy to fool with my natural hair, and on these days, an afro puff, or puff, is the easiest thing for me!

I have thrown my natural hair into a frizzy puff like this one below.
Lazy hair

Puffs can also be more defined and polished! By simply adding bangs with a subtle center part to this simple puff, I instantly gained a more glamorous look! 

#dontmindme #shamelessbathroomselfie

There are a gajillion YouTube videos available on how to create a simple puff on natural hair. But I wanted to dedicate this post to giving you some of my tips and tricks to achieve your best puff!

Tip 1: Choose an elastic rubber band that will suit the density of your hair. For ladies that have thicker hair, you may have to choose an elastic band that has more give, or stretch, to it. I personally like to use a simple black elastic band from Goody's. And it also doesn't bother me if the band gets stretched over time because that ensures that the elastic band won't be too tight and snag any of my precious curls. 
Tip 2: Determine how you want your curls to look in your puff. Sometimes, I create a puff on my natural hair after I have recently washed and applied my LCO products to it, which gives my natural hair more definition. However, if I just want my puff to be big and thick with little definition, I don't put any product on my hair the night before I wear this style. Then next morning, I simply just wake up, untwist my hair, and place my hair in a puff! 
So just to recap: 
A. More defined puff comes from applying the products of your choice the night before.
B. Less defined puff comes from not applying products the night before.

Tip 3: The EDGES. Baby hair is on a whole new level nowadays thanks to social media but determine if you want to slick your edges down with a little gel, pomade, or cream of your choice. Smoothing your edges down is best when you are going for a more polished look when wearing your natural hair in a puff! 
Tip 4:  Add some bangs! I already showed you (in the picture above) how bangs can change the look of your puff! Whether you rock a side part with your bangs, center part or just bangs with absolutely no part at all, it can totally change your look!
Tip 5: Incorporate accessories. You can add bandanas, scarfs, and other pieces to your hair. Don't be afraid to even add color to your hair to give your natural hair puff some personality. In addition to hair accessories, your face becomes a focal point so add a pop of color to your lips or throw on your favorite pair of big hoop earrings to add some flair to your puff.

So there you have it... Afro puff 101 by yours truly! Let me know in the comments below if this if you have any tips or if this post was helpful to you!

Until next time...
Be faith-filled, fearless, and fabulous,
Kurly Ken

My Natural Hair Wash Regimen

I thought I would dedicate today's post to discussing the details of my hair washing routine. So... Without further ado, the steps of my natural hair washing routine are as follows:

Numero Uno
Detangle: I detangle medium size sections of hair and place each section in twists. I spend a lot of time detangling my hair in the beginning because this makes the rest of my wash routine a breeze. 

Numero Dos
Prepoo: I go through each twist, smoothing coconut oil all over my strands. I then retwists the section. I repeat the same steps for each twisted section of my hair. Once my full head is complete, I place a plastic cap on my head for 30 minutes.

Numero Tres
ACV Mixture and Rinse: I create a spray bottle mixed with 1/3 apple cider and 2/3 water. After 30 minutes of pre-pooing, I unravel a twisted section and spray the ACV Mixture on my scalp, massaging my scalp to ensure the ACV is loosening any dirt and sweat in my scalp. I then retwists the section of hair and move to the next section. After I have gone through each section of my hair, I rinse my ACV Mixture out and typically repeat the process all over my head one more time. While I know this step may be time consuming, I walk away from this step knowing that my scalp is clean from the ACV Mixture and stimulated from the massaging. 

Numero Cuatro
Deep Condition: After I rinse the ACV Mixture out, I then place deep conditioner on each twisted section of hair with Creme of Natural Argan Oil Intensive Conditioning Treatment. I make sure to only apply the conditioner to my hair, avoiding my scalp. Additionally, I make sure I concentrate the deep conditioner on my ends since they are the oldest parts of hair and need the most moisture. The directions require you to leave this deep conditioner on for 10-15 minutes, but I always leave it on for longer than that out of sheer forgetfulness.

Numero Cinco
Rinse and Coat: After a while, I wash my deep conditioner out. I then untwist each section and coat it with my oil mixture (something I randomly made up). But honestly, any oil will do. I have also used pure olive oil to coat my hair with and this works just fine.

Numero Seis
Air Dry: I allow my hair to air dry and when it's fairly dry, I complete my LCO method. In the past, I would not allow my hair to air dry before applying the products in my LCO, and the next day my hair would be over saturated with product, resulting in a slight jherri curl type look! When I learned about my hair's porosity, I was able to understand more of the science behind the importance of allowing my hair to dry a bit before applying the products in my LCO method. Check out my last post on hair porosity when you have a chance. 

Once my hair is fairly dry, I apply my LCO products, which allows my hair to better absorb the product and I can stretch my hair a bit more for fluffy first day hair!! If you would like to know which products I use for my LCO method, check out this post on my entire natural hair regimen, which includes what I am doing internally and externally to promote healthy natural hair. 

Now, I'm sure you would like to see what my next day results were, right? 

Day 1 Hair

Day 1 hair was fluffy and fairly stretched. Now, day 3 hair was even better than day 1 hair. It was defined and shiny!

Day 3 Hair

So those are the deets on my natural hair washing routine. This routine is still in the works to identify the conditioner that works best for me, but I definitely have some great contenders for top products. If you have a great deep conditioner, please list it below. Also, if you have a bomb natural hair washing routine, list that as well. I'm always looking for insight!

Until next time...
Be faith-filled, fearless, and fabulous,
Kurly Ken

Sunday, January 17, 2016

My Current Natural Hair Regimen

Well, shame on me! It's been a long time since I have provided an update to my current natural hair regimen. For the past 8 months, I have been solely focused on protective styling! I literally only took my hair out to wash, deep condition, and wear my hair out for a few days in preparation for the next protective style. However, I now OFFICIALLY miss my hair! I've been wearing it out naturally for the past few weeks, and I have slightly tweaked my natural hair regimen to include some new products and practices.

But before I get into my natural hair regimen, let's take a walk down memory lane. Remember, in April 2015, I cut my hair. My hair was seriously neglected, under moisturized, thinning, and desperately needed a fresh start.

New cut with a twist and curl in April 2015

Soooo.... after my hair cut, I increased the moisture levels in my hair by incorporating daily moisturizing habits and deep conditioning on a more frequent basis. Consistency was the key, and my hair truly began to bounce back. As the summer time approached, I wore my hair in braids or twists, but I still moisturized daily as well as washed/conditioned my hair while in these protective styles.


In September 2015, I unleashed my locks for a bit. I was pleased with the overall growth and length retention; hence, the picture below. Check out my posts on some of the things I was doing to increase growth and retain length.

 September 2015

After wearing my hair out briefly, I decided to go back into protective styling for the duration of the semester. Braids, of course, were my first choice. 

November 2015

Now, January 2016, I miss my natural hair as I stated above so I am wearing it out. When I reflect over the past 8-9 months, I can see that my hair has seen substantial growth as well as retained its length. Of course, I have trimmed it, but in spite of the trims, my hair appears healthier. It's much fuller and stronger, and I am definitely pleased with the results.

January 2016

January 2016

Let's do a comparison!
Top picture is from January 2016; Bottom picture is from September 2015

Below you will see the modifications to my natural hair regimen:


1. I take one prenatal vitamin, which includes fish oil and biotin in it as well. I no longer take a separate supplement of fish oil or biotin.
2. I increased my water intake from 8-10 glasses to 10-12 glasses of water per day. 
3. My diet is still mainly pollo-pescetarian, which means my meals consist of fish, chicken, vegetables, and fruit. I eat this way about 85% to 90% of the time. No changes here!
4. I wanted to increase the daily amount of fruits and vegetables. I currently drink a 32 ounce smoothie that includes a smorgasbord of fruits and veggies. Read more about it here.
5. I work out at least 4 times per week (running in conjunction with lifting weights)


Wash Routine
First off, I wash my hair as needed. Sometimes, I wash weekly and other times bi weekly. It really depends on how my hair feels and my schedule.

During my wash routine, I typically:
1. Pre-poo with coconut oil and honey for at least 30 minutes under a plastic cap. Check out my post on my pre-poo process here.
2. Then I clarify with 1/3 apple cider vinegar, 2/3 water. I place this mixture in a bottle and massage it into my scalp. Then I rinse out the mixture with water and repeat these steps until I feel my scalp is clean. Since I work out a lot, clarifying helps to remove the sweat, oil, and product build up from my scalp.
3. Next up, I  deep condition with a little homemade concoction of Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque, olive oil, glycerin, and honey for 30 minutes to an hour. Other ready made conditioners I have recently tried (and enjoyed) have been Creme of Nature Argan Oil Intensive Conditioning Treatment and Eden's Body Works All Natural Deep Conditioner (Jojoba monoi).
4. Next, I rinse out the deep conditioner. Apply an oil to seal and then I allow my hair to air dry for an hour or two.
5. After 70-80% of my hair is dry, I begin my LCO Method with my 1/4 aloe vera juice, 1/4 glycerin, and 1/2 water spray mixture, followed up with Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque as a cream, and olive oil to seal

Moisturizing Routine
Now, when my hair need a little moisture, I apply Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque and/or coconut oil. I also like to do a 5-10 minute scalp massage with a little olive oil or coconut oil on my finger tips when I moisturize my hair.

And Every Now and Then....
Occasionally, like every 6 months or so, I do a henna treatment.  If you would like to know more about my henna treatment, click here to read the post.  

Well folks, that's pretty much it. If you have any questions regarding any of the products or practices, please feel free to leave a comment down below.