Thinking of Using A Sew-In To Grow Your Hair? Here’s How……

Sew-ins and extensions can be your best friend when it comes to growing your hair out and retaining length. While some ladies wear them to be able to switch up their style or color without damaging their own hair others are using them to hide their own hair due to damage.  If you are interested in some ways to grow your hair using sew ins this article will take you through the steps to ensure your hair grows long and strong while wearing a sew-in:

Choose a hair texture similar to your own

  As much as women are attracted to the light and airy look of Virgin Indian hair for its ease of styling many find problems when trying to blend this texture with their own, resulting in leave out hair that is chewed up and damaged from flat irons.  Choosing a texture that mimics your own leave out eliminates this problem and there are plenty of options to choose from: kinky straight, kinky curly, light yaki, brazilian bohemian, relaxed texture hair and many more.

Invest in a quality closure

Closures have come a  long way from a few years ago when they sat on woman’s head like a separate hat in fact they are now made of  materials that allow women to part the hair in different styles and integrate seamlessly into the hair.  Many are constructed of breathable mesh, silk fibers, french lace and come in  flesh toned scalp colors for an undetectable finish.  This is an option you should explore if you like the look of Indian hair but do not wish to damage your own hair in the blending process.

Consider your own hair

  If you hair is naturally fine or thin you may want to consider the type and amount of hair you will be purchasing for your sew-in.  It would be silly to use 12 ounces of a kinky straight hair if your own hair is very fine and relaxed.  You may want to consider using 6 ounces of salon relaxed texture hair to give yourself the length and fullness while protecting your own hair from damage.  You’ll want to use the least amount of weight on your hair while remembering not to tug and pull the hair during the styling process.

Net vs. No Net

Some prefer using a net which is attached to the braids and becomes a base for the extensions themselves.  generally I hear people complain that it is harder to get to their scalp when they choose to wear a net.  However nets come in several varieties there are stiff nets and there are stretchable nets.  If getting to your scalp is a problem, choose to use the stretchable net and double it for a stronger base.  Nets are perfect for thinning hair and increase the life of any sew-in.

TLC for your own hair

Caring for your own hair underneath a sew-in is important if you do not wish to have thin and dry hair when you remove your protective style.  The point is to allow your hair to rest from manipulation, not to rely on the extensions as a crutch.  When you remove the sew in not only should your hair should be strong and moist but you should have retained your length after 6-8 weeks.   Always start with a nice trim to remove any broken or split ends for best results, check for any breakage or weak points in your hair, edges and hairline and consider leaving out your edges to reduce  pulling.  Remember always wait two or more weeks after relaxing to get a sew in for the health of your hair.

Here is what you’ll need:

  1. 3 Applicator bottles
  2. Fill one with diluted shampoo, one with diluted conditioner and the third with a natural oil and 20 drops of tea tree oil.
  3. Use them to cleanse and condition your hair and scalp on your wash days which should be every 1-2 weeks maximum.  Keeping your scalp clean and free of build up reduces matting, caking and clogged pores allowing hair to grow without hindrance.
  4. Warm the oil in a cup of hot water and oil your hair and scalp before washing, massaging any areas you can get to with fingertips.  Olive and coconut oil are great examples.  Leave on for an hour or for better results, overnight.
  5. Use shampoo bottle to squeeze diluted shampoo beneath the tracks and or net.  Do not lather hair vigorously let the shower water run down the hair shaft.  Rinse well.
  6. Apply conditioner in the same manner, cover hair with a plastic baggy and sit beneath a hooded dryer for 10-20 minutes or use a warmed towel for the deep conditioning process.
  7. Rinse hair very well, lifting up each track and allowing the warm water to shoot into the hair and remove the conditioner.  If you are seeing bubbles you probably have not done a thorough rinse.
  8. Use a liquid leave-in~ I recommend Infusium 23 leave in because it is lightweight and provides the hair with the necessary proteins to strengthen it while in the sew- in.  The liquid will be able to get to all areas of your hair unlike a cream without leaving a cakey build-up.
  9. Try a non-oily braid spray~ Braid sprays are perfect for sew-ins because they are light weight and moisturizing and many contain natural ingredients that will leave hair soft and conditioned without build-up.  African pride and African Royale make good ones.  You will want to use this on a daily to keep the hair between your tracks moisturized.
  10. Dry your hair~ Take care to protect your hair from smelly mildew and bacteria by making sure the hair is completely dry underneath before styling.  Invest in a bonnet dryer and lift up each track to ensure all of the water is zapped, leaving your hair dry but moist. finish with a blow dryer on a cool heat setting if necessary.
  11. Protect from heat~ If you have a partial sew-in with even a small amount of leave-out and wish to wear the hair sleek and straight you need to use a heat protectant.  The goal here is to retain you own hair without damaging it.  Since the hair you have chosen will hopefully be close to you own in texture you wont have to do massive amounts of heat styling to get it to blend.  Always choose a flat-iron with a temperature setting and use the least amount of heat necessary to accomplish your style.  Your own hair should be moisturized and sealed with a light oil before spraying a heat- protectant such as Chi on your leave-out.  Proceed to finish style with a flat-iron, curling iron or the best choice a roller set.
  12. At night~ Every other night spray a bit of braid spray between each track, apply a tiny amount of a light oil to the ends of any leave out and wrap, pin curl or braid to maintain your style.  Wear a silk scarf to reduce any breakage and/or sleep on a satin pillow case.

Using these steps will ensure that your sew-in lasts, you look well-groomed and most importantly your hair will be strong and healthy underneath.

Until next time

~Spread The Love

 

ETA: I have not expounded on this article in about four years. But as time has passed I have found another addition to my growth advice and that is aphogee 2-step.  I advise using this product before the addition of any braids or weave to give your hair extra strength to support the hair additions.  The 2-step is definitely key to obtaining thick and healthy hair which retains moisture and should only be done once every six weeks.  I feel like I should do an article on wet sew in care versus dry sew ins. If anyone is interested please like or comment and I’ll begin to update this site.

Love ya

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Fashion Designers Find Ways to “Revalue” Clothing……

In response to the growing environmental crises, some designers are not only using organic cottons and fabrics (which were seeing a resurgence in this Fall) but also looking at ways to “reuse” and “revalue” materials in order to make them less disposable and thereby giving them a commercial afterlife.  By combining new, organic, recycled and vintage materials along with environmentally conscious design these artists have caught the attention of Rootsandberries.

SUNO 

Founded in 2008 by MaxOsterweis in collaboration with designer Erin Beatty and started on vintage fabrics Osterweis had been collecting for years this accessible luxury brand uses traditional techniques and combines them with intricate local designs to create a fresh and bold global view of fashion while employing artists from Kenya, India, Peru and NYC.  SUNO  NY debuts its Fall/Winter 2011 collection  September 1st and we will definitely be watching.

Alabama Chanin

This lifestyle company’s focus is sustainable energy.  These limited edition products are created by hand using a mixture of new, organic and recycled materials by local artists from Alabama.  This walking cape is easily one of our favorite pieces for fall.

Bodkin

Think modern urban design,  simple silhouettes and  comfortable chic and you have Bodkin  founded in 2008 by Eviana Hartman a former fashion editor at NYLON.   Using carefully sourced organic, post consumer recycled and new fibers colored with vegetable dyes this company seeks not to be labeled  “green” but rather “thoughtful”.  What we love about the collection is its wearability and understated, classic luxury.

As we all know fashion trend is known to affect consumer behavior and we hope finding ways to “revalue” clothing is the one trend that catches on.

 

As Always

~Spread Love

 

Courtesy of:

http://sunony.com/collections/ss11

http://www.textileworld.com

http://www.bodkin.us/

http://alabamachanin.com/

Whats Old Is New Again

 

Recently, I have found myself focusing less on shopping and eating and more on shaping and toning my body.  Normally, I bulk up if I look at a set of weights so I knew I would have to do my research if I wanted to get slim.  Thus I was led from pilates to yoga and onto various other methods of barre exercise until I came upon an old craze from the early eighties that not only receives great reviews but gets great results and quickly.  I am talking about Callanetics and I can’t say enough about it.

The video tapes are outdated.  Yes, I said video tapes.  This is downright vintage and because its old you may get lucky and find the tapes at a garage sale or a good will for a little more than a dollar. On the other hand many have found these tapes or books lurking in much darker areas like their mothers attics, basements or bookshelves.

The fashions are totally eighties and the hair and make-up are a flashback to Olivia Newton John and John Travolta in the movie, Physical.  But permed hair and leotards aside, this time capsule of style which has had a re-surge in interest can now (thankfully) be purchased on DVD at Amazon.com and is nothing short of amazing.  And If you are looking to achieve a dancers physique that’s long, lean, toned and tight this one’s for you.

The creator of Callanetics, Callan Pinckney, was a former dancer who traveled the world and returned home with a spinal injury.  In an effort to get her body back into shape she created a series of exercises using small but precise pulses which tone and stretch the smaller groups of muscles from the inside.  By using a high number of repetitions and engaging the pelvic muscles this exercise works very deeply to give  amazing results such as: a flat abs, legs that don’t jiggle when you walk, a toned neck, greater posture, strength, flexibility and a tight beautiful body.  Like me, Madonna is an enthusiast of this exercise which gives you the tightening value of 20 hours of aerobics in a 1 hour session and the way she looks at the age of 49 guarantees that she definitely puts in her hours.

Because these exercises were created by Callan while nursing an injury they were made to protect the back and modifiable for all ages.  This is not a high impact jarring and jumping workout.  In fact the movements are slow and controlled and you are repeatedly instructed to relax while Callan whips your butt into shape while using an encouraging and motherly tone.  The tasks which look deceivingly simple have turned many hard bodies into quivering wimps.

What has been described as meditation in motion will leave you feeling, somewhat euphoric, pleasantly invigorated and most importantly give you visible results in just a few hours.  They not only increase your endurance but heighten your sex drive and promise greater and stronger orgasms, whether you want them or not, lol.  The body begins to tone and lift from the ankles up and from the neck down  until everything just begins to pull in like magic.  The stomach becomes flatter and the bottom lifts higher.  As Callan states on her video 10 years younger in 10 hours, results are not measured by the scale but by the bottom line.  Which is why this video has made the list of my favorites and its dedicated followers continue to sing it’s praises after so many years.

Unlike most exercises, Callanetics is safe to do daily as long as you listen to your body and give it a day of rest when needed.   In order to get the best results ever combine Callanetics with a healthy diet and thirty minutes or more of cardio such as walking two to three times per week.  You’ll thank me later!

Here is a link to before and after pics, an article and reviews that might get you pulsing:

http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/exercise-board/446399-callanetics-before-after-photos.html

http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/fashion/article4019878.ece

http://www.amazon.com/Callanetics-Years-Younger-Hours-Amazon-com/dp/B00064K0RI

For more info visit:

http://callanetics.com/

As Always

~Spread the Love

Something Old and Something New

We all have some of this have some of this hanging around…..

Old and outdated or broken jewelry and necklaces and bracelets waiting to be sold in a pile at a yard sale or even worse, tossed into our already overcrowded landfills.  But if you look very closely at your old beads and baubles you may find some beautiful natural minerals or  elements such as turquoise, coral, wood and crystal that can be used to transform your something old into something new and fabulous!

Turn a broken necklace into a bracelet or a fabulous pair of earrings, remix an earring that has lost its partner into a pendant and transform an old brooch into a hair accessory by attaching a clip to it with the help of a hot glue gun.  Once you get your creative juices flowing the possibilities are endless.

 You can purchase a jewelry making kit from a craft store like Michael’s and it will include all of the essentials you’ll need to re-purpose your old items.  Most starter kits contain a starter supply of wire, wire cutters, pliers, toggles, clasps and crimp bead along with a variety of beads of various sizes and colors.  For about 20 bucks you can re-purpose jewelry for years and create your own un-duplicated original style while doing the planet a favor.

Here are some other great ideas for old and broken jewelery:

  • Glue a faux set of pearls or beads around an old lamp shade, picture frame or mirror
  • Put the bling! on a worn out hair clip or headband
  • Turn your nicked stiletto or platform heels into a work of art
  • Re-dress the neckline of an old tank top or dress
  • Cover a large shoe box in your favorite wallpaper; decorate the box top with your old baubles and use it to store your love letters, baby pictures and keepsakes

Junk jewelery written by Jane Eldershaw has some really great tips for turning your trash into treasure:

Get more deets on how to use your old coins, keys, brooches, ribbons and beads by watching:

http://www.michaels.com/Bead-Landing-C%27est-La-Vie-Video/JbLV1Vm2194,default,pg.html?fdid=videos-beads

As Always

~Spread the Love

Sources:

http://www.ehow.com/info_8064914_jewelry-ideas-24gauge-wire.html

http://www.michaels.com/

Getting Through Wash Day With No Tears….

Okay, I will admit it; I have been neglecting my daughter’s natural and thick 4B hair for a few days.  But when you are busy as I am it is easy to get a bit sidetracked.  So I am making up for it now by really giving her hair some love and putting it up in a style that requires very little manipulation throughout the week. 

Before I learned how to take care of her hair I used to get lots of tangling and dryness, not to mention tons of tears; It was a nightmare.  However, since learning how to care for her hair properly I get almost no tangling and her hair stays moist and healthy.  Let me show you how to get through a wash day with no tears.

First you’ll want to gather all the necessary implements you’ll need and have them at hand:

  1. Gentle Shampoo- Aphogee
  2. Moisturizing Conditioner- Aphogee
  3. Moisturizer – I recommend Hawaiian Silky 14 n 1 (as shown).   I use my own recipe in my spray bottle, which is a family secret I may bottle one day :).
  4. Oil for sealing- Vatika oil, from a local indian market (olive or grape seed oil is fine; I use my own favorite combination of oils).
  5. Eco styler gel
  6. All natural beeswax for edges
  7. Wide tooth comb for de-tangling
  8. Denman brush (not pictured)
  9. Small black rubber bands
  10. A towel
  11. A healthy snack and a video (cover all the bases)

Okay let’s get started:

  •  Apply oil to the hair in sections and begin de-tangling with a wide tooth comb from the ends on up to the roots.  Make sure to hold the hair firmly near the scalp to reduce tugging and pulling.
  • Once de-tangled place the hair in four to five large twists and braid the ends to secure them.  This prevents tangle and knotting during the wash process.

  • Apply shampoo to the hair in each section concentrating on the scalp.
  • Using the shower head or a pitcher of water rinse the hair thoroughly keeping the child’s head tilted back.
  • Apply conditioner to hair and leave on for the recommended time, rinsing in the same manner as above.  Be thorough in removing any conditioner residue from the hair and scalp (a clean scalp equals good growth).
  • Lightly towel dry and spray the moisturizer generously on all of the hair in each section.
  • Take each section down and apply the oil thoroughly all the way to the ends.
  • Create your parts, clipping hair away from the face.
  • Add a bit of beeswax or edge tamer to lay the edges down and put hair into desired amount of pony tails (today I am only doing four sections for this style, the number of pony tails is up to you) considering the thickness of the hair.
  • Once you have the hair in pony tails, de-tangle the ends of each pony tail again to get a smooth twist, then separate a small amount of hair out of the first pony tail and apply a small amount of gel to it.
  • Separate that into two strands and begin twisting it all the way down to the ends
  • Curl the end around your finger with the brush and move on to the next section.
  • Do this for each pony tail moving in even sections, for best results.
  • Add barrettes, bows or whatever youd like to spice up your baby girl.

*The hair will appear white at first however, after about thirty minutes it will dry clear and shiny.  You can use a blow dryer on low to speed up the process if pressed for time.  Don’t use straight shea butter for this, it leaves a residue.

This style will last us two weeks.  I spray her hair with moisturizer and place a bonnet on her hair at night.  When It gets fuzzy I take down the twists and she’ll wear a fluffy twist out for a few days.

Using this method has allowed her hair to grow without heat, breakage or damage.  I hope this helps you keep your daughter’s hair natural and chemical free for as long as possible.

 Until Next Time

~Spread The Love

Lyrics and Lounges…

One of the things I love best about Los Angeles is that it is like a huge steaming pot of deliciously, creative soup.  Artists of all types, from all over the planet come here to live, practice their art and to be discovered; while some just come here to share in these dynamic communities of other, one of a kind originals. 

For me, spoken word is right at the top of my list of favorites, as far as performance art goes; so when I hear about a spot called, Da Poetry Lounge, I knew I had to check it out first hand.   The venue is located in the Greenway Court Theatre  located at: 544 N Fairfax Ave in Hollywood and the line was curving into the parking lot nearby as I arrived at 8:40. 

With free parking near the theatre and a five dollar donation for entry, this casual spot draws quite a crowd every Tuesday night, so early arrival is suggested.  Seating for the nine o’clock show is limited so once they are filled, the audience camps out on the stage for an up close and personal view of the performers.

Each artist is given a three-minute time limit before the DJ, Brother Gimmel, sends them packing off the stage to hip hop music.

I take my court side seat just as the lively host and one of the founders( along with brother Gimmel and Poetri), Shihan, is giving us the rules: no cellphones, texting or walking out is permitted during the performances out of respect for the poets.

On this particular night, amateur poets line up and place themselves on a list to perform in hopes of being considered for the upcoming poetry slam competition, which begins the next week and features the two artists pictured above.

The first three acts blew me away with their depth, clarity of thought and the raw emotion of their pieces.  And for a moment I was taken for a walk in their footsteps, led to the windows where they waited for their lovers, stuffed into a body that didn’t match my personality and left knowing what it was like to feel invisible

Some of the content is deep and explicit while other pieces are more humorous and free form; but all of it is guaranteed to be honest.  Even a few songwriters got up with their guitars to test their lyrics on the finger snapping and welcoming crowd that makes up Da Poetry Lounge.

The venue is small and intimate; and the smiling, receptive crowd is made up of all races, ages and backgrounds. This is a great place to test your skills, bring a date or just come alone to be entertained.

Don’t worry if you can’t make the nine o’clock show; Da Poetry Lounge, breaks for intermission at eleven p.m. and new seats open up in the audience for the second half ,where new poets are introduced to the stage.

This is definitely one spot that makes me remember why I love LA!  Check out this performance by Poetri filmed at Da Poetry Lounge http://www.dapoetrylounge.com/:

 

Here are some other lounges worth checking out:

People of Poetry– Each and Every Wednesday@ Hollywood Studio Bar and Grill-6122 W. Sunset Blvd-Doors open at 7:30-$5  http://www.voteforpoetri.com/

2. Bakery Poetry Lounge- Thursdays@ 11020 Magnolia in North Hollywood- doors open at 8-$5  http://bakerypoetrylounge.com/

What I’m listening to: \”Electric Avenue by Eddy Grant\”

As always

~Spread The Love

Everybody’s Going Green…..

After seeing that springs make-up trend had solidified greens “status” as the must have shade of the moment for eyes and apparently lips; I was interested to find out just how far green was making its impact. So I took to the streets to find other ways of literally, going green.

What could be greener than golf?  It’s a literal day on the “green”.  The grass, the trees a warm breeze blowing in from the nearby ocean; is nature, in all its manicured splendor.

Golf, formally associated with the wealthy set is rapidly changing into everyone’s game. 

No longer associated with class or background, people of all ages and social sets are being introduced, falling in love with this game and never looking back.

Golf is the game that does not discriminate on age.  In fact, I was told by one avid golfer that he once saw an eighty year old man with oxygen tanks playing out on the green (really, it’s that addicting).

As a game that relies on so many variables for the perfect put, this game is one that is tough to master and even harder to get bored with.  All it takes is one good slice and you think you are getting good only to realize that you really don’t know jack.

Lessons are held at reasonable prices for everyone including children as young as five or six.  And most golf courses have women’s leagues, private and group lessons and a clubhouse bar.

Since I am so new to golf, I spend my time at the driving range down at the local club where the demographics are varied and some of the coolest people on the planet hang out.

 For under ten dollars you can g  et up to 100 balls to test your skill on and when you’re a lady like I am there is always someone there, to help you with your form.

Golf is a really great hobby which cuts a boring day down to size.  Come alone or bring a friend, rent a nine iron for a buck, put on your headphones and get in the zone or visit them during super twilight, which starts at 7pm.   For only $10 you get to play however many holes you can complete before the lights turn off at 10pm sharp.

Westchester Golf Course and Driving Range is located at:

6900 W Manchester Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Neighborhood: Westchester / LAX

or check www.golfzing.com for clubs near you