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

A Fight for Fashion & Fashion for Humanity

I’ve heard quite a few horror stories about the vintage lovers paradise, Jet Rag located at 825 N. La Brea in West Hollywood, and   most of them include down right brawls for clothing at the $1 yard sale held on Sundays at 10:45.

So when I went down there with my mini me side kick in tow, we were prepared for a battle.

When we arrived dressed in fatigues and Doc Martens (lol) we surveyed the parking lot and found a calm crowd of ten, looking through piles of clothing laid out in rows in the tiny parking lot.

Well I  now I am starting to believe that the rumors were totally steeped in myth; there was no way these smiling and friendly fashionistas were going to get down and dirty for a few piles of clothing.  In fact everyone was all smiles, peace signs and members only jackets.  At 10:20 the employees began bringing out large one hundred pound bundles of clothing secured in heavy plastic strips

Suddenly the numbers increased and people began staking their claims on the parcels by sitting right on top of the bundles.  At 10:30 they began cutting the plastic strips and the group of ten turned into seventy-five eager shoppers.

Right before the last parcel was opened, a store employee announced that fighting, pulling, shoving and grabbing were not  permitted.  In fact if any two people got into a pulling match they would both be cast out of the lot and banned from the sale. Once the okay was given, the crowd proceeded to rush the bundles grabbing huge piles of clothing in their arms and returning to a corner to look through their finds.  It was like watching piranha feeding in a controlled sort of way.  One fellow even lost his balance and fell face first with a load of clothing.  It was pure fun!  Especially since I was out-of-the-way taking these shots.  One fashion-ista even came over and gave me a super cute pink poodle skirt for my daughter (complete with beaded poodle) that she adores.  I also snagged a vintage button down shirt with floral embroidery that I absolutely love.

It’s important to remember to bring cash to these types of sales and also bottled water and a protein bar wouldn’t hurt; you’ll definitely need the

When I hear there is a similar parking lot sale a few blocks away, I say goodbye to my new friends and rush to the bat mobile to check it out.    Not more than a few blocks away on Santa Monica Boulevard  and Detroit I see a sign which states $2 dollar clothing, is for sale. The sale, (right across from

BevMo) is being held by stylists and owners of  The Wardrobe Company, Lisa and Debbie Britton and is in its first week of operation.  When I hear that these recycled pieces are being sold for a good cause I couldn’t help buying a few goodies.

The weekly fundraiser runs every Saturday and Sunday from nine to five and the proceeds go to children at a bush school in Tanzania; which their brother Jeff is on the board of.  Twins for Tanzania is a grass-roots organization created by the ladies to benefit the non profit, Indigenous Education Fund, by raising money through Hollywood style charity events and yards sale style, clothing sales. The former Canadian actresses decided to form the organization after traveling to Tanzania to visit the school in person and seeing the poverty first hand; and after spending two and a half weeks with the students, these cool twins decided to re-evaluate their contribution to humanity by giving back.Picture

The goal of the organization is to eventually help girls all over the African continent, from Tanzania to Somalia; you can check them out at the sale or go to for more info.

Until next time,

~Spread the Love





Sunny Days and Secret Wars…

What’s a girl to do in Southern California when the spring time temperature gets higher than it’s been in weeks? Why, hit the beach of course. 

So with my daughter in tow we jumped on the freeway and headed out to Long Beach’s Shoreline village; where they were giving their version of a Mardi-Gras celebration (not to be confused with New Orleans).

After battling the parking lot we were able to take in the festivities which started four hours earlier.  And while we did miss the parade we didn’t miss out on some of the other fun; like this new attraction which allows you to experience what your pet hamster must  feeling like when you let him out to play.

Long Beach’s Shoreline Village has a great variety of restaurants, bars, boating and vendors.  It’s jam-packed with things to do on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

While we were there: we took some really great pictures, got our faces painted, had ice cream and of course ran into some pretty colorful people.

Watching art being created in front of you is a totally different experience than seeing the finished product framed in a gallery.  It’s raw, fresh and wet (literally) emotion being layered and transmitted from the music to the artist to the canvas and then to you the viewer.  It’s like tapping into a never-ending stream of energy to create a piece which holds all of the energy of that particular moment; it’s truly a form of improvisation.

So, while Dj John Lackner blasted some amazing world music, I watched live artist Michael Pukat delivered art to a standing crowd.

Michael is a Los Angeles based fine artist who has established himself as one of the more prolific live painters as well as made a name for himself by exhibiting constantly and relentlessly throughout the LA art community. His unique blend of seductive, classical imagery is cross pollinated with a witty, contemporary edge of subtle satire-all doused in reflective paint.   Since this was my first experience with live art I wanted to know how I could see more.
Well according to Michael, there is indeed a “secret war” going on.  And it is happening in various underground clubs in cities around the world.  Yes, while DJ’s are spinning the latest music over booming sound systems; artists around the world are intuitively creating masterpieces in the form of: street art, fine art and graffiti art to a cheering crowd of spectators and battling for the title of worlds best.

 The crowd is a roaring mob, the standing room is similar to the inside of a sardine can and the art is spontaneous and raw.  One Australian performance artist has even started the trend of allowing viewers to add their own imagery and color into his own creation, during the event. 

According to the secret wars website this movement is similar to fight club and can be stumbled upon in the darkest of bars and deserted meat factories in corners of London, Sweden or Brazil and grow mainly by word of mouth.

My new friend Michael has agreed to let me check him out at one of these underground clubs right here in LA, so we will be able to get the deets on this growing movement first hand; in the meantime I have found some footage of one such event from secret wars website

Here is a picture from one event in Amsterdam with a standing room only


Michael  Pukat will be going on a live painting tour through Europe with Art Battles from April – June 2011.

We at Roots and Berrie’s will definitely be rooting for his team. Here’s a link to check out this amazing artist:



Until next time..

~Spread the Love

Vintage Recipe for healthy shiny hair….

Apparently the late 1800’s wasn’t a popular era for veganism or hair pomades made without using animal by-products.  In fact, after hearing crazy rumors about the way Latin women have been achieving healthy lustrous locks for years with this protein rich substance; I decided to do some research on my own and discovered a not so secret recipe that has been in use for centuries; even by American royalty.

Bone Marrow (yes you’ve heard it right) has been used in hair products for hundreds of years., carries a treatment called Lamaur Bone Marrow hair treatment, a deep conditioner that has reportedly transformed the hair of  one beauty department guinea pig “taking  it from dull-bedhead to shiny straight for an entire week” 

Bone Marrow Deep Penetrating Conditioner 16 fl. oz - Click Image to Close

 While the bone marrow treatment is fairly cheap (a tub will only set you back about sixteen dollars) I decided to snoop for the recipe on my own.  I consider myself a mixologist and besides I am sure that ladies in the 1800’s didn’t have Lamaur’s.  No, I am quite certain someone was mixing this concoction in their own kitchen; glowing and sweating in front of a fire all in the quest for a  glossier mane. 

 I struck gold, posted a recipe for oxmarrow pomade from The White House cookbook back in, 1887:


  • 1 marrow bone
  • 1/2 pint of oil
  • 10 cents’ worth of citronella


Take the marrow out of the bone, place it in warm water, let it get almost to boiling point, then let it cool and pour the water away; repeat this three times until the marrow is thoroughly “fined.” Beat the marrow to a cream with a silver fork, stir the oil in, drop by drop, beating all the time; when quite cold add the citronella, pour into jars and cover down

Perhaps Mrs. Grover Cleveland was onto something:

Mrs. Grover Cleveland Memorabilia

Apparently, Wholefoods carries marrow bones in their freezer section for soup stock and such however; if you do not live near a WF pick up ox tails or beef shank and proceed with the recipe.  The citronella is added primarily for scent; so you can substitute any essential oil of choice. My personal favorites for stimulating scalp are: rosemary, lavender and peppermint.

Once you have the oil, massage into scalp with finger tips for 15 minutes and leave on overnight.  Wash out in the morning and repeat the treatment every other day for 2 or three days.  Keep mixture refrigerated or frozen.

Bone marrow is the soft and flexible fatty tissue that fills bones cavities.  It is rich in fat and proteins and has been reported to stop and reduce hair fall and create that rich and lustrous hair we all seek.

 Well, because I have heard so much hype about this treatment I feel that I need to compare the natural vs. the  prepared version, on my own hair.  Yes, this blogger intends to order Lamaur’s conditioning treatment and test its effectiveness against the all natural, White House recipe from 1887 (which I will “glisten” over a hot stove and prepare myself).  Stay tuned for my review and results!

Use me again….

Are you new to recycled clothing? I most certainly am.  Well I will admit to having had an eye for the fabulous since I was quite young. In fact I have been raiding my mothers closet for her forgotten 70’s wardrobe for years: the ultra cool hand painted wooden bangles, suede bags and patchwork jackets do wonders for a white cashmere sweater and dark jeans.

  Well, last week after returning from a golf lesson, my mother and I decided to indulged in a little retail therapy and ended up at our local Goodwill.  No, there was not any fast playing techno, hip visual window displays or cheeky sales associates folding  crewnecks and stacking the latest sandblasted denim.  However, it did look like the aftermath of the storm in terms of neatness; residing on the lowest scale end of glamour. When therapy was mentioned I’d imagined perusing through sample sale racks in the little boutiques along Highland  and picking up a few model size dresses to squeeze into.  But here I was at high noon, on a Saturday watching; recycled clothing, furniture and electronics being picked over, plugged in and tried on and taken off, twice.  Yet, something told me this wasn’t just the kind of place where seniors on a budget go to get their shopping fix.  In fact, I spotted two set designers picking out vases and pictures for a video shoot and a  tall, lanky yoga enthusiast holding a meditation mat and practicing his “posture” while in line, with his eyes closed. *blank stare*wooden bangles with oyster shell /bronze inlay


Well, imagine my surprise when I looked at the room with a soft focus lense and discovered hidden in the rubble; a vintage Kimonos for under twenty dollars, a funky patchwork wool blazer by Parisian designer,Claudie Pierlot for ten (pictured below), a Vintage Lucie Lowen suede clutch with gold zipper  for only five and amazing wooden bangles with oyster and bronze inlay for six bucks a piece (shown above).  As my grandmother would say, you could have knocked me over with a feather. 

Not only is recycled clothing an eco-friendly way of dressing but it also reduces the size of landfills.  About 11 million tons of clothing are tossed each year and manufacturing waste from denim is often dumped into our dwindling water supply.                  

Vintage is chic, healthy for our environment and a great way to add distinctly unique pieces to your wardrobe without breaking the bank. Fabulous finds at those prices scream, “Use me again!”