09th Dec2012

Easy Twist Out Tutorial {Natural Hair}

by Daenel

I’m doing it again. I’m giving up the Creamy Crack (aka hair relaxer). I know, it seems like I do this every couple of months but this time I’m determined to see it through. Last time I lasted a full year and was completely natural, then I went to my mom’s and the rest is history… As much as I loved being able to control my hair with the relaxer, I was seriously missing my curls.

Easy Braid Out Tutorial {Living Outside the Stacks}

And I started to develop a bad case of hair envy. Have you seen my Pinterest board? I’m obsessed. Check it out here.

I’ve been transitioning for 6 months now and so far my favorite style is a twist out. It allows my relaxed hair and natural hair to blend seamlessly without a lot of manipulation. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last 6 months, it’s this: DO NOT OVER STRESS YOUR HAIR. If you work your hair too much, it gets frizzy.

Here’s how I achieved the look in the picture:

  1. Washed and conditioned my hair with Organix Coconut Milk Shampoo and Conditioner
  2. Towel dried my hair. I know a lot of natural hair bloggers say not to towel dry your hair but I can’t work with sopping wet hair.
  3. I put a deep part on the right side of my head then went over the edges with Shine ‘n Jam conditioning gel.
  4. Then I put a good heaping handful of Beautiful Textures Curl Control Defining Pudding in my hair. I made sure I covered my hair roots to end.
  5. For the flat twists, I put 4 on the right side, one down the back and 4 on the left side. I rolled each twist with rollers. I sleep with a silk scarf on my head every night to protect my hair.
  6. The next morning, I put a little Africa’s Best Hair Oil on my fingers and then untwisted each braid.
  7. To get my hair really full, I pull each section apart, not all over, just random chunks.

Easy Braid Out Tutorial {Living Outside the Stacks}

This hairstyle will usually last me about a week with little upkeep. If I don’t retwist, my hair will get bigger and the curls will become less defined. If I retwist every night, my hair will look basically the same as it does in the pictures all week.

I don’t know how often I’ll update but I will try to remember to at least take a hair picture or two once a month.

What’s your favorite go to hair style? 

04th May2012

Officially Natural {Natural Hair}

by Daenel

The transition journey came to an end late Wednesday night. I couldn’t take it any more, so I grabbed the scissors and cut off the last few ends of straggly relaxed hair.


Transitioning {Natural Hair}
Over the course of the last year, my hair has gone from straight to curly and a little bit of everything in between. It hasn’t been an easy journey. Goodness knows there’ve been times when I’ve wanted to cry, grab the scissors and chop or return to the creamy crack.

My New Hair

Natural Hair

This is my hair in all of its curly glory. So now begins the process of letting it grow out and learning which products work best in my hair. Currently, I’m doing a wash and air dry with Palmer’s Coconut Milk and Beautiful Textures Curl Control Defining Pudding for Mixed Textures.

20th Mar2012

That Hair Thang {Vlog}

by Daenel

Just a quick vlog to answer some questions that I’ve received about my hair, transitioning and the attitude of black women towards their hair.

Natural HairThis is my hair, 9 months into the transition stage. From the roots to where the reddish brown begins is all new growth (hair that hasn’t been chemically altered). For the most part, I just wash and go. I braid it at night so that the natural texture and the relaxed textures can blend a little better.

I don’t subscribe to the theory of “good hair” or “bad hair”, I think all hair is good as long as it’s healthy and you keep it looking decent.

I’m not easily offended so if you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Unless your question is something crazy like “How come black women get all crazy when I wanna touch their hair?”

Anyway, hope you’re getting a chance to enjoy the beautiful spring weather.

18th Apr2010

I Did the Big Chop…Kinda~Sorta

by Daenel

I started transitioning from relaxed hair to natural hair in July of last year.  I am totally enjoying the freedom and liberty that comes with natural hair.  Last week, I cut the last bit of relaxed hair off (I was so incredibly frustrated and tired of dealing with dual textured hair).  Before I cut it, I had to either braid it or twist it every night before going to bed and that was incredibly time consuming.  Now that I’ve cut off relaxed portions, I can just go to bed ~ no worries.  In the morning, I can either wash my hair or spritz it with water to “reactivate” the curls.  I am loving this…

For pictures of my hair from the beginning of my journey, go here.

01st Mar2010

My Hair Mantra: Fluff and Go

by Daenel

It’s been eight months since my journey from relaxed to natural hair began and I am still going strong. I’ve resisted the urge to relapse and I haven’t scalped myself either so I’m pretty happy.

I also posted pictures on flickr. Of course, I’m having a fabulous hair day so I’m happy…

02nd Feb2010

Hair Ties

by Daenel

For twelve years I was addicted to the “creamy crack” ~ it made my hair so soft and manageable, swingy and straight, absolutely beautiful. I loved the flexibility that relaxing offered ~ I could wear it straight, curly, in a bob or pulled into a sleek chignon with little jewels embedded in the braid…. I wore it long and I wore it short. I liked to think I could out Halle with that haircut.

Then one day I decided I had had enough. I needed to break the habit. I needed to get off the “stuff.” I wanted to end my dependence on the relaxer and find my natural self.
Now this may not seem like a big deal but African American women have a love~hate relationship with their hair. Some love their natural curly/kinkiness while others hate it. The one thing we all have in common is a hatred of rain! Do not get a sista’s hair wet, just sayin‘…
I am now almost 7 months into the transitioning process and there are days when I’m itching and scratching like a junkie. I have seriously considered scraping the bottom of the relaxer jar when I do my daughters’ hair to do my own. So far I’ve resisted the urge but it’s hard. Soon it will be time for me to consider the “Big Chop”, but I’m putting it off for as long as possible. Yes, I’m plagued by the dreaded dual personalities battling it out for control of my head. I never know whether I’m going to have a good hair day or bad one. Worse yet, most of the time I don’t care. I’m just trying to enjoy the process of returning to the natural, chemical free me.

19th Jan2010

It’s Been Six Months

by Daenel

25th Dec2009

Holiday Hair

by Daenel

Curly Nikki asked her readers to share their holiday hair plans with her, so here are my plans:

1. I did my first co-wash yesterday. Co-washing is basically washing your hair with conditioner. It enhances moisture and eliminates the use of shampoos that strip hair of natural oils.
2. I parted my hair and used Profective Root Health on my scalp and then combed through.
3. Next I parted it on the side and cornrowed it so that it’d be nice and wavy today. It was braided from mid-afternoon yesterday until mid-morning today.
4. Today I took out the braids, put a little Proclaim 7 in my hands and ran it through my hair to keep it from looking too dry.
5. I’ll wear it like this for the rest of the week; rebraiding every other night.

This post is not endorsed by any of the makers of the products discussed above

21st Dec2009

What Does It Look Like?

by Daenel

I’ve been dying to find out what my natural hair looks like but I’m not ready to commit to the Big Chop yet. So I took some inspiration from Uniquelise3 and clipped some off the top in an inconspicuous place….

For a video of my braid out, go here

06th Dec2009

Caught Between Dryness and a Grease Spot

by Daenel

Well it’s been about 3 weeks since my last update on my hair transition and I’m still going strong. Barely. I’ve gotten to that point where I’m becoming increasingly frustrated for a variety of reasons:

1. I honestly don’t know what to do with my hair anymore. I’m so used to being able to run a curling iron or flat iron through it and go. Now I’m trying to go heat free and let’s just say it ain’t easy…
2. My hair is incredibly dry where the relaxer remains, so it’s starting to break and frizz up a lot. I’ve tried moisturizing but then it just looks greasy. Look at the picture, would you wanna touch that?
3. I haven’t been able to find a product that works well with my hair ~ detangling, moisturizing, softening, etc. I think that’s mostly because I don’t live in an ethnically diverse area so I’m kind of at the mercy of local retailers and whatever I can locate online through research.
I will continue the process because I have noticed a few pluses:
~ no worrying about getting caught in the rain
~ decreased prep time for getting out the door, ok, not really but it sounded good (what has really happened is that I now have more time to fret over what I’m wearing)
~hair maintenance costs have gone down significantly (touch ups every six weeks can add up, ya know?)
~ acceptance of my natural beauty

15th Nov2009

Transitioning Thank Yous

by Daenel

When I decided to transition from relaxed to natural hair, I knew I’d have bad hair days. I had them when my hair was chemically treated so why not now? When I had bad hair days with my relaxed hair, I’d just pull it into a pony tail and go. Now I’m dealing with wavy hair at the crown and near the scalp with bushy hair at the ends, not so easy to pull into a pony tail. So I had to come up with something quick and easy that would minimize damage, temper frustration and still leave me looking simply mah-velous.

I decided to start wearing a braid out with a headband. I also decided to go online and seek out support from other sistas who are in the process of transitioning or who have already transitioned. This is a long, hard process and each day I’m faced with the “do I just break down and buy a relaxer” or “do I suck it up and press on” dilemmas. I’m grateful that there are resources for African American women who want to make that change because if they weren’t available, I don’t know what I’d do.

I’m learning how to take care of my natural hair through the use of natural hair care products. They’re also talking about natural and protective hairstyles….things I wouldn’t know about without the assistance of the interwebs. So to you ladies out there who are rocking the natural looks and telling the tales – Thank you!

13th Nov2009

My Hair Has Multiple Personality Disorder

by Daenel

It’s been two weeks since my last post about transitioning from relaxed to natural hair and let me just say, my hair is seriously suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder. I have about an inch or so of new growth that is incredibly soft and wavy (I love just running my fingers across my scalp). I also have about 6 inches of chemically relaxed hair on my head. That part of my hair is incredibly dry and brittle now.

I thought I was going to have to do the BC (Big Chop) sooner rather than later to combat the issue. However, I made a run to the hair supply store and picked up some natural oils to see if that would help. Currently, I’m using Proclaim Natural 7 Oil (love that stuff) as a hot oil/deep conditioning treatment. The ends are still a little dry but at least I can keep my hair a little while longer. I also clipped off about an inch of hair (I can tell regular trims are going to be incredibly important to this process).

Like I said before the new growth is soft and wavy and I’m loving it. I think the thing that surprises me most is that it’s coming in so dark. I’m also shocked by the amount of gray up there (who knows how long that’s been there – goodness knows, I don’t). But overall, I’m happy with the process and I will keep clipping, deep conditioning and braiding until my natural and chemically processed hair become one.

I did not receive any compensation for mentioning any of the products in the post.

28th Oct2009


by Daenel

It’s been a week since I posted that I was going to let my hair go natural and I’ve been asked when I’m going to post some pics. Well, here they are… It’s actually been about four weeks since I’ve put a relaxer in my hair and maybe six weeks since I’ve dyed it.

To see a before picture, click here. So I’m at the point now where I have two different hair textures on my head – wavy near the scalp and straight at the ends (where the relaxer remains). The red dye that I had in the front of my hair has now faded to a rust color – this part is hard for me. I’m used to dying my hair every couple of weeks. I treat my hair as an accessory because, well, that’s what it is. I’ve had red hair, pink hair, blue hair, black hair, burgundy, blonde, olive drab green (that was an accident, but I wore it like a champ)….
Anyway, to combat the dual texture problem, I’ve taken to braiding my hair at night and finger combing it in the morning to blend the waves. I think one of the biggest differences I’ve noticed is that the texture of my hair is definitely different – the natural part is actually much softer than the chemically treated portion. This has me a little concerned – I do not want my hair to break because I am not ready to do the big chop.
I’m actually handling this whole transition thing better than I thought I would – of course, it’s only been four weeks so let’s see how it goes in another two weeks…

22nd Oct2009

Finding the Natural Me

by Daenel

Black women have a love-hate relationship with their hair. If you don’t believe me, just Google Chris Rock and look at all the hype surrounding his documentary, Good Hair. Or go visit a salon and see what black women will go through in order to maintain their hair – we fry it and we buy it. And some of us wear it natural.

Growing up, I had what was considered “good hair,” it was sandy brown, super fine and could be easily maintained with a brush and a little bit of water. My sisters, on the other hand, had what was considered “bad hair.” Every Saturday night, Mom would would pull out a chair in the kitchen and round up her supplies:

– Pressing cream
– Hot comb
– Hair barrettes
– Head scarves

Then she’d park my sisters in front of the stove for hours while she meticulously ran the hot comb through their hair so it’d be all shiny and bouncy for church on Sunday. This was a ritual in every black girl’s house. Just ask.

I’d sit there watching my sisters get their hair done and beg my mom to run the hot comb through my hair just one time. She’d look at me, smack her lips and ask me why I wanted her to press my hair when I had good hair? I wanted to be like my sisters. I wanted to hold my ear to keep my mom from nicking it. I wanted to show my friends the little burn mark on my forehead (a badge of honor, to my simple little mind). Sometimes to appease me, after the pressing comb had cooled down, Mom would run it through my hair but it wasn’t the same thing.

When we turned ten or eleven, my mom started relaxing my twin sister’s hair. Oh, was I jealous. The first time I saw my sister’s dark brown hair all soft, straight and bouncy, I wanted it. There I was with my frizzy curls, no longer sandy brown but a crazy mix of red, brown and blonde, looking like a black Orphan Annie. I begged my mom to put a relaxer in my hair.

She reluctantly agreed.

That was twenty plus years ago and I haven’t looked back. Accept for when I shaved my hair because it was all dry and falling out from a combination of radiation therapy and a whacked out thyroid, I’ve kept my hair relaxed. I love the feel of my hair on the back of my neck, the wind blowing through it when I ride with the windows down…But recently I’ve started to wonder what my natural hair looks like.

I’ve dyed my hair since I was fourteen (black girl with freckles and reddish brown hair, need I say more?) and, like I said, my relationship with Dark and Lovely has lasted longer than any relationship I’ve ever had with a person. Unlike some people who choose to cut off all the hair and start from scratch, I will be trimming my hair every 6 weeks until nothing’s left until my natural hair. I will be using products from Mixed Chicks and will periodically update my blog with pictures during the six month growing out process.

So if I start to look crazy or I get all cranky ’cause I’m having a bad hair day, you’ll understand wont you? Mostly I’m expecting to learn to love the natural me and, hopefully, find the person that I lost so many years ago when I started frying and dying.

I am not receiving any compensation from Mixed Chicks. I just heard about their products and felt that it may fit my needs.

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