Thursday, December 9, 2010


PJ-1: Why did you decide to ‘go natural’?
MINAH: I decided to go natural because relaxers did more damage than good. The only thing the perm was helping was my edges. So after I was turned on to the doobie (in 1998) I realized that all I needed to say was 2 phrases " Purple rollers" and " Blow dry my roots por favor" after that I was good until the next month. Also I decided to color my hair and I was told that you can’t have color and a relaxer at the same time so one had to go and I love my Honey Blonde color.

 PJ-1: How long have you been natural?
MINAH: Wow I believe I have been natural for about 10 years now. It’s a love hate relationship.

 PJ-1: What do you do when you’re having a bad hair day?
MINAH: Add a head band with a messy bun to the side, a bun on top with a side swoop bang or a ponytail.

PJ-1: How often do you apply heat to your hair?
MINAH: Depends… in the summer NEVER it’s a wet and go situation All other months…not often at all. I blow dry it after washing and flat iron it for initial styling.

PJ-1: What product are you really feeling right now?
MINAH: Extra virgin olive oil and carrot oil.





I Just love the many different textures of our hair.....Who's up next?...Signing off, PJ-1, Chan

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Natural Hair Transition

Natural Hair Transition
Transitioning from permed or relaxed hair to natural hair should be an exciting time for you.  It should not be a time of intimidation or of a feeling of loss.  Many women face objections from boyfriends, husbands, family and even in the workplace.  While we can't help you with those social and political pressures, we can give you some tips on what to expect and how to make the transition as easy as possible.
What to Expect When Transitioning to Natural Hair
People often ask us how they can make their relaxed hair "revert" back to natural hair.  The true answer is you cannot. Nothing will make hair that has been chemically relaxed go back to its natural state.  You have two choices, you can live with the permed hair at the end of the natural hair that is coming in or you can cut the permed hair off.  Should you decide you just can't let go of that length, be prepared for some breakage.  The place where the natural hair joins the permed hair is a weak point.  Many people experience a lot of breakage when growing out a perm.  By treating the hair gently and minimizing combing during the transitioning stage, you can minimize the breakage. How much breakage you get is dependent on your hair type and how you treat your hair during the process.  Baka Beautiful's Natural-Laxer MIX is excellent for minimizing breakage during this phase.  By gently softening the natural hair and strengthening the entire hair, the Natural-Laxer makes the transition from permed hair to natural hair easier and less traumatic.

How to Make the Transition to Natural Hair
There are a few basic ways to make the transition to natural hair.  The simplest is to just cut off the permed hair and live with a short hair style for several months.  This is the boldest way.  But, takes the least amount of work and there's no worry about breakage. 

           Cut off the relaxed hair- depending on how much new growth and your preferences you have a few styling options.  You can wear a TWA (tweeny weeny afro) or twists (two strand or comb twists) pretty easily with almost any length hair.  For other styling ideas visit Natural and Transition Hair Styles for Black Women
           Braids and/or extensions- you can have your hair braided until it grows to a length where you feel comfortable cutting off the new growth and going with other styling options
           SisterlocksTM- SisterLocks can be started with one and one half inches of new growth at the scalp.  They are similar to dread locks but with a look more like micro braids or very small twists.  They leave you with many styling options.  For more information (including pictures) go to
           Other Transition Styles- see below for more ideas of styles to wear while making the transition from relaxed to natural hair.
If you are going to try to maintain your length while transitioning, keep these things in mind.  Your hair is very fragile during this time.  Handle it as little as possible and make sure you keep it well moisturized.  Sleep with a silk cap or scarf at night to prevent friction on your pillow and to maintain moisture in your hair.

How Not to Make the Transition to Natural Hair
Transitioning to natural hair in other ways, like pressing the natural hair as it grows in underneath the relaxed hair, are going to make your hair prone to breakage and can damage the natural hair you're trying to grow in.  Products that claim to revert permed hair might make it frizzy, but are not going to really make it natural.  You do not want to put chemicals on top of chemicals in your hair.  You will only end up damaging the hair and get even more breakage than you would experience otherwise.  While transitioning, try to find a style that will accommodate the new growth coming in like twists or braids. 

Finding a Natural Hair Transition Style
This may be the biggest challenge of all about going natural (besides the comments from your friend and co-workers).  How do you style your hair when it's very short or when some of it is nappy and the rest is straight.  There are several options.  Here are a few:
           TWA- do the Big Chop and just wear a Tweeny Weeny Afro
           Braids or SisterLocks- SisterLocks can be started with as little as 1-1/2" of new growth at the scalp.
           Two Strand or Comb Twists- simple yet effective.  If you decide to cut your hair, you can just use some styling gel (like Black Earth's Lock It Up Gel) and part your hair into sections.  Either twist on a comb or take two strands and twist them around each other.  Your hair can be worn like this for several days before having to re-style.  CAUTION:  Hair that is left twisted for too long can begin to lock.  So, unless you want locks, take it down every once in a while.
           Straw Set- this is a great style if you want to keep your permed hair.  The tight curls make the different textures (your roots and ends) less noticeable.
           Crinkle Set or Twist Out-  by braiding or twisting your hair using a setting gel, you can create a wavy/crinkly look that minimizes the different textures of your hair.  This is a very simple and very cute style.  You can wear  your hair in twists or braids for a while, then remove them and wear the "twist out" look.
           Flat Twists- basically the same as cornrows.  The difference is you use two strands of hair instead of three.
For other styling ideas visit Natural and Transition Hair Styles for Black Women
How To Do a Straw Set
As your new growth gets to about an inch or so, you'll really begin to notice the transition between the natural hair and the permed hair.  This hair style protects the hair by minimizing strain on the place where the hair is most vulnerable because you can just "finger comb" your hair.  It might take a little while when you first try this.  But, as you get practice, this style doesn't take that long to do.

You will need:
           A pack of plastic drinking straws
o          For slightly larger and looser curls, use small perm rods- available at many beauty supply stores
           End papers
           Bobby pins
           Black Earth Crinkles & Curls or other setting lotion (make sure it's alcohol free)
           Light hair oil
Step 1:  Shampoo and condition your hair and blot dry with a towel.
Step 2:  Part you hair into 1/4 to 1/2 inch sections
Step 3:  Place end papers on to ends of your hair.
Step 4:  Roll your hair onto the straws or perm rods and secure it  with a hair pin.
Step 5:  Repeat steps 2-4 until you have finished your  entire head.
Step 6:  Dry your hair under a hooded dryer.
Step 7:  Gently remove the straws and separate the curls.
Step 8:  Spray with a light oil and continue to spray with oil on a daily basis.

How To Do Flat Twists
You will need:
           Black Earth Crinkles & Curls or other setting lotion (alcohol free please)
           Bobby pins
1.         Shampoo and condition your hair and blot dry with a towel.
2.         Part your hair using a rat tail comb to make the parts clean and straight.
3.         Put styling gel onto hair for greater hold.
4.         Separate the section into 2 strands at the hairline.
5.         Wind one strand over the other, picking up hair as you move down the section.
6.         Secure the twist with a bobby pin placed parallel and underneath the twist.
7.         You can either twist right to the back of your head or leave hair out at the ends and roller set or straw set.
How To Do the Twist Out Look

You will need:
           Setting lotion (Black Earth Crinkles & Curls or Treasured Locks Locks of Curls Pomade & Gel are perfect for this)
           Hair Oil (any good hair oil will do- Treasured Locks H2G Hair Growth Serum, Hair & Scalp Elixir are great)
1.         Wet hair
2.         Add oil
3.         Braid hair or twist it using the setting lotion
4.         You can wear the braids or twists for a day (or two or three)
5.         Remove the braids and leave the hair crinkly for a few days
6.         Wear a cap at night or rebraid to maintain the style

TRANSITIONING INTO THE NEW YOU have learned that for me towel drying my hair dries the moisture out of it, so I started just letting it air dry with a plastic bag and evoo mixed with a conditioner, I wring my hair out and then spray my evoo on my hair after I have put in the conditioner. I have noticed that since doing this my hair retains moisture and in a little over 2hrs I RINSE it out and in the morning I put my ECO gel in my hair and keep it moving.My hair has tighter curls and I have learned my hair reacts much better when I do this.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Product Spotlight - Huetiful Hair Steamer

Ok, so i've been eyeing this hair care tool for months and months!! I first came across this appliance in my first attempt at transitioning from relaxed to natural. There are numerous reviews on youtube about this hair steamer and all are positive. Huetiful is the brand name and the hair steamer can be purchase from the website at:

I stumbled across this hair tool as I was reading about the importance of deep conditioning hair. After reading about hair steaming I was sold and this item became apart of my vast "wish list". It retails for $114 and the shipping is free. Since it is a bit pricey, it has been on the back burner; although I am a hair freak and product junkie I do realize I have other priorities that take precedence. But after the Holidays - I will be purchasing this item and looking at it as an "investment"!

From the website:
Our feature product, the Huetiful Hair Steamer is specifically designed for the unique needs of curly and wavy hair, restoring moisture 5x better than deep conditioners alone, opening up the cuticles of your hair to allow any conditioner you choose to penetrate better and work more effectively, bathing your hair with warm ozone enriched mist to replenish moisture lost from chemical treatments, and reducing breakage and split ends caused by dry hair.

As I read about the product it reminded me of a "facial" for the hair. We all know that when we get a facial, there is hot steam used directly on the skin giving it that dewy, refreshed, glowing result. It is my thinking that the steam on the scalp and cuticle of the hair can benefit from from this as well.

After the holidays, I will follow up with a review of this product. So stay tuned. In the meantime click below to see a review that I found helpful on youtube regarding the Huetiful Hair Steamer:



Stress effects people in  many different ways. I just found out this Saturday that it effects my skin and hair. While washing and flat ironing my hair this weekend, I came across a bald spot in the crown of my head. I also has been breaking out like never before over the last past week or so ... So with that being said, I really went into stress mode! So here is what I found out about stress (pertaining to hair/skin/nails):

Stress and the Skin
When a person becomes stressed, the level of the body’s stress hormone (cortisol) rises. This in turn causes an increase in oil production, which can lead to oily skin, acne and other related skin problems. Dr. Mayoral noted that even patients with skin that is not affected by acne tend to develop temporary stress-related acne due to increased oil production.
In fact, a study in the January 2001 issue of the Archives of Dermatology entitled “Psychological Stress Perturbs Epidermal Permeability Barrier Homeostasis,” found that stress has a negative effect on the barrier function of the skin, resulting in water loss that inhibits the skin’s ability to repair itself after an injury.
Specifically, the study involving 27 medical, dental and pharmacy students examined how periods of higher stress (in this case, during final examinations) impacted the skin’s response to repeated stripping of cellophane tape on the subjects’ forearms vs. periods of lower stress (such as after returning from winter vacation). Researchers found that it took longer for the skin to recover from the minimally invasive tape stripping during periods of perceived higher stress than during less stressful periods.
“This study was the first of its kind to suggest what dermatologists anecdotally have known for years – that psychological stress adversely affects the normal functions of the skin,” said Dr. Mayoral. “While the subjects in this study did not have any pre-existing skin conditions, I would suspect that people with skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis would have been even more adversely affected by this experiment.”

Stressed-Out Hair
There are many reasons why men and women lose their hair, but Dr. Mayoral believes that stress may be the primary reason for unexplained hair loss. When someone is under stress, hair can go into the telogen (fall-out) phase. Telogen effluvium is a very common hair loss problem that can occur up to three months after a stressful event. After the initial hair loss, hair usually grows back in six to nine months.
Life-changing events such as childbirth or surgery also can cause hair loss. Dr. Mayoral explained that during these times, the body takes a “time-out” from growing hair to concentrate on recovery and healing. As such, hair does not grow as much and some could shed and not grow back right away.
“Stress affects people differently – some may develop an ulcer, or have a heart attack, or lose their hair,” said Dr. Mayoral. “Hair loss is a normal response to stress, but patients should see a dermatologist for a proper evaluation to rule out other medical causes. I also advise patients to avoid any strange diets where only one or two foods are allowed, as improper nutrition and extreme or rapid weight loss can result in hair loss.”

Effects of Stress on Nails
Nails are not immune to showing outward signs of stress, and some people develop the nervous habit of biting their nails or picking at them when they feel stressed. Another stress-related nail habit that Dr. Mayoral discussed is people who rub their fingers over their thumb nail, which can create a ridge across the nail. This rubbing causes a distortion of the nail plate, and when the nail grows, a raised ridge forms in the middle of the nail. In addition, physical or emotional stress, certain diseases, and chemotherapy can cause white horizontal lines to appear across the nails. Brittle, peeling nails also are a common side effect of stress.
“Sometimes patients with nail problems are not aware that their habits or tics from being stressed out or nervous are at the root of their problem,” said Dr. Mayoral. “There are instances where patients self-inflict skin, hair or nail problems that go beyond what we normally expect from stress, and these patients often need psychological help to modify their behavior.”
In her practice, Dr. Mayoral finds it beneficial to give patients the tools to help themselves cope with stress-related skin flares, particularly patients with eczema, acne, psoriasis, or seborrheic dermatitis where outward symptoms are obvious. For example, Dr. Mayoral teaches her acne patients how to modify their treatment regimen to deal with flare-ups from stress – which gives them control to help themselves during stressful periods.
“Being in control of your situation can help relieve stress,” said Dr. Mayoral. “For instance, I teach my acne patients who use a topical acne medication once a day how to safely use the medication more frequently to counter the effects of stress. If this doesn’t work, they know to call me or come in to the office so we can make further adjustments in their treatment. I find that initially giving them the power to fix the problem is very empowering to them.”

 (source)- American Academy of Dermatology. "Feeling Stressed? How Your Skin, Hair And Nails Can Show It." ScienceDaily 12 November 2007. 6 December 2010 <­ /releases/2007/11/071109194053.htm>.

I know it's easier said than done but it's not worth it to stress. I'm going to go to the dermatologist and primary care doctor to get a true diagnosis. I will keep you guys posted on the results, for I know you are all very concerned. :-) If anyone has been through a similar situation, please feel free to comment or share  your story. Here is a picture of what my hair looks like. I will post pics as(if) it grows back. Keep me in prayer....

Signing off, TO BLESSED TO BE STRESSED, PJ-1, Chan

Hair Maintenance Tip: Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

I wanted to share with you guys the results of my first try using the apple cider vinegar rinse (ACV).  First, let me say that I had shampooed and conditioned my natural hair 2 days prior.  However, my hair was really itchy and flaky.  I'm not sure if this was a result of me leaving a little of the conditioner on my hair.  I re-washed my hair with Trader Joes Tea Tree & Peppermint Shampoo then rinsed the shampoo out and applied the ACV rinse (see below for suggested mixture).  I let it sit in my hair for about 10 mins before rinsing it out.  It tingled a little initially (probably b/c I had been scatching my scalp a lot).  My hair felt really soft with the mixture, not coarse at all.  After completing rinsing the mixture from my hair, I towel dried and spray my hair with EVOO mixed with water to give it a little extra moisture before blow drying my hair.  I did not use any conditioner in this process.  The results are AMAZING!!! I have not seen a single flake and my hair looks, feels and smells great!

Vinegar Hair Rinse – Natural Hair Care Product

Hair is on the mildly acidic side of the pH scale and has an ideal pH of 4.5 to 5.5, which is close to that of an apple cider vinegar rinse (pH 2.9).

On the other hand, many of the hair care products we use, such as soap-based shampoos, bleaches, hair colors, and permanents are strongly alkaline.

Rinsing with apple cider vinegar will help balance the pH of your hair and remove the buildup that can result from the use of these styling products and inexpensive shampoos.

Rinsing will also close the numerous cuticle scales which cover and protect the surface of each hair shaft. This imparts a smoother surface which reflects more light and as a result leaves your hair shinier, smoother and easier to manage.

Rough hair shaft with open cuticles compared to smooth hair shaft with closed cuticles.

Don't worry about the slight vinegar smell you will notice after rinsing. It will disappear completely as your hair dries.

Make your own healthy after-shampoo hair rinse by mixing 1/3 of a cup (75 ml) of ACV into a quart (1 liter) of water. You can then store this mixture in a plastic bottle and keep it in the shower for ready use.

If you would like to prepare a smaller batch of this vinegar hair rinse recipe to experiment with, try mixing 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of apple cider vinegar into 1 cup (250 ml) of warm filtered tap water.

Apply the vinegar rinse after shampooing and then rinse it all out, or for extra conditioning, you can leave the rinse on your hair. This natural hair care product can be used once or twice a week or more often as needed.

I hope this info helps, PJ2