I’m one of those people who grew up using Pantene products. As soon as I was old enough to shampoo my own hair, I started using them in combination with a few other beauty supply staples. I remember when they first came out with their Relaxed & Natural collection, I was a big fan of that as well.
Well, Pantene recently launched its new & improved collection separating the two hair types to cater to their specific needs. So now there’s the Truly Relaxed collection and the Truly Natural collection. As I grew out my relaxer a few years ago, I agreed to review the Truly Natural collection from Pantene. Here are my thoughts:
Last month, I paid the Idalias Salon in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn a visit. I was preparing for my trip to LA and I needed to get my hair washed and conditioned. I also needed to get my Bounce Deep Wavy/Coil Curl Indique Hair extensions sewn in by a professional stylist. One of the first things I look for when heading to a salon is a specialist who knows how to properly care for and maintain natural curls. It’s been 2 and a half years now that “Cece’s Curls” have been alive and well so I go to great lengths (no pun intended) to make sure they’re protected from breakage and heat damage.
The professionals at Idalias took great care of me! Their motto is “Healthy hair first equals stylish hair always,” so they place an emphasis on hair health.
As such, salon owner Darlene was very delicate with my curls and gave me a thorough shampoo and deep conditioning treatment before I sat down to be braided up and styled.
They used a great combination of products and made sure that my hair was properly protected. I get the question alot about how I blend my natural hair with the curly extensions so the difference isn’t easily detectable. You know I only give my secrets away to y’all so here it is:
Depending on which way you want your hair to lay, you need to leave out just enough of your natural hair to cover the tracks once the styling is done. See below for how much I normally leave out.
I chose a middle part this time around so the stylist at Idalias sewed my hair in a U-shape so that there was an ample amount of my natural hair on all sides to cover the track once she was complete.
Next, she fluffed my hair out and began to apply a light styling cream. My absolute favorite is Jane Carter Curl Defining Cream for this, when I do it at home.
Before I left, the stylist flat-twisted my natural hair along with the extensions so that when I released it the next day, my curls would naturally follow the curl pattern of the extensions.
This process is really easy to replicate at home. You simply retwist each night with the curl product of your choice and wrap your head with a silk scarf or bonnet to maintain.
Needless to say, they did an AWESOME job and my hair was on point for my trip to LA!
Next week I’ll be posting an exclusive Q&A with the salon owner who has some really helpful tips on installing and maintaining extensions while keeping your hair healthy. Stay tuned for that. In the meantime, if you’re in the Prospect Heights, Brooklyn area – check out the Idalias Salon and let them know LoveBrownSugar sent you!
677 Washington Ave
New York, NY 11238
Disclosure: The Idalias Salon provided me with a complimentary hair service for this review. As always, all opinions expressed herein are mine and not reflective of the company.
Happy Monday yall! It’s officially December and I’m excited because A) 2013 is approaching (and I’m SUPER hyped for the new year) and B) it’s time for fun Holiday Gift Guides & giveaways. Whoop whoop! (*does virtual tootsie roll*) So first let me tell you about my exciting past few weeks and then I’ll get into the good stuff you guys can look forward to on the site this month…
My Hair Is Laid
Guess what? It’s been officially 2 YEARS since my big chop! I’m so excited, guys. I’ve had tremendous growth since I decided to debut Cece’s Curls back in November 2010.
Now it’s 2 years later and my hair is the longest it has ever been.
I have an appreciation for the kinks as well as my straight strands. Thanks to YouTube gurus, natural hair blogs, and constant experimentation, I feel like I finally know how to handle my curls all on my own.
I’m doing un-assisted top knots and everything yall. So happy! Going natural was one of the best beauty decisions I’ve ever made. This week I’ll be doing a post on my updated hair regimen (similar to this one I did in May), my favorite products and my go-to hairstyles. Stay tuned!
LoveBrownSugar Nail Lacquer Presale Blowout
So as you guys already know, my LoveBrownSugar nail lacquer for LiSi Cosmetics (Available HERE
) officially went on presale last week! I’m beyond ecstatic – there are a few pictures above in the Instagram collage from my launch event. So far, you guys have been snatching them up! This week I’ll have a few nail tutorial posts up documenting different ways you can style the “LoveBrownSugar” color for your holiday fetes. In the mean time, order your bottle at SHOP LoveBrownSugar – it’s only $4.90
Inspiration Is Everywhere
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been really trying to hone in on what my successes and failures were in 2012 so that I can start planning for 2013. You guys know I’m a huge fan of the Vision Board as a source of inspiration. Last year I did an entire 3-Part series on creating one and I plan on doing a follow-up to that again this year.
What I’m starting to realize though, is that inspiration can come from so many different and unexpected sources. From a beautiful bouquet of roses to a childhood picture. I’m OBSESSED with the new social trend of “Throwback Thursdays” so anytime I go home, I comb through piles of old photos. I stumbled upon the one above. Me at 4 years old giving the sassiest side eye of life. According to my friends, I still give people this exact look. Anyway, I once heard that if you’re trying to figure out what your true passion is, you should look to your past. Look to those days of your innocence as a child with no inhibitions. Even back in the day I was expressing myself in fashion (check my jean jumper and shoelace bow!) and throwing subtle shade.
So ladies & gents, if you’re confused or anxious about where you’re going in life, get inspired by where you’ve been, and where you will eventually be…
So as you guys know, I’ve been natural now for almost a year and a half. I know I don’t nearly spend enough time talking about my hair journey on here, but I promise I’ll get better at it. I did my Big Chop in November 2010
and since then I’ve restricted myself to heat styling only once every 4-6 months and to continuously doing protective styles. Here’s where I started:
I have to say, my steady regimen of low heat and protective styles has been working! I wanted to show you guys some comparison shots from my very first blowout in October 2011 (one year post Big Chop) and my most recent blowout in April 2012. My hair has grown out alot!
Above is a pic of my very first blowout on natural hair in October 2011, just 6 months ago. I got it styled at the Hair Rules Salon
with head stylist Dickey. See here for that post with video
Above is a picture of my second blowout & press (April 2012). I took a few “length check” photos. I’ll share those with you soon.
Updo on pressed hair (April 2012). This was about a week after my press. I got tired of wearing it out in pin curls so I pulled into this updo for a Saturday of shopping. I’ll do a follow up post with more pics of this style as well.
Bantu Knot out on blown out hair (May 2012)
I have more pics to share in some follow-up posts but my main reason for sharing this post is to encourage all of you out their in the beginning or middle of your hair journeys. Your hair will grow, trust me! My hair is now the longest it’s ever been in my life and I’d have to attribute that to the following three things:
3 Best Practices for Natural Hair Growth
1. Limit heat-styling.
It’s hard, yes. But you can do it! As someone who has been addicted on & off to the creamy crack, press & curls, and blowdrying, I know it’s a hard habit to beat. But letting your natural curls grow without applying heat is a great way to protect them from damage and breakage. Do a heat-free challenge for a few months and you’ll begin to notice a clear difference in your hair’s texture and strength. And there are TONS of cute styles to get into that don’t involve heat at all.
2. Do more protective styling.
I actually just wrote a whole post for Carol’s Daughter Transitioning Movement site about this very principle. Protective styling isn’t just braids, weaves and wigs. Believe it or not, rocking a turban out one day is a protective style! Wearing your hair in a loose bun is another protective style. As long as your ends are being covered and shielded from the harsh elements, you’re protective styling. And more of it leads to less breakage and therefore more length retention.
3. Condition, condition, condition.
I live by my weekly deep conditioner. Whichever deep conditioner you choose, try to make sure it incorporates natural ingredients that will nourish your hair and scalp. You can also make DIY deep conditioners (there are tons of YouTube vids for this). Making sure your hair is properly conditioned is the best way to assure proper length retention.
Any other tips for growing out natural hair? Share them in the comments section!
So last week I announced on Twitter and on this Solange post that I made the big move to chop off my relaxer and rock out with my natural curls. Major right? It’s taking me a while to get used to having short hair after having long extensions for so long but it’s growing on me. I won’t go into a long exhaustive explanation of my hair journey (I’ll probably make a Youtube video or something) but I will tell you that this isn’t the first time I’ve gone natural. I got my first relaxer at about 9 or 10 years old and after that up until my High School Senior Prom, I relaxed my hair religiously every 6 weeks. Once I got to college, I didn’t feel like dealing with the maintenance or the monetary commitment so I chopped it off. It grew out beautifully.Then I had a relapse and relaxed it again in May 2009.
Yikes! 4 years worth of curls, gone! Well I’m back at it again. When I chopped off my hair in 2006 there weren’t really any forums or websites except Nappturality.com so I wasn’t vewry informed.This time I’ve been armed with hours of Youtube tutorials and cutesy sites like MoptopMaven, CurlyNikki and KisforKinky to keep me occupied. Anyway, my first “hair video: should be up on Youtube within the next week so all you natural gals who care to listen can follow me on there. I’ll post updates and product reviews to LoveBrownSugar every once in a while, but I promise it won’t take over…
What do you guys think of the new style? Hit me!