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Archive for December, 2010

A New Year

New yearNew Year’s, in my family, is all about a second chance.  We wash all of our clothes, do our hair, and clean our home in preparation for a new year void of all of yester-year’s grime, all the while cooking collard greens to symbolize the dollars we hope to make, and black-eyed-peas to symbolize the pennies.  We refuse to wash clothes on New Year’s day lest we wash someone from our family in the next year, and always try to come up with the best resolution.

But most of all, we count our blessings and are thankful for surviving the past year intact.

This year, I have quite a bit to be thankful for, and quite a bit to accomplish in the next year.

new yearsThis year was all about ups and downs.  I saw the end of a poisonous 20-month relation-shit (yes, that’s exactly what it was), and the simultaneous beginning of my first attempt in years to truly learn about myself.  I felt free, and behaved a little too freely (i.e. dating the ex’s besties), but I figured out what kind of person I want to be, and started working towards being that.  I slightly improved my GPA (which I will not disclose), learned a LOT about how to “play the game”, found someone that I think may be right for me, and Big Chopped!  Most of all, I found the side of me that knows that I don’t owe anyone anything except to be myself.

For this next year, I hope to:

  • Be able to run 2 miles in 17 minutes FLAT by April 1st, 2011 (for ROTC)
  • Learn to swim well by April 1st, 2011 (so that I can go to LDAC)
  • Smile more
  • Wear twists more often (so I don’t have to deal with my hair as much)
  • Master the art of flat twisting in straight lines and cornrowing
  • Only buy products that I absolutely need, and start nailing down my holy grails and regimen
  • Bring my GPA up even more
  • End the year with at least $500 dollars in savings
  • Make it to October 1st, 2011 celibate (which is proving to be more and more difficult every day)

Peace, Love, and New Years Resolutions!

SuperCoils

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Hi Guys!!!

I hope you’re all out partying with your friends and family this New Year’s Eve… I am, unfortunately, at home with my mom in this strange town called Warner Robins.

Le sigh.

My first New Years Eve as a legal adult and I will not be even the tiniest bit tipsy, nor will I be kissing a significant other (the Distinguished_Gentleman is about 120 miles away) as the clock strikes midnight.

AND I’m on day 92 of being celibate, with 273 endlessly cold nights left in my fiscal year of celibacy (D_G joked that I was being stingy with my *cough cough* because of the recession.  Ha ha).

moneyBut I found myself out in all of the hustle and bustle today trying to score some conditioner (my bottle of Tresemme Naturals is more than half empty, thereby constituting need) with only $20 that I was willing to spend.  That’s sounds like a lot until you hear that I was trying to get enough conditioner for all the co-washing, deep-treating, and detangling I cared to do until Summer of 2011.

Yup… and I wanted it to be mostly natural…

and of course I wanted to try some new stuff…

But why did you want to get all of this conditioner at one time, SuperCoils?

To keep my little product junkie butt out of the stores and in my books next semester, like I’m supposed to be!

But I digress.

Anyhow, I ended up identifying 7 helpful tips for keeping your natural hair cost effective:

  1. Pick one, damnit!  Find the thing you came for and don’t go wanting to try everything else in the world (like me).  Look to the advice of others with hair similar to yours and at the ingredients of products you are interested in as a means of weeding potential purchases out.  It may not work well every time, but most of the time, it’s gold.
  2. Try before you buy.  To avoid spending serious money on a product that doesn’t work for you, try a sample of the product before.  Target is really good about having samples of products on the cheap, as are most natural brands like Qhemet Biologics and Afroveda (although I no longer purchase from Afroveda) and Whole Foods will even give you an ounce of product on the free-ski!!
  3. Use your products wisely.  Don’t use a super-expensive conditioner in your daily co-wash, like Nexxus Humectress… unless you’ve got that kind of dough.  I don’t.
  4. As is usually the case with natural hair products, a little goes a long way.  Don’t use half a bottle of conditioner on your head if all it’s gonna do is run straight into your eyes or take FOREVER to absorb.  That’s just wasteful.
  5. Trade with your coily friends!  Lots of times, myself and Number1Roomie trade products and try each other’s stuff to see if we like it without making a monetary commitment.  Also, if it doesn’t work for me, it may work for her, and vice versa.  That way, we both get to try a whole BUNCH of products and save a BUNCH of money.
  6. If all else fails, mix it.  Ever had a product that doesn’t work well, but you’ve already bought it and don’t want to throw it out?  Mix it with something!  Heck, a lil’ olive oil can fix even the worse conditioner, and mixing butters with oils for use as a deep-conditioner or pre-poo can works wonders while allowing you to use up even the worst products.
  7. Get it at ROSS!  Ross ain’t just good for discount clothing and yoga videos, ladies!  Stores like TJ Maxx, Ross, and Marshalls often have discount hair products on the cheap.  Hell, I just got a 16.9 fluid ounce bottle of Yes to Tomatoes conditioner for $1.99 (normally retailing for about 9 bucks) and a 33.5 fluid ounce pump bottle of Giovanni 50:50 balanced conditioner for $12.99 (should retail close to $25).  Not bad, huh?

Hopefully, these seven tips (although a little silly) will help young, financially unstable (read: “college-going”) coil-queens like myself budget better when it comes to that all-too-precious keratin complex on top of our heads.

Peace, Love, and Budgets!

SuperCoils

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Hey Guys!  It’s me again!

A few months back, I had a little extra spending money and, unlike most 20-somethings I know (Oh, BTW, December 21st marked my 21st birthday, officially making me a “twenty-something”) I spent it putting gas in my tank and moisture in my hair!  Y’all know I love my hair!

That was when I was really looking for a lotion-like product to braid my hair with, and the best option at the time was Sweet Ambrosia by Karen’s Body Beautiful.

… but, as I said, I put gas in my tank too…

… leaving me with Vanilla Delight Daily Leave-In Conditioner by Darcy’s Botanicals!

vanilla delightName: Vanilla Delight Daily Leave-In Conditioner

Company: Darcy’s Botanicals (of Marietta, GA)

Price: $12.00 for 8 oz (Which is pretty normal for a natural hair lotion)

Consistency: thin, slippery lotion; pours easily

Scent: Vanilla

Color: Off-white

How I use it:

I mainly use this lotion to soften my hair for re-braiding, or as a light conditioner after washing or co-washing.  The reason I bought this lotion was as a means to condition my hair without waiting forever for it to dry or having to wear it semi-wet outside of my dorm room (*cough cough* Kinky Curly Knot Today).  What I found was my hair not only dried faster, but ended up much softer and shinier than when I used Knot Today.  It’s also cheaper (Woohoo) and I’m pretty sure that, if used with some flax seed gel, this could make a great combo for braid-outs and twists!  I really like this leave-in, but I’d also like to try Oyin Handmade’s new Hair Dew just because it’s rumored to be comparable to the Sweet Ambrosia, but cheaper (thereby making it worth a shot).

All in all, 9/10 and, if it beats Oyin’s Hair Dew, I’ll rebuy it and put it in my rotation permanently.  For now, I barely have an ounce left to last me until the end of break.  Y’all know I refuse to pay shipping and handling, and Oyin will be on the ground in Atlanta by time I get back, so I’m conserving my hair lotion stash until I get back to my beloved ATL.

Peace, Love, and Product Reviews,

SuperCoils

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Hey Guys,

Sorry for blitzing you with posts today but…let’s be real: when have I ever claimed to be consistent?

I’m trying to get better at it, but honestly, some of these posts take research, time… and time.

…and until recently, I was very short on time.

But today, I woke up, saw my hair, and thought only one thing:

Damn.  I left my hair gel in Atlanta.

What am I to do?  I look homeless.

Not knocking homeless people, but I’d definitely fallen on hard times.  To top it all off, I’d left my wallet in my mom’s car, and she was at work 30 miles away.

So I waited for her to get home, and ran off to Kroger with my mad-hair-scientist-side skipping gleefully along beside the car.

Flax seeds for $2.59? Check.

Ziploc containers for $2.00? Check.

Old pair of stockings I found in my momma’s drawer? Check.

Youtube?  Check!

So, ladies and gentleman, I followed Naptural85 recipe for making flax seed hair gel, with a few add-ins, of course.

For those of you who don’t like to watch videos, here’s the recipe:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • 1 pair old pantyhose to act as a strainer
  • 1 saucepan
  • 2 spoons
  • some vanilla extract or lemon extract to curb the smell (optional)

Here are the steps:

  1. Pour the flax seeds and water into the saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Stir for 5-10 minutes, until the water becomes relatively viscous (thick) and a white, foamy film forms over about 1/3 of the surface
  3. Put the pantyhose over the container with the foot inside of it to catch the flax seeds
  4. Pour the gel and seeds from the saucepan into the pantyhose and strain
  5. Add a couple of drops each of the lemon and vanilla extracts to make the gel smell like lemon cake rather than… [insert yucky smell here]
  6. Mix and allow to cool
  7. Enjoy for up to three weeks without adding a preservative

I’ll review it as soon as I actually try it (I promise).

Peace, Love, and Kitchen Wizardry,

SuperCoils

PS: Nappy Holidays

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Hmmmm…

Hello World, and, if you celebrate Christmas, well, Merry Christmas!

For all of those who do not: Happy Holidays!

Moving on…

So, you guys know my hair is unbelievably dry, right?  Like, it’s just a naturally desert-like forest of dense, dark, gravity-defying coils.  My big brother likes to refer to my hair as “Fern Gully”.

I personally have yet to decide how I feel about that.

Anyways, I was looking for a light moisturizer with no glycerin for, you guessed it, the chilly Atlanta winter.  I don’t know why, but when I came here from South Carolina, I honestly thought that I’d be going to school in a warmer state.

Silly me.

For those of you coming here in search of refuge from the cold, don’t get too excited: it’s only “Hot-lanta” in the summer.  In the winter, this place is a cold, scary hell complete with sliding cars and idiot city officials who don’t know what it means to salt the roads.

Sorry guys, just a little bitter.

The Atlanta winter was doing a real doosie on my hair, so I went to Sage Naturalceuticals one mildly cold day when I didn’t have to wait for my car to heat up.  The very knowledgeable owner, Cindy Primm, listened to my hair issues and recommended that I try Bee Mine’s Luscious Balanced Cream Moisturizer and see if that would do the trick.  She’s kind of like a coil whisperer.  Y’all should check her out 😉

So I went ahead and bought a 2 ounce container for $5 (damn) and gave it a test drive.  I ended up re-upping on the product when I ran out, so I guess I’d have to call it a keeper…

Name: Luscious Balanced Cream MoisturizerBee Mine

Company: Bee Mine Products, Inc.,

Price: $18.00 for 8 fluid ounces (It took me a few weeks to even consider purchasing this product PURELY because of it’s price and LACK of a reputation.  I mean, let’s be frank: Bee Mine doesn’t have the amazing reputation or cult following that, say, Qhemet Biologics has, regardless of the quality of their products.)

Scent: like lemon cream… absolutely delicious

Texture: light, creamy, and smooth

Experience:

The first time I used this cream, I had just gotten out of the shower from washing (not co-washing) my hair, and first applied Kinky Curly Knot Today as my leave-in.  I really wanted to do the Kimmaytube recipe, but… I’d just spent for-freaking-ever washing this mane of hair and I honestly just didn’t feel like spending more time on it than was absolutely necessary.  Then, I applied a small, fingertip-sized dollop of the Luscious Balanced Cream Moisturizer to each of my six sections with a dab (seriously, just as if you are tasting cake batter) of Darcy’s Botanicals’ Glycerin-free Twisting Cream for hold.  Finally, I braided my hair up in 4 plaits per section (24 total) and went to sleep dreaming of a soft, fluffy braid-out.

The next morning, after PT, I went ahead and took down my braids to reveal a very fluffy, yet defined braid-out with a little bit of stretch!  My hair was so soft, and remained that way through an entire WEEK!  Whoa.

All in all, this stuff has absolutely no hold (which I knew from the beginning), but has a ridiculous amount of long-time moisture.  I must say, this product is definitely a keeper.  I’m just gonna have to be SSSUUUPPPEEERRR stingy with it.  If it doesn’t last longer than 4 months, it’s off the list.

Ninjas gotta eat, after all.

Peace, Love, and Product Reviews,

SuperCoils

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Hey World!  It’s me again!

… and I have a boyfriend…

Over these past few months, I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I need in a man in order for a relationship to stand a snowball’s chance in Hell of surviving between the two of us, and D_G seems to have all of those qualities… and actually asked me to be his girlfriend.

There was no awkward silence one day when he just took it upon himself to introduce me to someone as his girlfriend…

There was no phase in which we were both confused about the boundaries of our relationship…

There was no 9-month wait in which I was constantly looking for signs of how he felt about me because he wouldn’t say the word (sorry… having flashbacks)…

He just fuggin’ said it… with HIS CHEST!

Some of you may be a little confused right now, so to catch you up on the allusion, here’s a clip:

Now for the set-up: We’re at his place on a Thursday night, chillin’, sippin’ ever so slightly on Wal-Mart champagne (don’t judge our small-time romantic evening in… we’re college students, alright!) and eating some sort of chicken and noodles with sauce dish that he cooked (he can cook!).  The roads are frozen (when I say frozen, I don’t mean small patches uh-uh no suh… these roads were ice cold, like a national APhiA convention.  Burr) and all of his friends were over there, stuck.  I love it when his friends are there!  They may be the nicest people in the entire world.

Anywho, we’re chillin’, playing DJ Rap Star on whatever video game console they have in his apartment when all of a sudden, his friend, whom I shall refer to as JamRoQ (because he’s a Jamaican Que, which is just so funny to me)grabs a black magic marker, pulls him into the bathroom, and shuts the door.

Ummm… kkkkk?

So I’m looking around the room for an explanation and everyone is avoiding my gaze… so of course my mind goes straight to the worst things imaginable:

  1. They’re doing something mildly freaky and very unholy in that bathroom, and I don’t think I’m into that.
  2. Lord PLEASE don’t let me have touched that magic marker without gloves on!
  3. Another one bites the dust.

Le sigh.

I went into the room and sat down in front of the computer, trying to see if the ice had melted off of the roadways yet so I could go home.  I was so engrossed in weather.com that I didn’t even hear the bathroom door open… until D_G crept up behind me and said “Turn around”.

Oh. My. God.

I slowly turned around to find a cheesin’ D_G standing behind me with no shirt  on… with something written across his chest.  It read:

WILL YOU BE MY GIRLFRIEND?

… with a box around the right nipple indicating to grab that one for “no” and one around the left indicating “yes”.

Guess which one I grabbed Smile

Peace, Love, and Romantic Kevin Hart Allusions!

SuperCoils

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Hey guys!

This is a product I’ve been using since the very beginning of the semester when I figured out that I wouldn’t have time to moisturize my hair more than… ehh… once or twice a week.  I knew I’d need a heavy-duty moisturizer that could stand up to sweat from PT, as well as have just a little holding power if I decided to don a hat for a day or two (or a patrol cap, as it may be).  Y’all, I searched the world high and low, went through ALL of Curly Nikki’s forums, googled the characteristics that I wanted and… nothing.

Until I looked on naturallycurly.com and saw a review for what was called “BRBC”… better known as: Qhemet Biologics’ Burdock Root Butter Cream!  Once again, I flew on down to Return to Eden to get me some burdock root creamy goodness.  Aww yeah…

I must admit though… I got back in that dorm room and ya girl went HAM!  This stuff smelled and felt amazing!  I loved it already!

Name: Burdock Root Butter Creamqhemet_burdock-300x288

Manufacturer/Company: Qhemet Biologics

Purchased: on-the-ground at Return to Eden, 2335 Cheshire Bridge Rd., ATLANTUHHHHH!

Price: $16.00 for 8 ounces (Not gonna lie… it’s an OK price, but I wouldn’t mind receiving this as a Christmas/birthday/Easter/Any-Damn-Holiday present.  At least it lasts a long time.  It’s been 5 months and my jar is still 60% full)

Scent: Citrus-y

Consistency: A light, buttery cream… like whipped frosting, only thicker

Ingredients: Distilled Water, Olive Oil, Extracts of Burdock Root, Nettle and Oatstraw, MSM Sulfur, Vegetable Glycerin, Wheat Extract, Cetearyl Extract, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl alcohol, Conditioning Emulsifier, Vitamin E, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrin, Phenoxyethanol, and Ethylhexyglycerin.

Recommendations: Rub a small amount between palms and distribute through wet or damp hair.  Style as usual.  Meant for fine/thin hair.

*Ahem* Like many curlies who use this product, I am neither fine- or thin-haired.  To the contrary, my hair is thick and coarse in many areas, but still likes light, whipped, creamy moisturizers and sealants.  Who knew?

Anywho, this product alone does not have quite enough hold to yield a well defined braid-out.  Rather, your braid-out, like mine when I used this product alone on wet hair, will be slightly stretched out, shiny, and… puffy.  In other words, if you like the look of a gleaming BAA (Big Ass Afro), use this alone on wet hair.  On dry hair, it gives EXCELLENT stretch and wonderful, lasting moisture, but not as much shine.

Now check this out: when this is used with the Olive and Honey Hydrating Balm, you get stretch, softness, and incredible shine that lasts for days.  I really enjoy using this product, and although I give it an 8.5/10 because it took me so long to figure out just how to use it, it’s still one of my staples and probably my favorite product right now.  I’m even using this in the frigid Atlanta winter, and even with its glycerin content, my hair is super soft.  Awesome!

 

Peace, Love, and Product Reviews,

SuperCoils

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