Archived Blog Posts - Hair Ideas for Curly Hair

The Return Visit

So today I had my second haircut with Tameeka of Christo's Hair Salon. Now to let you know a little about me, I am famous for one night stands with hair stylists - there was the guy at Saks Fifth Avenue senior of High School, then that woman I had appointment with freshman year in college - the list goes on and on. I think I have commitment phobia with hair stylists. Why take the chance on someone when it's just as easy to care for my hair myself? Me and my hair usually get along just fine - why add a third person to the mix?

So here I am reporting that I returned to a stylist - have I matured....grown-up? Can't say for sure but I can report that I'm glad I went for my 5 month follow up trim. I was super grateful that Tameeka was able to squeeze me in this evening (I had scheduled way in advance since she is going on maternity leave soon but had to reschedule as I realized friends were visiting from out of town). Initially we had thought I could go 5 months between shaping cuts but now I see that my cut starts to lose its shape after about 4 months. She had my hair shampooed with the new "Natural Coils" line cleanser developed my Christo. This was a nice change in that it is sulphate free unlike the Curlisto shampoo. Interestingly enough, my hair must be stronger since my initial visit because this time as she and her assistant combed the conditioner and leave ins through my hair there was very little shedding (Yeah!).

Basically she trimmed very little – just maintaining the overall style/ cut, raked down my curls to lengthen them a bit and let them dry under a hood dryer. I could see my hair had grown as she measured out my curls on each side – making sure they hung evenly. So it seems like I have found the stylist I can trust my hair and its healthy maintenance to….sweet.

Deep Conditioning on Dry Hair Sept 3, 2010

Lately I've been skipping my co-washing step in favor of deep conditioning on dry hair. Being oh so human, sometimes at the end of my hair week I slack off in terms of keeping it adequately moisturized ("It's okay that its a little dry, I'm washing it tomorrow anyway"). So on hair washing day I wind up with medium dry hair that needs an infusion of both protein and moisture.

Deep conditioning on dry hair simply means applying your deep conditioner first without wetting your hair. For me that means I use enough Aubrey Organics GPB Balancing Conditioner mixed with Dabur Vatika Enriched Coconut Hair Oil to cover my whole head, place a plastic bag on it, put a thermal (Thinsulate) hat on top of that, leave it on for about 20 minutes, then rinse it out. This really minimizes the shedding that I can sometimes see if I cowash medium-to-very dry hair. It feels as though this routine provides stronger hair strands even before I use the Aphogee Keratin 2 minute Reconstructor. Having done this for 2 back to back weeks now - my hair is extra sleek and resilient.

Unintended Cliffhanger: The Session with the Stylist July 2010

My last posting left off with me getting a shaping haircut at Christo's Salon in Manhattan, NY by stylist Tameeka McNeil-Johnson. The results....I am super happy with my haircut. She was totally
faithful to the treatment plan we agreed upon at the time of the consultation: minimal trimming, gradual removal of existing layers; retention of my existing bangs. She was not overly chatty but instead went studiously about the business of detangling and evaluating my hair - which was fine with me (I personally prefer conversation that arises naturally to customer service forced chatter). I was particularly glad that I weekly treat my hair with Aphogee's keratin 2 minute treatment because my hair was strong enough to sustain thecomb detangling (a little rigorous compared to my finger detangling that I'll admit would take too long in a salon setting).

After shampooing and conditioning my hair, Tameeka (with the help of an assistant) applied Curlisto's Deep Therapy Masque - my new favorite product! This masque is combed through the hair and left on for about 5-7 minutes. I was amazed at the reconditioning effects it had on myhair. My hair was left sleeker, stronger and softer with just that short application. If I am able to negotiate with the Christo salon I would love to carry this item here at Lakshmi's Cupboard. Okay, though back to the hair cut, once the masque was rinsed out Tameeka applied Curlisto's repairing styling crème and a blend of their Structura gel and Control II gel. She then raked them through my hair and elongated my curls a little. The end result was very workable. My tight curls had some definition and bounce. (I did take pictures but they didn't come out particularly well). Best of all in the 2 months since the haircut my hair has been much easier to manage.

Because the cut is so well shaped I don't have to have perfect curls every day. They more or less fall into place and are far less maintenance (no more errant curls springing rudely from my head). So my report is that I am very happy with my haircut. The mutually agreed upon plan is for me to return for another shaping cut in November/December – before Tameeka (who is pregnant) gives birth. I highly recommend both Tameeka as a stylist with curl expertise and Curlisto's Deep Therapy Masque as a protein treatment.

The Overdue Haircut....aka Surrendering Control of My Hair to a Stylist June 2010

    Several summers ago I was at a retreat where we played a game of musical chairs for adults with a twist - the person without a chair was not eliminated but instead had to say 1 thing about themselves that was embarrassing and then everyone who had the same issue had to get up from their seats and race to find a new chair. One woman's embarrassing detail was that she hated to give up control of her hair to a hair stylist. I totally got up for that one.

      I had long dreadlocks for many years and so it was never really necessary to see a stylist - I cut and cared for my own hair without needing any specialty services (color, etc...) - with great results. No one was ever as intimate with my hair care needs as I was. So now fast forward 4 years - I've only braved getting a haircut twice since the Big Chop. The first stylist was someone local - not recommended through anyone and she needed to blow my hair straight before cutting (burning many strands of hair as she straight combed!). The second stylist was well reviewed/ recommended at a Brooklyn salon. He gave me a cut that was perfectly fine but I paid all this extra money ($80-100 over the cut and conditioning) for "special Curly styling" only to have my hair look like a regular curly afro w/ no curl definition.

     So today I am stepping up to the roulette table of hair services once again - badly needing a shaping cut (it's been 16 months since the last cut, wayward curls stick out everywhere - see below).  

My appointment is with Tameeka of Christo's Salon in Manhattan, NY. She was well recommended (even back when I went to the Brooklyn guy) and seemed to understand that I wanted to leave with a look similar to a "twist out" (the way I regularly wear my hair). She was very familiar with all of the products I use when I had my consultation last week, so that feels like a good omen. My appt is for later this evening, promise to report back with the results.....Here goes..........

How It All Began Feb 9, 2010
Believe it or not the idea for the online store Lakshmi's Cupboard began on the Staten Island ferry ladies bathroom. In 2008 I had an office job in Manhattan, NY. My commute was bus, ferry, train, walking - a total of 75-80 minutes! To save time and get extra sleep in the mornings I would wrap my twisted hair in a scarf or wear a hat and board the ferry like that. Over that 25 min ride, I would take down my twisted hair, add a little Amla and Olive  Cream as a moisturizer and spray with Set it Free to protect it from the humidity. I walked into that bathroom looking ghetto and left that bathroom looking fabulous! What I noticed was that I also was educating many women about caring for African American natural hair (or tightly curled hair of any ethnicity). Women asked me for product recommendations all of the time. One women even took my picture once we got off the ferry!

So in January of 2010 I opened my online store - Lakshmi's Cupboard - specializing in hair care products for curly/ ethnic hair. I have used all the products I currently sell - and adore them! I have finally figured out my hair and how to make it thrive. These combination of products - Aphogee, Aubrey Organics, Nourish Spa, moisurizing hair creams, olive oil and honey - have made my hair shiny, strong and my twist and curl hair sets last a week with no touch up twisting! The Aphogee has done a breathtaking job repairing damage, my hair is growing now and I retain the length. So I welcome you to test these products out for yourself here at Lakshmi's Cupboard.

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Coming Soon: Amla Silk Deep Therapy Restorative Masque

A Customer Review of Our Store - Thanks So Much Electra!!