I’ve taken my mini braids out. It feels so good to have the fro back. From the first day I started braiding to now- is about 7 weeks. The length of my braids looked good but the roots were grown out quite a bit. I haven’t had the time to post regularly, but I do have a few more mini braid pics and articles on queue.

Here’s a high bun I wore to the movies. I accessorized with a wire headband from Big Lots. I mentioned it in my summer favorites article. Of course, a bun is not complete without some mira-mira hoop earrings. I used my DIY braided extensions for added fullness, here are some options for prebraided hair on amazon- pre-twisted extensions, pre-braided extensions. A reader got some from ebay, so check there as well if you’re interested. I used Curls Passion Fruit Control Paste to smooth my edges. I used it a whole lot while in braids and it actually made it difficult to take out the braids around my edges, next time I know to shampoo before undoing the braids.


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Save 15% Use Promotional Code: Brush14 when placing your order at: www.hairfinity.com Offer Expires: 7/27/2014

Hurry! This is a good deal (usually it’s 10%) and there was no code last month so who knows when the next one will come out. I’ll be sure to stock up this time around.

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Renee Dawes, Owner NaturelleGrow

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Renee Dawes, the creator and owner of NaturelleGrow- Healthy Hair Growth Products. The NaturelleGrow product lineup includes cleansers, conditioners, moisturizers, and growth oils and balms to meet your needs.

1. How did you get started making handcrafted cosmetics?

I started handcrafting products early in my hair journey. For years I tried to figure out what products would help my hair grow long and healthy. Finally, exhausted from juggling different hair care products, I turned to my kitchen and created products that helped to grow my hair while keeping it healthy.

2. What motivated you to start NaturelleGrow?

When I first began formulating products, I shared my creations with close relatives and friends, who encouraged me to begin my own business. As I learned, created, and experimented, my initial offerings grew into a small product line of couture cleansers, conditioners, hair creams, and oils. And from this, NaturelleGrow Handmade Hair Growth Products was born.

3. What makes NaturelleGrow stand out amongst the competitors in the natural hair care industry?

NaturelleGrow is a David fighting against Goliath. There are a sea of hair company giants on the market offering mass-produced hair products. We are unique in the fact that our products are (1) Blended by hand in small batches (2) Our products contain fresh, natural homegrown ingredients, (3) Most importantly, our products have not been sitting on shelves. They are made to order giving our customer the best product available.

4. What products do you recommend for maintaining braids or other long term protective styles?

I would highly recommend our Mega Growth Oil – as the scalp needs to be maintained while in these styles. In addition to our Mega Growth Oil, I would recommend our Ginger Peach Leave-In conditioning spray. This spray will condition the hair while it is being maintained.

NaturelleGrow offers handmade, affordable products for every hair type. Click here to shop the website.

Seems like images that were brought over from the old blogspot platform are no longer working. If you come across any posts or pages where images are not loaded, please leave a comment on that post and I’ll work on replacing the image file. Thanks!


It’s been a month and I’m still in my mini braids. This is how I styled them for the Fourth of July holiday. I wore a large bun with a flat twist going from one ear to the other. I used my “night out bun” method to create a fuller bun. The bun was sorta getting in the way (in the car and at the movies). I couldn’t put my head all the way back. I would probably do it higher next time or not add the extra filler.




I braided my hair for the summer. I needed a hairstyle that was convenient for my workout routine. I’m at the gym 4-5 times a week and I sweat a lot. I’ve been co-washing my hair after every gym day and shampooing on weekends. It just made sense to put in my mini braids. I started on a Friday and finished by Monday (I think). Prior to braiding, I shampooed with a Joico product and deep conditioned with Giovanni Smooth as Silk. I used Shea Moisture Curl and Style Milk as a leave in and put my hair in large braids to dry overnight. I usually don’t use a comb to part my hair for the large braids, but this time I did so I could stay more organized when putting in the mini braids. I also used the rattail comb to make my parts for the braids. See the explanation of my parting method here. As usual, I only used my hands to detangle (no brushes or combs).

My ebook on mini braids explains my method for putting in and maintaining my natural hair in mini braids. I took pictures after each day so I could show how much I usually braid each day. I only braid my hair when I feel like it. I work on the perimeter first so I can hide the hair that’s unbraided. I did have to cancel some plans that weekend because I wasn’t in a good stopping place, but it’s all good.

Day 1 & 2:


Day 3 & 4:


Final Look:

Juntop2014 JuneMiniBraidCollage3

I’m not sure how long I’ll keep these in. I’m getting really serious about working out consistently every week. I’ve set a few weight loss goals. I’ll probably keep my hair braided all summer at least… As long as I’m in the gym 4-5 days a week, I’ll be in mini braids or twists because they’re the best option for me.

I’ve worn these in a bun pretty much every day since I did them. I only styled them once. I used foam rollers to put big waves in my mini braids. I braided my bangs and pinned it to the side. Here’s what the waves looked like after a night out- Preview of Mini Braids. I’ll try to take some better pictures and come up with some styling tutorials while I have them in. If you have any questions, comment below!

Hair vitamins are somehow becoming more and more popular. Competitors are still popping up. Manetabolism is a product from the Mane Choice product line owned by YouTuber- CourtneyNaturalHair. I was very skeptical about this one especially since it was started by someone on YouTube and her hair was already really long (without the use of these products). Across social media, users were claiming things like getting 1 inch of growth in 10 days and other anomalies. I’ve yet to see a believable image to have me convinced that this has happened. The price point is the same as Hairfinity, so I decided to test it for myself. I did research before purchasing (yes, these were purchased with my own funds). I felt comfortable that this was a reputable lab and brand.

To recap- I have been taking Hairfinity since the end of last year. I went to Jamaica and didn’t take any vitamins while I was there. I then took Priteva Hair Vitamins for a month to do a review. I got a haircut last month. The haircut left me at the same length I was last December… I started Manetabolism on May 17th, 2014 and just finished my 30 day supply bottle.

Here are the pictures and length check. My hair is currently in mini braids so I only took one down for the update pic. The first image shows that my mini braids come to about the same length, so if I had taken more than one out, the result would be the same. The next pic is the comparison of May to June. My hair grew about 1 inch. The lines on my shirt are about 1.2″ apart and my hair was crossing line 6 in May and just touches line 7 in June.

photo 2 (10)



  • Hair Growth: My hair grew about 1 inch in 1 month [May 17 -> line 6 vs. June 16, 2014-> line 7]
  • Nails: My nails grew at the typical rate and are as strong as usual
  • Skin: I had a least 1 large pimple everyday for the entire month I took these

Hairfinity [See full review HERE]:

  • Hair Growth: My hair grew about 1 inch in 1 month [Dec 2 -> line 6 vs. Jan 2, 2014-> line 7]
  • CollageHairfinityx
  • Nails: My nails grew at the typical rate and are as strong as usual
  • Skin: My skin remained clear- no acne at all

Overall opinion- The price points for these are pretty much the same. Both companies have periodic discounts. Both companies are black owned (which is personally important to me). Both companies promote their products using people with long hair or celebs (including weaved up celebs)- which I dislike. Overall the pros and cons of the business are the same. As far as hair growth performance goes, they worked similarly for me. I got the same amount of growth from Manetabolism and from Hairfinity. The deciding factor turned out to the be state of my skin. I had constant breakouts from Manetabolism. The acne was large and painful too. I suspect it’s from the high amount of biotin in Manetabolism. It’s not nearly as bad as the cystic acne I had from biotin, but my skin is not clear like it had been with Hairfinity. I always drink at 2 – 3 liters of water throughout the day. I eat mostly a clean diet (low sugar, low processed carbs, no dairy). The only contributing factor to the acne was Manetabolism. Furthermore, I saw no miraculous Manetabolism growth that is claimed all over social media. For me the clear WINNER is… HAIRFINITY. I get increased growth and clear skin. I just cannot deal with acne. I won’t repurchase this.

Click here to purchase Hairfinity- Hairfinity Hair Vitamin

Click here to purchase Manetabolism- Manetabolism Healthy Hair Vitamin (30 day supply)

Edited to add: I originally  bought a 2 month supply of Manetabolism. I finished the 2nd bottle. In the 2nd month, my hair only grew 1/2″. I had the same skin issues I had the first month but the acne was less painful. Thankfully I’m done with the bottle and my skin can clear up. I’m going back to Hairfinity for sure.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All products were purchased with my own funds and the opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

I’ve been maintaining my niece’s natural hair since she was around 2 years old. She’s turning 7 in August. Her hair is very kinky, with no visible curl pattern (4b/4c). She stays in protective styles pretty much year round. Her mom did her last few styles which were about 10-15 braids with ponytail holders at the roots. My sister washed and conditioned my niece’s hair and redid the braids. Two days afterward, I took those down and put in mini twists on dry stretched hair. I took out one braid at a time, added Eden Bodyworks product as a leave in and sealed the entire length of her hair with my shea butter mix before detangling with my denman. I think this style took about 6 hours total over 2 days. She’ll likely keep these in for most of her summer vacation. Her hair stretched is about tailbone length. The mini twists stretched are past her waist, but they shrink just from humidity and will likely hang to about shoulder length in a few weeks.


Her texture (semi stretched puffs):

Progress after 1 day:



Finished twists:


See a few of her previous hairstyles over the years here:

If you’re interested in learning more about maintaining kid’s natural hair in mini braids and mini twists, let me know!


Edit: here are her shrunken twists the next day


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I braided my hair for the summer. I took a lot of pictures during the process and it’ll take a while for me to do a full write up. Here’s a picture of what they look like 1 week in.


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I haven’t braided my hair in a while, so it takes me some time to think up topics I can blog about. I will be mini braiding my hair this week or next week depending on my schedule. In the meantime, I thought I would share the hair care products that I’ve been loving so far this Spring/Summer.

  • Wire Headbands- I bought a wire headband thingy from Big Lots for $1.50. I’m mad I didn’t pick up more. I think these are an absolute must have for every natural head out there…especially if your hair is dense. It replaces all other hair ties and headbands. I use mine as a head band, I wrap it around twice to make a puff, or 3 times to make a ponytail. It’s been a life saver and I’ve worn mine every single day since I bought it. There’s no stress on my hair- it doesn’t tangle, cause breakage, plus it’s easy to use. I want MOAR, lol.

Image from Modcloth.com. Click to visit page.

I got mine at Big Lots, check your local dollar stores, big box stores as well as online retailers and malls. Here are some via Walmart.com.

  • Giovanni Smooth As Silk Deeper Moisture- I think at this point I’ve tried most of Giovanni’s conditioners. I hated the Root Max and Direct Leave In. I like the Wellness for the tingle but it doesn’t detangle well. The Tea Tree is okay. I love Nutrafix but I think the Smooth As Silk has taken it’s spot as a staple. It has a ton of slip, it softens and moisturizes my fine hair (but not too much). It smells fantastic (sorta citrus-y). Best of all, it comes in large sizes- liters and gallons. My hair just laughs at the tiny bottles of Nutrafix. This is a definite keeper for me. I was all out of cowashing conditioners so I’m so glad I found this just in time for summer. I got my liter bottle from Marshalls.

Giovanni Smooth As Silk is available at Target, Walmart, drug and health stores…

  • Shea Moisture Curl and Style Milk- I finally repurchased an old favorite. I’ve used other versions of Shea Moisture’s leave ins but none compare for me. I’m happy to have the Curl and Style Milk back in rotation and will continue to use it. As a sidenote, I purchased the Curl Enhancing Smoothie. I used it around the time I first went natural. Currently, I’m not too crazy about it. I’ll save my coins for something else. I bought both from Walgreens during a sale. Of course you can always buy from Target. If Target has an online only sale, you can buy online, use coupon codes, etc… then request store pickup. That’s what I did for my mom’s Mother’s Day gift and it only took 10 minutes for my items to be ready. Plus, my items were instock and that’s a huge thing when it comes to finding Shea Moisture products.

Shea Moisture is available at Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Sally’s…

  • Super Wet Gel- Eco Styler Gel is still my all time favorite product for wash and goes. It does leave my hair very hard and crunchy but my style lasts longer. Super Wet is a great product because the hold is softer than Eco, it spreads easier, it’s cheaper ($2.50 for 2 lbs) and it’s available at many more places compared to Eco Styler Gel. I’ve had my tub of Super Wet for a while and I find myself reaching for it more often than EcoStyler gel.

Super Wet is available at Target  and drugstores.

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I don’t often post non-hair related posts but I thought I’d share some tips on skin care. I’ve had acne off and on for years. The acne itself wasn’t a huge deal, but the hyperpigmentation it left behind is still something I’m dealing with. I’m hoping routine exfoliation with my soon-to-be-shipped Clarisonic Mia will help with that. That said, to control the hyperpigmentation, I first needed to control the acne.

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