I had my last set of mini braids in for about 5 weeks. My roots grew out quite a bit. Here are some tips for caring for mini braids with new growth.

  1. Be extra gentle. The hair at the roots is loose and can easily break if braids are pulled too tightly. The tighter you pull the hair into a ponytail, bun, or other style…the neater it will look. Just remember that the hair at the roots is much weaker than the length of the braid so don’t pull the roots too tightly.
  2. Don’t scrub roots when shampooing. Use a gently massaging motion to keep the hair from snagging. Loose hair the roots is already being stretched to reach the braid and being wet makes the hair even weaker. Try not to put any tension on the braids when cleansing. Here’s my tutorial for cowashing mini braids.
  3. Keep finger nails trimmed and take off chipped polish before washing and styling hair. This is a big issue for me. Chipped nails will saw strands of hair in half. Manicure nails before doing hair to prevent issues.
  4. If there are strands of hair that are completely loose and you plan to wear your mini braids for a few more weeks, undue the nearest braid and rebraid that area. I don’t know how it happens, but I get loose strands of hair often and if I don’t rebraid them it will tangle around the braids.
  5. Listen for snapping sounds, especially if you’re fine-haired like me. Snapping means you aren’t being gentle enough or you are putting too much tension on the braids when styling.

 

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After I took out my mini braids, I tried out the Maximum Hydration Method. I don’t think I’d do it again because the whole process took far too long. What I did like about it was using the bentonite clay rinse as a last step (I usually use it first to cleanse my hair). To style my wash and go, I used a leave in from Miss Good Hair (it’s a Kinky Curly Knot Today dupe) and the site has great sales. Over the leave in, I used Super Wet gel (one of my summer favorites). I was really lazy and wore this wash and go for about 10 days! I never go that long, but I was away from home and didn’t pack any hair products whatsoever. I just used water to reshape my curls each day. I literally packed nothing hair related (other than my silk scarf and a wire headband). My hands and some water were all I used for the 4 days I was away…actually I hadn’t done anything to my hair the prior 6 days either. And if anyone is curious, yes my hair was dry af at the end of those 10 days, lol.

If you want to read more about how the Max Hydration Method works my 4a, frizzy, porous, fine textured hair, comment below and I will try it again and document the process.

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This is the last style diary photo set from my summer 2014 mini braids. I went to a friend’s birthday dinner and wore a lace skater dress. To complement the look, I wore my hair in a low bun with cornrows that were pinned at the back. This style was great to hide my frizzy edges.

I do have some articles on mini braids that I still need to write so stay tuned for that.

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This isn’t a hair related post, but this blog is my main online platform and I thought I’d share my juice cleansing experience here. I saw a lot of deals for pre-packaged juice cleanses on flash deal websites. I researched some options for a few months. Ultimately, I purchased Ouri’s 3 Day Juice Cleanse from Amazon.com. The reviews were good and was by far the least expensive option for the juices plus shipping. The cost for pre-made juices are high, but I like that they are so convenient. I don’t have a juicer but I do use my blender to make green juices and it’s a hassle to shop often for fresh produce and prep it all. With my current schedule, it’s just easier for me to buy these pre-made.

Prior to this cleanse I hadn’t made it a whole day on nothing but juices, but I do do the occasional 24-36 hour water fast just to give my digestive system a break. I’m used to not eating anything solid for a day or two, so I was optimistic about this cleanse. My main goal for this 3 day cleanse was to give my system a break and restore the healthy bacteria in my digestive system.

 

The juices ship from NY and reached me on the east coast in one day. They were still semi- frozen. There are a total of 18 bottles and you drink 6 per day (which totals around 1200 calories per day). I decided to drink one juice every 2 hours. Other than juice I had peppermint tea and plain water. I took a few supplements during the cleanse- acidophilus, coconut oil, kyolic garlic, and I drank 1 tablespoon of psyllium husk with water.

Day one was okay. My favorite juice was the pineapple mint. I want to make it at home (and probably add some rum to it). The green juices were very similar to what I blend at home. The roots one was different but not bad. I absolutely hate coconuts so that one was really hard to get down. I had to hold my nose to drink it on the first day. I couldn’t handle it the other two days so I gave those away.

Day two- I felt really lethargic. I had to work and had no energy. I ate a small yogurt and had coffee with cream. It made the rest of the day much easier. I also had a sinus headache so I’m not sure if the cleanse was the issue or the headache. Since I had the yogurt, I felt it wasn’t a big deal if I didn’t finish all of the juices.

Day three- I had a yogurt for breakfast and juices the rest of the day (except coconut). I had a couple cups of coffee and black tea. I was still a bit tired and definitely looking forward to solid food.

Overall- I think I did pretty well. I mostly stuck to the juices. I didn’t finish all of them, but drank what I had left on day 4 (along with regular meals). It was overall a good experience. I still think a water only fast is easier than a liquid diet. The sugar in fruits upsets my stomach so next time I’d opt for green juices only. I would definitely purchase Ouri’s 3 Day Juice Cleanse again and do this every few months. I didn’t necessarily intend to lose weight, but of course weight loss is typical.  I’ve been working out for an hour or running 3 miles- 5 times a week. I also count calories. I’ve lost 18 lbs this summer. I have my routine down and this deviated from that a lot. I didn’t work out at all during the cleanse so I was worried about getting back into things afterward. I don’t think I was drinking as much water as I typically do (about 3 liters) because I only had liquids and wasn’t thirsty…so I did lose a lot of water weight. The results are below. The day after the cleanse, I stayed the same. Two days after, I gained 0.2 lbs.

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Click here to purchase from Amazon- Ouri’s 3 Day Juice Cleanse Box 18 Bottles.

 

 

Yet another bun. I mostly pull my mini braids into a messy top knot bun, but if I’m going out, I go for something a bit more interesting. This particular night I made several large asymmetrical flat twists, then did a classic bun.

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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.

 

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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:

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Day 3 & 4:

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Final Look:

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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.

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Manetabolism:

  • 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.

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