New Summer Hair: Blondie Locks

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For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen the new do! But for my ladies who don’t … let me introduce you to my new summer hair! It’s back to blonde baby ;)

I’ve been wanting to change my hair color for the summer, so after discussing with my stylist Stephanie (at The Suite Salon in Atlanta) what I should switch to, we decided to go back to blonde. I couldn’t be more pleased with the results! She did a mix of brown and blonde and in the back it’s still a dark brown, similar to my previous “ombre” look. 

Let me put a disclaimer out there. With a great stylist at hand who cares about the health of your hair, you can still get bold color and not have damage to your strands or curl pattern! My curls always bounce right back with no problem! I get my hair straightened almost every time I visit the salon, which is probably once every two months or so. 

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Here are a few tips on taking care of your hair with color:

1. Make sure you use a sulfate free shampoo. Sulfate free shampoos won’t dry out your color and it helps the color last longer.

2. Moisture. Moisture. Moisture. Deep conditioning treatments are very important because when you have color, your strands are thirsty! Always apply a leave-in conditioner and when wearing it natural, incorporate a “pudding like” styling product in your routine so you can make sure your curls are moisturized at all times.

3. Limit how much heat you add to your hair weekly. I put a flat iron only to areas that need a little touching up. Put your flat iron on a lower temperature setting so you don’t damage your hair and mess up your curl pattern. Using a heat protective serum before flat ironing also helps prevent damage.

4. Sleep on a satin pillow case at night. If you don’t have a satin pillow case, get one lol. I also sleep with a bonnet on just for added protection because I’m a wild sleeper and I don’t have time to wake up and my hair is all over my head! 

5. Get your color PROFESSIONALLY done! I get this question alllll the time, and I DO NOT, nor have I ever attempted at coloring my hair myself. When going many shades lighter than your natural color, you don’t want to leave room for mistakes then have to make a trip to the salon anyway for a color correction. Trust me. 

6. Make sure you’re going to a stylist who knows how to maintain the integrity and health of your hair! My stylist is all about healthy hair first! Go to a stylist who specializes in color to ensure a great color job. 

Now get out there and GO FOR IT! It’s just hair, it will grow back ;)

What Products Do I Use? Here’s What Made The Cut

Whenever ladies ask me about products I would recommend to them to make their natural hair journey a little smoother, I always respond with the same answer … “I can tell you what personally works for me, but you are going to go through trial and error.” I say this because every product does not work for everyone’s hair type and texture. Your friends curls could be poppin and voluminous everyday, but if her texture is finer than yours, then every product she uses may not be right for you

Now, because I’m a Beauty Blogger, there are few products that I am loyal to. I love to try whatever is new, and some products work out for the long haul, and others may get a review but seldom used again.

Lately I’ve been on a pretty consistent routine with my current go-to’s being used in heavy rotation. I wanted to share with you ladies what I’m using at the moment so you can see what I use to keep my curls soft, defined, and moisturized.

With that said, I’m sure you catch my drift, so here it goes!

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(L to R) Design Essentials Natural  Curl Cleanser Sulfate Free Shampoo, CLEAR Scalp and Hair Therapy Ultra Shea Shampoo, Pantene Natural Clarifying Shampoo 

My hair stylist has been telling me lately that I need to invest in professional products to use on my hair. So for you ladies who want to go in the same direction, Design Essentials is a good line. For those who are a little more budget conscious, CLEAR and the Pantene Natural line are what I use as well. A product that isn’t pictured that I also use and like is the Mixed Chicks Sulfate Free shampoo. If you have color in your hair, then sulfate free shampoo is what you need too look for to keep you color fresh and make it last!

(L to R) CLEAR Scalp & Hair Therapy Ultra Shea Condition, Mixed Chicks Deep Conditioner, Mixed Chicks Leave-In Conditioner

Conditioning is everything when it comes to natural hair! You ever heard anyone say, “Ooo her dry, frizzy curls are cute!” ? Yea, me either lol. Now this is an area where I’m actually loyal to a couple of products. The Mixed Chicks deep conditioner and leave-in are my go-to’s I’ve been using for a couple of years now. I use a leave-in everyday … especially since I have color! My curls are thirsty a lot, so there’s no such thing as ODing when it involves conditioner. Another product not pictured that I also love and need to use more often is the Huetiful Hair Steamer («— click on the link to check out my review). You can purchase all of these products at Target.

(L to R) Dark & Lovely Au Naturale 10-in-1 Gel, Dr. Miracle Curl Care Strong Hold Gel, Twisted Sista Curl Activator

Ok ladies, now when it comes to styling, this is the area where I am ALWAYS trying new products. But I do have three favorites that have yet to do me wrong and those are pictured above. When using a gel, I look for something that defines my curls but doesn’t flake and doesn’t make my curls hard! I usually like to mix the gel with my leave-in conditioner and a moisturizer and finger comb it through my damp hair, then do my two-strand twist. Around the sides and back, I’ll apply either a little gel or just my leave-in conditioner and finger twist it. The Twisted Sista Curl Activator is more of a cream, and it keeps my curls voluminous with a soft definition!

(L to R) Biosilk Silk Therapy Hair Serum, Elasta QP Olive Oil & Mango Butter Moisturizer 

You can’t forget about giving a little extra TLC to your strands. For shine I go for a light hair serum that I apply with my fingertips as I take out my two-strand twist in the morning. Another great option is Paul Mitchell Skinny Serum (plus it smells yummy). I use the Mango Butter in two ways: by itself, as I take my twist out, when it’s really dry, or mixed with my leave-in and the gel, then applied all over for extra moisture. 

(L to R) Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Split End Sealer, a wide tooth comb, Eden Body Works Peppermint Tea Tree Oil 

We all have to have those little extras that make a difference with our curls. One of my favorite combo’s is mixing the CD Monoi Sealer with the Mixed Chicks leave-in and the EQP Mango Butter …. omg the smell is orgasmic! I wish my hair would hold the smell all day! I use my wide tooth comb to comb my deep conditioner through my hair while in the shower. I try to limit frequent combing with the comb and alternate by finger combing because I’ve found that it eliminates more frizz. I’ll use the peppermint tea tree oil on my scalp after I’ve twisted my hair up and massage it into my scalp. I love the tingle feeling! 

That’s it ladies! Like I said before, your journey will consist of trial and error. My best advice is to BE PATIENT and keep trying. If at all possible, see if you can try out a sample packet or have a sales person make you a sample before you commit to a product. I understand that most natural hair products aren’t “cheap” and fellow product junkies like myself may not have anymore space for new items. Stores like Target have lenient return policies as long as you have your receipt. Good luck!

Go For The Bold: Pastel Tresses

Nails, clothes, and makeup are not the only things flourishing in pastel hues this Spring. I am absolutely in love with all the pastel tresses I’ve been seeing all over the internet. As a woman who loves to color her strands, the boldest color step I’ve taken thus far has been platinum blonde. 

For inspiration, check out some of my favorite looks, compliments of Google image search :)

Have any of you ladies ever gone for the bold and ventured outside of the “black, brown, red, blonde” color spectrum? If so, what color did you go for? Did you love it?

Who Says Natural Girls Can’t Straighten Things Out?

It was about that time ladies and gents! I needed a hair cut and my color touched up and for some reason blonde just keeps calling me back. Just wait until summer, I’ll probably be platinum again (or a version of it) lol. My motto, go big or go home!

Ever since I cut my hair short two years ago, it grows back like wildfire! Look at how long it was below when it was just blown out … all to cut it right back off again. This time I went for a layered bowl-esque cut and I couldn’t be happier with the results! 

I want to say something to my natural girlies. Just because you straighten your hair doesn’t always mean you will have heat damage. It’s all about maintaining healthy hair (especially if you have color!) buy having the right products and tools.

Tips:

1. If you have color processed hair (I get mine done professionally), always look for a sulfate-free shampoo. This will keep your color fresh, strong, and healthy.

2. To protect your hair from heat damage when using a flat iron, always apply a heat protecting serum. (Paul Mitchell Skinny Serum and Biosilk Silkening Serum are a couple of my favorites). 

3. Limit the times a week you run a flat iron through your hair. Tie it down at night with a silk scarf or sleep on a silk pillow case to keep your hair tamed and protected throughout the night.

4. If you’re thinking about rocking a short cut and don’t know where to start, take a picture to your stylist of a cut that you like. This way they can get a better visual of what it is that you want! Be confident and rock it girl!

xoxo

McKenzie Renae

FYI: I get my hair custom colored by a professional stylist at the salon! I do not color my hair on my own and I do not cut it on my own. So I cannot recommend store bought color products. Thank you :)