Instagram!

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image1Hello all!

So, it’s been a long while since I’ve been here! This blog came about when I was relaxed, then continued into my transitioning phase (which ended May 2015) and hasn’t really been updated since. I’m now fully natural and mainly update my Instagram page with video tutorials, comparison pics, details on natural hair product sales and OF COURSE hair product reviews.

 

Follow my Hair IG @transitioninglati to keep up!

 

I’ll try to update this blog from time to time but IG is so much more efficient.

My Very First Curlbox

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Recently, I signed up for a Curlbox membership. This has been a long long long time coming. When I was in law school, I kept telling myself that when I moved out on my own and could spend hours in the bathroom I would finally subscribe. However, after graduation, when I moved to my own apartment I realized I had waaaay too many products as it is! So, the past six months have been dedicated to clearing out as much of my product stash as I could so that I could finally indulge in a curl box membership. Now, it ‘s time to share the amazingness of these products with all of y’all! 

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Overall Results: My curls are POPPIN right now! I mean…I knew my hair was curly but I didn’t think it was THIS curly. Especially since I’ve been heat styling for a while. The combo of these 3 products has brought my curls to life…a real rebirth lol. They’re moisturized yet so defined. I’ll definitely be buying all 3 of these products when they all hit shelves! 

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(1) Cantu Shea Butter Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream

This is a winner for me! It has so much slip, it makes detangling a breeze. It also leave my curls so defined and hydrated. It’s a perfect leave in and “Step 1” for the wash n’ go styling process. Using this cream underneath any defining gels will ensure your hair is left defined, frizz free and moisturized. You can find this product at Sally’s for $6.

How to Use: Apply to fresh washed hair. I’ll continue to use this for wash n’ go’s so it’s best to use the “praying method” to ensure even distribution. Follow with a defining gel for hold.

Ingredients: 

Water, Glycerin, Propanediol, Fragrance, Polyquaternium-10, Stearalkonium Chloride, Stearyl Alcohol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Olea Euopaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernal Oil, Melia Azadirachta (Neem) Seed Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Lonciera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Laminara Cloustoni (Sea Kelp) Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Macadamia Ternifolia (Macadamia) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Silk Amino Acids, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate-60, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

(2) Cantu Shea Butter Dry Deny Moisture Seal Gel Oil 

THIS. Thissss is it. This is such a satisfyingly perplexing product. It’s a sealing gel so it locks in moisture while giving a soft hold which sounds like the best product ever right? Well, it is. I’ve used it on a flexirod set and on a wash n’go and I’m delighted at the results for both. When using with my flexirod set-the hold lasted for 3 days and I felt no drying effects. When using with my wash n’ go, ugh the definition is diviiiiine! 

How to Use: Apply to damp hair after having applied a leave in condition (preferably the one above) and continue to rake through hair. You can do without a mousse or gel at this stage but if you prefer more than a soft hold…use EcoStyler, your favorite gel, or (3)–below.

This product has yet to hit shelves yet but, I think, that when it does it shelves that it will be around $11. Reasonably priced because a little goes a long way! 

(3) Cantu Shea Butter Wave Whip Curling Mousse

This mousse reminds me of the one Coconut & Hibiscus Mousee by SheaMoisture, however, this one stands apart because it delivers a stronger hold without such a strong crunchy feeling. I will concede that this mousse has a slight amount of crunch to it but I mean…that’s pretty standard with a mousse but it’s not STRONG nor is it drying. It delivers great hold as well.

 

How to Use: Use this after having used a moisturizing leave in conditioner to minimize any crunchiness. I love the feel of my hair after having used Step 1, 2 and this (3) all together! My hair is sooooo soft yet so defined! It’s amazing, truly! When you apply this mousse, if you have a Denman brush you want to rake the product through your hair and then brush through with the Denman brush and then leave to set. No touching your hair or the frizz will just sprout right up! lol

This product also isn’t in stores yet and I’m not sure of the pricing when it is in stores. However, I highly recommend trying it out! 

 

There’s still two more products in the Box that I have yet to review. I will update when I do! Until then, I’m loving my Box–it’s a good investment for those that are still on the fence about purchasing one. A line of products for $20? Can’t beat it. 

Heat Damage

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It’s been SO very long since I’ve written on my blog! To all my followers/subscribers–sorry for the absence! But, I’m back to discuss something that we all hate….HEAT DAMAGE.

Yes, heat damage on NATURAL HAIR to be specific. How to spot it, how to treat it, and how to know when it’s time to whip out the scissors. 

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What is Heat Damage?

Curls that have lost their elasticity, hanging down farther than the rest of your curls…limp and stringy.

Heat damage on natural hair is pretty easy to spot. Right? Well, yes and no. For those that follow my Instagram page (@transitioninglati) y’all know that I did my big chop in May of this year. It was SUCH a liberating experience. To finally be free of all those straight ends weighing down my curls. Yas! However, when I finally made the cut and started to wear my hair curly I noticed a few things. (1) I had severe heat damage on the front part of my hair (2) my curls were TIGHT and (3) they only got tighter and more defined the more wash and go’s I did. So, naturally, at first I was on this natural hair high! As I started to try more and more styles I started to get more discouraged because my hair was a million different lengths and too short to style in my trusty curlformers and being in the middle of yet another Bar Exam/Prep–I resorted to heat styling. I would heat style every 2-3 weeks and then bun my hair. I said I would stop but I was experiencing no heat damage and then I got my first grown up attorney job and wellll here I am…still heat styling. Within the last month I started to realize that my curl pattern had gotten slightly loose. SLIGHTLY. I couldn’t decide if it was the heat or because my hair had grown a solid 3 inches and the curl pattern was just weighed down with my thick hair. Well, it was both. Recently, however, I had to go to a Dominican salon to get a blowout. My hair was L A I D when I left. Too much so because I definitely had some heat damage. Last night when I washed my hair, the ends of my hair were loose and hanging down in a half curl….some sections didn’t want to curl…ugh a mess. So, I sprung into heat damage repair mode! Now, that I get my hair together I thought I would share some tips to repair and prevent heat damage!

How to spot heat damage?

This is pretty easy if you know your curl pattern. Limp curls that won’t’ curl up or, if it’s really bad, portions of your hair that are completely straight and refuse to revert. Brittle hair, dull lackluster hair, and split ends are also common signs of heat damage.

How to repair heat damage? 

Before I delve into this, let me forewarn y’all that some heat damaged strains are just beyond repair. But, for the ones that you can save-here are some tips!

(1) Assess the Heat Damage

This tip comes with knowing your hair. When you wash your hair and realize certain parts aren’t reverting it’s normal to start panicking. Relax. Step out the shower. Part your hair and start assessing the damage. Is it really that bad? Is it merely a looser curl pattern or is the hair strand completely strand? Is this section of your hair usually a loose curl pattern? Really think about these things.

Regardless of your assessment, DO NOT PICK UP THE SCISSORS. 

(2) Clarify

I know this may seem counterproductive since you’ve already stepped out the shower but this is key! Clarify your hair. When you heat style your hair, you should be using heat protectants which inevitably leads to product buildup that regular shampoos don’t completely get rid of. This could be affecting your hair’s ability to revert back to it’s curly state as well. So, take a few minutes to clarify your hair!

SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil ACV Shampoo is a great clarifier or Lush Shampoo Bars

(3) PROTEIN TREATMENTS

This is so crucial. Heat damaged hair requires more than a simple DC that contains hydrolyzed protein. You’ll need something HEAVY. My go to protein treatment when my hair is in need of repair is “Aphoghee 2 Step Protein Treatment.” I used it last night to bring my hair back to life. It never fails me. It’s important to do this treatment every 8-10 weeks if you’re a big heat styler. To the naturals that usually don’t use heat, once every 3-4 months should be good with a bi-weekly protein DC or (another favorite) “Aphoghee Kertain Reconstructor. 

(4) Moisturizing DC 

It’s important to follow up this heavy Protein Treatment with a super hydrating and moisturizing DC. So, use one! My personal favorite is “SheaMoisture JBCO Strengthen and Repair DC.”

(5) Reassess + Curly Styles 

I’m sure you’re looking at this title like…did I miss the part where I could start trimming/cutting? Nope, you didn’t. It’s important to wait AT LEAST a week before you start trimming. I know some of you may disagree and I can understand. I will concede that if certain ends of your hair are completely bone straight….you might want to trim that off. But if you have portions of your hair that are SEMI straight and seem to be trying to curl back up, let them have their moment. STAY AWAY FROM HEAT and keep doing wash and go’s, flex rod sets, curlformers…any curly styles that allow you to train your curls again. Sometimes your hair is not so much heat damaged but just becoming accustomed to being in a straight state so while it CAN curl…it’s just not used to it anymore. Stay consistent with curly styles and you may see it perk back up again! However, if in reassessing weekly (for about 1-2 months) you see NO change…time to snip!

My Results with Last Night’s Protein Treatment!

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My Favorite Products to Repair or Prevent Heat Damage

(1) Aphoghee 2 Step Protein Treatment

(2) Aphoghee Keratin Reconstructor 

(3) Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Intensely Smooth Leave In Cream 

(4) Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Anti Frizz Serum

(5) Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Flat Iron Perfector Straightening Mist 

(6) Garnier Fructis Brazilian Smooth Flatiron Express 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transitioning–6 Month Mark

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How long have you been transitioning?

6 months! 159 days to be exact 🙂

What influenced you to transition?

Around November of last year, I decided to ombre my hair. The bleach was a bad idea, especially since I was relaxed! From that moment on, I decided to start profusely cutting/trimming away the ombre ends and got serious about a healthy hair journey. In a sense, I was transitioning from the bleach and heat damage on my hair. From November 2013 till May 2014, I saw my hair flourish and thicken up like crazy! In May, while battling with the DC humidity, I decided that it was time to take the plunge and get serious about this healthy hair journey. What better way than to begin my transition to natural!

What has been the most difficult part of your journey thus far?

The first three months of transitioning, I felt that the increased thickness of my hair was the most difficult part of my transitioning journey. It was a huge adjustment to no longer be able to get in the shower and wash my hair, but to now have to section into four parts and wash in the sink or bent over the tub in order to fully cleanse and detangle my hair. Now, though, I feel like the most difficult part is staying away from heat! Now, in DC, it’s cold! So, it’s easier to straighten my hair and keep in that way for about 2 weeks without having to wash it and without having to fear dreaded HUMIDITY. But, I recently realized that I needed to quit the heat and go back to curl former sets and flexirod sets.


What have you learned about your hair since transitioning?

Other than learning that my hair is crazy thick, I’ve noticed that I really do like my emerging curl pattern!

Have you ever thought about big chopping?

Yes! I LOVE love love to trim my hair. In between trims, I dust my ends as well. For that reason, I know that I’ll only last so long with transitioning. I plan to big chop once I’ve reached the 15 months mark (around August 2015). If I’m not ready at that point, however, then I won’t push it. But, if I am, then snip snip!

What are some of your favorite products so far?

SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Transitioning Milk

SheaMoisture JBCO Strengthen, Grow, Restore Deep Conditioner

Crème of Nature 7 in 1 Leave In Conditioner

Lush Shine So Bright Split End Treatment

Homemade Flaxseed Gel

What are some of your favorite hairstyles?

Flexirod sets on stretched hair, buns, and curlformers! Soon I’ll start to experiment with bantu knot outs but for now, those three are winners! As I’m in my last year of law school and soon to enter the world of DC lawyers, those three hairstyles can still be professional (for my age).

What are your hair goals?

Simply, to have healthy hair. I want my hair to get as thick and healthy as it possibly can. In terms of length goals, bra strap length would be perfect.

Any advice for new transitioners?

As I’m pretty new myself, my advice can only go so far haha. I will say, however, be confident and be open minded. I say be confident because there will be people that will be open to your transition and there will be people that aren’t open to your transition. And, some of the people that aren’t open to your transition could be close family members whose opinion actually means a lot to you but remember this journey is for you and YOU only. Stay true to you! Be confident.

I say be open minded because you’re going to want to try a lot of new methods, techniques and hair products. Don’t go overboard but be open to products and styles that you’ve never tried before!

How can you be reached: Twitter, Instagram, FB, etc.

Instagram at @transitioninglati

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Transitioning–3 Month Mark

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1. Tell us about yourself.

My name is Latisha Rivera. I’m DMV resident, finishing my last year of law school and cannot wait to change the world of Immigration Law one International Human Right at a time!

2. How long have you been transitioning?

So, today actually makes 80 days exactly! Yes, I have a countdown tracker on my phone haha. That means I’m almost 3 months post relaxer—11.5 weeks to be exact.

3. What influenced you to transition?

Around November of last year, I decided to ombre my hair. The bleach was a bad idea, especially since I was relaxed! From that moment on, I decided to start profusely cutting/trimming away the ombre ends and got serious about a healthy hair journey. In a sense, I was transitioning from the bleach and heat damage on my hair. From November 2013 till May 2014, I saw my hair flourish and thicken up like crazy! In May, while battling with the DC humidity, I decided that it was time to take the plunge and get serious about this healthy hair journey. What better way than to begin my transition to natural!

4. What has been the most difficult part of your journey thus far?

Hands down, the thickness of my hair. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE my big hair and, being Puerto Rican and Jamaican, relaxed or not I have always had a LOT of hair. But, now that I’m transitioning, my hair has gotten even thicker as it grows and I’ve had to begin washing my hair in sections. 4 sections to be exact. Without sectioning my hair, there would be parts of my hair that would be slightly damp after shampoo and conditioning my hair. No bueno.

5. What have you learned about your hair since transitioning?

I’ve learned that my hair is extremely thick. Thicker than I’ve ever thought possible. I’ve also clung tighter to the belief that there is no “good hair” stereotype. Being biracial, I was raised being told that I had “good hair” but when I was growing up and didn’t know how to take care of that hair, all I saw was split ends and heat damage. I kept waiting for the day that I would get this “good hair.” I’ve learned to stop waiting because good hair is HEALTHY HAIR. No matter the hair type or the texture or the race, that “good hair” stereotype is simply HEALTHY HAIR.

6. Have you ever thought about big chopping?

Yes! I LOVE love love to trim my hair. In between trims, I dust my ends as well. For that reason, I know that I’ll only last so long with transitioning. I plan to big chop once I’ve reached the 15 months mark (around August 2015). If I’m not ready at that point, however, then I won’t push it. But, if I am, then snip snip!

7. What are some of your favorite products so far? (3-5)

SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Transitioning Milk

Kinky Curly Come Clean Shampoo

Crème of Nature 7 in 1 Leave In Conditioner

Nancy’s Kitchen Products Silk Buttercream Deep Moisture Masque

Homemade Flaxseed Gel

8. What are some of your favorite hairstyles?

Wash and go’s, buns, and curlformers! Soon I’ll start to experiment with flexi rod sets and bantu knot outs but for now, those three are winners! As I’m in my last year of law school and soon to enter the world of DC lawyers, those three hairstyles can still be professional (for my age).

8. What are your hair goals?

Simply, to have healthy hair. I want my hair to get as thick and healthy as it possibly can. In terms of length goals, bra strap length would be perfect.

10. Any advice for new transitioners?

As I’m pretty new myself, my advice can only go so far haha. I will say, however, be confident and be open minded. I say be confident because there will be people that will be open to your transition and there will be people that aren’t open to your transition. And, some of the people that aren’t open to your transition could be close family members whose opinion actually means a lot to you but remember this journey is for you and YOU only. Stay true to you! Be confident.

I say be open minded because you’re going to want to try a lot of new methods, techniques and hair products. Don’t go overboard but be open to products and styles that you’ve never tried before!

SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow, + Restore Treatment Masque

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I don’t…really know what’s gotten into SheaMoisture but they have seriously stepped up their hair masque game with this new JBCO line and the Manuka Honey line! This masque is SO GOOD! Overall, the masque is meant to “help promote growth by supporting hair’s elasticity, reducing the appearance of breakage and shredding.” The JBCO line is meant for for those who “regularly color, straighten, perm or heat style their hair, as well as kinky, curly or wavy natural styles.” I no longer perm my hair nor do I use heat on a regular basis BUT I am transitioning so I need all the moisturizing masques I can get my product junkie hands on. SO I was thrilled when I rinsed this masque out and it left my hair so soft, shiny, detangled, on and on. The only drawback? It smelled a little like…play-doh. It wasn’t TOO strong and I didn’t smell it once I rinsed the masque out but yea…slight kindergarten flashbacks when applying it to my hair. Also, the packaging boasts about the addition of peppermint oil which is meant to “stimulate the scalp for an invigorating experience.” Yea…I didn’t feel the peppermint oil. Nonetheless, I loved this product and I would highly recommend it! I purchased this masque at CVS for $12.99 for 12oz.

INGREDIENTS

Water (Aqua), Cetyl Alcohol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Stearyl Alcohol, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend), Behentrimonium Chloride, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil*, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Mauritia Flexuosa Fruit Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Vinegar, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-3, Niacin, Dextran, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Caramel, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract *Certified Organic Ingredient

HOW I USE IT

After a thorough shampoo and condition, I part my hair into four sections. Applying the masque to each section of my hair, I use a wide tooth comb to ensure equal distribution. After I’ve applied the masque to each section of my hair, I pile my hair into two top knots (one on each side of my head) and place two plastic caps on my head. I then sit underneath my bonnet dryer for 30 minutes and rinse!

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SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Hair Masque

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Love love loveee this masque! This is the type of conditioner that will have you rinsing out your hair way longer than you need to solely because your hair is still SO soft (like it was when you were applying the conditioner to your hair) that you still think it’s IN your hair long after it’s been rinsed away. Needless to say, I love this masque! It left my hair super soft, detangled and moisturized! Everything about this masque screams perfection for transitioners and naturals! A definite new staple for me. I purchased it from Target for $11 for 12 oz.

INGREDIENTS

Manuka Honey contains anti-inflammatory properties that soothe the scalp. Helps create a moisturizing barrier.
Mafura Oil contains high levels of beneficial oleic acid. Helps replenish oils stripped from hair.
African Rock Fig contains antioxidant Vitamin C, which helps keep hair looking vibrant

water, cetyl alcohol, coconut oil, behentrimonium methosulfate, shea butter, vegetable glycerin, stearyl alcohol, behentrimonium chloride, panthenol, mafura seed oil, honey, hydrolyzed rice protein, fragrance (essential oil blend), baobab seed oil, cetrimonium chloride, avocado oil, fig extract, mango seed butter, tocopherol, aloe leaf extract, caprylhydroxamic acid, caprylyl glycol, butylene glycol

HOW I USE IT

After a thorough shampoo and condition, I part my damp hair into four sections. I then apply this masque to each section of my hair, adding a small amount of coconut oil to my ends, and using a wide tooth comb to ensure equal distribution. After I’ve applied the masque to all four sections of my hair, I put my hair into two top knots, put two plastic caps on (I need two to cover all my hair lol) and sit under my bonnet dryer for 30 minutes. Rinse and fall in love with my super soft hair over and over!

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