Abena's Pages

"Natural Beauties Who Follow My Blog"

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chunky Twist- November 1, 2011 (3 1/2 months natural)

Yay! Here is a photo of my first attempt at "Chunky Twist" after being natural for 3 1/2 months. I was playing in my hair last night and realized it was now long enough to attempt a twist. Here are the results. LOVING MY natural pilgrimage!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

How to maintain a Twists-Out

A twist out is a popular hairstyle among African American women who choose to wear their hair natural instead of using synthetic hair weaves. A twist out is achieved by twisting two small strands of hair tightly together from root to tip. The twists are then unraveled and separated to reveal tightly coiled hair. Some people claim that a twist out is a one-day-only hairstyle and that sleeping on the hairstyle at night will ruin the look. Others insist that with a simple pre-bedtime maintenance routine, the twist out can be worn for several days and still look great.
Difficulty: Easy Instructions
Things You'll Need
Cream hair product
Satin scarf
Hair gel
1 Wet frizzy hair twists with water, especially at the roots and ends because these sections tend to be frizzier than the middle. Some sections of your twist out may be in great condition and require no maintenance, while other sections may be frizzy or puffy.

2 Apply a cream styling product, such as shea butter, to fingertips and work it into the twists.

3 Gather sections of moisturized hair and divide in half.

4 Twist the two sections around each other tightly, beginning as close to the scalp as possible.

5 Wrap a satin scarf around your head, making sure all the twists are facing down. Wrap it loosely so it doesn't crush your hair and hold in place with hair clips if necessary.

6 Unravel each twist in the morning and separate into smaller sections, if desired.

7 Work a dime-sized amount of hair gel or anti-frizz product throughout your hair and then fluff your hair by hand or with a hair pick to complete the style.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Celebrity SPOTLIGHT: Raven

Celebrity SPOTLIGHT: Tomiko

How to create a healthy hair regimen?

For those new to the natural scene as well as old time curlies who just haven’t gotten the hang of it, there’s nothing more overwhelming (and time consuming) than figuring out a healthy hair regimen! Returning or transitioning to natural hair is usually a time of education and experimentation. To avoid wasting products, money and energy, here is a starting point for creating and maintaining a healthy hair regimen.

The object of a hair regimen (in our case) is to maintain healthy, curly hair. The regimen will change depending on the qualities of your own hair (thick/thin, fine/course, curly/kinky, long/short just to name a few!) but we all need to achieve certain things with hair maintenance and hygiene.

Now, based on the qualities of your hair, the products you use for each category will accomplish these steps in different ways.

1. Cleanse

Shampoo is meant to lift the hair cuticle, break up oil and dirt, and suspend it so it can be rinsed away. The goal is to remove environmental debris, product buildup, and production of sebum—the oil our skin naturally secretes. Our straight-haired counterparts probably can’t go one day without cleansing the hair because it is very easy for oil to travel down a straight strand. But in our case, oil has a harder time traveling down a loose wave, a tight curl, or a fro that sticks up & out! This is why the more textured your hair is, the dryer it feels. Our scalps are creating oil normally—it just cannot reach our hair!

So when we use shampoo, the focus should be on our scalps, since that’s where the dirt’s at. Apply the product to your roots and scalp, scrub with the fingertips, and the lather will make its way down your hair. Don’t toussle or scrunch the hair when shampooing. That could result in tangles! When you slather shampoo all over your HAIR instead of the scalp, you can expect a rough, “squeaky clean” feeling. Use shampoos that don’t contain sodium laurel (or laureth) sulfate. These ingredients are much too harsh for hair that isn’t that dirty, and have been known to cause irritation.

2. Condition/Detangle

Conditioning and detangling are an essential part of a healthy hair regimen since one task helps the other out. Conditioning the hair closes the cuticle, making it smooth, slippery and easier to comb through. Conditioner is supposed to coat the hair.

Remember: conditioner can also be used to gently cleanse the hair! Often times, conditioners have enough cleaning agents to remove dirt, especially if there’s little build up in the hair. If you exercise every day, for example, use a conditioner to wash your hair. Note that if you use conditioners containing silicones, eventually you will have to use a clarifying shampoo to remove the buildup from your hair. If you don’t, the hair will be dull and lose body.

3. Moisturize

As described in the first step, naturally curly hair has a tendency to be dry. Fitting a moisturizer into your healthy hair regimen is as simple as a morning spritz or mid-day pick me up! First and foremost, nothing will replace water. Not all curlies have to completely soak their hair every morning—thick curls or a ‘fro will take forever to air dry! You can simply put the water in a spray bottle and dampen the hair. When searching for a moisturizing product, water must be pretty high up in the ingredients list. Many moisturizers also contain vitamins and oils that can be soaked into the hair and scalp.

4. Seal

Sealing ensures that the moisture you put into your hair stays there. Moisture is lost when the cuticle is raised and water leaves the hair. By laying a sealant on top of the hair, moisture is locked in, keeping your hair soft and shiny all day! There are a variety of oils to choose from. Many popular ingredients in natural hair products are great for adding moisture to your hair. You can even add your favorite oil to the spray bottle of water and knock out steps 3 and 4 at the same time!

5. Deep Treat/Repair

Nobody’s hair is perfect! We all get breakage, lack moisture, and need help! Treat your hair to something nice! Whether it’s henna to strengthen, or avocado to moisturize, curly hair will benefit from extended exposure to certain ingredients. Natural hair that has not been processed (color, relaxer, etc) usually doesn’t lack protein, but the curlier the hair, the more moisture it needs. So to start off, try one of these tasty deep conditioning treatments. This step of your healthy regimen should always be done to clean hair, so all the nutrients and benefits of the treatment are received.

How Often Should You Do Your Healthy Hair Regimen?

Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Only you know your hair and habits best. The weather, your exercise routine, your styling options, will all effect how frequently you do a certain step in your regimen. If you go to the gym every day, steps 2, 3, & 4 will happen daily. If you live in a cold environment, step 4 is vital to keeping moisture in your hair during the cold, dry months. What you need to achieve in your regimen will probably change depending on the season. Give yourself at least one month to test it out. Stick with the same products to see true results!
Good luck on your naturally curly hair journey! We’re here to help every step of the way. What’s YOUR healthy hair regimen? Let us know with a comment!

Brought to you by http://www.naturallycurly.com/

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Abena's TWA: Hair Regimen

Coconut Oil (My hair LOVES IT- makes it soft and moist)
Jamaican Black Castor Oil
Vegetable Glycerine
Jojoba Oil
Vitamin E Oil

Scalp Treatment (My hair loves these oils)
Extra Dark Jamaican Black Castor Oil
Vegetable Glycerine
Jojoba Oil
Vitamin E Oil

SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo
Giovanni Deep Moisture Smooth as Silk Shampoo

Herbal Essences Hello Hydration
Alberto VO5 Moisture Milks w/ Soy Moisturizing Conditioner
Trader's Joes Nourish Spa
Want to try: SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioning Milk

Deep Condition
Nexxus Humectress
Trader Joe's Nourish Spa
Herbal Essence Hello Hydration
Albert VO5 Moisture Milks w/Soy Moisturizing Conditioner
Want to try: SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioning Milk

Giovanni Direct Leave-in Conditioner
Kinky Curly Knot Today

Coconut Oil
Jamaican Black Castor Oil
Vegetable Glycerine
Jojoba Oil
Vitamin E Oil

Kinky Curly Knot Today
Wide Tooth Comb

Aloe Vera Gel (Trader Joe's brand)
SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Hold Smoothie
SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Conditioning Milk
Bee Mine Bee Hold Curling Butter
Want to try: Kinky Curly Curling Custard once my hair gets longer and

Refreshing spritz
SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Hold & Shine Moisture Mist

Style preservation
Silk scarf

Special Treatments
100% Raw African Shea Butter
SheaMoisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque
ACV Rinse (Apple Cider Vinegar)
Vitamins I take to promote Healthy hair, body, skin, and nails (Prenatal Multivitamin, Fish Oil, Super B-Complex, Calcium with Vitamin D, and Potassium).

* Compliments of Blog Originator & Facilitator, Abena Bena

Click here to join the Natural Beauties natural hair page where natural knowledge is celebrated:


Saturday, July 30, 2011

"Sweet Aroma"

~I invite you all to join us on a new blog I created~
Click here or copy & paste:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Facebook: Natural Beauties natural hair page

Guess who created a natural hair page on Facebook?  Yes me :)  For those of you who have followed my journey for a while you know how much I love information and learning all that I can to make my natural hair experience as successful as possible.  I also appreciate sharing the knowledge with the natural hair community.

Come join us on the Natural Beauties natural hair page:
Click here or copy & paste:

(the photo above is me and my BFF, Natural Beauty Kiiki)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Chosen Vessel's first peek into her hair texture..

I am less than two weeks away from getting my Locks cut off and starting my new natural hair pilgrimage, getting to know my loose natural hair and guess what???? Some of my Locks are rebelling and acting up..LOL...I had a few unravel up front, but the GOOD thing is I was able, for the first time, to see my hair texture...YAY....I was so excited I took a few pictures.  I have watched hundreds of natural hair videos but it is so nice to have a peek into what I will be enjoying with my own hair :)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thinning Edges.....

Hi Ladies:  Do you have any product recommendations to address thinning edges? 
Your input and suggestions are appreciated!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

First Post on my "Natural Hair Journey" (post locks)- "My Starter Products"

For those of you who know me, I am a researcher.  I love to research because it empowers and equips me with information to make the best informed decision for myself.  During my research of blogs, YouTube channels, natural hair books, and talking to the 'Natural Beauties' in my own life I have decided that these are the products I am going to start with in July 2011 when my Locktician cuts my Sisterlocks off. 

During my 8 years with SL's it was because of the research I did and instructions I followed from my wonderful Locktician that enabled me to have an EXCEPTIONAL Sisterlock experience because the foundation for my Locks was healthy and solid.  I plan to take the same approach with this next natural hair pilgrimage in my life :) 

*If you have any products that have worked for you, please share, especially those of you like "V of Locks-n- Motion" who started with a TWA :) 

ALSO: If you are on Facebook I created a Natural Hair page entitled "Natural Beauties" and I would love you all to "Like" my page.  My plan is to make the page a one-stop-shop for natural beauties!
Shea Moisture Products: Curl Enhancing Smoothie and Moisture Retention Shampoo
(You can also purchase at Target, http://www.target.com/, Walgreens, or http://www.walgreens.com/)

 Kinky-Curly Curling Custard and Knot Today (Twist-outs, Braid-outs, Roller-sets, and Wash-n-Go's)
(You can also purchase at Target stores or http://www.target.com/)

 Cantu Shea Butter Grow Strong and Shea Butter Leave-in conditioning repair cream
(You can purchase at Target, http://target.com/, Walgreens, http://walgreens.com/, and WalMart)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Chosen Vessel's afterthought.......

For those of you who have followed my journey you know that I did not make this decision to cut my locks lightly. I devoted time, research, patience, and of course prayer and this is the conclusion I came to.

I enjoyed my journey but the time has come and I have total peace about my decision. A few months ago I was going to cut my locks but I was not ready yet so I decided to dye and go with bangs and that was a great temporary solution but I knew that I would eventually come to this final decision.

I will continue to share my natural hair story on my blog that includes years of lock wearing and soon post lock natural hair. Thank you all for your support of my blog and continued support :)  It brings me great joy to hear that my blog has been an inspiration to so many and my hope is that the information and encouragement that I will continue to share will uplift, inspire, and inform. 

Again thanks, this community of Sisterlocks has truly been a blessing to me and made my journey so worthwhile. 
Now to the next chapter......I hope you join me :)
"Let your light shine, and your natural hair flow!"

Monday, May 2, 2011

Dear SisterLocks.....

Dear SisterLocks...I love you...I really do and I have truly enjoyed our pilgrimage. But it's been what, almost 8 years? It's time for a change. I'm sorry...it's not you...it's ME. I need more variety in my life...I need a change.... So...in a couple of months we will have to part ways. There's a few really cute natural styles I've been looking at. *Shrugs* Sometimes it just is what it is...it's been real ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

P.S. I will be documenting my new natural hair journey on this blog, note, name change from Chosen Vessel's Sisterlock Pilgrimage to Chosen Vessel's Natural Hair Pilgrimage :)  I am VERY EXCITED!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spotlight with Chosen Vessel: "Natural Hair Book Recommendation: Chicoro's Grow It"

Another MUST READ!! Partnered with Cathy Howse's book (see my previous post) I learned a wealth of information about Afro-textured hair and how to properly take care of it AND grow it long.  I purchased mines on Amazon :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spotlight with Chosen Vessel: Natural Hair Book selection

As you all know by now I am very interested in learning all I can about natural hair care and one of the YouTube channels I follow suggested two books and I ordered both.  I just started reading this one and I am already fascinated by the insight on our hair in the first 3 chapters.  I just wanted to share it with all of you.  Stay tuned, more to come.......................................By the way I purchased the book on Amazon :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Check out this website: Natural Hair Accessories

Click here or copy & paste: http://www.luvnaturals.com

This is a great one stop shop for hair accessories, Kim Love owner, also has a wondeful YouTube channel that is the best journey of natural hair that I have ever seen; she has a wealth of information that includes videos, do's and don'ts, and products. 

Hair Accessories: Andrea's Beau (Spring Time Lovely)

Monday, January 17, 2011

A time comes in your life when you finally get it.....

A time comes in your life when you finally get it…When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out – ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And , like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world through new eyes because you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired.

This is your awakening. You realize that it’s time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that he is not Prince Charming and you are not Cinderella and that in the real world there aren’t always fairytale endings (or beginnings for that matter) and that any guarantee of “happily ever after” must begin with you and in the process a sense of peace is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are…and that’s OK. They are entitled to their own views and opinions. You learn the importance of loving and championing yourself and in the process a sense of new found confidence is born of self-approval.

You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn’t do for you) and you learn that the only one you can really count on is God . You learn that people don’t always say what they mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for you and that it’s not always about you. So, you learn to truly trust God and surrender your life completely to Him and in the process a sense of safety and security is born.
You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness. You realize that much of the way you view yourself, and the world around you, is a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. And you begin to sift through all the junk you’ve been fed about how you should behave, how you should look and how much you should weigh, what you should wear, where you should shop and what you should drive, how and where you should live and what you should do for a living, who you should sleep with, who you should marry and what you should expect of a marriage, the importance of having and raising children or what you owe your parents.

You learn that the abundant life only comes by modeling your life after the Holy Word of God, The Bible. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for. You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard things you’ve outgrown, or should never have bought into your life to begin with and in the process you learn to partner with God and listen for that small still voice.
You learn that it’s not your job to save the world, Jesus already died once and for all and salvation is available to every person but you learn that it is your job to partner with God to live a life modeled after Christ so that you can be used as an instrument to help draw people to Christ.

You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say no. You learn that the only cross to bear is your own.

Then you learn about love, unconditional love. You learn not to project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship because unconditional love always considers the other person first. You learn that you will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the man on your arm or the child that bears your name.
You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn that just as people grow and change so it is with love…and you learn that you don’t have the right to demand love on your terms…just to make you happy. And you learn that alone does not mean lonely…and you look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 5 or a perfect 10 and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head.
You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside and learn how to communicate them effectively without offense. On these occasions you learn not to personalize things. You learn that God isn’t punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It’s just life happening.

And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state – the ego and pride! You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy, and resentment must be understood and removed from your life completely or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the all that surrounds you. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to building bridges instead of walls.

Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself, completely (thoughts, actions, feelings etc). You make yourself a promise to never betray yourself or anyone else and to never ever settle for less than your heart’s desire because now it is not an entitlement, you are ready and willing to do the work necessary to expect God’s best for your life.

Finally, with courage in your heart and with God on your side you take a stand, you take a deep breath, and begin to design and live the life you want to live as best you can, but now this is a life that you know will glorify God hence bring the full umbrella of God’s blessings, protection, and presence.

Author Unknown/(Edited by Abena)

I didn't write all of it but I could have Because I finally get it...Abena