My Stretched Twist Out Process

We all have our methods of styling our natural hair, right? From late night mini twists to the chunky twist-and-pineapple method, we stick to what works. Well, I've finally found what works for me, and that's a single twist out on blown out hair. Whether I'm hanging out on the town or posting photos on social media, I'm always getting questions about my 'do. Sooo, I figured, why not create a blog showing you the process of my go-to style? Let's get started. 

First, I shampoo & condition my hair using Cantu's sulfate-free Cleansing Shampoo  & Hydrating Conditioner. Then, I part my clean hair into four sections and apply my Thermal Shield Heat Protectant to prep for the blow drying process. What we DON'T want is thermal damage! She is not our friend at all. I usually put a dime size amount of product into my hands and smooth it into my hair using the praying hands method. 

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Next, it's time to twist!

I like twisting with Cantu's Coconut Curling Cream because it gives me the definition I love and a soft hold. When I find a product I like, I stick with it! 

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Next comes moisture. So I just used my curl cream to help define my curls and add moisture to my hair, and now it's time to seal in that moisture. Where's my Smoothing Anti- Frizz Oil w/ Argon? Oh girl, here it is! I usually add a little bit to my hands and smooth it into my twist, and then it's time for bed. 

I find that I get the best definition when I leave my twists in overnight or wear my hair twisted for a full day. If I need to go out and about, I tie it up in a cute scarf, protect it with a hat, or throw on Stacey (remember her?!)

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The next morning, it's time for the take down. Again, I add a little more of Cantu's Anti-Frizz and start the process of taking my twists down. I usually split my unraveled twist twice, which causes a little frizz, which I don't mind at all. The bigger the hair, the better!  

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For my final step, I use my most prized possession (my pick). I start at the roots and pick out just a little. I don't want to disturb my definition too much, but I do want to get my hair to the height that I like.

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and VOILA! 

I'm ready to hit the town. I love my definition and I picked it out just enough. As the days go by, I preserve my style by retwisting in chunky twists at night and taking them down the next day. I don't add another cream product to my hair, only oil every two days. 

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Simple, right? This style's not hard at all, and trust me: if I can do it at home, you can, too. 

Tips:

Use mild heat when blowing your hair out, never HIGH.

Make sure you're not using too much product..always remember that a little goes a long way!

The longer you leave your hair twisted, the better the definition. 

Tools: Blow dryer c/o Hot & Gold & my pick is from my local Sally Beauty.

XOXO,

Melissa Chanel

5 Ways to Celebrate the First Day of Fall

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Fall is .....HERE! I really can't believe I'm typing this. Summer literally flew by and time has come for the leaves to change, pumpkin spice everything, moto jackets, hot cider, and sweater weather. This true spring/summer baby is not ready at all. I'll miss the beach, the burning of my legs because of my leather car seats, my flip flops, and outdoor picnics the most; however I'm excited to make fun memories this fall! Today, September 22, 2016, is the first day of fall y'all and I'm here to give you a few ways to celebrate. Ready? Okay. 

Upgrade Your Bedroom Decor

Out with the bright spring/summer colors and in with the warm cozy fall colors. Change up your bedding, bring in the oranges, browns, or fur by adding new pillows, a fresh comforter, or accent pieces. Create a bedroom space that's cozy and warm. I'm obsessing over this fuzzy pillow from Target. How cute would it look with some burnt orange and gold accents? 

Visit a Pumpkin Patch/Fall Festival  

Find a pumpkin patch in your area and make plans with friends or make it a date night. Most of them have hayrides, games, food, and more. It'll be so much fun finding cute pumpkins to decorate your home with. If that's not your thing you can always find a fall festival because every season is a celebration. I'm sure there will be great food, beer, art, and more. Make it a family affair! If you're in Charlotte, NC like me, here's a pumpkin patch in the area that's open Saturday. If you like beer I also found a Pumpkin Fest at Sycamore Brewing. They'll have a full menu of pumpkin beer and food. Sounds like Charlotte is the place to be this weekend to celebrate all things fall! 

Fall Trip to Bath and BodyWorks 

It's time! Who's ready to stock up on their favorite candles and wallflowers? I usually run to my local Bath and Bodyworks to grab a few of my favs before they sell out. It gets real when it's time for the fall scents to make an appearance. I think everyone is ready for their home to smell like vanilla, pumpkin spice anything, apple pie, and any other fall aroma you can think of, lol. I'm most excited to smell this new pumpkin cupcake scent that's featured on the front page. But this candle will always have my heart! 

Purchase your first Fall Closet Staple 

Fall means shopping, right?! Go through all your fall pieces and make a stay vs go pile. Head out for a weekend of fun with the girls and grab a few closet staples. Only pieces that can be worn multiple times and that will be a major upgrade to your closet. Don't go crazy because if you live in an area like Charlotte, you may still be wearing crop tops in December! Here's a quick list; a pair of oxfords, booties, a bomber jacket or a cute fall sweater. You know I can always find a reason to shop, lol! 

Treat yourself to a Fall Mani/Pedi 

Say goodbye to neon pink and orange and hello to the emerald green and burgundy. It's time to treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure this can either be at home or the salon, your pick. It's always fun to stock up on new nail colors and a lot of people find it relaxing when pampering themselves at home. I've been obsessing over this emerald green Essie polish and can't wait to try it at my next nail appointment. 

Well, I hope you're ready because I'm NOT! But I've found celebrating always helps me as the weather transitions. I'm looking forward to doing all things I listed about as well as adding a few more books to my fall reading list, taking a road trip to Asheville to see the beautiful leaves and explore the city at some point this fall, and maybe checking out Mecktoberfest this weekend.

How are you celebrating? I want to hear all about it. 

XOXO,

Melissa Chanel

More Love Less Hate

We can all agree that the Internet can be a rude place, right?! I catch myself randomly scrolling through social media and I see so many "internet trolls" being straight-up mean. Can you imagine posting a photo of yourself or friends on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and having someone totally rip you apart? I've seen it happen to my myself and my friends on a daily basis. I've never understood how someone could sit behind a computer or phone and say such harsh words to people. It's just not right. 

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Can I share a quick story? A while back, one of my photos was reposted by the Curlbox Instagram account. Where I'd usually by excited for the extra exposure, all I can remember is how rude some of the young ladies were under my photo. Were they talking about my face? My lipstick? No. Was something in my teeth? No. - The ladies were talking about how dark my underarms were. One girl went so hard to say that I "needed to clean my underarms." Like. What? I thought I was having a poppin' hair day and these girls were crucifying me about my underarms. I remember thinking, is this what blogger life is like? That was my first time dealing with social bullying and it SUCKED! Luckily, I was able to brush it off. I was 20 + and very comfortable in my skin, but imagine all the younger children and teenagers that deal with it every single day?! 

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This must STOP! I am so happy to be partnering with Dove to tell my story and encourage everyone on the internet to spread positivity. Remember the saying: "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all"? Let's practice what we preach. Because 52% of girls think that negativity they see online damages their confidence, so let's remember to use our words wisely. They have LOTS of power. 

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I've already started spreading love, and you can join me! Head to your local Targetgrab three of your favorite Dove products, and get this super cute #SpeakBeautiful bracelet as well. It's super fashionable and a great reminder to spread love each and every day. I've been rocking my bracelet, it's a great way to remind myself to be positive and spread love, always. I even decided to stop by my local Target and grab a few for my friends. 

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Choose Dove and support building self-esteem in 20 million girls by 2020. Let's join Dove and change the conversation online and make the internet and social media a more positive place for women and girls. After all, positivity is such a beautiful thing. 

 *2016 Dove Study, learn more on Dove.com/Selfesteem.

Are you ready to get involved? Head over to Twitter now and participate in the #SpeakBeautiful effect for a chance to win your very own #SpeakBeautiful bracelet. Don't forget to "@" me in your tweet and use the #SpeakBeautiful hashtag in order to be considered. 

This post sponsored by Mirum Shopper but all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you so much for your support and remember to #SpeakBeautiful! 

XOXO,

Melissa Chanel

Frizz is that you? Protective Style Maintenance

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Hold on girl, I think frizz is calling. As you may know, I'm growing my hair out! I can't wait to get back to my big fluffy fro and to help me get to that point I've been rocking protective styles. I mean, I've tried them all, the braids, twist, sew-ins, wigs and it's been amazing. But I wanted to come tell you guys that even though your hair is tucked away you still have to take care of it and protect it. Here are a few ways I take care of my hair, scalp, and combat frizz while rocking braids. 

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These two products saved my life while rocking braids for the past three weeks. Here's how: 

Cantu's Tea Tree & Jojoba hair and scalp oil, I call it the life saver because that's exactly what it's  been over the past three weeks. My scalp gets really dry when I'm rocking protective styles and in order to keep the flakes away, I must keep it moisturized. So every two to three days I would apply this oil directly to my scalp and rub it in to make sure it was evenly dispersed. This cut down on the itching, helped protect my hair against breakage, and conditioned the scalp. And we all know Tea Tree and Jojoba promotes growth and that's what your girl needs! 

After getting my scalp right I moved on to the Anti-Frizz Smoothing Oil. I pumped a few squirts into my hair and rubbed my braids down, especially where I could see my color. I needed to make sure that was moisturized as well. This product also cut down on major frizz that can come when rocking braids. This is a smoothing oil and has argon in it, whoop! This is one of Cantu's newer products so check your local Sally Beauty and add this to your regimen if you're rocking braids. 

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When rocking braids you also want to make sure you're tying your hair up at night. After applying my scalp and hair oil I tied my hair up using my favorite scarf (thanks, granny). Tying up the hair at night helps preserve your style. I probably could've lasted 4 weeks because I made sure my hair was tied up at night.

So just because you're rocking a protective style doesn't mean you don't have to take care of your hair that's tucked away. These two products worked perfect for me and will now be my go to when rocking braids. If you have really fine soft hair and need more of a hold, I have one more product to suggest, Cantu's Shine and Hold Mist. I always recommend this product to my friends with softer hair sometimes have issues with the style not holding up. It' gives your braids the shine and hair the hold it needs. 

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If you're rocking braids or any protective style are you also taking care of your hair? 

XOXO, 

Melissa Chanel

 

5 Podcast for Inspiration, Knowledge, and Laughs

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Podcast! Yes, they're my new thing. I listen to at least one of my favorites every day. Some are sooo funny that I'll sit in my bedroom and crack up to myself, others are inspirational where I'm ready to shout because everything the Pastor says is speaking to my real life, and others spit so much knowledge that I often have to hit the pause button because I can't take notes quick enough. I'm adding more podcast to my list every day because they're always fun to listen to while working out, on a road trip, before bed, or first thing in the morning. Today I've decided to share 5 that have been on the top of my YOU MUST LISTEN TO list. Let's just jump right into it, shall we?! 

The Potter's Touch

When I tell you Bishop T.D. Jakes get's my life together on the regular, I really mean it. I promise his teachings are always speaking to me. I'll say "Amen" aloud, I write down certain points that speak to me and that I could share with friends, he breaks it down ya'll! I get the most amazing word from him and love that I have this option when I'm traveling and can't attend church. Here's the official description of his podcast, "This broadcast carries healing and restoration into homes of hurting people, unearthing taboo topics and offering practical and spiritual solutions to life's toughest questions." If you need a good lesson or word weekly, this is the perfect podcast for you

Myleik Teele's "My Taught You" Podcast

As many of you may already know I quit my job to become a full-time blogger/influencer and freelancer. I purchased my first book about becoming a freelancer called "My So-Called Freelance Life" because of Myleik. I remember when she first started Curlbox and I met her at an event in Charlotte, it felt so good to see someone so smart become successful and doing what she loves. She empowers and inspires me on the daily from her podcast! From her tips to becoming a successful entrepreneur, her journaling method, Q&A's about everyday life/ business situations, her book suggestions, to why she decided on getting a therapist, Myleik is basically my virtual mentor. I always take tons of notes from her podcast and the quotables are AMAZING. She teaches and gives you amazing tips to become the best GIRL BOSS you can be! Here's the official description of her podcast, "I share my insights, things I've learned along the way in hopes to teach you the things I had to learn the HARD way." If you're thinking about starting your own business, looking to excel in your career, about to graduate college and need advice, are an avid reader and need book suggestions, or need general LIFE advice, download this podcast today! My will def teach you TONS!

Girl Boss Radio with Sophia Amoruso

Sophia Amoruso, the CEO of Nasty Gal and writer of one of my favorite books Girl Boss has her own Podcast yall! On her podcast, she interviews AH-MAZING "girl bosses" from different backgrounds. These interviews are very informative and inspiring. Like who doesn't need a little inspiration every day?! You'll write down important take aways and laugh your behind off. This is a newer podcast I recently added to my list so I'm excited to catch up and listen more. Here's the official podcast description, ".... Sophia Amoruso interviews world-class girl bosses who have made their mark in creative, cultural, and business ventures to extract solid advice from the lessons they've learned along the way. Expect hilarious co-hosts and conversations you won't hear anywhere else." If you loved reading Girl Boss and you think Sophia is an amazing business woman you'll love this podcast

Apartment 10E with Janae Raquel

If you know me then you know Janae Raquel is my blogging right-hand woman. We've teamed up on "The Best Picnic Everr" for the past two years where we head out to the park and just celebrate having fun with whoever wants to attend. We keep each other on track weekly by checking in and making sure we're getting our to-do list done as well as gossip a little bit and have great laughs, lol. I've been featured on her podcast twice and I love It! Janae tells it like it is and I promise it's like having virtual girl chat in your pajamas and a glass of wine. She covers topics from girl code, digital detoxing, to timing from the comfort of her cozy New Jersey apartment. Here's Janae's official podcast description, "....we chat behind closed doors, ON AIR. Apartment 10E is morning tea, an afternoon latte, and a shot of tequila." This is so true, Apartment 10E is all of the above and her guest are always fun/funny. So grab your latte, tea, or tequila and listen in

The Read

If you have no idea who Kid Fury & Crissle, are you need to reevaluate your life, lol. I remember watching Kid Fury on YouTube and checking every day to see if he had a new post. He is the funniest guy I know, like literally. I remember seeing him at a Beyonce concert in NYC and having a true fan girl moment, we even took a picture together. I followed his story and listened to his NYC woes before I packed my bags and moved to the same dirty but amazing city myself. Well, this guy now has a podcast called, The Read and OMG it's the best...he and Crissle basically "read" all celebrities in an interesting and funny way. They always bring up great points while spilling the tea and throwing major shade! Here's the official description, "....Throwing shade and spilling tea with a flippant and humorous attitude, no star is safe from Fury and Crissle unless their name is Beyonce. or Blue Ivy." If you're ready for a good laugh, download

Podcasting is something I've been really into lately and finding new ones always put a smile on my face! I also have a few I've recently downloaded ( The Get Well Podcast & Dear Sugar)  and can't wait to listen in on them. Are you into podcasting? If so, what have you been listening to? I'm taking suggestions and I hope you like mine. 

XOXO,

Melissa Chanel