Follow Me!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Guess What!?!

The back of my hair ( and coincidentally, my longest length) is now grazing SL!!! I am so excited about this! Now I know the front of my hair is shorter. It goes from just past CL to NL but my hair has always grown like that. But the fact that I'm reaching SL in the back is such a shock for me. I did not expect my hair to grow that fast in not even a year's time!

At this rate, if I keep up with all the DCing and protective styling, I should reach APL by this time next year! :)

Bantu Knot set pics

So I did a bantu knot set yesterday and it didn't come out as nicely as I would have liked. I think this is because I was rushing so some of the ends didn't curl as much. However, I think it looks decent since I am wearing my hair pushed back.

As you can see, this set is a good protective style since it definitely keeps your ends off your shoulders and it is pretty easy to maintain during the week. I will probably be doing a set 2 to 3 times a week (unless I decide to wear some other style).


P.S.--Please excuse my mean looking face!

Monday, December 28, 2009


As I was talking to my mom yesterday about my hair, I realized something.

When my hair is healthy, it is thicker. I mean noticeably thicker. I went to San Diego a few weeks ago and I saw my sorority sister. One of the first things she said was "Sharday, your hair is really really thick!" It dawned on me then that aside from the length, my hair is healthy when it is thick. Prior to my journey, my hair was very thin and breaking every time air hit it. Now my hair has been restored to its former glory.

Go figure. I wonder how you guys know your hair is healthy......

Organix Coconut Milk Conditioner Review

I tried this conditioner yesterday for the first time (got my mom to buy it) since the Target I was at was clean out of the ORS Replenishing Pak and I had to deep condition.

What it does (per the back of the bottle):

Why We Love It: It's like a trip to the tropics in a bottle
Why You Want It: The luxuriously creamy, foaming, hydrating formula leaves your hair feeling clean, glowing, softly scented, and super soft
What's In It For You: Organic coconut milk and ultra whipped egg white proteins along with weightless coconut oil to hydrate and nourish your hair as gentle cleansers wash away impurities

**Note: This line is also sulfate and paraben free**

Shampoo hair
Apply conditioner to hair and leave on for 3-5 minutes. Rinse hair thoroughly.

Price: $6.99+tax (at Target) for 13 fl oz

What I did: After washing my hair, I applied the conditioner to my sectioned hair...concentrating on the ends. I then place a plastic cap on my head and sat under a heat cap for an hour. I then rinsed out the conditioner with lukewarm water.

What I thought: The conditioner definitely smells like a coconut. If you don't like coconut or want to smell like a pina colada...this is not for you! After rinsing it out, my hair felt soft and strong...similar to the way my hair felt after using Aubrey Organics GPB. Since this conditioner has egg whites and coconut oil, this conditioner is definitely a protein conditioner. If your hair is protein sensitive, you may want to follow up this conditioner with a moisturizing conditioner. This line also has a shampoo that I have heard positive reviews about but have yet to try.

Bottom Line: A good protein conditioner, not for those who are protein sensitive or hate the smell of coconuts.

Same Hair+Different Length=Same Lessons?

Hey everyone!

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas! I know I did....

Anyway, for the holidays, I went back home to Virginia and I had to change my hair regimen dramatically. As some of you may know, not only did it snow here 2 weeks ago but it is incredibly cold! So now I have to up the moisture ante so to speak for the time being. I'm also realizing that when I depart from my regimen, I don't really get the same results as before.

The first thing I did was start to pre-poo my hair again. I did this at the start of my journey but for some reason I just stopped. So before I washed my hair, I put a mixture of HE Hydralicious Reconditioning Conditioner (in the purple-ish bottle) and EVOO into my hair. I then sat under a heat cap for 30min to an hour. When I rinsed it out, my hair felt so soft! My hair really liked this extra kick of moisture. My hair still felt soft after I washed it too!

Another thing I have to do is up the protein in my hair especially when I straighten it. One thing I constantly did when I first cut my hair was deep condition. I would do a moisture DC mid-week and a protein DC on Saturday or Sunday. My hair thrived off of this and I saw very very minimal breakage despite the barrage of heat I put on my hair. As my hair grew, I got a little lax on the deep conditioning (meaning: I would still DC but only 1x a week). Now that I think of it, I think my hair thrives more with the frequent deep conditioning. It stays moisturized and strong!

Finally, I don't think I will ever air dry then flat iron again! My hair just didn't respond to it at all! My ends were just rough and terrible looking.....a definite difference from how my hair normally responds. I can air dry for anything else but this, for me, is a no go.

Well, that is it. Sorry this was a little long winded but a lot has happened! I guess the main point is: if what you are doing works, stick with it! Don't try to jazz it up or modify what works! Your hair will thank you for it :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I :HEART: Bantu Knot Sets

For the past couple of days, I have been in a cold sweat trying to figure out how I am going to protective style for the next few months. As you know, the longest part of my hair is now full neck length. My goal for 2010 is to reach full SL. To do that, I know I need to protective style like crazy so that my ends aren't constantly rubbing against my clothing. Here's the problem though: I didn't know what to do! I could do my beloved flexi-rod sets but it is so time consuming! And....I wasn't about to pay someone $60 to do something that I can do for free. I considered getting my hair braided for awhile. However, I still need to find a braider that I trust so that's out for now.

So what's a girl to do? Well I stumbled onto a bantu knot tutorial last night and I decided to try it out. I made about 18 bantu knots on my hair and went to bed. This morning, I unraveled them and lo and behold, I had curls! I wound up separating the curls and put my hair into my wanna-be puff. I love it! I can get my puff in half the time! Yes!

This is the tutorial I used to make the knots (very simple and easy to do!):

Some notes:

1) I did my set on dry hair! Earlier in my journey, I tried the set on wet hair and all I got was massive tangling and breakage. Do yourself a favor and do it on dry hair. You will still get curls.

2) You can do a knot set on relaxed hair. My hair is relaxed and it came out fine!

3) I put a small amount of Kinky Curly Spiral Spritz on my hair before I made the knot. It gives good hold without making your hair hard

4) I put rubber bands on the knot to hold it in place. If you go this route, be very careful when taking them out. You don't want to rip your hair out!

I'm still working on perfecting my set (there were a few straight pieces--nothing noticeable since my hair is in a puff) so that I can do a set and put it into a mohawk.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Protective Styling with a Phony Pony

I have been REALLY lazy with my hair lately.

Don't get me wrong. I still wash and DC weekly but after that....I don't really feel like doing much with it. So for the time being, I have decided to phony pony it up for a while. If you have looked at my progress pics, you can see that I definitely have enough hair to gather it into a small ponytail. Since I don't think my hair is long enough to just go outside wearing my little wimpy ponytail, a phony pony will have to do.

Currently, I am using a Hype Hair synthetic phony pony that I got at Walgreens 2 yrs ago. The color is 1B and I believe I paid $10.00+tax for it (sorry I couldn't find a pic for it!). I also use the Goody Ouchless Hair Ties.

Here is what I do daily:
1) Apply a bit of moisturizer to my hair
2) Brush my hair up into a ponytail (gently, course) and put on hair tie as loosely as I can.
3) Put on ponytail
4) Smooth down my edges with IC Fantasia Hair Gel+water and a brush
5) Done!

When I come home for the evening, I make sure to take my ponytail down for a few hours ( to cut down on the stress my hair is going through from being pulled back). At bedtime, I gather my hair loosely with my hair tie and cover it with a scarf.

Well that is really what I do on the day to day with my phony ponys. The great thing is that I change my hair so much that nobody seems to really notice them! :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

(Almost) 12 months of growth

Wow you guys....

Sorry for my silence lately. Things here have just been out of this world crazy. Well that, and I don't really have much to talk about. I've been kinda lazy on the hair front and I just had my mom put my hair into 2 french braids and called it a day. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to track my progress from this past year. I cut my hair last January and just took the whole hair growth thing from there. I think that I have an insane amount of growth! My longest layer is neck length now and quickly approaching collarbone (yes!). Think my hair is growing so rapidly because I do protective styling quite a bit and I tend to stick to my regimen. The real challenge will be when my hair hits shoulder length though.

Take a look at my progress from January to now!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Since Starting My Journey

I have been on my hair journey for a while now (a year and a half to be exact) and I have noticed something. I am so leery of hairstylists now. It's gotten progressively worse for me. Let me give you some examples

* I won't get my hair braided
Why? The last time I got my hair kinky twisted, they were pulling my hair so tight, braiding so hard, and ripping a rattail comb through my hair--even when I asked them to stop. I kept mentally apologizing to my hair, praying that it wouldn't break off. I haven't had my hair braided since.

*I don't think I'm going back to my stylist
Why? Last time I got my hair relaxed there, the relaxer began to burn. When I brought it to their attention, they asked if I wanted to keep it on longer. Uh hello? I just said that this chemical you put on my hair is starting to burn! Wash it out!

What about you? Have you become more leery of stylists since starting your journey?

Why Didn't Y'all Tell Me??

Yesterday I caved.

After 14 weeks and 2 days of stretching, I could not take it anymore. I relaxed. I figured since I did a protein treatment last week, my hair should be good for relaxing. I went to Sally's and purchased the Silk Elements Relaxer, Mild Strength. Now before I continue on, I should say that I have self-relaxed in the past.....but back then I didn't really know what I was doing. Back then, I would leave the relaxer on for as long as 30 min in the name of getting it straight (I did this every 4 weeks back then too....yeah I know, yikes!). But now I know better. I have been enlightened. Anyway, relaxer purchased, I went home and parted my hair into 4 sections and applied grease to my scalp. I then went on to apply it. Around 18minutes in, my scalp started to tingle so I washed it out. I noticed immediately that I texlaxed my hair. I can definitely tell that the curl was loosened but my hair wasn't bone straight either. I was so happy because this is what I wanted! Yay!!

Anyway, I did all the conditioning, neutralizing, and more conditioning (yes, in that order) and went on to blow dry and flat iron my hair. I could see the difference in my hair immediately. My hair feels thicker.....fuller even. I love it! I can't believe I didn't do this sooner.....well actually I have but I didn't like it then (this was before I knew better). Why didn't you guys tell me that my hair would feel this amazing!?

I can't post pictures now because I am at work but as soon as I get home I will post some!

Cross Wrapping=Fail

I attempted to cross wrap the other day.

I have been on my hair journey for a while now and I have heard how regular wrapping puts so much stress on your hair and blah blah blah. So, I decided to cross wrap. Now my hair isn't insanely long.....I mean the longest part of my hair is neck length....and my hair is layered. Either way I thought it would be enough to work with.

Anyway, before I got ready for bed one night, I parted my hair right down the middle (like I was making ponytails). I grabbed one side and began clipping it back. I did the same thing with the other side. I then covered my hair with my mesh wrap thing, removed the clips, and put my bonnet on. When I woke up the next hair was the flattest thing you have ever seen!! I wound up having to pull out the flat iron just to get some "bump" in my hair! Ooooo! I was so mad!

So lesson learned. At this length, I can't cross wrap. It just doesn't work for me. Maybe when my hair begins to touch shoulder length I will try it again.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Was Supposed to Relax this Weekend But.....

....I forgot......

I mean I genuinely forgot. I didn't realize this until I had just rinsed my DC out of my hair. SMH. I can be so scatter brained sometimes. So I am now 13 weeks and some odd days post. I don't plan to relax this weekend either. I might as well just relax at 16 weeks and call it a day.


I am loving the Thermasmooth line! I think that is what is making this stretch a lot bearable for me. I found that I really have to make sure I target my roots but other than that, I flat iron on my wash day and I am done for the week! I love it! I have been using it for the past 2 weeks but I think this weekend I will give the heat a break and rock the flexirod set. I might get slightly larger rods since my hair is longer but we shall see!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Best I Ever Had.....


Yesterday I purchased the Mizani ThermaSmooth line because I had heard so many good things about it.


I don't know why I didn't try this line before but it made my 12 weeks post hair look like it had a fresh relaxer! There are 4 parts to this system but I had only purchased 3 since Ulta didn't have the 4th part.

I purchased and used:

ThermaSmooth Shampoo (Cost: $14 @ Ulta)

The shampoo is really creamy and smells very good! I lathered up one time since the shampoo has sulfates. However, I found the shampoo to be very moisturizing and non-stripping.

ThermaSmooth Conditioner (Cost: $18 @ Ulta)

The conditioner is creamy as well and smells as good as the shampoo. However, the instructions on the bottle say to leave it on for 3-5min (the instructions on the Mizani website say to leave it on 7-10 min with heat). Therefore, I deep conditioned with AOHSR for 15min prior to using this conditioner. I wanted to make sure my hair had enough moisture.

ThermaSmooth Smooth Guard Straightening Serum (Cost: $25 @ Ulta)

The serum is chock full o' -cones but this is the key to the entire line! Once I had blow-dried my hair, I sectioned my hair out and applied the serum to each section (only 1 squirt...a little goes a long way with this serum). I then flat ironed using my Sedu (set at 320 degrees). All I can say is WOW!! My hair straightened in one pass and my roots didn't revert. Shoot my roots still haven't reverted!!!

My thoughts

I think this line might be the key in helping me stretch longer. After my last relaxer, I'm a little hesitant to get a relaxer (since I want to be confident enough to try self relaxing). This line is a little price-y, however, it is well worth the $. However, if you still want to try the line but money is a little tight, purchase the serum.....that is the key to the entire line!

Here check out my hair.........

Monday, October 19, 2009

Stretching It Out

Lord have mercy it has been awhile! Things have been pretty hectic over here with school (grad school is not a joke) so my hair has been pretty blah: wig, bun, bun, bun,bun, bun, bun, blowout, bun, bun,bun. Anyway, since the weather has cooled some down here, I'm rocking a blowout (didn't know I could do that huh?). My blowout is pretty simple and I do a "quick" blowout. Basically, I don't rollerset and I have to use a LOT of heat protectant and DC with protein based conditioners before I do it. Thus far, I love it! I think I might stretch longer. Apparently, I'm 11 weeks post-relaxer ( I totally forgot and really had to think about that) and I'm not due to relax until the beginning of November. I think I might be able to push it further than that. I'm loving the body my hair has when it's straight and I don't want to forfeit that right now


Oh and I'm using my beloved Fantasia IC heat protectant! Thank goodness! I tried to like Beyond the Zone, I really did. I even used up the whole bottle but I could not stand it!!! I guess that's just the nature of trying stuff out.

Monday, September 28, 2009

This Girl Gives Awesome Tutorials

I found this awesome channel (via LHCF) on Youtube: SalonCabelo. It gives such awesome styling and hair care tips from a stylist! I felt that I had to share this with you guys!

Who's Down For a Challenge?

So...I am in week 8 of a 13/14 week stretch and quite frankly my hair is getting on my nerves.

I guess it decided to do some rampant growing and didn't pass the memo onto me. Thus, straightening it with heat is just not a desirable option right now. So what do I do now? I'm laying off the heat for the next 5 to 6 weeks. This weekend I did a flexirod set and put my hair into a puff. That should last about a week. Next week I'm going to attempt I twistout (since I have enough hair to grab). Hmm...maybe I should post pics on that.....anyway, I'm challenging myself to lay off direct heat so why don't you guys give it a shot?? It doesn't have to be for as long as I'm doing it but the point is to give your hair a break from all of the heat.

So....who's down?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Don't Mess With A Good Thing...

Hey everyone! So I know it has been awhile since I last wrote something but things have been crazy lately! This is just an update on what I've been doing to my hair lately.

1) I really need to be consistent with the porosity control.
For the past 3 weeks or so, I've been skipping on the PC. I hadn't been deep conditioning with heat so I figured that my hair would be ok. WRONG! So wrong! My hair felt so crappy. It felt dry and would barely hold a curl. At first I thought I needed to clarify since I use products that have cones in them. I figured it might be a product build up issue. Well, I did that and no change. I washed my hair today and used porosity control--my hair went back to normal. My hair felt all moisturized and is holding curl for days! Lesson learned: don't mess with a good thing!

2) Finding an all natural shampoo is more difficult than I thought it would be.
As you know, I'm trying to incorporate more all natural products into my regimen. However, the search for a good all natural shampoo is proving to be somewhat difficult. I tried the Giovanni shampoos but wasn't all too impressed with them. Currently, I'm trying Kinky Curly Come Clean shampoo. At first I wasn't all too impressed with it. My hair felt like it was stripped as I was washing it out. However, once I was finished washing it out, it felt moisturized and it was very easy to run a comb through it. I want to give this shampoo a couple of more tries before I post a review on it.

Well that is really it for this past week. I think I might post some pics of my hair....I'm 7 weeks post now and the body has returned to my hair (which I'm happy about). I'm still considering self texlaxing my hair but I definitely have to do some more research about that.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Feeling Like a "Natural" Woman (Product Review)

Well I finally tried 2 new natural products and thought I'd review them so you guys can know what I thought about it!

Aubrey Organics GPB (Glycogen Protein Balancing) Conditioner

Price: $10.29+tax (at Whole Foods)

Consistency/ Smell: Very thick and greenish in tint!! A little bit of this stuff definitely goes a long way! It smelled like something least that's what I thought.

In Action: I applied the conditioner to my hair right after I had washed it. I deep conditioned with it for about an hour. When I rinsed it out, my hair felt so soft but yet it felt like it was strong. This feeling remained even after my hair was dry!

Final Thoughts: I was skeptical about any other conditioner replacing my ORS Replenishing Conditioner. However, this conditioner has made my hair feel so good, so soft, and so strong. I never had that feeling before! I think this conditioner is my mild protein conditioner staple!

The Verdict: Loves it! If you haven't tried it, go pick some up today!

Giovanni Smooth as Silk Shampoo

Price: $7.97+tax (at Wal-Mart)

Consistency/Smell: The shampoo itself is white and not runny at all. The shampoo has a citrus-y smell to it which was absolutely delightful (but I like citrus smell).

In Action: This shampoo got my scalp pretty clean. However, even though it left most of my hair mositurized, some areas didn't feel moisturized enough. I found that this feeling goes away if you follow up the shampoo with a moisturizing deep conditioner.

Final Thoughts: I have been itching to try this shampoo since my hair absolutely adored the Smooth as Silk conditioner. It's a decent sulfate-free shampoo but I'm not sure I would make it my staple. I think there may be better shampoos out there. Another thing to keep in mind about this shampoo is that it is a protein shampoo. I think that if you use this shampoo enough, you may encounter setback city if you don't follow it up with a moisturizing deep conditioner.

The Verdict: It's a'ight. I wouldn't make it a staple.

Looks like I'm still on the hunt for the perfect sulfate free shampoo that can replace my Elasta QP Creme Conditioning shampoo.....

Working It Out....

Hey everyone!!

I hope you all had a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend!

Anyway, recently I decided to start working out more after watching "Half Ton Dad" on TLC this weekend. So now my evenings will be spent at the gym. For that reason, there will be a couple of entries about working out and how to maintain your hair when you are working out. I know for a lot of women (myself included), the potential to mess up the hair deters them from working out. Please do not let a hairstyle keep you from taking care of yourself. Yes it sucks to have to take time out to do your hair but ultimately you will benefit from it (:steps off soapbox:). Anyway, be on the lookout for that!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Making the Switch

For some reason, I've been evaluating the products that I use in my hair. I know that all the products I use work great for my hair but I feel like there may be something better. I have quite a feel natural products in my regimen: Giovanni Direct Leave In, Jane Carter Solution Wrap and Roll, Jane Carter Solution Revitializing Leave In*, and Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner. Let me tell you, when I use these products my hair feels AMAZING! Well that got me to thinking....maybe I should use more natural products in my regimen. Now, I know that my regimen can be completely natural because I relax. I get that. I just see that my hair responds better to natural products. So now, I have to find a new mild protein conditioner and a new sulfate free shampoo. I will be trying Aubrey Organics GPB and one of the shampoos by Giovanni (not sure which one yet). Of course I will keep you all posted on how that goes so....stay tuned!

You Do Hair?

Um....well....I guess....?

I was asked that question this weekend. One of my friends was talking about going to get her hair done and I casually mentioned that I had to wash, deep condition, and style my hair for our outing on Saturday. Her eyes got really big and she asked "You do hair?" Problem is, I didn't know how to answer that. I mean I do my hair but that is based out of necessity. I don't have the time or the money to go to the salon weekly to get my hair done. Besides, stylists don't handle my hair with the same level of care that I do. Anyway, so here I am, trying to figure out how to answer this question. Shoot, I'm still trying to figure it out. I don't want to give anybody any kind of false hope y'know? My skill is limited and I have some things to perfect ( like rollersetting once my hair gets long enough). I don't know, I just wanted to share this story with you guys!

Party Party Party.....

So I have been going out a lot lately. Like any other female, when I go out I like to look good. However, I don't like wearing the same look consistently....especially when it comes to hair. This past weekend I tried out my fro-hawk/bootleg mohowak and it was met with a pretty positive response. Personally, I love this style because it makes for a nice up-do (so to speak) even though I have short hair. The only drawback is that it tends to take a while. Typically, it takes about an hour and a half to rod my hair and then another hour and a half to 2 hours to dry it. I pretty much blocked out my entire Saturday to get this 'do. Since I don't really get how videos are uploaded to Youtube, I'll just give a step by step on how I make it happen.

I use:
* Flexirods ( I use the yellow and red ones)
* End Papers
* Kinky Curly Spiral Spritz
* Bobby Pins

What I do:
* Wash and deep condition hair
* Spray hair with KC Spiral Spritz
* Roll hair with flexirods ( Note: before rolling, I place an end paper on my ends)
* Allow hair to dry (air dry or under hooded dryer)
* Once dry, I separate the curls and create the fro-hawk

Below, I have posted a Youtube vid of how to flex-rod hair and how to make a fro-hawk:


Or you can check this out:

Monday, August 24, 2009

Should I Be Letting You Even Touch My Hair?

I was thinking this exact thought as I was sitting in my stylists chair 3 weeks ago. Her and another stylist were chatting about their time in cosmetology school. Ok, no problem right? Wrong! So wrong! Both stylists were talking about their mutual dislike of the actual classes that they needed to take. According to them "they already knew how to do hair." Now correct me if I'm wrong, don't those classes include the things necessary for hair care (e.g.--understanding the chemistry of hair). I mean aren't those things important too? That conversation was one that I just didn't need to hear. I am already hesitant about letting other people touch my hair ( I'm gentle with my hair, I can't be too sure about how other folks will handle it).

I dunno, should I be freaking out about this? My first instinct is to go ahead, bite the bullet and learn how self- relax. I already take care of my hair the majority of the time (I only go to the salon for relaxers). At least I know my hair is healthy and I know that I won't strip the ever lovin' life out of my hair. It will also be helpful in the future when I decide to relocate (no frantic stylist hunt lol).

Have any of you experienced this?

You Better Check Yourself....

...before you wreck yourself. Lol.

No seriously, I was doing my hair last night and I had a moment to think. I have been on my hair journey for almost a year and a half and my hair has made a complete 180 from where it used to be. When I started, my hair was super duper dry and broke off if you just looked at it. Of course, the shampooing and the deep conditioning have made a huge difference in my hair health. However, there is another factor that is so important yet ignored by a lot of people. I focus on the pH of my hair. Yes, the pH. I'm going to skip the whole science lecture and just say that pH is a measure of acidity or alkalinity. Something that is acidic has a pH that is below 7 and something that is alkaline has a pH that is above 7. Normally, hair has a pH that is ~5. When your hair is at its normal pH, it allows for the cuticle of you hair to lie down-locking in moisture. It also allows for natural shine, helps in detangling, and adds elasticity.

Like most of you, I relax my hair. The relaxer jacks the pH of the hair way way way up ( to 14 ) so that it can raise the cuticle of the hair and let the relaxer do its thing. Even though water (pH 7) and the neutralizing shampoo used immediately after the relaxer bring the pH down somewhat extra care has to be taken to bring the pH of my hair back down to it's normal levels and keep it there. Here is what I do (there is really only one step):

Use products that have a certain pH

I take great care to choose products that have the appropriate pH for my hair. From shampoo to porosity control, there is a pH for most of the products I use on wash day.

* Keracare First Lather shampoo--pH 4.5
*Elasta QP Creme Condition shampoo--pH 5.5
*Roux Porosity Control Conditioner--pH 4.5

With the pH of my hair in check at all times, the cuticles of my hair are able to lie down and my hair can retain the moisture I give to it via my deep conditioners. Even though it is easy to get caught up in the whole deep conditioning your hair thing, it is so important to not overlook this step!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Short Hair Frustration (and how to overcome it!)

I've been thinking.

I frequent a lot of hair boards and forums. This is true. On a daily basis I read about the trials and tribulations of going on a healthy hair journey. Everybody has them. However, I have noticed a lot of girls experiencing Short Hair Frustration. I'm sure you have all been there. Your hair cut was bangin' when you first got it but now it seems like your hair isn't long enough or you can't do anything with your hair. The frustration wants to make you leave your hair alone and not deal with it. The feeling may last minutes, hours or days. So how do you overcome that feeling? Well, let me tell you how:

Find hair goals outside of length

Yeah. That's it. Find a hair goal that doesn't have to do with length. When I first got my haircut, my goal was to be able to grab my shorter hair pieces with no problems or issues. Let me tell you, when I reached that goal I was thrilled! It may have been a minor goal but when I reached it, I felt like it was a huge accomplishment and it encouraged me to keep going. My next goal was to be able to wrap my hair. I just now reached that goal and, as you saw, I was excited about that too.

The point is, find a goal that you want to reach. Do you want healthier hair? Thicker hair? Whatever it is, that just may be the encouragement you need to keep going in this healthy hair journey!

How I Wet Wrap....

Happy Monday Ladies!!

Well it's been a crazy weekend/start of the week for me! Unfortunately I haven't had time to do my wet wrap tutorial as promised. However, I have conducted an extensive Youtube search and found videos that can best illustrate what I am talking about. Before I get into the videos, this is what I do for my wet wrap:

My products/tools:
Jane Carter Solution Wrap and Roll
Wrap strips
Jilbere Shower Comb

1) Wash and deep condition hair
2) Once DC is washed out, I apply my leave in and Fantasia IC Frizz Buster
3) I distribute foam wrap lotion (quite a bit) throughout my hair
4) Begin to wrap hair
5) Once hair is wrapped, tie down with wrap strip and air dry or use hair dryer.

You may notice that the video talks about using duckbill clips. I don't use them when I wrap but feel free to use them.

Also, if your hair is short enough, you may want to just slick your hair straight back and tie down with a wrap strip instead of wrapping it. It saves time and may be a bit easier!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Progress Pics

I finally took some progress pics! Yay! I have definitely made loads of progress since January and May, even. As you can see, I have some chin length pieces here and there and a "tail." I'm really starting to wonder what type of style this grow out is taking. Right now I'm a little unsatisfied. Relaxers take the life out of my hair and make it too thin for my liking. I generally have to wait 3 weeks before I get any body back. Ugh! Well, this Saturday will mark 2 weeks post so hopefully I will begin to see a difference then. Anyway, take a look and feel free to leave any comments!

a comic strip!

My Review of.....the Sedu!

Per your request, I am going to do a review of the Sedu flat iron. I have been using the Sedu for a year and a half and I absolutely love it!

Sedu Revolution Pro Shortie Mini Styler

I purchased this immediately after my hair cut. There were shorter pieces of hair that my 1 1/2" could not all.

In comparison to my other Sedu, this one was ok. It is pretty small and is about the size of a Sharpie. There is no temp gauge and this iron gets HOT! I constantly had to make sure the back of my head had enough heat protectant and I had to make sure that I DCed really good! I was so happy when I went back to my original Sedu. It does a decent job for the price but I think that there are better small flat irons out there.

Price: $50.00+ shipping ( I paid around $60 for mine)

Sedu Pro Ionic Ceramic and Tourmaline Flat Iron (1 ½”)

I purchased this at the beginning of my journey when my hair was longer. It is an amazing flat iron! As I stated before, the plates are ceramic and tourmaline. In addition, it has a very thick cord that doesn’t fray easily and the cord rotates with the flat iron, making styling a breeze! Another bonus is that this iron heats up fast!

Things I love about this flat iron:

The temp gauge—allows you to directly control how much heat you put on your hair.The gauge runs from 250 degrees- 480 degrees. However, I found when using the Sedu, not much heat is needed to straighten hair.

The ceramic/tourmaline plates—prior to my purchase of the Sedu, I never knew that a flat iron could get my hair to be so smooth! These plates are responsible for that.

Weight-the Sedu is very lightweight so it doesn’t feel like you have a million pounds in your hand.

Minimal work effort- when I use my Sedu, it takes 1 pass on any setting (well almost any- I never tried the highest setting) to get my hair straight. ONE PASS! Before the Sedu, it would take as many as 5 passes to get the same result. Since I have a lot of hair, this cuts my hair styling time in half!

Things I don’t like so much:

This isn’t much that I don’t like about the Sedu. However, as a student, this flat iron was a little price-y. I paid $130 (includes shipping) for the Sedu. Regardless, I think the Sedu is well worth the money. I probably spent the same amount of money purchasing the cheap flat irons that snagged my hair and were causing insane damage. For those looking to purchase a Sedu right now, is selling the 1 1/2” for $119+free shipping!

Also, this flat iron works very well with the IC Fantasia Heat Protectant! The two combined makes my hair feel so light and flow-y (if that's a word). I've also tried it with the Beyond the Zone Heat Protectant and the results were...meh.

I think I covered everything about the Sedu that I like. If I missed something, give me a shout! :)


So I had planned to do a pic tutorial of a wet wrap by the end of this week. However, my practice wet wrap yesterday went horribly wrong. I know exactly what caused the failure, too. I tried to be slick and use a different foam wrap lotion (IC Fantasia). That mess left my hair soooooo hard and crunchy..... Anyway, now I have to purchase my beloved Jane Carter Solution Wrap and Roll. The only place that carries it near where I live is Whole Foods (and Whole Foods is allllll the way across town). I probably won't get a chance to purchase it until Friday. The pic tutorial probably won't be up until late this weekend or early next week.

Just a heads up....

Monday, August 10, 2009

Turn the Heat Up....

After I got my hair relaxed last week, I did a dance of joy. Let me tell wasn't because I just got a relaxer. As of 8/1/09, I can wrap my hair! YES!! You must understand, this is a very important milestone for me. I's can use less heat now! I'm sure you guys already know that shorter hair=more heat. It sucks but that's just the way it is. Shoot, on the days I didn't use heat I would look like Goku from Dragon Ball Z

Even though I had to use heat frequently when my hair was shorter, here are the things that I did to make it through those long, dark months:

1) Invest in a good flat iron
Find a good ceramic and tourmaline flat iron. This type of flat iron not only straightens your hair, but it smoothens it and helps to keep moisture in. Also, get a flat iron that has a temperature gauge (just so you don't fry your hair to death during your straightening sessions). Although there are other good flatirons (like the FHI Platform) I use the Sedu and the Sedu Revolution Shortie Styler (check for pricing/availability).

Just as a note, if you have a ceramic plated flat iron make sure the coating has not worn off. If it has, it is time to get a new one!

2) Find a good heat protectant and use it every time (yes...every time!)
Finding a good heat protectant is so important. It serves as a barrier between your hair and the flat iron which minimizes damage. There are sooooo many protectants out there and finding one may require a bit of trial and error. A good starting heat protectant is IC Fantasia Heat Protectant Straightening Serum (which is $7.99- $9 and can be found at Sally's and Walgreens).

3)You may have to increase the frequency of your regimen
It is important to keep in mind that heat a) changes the structure of your hair and b) removes moisture from your hair. Those two things combined can result in dry, brittle hair. When I first had my hair cut, I washed and deep conditioned my hair no less than 2x a week. I was always doing my hair! Sometimes I would use a moisturizing DC ( like Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose) or a light protein DC ( such as ORS Replenishing). I would then follow up with a light protein leave-in (Giovanni Direct Leave In). The point is: if you use more heat then you must make more of an effort to ensure your protein/moisture balance in check at all times.

If you can, try to sneak in no-heat/ indirect heat when you can. For example, you may decide to air dry your hair then flat iron or dry via a hooded dryer then flat iron.

4) That temperature gauge on the flat iron is important
Although I used heat frequently, please believe that the temp gauge on my Sedu was set a 250 ( 280 at the highest). Since my hair is relaxed, I don't need to crank up the flat iron to the max setting just to bump my hair. Shoot...I really don't need to set it to the middle temp (360). Just as a general rule (for me) a flat iron set at the lowest temp+ a heat protectant is better for my hair health than a flat iron cranked all the way up. I can still get the style I desire while keeping my hair as healthy as possible.

I've found that by following these 4 guidelines, the increased heat did not significantly damage my hair and as someone with short hair, there is no need to fear heat. You just have to make the appropriate adjustments to your regimen.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

What To Do When....... seems like your hair is too short to do ANYTHING!

Trust me. I've been here. As a matter of fact, I'm still here. It can be frustrating, especially when you hear of all these different styles that require slightly longer hair. Well here is a list of things that I do when I can't do certain hairstyles.

What to do when you can't...

-Rollerset: I love rollersetting. I do. It gives beautiful curls. The only down side to rollersetting is that it is incredibly time consuming. Well my short hair divas, now is the time to count you blessings. I have found that wet wraps are incredibly easy to do when your hair is short. Add some foam wrap lotion ( I prefer Jane Carter Solution Wrap and Roll), wrap hair, and put on a wrap strip. You can then air dry or still under a hooded dryer and flat iron if you so desire. That's it. It doesn't get any easier than that!

-Braidout, Twistout, or any kind of other "-out": I frequent hair care forums and during the course of the summer so many of the ladies in the forums talked about doing braidout and twistouts. I'll admit that I was a little jealous. Why? I can't do them, that's why. Unfortunately my hair was too short to do either one. However, I found flexi-rod sets to be an alternative for us short-haired chicks. You can buy the appropriate sized rods and create a curly do that lasts for days!

-Rock the oh-so-famous bun: Yeah I don't have enough hair to put into a bun yet. But I do like the option of having a low maintenance style. Sometimes, doing your hair everyday gets old fast! This boredom with my hair eventually lead me to the wonderful world of wigs. Wigs offer a new style and the option of low maintenance. The same can be said for phony ponies ( if your hair is long enough to get into a ponytail), weaves (sew-in of course), and braids (be careful with the micros though).

So you see, short hair doesn't necessarily lock you into one style. With a bit of imagination and creativity, you can find styles to get you through the awkward stage.

It's Been A Long Time....Shouldn't Have Left You...

I know I know. I haven't blogged in a minute. I finally have a decent internet connection in my apartment so now I can continue to blog about my journey. First things first....

1) I got a relaxer August 1, 2009(sorry no pics yet!)

Following what had to be the longest stretch ever (13weeks), I got a relaxer. My stylist used the Sensitive Scalp Design Essentials relaxer and it got my hair pretty straight. I definitely have a lot of progress. The majority of my hair is chin length with my "tail" at neck length (kinda like a mullet if you think about it).

2) Speaking of relaxers, I hate how my hair feels following a relaxer

My hair just feels so brittle and weak...I can't stand it! 2 days after my relaxer, I washed my hair again with neutralizing shampoo and used the Joico K-Pak Reconstructor. My hair felt 1000% better. I am so glad I am able to do my hair without completely depending on stylists

3) Just so you know....

It took me 8 months (actually a couple of weeks short of 8 months) to go from that short hair cut to chin length. So if you're growing your hair out, don't be discouraged...length takes time!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Ugh...Please Don't Do This...

I spent the greater part of my day yesterday at the hair salon (7am-1pm) and I couldn't help but notice a few things. thing really. There was a lady sitting next to me, as nice as she wants to be, with severely damaged hair. It was a mess. This lady goes to get her hair styled and I found out her "hair" was mainly glue on tracks. The stylist was ripping out the old tracks and gluing in new ones. It just made me so sad to see this woman's hair. You could definitely see where her hair had broken off from the constant ripping out of the tracks. So sad. With that said, if you feel the need to have longer hair temporarily, don't go the glue in track route. It can set you back tremendously if you don't know what you're doing. If you absolutely must have longer hair get a sew-in or a wig.

That's my rant for the moment. Look for my May-August progress pics...they should be up soon!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Wiggin It Up's been a while. My internet is kinda touch and go at my new place until Monday so I will do what I can. Anyway, tomorrow will mark the end of my 13 week stretch. I'm getting my hair relaxed baby!!! I have to admit, getting through this stretch was tough but it became so much easier through wigs. This was my first time wearing a wig and I had some things I had to consider before purchasing one. For that reason, I thought it would be helpful to anyone else who is considering wearing a wig to list the things I thought about before walking out the door in my hair hat.

1) Synthetic or Human? Before you buy a wig you have to know if you want a human hair one or a synthetic one. Typically, synthetic wigs are cheaper that human and tend to be really glossy/high sheen (which can be fixed by sprinkling a bit of baby powder on it). A plus of a synthetic wig is that it will hold its style after you wash it so you won't have to reshape it. On the other hand, human hair wigs are more versatile. You can use heat on these wigs and pretty much treat them as your own hair. However, these wigs can get a bit pricy. Knowing what type of wig you want helps to narrow down the field a bit.

2) Are you trying to fool anyone? Ok let me explain this. Some women wear wigs with no shame. They are wearing a wig and don't care who knows it. I am not one of those women. Before I even purchased a wig, I had to make sure to zero in on styles that are similar to the cut of my natural hair. I mean, it would be pretty suspect if I had chin length hair one day and shoulder length hair the next. So I say all that to say, know what goal you want to achieve with that wig.

3) Try, Try Again. This is self explanatory. Don't walk into a wig shop/ BSS , eyeball some wigs that catch your eye and proceed to purchase them. Try them on!! What may look good on the mannequin might not look good on you. Make sure to bring your own wig cap for the trying on process!

4) How are you going to take care of your hair underneath the wig? It is tempting to get a wig and just slap it onto your head. However, this can be detrimental to your hair health. Believe it or not, you have to take care of that hair underneath the wig. Your hair still needs to be washed, conditioned, and moisturized. When I wore my wig, I would wash and deep condition weekly. I would then flat twist my hair. I usually wore 6 flat twists that probably weren't the neatest twists ever. I would spray those twists with leave in daily. You may decide to keep your hair in cornrows or french braids. Whatever you do, DON"T NEGLECT YOUR HAIR!

That's pretty much it. I know that when you first wear a wig and may feel awkward wearing it. I guarantee that if you have done a good job of picking out a wig, a lot of people won't be able to tell the difference. Either way, it is a great stretching style and is extremely low maintenance. It is also an excellent way of keeping heat off your hair.

Friday, July 24, 2009

It's Been a Long Time...


Things have been real crazy for me lately. I am in the process of moving into a new apartment so my time has been limited. Just wanted to let you know that I haven't forgetten about you guys. Hopefully by Sunday I can starting posting again!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Short Hair+ Stretching=???

Happy Sunday!

As promised, I am writing a blog about how I stretch my relaxers 13 weeks. I know it sounds impossible, but trust me it can be done. This blog might be a little lengthy but I do different things at different stages of my stretch.

Weeks 1-8: My hair is pretty easy to deal with at this point. I basically do the following:

1) Wash hair and DC hair 1x/week
2) Wet wrap my hair and sit under hooded dryer for 1.5 hours
3) Flat iron
4) Wrap and cover with silk bonnet at night/ moisturize when necessary

Weeks 9-13: Between weeks 8 and 9 my new growth decides to really make itself known. It is really thick and impossible to deal with while it is dry. For that reason I have 2 options.

Option 1: Flexirod set (this can be really time consuming!)

1) Wash and DC hair 1x/week
2) Set my hair on flexirods using Kinky Curly spiral spritz (takes about an hour)
3) Sit under hooded dryer for 2 hours
4) Remove flexirods and style hair
5) Cover with bonnet at night/ moisturize when necessary

**Note: I love flexirod sets, I really do. They take so much time though! However, once you have your curls in, you can do a fro-hawk, a puff, or even a fro. I love the versatility of it!**

Option 2: Wig it up!! ( Yes what you see is a wig)

1) Wash and DC hair as needed
2) Oil scalp with Wild Growth Oil ( helps me get through the new growth)
3) Flat twist my hair (I usually make 6 really sloppy twists)
4) Place wig cap on top of twists
5) Put on wig and go!

**Note: I love this option! You are able to take care of your hair but not necessarily be worried about your hair looking a mess. Believe it or not, wigs can look really natural and are a perfect stretching style*

That is pretty much how I stretch. As a matter of fact, my most current stretch will end Aug.1. Next blog, I will write about wigs--what wig to chose, how to wear them...everything!

Friday, July 17, 2009

And It Came To Me...Like An Epiphany (Lol)

Some of you guys might be new to hair care and terms like "stretching" and "deep conditioning" might seem completely foreign so you. So I have compiled a list of links that can describe these hair care terms far better than I can.

Keep It Simple Sista (an awesome blog! You guys should check it out!): Traycee gives an excellent explanation of what each term means as well as her own regimen.

Healthy Textures blog (this is the blog that got me started on my hair journey): this link explains what a regimen is and what you should to to build one

That's all I can think of at the moment. You can also check out Long Hair Care Forums (LHCF) for more info. It is pretty extensive but it provides some excellent info!

My Super Fantastic Regimen! maybe the title is a little over the top (sorry). After a year of tweaking my regimen, I finally have something that works for me.

-My hair is 4a/b, coarse, and relaxed.

-Relax every 13 weeks w/ Design Essentials Lye Relaxer

-Wash weekly with Elasta QP Creme Conditoning Shampoo

-Deep condition with Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner or ORS Replenishing Conditioner 1x/week

-Rinse with Roux Porosity Control after deep condition

-Add Giovanni Direct Leave-In and wet set hair that is pretty much it. Nothing complex....a little time consuming but simple. However, you might be wondering " how the heck does she relax every 13 weeks when her hair is short?" Well my dears, stay tuned because that will be covered very soon!

What's a Hair Blog With No Hair?

Just wanted to post a few progress pics starting with my sassy cut!

January 2009

Here you can see the grow out process is in full swing!

May 2009

Now my hair is trying to make a little bob out of itself!

June 2009

What'cha think?

Everybody Is Doing It.....

Blogging, that is. Actually, everyone is blogging about hair. So what makes my blog so different? Why should you take time out from your day to read it? My blog is different because I am growing out a short haircut and I am taking you (yes you!!) along for the ride. You lucky readers will be able to see my progress, my hair regimen, and other random hair related posts I decide to put up that day. Hopefully, I can inspire (or at the very least, entertain) you guys while I discuss the trials and tribulations of my hair.

Anyway, I hope you stick around and welcome to The Awkward Stage!