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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

First Impressions: Shea Moisture Raw Shea Deep Treatment Masque




So I'm home for the holidays and I have A LOT of free time on my hands (and I do mean a lot!). As a result, I've been really into my hair because I don't have anything better to do. LOL

Last night, I tried a new product Shea Moisture Raw Shea Deep Treatment Masque. If you don't already know, the Shea Moisture line can be found in Target. Although the majority of the line is targeted towards the natural ladies (every other product talked about 'defining curls' and since I am relaxed, I figured that those products were not for me), I wanted to give this moisturizing DC a shot. Wintertime is really a time to up the moisture game and I wanted to see if this condish met the goal.

Price: $9.99+tax

Ingredients: deionized water, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), argan oil, cetyl esters, sea kelp extract, panthenol (vitamin b-5), ammonium salt, essential oil blend, avocado oil, lonicera caprifolium (honeysuckle) flower and lonicera japonica (japanese honeysuckle) flower extract, tocopherol (vitamin e), hyssopus officinalis extract, salvia officinalis (sage) leaf and equisetum arvense extract, soybean oil, daucus carota sativa (carrot) seed oil.



Just looking at the ingredient list, you can't go wrong! It contains all the good stuff. It also does not contain any of the bad stuff--mineral oil, parabens, etc.) When I opened the product, it had a very thick consistency...very thick. It also has a very sweet smell....kind of like cake batter.

After washing my hair, I coated my hair with the condish, placed a shower cap on, and DCed using my heat cap for 40min. When I rinsed the condish out, my hair felt....a'ight (yes a'ight lol). Now, I will say that when it comes to moisturizing my hair, this DC met all expectations. My hair felt very moisturized. However, I am accustomed to using DCs that have incredible slip and sadly, this DC did not have the slip I am used to. I had to follow up with Silicon Mix just to get some slip!

Bottom Line: Will I repurchase? Maybe----only if I don't have any of my staples nearby. Although I left my hair wonderfully moisturized, you really don't get a lot of product for the price and it doesn't have a good amount of slip. If you must use it, I suggest following up with a DC that offers a good amount of slippage.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

End of Year Length Check: 2010

Happy Sunday!

Well....it's almost the end of 2010! Hair-wise, my hair has grown so much! I started 2010 grazing SL, now I'm APL! I must say that I am definitely pleased that I have been able to meet my hair goals for the year and I hope the trend continues for 2011.

Ok....enough with the small talk. Here is the length of my hair as of December 19, 2010.




In case you forgot, in October 2010 my hair was here:



As you can see, my is is APL without a doubt! :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hats, Hats, and mo' Hats!

LOL

I can be so lame sometimes.

Anyway, it has been downright FRIGID in the 'Ham as of late (it was 17 degrees this morning plus whatever the windchill was when I headed out to lab smh) and I found out that my hair doesn't like it at all. So this morning, I put some shea butter on my ends, bunned my hair, and placed a slouch beret thing on my hair and called it a day. It turns out that my ends love shea butter...well in this winter weather they do. My ends are definitely nicely moisturized and it's cutting down some on this breakage I have been seeing (nothing major, just a few more broken pieces than I'm used to seeing).

So far this week, I've been wearing hats and I just wanted to post my looks from Monday and today. Now, be warned, I've latched on to this slouch beret thing. I purchased a rack of them at Rue21 and my local beauty supply store.





I'll probably incorporate different types of hats as the winter progresses. I just need to find styles that I like. I definitely need to find satin/silk lined hats. As of right now, I have a satin scarf on underneath my hat lol. I gotta protect my hair man!


Happy Tuesday everyone!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Oh The Weather Outside Is Frightful.......

....and it's kicking my hair's behind!!

This cold weather is just running a number on my hair and I am on a mission to keep my hair moisturized and happy. To this end, I am trying 2 new things: Shea Butter and Silicon Mix. Although I have been using them a short while, let me tell you about my experiences with them thus far.


1) Silicon Mix




Oh where has this wonderful conditioner been all my life!?!? I deep conditioned with it for an hour on Thursday (even though the directions say leave it on for 2-3min) and my hair felt......AMAZING!! It was so soft, yet strong. Although I can't definitively say that Silicon Mix is specifically a protein condish or a moisturizinf condish, I can say that this conditioner has protein (keratin), ceramides, and glycerin in it. A word of warning though. The second ingredient is mineral oil so if you're trying to avoid mineral oil, this may not be for you. Also, Silicon Mix is pretty heavily scented. I can still smell the scent on my hair and I DCed 3 days ago! All and all though, this is definitely a keeper!

2) Shea Butter

I had to find a thicker moisturizer to use during the winter other than my ORS Carrot Oil (which I primarily use in the summer months). I'm kinda weary about this. Don't get my wrong, I know how awesome shea butter is. However, it is so thick and I don't want to weigh my hair down with it. So, thus far, my experience with shea butter is being taken with baby steps. I basically place a small amount of shea butter in my hands (and when I say small amount, I do mean a small amount!), rub it until it melts, and place it on my hair focusing on my ends. So far, everything is good. My hair feels moisturized for the most part which is what I wanted. More to come on how it actually works for my hair.



Also, since it is winter time and we're all wearing hats and such, remember to either line your hats with silk or satin or wear a silk or satin scarf under your hat. It'll keep your hair from drying out. Also make sure to protect your ends (moisturize and seal or even bun) as they will be rubbing up against some rough fabrics (like wool, for example).

That's all I have for today you guys,

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Like a Moth to a Flame.....

I am a product junkie for real yall!

A few weeks ago, a new beauty supply store opened up by my apartment. Of course I had to check it out! I'm getting tired of having to plan a trip all the way out to Ensley to get my beauty supply story fix. It's called: Hair Show Beauty Supply Store and it's off of Crestwood Blvd (for all you ladies who live in B'ham). It is a pretty big store and it have a decent sized inventory of wigs, weaves, and all that good stuff. Product wise, it was pretty...meh. Just your average products. However, they do sell Silicon Mix (which I'm trying out as a type this! I will do a review on it soon) and they sell bigger bottles of my beloved Elasta QP Creme Conditioning shampoo. :)


Don't you just love the opening of a new beauty supply store?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Creme of Nature Argan Oil Intensive Conditioning Treatment: A Review




Ingredients: Aqua (Water) (Eau), Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Dicetyldimonium Chloride , Polyquaternium-32, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Paraffinum Liquidum (Mineral Oil) (Huile Minerale), Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Honey (Mel) (Miel), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Cocodimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Panthenol, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Lanolin Oil, Phenyl Trimethicone, PPG-1 Trideceth-6, Polyquaternium-10, Amodimethicone, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch , Isostearyl Ethylimidazolinium Ethosulfate, Parfum (Fragrance), Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Phenoxyethanol

It's raining outside and I figure what better time than now to try out this new conditioner from Creme of Nature.


I have to admit, I have been eyeballing this line for a while now. However, ever since Creme of Nature added sulfates to my former holy grail shampoo, they have gotten nothing but the side eye from me. Anyway, I noticed these packets in Walmart. They run about $1.50/pack. Under $2! If you're on a budget like myself, that is definitely not a bad price! I picked up 3 packets.

First impression: omg the scent!! It smells pretty good to me. However, for those of you who are sensitive to scents, you may want to steer clear of this conditioner b/c the scent is STRONG! I can still smell it on my hands, that's how strong it is.

Consistency wise, this conditioner is very thick and creamy, which is a plus for my strands. I can definitely see how 1 pack of this stuff can be enough for most people.

Post deep condition: Although the instructions say to DC for 10-15min, I almost always DC for 45min-1hr under a heat cap....that's just the way I have always DCed. Anyway, the condish rinsed out pretty easily. I didn't need to go back and wash out any residual conditioner. That's where the good stuff about this conditioner ended for me. My hair felt dry! I have never in my life used a DC where my hair felt dry afterwards. Fortunately, my hair was easy to comb through and didn't tangle.

Bottom Line: I am not impressed. With all the benefits I keep hearing about argan oil, I thought this condish would have done something beneficial to my hair. Maybe the ingredient listing should have been my warning but this conditioner hasn't done anything for my hair. Thankfully, I only got a packet worth instead of an entire bottle. Well...back to my Mizani and ORS I go b/c I am definitely not purchasing this again!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Walmart Got Me Again!!

Damn you Walmart and your reasonably priced services!!!!


Tonight after work, I made a quick run into Walmart to pick up some of that Creme of Nature Argan Oil Conditioner that I wanted to try out. I had noticed that the Smart Style salon was open and stopped in to look at some of the hair products they had on display.

That's when it happened.

I was lured in by all this talk of a basic roller set costing only $14.95 (I'm a sucker for a good deal). Even when the price went up to $24.95 because of my hair length, I was still hooked. Shoot, in a state with no Dominican salons, 25 bucks is a daggone good deal! I walked on over to the shampoo bowl and allowed the magic to happen. I wound up getting a wash, blowout, and flat iron for $26.95 (my hair is thick, we would've been in there all night waiting for my hair to dry and I don't have that kind of time).

Let me tell you, my hair is GORGEOUS!! It's all soft and shiny and straight. I tried to take a pic of it but my camera was acting like a jerk. I say all that to say, I was pleasantly surprised. This stylist may be the stylist I go to when I don't feel like doing my hair...which has been often because it takes a lot of effort to do my hair now that it's longer. I also may go to this stylist for my touch up. This salon uses Mizani relaxers so it may be worth a shot.

Anyway, I dunno about the Walmart salons where you guys are, but I think I may have found a great thing!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Edge Control





Man....this stuff is like wax in a jar but it keeps ya edges slicked ALL THE WAY DOWN!

So I basically tried this stuff on a whim. Just to check it out since gel has been hit or miss with my edges. I was in Wally World and behold! This stuff was sitting there just asking me to purchase it. I believe I paid around $6-$7 for it. This stuff claims to have no alcohol (and it doesn't according to the ingredients) and it's non-greasy. It also contains wheat protein, glycerin, and aloe vera.

When I first opened the jar, the product looked like clear wax and it has the consistency of wax. I don't know how something that has a waxy consistency can be non greasy but ok. I applied a little bit of the product ( I used just enough to cover the tip of my pointer finger) to my edges. When I tell you that my edges laid down and stayed that way all day!!! ORS may be on to something with this stuff. A word of advice though: a little definitely goes a long way. Don't use too much or you will shellac you hair to you scalp.....and that's not a good thing.

So far, I love this product. I use it when I have all my hair brushed back (bangs included). Definitely keeps hair in one place!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mizani and KeraCare Now At Wal-Mart

At one of my many (and random) trips to Wally World, I noticed something. I had ventured down the 'Ethnic Hair Care' aisle on a whim....just to see what is out there and I spotted them amidst the madness...KeraCare and Mizani. Yes! I know right? KeraCare, Mizani, and it isn't in the salon part of Wal-Mart. I've been dying to try the Kerafuse (somehow, I have managed to indirectly have a mostly Mizani regimen...don't ask me why or how) and now is the perfect time to try it!

Anyway....just FYI.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

If Only They Had This When I Was Growing Up....

Just wanted to share this cute Sesame Street vid. If I had kids (esp a daughter), this is the kind of message that I would want her to get while watching Sesame Street.


Time for Something New....Time for Something Different

I was sitting in my apartment last night, playing in my hair. I had relaxed it on Friday ( 1 week ahead of schedule) and was loving the length. However, I felt like something was missing. Like it was lacking a little....oomph.

Did I want to color it? Nah. I wanted to cut it. But....I've been working so long and so hard for the length I have now, I couldn't bear to part with it. So want did I want to do to my hair? BANGS!!! I want BANGS!!

Now mind you, I have always done the little side swoop thing so getting bangs is stepping out of the box for me. Anyway, today after church, I went to Head Start Hair Care and got my bangs for the grand total of.....$7.00.

Check 'em out:




They make me feel a little more grown...more vampy.....more something. So far I am loving them!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

I Guess It's True What They Say.....

Happy Friday everyone!

I have a little free time before class so I figure I'd stop by with my musing of the day. Ever since I've hit APL and I have folks falling over themselves about my hair, I just feel like my hair isn't very long. I know---crazy right? Before I hit this hair length, I thought APL was long and couldn't wait to reach that length. In fact, I thought folks were crazy for thinking that their BSL hair wasn't that long. I guess I now understand how some folks can get hair anorexia. I figure it has a lot to do with me always being in my hair and watching its growth. Perhaps it's so easy to get caught up in the care and maintenance of your hair that it is difficult to see the progress that you have made. I dunno. Just a thought.


Anyway, on the hair front, I have been bunning a lot. Nothing major. I'll probably straighten my hair again this weekend and wear it out for this weekend only then go back to bunning. I'm definitely gonna have to do a good protein DC in preparation for that. I'm so glad that I can enjoy my hair a little bit more :)

Oh and here's a shot of me from earlier this week (Tuesday I think) and my attempt at a side bun lol

Monday, October 4, 2010

Look of the Day (10/4/2010): Looped Bun

So I notice that I talk about protective styling all the time but I rarely (if ever) post the protective styles I wear on a day to day basis. I figure I should get on the ball with that. I realize that I have folks who read the blog who may be at a standstill with protective styling.

Anyway, since I straightened my hair Friday, my hair is straight. I wore it out Saturday and that was a wrap for that. I play in my hair too much to keep it out all the time and even though I have reached APL, I'm not full APL. I would like to get there by December and me getting a big head about my hair now will only result in a setback.

Today, my hair is in a fairly simple style because I woke up late (that darn snooze button!!) and had to get out of apartment as quickly as possible. All I did was gather my hair into a ponytail, loop it around and secure it with bobby pins. That's it. Took all of 5min.

Here are a couple of shots:







Very simple, very chic in less than 5 minutes. Hopefully I'll wake up early enough tomorrow to do something with a lil more oomph.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I MADE IT!!!

At last! I have reached glorious APL!!!! I am so thrilled!

Since the weather here in B'ham has cooled down (finally), I decided that I would straighten my hair out and wear it out for a few days this week (just a few days....I play in my hair entirely too much when my hair is out). I wound up doing a length check and found that my hair is here:




Now remember that at the end of July, my hair was here:



Can you believe it!?! Now granted, it isn't a full APL so I'll probably continue with the continuous protective styling until December. Anyway, just for general knowledge, it took me about 6 months to get here from SL and that is with constant protective styling. It feels so good to be reaching my length goals. I got so many compliments on my hair today (and a lot of questions on if my hair is real or not-smh). Anyway, tell me what you think!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I'm Such an Alabama Girl....

Well not really lol

I'm just posting about the new phony pony I purchased this weekend. I got it at my local BSS and spent about $10 for it. It's FreeTress Shake N' Go ponytail in Alabama Girl. It looks like this:




As you can see, I am a fan of curly phony ponies. I dunno why...maybe because they give me more leeway as to how straight my real hair has to get. Anyway, I love this pony. It gives such a cute curly style. I should note that I don't wear my pony the way that the model does. When you plop a pony on the top of your head like that, it looks like a pony plopped on the top of your head. I mean I know it's a phony pony but it doesn't have to look like one! Maybe once I figure out this whole posting vids on YouTube thing, I can make a tutorial.

That's all I wanted to update you guys on. It's another phony pony style for those who are interested in them.

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Bun Sessions: Buns for NL/SL Hair

Many people (myself included) think/thought that their hair must be a certain length before they can start bunning. I will say that this partly true. I mean, yeah you can't bun when your hair is ear length but your hair doesn't have to be bra strap length either. I came across this tutorial on edaluv's Youtube page. She explains everything beautifully so that those of you still aiming to reach great lengths can do so.

Just in time for the cooler months!

The Bun Sessions: The Messy Bun

This is the bun that I am wearing currently....minus the bang.....minus the headband thingy. Actually, my current bun is a mix between this and the J-Lo bun (I'll let you draw your own conclusions about that lol). I found this tutorial on mzTyrah's page. I think it is a perfect bun for lazy days, running errands, or anything else you deem it necessary for. Although this is called a messy bun, I find that it is quite polished in it's own way.

....and another one.....

The Bun Sessions: The J-Lo Bun

The J-Lo bun is a nice high bun that doesn't take an incredibly long time to do. I thought this bun was so simple and elegant. Definitely a nice bun for a night out on the town (when paired with some fierce earrings or for day to day. I found it on SugarFreeTV's page. Just as a side note: her vids are awesome. Not only does she give tutorials, she gives random musings about life that are quite entertaining!

Anyway, another bun for the style file.

The Bun Sessions: The Flapper Chignon

Whooooooo!

It has been a minute since I last posted something! School and my volunteer activities have been kicking my butt lately so I haven't had much time to post. My hair has been really low maintenance lately (phony pony) so I haven't really had anything to post.

Anyway, something I have been doing/ have done is bunning. I know from experience, that bunning can get pretty boring from time to time. Soooooo....I have been perusing Youtube to find bunning tutorials that allow you to jazz up the basic bun just a bit.

One bun I saw was the Flapper Chignon on crownofHisGlory's page. I thought it was really cute and it can be jazzed up by adding a flower or something.

Anyway, take a look and post it in your style file! :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Back To My PJ-i-ness...

...or is it PJism?

Anywho...

Last Saturday, Imade the critical mistake of going the the beauty supply store with my friend. Let me start off by saying that this store is huge (it's Ensley Beauty Supply for all you B'ham natives) so there are products everywhere! It was so hard to contain myself! I have been itching to try new products all summer and now that my hair is out...I'M GOING FULL STEAM BABY! (lol...I'm such a nerd).

One of the new products I picked up is a leave in conditioner by Mizani. Let me preface this by saying that I am a fan of Mizani products. I have come to find that for my hair, they provide the right amount of moisture. I have always wanted Mizani to come up with a leave in and now they have!



I believe I paid around $12 (this includes tax) for it and so far so good. It is really moisturizing. I'm not sure if it could replace my beloved Jane Carter Solution but it is definitely running a close second. Also, since I do have my staple products in place, I just think it's nice to have substitutions for them (just in case some evil corporation decides to change the formulations or discontinue products. This leave in may be a substitute. I just need a few more uses to be really sure.

I also tried a new moisturizing DC. I tried Mizani Moisturefuse and I'm torn.


I paid $7 for the 8oz bottle. But that isn't what I'm torn about. In terms of slip, this conditioner is amazing. My hair was feeling oh so silky smooth with this DC. However, it smells AWFUL! I just couldn't take the smell. It smelled kinda....medicinal to me. I'm not sure if that warrants me purchasing an entire tube of this stuff. SMH

I almost bought some shea butter as well (gotta prep for the cold winter months) but I had to restrain myself. Maybe I'll get it on my next visit to the BSS.!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Aussie Moist Conditioner: It's A'ight




For the past couple of months, I have had a liter of Aussie Moist Conditioner in my cabinet. I don't even remember why I bought it in the first place but there it was...taking up space in my cabinet. I do know that I paid $6+tax for it though. Hmmmm. Anyway, I've finally decided to use it and figure out if it is worth keeping (and possibly replacing my beloved HE Hello Hydration). So far I have used Aussie Moist Conditioner as a pre-poo and a co-wash.

As a pre-poo: It's pretty decent as a pre-poo (when used with heat). I just applied it to my hair without adding any extras (e.g.-coconut oil)and sat under a heat cap for 30min. It kept the sulfate shampoo I was using from stripping my hair. My hair felt moisturized but not over moisturized- which was awesome.

As a co-wash: I'm not too impressed with this conditioner as a co-wash. Don't get my wrong, my hair felt moisturized but it didn't feel moisturized enough. It just seemed like the conditioner fell short on that one. When I use HE Hello Hydration my hair feels OMG moisturized. I didn't get that feeling from this one.

The Verdict: Getting a liter for conditioner for $6 seems like a good deal.Aussie Moist is an awesome pre-poo on its own. However, as a co-wash, this conditioner falls short of being moisturizing enough for my hair. I will definitely use up the rest of this conditioner but I wouldn't purchase it again.

The Never Ending Quest.....

...to smooth down my edges.


SMH! My edges are some stubborn little so n' so's. I've been wearing phony ponies lately because quite frankly I'm too lazy to do much else (I know, sad). However, I've been finding that it has been difficult to keep my edges down. They always seem to want to pop up and say "HEY THERE!" I don't like that.

Now I know that for some people, their edges won't stay down. I get that. I really do. Is it possible that I am one of those people? Perhaps. However, I'm not going down without a fight. Last night I found the trick to keeping my edges down. After I co-washed my hair, I sprayed some Hawaiian Silky 14 in 1 on my hair. I then gathered my hair into a high pony tail and applied some EcoStyler gel to my edges. I then tied my hair down with a satin scarf. Perfection! My hair doesn't look like who did it and why anymore!

So if you're having problems keeping your edges down, you may want to try these products:

-Hawaiian Silky 14 in 1 (or Carefree Curl or whatever you use)
-EcoStyler Gel

...apply to damp hair (I don't do this on sopping wet hair) and voila! You have a nice slicked down style!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What Every Bunning Diva Should Have: Goody Spin Pins




Happy Hump Day everyone!

So as you guys know I have been bunning lately. What you guys don't know is that I was about to give up on it. Yep. I was. It was just so frustrating trying to make the bun....all those bobby pins...dang bun not staying put....UGH! It was just too much. But..something told me that I should try those Goody Spin Pins that I have seen on those commercials. One pin that can do the work of 20 bobby pins!? I definitely had to check them out.

Last night, I swung by my local Wal-mart to pick them up. The come 2 in a pack and come in 2 colors: blonde and brunette. I have to admit, I was kinda skeptical about these pins at first. I stood in the aisle staring these little corkscrew pins down. They look like the kind of pins that can get tangled in your hair and cause all kinds of disaster. Well let me take that back. They look like they would get tangled in my thick mass of hair. Nevertheless, I purchased them anyway. The PJ (product junkie) in me wouldn't let me NOT try them.

I promise you, these pins have been one of the best purchases of the my hair journey. I gathered my hair into a bun, stuck these pins into it (one at the top and one at the bottom), and BAM! Instant chic for less than $6! I haven't tried them on wet hair yet (for wet bunning) but we will see how that goes.

If you haven't gotten these pins already get them today! They will make bunning that much easier for you!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Happy Birthday to.....ME!!!

Hey everyone!

Well today is my birthday! I have finally joined the 25 and up club lol! Since my birthday falls on a weekend, I have a weekend full of shenanigans planned. However, since this blog is about hair, I have to post what I did to my hair.

I went to The Hair Cuttery and got a blowout. I know you're thinking "The Hair Cuttery though?" Let me explain. I am back home in northern VA and to my knowledge,there aren't Dominican salons there. And if there are, it's like finding a needle in a haystack. I didn't feel like driving out to DC or Maryland to go to a Dominican salon. You can forget that. I didn't even feel like driving to Bubbles salon-which is my standby when I do go home. Anyway, I had washed and DCed my hair at home and went to the Hair Cuttery to get my hair blow dried. The thing about these hair cutting places (like Supercuts, MasterCuts, etc.)that I don't like is that everything is priced individually. I was quoted a price for blowdrying and a price for flat ironing ($12). I passed on the flat ironing and figured that I could do it myself at home. However, I do like the professional atmosphere. I waited for about 2 minutes before I was in the chair. I like that. They don't waste any time.

HOWEVER......

I learned something today....apparently my hair is considered "long hair" and I had to pay the "long hair" price for a blow dry. $36! Are you serious!? However, the stylist did a really good job of blow drying my hair. I was impressed. Everything was nice and straight. My hair is as thick as all get out but it looks really pretty. My mom was shocked. She said " I didn't think your hair was that long. It's always curled or pinned up!" That made me smile. Here's a quick pic of my hair:



Oh and I also picked up the Redken Smooth Down heat protectant....just to try it. So far, I like it but I want to give it a few more go's before I make a definite decision on it.

Anyway, that is it. Just wanted to drop in with my hair plans.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Relaxer Day!!!

Today was relaxer day and I learned a few things today:

1) I will never, ever ,ever ,ever ,ever ,ever stretch that long again! I was 24 weeks and 1 day post and oh em gee. It was ridiculous. I self relax and let me tell you that getting through all that new growth was definitely a task. Yeah...I think in the future, stretching for 17 weeks may be the upper limit of stretching. SMH

2) It took me 4 hours to do my hair from start to finish. 4 HOURS!! What the heck!?! I see that I have a lot of hair and the longer it gets, the longer it takes to actually do it. For a moment, I was wishing for the days where it took an hour, hour and a half to do my hair. That short cut spoiled me. I didn't think doing my hair would that 4 hours worth of effort.

3) It's flippin' hot in Alabama. It's been 90+ degrees but the heat index makes it feel like it's in the 100s. So yes, my hair is out of braids and all that but I surely will not wear it out everyday. I'm gonna have to bun until September because straightening my hair everyday is not an option.

Aside from all of that.......

It felt so good to get back into my routine! I relaxed using the Silk Elements Mild Lye Relaxer ( I use Mild because it doesn't make my hair bone straight), neutralized, DCed with ORS Replenishing Conditioner (because I was too lazy to drive out to Whole Foods to get my Aubrey Organics DCs), dried, and flat ironed. As far as progress, my hair pretty much looks how it did in June....maybe just an itty bit longer. Even though I don't have a pic, my sides are growing steadily too which is great!

Well I know you guys want to see how my hair looks so, here you go!






See...I told you that there wasn't much difference from June (but it's only been 4 weeks. I wasn't expecting insane growth anyway lol)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Can You Retain Your Length Without Protective Styling?

This is something I have been toying with for awhile.

When I first cut my hair, I said "Man, when my hair gets to shoulder length I'm gonna wear it out all the time! Surely you can grow your hair without wearing a bun all the time." Well....as you guys saw, the minute I was grazing SL my hair has been hidden. I rarely straighten it and I surely do not wear it out.

But....

Now I am bored with the protective styling. I want to wear it out just a little bit (maybe 2 or 3 days out of the week) but I don't want to suffer a setback. I suppose that in order to do this, I would have to make sure that my ends are really really moisturized but it's scary. However, next relaxer I'm gonna try wearing my hair out 3 days out of the week and up the rest of the time and see how that turns out. Wish me luck.

Speaking of relaxers, I am relaxing my hair this weekend. When I took my cornrows out, I was met with a bunch of hair to get through. OMG it was insane! Even with the best of the best deep conditioning, my hair was just rebelling. The last time that my hair did this was at the start of my journey. My hair was so damaged back then, I didn't put a relaxer in my hair for 8 months and I kept my hair braided up then too. Anyway, I will probably do a real length check (ends trimmed and all) too. I can't wait!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Using the Weather to Help Me Protective Style

I am sitting here under my heat cap deep conditioning my hair. I took my cornrows down today and thought that it would be cool if I straighten my hair since I don't really wear my hair down...like ever. Then I saw the news..

WHY THE HECK IS IT GONNA BE OVER 100 DEGREES TOMORROW!?!

I swear that is one of the drawbacks to living in the South. Just hot for no reason. Anyway, that shut that whole hair straightening thing down real quick. My hair is going into a phony pony and that's gonna be that.

This whole episode made me think of something. Ever since I got serious about protective styling, I have been using the weather to my advantage. Let me elaborate. My hair started grazing SL in the winter and began wearing protective styles like a freaking maniac. My logic was "it's cold. the cold may dry out my ends. my ends will break off. perpetual SL" Now of course, this is my scary thinking but the point is that I'm using the weather to help me do what is right for my hair. Even now, my hair is up because I think it's too hot to keep it down.

Well, those are just my musings as I sit under this heat cap. My hair is growing and retaining quite nicely and shrinkage is ridiculous. Otherwise, I'm pretty pleased with my hair and ready to do a real length check once I relax.

Taking the Cornrows Out

It has been a fun 3 weeks but the cornrows must go. They are starting to fuzz and get build-up. It's good that I'm taking my cornrows out now so that I can let my hair recover before I relax it. I'm debating on if I should straighten it but I will probably put it into a phony pony.

I decided that I will relax my hair early next month around the time of my birthday (Aug. 6). What better way to bring in the big 2-5 than by showing off my beautiful hair? It has also come a very long way from where it was this time last year so I'm happy about that. Also, it will probably be the last of the braids for awhile. With autumn around the corner, I'll probably start wearing more buns and phony ponies. Hopefully I reach my goal of APL soon so that I can ease up a little bit on the protective styling. I would love to wear my hair out more often but I'm so scared of a setback that I just choose to keep it up.

Anyway, that's it for now. Just wanted to post an update.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

To Relax or Not to Relax.....

Wow you guys it has been awhile since I last posted! I have been crazy busy with school...stressing out about presentations and everything. Plus my hair is in cornrows-which is pretty low maintenance so I haven't been experimenting with hair stuff as much.

Anyway, I have been debating if I should relax my hair after I take this set of cornrows out or wait until I take my next set out. I can't call it. I feel like I'm ready for one. If I do it, it will probably be done early to mid August and I will be six months post. I definitely feel like that is a long enough stretch. Plus, my hair has been in protective styles since April. I kinda want a break so that I can wear my hair down for 1 day.

I dunno. Who would've thought that deciding to get a relaxer would be so difficult!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

It Was Fun But....

I am back in braids! After a week and a half break, I have gotten my hair cornrowed! They took about 2 hours to complete and they look like this:

Top



Side




Back





I love my cornrows! However, my only issue is that the braider braided a wee bit too tight. So, I spent last night with a can of oil sheen and a rattail comb loosening them suckers up! Next time I'm gonna have to tell her not to braid so tight (which is odd since it didn't feel tight when she was braiding....)

Anywho....

My braid regimen is still the same. I will continue to keep my scalp clean and moisturize my hair. I'm still using Hawaiian Silky 14 in 1 but I am also using a product by a local vendor. It's called Nahbila's Essentials Hair and Skin moisturizer. It contains: distilled water, aloe vera, glycerin, peppermint and rosemary extracts, virgin olive, almond, soybean, kukui nut oil, vitamin E, and fragrance. So far, I like it. It is very light and does moisturize my hair. It's also inexpensive! I paid $4 for it! Either way, I'll be alternating between those 2 moisturizers. I can keep cornrows in for up to 4 weeks so I will probably be taking these out at the end of the month and getting another set put in during the month of August.

That's all for now, just wanted to update you guys!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New Phony Pony

So you guys know I'm phony ponying it up since my twists are out. However, I had to get a new one...a curly one. I'm about 4months post so a good majority of my hair is curly/wavy/whateveryouwannacallit.

One thing I can't stand is someone having a curly looking front and a bone straight ponytail. It bothers me in ways you can't even imagine. Speaking of which, the opposite bothers me too.....how does one have a bone straight front and then all of a sudden have a massively curly ponytail? Anyway, I digress....I just think phony ponies should look as natural as they possibly can.

I made a trip to the local BSS and picked up the Free Tress Shake n Go ponytail in Violet Girl:



After my workout yesterday, I co-washed my hair with Aussie Moist Conditioner (which is awesome by the way), sprayed in some leave in, and slicked down my edges with Eco Styler Gel and Elasta QP Mango Butter. I then tied everything down with a satin scarf and let my hair air dry overnight. I put in the ponytail this morning as I was getting ready to go into lab.

Here are the results:



and a side view:


I like the look so far. It seems very summery and such. It will definitely get me through these next few days!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ding Dong The Twists Are Gone!.....and Other Random Things!

Hey everyone!

Well, the twists are out! And not a moment too soon. I found out that I had a lot of nasty product build-up in my hair. If I would have waited to take those twists down, I would have had dreds for sure.


Anyway, I washed and DCed my hair. It felt so good to play in my hair again. I did do some flat ironing to do a length check. If you remember, in March I hit SL and my hair looked like this:





I did my length check and my hair looks like this:




It looks like I am crawling to APL. I kinda figured this would happen. I have a long torso so aiming to be APL by December is probably a good goal for me. Well....until I make APL, protective styling it is...because it obviously does work.

This week I will be phony ponying my heart out. It is entirely too hot outside to wear my hair out. I will probably to the same for the majority of the following week until I get my cornrows (I can't wait!)


Also....my blow dryer isn't dead after all! The socket in the master bathroom is just acting all janky! YES! Now I can ease up on the search for another blow dryer!

Hmm...yeah well that's about it. Just wanted to update you guys on my progress!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

These Twists Have GOT To GO!

After 2 months of having these twists in my hair, the time has come to take these suckers out! Typically, I don't keep twists or braids in longer than 2 months anyway.

Soo......

This weekend (or today), I will start the twist take down process. Initially, I will remove the twists from the center and just continue to wear my hair in a ponytail for the remainder of the week. I find that doing it this way makes for a less frustrating take down process.

I will then wash my hair with my Keracare 1st Lather shampoo (to get rid of any nasty build-up) followed by a wash with Elasta QP Creme Conditioning shampoo. I will DC with ORS Replenishing Conditioner. I will also straighten my hair for a length check. I think I am well on my way to APL but still in between SL and APL. Anyway, since I STILL don't have a blowdryer, I will dry my hair in plaits under a bonnet dryer, apply my beloved Mizani ThermaSmooth serum and straighten with my Sedu flat iron.

I will get my hair cornrowed on June 30th (or July 1st) so that gives my hair ample time to recover and regain strength.

Keep your eyes open for my length check!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Wanna Learn How to Braid Your Own Hair?

Happy Saturday everyone! I hope that everyone is having a great day and (if it's hot where you're at, like it's hot here) you're staying cool.

Anyway, something that I have wanted to learn how to do (in the interest of saving some dinero)is braid/ twist my hair. I did some research and found that Braids by Breslin gives awesome tutorials. However, those DVDs cost money too. Well, today I was on LHCF and someone posted this link: http://www.braidsbybreslin.com/freestuff/


Apparently, if you sign up for her newsletter, you receive the Learn Tree Braids, Learn Cornrows, Learn Kinky Twists, Learn Micro Braids, and Learn Weaves videos as well as The Black Hair Answer Book, 5 Secrets to Healthy Hair, and The 1 Secret That Changed My Hair.

This is definitely a good deal and I encourage you guys to check it out!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ol' Reliable Has Died....

....and I'm sad.

The other day I was doing something completely unrelated to hair. I was getting ready to go into lab and I needed to dry my make-up brushes. So, I pulled out my blow dryer and plugged it in. I hit the button to turn it on and.....nothing happened. I reset the darn thing and nothing happened. MY FREAKIN' BLOW DRYER IS DEAD!

Granted, it was a $40 something blow dryer that I got from Sally's at the start of my hair journey (back in '08) and maybe it is time to get a new one but there is just so much to think about now. Now that I'm knee deep in this hair care game I can't just roll up into Wal-Mart and just grab one.

This is also a time sensitive issue. I plan to take these twist out sometime next month (mid-month maybe?) and there is no way, absolutely NO WAY that I will let my 19/20 weeks post hair air dry (I learned the hard way that at that point my hair says a big 'eff you' to air drying). I also want to be able to wash, DC, and dry my hair before I get cornrows put in. So between now and June I have to find a quality blow dryer.

So far, I'm looking at the Sedu blow dryer because I absolutely adore the flat iron and I know it will have what I'm looking for in a dryer (is is ionic? is it tourmaline? is it both?) but price is a major issue.

:sigh: This may take more work than I thought. Any suggestions ladies?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Before I Forget....

I want to say a big THANK YOU to all of you who follow my blog or just even stop by to see what I am talking about! I hope that I can provide some source of encouragement for all of you no matter where you are in your journey!

I started this blog because after I cut my hair, I saw no source I could reference as I went through the growing out phase. I wanted to document my journey, help give short haired divas some ideas as to what they can do with their hair, and most importantly to let those who have just cut their hair enjoy whatever length they were at and not to see it as an inconvenience to the next longer hair goal.


So, thank you once again you guys! Even though I don't post as frequently as a should ( I know, I must do better!), I look forward to posting and getting responses from you guys! Keep spreading the word about the blog!

Washing Braids/Twists/Whatever..pt 2

I have talked at length about how I use dry shampoo when my hair is braided, this I know. However, sometimes I miss washing my hair and DCing. What is a girl to do?

Well there is actually a way to wash your hair while your hair is braided up. You will need:

1) Pantyhose (tied like a stocking cap)
2) Your favorite shampoo
3) Water
4) Spray bottle
5) Your favorite DC

Basically, you put the stocking cap on your head. Then, you place your favorite shampoo in the spray bottle and dilute it with water. Mix well. Spray the shampoo/water mixture onto your stocking cap (I typically try to saturate it). Rinse well with water. Dilute your favorite DC with water and spray onto your stocking cap. Leave DC on for as long as you like. Rinse really really well.

That is it! I hope that is clear. I definitely had to wash my twists like this because I am starting to smell like the Hawaiian Silky 14 in 1 that I spray in my hair every single freakin day. That was NOT and is NOT the business! At least now my hair will smell like the Aubrey Organics GPB that I'm DCing with. Anyway, now you know ladies...another alternative for washing your hair while it is braided.

How I Went from Relaxing Every 4 Weeks to Relaxing When It Is Actually Necessary

Hey everyone! Happy Monday!

**This post may be of particular interest to beginning stretchers and possibly early transitioners (or those who may be thinking about it!)**


Today, I actually "washed' my twists (not with dry shampoo either) and now I'm sitting here DCing and thinking about my hair journey. It is hard to believe that a little over 2 years ago, I would relax my hair every 4 weeks faithfully. Shocking isn't it!? All because some stylist told me that with my hair type, I needed to. I was young, gullible, and assumed that surely the stylist knew what she was talking about. So I would relax every 4 weeks and over the course of 4 years, my hair broke off--badly. Fast forward to now. It is now May and my last relaxer was in February and I don't plan to relax anytime soon. So how did I go from relaxing 12 times a year to relaxing 3 or 4 times a year?

To help with these long, long ,long stretches, (aside from the constant deep conditioning) I divorced myself from the idea that my hair has to be straight all the time. Annnd....I had to divorce myself from that idea fairly quickly (my hair was so damaged that I couldn't even think about putting a relaxer in until I handled my massive breakage situation). That resulted in my trying curly styles like bantu knot outs and flexirod sets. I found that when your hair is curly, you aren't obsessing about all that new growth that is coming in and how you're going to handle it or how janky you look because your ends are straight and your roots are puffy. It simply doesn't matter because all your hair is curly. Braids and wigs are a big help too because it means that you don't have to directly deal with your hair all the time.

Now when I hit 4 weeks post, 6 weeks post, 10 weeks post, it doesn't even phase me. I just determine what which style will help me best not focus on the new growth that is there! That's progress!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Selecting the Right Braid Style for You

Hey you guys!

Well it has been a minute since I have last posted. I have been having some family issues lately and haven't been in much of a mood to post. However, I am feeling better now so I have decided to give you guys a new post.

Since my hair is in kinky twists, the last series of posts have been about caring for your hair while in braids. Now I want to shift gears a bit for those who may be thinking about getting their hair braided but don't know what style to get. If you are using braids as a protective style, it is very important to consider the style you are getting since some styles may be detrimental to retention.

Some things to consider before getting your hair braided: 1)Work appropriateness--some styles may not be appropriate for work. Since I am a grad student and the dress code/hair code is extremely lax around here, I can do whatever style I please and it won't be a problem. However, this may not be the case for everyone. 2)Time/Effort--Personally, I hate sitting for hours on end (this is why I only got micros 1 time)but I want a style to last for at least 2 months.So I choose styles that take less time but last (i.e., kinky twists). I like cornrows as well but they have to get redone frequently (and I am not a fan of that. 3) Hair length--Some styles aren't protective once your hair gets to a certain length

All right here we go:

Micros
If you are getting micros that braid only a little bit and leave the rest of the hair out, like this:

(yes, I have had my hair every possible way you can imagine lol) I want you to STOP. First, assess how long your hair is. If your hair is NL and beyond, this is probably not the style for you. This style leaves your ends out and is not very protective. You would really have to be on top of your moisture game if you want to retain length.

If your hair is shorter than that and you do decide to get them, make sure the braids aren't super duper small. You may be surprised to know that the braids in my pic are the biggest they went (size-wise). If I hadn't asked for bigger braids, they would have been smaller than that (shocking I know!)

Cornrows


I would probably recommend this style to anyone at almost any length (you do have to have enough hair to put into a braid, of course). I have been wearing cornrows on and off ever since I was a little girl. I find that they are pretty versatile. You can make them smaller, you can make them larger. You can pull them back into a bun. You can pull them back into a ponytail. Whatever you want to do, you can do it!

The only drawback: you have to get cornrows re-done fairly quickly, depending how you take care of them. I have found that as long as I keep the cornrows moisturized and covered up at night with a bonnet, they last as long as 4 weeks (if I don't take them out before then)! When I didn't do those 2 things, I found myself getting cornrows every 2 weeks.

Box Braids


Another excellent choice for any length. The entire length of your hair is braided, making it a good style for retaining length. As you can see, the last time I had box braids was in high school. From what I can recall, those braids were teetering on micro (NOTE: This is the only exception to the micro rule. If you have micro box braids, the style is fine as long as the braids aren't really really small!). I had them in for about a month and a half (the only reason I took them was because I was bored) and got tremendous growth from them.

Kinky Twists/ Sengalese Twists




So clearly, kinky twists are a favorite of mine. I like them because they are the best style (in my opinion) for protecting your ends. My hair is twisted throughout the length of the extension, which makes moisturizing a breeze. I just spray it throughout the length of the extension and call it day. I find that kinky twists look better with time. As you start to get more and more new growth, they look better and better. This makes it 1000x easier to maintain them for 2-3 months. Also, it takes less time to put them in. It takes about 5-6 hours (unlike micros which take forever and a day).

As for sengalese twists, I have never had them. Until recently, I wasn't sure what the difference was between them and kinky twists. Basically, sengalese twists are longer than kinky twists and kinky twists use a different kind of hair. They kind of remind me of ropes (lol) and they just seem extraordinarily heavy. I don't think I would ever get them since I don't like the feeling of my head being weighed down. However, I know people who have had great growth with them...so whatever works for you. Again, this style is suitable for any length.

Tree Braids
This is the style that I would love to try but I am terrified! I have heard so many stories about it ripping peoples edges out. However, I have heard some success stories too so I feel inclined to include it in the listing. Tree braids, also called invisible braids, are appropriate for those in a more professional setting. The style really looks like weave and the braids are barely visible (I would post a pic but I'm afraid of using someone else's pic....just google tree braids and some images will pop up). This style lasts about a month, so it is a style that you would have to get re-done fairly frequently.

I hope this post helped those considering a braided style but wasn't sure which style to get. If you are truly choosing braids as a protective style, there are certain considerations you have to take. Like i said before: low maintenance doesn't mean no maintenance.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Finding A New Moisturizer

So I have had these twists in for 2 weeks now and I have ran through 2 bottles of leave in conditioners!

Let me explain: I spray the length of my twists 2x a day with my leave-ins, alternating between Jane Carter Solution Revitalizing Leave In and Giovanni Direct Vitapro. Doing this has caused me to run through bottles of leave ins that usually last for months. Well, my leave ins aren't cheap (the Revitalizing Leave In runs me around $12 a pop!) and I am in no mood to go all the way out to Whole Foods. I decided I can find a cheaper alternative at my local BSS.

I have heard so many rave reviews about Hawaiian Silky Miracle Worker 14 in 1 as a moisturizer that I decided to give it a shot. It only cost me $6 (plus tax)--I can get 2 bottles of this for what I pay for my leave ins!



From what I can tell, this product has multiple uses, including moisturizing hair that is braided. Apparently, it also strengthens hair, relieves itching, increases body, and is a thermal protectant. Time will tell if 14 in 1 can do all of these things but for now it seems like it make be an excellent moisturizer. I sprayed some in my hair as soon as I got home and and it seems to do its job.

We shall see if this is a keeper!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Because Low Maintenance Doesn't Mean No Maintenance...

....I washed my hair yesterday. Since my hair is in twists, I wash my hair with dry shampoo. I started using ORS Herbal Cleanse (you can find it in beauty supply stores for about $6) 2 years ago after one of my friends (who keeps her hair in braids) recommended it to me. This shampoo is definitely a staple for me when my hair is in braids.



I start the washing process by sectioning my hair and applying the dry shampoo to my scalp. Once applied, I massage the shampoo in and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Once I'm done, I wipe any residue away (gently) using warm water and a cloth.I love the tingly feeling my scalp gets from using this shampoo. Feels like my entire scalp is--refreshed. I love it! I finish up the washing session by rubbing a small amount of the dry shampoo into my twists. You can do this for each individual twist or if you're lazy, like me, you can section your hair and apply it to those sections. I finish up by spraying Jane Carter Solution Revitalizing Leave In along the length of my twists and covering my twists with a bonnet. Voila...I'm done.

The time it takes to do my hair is definite benefit to having twists. I'll probably give my hair a wash again this weekend.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

My Kinky Twists!

I told you guys I would post of pic of my kinky twists and here they are:




They took about 8 hours to complete and although you can't see it in the pic, my edges do not have twists in them. So far, everyone has said the look is pretty flattering on me. The plan is to keep this twists in for 2 months. During this time I was wash my hair using ORS Herbal Cleanse (a dry shampoo) at least 1x a week. I will spray a leave in onto my hair (alternating between Jane Carter Solution Revitalizing Leave In and Giovanni Direct Vitapro) daily. I will also oil my scalp with coconut oil if needed.

If I schedule my braid installs correctly, I should only have to do 1 other install this summer...which works for me. I think keeping my hair braided will definitely help me get to APL (or close enough to it) by December!

My Braid (Extension.....whatever) Rules...

Today, after not much debate, I got kinky twists put in my hair. My BFF and I were chatting on the phone today and we both decided that this summer would be the summer of "I don't feel like doing my hair for real" and that we would spend the summer braided up. Some of you guys might be considering the same thing. I think braids are a great protective style, they protect your ends and you don't have to manipulate your hair too much. My hair has shown me time and time again that braids are its preferred method of protective styling.

Anyway, I thought it would be beneficial to blog my braid rules. I'm finding out more and more each day that a LOT of people think of braids as a "put it in and forget it" style when it is far from that. There are some considerations that have to be made before you get them and you do have to take care of them once they are in.

So now I'm going to present my braid rules that I adhere to. Please keep in mind these rules may not work for everybody but I have found they work great for me.

1) Make sure your hair is in the best condition it can possibly be in. This may seem like a no brainer but I know a lot of people who will put braids in because their hair is breaking. Putting braids in hair that is dry and breaking can only make the problem worse. Please make sure your hair is getting all the moisture and protein it needs!

2) Make sure you are at least 8 weeks post relaxer. I will never ever ever EVER get braids immediately after relaxing. Here's why: your hair has to be strong enough to carry the weight of the extra hair you are putting in your hair. When you relax, you are breaking down the protein bonds of the hair---meaning that you are making it weaker. It just seems to me that your hair would be better off if you get your hair strong again (via protein DCs) before you add the extra weight to it. Also as a side note, I don't care what your braider says, you do not press or relax your hair prior to getting them put in. Will straight hair make for easier parting? Yes. Will your hair break off because of it? Yes. Weakening your hair and putting all that weight on it is just asking for trouble.


3)Wash and DC your hair the night prior to the braiding. The night before, I will wash my hair with a moisturizing shampoo (like Elasta QP Creme Conditioner) and DC will a protein DC (like ORS Replenishing). I like to give my hair as much moisture as possible and strengthen my ends a little bit more before the braiding. I also spray a moisturizing and a protein leave-in in my hair.

4) At the braid shop, ask them to leave your edges alone. I do this every time I go. I don't care what they say....don't touch my edges. If, for some reason they do braid my edges, I go home and take them out immediately. I don't care. I'm not having broken edges for anybody.

5) Once your braids are in, wear them down for a few days. I understand that immediately after getting your hair braided, you want to throw it into a ponytail. Don't do this! This is entirely too much tension on your hair. Wear your hair down for a few days..let the braids loosen up a bit and then throw your hair into a ponytail.

6) Don't forget you still have to take care of your hair! Yes you still have to wash and condition and moisturize your hair for the 2 months your hair will be in braids. Personally, I 'shampoo' with a dry shampoo 1-2x a week and spray in a leave-in daily (alternating between protein and moisture). Sometimes, if I'm feeling froggy, I oil my scalp with coconut oil.

That's really it. Six simple steps that make all the difference for my hair. Hopefully, it will help you too! Because it's late (went into the braid shop at 3, didn't leave until 12:30am), I don't have pics yet. Check for them tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

New Protective Style: French Braid

Hey everyone!

I hope all of you guys had a wonderful Easter! Mine was great! I have been a little busy lately so I haven't been able to get to the blog as much. But....I'm here now!

So spring has sprung and it is starting to get hot! Personally, when the weather gets hot, my want to do hair decreases dramatically. As a result, I have been searching for styles that have very minimal manipulation and keeps my hair off my shoulders. As you know I have been bunning for awhile. However, I'm getting bored with that so it is time for a new style. I can't get my hair braided because funds are limited so, that lead me to learn how to french braid. It is a perfect style: it keeps my ends protected, it's low manipulation, and it is easy.

I found a tutorial on YouTube that explains how to french braid in the most basic way-which I needed because the whole braiding thing is beyond me. Anyone, take a look at the tutorial and incorporate it into your style listing. Personally, I think NL and beyond ladies can do this! I would post my own braid but it is looking kind of messy at the moment (it was a practice 'lemme see if I can do this' braid) so I have to get it together. Anyway, look at the tutorial and make it work for you!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What Will My Summer Style Be?

Summer is upon us! Yes!

Now that leaves me with a problem..I have to figure out a summer hairstyle! I pretty much live in Hell's furnace (Alabama) and I know for certain that I will not wear my hair down everyday. It's too hot for all of that. I know I will probably bun but I want something I little more low maintenance. I'm thinking about just getting cornrows and calling it a day. More to come on at as I make a definite decision.


Also....:trumpet fanfare: I have hit my growing season! Woo-hoo. I have recently discovered that my hair grows slower during the fall/winter months and faster during the spring/summer months. I figured this out the other day when I was washing my hair. I realized it took considerably more effort to get through my hair-well more effort than expected to only be 6 weeks post. Once my hair dried, I noticed that I have bunches of new growth! So with that said, I plan to take full advantage of this. Hopefully, I can retain every bit of growth I get and (eventually) get to APL!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I've Come a Long Way, Baby: 2 Years Into My Healthy Hair Journey

I don't really like to post pics of my hair before I started taking care of my hair. Simply put: it was a mess. My hair was so thin and brittle and I didn't even realize it. I thought it was supposed to be like that. I noticed something was wrong when I saw that my hair was breaking all over the place. In the morning when I would unwrap my hair, I literally had a sink full of hair plus more hair all over my bathroom floor. This was a problem. I googled hair breakage and I stumbled onto LHCF.

That was March 2008 and my hair looked like this:



Ugh. My crown was all broken. It is a wonder I had hair on my hair at all. At the start of my journey, I didn't relax for 8 months. I kept my hair braided mostly or up in a phony pony. I would wash and DC weekly and my hair thrived. However, my ends were still kinda raggedy. :/






I did a lot of product experimentation during this time too. By the time November rolled around, my hair had thickened up again. I decided to relax (it was the lesser of 2 evils for me, at this point I was pulling out my flat iron everyday to straighten and I didn't want to do that). However, I was still unsatisfied with my ends. I decided I would cut my hair into a little bob, like this:




That style lasted all of 2 months before I decided to cut my hair into the cut that you have seen so much of on this blog. I admit that for me, cutting my hair and starting from scratch has been the best thing I could've done for my hair. It allows me to learn how to take care of my hair as each stage of growth and provided an opportunity to start over without the massive damage my hair had at the start of my journey.

Well folks, there you have it. I wonder what the next 2 years of my journey will bring! :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Needed a Reality Check...

Well really I needed a length check. I hadn't done a length check since December and I have been wearing my hair in protective styles for so long (had it in a bun of some sort for about 4 weeks and did a flexirod set this past week) that I began feeling like my hair wasn't growing. Yeah, I needed to do a length check today.


Sooo....I came home today and washed my hair with my beloved Elasta QP Creme Conditioning Shampoo (SN: I tried using all natural shampoos but they strip the heck out of my hair, I think the sulfate-free options are my best choice). I then DCed with ORS Replenishing Conditioner, put in my Jane Carter Solution Revitalizing Leave In, and then proceeded to blow dry and flat iron.





The top picture is from December and the bottom is from today, March 11. My hair is definitely making progress slowly but surely.

Well....now that I've indulged myself (ha ha), I will probably wear my hair out tomorrow and put it back up on Saturday. I haven't decided yet. My hair probably won't be out longer than 3 days though. I'm starting to see that there is something to this low manipulation/protective style thing after all!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Hair: Getting the Healthy Hair Diet, pt 2

So let me start off this post by saying that my diet is by no means the perfect diet. I love sweets and I have a certain soft spot for Starbucks and Chick-fil-A. Nevertheless, I try to eat well most of the time. Additionally, there have been times in my life where my eating habits were terrible (mainly: undergrad and the 1st year of grad school) and it reflected in my hair. My diet (in addition to poor hair care practices) left my hair dull, brittle, thinning, and broken.


Below I will list certain healthy hair nutrients and foods you can eat to incorporate them into your diet. Please keep in mind that this list is not all inclusive. For the sake of length, I have chosen to keep it short and keep it to the basics.

Protein: We all know that protein is the building block of hair. Therefore, it makes sense to eat enough of it. Incorporating enough protein into your diet ensures that your hair is strong. If you find that your hair is brittle or weak, ensure that you are eating enough protein in addition to upping your protein based product use. Foods: Poultry, lean meats, Fish, Nuts/Seeds, Yogurt, Peanut Butter, Grains (like bread or pasta)

B Vitamins (Niacin, Panthenol, Vitamins B6 and B12,etc): These vitamins are essential for healthy hair growth and play a role in preventing hair loss/breakage. They can also help prevent premature graying. Foods: poultry, beef, fish, eggs, whole grains, beans, seeds, peas, nuts, leafy green vegetables, fortified breads and cereals.

Vitamin E: Plays a role in healthy circulation (increases oxygen uptake). Foods: asparagus, avocado, egg, spinach, whole grain foods.

Vitamin C: Plays a role in immune function, which ultimately leads to healthy hair (makes sense, when you are sick, you hair doesn't look its best). Also a cofactor in the synthesis of certain molecules (e.g.-collagen). Foods: Citrus, berries, kiwi

Vitamin A: Important at the level of your scalp-keeps hair follicle lubricated. Foods: Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Collard Greens, Mango, Broccoli

Biotin: This is another B vitamin but it is so essential to hair growth. It protects against dryness and helps in the elasticity of hair (which ultimately can reduce breakage). In addition, biotin deficiency can manifest itself as hair loss. Foods: Eggs, Liver

Minerals (Iron, Copper, Zinc, Magnesium): Some play roles in hair growth (Iron) while others play roles in hair loss (zinc, copper). Don't underestimate the importance of these minerals because they have huge roles in hair structure (at the protein level) and growth. Foods: Legumes, Poultry, Fortified breads and cereals, green leafy veggies like spinach

Water: Provides moisture to hair (self explanatory I suppose). Try to drink as much water (around 8 glasses daily, more if you are active).

To summarize, just pay close attention to what you are putting in your body. Learn how to read food labels and keep away from the junk foods as much as possible! Don't feel like you have to eat a set amount of healthy foods daily or that you have to deprive yourself. Just try to eat a healthy diet filled with various foods. Also, try to limit your sugar and caffeine intake (which isn't easy and is something I struggle with DAILY). Your hair will definitely thank you for it.

The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Hair: My Observations and Personal Experience, pt 1

This particular blog has been on my mind for a while now. Lately, I have noticed that when it comes to hair care a lot of people, myself included, focus on the topical things they can do. Even when giving advice, we focus on what we can do for our hair. Don't get me wrong, deep conditioning, washing often, and moisturizing have done wonders for my hair. However, I think one thing that should receive more recognition is nutrition. It has become evident to me that when your nutrition is on point, it reflects in your hair, skin, and nails.

I came to this revelation via a stumbling block in my own healthy hair journey.A couple a weeks ago, I wrote a post about how I had been shedding a lot lately. I even purchased a conditioner to help with it. Then I thought of something. I have always been a shedder for as long as I can remember. I also remembered that back in high school I was told I am mildly anemic. This means that I have low iron in my bloodstream.I never really did anything about it and suffered through being cold and lethargic all the time. Could this be tied to my excessive shedding? Well, I looked it up and iron is an important mineral for healthy hair! Iron plays a role in healthy circulation and when you have enough of it, you get enough circulation to the scalp which equals healthy hair. When you don't have enough iron, your circulation will be focused on the most necessary of functions (e.g.- getting blood to your organs and other living tissue). Of course! This makes perfect sense. From then on, I began focusing on getting more iron into my diet, without the help of supplementation. For that reason, I eat a LOT of chicken and turkey. I also eat a lot of whole grain cereals (Frosted Mini-Wheats is my favorite). I have definitely noticed a MAJOR improvement in my shedding levels.

What are some other nutrients you should be aware of and how can you incorporate them into your diet? Stay tuned for part 2

Thursday, February 25, 2010

More "Bun" Stuff (Get It?...More Fun Stuff)

....nevermind. I can be such a cornball sometimes. lol

Anyway, as the title says, I will be talking about buns. I know buns are pretty boring but I am on a mission to retain length (as cost effectively as possible) and dang it I WILL get there!

Today I stopped by Sally's and got a little donut bun base thingy. It's called the "Hair Styler" and it cost me around $4. I looks pretty similar to the image below:



I selected the black mesh donut and that was that. I should also point out that the mesh appears to be adjustable so SL hair (probably NL too!) can use this donut bun thingy. The instructions for use are extremely easy. Basically all you have to do is:

1) Gather hair into a ponytail and secure with an elastic band
2) Pull ponytail through Hair Styler Foundation and slide it to base of ponytail
3) Arrange hair around Hair Styler Foundation and secure with bobby pins

That's it! You're done. As long has you have some bobby pins and a hair tie, you should be good to go! It is a very quick easy style and it's a great protective style for those of you trying to get through the very difficult SL stage. Below I have a pic of the bun. The picture isn't the greatest but I hope it gives you an idea of what it looks like!




Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Protective Style to Add to the List

I have come to a conclusion.

That conclusion is that during the winter (at least), I cannot wear my hair down for an extended period of time. I wore my hair down on Monday and I played with it all day. ALL DAY. There wasn't a time where I didn't have my hands in my hair. Just playing. Of course my hair didn't like that. It would start to break if I played with it too much. So that night I went looking for a new protective style...well actually for a bun style. I figured my hair is long enough now. After searching YouTube for an hour I came across the Southern Tease bun.




I thought to myself: this bun is perfect! You don't have to have APL hair to do it either (just keep in mind that with shorter hair, your bun will be smaller so don't set any unrealistic expectations)! So I got up and experimented for awhile. My bun didn't really look like a bun...more like a swoosh but it looked like a cute little updo! At the time I had to secure the bun with some bobby pins (but I don't recommend that- if you can get some claw clips) I then jazzed it up with some decorative clips. Whole updo takes about 30 seconds to do and it keeps your hair up off your shoulders. My hair has been like this since Tuesday and I love it. I really want to hurry up and get past the length I am at so I can enjoy my hair more. I guess it all takes patience. Anyway, I just wanted to share this protective style for you ladies...just in case you are trying to think of ways to style your hair!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Getting Through this Learning Curve is a BEAST!

I know it may seem like I have this hair care thing down. However, just like you, I am feeling my way through the process as well. Learning what is good for my hair, at this length, has been a pretty difficult task for me.

Let me explain.....

When I started my healthy hair journey, I just wanted to stop the massive breakage my hair was experiencing. The breakage was so bad that every time I touched my hair, massive amounts of hair would break off. I had finally had enough and began to look up what I could do to remedy that. Taking care of my hair at this stage was easy. I laid off of the relaxers for 8 months, I began to wash and DC my hair weekly, and I cut down on my direct heat usage. As you can imagine, my hair began to bounce back.

Then I cut it.

Since I cut my hair, I had to learn how to take care of short hair. Taking care of my hair during this time was easy as well. I would still wash and deep condition weekly but since I was using more heat, I deep conditioned more. I took extra care to alternate between protein and moisture conditioners. I continued to stretch my relaxers and began to dabble in low manipulation hair styles.

Now we're here.

My hair is longer (which is awesome) but figuring out what it likes has been somewhat of a task. Here are some issues going on with me:

1) Shedding: I have figured out when the shedding phase of my hair growth process is--winter time. I have been shedding like a freaking dog lately. I'm not alarmed or anything since I believe I am shedding at the higher end of the 50-200 shed hairs per day range. However, it is getting on my NERVES! On Friday, I ordered the Alter Ego garlic deep conditioner. Hopefully this will curb some of the shedding.

2) I have to deep condition 2x a week. When I deep condition 1x a week, my hair isn't as happy as it could be. However, I'm finding that when I deep condition more, my hair just responds better overall. Now I have to suck it up and begin buying more conditioner.

3)When I use deep conditioners and Porosity Control, I have to specifically focus on my ends. It dawned on me last night to just saturate my ends on conditioner and porosity control. Let me tell you, my ends are thanking me for it. Usually, when I deep condition, I pay special attention to my roots, then coat the rest of my hair. Also, when my hair was shorter it was easier to ensure that my ends got enough conditioner (I mean, my ends were right there!) Now I have to learn to establish some sort of balance between my roots and my ends.

4) I can air dry earlier on in my stretch but cannot later on in my stretch. Self explanatory.

These are 4 truths of my hair that I am just now discovering. This hair journey hasn't been easy and I am learning that I have to adjust my routine for every milestone that I hit.