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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Got A Little Protein Happy....

....and my hair let me know that it was not pleased!

I took my cornrows out this weekend after about 2 weeks of wearing them (I noticed some build-up in the braids and took them out ASAP-edly). So I washed my hair and conditioned with my Organix Coconut condish...then sprayed the Giovanni Vitapro leave in on my hair. I proceed to do a roller set and flat iron my roots...which was a good plan. However, my hair felt so ROUGH! Like it was moisturized but not quite. Needless to say, I'm not wearing my hair down this week. I did a bantu knot set and called it a day. When I wash my hair this week, I will most definitely use a moisture-based DC.

The point of all this is that your hair doesn't have to be breaking off all kinds of crazy to tell you that you have a protein overload issue. Your hair could feel dry like mine did, you just have to pay attention to your hair.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

"I Can See Your Track Girl!" and other Random Thoughts While Sitting In a Waste of Time Conference

Hey everyone!

So today I had to attend a mandatory conference for my fellowship, if you could call it a conference. Since the conference was not beneficial to me at all, I began observing other girls hair. These may sound a bit harsh...but,in my mind, I'm a wee bit uncensored. Here are my thoughts!

1) I can see your you know I can see your track?/ Do your know your natural hair is not hawaiian silky or that shiny? Like my bff says, the point of a weave is to fool people. You aren't fooling me if I can see your weave or if your tracks look like weave. This is actually a pet peeve of mine. If you're gonna wear weave, make it believable please!

2) That poor pitiful ponytail. I saw the saddest ponytail today. If you could call it that. It was a wisp of hair put back. I have to admit. It made me feel kinda bad. I wanted to tap the girl on the shoulder and tell her about LHCF b/c she tried to make the ponytail style look somewhat presentable but it kinda missed the mark. :sigh:

3)Dang, does everybody relax bone straight? As I looked around, a noticed a lot of girls relaxed bone straight and most of them didn't have hair past SL. Could there be a connection with this? Hmm...

4)What am I gonna do when I take these cornrows out? Since I can't relax yet, I have to figure out what I'm gonna do with my hair. One minute I think I'll roller set it and another I think I'll do a flexirod set. I dunno more to come on that.

I probably had more random thoughts like this since I have become more observant of other peoples hair (being on a hair journey does that I suppose). Sometimes, I just want to say something but it's hard b/c you don't know how others will react to it. What is one to do in situations such as these?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ways to Grow A Short Cut Out

Lately I have been getting a lot of questions asking how I grew my hair out so quickly. This is what I have done consistently during the grow out process:

1) Wash and DC my hair at least 1x week--I alternated between moisture and protein conditioners. I tend to use a lot of mild protein if I do use heat, however. I am finding that my hair loves it! Additionally,the frequency increased when I was using more heat.

2) Stretching my relaxers--I honestly think my hair has benefited from me relaxing 4 times a year, max. My hair isn't as breakage prone which I think helps in length retention.

3)Wear a lot of low manipulation hair styles--these styles have 2 benefits a)you're not constantly worrying about how fast your hair is growing and b)they help in the stretching process (if you're relaxed) so you don't feel the need to relax too often.

4)Good diet--For the most part, I incorporate a lot of protein into my diet. I also take a hair, skin, and nails multivitamin as well as drink a lot of water. Hair growth starts from the inside out. You eat a lot of junk, it will reflect in your hair.

Well folks, there you have it! As you can see, I don't do anything over the top. I'm not taking any magic growth aides or anything like that. I'm just doing what is best for my hair and trust me, it shows!

Monday, January 18, 2010

I Miss My Hair! aka The Protective Styling Blues :/

So it has been a week since I got my cornrows and I so miss my hair. Generally, I can keep my cornrows for 3 or 4 weeks (if I keep them up well enough) so I have a while before I can see my hair again. I understand that in order for me to get to SL and beyond I have to do some protective styles/low manipulation styles but it can really be the pits sometimes.

On Saturday, I dry shampooed my hair, sprayed on some leave-in condish, and that was that. I am so loving the shorter wash day regimen but I am interested to see what progress my hair is making. I am hoping that by the time I take the cornrows out I am closer to my SL (and beyond) goal.

Other than that, there isn't anything new to report. Hair is still braided up and probably will be for awhile. It's just easier to not be concerned with length that way.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Weave Checks Can Happen at Any Length

I admit. My hair isn't the longest. Not by a long shot. The longest length is grazing SL. My hair is thick though. Super duper thick. I love how thick my hair is. For me, it's a sign that it's healthy and happy.

But that is besides the point.

As I was sitting in the shop waiting to get my hair braided, the braiders (and the other customer in there) were commenting on how pretty my hair is and how full it is. I politely said thank you and thought that was the end of that. Then one of the braiders asked, "is that all yours? do you use extensions?" I was floored. My hair is nowhere near the length that would warrant a "weave check." I then told her "no, this is all my hair."

I just this is all just a testament to how well I have been taking care of my hair as well as a source of encouragement to you. If you do what you are supposed to do, your hair will show the fruits of your labor. It may not feel that your hair is growing or that it's making no progress but rest assured that it people do notice. I just wanted to share this story with you because it just tickled me.

Caring for Cornrows

When my hair is braided, I follow the simplest regimen ever. I don't do a heck of a lot but it gets the job done.

....and here it goes:

1) Clean scalp (and braids, if necessary) with ORS Herbal Cleanse** at least 1x week
2) Spray braids with leave in conditioner (sometimes I use Jane Carter Solution Revitalizing Leave In. Right now I use Giovanni Vitapro Fusion Leave in)

Sometimes I might....
3) Oil scalp with coconut oil (I really have to be in the mood to do this though)

That is it. Simple isn't it!?! I followed this regimen when I had micros and when I had kinky twists. My hair definitely loved the little manipulation and the care that I showed to it.

Since it is winter, I will have to wear a hat when I go out so I will most likely cover my braids with a satin scarf, then cover with the hat so I don't get breakage.


Today I went to lab with my hair all straigtened. Oh you guys should have seen it. It had some serious swang and was very thick and wonderful. However...there was one problem. I kept imagining my ends just drying up and breaking off. Just pop pop popping off. As the day went by, I came up with the most genius idea....I'll just get it cornrowed. Never mind that it's the dead of winter and my scalp would be really exposed. I can keep it braided up for three weeks and not be bothered. Yep. That's the plan.

So I went to the African hair braiders up the street from my lab as soon as my work day ended. Initially, they were talking about charging me $80 ( I know right) but once I explained what I wanted (a few, larger cornrows put back into a bun), the price came down to $50 (which is
reasonable). The girl did a very good job...she didn't braid my hair too tight at all and I am very pleased with the results.
So now I just have to make the best of this protective style since I do plan on doing this for the next few months. My mom kept my hair cornrowed for a year and a half following The Great Virgin Relaxer Debacle of '98 and my hair grew out beautifully. It is back to basics now. Hopefully it will get me past SL!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Nioxin Hair Vitamin Experience: Week 1

One Caplet Contain: Proteusterone (Discorea root), Ascorbic Acid, Niacinamide, D-Calcium Panthothenate, Smilex Medica (root), Urtica Diocia Extract (root), AvenaSativa Extract (above ground parts), Pygeum Africanum (bark), serenoaRepens (berries), Marine Concentrate (Fucua Vasiculosus), Coenzyme Q6-10, Tocotrienol, Phosphatides, Pyridoxine Hydrochlotide, Cyanscobalamin, Ergocaliciferol, Magnesium Stearate, DiCalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbotate, Microcrystalline Cellulose, FD&C Lake Yellow #6, Red #40, Blue #1, Titanium Dioxite.

Part of my hair resolutions for the new year was to start taking care of my hair from the inside out. While I have yet to make it to the gym (waiting out the post-New Year crowd), I have been taking Nioxin hair vitamins faithfully every day---for a week. I spent around ~$21(includes tax) for a 30 day supply at Blooming Beauty Beauty supply. If everything works out, I will drop the cash for a 90 day supply. While it is too early to tell what the difference (if any) these vitamins have made for my hair. However, I have noticed 2 things:

1) My nails are growing like crazy! I got them manicured and cut down really short (I hate long nails) a little over a week ago. Now, I'm on the verge of having tips! They also feel stronger.

2) My hair isn't shedding as much. Now don't get me wrong, my hair is still shedding and it is shedding quite a bit. However, last week I noticed more shed hair during while I was washing my hair than I did this week. I thought that was interesting. I guess I'll see what happens a month into me taking the vitamins.

Well...that's it for my little update with the hair vitamin thing. Let's see what happens 4 weeks into me taking them.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year...New Goals

Happy New Year 2010 Graphics

Happy New Year everyone!!

Can you believe it? It's 2010!! I cannot believe it has been a decade already!

Anyway, I was sitting around today and I began to think about the goals for my hair for this upcoming year. At the beginning of 2009, I cut my hair and hoped that my hair would make it to chin length by December. Now, the longest part of my hair is grazing shoulder length while the shorter parts are a past chin length and neck length, respectively.

So what are my hair goals for this year? Let's see:

1) Grow my hair from the inside out. I am starting to drink more water. Right now I drink between 4-6 glasses a day. I want to make it to 8 glasses soon. I am also taking the Nioxin Recharging Complex hair vitamins. I just started taking them...yesterday. Hopefully, they make a difference in my hair growth. I'll also be maintaining a balanced diet so the vitamins won't be doing all the work lol.

2) Get to full SL, then APL by years end. This goal is gonna be tough since going from SL to APL is traditionally the toughest growth hurdle. To meet this goal, I will DC and protective style more in the winter. During the summer, I will probably keep my hair braided up for the duration of the summer. This will cut down on any manipulation that could result in breakage.

3) Accept that my hair grows in layers. It doesn't get more simple than that. My hair grows in layers. They will reach the length they are supposed to in due time.

Well, those are my hair goals....what are yours?