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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/ 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:

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!)


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 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.