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Sunday, January 23, 2011

I'm Going Heat-Free

....for 2 weeks. What did you think I was gonna give it up completely? LOL
This winter has been a huge learning experience for me. My hair has been a little on the dry side this winter and I have been at my wits end trying to figure out how to remedy it. I've been buying moisturizer after moisturizer after moisturizer to no avail. My hair wasn't feeling completely, 100%, undoubtedly moisturized. A few days ago, I figured out why my hair has been dry. I stopped using my staple deep conditioners: Aubrey Organics White Camellia and Aubrey Organics GPB. Instead, I had been primarily using ORS Replenishing (which I love and will do if I don't have my GPB) and Mizani Moisturefuse (I have huge tub of this that I am trying to finish). I used the ORS and the Mizani during the summer with no ill effects. However, I am finding that during the winter, that combination is HELL for my hair. So, yesterday, I drove to the Whole Foods on Highway 280 and picked up my loves. I DCed with it last night hair is back to normal! It feels like it is moisturized! That is the feeling I have been searching for all winter long! :)
I say at that to say when you find your staples, stick with them.

Moving on to my next point....about the heat and everything. I'm just gonna bun for the next 2 weeks. If I bun longer than that so be it. I'm just tired of straightening every week. It's starting to feel like a chore so that tells me I need a break from it. So, for now I will be washing, DCing, putting my hair in a bun and letting it air dry. I guess I can call it a no-heat challenge but really I'm just being lazy.

Anyway, that's it for today. Happy Sunday everyone!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Rockin' the Curls

Yesterday I talked about using flexirods on dry hair to get a nice curly style. Well last night I did just that so that I could wear my hair curly for church today! I have to say that I am absolutely loving the results. My curls are so bouncy and fun! I love them! I definitely gonna keep doing this!

However, one thing I will not do anymore is use 16 flexirods to set my hair. I had the hardest time finding a comfortable position to sleep in--and I likes my sleep so yeah. From here on out, I'm using 4 of these bad boys.

Anyway, without further hair

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Alternatives to Wrapping....

I have to admit. Me and wrapping go waaaaaaaaaaaaaay back. I remember when I learned how to wrap my hair. I was a freshman at Norfolk State and up until that point I had never wrapped my hair. In fact, my friends thought that was quite odd (I went to an HBCU). Anyway, they were the ones who taught me how to wrap my hair. Fast forward 7.5 years and I'm still wrapping my hair.

Until now.

The further I get into this hair journey of mine, the more I see how traumatic this whole wrapping thing is for my hair. Simply put, for my hair it is A LOT of manipulation. Every time I wrap/unwrap I have a little more breakage than I'm used to. Quite frankly, I'm tired of seeing it. I just don't feel right doing it on a daily basis when my hair is straightened. This means I need to find alternatives right? Right!

Well so far I just have 2 alternatives (cross wrapping is not one of wrapping= #fail all around):

-Flexi-rods. I dunno why it didn't occur to me eons ago to use them on my dry hair like rollers. Oh well. Better late than never right? I pretty much take the 1 inch flexi-rods (the ones I have are green if you want to go by color) and roll them in my hair. I use a smaller flexirod for my bangs. I'm finding that the 1 inch flexirods provide a nice little "bump" to my ends. All I have to do in the morning is unroll and style. Boom! Done! It's great right? Another benefit of this is that I don't have to use heat on my hair. This is perfect since I just got a trim and if I wanna keep up with the trend of going extremely long periods of time without trimming, I gotta lay off the heat.

In the future, I may try using smaller flexirods to see what kind of look I get from that. For now, however, this will do.

-Pin curling. I've done this once and have been too lazy to try it again. Simply put, pin curling is basically rolling your hair without the roller. Honestly, I'm too lazy to do it. For me, it just seems like a lot of work to do night after night after night....ugh!!


If you want to learn how to do pincurls on your hair, SalonCabelo on YouTube has an awesome pincurling tutorial. Just click the link below:

Hopefully, throughout the year, I can find more no heat wrapping alternatives but for now, these will do.

Happy Saturday everyone!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Word About Trimming: How I Handle It

There comes a time in your hair journey where you have to trim your hair (or "get rid of those janky looking ends" as I like to call it). Now, cutting your hair while you are on this growth journey may seem a little counterintuitive. Why would anyone cut hair that they are trying to grow out? Trimming is, believe it or not, an important part of retention and it gives your hair a new, fresh look.

Now some folks may say that you need to trim every 4, 6, or 8 weeks (or as some stylists will tell you--after every relaxer). In my opinion, that is far too frequent. I find that you may have to trim that often if you use heat a lot. Take me for example, I got my hair trimmed today after not having a trim in over a year. Then to top it off, a lot of hair didn't need to be cut off because my ends were in good condition. I attribute this to not using a ton of heat on a daily basis. Anyway, I say all that to say that you decide how often you want to trim. If you want to trim once you meet a hair goal, by all means do so! Don't feel like you have to stick to some hard and fast schedule of trimming.

How do I trim my hair?

Well, I trim my hair 1 of 2 ways. Usually, I will do a "search and destroy" mission through my hair. When I'm sitting in front of the tv, bored, I will grab my shears (you can pick up a good set of hair shears at Sally's for $25. Do NOT use regular old paper cutting scissors. They will jack your hair up!) and just go through my hair looking for splits. When I find a strand with a split, I will cut the split from that strand.

However, I cannot live on search and destroys alone. My hair does have to be trimmed at some point. To do that, I will go to a salon to get it done. Now, some people are coordinated enough to do trims on their own with shears or some sort of trimming gadget. I am not one of those people! I'm too much of a klutz and would wind up cutting a huge chunk of my hair. Before I go any further, let my post my personal thoughts about this. I firmly believe that if you want to get a trim that actually is a trim, go to a place that has the word -Cut in the name ( e.g.-SuperCuts, MasterCuts, the Hair Cuttery). I find at these places, they will do exactly what you want. First of all, these people have been trained in hair cutting. That is what they do all day everyday! They also know how to cut to specifications. These people most likely deal with members of the military (who have to have their hair cut according to regulations), parents of young children (who want their child's hair cut a certain way), etc. Trust me, they will do what you say. Now if you want to take your chances in a regular salon, be my guest but don't say I didn't warn you!

Anyway, I go into SuperCuts (and the girl who does my hair is amazing by the way). I tell her what I want done (trim) and tell her to cut no more 1/4 of an inch. She'll tell me she won't have to cut that much off and proceeds to cut off the bare minimum because she understands that I am growing my hair out (she also has a lot of AA customers so she understands we are serious about getting a trim and not a cut lol),
Now it's like my hair is starting off on a clean slate AND I didn't lose any length-which is great.

So to summarize (because I know this post is long):

-Trimming: you have to do it but you choose how often you do it
-You can search and destroy as a trim option or do a full blown trim
-Your best bet for a successful trim (if you want a salon to do it) is a place with the word "-Cut" in its name

Getting From SL to APL

First, let me say Happy New Year! I hope you all are having an amazing 2011 so far.

Anyway, if you have been following my progress then you know that in 2010 I made SL and APL. One question that I have noticed on the hair boards I frequent that comes up a lot is a) How long does it take to get to APL from SL? and b) What do you do to get past the SL/APL hump? Well, I figured that it would be a good idea to share what I have done. Hopefully, this will help those trying to reach their APL goal.

First things first......

It took me 7 months to graze APL and it took me 9 months to achieve full APL. So for the people who say they reached APL in 3 months, I'd really like to know what they did.

How did I get past the SL/APL hump?

1) Maintain your regimen if it works. Whatever you have been doing to maintain your hair, keep on doing it! Your hair obviously is thriving from it. Do not feel like you have to kick up your regimen to achieve your goal! You washing and DCing your hair 20 times a day isn't gonna get you to APL any faster (yeah...I know that example is a little extreme but you know what I mean)

2) Lay off the heat. I think this is the most important factor...even more important than protective styling. If your ends (which are the oldest, most fragile part of your hair) are getting bombarded with heat everyday...of course they are gonna break off! In turn, you aren't able to retain as much length as you would like. Personally, I did a lot of bunning and phony ponying to keep from using too much heat. My hair is thanking me for it too.

3) Let your hair be. Give it a rest. I did a lot of low manipulation/protective styling during this growth period. During the summer when it was unbearably hot, I keep my hair braided up. In the late summer/early fall season, I wore a lot of phony ponies and buns. When I finally did wear my hair out, it would only be for 2-3 days at a time. For the most part, styling wise I left my hair alone. I wasn't constantly in it which meant I wasn't constantly combing, brushing, or whatever else. Again, my hair thanked me for it.

That is really all I did. There really wasn't an elaborate plan to reach APL. I just did what was best for my hair. I want to point out that some people can reach APL without doing any of this which is great. However, I am not one of those people. I really had to be aware of what I was doing to my hair at any given time. So as you begin your journey to APL, you really need to have a good idea of what your hair responds to...what it likes...what it doesn't like. Once you have a grasp on that, reaching APL is a breeze!