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Friday, April 29, 2011

My Not So High Bun: 4/29/2011

I've been rocking Tammy for the past two weeks or so and I just wanted to give my hair a break for a bit so today I attempted to put my hair into a high bun. For some reason, I can never get my hair into as high of a bun as I want to lol. I like it though. It's simple, understated, and perfect for a Friday. I may be wearing more buns as the mercury rises but only time will tell. :)

First Impressions: Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo

The other day I decided to try this shampoo on a whim. I have seen a lot of relaxed ladies on LHCF rave about how awesome this shampoo is and decided to give it a go. I have to admit that I was kinda skeptical about this shampoo because I wasn't too impressed with the deep conditioner from this line. Either way, I wanted to test this shampoo for myself.

I purchased this shampoo at my local Walgreens (it can also be purchased at Target) and it cost me $9.99+tax. for 12oz which places it on the expensive side compared to my staple Elasta QP Creme Conditioning Shampoo (I can get a huge bottle of Elasta QP for less than $9.00. Like most of the products in the Shea Moisture line, the ingredients are natural.

Ingredients: Deionized water, decyl glucoside (sugar beets), African Butryospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), aloe vera leaf juice, argan oil, panthenol (Vitamin B-5), rosemary extract, sea kelp extract, vitamin E, Lonicera caprifolium (honeysuckle) flower and Lonicera Japonica (Japanese honeysuckle) extract.

Claims: This shampoo claims to be gentle and will help to "soften, moisturize, and repair damaged, over processed hair."

My First Impressions

It seems to me that the products from this line (well, the products I've used thus far) have a characteristic cake batter scent. Consistency-wise, I would have to say it is no different than any other shampoo-not too watery and not too thick. My only complaint is that you kinda have to work to squeeze the product of the bottle. I think it would be great if you could distribute the product through a pump instead of a squeeze bottle but that is must my personal preference.

In Action

To be a natural shampoo, this 'poo lathers up quite nicely (unlike a certain shampoo by Carol's Daughter). I find that it rinses out easily too (I wasn't rinsing my hair out forever and a day just to get that stuff out like I have to do with Elasta QP). Now let me say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE this shampoo! Once I rinsed the shampoo out, my hair felt so soft and moisturized! I have to say that I was shocked because when I used other natural shampoos, my hair felt stripped as all get out (I'm looking at you Kinky Curly Come Clean and Giovanni Smooth as Silk). I couldn't believe it! My hair was so moisturized that I could have skipped my DC if I wanted to.

Bottom Line: I'm impressed! Although I'm going to have to use this shampoo a little bit more to get a definitive impression on the product, I generally know within the first use if a product is good for my hair or not. I must say that this shampoo is a keeper! For now, I give this product a 5 out of 5!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Perhaps I Overreacted....

Yesterday I posted about an anti-climatic relaxer day. I was a wee bit disappointed that I wasn't the length I expected to be. However, as I looked at my progress pics from March to April, I realized that progress had been made.

Yes, my hair is gaining in length as I am inching closer to BSL. However, I found that the majority of my progress can be seen in the fact that the rest of my hair is catching up to my longest length (hence the perfect U shape!). My hair is basically trying to even itself out! My hair has really been growing in this pattern for my entire journey. The longest length would grow, the rest of my hair would play catch up, then the cycle would repeat again.

So what's the moral of the story? This hair journey isn't just about gaining wonderful lengths. There is a bigger picture involved. It really is about learning about your hair, how it grows, and what makes it happy. I was thisclose to feeling discouraged but once I took stock of my hair's progress, I realize that I have made great strides.

Now you guys tell me: Have you guys ever felt discouraged in your hair journey? How did you overcome it?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Watched Pot Never Boils...

I just had the most anti-climatic relaxer day ever.

I relaxed my hair yesterday after a 15 week stretch (since 20+ week stretches are not for me)using Mizani Butter Blends.After going through all the motions of getting a relaxer, I expected to be grazing BSL by now but wound up at pretty much the same length as seen in my March update. o_O

All things considered though, my hair is still thick and healthy. It's also taking on a distinct U shape which I think is kind of neat. In the meantime, however, I'm still half wigging it up and will probably do so until September or so. Anyway, here are the comparison shots. The top photo is the newest update and the bottom is the March 2011 update:

I guess if I keep trying to track my progress, I'm never gonna see growth as fast as I want to. I'm gonna have to keep my hair hidden for a bit so I don't get frustrated trying to reach this hair goal. I guess it is true what they say...a watched pot never boils.

Friday, April 15, 2011

That Relaxer Itch, Half Wigs, and Overall Rambling

Happy Friday everyone!

I was thisclose to relaxing this weekend. I'm about 14 weeks and 4 days post, trying to stretch to 16 weeks. I wound up not relaxing because I got 2 new half wigs so I figure that will keep me from relaxing for another week or so (which is exactly what I need!). However, after washing and DCing my hair last night, I know I cannot go past 16 weeks. My hair has so much new growth, it's starting to look like a lion's mane lol. So, I can't relax now but it's gonna happen soon.

On to the half wigs...

Last weekend, I ordered 2 half wigs from (awesome site to order from by the way!): Outre Tammy and Outre Monica (color 1B). They are synthetic, fairly inexpensive and they run about $17.99 each. Right now, I'm trying out Tammy and I *LOVE* her! The hair is very soft for it to be synthetic and the style of the hair reminds me of a braidout. It has 2 combs (one in the front and one in the back) and fits securely on my head. There is also a drawstring in the back so there is no excuse as to why this bad boy can't be secured. I had a hard time blending it (that's more b/c of my hair, it's a COMPLETELY different texture than that of the wig right now....I really really need a relaxer). I'm basically wearing Tammy with a headband right now but, I think you relaxed ladies should have no problems with blending. It's definitely perfect for half wig newbies. Check Tammy out (please excuse my makeupless face! lol)!

I think Tammy is a perfect everyday half wig. It's divatastic but not too divatastic! As you can see, I'm becoming a big fan of half wigs. As someone who doesn't like to manipulate her hair too much or use a lot of heat, half wigs are perfect. I can still get to my hair too-which is awesome. I also think this would be a good transitioning hairstyle for those ladies who are considering that.

I have yet to try out seems more like a going out half wig than anything. Trust me though, as soon as I try her guys are gonna hear about it!

What do you guys think? Would you try Tammy out?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Hair: 4/12/11

Happy Tuesday everyone! I just wanted to stop by with my hairstyle of the day. I actually took the time to do a bantu knot out! Last night, I sectioned my (dry) hair into 8 parts (2 in the front, 2 in the middle, and 4 in the back). I placed a light gel onto each section and proceeded to make my bantu knots, securing them with a bobby pin. I unraveled my bantu knots this morning and voila! Instant cuteness!

If you can't tell, I love wearing curly styles during the spring and summer. It just looks so carefree and relaxed to me.

Well what do you guys think? Yay or nay?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Freetress Drawstring Full Cap Creta Girl (and Me)

I have to admit it. I have been a little full of myself lately. I've been wearing my hair out, flinging it all know basically enjoying my hair. Well, in all that enjoyment I forgot that I am still trying to reach length goals. I also forgot that it was about to get here and I'm really not gonna be in the mood to do anything to my hair. I didn't want to bun and I needed a new protective style.

Enter the half wig.

I spent half the night last night looking up half wig tutorials on YouTube and looking for recommendations for half wigs that are universally flattering and easy to work with. I ordered Outre Tammy and Outre Monica from then proceeded to pick up Creta Girl (number 2) from my local BSS.

I paid about $23 plus tax for Creta Girl. Creta is a synthetic half wig that can also be worn as a ponytail. Surprisingly, the hair is very soft. It's also very very curly and very very big (which I love!). Like most half wigs, there is a long comb in the front of the wig and 2 smalled combs in the back. There is also a drawstring (again, this is if you want to wear it as a ponytail).

What's my verdict? I LOVE IT!!! I have gotten so many compliments on it so far and it doesn't look like an obvious wig. I don't know why I didn't try half wigs before but I am so glad I did!

Tell me what you Creta Girl a yay or a nay?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Why I Dislike Redken Smooth Down Heat Glide

I admit. I have tried a fair share of heat protectants in my day. I have my staples: Mizani Thermasmooth, Tresseme Heat Protectant Spray, and Fantasia IC heat protectant. I've even had to revisit heat protectants that I thought I hated (can we say Beyond the Zone Turn Up the Heat?).

However, there is one heat protectant that I absolutely cannot stand. No matter how many times I've tried it. No matter how many different ways I have tried just. will. not. work. Now, I'm over it. I feel like I've given it a fair shot and now I'm gonna voice how much I do not like it.

The heat protectant in question is Redken Smooth Down Heat Glide. You would think that something that is similar in composition to my beloved Mizani Thermasmooth wouldn't be so awful but it is! I've determined that Redken Smooth Down Heat Glide is just too heavy for my hair. No matter when I use it and no matter how much I use, the end result is heavy, weighed down hair!

Well, I'm listening to my hair now and I refuse to purchase this mess anymore!

Is there a product that your hair simply cannot stand?

My Review: FHI Nano Weight Pro 1800 Hair Dryer

For months now, I have been at my wits end trying to perfect my flat ironing technique. I mean, don't get me technique so far has been ok. It was just really hit or miss. Sometimes it would turn out decent, sometimes it would be a huge, fat fail. I had to learn how to get great flat iron results though. I refuse to pay anyone to straighten my hair when I have a $130 flat iron sitting in my bathroom. After some research, I found that the good basis for any flat iron session, is a good blow dryer. A good blow dryer will do the initial straightening for you and result in less passes of the flat iron when you finally do flat iron.

So, I looked at my Jilbere Porcelain Series hair dryer that I got waaaay back in the beginning of my journey at Sally's for about $50. I found that no matter how good my technique was and after tweaking my technique a variety of ways, my flat iron results were never quite what I wanted them to be. It became clear to me: I had to get a newer, better hair dryer.

Today, I swung by Ulta and picked up the FHI Nano Weight pro 1800 hair dryer. This dryer is a ceramic tourmaline dryer-which is exactly what I wanted. It comes with a diffuser and a concentrator (nozzle). Unfortunately, it doesn't come with a comb attachment. I have to warn those who are watching their pennies, the dryer is pricey. It ran me about $100. If you order it online, it may cost more.

Now, without further ado, the review.

The cool stuff:

-The dryer is very lightweight! I was able to dry my hair without my arms getting tired midway through.

-It isn't as loud as your everyday dryer. I mean, yeah, it's gonna make some noise but it's nowhere near as loud an ordinary dryer.

- This sucker will dry your hair fast! Usually, it takes me about an hour to dry my hair completely. With this dryer, my hair was dry in 30min! It cut my drying time in half!

-Once dry, my hair wasn't puffy at all. It was very sleek and didn't have a dry feeling to it. My hair was dry and moisturized.

The bad stuff

-Limited heat options. There is low heat and low speed and high heat at high speed. I usually prefer to dry my hair at medium heat and this dryer doesn't have that. The high heat wouldn't be so bad except....

-The high heat freakin feels like Hell's furnace! This dryer blows out the heat! However, the high heat is just entirely too hot for my liking. What makes it suck even more is that you can't really go to low heat because low heat is slightly less hot than high. Slightly.

Bottom Line: This dryer definitely did the job in terms of being the perfect basis for my flat iron. It got my hair straight and did it in less time than my usual dryer. However, the high heat setting is just too hot! Additionally, there isn't a medium heat setting. In the future, I would probably air dry for a few hours then blow dry, just to limit the time I spend blow drying. Either way, if I give this hair dryer 4 stars out of 5.