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Monday, January 28, 2013

Wash Day: January 27, 2013

Happy Monday lovelies!

I hope you all had an excellent weekend! Me? I did much of nothing...which is was I needed.

Anyway, yesterday I did my usual wash day routine. I washed my hair with Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo and steamed with ORS Replenishing Conditioner with a hint of grapeseed oil (have you guys tried grapeseed oil? It is awesome sauce.). As I have been doing the past couple of weeks, I then wet wrapped my hair, sat under the dryer, flat ironed, and got back under the dryer for my saran wrap. The products I used for my saran wrap are:

I'm currently having a love affair with KeraCare products. I'm not entirely sure why. I just know that I like them for straight hair purposes. I basically put a little bit of the KeraCare cream hairdress on my hair, add a few drops of serum, wrap my hair, spray w/ the oil sheen, and wrap my hair. I then wrap my hair with the saran wrap and sit under the dryer for ~15min.

***How I wrap my hair with saran wrap***

However, I think from now on, I designate take a week or two for heat free protective styles. Even though I like wearing my hair straight, I just want to give my hair a break from the wet wrapping and flat iron every now and then. week I will be air drying my hair and then putting it into a nice Gibson tuck for the week. We will see how it goes.

That's it for this week's wash day...pretty blah in my opinion. :/

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Chat:...But It's My Hair Though....

Happy Sunday lovelies!

I type this particular Sunday Chat as I sit under the hair steamer (aren't you guys glad that I've been up on my posting game?) but it is based off of something I noticed a few weeks ago.

About 2 or 3 weeks ago, I mentioned something on FB about cutting my hair. You guys have to understand, prior to my hair journey, I was that girl who cut her hair every 2 years. Like clockwork. I just like a short cut. So every now and again, I long for a fierce cut but I don't do it because I know I would be crushed (you don't put in years of work to grow your hair just to cut it off). Anyway, I got a bunch of posts saying "Nooooooo! Don't do it!" And that tickled me.

Every time I have cut my hair, I have always gotten comments from other people. Back in '09 when I got my cut, the entire salon went dead quiet as the stylist put those scissors to my hair (no lie---you could hear a rat piss on soft cotton in that salon). After it was done, I heard comments like " I'm trying to get my hair to where hers is and she's cutting it." Ma''s my hair. If I want to cut it, so what?

A similar thing happened in '05. I cut my hair short on whim ( I literally woke up that day and wanted my hair cut). I get back on campus to attend a game and I am bombarded w/ questions as to why "I cut all that hair off" ( mind you, I was a raggedy SL at the time). Again, it's my hair and I felt like it.

It always tickles me how folks are so invested in your hair and what you choose to do with it. It used to frustrate me when I was younger but now I'm just kinda amused by it all.

Have you noticed this in your day-to-day life? How do you feel about it?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Girl, Have You Tried?: KeraCare Oil Sheen with Humidity Block

The Girl, Have You Tried? series of The Awkward Stage highlights products that I am currently loving right now. It's not a full's just a brief blurb about a product that I have tried, currently use and love . :)

Another product I use in my quest to keep my hair straight post straightening (as you can see, since I have been straightening, all of my products center around it!). KeraCare Oil Sheen with Humidity Block is an oil sheen much like any other oil sheen. But the difference with this oil sheen and others is that this one keeps your hair from reverting! I spray this on my hair every morning (well...not directly on my hair. I typically make an oil sheen cloud and run my head through it) and head out the door. And it works! A few weeks ago, it was raining ridiculous amounts here and Birmingham and (get this!) my hair was still straight for days! The only drawback for this product is that the first ingredient is mineral oil. So if you are currently avoiding mineral oil and mineral oil based products (or -cones for that matter), this may not be the product for you. For me, this product ( in combination with other anti-humectants I use) makes the battle against frizz and reversion easily won!

Want to check it out?
Purchase it at your local BSS (if they carry it) or your local Ulta

Have you tried it? Comment below and let me know what you think!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

When I Get Tired of Wearing My Hair Straight, Option #2: Dutch Braid/Dutch Braid into a Side Bun

Happy Thursday lovelies!

This week, I wore my hair straight for a hot two days before I got tired of wearing it straight (eh). So today, I decided to wear my hair in a messy Dutch braid (call it what you want but it still looks like a cornrow to me). However, that was not to be. The end of my Dutch braid just wouldn't lay right (ain't nobody got time be be fussing over the tail end of a braid) I put it in a bun.

Either way, doing a Dutch braid doesn't take too long to do (about 5min max) and I found it pretty easy to do. It's a quick option for your hair should you tire of the straight look.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Method Revisited: The Silk/Saran Wrap

As you guys may have noticed, I have incorporated the silk/ saran wrap into my regimen. The silk wrap method is pretty simple: after your hair is dry (via rollersetting, wet wrapping, etc.), you wrap your hair and wrap saran wrap around it. Next, you sit under a hooded dryer for ~15minutes or so. This method is used to not only make your hair straighter but it also makes it well....silky (hence the name silk wrap).

Anyway, I tried the silk wrap earlier on in my HHJ (before I had my hair cut short) after a rollerset...and it was a HOT MESS. My hair was not straighter nor was it was puffy and dry. I didn't know what I had did wrong and I didn't care to find out. All I knew was that rollersets and silk wraps were the bane of my existence. They were simply things that worked for other people but not me.

On a whim, I decided to try the silk wrap again following my last relaxer day and today my surprise, it actually worked! The only difference was that this time, I did a silk wrap following a wet wrap and flat iron. I also made sure to wrap the saran wrap around my head at tight as I could stand and I stayed under the dryer for exactly 15minutes (any longer and you risk sweating...which will completely mess up a saran wrap. ) As you guys saw, it turned out pretty darn good. This was all the convincing I needed to include saran wrapping in my straightening regimen.

I personally love silk wrapping because it takes some of the bulk of my hair. Most of the time after flat ironing, my hair still has some...heft to it. It can be pretty annoying when you want your hair to have slightly less volume. Another cool thing is that you can refresh a days old press using the silk wrap method. Add a little moisture, wrap your hair, add saran wrap, sit under the dryer and BAM!!! Your hair is oh so silky smooth for at least a few more days!

Check the results!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Wash Day: January 21, 2013

Happy MLK Day lovelies!

I hope you are all enjoying your day. I know I am. I have been glued to CNN watching the inauguration and am (not-so-secretly) glad I can enjoy it from the heat and comfort of my home.

Anyway, as I am lazing about, I have designated today as my wash day. Since this is the first wash day since my relaxer, I'm doing a few things to get some more moisture and protein into my hair (which my hair needs). So, I kicked off my wash day doing a hot oil treatment with kemi oyl.

When I do my hot oil treatments, I place my oil in a bottle with an applicator and heat the bottle in a small pot of boiling water ( I do this because it ensures even heating) for about 5 minutes or so. Once I remove the bottle from heat, I let it cool down a bit. Once the bottle is cool, I apply the oil to my hair in sections. When all is said and done, I place a plastic cap on my head and sit under my heat cap for 30 minutes.

Next, it is time to wash my hair. I basically did 2 lathers of shampoo: the first with Keracare Sulfate Free 1st Lather Shampoo and the second with Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo (which was on sale BOGO half off at Target this past weekend). I then followed up with Aphogee Keratin 2 min Reconstructor (to strengthen up my hair a bit).

For my DC, I used ORS Replenishing Conditioner and steamed with my Huetiful Steamer for 30min. Since I will be wet wrapping, it is important for me to get all the moisture I need in my hair during the deep conditioning. Using creamy leave ins, moisturizers, etc could yield some disastrous results if you aren't careful. During a wet wrap, you just want to put the setting lotion you're using (and maybe a little water) in your hair and that's it.

Which brings us to the wet wrap....

This weekend, I was able to get my hands on Jane Carter Solution Wrap and Roll. It is a foam setting lotion that I absolutely LOVED in the early stages of my journey. What I love about Wrap and Roll is that it allows you to wet wrap (or roller set) your hair without making your hair crunchy afterwards or flaking off once your hair is dry. At any rate, I wet wrapped with this and sat under the dryer for an hour and a half. Following that, I flat ironed with IC Fantasia Heat Serum and my Sedu flat iron. I then finished up my wash day by applying a little serum (Regis Design Line Silk Drops Repair and Shine Serum) to my hair, wrapping my hair, spraying my hair with a little Keracare Oil Sheen w/ Humidity Block, and covering my hair with saran wrap. I then sat under the dryer for ~15min.

**Getting ready to sit under the dryer! Joy!<---NOT!**

That was my wash day! There was a lot of down time and this lazy day off was the perfect day to get it all done. I also love how this particular regimen of mine is primarily indirect heat. I was doing some damage to my hair using direct heat (blow dryer) and more direct heat (flat iron).

How was your last wash day? How did you spend your MLK Day?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday Chat: Products You Refuse To Use

Happy Sunday lovelies!

On our hair journeys, one unavoidable outcome is that you become a product junkie. There are so many great hair products out there and so many people raving about this conditioner or that moisturizer that over time you find that you have enough hair products for 5 people.

And there isn't anything wrong with that. I'm not here to judge.

My question is, where do you draw the line? What are the products you refuse to touch with a 39 1/2 foot pole?

For me, I simply refuse to use Pink Oil moisturizer in any capacity. My childhood memories are filled with my mom doing my hair and asking "why is your hair so dry?" as placed even more of that hell in a bottle on my hair. That is enough motivation for me to keep that mess far away from my hair.

The second product is Dr. Miracle's anything. I tried that line way before my hair journey (think 2005/2006) and nothing in that line is worthwhile. Yeah it has that whole 'tingling' thing to make you think it is working but it does absolutely NOTHING for your hair! I recommend that line to nobody. It is complete trash.

Other than that, everything else is pretty negotiable. What are your products that you refuse to use?

Friday, January 18, 2013

When I Get Tired of Wearing My Hair Straight...Option #1

Happy Friday lovelies!

I hope all is well with you guys. I have been keeping safe (and warm!) since B'ham was hit with snow yesterday.

Anyway, enough of that. I just wanted to stop by and let you guys see what I do with my hair when I'm over the whole wearing my hair straight thing (SN: My hair was straight for an entire week!! I cannot believe it!). Last night, I put my hair into two bantu knots to give my hair a little texture and this morning, I put my hair into a cute messy bun.

Now keep in mind, I don't always just throw my hair into a bun. Sometimes I will flexirod it, others I may do a braid out--it just all depends on my mood. My mood today was: bun (lol).

My hair will stay this way until I wash my hair at some point this weekend.

Check it out!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Girl, Have You Tried?: Aveda Brilliant Anti-Humectant Pomade

The Girl, Have You Tried? series of The Awkward Stage highlights products that I am currently loving right now. It's not a full's just a brief blurb about a product that I have tried, currently use and love . :)

picture from:

My favorite product of the moment is Aveda Brilliant Anti-Humectant Pomade! Since I am straightening more, this product has been a key staple in my winter regimen. My hair is interesting in that although it is relaxed, my hair will frizz up like no one's business when it is straightened. I hate it! All that hard work goes down the drain in a matter of seconds and your hair winds up looking like a black cotton ball. Anyway, I tried this product on a whim and let me just has made all the difference. I typically apply this product after I finish flat ironing ( in sections) with a light hand. This product is cone-free, however, it can weigh your hair down quick if you aren't careful. Provided I don't sweat my hair out at night, my hair stays straight for about a week and I found it extremely useful in keeping my leave out straight when I wore straight half wigs. The only down side is that you will definitely come out of pocket for this product ($20 for freakin' 2 ounces of product!). However, if you do purchase it, you'll be glad you did.
Want to check it out? Get it at or your local Aveda store!
Have you tried it? Comment below and let me know what you think!

First Relaxer Day of 2013!!

Happy Wednesday lovelies! :)

This past Friday (1/11/13), I got the urge to relax my hair.Well actually, I got the urge to cut it. I figured that this sudden urge to cut was directly related to my lack of doing anything to my hair. As a result, I decided that I should relax my hair. I was 16 weeks post and I figured this time was a good as any to relax my hair.

This relaxer day was no different from any other relaxer day. I based my scalp with grease, relaxed with ORS lye relaxer, neutralized, and deep conditioned with ORS Replenishing Conditioner. Pretty standard stuff. Nothing new to report with that.


Starting with this relaxer, I made the decision to wet wrap my hair post-wash. As I mentioned in a previous post, blow drying my hair has been complete murder on my hair. However, I remembered that immediately following my hair cut I was a wet wrapping queen and my hair thrived. So that's what I did. It took some doing (I hadn't wet wrapped since 2009) but I got a pretty decent wrap done. I then sat under my hooded dryer for an hour and a half....which wasn't bad at all considering that a roller set would mean a 2 DAY drying affair.

Once my hair was dry, I pulled out my flat iron and went to work. Immediately, I could see the difference wet wrapping pre-flat iron had on my ends. To put it plainly, my hair didn't look fried and my ends are in good shape. That right there was all the convincing that I needed. Wet wrapping has earned its way back into my regimen.
Another thing I did this relaxer day was do a silk/saran wrap (another thing I used to do on a somewhat regular basis but stopped). The premise of the silk wrap is simple, post flat iron wrap your hair up, place some saran wrap on it, and sit under the dryer for ~15minutes. This process will, well, make your hair silky. It also straightens your hair a little bit more. Most folks typically do this post roller set but since I absolutely abhor (yes, abhor) roller setting, this is how I'm using it. My hair responded well to it and once I was finished, I sprayed my hair with KeraCare Oil Sheen with Humidity Block and went about my way. All in all, this was a good relaxer day. There is no length check this go round simply because I don't want to try it with a crap camera phone. As soon as I upgrade my camera, you guys will get a length check outta me. :)

Check out the results!

Here is my hair the day after:

Here is my hair today (mind you, it has been raining endlessly here in Birmingham):

Sunday, January 13, 2013

What's On Deck for 2013...

Happy New Year lovelies!

Yes, I know we're a good 13 days into the new year but better late than never, right?

In terms of my hair, 2012 was a big learning year for me for sure. It marked the first time, since 2009, where I was really, really into my hair. I was hiding and protective styling my hair for so long, I forgot how to do my hair.

And it showed.

If you're a faithful reader of The Awkward Stage, I'm sure you noticed that my length check pics were few and far between, perhaps even non-existent for 2012. There is good reason for that. For some reason, I was using a lot of direct heat on my hair to straighten it. I fell victim to the blow dry+flat iron school of straightening and my hair did not appreciate it.And I did this frequently! My ends looked like whodiditandwhy all the time and I wound up having to get 2 deep trims (with the most recent trim in November 2012). I simply refused to do a length check for this blog with my ends looking like hell. As a result, my hair pretty much stayed at BSL/full BSL for the majority of the year. Bummer.

But I learned a few things.

The first is that if I insist on using heat, I need to go back to my original school of thinking: use one form of indirect heat and one form of direct heat. When I first had my hair cut short, I used heat this way. I would wet wrap my hair and sit under my hooded dryer. I would then follow up with my flat iron. Obviously, my hair thrived this way and provided the least damage to my ends. Why I did not think of this before, I don't know. But I got the message loud and clear.

Secondly, I will never EVER put myself in a position where I forget what to do with my hair. Yes, hiding your hair is convenient and does aid in retention. However, what happens when you want to wear your hair again and you forget what your hair responds to? It can make for a steep and frustrating learning curve. I know now, there is a fine balance between a HHJ and actually enjoying your hair.

So that brings me to now. What do I want for my hair?

1) I want to make it to MBL
. I am currently at full BSL following my last trim and now that I know what I was doing wrong, I am in the position to remedy that. In my first relaxer session for the year (post coming soon!), I wound up wet wrapping my hair and following up with a flat iron. My hair loved it! I got much better results this way than with blow drying. My goal is to get to MBL by the time of my doctoral hooding in December.

2) Stop relying on wigs.
While I love a good wig, for a while there, they became a crutch for me. Having a bad hair day? Slap on a wig. Don't feel like doing my hair? Slap on a wig. When you don't feel like doing your hair for 3 months straight, this becomes a problem. I just think that using wigs in this way has prevented me from really getting to know my hair at this length. While I will use wigs every once and a while, I refuse to wear them at the frequency that I once did.

3) Document my journey more. The main purpose of this blog was to document my journey and share it with others since there were very few blogs that showed young ladies growing out their hair from the length that they did. To my surprise, folks actually read my blog! And liked it! Unfortunately, I fell of the blogging wagon hard and I need to do better about that. I'm constantly trying new products and finding out new things about my hair that you guys should know. So for this year, it is my goal to update this blog at least 2 times a week. That way, I'm documenting my journey and you guys are kept in the loop about my joys and my trials and tribulations.

So there you have it: I'm still trying to reach a length goal and communicate with you guys more.

With that said, it's great to be back! :)