Sunday, March 22, 2015

Wash Day Chronicles: 19 Months Post

Today's wash day is brought to you by Carol's Daughter, Hydrathermal Naturals (not pictured), and Soultanicals. After having my hair straight for about a week and half it was time to wash. Although I wanted to try to stretch it out for two weeks but the itch to wash was strong. This was a fairly easy and quick wash day. I wish they were all like this. lol Let's get to it.

{1} I thoroughly rinsed my hair until I started to feel my hair revert back then proceeded to apply the Hair Milk Cleansing Conditioner. I concentrated on my edges and front hairline because I wanted to make sure that I got all of the Cream of Nature's Perfect Edges out of my hair. My hair felt very well cleansed.
{2} I skipped in the rinse out conditioner phase and went straight to deep conditioning. My dc of choice was the Amino Plus Protein Treatment. I detangles my hair with the conditioner in my hair. I forgoed sitting under the steamer and opted to use a plastic conditioning cap and my Bon Bon Cheveux conditioning bonnet. I kept those on for an hour then rinsed.
{3}Applied my the Soultanicals HerShea Sauce did another round of detangling. Banded my hair in 6 sections then let it dry for a bit before I through my hair up in a bun.

I know that I suck when it comes to taking pictures but I tried take a few this time around.


This is how much hair I lost after detangling my hair. It's about the average amount of hair I loose on wash days.










My hair fully reverted! As you can see I don't have a lot of relaxed ends left but I am holding off on cutting my hair. I am still weary of doing the big chop. My shrinkage is beyond ridiculous and I'm not ready to embrace shrinkage just yet. lol



Sunday, March 1, 2015

Wash Day Chroniciles: The Henna Experiment

This was no ordinary wash day for me. I finally did it! After a year of procrastinating. I finally henna'd my hair and I am so happy I did. I love how my hair turned out.

1. On Friday night, I mixed my the henna with boiling hot water in a class bowl. Then I mixed in the conditioner until I had the cake batter consistency I wanted. I let it sit overnight and added the oil the next morning. The oil and the conditioner made the smell of the henna slightly more bearable. It smells very earthy. lol

2. I sectioned my hair into fours and began applying the henna, wearing gloves of course. It wasn't as messy a process as I thought it would be. Then I covered my hair with a plastic cap and let the henna sit for about 3 hours.

3. Next, I  rinsed until the water ran clear. Which didn't take long at all. My hair felt extremely strong afterwards. My curls were popping and the shrinkage was absolutely real. It definitely reminded me why I have not cut my hair yet. I'm not ready to deal with shrinkage.
4. Although my hair was feeling strong, a moisturizing conditioner was definitely in order. I used up the rest of the Naturelle Grow Mango and Coconut Water Infused Deep Conditioner. My hair instantly softened when the conditioner hit my hair. I steamed for 30 minutes and then rinsed out the conditioner. Now as for as the color payoff that I would have had, it was washed away when I rinsed out the conditioner. I should have sat under the dryer instead of the steamer. But I'm not heart broken because I can tell that my highlights benefited. They seem to be a bit more noticeable to me.

Henna has officially become part of my regimen now. I want to use it over a period of time to see how it helps out my hair during the rest of these transitioning months. I was so nervous about doing this at first but it was a surprisingly pleasant experience. I will henna my hair again towards the end of the month. I will do the best I can to take pics of my hair.

What has been your experience with henna?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Product Spotlight

Time for another product spotlight! Today's featured product is the As I Am Smoothing Gel.


I have been using this little gem since December. I purchased this in Florida the night before my cruise. The Florida humidity attacked my hair. Wearing it straight after that point wasn't an option. We made a quick trip to the store get some last minute items. Something to help tame my hair was on my list. I didn't have much in the way of hair products because my hair was going to be straight, This gel save my hair on this trip and I have been using it ever since, I gave away my Eco Styler gel and I use this solely as a finishing product. This gel and a scarf smooths my edges very well.

For the ingredients list check out asiamnaturally.com

What do you use to lay your edges down?

Officially A Year and Half Post Relaxer...Yea Buddy!

I know it's been a minute since my last post but I just got a little lazy with posting. It happens from time to time to the best of us. Let's get into this accomplishment. Yes, you read that right. I am a year and half post relaxer and I'm too excited. The pic to your left was taken on the 12th of this month after a salon visit. I got another trim but this time it was a more detailed trim I guess. I'm happy it was done. I had a feeling that my ends weren't in the best condition. The extreme cold weather here in Chicago has taken a toll on my hair. It was way to dry. No matter how much I try to remedy it. Liquid leave-ins aren't for my hair in this brutal weather. I never thought that I would have to winterize my products. I thought I was immune to that. lol I have been looking for a heavier moisture lately. Completely forgetting that I have the new Creme of Nature products for natural hair in my stash. I will be using them and keeping track of whether or not they thoroughly moisturize my hair.

When do I plan on BCing?
I have been saying I want to hold off until the 2 year mark in August but that might be pushed back. I would like for my natural hair to be at APL or very close to it when I big chop. Right now it could be pushed back to about the 27th or 28th month of transition mark. That is subject to change. Hell, if I keep on trimming they way I have been for the last year, I'll be completely natural sooner than I expect. lol

What has helped my get through the last 18 months?
Deep conditioning w/ steam weekly
Keep my hair stretched
Not hesitating to go to the shop to let someone else take over for once: Let me explain this one. I wear my hair in a bun all of the time. I like to switch it up. Doing this also allows me a break from doing my hair. If you find yourself getting lazy or frustrated with your hair. Give yourself a break. Whether it's though protective styling or salon visits. I'm not as scared to use heat anymore. For me as long as my hair is well hydrated and protected before using heat. I'm ok. Which is why I get it done professionally. It works for me. I found a salon and stylist who has similar hare care habits as me. That is very important.
Low manipulation

I basically keep it as simple as possible. For me complicated equals too much work and damage.

Would I like to see my hair longer during this transition?
Yes!

Will it happen?
Probably not. I don't want to become even more attach to the length and become disappointed when it's time to cut. I will have to be satisfied with continuing to hover around the same length a little longer.

I am loving the health and length of my transitioning hair. My hair is the healthiest and longest it's ever been in my life. My only issue is the front section of my hair. Since there is no discernible curl pattern in that area, it makes it hard to really distinguish my natural hair from the relaxed. Being relaxer free is not so bad. I don't miss not being able to scratch my head. lol I have gone from not being able to go longer than a month without a touch up (le sigh) to going 18 months without one. I am not team natural or team relaxed. I am on the side of doing what you feel is right for you. To me that is the best decision anyone can make.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Giving Henna A Shot

I have been interested in using henna for almost a year or so. What got me interested is Milan J's (TressedforSuccess on YouTube) video on how her experience using it. After Christina's (ManeObjective) blog post about how to maintain you red color, it pretty confirmed that I would go ahead and try it since I was going to color my hair. So after hesitating on purchasing the henna I finally went ahead and purchased it. I bought the Nupur brand from Amazon. I bought 2 packs (500g each). My hair better like it because after seeing this package, I have way too much. lol

When do I plan on doing the henna treatment you ask? The end of February. By then I should be able to devote the time needed to do this treatment. The recipe I'll use is the same as Milan J's. (video here)
Which is the henna, TreSemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture conditioner and my oil will be the TGIN Argan Oil blend. I cannot wait to try this out. One of the main reasons I want to try it out is for the color payoff. I really want my hair to be brighter. I thought the subtle change was what I wanted but as the days go on, I'm realizing I want my hair to be more noticeable. I guess deep down I need a bit of a dramatic change. I know that I won't get that with the henna but I'm hoping the color is more prominent after the treatment. I will know in due time. So be on the lookout next month for my thoughts.

For more information on this brand of henna hit up the link below.
http://www.godrejnupur.com/

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Week 2 Fitness Recap

This week I fit into the stereotype of not wanting to workout because of my hair. Shame on me. But I did workout this week. Not as much as last week but I got a few workouts in. Monday and Tuesday I used the Black Girl Workout 2 DVD and also Ripped in 30. Wednesday night I did the Gym Grown, No Silicon Level from BGW2 before I proceeded to prep my hair for my color appointment. Thursday during some done time at work I did some of the exercises from BGW2. I didn't do any intense workouts because I didn't want to go to the salon with smelly sweat dried hair. But I will be resuming my work outs next week. I am not giving up and stopping this fitness train in the least.

My food intake was ok. I'm still getting up and making myself some breakfast. I did indulge in some not so healthy food a couple of days a week. Mainly the chips and salsa from a new Mexican restaurant around the corner from my job. I did have some sweets but I can proudly say that I did not overdo it. That is an accomplishment. I can eat an entire pack of Oreos by my damn self. SMH To the left is the bottle that I use to keep up with my water intake at work. I had a regular cup that I would refill many times throughout the day. This bottle keeps me from running to the kitchen so much. This is the second bottle I've bought because I can't find the top to the other one I have. I drink one of these a day while at work and drink an additional 2 or 3 bottles at home. Sunday I am back to eating better.


I said last week that I wasn't going to buy another scale but after looking into the Fitbit Aria. I changed my mind because this scale does more than just tell you your weight. It measures you BMI and Body Fat as well. I love that you can keep track of everything with the app on your phone. I will be taking a trip to Target getting one. On to week 3.

Color Recap.

Yesterday evening I made it to the salon a little early and my stylist Shawanna was able to take me right away. We went straight to her chair and she got started. First she sectioned my hair into four sections. The back half of my hair was one section and three in the front. I got partial highlights. Which basically means only the top half of my hair was colored. They use the Pravana hair care and color products. After she parted my hair, she went to mix the color. She came back and got started. The technique she used was very interesting. From going to my cousin for years, I was use to the old school coloring cap where they pull your hair through the holes. I was never a fan of that because I always leery of possible breakage. Now that I have way more natural hair on my head that color cap will never touch my head again.

I'm going to try to explain the technique she used. I hope I can explain it clearly. So please bare with me. Starting with the section on right, she would make smaller sections. Then she takes that section and did this weaving technique through it with the tail end of the comb. That is how she chooses the pieces she colored. Once she had the section she was going to color she would grab the foil and wrap the tail end of the comb with the end of the foil. That makes it easier to place the foil under the section that is getting the color. She did this for all three sections. When the color application was done, she let it sit for 30 minutes before heading to the bowl to wash it out. After the coloring step was complete she shampooed, lightly detangled and conditioned my hair. Unfortunately, getting under the steamer was not an option. Doing that would not allow the color to set. So under the dryer I went for about 10 minutes.


Sitting for 30 min after she finished
foiling
Under the dryer and missing the steamer

On to the styling. She did the usual blow dry, flat iron, and trim. I was excited about that trim. I am not a fan of split ends. She did the standard trim throughout my entire head. She styled it how I wanted it, straight with a light bump on the ends.

 

I am loving my hair. I got the subtle change I wanted. She didn't use bleach. Which I am alright with. My relaxed ends probably wouldn't be able to handle bleach and would probably cause me to get my hair cut sooner than I want. The no bleach thing will probably make the upkeep easier. The only downside is since natural color is on the dark side it makes it harder for color to lift w/o the use of bleach. Although I do love it, I think I want to go brighter sometime over the Summer. With that said I am seriously considering cutting the remaining relaxed ends around my birthday in August and retouching the color. That would take me just barely over the two year mark. Also, the color will also make it easier to track to my progress with the Manetabolism vitamins.  

That's it ladies!