Friday, April 18, 2014

My Current Protective Style

At three weeks post I installed a new wig that I made on a sports dome cap. I am currently 5 weeks post and I have been officially loving this style. For the past six months I have been using wigs to help retain length and keep my hands out of my hair.

My wig regimen consists of...
  • Weekly washdays
  • Hair kept in braids 4-8
  • Little to no leave out (closure)
  • Moisturize and Seal braids every other day
  • Co-wash wig every 3-4 days (curly hair) 
  • Spray hair daily with conditioner & water, followed by Shea Moisture's Curl & Style Milk, and ending with a serum of my choice
two colors I used 14 & 17
I purchased my hair on Aliexpress by a vendor called Luvin Hair Co. The texture is Brazilian Curly in lengths (18, 20, 22, with 14 closure) but the bundles were not true to length. I ended up trimming the 22 because I received two bundles of 18, but so far that is my biggest complaint.

When I received my hair I went ahead and bleached the knots on my lace closure. I sewed the closure to the cap first, then sewed all 3 bundles of hair on the cap. Surprisingly, I used a majority of the hair with only a small amount of "22" left. After constructing the wig, I mixed to blondes together to create highlights and dimension in the hair. I left the color on for about 15 minutes before washing it out and deep conditioning it.

I am able to take the wig off everyday to cut down on tangles and matting. The hair does shed a little, but I did not seal my wefts so that is my fault. After two weeks I still really love the hair and would buy again. I will do another update on the hair in about two weeks.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Wash Day -1 week post

Initial texture after co-wash
After a week of silky straight hair I was ready for a wash day last weekend. I was happy to retain a lot of length from my last stretch, but I am always paranoid that my stylist did not leave me enough texture. I was pleased to find out that I was left with a nice amount a texture, which was very consistent with my last relaxer in December. This week was my 2nd and last heat pass for this stretch, so I can enjoy my hair for 2 weeks before I return to the wigging challenge.

After doing hot yoga on Saturday I did a quick co wash with Hello Hydration by Herbal Essences, after doing a quick coconut oil pre poo. I let my hair air dry and kept goddess braids in my hair until my wash day a few days later.

  • I started my wash day with a 1 hour pre-poo using Coconut Oil. After abandoning EVCO for so long, I'm glad I came back to it this last stretch. It is really great with detangling and controlling tangles during shampooing.
  • Washed with Organix Awapuhi Ginger Shampoo and lathered twice. This has pretty much been a staple, it does a great job of cleaning my hair with stripping and tangling. 
  • Once I got out of the shower, I t-shirt dried for about 10 minutes. Then when I applied my deep conditioner (Silk Dreams Vanilla Silk Cream Moisture Dream), I separated my hair into 3 parts and focused the conditioner on the ends. Sadly, that was probably my last application since I still have not ordered more Silk Dream products :/. I left the conditioner on overnight because it was late and I needed to be up early the next day.
  • The next morning, I rinsed the conditoner out of my hair. I followed the rinse with my smoothing conditioner, Paul Mitchell's Super Skinny Daily Conditioner and left it on for 3-5 minutes. 
  • After rinsing, I t-shirt dried for about 15 minutes and followed with my leave-ins. My leave-ins this week were Aphogee Keratin & Green Tea Restructorizer and Paul Mitchell's Super Skinny Serum. I continued to air-dry for another 30 minutes
  • Since I was flat ironing this week I used my Silk Elements Heat protector before lightly blow drying my roots. I separated my hair into 4 parts and used a paddle brush with my blow dryer. I really hate blowing drying because my arms always get tired, I'm so glad my blow drying days are far and few since being on a hair journey. 
    After blow-drying
  • Finally I flat ironed after applying another coat of my heat protectant on a medium heat setting. Unfortunately I was in such a rush to get out the door that I did not get pictures of the final result. It was very full and thick like a press and curl lol. I've long given up on trying to achieve salon silky results and I actually love my hair both ways. I can never get the body that my stylist gives my hair, but she never gets the fullness that I do. Either way it was a successful wash day(s).

Monday, March 17, 2014

Relaxer Update 2.1- first relaxer of the year

Hair is my hobby :)
On Saturday March 15th I relaxed my hair at 12.5 weeks post. This year I will be sticking to 12 weeks to get me through my wig challenge for the year. Anyway, I visited my regular stylist back home with detangled and pre-pooed hair. I meant to time the application of the relaxer but I always forget to look at the time when she first begins lol. She quickly applied the relaxer and even though I experience NO BURNING, I was anxious to get to the sink because I wanted to keep a little texture.

The relaxing experience was great, I have no complaints and my scalp does not feel bothered. My last relaxer left my scalp feeling a little tight and raw, but I believe I was not oiled properly. After she neutralized me, I went under the dryer with a protein treatment for about 30 minutes. From there she rinsed and blow dried my hair, then proceeded to style. The one complaint I do have from my visit is the fact that she blow dries my hair while it is still dripping wet. Personally, I hardly ever blow dry my hair, so it makes me cringe when she does this.

7 months since hair cut & no more layers
 Progress over 7 months/ official length check tee- between lines 2 & 3
Once my hair was straightened out my stylist cleaned up my hemline to give it a nice clean look. I wouldn't considered it a trim, but my front was a lot longer than the rest of my hair and she even it out a bit. My ends are still looking great, and I feel like I am retaining a lot of length each stretch even with the light trims each relaxer. In my opinion I am very close to shoulder length hair, and I will be willing to claim SL around my next relaxer in June.

My next stretch will consists of...
1. 12 week long stretch ending in June
2. Wigging weeks 2-12
3. Continuing to  apply castor oil to edges & pre-poo with hemp and coconut oil
4. Washing in braids beginning around 4 weeks post*
5. Continuing to take silica supplements*
6. Alternating each wash day with shampoo and a cleansing conditioner*
*New things I'm taking from the last stretch

Friday, March 14, 2014

Last Weeks of my Stretch!

11 weeks post washing in braids
This weekend I will relaxing my hair at a little over 12 weeks post relaxer! Since cutting my hair in August, I have slowly been extending the amount of time I stretch my relaxers. I did not want to do extremely long stretches with really short hair so I've finally made it back to 12. I will be updating soon on the results :)
After rinsing out DC... Back is catching up with front

These last two weeks it has been s0 hard to keep my hands out of my hair lol. Am I the only one who is guilty of playing in their new growth? I did something a little different in my wig prep this week instead of cornrows I put my hair in 2 strand twists to keep the new growth stretched before my relaxer this weekend. I've also been loving washing my hair in braids, especially when I have about 2 inches of new growth in some sections. I've been learning the less I manipulate my hair the better off it is.

To prep for my relaxer this weekend, I took down my two strand twists and detangled my hair with my Mane and Tail Detangler. The only oil I had at my parent's house was castor oil so I smothered the ends with that to protect my ends from overlapping. After 10 weeks of wigging I am sooo ready to wear my hair out for 2 weeks before I begin wigging again. Looking forward to my relaxer update!!!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Wash Day 9 weeks Post!

This post is actually from last weekend but I'm just now finding the time to post :/. Anyways, I have 3 more weeks until I relax at 12 weeks post, and so far the Wig Challenge has been going great. I am currently rocking a wavy u-part that I installed at 8 weeks post. The wig has combs attached and I remove it at night to moisturize and seal my braids.

This week I pre-pooed overnight with coconut oil, and the night before I detangled and separated with Mane n'tail detangler using my Hercules Sagemann comb. For the first time I decided to keep my hair braided throughout the entire wash day, and  I braided my hair into 8 braids.

My "hard protein"
The next morning I kept the braids in while I "washed" my hair using and ACV and water mixture on my scalp. I'm big on recycling items in my house for other uses so I chose to use this contact solution bottle lol.

ACV water mix 1part acv 2 part H2O
I had yet to do a hard protein treatment this stretch so I decided to use the ORS Replenishing Pak for 2 hours while still in braids.

Before rinsing out my hair I un-did the braids so that i could rinse out all the products. I followed up my deep conditioner with my smoothing conditioner, Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Daily Conditioner and left that in for about 5 minutes.

shed hair after air-drying
Once my hair was rinsed out I realized I did not like how "un-clean" my hair felt. Next time I try the ACV I will look into a "cleansing conditioner" so that I'm not using shampoo but I'm still cleaning my hair. I t-shirt dried and air dried my hair as usual. Once my hair was about 80% dry I began my braid pattern for the curly u-part wig I am currently rocking.
Wet n- wavy install

It was overall a decent wash day with very little shedding or tangles for 9 weeks post!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Ordered my Hercules Sagemannn Seamless Comb!

It's has been awhile since I posted a washday post, but I was excited to share how I liked my new comb. This week I am 6 weeks post relaxer and I have 6 more weeks to go. My new growth has remained unbelievably soft due to my homemade moisturizer. The past few weeks I have kept my hair braided underneath my wigs until washday, moisturizing and sealing as needed. This regimen has proven to work so well the last couple of months, that I am going to be doing a year long wig challenge in 2014! I will be doing a whole separate post on wigs sometime this month.

DETANGLE: I started by taking down the four braids that my hair had been in since Monday. I carefully detangled my hair using my new Hercules Sagemann 5580 seamless comb. My hair was pretty damp from my hot yoga class, so I did not use any products to detangle. I lost an average amount of hair, but the process was significantly shorter and I didn't hear any breaking of strands.

PRE-POO: I separated my hair into quadrants and slathered coconut oil to each section. I used a plastic cap to cover my head while I waited around for about 30 minutes. 

WASH: I washed with Organix Awapuhi Ginger Shampoo after I rinsed out the coconut oil. I am looking to add another moisturizing shampoo because most of mine are clarifying. 

TREATMENT: Every two weeks or so I try to incorporate a light protein treatment into my regimen. Since the beginning of my journey I have been using Aphogee's 2 minute Reconstructor which I used this week after rinsing out my shampoo.

DEEP CONDITIONING: After squeezing out the the excess water from my hair, I used my favorite deep conditioner Kera Care Humecto.  I deep conditioned for about an hour while I slept for awhile.

SMOOTHING: After deep conditioning I rinsed out my hair and followed with Paul Mitchell's Super Skinny Daily Treatment. I usually leave the treatment on for a few minutes while I finish my regular shower activities. (3-5 mins)

April Lace Wigs- Review coming soon
DRYING: I t-shirt dried my hair while I slept some more lol.. My workout had my so exhausted that day.. I applied my regular leave ins Aphogee Green Tea Restructorizer and Elasta QP's leave-in. I separated my hair into the same quadrants as earlier while I detangled each section with my new seamless comb. At 6 weeks post I lost very little strands and the detangling process went a lot smoother.

STYLING: Lastly, I braided my hair in 4 braids to fit underneath the wig I'm currently wearing. It's about time I either make or order a new wig, but for now it's getting the job done:)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

LLL Anniversary!!!

It has officially been one year since I first started this blog!!! I have enjoyed documenting the trials of my hair journey. I am surprised by how much I enjoy blogging and I plan to make more time to blog this year. Reading hair blogs is definitely one of my guilty pleasures and enjoy sharing my trials with others.

After a year of blogging I am ready for a new clean look to begin our year. This month (January) has been spent changing the face of my blog. I have so many posts in my drafts that I am hoping to be able to share soon.

  Finally, I love interacting with you all and receiving comments.Loving my hair and looking forward to another year of blogging :)

Thanks so much for reading and following along on my journey. HHJ!