Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Wash Day Box Braids

     
  My long term protective style this stretch began with box braids, and they were installed a few weeks back. To maintain my braids I use homemade sprays, one moisturizing and the other more protein based. I'll usually use either spray nightly before putting on my scarf. I've been wearing this style for a little over three weeks, but I only plan to wash my scalp once every two weeks. However, washing during a long term protective style can be a challenge.

For my wash day, I used techniques that were similar to the way I washed/maintained my sew in. I used a spray bottle containing 1 part Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Threat Shampoo, 3 parts water, and 1 part glycerin. I used my finger tips to gently massage my scalp, then let the suds slide down my braids. Next, I towel dried my hair and allowed the braids to air dry. Once my braids were dry, I oiled my scalp with coconut oil.

Overall it was a very simple wash day, but my scalp felt a millions times better afterward. After awhile the daily products and stylers begin to build up on the hair and scalp. So far the box braids have been very convenient this summer, but I am already missing my hair :(. I apologize for the lack of pictures, because I keep forgetting to take more pictures of my progress and hair styles. It has been a crazy last couple of months with vacations, trips, new jobs, and I just moved into a new apartment last week. I finally feel like I am settled and I now have more free time to blog and experiment in my hair. I have so many goals and plans for my hair coming up, and I can't wait to share! #WashDayExperience

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Maintaining a Sew In

As of lately, I have been using long term protective styles to stretch my relaxers. My past stretch I used a sew in, which for me was a hair journey first. Before starting my hair journey I relied on sew ins in college, and that eventually led to extreme thinning of my relaxed hair. I vowed to never wear them again, then I got one last "quick weave" two summers ago. Let's just say that was my first major set back. So you would think that I'd be done with sew ins forever right??
 Of course not,  I just couldn't stay away from the bundles!! I began researching hundreds of YT videos over proper care for sew ins. After a few weeks of research, I stole different tidbits from a few Youtubers, and I felt I was ready to try again. Below is a list of the most helpful techniques to maintaining a sew in, that I believe led me to such a peaceful experience. :)

1. Moisturized Hair Prior Install- Before getting my hair braided I deep conditioned using a deep moisturizing product. I also thoroughly moisturized & sealed my hair in the days leading up to the install. 

2. Washing Frequently- Using diluted shampoo in a spray bottle, and spraying directing on scalp. Use finger tips to massage scalp. I believe this helped tremendously, because I was able to keep my scalp and hair clean. In previous installs I didn't focus so much on keeping my braids clean, the way I did this last time. *I also used essential oils like tea tree & lavendar while washing

3. Nylon Thread- My stylist used nylon thread, instead of the cotton thread which causes a lot less tension and drying on my relaxed hair. 

4. Sleep Wear- This step is more crucial to the actual bundles than my relaxed hair, but in previous installs my hair would matt at the nape of neck over time. During this past stretch, I would either wrap my hair if it was straight, or braid it every night before putting on my bonnet. I had a lot less tangles, and used less heat on my actual extensions. 

5. Deep Conditioning/ Steaming- In the same way that I diluted my shampoo, I also diluted my conditioners and sat under my hooded dryer weekly. Deep conditioning made a world of difference! When I took my sew in down my hair was sooo soft, I couldn't even believe it. 

I think the biggest thing I changed was my proactivity while in a sew in. I think before I thought of it as a "break" from my hair, but in no way is it a break lol. It still requires daily/weekly maintenance, however the benefit is the lack of manipulation that goes into it. I was so glad to have retained and gained hair while in a sew-in for the first time ever. I left that style in for a little over 8 weeks, and I relaxed at 16 weeks in early June. *Refer to Relaxer Updates to see progress of my hair over time...  I already have my next appointment scheduled for the fall <3

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Hair Update!

Two weeks post + trim
I have not updated since the last relaxer, but so much has happened! This year I decided to push my stretches from 12 to 16 weeks, and it really wasn't bad this first time. After relaxing my hair in February, I left it out for about 6 weeks before installing a sew in.
Sew in installed March '15

Now, 3 years ago (May 2012), when I started my hair journey I vowed to never install another sew in again. Then just a year later I let a friend glue a quick weave in my hair, which led to my biggest set back yet! Definitely a blessing and a curse, because it allowed me to chop a lot of my hair off and begin again from scratch. Once again, I vowed to stick with wigs or other styles that would allow me to have access to my hair.... So after all the trauma with sew ins, this past March I decide to try one more time LOL. I spent many hours researching the best ways to take care of your hair beneath a sew in, and decided to give it another shot. I only intended to leave it in for 8 weeks, but I went on a vacation at the end of May/ early June so I left it in for about 9.5 weeks. As you can see my hair is not in shambles, and I will probably get another sew in later on this year in the fall.
Blow dried texture after relaxer

I waited a few days after taking down my hair, then I self relaxed at 16 weeks post. I actually left quite a bit of texture in my hair, but I am very happy with the results. Two week later (today) I went to my old beautician so that I could get a proper trim, and record a length check. I plan to wait another 16 weeks to relax again, and after the first 6 weeks I will install another long term protective style that I am really excited about! I will also do another post which explains how I took care of my hair while in a sew in:)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Relaxer Update February 2015

So it's been awhile... Happy New Year & Happy Valentine's too! I find that with me protective styling the majority of 2014, there hasn't been much to blog about :( Luckily this year I plan to wear my hair out slightly more, which means I can experiment with more products and styles. Anyways, my last stretch was 12 weeks long and it was fairly uneventful. I left my hair out for about 3 weeks, then wore a sew-in for about a month, and ended my stretch with Senegalese twists. I ended my stretch by clarifying my hair and giving my scalp few days to breathe.

On Tuesday I started with my relaxer day by detangling my hair, and oiling my scalp with vaseline. I parted my in four sections, then pre-parted each section to make my relaxing process quicker. To relax, I used the ORS line in Normal, and added 2 tablespoons of olive oil to slow processing. From start to finish, I only kept the relaxer on for 18 minute, and 30 seconds. After rinsing the relaxer from my hair, I did a mid-step protein treatment with Aphogee 2 min Reconstructor. After a few minutes, I rinsed and neutralized my hair three times.

 Once the relaxer process was over, I wanted to restore my moisture and protein levels in my hair. To deep condition I used both ORS Replenishing conditioner, and KeraCare's Humecto Creme Conditioner. I left the mixture on my hair for thirty minutes before following up with my Paul Mitchell smoothing conditioner. When I stepped out the shower to dry my hair my hair felt really great. I let my hair t-shirt dry for a few minutes before applying leave-ins and heat protectant. To style my hair I blow dryed & flat ironed my hair.

I am overall happy with my progress this past year, but I do miss my hair and my blog. I am now at a length that I can comfortably bun, or try other short term protective styles. This year I plan to wear my hair out 5 weeks, then protect for 7 weeks. That way I will get to enjoy my hair, but still spend a good amount of time protecting my ends. I'm looking forward to hitting new goals this year, I'm officially APL now too :)


Monday, December 1, 2014

Relaxer Update Nov 2014

This update is well over due! At 12 weeks post exactly I self relaxed my hair using ORS normal no lye relaxer. This time I did bring the relaxer down further to cover over some areas that were a little too under processed. Overall I am very happy with my results, and my overall progress in 2014. Here is how my relaxer day went....

Days leading up to...
- Took down my protective style (wig) and washed/ blow dryed my hair a week prior to relaxing
- No scratching scalp & low maintenance hair styles

Day of relaxer
- Detangled using my Mane & Tail detangled and olive oil
- Coated previously relaxer hair in olive oil and based scalp with petroleum jelly
- Separated my hair into twist, to allow for easier application

Application (mixed relaxer with 1tbs of olive oil)
- Relaxed my hair using my gloved fingers, starting in the opposite spot from my previous relaxer
- After 20 minutes I rinsed the relaxed from my hair using cool water
- Used a mid step protein treatment, Aphogee's 2 minute reconstructor
- Neutralized my hair 3 times using the ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo
- Deep conditioned using ORS Replenishing Pak & Keracare's Humecto Creme conditioner for 45 minutes
- Rinsed in the shower and followed up with Paul Mitchell's Daily Smoothing Conditioner for a few minutes before rinsing out

Styling
- After washing my hair I t-shirt dried to get rid of a lot of excess water
- I blow dried my hair on low after about 30 minutes of air drying
- I flat ironed using the baby bliss titanium flat iron

Day 4 hair

Day of relaxer- Straighten by ME





















Since this post I have dusted my hair to get rid of split ends, I actually went to the salon asking for a trim and somehow she forgot smh. I believe this past year of extreme protective styling and wigging has led me to awesome retention this year. Next year I plan to enjoy my hair a little more as it grows out, however I will still protective style 60% -75% of the year. On my way to APL :)

Shots of my hair after my salon visit Thanksgiving Weekend below.


After Salon Visit
Line 7 is APL!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wash Day Experience

I am excited to be officially participating in the #washdayexperience. This past summer was total chaos but things seem to be settling down for me. Although I have been keeping up with my hair during this time, I miss sharing my posts :(. Which means...I will make more time for blogging! LOL

Anyways this week I decided to do a flexi-rod set. I have now done a flex-rod set since this day, back in early 2013. Now that my hair is gaining some length, I can get back to some of my favorite styles.

1. I pre-pooed my hair with coconut oil and tea-tree oil for my dry scalp. Since the weather has been cooler I have notice a difference in the moisture level of my hair.

2. Washed hair with Organix Keratin Oil Shampoo 

3. Deep conditioned for 30 minutes under the steamer with one of my new favorite deep conditioners, Shea Moisture Manuka Honey and Mafuru Oil. I randomly picked this conditioner up at Target with a gift card I won from work, I never imagined I would like it so much. It is super moisturizing

4. Rinsed and applied Paul Mitchell's smoothing conditioner for a few minutes, then rinsed out

5. T-shirt dried and began rodding my hair using setting lotion and eco styler gel.























This is how I preserved my set every night. I would wear my hair in a pineapple at night, which really works well, and put a fish net over my curls. I've seen a few of my favorite bloggers do this method, and I am really glad I stole it lol.






























For me this set was nice, but not really what I was going for. First off I didn't have enough of the correct sized rods so my curls weren't as large in the front. Personally I prefer a bantu knot out because of the carefree look of it. This style was a little too styled for me. I preferred this set a few days later when it loosed up and the curls fell a bit. I have no idea what I was thinking using two holding products for this set. Next time I will aim for a much softer set.





Friday, August 29, 2014

I finally did it!.. Relaxer Update!

before relaxing lol
Yeah I'm almost a year late, but I had to make sure I was confident and informed enough to begin...self relaxing! After all of the build up I finally accomplished one of my goals of my hair journey and become slightly more dependent on myself when it comes to my hair. This past summer I kept my hair in a protective style, senegalease twist which I kept in for 3 weeks at a time. Yesterday after 12 weeks I texlaxed my hair for the first time, here's how the day went.

1. Monday I removed my twists and washed my hair, to give my scalp a break before I relaxed my hair. I also did a deep protein treatment using ORS hair mayo and ORS replenishing conditioner mixed together. 
Ulul
2. I wore my hair in a bun for the next two days, to avoid manipulation.

3. Relaxer day- on Thursday I base my scout with petroleum jelly, as well as detangler and coat my relaxed ends with olive oil. 

4. Before apply the ORS normal strength no lye relaxer, I prepared my hair to help application go quicker. 

5. I set my stop watch and applied, and smoothed for 20, mins. I also added Olive oil to the relaxer to help it process slower. 

6. I rinsed out the relaxer, then immediately applied my aphogee 2 minute reconstructor, and proceeded to neutralize 3 times. After neutralizing, I washed my hair once with organix keratin strong.

7. After allowing my hair to dry slightly, I deep conditioned my hair using kera care humecto conditioner. I let the conditioner set on my hair for one hour, then rinsed and applied Paul Mitchell's smoothing conditioner. 

8. I applied my leave ins the aphogee green tea, and Paul Mitchell's super skinny serum, then air dried for about 15 mins. I finished up by blow drying and allowing a friend to curl my hair. 

Too bad the humidity laughed at my silly attempts to have bouncy curls. By the end of the day my hair fell (curls) and rose (frizz) at the same time. Next week when I simply flat iron my hair I will do a length check. From what I can tell I've retained some length which is always exciting!


humidity quickly kicked my butt lol