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

- 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. 
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

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wash Day Senegalease Twists Install

  This summer has been really tough in my personal life. So to give myself a break in the hair arena, I installed my own twists. I washed my hair using Organix Awapuhi Ginger Shampoo and deep conditioned using Aussie's 3 Minute Miracle under my new steamer.
After allowing my hair to air dry and blow drying I was ready to begin twisting my hair. I started my hair after work on Sunday and finished Monday morning. I watched a few youtube tutorials to learn the technique, and after a while it felt really natural. Overall it took about 6-7 hours and I plan to keep them in for 3 weeks total.
I consider this style apart of my wig challenge since it is a long term protective style. I've decided to experiment with different hair textures and twists sizes over the entire time of my stretch. Even though I have been pretty inconsistent with updating my blog, my hair journey is steady going.
I'm half way through my stretch and mentally preparing myself for self relaxing at the end of this lol.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wash day Bantu Knot Out

Extra fluffy Air Dried Hair

about 50% dry

This past wash day I just passed 2 weeks post and decided I wanted to really treat my hair. After wearing straight hair for 2 weeks I was ready for some textured styles. Me and my mom were very excited that our stand up hair steamer came in the mail over the weekend as well!

I pre-pooed for an hour with hemp oil under a conditioning cap. I also used tea tree oil on my scalp because it was extremely dry.

This week I clarified with my Redken Cleansing Cream, and did a slight protein treatment with Aphogee's 2 minutes Reconstructor, then t shirt dried for about 10 minutes.

Next I deep conditioned under a cap for about an hour using KeraCare's Humecto, then steamed for about 20 minutes. I loved sitting under the steamer, which is crazy because I hate sitting under the dryer lol.

I rinsed everything out and followed with Paul Mitchell's Smoothing Conditioner, for a few minutes before rinsing.

I t shirt dried for about 15 minutes then applied my leave-in, Elasta QP, Kinky Curly Knot Today, and Paul Mitchell's Skinny Serum. I allowed my hair to air dry about 85% before installing 9 bantu knots.
BKO set after work

I absolutely loved my results, and I had not realized it had been 9 months since my last set. The wigging challenge almost made me forget how much I love some of my favorite styles.

After this week I will be protecting my hair again, and I am considering installing box braids or twists!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Relaxer Update 2.2

So I may be ready to start self relaxing...

My wonderful beautician did a great job relaxing my hair today (yesterday) but she is just too scissor happy! She asked if I wanted a trim after blowing my hair out and complimenting me on how great it is growing out. Of course said no, but she assured me that I really needed it. I went ahead and obliged and assumed she would not take off too much. Sure enough I started to see 2 inch pieces falling in my lap and I'm instantly pissed. She's always cutting my hair, I've had a trim 4 times since my cut and I know my ends have not been bad. For the sake of my length progress I just think I need to stay away from her.
She also has these little habits that make me cringe like combing wet hair with a fine toothed comb, or blow drying my hair with the heat cooking my scalp. I know being on a hair journey makes you over critical about anything hair related, so I may just need to take over everything. I've always wanted to self relax but I'm afraid of messing something up. But I think it's time, what do you guys think? I spend $60 to have my hair relaxed when I can do my own for close to $10. It's really hard because I've grown very fond of my hair stylist over the years, and she still does my Mom's hair regularly, but it's time for a change.
Anyways my hair is doing great here are the results.
 My hair is still at about line 3 but this is not an accurate length check because my hair is flipped at the bottom and slightly curled. I will wait to update the relaxer update page when my hair is actually straight. p.s. my relaxer prep paid off, absolutely no burning this go round!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Relaxer Day Prep!

Finally, tomorrow I will be ending my 12 week stretch! I know to some of my fellow bloggers, 12 weeks is a breeze but I'm not at that point yet lol. However, I will say that my new growth was not totally unbearable, and I could have gone a few more weeks. Thorough detangling sessions were beginning to take up to an hour towards the end of this stretch, and ain't nobody got time for that. Anywho, on to my prep...

looks like about  an inch of ng all around
1. Last Sunday, five days before relaxing I did a protein treatment on my hair using ORS Replenishing Conditioner. This is as hard of a protein treatment as I go, for fear of protein overload. I perform light protein treatments (aphogee 2 min reconstructor) biweekly and I've never had a protein issue to my knowledge. Plus my hair absolutely loves those little yellow packets.
2. I had my mom braid my hair into my usual 4 braids that are worn undeneath my wigs to stretch my new growth.

3. No scratching, sweating, or re-wetting, all week.

Night before...

4. Removed braids and finger deranged with oil. I try to refrain from manipulating my hair too much during prep week. Even texlaxed hair has shrinkage, see below.

5. Oiled my scalp with a mineral oil/ petroleum based product. I literally found this buried, under my sink but it did the job. My December relaxer burned so badly that I take many precautions to prevent that feeling.

6. Sectioned hair into 4 and used my favorite Mane and Tail detangler & seamless comb to work through each section.  Most if the work had already been done by my fingers earlier.

7. Bantu knotted each section when done and applied castor oil to the parts.

* note tomorrow when I visit the salon I will have her base me again just to be safe.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Quick Life Update- I Graduated!

This past Saturday I was blessed to end my undergraduate career!!! After four years, I completed my Bachelors of Arts and Sciences in Communication degree from the University of Missouri. My college experience has been amazing and I have truly grown into myself. Even though I am a little scared of what lies ahead, I'm really excited to see where life takes me next.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

2nd Year HHJ Anniversary- Part II

    In part one of my 2nd Year HHJ Anniversary I discussed what brought me to my journey. My hair has definitely been through a lot, and thank God it has been so forgiving. As I stated before, I'd hoped to have achieved longer lengths by now, but my July setback pushed me back on length goals. Nonetheless, I have learned so much about my hair and I know this next year will begin to show great results.

Main Things I have Learned

Aug 2012- 3 months into HHJ
  • Every fad is not for everybody
  • I personally do not benefit from multiple washings every week
  • When it comes to styling, less is more
  • Low Manipulation styles are nice but can be overdone
  • There are no short cuts in this journey
  • Hair bonding glue is a huge no-no
  • People will always have an opinion on your hair, but at the of the day it's yours
  • If you fall off, you can always cut and start back again
  • Protect your ends!

To see my progress over the last two years, check out my Relaxer Updates tab. By next relaxer I should be SL or full SL. The longest my hair has ever reached on this journey is line 7 (APL) which I hope to reach by the end of the year. The wig regimen has been amazing so far which consists of 2 weeks out and 10 weeks under wigs. As my hair gets longer I plan to stretch longer and allow more time for my hair to be "out" and enjoy it. Maybe this regimen will take me all the way to WL :)

Happy Healthy Hair Journey!

ps. I'm more than excited to be graduating this Saturday!

2 Year HHJ Anniversary!! Part I

    So today marks my the end of my 2nd year of my healthy relaxed hair journey. This journey has had it's ups and downs but I really do enjoy being on a journey, and I could not imagine my hair life any other way lol. Dramatic, but true. I thought I would be well on my way to BSL by now but my journey had it's own path I guess. I thought I would reflect on how I got here :)
My Hair Story
       When I started this journey it was the end of my sophomore year of undergrad and I was fed up with the state of my hair. I got my first relaxer in the 8th grade and I had super thick APL hair. Most girls at my school considered it long, but I was not happy with how thick it was. My old school beautician refused to relax my hair bone straight, so for me a 12 year old it was still difficult to manage. I mostly kept my hair is buns or pony tails because I didn't like for it to be down. Later on I switched to a younger stylist who would relax my hair bone straight and do any crazy, stiff, hard style I desired. Who knew that years later I would be wishing I had my thick texlaxed hair back.
hair in h.s. had nape breakage and thinning edges

Glued in tracks for prom- with my parentals!
 In high school I kept my hair in micro braids because I played three sports all year round and I did not want to deal with my hair. The take down process was brutal and left me with breakage but I was careless and just thought of hair as just hair. Micros were also hard on my edges and to this day they are not the same. For prom I had my first experience with glue-in track and it was over, I knew I wanted to wear sew-ins.
last set of micros- kiss them goodbye!
1st sew-in... I'm 5'2 btw lol
      The first semester of college I got my last set of micros and was very disappointed in the length of my hair. I always had so much new growth, but never retained any length in that style. After that I got my first sew-in and fell in love with them. I had all this hair, who cared what my hair looked like under-neath? That summer I wore my hair out and it wasn't so bad. When I started my sophomore year it was back to sew-ins but I was not taking great care of my own hair underneath. I started to realize how the weaves were taking a toll on the health of my ends and length.
Summer before sophomore year
   March of 2012 I found KISS and Traycee from youtube, and started to stalk hair forums and youtube channels. I had unintentionally stretched my hair for 5 months under weaves and ended the stretch on May 15th 2012, the start of healthy hair journey.
crappy picture but this was the beginning

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