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