Friday, November 25, 2011

Coming Soon....

Guess what I'll be doing on Sunday.....there's a hint below :)


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hair Blather





Currently uber busy with schoolwork but I just had to post because my copy of The Science of Black Hair is here! I have been legit fiending for this and decided it would be an early birthday present to myself :). Look out for my review, but don't expect it too soon as school will be kicking my booty for the next couple weeks.

QOTD
"As a primary marker of our personhood and major contributor to our overall appearance, our hair is intimately connected with our well being as people. As superficial as it may appear, no one can deny that hair is very important and its appearance is quite frequently the barometer by which we are judged and even valued in this society."
Audrey - Davis-Sivasothy, The Science of Black Hair




Saturday, November 19, 2011

Black Girl Red Hair


So lately I've been thinking about dying my hair red...well not dye but a rinse. This has been the first time in years that my hair is its natural dark brown/black color (the last time I bleached it was Spring 2010) and to be honest its getting a little boring. 

My 'blonde' hair in 2008

 



The last time I had red hair was waaay back in 2007 



.....so I think its about time I revisit this. I'm thinking of probably using the color from this blog. My only issue is that the majority of my bleached hair has grown out, meaning the color won't be very bright. So I also took a look at her blog on bleaching your hair at home. This one i'm a little iffy about as I don't want to mess the health of my hair up..I may just get it professionally done when I go home. Either that or I may only do it in my bang area as I keep the hair there short in anycase. 
Of course this is all on hold until I get a handle of my moisture overload. Although Tuesday's hard protein did a lot to stop the breakage I was experiencing I'm still not out of the woods yet. My hair is still pretty stretchy/elastic and I'm still seeing a little breakage. Today I used the Aphogee 2 min Reconstructor followed by a 'light' condition with V05 Moisture Milk so hopefully that helps. 


Inspiration...never mind that my hair won't be this bright!







Thursday, November 17, 2011

What do you do to your hair? Part II: Bedtime Ritual

Pic taken from ghairwrap.com

I believe that the changes I have made in my bedtime hair ritual were responsible for a lot of the more immediate improvements I noticed in my hair when I started my HHJ.

Prior to June I had the bad habit of using a satin scarf to sleep maybe only 50% of the time. Especially if I knew I had a hairdresser appt in a few days I would totally disregard my scarf and just plop my head onto my cotton pillowcase. I also wrapped my hair most nights which caused enough stress on its own, and I'm actually really surprised that I never experienced any breakage on my left side.

When I decided to get this HHJ cracking I committed myself to sleeping with a satin scarf every single night. And knowing myself and my penchant for coming home from parties and just collapsing on the bed I went one step further and bought myself a satin pillowcase as well :) I'm proud to say that since June I have NEVER slept with my hair unprotected, yaay me!! *pats back* I also taught myself to pincurl and eased up on the wrapping. As a matter of fact pincurling is my go to sleep style now with wrapping mostly reserved for the first night after I wash and rollerset. This also has a little to do with personal preference as I prefer the waves I get from pincurls as opposed to the blahness of straight hair.

I saw a difference in my hair almost instantly. My hair stayed moisturized and felt smoother and softer. Its funny how I didnt realize just how much damage cotton pillowcases did until I switched. This would be one of my first recommendations to anyone starting out on a HHJ, protect your hair at night!

Also, be sure that when purchasing satin or silk scarves, pillowcases etc that you pay attention to the tag on the item and its quality. For example satin scarves are not actually made of satin materal, but polyester or nylon. The term 'satin' refers to the way the fabric is woven. Your scarf/pillowcase should have a shiny or glossy side and a dull side.

O and good news..My HHJ is rubbing off on my momma who just purchased her first satin pillowcase! I guess sending her my update pics have paid off as she is turning into a believer :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Moisture Overload Update/Aphogee Review

I think my hair dilemma has been solved...

Last night I clarified with my Ion shampoo then applied Aphogee 2 step reconstructor...which smells awful btw. I let it sit for about 45 mins until it was dry and hard before rinsing it out with warm water per the instructions. At this point my hair felt 'squeaky' clean, as in it made a squeaky noise when I touched it..like a clean dish or summin. So of course at this point I started to panic a little. I applied their moisturizing balance product which helped but my hair still felt a little on the dry side. At this point i was mentally kicking myself for not purchasing Nexxus Humectress at the BSS yesterday, as the only deep conditioner I had was ORS and I didn't want to use another protein product. Thankfully I had some V05 Moisture Milk so I SLATHERED that on until my hair was totally saturated, let it sit for a few mins then rinsed it out.

At this point my hair felt....well..kinda normal so I stopped panicking.

I used a little ORS moisturizer as my leave in and roller set. (I also said a decade of the rosary while waiting for my hair to dry, don't laugh guys I DO NOT PLAY when it comes to my hair!)

I did notice that my hair dried faster than usual, I airdryed my rollerset for the first time in a long while, and within 4 hours the majority of my hair was dry. The last time I tried to airdry my rollers I woke up 8 hours later and my hair was still wet. I did however use 1 and a half inch rollers on my then shorter hair at that time, while last night I used my new 3 inch rollers. However my drying time was still cut down as it usually takes 2 hrs under heat to dry my hair in 2 and a half inch rollers

I'm out of practice with sleeping in curlers so I kept waking up during the night, the last time being at about 6 am, at which point I found that my hair was completely dry and wrapped my hair. 

This morning my hair feels...good...the incessant breakage at my ends has stopped, it doesn't look as weighed down and while I assume its stronger from yesterday's treatment it feels nice n soft. I was relieved at this because that was the one thing I was terrified of, waking up to stiff, breaking hair.  

O and I must say...I put my hair in a high ponytail today and I am loving that the end of my pony now brushes my neck :) my hair hasn't been this long since 2003 guys!

Sidenote: I am still having breakage at the line of demarcation between my texlaxed hair and relaxed hair, primarily at my crown....counting down the weeks (5 left) until i can do my corrective

In closing I think I may start incorporating protein into my regimen, even if its just Aphogee 2 min on relaxer days and then Aphogee 2 step every 6 weeks. I think my hair liked it, and responded well and God knows I do not want a repeat of that moisture overload. Speaking of which, I'm now wondering where on earth I got the idea that I am protein sensitive, seeing as the first time I used a product was three weeks ago and I had no adverse effects....go figure :S

Pics of my 'post-protein hair' are below.




Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My First Setback: Moisture Overload :(


Thats my moisture over there...weighing down the scale :(

Over the last week or so my hair has been shedding more than normal and I keep seeing little broken pieces when I detangle or M & S. I knew something was up but I am/was so positive that I'm protein sensitive that I thought it was because I used the Aphogee 2 min reconstructor during my relaxer.

Then I sat and thought about it...and it just didn't make sense. First off I primarily applied Aphogee to my roots as that was the part of the hair affected by the relaxer, but I was seeing the breakage on my ends. While searching through Hairlista for an answer I realized that what I was experiencing sounded a lot like moisture overload.

For the last month since its been getting colder I upped my moisture regimen in an effort to combat winter dryness before it started which I think is where my problem began. Previously I m&s'ed maybe once between washes as my hair honestly didnt need a lot of moisture..these last few weeks I've been doing it every day. I also started baggying multiple times a week. So it seems that while my hair feels all soft and looks moisturized I may have overdid it..and now its falling out *bursts into sobs*


Ok....ok.. so it may not literally be that much hair coming out but it definitely reminds me of my hair pre-HHJ which is NOT good.

So today I am going to purchase or try to purchase Aphogee 2 step reconstructor and their balancing moisturizer treatment and try to rectify this. I will also only be m&s and baggying when needed and ease off on this pro-active business that is clearly not working for me. Luckily Sunshyne had a personal post http://www.hairliciousinc.com/2009/12/how-i-went-from-sl-to-apl-in-7-months.html which made me realize that while moisture got me to grazing APL my hair may need more protein to get to BSL. I also have a vague memory of reading that often moisture is what our hair is missing the most when we first start our HHJ and once this is rectified we can switch to a more balanced moisture-protein regimen.

Sigh..just when I thought I had my reggi all figured out :S

Anyways, I really hope I can fix this before it makes my ends see through...wish me luck!

Monday, November 14, 2011

I'll ask 21 questions...and they're all about us ;)

21 Questions!


1. Why did you start taking better care of your hair?
I always wanted long hair but didnt think my hair would grow past shoulder length. Once I stumbled across Hairlista I realized this wasn't the case and decided to give baggying, stretching, dusting instead of trims a shot.

2. What are your 2 favorite products?
ORS Replenishing conditioner, Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3. Whose hair did you admire as a child?
The girls in my class with long hair..surprisingly not the white grls but the black grls with long curly or kinky hair.

4. What is your ultimate goal length?
BSL, which on me looks like MBL

5. How are you going to celebrate when you reach it?
Whip it in my momma's face for doubting that I could do it! lol j/k! Put my hair in a side plait...I love that hairstyle and it only looks good on long hair :(

6. Two styles you want to try at your goal length?
Any two from my Gossip Girl Hairstyle folder that I'm compiling for when I make it to BSL ;)

7. Which do you prefer: Health or length?
My hair is pretty healthy so right now I would say length

8. Which do you prefer: Hair ties with no metal parts, or butterfly clips?
Hair ties w/o metal clips, specifically my scunci no slip grip hair ties

9. What products do you prefer: salon brands, organic brands, BSS brands or drugstore brands?
BSS brands I guess...ORS products to be specific

10. Which product/technique do you think is over-rated?
That Valerie magic potion or yeast meds on your scalp....they both sound a little od to me

11. Which product/technique do you think is under-rated?
Rollersetting!

12. What is your favorite part of your hair regimen?
Taking down my rollersets...my hair is always so bouncy and silky then

13. What is the most annoying part of your hair regimen?
The 2 hrs it takes under the dryer for my hair to dry...hoping for a new dryer for my bday or Christmas that will dry my hair faster

14. Oils or butters?
Oils, esp evoo

15. Bun or ponytail?
Both

16. Wig or weave (or neither)?
Neither! I am extremely weirded out by the thought of someone else's dead hair on my head..

17. What is your opinion on growth aids?
If its not too extreme why not...

18. What length do you consider long?
BSL and beyond

19. When is the last time you've been to a salon?
May for a trim

20. What do you like to surf the most: youtube channels, personal blogs or hair forums? Personal blogs first, hair forums second...can't get away with watching youtube vids at work lol

21. And finally, what piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out their hair journey?
Initially you might have information overload but just take your time and build your regimen slowly so you won't get overwhelmed!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Book Review: Beautiful Black hair by Shamboosie


This book was mentioned by a fellow hairlista with regard to its information on how to do a corrective relaxer. Since I have all intention of doing my corrective myself I decided to purchase it as I need all the advice and tips I can get. I was also interested in seeing what other tips and tricks he may have had for growing healthy black hair. Boy was I disappointed....

I did get a couple new tips from this book, such as squeezing as much water as possible out of my hair before applying shampoo and conditioner to reduce dilution of the product. This was something I already did prior to applying my conditioner but now I'll try it with my shampoo applications as well. I also learned that no-lye relaxers are apparently the devil's handiwork -_- Now while he never actually stated it in those words, he sure got his point across that he believes no-lye relaxers are incredibly drying and just generally easier on your scalp but not good for your hair. I planned to switch to lye in anycase as I am tired of being under-processed so this was a bit of a moot point for me.

Dislikes...where to begin...

This book was published in 2002, before the natural hair revolution which I believe jumpstarted black women taking a more invested approach to the health of their hair. I assume that maybe thats why he advocated getting trims every 6-8 weeks and relaxers every 6 - 8 weeks as well. of course now we know that trimming every 6 weeks can result in no visible growth as hair is being trimmed at the same rate as the hair is growing. We also know that stretching relaxers to 8-10, or 12 weeks or even longer can also be beneficial to the hair.

Shamboosie also seemed to support other practices that I don't agree with, such as greasing the scalp regularly or relaxing hair every 3 -4 weeks to keep short hairstyles looking good. A lot of mention was made of hot combs, flat irons and curling irons when imo roller setting or airdrying should be pushed by any hairdresser who is seeking to promote healthy hair. I don't care who says what, there is no way to apply direct heat to your hair on a regular basis without damaging it. And by regular I mean more than once or twice a month. The book was also extremely heavy on product placement and I'm actually wondering if maybe he was sponsored by Dudley's or Nexxus, whose humectress conditioner he refers to as 'The Magic Potion'.

Overall I don't feel like I got much out of this book. Hairlista and Long Hair Care Forum have both been much more informative to me. Practices such as moisturizing and sealing, baggying and acv rinses which have been so helpful to me were not mentioned at all in this book. Also there was no detailed info on protein moisture balance. I found that he was suggesting using protein reconstructors and moisturizing conditioners without telling the readers how to tell which one their hair may need. He also referred to shedding as 'losing 50-100 short or long strands per day', now last time I checked if you were losing short pieces of hair thats breakage, not shedding and needs to be addressed.

I am highly tempted to return this book...I feel like I paid money for something that was less informative that the free Hairlista website...maybe Sunshyne should write a black hair care book, now that I would buy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hair Inspiration


Hopefully this is what my hair (read roots) will look like after my corrective next month, my fingers are crossed!

Also, I took a pic yesterday and realized that either I wear my bra really low or my torso is just strange, but there's actually 6 inches between APL and BSL on my body. This means that it's going to make me a year, maybe more to achieve BSL. I don't feel too bad, because BSB in actuality is what I had mentally pictured my BSL to look like. Hopefully I will be full APL by February/March and grazing BSB by May...that sounds doable.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hair Blather

This post isn't about anything specific, just some hair blather. I haven't liked how my ends have been feeling lately, so I dusted today and they feel much smoother and look better. I also did some research into my under-processed problem and I think I figured why its been happening.

1) Since I've been on my HHJ I have been using more oils and moisturizer on my hair which may have coated it
2) For my last two relaxers I stretched to 12 weeks when previously I had relaxed at 6 weeks post
3) The last section I relaxed usually did not have the relaxer in very long and was usually the most underprocessed

All these factors contributed to my under-processed areas, and now I have to figure out a way to do a corrective relaxer. From my research a no lye relaxer cannot be used to correct a previously done no lye relaxer. This means I need to do my corrective with a lye relaxer if I want to see any results. I have also decided to relax at 8 weeks post so i wont be dealing with too much new growth. I will also do the half and half method to ensure that I don't find myself running out of time. A corrective is a pretty precise procedure as the relaxer should first be placed on the new growth then smoothed onto the under processed hair for the last FIVE minutes of the process. Seeing as I have at least 3 to 4 inches of texlaxed hair thats gonna be a helluva lot of smoothing :S.

My next relaxer, and the couple after will be on the following schedule:

Dec 23rd at 8 weeks
Feb 15th at 8 weeks
May 2nd at 11 weeks


I also purchased this book to tide me over until I can get The Science of Black Hair.


Beautiful Black Hair: Real Solutions to Real Problems--A Step by Step Instructional Guide


Thats all for today!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Roller Sets

                                                           One of my early rollersets

I got a question on Hairlista today about how I do my rollersets. I decided to do a mini blog on this as its easier to include pics and videos on blogspot than hairlista.

First off I'll say that I roller set my hair every single time I wash it. I dislike how my hair looks and feels when I air dry and imo there is NO substitute for that lovely bounce and swang you get from a rollerset! My hair also looks full and the strands themselves look smoother than when I air dry.

After washing my hair I squeeze some of the water out and add a quarter sized amount of ORS Moisturizing Lotion to my damp (not wet) hair, concentrating on my ends.

I then section and rollerset my hair in the 'mohawk' method (see video below). I use roughly 8 of my 2 and a half inch diameter black rollers and 2 to 4 of my 1 and a half inch rollers (the purple ones seen above). I secure these rollers with claw clips.
I detangle my hair one section at a time, as in I section off enough hair for one roller and then detangle that portion. I use a conair detangling comb and then another conair comb with slightly narrower teeth. It is natural that your hair will begin to air dry while you are rollersetting, however one of the secrets to a good rollerset is that the hair should be wet when placed on the roller. As a solution to this I keep a spray bottle filled with water handy and when I come across a section that is too dry for a good rollerset i spray it until it becomes wet again.



Please note that this video should only be used as a guideline for roller placement. I do not use a comb with teeth that fine, as well as she is combing the client's hair improperly. You should always detangle moving up a section and not from the roots down as she's doing. The negative results of that can be seen in the amount of hair left in her comb.

It currently takes me 2 hours to dry my hair under this Gold n Hot dryer pictured below. The longer and thicker your hair is, and the smaller the rollers you use, the longer it will take to dry.


I would like to buy myself a dryer that does the job faster, but until then I am bracing myself for 2 1/2 to 3 hour dryer sessions once I get to my goal of BSL :S. One of the cons of having longer hair I guess!

Pics from last night's rollerset can be seen below :)
Can you see the mohawk down the middle?

Side view

After take down



Then I wrapped it and went to bed.
Hope this helped!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What do you do to your hair? Part 1: My Vitamins



I'm sure that like myself, a lot of people get that question pretty often. Its only natural that when people notice a difference in your hair, whether its an increase in thickness or length, that they will want to know what you did to get those results.

I always reply with a general 'I try to take good care of my hair' and give further details if the individual asks. Its a common enough question that I decided to do a series of blogs on all the changes I have made since the start of my Hair Journey in June. Hopefully this will provide a little more in depth information for those who are just starting out or looking for ways to improve or add to their regimen. 

This post will explain my vitamin regimen. At least three times a week I take the following 7 vitamins.Why only 3x? I am quite forgetful and this results in skipped days, as well as I am wary of overdoing it on the biotin and msm and having breakouts.

1) Folic Acid (circulatory and health) - 400mcg
Folic acid, an essential B vitamin , is vital to the proper functioning of the human body. A deficiency in folic acid can cause a host of medical problems, including the stunting of hair growth.
Because folic acid promotes hair growth by renewing the cells that grow hair, a deficiency in folic acid can inhibit the health of your hair and lead to premature graying and hair loss.
 
 
2) Vitamin C - 500mg
I take Vitamin C because I have a poor immune system and get colds VERY easily. Actually, I have a cold right now :S. Vitamin C can also help with hormonal hair loss however so I included it on this list.

TIP:
According to the American Pregnancy Association, supplementing your diet with adequate amounts of vitamin C can help reduce hair loss after having a baby.

3) Vitamin E - 400 iu
Vitamin E has been shown to help with the growth of hair as well as preventing hair loss. The exact mechanism is not known but vitamin E may prevent hair loss by the same mechanism that it prevents heart problems. Vitamin E helps with the growth of capillaries. When there are more capillaries, the circulation improves and it is thought that the improved circulation to the scalp is the trigger for preventing hair loss.
NOTE:
Excessive vitamin E supplementation (for example, 600 IU per day for 1 month) can adversely affect hair growth.

 

4) Cod Liver Oil (Vitamins A & D) -
Of all the components in cod liver oil, omega-3 fatty acids are generally the main attraction for those who take the supplement. As well as promoting circulatory health, omega-3 fatty acids are known to boost the nutrition of hair from follicle to tip, resulting in shinier, smoother hair. Furthermore, those who consume high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids are less likely to experience hair loss. This is because omega-3 acids are known to stimulate the hair follicles, resulting in both faster-growing hair and hair more resistant to loss.

5) Biotin - 1000mcg
Biotin is most often thought of as the “hair growth vitamin.” It is an essential water-soluble B vitamin. Biotin has come to be known for its role in the health and beauty of Hair, Skin and Nails. It promotes healthy hair growth and protects against dryness. It also increases the elasticity of the hair's cortex, thus preventing breakage. It should be noted that most hair websites claim that to see results one should take 5000 mcg of Biotin daily. I have decided to ease myself into taking this vitamin and will slowly increase my dosage over time.

6) MSM - 1000mcg
MSM is a naturally occurring form of sulfur found in many foods and it can naturally lengthen your hair’s growth phase.

Your hair grows in three cycles: Growing, Resting, and Shedding. Each and every hair on your head (even body) is in one of these phases at all times. If your “Growing” phase lasts two years, and your hair normally grows one half inch per month, your hair will only grow 12 inches before entering the resting and shedding phases. (24 months times ½ inch per month). On the other hand, if your “Growing” phase lasts 3 years, then it will grow 18 inches. (36 months times ½ inch per month). Since your growth phase is genetically determined, there is no way this will change unless you use a supplement containing MSM. MSM is known to naturally increase the length of your hair’s growing phase.

7) B-12
I take B-12 to ensure that I do not end up with a deficiency in this vitamin as B-12 deficiency can lead to hair loss among other symptoms. Also, I can get anemic at times..I'm sure ladies will understand what I mean and I began taking iron supplemts and B-12 to help with this.


That concludes the list of vitamins that I am currently taking. However I am considering adding Adrenal Supplements to the list. I am scheduled for surgery in January which wil lrequire me to go under general anesthesia. Being a hairlista I am of course concerned that this could have a negative impact on my hair.

I stumbled across a article written by someone who took adrenal supplements to combat hair loss post an accident and their subsequent surgery. These supplements are supposed to help with hair loss due to stress. The article linked stress caused hair loss to overtaxed adrenal glands, which kick in when we feel the "fight or flight" impulse.  I will definitely do some more research on this and hopefully it wil lease my paranois about post-surgery hair loss.
 
And of course, please consult your physician before taking any vitamins or supplements especially if you are pregnant or nursing!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November Hair Goals

I am really going to go hard this November. Seriously. I want to see my hair past the APL line by the end of this year. I am on a mission people! BSL in time for my graduation in May next year and I am determined to succeed!

So for this month I will:
1) Do scalp massages everytime I wash my hair.
2) Apply JBCO on wash days from wks 1-4 post relaxer then 2x a week for weeks 6 til
3) Baggy regularly (as often as needed) to ensure the cold weather doesnt dry my ends out
4) Take msm, biotin and my other vitamins at LEAST three times a week
5) Protective style 80% of the time
6) Drink more water
7) Excercise regularly

I also have a new rule for this Fall/Winter which is that unless its a special occasion, i.e. clubbing, dinners or grad pics I will not be wearing my hair down. Hopefully this protects my ends as well.

Remember folks length retention is just as important as your growth rate so its important to baby those ends and keep them nice and moist!.
Wish me luck :)

Rana

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Relaxer Day, Oct 26th 2010

Not having my laptop is really hampering me from blogging regularly but finally, here's my relaxer day update.

I relaxed using ORS relaxer kit in normal

Weeks before my relaxer I clearly outlined my new relaxer process and followed it to a 'T'

1. I sectioned my hair prior to putting the relaxer in which cut down on my application time
2. Applied the relaxer to the areas that are usually underprocessed first (my crown)
3. Overlapped my relaxer onto underprocessed hair while smoothing
4. Let the relaxer sit for 30 mins (10 mins more than recommended but I really wanted my hair straight this time)
5. Rinsed the relaxer out using warm water
6. Applied Aphogee 2 min reconstructor and V05 Moisture Milk Conditioner for 2 mins
7. Neutralized three times, leaving the neutrlizer in for 5 mins during the second rinse
8. Deep conditioned with heat with ORS Replenishing conditoner and evoo for 30 mins
9. ACV rinse followed by cold water rinse
10. Used ORS moisturizer as my leave in and did a roller set

End result?


I am definitely grazing APL and will probably be 'full' APL when I relax at the end of December, right on target with my HHJ timeline. I am extremely pleased with the progress that I've made so far, and also with the fact that my ends look fine and there is no need for a trim. (my last trim was in June).

I did notice that my hair grew approximately 1 inch over the three months so for this stretch I will be trying msm and biotin and upping my water intake to see if that causes an increase in the rate of my hair growth. I want my full .5 of an inch per month! lol! I'm awful at remembering to take pills tho so we'll see if I can stick to taking them regularly.


August relaxer results against October relaxer results. Slowly but surely I'm getting there!