Friday, December 30, 2011

Throwback Pic

Because sometimes you can be your own inspiration........







My hair back in 2003, when it was at its healthiest and longest. Its wet in this pic as I was fresh out the shower.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

December Trim: The Aftermath

So let's talk about my salon experience....

My appointment was at 11am and I got there a few minutes late. I didn't have to wait at all and was quite pleased that I was out of there by 11:15am. My shampoo went well, my scalp got a lovely vigorous scrub with her fingertips and not fingernails, so no complaints there.

Blowdrying....thats another story. Now I know that my hair, because of the damaged ends is prone to tangling and not the easiest to work through at the moment. HOWEVER common sense should dictate that when detangling you move from the ends of the hair up. This grl was most haphazard, sometimes detangling properly, sometimes going from the top down and then wondering why my hair kept getting tangled. Now at this point I was ready to spazz out on her, as I know that when I take my time and properly detangle my hair there is minimal to no tugging, pulling or wrestling with tangles and knots...and since I had washed and detangled up to 7 days prior with no major issues the problem there was clearly her technique! (My scalp still feels pretty tender now).

Then onto the trim and flat iron.

I told my hairdresser that I just wanted a trim, and did not want the 'V' in my hair evened out. I went on to explain that my hair just grows like that and to even it out would mean cutting off more than what I was ready to part with. Her response? 'Ok then, so leave the 'V' and just do a trim'.

Needless to say I left there with a blunt cut :S. Now while I did say I was going to get my hair blunt cut I didn't plan to do that til May 2012. I'm also upset that she did it and said nothing, as I'm sure that she must have noticed that my hair was no longer V shaped.

Anyways...below left I have my Dec relaxer results with a red line to show where my hair is now. I use a mole I have on my back as a marker (its circled in red and visible in the photo on the left). I know she didnt cut more than was needed...mostly...but I really wish she had left my V shape alone, I miss my tail! O well...guess I just got a headstart on my 2012 Hair Goals....lol


Sidenote: My hairdresser was pleased with my switch to lye relaxer and told me I need to watch my moisture as my hair was a bit dry...presumable due to the 6 inches that were relaxed with ORS no lye. Guess there's a co-wash and moisturizing dc in my near future..

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Snippety Snip Snip!

Its time for a trim....

I have not been happy with my ends lately. I dusted twice and I still have a lot of splits. I have no idea what caused this, but for now I will assume that its my shears. I have been wearing my hair down more often since I've been home, but I also did that over the summer and had no negative results. I am pretty nervous about going to a salon...and am hoping that I don't spazz on anybody if they commit a hair faux pas. I also hope that my hairdresser listens when i tell her I want the bare minimum, as in 1/4 of an inch trimmed. This will be my first real trim since June, which is pretty good, and I really hope I don't lose all my progress. *fingers crossed*

I will also be staying away from my shears until I can get them sharpened...just to be on the safe side

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2012 HHJ Goals


These are my goals for the next year of my HJ

1) Continue to stretch for 10-12 weeks at a time.

2) Do a big trim at the end of the 6 mths to remove bleached ends and even out 'V' into a 'U'

3) Full APL Feb 2012

4) Full BSB May 2012

5) BSL Dec 2012

6) Get my moisture/protein balance in check! i.e. incorporate more protein

7) Purchase a high quality dryer, caruso steam rollers and three Hercules Sagemann seamless combs.

8) Continue to abstain from direct heat

9) Deep condition with heat more often (hair feels better than when I dc without)

10) Remain consistent with all the healthy hair practices I have been doing, i.e. dusting regularly, deep conditioning, proper detangling, satin scarves etc

11) Continue to give my nape the tlc it needs

12) Stay on track with my vitamins and water intake!


Sounds simple enough right? I hope I make all these goals. Considering that my lead hairs, or rather the tip of my 'V' is already heading towards BSB I shouldn't have a problem making my length goals. Seeing as BSL was my ultimate goal technically my HHJ could be over in about a year. Unless mid back length starts looking more appealing lol. It really depends on how much time and product it takes to do my hair once it gets to full BSL.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Updates

I've been such a bad blogger! But, in my defense I am currently in my homeland of Trinidad and Tobago enjoying a much needed break from school and that cold DC weather.

Now for the updates,

Regimen changes:
I believe I mentioned before that I would be tweaking my regimen a bit for the next leg of my HHJ. So far I,

1) Switched out my ORS moisturizing lotion for Neutrogena Triple Moisture Silk Leave in. I felt that ORS was a little on the heavy side and if i used it between washes my hair would go straight from dry to heavy and coated, with no inbetween stage. I wanted to try something lighter so NTM it was. So far I like it. It makes my hair feel kinda 'wet' when I first apply it but after I seal with my trusty evoo my hair feels moisturized but not weighed down.

 2) Started using my 1 and 3/4 inch rollers again. I noticed that although my hair dries faster with my larger rollers it doesn't have as much bounce as it does when I use the smaller ones. So I am going back to using these on wash days IF and WHEN I have enough time for them to dry properly. My last wash day I was under the dryer for a couple hrs then slept with them in...definitely a longer drying time but all worth it.

3) I switched my shampoo from Head and Shoulders to Kerapro moisturizing shampoo for dry hair. Kerapro is Sally's generic version of the Kerastase line. After reading the rave reviews over at Longingforlength and RelaxedHairHealth I decided to give it a try. I found that while my hair was definitely clean it wasn't squeaky-stripped clean which was a definite plus, as I think H&S is pretty drying. I will be doing a more detailed post on why I switched and my results pretty soon.

4) This was a tiny tweak but it gave me great results. Usually I apply my leave in then rollerset, but last wash day I applied my leave in, sealed with evoo, THEN did my rollerset. I wanted to see if applying the oil on damp/wet hair would increase how much moisture it retained. After takedown my hair felt silkier than it usually does and it definitely held moisture well over the next few days. (I only had to m and s once since, on the 5th post-wash day).

I still need to figure out how I will incorporate more protein into my regimen, but for now these are the changes I will be taking into the new year.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

6 month HHJ Progress Pics!

I couldn't hold out any longer! Here is my starting pic from June 2011, and my pic from my last relaxer, Dec 2011. My hair was fresh from a wrap in my Dec pic so excuse how its curved on one side and straight on the other...you guys know how wraps go sometimes  :S



From shoulder length to APL in 6 months! :D

I'm so happy that I was able to retain so much length! During those 6 months I had one big trim at the start of my HHJ in June and I dusted twice. I have noticed that my ends have been looking a little unhappy lately so when I get back from my vacay I will be mostly protective styling until winter is over. I have learned SO much about black hair care this year and I just wanted to mention the top 5 things i think contributed to my results.

1) Protecting my hair at night
 I cannot get over how much of an immediate difference this made to my hair. I have religiously slept with my satin scarf since I began this hair journey and my hair has been retaining moisture like crazy. I had no idea  just how much damage cotton pillowcases were doing. I now have fewer tangles and rough ends.

2) Deep Conditioning/Hot Oil Treatments
While I knew these were good for my hair I had no idea that doing them more often would make a difference in my hair's health. Pre-HHJ I deep conditioned every other week (sometimes less) and thought that was enough. For the last 6 mths I dc'ed every time i washed, which worked out to be every 5-7 days. my hair has definitely benefited from this and I very rarely have to moisturize between washes :)

3) Relaxer Stretching
I'm not gonna front, I was VERY hesitant about this as I had been told all my life that if I waited too long to get a relaxer I would end up with breakage. Thanks to the tips I got from Hairlista I was able to successfully stretch for 12 weeks with relatively no breakage. I did have a little breakage on my last stretch before my Oct relaxer, but that was mostly due to my under-processed hair. Now that I somewhat corrected that, I will be back to 10-12 week stretches. Stretching is what I think keeps my hair at its regular thickness level despite its increasing length. Plus I love that lead up to the relaxer day, its so climactic when you finally relax and seemingly get inches of progress in a day.

4) Diet/Vitamins
Until I found out about that .5 inch per mth average for hair growth I thought that my hair was growing as fast as it could. After my October relaxer I realized my growth rate was below .5 inches a mth and decided to see if I could change that. I upped my water intake and started taking vitamins and my hair definitely got an inch of growth over the last 6 weeks, which is good news for me!


5) No direct heat
The best thing I did for my hair was to put down the blowdryer and the flat iron and reacquaint myself with rollersetting. My hair has fewer split ends and no longer feels brittle and dry. I'm sure that this also contributed to my hair's increased ability to retain moisture.


So in a nutshell, that's what brought me to APL, with a special shout out to protective styling as well. There are definitely a few things I am going to change in my regimen as I move forward, such as getting my hair more protein. I'll address all that in my next post, and for now, I'm just happy I got this far.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Corrective Relaxer: The Aftermath

I wanted to cry last night...over my hair. Yes I know 'it's never that serious' but gosh darnit I just want my hair to be straight!!

In one last desperate attempt to fix my underprocessed parts once and for all, I decided to switch from ORS no-lye to ORS lye and do a corrective at 6 weeks post. I mentioned the dry, wiry condition of my underprocessed hair a couple posts back, and how because of it I was experiencing more breakage than usual. I literally heard 'snap, crackle, pop!' whenever I detangled my roots :(

I pre-parted and sectioned off my hair and it took me about 10 mins to apply relaxer to all my new growth. I then used the remaining time to simultaneously smooth my hair and 'pull' or pass the relaxer onto my underprocessed hair.
I rinsed at exactly 25 mins post, which is the maximum time allowed according to the directions on the jar.
After rinsing I applied Aphogee 2 min reconstructor and some V05 moisture milk conditioner for about 5 mins. I neutralized twice, the first time I let it sit for about 10 mins (I was on the phone) and the second time for about 3 mins.
I then applied my leave-in and roller set as usual.

At this point I had already realized that my underprocessed hair was STILL underprocessed, I will admit that it did go from curly and frizzy to wavy and 'smooth' feeling but its still not bone straight. However, my freshly relaxed roots were pretty straight......and although I didn't want to, I had to admit to myself that maybe this was just something I am going to have to live with.

According to Shamboosie in his book 'Beautiful Black hair',

"When you are relaxing hair that has previously been relaxed with no-lye relaxer and that hair was not properly straightened, the no-lye relaxer will "lock-in" the remaining curl pattern in the hair. When this happens, nothing, not relaxer, thio, or anything else will be able to break this hair down and remove the curl. The only hair that will become straight is the new growth, the hair closest to the scalp."

Shamboosie also makes the point that applying lye relaxer over the no-lye underprocessed parts will help to 'condition' the hair and decrease breakage, and I really hope it does. At this point i have overlapped onto that hair twice and refuse to do so again and risk damaging it.

On the bright side I am LOVING how soft the lye relaxer makes my hair feel, and I think this switch will be permanent. I was initially scared of scalp burns but I didnt get not one! Not the slightest tingle or anything which is shocking because I didn't base my scalp and I also scratched my hair yesterday. I'm typing this at work so pics will be added later, and I am holding off on doing a progress pic til I get my hair blown out at the end of December.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

You know you're hair obsessed when...

...while moisturizing and sealing you start inspecting your shed hair and thinking 'I wish I had a microscope so I could inspect these hairs for hygral fatigue'

smh at myself! lol

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hair Blather

Just finished doing a search and destroy...thankfully didn't find too many split ends, they were mostly concentrated in my bang area. I think this is probably because I neglected to trim/dust there properly since my last trim in June.

But my big confession right now is.....I'm going to relax at 6 weeks post *bbm ashamed face*. What happened to stretching? I had already planned to make this stretch a short one (8 weeks) due to the fact that I have to do a corrective relaxer. BUT then I took a look at all the crap I would have to tote home (I'm going to Trinidad for Christmas break), taking up valuable suitcase space. Between the relaxer, protein treatment, neutralizer, gloves....thats kind of a lot esp when added to all the other hair stuff I have to pack (rollers, clips, shampoo, conditioner etc)

Also, my texlaxed roots are still bugging me. They tangle easily, feel dryer than the rest of my hair and I keep seeing breakage particularly at my crown where my hair is thickest. So for these reasons I will be relaxing sometime later this week.

I'm not gonna lie tho...I will miss that 'moment' after a long stretch when you finally relax and 'bam your hair is 2 inches longer :( . I also wanted to be full APL the next time I relaxed...

Anyways...look out for my final relaxer update for 2011, Coming Soon!




        Inspiration for my next goal (taken from google images) ....March 2012 here I come!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Red Hot RedHead ;)



Ok, so its not a really bright red but I'm liking it all the same! It really took on my ends as expected but it also gave the rest of my hair a nice plum 'glow'. I would definitely try this rinse again, and I think I may try to keep my hair this shade until the new year. These pics aren't very good, never mind that I got up close and personal with a lamp to try and show you guys could see how the color looks on the darker portions of my hair. Ah well...judging from all the compliments I've been getting it looks great in real life :D





I didnt have any issues with product application although I deviated a bit from the instructions. I clarified and dc'ed with ORS replenishing conditioner then towel/blow dried. I then saturated my hair with the rinse and sat under heat for 30 mins. Instead of shampooing my hair again I co-washed with V05 moisture milk then roller set as usual. 

Sidenote: the rinse WILL get everywhere. By the time I was done my bathroom looked like I had murdered an Oompa Loompa in there, orange and red EVERYWHERE! Thankfully it cleaned up okay.