Monday, December 31, 2012

Hair Goals for 2013


Overall 2012 was a pretty good 'hair' year. I finally creeped past APL, and managed to make BSL as well. *still happy dancing* lol

For 2013,
1)I want to maintain the current health and thickness of my hair. (Healthy hair from root to tip!)

2) Remain a complete diy-er as it comes to my hair. i.e. NO hair salon visits in 2013!

3)Continue to switch it up with different hairstyles such as flexi-rod sets, braidouts etc. 

4)Really baby my ends, I believe I touched on this before, that I will be paying closer attention to them now that my hair is longer. One way I intend to do this is by pre-pooing my ends with oil on washdays.

5)Add another hair tool to my arsenal...either some seamless combs or a hair steamer....or caruso rollers...just as a special gift to myself :).

6)And finally, my biggest goal is to make it to waist length by December 2013! The black line on the pic below is approximately where waist length hits me, and its about 5 inches away. If I stick to my regimen I'm pretty confident that I'll make this goal.

So that's it for me, what are your hair goals for 2012?







Sunday, December 30, 2012

Last Relaxer of 2012, I made BSL!

I relaxed my hair at 8 weeks post. I had more new growth than usual, so my hair felt like it was more like 10 weeks post, plus I just didn't feel like dealing with the two textures.  I used my usual products, ORS Lye relaxer, normal strength etc as detailed here. The results are below! (The tops are the same just diff colors so it should make for an easy comparison).



Nov vs Dec relaxer


I gained about an inch which was expected as it was a pretty short stretch. But more importantly, I made BSL!!!! I use the length chart below as I think its perfect for someone like me who wears their bra really low. According to this chart, MBL is only about an inch (or less) away *happy dance*



In the pic on the left my finger is at the top of my bra strap, on the right its at the bottom. The bottom of my bra strap is where MBL hits me so I should be there pretty soon :)


                                                                My hair from the front




It's pretty surreal to me that I made BSL this year. I keep looking at the pictures like am I really past the top of my bra strap?? lol! I was so sure that I wouldn't get to that milestone until sometime in 2013!  I am EXTREMELY grateful that so far my hair journey has been a pretty smooth one, and hope that it continues in the same way. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Recent purchases

I mentioned in a previous post that I wanted a bigger cheapie conditioner, so I wouldn't have to go to the BSS every month to stock up on Vo5 moisture milk. I decided to go with the TRESemme as my hair seemed to like their moisturising conditioner, so hopefully it will like this as well! I also wanted a serum to use when I flat iron my hair, as when I use oils on my flat ironed hair it weighs it down. I thought long and hard about whether I wanted to use cones regularly again, and will post on how I made my decision later this week. So far I really like the CON argan oil serum, and it helps that it smells great! I also grabbed some jumbo plastic clips from Annie as I wanted some non-metal clips that I could use during the day and to pin my hair up while studying. They're SO much cuter than the regular metal clips!



That's it for me, nothing major. I am at the point in my hair journey where I pretty much have all my staples so my purchases are typically re-purchases or hair accessories....no pj-ism over here!



Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Another HOTW Post!



Last week I switched it up a bit.

I rocked:

A faux bob





A side braid with a ponytail




Clipped in some color




And even jazzed up my lazy day bun with a headband (purchased at Forever 21 awhile back for about $3.)





Can you tell I've been enjoying this mini-challenge? My plan is to keep it up for the rest of the month, hopefully I don't run out of hairstyles before then!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pincurls

I realised that although I have pincurls listed in my regimen as my go to sleeping style for my hair I don't think I ever posted how they look or what my hair looks like after takedown. I typically do about 7 pincurls. Three in the front - one on either side plus one up top for my 'side bangs' and then four in the back.



I usually get more of a curl from them but because my hair was flat-ironed on my last wash day I just got a little bounce and a curl at the very ends of my hair.


Pincurls are definitely my preference over wrapping. Its more low manipulation for me as I can do the curls with my fingers while wrapping requires the use of a comb and/or brush. Plus as I've stated a few times before I'm not really a fan of straight hair, I prefer my hair with a little wave to it :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Telogen Effluvium Update

My hair shedding is easing up a bit, I stay throwing out my wash day shed hair so no pics yet but just trust me it is!

However, I am now left with a kinda sparse looking hairline. On a scale of 1 to Naomi Campbell it's about a 5 or a 6, but since its usually a 3 that is not good enough for me! I don't like using castor oil right after a relaxer, as it makes my strands clump together, but I want my hairline back to or close to normal by my next relaxer so will just have to deal with clumpy strands...#womp. I am still trying to be positive about this whole telogen thing...It could have been A LOT worse so for now I just need to take this in stride.

Please excuse the puffiness of my face/cheeks in this pic....it happens from time to time and will likely continue to happen til i'm about 6 months post surgery.


Monday, November 12, 2012

HOTD/HOTW

Hair of the week.....

I've been trying to not put my hair on a ponytail all day erryday as has been my habit. I challenged myself to do at least two non-ponytail and non-'just leave my hair hanging loose' styles per week and these are the two I wore last week.

The first is just a simple 'up and down', but I used my flexi-8 for the first time in months! Its ridic that I have so many hair accessories yet hardly use them :S


And the second is a simple twist, well really a sideways pincurl. I liked this one as it was really easy to do, and is also a protective style. 


So those were last week's styles, nothing fancy but definitely a step up from my regular hair!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Random Hair Thoughts

Now that I'm past APL, and coming up on BSL/MBL territory I thought it was time for me to re-evaluate my hair regimen, products, utensils etc.

 My combs and brushes have served me well, but as my hair gets longer and my ends get older I've been thinking of ways to pre-emptively prevent damage.

Hair tools 
1) I want to purchase a couple Hercules Sageman combs, and possibly a brush as well. As much as I adore my Conair detangling comb I really think its about time I upgrade. I toyed with the idea of sanding down the seams in my Conair comb, but felt that I may do more harm than good with that idea, as I am really not a good DIY person lol

2) I also want a steamer, but probably will not be able to purchase it until mid 2013...life of a broke college student :(

Hair products
1) I made a recent addition to my product stash of Elasta QP Olive Oil and Mango Butter Moisturiser. I was tired of walking around with frizzy messy edges the later I got into my stretch. Lemme tell ya'll something, a spritz of jheri curl juice, followed by some Elasta QP slicked the heck out of my edges! And they stayed moisturised and tamed all day!! Good stuff!

2) I will also possibly be making a switch in my detangling conditioner from Vo5 moisture milks to Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisturising Conditioner. I am trying to cut my BSS visits down and that Vo5 bottle is just to teeny to last me longer than a month.

3) I wanted to change my moisturiser for some time now, as I was hoping I could find one that works for me and doesn't contain mineral oil or cones...but that hasn't really worked out. I tried m&s-ing with care free curl and Hot 6 Oil and almost ended up with moisture overload. I also tried a few other more 'wet' moisturisers like Kids Organics Shea Moisturiser and my hair hated it. IDK but for some reason that heavy ORS moisturiser is what my hair loves so guess I'll be sticking with it!

Hair Regimen

1) I have started using heat protectant on my rollersets just to be on the safe side. After putting the rollers in I just lightly spray my hair so that the sections that are on the outside of the rollers and therefore getting the full blast of heat are protected

2) Limiting the number of times I use a comb during the week. Ever since Jen blogged about not using a comb outside of wash days I decided I would try this and decrease my manipulation. So far....I've been failing miserably lol. The only time I really give the comb a break is later in my stretch, at 7 weeks post and beyond when I don't want to tug too much on my hair and cause breakage at the line of demarcation.

3) My scalp issues are more or less resolved, as I realised that a lot of it came from product buildup, and not dandruff. I really really want to wean myself off the Head and Shoulders shampoo as it is extremely drying. For the next couple months I will be alternating with using diluted H&S, and using the full strength one every other week. Whichever technique that manages to take me through the week with no itchies is what I'll stick with.

That's all for now!
HHJ!








Sunday, November 4, 2012

Relaxer Update!

So for various reasons I decided to call my 16 week stretch to a halt at 10 weeks post.

My shedding was causing some serious detangling issues, while I also had a run in with some diluted acv that caused severe dryness and breakage at my crown. (used it to fix my itchy scalp since I couldn't wash my hair while Hurricane Sandy was here)

Products Used

 I did a Aphogee 2 min treatment on my last wash day so this was perfect timing.

1. I applied coconut oil to my ends and the length of my hair to protect it from the relaxer run off. I sectioned my hair into quadrants, pre-parted and did 2 strand twists in smaller sections to make the relaxer application time shorter.

2. I used my staple ORS lye relaxer and left it in for about  20 mins. 

3. I rinsed the relaxer out with water first then did 3 shampoos with the neutralizer. I let the second shampoo sit for about 3 mins to ensure that the relaxer was thoroughly neutralised.

4. I deep conditioned with a mix of about 60% AOHSR and 40% ORS Replenishing conditioner as I planned to flat iron and wanted to go heavy on moisture in my dc.

5. I dc'ed under heat for 30 mins

6. I applied VO5 Moisture Milks and Roux Porosity Control for about 30 secs (without rinsing out my dc) then detangled with my Conair detangling comb under the shower.

7. After removing the excess water I applied ORS heat protectant to my hair, blow dried and flat ironed. I added a little more heat protectant to my hair after blow drying.

* I used the brush chase method to flat iron instead of the comb chase and it worked out really well. The brush separates the strands better than the comb and allowed me to get my hair silky straight with just one pass of the flat iron.


RESULTS!


My ponytail is getting some hang time ya'll!

I didn't trim my ends, as they look fine and I just dusted a few weeks ago. 
You can't see my bra in the pic but its about an inch away from where my hair is now so I'll be grazing BSL pretty soon *happy dance*.  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Ms. Independent!

Since starting this hair journey, I have progressively become more and more self sufficient as it pertains to my hair. I went from doing my own hair only out of necessity, i.e. for the months that I was not in Trinidad, to only going to the hairdresser for trims every 5 months or so. 

My last few visits to the hairdresser weren't very relaxing, for lack of a better word. Nothing has changed in how they handle my hair, but I have become SO particular about what I do to my hair and how I do it that I was on edge for most of the salon visits. After my last visit I made the decision to start trimming my own hair, and so end my dependence on professional stylists. 

This was not an easy decision, I really had to look at the pros and cons


1. When I do my hair for myself I can use the products my hair likes, whereas my salon only uses Mizaani and customers are not allowed to use/bring their own products

2. I can be as gentle as I need to, especially when detangling. I find that detangling with conditioner in my hair under the spray from the shower works best and lets face it...there's really no way a salon could facilitate that

3. If I were to visit a hairdresser and request a deep condition or steam etc it costs more, and since a lot of hairdressers including mine are now charging by length that can get quite pricy the longer my hair gets. 

4. It really irks me when I ask for a trim that leaves my 'V' intact and end up with a blunt cut...I could have honestly been a lot closer to BSL if it wasn't for that...a very tapered BSL but BSL nonetheless lol

Really the only Pro was that I get to have someone else do my hair for a change....

Don't get me wrong, I still think that this hairdresser is the best I've ever had, but I am just not a suitable client for pretty much any hairdresser right now...unless its maybe Reniece or somebody like that who is familiar with how anal us hair journey folks can be about our hair lol. 

With that said this weekend I took the trimming plunge. Of late my ends have been feeling rough, and I knew I needed a trim. I sectioned my hair into thirds (2 in front and one large section in the back) and inspected my ends. The main culprit turned out to be the section of hair at my crown. As seen in the pic below the ends in that area were a little see through. 



Those awful ends, they had to go!



I am not sure if maybe because that section doesn't reach my hemline it escaped getting trimmed at my last salon visit, or if its because the ends of that section are remnants from my 'blonde' days, but one thing was for sure, they needed to go. So even though it meant cutting an inch to an inch and a half in some places I got rid of all those pesky ends. My hemline was fine so I just dusted the ends in those areas. My hair feels SO much better, it tangles less, is smooth to the touch and just looks better. More importantly, this trim, albeit a little one, marked my independence :D * Dramatic much? 

I am really pleased with myself for taking the plunge, and not being shy about doing more than my typical dusting. now keep your fingers crossed for me that I don't end up trimming my hair all uneven and raggedy looking lol. 


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Telogen Effluvium: My Experience

I was aware that one of the risks of having major surgery, or side effects rather, was extreme shedding. I blogged about it prior to my surgery, and did research so I would be prepared. However NOTHING prepared me for seeing literally handfuls of hair coming out on wash days! My hair was coming out in clumps guys, clumps!! I promise you I am not exaggerating, look at the pic below. That dense ball of hair is what I lost every wash day for about a month. Not to mention the random strands of hair that came out between wash days, at one point I swear a grl sitting next to me at the shuttle stop picked one of my hairs off her top *bbm facepalm* Imagine my horror when I did some more reading and discovered that telogen effluvium can last for up to 6 months! Thankfully, just when I was pretty close to perhaps busting out sobbing in the shower clutching my comb (lol) my shedding abated. At the moment it is still a little more than what I usually lose, but definitely less than what I've been losing recently, and for that I am thankful. I totally had pics of what I lost on my last wash day, but accidentally deleted them :S will take more next time.

 Strangely enough the thickness of my hair is pretty much the same it was pre-surgery. I noticed that my hair was unusually thick the first couple months after surgery, so I believe that what I shed was the 'extra' hair giving me a end result of what I'm used to. I'm just relieved that this did not turn into a setback, as for awhile it was looking pretty dire. Now that this is over I'm back to focusing on other stuff like perfecting braidouts, my current hair wants (my next blog post), and retaining the three inches that stand between me and 'real' BSL. :)



Sunday, October 14, 2012

'Long' Hair Funnies

So I know I planned to do a post on my telogen effluvium experience, but since I can't locate those pics I'm going to talk a bit about what I've been experiencing recently

Of late, my hair has been getting a bit of attention when I wear it down, which is strange for me as I do not consider my hair to be 'long' as yet. Long for me is BSL and beyond, hair that reaches my boobies when I pull it in front lol and I am most definitely still a few inches short of that goal.

I mentioned a few posts back that I moved to Jamaica recently, and the hair experiences I've been having are so weird...and funny.

The first encounter happened in a taxi. The taxi driver refused to turn the window up and my hair was loose and blowing all over the place. I was frantically trying to keep it contained so I could stop channelling Cousin It when the guy next to me struck up a conversation. His opening lines?  'That's quite a head of hair you have there' and 'What's your genetic makeup' and 'I've never seen hair like that before'. I chalked it up to him just being a tad weird lol but then a few days later I was standing in line at my campus and felt movement in my hair. Only to turn around and realise that the girl behind me was playing in it. I was so in shock that I didn't say anything, and all she said was' I like your hair!'

Fast forward to a couple weeks later. I'm at a club, dancing with a friend, when all of a sudden I feel his hand in my hair. And when I say in my hair, dude had his hand up in my roots touching my scalp. I spun around in disbelief like 'Dude, did you just weave check me?!' to which he responded 'Yes' and laughed. No shame whatsoever! lol. His excuse was that a lot of girls seem to be wearing weave these days so he was just curious about if all that hair was mine. :S

And then the most recent one, a couple nights ago I was at a lime, speaking with a friend. Where we were standing was out on a balcony type thing that forms the passageway between the different blocks of the dorm. We were looking out over the balcony, with our backs to the passageway. Mid-convo I felt someone stroke my hair...as in the girl literally held a handful of my hair, stroked it and flipped it then said to her friend' I like her hair!'. Homegirl did this while walking by mind you, no pause involved, no acknowledgement that said hair was attached to a body, lol.

I'm really kind of taken aback at all this attention, as I honestly don't think my hair is anything special. In Trinidad my hair doesn't really attract any attention from people outside of my friends and fam who notice the length difference so all this is very new. I'm also wondering how to respond to people who randomly jus wanna flip my hair around as if i'm some type of Barbie doll..Have any of my readers experienced this? And if so how did you react?

In other news, I took a slightly clearer length check pic. Since I wanted a goal to work towards, and my BSL is essentially MBL because of how low I wear my bras I decided to arbitrarily designate a 'fake' BSL at the line where most of tank tops start in the back. Its about 2 inches away so its the perfect short term attainable goal :)


P.S. My hair isn't uneven, I was looking at the phone screen to ensure I got my entire back in the shot 


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sept Relaxer Update


Between my June update and this one I had one trim of about half an inch. In the pic above my hair was air drying but it looks as if I should make it to BSL after a couple more inches. Seeing as my next relaxer is scheduled for around my birthday in early Dec that gives me a stretch of about 14 weeks which should put me close to that goal. I really hope that I make it to BSL this year, BUT I am trying to stay realistic about it as right now I am dealing with telogen effluvium. I'll go into more detail in my next post but for now just know that I've been losing a LOT of hair every week :(

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Prodigal Hair Blogger?

Hi All,
Just wanted to let you guys know that I'm alive and well. Almost fully recovered from surgery (just have a little numbness on my chin) and currently in my first semester of med school.

I have been dealing with a lot these last couple months, not in a bad way, just in a always busy way. (Med school is brutal!). One of the last issues is almost resolved so I should get back to regular blogging soon.

Thank you to everyone who emailed or commented to check up on me after surgery, it was much appreciated!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Alive and Well

Hi All,
just a quick post to let you guys know that my surgery went well. My doctors were very pleased with the outcome, as well as with the progress I have made so far in terms of healing etc. I am not up to 100% yet, mostly because the painkillers have me so out of it. I finally got around to turning my word doc into a separate blog on my jaw surgery today, so you guys can take a peep at my progress at

http://ranajawsurgery.blogspot.com

Thanks again for all the well wishes and prayers! No doubt they contributed to my speedy recovery :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Relaxer Update #5


So much for a long stretch! After my last wash day I was tired of dealing with the two textures. Add to this the heat wave in DC this weekend, which made my head feel like all that thick new growth was suffocating it! Also, I was also told that its best to avoid chemical processes a week before and up to 2 months after having surgery, and figured to be on the safe side I should relax now and then do a 8-10 week stretch after having surgery. So here are the results of my last relaxer,

I am definitely (and finally) past APL, but I'm not sure if I can claim BSB yet....What do you guys think?

My One Year Comparison 


Feb heat pass: June relaxer comparison 
(From APL to almost BSB!)

I think I had good retention, especially since I got a half inch trim in March. My hair is also retaining its thickness, and my ends held up pretty well. My 'V' is back in full force because the hair at my front grows o so slowly. Overall I am very happy with the progress I made over the last year and am psyched that I am on track to hit BSL by the end of 2012 (barring any setbacks). 


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Texture Shots

I am currently 9 weeks post. The collage below shows my texture when air dried (top two pics) and when blow-dried straight (bottom pic).


Although it was an accident my texlaxed hair is starting to grow on me, and I kinda like the texture I get when I air dry. I have been doing a lot of that of late as well, as I know that I am not going to be up for rollersetting while I'm recovering from surgery. Also, since I'll be starting med school soon I needed a more no-fuss way to dry my hair as its highly likely that I will have less time for myself once school starts in the Fall.

This was just a quick 'check-in', will hopefully be back soon with a longer post :)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Sometimes....It's 'just' hair

The relaxed vs natural debate has been popping up pretty often in my life these days, so its only fitting that I blog about it. Quite a few people I know have gone natural, even my mother has broached the topic with me, nevermind that she is relaxed. In her words,
'Now that you know how to take care of your hair why don't you just go back natural'.

To give some background to this statement I was natural up until about 13 years old when my mom finally gave in to my begging and pleading and let me get a relaxer. At that point I had been taking care of my natural hair by myself for about three years and was totally fed up with all the time and energy I had to put into detangling and styling etc. Not to mention that for me natural hair was very limiting in how I could style it for school, so I kept it in plaits or twists. Now bear in mind that this was before the 'natural hair movement' so twistouts and tips on wearing 'loose' natural hair were not available to me. Also, I was still in high school, and Catholic high school at that so my hairstyles had to be simple.


I have been happy with my relaxed hair ever since and honestly don't see myself ever going back natural.
1. My hair is easy to manage
2. I spend 3-4 hours a week max washing, detangling and drying compared to the hours that my THICK natural hair required
3. I think relaxed hair suits me, as I mentioned in my last post I love wearing loose hair with a lil body wave

and
4. Its my hair and I will do with it as I please regardless of what society (or friends and fam) think I should do

Number 4 is really what inspired this particular post,
This one girl went natural nazi on me for awhile. One of the many times she brought up the subject, she told me she went natural because she didn't want to conform to what society thought her hair should be like, that God didnt make her hair like that so why should she keep relaxing it, and something about not knowing herself or not having a sense of identity...

I joked around and played devil's advocate for a bit, asking her if that meant she was also going to stop shaving and wearing makeup since God put hair on our legs etc etc lol .. But then I gave what she said some thought.

1. In my humble opinion by letting society tell you that if your hair is not in its natural state you're not black enough then...by going natural arent you still conforming to what society wants?

2. Your self identity should be based on waaaay more than just whether your hair is natural or not

3. Why keep your hair in a certain way or style if you're not happy with it? Its YOUR hair! (and this goes for any hair style, cut or color)

She's not the only person who has made the above statements to me, and strangely enough one of the grls who went natural for the above reasons has expressed that she's not happy with her natural hair, yet she doesn't want to look like a 'sell-out' so she won't relax. :S

In a nutshell, sometimes hair is just hair. Do whatever you want with it, cut it, grow it, dye it, texturize, go natural whatever. But do it for you and not for anyone else. Do what makes you happy!

Examples of people doing 'them'
Solange Knowles rocking her natural hair...to me it makes her features and style pop more than her relaxed hair

There's something about Halle Berry's pixie cut that just rocks!

DISCLAIMER: I know people can get hot and bothered over the relaxed vs. natural debate so please note that I never said anything anti-natural hair :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Hair Survey!


1. Are you relaxed or natural?
Relaxed.

2. How long, on average, does it take you to style your hair in the mornings?
About 10 mins max, something I plan to change since I think my hairstyles are boring

3. How long does it take you to wash your hair on wash days?
Between 3 to 3.5 hours, which includes drying time

4. Favorite product (just one!) ?
ORS Replenishing Conditioner

5. Biggest Hair challenge? (breakage, dryness, thin, balding, etc)
Getting used to not having blunt ends all the time. It makes me feel like my ends need trimming even though they're perfectly healthy

6. What is your favorite thing about your hair?
Its thickness!

7. Who is your #1 hair inspiration?
At the moment its Jen from Just Grow Already

8. What is your overall goal for your hair
To be a thick, healthy MBL.

9. Worst hair day story
This one time years ago that I tried to flat iron my hair and the humidity in the club made it go 'poof'. I looked like I had been electrocuted lol

10. Favorite Hair style
loose hair with a body wave 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hair Updates

Just a peep into what's on my mind these days in terms of haircare.

 - I flat ironed my hair for myself for the first time in aaaages so I could take a look at my ends. I thought they needed a trim but I found exactly one single strand knot and that was about it. They still feel smooth and look fine so they're holding up pretty well. P.S. Why am I relaxed and getting single strand knots? This is the second one I've found!

- I have noticed a little thinning on my hairline on the right side and after about 2 weeks of some hard thinking finally realised that I ALWAYS sleep on my right side. Traction alopecia is one of my major hair fears so hopefully I can train myself to sleep on my other side or on my stomach....

 - I was debating whether or not to relax before my surgery, at approx 10 weeks post but then I saw the comment left by Tama of 'Simply into My Hair' on my last blog post. Her research on telogen effluvium turned up a tip of not using chemical dye in your hair prior to having surgery. Just to be on the safe side I think I should hold off on relaxing until a month or so after surgery.

 - I no longer take garlic supplements so I will be investing in a garlic shampoo and/or scalp mask. One of the properties of garlic is that it lowers your blood pressure, and while I was taking it I felt tired a lot. I can't say for sure that it was solely the garlic that was responsible for my fatigue, but my energy levels have picked back up a bit since I quit taking it.

 - I took advantage of my flat ironed hair to do a length check, and I seem to be right on target to hit BSB in July :D

 - My scalp has been thanking me for starting back my acv rinses, usually in the summer by 4 days post wash day my scalp starts acting up but its is chilling out of late. Anything that gets me to stretch my wash days farther apart gets a thumbs up in my book!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Telogen Effluvium


One of my concerns about my upcoming surgery is possible hair loss through Telogen Effluvium.
 Telogen effluvium is temporary hair loss due to shedding of resting or telogen hair after some shock to the system. 
In a normal healthy person's scalp about 85% of the hair follicles are actively growing hair (anagen hair) and 15% are resting hair (telogen hair). A hair follicle usually grows anagen hair for 4 years or so, then rests for about 4 months. The resting or telogen hair has a club or bulb at the tip. A new anagen hair begins to grow under the resting telogen hair and pushes it out.
Normal hair loss is about 100 hairs a day, as a result of the normal scalp hair cycle.
If there is some shock to the system, as many as 70% of the anagen hairs can be precipitated into telogen, thus reversing the usual ratio. 
Some causes of this shock are;
  • Illness, especially if there is fever
  • Surgical operation
  • Accident
  • Childbirth
  • Nervous shock
  • Weight loss or unusual diet
  • Certain medications
  • Discontinuing the contraceptive pill
  • Overseas travel resulting in jetlag
  • Excessive sun exposure

The resting scalp hairs, now in the form of club hairs, remain firmly attached to the hair follicles at first. Approximately 2 months after the shock that the new hairs coming up through the scalp push out the "dead" club hairs and increased hair fall is noticed.At first the fall of club hairs is profuse and a general thinning of the scalp hair may become evident but after several months a peak is reached and hair fall begins to lessen, gradually tapering back to normal over 6-9 months. As the hair fall tapers off the scalp thickens back up to normal, but recovery may be incomplete in some cases.
Because nail and hair growth are under the same influences, an arrest in hair growth is often mirrored in the nails by a groove across them coinciding with the time of the shock to the system. This is called a Beau's line. The time of the shock can be estimated from the fact that a finger nail takes 5 months to grow from the posterior nail fold to the free edge. So if the groove in the nail is half way down the nail then the shock must have been 2 1/2 months ago.
In some patients, hair shedding continues to be intermittently or continuously greater than normal for long periods of time, sometimes for years. The hair cycle appears to be reset so that the anagen period is shortened.
Chronic telogen effluvium often presents in women that actually continue to have quite thick and moderately long hair – this is because they notice the shed hair more than those with finer or shorter hair. Telogen effluvium does not cause complete baldness, although it may unmask a genetic tendency to genetic balding i.e. female or male pattern hair loss  
What is the treatment for telogen effluvium?
Telogen effluvium is self-correcting. It is really not influenced by any treatment that can be given. However, gentle handling of the hair, avoiding over-vigorous combing, brushing and any type of scalp massage are important.
You should also ensure a nutritious diet, with plenty of protein, fruit and vegetables.
The doctor may check your thyroid function, and levels of iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid, as any deficiency in these can slow hair growth.
Source: New Zealand Dermatological Society

Yep, you read that right. There is NO treatment for telogen effluvium. I have googled and wikipedia'd and looked for research articles but came up with zilch.  I will continue to take my vitamins, and may also purchase a garlic shampoo but that's about it. I pretty much have to just keep the faith and hope that even if I do experience shedding it won't be so bad as to cause a setback.

\

Thursday, May 31, 2012

HOTD: Braided bun

This was a pretty simple style, just a twist on a regular bun. I added in a clip on piece (one of the small ones with the two clips) because I thought it may have been on the thin/small side but turns out I didn't really need it. Here's to little tweaks that make protective styling a little less boring :)





Free Audrey Sivasothy E-book! Extended to today!


Audrey Sivasothy is offering her new book FREE OF CHARGE on Amazon.com. If you don't own a kindle just dl the Kindle app to your cellphone or laptop and then 'purchase' the book. The link to it is below

http://www.amazon.com/Hair-Care-Rehab-Reconditioning-ebook/dp/B007KQ6TN4/ref=zg_bs_156443011_1

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

One Lovely Blog Award



Thanks to Shereen over at Wishful Lengths for giving me this award!

Following the rules of the award I have to share 7 facts about myself, so here goes

I LOVE Game of Thrones, I think its the best book series ever!
I LOVE to cook, chk out my memorial day dinner below....Can you tell I was homesick? (plantains, roasted potatoes and saltfish buljol)



I am extremely excited about the fact that I'll be living in Jamaica for the next 5 years
I'm not a very patient person....which is probably why I think my hair isn't growing fast enough lol
I am a huge Usher fan, have been ever since his Nice n Slow and My Way days. Now the same people who teased me for liking a 'big nosed boy' are suddenly fans smh
I love Mexican food, plantains, cilantro lime rice, pico de gallo, black beans = yum!
2 and a half men (pre ashton) is one of my fave shows, I can look at reruns allllll day

I know I'm supposed to share this with 15 bloggers but literally all the bloggers I would like to give it to have already been awarded!



Monday, May 28, 2012

Wash Day



The last time I clarified was a little over a month ago, so I decided to use my Ion Clarifying Shampoo for this wash day.

1) Stood under the shower until my hair was drenched with water
2) Shampooed with my Head and Shoulders shampoo, focusing on my roots and scalp, particularly at my crown which is my itchy spot
3) Shampooed with my Ion clarifying shampoo concentrating on the body of my hair.
4) Rinsed and gently blotted hair until it was damp
5)Applied Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose to my thirsty roots and texlaxed hair, ORS Replenishing Conditioner to the rest of my hair, and then Hot 6 Oil, focusing especially on my ends
6)Deep conditioned for about 30 mins with heat
7)After rinsing the dc out I applied a mix of Umberto Moisturizing Conditioner, V05 Conditioner and Roux porosity control. I let this sit for a few mins then detangled with my Conair detangling comb under running water.
8)I did an acv rinse, and then repeated step 4
9)I then applied ORS moisturizing lotion as my leave in, roller set with my jumbo rollers (pictured below) and dried under my hooded dryer for about an hour.

                                          
     My jumbo roller! It can barely fit in the palm of my hand.




                                                                        The result.....


My hair felt sooo silky! There is a obvious difference between the days I use oils in my dc, and the days that I don't. I will definitely be using oils more frequently, especially now that its summer as the heat can be so drying. 
I wrapped my hair to sleep, and its still in a wrap since I intend to spend all day at home working on this thesis of mine. 
Please note that I don't usually use so many different products on my wash day, this is a temporary thing until I use up my product stash.



Saturday, May 26, 2012

30 Day Product Junkie Rehab

A few wash days ago I wanted to use a specific product, and found myself having to check three different  storage spaces in an effort to locate it. This made me realize that my product stash was getting out of control, and I needed to find some staples and stick to them!

The Stash


Conditioners
From these products I decided that the V05 conditioner and Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose are both getting tossed. I explained why I preferred the Umberto conditioner to the V05 in my last post. With regard to the AOHSR although it works, I have an issue with its 'spreadability'. In comparison to my other moisturizing dc, Nexxus Humectress, AOHSR isn't as creamy so its harder for me to apply it evenly through my hair. Because of this I'm pretty sure I end up using more of the product than I should. Since the Humectress is easier to apply and pretty much gives me the same results I'll be sticking to that one. I also clearly need to keep track of how much ORS Conditioner I have so i don't go out and buy more when I have a full bottle at home lol



Shampoos
The Vo5 Tea Therapy shampoo is extremely drying so I'm using that and my kerapro shampoo thats not pictured to wash my makeup brushes. When I switched to ORS lye relaxer I purchased that huge green bottle of neutralizing shampoo. Since the ORS neutralizing shampoo works as a clarifying shampoo it will replace my Ion shampoo and the creamy aloe shampoo. The TRESemme moisturizing shampoo was really cheap yet works well, so I'll be switching to that once my NTM is finished.



Leave ins
My keepers here are my ORS moisturizing lotion, S Curl(my staple in the later stages of my stretches) and the ORS heat protectant. The ORS HAIRepair are both brand new and will be used in my blog giveaway next month :)



Protein Products
The only product I use regularly from here is the 2 min reconstructor. However, I will hold on to the Aphogee 2 step just in case I ever have another moisture overload.




Relaxers, Gel, Oils etc
The Hollywood Beauty castor oil got tossed in the trash, and the hot 6, coconut and jamaican black castor oils will not be repurchased. My hair is doing just fine with my sulphur/castor oil mix and extra virgin olive oil.


I will not be trying any new products over the next 30 days, so hopefully by then my stash will be halved...hopefully.

Sidenote: Do you guys like the new look of the blog? I figured it was about to be a year old so it was time for me to jazz it up a bit :)







Friday, May 25, 2012

I'm back :)

Missed me?

I apologize for dropping off the face of the blogosphere but there was just too much going on in my life and I needed to take a min and handle it. To make a long story short, I am currently working on my Master's thesis, trying to graduate this summer, working fulltime, getting things in order for the graduate program that I start in August as well as preparing for surgery (nothing that serious) that just got pushed up from the end of July to the end of June. Add to that a trip back home to finalize some stuff for school and yeh...it was pretty hectic over here.

But on to my hair :)

I am currently 6 weeks post, and plan to stretch for 10 weeks so I can relax just before my surgery. My hair and I have been getting on just fine. I didn't post any update pics from my last relaxer, as due to my trim I only got about a half an inch, so there wasnt much progress to show. My next relaxer will be around my one year HHJ Anniversary so I will definitely do update pics then. I am in dire need of a dusting/search and destroy and will probably get that done this weekend. Also, this last month I've been working on reducing my hair product stash and I think I finally have some staples.

Sidenote: I've been using my Umberto Moisturizing Conditioner as a post dc rinse/detangling aid and wow....I think I may have to bite the bullet on the 8.99 price tag and switch out my V05 cheapie conditioner for it. It leaves my hair feeling so soft and moisturized!

I do have a few posts lined up for this upcoming week, so look out for those.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wash Day Diary

I am very pleased to report that my wash day experience this week was a marked improvement over last week's. I shampooed once with Head and Shoulders, then a second time with NTM Moisturizing shampoo. I used the scalp massager both times to ensure I got my scalp clean. I had experienced some breakage during the week while moisturizing, so although my hair was balanced according to the strand test I decided to make this a 'protein wash day'.

I applied Aphogee 2 min, put on a shower cap and and washed it out after about 3 mins. I then made a 50:50 mix of ORS Replenishing Conditoner and Nexxus Humectress and applied liberally to my hair. I parted my hair down the middle and applied Humectress to the inner portions of my hair. I've been babying that part of my hair of late to make up for earlier neglect.

I dc'ed with heat for about 30 mins. I used the massager again to remove any conditioner residue from my scalp then applied Umberto moisturizing conditioner to my hair and began the detangling process. I had significantly less shed hair than my last wash day which made detangling a lot easier. After detangling I rinsed my conditioner out, applied ORS moisturizer as my leave in and rollerset.

My hair feels soft yet strong and hopefully this means that when I moisturize later in the week I won't see as much breakage.

I know this post is waaay more detailed than usual but I keep switching up my products and I want a good log of what works and what doesn't. This blog doubles as my hair diary, so bear with me! :)

In other news I got exactly two senegalese twists done, then looked at the amount of hair I have on my head and decided I wasn't about that DIY braids life lol. If and when I get these twists done I will very definitely pay someone to do them. In other news I will also be ending my stretch early, so look out for my relaxer post on either Sunday or Monday!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Garlic, Shedding and The Wash Day From Hell

I recently stopped taking my garlic supplements because they've been giving me an upset stomach, even though I take them with meals. Its been a couple weeks and I didn't have any significant shedding so I thought I was in the clear...Boy was I wrong!

I try not to manipulate my hair during the week. I rarely use a comb and if I do it doesnt get near my new growth. I guess this is why I didn't realize my shedding had picked up over the last week. I also got a lil more vigorous with my scalp massager while shampooing which probably caused tangling at my roots. (My scalp is even cleaner than it was last week tho)

Everything was going fine....until it was time to detangle. My texlaxed portions acted all the way up, and I had some serious knots and tangles in that area. I had to separate my hair into 4 sections instead of my usual 2, finger detangle (which I typically dont need to do) and then use my Conair detangling comb. When I was finally able to get the comb through all shedding hell broke loose. I have not seen that much shed hair come out on a wash day since Pre-HHJ. I felt like that girl Laura from The Craft lol.





I hate 'fighting' with my hair and thats what it felt like, If my next wash day isn't any better I will be ending my stretch early and will continue to have short stretches until my texlaxed hair has grown out more. This multiple textures thing is for the birds!

Needless to say I am also back to taking my garlic supplements and if this is what I can look forward to if I ever stop....I'll be taking them for a loooong loooong time!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

March Recap, April Goals

I slacked off a lot last month. I stopped applying my growth aid, hardly took my vitamins, slacked off on my water intake, did not excercise at all and picked back up my soda habit.

This month will be all about redeeming myself!

I will
1) Apply growth aid the night before my wash day. I didnt like the smell of the sulphur so I figure this way I can just apply it at night and wash it off in the morning.

2)Up my water intake and limit myself to one soda a week...seems like when I try to quit with the ginger ale cold turkey it never works so this time I'll try to ease myself into it.

3)Start back working out, at least 3 times a week

4)Take my vitamins every day

 It got chilly in DC right after Spring Break so I'm back to keeping my hair up and away from my cardigans and coats. Its beginning to seem like by the time the warm weather rolls around I would already have my braids installed so I'm also trying to come up with ways of jazzing up my protective styles in the meantime. Got a pretty nifty idea from another blog so look out for it in my next post :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Looking back....

Went out last night and wore my hair down for the first time in.....well quite sometime. While I loved how thick and 'happy' my hair looked I felt as if I couldnt see much difference between my hair now and my hair about a yr ago when I had just started my journey. In my defense, the true length of my hair is only really visible when its dead straight, and I very rarely wear my hair like that. I don't think straight hair suits me and I prefer to pincurl it loosely so I get a bit of a 'body wave'. I love how it looks, but it is pretty deceptive and makes me think my hair is shorter than it really is.
Then I looked at pics from last year and wow...I felt dumb lol. My hair has clearly flourished over the last year. Looking back, I can't believe I thought that my hair was healthy, compared to this mane I've been sporting of late my 'old' hair was kinda blahhh. See for yourself....


(Please note that these pics werent designated 'blog pics' so excuse all the somewhat awkward cropping, can't be putting my friends' faces all over the net n whatnot)



Pre HHJ pics - These were both taken in March 2011.  



Post HHJ pics - The pic on the left is from July 2011, about a month into my HHJ.  The pic on the right (lace dress) is from last Saturday.


So happy I took my time to go through my old pics, because this comparison really made it hit home. I'm looking at these pics and just thinking wow...I LOVE My (current) Hair! If there ever was a lesson about the importance of taking pics throughout your journey, this would be it. Now excuse me while I go pat myself on the back for getting my hair this far lol

Friday, March 30, 2012

Checking in!

Hi all,
did not realize it had already been over 2 weeks since my last blog! This month was one of those where my personal life just took over, so I had to take a break from blogging for awhile.

I have not been doing that much to my hair, I still wash and dc weekly and rollerset, however I have made a few small changes to my regimen.

Regimen Change #1
Prior to my hair journey when I shampooed my hair I used my fingertips and fingernails to really scrub my scalp good. After joining hairlista I realized that using my nails could be damaging to my hair and I stopped that practice, but I found that I had more issues with product build up, particularly as I was incorporating more oils and heavier conditioners into my regimen. Last night I had the bright idea to use my scalp massager to really loosen up any buildup from the conditioner and it worked! I gave myself a (vigorous) scalp massage with it after washing out my dc, then detangled and rinsed as usual. My scalp has not felt this clean in a loooong time. So happy that I found a solution to one of the things thats been bugging me for quite some time!

Pictured above: Babybliss Scalp Massage Brush


Regimen Change #2
I have been feeling a bit uneasy about using my standing dryer on its highest heat setting. It says purple people heater on the side and thats literally what it feels like when I'm under there. Hott!! To avoid any excessive dryness I decided to only use it on its lower heat setting. Of course this means my hair takes forever to dry but I would rather spend extra time drying my hair than end up frying it and not making BSL til 2014 lol. I also try to airdry as much as possible. My last two rollersets I sat under the dryer with it on low heat for about 30 mins then went to bed and my hair was dry by the morning. Good stuff!

Regimen Change #3
I now do oil rinses a couple times a month. My hair seems to like them and they make detangling a bit easier which is great as I'm over 8 weeks post.

This is just a quick post, hopefully once everything settles down over here I'll be back to posting more regularly :)

and P.S. My ends are doing great!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Update

Hey guys,
Firstly I need to say thank you to everyone who commented on my last post. I was in a really sucky mood after that trim and reading your comments and well wishes really helped.

I haven't really examined my ends since that appointment on Saturday as part of my 'quit obsessing over my hair challenge'. Today was wash day and I tried to boost my moisture by doing a pre-dc oil rinse and dcing with Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose which is a moisturizing deep conditioner. I didn't have time to do a dusting today, but based on what I saw when I took my rollerset down my ends look much better.

In other news Sabina by Outre arrived today! But I had to send her back because the 1B is waaaay too dark and looks pretty wiggy on me. My second half wig, Yasmine by Outre should be here by tomorrow, and I'm pretty excited! I am 6 weeks post and between my new growth and under-processed roots things are getting pretty unruly up top, so I'm looking forward to wigging it up for the next month or so.

That brings me to another issue. I don't know how you girls do it but I cannot deal with this texlaxed business. Since the beginning of my HHJ I have unintentionally underprocessed my hair with every relaxer. I FINALLY realized what the culprit was, when I spray my oil sheen on my scalp as a base it gets on my roots and slows down the relaxer process. Now that I know this my next relaxer should hopefully 'take' properly as well as hopefully my underprocessed areas from my last relaxer will also be fully processed. I really don't like that unless my hair has literally just been relaxed or has been blown out and flat ironed my 'true length' doesn't show. Also it looks poofy even if I do a rollerset/saran wrap.

Thats all for now!


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Experiencing the APL-BSL hump :(

So I got my trim yesterday. I had a decent salon experience, nothing to complain about really. She took half an inch off so imagine my dismay when i got home and realized that I STILL have some damaged ends. this means when my shears arrive on Wednesday I have some dusting to do.

I would be lying if I didn't say that I am thoroughly disheartened right now. It's mind boggling that all this damage occurred within a few weeks. I did not do a length check after she trimmed and I don't think I'll be length checking again til September. I am also revising my hair goals for this year. Forget BSL, I just want to make it to BSB. BSB is 2 inches below my APL so even if I trim 2 more inches off this year I should still get there.

I really felt like giving up yesterday, but I won't. Instead, since I am so thoroughly fed up with my hair, I will be protective styling from next week til Sptember. I ordered a half wig and will put my hair in cornrows and rock that til about 12 weeks post. Then i will be putting my senegalese twists in. I will give more details on my salon experience and the wig I bought etc soon.

O and i should also say that there seems to be no discernible reason for why my ends break off occasionally other than they are possibly brittle and or damaged/weathered from my protein and moisture overloads. Cuz when I did the strand test yesterday they 'passed' and snapped like some pretty well balanced hair. My hairdresser also stated that the damage was concentrated in the parts of my hair that were bleached. To me that sounded like i pretty much will have to do more frequent trims til I trim all the bleached ends off, which is approx 2 inches of hair.

That's all for now......

Friday, March 9, 2012

Health over Length

I've been debating with myself over my ends for the last 3 weeks or so.

Facts:

  • They have been looking dry and kinda scraggly of late
  • I did a search and destroy a week ago and they're still looking kinda blehhh
  • My hairdresser in trini, who is NOT scissor happy suggested a trim at my last appointment with her
  • I am 5 weeks into a potentially 6 month stretch, the majority of which i will spend in braid extensions, if I don't trim now I will be taking these raggedy ends into my stretch with me....which sounds like a recipe for disaster
  • I have not trimmed since my protein overload
  • Although the protein overload induced breakage has more or less stopped, my ends are still pretty fragile and I still experience some breakage there if I try to m & s
  • I still have some bleached hair near my ends and whenever I have a set back they show the damage twice as much as my regular non bleached ends

Plus I can't STAND raggedy ends. V shape ...I can live with and actually kinda miss it, uneven ends...that I can live with too. But these raggedy refuse to recuperate no matter how much conditioner or moisturizer I slather on them ends...yeh...they gots to go.

So this weekend...actually probably tomorrow morning I will be going to Hair Cuttery near Dupont Circle for a wash, blow out flat iron and trim. While I'm in the US if I need a trim this is where I go, and I only go to one particular hairdresser, lets call her 'E'. She's the one who did my highlights for me in previous years and she's done all my trims ever since I first discovered her. I have not been there since the start of my HHJ but I don't think (and really hope) that I'll have a problem with her. I don't think I need to take off more than half an inch and better yet I won't miss half an inch as my msm/hair vitamins have my new growth outta this world. As in I'm 5 weeks post and feeling more like 7.

One thing that I think people miss is that if your hair is damaged yes a trim may be the instant solution, BUT it is also important to figure out what caused the damage. It makes no sense to get a trim then continue with the same practices that caused the damage in the first place. Look at what you did to your hair the weeks or even month preceding when you first noticed damage. Then look at what you've done since then and try to figure out if any of those practices could have made the damage worse. My variables right now are my protein overload, my twist outs, all the rinses I did and a new volumizing conditioner i mistakenly used instead of my regular moisturizing one. All things that happened between my last trim and when I noticed my raggedy ends. I may never be sure whether only one or the combination of a few caused the damage to my ends but I will be giving my hair a break from tall the products and styles I listed for the next few months.

Anyways, wish me luck with my trim and look out for my next salon experience blog post :)

(Post will be updated later with pics of my ends)