Thursday, December 19, 2013

Messy High Bun

Just snapped some pics of the messy high bun I've been wearing for the past few days. It looks so full surprisingly. I really like it.
Very quick post sent from my cell. Lol!

 On another note I am currently 19 weeks post  relaxer and my wash day last weekend went well.   It  was very brief. I shampooed my hair in 8 sections with Mane and Tail original shampoo.  I've had it a while but this was my first time using it and I really liked it. It  seemed to have really good slip. I was very pleased that I didn't have problems detangling in the shower.  I think increasing the number of sections from 4 to 8 helped as well t was really late so I skipped everything I would have normally done. I  did not pre-poo or DC... YIKES!!!  I was so tired, something had to give. I figured the water and moisturizer woukd leave me a little moisture.  I blow dried my hair pulled it up and tied a scarf around my edges. I didn't use any gel. Hair looks and feels fine so far despite skipping some essential pieces to my regimen. This stretch or transition (cant quite define it yet) is getting back on track.

On an additional note,  writing/ editing a blog post on your cell phone is very frustrating. This  keyboard has a mind if it's own, so please forgive the quality of this post. ha ha!

Well until the next post. Thanks for reading!
 Andrea

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I'm Still Here!!!

Hey everyone! I just wanted to do a quick post since it seems I haven't done one in ages. I've just gotten busy with other things. I had my second CPA exam a few weeks ago while also in the process of buying my first home! :-)  So much stress and excitement all at one time! Now I am moving! Good bye apartment life! I shall not miss you, until something messes up at the house and I have to come out of my own pocket to fix it....I'm sure I'll be wishing I had a landlord right about then. LOL!

As for my current hair status, I'm going on 17.5 weeks post. Surprising right! I'm the girl that could barely stretch past 8 weeks once upon a time. I have actually been considering transitioning to natural instead of texlaxed, but this last wash day was not so great.  Up until that point everything was fine, but last weekend it was tangle city. It was such a nightmare. But I think I have myself to blame for that. I went two weeks without detangling my hair so I was asking for it. I haven't given up yet, but that just might change when  if I decide that I just don't have the patience for natural hair.  I do like how thick and curly my roots are and the idea of not having to maintain multiple textures periodically if I became fully natural.  Just letting my hair be.  We shall see where this leads to, but I've still got that ORS Relaxer on standby.

 I'm hoping to be back to blogging again soon.Well I'm off to do some more packing.

HHG and thanks for reading!
Andrea

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Wash Day - Can't Keep My Hands Out of My Hair

I decided to start washing my hair Thursday when I got home from work. My wash days are usually Friday and often times going into Saturday. LOL! I really couldn't wait to try my new Jessicurl products that I won in the SOS Jessicurl Giveaway and I wanted to try an earlier wash day. I feel like wash days take up a lot of my weekend.

Since I am 8 weeks post relaxer I started off my wash clarifying/chelating with Redken Hair Cleansing Cream.  This was perfect because it gave me the opportunity to try out the Jessicurl Hair Cleansing Cream on squeaky clean hair.  Let me tell you, my hair felt oh so soft as soon as I applied the Jessicurl Cleansing Cream to my hair.  It lathered nicely and my hair felt soft even after rinsing. I think I'm in love... :)

Next I deep conditioned with the Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment and sat under my heat cap for about an hour.  I allowed my hair to cool before rinsing.

After rinsing the DC I decided to use the Jessicurl Too Shea Extra Moisturizing Conditioner and PM Super Skinny Serum for my leave-ins.  I then ponytail roller set my hair and allowed it to air dry overnight.  It was a bit late so I tried using my blow dryer on cool before going to bed. I had a feeling my hair may not be completely dry the next morning. (And that's why I save wash day for the weekends. LOL)

My hair was still slightly damp the next morning and my curls fell, but my hair felt so amazingly soft.  My hair is still super soft 2 days later and I haven't even moisturized and sealed yet.  I know that it's a no no, but I just can't stop touching my hair.

The verdict on Jessicurl Confidence Collection...so far so good! I haven't used the Styling Solution yet. I wasn't sure how much of a hold it would give my hair and I wanted soft flowy curls(did I just make up a word?) this time around.  I think I will give it a try next time I rollerset or maybe use my curlformers. We shall see.  I plan on doing an official review of each product after using them a few more times so I can give a good thorough assessment, but right now Jessicurl has made me a happy girl.
 
Have you tried any products from the Jessicurl line? Which is your fave?
 


Thanks for reading!

   Andrea

My Nape - Making Progress Slowly But Surely

I finally got around to getting some updated pics for my nape progress comparison.   As I've said before, it's not where I'd hoped to be at this point in my journey, but progress is progress and I am happy.  It was very hard to get a good comparison as far as length but I think the progress is still visible. 



At the start of my journey I could barely grasp the hair, but now I can get small rollers in for my rollersets.  The main thing that I have been focusing on is keeping my nape moisturized and massaging my scalp with Castor oil and avoiding stress in that area.  Also, when relaxing I usually relax this area last, so the relaxer is only on this area for a couple of minutes really. Under-processing my nape allows for more strength in that area. Not only have I seen progress in the length and thickness, but also the texture.  It is so much softer, no longer stiff and course.  Thank you Darcy's Coconut Lemongrass Transition Crème, JBCO, and peppermint oil! 

I remember my old stylist used to tell my how the texture of my hair at my nape is just different than the rest of my hair and that it just wasn't going to grow.  Her solution was to just hide it or keep cutting my hair short.  I opted to take another route.  I've mentioned before that I feel the main cause for my damaged nape was definitely over-processing.  This is why it felt so course.  I've also realized that my nape grows so much slower than the rest of my hair, so this plus the fact that I used to get my hair relaxed bone straight every 6 weeks was a bad combination.  Check out my previous post here to read about some other causes of nape damage and tips on remedying this problem.

This area is still a work in progress.  I will continue to focus on baying my nape as I have been and hope to see more progress soon.  I'll be sure to keep you all updated on my progress.
 
Do you have any problem areas with your hair?
What have you done to remedy them and have you seen progress? 
Please share in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading!

   Andrea

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Product Review - It's A 10 Miracle Moisture Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Product:
It's A 10 Miracle Moisture Shampoo

Price: 
 

$20.49 for 10 fl. oz. at Regis Salon
$13.50 for 10 oz. @ amazon.com

Ingredients:
Water, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidropropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Glycol Distearate, PEG-10 Sunflower Glycerides, Aspalathus Linearis Leaf Extract, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Morinda Citrifolia Fruit Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Moringa Pterygospema Seed Extract, Punica Granatum Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Extract, Symphytum Officinate Rhizome/Root Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin Ascorbic Acid, PEG-150 Pentaerythriyl Tetrastearate, Amodimethicone, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Citric Acid, PPG-12-Buteth-16, Polyquatemium-10, Trideceth-12, Laureth-9, Acrylates/Aminoacrylates/C10-30 Alkyl PEG-20 Itaconate Copolymer, C11-15 Pareth-7, Disodium EDTA, Propylene Glycol, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, DMDM Hydantoin, Linalool Fragrance, BCC12-Base

Directions:
Apply to wet hair. Massage into a rich lather and rinse thoroughly. For best results, follow with It's A 10 Mask.

My Assessment:
Of course the name had me excited to try out this product.  If a product includes the word moisture in the name I'm all in!  Another thing that got me was the 10 Amazing Ingredients listed on the back of the bottle that promise to provide nutrition for your hair.  I also noticed that on the front of the bottle it says "Now Sulfate Free".  You know what they say about sulfates.  In my mind this product was going to be a winner!

The product has a very nice floral fruity like scent, if that makes since. I really did like the smell.  On my first use of this shampoo, it did not lather at all.  Which I've mentioned before, it makes it difficult for me to get my fingers through my hair to massage and cleanse my scalp.  I kept applying more and just could not get it to work into a lather.  It kind of reminded me of a cleansing conditioner. But don't the directions say "massage into a rich lather"?  I can't quite remember, but I'm pretty sure I pre-pooed with an oil before hand, so maybe that is what prevented it from lathering. The next time around I used a sulfate shampoo and followed up with It's A 10 Miracle Moisture Shampoo hoping it would help with the lather issue and put some moisture back into my hair.  I did finally get the lather I was looking for, but the moisture was not there for me.  This shampoo was nothing amazing.  The last few times, I've used this product following my pre-poo with Wen Sweet Almond Mint and it has lathered fairly well each time.  But I can't say that my hair feels even the slightest bit moisturized after use. 

I was expecting my hair to feel soft and moisturized when I shampooed with this product, but sadly I was let down. The one pro is that I did like the smell. Other than that, I was pretty disappointed.  It wasn't awful, but it wasn't amazing.  I definitely would not purchase it again. It just wasn't the poo for me.

Has anyone else tried It's A 10 Miracle Moisture Shampoo?
What did you think of it?
What is your favorite moisturizing shampoo?
 

Thanks for reading!
   Andrea

SOS Giveaway Winner

I am so psyched about winning the Saving Our Strands Jessicurl Giveaway.  My prize has finally arrived and I cannot wait to get start using these products.



I received the Jessicurl Confidence Collection which includes the Too Shea! Extra Moisturizing Conditioner(which I have been wanting to try forever and also winner of SOS Battle of the Leave-Ins), the Hair Cleansing Cream, Deep Conditioning Treatment, and the Confident Coils Styling Solution.

Once again I want to give a BIG THANKS to KLP and Keyda, the lovely ladies of Saving Our Strands, for the opportunity to try these products.  If you are not already following them, you need to head over now and check out their amazing blog, where you'll find awesome healthy hair care tips, product reviews, and awesome protective style how-to's.

I'm planning to start using the collection at my next wash day and hope to have reviews up soon. I'm so excited. I love trying new products! True product junkie at heart! :)

Happy Hair Growing
and Thanks for reading!

   Andrea

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Groupon Deal - Carol's Daughter Hair Care Set

Just thought I'd share. This looks like a pretty good deal, because Carol's Daughter products are pretty pricey.  The set includes the Sulfate Free shampoo, Smoothing Conditioner, and Blow Dry Cream.  Click on the image below and it'll take you right to the Groupon website to take advantage of this awesome deal.



T954x610
Groupon.com

I'm not too familiar with Carol's Daughter products so I can't really provide an opinion, but I thought I'd share for all you Carol's Daughter lovers out there!

Go and check it out!


P.S. I seriously need to stay off the groupon website! LOL!


HHG!

   Andrea

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Recent Wash and Length Check (Am I at APL?)

So I finished up my two part wash day last night. I started it Friday by prepooing with Wen Sweet Almond Mint overnight. I shampooed Saturday using It's A 10 Miracle Moisture Sulfate Free shampoo (just finished off the bottle and will be reviewing it soon). I then DC'd with Silk Dreams Chocolate Bliss Conditioner which I also emptied and plan to review soon.  Yay for emptied products! LOL!

I DC'd under my heating cap for a couple of hours before finally rinsing. After applying my leave-ins (Darcy's Daily Leave-In and Matrix Biolage Thermal-Active Repair Cream) I decided to blow dry my hair on cool. I then did a couple of length check shots just to see where my hair is.  To me, I almost want to claim APL but I probably have another inch or so to go maybe.



Back half after blow drying on cool
Fully blow dried hair

The gap in the middle in the first pic bugs me to no end. That is why I keep wanting to do a major cut which would put me back at shoulder length.  Overtime this weak area of mine has become even more visible to me especially as I'm transitioning to texlaxed. I guess it's not too awful. I just keep PS-ing to hide this area and protect my ends.  I want to keep with slowly trimming until it's all even, but man oh man do I want to just cut it right now. Ah the woes of HHJs.
 
I just realized that I'm about one year into my hair journey. Well I officially started blogging in October, but I kind of started trying to practice healthier hair techniques after my last professional relaxer in Sept. I can't quite pin point the date, so I will plan it for the anniversary of the date of my first blog post which was Oct. 25. Wow! Time sure does fly when you are having fun.
 
So what do you all think? Can I officially claim APL?
 
 
Thanks for reading!
   Andrea

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Hair Growth Gadget

Of all things that promise to increase hair growth, I come across this here gadget while browsing the Groupon website.

T954x610
iGrow Hair Therapy Helmet (via Groupon.com)

It looks like some sort of space helmet or something. LOL! It is geared toward men and women who suffer from hair loss, thinning, or damaged hair.  It has 30 LED lights and 21 lasers that stimulate hair growth, thicken your strands, and repair damage caused by chemical products. The headphones are there so that you can listen to music via your iPod or other mp3 player during your 25 minute treatment.

You know I'm wondering if it really works....but I'm not willing to shell out $500 to find out.  I will just stick to other, cheaper methods.  I personally have never seen anything like this.

Well I jut found this pretty interesting and thought I'd share.


Thanks for reading!

   Andrea

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Pre-pooing with Wen Sweet Almond Mint

Ingredients:  Water, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol,
Chamomilla Recutia Flower Extract, Wild Cherry Bark Exract,
Rosemary Leaf ExtractSweet Almond Oil, Aloe Vera Juice,
Hydrolyzed Wheat ProteinPanthenol, Butylene Glycol, BTMS,
Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Polysorbate 60, PEG-60
Almond Glycerides, Amodimethicone, Citric Acid, Menthol,
Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinene,
Fragrance, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal.
Some time ago I ordered the Wen Sweet Almond Mint cleansing conditioner for my mom.  She had been anxious to try it out.  I had an opportunity to purchase the kit for $9.95 so I ordered it for her. Well, let's just say she did not like it.  She did not like how it made her hair feel, she thought that her hair was not being cleaned, so I took it off her hands. Why not give it a try? Maybe it would work for me.

It turns out that I don't care for it either.  For one I have a thing about getting a lather when I'm trying to cleanse my hair. I don't know if it's just me, but when there's lather, it's easier for me to get my fingers to my scalp. With this, that wasn't happening. My strands just kind of clump together making it hard to get my fingers through, which is kind of frustrating.  Also, I didn't think may hair felt all that great the couple of times that I used it to wash. AND it left my scalp itchy and flaky! That definitely made it a deal breaker for me. Hence the reason it's been sitting on the shelf for months now.

Well, on my mission to get rid of the many hair products that can be found in every corner of my apartment ~ bit of an exaggeration :) ~ I saw this on the shelf and started to wonder "Hmm could I use it as a prepoo?"  This product does not strip your hair at all and it even suggests to use it as a leave-in to condition your hair.  Since it causes itchiness and flakiness for my scalp I have never used it as a leave in. I wish I could pinpoint what exactly in the ingredients causes this, but I'm not quite sure.

Last night when I started my wash day, I sectioned my hair into four sections, detangled, then massaged coconut oil into my scalp.  I then applied the Wen to the length of my dry hair trying to avoid the scalp.  I didn't use any heat. I just let it sit on my hair for maybe 30 minutes or so.  When I rinsed it out, my hair felt very soft and was easy to detangle. I noticed that it has Behentrimonium Methosulfate and Aloe Vera Juice, which both provide amazing slip.  I was actually starting to like this product. Wow!

I think I will continue to use the Wen cleansing conditioner as a prepoo and then cleanse my scalp after.   That way I can avoid the itchy flaky scalp that results from this product.  It does have a lot of really great ingredients, but for cleansing and leave in purposes it is not for me.  This just goes to show an example of how to make a product you didn't think you liked work for you in a different way.


Has anyone else tried Wen Cleansing Conditioner?
How do/did you use it?
Do you love it or hate it?


Thanks for reading!
   Andrea

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Relaxer Update (Very Overdue)

Hey ladies! It has been a looooong while since my last post it seems.  Like many of you all, life has been happening and so I haven't been making the time to post any updates on my hair, although I have continued to stalk you all's blogs.  I get excited to see you ladies' progress. I feel like we are all in this together, supporting and rooting each other on.  It's amazing!


Length check before trim
So what's been happening with my hair since my last post?  Well, I ended my 12 week relaxer stretch back on August 9.  This stretch seemed so easy.  I've been incorporating a lot of the techniques I've learned from many of you ladies and it has made life so much easier. Seriously!

For my relaxer, I did the half and half method as I usually do.  I was worried that I ended up with bone straight results; especially on the left back side which is the side I started on, so it had a bit longer processing time than the right side.  The rest of my hair seems to have reverted a bit since my last wash, but the left back still feels a bit straight.  I'm hoping this will not cause any issues at my next relaxer. My plan is to coat my new growth with my Silk Remedy (Sally's comparison to Chi Silk Infusion).  I usually only try to coat my previously relaxed hair, but next time I will try to coat the new growth as well.  I also plan to begin relaxing on the right side instead of the left.

Other than the "over-processing" scare (well not really), my relaxer touch up turned out to be successful.  I did a regular roller set and tried out the saran wrap method again. I've tried this before unsuccessfully, but never posted on it.  This time was definitely a success.  It was like I had flat ironed my hair without a flat iron. Perfect!


Finger combed hair into bun
After my relaxer I decided to go for a trim at Super Cuts.  My ends were in pretty good shape as far as health, but I've mentioned before that my ends are much thinner than I like, so I've decided to gradually snip away until I'm happy with the thickness.  I snapped a length check pick before the trim but never got around to taking a post-trim pic.  The day I went for my trim it was raining and humid. My hair turned into a puffy mess so I didn't bother.  As far as length, it looks like I reached around line 6-ish again which was the length I was at before my last trim back in April. I think she took about an inch off for this most recent trim. Not too drastic.

Since relaxer day I have been in bun city and loving it! I've barely been manipulating my hair other than to moisturize or massage castor oil into my scalp.  I'm hoping this is good enough for my M&S-ing though it doesn't seem to be too thorough  I've been trying to get the moisturizer into most of my hair as much as possible without having to part or manipulate it into sections.  It seems to be working so far.



Back view
I'm hoping to do an update on my nape soon. It's not where I want it to be but definitely making progress.  I've definitely gained some length and thickness there.  I can even get some small rollers back there.  This was not possible before starting my journey.

So far so good on this journey of mine. I may be starting my wash day tonight. I have not washed in two weeks. I have been so busy studying I couldn't even take the time for my weekly wash and my hair is screaming for a cleanse.




I hope all is continuing to go well with everyone's journey!


Thanks for reading,

   Andrea

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Just a Brief Update

So this is kind of just a random update I guess.  Still can't believe we're already into the second half of the year. Wow time is flying quick.  I believe October will be my 1 year hair anniversary. Well September was my last bone straight relaxer AND the last time I decided to let a stylist work on my hair. DIY from then on out except for my trims which I'm hoping to start handling myself at some point. I can't wait to see where I am after a year.

I've been trying so hard to be patient, especially with my transition to texlaxed.  I still feel like I'm seeing more shedding and breakage than I like.  Not quite sure what's considered normal, but it's not in clumps so I guess that's a good thing. Still battling with the whole moisture/protein balance. I'm also still struggling with my nape still. It just seems to be growing so slow. I think this is the area of my hair that grows the slooooowest.  I have been babying it as much as possible, moisturizing, and massaging with JBCO.  I always relax this area last so it is just barely processed.  I noticed that the texture back there is very tiny coils and I mean they are tiny, so I've been trying my best to handle with care.  Because it is still very textured and coily that may be why it seems like there's barely any growth, but I know it's growing. 

On my washday last weekend, I was doing my green tea rinse and just happened to really notice how much tex-laxed hair I have.  I cannot stress how ready I am to be completely texlaxed (though I've had some thoughts creep up on me about going back to bone straight)....But my texlaxed hair is SOOO much thicker. I love that!
 

Texture shot after green tea rinse (bone straight ends are clumping together)
I am currently about 8 weeks post. I think I have about an inch of new growth more or less in some areas.  I had planned to try to install box braids (DIY) but I have in no way prepared for this  Plus I'm afraid I might get a little overwhelmed.  I know it will take a whole day if not more.  I'd prefer to do it myself because I know how gentle I need to be, and I just can't find it in me to allow someone else to touch my hair again.  Too many bad experiences.  I haven't ruled it out yet, just have to mentally prepare myself for all that braiding. YIKES!
 
 
An update on my goals for this month. I am just not off to the best start.  I was really hoping I would be able to hit it hard this time around.  So sad that I'm already admitting defeat so early in the game. lol. I'll elaborate on that more on my July Goals recap at the end of the month.
 
Well that's it for now. I hope you all are hitting your short term/long term goals and making great progress on your hair goals as well. Until next post...
 
Thanks for reading,
   Andrea 

Monday, July 1, 2013

July Goals

Wow! Another month has flown by! My how time flies when you're having fun.  Well with the new month comes new goals (some recurring) of course.  Before I get into my July goals, let me first recap my goals for June.

June Goals Recap

1.  Heat free styling - FAIL ... Well I was doing very well not to have used any form of direct or even indirect heat since April.  Well....Friday June 28 I did a ponytail rollerset and allowed it to air dry overnight.  Saturday afternoon I decided to break my no heat rule and flat iron my roots.  I was getting ready for a get together with some friends and really wanted my hair to look cute so...that was a FAIL.  However that was the ONLY time I used my flatiron so I think I still did pretty good.

Results of my ponytail roller set after flat ironing roots

2.  Deep Condition With Steam Once A Week - SUCCESS- I successfully DC'd using steam every wash.  Proud of me on this one!

3.  No new hair purchases for the month - I also claim this as a SUCCESS - I was not including accessories just hair products i.e. shampoo, conditioners, oils, etc.  It was very hard, and believe me I walked down the hair product aisle every chance I got, but I did not buy anything.  I even held out on the Wal-Mart salon's Buy 1 Get 2 Free sale (I was really eyeing that PMSS Daily Treatment).  It so happens that my awesome sis purchased a bottle for me as she bought some items for herself. Woot!

4. Workout three times per week - FAIL - I started off really well, but it started to fall apart toward the end of week two.  This was the one that I knew I would have the hardest time with.  My summer class kind of held me up on that end. Summer courses are so much more demanding because you're cramming a whole semesters worth of material in just a few weeks.  Work, class, studying, and hair took up most of my time. Lol

My Goals for July

1. Exercise at least 3 times a week
2. Continue to steam once a week
3. Tea rinse once a week
4. Drink 1 cup of bamboo leaf tea nightly
5. No more than 1 new product purchase this month (I better pick something good)
6. Up my water intake (64 oz per day including my cup of bamboo leaf tea)


I'm hoping I can hold up this month. I should definitely be able to get my workouts in since I have a little more time.  We shall see.

Were your able to report success with your June goals? What are your goals for this month?

Thanks for reading,
   Andrea 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Follow Me On BlogLovin'

So yeah, I'm kind of late on this post, but most of you all probably know this already.  Google Friend Connect will be no more starting July 1 (just under an hour in my time zone).  Even though it seems like I've been MIA from the blogosphere, I haven't gone anywhere and plan to continue updating you guys on my hair journey.  If you guys want to stay posted on my progress you may continue to do so by clicking the little button at the top right hand side of my blog to follow me on BlogLovin'. You can also add me to your circles on Google+, but I'll be honest...I still haven't figured out how to work that thing. Lol!  Thanks to everyone who follows my blog for all your support, advice, tips, etc. You all keep me motivated for sure!


Thanks for reading,
   Andrea

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Seriously Jealous!!!

Okay, so someone posted this video in a thread on the Long Hair Care Forum a couple weeks ago.  I really wanted to share this with you guys if any of you haven't seen it yet.  I was surprised that there are men out there practicing healthy hair care techniques too.  I am so envious right now. I need that head of hair! LOL! Check it out!





He gave some great product reviews.  Hoping to try some of these when I get my stash down.  However, it's really odd to hear him say "pre-poo" lol! 

What do you guys think?  Have you tried any of these products?  
What would you think of your man discussing "hair regimens" with you? :)


Thanks for reading,
   Andrea

Saturday, June 1, 2013

My Goals for the Month of June

Jeni at JustGrowAlready.com and a few other bloggers have inspired me to start setting monthly goals for myself.  It's definitely a good idea to make a list of mini goals or steps toward achieving your long term goal.  It's probably a lot better than just going with the flow like I've been doing.  I need to start making myself accountable. So here goes:

My June Goals


1.  Continue heat free styling for the month of June. 
On this note I am proud to say that I have not used any form of heat styling on my hair since April 28 (direct or indirect).  I've been in Air Dried City and think I'm getting better at it the more I practice.



2.  DC with steamer once a week.
Just pulled my steamer back out recently and remembered how much softer my hair feels when I use it.  Time to put this steamer back to work.


3. No hair purchases for the month (unless I'm replacing a staple).
I'm on a mission to get my stash down to the basics.

That's not even all of it :-(
Although a good bit of it was given to me & I happily accepted. lol
4.  Workout at least 3 times a week this month. 
I've gradually started inching my way back into the gym, but not as often as I should. Hoping I can keep it up.


There are some other things I'd like to work on, but these will be my focus for this month.  I'm definitely going to try to stay on top of these goals this month.  Hopefully I can report back that I achieved them all.  The one I'm most worried about achieving is my working out goal since I work full time and am taking a summer class right now. This is going to be the hardest, but I'm going to try for sure.

What are your goals for the month?

Thanks for reading,

   Andrea

Monday, May 20, 2013

Product Review - Darcy's Botanicals Daily Leave-In Conditioner

Product: Darcy's Botanical's Daily Leave-In Conditioner in Sweet Cream

Price:  $12.00 for 8 oz. bottle

Purchased from:  www.darcysbotanicals.com

Ingredients: Distilled Water (Aqua) with Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil (and) Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Leaf Extract (and) Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract (and) Lavandula Angustfolia (Lavender) Flower Extract, Vegetable Glycerin, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, MSM, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride (cationic guar gum), paraben-free preservative and Fragrance.

Promises: "Darcy's Botanicals NEW Daily Leave-In Conditioner will tame your frizzies, provide healthy conditioning, moisture, softness, and will make your hair easy to detangle!"

Directions: "Apply a generous amount throughout wet or dry hair for healthy conditioning and moisture."

My Thoughts:
This product was one of my first purchases when starting my HHJ so this review is very long overdue.  This conditioner has a light creamy consistency, and is not too thick which I like.  I feel that it spreads much easily through my hair for that reason and also provides some slip.  I will usually apply about a nickel size amount to wet hair and a little really does go a long way with this product.  I think I purchased this product back in October and I am still working on the same bottle.  Darcy's Botanicals offers this product in a wide variety of fragrances.  I chose the Sweet Cream scent and I definitely love the fragrance of it. I mostly used it as a leave-in applied to wet hair after washing and deep conditioning.  When I did my wet wraps and rollersets, my hair always came out so soft, smooth, and moisturized.  The softness would even last a couple days before I would have to moisturize and seal again.

Recently I was starting to feel that it wasn't working for me anymore. I wasn't getting the same smooth soft hair that I did when I first began using it. I've used it lately while air-drying my hair and my hair seemed to be a bit dry.  I started to think that maybe this leave-in did not work well for air-drying using the scarf method with my hair hanging out, but I am now pinning this dryness to protein overload.  Since correcting this my hair is starting to feel softer again with use.


All in all I really like this product.  I've been using it consistently since starting my HHJ and it is definitely a staple.  I can definitely vouch for the promise of conditioning, softness, moisture and ease of detangling.

Has anyone else tried Darcy's Daily Leave-In Conditioner? What are your thoughts on it? Staple or no?



Thanks for reading,
   Andrea

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Relaxer Touch-up at 11 weeks post

So yesterday I finally relaxed after an 11 week stretch.  I decided to end my stretch mainly because I just wanted to get my relaxer out of the way and I was ready to have some "straight-er" hair.  Relaxer day was pretty long of course, but I think it went well. It was a long day/night I'll just say.

I started out by detangling and sectioning my hair into four parts.  I then coated the length of my hair with  GVP Silk Remedy that I got from Sally's (it's supposed to compare with CHI Silk Infusion) and Roux Porosity Control to protect from relaxer runoff.  I planned to begin with the back half (doing the half and half relaxer method that I've used before).  I placed metal duckbill clips along the horizontal part between the front and back half to separate the front section of my hair.  I clipped the two front sections with butterfly clips and covered with a plastic clap.
Used metal clips to separate front half
Clips help to keep plastic cap in place
I finished prepping the back half by parting each section into one inch sections and twisting to keep them separated.  I based my scalp with Vaseline as I went along.  I relaxed the back half using my green sprush. For my relaxer I used the same on that I used the last time: ORS Lye Relaxer in Normal Strength. I had my timer set for 11 minutes but I went quite a bit over.  I immediately jumped in the shower and rinsed then applied Redken Extreme Strength Builder for my midstep protein treatment.  Neuatralized with ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo 3 times and then I used my Elasta QP Neutralizing Shampoo to double check that all the relaxer was gone.  This particular shampoo turns pink when there are still traces of relaxer so it made me feel better to see the white lather.  I followed up next with French Perm Stabilizer Plus for extra precaution (low pH conditioner that also aids in stopping the relaxer process.  Man oh man does my hair feel smooth after using this stuff!

Next I relaxed the front half in the same manner, first making sure that my hair was not damp from working on the back half.  Since I am texlaxing, I was almost worried that I'd left the relaxer on too long.  The roots in the back half seemed to be straighter than I expected, but I'm hoping to see some reversion there after my next wash.

I deep conditioner using my ORS Curls Unleashed under my heating cap for several hours.  I fell asleep wearing the heat cap then I just took it off and went on to bed.  When I rinsed again my hair felt so soft and smooth.  After rinsing the DC I t-shirt dried for maybe 30 min and then applied Darcy Daily Leave In and Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum.  I allowed my hair to air dry with my silk scarf tied around my edges and then ended up pulling it into a bun.

Looks a little thicker and fuller than usual :-)
I think this relaxer day went well even though it was long.  I can't wait to do another almost 3 month stretch.  I figure I'll wait a little bit before going for another trim/dusting since I just had one last month.  Planning on a lot of PS-ing and no heat during this stretch next stretch.  Well until the next post folks! :)

How was your most recent relaxer touch-up?  Do you self relax and if so what's your method?


Thanks for reading,
   Andrea

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Lather. Rinse. Repeat???

I've always followed the instructions on the shampoo bottle.  Besides you want your hair to be thoroughly cleaned right.  But is it really necessary?  After starting my HHJ I began to wonder if this is something I should continue to do.  I started to think about the concept of pre-pooing to prevent stripping all the moisture from your hair and how we are supposed to minimize the use of shampoos containing sulfates.  To maintain healthy hair you have to maintain moisture. So then why repeat?

I became curious about whether any other HHJ ladies repeat when shampooing.  In a lot of my favorite blogs that I follow the wash day posts usually say "shampooed with ____" then moves on to the next part of the wash whether it be tea rinsing or deep conditioning.  Even I do this when typing up my wash day post.  But I always wonder "did you repeat the shampoo process".  I will admit that I am a lather, rinse, repeat, shampooer.  I always have been and I guess it's just a habit.

Some seem to think it's a marketing ploy to get you to spend more money on hair products as mentioned in this post here. The more you use, the more you buy right?  This could be true, but in my opinion I do think it's beneficial in that I feel my scalp has been thoroughly cleaned; and we all know a healthy scalp means healthy hair. I usually put more focus on my scalp when washing anyway.  And since I don't scrub my hair it shouldn't hurt to do a second lather and allow my tresses to be gently cleansed as I rinse.  I don't think I've experienced any ill effects from repeating the shampoo.  So I don't see any issue with the old "lather, rinse, repeat" routine, especially if you're using a moisturizing/conditioning shampoo. Sometimes if I use a sulfate shampoo or clarifying shampoo I will follow up with a moisturizing shampoo, which should help with moisture retention.

I guess it just depends on the individual and how often you wash.  Maybe if you're someone that washes every day, you will lather once.  If you wash every week or two you may feel like you need a more thorough wash.  If your hair is natural, you are definitely more concerned about moisture so maybe when you shampoo/clarify you only lather once.

So what do you guys think about the shampoo process? Do you lather, rinse, then repeat?


Thanks for reading,
   Andrea

10 Weeks Post and No Plans to Relax Just Yet

I just had to share this because I cannot believe that I'm not mid relaxer at this point. I usually couldn't wait to crack open that tub of relaxer and go to town on these naps! Lol!  I must be ill or something. But seriously, I've been doing really well. I haven't used any heat since the last time I flat ironed. I've been trying to use some more creativity with my styles. Early in the week I used my curlformers to achieve heatless curls. Before that I tried out a "twist" and curl which did not turn out the way I hoped, but I still got compliments.  I washed my hair on Thursday night and allowed my hair to air dry in a bun. Heat free, kinky roots, and still not relaxing.

It seems to be getting easier for me getting through my wash day with the longer stretch.  Before I was just so worried about causing a lot of breakage.  I would also worry about how I would style my hair with all that new growth popping.  Using all of the proper techniques my wash days have been a breeze. Washing in sections, DC-ing, proper detangling, using my Magic Star Jumbo Rake, and making sure I have the time to dedicate to my hair. Age in ATL shared some amazing wash day tips on her blog for stretchers and transitioners which I definitely incorporate into my wash days.  Check out her two part post here and here.

On my wash days I have been trying to incorporate a lot more moisture lately.  It is SO important to keep your new growth moisturized; but you also need protein to add strength. I've been trying to use the wet strand test to determine what my hair needs.  The last couple of washes the strand snapped without any stretching from what I could tell, so I  think I need to take a little break from protein.  Last night I DC'd with a new deep conditioner (I am a severe product junkie; well I may have witnessed worse lol). I tried out the ORS Curls Unleashed Moisturizing Conditioner and so far I really like it.  Could become a possible staple.  I will do an official review after a couple more uses. I've also tried to throw in a co-wash here and there. Keeping my hair soft and moisturized is helping with my stretching and getting through my wash day.  I think I had about 5 shed hairs and VERY minimal breakage during my wash.  I could not believe I did not find a clump of hair in the shower with 10 wks of new growth. No clumped, matted, or tangled hair.  No ripping, tearing, or breaking (which I would have experienced pre-HHJ.).  I must be doing something right.

I guess one other reason I'm not slapping that cream on my head is because now that I'm self relaxing I don't look forward to it as much.  Relaxer day can be long and exhausting. This may be my motivation for stretching....or even going natural. Hmmm....

Tiny curl I tried to capture at 8 wks post;
just makes me want a head full of curls :-)
I am still trying to see how long I can go.  If I don't relax next weekend, I will definitely be relaxing for sure at  12 weeks post. Another week down, two more to go???

How is your stretch going?



Thanks for reading,
   Andrea

Monday, May 6, 2013

Curlformer Set at 9 Weeks Post

So yesterday I decided to cowash my hair and try out my new curlfomers. I ordered them online from Sally's while they were offering their 20% discount on online purchases.  I purchased the Curlformer kit in extra long and wide which includes 40 curlformers and two rods.  I also ordered 3 more packs of 6 to make sure I had enough, and it's a good thing because I ended up using 51.  I probably could have gone with the long and wide instead of extra long and wide, but I wanted to be able to grow into them...they are not cheap.
Tried to get a pic of the back;
two different colors spiral in different directions
I got the urge to try these out after watching Naptural85's youtube video tutorial.  After seeing the smooth results she got on her natural hair, I definitely had to give them a try.  Please check out her video below.



They were pretty easy to install and I did them while I was sitting on the couch watching TV. Lol!.Like in Whitney's video above I started from the back and worked my way up. It probably took me an hour and a half or so(probably because I was sitting on the couch watching TV...Ha ha!).  I kept my spray bottle(setting lotion diluted with distilled water) at my side to re-wet as I installed.  I ended up sleeping with the curlformers in my hair so they could air dry and so I could wake up with fresh curls in the a.m.  I will admit that they weren't the easiest to sleep in, but I've dealt with worse to wake up with cute hair. The things we go through...lol! My hair was completely dry by morning. Check out my results.

Smooth shiny air dried curls
Side view (Just woke up...lol)
Separated curls for fullness and threw on a headband
(got a weird flash on this pic...sorry)
I was very pleased with how my hair turned out.  Smooth, shiny curls with absolutely no heat.  I am currently about 9 weeks post.  The curlformers definitely helped a bit with stretching out my new growth. This will be a new option for me to go to during my stretches. I'm almost at 10 weeks post and squeaking with excitement! I was an every 6 week touch up girl before starting my HHJ so I'm pretty proud of me right now.  I was able to get up to 8 week stretches, now working on 10.  Woot woot!

Has anyone else tried using curlformers? How did you like them?


Thanks for reading,
   Andrea

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Wash Day

I started off applying a little hempseed oil for ease of detangling my hair with my Magic Star Jumbo Rake comb which I love! It makes it so much easier to get through my new growth and texlaxed hair. I then parted my hair into four sections securing with separator clips.


Next I jumped in the shower and shampooed each quadrant with my Redken Hair Cleansing Cream to remove any build up.  I then followed up with a moisturizing shampoo (It's A 10 Miracle Moisture Shampoo; will do a review after a few more uses).

I then hopped out of the shower and t-shirt dried my hair for about 30 minutes or so and then applied Kera Pro Restorative Treatment.  I let the DC sit on my hair for a while then eventually sat under my heat cap for an hour.  I then allowed a few minutes for my hair to cool off and then jumped back in the shower to rinse.

I tshirt dried for about 20 minutes and then applied my leave-ins.  I used Darcy Daily Leave-In and then I applied a new product, Matrix Biolage Thermal Active Repair Cream.  I think this is used to blow dry but I decided I didnt want to both blow dry and flat iron.  I ended up air drying; my air dried hair felt a little dry for some reason.  I've noticed this the past couple of washes that I allowed my hair to air dry.  Not sure what that is about.  I then flat ironed my hair using my Sedu Revolution on 230 degrees.  I used my Catwalk Haute Iron Spray for additional heat protection to be on the safe side. 

After I finished I wrapped up my hair and went to bed.  I was going to take a pic of my results but the humidity from all this rain got to my hair before I got a chance.  Trying to figure out how to style it tomorrow for my interview. Wish me luck ladies!


Thanks for reading,
   Andrea

8 Weeks Post and Counting

So in many of my posts I have mentioned my biggest obstacle in my HHJ is stretching my relaxers.  Some of you ladies make it look SO easy, but I've been having the hardest time.  Well lately it seems not to have been so bad.  I'm at 8 weeks post now and feel like I can make it to 10.  This could be because I have straightened my hair since the end of the L4LPSC.  Speaking of, I DQ'd on this one as I broke the one heat pass rule a while back.  However I was not happy with the state of my hair before the challenge anyway, and knew I would end up losing length from my need to get a trim.  Back to my stretching, I flat ironed my hair on April 16 to do my length check shot (couldn't get any good ones on my own) and I had planned to get a trim because if you've been following me I had been noticing some breakage and split ends which I was dying to get rid of for a while.  Unfortunately I didn't make it that day to get my trim so a week later I tried again.  Of course i had to flat iron again to make sure my roots were straight and went on down to Super Cuts.  My girl was not there so someone else did my trim (I couldn't wait any longer). He probably could have taken off a little more so I may make another trip soon, but we'll see. I may wait until after my next relaxer.  This was the best I could do with no help taking my pics. Sorry about the quality.

Looking close to APL
At line 5 or maybe 6 but ends kind of stringy
About an inch away from APL
After Trim(between line 3 & 4) :-(
The bad thing is, I'm going to have to flat iron yet AGAIN after this wash because I have an interview on Monday.  I'm not trying to be fighting with these kicking roots so easy solution is to flat iron.  That will be 3 weeks in a row :(.  I contemplated going ahead and relaxing but I would have to flat iron anyway.  Besides I really want to keep this stretch going, and once I get to closer to week 10 I may decide to push it up to 12 weeks. WOW 3 months without a relaxer.  That was just unimaginable for me!

So what's been helping?  Washing my hair in sections for one.  It has made it SOOO much easier to detangle which can be an issue when the new growth starts "kickin". Lol! Also thanks to my Magic Star Jumbo Rake I've been seeing much less breakage.  I'll have to say that my French Perm Stabilizer is helping with softening and detangling as well.  I've been using it at the end of my washes. Moisture Moisture and more Moisture! This makes my new growth happy. Also after washing, I let my hair air dry until its about 80% dry and then I will pull it into a little bun to finish air drying with my silk scarf tied around my edges.  This helps stretch out my new growth.  I also have to give credit to my Sedu Revolution for the past couple of weeks. I don't plan to use this after this week for a while.  I have been taking precautions though.  I DC to boost moisturize, I use a heat protectant and I'm using a low heat setting (about 220 degrees).  So hopefully I'm not doing too much damage.

I'm not sure what I'll be doing from here since I'm not planning to flat iron anymore.  I wanted to continue my rollersets, but for some reason I feel like I've been getting a lot of breakage doing these so I'm afraid to continue. Am I applying to much tension  maybe?  I especially worry about how much tension I've been applying in the back which I feel is my weak area as it always seems to be very thin there.  I even let my hair dry a little so detangling is easier and re-wet when I get ready to set the roller, but that's when I notice the hair coming out.  I would air dry, but then my hair would look like a big poofy mess. If anyone has any tips to get smooth airdrying results, please let me know. I tried on some wigs last weekend and I just felt like I looked silly.  Some can really rock them, but unfortunately not me.  I'm still trying to figure this out, if anyone has any suggestions please comment below! Maybe I'll try braid outs again or a braid and twist.  I don't do them much because I hate how they look with my thin hair, but it may be worth a try to keep my stretch going.



Thanks for reading,
   Andrea

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Quick Post

I have been having an issue with my hair appearing thinner toward the back center of my head.This has been bugging me since the start of my journey. The thinness is worse when my hair is oily. I know my nape is part of the problem. I'm thinking that I may have to blame it on the claw clips and other types of hair clips which I always place in the same area as well. :( I thought maybe even "doobie" wrapping my hair when it's straightened may be another culprit. I'm planning to start primarily cross wrapping my hair when necessary. As far as the claw clips, this has been my go-to simple & easy P.S. because my creativity is lacking in that dept. What to do. Not sure about that. I'm working on my nape as well by M&S morning and night and massaging castor oil into my hair and scalp. That thin area just makes me want to cut it all off even though it's probably not necessary. I'll just keep
focusing on correcting these issues AND being patient. Just had to throw up this quick post.

Thanks for reading!
Andrea

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Recent Product Haul - Don't Judge Me :)

Okay okay, this no buy thing is not going well for me.  Well the Regis Salon currently has a Buy One Get Two free sale, so of course I turned it into Buy Two Get Four Free. LOL! I just could not pass up such an amazing deal.  Four of the items are new to me and two I've tried and liked.  So what had happened was...lol... I grabbed my three items, but then I just kept looking and saw one more thing I really wanted to try.  I just couldn't put it back so I said hey I can just get two more freebies. Perfectly logical, right??? LOL!  I should not be making excuses for this "problem". Ha ha!  Reviews will be coming!
 
Top(left to right): Redken Extreme Strength Builder Plus, It's a 10 Miracle Moisture Shampoo, It's a 10 Miracle Daily Conditioner, It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product (sample Moisture Hair Masque included);  Bottom (left to right): Matrix Biolage Thermal-Active Repair Cream, Redken Hair Cleansing Cream


After reading a post on Bebe's blog and Nadege's blog about the benefits of bamboo leaf tea I decided to see for myself.  I'm looking forward to reaping these benefits.  So far it's pretty good. I steaped one satchet last night and added honey, but it's even pretty good without adding a sweetener to it.  I'm really excited about this purchase.



Has anyone broken your "no buy" rule? What was your most recent purchase?

Thanks for reading,
   Andrea

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Product Review - French Perm Stabilizer Plus

Product:  French Perm Stabilizer Plus

Price: $7.39 for 32 oz. bottle

Purchased at: Sally's Beauty Supply

Promises:
The all-purpose after rinse - Advanced formulat Stabilizer PLUS combines acid-balancing 'after-rinse' actin with improved conditioner power! *Approximate pH: 2.5 - The ideal after-relaxer lotion for achieving normal acid-balance *Gives hair a superior feel *Gives greater combing ease *Non-oily *Clings: Minimizes run off *Foaming action: A remarkably fine penetrating foam carries conditioner right into the cuticle. Completeness of coverage is easy to see.  Creates a superior foundation for roller setting or blow styling.

Ingredients:
Aqua (Water) (Eau), Oleth-20, Isopropyl Alcohol, Trideceth-7 Carboxylic Acid, Polyquaternium-10, Olealkonium Chloride, Propylen Glycol, Parfum (Fragrance), Methylparaben, Propylparaben 

Directions:
Do not dilute.  After rinsing out neutralizing shampoo (or tints, toners, etc.) apply liberally to wet hair, work into hair, wait 1 minute and rinse.
My Thoughts:  I decided to try out the French Perm Stabilizer based on a suggestion and several great reviews from a LHCF thread (Long Hair Care Forum).  Although it's an "after chemical service" low pH conditioner,(pH of 2.5) some of the ladies were using it on wash days stating that it made their hair feel very soft and silky and easy to detangle even after MANY weeks of stretching.  I was like man I have got to try this stuff. LOL!  Since I have not quite made it to LTSS (Long Term Stretcher Status...my biggest challenge right now) I thought this may help.
I purchased this large 32 oz bottle at Sally's for only $7.39.  Definitely a pro here.  This bottle will last many many washes.  The first time I used it was on a wash day (I did not post this wash).  That first wash it did not work for me.  I wasn't sure if I had done something wrong.  The product did not lather when I applied it to my hair.  I did not get the silky smooth results that many others had experienced.  I thought to myself "I should have never jumped on this band wagon. What am I going to do with this big bottle of conditioner now?"  But I gave it another try.  The next time I used it was on relaxer day after neutralizing my hair.  This is when I started to see some results.  I got the lather and the smooth silky hair that detangled very easily. I figured if I can't use it on wash day I can at least use it after my relaxer.
I recently decided to try it out again on wash day this past week and the week before.  I am currently about 6 weeks post and this is around the time I'm usually itching for that relaxer.  This time I got the lather and the silky smooth easy to detangle hair.  I applied it to my hair after DC-ing and my hair felt so soft and smooth (my bone straight ends which are more porous more so than my texlaxed hair) But my hair overall was still so soft and manageable.  Say what now!? So now of course I'm wondering why it didn't do this on my first use.  I'm thinking it is because I did a tea rinse on that first wash.  The last couple of washes I skipped the tea rinse to see how the French Perm Stabilizer would work and... voila.. awesome results.
I would definitely recommend this product.  You get a lot for your money and it's great for use after relaxer and even on wash day to restore hair to its normal pH balance.  I think I even prefer it to Roux Porosity Control.  The one con I have is the smell which is likely due to the alcohol in the product.  It's not very pleasant, but for silky hair I can deal with it.
I'm trying to make this stretch last about 10 weeks (the longest I have done is 8 wks) so I will continue to use this to help with my stretches.

Has anyone else tried French Perm Stabilizer Plus? What was your experience?  Please share.

Thanks for reading,
   Andrea

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...