Saturday, March 30, 2013

Wash Day

I am 4 weeks post today so I decided to clarify to begin this wash.  I never ever thought about clarifying or even knew that it was necessary.  Who knows, I may have been clarifying all the time and just didnt know.  Before my HHJ I would just use whatever shampoo or whatever conditioner but now I understand that there are different types of shampoos(moisturizing, clarifying, chelating, sulfate free, etc.) and conditioners (moisturizing, protein) etc. and they each serve a specific purpose.

Clarifying shampoos are used as a means of removing product build-up from your hair.  As you continue to add products to your hair such as hair sprays, gels, serums containing cones,  or if you live in an area with hard water, etc. your hair shaft can become clogged which prevents additional nourishment from penetrating the hair. You're basically getting rid of the "bad" stuff to make room for more "good" stuff.  When using a clarifying shampoo, you should always followup with a moisturizing shampoo as clarifying shampoos are usually somewhat harsh and drying.  It is best to clarify at least every four weeks.

My Wash:
1. To clarify I used Redken Hair Cleansing Cream Shampoo, it was gentle yet my hair still felt squeaky clean.
2. Next I followed up with Lavender Mint Moisturizing Shampoo (this was a generic brand that I purchased from Sally's Beauty Supply a while back).  It's supposed to compare with Paul Mitchell products. It does the job. :)
3. Next I decided to do a protein treatment to reinforce my tresses.  I used Redken Extreme Strength Builder Plus for this step. I didn't use heat but allowed it to sit on my hair for maybe an hour and a half to two hours.  I'm hoping it will also help curb some of the breakage I've been seeing.  I have split ends now since I unfortunately missed out on my trim after my touchup. I want to wait until I can straighten my hair before getting a trim.  Heat in the L4L Protective Styling Challenge is a no no, but I need want a trim ASAP!
4. Deep conditioned using Redken All Soft Heavy Cream ( I guess it was a Redken kind of a day).  Lol! I wanted to DC using my steamer, but it was late and I wasn't in the mood to get it out and put it together....another reason that I wish I had one with an adjustable stand.  Maybe one day I will upgrade.  I ended up leaving the DC in overnight.  I was just too sleepy to fool with my hair anymore.
5.  The next morning I rinsed out the DC and I applied Roux Porosity control to each section (I've been doing everything in 4 sections) for 30 secs then rinsed.  My hair did not have any slip at all after the DC or the Roux, which I was unhappy about. 
6.  I then squeezed my hair dry with a t-shirt (NEVER rub dry!!!) then I let it air dry for a while so I could detangle on dry hair before my rollerset.
7.  I applied my leave-ins (DB Daily Leave-In, PMSS Serum, and I put a little Carols Daughter Monoi Repairing Split End Sealer on my ends) and re-wet my hair for my rollerset. After putting in the rollers I sprayed some heat protectant on my exposed hair before sitting under the dryer.  I was a little more frustrated with this set.  This is my third time rollersetting since my earlier post which you can read here.  Here are the results:





I managed to get a pretty good texture shot of my texlaxed/bone straight.  This was taken right after shampooing before I applied the protein conditioner.  My texlaxed hair is pretty wavy but you can't really tell too well in the pics.  

texture shot
 I'm so excited to see the amount of texlaxed hair I have.  So eager to be 100% texlaxed soon.  I keep picturing myself wearing big fluffy buns.  I actually think buns are really cute.  A bun on me now just looks really pitiful...lol. Anyway, who knows maybe texlaxing will help me work my way to natural if I decided to go that route.
How was your most recent wash day? Are there any beginners giving rollersetting a try? How is that going for you?

Have a wonderful Easter weekend,
and thanks for reading!
     Andrea

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Nape Damage and Recovery

I am one of the many relaxed women who have suffered damage to my nape or the "kitchen" as some call it.  It had always been a little bit of an issue for me.  It was always the shortest part of my hair as it is for many women.  My nape issue, however, seemed to get worse during my college years and a little bit after.  I kept wondering "Is it something that I'm doing?" And it may very well have been.  I have later come to realize that the stylists I had been going to may have contributed to this issue as well. 

One of my key goals during my journey is to baby my nape to get it healthy and eventually the same length as the rest of my hair.  I wasn't too excited to post this pic, but this is my journey and I wanted to share everything...even the not so pretty.  :(  When I get to my goal I'm sure I'll be glad that I posted this pic just to remember where I started and feel good about my ultimate progress.

Current condition of my nape
Smooth edges by tying with silk scarf
The last stylist I was seeing would always point out my hair getting thinner and breaking back there.  She would always tell me that my hair looked better and thicker short, pretty much encouraging me to cut it.  She knew that my goal was long hair, but she just kept giving me excuse afte excuse instead of helping me get the length I wanted.  "You're getting older and your hair is changing so it won't grow like it used to" or "Your nape won't grow because the texture is different than the rest of your hair" (I won't tell you what she compared it to...OMG!)  I would get it cut in a bob or some short style and eventually the damage and thinness of my hair would become noticeable again.  Finally one day while waiting for her to call me to the chair, I was flipping through a hair magazine and saw a photo of Terri Vaughn featuring a really cute short cut that was shaved/tapered in the back.  I had never liked having scissors anywhere near my hair even for a trim but imagine her taking some electric clippers to my head! Yikes!  But I was ready.  I thought maybe I just need to start fresh. So I did it. I freaked out, but I did it! Lol!  The shortest cut I had ever had. I kept some length in the front, but my hair in the back was "gone".  I never did get any good pics of the back.

Hair cut in Spring 2011

I didn't care to maintain the style afterward.  I just wanted my hair to grow back which was always my ultimate goal; and it was growing. But when I really started to get some length again, so came the thinning and breakage in the same area.  I was that person that never questioned the stylist; the licensed professional.  But sometimes having a license doesn't mean much if they don't practice the right techniques. It wasn't until starting my HHJ and doing some research that I came across some of the many causes of damage to the nape including mistakes of the stylist. 

Causes of Nape Damage
1.  Scarfs, jackets, or other clothing rubbing the hair and causing friction and thus breakage. I've always been a cold natured person so I wear jackets and sweaters a lot especially at work.
2.  Overprocessing when relaxing. Many people apply the relaxer to this area first because they think that it is the most resistant.  The result is overprocessed, dry, crunchy hair which equals breakage.
3.  Poorly neutralizing the nape after relaxer.  The stylist may not rinse that area as thoroughly since it is not visible.
4.  Not wiping down the neck area of the sink after rinsing and neutralizing.  The stylist may have rinsed off the relaxer back there, but if she hasn't wiped down the bowl very well and places your head right back on the bowl, you just got more relaxer on your hair which again causes over processing and damage. I'm pretty short and have a hard time getting my head all the way back into the bowl, so my nape is sitting where my neck should be a lot of the time. I think this was my major cause of nape damage.
silky hair wrap scarf

Recovery
1.  Try to prevent your hair rubbing against your clothing.  Lately I've been using a long hair wrap scarf that I purchased at walmart to tie around my neck.  Rather have my hair rubbing against a satin scarf than a cotton scarf, sweater, jacket, etc. Not to mention they're pretty stylish. :)
2.  When relaxing, apply relaxer to this area last to avoid overprocessing.
3.  If you go to a stylist for your relaxers, speak up and ask him/her to make sure the hair is thoroughly rinsed and neutralized back there.  Maybe spend a little extra time rinsing that area.
4.  Ask your stylist to make sure the bowl is wiped thoroughly before setting your head back down after rinsing.
5. Make sure to moisturize this part of the hair as often as possible.  This section will need extra care and attention.
6.  Apply castor oil to the hair and scalp.  Castor oil is known to nourish hair and stimulate hair growth.

I am now a self relaxer and have incorporated all of the above Recovery techniques into my regimen.  I am making good progress so far, and though it seems to be slow(ya'll know I'm just impatient...lol) I am sure I will see continued progress.

Is anyone else having nape issues?  What things have you found to have caused the problem and what techniques have you used to fix your issue?  Did this work for you?

Please share and thanks for reading!

Andrea

Update 12/2/15
Please see this post here for an update on my nape progress as of December 2014.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thinking Out Loud


Wet wrap results - no flat iron used

I am SOOOO ready to be fully texlaxed. I almost thought about throwing out the idea because I miss my wet wraps so badly.  My hair always came out so smooth and soft with absolutely NO direct heat as seen in one of my previous wash days here.  But I know the benefits of texlaxing will be worth it. Stronger thicker hair.  And now that I'm getting my rollersetting skills down, this should be a breeze.


My hair is definitely growing at the average rate of a half inch per month.  It seems sooooo slow.  I am way too impatient.  I keep thinking to myself "why couldn't I have started my HHJ three years ago? I'd be at my goal by now."  Well if I had started 3 years ago I would have been saying the same thing then. Ha! Patience patience patience is key!



I couldn't even wait.  I've been wanting to get my hands on the Magic Star Jumbo Rake.  I actually purchased the set last night (Jumbo and Mini).  I'm super excited about this purchase.  I'll keep the mini in my purse for when I'm out and about. A perfect addition to my aresenal of hair care items! :)

 

Protective styling....what to say about this.  I need to experiment with more styles.  All I do is pull it up and clip it.  I'm just trying to be careful with my hair.  My hair is not very dense, which I hate.  I feel like a lot of styles don't look too great with my thin hair.  Plus I have very fine strands so I try not to do too much to my hair to avoid causing any breakage.  But I'm getting tired of my boring look.  When I'm closer to being fully texlaxed I hope to experiment a lot more.  But right now I feel like a wig may be in order.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

My First Successful Rollerset

So yesterday was wash day for me and it almost did not turn out too well.  I started out prepooing with ORS Hair Mayonaise for about 20 minute under my heat cap.  I thought I might need a mild protein treatment because of slight breakage here and there.  It wasnt a big deal I just wanted to stop seeing those little hairs coming from my head.  I rinsed out the Hair Mayonaise and my hair felt really soft and strong.  Then I shampooed with my Splassh Bracato Sulfate free shampoo(diluted in an applicator bottle).   I've noticed that this shampoo still makes my hair feel dried out.  I don't think I care for this one too much or maybe I should have followed up with a moisturizing shampoo.  I don't know.  Well after shampooing I did a green tea rinse and my hair still felt hard and dried out.  Last time the green tea left my hair very soft.  After all this I figured my moisturizing deep conditioner would fix everything.  I DC'd with Kenra Moisturizing conditioner for about 20 minutes then I applied JBCO on top of that and sat under the heat cap for another 10 minutes.  My hair still was not happy.  I went ahead and applied my leave-ins but there was no way I could detangle that mess.  I could barely detangle in the shower while rinsing my DC.  I just decided to jump back in the shower, clean everything off my hair and go from there.  I dont know if that was a no no, but I was trying to prepare for my rollerset and my hair wasn't having it.

I ended up shampooing with Paul Mitchel Super Skinny Shampoo(once) and applied Mizani Moisture Fuze Conditioner for about 3 minutes.  Okay much better. Ha! Yall I am still learning, please bare with me.

I kept contemplating whether I wanted to do a rollerset or not, but then I was checking out Age of Atl's blog as I was DCing and came across her post on Rollersetting Texlaxed Hair.  After reading I knew I had to give it a try.  I've attempted rollersetting a few times and always end up quitting and doing something else to my hair.  I didnt know what I was doing wrong.  I even tried searching for tips and how to's.  I found a site that explained but was not very discriptive.  I just couldn't get it.  Her post is very informative and detailed and she includes a youtube video that helped her get the technique down.  If you are a beginning rollersetter like me, you need to check out her post.  I instantly realized what I was doing wrong and although it didnt come out 100% perfect it was waaaaay better than any past attempts.  I was actually able to secure the rollers alot better than in the past.  I also think I was making my sections too small.  I didn't even know of the roll-roll-pull technique to get the hair taut. 

Okay so let's try this again....I started prepping my hair for my rollerset.  I parted my hair in four sections (from ear to ear and front to nape).  Here are the products I used except I used my Organix Coconut Milk Anti Breakage Serum for my sealer (not pictured).  I rolled each section one at a time using a mix of purple and red magnetic rollers.

Please excuse the mess on my dresser
   

I sat under my hair dryer for about maybe 45 minutes or it may have been a little less.  I think a couple in the back were still a teeny bit damp as you can see from the very loose curl in the back.  


I will definitely be doing more rollersets in the future now that I have a better idea of the technique.  Proud of me! I've improved my technique, now I just have to work on my patience. LOL! :)

I just have to give another shout out to my girl Age! Thank you so much for such an awesome and informative blog!


Thanks for reading!

Andrea

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Relaxer Update/L4LPSC Update

So I relaxed this past Saturday after a little over 6 weeks.  I know I know....to soon right.  Well I have been texlaxing so I wasn't worried to much about over-processing any previously relaxed hair.  The main reason was because I wanted my hair to be decent and manageable for my visit to to see my family next week.  I think I may have been able to go a little longer now that I've got my new ponytail roller set routine going.  My hair has been a lot easier to deal with since starting that and I've been finger combing a lot more as well.  Next stretch, I'm hoping to go 8 weeks.  Now on to the deets...

I switched from my mild relaxer to the ORS regular strength relaxer.  I mentioned that I was planning to switch this up a while back.  My synopsis is that ORS regular strength is similar to the mild relaxer I had been using, as far as the texture left to my hair.  I went over the 10 minutes per each half of my hair that I meant.  It may have been more like 15 or so but I still had some texture.  I think this should be labeled as a mild relaxer.  So I used the half and half method as I have previously.  This time I did my halves vertically instead of horizontal.  Once I rinsed the relaxer I did my protein step and neutralized using ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo.  After neutralizing I applied French Perm Stabilizer Plus to my hair (worked into a lather and let it sit for 1 minute).  This is a low pH (2.5) conditioner that helps return the hair to its normal acid balance after relaxing.  I will have to do a review on this to give a lil more detail.


Please excuse the mess in the background
  After rinsing the French Perm Stabilizer and the applied Kenra Moisturizing Conditioner and sat under my steamer for about 30 minutes.  After I finished DCing I wanted to let my hair cool off before rinsing a laid down to watch a little TV.  Well I was doing my hair kind of late so I actually fell asleep with the condish in my hair for a few hours. LOL!

 
After rinsing out my deep conditioner I applied my leave-ins (DB Daily Leave In Conditioner - Sweet Creme and PMSS Serum).  Finally I was able to pull of a wrap! Haven't been able to do that in a while.  I missed my wraps.  I tied on my silk scarf and let my hair air dry overnight.  The next day I flat ironed my roots because I had planned to go get a trim, but didn't quite make it that far.  Here were the results:

without flash; wearing my length check tee from JGA

with flash; I hate how thin my ends look; texlaxing should nip
this in the bud in time
L4LPSC Update
After mentioning the flat ironing, I think I am officially DQ'd from the L4LPSC.  I also used the flat iron at my last relaxer on Jan. 16. :-(  But those were the only two times.  I've been doing pretty well with the protective styling, though not creative.  I didn't even think about it until just now.  Oh well, I think I'm doing okay for a struggling newbie.  I will have to do better though.  Well, until next time. :]

Thanks for reading!

Andrea

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Kibibi Hair Post/Video (A Must See)

You guys, I just watched this video and I had to repost this in case some of you do not follow Miss Kibibi's blog kibibihair.com.  This video is amazing.  I almost drooled watching it.  I hope to be there soon.  All I can say is wow! I wish I could find a stylist in my area to trust with my hair and is as passionate about hair health as Reniece. 

Yall just click on the link and see what I'm talking about! lol!

http://www.kibibihair.com/2013/03/02/video-long-natural-relaxed-hair/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=video-long-natural-relaxed-hair

It's amazing what we can achieve.  With the right method and proper care, black hair CAN grow!  There is no such thing as "good hair".  When my hair was longer people used to tell me that I had good hair but I thought "what does that even mean?"  I thought I just had regular hair and it wasn't always long either.  Before it did grow, I actually believed that it wouldn't or couldn't.  Everyone's hair is different and everyone's hair grows! You just have to take care of it properly to prevent damage and retain length.  There are so many black women out their who just really believe it's impossible but it's truly not and this video shows it.  The before and after results for all of these women are amazing.  Some went from extreme damage to breathtakingly gorgeous locks.  Just amazing!  Yall check it out, of already made some notes of my own. Ha ha!

I just thought I would share.
Thanks for reading.  :)

Andrea
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