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

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Product Review - Redken All Soft Heavy Cream Super Treatment

Product: Redken All Soft Heavy Cream Super Treatment

Can be purchased at: Ulta for $15.50 for 8.5oz (Got mine from a friend)

Description
Redken All Soft Heavy Cream super treatment provides rich, deep conditioning for intense softness and frizz control on extremely dry, brittle hair. Advanced silkening formulas contain Redken's exclusive Interbond Conditioning System and illuminating Silk-Luxe Complex to provide dry hair with intense softness, replenishment and strength. Hair is wrapped in softness with increased manageability, movement and luminous shine.

Ingredients:
Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Cetyl Esters, Isopropyl Alcohol, PEG 100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Fragrance, Methylparaben, PPG 5 Ceteth 20, Olea Europaea/olive fruit oil, camelina sativa/camelina sativa seed oil, persea gratissima/avocado oil, Oleth-10, laureth-4, disodium Cocoamidopropionate, Laureth-23, Lecithin, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Silk Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein

Directions
After shampooing, apply to towel-dried hair. Leave on 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly. Can be used on a regular basis or weekly as an intensive treatment.

My Thoughts:
I try to get a few uses out of a product so I can give a pretty thorough assessment.  Sometimes you get different  results depending on how and what you use it with, so I try to give something a few chances before giving up on it completely.  I just finished off this 8.5 fl. oz tube and I think  I got maybe 5 uses out of it.  I used this conditioner both for deep conditioning on wet hair and as a prepoo on dry hair.  It's called All Soft Heavy Cream and it is definitely that; very thick and heavy.  I  had a hard time distributing this cream through my hair (wet and dry).  There was no way I could use my wide tooth comb to distribute it.  The cream kind of hardens after letting it sit on your hair for a while.  I've realized that I'm not a fan of very thick cream based products.  Eventually I started applying it through my hair in small sections to make sure I got it into every strand.  It also gives very little slip after rinsing.    My hair did have some softness, but I was not wowed by this product at all.  This product is kind of pricey.  I got my tube from a friend of mine so I did not pay for it.  For the results that I got I definitely would not purchase this product and would probably only use it if it was given to me or if I got it on clearance.


Has anyone else tried this product? What did you think?


Thanks for reading,
   Andrea
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