Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Final Wash Day of 2014 - Operation Cease The Shedding

Happy New Year's Eve everyone! This passed Sunday was my last wash day of 2014.  I notice that every wash day I start pondering about what I plan to do, which products I'm going to use, and finally, how I will style my hair.  My wash days are a lot more calculated; there's a method to the madness. Before my hair journey, I never put any thought into this. My how things change when you start to really focus on your hair goals and learning about your hair.

Lately, I have been experiencing more shedding than I care for.  I had not done a tea rinse in so long; in fact, I haven't done a tea rinse at all during 2014.  To be honest, when I was doing them I wasn't even really convinced that it was helping at all, but the main reason I omitted tea rinsing from my regimen was to save some time and steps on wash day. I really don't enjoy shower hopping.  Well, this wash day, I thought I'd bring tea rinsing back into the mix.

Green Tea|Marshmallow Root|Slippery Elm Bark|
Peppermint Essential Oil|Rosemary Essential Oil

My Wash Day Experience:

1.  I started off by massaging my scalp with a mixture of coconut oil and JBCO.  I then did a hot oil treatment with some Tea Tree Oil that I was trying to use up.

2. Next, I took a moment to prepare my Tea Rinse mixture which consisted of two bags of Green Tea, steeped with a little bit of marshmallow root and slippery elm bark. I also added a couple of drops each of peppermint and rosemary essential oils.  I was hoping that this mixture would help combat the drying effect of the green tea and help with detangling.

3.  I then shampooed my hair using ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo.

4. Next I applied the tea rinse using a color applicator bottle.  My hair still felt a little stiff despite my adding the marshmallow and slippery elm.  I may need to play around with the measurements a little more to get better results.

5. I deep conditioned using the last of my Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque which I mixed with a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil and JBCO.  I deep conditioned under my heating cap for about 45 minutes and allowed to cool before rinsing.

6.  I hopped back into the shower to rinse my DC and then applied It's A 10 Miracle Conditioner to help soften and detangle my hair because it still felt a little stiff after deep conditioning. It helped a little bit. I should have grabbed my Aussie Moist, but I was ready to get out of the shower and be done.

I then t-shirt dried my hair for a few minutes while I pondered back and forth on whether I wanted to blow dry my hair or go with curls. I decided on pulling out my CurlFormers.  My leave-ins were Jessicurl Too Shea Extra Moisturizing Conditioner, GVP Smoothing Serum, and Jessicurl Confident Coils Styling Solution(to help set my curls). It did take me a while to install the CurlFormers because I had to spend a good bit of time detangling each section.  I definitely think the Too Shea Extra Moisturizing Conditioner helped to soften my hair for easier detangling.

I left the Curlformers in overnight to allow my hair to air dry. It wasn't too bad sleeping in them this time around.  I think I had the CurlFormers too tight at the root last time so I tried to make sure they were more loose this time around. This definitely helped.

Tea rinsing was definitely the star of this wash day.  I can truly say that this time around I am 100% certain that tea rinsing definitely works for reducing shedding. For the past several weeks, whenever I would run my fingers through my hair I was constantly pulling out shed strands of hair.  After tea rinsing, this has not been happening.  Tea rinsing is definitely here to stay.

How was your wash day? Are you battling with constant shedding? How does tea rinsing work for you?

Wishing everyone a very safe and Happy New Year!

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Looking Forward | 2015

We are closing in on the last few days of 2014 and many of us are reflecting on this passed year and focusing on new goals for 2015.  I haven't blogged very much this year since settling into my new home and studying for my exams.  I haven't been documenting very well, but have still been very much on this hair journey of mine. I haven't reached the length goal that I would have expected this year, but I definitely think that I've been fairly successful with managing the many textures and maintaining my hair during this stretch, which is the longest I've ever gone.  I'm actually starting to lean toward calling it a transition now! :)  I thought my last relaxer was in February, but I could not remember what day it was.  Based on some pics I found in my phone, I think my last relaxer was actually March 21 which would put me just over 40 weeks post.

I'm definitely starting to think about the year to come and the things that I want to work on throughout the year.  I want too start working on mapping my plans to successfully achieving the following goals in 2015.

My Goals For the New Year | 2015

Goal #1. Continue with my hair goal. This time I want to get back to my focus on retaining length, but health will always be the number one concern.  My plan is to avoid big cuts. I think I will start micro-trimming every few weeks or so to keep these ends in check.  Of course I will need to keep these ends moisturized and protected so that I won't need those big cuts either.  I'm hoping I can reach MBL by the end of next year! :)

Goal #2. Finding the perfect skin care regimen. I feel like I've tried everything, but somehow I still get pimples, breakouts, and blemishes.  I know what some of the contributing factors are (diet and lack of water intake...shame on me).  The products I'm using could also be the problem. I think I will do a separate post to discuss my plans to improve on this.  I did recently purchase a facial cleansing brush that I saw on Groupon and it is on the way.  Looking forward to seeing what it does for my skin!

Prosonic Glow facial brush

Goal #3. Getting back to my fitness goals. I fell off the wagon hard. I don't know what happened, but all the weight that I had lost over a year and a half ago seemed to find it's way back to my lazy behind. LOL! Time to hop back on that wagon to stay.

Goal #4. Upping my fashion game. Ya'll may not know this, but I don't have one! LOL! I can put something together every now and then, but my wardrobe is pretty boring. Most days I am a Plain Jane. Lol.  I will try to challenge myself to be more creative with my wardrobe and incorporate more of the latest trends.

I am looking forward to another new beginning with the new year to come! Wishing everyone an amazing and blessed 2015!

What goals have you set for your self for 2015?

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Have a Very Merry Christmas!!!

I just want to wish everyone a very safe and wonderful Christmas with family and friends!

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wash Day and Length Update

I don't know what it is, but I am constantly wanting to cut my hair. I don't want to cut my hair, but I want to cut my hair....if that makes since. I never feel like my ends are as thick as I'd like.  I think my last trim was around August and I think I cut quite a bit; around 2 or 3 inches. With my wishy washy transitioning/stretch (LOL) I guess my lack of length retention might be expected.  Going from bone straight, to texlaxed, to maybe hair is probably as confused as I am!

Since I really wanted to go ahead and get this trim out of the way, this wash day was all about protein and moisturizing in preparation for my flat ironing and trim session.  Here's how this wash day experience went down.

The Cast of This Weeks Wash Day Experience

Silk Dreams Wheat Germ Butter Conditioner|ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo|
ORS Hair Mayonnaise|Curl Ecstasy Hair Tea Conditioner|Argan Oil|
Kinky Curly Knot Today|ApHogee Keratin and Green Tea Reconstructurizer
GVP Silk Remedy
1. I parted my hair into four sections and applied Silk Dream's Wheat Germ Butter conditioner as I detangled. No particular reason for this, I was just trying to use up product.

2. Shampooed with ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo to clarify my hair.

3. Deep conditioned under my heating cap with ORS Hair Mayonnaise for a protein boost.

4. Next I applied Curl Ecstasy Hair Tea Conditioner and Argan Oil to seal in the moisture. I had planned to steam rinse and blow dry, but I was so tired I ended up leaving it in overnight.

5. The next morning I sat under my hair steamer for about 20 minutes with the conditioner and oil in my hair and allowed my hair to cool off before rinsing.

6.  Next I towel dried my hair for about 20 minutes, then I applied my leave-ins which were:  Kinky Curly Knot Today, ApHogee Keratin and Green Tea Reconstructurizer, and GVP Silk Remedy as my sealant and heat protectant.

7. I blow dried my hair using the cool setting which feels more like look warm when I turn up the air speed on the blow dryer.

8. Finally I flat ironed using the comb chase method and trimmed my ends.

I clipped about 1 to 1.5 or so inches from each section as I flat ironed my hair, so I didn't get a before and after comparison pic.  I figured it would be quicker to trim as I flat ironed so I didn't have to go back through all over again.  This was my first time trimming this way.  I wanted to make sure to trim off any thin, damaged, or split ends.  After I finished trimming by section, I pulled my hair back in a low pony tail and snipped a little off the tip. I don't think it turned out too bad. I could probably trim a little more.

Looks like I'm still at APL, which is about where I was back in October.  This year I haven't been so concerned with my length retention as much as just overall healthy hair and learning about how to manage my natural texture.  My nape has also been a major focus. You can read about my most recent update here.  My ultimate goal is still to reach a long thick and healthy MBL length and I definitely plan to get there.

So how was your wash day?  Have you met any of your ultimate hair goals for 2014?

Thanks for reading and HHG!

Monday, December 15, 2014

An Update On My Nape Progress - December 2014

If you have followed my hair journey, you may know that one of the major problems that I wanted to focus on from the start was my nape.  You can read up on prior posts here and here.  For years, my nape has never been in the best shape, but since starting my journey I have definitely started to make progress.  Now I'm not saying that it's in the most optimal condition right now, but it's definitely better than it has been, thanks to better healthy hair practices.

My Nape Progress

A little passed shoulder length

Ear length (left) |  Neck length (right)

I don't think I've done anything too drastic in order to improve my nape. For my case, I think the key problem was my nape being over-processed from relaxing. I think that the stylist(s) I visited were not rinsing my nape thoroughly and were not wiping down the sink where my relaxed head had been resting.  I'm a short girl so my neck never quite rested in the bowl as it should.  Because of my nape continuing to be in such a poor state, I kept cutting my hair hoping to start over despite my length goals.  I would cut my hair only to end up with the same results - dry, broken, damaged nape.

I attribute my progress to:  

1. Stretching my relaxers
2. Moisturizing and Sealing frequently
3. Trying my best to "leave it alone"(very hard to
4. Trying to keep my nape from rubbing against jackets, coats, and shirt collars. I cringe when I feel a strand of my hair stick to my shirt....

I am so proud to say that I have turned this around, despite the negative comments from my stylist at the time who constantly told me that my nape just wasn't going to grow.  I was determined to prove her wrong.  I sometimes felt discouraged, because it seemed to take forever to really see real results, but I had to be patient. And we all know that patience is extremely important in a hair journey. Progress doesn't happen over night.

Right now my nape is a little passed shoulder length.  I have been trimming it occasionally to get rid of dead ends.  I am so excited about my progress, but the journey with my nape is far from over.  The next stop for my nape journey..., APL! :)

Thanks for reading and happy hair nape growing!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wash Day - Co-washing for the Win!

Contrary to my last wash day post, this was day went a LOT easier, thanks to...drum roll pleeeaasee......CO-WASHING! I actually prefer using shampoo because I know that some of the products I use in my hair do contain cones.  Too keep my hair follicles from clogging up and to thoroughly cleanse my scalp, I usually lean toward shampooing. However after that last wash day, I just wanted a break, so I kept it simple. Here's how my "Co-Wash Day Experience" went.

1. I parted my hair in my usual four sections and then pre-pooed and detangled with Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque mixed with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  This mixture definitely helped with detangling.  I braided each section (4 braids) and left this in my hair over night for a good deep conditioning.

2. Next I rinsed out the pre-poo and co-washed using Aussie Moist Conditioner.  I un-braided a section rinsed, co-washed while finger detangling, re-braided, then repeated with the next section. This conditioner has very nice slip.

3. Next I t-shirt dried my hair for maybe 20 minutes, then applied my leave-ins which were:  JessiCurl Too Shea Extra Moisturizing Conditioner, ApHogee Keratin and Green Tea Restructurizer, Matrix Biolage Thermal-Active Repair Cream, and DermOrganic Leave-In Treatment.  I blow dried my hair on cool (or more lukewarm setting) using the tension method.

I was so much happier with this Co-wash Day and detangling with these leave-ins was a breeze. I'm going to try incorporating co-washing a lot more into my regimen, because it definitely helps with stretching/transitioning.

I tried to take a few shots of my new growth.  There are several different textures throughout my hair. I think there's a mix of type 4 a,b, & c.  In the second image I think you can kind of see the looser section from where I texlaxed after my last long stretch back in February this year. I had about 7 months of new growth at that time.  I did not get relaxer to all of the new growth. I guess I underestimated how much there was.

right front quadrant (freshly washed and towel dried hair
no products)

back left quadrant (freshly washed hair without product)

I hadn't intended to relax then, but I had one bad tangle-filled wash day that made me think that natural was not for me. Then after, I regretted that I had relaxed my hair.

I've been really interested in learning more about my natural hair and how to manage it.  It's possible but it definitely takes patience.  One thing I've learned is that co-washing is my natural hair's best friend right now. :-)

So how was your wash day? Does co-washing work for you? What's your favorite conditioner to use when co-washing?

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wash Day

I skipped washing my hair this weekend. I just didn't have the time and patience for it, so I've decided to go ahead and post on my wash day from the weekend prior to Thanksgiving.  I tried to keep it simple, but seems like it never is. Here's how thing went down:

1. Detangled my hair using Mane and Tail Detangler and my seamless comb.

2. Shampooed with CON Argan Oil Shampoo.

3.Deep conditioned with ORS Hair Mayonnaise.  My hair felt in need of some protein so that was a must for this wash.

4.Applied my leave-ins. I used Jessicurl Too Shea Extra Moisturizing Conditioner and It's A 10 Miracle Leave-In.

5. Blow-dried using the tension method.

Bun Fun! :-P

I keep trying different things to help improve my wash day.  This time around I thought I'd try loosely tying rubber bands at each section (I always do everything in 4 sections).  I was very careful with the rubber bands but I think ouchless bands or scrunchies might have been better to use.  The idea was to hold my length in place while I massaged the shampoo into my scalp. It seemed to work pretty well to keep my new growth from getting tangled; however, somehow I ended up having issues with my ends getting tangled which isn't really usual for my wash days. It's usually my roots that I'm fighting with.

I was up until the crack of dawn blow drying my hair. I still haven't mastered this yet.  It was so late/early in the a.m. that after I finished the third section I decided to get some sleep and finish the fourth section later. LOL! I grabbed a plastic cap and rubber band and tied it around the section to keep my roots from drying and matting up.  I have about 9 months of new growth.  I was SO tired, and I also had plans to drive 5 hours to my home town to visit family for Thanksgiving.  The day just wasn't going how I had planned.  I think it took so long because of the detangling and using cooler air to blow dry. Sometimes I cheated and turned the temp up to save a little time. 

 Once I finally finished, I finger combed my hair into a bun.

Without Flash

With Flash

Wash days like this definitely make me consider staying relaxed, but I am really trying to find ways to work with my hair so we can both be happy. I want to be very much sure that I don't want to go natural before I relax again. So I'm trying to hold out. My last relaxer was in February of this year and I was about 7 months post at that time. After I relaxed I really regretted it.  I would be about 16 months post right now if I hadn't. I'm trying to hang in there. It's all about trial and error and patience I guess.

So how was your wash day? Is anyone else struggling through a long stretch/transition? Do you have any good tricks to speed up your wash day? Please share!!

Don't forget to check out and share your wash day via the Wash Day Experience Link Up hosted by SOS and JGA!

Thanks for reading!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...