WANTED: Pibbs 514 Dryer

As I have mentioned before, my hair takes over 90 minutes to dry and even then, the back is still not done. I know it’s because my hair is longer and the dryer is just not superior quality. It has served its purpose, but for the next phase of my journey, I think it’s time for another one.

In steps the Pibbs 514 dryer. I read some reviews after strongly considering the BaByliss standing one and think that the Pibbs is vastly superior. It will definitely be a birthday/Christmas/BSL-making/tax refund gift, as it’s over $300, but I see it as a small investment in healthy hair overall.

Even when I move back to Raleigh, NC, where there are hair salons catered to blacks abound, I will still do my own hair. I have products that I like to use, methods that I like to employ, etc. that I just won’t get at my old $10 doobie salon. It’s nice to have other people do your hair, but I have found time and time again that you can be your own best stylist if you figure it out!!

Depending on what the near future is looking like, I may order the dryer at the end of October. I can’t wait to try it out!!

Merry Christmas to me!!

I lied … Got my hair flat ironed! (and other state of affairs)

Well this weekend was Nathan’s birthday and I wanted to flat iron my hair. I have gotten to the point where if flat ironing my hair every 4-6 weeks causes me a little damage, then so be it. I enjoy switching my look up!

So to prepare my hair for the blow dry and flat iron session, I pre-pooed with Pantene Relaxed and Natural and vegetable glycerin for about an hour. I did a light clarifying session with the Alberto V-05 to remove any product buildup followed by my Alterna moisturizing shampoo. I mixed my Redken All Soft and Alterna Caviar conditioner and left it on my hair while in the shower. I then deep conditioned with my Alterna 10 hair masque for an hour.

I blew my hair dry on low and cool using as my leave ins Alterna Caviar Perfect Blow Out, Roux 619, Alterna Photo Defense and a new heat protectant, Chi 44 Iron Guard. After it was blew out, I put on my Alterna Elixir and more Chi 44 Iron Guard. Then it was ready to have the flat iron!

Sarah wasn’t available so I had to go to a salon close to home. The lady introduced me to a new Joico flat ironed called K-PAK ReconstrRx VaporIron. It actually repairs your hair as it passes by filling in holes using its special reconstructor vapor. I was in awe!!

The lady complimented my hair and said she can tell I take good care of it and that it was healthy. She flat ironed it kinda fast (not like the way I am used to, but whatever). It was more like grabbing pieces as she went instead of starting at the back and working her way up. The end result was ok, but I don’t think the iron was quite hot enough and for some reason, white people do not understand the concept of bumping the hair on the end … It’s always straight for some reason (despite me asking for it). Ah… I miss Sarah! I will make sure to book her in advance next time, but at least I got to hear about this flat iron!!! Hey, when life hands you lemons…

But all in all, I have great news to deliver on the state of my hair. I am oh-so-close to BSB! The red line in the picture is BSB and the green line is BSL. However, I am suffering from a horrible case of hairorexia. I see where my hair is growing, but it just doesn’t look all that long to me. I don’t think I will be “happy” until MBL!!

Also, I am soooooo happy that my ends appear to be in really good shape. I have a fear of see-through ends, which happens as hair naturally weathers at the ends, but mine seem to be doing ok. I am sure I could use a trim, but I will dust when I relax in November. I also like how the ends have broke off into a lovely rounded U shape! Hahhaha! I don’t know when (or if) I will do a blunt cut. I like the look of the U and V shapes, so I think I will keep that for now. It also allows for reaching milestones faster. If I cut up to my shortest layer, I would be SL. No thanks.

I am almost 9 months in my journey and doing alright. I think I will be BSL by my relaxer in February. I feel now I can be on autopilot and not rush to milestones and cut as much hair as needed, as I think the hardest part of the growing journey (unless I suffer a setback) is almost over. Man, that period from SL to APL to BSL … Ugh!!! It’s an 18+ month process!

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January 2012

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July 2012

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Excessive Shedding Follow Up

It has been 2 weeks since I did the garlic treatment to help with my excessive shedding. I am pleased to report that the shedding has greatly subsided … Beginning with that week! As I M&Sed my hair each day, I noticed shedding had returned to my previous amount.

Now as a researcher, I know that I don’t have concrete proof that the garlic treatment helped and that other confounding factors may have been at play (e.g. Hormone changes, seasonal changes), but nevertheless, I think the garlic treatment yielded great results for me and will definitely be my go-to treatment when I need it!

Ok … How cute is this photo!!!???

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New Growth

I am about 4 weeks post and have seen a considerable amount of new growth in the front. The rest of my hair seems like it is freshly relaxed in some places! It is really funny looking at all the textures going on! Here’s a picture of the front …

At least the front is growing out now, as that is the slowest part of my hair. I really think the JBCO and EVOO mixture is doing well, so I have no plans to incorporate the NJoy mix back in to my regimen anytime soon. I just didn’t like how heavy the mix was and how the sulfur smelled. The JBCO and EVOO are pretty light and I can even wear my hair down with it.

I think I will relax my hair around Veteran’s Day … I will be about 11 weeks post then. I am not looking forward to self-relaxing, so I need to start watching videos to help me out!

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Happy 8th Month Hair Anninersary!! (and a Wash Day!)

I didn’t even realize today marked the 8th month anniversary of my healthy hair journey until I saw it on my ticker! Wow!!!! I am telling you, 2012 has flown by! I can’t believe how fast time is marching on!!

It really seems like yesterday I was embarking on my journey by going to Sally’s, spending countless amounts of times on blogs and hair forums trying to learn about my hair and hair care in general! It really has been so enlightening and I thank God that I am moving forward and learning with each hair victory and defeat. Like they say “I may not be where I want to be, but I thank God I am not where I used to be!” Amen!!

Today is Wash Day. I had to get up early and start because we have a cookout with some friends around 2. I started off with a 45 minute garlic prepoo (see this post).

I followed up with normal shampooing and deep conditioned with both Alterna Caviar and Alterna 10 hair masque. The garlic prepoo was a bit drying, so I needed to up the moisture!! I deep conditioned for about 45 minutes, then proceeded to detangling and roller setting.

Today’s leave-ins were Alterna Blow Out, Alterna Photo Defense, Alterna Texture ans Roux 619. I applied these in sections, along with the Lotta Body setting lotion and a water mixture of distilled water, rose water and peppermint oil to wet my hair again before roller setting each section.

I had 2 Chainz radio on Pandora keeping me company! Why didn’t I do this before? It makes roller setting a bit more tolerable!! It took me about an hour to roll completely. Once again, I took my time and made sections smaller. I have noticed that I am using more rollers (which is good!) than I have before, which is why the curls are probably turning out better for me. By the time I am done, I have no purple or red rollers left (I have 12 of each) as well as using about 5-6 gray rollers. I am putting 30 in my head compared to about 20 from my previous roller sets. That explains why they were just so blah!!!

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Ugh!! This dryer is getting on my nerves! The back will fully dry when I take the rollers out up front so that I can tilt my head forward while having the heat blast the back! I need more air holes in the back! A new dryer may be coming sooner than when I reach BSL …

Here are pics of the curls from this week. They are very similar to last week’s curls, so it proves last week was not a fluke!! I need to keep this rolling routine up! Thanks 2 Chainz!!

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Afterwards:

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Product Review: Stay-On Satin Bonnet

For the past umpteen years, I have always used a scarf to tie my hair up. Up until recently, I used a cotton scarf (a big no-no!), but recently I have been using silk and satin scarves in addition to a satin pillowcase. I will say this .. The satin scarf stays on better than my silk one. I could barely keep that thing on overnight!

When I was at home in August, my mom and I went to Walmart so I could find these cool Scünci evolution hair ties (they are like gel!) that my godchild had. I turned around and there was this bonnet that promised to stay on for the night. And it was $1.36. I was sold!!

I must say, this bonnet lives up to its claim!! I am actually in love with this bonnet! It has a drawstring around it so you can tighten it up as needed. It’s not a huge bonnet, so one may be able to get a few rollers under there, but that’s about it. I crosswrap or pin my hair up, so space is not an issue for me! It really stays on during the night!! I can’t think of one time in the past 3 weeks that I have had it that it has come off. It also leaves my hair good and conditioned!!

I give this bonnet an A!!

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Excessive Shedding and a garlic treatment

As I have mentioned in the past few weeks, my hair has been shedding more than its normal rate. Even throughout the week, I see strands of hair come out in my hand whereas that sight was normally reserved for wash days.

I figure this is happening for two reasons. The first is that it’s that time of year for hair to shed. Late summer/early fall tends to be a time where hair sheds a lot. I hear this is due to growth cycles throughout the year, with hair coming into the resting phase ready to be shed around this time. My cat Gabrielle is even shedding a bunch! I find globs of hair all over the place!

Secondly, I was not consistent with taking my Ortho Tri Cyclen birth control pills this month. I was off schedule when I went home late August so I just didn’t take them this month. I hear that stopping birth control pills with the resulting changing hormones can also impact hair shedding. I will be back on them in a week.

While shedding is normal, I can’t help but worry if my hair will thin out while the other hair is coming in. The right side of my hair is already thinner than the left and that’s where a lot of the shedding is coming from!! I made sure it wasn’t breakage, because I can see those white bulbs. Sigh!!

With that said, I decided to make a garlic concoction. I am not sure what it is about garlic, but it tightens the pores and can reduce shedding greatly. I decided to make a homemade concoction because Sally’s did not have any garlic shampoo.

I call this my Garlic Oil Treatment

You will need:

10-12 cloves of garlic
8-16oz of EVOO or another type oil (I also used sesame)

I am cooking mine in my slow cooker. I am sure this can be prepared on the stovetop as well.

Directions

1. Cut up cloves of garlic. If you do not know how to do this, please google it.

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2. Mash up garlic with knife, mincer or whatever is handy. I used my potato masher!!

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3. Put desired oil in crock pot or pot on stovetop.

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4. Let simmer for about 3 hours to give the garlic time to infuse into the oil.

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5. Let cool for as long as needed.

6. Pour oil into a bottle with applicator. You can chose to strain the garlic out or not, but since it’s going into a noozled bottle, garlic chunks shouldn’t hit your hair!!

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7. Apply to scalp. Cover with plastic bag. Let sit on for about 30 minutes. This is a great prepoo treatment.

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8. Wash, condition and apply leave-ins as usual. Note: due to the drying properties of garlic, it is recommended that you incorporate a deep conditioner treatment into your wash day.

Notes:

– Left over oil can be stored in the fridge for about a week.
– You can add this mixture (strained, of course) to shampoos or conditioners for a garlicky boost!
– Essential oils such as lavender, eucalyptus and tea tree can be added to mask the scent.

:o)))

Update: When I washed my hair this morning, it felt like I had a protein treatment or something. My hair felt firmly secured to my scalp!! It also felt strong!! It also felt a bit dry after washing my hair three times to get the garlic scent out. It is über important that you deep condition after this type of treatment!!

Here is the amount of hair that I lost after detangling and roller setting. It’s definitely not as much as last week! I wish it was none, but I will take a reduced amount!! Shedding after all is normal and healthy! It is right on par with the amount I lose each week due to my low-manipulative hair styles. The test will be how much I lose this week!! Stay tuned!!

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Challenge Results – Length in Front Update

Well, my length in the front appears to be coming in. Right after my relaxer, I was a bit worried that I trimmed it all away! I did another look yesterday and it has definitely grown over the past year. I want to showcase its growth it from August 2011 where it was darn near eye-length (hahaha! Is that really a length??)

It appears that it really is growing! I rarely pay attention to this area as far as charting progress because it really doesn’t impact my true length (and it’s kinda hard to measure), but that will change! Using my chin as a guidepost … I guess I will be XX inches past chin length.

It appears that I have grown and retained bout 4-5 inches since last year, so that is a good start. Maybe next year, my front can be past my collar bone? We shall see!

 

August 2011 – Eye length and eating watermelon (yum!)

 

 

April 2012 – At my top lip

 

 

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June 2012 – Almost chin length

 

 

 

September 2012 – About an inch past chin length!

 

 

 

Healthy Hair Journeys: Not for the faint of heart

This blog post was semi-inspired by Carolyn over at Waist Length Wishes. She discusses how she is tired of protective styling her hair and worrying that if she doesn’t, she may suffer some sort of setback. I totally concurred with her, as did other ladies on her blog.

Healthy Hair Journeys (HHJ) can be a double-edge sword. On one hand, you learn so much about your hair, how to take care of it, how to avoid setbacks, yada yada yada, but on the other hand, you worry about how anything you do it (blow dry it, wear it down, go swimming) will impede growth and/or retention. As much as I am enjoying this journey, sometimes I feel like I’m being held prisoner by my hair.

For example, I am at the point where I hate to wear my hair down, because I can “feel” the ends snagging and drying out!! So what the heck am I trying to grow my hair out for if I am just going to put it away?? I am also paranoid about any little end, strand, etc. that I find in my hand, on my sink, floor, etc. It’s almost to the point where I am a bit obsessed!! Hahah! I know the ends justify the means (no pun intended!), but it’s the psychological impact on myself that I am worried about!

I don’t need a “break” from blogging or my HHJ, as it will do no good. I can never go back to my old ways. I know too much and have come too far. I think that I am going to have Nathan hide my length check shirt until November. That way, I am not tempted to flat iron to see where I am. I will just use my body until the next relaxer.

HHJ are great and can be rewarding, but I have to find that balance where my hair is aligned with my sanity!!!

Here’s to sanity and healthy hair in tandem!!!

🙂

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How I organize my hair stuff

I have seen several blogs about people asking how others organize their hair products. Some of the people have so much stuff it looks like they are running their own beauty supply store!

As you know, I am one to keep things simple. All of my products fit in my linen closet, tub (for my shampoos and conditioners) and under my sink (which is where I keep rollers, sprays, stockpiles of extra product, etc.)

Where I keep leave-ins, treatments and my oils.

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My special shelf for my turbans, microfiber towels, and t-shirts for drying my hair

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My shower caddy where I keep my shampoos and conditioners. My “top shelf” products like Alterna go on the … Wait for it … Top shelf!! My other shampoos and conditioners go on the next tier.

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Under the sea-ink! (little mermaid anyone?)

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