Monday, January 9th, 2012. That was the official start day of my HHJ. That was when I started protective styling and reducing the amount of heat that I used on my hair. I cannot believe that it has been one year since the beginning of my hair journey. I am just astounded about how fast time has flown! I was wondering what to write on this momentous occasion and was inspired by Carolyn over at Waist Length Wishes. The post was a reflective piece on her 4 year hair journey and the things she discovered that did not work for her. I was like a-ha! That’s a great reflective prompt!! Thanks to her for thinking about it!
A quick comparison of lengths!
January 2012 January 2013
I remember that when I first started my hair journey, I was hungry for information and resources. I read blog posts and forums and saw how the wonderful results these people had, so of course, I started spending money and time trying all these things out. I can honestly say that with the exception of a few tweaks here and there, the products that I used pre-HHJ are still the ones I use for the most part today. Here are some things that did work for me and some that did not!
What DID NOT work
Coconut Oil – Using coconut oil by itself yielded bad results for me. My hair became dry, brittle and broke off when I sealed my ends with it.
NJoy’s Sulfur Mix – This concoction may have worked for her, but it did nothing for me. Not only was it thick and weighed my hair down, it had a horrible smell. I did not yield great results from it, so I abandoned it late spring.
Baggying my ends – I did this roughly for two weeks. My hair became mushy instead of moisturized. I quickly threw it out of my routine.
Saran wrapping hair after roller setting – I know some sistas can do this and get sleek results, but I cannot. When I put a bit of moisture and oil on it, then wrap it up and tie it in saran wrap, it puffs up. I have even tried it with just oil to prevent my hair from reverting, all to no avail. If I want to wrap my hair after a roller set, I just tie it down with a scarf and unwrap it the following morning.
Country Life Maxi Hair Time Release vitamins – Early in the journey I fell for the supplements-can-make your-hair-grow bit. I am sure they can, but these damn vitamins caused me daily headaches! I think it may have been the niacin or biotin doing it, but I could not take them. Since then, I only take my daily supplement gummies and my fish oil/omega 3s.
Activators as Daily Moisturizers – I was very surprised to see sistas with great results using curl activators as daily water-based moisturizers such as S-Curl and Wave Noveau, as these were products I associated with the elderly women at church who still had their jheri curls! I tried Hawaiian Silky 14-n-1 curl activator, but it did not do well on my hair. I just went back to my beloved Alterna Caviar White Truffle Elixir last February and have used it ever since.
What did work
Airdrying – I did this a lot in Hawaii, just because it was so hot and I sweated a lot in my head and it needed frequent cleansing. Now that I am doing this as a part of HHJ, it has renewed significance for me! It saves me time while giving my hair a much needed heat break!
Hot Oil Treatments (Pre-Poos) – At first I was like, what the heck is the point of this?, but I can definitely feel a difference in my hair and scalp when I implement this into my regimen. I feel that my hair has more condition now and I never get dandruff or an itchy scalp.
Deep Conditioning – Now the only time I deep conditioned pre-HHJ was at the hair salon. I would throw conditioner in my hair in the shower, leave it on for 5-10 minutes, then rinse it out. I knew I needed to do better about conditioning my dry hair, but I was just too lazy … now, I cannot do without deep conditioning! I love it and my hair has thrived since including them in my regimen. I do one each week!
Heat Breaks – Pre HHJ, every week I would blow dry and flat iron my hair. I see how my ends act when I get my hair flat ironed once every few months by breaking off … I don’t even want to imagine what I was doing to my hair back then! I would see the floor littered with pieces of hair, but I thought nothing of it and kept on doing my thing! SMH!
Today I went to Sally’s to renew my membership. I wanted to wait until it was my HHJ to do so! It seems like yesterday I went into the same Sally’s buying rollers, clips, Roux, spray bottles, bottles with nozzles, etc. to start my hair journey! I also got a free Ion or Silk Elements product with my renewal, so I went with the Ion Extreme Moisture Cream (review forthcoming!) as well as a $5 off coupon for my next product. I think that I will use it for the Roux Porosity Control conditioner, as I am almost out!
Well, happy first anniversary to me (and my hair!) I went from full shoulder length to right at BSB in a year. By my measurements, I have retained between 4.5 and 5 inches of hair this year (from about 3.5/4 on my length check shirt to 8.5). It has been a wonderful journey thus far and I can’t wait to see what the next year on this journey brings (Full BSL/MBL would be nice)!
That’s right! It’s time to get back to grinding! I went out for appetizers with Nathan tonight to celebrate, then had to come home and wash and air dry. Sigh … a HHJ never rests! 🙂