Relaxer is in Less Than 6 Hours (and other thoughts!)

Greetings from Baltimore-Washington International airport! I am about to go board in the next 20 minutes, but I wanted to share my thoughts before my relaxer tonight around 7:30pm!

– I am going to be a darling friend and base and clip my hair in 4 parts before I head over Kim’s. This way I can ensure that it’s done to my liking and that it helps her not have to part through all this hair. I will also coat the length of my hair with olive oil and conditioner to protect my ends.

– I am just over my new growth right now and am just ready to relax! Nothing is going as I want it to! My buns look bad, my edges will not have any of this laying down, etc! Heaven help me if and when I decide to transition!!

– There were some sisters who definitely got the HHJ memos in Baltimore!! I saw several sisters with waist length hair and a lot with BSB and longer hair (both natural and relaxed!) There was this one natural gal who had the cutest twists … Wish I could’ve snapped a picture! I wished my hair was on point, but oh well. There were also a lot of buns due to the humidity!

– On the other side of the token, there were many who did not get the memo. I saw a good deal of scraggly weaves (and they probably weren’t protective styling!!), broken and dry hair. Hmmm ….

Well, I’m just ecstatic about my relaxer! I’m ready to see how its grown! I will definitely clip some ends tonight, but they don’t look too bad. I have a few hairs that have grown longer than the rest of the section, so I plan on evening up my hemline.

Stay tuned!! I will post pictures tonight and write a detailed post when I have time!

Until then … !!!!

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What’s The Tea?: A Pre-Relaxer Wash Day

Tea (n): Atlanta-speak for gossip, news, knowledge

Today is my last Wash Day before my relaxer! Now, normally I would just let my hair air dry to reduce the amount of manipulation that I had to do as my finishing style, but I made a promise to Kim during my relaxer that I would never come back to her with my hair a tangled mess again!! Besides, I have a conference that I am attending, so I thought a roller set would be appropriate.

My regimen for pre-relaxer day since the beginning of my HHJ has been to:

1. Clean Up

2. Strengthen

3. Hydrate

So here’s how my [time intensive] Wash Day went accordingly:

1. Clean Up-

I began Wash Day by clarifying my hair with my Alterna Life Clarifying shampoo. This will remove all the product build-up in my hair and leave me with a clean palate in which to do my Pre-Relaxer regimen. I washed 2x. Clarifying my hair often leaves my hair feeling stripped and dry, so I always following up with a moisturizing shampoo, with my favorite being Alterna Caviar Moisture.

2. Strengthen –

I followed up my shampoo session with an in-shower black tea rinse to see if it would help with shedding. To be honest, I have not been experiencing bad shedding for the past month, but since I love how strong my hair feels after a tea rinse, I decided to do it anyway! I applied the tea rinse to my scalp with a nozzled bottle and applied to the length of my hair. I left on for about 5 minutes and rinsed. Despite feeling strong, my hair also felt a bit dry, so I decided to detangle in the shower with my Redken All Soft. Another reason I detangled was because during my last hard protein treatment before February’s relaxer, I just applied the ApHogee 2 step protein treatment on my hair without doing so. When I went to detangle my hair after the deep conditioner, it was a horrible, matted mess. It took me 30 minutes to detangle my hair and that resulted in broken hairs. NEVER AGAIN! I thought, WILL I EVER APPLY THE APHOGEE 2 STEP WITHOUT DETANGLING!!!!!

I rinsed the conditioner from my hair, stepped out of the shower and applied the ApHogee 2 step protein treatment, making sure to give extra care to the ends of my hair and the line of demarcation between new growth and relaxed hair. Now here’s my thoughts on this product, if you care to hear. The protein treatment stuff smells pretty bad and is messier and stickier than a mug. I often smell it for a few days if I don’t clean my rugs, floors and any rags that I wipe up my sink with. It’s a great treatment, as I remember using it way back in the day (like 1996). Despite me not feeling that I need such a strong protein treatment, I like to use it every pre-relaxer day as I feel it gives my hair a fighting chance with goes up against relaxers and people who may not care about my hair the way I do! πŸ˜‰ So, despite me not liking the smell or the mess, it is something that I deal with 4xs a year to give my hair some added strength heading into a relaxer session.

As required, I sat under the dryer until my hair hardened (which was 15 minutes) and then stepped into the shower to rinse out.

3. Hydrate –

A must following any protein treatment, it was time for me to hydrate my hair and bring it back to balance after the hard protein. Since I do not pre-poo before clarifying (it just seems to be moot, in my opinion), I decided to incorporate a hot oil treatment into my deep conditioning session. Still eager to try the safflower and hemp seed oils, I mixed them in a bowl and heated them for 15 seconds to get them warm. Since all of my nozzled bottles are currently occupied (which is how I normally apply my oils during hot oil treatments), I decided to do it the old-fashioned way — by hand! I parted my hair into six parts, detangled (WHICH WAS A BREEZE!!!), applied the oil mixture to my scalp and along the length of my hair. I also applied my MegaSilk deep conditioner to the length of my hair. After my whole head and length were done, I put the left over oils on the length of my hair … for good measure!

I sat under the dryer for 30 minutes, which is shorter than my normal time of 45-60 minutes. I rinsed, applied Roux for 2 minutes, then rinsed in cool water.

By this time, I should note, my bathroom looks a *in Madea’s voice* DAMN MESS! The floor has been “hydrated” with my repeated entry and exit from the tub because I forgot something, towels are thrown askew and there are random product droplets all on my counter. That’s why Wash Day is synonymous with Cleaning Day for my bathroom!

Pics from L to R: My front part with oil mixture applied; the coloring of safflower and hemp seed oil warmed; my scalp and length covered in conditioner and oil; another shot of my hair with oil and conditioner applied

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I must say that my hair felt heavenly after the deep conditioner! Parting and detangling were a breeze and in some spots, my hair felt like butter it was so soft!!! I am looking forward to using these two oils again!! I will play around with them upon my return and see how they can fix in other parts of my regimen (e.g. M&Sing).

Now it’s time to roll. I applied my leave-ins: Alterna Photo Defense, Alterna Texture, Alterna White Truffle Elixir, and diluted Lottabody. Now mind you, I normally do not roll on pre-relaxer Wash Days, so by the time I get to rolling, I just had it! I definitely did not put too much stock into rollersetting this week. If need be, I will just wear some headbands and wear in a bun!! I may press the roots out if I see they need it (NOTE: I am under the dryer as I type this … gotta multi-task!)

Well, I am just spent … from start to finish, today’s Wash Day will be almost 5 hrs!! It’s already 3:30pm and I have about another hour to go under the dryer. It wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have to be in the bed by 8:30pm, as I have a 6am flight tomorrow!! I will try to post some pics of the finished product, but if I don’t … don’t worry … relaxer pics will be coming soon!!!

Until next time …

πŸ™‚

Update: After I took my rollers down, my hair was so oily!! There were parts of my hair that even looked wet, it was so oily. I have included a couple of pictures. I think I may have been too heavy-handed with the safflower and hemp seed oils and also I think that the mixture was a bit heavy for my fine strands. Next time, I will use less oil and use it as a pre-poo so that I have a chance to wash it out instead of just rinsing. I plan on using some dry shampoo to absorb some of this oil when I style it in the morning.

Also, I need a new hair dryer. I was trying to hold out, but my old tabletop isn’t cutting it anymore. There aren’t many vents in the back, so I end up having a dry top and wet back area! No thanks. I will be shopping for one upon my return from NC next week.

Eew!! Look at that sogginess!!!

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Update: When I awoke that morning, I applied some Kenra Dry Shampoo and combed throughout my hair. I clipped it up and headed out the door. When I arrived in Baltimore, I had some white residue in my hair, so I applied some Alterna Caviar White Truffle Elixir and combed my hair … it came out nice … until the humidity hit it! It was Bun City after that evening, but hey, now I know I can recover if I use too much oil on my hair!

Excuse face-covered shots … I didn’t feel I was “proper” enough for the camera!

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13 Weeks Post and It Looks Like I am Transitioning!

“What am I going to do about this hair?” I asked when I had to do something with it before heading out this morning. By the time I get around to doing it this morning, it was a dry tangly mess from sleeping on it and then working out this morning.Β I am now 13 weeks post and it looks like I am transitioning! Sometimes I think … man, I should just go on and be natural, but I am just not ready for that responsibility yet!!

It has been a week since I washed and air dried my hair, so I just felt that no amount of cream moisturizer would do this AM (and besides, I just think it would have been a bunch of build-up making my hair soggy and limp) … so I pulled out the water bottle and moisturized with’s nature’s best moisturizer-PURE H2O!! I sectioned my hair into six parts, sprayed each section and sealed with kukui nut oil.

I decided to play around a bit and wear my hair in some two-strand twists. I twisted sections of my hair and secured with a rubber band dipped in oil. I must say, I thought they were cute! And to think that I hated them as a child and got my hair relaxed just to never have to wear them again!

Tomorrow I will have my pre-relaxer Wash Day! Stay tuned! πŸ™‚

Here are a few of photos from today:

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I β™₯ My Hair!!!!

As a public health graduate and professional, I realize the importance of framing messages. If you frame something positively, then the message you are relaying is more likely to be accepted and to invoke change. Well, framing our thoughts follow along the same line. If we think positively, then we are more likely to believe those positive thoughts … and the same for negative thoughts!

Too often, I find myself thinking negative thoughts and putting unrealistic expectations on my hair (yes, dumb, I know!) I wish it never broke, I wish that were down to my calves, I wish it looked like someone else’s, yada yada yada. This week, I had to stop, pause and reflect on the many positive features that my hair does exhibit. Oftentimes, girls especially are taught not to brag because it looks bad and people may perceive you as self-absorbed, snotty and other unpleasantries, so, self-deprecation becomes the order of the day. We do not want to offend people who may not love their hair (or other aspects of their life), so we hold our happiness and joy in so not to hurt others.

Well, today, my friends, will NOT be that day for me. I have been inspired to sing songs of praise for my crowing glory and I hope that it inspires you to do the same!!

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  1. It’s pretty thick! This is my favorite characteristic!!
  2. I love how it still wavy when I air dry, even though I have a relaxer
  3. It grows kinda fast!
  4. The natural color with brown streaks throughout
  5. The length it’s at (and it will be!!)
  6. It stays thick from root to tip and I don’t really have to deal with see-through hemlines
  7. I have gone from SL to chasing MBL in 18 months!!!
  8. The way it looks after a fresh relaxer!!!
  9. It lets me know what it likes and what it doesn’t like so I know what to use to keep it in optimal shape

Those are the ones I can think of now!!

Here are some pictures from my latest airdrying session!! It really illustrates why I love my hair!

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Maybe my hair will hit a new “high … “

OK! That was a corny joke, but I wanted to showcase my new oils, with one of them sharing a key ingredient with a narcotic that is legal in the state 25 minutes from me!

I had an eyebrow appointment there that is near the Whole Foods. I need some new oils, as the ones I bought in the beginning of my HHJ almost 17 months ago and slowly but surely getting used up. I had two oils in mind: safflower oil and hemp seed oil. These both are rich in ceramides.

For the longest time, I have been wanting to try hemp seed oil. The last time I looked for it was in December 2012. It was expensive (about $17 for ~16 oz) and I just didn’t want to commit to that price in case my hair did not like it. Today, they had a smaller 8.4 oz size for about $9. I was definitely in! I remember Jeni from Just Grow Already! mentioning a long time ago that hemp seed oil smooths the ends of the hair, which is definitely something that I am needing in my life right now!

… from Hemp Healer

Hair loss. For some, it is a sensitive subject, yet at one time or another we all have experienced some type of hair loss or hair damage.

Hair loss, thinning hair, slow hair growth – these are all conditions that can be caused by many factors, including toxicity, illness, infection, chemical medical treatments, hormone imbalance, stress, and poor nutrition.

Another factor in weak, damaged, thin hair or hair loss is the absence of sufficient ceramides. Ceramides are fatty substances found in the skin and hair. Ceramides are comprised of 2 molecules – sphingosine (an amino alcohol) and a fatty acid.

Ceramides help the hair retain moisture and protein. This is especially useful for those who color or use heat on their hair.

GLA, also known as Omega 6 fatty acid, has been shown to help improve hair growth for some, as well as nourishing the hair so that it grows thicker and stronger.

Hempseed oil is an excellent source for GLA and ceramides. Hempseed oil has the perfect ratio of Omega fatty acids, and it is easily digestible.

Getting enough Omega fatty acids in the diet will help the hair, as well as using topical products that contain hempseed oil (shampoos, conditioners, hair tonics). Proper nutrition and sufficient nutrients are important for healthy hair (and skin).

Hempseed oil is an anti-inflammatory, and because some hair loss is due to inflammatory conditions, hempseed oil may be a good supplement for that reason as well.

Source:Β http://hemphealer.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/hempseed-oil-can-reverse-hair-loss-and-improve-damaged-hair/

I cannot wait to use it! I will probably use it in a hot oil treatment after I do my protein treatment on Monday. I will play around with both oils and see how they are working for my hair!

Stay tuned!! πŸ™‚

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An Abbreviated Wash Day

Greetings! i just wanted to do a Wash Day post.

From Sunday
Today, I have just been lazy. I pre-pooed while cleaning up and watching TV. I just didn’t feel motivated to get started at 9am today! With that being said, I am doing an air-dry today! I don’t have any major plans this weekend (sans working out!), so I figured I would just air dry and bun.

This is the next to last Wash Day until my relaxer next Friday, so I decided to go heavy on the moisture today (keep in mind that my last Wash Day before my relaxers are reserved for clarifying and protein!). I started off with a pre-poo of my manuka honey and conditioner. The manuka honey is wayyyyyyyyyyy thicker than the regular honey that I use (see photo below), so I thinned it out with a bit of hot water before adding conditioner. I think I added a bit too much conditioner because the consistency was very runny, so I thickened the mixture up with a little of my regular honey. I also heated up my oils so that I could do a hot oil treatment on my scalp. I left that mixture on for about 2 hours while I cooked breakfast, cleaned up and watched TV.

I then washed with the Amla Legends Body Filler Hair Wash (ALBFHW), followed by the Alterna Cavair Moisture. As I look back over my Wash Days, I always seem to start off with a sulfate shampoo, despite me trying to be sulfate-free (a bandwagon move, I am sure). Due to some of the products I use having silicone, I just like to make sure they are removed every week so that they aren’t coating my hair and causing it to dry out. Instead of focusing on being “sulfate-free,” I am just going to use sulfate shampoos that do not leave my hair stripped and ALBFHW is that shampoo. I think I will use it as my first shampoo each week, followed up by my Caviar Shampoos.

My shower leave-in conditioning session consisted of the Ion Extreme Moisture, V-05 Strawberries and Cream and Redken All-Soft. My Redken All-Soft is approaching 2 years old, as I bought the liter on sale when I first moved to Oregon. I think I will begin using that up in my pre-poos and shower conditioning sessions until it is all gone. I like this stuff, but it’s not all that. Also, I think the formula is different, as I have read recent reviews on the product and some people are hating it! I think I may try Abba as an alternate conditioner after the All-Soft is gone.

My deep conditioning session consisted of using Alterna Caviar conditioner with the MegaSilk. The two textures that I have going on need some TLC, so I thought a double-dose of moisture would be helpful! I sat under the dryer for about an hour. I followed it up with my Roux Porosity Control for a minute and a cold shot of water.

The leave-ins I used this time were: Alterna Photo Defense, Alterna Texture, ApHogee Green Tea Reconstructor (for a light dose of protein) and Roux 619. I tied a strip scarf around my head and did an oldie-but-goodie, turn the dryer on and let my hair dry that way! I finished with some 1001 Oils Night Wrap Cream and sealed with Billion Hair Oil. πŸ™‚

Notes, Thoughts and Observations!

1. My hair is more prone to breakage if air-dried. I will monitor this during my M&S sessions. I plan on keeping hair in low or high bun or updo this week, anyhow.

2. It seemed my hair had gotten shorter while I was applying my deep conditioners after shampooing! It’s probably due to the shrinkage of my new growth … I was kind of worried that I had lost 2 inches of hair! :O

Manuka honey

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The prepoo mix

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An Inch for Your Thoughts #13: You Put All That In Your Hair?

Ever since I began my HHJ over 16 months ago, I have been a fan of pre-pooing with anything that I can find in my cupboard, fridge or pantry. In the past, I have used the following edible items in my hair: EVOO, EVCO, sesame oil, grapeseed oil, vegetable glycerin, apple cider vinegar, honey, avocado, garlic and tea (I am sure I am leaving out a few items)!

As some of you may know, the past few months I have done pre-poos with honey and a conditioner. I am loving the honey as a pre-poo, as I feel my hair has retained moisture better.

In Hawaii, Nathan’s dad had a jar of unopened manuka honey. Normally, I use just regular, store-bought honey, but I knew this had to be special by it saying it was from New Zealand! I immediately asked him for it and he said yes. I told him I was going to put it on my hair and he looked a bit puzzled and said “OK!” in his normal cheerful manner. The following day, we went to visit Nathan’s aunt and uncle who were leaving for home the next day. They buy food to cook and prepare for their two week vacation and at the end, they will give us what they don’t use. They had some ACV and some EVOO left over. I offered to take it and told them I use these products in my hair! Nathan’s dad then asked “what don’t you put in your hair!” It was quite hilarious!

I am all for putting natural ingredients in your hair! I have been wanting to experiment a bit with yogurt, eggs, milk, etc., but have not had the opportunity yet.

Well, bon appetit! πŸ™‚

Dry Ends Update!

Greetings guys! I wanted to do a quick post concerning my ends. As you all know, I have been battling dry, breaking and porous ends since the beginning of my hair journey 16 months ago. It has been a constant struggle!! I deep conditioned, used Roux Porosity Control, prayed, etc., but nothing seemed to offer me a long-term solution. However, as of late (since early April), I have not had very many breaking ends at all! Of course there are a few here and there, but now it is nothing for me to M&S my hair and not see a single one. It really has made for some happy times in my life! πŸ™‚

I sat back and tried to deduce what I am doing differently. I could only think that things have improved because of the Redken Shades EQ I had put on at the end of March. Glazes such as that one are great for protecting the cuticle and assisting with porous ends, according to the Science of Black Hair. I am thinking of adding these glazes to my regimen about every 8-10 weeks now!

Of course, I will not pay to have this done, but rather I will just go to Sally’s and see what they have. I am thinking about trying the Clairol ProfessionalΒ in clear or the brown color closest to mine.

For those of you are experiencing dry ends with nothing helping you out, this may be a great solution! I am not sure when I will do this (maybe 2 weeks post relaxer), but I will definitely keep you guys posted!

Trying to be 95% breakage free!!!