Wash Day!!

Greetings. I can barely muster to include my normal exclamation point. This has been some week! I started this new workout routine called Focus T25 with Shaun T and I am sore from head to toe! I could barely get out of bed yesterday morning as well as today! I had a horrible headache yesterday, probably a reaction to my body feeling like it had tetanus … it was just all locked up and stiff! I wanted to wash my hair yesterday once Nathan and I returned from the mall, but I was just to achy and tired so I figured I would do it on Sunday.

Physical wise, my week has been pretty tough. Hair wise, it has been pretty good! I am living for the Carol’s Daughter Minoi Oil Sacred Strengthening Serum! I have noticed a significant decrease in broken hairs over this week. Most days, I had no breakage at all! I was able to wear my hair out on Monday and in a loose ponytail on Tuesday, but by Wednesday, it was bun time due to the workouts! I also used my Kenra Platinum Dry Shampoo one day to remove excess oil and sweat until I was able to wash again.

So here’s how Wash Day went this week:

Pre-Poo: Coconut oil, manuka honey, cheapie conditioner, hemp seed oil

Shampoo: Alterna Life Solutions Clarifying, GVP Tea Tree, Alterna Caviar Volume

In-Shower Conditioner: Redken All-Soft (I used the last of my liter that I have had for two years!!) and Ion Extreme Moisture Cream

Deep Conditioner: KeraPro Restorative Treatment for Dry to Very Dry Hair for 1 hour with heat, final rinse with Roux for 90 seconds

Leave-Ins: Alterna Caviar Photo Age Defense, Alterna Texture, Roux 619 Extreme Moisture, Carol’s Daughter Minoi Oil Sacred Strengthening Serum

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I rolled majority of my hair using the black rollers. I took me about 40 minutes to roll. I am trying to cut my time under the dryer as much as possible! Also, I am playing around with a new recipe when I set my hair. Instead of using just water to wet my hair before each roll, I’m using water, a few drops of essential oil (choice doesn’t matter) and a few squeezes of vegetable glycerine, all mixed in my spray bottle! So far, it is good!!!

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I was not fortunate this week to be dry in an hour and 15 minutes. It took me a little over 90 minutes under the dryer!! Ughhhhhhh!!!!! If there is one thing I do miss about having shorter hair, it is not having to sit under the dryer for so long. #longhairproblems

The thing about the black rollers is that they leave my curls a bit flacid, if you will. I don’t get the really cute spirally curls like I do when I set on purple and gray rollers. The hair has an almost flat-ironed look. I didn’t take any pictures today, but I promise I will next week! I combed my hair into a wrap, applied a few drops of Minoi Oil and sat under the dryer for about 10 minutes, then combed out for the final evaluation. I noticed that I have had a lot of shedding this Wash Day, which is alright, considering I lost barely any hair at all during the week. I may do a black tea rinse next week and see if that helps!

All-in-all, it was a good Wash Day (it was kinda long, though) and I was pleased with the results. I admired my hair a bit, then rolled it back up in a modified roller set to refresh the curls. The one thing I don’t like with the black rollers is that my curls are easily combed away due to the lack of curl, so I find it very helpful to re-roll my hair dry to get back that volume and bend at the ends.

Here’s the amount of hair that I lost …

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I rarely post things about my personal life, as I am a pretty private individual (you won’t find me on too many social media sites), but I just thought I would share a few things that I am “living for” at the moment …

1. Eastbound and Down Season 4 returns to HBO TONIGHT!!!!!!!!!!

2. Boardwalk Empire

3. Carol’s Daughter Minoi Oil Sacred Strengthening Serum

4. Shaun T’s Focus T25 workout (despite it being extremely hard)

5. South Park is back!!!!

6. Big Bang Theory is back too!!!

7. I found my Alterna Caviar Texture Cream!!

Well, it’s about 7pm and I need to get ready for the workweek before Boardwalk Empire and Eastbound and Down comes on!!! Until next time, friends! 🙂

Ah, my main dude, Kenny “F’in” Powers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Guess I am not the Living Proof …

HA! Living Proof’s motto is “You are the Living Proof.” Well, I must not be because their products just aren’t working for my hair. This past Saturday, I did a roller set and used the Living Proof Prime Style Extender, Satin Serum and No Frizz nourishing cream as my leave-ins. Just like the week before, when I combed my hair out, the ends were crunchy, tangled and dry feeling. I am convinced that my hair just didn’t like their products, especially the Prime Style Extender, which has some alcohol in it. Their product concepts are great, but I am not used to having dry, crunchy ends when I shell out a lot of money for products; I ended up returning all three of them.

On a [very] positive note, something told me to check Amazon’s website to see if they had my Alterna Texture Cream, which has been my creamy leave-in for years. The last time I checked, the price was almost $40 for one bottle, which is why I have been running around trying to find something that works like it! Today, they had them for $17 with free shipping if you spent over $25, so I bought 2! Each bottle lasts me for about 9-12 months, so it should buy me some time before I need to look for a creamy leave-in again! I hate when they discontinue the products that I love, but hey … it happens!

As for my silicone-free serum, tomorrow I am going to get the Carol’s Daughter Minoi Oil Serum from Sephora and see how I like that. I will use it as my leave-ins for my roller set this weekend. Stay tuned! 🙂

Hair Updates and Rumblings: NC Edition

In order not to make my Relaxer Day post too long, I thought I would break these 2 posts up and give some hair updates and observations during my time in NC.

– As you may have read, the week and a half leading up to my relaxer had me shedding something crazy! I literally thought I was going to be bald (hahah!) I never attribute excessive shedding as a cause of me needing to end a relaxer stretch, but since I have relaxed my hair a week ago, the shedding has been soooooooo minimal. Like a few strands a day, even with combing. I often view relaxers as kind of a Darwin-esque mechanism. Hairs (and ends) that are weak just won’t last during a relaxer processing, so I am left with strong, robust strands, if you will! I am not sure if my new birth control kicked in some hormones or whether a change in scenery was what my hair needed, but my shedding is under control – for now!

– I also experienced some breakage near the end of my relaxer stretch. I don’t think I will just blow dry my hair and not flat iron it again. I plan on roller setting my next pre-relaxer day.

– I am going to have to learn my hair all over again when I move back to NC. It is soooooooooooo humid! My hair just didn’t stand a chance! I don’t think all the products in the world will stand up to the humidity in the South! I will say this, I think the Living Proof products I am using helped (see below for full list of products). Instead of my hair poofing up all wild-like and leaving me with wet, swollen, and limp hair, the curls just fell and I was able to still wear it down (not sleek … pulled back in a headband) or in a ponytail. I am so glad that I did not pay $45 for a roller set only to have the NC rain and heat come and whisk my curls (and coins) away!

– I don’t like straight hair. It’s fun to have a sleek, flat ironed look sometimes, but to me, it’s gets old pretty fast and the reasons should be pretty obvious to someone on a HHJ! For one, there is too much upkeep involved to maintain it. You have to wrap (or cross-wrap), take it down, make sure there aren’t any bobby pin or clip indentations and if there are, apply heat to remove them (if you so choose). Also, if it needs to be “bumped,” you have to apply more direct heat. Then you have to watch what you’re wearing, where you go, what the forecast is looking like, etc.! It would be remiss of me not to mention that straight hair displays all your flaws. If your hemline is chewed up, it will show. If you ends are like Rice Krispies (snap, crackle and pop!), it will show. You can hide easily hide subtle flaws with roller sets and other protective styles. Also, I like the look of voluminous curls or waves that I get from roller setting or doing the faux air-drying method.

– I did a roller set two days after I got my relaxer on Labor Day. I was heading to Raleigh to meet with some friends and had to be fly! I washed my hair with some sulfate shampoo Kim had on hand to remove silicones from my flat ironing session and followed up with my Alterna Caviar Volume poo. I did a 20 minute deep-conditioning session with Ion Extreme Moisture conditioner and followed up with my Roux for 1 minute. My leave-ins were: Living Proof Prime Style Extender, Living Proof frizz Nourishing cream and Alterna Texture cream. Kim kept insisting that I use a setting lotion or foam. I said nope … water only! She rolled me up, I placed on my roller net and I went back to my mom’s house, where I had a dryer like mine waiting for me! I can’t do tabletops if I can avoid it! I sat under the dryer for about 1 hr and was so tired I couldn’t keep my eyes open so I decided to sleep in the rollers for the first time to let it air dry over night! It was a bit uncomfortable, but I was so tired, it really didn’t matter. I misted my hair the next morning and sat back under the dryer for about 30 minutes for a final setting. The curls were beautiful! I was very tempted not to blow them out in preparation for my hair to be wrapped, but I did! In hindsight, I should have left them alone and maybe the frizz wouldn’t have been so bad!

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By the time I got to Raleigh in the late afternoon on Tuesday, my hair had had it. It was humid, my ends were screaming for a dusting (which I did when I got to the hotel). To add insult to injury, after dinner at Second Empire (yum), we went to Solas, which is a rooftop bar! By the end of the night, my hair was in a bun! The next day, I combed and detangled it, smoothed with some Vitamin E oil and wore it down with a headband.

– People touching my hair makes me very nervous. I think the longer my hair gets, the more protective of it I become. At the ratchet club we went to Saturday, I sat still in a booth and made sure people couldn’t get behind me. I was in fear that someone would try and pull or cut my hair! In my hometown, there were a few people who checked for tracks. One hairdresser told me, “I would just cut all that hair off if you came to me!” SEE? That’s why I won’t allow black people to do my trims! That almost turned my blood cold.

– At Sephora in Crabtree Valley Mall, this beautiful lady with beautiful natural hair gave me some tips on how to deal with long hair and frizz! I asked her if she thought the Living Proof frizz shampoo and conditioner was good, and she said she didn’t recommend it, as even without sulfates, she found the shampoo stripping and the conditioner didn’t work well. She said she uses the Alterna Caviar shampoo and conditioner and Living Proof leave-ins (frizz Nourishing cream, Prime Style Extender and Satin Serum). I knew when she said that, she was a HHJ sister, as she even mentioned the word “journey.” She admired the thickness of my hair and ends, even though the curls had been long gone! She told me that I missed one spot when dusting (which was the very back!), but other than that, my ends looked good! She told me she is preparing for a trim in December to remove some of her ends, but she wants to be MBL when she does it. I talked with her a good 10 minutes, sharing hair tips  (I recommended she try the Hercules Sagemann rake comb) and would’ve stayed longer had my friend not come in to retrieve me! One story she told me stuck out and validated my choice not to go to this salon I was thinking about trying. She recalled a time she was at a salon and she was asking the stylist what products she was using, instructing her on how to detangle her hair, etc. and the stylist told her “Oh … you’re one of THOSE!” HA!!!!!!!!!!! I know there are great stylists out there, but I don’t want to go bald on my quest to find one! That’s why I will stick with me or my friend doing it for now!

P.S. As soon as I got to some shears, I had my friend helped me get that last piece of rough hair!

– I went to see my dad and thanked him for his genes when it came to hair (he gets no love for my beady, non-descript eyes, but some love for my thick eyebrows). He said, “you’re welcome!” 🙂

– My ponytails are on point! I was swanging my long ponytail the last two days I was in town! I can’t wait until I see my WL ponytail!

– I don’t think I am going for full waist length. It would be just too much to deal with, IMHO. I actually like soft, subtle layers, so maybe when my length in the front hits BSL (in the year 2025), I will be happy!

– No tea, no shade, but so many people are not getting the HHJ memo in NC! These thin wraps that have been flat ironed into oblivion, lacefront wigs, double-processed hair, etc. Kim wanted to know why I sat with conditioner every time I got my hair washed and I told her I never miss a weekly deep conditioning – EVER! I will mind my own damn scalp, but I’m just saying …

Well, I think that’s all the hair updates and observations I have for now! 🙂

Relaxer Day!

Greetings guys! I am finally back in Oregon and able to do a extended post about my relaxer day on September 1, 2013! Here  goes:

– I based my scalp with Isoplus Castor oil grease and applied my mom’s mixture of coconut oil, castor oil and EVOO from my roots to tips in 6 sections.

– Kim applied the Mizani Butter Blends relaxer and I left it in for about 17 minutes. We were using the Mizani Butter Blends Relaxer System (read more about it here), so after she rinsed out the relaxer, she used the Perphecting Creme Normalizing Conditioner, which is designed to neutralize and strengthen hair immediately after the relaxer. I left that on my hair for about 5 minutes (I am not sure that this mid-step protein treatment was as good as using ApHogee’s 2 minute keratin treatment. I didn’t feel that my hair had the volume I get with using that stuff. I don’t plan on using the Mizani conditioner again as my mid-step protein). After that, she used the Balance Hair Bath Neutralizing and Chelating Shampoo. The thing I didn’t like about the shampoo was that it was not color-activated, which means it was not pink (or another color) in the presence of relaxer. For the initial wash, I left the shampoo on for 5 minutes so it could have more of a chance to neutralize. I had her wash my hair with this shampoo twice and followed up with the Isoplus neutralizer to make sure all traces of the relaxer were gone.

– I deep conditoned with Ion Extreme Moisture cream and Redken All-Soft using my hot turban and shower cap for about 20 minutes under the dryer.

– My leave-ins for my blow drying session were: Alterna Photo Defense, Alterna Blow Out Cream (which is running quite low) and Living Proof Prime Style Extender.

– After my hair was blow dried, I applied Alterna Bamboo Smooth Anti-Breakage Thermal Protectant spray. It has dimethicone as the fifth ingredient, but I loved this stuff! I didn’t experience any breakage after using it (maybe because I washed 2 days after using it). I also applied Living Proof Satin serum (silicone-free). Kim flat ironed my hair a few hours after it was blown out.

I noticed that my ends looked a bit rough and weren’t holding a curl well, so I clipped about 1/2 inch in some places. I CANNOT STAND RAGGEDY ENDS. DID YOU HEAR THAT? NO RAGGEDY ENDS! My hair looked so much better once I did!

I have to admit … while I look forward to getting my hair relaxed, it is also causes me great stress! We all hear about the woman who had her hair fall out due to a bad relaxer! I say a prayer before my relaxer and hope everything goes OK! Well, all-in-all, this relaxer day was a success!

Below are the final results.

Hair blown out – longest hairs are right at MBL!

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Hair I lost during the relaxing process … not too bad

 

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Hair flat ironed … the bra is at waist length

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Me after a long night at this ratchet club where I just wanted to go home and eat pizza and sleep!! 

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