Wash Day: When keepin’ it real goes wrong …

Wow! I am overdue for a hair post! Here’s a quickie! Things have been so busy lately and I have just neglected my poor blog (which I am known to do from time to time!) I must confess that I drove 4.5 hours one way this weekend to the Lululemon outlet halfway between Seattle and Canada! It was totally worth it and I will do it again every three months!! When they heard that I started driving at 4:45am to get to the store at opening, they treated me like a queen! Anything I needed, they got me! A lovely lady even price matched a jacket for me … knocking $30 of the price just because I drove so far!

Enough of the Lululemon talk! Ok! So here is last week’s Wash Day at the gym. I pre-pooed with coconut oil, conditioner and safflower oil for 7 minutes in the steam room. For some reason, I just wasn’t feeling the 110 degrees last week! I washed as normal and conditioned in the shower. I deep conditioned with L’Oreal Total Repair 5 Damage Erase balm and sat in the steam room for 5 minutes. I will definitely sit longer next time and bring a turban. It was so hot in there, I thought my hair would disintegrate since I had it down! I detangled and headed home to apply my leave-ins.

When I got home, I rewetted my hair and applied my normal leave-ins and decided to let my hair really air dry instead of doing the faux air dry method.

Boy, did I  get some different results! My hair felt a lot thicker, but that is because my hair shrank up more from air drying that it does when I sit under the dryer! Also, my hair had about 10 different textures going on, as you can see in the close up! Some hair was shriveled up, while some hung loser. It made me look like I had a chewed up hairline! I immediately thought about the Dave Chappelle skit “When keepin’ it real goes wrong!”

HAHAHAH! Well, I wore it in a ponytail and bun this past week anyways, so it is all good! Here are a few of the photos that I captured!

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Wash Day and potential change in them!

Greetings everyone before yoga class!

I wanted to do a quick Wash Day post, which I haven’t done in a while! Honestly, if you read one Wash Day post from me, you have read them all, but I did something a bit different today, so I thought I would share!

I joined the gym in our town that has a steam room, so for my pre-poo, I slathered some cheapie conditioner (I think Vidal Sassoon’s moisture line) and sat in the steam room for about 10 minutes! Honey, sitting in a steam room that is 110 degrees for 10 minutes is about equivalent to sitting under a dryer for 5 hours! I have been debating getting a steamer, but have put it off because of my potential move and storage space. Now, I don’t have to! Majority of my hair is low porosity, meaning that I need heat and steam to open up my cuticles and force the product in. If I don’t, then product just sits on it, never really absorbing it. I have been doing homemade steam treatments since the beginning of my journey and it is nice to be able to reap the advantages of full on steam treatments! Even my skin feels and looks better!

I came home, rinsed it out and washed with my GVP Tea Tree shampoo and Alterna Caviar Volume. I deep conditioned with my Silk Elements Kera Minerals for 30 minutes with heat and 90 without (I fell asleep!) I rinsed with cool, did my Roux for 2 minutes, then final rinsed with cold water. My leave-ins were: Alterna Photo Age Defense, Alterna Caviar Texture, Pureology Colour Fanatic and Carol’s Daughter Monoi Serum. I did the faux air drying method and sat under the dryer for 20 minutes.

We were going out to dinner last night, so I wanted to wear my hair in a high bun. I remembered that I had a donut that I tried to use about 18 months ago and my hair would not cover it, so I just threw it under the sink, waiting for the day that my hair was long enough to cover it. I found the donut, used it as directed and pinned my hair around it, creating a neat, high bun. I thought it was quite nice and polished! I would have had Nathan take pictures, but I didn’t want him to see me while I was getting dressed, so I took some selfies in the mirror!

So the change in Wash Day is … I think I may start doing them at the gym! Yes! Weird huh, but I think using the steam room for my pre-poo treatments and deep conditioners will be a great idea! It will also cut down on the time it takes me to do Wash Days. No more sitting under the dryer for 4o minutes to an hour to ensure my hair has absorbed the conditioning treatment, as 10-15 minutes in the steam room for the pre-poo and deep conditioner will definitely do it. My first gym Wash Day will be next week, so stay tuned for that one!

Ok, here are some pictures. The first set is my hair after I left the steam room! My hair swells, then dries to form these little waves. The second set is my high bun with the donut.

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Until next time! 🙂

P.S. Just in case you were wondering what I wore, I wore my French Connection Stripe Dress – Kiren 3/4 sleeve with some burgundy Jessica Simpson leather booties and some black stockings! Not to toot my own horn, but when I wore this dress back in NC, it was a headturner, for sure! This skinny girl does it noooooooo justice! One of my guy friends (who is as gym-crazy as me) told me that me in this dress inspired one of our other girl friends to get back in shape! I do what I can! 😉

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Sample Alerts!

As a reformed product junkie who has a pretty set regimen, I tend to get my fix of trying new products by obtaining samples and gift with purchases! I have received these samples in the past month:

Aveda dry remedy daily moisturizing oil – I got this at Aveda on the way to Canada. I didn’t care for the other product ingredients in this line, but this oil was silicone free, so I said I would take a sample. I threw away the card that listed the ingredients and Aveda doesn’t list them on their website (which is very weird, especially for a company that touts their ingredients are “natural”), so I found them listed on this site.

Ingredients: Sunflower seed oil, dicaprylyl maleate, dicaprylyl ether, methyl soyate, polyglyceryl-10 pentaoleate, olive oil, buriti fruit oil, pomegranate sterols, tocopherol, fragrance, farnesol, linalool, benzyl salicylate, citronellol, citral, limonene, benzyl benzoate, coumarin, geraniol.

So far, I like it, but it is not something that I would go out and buy. It does smooth my hair down and add some shine. A dab or two will do you for each section. I also hate the word “moisturizing” when describing oil, especially when there is not any water to be found in it!

Pureology Colour Fanatic – This is a leave-in spray that says it primes, protect and perfects. I got this as a sample at Ulta. I will have to type a list of the ingredients, as I cannot find them online at this time. I do like this product and use it in lieu of my Carol’s Daughter Monoi Oil Anti-Breakage Spray. Even though it is intended for people with colored hair, the benefits can really help anyone! I have used this several times for both my blow out and faux air dry and I must say, me and my hair likes it. I am not sure it will unseat Carol’s Daughter as my protein leave-in, but I have plenty of it left so time will tell!

Macadamia Natural Oil Flawless: 6-in-1 Cleansing Conditioner – I got this as a sample at Ulta. I saw where it has dimethicone in the first 5 ingredients, but I decided what the heck … I will use it as a co-wash during these sweaty weeks of working out! I used it for the first time last night. I thought that the product would be foamy since it is in an aerosol can, but it actually came out creamy! It claims to take the place of your shampoo and conditioner. In order to see how my hair reacted to it, I washed my hair with it 2x, then applied it as a conditioner treatment in the shower. I thought my hair would be dried out and sticky from this product, but surprise!! It didn’t! It actually felt conditioned! I applied my normal leave-ins and then sat under the dryer while my hair dried. Afterwards, my hair felt fine!

This product is crazy expensive! It is $33 for 8oz, so I will not be buying it. It works, but I am not convinced that I need to give up my Alberto V-05 co-washes for this product! The link provides a video so you can see how to use the product!

Product Review: Silk Elements Kera Minerals Smoothing Deep Conditioner

I got this as my free gift for renewing my Sally’s Beauty Club Card membership. They didn’t have it at my Sally’s in Oregon, so I waited until I went to NC so that I could try this product! I … Continue reading

Happy 2 Year HHJ Anniversary!!!

Oh. My. Goodness. It has been 2 years since I started my HHJ! It felt like I just wrote about my one year anniversary!!!

I am honestly in awe of how fast time has flown! Last year, I wrote about what worked and what didn’t work for me in my first year, so in that spirit … here goes! Note: I pretty much figured out what my hair didn’t like by the end of the first year, so I don’t have as many “What did not work!” entries!

What worked

1. Coconut oil pre-poos: I wrote this off on my last HHJ anniversary post because I thought that the use of coconut oil early in my journey caused my ends to break because of its potential to bind to proteins, which I felt was sending my hair into protein overdrive. When I was at home back in May 2013, I took some of the coconut oil I gave to my mom to try again and I have been hooked ever since. Since using it, my hair feels a lot stronger. Coconut oil is the holy grail for hair!!

2. Deep conditioning weekly: Honey, this will always work in any regimen!

3. Carol’s Daughter Monoi Oil Sacred Strengthening Serum: I began my search for a silicone-free serum back in the summer. Living Proof did not work for me and I happened to stumble across this serum on Sephora.com. I have never enjoyed welcoming a product into my life as this one. Instantly, I noticed a reduction in breakage on the ends which continues to this day! I love the smell, sheen and strength that it gives to my hair … all without the silicone!

4. Infrequent length checks: Lord, I had Nathan measuring my hair almost weekly in the first year and a half of my journey … now, I feel like I am on autopilot and don’t sweat length checks as much. If I need to remove raggedy ends, I do it and don’t fret over lost length!

5. Protein leave-ins weekly: Since becoming MBL-bound, I noticed that my hair had less breakage and felt better when I used a light protein leave-in each wash day. I used ApHogee Green Tea Keratin Restructurizer then switched to Carol’s Daughter Monoi Anti-Breakage Spray. Hair that is longer needs that protein reinforcement to stay strong and on your head!

6. Healthy Texture’s Rollersetting Video: I learned so much about rollersetting from this one video and my rollersets have come out better because of it!

7. Seamless combs: You will get my Hercules Sagemann combs from me in two ways: 1) steal them and 2) pry them from my cold dead hands. I will never use another non-seamless comb in my hair. My Magic Rake comb and rattail comb glides through my hair. They are worth every cent! I will even take these combs to the salon and have them use them on my hair!

8. Pre-pooing with Ceramides: My oils of choice are safflower or hemp seed oil.

9. Satin pillow rollers: I have raved about these, as you probably know! Get you some!

What Didn’t Work

1. My old tabletop dryer- R.I.P. Conair!!! I had to buy a roll-about dryer once my hair got to BSL.

2. [Faux] Airdrying – I began to notice that my hair breaks more when it is faux airdried. I do it to give me and my hair a break, but it is no longer my preferred method of styling.

3. Living Proof products – My hair liked none of those products. I tried 3 of them and they left my hair feeling dry and crunchy.

I plan on blowing my hair out and doing a Caruso roller set on Saturday. I want to get an official length check for my 2 year anniversary, so stay tuned! I think it is safe to say that I am approaching WL in the longest lengths and I started off at SL two years ago!!!!

How I Salvaged Frizzy, Limp Hair!

Happy New Years from Canada everyone! Nathan and I decided to go north of the border for some much needed R-n-R, partying and sightseeing. I must say, Vancouver is a beautiful city with plenty of shopping, massages and fine eateries (my favorite things!) They even have Church’s Fried Chicken, which is something pitiful Oregon can’t even muster up!! And my favorite thing about this city is that I can find Five Alive juice. That was my staple breakfast drink for over 20 years, until I stopped seeing it around 2007. I am about to buy about 7 cartons and take them over the border!!!

So anyhoo, I did my Wash Day this past Sunday. I did a pre-poo of coconut oil, cheapie conditioner and safflower oil for 45 minutes with heat. I washed as normal, did a deep conditioner with L’Oreal Total Repair 5 and Silk Elements MegaSilk for an hour with heat. I applied my normal leave-ins and roller sat. I did use some setting foam for each section of hair rolled, which made my hair kinda stick together when I was dry, giving the illusion of thin hair. Next time, I will use the foam on a mohawk section basis. As you may know, my hair struggles to hold curls in the presence of moisture, so I am having to use product to help my hair hold better. After my hair was dry, I blew out my roots, applied Alterna Bamboo Anti-Breakage Thermal Protectant spray to smooth each section and applied my sponge rollers. I kept these in about 24 hours and took them down for our dinner Monday night.

Fast forward till Tuesday afternoon. After a brief period out in the elements, my hair was defeated by the moisture and became frizzy, which was complete devastation to the nation since we had a NYE party to go to that night! I thought about flat-ironing my hair, but I decided to try something else to breathe some life into my lank roller set … and it worked!

One side of hair already rolled up with frizzed, lank hair on the other side.

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1. Section hair off in small parts and detangle each section.

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2. Applied a small amount of Alterna Bamboo Anti-Breakage Heat Protectant, starting with the ends. It has an almost dry serum feel to it, despite water being the first ingredient. The dry feel of the product is beneficial when you don’t want a liquidy product that can encourage additional frizzing. While applying, I made sure to apply tension to the hair to stretch it out. I sealed with a small drop of Carol’s Daughter Monoi serum.

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3. I put in my satin rollers by adding tension as I rolled … essentially doing roll-roll-pull like I do with my magnetic rollers. Again, this helps stretch and smooth the hair out.

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4. Repeat until entire head is done. Cover with satin or silk scarf and let sit as long as desired.

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The results were great! I took the rollers out, applied serum to my hands to prevent frizz and pick the curls apart for beautiful volume. The theme of the party was the Great Gatsby which took place in the 20s and wasn’t a soul rocking a blow out back then!! My curls were on point! Too bad I left my sequin and feather dress AT HOME and had to buy another one (of course not as extravagant as the one I had!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) UGH!

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I am so glad that I did not reach for the flat iron and decided to take a chance with this method. Honestly, most of the sections of hair sprang back to life after detangling and having the Alterna Bamboo product applied.

Didn’t I tell you how much I loved these satin pillow rollers??

An Inch for Your Thoughts #18: #LongHairProblems

I have been meaning to write a blog post on this for ages and have just finally got around to doing it!

I remember when I started my HHJ at shoulder length almost two years ago (seems like yesterday), all I could do is dream of MBL/WL hair and envy anyone who had it! I just couldn’t wait to have my hair long and flowing! Now that I have it, I have discovered long hair, while I definitely love it, is not a bed of roses! Here are some of my #longhairproblems:

1. It takes FOREVER for a roller set to dry! – And I mean forever! I am under the dryer no less than 100 minutes each Wash Day that I roller set. It is annoying, hot and uncomfortable. I have a relatively decent dryer, but it still takes forever.

2. Hair gets caught in clothes and armpits. – I think this is one of the first #longhairproblems I encountered and remembered. I think it was around BSL when I noticed that while putting on clothes, if my hair was free, it would get caught in my armpit when I was trying to take clothes on or off. I would then have to gently cock my head to the side the hair was stuck on as not to create tension so the hair would break, gently swipe my hair away from the armpit or clothes and continue what I was doing.

3. Products do not last as long. – For someone who uses expensive hair products, I know that I have to be extra careful and “stretch” the time the products will last now that my hair is MBL. That means I will add in cheaper products to give some of my products a boost. For example, instead of using just Alterna Caviar conditioner in the shower, I will add Ion Extreme Moisture cream so that I don’t have to use much Alterna.

4. Haters! – Didn’t I just mention how I hated on people who had long hair the beginning of my journey? Yep, we’ve all been guilty of possessing hair envy at one time or another. However, what about the people in your life who make shady comments (e.g. “well, your hair should be long, you have ‘good’ hair”) or the friends who say nothing at all? Like they refuse to acknowledge your length at all or congratulate you on meeting your hair goals? Yep, if it haven’t happened to you, I bet you it will at some point. Like Dave Chappelle as R.Kelly stated “Haters Gonna Hate!”

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5. More upkeep is needed. – This is a no-brainer. Long hair = old hair. Some of the hair on my head is probably 3+ years old and I have only been on my journey for 2 years. That means the ends of my hair have been through the fire!! Literally, because I used to blow dry and flat iron my hair weekly. HA! That means slacking on your pimping is not recommended. I M&S almost daily, pre-poo and deep condition every Wash Day. I strategically pick leave-ins that will enhance my hair and assist in helping keep its structure (hellooooooooooo light protein leave-in and coconut oil pre-poos!) I dust as needed and try to protective style as much as possible to keep my ends in decent shape.

6. The anxiety struggle is real. – When you have invested time and money into growing your hair out, you get more protective over every inch you acquire. I think that this is true in most areas of life. If you nurture something, you want to be able to see and enjoy the outcome. Well, once your hair starts gaining a bit of length, you may find yourself a bit more stressed out over it than before. The dreaded word “setback” (considered the “four letter word” of HHJ enthusiasts) haunts you in your dreams and every time you comb and style your hair. You may see other bloggers have a setback and now fear has been struck in your heart! Well, all I can say to this is “breathe and stop” (thanks Q-Tip!) I just chalk it up to “it is not a sprint, it’s a marathon!” Some people may jog to the finish line, some may walk and some may stop and have coffee. I say “I’ll get there when I get there!”

7. What’s next? – Having long hair may be fun in and of itself, but what about when you finally reach your goals? What then? I remember the sheer excitement of seeing my hair after relaxer day and to see what milestone I could claim! There was no greater high than realizing that I made BSB/BSL/MBL! My last relaxer day I was like “Meh. I know my hair is long. Throw me some tight curls in it!”

Well, there are some of my #longhairproblems! You have any you want to share?