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!!!!

Where will I stop growing?

A few things prompted this post. First off, I was talking to my mom yesterday and she mentioned my Aunt Melanie (my dad’s sister) was at church Sunday and how beautiful her hair is. In case you don’t know, she is my hair idol!

Here is a picture of her from last May.  Yes, yes, its beautiful! I asked my other aunt (who is Melanie’s older sister) what her regimen is and she said that Melanie goes to the salon every other week and gets it flat ironed. I couldn’t imagine the dryer time on a roller set!

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Secondly, I found this picture with my hair down after a roller set (excuse the ends looking so janky not being combed out into a perfect “U shape and my half bra being down to my waist!) I came home and measured to see how long it would take me to grow from WL to W’HIP (which is the area between your waist and hips), which is about 4 inches. I asked Nathan would he like it if I grew it down to W’HIP and he said: “No. That’s too long. Why would you want to take care of that much hair?” That got me thinking about just how long I want to grow my hair. I think my goal is about an inch below waist length. Anything more would be just to see if I could do it! 😉 Once I get to my goal, I plan on letting my other hairs catch up! I think full waist length is my goal, which is about 2 years away (my shortest layers are about APL).

Well, happy growing! My next length check will be after my relaxer in 2 weeks!

green line – MBL

pink line – WL

blue line – W’HIP

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Summer Goals Check-In!

It has been over a month since I made my goals for summer. I thought that I would check-in and assess how I am doing with these goals …

1. Get to MBL! This is the ultimate goal. I do not mean just a few scraggly hairs, either, I mean a good portion of my lower layers (meh, I will take 20%). – This is to be determined … I will find out at my next relaxer in about 6 weeks.

2. Continue to grow out my front. It is a few inches past my chin, right at my shoulder (HOORAY … I am full-SL hahahahha!) – Still working on this!

3. Use the L-O-C method to improve moisture retention. – This is working for me. On my air-dried hair, I use water as the liquid, kukui nut oil as the oil and Amla Legends as the cream. There is a lot less breakage than my prior air dried hair endeavors.

4. Use only one heat pass for length check in mid-July (if I so desire) – I don’t plan on using a heat pass until I get my relaxer in 6 weeks.

5. Pre-poo with ceramides weekly – This is going well. I am pre-pooing with either safflower oil or hemp seed oil each week.

6. DRINK at least 60 ounces of water a day (sigh … I will accept 4/7 days on this one!) – This is going well!!!!!!! I am drinking a lot of water, especially since I am working out a lot.

7. Dust only once this relaxer period (search and destroy sessions for overgrown hairs are OK) – This is going well. I have not dusted since June.

8. Protective style 80% of the time – I am protective styling about 95% of the time. Summertime is buntime!

9. Maintain my hair’s gorgeous thickness! ;) – Working on this … doing what I can by reducing manipulation and protecting my ends!

10. Apply clear semi-permanent color late June/early July to help with ends – I did this at the end of June!

Seems like I am on track to meet my goals! Hope everyone is having a lovely summer!

MBL-Bound and Goals for Summer

It’s been awhile since I have posted some goals (see these from last summer) and I felt that it was high time to do them, considering that I am heading into a 13 week relaxer stretch!!

Summertime is upon us and for some, it’s when their hair grows the fastest … for some reason mine grows faster in the winter! Last summer did not yield too much new growth for me. I am not sure why that was, but from May to about September, it looked like I gained maybe 1.5 inches, which is pretty slow for me! I will definitely be looking to maximize growth and can only hope to get the same amount of growth that I did the past relaxer stretch, which was about 2 inches in the front and back and 1.5 inches in the middle (yes, I measured).

So without any further mindless chatter, here are my goals for the summer (defined as ending Labor Day weekend, when I get my next relaxer):

1. Get to MBL! This is the ultimate goal. I do not mean just a few scraggly hairs, either, I mean a good portion of my lower layers (meh, I will take 20%).

2. Continue to grow out my front. It is a few inches past my chin, right at my shoulder (HOORAY … I am full-SL hahahahha!)

3. Use the L-O-C method to improve moisture retention.

4. Use only one heat pass for length check in mid-July (if I so desire)

5. Pre-poo with ceramides weekly

6. DRINK at least 60 ounces of water a day (sigh … I will accept 4/7 days on this one!)

7. Dust only once this relaxer period (search and destroy sessions for overgrown hairs are OK)

8. Protective style 80% of the time

9. Maintain my hair’s gorgeous thickness! 😉

10. Apply clear semi-permanent color late June/early July to help with ends

 

How much further until … 

– MBL – I have about an inch to go!!!

– WL – Ugh! I can tell this is going to as elusive as BSL was! Nathan measured and I have about 4.5-5 inches to go. My length check shirt indicated that MBL was only 2 inches away from WL … well, anatomy trumps markings on a shirt! This will definitely be next year (*screams at hair to grow*)

 

Well there you have it … my hair goals for summer! I will check in periodically to look at my progress!

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HAPPY ONE YEAR HHJ ANNIVERSARY!

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

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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! 🙂