Roller Set Hair (Now vs. January 2012)

Sigh. I really need to buy a camera. Even though I have a perfectly good camera on my iPhone 5, I need a tripod where I can take photos of myself without the horrible “man in the mirror” shot. I hate those … but oh well, what are you going to do?

I wanted to share my hair this morning. I realize I have not been taking a lot of pictures of my hair lately, which is the point of the blog, right?

I think I will straighten a piece of it this weekend and take a length check photo. I am about positive I am BSB (or just at it – I have been flirting with that line for months now!). It is funny about growth during my 3 month relaxer periods: the first month, I get hardly no new growth at all; the second month an inch will magically appear and then the third month it is almost unbearable. I have been tracking my growth measurements and my hair grows just slightly above .5 inches a month (maybe .55-.6 inches), but other than the first month on my journey, it never grows more than that. In a three month relaxer period, I do not have 2 inches of new growth (awww man!!)

Here is my roller set hair in January … as you can see, it just at my shoulders.

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… and here it is now! Progress is definitely being made!!!

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A quick progress check

Ugh. My week has gotten off to a crappy start. I get in the car this morning and my windshield wipers don’t work. That’s a huge problem in Oregon in December. I was able to get my car in the shop and I am praying it does not cost me an arm and a leg and a inch of hair. 🙂

I thought I would share a length check teaser. I roller sat my hair last night (more on this to come), so I had to stretch out a piece of hair so it wouldn’t be so curly. My longest length is inching towards that line on the blue tank!!!

The first picture of me is in June. I love going back and seeing the progress I have made!!

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At this time, I am not planning on straightening my hair until my hair anniversary in early January, as I want to do a comparison shot from the beginning of my hair journey until then, but it seems that nothing in my life is going as planned so don’t be surprised if its straightened by tomorrow. 😦

I Knew This Day Would Come …

I knew the day would come when I had to do a trim. Not a dusting, but a trim. I am one who would get trims regularly, as the promised return of long hair was a lure too strong to ignore. However, since I started my hair journey, I have dusted as needed. Some times my ends needed it more than others, but I’m sure I have removed over 1.5 inches throughout the year.

Well lately my ends have not been breaking as much, but I find them easily getting tangled, looking dry and appearing a bit broomstick-ish (flared ends). I decided I needed to get them trimmed. So I went to get my hair flat ironed. Sarah commented that an inch needed to be removed, but of course I wasn’t letting anyone do it but me! And I knew by her saying an inch, I would remove half an inch. Getting it flat ironed was a painful process since the iron was 400° and the way she was flat ironing it I could hear ends snap off. I just wanted to hurry up and get out of that chair. I think I may be going back to the place I went last week … Or better yet, learn how to flat iron my own hair!!

Anywho, I came home and began the trim. I removed about half an inch in some places and some pieces were even an inch long! Hahhaha! Man, afterwards my hair looked soooooo much better. The comb didn’t get caught in it!!

Now I am about .75-1 inches from BSB and 2 inches from BSL. I am still on track to make my respective goals for each length in December and February.

Blue – BSB (.75-1 inch away)

Red – MBL (4 inches away)

Yellow – WL (7 inches away)

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I lied … Got my hair flat ironed! (and other state of affairs)

Well this weekend was Nathan’s birthday and I wanted to flat iron my hair. I have gotten to the point where if flat ironing my hair every 4-6 weeks causes me a little damage, then so be it. I enjoy switching my look up!

So to prepare my hair for the blow dry and flat iron session, I pre-pooed with Pantene Relaxed and Natural and vegetable glycerin for about an hour. I did a light clarifying session with the Alberto V-05 to remove any product buildup followed by my Alterna moisturizing shampoo. I mixed my Redken All Soft and Alterna Caviar conditioner and left it on my hair while in the shower. I then deep conditioned with my Alterna 10 hair masque for an hour.

I blew my hair dry on low and cool using as my leave ins Alterna Caviar Perfect Blow Out, Roux 619, Alterna Photo Defense and a new heat protectant, Chi 44 Iron Guard. After it was blew out, I put on my Alterna Elixir and more Chi 44 Iron Guard. Then it was ready to have the flat iron!

Sarah wasn’t available so I had to go to a salon close to home. The lady introduced me to a new Joico flat ironed called K-PAK ReconstrRx VaporIron. It actually repairs your hair as it passes by filling in holes using its special reconstructor vapor. I was in awe!!

The lady complimented my hair and said she can tell I take good care of it and that it was healthy. She flat ironed it kinda fast (not like the way I am used to, but whatever). It was more like grabbing pieces as she went instead of starting at the back and working her way up. The end result was ok, but I don’t think the iron was quite hot enough and for some reason, white people do not understand the concept of bumping the hair on the end … It’s always straight for some reason (despite me asking for it). Ah… I miss Sarah! I will make sure to book her in advance next time, but at least I got to hear about this flat iron!!! Hey, when life hands you lemons…

But all in all, I have great news to deliver on the state of my hair. I am oh-so-close to BSB! The red line in the picture is BSB and the green line is BSL. However, I am suffering from a horrible case of hairorexia. I see where my hair is growing, but it just doesn’t look all that long to me. I don’t think I will be “happy” until MBL!!

Also, I am soooooo happy that my ends appear to be in really good shape. I have a fear of see-through ends, which happens as hair naturally weathers at the ends, but mine seem to be doing ok. I am sure I could use a trim, but I will dust when I relax in November. I also like how the ends have broke off into a lovely rounded U shape! Hahhaha! I don’t know when (or if) I will do a blunt cut. I like the look of the U and V shapes, so I think I will keep that for now. It also allows for reaching milestones faster. If I cut up to my shortest layer, I would be SL. No thanks.

I am almost 9 months in my journey and doing alright. I think I will be BSL by my relaxer in February. I feel now I can be on autopilot and not rush to milestones and cut as much hair as needed, as I think the hardest part of the growing journey (unless I suffer a setback) is almost over. Man, that period from SL to APL to BSL … Ugh!!! It’s an 18+ month process!

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January 2012

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July 2012

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Am I there yet? (and other ramblings) – Progress Pics!

Because I am a little Type A … I like to have my goals written out. I feel that I affirm and acknowledge them more … if that makes any damn sense (it does to me, so I guess that is all that matters, right?)

So as I previously mentioned … I am about .5 inches away from BSB. I think it is high time I evaluate my goals and see how far I am from the other milestones of hair growth land!

First of all, I must recount about how much hair I have grown AND retained this year. It is about 4 inches from January – August, which is amazing, since some people do not retain that in a year. At that rate, I retain .5 inches per month (counting the dustings and breaking ends), so yeah, BSL could definitely be in my immediate future.

From January – August, I have retained about 4 inches of growth (from about a 3 on my shirt to now past 7) … that is pretty wild if I must say so myself.

Here is my hair growth from the beginning of my hair journey in January to August. Sometimes it helps to compare and  see how far you have come!

January 2012                                               August 2012

Note to self: get a higher fitting bra. The bras I wear (and like) are darn near MBL. I need to pick out a bra that will more accurately gauge that length for me!

BSB – 1 inches

BSL – 1.5-2 inches away! (depending on bra!)

MBL – 3.5-4 inches away

WL – 7 inches

Replies are in bold and made on 12/23/12

So my short-term goal is to hit BSL by December/January. It would be great if I was able to grow from full shoulder length to BSL within a year’s time (my one year HHJ will be in January!) – This will not happen. It will end up being me going from full SL to BSB in a year. I think that BSL is going to happen in spring 2013. It took me from August to December to get a full inch to get to BSB!

My mid-term goal is to hit MBL by mid-May 2013. I think that is totally doable unless I am faced with a setback. It will take me about 8 months to grow and retain that amount of hair. Again, this is not going to happen unless I am given a miracle growth of hair! From today, I am about 3.5 inches away from MBL. That will take me about 8 months of growth and retention to get there. I am predicting this will happen in the Fall of 2013.

My long term goal is WL. That is probably 12-18 months away depending on my trimming schedule. I want to be WL by the time Nathan finishes law school in May 2014 … I think that will be a great milestone to look forward to … for the both of us!

SO AM I THERE (BSL) YET?

JBCO Challenge Results and new milestone made!

Well I did a JBCO challenge for about two months and wanted to give a quick follow up.

The back of my hair grew … as it always does. I could not tell a difference it the amount of hair that grew.

My ultimate goal was to grow out the front where some pieces fall about chin length. Well, it grew out a bit, but not enough to make me happy.

I did have to dust my hair twice this summer, so maybe that hurt a bit. I am getting new growth in the front, so why I am not seeing much progress is beyond me. I am going to start taking more pictures and monitoring the front of my hair’s growth progress!

On another note, sans a few layers in the front and on the sides, I am officially full APL!!! Most of the hair on my head passes that line and I am claiming it!!!!!!!! WOO HOO!

Now onto BSB by the end of the year!!!!!!!! I have about .5 inches left!

Post Relaxer Update!

Well, I got my relaxer last Tuesday, but since I have been on the go since I arrived in NC … I have not even had a chance to take a pic nor post about it. I leave tomorrow morning, so I thought that I would burn the midnight oil (literally, its after midnight here) and write about it.

As I noted last post, I washed my hair Sunday and got a relaxer Tuesday … that was a bad idea. My head burned so bad, I had Kim wash the relaxer out early! It’s not so much a bad thing, as my hair was processed enough anyways … but now I have some scabs. Ah, the joy of relaxing hair.

Before putting the relaxer on, I covered my processed hair with cheapie conditioner to prevent double processing. After the relaxer, Kim washed with neutralizing shampoo, followed up by my Alterna Caviar shampoo. I deep conditioned for 15 minutes with Alterna Caviar conditioner and Alterna 10 Hair Masque followed by a final cold rinse with Roux Porosity Control. The leave-ins were my typical leave-ins. Kim blow dried and flat ironed my hair and it looked amazing!!!!!! I was so impressed! I can tell a radical length change from my relaxer in May to the one in August.

Well, my joy was short lived. I am not sure if my hair was not dry enough or the NC humidity was too strong, but by the next day, my hair was a swollen mess. I had to go to my friend Scott’s house in Morrisville to co-wash and blow dry it so that I could get it flat ironed at the Walmart salon! I had some important outings and I had to look fly. I apologized to my hair for the heat overload, but made sure that it had plenty of heat protectant on it. This style has lasted all week. I wonder if it is because I used the cool shot on the blow dryer to “set” the style.

I made it past the 7 in the longest layers … which was my goal for this relaxer cycle. I will post pics when I get home tomorrow evening! I am really proud of my hair. I have gotten a lot of compliments on its health and how long it is getting!!! I am closing in on BSB. That shoulder blade is getting close to being covered!! I think that I will be BSB by October. I don’t think that I will be BSL by my next relaxer in late November … but if I can get 1.5 inches, then I will be darn close!

Here’s to healthy hair growth and length retention!

Sorry for the picture without the length check shirt on. I will take one soon!