Wash Day and now I am WL-Bound!

It seems like yesterday (actually it was in the spring), that I declared myself MBL-bound after reaching BSL. I now feel quite comfortable claiming MBL length, so I am changing my status to WL-Bound! Yep … barring any setback, I am par to reach it in late spring/early summer, which is on par with the goals I set almost 2 years ago at the beginning of my HHJ.

Well, it has been a while since I have posted a Wash Day post, but I thought that I would today! For the past two weeks, I have been pre-pooing my hair overnight. I use the same mix of cheapie conditioner, coconut oil and a ceramide oil (hemp or safflower). After I apply the mix, I apply my plastic conditioning cap and wrap it up in a dry turban to protect my bedding. It saves me an hour and with the length of time that it takes me to dry now, any minute I can shave off is welcomed.

I received a sample of Pantene Age Defy shampoo and hair masque. To see how they performed, I just washed with the Pantene Age Defy shampoo (it has sulfates) and did my in-shower conditioning treatment with the hair masque and my Alterna Winter Rx oil. Meh … it definitely was nothing to write home about. I definitely will not be buying it. The best thing about them was the smell. While applying my deep conditioning (KeraPro this week), I noticed that my ends felt a bit bumpy, so I added my MegaSilk to the lower 3rd of my hair. I wrapped my hair in a wet turban topped of my a conditioning cap and sat under the dryer for 45 minutes. Afterwards, I was feeling tired, so I took a nap with my stuff on! So my deep conditioning session this week was about 2.5 hours. I then rinsed out, applied Roux Porosity Control for 2 minutes, then began to roll.

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My leave-ins this week were as normal: Alterna Caviar Photo Age Defense, Alterna Caviar Texture Cream, Carol’s Daughter Monoi Anti-Breakage Repair Spray and Carol’s Daughter Monoi Sacred Strengthening Serum. This week, I wanted a bit more curl so I decided to use the gray and purple rollers instead of gray and black! UGH!!! It took me longer to roll and honestly, it was weird using them all over my head again. It took me just under 2 hours to dry and even then, there were a few places of dampness that I zapped with the blow dryer. Overall, when I took my rollers out, I couldn’t tell if my hair was damp or just very soft (not good in my book). That brings me to my next observation: I need to assess the mixture of water I use to set my hair.

I use a combination of water, glycerin and essential oils but last week I added some Roux 619 and a few drops of my Alterna Caviar White Truffle Elixir. On top of the leave-ins, I think that was wayyyyyyyyyyy too many products to have in my hair, which may be contributing to my hair drying so slow and it ultimately feeling a bit too soft and lank for my liking. Also, at the first sign of water, my hair just puffs up. My hair (relaxed or natural) has an almost cottony feel and I can only imagine the reversion nightmare I would have if I were to go natural. I think I need to eliminate the glycerin, since it can attract moisture to the hair, which is not what I need in Oregon’s damp fall and winter. Next week, I am just going to use some very diluted Lotta Body and water. That may make my hair dry a bit faster and make the curls have a bit more staying power.

I combed my hair out, applied some serum and took a look at it. Meh. It looks OK! If my hair didn’t feel so soft and limp (despite me using smaller rollers), I would have just picked the curls apart and had some big hair! Instead, I wrapped it up for the evening and the proceeded to watch “John Adams” (one of my favorite mini-series)! I have also noticed something else about my hair that proceeds my HHJ days … I never liked my roller sets the day I got them done. I always felt a good sleeping on the curls did my hair wonders! Day 2 and 3 hair is way better than Day 1 when it comes to roller sets, IMHO. I think it’s because the oil has had time to spread and make hair a bit shinier! I don’t know!!

Anyhoo, I didn’t take pictures of the curls, but here is the final product. Slowly but surely trying to creep towards waist length! Look at the puffiness! I will come back and post some pictures when I take it down tomorrow! 🙂

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Wash Day!

Greetings! I washed my hair yesterday after doing an monsoon-like sweating session of Insanity (which I must admit, I really love!! It’s something about being blinded with sweat that makes my endorphins go wild!) Here’s how it went:

Pre-poo: coconut oil, safflower oil and honey for 30 minutes

I received a sample of the L’Oreal Total Repair 5 line in my Sunday paper this past weekend. It claims to improve the following 5 things with the use of ceramides: rebuild fibers, strength, vitality, silkiness and shine. Ever the curious girl, I decided to use the samples on this Wash Day because if I didn’t like how my hair felt afterwards, I know another Wash Day was on the horizon.

The samples

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Wash: L’Oreal Advanced Haircare Total Repair 5 Restoring Shampoo

In Shower Conditioning Treatment: L’Oreal Advanced Haircare Total Repair 5 Restoring Conditioner

Deep Conditioning Treatment: L’Oreal Advanced Haircare Total Repair 5 Damage Erasing Balm. I deep conditioned for about an hour (30 minutes under the dryer).

Leave-Ins: Alterna Photo Defense, Alterna Texture, Roux 619 Moisture sealed with Kukui Nut oil

I sat under the dryer for about 20 minutes with my hair hanging down (the front was tired down with a scarf).

I must say, my hair felt pretty nice after the Wash Day. I was afraid that the L’Oreal products would make my hair stiff and hard, since a lot of “repair” products are protein-heavy and my hair just doesn’t like a lot of protein. Instead, my hair was soft, moisturized and I had no broken ends when I smoothed oil over the dried hair. I even ordered some more samples of these products, which you can do here. There are even offers for other hair maladies and needs, such as frizzy hair and color-treated hair.

Here’s my hair afterwards! I love how my hair dries with these little waves in them!

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I plan on washing again Saturday or Sunday … until then, friends!

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! 😉 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 …

🙂

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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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: 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!! 🙂

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