Rollersetting Revisited!

Hi guys! It has been awhile, hasn’t it! Life has surely gotten busy around my house! Between work, work trips, and law school graduation preparation for Nathan, I just haven’t had the time (and honestly, the motivation) to blog!

But during my absence, I discovered that complacency has consequences! What do I mean? Well, here I go!

So for those who have’t followed me from my early days of my HHJ two years ago, I have had a relatively easy hair journey. I grew from shoulder length to the longest layers at my waist in about 26 months. I haven’t suffered a major setback. I retain length and my hair’s normal thickness quite easily. So needless to say, I just grew complacent about my hair journey and felt that no matter what I did, my hair would grow and be fine. WRONG!

I have been doing everything like normal: pre-pooing, deep conditioning and moisturizing and sealing. However, I have been letting my hair faux air dry because I am too lazy to roll and sit under a dryer (who is too lazy to sit?)  My hair has long let me know that it does not appreciate this method of being dried, as my hair is highly prone to tangling and breaking at the ends doing this. After weeks of having to cut tangles out of my hair and seeing my ends looking drier than hay in the middle of the barn, I decided that I have got to go back to rollersetting so that my hair is stretch out and that I can detangle and M&S on a daily basis.

Now let me tell you this, rollersetting at waist length is much different than rolling at BSL. There are parts of my hair that extend farther than my hand can reach, so I have to roll sideways just to get the ends on the roller. I am also using 3 inch and 2.5 inch rollers because my hair would take hours to dry with gray rollers or smaller.

I will take some pictures this weekend and post. Since I have posted last, I have applied my clear glaze and dusted about .75 inches off. Also, I switched birth control pills and experienced a heavy shedding episode about two weeks ago. I learned about the impact high androgenic birth controls can have on hair loss. I have since switched back to my faithful, estrogen-filled Tri-Sprintec (ugh!) I plan on adding tea rinses to my regimen for the next few weeks, hoping that helps curb any additional shedding.

That’s all the hair news I have for now! Hope everyone is well!

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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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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??

I’m Going Low-Manipulation For A While …

Happy Friday before Christmas everyone!

I just wanted to share the results of my first week of faux air-dried hair and plans for going low-manipulation for a while! (Note: faux air dry is referring to when I sit under my dryer with the front of my hair tied with a scarf and the length is left hanging while it dries. It normally takes me about 20 minutes to be completely dry).

As you may have read, last week’s salon debacle was a complete #fail. The mishandling of my hair teamed with the lack of conditioning and horrible roller set made me rethink how I wanted to structure this relaxer stretch. I really feel that my hair suffered and wanted to use this stretch to rejuvenate it. Last Sunday, I had to do an abbreviated Wash Day that consisted of a pre-poo/tea rinse, deep conditioner and faux air drying session to give my hair some much-needed moisture after I noticed my hair was dry and tangling at the ends, which would have probably led to breakage throughout the week. I initially worried about how my ends would react to being faux air-dried. In the past, I have noticed an increase in breakage when my hair is styled this way, so I was extra vigilant about monitoring breakage while M&Sing this week.

I am pleased to announce that my hair did very well and I noticed no more breakage than if my hair was roller set (which is a few pieces during the week)! WOO-HOO! Maybe it is the Carol’s Daughter Monoi Serum, maybe it’s me using the protein leave-ins at each Wash Day … but whatever it is, I am loving it!

With that being said, I have decided to dedicate this relaxer stretch to faux air drying (except when we go on winter vacation in a few weeks and when I go home to NC in a month). I think the break from being roller set each week will be a welcomed occurrence for both me and my hair! I will also be doing more tea rinses to help combat shedding. This will allow my hair to thicken back up for the spring. My hair grows the fastest during the winter and spring, so I am trying to capitalize on every inch I can get! #waistlength2014

I will monitor my hair and if I see my hair is not responding well to being faux air dried, then I will start roller setting again to preserve length … but for now, let’s see how this goes! Hooray for reducing Wash Days by 3 hours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My next Wash Day will be Sunday, where I plan on doing a tea rinse in addition to my normal pre-poo and deep conditioning sessions. 🙂

 

Salon Fail, Plans for Upcoming Relaxer Stretch and Length Check (UPDATE!)

I probably should have broken these down into 2 posts, but whatevs … let’s get right to it!

Salon Fail

Yesterday I went and got my Redken Shades EQ put on again. I got it done in March of this year and loved it! Even thought it was a demi-permanent color, I can tell it gave me some lovely red tones that have lasted up until now. The application of the demi-permanent color also helped my porous ends, which was presented to me by less breakage.

Anyhoo, all went well until the roller set. Normally she will blow my hair out, but since I just used direct heat last week, that was not an option. Instead of wetting my hair with each roller application (I would have stood for wetting my hair in the 3 sections!!!), she detangled and combed hair with a rattail comb while it was half dry, which can increase breakage! I wanted to say something, but I didn’t! I know, I know .. I should have spoken up! The rollers weren’t placed in a methodical way … just whatever way the fit in. Needless to say, I was not pleased. I took me about an hour to dry, probably because half my hair was already air-dried 80% when I got under the dryer with my rollers. She took them down, shook my curls out and sent me on my way. To add insult to injury, she only took the discount off one salon service (the color) when I thought it was the total bill. It was $62+ tip! Nope, nope, nope! This is why I don’t get down with stylists on a regular basis any more! I felt that my hair was not treated with the utmost care and the results were subpar! I can get subpar results at home for free!!!!! Additionally, my hair was not deep conditioned and I can totally tell by the feel of it today. Honestly, unless I am going to get a flat iron, I won’t be going back to that salon. I can apply my Clairol Colorgloss at  home as well as do horrible rollersets. Lesson learned! When I got home, I just wanted to scream! I just knew that my hair was thinner (I wouldn’t want to know how much hair I actually lost), it felt dry and when I combed the hair out, it just fell flat. I was tempted to wash and re-roll it, but I thought better of it! I immediately applied some moisturizer and serum  and put in my satin rollers to try to salvage it!

This leads us into my next segment …

Relaxer Stretch Plans

My next relaxer will be in mid-March 2014, when I am 14 weeks post. I do not plan on using direct heat and continuing my regimen to mitigate any damage done by my trip to the salon yesterday (can you say “thicken?”) Winter is the time that my hair grows the fastest, so I will try to maximize my length retention. I will be going home next month and I am deciding whether I want to go to my old salon and get me a $10 roller set (of course I will pre-poo before)! I still have 5 weeks to make up my mind!

Length Check

Since my roller set turned out quite crappy and I had to roll on satin rollers (which makes curls tight), I couldn’t get a full length check shot, so I thought I would stretch a piece of hair so you can see where it’s at!

That long part is trying to graze my waist! Hopefully I will be there by May!!! I am almost scared to straighten my hair and see my hemline due to the rough handling at the salon! Needless to say, I will be rocking curly styles for a while … just to give other hairs time to catch up! 🙂

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UPDATE!

So around 5:20pm this afternoon I was about to tie my hair up for the evening and while detangling I noticed that my hair was shedding! It was not too bad, but it was not normal for me on the day after a roller set. Between the shedding, the dryness and the anger I had towards my hair, I decided that I needed to do a quick Wash Day. I was not going to see what happened to my hair as the week progressed. I did a coconut pre-poo with safflower oil and cheapie conditioner. To combat shedding, I added a tea rinse to my scalp and hair and sat under the dryer for about 20 minutes. I co-washed with my Ion Conditioner Wash sample pack and did an in-shower conditioning treatment with my Alterna Caviar conditioner. I did a deep conditioner with L’Oreal Total Repair 5 for 25 minutes. I did a final rinse with Roux for 1 minute. My leave-ins were as normal.

I did the faux air dry method where I tied my hair back with a scarf and let it hang. I think I may do these for the next few weeks, depending on how the breakage this week goes. When it comes to breakage, my hair prefers to be roller set, but I think my hair could use a manipulation break for a while!

Here are a few pictures. The end result was not that bad … I still have a rather full hemline and my hair still has some thickness to it, so all was not ruined yesterday. I think that I will be incorporating tea rinses into my regimen for a little while, to combat shedding. Sorry they came out blurry and it appears there are some gaps in my hemline … there isn’t, it is just how the grainy self-portrait came out!

 

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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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