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!

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?

 

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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Satin Pillow Rollers – I AM IN LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was at the BSS the other day with the specific purpose of buying some satin rollers because my hair seems to have trouble holding curls with my rollersetting. I discovered sleeping in magnetic rollers (especially the black ones like I do) was a huge fail, so I finally decided to look for some satin rollers that would help me refresh limp curls.

I saw two types: the regular satin roller (it essentially looks like a sponge roller with a satin cover) and some satin pillow rollers, which I have heard good things about. I bought both to see what would benefit my hair the most. I must admit, at first I was a bit apprehensive about how the satin pillow rollers would work since it appeared that the hair would be bunched up on the roller and could possibly form a crease.

I rolled my hair last night at first using the regular satin roller. I didn’t like how the clasp appeared to make a dent in my hair, so about an hour later I took them out and put in the pillow rollers and I am glad I did!!! I took some of the rollers out this morning to see what the curls looked like and they were springy spirals! Imagine that! From a pillow roller!

Here’s how the hair looked when it was rolled, when I was taking it down and when I had the roller completely out. I have a long day of travel ahead for work and I plan on keeping these rollers in until I get to my destination! They will be covered with a satin bonnet and a toboggan. I am totally doing the Rihanna-I-ain’t-taking-my-wrap-out-for-the-AMAs! I will take some pictures when I have them all out and the final style!

These rollers can be purchased online for about $4 and in stores for about $4 for 10. I bought two packs to ensure that I would have enough.

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Pictures of curls after I took the rollers out – I really did not want to comb them out! I gently took my Magic Rake comb and combed a couple of times through each section to fluff and separate the curls.

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Some fun with the roller! It looks like that ridiculous mustache symbol I see around!

Pictures of my hair after I combed it out! It falls at about APL and I absolutely love my curls!!!! I felt like a little doll with my curls on the ends! I am in love with these satin pillow rollers and will be rolling my hair up with them again in about 10 minutes (after I admire my hair some more!)

I must confess, at this point and time in my HHJ, I am not really as concerned with length as I am with finding styles that I can do and maintain! I love my hair curly over it being straight! I am just excited I have found a way to extend my roller sets and blow outs with these satin pillow rollers! Friends, drop everything and go get you some A$AP Rocky!

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