Tuesday, August 31
A- Walmart(this is my new# 1 place), Vitamin Shoppe and Swanson Vitamins (they are a very inexpensive online source)
Q- Where do you buy Unrefined Extra Virgin Coconut Oil?
A- Most Vitamin stores sell this. I even saw some at Target and Walmart. I got mine from GNC.
Q- How to avoid broken or thinning edges from ponytails, buns, protective styles
A- Don't do too tight ponytails,example- instead of wrapping the ponytail holder around hair like 5 times..do 4...put a little water or moisturizer and some non-alchoholic gel on your edges, then wrap a scarf around your hair for like 20 minutes. This will give the appearance of a "tight" ponytail...but it's not tight at all
Q- Does Henna Dry out Hair?
A- Yes, your hair can feel a little dryer after doing FULL Henna treatments, which is why I do a Henna Gloss where I apply conditioner to my mixture and I always deep condition after. Even if you do a full Henna treatment, which is great for the hair, always do a deep conditioning treatment after to avoid the drying effect.
Q- Co-washing is good, but for some reason I had really itchy scalp..do you know why?
A- Conditioner should not be applied to your scalp ...only the length of the hair. I co-wash to moisturize my hair..which is why I shampoo with a sulfate free shampoo once a week. If you have real itchy scalp..try applying coconut oil(my fav oil) to it after washing or tea-trea oil. They both have antibacterial qualities.
Whenever I get questions, I'll just do a quick Q&A session on my blog. If you want more detailed answers, just let me know.
Monday, August 30
My Routine at the Gym is pretty consistent.
Bike- Half Hour- 45 minutes
Elliptical- Half hour
Ab Work-outs- 20 minutes
So, now that I will only go 3 times a week, I will co-wash twice a week and shampoo/DC once a week.
Henna Treatments either bi-weekly or monthly...not sure about this yet.
For my products- see here
Friday, August 27
Thursday, August 26
The last time I had a trim was March 27th, which they cut off about an inch.
I dusted my hair about 2 times since then.
The last time I dusted my hair was June 20th I believe, but this was just my ends...I cut off less then a quarter of an inch.
I am so paranoid of split, damaged and thin ends that I will be doing 3 things this weekend.
1.) Search and Destroy Method- This is where I basically go through as many strands as possible trying to locate any split ends and snipping them off (this will take forever..but I have absolutely NOTHING to do this weekend :-D finally! so I will relax, clean-up, work on some things that's on my to-do list and do my hair! )
2.) Dusting My whole length of my hair by twisting and clipped the ends that look scraggelly
3.) Dusting Just my ends
My ends seem to be in pretty good shape, but like I said I am soo paranoid of any set-backs and I want my hair to be as healthy as possible.
So besides dusting, I will be sticking to what has worked best for me to maintain healthy hair.
No Heat at all- That means no flat irons, curling irons, blow-dryer or even indirect heat(roller sets and hooded sryer) I will do this until December
Deep Conditioning at least 1 X a week
Moisturizing and Sealing Daily
Protecting my ends- For now, I braid my hair in one braid, moisturize the braid and seal with Coconut oil, then pin the braid up
No Brushing of the hair- Only combing with a large toothed comb
Wednesday, August 25
So...here's what I take..
2 Gummy Multi-Vitamins Daily- See post here
4000 MCG of Spring Valley Biotin
Biotin is necessary for cell growth, the production of fatty acids, and the metabolism of fats and amino acids. It plays a role in the citric acid cycle, which is the process by which biochemical energy is generated during aerobic respiration. Biotin not only assists in various metabolic reactions but also helps to transfer carbon dioxide. Biotin may also be helpful in maintaining a steady blood sugar level. Biotin is often recommended for strengthening hair and nails. Consequently, it is found in many cosmetics and health products for the hair and skin, though it cannot be absorbed through the hair or skin itself.
1 Nature Made Super B Complex (it is said to take this with Biotin to combat any side effects such as bumps/pimples..which is true because I haven't experienced any break-outs since taking it. )
Adequate vitamin B complex consumption offers numerous benefits, some of which can be seen almost immediately. One of the first and most noticeable benefits is often improved mood. For many people, their mood becomes better and more stable shortly after taking B complex supplements. Long term supplement usage can also have numerous benefits. In most cases, the condition of the person's skin and hair improves greatly, and some people are even able to lose weight. Vitamin B complex can help to greatly improve one's overall health and state of well-being
Tuesday, August 24
I got to the point where I couldn't wait 6-8 weeks for another touch-up and for the simple fact that the relaxer didn't take at all...I decided to relax my hair again yesterday. I did a mild protein treatment last week and my hair was in good condition to do so. I do not suggest this to anyone else...but its something I felt I needed to do.
When I did my relaxer, I followed the same steps as before, but this time I kept it on/smoothed it out for 15-20 minutes.
Although it processed a lot better then before, I was still a little underprocessed. I ended up texlaxing my hair(think of a texturizer, its just relaxing but for a shorter time to leave texture in your hair). I believe I came out texlaxed because I used a mild relaxer opposed to regular and I had 5 months of newgrowth.
My hair/newgrowth may not be completely straight, but its so much easier to manage now.
I will not be using any direct or indirect heat in my hair as well, so sorry ya'll...no straight hair pics until then..unless I change my mind which I do a lot. The above pic is of my hair damp and airdrying(of course)
Monday, August 23
Other than single braids, cornrows, half wigs, braid-outs and bantu-knots, I was having a hard time thinking of different natural hairstyles for a friend that asked for suggestions. So, I decided to look around and see what I can come up with.
This is what my search for Natural Hairstyles came up with:
Saturday, August 21
Thursday, August 19
Here's my view on this...
First of all it's HER hair...whatever style she chooses to do, whatever chemical she decides to put in her hair is HER personal choice and to each it's own.
Second...Just because someone has straight hair does not mean they relaxed it. Has anyone ever heard of a hot comb? Or a Flat Iron?
Lastly...I kind of like the natural(or unstraigtened) hair on her better..haha
http://www.groupon.com/ - I am sure you have all seen these ads everywhere, but this site has GREAT deals in your area that can be sent directly to your email;.The only catch is that you would have to purchase the deal that day. I have received deals for half off at restaraunts, $29 Manicure and Pedicures, Half off Massages and so forth. Today's deal for where I live was half off at the GAP. $25 for $50 worth of clothing. It's worth signing up for.
http://www.fiverr.com/ - This is a cool site that has people offering things they will do for $5. Example: I will design your website banner for $5. Tell me that isn't a good deal! I haven't actually ordered any of the services offered yet, but I will give it a try soon. If you have any quick and easy services that you can offer for $5, why not give it a try?
http://www.livingsocial.com/- This is similar to Groupon, where they offer deals in your area
http://www.ebates.com/- If your an online shopper, then you should def sign up for ebates. I love Ebates, not only do they offer deals on a wide range of websites, but you get cash back for your purchases. You can buy airline tickets, shoes, clothes, vitamins..etc. My co-worker cashed in on about $60 and my dad just got a $18.00 check(lol..may not seem like a lot but heey it's money).
Wednesday, August 18
Have you ever had a relaxer and some or most parts of your hair is underprocessed?
If so, then a corrective relaxer is in need.
Important: A corrective relaxer should be done 6 weeks (or more if you would like) after the last relaxer application. No sooner than 6 weeks because that can cause damage to your hair and you will need new-growth to do a corrective relaxer.
During the 6 weeks that you have to deal with under-processed areas, you HAVE to up your moisture level and keep your hair very moisturized, if not, you will deal with excessive breakage.
How it's done: First, you would do your normal pre-relaxer and relaxer routine. At the time of the relaxer, you would apply the relaxer to your new-growth/roots only. Then during the smoothing process, you will pull/smooth the relaxer through the under-processed parts of your hair. By doing it that way, you will avoid over-processed hair.
*The key to a corrective relaxer is to relax your new-growth as usual and relax the underprocessed area towards the end of the relaxing process. You are basically picking up where you left off. If you choose to do all at once you will need to apply oil and conditioner to the underprocessed area as well.
Tuesday, August 17
Not sure if you can see it in this picture
So, here's a little more info on Henna:
What is Henna- Henna is an all-natural, safe hair dye that permanently colors hair without harsh chemicals. Body art quality henna is recommended over store-bought boxes of pre-mixed hennas because it is more pure, and can be safely used even on hair that has been recently bleached or synthetically dyed. Mixing body art quality henna and applying it to your hair will yield vibrant, shiny, soft, healthy-looking results
What is a Henna Gloss: A Henna Gloss is a Mild Henna Treatment(A full Henna Treatment uses about 100G of Henna or more basically a whole box mixed with water or tea,oils or so forth) that gives your hair deep conditioning benefits as well as a subtle color release. Doing a Henna Gloss will leave your hair soft and silky, but strong and healthy at the same time.
Why is Henna Good for the Hair- Henna is said to add extra conditioning benefits to the hair and also coats the hair to make it stronger and thicker. It is said to also loosen our tight curls. A lot of Naturals do Henna or Henna Gloss treatments!
Where Can Henna Be Purchased- I purchased mine (Reshma Henna) from http://ayurnaturalbeauty.ecrater.com/, but it can also be purchased at your local Indian Grocery Store
How I do a Henna Gloss:
3 Table Spoons of Reshma Henna
1.5 Cups of Moisturizing Conditioner (Treseme Moisture Rich Vitamin E Conditioner)
1 Table Spoon of Coconut Oil
1 Cap Full of Apple Cider Vinegar
Let it sit overnight
Apply to hair like I would a full relaxer, in sections from root to tip. (this can be messy so place towels on the floor)
Place a Plastic Cap over my head
Let sit in my hair for 2 hours
Deep Condition for a half Hour (this is important because sometimes Henna can make hair dry or hard at first)
Then add leave-ins as usual
More Info on Henna...Must Reads!
courtesty of NecoleBitchie
Monday, August 16
Your Ponytail- Make sure it isn't too tight
Heat- Never blow-dry your hair when it is soaking wet, make sure it's at least 60% dry. Always use heat protectant before blowdrying or flat-ironing. Don't over do it with direct heat. try roller-setting instead
Not Enough Moisture- I can't say this enough, whenever you shampoo/clarify your hair, you should do a moisturizing deep conditioning treatment as well. If you are relaxed you also need to make sure your new-growth is always moisturized to prevent breakage from where the new-growth and relaxed hair meet.
Not Enough Protein- If your hair is snapping, mushy, too elastic, and breaking very easily..a protein treatment is needed
Your Clothing- If you wear your hair down often, the hair rubbing against your clothing(especially if it's a tough/rougher fabric) it can cause breakage. This is one of the reasons why protective styles are always recommended
Your Relaxer- No Lye Relaxers are good for the scalp but can be drying for the hair. If you're using No-Lye and your hair is breaking, try using a Lye Relaxer. Lye Relaxers are good for the hair, but can be tough on the scalp..if using a Lye Relaxer, always base the scalp very well.
Friday, August 13
So, I did a braid-out last night and of course applied rollers to my ends to have a more natural look. Well, last night I had a dream that when taking out the rollers, my hair snapped and I lost about 4 inches of hair. I woke up right when that happened, ran to my mirror, took off my bonnet and had a huge sigh of relief..lol! It was just a nightmare!
I of course did some research to see what this dream could have meant, even though I don't really believe what they say..and it came up with this.
Hair - Dream Symbols
Hair. For Samson, it was the source of his power. French Merovingian royalty placed so much importance on it that they were known as the "Long-Haired Monarchs". To them, hair was attributed magical power. Former 'Felicity' star Keri Russell might agree that hair has magic because when she cut hers, the charm of her show seemed to vanish along with her locks.
We as a culture are obsessed with our hair. Hair seems to someone say something who we are. It seems to be an outer expression of our inner selves. To make that outer image match our inner self we do all manner of things to our hair--we cut it, curl it, apply all manner of chemicals, we even sometimes shave it all off.
As in waking life, hair in dreams says something important about ourselves, only it is more a statement about our inner lives more so than our physical image. When hair shows up in dreams it normally falls into one of several categories. Here are some of those categories and ideas about what they symbolize.
Hair Falling Out
Since hair is commonly associated with power, dreaming of loosing hair is often an indicator that we feel like our energy is being drained away. Like tooth loss dreams there is often an accompanying feeling of helplessness that comes with dreams of hair loss. And like tooth loss dreams, hair loss dreams may point to feeling powerless to change a situation. If you dream of loosing hair, look at you life and see if there are relationships or situations which are energy drainers.
Hmmmm...well I had an intense work-out at the gym yesterday and was dead tired when I got home..maybe the gym is my energy drainer. But like I said..I usually don't believe everything I read
Protein - liver, brewer's yeast, fish, eggs, beans, cottage cheese, yogurt, tofu
Iron - liver, whole grain cereals, dark green leafy vegetables, eggs, dates, raisins
B-Vitamins - eggs, meat, poultry
Essential Fatty Acids - walnuts, canola oil, fish, soy
Vitamin E - avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil
Sulfur - meats, fish, nuts, legumes, vegetables (especially onions)
Thursday, August 12
Because I will be doing a braid-out tonight, it will be easy.
I just grab each braid..and cut a little off the ends. It's very simple and I won't see any length lost. I still want to get a trim, just not sure when that will be done.
Wednesday, August 11
I washed and did a protein treatment last Thursday night, so my hair was in the right condition to do so.. But, after I washed the relaxer out my hair....I realized I was extremely underprocessed. My new-growth felt/feels the same way it did last week! Sux big time. I was so scared that my hair would fall out..haha..that I washed the relaxer out too soon.
Here's what I did.
Parted my hair in 4 sections
Then I parted each section the same way I would do when relaxing and put those parts in 2 strand twists while gently finger detangling
Based my Scalp
Added Conditioner and a little oil to my relaxed ends(which were in twists)
Total time spent- 1 hour!
I started with the back sections but worked my way from the crown to the nape.
Untwisted each twist and applied relaxer to new-growth with applicator brush
Then I did the front the same way
Total time spent- 13 minutes
Smoothed the relaxer and let sit for 10 minutes- This was too short of a time...I definitely should have smoothed it in a little longer, but my scalp began to burn and I panicked and washed it out.
After rinsing the relaxer out I:
Did a Mild Protein Treatment- Joico K Pack Reconstructer- Kept in Hair for 5 minutes then washed out
Neutralized for about 10 minutes(I have a color indicator Neutralizer(Elasta QP) so that made it easy)
Deep Conditioned for 5 minutes with Lekair Cholesterol
Then one last Rinse with Roux Porosity Control
I didn't even bother to do a roller set, because I was so upset that my hair was underprocessed! I just airdryed. But....one thing I was happy about is the amount of growth I had! I am like centermeters from Arm Pit Length!
I will be doing a corrective relaxer in about 6-8weeks, most likely at the Salon...I could do it sooner, but like I always say..the less Chemical Treatments the better! I will try and do a roller set Thursday Night and post Pics then.
Next Relaxer- October 15th
Monday, August 9
This is just a quick view of how much new growth I'm dealing with. Its been 1 week shy of 5 months since I had a touch-up and 4.5 months since I used heat..I'm surprised I was able to manage my hair especially with only having braids for only 5 weeks total.
My plan is to get a touch-up this weekend,but I may have to postpone. We'll see though..
So, let me break protein down for you a little bit.
What is Protein- Protein is what makes hair strong and structured. Hair is mostly Keratin a kind of protein. When hair undergoes any chemical service or damaged by misuse of heat tools, protein is lost so the hair loses some elasticity or strength.
Why do we need Protein- Black hair which is usually very curly/kinky tends to be dry and somewhat fragile even when natural. So by coloring or relaxing the hair, it becomes even weaker.Also, if you are a natural and constantly use heat, protein may be your friend.
Depending on the condition of your hair or the strength of the relaxer treatments, you may need more or less protein. Protein will strengthen the hair and make hair stronger.
Ok, so I'm going to try and make this as simple as possible.
When do you need Protein- If your hair is very mushy, it's breaking easily, too soft, and it just feels like it's going to snap when you touch it...You need protein.
Just so you understand the difference between moisture and protein...You would need moisture, if your hair feels dry and brittle.
Best ways to Incorporate Protein in a Regimen- With a Deep Conditioner or Reconstructer.
A reconstructer is a light protein treatment which you would normally leave on hair for 3-5 minutes after washing then you would rinse out.Those who relax should always use a reconstructer before neutralizing.
For really damaged hair lacking protein, Aphogee has a 2 step system which should be used once every 2 months which I read various reviews stating it works really well.
Examples of Protein Based Products I have uses
Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructer
Aphogee Pro Vitamin Leave-in Conditioner
Joice KPak Reconstructer
ORS Hair Mayonaise( Mild Protein Deep Conditioner)
ORS Replenishing Pak (mild protein, but moisturizing too)
1 Egg (mixed in Conditioner or ORS Hair Mayo)(this is a mild treatment if used with a moisturizing conditioner and a medium-strong treatment if mixed with ORS Hair Mayo)
There are so many others out there
My advice when it comes to using Protein- Go with how your hair feels. If your hair feels like it needs some protein and your hair is fairly healthy, do a mild protein deep conditioning treatment. With Protein, you don't really need to use based on a schedule...You use Protein based on the health of your hair
Here are 2 must reads if you want more info on Protein or Protein/Moisture Balance
Why Does Black Hair Need Protein
Fine Art of Protein Moisture Balance
Friday, August 6
Health (10 Tips for Healthy Hair)
No Breakage (or as little as possible, sometimes breakage can be inevitable)
Armpit Length by December
I think my hair is almost healthy because I have cut down on a lot of breakage, I shed about 10-20 hairs a day the most, and I dust my hair about every 3-4 weeks to maintain clean healthy ends.
So, now it's on to the Thickness...How do I get thick hair? This is something that will gradually happen..but here's my game plan...
Trim- Next Touch-up, trim about 1.5 inches of my hair...Getting rid of the thinner ends little by little
Henna Gloss- Henna glosses are known to make hair thicker because of the coating that is bonded to the hair. This is an all natural treatment, that not only strengthens hair, but gives hair a nice reddish.brown tint in the sun. I have done a total of 3 Henna Gloss Treatments, but haven't blogged about it yet because I am a little iffy about the outcome. I will do a few posts on this soon though..so stay tuned.........
My Older Post on Henna
Biotin- This is a vitamin that I started taking that is reported to have hair grow in thicker. This has to be taken with a B-Complex Vitamin to help combat any side-effects that may occur (mainly bumps/pimples).
Biotin for Hair
Thickening Conditioners- For now on, I will only use conditioners that are stated to add thickness or body to the hair. I never really believe the hype in these, but I'm going to give it a try and see how it works. The first conditioner I purchased was V05 Volumizing Conditioner and I have used it about 4 times. I don't see more volume, but it's pretty moisturizing so I'll give it time.
Relaxer Stretching- I will continue to do 4-5 month relaxer stretches because this will decrease the chance of overlapping the relaxer, which causes unnecessary thinning and also...the less chemical treatments, the healthier my hair will be.
I'm hoping to have a noticeable change in my hair by December, if not..gotta think of a better Game Plan :-)
Under the hood is my hair in April. Let's see if there will be a big change in December
Wednesday, August 4
Tuesday, August 3
A relaxer touch-up is a very critical step in hair care...one wrong move and all of your progress can go down the drain. I'm still a little nervous about doing my own touch-up...but I'm also nervous about going to the salon. No-one is more gentle with my hair then myself. So...I'm still pretty sure I will self-relax.
At first, I was going to wash, do a protein treatment, detangle and so forth a week before my relaxer. But now, I will be doing that 3 days before. This is probably better for me, because my newgrowth is getting tangled very easily, so I could just imagine the tangles I would get on relaxer day if I waited a week before the touch-up to detangle my hair. Also, I want to work out and not mess up my whole fitness routine :-)
Getting Ready to Relax_How to prepare
Prepping the Hair:
First and foremost, only begin the relaxer process with hair that is in tip top shape. Many of us say: Oh my hair is breaking...or shedding let me go ahead relax it! But, you must understand that you are taking a huge gamble with your hair health by proceeding with a chemical relaxer application on compromised hair.
Never relax your hair to "solve" a hair problem. You should always correct the problem first with the proper treatment.
Your 4 Step Pre-Relaxer Game Plan
Preparing your hair for a relaxer is one of the best things you can do for your hair heath.You can follow these pre and post relaxer strategies whether you self relax or see a stylist for your chemical treatments. Ensuring your hair is in top physical condition prior to the relaxer service will give you better results with the finished product.
Monday, August 2
2.) Take a Multi-Vitamin Daily- Drinking at least 6-8 glasses of water to help absorb it
3.) When going to bed- Always wrap hair with a Silk or Satin Scarf. If not, use silk pillow cases
4.) Always Use Serum or Oil before blow-drying or using a flat-Iron
5.) Deep Condition twice a Month
6.) Try to stretch your relaxers instead of using the "relax every 6-8 weeks" rule. The less chemical treatments the better
7.) Moisturize hair daily or whenever it feels dry
8.) Dust or trim those ends when needed, not on a schedule
9.) Avoid tight hair styles(Braids, buns, pony's so forth)
10.) Give your hair a break from Braids or Weaves- Keep them in for 2 months max..especially weaves
Sunday, August 1
It was so beautiful out this morning, that I decided to take a 2 mile run. It felt great,but I was sweating like crazy.haha. So, I washed my hair when I got back home and did some bantu-knots. When my hair was about 90% dry, I moisturized in sections, sealed with oil and did about 16 knots, 8 on each side. I'm 18 weeks post relaxer,so the curls aren't layin down the way I would like, but I still like them.
P.S- They look so much better in Person