Tuesday, June 29

Braids Regimen

Here's my regimen for while I'm in Braids this Time Around

1x bi-weekly- Wash with diluted shampoo and conditioner
2x Daily- Spray with African Pride Braid Spray and my mix
1x weekly- Spray with Aphogee Pro-Vitamin Treatment mixed with Distilled Water
Wrap Nightly with Silk Scarf
Re-do braids as needed (when they get really messy)
Take all braids out- August 6th

That's about it...trying to keep things as simple as possible.

I decided that after I take these braids out, I will not be wearing anymore for the rest of the year. I want to try more no-heat styles with my real hair such as braid-outs, bantu-knots, buns/updo's and so forth. I can still go about 4-6 months with-out a relaxer touch-up because my hair grows a lot slower in the winter.

Monday, June 28

A Reminder...

Sometimes in order to appreciate what you have done, you have to look back at where you came from.

1st Pic- June 2009

 October/November(?) 2009

 January 2009

4th- April 2010



 a comic strip!


Pictures of the back of my hair to come in September

Sunday, June 27

Couple of Things I'm Waiting On.....

Before I took a vow to not purchase anymore hair products until I absolutely need them, I purchased a few things online. Of course I won't be able to use any of them until I take my braids out, but now I have something to look forward to when I do. :-)


Satin Pillow Rollers:
I bought some Satin Pillow Rollers, which I feel like I need. See, I want to do more braid-outs and actually wear them down and for them to look good with a nice curl on the bottom, I will need to apply rollers. I usually braid my hair at night, so pillow rollers are perfect for me because I can wake up in the AM, take them out, and hopefully my hair will look good. Of course I got satin because  they will help me retain moisture more.

Henna and Indigo:




I'm sure I said this before, but I like to think of more natural ways to do things with my hair. Now, I'm on a mission to thicken up my hair and I heard Henna makes your hair so much stronger. It also adds a reddish tint to your hair if after mixing it, you let it it sit for a while to let the color deposits out. I plan to mix the Henna with a moisturizing conditioner and some oil and let that mix sit for like a half hour. Then I will apply the Indigo which will turn my hair jet black. By using these two, I will have stronger and my favorite jet black hair with out having to get a color rinse. I will do this treatment 2 weeks before my next touch up then 1 week after. I read really good reviews about these two and the only caution I keep hearing is to make sure you do a  moisturizing deep condition treatment after because the henna can be a little drying.
I will of course give my opinion after I try it out.

www.mehandi.com

Saturday, June 26

Braids Pics

So, I finished putting the braids in today around 10:30AM. I started last night around 7pm and stopped at 12:30AM...took a nap...woke up at 5 and finished the rest.
I tried a different color then my usual jet black which it will take me a while to get used to. Not really feelin it, but I told myself I will keep them in for 6 weeks...so I HAVE TO!
I always braid with Kanekalon hair just because it's easier for me and they usually end at my brastrap..

here are some pics....








Here's a pic of some of my hair. This is unstraightened of course. My real length check will be in September

Friday, June 25

I Will Not.....

BUY anymore hair products until I absolutely need them
USE direct heat (flat iron or blow dry) until my birthday which is in February
TAKE my braids out until August 6th- Took them out July 8th..haha
STOP drinking water and only water, well except for the morning
OBSESS over length anymore. Right now, it's all about healthy hair and thickness..
STEP FOOT in a salon...ever! I am now a complete do-it-yourselfer. I thought I would have my mom do my next touch-up, but I think I'll do it myself...

Just needed to put this out there so I can keep reminding myself.
*My hair products purchases are a little too excessive
*This no heat thing is making my hair so much more healthy and reducing split ends drastically
*I need to keep my hands out of my hair
*And I'm starting to actually like water more now...like I said before..this is for my skin and overall health.
* I actually like the length my hair is right now....now if I can only gain the thickness I will be verrry happy!
*Going to the salon set me back with my hair progress- small combs, incorrect detangling, bad touch-ups...I think ya'll get what I'm saying

Thursday, June 24

Braids Pt.2

Yay! I'm putting braids back in my hair tomorrow and I can't wait. I couldn't wait to take them out last time I had them in, but now I'm excited to re-braid. I am 13 weeks post relaxer, so you could only imagine what my new-growth is like. I'm glad I gave my hair 2 weeks to breath though!
I washed my hair last night because I won't have time to do it tonight.

Here's what I did:

Shampooed- Organix Cherry Blossom Shampoo
Conditioner-V05 Herbal Escapes Strengthening Conditioner
Deep Conditioner- ORS Hair Mayo mixed with one Egg (this is considered a protein conditioner)
Rinsed- Apple Cider Vinegar/Water

My hair felt a little hard after doing all of that, so I made sure I applied some good moisturizing leave-ins.
I used:

Roux: Treatment & Shine,Moisture System- This is a Spray leave-in (my hair felt a lot softer immediately after applying)

Herbal Essence Long Term Relationship- Leave in Split End Protector

Bioinfusion Olive Oil Moisturizer- mixed this with Glycerin for added moisture

Sweet Almond Oil- to seal in the moisture
I then put my hair in one braid and let it air dry. My hair feels great today and is ready for some braids.
This is how it looked when I took the "french" braid out and pinned up. (Not really a french braid but a big cornrow)

Pics of the braids coming soon.....

Wednesday, June 23

Sticky Substance

My phone has been having some issues and I took it to Sprint to get it repaired/replaced.
The rep stated that it had a sticky substance on it and he had to make sure it wasn't water damage.
I already knew it wasn't water damage because it didn't fall in water or was exposed to water at all.

Well, I think I know what that sticky substance was.....MY HAIR PRODUCTS! haha..I've been spraying my hair with this Glycerin mix I made and I think it may have creeped into my phone.

Tip of the Day- A little goes a long way...don't over do it with hair products.

* I need to take my own advise

Tuesday, June 22

Water Temperature

Do you feel like you're doing everything right to your hair and it still feels dry, breaking or just not right? Well it could be because of the temperature of the water you use when washing your hair.

A few tips:

  • Do not use HOT water on your hair
  • Use luke-warm water when shampooing
  • When rinsing off conditioner use cooler water which will help close the cuticles, making the hair feel a lot smoother

Sunday, June 20

Yeah Right!

I was at my parents house today because of Fathers Day and my mother and I were talking about hair. Now, my mom has almost bra-strap length(it was a lot longer but she had a trim), thick, strong healthy hair(she's a 4b with thick strands). Well, she said that I had the same hair as her. Then in my head, I was like, "YEAH, RIGHT!" But then I got to thinking about when I was a child, I did have that thick long hair too. I had my first relaxer when I was like 11 I think and it all went down hill from there....haha. But I'm on the right path of gaining my thickness and length back. Just wait and see. I wish I stopped going to the salon last year when I started really taking care of my hair. Oh well, this can kind of be a new starting point I guess.



haha candid shots at my brothers college graduation(Congrats Phil!)..

This is 1 week post relaxer after a very big trim (about 2 inches)
She moisturizes and seals daily
Wash/deep Condition bi-weekly
relaxes every 3-4 months..sometimes longer
Hair is always pinned up or in braids except for special occasions
Wraps her hair every night
That's about it



Friday, June 18

Pinned back Braid-out

Now, I told ya'll my hair has been looking a hot mess since I took my braids out. Surprisingly, yesterday some of my co-workers complimented my hair, so I want to show you how it looked. I'm not doing any tight buns or anything because as said before, I do not want to manipulate my hair too much. I did a braid-out and clipped my hair up in the back.I finger combed the braid-out which is why the curls don't look defined at all.

Here you go....



As u can see I don't wear any make-up what-so-ever. So don't mind the pics. haha
Oh yeah...Still going strong with the no-juice thing. I drink about 2 liters of water a day! Hoping to see major skin benefits by doing this.

Thursday, June 17

My Nails

I cut my nails down to the base(?) about a month ago before I braided my hair and look where they are now. They always grew pretty fast, but not this fast. Mind you, I had them cut down a little when I got them done a couple weeks ago.








                                                Now if only my hair can grow this fast!

Wednesday, June 16

Hot Mess!

I'm almost 12 weeks post relaxer and my hair looks an absolute hot mess, so back to braids I go! I'm trying not to manipulate my hair too much right now, so I'm just pinning it up. I will be braiding my hair again next weekend. Let's see if I can make it past 3 weeks this time around.

Three things that really worked for me the last time around were:

  • Soaking the Kanekalon hair in apple cider vinegar and water- My hair did not itch once! Crazy, right? This works! I only let it soak for like 5 minutes while others suggest 15.
  • Mild Protein Treatment Day before Braids- I believe this helped keep my hair strong while in braids.
  • Spraying Hair with Braid Spray twice a day- My hair was so moisturized when I took the braids out and I had barely any breakage!
Check back for braid pics once complete.

Oh yeah...guess what I gave up?

JUICE!

I stopped drinking soda about 5 years ago and now I will no longer drink juice except in the AM.
I mix one of my vitamins, MSM, with Orange Juice(for the vitamin C) every morning. So, I will continue to do that. But for meals and during the day...I am only drinking water!
Let's see if I can stick with this

Sunday, June 13

Solange Knowles

For some reason, I love her hair like this. I think this style fits her well. I believe this is a wig(don't think it's a full head weave), but I think this look is fab. As you already know, Solange did a BC(Big Cut) a little while back so she's fully natural. I wonder how long it will take for her natural hair to get to this length...
Back to the subject at hand..Solange and her hair look great!



Picture taken from Necole Bitchie

Trip to Sally's

I was running some errands today and stopped by Sally Beauty Supply to buy a few hair products.
As I said earlier I washed my hair today and it was still drying when I left my place. I wasn't ready to put a bun in because my hair was still damp and I don't like to manipulate my hair when it's not fully dry. So, I just wrapped a scarf on my head and left.


As for what I purchased at Sally's.........


This is what I got:

Took the Braids Out! (updated)

I broke my hair schedule and took my braids out last night. My plans fell through and I was itching to take them out for a while, so I went ahead and took them out. I had them in for a complete 3 weeks. I am now 11 weeks post relaxe. Never kept braids in for such a short period of time before. They usually stay in for a month the least. I'm happy I took them out though, my hair can breath. When taking them out I noticed some slight matting. If I were to wait any longer, de-tangling would have been a..u know what.

A Few Pointers for Removing Braids:

Make sure braids(your hair) are well moisturized before taking out - Spray your braids with braid spray or something very moisturizing before removing. When I took my braids out, my hair was sooo moisturized and felt pretty healthy. I give credit to the regular moisturizing I did ever day and before braid removal.

Detangle your hair with fingers after removing each braid- This way you can remove some shed hair and avoid tangles when combing hair

Make sure all shed hair is removed before washing- Same as above. You don't want to battle serious tangles while washing hair. It's a pain!


Here are some pics of what my hair looked like after taking the braids out and slightly detangling.

Friday, June 11

Getting Started

To start off a healthy hair care regimen there are some products that you definitely need. I try not to purchase so many products and stick to what I have and works for me, but sometimes I can't resist and try to find something better.
To get started you should have at least one each of the below.

Shampoo
Conditioner
Moisturizer
Deep Conditioner ( 1 Moisturizing, 1 Mild Protein)
Leave-in Conditioner
Oil (or a serum)
Heat Protectant (if you use direct heat)
Wide Tooth Comb
A relaxer that fits you best

As I progress in my blogging, I will post information and suggestions for each...so be sure to come back.

You can always refer back to my product list to see what I use. I update this whenever I add new products to my regimen.

Thursday, June 10

Natural Hair Product Recipes

Check out this link for all natural hair product recipes.

I purchased my oils from The Vitamin Shoppe and http://www.swansonvitamins.com/ (link updated to show different oils)

Braids Update

So, I have had my braids in for 3 weeks now and I can't wait to take them out. I was going to re-do the front at week 2, but they aren't that messy or tight so I decided not to. I will be taking them out next Friday and I can't wait!
My plan is to let my hair breathe for 2 weeks then braid my hair again July 2nd.

I washed my braids this past Sunday with diluted shampoo. I just put a little shampoo and water in a spray bottle, sprayed my braids focusing on the scalp, massaged in for like 30 seconds then rinsed out.
After that, I did the same with diluted conditioner but let it sit for about an hour then rinsed off.
I then sprayed my hair with my braid spray mix, plaited my hair in 4 big braids then wrapped with a silk scarf.

The braids don't look as neat as when I first applied, obviously, but they don't look too bad. I just can't wait to take them out!

Tuesday, June 8

Buns

I love buns. They are a great protective style. Now, some people think they look boring, but there are so many ways to dress up a bun. I also think a plain ol' regular bun looks good at times. I wanted to dig up some bun styles that I may try in the future.  I would prefer to try them with my real hair, but I wouldn't mind putting a piece on for special occasions.

A few pointers about Bunning:
  • Don't make the buns too tight
  • Try to use bobby pins or elastics without metal
  • Make sure to moisturize ends (shoot, I moisturize my ends and roots)
  • To lay edges down- put a little moisturizer(or water) and alcohol free gel on edges then tie down with silk/satin scarf for 15-30 min.
  • Do not sleep in your bun- if you do, make sure it's very loose




Monday, June 7

Shampoo

I believe in order to truly take care of your hair, you need to know about the products you use and why. Shampoo is a very common product you see everywhere. One thing that I'm sure everyone knows, is that shampoo cleans hair. Not only does it clean your hair, but it also strips the hair of it's natural oils.  Haven't you noticed how drying shampoo leaves your hair? That's the main reason a conditioner usually follows. This is some of what I learned about shampooing hair.

Why Shampoo: To remove any dirt, dandruff, environmental pollutants and product build-up from scalp and hair

How Often Should We Shampoo: I say, 1X a week. (You have to remember how shampooing can be very drying to African American hair due to the sulfates.) For those who flat-iron or roller-set at the salon, every other week seems to work well too. It all depends on how much product build-up you have on your hair. I put a lot of products on my hair, so I wash once a week and conditioner-wash once a week. You have to do what works for your hair.

How to Shampoo: Wet hair, squeeze a nickle size of shampoo on hair, build-up lather on hair but focusing on scalp while massaging head, rinse off (don't put too much shampoo on length of hair). Repeat once.
*I do not suggest combing/detangling hair until a conditioner is put in it* Always use luke warm water. Never too hot.

What to do After: Always follow with a moisturizing conditioner and a leave-in conditioner. I also suggest following with a deep conditioner treatment.

What kind of Shampoo is Best for AA Hair:  Ha, I wish I had a concrete answer for this. I think that you should find a shampoo that specializes in dry hair then work from there. But of course I have some suggestions that many said are very moisturizing, cleanse hair well, and contain little to no sulfates.

Creame of Nature: Ultra Moisturizing Shampoo ( I'm switching to this from my Motions Lavish Conditioning Shampoo)
Neutrogena: Triple Moisture Shampoo
Paul Mitchell's Skinny shampoo
WEN Cleansing conditioners Fig and Almond Mint Or Hair One sold at Sally'  (No Sulfates)
ORS Creamy Aloe Vera shampoo
Organix Coconut Milk Shampoo ( All Organix Shampoos are sulfate free)

*Most of these can be found at your local drugstore*

Saturday, June 5

Salon Visits....

I decided that for now on, the only time I will visit a salon, is for relaxer touch-ups. Which is about 3-4 times a year(this year it will be 2). I moved to a new state a few years back and I still can't find the perfect stylist. I guess you can say I'm a little picky and demanding when it comes to my hair. I was going to a Dominican Salon and it was just not working. I had to use whoever spoke a lick of English in the Salon as a translator, my stylist would not put down that d*mn very fine toothed comb and extreme heat was her best friend. I typically visited a salon for touch-ups and the month after for wash/roller sets and sometimes blow-outs. I only had about 4 or 5 blow-outs last year, but I think because of those my hair is thin. No more blow-outs for the rest of the year. I am not letting a blow-dryer touch my hair. I'm either going to roller set(which I can do myself) or air dry.
I have also been seriously considering doing my own touch-ups. There are so many steps that I would like the salon to follow and because I'm stretching my relaxer, I will have 5 months of new-growth. I think with the amount of new-growth I will have, it may be easier to do myself. I could practice by applying moisturizer with an applicator brush....I have a lot of time to think about this though. I have until September to find a good stylist or decide if I should do it myself.

To Be Continued.........



Who else is doing their own hair?

Thursday, June 3

Cornrow Styles for Women

Cornrows have been a popular hairstyle in the Black community for a long time now. This is one style that will never go away. There are many different ways to wear them, so I wanted to showcase a few styles that I like.
*Of course, you can make them as long or thick as u prefer and they will still look good*






Had to throw A.K in there. I always loved her braids

Wednesday, June 2

My Braid Spray Mix

I rotate between African Pride Braid Spray and my own spray mix while in braids. I usually use African Pride in the morning then my spray mix during the day and at night.

I used the same products last time I had braids back in March. I had little to no breakage and my hair was quite moisturized when I took my braids out.





This is what's in my Spray Bottle (I don't know exact measurements, sorry, but this sums it up)

  • Aloe Vera Juice (fill the bottle up about 80% to the top)
  • Glycerin (I pour it until I get close to the top of the bottle about 15%)
  • Jojoba Oil (10 Drops)
  • Rosemary Oil- (6 Drops)
  • Coconut Oil- for the smell (a few drops..I put this in until it smells good)
  • Aloe Vera Gel (a few drops)
Here is a little more info on each product
Edited 7/24/2011- I now use Castor Oil in Place of Jojoba, Extra Virgin Olive Oil in place of Coconut Oil and Eucalyptus Oil in Place of Rosemary.
I still get the same benefits!
Before spraying this mix, I sometimes spray my braids with Distilled Water.

Benefits of Vegetable Glycerin for Hair
Apart from being able to return moisture back to dry hair, scalp or skin, glycerin for hair growth is also used. Using glycerin one can greatly condition dry, frizzy and brittle hair. If you are suffering from dry, flaky scalp then rubbing some vegetable glycerin on scalp can greatly alleviate irritation. This is especially beneficial for Afro-African women, who have dry hair or flaky scalp issues. Apart from moisturizing benefits of glycerin for hair care, it also greatly helps to strengthen the hair, which leads to less breakage of the hair, and less formation of split ends.
buzzle.com-glycerin-for-hair

Benefits of Aloe Vera Gel for Hair
Using aloe vera on the hair cleanses and conditions the scalp, helps balance the pH of the scalp, reduces oiliness, moisturizes dry hair and helps repair damaged hair. In addition, the gel from aloe's leaves can even stimulate hair growth in some cases, or at the least, prevent further balding. Similar to its benefits for the skin, aloe vera softens, fortifies and rejuvenates the hair, while it flushes dirt, debris and bacteria from the scalp. It can be used on the hair in a variety of ways, though the most popular consist of purchasing or making your own aloe shampoos and conditioners, or applying pure aloe gel to the hair.
ezinearticles.com/Aloe-Vera-Benefits-For-Hair

Tuesday, June 1

Going Swimming?

 Even though I have braids, I was still concerned with my hair after going swimming. So, before I went in the pool, I sprayed my braids with my braid spray mix(will explain in another post). When I got out I put some diluted conditioner all through my braids and let it sit for about 15-20 minutes then I washed it out. I tried not to manipulate them too much because I wanted my braids to stay neat. So after rinsing,  I layed my edges down with some Aloe Vera Gel, sprayed my hair with the braid spray, put my braids in a bun, then wrapped them with a Silk Scarf.
I used conditioner opposed to Shampoo because honestly, I didn't bring any shampoo with me and didn't feel like searching for the right one.

They have a few shampoos made for swimmers to protect the hair from chlorine, but I'll have to research it a little more before I offer any suggestions.