Thursday, September 30

Hair Comparison and Update

*Sorry, this is long*

Yesterday, I got my corrective relaxer done at the salon. I was 6 weeks post, but after 2 failed self-relaxers, my hair felt like I was 5 months post. The knots and tangles, although I was able to minimize them, were damaging to my hair so I had to do what I had to do. Now that my hair is corrected, I will not relax under 10 weeks post anymore and that's a promise to myself!

I used Silk Elements Lye Relaxer Again, for a second I thought I got regular strength, but it was Mild again..which after you read my story below, it's probably a good thing. The stylist wanted to use Alter Ego Linange Relaxer, but I don't like switching relaxers.

I went to a stylist near my house, and my experience was slightly traumatic to say the least. Before going in, I coated my relaxed strands thoroughly with castor oil. I chose Castor Oil because it's one of the thickest oils I know of. Thank goodness I did. Before parting my hair, the stylist had the nerve to try and spray my ends with water...I stopped her and said "What are you Doing and what is that?" She said it was water and it will protect my ends...I almost got up and walked out, which I should have, but I allowed her continue. I told her no, that wont protect my ends and don't spray that on my hair. So she stopped parted my hair and was about to apply the relaxer. I stopped her and said aren't you going to base my scalp...She said I didn't need one because I was using a Mild Relaxer. I told her..Yes I DO..and told her to base my scalp. Which she did.

She kept telling me she did plenty of relaxers before and no-ones hair ever came out damaged...in my head I kept hearing BLAH BLAH BLAH!


Then she applied my relaxer- That part she actually did right
Then she washed it out and Neutralized a few times, not doing the 2 minute reconstructer first, but I figured I can just repair my own hair the next wash. Which after that experience will be very soon.
So after rinsing, she applied a Deep Conditioner...I read the bottle before she did it and it was Alter Ego Linange Reconstructuring Mask. Alter Ego is a good product which I used in the past, so I was okay with that.

After she washed it out she applyed conditioner to my hair and I felt her detangling my hair hair as she washed it out. But I was unsure of the size of the comb.

So here's the traumatizing part- After she applied the leave-in to do the roller set, she started detangling my hair from the top to bottom with a small comb. I stopped her and asked if she had a bigger comb because I saw alot of hair come out. She said that's natural...I told her NO that's not natural..took the chunk of hair and showed her that most of them were broken hair.
So another stylist handed her a larger comb...then she continued to detangle again from the top to bottom. I told her she's not doing it right then she passed me the comb and asked if I wanted to do it myself..I said yes and Grabbed it! I detangled and not much hair came out, but after she did the roller set I looked at the floor and saw handfuls of hair! I wanted to cry.

When she took the rollers out, she asked if I wanted to blow dry my hair, I said no...do a "doobie" wrap she didn't have any pins or anything. So I told her to leave it as it is...gave her the money NO TIP and left!

Why didn't I take my own advice and not research her salon more? All in all my hair still feels healthy..but the amount of hair I saw on the floor really scared me. The Stylist said it was natural shed hair, but I'm pretty sure if I looked through it strand by strand it isn't. Maybe I'm being too dramatic, but I really do not want any setbacks!
I need a trim...but I sure wasn't going to trust that lady to do it. My ends aren't damaged, but the back looks slightly uneven.
Comparison Pic- June 1, 2009, April 2, 2010, September 29, 2010 (click on it for a larger view)


Tuesday, September 28

How to Determine if you Need Moisture or Protein

Below you will see the test needed to be done on wet or dry hair to determine whether you need protein or moisture.
Personally, I go by how my hair feels when wet. If after I wash or cowash and it's extremely mushy and too soft, I may do a 2 minute reconstructer to bring my protein level back up or use a protein leave-in. If my hair feels extra hard then I would do a deep conditioning treatment. Having the proper Moisture/Protein Balance is key to healthy hair.
For those who do hard core protein treatments, you must always follow up with a moisturizing deep conditioning treatment to avoid any breakage.


Pull a strand of hair from different parts of your head...or if your like me and don't want to lose any extra hair..use your shed hair. If when you pull each side of the strand and it/its....

(Wet or Dry) Stretches slighty/returns to original length /no breaking= you are balanced just stick with maintaining

(Wet ot Dry) Stretching a little more than normal then breaks= more protein

(Wet or Dry)Stretching, stretching, stretching/no breakage yet= more protein

(Wet)- Weak, gummy, mushy, limp hair= more protein

(Wet or Dry) Very little/no stretching then breakage= more moisture

(Dry) Rough/tough/hard/tangly/brittle hair= more moisture

Please check out this article for more details.
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/278612/the_fine_art_of_protein_and_moisture.html?cat=69
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Itchy Scalp?

For hair to grow, we need a healthy foundation, that being the scalp. Having an itchy scalp is not only annoying(trust me I know) but it causes damage as well. I don't usually suffer from itchy scalp, but for those who do, here are a few tips that I researched that may or I hope will help.

First thing first is to look at your diet. What we eat not only affects our overall health, but our skin(scalp). Cut back on sugary foods, fried food and drink plenty of water. Focus on eating more fruit and veggies and even adding yogurt to your snack list.




Here are a few other remedies I researched on-line

1) Tea Tree Oil or Eucalyptus oil - Add some tea tree or Eucalyptus oil to either your shampoo, conditioner or even mix with your favorite oil to apply to your scalp. Only add about 4-5 drops though. Or you can purchase Tea Tree Shampoo like from Paul Mitchel or Hair-One(Sulfate free)You can find Tea Tree Oil in any Vitamin Shop or in the vitamin section of your local pharmacy.


2) Apple Cidar Vinegar Rinse- This not only helps with the porosity of the hair, but I read that it also helps sooth the scalp from the horrible itchies. Add 2 teaspoons of apple cidar vinegar to 2 cups of water and as your final rinse, pour on/through your scalp then slightly rinse off. I do this probably about once or every other week which may be why my scalp rarely itches

3) Sulfur 8- The Main purpose of Sulfur 8 is to help with dandruff. I have used this and it helped with that. But it also helps with itchy scalp.One of the reasons why Sulfur is so great for hair growth is because it has some sort of antimicrobial feature and in order for hair to grow, we need a clean scalp. Only caution- Stop use one week before and after a relaxer.

4) Dandruff Shampoos- such as Head and Shoulders and Neutrogena T Gel

Last but not least- VISIT your Dermatologist. If nothing you do seems to work...you have to see a doctor to help solve this extremely annoying issue.

Monday, September 27

Lil Kim Opens a Salon



Lil Kim just recently opened a hair salon...but what caught my eye where the prices..

On Saturday, Lil Kim, her cousin Katrise Jones and Meagan Good gathered in Charlotte for the grand opening of new Salon Se Swa By Queen Bee. The Salon is owned by Lil Kim and her cousin Katrise and they plan to open one in Atlanta soon. The prices are suppose to be affordable with $10 wash and sets, $10 haircuts, & $35 and up perms


Now that's what I'm talking about! Hopefully their performance is as great as the prices!

Go ahead Lil Kim!

pics from Kidunot.com verbiage from necolebitchie

Thursday, September 23

Natural Hair in the Workplace- Repost from YBP

Hey Everyone,

Just thought I would share an article/post I saw on www.ybpguide.com. I thought this was very interesting and maybe some of you will too.
My Thoughts- There should be absolutely no issue with a woman wearing her natural hair out no matter what the work environment is. We were born with these beautiful curls, so why should we receive any type of back-lash for it!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A striking number of YBPs have decided over the last few years to nix the relaxers and other chemicals and wear their coifs in its natural state. Embracing our true roots with a more natural and holistic vibe when it comes to hair is a trend that shows no sign of stopping. Natural hair is appearing everywhere from red carpets to the catwalk to offices in companies worldwide. But as it is accepted in a more playful medium, the boardroom is one place where natural hair may get winces.


What’s a YBP to do?

In terms of natural hair itself, a company cannot mandate the way you wear your hair unless it is in a contract of some sort. For example, if you’re working for a relaxer company, then it may be in your contract that you are to wear your hair in a chemically processed style. For regular office types that are not in the beauty or fashion industry, a contract that has hair stipulations borders on discrimination. A company can set guidelines on wearing your hair in a well-groomed, neat fashion, but they cannot set the terms concerning the style of hair.
The gray area begins with the definition of neat hair or well-groomed. It can get sticky because what I consider neat and well groomed may not be the same as someone else’s definition, which is why natural hair in the workplace can cause issues.

Natural hair is looked upon by some as avant garde or against the grain, and in some workplaces, may get a second or third look. In my own journey of transitioning from relaxed to natural tresses, I had questions from colleagues about what I am “doing to my hair.” I answered their questions although I didn’t feel it was necessary. People are curious by nature, but I drew the line at explaining the reason behind my journey. It was none of their business.

There are some positive natural hair stories in the workplace, however. According to natural hair and beauty blogger Roshini Cope from Glamazini.com, “My natural hair has been received very well. I’ve rarely had any issues and I work in a corporate environment. ” She goes on to give advice to those that are natural in the office. “Stay confident! I genuinely love my hair and I believe that sort of thing shows when you strut down the hallways.”

The politics of natural hair and the workplace will be a topic that will be a discussion point for years to come. From the HR prospective, you cannot be discriminated against for the way you choose to wear your hair. If you feel that you have been discriminated against because of your natural hair, consult a Human Resource manager in your company by filing a grievance, or the EEOC (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) in your area if you were let go because of your hair or you feel you were overlooked for a job due to your tresses.
Diversity has been lauded as a strength in the modern workplace and true diversity is a plethora of differences in the office. No matter how you choose to wear your hair, keep pushing forward and do you.

Monday, September 20

The Wonderful Benefits of Aloe Vera for Hair

I have been using Aloe Vera Gel for a number of purposes:

Hair Gel
To Shave- Sometimes
Soothing of Relaxer Burn
In my Mix for Braid Spray/as a Moisturizer
As a facial moisturizer in the winter when my skin gets really dry

just to name a few





But never did I think to use Aloe Vera Gel or the Juice as a leave-in...
And boy oh boy was I missing out. Remember how I said I was dealing with extreme tangles and knots..well I tried 2 things to help fix that issue

  1. Wash my hair in Sections/Braids
  2. Used an Aloe Vera Gel Mix as a leave-in which included:
  • Distilled Water
  • Aloe Vera Gel
  • Castor Oil

My hair has never felt so soft!
I went out and purchased a gallon of Aloe Vera Juice from Walmart...called Fruit of the Earth and I will be using the Juice instead of the Gel in my mixes for now on. Not only will I use it for my leave-in's but I will use it to restore moisture in my hair at night(on non wash days).

2 More things about Aloe Vera Juice which have me excited to use it

  • Many reviews of how it slowed down shedding drastically
  • Restores the PH level back in relaxed hair



 To read more about the benefits of Aloe Vera see below

Couldn't Hang

Brief Update: So, I ran a 5K yesterday and before I even ran it, I knew my braids would look a hot mess when the race was complete. So, on Saturday I took them out. Thank goodness I did, because it was so hot out yesterday and I was sweating like a pig when the race was over. haha.

When I got home:
  • I prepooed in Sections(put my hair in 6 braids and saturated them with conditioner mixed with Hemp Seed Oil) for 1 hour
  • After rinsing them out, I shampooed....still in sections.
  • Then DC'd in sections with ORS Hair Mayo for 2 hours with a shower cap and a turban towel over it
  • Rinsed out and applied my leave-ins and so forth
As you can see doing my hair in sections, is my new thing!

Here's my hair today...just a braid in the front and pulled back in a bun..I'm having a hard time laying down my edges...it's like whatever I use..is not working. Hoping to figure something out tonight.
I think I will be doing cornrows again this weekend...who knows though..if I nipped the tangling and knots issues in the bud then I may not want/need to braid my hair up

Friday, September 17

Checking in on my Braids

I think I will be able to pull off another week of braids even though they don't look as neat as I wish they would. Working in Corporate America, if your going to wear braids/cornrows...you have to make sure they are always looking neat and good to avoid any backlash. That's just my opinion. Surprisingly, I got so many compliments from my colleagues! I'm one of the only 3 African(well I'm actually Haitian) American women working for my company so I was kind of nervous how people would look at me with these cornrows especially because I am the only one who wears them, but now I'm relieved that they were accepted.

Braids  on Monday



Braids today/Friday



Keep in mind, I braid my own hair and I braided them with my nails being a little longer than they were before.So, if they don't look that tight, that's why

Wednesday, September 15

Short Hair Styles

No, I'm not planning on cutting my hair anytime soon...but for those who are planning to do so, here are a few cute short hairstyles to choose from. I know a lot of our goals are to grow our hair long, but so many short cuts look so beautiful that I have to share :-D If you look closely..I added myself in there...haha





Monday, September 13

Eva Marcille

Tell me this woman isn't absolutely gorgeous. Now, this is one new Blonde dye job I do like!

Braids Regimen


Moisturize 2-3 times Daily
Oil Scalp with Castor Oil 3-4 times a week
Clean Scalp with Witch Hazel after each work out
Wrap hair with Satin Scarf/Bonnet Every night

That's about it. I think I'm only keeping these in for 2 weeks, so when I take them out I will detangle, wash, dc...you know the whole deal.

I was too cheap to buy Braid Spray (even though it only cost $4) so my moisturizer will consist of
Distilled Water
Hawaiian Silky 14 n 1
BioInfusion Olive Oil Moisturizer
Aphogee Pro-Vitamin Leave-in
Castor Oil(ran out of coconut oil so I'm using up the Castor before I buy some coconut oil)

That's all Folks :-D

Saturday, September 11

Cornrows


I did some cornrows last night...I put in 4 rows and it took about 4 hrs. Glad to give my hair a break! I'll keep them in until they get messy :-)
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Friday, September 10

Knots,Tangles and Minor Breakage , Oh My!

Isn't my title Corny..haha! But in all seriousness, I was experiencing some serious knots and tangles in my hair which led to minor(a few hairs here and there) breakage which I did not like at all so I was in serious repair mode last night.






Why the knots and tangles?- As said in previous posts, my hair was underprocessed when relaxed, so now instead of being a 4b(very course, kinky hair) my roots are now like a 4a(less course but still kinky hair). I have about 2 inches of 4a hair and still some 4B hair so it's kind of like I'm still stretching. My newgrowth/underprocessed hair keeps sticking together and my shedded hairs are wrapping around the newgrowth instead of free falling
Side Note-for anyone self-relaxing for the first time, after doing extensive research, always have someone there to assist you.
Another Side Note- I will no longer self-relax, going to my old stylist for now on.

Why the Minor Breakage?- I am having minor breakage because I got lazy with how I airdryed my hair. Instead of drying in several braids or twists, I would dry my hair in one big low braid then tie a scarf over my head causing my newgrowth to matte together even more. Then when I would finger comb my hair the next day,  I would see 5-10 broken hairs, even if my newgrowth and hair was well moisturized.

How I got this issue Under-Control and Tips for those who have the same issues

I deep conditioned with a moisturizing Deep Conditoner on Dry Hair for about 30 minutes without heat then 15 minutes under the dryer- I put the deep conditioner in my hair in sections and lightly finger detangled while doing so

Then I shampooed my hair

Then Conditioned my hair, but left the conditioner on for 5 minutes before washing off

Results where very soft hair!

Next Steps

Sprayed Aphogee Pro-Vitamin Leave-in all through my hair then let my hair airdry for about 15 minutes

While still  a little damp- I applyed Hawaiian Silky 14 n 1 All through-out my hair gently finger combed then sealed with Coconut Oil

When 95% Dry

I sectioned my hair in small-medium sections and applied 2 strand twists all over my head. But applied more moisturizer to my newgrowth to keep it soft. By doing the twists, I stretched out my new-growth which minimized/stopped any tangling and knots

* I did not detangle with a comb or detangler at all, only my fingers because today I will be braiding my hair and I can do that then. If I wasn't braiding my hair, I would detangle using a wide tooth comb and detangler starting from the bottom working my way to the roots. *
This AM
I applied very little moisturizer to my ends and a little more to the roots then untwisted the twists while gently separating my roots with my fingers. My hair was so soft and my roots and hair were not tangled and had no knots! I was soo relieved! But I am happy to give my hair a break in braids!

Hope this helps anyone that has the same issue I did!

Tips when dealing with tangles-
Use a Detangler(I use Mane n Tale, but Silkens Child I heard is a great one too)
Be gentle and patient
Start from the bottom and work your way to the top

Thursday, September 9

Run out of Leave-ins?

This is just a quick tip that I have done myself and worked out great!

If you get into a predicament where you run out of leave-in conditioners and don't have the time or money to buy a new one.. Just dilute a moisturizing conditioner you already have with a little water, add in some of your favorite oil, shake it up then add it to your damp hair.

Some people even use straight Moisturizing Conditioners as leave-ins and moisturizers. I haven't tried that yet..but I will to see if it's effective. Hey..this may even save me a few bucks. I'll keep you posted

Giving My Hair a Break

Tomorrow, I will be putting my hair in braids. Not single braids, but a few rows of cornrows to give my hair a much needed break. I plan to keep those in for 2-3 weeks, most likely 2. I would do single braids, but for the time it takes me to braid my hair and the amount of time I actually keep my hair in braids, it's not worth it.
My hair has been getting tangled so easily lately, maybe because I'm texlaxed, and I do not want to manipulate my hair too much. I do not want any set-backs.

Preparation for my braids tonight include:

DC on Dry Hair for 30 minutes w/o heat 15 w/ heat
Shampoo
Condition
Apply Leav-ins
Airdry in Twists

I will also be soaking the synthetic(Kanekalon) hair in Apple Cider Vinegar and Water to remove the Alkaline base.

I'll hold off de-tangling until I actually braid my hair.
I'm also strongly considering getting a touch-up/real corrective relaxer from my old stylist at 8 weeks post.
I think that's what my hair is telling me to do..haha(listen to your hair). The "texlaxed/underprocessed" areas are matting and tangling so easily..no matter how much I moisturize/DC./de-tangle. It's just not fun dealing with this. I think once I get my touch-up my hair will be in good shape and that will be a great starting point. I will no longer do 5-6 month stretches, I will then relax ever 14-16 weeks. I will also make sure if I self relax, I have my Mother there to assist.
If the braids come out cute, I'll post pics..lol

Tuesday, September 7

Ameriie's Reason for Going Blonde


I first saw that Ameriie went blonde on Hair-i-Am and was somewhat indifferent about it. I thought she looked better with darker hair, but still thought she looked beautiful none-the-less. Then I read on Necole Bitchie, why she decided to go blonde...so here you go..

Via- Rapup.com -I’ve always wanted to go platinum blonde, and I figured I’d finally just do it. One of the things that inspired me are photos I’ve seen of children in the Solomon Islands. They are very brown-skinned, and a lot of them grow white-blonde hair naturally. The contrast in dark skin tone and extremely light hair is really beautiful to me. So I just went for it!

I guess that's a good reason..it's always good to try new things..
I saw comments saying she looked like Beyonce and Kourtney Kardashian...and I can def see the resemblance to Kourtney.




I Would NEVER Let Her Touch MY Hair!

My sister was getting a wash and set this past weekend in a salon in NY which shall remain nameless on my blog(if you want to know, send an email..hhaha) and she was texting me about this lady getting a touch-up saying how disturbing it looked. She was telling me how the stylist, first didn't protect her ends and second applied relaxer to the whole length of her hair. My sis was like her head must be on fire because the relaxer was also left on for so long. Of course, she took a pic for me..haha..here you go ladies.


If this isn't the craziest thing I seen in a while...I don't know what is. haha. Now I went to this salon with my sis when I went to visit her a few weeks ago and I did see other stylists applying relaxers and they only did the new growth unlike this stylist.
Just so everyone knows: THIS IS HOW A RELAXER SHOULD NOT BE APPLIED!

Saturday, September 4

Another Braid-Out

I think for now I'm going to stick to a 2 frenchbraid/big cornrows braid-out. Its so much easier and less time consuming..I'm also loving the results. This will only work until my new-growth really starts coming in though. Oh and 2days my Dad's Birthday and Parents 28th wedding aniversary! Happy B-day Dad and Happy Aniversary Mom and Dad! Safe travels!!!!
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Friday, September 3

Today's Look

Last night I co-washed my hair then when it was about 85% dry, I put in 2 french braids...more like 2 big cornrows.Unbraided this morning and I was going to do a bun, but decided to leave my hair out.

Total Styling time this AM was like 5 minutes. This just included seperating the waves and adding in a little Moisturizer and sealing in with a little oil.




Products Used:
Conditioner: V05 Volumizing Conditioner mixed with Wheat Germ Oil(will talk about this and ceramides in another post)
Leave-ins- Aphogee Pro-Vitamin Leave-in (trying to use this up and my hair needs a little protein)
Aveeno Nourish + Condition Leave-in- Only sprayed a little
Cantu-Shea Butter Leave-in- This is more of a creamy leave-in, use this to make my hair softer
Sealed with Coconut Oil


It looks better in person..haha..dang phone camera.

Lloyd Donates Hair to Locks of Love

Remember this beautiful head of hair?



Well, Lloyd decided it was time for a new look and he shaved it all off to donate his hair for a good cause.

Lloyd revealed to his fans today via Twitter that he cut off his luxurious locks that women seem to love so much. He decided to donate his hair to Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that will use his hair to create a hair piece finanicially disadvantaged child who suffers from long-term medical hair loss.


When talking about his haircut here is what Lloyd had to say:
I’ve been growing my hair since 9th grade. It’s time for a new me.
The fact that my hair will go to someone that needs it more than me, makes me feel great about my decision.



Good for you Lloyd!
Source: theybf

Thursday, September 2

My Hair Inspiration Is....

My Mom! Haha..She has the most beautiful, thick..healthy hair..always have..but it has grown considerably in the last year.
She is a strong advocate for Protective Styling...her hair is always clipped up or braided and she moisturizes daily!

This is her hair February 2009..as you can see she has Full shoulder length hair

LOL..sorry ya'll didn't ask for permission to post her pic..so I gotta protect her privacy



Then, this is her hair in April 2010... Bra-Strap Length..Talk about a big difference!

I Miss My Hair!

As most of you know, I haven't straightened my hair since April! When I got my touch-up I felt like my hair looked thinner, so I was putting my hair through boot-camp to get it where I want it to be. Meaning no heat and protective styling 95% of the time. I was looking back at my pictures and I realized that length really doesn't matter..I actually like how my hair looks when it's shorter and shoulder length actually fits me well. But I still want APL length hair, just because I have a goal...and I always want to meet my goals no matter what they are!

Anyway's...just taking a look back...I can't wait until I actually straighten my hair and see what kind of results I have ! :-D
May 2009