Doing the 'do, hair

Sigh

Ok. I owe pictures of my hair.

I owe product reviews of products I bought donkey years ago.

But, folks, my mind is clouded. Should I go ahead with my locs or just should I cut it all off?

My reasoning: my hair just isn’t feeling right. Not “oh, I need a protein treatment” wrong, but “damn! What the heck is up with my hair?!?!” wrong. I have a sneaking suspicion that my last trip to the salon did some real damage.

I don’t have the time to nurse it back to health, so I need to do something that I can manage. That means either stick with my plan to loc – although I’m concerned that my hair won’t look as good loc’d because I’m missing the thickness (hair’s dropping out) – or cut it off and start again with all the knowledge that I’ve gained over the years.

Decisions, decisions.

One good thing is that I’m not necessarily attached to my hair – thanks to experience, I know it will grow back.

So I’m at a crossroads: a red TWA or a head full of starter locs.

What’s a girl to do?

Doing the 'do, hair, hair experiments..., Uncategorized

Hair updates!!!

Oh my goodness! Isn't my face getting super chubby? Shoot. But my hair looks cute 🙂

It’s been a LONG time since I did a formal hair update, so I have plenty to write about! OK, so the last time I updated you was in June… shoot, that’s like six months ago! Good grief! Let’s get started.

A year of twists and flaky scalp issues. I mentioned in June that I was going to get my year of twists going. From June 2011 to June 2012 it was going to be two-strand twists for three weeks, a week of a twist out and then wash. Well, my scalp hasn’t been letting me live up to that arrangement. I think it’s the hormones or something because for about six weeks or so, I had the WORST flaky scalp ever. It was to 2007 levels. I broke out my Morrocco Method shampoo and that helped get things under control. I’m all out of that – it takes quite a bit of shampoo to get this scalp clean. So what am I using, you ask, to wash my dome? My body soap. I know! I know! I reverted back to this a few months ago when my scalp was acting up. It’s pretty much saponified olive oil and cocoa butter. If my body can handle it without breaking out into hives, my scalp can and has been… with good results. My scalp is not 100% (when is it ever?), but it’s certainly better than it was. I’m going to keep working on it.

My new wash routine – excluding conditioner. Yep, I said it! If you read the blog, you’d know that I’ve been searching for a good deep conditioner since I started talking hair back in 2009. Since getting pregnant, I’ve been so tired and fatigued washing my hair is a two-day chore. So, I’ve needed to get rid of steps to get my wash/style time down to something manageable. What I’ve started to do is:

  • detangling in the shower in sections
  • wash each section separately
  • come out of the shower and slather either shea butter or olive oil/castor oil on each section; detangle if necessary
  • put a plastic cap and my heat cap on for about 20 minutes
  • style with my modified Kimmaytube leave-in

My hair has been the softest and most manageable as it’s ever been! No joke – it is happy hair. And my pocket is happy too. I’m sure that pregnancy hormones have a little something to do with my hair looking like it does. So, I’ll have to see in a couple more months if I’m still singing the praises of my new routine or if I’m searching high and low for a conditioner. So far, the keep it simple is making me very happy.

Haircuts ARE necessary. I had read somewhere that it wasn’t necessary to trim your hair. I liked not having to cut my hair so I didn’t. Sigh. My hair did pay for that. Why? Unnecessary knots, hungry looking ends, hair just not looking right. A couple of weeks ago I tried to straighten my hair (I was bored) and my ends looked atrocious. I whipped out the scissors and gave myself a good trim. If you saw how my hair looked once I washed it! Glorious! Full! Bouncy! It’s so necessary to get rid of those weathered ends to help your hair just look and feel better. Forget about all the serums, creams and conditioners, sometimes you just need a good trim.

That’s about it on the hair update front. What about you guys? Anything interesting to share? New products? New techniques that we can use?

Doing the 'do, hair, Uncategorized

Bad blogger & hair update

Hi all!

I’ve been remiss. It’s been four weeks since my last post. It’s not that I’ve abandoned my blog – not at all – I’ve just been a busy, bad blogger. I guess I did need a break and my hair wasn’t a priority over the last little bit.

I needed to get back to myself. I went on a trip to have a “restoration” as my pastor calls it. I needed to re-energize. It had been a pretty crazy year – from April 2010 to present, I’ve felt like I’ve been going ALL THE TIME.

While I didn’t know that I needed a real break – not counting Facebook and Twitter (although I did go a week without using them) – my body realized that I needed some time to refresh myself. Now I’m back 🙂

So, I just got back from a holiday (a Friday Favourite thing is coming about that!) and I decided to do mini-twists. Now, the twists weren’t as mini as I would have liked them to be. A friend mentioned that if my hair is prone to knots or tangling, I may want to make my twists a little bigger. So, that’s what I did. They were still the smallest twists that I ever did, they weren’t as tiny as some of the ones I saw online.

Here’s what I did:

  • I washed my hair Tuesday night with my Henna Sooq Berhempsu shampoo bar and massaged my scalp with my Head & Shoulders Classic Clean conditioner and used my modified Kimmaytube leave-in mix. I sealed with shea butter and put my hair in maybe eight rough braids.
  • After work on Wednesday evening, I sat down with my Essential Wholesale Styling Hair Jelly, shea butter and my rosewater and aloe vera juice spritz and twisted the front portion of my hair.
  • I had divided my hair in three sections: front, middle and back. I really thought that it was going to take me three days to do my entire head, but I got through it pretty quickly. By Thursday at 3:30 pm I was done.

This is what it looked like:

I am thoroughly enjoying having a smartphone.
Excuse my greys, please. Henna can only do so much.

I was very impressed with my workmanship. I’ve been moisturizing with shower steam and shea butter – which was fine when I was in the steamy, wet Caribbean. Back home, it wasn’t working out so well. Today, I decided to moisturize with glycerin, shower steam and shea butter. It’s working out much better.

And, my scalp is behaving like a champ. It’s been two weeks without a wash and there are no flakes or problems. I want to wash it – I hate the thought of going longer than two weeks without washing my scalp and hair, but I’m trying to hold onto this style for at least a couple of weeks. I’m convinced if I wet my hair it will knot and tangle. That’s not what I’m looking for.

Anyhow, I finally downloaded my videos from the trip, so I’m going to upload something for my readers (I hope you’re still out there!) tomorrow… hopefully 😉

Doing the 'do, hair, Uncategorized

Hair pictures and more!

I never liked wearing my hair in just two strand twists. I just didn’t think it looked good on me and it made me sad because I wanted to wear my hair in this protective style for at least a week before doing a twist out. My scalp is another issue and another post because it has actually been behaving itself.

Last night, my hair felt a little dry, but my scalp was really, really clean. Like clean that I haven’t seen in a long, long time. So, why waste shampoo? I decided to co-wash. I know, I know, co-washing and I didn’t mix, but the problem wasn’t the co-washing — it was my scalp. That’s another post. Anyhow, I detangled with Sunsilk Captivating Curls conditioner and my Tangle Teezer. I added Head & Shoulders Classic Clean conditioner and washed my scalp. I don’t know about anyone else’s scalp, but my scalp said, “thank you, ma’am!”

After that, I tried my newest hair purchase: Silk Elements Megasilk Olive Moisturizing Treatment. I was at Sally’s Beauty Supply on Sunday. I had heard about Silk Elements products and I really wanted to try them. So I picked up the treatment because, really, my deep conditioner game isn’t on point. Anyhow, I added that and ran through my hair with the Tangle Teezer — it was like BUTTER.

Since I finished up early, I decided to load up Days of our Lives on my iPad and get to twisting. I decided to do some smaller twists — not mini twists, but definitely smaller than what I’m accustomed to doing. I mixed up my modified Kimmaytube leave-in (Giovanni Direct Leave-in conditioner, olive oil, castor oil and aloe vera juice) and got to twisting.

Before I finished, I liked my hair. Something about the way it fell, it looked good! It had movement and you could see the length. I think my issue with my twists before was that my hair didn’t have enough length and, to me, it didn’t look right. Now that my hair is growing and I’m seeing the length, I really like how it looks. And how it felt. For a couple of weeks, my laziness took over and I didn’t make the Kimmaytube leave-in. Well, I can definitely tell the difference between when I use it and when I don’t. Here are some pictures:

I tried to add my watermark, but the application is playing the fool. So, here it is - don't tief me tings.

 

Here's the back! It's a bit fuzzy in the middle, but I still like it.

This combination seemed to work! I’m going to try to work these twists for the week and then wear a twist out next week… if the scalp holds up. What combination have you found that works on your hair and gives you the look and feel you want?

Doing the 'do, my regimen, Uncategorized

My favourite products and what I’ve learned over the years…

If you’ve read my blog regularly, you would know that I was a bit of a product junkie at the beginning of my natural hair journey. Some of it was necessary – how am I going to know what I like and don’t like if I don’t try products?

But then it turned into a bit of an addiction. Really, no one person needs a full bin of products that she’s not sure if she likes or not.

So, over the course of two plus years of being natural, I think that I’ve finally hit a stride. Yes, I still like to play around with new products – I just bought Morrocco Method shampoos – I know what works on my hair and I am committed to using those products and not playing around as much. I find that natural ladies can sometimes do the most with their hair. I remember when I was first thinking about using henna, some people were talking about henna’ing their hair every week.

Every week? Who has that kind of time? Simple is best, that’s what I’ve learned. I like the idea of Ayurvedic hair care, but I just don’t see me having the time to make teas, pastes and source a lot of these products. I will continue henna’ing my hair — I like that a lot (not just for covering up my grey), but the rest of it is just too time-consuming for my liking.

Meh. Maybe I’m just too dang lazy 😉

Back to the subject at hand: what are these favourite products? Well, let me share with you!

Shampoo: Henna Sooq’s Berhempsu shampoo bar – it’s great! I’m playing around with Morrocco Method because I wanted something that would help me deal with dandruff (possibly – I’m still not 100% sure why my scalp has been acting crazy the last few weeks). Anyhow, I’ve only used it once so I’ll hold back on comments until I use it a couple more times.

Conditioner: Aussie Moist – it’s a staple. It’s not all natural, but it does what I need it to do AND it’s cheap. Score on both counts.

Deep conditioner: I am still looking for a good deep conditioner. So far, my favourites were Elasta QP’s DPR-11 and Miss Key 10 en 1 and I think that I’m going to have to go back to them because what I’ve been using isn’t really saying much.

Leave-in: A variation of Kimmytube’s leave-in using Giovanni Direct Leave-in conditioner. Yes, at first I didn’t understand the hype, but over the last few months I understand why people are crazy about it. Love it.

Styler: After playing around with different products, my favourite is Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in Conditioning Treatment. Again, not all natural, but it works. It works so well.

Moisturizer: I’ve played around with so many moisturizers and I’ve liked a number of them, but my hands down favourite, the one that will always leave my hair moist and looking right is aloe vera juice and rosewater.

Who knew!

For real. I used this just because I had the aloe vera juice in the fridge and I saw some rosewater at the grocery store. My hair looks and feels awesome with this and it’s dang near free… well, it’s ridiculously cheap compared to a lot of the stuff that I’ve bought in the past.

Sealer: While I like Carol’s Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey, my favourite sealer is a combo of olive oil and castor oil. Easy and cheap.

The biggest thing that I’ve learned is that spending a wash of money on products isn’t necessary going to give me the results I want. While it’s fun to test products, if I really want to achieve my hair goals – a healthy, flake-free scalp as well as full APL hair in 2011 – I need to buckle down and use what my hair and scalp like. It’s not like I’ll never do another product review – it’s just that they’ll probably come more infrequently.

As I’ve learned about my hair and what it’s really like (for example, it’s not as coarse as I thought – it was just thirsty for moisture), I’ve figured out some things for the better such as: I have to use shea butter sparingly because it can be too heavy for my hair (but my skin LOVES it!).

I’m still trying to figure out my scalp – that’s the biggest thing. This flakiness is getting to be just stupid and I need to figure it out. I’m thinking it’s a combination of a couple of things: having allergies and sensitive skin PLUS dandruff.

Sigh.

Alas, I’ll fooling around with these Morrocco Method shampoos and using a Head & Shoulders dandruff conditioner after I wash with my Henna Sooq shampoo bar (of course, I use a real conditioner to detangle, the Head & Shoulders is solely for my scalp).

This natural hair thing, it really is a journey.

Doing the 'do, hair, my regimen, Uncategorized

Being kinder to my kinks

A couple of weeks ago, when I was in the middle of my dad being seriously ill, I had to deal with my hair. As I wrote before, the scalp was out of control, so I couldn’t go another two weeks (honestly, I shouldn’t have gone two weeks because my scalp doesn’t roll like that). Anyhow, I had about an hour and a half to wash, condition and style… but I was so tired. After I washed and conditioned, I sat in the family room with The Hubby and got to styling. About 15 minutes in, he said, “What are you doing over there? You sound like you’re ripping your hair out of your head.”

I looked at my Denman brush, which was covered in my hair, and realized that trying to do my hair when I rushed and tired was probably not the best idea.

I was being extremely rough with my hair — EXTREMELY rough. So the next time I washed my hair, I noticed a small area to the left of my crown that had been ripped out.

Ouch.

Honestly, for the weeks that my dad was sick and I was stressed, being kind to my hair and carving out the time to do my hair wasn’t an option. I just didn’t have the bandwidth or the energy. My extra time was spent trying to sleep or spending time with my mom to ensure that she was OK.

Now that things are going better with my father, I decided to try to be kinder to my hair. On Saturday, we had some wintry weather and I decided to stay home. It was the perfect time to wash my hair and deal with the scalp that was causing me trouble. I had checked out Kimmaytube’s video about washing and conditioning. Regardless of what people say about Kim, she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to hair. I checked out her video and decided to use her method for the next few months.

The biggest mistake that I’ve made is using my Denman outside the shower. I’ve never been one to detangle probably as well as I should. So when I got to the styling portion of the production, I still had a number of tangles… which I would use my Denman to rip through.

Not smart. And, this isn’t rocket science. This is stuff that I’m sure that I knew, but just wasn’t putting into practice, then wondering why the heck do I have single strand knots? Why did I see split ends? Why do my ends look trashy?

Because I’m treating my hair like crap. One thing that Kim mentioned in her video that struck a cord with me was it’s not about products, it’s about technique. If hair stayed healthy because of the number of creams, gels, conditioners and whatnot I slathered on it, I’d be at waist length by now.

I’m not.

I’ve reached one hair goal – having shoulder length hair, but I’m not just happy with that. I’m hoping to reach APL sometime this year, with my final goal being BSL or MBL. I think that I’ve had a bit of a setback the first couple of weeks of January, so what am I going to do?

  • Only do the production — detangling, washing, conditioning, styling — when I have the time.
  • Make detangling well in the shower a priority.
  • Put down the Denman unless I’m in the shower.
  • Wear protective or at least low maintenance styles for the next few months to catch up on the growth that I will have to cut off.

We’ll see what happens now. I’ve been wearing a low maintenance style all week and I’ve been hiding my ends from this frigid Canadian cold and my central heat (I love me some heat, but boy does it dry out your hair!). Do you guys have any tips on how to be kinder to your kinks?