Posts Categorized: Hair Updates

May 9, 2011

Hair Confessions: Frustrated Much?

There were countless moments over the past few weeks where I’d stare in front of my bathroom mirror & sincerely wonder if I was doing the right thing continuing on this healthy hair journey to longer hair. In small intereims I’ve found more than my fair share of single strand knots, dry brittle ends, hair that just just would not cooperate in the moisture retention department…and just this past week, a minor freakout after finding a split end.

Yerp…if I’ve indeed become that woman who obsesses over the small hurdles during this journey…so be it. It’s keeping me focused (slightly neurotic) & on top of my game instead of falling back into defeat.

Granted, I’ve lost count over the numerous times I’ve contemplated just giving it all in & scheduling another BIG CHOP (just feeeelings!), I still love my hair…I do! But, there are some things that are occurring as the months let on, length increases & the pangs of hurt in your arm are increased each week after detangling for upwards of an hour. Things like…

  • using more product to style/condition/detangle
  • changes in hair texture (my kink is barely holding on yo…)
  • maintaining increasing the patience factor when detangling & combing
  • Time. need more of IT.

In between a three week parental stay & several other lifely obligations, my Sunday hair ritual inevitably took a back seat to all else. Tragic? Not really, except with a growing mane & an altogether irritated scalp staying on schedule is usually of utmost importance. For the 1st time in a loooong time, my weekly Process took a backseat to visits with cousins, treks with the Mum to the City, back to BK and a spec or two of visits from the older Bro.

Such minor struggles…yah? And then THIS happened. Nine Day hair greeted me on a beautiful Friday Morning & gave me LIFE! Yes, I was able to camouflage & tuck away a few of those knarly ends/knots etc., but me thinks I’ve embarked on new territory as the mane gains in length. What’s inevitable this days, or what’s always a constant is how much I’m still able to learn from my hair even as I set new goals. No matter the stage of your natural hair journey, frustrations will mount & present themselves, challenge you to press forward…but also serve as a reminder to keep things in perspective. At the end of the day, I was still able to enjoy time with the family & take care of my hair the only way I learned how over the years & that is by staying present…realizing it’s just hair, & that you haven’t failed if you have yet to give up.

Still here…*Besos*

April 18, 2011

Hair Update & S’More…

I’ve been sticking to two strand twists for the past two weeks & must say… still loving everything about this style! Easy to maintain & pin up, I’ve fallen completely under the spell of this much beloved protective do. So much so, that I have not much to update as far as the bouffant goes.

Boo…

What I do have in store are a few new goodies added to the hair arsenal, including Oyin Handmade’s Hair Dew Leave-In Conditioner as well as Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie. Both reviews will go up this week.

Also found time to try a new ACV hair recipe that’s a modified kicked up version of the old one, and really fancy the results (post to come as well!). Truly forgot how much I relied on this rinse to give my hair some life & added shine.

*mini rant* Been battling a SERIOUS case of dry nest syndrome the longer in length the hair gets & coincidentally I’ve been finding handfuls of single strand knots. Do you guys have this problem? What do you use to curb the knots?

April 6, 2011

Healthy Hair Challenge 2011 Update

It’s been a few weeks since officially kicking of the Healthy Hair 2011 challenge, so I figure an update is definitely in order. Back when I first put together my list of do’s & don’ts, the first priority that came to mind was Deep Conditioning. I wanted to make sure this was at the top of the list mainly because it’s often a huge hurdle to overcome each week. No matter if I do get it done, there’s always a ‘what works best’ scenario to mull over first.

Since falling out of love with Henna, I’ve had to scrummage around for old favorites until I find something new. Not a bad thing, recently I’ve relied on Shea Moisture’s Balancing Condish, and continue to love the results. The something ‘more’ that my hair craves is a product that will strengthen, while conditioning and show me noticeable results immediately after rinsing.

It’s been a couple of washes since first noticing a change in the hair’s overall curl texture post Henna & womp, no improvements. Sarah did mention that a beer rinse could help revive the curls and possibly revert them back to their glorious kinky ways. I’m certainly not a quitter, so for the first time since college I’ll be heading to the local bodega and asking for a few cans of weezy beverage.

If you guys have tried a Beer Rinse, please share your experiences, would love to know what to expect!

This week will find me following up on a Bentonite Treatment to detox the hair, and this time I’ll be mixing in a bit of ACV. It’s been a while since I’ve reaped the benefits ACV and I have no reason not to incorporate it back into my routine. Apple Cider Vinegar helps remove buildup, adds shine and helps promote a healthy scalp – good stuff!

What I’ve Learned So far….

  • I am not a length check…kinda gal. Just can’t. Tried tho! But, yep…after being natural for a bit over 10 years, you’re able to pinpoint when your hair’s growing/thriving and making you happy.
  • Diligence is very important if you expect to reach your goals. I’ve had more than a few moments when the motivations was lacking, and a marathon of Cupcake Wars was all my eyes could see. Thankfully I’ve persevered…and realized that re-runs are a good thing;)
  • While this particular challenge is in fact all about hair, I’m also finding that many of the lessons are easily applicable to other areas of my life. Mane & Chic has a great series devoted to this, Hair Care Philosophies that speaks to this very well

Do you ever find that writing your thoughts down, putting them into semi-formal actualization makes them real? Lately I’ve been holding myself accountable for missed nights when I could’ve been sealing my ends…or hustling to the store to stock up on Shampoo. Small…yeah. But then I remember my goals, where I wrote them down & my initial intentions behind the action…and they become so much more real. And so does the end.

I’m looking forward to finishing this challenge and reaching my goal (which is not necessarily waist length). My desire is of course to have longer, fuller hair…but for myself & no one else. & because I find it fun & oddly empowering.

 

February 25, 2011

Healthy Hair Challenge Update | Henna Loss

 

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I’ve been starting to believe that the word ‘challenge’ has overtaken one too many aspects of my life in the past couple of weeks. From hair,  school, to friendships, healthy eating…the list could go on if it so desired.

The upside to this (because I’m finally choosing to claim it) is that I’m undoubtedly aiming to complete each task I assign myself. This post certainly helped.

I made a slew of self declarations at the beginning of the year, that while my life would be void of redundant  resolutions, the opportunity for change & improvement is always an open window.

The Healthy Hair Challenge while seemingly on track, has forced me to reevaluate a few thingy things, namely the audacity of my hair texture to change after just 2 Henna Gloss treatments. My hair’s suffered the dreaded lack of curl definition, and what I experienced a few weeks ago could only be described as a serious let down.

I whimpered in the confines of my wee apartment for a brief moment, before realizing that bucking up and doing a bit more research could help salvage my relationship with Henna. There’s a lot of information available for those who’ve experienced side effects to Henna, mostly mixed but helpful nonetheless.

I’ve read anything from mixing Amla to your Henna mix could help revive your curl texture to avoiding this all together because it offers even worse results.

There was a bit of information overload on my part, but ultimately I grew more hesitant the further I read. I aim to take risks with my hair as far as styling whatnots, but after my heat damage fiasco…I’ve taken the practice of hair health very seriously. Loosing the kink is not up for debate.

So, while any future plans for a Henna treatment have been put on hold indefinitely, I’ll be shopping around for an alternative hair treatment that is equally beneficial in terms of improving hair health. I’m considering all options from brewing something quick in my  kitchen to dipping into past favorites to get the job done.

What’s a challenge without a few stepping stones and roadblocks…eh? No worries. Making mistakes and learning from them is altogether the best guide to success.

…oh yeah. and regularly scheduled posting shall resume next week. Have a great weekend!!

 

February 9, 2011

Henna Dayz: Take 2

How’s everyone’s Healthy Hair 2011 challenge progressing? Good..bad…? Hopefully no dramatic setbacks to report as of yet…(side eye at myself.) The previous week a woman was sufficiently geared up to undergo her second Henna Treatment, but found a hidden case of brunch-itis overtaking her entire.weekend. Shame.

But here’s to hoping right back  on the bandwagon, avoiding all calls from friends & Mr. Mimosa to come out and play, and finally getting down to business! Henna Dayz returned triumphant this past weekend, starting earlier than usual in the day to avoid the onset of predictable agita. Sticking with my ultimate hair health check list.

I began with a Hot Oil Pre-poo on the scalp – this week using Jojoba, Grapeseed, Tea Tree & Vatica Oil. Mix was applied directly to scalp using an applicator bottle, massaged for 5-10 minutes & then cleansed.

  • Cleanse: Carol’s Daughter Curl Perfecting Shampoo
  • Henna Gloss: 3/4 pack of Jamila quality henna mixed w/this week’s brew of chamomile + marshmallow root, couple tablespoons of raw honey & a thick conditioner (Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose)
  • Deep Condition: Shea Moisture’s Organics African Black Soap Balancing Conditioner
  • Style: KBB’s Hair Ambrosia + EO’s Everyday Leave-in Weightless Moisture Conditioner

I picked up this handy tool a few weeks ago in hopes of incorporating a few more herbal brews into my hair game. This was the first week it was put to use, and I have to say it’s very easy to handle  and leaves relatively no mess behind. Ikea sells this & something similar anywhere from $5-$13.

Benefits of Chamomile Tea for Hair:

  • Soothes an itchy/dry Scalp
  • Helps calm Inflammation

Benefits of Marshmallow Root:

  • Marshmallow is a medicated, conditioning, mucilaginous herb that provides an abundance of ‘slip’ which helps to nourish and detangle thick naturally curly, wavy & Afro type hair.

The Henna Gloss was applied to clean, lightly detangled hair & left on for 2 hours before  rinsing thoroughly. Made sure to use a cheapie conditioner& lukewarm water to rid the hair of the mix before proceeding to Deep Condition (2 hours while errand running).

I’ve been getting much better at applying the Henna, leaving a lot less mess behind on my white bathroom walls & a plethora of newspaper & plastic bags on the floor. Easy cleanup for the #win!

Initially I thought of not DC’ing after the Henna Gloss, but felt the hair begin to tangle and feel slightly straw-like moments after the final rinse. After the DC hair did feel soft and tangle free, so those 2 hours were not in vain. I find this to be the main downside to this whole process, having to DC a bit longer after applying the mix – but I’m almost certain this varies depending on your hair’s porosity, length and other hair health needs.

Once a month is definitely more than enough to go through the Henna Dayz phase, and with my 2nd attempt happily in the books, I’m looking forward to this coming week’s less time consuming routine. Due to a mix of frigid weather & outright laziness, hair’s been kept & swept up in two strand twists. Have you heard? It’s a tad brisk here’s on the East Coast, and while I wouldn’t mind letting the twists out to play, my winter scalp issues are often kept in check when things are under wraps.

*things to do*

  • Length check (I’m horrible about this but it’s a MUST to help gauge progress)
  • body health post (changes in diet over the past couple of weeks, including the addition of dietary supplements)

*Anyone face any personal obstacles during the challenge? What have you done to overcome?*

February 3, 2011

When You Know Better…

I was under the impression many years ago that it mattered greatly what a person put on their hair to help it to achieve length. As a young girl, I’d often watch my Aunt who’s a talented hair stylist engage her clients on the basics and products used to care for their hair. She would help promote the product du jour to the many ladies who came in and out of her chair, explaining to them that in  a few short weeks they ought see ‘some improvement.’ Today, I’m almost certain many of these women believed in the ‘truth‘ of these products and their claims, to help grow hair in a specified amount of time with the aide of hair growth oils/serums applied to hair/scalp nightly…etc.

This was a way of thinking I instinctively bought into as I grew older, the same as many of the ladies that pass in and out of many salons and beauty care aisles each day. If the product didn’t ‘work,’ we’d all quickly move onto the next….and the next.

Even as a little girl, I wanted longer hair & fully believed in the immediacy of achieving it after seeing the powers of the relaxer. It was all about the dramatic transformation while completely stripped of the long term effort often required when achieving many goals. And because this notion was so ingrained in my way of thinking, I carried it with me several years into my natural hair journey.

Recently, because of some revaulation & a better conscious view on how I was going to achieve healthier longer hair, the changes that were to be made to my routine mattered mostly in how I cared for my strands as opposed to what was put on it.

Simplicity.

Being a person who loves to dip her fingers in the latest product of the week, and constantly looking for that latest and best conditioner to quench my dry, thirsty hair I’ve come to realize that I can continue to experiment while still focusing on the bare essentials. If I want to reach my goal of healthier hair while retaining length, I had to change more than just my conditioner – methods, practices and carefully watching what I eat were now all major players in the game.

Knowledge is key & when you know better…you do better. No more believing in just the sanctity of how well a product performs, I’m here to hold myself accountable.

  • No more rushing through the detangling process (I’ve gotten significantly better at this:)
  • Maintain a proper eating lifestyle/diet
  • Minimizing daily stress levels (ooooh jeez!)
  • Exercising (double JEEZ!)

This a a short practical list to help get me on track, but I’m there – at the starting line & willing to win this because setting goals is also about achieving them in a smart, effective manner. I’m also here to look at the other side of the coin, re-evaluating my hair goals in terms of my overall body health.

So many challenges…so little time these days to keep track! But one that I’ll be loosely following is the new Curly Nikki & Kim Coles Hair Health challenge partnered with NaturallyCurly.com & JessiCurl. The guidelines to the challenge will take an extra step of dedication each day, but I’m willing to dive in. I’ll be blogging about my progress, setbacks (hopefully not too many) and newfound discoveries along the way. Rerouting my current diet into something more health conscious will be my biggest hurdle…sad. But here’s to the future sexy in all of us…it doesn’t just begin with the Fro.

Along with updates here on the blog, I’ll be posting periodically on my Facebook Page & of course Tweeting tips, ideas & food related recipes to help remain on track. If you’ve taken up a challenge or two, would love to hear any words of encouragement & to follow along with your journey!