BAA Growth Challenge

27 December 2009

Total Hair Envy

I need my hair to grow faster!! I'm looking at this thread on Nappturality, and all it's doing is making me want my hair to grow faster! I can't wait until I can wear an afro-puff (or two), that's part of the reason why I decided to go natural. Heck, I've been watching Big Chop (BC) videos lately too, and it's sooo making me want to cut my hair before May. But I don't want to cut it and then hate it, so I'm going to stick out this transition for at least a year. All of this is why I love looking at photos, albums, and Fotki's it keeps me motivated because I want to be able to do all that stuff with MY hair some day. So yeah, I'm experiencing TOTAL hair envy, how about you?

25 December 2009

Christmas Hair

Yes, I'm posting this on Christmas. LOL, and Merry Christmas to all who Celebrate!

So for my hair I decided to do what my CurlyNikki Big Sis suggested and do flat twists and a bantu-knot out. I like it, but as you can see I'm still working on flat twisting ~lol~ and I think next time I'll do bigger knots (while the tight curls last longer, I'm kinda tired of small curls). Overall, I think it came out pretty well.

Here's what I did/used:

  • Co-Wash/detangle with Aussie Moist
  • Deep Condition with Castor Oil/ORS Replenishing Conditioner
  • Seal: Aussie Moist Hair Insurance, Coconut Oil, ORS Olive Oil Incredibly Rich Oil Moisturizing Hair Lotion, Raw Shea Butter
  • Twists: Clear Eco-Styler Gel (not much)
  • Bantu Knots: Aloe Vera Gel

I sealed my entire head before styling instead of sealing and styling at the same time. After that I parted my head ear to ear for the flat twists. I ended up doing 5 flat twists (I wanted to do big ones). Then I started at the back and did my bantu-knots. The back of my hair doesn't always hold by itself or even with bobby-pins so I used hair ties to keep those two together and worked my way up. I didn't do the twists knots individually, I tried to combine them with other hair where possible. Then I sat under a medium hood dryer for an hour, then I sat under a cool dryer for abotu 10 minutes. My hair actually wasn't completely dry in the back, but that's okay. I tied down the twists in the front and just put a satin bonnet on to sleep over the knots. I didn't have to go anywhere yesterday, so I kept my hair set (I took the bonnet off, but left the scarf on).

This morning I took out the knots, and separated them, and that's it! A relatively simple style. You can let it air dry if you have the time (that's the great thing abotu bantu-knots), or you can let the back of your hair mostly dry and then put your bantu-knots in damp hair that will be dry by the morning. Normally I let my hair air dry, but I did my hair at night, and I'm not going to sleep with a drenched head. LOL.

If you don't know how to do bantu-knots, it's really easy. I twist my hair all the way to the end most of the time, but you don't have to, Just single twist your hair at the base until it starts to curl into a knot on it's own, then wrap the rest of the hair around that base. You can twist all the way to the end or not. There are lots of videos on YouTube, so if my instructions weren't clear, please go to YouTube-- that's how I learned how to do them :O)

As far as flat-twisting for me I find it works best if I twist and pick up hair as I go making sure that the hair is split all the way to the end to avoid knots and tangles. This is the best video I've found to teach me, it's short, sweet and to the point. Now I just need to practice, and that method works going backwards too :o)

23 December 2009

7 Months Since My Last Relaxer Today!

Yay for me! As of today it's been 7 months since my last torture treatment, that means only 5 more months until I reach my goal of a year!

Right now I'm doing a bun challenge that I found on I went out and purchased two bun hairpieces last week (they were $7.99 and $8.99. I'm hoping over time they will become a lot less shiny, but usually my hair can compete when I put some Castor Oil on it. So far the challenge is okay, I did what someone suggested in the thread and put some oil on my ends and then covered them in a plastic bag. I'm kind of almost already sick of buns, but I'm going to make it last until March. Maybe I'll try flat twisting my hair back into the bun next time? Just to get some variety, and so I can practice my flat twisting skills. Once I get flat twists down, I can move on to braids.

One good thing about the bun challenge is the fact that I don't really manipulate my hair AT ALL, as opposed to low manipulation with the bantu-knot outs, and more manipulation with twist-outs (I'm not really a fan of twist-outs though). I am going to have to be careful about my edges though (that are just now starting to recover from the relaxer, they aren't TOO bad, but they are bad enough for me to notice them).

22 December 2009

New layout

Okay, I thought the other layout was too dark, so I decided to change it, what do you think? Also, if you want to follow me on Twitter, feel free, but I don't update it much. LOL! Maybe having this feature on this blog will make me update it more, but it will probably be all about HAIR :o)

14 December 2009

Learning The Hard Way

This is going to be short. I read Nappturality a lot, and one of the things they say is that using any heat is bad, but especially direct heat like blowdrying/flatironing. Well last week I did a mid-week co-wash with Suave Naturals Coconut and then I think I put a little jojoba oil on my head and blow dried it on low. My hair looked dry and nasty, and didn't feel much better. I haven't bothered to try flat-ironing. But I suppose I had to learn the hard way. Yet another reason why I can't wait to be done transitioning, then I can do wash and gos! LOL, something I could have NEVER done with relaxed hair.

13 December 2009

Texture Shots

Click for larger images

These are from today, I finally figured out what the "macro" setting was for on my camera after seeing someone's fotki. LOL (don't judge me). Here are a couple of texture shots, my hair is just in big twists right now. I'm hoping I can find a way to do a twist-out that I really like (my previous attempts have been so-so).

12 December 2009

I am waaaaay too geeked about this

I am waaaaay too geeked about this. So I decided to try Aussie Moist conditioner for my co-wash today since I've been hearing great things about it and I already love the Hair Insurance leave-in, and after I finished washing it I lifted a piece to try to gauge my new growth (I do this every week when I wash my hair) and I noticed little curls! I had to run and show my mom I was so excited. It just made me more excited to see my natural hair when I cut it, and it's making me more likely to just cut it when a year is up instead of just letting all of the perm grow out. So of course I had to take a picture and share it because this is just awesome! I'm probably TOO excited about it, but hey it's the little things in life that bring me joy. I'm sitting here with my Castor Oil/Olive Oil Condis. in my hair (deep conditioning) and I just had to post this.

As far as the Aussie Moist, I like it! I can see I'll be using it in rotation with my V05 until I run out of the V05, then I'll just use the Aussie Moist (I have the 33 oz bottle, which should last me a loooooong time). I also picked up some Herbal Essences Hello Hydration, I'll probably try that next time.

05 December 2009

Comparison Shots + My Regimen

Hey to anyone reading this! So I'm trying to figure out how long my new growth is and how fast it's growing. Here's a pic from after co-washing but before deep conditioning from 10/13/09:

and here's one from 12/2/09:

Not bad for seven weeks, eh? As you can see, my hair gets a LOT of shrinkage, it'll be interesting to see when I cut the relaxed ends off.

My current regimen:

Co-Wash: V05 Strawberries and Cream Moisture Milk
Deep Condition: Castor Oil & Organic Root Stimulator (ORS) Olive Oil Replenishing Deep Conditioner (put on cap and sit for 45 minutes to an hour)
Moisture Sealing (post-wash): Aussie Hair Insurance Leave In Conditioner, Raw Coconut Oil, ORS Olive Oil Incredibly Rich Oil Moisturiing Hair Lotion, Raw Shea Butter

Here's a pic of what I use in the order in which I use it (from left to right):

That's it. After I do the moisture sealing stuff, I either put my hair in Bantu-knots and sit under a dryer on medium heat for an hour, or I band it and let it get mostly dry and while it's still damp put in my bantu-knots. Here's what it looks like when I'm all done (this is the one I did on 12/2 when I let it mostly air dry before knotting it. When I knot it and then sit under the dryer the knots are smaller, but the result is the same):

and here's the end result:

28 November 2009

My New Bantu

So I've decided that Bantu-Knot outs are going to be my favorite style. Sure it makes my hair look short and curly, but I can do one and then not touch my hair for a week. All I do is put on my satin bonnet at night, and sleep normally. When I get up in the morning, a little fluffing, a little shaking, and I'm good to go. Here's a pic of my hair after taking out the knots yesterday:

18 November 2009

New Growth!

Here's a pic of my new growth post-deep conditioner (it's still on my hair in this pic).

I don't know if you can see the growth very well (i.e. Permed vs Natural hair), but you can see a little of my curl pattern. I think I'm a 4a, I can't wait to find out!

14 November 2009

It's Been Awhile. . .

It's been a while since I updated this blog, I haven't really been doing much new stuff. I did try co-washing with Suave Naturals Coconut, and I didn't like it nearly as much as I love the V05 Moisture Milks. I've been co-washing/deep conditioning once a week and my hair has been doing pretty well moisture wise.

I finally got some coconut oil, so I'll see how that works in the conditioning process. I tried using the coconut oil on my face since it's also supposed to be good for that and not as expensive as Jojoba Oil, but the coconut oil didn't really do anything for my face. I think part of that may have been from all of the deep cleaning I've been doing on my face. I find that if I deep clean once a week, all I have to do is use a warm rag to wash my face the rest of the week. The deep cleaning method I think I prefer is using Bentonite Clay. That stuff really sucked a lot out of my face. LOL, you really can feel it drawing your face in. I also tried a "mask" that consists of egg white and toilet paper that worked really good in getting rid of black/whiteheads. Here's the video:

I recommend using 1-ply, because it takes too long for 2-ply to dry. Next time I do it, I'll separate the squares. I didn't do it three days in a row, once was enough for me (especially since I'd done the Bentonite Clay mask the day before), so I'll probably do it once a week. I think it does work better than Biore strips, it's much less expensive, and you can do your entire face instead of just your nose. If you have dry skin like me, you may want to do this at night so you can slather oil on your face and go to sleep.

I finally broke down and got some Jojoba Oil from HSU for about $25 for 16oz. I put some on my face as soon as I got home, and already my face feels so much better. It hasn't been itching, which was a big problem for me this week since I stripped all of the oil out of my face with the deep cleaning (something I'll never do again!).

I'll probably wash my hair again tomorrow, so I'll post a pic of my new growth when it's wet. I've been so tempted this week to just cut my hair so I can start working with my natural hair, but I'm making myself be patient because I know I'll end up regretting it the next day. If I do a BC, I don't plan on doing one for at least a year.

16 October 2009

Bantu-Out Attempt 1

So last night I got bored and decided to try Bantu Knots for the first time to sleep in because I wanted my hair to be curly today. I only did 6 knots, they weren't very big/poofy so I wasn't sure how the curls would come out. This is the result:

There was no heat at all involved, I just wrapped it in a satin scarf and put a satin bonnet on. I used the method where you twist all the way from root to tip. The ones in the back felt a little loose, but I think that's because I'm still not used to actually doing stuff to the back of my hair. I'll get the hang of it. I think it turned out pretty well, don't you?

I also need to figure out how to separate the knots without them getting that frizzy look. That's probably something that comes with practice.

15 October 2009

My First "Homemade" Product

In the course of my research, I learned that WATER is the absolute best moisturizer for your hair. Thankfully, I no longer care if my hair gets wet because I'm growing out the chemicals. So the spray I made isn't exactly scientific. I took a 16oz spray bottle and filled it with water (it wasn't distilled, just regular Ohio tap water) then I added probably a little more than a tablespoon of Castor Oil and shook vigorously. I sprayed it on my hair last night and put my hair back in the bun, it was a little damp. Tied on a silk scarf to hold it down, and covered that with a satin bonnet.

When i woke up my hair was nice and shiny, and super soft. Even my edges which tend to dry out fast.

This morning I added some of the Lisa's Hair Elixr from Carol's daughter, probably about a tablespoon, and shook it again. Then I sprayed that on my hair this morning. The ingredients listed in the Hair Elixr are:
  • Soybean Oil
  • Sweet Almond Oil
  • Olive fruit oil
  • Peppermint Oil
  • Sage Oil
  • Rosemary Leaf Oil
  • Fragrance

I decided to add this after reading this on Nappturality's forum. Here's what the different oils do according to the information in that thread:

Castor Oil : Ricinus communis
A very glossy oil on the skin. Used in lipsticks, lip balms and lip salves. Also used in transparent soaps and hair grooming products.

Soybean Oil : Glycine soja
This plant has been known and used by the Chinese for more than 4,000 years, though today most of the oil comes from the USA. This oil is a cost-effective base on which to prepare hair and body products where good honest moisturisation is required at a budget
Sweet Almond Oil : Prunus amygdalus dulcis
Much loved for generations, listed in the British Pharmacopoeia and an excellent choice for even the most simple of moisturisers or massage oils. Almond oil should be in every formulator's palette.
Peppermint: Dry hair: Promotes hair growth
Olive (Olea Europaea )
Olive oil is an astringent and antiseptic. It is a nourishing demulcent and laxative. Externally, it relieves pruritis, the effects of stings or burns, and is a good vehicle for liniments. With alcohol it is a good hair-tonic. As a lubricant it is valuable in skin, muscular, joint, kidney and chest complaints, or abdominal chill, typhoid and scarlet fevers, plague and dropsies. Delicate babies absorb its nourishing properties well through the skin.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis)
Rosemary oil is used for cleansing skin, treating hair fall, dandruff, mental fatigue, headaches and migraine. It is also known for strengthening memory and relieve lymphatic congestion. Rosemary oil is a tonic, astringent, diaphoretic, stimulant. It has the carminative properties of other volatile oils and is an excellent stomachic and nervine, curing many cases of headache. It is employed principally, externally, as spiritus Rosmarini , in hair-lotions, for its odour and effect in stimulating the hair-bulbs to renewed activity and preventing premature
baldness. An infusion of the dried plant (both leaves and flowers) combined with borax and used when cold, makes one of the best hairwashes known. It forms an effectual remedy for the prevention of scurf and dandruff. Rosemary is also one of the ingredients used in the preparation of Eau-de-Cologne.

I know I have dry scalp, and I do get dandruff easily at times, so I think this spray and the additional washing I'll be doing will do a great job at keeping that flaking to a minimum.

So far this spray is working great for my hair, for my scalp I usually just use Vitapointe, but I may try to find something else to use. I hear Jojoba Oil is great.

14 October 2009

My First Co-Wash

So yesterday I was having a terrible day. I was just going to go to sleep, but instead I decided to try co-washing for the first time (as I initially planned to do yesterday anyway). My hair was actually curly, so I had to comb out the curls first using a wide-toothed comb that I bought at Kroger.

For my first co-wash, I decided to try V05's Strawberries and Cream Moisture Milk after doing about 5 days worth of research. It only cost me $1.07 at Kroger. I also bought a small bottle of Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut as I've also heard a lot about that. I'll try that the next time I co-wash.

After combing my hair out and forward, I "shampooed" and rinsed twice with the V05. I was actually surprised at how much stuff was in my hair since I'd only washed it on Saturday. I think that means I need to use less products in my hair because it ends up weighing it down.

Once I finished washing and detangling my hair, it was time to deep condition. For this I used Castor Oil and Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner. I parted my hair and put the Castor oil on from root to tip (the YouTube Video I got the idea from only used the Castor Oil on the root, and used Coconut Oil on the rest of the strand, but I couldn't find any Coconut Oil. I hear they have it at Wal-Mart, so I'll be sure to get some next time I'm out, I've heard great things about it). After I applied the Castor Oil , I liberally covered the hair with the conditioner.

Once I finished applying the conditioner I tied a plastic bag on my head(I forgot to get some disposable shower caps. . . LOL), and sat for about 45 minutes to an hour. I didn't want to sit under the dryer, maybe I'll try that next time to see if I actually get better results or not.

After I fully rinsed out the conditioner/castor oil, I decided to twist my hair in big sections and let it airdry with the intention to wear it in a twist out today. My hair is pretty thick, and I think the twists were too big because it took a while for it to dry, I think it was still a little damp in the back when I went to bed.

What I've learned from this:
  • Co-Washing is AWESOME, I don't think I'll ever use shampoo again.
  • Letting your hair airdry is the way to go, it really does retain a lot of moisture

Going Back To My Roots

(This was originally posted on my Muzikal Thoughts blog, but I have so much to say about my hair, and that blog is more political, so to keep them separate, here's one that's just about my hair and transition. I'll post what I'm thinking and what good tips I've found here.)

Alright, there's been a lot of focus on Black Women's hair lately with the release of Chris Rock's documentary "Good Hair." I've been mulling it over for a while, and I've come to the conclusion that it's time to let go of the perm. Sure, I thought it made my hair more manageable, but it's a chemical, it makes my scalp burn (because I inevitably scratch even when I KNOW I'm getting a perm soon thereafter), and I don't think my hair really likes it.

As it stands right now I haven't had a perm since sometime in early May. For the last month or so, I haven't been putting any heat on my hair either. Since my last perm I have about 4 inches of new growth. Instead of cutting all of my hair off and sporting the short Afro, I'm going to do what my mom did a couple of years ago, and just get my ends clipped each month until the relaxer is gone. I figure at this rate it will take about a year to transition.

Here's my hair now, no perm since May, that's a lot of new growth

I've been getting perms since the 3rd grade, and I remember one time when the lady that did my perm left it on too long and ended up burning off a lot of my hair. Since then I've gone from short to medium to short on the top and long in the back to medium to kind of long (it's starting to go down my back now), to attempting to get back to my roots. I think it's going to be a fun process. BTW, for me it was never about wanting to look white, it was about manageability. I got a perm because I hated getting my hair pressed (and I think my mom was tired of doing it). A lot of my friends have transitioned in the last couple of years, and I think their hair is gorgeous. I can't wait for the day when I can sport a nice full Afro. I don't even think it's a matter of "to be a professional you have to have straight hair" I know LOTS of Professional Black Women who have natural hair, be it short and curly or dreds.

Parts of my hair has broken off in the middle (it's always the same spot), but I think that was more from stress than anything, so all that's there is "new growth" and like a centimeter of permed hair. So no more chemicals for me, time to get back to juices and berries ~lol~

So I'll keep you all posted via this blog.