BAA Growth Challenge

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.