BAA Growth Challenge

03 November 2010

04 October 2010

03 October 2010

BAA Challenge Month 5

So I officially passed 4 months since my BC on September 22, which was cool. Hard to believe it’s been 4 months since I cut off my relaxed ends! I still haven’t had a day of regret. So it’s time for my 4th check-in for the BAA challenge (don’t be confused by the “Month 5” I started with 1 instead of 0. . . this challenge ends for me in December, but I think I may still track my monthly progress every 6 months).

Pictures over the jump :o)

01 October 2010

My Advice To Transitioners

I often find myself being asked for advice by friends about transitioning and my routine as a natural, or reading posts on forums asking for advice and not having the motivation to type it all out.

My personal transitioning journey actually started about 4 months after my last relaxer. I usually stretched my relaxers out that long (a habit I picked up going to undergrad away from home --I didn’t trust just ANYBODY with chemicals, or scissors for that matter, near my head-- so I had to wait until I got home on break which was usually about 4 months apart at a time) ,  but when it was time for me to get a relaxer I didn’t really have the money, and I didn’t really feel like going through the pain (my head always itched when it was relaxer time, and so I always scratched, and we all know what happens when you scratch), and my hair was growing wonderfully without it. I’d been thinking about going Natural for a while, but I kept putting it off for arbitrary reasons, so one day in October 2009 I decided to just stop getting relaxers. I called my stylist and told her what I was planning to do and tried to get a little advice, I don’t remember what she told me, but it wasn’t much. I do remember her telling me that she thought I’d only need to go about a year after I told her I wanted to just grow the relaxer all the way out (like my mom did) instead of doing a Big Chop. And thus began my journey.

The first thing I did was start doing some research. I don’t know WHY exactly I decided to do research. Probably because I was excited and since I wasn’t working at the time I had plenty of time and nothing to really fill it with. The first site I found was Nappturality and then I started spending a lot of time on CurlyNikki. I used the message boards on these sites to reach out to other transitioners as well as people who were already natural for advice. I had no idea how to do my hair since I never REALLY styled it before. I’d just flat iron it after I washed and blowdried it every two weeks, then it would just end up in a ponytail or just straight down until it was time to do it again. Knowing what I know now I cringe at that routine. Eventually I got myself together, started co-washing every week and letting my hair airdry in twists, I deep conditioned weekly and mostly kept my hair in protective styles. I also clipped my ends about once a month since I was going to be cutting them all off anyway (when I was relaxed I HATED getting my hair trimmed with a passion, I was focused more on length than hair health. I’m glad I got over that.

So anyway, my advice is fairly simple:

26 September 2010

Aussie Moist 3-Minute Miracle Preview and Some Randomness

So I wanted to see what was different about the 3-minute Miracle vs. Aussie Moist Conditioner and did a compare and merge in MS Word 2007. Here’s what it gave me:

Water (Eau) , Stearyl Alcohol , Cyclopentasiloxane , Cetyl Alcohol , Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine , Dimethicone , Ecklonia Radiata Extract (Australian Sea Kelp) , Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice , Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (Jojoba) , Glutamic Acid , Fragrance (Parfum) , Bis-Aminopropyl Dimethicone , , Benzyl Alcohol , EDTA , Methylchloroisothiazolinone , Methylisothiazolinone , Ecklonia Radiata Extract , Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (Jojoba) , Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice

Generally it looks like the same ingredients with different amounts. This should be interesting, I’m looking forward to seeing how it stacks up against the Biolage Hydra Therapie Ultra-Hydrating Balm. . . both only take Three Minutes. I’ll try it out this week, if I like it, it may become a permanent fixture. It’s kind of nice not having to take 15 minutes or more to DC, especially when I’m in a hurry.

I also went to the health foods store and got some Aloe Vera Gel (the smell is horrible to me) to try out. I’m thinking of adding it to my Shea Butter mix, but I might try to come up with a new shea-loe mix since my Shea Butter mix is pretty awesome to me as it is. Decisions, decisisons.

Oh, and I’ve been 100% relaxer free (as in no more chemically straightened hair) for over 4 months. YAY!!! I’ll do a post sometime soon with the styles I did last month since I did try to switch it up a little on the styles.

18 September 2010

Matrix Biolage Hydra Therapie Ultra-Hydrating Balm Review

image

So, someone sent me some of this to try and yesterday I decided to give it a whirl. This isn’t a product I’ve used more than once at this point, but I think I have enough to try it again next week. Overall, I like it. . .

13 September 2010

Twist-UpDo on Dry Stretched Hair

So I decided yesterday that I wanted to try to come up with a new protective style, and I’ve always wanted something else to do with twists besides just twisting them. The above is what I came up with. 

11 September 2010

Yes to Cucumbers Conditioner Review (Finally!)

imageYes, so I’m finally doing my Yes to Cucumbers Conditioner Review. I’m not trying to make this suspenseful, so I’m just going to say I LOVE this stuff.

31 August 2010

Month 3 Styles

I realize this is Month 4, but I never did a post on the different styles I did in Month 3, so here it is (over the jump)!

30 August 2010

BAA Challenge Month 4

This month I notice that my hair is curling up a lot more, I don’t know if it’s the length, or if it’s retaining more moisture or what, but you can see in the pictures below I have little spirals popping up all over the place. Even that part that’s not nearly as coily on the left side of my head is curling up more.

 

Products I’ve been using this month hasn’t really changed. I feel like if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The last couple of weeks I did my DC with yes to Cucumbers instead of ORS still using the EVOO and Raw Honey and my hair loves it. Maybe that’s why it’s looking curlier too?

 

I didn’t do as much protective styling since I’ve been working, but I am going to try to get better at that as I get more length. I’m not one of those people who can just wear twists all the time because I’ll get bored with it. I did learn how to cornrow last month though, so that’s a good thing! I’ll still have to practice at it more. I’ll do a post later on some of the styles I did last month (I think).

 

Without further ado, the pictures:

15 August 2010

Guess Who Finally Learned How To Cornrow?

YAY! So last night after the Carol’s Daughter FAIL, I decided it was a good time to give cornrowing another shot. After being unsuccessful at keeping it going once I got it started, I decided to look for a tutorial again online. I don’t know why I thought I’d suddenly find one, but alas I did! And from one of my favorite YouTubers no less. Armed with BlackOnyx77’s awesome and easy to understand tutorial I set off to try cornrowing. Here’s what my hair looked like when I went to bed last night (OMG my arms are SORE, actually it’s mostly my shoulders and neck, clearly those muscles need to be conditioned):

The one on the left is the last one I did:

 

I think it looks rather perfect myself. (Ignore the one next to it where you can clearly see I lost motivation ~lol~). So I woke up this morning and washed and DC’d my hair, then I set off to kind of imitate her style, I chose to do chunky twists in the back for a twist-out but here are a few shots of the braid:

This one is still wet

These two are after tying it down for a while and letting it dry:

 

I think I’ve pretty much mastered these! I’m so excited about it too because it opened up a whole new world for me as far as styles to try.

Now, if you’re going to use the tutorial I just posted you need to know how to plait. I’m not going to take it for granted that everyone knows how to plait. I’ll try to find a good tutorial. Plaits are just braids that aren’t cornrows (bad description, I know. LOL)

14 August 2010

Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Shampoo, Conditioner, and Lite Cream Review

image So, my mom bought some Hair Milk Shampoo, Conditioner, and Lite Conditioning Cream when Lisa was last on HSN. Although I HATE Carol’s Daughter Products generally when it comes to my hair, I decided to give it a shot. So without further ado, let the reviewing begin!

29 July 2010

BAA Challenge Month 3

So I’m actually on time this time! LOL

I didn’t really do anything different this month. I did get some Yes, to Cucumbers and some Suave Humectant that I’ve been playing around with the last couple of weeks. I tried a new style: Bantu-Knot Out. I loved that style of course. I didn’t do many WNGs this go round. I did re-incorporate Castor Oil.

Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. LOL! I am thinking about getting the Yes, to Cucumbers shampoo, but it has sulfates in it, so I’m still marinating on it. Oh, and I’ve been adding Raw Honey and EVOO to every DC. I can’t tell you the ratios, I just kinda eyeball it.

 

Without further ado, the pictures:

25 July 2010

Bantu-Knot-Out

This was actually done in Month 2 (and it shall be tagged as Month 2), I was just too lazy to do it then.

So I finally got around to doing some Bantu-Knots, they weren’t comfortable to sleep in at all. Here’s the final result of the first set:

 

 

(click for larger pictures). Pretty, eh? LOL, well once the humidity got to my hair it looked like:

 

(click for larger picture)

So I put them back in that night, and the new set lasted for the rest of the week WITHOUT me having to “sleep pretty” because I don’t “sleep pretty”, when I try to do that, I don’t end up getting much sleep.

 

It wasn’t as fluffy as the first one, but it was still very pretty. Anyway, over the fold to see how I did it.

22 July 2010

Two Months Down!

In honor of my second month natural, I made a video of what I did this month. Enjoy!

17 July 2010

13 July 2010

SheaMoisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque Review

Okay, I am totally backlogged on everything I keep meaning to blog. LOL, I’m going to try to catch up tonight. This is the product I’m reviewing:

The ingredients are:

  • Deionized Water
  • Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*
  • Argan Oil
  • Cetyl Esters
  • Sea Kelp Extract
  • Panthenol (Vitamin B-5)
  • Ammonium Salt
  • Essential Oil Blend
  • Avocado Oil
  • Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower (and) Japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower extract
  • Tocopherol (Vitamin E)
  • Hyssopus Officinalis Extract
  • Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf and Equisetum Arvense Extract
  • Soybean Oil
  • Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil

*Certified Organic Ingredient

 

Now as you can see, this product is supposed to be for Dry, Damaged hair. I don’t think my hair is or was particularly dry or damaged, but I’d seen other people on different sites raving about it, so I was excited to try it.

First thing is first, this stuff smells DELICIOUS. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to eat it or put it on my hair, and while it was on my hair, I kinda wanted to eat my hair. LOL. Also, the price was pretty reasonable at $9.99 for 12oz.

Other than the smell, this product disappointed me. It has a consistency like cake icing (the kind you buy at the store), but when you put it on it doesn’t feel nearly that thick unless you use a whole bunch of it. When I used it I left it on for 45 minutes to an hour. I tried it twice, once without heat, and once with heat. Neither result impressed me. My hair didn’t really feel particularly soft and/or moisturized afterwards.

The instructions state that you can also use this product as a leave-in, but I don’t think that will work if you aren’t doing something like twists. I tried it as a leave in for a wash n go, but it’s too heavy for that. That may have been my own heavy-handedness more than it was the product, but I applied the same amount as I do of my Garnier Fructis leave in. I had sat under the dryer to expedite the drying process because I was gonna go somewhere later that day and didn’t really want to roll out with wet hair, and it was drying WHITE (if you remember my KCCC experience, you know I HATE that), so I ended up rinsing it out like it was just a DC and my hair did fine.

So basically, I don’t think this product was really all that moisturizing. I will try to use up what I have but I will probably add honey and EVOO to it to see if I get better results.

I will not be repurchasing this product. Heck, I might give away what I have, I don’t know. . . LOL. Anyone wanna trade?

I give this product 2/5 Afros for the smell and the price.

04 July 2010

BAA Challenge Month 2

Hola chicas, so I’m checking in (late of course) for my  BAA Challenge, month 2

First off, what I’ve been doing since the last length check. I’ve added shampooing once a week to my regimen. Co-washing was great and all while transitioning, but after I BC’d (as I’m sure I mentioned before) I really wanted to start shampooing again. I still co-wash for WNGs and if I’m washing again after an initial wash. The night before I wash, I detangle my hair with water and EVOO, and leave the EVOO on with a conditioning cap and satin bonnet to sleep (aka pre-poo). I use the SheaMoisture shampoo I reviewed below. I shampoo twice, the second time I shampoo I de-tangle with the shampoo in it.

After I finish shampooing, I do my deep condition once a week. I used the SheaMoisture Deep Treatment Masque twice, I don’t think that’s really something I will/want to use every week. Other than that I used my staple ORS Replenishing Conditioner to deep condition. Once or twice I sat under a warm dryer to speed up the process, other times I just left it on with a conditioning cap and my satin bonnet for 30 minutes to an hour.

After I rinsed out the DC in cold water, it was time to style. I think I did mostly twists for the entire month. There was a week in there where I did a bunch of WNGs when I was trying to perfect my method, but so far my go to “protective” style has been twists. Maybe this month I’ll stop being lazy and start trying to do different things like Bantu-knot outs and braid-outs.

When styling I did my traditional sealing method, but I cut out the last step. Since it’s hot outside and too much product on my scalp when I’m sweating makes my head itch, I just do a water based leave in, and then seal with EVOO. Then if I was twisting I’d use my Shea Butter mixture (which my hair and I LOVE).

During the week I’d spritz my hair with water, the last couple of weeks I started using Green Tea for my daily spritz, and it made my hair really soft.

So I haven’t really been using any new products or done anything unusual with my routine. the biggest change I’ve made from my “winter” routine was using EVOO instead of Castor Oil to seal, and skipping the creamy moisturizer to seal, oh and shampooing once a week.

 

Things I think I want to try for the next month:

  • Hot Oil Treatment
  • Braid-Out
  • Bantu-knot out
  • learn how to cornrow/french braid

I don’t know if that last one will ever happen because I always lose motivation when I try. LOL. So it will be on my list until I accomplish it.

Now for the length checks:

24 June 2010

SheaMoisture Brilliant Curl Shampoo Review

So I’ve had this product for almost a month now, and I’ve been using it to wash at least once a week. I figured I’ve given it enough time for me to write an honest and accurate review of it. Here is a pic of the product of which I speak:

 

 

First thing’s first. This stuff SMELLS AWESOME. I know the scent of something shouldn’t be your biggest concern, but for me if I don’t like the smell of a product there’s no way I’m going to want to use it consistently. The smell is pretty coconutty.

 

Ingredients are as follows:

Here are the ingredients in order:

  • Deionized Water
  • Decyl Glucoside (Sugar Beets)
  • Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*
  • Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*
  • Aloe Vera Leaf Juice
  • Vitamin E
  • Melia Azadirachta (Neem) Seed Oil
  • Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate (Coconut Oil)
  • Panthenol (Vitamin B-5)
  • Rosemary Extract
  • Silk Protein
  • Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower (and) Lonicera Japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower Extract


* Certified Organic Ingredients

 

All good stuff, nothing that is on the “bad” ingredient list for Natural hair. The price is also VERY reasonable. I paid $9.99 (plus tax) for it at the local Target, and I have a feeling it will last me until like the end of the year. In the picture above that was after like 5 or 6 washes (one day I used it to wash my hair 3 times in a row trying to figure out a WNG, I think I talked about it in a previous entry).

If lather is important to you, then you will LOVE this stuff. A little more than quarter sized amount is enough to get you a nice lather all over your head the FIRST time you shampoo. You know how sometimes with shampoos you don’t get a really good lather out of shampoos until the SECOND time you do it. Not with this stuff. You get awesome lathering EVERY time you use it.

The only thing I did before washing my hair was pre-poo overnight with EVOO. Since this is a sulfate-free shampoo I didn’t have to do any of the diluting stuff I’ve heard other people do to their hair. This shampoo does NOT leave your hair stripped at all. In fact, I think I could get away with not conditioning afterwards and just going straight to my leave-in and some EVOO for WNGs. I’m not going to TEST that theory (LOL), but I think I could get away with it.

Additionally, if you want to revive your curls, this shampoo will DEFINITELY do it for you. While washing my hair after the first rinse I can feel curls popping all over the place (especially in the back where my curls are tighter). It’s a wonderful feeling. The bottle says that you can use it for detangling, and I will say that the bottle isn’t lying. I like to rake my fingers through (not a comb!) to get any shed hairs I may have missed detangling the night before.

When I rinse my hair out it feels REALLY soft. For those of you who watch Rachel Ray, you know how she’s always talking about “smell-a-vision”? Well I wish computers had “feel-a-vision” because my hair feels so wonderful after using this shampoo. I think it does what it says it will do. I think there was an accompanying regular conditioner or hair milk type thing, I may have to go back and get some of that. If just the shampoo is as moisturizing as I find it to be, it may be even BETTER if I use it as a set.

Which brings me to another point, this product DOES work well with others. I don’t think  you will HAVE to purchase it in a set of other SheaMoisture products if you don’t want to.

 

Here’s my hair after my first use of the shampoo, this was BEFORE I used any type of conditioner:

Here’s my hair on the 22nd after washing with the shampoo and DCing with my ORS/Honey/EVOO mix:

My hair loves this stuff (oh and in the second pic, that’s water running down my forehead, not a vein or something. LOL). If you click on the pics I think you may be able to see larger versions.

 

So basically I give this shampoo 5 Afros out of 5 (LOL). I recommend it to anyone with curls and thick hair. There is not one thing I dislike about this shampoo. It’s also excellent for your scalp.

23 June 2010

Green Tea, Oh How I Love Thee. . .

let me count the ways ~lol~Herbal_Tea

So I participate in a couple of hair forums, and on one of them a few ladies would talk about doing “tea rinses” to their hair. It sounded interesting, and since the ladies had beautiful hair I thought “hey, maybe there’s something to this”. So, I started doing some research on tea and hair. As it turns out, I only had green tea in the house so I wanted to see what benefits it has for the hair. Here’s what one article had to say about it:

 

Soothes Dandruff and Psoriasis

  • Research also suggests that green tea can help with scalp conditions such as dandruff and psoriasis by soothing skin and reducing inflammation. Using a shampoo that contains green tea or using a green tea rinse after shampooing can help reduce scalp irritation. Many commercial anti-dandruff shampoos contain carcinogens, making green tea products a safer alternative. When choosing a green tea shampoo, look for one in which green tea appears close to the top of the list of ingredients and that does not contain harmful chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulfate or parabens, which could contribute to scalp irritations.

    Strengthens and Conditions

  • Green tea also contains vitamin C, vitamin E and panthenol, which are all common ingredients in hair conditioner. Vitamin E restores dry or damaged hair, while vitamin C guards against damage from UV radiation. Panthenol, a provitamin, strengthens and softens hair and prevents split ends. Choose hair products that contain real green tea extract or EGCG.

    Read more: How Green Tea Benefits Hair | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5002209_how-green-tea-benefits-hair.html#ixzz0rgj2IALf

  • One Month Natural (As Of Yesterday)

    So yesterday was my one month anniversary! YAY me! So what did I learn in the first month?:

    • Conditioner only does not work for me as far as WNGs
    • Gel doesn’t really work either
    • Leave-In Conditioner and EVOO works wonderfully for my WNGs
    • My smaller twists look better if I just grab and twist
    • Trying to part my hair is definitely a process. I’m hoping it will get easier as my hair gets longer (so it’ll be easier to clip out of the way)
    • My hair apparently LOVES green tea
    • Detangling at night and pre-pooing the night before washing = happy hair and a happy me
    • SheaMoisture Brilliant Curl Shampoo is awesome on so many levels (review pending)

    Here’s some of the styles I’ve done over the last month:

    14 June 2010

    My New Wash N Go Method

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    So even though I BC’d less than a month ago, I wanted to perfect my WNG. I knew it was going to be one of my staple styles over the summer since it’s hot, and I’m lazy when I’m hot. So the accordion method I was talking about in previous posts works out fine, but my hair wouldn’t stay defined when it dried. It turned into a curly fro. I liked the curly fro look, but I still wanted to try my hand at defining the curls a little. Find out what I did over the jump

    09 June 2010

    Embrace the Shrinkage

    So I BC’d a couple of weeks ago, and one thing I was really worried about before BCing was shrinkage. For the last few years I was obsessed with length. I even hated to have my ends clipped even when I needed them clipped. It’s amazing how far I’ve come in less than a year. Yes, less than a year. I may have BC’d a year after my last relaxer, but I didn’t “officially” officially decide to go natural until about 4 months later. I usually went that long without getting a relaxer since I got used to it in undergrad (I didn’t like non-professionals putting chemicals or scissors in my hair), but one day I just decided “f-it, I don’t want anymore relaxers.”

    Anyway, my point is, I was once afraid of shrinkage and obsessed with length. Now I’m more obsessed with the health of my hair. I don’t want it to be dry and nasty and dirty. I want my hair to be happy, when my hair is happy, I’m happier. When my hair isn’t happy, I’m not happy. It may just be a psychological thing, but when you look good, you feel good.

    The way I see my shrinkage now is, it’s healthy. My hair is curly almost to the point of being coily in some spots, and less so in others. When my hair is healthy, it will shrink. When I pull a piece of my hair out, it usually snaps right back into the curl, and I love it. When it grows out some more it will still have shrinkage, but it probably won’t be able to do what it does now, so I’m embracing my shrinkage. I love my shrinkage. My shrinkage is part of what makes me and my hair uniquely beautiful. I’m sure there will come a time when I dislike the shrinkage (no one loves anything ALL the time) but I suspect those times are going to be few and far between.

    So embrace your shrinkage, especially in the summer because while some necks will be baking, mine will be nice and cool. :o) 

    07 June 2010

    Perfecting my WNG

    I’ve pretty much decided that I cannot do the whole “curl defining” thing, at least not at this length. I don’t have the patience, and when I do try to be patient with it it ends up being too white (as in too much product) and I was paranoid that it wouldn’t dry clear. So I went back to the conditioner only method (LOL@ “went back to” when I’ve only been natural like two weeks. . . ). I love the accordion method from Mahogany Curls for my WNGs, the shake method didn’t give me the same results. But with the accordion method, it took my hair way too long to dry. I think part of that was using HEHH because that conditioner is so thick, and part of it is my hair is thick as all hell. So it takes almost 24 hours for my hair to dry.

    This morning I woke up and refreshed my WNG, but then I decided to try something different. So I co-washed with my V05 Strawberries n Cream conditioner (which is lighter than HEHH) and then I rinsed my hair and shook it to get out most of the water. THEN I took about two quarter sized amounts of the V05 conditioner and ran it over my head. After that I did the scrunching method and pulled it back into a puff. Now it hasn’t even been an hour yet, and my hair is pretty close to dry (except for the very back which for some reason always takes a really long time to dry ~shrug~) And it’s bigger and fluffier than when I use the HEHH. Here’s a picture of it now.

    The curls aren’t really “defined” per-se, but I like the curly/fro look.

    This is my first time trying this method, I like it, I’m going to try again tomorrow to see if I can get a little more definition, and to try to figure out a way to get the back to not take as long to dry. Right now it’s really trial and error.

    01 June 2010

    Twistouts

    So I’ve been natural what 10 days? LOL and I’ve already done TWO twist-outs. That is out of control. So here are the twists I did like the day after I BC’d:

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I wasn’t crazy about them. I don’t think I did them small enough that time, but considering it was a first effort, not bad. As you can see the ends were looking kind of dry and crusty. I think that’s the only spot where I’ve really had that horrible dryness that I heard a lot of people have after they BC. But night after night I’d put some EVOO on my twists and slowly but surely those ends came to life. Also, some of them were being plagued by some stowaway straight ends, I’ve been snipping those off. I did my first wash n go AFTER these twists and the subsequent twist out, and between the WNGS and the lastest set of twists, I think I may have finally gotten them all. . .

    Here is the resulting twist-out:

     

     

     

     

     

    Not bad. There’s a lot of definition which is good, and the twists were about the size I liked, but I didn’t like how much scalp was showing. I think that will go away though as my hair begins to get used to its freedom, I’m already seeing it stretching to be free.

    Then on Sunday after that WNG I did I got bored and decided to re-twist my hair again, this time I did it much smaller (at least I thought I did. . .  And I just grabbed and twisted, no comb was really used. Pics over the jump.

    BAA Growth Challenge

    So I’ve entered a BAA (or “Big ass afro” challenge that will run for six months starting today. The purpose of this challenge is just to make your hair grow. Nothing special involved there.

    Here is my starting information (I actually took the pics a few days ago, but my hair is probably the same length, I don’t think it’s growing quite THAT fast ~lol~)

    Current length: about 4-5" in the front, about -46" in the crown/middle and 5-6" in the back

    Any goals: I want about another 2-3 inches, and healthy happy hair. I also want to learn how to cornrow/french braid

    Challenge Duration: June 1-December 1

    Products: Not sure yet since I just BC'd, right now I'm just going to use what I used while transitioning and see what does and doesn't still work. So my staples (I rotate the conditioners) are V05 Strawberries n Cream, HEHH, Aussie Moist, DC = ORS Replenishing Conditioner, Leave-in= Aussie Hair Insurance, Oils= Castor and EVOO, Styling = ORS Lock and Twist Gel & Shea Butter mixture.

    Regimen: Wash at least once a week & DC, if I wash more than once, I just co-wash. Shampoo once a month, ACV Rinse once a month or as needed.

    Here are the starting pictures:

      Ear-Month1 Front-Month1 Back-month 1

    30 May 2010

    Wash N Go

    So the night before I detangled my hair by spraying water on it and finger detangling before putting about a quarter size amount of EVOO on each section (I had 5 or 6). Then I went through it with a comb and put that part in an afro puff. When I was finished I played around with my fro before putting it into 4 puffs to sleep.

     

    I woke up the following morning, co-washed with Aussie Moist, then I did an ACV rinse, but instead of rinsing it like I normally do, I put my conditioner stuff over it and then covered that with a conditioning cap and a bonnet and let it marinate for a little over an hour. I rinsed that out with cold water, and now was coming the fun part! I was going to try out the KCCC my LS sent me. Well, it's true when they say that stuff doesn't play well with other products. as I was putting it on I noticed it was turning white.  I thought it would go away as it dried, but as it dried it only got worse. So I looked online and according to the KCCC people if it does that it may mean your hair wasn't wet enough so the product didn't get distributed. Okay.  So I rinsed my hair through a little bit to try to get it more evenly distributed. It got worse.

    Here's my hair after the initial application. I thought I greatly resembled Lionel Ritchie from the "Hello" video. I wasn't feeling it, but I knew it would shrink up.

    but after I rinsed and tried to get rid of some of the access moisture using an old T-shirt my hair looked like this:

    Oh heyal naw. I WAS going to sit under a cool dryer to speed up the process, but I noticed that as it dried it GOT WORSE. So I had to wash that crap out of my hair. I still have a little left, so I may try again and just use the Knot Today and KCCC since that product REALLY doesn't play well with others.  My curls were being defined, but they were also turning white.

    27 May 2010

    So. . . I did the Big Chop on May 22

    I’ve been putting off writing this post, I don’t know why. . . I think it was just pure laziness. LOL, but I did my BC on Saturday. I’ve been Natural for almost a week now, and I’ve never regretted it.

     

    So that day I had to go to my Cousin’s Baby Shower, so instead of cutting in the morning, I ended up putting my hair in a puff. I was doing the twist challenge on CurlyNikki so I’d had twists in which would have made it hard for me to see the difference in texture (which is why twist-outs are such a good transitioning style), so I co-washed my hair that Friday and put it in braids, which ended up in a braidout puff:

    Pretty isn’t it? I was kinda sad to see it go, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. So When I got home I asked my mom to help me cut the back because I can’t see back there, but she said she didn’t feel like it, then she said she didn’t want to mess it up, so once again a girl’s gotta do. . . so I did it all myself. After the first cut I remember thinking “OMG! Well there’s no turning back now” or something like that. About halfway through it didn’t even phase me anymore I was snipping away.

    What I did was run my head under the shower for a couple of seconds and drenched my hair to make my natural curls pop a little more, then I sectioned my hair off into 4 parts. Then I went section by section and put in a bunch of Suave Naturals Coconut conditioner. It didn’t do as great a job of making my curls curl as I thought it would, in fact by the time I got to the end I didn’t even really put any on because it was easier to tell the difference without it.

    Here’s how much I cut off:

    Those permed ends were surprisingly heavy when I picked them up for that pic. Here’s my hair as soon as I put the shears down:

    I wasn’t really in shock at this point, it did feel kinda freeing to use a term a lot of people do after BCing. I was just so happy to see the curls. Immediately after my BC I co-washed with V05 Strawberries n cream moisture milk, then I did an ACV rinse, and then I DC’d for an hour before letting it just air dry. I’ve got to re-figure out how I’m going to do my moisture sealing routine to make sure it doesn’t get dry. But I did it as best I could considering my hair hasn’t been this short since high school when I was growing out one of those short Monica 90s cuts.

    So while it was  drying (I know, that’s a no no) I played around with it just a little. Here it is in a puff and my fro. (the back looks a little flat, but that’s fine because it’s really pretty even all the way around, the middle part just has RIDICULOUS shrinkage.

    So that was my BC, I did it all by myself, something I never thought I’d be able to do even a year ago (I didn’t like letting ANYONE take scissors to my head, not even professionals. LOL, but yet here I am cutting it all off by myself). It almost felt like a rite of passage, and it only cost me $4.26 (the cost of my shears). I would do it the EXACT same way if I had to do it again.

     

    Please note: I have no intention of needing to do it again. LOL! This will be my last post with the “transition” tag unless I’m posting advice.

    14 May 2010

    Carol’s Daughter Tui Shampoo and Hair Smoothie Review

    Okay, I don’t think it’s a secret that I don’t care too much for Carol’s Daughter (CD) hair products. I bout them a while ago and they didn’t work too well on my relaxed hair which was always dry (probably because I didn’t know how to really properly care for it). So today I decided to wash my hair because I didn’t care too much for the puff I did with my twist out (I’ll post pics of that later) and I wanted to shampoo my hair. So I decided to use some of that CD stuff since I had it and that stuff is NOT cheap. So anywhoo, my hair was kind of unruly because I combed out the twist out dry (first mistake, but I didn’t feel like pre-pooing).

    Then I washed my hair using the Tui shampoo, I did it twice, the second time rinsing until the water dripping off of my hair was clear. My hair was already feeling kinda dry, I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t pre-poo or what, but the product doesn’t SAY to pre-poo. Here’s my hair with the shampoo in it: 

    My hair felt dry even as I was shampooing, but maybe that was because of the cleansing.

    13 May 2010

    My Shea Butter Mix

    So a few weeks ago I tried my hand at a Shea Butter mix, and I’m wondering why I didn’t try it sooner! I absolutely LOVE this stuff.

    But boy was making that mixture a MESSY process. Melting the shea butter was kinda hard because I'd put too much water in the bowl, so the water was mixing with the shea and melting it too fast, so I had to take some of the water out of the white bowl and pour it out and just ugh. But here's what I used:

    • 3 tbsp of Raw Unrefined Shea Butter
    • 1 tbsp of Castor Oil
    • 1 tbsp of EVOO
    • 1 tbsp of Jojoba Oil (the original recipe called for EVCO but I don't think coconut oil does anything for my hair, and I didn't get the EV kind so I decided to change it to Jojoba)
    • 3-4 drops of Essential Peppermint Oil (for scent more than anything)

    So here's the Ingredients all lined up like little soldiers ready for war (LOL):

    Here's the shea butter after I finally got it melted:

    Once I got the bowl in the water it didn't take long to melt it at all.

    10 May 2010

    Relaxed Ends are Losing the Battle. . .

    So m BC is in less than two weeks (I’m still trying to figure out how I’m going to do it) and my relaxed ends aren’t winning any battles, and we already know who’s gonna win the war. LOL. When I was detangling my hair today my fingers glided through the natural parts and got all tangled up in the relaxed ends. I find that funny because I always thought that it would be too difficult to deal with my natural hair if it got longer than it was when I needed a touchup, as it turns out the longer it gets the easier it is to deal with. I guess it’s because my hair knows I won’t be putting anymore chemicals on it and it’s just going crazy.

    I haven’t been doing a great job of keeping up with my blog lately because I’ve been having too much fun on CurlyNikki, so I’ll be back later today or this week with an update on what my hair has been doing.

    19 April 2010

    Big Chop. . .

    So I’ve officially decided to do my BC on my May 23rd Anniversary. It works out perfectly since that’s a Sunday, so if I have a job by then I won’t have to worry about dealing with it during the week. Plus, that date has significance since it’ll officially be a year since my last relaxer. I think I’ll have about 6 inches stretched *fingers crossed*

     

    Here’s a countdown ticker:

    08 April 2010

    The Castor Oil Challenge Is Over

    So I don’t know if you all remember, but I was participating in a Castor Oil Challenge. I think I may start over and do it again because I wasn’t exactly the most diligent, and I didn’t measure all of the parts of my hair, only the front (even though I was putting Castor Oil on all of it. But regardless, I just realized that it’s over. I did it from around Feb 6-April 6th. Here is where my hair was on Feb 6th:

    Over the fold for results

    19 March 2010