Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Final Results, For Now

a comic strip!
So...The last picture in this series is what my hair looks like today with the relaxer. I think it could be a little longer, but there was an incident (or more like a series of unfortunate events). It's such a long story, but I'll try to make it as short as possible.

My mother wanted to rollerset my hair one way that didn't work for me. So in trying to achieve my vision but doing what she wanted anyway, the rollers were a mess. So I ended up having to take all the rollers out of my hair and blow dry with no comb attachment or anything. It was a disaster. And I'm still quite upset about it because I have to wait another three months. Even if I do rollerset next week, it's not going to be the same. But I'll get over it. My hair was being blown all over the place, and I know there is damage.

The way she was combing my wet hair was a disaster. I lost a whole fistfull of hair because of how she was combing it. And that was after she put the relaxer on. And she put too much setting lotion on it. It's kinda crispy when I touch it like there is a layer of crud on my hair. That's why I'm still having the issues with shedding. I'm just so upset, I wanna cry. And while the damage isn't apparent from the pictures, I know what it's really looking like right now. My hair is dull with no movement. And I feel horrible for saying this, but I'm never letting her near my head again. I should've just done it myself.

The important part is that my hair is relaxed. Therefore, I can comb through it with ease. I'm still seeing the shed, but that's ok. It'll stop in a few days, I hope. And I'm gonna co wash it toward the end of the week or next week. Hopefully that will help. And I'll mix my porosity control with my KeraCare and see if that helps restore softness and shine.

I've come to find out that my mother is not one of those people that respects my hair regimen. She criticized me constantly about what I'm dong is crazy and I need professional help. Over hair? And she was saying all this while she was doing my hair and telling me how much it had grown! Isn't the fact that my ends aren't splitting and my hair is longer and thicker than it has been in years a sign that my regimen is working? It made me feel really bad.

There are many people out there who've been criticizing my regimen. But I never thought my mother would make me feel so low. And it was my birthday! I would never do that to her. There is a right and wrong way to say everything. And after she nearly ruined everything I've been working so hard on over the last 6 months, she has the audacity to tell me that I have no idea what I'm doing. With all this length, strength, and shine I've been acquiring, she totally shot me down.

I'm not going to complain anymore. But like I said, I won't let her in my hair again. And I won't even bring my hair up for discussion to her. There's no use in setting myself up for her criticism.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Birthday Present from Mom

Well...Today I was supposed to give myself a birthday present. I was going to relax my own hair. But my mother called this morning, and she wants me to come over to her house so she can relax my hair as a birthday present. And not wanting to hurt her feelings, I agreed. Plus, she's gonna cook. I can't say no to her cooking ever. LOL. SO YUMMY!!!

I'm sitting here right now just feeling my new growth. It's not as bad as it's been in the past. I actually like the texture. But I'll be glad to see it straightened so I can see how long my hair is. Oh, that reminds me...I will be rollersetting and putting on my bonnet dryer for two reasons. After I leave my mother's house, I may have to make a run. So I don't want to be going in the store or something with a head full of rollers. Tacky, ghetto mess! And, I would hate for my wet hair to be exposed to the elements. And I'm in a time crunch. But at least it's still considered a form of indirect heat. And my ends will be rolled up, so they should be okay.

I'm packing up all my products to take over there. I'd be embarrassed if my mother saw all these hair products. She would start in on me. So I'm trying to find a small bag that will still fit all my stuff. And I have to carry the baby bag too. :/ It'll be fine.

It's a good thing she is doing my hair for me. And I appreciate and except her give whole-heartedly. She's the best mom in the world. I just wanted to get that experience of relaxing my own hair and learning. I have to wait another 12 weeks before I do. But I guess it's ok. It is my birthday after all. And she means so well. :) She'll get to spend time with her only grand baby. (They talk on the phone everyday. It's so cute.) And it is one less thing for me to do.

I'll be sure to post some pics here and on K.I.S.S. so all my sistas can see my progress.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Protein Remix

I decided to make a few changes to the protein mixture I'm making for tomorrow. I decided to add coconut oil. I did this because these treatments tend to make my hair a little hard. And I get softer hair when I add coconut oil to my mixtures. Also, instead of using the Queen Helene (a good base for my mixtures), I used VO5 instead. It was more economical. Plus, I don't want the consistency of the mixture to be thick. I prefer a thinner mix just to make sure I get good coverage.

Monday is the big day. I'll be 23 and doing my own relaxer for my birthday. I still haven't decided what to do with the porosity control. It'll probably be best if I use it after the chemical processing. That way I can put the moisture back into my hair. Besides, this is my first time doing this. And my main goal is taming that new growth. It'll be hard do see if my hair is wet. Once I master this, I should be fine.

So yeah. That's it I guess until I post about tomorrow's wash. It should go well.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Gimme Protein!

It's been awhile since I've done a protein treatment on my hair. Hence, that may be the reason that I'm experiencing excess shed. Not to worry though. I can fix it. :) I'm just trying to figure out what to combine together to make my own. I think I'll try this:
  • 1 egg
  • mayonnaise
  • conditioner
  • amla oil
I decided that I like to use my amla oil when I'm mixing it with things like my pre poos and protein treatments. It's good stuff. It's just that smell. It's odd. I use it to pre poo the night before I wash sometimes. I'm gonna have to get more of this as I discover new ways to use it. I'm trying to think outside the box a little on this one. I consider it somewhat of an ayurvedic product.

This is the line up for my wash this weekend. I won't change it because I'm so indecisive that I have to be solid when I say I'm gonna do something. Here goes:
  • pre poo/protein treatment
  • shampoo
  • condtioner rinse with VO5/Pantene mix
  • KeraCare deep condition (without heat-1 hour)
  • air dry in bun

So, I haven't used my growth serum since last Friday. The reason why is because I wanted to be extra sure that I didn't have any on my scalp when I relax on Monday. And I'm glad I did it this way. I got a little laxy during the course of the week and ended up not co washing until Wednesday. So if I had used my aid Saturday or Sunday night, I would not have had a full week go by before I relaxed. Not safe...

My scalp massages are an important part of my daily regimen. They feel good, give me a bit of a workout, and stimulate growth. I'm also able to feel what my new growth is really like. I've gotten more acquainted with the health of my scalp and new growth just by massaging. It's really neat. I can touch my scalp and know that I need to wash or may notice a dry patch that wasn't there before. Couldn't say that a few months back. But I'm glad I do it.

The vitamins I'm taking are starting to work I think. My skin is looking rather good. Even while being on my cycle, I didn't have any breakouts or random flare ups. And the tone appears to be evening out a little. My nails are stronger as well. And the tips are white. They grow back really fast even after a break. And I'm just at about two weeks with these things. It's amazing. I do't know what they are doing ot my hair though. I shed more. But this time the strands are longer and I see less of them. I don't see breakage-just shed. So I guess that's a good thing. It promotes healthy shed. It's pretty soft as well. Even without the leave ins and moisturizing, I feel a texture change of sorts. It's kind of hard to explain. LOL

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Relaxing and Goals

I'm changing it up a little bit this week. I won't be using my growth serum. I have to do this because I'll be relaxing my hair in a week. And the directions cause for me to stop usage a week prior to relaxing. It's weird that I won't be applying it. :S I've gotten so used to it. But it'll only be two weeks without it. No big deal, right? I just know I'll be glad to get back on it. I love the way it smells.

One thing I can't help but be nervous about it relaxing my own hair. I've never done it before. And my mother seems to think that I'll make all my hair come out if she doesn't do it or have somebody else do it. So I got a little lippy and told her she is welcome to drive all the way over here and do it for me. LOL. I think she may take me up on it. But I don't want that. I don't mind if she supervises though. The thing is that I wear glasses. And I can't see without them. But I have to remove them to apply the relaxer. Or maybe I can keep them on until I apply to my edges...Not sure yet. But I must learn how to do it on my own.

After this stretch, I've had some insane thoughts. I was frustrated, angry, unsure, and tempted to relax. But now I've seen the error of my ways. And now I will be stretching more often. I think 12 weeks is fine. My hair certainly enjoying it because I'm not having much breakage at all. And despite being so far into my stretch, I'm able to maintain shiny, mostly manageable, easy to style hair. Giving my hair a break from chemicals has been good for it. I guess I'm saying that my decision to stretch more often will make it so that I will only have to relax 4 times a year. Chemical processing will be at an all time low. And I believe this will help the health of my hair.

I'm looking over this box of my relaxing kit. I've got Just For Me in the regular formula. I would've gotten the coarse version, but I want to be extra gentle with my hair. I'm not sure I'm into the bone straight thing anyway. It just has to be manageable. It'll be put into a bun most of the time anyway. No stress... But yeah... It's got all this stuff that comes with it. When I was younger getting relaxers, all this stuff didn't come with the kits. Even the Ultra Sheen relaxing kit I was using a few months only had the item you blend together to activate the cream (whatever it's called), the neutralizing color alert shampoo and some setting lotion. They seem safe enough to use. But I have my own items as well. I guess I'll have to get to that bridge soon.

I'll be able to see my actual length when I relax. It should be exciting. I'm guessing that my hair will measure about 20 inches from front to back. It's not that I'm so into measuring. I'm just anal. And I want to keep record on my progress. The numbers help me do that. But in the future, as my hair grows longer, this won't be necessary. I think my solid goal at the moment is either BSL of MBL. This is what I would be totally happy with. When it gets past this length, it won't matter anymore. It'll just be pleasant surprises. But this could change. And don't get me wrong, the more length the better. I'm just saying I would be satisfied if I got to BSL or MBL. Okay...I prefer MBL.

It's gonna be so exciting to see my length after this stretch. I love long hair. When I had it, I didn't know how to take care of it. Now I'm older and equipped with the information (and products) that will help it grow long, strong, and healthy. It'll be so nice to wear it down (for about 5 mintues) and see it flowing again like it used too. Right now, it's soft. But the more I take care of it and moisturize, it'll just get better. I'm just struggling with how I'm going to make sure I get maximum straightness without using heat. I guess I could rollerset overnight. I'll just avoid using setting lotion. That way the curls won't hold as well. And in the course of a day or two, the curls will fall complete. And voila! True length. I'll probably use heat once a year. And that will probably be about a year from now. I'll be charting my 1 year and some months progress. It should be a glorious experience. Other than that, I can't let myself use heat. No heat=no splits which means no trimming which means no cutting of any length with means no loss of length which means long hair.

My patience is getting thin! I want to see my length! I know that it's only 6 days now. But I wanna see her in all her glory. It's really grown. I just want to enjoy that for a moment. It's killing me! LOL. I must sound crazy, but that anticipation is something else. I was just looking at another lady's slideshow of the difference between her 12 week post relaxer hair and fresahly relaxed hair. There had to be a whole two inches in difference there. Her hair looked great. She used a flat iron though...I'm not gonna do that. I hope my rollerset plan works...

I have two length checks left now. I only had one, but then I joined the K.I.S.S. Challenge. So I'll be doing another check for the year in December I believe. I'll be at least 6 weeks post. It shouldn't be that bad though. My habits since the last relaxer have changed so that I suppose I won't see any really rough new growth for awhile. Or maybe not at all.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Smooth and Silky/Winter Regimen

Clarifying worked like charm for me yet again. I'm deep conditioning with my bonnet dryer in my head as I type, but I'm still able to see the luxurious results. I did my pre poo, used my clarifying shampoo, the TreSemme, the pre conditioning mix, and now I'm working on the KeraCare.

I hadn't used the TreSemme shampoo before in conjunction with the Suave, but I could tell a big difference. The TreSemme starting the smoothing right away. And then I put on the Pantene and VO5 mix. I combed it through my hair like a hot knife through butter. Not one tangle in sight. I was so relieved. And I could feel the incredible slip from the conditioners. I'm so pleased. My hair yesterday was a mess compared to what it is at this moment. So once again, I learn the importance of clarifying my hair. I guess I'm just one of those that has to do it twice a month.

When my hair is wet, I can feel the very tip of it touch my back. It's so exciting! In a few months, it should be at least two or three inches longer. That should put me right where I need to be for the winter months. I want that longer, thicker hair so that I can be warm. Plus, in the event that I lose a little hair, I won't feel as bad because I'll still be able to retain most of my length.

I don't think I'm going to change my regimen all that much. Just minor things. I may used a thicker moisturizer. I'm not sure yet because I love the Wave Nouveau so much. Co washing in the morning is out of the question. I will do this at night so that my hair will be dry the next day. I refuse to go outside with a wet head. I can't afford to get sick. In addition to this, I will only co wash on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I will still use the growth serum, but just during the day time. I usually sleep with it and wash it off the next day, but I spend more time awake than I do sleep, so that will just give it more time to work it's magic. Deep conditioning will be upped to three times a week. I will do one with every co wash and regular wash. I don't want my hair to have the opportunity to get dry. Protein treatments will be once or twice a month. Leave in conditioner will be used everyday to protect that moisture as well as coconut oil. (NO EXCEPTIONS!!!) And lastly, I will be wearing a hat anytime I go outdoors accompanied by my satin cap. The fabrics used for hats are too damaging, so I will need the satin to back me up.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Clarifying, Again

I guess it's time for me to clarify again. :S I would wait a week or two more, but I learned the hard way last time that if your hair says clarify, then you better do it. Or you could face the shed and tangles. Me...I'd rather obey the hair.

I noticed my last co wash (Tuesday of this week) that my hair wasn't responding as well to the conditioner like it normally does. It seemed a bit dry too. So I decided that maybe I wouldn't co wash more than twice this week instead of everyday from Tuesday like I had planned. So today rolls around and I'm ready to co wash so I could wash the serum out of my hair. So I did everything I normally do with a co wash. And I then the tangles came. I knew that my conditioners are great for detangling as long as there is no build up on my hair. But I had issues detangling today. That means I will have to clarify for the second time in a month. Plus, I feel a case of the crispies coming on...

I'm a cone user. I don't mean to do it, but they help my hair our a lot. I just have to clarify more often if I'm going to use them. I don't think this will be the case for at least 4 weeks after I relax. Relaxing makes the hair easy to comb through anyway. That means all the cones I use to detangle won't have to be used. I will have an entire month where I won't have to clarify. Still, I will have to get on this issue right away. So here's the line up for this week's wash:
  • Pre poo with Queen Helene Cholesterol, amla oil, coconut oil, and tea tree oil (1 hour)
  • Shampoo with Suave Daily Clarifying
  • Shampoo with TreSemme Smooth and Silky
  • Pre condition with Pantene/VO5 blend
  • Deep Condition with KeraCare Humecto Creme for (30 minutes with heat)
  • Bun hair (for sake of low manipulation)
  • Air dry
Sounds like a winner to me. I'm all about low maintenance. LOL. It may seem like a long list of things to do, but they're all so simple. wish my luck! ;-)


I'm starting to get impatient with my new growth. It seems like it's been forever since I've relaxed. And it has been. I'm doing all that I can to keep the beast in check, but it's taking over. So while my hair looks smooth and shiny on the outside, at the roots I'm a little messy. It could be and has been worse. The good thing is that after I finish out this week and next week, I'll be able to relax. Then I'll get to see how long my hair is. A step closer to APL would be fine by me.

After I relax, I'm thinking that I will do a rollerset. Blow drying is a no no. I'm already chemically processing. There is no need to add more strain. I may never use heat again. If I'd know it was this easy, it would have been gone a long time ago. At any rate, I'm happy. I just want to see my beautiful new length. It's going to be gorgeous. And I have all the things I need to get that salon look.

I'm not going to do a length dust until March or April of next year. I have a feeling that I won't need to. Being heat free has in turn made me split free. And I'm not longer concerned with everything being perfectly even. Human hair isn't meant to grow that way. It'll be in a bun all the time anyhow. All I want to do is retain as much length as possible.

Now that I'm growing so fast, I'm thinking that I will change my length goal for June to between APL and BSL. I'm definitely past shoulder. That was the hardest part. I heard the horror stories of wearing shoulder length hair down. I'll never do it again. But getting back to length, I'm trying to be realistic about this whole thing. I'm doing all that I can to achieve maximum growth. I massage and keep moisture in the hair. And it's going well. I'm just trying to figure out if I actually have a stopping point. Some women won't go past BSL of MBL. I haven't been there in forever. I guess my level of comfort will come with time.

I'm having a pleasant experience with my vitamins. I mean they don't make me feel ill or anything. Lots of women that have taken them complained that they give you gas and all that. But I think they're ok. It'll be awhile before I see results. Taking them three times a day is hard to remember to do at times. :S I'm getting better at it though. I can't wait to see f they work. Combining them and the serum should turn me into a hairy beast. LOL

Monday, October 6, 2008

Length Check 3

a comic strip!

Today is the last length check I'll do until I relax in two weeks. The above pictures are the results I have gotten so far from the use of the growth serum. The first one is my starting point. Notice my hair is a little dry and dull. I'm right at shoulder length in this one. The second one is after two weeks of use. In this pic, my hair is shinier and has a smoother texture. The last picture is the one that I took today. It's looking good to me. I know how my hair used to be. And this is million times better even though I have a long way to go. And the empty box is for when I put in that last final picture of my relaxed hair in.

The serum I use is a miracle worker. I just can't get over what I see in these pictures. I can only imagine how long it will be the beginning of next year as long as I keep on this path. And now I'm taking the HSN vitamin. Who knows how that will aid! All I know is that things are going great with my hair. No major setbacks yet. So I'm counting my blessings. :)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Rollerset and Upcoming Length Check

My hair is wonderful today. It's so soft, I can run my fingers through it. And I'm at least 9 weeks post relaxer. Can you say miracle? LOL. I took the rollers out this morning and was amazed at what I saw. There was so much shine and body. It's full and gorgeous. The pain of rolling the hair at night while sleepy and having to figure out how to sleep with it was well worth it. But of course I put my hair into a neat bun. I'm glad I did too. I ended up at a cookout at my grandfather's. The air was thick with smoke and I was sweating. But wearing my hair in a bun protected my ends.

I got a chance to put my new moisturizer, Wave Nouveau Moisturizing Finishing Lotion, on my air dried roller set and this evening for my nightly moisturizing. Now I'm more than sure how amazing it is. My ends feel like silk. And the consistency is great for my hair. The smell is light and pleasant. This is what is going into my regimen forever. I'm never gonna let it go. It's so perfect. I hope to find a super large bottle of this when it's time to get moisturizer again.

It's a good thing when I find items like my new moisturizer that I fall in love with at first use. It helps me to achieve a more stable, healthy regimen. I'm not tempted to fix what isn't broken. I feel the exact same way about the Neutrogena. I'm such a moisture whore, that I used them in combination. LOL. But the important part is that it works for me. The relief I feel is more than I can ask for. I know to some people it's just hair products. But to me, my hair is my life. I've ignored it and abused it for so long. Now I'm going to treasure it.

My length check photo will be due tomorrow. I couldn't be happier. Just for fun, I measured my slightly wavy rollerset hair when I got home and moisturized. It's a quarter of an inch longer than it was last week. It's hard to believe, but true. And the length isn't thin and raggedy. It looks good and healthy. A girl that I attend Bible class with is also interested in growing her hair as well told me that she noticed how healthy and long my hair is getting these days. I anticipate how long my hair will be in the next three to six months. If I keep on this path, it can only get better and longer resulting in good growth check pics.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Wash Day Results and Product Reviews

This was a great day for me in the washing department. Everything went so smoothly. I was able to pre poo for 45 minutes, wash, pre condition, deep condition, and rollerset. I had a lot to do today, so I just finished doing all this. And I'm glad I did. :)

Ok...Let's start with the Neutrogena Triple Moisture Silk Touch Leave-In Cream. I can't describe how fabulous this is. It detangles, makes hair shiny, gives body, moisturizes to a T. Everything about it is perfect. This is my new favorite leave in conditioner. I can't get over how wonderful it is. I even used it on my daughter's hair. She's all natural, and it worked a miracle for her. Her hair looks great. This is going to stay in my regimen forever.

Today was my first time using the Wave Nouveau Moisturizing Finishing Lotion. It's a great product as well. It's so light. It doesn't feel heavy or greasy at all. But the moisture is still there. It's sort of like the consistency of a gel. It's just not sticky and smells pleasant. I appreciate this one so much. I will get another chance to put it on my dried hair tomorrow. Then I will really see it's moisturizing effects. But putting it on wet hair, it's a good product. :)

The combination of all my fabulous moisturization made rollersetting a dream. I had no issues what so ever. I barely shed! There were a few hairs in the sink. And that was it. My ends smoothed over the rollers so easily. I'm just so happy about it. I'm head over heels with the way things turned out today. Tomorrow will tell me just how well things went because I was able to actually comb my roots. Super straight! I got a good tight curl with all the rollers. Length chick time is coming up, and this definitely helped a million.

I hope that my hair has gotten longer since two weeks ago. I'm coming upon week 4. And I'm going to use the serum all this week and then that's it. I will be relaxing a week after I stop using the serum. That's my birthday, I believe. Not sure. All I know is that the serum has been working fo me. My hair is getting thicker, shinier, and the new growth is being tamed as possible for being 9 weeks post. But I can't complain. I remember when I would be this far into a stretch when I wasn't caring for my hair properly. And combing was pure hell-nearly impossible. Now it's so easy with just a few moisturizers or moisturizing spritz. And I have all the proper tools to work with. No worries from this point on. I will continue to just look forward to the future from here.

Friday, October 3, 2008

So, I'm Getting a New Moisturizer

I've been looking around blogs and forums a lot lately. I do all the time. LOL. In doing such, there is another moisturizer I am wanting to try. It's the Wave Nouveau Moisturizing Finishing Lotion. I've heard so many good things about it. And one of the blog members that I follow swears by it. Now I'm going to make the switch. But that's not the only reason though. I was thinking back to my childhood when my mother had a curl. She used the Wave Nouveau line of products. It must've been good because I didn't realize it was a curl until I was about 8. I thought she was blessed with beautiful naturally curl hair. She was not naturally curly, but her hair was beautiful and moisturized wonderfully when she had her curl.I had been using the Silken Child moisturizer. And I love it. But I'm just gonna give this Wave Nouveau a try. Besides, I'm a product junkie. Buying a new product feeds my addiction. :P I'll just use the remainder of the Silken Child on my daughter's hair. The smell seems more appropritate for her personality. I'm bubbly and nice, but she's the one that eats all the fruity candy. And that's what it smells like. I just love it.

I'm needing a silk scarf. I love my cap, but it gets to be hot sometimes. It's only really necessary if I'm doing a rollerset over night. But a scarf would be more sufficient because I'm doing buns at night until the day I get my relaxer. (I'll do a rollerset then.) Plus, I'm running out of ideas to keep this giant poof in the front of my head down. I'm sure the combination of the scarf and boar bristle brush will cure this until relaxer time. But yeah...Ye ole poofy hair got ta go!

This is a month of triumphs I hope. I'm expecting this relaxer to do a miracle with showing my length. By catch is while lots of women use heat when they relax, I'm opting not to. I'm gonna rollerset overnight instead. When I said so heat I meant it. The rollers with be more than enough to show my length and give me a style that I may wear for a few minutes while I do a length update. Also, I'd like to get to working on my kanzashi. If they come out how I like, I may put some up on ebay. I could use the extra money, and making them would be a craft I would enjoy greatly. Making things makes me feel efficient.

Saturday is my day. I'm gonna make all the magic happen. I just remembered, it's time for another length check. Oh hell. LOL

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Basics and New Adventures

Since my hair seems to be doing so well these days, I want to make extra sure that nothing slows this down. So I've decided after I've been wearing my style for a few weeks, I'm going back to my bun. I like it because I don't have to comb my hair for this one. And I dries without any flyaways. I was also inspired by my cousin's mother in law. She has long hair also. And she keeps her hair in a bun all the time. She told me that she had been bunning her hair since high school. That was enough for me.

Another source of inspiration fo me lately is Japan. I've always been in love with the culture, but I'm particularly interested in making kanzashi. These are hair adornments made from silk fabric. I'm sure other fabrics can be used, but silk is the best material. The thing is these are supposed to be pretty easy to make. And now that I'm limiting the things that I put in my hair, I'd like to try to make some. It shouldn't cost that much. I'll go to Wal-Mart and get some satin or other pretty fabric and experiment that way. Some materials can even be found at the dollar stores. I'm gonna be a hana kanzashi making fool. And the good thing is I can secure them to clips, bobby pins, or hair sticks. I'll just put this on my list of things to accomplish in the next month or so. I just have to give it a try.