Friday, April 29, 2016

Update...and explaining the silence

Hey there everyone

I know I've been absent. Life has a way of flipping everything upside down and the first thing to suffer was this blog. As most of you will remember, I went through a very bad patch last year regarding my hair journey. Breaking, shedding, generally misbehaving. I lost so much length, from basically APL to a bob barely touching my shoulders. And for the longest I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. I felt like I was doing all the right things. Prepoo, deep condition, leave ins, rollersets, stretching my relaxers for months, protective styling, the works. But my hair was not having it. BALLS of hair every wash day. Day 2 hair looking a right mess every time. Moisture not staying where it should. I grew despondent and angry.

It messed with my head and mentally I ended up in a not too good space. And ON TOP OF IT, all of my favourite bloggers went natural. Now ladies, I admire the hell out of you and your hair looks GREAT. It's just that now as a relaxed girl I don't relate as well any more. So it also started to seem like my well of advice and tips was drying up. And for a while there it made me feel even worse.

Then in December I decided enough is enough. I had a frank discussion with myself. You see, at the time I was practically 8 months post and have been toying with the idea of going natural myself. but my new growth was driving me insane! I'm talking bat shit crazy! Trying to handle it was a mission. I swear, my social life suffered. And social animal that I am, that did not bode well for my psyche. My health suffered as I stopped going to the gym because I didn't want to deal with the mop on my head after a workout. Everything went down hill.

So, I became honest with myself - I am not ready in any way or form to go natural. I'm not even ready to deal with a lot of new growth between relaxers! When I started this journey I started stretching my relaxers to a maximum of 14 weeks. Considering that before this journey I promptly relaxed at 8 weeks, it made a difference. My hair flourished. So, logic dictated that the longer I stretched, the less chemicals touch my hair and the longer my hair will grow. My hair debunked this premise. So, in early December I relaxed my hair and vowed to never wait longer than 14 weeks again, which led to my Easter touch up, which makes me a solid 4 weeks post this week. My next touch up is preliminary scheduled for the weekend of 25 June, but these days if I personally feel DONE I will schedule the touch up. Struggling makes me impatience and impatience is part and partial to breakage and general lack of luster. I will listen to myself and my hair and my gut from now on.

I've simplified my regimen and went back to basics. I have a wash day once to twice a week. I prepoo using cheapie conditioners enhanced with coconut oil. I've scrapped castor oil from my regimen as my scalp basically becomes inflamed it's so irritated and itchy. It works wonders for some ladies, like my best friend, who I gifted all my left over castor oils, but it created the itchy and scratchy show on my head.

My staple conditioners are Aussie 3 min Moist and Herbal Essence Hello Hydration. My hair likes it. I just have to start planning for when they run out as a friend of mine brought my current stash from the States when he came to come and visit. I don't jump between conditioners and products anymore, consistency is key here.

My staple deep conditioners are once again ORS Replenishing and ORS HAIRepair Nourishing Conditioners. They are oldies but goodies. They worked awesomely in 2012/2013, they'll work awesomely again. I DC at least once a week for a minimum of 45 minutes.

I roller set. And I'm not talking trying cute fancy styles with perm rods and flexi rods and what not. I'm talk big ass rollers to stretch my hair, have a quick heatless drying time and have smooth hair which I then pin up or in a bun or a french braid without having to use any heat whatsoever. No heat worked in the beginning, it'll just have to work again now.

There has been progress. I'm officially still shoulder length but it looks like I might reach collarbone length in a few weeks. I don't get angry at my hair any more. I don't have to try to beat it into submission. I even made peace with my big ass forehead - sometimes with working and gymming and trying to have a social life the cute fringe/bangs simply have to be pinned back otherwise it looks a mess.

Speaking of gymming, my biokiniticist and I are on a mission! My best friend is getting married this year and I have been honored to be her Maid of Honour. Which of course entails not only being her right hand man but also getting my butt in shape. I refuse to stand before God and society in a lovely dress looking like a lump. So for the past month I've been getting back into my routine with regards to my weight loss journey as well. I work out a minimum of 3 days a week for about an hour to an hour and half, depending on my biokineticist's mood. We mix cardio, own body weight resistance training, HIIT and weight training. So far, so good.

My eating plan is Banting based aka low carb, medium protein, high fat. Paleo is similar, as is Atkins. I love it. I barely miss the carbs and I can freely have bacon! Due to having a nice solid breakfast, I rarely eat lunch, as I'm simply not hungry. And dinner is usually a small protein based affair before 7:30 pm. When I started my journey last year I weighed in at 94 kg (207 pounds). Yeah, horrible, disgusting, UNHEALTHY. I did a quick weigh in yesterday, and the scale went to stand on 79.8 kg (175 pounds). Not even close to where I want to be, but SO much closer than I ever was before. So I push through and say no thank you to bread, burgers, cakes, pasta and potatoes. And it's getting easier by the day.

so, to end off, a quick rundown on my washing experience last night and this morning. I shampooed with an Argan oil shampoo, then instant conditioned and detangled using Herbal Essence Hello hydration. I love that conditioner so much, the amount of slip is heaven. I then DC'd overnight using the Hask Macadamia Oil Conditioner.

And I'm never going to use it again! It clumped my strands together so much that this morning I actually had to use a little bit of shampoo and a lot of Hello Hydration all over again for my hair to be manageable and malleable.

I then added my leave ins of MorrocanOil Serum, Bone Strait and Aphogee Keratin & Green Tea Restructurizer and proceeded to roller set. I used my hair dryer to dry my hair in the rollers and then I decided to straighten it as it would be the first time in a few weeks and I needed an indication of what my hair is doing. I am after all preparing my entire body from head to toe for the wedding of the year, lol. One quick pass with the iron and I was out the door.

Not too shabby but I am definitely due for a mini trim, those ends look a tad raggedy. also, a pop of colour is definitely needed. Looking a bit mousy at the moment. We have a few public holidays next week so it's definitely on the agenda for one of those lazy off days.

So, there you guys have it. I promise to be more vigilant on the blog from hereon out, it actually keeps me vigilant towards my journey as well.

I wish everyone a fantastic weekend, and to the Namibians, a great LONG weekend

Till next time!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Do guys care for their beards?

The subject matter is a genuine query, because I really want to know.

The whole "lumbersexual" look is really hot right now. Everywhere you look you see men in lush beards, and on a lot of them, yep, it looks HOT. I mean, just look at the fine specimens below. (Fanning myself...)

I have two friends with very lush beards, as in, their beards contain SO MUCH more hair than what is on top of their heads. And it seems like they both are of the opinion that their mojo lies in their beards. Anyhoo, I've never actually asked them myself, but I will. In the meantime, out there in the whole wide world internet, I was wondering if any of y'all know if:

  • guys shampoo and condition their beards like girls take care of their hair?
  • they trim their beards without losing volume and lush the way women trim and dust theirs?
  • they use leave in products or if they're just wild men? 
If there are any gents out there sporting a lush beard, kindly inform us. If there are any ladies out there whose significant other sports a lush beard, drag some answers out of them, lol. 

Anyhoo, that's my curious question for the week. 

Have a good one y'all!!!!

Getting it under control, finally!!!

Hey there y'all

So, as y'all know, I have been struggling with excess breakage and shedding for a few months now, to the point that wash days nearly drove me to tears and which also led to long pauses in between blogging due to feeling despondent. But I had a #washdayexperience last night/this morning that makes me wanna throw confetti! I apologise for the lack of pics, life is a little rushed at the moment, but here's a quick recap.

The Wash Day Experience

Overnight prepoo with OGX Moroccan Argan Oil conditioner. Not a great conditioner in general (for me) but an excellent prepoo. Used it as is straight from the bottle, sectioning my hair and twisting the sections after application to prevent tangles. Still some breakage, especially considering that my hair was sweaty and a bit matted from gyming and that fact that it has been about 3 days since a comb saw my head, but it was less than ever considering the past 6 months.

Shampoo with my Avon Supreme Oils Shampoo, lathering up twice and rinsing properly till my hair felt super clean, but still super soft.

Detangling and instant conditioning with Mane and Tail Deep Moisturising Conditioner. I freaking love this stuff!! So much slip, my fingers just glided through, it MELTS knots away.

Fast DC with ORS HAIRepair Nourishing Conditioner. I love this stuff! The banana scent is heavenly, but my favourite aspect is the slip and how it SINKS into my hair, like absolutely sinks in. I covered my whole head then put on a shower cap to let the DC work its magic for at least 5 min whilst I took a real shower. When I rinsed it off - BUTTER!

I then proceeded to apply my leave ins of Cantu Shea Butter strengthening treatment and MoroccanOil Treatment serum and then rollerset. Considering that I'm doing this before work I then started blowdrying my hair whilst in the rollers on medium heat. Once dry I just blast it with some cool air to close the cuticles and then when I took out the rollers I simply combed my hair into a ponytail and out the door I went.

During the ENTIRE process I lost so little hair that if I actually took the time I would have been able to count them and tell how many are were shed and how many were broken. It has not been like that in I think about a YEAR! Even though the hairloss has reduced slowly but steadily, up and till this morning it has still been a BALL of hair every wash day. I am so freaking happy!!! I have got my balance right, finally! And now I just need to stick to it.

Also, I've learned again that consistency is KEY. For the past couple of wash days my prepoo, shampoo, detangling conditioner and leave in conditioner have all remained the same. The OGX is almost finished, but I don't think it will kill my hair when I switch to another prepoo (which will probably be something drenched with coconut oil, as I know that works fabulously as well) since I think that I will continue doing this overnight prepoo thing - it's awesome!!!

Anyhoo, I am off to Johannesburg, South Africa for the weekend to visit a friend and to go see One Republic live in concert. Anybody else got any travel plans?

Have an awesome Thursday and a great weekend, whenever yours start.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Keep it simple stupid and know what needs to be done

Hey there everybody

So I have a massive week ahead of me due to the fact that I'm back in the office after a week of the flu, so I am just going to give you a quick fast update on my wash day this past weekend and stuff I noticed.

So, I prepoo's with OGX Moroccan Argan Oil conditioner, separating my hair in about 4-6 sections, finger detangling and applying the conditioner and then twisting it up. Covered my hair with a showercap and a head towel and then got my flu ridden body back between the covers and binge watching Spartacus. Now, I must say, that this conditioner does not have the greatest slip and it's not great for me when used as a normal conditioner but my hair LOVES it as a prepoo.

After about an hour and half (aka two episodes of Spartacus) I got to the shower and started actually washing my hair. My hair was buttery soft as I washed out the prepoo. I then shampooed with my trusty Avon Advanced Techniques Supreme Oils shampoo, which is also great. My hair and scalp feels clean without feeling stripped at all. It also lathers like a mofo from just a little bit of product aka value for money. a little goes a long way.

I instant conditioned with one of my London pick-ups (which I am so happy to report, I found a stockist for right here in Windhoek!!!!! and I LOVE this conditioner - Deep Moisturizing Main and Tale conditioner. The first time I used it it was a bit weird because it's this sickly blue colour that one associates with industrial cleansers. But it's magical on knots!! And man! Have I been struggling with single strand knots - they are the bane of my existence! The scent is very light and it melts into my strands, so in shower finger detangling is a dream. This is DEFINITELY going to become a staple!

I then proceeded to deep condition with an old trusted favourite - ORS Replenishing Conditioner. Because I am such a sucker for trying out anything new I have left this oldy but a goody on the back burner. And I really should not have. I really love this DC. I applied it to lightly terry cloth dried hair and then again covered it with the cap and head towel and continued watching Spartacus, also a good 2 episodes worth.

After rinsing I said to myself - Robyn, just because you have a plethora of new products that you want to try and test, DO NOT let this one go! My hair felt SO strong, yet soft. 

I then let my hair air dry a bit whilst getting dressed and what not and then applied my leave-ins of Cantu Shea Butter Leave in and OGX Coconut Milk Serum. 

I then proceeded to roller set and had my hair air dry in the rollers. The Coconut Serum has a slight sticky quality to it, but my hair is soft as silk when dry, so I simply make sure to not use a lot. I have had that bottle for a good 4 months now, it's not even half yet. The Cantu Leave-in is going to last me forever, I swear. I have been using it consistently for about 6-8 washes now and every time I open the jar one would swear that it has never been used. A little truly goes a LONG way.

We had a girl's night planned so I wanted to do something a little different, and since I've been wearing my hair curly for the last few weeks I decided to go straight, ram rod straight. I have this infra-red straightener which imparts such a shine and gloss with a single pass. Because I'm only a few weeks post the straightening sessions went fast AND confirmed to me that my ends are in the best condition in months!!! Trimming really is beneficial people! Unfortunately I don't have a decent pic showing what I did - I sweeped up the left side of my hair and pinned it up so that it LOOKED like I had sheared off the hair on that side and left the right side loose and hanging over my shoulder. I then added a cuff earring to make the look a bit more badass and then off we went!

So stuff I noticed - my hair likes it when I give it a shot of protein every wash day. Not HARD protein every wash day, that would be stupid. But a shot of it nonetheless. I'm getting better with finger detangling and minimizing manipulation. My hair likes being straight but protected. Today I'm wearing a high pony held with a scrunchie (yes, a scrunchie!) my ends out of the way of my scraf and coat collar. The keeping it straight is to help make sure the single strand knots are kept at bay. Also, it's just easier to keep a comb out of my hair when it's straight because then fingers suffice for all things. With curls I tend to want to use a comb to manipulate it in the style I want. Which is not that great, as we all know. But that's also why rollersets are the best - I can get heatless straight hair with my rollersets and a wrap. Also - KISS - keep it simple stupid!

So there ya go! what have you done lately? And what products have you come to love or rediscover? Have a great week everybody!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The peril that is a weekend at the coast

Hey y'all

So I trust my American pals had a good Memorial Weekend? We had a long weekend as well, yesterday was Africa day here in the Southern African region and so me and a few friends decided to head to the coats for some r&r. It was lovely, as well as a peril to my hair and health journeys.

Fitness Friday

On the hair side - salty humidity is NOT cool. Even though I am freshly relaxed, my hair puffed up like yeasty dough before being beat down with fists. My ends indicated to me that they need extreme TLC as they puffed more, indicating dryness and lack of protein, so I am on those missions. I will relay exactly how in my #WashdayExperience post later this week. 

The BIG peril was of course to my diet and routine. Holy Moses!!! Vacations, even mini ones can prove fatal to a structured eating plan, even if you stay in a self catering chalet and not a hotel. It was an entire cheat weekend, but one learns from one's mistakes and thus I wish to tell you guys what I picked up this past few day:

  • Have your "cheat" meal consist of 75% lean protein and then 25% veggies. This weekend I managed to still steer clear of carbs and starches. High protein meals means feeling fuller for longer so you won't be tempted with ice cream stands on the beach. I did slip slightly and realised my body really doesn't like carbs anymore so it really isn't a big loss. I felt annoyed and irritated from the sugar spikes it caused and I'm so over it.
  • It may be a vacation, but don't sleep in too late. Sleeping in too late means missing breakfast, heading straight into brunch/lunch and over eating. It happened to me both mornings of my weekend away and it led to the most guilt. So, next time, I am going to get up at the same time as always, have my usual breakfast and thus eat normally over lunch. Over eating piles on the calories. 
  • Small coastal towns are awesome for walking, so leave the car and actually walk around. I did manage to get some of this in, but after a certain time in the afternoon the weather didn't really permit it. the mist and the fog was so dense, I would have walked straight into the sea, lol. 
  • Have 100cal snack packs on hand, depending of course on your itinerary whilst on holiday. It helps you to keep within your calorie limits without feeling like you're starving or depraving yourself on vacation. And I'm talking healthy snacks like nuts, seeds, biltong. NOT sweets and candy and cookies and biscuits. 
  • Last but not least, don't beat yourself up if you've crossed the calorie line a few times. Just pick yourself up and start over. Today is Day 1 for me all over again, but it's not like I gained back the 18 pounds I've lost so far in the space of a single weekend. So my attitude will be as if I did, keeping myself in check and being as strict with myself as I was when I started my program 6 weeks ago. And the result will be that hopefully I will shed another 7-9 pounds in the next couple of weeks. 
Essentially at the end of the day, never give up, I've learned that now. Just because one cheats once in a while (and now I'm talking only about food people!!! Don't go getting ideas, lol!) does not mean that all efforts up till that point has been a waste. Trust me, it has not. Don't beat yourself up, accept that you're only human, that mistakes will be made AND that you didn't gain the weight in a month, so stop expecting to lose all of it in a month. To lose and KEEP the weight off requires a life style change, and those are pretty hard if it's too drastic, so slipping here and there is not the end of the world. Just remember that you need to keep a handle on yourself otherwise it turns into the slippery slope and you end up gaining 20 pounds. 

Anyhoo, this journey kicks my butt sometimes, but I'm not giving up, in any way, sense or form. 18 pounds down, 63 pounds to go. There's no stopping me any time soon. 

Have a great week everybody!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

New rules, new staples.

Hey there everyone

So, I told y'all that i am on a weight loss journey. Anyone who is anyone that has ever attempted one will tell you that this tends to be on of the hardest things you'll ever do. Temptation is everywhere!!! As a consequence I have learned a couple of things over the past few weeks that I've been on a new journey and hopefully the last one ever. At the end of this I plan to be slender and strong and STAY that way. So I figured why not do a quick #fitnessfriday post on a Tuesday?

Fitness Friday

One of the things that I have learned is to prepare food ahead of time. It stops you from giving into stupid cravings which will end up being the down fall of your weight loss plans. The second thing, and I feel that this walks hand in hand with beforehand preparation, is to do smart grocery shopping. I am one of the laziest people you will EVER encounter. They say most women dream of finding the perfect partner/husband/man/ect. Me? I dream of being able to eat whatever I want and NOT gain weight. Because that is as far removed from my reality as me getting it on with Captain America, I needed to get smart about what I actually buy at the store and thus have in my house.

Hey there good looking!!
Fish has become a staple. And I specifically look out for cuts and pieces and brands that allow me to either microwave or steam or oven bake, that way avoiding preparing it with any additional fat. Fish fry is out of the window for me, and honestly, I don't miss it.

Steamed Thai curry hake, steam vegetables and a side of chunky guacamole. Took me about 15 in total to prepare.

Lemon pepper oven baked hake, caulirice and a herby tomato salsa. 

Oven baked haddock fillet and Greek salad using apple cider vinegar and herbs as dressing

My staples! 
As y'all can see, I vary the taste of my fishy meals but one theme runs through out - each one of these plates that you see has less than 250 calories in energy, are very low in fat and has next to zero carbohydrates. They're delicious and don't taste like diet food. Remember, eating healthy does not mean eating bland, tasteless food.

So, what has been your saving grace in the quest to live healthy (and perhaps shed a few pounds?) Till next time y'all!

Fitness Friday

Friday, May 15, 2015

My other journey

Hey there y'all

Yes, I am on  a bit of a weight loss journey as well, only this time it's different. 

Fitness Friday

I have almost always been on a diet! My whole life I have been chunky, husky, chubby, fat, obese, a risk to my health and life and I am busy changing that. I am on this journey with my GP by my side. I take supplements up the wazoo, I have cut out practically all starches, carbs and sugars, I drink water like it's going out of fashion and I am trying to eat as clean and organically as possible. Weight loss is 70% nutrition and 30% exercise, and trust me I have been focusing on my nutrition.

So, in the coming weeks I am planning to update y'all more frequently here on Fitness Fridays, but I didn't want to start until I could see for myself that the discipline is actually paying off. 

so, without further ado:

Changes aren't always huge. But now that I can see an actual change and difference I am super motivated. I will not give up, I will not relapse, I will soldier on, I WILL make it. 

PS I lost 13 pounds in one month. Only a million more to go (well that's how it feels in my head, lol)

Have a great weekend everybody!!

At last, at last!

Hey there all!

So, my life has been a little topsy turvy, but I need to update y'all quickly on what's going on with my hair, including how my washdays have changed in general.

The Wash Day Experience

So, wash days: As y'all know I have been struggling with tons of new growth, shedding and breakage and just trying to get my hair under control! Being 6 months post is no joke, and in all honesty, I don't think I'm ready for transitioning, nor am I ready for a big chop. So, the past couple of wash days my mission was to infuse lots of moisture and to strengthen the line of demarcation with layers of protein. So generally lots of coconut oil during the prepoo process and strengthening leave in conditioners. Also, a bit of "experimentation" regarding deep conditioners, since I brought a boat load with me back from the UK.

So let's start with my experiences with a few of them, and first off Roux Porosity Control and Corrector.

As y'all know, I have always said that my hair is quite porous. When roller setting I ALWAYS need to have a spritz bottle of water nearby as my hair air dries quicker than i can roller set. So I got this and tried it for the first time a couple of wash days ago, and I must say, I like it. It's quite slippy and my hair did feel stronger and more supple after using it. Also, my natural hair (which at stage was about 2 inches worth, LOVED it. I have no discernible curl pattern but after rinsing the Roux it looked as if mini ringlets wanted to pop. If I ever go natural, I think that THIS must be a complete staple just for that fact alone!

The next issue that I felt needed to be seriously tackled was the SHEDDING. Like a husky in the summer baby, I was being driven nuts with the amounts of hair I had in my hands after every stage of my wash day regimen. Again I turn to something I found in London. 

So, I have never before heard of nuNaat as a brand but I have read of girls extolling the benefits of garlic in reducing shedding, so when I saw this in a little hole in the wall beauty supply store in Barking, I grabbed it. Also, LOVE! Going to use it again SOON - slippy, very light nice scent (no garlicky smell whatsoever) and it's been a week since I used it - i notice MUCH less shed hair in my comb, so that's a start!

Next up, my new staple leave in.

I have been reading about this leave in conditioner for years! I am about to add myself to the ranks of people who love this leave in. Why? Let me count the ways:

  • Big ass jar!!! Generally I hate tubes and stuff where you have to pump out your product so THIS is awesome.
  • A little goes a long way! I've used it three times now and the last time I opened the jar it still looked like it has never been used!!! 
  • Did I mention BIG ass jar? Now combine that with a little going a long way - this thing is going to last a LONG time, which I am a big fan of!
  • My hair has been feeling stronger and softer since I started using it. I still use the MoroccanOil leave in as well, y'all know that is a massive staple for over a year now, but the Cantu is here to stay. (Side note: i need to start a little fund for all these foreign products that I love so that I can import them at ridiculous prices when they finish.)
Other than that, it has been same old same old.

So, news is - I relaxed my hair! After 6 months, two of which I really struggled. 

I self relaxed with the help of my friend, using my staple ORS No Lye for Girls. 
As I've told y'all before, I have a sensitive scalp, even when I base the hell out of it and this kit has been perfect for me for years! Even though it is a milder formula I still add a good table spoon or two of oil to the mixed relaxer, not to texlax, but to give me a few grace minutes. This kit has everything you need, I however did add an additional step - a protein treatment after neutralizing and before using the moisturizing DC they include in the kit. I used Palmers Protein pack and i loved it. Left my hair a bit stiff but that was corrected once I applied the moisturizing DC. 

Then I applied Bone Strait as my leave in and roller set. I LOVE my hair right now. It's STRAIGHT and smooth and soft and all kinds of awesome. Also, now I have at least a good 3 months that I can pamper and take care of it and focus on length retention instead of worrying about the thicket of new growth. It does have that bit of stiffness though that FRESHLY relaxed hair tends to have from the mineral deposits. So this weekend I am planning to wash my hair with a good chelating shampoo and then I will also take lots of pics so that y'all can see what is currently going on on top of my head. 

In meantime, tell me about your experiences with the above products that I've been using? 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Liebster Award 2015

Hola hola!!

So, Yvette from Hard Mashona Type nominated me for the Liebster Award - thank you hon!!

Now the rules for the award are:

1.Tag the person's blog who nominated you in your post.
2. Nominate 11 bloggers with no more than 500 followers
3. Ask 11 questions to your nominees.
4. Let your nominees know they have been chosen.
5. Post your answers to the questions you answered
6. Don't forget to comment on this post with your link so I can see how you answered the questions.

So here goes - my answers to Yvette's questions:

1. Who/what inspired you to start blogging?

Well, I actually started blogging just to write again, I've always liked writing. A few years ago though, whilst sitting in tears of frustration, I started searching for advice on how to deal with my hair. As a consequence I found the hair blogosphere, filled with ladies who have grown their hair, that looks just like mine, to unimagined lengths. These first ladies not only showed me the way regarding actually CARING for my hair, but they also were my initial inspiration to document my journey in this blog and they were Ebony from Longing4Length, Jeni from Just Grow Already and Nadege from Relaxed Hair Health. 

2. What has blogging help you to achieve?

Apart from my hair being longer than ever before in my adult life, blogging also introduced me to these wonderful women all around the world! I can talk to them, and ask for advice freely. When I write a post, I imagine that we're all sitting with a cup of coffee and discussing our latest hair wins and fails. In my real life, outside of the hairblogging world, my friends come to me regarding any hair queries, which I appreciate, because it shows me that they value my advice and opinion. 

3. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things would you want with you?

Well, we're assuming immediately that there is an abundance of fresh water, fresh fruit and shelter on this island. That being said I would want: 
  • My person
  • A fully charged satellite phone - I'm not planning to be stranded long, thank you very much
  • Sunscreen
  • A very slippy moisture rich conditioner
  • Rum (yes, just like Jack Sparrow)
4. If given the opportunity, which country would you like to live and work in for a year?

It's a toss up between the USA, the UK and Australia. Since I have lived in the US for almost a year and I have been to the UK very recently, I guess Oz wins this round. Of course, the perfect scenario for me would be to live and work in New York, earn a ridiculous amount of money which I will save up and then at the end of that year just travel for 3 months.

5. What is the one thing you love most about your home country?

Namibia is a beautiful country. Still very young, as we've only recently celebrated our 25th year of Independence. We are however a peaceful country and one of the most stable in all of Africa. The people are friendly and hospitable and welcoming. The one thing I love MOST though is the fact that I only have to drive 15-20 minutes from my front door to find myself in unspoiled nature, even though the city is just around the corner.

6. If you had $50,000 to give to charity, which charity would you donate to and why?

I would donate it to charity that provides shelter for abused women and children. Domestic violence is unfortunately quite prevalent and our city does not really have facilities for women to escape to in order to get away from their abusive husbands or partners. So, I would donate it to a halfway house that can truly protect as well as council these women. 

7. Can you tell us 3 random facts about you?

  • I'm a complete and utter Potterhead. I have read all the Harry Potter books multiple times, I've seen all the films multiple times and I've visited Warner Bros Studios: The Making of Harry Potter in Leavesden, UK. Also, I wear a golden snitch around my neck. 

  • I still have flights of fancy of being "discovered" as a singer. I love singing and I karaoke a lot and I'm quite good, if I say so myself. 
  • I have a deviated septum, which gives me so much grief. Chronic sinusitus is probably one of the most annoying of conditions. So, I'm planning to undergo surgery before the end of this year to have it fixed.  

8. If you were on an episode of Come Dine with Me, which celebrities, alive or deceased, would you want to compete with?

  • Jennifer Lawrence, definitely. I predict a fun night with her at the table. 
  • Mike Shinoda, the MC and vocalist of my favourite band ever - Linkin Park. 
  • Theo James - the very simple reason of him being HOT. I think he is seriously one of the most attractive men I have ever laid eyes on. 
  • Michelle Rodriguez - because she is one badass chick! I love strong women that don't any crap from anybody. Also, she'll probably bring the tequila, lol!
9. Book version or movie version?

Book version, always!!! It's extremely rare that the movie version truly matches the book. But there have been some pretty good book-to-movie adaptations lately, specifically the Harry Potter series and the Hunger Games trilogy. I usually make a point of reading the book before seeing the film, although sometimes when I was not aware of the existence of a book, then I will seek out the book after enjoying the film. 

10. What do you love most about what you do (work or school)?

The constant evolution of the law, the opportunity to continue learning, the chance to make a difference. 

11. What do you hope to accomplish in the next 5 years?

I barely know what I hope to accomplish in the next 5 days, lol. I want everything, I want to see everything, I want to experience everything...Of course I wish for advancement in my career, who doesn't. But personally, within the next five years I would like to OWN a home of my own. Property prices here are ridiculous and it's going to take a lot of saving, planning and praying for me to be able to buy a house. But yeah, that's front and center. 

I herewith tag and nominate the following awesome bloggers for this award:

and I hereby post to y'all the following questions:

  1. Do you have a favorite designer? If you do, who is it and why?
  2. What movie most recently made you shed a tear or two?
  3. What's your dream car? 
  4. If there's one hair care product that you would universally recommend, what would that be and why?
  5. What are the top three items on your bucket list?
  6. If someone offered you free plastic surgery, what procedure would you have done?
  7. What music do you listen to during a workout?
  8. How long have you been on your healthy hair journey?
  9. Do you have any tattoos and/or piercings? If yes, tell us about them. 
  10. Favourite book and why?
  11. White picket fence in the suburbs or penthouse in the city?
There we go! Looking forward to reading yours, and so learn a little more about y'all. 

Till next time!

Adios amigos! 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Re-evaluating my needs

Hey there y'all! 

Trust everyone has had a great week behind them. I am having a good hair week, FINALLY, for the first time in a while. I'm STILL struggling with breakage and shedding, but my hair feels stronger and more moisturised and more supple this week than it has in a while, so clearly I did something right this past wash day. 

Now, just quick update on what's actually going on on top of my head. I did not document when I last relaxed my hair, but I do know that it was before my birthday last year, which falls in early December. So roughly calculating from the week of my birthday, I'm about 20 weeks post relaxer, which explains the mop of new growth that I'm dealing with. This was also a very much unintentional stretch - colouring my hair and putting in twists and going to London and my very trusty hairdresser moving to another town 800 km away all contributed to me not "getting my hair did". As y'all know, I am NOT a fan of multiple textures and trying to find the happy middle ground of dealing with them, so y'all can expect one of two things happening in the near future - a relaxer update or a big chop, cause I'm DONE! Note - I am not going to transition. Ever. If I go natural, it'll be a big chop. I truly cannot stand working with multiple textures, they drive me insane!

Secondly, I cut off about an inch of hair all by myself - the raggiest of the raggedy ends, in order to curb some of the freaking breakage. And I think it worked, I haven't seen short broken hairs in my hands since. But I'm still trying to curb the demarcation line breakage. I suspect that this past wash day was the first step into the right direction, as I'm starting to think that I have concentrated so much on moisture the past few months, that I have thrown off the moisture-protein balance in my hair and THUS it's breaking like crazy. 

Thirdly, one my of my best friends have a birthday party this week themed "Great Gatsby" and I'm planning to wig it up for the party. To do this I'm planning to have my hair cornrowed on Friday and then in the process also have a protective style for a week or two whilst wigging it up. Yes, I DO realise that this might cause me to stretch even longer and that the relaxer or big chop might not happen for another couple of weeks. BUT I feel that doing this is a healthier option for the themed party than trying to manipulate my own hair into a 1920's worthy style. It's also getting cooler this side of the world and protective styling during the winter has been my go to since I started this journey 3 years ago. 

Okidokie, let's get stuck into this week's #washdayexperience, which essentially led to the above realizations. 

The Wash Day Experience

My look the day BEFORE wash day - a little pompoudour and french plaited in the back - had this protective style for 3 days straight.

My prepoo mix - as y'all can see, EVERYTHING contains argan/Moroccan oil as an  ingredient. 

Hair lost during the prepoo and detangling process, primarily shedding, but still significant breakage. 

As the pics above detail, I wore a french braid with a pompoudour for 3 days straight as a protective style before my wash day. On my wash day I mixed up my prepoo mix, this time, as you can see, using primarily the last bit of all my AVON Advance Techniques conditioners as well as the last of my Sunsilk conditioner. I also added a CRAP load of sunflower oil, feeling that it's time that I reintroduce ceramides into my hair regimen. I finger detangled and applied my prepoo mix in six separate sections, twisting up each section as I go along. During the prepoo application process I collected every single hair and ended up with too much for my liking. After applying the entire prepoo mixture I wrapped up my hair in a plastic cap, my shower cap and my AVON microfibre head wrap and promptly became a lazy bum in front of the TV. 

Prepoo chilling - still cute though, lol!!
It was a LONG prepoo session, because I forgot to put on the geyser before I started, so after sitting for about 45 minutes I wanted to go shower and continue with the rest of my washday process, but I can't do cold showers, nope, nope, lots of nope. So I then switched on the geyser and proceeded to wait for the water to warm up, a time period during which I watched an episode of something. so essentially, at the end of the day my prepoo alone was 2 hours long!

My shampoo - it's the business!

Smoothing and detangling conditioner - I need more!!!

My deep conditioner - first time experience. 

Staple leave ins. HE Bee strong is on it's last legs though.

So, water finally warm and I'm in the shower. Shampooed with Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Shampoo. I forgot how nice this shampoo works - uber lather but my hair didn't feel stripped. 

Then I dived for the HE Hello Hydration Conditioner as my smoothing and detangling conditioner. now, on a previous wash day I had massive tangles and knots, mainly due to the multiple textures and very thick new growth. So, I decided to go to my OLD method, that used to work 2 years ago, but I somehow abandoned - finger detangling at every step of the wash day process. So, starting at the nape I separated a section, pinning the rest up with a claw clip, and then with some Hello Hydration I started to finger detangle my hair. This conditioner has awesome slip, the knots easily slipped out, the tangles were not very big competition for this conditioner. I did this section by section, moving forward on my head until my entire head was covered in conditioner and finger detangled. Unfortunately, this method also means more manipulation and since my hair has not been in its ideal state, this also led to more shedding and breakage. 

Total amount of hair lost in the shower during rinsing, shampoo, conditioner detangling, rinsing, DC application and rinsing. 
After rinsing the Hello Hydration I deep conditioned with Elasta QP Intense Fortifying Hair Conditioning Treatment. I've only ever read about this conditioner as it is SO NOT available in my country. So on my recent trip to London I picked up a LOT of products that I've only been dreaming of and this was one of them. It was the first time using it and looking at the ingredients list and description it seems like a mild protein DC, but with plenty of moisturising agents. So, I applied it liberally in sections. It also has a nice slip but it also feels slightly tacky. I didn't really care for how it felt in my hands. It also did absorb or penetrate into my hair as quickly as I hoped, but I could see that should I go natural that my hair would LOVE it, because the curls in my new growth suddenly started popping a bit. I again wrapped up my hair and ended up on the couch. The instructions say to condition for 10 minutes, but I suspect I DC'd for about 45 minutes to an hour. When I rinsed, my hair felt quite strong without feeling dry.

I then applied my leave ins of MoroccanOil Treatment and HE Bee Strong Conditioning Creme and proceeded to rollerset my hair with my normal rollers. I used Ebony's, from Longing4Length, 3 comb method to again detangle and then rollerset, of course spritzing the hair as I went so to ensure that the hair is wet to ensure it be as smooth as possible. 

Hair lost during the rollersetting process. 
I then let my hair air dry in the rollers until completely dry. When I took out the rollers many hours later it was already getting late and I felt exhausted. I thus just combed my hair into a ponytail and wrapped it with my satin scarf. 

It's been a couple of days since that wash and my hair has been behaving better than it has the week before, that's for sure. It feels stronger, it looks smoother, it feels and looks softer. I've kept my styling and handling very simple - sleep with the satin scarf (that OF COURSE slips off in the middle of the night), use my rake comb when styling, wear a pony tail or pin up, massage a little bit of Jamaican Black Castor Oil pomade (also a London buy) into the roots and ends. 

Day 4 hair - pulled back into a ponytail with the bangs banging. 

My next wash day might be either tomorrow or Thursday, in preparation for the cornrows for the wig for Friday's party. BUT I am going to repeat all of the above steps and see if incorporating more protein on wash day via the Elasta QP might actually SOLVE my breakage issues once and for all! Hopefully, the hair balls will be significantly smaller. Here's to getting my hair back on track!!

Hope your wash days were awesome! If you haven't yet, join the Wash Day Experience and tell the rest of us how you keep your mane in check. 

Till next time ladies! Adios!