Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fitting it in between Grey's Anatomy and Scandal

Hello there everybody

Trust everyone had a splendid week and that it's just getting better. Easter is approaching and I also trust that we are all not just looking forward to a few days off, but also counting our blessings and amping up our gratitude.

In the world of my hair, yesterday I tackled it and washed it myself for the first time in 6 weeks. Yeah, yeah, I know that sounds kinda gross, but it's not that bad. Y'all remember that I was weaved up for four of those weeks, so even when I "washed" my hair during that time, it wasn't exactly like a regular wash day. And the last two weeks, I went to the salon for a wash and blow out. So, yesterday I thought that I need to tackle it myself so that I can FEEL what is going on on top of my scalp.

I got home and to save time, I decided to dry deep condition, which ended up just being an intense pre-poo. I grabbed a pack of ORS HAIRepair Banana & Bamboo Conditioner and applied that after dividing my hair into quadrants. I lost I think 3 shed hair during this process. After the entire packet was on my hair, I sealed in the conditioner with coconut oil, then put on a shower cap, a plastic grocery bag AND a scarf and settled in for Masterchef Australia(which is an hour long show).

After Masterchef I RACED to the bathroom, since I had 4 minutes before the start of Grey's Anatomy. In that time I rinsed off and then shampooed using my Avon Moroccan Oil Shampoo. I just lathered up once, and my hair felt phenomenal. I then raced back to the couch, Avon Moroccan Oil Conditioner and Dove Repair Conditioner in hand and as Grey's started applied the two conditioners, again sealed them with coconut oil, and again covered up with plastic bag, shower cap and scarf. During commercial breaks I made sure to eat a little dinner - a lamb stew with dried prunes reminiscent of Katniss' favourite Capitol dish from the Hunger Games trilogy.

After Grey's finished up, I raced to the bathroom once more. I again only had 4 minutes till Scandal starts. I rinsed like a woman possessed. My hair felt soft, but strong. Somehow, without REALLY thinking about it, I got the moisture/protein balance just right during this wash. In total I think I lost about 12-15 hairs during the washing, conditioning and rinsing stages, so I am a happy chappy.

I then wrapped my hair in a soft old towel, grabbed my leave-ins of Avon 3D Rescue and M Moroccanoil Treatment. As Scandal starts and (spoiler alert) and James get shot, I apply a peanut sized amount of the 3D Rescue and about a little less than double of that of the Moroccanoil Treatment to my hair, then sectioned it into three so as to start roller setting.

I roller set my hair, making sure to have a water spritz close. I then let my hair air dry in the rollers for an hour and a half whilst watching the rest of Scandal and the last three quarters of the MTV Movie Awards. (That award show seems like the biggest party!) After the award show I realised that time is getting away from me and I finished drying my hair with my hair dryer blasting it with cold air whilst the hair is still in the rollers. Once dry I took out the rollers and realised that over 3 months of new growth is NO joke and whipped out the Toni & Guy straightener. I flat ironed the hair in small sections, only using one quick pass over the roots.

Once I was done, I cross wrapped my hair, put on my satin scarf and passed out. This morning my hair is soft, super manageable and not a single shed or broken hair in my comb. I'm going to try and keep this stretch going for as long as I can since it seems like my hair is not suffering yet.

How did everybody else deal with their main mane this week? See y'all soon, have a cracking Tuesday!

The Wash Day Experience

Monday, April 7, 2014

I've been doing it all my life!

Hola everybody.

I trust everyone has had a great weekend. Today was a wash day for me, but I went to the salon again because my life is running away with me. And I have WAY too much new growth to DIY and rush through the process, I would just end up regretting it. So, I grabbed my own products and then headed to the same salon that did my hair after removing my weave. And again, I was not disappointed with the way they treated my hair nor with the results. I must mention this though - because the used MY products that I brought from home, in the order that I requested, my hair feels stronger and softer than it did when they used THEIR shampoo and conditioner and leave in. I have made a decision that whenever I go to a stylist in future I shall take with me my anal nature regarding how they should treat my hair (I grabbed the wide tooth comb and detangled myself prior to roller setting!) as well as my own products that I know work well for me at home. The ones shown below are the ones I grabbed today.

Avon Advance Techniques Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner

Avon Advance Techniques Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo
D & L Anti Breakage Healing Treatment - I used this as a protein DC and it is amazing, as it is not a hard protein, but hair feels quite a bit stronger. Wide mouth tub - Jeni, your kind of thing, lol.

How the DC looks coming out of the tub. Very  thick and creamy, but it sinks in well.

Moroccanoil Treatment - this is a leave in treatment that has the consistency of a serum but acts as a conditioner and heat protectant. It is HELLA expensive (It amounts to 2 months of groceries!) and I received it as a gift. I guard this with my life, and I lend it to NO ONE. It works like a charm and it is NOT readily available in this country.
No make up selfie!! Hair results are on point though. 

Results - smooth, soft, strong. I do need another colour rinse though, this natural brown is a little boring to me.
However, what I really want to talk to y'all about today is rollersetting and how to get a good set, thus stretching your hair without the detrimental direct heat of a blow dry or a straightening iron.

Now, I know that in general every head of hair is different, and believe me, I am not trying to dictate the "right" way. I am simply sharing my life long experience, as my hair has been roller set every wash day since I was teeny tiny baby. I remember a picture taken of me at the tender age of two years, running around in our back yard on chubby legs, massive smile on my face and a head full of rollers.

So, I have had a LOT of practice to perfect my roller setting technique and it would be remiss of me to not share with like minded ladies.

On any normal wash day I follow my normal routine of detangle, pre-poo, shampoo, instant condition, detangle, deep condition, leave in condition and then final detangle. Then the roller setting process starts. I divide my hair into three sections, usually recognized as the mohawk method.

Picture provided by Fancy Flair Lady 
I start my set with the middle section, but I start in front with my bangs and not at the crown, as I've seen a few ladies do. Always remember to keep a spritz bottle of water close by. It is always better that hair be more wet than damp when roller setting as to get a good stretch at the roots and to get a smooth result.

Each section of hair that I use per roller I make sure is completely detangled. I also make sure that each section fits the width of the roller and that stray strands of hair aren't slipping off the ends. This helps to ensure that the end results are smooth and well stretched.

Make sure to pull the hair nice and taut as you roll the hair over the roller. Do not pull it TOO taut as this will cause the hair to snap as it dries. Remember. hair stretches more whilst wet. Just ensure that the hair is pulled tautly enough so that one's roots mesh well with the relaxed lengths. If you are natural, ensure that the hair is evenly pulled taut around the roller.

Once I finish up the middle row, I move to the sides. Now, by this time, due to high porosity issues, the ends of  my hair has air dried quite a bit and requires gentle handling. I take my spritz water bottle (which usually contains a little bit of moisturising conditioner) and spray the hair until it is nice and wet again. Mind you NOT soaking wet, yet more wet than damp. Out of habit I move to the left side of my head first before tackling the right. I divide the side into two parts, making a vertical part and then first rolling the front and then the back, using the same methods as with the mohawk. At the end of the day, THIS is what I look like when I'm done:

As you can see, I continue to roll my hair in horizontal lines parallel to the mohawk. I have found this method to be the simplest, yet most effective method for the results that I wish to obtain. Usually I let the hair air dry in the rollers, although if time is of the essence, I blast it with cold air to hurry the process along.

Drying the last sections that are still in rollers. As y'all can see, bigger rollers equals straighter hair. Smaller rollers equal more defined curls. 

After all that effort, I usually simply put my hair into a cute protective style that shows off the fact that my hair is shiny clean whilst still utilizing some of the volume and body and curls provided by the roller set, such as below:

So! There you have it. If anybody has any questions feel free to ask. at the end of the day I believe that rollersetting is one of the biggest favors that one can do her hair. Remember, practice makes perfect!

Have a lovely week everybody!

The Wash Day Experience

Monday, March 31, 2014

I've been on hiatus for a while, but I'm back!!

Hello there everyone

Apologies for not having checked in in a while, I haven't truly felt very motivated to write about what's going on inside my head, or on top of it really. I have been feeling very tired and run down, and it took all of my energy just to focus on getting through each day. Thank the Lord though, I did get through each day and although I still feel tired (I need Easter weekend to hurry up and get here!) I feel a little better about life in general. It might be because the weather is cooling down my side of the world, which means less energy zapping scorching heat. I love summer as much as the next person, but remember, I practically live in a desert! When it gets hot, we all feel like limp lettuce leaves!

In the beginning of March I finally did what I have been threatening to do for a WHILE and I got myself weaved up. I did a full weave with no leave out and used a pack of Bobbi Boss hair. The lady that did the install was GREAT. She listened to my needs and attended to them. My tracks were done nice and securely without feeling tight or uncomfortable in any way. I told her beforehand to treat my hair as if I had the scalp of a five year old. After she did the install I did feel a little weird, but it was all good at the end of the day. I got quite a few compliments from friends and I felt good about doing intense protective styling for a change. I needed to rev up my retention and I thought that doing the weave during the last hot humid month of summer is the perfect time, as it is before my growth rate slows down a bit. I decided to have a realistic length that is not THAT much longer than my own, and it paid off, as it looked a little more natural than a superlong weave would have looked.

Weaved up at a St Patrick's Day party. 
During the month that I was wearing the weave I washed my hair 3 times, making sure to massage between the tracks and to get conditioner on not only my own hair but also on the weave. I also made sure to spritz me hair with a moisturiser and oiled my scalp a couple of times a week. I did make a mistake regarding the colour of the hair (colour 1) as in the beginning it made me look very much like a lost member of the Addams family. The black dye however washed out every time I washed my hair and after two washes it did not look as stark against my relatively fair skin. I doubt that I will buy this hair again though, as it shed HORRIBLY. I felt like a chia pet - every time I got up from the couch I found hair on the pillows!! But considering that I only wore the hair for a month, I guess it was okay considering that the hair was not very expensive, and also I don't see the sense in spending thousands of dollars (in my country's currency) if I'm not going to wear the hair for longer than 6 weeks. And after 4 weeks I got BORED.

So last Friday I went to the salon to take the weave out and for a wash and blow out. The same girl who did the install also took it out. I explained again to her that I am anal and paranoid about my hair and about breakage and that she needs to be uber gentle. She responded in kind and worked with soft hands, which I guess explains why it took quite a while to get the hair out and my tracks loose and detangled. And holy smokes!!!! The amount of shed hair that came out of there!! See below - I looked at it from all angles to make sure that it is indeed all shed hair and glory hallelujah! There was a little bit of breakage, which I guess is to be expected, but it accounted for maybe 10 % of that hair ball, so I'm pretty happy. It DOES confirm to me though that I need to revisit tea rinses for the shedding.

Check out that hairball!!

After detangling my hair I went to get my hair washed. I was silly and did not check what shampoo and conditioner they used. The shampoo girl continued to work with a gentle hand and even though it FELT like my hair was breaking when she detangled again whilst my hair was soaked in conditioner, she showed me the comb and there was VERY little hair in it. Cue happy dance!

She deep conditioned my hair with ORS Replenishing Pak with heat by parking me under the dryer for about 15-20 minutes, after which she rinsed, applied Bone Straight Conditioner as leave in and heat protectant and and then proceeded to roller set my hair. I'm about 3 months post and have quite a bit of new growth, so it was nice to have it handled by someone else other than myself. After my hair was set in the rollers I was parked again under the dryer, again for only 15-20 minutes, after which my hair was dry. Yes, that dryer is AWESOME, it warms uniformly and it hit even the rollers by my nape.

After removing the rollers I was given a quick blow out before my hair was completely straightened by a GHD flat iron. Yes, it's a lot of direct heat, but it happens so rarely in general that I felt okay with it. And I loved the results! My hair LOOKED as if I had a touch up done when she was done. And I am claiming APL!!!!!! Irony of course - my hair still doesn't FEEL long - it feels very much medium. But I'm happy, because I think I actually have Olivia Pope length hair now, heehee.

 Even ends! Oh happy day!
Office bathroom selfie!!

I'm getting there!! Slowly but surely, I'm getting there!

So now that I'm dealing with my own hair again, I will be more active on this here blog, especially since I feel even more inspired now, by the fact that I NEVER thought I could even reach this current length that I am. I am planning to protective style normally for the month of April by means of French and Dutch braids, buns and pin ups. I want to see if I can stretch to 16 weeks without breakage, so I'm also planning to be very active regarding keeping my moisture-protein balance in check. I shall be revisiting tea rinses for the freaking shedding and I shall also consider picking up a wig, but with regard to the latter, I need to sort out the budget first, as the month is filled with family birthdays AND a friend's wedding, which is out of town.

Essentially, at the end of the day, I am happy with the progress I made this past month and I shall be protective styling more intensely more often so as to up my retention.

What has everybody else been up to??
Have a great week ahead y'all!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Took matters in my own hands

Hi there y'all. 

So, you remember me lamenting my busted ends? Thanks for telling me it's not that bad, but I simply could not take it anymore. So last night, I decided to wash my hair and give myself a slight trim, as it seems like a salon visit will have to wait a little due to budgetary constraints. 

So, last night I prepood for 20 minutes using Tresemme Naturals Conditioner, Amla oil and coconut oil. Shampooed with Tresemme Moisturizing Shampoo, instant conditioned with L'Oreal Elvive Triple Resist Conditioner. I then DC'd for 15 minutes with Gliss Ultimate Repair Anti-Damage Mask. (Review coming as soon as I finish the jar). I only had it on for that short time because I feared a protein overload. As it turned out, I did have a little bit of hardness on my hair, but that was pretty much fixed with my leave ins of Avon Moisture IQ and Moroccan Oil treatment. At least now I know that my hair's protein levels are a little higher than optimal and I only have to focus on moisture for the next month or so. I then roller set my hair and dried it with my hair dryer using the cool setting. 

When I took out the rollers, it took a while, because that's when I started dusting/trimming. As I removed one roller, I would cut off a maximum of 1 cm (less than a third of an inch) on that particular section. I did this with each and every section as I removed the individual rollers. When I was finally done I simply wrapped up my hair and went to bed. My phone's camera has the nasty habit of shutting off the phone when I try to take pictures, so I gave up on the idea of taking a pic of my hair itself. But, I at least got a pic of the amount of hair that was cut off, which is the following:

Now, I know that it doesn't look like much, but when I did my sideway French braid this morning, my hair just FELT so much better under my hands and I knew that I did the right thing. I will have a friend take a pic of my hair from the back in a few weeks and then we'll see if I achieved anything positive regarding the evening out of the hemline. Till then I am going to protective style up the wazoo and focus on moisture, moisture, moisture.

Have a great Thursday y'all. Just one more day and it's Friday!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Yep, I definitely need to get a trim!

Good morning there y'all. I trust everyone had a good weekend. I envy everyone that was on vacation during December. I was part of the dreaded skeleton staff and thus, although it is only February, I am exhausted, drained and not very motivated about anything in my life right now because I am simply too bloody tired. I haven't had any true time off since December 2012 and 2013 was a tough year in general. I can't wait for the weekend of 21 March. 21 March is our Independence day and thus a public holiday, which to us means a lovely 3 day weekend!! And I NEED it! 

Regardless, being on my hair journey, I know that I should not be neglecting my hair just because I'm in need of some R&R, so yesterday I did a wash day which included a length check, and people, I am going to get a trim, very very soon. (I just need to work it into my calendar and my budget) My hair feels nice, but my ends need to be evened out, otherwise I am never going to hit BSL by the end of this year. Right now I am grazing APL, ever ever so slightly. So any trim is going to take my back to barely collar bone length, but I can see that if I don't do it, my raggedy ends will not allow me to reach APL in the first place. 

Okay, so here's the recount of my wash day yesterday:

  1. Pree-poo/dry deep condition - I mixed up Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Conditioner and Amla oil and applied it to my dry, detangled hair, in a total of six sections. I twisted each section after applying the mix to prevent any tangling while I work. I then covered my hair with a plastic cap and left it on for a good 4 hours. Yep, FOUR hours!! Which is why it ended up being a prepoo and deep condition combo. 
  2. Shampooed with Tresemme Ultra Moisturizing Shampoo. I lathered up twice, making sure to concentrate on my scalp and not the length of my hair. This shampoo is definitely a staple, and I will need to repurchase soon, I think I only have about two uses left in that bottle (which I bought more than four months ago!! Talk about value for money!)
  3. Instant conditioned and finger detangled with TCB Bone Straight. This conditioner is a jack of all trades. It works as an instant conditioner, a deep conditioner and a leave in. It is an amazing product and CHEAP, costing less than N$30 (about US$3) for a 500ml bottle. 
  4. Wrapped my hair in my softest towel for a few minutes before applying my leave ins of Avon Moisture IQ Leave In Treatment and MoroccanOil Treatment, and then proceeded to rollerset. Whilst I was rollersetting I realised that the last 3 inches of my hair is extremely highly porous. I had to constantly spray it with my waterspritz (water, a little bit of Dark&Lovely Moisturizing Spritz and a little bit of Tresemme Naturals Conditioner) because it dried really fast, AS I'm busy rolling in my hair. I then also realised that it is the hair that I STARTED with when I began this journey and thus the oldest, least healthy, most damaged hair on my head. It is THEN that my hair actually screamed to me - CUT THOSE ENDS OFF!
  5. I let my hair air dry in the rollers as I planned to whip out the flat iron because I wanted to do a proper length check, as my hair journey turn two years old last week, the 5th of February. (forgot to do an anniversary post, last week was quite busy at work, and when I got home from the gym in the evenings I would be so exhausted that I would pass out straight after dinner.)
  6. I took out the rollers and then proceeded to flat iron. Luckily both my leave ins are also heat protectants. Regardless I flat ironed in small sections to ensure that I just do one quick pass on each section with the iron. 
  7. After taking a pic of my hair I saw that its general state is healthy and shiny, but my ends need help. A good friend of mine's sister in law goes to a stylist that is NOT scissor happy, according to her accounts. This stylist is apparently also more concerned with the health of your hair than the styling of it. I am going to get this lady's number and make an appointment for a trim to simply even out the back. Anyhoo, after taking the pic, I cross wrapped my hair and put on my satin scarf and went to bed after a mini Pirates of the Caribbean marathon (Curse of the Black Pearl and Dead Man's Chest. I LOVE me some Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom in these movies! Savvy?!)
So...here's where I am now ladies. Longer than CBL, barely (though not quite quite) grazing APL, and the ends (about half an inch to an inch, I refuse to lose more than an inch at this time) has to go!!

I must mention though - I never thought I would see the day that my hair is so long that it completely covers my tattoo!! (I love my ink though! I just never thought I would have hair that actually covers it!)

Anyway, I'm hoping to get that trim by this coming weekend (because then I will have my car back!!!! And I can move around much more freely! I really am not the biggest fan of cabs. As Sandra Bullock said in Speed whilst taking the bus, before the bomb was armed - "I love my car. I MISS my car!") Once I get that done I will update everyone on exactly where I stand. In the meantime, I am going to UP the moisturizing, baggying my ends every night (they NEED it) and protective styling. Any other advice ladies?

Hope everyone has a good Monday, with no blues, and a terrific week to come!
Blessed week everyone, and happy growing. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The gym plus rainy weather - I'm gonna throw some shade!

Hello there everybody.

We are in the 2nd month of 2014, and one of my new year's resolutions have been going pretty strong, which is going to the gym on a much more regular and consistent basis. I have been doing that and although the results are slowly coming, as my friend Ashante always says, it's about progress, not perfection. Well, I apply the same philosophy to my tresses, knowing that I will get where I want to be, I must just be consistent and relentless.

Now, those two worlds (gym and hair) sometimes do not really like each other, especially the past few days when we have had consistent rain here in Windhoek. Now, I am not complaining about the rain, it is marvelous! Namibia has been in the midst of a very intense, long drought. We were receiving international aid, it got so bad. Livestock were keeling over, so thank God for the rain. It does however make it a little more difficult to look cute AND make sure you take care of your hair. So, I have forsaken trying to look cute and focused on the care, keeping my hair bunned up and appreciating all the moisture in the air, as my hair is also nice and soft as a result.

Now, I wish to tell y'all about my most recent wash day, which was Monday evening. After an intense one hour strength training session, and walking a little in the rain, my head looked a hot mess, so I jumped into my wash day routine.

  1. Prepoo for 30 minutes with Darbur Amla Oil, detangling as I applied the very runny oil. 
  2. Shampoo with Amla Legend 3 in 1 Body Filler Shampoo. I am still in 2 minds regarding this shampoo. Although it contains sulphates, it does not produce an even half decent lather. I am still not sure if my hair was suffiently clean. However, it was super soft. Thus, still in 2 minds. 
  3. Instant conditioned with Tresemme Naturals Conditioner. Still loving that slip!! 
  4. Deep conditioned with ORS Replenishing Conditioner. Still my staple DC and the product to replace must practically be sent from heaven, made by the hands of angels and practically create a halo on top of my hair! I DC's with a plastic cap and towel for almost an hour. 
  5. Rinsed my DC and then applied my leave ins of  Bone Strait (a little extra protein for the ends), MorrocanOil Leave in treatment serum and Avon Moisture IQ treatment, and then proceeded to roller set. 
  6. It was getting late, so I used my hair dryer to dry my hair whilst in the rollers, taking care to not concentrate on one spot for too long. 
  7. After taking out the rollers, rubbed on some silicone serum, wrapped my hair and crashed into my bed. 
My hair came out great. BUT, then I went to gym Tuesday after work and proceeded to sweat like a young pig in a high intensity step class, hair thus frizzing up like cray cray. So last night, at home, after gym, and when the sweat dried a little, I applied the Moisture IQ treatment as moisturizer, sealed with silicone and wrapped after making a bun with the ends. Today I'm in an EZ comb bun, and I predict that this will be my go to style for the rest of the summer and its summer showers. 

Any advice out there on how to take care, look cute, still gym and appreciate the rainy weather? 2014 is the year of weddings for me - friends and family alike, so I need to look great at each one, including the bod and the hair. How do you ladies find the balance? 

Have a happy hump day y'all, it's Wednesday, half way to the weekend!!!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

An update, despite the insanity

Good morning everyone!

I apologise for being away for so long, I can't remember the last time it took me so long to write a blog post. Regardless of my absence, I see that y'all are still reading, and that slightly older posts have been getting love. I want to thank y'all so much!! 

Life has getting in the way of regular blogging a little bit. I am still without wheels and my social calendar has been INSANE, even though it is only January. So far I have had a birthday party, a catch up barbeque with friends I haven't seen in months, a bachelorette party and within the next 72 hours I have a huge birthday bash that I am attending (the theme is A Night at the Opera, which includes live performances and dressing to the nines!) and a slightly out of town wedding. In the meantime that has meant that my hair has not been getting the complete attention I normally give it. Now, I have not been neglecting it per se. I have just been going the faster, easier route and my hair is not quite THAT happy with me. So starting February, I promise to be more diligent, regarding the care I give my hair, as well as keeping up with my blogging. 

Okay, I will give y'all a quick update as to what my hair is currently doing.

I am about 2 weeks post now, having self relaxed my hair with ORS Olive Oil No Lye in Regular at 14 weeks post. The For Girls kit was sold out, so I grabbed the Regular Box and diluted it by adding sunflower oil to the relaxer mix as well as about a tablespoon of Tresemme Naturals Conditioner. This allowed me to fully relax all my new growth without my scalp being irritated. I based my hairline and scalp THOROUGHLY, like a person possessed. When I rinsed and neutralized, I truly felt the effect of no lye relaxers i.e. the mineral deposits. So after neutralizing like a crazy person with ORS Creamy Aloe shampoo and my hair felt softer, I clarified with Amla 3 in 1 Body Filler Shampoo. I then DC'd with the ORS Replenishing Conditioner for a good hour before roller setting. I'm very happy with the results. Length wise, I think I may be officially APL, I haven't done a true length check yet (I know, naughty, naughty). Look below and tell me what y'all think? 

My ends are a little uneven, I am planning to have a slight trim this coming Saturday before the wedding to even them out, and then  I will also take official length check pics. 

Regarding the wash days of the past couple of weeks, I kept it VERY simple, but I have the most amazing leave in product that has been added to my stash. My bestie brought me bottle of MoroccanOil Treatment from India, and I am so in love that I am scouring our little town for stockists or importers of it so that I can have the rest of the range. The rest of my wash days have been pretty routine, although with the crazy schedules I have skipped a prepoo here and there. On Saturday when I go to the Salon I am going to take MY products with me and have a stren talking to with my stylist before she starts, and hopefully walk out happy as a clam. 

Until then, what has been new with y'all? What new products have you added to your stash that you simply LOVE? Have a great day everyone and happy growing!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Liebster Award

I wasn't specifically nominated by anyone for this award, except for the fact that Blutiful Blaq nominated all who read her Liebster Award post. 

The rules are as follows:

11 Interesting, well, more like random, things about myself:

1. Although she's acting a little crazy these days, I really do like Miley Cyrus, or rather, I like her music. Regardless of her antics, songs like Wrecking Ball are powerful and evocative. And the girl has a monster voice!

2. Although I'm right handed, I do random things with my left hand, such as hold my coffee mug. 

3. I drive a stick. Whenever I'm driving a car that has an automatic transmission, I'm annoyed. In my opinion, everyone should learn how to drive a car with a manual transmission. 

4. I am a big reader, everything from schmaltzy romance novels to gripping thrillers to pure brain candy to intellectual stimulating books. 

5. I truly wish that a I could find a beautician here in Windhoek that can shape my eyebrows via threading. I can't stand tweezing and waxing is just not fun. Threading is the best way to shape eyebrows in my opinion. 

6. I love rock and roll!! I'm talking Linkin Park, Metallica, Imagine Dragons, AC/DC, Evanescence, Goo Goo Dolls and many, many more. 

7. I despise bullies. All kinds of bullies. I was bullied as a child and as a teenager. Many people don't realise how long those wounds take to heal and those scars never truly go away. They might fade, but they will always be there. 

8. If I went to Hogwarts, I probably would have been sorted into Gryffindor, and my patronus would most likely be that of a dog, like a Labrador. 

9. I love shoes! But I can't wear 75% of the heels out there. My ankles hate it and I have very flat feet, which equals pain and swelling if I'm in a pair of heels for longer than a few (read max 3) hours. 

10. I suffer from chronic sinusitus, due to a deviated septum. Planning to have that fixed ASAP. 

11. I love to cook, and specifically, I like to try out new things. I practically live on the Food Network if the TV is on. 

Blutiful's Questions:

1. What is your goal length - my ultimate goal is mid back length. But the immediate goal at this time is to reach armpit length.

2. Where is your dream vacation - that is a tough one!! Because I want to go everywhere and experience everything! However, at this time, my dream vacation will include one or two of my best friends and we shall invade Thailand, spending some time on the islands, such as Phuket, and a few days in the hustle and bustle that is Bangkok.

3. What do you do for a living - I am a legislative drafter with the Ministry of Justice of Namibia.

4. What is the weirdest thing/food you have ever eaten - that would be a tie between alligator and freshwater eel. Both very yummy!

5. What's your most used phrase/word - "For the love of Zeus!!"

6. What's your favorite hair product - ORS Replenishing Conditioner

7. What is your most annoying habit - I talk too much. I hijack entire conversations. I don't mean to, my friends have just pointed out to me that I do it, so I have been keeping an eye on myself.

8. What state do you currently reside - I live in the beautiful little city of Windhoek in the gorgeous country of Namibia.

9. Who is your hair crush - holy hell, sooooo many!! But ultimately Jeni for Just Grow Already. It is so long, and healthy and strong. It is truly droolworthy!

10. What's your favorite season - that would be Autumn/Fall. Not too hot, not too cold, just perfect. And I can start whipping out the boots. I LOVE high boots!

11. What is your favorite place to eat - I don't eat out often. But I do love seafood, so throw me into any GOOD seafood place, and I am happy as a clam. On the other hand, I also LOVE me some red meat, and The Peppercorn in Windhoek, has AMAZING steaks. 

My nominees for the Liebster Award are as follows:

And of course I nominate anyone else who's in the mood. Just link me up in the comments below :-)

Here are MY questions:

1. Are you a gamer in any way? If so, Playstation or X-Box?

2. Which countries have you travelled to in your life? I you haven't been out of your home country, what is the top 3 countries on your travel must see list?

3. If you could be a fictional character, who would you be and why?

4. What is your favorite board game?

5. What is the most frustrating thing to you about your hair?

6. What song instantly gets you on your feet and sway those hips?

7. Describe your happiest hair day

8. Lefty or righty?

9. Are you into sports at all? If so, what is your favorite, either to participate or to watch?

10. Red lipstick or pink lipgloss?

11. Most HATED hair care product?

Enjoy y'all. I am off to the gym for the first time in 2014. 

2013 is behind us

And I need to kick butt in 2014.

Good morning everyone, and I trust that you all said a hearty goodbye to 2013 and welcomes in 2014 with open arms.

Let me quickly tell you how my 2014 started, literally on the 1st of January. My car's window got smashed and everything that wasn't nailed down, was stolen. On top of that my car's electronics decided to pack up and the car won't start. It won't move an inch. I spent a fortune having it towed back home, and the workshop isn't open until next week, so for the next couple of weeks I will be cabbing it and relying on the goodness of friends to get around.

Because of all of this stress (you go and stand at the offices of Home Affairs to apply for a new ID and tell me that is not stressful) I haven't really been taking care of my hair as I should have and also the stress is coming out IN my hair, as in LOTS of breakage and shedding. I don't even have a decent pic of what my hair is doing right now. I know though that the nape on my right side has broken off badly. It is an inch shorter than the left. I also have demarcation breakage, especially around my crown and where I part my hair. I'm struggling to keep my new growth soft and moisturized and my ends are ugly and straggly, at least to me. What makes me extra sad is that it seems as if all of this has only been happening in the last couple of weeks, because in general I have had a pretty good year.

Here's my 2013 in quick review:


1. Protective Styling. I retained QUITE a bit of length during Ebony from Longing4Length's Protective Styling challenge. I realise now that I need to be more diligent regarding protective styling and then I will kick ass again in 2014.

2. Bagging my ends. I did this quite often in 2013, but I have been slacking the past few months and my ends are testament to that. Must step it up!

3. Dark & Lovely Amla Legend 1001 Oils Wrap Cream. This moisturizer is the bizniz! My tub ran out and I need to stock up again. Since it has run out, I have been struggling to maintain my moisture/protein balance, but Clicks didn't have stock. Seems like I'm not the only one who loves this product. On the next trip to the store I am going to get at least two tubs of this stuff.

4. Tresemme Naturals Conditioner. This stuff is AWESOME! Who would have thought that a silicone free conditioner would have so much slip? It is great as an instant smoothing conditioner, and it puts oodles of moisture in my hair prior to a light protein DC. It is is officially a staple for me.

5. Sunflower oil. Yes, normal sunflower oil that one usually cooks with. My hair loved this stuff, although I have only prepoo'd with it so far. Will be stocking up on nice BIG bottles because I wanna try oil rinses very soon!


1. Stretching too long between relaxers. I am currently a little over 3 months post, and I already bought my ORS Olive Oil No Lye kit. Planning to tackle my head tonight after work and gym. Stretching too long leads to trouble for me and it is NOT worth it.

2. Keeping in twists for longer than 6 weeks. My hair does like protective styling, but long term protective styles can only be kept in for 6 weeks at a time, otherwise my hairline and nape HATE me.

3. Trying too many new products all at once. I scolded myself HARD for doing this, and my hair hated the assault of a LOT of new things at the same time. Never making this mistake again. I am really going to try and get OFF the product junkie wagon.

4. Aussie Conditioner. NEVER AGAIN. It is expensive and my hair hates it! It freaking CREATED knots instead of smoothing them out. And on top of that, it didn't penetrate my hair al all, it just SAT there.

5. Amla Legend Deep Treatment. Not a big fan. It also just SITS on the hair, even when heat is applied. Hair does not feel extra smooth, soft or strong. It does cause damage the way the Aussie did, but it's not worth it. Will not repurchase.

So, I have a couple of goals for the year of 2014, and the first thing I am going to do is to have a trim. Yes, I don't want to lose length, but right now, my hair is not at optimum health. Health ofer length, otherwise the length will NEVER come. So, I am going to make an appointment with my OLD stylist, give her VERY strict instructions regarding the trim and then start 2014 fresh hair wise.

Further goals:

1. Reach APL by March damnit!!!!!!!!!

2. Reach full BSL by December 2014 latest.

3. Ensure the health of my hair and body by drinking enough water, exercising consistently and eating well.

4. Following on #3 - be anal regarding going to the gym. Minimum 3 times a week. Add to that daily brisk walks around the block every day. Lose 10% of my current body weight by end of February 2014.

5. Look after myself better. When I feel sick, actually go to the doctor!! I have excellent coverage (I'm pretty sure I can't exhaust it) so this self medicating thing and not going to my very excellent GP, needs to stop. (As I'm typing this, I have a KILLER headache. Note to self: call Dr. de Villiers!)

6. Buy a new car. My French love affair is over. Me and my Citroen have had a good run, but it is time to move on. I'm not saying that I'm going to buy a new car next week, but before 2014 is out, I will have new wheels.

7. Travel. I don't care where to, but I MUST go somewhere far away this year. Here's looking at you Europe!

And then in general, just be a better person. Love more, give more, stand up for what I believe in more, work harder, laugh louder, dance more and just live my life to the fullest.

What are your goals for the new year?
Here's wishing all of you a fantastic 2014! Be blessed and happy growing!

Monday, December 16, 2013

I'm back! And a pattern is emerging...

Good morning everyone. Yes, I know, I have been missing. I went on a training workshop and simply did not have the time to blog, or even take proper care of my hair as I would have at home.

Regardless, I'm home now, and yesterday, after coming straight from the road, I dived into my wash day routine, and I will quickly share it with y'all, especially as my hair is super soft and feels amazing, despite being over 12 weeks post.

1. Prepoo with the last of my Tresemme Thermal Protect Conditioner and sunflower oil. This conditioner is very thick and I did not put enough oil in to give it a lot of slip, so I separated my hair into 4 quadrants and then applied the mix section by section. I then covered my hair with a shower cap and watched about an episode of Bones. I made sure to get plenty of the mix on my new growth so as to keep them as soft and supple as possible.

2. Rinsed off the prepoo mix and shampooed with my Tresemme Ultra Moisturizing Shampoo, still in sections. However, since I was standing bent over the bath, I ended up loosening the sections when it came to washing the back hair. I really still love this shampoo. I had a little bit of shedding whilst shampooing, about 10 hairs in total. Breakage was also less than a couple of weeks ago. Oh happy day!

3. I then proceeded to slather my hair with my now beloved Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Conditioner. Oh, the slip! Oh, the moisture! This is officially a staple!! I took a little more time applying the conditioner this time, again carefully dividing my hair into quadrants. It also means that the conditioner was in my hair for about 5 minutes, instead of the usual two. The quadrant thing also means that my roots get plenty of product without excess manipulation.

4. After rinsing, I grabbed my staple DC - ORS Replenishing Conditioner - and went to town! Again in four quadrants (I'm thinking of doing the quadrant thing every wash day from now on) and I saturated my hair. A bottle truly does not last me long, my hair SOAKS up the stuff. I covered my hair in a shower cap, a satin wrap, another plastic bag AND a towel. And then proceeded to watch two whole episodes of Bones.

5. I rinsed the DC first with warm water and then blasted it with cold water to close and smooth the cuticles.

6. Because my hair felt so coated on a previous wash day I was very light handed with my leave ins on this wash day. Just a couple of drops of Kair Serum, TCB Bone Strait and Avon Miracle IQ. I then proceeded to roller set, spritzing my hair with my water and Naturals Conditioner mix (1 part conditioner, 4 parts water) as I went along. Breakage was minimal, but I lost about 10 hairs at every stage of my wash day routine, which is not that much, but it is more than I'm happy with. It is much less than  a couple of weeks ago though, so thank you to the hair gods!

7. I decided that I am going to straighten my hair. Yes, i know, to most hair journeys, heat is the devil. But when I'm deep into a stretch, if I don't straighten my roots (max once a week, at wash day), I suffer massive breakage. So, after taking my hair out of the rollers, I parted it in half horizontally, and instead of spritzing my Tresemme Heat Defense (yes, I too see a pattern emerging!) all over, I spritzed some in my hands and proceeded to smooth it over my hair as if it was a serum. I then proceeded to flat iron my roots, one small section of hair at a time, using one pass only. (personally, I don't get it when people use three to five passes on a single lock of hair. It's so unnecessary!)

The end result - soft, straight, bouncy hair, which I then proceeded to cross wrap, cover with a satin scarf and then went to bed. This morning my hair is still beautifully straight, soft and strong, but it is so hot my side of the world that hair in my neck would have been a horrible idea, so I am wearing a ponytail. PS, my pony is getting longer and longer, I love it!! My ends need a bit of a trim, but I will take care of that when I touch these bad boys up.

How was everybody else's wash day?
Happy Monday everyone, and happy growing!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I hit 5 digits!!

Today is a happy day for me! According to the statistics of blogger, my blog has received more than ten thousand views!! Considering that I blog to keep tabs on myself and sometimes to just record what I have been doing to myself and sometimes to put my vision boards out there, it is amazing that people actually read all of my random ramblings!

To all my followers - I see you, lol! And thank you!

To the lurkers - I know y'all are PLENTY. Especially over in the US of A. Thank you for taking an interest, much appreciated.

Herewith I promise to continue to be a little crazy, a little hair obsessed and totally random!

Blessed week everyone!

PS How come over a third of my readers are American and less than 10 percent from my home country Namibia? I'm just wondering...

Travel bug has bitten in a major way...again!

2013 is at death's door. We have a matter fo weeks before we end off this year and this of course brings with it much introspection and reflection. So, this past few days I have made the decision that I am going to go on a little Eurotrip next year, during the European summer. I'm going to be saving my little behind off (no more expensive experimental hair products for me!!) because on this little Eurotrip I WILL (Yes, I will experience as much as I possibly can!!) be privileged to experience some of the following:




The Rhine Valley

The Alps


And of course, Paris

Come hell or high water, 2014 shall be the year that I adhere to my travel lusts. 

What's on your to do list for 2014?

The verdict is in

So, a few weeks ago I spent a ridiculous amount of money on hair products, a few of them I bought simply based on some online reviews and the intense desire to see if they would also work magic on my own tresses. Alas, at least one of them is a major bust!

Let me relay my most recent wash day and you'll see what I mean. 

  1. Prepoo with the last of my Tresemme Split Remedy and sunflower oil. I can't believe how brilliant sunflower oil is! I used is only for cooking in the past, thinking that only the more expensive oils are suitable for one's hair. Boy, was I wrong - ceramide rich sunflower oil is brilliant. Tangles disappeared as I covered my hair in the prepoo mix, which was oil heavy, I was a complete oil slick when I was done. I chilled with this for about 20 minutes and then headed to the bath. 
  2. Shampooed with Tresemme Ultra Moisturising Shampoo. I really dig this shampoo, it really doesn't take much to get my hair nice and clean, but my hair never feels stripped. Ever. My hair was SO soft after shampooing that I skipped the instant conditioning and moved straight to deep conditioning. This might have been a mistake. 
  3. Yeah, this is where the crap starts. I couldn't find my bottle of ORS Replenishing Conditioner so I grabbed the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Long & Luscious Conditioner. Since I felt like it was a bust the last time I used it (no slip, hair didn't feel moisturized) I also grabbed my bottle of Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Conditioner and I mixed them up. The Tresemme Naturals provided slip and so I slathered on the mixture, trying to cover every strand, covered my hair and then shilled for a good 45 minutes. Once I go to rinse though...oi vey! Aussie truly is not for me. Or rather for my hair. Considering that a bottle costs close to a 100 bucks, I am very very pissed and disappointed. Even with the addition of the Tresemme, my hair did NOT feel like they received a miracle! It felt better than the time I used only the Aussie, but my hair felt clumped together and slightly straw like. I was NOT happy. 
  4. I applied my leave ins of Kair Serum, Bone Strait, Moisture IQ and 2 spritzes of the Tresseme Heat Defense. I then proceeded to finger detangle my hair. I lost way too much hair for my liking, and my hair simply didn't feel 100 percent. After finger detangling, I parted my hair into three vertical sections and started to roller set, detangling each section separately before placing the roller. Again, too much clumps and knots. I swear, it feels like the Aussie CREATED the knots. I had a mix of water and Tresemme Conditioner that I spritzed on my hair (it was drying quickly) before placing the rollers and this helped a BIT. 
  5. Once I was done, my shoulders were killing me, and it was getting late. So I whipped out the hair dryer to speed the process along, and it still felt like it took forever for my hair to become dry. 
  6. Once dry and out of the rollers I wrapped my hair and went to bed. And my hair feels thick, like the strands are coated. Not liking it. 
Conclusions - I saw demarcation line breakage. And I don't know what to do to stop it in its tracks. Advice?????? Secondly, I will never repurchase Aussie conditioners. They might work like the bomb for other ladies, but my hair does not like it! And it is too bloody expensive! I also think that I need to adjust my leave in product application so that my hair stops having this heavy feeling right after being freaking washed. Overall not a happy wash day. 

How did yours go?
Happy Tuesday

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hindsight has 20/20 vision

Hey there y'all!

I want to tell you a little story, actually provide you with a tiny bit of personal history. Many many years ago (okay, it wasn't that long ago, but it sure feels like it) I was elected as a prefect to my high school. Now, to any of my readers not familiar with the concept,  prefects are also referred to as hall monitors, student representative council members, learners representative council members etc etc. Basically we were a group of 20 seniors who assisted the teachers with discipline in the school, as well as fund raising attempts and school spirit events. Anyhoo, once elected, once the initial euphoria has worn off, there is one day that every newly elected prefect dreaded - initiation day! Initiation day is very much comparable to hazing, but to be honest it was loads and loads of fun.

The day before our initiation day we were informed to bring to school shorts and a t-shirt that we do not feel particularly sorry for. On the day we were summoned to the Phys. Ed. changing rooms and had to change into said sorry ass clothes. We were then blind folded and led across the school yard. Do not ask me where everywhere we walked, I do not know to this day. Kindly note that the rest of the entire school was a raucous audience to our "shame and humilation". We were dunked in the school fish pond (yep, still blind folded) and then fed some gross stuff, ( I can totally do Fear Factor!!) and then stuff was thrown on our heads whilst we were standing in the very hot, unforgiving Keetmanshoop summer sun. Specifically, an egg or two were cracked over our heads, cooking oil was poured over our heads and syrup - sickly sweet golden syrup, amongst others. Of course this mess was all over my hair, as well as dripping over my face. I was a HOT mess when I got home. My mom would not let me in the house, her words - "Go hose yourself down first! Here's a towel!"

So I trotted out to the lawn and started hosing myself off (thank heavens I was wearing a bathing suit underneath those nasty clothes!) Of course, the mess that was my hair needed much more than just the spray from the gardening hose. Once acceptable to my mother's standards I entered the house and jumped in the shower. I cannot remember what products I used, but be assured I did the "lather, rinse and repeat as needed" routine a few times!! Back then I didn't even know about deep conditioning, I just applied LOTS of conditioner after finally getting my hair clean and chilled with it for about 5 minutes before rinsing and roller setting. My hair felt good once out of the rollers and I didn't think much of it, I was just happy that I was clean.

Fast forward to the next day. Our initiation continued with a fun day, which included activities like potato sack races and 3 legged races, new prefects versus the old prefects. Now, I looked around at the other girls, and noticed that a lot of them still had oily, nasty looking hair. Some girls did a wash and go, but the curls were lanky from the oily residue. Others looked stiff. Looking at pictures from that day a million years ago my hair was fresh, shiny and positively gorgeous. And I never quite knew why...until now.

Now I know that hair likes protein, and eggs contain a lot of protein. My hair unwittingly got a protein treatment on initiation day. Secondly, hair loves hot oil treatments and oil rinses in general. Sunflower oil contain ceramides, which is excellent for hair as it prevents moisture loss. That day my hair unwittingly got a ceramide rich oil rinse. And lastly, golden syrup contains molasses as its primary ingredient, which adds moisture and sheen to hair. Essentially, I got three nice treatments on initiation day without even knowing it. Looking back my hair thanked was in an excellent condition for about two weeks following that day.

Now that I remember all of these wonderful things, how am I going to use that information in the future? I now know that my hair is a little protein sensitive and I have enough protein conditioners in my arsenal, so I don't think that I'll be grabbing the eggs just yet. But, that big ole bottle of sunflower oil in the kitchen that almost never gets used - THAT bad boy is moving to the bathroom, and shall be incorporated into hot oil treatments and oil rinses and prepoos. What's even more great - sunflower oil is dirt cheap, especially compared to my other oils that I've been using, which is coconut and olive. I am actually looking forward to my next wash day just to have a go at the sunflower oil.

Anybody else have had good experiences with sunflower oil? Holler at me!
Have a great Tuesday everybody!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Stepping up my game game in order to retain

Hey there y'all. As I've professed numerous times before, I want to reach APL by the end of 2013. I have about 1.5-2 inches to go, and only about 50 days in which to do it. So first I'll tell you about my most reecent wash day and then my plan to reach APL by 31 December 2013.

My wash day was simpler. Since I know trying too many new things can lead to disaster, I simplified this wash day to get the most from not only what I was USING but also from what I was DOING.

  1. Prepoo (detangle) with a 70:30 mix of coconut oil and olive oil. Left it in my hair under 2 plastic caps for about 30-45 minutes. It is bloody hot in Windhoek right now, so I think the natural heat helped the process along. 
  2. Shampoo using my regular Tresemme Moisture Shampoo. I really like this shampoo. It lathers like cray cray, but my hair never feels stripped. So I feel like my hair is nice and clean, without it feeling dry, stripped but rather feeling nourished and soft. 
  3. Instant conditioned using Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Conditioner. Yeah, the verdict is out - I like this conditioner, and shall repurchase. 
  4. Deep conditioned using the Amla Legend Deep Treatment. This DC is VERY thick. It also didn't melt into my hair on application, and it didn't have much slip. I hate products that don't have slip! Regardless, I smothered my hair in it and covered my hair with a couple of plastic caps AND a scarf to try and trap heat, and I prayed that this would help. 
  5. Glory halleluja! Rinsing out the treatment my hair indeed felt soft and strong. Not as buttery soft as my beloved ORS Replenishing Conditioner makes my hair feel, but much better than the Aussie made my hair feel the wash day before. I think there's about 2 uses worth left in the tub, I'll give a more thorough review once I've finished the tub. 
  6. Applied my usual leave ins - Bone Strait, Moisture IQ, Kair Serum and I added a couple of spritzes of the Tresseme Heat Defense. Even though I did not plan on using any heat, I believe that one cannot say no to protection. 
  7. I proceeded to roller set and then had my hair air dry in the rollers. 
My hair came out feeling GREAT. I cross wrapped it after applying a bit of my Amla Legend 1001 Oils Wrapping cream, covered with a scarf and went to bed. This morning my hair felt uber smooth, but here's where my retaining strategy kicks in. Instead of wearing my hair out, or even just in a normal ponytail, I did a french braid and I'm planning to keep it in this braid for at least 3 days. 

My retaining plan is thus protective styling and minimal manipulation. I shall moisturize and seal every night, but by means of spraying my hair lightly with water, then oil and then covering with my satin scraf whilst in the french braid. I want to see if I can't cut manipulation of my hair to just twice a week, wash days included. 

So here's my look for today until at least Thursday:

As y'all can see, my hair is still a lovely mahogany shade. I actually think it looks better now after the first official wash since I applied the colour. And I think my braiding skills have improved. Styles like this would also be most condusive to my work out plans, pretty out styles do not survive in the gym!

Any other goals out there to be reached by New Year's Eve?

Have a great week everybody!