Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I need a vacation!

And I'm not kidding. I'm so tired, I truly don't know what to do with myself. Nor do I know what to do with my hair, it's so sad. And right now the summer heat is NOT helping. 

Since I've done nothing cute or exciting, I'll just quickly run through my last wash day, which was on Sunday. 
I woke up feeling like doing NOTHING at all. I've got mono at the moment, and am perpetually tired, so when I decided that I need to wash my hair I simply jumped in the shower, skipping the pre-poo step. I washed my hair with ORS Creamy Aloe shampoo as I felt that it would help with my hair's porosity and since I wanted my hair to feel close to squeaky clean. It sure as hell did that job! What I also love about this shampoo is that although my hair felt almost stripped, it didn't feel dry or hard or tangled. I then used the last bit of my Pantene Sleek and Smooth Conditioner as instant conditioner and then detangled, which was a breeze. After I rinsed and got out of the shower I wrapped an old T-shirt around my hair for about ten minutes till it was more damp than wet and then applied a generous amount of ORS Replenishing Conditioner to deep condition my hair. I covered it with a plastic shower cap and a cotton scarf to trap as much heat as possible while the conditioner did its job. At this stage I felt so tired, I put on my PJ's and got into bed, deep conditioning overnight. The next morning when I rinsed my hair it felt like BUTTER. I applied my normal leave in's (Avon 3D Rescue and Bone Strait) and proceeded to roller set. Due to lack of time I couldn't have my hair air dry in the rollers and thus blasted it with the cool air setting on my blow dryer. Once dry, I removed the rollers and my hair felt so freaking smooth and soft and bouncy. Once again due to fatigue and lack of time I simply pulled it into a little ponytail and then out the door I went. 

Since then my hair has stayed in the ponytail holder (no metal, very soft) and I simply moisturized and sealed every night using my usual moisture spritz and coconut oil. Today my hair still feels ridiculously soft, but a little weighted down. since I'm only about 3 weeks post, so I might do a quick wash tonight as I LOVE the feeling of clean hair. If the laziness  fatigue overwhelms me though, I might leave the washing, will just have to wait and see. 

And there you go darlings. A very quick wash day update. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Objects of desire - Santa, pay attention!!

I am having the worst case of holiday brain. And with a case of holiday brain comes a case of seeing things and wanting them BADLY. And one such object of desire I encountered this morning, and then I realised that I have quite a wish list actually. now, Santa, if you're listening, I have been a good girl this year, and I feel I deserve some of these things. Yes, some I'll work out myself how to get, that's how life works. Others I wish would simply appear at my doorstep! Guess I should visualizing intensely and they miht just appear on my doorstep!

Well, let's hop to it. I have two lists - objects of desire for me and my life, and objects of desire for my hair. 

Objects of desire for me and my life:

  • An E-book reader. I am a avid reader, but if I want to read the way I used to, I would be spending pot loads of money at CNA and Bookden and I would barely eat. Now if I got myself a Kindle or another e-book reader, I could have thousands of books at my fingertips at any given time. Santa, take note!!!
  • The entire Platinum range of PlayStation 2 games, as I have lost quite a few due to being robbed and as collateral damage at the end of my last relationship. I would like my game collection to return to the former status quo. 
  • In that same vein, an Xbox 360 and LOADS of games to go with it. If I had my way I would own every console with all my favorite games of each. Right now console wise, the Xbox is my object of desire. 
  • A new digital camera. I have had two cameras stolen from me, so I am praying that nr 3 stays put whenever I get her, and I really pray that I get her soon. 
  • A nice fat shopping voucher to one of my favorite clothing stores - I need a new SUMMER  wardrobe. I have been wearing the same little summer dress for the past 3 or 4 consecutive weekends. A change is as good as a holiday and I need new clothes! 
  • And lastly, a new external hard drive, at least 500gig. I have SO many movies and series stored on my laptop and current hard drives and I want so much more, and I have MANY friends who are willing to share what they have. All I need, is the space. 

Objects of desire for my hair:

  • A hooded drier. I can step up my game regarding deep conditioning and treatments and drying my hair using indirect heat to a whole new level with one of these babies.
  • A hair steamer. After reading on sooooooo many other ladies' blogs of the benefits of a steamer, I can't help but drool at the thought of one. 
  • Other types of rollers - mesh, perm rods, flexi rods. Now that my hair is so much longer than ever before I want to be able to experiment more and be creative, but one needs the correct tools. 
  • Pretty 100% silk scarves, and satin bedding. 

Well, there you have it folks. As you can see, the second list is short, but that's because I feel that once I perfect my regimen and streamline my product choices that these items will give me a BIG boost. Regarding the first list, I'm already salivating at the thought of any of those items in my hands. 

Anybody been good with lists for Santa?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

So I went swimming...

and it was absolutely awesome! 

I have holiday brain to a huge degree already and lounging in a pool for most of the past Saturday just made it worse. But it was so much fun and I can't wait for the next pool day.

Which brings me to my poor tresses. On Saturday, prior to plunging into the water, I was rocking my first braid out. i didn't come out THAT great, but it looked okay and I got complimented, so I will definitely try it again. Of course, after a few hours of just floating around on the inflatables (and a few Jagers!) I jumped in the pool, fully emerging myself and beautiful braid out all gone. No regrets, the water was too freaking awesome. The next day however...

After our swim I took a shower, washing and conditioning my hair using Tresseme products, honestly, the specific variants I can't remember right now. My hair FELT fine afterwards, so I simply let it hang loose and let it airdry while we barbecued. My the time I got home I was so exhausted I simply crawled into bed and that was the mistake of the weekend. The next day I woke up with this massive POUF of hair on my head, and I realised that I can NEVER just climb into bed with a damp head of hair. It needs to be dry and smooth and WRAPPED in satin before I dare get under the covers.

To remedy my faux pas, I detangled using my usual moisture spritz, first finger combing then going through with a wide tooth comb. I was VERY lucky. Even though my had looked disastrous, I lost very little hair. After detangling (which took FOREVER) I decided to prepoo using a cheapie Pro-Vitene Conditioner that  had on hand, diligently applying it little section by little section. After all of that it was night time and so i decided to rather put a plastic cap over my head, cover that with a cotton scarf and go to bed.

The next morning I washed my hair with my Repair and Nourish shampoo and conditioned my hair in the shower using a combination of Pantene Sleek and Smooth conditioner and ORS Olive Oil Intensive Treatment Masque for about 5-10 minutes. After I rinsed my hair felt ten thousand times better than the previous afternoon. I blotted my hair dry with a t-shirt, applied my usual leave-ins of Avon 3D Rescue and Bone Strait and proceeded to rollerset. I dried by hair with my blow dryer using the cold air setting, and after removing the rollers applied a bit of ORS Glossing Polisher Serum before putting it up with an EZ comb and headed out to work. My hair felt smooth and soft and I felt generally happy with it. Until the afternoon when I realised my ends look a little off. So I moisturized it using a combination of my usual spritz (water, cheapie conditioner, glycerin) and ORS Olive Oil Moisturizing Lotion, sealing with the ORS serum. Before bed I wrapped my hair and this morning they felt SO soft and nourished. For the sake of low manipulation I pulled it into a cute little ponytail with my bangs out and went on my merry way.

This coming Saturday it's the birthday party of my godson, which will also be next to and probably in a pool. In preparation for that I think that I am simply going to bun my hair for the day (no trying out new styles!) and if I am going into the pool, slather my hair in conditioner, bun it up again and only THEN venture into the water. I want my summer to be as painless as possible when it comes to my hair care whilst still enjoying it as much as possible.

Does anyone have any special "rescue methods" that they use on their hair in similar summer/pool/seaside situations??

Anyhoo, have a great week folks. And remember, just because we all have holiday brain, doesn't mean it's the holidays yet. Suck it up people, just a little bit to go!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What works for others....

...won't necessarily work for me

A review - CoN Argan Oil Deep Conditioner

I am truly coming to the conclusion that certain products simply do not work for me the way they work for others. so many women have raved about the Cream of Nature Argan Oil Deep Conditioner packet, claiming how it leaves their hair soft and how it has lots of slip. Well this past wash day I decided to deep condition with exactly that. I washed with Clicks Repair and Nourish Shampoo, instant conditioned and detangled with Pantene Smooth and Sleek Conditioner and then applied the CoN on my hair after towel drying it lightly. 

There was quite a bit of slip as I applied it. The conditioner is not very thick and doesn't feel as rich as ORS Replenishing Pak. The fragrance was very subtle and it seemed as if my hair soaked in the conditioner. The whole packet just barely covered all my hair, so someone with longer hair should purchase two. I left the DC on with a plastic cap over it, which I then covered with a scarf and a silk bonnet, trying to trap as much heat as possible as I do not own a hooded dryer or heating cap. I let it sit like that for a good hour before jumping back in the shower...and this is where my disappointment starts. 

As I was rinsing the conditioner, my hair started feeling weird. I don't quite know how to describe it. It felt rough to the touch and as if it was not detangled at all, it felt as if the length of the hair was matting together. I detangled once more with the Pantene Conditioner and even then my hair did not end up feeling smooth, and my hair is freshly relaxed. So, yes, it felt very wrong. 

I put in my usual leave ins - Avon 3D Rescue and Bone Strait and proceeded to roller set. During the process of roller setting I tried to be as gentle as possible as it felt as if my hair suddenly became brittle. After the roller set I let it air dry for about an hour before blasting it with the hairdryer on the cold setting. After removing the rollers my hair felt smooth, but my ends felt terribly dry and thus I decided to dust it. I took off very little, literally less than 1/2 a cm, but it made a difference in how my hair and specifically my ends looked and felt. 

At the end of the day I am starting to really know what my hair likes. When it comes to those packets of deep conditioners (and the market is FULL of them) my hair loves the ORS Replenishing Pak and I'm going to stick to it and stop experimenting with the rest. My product junkie days may soon be over. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Very close to claiming SL.

This past Friday I relaxed my hair at 12 weeks post. I think I'm going to not stretch longer than 12 weeks, which also means that my projected next touch up would be on the 8th of February. I used the ORS Olive Oil No Lye Relaxer kit Regular strength. My BSS was out of stock of the kit for girls, which is the one I prefer, but I thought it would be best then to stick to the ORS brand, and honestly I'm not disappointed. For the most part. 

The process - I based my scalp with petroleum jelly. The kit does not contain a scalp protector, which the girls kit does. Secondly, I covered my previously relaxed hair with Pro-Vitene Conditioner,  cheapie conditioner I picked up at Clicks, since the regular kit doesn't contain a product for that either, which the girls' kit does contain. (Get where I'm going with this??? Kit for Girls is BETTER!) Then started applying the mixed relaxer to my new growth with the help of a friend. We started in the middle of my head as I have experienced some breakage around my nape and wanted to avoid that area being over processed. The nape and hairline received relaxer last. 

Even though my scalp was thickly based, we had to work pretty fast. This regular strength is still quite a bit stronger than the Girls' formula and my scalp is pretty sensitive. Application and smoothing in total I think took about 15 minutes and then I immediately got up to rinse. Hair was still relaxed nice and straight, I also think that parts that were slightly under-processed previously were corrected by the chemical run-off as it now feels like I have a uniform relaxed texture again. I rinsed and shampooed with the supplied packet of Creamy Aloe Shampoo. I HATE not neutralizing with a colour indicator neutralizing shampoo, as I'm never sure then whether I neutralized correctly. To make sure of that, by the time I applied the shampoo for the third time, I left it sitting on my hair for a good 10 minutes, after which I rinsed and shampooed at least another two times. Of course I loved the provided Replenishing Pak, deep conditioning with it for a good half an hour. After rinsing that i applied my usual leave in of 3D Rescue and Bone Strait lotion, roller set, dry and straighten with a single heat pass as I wanted to do an official length check. 

My hair felt soft and smooth and straight and I'm generally happy with the results. My ends feel pretty dry though and I'm going to pamper them for the next few weeks so as to soften and nourish them as I do not want to lose any of my progress which I am pretty happy with, and I feel that I am super close to claiming full  shoulder length. 

Sorry lovelies, picture quality is sucky as always but I think it's clear enough to see the progress I've made so far. 

The V of my hair touching the top of my tattoo.  I think it's officially the longest my hair has ever been in my adult life.

Still very much in layers, not quite SL yet, but I can practically taste it!

My last official length check will be on the 31st of December 2012. We have 6 weeks to go until then and I am planning to protective style, moisturize and generally pamper and baby my hair for the next 6 weeks so as to retain every millimeter of growth, and I think I should be able to attain at least 1-2 cm of growth during that time. I love having longer hair and I love that my hair is in such a better condition than it was when I started this journey. I love that I haven't had any major setbacks so far and I pray that it stays that way. Considering where I was when I started, so far I am pretty happy. 

PS I'm thinking of trying a few more available relaxers in the coming year. So far I'm pretty satisfied with ORS, and I've used Dark & Lovely most of my life, but just maybe what is PERFECT for me is something else completely...I'll make a final decision on that in February 2013. 

Breaking Dawn: Part 2 - My review

Yesterday myself and a group of friends all got together to go see the final installment of the Twilight saga, Breaking Dawn: Part 2. I have always been a Twilight fan, of both the books and the films. I find it slightly disconcerting and definitely annoying when people compare it to the Harry Potter series or the Hunger Games trilogy, especially comparing the lead female characters. In my mind one must regard each story on its own and not compare apples to oranges. 

That said, I did enjoy the film, specifically with regard to some of the visual effects, such as Bella's first impression of the world around her as a new born vampire, the sharpness of her senses. In my opinion it was brought across quite beautifully. I also think that Kristen Stewart might have felt more comfortable in the role of a new vampiric Bella, she portrayed the character with more life than the annoying mouth breathing that we've come to experience in the previous installments. Bella was also more emotive, although I think the impression of Stewart as a cold fish may just stick for quite a few years to come, unless she finds herself a few comedies and fast. 

SPOILER ALERT: The most impressive scene in my mind was the fight between the Cullens and their friends, including the wolves, and the Volturi. The scene evoked many emotions in the viewer, the greatest one I think being disbelief. The scene was also quite sufficient in making this "chick flick" a little bit more guy friendly for the guys who're taking their girlfriends to see it. The fight does not however end quite the way one would think. 

In my opinion the book to film adaptation was more than adequate; certain elements were portrayed very well, others not so much. The human element of the story was skated over, whilst in the book Stephanie Meyer focused more on the emotions that ran through the characters due to the intense developments - Bella as a new born, Renesme's development, Jacob's imprinting, Aro's desire to acquire the "Cullen" treasures. They focused so much on the visual aspects that they forgot a little that essentially at the end of the day the Twilight stories are less about the fantastical and more about a love surviving and thriving within the fantastical. Regardless, it was a fitting end to the franchise, nicely tying up all the loose ends, and the entertainment value of the film was high enough that I walked out of the cinema satisfied and smiling. I would gladly watch it again. My personal rating is 7/10. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Looking forward to Friday!

Well, that sums up most people's feeling on a Wednesday, everybody looks forward to the weekend, and Friday is easily most people's favorite day of the week.

Personally I'm looking forward to Friday as I'll be 12 weeks post and I will be doing my touch up, finally. My new growth is ridiculous - thick and wiry and I am fast approaching the stage where my stretch will be doing me more harm than good, I've already started experiencing increased breakage around the demarcation line and I AM NOT HAPPY. To a certain degree I feel a little despondent, as I try to be as gentle as possible with my hair, especially my new growth and still every morning way too many hairs lie in the sink, a mix of long shed hair and short AND long broken hairs. The shed hair I have kind of made peace with - it was simply their time to go. But the broken hair - NOT COOL.

I've noticed that my retention is very good during the first eight weeks of my stretch - very little breakage, even shedding is minimized. Now, I'm not going back to relaxing every 8 weeks, but I do have a plan for that period where me and my new growth don't "get" one another - after this touch up, around week 6, I'm going to have braids installed, which I'll be wearing for 6-8 weeks. I won't have to "deal" with the new growth, the new growth will have a chance to simply grow and I can step up my retention. Braiding in my mind is simpler than weaving as I've had a bad sew in experience after which my hair was very damaged (the track were braided SO tight I had a migraine for 2 days after the install and when it was removed the hair simply broke quick fast and i a hurry in my stylist's hands), and I don't wish to go through that again. So, box braids it is for the remainder of the summer. I did do it once and in my opinion  looked pretty darn cute.

Roger Goode party 2009 - with my friend, the lovely Ms Ashante Manetti and rocking box braids. 

So, very soon,  am going to be walking down that road again, and I'm actually quite looking forward to it. 

Okay, quickly, regarding the touch up. Since I'm doing it on Friday, I will not be washing my hair before then, as it opens up the pores of the scalp, which could lead to scalp burn - ouch! Also, I'm skipping workouts this week - I've got a terrible cold and exercising also opens the pores. Thirdly, to keep on looking presentable I shall continue to M&S every night, wrapping my hair to keep it tamed. On the day of the touch up I am going to protect my previously relaxed hair with a protein conditioner to protect it from the chemical run off, and also because I didn't have time to do a protein DC in this week to prep my hair properly. I will once again be using the ORS Olive Oil No-Lye Relaxer Kit for Girls, after which I will roller set and flat iron my hair to do an official length check, and I am praying hard that I will be able to officially claim full shoulder length by the end of 2012.

And there we go. Plans for the week, plans for the weekend( kind of) and plans for when hit 6/7 weeks post already. Happy hump day everyone!!

PS I've come to the conclusion that the best moisturizer for hair truly is WATER - as long as you SEAL it in. No more buying fancy moisturizers for me. Now just to find the perfect LIGHT oil with which to seal. Yay! Only 9 months in and I'm actually streamlining my regimen. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Everything hurts!

Well, hello there everybody. Today I sit here in some agony. I have decide to get off my lazy ass and start working out AGAIN with vigor! And the result 2 days in - PAIN. It's nice though, walking around the office and feeling that I actually exercised some muscles properly. I'm planning to visit the gym at least 4-5 times a week from here on out and I am praying that I can keep up to the point that NOT working out feels weird and unsettling. 

There is one little con, and it sucks because in the grand scheme of things my health should outweigh it so massively that it's not even an issue, but it is. And that is my hair, eish. I have been sweating like a pig the past couple of days and thus I have been washing my hair every night as well. Yesterday I rocked a knot out  made on damp air dried hair which still looked good. Last night I did a co-wash and simply air dried with a scarf around the edges, which was not that good of an idea since I'm 10.5 weeks post, have a ton of NG and this morning looked a little worse for wear. 

I am BEYOND tempted to either braid these babies up or relax them asap because I don't want my hair to suffer under my new goals of fitness and losing weight, but I also don't want my health and weight to suffer because of my freaking hair. I'm gonna take the rest of the  week to make a decision. One thing is for sure though. If push comes to shove, I would braid it up and forget about it so that for at least a couple of months at a time I can focus on becoming fitter, healthier and THINNER! Anybody else have this issue? Have a great day everybody!

Monday, November 5, 2012

It's Monday...not sure how I feel about it...

My weekend was AMAZING. The Windhoek Jazz Festival was off the hook, my personal high points being the stunning Lira and the amazing Shishani. Lira worked the stage in a manner I have never seen before, and her band, holy mother of Zeus, her band gave me goosebumps! Shishani is truly a local gem, every time I see her perform she steals my heart yet again with that soulful, powerful voice and her meaningful lyrics, wrought with emotions across the spectrum. It truly was a night to remember. Thank you once again to Ms Ashante Manetti - awesome friend of note AND she rocked the stage as the MC!

And now it's Monday, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. I feel like I need copious amounts of coffee. Also, I need my shuffle function to read my mood and put together a playlist accordingly. I do have a couple of goals for the week specifically. I need to get to the gym, I have been very lazy in that department. The irony - this morning I'm wearing a shirt that only months ago I couldn't even consider wearing as it was too small. Somehow I'm becoming smaller whilst not putting in nearly as much effort as I should. I'm kind of hoping that my metabolism got a bit of kick in the nuts as that would be awesome!

Second goal is to up the moisture to a high degree to the hair growing out of my head. I'm rocking a knot out and somehow instead of  waves and coils and a few curls (which have been the results of past knot outs) today I look like orphan Annie (from the musical) or Curly Sue - the curls are tight and springy, and I think it may be the go to style for the week as the reversion from sweating in the gym won't be as obvious and would actually aid the curls in being more springy, lol. The down side?? I feel like I lose more hair than usual during the detangling and retwisting processes. At the same time, as I'm a good 10 weeks post, my NG, if stretched, is going to shrink like crazy whilst working out and that's a pain in the butt that I simply do not have the energy for. At the same time, I need to baby my entire head considering that I want to touch up in a week or two. I really feel like I'm not sure what to freaking do! I do know one thing for sure - I am LOOKING forward to the touch up, lol. It is becoming nicely hot and humid and it'll simply make my life easier. Third goal is also hair related - protein treatments in preparation for the touch up. I'm planning to use the ORS Intense Masque again, this time for a good 15 minutes, to make sure that my hair is at its optimal strength when the time comes.

Goal nr 4 - sort out my freaking wardrobe!! I swear, every morning I stand in front of my closet and I feel utterly clueless! Clueless I tell you, and the reason for that is because I have not packed AWAY my winter clothes yet and a lot of my summer clothes are DEEP in the closet, which means scratching like a crazed person and leaving a mess before having to go to work, smh. So, I need to start properly packing away the winter clothes, organizing the summer stuff and also, I need to find something to serve purpose as a linen closet - my linens are with my clothes, taking up a lot of space, and it's making the entire situation a little too cramped!

Goal nr 5 - go see where I can get shelves that I can easily install myself to my walls. I'm planning on printing and framing a LOT of pictures and I don't have the space to display them, so I need to CREATE space. I need to check out the places that sell them, compare and choose and then work out the budget for next month as I'm planning to do it then as birthday gift to myself.

And lastly, but in my mind more pressingly - I need to find a turkey for Thanksgiving! And a birthday gift for my godson! And it's already the 5th of November!! See, things like these make me unsure of how to feel about the fact that it's Monday...again...

In the meantime, have a good week everyone!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

On our way to the 2012 Jazz Festival

We are moments away from going to the 2012 Windhoek Jazz Festival and every year it has been a roaring success and soooooo much fun, and I highly doubt that this year would an exception. The greatest thing about the festival is the combination of good music, great friends and being out in the open air. 

Today I need to state that it's the God honest truth that all things happen for a reason. I thought that a year and a half of my life has been wasted, but I realize now that I had to go through that experience to learn things about myself and about life that I never knew of. I learned that I have an amazing temper, the kind that people tremble before. I have also learned how to control it and how to determine when and where it is appropriate to flip my script. I've learned that just because someone says they love you does not always make it true, even when you feel love for them. Sometimes the sad simple truth is that they don't even know what love is. I learned that I am sometimes susceptible to change my behaviour in my quest for happiness, but I've also learned that changing who I am for the sake of someone else is never the answer, and that I would simply lose myself in the process. I've learned that it is not that easy of a task to find yourself again, but it sure as hell is not impossible. I've learned that true friends stick by you, no matter what, and that fair weather friends are many, and they are fickle. I've learned that happiness resides within oneself and that one must not look to someone else to make you happy, nor should anyone burden you for their happiness. At the end of the day I learned that life is what you make of it. 

Now to get back to the Jazz. If I was still in that train wreck of a relationship, I probably would have gotten into an argument to go to the biggest festival in town, and now I'm free to support my friend and have an awesome time. So yeah, I'm happy, truly happy. 

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Here comes summer, but hot sticky hair is not sexy!

Hello lovelies, yes, it's been a minute, but life sometimes has this goes on and sometimes it moves fast.

It is officially summer. It is hot and sticky and humid. All I want to do is run around in short skirts and tank tops and lie in a pool as often as I can. Which brings me to the fact that I need to switch up my regime a bit if my hair is to flourish through the sweaty summer months, especially considering that I still have a good 2 weeks to go before I touch up and my new growth is driving me slightly insane.

But lets rewind first - were October's goals achieved?? Well, I did moisturize and seal more often but it still felt insufficient, specifically around my NG. I think I will have to find a richer moisturizer. I truly attempted to baby my nape, I think I've stopped most of the breakage, but it's still a bit of a sad sight. I cheated on the heat usage, I straightened my hair with a ceramic straightener for a Halloween party on the 26th. It took me FOREVER, since I took small sections, and the next day it was a massive puff again due to the fact that I wore a hat as part of my costume, it was hot as all hell and I sweated like Ms Piggy. The next day to salvage as much as I could I put my hair in some rollers with moisturizer and after it was dry again pinned it up. Due to breakage during detangling I've given the bantu knot outs a rest for now, rather simply roller setting, wrapping and pinning my hair for the past 2-3 weeks. So, all in all, October wasn't truly a miss, nor was it a roaring success.

Now, to move on to the month to come. I'm scheduled to have my touch up in 2 weeks, the weekend of the 16th of November. I'm actually looking forward to it, due to my hair being longer than ever before in my adult life, it truly is easier working with one texture instead of two, and right now I'm rocking 3, with bone straight ends, some texlaxed hair and my 4a/b (depending on location) roots. I'm contemplating to, during my next relaxer, correct the texlaxed parts and having all my hair bone straight to combat the breakage from working with multiple textures. I now know that I am not adept enough for multiple textures and thus if I wish my length retention to be out of this world, I need to do what's best for ME and my hair. In the meantime, the next few washes I'm going to step up the protein a bit in preparation for the process, as well as keep moisture levels high and manipulation low. I truly need to baby them if I want to keep up my level of retention.

I'm going to do a black tea rinse this weekend  (either tomorrow or Sunday) as I've also been shedding a bit more than usual and I'm going to get my hands on apple cider vinegar and do a ACV rinse for my porosity issues. I've purchased the Creme of Nature Argan Oil Deep Conditioner and am going to try it soon, and that is going to be the extent of my experimentation this month. I have succeeded in trimming down the supplies and streamlining the products I use, as well as slightly simplifying my regimen on wash days.

This morning I had to do a quick wash (my hair felt AWFUL) and  I gave the ORS Olive Oil Intense Masque another try, and this time it worked SO much better. I'm guessing the reason for that is two fold: 1 - I used Pantene Sleek and Smooth Conditioner beforehand (following the shampoo) to detangle. 2 - I applied the Masque in sections from root to tip on SOAKING wet hair. I had plenty of slip and the 5 minutes in the shower felt sufficient, my hair felt strong and smooth and soft and roller setting was a breeze. I can rollerset my entire head in 20-30 minutes using the mohawk methodology, I'm going to try to keep that time, especially due to the porosity of my hair, if I don't work fast, by the time I'm done with only half my head, the other half would feel dry already. Also, it means that I can shower, wash hair, roller set, dry (using fast cold air on the dryer) get dressed, style my hair and be ready for work in an hour and a half if need be!!

Wow, I have been rambling today! Tomorrow is the Windhoek Jazz Festival, to which me and my ladies are all headed, and of course we'll most probably run into practically everyone we know. As it's festival time, we'll be outside and therefore one on a HHJ like myself need to consider the elements' effect on her tresses. My plan of action would include the following - doing a major wash day tomorrow morning, including an overnight pre-poo and decent DC with CoN, roller setting and air drying, moisturizing and sealing, and pinning up the curls from the rollers. Since it's a big party, I expect nastiness the next day, so I will most probably also do a wash on Sunday, perhaps a co-wash only to increase moisture levels, but will see how it goes. What's everybody else's weekend plans? Have fun and be safe!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Nasty raggedy weaves make my heart sore

You know how a person can be oblivious to something until they have a personal interest in that topic or area? Like how normal drivers rarely actually SEE bikers or cyclists until the day that they themselves have been on a bike or bicycle in the middle of normal traffic. Well, to a certain degree the same thing has been happening to me regarding hair, hair care and what I see on the heads of the many ladies around me in this beautiful city of ours. And because I now know that taking care of one's tresses need not be an extremely time or money consuming exercise, I cringe on a daily basis several times a day as I see girls with either sad, dry, badly broken hair OR wearing the most raggedy, nasty, hot mess weaves imaginable. Which leads me to wonder - with all the info available, why in the world are pretty girls practically uglying themselves up with these crows nests that they're walking around with? 

Okay, let's rewind a little bit. I have NOTHING against weaving it up, wigging it up, nor braiding it up. I've done all of the aforementioned myself and I enjoyed the choice range it provided me with. Done right, it's intense protective styling and your hair will thank you. Done right, you look good and your self esteem will thank you. I don't even have an issue with the arguments of others that weaving it up is playing to "racial insecurities" because I believe that those arguments are often exaggerated and it depends on perspective on any event. What I have an issue with is when a weave is done WRONG. When the hair used for the sew in is the cheapest, most plastic, synthetic kind on the market. When the person who installed it did not focus on the fact that it needs to look natural for it to look good. When puffs of natural new growth peak out around the edges of the sew in looking raggedy and thirsty and damaged. When a girl with a very dark skin tone decides to install hair that is simply too light to look natural, or vice versa. When a weave is worn WAY past the "sell by" date. When good quality human hair is actually used but the wearer is neglecting that hair, as well as her hair beneath it, so that even the HUMAN HAIR weave starts looking like a clumpy, split ended, dry, raggedy mess. ALL of THAT I have a HUGE problem with considering that very often some of these same women ridicule those of us who put concerted effort into their own hair. 

Another aspect of all of the above that struck me is that whenever I walk past such an unfortunate young woman, all I want to do is grab her to the side, buy her a cup of coffee and then start preaching! (Which is ironic, since I've only been on my own journey for a little over 8 months now) But unsolicited advice, especially like THAT (I lack tact sometimes) is NEVER appreciated, soooooooo, since I'm blogging about this, maybe, just maybe, one or two of these women will read this and realise that they can do better. Like Maya Angelou said - when you know better, you DO better. 

Okay, so here's some tips for these ladies, most of which I've learned from trial and error upon my own head:
  • Since you're paying money for the hair that you'l be covering your own hair with, take some time and choose carefully. Compare colour, texture, human vs synthetic. Price is only relevant in your determination of "value for money". BUYING cheap leads to LOOKING cheap. If your budget is constrained, rather wait and save up for decent hair, or make peace with the fact that you'll be buying new packs of cheap hair every month. 
  • Speaking of decent hair, quality 100% human hair can be re-used, unlike synthetic brands. It may cost you more initially, but THIS is where VALUE for money comes in. Of course, you need to actually TAKE CARE of it to get true bang for your buck.
  • When having the weave installed, make sure that person installing it actually KNOWS what they're doing, and not the chick around the corner who does it for a nickle and a dime, because then you'll end up looking like a Medusa instead of an Athena. Look for a reputable stylist, get references from ladies that you've seen wearing some enviable weaves, and once again, be willing to pay a little more, as it's worth it in the end. 
  • Whilst having your weave installed, SPEAK to your stylist, especially if you experience any pain or discomfort from the minute that the stylist or her assistant starts with your tracks. Even though a weave is a protective style, the hair underneath needs to be taken care as well, from the second the process starts, otherwise you'll be LOSING hair when the weave is removed. So, don't forget to USE YOUR VOICE.
  • Now we move on to the weave being installed and the after care that YOU, the wearer need to do. It makes no sense to pay the money for the hair and the install and then not take care of it as well as your own hair. Lack of after care definitely leads to the existence of a crow's nest. 
    • First of all, just because you're weaved up does NOT mean that you shouldn't WASH your hair. Use a gentle or diluted shampoo, get an applicator bottle so to get the shampoo in between the tracks so as to clean your own hair. Gently wash the weave itself as well, with either the same shampoo if you've installed 100% human hair, or if you've installed synthetic, a shampoo meant for synthetic hair. BE GENTLE
    • Secondly, CONDITION. Use the same methodology as above. If 100% human hair has been installed, nothing prevents you from even deep conditioning THAT hair AS IF it was your own
    • Thirdly, RINSE thoroughly. You DO NOT want any build up of product. ALWAYS BE GENTLE. Rough handling will damage your own hair as well as the weave, causing tangles and shedding. 
    • Fourthly, nourish your scalp and own hair by gently massaging a nourishing product such as olive, castor or coconut oil into the tracks. USE A LIGHT HAND THOUGH. 
    • Regarding your install, avoid heavy products. Perhaps use a light serum to detangle and then let air dry. If wearing a very curly weave, one can use a little more product than with a straight weave, but once again, avoid a heavy hand. AVOID products containing petrolatum and mineral oil. It'll just make that weave look nasty. 
  • Lastly, but definitely not least, DO NOT wear a weave for too long. Even the best quality of hair, if worn for too long, will start looking raggedy, and your own hair beneath will also suffer. In my opinion 4-6 weeks is long enough for a weave install. When removing it, I would recommend that it be done by the same stylist who installed it. In addition you MUST let you hair REST for at least 2 weeks after removal, taking care of it gently before either installing another weave or relaxing.
I believe that the pointers I put out above represent BASICS for those who prefer to wear weaves on a regular basis. And therefore it makes my heart sore to see SOOOO many sad raggedy weaves around when  it is so simple. The information is all around us. Ignorance cannot be an excuse, and it most definitely is not bliss. So ladies, PLEASE, do YOURSELVES the favour and treat your hair and your weave like the crown it's meant to be. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A bit of a ramble, and review

So, this week I've been trying to keep my hands out of my hair as much as possible by bunning, moisturizing like a crazy person and this coming weekend I'm planning to spoil my tresses with a moisturizing prepoo AND deep conditioning treatment. I really feel that I can practically see being full shoulder length and with summer on our doorstep I want to do the most I could possibly do. 

I quickly want to talk about the moisturizer I'm currently using, Revlon's Super Soft Activator, a water and glycerin based product also containing a couple of silicones. I bought a small bottle for N$ 14 (about US$ 2) and it's been lasting quite a while as I've only been using it sporadically. For the past week however I have been drenching moisturizing my hair with this stuff every day and sealing with either coconut oil or ORS Olive Oil hair dressing, wrapped it up and went to bed. My hair is SUPER soft, just like the name says, and it does feel very nice and moisturized. Only one negative point, it does make my hair feel slightly sticky and a little limp, as if there's build up, and I'm guessing it's from the cones. I will definitely have to give my hair a nice thorough shampoo this weekend. Regarding the moisturizer, next week I'm going to experiment my diluting it with water and putting it in a spritz bottle and then using THAT to moisturize and see how the results differ. 

I've realised that my hair must be pretty porous. Why I say this: this weekend I washed and roller set my hair twice, Friday night and Sunday afternoon. Both days I used Clicks Repair and Restore Shampoo (lower in sulphates, nice and gentle) Pantene Smooth and Sleek Conditioner as rinsing conditioner and my usual leave ins of Avon 3D Rescue, ORS Glossing Polisher and Bone Straight. On Friday I used the Clicks Repair and Restore Masque as treatment and on Sunday the ORS Replenishing Pak as DC.(I LOVE the smell of the Replenishing Pak. And the slip. And how it makes my hair feel like BUTTER.) I started roller setting while my hair was soaking wet. When I was completely done, the hair around the first three rollers was practically bone dry already. I realised that my hair drying that quickly must be due to the porous nature of my hair and the fact that moisture escapes quickly. Thus the experiment this week with the Super Soft Activator. 

I have no idea what products are available here in Namibia which  can use to correct the porosity of my hair, but I am on a mission to find out. Dry hair equals breakage which equals crappy retention, and I want ALL the retention I can get. So, if anybody knows of a product or regimen change which would help my current situation I'm ALL ears. In the meantime, I am going to attempt consistent care and TLC, keep my hands OUT of my hair, keep the heat FAR away from my tresses for as long as possible and keep my true length hidden from myself and other for as LONG as possible. Planning an official length check and "reveal" in December around the time of my birthday, and I am praying to not be disappointed. Have a fabulous Thursday peeps, and remember, if you're having a phuza Thursday tonight, be safe!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Weekend hair plans

Good morning people and happy Friday to all. We are having the most awesome Friday, the weather is lovely, although it does create a longing for pancakes and one's bed. It's over cast and humid, and the rain is looming over the horizon - Summer is officially here! And it's only October.

Last weekend my social calender was quite full and busy, this weekend the set plan is a motorsport event, King of Spin, tomorrow and it starts relatively early, which means that I need to start my hair pampering tonight if I wish to look like a decent human being tomorrow. Of course, I have plans to get drinks with a possible gentleman suitor tonight, so I don't really know how I'm going to squeeze everything in, but it needs to be done.

Okay the long and the short of my plans is to do the major wash day routine and maybe split it over the course of tonight and tomorrow morning. Prepoo with cheapie conditioner and coconut oil, wash, do a black tea rinse, detangle with Pantene Smooth and Sleek conditioner and DC with Clicks Repair and Nourish Conditioning Mask tonight, keeping on the deep conditioner overnight. In the morning, rinse the DC and roller set, using usual leave-in's and drying hair with dryer on cool, but fast setting. When hair is dry I'll decide then on the style to employ, but one thing is certain - NO HEAT shall be applied to my hair.

Now I feel the need to ramble a little bit with regard to the fact that I REALLY REALLY want to reach full shoulder length by the end of the year, which gives me a bare 2 months to kick up the retention and thus I need to be extra gentle and extra caring. I am actively hiding my full length currently by wearing buns and pining my hair up, however sometimes I can't help myself, when prepping for bed, combing out my hair to see what's happening. And it annoys me to no end that the front half of my hair is not thriving as much as the back. I know that one must be patient, but I am not the most patient person on earth and I am wondering what else I can do to increase growth and retention without looking like sorry sad Susie who's hair is always in a bun. Protective styling is not all that fun.

So apart from my general goals, I'm going to add another - actively find cute protective styles so as to retain every millimeter of growth. I'm currently 6 weeks post and thus have another 6 weeks to go before touching up and I need to baby and nourish my new growth even more than ever before, especially around my nape and hairline, so as to minimize breakage and shedding. I am hoping that all of the effort (which I have not done prior to this journey of mine) will reap many fruit so that one day other ladies can approach me and ask me how in the world did I get my hair to grow so long and healthy and shiny. I know it's petty, wanting others to envy me a little, but I've never denied the size and fragile nature of my ego, she loves such boosts.

So that's my ramble for the day. What's everybody's plans for this weekend? Whatever y'all do, be safe and have fun!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Post weekend update, with some pics

Good morning, happy October and I trust everybody's ready to take on the new month with vigor. This will also be when one truly feels the effects of the new season, it becoming cooler in the northern hemisphere and warming up considerably here in the south. It 's spring (although in all honesty, it often feels as if Namibia only has two seasons - winter and summer, and that autumn and spring fall by the wayside) and thus the days are longer and warmer and just generally more fun. It's easier to go the gym after work, since it's not dark when you're done after a good hour long session and driving home. Sun downers are so much more fun because cold funky cocktails don't really go down well during winter and the sun sets too damn early in any event. One's social calendar fills up much more easily as everyone actually wishes to come out of their state of winter hibernation and laziness and shake off the cobwebs of the cold season. Personally, the only thing I miss about the colder seasons is that my wardrobe and sense of style was so much easier while still being creative, and hair care, for me personally, was a little easier, as a simple bun in winter is so much more the norm, as summer asks for more flirty fun styles and thus much more care so as to minimize breakage and shedding.

Talking of fun and flirty, this weekend was amazing and very fun. Friday night I went to a themed Red Light District Party: Heels and Top Hats with my girl Ash. Upon entering one received complimentary champagne, and my glass was almost never empty. There were live performances, which included stand up comedy, poetry and singing. The DJ burned up the decks and the next day my feet were in absolute agony as I danced the night away in heels, which I NEVER do, ask ANYONE who knows me. My feet only truly feel better today! But heels were part of the theme so I threw them on,lol.

The rest of my outfit consisted of an ankle length black fitted skirt with a slit on the side and a black corset. My hair I simply retwisted my knots a little and then fluffed them out. Make up was simple and then we partied the night away.

I need to make the following statement - girls of today DO NOT know how to dress with class and style so as to look like LADIES. I verily believe that me and my friends were some of the very few classy ladies at the party. The GIRLS do know however how to look like very expensive prostitutes. A style lesson that I know is absolutely timeless - one must choose the focal point between chest and legs. You CANNOT show off both, because then you end up looking trashy and cheap.

I saw SO many girls on Friday night who's boobs were falling out of their dresses which were so short that daring the sit down would have been a challenge and wearing underwear would not have been great because their were SO tight that even the tiniest of thongs would leave a visible pantie line, and on top of it, wearing hooker heels. As a woman, I found it disgraceful. There is nothing wrong with sexy, and there is nothing wrong with flaunting your best assets, as long as it's done tastefully and with class and not like you're the lead in a porno movie and the clothes are gonna fly in about 2 minutes anyway! Girls!! Learn to have some self respect! If you don't respect your own body and your own image that you're projecting to the world, how on earth do you expect anyone to respect you??

Okay, enough about that rant and on to the awesomeness that was yesterday and the Trevor Noah show. The man is brilliant! I haven't laughed so hard in a very long time. He has been one of my favorite comedians for a couple of years now, and it was awesome seeing him live here in Windhoek as I missed his show last year which he did before leaving for the States for about a year. I am so grateful to Ashante for hooking us all up and making sure that we don't miss the comedy show of the year.

As a precursor, I decided that I must look decidedly cute, and thus yesterday morning was a wash day, which I ended with a roller set, After taking out the rollers, I pinned my hair up in a slightly 40's and 50's style, took out some tendrils to frame my face and wore a strapless dress that I picked up at American Eagle a few years ago with a tiny little cardigan over.

I apologise for the quality of the pics, I'm still relegated to my cell phone. I pray that the situation will change soon.

Also, I realized that I need to have a ton of oils for when detangling my curls from a knot out to minimise the breakage, so I will be adding that to the planned hair haul which will probably occur this afternoon.

In any event, that was my weekend y'all (and I also watched A LOT of Grey's Anatomy over the weekend - some tears were shed, was intense). Wishing everyone an awesome week ahead and a happy, not blue, Monday further.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Goals for the month to come

The first month of spring is over and we are experiencing hotter and hotter weather, but the humidity levels have not quite risen as much as I hoped and thus I am experiencing a little dryness, which I will be focusing on for the month of October. 

I'm gonna keep this short, so as to not overload myself, as exams are also around the corner. 

  • Moisturize and seal twice a day. I have become lazy in this department, only sealing in the evenings, and I need to do it more than that, I can feel it. 
  • Continue rocking the knot outs but pro-actively learn how to do them with less manipulation and a softer touch. The knot outs hide my true length, and I think it's good
  • Get back to basics - MY basics. I have been gallivanting with a million different products, trying everything new, experimenting, become a junkie. I'm going to scale down big time and get back to my staples - Pantene Shampoo and Conditioner, ORS Hair Mayonnaise, Pantene Moisturizing DC, coconut oil, castor oil, ORS Hair Fertilizer, ORS Glossing Polisher, roller setting. I believe that I will get more consistent results with these base products and a consistent approach. 
  • Moisturizing DC once to twice a week, ONE protein DC for the month. I've experienced over load before, the memory still haunts me, and I am not making the same mistake again! 
  • Scalp massages with the castor oil the night before wash days, intense massages, especially around the hairline. Followed with overnight coconut oil prepoo. 
  • BABY my nape. I've been having some bad breakage and it needs to stop! It's messing with my mojo.
  • NO HEAT for the entire month. NONE. 
The ultimate goal is that I need the front half of my hair to catch up with the back, my nape to stop breaking and my hairline to fill out even more. Hot on the heels of that, I want retention without obsessing, thus hiding the true length for at least another month. I want my hair to feel soft and lush and nourished. And I want to STOP spending SO much money on hair products, OMG, it's ridiculous. 

So, those are my goals for October. Regarding this immediate weekend, I'm going to the hottest party in town - rocking the bantu knot out, fierce make up, and a head turning outfit. Will attempt pics, decent ones this time. Happy Friday everybody, and blessed weekend!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Black Vulcanite and post weekend update

Good morning everybody, and I hope y'all are having a better Monday than me. I'm all snotty and congested and this fuzzy head feeling is not conducive to a good mood. 

Regarding the weekend, it was such a blast being at the Black Vulcanite video shoot party. I can't wait for the video to premiere. Although these boys are young, I believe that they are firmly on the road to real success, as long as they continue to work as hard as they are now. Of course, with their momager, the awesome and stylish Ms Manetti by their side, only good things I predict will come their way. 

Yesterday I was so lazy and a little lethargic that I spent most of the day watching Grey's Anatomy and wondering why it is that women allow themselves to go crazy over one of two things - a man or their career. It always seems to be one of the two. I believe my friend Stiletto Rambler will probably broach the topic at some stage, because it is somewhat perplexing to me, maybe because I believe that one can have it all. Of course Grey's Anatomy is simply a story, the figment of someone's imagination, but quite a few of the story lines have a way of tugging at one's subconscious, of being relatable to one's own life. It could simply be due to good writing or good acting, or it could be that the issues are very real to many people. I don't know, I'm rambling.

Nevertheless, the weekend was an absolute blast!! I apologise for the lack of pics, considering that I made so much effort with my hair this weekend and I laid out all of my plans beforehand, but I am pleased to report that everything did come out awesome, my hair being full and lively and getting mucho compliments. The outfit was very spring focused, including a colourful boobtube and purple waterfall cardi. I felt good (snotty but good) and according to my friends, I looked good. 

I realised that I need to stock up on a moisturizing DC, a moisturizing shampoo and a light protein DC, like ORS Hair Mayonnaise, and very soon. I haven't done a hair haul in a while and I have actually been using up quite a bit of my current stash. I strongly believe that I will be FULL shoulder length by the end of the year, which is my ultimate goal for 2012. Then we'll start working on 2013 and where to go at that stage. In the meantime I need to be consistent and continue caring and loving and the results will be more and more evident as time goes by. 

That's it for now folks. Have an awesome Monday, and a blessed week!

Edit: Got a pic folks, I'm with my awesome friend Ashante and one third of Black Vulcanite, AliThatDude. Feel the awesomeness emanate from this pic :-) 

Friday, September 21, 2012

History and being conscious of it

You are who you were...

The choices and decisions that you have made in the past directly affect who and what you are now...

One cannot be angry at someone else or blame circumstances for the life that you are living. Yes, some things are out of our control, some things we must leave to God and the fates, but we are in so much control, but we relinquish that control so easily, we are scared of the responsibility attached to it. We fear having to OWN who we are and what we do. And as adults it is exactly what what we're supposed to do. 

For example, I am not where I wanted to be at this age in my career. I'm still doing grunt work, while many of peers are in management already. I'm still the office gofer, while my peers in my field are becoming partners in their respective firms. I still live in a tiny bachelor's apartment, while others are buying property. But I know that nobody caused my current circumstances but me, and I own it, for I have had experiences that quite a few of my peers have not. I have traveled more, I have seen more, I have experienced more. I annoy the hell out of my friends sometimes when we're watching a movie and then I suddenly shout out "I was there! I saw that place up close and personal, it was so cool!" 

At the same time I am now very aware that the decisions I make today WILL affect my life tomorrow, and it can be across the range. Party a little too hard on Friday equals feeling like absolute horse crap on Saturday. Spend too much money at the beginning of the month equals being ridiculously broke 2 weeks before pay day already. Eat too much over lunch equals feeling bloated afterwards and probably also gaining an extra pound or two. Skip the gym too often equals not losing that extra pound or two. Not working hard equals pissing off your boss and putting your professional career in jeopardy. Not studying hard enough equals poor marks which puts a dent in your academic career. 

Like Einstein said, every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and thus I believe that we must become much more conscious of our daily, weekly, monthly actions instead of blaming and shaming everyone else. Your LIFE is YOUR responsibility. Even if things happen that are beyond your control, what IS in your control is how you handle it, how you react to it, how you deal with it. Even if it means simply acknowledging that BS is happening and that you'll get through it somehow, such as the fact that I expect service from a service provider, and I expect quick efficient service especially if I iterate  that it's urgent and I needed it done yesterday. Yes, it's not really fair to put pressure on someone due a delay caused by something out of your control. But it is fair to expect courteousness and understanding. And I didn't get it. I could jump up and down, stomp my foot, become a nasty human being who's never going to get anywhere with this service provided EVER. Or I can smile, say thank you, walk out with head high and then blow up his superior's phone. I opted for the latter, and my blood pressure thanks me.  We're entering the weekend and I refuse that some stuck up bureaucrat spoil my day or my weekend. 

Now, I will end this by turning this entire life reality towards hair care (this is after all partly a journal chronicling my hair journey). What one does today, will be evident tomorrow. I had a thought earlier about how my mom took care of my hair as a kid and what the hell happened after I moved away to varsity, the differences in our approaches and the resultant effects. And I realised that my mom had some good practices, which I could replicate a bit now as an adult, of course altering it a little bit, and some I have already. Heat usage is minimal, roller setting is the norm and a good slippy conditioner is a staple. What I can reincorporate from my childhood would be more low to now manipulation hairstyles and gentler detangling. (Yeah, I struggle with it a bit more now that I actually have longer hair to deal with) What's new now which I never did as a kid is pre-pooing, deep conditioning and daily moisturizing, all of which I'm going to amp up, as I want luscious hair sooner rather than later. 

There is NO easy way to reach ANY goal, whether it be in life, work, play or even your hair. What I do now will be evident tomorrow, and thus, I plan to, in all areas of my life, be more conscious of my actions and decisions, as I truly want the BEST life I can have. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Weekend hair plans

I haven't had a big post regarding my hair in a while, and I suspect that I'm actually suffering the consequences. My hair is not feeling very soft and nourished at the moment, and I know now that the reason for that is the fact that I have not been keep stricter tabs on myself. I'm experiencing breakage and I suspect it might be a little bit of a setback considering that I'm only 3 weeks post and I'm not supposed to be having these issues, well not in my mind at least. So, I'm going to go a little drastic and a little OCD on myself, because I love the fact that I've gained quite a bit of length in the past 6 months, but I want it healthy and happy. So mini challenges:
  • moisturize and seal twice a day
  • keep hands out of hair during the day
  • DC twice a week WITH heat
  • wear hair pinned and protectively every day till end of October, even if in a knot out or braid out or roller set - pin up and bun!
There will be one exception to that last bullet. I'm planning on wearing my hair out this coming Saturday as I'll be at a very cool event, the shoot of Black Vulcanite's first music video! So here's my plan regarding my tresses on Saturday, cause a girl has got to look GOOD:
  • wake up nice and early, clean the apartment and then start with a prepoo with warm coconut oil, for at least the length of two or three Grey's Anatomy episodes. Make a pot of black tea with mint leaves added, have a cup, let the rest cool down.
  • Wash hair with ORS Creamy Aloe, slightly diluted, rinsing properly. 
  • Rinse with the tea
  • DC hair with a mixture of Pantene Repair and Protect, Give Me Moisture, ORS Masque and coconut oil, with a hot towel, for the duration of another two episodes, at least. 
  • Rinse the DC and tea out and brace myself and give a final rinse with VERY cold water. 
  • Put in my leave in's of Avon 3D Rescue and ORS Glossing Polisher. 
  • Roller set, and have it air dry while continuing with Grey's Anatomy. (Yes, it's a new obsession for me people, and I love it!)
  • When completely dry, lightly moisturize and seal and wrap.
  • Find an outfit, do my make up, all with Grey's in the background. 
  • About half an hour before having to leave for the party, take down wrap and lightly and gently iron my hair on a low heat
  • Leave the house with BOUNCE!
Anybody else have weekend plans yet? 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Letting go...easier said than done

Well good morning world. The weekend has been a mish mash of experiences and feelings, and thoughts that sometimes simply did not make sense. Essentially, it's easy to know what your hard limits are, what you will not tolerate. It's easier to formulate in your head the positive, to know exactly what you do want and what you desire. One thing that I've known about myself forever is that I am attracted to intelligence and wit, the kind that some people may find weird or disconcerting. It makes me wonder why in the world I was with someone for the longest time who was not in my league, neither intellectually, culturally or socially. 

We were simply a wrong fit, but I fell hook line and sinker and today I can't say why. I don't know what I fell in love with, perhaps it was the idea of love more than anything else of him. Maybe I was very deeply in love with the idea of actually committing to someone, of being in a stable relationship, of becoming a "grown-up". Well, it turned out that he was not stable and thus the relationship itself wasn't stable, in fact, it was downright stormy as the end neared. I think back at that time and although there were good, happy times, it's very hard for me to remember those clearly, when the bad, shitty times are so vivid in my mind's eye. It's tremendously difficult for me to own up to myself, because I should realised long before the end was glaringly obvious to the world that I was in a toxic situation and that I needed to extract myself from it. In the end I did and technically I'm free. 

But, since we're being honest, is one ever truly free after having gone through something like this? How does one truly get rid of the poison that still course through my veins? Many people would answer that forgiveness is the answer, that forgiveness is for me and not the other person, it's to free me and not him. My head tells me that it's the right answer and that I should forgive him and let him go, that I should not have the burden of bad memories weighing me down. My heart on the other hand wishes to smite and avenge itself, to plan plots of destruction against the person who hurt me. But revenge is a difficult game, it requires patience and a resolve of steel, and more commitment than anything one can imagine. 

He's not worth all of that effort. He's simply worthy of being a castaway with no hope of rescue. I am worthy of so much more than pain and nightmares. I realise now that I can let go a little more each day, but it's still not easy. I understand why people end up in rebound situations now. I understand it, but I don't want it, otherwise I'll never heal completely and thoroughly. What I want and need is time, time to process, time to forgive, time to let go. And I need to give MYSELF that time. No one else will, it's up to me. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

The weekend is upon us!

It's Friday everybody and I am planning on getting some rest and having a good time in the next 72 hours. In my last post I mentioned how I now like curls and how I'm going to try new things? Well, everybody that knows me, know that I'm not a pink person, but I have this little pink trench that I got on sale for an absolute steal, and today I'm rocking it with a knot out that could not be more perfect.

That's all for today everybody. Have an AWESOME weekend!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Trying new things

One of the most awful tings in life is getting stuck in a rut. Whether the rut exists at work, at your business, in your social life, in your relationship, it is an indication of an imbalance, and primarily of YOU, who is in the rut, being lazy and not busting out of your own rut. I am speaking from personal experience, having experienced many different ruts, and only getting out of it after I made a concerted effort. One must take responsibility for your own life, you cannot expect others to help you out of your rut. 

Now, with that being said, I know that I have been in a styling rut for a while. My hair is growing and the retention is there, but also, it's now at an awkward stage where I had NO idea what to do with it except EZ comb and bunning, until recently. I did a side french braid a la Katniss Everdeen. I still need a LOT of practice with that one though, and MORE hair, lol. 

I actually did a bantu knot out and it came out cute!! I'm wearing my hair straight today for the first time in almost a week, which is VERY rare for me, because my entire life I would wear my hair straight and stretched for the simple reason that I believed, into my core, that curls did not suit me. Well, glory hallelujah, I was wrong and it is giving me more hope and vigor to try even more NEW things, with my hair, my workout schedule, my make up, my wardrobe. And lastly, after my first summer swim of the new season, my hair turned into a nice big wavy do, which I'm going to attempt to recreate soon. 

Now, I think it may be very much overdue to post some pics. I would love to hear what everybody thinks and on how to improve the styles and on suggestions for other styles to try. I apologise for the picture quality, hopefully they're clear enough for y'all to get the idea. 

Side french braid a la Katniss Everdeen. 

First successful bantu knot out

Knot out lightly pinned at the sides

Tighter knot out, also slightly pinned at the sides

BIG hair after a swim and lying in the sun

So, what new things have YOU been trying lately?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Getting back in the groove of things

Yes, spring time means more energy, more sunlight during the day and summer is around the corner bringing with it short skirts, strapless tops and dresses and bathing suits. Spring time also means that for the first time in 3-4 months one actually LOOKS at your naked body (it's too chilly in winter to examine - out the bath, into warm pj's!!) and realise that you've gone and turned into the Michelin Man  or Pillsbury Dough Boy during the months of Fall and Winter. Damn you clam chowder!! 

Regardless, spring also means that one actually has renewed vigor and renewed inspiration to be in the gym and work it! I know I do. So, the plan is simple - work out at least 5 days a week, eat PLENTY of veggies and salads and fruits, up the protein and decrease the carbs, and drink water like I'm being paid. 

Regarding my hair whilst working out - get a VERY cheap conditioner for co-washing (shampoo wash only twice a week), start trying twist outs and braid out, and protective styling up the yazoo. I just realised, I should get a sweatband! 

Goals regarding weight loss and health - lose 6-8 pounds by the end of September, gain 5-8% muscle mass during the same time period, bring down blood pressure by 10 points, reduce resting heart rate by 15beats per minute. Goals regarding hair - retain every millimeter of growth, reduce breakage currently being experienced and UP,UP,UP the moisturizing. 

So, here I go. 

Incredible “get that body” system.

Monday, September 3, 2012

In need of a new wardrobe!!

To all the ladies out there, don't you just hate it when the new season rolls around and you look at your wardrobe and you just feels the good mood you woke up with fly right out the window? That has been me for the past few days. Yes, the weather is lovely. Yes, I can pack away the chunky sweaters and thick socks. The sad part...I also pack away my boots, scarves and coats, the clothing items necessary for winter and which I LOVE. Now that's spring's here and the season of exposed skin is back, all I can see is how pudgy I got over winter (yes, I'm back in the gym already, but still) and how freaking WHITE I am. My thighs look like those of a ghost and the blue veins shining through on my arms make me feel like a poor rendition of a Jackson Polluck! The biggest issue though, every freaking morning - what in the name of Zeus am I going to wear??? So I found some lovely ideas on Pinterest and in the coming weeks will attempt to recreate them with what I currently have in my closet and then start hitting the sales. Here's a bit of a visual:

spring's here

Too freaking cute!

Perfect for a lunch with the girls

Springtime! <3


I like to be comfortable.


Now to rummage through my closet, find the existing items and be creative!! Have a good week all!

Spring...and wanderlust!!

Good morning people, and happy Spring time. Although, let's be honest, in this beautiful country of ours, there is TWO seasons, those being Summer and Winter. Autumn and Spring are illusions which we would love to buy into but we actually only feel them once the sun goes down, since the days are already cooking. All said and done we all adjusted our clocks yesterday as it was the end of daylight saving and me body and internal clock takes about 3 days to adjust to a ONE hour adjustment on the clock. Now can you imagine the pain and agony I go through whenever I fly through a number of time zones?? I have the worst jet lag ever!

Regardless of having the worst jet lag, the wanderlust has me by the throat, and since I can't go anywhere anytime soon, I've been drooling about the following places for the past couple of weeks. I'm putting it out there and the Universe in it's infinite wisdom will show me the way on how to get there. Anyone else wanna go anywhere?


Stairs to the Sea, Negril, Jamaica

Le Tour Eiffel: Blossom And Towers: Paris

New York..New York..New York!

Have a good Monday everybody!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

First wash after touch up

Freshly relaxed hair is such a joy to work with. Detangling takes next to no effort and it just feels as if product application is easier as it gets to every strand. The first wash day after a fresh touch up to me is always fun, but I think I made a little mistake on this one. It was not a train smash, not in the slightest, but I also learned a little something. More on that later. 

Okay, to quickly go through the process:
  • Pre-poo hot oil treatment with coconut oil for almost 2 hours. spent it watching Spartacus. Oooh la la!
  • Shampooed with my Avon Moisturizing Shampoo, trying my best to massage my scalp and have the run off cleanse the length. 
  • I blotted as much water from my hair before applying VO5 Give Me Moisture Conditioner, a new product I'm trying out, and I loved it immediately. Thick and creamy in texture, light in fragrance and gives plenty of slip. I put on quite a bit, detangled and combed it through and then continued with the rest of y bathroom duties. 
  • Rinsed the conditioner and my hair felt SO soft. I think I have FINALLY corrected the protein overload I gave myself a few weeks back. 
  • And here's where the mistake came in. I applied my leave in's, ORS Olive Oil Glossing Polisher and Avon 3D Rescue Leave In treatment, and I think I applied too much product unwittingly, which I discovered later. 
  • Roller set, air dried and when I took out the rollers I realized that I did indeed put in too much product. My hair felt weighed down and heavy instead of light and bouncy. Soft - yes, well moisturized - yes, shiny - yes, light and bouncy - no. 
Lesson learned - the amount of product needed when one is freshly relaxed is no where near as much as when you're deep into a stretch. The rest of the routine was awesome though and I will replicate it next wash day and just tweak the leave in prior to roller setting so as to get the bounciness back. 

Till next time, have an awesome day everyone

Longest stretch yet - 14 weeks

Good morning everybody. It's been a minute since I did a decent HHJ update, so here goes.

Last week Friday, on the 24th of August, I finally got around to relaxing my hair at 14 weeks post, which has been my longest stretch yet, and in all honesty, I must admit that I doubt that I would stretch for that long again, unless I can truly learn how to baby and pamper my new growth, because I in this stretch I experienced breakage around the demarcation line and I was NOT happy about it. The breakage was not extreme and I still maintained my retention rate of about 2-3cm during the stretch, but one of my goals is to have breakage and shedding to an absolute minimum, so during the next 12 weeks or so I am going to focus on that. 

Now, to rewind a little to Friday, I must say that I think that I have my PERFECT relaxing kit, which is the ORS Olive Oil Relaxer kit for GIRLS. As you know from my previous posts I have always been more partial to the formulations for the young ones, but for the longest time I've grabbed the Dark & Lovely Beautiful Beginnings box. I am now officially changing over. The ORS kit is simply awesome. The relaxer itself, after mixing it with the activator is a smoother consistency and smells MUCH more pleasant. the kit includes not only a jelly for basing one's scalp, but also a wheatgerm oil based protectant for previously relaxed hair to assist in preventing over processing. It includes nicer, better fitting latex gloves as well as a shower cap to assist with the deep conditioning step. All in all, a great product, and bang for your buck. 

Okay, now to get to the actual relaxing:

  • Based my scalp with the provided jelly and covered previously relaxed hair with the provided oil (which smells nice as well)
  • Applied the relaxer with the help of a friend. Application and smoothing time was between 12-15 minutes, I'm not entirely sure. Scalp did not burn at all, but 30 seconds prior to rinsing I felt my nape starting to tingle just a little. 
  • Rinsed as thoroughly as I could before first shampoo with ORS Creamy Aloe Moisturizing Shampoo. 
  • Shampooed and rinsed with the neutralizing shampoo twice and then did a mid protein step with ORS Hair Mayonnaise for about five minutes, after which I shampooed and rinsed with the neutralizing shampoo another 4 or 5 times. My legs were WAY shaky and wobbly from being bent over the bath tub when  finally finished rinsing. 
  • Applied the DC provided in the kit, put on the shower cap and then just chilled for about 20 minutes whilst I had a cup of coffee with my friend. 
  • Rinsed the DC (hair felt so soft and smelled so heavenly!) and then applied a little Bone Strait as leave in and proceeded to roller set. During the roller set I realized exactly how much my hair has grown because I used ONLY big orange rollers, which are maybe 1 and half inches in diameter, which I have not been able to do before now, EVER. 
  • Had my hair airdry in the rollers for about half an hour and then dried it further with a blow drier. After removing the rollers, my friend straightened it with her GHD iron using few quick passes and then I was good to go. 
My hair felt way smooth, moisturized and had SO much movement. I went out clubbing afterwards and got SO many compliments. I seriously trust that I will not use another product again for my touch ups again. Sorry for the lack of pics, will ask another friend that we do a little photo shoot soon with decent pics taken by a killer CANON camera.