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. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Movie mania!

I am a self confessed addict of modern cinema. I watch everything, except of course if it's soooooooooo artistic that it bores me to tears. Here's my philosophy - when I enter a cinema, rent a DVD or watch a movie on TV I want to be, nay, NEED to be entertained! I wish to leave my brain at the door and have fun, and walk out smiling. Yes, yes, once in a while I'll watch something a little deeper and intellectual, but if I TRULY want intellectual and deep, I pick up a book and read.

Now, regarding the movie mania, I have finally acquired a few films which I have been DYING to see, since the opportunity escaped me whilst they were playing on the big screen. And just because I can, I would like to post a review or two.

First off, let's start with The Hunger Games. I read the trilogy in a matter of days and then got my hands on the movie. First off, let me say that I am looking forward to catching fire as much as any Hunger Games fan. With regards to the film, it's to be expected that an adaptation VERY rarely lives up to the book. We've all experienced it with the myriad of book to film adaptations during the past decade. This adaptation was however very well done, and in my opinion can stand alone without one having had read the books. Of course, by not reading the books, you will be depriving yourself of the deeper and subtle nuances.

Regardless, I digress. I will not be going into the plot too much, but I must say that it's amazing how one can fall in love with a story which basically deals with a bunch of teenagers killing one another for the entertainment of others. In the same vein, it made me think, "How in the hell would I survive the Hunger Games?" The portrayal of the characters was on par, especially by Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss and Josh Hutcherson as Peeta. It was brilliant because the sometimes uneasy feelings I had whilst reading the book, I experienced in a similar fashion whilst watching the movie. The dialogue felt slightly stinted at times, but not overly so, considering that especially Katniss spends a great deal of her time within the arena alone. This film has the ability to move you, to sweep you along and leave you with a dull ache as you crave more. The scenes with Rue can cause anyone to newly appreciate a baby sister and the cave scene is simply special. Of course it can be labeled as romantic, but it's so much deeper than that, it has more layers than that and it's one of the scenes that made you feel slightly uneasy and aching for more all at the same time.

Lastly I must stress that whomever has the audacity to compare this to Twilight - wake up! I am not hating on Twilight at all but the comparisons are unfair and out of context. I personally would rate The Hunger Games a solid eight out of ten, as it surpassed my expectations and am very much looking forward to Catching Fire.

Next up, The Avengers. Yes, I know, I know, I know, I've been living under a rock, so sue me. In any event I have been looking forward to it for AGES and finally had the opportunity to watch it and I LOVE it!!!! I cannot stress how much I love this movie. It has EVERYTHING that I look for in an action movie. Lots of explosions and hand to hand combat, lots of icky monsters from other worlds, lots of witty dialogue between the lead characters and lots of FUN, but not without a few slightly deeper aspects. Each actor encompassed their parts fully and expertly. Of course they had some practice with all of the previous tie in films, all except Mark Ruffalo, who in my opinion was brilliant as Bruce Banner/The Hulk, one of my favorite lines being his - "That's just it Ms Romanov, I'm always angry." I swear I had goose bumps! I loved the conflict between the characters prior to them actually assembling and working as a team, the banter between them was priceless. I apologise, I know that I'm gushing, but I had a MASSIVE smile on my face through out the whole thing except of course when that big loss occurred, the catalyst for them finally pulling it together. I'm not the kind of person to post spoilers, even if the whole world has already seen it, just in case someone else lived in a cave for the past year.

With regards to the story line and the flow of the film, it seemed effortless. Of course, if one did not see any of the previous tie in Marvel films, you might feel a little bombarded with a lot of new information, but I seriously doubt that anyone who has watched this film did not watch the others. Loki is in my mind a perfect villain, partly due to his delusions of grandeur and narcissism. The interactions between him and Tony is in my mind some of the most memorable, of course due to the fact that Tom Hiddleston and Robert Downey Jr deliver their lines with such ease and wit that one cannot look away. In terms of character development, I think that of Steve Rogers/Captain America will capture anyone's heart, considering that essentially he's a very lost young man coming to grips with the reality that he lives in. Chris Evans in my mind did a very good job in this respect, especially considering the timely bursts of humor.

I am very much looking forward to the sequel, as well as any upcoming gems that Marvel has to offer. On it's own The Avengers will remain in my collection for as long as is possible and I rate it nine out of ten. Pure unadulterated pleasure!

Anybody else watch anything fun lately??

Entertainment and relaxation - how, where, what?

Good morning everybody. and the good vibes keep on flowing. Life is good, spring is on the way and I'm enjoying a yummy sandwich :-)

Yes, I am going to talk about entertainment, and the fact that it is necessary regardless of age, gender, social class or background. Yes, the prior mentioned can have an effect on what types of entertainment each and every individual prefers, but at the end of the day the point is that everyone needs and deserves a little play time.

I have always been a very social person. I loved clubbing and bar hopping, house parties and frat parties. As long as I was around people I felt as if I was in my element. As the years have moved on my preferences have changed. Instead of bar hopping, I visit one pub/restaurant on the regular. Instead of clubbing I go to concerts and independent film showings and comedy shows. Instead of crazy house parties we now have dinner parties and barbecues. And I still love every minute primarily because of the people I enjoy it with. (Friends give you wings, not Red Bull)

I do however live in a small city and unfortunately the options aren't very varied for those younger in years who would find the dinner parties and stylish pub excruciatingly boring. The clubs aren't what they used to be (part of the reason I don't go to a club often anymore) and there are precious few options if you're actually looking for something to do during the day. No bowling alleys, no mini golf courses. No public library (not for the past few years due to "renovations" in any event) and no gaming arcades. So...these limitations exist and what happens? Teenagers and young adults recreate Project X, consumption of alcohol and drugs run rampant among the younger generation (good grief I sound old) and a sense of hopelessness descends.

The truth of the matter is that EVERYONE needs to be entertained and needs to be able to relax in whatever way they choose. What is crucial though is that the choices need to be expanded. Essentially, how can you know what you like if the only choices you have is (in your mind) sit at home or go to a club/pub/bar and (most probably) drink? How can you know yourself if you're not aware of the other options beyond that which you've never tried? People allow themselves to be limited by their own lack of imagination and sense of fun, and I believe it's largely because of our consumer driven lives, our need for instant gratification, our need to be given instead of us giving.

So, where am I going with this? First of all, if you focus on everything else BUT how to truly relax, then you don't know how, and you'll probably die of a heart attach before reaching 40. Being a workaholic is not a pretty sight, and you're not the only one who suffers.

Secondly, entertainment and relaxation isn't dependent on  going out and spending money. One of the coolest, most relaxing and most entertaining days of my life happened a few years ago, when me and a bunch of friends were sitting around the house on a Sunday. We just finished watching a movie and felt a little bored. Of course going out was out of the question, it was a Sunday afternoon, so the options outside the house were even fewer. So we ended up playing hide-and-seek. A bunch of ADULTS playing hide-and-seek for a good few hours, and it was SO much fun. That night I slept like a baby and the next day had a GOOD Monday at work, no blues to speak of. My point - playfulness is NOT reserved for actual children exclusively.

Thirdly, I'm part of the generation that is bringing the new generation into the world. I'm surrounded by weddings, pregnancies and toddlers. I go to kiddie birthday parties and baby showers. Essentially I believe that my generation should start filling the gaps that exist today with regards to entertainment so that our kids, when they become teenagers don't feel the need to turn to stuff we didn't even dream of when we were their age. We're the generation who can reteach our kids how to play outside and hide the gaming consoles and how to use their minds. So that they don't feel stifled by their lack of options.

Lastly, we need to rethink how we relax. Personally, I have experienced a bit of a reset the past couple of weeks. I started reading again, and ferociously. Two trilogies in a matter of 2 weeks. Of course I still went for a night cap at Garlic and Flowers, and I still attended parties, and I LOVE my sanity sessions with my soul sisters, but I have fallen in love all over again with my first love - books. And I have been sleeping better and feeling better and lighter, and essentially less stressed and more RELAXED.

So what was YOUR first love? Playing sports? Music? Books? Lying in the sun and getting a tan? (Yes, sometimes just being plain old lazy is all the relaxation one needs.) What makes you sleep better at night? What slows your heart beat and removes the anxiety? How do you entertain YOURSELF when you're ALONE? What is clear is that we need to rediscover ourselves and know ourselves, and thus know how we need what we need and in what measures we need it.

Monday, August 20, 2012

I feel good, nanananaaaa!!!

Yes, I do!!! Which is a rare thing on a Monday. But my weekend was too damn awesome for the good feelings to not be transferred to this Monday morning. 
Let's recap. 

Friday started with my friend and soul sister's birthday party. It was chilled out and relaxed, while we still had a lot of fun chatting, getting back to basics and playing cards. Whilst there I realized again how lucky I am to have the friends that I do. It's like being enveloped in a down comforter. And Julio's soup was the bomb!!! The night ended at our preferred haunt, Garlic and Flowers, for a night cap with my other soul sister Ashante, and a catalyst for the smile on my face that lasted ALL weekend long. But I am SO not going to jinx this, so this is where I shut up. :-)

Saturday was taken up by the birthday party of the now 2 year old Zen, and we were surrounded by toddlers, which although cute, made me realize exactly how much of a kid I myself am not anymore. Regardless, it was so much fun. A further continuation of spending time with good friends, good food (Chanty, that curry, yummy!!!) and counting one's blessings. 

The rest of the weekend I was absolutely engrossed in the Hunger Games Trilogy. My inner nerd was in the best mood, I finished all 3 books in a matter of days, a full week has not gone by yet since I purchased them. I was transported to another world, and I actually felt as if I experienced the Games myself. I CAN'T WAIT to see the first film. (I avoided seeing it until I read the books. Personal little rule) Now of course, I'm a little sad, I actually FINISHED the whole trilogy. I'm seriously considering reading them all over again, slowly, since I simply devoured them now. 

Oh yeah, and then a little hair update. I could touch up, so now it's scheduled for this coming weekend at 14weeks post. My NG is driving me a little crazy, so last night I dry DC'd with Pantene Repair and Protect mask for almost 2 hours, then washed with my Avon Moisturizing Shampoo, detangled with Tresseme Moisturizing Conditioner and rinsed, Quick protein Treatment with ORS Olive Oil Intense Repair Masque (which STILL gives no slip and makes my hair feel a little hard, I officially DON'T like this product) and then after rinsing that conditioned again with Pantene smooth and Silky Moisturizing Conditioner while I finished the rest of my shower duties, lol. I then put in Avon 3D Rescue Leave-in Treatment, mixed with ORS Glossing Polisher serum and proceeded to roller set whilst watching True Blood and spritzing my hair with a mix of water, a TINY bit of Aussie Mega Moisture Conditioner and a TEENSY bit of glycerin as I went along. I let my hair airdry in the rollers for about two hours before taking the dryer to them on the mild setting, as it was getting late and I refuse to sleep with rollers, it's too painful and distracting. My roots are WAY thick, so although my hair felt soft coming out of the rollers, I prefer it to be manageable, so I flat ironed (one pass) and wrapped and went to bed. This morning my hair is actually BEHAVING and I am having the best day so far. It feels soft and it's bouncy. I need to look for cute pins though, as much as I'm loving my retention, I need bigger clips now for my protective styles, which is awesome!!! 

Yes, it might just be hair, but it's also a woman's crown and these days, I'm actually liking my own. :-)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Trying something new...hairwise

I know it's been a minute, but between exams and feeling listless, the opportunity to blog wasn't there. However, I do think that it's high time to give a bit of a hair update. Unfortunately, I won't be posting pics now, but I plan to post quite a few soon. This one I'm keeping short and simple.

Okay, what my hair is currently doing is driving me a little CRAZY. I'm 13 weeks post and I'm planning on touching up this weekend, but all things considered, that is not guaranteed. It is needed though. I'm starting to experience additional breakage, especially around the demarcation point and it is quite disheartening. Also, my hair feels brittle, such as if caused by a protein overload, despite the moisturizing conditioners and daily moisturizing and sealing. This past wash day I used 3, yes, T-H-R-E-E conditioners - my Aussie, Tresseme and Pantene, and my hair STILL didn't feel soft as I was roller setting. I'm thinking of washing my hair tonight and to do a DC with heat for at least a good hour, just to check if it makes a freaking difference.

Styling wise, I've been trying a few new things, that being flat twists in front and bunning in the back and pinning up my hair using hair grips. My experiences are that my head does not like my hair being pulled back tight for a long time, more than 4 hours being too long. My head started aching, so flat twists will be reserved for going out to dinner and not for going to work! The pinning...I'm still learning,but I'm getting compliments, so I'm doing something right :-)

Lastly, I've come to realise that I truly do not like winter. It's still freezing, and spring is supposed to be around the corner. What gives? I'll take warm and humid over cold and dry any day, and I suspect my hair readily agrees. So, come on SUMMER!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

An aftershock of note

I have considered myself to have been moving on. In fact, I have been feeling rather good about my personal progress, avoiding carrying a grudge and acknowledging any feelings which may come over me so as to not have those feelings crush me. I have been getting back to my life, and I have put my priorities back in order. I have been feeling happy again.

Unfortunately, certain people have the emotional range of a teaspoon, and a bent rusty tea spoon at that, turning to devices of carrying grudges, exacting revenge and slanderous comments and rumours about yours truly. I am still so shocked at this that I have not truly reacted to it, not really. I do feel the effect of it though.

A terrible fatigue has enveloped me since this morning, even though I slept like a baby. I feel tired and my limbs feel incredibly heavy. My hair is pinned up, but honestly, it doesn't look as put together as always, and today, I don't really care that much. It's protected, so it'll survive. My eyes barely stay open and instead of racing across the keyboard, my fingers feel as if they're filled with lead and every word is a struggle to get out.

This has nothing to do with the fact that the relationship is over, but it does have everything to do with the fact that one can still be shocked and hurt by the other's actions in the aftermath. The main quake has subsided, this is an aftershock, which registers quite high on the damn Richter scale. How could you spread such vicious lies?! You kiss your mother with that mouth? How dare you put my career in jeopardy?! Did you ever care at all? Or was it simply an obsession, as I rightly suspected during the finishing stretch of the "relationship" in any event? Have you always been this warped in your perception, or was I just a blind fool who did not want to acknowledge that I'm sleeping with the ENEMY???

Now here's the sixty four thousand dollar question - what did I learn from this? I learned that looks can be hella deceiving. I learned that you can never truly realise how unhinged someone can be. I've learned that I need to listen to my gut at all times. It speaks louder than my heart and my head combined, it speaks truth. I've learned that rules are there for a reason and are not to be broken. Yes, at heart I'm a rebel, but look what breaking my OWN rules got me??? Never again. I've learned, more than ever before, that friends are wonderful and a blessing, existing in many different guises. I've learned that, if in doubt, DON'T!! I've learned that I can handle the pain and that I'm stronger for it. And I've learned that when something seems to good to be true, then it SIMPLY IS. I've learned that prayer gives me strength. And I've learned that I am not responsible for anyone's happiness, nor am I the pack rat who must carry someone else's baggage. Last, but not least in any way sense or form, I've learned that one cannot reason with a narcissistic, chauvinistic, unhinged, controlling, possessive, jealous megalomaniac. Even when you see the good in them, the bad WILL start to outweigh it, they WILL be found wanting at the end of the day, and your heart WILL be broken. so, don't even try. Recognize and RUN!!!! I know I should have...long before now...long before this.