Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Protecting what is mine

Hola everybody. Yes, I know, I know, I've been a tad quiet this month, but do not despair, I am still here, and not going anywhere. Just wanted to give y'all a little bit of an update regarding the Longing 4 Length Protective Styling Challenge that I've been participating in. So far, so good. It is hella hot here in the Nams, and the protective styling is assisting me in more ways than one, namely HAIR OUT OF MY NECK! It's too dang hot to even consider wearing ones' hair out. Also, the humidity is also ridiculous (without the rain  yet though. Lord please, pour your blessings down upon us!) so one can't even CONSIDER wearing one's hair straight because reversion is inevitable, especially at 10 weeks post, let's not even talk about my edges. 

Regardless, I've been a very good girl so far regarding the challenge - deep conditioned twice this month, wore my hair pinned up or tucked in or rolled up every day and NO HEAT, roller setting religiously. Just a quick indication of what I've been doing so far style wise:

The picture quality sucks, I know. And not extremely creative yet. But don't despair, I am focusing my positive energies and a new camera is on the horizon! Regardless, I'm feeling pretty confident about my retention with the protective styling, I am however still worried about shedding and breakage. I am EXTREMELY  gentle when handling my hair and still I see WAY to many white bulbed hairs in my hands on wash day. I have been doing tea rinses but they're not doing the job. I'm going to start trying garlic infused oils and see what happens. Also, I am very tempted to relax this weekend at 11 weeks post. The crown of my head is becoming a real hassle to deal with. I've observed that my hair truly does grow faster during the summer months BUT it also sheds more (I find that very ironic) because my new growth is out of control! I'll make a final decision as the weekend rolls around. 

I must mention that during the challenge we get a seven day allowance for wearing our hair out. I am planning to use the first of my seven tomorrow. My friend Ashantè is having her birthday party "The resurrection of her 21st" tomorrow and the theme is "Create you own Super Hero"  I am planning to to go as "Exaggeration Girl" and therefore need BIG hair, and thus will be wearing my hair out. From Friday onwards I shall be back in my EZ comb or pin ups. In the meantime though - BRING ON THE PARTY!!!

And there you have it. Anybody else looking forward to anything special? Have a happy hump day everybody!

PS: And here are some pics from the super Hero party. As y'all can see, I ended up slapping on a faux pony, so protective styling for the win!


Monday, January 21, 2013

What a weekend!

The new week is upon us and again we need to put our noses to the grind stone for the next five days. This past weekend though has left me with some awesome memories. Specifically, I tried something new and although it was a bit of a hair raising experience, it had a positive outcome. One of my oldest friends and her new husband were bound to leave our sunny country for wintry Denmark yesterday, where he is from and where they will be living their lives. Prior to their departure they had a little farewell party where her husband introduced us to a Swedish delicacy, of which the main ingredient was fermented herring. Yeah, it sounds horrible, and when you open the can of fish, it hits you with the smell of a thousand mermaid farts. But it ended up tasting MUCH better than it smelled. On a piece of melba toast, you layer the fish, a piece of boiled potato, a couple of slices of red onion and a dollop of cream cheese, and then you chow it down. The combination of tastes and textures work very well together and I ended up having FOUR servings! 

Prior to the farewell party, I had my wash day and I think it was a success, although I still lost more hair than what I'm comfortable with. I'm nine weeks post and I don't know if I'll make it to a full 12 week stretch. I might just cave in at ten weeks. In any event, quick recap of my wash day:
  • Prepoo with ORS Olive Oil Hair Masque. I really do love jars. I finished the Masque and was able to scrape out the very last drops. Due to it being so thick I again sprayed my hair with my water and conditioner mix as I applied the masque. I tried to handle my hair as gently as possible. Wrapped my hair in a plastic cap and watched an episode of 2 Broke Girls. 
  • Shampooed with ORS Creamy aloe Shampoo. I LOVE how this shampoo makes my hair feel, although I can't use it too much due to it's chelating properties. 
  • Used my Protein Feed Moisturizing Conditioner as instant conditioner, detangling in the process. Even though I'm only nine weeks, my new growth feels insane! Which is another reason I might cave to relax sooner than planned. 
  • Did a black tea rinse, using 2 tea bags and mixing in some cinnamon. I didn't rinse the tea immediately afterwards. 
  • Deep conditioned with my beloved ORS Replenishing Conditioner, applying it on top of the tea that was still in my hair. Wrapped my hair up in a the plastic cap and bonnet and DC's for almost an hour. Rinsed the conditioner and tea simultaneously and my hair felt awesome. I wrapped it up in a T-shirt for about 5-10 minutes to soak up the excess water. 
  • Applied my usual leave ins of Avon 3D and Bone Strait and proceeded to rollerset, spritzing my hair with my water and conditioner mix as I went along. Let my hair air dry in the roller and then pinned it up in a off to the side roll, and off I went to the party. 
It's only been my first tea rinse, so I'll see during the course of the week what my shedding situation looks like. The cinnamon was perhaps not the brightest idea, but it did impart a lovely shine to my hair, the different high and low lights shining nicely in the sun. I need to get a moisturizing deep conditioner as soon as possible. Although I LOVE my Replenishing Conditioner, I do not need my hair to experience a protein over load again. So, that's my mission for the next week - find a nice MOISTURIZING deep conditioner with which to alternate my protein DC. 

How was everybody else's weekend? Hang on to the memories y'all. Have a good week everybody!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Closure...and wash day frustrations

I think it truly is a great moment when one realizes that a certain chapter of your life can be officially closed. It's that moment of clarity, of starting to know exactly what you want and what you don't want. They say an old flame never truly dies. I say that "they" are wrong. This past weekend I experienced closure after spending time with someone from my past. It was both a revelation and a relief when I realized that the spark is gone, and to be honest, he wasn't even that big a part of my history, but if I didn't spend time with him again, I think I always would have wondered. It gave me peace regarding the other, bigger parts of my history. If I can achieve such comforting and final closure in this instance, then surely I can achieve it with another, and I pray that one day soon I'll be able to send him light and love and move on, closing the book on what today I still regard as a bit of nuclear meltdown. Regardless, I am happy knowing that I can achieve closure and have a much clearer view of myself and what I want and what I need. 

In other news, I am charging full steam ahead in the protective styling challenge. Today specifically I'm wearing my hair pinned up in a 50's inspired fashion, trying my best to have every end tucked away. I must say, since I have bangs, I need to find protective styles that also tuck away and protect the ends of my bangs as well, without me looking like a 15 year old girl. Also, I am going to attempt to manipulate my hair as little as possible during the extent of this challenge, as I'm still experiencing breakage and shedding to a degree that I am not comfortable with. Yesterday was wash day, and with the amount of hair I lost, even though I was being sooooooo very gentle, I wanted to scream. Quick recap of wash day:

  • Pre-poo and deep conditioned simultaneously, using the ORS Masque. It's extremely thick and has practically NO slip, so as I applied it, I also sprayed my hair with my water and conditioner spritz mix. That helped me to distribute the masque more evenly and gave it much more slip, so detangling was much easier and I lost very little hair in this process. I covered my hair with a plastic cap and a cotton scarf to try and trap as much heat as possible and sat with it for about an hour.
  • Shampooed with Protein Feed Moisturizing Shampoo, focusing on my roots and letting the runoff take care of the ends. 
  • Conditioned with the Protein Feed Moisturizing Conditioner, detangling my hair, being as gentle as possible. Experienced more shedding than I'm comfortable with. Seriously contemplating incorporating more tea rinses into my regimen. 
  • Rinsed and then applied my ORS Replenishing Conditioner. I swear, this is a true staple. I absolutely LOVE it. My hair always feels great when I use it, whether I condition with it for an hour or for ten minutes. Yesterday, I kept it on for ten minutes and my hair still felt amazing after rinsing it. I will ALWAYS have it in my hair care arsenal. 
  • Put in my leave in's of Avon 3D Rescue and Bone Strait and proceeded to roller set. I had to spritz it continuously as my hair dried very quickly due to the heat we've been experiencing. I left my hair to air dry whilst in the rollers, which took less than three hours. After removing the rollers, I put in some Kair Serum and combed my hair into a pony, tucking the ends into the scrunchie and went out to do some errands. When I went to bed, I simply wrapped my hair with my satin scarf and bonnet, as it still felt moisturized enough and I thought additional moisturizing would superfluous.  
 Okay, maybe that recap wasn't that quick, lol. In any event, I am looking forward to finding new ways to protect my hair and to retain length. I'm 8 weeks post now and I want to see a clear improvement in retention by the time of my next touch up. I am kicking everything into high gear now. 2013 is a new year and nothing's gonna break my stride. 

Have a good week everyone!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Longing4Length Protective Styling Challenge

L4L Protective Styling Challenge

Here we go people. 2013 is upon us and I have decided to join in on Ebony's Protective Styling Challenge. My hair clearly DOES NOT like the summer. I have been experiencing breakage and shedding and I am truly hoping that this challenge will help me kick start my retention. I'm STILL not at full shoulder length and therefore shall be using my last length check photo as my starting pic as I have literally made NO progress since then, and thus I am very sad. At the same time I am SUPER motivated.

So here's where I am right now:

Here are the rules for the challenge: 

  • A protective style for purposes of this challenge is defined as any style in which your ends are not exposed or touching your clothing.  Buns, updos, french braids, french rolls, etc all count.
  • You may only wear your hair down for 7 days throughout the entire three months total!  Whether you choose to do one week, a couple of weekends or not at all – you only have a 7 day allowance.
  • Only one direct heat pass but try not to use it at all!
  • Protective styles means your ends must be hidden, so half up/half down ‘dos don’t count!
  • Must deep condition your hair at least two times per month.
  • You are not excluding from using fake hair – wigs, weaves, extensions, crochet braids, etc.
And there you have it. I am planing to braid up my hair soon, perhaps even within the next week so as to help me KEEP MY HANDS OUT OF MY HAIR. I am hoping to have a VERY swanging head of hair after this 3 month challenge and also find new and innovative and cute ways to protective style my hair which would benefit it most. 

Anyone else joining a challenge or two?