Friday, June 28, 2013

And it's the end of June...

and now the big question is how did I do with regard to my goals. I'm gonna keep this short and sweet.

1. No heat usage - FAIL. I blow dried my hair once this month, and my hair did not thank me.

2. Limit manipulation - I think this was a WIN. Although I didn't manage to limit it to once a day every day, my manipulation of my hair was WAY less than usual thanks to protective styling.

3. Cute protective style that I can wear for at least 48 hours - WIN. And I call it my big fake hair twisted bun!! Will put pics on soon.

4. Wash my hair twice a week - WIN. Wash days fell on Sundays and Wednesdays, with Wednesday washes being "mini washes" and Sundays being "major" washes.

5. Moisturize and seal daily - WIN. I would do it in the evenings, wrap my hair with my satin scarf and my hair would feel awesome all day the next day.

6. Baggy my end at least 3 times a week - FAIL. I managed to baggy my ends once a week only. I should step it up! My hair loves it!

7. Drink 2 liters of water a day - WIN. My skin is also thanking me.

8. Do at least 2 tea rinses for the month - epic FAIL! Will definitely put this on the to do list for July again and hopefully actually DO it.

Well, like I said, short and sweet. How did everyone else's month go? I'm out, have a great Friday everyone.
Happy growing and blessed living!!

Monday, June 24, 2013

10 random things about me - blog edition!

Good morning and hopefully happy Monday y'all. How was everybody's weekend? I swear, I need an extra day between Sunday and Monday, I still feel tired after Saturday's shenanigans, which consisted primarily of a nice birthday shindig of my friend Remi. Again, happy birthday dude!! 

In any event, this morning as I went down my blogroll I came upon this post by Blutiful Blaq and I thought that it's a great way to start off the week blogwise. So here goes, ten random facts about me:

1. I'm a night owl. If I could find a position where I only have to come in to work by nine in the morning, but I can work as LATE as I want, I would be a happy clam!! I HATE getting up early, it is the bane of my adult existence. 

2. I used to play the piano, and I want to do it again. My parents still have my old piano from when I was a kid. I'm looking forward to the day that I have a house big enough so that I can ask them if I can have the piano at my place, then I can start playing again. 

3. I re-read books and re-watch movies. I have no qualms reading or watching my favorites over and over again. Some movies I know so well, I can recite the dialogue!! 

4. Yes, I'm a nerd. And a BIG one. And I don't care. When I was a kid it was disconcerting being a nerd. I mean, no one wanted to be one, and I was teased and bullied for being one. As an adult I embrace my inner nerd. She ALWAYS wins at board games, heehee. 

5. As big a nerd as I am, I'm pretty damn good dancer. Even though I only discovered my rhythm at the ripe old age of 19. I busted my ankle a couple of months ago and have since not really been on the dance floor, and am thus looking forward to the day that I can break it down again. 

6. I love gaming. In my perfect world I would own every gaming console known to man!! Currently I have a Playstation 2, and am eagerly awaiting the relase of the PS4. Not to buy it, but because then the PS3 will be available for a steal! 

7. Related to the above, I'm a sucker for a bargain. Also, I sniff them out! I hate the idea of paying more for something than it's actually worth. I love end of season sales and second hand stores. 

8. I cannot survive without coffee. I don't really care if it's instant or really fancy brewed coffee. Just know that I need coffee. When I was in high school, I easily polished 5-6 cups a day. As an adult, I limit it to 3 cups, but yeah, I cannot go through a day without a cuppa joe. 

9. I like salty snacks, not sweet. Give me biltong over chocolate any day of the week!!!

10. I regard my closest friends as family. They're my sisters and my brothers. They are there for me as I am for them. Even if it simply means coming over with a bottle of red wine to hash out the day. And I love them all very much. 

And there we go. If you didn't know, now you know! I tag all who read this - tell me a little someting I don't know. 

Have a great week everybody. And blessed living!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Never underestimate personal time

Life is a rat race. We've all heard that one right? We've all spoken the phrase. We've all thought that we were traped in a cage and running on a little merry go round, always busy, seemingly not getting anywhere.

The truth of the matter is that life is what you make of it. If you feel that you are constantly stuck in the ratrace then that is exactly what you will continue to be. If you see your current situation as simply your current situation and a step to the next phase of your life, then that is exactly what it is.

Now, we all have goals. Goals with regard to our education, our careers, our home life. We break them up into smaller goals that fit into the big picture. Smaller goals like reading at least one non fiction book every couple of weeks. Bigger picture - self enlightenment and continued education. Smaller goal - get your driver's licence. Bigger picture - the independence of having your own car and driving your own ass around. Smaller goal - get up ten minutes earlier in the morning, and not be late for work again. Bigger picture - bargaining power come promotion time. Smaller goal - visit an art gallery. Bigger picture - enlightenment, education and widening of horizons and taste. The point is that in general we are so focused on what we WANT that we tend to forget what we NEED. We forget that we need to actually get a good night's sleep. We forget that we actually need to eat a balanced diet. We forget that we actually need to spend time with our loved ones. We forget that we actually need to take some time out for ourselves, be selfish and just do us for a change. We are so focused on what we WANT (money, prestige, status, THINGS) and we neglect what we NEED (rest, rejuvenation, love, friendship, TIME).

This past Sunday morning I realised that time, such a precious commodity, is the one commodity that we spend extremely recklessly. I have dark circles under my eyes, because even when I tell myself that I need to get to bed early, my head is still so filled with all the things I want to still do and achieve and get that I roll around for hours instead of bloody SLEEPING. My skin is not happy with me, because I can't remember the last time I cooked myself a decent supper, as I'm so tired after the day that I simply don't and either consume junk or a cup of soup, which is not healthy. I realise that the one thing I need most is a way to utilize and manage my own time in a better manner, so that at the end of the day I actually get proper rest and eat proper meals.

As part of my realisation on Sunday I decided to use the day to give myself a very nice, long, relaxing wash day. I started with a an hour and a half coconut oil prepoo treatmen, again utilizing the plastic shower cap. I followed this with my Protein Feed Moisturizing Shampoo (lathered twice) and instant conditioned with Pantene Moisture Renewal Conditioner. I then lightly blot dried my hair and then deep condtioned with ORS Repleneshing Pak. Oh, how I have missed this DC!!! My hair soaked it up. I covered my hair and then watched about two movies, letting the DC do its thing while I relaxed and put my feet up. I then rinsed the DC, following this with a cold water rinse (YOWZA!!) and then applied my leave-ins of Avon Moisture IQ Moisturizing Leave In Treatment and Kair Serum and proceeded to roller set. I left my hair to air dry in the rollers, which took a good 3 hours. I took out the rollers, applied coconut oil to seal in the moisture still in my hair and then wrapped my hair and climbed into bed.

What I've observed about this wash day - my hair needed protein!! The breakage I experienced as week or so ago has practically stopped completely! My hair feels soft but strong. I realized once more that balance is required through out one's life. I will thus continue to practica balance - at work, at home, with my friends, with my family, with myself, and lastly, with my hair.

Have a great Monday everyone! Blessed living!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A quick wash and go

Yesterday I realised that my hair is screaming to be washed. I've been protective styling with a BIG bun for about 3 days and my hair has decided that enough is enough. Unfortunately my social life kind of collided with my hair's needs, so I had to find a way to deal with it. My solution, a very quick wash! And this is how it went:
Disclaimer: This is not my normal wash day routine, and I would not recommend this being done more than once ever 3-4 months!

1. I detangled with my fingers and wide tooth comb and then jumped in the shower. There was literally no time for a prepoo.

2. I shampooed with Protein Feed Moisturizing Shampoo, as I suspected that my hair actually needs a protein boost, taking into consideration all the freaking breakage I've been experiencing.

3. I quick conditioned with Pantene Moisture Renewal Conditioner. My hair really drinks in this stuff, and it has the most wonderful slip, and thus I detangled my hair.

4. After rinsing the conditioner I applied ORS Hair Mayonnaise(some more protein), "deep conditioning" my hair for about 10 minutes whilst I finished the rest of my shower duties.

5. Making sure to thoroughly rinse the hair mayonnaise, I then wrapped my hair in a gym t-shirt. I'ts made of silky soft material so there was very little friction, thank heavens. I kept it like that for about 5 minutes, then applied my leave in, Avon Moisture IQ Leave in Treatment.

6. I proceeded to rollerset, working at the speed of a crazed person. Remember people, my social life is VERY important to me and I had about 30-45 minutes before having to meet up with friends. Thank heavens my hair's freshly relaxed, the roller setting process went quickly and uneventfully.

7. I proceeded to dry my hair with by blow dryer, using it on the hot high setting for the first time in I don't know how long, as time was running out.

8. The next part is the part that should not be done in general to one's hair. When my hair was about 80% dry, I proceeded to remove the rollers one by one and then blow drying each section with the hair dryer and a round brush, thereby also straightening the hair.

9. Once my whole head was dry, I applied Kair silicone serum and coconut oil, wrapped my hair and proceeded to get dressed and finishing my make-up. When I was done with all that, I took down the wrapped, combed my hair down and out the door I went. Of course, half way through the night I found a bobby pin and proceeded to french braid my hair, tucking ends in with the pin. My hair is still in said braid. Protective styling seemingly comes naturally to me, lol..

Bit of a long rambly explanation, but THAT, was how I washed my hair when I was in a hurry. I'm saving Saturday for my PROPER wash day though, which shall include not only a nice long pre-poo and a nice long DC, but also a tea rinse and air drying in the rollers. It'll be epic!

Have a great phuza Thursday y'all!!

Fearing a setback

One more day to go and it's the weekend! Thank the heavens for that, cause I am tired. Not just a little tired, the kind of tired where my daydreams are just WAY too vivid. I mean, I am missing people that I have never met! Well not face to face anyway, lol.

I am experiencing an issue - breakage, and LOTS of it!! I am so sad. I am doing everything that I have been doing for the past year and 3 months - I moisturize and seal, I protective style, I use minimal heat, I try to manipulate as little as possible, I deep condition, I use gentle shampoos, etc etc and so on. Despite ALL of that, the past week, whenever I put a comb through my hair, or even just fingercombing my hair, I end up wioth SO many strands, and it's breakage! I'm checking for little white bulbs and not finding any. And I don't know what to do, I'm at my wits end. I don't know if it's the change of season, if it's the fact that I'm freshly relaxed (2 weeks post), my new leave in, moisture/protein imbalance, I really am not sure what the cause is.

And thus, ladies on similar journeys - please assist! What can I do to firstly determine the exact cause of my grief, and secondly, how do I stave off this possible setback? I mean, damnit, I finally reached shoulder length. I'm on the APL train and I don't want to get off. But the health of my hair needs to be focused on and I would greatly appreciate the help and advice.

So ladies, what do ya say????????

Friday, June 7, 2013

21 Questions

I saw this on and simply had to do it as well, thinking that the type of questions and of course answers give so much insight wih regard to one's hair journey. So here goes:

1. Why did you start taking better care of your hair?

My hair was a mess. Ear length, breaking all over the place, dry, lacking lustre. And I was sick of it. In addition, my trusty hairdresser disappeared from the face of the earth. So I had one of two options - trust a stranger or trust myself with the help of the hair blogosphere. I decided on the latter.

2. What are your two favorite products?

Well, I have become a bit of a product junkie since starting my journey, but my favorite products that are ALWAYS in my bathroom are coconut oil and ORS Replenishing Conditioner.

3. Who's hair did you admire as a child?

That would be a tie between Topanga from Boy meets World and Ashleigh from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

4. What is your ultimate goal length?

Well, I JUST reached shoulder length, so right now I'm focusing on reaching APL within hopefully the next year. Ultimate goal however would be mid back length. Give me a couple of years, lol.

5. How are you gonna celebrate when you reach it?

Wear it out and do like Willow Smith sings - Whip my hair back and forth!

6. Two styles you want to try on your goal length?

Katniss braid! Sure there are many styles that I'll play around with, but the Katniss braid will be the ultimate.

7. Health or length?

Well, without health, the length won't come, so the focus is health (in order to gain the dang length!)

8. Which do you prefer - hair ties or butterfly clips?

Hair ties with no metal parts, although I mostly use bobby pins to pin my hair up.

9. What products do you prefer: salon brands, organic brands, drugstore brands, beauty supply store brands?

Well, I use a variety of all of the above, except that salon brands are DANG expensive and freaking hard to come by in general.

10. Which product/techniquedo you think is underrated?

Well, a technique that I think many people don't give sufficient kudos is roller setting. A product that's underrated...I have no idea actually...natural oils have found their way into the cupboards and drawers and shelves of every lady on a hair journey, but it is a relatively new phenomena. As a kid I already knew that coconut oil does my hair good, and I rediscovered it as an adult.

11. What product/technique do you think is OVER rated?

In my mind washing my hair in sections, it's too convaluted to me. I prepoo in sections, braiding up the sections after applying whatever I'm prepooing with, but the minute I stand under the shower and start WASHING, I loosen the braids as I rinse out the products. Otherwise my hair simply does not feel cleansed. An over rated product in my mind is ORS Olive Oil Hair Masque. It has NO slip, my hair does NOT feel awesome, especially considering its damn price. No thank you!

12. What's the favorite part of your hair regimen?

Deep conditioning - because it's the laziest part of my wash day routine. I usually put it on and then chill with it under a plastic cap for a good 2 hours while I watch a movie or a series or read a book. I love it because I'm taking care of my hair whilst relaxing at the same time.

13. What's the most annoying part of your regimen?

Detangling - especially if I've had my hair in a protective style for a couple of days and even more so if I'm more than 6 weeks post and my new growth is making its presence known properly.

14. Oils or butters?

Oils - never tried butters. Don't think I'll try them any time soon anyway, they seem SO thick and heavy. I like light leav in products.

15. Buns or ponytails?

Ponytails, especially recently that my hair is longer and the pony has a bit of swang to it, lol.

16. Wig or weave?

Wigs. My last weave experience was a horrible one and has scarred me. Wigs however - I love its temporaryand versatile  nature and the fact that it is STILL a protective styling method.

17. What's your opinion on growth aids?

Honestly I don't know. There is one supplement that I want to give a try, maybe in a while I'll be able to give a proper answer.

18. What length do you consider long?

The minute hair hits the APL mark, I consider it long.

19. When's the last time you've been to a salon?

29 June 2012 - almost a full year ago, for a wash and blow out. I don't trust hairdressers to be as careful, gentle and conscious of my hair as I am myself.

20. What do you surf most - Youtubechannels, personal blogs or forums?

Personal blogs. It appeals more to me, it sometimes feels like I'm reading a letter from a friend.

21. What piece of advice would you give to someone just starting on their hair journey?

Be PATIENT! Do not expect results over night. Be patient, be vigilant, be consistent. And do your research!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Goals for the month of JUNE

I have been struggling. My hair is at an awkward stage. Well, it's awkward for me, considering that it is longer than it has ever been in my adult life and thus I don't really know what the freak to do with it style wise. I want to continue with protective styling, as I saw first hand how beneficial it was to my retention. At the same time, I do not want to be bored. In addition, because of the extra length, I'm struggling a bit with my pin ups and thus need to learn new ways to pin up my hair. In any event, I decided to set out clear goals for myself for this month. Maybe if I focus on the GOALS, bordeom and frustration can be kept at bay.

  1. NO heat usage. I am only one week post, I really don't need to use heat in any way, sense or form. So it should be easy for me to stay away from  it. 
  2. Limit manipulation (including combing, brushing, fiddling) to a ONCE a day thing. See, this is challenge for me, because I grew up with this notion that hair is combed in the morning and in the evening before bed. I am going to attempt to cut out all night time manipulation.
  3. As a follow up to the above, try to find a cute protective style that I can wear for at least 48 hours straight. (And it stays cute for the whole 48 hours!)
  4. Wash my hair twice a week. It's winter over here in sunny Namibia and the air is dry and biting cold. The extra moisture from an additional wash day can only be beneficial.
  5. Moisturize and seal DAILY. I have been slacking on that front and my ends are complaining.
  6. Speaking of ends, I must baggy them at least 3 times a week.
  7. Drink at least 2 liters of water a day. Yes it's cold, but my hair and skin will thank me for the moisture and nourishment from within.
  8. Do at least two tea rinses this month. I'm still experiencing a shedding problem, regardless of the garlic supplements I've been taking, so I need to try those tea rinses again!
Those are my goals for the coming month. If I accomplish ALL of them, I am going to reward myself with AN ACTUAL SALON VISIT.

Anyone have any specific goals for this month?
Happy growing and blessed living everyone.

More than just cleanliness

I know that I haven't posted about a wash day in quite a while, partly because my regimen has been so set, that to repeat the same thing would have bored me, and I would not want to bore anyone reading my posts. I however wish to share my most recent wash day with y'all due to the fact that I have been trying out a few new things and I think they warrant mention. Note - these are not reviews, I plan to do those once these new products are all used up and I can see exactly what effect that they had over the long term.

Firstly, my most recent wash day was the first wash after my relaxer touch up, and I thus felt that I need to fortify my hair with some extra protein. At the same time, my ends felt dry, which I believe was caused largely by the mineral deposits left behind after the relaxer, and thus I needed to clarify as well as add lots of moisture. And thus my wash day went as follows:

  • Prepoo with ORS Hair Mayonaise, covering my hair with a plastic cap, and sitting with the prepoo for about 45 minutes to an hour
  • Rinse and shampoo with Amway Satinique Gentle Daily Cleanser. I needed to clarify but I wanted to use the most gentle shampoo in my arsenal. The Satinique Daily Cleanser is SO creamy and rich, my hair felt clean but soft and nourished. I lathered twice and then proceeded to just rinse my hair for a few minutes under the shower. Thank heavens for soft water.
  • I applied Pantene Moisture Renewal Conditioner for an instant conditioner, finger detangling as I applied it. It really sinks into one's hair, and I think that I will definitely repurchase once this bottle has seen its end.
  • After rinsing out the Pantene, I lightly towel dried my hair and then applied Avon's Morrocan Oil Hair Mask as my deep conditioner. It is one of my new products and I was very curious considering that it cost my N$ 45 ( about US$ 4) for a 150ml tube. It is a very thick conditioner, the word "mask" is very much suitable. It felt as if I had to use quite a bit to be able to cover every strand. I felt a little apprehensive at first because it didn't seem to have much slip. I persevered though, covered my hair with the mask, put on the plastic cap again and proceeded to DC for a good hour, maybe even an hour and a half. I was watching Ally McBeal reruns and lost track of time.
  • When I started to rinse the DC my hair felt SO soft, I could barely believe it. I officially like this Morrocan Oil mask, my hair felt soft and nourished and strong.
  • After rinsing I blotted my hair to remove excess moisture and let it air dry for a few minutes before applying my leave in, which is also new this month - Avon's Moisturizing Leave-In Treatment with Moisture IQ. So far I'm quite happy with it too. It does leave my hair feeling nice and soft, but we'll leave the final review for later.
  • I then proceeded to detangle and roller set. I did experience a bit of breakage during this process, enough to make me rethink my daily regimen when it comes to moisture and manipulation, but thank heavens, not so much to have me in tears. I left my hair to airdry in the rollers, which took a good 3 hours. I then removed the rollers, applied a bit of coconut oil to my scalp and to the length of the hair for a bit of extra shine and then proceeded to pin my hair up into a French roll.
In general I was pretty happy with the results of my most recent wash day. My hair felt smooth, soft, strong and nourished. I'm planning to keep focusing on  maintaining the moisture/protein balance and to have wash day not be a frustrating activity. (Which is partly also why I relegate it to Saturdays or Sundays - I have ALL day and I don't feel rushed. I HATE feeling rushed.)

So, how did your wash day go? Till next time, happy growind and blessed living!

Procrastination is so not a good look

It has been a minute since I've posted. Partly, life is crazy. And partly because I'm in a hair rut. today I started realizing that procrastinating when I'm going to write a blog post most definitely will not help me move out of the rut, and therefore I must get my behind in high gear.

So, let's start with the fact that I touched up at 15 weeks post. I am not going to stretch that long again. It was my longest relaxer stretch yet and I was not doing my hair any favors, to be honest. I'm still not too adept at dealing with lots of new growth. Yes, I am a lot more able than I was a year ago, but when I'm dealing with two distinctly different textures, I fully realise how new I still am to this hair game. I was as gentle as possible, I provided my hair with plenty of moisture and protein, I attempted to manipulate my hair as little as possible on a day to day basis, and still I experienced demarcation line breakage. My goal for the next three months (12 week maximum stretch) is to make sure that I baby that demarcation line, reduce breakage and shedding and retain the length that grows out of my head.

In any event, let's quickly summarize my most recent touch up. I used ORS No Lye Olive Oil for Girls Relaxer kit. I love this kit. It already contains a scalp protector, a protector for previously relaxed hair AND nice tight fitting latex gloves. Personally I highly doubt that I would move away from this kit. The sad part of this relaxer day was the visual evidence of me stretching for too long. Relaxing one's hair in general requires quite a bit of manipulation and during the process I saw the demarcation line breakage hair going down the drain. And I repeated to myself - long stretches simply aren't for me. Each and every person needs to address their hair journey on a personal level. Long stretches may work for other ladies, their hair may even thrive, mine does not.

My next projected touch up date is the 17th of August at 12 weeks post. It's actually perfect considering that the following weekend I have a BIG wedding, to which we have all been looking forward to for some time already. A couple of things I know for sure - I can't stretch for longer than 3 months at a time; the ORS Olive Oil No Lye kit for Girls is the best relaxer I have used so far in my life and I need to baby my demarcation line at all times.

Until next time, happy hump day everyone!