Thursday, October 31, 2013

Massive hair haul - I went a little nuts...

Hola senoritas

So, I just came back from the shop (Clicks), I quickly picked up a few things, and I almost balked when I saw the total on the register...yep, I went a little crazy. Specifically related to hair, here's what I picked up:

Aussie 3 minute miracle luscious long - yes, my hair is not that long yet, BUT the ingredients appear to be mega moisturising, so I am SO looking forward to trying this out. It was BLOODY expensive, so I really hope that it's awesome. 

Paneten Smooth and Sleek Conditioner - a staple of many years. 

Tresemme Heat Defense - travel size, but I have never had a decent heat protectant so I thought it's time that I get myself in gear on that front. 

Tresseme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner - the entire hair community RAVES about this conditioner, so I could not resist, AND it was on special, so here we go!

D&L Amla Legend Deep Treatment - one can never have too many deep conditioners, and so far it has gotten rave reviews. I'm already looking forward to using it. 

D&L Amla Legend 3 in 1 Body Filler Hair Wash - I only got one bottle of shampoo, might as well try something new. 

Caivil Colourshines temporary hair colour in Racy Wine - it was out of stock for months, so when I saw that they had stock I had to grab a box. It contains no ammonia and no peroxide. I've used it succesfully in the past and I can't wait for my hair to have that lovely red sheen again. 

Olive oil - they were out of coconut oil so I thought, why not give the olive oil a try and see what it does with my hair. I think to be on the safe side, I'll use it to prepoo on my next wash day (which might be tonight)

My staple deep conditioner - ORS Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner. When I ran out of this last week I was very sad. Now I'm happy again. This bottle should last a while considering that I picked up 2 other deep conditioners as well which I plan to rotate with this. 

And that's basically all she wrote folks. I suspect for my next wash that I'll whip out the Amla shampoo and deep conditioner. Or maybe the Aussie...I don't know folks, let's see where the wind blows me. What have your experiences been with these products?

Till next time, happy growing!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

As requested - Amla Lagend 1001 Oils Wrap Cream Review

Hello there everybody. A little while back I got myself the Amla Legend 1001 Oils Wrap Cream and I have been using it consistently for about a month now. I mean, the jar only has about a 1/4 of product left! In my opinion it is a very versatile product, since I clearly use it for more than just wrapping up my hair.

Okay, regarding the product itself, here goes:

Promises: Enriched with rejuvenating Amla Oil, our Oils Cream Night Wrap is supple and indulgent treatment that provides intense moisture to soften and smooth frizz overnight. So you'll wake up to nourished, shiny and healthy-looking hair.

Top 5 ingredients: Water, coconut oil, isopropyl myristrate, carylic.capric triglyceride, stearyl alcohol

Directions: Apply on dry hair and spread evenly before wrapping (instructions are on the side panel of the packaging)

OPINION: I love it!! The product itself is not greasy at all. It has a very nice and light scent, but it doesn't really linger, which is good. I have used this to wrap my hair, as a quick moisturizer and as my last step when ever I employed the LOC method. I have used it to baggy my ends and my hair felt MARVELOUS the next morning. I used it in conjunction with my slippy leave in Bone Strait the day I undid my braids to detangle and soften the new growth. I have used on slightly damp hair when I did bantu knots and braid outs, and the results were curls that behaved and were soft and very pretty. I will definitely repurchase, it is officially a staple product! 

Anyone else experienced this product? What do y'all think?

Monday, October 28, 2013

New challenge

Well, ladies, as y'all know, I am pushing for that APL goal by New Year's Eve. I've decided to step it up and I have found what is going to help. I am going to take part in GAHL's Hair Challenge, in order to grow and retain as much length as humanly possible. 

The rules are as follows, and they're easy to follow:

1. Wear protective styles 90% of the time
Protective styles are those that keep your ends hidden. These include buns, cornrows, braids, weaves e.t.c keeping your ends hidden will keep them from getting damaged and will encourage length retention.

2. Wear low manipulation hairstyles 10% of the time. Low manipulation hairstyles do not keep your ends protected but do not need to be combed out. These styles can easily be turned into protective styles. Examples of these are braid outs, perm rod sets, straw sets, bantu knots out, twist outs e.t.c 

3. Deep condition every week or at least once every two weeks

4. Moisturise and seal your hair on regular basis. 

5. Baggy your hair or just your ends whenever your hair or ends feel too dry.Baggying is simply applying a plastic bag on your head after moisturising to retain moisture. 

6. Keep your hair covered with a satin or silk scarf at night while sleeping.

7. One heat pass for the entire three months use it wisely ladies. Rollersetting and steaming the hair is allowed.

I'm planning to utilize my singular heat pass around my birthday in December. Other than that I am planning to rollerset religiously and protective style like a crazy person. 

And this is where I am today:

Sorry for the sucky cellcam quality, but yeah, y'all get the idea. I have about 2 whole inches to go to reach APL, but I am SO not giving up. And yea, my tattoo is completely covered by my hair!!!!!!! And it was still peeking out 3 weeks ago! I am a happy camper! (not about a few of those ends though, eish)

Anybody gonna join me in this simple challenge?

Blessed Monday y'all!

Foregoing heat...till my birthday!

I haven't done a wash day post in a while and partly it's because my washes have not really been THAT special, AND becuase I've been running out of my staples, and my hair has been suffering as a result :-( I am planning a major hair haul shopping trip end of this week, hopefully, I'll have the sense of mind to do a post (with pics) because I'm going to attempt to both simplify and streamlining my regimen whilst also making sure that I have ALL the tools I need - I am still pushing for APL by 31 December 2013.

Well, my most recent wash day occurred yesterday at my friend's house, in actual fact, it happened a little on a whim. Piece of advice to self - do NOT wash hair on a whim, since it means using your friend's products, which may not be as awesome as your own. Regardless, here we go.

1. So, I did a prepoo with a bottle labeled Amla Oil. Now, I don't know exactly how much true amla was in this bottle, but it was the cheap BSS variety, practically brandless. I used it to very gently detangle my hair, since its been in a braid out for four days straight. I didn't lose much hair during the process, but it was definitely more breakage than shedding. I am NOT a happy camper.

2. I then proceeded to shampoo and instant condition with Protein Feed Moisturising Shampoo and Conditioner. I didn't see much hair hair flowing down the drain so this step wasn't a disaster at least. After rinsing the conditioner I proceeded to apply Tresseme Keratin Smooth Mask as deep conditioner.

3. About the Tresseme Mask - I'm in two minds. I looked at the ingredients and it looked pretty balanced between moisturising and protein. Becauseit wasn't MY jar I used less than I normally would have, but I still made sure to cover my whole head with the DC by applying it in about 6 quartered sections. I then covered my head with a plastic showercap and towel so as to trap as much heat as possible. I kept it in for about 20-30 minutes, even though the jar says 3-5 would be sufficient.

4. After I rinsed, my hair felt a little stiff. I think the Mask will truly be at its most efficient with a shorter time span, and thus I am in two minds and will try it again and see whether I like it or not.

5. I applied a leave in of TCB Bone Strait and proceeded to rollerset my hair. My hair still felt a little stiff and clumpy and I tried to be as gentle as possible.

6. My hair then airdried in the rollers, after which I decided to flatiron my hair. When I got home I immediately wrapped my hair with a satin scarf and this morning my hair felt soft, strong and of course, it is hella straight! But this would be my last heat usage until my birthday in December. I have a halloween party coming up but I shall simply find a way to style my hair without heat for the party. If I want to hit APL, I need to be vigilant damnit!

So, how did everyone else's wash days go?

Blessed journey everybody!

Some inspiration from the world wide web

Good morning boys and girls, ladies and gents and a happy Monday to you all!

Well, I trust that everone had a splendid weekend. Mine was relatively chilled, apart from my wash day, which made me realise a few things, which I will update you on in another post. This post is about the myriad of hair care blogs out there that form a part of my journey, and specifically about the ones that have in the past couple of weeks jumped out at me from the computer screen. The theme of this post is courtesy of the ladies from Saving our Strands and are as follows:

1. - Ebony from L4L has been an inspiration for me from the very first day of my healthy hair journey, and she continues to be, broadening her inspiration to include a healthy LIFESTYLE journey, having lost a whopping 20 pounds in 3 months and inspiring me to do the same.

2. - I've only relatively recently discoverd Abbi's blog and the post that resonated most is the one regarding the building of a hair care regimen, especially considering that I am planning to simplify and streamline my regimen so as to get the MOST out of it.

3. - This girl's bantu knot out gives me life!!! I cannot wait for my hair to be long enough to get that kind of soft flowy waves from a knot out instead of tight springy curls!

4. - They had the most perfect post about what people are most commonly doing wrong with regard to their haircare and how one can reverse it to turn it into something better and healthier for your hair. Since I'm on a rejuvenating my regimen tip, I found this awesome!

5 - Kim has a great post regarding smoothing ones edges, especially fater a workout, and I am SO going to try this. I'm only a little over 2 weeks post but working out leads to sweaty messy edges regardless and I am not willing to sacrifice the health of my body for my hair, or vice versa, so I am working towards creating THAT perfect balance too.

So, who has been part of your motivation and inspiration?
Blessed Monday and happy growing!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

So what have I been up to?

Hello there everybody

Firstly, as promised, I will grace you with a length check pic. Now, it doesn't look like there was MUCH of an increase in length, but my hair looks fuller and more even and more in the shape of a U than a V, so I suspect that some of the shorter layers have been playing catch up with the longer ones, which I think is a good thing, so yay!

So here's where I was in May:

And here is where I am now:

I see an improvement, what do y'all think? I'm still aiming for APL by the end of the year. Shorter term - aiming for FULL coverage of my tattoo. 

Regarding the rest of my ife, I've been going to the gym every day, drinking a crap load of water during the day, eating healthy and clean and minimizing calries without going into starvation mode and trying to protect my hair through all of it. Considering doing a co-wash tonight after gym to get the salty (drying) sweat out of my hair and infuse some must need moisture. I am going to try and keep my hair o point whilst working towards a strong and fit bikini bod. Summer's here baby!

What has everybody else been up to?

Have a great Thursday everyone. Just 24 more hours and it's the weekend!!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Untwisted, touched up and truly entering summer!

Hello there everybody. Yep, it's been a while. Partly because I have had a CRAZY week, changing jobs, being between jobs (yes, at the same time), moving out of my old office, preparing for a friend's wedding, taking out my twists - lots going on.

My last weekend in braids/twists

Okay,  I can tell you the following - I definitely retained all my growth whilst wearing my twists/braids, and will do it again. However, my nape experienced some MAJOR damage. My next stint with braids or any long term protective style I will keep my nape out and not put them in braids.

The nape damage as clear as day pre touch up

 For the next few months I am going to BABY my nape. I removed my braids myself, using a crap load of coconut oil as I removed each braid so as to enable to have shed hair simply slide out and to minimize hair loss. Except for the breakage around the nape,I lost very little hair during this process.

Hair lost during removal process
Although I have had transitioning thoughts I realized that I am not ready and thus this week prepped my hair for a touch up at 18 weeks post - LONGEST STRETCH EVER!

18 weeks post dry texture shot, hair was stretched via rollersetting during prep wash

My wash day prepping for my touch up I did a LONG prepoo using a cholesterol mask and coconut oil to fortify my hair full of protein. I then shampooed using Tressemme Moisturizing Shampoo, instant conditioned with Tressemme Thermal Protect Conditioner and deep conditioned with ORS Replenishing Conditioner, also for an uber long time. I then used my leave ins of TCB Bone Strait, Avon Moisture IQ treatment and a little coconut oil and rollerset. My hair felt strong and soft but I did notice quite a bit of demarcation breakage. Long stretches are NOT for me, I just realized AGAIN. I let my hair airdry in the rollers and then just wrapped it before bed, using my lovely Amla Legend 1001 Oils Wrap Cream.

Last night I started prepping my hair for the relaxer to come by massaging my hair and scalp with coconut oil. This morning I grabbed my box kit of ORS Olive Oil No Lye Relaxer for Girls and based my scalp completely with the enclosed protective gel. I then covered my hair with the enclosed protective pre-treatment (yes, I love this kit!!) and then started applying the mixed relaxer. I self relaxed ALL by myself this time, no help. My usual helper became a mom again and that new born is taking up all of her time. After the maximum time allowed my scalp still did not tingle or burn in the slightest, but I went to go rinse anyway. I am deathly scared of over processing and the resultant damage. I did a mild mid protein step using my ORS Replenishing Conditioner and then started neutralizing. I must have shampooed my hair 6-7 times before the lather was white, but rather the resulting back ache than insufficiently neutralized hair! I am a paranoid relaxed head! I then deep conditioned for almost an hour with the enclosed conditioning pack, which is awesome! I love it, my hair felt SO soft, the conditioner simply SUNK in. After rinsing I applied my leave ins and roller set, letting my hair airdry in the rollers. The result - silky, shiny, straight hair.

No heat used.

Relaxed scalp texture shot

Nape damage as seen post touch up

I shall grace you with a length check pic soon. I wish to first clarify and chelate my hair and then of course yank out the straightener to have the most accurate measurement. But I am confident that if I keep babying my hair I should be at least close to APL by 31 December 2013! Confidence is key people!!

I am going to go back to basics, be as careful and obsessive as I was when I started my journey, as if my hair is still in that dismal state. THAT way I should be able to UP my retention and to ensure that the breakage I experienced does not result in a set back. The weather is HOT and a little more humid this side of the world now, so I am thinking of incorporating some glycerin and grape seed oil in my moisturizing and sealing of my hair and of incorporating cowashing more often, especially as I'm going to get my lazy ass a personal trainer to give my swift kick I the behind on a daily basis regarding my workouts. Workouts and hot weather and sweat equals more regular washing which means co-washing and a VERY gentle hand. I am NOT going to have any of my journeys suffer now.

In the meantime have a great Friday y'all!! And an awesome weekend!