Thursday, 5 December 2013

Wash Day Saga

So I decided to do my wash day a couple of days early rather than miss it. I'm moving this weekend to my mum's house (600km away) before going home for Christmas. That sounds confusing I know. Well, my mum is an expat in Tanzania, and she kept our old house in Zimbabwe which is where we will be celebrating Christmas this year. Anyhoo, one of my resolutions this months is to stay consistent with my regimen, hence the wash day happening on Wednesday night/Thursday morning instead of on Saturday. Here's what happened...

1. I decided to start doing hair oiling (like what the Indians do). So on Tuesday night I oiled my hair using EVOO while finger detangling before wrapping my hair in my satin scarf for bed.

2. After work on Wednesday, I finger detangled using coconut oil, before covering my head with a shower cap for about 2 hours.

3. Finger detangled again and divided my hair into 4 sections for the wash day using claw clips.

4. Shampooed once with Infusium 23 sulfate free shampoo on scalp. I let the lather clean my ends while rinsing out the shampoo

5. Tea rinse (green, peppermint, chamomile and hibiscus tea + rosemary infused water)

6. DC with Darbur Vatika Naturals Deep Conditioning Mask for dull, dry lifeless hair overnight

7. Rinsed out DC with cool water and t-shirt dried

8. Applied leave in (HE LTR Split End Protector for long hair. Sealed with coconut oil before comb detangling. Damp bunned for work

Anyway, I'm going to be offline for a bit as I complete my move.

Ciao,

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Hair Babble and Other Stories

This last week was a busy one for me. First of all, the World Cup trophy was coming to Tanzania and I was part of the team organizing everything on the ground. We had a big dinner on Friday, an all day event on Saturday and a party on Sunday. Just when I was this busy, things got a bit more complicated for me. I was involved in a car accident on Saturday evening and life became more insane. I had to meet all my work obligations and still find time to go to the police station and get all the paperwork sorted out. I also have to drive all my stuff back home this coming weekend because my contract is ending and I have to move out of my apartment before the lease ends. I really don't know how I will make time for all this.

Anyway, thanks to my Friday event, I ended up having my wash day on Thursday evening/Friday morning. I really wanted to flat iron my hair for the event, so I decided to do a clarifying shampoo just to get my hair clean enough for the event. Here's what I did:

1. Prepoo during the day with castor oil and coconut oil
2. Shampoo scalp with HE Fresh Balance clarifying shampoo. Used runoff to clean my ends. Rinsed
3. Conditioned with Tresemme Intense Hydration Conditioner. Rinsed
4. Tea rinse (1 bag black tea + 2 bags each green, peppermint, hibiscus, fennel & chamomile tea + infusion of 1 tablespoon of rosemary). Used the catch method and rinsed 4 times with tea
5. DC with Vatika Naturals Deep Conditioning treatment for dull, dry hair overnight
6. Rinsed out with cool water and t-shirt dried till hair was damp. Applied leave in (VO5 moisturizing leave in) and applied heat protectant. Blow dried on cool setting for 5 minutes. Air dried completely in a low bun

In the evening I started flat ironing my hair. It is definitely at grazing APL but the length is not noticeable coz of the frizzing up that's happening thanks to the high humidity here. For example, on Friday night, after I finished flat ironing my hair was at grazing APL and I wore it down. 2 hours later, my hair had shrunk to CBL :(. I know shrinkage has to be part of my life now after I decided to transition to texlaxing, but its hard to get used to having your hair curl up when you want to show off the fruits of your hard labor.

Like I said earlier this past week has been crazy, and the craziness won't let up any time soon. I won't have much time to do anything with my hair. Yesterday, my hair was so dry and lifeless that I had to GHE. I moisturized with HE LTR leave in conditioner (review coming soon) and just covered my hair overnight with my shower cap and woolly hat. This morning, my hair had more life in it, and was perkier. I sealed in the moisture with castor oil, massaged my edges and did a low bun for work.

I have to do another wash day during this week. Maybe tomorrow night. I will be driving all day on Saturday, and I really will be too tired to do much with my hair this weekend.

Definitely no longer using heat until March 2014. I have been a heat junkie in November, I used heat twice in one month (gasp). Definitely not good. So I  am on a personal no heat challenge for the next 4 months. By the time my no heat challenge ends, I will have enough growth to warrant heat usage to at least minimize tangling and matting.

Ciao,

Monday, 2 December 2013

Review of November Goals, December Goals

Time is seriously moving fast. Where has the year gone??? Anyway, since it's the beginning of December, it means that it's time for me to set my goals for this month so I can end the year on a high. 

Time to review last month's goals...

1. Drink 1.5l of fluids of which at least 80% must be water. Monitor using Water my Body app daily 5/5, I actually managed an average of 2l of fluids a day of which 1.5l was water. Whoop, whoop!!!
2. GHE each time I massage castor oil onto my scalp 2/5 I only did the GHE during the first 2 weeks of the month. 
3. Exercise daily (Nike Training Club, jogging or yoga). Monitor workouts using MyFitnessPal and Lift apps 1/5 almost a total fail. I haven't done a serious workout for the past 2 weeks because work was crazy
4. Use MyFitnessPal daily to monitor what I eat 0/5 I always forget to do this
5. Waist measurement to drop to 26 inches from 29 inches  0/5 still on 29 inches
6. Massage edges daily with castor oil 3/5 I have been forgetting to do this for the past 2 weeks

It's finally December. I will be going to ZImbabwe in a couple of weeks, so my goals will focus more on being consistent with my regimen when I'm surrounded by family. I solemnly swear an oath to:

1. Drink 2l of fluids every day. Dehydration is not good for us
2. Avoid alcohol during the holiday season
3. M&S 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
4. DC at least once a week
5. Protective style 90% of the time (cornrows, buns, weaves)
6. Massage edges with castor oil daily
7. Work out 3x a week
8. Avoid using heat this month, no matter how much temptation I get to use my heat tools

Monday, 25 November 2013

Wash Day Saga: One Week Post Relaxer

As you all know, I did my relaxer last weekend. I used a no-lye box kit, which means that there were calcium deposits left on my hair after the relaxer. This mineral build up meant that: 

i. My hair wasn't able to absorb moisture properly (and I already have low porosity hair), which led to
ii. I was experiencing some slight breakage.

It wasn't the kind of breakage that is scary, but I knew that if I didn't do something about it, I would lose the length I had managed to gain during my stretch and may lead to a setback. So I decided to do a hardcore wash day. Here's what happened

1. Prepoo overnight with EVOO on my ends and covering it with a shower cap. The next morning my hair was easy to finger detangle. I oiled with coconut oil and bunned coz I had to go shopping for my dress for this big dinner we are having at work on Friday evening.

2. Finger detangled again and divided hair into 4 sections using claw clips. 

3. Clarifying shampoo (HE Fresh Balance Clarifying shampoo) on scalp first before running lather on ends. Rinsed out shampoo.

4. Instant conditioned with Tresemme Intense Hydration conditioner. Rinsed out conditioner

5. Tea rinse (1 bag green, hibiscus, fennel and peppermint tea + 2 bags chamomile and black tea + i tablespoon rosemary). I just realized why I had crazy shedding recently. I hadn't done a proper tea rinse using black tea in about 3 weeks. The last tea rinse I did was very herbal in nature, chamomile, fennel, peppermint and hibiscus. Conclusion: black tea rinses really do work for me 

6. Over night DC with Darbur Vatika Naturals Deep Conditioning Mask for Dull, Dry Hair. 

7. Rinsed out 80% of DC with cool water. T-shirt dried until damp. Applied leave in (VO5 moisturising leave in conditioner) and sealed with castor oil. Air dried in African threading for a few hours

8. I had to go pick up a friend who lives at the other side of town so that we could go watch Catching Fire. So I ended up doing a high bun (my hair was still not completely dry) before going to see what was happening in Panem, I also imagined myself with a Katniss braid (by the time Mockingjay part 2 is released my hair has to be long enough to do that style). 

The clarifying shampoo was just what the hair gods ordered. My hair is breaking off anymore, and thanks to the DC I didn't fully rinse out, my hair feels moisturised perfectly. I will spend my free time this week researching updos I can do for the big work dinner on Friday evening. I hope I can find the perfect up do

Ciao,

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Wash Day Saga: Mid-Week DC

May the hair gods forgive me for what I did in the last few weeks. I have not been doing my mid-week DC at all for a while now. At first, it was because my hair had so much growth it was getting too tangled. Then, I didn't do my mid-week DC because I had flat-ironed and didn't want my hair to revert. Now, after my recent texlax, I need to get moisture into my strands.

My hair was feeling drier than the Sahara desert yesterday (with some slight breakage), so I decided to do a DC after work. I divided my hair into two sections and applied EVOO onto the hair. I also massaged in the EVOO into my edges. After that, I applied the DC (Darbur Vatika Naturals Deep Conditioning treatment for dull, dry lifeless hair). I made sure I didn't apply too much DC onto my hair (like I usually do). I covered my head with a shower cap, added a stocking and a woolly hat on top to trap the heat generated by my body and went to bed. This morning I rinsed out the DC with cool water, and t-shirt dried while getting ready for work. I applied my VO5 moisturizing leave in conditioner, sealed with castor oil and did a bit of detangling with my wide toothed comb. After this, I damp bunned and headed out for work.

My hair feels happier and more moisturized now. I will have to have a proper M&S session tonight after work though.

Sometimes, a little water is all we need to make our hair happier...

Ciao,

Monday, 18 November 2013

Relaxer at 18 weeks post

I finally did my texlax after a long and agonizing 18 week stretch. I did have a brief thought about transitioning to natural, until the matting in my roots made me reach for the relaxer kit.

I did a self texlax at home, using the Dark and Lovely Scalp Comfort No-Lye box kit. The entire relaxer jar, since I had quite a bit of growth, and didn't want to be stingy with the relaxer. Here's what went down.

1. Two days before the relaxer (Thursday) I oiled my scalp using castor oil and detangled my roots using a wide tooth comb. I also put a bit of castor oil on my ends, just to keep the moisture in.

2. I wanted to do the touch up on Friday night, but I ended up getting home late from work. So I decided to base my scalp only that night with a thick layer of Vaseline. I also separated my hair into the four quadrants for the touch up.

3. Before the touch up I applied conditioner (Tresemme Intense Hydration) onto the entire length of my hair, from root to tip. Then I used an old product from pre HHJ days (Miadi Moisturizing lotion). This product has mineral oil and I thought it would be perfect for protecting my already relaxed ends.

4. I then mixed up the products I wanted to use during the relaxer. One was my protein DC with coconut oil, and the other one was my moisturizing DC with castor oil. I also mixed the activator cream into the relaxer and added conditioner, since I was planning a texlax

5. I applied the relaxer onto my NG starting with the right quadrant at the back and moving clockwise from there, ending with my nape.The entire application of relaxer took me 12 minutes. I smoothed the NG with my fingers for a couple of minutes. The relaxer cream was on my hair for max 15 minutes.

6. I started rinsing out the relaxer cream using lukewarm water. At this stage I was really worried because I thought I had relaxed bone straight. 

7. I did a mid step protein treatment using my protein DC mix. I let it sit for a couple of minutes (as I rushed outside to switch to the tank supply coz we had a water cut) before rinsing out.

8. I started neutralizing the relaxer using the color signal neutralizing shampoo I bought during my last product haul. I neutralized 6 times (I am paranoid like that). As I kept shampooing and rinsing, I could feel the the texture coming back into my hair. I was so relieved I hadn't over processed. 

9. I did a moisturizing DC using the mix. This was the time when things got really serious. I had to detangle thoroughly so that my texlaxed roots didn't get matted. It took me an hour to detangle with the DC still in my hair. I rinsed out the DC, and t-shirt dried my hair

10. Applied leave in (VO5 moisturizing DC) sealed with coconut oil, and decided to air dry using African threading. My hair is currently in the threads. From what I could see when my hair was detangled and had DC in it, my length is now officially grazing APL. I finally left the SL plateau I was stuck in for most of the year.

I will upload pictures of my actual length when I flat iron for a work event at the end of the month.

Ciao,

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Tender (Sore) Scalp Issues

Yesterday, my scalp suddenly started feeling sore. I thought that I had build up, so when I got home and took down my bun, I ran my fingers along my scalp expecting to find build up. My scalp was perfectly clean. So i decided to massage my scalp with my castor oil. I was hoping that the massage will calm everything down so that I can relax with a guilt free mind this weekend. After the massage, my scalp was no longer feeling tender. This morning, as I was preparing for work, my scalp started feeling tender again. So I decided to document everything that I've done so far and try see what may be the cause at least from my regimen and behavior.

1. I am almost 18 weeks post relaxer.
2. This is the first time my scalp has ever felt tender when it wasn't in a weave or braids or cornrows
3. I have been using castor oil to massage my scalp about twice a week. It only makes my scalp feel itchy right after a relaxer
4. I have been taking a different Hair, Skin and Nails supplement (Perfectil) this month. Last month I was taking the Centrum daily multivitamin
5. I have been experiencing massive amounts of shedding in the past week
6. I have been drinking about 1.5l of water daily
7. I have been working out, running a minimum of 5km every other day
8. I did a clarifying shampoo this weekend, and a protein and moisturizing DC. I flat ironed to straighten my roots.
9. Temperatures have been very high in Dar es Salaam, hitting over 30`C during the day and 25`C at night
10. That time of the month is due in a week

Ok, lets narrow this down.

Number 10 is invalid to me. It has never really impacted my scalp before, and I definitely don't think hormones have anything to do with the sore scalp

Number 4 was raising question marks, until I remembered I have used this brand of supplements before, without any ill effects except a bit of nausea in the mornings. Definitely not that.

Number 1 is also another one I'm throwing out. I stretched for 18 weeks earlier this year and my scalp wasn't tender then. Definitely not a major consideration in this case.

Number 3 is also out. I massaged castor oil regularly into my scalp in September, and my scalp didn't feel tender then. And as I said earlier, I am 18 weeks post, and castor oil only makes my scalp itch when I use it up to a month after a relaxer.

Number 6 can't be the cause. Massive amounts of water (1.5l is massive to me) are good for the body. Nope, not a cause.

So the main culprits I need to investigate are numbers 5 and 7.

Number 7: I have been running a lot in a bid to try stay fit after I huffed and puffed my way up to Gilman's Point on Mt Kilimanjaro this October. I have been running about 5km every other day. On Monday (the day before the tenderness started) I managed to jog about 6km. According to the research I have done, "Sweat contains salt and waste that our body produces to detoxify itself.  When sweat dries, it dehydrates the scalp, causing it to become itchy and irritated..." (source: www.healthytextures.com).  

Totally makes sense when put like that. So maybe all the perspiration I did on Monday evening is the root cause of the scalp tenderness.

Number 5: I have been shedding like my cat over the last week. This was the only week I haven't done a tea rinse, and I shed triple my daily amount. Even with the massive shedding, I haven't noticed any thinning in my hair (thank the Creator). Well, this means most of my hair was in the telogen phase, and most of my hair is now entering the anagen phase. According to Wikipedia (not the most reliable source, I know)  ''The preceding hair strand is pushed up and out by the new, growing strand. The process causes the normal hair loss known as shedding."

Which brings me to my next question, does hair growth cause a sore scalp?

Well I am definitely going to do my research on this, as soon as my scalp takes a chill pill. 

Ciao

Monday, 11 November 2013

Wash Day Saga: Relaxer Preparation

I am ready to end my stretch now. I am almost 18 weeks post, and I had toyed with transitioning to natural for a bit during the stretch. But I decided to texlax when I realized the matting in my NG was getting a little bit too much, as well as the shedding. So this week's wash day was meant to get my hair ready for the texlax next weekend. Here's what happened:

1. Shampoo with Herbal Essences Fresh Balance clarifying shampoo. There was no electricity when I got home on Friday evening so I ended up doing my entire wash day with cold water -____-

2. Protein DC with Vatika Naturals Intensive Nourishment. This DC has egg, castor oil, and marrow. Left it in for an hour and rinsed out

3. Moisturizing DC with Vatika Naturals Garlic Hair Mask mixed with castor oil. Left it in overnight

4. Rinsed out and t-shirt dried until 80% damp. Applied VO5 moisturizing leave in and air dried fully in African threading (12 sections)

5. Undid one section at a time, and detangled before applying ORS Heat Protection Serum. Flat ironed  each section on the lowest heat setting focusing on the roots.

6. Oiled scalp with castor oil focusing on edges. Wrapped scarf for bed.

My hair feels soft and strong. My only concern this week was the massive amount of shedding. I'm surprised I still have hair on my head. My scalp feels normal after the wash day, not tender or anything, so I can do the relaxer without any worries. I am going to texlax again, but I will leave out my edges

That's it for this wash day, I will be back with the relaxer update soon.

Ciao,

Monday, 4 November 2013

Wash Day Saga and Product Junkieism

I am such a product junkie (hanging head in shame). I got paid last week and I went crazy in the toiletries aisle of my local supermarket. Here's what I got to add to my hair care arsenal:

1. Dark and Lovely After Relaxer Color Signal Shampoo
2. Herbal Essences Fresh Balance Clarifying Shampoo
3. Vatika Naturals Garlic Hair Mask
4. Vatika Naturals Intensive Nourishment Hot Oil Treatment
5. Vatika Naturals
6. Coconut Oil
7. Castor Oil
8. Chamomile and Fennel Teas
9. Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship Split End Protector
10. Scissors

After my shopping spree, I decided to start on my wash day. I switched things up a bit, so here's what I did:

1. Prepooed overnight with coconut oil under a shower cap. Divided hair into 4 sections, which I kept until the DC
2. Shampoo with Infusium 23 sulfate free shampoo
3. Tea rinse (peppermint, fennel, chamomile, hibiscus and rosemary)
4. Applied castor oil mixed with eucalyptus on the length of my hair
5. Applied DC (Vatika Naturals Garlic Mask). Wrapped in cling wrap, covered with shower cap and woolly hat overnight
6. Rinsed out DC, t-shirt dried until 80% dry
7. Applied leave in (VO5 moisturising leave in) and sealed with coconut oil)
8. Threaded to dry
9. After my hair was fully air dried, I oiled my scalp with castor oil, and dusted my ends

I started a round of inversions last Tuesday to help boost my growth rate. The hair at the back of my head is grazing APL already, which means my goal for this year is just about achieved.

I am planning to end my stretch at 20 weeks post on the 23rd/24th of November. I have a major event coming up, which means I need less poof to my roots for it. I will self relax, and texlax as usual. I will do a post on my relaxer prep as I get closer to the date.


Thursday, 31 October 2013

Hair care info

I found this infographic done by HHJ4lyfe on Hairlista. This is such an awesome bit of info on healthy hair care for kinky, coily hair, and I just had to share it. It's that good!!! Read it, use it and pass it on!!!

Hair care info

Review of October Goals, November Goals

It's Halloween in other parts of the world, and its just an ordinary Thursday where I am sitting. However, one thing all places have in common is that its the last day of the month, which means its time for me to review my goals for October and set new ones for November. Right, here we go:

October Goals
1. Drink 1.5l of fluids daily of which 75% must be water. Monitor water intake using MyFitnessPal or Water my Body app. Hmmm, 2/5 for this. I drank about 2.5l a day when I was mountain climbing but my intake dropped when I got home and discovered my friend had drunk all my water and I was broke (tap water definitely not safe, unless if you want to get typhoid). So I give myself 2/5 due to circumstances beyond my control
2. Join Hairlista Castor Oil Challenge at Ultimate level 5/5 I started the challenge on time, and its going well
3. Exercise each morning using Nike Training Club app 1/5 After mountain climbing I wanted to stay fit. Unfortunately I was not feeling well during the first week then I was just plain lazy the next week
4. Monitor what I eat using MyFitnessPal 1/5 I just keep forgetting
5. Waist measurement to drop to 26 inches from 30 inches 0/5 I'm now at 29 inches
6. Low manipulation protective styling during the month 5/5 Box braids and buns only!!!

After a largely unsuccessful October, I need to set goals for success in November

1. Drink 1.5l of fluids of which at least 80% must be water. Monitor using Water my Bidy app daily
2. GHE each time I massage castor oil onto my scalp
3. Exercise daily (Nike Training Club, jogging or yoga). Monitor workouts using MyFitnessPal and Lift apps
4. Use MyFitnessPal daily to monitor what I eat
5. Waist measurement to drop to 26 inches from 29 inches
6. Massage edges daily with castor oil

OK, bring on November now. I'm ready for it!!!

Ciao :)

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Hair Update

So I had the same ol' wash day, which means that coz of the way I'm so busy at work, I cannot post about it. But just an update on what I'm doing with my hair.

1. I am back on the inversion challenge starting from today. I really want to hit APL by the end of this year, so the inversion challenge is a great way to just give my growth rate that tiny nudge.

2. I am taking part in the Castor Oil challenge on Hairlista. I am doing the Ultimate level which means I oil my scalp with castor oil every other day, seal with castor oil and DC with 1 teaspoon of castor oil in my mix. Castor Oil is the magic oil for my hair, it just helps keep the moisture in for longer and reduce tangling and matting when I am deep into a stretch (almost 16 weeks post). This helps me retain my length better and keep my ends healthier. It's also helping to revive my edges, I actually found hair in a hairless place thanks to it. So far it's going great. It's keeping my moisture balance at that perfect level.

3. I just joined the GAHL Hair Challenge 2013. This challenge is just to make sure I keep up with healthy hair practices. Just those little things that help you in keeping up with a good regimen. Like sleeping with a silk or satin scarf on your head, or using heat minimally. This will help in length retention and just keeping my ends in a healthy state.

These three challenges will be the basis of my regimen until I touch up my roots, and length check. Fingers crossed I will be at my goal for 2013 by the end of November.

Ciao

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Mid Week DC, mini length check and Random Hair Talk

I did my mid week DC last night/this morning. I first massaged castor oil onto my scalp, and onto my ends, and let it sit for a couple of hours before putting the DC on top. I rinsed it out this morning and my relaxed ends are really happy while my NG is shrinking like crazy.
Mini Length Check... So close to my goal of APL
I also did a mini length check when my hair was weighed down by the DC. It was sort of straight, and it looks like I'm close to my Dec 2013 goal of APL. Yaaaay!!!! It's like only centimetres away. If I keep up with my DC game to retain length, and do the inversion method, I will be APL by December. Not full APL, but APL in the back which is what I'm aiming for.

As I did the DC I thought about the things I learnt about my hair during this journey, and these are the things that came to mind:

1. My hair loves castor oil. It seals in the moisture perfectly.
2. I have very low porosity hair. I did the porosity test and my hair was still floating after 2 days.
3. I cannot get away with not cleansing my scalp every week. My scalp itches a lot if I do not wash weekly.
4. I have a lot of hair. Like a lot. Stylists hate my hair coz they have to take so much time to do it
5. My hair grows better if it is not under extensions or weaves. It needs daily attention.
6. Heat isn't the enemy. Heat helps reduce the matting of NG when I'm stretching.
7. Ditto for cones. Cones give me slip, making it easier to detangle.
8. Ditto for sulfates. If I shampoo once, my hair won't feel stripped.
9. Effects of inversion method will kick in the week after I complete inversions.
10. Shrinkage. Currently my hair shrinks to NL, even though I am close to APL.
11. Normal growth rate is slow. I get about 1/4 inch of growth each month (with no growth aids)
12. My hair grows in a V-shape. It's not split ends that cause the different lengths in my hair
13. My texlaxed hair blends perfectly with my NG
14. My ends don't need to be trimmed that often to stay healthy
15. Protein isn't my best friend. Protein treatments once a month for my relaxed ends is all I need.

Ciao for now :)

Monday, 21 October 2013

Wash Day Saga

I swear this wash day was the best thing I did since getting back from Mt Kilimanjaro.

1. Prepoo'ed on Friday morning with coconut oil. After work divided hair into 4 sections with clips. Everything was done in sections until DC
2. Shampooed twice with Protein Feed shampoo. Yes, my scalp was that dirty, and my ends really needed to be clarified. I finally finished the shampoo after having it in my stash for a year
3. Tea rinse (2 bags black, green, peppermint, hibiscus tea + 1 tablespoon rosemary). Let it sit for 5 minutes
4. Moisturising DC (Darbur Vatika Naturals Garlic Hair Mask) without rinsing out tea. Detangled with widetooth comb section by section. I had a lot of knots and matting. Covered DC with shower cap and left it in overnight
5. Rinsed out DC with cool water (still detangling with wide tooth comb)
6. T-shirt dried for 45 minutes, before applying leave in (VO5 moisturizing leave in). I wanted to blow dry my hair in order to get rid of the matting. So I applied my heat protectant (ORS heat protection serum), and blow dried the back sections of my head detangling with a wide tooth comb. By the time I finished detangling the back, I realized that the heat in my room was working better than the blowdryer. So I just comb detangled the front sections without using direct heat and pulled my hair into a ponytail.
7. Yesterday evening, I did a scalp massage with a mix of castor oil and eucalyptus oil. I moisturized with my home made mix (tresemme conditioner, aloe vera juice, glycerin and water), sealed with castor oil and shea butter. My hair feels very soft today, and had no tangles #win

I am currently 14 weeks post, and I hope that I can stretch for another 4 weeks. I hope I can touch up on the 23rd of November, coz I have a big work event the following weekend, and I want my hair to be at its best. I hope I won''t be forced to touch up before this date

The humidity in Dar is not so much fun. My hair is frizzing up into a big puff, and I look as if I have never seen a relaxer my whole life. I wish my hair would frizz up after work, not while I'm in the office.

I am back on the castor oil challenge, and I am ready to get my hair to the goal of APL by the end of this year.

I am still looking for scissors for my hair so I can start doing search and destroy. My ends are quite healthy, but I need them to be in optimum condition

That's it for now, ciao

Thursday, 17 October 2013

I'm Back!!!

Thank the good Lord I'm still alive.

I am back from my mountain climbing thingy. Yes, you read that right. I spent 6 days in the wilderness, with no showers climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. And I even got to the rim of the crater, though not to the highest point.

Me and Erick the guide who got me to Gilman's point despite my altitude sickness :)

In my last post, I had gotten box braids specifically for this, though I think it wasn't the wisest styling choice I have made since I started my hair journey. Waist length braids that weigh a kilo are not meant for sleeping bags, dust, sweat and hikes that last for a minimum of 5 hours. Anyway, by the time I finally got back to civilization, those braids were not my favorite thing in the world. My scalp was coated with a thick layer of dirt and gunk. I wasn't able to wash my scalp at first coz I didn't have shampoo or conditioner at the hotel we stayed in.

I had to go visit my mom since I was only 100km from her place. She had shampoo only, so I decided not to wash my hair there either. I was about to take down my braids coz they were feeling really gross, and I just had a feeling that a spider would happily move in. My mom managed to persuade me not to take down my braids while I was at her place. But on Tuesday morning when I was flying back to my place, I saw that the extensions had also ripped out my hair. I was so pissed I decided to start taking down the braids that night. I finally finished taking them down at around midnight today. However, I didn't have time to wash my hair. So I decided to GHE with castor oil, so that my hair could be a bit moisturized in the morning when I got ready for work. I first finger detangled to get rid of the shed hair, before comb detangling for a bit and bunning for work. I will do a clarifying wash this weekend so I can get back onto my regimen after the 2 weeks of neglect.


Monday, 30 September 2013

Wash Day, Protective Styling and Other Hair Tales

Lol, that title right there sounds like a collection of short stories. Blame my bookworm habits for that title, I spent much of my weekend reading and watching The White Queen.

My wash day went pretty well. I was supposed to travel for work on Sunday, so I decided to do most of my wash day business on Friday and Saturday. Here's what went down.

Friday
1. Prepoo'ed during the day with avocado oil on the length of my hair (I really wanted to finish that bottle of avocado oil)
2. Shampooed with sulfate free Infusium 23 shampoo in 3 sections
3. Tea rinse (black, green, peppermint, hibiscus tea and rosemary infused water). Let tea sit for 5 minutes before applying DC
4. I had very little DC left over in my house so I decided to mix up a bunch of stuff into it to stretch the DC. I mixed my L'Oreal Deep Nourishing Sulfate Free System Deep Conditioner with an avocado, Tresemme conditioner, avocado oil, castor oil, shea butter, eucalyptus oil and rose oil. I applied this mixture without rinsing off the tea. It didn't have much slip. I covered my hair with a plastic bag, old pair of stockings, shower cap and woolly hat for my overnight DC. Only problem with this plan was that a lot of water dripped down my neck during the night.

Saturday
5. Rinsed out DC with cold water.
6. Wrapped hair in a t-shirt to absorb moisture
7. When my hair was just damp, I applied my leave in (VO5 moisturizing leave in conditioner) and sealed with coconut oil. I detangled with a wide tooth comb, before air drying in a ponytail.

I decided to go shopping for the rest of the stuff I needed for my climb up Mt Kilimanjaro. Then I realized, I still needed to get my hair into a protective style coz I really wouldn't have time to LOC my hair up that mountain. I asked my friend to help me find a salon that could install box braids really fast. He took me to a salon in his neighbourhood. I bought 5 packs of Prima Abuja lines long braids. This was my first time going to a stylist since my last weave at the end of May.

The stylist started installing them at 2pm and finished with the installation at 9pm. She didn't pull the braids too tightly, however she did braid the teeny tiny hairs in my edges that had been making a comeback thanks to my use of castor oil. She also wasn't really patient with detangling my growth and texlaxed hair. All she was talking about was how I really needed to get my roots touched up. I couldn't tell her to stop ripping through my roots with her comb thanks to the language barrier. And I cringed when she came to my hair with a pair of scissors, even though she was trimming the ends of the braids. Overall, it was not a bad experience getting the braids installed.

I will take down the braids after about 6 weeks, or maybe at the end of November. I just hope this style will help me retain length for my end year goal of APL.

The castor oil challenge on hairlista went live on Saturday. I am participating at the ultimate level. I just hope this will help me in keeping my hair healthy and also in length retention.

This is my last post until mid October when I come back from mountain climbing. Until then, ciao

Friday, 27 September 2013

Review of September Goals; October Goal Setting

Oh how time flies when you're having fun...

Or when you are pretty busy. Anyway, September is coming to an end, and October is starting soon. Which means its time to review my goals and set new ones.

September Goals:

1. Drink 2l of fluids of which 75% must be water. I must have been asleep and dreaming when I set this goal. I haven't gotten past 1 litre of fluids. I really need to start using my apps again. 0/5
2. Start personal castor oil challenge (massage castor oil into scalp 3 times a week, seal with castor oil) Success!! My hair actually grew between 1-2cm since September 1st. 5/5
3. Exercise daily ( 4 days of walking, 3 days of other workouts every week) Hahahahaha.... Talk about daydreams. I stopped walking last week, and only started doing other workouts this week. 2.5/5
4. Limit chocolate, cookie and soda intake to 1 serving a week I am addicted to sugar. So sue me. There are weeks when I had no sugar at all, then there are weeks when I had sugar everyday. 0/5
5. GHE once a week Success. I do it as part of my prepoo routine. 5/5


October Goals:

1. Drink 1.5l of fluids daily of which 75% must be water. Monitor water intake using MyFitnessPal or Water my Body app.
2. Join Hairlista Castor Oil Challenge at Ultimate level
3. Exercise each morning using Nike Training Club app
4. Monitor what I eat using MyFitnessPal
5. Waist measurement to drop to 26 inches from 30 inches
6. Low manipulation protective styling during the month

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Random Hair Talk

So yesterday was my friend's birthday. We had a dinner for the birthday boy after work at the Cape Town Fish Market in Msasani, Dar. Let me tell you, that place looks fantastique!!! I simply had to try dress up a little and make my hair have a bit more oomph than what I do everyday. Now, I couldn't dress weirdly, since we had the wazees (grown ups, OK its odd for me to say that since we are in our 20s, we had parents) attending the dinner and also paying for it. After all, we are broke and waiting for our salaries to come in. So I decided to wear my extra skinny skinny jeans (so skinny my leg circulation gets cut off after some time) and  a long top that covered my muffin top and my beige studded sandals. Since my hair was still straight after the blow dry/threading over the weekend, I decided to pull it back into a swangin' and bangin' ponytail with my "skullcrusher". I had done a scalp massage with castor oil before pulling it up. Let me tell you my hair was looking really healthy. The ponytail was so thick and healthy and just made me so glad I started taking care of my hair. It even behaved that whole night. No puffing up into a giant frizz ball because of heat and humidity (thanks to the AC in the restaurant). The birthday dinner was also amazing, everyone had seafood. I splurged and had deep fried calamari and baby potatoes, while everyone else had prawns or mussels or surf n' turf. I even broke my alcohol fast to toast the birthday boy with champagne (last bit of alcohol I will have till after I finish my Mt Kilimanjaro climb). Although this morning I was exhausted and didn't want to get out of bed, the night made the exhaustion worth it.

I'm considering whether or not to DC my hair tonight. I only have enough DC left for one session, and if I don't get my salary this week, my hair will suffer thanks to a DC shortage in my house. If I DC, I won't do it on dry hair this time. I will really have to co-wash first so that I can save on my DC a little longer.

Mt Kilimanjaro is happening in 11 days. Yeah, this is actually happening. I really need to decide on a hairstyle suitable for mountain climbing. I have a feeling I will end up with cornrows, so that I can GHE under  my balaclava during summit day (and trap my head heat within the plastic bag more efficiently). It is also way faster to get cornrows, and will be less expensive too. And the stylists can't really complain much about my having too much hair. OK, that's settled. Cornrows it is for mountain climbing.

Speaking of the climb, I should start my September set of inversions this week, maybe tomorrow. Ok, definitely tomorrow. I won't be able to do inversions after an 8 hour hike, all I will want to do then is collapse in my sleeping bag. So I should complete them by next Wednesday, just before the climb commences.

After the climb, I think I will drop in on my mom and visit her. Her house is about 100km from Mt Kilimanjaro. Since we also have a long weekend after our descent, I might as well spend it being coddled by my mum. And maybe start shipping my stuff back to her house since my contract is almost over. She will be so proud of me finally having healthy hair. The last time she saw me was Easter, and I'm sure I had a weave on then.

I stopped taking my multivitamins this week. I had been having really awful nausea and tummy cramps last week. I think there was just too much going on, what with my antibiotics, iron supplements, birth control pill and multivitamin. I think I will ease into the multivitamins tonight before restarting the iron supplement, and see if it was the antibiotic that caused the nausea. At least I completed the antibiotic course.

Finally, I was so happy yesterday when I realized I still had about Tsh 80,000 (equivalent to USD 50) in my account. I wasn't that broke after all!!! Now I can afford to have lunch while waiting for my salary.

OK, enough babbling, time to get back to work.

Ciao

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Wash Day Saga

I was so happy when it was finally Friday. My hair was tangled and starting to get that awesome (NOT!!!) dreadlock look at the roots. I was longing for washday so that I could detangle my hair once and for all. Here's what went down

Friday night
1. Scalp massage with castor oil before oiling hair with coconut oil and detangling with fingers. Braided up each detangled section. Covered with shower cap for overnight GHE

Saturday morning
2. Clarifying shampoo with Protein Feed shampoo ( in 4 sections)
3. Tea rinse (black, green, peppermint, hibiscus) still in sections
4. Light protein DC (L'Oreal Deep Nourishing Sulfate free system conditioner) overnight and comb detangled

Sunday morning
5. Rinsed out DC with cool water while combing out hair
6. Tshirt dried till hair was damp
7. Applied leave in (Vo5 moisturizing leave in) and divided hair into 4 sections
8. Applied ORS heat protection serum to each section before blow drying on cool setting
9. Threaded hair in 8 sections for it to completely air dry

Hopefully this will stop the matting for a bit. That's if the humidity won't revert my hair before Tuesday. This wash day was also my first wash day in about 3 weeks when I detangled with a comb. The amount of hair that I lost made me feel depressed.

The castor oil challenge will continue on Monday evening when I will do the LOC method, as well as a scalp massage with castor oil. I think I will start the September set of inversions this week, I can't delay too much since doing inversions while mountain climbing seems nearly impossible


Please pray for my adopted country Kenya. It's a country with people who really make you one of their own, they deserve peace and healing.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Wash Day Saga

I'm going to be honest with you this wash day almost didn't happen. My usual wash day (Saturday) didn't happen. First, I woke up early in order to break in my hiking boots for Mt Kilimanjaro. I managed to cover almost 10km in less than 2 hours, and I didn't get any blisters *fist pump*. Then after this I had to go to the doctor and get a medical done to check that I am fit enough to do the 7 day climb. I found out that I was slightly anemic (explaining the shedding I had last week). But I was given some iron tablets so I am OK in that area now. I also had to work that afternoon, and I only managed to get home after 7pm so wash day was definitely postponed.

I was feeling lazy on Sunday, and only sheer willpower got me to even wash my hair (that and the fact that I had missed my mid-week DC). So here's what went down on Sunday:

1. Prepoo'ed overnight with coconut oil under shower cap on Saturday night
2. Shampoo with Infusium 23 sulfate free formula for color treated hair (in four sections)
3. Tea rinse (black, peppermint and hibiscus tea, and rosemary infused water). Let tea sit for 5 minutes, before t-shirt drying excess tea
4. Moisturizing DC with Darbur Vatika Naturals Garlic Hair Mask. Finger detangled before first wrapping head in cling wrap and covering with shower cap. Let it sit for 6 hours
5. Rinsed out DC first with warm water to lift DC from scalp, then with cool water to seal hair cuticle
6. T-shirt dried until damp
7. Massaged in castor oil on scalp and edges (continuing Castor Oil Challenge). Applied leave in on hair before sealing with castor oil and shea butter
8. Fully air dried overnight using banding method

Results: today my hair felt soft, and was still feeling moisturized when I finger combed and bunned for work.

All in all a great wash day was had by us.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Random Hair (and spider)Talk

Its a Wednesday, and normally my mid-week DC would have been done last night/this morning. However this didn't happen this week. Anyone who reads my other blog knows that I am scared to death of spiders. Unfortunately for me, too many spiders had invaded my bathroom. A large clan of tiny poisonous spiders had invaded my bathroom, and occasionally entertained visits from larger (and scarier) violin spiders. Normal bathroom routines where getting really scary, and I was getting really paranoid whenever I went into my bathroom. Imagine always feeling as if something was crawling up your leg while you are in the shower. Needless to say, wash days were becoming even more stressful to me (despite the regular posts). So yesterday I decided to let go of the fear and eliminate the spiders in my home. I bought insecticide that apparently had spider killing abilities and sprayed my bathroom when I got home. I sprayed my bathroom again before I went to bed, and this morning all the spiders were dead (including a ginormous violin spider that was visiting).

Violin Spider, Venomous Spider in Africa
Violin spider


So I got rid of my enemies, however my hair was neglected, and showing the effects. My hair was really dry and the new growth was starting to get all matted (weirdly this was only happening to the hair at the back of my head). So I moisturised my hair with VO5 moisturizing leave in. it's supposed to be only used on damp hair, but it seems to work pretty well on dry hair to. I didn't seal (was rushing), but just did a high bun. My bun is starting to get bigger, I must really be retaining length. However, I am not checking my length until my next touch up which will hopefully happen at the end of November.

I am definitely going on a week long hike in 24 days. That's right no showers and blistering cold for 6 days. So my hair care will be practically nil, which means I need a protective style for my hike. I'm deciding between box braids and cornrows (no extensions) for this. The box braids will help keep me warm :D and can last longer, but may get too heavy for me if I get altitude sickness. Cornrows will fit under my balaclava and will be easier to moisturize but will make me look too young, which I don't want since I am already the baby of the climbing group, and may get me kicked out of clubs when we celebrate our survival. I need to make a decision soon, so that I am ready for the climb.

Thats it from me, ciao

Monday, 9 September 2013

Wash Day (7th-8th September)

This is now starting to feel a bit monotonous, but I have to keep it up, so I know what I'm doing right, and where I might do better. My wash day got to be a bit long, thanks to a headache over the weekend. Here's what happened:

1. On Friday night, I continued with my Castor Oil Challenge. I massaged Castor Oil into my scalp, and then  used a little bit on my ends (after moisturizing with conditioner/water mix). I divided my hair into four sections, and as soon as I was done with one section, I twisted it up before moving on to the next section. I covered my hair with a shower cap, and did the GHE overnight.

Saturday
2. Shampoo with Infusium 23 sulfate free shampoo (still in sections).
3. Tea rinse (black, green, peppermint and hibiscus tea bags in 2l of water). Let the tea sit for 4 minutes
4. Applied moisturizing DC (Darbur Vatika Naturals Garlic Hair Mask) without rinsing out tea (still in sections. Finger detangled before wrapping hair with cling wrap and covering with shower cap. Left it in overnight

Sunday
5. Rinsed out DC with cool water.
6. Wrapped in microfiber towel to dry
7. When hair was damp, sealed with coconut oil and damp bunned
8. Later when hair was 90% dry, I massaged castor oil into scalp, and sealed ends with castor oil. Wrapped in satin scarf for bed.

The delayed effects of my inversion kicked in last week. I feel like my hair has grown but I will have to measure to check whether what I feel is really true. I am now 8 weeks post texlax, and the amount of shrinkage I have after washing my hair, shows me I do have a bit of growth going on, though its not too obvious thanks to my underprocessed hair.The Castor Oil Challenge is going pretty well, I managed the full 3 days of scalp massages last week.

That's it for now, till the next post

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Come Back Time

My edges are making a comeback after a long time. They started disappearing when I got microbraids when I was doing A-Levels. Then they made a brief comeback when I was in uni and had a really awesome stylist who wasn't too rough on my hair and didn't style too tightly (if in Nairobi, go to Roysambu and look for Joan. She's really good). And then I started my HHJ last May after big chopping to a TWA. I did protective styles almost constantly, but my edges were always there. Then my first setback came along in November. I had gone to a salon at the hotel I was staying in (in Nairobi, avoid the salon at Hillpark Hotel). The stylist first tangled my hair up while washing it, and then ripped through the tangles with a blowdryer with the comb attachment. Further mistreatment of my hair happened when the cornrows were done too tightly. I took them out after 2 weeks, when they didn't loosen. But the damage was already done, my edges had receded. They grew back in, but have been fragile ever since.

 So I quit weaves (in June), and started babying my edges. I have been massaging in castor oil like a mad woman, and not touching up the edges when I do a relaxer. I also put away my combs, and reduced the amount of direct heat I use. The edges I lost to the cornrows made a comeback, and I started feeling encouraged. I kept on with the castor oil, but now rotating it with coconut oil, and then edges I last saw during A-Levels have started coming back in. My widow's peak is also
making a comeback. The hair is still pretty short and fine, just a few millimetres, but I can feel the fuzz now.

I am so happy I started taking care of my hair. I have fought against traction alopecia and I am winning the war. By this time next year, my edges should be really full, and healthy.

Now, to start educating the rest of my family on healthy hair practices...

Monday, 2 September 2013

Wash Day, product buys and random hair talk

So this last Saturday was a busy one.  I had to attend two events at opposite sides of town in one night, I had to work on Saturday morning, and do my shopping. My wash day was just crazy, but I didn't want to delay it to Sunday, since I wanted to go to my events with clean hair. So here's how wash day went down:

1. Prepoo overnight with eucalyptus, olive and sunflower oil mix on scalp and on ends
2. Shampoo with Infusium 23 shampoo in 4 sections
3. Coffee rinse, let coffee sit for 3 minutes
4. DC (Darbur Vatika Naturals Garlic Hair Mask) without rinsing out coffee. Covered with plastic bag for 2 hours while I did my nails
5. Rinsed out DC, t-shirt dried till hair was damp. Applied leave in, and heat protection serum. Blow dried on low setting while combing out with wide toothed comb till hair was slightly damp

My hair style on Saturday night was pretty simple. I just put it a head band and wore my hair down. Like I mentioned earlier, I had to attend two events that night. The first event was an alumni get together at a hotel about 20km from my place. The traffic was crazy, and it took me 40 minutes to get there. And when I got there, I found out that dinner was going to be outdoors, and I had worn my hair down -___-.  Since it was right on the beach, it was windy and humid. By the time I left the dinner to go to my next event, my hair had frizzed up into a huge afro (I miss bone straight relaxers now). The event I was going to was a fashion show 25km from where I was. Thanks to even crazier traffic, it took us over an hour to get to town, and we ended up missing the actual runway event. So I just strutted my afro around at the after party, and I have to say, my hair looked extremely healthy and thick, while all around me I saw weaves and very few people with their own hair. And then when I got home and took out my head band, I realized that it had gotten broken sometime that evening. Yes, my hair frizzed up and ended up breaking my head band. Another reason I will not go natural anytime soon.

I have started my personal castor oil challenge this month. I will massage castor oil 3 times a week into my scalp and edges, and also use it to seal after moisturizing. The challenge will last until the 30th of November, which is when I will do my final touch up for the year. And hopefully I will be at my goal length of APL by then, thanks to the castor oil challenge, inversion challenge, and DC challenge.

ION, the month of August ended, which means I finally got paid, and could get new products and tools for my stash. I couldn't find my usual moisturizing DC so I ended up purchasing two L'Oreal DCs, one is a moisturizing DC and the second is a protein DC. I haven't used them yet, but once I do, I will review them. I also got the Tresemme conditioner. I want to try it out as a co-wash and a leave in, and see whether I should add it onto my conditioner rotation. I also haven't started using it. I will review after using it. I got more crocodile clips, after one of the ones I had got broken (this is becoming a theme with my hair now). I also got a storage container in which I keep my hair accessories, combs, brushes and clips. I think I will need another with partitions so I can separate everything by function. I also finally found shea butter, weirdly enough in a shop that sells mobile phones. Its 100% East African shea butter. I have used it once so far to try do the LOC method, but I will review whether my hair likes it or not after consistent use.

That's it for today, ciao...

Review of August Goals, September Goal Setting

We are two days into the month of September, and left with only 3 months of 2013 (eeeeeek!!!). I still hope to achieve my goal of APL by the end of this year, and I need to get my act together in order to achieve this goal. So drumroll please...........

August Goals Review:

1. Daily multivitamin supplement Success!!! I haven't missed a single day of my multivitamin intake in August 5/5
2. Drink at least 1.5 litres of fluids, of which 75% must be water Partially a success. I drank enough water, until I had to give up all my room temperature water on my desk last Friday to people visiting our office 4/5
3. Deep condition 2x a week Only missed one DC session. In my defence, I had a really bad earache and couldn't do anything. But I did keep up with my  DCs. 4.5/5 for this goal
4. Protective style during weekdays, only break from PS is during weekends Success!!! Thanks to my laziness and loving habits, this is now something I do automatically
5. Workout: 5km walk (3 times a week), yoga and abs workout on the days I'm not walking Hahahahaha... This was a hit or miss situation. There was a week when all I could do when I got home was try to sleep (earache week). Definitely no working out then. I also fell off my workout game last week, I only managed 2 days of exercise. 2/5
6. Eat healthy. Less fries, pizza and KFC chicken. More home cooked meals, with fruit or soup for lunch Well, this goal needs to be reset. I stuck to the letter of the goal, and not the spirit. I only ate fries and fried chicken once in August, and had plenty of home cooked meals, but I got some junk food in too. 4/5 coz of the junk food I snuck in



September Goals:

1. Drink 2l of fluids of which 75% must be water. 
2. Start personal castor oil challenge (massage castor oil into scalp 3 times a week, seal with castor oil)
3. Exercise daily ( 4 days of walking, 3 days of other workouts every week)
4. Limit chocolate, cookie and soda intake to 1 serving a week
5. GHE once a week


Monday, 26 August 2013

Wash Day Diary

Last week was absolutely horrible. First of all, I had a really bad earache that didn't allow me to sleep for more than 4 hours each night. Then work was crazy, and I got home after 8pm on most nights after leaving home at 6am. My diet was horrible, I had severe dehydration and I didn't manage to work out. Needless to say, I fell off my hair game. I only M&S'ed once, and I skipped my mid week DC. My hair wouldn't behave itself and did its own thing puffing up, and refusing to stay in a ponytail. By Friday night, the roots were matted horribly and I really had to take action to avoid a setback.

Friday Night
1. Oiled hair heavily with coconut oil before finger detangling and removing shed hair. Massaged scalp before wrapping with scarf and going to bed.

Saturday Night
1. Prepoo'ed with Avocado oil, and finger detangled. Divided hair into four sections and twisted the sections. Covered with shower cap for bed

Sunday Morning
1. Wet hair and divided sections with hair clips.
2. Shampoo with Infusium 23 sulfate free shampoo in sections. I had a lot of build up on the scalp (since I didn't wash mid week).
3. Rinsed out shampoo, and instant conditioned with Hello Hydration (still in sections). Rinsed out conditioner
4. Tea rinse (2 bags each green, peppermint and hibiscus tea, and 2 tablespoons rosemary). Let tea sit for a few minutes
5. Applied DC (Vatika Naturals Garlic Hair Mask) on hair without rinsing out tea. Detangled with comb, and covered with a plastic bag, and shower cap. Left it in for 4 hours.
6. Rinsed out DC with cool water.
7. T-shirt dried until damp
8. Applied leave in, and heat protection serum. Blowdried hair on low setting for 5 minutes while combing with wide tooth comb.
9. Tied hair into ponytail to air dry completely
10. Massaged avocado oil into scalp before doing inversions
11. Wrapped in scarf for bed

My neglect last week really showed during wash day. I had quite a bit of breakage and a lot of shedding :(. I have to give my hair a lot of TLC this week in order to prevent a real setback from happening

Monday, 19 August 2013

Protein Treatment!!!

This weekend was protein weekend. I have been having a bit of breakage going on recently, a few tiny wisps here and there. But I really need to retain length in order to get to my end year goal of APL so I looked at my regimen since my last touch up, and realized I was missing some protein. So I decided to add in some protein this weekend.

1. Prepooed overnight with coconut oil. Divided hair into 3 sections for wash. Whole wash day (up to moisturizing DC was done in 3 sections)
2. Dry DC with protein DC (Vatika Intensive Nourishment Treatment) for 30 minutes
3. Rinsed out DC. Shampoo with Protein Feed System Shampoo (also protein heavy), Made shampoo got onto the hair to clarify buildup
4. Rinsed out shampoo, and instant conditioned with Hello Hydration. Left conditioner in for 5 minutes
5. Rinsed out conditioner. Tea rinse (2 bags each black, green and peppermint tea + 1 tablespoon rosemary). Let tea sit for 5 minutes
6. Moisturizing DC (Vatika Garlic Hair Mask) without rinsing out tea. Left in DC overnight
7. Rinsed out DC with cool water. ACV rinse (1 cup ACV in 1.5l water) after.
8. T-shirt dried until hair was damp. Applied leave in (VO5 deep nourishment leave in) and sealed with coconut oil. Air dried.
9. Threading as protective style for bed. Covered in satin bonnet (satin pillowcase + scarf were wet).

Results so far: no breakage today when I finger detangled to bun this morning. New growth soft.

I am planning to oil scalp with castor oil tonight, and seal with castor oil. I will do inversions next week in order to try get more growth. I'm experiencing a lot of shrinkage, which makes me look like I am not getting any growth, when actually when bunning or when hair has DC I can see that it is longer.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Love Letter

My dear castor oil,

I just realized that lately, I haven't told you how much I adore you.

I know we have been having differences during the past few weeks, when I would use you to oil my scalp, and you would make my scalp itch. I had to wash my hair a lot more because of you.

But this week reminded me of how our relationship began. I would use you to seal in my moisturizer, and yo would make sure my hair would stay moisturized for a long time. Yesterday, as I was about to begin to moisturize and seal my hair for bed, I realised something. My hair was still soft and easy to manipulate from the day before when I had used you to seal in the hello hydration and water mix I used to moisturize. My relaxed ends had zero breakage yesterday thanks to you. My texlaxed hair was softer and easier to detangle. My new growth was just all coily and happy with you helping to define the little coils.

This morning, it was so easy to finger comb and tie my hair back into a ponytail. And it was all because of you, beloved castor oil.

I love you, and I will always be faithful to you as my sealing oil during the week because of your super powers. Thank you castor oil, you're the best.

With lots of love, and hugs,

Me (and my hair)

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Quickie Update

First up, I just wanna say, the Hair Journal app is the TRUTH!!! I have been using it every time I do anything to my hair, whether its a simple M&S or my weekly wash, and it really helps me keep track of what's happening with my hair, and what I need to do next. I am now almost 5 weeks post, and with the disaster I had with hair matting and all, I am really going to have to keep up with my moisture game.

Yesterday was my mid-week co-wash and DC. I'm in the Hairlista DC challenge, and you have to do at least one DC each week with heat or overnight. And since I do not have a steamer or hooded dryer, I stick to the overnight strategy.

So last night, after my nice 6km walk, I did my co-wash. I first oiled my hair with coconut oil and divided it into 3 sections using hair clips. The coconut oil was to help in making the detangling easier. I co-washed pretty much the same way I did my last wash day with VO5 Tea Therapy Vanilla and Mint Clarifying Conditioner. And can I get a cheer for finishing up that conditioner? I have one less product in my stash now. Back to the wash, after the co-wash I did the DC.

My DC was a mix made up of

1. 5 tablespoons of Darbur Vatika Naturals Garlic Hair Mask
2. 2 tablespoons EVOO
3. 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
4. 2 tablespoons honey
5. 10 drops eucalyptus oil.

I covered it with a plastic bag before putting on all the different fabric layers to help trap my body heat and do a deep DC.

I rinsed it out this morning with cool water, and wrapped in a t-shirt to dry. I applied the VO5 leave in and sealed with coconut oil before doing a damp bun for work. My hair smells like cough medicine right now, thanks to the eucalyptus oil, but I hope it just stimulates my scalp so that I get my length goal for this year.

I think I will do a protein treatment soon, I have been having a bit of breakage recently. Oh, and I kicked out aloe vera juice from my regimen for the moment, coz I thought that was another cause of my matting.

That's it from me, cheers!!!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Long Weekend (+ Wash Day)

I have just emerged from my lair after a nice, long four day weekend. Thanks to two holidays (Eid and Nane Nane) falling on Thursday and Friday,I had a relaxing weekend and managed to recharge my rundown batteries.

It was also an opportunity for me to go extra lazy and extend my wash day. I must admit, last week was just a horrid week for me. I didn't have much motivation to M&S my hair everyday, although I did manage to fit in my mid-week co-wash. I also found an app in the Apple Store called Hair Journal that I am now using to document everything I do to my hair.

So on to my wash day.

Friday night:

1. Prepoo overnight: Scalp with Avocado oil, Ends with Coconut oil

Saturday:

1. Divided hair into four sections using hair clips.
2. Shampooed hair in sections with sulfate free shampoo, mainly focusing on scalp. Rinsed a section, before clipping up and moving to the next one
3. Conditioned (in sections) using VO5 tea therapy clarifying conditioner. Let conditioner sit for 3 minutes before rinsing out section by section.
4. Tea rinse (2 bags each black, green & peppermint tea + 1 tablespoon rosemary in 2 liters of water) while in sections. Let tea sit for 10 minutes
5. Deep conditioner (Darbur Vatika Naturals Garlic Hair Mask) without rinsing out tea. Applied DC in sections before finger detangling, and then detangling with wide toothed comb. Covered hair with plastic bag, shower cap, microfiber turban and woolen hat before leaving it to sit overnight.

Sunday

1. Rinsed out DC with cool water.
2. Wrapped hair in t-shirt for 30 minutes
3. Applied leave in (VO5 moisturizing leave in), sealed with coconut oil
4. Did threading to hair, and left it to air dry
5. Took down threading, massaged scalp with Avocado oil
6. Hair was still slightly damp, so sealed in moisture with Avocado oil while finger combing
7. Wrapped hair in scarf for bed

Monday

1. Moisturized with spritz (conditioner + water) and bunned for work


Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Wash day and Random Babble

Wash day came and went. I changed my products a bit this month, to see what will happen if I make a switch.

1. Prepoo'ed overnight with coconut oil.
2. Shampooed with sulfate free shampoo (Infusium 23 for colour treated hair) in 2 sections, and rinsed out
3. Did coffee rinse, rinsed out most of the coffee, but left in a little
4. Moisturising DC (Darbur Vatika Naturals Garlic Mask). Added a little EVOO on top of DC. Covered with shower cap for 2 hours (no heat). Rinsed out with cool water
5. T-shirt dried. When hair was damp applied leave in moisturizer
6. Since I wanted to flat iron, I didn't seal with an oil. Instead I applied my heat serum in sections
7. I blow dried my hair in sections on the cool setting until it was fully dry
8. I flat ironed the back sections of my hair, and then gave up when I was half done

But the blow drying worked on just making my hair less matted and more like hair. If I am going to stretch for 20+ weeks, blow drying will be part of my regimen (with heat protection serum of course) as needed.

I completed the 1 inch in 1 month inversion challenge on Hairlista. Overall, I would say I gained 1cm in length during that 1 week. Not bad considering 1 inch (2.5 cm) takes about 2 months to grow without any growth aids. I will do another week of inversions at the end of the month.

ION, yes, I went shopping after I got paid. I must say I am working on not buying anything and everything. This month I got: Darbur Vatika Naturals Garlic Hair Mask (moisturising DC), avocado oil, ORS Heat Protection Serum (not sure if this is the actual name on the package), and a lot of hair candy. I bought epoxy pins, a ponytail holder, a sparkly hair pin, a headband and 2 silver hair clips. All this for the day I hit APL and hopefully have a reasonable bun.

I think I will start a Castor Oil and DC challenge for myself soon. I need to retain length if I am ever to get to APL by December

Ciao

Friday, 2 August 2013

Hair Rant and Random Thoughts

AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There's a lot of pain and frustration in that cyber scream. And it's coz of my hair. I'm only 3 weeks post texlax and my hair is getting all matted at the roots like I have been loc'ing my hair for years. Last night I M&S'ed  and finger detangled with absolutely no issues. Then this afternoon when I was thinking my tucked in ponytail was looking a bit untidy, and as I inserted my fingers into my hair to detangle a bit before tying my hair back again, my fingers got stuck. IN. MY. HAIR.

It's a bit hilarious, and I'm sure I will laugh when I read this at a later date. But right now all I am thinking is:

1. Did I make a mistake by texlaxing my hair in the first place? When it was bone straight I didn't have none of these issues

2. How will I even survive this stretch? My next texlax is planned for the end of November, and its only the beginning of August. My hair really doesn't like weaves these days, and I'm too scared to risk braid installation. How will I live with crazy person hair?

This incident tells me another thing... I won't be able to transition to natural successfully. I mean, if my texlaxed hair is all crazy, how can I live with my naturally thick, coarse and extra kinky fab 4C hair? That is not a pretty sight, and since I'm thinking of a future in the military, not advisable too.

All I feel like right now, is taking off from work and driving to a barber and have this mess shaved off. But what I will most probably do is wait until I can go home, and start detangling using conditioner or castor oil. Maybe its the Aloe Vera juice I added to my moisturizing spritz that's making my hair act 50 shades of cray. Or maybe the protein DC I mixed with my moisturizing DC is what's making my roots all matted. At least its the weekend, so I can enjoy my wash day, and find out what to do next.

I have also been thinking of starting to do henna treatments. I have seen on several blogs I follow that henna can actually help in loosening your natural curl pattern. So, if I start doing henna, my curls can loosen a bit more, and STOP MATTING!!!!!

Or maybe I should just cut off the bone straight relaxed ends, and go get my hair loc'ed. It seems to be demanding this treatment, I only think its fair to give it what it wants


Enough ranting about my matted roots, let me get back to work, so I can enjoy my weekend with a clear conscience

Ciao

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Review of July Goals, August Goal Setting

Time is moving so fast. Around this time last year I was preparing for my graduation, and I was just 3 months into my HHJ. I had a TWA, and had to get a weave so that my graduation cap would not fall off during the ceremony. I'm now 15 months old in my HHJ and I think things have gone OK (except the hairline issue). It's time to review my goals for last month, and set new ones for this month.

July Goals

1. Daily multivitamin supplement (especially one meant for hair growth) What a fail. I did try to do my hair, skin and nails supplement, but I didn't manage to eat properly for 2 weeks (stressful roadtrip) and those tablets were meant to be for after meals. I managed to pick up on it during the last 2 weeks of the month so I give myself a 3/5

2. Drink at least 2 litres of fluids daily (of which half must be water) I did start drinking more fluids, however I was overambitious with the 2 litres. I only managed 1.5l regularly. However, I did start drinking more water which is a major boost for me. So 4/5 for this goal (coz I drank more water)

3. Use up protein shampoo and Hello Hydration shampoo  The protein shampoo still exists. On the other hand, the HH shampoo is used up, so that's at least half a goal complete. 2.5/5

4. Protective style (wig) during the week, and leave hair out only during weekends Major fail on the wig part. My wig looks so unruly after that disastrous roadtrip, and I haven't managed to find time to get it looking decent again. However, I PS'ed everyday (bunning) during the week, and covered my hair with my scarf whenever it was down. So just for keeping my ends protected despite the failure of my wig I give myself 5/5 for this goal

5. Start working out (at least 3 hours a week) TBH, I was never going to start on this goal until I was told at work that we have to climb Mt Kilimanjaro as a team building exercise. So I started seriously working out only last weekend. 1/5 for this goal.


August Goals

1. Daily multivitamin supplement
2. Drink at least 1.5 litres of fluids, of which 75% must be water
3. Deep condition 2x a week
4. Protective style during weekdays, only break from PS is during weekends
5. Workout: 5km walk (3 times a week), yoga and abs workout on the days I'm not walking
6. Eat healthy. Less fries, pizza and KFC chicken. More home cooked meals, with fruit or soup for lunch 

Hopefully I can stick to these goals