Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Co Wash and Hair Challenge

Yesterday, I was a bit bored at work. Most of my work was done, yadda yadda yadda, so I decided to do one of my favorite activities, stalk hair blogs. I was going through one (can't remember which one) and I found a link to Hairlista. Wow, this forum is ammmmaaaaaaaazzzzzziiiiiiiiinnnnnnng!!!!!!!!!!!!

I co-washed last night, but I also added something else to my routine thanks to a Hairlista group I joined (1 inch in i week challenge). This challenge is really simple. You massage in any (hot) oil, do an inversion for max 4 minutes, and repeat everyday for 7 days. This is apparently supposed to result in hair growth of about an inch.

So last night after work, I decided to start the challenge. I heated a mix of coconut, olive and castor oil, and applied it onto my scalp with a brush. Since I was also co-washing, I also applied the rest of the oil to my ends. I massaged in the oil for about 5 minutes, and then started doing the inversion. (Inversion is just getting your head upside down so that you can get a lot of blood flow to your head). I decided to hang my head from the edge of my bed, it got boring, but I stuck it out for the maximum for minutes. After this I massaged my scalp again (especially the areas that have been itching a lot) before I applied my deep conditioner for my co wash. I kept on the DC overnight, and rinsed it out this morning during my shower. I wrapped my hair in a t-shirt to absorb the extra water, before applying my leave in and sealing with coconut oil. I bunned my hair while it was damp, and voila I was ready for my day.

If you decide to do the challenge, take note of these warnings and notes by the originator of the challenge:

Do not attempt if pregnant, suffer from the following (high blood pressure, low blood pressure, heart problems, glaucoma, or any other health condition. 
Do not attempt this for more than 4 minutes. 
If at anytime during the inversion you feel dizzy, drowsy/sleepy or otherwise abnormal, slowly move out of the position. 
Have I scared you sufficiently? :-)
Why so many warnings?
Better safe than sorry
Because my stupid behind thought I was part yogi and ended up ridiculously light headed on my first attempt.
Because I've corresponded with a few youtubers who almost passed out from not listening to their bodies.
Because one youtuber lost vision for a few seconds hanging off her bed! (<-----not recommended) 
Why does this work? Circulation (blod flow) increases hair growth. This is a form of "super" circulation. 
Why Olive oil? Is any oil necessary? 
I don't believe oil is necessary at all BUT as we all know, oil for our hair type is a good thing. (Experiment with different oils or no oil at all and see what happens) 
Do I need to shampoo the oil out?
This step is not necessary but if you feel the need (after letting oil sit on scalp for a minimum of 2 hours) a conditioner wash should be sufficient to remove excess oil. 
Why 7 days? After speaking to dozens of youtubers, the effect seems to wear off considerably after 1 week. My theory is your body adapts to the change so this is recommended as a "once a week out of the month"  "trick", if you will. 

These are my beginning pics for the challenge (I couldn't manage to get the back. But its below the collar bone):

Front hair, length just below lips

Left side, just about hitting the collarbone

Right side, also about hitting the collarbone

I will post after pics sometime next week (hopefully). I will be going to Zimbabwe for a few days next week so I may not be able to post the pictures of the results next Wednesday. But I will save them and post them when I get the chance

Monday, 24 June 2013

July 2013 Goals

I have decided to follow the examples of the ladies whose blogs I regularly stalk, and start setting monthly goals, which I can assess myself on at the end of the month. This might help in my quest for healthy hair and length retention. These are my goals for July 2013:

1. Daily multivitamin supplement (especially one meant for hair growth)
2. Drink at least 2 litres of fluids daily (of which half must be water)
3. Use up protein shampoo and Hello Hydration shampoo
4. Protective style (wig) during the week, and leave hair out only during weekends
5. Start working out (at least 3 hours a week)

Wash Day

I will be at 11 weeks post relaxer/texlax this Friday. I can tell you one thing the growth going on under my ponytail is insane. And the shrinkage... the less said about it, the better.

I washed my hair on Saturday. I think I have moved wash days now from Sundays to Saturdays. Anyway, as long as my scalp is clean and my hair gets deep conditioned, the change in days doesn't really matter.

I first brewed my tea for the tea rinse I was going to do. This week, since I was using a bigger container to brew the tea in, I used more bags. I used 5 tea bags: 2 peppermint, 2 green tea and 1 ordinary black tea. I also steeped a tablespoon of dried rosemary in the tea for extra oomph. I decided to shampoo with my protein shampoo this week, I really need to finish up that bottle now. I had prepoo'ed overnight with coconut oil, and covered my hair with a shower cap as I slept. I shampooed by massaging the shampoo onto half of my scalp, before massaging it onto the other half. I massaged the areas that had been itching during the week (I really need to find a solution for my itchy scalp stat). I rinsed off the shampoo, and wow, my hair felt a bit hard coz of the protein shampoo. I poured my tea mix over my hair, massaged it onto to my scalp and let it sit for about 3 minutes. I rinsed of the tea and applied my deep conditioner. Since I had used a protein shampoo, I deep conditioned with a moisturizing conditioner (Vatika Naturals Garlic Hair Mask). I divided my hair into four sections, and massaged in the deep conditioner in the different sections, before wrapping my hair first in a plastic bag, the covering it with a shower cap, tying it down with an old pair of stockings, and covering this all up with my trusty wool hat. I took a nap, entertained a visitor, cooked and ate dinner with all this on my head. I spent a total of 6 hours with the deep conditioner on. And it was worth the wait. When i rinsed out the deep conditioner (with cool water), my hair was sooooooo soft, and easy to detangle. Even the growth felt like I had a relaxer done. I wrapped my hair in a t-shirt for about 15 minutes. I had to blow dry (on the coolest setting, after applying my leave in) since I had to go out and I was late. I decided to just apply coconut oil on my still damp hair before doing a ponytail and going to the events I had to attend. Unfortunately, I ended up going to the club with a few friends, and I sweated (sigh). I also went to a basketball match/the beach on Sunday afternoon, so more dirt has already accumulated. I will co wash tomorrow night to just clean my scalp a bit.

That's it for week 11 of the stretch.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Wash Day (15/6/13)

I had my wash day on Saturday. I prepoo'ed on Friday night with coconut oil, and slept with a shower cap on. On Saturday morning, I added a bit of my tea tree conditioner on top of the coconut oil and covered with a shower cap for 2 hours. My hair had been feeling a bit dry, particularly the growth at the back of my head. I decided to shampoo with my Herbal Essences Hello Hydration shampoo. Since my growth is starting to act all crazy, I divided my hair in half, and applied shampoo to the scalp on half of my head and massaging it in, before doing the same to the other half. I rinsed off the shampoo, thoroughly. My scalp has been itching a lot recently, and I think its the chemicals in my shampoo/conditioner causing this, so I am trying to rinse out everything and hopefully my scalp won't feel itchy less than a day after a wash. I did a coffee rinse this week instead of a tea rinse. The coffee may have been too strong (oops) because after the coffee rinse and before rinsing out the coffee, my hair felt a bit too hard. Anyway, I rinsed off the coffee, and applied my deep conditioner mix (Vatika Garlic Hair Mask, EVOO and honey). I applied it after first dividing my hair into four sections, and then massaging in the mix before covering with a shower cap and letting it sit for an hour. I rinsed off the conditioner, did an ACV rinse and wrapped my hair in a microfiber towel to absorb the mixture. When my hair was just damp, I applied my VO5 moisturizing leave in conditioner onto my hair, before detangling with a wide tooth comb. Instead of combing my hair until it air dried, I did "buns" (plaiting my hair with wool... I need to find the right Englis word for this style.) I first picked off a section of hair, applied castor oil to the scalp, and then a little coconut oil to the hair before combing and plaiting the hair. I left my hair in the "buns" overnight before taking them down yesterday, and applying more coconut oil to the hair, and finger combing it.

I'm also experimenting with a new moisturizing mix this week. Its a mix of rosemary infused water, EVOO, glycerine and honey. I will use it every night to moisturise, particularly the growth, before sealing with coconut oil, and massaging my hairline with castor oil. Hopefully, this will keep my growth better moisturised this week. I am also going to co-wash on Tuesday night, as another way of keeping my growth moisturised. I am planning to get my stretch this time for 15 weeks (I am starting week 9 this week) so I can do a proper length check after completing a hair challenge I am doing on the Grow African Hair Long network (the Length Retention Challenge). Hopefully, my hair would have made good progress by then.

I am left with only 6 months to get to my end year goal of APL. I am currently not sure I will make it, so I am going to follow the examples of other hair bloggers and start setting monthly goals that can help me achieve my end year goal.

Another update will be up soon this week

Friday, 14 June 2013

Quick Update

So much to update, so little time...

The last time I did a post, I mentioned I had a sew in weave installed. That sew in only lasted a week. It was looking so horrible on Saturday, and I had an event to attend, so I just took it out during the afternoon. Right after taking it out, I prepooed with olive oil for about 30 minutes. I shampooed with my moisturizing shampoo, working only on my scalp since it had been itching a bit during the week. I rinsed out the shampoo, and did a tea rinse (one bag black tea, one bag peppermint tea). I let the tea sit for 3 minutes before rinsing out and applying my deep conditioner (Vatika natural Garlic). I covered my hair with a plastic shopping bag (I had run out of shower caps) and let it sit for 30 minutes. I rinsed out the deep conditioner thoroughly, and did a final rinse with diluted ACV. I wrapped my hair in a microfiber towel and left it to absorb the moisture until it was about 70% dry. I didn't have much time to let my hair air dry, so I decided to blow dry it on the low setting. I first applied my VO5 leave in conditioner, before blowdrying my hair while combing through with my wide tooth comb. When it was just slightly damp, I sealed with coconut oil, before styling it. The event I was attending had a color theme, and I decided to wear a white dress, and use my hair accessory as a way of keeping with the theme of the evening. The accessory was a crocodile hair clip with a green flower (magnolia, I think). So I first put my hair into a ponytail, before using the clip to pull the tail up transforming my dull ponytail into a chic up do for the evening. Very simple and quick. Sorry, no photos as usual coz I was in a rush.

This week I got back into my usual routine. I moisturize every night with a mixture of water, glycerine and olive oil, before sealing with coconut oil, and covering with my satin scarf for bed. In the morning its just a quick comb through, before pulling my hair into a ponytail for work. The sew in I had for a week did serious havoc to my hairline. I have decided to quit the weaves for a year, and try something different that's kinder to my hair line. I am working on getting my hair line healthier right now by massaging castor oil into it every night before bed. Hopefully, I will start seeing results by the beginning of July.

My hair is now 8 weeks post my last relaxer (which was more of a texlax). The hair at the back of my head has a lot of growth at the moment which is why I am almost always in a ponytail. The growth at the front is blending with the looser curls from the texlax, which is a relief. Its not yet too bad to comb through. I am planning to stretch for about 20 weeks, before I relax again and then do a proper length check. The breakage I complained about in my last post finally stopped. I'm not sure what exactly caused it, most probably not enough moisture. Anyway, the breakage hasn't caused a major setback which is really lucky.

That's it for this week, until next week...

Thursday, 6 June 2013

New Style

I haven't updated in a while, thanks to Internet issues, so I'm just giving a quick update of what's happening.

I installed a sew in weave this Saturday. I decided to just have my hair styled in a way that I won't have to manipulate it for a while so I had to prepare my hair for the sew in. My hair has been. Experiencing some breakage, and I wanted to just reduce it by not manipulating my hair as much as usual.

I co- washed my hair on Tuesday night. I mixed my usual conditioner with my deep conditioner, olive oil and honey, and applied the mixture onto my hair as soon as I got home. I left it on, covered with a shower cap, for a couple of hours while I cooked and ate dinner, and watched a bit of tv. I rinsed off the mix, did a final rinse with ACV, and wrapped my hair in a tshirt. When my hair was now just damp, I applied my new leave in conditioner, which I will review here soon. After this, I sealed with coconut oil, wrapped my hair for bed and slept. The next morning, my hair was really big, and soft, like it has never seen a relaxer in the past year. I put it into a pony tail as usual and went to work.

My hair after the co-wash before I applied coconut oil

Since I was having the sew in installed at my salon on Saturday, I decided to wash my hair myself before the hair appointment. I prepooed with coconut oil as soon as I left work on Friday evening. I covered my hair with a shower cap, had dinner, and started preparing my coffee rinse. I brewed a thermos mug of ordinary, instant coffee, and left it to cool. I also prepared my conditioning mix by mixing my tea tree conditioner, honey, Vatika Garlic deep conditioner and olive oil. I first applied my VO5 moisturizing hot oil treatment, then I rinsed it off, and shampooed with my moisturizing shampoo. I rinsed off the shampoo, then did the coffee rinse. I let the coffee sit on my head for two minutes before rinsing it off. I applied the conditioning mix, covered with a shower cap and let it sit for 30 minutes. I almost decided to give up for the night, and to leave the conditioner on overnight, because I was so tired after work. After 30 minutes, I rinsed out the conditioner, thoroughly, before doing an ACV rinse. I wrapped my hair in my microfiber head wrap, kept it on to absorb the moisture until my hair was only damp. I then applied my leave in conditioner, sealed with coconut oil, before combing through with my wide toothed comb. I then wrapped my hair in my scarf and went to bed. 

I got my weave installed at the salon I normally go to. The style is quite nice, though I have already mistreated my weave, and slept without a scarf on Saturday night. As a result, it got all tangled, and when I combed it out, a lot of the hair fell out. However, I will try to moisturize the hair in the tracks daily using a spray bottle with my own moisturizing mix.

That's it for this week