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.

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.

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.


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.

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

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