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.