Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2015 Hair Goals

2014 is almost done and dusted. It has been a crazy year for me, especially regarding my hair.

I started out 2014 by stretching a relaxer (my goal was a 6 month relaxer stretch) but I ended up transitioning. I also started the year at APL and was aiming for BSL by the end of the year, but this did not happen due to being very scissors happy. I trimmed off all of the growth I achieved this year, and a bit more for luck.

Anyway, 2015 is an empty slate, and its time to start planning what I will do with my hair during this year. My goals are:

1. Grow at least 12 inches in 12 months using the inversion method. And in 2015, I am not taking any shortcuts with the inversion method.

2. No trims at all in 2015. If I am trimming, I will trim before the 31st of December 2014.

3. Healthy hair practices throughout the year. So no direct heat, wear my hair up 90% of the time, weekly DCs,

4. Really focus more on a healthy lifestyle in 2015. Workout daily, eat healthy, have a detailed fitness plan for 2015

5. Go into PJ rehab

2015 is my Keep It Simple Stupid year. I am focusing on basic techniques, and won't experiment too much with products. I need to stick to what I know works for my hair, and keep my hair healthy so that I get the length that I want. I will set up a growth challenge for 2015, for anyone who wants to join in :)

So what are your goals for 2015?

2014 Hits and Misses

So KLP inspired me to do this post. I had one last post scheduled for y'all this year, but I decided to go with it and post my list of hair hits and misses for 2014. Here goes:

HITS :)

1. Simpler, quicker wash days - I had been cutting down on the steps I was taking each wash day, and it made wash days less stressful both to my hair and myself. 2015 will be all about KISS

2. African black soap as a shampoo bar - African black soap is an absolute miracle. Sulfate free, not too stripping for me, and still cleans my scalp thoroughly. Its a definite keeper for the product stash.

3. Deciding to transition - my biggest hair decision of 2014 was my decision to turn my marathon stretch into a transition. And it has been worth it. I am getting to know my hair so intimately and its such a blast. I am 13 months post now, and looking forward to being fully natural in 2016.

4. Wigs - Wigs were a life saver for those weeks when I felt too lazy to do anything to my hair, especially in winter, while still giving me easy access to my hair and scalp. I will definitely invest in a human hair wig in 2015, and maybe a few u-part wigs too.

5. ORS Hairepair Nourishing conditioner and Wild Growth Oil - My two BSS finds of the year. My hair absolutely loves them, as you saw in the reviews. I hope Jeenz soon stocks up om the Wild Growth Oil as I need several bottles like yesterday :p

6. Finger detangling - This has been the one technique that really saved my bacon in 2014. I had very little breakage from finger detangling. 2015 will be a finger detangling only year to see how well it really works.

7. GHE - the Green House Effect was a great way for me this spring/summer to boost my moisture levels mid week.


MISSES :(

1. Heat - I only flat ironed twice in 2014, and the second time I flat ironed I had a severe case of split ends. I ended up swearing off heat for the rest of my transition and cut off up to 2'' of hair, leaving the back fully natural, and very little relaxed hair in the front. (Read about the splits and the cut here)

2. I had a nice little setback because I slacked slightly on my hair regimen. In the actively growing out phase, its never a good idea to totally slack on your regimen. Lesson learnt for the future.

3. Being too scissors happy in 2014. I became a wee bit obsessed with the scissors this year and cut off a lot (and I mean a lot) of hair. I think I ended up trimming of 4-6'' of hair this year. Yes, I trimmed off a whole year's growth :(. So I haven't really retained much length this year, although on the plus side, my ends are extremely healthy. They are so healthy they could do a marathon and not break a sweat (lame, I know, I know).

4. Humectants - my hair decided to call it quits with any product that has a humectant (honey, glycerin) in the top 7 ingredients. I have accepted this and now stick to butters and oils.

The #WashDayExperience

So what are your keepers for 2014, and what will you lose that didn't work? Join the linkup!!!!


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!



Tuesday, 30 December 2014

2014 in Retrospect

Back in 2013, as the year ended I couldn't imagine being where I am now as we are about to close off 2014. Here are some of my top moments (hair and otherwise) of 2014.

1. I moved back to Zimbabwe permanently after 6 years of living in East Africa. I miss all my friends in Tanzania and Kenya, but it feels so good being home once more.

2. Getting a job. The job market world over is just hard to break into, but in Zimbabwe its even tougher. Managing to get a job without resorting to nepotism was a major achievement for me, and I am grateful to have a job at all.

3. Having my mother also move back to Zimbabwe. I was worried about her health when she lived all alone. And she was very lonely. So I was very happy when she moved back to Zim in June (and I guess you can tell I'm a big mama's girl)

4. Having my hair grow to BSB. That was a major achievement, because I never knew my hair could get that long. Even though I had to cut it back, I now know I can grow it looooong thanks to that.

5. Deciding to transition to natural. In 2013, I once said I loved my relaxed hair and wouldn't transition to natural because I find natural hair hard to care for. Fast forward to the end of 2014, and I am enjoying my transition.I now know how to care for my natural hair, and I find it to be a lot of fun (even though I am still styling impaired)

6. Reconnecting with old friends and making new friends. 2014 is the year I moved back to Zim and found out most of my friends were married or had kids. I had to come out of my shell, and start making new friends with similar interests. And I have enjoyed 2014 because of them

7. Becoming an aunt!!! My BFF had a baby girl in November, and the little munchkin is adorable. I was already an aunt, but this one is special, coz she truly shows how much my friends and I have grown up.

8. My grandma making it to the end of 2014. My grandma is alive and kicking despite the scare she gave us in August (she had a major stroke).

9. Being able to meet up with several ladies in the Zimbabwean hair community. Its good to know you're not an island of hair obsession :)

10. Being alive, and healthy, and able to look forward to a new year, and set new goals to achieve. Life is all about growth and development, and I am grateful I have been given another year to continue growing. Especially when I know so many people who didn't make it this far.

How was your 2014? What are you looking forward to in 2015?


Monday, 29 December 2014

Last Wash Day of 2014 + Protective Style

Yeah. 2014 is almost over and thank the Higher Power that kept an eye out for me throughout the year.

My last wash day for the year was very protein rich because I decided to do a long term protective style. Here's how my wash day went:

1. Prepoo for about 30 minutes using coconut oil. My hair was already in box braids from the last wash, so I kept them in for the entire wash day

2. Shampoo with Dark and Lovely Neutralizing shampoo. I still had this from my relaxer days and I couldn't let it go to waste.

3. Protein treatment using Aphogee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructer. I left it on for about 10 minutes before rinsing out and wrapped hair in a t-shirt to mop up excess water

4. Deep conditioning treatment using ORS Hairepair Nourishing Conditioner Pak. This is my best discovery of 2014. I left the DC on for 3 hours under my deep conditioning cap

5. I rinsed out the DC using cold water to seal the hair cuticles and shock my scalp back to life. Then I wrapped my hair in a t-shirt to absorb excess water again

6. Once my hair was not sopping wet, I took down a section of box braids, finger detangled, applied leave in conditioner, detangled again with a wide tooth comb and then sealed with baobab oil and threaded up the section. I ended up with four sections of threading.


So on Saturday, I decided to get my hair weaved up, since the girl who was supposed to do my braids wasn't available. I had two packs of Xpressions deep wave hair (synthetic) that my mother had gifted me with last year. I went to the salon I went to the last time I got my weave sewn in, and luckily the same stylist was available. Her name is Bertha and she's at the Hair 2000 salon on Kwame Nkrumah Avenue close to Park Street. What I like about Bertha is she doesn't mind you telling her how to handle your hair. Like I told her not to make the cornrows too tight, and she did that. She was also great at detangling my mostly natural hair. She was very gentle, used a wide tooth comb, and combed from the ends to the roots. I also noticed that most of the stylists in that salon had healthy looking hair, though I can't say as much for most of the clientele.

It took an hour for the cornrows to be braided down, and the tracks sewn in. Its a full sew in weave, no leave out, and I intend to keep it in for four weeks. I will soon post about how I am taking care of my scalp and hair under the weave.

So how was your wash day?

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Wash Day: Back to Basics

Hiya everybody.

I know I owe you a lot of posts (the hair meet up post and several others) and I promise, I will do them all this week and start posting regularly again.

So during my last wash day, I decided to go back to the basics that got me through the first year of my transition. This is how my wash day went

1. On Friday night, I finger detangled after applying baobab oil to my hair. Then I sectioned off my hair, applied conditioner (new product soon to be reviewed) and braided up the section. I ended up with 6 sections in total.

2. I did an overnight DC of my conditioner mixed with baobab oil.

3. I rinsed out the conditioner with warm water on Saturday morning. Then I washed my scalp using Dudu Osun African Black Soap, and rinsed with lukewarm water.

4. Wrapped my hair in a t-shirt for 30 minutes so that the excess water could be blotted from my hair.

5. I took down a box braid, applied my leave in (ORS Curls Unleashed Take Command Curl Creme) and sealed with coconut oil. Then I detangled using my wide tooth comb, and threaded up the section.

6. I let my hair air dry for the rest of Saturday in the threading. When I took down the threading on Sunday morning, my hair was still damp. So I decided to seal in that extra bit of moisture using vaseline on the last 3 inches of my hair. This has really helped because I don't have as much breakage from my ends as I did before.

That was my wash day. How did your wash day go?

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Wash Day Saga - Clarifying + Hair Meet Up Hair

Hey everybody...

I have been MIA with the wash day posts mainly because I hadn't washed my hair for 2 weeks. Yes, I am hanging my head down with shame, my social life shouldn't be an excuse for scalp neglect. However, during those 2 weeks, I did do the GHE everyday to keep moisture locked into my hair. My hair has been very soft and happy.

Wash day this time had to happen on Friday sinc we were having the Healthy Hair Experience Meet Up on Saturday. My goal was to wash and style my hair into an amazing updo for the meet. Here's what happened...

1. Prepooed during the day at work using coconut oil. My hair was in its usual bun

2. Got home, did a quick finger detangle before shampooing my hair (while loose) with ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo. I only needed one lather to properly clean up my scalp and ends. I rinsed out the shampoo, let the excess water drip before

3. Applying my DC mix. I wanted to do a combo protein and moisture DC. So I grabbed my ORS Hair Mayo and mixed with my new find L'Oreal El Vive Total Repair Mask. I applied them both to my head, covered up with 2 shower caps and my trusty woolly hat before watching telly for 2 hours

4. I rinsed out the conditioner using cold water, and made sure no DC residue was left on my scalp. I wrapped my hair in a t-shirt for 30 minutes before moving to the styling stage

5. I used ORS Curls Unleashed Curl defining creme as my leave in, and sealed with baobab oil. I wanted to do a braid out updo the next day, so I braided up my hair into 6 cornrows, then I went off to bed.

Results: So on Saturday morning, at around 10am I was now getting ready to go to the meet up. I started taking down my cornrows. They were slightly damp, but they had some curls. But when I took down the front corn row, I wept. It was still wet, the hair was losing the little curl it got. So I ended up doing a flat twist in the front, and a bun at the back. It is a good sign that my hair is retaining moisture better, but why couldn't the hair work with me and dry properly? Anyway, for the next meet up, I will have practiced this style enough before.



I will post about the meet up later. But we had a good time :)

How was your wash day?

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Wash Day Saga - Simple and Straightforward

These days, my philosophy towards my hair is Keep It Simple, Stupid. And it has been working out pretty well since I do not get stressed out by my hair too much.

Here's how my wash day went...

1. Overnight DC using ORS Hairepair Nourishing Conditioner pak. This was my last pack so I need to replenish my DC stash soon. I rinsed out the conditioner using cold water.

2. I washed my hair and scalp while it was loose using Dudu Osun Black Soap.  I also did a nice deep scalp massage and rinsed out the soap first with warm water, and did a final cold water rinse.

3. I wrapped my hair in my t-shirt and left it like that while I did my chores. When I took my hair down it was about 70% dry.

4. I applied my leave in (African Pride Shea Miracle) and sealed with baobab oil. All my teeny tiny curls were popping and I was feeling them (and myself) :). So I decided to style in 2 afro puffs like a nursery school kid, and went to party with my friends.

5. I have been wearing my hair in a bun for the rest of the week, although today I decided to save my hairline a little by doing milkmaid braids in the front and bunning the back. Tomorrow I might have to pull out the ecostyler gel since I have a job interview, and on Saqturday, I have to try rock a bantu knot out or braid out because I am going to be all dressed up for a night out in Harare.

So how did your wash day go?

Don't forget to check out the rest of the wash day experiences over at JustGrowAlready or SavingOur Strands

Thursday, 20 November 2014

One Year Post - Transitioning Update

Oh happy days....

Yeah, I am so happy alright. I need confetti, popping champagne bottles, all the works to celebrate being one year post relaxer.

My last relaxer was on the 16th of November 2013. What was initially supposed to be a 6 month stretch became my long term transition when I realised I really didn't feel like spending an entire day on my hair while relaxing it, and also when I noticed that I couldn't see a difference between my texlaxed hair and new growth.

The first 4 or 5 months of the transition went smoothly, my go to hair style was the sock bun. I could easily detangle and put up my hair in a few seconds. My hair was still friendly with glycerin and other humectants. It was just like my usual relaxer stretch, no issues.

Then month 6 rolled about. I had a lot of new growth thanks to the inversion method.My hair could get laid enough for the sock buns anymore. And I hadn't really learnt how to do anything except bun. It was a struggle. I almost went back to relaxing at this point. But a few people talked to me and persuaded me to back away from the relaxer kits, and wait for a while before deciding on something this drastic. This is the point when I started wearing wigs with a vengeance. I would do box braids, and wear my wig over them. The relaxer urge passed, my hair stopped rebelling, and the transition continued.

I did not even notice months 7 to 12. My routine went like clockwork. The only major change that happened here was that I moved to finger detangling exclusively. I also stopped shampooing weekly, and now washed my hair with African black soap, and only clarified once a month. Style of choice: milkmaid braid + buns.

So what did I learn about my hair and its personality over the past year? Well:

1. My hair now hates anything with a humectant as one of the first 5 ingredients. I have stopped using glycerin or honey since it makes my hair feel strawlike.

2. Shea butter, mango butter and heavy oils are what my hair craves. Any product with heavy butters and oils in the first 5 ingredients is what my hair demands. Give me castor oil, baobab oil, coconut oil, shea butter, mango butter, jojoba oil or cocoa butter and my hair is a very happy camper. Olive oil just has my hair go crunchy.

3. Water will always be my hair's first love. If my hair feels weird, I either baggy or do the GHE overnight. The next morning, I just seal with an oil and we are good to go. And since the rainy season is here, my hair will enjoy the extra moisture from the skies too :)

4. Heat is a definite no no. I ended up chopping off 1'' to 1.5'' off my hair thanks to heat damage after my last flat iron in August, despite using a heat protectant. I had a lot of breakage and split ends, and I had to do something fast in order not to lose all my retained length. Before my setback, my hair was BSB (below shoulder blade)length. I had to cut back to APL because of that. I am now on an indefinite no heat challenge.


Now I am not sure how long my transition will last. One thing is for certain, I am not big chopping yet. My hair is APL and with full shrinkage, I cannot ponytail it. So I will wait until I can do a proper ponytail with full shrunk hair before I chop off the rest of the relaxer.

Onto length stats. Last measurement (with a tape measure) was done on 20 October 2014. I am grazing APL with the following measurements:

Front: 10''
Crown: 9''
Left: 8''
Right: 8''
Nape: 7''

The nape is fully natural at the moment. The front has about 3'' of relaxed hair still to be chopped off.


Plans for the coming year:

1. Do inversion method for entire year
2. Start doing clay washes
3. No heat or trims. Only S&D (search and destroy) will be done
4. Start doing henna applications
5. No length checks until I am 2 years post.

Let the transition continue!!!!!


Cheers

Monday, 17 November 2014

Wash Day Saga - 2 Washes.

I hope you all had a great weekend, I definitely enjoyed mine.

I had to do a quick wash day, since I had plans for the rest of my day, and I also needed to clarify my hair and do a protein treatment (of sorts). Here's what happened...

1. Overnight prepoo using coconut oil

2. Shampooed (using cold water) with Dark and Lovely After Relaxer Neutralizing shampoo. I also finished this product which means my stash is finally shrinking.

3. I did a 30 minute DC using ORS Hair Mayo, and rinsed off, first with warm water, and finally with cold water. I didnt bother to do a moisture DC since my hair seems to treat ORS Hair Mayo as a light protein.

4. I wrapped my hair in a t-shirt and finished off my shower routine.When my hair was damp, I applied my leave in ORS Curls Unleashed Curl Creme and sealed with coconut oil. I damp bunned since it was the quickest way to stretch my hair, as I had to go swimming with my friends.

5. Before swimming I had applied a lot of conditioner to my hair hoping that it wont get too affected by the chlorine. After a lot of splashing and screaming, I co-washed my hair and damp bunned it again since we were going to a party. Unfortunately, my hair shrunk a lot, and got really dry because I hadn't sealed my hair. So on Sunday, my hair was a shrunken, dry feeling jungle. I ended up finger detangling section by section and doing African threading to stretch the hair again. My hair feels better now, but I need to do intense GHE sessions to get my moisture levels on point again

I am finally one year post. Transitioning update post coming soon :)


That was my washday experience. How was your wash day?

Sisterhood of The World Bloggers Award



Sandra at Naija Girl Next Door nominated me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. Now the rules of this award are:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.
2. Put the award logo on your blog.
3. Answer their ten questions.
4. Make up ten new questions for your nominees
5. Nominate 10 bloggers

So Sandra had a single question instead of the 10 Her question was:
"Tell us about a part of you that you struggled with (maybe a habit, nose, shape, leg etc) and how you overcame the fear."

This question is supposed to help with developing self love and accepting ourselves the way we are. I also think this was an awesome idea, so the bolded is my question to you.

Well, as a teenager, I was insecure about a lot of things. My eyesight, being extremely short sighted is so not cool. My height, I hated standing out in a group of my peers (and I was almost always taller than the boys too) when all I wanted was to fit in. My lisp, even up to now, I still don't feel comfortable speaking in Shona (my mother tongue) because the lisp always seems worse in it. My skin, I wished for clearer, less acne covered areas of skin.

What helped change this was realising that even with these flaws, I still have good points that most people around me could kill for. I can eat obscene amounts of food and not really gain weight, my height means I have nice legs, I have a great speaking voice, I have not had any major academic problems, and I have had some really awesome, cool and funny friends. 

What really helped me was coming out of my shell in uni. Before uni, I was very quiet, hardly let anyone in, and that used to annoy some girls so much that they would try to tear me down by talking up my flaws so I can seem inadequate. When I went to uni, I had to come out of my shell since I went to uni in another country, and I only knew one person there. I had to open up, be friendly, and grow confident in myself and my abilities. And once this process started, it was now hard to hold me back. I knew with the right attitude and focus, I could be anything and do anything I wanted to. Which led me to do random stuff like campus radio (I was an Accounting major), organising campus events, joining AIESEC, working for some time in marketing and climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. And I am going to do even bigger things in the future so watch this space :)

This turned into a longer post than I anticipated. So my nominees are:

1. MaKupsy at makupsy.wordpress.com
2. Curlyeva at curlyeva.blogspot.com
3. Rae at crazyawesomerae.blogspot.com
4. Hadassah at nappilynigeriangirl.blogspot.com
5. Fatimah at hairequest.blogspot.com


I do not have the required number of nominees, but that's all I have. So go ahead ladies. You have been nominated


Thursday, 13 November 2014

Save The Date - First Annual Healthy Hair Experience

So CurlyEva over at her blog, has decided that Zimbabwean hair lovers should not be left out of this trend of hair meet ups and discussions. She was inspired by her experience at the Hair Indaba earlier this year to bring a similar experience to us ladies in Zimbabwe.

So on 6th December 2014, if you want to learn more about how to grow your relaxed or natural or transitioning hair to its maximum potential, and keeping it healthy, make sure you come to Travel Plaza On the Roof Restaurant. Tickets are being sold in advance for $10, and you can get them on EventBrite.You will also get to meet the ladies here in Zim who have been doing this hair journey thing, learn their secrets, and have a good time talking hair, hair and more hair.

Check out the flier below for details, and I hope I will see you there.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Wash Day Saga - Usual Business

My wash day this last weekend was just the usual. Although I seem to be switching my regimen again *hiding face in shame*. Here's what happened this wash day:
`
1. Overnight DC with the last of my Elasta QP DPR 11+ Conditioner. My hair was in 4 box braids. I rinsed out the conditioner the next morning using warm water.

2. Washed my hair while it was loose using Dudu Osun African Black Soap. I focused on scrubbing my scalp again since I had a lot of yucky build up going on.

3. I rinsed out the soap, and wrapped my hair in a t-shirt (still loose) to absorb the water.

4. I applied my leave in (ORS Curls Unleashed Curl creme) and sealed with coconut oil before airdrying in African threading.

Now the most annoying thing for a transitioner/naturalista is for someone to surprise you with tickets for an event at the last moment. My mum really annoyed me (I still love you mum) when she gave me tickets to go to a concert. I had to get my hair into a decent style and fast. I ended up using a lot of Ecostyler gel to get my hair to lay down and behave in a bun that night. I did end up having fun there though and helped my nephew celebrate his 24th birthday (Happy birthday Sean!!!)

Unfortunately, the gel is now making it hard to get moisture into my strands (I used a lot of gel). So every night htis week I will be baggying to get my hair a bit moisturized so it does not snap. This will hopefully get my hair to stay satisfied until wash day this weekend when I will clarify.

Guess who is almost 1 year post relaxer???? I can't believe I have made it this far into my transition.


How was your wash day?

Fitness Program

Honestly, since I moved back home, I haven't been working out like I used to.

Last year I was very active, jogging every evening after work, yoga or Nike Training Club sessions in the morning. My diet was very healthy, I drank a minimum of 2 litres of water daily, ate a high protein, high vegetable, low carb diet. I was very fit, and I weighed 70kg, most of which was muscle weight.

Since I moved back home, my diet hasn't been the best. Its very high carb, not enough veggies and protein, I haven't been able to work out as much because of my commute. I get home at 7pm, and its not really safe to go jogging in the streets at that time. I lost 10kgs in a really short period, and honestly weighing less than 65kgs  doesn't look good on me.

I have been lately thinking of a fitness plan that will help me get toned, and help build up my muscle bulk again, and gain weight.

Here are my stats:

Height: 1.77m
Current weight: 61.3kg
Goal weight:    66kg
Fitness Program goals: tone legs, arms and abs, muscle flexibility and adopt a healthier lifestyle

Fitness Plan:

Monday to Friday (early morning): Nike Training Club program for 30 minutes, finish with squats reps

Saturday (afternoon): Yoga

Sunday evening: cardio (jogging/skipping)

Diet:

Diet will be a big problem to control while I am living at home. Mainly because with my grandma around we eat a lot of refined food (she does not like anything wholegrain) and our house help hasn't really appreciated the power of vegetables. So all I have control over is my weekday breakfast and lunch since I prepare these myself. My main priority is to make sure that my meals will be very high in protein, fruit and veg, and low in carbs. This might also help with my nails which haven't been really healthy this year. I will also have to start incorporating a multivitamin, since I am not sure I am getting all the necessary nutrients from my meals. Of course, I will drink at least 2 litres of water daily to help with my skin and hair too.

To keep myself accountable, I will start keeping a food and exercise diary. I will update weekly here on the blog, just to get the internet's help in keeping myself focused


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Wash Day Saga - after a while

hey everyone...

I haven't recently taken part in the #washdayexperience because I haven't had access to the Internet and things have been busy on my end. I am back now for a bit, and here's how my last wash day went.

On Friday night, I took down the box braids I was wearing under my wig, finger detangled and applied ORS Hairepair Nourishing conditioner, and then braided up the section again. I ended up with four sections. I did an overnight DC.

On Saturday morning, I took down each section, and washed my scalp and hair using Dudu Osun soap. My hair felt weirdly sticky (must be product build up) and I ended up washing my hair while it was free. This is the first time I washed my hair loose since I officially started transitioning I think. After washing, my hair still felt moisturized so I didn't bother to instant condition. I just wrapped it in a t-shirt to absorb the excess water

I applied my leave in (Shea miracle) and sealed with coconut oil before drying my hair in African threading. When my hair was 70% dry, I took down the threading and did another set of box braids that I am wearing under my wig at the moment.

That's my wash day in a nutshell, how was your washday?


Don't forget to check out the other washday experience posts in the linkup


Friday, 31 October 2014

Quick Apology

Hey guys,

Sorry to all my followers I havent posted anything this week, as I have been on leave just enjoying some R&R. And if things work out the way I want them to, I may be absent for slightly longer while adjusting to the changes that will be happening in my life. But I promise I will be back soon with a lot more posts.

Have a great weekend,


Yvette

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Letter to My Ex. Boyfriends

This post was inspired by MaKupsy (and you should go and check out her blog). She went through each relationship she had, how it affected her, and what she learnt from it. It also showed her the mistakes she made in each, and that's what inspired me to do it. It feels almost like confession, and definitely appeals to Catholic me. And I believe this exercise will help me in moving on once and for all from these relationships.

I am sure the exes I will mention do not read this blog, but if you recognize yourself here, well, its a two way thing. Here it goes...

Ex 1 (aka T). Hi T. You were my first boyfriend. We started dating when I was form 3 and you were upper 6. I had so many of my firsts from you, first kiss, first marriage proposal, first betrayal. Who knew when we started dating how much this relationship would mould my way of thinking on how relationships should be? I certainly didn't. You are a great guy. You were broke, but just did little things to show me you loved me. You are the one that taught me that material things don't matter when you really care for someone, its the little things and actions that count. Most of all, we were friends. We could just hang out without any lovey dovey stuff, and we never ran out of things to talk about. This all ended when you got tired of waiting for me while I was at boarding school, and cheated on me with my cousin's friend. Yes, we got back together and I ended up cheating on you with K because I still wasn't over that incident. I am thankful we are still friends even up to now, since you have a level head on your shoulders, and give good advice.

Ex 2 (aka K). K, oh K. In all truth, I was madly in love with you. I don't even know how I managed to get over you, but thank God I did. You were the guy I lost my virginity to. You were also the guy who didn't stand by me when things went haywire. You were the cause of my trust issues. I never trusted a guy completely after you shattered my heart. Sounds very exaggerated I know, but to a teenager (yes, I was a teenager), it felt like it. But thanks to you, I learnt not to completely trust any guy, and to be careful who I have sex with. So thanks for that. And stop texting me, I am not going to have sex with you ever again. I am now wiser, and its all thanks to you.

Ex 3 (aka K2). We did not have a traditional relationship. I was your sidechick. But, I will include you because we had this situationship for a year and a lot happened that taught me a lot. When we started getting involved, I didn't know I was your sidechick. I thought you had broken up with your girlfriend after her semester in Kenya was over. Yes, I was dumb enough to believe that. When I found out (thanks to good ol' Facebook) that you were still together, I was honestly hurt. I decided that what was sauce for the gander was sauce for the goose, so I started dating another guy. When you found out, after that day trip to Ol Pejeta, all hell broke loose. You actually pulled my hair and threatened to hit me. My friend actually had to threaten you to stop you from ever laying a violent finger on me again. But I have to admit, the sexual side of the relationship was good. You taught me how to be less inhibited and enjoy sex. And you also taught me that no matter how good the sex is, a toxic relationship will always be toxic. And you taught me that toxic relationships block you off from appreciating the good relationships one can potentially have. C'est la vie.

Ex 4 (aka P). You were my token long distance relationship. I really made an effort to communicate with you and try to bridge the distance. Skype, Whatsapp, any social network was used to just help me talk to you. We were great friends, one thing that helped a lot in the earlier part of our separation. But I guess the fact that I didn't give up on taking my dream job, and stay in Zim to bear your babies pissed you off, so you decided to cheat. Long story short, you taught me that long distance relationships require similar effort from both people involved, and one person can't be committed enough for both.

Ex 5 (aka T2). I can write a whole lot about you and the relationship we had. After all, our relationship is the freshest one in my mind. I should have spotted a major red flag when you dumped your current girlfriend and started hitting on me. I just thought, he's a decent guy, but I should have known that's your MO, dump the current for the latest flavor of the month. If you were wealthy, you would have a string of divorced trophy wives behind you. But I was blinded, and at the time had my own issues, and ignored it. The relationship went on for a few months, with red flags popping up a lot. Like when you posted a profile pic of you up close and personal with two girls. When I asked you, you said they were your cousins. I just shut up, which in retrospect was a bad idea. Anyway, it all ended when you broke up with me claiming I was too uptown for you, and how I deserve a guy of my class. I smelt a rat, and called you out on your BS, asking you whether the reason was that you found someone new (remember I knew your MO).  But you denied it, still trying to keep your ''decent guy'' persona intact. It was confirmed when our mutual friend stopped hanging out as much with you, because he wasn't happy with what you did. You taught me to assess a guy's past, and see if it raises red flags before getting into a relationship with him. You also taught me not to get involved witha person just to fill empty gaps in my life.

Thank you all for the lessons. After all, you helped in making me a stronger person who won't settle for BS because I am filling empty gaps in my life, or because I am on the rebound, or because I want to have revenge on someone. You taught me that I have to love myself and know what I want.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Wash Day Saga - Clarifying/Chelating + Protein

OThis wash day was pretty simple and straight forward. But then again, my wash days are now becoming simple and straight forward. I am becoming lazier, and my hair seems to do better with less manipulation and processes.

This wash day, I decided to wash out all my build up, and do a protein treatment to haelp keep my relaxed ends in shape during my transition. I am now 11 months post :) . This is the longest I have gone without a relaxer after hitting puberty (TMI, I know).

Anyhoo, this is how my washday went down.


1. I finger detangled using coconut oil and braided up my hair into 10 sections. I covered with a shower cap overnight and let my hair absorb all the good stuff.

2. I shampooed my scalp with Dark and Lovely Precise After Relaxing conditioning shampoo. Its a neutralizing shampoo for no lye kits, so I thought it should be able to remove mineral buildup from my hair. I also shampooed my hair twice with the shampoo. Even after washing twice, my hair wasn't at the squeaky clean stage. Thank you coconut oil!!!

3. I did my protein treatment using Aphogee 2 minute keratin reconstructor. I left it in for about 5 minutes before rinsing it out. My hair now felt a bit stiff, but not like I had protein overload.

4. After this, I instant conditioned using a moisturising conditioner I ''borrowed'' from my mum. I don't remember the name, but it has good ingredients so I thought it was safe to use. I rinsed it out, and my hair felt strong in a good way.

5. I t-shirt dried for 20 minutes. While my hair was still wettish, I applied my leave in (Shea Miracle Leave In conditioner) and sealed with the baobab oil I also ''borrowed'' from my mother. I had read good things about baobab oil on Black Girl Long Hair and when I saw it in my mom's bathroom, I saw it as a sign :"D (sorry mom).

6. I airdried my hair using African threading, but in the 10 sections I washed in instead of my usual 4. When I took down the threads on Sunday morning, my hair was smoother, curlier and easier to finger detangle. I loved the curls so much that I ended up going to church with a wild curly 'fro.



7. After church I had to put my hair up. I tried to do a proper halo braid, but couldn't make it look neat enough. So I ended up doing accent cornrows in the front for the rest of the week, and I will bun the rest of the hair. This looks more fun than my plain, boring ol' bun.





So, how did your wash day go?

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Obituary - My Phone

It is with a heavy heart, and tears streaming in my eyes that I announce the death of my phone, the Samsung Galaxy Ace.

I received this phone as an early graduation present from my mother in July 2012. We have been together since then, snapping horrid pictures, journalling my hair journey, tracking my body changes, and flirting with boys. My phone has been there for me when I got dumped, and was playing a large part in my recovery and moving on stage. We went through a lot of apps together, facebook, twitter, whatsapp and more. My phone was the easiest way for me to keep in touch with my BFF in Kenya, and my family.

My phone had been seriously ill over the past 3 months. It had been freezing, slow to load apps, slow to respond but I still loved it despite of these tiny problems. After all, they are what you would expect in a long term relationship like this.

We had our first serious health scare when she flatlined (yes, it was a she, only another female could go through this much with me). She kept starting up over and over again, and I didn't know what to do. I rushed her over to the nearest medical facility to get her resuscitated. It was a very long process to get her up and running again, but I was happy when I saw her come back to life.

But alas, this second lease of life wasn't going to last for too long. A month after the first incident, she flatlined again. I rushed her over to the hospital, hoping against hope that they would work the same miracle again. But this time, all the expertise couldn't save her. She died a peaceful death in my arms on Tuesday the 14th of October 2014.

Our time together was too short, and I really don't know how to get on without you.

The funeral will be held on Saturday the 18th of October 2014, and the memorial service will be announced once arrangements have been made.

Samsung Galaxy Ace is survived by her younger siblings iPad 3 and Samsung GT 1500.





Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Wash Day Saga - Indecisive Wash Day

Have you ever had the kind of wash day when you want to do one style, and end up being too lazy to do it after all? Well, that was me this weekend. I wanted to do a flexi-rod set. Here's what happened

1. On Friday night, I finger detangled and applied ORS Hairepair nourishing conditioner onto my hair. I braided up the hair into 5 box braids, covered with a shower cap and went to bed.

2. I rinsed out the conditioner using cold water (I'm loving summer btw).

3. I cleansed my scalp using Dudu Osun African black soap, and rinsed again with cold water.

4. I applied coconut oil to my hair for an oil rinse and let it sit while I finished up my shower routine.

5. I rinsed out the oil with lukewarm water, did a final rinse with cold water, and wrapped my hair in a t-shirt to absorb excess water.

6. I had taken out my flexirods to do the set. I even watched SimplYounique's tutorial and started setting. But I realised I didn't have the energy for it after doing 2 rods. So I took them down, did the LOC method (L=Shea Miracle leave in, O=coconut oil and C=ORS curls unleashed curl defining creme). Then I did my usual airdrying backup, 4 sections of African threading.

And that was it. Its too hot for me to think of doing anything elaborate so I'm back to my trusty buns. However, I really want to try a halo braid next wash day.

How was your wash day?

My Skin Regimen

So my first non-hair post on this blog...

A little background on me, I suffer from severe acne. I get hormonal acne on my face when its almost shark week. And I have severe scarring on my back from when I had acne in puberty. So I am trying to work on fading my scars, as well as controlling my facial acne breakouts in order to minimise the aftermath.

My daily skin regimen is:

1. Wash face with lukewarm water using African black soap
2. Tone using an aloe based toner
3. Moisturise using a facial moisturiser with a minimum of SPF 15

Since I started the regimen with African black soap, I have been seeing improvement in my skin. The dark marks are fading slowly but surely, and my hormonal breakouts don't last long, and I do not scar from these anymore.

I am thinking of extending my facial regimen to solve my back acne issues. I will shower using only African black soap, and moisturise using something with SPF protection. Hopefully by the end of next year, my skin will have cleared up.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Wash Day Saga - Naptural85's 25 minute Detangle + Cowash Method

Wash day this week was a bit better than last week's. I shook off the mood that made me not enjoy doing my hair and I was back in business :)

Since I am sneaking up to 11 months post relaxer (I'm shocked as well), I have a lot more natural hair than relaxed hair, especially with the mini chops I have been doing this year. I think I have chopped off more than 4 inches now, but I digress. Like I was saying before, since I have more natural hair than relaxed hair, I decided to work with natural hair techniques this wash day, and test them out for future use.

I wanted a quick, easy wash day with very little fuss, so I decided to try Naptural85's co-wash routine that should take 25 minutes max. Here's what Happened.

1. I split my hair into two sections, and clipped one section up with a claw clip. Then I finger detangled the section, added coconut oil and continued finger detangling. After that, I added my conditioner (African Pride Dream Kids Detangling, Moisturising Conditioner) and continued finger detangling. After I got all the shed hair out, I clipped up that section. I then repeated all the steps on the other section.

2. This was the painful part. It was raining and we had no hot water. But I had to rinse out the conditioner and cowash. I took down one section, applied the conditioner to my scalp, and massaged to lift the dirt before rinsing under the cold shower :(. I clipped up that section, and did the same to the other section.

3. I t-shirt dried my hair while it was in the 2 sections. When it was just damp, I applied my leave in and sealed with coconut oil before doing African threading to airdry my hair.

4. The next morning, I took down the threading and bunned for church. All in all, an easy laid back wash day

Changes in Blog

Hiya everyone...

I have been feeling that by keeping this blog strictly hair, its becoming boring. I am style challenged, so I can't put up tutorials, I am too lazy to often do reviews, and just talking hair here has become boring. So I'm switching up the blog to make it more appealing. Yes, I will still post about my hair journey and other hair related stuff, but I will also include my thoughts about life in general, my battle against acne, music, clothes, etc. I am not a one dimensional person, and I want the blog to reflect as much of my personality as possible.

So, the blog will get switched up a bit soon.


Have a great day,

Monday, 29 September 2014

Wash Day Saga - Same Old Story

I really haven't been feeling inspired to pamper my hair lately. I think this means I should do a protective style soon. Anyway, this is how my wash day this week went..


1. Overnight DC with a mix of ORS Replenishing conditioner and ORS Hairepair. My product stash is getting really low now. I also sectioned my hair and did 6 box braids for the wash day.

2. I rinsed out the conditioner in the morning, and washed my scalp with Dudu Osun black soap. Some of my hair felt weirdly coated and waxy, so I washed my hair twice with the soap too. Rinsed, and wrapped my hair in a t-shirt.

3. While my hair was still wet, I quickly finger detangled two sections at a time, applied my leave in, sealed with coconut oil, and African threaded the section. I ended up with 3 sections of African threading.

4. I fully airdried overnight, and took down the threads on Sunday morning. My hair was all curly, so I wore a curly ponytail with a side bang for church. Sorry, no pictures, I did say I was feeling uninspired this week.

5. In the evening I did for cornrows for bed. This morning I did a bun using a banana clip for work.

Yeah, I am definitely not feeling my hair at the moment. If it wasn't for the fact that a lot of people would kill me, I would be off to the barber at lunch time today for a nice short cut. Anyway, hopefully this weekend I will do a protective style and forget about my hair for a while...

How was your washday?

Friday, 26 September 2014

Product Review - African Royale Hot 6 Oil

I just finished this product and I wanted to review it while it was still fresh in my mind.


Product: African Royale Hot Six Oil

Price: $15 (not too sure now) at Jeenz, Travel Plaza, Harare

African Royale Hot Six Oil

IngredientsOlive Oil, Canola Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Safflower Oil, Castor Oil, Sesame Oil, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Cyclomethicone, Sheep Sorrell, Yarrow, Slippery Elm Bark, Sage, Henna, Comfrey, Burdock Root, Ginseng, Goldenseal, Cherry Bark, Black Walnut, Chamomile, Alfalfa, Hyssop, Wheat Germ, Fragrance

PromisesAfrican Royale Hot Six Oil is six Oils In One: Hot Oil, Hair Oil, Body Oil, Scalp Oil, Bath Oil, Nail Oil. Hot Six Oil is made from only all natural plant herbs and oils with no animal fat or animal oils.

Made from only all natural plant herbs and oils with no animal fat or animal oils.The special light formula goes in hair, skin, scalp, and nail cuticles easily and without a heavy oil buildup. Leaves your hair light and well conditioned.
My Take: I bought this product when I ran out of my beloved Wild Growth Oil, and the store had run out too :(. So I decided to experiment with it, having seen good reviews online as well as a recommendation by a friend. I had forgotten that my hair is not a fan of olive oil, and the first ingredient was olive oil.

The first time I used the product, I used it as a sealant after my wash day. My hair felt really weird and crunchy after using it. I just thought maybe it was my conditioning process that wasn't up to par, or I needed clarifying, and kept using it. When I realized that things were not improving, I stopped using it for a while and went back to castor oil. My hair came back to life, it felt really soft and moisturised. 

After this, I was mainly using the oil as a skin oil (since its one of the uses on the bottle). And it worked beautifully as a skin oil. It had a really light, floral scent and got absorbed easily. I also had fewer acne breakouts on my body while I was using it. 

I also used the oil for scalp massages when I did the inversion method. I just added some eucalyptus oil for a bit of oomph, and it worked well. No build up since its a light oil. The last use I got out of the bottle was when I did an oil rinse on my last wash day. There wasn't too much left, so I mixed it with coconut oil. But my hair turned out really soft, easy to detangle, and not too frizzy.

The bottle design wasn't as convenient as the Wild Growth Oil one as it was easy to dispense too much oil. I actually ended up just putting the Hot 6 oil in the Wild Growth Oil bottle and that made it easier to use. The oil is a nice, golden colour, and the smell is really light and not too noticeable. The oil is pretty thin, so you have to be careful when pouring it out of the original bottle.

Since my hair didn't like the oil (it prefers heavy oils and butters) but it worked well for my skin, I will give it 3 out of 5 thumbs up. However, I would recommend the oil to anyone who loves light oils. I will not repurchase this product since I do not feel that it's benefits to my skin are worth the amount I would have to spend again.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Relaxer Day Musings

Lol, not my relaxer day. My grandma's caregiver wanted to self relax. When I asked her if she had ever done it before, she looked blankly at me. So I decided to spread the healthy hair gospel and do her relaxer for her.

Luckily she had a relaxer kit I was very familiar with from my relaxer days. She was using the Dark and Lovely Shea Butter Regular No Lye relaxer. But the problem was she had gotten it from her aunt, who had used most of the good stuff (like the pre-relaxer treatment and the leave in) and had left very little relaxer. And she didn't have Vaseline (of all products) so I couldn't manage to base her scalp properly or the previously relaxed ends.

The good part was she had a clear 2 inches of new growth, which made it easier not to overlap the relaxer. I decided that a texlax would be better for her, since her bone straight ends had been breaking off and her edges looked very fragile after 2 sets of back to back braids left in for 3 months at a time.

I first applied the relaxer to the front quadrants, before applying it to the back of the head. Just as well, since her nape looked extra fragile and wouldn't have withstood the relaxer. I was pretty quick with the application (about 7 minutes) and I smoothed the hair for another 5 minutes. As I smoothed her hair, I gave her a few hair care tips (not to comb using a small tooth comb, and to use water as a moisturizer). I rinsed of the relaxer thoroughly using cold water, and then applied the neutralizer. At least her aunt hadn't used much (if any of the neutralizing shampoo) so I could be sure of cleansing her hair properly. I also used the DC in the box kit and detangled er hair properly with the DC still in her hair. One thing I have to say about SoftSheen Carson, their DCs have a lot of slip.

After rinsing out the DC, we airdried her hair (its nice and sunny here). End results, texlaxed hair, no breakage or melting of hair, no chemical burns. I count this as a successful hair consult :)

Sorry no pictures since my phone was on the charger and I was way to busy trying to avoid burning her scalp

Monday, 22 September 2014

Wash Day Saga - Rolling Down The River


I must admit, the September #washdayexperience linkup themes are awesome. This week the theme was rolling down the river. I was feeling too lazy to break out my flexirods, so I decided to try a Bantu knot out. Here's what happened...
1. I did an overnight DC with Elasta QP DPR 11+ conditioner. My hair loves this conditioner, it's a great moisture boost. Oh and my hair was in 8 box braids for the entire wash process. 

2. I rinsed out the conditioner with warm water, and then did a scalp wash using African Black soap. 

3. After the scalp wash I did an oil rinse using a mix of the last of my Hot 6 oil and coconut oil

4. I t-shirt dried for about an hour. After that I took down a box braid, applied my leave in (Shea Miracle) and finger detangled before sealing with coconut oil. Then I took half of the hair in the section and twisted it into a Bantu knot. I did this to my entire head. After this I was so tired I took a nap.



5. Lol, the knotout was such a flop. I ended up doing a bun and covering my head wih a headwrap (dhuku) for church

6. I did the GHE method last night to get the flopped Bantu Knout out of my hair, and bunned for work.

I will keep doing the GHE as the week goes on, as its a great moisture boost. Its really hot and dry here right now, so I need to maximise moisture to reduce breakage.


Friday, 19 September 2014

Hair Inspirations

One of the groups I belong to on a forum asked what's the first style you want to do when you are fully natural. My answer was very simple and straightforward, I want to wear a BAA (bad a** afro). That's the whole reason why I am transitioning, I am so jealous of the beautiful afros I see around me.

Here are some inspirational pics of ladies rocking my fave hairstyle

PS: All the images here are sourced from other sites and blogs, click the source link below to go to the original site

baa
The World's biggest afro... Afroclique  source
source Popsugar

source Rocking It Napptural


Have a great weekend...

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Growth experiment - Inversion, castor oil + GHE

Hey!!!

After my mini chop, I was left missing my length. I want to be back at BSB like yesterday :)And then I remembered I was taking part in a Fall/Winter Growth Challenge at Hairlista (well, more like, Spring/Summer for me). This challenge is mainly to use any growth aide in order to achieve maximum growth between September and December. I decided to do the inversion method using castor oil and the GHE method.

A lot has been written about these methods so I won't repeat what has been said. I started doing the inversion method together with GHE on Monday night. I plan on continuing to GHE for the rest of September since its hot and dry here, and my hair is loving the extra moisture so far. I will be using light protein conditioners (ORS Replenishing and ORS Hairepair) in order to prevent moisture overload. I am also trying to thicken my edges, hence the use of castor oil for scalp massages as well. I will be back with a detailed reggie for summer :)

Monday, 15 September 2014

Wash Day Saga - 2 Washes with Different Results

Hiya everybody,

After feeling miserable for most of last week (tummy upset) this weekend I was supercharged with energy and got a lot done. I even squeezed in 2 washes in the space of 2 days. A bit excessive I know, but I had my reasons. Here is my wash day experience linkup post...

1. So I had about 30 twists in my hair on Friday evening since I was wearing my wigs last week. I first did a mini trim of about an inch (more or less) on each twist. In my last post I had talked about the split ends in my nape. So this was my method of dealing with them.

2. After my trim, I took down my twists. After undoing about 5 twists, I used coconut oil to fully finger detangle and then braided up the section. The coconut oil was also my prepoo :)

3. On Saturday morning, I shampooed my hair using the Dark and Lovely After Relaxing Neutralizing Shampoo. I used it because:
 a. I really want to finish off this product, and
b. its a great clarifier/chelating shampoo.
I used it mainly on my scalp, but I also used some of it on my hair to lift whatever build up that was there. My scalp was squeaky clean, but my hair wasn't stripped #winning

4. I did a protein DC with ORS Hair Mayo. I left the DC in for 2 hours while I took a nap.

5. Since spring has sprung here (its a beautiful 26'C average temperature), I did a cold rinse of the DC and massaged my scalp in order to lift any DC that may have gone onto my scalp.

6. I wrapped my hair in a t-shirt for 20 minutes to absorb the excess water.

This week's theme for the washday linkup is "Smooth Sailing'' so I had to get my hair as straight as possible (with no heat of course). So after t-shirt drying I applied my leave in (Shea Miracle leave in) and sealed with castor oil, before threading my hair. I ended up with 4 threaded sections and left them in to completely air dry overnight.



7. On Sunday morning I took down the threads, and finger combed my hair. I decided a low bun would give me the best possible results for smooth hair. I finger combed my hair back and used a scrunchie to bun. Then I applied some diluted Ecostyler gel to the hair at the front and smoothed it down before using Jen's scarf method.

Results, smooth sleek hair. So sleek I almost looked bald from the front :"D


8. But thanks to the gel, I wasn't loving the way my hair felt. So stiff, and dead. So I decided to do a quick co-wash on Sunday night to remove the gel. I co-washed using African Pride Dream Kidz Moisturizing Conditioner, and t-shirt dried for about 5 minutes. I wanted to try modifying bits of the maximum hydration method so I worked with the styling bit of the regimen.

After blotting the excess moisture (my hair was still 80% wet) I applied my leave in (Shea Miracle) and sealed with coconut oil. After that, I used a tiny bit of Ecostyler gel on top, and braided my hair back up into six sections. I let my hair airdry for most of the evening. This morning, I undid my hair (it was still damp) and did another low bun that isn't as sleek as the Sunday one, but prettier to me. Its so curly and natural :), and my hair feels soft and fluffy. All in all, I had an awesome washday.



Friday, 12 September 2014

Split ends, split ends, split ends everywhere

I am kinda depressed. Just when I thought everything was going on well with my hair, I discovered a lot of split ends in the 4B/C region of my head (aka the nape). I found the normal split ends and some mid-shaft split ends too. I was pissed at myself I'm telling you. The only thing that could have caused this kind of damage was the heat I used in August when I flat ironed my hair.

I know the hair at my nape is pretty fragile. That's the area that prompted my BC in May 2012 after my brief affair with colour when I had massive breakage. I was left with practically no hair at the back of my head, and neck length hair everywhere else. Sigh, and I am also back to that again. OK, not quite coz I caught it early and I still have a respectable amount of hair in that area.

So what's my action plan to stop this setback while its still in its early stages? What I'm thinking is:

1. Definitely no more heat. That area cannot take it, so I am going to apply the rule to the rest of the head. No more heat at all. Only going to use no heat methods to straighten my hair.

2. Up the protein treatments. I think I will do more protein treatments especially in the nape area. I will use my light protein conditioners weekly, and use the heavier protein conditioners on a more frequent basis (once every fortnight)

3. Dust nape more frequently. To get rid of all the damage, I need a trim of about an inch in this area (judging from how deep the mid shaft splits were). And I will have to dust more frequently in this area. I probably should get a new pair of hair shears while I'm at it too.

4. Long term protective style. I think I will need to do a PS that will last for at least a month. I really need to get a move on on getting my crotchet braids done soon.

5. Moisturise and seal regularly. I think I will start doing M&S sessions on a set basis now, instead of just when I fell I need a moisture boost. This will stop dryness in the problem area way earlier and prevent damage.

I guess BSL this year might not happen. Sigh. And I really had hopes that I would get there. But health before length always, and right now, I prefer having healthy hair than unhealthy long hair that can break off when someone looks at it. I may end up even bringing forward my BC date instead of continuing with a long term transition. Anyway, that's it from me.

Have a great weekend

Monday, 8 September 2014

Wash Day Experience - Tried and True

So this wash day, according to the Septemeber #washdayexperience linkup rules, I had to go for what I know works, and my hair loves. I decided to do a very simple wash day with some of my favorite products, and just pamper my hair.

First up, I moved my wash day from the weekend to Thursday coz I knew I would not have time during the weekend. So I decided to stretch it over 2 days. My hair was already in box braids that I was wearing under my wig so I kept them in for the wash day.

1. Thursday morning - I washed my hair using my Dudu Osun African Black soap. My scalp had been really itchy so I focused on lifting all the gunk that had built up on my scalp. and rinsed off with warm water.

2. I t-shirt dried my hair while going through the rest of my usual shower routine. Then I applied my DC (Elasta QP DPR 11+), and covered with my shower cap and wig cap. I wore my wig on top and spent the rest of the day having an intense DC session.

3. I rinsed out my hair on Friday morning with warm water, especially focusing on my scalp, coz I want to avoid scalp build up.

4. I t-shirt dried for about 30 minutes, applied my leave in (Shea Miracle) and sealed with vaseline before putting on my wig for work

5. I took down the box braids and wore a curly ponytail to hang out with friends (Cricket on Saturday was awesome).

6. Then on Sunday, I decided to do chunky twists that I could wear under my wig this week.

And that was my wash day. Very simple and straightforward.

How was your wash day?

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Beer Rinses 101

I did a beer rinse during my last wash day, and a number of people were asking me the benfits of a beer rinse. So, it became an idea for a complete post in itself.

I first heard about beer rinses on the Long Hair Community. Quite a number of ladies with hair that my hair looks up to said they did beer rinses, and I decided to do one just as my something new for the uncharted territories wash day.

But what are the actual benefits of a beer rinse? Well, I went back to LHC to see what the ladies said. Well, one lady said that beer rinses are a good way to get hydrolyzed proteins to your hair. So its a natural, edible (sort of) protein treatment. Which makes sense since I had very minimal shedding this week after the beer rinse. Must be because I got a lot of protein to my hair in a form that was easily absorbed by my hair :)

Beer also contains a lot of the B complex vitamins. As we all know, the vitamin B group does wonders for our hair when ingested. And some of the vitamin B complex vitamins like Panthenol and Biotin are sometimes added to conditioners to help add shine, and make hair look healthier. So, I guess a beer rinse is just a conditioner with a lot of B complex vitamins to just get your hair looking its absolute best.

Beer is also great in giving volume and holding curls. So if your hair is feeling flat and lifeless, apparently spraying a little beer onto it will give it life. (it will also make you very popular with your beer loving friends since you will smell like a bar too, lol.) And beer is also great as a setting product. Apparently, the alcohol in it seals the hair cuticle (like ACV or a citric acid rinse). I am not too sure about the science behind it, but this all helps hold curls really well. So, its a great styling product too.

Beer is also said to thicken your hair. I am not too sure about this, since I already have thick hair, but apparently the beer swells the shaft of fine hair, making it seem thicker. But some also reason that the hydrolyzed protein also gets attached to the hair shaft thickening hair. I will have to do several more beer rinses to see if this is true :)

Beer is also great for the scalp too. Another article I read said that it helps alleviate dry scalp. Beer penetrates the scalp, and nourishes the skin. It also boosts circulation. Well, this is definitely new information to me, but apparently beer is quite beneficial to the skin


So how do you do a beer rinse? Most people say a flat beer is good, though I used a freshly opened one (because beer isn't ever left long enough to go flat at my house). The most simple way is to pour the beer over your hair after you shampoo and condition, let the beer sit for some time and then rinse out with cool water. I did my rinse as the last part of my wash, like a final ACV rinse if you will. There are several recipes online on how to use beer for your hair. And remember not to do it too often. Most suggest doing a beer rinse once a month, as the effect of the rinse can last for several weeks even with frequent washing.




Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Winter Challenge End

My winter challenge ended on the 31st of August 2014. Here's how I did with my very ambitious rules

1. Anything done to the hair shall be journaled in the Hair Journey app This was pretty much on track until I got lazy sometime in June. No excuses for it. However, I did blog about what I did
2. No direct heat use at all for that period (not even for my birthday) I ended up using direct heat once in August. I didn't completely straighten my hair though, I need a better flat iron for that
3. Only one texlax to be done during that period (17th May 2014) Didn't happen at all since I officially decided to transition during this period. 
4. Length check shall be done at the start of the challenge and at the end using the length check tee I haven't done the end of challenge length check yet. But I will update once I find someone to snap the pic for me
5. Protective styles 95% of the time. Hair will only be worn out during weekends. An exception will be made for my birthday only. Hair was in wigs or buns for most of this time. I rarely wore my hair loose since it now annoys me. 
6. I will DC with heat at least once a week. I had hoped to own a deep conditioning cap during this period but I failed to do that. But I tried to DC for at least an hour each week
7. I will do scalp massages with Wild Growth Oil 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) This didn't happen at all.
8. M&S sessions will be done as needed. Only castor oil will be used for sealing I switched oils to the Hot 6 oil at one point and wild growth oil at another. It was ok since none of the oils would solidify with the cold. 
9. The challenge will start with a light dusting, to ensure ends are in their healthiest state I had trimmed half an inch at the start, and I trimmed another inch during the challenge when I had my breakage setback
10. Protein treatments to be done when necessary I did them at least once a month, but sometimes I used a light protein to DC
11. Inversion method will be done during this period, however with no before or after length checks I did start, but I consistently failed to complete the full week of inversions
12. No jumping onto bandwagons during this period Success. Being broke definitely helps too :)
13. Raise daily water intake to 2 litres Fail. I do not drink much water when its cold.
14. Eat at least 4 servings of fruit and vegetables daily Well, I ate at least 2, which wasn't too bad
15. No alcohol during this period. (A free pass may be extended for the birthday only). Yeah right. I did go on a few benders during this period. Oh well, its only alcohol.
16. One blog post shall be done after 2 weeks, to record challenge progress. Fail, I think I only did 2 updates

Well the winter challenge was not much of a success for me. Maybe because I was too ambitious and gave myself too many rules that I ultimately broke. I did manage to retain some length, but not as much as I hoped to. If things had worked out, I was to have been BSL by now. Instead I'm just at BSB. Anyway, when I do my next challenge, I will have to remember to keep it simple, so that I can focus on the necessary bits.

Cheers,