Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Hair Babble

One thing about me is I really hate Tuesdays. First of all, because the memories of the weekend would have faded and the next one is just too far away for my liking. And I am not a morning person. But with the distance between where I live and where I work, I have to be up by 5am in order to be in the office on time.

So anyway, now you know I'm a regular Scrooge in the mornings. So yesterday morning, I took my grumpy self to a sandwich shop that's close to my office for breakfast. As I am waiting for my order the lady (I am using this term very loosely) serving goes "Did you even comb/brush your hair today?" I first give her a WTF look, like who even asked you. Then she persists asking whether I looked into my mirror before leaving home. By then, I am furious, and I tell her politely that yes, I combed my hair and when I left home it was looking good to me. Then (in a reflex action, I promise) I just look at her head, and see a jacked up hairline. And I just think to myself (and angrily tweeted) about how she had no right to critique my hair. When I got into my office, I headed straight to the bathrooms to see what she thought a disaster on my head and I see nothing at all wrong with it. Maybe she had gotten out of bed on the wrong side, or maybe she's having some issues but what right did she have to criticize like that, without anything constructive to say. I must say she messed up the start of my day completely.

Anyway, my day got much better when I was tweeted by the lovely Curly Eva ( telling me to pass by her shop. So I gave up eating and exercised for lunch instead, and when I got there I got the best surprise ever. She had gone to the Healthy Hair Indaba and had gotten a fab goody bag (check it out on her blog) and decided to feed my product junkeeism by giving me a few items from it. I was grinning all the way home, and I can't wait to try some of the stuff :). Reviews will come as soon as I have used them

The wig reggie is going well so far. However, my scalp is itching like the blazes. I am thinking of doing a co wash tonight and hopefully the water will calm my scalp down. I might have some product build up from the Wild Growth oil I've been using so hopefully the co wash will deal with that.

I can't wait for the month to end. I need to start saving up for that Babyliss pro flatiron, so I can have it by my birthday. I need a quality flatiron, my current one doesn't really do much and it's faux ceramic apparently (sigh). 

Ok, that's it from me.


Monday, 24 February 2014

Wash Day and new Protective Style

I am officially wigging it!!!

In my last post, I said that I wanted to PS for some time and I decided to use my wig which hasn't been doing much since I bought it. So I started out with a hardcore wash day on Friday evening because I had an embarrassing amount of build up and dirt on my scalp.

1. I divided my hair into 6 sections and box braided them
2. Clarifying shampoo with (diluted) ORS Uplifting Shampoo
3. DC with light protein (Vatika Naturals DC for Dull, Dry Hair) overnight
4. Rinsed out with cool water and t-shirt dried for an hour
5. Applied leave in (HE LTR) and did threading to air dry while stretching out roots
6. When hair was 90% dry, I started doing box braids with my hair only. Did about 30 box braids
7. Moisturised box braids and sealed with coconut oil

For the first time I actually felt that my hair is starting to get long. Normally with the shrinkage, I never get any hang time with my hair or even get to whip it back and forth like Willow Smith. But after doing the box braids, I felt like my hair is finally at a decent length.

So I test drove the wig regimen when I went to church yesterday. Most people didn't even notice that it was a wig, they just thought it was a great weave (win!!).

So I'm going to stick to wigging it for the next 3 weeks. I will wash my hair every week and DC it in the box braids, but I will take down the box braids at the end of 3 weeks. I will definitely rotate bunning with wigs until my next texlax in May. I think this regimen will be the best way for me to retain my length and get to my June goal of BSB (or beyond).


Thursday, 20 February 2014

Upcoming Protective Style

Hello lovies,

I'm coming up to week 14 post relaxer, and I have to say the NG is co-operating. I have about 2 inches of NG curled up, then another 5/6 inches of texlaxed hair and a few inches of bone straight hair to round it off. I haven't been having too many problems managing the three textures, except a little breakage of the bone straight ends, but since my last date with my shears and some protein that has been dealt with.

I have managed to go on with my stretch by doing minimal manipulation and lots of moisture. I have been only finger combing and bunning, and I have been GHEing like a crazy woman. I also did a few mini steams (hot towel over my head during my morning shower). All this has helped in keeping the thirsty roots moisturised.

But now that my hair is having major shrinkage (I barely managed to do a ponytail this morning) I have been thinking of doing a new PS. I really want to retain a lot of length this year, and a PS would be a good way to just let my hair be and let it grow without much manipulation.

 I joined the Bushbaby regimen group on Hairlista. Now this lady managed to grow her hair to a beautiful waist length using wigs mainly. I have a wig that I have barely used since buying it just sitting at home, and I'm thinking of using it to kick start my new PS regimen. So tomorrow I will start my wash day after work and do a protein tretment and an overnight moisture DC so that I get that NG and texlaxed hair extra moisturised. Then I will airdry in threads all day on Saturday, and blowdry using the tension method on Sunday after church, After this I will plait my hair (no extensions) into box braids, and start wigging it. I will wash my hair in the box braids each week, and DC until they just look too scraggly and I have to take them down and redo them again. I think the wig will work better for me coz it will allow me to have access to my hair and scalp, while letting me rock straight hair (with bangs) everyday while having no hair damage. Its a win win situation for me.

I will post updates and pics next week after my wash day.


Monday, 17 February 2014

How To: Do Your HHJ on A Budget

Greetings earthlings,

I hope y'all had a great weekend. I definitely enjoyed mine to the max :).

Over the weekend, I realized that many people I meet reject the whole HHJ concept because they think its way too expensive. Well, I decided to do a post on how to start a HHJ on a budget so that people can see its possible to have healthy hair even when your finances are not too good.

1. Use a sulfate shampoo. Yes, we are all told sulfates are the devil, but they are what worked best for me when I started out on my HHJ. And they are cheaper than a sulfate free shampoo. Just make sure you dilute your poo so it doesn't strip your hair too much, and also apply the shampoo to your scalp only. Shampoo is meant to cleanse your scalp, so use it there. Let the runoff from your scalp be what cleans your hair. Then clarify only when product build up becomes too much.

2. Buy only a moisturizing DC. In my experience, it is easier to find ingredients for making a protein treatment (eggs, mayo, bananas, avocados) at home than those for a moisturizing DC. So my advice is to save your pennies and buy a commercial moisturizing DC. It doesn't have to be all fancy and expensive, I used the Dark and Lovely Cholesterol Treatment for 3 months with great results. It just has to be able to do the job. Just make sure your hair gets the protein it needs by occasionally whipping up your own protein DC mix at home.

3. Instant conditioner + water = leave in/moisturizer. I swear by this one, as I used it a lot when I couldn't find any commercial leave ins or moisturizers. And because you will be diluting the conditioner, it will last longer. Just don't dilute it all at once, otherwise it will go bad.

4. Buy one oil. Go for the tried and tested ones like coconut, olive or castor oil. I would suggest either coconut or olive since they are penetrating oils and can get some of their goodness into your strands. Castor oil is also excellent for those who want to regain their edges or thicken their strands. I always stick to either castor oil or coconut oil.

5. Stretch your relaxers. Stretching relaxers is a good way to save your cash. Think about it. Instead of buying your relaxer every 6 weeks and and spending a lot of cash, you can relax fewer times during the year, save cash and have healthier hair because you won't overlap your relaxer. Yes, your hair won't be as laid, and stretching is not for the fainthearted but your wallet and hair will thank you for it.

6. Protective styles. This one is a bit tricky. I live in a country where people have a weave or braids installed for a minimum of 3 months without caring for their hair at all. The results are broken, split and thin hair that really doesn't look good. So do your protective styles but remember to care for your hair underneath. Clean your scalp, moisturize and DC as much as possible. Also, don't keep in a protective style for more than 8 weeks. After taking it down, do a protein treatment, and let your hair rest for about 2 weeks before stressing it with a chemical treatment or another protective style.

Well, that's what I think is necessary when doing a HHJ on a budget. Anyone else with more ideas?


Friday, 14 February 2014

Quick Update

Hello everyone,
First of all, HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!! I have been the Scrooge equivalent of this day for some years but this year I am just starting out what might turn out to be a new relationship so I feel tres excited.

Hair wise, today I decided to do a low side ponytail using a red satin ribbon. Yeah, I know I'm buying into all this Valentine's day hype, but at least that's the only bit of red I have today. I first moisturized with my Elasta QP Mango butter (that stuff is just the best), detangled with a wide tooth comb and sealed with Wild Growth hair oil. I had a slight bit of breakage this morning, thanks to the fact that my hair was a bit too dry. But I think the M&S session I had this morning will just keep my hair happy enough until Saturday.

This weekend, I'm going off to see my new boo. He lives in a city that's 5 hours away from mine, so just getting a chance to see each other is exciting. Now, he hasn't seen my real hair yet, he has only seen me in a weave. I don't know what his reaction will be when he sees my mane. Anyway, since I won't be able to do my wash day on Saturday as usual, I carried my Elasta QP Mango butter, castor oil and wide tooth comb for M&S and detangling sessions. I also have my scarf so that I won't dry out my ends too much. I will do a co-wash on Sunday, hopefully that will help me hold out until next weekend when I can do a proper wash day.


Monday, 10 February 2014

Wash Day + Length Check

I hope you all had a great weekend.

I certainly had a quiet one, spent most of it at home or at church. I had my wash day on Saturday. Here's what happened:

1. Prepoo with coconut oil, and did 6 box braids
2. Clarifying shampoo with ORS Uplifting shampoo. I had diluted it and use an applicator bottle to get the shampoo to my roots and scalp
3. Protein treatment with Aphogee 2 minute keratin reconstructor. I took out the box braids as I rinsed out the conditioner
4. Moisture DC with Vatika Naturals Garlic Hair Mask and castor oil. Dc'ed under heat process cap for 3 hours
5. Rinsed with cool water, t-shirt dried and applied leave in (HE LTR split end protector). Then I comb detangled in 7 sections and threaded each section to airdry
6. When hair was 80% dry I applied ORS heat protection serum and blow dried on the cool setting before bunning for bed.
7. I massaged Wild Growth oil on to my scalp, moisturised with Elasta QP Mango butter and sealed with castor oil before bunning for work today.

My hair feels so soft and moisturized today. Guess I really needed the protein this weekend.

I did a mini length check using my new length check tee. First of all, let me tell you, shrinkage is evil. When I let my hair down without stretching it it only got to line 3 (CBL) of the tee. Then when I stretched, it was almost up to line 5 (almost BSB). BSB is at line 6 and my end year goal is at line 8. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my USB cable which means I can't upload the pics today. I will hopefully update this post soon with the pics.



Finally those pics I did using my length check shirt

hair length when not stretched out (12 weeks post)

just over line 4 when hunching forward

definitely at grazing APL when stretched (line 5)

Friday, 7 February 2014

Product Haul and Hair Babble


So today I managed to sprint over to Jeenz to get my stash for the next few months over my lunch time. I bought:

1. Length check tee
2. Heat processing cap
3. Applicator bottle
4. Wild Growth Oil
5. Beautiful Textures Rapid Repair DC
6. ORS Uplifting Shampoo
7. Aphogee Keratin 2 minute reconstructor

And because Jeenz is feeling the February love in the air, the prices had been slashed :D. Unfortunately, I was a bit broke, otherwise I would have carried away more products.

Onto my hair:

So I ended up taking out my sew in last night. By the time I left work yesterday, I was really not into the hair anymore. So I took it down on my own, detangled and GHE'd overnight (after moisturising with Elasta QP mango butter and sealing with coconut oil) since the hair was pretty dry. This morning it was feeling nice and soft, so I sealed with castor oil and bunned for work. Now thanks to my haul today, I'm going to have a blast tomorrow with my wash day. I think I will re-introduce the tea rinses, I haven't done one of those since last year.

ION, there's this guy I recently met. I like him quite a bit (just don't tell him) and he says he likes me. However, I'm a bit nervous getting him to see my kinks and coils, coz he's only seen me in a weave. I have been toying with cutting my hair and starting all over again but this product haul proves I am not yet ready to do that

Oh, I am now officially half way through my stretch. The first 12 weeks was a breeze, now I'm getting to the serious part of the stretch. My motto will be moisture, moisture, moisture and oil and some protein. I am so ready to own this hair and get to BSB by my birthday in June.

I just fell in love with the Babyliss flat iron, that is one sexy beast. Its $100 at this salon at Travel Plaza and I want to own it soon. Time for me to start saving up for that baby so I can get rid of my Geepas ceramic flat iron. That Babyliss might be just what I need to straighten my hair fully when I use a heat pass.

I think I have run out of steam now.

Cheers to the freakin' weekend!!!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

How To: Find A Good Stylist

If there's one thing that's really scary to anyone on a healthy hair journey, it's having a setback thanks to a visit to the stylist's chair. I have seen so many horror stories online of how ladies put their trust in the wrong stylist and ended up with even worse hair issues than those they entered the salon with. I also have had horrific salon experiences myself from pre-HHJ days and even when I started my HHJ, one that comes to mind is when the stylist combed relaxer over my already relaxed ends, leading to over processing and breakage.

I know so many of us have gone the DIY route, after realizing that stylists end up doing more harm than good to our tresses. I, for one, haven't had a salon relaxer since my last disastrous one. But for those of you who really can't spare the time and energy, and don't have the skill necessary to perform most of these major treatments and hair installations and what not, here's a guide on how to find a good stylist.

  1. Get recommendations from other ladies with healthy hair in your area. This is the most obvious tip of all. Anyone whose hair is healthy, and well maintained will have their stylist who they go to faithfully (except the DIY-ers who got their game locked down). These stylists will have a level of understanding of healthy hair practices and can help translate these practices to your hair.
  2. Check out the stylists own head. This is not a fail safe method, but its one I use a lot. If the stylist has hair that's well groomed, well maintained, healthy edges and ends, she is likely to know how to also take good care of her hair while you are in her chair. 
  3. Make an appointment to talk to the stylist before hand. Make sure you go and see the stylist before whatever you want done to your hair and talk to her about your expectations from anyone who gets to lay a finger on your hair. Listen to her feedback, and see whether what she talks about makes sense as far as healthy hair practices are concerned. Find out if she is open to suggestions. Communication is always key. In 2011 when I went to a Nairobi salon for coloring, I talked to the stylist before to find out what she would do, and also listen to her recommendations on how to care for my hair after the color treatment

One more thing, once you think you've found a great stylist and you are sitting in her chair, always remember to speak up if you are worried about what she is doing, or if there's a step you think she's skipping. Yes, hair grows back, but the pain and misery of a setback, and the loss of your hard earned cash to a less than satisfactory salon experience is not worth it.


Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Update: Almost 12 weeks post

I can't believe my post from last week didn't get published. Ah, the joys of using my phone to get wi-fi.

Anyway, let me quickly update y'all on what's happening with my hair. I got that weave installed a week ago but it's already annoying the heck out of me. I have a feeling that weave take down will be happening on Friday evening.

I prepared for the weave installation by:

1. Clarifying shampoo with HE Fresh Balance Shampoo
2. DC under conditioning cap with Darbur Vatika Naturals Deep Conditioning Treatment for Dull, Dry hair
3. Rinsed out with cool water, t-shirt dried and applied leave in (HE LTR leave in), and trimmed off close to an inch of hair
4. Blow dried on low setting using tension method (after applying heat protectant of course)
5. Flat ironed on low setting, mainly focusing on roots and texlaxed hair

The next day (Sunday) I had to go to a church event with the other youth from my church. I guess my hair looked so great that people couldn't believe it was mine so they weave checked me. It kinda annoyed me to have people running their hands in my hair without my permission that I ended up wearing it in a bun for the rest of the day.

I got the weave installed on Monday at a salon called New Look 2000 on Kwame Nkrumah Avenue in Harare. The stylist who installed it is called Bertha. I actually told her before she even put her hands in my hair that I have a list of requirements of what should and shouldn't be done to my hair. I told her not to comb it out with a small tooth comb, not to braid my edges, and not to braid my hair too tightly. She did follow my rules, and actually asked me whether I wanted her to oil my scalp with her product (which I didn't). Total install cost me $10, and the hair was some I had got from my mum last year But like I said the weave is now annoying me. It stinks, it has been rained on, and I just don't like weaves anymore. I miss my own hair.

I also started the February round of inversions on Sunday. I use the Wild Growth hair oil as the massage oil, and then do the inversion. I am currently in the weave, so no before/after measurements.

That's it from me.