Wednesday, 30 April 2014

April Goals Review, May Goals

April is finally over, and I get to see how I did on the goals I set myself at the beginning of the month. Sorry, this post will be a quickie, since I don't have much blogging time at the moment.

April Goals:
1. Deep condition with heat at least once a week 5/5, I did every DC under my heat process cap
2. Scalp massages 3x a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) 5/5 Did all my scalp massages and my scalp says thank you :)
3. Protective style 95% of the time 5/5 I was in wigs mos of the time, and when I wasn't I was bunning. My hair was in a non protective style only once
4. Record everything I do to my hair in Hair Journal app 3/5 I started out well, but stopped recording during the 3rd week of April
5. Drink at least 1l of water a day (not including other liquids) 3/5 There were days when I drank very little water because it was way too cold. Not an excuse I know
6. Continue stretch to 24 weeks 5/5 I successfully managed to resist the urge to relax, and decided to transition to natural

May Goals:

1. Stretch relaxer to 28 weeks
2. Do hot oil treatments before every wash day
3. Learn one new hairstyle (not a bun variation)
4. Drink at least 2l of water a day
5. Spend 90% of May under wigs
6. Do full week of inversions
7. Host a giveaway :D

Do you have any goals (hair related or other) for May? Comment and give me your links to your goals (if online) or drop me a line and tell me.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Wash Day Saga - Co-Wash Day

It seems like I am co-washing a lot more now instead of the ''proper'' wash day that includes a shampoo, DC and all that jazz. To be honest, I was running on less than 4 hours of sleep on Sunday, and I really didn't have the time and energy to go through the whole hullabaloo of a full wash day. But I didn't want to neglect my hair, its winter and I want to retain all my length and add some more, so I decided to just co-wash and call it a day. And since I'm transitioning, I want to start building a routine that easily works with natural hair, so that when I become fully natural, I won't be as overwhelmed as the last time I was natural.

Here's what happened during my wash day:

1. My hair was a hot mess on Sunday morning and I had to do something to make it look presentable for Mass. So, I heated up my coconut oil, applied the hot oil to my hair and detangled with my wide tooth comb in 4 sections. I ended up with a nice (and neat) ponytail for church.

2. After church, I grabbed my bottle of Tresemme Naturals conditioner, and applied it to my hair in four sections. I started by applying it to the roots and texlaxed hair, before adding it to my ends. I covered my hair in two shower caps and my heat processing cap. I left my hair alone for 4 hours so that my hair could really absorb the conditioner.

3. I rinsed out the conditioner with cold water, and massaged my scalp with the water running. I t-shirt dried my hair for 3 hours.

4. Since I am resisting the temptation to break out my blowdryer, I decided to stretch my hair using African threading. I first picked out a section, added my leave in (Twisted Sista curl defining cream) and then detangled with my wide tooth comb from ends to roots. When The hair was properly detangled, I started threading that section. I ended up with 6 sections for bed.

5. This morning my hair was still slightly damp. So I decided to LCO using the moisture that was already in my hair as my liquid. I used the Elasta QP olive oil and mango butter moiturizer as my cream, and castor oil on top to lock everything in. I ended up styling my hair in a low bun.

All in all, a great wash day, and my hair feels soft and moisturised.

The Wash Day Experience

Friday, 25 April 2014

Winter Challenge Update + Random Hair Babble


The weekend is almost here, and I am happy. I need to wake up for once when the sun is high in the sky, and the temperature outside has warmed up a bit. I am tired of leaving home by 6am to make to the office on time.

OK, mini rant is over. I remember when I started the Winter Challenge, I promised to do an update on how I was doing with it.

I already used one of my cheats on alcohol. I went out with a friend one Friday night after work to unwind, and I ended up consuming quite a bit of booze. One cheat left,. and hopefully I will use it more wisely than I did the last one.

I did my first hot oil treatment last Saturday, I can still feel the effects. Some of my hair actually turned out to be curly (yes, curly!!!) and clumped together beautifully. And my hair stayed quite moisturised for most of the week. I only did a bit of extra moisture just to cut off any matting in advance but it wasn't really necessary though.

I have been hiding my hair most of the time. For the first two weeks of April, I was under my wigs, then this week I have been mostly bunning. I only (semi) wore my hair down once in a ponytail on Tuesday but after that, my ends have been tucked away. I will wear my hair out twice when I go for a date this weekend and next weekend when I go to watch my cousin perform at HIFA. (for those in Zim, her performance will be on the Coke Green on the 3rd of May at 10.30pm). I will start the wig regimen again throughout May, and my next hair out phase will be in June.

My scalp has been itching like crazy though this week. Maybe I shoul;d just stick to co-washing/sulfate free shampoos, and minimal/no scalp oiling to see if that works.

Onto random hair talk, this morning I ended up with toothpaste on my hair. I don't know how it happened, but yes, I looked into the mirror and had toothpaste in my hair. I think I need new shower caps now.

I did a happy dance this morning when I realised that my lead hair where now at BSL. Like under my bra strap BSL. I will have to trim them back soon I guess, but maybe after 4 months or so to give the rest of my hair time to catch up.

Well, that's it from me. Have a great weekend, and don't do what I would do.


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

It's Official!!!!!

No, I am not engaged or anything like that. But I am excited to share with you the next point in my hair journey. To take you on a brief flashback (like a cartoon villain) I started out wanting long, healthy relaxed hair. And then I started transitioning to texlaxed hair since it meant my hair would be stronger, and be semi-textured. Well, today, I am writing it down on the Internet so that I do not back out at all.

I am definitely transitioning to natural hair. Like I said in some earlier posts, when I get to 16 weeks post, I am always tempted to transition back to natural hair. And 23 weeks into this stretch, I have decided I want to long term transition. I love my texlaxed hair, its just a slightly easier to comb version of my natural texture. But I really love the thickness, and strength and wildness the new growth has. I definitely want all that so I have decided I will sell (or giveaway) my last relaxer box kit and just love my mane to bits as it grows in.

OK, my excitement is getting the better of me. Here are my reasons why I am going au naturelle:

1. Because I am lazy. LOL, I bet no one saw that coming. But truthfully, the whole spending an entire day touching up my growth thing has gotten old. And I still have stylist trust issues when it comes to chemical application. So, I'd rather go natural than risk a setback just because I am not up to the work that goes into doing relaxer touch ups every 4/6/12 months.

2. Because I am suffering from hair envy. Damn it, I also want a big bushy afro like some of the ladies at Black Girl Long Hair. Or locs like my mum, brother or big sis.

3. I now know how to work with my texture. When I BC'ed in 2012, I didn't know squat about how to look after natural hair. Which is why I ended up relaxing after 5 months. But now, after doing some long stretches, and plenty of research, I think I can handle my hair without any issues. And if I do have issues, I will have plenty of online support to work through them.

4. I have lots of nieces and baby cousins, and I want their mothers (and the girls too) to see that natural hair is not unmanageable and wild, and that it is the best choice for little princesses. I am tired of seeing little kids with damaged relaxed hair, and I don't want my nieces and cousins to join them. So, I will lead by example, and hopefully, they will stay natural until they are old enough and experienced enough to decide for themselves whether they want to relax or not.

5. I am doing this for my baby girl. I am not pregnant, and I won't be anytime soon, but when I have my daughter, I want her to grow up with healthy natural hair. And the best way to do this is to learn all the tricks and techniques by first practising on my own head and then doing it for her when she comes along.

6. I want to grow my hair to terminal length. This means (at least to me) that I should keep it in its natural state for the best results and go with it.

So my goals for my transition to natural journey are as follows:

1. Stick to my texlaxed hair length goals. This will help to keep me motivated during the transition. SO I am still aiming for BSB by May/June and BSL by end of 2014.

2. Long term transition. I really didn't enjoy my TWA stage when I BC'ed in 2012. So, I will keep my length and gradually snip off the relaxed and texlaxed ends. Right now I think a 3 year transition is the minimum I will do (although I might change my mind).

3. No heat. I am going to be on a direct heat fast now. Like I said earlier, I want to grow to terminal length, and I need to try to grow my hair in its natural state. So, I won't use heat, to try to keep my hair in optimum health.

4. Try new hairstyles. I am very lazy. But I need to change that when it comes to hairstyles. I will keep bunning, but I also need to try styles like bantu knot outs, braid outs and other styles so that I have fun with my hair.

I will miss relaxed hair land though. To all my relaxed sisters, all the best in your hair journeys.


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Demystifying African Hair - Length Retention

So in my last post, I talked about hair growth rates and the growth cycle, and how anyone, even us ''fully black'' people can grow our hair longer than our shoulders. Today, I am going to talk about why the growth rates often do not translate to our hair length as well as what we can do to break the vicious cycle.

The reason why your hair doesn't reflect the growth stats I talked about last time is most likely that your hair is breaking off as fast as it is growing. As one of the numerous bloggers I stalk states "for ladies who relax, by retouching your growth regularly, you prove that your hair grows. Your only problem is retaining all the growth you are gaining." And that is the plain, unvarnished truth. The whole point of a hair journey is to preserve your strands in a healthy state, so that you can keep the length you gain, and end up with long, healthy hair. Please note, I keep mentioning healthy because I am seriously traumatised by the stringy hair I see some ladies flipping claiming that they have long hair.

But I digress. Some of the habits you have that may be preventing you from gaining length are:

1. Overprocessing your hair. Like most women of African descent I have been guilty of this crime. How many times have you had the hairstylist combing the relaxer onto your already relaxed hair to give the "super straight" effect? Or had the relaxer kept on for longer than the recommended time because your hair wasn't straight enough yet? Relaxers break down the protein bonds in your hair, giving you the bone straight look. And if the relaxer is kept on for too long, or put onto already weakened hair (because relaxed hair is essentially weakened hair), your hair won't be strong enough to withstand any stress you put on it by combing it, tying it back or even letting it hang loose against your clothes. Your hair will break off, and you will think your hair never grows because it always remains at the same length.

The solution: when you touch up your growth, make sure you protect your already relaxed hair by coating it in conditioner, or an oil, or even Vaseline. This will mean that the relaxer runoff won't process your already processed hair. Also, follow the instructions on the relaxer. Don't leave it on for too long or comb relaxer for roots to tips if its not being done on natural hair. The relaxer manufacturers knew what they were saying when they out those instructions on their products. Another idea may be to not relax your hair bone straight, but to leave some texture in it, what is now known as texlaxing in the hair forums. This ensures that the protein bonds in your hair are not weakened too much, leaving your hair strong enough to stand most manipulation.

2. Mechanical manipulation. That tail comb you or your stylist love using on your hair is most likely doing more harm than good. Even the way you comb your hair may be doing a lot of harm. Let's start with the comb. Even with relaxed strands, tail combs are not meant to be used for combing but only for styling. I am sure that whenever you have combed your hair with one of these combs, there were lots of broken pieces on the floor, or on your clothes. That's you giving yourself a haircut every time you comb your hair. Another thing I did, that I know many do is to combfrom the roots straight to the ends, ripping through any knots and tangles unfortunate enough to be in your way. That's another way you give yourself split ends and get more broken off pieces. In the end, your hair seems not to be growing when the only issue is you are not able to retain your length.

The solution: Drop the tail comb, and back away from it slowly. If you want to see your hair grow longer in a healthy way, invest in a wide tooth comb, or better yet, a wide tooth seamless comb. Or try using your fingers to detangle most of the time, and save the comb for when you have conditioner in your hair. Also, maybe starting to comb your hair from the ends to the roots is a great idea. This gives you more time to gently comb through. One more thing, combing isn't a thing to be done while in a rush. Take your time and your hair will love you.

3. Heat Tools. Flat irons, curling wands, tongs, blow dryers are the devil's creations. OK, I exaggerate but their effects on hair are not all good. Each time you use a heat tool too often, incorrectly or without adequate protection, you are making your hair weaker and more likely to break off. For example, the last time I used heat, I ended up having tiny bits of hair floating down whenever I touched my hair. This means that in that month, I didn't retain all the length I could have simply because of a heat tool.

The solution: Go cold turkey on the heat. Put yourself on a no heat challenge for about 3 months, and your hair will thrive. If going cold turkey is too much for you, then use heat less. Instead of flat ironing your hair everyday (or every week) do it once every fortnight or once a month. And use only one heat tool (e.g. air dry completely and then flat iron, instead of blowdrying and flat ironing). Use an effective heat protectant, every time you use heat, whether its a blow dry or flat iron. And always do it on the lowest setting, and use quality tools.

In my opinion, these 3 are the major causes of women not retaining length here in Zimbabwe. The series will be back with a post on moisture/protein balance. Until then, take care of your hair...


Wash Day Saga - Clarifying and Protein Treatment :)

Happy Easter everybody!!!

I am so happy Lent is over. I can get my caffeine on without feeling guilty now :).

I did my wash day on Saturday, since I hoped to have clean hair for the midnight Mass (which I ended up missing). Anyhoo, this is what I did on Saturday:

1. Hot oil treatment with coconut oil. I just wanted to oil my hair as a prepoo since I was supposed to go do some community service. But my coconut oil was solid (first time this has happened to me) and I ended up putting my bottle into some hot water to melt down the oil. Since community service got cancelled, I ended up doing the hot oil treatment and covering my hair with my heat processing cap for 2 hours (while watching Celebrity Masterchef) to let all that goodness into my hair strands.

2. Clarifying shampoo. Since my hair was not in box braids, I decided to do a thorough shampoo, and get to the bits that were being left behind when I washing in braids. I separated my hair using my claw clips, and shampooed once using ORS Creamy Aloe shampoo

3. Protein Treatment. I felt like my hair needed some protein after having just moisture recently so I did a protein treatment with Aphogee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor. I left it in for about 3 minutes before rinsing out.

4. Moisturizing DC. Of course I had to follow up with some moisture after the protein. I applied my Tresemme Naturals conditioner mostly on my new growth and texlaxed hair before covering with 2 shower caps and the heat processing cap before letting it all marinate for 4 hours. I spent the last 2 hours in the sun since we had a powercut, and I wanted to intensify the DC effect.

5. I rinsed out with cold water before t-shirt drying for an hour. Since I am not using heat at the moment, I decided to air dry using African threading. I did 6 of the threading thingies and left my hair in them overnight.

6. On Sunday I took out the threads and airdried my hair while it was loose. I ended up doing two french braids for bed on Sunday.

7. On Monday, I did a scalp massage with Wild Growth hair oil. I also put a little oil on my hair when I (finally) went to church. Later in the afternoon, I did threading again, only with smaller sections (10) so I could really stretch my new growth.

8. This morning, I took down the threads, moisturized with Elasta QP Olive Oil and Mango Butter moisturizer before doing a pony tail for work. I just felt like showing off my length and thickness. From tomorrow, I am back to bunning until May when I go back into the wigs.

The Wash Day Experience

So, how was your wash day?

Thursday, 17 April 2014

! Year Anniversary Giveaway

The giveaway is over. Sorry, I was supposed to announce the winner yeaterday, but I wasn't feeling well.

And the winner is................ *drumroll*

Sandra!!! Check your email girl, so I can get your prize to you ASAP.

Thank you all for entering the giveaway, I felt like a rockstar seeing all these entries. Watch out for the next giveaway which will definitely be coming soon.


Monday, 14 April 2014

Wash Day Saga: Co-wash

This weekend, I had yet another lazy washday. I was exhausted after doing Lent community service with the other youths from my church, and I really didn't feel like making a fuss over my hair. On the other hand, to stick to my Winter Challenge regimen, I had to at least deep condition. So I decided to do a DC/co-wash, and get it all over with at once.

I first put coconut oil all over my box braids (to prevent hygral fatigue and to give my hair an extra shot of protein to strengthen my line of demarcation). I covered my hair with my heat processing cap for 2 hours to let the coconut oil really penetrate my hair.

I then applied my Tresemme Naturals moisturizing conditioner on top of the coconut oil. I let it all marinate under my heat processing cap for another 2 hours, before rinsing out with cool water. I t-shirt dried my hair for about 30 minutes, and then let it fully airdry when I left the house to hang out with a friend. I also redid the box braids on my nape, as there was some hair coming out and tangling which wasn't pretty.  Later on that evening, I did a scalp massage with the Wild Growth oil, and my inversion. This morning, I moiturized with the VO5 daily leave in moisturizing cream, and sealed with castor oil, before throwing on my wig cap and wig. I think I will wear my hair out for Easter (Thursday to Monday) before going back into box braids again. I have now managed to wig it for 4 weeks, and hopefully I have retained length. I want to do a braid out for wor on Thursday (and see whether I can really rock it before including it into my style arsenal.

The long term stretch/transition is still going well. I'm not totally sure I want to call it a transition yet, since I may just chicken out. I will call it an indefinite stretch at the moment, and keep at it. I am now almost 22 weeks post, and the protective styling is definitely one thing that is helping me out the most. I think I am well on the way of achieving my April goal of stretching for up to 24 weeks.

Don't forget to join the #WashdayExperience linkup host by KLP from SavingourStrands and Jeni from JustGrowAlready.

The Wash Day Experience

How was your washday?

Friday, 11 April 2014

Random Hair Babble

Gosh, its been a while since I did one of these posts. Anyway, a mini update on what's been going on with my hair.

The cold weather is getting annoying now. My hair is getting dried out so fast :(. I don't think I will even dare to wear my hair out most of this winter because of it. I may need to invest in another wig soon, so I can switch up my wigs this winter.

The cold weather is also going to make me feel lazy about washing my hair. I am already dreading this week's wash day. I will most probably do a DC and co-wash just to keep my new growth moisturised, otherwise that's it.

My big brother was not amused when I did my dusting. He is still mad at me for cutting off what appeared to be a lot of hair. But I am happy with the way my ends feel now, so smooth, and they look great!!!

I am starting to have transitioning thoughts. I guess I am just bored of the relaxed hair thing, and I feel like a change. I am still not sure whether I am ready to totally give up the creamy crack, but I will just keep extending my stretch for as long as I can go. But i have my last ever box kit of creamy crack waiting to be used if I cannot keep stretching. But after that, I am definitely going to start long term transitioning. Yeah, I have caught the natural hair bug too. Sigh, another relaxed head bites the dust.

I started the April round of inversions on Wednesday. And this time, I am trying to stick to it, unlike the failure that was the March round. I need that extra boost of growth so I can make BSB by my 2 year anniversary.

The turbie wrap giveaway is almost coming to an end, but I may have another one coming up soon. I am getting my graphic designer friend to put my idea of a t-shirt that I am gifting myself for my 2 year hair anniversary. And I am also planning to have an identical one done for a lucky reader of this blog. So keep reading so that you do not miss out on this giveaway that will be live soon.

Hard Mashona Type is now on Facebook. You can find the page on this link below:

Have a great weekend everybody

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Demystifying African Hair: Hair Growth Rates

The name of my blog was inspired by the texture of my hair, what is known as Hard Mashona Type hair in Zimbabwe. The kind of hair that is so resistant to relaxers that stylists tell you to suck up the burning sensation on your scalp and sit still until the hair gets processed to the silky, limp state that was (and still is) preferred by most Zimbabwean stylists. SO when I started my healthy hair journey and told the people around me that I wanted to grow my hair down to my waist like my online hair idols, I was told many things. One person told me that only coloured (biracial), Asians, Arabs and Caucasians could grow that hair long, while I couldn't because I am descended from a long line of Africans, with no dilution by any other races. Another told me that my online hair inspirations could grow their hair down to their waists and beyond because they live in Europe and America, so the cold weather helps them grow their hair longer. I could go on and on listing all the theories I have been told as to why Yvette, a girl of southern African descent couldn't grow her hair past her shoulders. And I am here to bust all these theories wide open and show you how some of these myths hold back our full growth potential.

The average hair growth of any healthy human being that is still breathing is 0.5 inches ( 1.27cm) a month. This adds up to an average of 6 inches (15cm) of hair growth a year. Although some studies suggest that growth rates may vary depending on race (with Asians having the highest growth rate, and Africans having the lowest), no conclusive evidence points to this. Growth rate may also vary because of seasons (apparently hair grows faster in summer) or hormonal changes (pregnant women have longer hair because of an extended growth cycle). But on the whole, one may expect to grow between 4 - 6 inches of hair each year, as long as they are healthy, and have a balanced diet.

The hair growth cycle is another important factor that should be considered when determining one's terminal length (Terminal length = length to which hair would grow when it isn't trimmed or breaking off). The hair growth cycle consist of three phases, anagen, catagen and telogen.

The anagen phase is also known as the growth phase and lasts for 2 - 6 years. Your anagen phase is largely determined by genes, although people claim that there are peoducts or techniques that can be used to extend the anagen phase. About 85% of your hair is in anagen phase at any given moment.So let's say you have an anagen phase of 3 years, and your growth rate is 5 inches a year, you can grow up to 15 inches during that period of time. This means your hair can grow way past your shoulders in that period, busting the myth that African hair cannot grow beyond shoulder length.

The catagen phase lasts about 2 weeks, and during this phase the hair follicle shrinks, and cuts off the hair strand from its blood supply. In this phase, the follicle will be preparing itself for the new hair strand that will be coming through once the existing strand gets pushed out.

The telogen phase, or resting phase, is the stage at which the hair follicle is dormant for up to 4 months. Up to 15% of your hair will be at this stage at any given time. When the follicle starts getting active again, the hair strand will break off from the root and shed (the hair with the white bulbs at the root). Two weeks after this a new hair strand begins to grow, and the anagen phase starts all over again.

One should note that it is impossible for one ton accurately know the length of your anagen phase. This means you can only guess at what your terminal length is, but it is definitely not at your shoulders. Another idea to note is that only time, can determine the length up to which your hair can grow.

Using myself as an example, I cut my hair down to an inch in May 2012. At the last point at which I measured my hair, it was 12 inches long. This means I managed to grow 11 inches in 2 years, giving me an average of 5.5 inches a year. This definitely proves that African hair (not mixed with any other ethnicity) can grow as much as other races' hair.

The Demystifying African Hair series will be back with a post on how to get the hair length you always dreamed off.

I've finally hit hip length. That's only taken my whole frickin' life. Goal is classic.   Pale Lady Writes: Hair Post: Length Chart Image
source: Pintrest

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Don't forget to enter the giveaway... Tick tock, the entry deadline is almost here

Monday, 7 April 2014

Wash Day Saga - New Products, Old Techniques

Winter is definitely here. Yesterday was absolutely cold (at least for me) and this morning was even colder. Wash day almost didn't happen thanks to the weather, but after giving myself a talking to, I got down to serious hair washing business. I used a new product (ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo), and reintroduced an old technique (tea rinsing). So this is what happened yesterday...

1. Prepoo with coconut oil ( and also to protect my hair from the woollen hat I ended up wearing to church)
2. Shampoo with ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo. First impression, great shampoo. I didn't need to use a lot, and it lifted the build up in a snap.
3. Tea rinse (green tea, rooibos tea, linden tea and a lemon). The linden tea is a tea i found in our kitchen, most probably bought by my mum who is into herbal teas. According to Wikipedia "Active ingredients in the linden flowers include flavonoids (which act as antioxidants), volatile oils, and mucilaginous constituents (which soothe and reduce inflammation). The plant also contains tannins that can act as an astringent". 
4. Deep conditioned with Tresemme Naturals mixed with the very last bits of Beautiful Textures Rapid Repair under my heat processing cap for 2 hours.
5. Rinsed out the DC with cool; water, and t-shirt dried for and hour. 
6 I then sat down with my HE LTR and wide tooth comb and started taking down and plaiting the box braids all over again so that they look neater. I had very little shedding, though I ended my breaking my own hair because some of it had been braided into the wrong box braid :(
7. This morning I did a scalp massage with a sample bottle of Nubian Nature Hair Essence with Argan oil that I received from Jeenz. Review of this product will be up this week.

I am back under the wig regimen again. This cold weather that suddenly came over the weekend makes me just want to hide my hair. I am staying under these wigs all winter to keep warm throughout.

So that was my washday experience for 20 weeks post relaxer.

The Wash Day Experience
Join in the #washdayexperience with KLP and Keyda over at  SavingOurStrands.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Washing Your Hair While Stretching

Stretching can be a pain. Believe me, I am almost 20 weeks post, and I have done 2.5 rounds of inversion during this stretch and I know having 2+ inches of new growth to deal with can be major pain. Which is of course why most women do not stretch their relaxers. But I read this article on and the author was commenting on the regimen of this lady with HIP LENGTH hair!!! I am not aiming for hip length yet, it would take me forever and a day considering my height (5'10"). But since I do want long hair (WL) I decided to copy parts of this regimen which included epic stretches (24 weeks kinda epic).

But while I stretch I don't want to lose my progress by avoiding water or suffering from excessive matting and tangling. So I adopted this method of washing my hair. When I was doing 16-18 week stretches in 2013, I washed my hair in sections, just diving my hair into four sections and using clips to separate the hair. Then I would take out the clip, shampoo or DC that section before clipping it back up and moving to the next one. This worked pretty well, and I had minimal tangling and breakage, although it was starting to become a bit difficult thanks to the increasing amount of texlaxed hair that I have.

This year, with the amount of new growth I have and the length of my hair, using clips wasn't working too well. So I decided to adopt an old hair forum classic, and start washing my hair in box braids. I am telling you this method is amazeballs!!!! It is just the clip method, only on steroids. What I do is basically plait 8 box braids using my hair only. Then, I just do my entire wash day in the box braids. I only take them down after I have rinsed out the DC and t-shirt dried for a bit and then comb detangle. Zero fuss, minimal breakage, minimal tangling, and very happy hair. The washing in box braids also makes it easier to access the scalp, especially when you have really dense new growth that is hard to get through. This way, you can ensure your scalp is clean and is the optimum environment for healthy hair growth, while the use of box braids lowers the manipulation of the actual hair. Simple and perfect!!!

So if you are trying to retain more length while on a stretch, washing your hair in box braids is the best way to do it. Try it out and tell me how it goes.

Remember, the giveaway is running, enter and win the microfibre hair towel (I know you want it).

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April Goals

I haven't done any monthly goal setting for a while. Very, very bad of me. But I am working on correcting that since part of my Winter Challenge is to set goals. So here are my goals for April:

1. Deep condition with heat at least once a week
2. Scalp massages 3x a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
3. Protective style 95% of the time
4. Record everything I do to my hair in Hair Journal app
5. Drink at least 1l of water a day (not including other liquids)
6. Continue stretch to 24 weeks

Have you set any goals (hair or other) for this month? What are they?