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

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


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.


Monday, 1 September 2014

Wash Day Saga - Uncharted Territories


So on the #washdayexperience linkup, our first washday challenge for September is to try out something different, be it a technique or a product. I decided to switch up my wash day (to save time) as well as try out a new rinse. Here's how my wash day went...

1. On Friday evening, I finger detangled my hair and applied my DC (Elasta QP DPR 11+) to my hair. I braided up each sections once the DC was on.

2. I covered with a shower cap and an old pair of stockings and went to bed :)

3. The next morning, I rinsed off the DC with warm water while ''scritching my scalp''. Scritching is a technique I picked up at the Long Hair Community. It simply involves rubbing your scalp using a brush or comb (or fingernails) to lift build up without using a shampoo or co-wash.

4. I decided to rob my aunts and use their beer stash for a beer rinse (don't tell them.) I used a can of Carling Black Label Lager (5.5% alcohol content)and just poured it over my hair. I didn't rinse it out, I simply t-shirt dried right after that.
my new (stinky) hair rinse
5. I applied my leave in (Shea Miracle) and sealed with coconut oil, before threading my hair to airdry fully.

6. I finally took down the threading on Sunday night. The beer rinse helped to lock in moisture into my hair (my hair was pretty moisturised, and felt soft). My new growth was very easy to detangle and I lost very little hair from shedding. Since the only new thing I used was the beer rinse, I must say that is what led to the reduced shedding

7. I decided to braid up my hair and start my wig regimen again until the end of September.

All in all, this wash day was a success. I probably won't do too many beer rinses since my family and friends would consider it a waste of good alcohol, and the smell lingers for a while. But I will try it when I have too much shedding that can't be cured by a tea rinse or a protein treatment.