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?