Friday, April 29, 2011

When you know you're going away for the weekend...

Current Style: Two strand twists!

Starting in May I am going to take a break from the twists and trying to keep my hair pulled back for an entire month. I'm doing this mainly because when my hair is down, I have a tendency to twirl strands of hair around my finger and I'm sure that's not healthy. So if I wear it back, not only should it help me retain length, but it also means I won't be messing with it.

But I am in San Francisco this weekend and I couldn't haul all my hair products with me so it was easiest to just put my hair in two strand twists. I got a sample of Oidad's anti heat and humidity gel and decided to use that for my twists. I liked it at first because it had such a firm hold...but now I'm thinking the hold is too strong. My twists don't feel as soft as they usually do and I hope when I take them out that it won't be a problem.

I also left a whole bunch of conditioner in my hair this time around, which is supposed to be good moisture wise. I sealed with a little olive oil for shine, so that's it! I kind of like how they turned out this time. I meant to make them really small all over, but it was taking forever and so they are varying sizes. I'm still annoyed at the front of my hair only because it just doesn't curl like the rest of my hair and I have to wear rollers to blend them in. I think as they grow longer, I can trim a bit here and there and hopefully cut off the last of the relaxed ends.

Other than that my hair is surviving here in San Francisco and my friends liked the style on me, so that's a plus. We're going out tonight...I gotta figure out how I want to 'dress' up my hair a bit.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Vitamins do the body good




Kind of a cutesy headband...but I really like it!

Currently Style: Pulled back in a bun with a headband as decoration. At least this way I keep my hands out of my hair. When it's down all I do is twirl twirl twirl...

So I've been taking vitamins. I take a multi-vitamin for health (it also has caffeine which is a huge help in the mornings) but I've started some other vitamins that are supposed to be good for hair, skin, and nails.

I'm taking:
    
  • Nioxin Recharging Complex. It's one tablet a day (although I've upped it to two because I just want to finish the bottle). Has this been helping? I don't know. My nails do seem to be growing faster (that could be a result of not biting them anymore) my skin does seem to be clearer. But my hair? I don't know? I can't really tell if there's much of a difference...is it softer? Shinier? Longer? Well nothing spectacular is happening overnight but I think in general my hair is healthier.
  • Biotin: 5,000mcg. Another one tablet a day vitamin. Now biotin I do love and I think it helps getting nice skin. I know some people can take too much of it and get breakouts but I'm drinking nearly 70 oz of water a day and biotin is water soluable so whatever my body isn't using gets flushed out. This is supposed to be excellent for the hair, but since I've just started taking it I can't confirm this or not, will keep you posted.
Like a lot of women (maybe) I would love to be able to take a pill and grow my hair super long in like a month, but that's simply not possible. What I can do is make sure that my body is getting all the nutrients it needs to produce healthy hair, skin, and nails. I know vitamins aren't the only factor. I definitely feel like all the water I'm drinking lately is doing wonders for my skin. It's so clear right now. And the heat and humidity also help. Yes my skin gets sweaty and shiny, but personally I like that look. Somehow it makes me look all...glowy, especially if I'm wearing a light bronzer or something...or my bare escentuals, that stuff makes you glow!

Another key factor to my overall health right now is exercising. I've taken up cycling and already I feel and see a difference. Maybe my hair will too.

So my recommendations: Taking a good multivitamin, skip the Nioxin, take some Biotin, drink lots of water and exercise! You'll definitely see a difference. (Oh yeah, Flaxseed Oil or Fish Oil is good too...but not necessary).



Monday, April 25, 2011

Fluffy greasy hair...

So fluffy!
Current Style: Braid out on a two day old twist out, pinned back on the sides with flower clips. Hair has way too much castor oil in it.

Sometimes I'm at a complete loss of what to do with my hair. I really hate having to do it in the morning before work, because it either takes up so much time or I just can't figure out what to do with it. If I'm not wearing twists, then I seem to get confused and it's easiest to just toss a wide headband on or something.

Last night, while watching a movie, I decided to apply my MN/oil mixture to my scalp and a little castor oil along my edges and nape. I massaged everything in and then sectioned my hair into a few large braids in the hopes that when I removed them in the morning I would have some wavy hair.

This morning my hair was was soft and fluffy, and I did have a nice wave pattern from the braids...until I finger combed them away. I was trying to do something with the bangs, which aren't long enough to do much with and when curly decide to stick straight out...I must figure out a way to make that look...purposeful. Anyway, I just pinned the sides up and went to work. It's looking quite poofy and I don't like it at all...but oh well.



I know I put too much oil in my hair and every time I touch my hair  my fingers get coated in the stuff and I have to go wash my hands. So gross! But oh well, I don't plan on washing my hair until Wednesday so then I can have fresh twists for my trip to San Francisco. I'll just have to deal with the greasy hair until then, tomorrow I will probably just pull everything back.


See I had to add bobby pins to keep the bang down.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Anniversary Hair

My going out style. Isn't the headband cute?
Current Style: Flat twist out, a little bit wild right now since I woke up. But last night it looked pretty cute.

I tried my first flat twists Friday night after washing and conditioning with Shea Moisture Restorative shampoo and conditioner. I DC'd for about 45 minutes with a little bit of olive oil on my scalp before rinsing everything out with cold water (yikes!) and t-shirt drying. My hair was very shiny and smooth, guess I'll be doing the cold water thing all the time now.

Next I applied some Shea Moisture Hair Milk (smells great) and some Kinky Curly Knot Today, sealed with coconut oil and applied a bit of Kinky Curly Custard to help the twists stay together. And then I got started.

The sad flat twist attempt.
Now this was extremely hard. I don't know how other women do this, but kudos to them! I'm sure if I practice I'll get better at it, but doing the back of my head had my arms hurting and I admit I was not doing them as well as I probably could have. I was grabbing too many big sections, just to hurry up the process.


My going to the mall look. Just add earrings...makes it prettier.


Oh well, I managed what I could and tied a satin scarf on and that's how I stayed for the next 24 hours ( even went to the mall that way). Saturday night, before going out to dinner I undid all the twists and my hair came out great! A nice wavy pattern which is just what I wanted and my hair was extememly soft..still is right now. I added a butterfly headband to jazz up the fluffly do and I was good to go! Didn't even need to add any other product to my hair since it came out so soft and shiny. I will definitely be doing that again.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Never go to bed with wet hair...

Today's hair. Not much else I can do.

Today's Style: A wash n go...well last night it was, this morning just sprayed it with water and tossed in the gel. Slicked back with a wide headband.

Back of my hair today...not too bad right?
I always tell myself not to go to bed with wet hair, but last night when I got home from the gym, I really wanted to take my twists out, so I rinsed my hair in the shower with a little conditioner and when I got out I started untwisting. Note to self, doing this on wet hair was a bad idea! My hair kept tangling and at one point a good sized knot had to be removed. Won't be doing that again.

That being said, the hair came out alright untwisted, but then i realized that is not the hair I would be waking up with. But I didn't want to comb through it and lose the curl so at first I pinned back the front...took the bobby pins back out and just tied my scarf on and went to bed.

The AM result was lovely matted hair, but at least it was soft. I didn't have time to jump in the shower and apply conditioner to try to coax my have back to life, so I simple sprayed, fluffed and applied gel. When it looked decent, I applied a headband and wala! Out the door. Not the greatest hair day, but it'll do.

Tomorrow I plan on working out in the morning, then coming home, washing, deep conditioning, and then trying out my first flat twist (I think it will go horribly). I'm doing the flat twist since I'm going out tomorrow night, so once my hair is dry I'll undo them and style the hair a bit...hopefully it'll be okay. If not it's just going to have to get pulled back.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Embracing the Natural Me!



Hair in twists, pinned back.

Current Style: 5 day old two strand twists, recently washed. Some are unraveling and the hair is looking a little fuzzy. Just need to make it through Friday and I'll take them out after work.

Current Regimen:
  • Shampoo and condition weekly with Shea Moisture Retention Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Deep Condition weekly with either Mixed Chicks DC (with olive oil) or Shea Moisture Repair Masque
  • Protein treatment (haven't done this yet, but plan to this weekend. We shall see how it goes).
  • Every evening moisturize with Kinky Curly Knot Today, Seal with Castor Oil Hair dress
  • Alternating evenings: Castor Oil and MN on scalp (heard they help with growth).
  • Sleep with a satin scarf.
  • Oh yeah, and after washing I usually style in two strand twists since I can wear them all week and have little hair manipulation. Means more time to eat breakfast in the mornings!
Back of my hair, looking more like coils than twists.
Most Recent Discovery: Henna! Did a Henna treatment this past weekend. I added warm water to about two cups of henna, lemon juice, olive oil, avocado oil, and rosemary essential oil. Let that sit three hours and applied to my freshly washed and detangled hair. Put it in and put a plastic cap on and went  bed. 7 hours later (I was feeling anxious and woke up at 7am on a Saturday...go figure) I washed out the treatment, applied Mixed Chicks and sat under a heat cap for 45 minutes. Rinsed (which got all the extra henna out) and....wow! My hair was shiny, there were no strands of hair in my brush or hands and I had a noticeably redder tint to my hair, which was kind of groovy. Will definitely be doing that again! (Maybe once a month or so?)

So I started a grow-out challenge on naturallycurly.com and started my blog with them, so I decided to put together a separate blog for myself that would chronicle my hair journey from now until...well whenever.

While ultimately I would love to have long, luscious curly hair, right now I'm content to just get my hair healthy and learn how to take care of it. For my grow-out challenge I'm aiming for shoulder length, stretched. I'm currently mid-neck length when my hair is straight and the back is just starting to touch the base of my neck (for some reason the back grows quicker then everywhere else). I think I'll gradually cut my hair until everything is even. Right now I swear every strand is a different length...my hair just grows strangely.

I unintentionally started transitioning in March of 2010. That was the last time I got a relaxer professionally done, all the times before that I would just do them myself (it was cheaper) and I think that's why I had a lot f breakage. That and I also wasn't deep conditioning or moisturizing and oiling like I'm supposed to. Nor was I wrapping my hair at night. So my hair was kept short, ear length and although I had intentionally cut it that short in early March (I think I was channeling Rhianna) I decided I wanted long hair. Only...it kept breaking off before it could get anywhere.

Then I realized maybe I was losing hair for another reason. In July of 2010 I had a lot of hair broken off in the back (it was bad!) and a hairdresser suggested I get tested to see if I have a thyroid condition. She also said to start taking vitamins to see if that will help with my hair's health. I listened to her as she buzzed off the back of my hair (hence my half BC) cute and shaped up the front to blend with the super short back, and sent me on my way. (When I first heard the clippers I freaked! But it turned out nicely).

Turned out I did have a thyroid problem, got on meds, started taking a multi-v and biotin and started taking care of my hair. I watched Youtube videos and read a lot of blogs to figure out how to care for natural hair and now I admit I'm a a bit of a product junkie. There are so many things I want to try...but I'm limiting my self to one thing at a time, until I discover what works perfectly for me.

I tried giving up shampoo and conditioning wash only, but I work out and when I do, I sweat...a lot! And after a week, I just feel like I need a good ol' shampoo. But I do use sulfate free shampoo and I think my hair appreciates that.
My hair this morning. Twists are getting fuzzy.


I'm excited to start this blog because as things progress, I can look back and see how I started out. If my hair looks better now rather than later, or gets better. I know this is going to be a trial and error hair journey. Thanks for going along for the ride!