Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Let's Get this Self Challenge Started

I'm back to give you pics of my official length check and what not. I've actually been following this little self challenge of mine for about a week and a half now. After my workouts I've been cowashing with Shea Moisture Black Soap Conditioner and while it's not super slippery, I still manage to do some decent light finger detangling with it.

I've been finger detangling every time I cowash because I feel like if I don't, I will end up with more tangles. After rinsing and getting out of the shower, I usually apply some oil and twist my hair so that my hair can air dry for a bit before I put it in a bun for the evening. The last few days I've actually worn a combination of braids or twists pulled back into a little bun, but for some reason my twists/braids look super fuzzy after a day so I get a little frustrated with them, plus I feel like my ends get more knots when I cowash in twists.

So yeah the challenge begins officially tomorrow, and I'm planning on cowashing after each work out, but every other day I plan on just rinsing my hair with water instead of actually applying any conditioner. I've been sealing with a mixture of olive oil mixed with castor oil and I think I'll start applying this mix to my scalp every other day or two. We'll see...I might save that idea for December's challenge.

Anyway here are some shots of my hair length, a few shots of my smallish braids that I had a few weeks ago, a few of my braid/twist buns and the main bun I wear. Mostly I do a banana clip bun (high or low) but if not that I've been using the goody hair clip. I'm trying not to do too many hair ties because I feel like it breaks my hair, but we'll see. I'll do a few product reviews soon and give some shots of my bunned hair...but I may not always do a bun, but I will make sure my hair is always in a style that has the ends tucked away.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

November Hair Challenge

Wow! It’s never been this long between postings. I’ve been pretty busy the last couple of weeks and just never thought to come on here and write. Since my last post I’ve done another henna session, some steaming sessions, rocked small braids (using my own hair) for a week and cowashed five days in a row. I’m still taking my Viviscal and will continue to take it until June 2013, which will make a year for me. In addition I’ve stopped applying Jamaican Black Castor Oil to my scalp and don’t apply any oils to my scalp. My scalp has been less itchy recently and I’ve started applying aloe vera gel to my scalp while I deep condition.
I’m on here to talk about my self-challenge for the month of November. While my hair is feeling pretty good, I realized that I started noticing more growth/retention when I was wearing WnGs only. When I did a WnG I usually could get second and sometimes third day hair out of it before cowashing and restyling. Most often I cowashed every other day, just because I liked refreshing my style frequently. While the WnG did contribute to more single strand knots, the constant moisture benefited my hair a lot and I finally started to see that growth I’ve been wanted and can officially claim shoulder length hair in the back (the sides and front have a while to go still). I’ve decided that I want to get back into the habit of cowashing regularly, particularly on the days I work out. I sweat pretty heavily and most of that sweat is on my scalp. My roots will literally be very damp after a workout. In the past I would just deal with the itching this caused and continue to wear whatever style I was rocking at the time. I can’t do that anymore. I just feel way to gross after a workout to let my sweating scalp dry and remain dirty until wash day. So the first part of my November challenge is to cowash after every workout, but do not cowash on days I don’t work out.
Now when I cowash, I don’t actually apply conditioner to my scalp. Instead I apply condition to the length of my hair after thoroughly saturating my hair in the shower. I massage my scalp first with just the water running against my hair. I apply enough pressure that I can loosen any dirty from my workout and let the water rinse away the sweat. I did this recently and my scalp feels pretty good afterwards. After I rinse the conditioner, I lightly finger detangle and apply castor oil/olive oil to my ends while in the shower before twisting my hair into about six or eight twists. Then I just let it air dry for the night and place my hair into a bun before I go to sleep (I usually flat twist my bangs because it doesn’t quite reach back into the bun yet, on cowash days I might not even remove the flat twists, that way I can keep the manipulation to a minimum). By then my hair is mostly dry.
And that brings me to the second party of my challenge. For November I am not going to wear my hair out at all, nor will I wear two strand twists or braids. I am going to wear my hair in a bun the entire month, following the routine above. On the days I don’t cowash, I might not even remove the bun at all (assuming it doesn’t look too crazy). To prevent breakage I will make sure that my banana clip isn’t too tight and that I alternate the location of the bun each week (high, low, middle, side, etc). On wash days I will steam/deep condition as normal, cleanse and put my hair back into a bun. I wash weekly, but if the frequent cowashing/scalp rinsing works out; I could probably stretch that to two weeks. Hopefully this challenge will allow me to retain my entire half inch of growth (assuming my hair grows half an inch…I’ll measure my hair on the first of November to get an accurate growth rate). I’m excited for my challenge but I’m going to look sooooo boring the month of November. Thank goodness for big earrings and headbands. I’ll come back on the first with my measurements.