Archive | August, 2012

It all Started With a Speech….My Journey the First Year

16 Aug

Last year after watching my first video on how to grow long and thick African-American hair along with a few of Naptural85’s (My FAV) videos on YouTube to do some research for an oral speech, I wanted to start my own HHJ (Healthy Hair Journey). All the tips that I learned reminded me of all of  the things my Mommy used to do to my hair as a little girl, when I had a lot of hair. No, to minimum heat use, keeping my hair moisturized, trimming my ends, sleeping with a bonnet or scarf , no chemicals were all the things my Mom would nag me about all the time, even in my relaxed days. Everything was starting to make sense to me now, why my hair wasn’t growing like it used to.

My hair 1 year before I started my HHJ, notice how thin &lifeless it is.

Immediately I stopped using heat and started a simple regimen.  I didn’t do much but I tried to stay consistent with washing or co-washing, and moisturizing. I didn’t know how to do any styles  other than a wet flat twist out, which I didn’t know I was doing at the time and my handy-dandy Puff.

I spent as much time as I could on YouTube watching videos from length retention tips, hairstyles, product reviews and whatever else I stumbled across about natural hair that caught my attention. I learned early not to get caught up in all the different bandwagons that were out there and to also appreciate and accept MY hair.

The TOTAL focus of my journey is to have healthy thick hair and has been since day one. I wanted my hair to be thick and full looking again.  I was retaining length but due to heat abuse and lack of moisture my hair was really unhealthy, thin and lifeless. So I set my mind to start a simple regimen of  monthly mayo & egg protein treatments, washing, conditioning, and applying some Olive oil weekly. I planned to moisture nightly when redid my flat twist. I told myself that I would stick to it no matter how frustrated I got, how hard it would be and I definitely wasn’t going to relax again so I felt I had no choice but to learn how to care for and style my own hair. I just wanted healthy hair again.

Before I knew it two months rolled around and I was still keeping up with my regimen. I even co-wahed from time to time which I recently discovered that I was doing very wrong. Lol Needless to say things were going smooth for the most part I even attempted a few styles I saw YouTube, a couple actually come out cute too! As I look back I was doing a lot of things wrong then too but the most important thing was I was sticking to a regimen and keeping my hair moisturized.

I actually never felt weird or anything going out with my hair totally shrunken, I would actually forget that my hair was in its natural state until someone would be looking at me like I was crazy but it didn’t bother me. To my surprise many people took to seeing me with my natural hair texture well and the first two compliments I received from someone outside of my family, boyfriend, and friends were from guys. I was in the gas station one day and this guy ask me was my hair real, now I’m looking around because I knew he wasn’t talking to me I wasn’t wearing any weave. So he asks me again this time I realize he is talking to me, I tell him “Yes” but I have this confused look on my face (mind you I would always forget that my hair would be in its natural state) he proceeds to say that my hair was pretty I thanked him and left.  I really felt comfortable with my hair.

2mths into my HHJ
Style I was wearing in the gas station (wet flat twist out)

As far as products I started out just using everything I already had. As time progressed I slowly bought products here and there. I wasn’t really into checking ingredients then, I did stop using sulfate though. So far I haven’t repurchased many of the products I’ve used I just move on to my next interest.

Time was really flying before I knew it had been 6mths since I lasted used any heat and I was still sticking to my regimen but I had gotten lazy with twisting my hair and started wearing a puff most of the time, I started to experience SSKs (single strand knots). They were so bad I didn’t want to detangle my hair and at time I wasn’t washing my hair in sections, which I later realized was partly the cause of the SSKs. This is also when I started finger detangling.

One day I was on a website reading about ACV rinses and the benefits it has on natural hair. One of the benefits is that it helps smooth the cuticles which will prevent knots. I went out and bought some apple cider vinegar and planned to try an ACV rinse my next wash. Wash day came around and of course my hair was super knotted but to my surprise that ACV rinse really worked! From that moment on ACV rinses were included in my washing regimen. I had conquered SSKs, Yay Me!

Good bye heat damage!

Five months later (11mths) I ran into my next problem, my ends were getting on my nerves because of the heat damage they wouldn’t still curled and were always dry. So one day after installing my “really mini twist” I decided to cut off all the hair that would not curl. I had ago started my own personal JBCO challenge in hopes of helping my hair get thicker. Cutting those damaged ends off was the best thing I could have done to my hair since the cut my curls have been popping and my ends feel so much better.

A couple of days after my 1st year journey anniversary  I did a lite blow-out to stretch my hair for my box braids and my hair was so big I couldn’t believe it. I wish I could’ve taken a picture but my camera didn’t have any batteries  at the time. Seeing how long and thick my hair had gotten from simply not using heat and keeping my hair moisturized and clean of course was really exciting and encouraging for me to continue my journey.  I’m so glad I stuck to my regimen even if I wasn’t doing everything right and got a little lazy at time I stuck with it.  With any hair journey there are trials and errors but with patience and knowledge you can get through it. Before this journey I had no interest in natural hair or the thought of doing my own hair but after watching YouTube and seeing how versatile our hair is I became hooked!

I’m planning an even better regimen and can’t wait to see the growth next year!

7mths (flat twist out)

8mths (no heat blow-out)

6 days before my 1 yr anniversary (braid out)

back of braid out

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My First Impressions of Oyin Handmade’s GrandPoo Bar & Honey Hemp Conditioner

5 Aug

Hey ya’ll!

A couple of days ago I washed my hair using Oyin Handmade’s GrandPoo Bar, this was my first time using any of Oyin Handmade’s products but I’ve seen many reviews and heard great things about their products. I bought them about two months ago when I first installed my braids and had been dying to try them since they arrived in the mail!

I washed my hair with the GrandPoo bar while in the shower (something I rarely do because I already take long showers) only because think it would be a little difficult to hold a shampoo bar in one hand and a sink attachment hose in the other. My hair was already detangled (I detangle before I wash) and separated it onto  my normal 5-6 sections. I rubbed the bar on my scalp and hair and to my surprise it gave a nice lather. I noticed that once I stopped working the suds in and left them along they just kinda absorbed into my hair which I found strange because I’ve never experienced that with a shampoo before. It rinsed away clean and easy and my hair did not feel stripped. I didn’t have a lot of tangles or SSKs (single strand knots) any tangles I did have I could just easily smooth out with my fingers. Overall I was very impressed, I’m going to give it another swirl next week when I do my protein & deep conditioning treatments.

After I got out the shower I wrapped my hair in a T-shirt (to soak up some the water), sat around for about 15 mins,  got dressed then applied the Imfamous Honey Hemp Conditioner. I REALLY  like this stuff! I applied it a little at a time to see if it would take a lot of product to take effect on my hair, I could feel my hair soften and become moist instantly! A little goes a loong way I was able to apply the conditioner to my entire head using only half the 2oz sample bottle. I used it as a leave-in because I was too lazy to put my head back under any water but I had heard in reviews that it was good as leave-in and deep conditioner so I figured I’ll test it as both since I had enough for another use. 🙂 I’m again very impressed, my hair didn’t take all day to dry and feels incredibly soft and smooth from my roots to my tips! I’m really interested to see how it will perform as a deep conditioner especially following my egg white protein treatment.

Check back in for my final verdict….until next time 

Thanx for stopping by!

Peace & Blessing Happy HHJ~

So the Braids are Out!

1 Aug

I was so happy when I took the last braid down *Excuse the build-up*

My braids had been in a little over two months  I did a few styles,which OF COURSE I forgot to take pics of.   Mostly I just kept it simple and wore them down with a side part. I kept up my moisture regimen of  spritzing my braids with water daily, sealing and applying my JBCO for the most part.

A few weeks ago I saw a video by a Youtuber named 007newnew and she used an AVC spritz to cleanse her scalp while her hair were in mini twists.  I thought HEY I’ll try that since I have braids! So I grabbed my spray bottle and filled it with water and put in 2 caps of apple cider vinegar, sprayed my scalp and let it sit about 5 mins. After letting it sit I hopped in the shower and co-washed with Tressemes Moisture Rich Conditioner. Once out the shower I applied my leave-in (Cantu) and sealed it with Olive oil. When my roots dried my hair felt softer and clean…..S/O to 007newnew for that tip I will be incorporating that into my regimen when fit!

A few days later I rebraided the front of my hair to remove build-up and to freshen my braids up for my trip to North Carolina. My hair has grown so much since installing them so as soon I got home the first chance I got they were coming out!  Although my braids weren’t too tight I could tell that my scalp was ready for a break my, I could feel my hair starting to stress in some areas.  

Once I did take them out my hair felt really soft, doesn’t feel dry at all! i think the aloe vera juice and water mix may have contributed to that, I will be further testing out the mix on my natural hair and I’ll let you all know my final thoughts.

Over all I think the Crown & Glory method is a great and cute way to protective style. It helped me retain length, keep my hair moisturized and was free for have to style my hair for two months.  If you are looking to grow your hair out, retain your length or gain thickness I highly recommend you try the Crown and Glory method!

I’ll be doing a protein treatment followed by a Deep Condition and trying out some of the new products I’ve recently bought , be back with details!

Thanks for stopping by until next time

Peace & Blessings ~ Have a Happy HHJ~