Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Curl Disaster using Perm Rods

One cold but beautiful Sunday afternoon was my Normal Wash Day. My protective style of choice for the week was a rod set using perm rods. I chose perm rods because I wanted small curls. Plus I thought the smaller curl the longer the style will last. For most this is true!

Products used to set hair:

1. Hawaiian Silky

2. Proclaim 7 Oil

3. Lotta Body mixture (50/50 water & lotta body)

Dry time: 45 minutes w/ heat then air dry over night

Result: A hot mess!! I ended up pinning my hair up for the week. My new growth was so puffy and out of control. I was so disappointed. Yes, my hair was completely dry the next day; however, I didn’t pull the rollers taut enough to avoid massive bushiness.

I know this protective style is great for transitioning hair but obviously I did a couple of things wrong. My first mistake was not pulling the rollers taut enough to tame the bushiness at the roots. Secondly, I should have added Aloe Vera gel for a light hold. Lastly, I used the wrong rolling technique. I rolled the perm rod closed to my head mimicking rolling your hair for a roller set but spiraling my hair on the roller. Confusing? Yes, I know but I didn’t take pictures of my hot mess. I was a little discouraged even though I received compliments at work. I watched a ton of different videos on you tube as a refresher. I’m not giving up and I will try the style again and master it, hopefully. Currently, I’m 9 months in my transition and maybe my new growth is too massive. Despite my massive new growth, curly styles are great and convenient for me especially since I work out. So as they say, “back to the drawing board.”

Monday, December 14, 2009

Weekly Inspiration

The future depends on what we do in the present.
       - Mahatma Gandhi

Normal Wash Day Routine

Every Sunday is wash da which is detailed below. After every wash I deep condition my hair with heat for at least 25 minutes. Once a month I use a protein treatment to maintain my hair’s moisture protein balance. Once a month I clarify my scalp with a clarifying shampoo and follow up with a moisturizing conditioner.

1. Hot Oil Treatment

a. Section hair into four plaits

b. Detangle with fingers first then big tooth comb

c. Added EVCO to scalp and hair to three sections; last section Proclaim Natural 7 Oil (Sally’s) to hair and scalp

2. Wrap hair with saran wrap; sit under dryer for 25 minutes

3. Shampoo

a. ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo

4. Deep Condition

a. ORS Replenishing Conditioner

b. Wrap hair with saran wrap; sit under dryer 25 minutes

5. Leave ins

a. Leave in conditioner – Suave

b. Aphogee Keratin and Green Tea Spray

6. Daily Moisturizer – Hawaiian Silky or Rose Water & Glycerin

7. Seal with EVCO

8. Air dry – 2 ponytails or 4 plaits

Results: Very little shedding which I contribute to the Sulu Growth I've been using since September. My new growth was very easy to comb through without tangles and knots. Protective styles for the week were buns and ponytails. I’m in love with the EVCO because it makes my hair super soft and keeps my new growth tamed.

Eat This Not That

I’m a girl who loves to eat and eat well. Strict diets never worked for me because I was having cravings for the fatty bad food. In order to “battle the bulge” I changed my mindset and took the word “diet” out of my vocabulary. I always try to practice healthy eating habits not only to lose weight but to fight off unwanted diseases like diabetes.

Eating healthy on the go is a big challenge for me because I love to travel. Eat This Not That is a wonderful book that teaches you how to make the healthiest choice when dining out.

The book simply takes some of our favorite restaurant dishes details the calorie, fat, and sodium content; then gives a healthier substitute for the dish.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to make healthier eating choices without major sacrifices.

Too Hot to Handle; Too Cold to Hold

It takes some cold hard cash to grab hold of this Hot Shoe/Purse combo designed by Jimmy Choo (favorite shoe designer). Choo never lets me down.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

To Bun or not to Bun…

…that is the question and the answer is Bun!! Since I took out my weave and flat ironed my hair, enjoying my length seemed like a no brainer. NOT! By the following Monday it was raining and my new growth curled up. At the time my only wish was that I was fully natural but my time is coming. That night I went home moisturized, sealed with EVCO, and braided my hair. For the next couple of days I rocked braidouts and by the end of the week it was snowing in Houston. Since then I decided to bun until the New Year to keep my ends protected from the dreadful weather.

Wearing my hair in a bun for the next three weeks will help me to finish my personal challenge: No Heat for 1 year. Within the last year I’ve only flat ironed my hair only twice for trims. Abstaining from daily heat styling was hard but I had a little help which I will explain in a later post. However, this challenge has only given me great results and I love my length.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The take down...

The day finally came to take down my hair. The take down happened during the weekend of Thanksgiving because I just couldn’t stand another day in my weave. I enjoyed it while it lasted but I was missing my hair terribly.

1. Once the braids are out: saturated my hair with Rose water and glycerin

2. Detangle

3. Add ORS Hair Mayonnaise from root to tip – protein treatment
 Eight months of new growth!

4. Plat into several braids

5. Sit under the dryer 30 minutes for protein treatment

6. Shampoo scalp only with clarifying shampoo

7. Shampoo hair with ORS Shampoo

8. D/C with heat 30 minutes – ORS Replenishing Conditioner

9. Leave ins – Neutrogena Triple Moisture, Aphogee Keratin Spray, and Proclaim 7 Oil to seal Coconut Oil

10. Plat hair in twists to air dry over night or pony tails using ouch less holders

11. Coconut oil – heat protectant

12. Flat iron

13. Trim

My results were amazing and I’m quite pleased. It seems the MTG Sulu Growth (MTG) was a success! The take down process was very, very simple. Detangling was a breeze to my surprise. I’m assuming because my hair was moisturized from oiling my scalp every week with the MTG. The end result was very soft manageable hair. I used the coconut oil for the first time as my heat protectant which made my hair silky smooth. The coconut oil is definitely a staple product and I prefer it over the EVOO. Since I flat ironed my hair, now until next wash day I will moisturize twice a day and wear pin ups.

APL? Maybe? Hopefully by the New Year!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Weekly Inspiration

God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.
Psalm 7:11

Hair Journey - Picture Overload

Due to all the heat damage and over processing I had to cut my hair to ear length in 2000.

I was able to gain some growth but not much due to flat ironing every day.

Let's fast forward to 2006 when I finally got some length. However, my ends were fried and I was holding on for dear life.
his is a resule of a bad hair cut in 2007.

This is what happens when a at home relaxer goes bad. I literally woke up the next day with no hair due to breakage. April 2008

April 2008

When all else fails I resort to braids. I kept my hair braided May 2008-September 2008. My hair was re-braided every 6 weeks.

This is the result after my braids were taken out and my hair journey began. This marks the first day of my journey September 2008.

Here I'm getting my thickness back. Start of no heat challenge for 1 year. December 2008.

April 2009

My first attempt at a trim. April 2009

My second trim and there is growth and success from my no heat challenge. July 2009

This is the longest my hair has been in my life. I'm so excited and overjoyed. December 1, 2009.

Cardio, cardio, and more cardio

In order to work off all the damage from Thanksgiving, I’m focusing on cardio this week. Some people love cardio and some hate it. Personally, I can do without it because I prefer to lift weights. However, I really, really need cardio in my exercise routine. My cardio routines are at least 40 minutes at least 3 times a week. A couple of times this week I plan to do the “Spartan 300” which is another 20 minutes of cardio.

Green Smoothies

I’ve tried my first green smoothie. The recipe I experimented with tasted okay. I plan to experiment with different veggies and fruit combinations for my taste. These smoothies are going to give me the daily recommended servings for fruits and veggies. A couple of additions to my rendition of the smoothies are protein and fiber. Adding the protein and 3 tablespoons of fiber (will vary depending on fiber content in vegetables) will turn the smoothie into a meal replacement. This is just another healthy eating tip added to my healthy eating lifestyle.

Blend on low speed adding each item individually: romaine lettuce, parsley, cilantro, spinach, pear, apple, watermelon, and lemon

Here's to a Cozy Winter!

I love my stilettos but my feet need a break every now and then. During my stiletto breaks I get pedicures, foot rubs, and wear flats. Here are some cozy yet chic boots I’m eyeing for this Winter season.

These are my favorites from my personal collection. They are so oh so comfortable!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hiding away...

For the past three months I’ve been wearing a full sew in. A full sew in is where none your hair is exposed. I must say that I miss my hair! On the flip side, I was able to tuck away my hair and give it a break from manipulation. My hair thrives off just being “left alone” which is very similar to my personality. Every week I cleansed my scalp and oiled with MTG Sulu Growth. Once a month I will wash my weave hair to get rid of product build up, dirt, etc. I’m anxious to see my progress. My goal is APL by December 2009 which I know is a stretch because my hair grows roughly ¼ inch per month.

I’m ready to take out my weave so I can continue to learn my hair. I’m still in the product experimentation stage but I’m getting closer to finding my “holy grail”. I’ve concluded that my product usage will change once I’m fully naturally. A month or two before my sew in I finally figured out the perfect mix for soft, shiny, bouncy spiral curls, when doing my roller sets. The main reason for getting the weave is because other transitioners ran into the most trouble doing their 6th month transitioning. I wanted to avoid any issues for as long as I could because I’m still on the fence.

Hopefully my take down will happen the weekend of December 4. I plan to take the whole weekend because I’m going to take my time doing each step. Here is a step by step action plan.

1. Once the braids are out: saturate my hair with Rose water and glycerin

2. Detangle

3. Add ORS Hair Mayonnaise from root to tip – protein treatment

4. Plat into several braids

5. Sit under the dryer 30 minutes for protein treatment

6. Shampoo scalp only with clarifying shampoo

7. Shampoo hair with ORS Shampoo

8. D/C with heat 30 minutes – ORS Replenishing Conditioner

9. Leave ins – Neutrogena Triple Moisture, Aphogee Keratin Spray, and Proclaim 7 Oil to seal Coconut Oil

10. Plat hair in twists to air dry over night or pony tails using ouch less holders

11. Coconut Oil -  heat protectant

12. Flat iron

13. Trim

14. length check – July 2009 to December 2009

15. Wear buns or pins up until next wash day

16. While hair is flat ironed moisturize twice daily – morning before work and before bed.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Weekly Inspiration

"When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?"
Psalm 56:3-4

The Journey starts here...

Once my quest for healthy started I immediately faced a road block. I had no idea what to do or how to do it. A couple of years ago I bought, read, and comprehended Cathy Howse’s (Howse) book “Ultra Black Hair Growth II: Another 6“ Longer 1 Year from Now”, but my impatient got the best of me. I only followed her tips for about 1 month before throwing in the towel. Now I’m at a road block and need help. 

My BFF called me one day to tell me about the No Trim/Deep Conditioning Challenge she was starting. This challenge was my first introduction to hair boards, blogs, and sites because this challenged was hosted on Healthy Textures. The site taught me so much information, it was god send. I noticed the women were using a lot of the same techniques Howse talked about in her book. Finally, I was able to see how proper technique, patience, and a little love goes a long way for maintaining healthy hair. I started the challenge in September 2008.

Based on all the knowledge I gained from the site, I started a personal no heat challenge for year starting December 2008. My goal was to learn how to style and care for my hair without heat. My hair suffered from heat damage way to long; plus I needed to break my addiction to daily flat ironing. Yes, you ready right I use to flat iron my hair every day!! Next month I will meet my goal and I’m so proud of myself. Within the last 11 months my hair was flat ironed, professionally, once and only for a length check and trim.

In January 2009, I decided to stretch my retouches from 8 weeks to 12 weeks. Stretching my relaxers helped me hair to thicken greatly. By this time I was learning to master the art of braid outs, roller sets (Mohawk technique), and Bantu knots. Wearing the curly styles became very convenient because styling in the mornings were minimized (somewhat). My hair was thanking me for the break away from heat. During salon visits, rod sets became my friend because the “no heat” challenge applied hairstylists as well.

By March 2009, my new growth was in full effect and I was in love. Remember, my last relaxer at this point was in December 2008. My curly styles were bigger and more beautiful because of my new growth. The thought of getting a relaxer and having bone straight hair was starting to bug me. By the end of the month, I decided to embark on a more natural journey.

Time to switch it up

Sarah, my gym partner, was recently reconnected with her childhood love, gymnastics. The gym where she coaches has an adult class that meets every Thursday. The class is basically conditioning techniques: stretching, upper body strength, handstands, cartwheels, etc. The class is definitely for beginners and non-professionals and focuses on the basics.

The first night in class went very well and I loved it. For the first time I was a trampoline sad to say but true. I plan to attend the class for the next month and see how I feel at the end of December. I love switching up my exercise routine and getting out the gym. I believe this class will help me reach goal of having Angela Bassett’s arms. Since the class is only once a week, I will continue to work out in the gym alternating between cardio and weights.

My goal for this class: get in a full split.

Reebok Women’s Easy Tone Inspire Walking Shoe

Proper footwear for your workouts is just as important as footwear for normal everyday wear. The shoe worn during workouts is important in order to prevent injury and maximize performance. Reebok introduced a new walking shoe that’s very interesting and pricey ($99.90-$110.00). These walking shoes are on my radar for now. I need to do some more digging before splurging. Check out the product description and some customer reviews here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

3 Week Challenge - **Update**

The challenge ends on Saturday and I was unable to finish successfully. “Life happened” which caused me to fall off my last 1 1/2 weeks and I’m not going into details at the moment. I was able to loose at least two pounds. However, I’m sure those pounds were gained back since I haven’t been in the gym the last week or so. That’s okay because exercising and eating healthy is a lifestyle change; so I can always get back on track. This week is Thanksgiving and I plan to get some cardio in by week’s end.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weekly Inspiration

“The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.”
-Maureen Dowd

...and there were BAD times

An opportunity of a lifetime presented itself which required me to move to Texas. I had high hopes for Texas and was very excited about my new adventure. Surprisingly, it was difficult for me to find a stylist of the same caliber as Keysha (please refer to “There were good times post). Keysha was nice enough to provide me KeraCare hair products to hold me off until I was able to find a stylist. I was so touched by her thoughtful act; it made me miss her even more. She was truly a friend as well as my personal hair stylist!!

The search for the perfect stylist wasn’t an easy one. Let’s just say I ran into my fare share of scissor happy stylist who didn’t know what they were doing. I can not place all the blame with the stylist because I’m to blame as well. Here are a few bad habits that needed correcting in order to see my hair long and healthy.

1. Going more than two weeks without a shampoo.
2. Not d/c on my own
3. Not moisturizing and sealing my hair daily
4. Flat ironing every day without heat protectant
5. Not maintaining moisture/protein balance
6. Using improper blow drying methods
7. Over/under processing my relaxer when done myself
8. Stressing over situations that were beyond my control (major issue that needed conquering)

For the next four years after leaving ATL, my hair never grew past my shoulders and I was frustrated. At one point I found a stylist who is the male equivalent to Keysha. My time with him was short lived because I was soon unemployed again and could no longer afford his services. But wait; there is a bright side to all of this! Once I was settled at permanent employment I finally found a stylist I can trust and loved. With her help I was able to get my hair back on track. This time I tried working with her by changing my “at home” hair habits that stagnated my growth. With this new found determination my quest for healthy hair began.