I Have a Secret

I know I'm going to get a lot of raised eyebrows from people after reading this post, but I felt like I would be keeping a secret if I didn't share.

One day my sister sent me the following video of this young lady's hair journey and progress to date (we're always stalking searching for women who have hair "like ours" to keep us motivated about having long hair one day). While I was watching the video, she mentioned using miconazole nitrate (MN) to help speed up her hair growth. For those of you who are unfamiliar, MN is commonly used to treat yeast infections. I had heard of MN for hair growth, but wasn't really interested in learning more. However, once I saw this video, I was a little more curious. Long story short, after about 2 weeks of research, I decided to give it a try. I know there are many people who are like HELL NAW! And I was one of those people, but after learning more, it didn't seem there was much to lose.

After reading a few threads about MN on Long Hair Care Forum, I decided to do a simple mix of 2% Target Brand MN with 4oz of castor oil and 2oz of grapeseed oil. I mixed it all together and shook vigorously in order to blend the MN. I'm hoping to get roughly two weeks or more out of this 6oz mix.

My plan is to use MN daily from now until two weeks before my next relaxer in April, which is roughly 12 weeks (I waited 4 weeks after my last relaxer before starting to use it). The primary reason why I want to use MN is because I have always had a problem with my temples. Fortunately, I'm not bald, but the hair is VERY THIN. So I'm hoping that the MN will help fill in this area because nothing seems to be working.

Right Temple_October 2011
Left Temple_October 2011

So that's my secret. I don't plan to use MN forever. Depending on my results, I'm thinking that I would like to do this 1X per year for a few weeks just to get an added boost. I do feel like I'm cheating a bit regarding my progress if I do get great results, but we'll see. I'll cross that bridge once I get to it.

So what do you guys think? Have any of you ladies tried it and saw results, but decided you didn't want to continue using it anymore? Or have you just watched from the sidelines and shook your head (lol)?


Direct Heat Again...

As you guys know I got my hair relaxed about two weeks ago and I have my next hair appointment on Friday. My original goal was to go direct-heat free until my next relaxer in March, but I decided that I am actually going to get my hair blown out and straightened again during this salon visit.

The rational is that I want to give my hair a full 4 week break from the cornrows before I start wearing them regularly again. Since I have a fresh relaxer, my hair needs to grow in a little before I start braiding again. Once I start wearing my cornrows again, I plan to do so until the beginning of April when I get my next relaxer and mark my one year hairversary!!!

I'm not excited about the use of direct heat, but considering this won't be a regular habit, I think I can live with it. Also, I'm still protecting my hair overall by wearing my wig, so I feel a little better. Until next time!


Ready for Home Hair Care Again

As planned, I made it to Beans Beauty to restock my Phyto products. I got everything that was on my list plus some small samples. As a result of Small Business Saturday, I was essentially able to get my conditioner for free, which is always a plus!

The samples I received are:

  • Phyto 9 daily moisturizer, which I have used in the past. 
  • Phytojoba Intense Hydrating Shampoo (for ultra dry hair), which is what my stylists uses during my regular appointments.
  • Phytokarite Ultra Nourishing Mask (for ultra dry hair), which I have not tried before, but am excited to!
  • Phytodensium Anti-Aging Mask (for lifeless hair). I will likely try this so that it won't go to waste, but I'm not sure what to expect from it.

In addition to my hair purchase, I couldn't resist stopping at one of my favorite clothing boutiques across the street. I don't know why I stopped there because it always leads to trouble and more money spent! Needless to say, I walked out with two pairs of jeans that I absolutely love! You know how some women are shoe women, others are purse women? Well I'm a denim girl - I am serious about my jeans! This store was having a buy one get one free sale on EVERYTHING in the store. Do you know how major that is to get two pairs of jeans for the price of one? I also got two cute bangle style bracelets. So I felt a little bad for splurging, but this is what I work hard for!


Need to Restock

I started taking care of my hair myself in July (in terms of washing, conditioning, etc.). I was able to last until last week without needing to purchase any additional product, but now it seems I'm out of everything! I need:

  1. Phytosesame Express Hydrating Conditioner 
  2. Phytomist Instant Hydrating Conditioner (I love this stuff - it's my leave in and I have actually been using this to moisturize daily while wearing my wig since it's a liquid and easier to penetrate braids)
  3. Huile d'Ales Pre Shampoo Intense Hydrating Oil Treatment (I use this for my oil treatments)
  4. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (EVCO), this was the first product I purchased in March when I first learned about length retention and started my hair journey
I'm actually a little excited that I'm out of EVCO because now I'll try some of the other oils that I've been curious to try as a sealer. I have an unopened bottle of grapeseed oil, which I was inspired to purchased based on the beautiful locks of Just Grow Already who swears by it, and jojoba oil based on Ms. Kibibi. I am excited to experience both of these and hopefully add additional oils to my options.

I would like to restock on these items this Saturday because it is Small Business Saturday, which is a day to support small businesses. There is a lovely little posh, beauty boutique in my neighborhood that sells basically the entire Phyto line, so I can certainly get everything at once. Also, American Express is offering $25 when you support a small business on Saturday, so I'll get some money off of my purchase, which is always a good thing!



Here is a picture of the front of my hair that I took from the car to text my sister...lol! We started our hair journey together so she was anxiously awaiting my results. I thought it might be fun to share on the blog since I don't have any front shots of my hair.


First Length Check: Relaxer Results

So I just returned from the salon for my much anticipated relaxer (I was actually nervous before I went - not really sure why?).

I had my stylist just flat iron my hair straight because I plan to jump right back into my wig tomorrow and wear my hair cross wrapped underneath. So here are the results (sorry for the poor quality - I still don't have a camera, so these are taken with my phone):

11.2011 Relaxer & Trim
11.2011 Relaxer & Trim
It's hard to get a sense of the growth because the damn lines on my shirt start at like APL! I think I'm going to get another shirt starting my next length check. You can check out my starting pictures here.

So regarding my actual hair appointment - everything went well for the most part. My hair has been in cornrows for the last 4 weeks since I've been wearing Mina. I got a steam treatment and a trim. My trim isn't actually jacked up although it may seem so from the photos - my BF took these and wasn't in the mood to have a photo shoot, lol! 

I don't think my stylist trimmed any more than normal, although she made a comment that I shouldn't wait as long between trims next time, which leads me to believe that she may have actually cut more than normal. Whatever the case, I decided that I really want my future long hair to look just as full and thick as my current length hair, so I'm committed to trimming with every relaxer and patiently working toward my goal.

I feel ok about my hair right now. This is the length that my hair has been most of my life (I got it cut into a bob one year ago), so it's funny because I almost feel like now is the start of my hair journey since anything significantly beyond this will be unchartered territory for me.

I usually relax every 12 weeks, but I'm thinking I will actually wait until the end of March 2012 for my next relaxer because:
  1. I'm planning to wear my wig through the winter in order to keep my hair protected, which means I'll be in corn rows
  2. If I go until the end of March, I'll only be adding another 6 weeks
  3. The end of March marks my 1 year hair journey, so I thought it may be kind of fun to get a relaxer and have my next length check then
So that's my story for now! I'm not really sure if what I'm doing is or isn't working, but I guess time will tell!


Almost Relaxer Time!

Hi All! Hope your weekend went well and that you enjoyed the extra hour of sleep (for those who observe DST). I have been crazy busy lately with some personal matters which have required me to travel (away last weekend, this weekend, and part of the end of this coming week).

I scheduled an appointment to get my texturizer today, but ended up canceling because I have to get caught up on my life, lol! So I rescheduled to two weeks from now which will put me at 14 weeks post (that's also the week of Thanksgiving so I may wear my hair out since it's been a while). I would actually consider waiting longer for my relaxer because my hair is currently cornrowed, but I would like to get on a schedule of every 12 weeks. I don't really have a compelling reason to relax every 12 weeks except that's how often I used to relax before I went natural and it seemed to work for my hair. I think moving forward I'll take it on a case by case basis. I think the longest I would consider going between relaxers is 16 weeks which would put me at 3 relaxers and trims per year (I trim with each relaxer).

When I do relax, I'm planning to wear my hair straight so that I can do a length check with my t-shirt. I'm uuuubbbeerr nervous about the length check because I'm scared that I won't have much progress since the one I did in June. But I need to mentally prepare myself that even if I haven't grown as much as I would like, something is better than nothing and as mentioned before, what's the rush?


How Do You Know What's Working?

I often think about this question regarding my hair. As I try different items to improve my hair health and influence my hair growth, I often wonder is it working?

For example, I have been taking hair vitamins for the last year that I actually do think work. You may remember from an earlier post last month when I spoke about hair growth that I couldn't explain - I thought it may have been related to the fact that I was eating way more protein (two hard boiled eggs for breakfast daily), or the B-complex I started taking for better brain function, or the Bamboo Leaf Tea that I started drinking for the ceramide benefit. I say all this to say, although I'm adding one new item at a time, it's hard to tell what's working well and what's not?

I guess if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I'll keep doing what I'm doing until I have reason to stop!


Is It Really Worth It?

I was visiting Ms. Kibibi's site and came across a "throwback" picture as she calls it, of when she first started her hair journey, a little past shoulder length. In the post she shows two pictures: one of where she began her hair journey and one when she reached waist length 5 years later. She made a great point in the post, which is - it took her 5 years to make waist length, which may be be a long time, but what's the point of rushing to reach your hair goal?

When you think about things from that perspective, I think it helps to take the pressure off of reaching these amazing lengths in as fast a timeframe as possible (I clearly am talking about myself and my lofty length goals for 2012). Let's face it, we all wanted healthy, long hair yesterday, hence the reason many of us started our journey, however, the reality is, it may take a little longer to reach your length goal, but what's the rush? Time will keep going so you mind as well work toward your goals and just allow things to happen as they may.

In general, I am a pretty impatient person (I'm working on this) and I'm VERY results driven, so when I see results, I'm encouraged to keep doing something. So with my hair, I'm pretty sure committed to reaching my goal, but when I think about how long it may take, I get a little discouraged. But if I change the way I approach the time frame, I think it makes my long term goals a little easier because the reality is, regardless of whether or not I reach my goal next year, or in 3 years, what do I have to lose?

I'm not sure if this makes sense, but it was on my mind.


Meet Mina

As planned, I got my hair done on Friday (including corn rows) in order to start protective styling for the fall/ winter! I took a risk and got my hair braided without actually having a wig yet. So first thing Saturday morning, I was at the hair store!

I didn't want anything long because let's face it - my hair is shoulder length now and I want the wig to look somewhat natural. I came across Mina and decided to go with her because she was about as close as I was going to get to what I wanted and the price wasn't bad. Mina is made by Outre and she is synthetic. I was a little leery about purchasing a synthetic wig because I need it to last for a while and not get tangled, etc. But after speaking to the ladies at the hair store and reading a nice wig maintenance post by The Awkward Stage, I decided to go for it. I like how Mina looks on me, but she's a bit shiny right now and I need that to go away (i.e. she looks very fake). Whatever - I guess you have to take the good with the bad with wigs. I'll be traveling from Thursday through the weekend, so I'm glad I got this straightened out.

Now I have to work on keeping my hair moisturized - for some reason that has been a challenge since I got my hair braided on Friday. Till next time...


I Tried it Again...And it Worked!

The Greenhouse Effect that is! So I didn't even intend to do the Greenhouse Effect, but what had happened was (lol), I M&S'd my hair on Tuesday night and I used a good amount of product (I have a heavy hand). So after I M&S, I like to put on my scarf so that I keep my hands out of my hair (you know I have a problem with that based on an earlier post). I got a new pack of plastic caps last week when I went wig shopping that was sitting on my counter, so I decided to use the plastic cap, followed by my other scarves.

I did not add any type of water or anything, but the next morning the cap definitely had little beads of water and there was visible steam! When I removed the plastic cap, my hair was barely damp, but it was nice and soft and moisturized. On Wednesday night I followed the same process as the night before, only this time I didn't M&S (I M&S every other day) and I had the same results this morning...small beads of water in the plastic cap along with slightly damp, moisturized hair. I think I may continue this method especially as I start to wear my wig because the wig accessories can be drying (I wear a satin scarf over my braids and then the wig cap and wig).

Just thought I would share that I accidentally stumbled upon making the Greenhouse effect work for me since I had such a traumatic experience before! Until next time...


Headed Back to the Dark Side

I'm sure you're wondering what I mean by "the dark side" although you may have some guesses. Basically, I just don't have time to spend 5-8 hours doing my hair, so I'm going back to my bi-weekly salon visits starting this Friday. BUT don't fret! I'm still fully committed to my hair journey and my goal of MBL (although I feel like giving up sometimes)!

As I spoke about in my hair story, earlier this year I had actually started getting my hair corn rowed during my salon visits so that I could wear a wig, so I'm planning to go back to that routine. Following are the pro's and con's that I've weighed in making this decision:

1. I get 5-8 hours of time back on a bi-weekly basis, or 10-16 on a monthly basis
1. I will no longer have exclusive control of my hair and how gentle it’s treated
2. My stylist has a wonderful steamer, so I get to return to my oil treatments under the steamer on a bi-weekly basis = double benefit
2. My stylist is EXPENSIVE, so I’ll lose the savings of caring for my hair myself
3. I still will not be using direct heat on a regular basis because the process for my salon visits is:
  a. steam + oil treatment
  b. shampoo & conditioner
  c. hair is cornrowed while still damp, so no direct heat
3. The last time I followed this routine of keeping my hair cornrowed, I got SOOO BORED WITH MY WIG! I may need to remedy this by investing in a few different selections vs. just one all of the time
 4. I’ll still M&S on a daily or every other day basis with my hair cornrowed; I’ll also still oil my scalp with JBCO regularly with easy access to my scalp

5. This will help me keep my hands out of my hair, and more importantly my ends protected, which will help with length retention!

I think this is a good idea at this point because I need to protect my hair since fall is here and winter is right around the corner. My goal is to follow my wig regimen (I just decided to call it that) until at least February 2012, which is when I'm scheduled for my next relaxer after the one in November. If I'm able to make it to February, at that point I'll re-evaluate what the next best steps are. One thing I decided though is that I'm not going to torture myself and follow the wig regimen if I'm not really feeling it. I may consider a weave, but I'll cross that bridge if I get to it. 

The next thing I want to tighten up is what I should do with my hair between salon visits in addition to M&S'ing? Should I follow the Crown & Glory method?

I welcome any ideas/ suggestions!


OMG - Wig Shopping!

So it's getting cooler in Philadelphia, which means that it's time to cover this hair! Time is also of the essence so wearing a wig will be easier than trying to style my hair.

I went online to do a little research BEFORE going to the store so that I could try on the styles that I had pre-selected and save time. I got to the store and clearly today was national buy a new wig day (at least in Philly) because it was soooo busy! I was so overwhelmed AND annoyed with all of the people and lack of sales associates able to answer my questions that I ended up leaving (I also had to get to my much needed mani & pedi appointment).

Long story short - I didn't buy a wig today and I really needed to because I'm planning to start wearing it next weekend. I'll likely go visit a different store when I have a chance and hopefully get something good. Wish me luck!


Kreativ Blogger (Award)

Thank you Texlaxed and Things for tagging me! 

Link back to the person who passed you the award
Complete the form below
Award 10 Blogs & drop them a line about it
Share 7 random things about yourself

  • Favorite Song: UUUMMM....right now it's probably Adele, Someone Like You although the song is such a Debbie Downer
  • Favorite Dessert: Creme Brulee
  • What Pisses You Off: Rude/ No Manners people (as my Nana would say...lol)
  • When You're Upset You: Go to sleep - sleep solves most things in my life
  • Favorite Pet: My leopard print flats...not an animal lover
  • Black or White: BLACK! I wear black just about everyday...it's my favorite color
  • Biggest Fear: Not having the life I dream of
  • Best Feature: My abs :-) 
  • Everyday Attitude: Is it really that serious? Don't sweat the small stuff
  • What is Perfection: Working as hard as you can
  • Guilty Pleasure: Housewives of ATL, NJ, BH; Keeping up With the Kardashian's, ANTM 
7 Random Things:
  1. My Sister and Mom are my closest friends 
  2. I wake up at 5:30 am Monday - Friday to work out (my staple workouts are pilates + cardio, and P90X)
  3. I am from Philadelphia and LOVE everything Philly from the Eagles, to the Phillies, to the YUMMY cheesesteaks that we're known for!
  4. I studied abroad in Trinidad and Tobago for a semester during my senior year of college (shout out to Tris from Texlaxed & Things)
  5. I'm a foodie, so I try new restaurants on a regular basis and enjoy exploring all different types of food
  6. My best friend is 1/2 american, 1/2 South African and is getting married in South Africa next year so I'm planning my first trip there (more details to come)
  7. I love to travel although I haven't been anywhere interesting in the last year
Similar to Wishful Lengths, the people who I would like to tag have been tagged already! I'll add blogs if I think of any!


Hands in My Hair

I have this HORRIBLE habit of putting my hands in my hair. Fortunately I don't really twist and play with it between my fingers, tug, or anything like that, but I do find my hands in my hair way more than I would like.

I try to justify it by saying that I'm feeling to see if it's moisturized and feels "right." I'm honestly still trying to get a sense of how often I need to M&S, what products my hair likes, how it "should" feel, etc, but I need to tone it down. The other genuine issue is that when I'm in deep thought or trying to figure something out, my hands immediately go to my hair. Some people bite their nails, others tap their feet, some scrunch their face, I play in my hair.

One way I try to combat this problem is by tying my hair up shortly after I get home in the evenings. I'll usually M&S and put JBCO on my scalp and then put on my satin bonnet. This way my hair is completely covered and out of harms way for the night.

I need to get rid of this habit if I have any hopes of reaching my aggressive length goals! Am I alone???


E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles!!!!!

You all know by now that I am from Philadelphia, born and raised! I am a true Philly girl and bleed green for my Eagles (and other Philly teams - Go Phillies!). Unfortunately they haven't been playing well so far this season, but there's a lot more football left!

Beat those 9ers!


Hair Goals

I'm not sure how many of you have checked out my Progress page, but on there I state that my goal is to be APL by 8/1/2012, which is roughly one year, 5 months from the start of my long hair journey, and one year from the start of my blog. My stretch goal is to be BSL by that time if I'm able to retain the majority of my length and have everything else "go right."

I'm sure if you've checked out that page, you probably think I'm crazy for thinking I can go from SL to BSL in one year (I actually thought that was pretty ambitious once I posted it, lol) especially considering that some of the ladies whose blogs I follow show just how challenging it can be to go from APL to BSL. BUT- it can be done! In the following video Kami11213 talks about how she went from SL to BSL in about 8 months. She definitely did some aggressive protective styling, but she was able to pull it off. Maybe I'll have a similar success story? If I PS, M&S and do all of the other things that work for my hair from October - June, that will be 8 months...

I'm lazy with my hair anyway - hence the reason I wash bi-weekly and only style on wash days - so I actually think this could work for me. Maybe I'll start with baby steps and aim to try this for one month and then add on as I go along. I'll keep you posted!

Fast forward to 1:10 if you want to skip to where she talks about going from SL to BSL. Also check out her hair growth video - she has beautiful hair!


Can't Wait!

Hi everyone! I hope your week has been great and that you're ready for the weekend.

I am a Kardashian fan - I love their style, craziness and everything that goes along with them. I really love Kourtney K's style and her buns! Every time she wears her signature high bun I drool and dream of the day when my hair is long enough to rock it just like this - all slicked up and perfect! Enjoy :-)

Of course this isn't Kourtney, but the bun is definitely cute!


Wash Day

This weekend was another wash day experiment. For the most part I did my normal routine which includes a hot oil + conditioner treatment with heat for 30 minutes, followed by a clarifying shampoo, regular shampoo, conditioner, and twist n curl.

The main issue this time is that as always, I washed my hair after work and ended up going late into the evening and went to bed with wet hair. That's not a problem, but I thought my hair would have been dry by the time I was ready to go out at 12:00 the next day. WRONG! My hair was still damp and as a result, my normal twist n curl turned into a twist n bend.

I did not undo the twists so that I could roll my hair again at some point and get the the results I'm used to. It's really important for my hair to be curled tight because I'm generally able to get two weeks out of this style, but the curls gradually fall as the week progresses, which is part of what allows me to wear it longer.

I've learned yet another lesson on my hair journey - my hair takes longer to dry than I thought! I'm actually about to start wearing a wig again so that I can be lazy and go into protect mode. I just have to go wig shopping because I threw my other one away (I wore that baby out!). Till next time!


Is It Just Me...

Or when your hair is/ was around shoulder length, it was difficult to M&S (moisturize and seal) the back of your hair? I'm at shoulder length and when I M&S, I feel like I sort of miss the back of my hair, or only get the top layer of hair, not underneath if that makes any sense. I make a conscious effort to take extra care with the back, but I'm just wondering if M&S'ing the back of your hair gets easier as your hair gets longer?



My life has been pretty hectic because I am working on some things personally in addition to my normal work/ life routine. Nonetheless, I am trying to stay encouraged and excited for what God has in store for me and know that my hard work will pay off! With that - I'm stepping away from hair for a sec and including one of my favorite songs right now. I hope you enjoy! I'll be back to the regularly scheduled program soon :-)


I'm Going to Give it Another Try

I'm really into trying new things to help establish a solid regimen for my hair. As you may have started to notice (my attempt at the Greenhouse Effect and homemade protein treatment), I'm the type of person who will try anything once that's within reason. If it won't hurt/harm/endanger/be plain stupid, etc., I'll give it a go.

I have definitely noticed that many ladies with great length are avid co-washers. I have attempted co-washing twice so far and can't say that I love it. I feel like my hair is left with a coating on it and I'm just not sure that my hair is benefitting from it. Not to mention that after I've co-washed, I'm not sure how to style my hair? I certainly don't feel like or have time to do a twist n curl and I can't really rock a bun or wear it wet because of the thickness and length (I look like a 16 year old, or adult trying to keep it young - not cute).

So to all of you co-washers - what do you do with your hair after you co-wash? This especially goes out to those who co-wash several times per week!


New Moisturizer

Lately I've been on a hunt for a good moisturizer. Well - maybe I shouldn't call it a hunt because I haven't actually purchased and tried any new products, but in my mind I've been on a hunt for a good moisturizer. It's very easy to become a product junkie (PJ) during your hair journey, but I actually have this weird thing about me where I like to finish something before I start something else. So the point is, I was very excited to finish my Phyto 9 Daily moisturizer/ leave in conditioner because that meant I could try a new moisturizer!

I decided to give the Qhemet Biologics Amla and Olive Heavy Cream a try based on the rave reviews of Qhemet Biologics products by Just Grow Already and The Awkward Stage, two hair bloggers with beautiful locks! Fortunately, Qhemet products are sold in my area, so I was able to hop in the car and take a short drive to get this moisturizer (along with a corned beef special sandwich from my favorite delicatessan in the city...I'm a foodie). While I was at the store, I almost purchased the Cocoa Tree Detangling Ghee to use for co-washing and detangling, but I did not like the smell at all! I was also close to buying the Moringa Tree Coditioning Ghee, but I figured I would sit tight and see if I liked the moisturizer first.

I'll start using the Amla and Olive Heavy Cream after the next time I co-wash. I hope I like it!


Is It Just Me....

Or do you also inspect every strand that falls from your head? Sometimes I think I'm crazy, and I'm not sure if it's because I'm relatively new to the journey, but I make a point to manipulate my hair over the sink, which is light in color, so that I can pick up any strands that fall and look for that golden bulb on the end! Of course the point of analyzing the strand is to see if it's shedding or breakage. I find that even when I'm pretty sure that a strand is shed hair, I still check for the bulb. I have gone as far as measuring my strands to see whether it's shed hair or breakage.

Does anyone else do this? Will I eventually stop...lol???


Hair Growth

Please pardon me if this post seems a little weird, but since this blog is about my hair and matters related to the journey, I figured I could freely express my thoughts.

I am a very hairy person always have been, and likely always will be (I completely get this from my Dad's side of the family). This isn't a bad thing, but of course you get the good with the bad - as in I have hairy side burns, hairy arms, a hairy neck in the back, etc...Ok this sounds really gross and you probably now have an image like this in your head:

But I'm not that bad! Anyway, the point is, I've noticed recently that my body hair is growing back faster than normal. For example, I shave my legs weekly and by the time I'm closing in on a week I can tell it's time to shave again. Recently, by the end of one week, it looks like I haven't shaved in 2 weeks, which is really odd. Also, I get the occasional stray hair in my neck that I have to pluck, but recently they have been sprouting out all over the place! I literally plucked two today, and about three last week. I normally tweeze about 1X per month. What's really good?

I'm hoping that this random growth spurt with my body hair is taking place on my head as well! I won't know for sure until I get my next relaxer and trim in November (another 8 weeks).



Greenhouse Effect Update

The last time we met, I had just taken an oil bath in EVOO. Well I tried the Greenhouse Effect again on Saturday night and I woke up with better results. My hair felt a bit more moisturized and I didn't have oil dripping from my curls, but I knew I would have to bite the bullet and wash my hair on Sunday evening.

I have been experiencing breakage and haven't been able to get it under control so I decided to try a homemade protein treatment. Traycee from KISS posted this on her blog and I decided to give it a go. 1 egg, beaten until frothy, mixed with 1 c of water and 1 tsp of oil of your choice. I made the protein mix and it seemed like a lot (I later learned that the 1 c of water was way too much). I added the mixture to a spray bottle because it was watery and I wanted to ensure that I covered all of my strands from root to tip. I covered my hair with a plastic cap for 15 minutes and then rinsed. After I rinsed, I deep conditioned for 30 minutes to restore the moisture and then went through my normal wash day routine.

I did 1 clarifying shampoo just in case my hair had some build up, did a regular shampoo, added my conditioner and then detangled in sections. As I shampooed my hair, it didn't feel any different after the protein treatment so I don't think the treatment worked. I think it was too watery. Not to mention that as I was detangling my hair, I found pieces of cooked egg in the back. After I detangled, I twisted my hair, rinsed with cold water and then added my protein leave-in and regular leave-in.

All in all, last weekend was NOT a good weekend for my hair and various bright ideas/ experiments! Hopefully I'll have better luck moving forward. I'm trying to keep a positive attitude because I'm still learning my hair and what works well, but this stuff is for the birds!


I Don't Know What to do With This Hair...

As you know, I've been having a little issue recently with figuring out how to keep my hair moisturized. After wash days, my hair always feels moisturized for a few days, but by the end of the week, it starts to feel dry and brittle. I M&S daily or every other day with my moisturizer (see regimen page) and EVCO.

Don't ask me why I thought this would be a good idea, but yesterday I was surfing hair blogs and random You Tubers and got the bright idea to try the Real Queen's Regimen. I figured since the goal is to get your hair to a "greenhouse" state over night, this would be perfect because I would wake up with moisturized, soft hair. Sounds great, right? So I kicked off my attempt at the Real Queen's Regimen by DOUSING my hair in EVOO mixed with EVCO.

Just to add some color to how this whole thing went down - I went into the kitchen, grabbed the EVOO and poured about 3/4 cup into a container. My BF looks at me perplexed and says "What are you doing?" I smile and slyly run to the bathroom to begin mixing some EVCO in the EVOO. I return to the kitchen to melt the EVCO in the EVOO and he's like "Babe! OMG - You can't put all of that in your hair...you'r going to clog your pores!!! I don't know much about hair, but that's too much oil!!!!" I laugh and return to the bathroom. My BF is very curious and intrigued by my hair experiments, so while I'm literally making the largest mess possible, pouring all of this oil on my hair, getting it on my neck, in the sink, etc. he comes in and is like "you cannot be serious right now!" So I put him to work, told him to grab the cup, and pour some oil on the back of my hair where I couldn't reach very well, LOL! Long story short, when all of the oil in the cup was on my hair, I had A TON of oil on my hair, neck, etc. You're supposed to put your hair in the style you plan to wear it before covering it so that the next morning you can just remove your head wrap and go. So I placed my hair in my normal pineapple position for sleeping (this helps keep my curls for my twist n curl), slapped on a plastic cap, and added my normal scarves on my hair. Technically I should have put a hat, or some other covering on my head to create the "greenhouse effect," but I wanted to try it my way first. I placed a towel on my pillow to catch any extra oil and called it a night.

This morning when I woke up, I went to the bathroom for my normal routine and while I'm brushing my teeth, my BF looks at me and says "what is that?" I'm like what...I look in the mirror and there are literally streams of EVOO RUNNING DOWN MY NECK, LOL!!!! Gravity clearly took over since I was no longer lying down. I took off the scarves and plastic cap and my hair looked as dry as normal, but with beads of oil sitting on top. I would call this an HUGE FAIL! Overall my hair did not feel moisturized and I was really sad.

As I went throughout the day today, I literally had oil collecting on the bottom of my curls that I would have to remove with my hand so that it didn't drip on my shirt. AND the headrest in the car looked like the couch on Coming to America when the Soul Glo family stood up!

I think where I went wrong is that I used too much oil (as I'm sure you guessed) and I used EVOO, which I know my hair doesn't love. I tried EVOO before and didn't think it worked well, but figured I would give it another shot. Welp - that's one oil that gets crossed off of my list for good!

So now I have all of this oil in my hair and a normal person would wash their hair, but I don't have time to wash and I'm a sucker for punishment, so I'm planning to put on a plastic cap, place a hat on, and try to get this greenhouse thing going again to absorb some of this oil.

So sorry for the long post, but I had to share my adventure! I'll let you know how it turns out.


5 Hours of my Life Back :-)

As you know, this weekend was my wash weekend. I don't have very many posts, but about half of them have been on the topic of wash day and how long it typically takes ~8 hours). Well this wash day I was determined to cut off some time, even if it was just 1/2 hour because I absolutely cannot afford that much time on my hair.

To save on time I considered skipping the detangling part and just finger combing, but I opted against this because I only comb my hair on wash days and felt that I wouldn't do a good enough job of getting the shed hairs out by taking the lazy approach. Also, since I was planning to do another twist n curl, I would have to section my hair any way, so it made sense to comb the sections.

Long story short, although I did decide to detangle, I repeated one time saving approach that I used during my last wash day + a new technique that I learned on You Tube (details to follow). These two elements combined literally saved 5 hours and allowed me to complete my hair from start to finish in 3 hours - HOOORRAAAYYY!!!!!! I can digest 3 hours on my hair every two weeks!

So what did I do? Well - to start yesterday was a really hectic day because of the impending hurricane (I live in Philadelphia), so I had to do my normal grocery shopping, hit the farmers market, etc. I know you're wondering what the point of these details are, but basically instead of sitting under the dryer idol for 40 minutes with my hot oil treatment,  I applied my oil treatment, covered my hair with a plastic cap, added my Turbie Twist towel, and did some things around the house.

I ended up keeping the oil treatment on for about 3 hours and then I was ready to wash my hair. I shampooed twice with my normal Phytolium, and then added a small amount of Phytosesame to my hair. This is where the time saver kicked in - I sectioned my hair, added 1 pump of conditioner, detangled and then used Naptural85's twist technique to twist my hair. This twist method is almost like cornrowing, but you're twisting instead. I like this method because I was quickly able to detangle and twist large section of my hair. After each twist, I rolled the ends as I normally do.

Once I finished detangling, twisting, and rolling my entire head, I rinsed out my conditioner with cool water. At this point it was 1:15 AM and I didn't want to go to bed with wet hair, so I hopped under the hooded dryer for 15 minutes, then applied my PhytoSpecific Energizing Concentrate protein leave-in. I got back under the dryer for 15 minutes and then applied my Phytomist leave-in. I got back under the dryer for a few minutes just to remove the excess water and went to bed!

I still have my rollers in and won't remove them until it's time for work tomorrow morning. When I remove my rollers, I apply moisturizer (Phyto 9) and seal with extra virgin coconut oil (EVCO). I hope my twist n curl comes out well considering I changed the method a bit. I doubt it will look bad, but even if it's less than desired, I can deal with it considering the time saver!

The one other item that I think may have played a role in the reduced time is my texturizer! The only reason why I don't think it was the main contributor is because the day I got my texturizer done I did a twist n curl and it took way longer to complete than it did last night. Hopefully I can keep this going moving forward :-)


No It's Not!

So since my initial post earlier today, I decided that my hair is not moisturized and needs prompt attention. I was already planning to wash my hair this weekend, so I decided to try to co-wash tomorrow morning with the logic that if it turns out horribly, I only have to get through 1 day before it's time to wash and style. I slapped about 50 lbs of oil on my hair (EVCO, JBCO, EVOO, and anything else containing E, V, and O in the acronym...lol), placed a plastic cap on and added my Turbie Twist towel. I will leave this on until I shower and co-wash in the morning. I guess I'm doing a pre-poo, but not completely sure. I just wanted my hair to get immediate moisture the best way it could.

I have co-washed once before when I had my hair cornrowed, but I'm not really sure that it did anything. I became inspired to co-wash after reading some old blog posts from Traycee on KISS. Traycee is an inspiration for thousands of women, myself included, and I browse her blog every so often to get different ideas about how to care for my hair. Did you know that Traycee went from touching BSL to full WL in ~9 months? Crazy right! When I first started my journey, I literally read her blog from start to finish. Well today I decided to take note of the fact that she is an avid co-washer because it helps keep your hair very moisturized, which in turn leads to better length retention. So I decided to give it a try and see how my hair responds. What do I have to lose, right? I'll keep you guys posted!

Is my Hair Moisturized?

I ask myself this question on a regular basis, but I haven't come up with an answer. When I first started my hair journey in March, I kept my hair in cornrows under a wig and would M&S 2X daily to ensure that my hair was extra moisturized because I have always had really dry hair. I think at that point I was also extra excited to implement some new habits into my hair care practices since I was just beginning my LHJ.

After life became a little more hectic, I switched to M&S’ing 1X daily or every other day. My hair seemed to do fine with this level of moisture, but recently I've been wearing my hair out and it feels a bit drier. The ends feel moisturized, but the top of the strands do not. My hair feels soft, but I'm not sure if it feels moisturized? Since my hair has a history of dryness, I'm not sure if the moisture that I'm feeling now is just an improvement vs. my normal hair, or if it is legitimately moisturized?

I'm not really sure what to make of this, but I decided to be patient, continue to monitor my products, frequency, etc. and hope that my hair is ok. I wish I could feel someone else's moisturized hair to get a sense of whether I'm in the ballpark or not. Please feel free to comment on how you figured out how your hair should feel – thanks!


First Week Back

So it has been one week since I relaxed my hair. I have to say that since I'm still wearing my hair in a twist n curl, which is how I had it before I got the relaxer, there hasn't been much difference in my hair.

The one thing I can say about my hair is that the twist n curl is lasting waaaay longer - I'm actually going to get two weeks out of it, which is ideal. It looked pretty fresh and decent throughout the week. I may have gotten a little rough with my M&S'ing over the weekend because today it's looking a bit frizzier, but I can make it work through the end of the week. I'll likely wash my hair on Saturday because that will be my first free block of time and I'm crossing my fingers for an hour less...baby steps :-).

Have a wonderful week everyone!


The Results Are In!


Ok, so if you haven't read my prior posts, today I returned to the creamy crack after a two year hiatus. Instead of relaxing bone straight as I did in my former days, I got a texturizer! A texturizer is the same thing as getting a relaxer, but it's left on for a shorter period of time.

In my case, because I had a brazilian keratin treatment (BKT) in June and still had some remaining on my ends (for those who aren't familiar with a BKT, it washes out over time), my stylist applied my relaxer starting at my roots and worked her way down my hair while applying in sections (PhytoSpecific Relaxer). I think the relaxer was on for about 5-7 minutes and then she rinsed! I had 3 neutralizing shampoos and the last one was left on for 10 minutes. After that, I had my regular shampoo and conditioner and got a steam treatment for 30 minutes with conditioner. Once my conditioner was rinsed out, I left the salon and did a twist n curl at home because I'm on a serious low to no heat challenge!

When I got home I got to examine the results in the mirror while I worked through my hair and I am soooo excited! Just as promised, the texturizer loosened my curl pattern, but left lots of texture. I took a few pictures with my phone because my camera is out of commission. You can't see the texture exactly, but you can get a sense of what my hair looks like.

Take a look at my Routine page to see my tight coils before the texturizer
This isn't the best picture, but you can get a sense of how much texture I have

Now that I have some help with taming this hair, the real fun starts! I'm still very early in the process of getting to know my hair, so we'll see how things go over the next few months. I'm already frustrated with how long it takes to do my hair, but hopefully that will get better over time. Until next time...


Wash Day Round 2!

Where do I begin...so the last time I posted, I talked about washing my hair for the first time and the adventure that ensued. I was hoping that my second wash day would be less eventful and more importantly, less time consuming. Unfortunately I wasn't so lucky. I tried to do things a little different such as sectioning my hair before wetting it, finger detangling while applying my conditioner, etc., but the entire process still took forever!

This is what I did from start to finish:
  1. Sectioned my hair in about 12 sections
  2. Did a clarifying shampoo with Phytopanama
  3. Did a regular shampoo with Phytolium
  4. Added Phytosesame conditioner to my hair in sections while finger detangling
  5. Covered my head with a plastic cap and deep conditioned with heat for 45 mins
  6. Detangled with a wide tooth comb, twisted, and rolled in sections
  7. Rinsed out the conditioner with cool water to close the cuticles
  8. Sprayed my hair with Pytomist leave in conditioner
I ended up sleeping with wet hair which is not the most comfortable thing to do. The next morning my hair still wasn't dry (although I wasn't expecting that it would be), so I just took out my rollers and kept my hair in the twists while I ran errands. I figured I would just keep my hair in twists until Monday before work in an effort to make my twist n curl last longer (the last time I got a measley 3 days out of it)!

Quick side story: I was in Whole Foods with my hair in twists and a lady came up to me to inquire about my hair. She said it looked cute and wanted to know how I did the style because she was looking for new styles to try. I explained what I did and she said "That's nice. I can tell you've had them for a while because I can see all of the new growth." LMBO - I kindly smiled and replied "I just did this last night - it's actually not even 24 hours old, but I'm natural so that's probably why it looks so thick at the roots." I think she felt a little bad and went on to explain that she's natural as well and has been exploring YouTube for ideas. We had a nice conversation and went our separate ways. I wasn't offended or upset, just found it funny!

So...I'm scheduled to get my relaxer on Sunday, which means the next time I post will likely be after that! I have mixed emotions because there are aspects of my natural hair that I'm sure I'll miss, but I think this is best. Who knows - if I don't like it, I'll just do a big chop and call it a day! Until next time...


New Blogger!

Hello to all of my imaginary followers! I'm new to blogging and excited to start sharing my thoughts and hair experience. I'll primarily blog about hair with a few random items included!

So to begin, I did my hair myself for the first time last weekend!!! This is a HUGE accomplishment as I have never done my natural hair myself (so that means no shampooing, conditioning, styling, etc.). I have to  admit that I've been afraid of my hair forever because I've never had to do it myself. It's very thick and coarse so I would avoid it at all costs. Also, I've always gone to the hair salon from a young age. Even when I went away to college (4 hours from home) and traveled abroad, I made the trip back home to visit the salon and would schedule my visits around my hair. Many times I would just have dirty hair until I got it done - ill...I know (don't judge).

Back to the point - it took me 6 hours to do my hair from start to finish (and that's not including the 45 min DC). I was very proud of myself for sticking with it and getting it done, but very discouraged in that I absolutely DO NOT have 6 hours to devote to my hair every 2 weeks. Detangling took almost 2 hours!!! I was so over it. I did my first twist n curl which I learned from watching Fusion of Cultures on YouTube (love her - she's a friend in my head...lol). The results weren't bad for my first attempt: