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...