ORS Herbal Cleanse

So ladies - I went ahead and tried it. I purchased ORS Herbal Cleanse and dry shampooed my hair. This stuff is basically just alcohol with a few essential oils (lavender and basil). The consistency is similar to hand sanitizer (it's basically a gel in the bottle, but when applied, it turns into a liquid). I followed the instructions and applied a generous amount to my scalp, let it sit for a little over a minute, and then took a warm, damp cloth and wiped it off of my scalp. 

It was nice to feel like I was cleaning my scalp, but I definitely miss running water through my hair and cleaning my hair and scalp by lathering shampoo. I didn't add any oil to my scalp right away because I like to let my scalp breathe for a bit before slathering stuff on it again. BUT - my scalp itched quite a bit after I used this. I'm not sure if it's because it dried my scalp out a little, but I definitely had heightened itching. 

In addition to cleaning your scalp, you can also apply a generous amount of this to your actual braids, cover your head with a warm, damp towel for a few minutes, and then wipe your braids off to remove the residue. I would like to try this, but because the primary ingredient in the cleanse is alcohol, I'm not sure if it will be a bit too drying for my hair. 

Overall, I think I will use this again in order to avoid washing my braids with water, and hopefully minimize the potential for tangling.


All Finished

With using MN that is.  I finished my last bit yesterday, and I've been using it consistently since December 2011. Since my first mix, I went to a more potent option with 3 oz of castor oil + the same amount of MN. I have been applying it to my scalp daily.

I am scheduled to relax my hair in two weeks, so I wanted to be sure to stop using MN at this point. I want to give my scalp a chance to rest because I still don't know what the implications of mixing MN + relaxer are, and I have no intentions of finding out.

I am curious to see if I have experienced accelerated growth as a result of using MN. If I decide to use it again, I don't plan to do so until the end of this year. I don't really want to become dependent on a growth aid to reach my length goals, so I told myself that I would only use it between relaxers, once per year (the same way I did it this time).

I'm planning to do a length check after my next relaxer, so at that point I'll assess whether or not I experienced better growth.


To Wash, or Not to Wash?

So I've been debating recently whether or not I should be shampooing my hair, with my cornrows between salon visits?

When I first started wearing cornrows, I went to the salon bi-weekly to get my hair shampooed, treated, and re-braided. I figured I could save a few dollars if I cut down my visits to every four weeks and just care for my hair myself in between. My stylist told me that it's not a good idea to shampoo my hair while in cornrows because this causes tangling. However, I decided I would shampoo my hair anyway because I thought she was wrong. In my mind, I don't understand the difference between wearing a sew-in weave and shampooing your hair with the sew-in, and wearing cornrows and shampooing your hair? When I asked her, she responded that the braids are smaller for the sew-in, so that helps reduce the tangling. I'm not sure that I completely buy that rational.

Long story short, I have been paying close attention to my hair when I remove my cornrows because if I'm going to torture myself go hard with protective styling, then I want to reap some rewards. I have noticed that my hair is a bit tangled when removing the braids, so perhaps there is some truth to what my stylist said. The dilemma then becomes, do I go back to my bi-weekly visits so that I can keep a clean scalp and my hair in decent shape? Or do I seek alternative options such as using a dry shampoo?

I was browsing through Sharday's blog, The Awkward Stage and reading about how she cared for her hair in 2010 when I believe she was wearing cornrows under a wig. I noticed that she used ORS Herbal Cleanse, which is a dry shampoo designed to clean the scalp and hair without water. I am considering using something like this because I know I must keep my scalp clean while wearing my braids, but it seems as though shampooing weekly isn't the best solution.

Have any of you ever used dry shampoo? If so, how did it work and what did you think? Should I try this? Decisions, decisions...


How Long Did it Take?

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

I have been thinking recently - with my length check impending on my one year hair anniversary, I'm not really getting my hopes up for long, lucious, locks...I just don't see it. I'm trying to keep a level mind because the reality is, I know my hair has grown since last year. However, when my sister and I first started our journey, we were all pumped (as most newbies are) and had LOFTY goals!

We were thinking that because we both had shoulder length hair already, it would be reasonable to hit full shoulder length within 6 months (i.e. September of 2011) and then be on our way to APL (arm pit length) by our one year mark. Point. Blank. Period!

Well fast forward to today: my sister has struggled with her hair journey and is trying to get back on board, and I have been very committed, but a little curious about whether or not all of this M&S'ing, and wig wearing have paid off?

So that brings me to the point of this post...how long did it take you lovely ladies to see some real progress? As I continue to read different blogs, etc. it seems to take about two years for the length to start kicking in strong for many people. That's just my observation, but I could be psyching myself out to try and feel better, lol. Anyway, I'm committed regardless, but I want to know when the fruit of my labor will be apparent?


Meet Bling

Mina served me well, but I wore her until her strands fell off! I purchased Mina at the end of October, so I got a solid three months out of her and that was with daily use. I'm pretty happy about that especially considering she is synthetic.

Bling is my most recent wig purchase. She is a Vivica Fox wig. She is synthetic, but what I like most about her is that she looks a bit more natural and believable compared to Mina AND she can be flat ironed!!!! That's huge because the thing I liked least about Mina was the lack of versatility. She's a bit longer than Mina (I really liked Mina's length), but the curls help disguise the additional length. I debuted Bling at my birthday dinner with my girlfriends on Friday night and she was a big hit!

I really want to try a U-Part wig, but I don't have a fresh relaxer, so I'm not really interested in working to blend my hair. I'm planning to wear Bling until my relaxer in June and then I'll wear my hair out again until October. Hopefully by October I'll be ready to wear a U-Part wig and have it blend well. Until next time...


Happy Birthday!

Today is my birthday! Shout out to all of the Aquarian's and those who have birthdays during February :-)


Relax at 12 Weeks?

The last time I got my hair done my stylist warned me not to go beyond 12 weeks before my next relaxer. This would mean relaxing on Friday as that's 12 weeks. As some of you know, originally I wasn't planning to relax until the end of March, which will be 18 weeks and my one year hair anniversary (time flies when you're trying to grow long hair)!

18 weeks will definitely be the longest amount of time that I've gone between relaxers, but since my hair will still be in braids, I was thinking I could swing it. I definitely think I can get to 16 weeks before relaxing, but I don't want to do more harm than good especially since my mishap with combing my hair out the last time.

I'm torn...what do you think - relax at 12, 16, or 18 weeks?