I Figured it Out!!!!!!

Hey guys - I know I have been boring you for the last 3 weeks about my stressful wash day sessions. Just to recap, when I got my last relaxer in December, my stylist and I noticed I had breakage in my hair. Leading up to this appointment, I noticed my hair was breaking, but I couldn't figure out why and wasn't really proactive in trying to figure it out.

After my relaxer, my stylist loaded me up with products and I vowed to get back to the basics that I had stopped doing as 2012 progressed. Well I've been diligently taking care of my hair, using protein weekly (which was the big thing that I stopped doing in the second half of 2012), and trying to get my breakage under control. Nothing seemed to be working. This week I ended up not doing the every other day treatments that I had planned because I didn't think that it would make a difference.

Fast forward to today, I was in the shower washing my hair, noticing all of the small pieces of breakage and I again thought back to when the breakage happened and what I changed around that time. Last year, my hair was fine (and actually thriving) from March - September. So what changed after my September relaxer? OOOHHH CRAP.....I introduced 100% Amla Oil.

Amla Oil, really? That would cause breakage? I think so! I don't know for sure ladies, but that's one of the major things that I introduced into my hair regimen around September and have been consistently using. I first purchased Amla oil in May of last year and actually posted about it, but the first bottle I got contained mineral oil and I wanted pure Amla, so I ordered another bottle in late August that's 100% pure and went crazy with it. I put it in my scalp oil mix, of course in all of my sealing oil, and it was the main oil that I was using (as in 30-50% of all of my mixtures). Over the last two weeks I've made two bottles of Amla + Coconut Oil to seal with. It has been a staple since September, and my hair has been breaking since then.

So - since I just came to this realization today during my wash day, I'm going to only use coconut oil to seal this week and complete my normal wash day next week and see if my shedding decreases. Basically I'm cutting out all Amla on my hair for the next few weeks to see if I really did figure out the cause of my breakage. I'll keep you posted!


Hair Inspiration: Angela Simmons

Happy MLK Day!

I'm not sure if anyone else is as addicted to Instagram as I am, but I follow Ms. Angela Simmons and hhooonnneeeyyyy...her natural hair seems to get better by the sew-in. I didn't know how else to get this photo aside from taking a screenshot on my phone, but I have included the source below (both she and her stylist posted the same photo):


Also notice that she has beautiful highlights. Can we say new hair inspiration??? 


Wash Day Stress Continued

I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend and will celebrate Dr. King's holiday tomorrow!

This is a quick wash day update. I did follow through with doing a light protein treatment every two days after my last wash day in hopes that this would help curb my breakage. Welp, if this made a difference, it was very minimal. My hair is still breaking at a higher rate than normal and way more than I am comfortable with. The interesting thing is that my ends seemed a bit more pliable and easier to detangle this week than normal, but I'm not sure what that means in terms of whether the additional protein is helping or hurting.

I am going to try the same routine this week again (protein every two days) and see if there is a gradual improvement. If I don't see a difference next week, I'm likely going to try Carol's Daughter Monoi Repairing Hair Mask. I'm sure this seems pretty random, but my Mom has a sample of the Monoi Repairing Collection 3-piece starter kit, which is designed to prevent breakage. I have used the shampoo and conditioner before for mid-week washes and have no complaints. Before using this, I am going to research the ingredients to understand if it is a moisture or protein based product. If this does help reduce my breakage, it may provide some insight into whether I need more moisture or protein moving forward. (I clearly think I'm protein deficient right now). Wish me luck ladies!



Wash Day Stress!!!

Ok- instead of sleeping right now as I should be since I have to go to work tomorrow, I'm writing this post about my wash day/ night. I just washed my hair because it had been over a week since my last wash and I have definitely gotten in the habit of washing weekly.

So as I reported in my last two posts, my focus is on stopping the breakage issue I'm currently having and getting back to basics. Well honey, not only does it seem like my attempt to whip my hair back into shape has not started working, but my hair seems to be breaking MORE than it was before AND the pieces are LONGER!!!!! WTF - I'm not going to have any length after my next relaxer at this rate.

Today I didn't start out with the oil treatment because I needed to clarify and although my stylist advised otherwise, I think it sort of defeats the purpose to start out with an oil treatment and then do a clarifying wash...right? Anyway, so I did a really good job shampooing my hair and did notice some breakage, but wasn't too concerned. When I detangled though, all hell broke loose. I'm so distraught because I seriously feel like I'm headed to set-back city.

I decided I'm going to give it another few washes before I think of another plan, or talk to my stylist. I will admit that this is only my second wash in my process to get back on track, BUT it's quite scary when things appear to be getting worse instead of better. I decided that I'm going to implement a mid-week protein treatment. The oil treatment that I do before my shampoo is a protein treatment, so in about 2-3 days, I'm going to put this on my hair for 20-30 minutes with a hot towel (my hood version of a steam treatment, lol) rinse it out, and then apply my leave-in. A few days after that will be my normal wash day and I will start my routine with the same oil treatment as ususal and go through my wash day routine.

This is sooo stressful! I really feel like my progress is being threatened big time. Lord willing my hair will continue to grow, so I will be able to recover from the breakage, but I'm just starting to get some traction, UGH! Ok, until next wash day...

Have a great weekend!


Back to Basics Wash Day

Happy new year everyone! I hope everyone had a lovely holiday and new year.

I spent the majority of the holidays in South Africa, and returned home on new year's eve. South African was beyond AWESOME and I will do a special post on my trip, and of course my hair!

As a true hair enthusiast, the first order of business when I arrived home was to wash my hair, lol. I had been traveling for over 24 hours, but somehow mustered the strength to do my hair. If you remember, during my last relaxer and visit to my stylist, I confirmed that I had a breakage issue that I needed to nip in the bud by getting back to basics. I also said that I would do a better job of tracking my hair moves so that I could more easily pinpoint when things go wrong. So here's to beginning that process!

My wash day entailed most of the above products, starting from left to right:

  • Phytonectar Pre-Shampoo Ultra Nourishing Oil Treatment: I usually use the Phyto Huile d'Ales Pre-Shampoo Intense Hydrating Oil Treatment, but my stylist insisted that my hair needed something stronger. She suggested that I apply this before washing my hair as instructed and then wrap a hot towel around my hair to create a "steam treatment." My stylist is a firm believer in steam treatments and I get them every time I go to her. I left this on for 20 minutes
  • Phytoneutre Rebalancing Cream Shampoo: This is my clarifying shampoo - after taking the picture, I decided to forgo doing a clarifying shampoo this week because I want to maintain my schedule of doing it 1X per month on the first weekend of the month
  • missPhytospecific Magic Detangling Shampoo: I followed the oil treatment with my regular shampoo. I made sure to not be lazy and did two thorough washes
  • Phytosesame Express Hydrating Conditioner: I used my normal conditioner to comb and detangle my hair
  • Phytospecific Energizing Concentrate: Phytospecific is the line of Phyto products designed for relaxed hair. The concentrate is a protein treatment that you leave on your hair. I think this is part I of why my breakage problem began - I got lazy started experimenting around June of this year with what products I thought really made a difference and those I thought I could do without. In that process, I got rid of my protein treatment...bad idea especially since I tend to go heavy on oils and overall moisture. After rinsing my conditioner, I sprayed my hair evenly with this, paying special attention to my ends
  • Phytospecific Integral Hydrating Mist: This is my leave-in conditioner and part II of why I think my breakage started. I stopped using a leave-in around September because I finished my bottle and didn't think it was doing much for my hair. I'm still not necessarily sold on a leave-in because I M&S daily and feel like I'm just covering the leave-in with my M&Sing (not sure if that makes sense to you guys). Anyway, I sprayed this over the concentrate and called it a day
I've been paying close attention to my breakage when I M&S. I don't have much, but I don't normally have much when I M&S. The real test will be during my next wash day. I was supposed to wash today, but got tied up with other pressing matters, so I'll wait until next weekend. Hopefully I'll start to see some difference in my breakage.

Until next time, HHG!