Friday, January 30, 2009

I'm shedding >>insert sad face here<<

Tonight is my twist out pictorial night...I'll also do a protien DC in prep for my relaxer in 3 weeks. Yes, 3 weeks. I have decided I am not even going to try for a 12 week stretch. 10 is enough for me. Plus, my hair has been shedding while dry even though I'm not combing and that makes me sad. After my protein DC tonight, I'll be using my garlic conditioner. If that works, I'll keep using the garlic cond once a week as well.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Decisions, decisions

So I was feeling really lazy last night after the gym so I barely sprayed my hair, tied it down and put the bonnet on. I m&s during the day, didn't have the energy to do it after or even to take down my bun.

Anyhoo, I am 7 weeks post (3 to go, 5 if I'm really good) and I still haven't totally made up my mind what relaxer I should use. The last 2 or 3 relaxers with my Just for Me no lye (which I have been using for about 8 years) has left my hair dry and tangled...I have to baby it back to softness after. I have never ever used a lye relaxer but something is telling me to try one. I am so undecided. I have read so much about relaxer these past 7 weeks and it really hasn't helped me to make a decision. I'm not sure what brand, and I'm still not sure if lye or no-lye.

Pros of lye:
-easier on hair and I really want the focus to be on my hair health. I think if I base enough and add a little EVOO or coconut oil to the relaxer, my scalp will be fine.

-I'm scuurrred!!! I have been completely brainwashed into thinking the worst of lye relaxers. That they'll destroy my hair and leave me bald.

Do they have a kiddie relaxer that is lye??

The next issue I am having is whether to go to the cheapie Dominican place or have one of my friends relax my hair. I am not sure how the cheapie place will detangle and treat my hair but the results are so beautiful. Is it worth it? My friends do an ok job and so my hair comes out looking just ok but I get to detangle it myself with care. Basically I'm trying to decide if for my relaxer, I should choose beauty over proper care. Keep in mind I could start doing weekly medium protein treatments (the 2 minute kind) to build up my hair in preparation....

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Daily check in: cowash/DC & soft bonnet hair dryer

First things first, my cowash pics.

Home from gym right before washing.

Haven't combed since Sat morning twist out...this came out as I cowashed (no combing yet) with Aussie Moist

Didn't DC on dry durign gym so had to DC for 30 mins w/heat. I used Elasta QP DPR-1 and coconut oil...not bad. My hair is soft. No complaints here.
This is the comb out. Used my biggest comb then medium sized. Just drying with scarf and a big plait.

Now for the soft bonnet hair dryer. I have been searching for one and seeing very mixed reviews but I am tempted to choose one anyhow because I HATE sitting under the other dryer. I can't choose the most comfortable position and am stuck. With this one, I can sit on the couch or bed and read...or sit at the computer. I think this will make time pass faster. Plus, I can travel with my dryer =)

Here are the ones that seem to have the best reviews overall:

Belson Gond n Hot G2138 - ugly but best reviews
Belson Gold n Hot G8282 - my current preference

Any recommendations?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Daily check in: after a twist out

So I did a twist out on Sat. and gave myself 3 huge amateur cornrows Sat night, covered and went to bed. Sun, it was a mess but that didn't matter too much. Now I knew I needed to figure something out with it for Monday and Tuesday (wash day). So I sprayed my aloe juice/rose water mix, moisturized w my mango butter and sealed w hot6oil, finger combed to the right side for a side bun, then tied the front down real tight w my silk scarf, put on the bonnet and called it a night. This morning I m&s with wave nouv. then put mango butter and castor oil and bunned.

It is super hard to not comb but the finger combing works. I just deal with the pouf. If I had a braid out, there would be no hope. I'm glad I'm doing twist outs. Maybe this weekend I'll do a pictorial of my twist outs.

front/side view

back view

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Daily check in: twist out

So to follow up on my parabens discussion, I checked the back of my prods and these are the paraben free ones:

V05 moisture milks
Dr. Organics Castile Liquid Soap
Aussie Moist Cond
Alter Ego Garlic Cond
Mill Creek Jojoba Oil Cond
HE LTR leave-in
Elasta QP DPR-11
Aphogee 2 min reconstructor
Hot 6 Oil
Vatika Oil
Coconut Oil

So technically I'm not all out of products or anything if I choose to go paraben free except I think I'll deal with the parabens in the HB castor oil, Wave Nouv, Elasta QP mango butter, and the Neutrogena Triple Moisture (NTM)

Anyhoo, so today I DC'd on dry hair with Aussie moist and vatika oil overnight. Co-washed today with V05 and rinse out with my NTM cond. Hair came out in the shower (scary for me) but I refuse to be disheartened since I haven't combed since Tuesday morning.

Then this came out when I detangled with leave-in, moisturizer, and HB castor oil

Instead of a braid out, I did a twist out since it is easier to transform to a bun (not so curly).

Off to bed with 3 big cornrows. I must explain I have only done cornrows twice...just learned on my h's hair. This is the first time I'm trying on my own hair.

Finally, today I went to BSS to get a satin cap (lost mine), moisturizing conditioner to replace nexxus humectress. I got Elasta QP DPR-11...I have heard both good and bad things about it but am willing to try. I really wanted to get the Silk Elements but my BSS didn't have it. I also picked up a conditioner cap, a banana clip, and a hair scissors (finally!). I can do a search and destroy for split ends & pixie knots tomorrow night. I'm scared. Hope I don't have any split ends. I have seen pixie knots on my hair before...

Friday, January 23, 2009


So I said I would do some research on parabens since someone's blog said it was an unsafe chemical in NTM daily conditioner (which I love). I am going to post the excerpts from a number of sources along with the link to the full information.

"The EPA is very concerned about the antimicrobial preservatives called parabens (alkyl-p-hydroxybenzoates). Parabens are ubiquitous -- found in cosmetics, skin creams, sunscreen lotions, shampoos -- even pet food. The EPA states that all parabens -- methyl, propyl, butyl -- have been proven to have endocrine-disrupting effects. They are particularly concerned about the hormone-disrupting effects of nonoxynol (nonyl phenol) found in hair colorings, shampoos, and spermicides, and sunscreen chemicals such as benzophenone [oxybenzone] and methoxycinnamate. It is very disturbing to learn that many of these chemicals can be found in personal care products that claim to be "natural" and "organic." We feel that some companies who pretend to be natural and organic are among the worst of the environmental hypocrites."

"Concern over how parabens might mimic estrogen and links to cancer, as well as allergic sensitivities and irritation with hair care products containing parabens have caused many people to seek paraben-free alternatives. The FDA deems the chemicals safe, and they are widely used for their antimicrobial and preservative qualities. If you prefer to find paraben-free hair care products then read on...

1. Check the label on your shampoo and conditioner carefully for parabens. Commonly used parabens are propylparaben, ethylparaben and butylparaben.
Research online for paraben-free products. Check the ingredient lists and product descriptions carefully. If it is paraben-free, the manufacturer will most likely advertise it that way.
Read customer reviews online to help make your decision. Consider contacting the manufacturers of the products you find to request free samples to be mailed to you before your buy them.
Go to your local health food store. Most have a body care section featuring paraben-free shampoos, conditioners and styling products. Be sure to still check the label to make sure it is paraben-free. Bring a list with you of common paraben names if your find you can't remember them easily.
Try out different paraben-free hair products until you find the products that work best for your hair type and styling needs. Paraben-free hair care much like anything else, is a trial and error process until you find the right fit, so keep at it"

LHCF also has a thread <<--click here to view "
The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) reviewed the safety of methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben in 1984 and concluded they were safe for use in cosmetic products at levels up to 25%. Typically parabens are used at levels ranging from 0.01 to 0.3%...

A study published in 2004 (Darbre, in the Journal of Applied Toxicology) detected parabens in breast tumors. The study also discussed this information in the context of the weak estrogen-like properties of parabens and the influence of estrogen on breast cancer. However, the study left several questions unanswered. For example, the study did not show that parabens cause cancer, or that they are harmful in any way, and the study did not look at possible paraben levels in normal tissue....

FDA believes that at the present time there is no reason for consumers to be concerned about the use of cosmetics containing parabens. However, the agency will continue to evaluate new data in this area. If FDA determines that a health hazard exists, the agency will advise the industry and the public, and will consider its legal options under the authority of the FD&C Act in protecting the health and welfare of consumers."

My conclusion? I don't know. Not that cancer, endocrine disorders, and the like aren't important but I am very hesitant about jumping band wagons and I must say I am not 100% convinced. Maybe 60%. Enough to avoid if I can at all so I can minimize my exposure to this (and other) harmful chemicals.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Daily uppate: Boring buns

So h said he doesn't like all the buns all the time. My hair is always up and it looks to be the same length anyhow, so why all this effort. So sad to have someone else tell me exactly what I was thinking. I clearly have to spend sometime looking up inventive protective styles because my HHJ (healthy hair journey) must go on.

I'm 6 weeks post and they are now very few alternatives to bunning. I do my twist outs on the weekend...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Daily update: not a thing going on

Bun sorta dried last night. Do you know how long I airdried for? Gosh..and it's still a little damp.
Hair looking like crap now and I'm only 6 weeks. Ahhhhhh! My next duty (after parabens) is to find some cute hairstyles that my NG can handle. Oh, I am getting to the end of my Nexxus Humectress and I am not entirely sure I will replace it.

I've been looking at my hair and I'm having a feeling no growth change. I'll be so disappointed. I've been on this whole journey since early October.

~Sept 24 2008~

~Dec 9, 2008~

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Daily check in: after braidouts

My hair looks great in a braidout but there is always more hair coming out in the shower and comb after a braidout thatn my straight styles and bun...I don't think I know how to handle my hair after. If someone could offer some help/advice.....

Anyhow, I am home today for the inauguration so I DC'd overnight (Nexxus and vatika) and am airdrying in a bun right now.

airdrying w scarf

Monday, January 19, 2009

Daily update: My first henna

So the first thing that happened was I spilled henna all over me....

Henna and hot water mix

Add in my conditioners - Auusie moist and V05 moisture milks

Left it in corner of bathroom overnight

>>Next day<<

Little browner

Added oil (vatika)

Detangled a bit before applying

Clarified then applied

Put saran wrap on then covered with plastic bag

After a little more than 2 hours

Washed it out and this came out...EEEEEEEEEKKKK!

About to do braid out

Hair loss w/ braidout

>>Next day<<

I actually wore it all down with head band

That's then end of snowed on my hair so it's a bit limp but anyhoo =(

I don't know what to think about my results. My h did a strand test and it was much stronger...almost unbreakable. But all that hair loss has me wondering....

~blogger was being a JERK so I had to redo the entire thing this morning so it's a Monday post~

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Daily check in: Henna day

I am currently sitting with my hair wrapped in plastic on my 2nd hour with the henna & pics tomorrow morning with results before the funeral!

No news today. Just bunned in the morning.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Daily check in: last pre-henna pic =)

m&s last night with wave nouv and castor oil, pinned up, & covered. m&s this morning with mango butter and castor oil. Bunned. No combing = no hair loss. I think this may work. I will continue to see what happens on wash day in terms of hair loss. My hair feels good. As usual I have been protecting with scarf before putting on my winter hat. Not washing until tomorrow afternoon when I do my henna so I guess I'll be bunning it for church tomorrow.


OMG!!! I lurve my NTM daily conditioner BUT what is this I am hearing about it containing parabens?

Just so you know, I will be researching parabens, their risks, and the products that use them this weekend - we can learn & grow together.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Got henna for the first time!

So I walk home from the gym tonight since my husband (h) is at soccer training and decided to stop in this Indian grocery to see if they have any of the oil/henna products I want to try.

I didn't find the amla oil but I found dabur vatika coconut oil with amla, lemon, and henna.
I also didn't find the henna brand other ladies use but I found another brand which I googled when I got in today. It is from India and the shop owner says it is very popular with his customers so we will see...of course I will share with you every detail of my process. I plan to mimic Lavendar's method. I want to do this for Sunday - have a family funeral so I kinda would like it to look good.

Note to self:

for henna
*2 diff cheapie condish w/no petroleum, mineral oil, silicones - Aussie moist, V05 moisture milks (1/4 c of each)
*4 tsp of oil of ur choice
*mix Fri night, apply Sat evening

~i'm excited to try~
~no hair loss of course because no combing~

Daily check in: a little breakage

So I missed aerobics last night (grrrr!!!!)...anyhow, since I was home I thought why not DC tonight so I don't have to again until Sat night, then I can get back on my Tues/Fri/sometimes Sun schedule. So I DC'd on dry hair (Nexxus humectress and coconut oil) then co-washed with my Aussie moist and did a quick rinse out conditioner with NTM daily conditioner.

Let me just say, I like Nexxus but I need to find a replacement because it's a bit too pricey to be using on such a regular basis.

Anyhoo, had a little shedding but thats ok since I haven't combed since Monday night and 50 to 100 hairs per day is normal. However, I noticed slight breakage - maybe 10 short peices after - when my hair was partially dry. Me no likey! So I have decided that on the weekend, I'll do a mild protein DC (Organic Root Stimulator Mayo with coconut oil). I am saving the big protein (Aphogee 2 step) for the week before my relaxer.

Also, I need to make a to do list because I need to try henna and alma oil...I am trying to fight PJ-ism so trying to make sure any additional products add to my regimen and don't just duplicate. Henna is def for color and shine (I like to rinse and this can be a natural alternative) plus it helps with the strength of the hair. The alma oil also strengthens the hair.

~hair loss~

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Daily check in: day after gym

So last night I went to the gym (usually go Mon-Thurs). When I go to the gym I do one of two things with my hair. I either:

1. at gym: leave it in a bun
after gym: then spray with a little aloe juice, moisturize (Wave Nouveau Finishing Lotion and/or Elasta mango butter - love this!!) & seal (HB castor oil), pin up, and cover with satin bonnet or scarf when I get home.


2. at gym: apply my DC and hot6oil to my dry hair, cover with shower cap, cover that with scarf, then cover that with a hat. I know I know lol. I do this so I can get a DC in while I exercise
after gym: I just wash, apply leave-in & seal, then airdry.

Last night I did #1. This morning I moisturized and sealed (m&s) and put my bun back together. Thing is, it is best to m&s in sections but because I'm no longer combing, I just m&s the outside of my style and the ends because I don't wanna disrupt the hair since I don't think I can finger comb it back into a bun. I figure at least I wash often enough for the hair on the inside to get a good m&s 2 or 3 times a week. Besides, sometimes I do separate the hair a little and m&s the middle. I can't figure out how not to comb, keep my style, and m&s in sections every night.

Hair & bun today.

oh! I should mention that in the winter I always cover my head when I head out...I take the bus to work. What I do is put my satin scarf over my hair and cover with a hat (both morning and evening). Of course, most times that flattens my bun so I just reform it when I get in to work. Sometimes, I don't do the bun till I get in to work.

~only lost 2 hairs lol~

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Daily check in: 5 weeks post relaxer

Check out the new growth!!!

Anyhow, last night I did a hot oil tx with hot six oil then shampooed with Dr. Organics lavendar castile soap (diluted) to get out some of the oil, washed with Aussie moist, then conditioned with Neutrogena Triple Moisture (NTM) daily cond. I love the Aussie and the NTM!!!

Hot oil tx: I did it in an odd way because I wanted to do it on dry hair. I put the oil (heated) on my dry hair and wrapped my hair with a hot damp towel and covered that with a plastic cap. I kept it on for about 15 mins, reheated and put it back on for about 15 mins. I think next weekend I'll do it on wet hair cause Idk what I was trying lol

I used Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship (HE LTR) leave-in and Hollywood Beauty (HB) castor oil to seal in moisture and air dryed with scarf over top of head (Sunshyne's method) and one braid in back.

I'm a part of Hairlista's deep condition challenge for 2009. This requires that I DC at least twice weekly, I haven't this week yet and I usually wash only twice per week but since I skipped the DC last night, I may wash on Wednesday, then Friday night. I am not entirely sure. I think my husband will think I'm nuts.

This is my hair today

I am gonna start keeping track of my hair loss during washes. Somehow it seems like so much cause it just comes out when i pull gently on my ponytail but looking at this it's not soooo bad. I freak (and I mean FREAK) when there's a lot of breakage or shedding. So you know, I am not combing between washes for awhile (well, I'll be finger combing). Trying to minimize manipulating my hair.

Dec 9 2008 relaxer

I have taken the final step...

over the edge! I am officially obsessed!

So for the past 3 months or so, I have been getting increasingly addicted to hair care (and the products). That is all I google and am concerned with. Why? I just want BSL (bra strap length), healthy hair. For now though, I'm aiming for APL (armpit length hair) and healthy.

That isn't the easiest thing for me. Why? I am culturally conditioned to take bad care of my hair. For example, black people believe we should wash our hair every other week. Can you imagine! Once weekly at the most. Also, those of us with relaxed hair (chemically straightened hair) usually have a relaxer applied every 5-6 weeks. One last major thing with us is instead of focusing on ingredients, we categorize hair products into "oh, this is white people's product and that is for black hair"


First, to keep hair moisturized and to prevent shedding and breakage, it is totally fine to wash hair more than once a week. Even more, you don't have to use a shampoo every time you wash, you can use a light conditioner to "wash" then apply a heavier conditioner (deep conditioner or rinse out conditioner)...this is called a co-wash. My friends have teased me world without end about this so I have decided to minimize my discussions with them about this and let the results speak for itself.

Also, it is better for your hair if you wait longer between relaxers. The chemicals damage your hair and so waiting 8 or more weeks is better. I did an 8 week wait last time, and boy, it was hard. Right now I'm in the 4th week of a 10 week wait. AHHHH!

I have also started using products that are good for my hair versus only this brand or that brand. This has resulted in a mix of brands that were traditionally for white hair and those traditionally for black hair. You will find out about them as time progresses.

Anyhow, so since I have a lot to learn and a ways to go, I thought I'd start with this blog so others could share in my experiences and perhaps learn a little along the way. I am tempted to back up and give u the back story but I won't, I'll start from today and move on...