Saturday, February 28, 2009

Trying to be strong & learnin' more about henna

Co-washed last night, the did aphogee 2 min, then DCed overnight with my DPR-11/honey/vatika mix. Shed & broke like crazy while detangling and dry wrapping. My hair was not soft at all but rather stiff.

I won't describe all the emotions that overtook me. I am fearful that I have lost all my progress from last time all because of a bad decision.

Anyway, I am going to continue to do my week I plan to baggy every night except wash night and do a hot oil treatment on Tues night. I need to replace my alter ego garlic cond so that I can use that for my DCing this week - you'll read below why I've given up the protein this week.


Dry wrap

Learnin' to grow:

Anyhow, even though I was distressed, I decided to look up henna information again. It really is the root of my problems. You know what? This is 100% my fault. I was just too damn excited to try this henna thing because I saw other people using it successfully and before I did complete research, I jumped on the bandwagon. Anyway, there are a few things I may have done incorrectly that I will try to rectify:

1. I may have had a wrong form of henna - I won't be using henna again so really this one does not matter but just for everyone's benefit there are no different colors or shades of henna. Henna is a red tint...any other color or shade being called henna may be a number of unknown things (including metallics)...amd are really compound hennas.

2. Henna is protein and therefore my protein treatments this week (including last night) may have harmed my hair more than help it. In fact, many forums and site recommend you do not use protein in the weeks following a henna treatment.

I think because I saw my hair breaking I assumed it needed protein but I now realize that breakage can me caused by a number of factors. In my case I probably have protein overload. You can find this information on Long Hair Care Forums or Black Media.

Source (you should really read this BEFORE you try henna):
Henna for Hair PDF

Disclaimer: this is not an anti-henna blog just a henna is not for me blog. It is clear that if you use it correctly, you will get fantastic results. I didn't do that so that's on me. However, now that I know better, I have STILL decided to skip henna.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

So tired...I bunned today sans elastic band

I am exhausted! Got to bed really late...anyhoo, managed to do my m&s last night (wave nouv & hot6) and this morning (mango butter & HBCO) then bunned with no elastic bands. My hair is still on a break from those things. My hair is soo soft!

On another note, my church is having some black history month program to fundraise money for the kids camp this summer and I'm dancing (fun!). My friend is playing madam CJ Walker and she wants be to be her hair model. I don't mind this at all but then she wants me to plait my hair so it'll be wavy then she'll apply pink lotion to pretend that she's straightening it. Ahm..PINK LOTION!! Ewww. I was like no I dont think so. But since I don't wanna seem like a hair snob I agreed to bring my applicator brush and have her pretend to apply something to my hair.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Been a long time, long time...

So here's everything since my last blog. Let's start today and work our way back shall we?

So last night I co-washed after the gym then did my aphogee 2 minute recon while I showered with a delicious new soap I have (Yardley lemon verbena and shea butter...yummy!) then DC'ed with DPR-11, honey, & vatika oil mix for about an hour (20 minutes under dryer). I air dryed my hair with my scarf and just pinned up the rest on top of my head. As I said, I'm not using the elastic bands for awhile...just giving my hair a break from bondage. As a result I just have a pin up today.

last night's hair loss - nothing came out in shower (relief!)
Matter of fact, been pinning up all week successfully. Might I add I just LOVE my slouchy tams? So do my friends (I've been getting veiled compliments...I think I need to order one for a pal of mine. I didn't get her anything for her birthday).


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Protein is the name of this game

I can't believe I have breakage...I haven't had breakage in soooo long.

Protein is new name of the game. I took my ponytail holder out today and saw little broken hairs on it. Now, I've been soaking my ponytail holders in hot 6 for months now and haven't seen that kind of breakage since last Nov. Ahhhh! Well at least I know more about hair care now so I can take better care. Tues I'm doing my 2 minute protein reconstructor followed by a DC. I can handle this.

Just a set back (thanks for the encouragement ladies)


So last night I gave up and just rollerset my hair feeling as dreadful as it did. I think the garlic cond & honey mix helped a bit. Lost even more hair. At that point I decided that my hair gets pinned up indefinitely so it can rest and recouperate...more came out when my hair was dry (I went under dryer) and I wrapped it for the night. I couldn't find my silk scarf. Great. So I used some horrible thing. Ahhhh!
Rollerset...this is HORRIBLE

After the dry wrap
The light for me is my hair was soft this morning. I just took this picture (it's been out all day). I am still sad at my set back. I am OVER the henna craze.

The next thing I'll give my hair is some protein weekly until the breakage stops. My poor hair.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I am having a NERVOUS BREAKDOWN!!!!!!!

The henna has killed my hair.

Real quick (so I can get to my breakdown) - I put the vatika in the henna like last time and apply. I then covered with 2 plastic bags and walked around for 40 minutes and sat under heat for 20. I washed and washed and washed with shampoo and condish to make sure all the henna was gone. Then I DCed with my DPR-11/honey/vatika mix as always but I went under heat for 20 minutes for extra measure. Rinsed in cold water (really trying to be good here). My hair felt like SCOTCH BRITE!!!!!! I applied leave-in but I just could NOT rollerset the mess my hair was so I got back in the shower, clarified, used my deep moisture shampoo (desperation), then used some DPR-11, stood still for about 3 minutes with it in my hair (that is really all I can handle with my anxiety over my hair) and then rinsed, added mills creek jojoba oil condish and rinsed. 2nd attempt to roller set hair. I just REFUSED to rollerset the mess my hair was.

So now I have church in the morning but I sit here with my hair wet, not rollerset, not drying but DCing with my alter ego garlic condish and honey. I'm going to bed with this on. This MUST be fixed.

I have lost so much hair the pictures won't suffice but here they are nonetheless.

Henna rinse out

Detangle after clarify & poo & condish

Need I say NO MORE HENNA!!!!!!!????????????????????

-I did take pics of my henna process but that is of no interest to me at the moment-

My beautiful hair BEFORE the henna tragedy of 2009

UPDATE: I decided to wash out DC after about 40 mins and roller set and go under hooded dryer. I am calmer now but still annoyed at myself.

Bun-less day

Well the pin up didn't happen. Nor did my bun. Was running late so I did nothing really. Sometimes nothing can look cute though lol. I literally just twisted my hair and used one of my many (I love them) claw clips. I think it's good not to use the elastic band if I don't have to. Used mango butter & HBCO this morning. I loooove mango butter so much!

I must say my henna is looking redder than last time. Maybe I'll get more noticeable color change this time around.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Henna mix up & hair roll

So I mixed up my henna today. I used a different kind - the one my neighbor gave me. I don't have Aussie Moist or v05 so I used HE LTR cond and Mills Creek Jojoba cond. I'll add the vatika oil in tomorrow night before I apply. In the 2nd pic I have only added hot water.

I didn't do a pic of my bun today but I decided I'd take a pic of my pin up before I put on my satin scarf. I m&s with wave nouv and hot 6. I think I could do some pin ups while my hair isn't so uncontrollable (with NG). Just to get something different.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My new hats *grin*

So yesterday my new hats came (& I got an extra from the seller! whoooo). I love them! Today I tried the freebie one and it fits so snug and looks so cute. I will enjoy these even more in the spring.

It was a veerrrrry long and lazy evening yesterday but after the gym I forced myself to do my DC (DPR-11, honey, & vatika) and co-wash with HE LTR condish. then I dried in a plait. Hair was still damp this morning but whatever, I bunned it anyway. It will be dry by this afternoon I guess.

Oh! I forgot to mention. My hair may be getting an additional wash on Sunday. Think I'm gonna try henna again. We'll see. Maybe I should do it Fri night. I wouldn't have the time to sit there with it. I may have to sit under the dryer for an hour on medium heat instead of hanging around the house for 3 hours. Then I'd have to rollerset and dry. Gosh! That's about 2 hours under the dryer (eek!). I would have to get my henna mixed tomorrow tonight...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Back to buns

I won't say I missed them but I'm getting used to it. Oh! I think I forgot to mention that the ponytail holders I use for my buns live (hehe) in a ziploc that has hot6 oil in it. I do that to prevent hair breaking out when I remove the ponytail holder at night. Sometimes I use extra virgin olive oil as well. This really works - I never have hair coming out with the ponytail holder since I started doing this.

Nothing new today except I do have a new co-wash conditioner to try this evening if I get around to co-washing. I finally got my HE LTR conditioner. That should be fun. I think I'll DC with the DPR-11, honey, & oil mix on dry hair....not sure. This may all just have to wait until Wed depending on how today goes...I have sooo much to do.

Monday, February 16, 2009

New goal

So now that I think it has sunk in that I am APL (arm pit length), I have decided that BSL (bra strap length) is my next goal. I don't want to set up a date for that except it would be nice to be BSL by the end of the year.

I should be back to bunning today but I want to milk it a little more since today's a holiday. Tomorrow I'll be back to my old regimen which means buns, and tomorrow is wash day. Last night was also my last day of wrapping my hair this week. I'll prolly wrap it 2 more times (this Friday night and next Fri night) to enjoy it straight for two more Saturdays then I'm back to twist outs and such.

I have decided I will not be getting that trim after all. I prolly won't be back to Yerena until April relaxer. She did great and I will admit I was nervous as all heck. In the meantime, I'll use my barber shears and do my search & destroys when I see anything.

Here's my hair yesterday. Had to go to the hospital to visit someone. I know I know, my bathroom mirror needs some cleaning (oops).

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Look what I got!

Covering my head with my satin bonnet or scarf then using my winter hat to cover to protect my hair from my coat & the elements (PIGEON POO, rain, sun, smoke, soot, bus seat, cold, etc) seems to help with my hair health...I commute into NYC by bus. So I bought some lovely tams. Right now I have one brown one that is getting abused. These aren't all wool like the one I have now so they can be used in the spring and summer as well.

Here's one that I ordered (I got 4...the dusty purple, a dark green (like army green), a dark grey, and a natural color (looks like taupe)...the person is gonna send me a free gift too since it was my first ebay purchase. Niiiiiice.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mizani Butter Blends Review

So I finally made the swtich to lye...Mizani BB normal relaxer to be exact. After 16 years of relaxing with no lye and 7 years of Just 4 Me kiddie's relaxer, I decided to take the plunge.

First things first, I didn't buy the entire system. I got the relaxer, the normalizing and chelating shampoo, and perPhecting normalizing creme conditioner. I based the night before and loaded on the oil and moisturizer the night before. The hairdresser didn't even base me (!) I know, I know but I gave her so many instructions that I figure she could get away with this step since I had based. Not next time. I burned a little in the front but it went away during the wash...guess more of a tingle.

I am tender headed so I really felt her navigating through the thick brush of my NG. By the time she had applied it and gone through it once, it was tingling. This is why I used Just 4 Me all this time. In any case my hair came out very straight. Not a surprise, you just have to look at it hard enough and it straightens. Anyhoo, then she put the conditioner in and instead of letting it sit like the instructions said (she read them) she did washing motions and rinsed then repeated. After she did 2 neutralizing & chelating poos then did more conditioner and put me under the dryer for about 15 minutes. That's it.

The biggest deal is that my hair was silky smooth when I washed it out. Such an awesome feeling. I could tell I wasn't souping myself up because my Dominican hairdresser even mentioned it to me. She was like "I really like that perm Mami" Yup. so it gets 4 thumbs up. 2 from me, and 2 from Yerena. OH! She tried to recommend a trim and I said not today, thanks LOL I need to see my length and check my ends for myself first.

One bad thing. I bought the Elasta QP H two and took it for her to use for my roller set. When she sprayed it on, my hair felt so hard she decided to wash it out. So I did another conditioner. Maybe someone can help me figure out how to use it...I would like to give it another chance.

Won't be taking out my wrap until Saturday so these are all the pics for awhile. My hair feels fantastic. Absolutely no regrets about using Mizani BB.

I am soooo relieved to be relaxed after 9 weeks. I kinda didn't realize how much I missed the fresh perm feel.

Next relaxer: April 9th is 8 weeks
April 23rd is 10 weeks

I still don't have the things I need for relaxer...

Went to bss after work and the supplier forgot to deliver my stuff. Great. They brought everything but mine. So the owner of the bss promised to go pick it up for me this morning and I'll go get it at lunch time. I should mention this place is close to my bus station i.e. 10 blocks from my office. I only do that 10 block walk in the morning and evening. Now I have to be doing it at lunch (back & forth). Flipping fantastic.

Good news though - I got the Elasta QP H two leave-in spray. Gonna add it to my list of prods. See how it goes.

My hair has been based with hollywood beauty castor oil (HBCO), moisturized and sealed within an inch of its life. Hope this protects it later on just in case hairdresser does a poor job of basing or if any overlap occurs. I have 2 twists pinned up today.

UPDATE: I finally got them at about 2 pm. whew!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I made a choice...Mizani BB

So I went to the bss yesterday to purchase the relaxer but I still had no clue which I would purchase. Before I went to my regular place in washington heights by my job, I decided to try this new place out. Can you say overpriced? Why was their Affirm relaxer (a tiny the small ice cream cup) for $7.99?? It came with nothing, no neutralizer, no base, nothing plus I think I would need 2 of those containers for my hair. Jeez! Then I checked out the alter ego garlic cond. (because I know the price at the bss near my home, and my regular bss in washington heights by my job) and it was $ the bss by my home it's $23 and at my regular spot it's $16.99. I also took note of their price for the large botter of the HE LTR conditioner I've been meaning to try $7.99. I left that bss. Every dollar overpriced adds up & we're in a recession.

Got to my regular spot. First, no Affirm or Lenange so I just decided on the Mizani Butter Blends (BB). That was easy. I got the big container for $19.99 which is a dollar more than Amazon (if you consider the convenience and lack of shipping costs, it works out quite fine), their HE LTR conditioner in the large size was $6.49 so I got that, I also got more HE LTR leave- in and Elasta QP mango butter. None of the bss' I tried yesterday had the Elasta QP leave-in spray (sadness) so I'll have to check the priciest one by my house. I don't get Hot6 Oil or Aussie Moist from any bss because my Big Deals (my 5 dollar and less store) has both for $3. I also need coconut oil. My regular spot didn't have the perPhecting cond, or the neutralizing & chelating shampoo that comes with the mizani bb relaxer sytem but the owner was nice enough to call their supplier and order them for me...I'll go pick that up this evening after work. That's all I'm getting from the system, I'll just use my regular DC afterwards and the hairdresser's leave in.

Oh, btw, I spoke to the hairdresser and I have an appointment at 5 pm tomorrow. It's just a 2 block walk from here.

On another note, my neighbor (she's Indian from Guyana) gave me henna this morning. She wanted to buy the oil/liquid and accidentally bought the powder. It's another brand so maybe I'll try that one next time even though I still have a packet of the other one...that's it I think. Latas!!

I feel bad I have no pic. Should I take one of my boring bun and post it? I just dug up my camera so let me do that and post it lol

you have to understand, when I read blogs, I love to see pics so I always try to include a pic in my posts where possible. No worries though, on the weekend, you'll see the best pic of all - my hair out and straight for the first time in 9 weeks *big grin*

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I have decided to make ammends...

I really had little choice.

I have been thinking the past 9 weeks or so where I was going to go to relax my hair. I have this Jamaican lady who I LOVE but she's in New Rochelle (quite a distance) plus she's always full so I don't leave until near midnight and she's pricey. Then there's a Dominican place I used to go to in the Bronx and they do my hair ok but I'm never stunned. Finally, there's this place literally 2 blocks from my job (I work in Washington Heights...US Dominicana) and when she does my hair, it is always stunning EXCEPT she was the one who relaxed my entire head of hair in Feb 2008. She is the reason I stopped going to the hairdresser for a year. She only did it once in the 5 or 6 times she relaxed my hair but I was sooo annoyed I stopped going there. I know I could have gone back and just explain to her I need only my new growth done (that my hair is different from the typical Dominican's) but I was beyond words at that time and very annoyed at my shedding & breaking hair.

Well, today I called her. Why? I just bought some dresses online (really great price) but that depleted my bank account (until next pay day anyway) and so I can't go to my Jamaican lady and I don't wanna risk the Bronx place. I really want my hair to look nice this weekend. I'm bringing my relaxer, neutralizer, and DC. I guess it was a little too early so I left a message.

Today makes it an official 9 weeks.

Despite how this pic looks, my neck is a normal size lol

Monday, February 9, 2009

Combing dry hair

I don't think I'll be combing until Wednesday evening. I'll comb and base. I combed this morning to put my roller set hair into a bun and all I can say is thank goodness for mango butter. Combing dry hair is not ideal at 9 weeks post.

Dry comb hair loss

I need to go to the bss. I have no cowash conds (V05 & Aussie Moist), my leave in feels light (HE LTR), I want to try a new leave in as well - Elasta QP H2, my mango butter is getting low, and my hot6 is low also.

I also need to purchase my relaxer.

On that note I have a friend (who thinks I am crazy with all this hair stuff btw) whose friend has been using this relaxer with great results so I asked her to get the name. Turns out her friend is usnig Affirm. Great. Another to add to the list. I have been looking at the Affirm Fiberguard and I am not entirely sure what to think. Such a difficult decision.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Cowash...lots of pics

So this is my last wash before my relaxer. Did a cowash with V05 then 2 minutes of Aphogee 2 min reconstructor, then 2 hours no heat DC with Aussie Moist, honey & vatika enriched coconut oil. Not too much came out in the shower.

Last look. I really don't see a diff but I guess I won't really know until Thurs.

Close up...looks longer here for some reason (where it stops relative to armpit)

First detangle. I decided to really detangle today because I don't want the hairdresser being harsh with my hair when it is tangled. So this was from first go over with big shower comb. I then used a smaller comb then rat tail comb and rollerset.

Right side

Left side....ewwww

Detangling tools....not too bad

Sloppy rollerset but I really went lazy with it.

I don't really know what I'll do this week with the gym and all but as I think of something I'll share I guess. Right now I'm thinking ponytails....

Friday, February 6, 2009

Switching relaxers...

I used Just 4 Me kiddie's relaxer for normal hair for almost 7 years and after all the recent breakage and dryness I experienced, plus with the beginning of my healthy hair journey (hhj), I decided to make a switch. After reading loads and loads, I am fairly sure I'll be using a lye relaxer. This requires that I get my relaxer professionally done though...I do not want to burn.

My next relaxer is less than a week away and I'm still not certain what particular relaxer to use. I am currently torn between Mizani BB for normal hair and Linange Shea Butter. Everyone who has used Linange loves it but Mizani is a very popular brand. I should mention I use the Alter Ego garlic cond & I love it...thats the same company that makes Linange.

I am also wondering if I should clarify or shampoo before I relax. I'm thinking not. The more things between my hair and the relaxer, the better.

Anyhoo, let's do a lil learnin' to grow:

Linange Shea Butter Reviews it is long but a good read
Mizani Butter Blends Reviews there are lots more but I thought I'd stick with this forum since you won't need a sign in

Lye vs. No Lye

Best article (associated content) <--click there
Another pretty good one <--click there

This one is confusing. It says lye relaxers are harsher on our hair but that is not fact it is harsher on our scalps but better for our hair (well, this is the version of the story I'm buying) and no lye is not good for our hair - drying and tangling - but will usually take longer to burn the scalp (hence, I am heading to the salon to use my lye relaxer). You can add oil to your lye relaxer to make it less abrasive for your scalp but keep in mind this will affect the potency.

Here's the confusing one <--click there

Forum opinions: Long hair care
Forum opinions: Black hair media

Thursday, February 5, 2009

My wonderful cowash experience!

I cowashed after the gym last night (one night late) with my V05 and then DC'd on wet hair with my alter ego garlic cond mixed with vatika oil and honey for 3o mins under dryer.

First, almost nothing came out in the shower (I haven't combed since Sun)...woooooot!!!!! I think this may be because I already experienced a little dry shedding.

Then when I detangled (boy, the middle is a BEAST!). Not so bad.

I air dryed in a bun so it is still damp this morning.

~looking forward to next Thursday~