Monthly Archives: September 2013

Flat-ironed Natural Hair – 7 Months of Growth

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This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.
Thank you for your support!

I have been natural for seven months. I wanted to see what the length of my hair really looked like, so I decided to flat iron my hair. I initially wanted to straighten my hair for my six-month naturalversary, but time crept up so quickly, I completely forgot. I didn’t remember until it was almost a full month after my mid-year mark. Oops! Crazy how fast time goes by … Anyway, it’s been so long since I’ve seen my hair straight, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. But, I am pleased with the results. Even my family members were astonished. Mostly because I think they remember how short my hair was when I Big Chopped. LOL. Here’s what I did …

STRAIGHTENING STEPS

  1. Shampooed my hair with a sulfate-free shampoo.
  2. Conditioned my hair.
  3. Deep conditioned my hair.
  4. Rollerset my hair with water (no product) to help my hair have plenty of body.
  5. Let my hair air dry for two hours and then sat under a dryer for 20-30 minutes to finish drying.
  6. Spritzed each roller section with a heat protectant and flat ironed my hair using my Babyliss Nano Titanium 1.25″ flat iron. I didn’t want my hair “bone straight,” so I set my flat iron to 375 degrees.
  7. It took me about a leisurely hour to straighten all of my hair.

MAINTENANCE

  1. Because I live in a very humid climate, the next day (before wearing my hair out), I layered on some of my homemade shea butter glycerin hair styler, about a half of a teaspoon of castor oil, and then sealed it all in with raw, unrefined shea butter. This helped to prevent the humidity from reverting my flat-ironed hair without overly weighing it down.
  2. Prior to going to bed, I wrapped my hair. Because my hair is still too short to wrap around my whole head, I had to secure my wrapped hair as I went along, pinning it in place to prevent it from loosening as I slept.
  3. I added my satin bonnet and called it a night.
  4. Throughout the week, after I unwrapped my hair each morning, I added more of my homemade shea butter glycerin hair styler, castor oil, and raw, unrefined shea butter as needed.

THE RESULTS

In these pics, my hair is 6.50″ – 7.00″ long.

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My Natural Hair Journey – 6 Month Check-in

It’s hard to believe that it has been six … no, wait … seven months since I big chopped back in February of this year. In honor of my six-month natural hair journey to healthy hair, I created this video summarizing my transition from relaxed to natural hair. I know. I’m a month late (ahem), but better late than never. Right? Enjoy the vid!

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The Inversion Method for Natural Hair: My 1-Week Results

Caution Border Pale Pink  Before Attempting the Inversion Method,

  Read My First Post Describing the Method

HERE Caution Border Pale Pink

When: Saturday, August 31, 2013 – Friday, September 6, 2013
Oil Used: Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Length of Massage: 4 minutes
Length of Inversion: 4 minutes
Frequency: 7 consecutive days
Inversion Position: Laid on bed with chest and head hanging off bed (toward floor) with hands on floor for support.*
Starting Length: 6.50″
Ending Length: 7.00″**

I started the inversion method on Saturday night (August 31). I warmed extra virgin olive oil in a cup of hot water. (I do not recommend heating the oil in the microwave as it will likely destroy most of the health properties.) Then, I divided my head into four quadrants and massaged each quadrant for one minute (my whole head for a total of four minutes). After that, I laid on my bed and inverted my chest and head toward the floor, using my hands for support. * Please note that the inversion position I used is considered controversial as some others have experienced extreme discomfort in this position. However,  this position FOR ME was very comfortable. In fact, I experienced more unease (chest pain) in another position where I sat in a chair and inverted my head as if painting my toes. 

After inverting, I GHEd and then went to bed. I repeated this for three consecutive days. On day four, my hair was very saturated (from the oil), so I cowashed. Then, I continued the rest of the inversion routine.

My starting hair length was 6.50″. I only took pictures of the front and side because it was extremely difficult to take pictures of myself while accurately holding a tape measure.

** This ended up being foretelling because the front of my hair and the sides of my hair are the only areas that grew (0.50″). The top crown of my head and the back of my head (nape area) didn’t increase in length at all. My ending length? Seven inches!

However, considering about half of my head received a half-inch of growth in only seven days, I think the inversion method is pretty miraculous! The only con is that this method uses quite a bit of oil, but considering the results, if you have enough oil on hand, it is worth adding into the arsenal of your healthy hair regimen.

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The Baggy Method & Greenhouse Effect: My 3-Month Results

FTC Disclaimer
This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.
Thank you for your support!

When: June 01, 2013 – August 31, 2013
Coverage: whole head
Length of Time: overnight
Frequency: 3x-7x/week*
Method: a combination of the greenhouse effect and the baggy method
Starting Length: 4.75″
Ending Length:  6.50″

I started the first month of my natural hair journey with a bang! I got an inch of growth the first month. You can see my first length check HERE. However, after that, for three months running, I only realized a 1/4″ of growth each month. Unfortunately, it took me three months to realize that my hair was extremely dry. It was like I couldn’t moisturize it enough. So, I did some research and came across the Greenhouse Effect (GHE) and Baggy Method (BM). I decided to give myself three months to see if either method would work for my hair.

On June 1, 2013, I used the GHE. I lightly misted my hair with distilled water, applied a natural oil (usually grapeseed, olive, or castor oil), and sealed it all with a small dollop of my whipped shea butter mix. Then, I added a processing cap, a satin bonnet, and a satin scarf. I made it extra secure with a mesh head wrap with a velcro close that I got from Amazon. I did that every night, 7 nights a week, for a month, and obtained 3/4″ of growth! I was ecstatic about the growth, to say the least. But, more importantly, my hair felt incredibly moisturized.

The second month, I wanted to see if the BM could give me the same results. I spritzed my hair with a healthy dose of a water-based leave-in. (This is a great opportunity to use some of those products in your stash that you don’t particularly love but don’t want to give or throw away.) I baggyed my hair every night, 7 nights a week, for a month and received 1/2″ of growth. Not as much growth as the previous month with the GHE but still good results.

The third month, I decided to reduce the nights I baggyed from 7 nights a week to 3 since I finally had the moisture levels of my hair balanced. I used a homemade MSM spritz and sealed with grapeseed oil infused with MSM powder. But, after two weeks, I stopped baggying with the MSM spritz/oil combo because I didn’t like the way it made my hair feel. My hair just wasn’t liking it. AT ALL. I gave some of the MSM spritz to my sister and her 4B/4C hair loved it. So, I used it alone, and my hair liked it, too. So, I’m thinking my hair doesn’t like the MSM-infused oil. Or, maybe the combo of the spritz and oil was too much for my hair. I don’t know. But, I measured my hair after two weeks, and my hair had grown 1/4″.

The second half of the third month, I decided to install (medium-sized) mini twists for the last two weeks.  I moisturized my hair every two days with my DIY glycerin hair spritz. At the end of the third month, I removed the twists and measured my hair. It grew a total of a 1/2″.

So, my hair grew a total of 1.75″ over three months (an average of 0.583″/month), just slightly above the average growth rate of 0.5″. Not too shabby if I say so myself! I am very pleased with my results, especially considering I spent three months barely able to get a 1/4″ of growth. As a result, I think I will incorporate the GHE or the BM into my normal hair care regimen.

GHE vs. BM

*NOTES: Regardless of the method you choose to use, you should start out conservatively with 2-4x per week and then build up to 5-7x/week (if necessary). My hair was very dry at the beginning of this growth challenge, which is why I opted to do this 7x/week. However, to keep the moisture balance of my hair in check, I did a light protein treatment periodically.

In addition, you may not need to cover your whole head, like I did. This is especially true if your hair is longer or if you are a natural who is rocking a straight style. If that’s the case, just baggy your ends in saran wrap or put your hair in a pony and cover it with a Ziploc bag to trap in moisture and ward off split ends.

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