Category Archives: Hair Journey

Got a Texturizer! My Application + Results

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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.

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After almost 6 years of being natural, I decided to texturize my hair! I purchased the Silk Elements Texturizer for Sensitive Scalps. This is a no-lye, no-mix, texturizing system for people with sensitive scalps. I love that the formula contains a combination of silk protein, aloe vera, panthenol, and pro-vitamin B-5.  I purchased the version for coarse hair, but it also comes in regular as well.

THE INGREDIENTS

SHAMPOO: Water (Aqua, Eau), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Disodium Cocoamphodipropionate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Citric Acid, Polyquaternium-7, PEG-150 Distearate, Fragrance (Parfum),Sodium Chloride, DMDM Hydantoin, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Linalool, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Benzyl Salicylate, Panthenol, Phenolsulfonphthalein, Vitis ViniferaSeed Oil, Silk Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Silk

CONDITIONER: Water (Aqua, Eau), Polyquaternium-32, Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum, Huile minérale), Glycerin, Propylene Glycol,Dimethicone PEG-7 Isostearate, Quaternium-80, PPG-1 Trideceth-6, Dimethicone, DMDM Hydantoin, Fragrance (Parfum), Panthenol, Linalool, Hydrolyzed Silk, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice

PROTECTIVE GEL: Petrolatum

TEXTURIZER: Water (Aqua, Eau), Petrolatum, Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum, Huile minérale), Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, Cetyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Fragrance (Parfum), PEG-75 Lanolin, Hydroxycitronellal, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Hydrolyzed Silk, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil

 

WHAT’S IN THE BOX

  1. protective gel
  2. two mini jars of texturizer crème
  3. two packets of neutralizing shampoo
  4. one packet of luxury moisturizing conditioner 
  5. instruction sheet
  6. gloves

HAIR PREP

To best prep my hair for the texturizer, I applied the protective gel around my hairline, ear, and nape. Because I have an extremely sensitive scalp, I also took the extra step to base my entire scalp by dividing my hair in quadrants and applying the protective gel to each part within each section. If you don’t have skin as sensitive as mine, you can skip this step. However, if there is even a chance that you do, I highly recommend that you base your scalp to prevent any chance of a chemical burn. Also, I recommend buying better quality gloves. The ones that come in the box are okay but are quite thin.

 

APPLICATION PROCESS

I applied the texturizer, first to  the back of my hair, around my hairline and then to the front of my hair. Then, because my whole head had virgin hair, I applied the texturizer to the length of my hair.

 

RESULTS

Unfortunately, I got scared and rinsed the texturizer out too soon, so my results are pretty subtle. However, after less than one day, I noticed a change in the texture and condition of my hair. My hair accepts product much more easily now, and is significantly softer and smoother. So, next time, I will leave the texturizer in for the full length of time (maybe longer).

 

Watch the video below to see how I applied the texturizer and to check out my results.

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New Hair Strategies for the New Year (2018)

FTC Disclaimer

This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon or eBay), 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!

After so many setbacks in the last two years of my natural hair journey, I’ve decided to make a huge overhaul of my hair care regimen. I spent the last six months of 2017 donating, selling, gifting, and using up my hair “product junkie” hauls. In the past, when my fave beauty supplier or retailer had a “buy 2, get 1 sale” or a 50% off promo, I felt the need to indulge even if my beauty cabinet was already stockpiled with shampoo, conditioner, and hair moisturizer. I felt like it gave me a chance to discover and try new products that would hopefully become my holy grail for cleansing, styling, and growing my hair. More is better right? Well, not always …

Truth be told, I am my family’s resident “go-to” for natural hair care product recommendations and samples, so I didn’t just horde my “extras!” I also don’t believe in being wasteful. Consequently, even when a product didn’t work for me, I always tried to find a way to repurpose it in a new way, remix it with other add-ons (like Jamaican black castor oil, apricot oil, or sweet almond oil), or augment it in with other products (i.e., deep conditioner) until used up. However, if my hair simply hates a product all-together, I’ll usually gift it to a family member or friend and then try to sell the unopened multiples. If that doesn’t work, I’ll donate it to a good cause (e.g., homeless shelter for women and children).

Two years (and several dozens of products) later, I have yet to find the ultimate product(s) to care for my multi-textured mane. I am hair product holy grail-less! I’ve endured the last 24 months of a barrage of brutal testing and trying of new products only to conclude that my hair didn’t mind yet didn’t love most of them or hated them all-together. I tried so many products, in fact, that I didn’t even have the time, effort, or energy to even blog about them all! Some worked (but only temporarily), others just didn’t even deserve an honorable mention. As a result, I tried to remember the last time I believed my hair was healthy and growing. After much thought and reflection, I’ve come to the conclusion that it was when I was DIYing most of my own hair products: from quick hair spritzes and leave-in conditioners to henna hair packs and hot oil treatments

The only reason I stopped was because I made the decision to go to grad school to pursue an advanced degree. As a result of my harried work:school life balance, it just became impossible to DIY any of my hair products (let alone to spend the time blogging about my hair victories and misadventures! I barely had time to work, go to evening classes, sleep, and eat (or bother doing much else other than group projects and countless research). Sigh ..

So, I started to do one of the things that I do best … research … I investigated various ingredients and hair care strategies. After a six-month long quest, I determined that an Ayurvedic-based hair care regimen would be best for me. Ayurveda’s natural approach to hair maintenance is what convinced me to make the swap from traditional on-the-shelf hair products that never seem to “take” to my hair. While I already practice some whole body care (e.g., exercising, clean eating, drinking plenty of water, etc.), I have started to become more aware of some vitamin and mineral deficiencies (e.g., iron) despite my healthy dietary habits. In light of this, one of my goals for this year is to focus on an improved hair lifestyle … using natural hair care products (or creating my own) … better monitoring my vitamin intake … maintaining healthy hair practices (see Hair Moisture 101, Hair Moisture 201, Hair Moisture 301, and Hair Moisture 401) … and the like.

In this way, by year’s end, I hope to strengthen, grow, and retain a healthier head of hair. Because I have multi-textured tresses (e.g., a combination of 3 different hair textures ranging from 3C to 4B) that is also extremely fine (small in diameter) and fragile (breaks easily even when being gentle with my hair), this is a challenge under the best of circumstances. However, I am hopeful that switching to natural products and hair care practices will help me to grow and retain greater length and, more importantly, strengthen my hair in such a way that it is less prone to breakage.

I have probably used up or given away about 80% of my stash. The remaining 20% is predominately made up of deep conditioners (that I plan to use for henna glosses) and a couple of other odds and ends (i.e., for when I travel). Here are some of the ingredients I have invested in that I can’t wait to start creating with (or taking) in the near future:

  1. Ayurvedic Powders: aloe vera, amla, bhringraj, cassia obovata, chamomile, fenugreek, henna, hibiscus, indigo, moringa, neem, rose petal, shikakai, and slippery elm
  2. Clays: bentonite clay and kaolin clay (for skin care)
  3. Essential Oils: bergamot, chamomile, cinnamon, clove, and ylang ylang. My essential oil collection already includes the usual suspects of tea tree, rosemary, lavender, and about a dozen other faves).😉
  4. Floral Waters: lavender hydrosol, rose hydrosol, and ylang ylang hydrosol 
  5. Humectants: glycerin and organic honey
  6. Oils: almond oilapricot oil, avocado oil, castor oil, Jamaican black castor oil, mango butter, rosehip oil, and unrefined shea butter
  7. Vitamins: iron and SugarBearHair Hair Vitamins

I am also considering purchasing some soaping supplies to make my own body soap and (maybe) shampoo, but I’m feeling a little overwhelmed and skittish, so we shall see! However, I bought two books for added instruction and encouragement: (i.) Easy Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health, & Home, and (ii.). Simple & Natural Soapmaking.

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My 1-Year Naturalversary: 12 Months of Natural Hair in Review

1-Year Natural

Today (February 6) is my one-year naturalversary. Hurray! I can’t believe I made it! The last 12 months went by so quickly. I made some mistakes, experienced a few setbacks, but I also had some amazing triumphs as well. Here’s a review of how my first year as a natural went down …

MY UNPLANNED “BIG CHOP”

It all started on Friday, January 11, 2013. After a traumatizing experience with a dry shampoo, I had my mom cut my hair. I originally had intended to transition for at least 12 months but, sometimes, life happens and change becomes inevitable. My mom cut off eight inches of my 12″ hair. Three-and-a-half weeks later, I cut off the remaining relaxed ends. I was left with only only 2.5″ – 3.0″ of hair after transitioning for six months. So much for long-term transitioning. LOL!

MONTH #1

Even though my hair grew a full inch in only a month’s time, my hair had never been this short before. And, truth be told, I really did not know what to do with it. To make matters worse, some of my family members DID NOT like my new short do and did not mind letting me know! My confidence plummeted, so I bought a wig. After a while, though, I got tired of (and too hot while) wearing it (think 90 degrees in April), so I decided that it was time to embrace all of me, including my new short hair. I wrote a letter to my TWA to boost my confidence and to let other new naturals know they were not alone, but I still struggled with wearing my natural hair outside of my home.

MONTHS #2, #3, and #4

While researching how to style my super short hair, I came across colouredBeautiful’s YouTube video on how she defined her curls on her own short mane. Her hair looked fabulous! I finally started to believe that maybe mine could, too! Her video gave me the jumpstart I needed to style my own short locks and the self-esteem to actually wear it “out” in public. The first few times I wore my finger coiled hair in public, I felt like everyone was staring at me and snickering amongst themselves about my hair. Maybe it was my imagination, or perhaps they genuinely thought I looked foolish. Who knows! Nevertheless, slowly but surely, I decided to ignore the noise (real or imagined) and found my confidence again.

However, I still had a long way to go to figuring out how to maintain my natural hair. My hair only grew 0.75″ over three months (0.25″ a month). I learned very quickly that even though my hair was short, I wasn’t moisturizing it enough. My dry, thirsty tresses were dehydrated but still managed to grow despite my hair care ignorance. I did more research about how to take care of my natural hair and decided that I had better create and implement a hair care regimen.

MONTHS #5, #6, and #7

I found an answer to prayer! I discovered the baggy method and the Green House Effect as viable techniques to moisturize my dry hair. My hair grew 1.75″ over three months! I finally seemed to have reversed my parched strands.

MONTH #8 (Setback #1: Breakage from Stress) 

October 2013 Mini Top Knot

October 2013
Mini Top Knot

I experienced my first genuine setback when my mom’s health momentarily declined, and I inadvertently started to neglect my hair. I lost a month’s worth of length (a 1/2″) as a result.

MONTHS #9 & #10 

I quickly bounded back and my hair grew … and grew. Everything was sunshine and rainbows … until it wasn’t!

MONTH #11 (Setback #2: The Single Strand Knot)

January 2014 Faux Hawk

January 2014
Faux Hawk

After wearing wash ‘n gos non-stop for almost three months, it finally happened … my second setback! My ends were covered with SSKs! Although I attempted to use a needle to untie each knot, the diameter of each of my strands is just too fine, and the task proved virtually impossible. So, I ended up lopping off a 1/2″ of my length to prevent split ends and further damage to my hair. Sigh.

MONTH #12

February 2014 Old Twist-out

February 2014
Old Twist-out

I finally had an epiphany and went back to the basics of moisturizing and sealing my hair every night. Sometimes even twice a day. Whenever I don’t moisturize my hair enough, my hair rebels, and I pay for it in the end by having to sacrifice length.

HAIR REPORT CARD

My hair grew a total of 7.5″ over 12 months, but I only retained 6.50″. Extremely dry hair contributed to three months of slow growth (only a ¼” a month for three months). I lost a ½” of my length due to breakage from stress and another ½” after enduring an extreme case of SSKs. On the whole, even though I experienced lots of ups and downs, I learned a great deal about my hair. All of my setbacks were (ahem) self-inflicted and predominately a result of my failure to properly moisturize my hair. My ending length? 9.50″. Here’s to wiser hair care in 2014 …

Do you have a naturalversary coming up? If so, congrats!

2624-seasonal

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A letter to my TWA (Teenie Weenie Afro)


Letter-to-My-TWA

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February 7, 2013 · 9:06 AM

Big Chop D-R-A-M-A!!!

I know … I know … My plan was to transition for a year (maybe even two) so that I wouldn’t have to BC (big chop) and be left with super short hair. Unfortunately, I had a bit of a hair dilemma after uninstalling some braids over the holidays. Ok, I had a HUGE hair catastrophe! I had planned to take out my braids in a few days, but I got a call from a potential employer. On a Wednesday, I found out that I had a job interview scheduled for Friday. So, I immediately started to take out my braids. It took me two days. In fact, I didn’t finish until late Thursday night. So, I wrapped my hair with a satin scarf until I could wash my hair the next day (Friday morning), the day of my interview.

I finger detangled my hair, but unfortunately I made the mistake of using a new product in my hair while in braids. I know, a big no, no! I had been seduced by the almighty dry shampoo. The moment I stepped into the shower and tried to cleanse my hair, my strands locked and seized up on me! My fine strands are already highly prone to being tangled, but I was confident that I would be able to get the remaining tangles out when I conditioned my hair. So, I conditioned, deep conditioned, and even sprayed in a leave-in.

I attempted to detangle for another half hour to no avail. Mortified, I called my mom for back up. She immediately came to my rescue (or at least attempted to). She massaged argan oil into my matted tresses. After removing some of the milder tangles, I gained confidence but, after an hour of her diligently working to detangle the more deeply matted areas of my hair, it became painfully apparent to me that my relaxed hair had inadvertently “locked”.

Someone started crying … To my surprise it wasn’t me. It was my mother! I told her to cut my hair. She said my hair was too long and she couldn’t. I told her it was just hair and that it would grow back, but she was too scared. I knew what had to be done and, after working another ten to fifteen minutes on my tangles, so did she. We had both come to the same painful conclusion … my hair was too far gone.

So, my mother grabbed a pair of hair shears and lopped off eight inches of my twelve-inch hair in sections. Here is one of the most matted sections.IMG_2603To be honest, I think the process was more painful for my mom than it was for me. But, just imagine. This was all on the morning of my interview. I couldn’t believe the horrible timing! I blow dryed and flat ironed my hair, but it looked horrible. After only ten minutes, the humidity in my bathroom had caused my just-flat-ironed hair to curl up again!

My hair was so short, I didn’t really know what to do with it. Thankfully, my mom knew how to curl short hair. She managed to create this look for me below. It wasn’t my finest hair moment, but given what had transpired the previous three hours of that morning, it was something I could live with. I went to my interview feeling semi-confident. IMG_2146_ppUpdate (2/6/13): After about a month, the two textures drove me nuts! It was like I was holding onto the relaxed ends as a crutch. So, while every one was sleeping, I chopped off the remaining two to three inches of relaxed hair (mostly my bangs and a few stray relaxed ends in the back)!

IMG_2609

I was left with hair that was only two-and-a-half to three inches in length! While I have never had “long” hair, I also have never had super short hair. Most of my life, my hair has been shoulder length or slightly longer (arm pit length at its longest). So, my new do was a shocker to me and my family. BIG CHOP #2

It doesn’t look like much, but after all was said and done, I lost this much hair (from my initial hair catastrophe and final chop)! IMG_2605And, yes, I saved it in a little Ziploc bag.IMG_2598What can I say? I’m a little sentimental!

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Let the Journey Begin!

My goal, during my hair journey, is to transition from relaxed to natural hair. I plan to maintain length as I use low manipulation and protective styles to slowly transition. I am thinking I will transition for a year or two, but we will see how patient I am in the long run!    🙂

What are your goals? Are you a relaxed diva looking to obtain a more lustrous mane? A natural maven flaunting your crown of glory? A frustrated transitioner searching for ways to stay patient? Or, are you just a coiffure enthusiast interested in all things hair?

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