Category Archives: Length Checks

Swanson Bamboo Extract: 2-month Update

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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 first started using bamboo extract two months ago. I had mixed one-month results. I bought two bottles. Each bottle contains 60 vegetarian capsules and will last 2 months since you only need to take one pill a day. Given that I purchased both bottles for less than $20, this supplement provides pretty good bang for your buck.

After taking this supplement for 8 weeks, my nail health has made a complete 180 turnaround. My weak, brittle nails normally break daily. This bamboo extract seemed to strengthen and lengthen them from the inside out. After only 2 weeks, my nail growth expedited exponentially. In a month’s time, the extract had lengthened my nails to the point of becoming an annoyance (needing to be cut much more frequently than before). After 2 months, I’ve noticed that the condition of my nails have improved drastically. My nails have not just become LONGER but have now become STRONGER as well.

While my hair’s thickness and volume have increased, I have had zero to staggering results. This is likely due to the fact that I have 3 different textures on my head! Watch the following video for a quick summary of my experience after taking bamboo extract for two months.

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2016: A Year in Rear View

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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!

Creative Commons License by WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Photo shared by Famartin
Photo Adapted

2016, for me, was a year of setbacks. After more than half of the year was over, I discovered that most of my hair’s lack of hydration was due to the fact that I live in a hard (to very hard) water area. Ever since I purchased a new shower filter, I have noticed an exponential reduction in split ends and single strand knots (SSKs). However, after gaining and retaining an additional three inches in length during the last quarter of the year, I lost it all (and more) due to a foolish decision to put my hair in mini twists. After that, my hair’s health declined dramatically. It’s been an uphill battle ever since to recover from fragile, damaged ends and extensive hair breakage (I lost as much as 5″ in some areas)! I’ve dusted my ends multiple times to try to get back to the status quo for my hair.

When my hair growth continued to stall and I observed that I still had split, scraggly ends, I bit the bullet and chopped off an additional 1″ – 1 ½” (around the beginning of December 2016). Unfortunately, that meant losing more length on top of what I had already lost due to breakage, but I wanted to start fresh in the New Year. Plus, I always choose the health of my hair over the length of my hair. So, I’m not afraid to get scissor-happy when necessary. 😉 Besides, only a month later, it has proven to be the best decision I ever made since my hair grew (and I retained) 0.5″ in the last 30 days (finally)!

As a result, in 2017, I will be focusing predominantly on restoring the health of my hair and length retention. It’s back to basics for me … Moisture! Moisture! Moisture! I will continue to moisturize my hair twice a day (in the morning and at night before I go to bed). I am thinking of reincorporating the GHE method back into my regimen on a more consistent basis. I totally failed to do this last year, which I think only exacerbated my dry hair woes. I also plan to experiment with a few more hair growth aids and styling products to make up for lost time. 😉

So far this winter, the main struggle I’ve noticed is that my natural hair is in this awkward stage where the length of my hair, when down, (i.e., in wash ‘n gos and twist-outs) sometimes brushes up against my clothes, especially after day 4 or 5 when my shrunken freshly washed hair starts to loosen and become more voluminous after repeated stretching from twist-outs or general styling. I think that might have contributed to a lot of breakage as well. So, I hope to twist AND pin my hair up or do more roll ‘n tuck styles. Because my fine strands do not like being in protective styles over extended periods of time, I’m going to try to minimize over-manipulating my hair. In addition, at night, I have been loosely bunning my hair or tucking in my ends and pinning it in place to better protect the oldest part of my hair.

I’m also toying with the idea of ditching shampoo altogether and co-washing exclusively. If that doesn’t work, I may add a pre-poo or oil rinse to my regimen. I haven’t thus far to try to keep my hair wash day as minimal as possible, but I definitely think my current hair regimen needs a revamp, so I will be tweaking it from time to time as I start the journey of finding new products and methods that will work for my hair’s current needs. I’ve already incorporated a mid-week co-wash back into my routine. I used to do this when my hair was relaxed and I was transitioning to natural. So far, my hair seems to like it. Because I exercise an hour a day 6-7 days a week, I think an additional wash may be necessary to better maintain my hair’s moisture and to keep my scalp free from bacteria (i.e., from sweating during workouts) and excessive debris.

Here are the current measurements of my hair. As you can see, I lost 6-8″ in overall length from the continued breakage I experienced from hard water, the damage I suffered from wearing my hair in mini twists, and much-needed trims (to cut away fragile, split, tangled ends).

Current Measurements

FRONT: 14″

SIDES: 11.5″ (LEFT); 12″ (RIGHT)

CROWN 14″

BACK: 11.0″

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Nioxin 2% Minoxidil Hair Regrowth Treatment for Women: 1 Month 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.

Thank you for your support!

Nioxin 2% Minoxidil Hair Regrowth Treatment for Women has been clinically proven to effectively help hair growth in women. It is the only FDA-approved medicine available to treat female pattern baldness and thinning. According to the label, it “reactivates hair follicles to stimulate regrowth.” Although previously only available by prescription, it is now comes in a 90-day supply for under $40 online. Since a 30-day supply is almost $17, that’s essentially a buy 2, get 1 free deal! So, I think this gives great bang for your buck.

Directions: Apply one mL 2 times a day directly onto the scalp in the hair loss area.

Manufacturer Warning: According to the enclosed instruction leaflet, using more of the Hair Regrowth Treatment or using the Hair Regrowth Treatment more frequently WILL NOT improve results. If treating extreme hair loss, continued use is necessary or hair loss will return. Also, it is important that, when using this treatment, it is not applied on other parts of the body. Contact with the eyes should be avoided. (In case of accidental contact, rinse eyes with large amounts of cool tap water.) In addition, some people have experienced changes in hair color and/or texture after using this product.

PROS

  • Unscented
  • Restored my edges
  • Increased my hair’s volume drastically
  • Has a child-resistant dropper bottle
  • Great value for the quantity received
  • You do not need to change your normal hair routine to use this treatment (e.g., can continue to use hair spray, gel, mousse, etc.)

CONS

  • Must be 18 or older to use
  • Has to be applied 2x a day EVERY day
  • Solution needs to remain on the scalp for at least 4 hours (washing out is not necessary after this time)
  • Will not grow back 100% of all hair
  • Maximum results require 4 months of consistent use
  • Nioxin 2% Minoxidil will not work better or faster if used more than 2x a day
  • Solution requires sufficient drying time (i.e., prior to going to sleep for the night) to prevent staining
  • Must wash hands thoroughly after use to prevent unwanted hair growth on other parts of the body
  • Not everyone will respond to the Nioxin 2% Minoxidil Hair Regrowth Treatment
  • Only treats general hair thinning and hair loss (particularly on the top of the head, such as in terms of female pattern baldness); does not expedite hair growth
  • Has potential side effects: itching, inflamed/burning skin, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, faintness/dizziness, changes in hair color or texture, swelling in hands or feet, and/or sudden unexplained weight gain; potential for side effects increase if product is not used properly (i.e., on other parts of the body)

OVERVIEW

In just two weeks, I noticed a significant increase in my hair’s volume and that my sparse edges were starting to fill in. Around this time, while having lunch with my sister, she commented that my hair looked “healthy.” After a month, she said that my hair appeared twice as thick and full as before! This was without her knowing that I was using this treatment. I noticed a difference, but it’s nice when the people around you start to notice, too.

All in all, I am pleased with the fact that this Hair Regrowth Treatment helped to thicken my hair and grow back my edges. However, it didn’t seem to have much, if any, effect in terms of expediting my hair growth. Watch the video below to see my detailed progress after using the Nioxin 2% Minoxidil Hair Regrowth Treatment for a month.

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Virgin Hair Fertilizer: 1 Month 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.

Thank you for your support!

I heard about Virgin Hair Fertilizer after watching the video below on YouTube!

Product Claims

  • Rapid hair growth
  • Hair conditioning cream for dry hair
  • Anti-dandruff

This is how the tube looks …

Directions: Apply and massage Virgin Hair Fertilizer into your hair and scalp everyday. Comb and style as desired for healthy, strong, and natural-looking hair.

My Usage

  • I used the Hair Fertilizer once a day 3x a week (due to the intense smell). 
  • I divided my hair into quadrants. For each section, I applied the product to both my scalp and the length of my hair. I massaged each quadrant for 60 seconds, and styled my hair as desired.

(4) Pros

  • This hair conditioning cream softened my already soft hair even more when layered over my lavender spritz.
  • I noticed thicker hair after only 1 week of use!
  • This grew my edges back quickly.
  • This plays well with other products (i.e., can be layered under or over other products).

(2) Cons

  • The metal tube is very thin and easily will bust, causing product to ooze out/be wasted.
  • The product has a very pungent peppermint smell that lingered for a good 2-3 hours after application. The smell was so strong that it started to burn my eyes slightly during the application process. I would recommend applying this product at night so that you don’t have to worry about the strong, lingering scent while at work, running errands, etc.

The following video shows the length I received after using this product for 4 weeks.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

There apparently is a knock-off brand marketing themselves as the original. Want to know whether you are buying the legitimate product? According to the company,

Our fertilizer always has an expiry period of 5 years. It has a minty, peppermint smell and has a cool effect on your head when used. (You can open the folded end of the tube to smell and fold back to confirm before purchasing.) Our product does not have an NC number, which you might find in some fakes in the market. Our fertilizer has a yellowish colour and, when rubbed on your palm, has a distinctive, strong minty smell. If you have bought anything else that does not match our description, then it’s likely you have bought the fake and would appreciate if you can email or call us with the info.

 Virgin Hair Fertilizer

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MineralRich: Two-month Hair Growth Results + My Mini-twist Setback!!!

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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!

 

Two months ago, I started taking MineralRich liquid vitamins from Maximum Living for hair growth. My 1-month results were moderate but hopeful. Most of my hair grew between 0.5″ – 1.0″  over the course of a month. My crown grew the most at 1.5″. However, I was massaging my front edges with castor oil, so I think that may account for the extra growth there. Nevertheless, I was optimistic about taking the supplement for another month. To expedite my progress, I decided to micro-twist my hair for the last two weeks of use. I made chunky twists in the back for the first row since my hair grows the slowest there, and I wanted it to be easier to take the twists out in the rear of my head. I made small twists in the rows above toward the middle of my head. Then, I made micro twists from my crown forward. After a week, I pulled the twists up into a french roll.

img_0266_photocat

Mini Twists (Day #1)

img_0274

Mini Twists (Back of Hair)

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Mini Twists (Day #7)

 

img_0283

Mini Twists
(French Roll with a Barrette)

I only had to moisturize my hair twice during 12 days, and that was largely due to the products I used. I wet each section prior to twisting with distilled water I put in a spray bottle, then I layered on some of Roots of Nature’s feather whipped curl cream. For the take-down process, I spritzed each twist with my lavender spritz and then gently unwound each twist. I initially tried to do a length check without unraveling my mini twists, but it was too difficult to measure, and my measurements seemed inaccurate. So, I decided to remove my mini twists a couple of days early so that I could do a proper length check. However, after just a couple of measurements at the front and sides of my hair, I feared that I had experienced a lot of breakage. When I compared my current hair measurements to my previous month’s measurements, my fears were confirmed!

On top of all that, the ends of my hair had gotten so tangled in some sections that I had to lop off as much as 2″ just to salvage the rest of my strands. Thankfully, my lavender spritz removed 85-90% of the knots in my hair, but a few could only be cut out! I lost 0.5″ – 1″ in the front, sides, and back of my hair. My crown experienced the most breakage … a whopping 5″! Likely due to the fact that I had made micro twists from my crown forward. Sigh.

I think the major mistake I made was in making the twists TOO small. My fine strands just couldn’t handle it. Thank God I only kept the twists in for two weeks. I can’t imagine the amount of damage I may have caused if I left them in longer.

For a more complete overview of my hair setback (as well as my closing remarks concerning my experience taking MineralRich), watch my video below.

 

Lesson:

If you have fine or super fine hair like I do, you should probably avoid mini and micro twists. The likely hair breakage and damage that could ensue is REAL!

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MineralRich: One-month Hair Growth 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.

Thank you for your support!

 

Maximum Living: Mineralrich, 32 oz

 

Three or four years ago I stumbled upon a YouTube video from Honesty Love that recommended MineralRich liquid vitamins from Maximum Living for hair growth. Then, I totally forgot all about them … until recently when I was browsing YouTube and just happened to stumble upon another video from Honesty Love. Given all of the hair damage I’ve sustained from my local hard water, I decided to give these vitamins a try!

They have two varieties: (1) MineralRich and (2) MineralRich Plus Aloe. Both are around the same price (~$23). However, because I can’t stand the taste of aloe vera juice, I opted for the original MineralRich supplement. Both 32 oz. bottles contain only 30 calories per 1 oz (2 TBS) serving as well as identical daily values for each vitamin. MineralRich contains a proprietary blend of macro and trace minerals (e.g., vitamin B-12, silica, biotin, magnesium, selenium, chromium, et al) for total body nutrition. However, many people that have taken this liquid vitamin (i.e., for mood boosting or to improve their overall health) have noticed significant hair growth. Yes, that’s right! Hair growth from a liquid vitamin.

Ingredients:

Directions:

Take 1 oz. (2 tbsp.) daily. Mix or follow with an 8 oz. glass of water. For nutritional use only. Discontinue if allergic reaction occurs.

The Challenge:

MineralRich comes in a 32 oz bottle. Because the daily portion is 1 oz (2 TBS), one bottle will last 32 days, just over a month. I decided to put this potential hair growth aid to the test for a month (32 days). Here are my results …

 

Summary of Results:

When: July 12, 2016 – August 12, 2016 (32 days)
What: MineralRich Liquid Vitamins
Frequency: Daily (7x per week)

Starting Length (FRONT): 13.50″
Starting Length (RIGHT): 12.00″ (shortest strand) – 13.00″ (longest strand)
Starting Length (LEFT): 12.00″ (shortest strand) – 13.00″ (longest strand)
Starting Length (CROWN): 16.00″ (shortest strand) – 17.00″ (longest strand)
Starting Length (BACK): 11.50″ (shortest strand) – 12.00″ (longest strand)

Ending Length (FRONT): 14.50″
{OBTAINED 1.0″ in GROWTH}

Ending Length (RIGHT): 12.50″ (shortest strand) – 13.00″ (longest strand)     
{OBTAINED 0.5″ in GROWTH}

Ending Length (LEFT): 12.50″ (shortest strand) – 13.00″ (longest strand)        
{OBTAINED 0.5″ in GROWTH}

Ending Length (CROWN): 16.50″ (shortest strand) – 17.00″ (longest strand)   
{OBTAINED 0.5″ in GROWTH}

Ending  Length (BACK): 11.50″ (shortest strand) – 12.00″ (longest strand)       
{NO GROWTH}

SUMMARY: My hair grew 1.0″ in the front. However, the rest of my hair stayed the same or only grew 0.50″. 

Side Effects:

While I didn’t experience any side effects, some people have complained about having severe gas or stomach aches. However, I eat clean, exercise daily, and drink plenty of water. The instructions specifically state that the supplement should be followed by (or mixed in) 8 oz. of water. And, most people who experienced unpleasant side effects were not drinking water with (or after taking) the supplement. So, I think drinking plenty of water is key!

Conclusion:

I am pretty underwhelmed by my mediocre results. However, I have another 1 month supply left. Since I did receive 1″ of hair growth in the front of my hair, I think I will take the other bottle I have to see if I can achieve better results with MineralRich over the next month. Fingers crossed!

Maximum Living: Mineralrich, 32 oz

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Trudging Along … An Annual Length Update

My biggest hurdle in the last year has been keeping my hair hydrated. (The struggle is real!) The year-round humidity I have to constantly battle has been brutal. Even in the height of winter, where I live, humidity can be in the mid 90s! Although I edged past shoulder length a while ago, the discovery that I live in a hard (to very hard) water area, has been enlightening, to say the least. For instance, it has at least armed me with the necessary information to understand why I experienced so many single strand knots (SSKs), dry ends (regardless of daily moisturizing), and hair breakage (despite a commitment to only using direct heat on my hair twice or thrice a year, max).

The moral of this story? If you are experiencing stunted hair growth, investigate, investigate, investigate! It could be that you need to change your products or alter your hair care routine. Or, it might be due to something completely out of your control, like hard water. But, even if you do have to dance around your local tap water, there are still viable options available to you. I’ve purchased a new shampoo and conditioner combo (review coming soon)! I have also recently started re-utilizing the GHE method. In the meantime, after multiple trims in the last year due to severe tangles, here’s where I currently stand …

 

FRONT

15″ (shortest strand) – 15.5″ (longest strand)

SIDES

13″

CROWN 

15″ (shortest strand) – 16″ (longest strand)

BACK 

11.0″ (shortest strand) – 12″ (longest strand)

I experienced quite a bit of breakage due to the hard water in my area. As a result, I also had to trim my hair excessively (more than normal) to prevent additional damage. So, I was basically only able to maintain my length from last year, which means, essentially, I broke even … no loss … no gain … I just maintained my length all over.

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