Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Wild Day

Elephants, giraffes...



I washed my hair this weekend. I didn't have time to take pictures of my hair right out of the curlformers.  We were rushing to get to the Oakland Zoo.  I used big bobbie pins to pin my hair up and keep it off my neck.  It was a beautiful day in the Bay Area.  My fingers are crossed for decent "day two hair."

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Nice Surprise

My Orlando stylist, Frenchie, sent me these lovely products.  It's been a little more than year since I left Orlando and the best darn salon EVER.  Aside from being cheap and trying to save money, Frenchie is the reason I'm on this D-I-Y hair journey.  Before I moved, we began talking about transitioning out of a relaxer. It had nothing to do with black power, she just truly believed in loving your hair.  She ultimately wanted to care for my hair in the way that would make ME most comfortable.

She is just truly a loving person.  Even though I haven't been in her salon since March 2011, she was nice enough to try to help me on this journey.

These products are from the Influance line and they include the Moisturizing Shampoo, the Moisturizing Conditioner with Shea Butter and Moisture Lock with Shea Butter.

Although I feel like I've been winning with my latest combination of products, I'm itching to see how these will work on my hair.

By the way, I am about a week away from being one year without a relaxer.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Adventures In Hair Washing Land

***Stretches arms and cracks knuckles***

I dumped an entire container of gel in the toilet, then I had to fish it out. Yes! This wash day was interesting. Thanks to my pj-ism, I had backup products. Ha!

Due to that mishap, I finally used up something. hooray!!! Just under a year after its purchase, the Bee Mine Curly Butter is gone. I won't buy more. It is a good product, but not worth $20 when I can get something like the loc & twist gel for three bucks (r.i.p, gel. I didn't mean for you to fall in the toilet).

Oh yeah.. I dumped the gel in the toilet by trying to shake out pieces of hair from the container. I didn't realize it had softened up and was no longer "glued" to the container. It was a dumb move and when I heard the splash, I said, "You deserved that."

So I set about 1/4 of my curlformers with curly butter and the rest with Aloe Vera gel.

The rundown:

shampoo: Quantum clarifying & Creme of Nature conditioning and detangling shampoo

condition: Paul Mitchell's The Detangler & Jessicurl Deep Treatment

Detangling: 90 minutes (that's actually good for me at 11-months post relaxer)

Leave-ins (I guess you could call 'em that): Argan Oil and PM Super Skinny Serum

Yeah, I have to walk the dogs in those things. It's pretty sad and embarrassing.

This is how they came out. I think I went too far with the Aloe Vera gel. Next time I'll use less.

I pulled my hair back into a loose ponytail to sleep and exercise the next day.  The curls barely survived. I was hurt when I did the day 2 "unveiling."

I had to fix things up:

Day 3 I did plyometrics and had so much sweat that those ragedy curls didn't stand a chance.  I ponytailed it up. LOL!

Side note: When my hair is 100% natural. it won't be curly. It will be NAP... I mean extremely kinky.
What I didn't realize early on when I started working out, is that curlformers help me.  They stretch out that new growth, so that when I sweat my hair is less likely to lock up. So if I can't use the curlformers, I'll have to start blow drying it. 

It's also not very good for me to wash every two weeks. It just didn't work for me. Who knows maybe I'll find a way for it to work in the future.  This Do-It-Yourself haircare is still evolving for me.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Update: Curlformers Bust

This is day 2 hair:

I'm not totally disappointed, but I'm not totally excited either. It kind of looks like I have frizzy locs?

 I slept by just pulling my hair into a pony tail and tying down the edges. I'm not going to get day three hair because I will be working out tonight.  However, I am pleased with how flat my 11-months of new growth is.  I am pretty sure that this set wasn't completely dry, which is why I didn't get excellent results.  I don't plan on installing 79 curlformers next week, so I won't get a chance to see if sitting under the dryer longer will help.  This was a weird styling weekend anyway.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Curlformers Bust

I love curlformers, but I was getting tired of the fat, juicy curls from the wide and long ones, also known as pink and orange. I lost my dang-on mind and bought the long and narrow (blue/green) ones.

I had to use 79... yes 79 of these things on my entire head.  The long and narrow curlformers are less forgiving than the pink/orange ones. You CANNOT stuff too much hair in them. I felt like I got them too close to my scalp so they pulled.  They were even more difficult to sleep in than the pink/orange ones and because I needed so many, they took forever to install.

When I took them out, I had elongated curls, which is a different look than the pink/orange. However, take a close look at my ends. 

They just didn't curl right or something.  Oh...and yes that is a Santa shirt.  Don't judge me:-)  

Now, this problem with the ends could be my fault. I thought the set was dry, but it may not have been. I spent the day in an overcast, windy San Francisco park.  I had a great time, but the curls were worse for the wear at the end of the day.  

I'm going to attempt second day hair, but I don't think it's going to work out.  Because I have so little faith in second day hair, I'm going to try a different way of sleeping to preserve them.  I'll let you know how it works.  Anyway...the hair is well stretched, so I'll be able to work something out. LOL!

Because installing these suckers took so long,  I will only plan to do the full 79 blue/green curlformer set for special occasions.  For my next set I plan to put the back in pink/orange and the front in blue/green.

Some Things I've Learned Along The Way

I am eleven months post relaxer.  Wow!  I still haven't figured out this hair thing, but I'm still trying.  Here are some pics of my wash/styling session on April 7th. They include Day 1 & Day 2 hair. The set actually lasted three days. Rain and workout sessions killed it. LOL!

Anyway... on to the point of this post. I have learned some things over the past eleven months.  I walked into this do-it-yourself hair journey knowing absolutely nothing. I was a freelance worker and feared that jobs would dry up soon.  The first things that needed to be cut were my expensive trips to the salon, so I had to do my hair myself.

I had been getting my hair done since I was five. I got my first relaxer at 16. I never had a problem with length. I'd probably washed my own hair five times.  I have a curling iron from the 90s and I rarely used it. I don't believe in using additional heat in between visits to the shop. Simply put, caring for my hair was someone else's job. It's why I went to work... to pay them to do it.

I dove blindly into the online hair community and I wanted to become an instant expert. I've never been patient. It's not my thing.  That mindset cost me and my hair. I have had some just plain awful hair days. I wanted to comb out my hair in ten minutes like the girls on YouTube and that's not possible for me. I ended up ripping out hair and causing major breakage. Plus, I purchased lots of products that I thought worked miracles. 

Look at all the crap under my sink. Not a single one of those products worked a miracle. On top of that, I was putting too much stuff in my hair.

I was unrealistic in my thoughts that I could handle my hair exactly like Nina Pruitt, Kimmaytube or Naptrual85 and get the same results. I mean I KNEW this, but I kept trying to ignore it. Yes... I was ignoring common sense.

So now when I stalk my favorite heads of hair on blogs and YouTubes, I do it with a different understanding and acceptance.  I can appreciate the results CurlyNikki gets and know that I'm not going to get them. We have different hair. I'm actually getting better tips from girls with relaxers, even though the hair gurus say treat your hair like it's "natural," if you're transitioning.

At this point, I am going to focus on keeping it simple and trying to figure out a way to get rid of some of that crap under my sink that I don't use. Don't get me wrong, I'll still be trolling the Internet for new ideas. I'm just over the idea of looking for miracles, although curlformers are a miracle for the styling challenged. I love those things. ha! 

Review: Creme of Nature Extreme Moisture Conditioner

No Bueno! That's all I have to say about this conditioner. I used it for about three months. I couldn't figure out why my hair was so dry and brittle. The conditioner feels good going on and it gives my hair a lot of slip.  It was because of those two things that I blamed my sweaty workouts for my yucky hair.  I was wrong. Hair does not lie. My stuff was trying to dread/lock in the back. My childhood stylist didn't ask what I had been using, but suggested I make a change.

I switched things up and ditched the conditioner all together. I instant conditioned with Paul Mitchell's Detangler and deep Conditioned with Jessicurl Deep Treatment. Uhm... my hair came out super soft. It still felt soft after a sweaty workout. This is not a review of those two products because I have only used them together twice AND they have only been through one week of workouts.  However, I know The Creme of Nature Extreme Moisture Conditioner is moving to the back of the shelf. I really don't know how I will use it up. It's a big bottle.  I wouldn't even want to give it to anybody for fear they would end up with dry, brittle hair as well.

Sorry, Creme of Nature.

Friday, April 6, 2012

It Was Ok: Curlformers Day 2-5

So here's a look at how my hair held up.  I DID NOT exercise at all this week.  Luckily the hubby was feeling drained.  You KNOW I wasn't going to talk him out of this short break.  I'll be washing and setting again on Saturday (at least I hope to).  So next week I'll get a real idea of if I can make things last through an intense work out.  Although I would like to put my hair first, I'm too old not to focus on body maintenance.  No matter what I do, I'll probably lose my hair long before I no longer need my limbs (that's if I'm lucky).

Day 2: side pinned back

                                                          Day 3: ponytail with strange bangs

                                                 Day 4: front rolled back, the rest I left down.

                                             Day 5: I changed the part, but still rolled back the front
                                             and left the back down.

I preserved the curls as best I could with the pineapple method that I learned from EbonyCPrincess.  I pulled my hair to the top of my head with a stretchy headband, used a hair net around the curls and then wrapped my scarf around my head. I was not cute, but sweet hubby pretended I was. I secretly think he didn't work out this week because he wanted me to have pretty hair for a week.

I should add that I read about a lot of other ladies pineappling and just sleeping on a pillow. I'm afraid to do that.  My hair has never done well without being held together while I'm sleep. I sweat in my head and I fear leaving it loose would cause me to wake up with hair pasted to my face and who knows where else.

All in all, this was just ok. I wanted five days of day one.  I am still pretty happy with the results.   I've learned not to comment on products until I've used them for at least three months.  With that said, I'll try to follow the same routine a few more times to see if it really works.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Who's Happy? ME!!


I don't even know how this happened, but I won't go too crazy with excitement because every time I have a good week, a really bad one follows.  I decided to do this set after seeing a fabulous flexi-rod set on the head of the awesome EbonyCPrincess.   I should add my efforts with the flex-rods didn't work out, which is why I pulled out my trusty curlformers.

Before this set, I was coming out of a Press-n-curl gone wrong.  It went wrong after a sweaty session of P90x.  I didn't care. I hung on to it a week longer than I should have. I hope this curlformer set lasts. I'm too happy.

Here's the rundown

Wash: 2 rounds Quantum shampoo, 1 round Creme of Nature conditioning shampoo
Instant condition: Paul Mitchell the Detangler
Deep Condition: Jessecurl Deep Treatment (I need to use this up)
Curlformer set: One-n-Only Argan Oil, ORS Loc and Twist Gel & Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum

I should add that I sat under the dryer about 15/20 minutes before installing the curlformers

Even if this style stays strong all day long, tomorrow I have to return to P90x. I don't know what/how... I don't know how I will attempt to preserve it.  I sweat in my hair more than anything else, so I expect some ridiculously puffy roots really soon.