Monday, 31 December 2012

My New Year's Resolutions! (Hair & Blog- related)

Heyy guys!
Hope you've all had a lovely Christmas!
2012 is coming to an end and it's about that time when people formulate a list of things they wish to achieve in the new year. I hardly ever make New Year's Resolutions, mostly as I'm never able to stick to them, but this time around feels slightly different. I think it's because there are so many things I wish to achieve/ do in the year of 2013. I thought I'd share with you some of my hair- related and blog- related New Year's Resolutions.

1. Blog more frequently.
2.Trim my hair! I've been putting it off for so long.
3. Make a U-part wig.
4. Decide once and for all whether I want to start making YouTube videos... I've been toying with the idea ever since I started my blog.
5. Be more consistent with my hair treatments, especially hot oil treatments.
6. To experiment with different hairstyles. My staple hairstyle has been a bun ever since I can remember. I think 2013 is the year I switch it up a bit.

It'll be interesting to review this list next year to see just how many of the resolutions I fulfilled.

What are some of your new years resolutions, hair- related or otherwise?
I'd like to wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR, in advance! Stay safe and I'll speak to you in 2013! :D

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Transition | 6 Months post

Heyy guys!
It has now been 25 weeks since my last relaxer, woohoo! This is initially how long I planned to stretch my relaxer for, as I explained all those months back in my Relaxer Update #3 post. I'm quietly confident that I can go the full way and transition. I know I expressed I had some doubts before, but so far this 'journey' hasn't been too bad. Just another year and a half to go!
On the other hand, a reason why its going so well so far is because, as you know, my hair is in braids at the moment. I guess I'll have to wait and see whether I feel the same way once I've taken them out lol.

In my previous two posts I explained everything new that I'm doing, methods-wise, now that my hair is in braids. You can view them here and here
This month I thought I'd take a shot at using dry shampoo, which I reviewed in my previous post. My experience with it was okay but if I'm being totally honest I haven't touched it since I wrote that review, if not before that. I think I prefer washing my braids the old- fashioned way, with a bit of warm water and a lather-y shampoo. You can't go wrong!
In terms of new growth it's hard to tell just how much I have as I didn't install the braids tightly to my scalp. Today, however, I took out a few visible braids which were slightly loose/scruffy with the intention of redoing them. But before I did that I thought it would be a good opportunity to show you my hair. The picture above shows my hair (against a white sheet of paper) after I removed the braid. In the picture on the left, my hair is simply two strand twisted. It really shows how thin my (relaxed) hair is compared to my actual hair.The image on the right shows the same two strand twist, unravelled. I guess it has grown slightly. What do you guys think? It definitely feels a lot thicker and softer anyway.
I think that's all I have to report for this month. So how has your hair been behaving this month?

Monday, 17 December 2012

That's That Stuff I Don't Like (HBE) Tag

Heyy guys! 
I've realised it's been a very long time since I've done a tag on my blog. I personally like reading tags on other blogs as I find them really interesting and you get to know the person behind the blog a little better. 
I've seen the 'That's that stuff I don't like' tag going around a few blogs (and more recently the hair edition) and so I thought I'd give my two cents.

1. I don't like employees at the hair shop who follow me around every aisle and watch my every move. It makes me feel so uncomfortable.
2. I don't like when wet hair touches my face.
3. I don't like finding shed hair on clothes from my weaves. What's even more annoying is trying to remove a bundle of shed hair from my carpet.
4. The hype over Herbal Essences conditioners? I mean, its a good conditioner and smells amazing, but I've used better. I've also come to realise it actually makes my hair feel really dry :S (unless I dilute it with water beforehand)
5. Smelly weaves
6. Small talk in the salon. I don't like small talk in general but in the salon it can be so awkward at times.
7. I don't like when coconut oil melts lol. It always happens when you need to use it, and takes forever to solidify again.
8. I don't like when you spend ages on a hairstyle just to get it messed up by the wind!

Gosh, I sound rather negative haha
I tag anyone reading this! What are some of the things you don't like??
And, if you've done this tag already then be sure to leave a link in the comments! :)
Take Care.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Braids| Maintenance pt.2 + Review

Heyy guys!
Here's part 2 of how I maintain my braids and my real hair. Like I said in part 1, the only differences between my normal hair regimen and my braids regimen are the methods used and the regularity.

So, every other week, on a Sunday, I wash and deep condition my hair as usual using my Elasta QP Creme Conditioning shampoo (which you guys know i looove) and any deep conditioner I have around me at the time (at the moment I'm going through the process of finding a new DC). For the week in between, I will just co-wash. Last year with my Senegalese twists I would co-wash one week and shampoo the next week, however this time around I wanted to give dry shampoo a try. This is the first time I have used a dry shampoo. I've always been interested in how you could possibly clean your hair without water. 

In the October/ November issue of Black Beauty and Hair magazine, they recommended Organic Root Stimulator's Herbal Cleanse Dry Shampoo as a good, inexpensive product to use for keeping your scalp clean whilst it's in braids.


So, before I considered buying it I obviously did my research to check it had none of the bad stuff I'm trying to stay away from. Also I was interested in reading its reviews. So after all the research I decided to go ahead and buy it. It was £2.69 from Paks (8 FL.Oz/ 237 ml).

Ingredients: SD Alcohol 39-c, Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) oil, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) oil, Alow Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Wheat Amino Acids, Urtica Dioica (Nettele) Extract, Cola Nitda (Kola Nut) Extract, Tetrahydroxypropyl Ethylenediamine, Carbomer, Trichlosan, CI 17200 (Red #33), CII 42090 (Blue #1).
As you can see from the ingredients list above, it does contain Alcohol. It's in fact the first ingredient, so if you are on an alcohol- free hair care regimen this may not be the product for you.

ORS Herbal Cleanse Dry Shampoo claims to '... keep your hair and scalp refreshed in between regular shampoos' .
ORS say that this product is 'perfect for: maintaining braids and other natural styles, starting locks and bedridden patients'.

So as it was my first time using a dry shampoo I went exactly by the instructions. Basically, I applied it directly to my hair and massaged it in. I then let it sit for one minute and then removed the residue with a warm damp towel. I haven't used a towel on my hair for who- knows- how- long. I'm not really of fan of that.  Now looking back, I think that using an old T-shirt would have been just as good.

In terms of the consistency of the product, it reminds me slightly of a light gel. It's exactly the consistency of hand sanitiser gel. In fact, I guess it works in the same way the hand sanitiser does.When it was on my scalp it did start to tingle slightly. And when I rubbed some of my finger tips it also tingled and dissolved away. In terms of the smell, it smells strongly of lavender. I read a review where the person went on and on about how good it smelt, but to be honest its not to my taste. 

My verdict
I think it does do what it claims to do. My hair/ scalp did feel fresh and clean as if I'd just shampoo- washed it. The smell is slightly over-powering. It reminds me of Vicks Vaporub, the rub you put on your chest when you have a cold/ flu lol. After a while the smell began to irritate me slightly as it was so strong.
I think this product is good for use in between your wash days, or after a work out etc. I probably would use it again as I like the idea of shampoo'ing without having to use water BUT it would be nice if they had toned down the aroma a little.

So just to summarise, I shampoo-wash my scalp one week and co-wash the next week (Typically on Sundays). Afterwards, I apply my leave-in conditioner and moisturise and seal as normal. I have only used the dry shampoo twice since I bought it.

So have any of you tried this or any other dry shampoo?
In other news, I reached 6 months post relaxer as of Tuesday (11th)! Yay! My Transition Update post will be coming soon!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Braids | Maintenance pt.1

Heyy guys! So as promised I'm bringing you my Braids Maintenance post. There hasn't been a great deal of change when it comes to the products i'm using, but more the regularity and methods. First i'll start off with moisturising my actual hair. 

Cantu Shea Butter Leave in Conditioning Repair Cream, Jamaican Black
Castor oil, S-Curl No Drip Activator Moisturiser
Moisturising + Sealing
As you can see I use exactly the same products to moisturise and seal, however whilst my hair has been in braids I am M+S'ing every other day. I feel like doing it everyday would be too much and too greasy. I've been switching between moisturising with S-Curl and Cantu Shea Butter. I usually use Cantu as a leave- in but it works really well on my new growth leaving it soft and feeling moisturised. I think I actually prefer using it over S-Curl as I find myself reaching for it more these past couple of weeks. To moisturise, I simply put the product on my scalp along the partings. When installing the braids I parted my hair horizontally and each braid is layered on top of each other in a 'brick' pattern. This allows me to get into the parts with ease.
Unlike my normal hair regimen, I always seal with my Jamaican Black Castor Oil. I did this last year when I had Senegalese twists and achieved good results. As the oil is quite thick I use the tiniest amount so to ensure my scalp isn't too greasy.

100ml Spray Bottle from Superdrug and Herbal Essences Hello Hydration
conditioner
Refreshing the Braids
Although the hair used for my braids is synthetic/kanekalon hair it can still look dull at times, especially as I concentrate on M+S'ing my real hair only. To freshen up the braids now and then I spray Conditioner and water onto it. This is my DIY braid spray. You can buy commercialised braid sprays from any hair/ beauty supply shop, but I thought I could save my money and try and use up my last few bottle- squeezes of conditioner.
I don't use any real measurements; just a few squeezes of the conditioner. I then fill up the rest of the 100ml spray bottle with water. Not only does it moisturise my braids, it also leaves it smelling lovely! :)

In part 2 I'll be explaining further how I cleanse my hair whilst its in braids.
Feel free to share how you maintain your braided hairstyles.
Take Care.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Braids!

Heyy guys!
It's always around this time of the year that I put my hair away to protect it from this awful weather, plus I wanted a bit of a change, and so I got braids! :D As you know last year I got senegalese twists but I thought this year I'd do your regular 'box braids' as they're known. 

I did the braids myself and I've got to say I'm actually very proud of myself lol. It took me quite a while to learn how to do them but I'm glad I got the hang of it eventually as I was able to save myself 60/ 70 odd £s I would've had to pay had I gone to the salon.
If you are interested in doing your own braids but have no idea where to start I would suggest looking at these two YouTube videos which I personally found extremely helpful: BlackWomenHair  and WomanInTheJungle. In the end I used the method from the tutorial by WomanInTheJungle.

I used 2 (and a bit) packs of Xpressions Jumbo braid hair in colour 1b. The hair is 82" long and so I cut it into 3 equal pieces. As I'm quite short, the hair (un-plaited) came up to bra strap-ish length. When I was done plaiting, I sealed the ends with boiling hot water to ensure it wouldn't unravel.
I hope to keep these in for 2 months but I'm missing my hair already so I may be tempted to take them out sooner lol. In my next post I'll be sure to share with you my hair care routine for these braids and other little maintenance tips :)

So have any of you tried braiding yourself? If so, how did it go? Also, feel free to share any of your personal tips for protective styling in the comments below.
Take Care.

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