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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Parched Hair

My hair feels dry today! Not super dry, and it's really just the ends that feel dry. I know one reason is because I didn't moisturize it this morning (*slapping my hand*). I was running late being lazy and kept my hair wrapped in my silk scarf and just put a hat on when I left for work without taking it down to moisturize it like I usually do. The other reason I think is the conditioner I used the other day. The Pantene Breakage Defense Mask was great the first few times I used it, but now my hair doesn't feel as moisturized from it anymore. I even added a few drops of jojoba and sweet almond oils to it this time. Maybe it's good for the summer months when the humidity is high, but not good during the winter when the air is this dry. I guess I'll stick to my ORS Replenishing.

I also need to keep some moisturizer/oil at work!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2009 Hair Goals

Since 2008 is wrapping up, I decided to list my hair goals for the new year. I am very pleased with my hair progress this year. Even though I had to cut it in the spring, I feel that it was the best thing I ever did- my over processed ends would never have recovered. I also learned a lot about my hair (it's fine, not thin) and discovered a lot of products that my hair does and does not like. In 2009, I'm looking forward to longer, thicker and healthier tresses!

My goals this past year were to:
1. Achieve more thickness - I don't want to see through my hair! Done! After getting my hair cut in June, I have been able to keep my hair looking thick with the proper moisturizers, conditioners and almost NO heat
2. Wait at least 7-8 weeks between relaxers (I usually go 6, but I've realized it's too short) Done! I haven't gone less than 8 weeks since 2007
3. Be able to rollerset my hair and have it look like I got it done almost done!
4. Find a healthy platinum coverage Done! Adore semi-permanent is my staple now
5. Take hair/nails/skin vitamins Done! I've been taking pre-natal vitamins for about 3 months now
6. Stop scratching my scalp & playing in my hair during the day Done! I hardly ever scratch my scalp now- I haven't had any flakes in months and I almost never burn when getting a relaxer...unfortunately, I still play in my hair too much, but not nearly as much as I used to


Tiffanita's 2009 Hair Goals:
  • Achieve even more thickness and strength
  • Reach arm-pit length by December '09 (I think I can make shoulder length by March)
  • Stick to my regimen and staple products
  • Keep my regimen and maintenance as simple as possible
  • Achieve less breakage
  • Try new styles (rod sets, braidouts, updo's, etc.)

Tiffanita's 2009 Plan to Reach Hair Goals:
  • Incorporate more protein in my regimen (i.e. adding an egg to conditioner, using protein conditioners more often)
  • Seal ends with castor oil at least 3x a week for thickness
  • Only try new products when I run out of something I'm not crazy about...and only buy products for my hair type
  • Start wearing hair up in a clip or bun now that it's long enough, and continue to keep my hair in a silk scarf and hat when I'm out in the winter weather
  • Read more magazines and blogs to find new styles and techniques, and not be afraid to try them- the worst that can happen is I'll have to re-wash my hair, right?!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Good @ 6 Weeks

I'm usually borderline disgusted with my hair at 6 weeks post relaxer. This time, it is so manageable and I am actually okay with how it looks. I was thinking of going another 3 weeks instead of 2, but then again, I want a fresh relaxer for Christmas! I am experiencing a little shedding and breakage, but not too much. The key for me is moisture and low maintenance.

I have been moisturizing my hair with Keracare Hairdressing Crème twice a day. I was using the B&B oil moisturizer after 5 weeks, but I’ve realized that it makes my hair too wet, which causes frizz. After moisturizing, I seal with coconut or grape seed oil. Last week I bought some jojoba oil and sweet almond oil from GNC. I haven’t used the sweet almond oil yet on my hair (it’s great on my skin), but I used the jojoba oil on my new growth and my ends twice and I like it. Grape seed oil is still my favorite oil to keep my strands silky.

At night after I moisturize and seal with oil, I brush my sides to the back, like I’m doing a cross-wrap and then I put 2 rollers in the back. I was pincurling, but pincurling is always a risk for me- sometimes my hair looks great, other times it’s frizzy and crazy-looking. Using the 2 rollers has kept my hair somewhat straight, but with a little wave and body. When I wake up, I comb out my hair, moisturize and seal, then do it again, but with pincurls instead of rollers. I put my silk scarf back on, put a hat over it, and comb my hair out when I get to work.

Product Review: Hask Pure Shine Polishing Serum

I’ve been wanting to try this serum for a while. Lately I’ve been using Paul Mitchell’s Super Skinny Serum, which I really like, but it’s expensive and I wanted an alternative. My girl Tamika G. from a couple of the hair boards I’m on has been raving about the Hask serum forever. It was on sale (buy 1 get 1 free) at Walgreens, so I bought 2 bottles.

Product Description
Hask Pure Shine Polishing Serum with special silk proteins is formulated to repair, strengthen and condition dry, damaged and overstressed hair. Delivers shaping power, volume and texture for a smooth frizz free look. This lightweight formula with UV protectors is a must for styling with all thermal tools. Use daily on either wet or dry hair for the smooth shiny styles you've always wanted. Can be used daily & is ideal for use on chemically treated hair.

DIRECTIONS:
Damp Hair:
- Apply a few drops in palm of hand and rub hands together.
- Distribute evenly through hair.
- Style as usual.
Dry Hair:
- After styling hair apply a few drops in palm of hand and rub hands together.
- Smooth on hair for a polished fresh look and feel.

Ingredients
Cyclomethicone , Dimethiconol , Silk Amino Acid , Aloe Barbadensis Extract , Grape Seed Oil , Macadamia Nut Oil , Octyl Methoxycinnamate , Phenyl Trimethicone , Fragrance Parfum , Dioctyl Sebacate

My Experience
I co-washed and deep conditioned my hair. I applied a dime-sized amount of Giovanni leave-in and sprayed my hair with my water/coconut oil mix. My roots are thick and I was worried about my rollerset coming out puffy, so I decided to spray just a little of my usual Skinny Serum/water mix. I then rubbed a dime-sized amount of the Hask Serum in my hair and rollerset as usual.

My hair came out silky, shiny and moist. Even my new growth is softer than usual, but I’m not sure if that’s from the serum or one of the conditioners. I probably didn’t need to use the other serum with it, so I will try it by itself next time. It’s been 5 days since I washed and my hair is still looking just as shiny and silky. I’ve found a new staple product! I’m a little past 6 weeks post relaxer, and with results this good, I can only imagine how my set will come out after a fresh relaxer! I noticed that it contains grape seed oil, which my hair loves.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Product Review: Adore PLUS Extra Conditioning Semi-Permanent Color

I usually use semi-permanent color from the Beautiful Collection, but one of my best friends used Adore after her last touch-up and she hasn't needed to apply it again since then, which was 4 weeks ago. Usually, ALL of my color is gone by 2-3 weeks! She also said that the Adore makes her hair feel more moisturized than any of the other colors she's used. I decided to give it a try since I needed to apply some color this week anyway.

Product Description
Gentle No Heat Formula with Natural Herbs & Vitamins to protect and nourish hair. Excellent for gray hair. No Ammonia, Peroxide, or Alcohol. Super gentle semi-permanent hair color for all hair types. Enriched, long lasting formula nourishes hair as it colors, leaving hair soft, silky, and beautiful. Contains aloe vera, vitamin E, jojoba Oil, and herbs.

Directions: For professional use only. May be used immediately after relaxing. For best results, use entire bottle. Apply generous amount to shampooed towel dried hair and comb through and process for 25 minutes. Freshly relaxed hair may require less time. No heat is necessary. For gray hair, place cap over hair and process with heat for 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and style as usual.

Ingredients
Water (Aqua), PEG 50 tallowamide, Tocopherol acetate (vitamin E), Laurel Glucoside, Ethoxydiglycol Tetrasodium EDTA, Glycerin (vegen), Propylene Glycol, Polyquaternium 10, Simethicone, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Jojoba Oil, Triethanolamine, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis Gel), Chamomile, Grapefruit, Ginseng, Green Tea

My Experience
I applied the Velvet Black rinse to my freshly co-washed hair. The first thing I noticed that this product is not as dark and thick as the one from my usual rinse. I took this to mean that there is more conditioner in it. I then covered my head with a plastic cap for about 20 minutes without heat and 10 minutes with heat. When I rinsed it out, I didn't see as much "black water" in the sink, so I thought that the color must have attached to my hair. I also shampooed once with Creme of Nature (green label)- still no black water! I deep conditioned with heat for 10 minutes with ORS Replenishing and still didn't see any black water when I rinsed it out! I followed it up with my usual leave-in, coconut oil+water spray and serum+water and rollerset my hair.

My hair came out really soft, moist and thick-looking. It's only been 2 days, so the jury is still out on how long the color will last and how well my hair will retain moisture. If it still keeps up like this, I will replace the Beautiful Collection with the Adore.

Here is how my hair looked the day after using the rinse:

bling!

I also bought some shea butter oil, and I have to say that I wasn't impressed. Straight raw shea butter is way too heavy on my hair, so I thought the oil would be good. It didn't make my hair feel as soft or look as shiny as I hoped. I'll just use it on my skin and stick to coconut oil and grape seed oil on my hair...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Product Review: Silk Elements MegaSilk Moisturizing Treatment

After reading such a good review on this product, I bought the sample packet when I was in Sallys this weekend. It's usually $1.39, but was on sale for 99 cents. I know I wrote that I don't want to risk any setbacks, but the ingredients seem pretty good, so it didn't seem like a big risk.

Product Description
- Deep conditioning properties reduce tangles
- Gives an intense shine and manageability without product buildup
- Great for detangling and ease of combing

Adds an intense shine To give your hair amazing shine without the gunky build up, this product is great. Detangle and soften hair with the deep conditioning properties of this treatment. Use is for everyday conditioning or deep conditioning treatments and watch your hair transform into beautiful, healthy hair.

Directions: Apply to wet hair. Allow to sit for 3-5 minutes then rinse. For intense conditioning, cover hair with plastic cap and use moderate heat for 5-7 minutes. Style as usual.

Ingredients
Water(Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium, Methosulfate, Glycerin, Amodimethicone, Cetyl esters, Sodium PCA, Fragrance (Parfum), Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Trideceth-12, Silk Amino Acids, Helianthus, Annuus (Sunflower Seed) oil, Chlorhexidine, Dihydrochloride, Cetrimonium Chloride, Yellow 5 (CI 19140)

My Experience
I used this as a deep conditioner for my wash yesterday. It's a lot thicker than I thought it would be, which worried me, because in general, super-thick conditioners don't do well on my hair. I used about a third of the packet, and deep conditioned under the dryer for a little over 10 minutes. When I rinsed it out, my hair felt moisturized, but I didn't feel the slip that I'm used to. It also didn't de-tangle my hair as well as I wished. I softened it up with a quick rinse of Pantene R&N conditioner and roller set my hair as usual. My hair came out pretty good. It feels moisturized and full, and my roots feel good, which is what I look for in conditioners now. So I liked it, but not as much as I like my ORS Replenishing or Pantene R&N Breakage Defense. I will use up the rest of the packet, but I'm not sure I will buy it again. I'm sure it's great for many heads, but like I said, my hair doesn't really like super-thick conditioners.

Friday, November 14, 2008

In a Rut

I've been feeling like I'm in a rut lately- hair-wise and overall life-wise. I know a lot of it has to do with the days getting shorter, the weather getting colder and the fact that I haven't been exercising lately. My dog had surgery on his leg about a month ago, so now I don't take him for our 2-mile walks every day. I need to just walk without him I guess...

As far as hair, I keep telling myself to be patient as my hair grows out of this awkward phase. It's not short anymore, but it's not long either. I've just been sticking with my staple products and continuing to not use any direct heat. I'm not trying to risk having a set-back, but I also don't feel as pretty. My hair is getting thicker and longer, but some days I think I look like an old lady! At night, I've been alternating between cross-wraps, pin curls and full wraps. Each of those techniques have their pros and cons:

Cross-wraps
Pros: my sides look great
Cons: the back looks messed up- it doesn't fall too well

Pin Curls
Pros: my hair looks curly and full
Cons: inconsistent curls- some areas look great, while others look bent or frizzy; I also don't like that my hair loses some bounce and doesn't lay well

Full Wrap
Pros: my hair looks full and put together
Cons: one side is usually sticking out and frizzy; I lose curls after the first 2 days

Some other observations this week:

- I did try alternating the direction I wrap in every night this week. I was afraid my hair would look a mess, but it came out okay. I don't think it would work for a whole week, though.

- I used castor oil on my ends last night before I pin curled, and my hair came out so thick-looking and shiny! I tried castor oil earlier this year as a pre-poo, and it was too heavy, but using just a drop on my ends seems like it will work for me.

- I tried my half wig on last night and I hated it! I don't know why, because when I wore it last year I loved it. I guess I'm going to shop for a new one, or maybe ask my stylist to cut this one in a style or something.

Hopefully, in another month or so, my hair will be long enough to put it in a bun!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The First Family

Words cannot express how I feel today. No one and nothing can ruin this day for me!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

October '08 Relaxer

I got my relaxer last weekend. I went 8 weeks. I was aiming for 9 weeks, but like I wrote earlier, my vanity got in the way, and there wasn't much time for me to get a relaxer during week 9. I was experiencing a lot of shedding and breakage, so for now, 8 weeks is my limit. My hair stylist, D, gave me a Mizani regular relaxer again. The woman who rinsed my hair put in Nexxus Humectin conditioner in it. It smelled really good! D wrapped my hair and gave me a very little trim. She bumped my ends with the curling iron just to give me some bounce.

As D put in the relaxer and as she styled my hair, she kept commenting on how good my hair was doing. I didn't tell her about all the extra conditioning I've been doing, but I did tell her that I think the key is not using heat. She couldn't believe that I haven't used any heat since July. She asked me if it was really hard not using the curling iron or flat iron, and I told her no because a) I like my hair to look as full as possible, and I don't get that look with curling irons, and b) I honestly don't think I know how to use heat appliances correctly anyway.

I had a good experience this time at the salon. I was out of there in just under 2 hours, which I think is great, especially for a Saturday morning. I definitely see growth. I was excited that my hair is long enough that I don't even need to get my nape shaped up with the clippers anymore!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Product Review: Roux Porosity Control Conditioner

I bought the small, 2oz sample of this from Sallys a few months back. I had used it once before my relaxer and then forgot about it until now. I used it this week because I might get a relaxer this weekend.

Product Description
Use before a chemical service to prevent chemical shock, to equalize hair porosity and ensure predictable results. Moisturizes, detangles, lusterizes. Helps create more uniform color, perm and relaxer results. Leaves hair natural looking, vibrant and manageable.

Directions: Apply to damp hair before a chemical service. Leave in hair 30 seconds then rinse. Perform the chemical service (color, perm, relax, bleach). Can be used after a chemical service when additional conditioning is required.

Ingredients
Propylene gycol, oleyl betaine, dicetyldimonium chloride, lecithin, guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, lactic acid , coumarin, eugenol, hexyl cinnamal , methylparaben, propylparaben, dmdm hydantoin, titanium dioxide, mica

My Experience
The first time I used this product, I applied it after I shampooed and followed up with a deep condition. My hair felt stronger when I went in for my touch-up. This time, I used it as a 2-minute rinse after my ORS Replenishing deep condition. It didn't de-tangle my hair as much as I thought it would, but when I took out my rollers...wow. I didn't even use a moisturizer, I just rubbed coconut oil on my finger tips as I fingered out the curls. My roots were so moist! I have never experienced moisture like that in my new growth at 7 weeks. Three days later, my roots were still moist without adding any other moisturizer. Because I may get a relaxer tomorrow, I oiled my scalp with Hollywood Beauty Castor oil, but I really didn't need the moisture.

Can I use this product weekly or every other week?? I'm buying the larger bottle the next time I'm at the beauty supply store. Sunshyne did a good analysis of this product last month, with different ways to use it! I may try to mix it with my deep conditioner next time!

Yes, I might get a relaxer tomorrow. I made the appointment a few days ago. I know I can go another week, but my vanity is getting in the way . I'm just not feeling pretty with all this new growth and I don't know how to blow out or properly flatiron my roots. I'm also not happy about the shed hairs in my sink and on my shirt every day. Also, my nape (aka "kitchen") is really bad. Maybe when my hair is a little longer, I'll be able to stretch longer without worrying about how my hair lays or the beady b's showing. The other reason is that I don't have any time next week to get my hair done. I have to work late every day next week, and have to work next Saturday morning and attend a wedding in the afternoon. I'm proud to have gone 8 weeks. This year has been the first time I've ever gone past 6, and even then I would sometimes go 4 or 5 weeks. I can definitely see more thickness, which is also attributed to the fact that I haven't used a flatiron or curling iron on my hair in over 3 months (whoo hoo!). So, the guilt I feel about not making it to 9 weeks is trumped by the discipline I've had since starting my hair journey!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

October '08 Hair Update

I know I haven't been writing here much lately, but honestly, I don't have much to write about. That and the fact that my job has me working like a slave! I've just been trying to stick to my regimen. I've been drinking a lot more water every day and I started taking daily prenatal vitamins about a month ago. What I notice most is that my new growth became very noticeable at about 2 weeks post-relaxer, which is hopefully a sign of growth and thickness. My nails are hard as nails too- I can't remember the last time I had a split or broken nail!

It's been 7 weeks since my last relaxer and I'm hanging in there, hopefully for another 2 weeks at least. I've been working on finding products when I'm past 5 weeks post-relaxer. I find that most of my techniques stay the same, but I need products that have more moisture when I'm past that 5 week mark. I'm striving to go 9 weeks this time (I've never gone past 8), so I need to put in some extra effort to keep my hair healthy and presentable. It's still a work in progress, but here is what I have so far:

Pre-poo: Vanilla Organix Conditioner and Vatika Oil - the Vanilla Organix seems to soften my new growth and loosen the curls a little more than the other Organix conditioners I use to pre-poo. I apply it like relaxer to my roots and use heat for about 15 minutes before washing my hair. I'd like to try neem oil in the future since I've heard how much it softens new growth.

Shampoo (1x a week): Creme of Nature Shampoo - I just used this shampoo (green label) for the first time last weekend, and I liked it. My hair wasn't tangled and felt as moist as it could be, I think. I don't really know what moisturized hair feels like when wet, but I know what stripped hair feels like, and I didn't get that feeling from the CON. This is a keeper.

Conditioner Wash (1x a week): I continue to co-wash with V05 Moisture Milks. I've been using the Passion Fruit Smoothie flavor. It's good, but I'm in love with the Strawberries n Cream scent!

Deep Conditioner: ORS Replenishing - I like Pantene Breakage Defense Mask, but the ORS gives me moisture and slip that can't compare. Even though it has some olive oil in it (my hair hates olive oil), this conditioner seems to really penetrate my hair, not only moisturizing it, but also allowing other moisturizers to work better. I have been doing the Aphogee 2-minute treatment every week before deep conditioning.

Leave-In Conditioner: Giovanni Direct Leave-In - I went back to Salerm 21, and although both do a good job at de-tangling and moisturizing, the Giovanni softens my new growth much better.

Roller setting products: coconut oil + water spray/serum + water spray/setting lotion - Since my last relaxer, I've been setting my hair by spraying all over once with coconut oil mixed with water, and once with serum mixed with water, then using water to keep it wet. However, as my new growth got longer, this mix left me with a nice set with a rough afro underneath. This past weekend I added diluted Lottabody into the mix, and my roots were straighter and softer.

Moisturizer: B&B Oil Moisturizer and Coconut Oil - The biggest stretching challenge for me is keeping my hair moisturized. KeraCare Creme Hairdress is great, but after about 5 weeks, it doesn't keep my hair moisturized all day. I thought of bringing it to work with me, but that's just too much- I don't have time to moisturize my hair during the work day! I remembered when I first started using the B&B, it was almost time for a touch-up and it worked really well. So I started using it again about a week ago, just on my ends, but my roots were still dry and hard. The other day I started applying it to my new growth at night, and my roots have been moist and soft ever since. I've been doing this every night, even though my roots already feel great. I have also been pin curling, since my curls don't seem to stay as long after 5 weeks, and applying the B&B to my ends before I pin curl has been fabulous. I seal with coconut oil in the morning when I comb out my curls. Pin curling has also helped to keep my hair off my collars (yes, my hair is hitting my jacket collars!).

I know I haven't been posting photos much either, but I'd like to wait until my next relaxer so I can see if I had any growth!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Product Review: Neutrogena Triple Moisture Cream Lather Shampoo

I bought this last week in CVS- it was on sale for $4.99. I've been trying to find a good moisturizing shampoo, so I bought it. I know I wasn't all that happy about the mask from this line, but I thought it might be better if I used the products together.

Product Description
Developed to treat extra dry or over-processed hair. The gentle, deeply moisturizing shampoo for soft, smooth, totally touchable hair all day. For soft, smooth, totally touchable hair, begin with this gentle, deeply moisturizing shampoo. This revolutionary cream hair cleanser gently dissolves away impurities and helps provide intense moisturization throughout every hair strand. Salon-approved and scientifically proven to help even severely dry, over-processed hair feel soft, smooth and totally touchable all day, after a single use.
Three naturally derived extracts penetrate to help moisturize each layer of the hair strand:
Olive: penetrates to the center
Meadowfoam Seed: helps moisturize the middle
Sweet Almond: wraps the surface


Ingredients
Water, Sodium Trideceth Sulfate, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Sodium Chloride, Cocamide MEA, Meadowfoam Seed Oil (limnanthes alba), Olive Fruit Oil (olea europaea), Panthenol, Ethyl Ether, Sodium Benzotriazolyl Butylphenol Sulfonate, Polyquaternium 7, Amodimethicone, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Castor Isostearate Succinate, Dimethiconol, Sweet Almond Oil (prunus amygdalis dulcis), Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Cetyl Alcohol, Guar Gum (cyamopsis tetragonoloba), Citric Acid, TEA, Dodecylbenzenesulfonate, Fragrance

My Experience
I pre-poo'd with amla oil (after not using it for about 8 months) for a few hours. I didn't like the amla before, but now I realize I was using too much. I still like vatika better, but amla is good every now and then. Anyway, I shampooed with this product twice, and even the first time I got a lot of lather- which I'm not sure is a good thing or not. After rinsing, my hair didn't feel much different. It didn't feel drier or more moisturized than it did before I washed it. I followed up with the NTM Deep Recovery Mask, and dc'd with heat for about 25 minutes. I did my normal routine of leave-in and rollerset. When I took my rollers out, my hair was stiff and dry-looking. It felt somewhat moisturized, but looked horrible.

The only reason I did not immediately re-wash and condition my hair was because I was tired and defeated. Wrapping with saran wrap under the dryer for 15 minutes helped my hair lay down some, as did sealing the ends with a good amount of coconut oil.

I returned the shampoo last night. I felt bad about taking back a product I used, but not that bad. I could take or leave the shampoo, but I was so disgusted with how my hair came out from the shampoo/mask combination. I never say never, but I will probably never use anything from the NTM line again. Back on the hunt for a good shampoo...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall/Winter Regimen

Today is the first official day of fall. I thought I would still have a few days to enjoy summer things (open-toed shoes, tank tops, keeping my windows open all day), but here in Boston, you never know! I didn’t think my hair regimen would change too much, but now I’m re-considering. Even as I walked to work this morning, I felt like the cold, dry wind was hurting my hair already. Given that, I’ve come up with some things I’ll do differently to my hair for the next 8 months:
  • Consider going back to washing once a week instead of 2 (I’m thinking every 5-7 days). I don’t think I’ll have the energy or motivation to wash as often anyway (I think I have a touch of seasonal affective disorder). My hair may need a wash twice a week since it has been thriving, so we’ll see..
  • Wear hats whenever I can. In the winter in Boston, I usually keep my hair wrapped in my silk scarf, put a hat over it, and comb out my hair when I get to work.
  • Wear silk scarves so that my hair doesn’t rub against wool sweaters and coats.
  • Leave my pre-poo in longer than 30 minutes.
  • Use the DIY steam treatment every time I deep condition.
  • Be better at massaging my scalp and sealing ends- once or even twice a day!
  • Apply a color rinse every other week to better condition my hair.
  • Incorporate protective styles once my hair gets to shoulder-length (crossing my fingers for February ’09).

I plan on changing my products too much, I’m just not going to be doing as many co-washes.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

No Setting Lotion?

For my wash yesterday, I re-visited using serum for my rollerset. Lottabody and Dudley's setting lotions are okay, but I haven't felt that my hair is as moist as it could be. I did my regular pre-poo and co-wash. I also applied the color rinse again, but this time I put deep conditioner on top of it- to soften up my hair and to save time so I wouldn't have to sit under the dryer twice before setting. After I rinsed the color/dc out, I used Salerm 21 leave-in, sprayed some coconut oil mixed with water, and then sprayed some Paul Mitchell Skinny Serum mixed with water. I then set my hair as usual, using a spray bottle of water to keep it wet. I'm not sure if it was from the color, the serum or a combination of both, but my hair came out shiny and much thicker looking. I also had less hairs in the sink when I combed my curls out.

I had been wrapping my hair all the way around for the past 2 and a half weeks since my relaxer, and decided to go back to cross-wrapping, which works much better for me. I'll try the full wrap again when my hair gets longer. Funny, when my stylist wraps my hair it comes out great. I guess I don't have the technique down.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Product Review: At One Botanical Reconstructor

I bought this a couple of years ago, used it a few times, and never used it again until this weekend. I'm not sure why I stopped since there's more than half of it gone. I used to religiously use At One's itchy scalp treatment, so that's probably why I purchased this. I decided to re-visit it as a protein alternative. Most reconstructors contain protein, but this doesn't.

Description
Repairs damage; controls breakage, shedding; detangles; adds body, shine, elasticity. Rich in nutrients to treat damaged areas inside and on the surface of hair shafts. Natural emollients and botanical extracts give hair more elasticity, body and shine. Apply to damp hair after shampooing. Leave on for 3 to 5 minutes, then rinse. For intensive treatment, leave on for 10 to 20 minutes.

Ingredients
Aqua, Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Stearalkonium Chloride, Dicetylcdimoium Chloride, Tocopheryl Acetate, Octyl Dimethyl Paba, Polysorbate 20, Mineral Oil, Emulsifying Wax, Peg-40 Castor Oil, Sodium PCA, Panthenol, Magnesium Citrate, Polyquaternium-7, Exracts Of: Chamomile, White Nettle, Pine Cone, Lappa, Rosemary, Ivy, Arnica, Watercress, Garlic, Calendula, Linden, Cornflower, Matricaria, Hypericum, Parfum, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Imidozolidinyl Urea, Simethicone

My Experience
I shampooed with Elasta QP Creme Moisturizing Shampoo and applied this while still in the shower. I left it on for a little over 3 minutes and rinsed. My hair felt stronger, and somewhat moisturized. The feeling reminded me a lot of the Aphogee 2 minute treatment. It's been 2 days since I used it, and even after deep conditioning with the diy steam treatment, my hair isn't that much more shiny or moisturized. I've had a little more shedding than usual for the past week or 2, and this didn't help. I may use this about once a month until I finish it, but since it hasn't made the earth move, I won't buy it again.

Water, Water Everywhere

I'm on a mission to drink more water. My forehead has been breaking out lately. Last night I was really thirsty for some reason, and drank 3 glasses of water before I went to bed. When I woke up, my forehead was almost totally clear! I know water will help my hair growth and overall health too. I'd like to lose another 5-10 lbs, so water will help that too.

It's not going to be hard to increase my H2O intake. I like the taste of it, and have just about altogether stopped drinking juices and sodas over the past year. My water has to be room temperature though- I can't drink it as fast when it's cold and I'm cold-natured in general. I used to drink a lot of water when I was in NC (at least 70 oz a day), but I stopped a few months ago when I moved and started my new job because I didn't want to be running to the bathroom every 20 minutes. It's worth it, though, if I'm going to have clear skin and pretty hair. I've heard that you lose the urge to go to the bathroom once you've been drinking a lot of water for a while. I try to stop drinking water at 3pm, so I don't have to pee on my way home! Now, I'm going to try to drink most of my water in the morning. It's only 9:30 and I've drank 2 glasses at home and a bottle at work- and have had to haul ass to ladies' room 3 times, lol.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

DIY Steam Treatment

I have to try this, especially when the harsh winter weather starts getting to my hair.

Materials
Conditioner
1 or 2 turbies or hand towels1 or 2 plastic caps or Saran wrap
Kitchen gloves

First, you place your turbies/hand towels in water and place in microwave for 2-3 mins (depends on the brand of microwave). Apply conditioner of your choice to your hair. Using the kitchen gloves, wring out one turbie and place one on your hair, then place a plastic cap or saran wrap on top of the turbie. Then wring out the second turbie (that's if you used 2) and place on top of the plastic cap then place your last plastic cap over the second turbie. Think...turbie, plastic cap, turbie, plastic cap.....really simple.Then sit under a heat cap or hooded dry for about 30 minutes. Rinse with cool/cold water, this will aid in closing your hair shaft.

Update 9/15/08: I did the steam treatment yesterday with ORS Replenishing Conditioner. All I can say is...WOW! I could tell a difference before I even rinsed the conditioner out. My hair felt so silky. After rollersetting, my hair fell so nicely, I couldn't believe it. I'm only 2 weeks post-relaxer, so the real test will be when I'm past 5 weeks. I'm going to incorporate this into my regimen and do the steam treatment every week and a half!

Product Review: J/A/S/O/N Scalp Balancing Natural Jojoba Conditioner

I bought this conditioner last month. I found it at TJ Maxx for $3.99, and ever since I saw this line in Whole Foods, I've wanted to try one of the conditioners. I've also been experimenting with natural products. There really isn't a reason why I waited almost a month to use it.

Description
"Volumizing" JASON Jojoba Conditioner normalizes hair and soothes the scalp. 22 Keratin Amino Acids, 3 Proteins and Planthenol-3 deeply penetrate the hair shaft and strengthen hair while imported botanicals, vitamins and minerals add a deep, moisturizing boost and a natural, healthy shine. JASON Jojoba Conditioner helps correct itchy scalp, excessively dry hair and dandruff from heat curling, blow-drying, perming and too much sun. Continued use can produce dramatic results in as little as two weeks.

Ingredients
Aqua (Purified Water), Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract*, Calendula Officinalis (Marigold) Flower Extract*, Emulsifying Wax, Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Leaf Extract*, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) leaf Gel*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Stearalkonium Chloride, Natural Tocopherol (Vit. E), Stearyl Alcohol, Panthenol-3 (DL-Panthenol, Ethyl Panthenol and Panthenyl Hydroxypropyl Steardimonium Chloride), Retinyl Palmitate (Vit. A), Lavendula Intermedia Leaf/Flower/Stem Extract*, Linoleic & Linolenic Acid (Vit. F), Triticum Vulgare (Hydrolyzed Wheat) Protein, Vegetable Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Cyclopentasiloxane and Dimethicone, Oxybenzone, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Fragrance Oil Blend (ingredients with a * are certified organic)

My Experience
I decided to use this as a pre-poo after I applied some vatika oil the day before. I applied it like a relaxer, as I do with other conditioners. I have never used jojoba oil before, and the smell was pleasant. I put on a plastic cap, then a scarf, and left the conditioner on for about an hour while I did housework. I actually worked up a good sweat sweeping, mopping and dusting! When I rinsed it out in the shower, I didn't really like how my hair felt. It didn't feel dry or stripped, but it didn't feel good either...a little rough, I think. Usually when I wash my pre-poo out, I feel a difference in my hair. It feels moisturized and smooth. I co-washed with my V05 Strawberries n Cream twice, and put in some Pantene Relaxed and Natural conditioner in for a minute or 2. That seemed to soften my hair up. I also put in a cedar red brown rinse from The Beautiful Collection and deep conditioned with ORS Replenishing. My set came out shiny, moisturized and bouncy, but I'm sure it wasn't from this conditioner.

The co-washing helped soften my hair up, but overall I didn't see much difference using this product. Maybe I used too much. Maybe I should try it as a conditioner after washing my hair. I won't give up on it just yet...

Monday, September 1, 2008

August '08 Relaxer

So, I decided to go to my old stylist for my relaxer. I just didn't want to chance it. I will try the new stylist in a couple of weeks and see how she does a rollerset.

I was pretty pleased with my relaxer, especially since I didn't get a chance to do a protein treatment before I went. I based my scalp with castor oil, but I still burned a little in the back. She wrapped my hair and bumped the ends, but I didn't let her trim it. I don't think I needed it, and I wanted to see how much my hair grew over the past 2 months:


Friday, August 29, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

It's time for my relaxer and I have 2 appointments with 2 different stylists! One is with my usual stylist, who does apply a relaxer well and gets me in and out pretty quickly, but also has said things about my hair that sort of offended me, is a little expensive, doesn't style my hair well, and is in a location where parking is very difficult (I once drove around for 25 minutes trying to find a metered spot only to realize that I didn't have any quarters!).

My cousin recommended the other stylist to me. My cousin doesn't have a relaxer, but she loves to go to her when she get her hair pressed and told me that women with relaxers come out looking good. This stylist also charges $20-30 less than my usual stylist. She uses the same relaxer (Affirm) and doesn't charge extra for deep conditioning treatments. She's also less than 10 minutes from my house and even works on Mondays! There is plenty of free parking too. I'm just not sure how long she'll make me wait, which is a huge pet peeve of mine.

So I made an appointment with my usual stylist for Saturday and the new one for Monday. Yeah, she's working on Labor Day! I'm just so nervous to try someone new. I even went to the shop yesterday to meet her face-to-face. She was very nice and professional, but I'm still worried. I am always afraid of over/under processing, and I will be hot if I'm in there for a long time. Her card says that she specializes in weaves, which worries me a little too. I want someone who specializes in healthy hair care. I could try her this once and if I don't like her, go back to my old stylist. Or, I could go to my old stylist for my relaxer, and ease into the new stylist by going for a wash & set in a couple of weeks.

I'm so torn! I keep hearing a voice in my head that is saying, "Tif, you get what you pay for." I will be so angry with myself if I go to this new salon and am not satisfied with my relaxer or the service.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Product Review: Pantene Relaxed and Natural Breakage Defense Deep Conditioning Mask

Although I really liked the Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask, it has protein in it, and I needed a solely moisturizing deep conditioner. I have been using the Pantene Relaxed & Natural conditioner for years, and have read good things about the mask. It's was little hard to find. I didn't see it at my local CVS, Walgreens or Rite Aid, but Target had it for a little over $5.

Description
Hair Treatment Uses For women of color. The Present: Extremely brittle, dry, damaged hair that sheds excessively. The Future: Resilient, stronger, healthy hair that has dramatically less shedding due to breakage.

Directions
After shampooing, apply desired amount of Deep Conditioning Mask to hair, concentrating on areas that need special attention. Leave mask on hair for desired length of time. Rinse, dry and style as usual. For maximum conditioning, wear a plastic shower cap and sit under a heated dryer. For best results, use with other items in the Breakage Defense Collection.

Ingredients
water, stearly alchohol, amdimethicone, behentrimonium choride, cety alcohol, coconut oil, jojoba seed oil, panthenol, pathenyl ethyl ether, fragrance, lysine hcl, methyl tyrosinate hcl, histidine, benzyl alcohol, disodium edta, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, sodium hydroxide

My Exprience
Last night, I pre-poo'd with vatika oil and Organix Vanilla Conditioner. I left it in my hair for about 45 minutes while I mowed the lawn. I washed once with Elasta QP Creme Conditioning shampoo and co-washed with V05 Strawberries n Cream. I applied a black rinse from Clairol's Beautiful Collection to my roots and left it in for about 25 minutes- 10 with heat. I rinsed it out, and applied the Pantene R&N Conditioner and combed it through, just to soften my hair up after the color. After I rinsed, I applied about a dime-sized amount of the Breakage Defense Mask to 4 sections of my hair. I covered with heat for about 20 minutes. When I rinsed, I could feel how soft, silky and de-tangled my hair was! I did my usual routine of Giovanni Leave-in, coconut oil/water spray and diluted Dudley's setting lotion to set my hair. Even as I was setting, my hair had so much 'slip' that my hair was sliding off the rollers. When I took the rollers out, my hair extremely silky and soft. I'm 6 weeks post relaxer, and it looks like I'm about 3. This morning when I combed my half-wrap out, my hair had so much bounce! My roots were a little thick, so I pressed them down with a curling iron, re-wrapped and my hair falls much better.

This is definitely a keeper! I've been thinking of creating a regimen for when I'm past 4 weeks post-relaxer, and this product has to be part of it. Maybe I'll be able to stretch longer than 8 weeks. As I walked to the train station this morning, I couldn't help looking at my hair in every car window I passed! My hair usually looks better a day or 2 after I wash it, so it might look even better tomorrow!

I have decided that after my bottle is finished, I'm not coloring my hair black anymore. I like how full and thick my hair looks, but the black seems too severe sometimes, especially in the colder months when my skin is paler. Now that my hair is not as damaged, I think doing a color in the brown/red family will look just as nice.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Product Review: Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask

I've been using ORS replenishing paks to deep condition my hair. However, I thought that I was using it too often, because my hair was becoming too moisturized. I thought this because my hair felt too heavy and weighed down. I bought the NTM Deep Recovery Hair Mask in the hopes of alternating deep conditioning with the ORS. I've heard great things about this product, so I picked it up and tried it last night after a co-wash.

Product Description
- Concentrated weekly treatment for soft, lustrous hair
- Professional - Treats extra dry, over-processed and color-treated hair
- This intensive moisture treatment rescues even the most dehydrated hair strands
- Use this restorative mask each week for effective treatment of extra dry or over-processed hair
- So powerful, just a small amount is enough to restore dried out strands to be soft, lustrous and shining
- Three naturally derived extracts penetrate to help moisturize each layer of the hair strand
- Olive penetrates to the center
- Meadowfoam Seed helps moisturize the middle
- Sweet Almond wraps the surface

Ingredients
Water , Cetyl Alcohol , Behentrimonium Chloride , Cyclopentasiloxane , Dimethicone , Cetearyl Alcohol , Ethylhexyl Isononanoate , Behenyl Alcohol , Meadowfoam Seed Oil Limnanthes Alba , Cyclohexasiloxane , Olive Fruit Oil Olea Europaea , Sweet Almond Oil Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis , Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine , Behentrimonium Methosulfate , Trimethylsilylamodimethicone , Panthenol , Glycol Stearate , Ceteth-2 , Hydroxyethylcellulose , Phenoxyethanol , Methylparaben , Propylparaben , Citric Acid , Mica , Titanium Dioxide , Iron Oxide , Fragrance

My Experience
I deep conditioned with heat for about 15 minutes. I have to say, I was not that impressed with this product. It was good, but maybe I was expecting some kind of magic to happen. I did as it instructed and only used a small amount, but maybe I should have used more. I didn't feel any "slip" as I do with the ORS. It did de-tangle my hair pretty well. When I took my rollers out, my hair was bouncy, but when I combed my hair out this morning, I thought my hair looked a little dry, even though it felt moist.

I realized that this has protein in it, and I probably need a moisturizing deep conditioner. I'm also almost 6 weeks post relaxer, which is a difficult stage for me..my hair is harder to manage at this point. I'm not giving up on the NTM just yet, but I am trying to come up with a regimen that I will use when I'm past 5-weeks post, since my hair just isn't the same and doesn't react to products the same way as it does when I have a fresh relaxer.

UPDATE 8/19/08: My hair looks great today. It's light and bouncy and feels great. Maybe I just needed to sleep on it another night for it to fall better and let my hair absorb the moisturizer. I will definitely use the NTM again!

On another note, I'm seeing some progress with my left side. My left side has always been thinner and weaker than the rest of my hair. I made it worse wrapping my hair and ending the wrap on my left side. It was so thin, that when setting my hair, I only needed to use 2 rollers on that side, while I use 3-4 on my right! Well last night when I set, I noticed a difference in thickness. I rolled using 3 rollers, but I was happy to know that I could have fit in a 4th if I wanted to. So even though I'm not that happy with the style of my hair, the little successes I notice makes me feel good! A woman in a bar last week told me that my hair looked perfect- imagine that!!

UPDATE 10/6/08: I tried this again 2 days ago, and I officially hate this product. When I took my rollers out, my hair was stiff and dry looking. It wouldn’t even lay down. I know I’m 5 weeks post relaxer, but still…it did NOTHING to soften up my new growth. The only thing that helped (a little) was to wrap with saran wrap and sit under the dryer for 10 minutes, then coat my ends with coconut oil so that it didn’t stick straight out. I am so disgusted. I can’t believe they call this conditioner.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Style? What Style?

I've found the right products to use; now I need to work on styling my hair better. Now that it's growing out, I'm not liking the style, or lack of one. My hair looks and feels healthy, but I feel like I look like an old lady with this style. I refuse to have any scissors to my head for at least another 3 months so I need to figure something out.

It's only the past couple of days that I've felt this way. Last week, I really liked my hair, and it rained every day! Lately, the moist weather makes my hair look a little fuller and nicer, in my opinion. I can usually calm the frizz by sealing with grapeseed oil and pincurling. It's only been about 5 weeks since my relaxer, but my roots are somewhat thick, so I'm sure this has a little to do with it. It doesn't seem like it's hard to style, but it's difficult to make my hair lay right without heat. I haven't used any heat (other than a hooded dryer) in about 6 weeks, and I want to see how long I can go. My friend told me to just wrap it and leave it straight, but the wrap doesn't work for me. The side I end with always sticks out and looks crazy- I know it will look crazier with this much new growth!

For this week's wash, I may set with smaller rollers, and wear my hair curly with a headband or scarf pushing it back. I've been wanting to experiment with accessories anyway. We'll see how that turns out.

I can't wait until my hair grows a little longer so I can do more with it! I do see progress, so I'm happy and grateful for that..

Friday, August 1, 2008

Serum

I had never used a serum regularly before. A few of my sorority sisters use Paul Mitchell Skinny Serum before they blow dry or flat iron, and their hair always looks great. I bought some of the Paul Mitchell Skinny Serum a few months ago. Luckily, the bss I was in had it in a small tube, so it wasn't too expensive. I tried it once, but it didn't really do anything. Besides, I'm a little prejudiced against Paul Mitchell products (I blame them on a lot of my damage earlier this year).

Well, after reading how a lot of people rollerset with just water and serum, I decided to give it a try. I mixed about 2 parts water and not even 1 part serum in a spray bottle and set my hair the other day. As I rolled, my hair didn't feel any different than usual. When I took the rollers out, my hair looked so thick (and big, which I like!). However, it felt funny. I'm not sure if it felt heavy, like weighed down, or what. I was just surprised, because I expected it to be light and bouncy. I cross-wrapped my hair and went to bed. When I woke up, my hair was still full of body, but still a little heavy like I had a film on it. My hair looks just fine.

I'm still not sure of this...I don't hate it, but my hair just feels weird. Maybe I used too much or have product build-up. I haven't used shampoo in about 2 weeks. I can say that I'm loving how thick my hair feels when I run my fingers through it. It's supposed to rain this weekend, so I want to see how it holds up in the humidity...

Product Claims
Smooths and conditions unruly hair
Smooths and protects hair with incredible shine.
Helps reduce blow-dry time
Contains our unique Super Skinny® Complex, the finest ingredients and thermal protectants.

Directions
Very concentrated. Rub 1 pump into hands and apply to damp hair starting at the ends and working toward the scalp. Style as desired.

Ingredients
Cyclomethicone, Dimethiconol, Trimethylsiloxyamodimethicone, C11 15 Pareth 7, C12 16 Pareth 9, Trideceth 12, Glycerin, Amodimethicone, Cetrimonium Chloride, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Isobutylparaben, Isopropylparaben, Butylparaben, Fragrance (Parfum), Amyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate, Citronellol, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Limonene

Update 12/10/08: Maybe it was just the shock of using this for the first time, but I've been using this product for the past 4 months every week and I love it! My hair is shiny, silky and bouncy when I take my rollers out!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Moisture found!

Yay! After over 6 months of having dry, brittle, flat hair, my hair has become more moisturized, thick and full of body. I still have a way to go to get my hair to the state I want it, but I'm so happy that my hair has come this far.

Some of the reasons for my success so far:
  • Haircut - Getting all of those scraggly dead ends cut off was key for my hair to be able to fall right and absorb products (I know many women can work through the damaged ends, but I cannot)
  • Co-washing - Suave was so good to me, but V05 is my new love!
  • No heat - I haven't put ANY heat in my hair since my relaxer 3 weeks ago...I just have to keep at it.
  • Rollersetting - My skills still aren't where they should be, but I'm going to keep working at it. I've found that the most important thing is making sure that my hair is completely dry.
  • Pincurl/rolling - to give my hair more curl and body, I've been putting my hair in rollers or pincurls while I get dressed. Sleeping with them is too much- it makes my hair too curly and/or frizzy. Wrapping just doesn't work for me, so I'm sticking to the cross wrap for a while at night.
  • Attitude - this is probably the top reason! I truly believe now that I can have healthy hair and the power of positive thinking does work! I don't get upset when my hair doesn't come out the way I want it to; instead I work with it. Like Lisa Akbari says, God gave me this hair and God doesn't make mistakes.
I definitely want to grow it long, but I would honestly be happy having short hair that is thick and healthy!

Product Review: Alberto Vo5 Conditioner, Strawberries & Cream

Product Description
Treat your hair to the fragrance of fresh-picked strawberries and the moisturizing benefits of soy milk proteins in our exclusive patented conditioner. Smooths and detangles as it conditions, leaving hair silky, soft and manageable.

Ingredients
Active Ingredients: Water (Aqua); Cetyl Alcohol; Stearyl Alcohol; Stearalkonium Chloride; Glycine Soja (Soy Bean) Seed Extract; Fragaria Vesca (Strawberry) Leaf Extract; Steareth-21; Glyceryl Stearate; Octoxynol-9; Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C); Thiamin HCL (Vitamin B1); Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A); Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E); Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5); Propylene Glycol; Disodium EDTA; DMDM Hydantoin; Fragrance (Parfum); Red 33 (CI 17200).

Directions
After shampooing, apply to hair. Leave on for 60 seconds. Rinse.

My experience
So, I bought this conditioner about 2 weeks ago. I had been reading on the boards how a lot of women like it better than the Suave Tropical Coconut for co-washes. It was on sale for 79 cents, so I thought, why not? I had just had a relaxer a week before, so I wasn't looking for any kind of miracle. I co-washed and roller set my hair. First of all, it smells so good, I want to eat it. My hair definitely felt more moisturized, but not too much more. The second time I co-washed with it, I could really tell a difference. My hair had "slip" while I was still in the shower! With the Suave, sometimes I would add another conditioner right after co-washing for a couple of minutes just to soften my hair more, but with the V05, I didn't need it! I've co-washed 4-5 times since then, and every time, I feel like my hair is more moisturized. I'm so glad I bought it! I want to try the other flavors, but I'm so in love with the strawberries and cream, I'm afraid to try another.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Much Better!

I have to say, my hair is 300% better now that it's somewhat healthy again. I'm so glad I got the rest of my scraggly ends cut off a couple of weeks ago. I went to Atlanta this past weekend, and my hair held up fabulously. I co-washed and roller set it Thursday night, and I didn't have to do anything to it all weekend, besides put a little oil on it a couple of times. I didn't have to use heat, pincurls, nada! I think that's great, given the fact that it was humid in Atl, and I was extremely active- during the weekend, I took a dance class and partied like a rock star, lol. Don't laugh too hard at the photo- I was being silly at a bachelorette party!

I co-washed last night. My set came out nice, but my hair isn't as curly as it was this weekend and I'm not sure why. I used vatika oil and Organix Shea conditioner for my pre-poo as usual (although I usually use Organix coconut or vanilla), but for my co-wash I used V05 Strawberries and Creme conditioner for the second time instead of my usual Suave Tropical Coconut. I know I said I wouldn't buy any more products until I ran out, but it was 79 cents and smelled sooo good! I dc'd with a quarter-size of ORS replenishing, used Giovanni leave in, and set with diluted Dudley setting lotion and water mixed with coconut oil. Even though my hair isn't as curly as it was last week, it is so much softer and feels so much more moisturized and thick. Could it be the V05, or that the Organix Shea conditioner is for 'smoothing,' or the fact that my hair is getting better? I'd much rather have thick, moisturized hair than curly hair, but I wish I knew why the curls didn't hold as well.

My boyfriend watched me do my hair last night and he teased me about going through so many steps. I told him that my main motivation for growing long, thick hair is to prove my stylist wrong. I just found out that he doesn't use shampoo or conditioner on his hair- just water!! The funny thing is, he has the shiniest, curliest hair. Go figure..

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

July '08 Relaxer/New Regimen

My relaxer last week went really well. I didn't burn even though I washed a couple of days before. She used Mizani perm and my hair is really straight. She said since my hair is getting stronger, she'll go back to Affirm next time. I went 8 weeks and I couldn't believe how much growth I achieved. However, I cut another 3/4 of an inch off. I think I finally got all of the over processed hair out. I was going to go ultra short, but my stylist encouraged me not to cut it and see how my hair does now that I am committed to keeping it healthy. I'm glad she did, because I really want to see how long my hair can get. She wrapped my hair and bumped my ends. That style makes my hair too straight for my taste, but I don't always like the way she rollersets, and her shop was too hot for me to be under the dryer that long. Even while she was curling my hair, I could feel my scalp sweating. One thing that bothered me: she told me that I will never have thick hair, which hurt my feelings a little. My hair has been thick in the past, so I don't believe it's impossible for my hair to be thick. When I first moved back and went to her a few months ago, she said my hair was horrendous. I'm not usually that sensitive, but damn, she could have used better words. I just have to put those comments out of my mind and keep working towards my goals. Her negativity will only drive me to work harder on making my hair thick and healthy.

Four days later, I shampoo'd with neutralizing shampoo, since I'm so paranoid now about getting all the relaxer out. I also put a semi-permanent color in, using the black color from the Beautiful Collection. I dc'd with ORS Replenishing. I didn't use a leave-in, because I'm trying to see what the benefits are (I love Giovanni direct on my new growth, but I'm not sure how useful it is on a fresh relaxer). Then I rollerset my hair with small rollers. It came out nice, but a little dry, so maybe I do need a leave-in! Other than the dry feeling (which was cured with some KeraCare hairdress), I'm really happy with my set. I know now that smaller rollers are best, because my curls stay longer, and my hair looks a lot fuller.

Now that I've gotten all the bad ends cut off, I feel so optimistic because it feels like I'm starting over fresh. I also want to simplify my regimen. Sometimes I get product happy from reading all of the hair boards and blogs, so I'm going to stick to the same products for a while, and NOT buy anything until I run out. I've been pretty good lately. The only thing I bought at the bss the other day was the hair color! I'm still on a quest for more moisture, but I'm just going to keep working with the products I have. I'll admit that I haven't been good at deep conditioning lately. My house has been so hot. But, I promise myself that I will dc at least once a week. Using the heating cap rather than my hooded dryer is so much cooler.

Of course, there are some things on my wishlist: Sebastian's Colourshines or ColorShowers, Nairobi foam wrap, some more Organix products, and KeraCare Humecto. But I can't buy them, unless I run out of the color, setting lotion or conditioner that I already have.

I also started taking my multivitamins again. I can't even remember why I stopped taking them 4 months ago. I guess because I was juicing every day and eating so well. Lately, I haven't been eating as well as I should, so I definitely need the vitamins.



My updated regimen:

2x per week:
Pre-poo: Vatika oil and Organix conditioner (coconut or shea formulas for moisture and vanilla for new growth). Work out or sit under dryer.
Shampoo: Co-wash with Suave Naturals Cocounut conditioner. If I do need a shampoo, I'll use KeraCare Dry & Itchy Scalp (if my scalp is dry and itchy) or Elasta QP Moisturizing Shampoo.
Condition: Pantene Relaxed and Natural or KeraCare Dry & Itchy Scalp Conditioner (if needed).
Deep Condition: ORS Replenishing Pak or Aphogee 2 minute treatment if I need more protein. I also apply a semi-permanent color from the Beautiful Collection when needed.
Leave-in Conditioner: Giovanni Direct or Salerm 21.
Rollerset: Lottabody or Dudley setting lotion diluted with water and water mixed with coconut oil to keep my hair wet. Paul Mitchell Foaming Pomade or Elasta QP Glaze to lay my edges and naped down. Set using mesh rollers, end papers and pins, and sit under the dryer for about 75 minutes.
Wrap: After I take the rollers out, put a little Keala oil on hair. Wrap hair and wrap it with saran wrap and sit under the dryer for about 15 minutes OR skip saran wrap and just go to bed with a silk scarf.

Daily:
Evening: Scalp massage with a few drops of grapeseed or coconut oil, put some oil on my ends if needed, cross wrap or pincurl, and put a silk scarf on. I sleep on a satin pillowcase.
Morning: Comb out the wrap and rub a small amount of KeraCare Creme Hairdress and seal ends with oil if needed.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Relaxer time

Again, I made it 8 weeks! I had never gone longer than 6 before I started my hair journey in January, so I am very proud of myself. I have been experiencing some breakage and my hair has been very hard to style over the past week or so, so yes, it's time.

I'm just worried because I didn't do my "pre-relaxer treatment." I originally planned on going to the salon on Friday, but my stylist called me today and said I could come earlier in the week so I could get in and out. I took Wednesday after work. Now, I'm not sure if I should wash and do a protein treatment 2 days before my relaxer. I haven't been scratching, but I don't want to burn either. On the other hand, I want my hair as strong as it can be. I'll decide when I get home.

I'm also not sure about getting my hair cut. I really want a short cut again, but I also really want to see how long my hair can grow healthy. So, I'll either get it cut really short, or I'll get the last 1/2 inch of overprocessed ends cut off. I just realized that the rollers I've been using to set my hair are too big. I set it on rollers a couple of sizes smaller last week, and my hair came out much better- but only for a day since I sweat it at a cookout on Friday and my roots are thick as thieves. Seeing Malinda Williams at her bridal shower didn't help discourage me from cutting it either!


UPDATE 7/8/08: So I washed last night. I shampoo'd once with Elasta QP Creme Moisturizing Shampoo and did an Aphogee 2-minute protein treatment. I put in some Giovanni leave-in and tied my hair down with a scarf. This morning, I ran through my hair with a warm flat iron, put the front in a clip and off I went. It's really hot and humid today, so there was no use putting in too much effort. Oh, I also oiled my scalp with Hollywood Beauty Castor Oil with mink oil. I'll do it again tonight and tomorrow morning before my relaxer tomorrow evening.
Some pics of my new growth taken today and today's hairstyle, which is not what it looks like today, but similar:


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Vacation hair

I've been in Florida the past week for a work conference, so I'm not technically on vacation, but I did spend some time by the pool. I didn't actually go under water (although I really wanted to), but my hair got a little wet from getting splashed yesterday. I was just telling a friend that even though I'm 6 weeks post relaxer, my hair is so nice and straight. Um...wrong! I saw how bad I need a touch-up after getting wet. (I'm still going to try to go at least 2 more weeks before getting a relaxer.) I was in a workshop looking so crazy yesterday. I would have co-washed, but I mistakenly left my beloved Giovanni leave-in at home, and am afraid that the results would be worse. I just put some conditioner and moisturizer on my ends. I flat ironed the roots, wrapped and pin curled my hair and went to bed. Today, my hair looks much better, but no where close to how it looked when I first got here. I'm flying home today, so I'll wash tomorrow. I usually wash at least 2x a week, so my hair and scalp are screaming for water and moisture right now. I can't wash tonight because I'm meeting my girls for drinks- maybe I'll don my half wig? The good thing is that I have started on my summer tan!

I realize that I need a summer regimen, but I have no idea what that is. Based on yesterday, I'm scared of air drying. Plus, my hair is so short, I'm not sure it would look good anyway. I would like to try a straw set or something...I just don't want to sit under the hot dryer 1-2 times a week and then sweat my hair out the next day. I have started using my heating cap, which is much cooler...who knows, I'm still thinking of going shorter, so I may not have to worry about it. When my hair is really short, I just slick it down with a scarf until it dries.

On another note, I know that the B&B moisturizer has mineral oil, but it has been the best moisturizer for my hair in years. I only put it on my ends and my hair just drinks it up. I'd like to find a healthier alternative, but until now, B&B is my friend.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Short Hair Chick?

Every other week or so, I consider cutting my hair short again. I first cut my hair my junior year in college. I've grown it to my shoulder maybe 2 or 3 times since then, but I always end up going short again. Lately, I've been asking myself, "Am I a short-hair chick?" Most people think short hair is difficult to maintain, but not for me. I still rollerset, and I feel like I don't have to do much besides keep my nape lined up, which a barber can do. I find that when I have short hair, I look neater, more sophisticated, and more professional. Even my friends tell me that short hair is more flattering for me. My boyfriend recently told me that I seem more confident with short hair. Interesting...I realize that I'm not as good at doing my hair when it's longer, so part of me thinks I should be more patient. Even though long hair is more in style right now, when I see women with short hair, I get jealous!



Thursday, June 19, 2008

Rollersetting again

I know I said I would take a break from rollersetting, but I like my hair to have body, and it got so flat after a day and half with flat ironing. All of the curl was gone- not a good look since I don't use heat between washes. I'm 5 weeks post relaxer and was a little nervous about it, so I did a few things differently yesterday:
  1. I pre-poo'd with my usual vatika oil and Organix Vanilla conditioner. I usually work out or do things around the house, but this time I used a heating cap for about 20 minutes.
  2. I used Dudley's Fantastic Body setting lotion diluted with water instead of Lottabody. Even while wet, I could feel how much softer and more manageable my hair was.
  3. I tapped each piece of hair with coconut oil before rolling.
  4. I used Paul Mitchell's Foaming Pomade and Elasta QP Glaze to keep my edges down.
  5. When I took the rollers out, I wrapped my hair counterclockwise instead of clockwise.
I really like the results! My new growth is soft and even straight (what?!) in some areas! My hair is moist, but not heavy from the oil. Usually when I take my rollers out, my hair is dry and I have to really rub in moisturizer and oil to get it not so dry. I'm still afraid to wrap it. Yes, it was nice today, but I don't think it will look so nice if I wrap again tonight.

The only thing that sucks is sitting under the dryer in the summer. I actually only sat under the warm dryer for about a half an hour (with a fan in front of me), then used the heating cap for an additional 45 minutes. It was cooler, I could lie down, and I didn't have to turn the tv all the way up to hear it!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Product Review: B&B Oil Moisturizer

I've been looking for a good moisturizer for...well, forever I feel like. As usual, most products that work on everyone else's hair do not work for me. I've used grease, oils, KeraCare, VitaPointe, Razac, ORS, and many other products to moisturize, but I haven't fell in love with any yet. And, I'm not spending an arm and a leg on a product that doesn't work. I really need to find some samples..

Anyway, the other day, I saw this in the beauty supply store. The ingredients looked pretty good (no mineral oil), and it didn't seem like a huge risk for $2.99. I even tried a little in the store and walked around a bit to see if my hair absorbed it. I thought it was pretty light and my hair felt moisturized, so I bought it.

So far, I like it. It's only been 3 days, but my hair looks and feels silkier. I really only put a small amount on my ends. I still seal my ends with coconut oil, although I don't know if I need to.

What's on the bottle:
Try BB Oil Moisturizer with Castor Oil and you'll see why doctors have recommended castor oil for babies hair and skin for years. Unlike other oil moisturizers and castor oils, BB Oil Moisturizer with Castor Oil contains over 10,000mg. of pure castor oil per bottle. BB Oil Moisturizer with Castor Oil goes on light. It not only protects your hair against harmful hot blow drying, the sun and other harsh elements but it will actually condition and beautify your hair in the process. The whole family can use it. It works great on perms and short natural styles. It's formulated to penetrate the hair shaft and replenish your hair's natural moisture. Yet it's protective features lubricate the hair and scalp and seals the moisture in.


Ingredients: Water , Canola Oil , Sorbitan Sesquioleate , Castor Oil , Polyquaternium 32 , Polysorbate 80 , Aloe Vera Gel , DL Panthenol , Diazolidinyl Urea , Methyl Paraben , Propyl Paraben , Fragrance , D&C Red No. 33

Product Review: Organix Conditioner

Another purchase because it was on sale, lol! I was looking for a good conditioner for co-washing, preferably with coconut or shea, and since I had heard some good things about the Organix line, I decided to buy it when it was buy one, get one free at Rite Aid a little over a month ago. I bought the coconut and the vanilla conditioners, and got a rebate to get my money back. So, as soon as my they send me my money, it will be like getting 2 for free! When I got home, I decided to co-wash with the vanilla conditioner. As I rinsed my pre-poo out in the shower, my hair felt so soft and silky. I put about a quarter-sized amount of the Organix in my hair, and within seconds, my hair felt hard and it was so tangled, I wanted to cry! I immediately applied a lot of Suave conditioner in to soften and de-tangled. It worked okay, but my hair was so much better before I put in the Organix!

Of course I vowed to never use it again. However, after I got over it, I thought about trying it as a pre-poo. Since then I've been alternating between the coconut and vanilla. I either put in on after my vatika oil, or mix it with it. It's been really good for my hair as a pre-poo, helping to make it stronger and thicker. Next, I want to try the Organix serum- when it's on sale of course.

Coconut Ingredients: Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Bethentrimonium, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Jojoba Oil, Panthenol, Silk Amino Complex, Coconut Milk, Egg White Protein, Coconut Oil, Vitamin E, Terasodium EDTA, Fragrance, DMDM Hydatoin, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone

Product Review: Giovanni Direct Leave-in Conditioner

I purchased the Giovanni Direct Leave-in over a month ago. I've been using leave-ins for a while, but I never really understood why I needed one. I never saw much difference in my hair. I did have great results with Infusium 23 years ago when my hair was bleached, but now it leaves my scalp flaky. I had so many good things about Giovanni, and when it went on sale at Rite Aid, I jumped at it. Unfortunately, none of the Rite Aid stores I went in had the leave-in, so I bought it from Whole Foods. Let me say it was well worth the search and paying full price for it.

I used it for my next wash. My hair wasn't that dangled when I applied a dime-sized amount, but my comb slipped through my hair like it was silk! I couldn't believe it. Like Oprah says, I had an "aha" moment. This is what a leave-in conditioner is supposed to do. After I took my rollers out, my hair was so soft and silky, and even though I was 7 weeks post-relaxer, my new growth was so soft and manageable. I even started to think about going natural!

The one thing that doesn't work for me and GD is using it as a moisturizer. When I put it on my dry hair, it makes my hair frizz up. Also, some people use it to rollerset, but I have better results if I use a setting lotion on top of it. That's okay, because I love it enough as a leave-in to forgive it for that small shortcoming. It also has a little protein in it. I was encouraged to dilute it with water before applying, but I've found if I just use a dime-sized amount and apply it to all of my hair, I don't have any breakage. This is definitely a keeper!

Ingredients: Purified water with rosemary oil, nettle oil, thyme oil, birch leaf oil, chamomile oil, clary, lavender, coltsfoot leaf, yarrow, mallow, horsetail oil soybean protein, cetyl alcohol, vitamin E, pro-vitamin B5, trace minerals, citric acid, sodium hdroxymethylglyceride, grapefruit seed, and fragrance with essential oils.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Everything that glitters is not gold

I have to constantly remind myself that what works on others' hair usually doesn't work on mine. Stylists have tried to tell me what hair products to use, and I used to blame them when the products didn't work. Now, I listen to my hair and I'm really really trying not to go out and buy products because of someone else's success. I've been noting what products work on my hair and finding common ingredients and techniques.

I know I've written this here before, but my hair does not like olive oil! I mixed some in some Queen Helene Cholesterol with Ginseng and dc'd last night. As I washed it out, my hair felt so hard and weighed down. I tried an acv rinse, which softened it up just a little. I then put in some Pantene Relaxed and Natural conditioner for a few minutes and that seemed to help. I just need to accept that straight evoo is not good for my hair. I'll only use it for cooking from now on!

I had to wash yesterday, because I sweat my hair out so much over the weekend. I tried to get up early to walk my dog and mow the lawn, but it was still hot as hades outside at 7am! I just couldn't take going to work looking crazy another day, so last night I decided I would wash without using the dryer. I pre-poo'd with vatika oil and Organix Coconut conditioner (I alternate between the coconut and vanilla for my pre-poos). I co-washed with V05 clarifying conditioner, dc'd with the cholesterol-olive oil mix for 20 minutes with a heated cap, and applied Giovanni Direct leave-in, combing it through with my Jilbere shower comb. I wasn't planning to use setting lotion, but since I was a little nervous about airdrying for the first time in a while, I sprayed a little diluted Lottabody on my hair and put some Paul Mitchell Foaming Pomade on my edges and nape. I then combed my hair with a rat-tail comb in a half wrap and put a scarf on. Tight. Since my house was so hot from this heat wave, most of my hair dried within an hour or so. Before I went to bed, I exchanged my scarf for a smaller one that I wrapped just around the sides, so the top could dry while I slept. I got up a half an hour earlier this morning to flat iron and bump my hair. I applied a dab of KeraCare Creme Hairdress in my hair, concentrating on the ends, and used some Motions heat protectant before I flat ironed. When I was done, I half-wrapped my hair again while I took a shower. When I took the scarf off, I sealed my ends with grape seed oil. I also had to press my roots at the part with a hot curling iron (I'm almost 4 weeks post relaxer). I really liked the results. I think that this is better than rollersetting for me for a while, because molding my hair together while it dries keeps my hair "together" and makes it look so much thicker. It also keeps my edges straighter:


My takeaways from this wash experience:
  • My hair does not like straight olive oil, although I have had some good experiences with products that contain olive oil.
  • I don't like the V05 Clarifying conditioner. I will stick with Suave, and shampoo every week and a half. I'm not sure if I ever need a clarifying product.
  • The condition of my hair is getting so much better, that I will only use semi-permanent color on my roots where I have some platinum hairs.
  • I think the vatika oil is helping my platinums- I don't see as much around my hairline as I used to, and I haven't been using the semi-permanent color as often.
  • I will continue to do a wet half-wrap and curl my hair for at least the summer.
  • A lot of women on the hair boards speak ill of Pantene Relaxed and Natural shampoo and conditioner, but it works for me. I threw out the shampoo when I started my journey because I heard about all the bad things, but my hair responds well to the conditioner.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Product Review: At One Botanical Silky Texture 3 IN 1 foam

I went to a new bss the other day and bought this At One Botanical Silky Texture 3 IN 1 foam. I wanted to try to wrap my hair for the first time in years, and I didn't want to invest in an expensive foam. The At One Itchy Scalp Treatment did wonders for my scalp a couple of years ago, so I thought this brand was okay. Also, it was only $3.99. Well, in this case, you get what you pay for. I really didn't like it after I combed out my wrap last night. My hair didn’t come out horrible, but I don’t like it. I'm looking for body and bounce and this isn't where it's at. It made my hair a feel little stiff, although it does look thicker. I should have immediately washed it out, because it felt hard as soon as I put it on my wet hair. I have to also admit, that my wrapping skills aren't as tight as they should be, so I'm sure that had something to do with it. But, I also think that if it wasn't so hard when I applied it, wrapping would have been a lot easier. I actually put 4 rollers on the top and wrapped the rest, which was much easier than trying to wrap my whole head. My roots are kinda fuzzy, and the walking to the subway in the rain this morning didn't help either. If it wasn’t 11:00 at night when I got from under the dryer, I would have wet it again and rollerset it! I’ll probably do it tonight or tomorrow (even though it will be 1000 degrees under the dryer). I went over some parts of my hair with a warm flat iron. It looked okay last night, but this morning, it looked less than desirable. I'll probably never use this foam again, but I may try another kind one day. For now, I'll continue to rollerset my whole head!

If I hadn’t used that foam, I think it would have come out really nice. I put my vatika pre-poo oil in before I played tennis last night, so it marinated in my hair while I got a workout. When I put my Giovanni Direct leave-in on, my hair was so silky and de-tangled. Also, I wrapped my hair for the first time in over a month before I went to bed, and the back of my hair is laying down very nicely. I don't want to wrap every night (because the side I end the wrap on never behaves), but I will wrap once between washes just to get my back to fall like this.

I'm also in love with the grapeseed oil I bought the other day. It's been rainy the past couple of days, and my ends got a little frizzy. Putting a touch of grapeseed oil on the ends cured the frizzies!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

May '08 Cut

Finally, here's a photo of my haircut. I took this today:
It's been 3 weeks since my relaxer, so my kitchen nape area is looking a little crazy!

Anti-weave

For my new job I started a couple of weeks ago, I have been commuting via subway. I actually like taking the train. Not only do I save on gas money, but I get to work a lot faster than if I drove, and I don't have to pay attention to the road. I can read, sleep or just look at people. People watching has to be one of my favorite pastimes. Well, in the past 2.5 weeks, I have realized how many women in Boston have bad weaves. I swear, at least 3 out 5 women have weaves, and at least 2 of those weaves are horrible.

Now, I'm not judging weaves. Personally, I don't like to wear weaves, but I have no problem with someone else sporting one. I've had a weave a couple of times, and it just didn't work for me. One big reason is that I like to touch my hair and scalp, and that can be difficult or nearly impossible with a weave. Also, I never had any benefits from weaves (or braids for that matter). Maybe I didn't take care of it like I should have, but I found that the length I grew while having a weave or braids didn't matter, because I had to cut at least that same amount off because my ends were so damaged. I've also seen my friends and family members permanently lose their hair and/or thickness from constantly wearing weaves.

So, back to the women I see on the train. A lot of them wear glued in weaves, which is a big no-no. I can only imagine them going home and ripping the weave out, along with some of their own hair (yikes!). Some of their weaves are matted and dry looking and you can see a distinct difference in the texture of their real hair and the weave. I just want to tell them nicely, "Girlfriend, take that stuff out! It's better to have short, healthy, pretty hair, than to have a long, matted dry mess!" I can't believe they go to work like that. I can only imagine what people of all races think about their crazy looking hair! I was reading the latest Hype Hair magazine today, and it's so obvious how the hair industry pushes weaves on black women. I know white women wear weaves too, but I feel like we get the message (from the media and hairstylists) that if your hair is damaged and/or won't grow, you should slap a weave in it instead of putting in the effort to make it healthy again.

I guess the new trend are lace front wigs. They don't seem safe for your hair either. Like constant use of braids and weaves, those things will pull your hairline back a few inches over time. Look at Tyra, Beyonce and Vivica's hairlines...their foreheads have grown considerably over the years from fake hair. I actually saw this photo of Naomi Campbell online yesterday. If you look at the top of her forehead, you can see how far back her hairline is:


And Miss Vivica:

It makes me sad that women want long hair so bad that they would cause permanent damage like that.

Progress

I can definitely see a difference in the feel and thickness of my hair. Even though I didn't want to lose my length, my cut 3 weeks ago was the best thing that could have happened to my hair. I will need another trim when I go for my next relaxer, to get rid of all of the damaged strands, but even now, it's so much easier to style my hair and I don't have to use only products for damaged hair. The color I put in last week still looks strong, and I've co-washed twice since. I haven't experienced any major shedding or breakage either. I still have some areas to tweak in my regimen, but I'm feeling really good about my hair health.

I've been rollersetting, but I'm not too satisfied with how it looks. It's not as straight or bouncy as I want it to be. So for my wash tomorrow, I'll either rollerset the top and wrap the sides or attempt at wrapping the whole thing. I'd probably be better off doing the former, since my wrapping skills are a little shaky- I can never get the top straight and smooth. So, I'll need to fall off the wagon of my product rehab program and buy some kind of wrap foam. Lottabody just isn't doing it for me anymore. My friend Shaun told me that she loves Mizani's foam. I just wish I could buy a sample size to see if it works on my hair before I make the investment! I used to have a great foam when my hair was ultra short. I don't remember the brand, but I bought it from Sallys and it lasted forever.

Last night I had a few of my girlfriends over for a "product swap." They brought some good stuff, but there was nothing I actually needed. I was just glad to get rid of more products I don't use. My girl already emailed me today telling me that the Lady Hilda moisturizing lotion she got from me worked great in her daughter's hair this morning. It's so true that one woman's trash is another woman's treasure. I think I'll have another one in a few months and invite a bunch of people so we'll have a lot of products to choose from!

Tif's current wish list:
  • ORS Aloe Shampoo
  • Nairobi Setting Foam
  • Organix Serum
  • Hask Pure Shine Serum