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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wanted: SHINE

I've been so good at not buying hair products the past couple of weeks. I did buy a travel size of Infusium leave-in, but it was only 65 cents, so it really doesn't count, does it?

I started working my new job last week. I've been trying to get settled into a routine and since I've been exhausted by the time I get home, I have only washed my hair once since I started working. I have to do better, especially since I started playing in a tennis league this week. I played Tuesday and I haven't washed since (shame on me). At least I didn't do something stupid like try to flat iron it- I'm just looking crazy instead. My hair is flat and dull, so I have to wash tonight. I'm not sure if it's the sweat in my hair or the fact that I have not put a color in for about a month, but my hair is lacking the shine it used to. I've put oil and cream moisturizer in it, but I think it just made it worse. I haven't put a color in it because I wanted to get all of the black semi-permanent color out. I want to use a lighter color for the summer, but nothing shines like black. I could even get away with dark brown, so I was thinking of mixing a dark brown with a reddish-tone color. I've heard of mixing colors, I've just never done it personally. I'm going to buy 2 colors today and try it out. I'll post an update soon...and a picture of my haircut since it isn't as long as the picture on the right anymore.

My latest hair observations:

  • I think I've been conditioning my hair too much because it's a little soft and mushy. I don't think I need to deep condition with the ORS replenishing every time I wash. I'll just dc every week or every week and a half
  • Ms. S reminded me that the Elasta DPR-11 may be better if I mix it with oil. When I first started my hair journey, I would dc with Elasta DPR-11 mixed with olive oil and honey, which I loved. I stopped using the oil because I thought my hair hated oil, but I may use it again
  • I still haven't found a great moisturizer. My Keala oil is good and my friend is getting me some Natural Oasis oil, but I probably need a better moisturizer. I'm thinking about making a glycerine-aloe mix using some of the gel from my aloe plant

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

May 2008 Relaxer

So, I got a relaxer last week. My stylist thought that transitioning may be a good idea, just not right now. My ends were way too overprocessed to support so much new growth. She used Mizani mild and cut another 1-2 inches. Now I have a little bob with the sides just past my ears and a little shaved in the back. She wrapped it and bumped my ends. I like it- my hair looks thick and healthy again, and you can't see through my ends anymore. I know I will like it more when I rollerset it this week. I didn't burn at all from the perm, and again, I contribute that to the fact that I never scratch my scalp anymore. I've gotten a lot of compliments on my hair already!

When I left the salon, I drove past the bss I used to go to all the time. Of course there was a parking spot right in front of the store- I had to stop and look around. I realized that Looking Good is not so much a beauty store, as it is an everything store. Besides hair products, they have skin products, kitchen supplies, jewelry, make-up, hats, and a bunch of other stuff I don't need. There is only one aisle of hair products (and a counter of wigs and weave). Since I'm in product rehab, I couldn't buy anything, but there were a few things that caught my eye: Miss Key 10-en-1 conditioner ($5.95), aloe oil ($1), and small rollers to rod my hair ($1-5). I really need to use up some of my other conditioners before I try anything else. I may go back and get the aloe oil in June, although I have an aloe plant at home now, so I may make my own concoction.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

In Rehab

I will not buy any more hair products. I will not buy any more hair products. I will not buy any more hair products. I will not buy any more hair products. I will not buy any more hair products. I will not buy any more hair products. I will not buy any more hair products. I will not buy any more hair products. I will not buy any more hair products. I will not buy any more hair products. I will not buy any more hair products. I will not buy any more hair products. I will not buy any more hair products.

I cannot buy anything else for my hair! I don't have any more room in my bathroom, and half the crap I have doesn't work for my hair or contains bad products.

The other day I bought some Fantasia IC Hair Polisher Olive Leave-In Nutritional Hair & Scalp Treatment, because the salon I went to last week used it to rollerset my hair and I liked how my hair came out. I guessed I used too much because my hair was hard as hell! It wasn't dry, which is good, just hard. Just this month, I also bought Giovanni Direct leave-in, Roux Porosity Control conditioner, and a Jilbere shower comb. So, that's it, I'm done, at least for the next month or 2.

I'm 8-weeks post relaxer and I'm going to my old stylist tomorrow for a relaxer. I'm still thinking about transitioning, but I start my new job Monday, and I have to give them a chance to get to know me before I shock them with natural hair, lol. I've been so frustrated lately, that I might really do a big chop, so that my ends look healthy and my hair can actually absorb all the products I have. When I washed yesterday, I used Roux Porosity Control conditioner, which has made a huge difference in the feel of my hair. It doesn't feel as week or brittle. My shedding/breakage has decreased, even though I'm due for a touch-up. My hair was so soft and strong after I rinsed the ORS replenishing conditioner out. Too bad I messed it up with that leave-in!

I thought my hair looked really good here, so I may cut it to about this length. It was so healthy, and I didn't have to do anything but condition and rollerset it every week.

New Salon experience - Liz's

I went to a new salon, referred by my girl K and Ms. S. My appointment at Liz's Hair Care was on Friday morning. I was a little late, because parking on Tremont street, especially on a Friday, is a beast. However, the receptionist and my stylist were really cool about it and took me as soon as I came in. I was nervous at first because they just sent me to the sink and I wanted to talk about the condition of my hair. The girl who shampoo'd me said that I didn't need a heavy duty protein treatment (yay!), so she gave me a deep conditioner with a mild protein- they wouldn't tell me what kind (bad). After I was rinsed, I sat in the stylist's chair. I liked her a lot. She likes to talk about hair, which is the way to my heart. She thought that I should cut almost all of my hair off and start over. I know my hair is overprocessed, but I wasn't ready to cut my hair, especially by someone who I was going to for the first time! She said she would just rollerset it and I could get it cut when I came back for a relaxer. As she was rollersetting me, I told her that I had been thinking about going natural, but not now because I'm starting a new, pretty conservative job later this month and I need to get settled there before I come in with an afro, lol. Well, the rest of the time I was there, she kept pressuring me to cut all my hair off in a twa and start over natural. She said that I could get braids and weaves until it grew back. She even had another customer who is natural come talk to me about it while I was under the dryer! She kept pressuring me, and I felt like she wasn't listening to my reasons for not going natural right now. When I left, my hair looked nice, but not as nice as everyone else who walked out. My ends don't look as thin as they did, which is good and is leading me to think that I really don't have to cut all my hair off. My new growth is very manageable. Also, felt really overwhelmed when I left- should I cut my hair? should I go natural? do I hate myself and black people in general because I'm not ready to go natural? Afterwards, I talked to my friend K who goes to Kathy, and she thought that the stylist didn't understand because she is so young and never had a conservative job where being natural isn't as easy. So I may go back, but I would probably go to Liz, the owner. Also, the place seemed a little too tight. I'm not usually claustrophobic, but when I can kick a customer in a stylist chair while I'm at the sink, I feel like the walls are closing in on me. I felt like everyone was in my conversation when I was talking to my stylist about my hair, which made me a little uncomfortable. But I did go on a Friday, which I'm sure is more crowded than usual. I've been pin curling my hair since my appointment, and my hair still looked nice until I washed yesterday.

I bought some of the leave-in they used - Fantasia IC with Olive - but it didn't work for me when I used it. It made my hair hard, which I had to soften with a warm flat iron.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Considering the T word

For the past year or so, I've been trying to simplify my life and be more green. I really care about the earth and I want to be as healthy as possible. I truly believe that the reason so many people get cancer and other diseases is not just from genetics, but the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the products we use. That includes hair products! I am slowly eliminating mineral oil, petrolatum, parabens, phthalates, hydroquinone, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) from my regimen, but I'm thinking I need to completely eliminate them asap. My mother, grandmother and aunt all died from cancer and I'm trying to be one less (like the commercial!).

As I go through my hair journey, I've realized that 1) Relaxers have been damaging my hair since I was 14, 2) If I do want to live a simpler/healthier/greener life, relaxers are a huge contradiction, 3) Although I haven't seen all of my natural hair since I was 13, I think my new growth is actually pretty soft and manageable, and 4) I'm tired of paying and relying on and being a slave to a hair stylist every 8 weeks only to be disappointed with the health and feel of my hair.

Sooo, I am seriously considering...dare I say...transitioning to natural. Okay, I wrote it and I've said it out loud twice. Now it's out there in the universe and I have to make a definite decision. I've been reading Good Hair: For Colored Girls Who’ve Considered Weaves When the Chemicals Became Too Ruff by Lonnice Brittenum Bonner and The Black Woman’s Guide to Beautiful Hair: A Positive Approach to managing Any Hair Type and Style by Lisa Akbari (I recommend both!). Although I was somewhat aware of my hair attitude before, I now realize that I do feel a certain way about being natural. Since I was little, I wanted my hair to bounce and shine and be straight like the white girls I saw on tv. I don't think any different of other people with natural hair, I just always thought that it wasn't for me. I'm pretty conservative in my personal and professional life, and I thought that having relaxed hair was the only way to keep my hair neat. Well, I was wrong, because I've had a lot of bad hair days that didn't consist of neat hair. Nappy does not = bad. My hair is nappy and I have to learn to live with it. It's the hair God gave me and He doesn't make mistakes.

I printed out some positive affirmations that I taped to my bathroom mirror. I will praise my hair every day, no matter what style it's in.

If I do decide to transition, I need to have a goal, make a deadline, sacrifice/work to reach my goal, and have a plan.

On a side note, I went to the outlets today. Being the product junkie that I am, I walked into the hair product outlet store. They had a lot of KeraCare products. I've been wanted to try the Humecto Conditioner, and they had bottles for $10.25 (vs. $27 or more in other places). However, I read the ingredients and what do you know, there's mineral oil in it! I thought about it for a minute, and put the bottle back. Remember, I'm trying to be one less!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Tagged

I’ve been tagged by The Coarse Hair Diary and Relaxed Hair Health! Here are 6 Quirky things about me:

1. My dream job is to be a landscaper. I really love working out in my yard. It’s a great workout in the fresh air and sun, and it’s nice to see the fruits of my labor, literally.
2. I love playing tennis, especially competitively. I played as a kid, gave it up when I was a teen, and started back 2 years ago. Since I moved from NC 3 weeks ago, I haven’t played, but I’m dying to find someone to play with. I don’t consider myself a competitive person, but get me on a tennis court and you’re in trouble!
3. My nails grow extremely fast. Even when I was a little girl, people used to always mention how long and healthy my nails were. I try to keep them short, so I have to cut them at least once or twice a week. Why won’t my hair grow as fast??!!
4. I don’t have any tattoos, but I do have a brand. I got it in college after I pledged my sorority. Sometimes I forget it’s there.
5. I used to be in a dance group in high school called SIKE- Sisters in Krazy Effect! LOL!
6. I wear Invisaligns and I am an obsessive flosser.

The Rules: Link the person who tagged you. Mention the rules in your blog. Tell about six unspectacular quirks of yours. Tag six following bloggers by linking them. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

I couldn't find 6 bloggers, but I tagged Crown and Glory, Hair My Story, Product Junkie Diva, Afrobella, and Mane & Chic.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

New product - Giovanni Direct Leave-in

So, I saw that Rite Aid has Giovanni products on sale this week. I've been dying to try the Giovanni Direct leave-in conditioner for a while, so this was perfect. I planned on buying a bottle of the leave-in and a bottle of Organix conditioner that was also on sale (buy one get one free). Well, I've been to 4 Rite Aids and none of them carry the leave-in- only the shampoos and conditioners. Today during lunchtime after I voted (I'm still registered in NC and since I'm here this week, I voted early- primaries are on Tuesday), I passed by Whole Foods. I bought the leave-in there. I wanted to buy some Aubrey or J/A/S/O/N products, but I was good and only bought the conditioner...and some sushi. I couldn't wait to try it, so I rubbed a little on my hair. OMG, it really softened my hair, which has been a little hard and dry since my last wash on Monday. I can't wait to try it when my hair is wet because I hear it's good on new growth!

I probably shouldn't get my hopes up so much, but so far so good!