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Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Baggy Method

The baggy method is when you add moisturizer or oil and wear a plastic cap or bag for a period of time to keep moisture in your hair.  Some baggy overnight while sleeping, others baggy for a few hours at a time.  Some baggy just the ends of their hair, while others baggy the whole head.  I mentioned baggying in my low porosity post, but I really haven't done it much.  Baggying overnight doesn't work for me, because I usually wake up with wet, mushy hair.  However, doing it for a few hours at a time makes my hair moist and soft.

Still on my continuous quest for hair moisture, I've started to incorporate baggying into my regimen.  My hair is naturally dry anyway, but the monthly henna and the cold, dry winter doesn't help.  The other day, I applied some Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner to my hair, and twisted it.  I put on a plastic cap for a couple of hours, and when I took it off, my hair was moisturized from root to tip.  Yesterday, I worked from home, so I wore a cap for the majority of the day.  I didn't worry about my hair getting wet since I wasn't going anywhere, and I knew being in the house with the dry heat would really make my hair dry. After about 4 hours, my hair wasn't even wet!

It was 3 degrees this morning.  Yes, I wrote 3 degrees!  I usually put a satin scarf on under my wool hat, but for today's commute, I wore a plastic bag under my hat.  The only product I applied was a little shea butter to take my twists out.  When I got to work and took my hat and plastic hat off, my hair was so moist and soft.  I did have a little shrinkage, but I'd much rather moist shrunken hair than dry stretched hair.

I've decided to baggy daily, if even just for my commute to work, or for a few hours before I go to bed.  I'm hoping this give me moisture, shine and length retention and less shedding and breakage.

Again, be careful of over moisturized, mushy hair.  It could lead to breakage.  I've read that some women also get an itchy scalp from baggying.

What has been your experience with baggying?  What is your method and how long do you baggy?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"No Buy" Hair Product Challenge

Inspired by naturallycurly.com's New Year Hair Challenges, I am creating a No Buy/Stick to It challenge for myself.

I so do not need any new hair products. I need to use up my many, many products.  It's frustrating and overwhelming to have so much, and using different products every week or two is not helping my hair.  Other than gel, I can't remember the last time I finished a product!  I don't think my problem is that I haven't found the right products, but rather that I haven't found the right way to use the products.  

For my challenge, I will: 

  1. Create a list of holy grail (HG) products to use for (at least) two months
  2. Choose 1-2 HG products per category
  3. Repurchase only my HG products as needed.  I will not purchase any other products that are not on my HG list

This way, I will use up product AND have a consistent hair regimen...and save some money!

I'd love to hear from anyone who has had success with sticking with the same products.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Bantu Knot on Two Strand Twist

For the past couple of weeks, I've been twisting my hair and then creating bantu knots with them.  I wanted to tuck my damaged ends away, and thought this was a good way to keep them curled and tucked under.  I was inspired by Yolanda Renee's youtube video.

I first did this on a 2 day old twistout.  I added some moisturizer, and a little gel on my ends.  I didn't like it the first time I did it.  My ends seemed too frizzy and dry!

The next time I did it after I gave myself a little trim and deep conditioned with heat.  Right after I deep conditioned, I just did twists.  The next day, I twisted only a few sections of my hair and put them into bantu knots. I loved how those areas came out, so I tried with my whole head.  I did about 12 twists/knots using Cantu Shea Butter Curling Cream and gel on my ends.  I really liked it!  My hair was moist, curly and full:




I like that it just looks like a head full of curls.  When I do a simple twistout, I feel like some my ends are straight and my hair doesn't have much shape.  I try to make the sides a little smaller and tighter so that the top and front look longer than they are.  This style also keeps the frizz away!  I re-twist/knot ever night and I feel like it gets better every day.  I definitely like it better on dry hair.  I'm still not sure how to do it right after I wash- maybe let it airdry first? Or stretch it a little with a blow dryer?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Deep Conditioning with Heat A MUST

Even though I've been on my healthy hair journey for a while, I still forget how important some things are.  When I first started, I always deep conditioned with heat.  For the past year or so, I've been slacking and from my big chop in June up until a couple of weeks ago, I didn't deep condition with heat once.  Not once! I thought that leaving the conditioner in overnight or while I worked out was good enough. I was so wrong...

A couple of weeks ago, my man's friend Zo came by the house.  Zo is a hairstylist and he asked me how my hair was coming along:

Me: (whining) It's so dry!
Zo: Do you deep condition?
Me: Of course!
Zo: With heat? Under the dryer?
Me: No, I haven't sat under the dryer in a while.
Zo: You need to deep condition with heat, especially since you're natural and it's winter. No matter how long you leave the conditioner on, it's just going to sit on top of your hair.

Duh!  I should have known better.  I know my hair is low porosity.  A few days after this conversation, I deep conditioned with a mixture of protein and moisturizing conditioners that were almost empty and mixed with a little oil. I deep conditioned using the 15-10-10 method.  I sat under the dryer for 15 minutes, added more conditioner to the extremely dry parts and smoothed my hair down, sat under the dryer for another 10 minutes, added more conditioner, and sat under the dryer for 10 more minutes.  When I finished, my hair felt so good.  For real, this was the first time in about 2 years that I felt like my hair was truly moisturized.  I've done this 3 times, and each time I get better results.  Oils and products seem to absorb into my hair now when before they were just sitting on my hair doing nothing.

This was a hard lesson learned, but at least I finally got it.  I feel like I've wasted so much product that was just sitting on top of my hair and not moisturizing it!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!

I know I'm a day late, but I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year.  I wish health, happiness, and hair growth to you all! 

2012 was a big year for my hair.  I decided to stop getting relaxers and I big chopped.  Since I cut all my relaxed hair in June, it has truly been trial and error.  My hair is still not where I want it to be, but it's getting better, and I am optimistic about the year ahead.  It truly has been a mental journey just as much as it's been a physical one.

I hope your holidays were as relaxing and fun as mine.  I had almost 2 weeks off, and I spent it organizing, sleeping, spending time with family and friends, and of course, working on my hair regimen.  I trimmed my own hair, since my frizzy black ends were driving me crazy, and really hindered me having a nice hair style.  I trimmed quite a bit- probably a little over a half an inch.  I still have some black ends, but they're not frizzy...yet.  My hair is probably very uneven, but it's okay.  It felt so good to get rid of those ends that were doing nothing but harm.  I also realized that I need heat to deep condition.  It made a huge difference. I'm kicking myself for being too lazy to sit under the dryer for the past 6 months!

I've been styling my hair a different way for the past few days and I love it!  More details and pics coming soon!