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Thursday, March 14, 2013

March 2013 Update

I really feel like I'm turning the corner with my hair and things are getting much better!  The past 6 months have been challenging, mostly due to a lack of moisture.  I now know how to keep my hair moist, and I'm starting to enjoy the styles too.

A couple of weeks ago I was so frustrated with my hair.  I tried to get it braided, but the braiding shop was booked. I then tried to make an appointment at the salon to get it flat ironed, but I got nervous because I don't trust anyone in my hair at this point.  So I decided to straighten it myself. I hadn't straightened my hair once since my big chop in June.  I knew it could mess up my curl pattern, but I felt so bad about my hair that I had to try something.  My hair is kinky, but I have no definite curl pattern.  If anything, it would loosen my curls/kinks, which isn't a bad thing.  Even though my hair is pretty soft, it shrinks up about 95%.

Here are the results of my flat iron:


I didn't blow dry it, I just air dried in twists and then flat ironed.  I HATED the heat protectant I used (Tresemme).  It made my hair feel hard and dry and tangled.  I was shocked how easy it was to flat iron my hair.  I set my flat iron to 265 degrees and only had to go over my hair once in most areas.  However, ,my ends were so bad that they wouldn't even get straight and curl. So I trimmed about 1/4 of an inch. The next day I bought some Jane Carter Nourish and Shine and that really moisturized and softened my hair. I can't believe I'm just trying this. It's really good, even at the high price.

I didn't love it, but I liked it, and I got a boost of confidence seeing my growth.  I wore it straight for about a week, and either used satin rollers or tied the sides down at night. For my next wash, I was excited to see if the trim I gave myself would make my twistouts look better, and it did!


After washing and conditioning, I used the tension method to stretch my hair out a little. This made it sooo much easier to apply and distribute product.  When I took my twists out the next day, my curls weren't that defined, but I didn't use any gel or holding product, so I expected that.  I was just happy my hair was moist and looked cute.  I decided (out of boredom) to put 4 cornrows on one side.  A couple of days later, I re-twisted with a little gel on the ends, and my hair looked so much better.  

I don't want to flat iron my hair too much if I can help it, but it's a nice change every month or two.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Moist!

My hair has stayed moisturized for 3 weeks straight. It's like a miracle!  I've been doing a few things to keep my hair moist:

1. I colored my hair with semi-permanent color
I've always thought that my naked hair was a dull brown and prone to dryness.  I thought henna would help, but it really hasn't helped with sheen or moisture retention.  Since my allergic reaction to the black color I had put in last year, I've been very wary of color.  However, I remembered how a semi-permanent color always gave life, shine and moisture to my hair. A few weeks ago, I applied Adore semi-permanent color in Dark Red Brown.  I noticed a difference in moisture and shine as soon as I applied it!  My hair looks thicker, and seems to absorb products better.

2. I've been deep conditioning with heat
I mentioned this in a post last month.  Consistently sitting under the dryer for at least 30 minutes with my deep conditioner has worked wonders.  

3. I've been doing a final conditioner rinse with Trader Joe's Nourish and Spa Conditioner, and leave a little of it in my hair
I bought this product a couple of months ago. It gives moisture and slip and makes my hair so easy to de-tangle.  I don't even use a comb these days.  Leave-in conditioners don't seem to have any effect, so I decided to leave some regular conditioner in after I rinse.  This has really increased my moisture level.  Usually, my hair dries up and dries out within 10 minutes after adding a leave-in.  I feel the effect of leaving some conditioner in even after my twists dry.

4. I sit under the dryer with my twists
I decided to do this just to open up my cuticles more to let the products absorb more.  Even if I only sit under the dryer for 10-20 minutes, my hair retains so much moisture and is much shinier when I take the twists out.  Lately I've been flat twisting since it takes less time, and this has really been working for me.

5. I moisturize and seal at least once a day  
Thick moisturizers haven't done much for my hair, so now I'm using a more watery moisturizer.  Africa's Best Kids Organics Shea Butter Detangling Moisturizing Hair Lotion has been my moisturizer of choice. I then seal with castor oil.  I had been doing all of this research on low porosity hair, but every rule does not apply to every head.  My hair doesn't like heavy moisturizers, but it does like castor oil, which is heavier than most oils. 

I have been washing my hair once a week, but I may need to go to twice a week.  By the 5th or 6th day, my hair is still moist, but doesn't behave the way I want it to.

Other than the semi-permanent color, I haven't bought any hair products for almost a month and a half.  Go me! 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Semi-Permanent

Since my allergic reaction to the black color I had put in last year, I've been very wary of color.  Henna hasn't helped me in terms of moisture.  I remembered how a semi-permanent color always gave life, shine and moisture to my hair. I am in desperate need of all three, so I decided to go with an Adore Plus Extra Conditioning color in Dark Red Brown.  (I'm on my own no-buy challenge, but I thought I could make an exception!)  I noticed a difference in moisture and shine as soon as I applied it! Even though the directs say you don't need to use heat, I sat under the dryer for about 25 minutes, just to make sure my hair absorbed it and it would cover my grays. I reviewed the Adore in black almost 5 years ago here.  I really like how this gave my hair some weight and seems to allow other products to work better.

I'm not sure why this works for me, since there are some ingredients like silicone and aloe vera juice that usually don't agree with my low porosity hair, but it does work.  It didn't completely cover my grays- they're still a little orange from the henna, but my hair is much improved.  Also, it probably won't last more than 2-3 washes, but I'm okay with that.  It's very affordable, and since it feels like a conditioner, I don't mind applying it often.