I had a great Christmas and New Year, and a long, much needed break. Since I didn't have to go to work for a couple of weeks, I got a little lazy about twisting my hair every night. This was a good thing, because I got to be creative with styling and trying new products. I do still need to re-twist every night though, because my hair frizzes a lot, even if I put my hair into a bunch of ponytails at night like I used to. I'm going to stick with my twist/bantu knot out for a little while longer until my hair grows some more. My twistouts have been less than stellar, mostly because I can't keep the ends curly, and I want my hair to fall down a little more instead of sticking out!
I also stopped blow drying my hair before twisting. It's not as necessary as I thought it was to achieve a good bantu knot out, and I was losing so much hair in the process (breakage and shedding). Also, my hair is so much more moist and "springy" when I don't blow dry.
I'm still using most of the same products, but I've incorporated protein and castor oil into my regimen again. I've been using Aphogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor every week or two, and it really has helped cut down on the shedding (I am a heavy shedder!). The castor oil helps control frizz, keeps my hair moisturized longer, and creates more defined twistouts. It's definitely a winter staple. I always think that the heavier products weigh my hair down, but they've been pretty good lately- probably because it's winter, and the air is so cold and dry.
The most exciting thing was that I was able to pull my hair into my first puff! I'm not able to pull it all into a ponytail, but I can use a headband or a scarf to pull up the sides, front and back.
Since I've been on such a good roll lately with my hair and it's moisture level, I had been afraid to try anything different. But, I'm glad I did, because now I know not to be afraid of heavier conditioners and moisturizers and oils like castor oil and coconut.