Regimen + Goals

My Hair Regimen: I moisturize and/or oil my hair daily. As needed (usually weekly) I cleanse my hair and scalp with a moisturizing shampoo (or a clarifying one if there's build up). I do a moisturizing OR protein treatment with every shampoo. I stretch my relaxers 3-4 months.

My go-to protective/low manipulation styles: buns, braid-outs and halfwigs. In 2012 I want to start experimenting with more heat-free styles. I air dry most of the time and flat iron for length checks only.

I'm currently midback length (MBL) and actively working towards reaching waist length by my graduation in mid-2012.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

What's in my Spray Bottle?

Moisturizing spritz applied to cornrows daily. I don't measure just go with the flow

In addition to filtered water, the spritz contains...
  • Live Clean Fresh Water Moisturizing Intensive Leave-In Conditioner. The ingredients contain many natural extracts, vitamins A & E, castor oil among other things. It does not contain silicones, petroleum, sulfates, parabens etc; and it has a fresh clean scent

  • Aloe Vera Juice: Whole leaf AV naturally provides muccopolysaccharides (the same thing found in the growth aids Surge Plus 14 and Mega Tek). AV also helps restore the pH balance 

  • Jojoba Oil: This natural oil is considered by many to be the most compatible due to its similarity to the scalp’s sebum and its ability to work with all hair types. It also contains vitamin E and has antibacterial and antioxidant properties as well. (

Friday, 27 May 2011

Health Benefits of Garlic

Allicin is an organosulfur compound found in garlic. Studies between 1995-2000 have found that allicin may:
  • Reduce fat deposition in the liver by increasing bile production, 
  • Decrease blood pressure
  • Function as an anti-oxidant
  • Function as an antibacterial (fights colds)
  • Lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood stream
So it's not just good for (apparently) stopping shedding; it's good for our bodies too! Bonus!!

You can get all these benefits by taking garlic orally. Today I picked up Nature's Bounty Odorless Garlic from Walmart for $9 (100 softgels). Alternatively, you can reap the hair benefits with products that contain garlic (shampoos, conditioners etc;). This provides nourishment topically to the hair follicles and kills germs on the scalp. Of course it is best to use garlic in it's pure form though! So you can always add more cloves in your savory dish that calls for it. Also, here's a DIY  homemade hair recipe:

Garlic Pre-poo Treatment Recipe
Step 1: Peel and slice a bulb of garlic
Step 2: Infuse (heat) into EVOO or your fav carrier oil
Step 3: Apply the warm oil on dry hair and massage into scalp
Step 4: Shampoo and condition with good smelling products

Eric Block (1985). "The chemistry of garlic and onions". Scientific American 252 (March): 114–9

Monday, 23 May 2011

Cornrowing to MBL: Updated and simplified

Cornrow Regimen

1) Co-wash often (almost everyday)

2) Growth aid after each wash to damp scalp

3) Shampoo if needed

4) Daily: Spray on moisture spritz and take vitamins

5) Baggy on non-wash nights

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Hairdrenaline Hype

So there's a new-ish bandwagon on the streets: Hairdrenaline Potion. Claims to give 3+ inches of growth in 7 weeks.

The creator (OhValerieMonCherie on YouTube) says she usually has 1/4 inch of new growth per month, but with this potion she claims to have gotten 3.25 inches of growth in 7 weeks. Her regimen is to base her scalp with the oil nightly, cling wrap her edges, moisturize and seal nightly and baggy the whole shebang overnight with a satin scarf to top it off.

Recipe (Tutorial)
Measurements Per 16 oz of Castor Oil:

45 cut tea bags
1/2 large bottle of Cayenne Pepper
30 Biotin pills (blended or powder form)
2-4 drops onion seed oil
1-2 drop garlic seed oil
2:1 ratio of onion seed oil to garlic seed oil

So yeah, this bandwagon is going viral's all over the hair forums, youtube and hair networking sites, even Hairlista has a challenge going on here. This is a bandwagon I'll be keeping track of. So far I have yet to see anyone (besides the seller) rave about increased growth with this stuff. I'm wishing all users good luck. Just remember growth is only half the battle ;)

Saturday, 21 May 2011

I'm Bored...Time to Put it Away

My last post was talking about buns...and I was thinking I want to take protective styling to the next level -- cornrows! I always get great retention/growth with these. So I'll wear halfwigs during the day.

Daily Cornrow Regimen
1) Co-wash daily or as often as possible
2) Apply growth aid 
3) Oil scalp and ends w/ JBCO+peppermint
4) Spritz with a leave-in
5) Baggy nightly

I'm going to get them put in tomorrow night and leave them in for 2-3 weeks (hopefully!). As for shampooing and DCing I'll do it whenever my scalp gets really itchy (once a week maybe).

EDIT: To prep my hair on Sunday night I: shampooed  w/ 2 lathers with HE CMH shampoo. Then did a protein treatment with Joico K-Pak Reconstructor.
I also managed to throw out six done (or old and nearly done) products. Yay for reducing the stash!!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Work/School Hair

As some of you may know, I recently started a summer internship. Well so far it is not exactly what I expected -- there was barely any training/orientation; I got started on work right away. I work alone most of the day, which I don't mind....and I have my own office. But I'm so used to my boss literally holding my hand through everything like in my old job. Definitely going to take some adjusting

So far I've been wearing my hair flat ironed straight for the interview and first couple shifts, but I'm going back to protective styling -- buns:

Add caption

I really like the sleek and simple type of updo's like pictured above. Pics from Essence Photo Gallery:

I'm also in summer school (3 hour lectures are no joke..) so I like to wear my hair up for the comfort factor.

Anyway, tonight I gave my hair some **much needed** moisture...omg..after back to back flat ironing my hair was I co-washed with Herbal Essences Color Me Happy condish and then applied Vatika oil. Tied a satin scarf and bonnet and now off to bed.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Washed my hair again...

Really didn't like how my hair felt after yesterday's DC session and co-wash. That DC was simply too thick to be co-washed out; it left my hair kind of clumped together (maybe it was the honey?) I decided to shampoo and condition my hair today (Herbal Essences Color Me Happy shampoo, One 'n Only Argan Oil conditioner) to make it feel normal again. And it worked, my hair is soft, flowy and smells really good. Leave-ins were CHI Keratin Mist and CHI Silk Infusion. I blow dried and will be flat ironing *again* tomorrow. I shouldn't have even washed my hair in the first place, but to be fair I didn't know that I would be starting my first day on the job tomorrow :)

Pic of a braidout I did last month (on dry hair)
I've really not been strict with my regimen lately (too much sulfates, manipulation and flat ironing) because this week is absolutely hectic! I will get back on track though.

To prep my hair for bed tonight I applied CHI Silk Infusion, baggied my ends and tied on my (new) satin scarf. Night!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Today's Deep Condition

Bye bye flat ironed hair. Redken Heavy Cream + honey + jojoba oil + peppermint oil for 1 hour with a plastic cap. Then cowashed with Herbal Essences CMH condish, and currently air drying. Tomorrow will wear my hair in a high messy bun.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Hair Lazy and Loving it

My flat ironed hair held up pretty well overnight

Last night I Moisturized w/ Lacio Lacio leave-in conditioner, made a low ponytail, baggied the ends, then tied a satin scarf. This morning I took everything off and combed out my hair. It had that ponytail dent but it still had a lot of body and movement and the dent went away during the day.

All I did to my hair today was moisturize and baggy. Hair lazy and loving it.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Going for a 4-month Stretch

I've done it before with good results. Main reason I avoid long stretches is because after a while they do more harm than good for my hair. Up to a certain point the shedding and breakage outweighs the benefit. But if I listen to my hair and act accordingly, a stretch can have leave me with increased thickness and the surprise factor. With that being said I'm going for a 4 month stretch. So next relaxer would be in September, just in time for a new semester and season.

My hair's BFF's for the next 4 months: a wide tooth comb + Satin scarf + Mane n Tail Detangler :)

Friday, 13 May 2011

I Flat Ironed

Today we had a BBQ at my place. My last flat iron was in March so I figured I would rock a straight look for today. I pre-pooe'd with Vatika oil overnight, shampooed with HE CMH then Joico Chelating shampoo (I shampooed with sulfates 2 days in a row yikes), conditioned with One 'n Only Argan Oil Restorative Mask♥ for 3 mins or so ((lately I've been having NO desire for the shower hopping that DCing entails)) and towel dried. My only leave ins were 2 CHI products: the Keratin Mist and the Silk Infusion. Air dried.

A while ago I bought a GVP flat iron from Sally's and got mini travel iron too. Well I returned the regular size GVP CHI because it snagged my hair. As for the mini GVP, it's hard to take such a dinky flat iron seriously so I really only used it on my bangs. But since I returned the full size one I didn't have a choice but to use the mini for a full head flat iron. Would you believe that it did a great job. It did not snag at all, and the flat ironing time was quicker than usual because the plates are bigger. Also the sections of hair that I flat ironed were exactly the same as when I use a regular size flat iron.
This dinky thing straightened my hair pretty well

Now on to the length check:


This is the first time in a while that I absolutely love wearing my hair pin straight. The best reaction has to be grandma. The first thing she said to me was that my hair looks nice and she asked if I have on a piece. I smiled and said "no". Her reaction was PRICELESS! so I turned around and split my hair down the middle to show her. She said so many kind words about my hair and overall appearance and she then went on to share all her kind compliments with my parents. This made my day :) One of my best friends came to the BBQ and I ended up giving her a few products. Yay for sharing and reducing my stash in the process.

My ends reach the bottom of my brastrap. I'm not exactly sure when I can claim the next milestone. It doesn't feel like MBL yet so I'm probably going to claim in another inch or two.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Wash Day

  1. Pre-pooed overnight with Amla Oil (my first time using this so can't review yet..but I like it so far)
  2. Shampooed with HE CMH
  3. Protein treatment with Joico K-pak
  4. CHI Keratin Mist and CHI Silk Infusion for leave-ins.
  5. Satin scarf to air dry halfway then will blow dry the rest

I plan on flat ironing my hair tomorrow that's why I decided to use a sulfate shampoo rather than a  sulfate-free one. So until then I will braid it and keep it tucked under a halfwig for today.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Confessions of a Product Junkie

Braidout bun w/ braided bang
Just for fun I'll throw in a pic of a braidout bun I created from the old 'Braidout with a Bang'. But this post is about one of my hobbies/obsessions: hair products!! I must say that I've come a long way. I now use better judgment when purchasing things but sometimes I relapse into PJism. Below is a pic of my current stash. I couldn't even fit everything in one pic smh but you get the gist of it. I don't have duplicates of anything so that's good right? Hehe here are my confessions:
  • Every time I visit a store, I always go into the hair care isle. Regardless of whether I need anything or not, its like my body just gravitates there
  • I'm guilty of buying conditioner when I have multiple bottles at home already
  • I store (or hoard, same thing?) my favorite products in my room
This is only part of it. Yikes!
  • When on the subway I make up wish lists and regimens
  • I always read ingredients and if it has stuff my hair likes, that's just another reason to buy it
  • Once I chose to stay home and treat my hair rather than go to the club with friends! and I was just as happy.
  • Multiple people have told me I can open a BSS or hair salon with all the products I have
  • I already have my staples but occasionally consider buying a product if it's raved enough

There are three types of product junkies:
(1) those who just like to try new things
(2) those who are looking for a miracle product and go broke in the process
(3) those who are so entirely lost they buy anything mentioned

I am product junkie type (1) and to be honest I don't think being a (1) is a super terrible thing. It keeps the healthy hair journey interesting, ya know? But types (2) and (3) should re-evaluate their motives, do their research, and step away from the credit card, lol. Anyway, you've seen my stash, now watch it shrink :) One of my main goals for this year is to reduce my products down to the bare minimum so I'll update it every now and then on my progress.

Co-wash Time!

Today I used HE Color Me Happy to cowash. I can't get enough of the smell of this product. I've been using it for about 6 years (but it was called "Replenishing Conditioner for colored/permed/dry/damaged hair" back then). It has amazing slip just like the rest of the HE conditioners. Now I'm air drying with a satin scarf then I'll moisturize and seal when my hair is halfway dry.

Back to Baggying?

Last night I revisited baggying. For those who don't know, baggying is simply moisturizing your hair and covering it with a shower cap or plastic sandwich bag. You can baggy your whole head or just your ponytail. The baggy can be left on anywhere between a few hours to overnight. A combo of the moisturizer and the steam produced from your body heat allow deep moisturizing.

There is also something called the Greenhouse effect which from my understanding skips the moisturizer. To greenhouse you would only use JBCO or EVOO then cover with a baggy. More info here.

So I used my Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in to moisturize. I was pretty heavy handed with it. I moisturized my hair in 4 sections and pin curled the sections. Covered my head with a shower cap, scarf and thick wig cap. Well when I woke up and my hair was wet. It felt moisturized and now that my hair is air drying, it still feels moisturized. I sealed in the moisture with Vatika Oil. Just what I needed because Thursday's double processing left my hair like a sponge. Its been drinking up everything I put on it.

The only downsides to baggying that it was uncomfortable to sleep with. I've also experienced over-moisturized, mushy, soggy hair in the past from baggying too often with too much product. But baggying is definitely something I want to experiment with: whole head, ponytail only, overnight, couple hours, oil only, moisturizer only, baggying a braidout, saran wrap vs shower cap. Lots of possibilities.

Pros to baggying
  • Super juicy moisturized hair
  • Helps use up products I'm trying to get rid of
  • Greenhouse effect claims to promote growth in a natural way
  • Ends are completely protected
  • Allows me to pamper hair in between washes
Cons to baggying
  • Can make hair over-moisturized and lead to breakage
  • Uncomfortable to sleep with all those layers on my head
For me right now, the pros outweigh the cons. So I'll be experimenting :)

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Co-wash Day

  • One 'n Only Argan Oil Moisture Repair Conditioner to cowash
  • Detangled with a wide tooth comb in the shower while my hair was saturated with conditioner and under the stream of the shower head -- I find this is the easiest method for detangling
  • Moisturized with Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in and air dried w/ a satin scarf for a bit
  • Sealed with Vatika oil 

My hair feels soft and well moisturized. I tried wet bunning but that was a fail because I couldn't secure my hair well enough without serious manipulation. So I just put on a headband to air dry loose as I'm out and about.

    Monday, 9 May 2011

    My Thoughts on Growth Aids

    In my introductory psychology class we learned about the term "self-fulfilling prophecy". What does PSY105 have to do with hair growth? Well the term self-fulfilling prophecy means a prediction that directly or indirectly causes itself to become true due to positive feedback between belief and behavior.

    Image from
    In other words, expectations of increased hair growth due to X will affect a person's behavior in a way that causes those expectations to become true. For example, if Melissa falsely believes X will make her hair grow, her expectations of such success actually cause her hair to grow.

    I've witnessed many bandwagons over the last couple years and tried a couple of them myself. But I think people get so caught up in growth that they don't realize it's only half the battle. Retaining length is just as important, if not MORE important than finding out what's hot in the growth aid streets. Not to mention the effects of these things. Is the stinky itchy scalp, crazy dreams, or new found mustache really worth it? And who even knows how these will affect us in the long term. Unless one has a serious medical condition that stops hair growth, our hair will grow no matter what. Retention is key.

    Sunday, 8 May 2011

    Braidout with a Bang

    Lately I've been loving textured styles so I decided to do a braidout today. I like the way it turned out :) It was on dry hair. Here's how it went...

    I applied one pump of Lottabody Olive Oil Foam Wrap Lotion to each section and curled the ends with a yellow perm rod.
    12 braids

    Here's what the ends look like after leaving the rods in overnight...
    Perm rods allow relaxed hair to stay curled all the way down

    About to cornrow the front section of my hair.
    Then I unbraided in the morning and oiled my ends with Vatika Oil. This pic is before lightly separating and fluffing it out with a wide tooth comb and my fingers. I didn't know what to do with my straight bangs so I cornrowed them
    Before separating and fluffing

    Finally done...

    After fluffing. Note the braided/cornrowed bang ♥

    Back view
    Length check (crazy shrinkage). 4 inches until waist length

    I like the Lottabody foaming wrap lotion w/ EVOO -  my hair has some hold but it is not crunchy at all, I think it's because the product does not contain alcohol (major bonus)

    Braidout Maintenance: My braidouts always look better on the second day. At night I lightly moisturize and braid my hair into 6 sections, and then tie on a satin scarf. In the morning I undo the braids and finger style

    Thursday, 5 May 2011

    Spring 2011 Updos

    This is how I wore my hair today (the ponytail)...I did some experimenting with buns too


    Bun #1

    Bun #2

    Bun #2
    Bun #1 created by twisting the hair around itself (kinda like a loose bantu knot) and pinning the ends with a bobbypin to keep it in place.
    Bun #2 created by making a high ponytail, grabbing the ends and pushing them up, then tuck the ends under and pin it

     With the weather getting warmer I'm more inclined to pile my hair on top of my head as much as possible. The buns were created with one ouchless band and one bobby pin.

    Reviving Colors

    I swear, relaxing at home can take up the whole morning and afternoon. I'm still not done smh!

    Immediately after neutralizing my relaxer I used Dark and Lovely Reviving Colors Semi-Permanent Haircolor in natural black. Due to a combo of relaxers and the sun, my hair has become brownish so I decided to darken it up for a change. I noticed it made my hair feel different..bad straw...anyway I left that on with a plastic cap and heat cap for 30 mins. After rinsing my hair still felt like straw and I had a new dilemma...I have NO moisturizing deep conditioners! All these products and no moisturizing DC smh! Usually I use Kenra Moisturizing Conditioner but I'm all out. So I used One n Only Restorative Mask and it came in clutch. Softened my hair immediately and brought it right back to life. It has some protein but honestly it is comparable to Kenra MC *for my hair*. I left it on for about 7 mins and rinsed. Now I'm sitting here air drying and I have to leave for night class soon, so step 9 of my relaxer process will have to wait. For now I'm enjoying my freshly relaxed hair :) Oh and the front is slightly underprocessed which is cool with me.

    Wednesday, 4 May 2011

    Relaxer Day Regimen

    I'm relaxing tomorrow! here are my steps:
    1. Base scalp w/ petroleum jelly and apply protective pre-treatment to previously relaxed hair
    2. Mix relaxer creme + activator + oil
    3. Apply, smooth and rinse thoroughly with water
    4. Mid-protein step with Joico K-Pak Reconstructor
    5. Neutralizing shampoo...rinse and repeat many times
    6. Color rinse
    7. Deep condition
    8. Apply leave-ins
    9. Blow dry, flat iron and take a billion pics :)

    Monday, 2 May 2011

    Relaxer Preparation

    Today I went to a brand new BSS (it's huge! like a wonderland *le sigh*) and managed to retain my composure. Kept reminding myself I already have everything I need at home so no point in buying more stuff! I did pick up a relaxer kit:

    The relaxer I've been using since August 2008. Love it!
    I was planning on stretching for a long time (12+ weeks) but now that the box is sitting in my room I might relax sooner.

    Tonight I started my relaxer preparation:
    1. Shampoo with HE CMH shampoo
    2. Protein Treatment w/ Joico K-Pak
    3. Final rinse with porosity control
    4. Leave-in (CHI Keratin Mist)
    5. Moisturize with HE CMH condish
    6. Air dry w/ satin scarf to lay down edges
    7. Seal with Vatika Oil

    Up until relaxer day I will be greasing my scalp and oiling my hair daily. But I'm trying to figure out if it's ok to use Vatika oil prior to my relaxer day. Who knows what reaction the lemon could cause...also, the relaxer instructions say not to use Henna (and as we all know Vatika oil is nothing more than coconut oil +henna+lemon+other stuff) I'm stumped.

    Update: I relaxed my hair, Vatika oil and all. It was perfectly fine

    Trying something new (new to me at least!)

    So I finally jumped on the Ayurveda bandwagon after being very skeptical for a long time. I bought Vatika Oil, Amla Oil and Brahmi Powder. He wanted to charge me $23...but I worked my charm and got it for $15 :) I'm so excited to try these things. One thing I noticed about the Amla is that it contains mineral oil as the first ingredient :S for that i give it a side eye.

    I just oiled my hair with the Vatika Oil and I like seemed to soften my hair. I'll use it as a sealant after moisturizing.

    I'll try out the Brahmi and Amla during my next few wash days as a pre-poo.

    Sunday, 1 May 2011


    I found the website and address of a place that has Ayurvedic products in my city :) I want Amla and Vatika oils because of all the great things I hear about them. I'm trying to curb my product junkie-ism and honestly I've been doing a pretty good job (up until my relapse at Sallys, lol). I've used up a lot of products and reduced my stash considerably. I recently purchased more products but these are simply replenishment of my staples, not trying anything new.

    The only staples I still have to replenish are CHI Silk Infusion and Hair One. And something else but I forgot lol. But no rush whatsoever to get these things. I still have a lot of random stuff to use up in my stash!

     Except for oils! The only 2 natural oils I have are Jojoba and JBCO and I luv those. HOWEVER my hair LOVESSSS oils and protein (as you can see most of my products contain some sort of protein in them) so why not give it variety to keep things interesting?

    Wash Day: Conditioner as a Leave-in Moisturizer?

    Here's what I did to my hair today:
    1. shampoo'd with Herbal Essences Color Me Happy
    2. Aphogee 2 min Reconstructor
    3. Quick condition with Herbal Essences Color me Happy Conditioner (HECMH)
    4. Moisturize soaking wet hair with some HECHM (focusing on ends and avoiding scalp)

    I'm almost fully air dried and my hair feels extremely soft and moisturized, not to mention it smells soo good. I really hope there are no adverse effects from doing this because my hair is loving it.

    As for my hair, I am 10 weeks post and I see about an inch of new growth, give and take all over my head. Average growth but I'll take it! and it seems like I'm retaining because my hair is also starting to look a bit longer, or it could just be my imagination :P anyway, I'm happy with my hair's length. Ever since I reached BSL I haven't felt self-conscious about my hair, even in shrunken styles. I praise God for letting me reach this huge milestone, and he knows it was not easy.

    Now that my hair is almost hair dried its drying BIG :D new growth for the win <3

    Products Update

    Here are my current staples. I returned the One 'n Only Hydrating Mask and Curl Cream because they were not being absorbed into my hair, but instead just sitting on my hair and producing a gross white residue. Yuck. But the rest of the products (shampoo, condish, mask and oil) are great.

    Protein Treatments: Aphogee 2 Minute and Joico K-Pak Reconstructors

    Moisturizers/leave-ins: CHI Keratin Mist, ORS Olive Oil Moisturizing Lotion, Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in, Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship Leave-in, Lacio Lacio Leave-in Conditioner

    Styling products (These strictly keep my hair looking fly lol...I try to minimize their use): Aussie Mega Hair Spray, Keracare Oil Sheen with Humidity Block, Isoplus Oil Sheen, Fantasia IC Olive Oil Gel, Lottabody Foam Wrap Lotion with EVOO, Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum, Redken Heat Glide

    Herbal Essences Color Me Happy Shampoo (clarify) and Conditioner (cowashes) ... LOVE the way these smell <3

    Must-have tools: pins, bands, clips; wide tooth comb, boar bristle brush, satin scarf

    Starting my Nail Journey

    I've always wanted long nails but I'm always biting them so they never retain length :( I like getting fake long acrylic nails, but I don't like the damage it does to my real nails, not to mention the cost. So in the mean time I'll be on my nail journey. Right now they're non-existent lol and my goal is to get them a quarter of an inch long.

    Daily Nail Regimen:
    1. Massage cuticles with Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail and Cuticle Oil
    2. Remove residue with tissue
    3. Apply Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Hardener
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