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.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Last Wash Day of the Year

Deep conditioning bun with KeraCare Humecto mixed with EVOO
Here's what I did for the last wash of 2011:
  1. Pre-pooed with Jamaican Black Castor Oil
  2. Shampooed twice (Quantum Clarifying shampoo then Dove Intensive Repair Shampoo)
  3. Protein treatment with Aphogee 2 Minute
  4. Deep conditioned for 45 mins with Keracare Humecto and Extra Virgin Olive Oil under the dryer. The Humecto in the tub is definitely thicker than the one in the bottle. I don't usually follow Aphogee 2 Minute with a moisturizing DC but my hair is feeling extra dry
  5. Leave-in Aphogee Green Tea Restructurizer and go under the dryer

Thursday, 29 December 2011

2011: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, & The Sometimeish

The great thing about blogging is the ability to go back and see what worked and what didn't -- not just recently but overall in the last 12 months. Here's my recap of 2011:

The Good:
  • Using halfwigs as a protective style. This will always be a win. Specifically Outre Tammy and Sensationnel 7047.
  • (Recent purchase of a) professional hooded dryer! ♥
  • Sally's One n Only products. I really loved these products in the Spring. The serum and the Restorative Mask (in the tube) are definite keepers.
  • Extra virgin olive oil -- a great all-purpose hair oil used for anything from pre-pooing, diluting relaxers, to sealing. Definite keeper along with JBCOOptimum Care Relaxer. What I like most about this relaxer is very consistent results: smooth, shiny, silky results.
  • Finally learned how to wrap my hair lol
  • Diluting shampoo in an applicator bottle. Saves money, can get the shampoo directly to the scalp and makes thicker shampoos easier to spread and lather.
  • Dark and Lovely Reviving Colors Semi-Permanent Haircolor in natural black
  • Creme of Nature Argan Oil Shampoo. It's very comparable to the old shampoo.

The Bad:
  • Ayurveda. I really wanted to use brahmi, Vatika and amla oil permanently in my regimen. Although I like the results I just can't bear the smell and the MESS of using the brahmi and amla oil. The Vatika is good but hard to find where I live so I'll settle with regular extra virgin coconut oil instead. Ayurveda was fun while it lasted but will not repurchase...trying to keep my regimen as simple as possible this year...
  • Natural products. Don't get me wrong, some are very VERY good. But some (every one I've purchased) are the over-priced result of great marketing. For example, after I got over the honeymoon phase of Miss Jessie's Baby Buttercreme I realized that it was not moisturizing my hair at all but rather leaving a pretty layer of mineral oil over it, to give an illusion of softness. Donna Marie Baby Buttercreme was way to expensive to be seperating into oil and base when I got home. DB Transitioning Creme is decent -- but for $20 I want something a little better than decent! I didn't like the smell either so I gave it to my sister. Overall I won't continue to buy natural products regularly only because they're too expensive for my jobless student self to be trial-and-erroring with

The Ugly:
  • I went to the salon ONCE this year to get my hair washed, flat ironed and blow dried. Two words: never again. I was left with burnt-smelling hair and mediocre results. Not to mention the price switch when I was ready to pay. Since I was 13 weeks post I apparently that counted as having to pay the "natural hair" price. WTF1! You can bet I only paid what was discussed over the phone. And at $35 for just a wash and set that's already overpriced. SMH.
  • Cornrows give me a lot of retention and new growth. But cornrow removal wreaked havoc on my ends this year.

The Sometimeish:
  • ORS Edge Control. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. Sometimeish. But will still repurchase.

    What was your good, bad, ugly and sometimeish for 2011?

    Monday, 26 December 2011

    I Got a Dryer!!

    I finally got a hooded dryer!!! I picked it up at a beauty supply store (Shades of Beauty on Orfus Road for the Toronto readers). The one I chose was the Hot Tools Tourmaline 1875 Watt Ionic Dryer. Even though it was pricey I figure that I would take several people's advice and make the investment. In terms of the physical dryer itself, I love the sleek design and it is very lightweight -- and it's purple! My very first dryer -- I'm so excited about this!! You know you're hair obsessed when you get excited about a piece of equiptment. Anyway I'll post a full review for those thinking of purchasing after I really get a chance to use it. For now here is the description and features:

    Description (copied and pasted from
    Pro-Moisture System TM with Tourmaline and Ionic Nano Technologies changes dryings effect on hair, transforming heat and airflow into a moisture-enhancing spa treatment! Creates healthy, shiny, beautiful hair. Tourmaline Nano particles naturally generate far-infrared energy when heated. This penetrating form of heat passes through the hair cuticle, going directly to the cortex to dry it first. The cuticle is not over-dried and resists brittleness and cracking, helping hair maintain its shine and softness. Tourmaline also helps cleanse hair of odors and impurities.

    Patented direct ION TECHNOLOGY® is an "active" system. Hundreds of millions of negatively charged Nano ions are created by an electronic component inside the dryer and deposited directly onto wet hair. The ions separate water into smaller droplets which are easier for hair to absorb, increasing its moisture content and reducing frizz. Tourmaline, a natural source of ions, enhances ion output.

    • Pro-Moisture System with Tourmaline
    • Direct ION TECHNOLOGY®
    • FastDry 1875 Watts
    • 2 speed / 4 heat options
    • Ion on / off switch
    • Large bonnet accommodates even the largest rollers
    • Adjustable front visor
    • Telescoping stand adjusts height
    • Adjustable bonnet angle
    • Lint filter removes for cleaning and extends they dryers life
    • Two lockable wheels for stability
    • 9-ft. cord
    • Legs remove from base for compact storage
    • One-year warranty
    More info from the instruction manual:
    Direct Ion Technology: The Ionic hair dryer dries hair faster. Negative ions reduce the size of water droplets on hair, allowing more water to be absorbed. This helps condition, soften, and make the hair shinier while adding volume. The Ion switch must be turned on to use the Ion Technology feature.

    Tourmaline: Nano particles of tourmaline naturally emit far-infrared energy when heated. This penetrating form of heat passes through the hair cuticle, going directly to the cortex to dry it first. The cuticle is not over-dried and resists brittleness and cracking, helping hair maintain its shine and softness. Tourmaline also helps cleanse hair of odors and impurities.

      Sunday, 25 December 2011

      Christmas Weekend Hair Plans

      Yesterday was the usual routine...shampoo with Dove, condition with Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructor, and  final rinse with Porosity Control. Leave-in was Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructor and used One n' Only Argan Oil as a heat protectant (a la NinaPruitt). We're going to my grandmas for Christmas dinner and I plan to wear it straight.

      Random Thoughts:
      • I'm 13 weeks post. Originally I planned to relax in January but I might do it sooner because for the first time in forever I actually have plans for new years!!! So a fresh relaxer sounds like a good idea :)
      • I'm less than thrilled with my winter progress. No setbacks thankfully, but I haven't retained as much length as I could have. For the new year I am putting my blow dryer, curling iron and flat iron to rest...they've gotten way to much face time for the past few months and my ends are letting me know it :(
      • Still on the lookout for dryer. At first I was going for the tabletop but I may chalk up the guts to get a higher end one. But we'll see!
      • I should have named this blog something different. I just realized how generic it is
      • Last but not least HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!! Have a great one!! New year is around the corner :)

      Tuesday, 20 December 2011

      Choices...I just had to share this :)....It's Very True

      It is better to be alone, than in the wrong company.

      Tell me who your best friends are, and I will tell you who you are. If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl. But, if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights. A mirror reflects a man's face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses. The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate for the good and the bad.

      The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. AN IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTE IN SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE IS THEIR IMPATIENCE WITH NEGATIVE THINKING AND NEGATIVE ACTING PEOPLE. As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are.

      Friends that don't help you climb will want you to crawl. YOUR FRIENDS WILL STRETCH YOUR VISION OR CHOKE YOUR DREAM. THOSE THAT DON'T INCREASE YOU WILL EVENTUALLY DECREASE YOU. Consider This: Never receive counsel from unproductive people. Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeed themselves are always first to tell you how.

      NOT EVERYONE HAS A RIGHT TO SPEAK INTO YOUR LIFE. You are certain to get the worst of the bargain when you exchange ideas with the wrong person. Don't follow anyone who's not going anywhere. With some people you spend an evening: with others you invest it. Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life. Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships.

      Monday, 19 December 2011

      Roller Wrap (Trial & Error)

      I should preface this post with saying that I haven't done a flexi rod set in AGES. So when I saw this video I decided to revisit it. My hair has been flat ironed since Friday (see length check in side bar) and I wanted a change. I did exactly what she did in the video. Put a little hairspray to hold the curls nothing else.

      On to the pics!

      Flexi's on top, the rest wrapped around (just like in the video). Did it on dry hair and let it set overnight
      After taking down the flexi's. 12 weeks post.

      Before combing out the curls

      After combing out the curls

      Will wear it half up half down
      Next time I'm not doing the wrap part because the bottom half came out bone straight & long, and was hard to blend with the upper half. I do love how the curls came out!! And I like that there are no harsh parts and my hair is flowy and bouncy due to minimal product use. Next set I'll do my entire head with flexi's for a more uniform look.

      Wednesday, 14 December 2011

      Wash Day (11.5 weeks post)

      Yes I count half weeks during my stretch lol! Today was my first wash day since removing my braids. Last night I detangled with Aloe Vera juice (this stuff is an awesome all natural detangler), put a plastic cap on and went to bed. So I guess it counts as a pre-poo too. When I woke up my hair was very damp and....MUSHY. Automatically I knew its moisture overload, which is expected because I've only been using moisturizing products only for the past 2 weeks on my cornrows. Whoever created that "protein once a month max" rule needs to speak for themselves because my hair needs it more often than that. Anyway this morning here's how the wash went:
      1. Lightly detangled and put a middle part...splitting my hair in two makes the whole wash day easier
      2. Clarified with Quantum Clarifying/Chelating Shampoo
      3. Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructor ♥ (my hair adores this stuff...need to repurchase b/c bottles running low)
      4. After I rinsed that, I applied Roux Porosity Control and let it sit for 30 seconds
      5. Towel dried (simply squeeze the excess water out with a towel or t-shirt)
      6. Applied leave-in (Aphogee Green Tea & Keratin Restructurizer)
      7. I had somewhere to be so I threw on my Sensationnel 7047 halfwig and put a little Isoplus oil sheen on the leave out
      8. When I got back I moisturized and sealed in sections (Giovanni Direct Leave-in and sealed with EVOO)...then lightly flat twisted 4 twists and put on a satin scarf)
      Today I also got my nails done (acrylic with white tips...terrible for my nails but hey I haven't gotten them since summer and I deserved some pampering after a hectic semester at school).  Also got my eyebrows waxed too. So today was a true "hair done nails done everything did" type of day.

      Rollerset update: So as you know I'm on the market for a hooded dryer right. Well everyone recommended sallys and OF COURSE the sally's in my area doesn't have  hooded dryers! Not to mention it doesn't carry any of the infamous generic value products. Sighh. I know for sure my local BSS's have hooded dryers so I'll check there next. Just hope I don't have to pay an arm and a leg

      Monday, 12 December 2011

      6-Month Rollersetting Challenge

      I'm ecstatic to be part of Ebony's 6 Month Rollerset Challenge!

      Even Beyonce knows the benefits of!

      Ebony swears by rollersetting to retain length and keep her hair healthy (as opposed to using direct heat). I'm ready to follow suit! Rollersetting is one of those things I've never done and I feel like I'm the only person who doesn't own a hooded dryer LOL. But that will change because I'm planning to buy myself a hooded dryer + rollers for Christmas, so I can get started on this challenge :)

      Now, I'm not completely BRAND NEW to rollersetting. I own a Caruso Steam hairsetter (which I really like and will also be using for the challenge...great investment). However I'm also really interested in rollersetting the "traditional" way. I see the results that it gives people and I'm really interested in trying it out. Coupled with a silk wrap afterwards, this seems like a great way to get straight, silky hair sans-flat iron. Or I could leave the curls in for a curly look.

      My goals for the 6-Month Rollerset Challenge: 
      1. First off learn how to rollerset....LOL. I plan to do lots of youtube and hairboard research.
      2. Only use direct heat twice.
      3. Reach waist length!
      4. Finish a full bottle of Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum...I've had this product for ages and not quite sure how to use it. It's is supposed to reduce drying time.
      Ebony has listed very detailed rules for the challenge, so check them out if you're interested (link is at the beginning of this post) and let her know if you want to join! I'm definitely in!! The challenge is from January to June. Basically you must rollerset at least once a month and direct heat is to be used only twice for the entire challenge (it's OK to flat iron roots only). Sounds very do-able!

        Saturday, 10 December 2011

        Weekend Wash Day

        I'm 11 weeks post and my roots are sure letting me know it! I see a lot of new growth even in the front of my hair that grows the slowest.

        Still enjoying the ease of cornrows. For the past 2 weeks I've been wearing a knit hat in public -- not the most glamorous look, but during final exam week the last thing on my mind is how I look. After my last exam I'm definitely getting my hair done, nails done, and eyebrows waxed! All three are MUCH needed!! Anyway, I washed my hair today...

        1) Shampooed with Giovanni Triple Tea Treat Shampoo. Now that I've used this 'poo a few times I can give a thorough review. It is stripping to the hair. On the one hand I'm surprised because it doesn't contain sulfates, on the other hand I'm not surprised because tea tree is known to be drying. The bottle is about halfway done so my plan is to go sulfate-free until this is done since my Dove shampoo is finished. The whole reason I bought this Giovanni shampoo is to help my scalp and I believe this shampoo did help get rid of the severe itchiness and flaking and dryness -- so that is a major bonus because those itchies were driving me nuts. And I looove the tingle this shampoo gives me. Very refreshing!

        2) Conditioned with Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner. It made my leave-out hair extremely instant softness, as soon as I put it on it melts in my hair and makes my strands separate (if that makes sense). And the softness lasts even after my hair is dry. But when it comes to combing through this new growth it doesn't help in the slip department. At all. I didn't do a thorough job at rinsing this conditioner out so I'm sure there's some traces of it left. No big deal since it's all natural.

        3) When my hair was 80% dry I applied extra virgin olive oil. That's it!

        I plan to wash + condition once again before I take down the braids this Tuesday, rock a braidout for a bit, then get to thorough detangling.

        Any salon recommendations in Toronto?

        Thursday, 8 December 2011

        Will I Go Natural??

        BuildableBeauty on youtube, one of my favorite relaxed inspirations, has declared that she's going natural. Of course I'm kind of sad that one of my inspirations is no longer interested in being relaxed. But at the same time I'm glad for her. Shika at brought up an interesting point a while back...that when relaxed heads reach a certain length (usually MBL) they decide to go natural. Her theory seems to hold up.

        BuildableBeauty's decision got me thinking about my own. And I've gotten a few e-mails asking about whether I will transition so I will address it here.

        Will I ever go natural? Probably.

        Any time soon? Absolutely not!

        No particular reason. I enjoy the process of getting my hair relaxed because it's always a nice surprise in length. I enjoy the challenge and versatility that comes along with stretching. But at the end of the day there's just something about a fresh's like a new head of hair each time. Lol, okay maybe that's a bit dramatic, but you know what I mean.

        Anyone who knows me knows I love natural hair. I've stopped countless naturals in real life to tell them I love their hair, and quite honestly I've never done that to someone who is relaxed. Simply because I've never seen relaxed hair in real life that was worthy of me breaking out of my shell to approach the stranger, and tell them my sentiments about their fabulous hair. Which is another thing I love -- having long (past APL), healthy relaxed hair makes me unique. Just like rocking a natural fro makes the next girl unique. I sometimes wonder what it would be like to have natural hair, but right now (and for the past 13 years), being relaxed is what "works" (for lack of a better word) for me.

        Wednesday, 7 December 2011

        Just a Little Quote...

        “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ~Winston Churchill

        This is one of my favorite quotes. It can be applied to all aspects of life, such as in school, work, relationships, weight loss, hair journey etc;. To me it means that no matter what your situation is (good or bad), it WILL change. And it's up to you to ensure the change is in YOUR favor!

        Sunday, 4 December 2011

        Wash Day (Ten Weeks Post)

         Today's wash day was an unplanned one. My scalp was itchy so I decided to go ahead and use my Giovanni Triple Tea Treat Shampoo that I purchased not too long ago. This really did the trick and alleviating my discomfort...not to mention this shampoo does not contain sulfates so I don't feel bad using it even though I just shampooed on Thursday.

        So what I did was (1) thoroughly rinsed my hair, then applied the shampoo directly to my scalp in between the cornrows, and lathered up. (2) Followed up that shampoo with Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner. This conditioner has a very rich consistency so I didn't use too much. I rinsed the conditioner out. I'm sure it didn't all rinse completely out, which is fine with me because it doesn't contain silicone so product buildup is not really an issue. (3) now air drying with a satin scarf. What would I do without this black scarf?? I have a couple of them actually, in case one of them is getting washed. I LOVE how nicely this scarves keep my edges smooth, and it's definitely a must while air drying. (4) When my hair is almost dry I'll moisturize. I'm always using something different in my arsenal of moisturizers.

        This time I decided to dust off my Taliah Waajid Protective Mist Bodifier. I'm surprised she hasn't changed the awkward packaging....the bottle has a spray nozzle but when you spray it, product comes out in clumps =/ No bueno. So what I did is put it in a spray bottle with some water. I didn't measure, but it's probably 50/50. I this product does not contain glycerin which is perfect for this moisture-robbing season. What it does contain is ceramindes (wheat germ), aloe vera, and other good stuff. This product is good to use while wearing braids because it supposedly will make it easier to remove the braids -- a nice bonus.

        Friday, 2 December 2011

        Random Hair Thoughts

        * I'm still in cornrows and have been for a week now. I've been oiling my ends with JBCO and massaging my scalp. Daily while out and about I've just been wearing it tucked away under a satin scarf, with a cute ALDO knit hat over it. Doesn't get much more protective than that :) I plan to keep my hair like this for a while. So easy!

        * For the first time I have no hair plans for this weekend. The most I'll end up doing is co-washing or oiling.

        * I often wonder what it will feel like when I reach my final  goal length. I'm positive that I'll be satisfied at waist. To be honest I'm pretty satisfied with MBL and if the front of my hair wasn't so much shorter (bangs, layers, etc) I'd stay here.
        * Next major purchase is a hooded dryer. Suggestions?
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