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, 29 July 2011

That Awkward Moment when...

...a guy says he likes my hair and I'm wearing a halfwig. LOL true story. I've had this experience with 2 guys in the last week. Awkward! I just thank them and let them know I have extensions if they ask. My goal is to grow my hair as long as the H/W in this pic (about waist length in the back).

Hair Wash/Condition Day

Here's how today's wash day is going to go...1) Cleanse with Hair One
2) Condition with Tresemme Naturals
3) Leave-in: Aphogee Green Tea & Keratin Restructurizer
4) Air dry with a satin scarf for a little while
5) Moisturize with anything I have available...not sure what I'm gonna use yet

The no-poo thing is going well so far. My hair feels really moisturized. I'm heavy handed with products and as a result my hair is really weighed down and my scalp has the occasional itchies. But I don't mind since I protective style anyway.

Random Review: 
I got a sample of Jane Carter Nourish and Shine. I've wanted to try this product for the longest. It's basically a hair product made with different butters, oils and vitamins. Overall my first impression is that I don't like it. It gives a nice shine but I applied it to my flat ironed hair at night, hoping it would soak in overnight and leave me with shiny, bouncy, moisturized hair. And it didn't :( it made my hair really greasy and weighed down. I'm also not too fond of the smell. So I won't be purchasing the full-size jar. Maybe this product would work better on braidouts/twistouts, but I already have a sample of Oyin Burnt Sugar Pomade for that (which will likely be repurchased, just a matter of when lol).

July Recap & August Goals

 Can you believe July is almost over??
1. Reach midback length. done!

2. Use up ALL "extra" products in my stash. This means streamlining it down to 15 staples or less. I'm down to about 25 products...good thing I lost that map lol

3. Relax in August. No sooner! (this will be tough)
Fail. I relaxed 2 weeks early

4. Limited heat (minus my bangs). Flat iron once a month max, if that. Blow dryer is okay to use on cool. I did pretty good with no-heat...just flat ironed after my relaxer on July 18th and avoided additional heat by wrapping at night. 

August 2011 Hair Plan/Goals
- Reduce stash down to 20 products
- Personal Hair One challenge (Using Hair One to cleanse weekly instead of shampoo. Clarify once a month or as needed)

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Must be a Sign?

In my last post I talked about planning a haul. Well I got my shoes, clothes etc; but nothing hair related. I lost the map that I prepared pointing out the hair stores I wanted to visit. Guess this is a sign to get rid of my stash before I buy more stuff. I used the money I would have spent on hair products to take my family out to dinner :)

Monday, 25 July 2011


I'm planning on doing a serious shopping haul soon. I've never done one before, so I'm excited. Why am I doing a haul? Well I'll be visiting the states and I want to take advantage of the lower prices & taxes compared to here in Toronto.

Being a student with a Finance major, it was natural to plan a budget for this trip. I want to focus on clothing, shoes, hair products, and a little makeup/skincare.

Note to self: Things to keep in mind while shopping:
  • You're in a different country, so returning things is out of the question. Be sure about what you buy
  • Quality, not quantity
  • Shop at your own pace, and don't be impulsive

As for hair-related stuff, I want to stock up on Hair One which is not carried at the Sally's branches in Canada.

Oh and I also gotta stock up on NTM Silk Touch Leave-in Cream! Since it mysteriously disappeared in Canadian stores and I haven't been able to find a replacement moisturizer.


As for my hair, all I've been doing is moisturizing with Darcy's Botanicals Coconut Lemongrass Transitioning Creme, and sealing with JBCO on the ends. Right now my hair is in about 12 plaits, and I plan on keeping it like this for the whole week. I'll be protective styling with halfwigs all week.

    Sunday, 24 July 2011

    First Wash After Relaxer

    It's a perfect Sunday to wash my hair. I'm officially one week post. Here's how my wash day is going..

    Today's workout hair and itchy scalp is ready to be washed
    1) Cleansed with Hair One
    2) Protein treatment: Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructor for 10-15 minutes
    3) Final rinse: Porosity Control Corrector and Conditioner, and detangle with a wide tooth comb
    4) Spray on leave-in conditioner: Aphogee Green Tea and Keratin Restructurizer

    Now I'm air drying with a scarf. Will moisturize and seal when my hair is almost finished air drying.


    All of the products I used today (so far) contain some type of protein. Most people's regimen is based on moisture with a shot of protein as needed. My reggie is quite the opposite -- mostly protein products with a shot of moisture as needed.

    I decided to skip the shampoo (sulfate-free or otherwise) for this wash. I really like the Hair One cleanser, this is my second bottle. It makes my hair really soft and I like the tingling effect it gives my scalp.

    Next time:
    The Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructor always makes my hair feel soft after just 2 mins. So leaving it in for 15 would make it work better right? wrong. It made my hair a tiny bit hard after 15 minutes. So next time I'll stick to leaving it on for the 2-5 minutes as directed on the bottle.

    Unless my scalp gets really itchy or my hair gets lots of buildup, I'll be using Hair One consistently as a cleanser until my next clarify which is Aug 17th.

    Friday, 22 July 2011

    21 Questions Hair Tag!

     Here are my answers!

    1. Why did you start taking better care of your hair? This was in highschool. It was breaking off badly to the point where a friend noticed all the broken hair all over my shoulders. I finally thought enough was enough. So I asked a classmate who had long healthy APL hair what she did. She said nothing (I later heard that she did hot oil treatments regularly, what a hair snob!). Desperate for answers, I googled "black hair growth secret", found a hair forum, and the rest is history.

    2. What are your 2 favorite products?
    CHI Silk Infusion and  Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructor

    3. Who's hair did you admire as a child? Aaliyah!!!

    4. What is your ultimate goal length? Waist

    5. How are you going to celebrate when you reach it? Maybe go on a shopping spree, or treat myself to a manicure/pedicure. Definitely will take a ton of pics! And maybe make a youtube video.

    6. Two styles you want to try at your goal length? A braidout! and curls w/ a curling wand

    7. Which do you prefer: Health or length? Health for sure

    8. Which do you prefer: Hair ties with no metal parts, or butterfly clips? Clips

    9. What products do you prefer: salon brands, organic brands, BSS brands or drugstore brands? BSS brands for the win (sally's counts as a BSS...right??)

    10. Which product/technique do you think is over-rated? Washing hair in multiple sections

    11. Which product/technique do you think is under-rated? Baggying, no one does it anymore lol but it's great for retaining length

    12. What is your favorite part of your hair regimen? Moisturizing and sealing. There's something therapeutic about applying products to my hair

    13. What is the most annoying part of your hair regimen?
    Shower hopping! This is one of the reasons why I don't deep condition as much as I should.

    14. Oils or butters? Oils!

    15. Bun or ponytail? Buns (braidout buns <3)

    16. Wig or weave (or neither)?

    17. What is your opinion on growth aids?
    I think people focus so much on growth that they don't realize it's only half the battle. Retention is key.

    18. What length do you consider long? If it's the same length all the way around then I consider APL to be long. But BSL+ is for sure long

    19. When is the last time you've been to a salon?
    Oh snap...definitely over a year ago, maybe two. I don't hate stylists, but I can do my hair nicely myself, so I don't wanna pay someone else to do it on a regular basis. Not to mention the horror stories I've read. If I could find a good stylist I trust, then I would probably go more often.

    20. What do you like to surf the most: youtube channels, personal blogs or hair forums? I like to surf youtube the most. Then there are quite a few personal blogs I stalk keep up with.

    21. And finally, what piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out their hair journey?
    Have realistic expectations. Your hair will not grow long overnight. It takes time, patience and possibly a little investment in quality tools and products. Don't get discouraged if your hair doesn't grow as fast as the next person's. Just keep going and stay consistent and you are bound to make progress.

    21 Questions Hair Tag!

    I'm starting a hair tag. If you're reading this, and have a blog, and are trying to get longer healthier hair: you're TAGGED! So simply answer the following questions and re-post them on your blog so people reading it can get to know you better :)

    1. Why did you start taking better care of your hair?

    2. What are your 2 favorite products?

    3. Who's hair did you admire as a child?

    4. What is your ultimate goal length?

    5. How are you going to celebrate when you reach it?

    6. Two styles you want to try at your goal length?

    7. Which do you prefer: Health or length?

    8. Which do you prefer: Hair ties with no metal parts, or butterfly clips?

    9. What products do you prefer: salon brands, organic brands, BSS brands or drugstore brands?

    10. Which product/technique do you think is over-rated?

    11. Which product/technique do you think is under-rated?

    12. What is your favorite part of your hair regimen?

    13. What is the most annoying part of your hair regimen?

    14. Oils or butters?

    15. Bun or ponytail?

    16. Wig or weave (or neither)?

    17. What is your opinion on growth aids?

    18. What length do you consider long?

    19. When is the last time you've been to a salon?

    20. What do you like to surf the most: youtube channels, personal blogs or hair forums?

    21. And finally, what piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out their hair journey?

    Wednesday, 20 July 2011

    Staying at MBL (for now)

    My ends (in my opinion) are just alright. Not many splits but they are not completely even, and feel slightly rougher. So I'm thinking about maintaining MBL for a while until the ends even up. I'm not aiming for perfect ends. Just more even and maybe in a U-shape...and of course healthy with no splits. So that means I'll be cutting and trimming more often. I already trimmed an inch or so (very ends and all over) last night.

    In the mean time, I'll be preserving my "new" ends by continuing to baggy nightly on non-wash days. Also when I apply product, focus a little extra on the ends. And be extra gentle when detangling braidouts.

    It's not all about my ends though. I actually really like being this length. I don't feel like repunzel (okay, maybe a little) but I'm quite happy with my hair.

    Right now it seems like MBL is the happy medium between long length and styling options.

    Monday, 18 July 2011

    Relaxer Update: I'm Claiming MBL

    I self-relaxed my hair last night. The process went smoothly (pun intended) and my new growth is processed exactly the way I like it. I'm claiming midback length!!!

    I just finished flat ironing it as of a few minutes ago, here are some pics:

    Products used after washing: Aphogee Green Tea & Keratin Reconstructurizer (leave-in) and CHI Silk Infusion (serum/heat protectant)

    I'm really excited because I'm getting closer to waist length. I relaxed at 10 weeks post so I wasn't expecting a huge difference from my relaxer in May, but I do notice more length! Hard work and protective styling pays off!!

    Every stretch I learn a new lesson about my hair. This time I learned not to touch my hair if I'm tired/annoyed/rushed etc;. Which is kinda common sense but unfortunately I learned the hard way. So hopefully others can learn from my mistake and avoid a setback in their own hair journeys.

    So yeah, I'm claiming MBL! I'm really happy and thankful for the health of my hair and it's length progress. It's been a rewarding journey so far, and I'm excited to see what's in store for the future :)

    Relaxer Update: The Deets

    I relaxed my hair last night with Optimum No-Lye relaxer in normal strength (review in a nutshell: claims to reduce breakage after 1 use. Not sure how true that is but its been a staple since the first time I tried it in 2008. This relaxer also contains ceramides).

    I self-relaxed for the second time ever (the first time I was shoulder length and it came out super underprocessed) It came out pretty good and overall it was a good experience. For the first time I feel like a 100% DIYer when it comes to my hair.

    After relaxing

    Still some texture/thickness left in the back, just how I like it

    May 2011 relaxer
    July 2011 relaxer. I see some progress

    Here's now the July 2011 (yesterday's) relaxer process went

    Relaxer prep: The last wash before my relaxer (Wed July 13) I clarified/chelated, and used aphogee 2 minute reconstructor, and did a final rinse with Porosity Control Corrector and Conditioner. The days leading up to my relaxer, I oiled my scalp with JBCO, and coated my hair with CHI silk infusion and Aphogee Green Tea and Keratin Reconstructurizer. I also put some JBCO and One n Only Argan Oil in my relaxer mix to buy more processing time.

    Yesterday (relaxer day) I applied the relaxer using a combo of gloved hands and the back of a comb. Left the relaxer on for 20 minutes, neutralized 5x. Then I deep conditioned with Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle and Queen Helene Cholesterol for 2 hours (that's all I had at the moment...not my favorite post-relaxer dc...would have prefered to use Kenra Moisturizing Conditioner). Then I rinsed that, air dried with a little Aphogee Green Tea & Keratin Reconstructurizer as a leave-in (this is officially my staple leave-in conditioner) then blow dried the rest of the way. Finally, I applied CHI silk infusion and flat ironed today.

    Whew! Now I see why people don't relax often (or not at all lol). Hope I covered everything!

    Tuesday, 12 July 2011

    Washed My Hair

    My scalp was torturing me. It was so itchy because I put vaseline on it a couple days ago to help build scalp protection for the relaxer process. I was even scratching my scalp during the night, yeah it was that bad. So I washed my hair. Used a sulfate shampoo (Herbal Essences Hello Hydration 2 in 1 Shampoo and conditioner) and a moisturizing conditioner (Aussie 3 Minute Miracle).

    I tried finger detangling while the conditioner was sitting in my hair for 3 minutes. This step helped the comb glide through easier as I was rinsing and detangling (simultaneously) with my wide tooth comb. So now I'm air drying.

    This means my relaxer is delayed until my scalp recovers from all the scratching I did, and the sulfate shampoo that probably stripped my hair's natural oils.

    Sunday, 10 July 2011

    Starting Pics

    These pics range from 2007-2009. My hair does not grow fast....It's only when I look at pictures, I can see the progress

    right after a relaxer touch-up from the salon


    starting to get long in high I was feeling my hair!

    July `07 to March `08
    January 2009. Hair starting to get longer...flat ironed with an FHI technique for the first time. Herbal essences none of your frizzness as a leave-in.

    Thanks but....I'm not natural

    I went out twice this week and both times I got compliments on my hair.

    • I went to a BSS and as I was checking out, an older, natural lady with an afro turns to me and says: "It's so good to see young girls with their natural hair". I told the lady I have a relaxer. She said "It doesn't matter, I mean girls with their real hair". I had my hair in a high braidout bun that day. 

    • Yesterday I went to Afrofest which is Canada's largest annual celebration of the richness and diversity of African culture. I had a lot of fun!! I decided to wear my favourite halfwig, the one that looks like a really loose big braidout. I blended my hair pretty well if I say so myself -- twisted-out my own bangs and pinned it back to create a hump and hide the wig line, and some babyhurr. One booth featured all natural products and the woman who was at the booth had what looked like MBL natural hair in small twists. I thought it was interesting that she had all this natural hair but massive fake eyelashes...I digress...She said my hair looks "so beautiful" and it's so good that I have my natural hair texture. I said "Thanks...but I actually have a relaxer". She rolled her eyes and to be honest I've never seen anyone's eyes roll so far back into their head. I just laughed. She then preached about how she's natural and how natural hair is awesome. I thanked her for letting me try the samples and kept it moving to the Honeyfig booth.

    • A sales associate at the Honeyfig booth weave-checked me. She's like "Your hair looks so good" and looked at my hairline and ran her fingers through the length of my halfwig. Then she said "oh.. you have a weave... but thats okay it looks good". This was my first weave check where someone put their hands in my hair without my permission. Not sure how I feel about it. I'm not too mad because we've met before and I would consider her an acquaintance. So I guess it's better than a total stranger weave-checking me. I just can't wait until my hair gets as long and thick as my halfwig, so I can stop buying them. Well I suppose I have the length part down. But its the thickness part I need to work on. Maybe I should revisit nightly JBCO scalp massages and biotin pills again.
    So, with a quick braid-out or twist-out, strangers in real life think I'm natural. It was never my intention to "fake natural", for lack of a better term. I just like big hair and textured styles sometimes. I like to get creative and find ways to make my hair do different styles. I love the versatility.

    Thursday, 7 July 2011

    Your products are too expensive for this mess

    So I finally got the Donna Marie Super Buttercream that I've been eyeing for a couple weeks. It has great ingredients and rave reviews. When I first got the product, I looked at it and it looked "homemade" which was kind of expected since it's a natural product. Well I opened the jar when i got home and his is what it looked like

    Pretty packaging and nice yummy fragrance doesn't matter if your products are not emulsified properly!

    Brand new. Yuck!
    So yeah. Gross. I googled this separating problem and it seems pretty common with this product. I'm getting a refund on Monday. At $24 this is completely unacceptable. Donna Marie, your products are too expensive for this mess!


    I did a braid-out today, then threw it up in a messy braidout bun.

    Ponytail pulled forward...messing around...

    Messy Bun

    Tuesday, 5 July 2011

    Top 3

    I saw this hair tag Longing 4 Length's blog and I had to do it!

     1) Top three things you love about your hair
    • The versitility!!!
    • The natural brownish color
    • It's finally healthy (barely any splits or breakage)
    2) Top Three things you have learned since being on your hair journey
    • My hair LOVES oil, protein, and silicones. It also doesn't mind products with petroleum or mineral oil.
    • Find what works for you, and stick to it. Following someone else's regimen is a good starting point but make sure to tweak it to fit your hair. Once you find when your hair likes, stick to it and actually carry out what you claim to be your regimen.
    3) Top three things you want to accomplish during your hair journey
    • reach waist length
    • reduce my stash down to the bare minimum
    • Help and/or inspire at least ONE other person (on the internet or in real life) to take better care of their hair

    4) Top Three things/Products you love:
    • CHI Silk Infusion
    • Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructor 
    • Satin scarf for air drying and protecting hair overnight is an absolute MUST

    5) Top three Hair inspirations (youtube or otherwise)
    • WAYYY too many to name...I don't want to name anyone because I will definitely forget someone or I will want to change my list right after I post this lol...*cheese alert* Pretty much everyone who is publicly on a hair journey is my inspiration. Especially those who are relaxed and a similar length as my hair.
    If you're reading this, I tag you! :)

      Relaxer Prep

      I'm relaxing soon, not sure of the exact date yet. I am only about 9 weeks post, but I have a lot of new growth....So much that I want to relax now. The next paragraph is me complaining about why I want a relaxer. If you're transitioning or natural, you can kindly skip this part lol

      I don't want to get cornrows (my last experience was a bad one) so it's not like I can hide my hair for another 2 months. It's getting to that point where I'm looking rough around the edges -- literally. Natural hair can be slicked back and look neat because it's a uniform texture...but new growth and bone straight relaxed hair can be challenging to work with and blend. It requires patience which I'm not sure I have right now. When I come out of the shower, after 5 minutes the new growth at the front is completely dry...I don't even get a chance to smooth it with a brush or anything. Part of the reason why I haven't claimed MBL is because if I let my hair loose, it reaches BSL/APL. But it's only when I pull it, that it shows the true length. This hide and seek is a direct result of shrinkage. I want to be able to look at my hair and see the real length. I don't want to put in all this effort just for my hair to shrink up to a milestone I passed already. Maybe I'm attached to length? Maybe. Maybe I just want my hair to fit my lifestyle. I like to do styles (messy buns, braidouts, twistouts, flexi rods, curls, intricate buns and updos, wash and goes, etc etc etc) without worrying about the weather or the detangling session later. I miss thorough detangling sessions being less than 30 seconds. I miss being able to do heat styles that last for weeks without worrying about my hair reverting. There is clearly a natural hair trend. People are lopping off their relaxed hair left right and center, which is awesome if that's what they want to do. But I like that I decided to remain relaxed despite the influence of the people and pictures on the internet. On the flipside I like that in real life (where most people are relaxed here in Toronto) I enjoy getting compliments on my hair, and sharing advice and my regimen with others. Yesterday's blow drying session had me "snap, crackle and popping"... there were a lot of broken hairs due to me raking through the 2 textures with a Denman. I should have taken my time but honestly, between the heat and how busy things are, I don't have the patience this time around to do a long stretch. I usually have a decent gut feeling about things when it comes to my hair. Right now my gut is telling me to end my stretch with a fresh relaxer.

      For those who are still with me lol, stay tuned for updates within the next few weeks.

      So what am I doing between now and my next relaxer?
      • No washing or itching.
      • Only product that will be applied to hair is CHI Silk Infusion. "Silk can form a protective covering over the hair to prevent it from being damaged from alkaline materials, such as the chemicals in relaxers." Taken from a thread on LHCF
      •  Only thing applied to scalp will be vaseline

        Monday, 4 July 2011

        Wash day [4th of July]

        So last night I washed my hair with a sulfate-free shampoo. Well today, my hair was still kind of weighed down, greasy and itchy. My ponytail had ZERO movement and was just...there. On top of that I noticed a pimple near my hairline and that usually only happens when my hair/scalp is really dirty. So tonight this is what I did...

        1. Cleansed with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration shampoo and conditioner 2 in 1. I ran out of my shampoo so I had to use whatever was in the bathroom which happened to be this. It left my hair less stripped than my usual HE CMH shampoo (as expected). I lathered twice.

        2. Conditioned for a new minutes in-shower with Queen Helene Cholesterol.

        3. Leave-ins: Aphogee Green Tea & Keratin Reconstructurizer, and CHI Silk Infusion (aka liquid gold).

        Air dried with a satin scarf for an hour or so. My hair feels super clean, soft and light. Now going to blow dry the rest of it and sleep with a satin scarf.

        My hair likes low-sulfate, but my face and scalp hate it. I have to find a happy medium and alternate between the two..

        Sunday, 3 July 2011

        Wash day [July 3rd]

        Here's what I did:

        1. Gently detangled with vatika oil (light pre-poo) and a wide tooth comb.

        2. Shampoo w/ Creme of Nature Argan Oil Moisture & Shine shampoo

         3. GVP Joico K-Pak for 5 mins. My hair was feeling a bit mushy from overnight bagging so this was needed. This was my first time using this product in a very long time. After using it my hair feels stronger but nothing special in the slip or softness department. Going back to Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructor when this is done.

        4. JBCO mix to damp scalp and massage in.

        5. Apply Aphogee Green Tea and Keratin Reconstructurizer.

        6. Air dry with a satin scarf.

        Saturday, 2 July 2011

        Little update on my hair + Ramblings

        One of my blog friends pointed out that she thinks I'm MBL already :) I'll probably officially claim it by my next relaxer, when more of my layers reach it.

        Lately I've been wearing halfwigs or bunning during the day. At night I'm pretty good about wearing my scarf and/or bonnet. I'm also good with moisturizing and/or oiling my ends daily.

        2 Nights ago I decided to wash my hair upside down in the tub...WHYY?! lol I have no idea. But now it's sort of in a tangled mess.

        For the rest of summer I plan to protective style with buns and halfwigs. Boring, but last year when I did this I received the most growth/retention since starting my hair journey. So I'm sticking to what works.

        I'm not sure how I'm gonna do my hair when school starts. I do know I will leave it out more.

        I think I'll be pretty good about keeping my hair purchases under control. I've diverted my attention (and extra income) to nail polish, clothing and makeup. 

        Waist length hurry please? Thanks in advance :)
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