Sunday, February 22, 2015

Wash Day (Last Week)

FYI: This post was written last week after my wash day. I didn't get around to publishing the post until today. 
This wash day went very smoothly. My main focus was moisture. Since becoming fully natural in January I have been having a hard time trying to maintain moisture in my hair. Being able to maintain moisture seems to be a very common battle amongst new naturals. After a couple months of trial and error I think I may be close to finding my solution, but first let me share the steps to my wash day. 
  1. I decided to pre-poo with coconut oil for about 30 minutes with saran wrap and a plastic cap. This was my first time pre-pooing in a very long time.  I think I will be adding this to my regimen because it definitely contributes to moisture.
  2. Cowashed once with Shea Moisture Mango and Carrot Extra Nourishing Shampoo from the kids collection. I used this simply because it was the only other shampoo I have at home is a VERY stripping and drying Ion Clarifying shampoo. The Shea Moisture Shampoo is the one I use on my daughter's head and thus I used it to remove any product build up I may have had from my wash and go last week. I then followed up with a lather of Tresseme Naturals Nourishing Conditioner. Did I tell you all how much I love the Tresseme Naturals Conditioner?!!
  3.  Next I deep conditioned with L'OrĂ©al Total Repair 5 Damage Erasing Balm overnight with a Saran Wrap and Plastic Cap (total about 20 hours). I finger detangled with this conditioner in my hair under running water.  My hair was amazingly soft afterwards.
  4. I t-shirt dried for about 5 minutes and then added my leave in conditioner by As I Am. I then sectioned my hair and did a protective style using  Cantu Shea Butter Coconut Curling Cream and sealed with Jamaican Black Castor Oil.

Here I am 24 hours later and my hair is very moisturized. To keep this style up over the week I worse a bonnet overnight and retwisted/rebraided 2 days later. I find that there are a few products in my stash that keeps my hair amazingly soft and moisturized:
  • Tresemme Naturals Nourshing Conditioner
  • As I Am Leave In
  • Cantu Shea Butter Coconut Curling Cream
  • Castor Oil
 I also realized that pre-pooing with an oil is a must along with moisturizing and sealing every 2-3 days. I don't find it necessary to moisturize and seal my hair daily. I also plan to make my own spritz using Aloe Vera Juice.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Year, New Hair (My Transition/ "Big" Chop

I have been wanting to cut off my relaxed ends for so long!!! You guys have no idea how I struggled not to cut off those relaxed ends. My main reason for not cutting was because I wanted my hair to be a certain length before cutting. Well I made the decision some time in November that I would be completely natural by January 3, 2015. I decided to big chop my own hair and completed 25% before realizing I could not distinguish between my natural hair and my texlaxed ends. I guess I left more texture in my hair than I thought during my texlaxing days.

First chop vs Second Chop
I decided to that going to a salon would probably be best. I went online and found a natural hair stylist one and a half hours away. For some reason I have not had success finding a stylist in my area  so I was willing to travel to see a stylist. Well this stylist ended up canceling on me the morning of my appointment. I felt this was very unprofessional since I had made the appointment with her personally 2 days prior AND she knew how far I was traveling for this appointment. I think her work is phenomenal, but she will not be getting my business.

My Hair after Transition Chop, but before 2nd Co-Wash

After that fell through I decided to just do it myself. If I were to cut some of my natural hair in the process, it was a risk I would take. I co-washed my hair with Pantene Pro V Truly Natural Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner. I jumped out the shower and with my hair soaking wet, added some Tresseme Moisture Rich Conditioner, and began cutting off those relaxed ends. It took me approximately 1 hour to big chop.  After I chopped off the relaxed ends I jumped back in the shower and co-washed. I then deep conditioned with an oldie, but goodie Creme of Nature Argon Oil Conditioner. I then styled my hair in a twist out using the As I Am product line. I will be doing a review on this line very soon! By the next morning my hair had not dried completely and twist out was a fail. I just put it in a puff and it actually turned out well. Below are the pictures of my natural hair. I'm so excited to embark on this new hair journey and share it all with you!

All Natural!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Rebuilding My Regimen

I know you have heard many transitioners or naturals talk about how their hair and its needs have changed over time. I can now attest to this. Products that use to work for my hair no longer work or don't work as well. Techniques that use to work are also no longer valid.

Here is an example: I use to wash my hair in one big section. As I got further into my transition I realized this method did not work as well for me. I experienced more breakage and tangles with this method. I learned quickly that I had to change my technique of detangling my hair to sectioning my hair into 2-4 sections depending on my hair's current state.

Because of changes in the state of my hair I realized I needed to rebuild my regimen. Figuring out what your regimen will be can be quite complicated if you make it. So many questions may run through your mind. How often should I wash my hair? What products do I use? Should my regimen change with the seasons? The truth of the matter is that you may not always know the answer to these questions right away. It may take some trial and error to discover what works for your hair. Your regimen could and should change over time. Keep in mind your should be consistent with your regimen to have a fair evaluation of what works for your hair and what does not. Remember no two head of hair is alike and what works for someone else may not work for you.

Some key components and steps that should be the basis of every hair regimen (in my opinion) include:
  • Cleanser (shampoo or co-wash)
  • Deep Condition
  • Leave in conditioner
  • Moisturizer
  • Sealant (Butter or Oil)

Some things that you may want to include in your regimen, but may not be necessary for everyone includes:
  • Pre-poo or pre shampoo treatment
  • Hot oil treatment
  • Tea rinse
  • ACV Rinse
  • Henna
  • Clear rinse
  • Steam treatment
  • etc.

For my regimen I have had time to discover what works for me and so my regimen was created. These are the steps that will almost always be completed on my wash days:
  1. Co-wash every two weeks. Clarifying my hair will replace a co-wash at least 1x a month.
  2. Tea rinse at least 2x a month to reduce shedding
  3. Deep condition either before or after co-wash/shampoo. When using a clarifying shampoo I will always deep condition after washing. When deep conditioning before I co-wash, I will follow up with a conditioner rinse. Conditioner rinse is referring to a 3-5 minute conditioning treatment to put moisture back into my hair.
  4. Apply a leave in leave-in and possibly follow up with moisturizer (Note: My leave in may also be my moisturizer).
  5. Apply a sealant which will more than likely be an oil.
  6. Style as desired.

A few things that I may incorporate whenever I feel necessary will be clear rinses, pre-poo treatments, hot oil treatments, and oil rinses. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about my new regimen let me know. Again, thanks for following my journey! 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Guess Who's Back......

I know I have been MIA for a VERY long time! Life just got in the way. I had to learn how to balance being a mother to two active children, working full-time as a registered nurse, being a wife, and still making time for myself. Exhausted doesn't even begin to explain how I have been. Along with being busy, I honestly just lost interest in my hair journey. During my relaxed hair journey I focused a lot on health AND length. Seeing my length goals obtained helped motivate me to keep going with my journey. While transitioning the frequent cuts trims made it difficult for me to see the progress my hair was making and thus I became bored.

 I've decided to come out of my hiatus and recommit to my healthy hair journey. I miss trying new styles and being interactive with you all. I also noticed that I was more accountable for my hair when I was joining challenges and interacting with other hair bloggers. I honestly miss obsessing over taking care of my hair.

I'm going to cut straight to the chase and answer the question you all want to know: What is going on with your hair? At this moment I'm protective styling with box braids. I have had these in for exactly 2 weeks. I went to an African Hair braiding shop in my area to get them done. I'm not sure how long I will keep them in, maybe 6-8 weeks. I do not have a regimen yet. I'm still researching dry shampoos and seeing if I want to implement that into my regimen while in box braids. Have you ever tried dry shampoo? Share your experience with me along with what brand(s) you recommend!

Front view of my braids (about 3 days old)

Back view hours after they were done

As far as my natural (non-weave)  hair, I believe I have about 3-4 more inches of texlaxed hair before I'm fully natural. I did notice heat damage at the top of my head where I had a leave out from my sew-in in June. I plan to grow that out and slowly trim the damaged areas. I will be sharing my products and regimen in a later post. I have a transitioning/big chop date in mind and I will be sharing it once I commit to it. 

Straight hair after a trim in late September. 

I look forward to continuing to share my journey with you! I'm back and more motivated than every to reach my goal to long healthy hair! With that being said, welcome back to Blutiful Blaq Hair! I'm back.......

p.s. I have been keeping up with many of your blogs via Bloglovin'. Even though I don't always comment, I do read them. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sexy Saturdays

I have decided it is time I recommit myself to the gym! During my pregnancy I let fitness take a back seat to everything else going on in my life. I convinced myself that this was the last time I could partake in eating whatever I wanted without worrying about weight gain. Sadly those bad eating habits have continued long after the birth of my daughter and has now caught up to me. I'm now struggling to get rid of these last few baby pounds. I also noticed my energy level is not as high as it could be. I will be starting a series on my blog called "Sexy Saturdays". This section will be dedicated to fitness. I know people usually share their journey for "Fitness Fridays" but I wanted to share my results at the end of the week.

I plan to share my monthly goals and weekly progress towards those goals. I may even share some recipes. If there is anything in particular you'd like me to share please let me know.

When planning my goals I want to make sure they are realistic. I don't want to overwhelm myself or discourage myself by setting too many goals. Below are my goals for the remainder of March through April.

1. Go to the gym 3 times a week for at least 30 mins.
2. Take stairs at work instead of elevator. The only exception is when I first get to work due to time and how I enter the building.
3. Limit myself to 1 soda a week. I plan to scale back until I'm down to an occasional soda by the end of the year.

What are your fitness goals?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Transitioning Hair Top 5 Yays and Nays

As I approach the one year post relaxer mark I can't help but think, "Where did the time go?". Transitioning to natural hair has been easier than I expected. Don't get this confused with it being easy. During this transition I discovered that my hair responds differently to some of the products that I have used in the past. In this post I will share my top 5 products that I feel is a must have during my transition and the 5 products that I could do without. 

Top 5 Must Have Products

  1. Water- I find that my hair remains moisturized and easier to manipulate when I mist it with water first. It's funny how water is a relaxed girl's worse nightmare, but a natural girl's BFF!
  2. L'oreal EverStrong Sulfate Free Shampoo- This was a staple when I was relaxed and it remains a staple for my transitioning hair. This shampoo is so moisturizing! I highly recommend all to give this a try if you have not already!
  3. ORS Hair Mayo- Even though this is considered a moderate protein treatment it leaves my hair very moisturized. I find myself using this often to strengthen my line of demarcation. I don't use this weekly, but have done so biweekly with no problem.
  4. It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Spray- I won this leave in conditioner in a giveaway and I am so happy I did. This product is amazing!!! It leaves my hair moisturized, soft, and easy to detangle. I will have a full review of this product up soon. 
  5. Ampro Silk Edges- I won this product in a giveaway and this product is nothing short of amazing. I especially love it for my edges when I straighten my hair. My only regret is I have yet to find this product in my area. I will have to purchase online until I find this locally.
Top 5 Dumped Products
  1. Tangle Teaser- This thing is the devil. It worked okay for my relaxed hair. All it did was cause serious breakage for my transitioning hair. I will no longer use this product
  2. Ouchless Hair Ties- My hair has gotten too thick for the traditional ouchless hair ties. I now uses the thin head bands to put my hair in a pony tail.
  3. Elasta QP Mango and Olive Oil Moisturizer- This was a staple for my relaxed hair. I feel like it only coats my natural hair and does not offer enough moisture. I will not be repurchasing this product. I'll probably use it to moisturize my hair when straight or stretched.
  4. Eco Styler Gel- Lately I noticed my hair flakes up a lot with this product. It causes a lot of buildup and make my hair feel dirty. It does give me a very sleek look for the first few days of use. I don't think I will be repurchasing again if I can't figure out how to prevent the flaking.
  5.  Aphoghee 2 Minute Reconstructor- I really can't find a reason to keep this in my regimen. I was using this as a mid-step protein treatment during my relaxer process. Now that I no longer plan to relax I have no use for it. I will not be repurchasing this item.
What are your top hair products/tool? Have you tried any of the products mentioned above?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Revisiting Old Habits

Photo credit: Google Images

As I look back at old post I realize that my hair is more healthy now than it has ever been. I credit this success being from the products I used, but most importantly the techniques I used. When I first started my hair journey I washed and deep conditioned my hair every week and moisturized and sealed often. Pre-pooing, or pre-shampooing is the one technique I feel contributed significantly to my health of my hair. Pre-pooing is a treatment applied to the hair before shampooing. 

The purpose of a pre-poo is to maintain or add moisture to your hair after it shampoo. Shampoo is known to strip the hair of it's natural oils. Pre-poo is most commonly done with an oil or conditioner. However you can use other things such as honey. I have used them all and I feel they all work great. If I had to choose a favorite it would definitely be honey. Although it can be messy, it leaves my hair amazingly moisturized! When I pre-poo with a conditioner I MUST follow up with a deep conditioner in order get the best results. 

Some time ago I cut out pre-pooing my hair. I started deep conditioning on dry hair and felt this was the same thing as pre-pooing. I failed to realized that I skipped a key step, following up with a conditioner after shampooing. Even though I use a sulfate free shampoo, some of my hair's natural oils are still stripped. This leave my hair not being as moisturized as it should be. I am currently 8 months into my transition. As my natural hair becomes more prevalent, I notice my hair is more dry. I need to do everything I can to retain as much of my hair's natural oils and thus I have decided to make a few changes in my hair regimen.

First I will go back to deep conditioning after I shampoo. This will ensure that I'm adding the moisture back into my hair after it is stripped from the shampoo. Next I will begin pre-pooing again. I will probably pre-poo mostly with oils and/or honey because these two work best. I'm hoping that by adding these two steps, my hair will become more healthy and moisturized during my transition. I will have a post on my "revised" hair regimen soon. 

What are some techniques that you simply can not live without during your wash day? Do you Pre-poo? What's your favorite product to pre-poo with?