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 Techniques that use to work are also no longer valid.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?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Quick Update & Future Plans

Wedding planning has consumed a lot of my freetime. Forgive me for not posting but I plan to have some post up at the end of the week and next week. I want to share with you what I have been doing to my daughter's hair including the products I have been using. I also want to update you on my transition and share one of my hair inspirations with you. Be on the lookout for some new blog post soon! 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Hair Cut and Huge Announcement

Yesterday I posted a picture of 3-4 inches (my estimate) of cut hair on my Instagram account. The picture above is the one posted. I also sent a picture message to my best friends and they demanded to know what I had done. I know you to are dying to know what I have done. Before I share that story let me start from the beginning.

As most of you know my last relaxer was last June. What you didn't know was that after relaxing my hair I started to have regrets. My last stretch lasted 6 months and during this time I contemplated transitioning to natural hair. After finding out I was having a daughter I wanted to teach her all about growing healthy and long natural hair. I wanted her to be able to properly care for her natural hair so that if she decided to relax her hair it wouldn't be from a lack of knowledge. I then decided what better way to teach her than to show her. Later I decided this was not enough for me to make the commitment to transition. My hair was starting to break badly at the line of demarcation so at that time I felt the best thing to do was end my stretch

After texlaxing my hair I became bored with my hair and my hair journey. I found myself gravitating more towards those styles that look better with natural hair, well in my opinion anyways. After having a discussion with one of my best friends she shared with me that she had interest in going natural as well. Long story short I decided to make the commitment to transition to natural hair! I honestly didn't plan to share this information until I was a year post relaxer. I wanted to make sure I was fully committed to this journey and I am. I decided I want to do a long transition over a course of 2 years. Instead of big chopping I plan to do a couple mini chops. 

This brings me to my Instagram picture. I planned to do my first cut after my wedding in June, but now that I'm leaning more towards a sew-in, I figured the length of my hair wouldn't matter that much. I have been having the urge to cut some of my hair because I want to see what my natural texture will look like. Today after seeing some pictures on IG of beautiful natural hair of all textures I went to my bathroom and found my hair shears. I brushed my hair straight back and grabbed half my hair and cut. I then grabbed the second half and cut. After cutting I wasn't upset nor did I have any regrets. I actually felt that I am closer to reaching my ultimate goal of becoming fully natural. I actually thought "It's just hair!". My hair is a little uneven, but I am okay with that for now. I plan to do a 2 month no direct heat challenge so the next time I straighten my hair I will make sure it is even. My next mini cut will probably take place after my wedding. 

I can't believe I'm finally sharing that I am transitioning to natural hair! I hope you continue to follow me as I embark on a new hair journey. I will be sharing my ups and downs as I have been doing with my relaxed hair journey. I'll also continue to provide information on all hair types. This will not turn into a natural hair only blog. All information I have provided and will continue to provide can be applied to hair of all types.

About 3 weeks before mini chop

Post Mini chop

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Liebster Award!

I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Anything Hair Related and Healthy Hair Diary. Check out their blogs by clicking on the links. They provide tons of great information of healthy hair care! I want to thank both of you for thinking of me and my blog. The rules are stated above. Instead of answering 22 questions I will pick 6 questions from each of the ladies to answer below.

11 Facts about Blutiful Blaq
1.      I'm getting married June 14, 2014.
2.      I love the giant dill pickles with lemonade Kool-Aid sprinkled on top.
3.      I hate bugs! They creep me out.
4.      I use to love reality TV, but not as much since I gave it up for a season.
5.      I day dream a lot!
6.      I love getting my feet massaged! There is just something about a good foot massage that drives me crazy!
7.      As a kid I thought smoking cigarettes was cool because my mom did it. I am so grateful that I never picked up that habit.
8.      I hate talking on the phone and would much rather text. I'm the type of person who will decline your call, but answer your text a few minutes later.
9.      As a teenager I was not allowed to wear make-up or nail polish. I was not even allowed to get my ears pierced and thus got them done at age 18.
10. I love flowers! When I get flowers I keep them until they are dead and crunchy! 
11. I get sleepy when it's cold and I'm wide awake when it's hot. Weird, I know. 

Questions from Anything Hair Related
1.      If someone asked you to give them a random piece of advice, what would you say? Keep God first in all that you do!
2.      Do you have a hair crush? I have tons! Here are a few in no particular order: KissSeventyseven, CoCogLam22 MahoganyCurlsMoknowshairFusionsofcultureShorty2sweet59, and Ebony of Longing4Length.
3.      Do you prefer towel drying, blow drying or natural drying your hair? I actually prefer t-shirt drying and then air-drying in a bun.
4.      What did your last Tweet/Facebook post say? My Last FB post "The first batch of save-a-dates are in the mail! Don't forget to register on the website and check back frequently for updates!"
5.      In a movie about your life, which actor or actress would you like to play your character? Sanaa Lathan because she is so beautiful and talented!
6.      What's your favorite iPhone/Android app? Probably would be YouTube since I use it almost daily. 
Questions from Healthy Hair Diary

1.      How many blogs do you follow? 70 through blogluvin
2.      What length do you consider long hair? Probably somewhere from BSL to MBL depending on the height of the person
3.      What is your most expensive hair purchase to date? My LCL Hairdryer for $129 plus tax.
4.      Do you have any hobbies, share at least 2? I collect postcards and watch YT videos. Can the latter count as a hobby?
5.      What is your favourite TV series? Criminal Minds and Law and Order SVU run neck and neck.
6.      Are you left or right handed? Right handed
I nominate whoever is reading this blog! Share your link in the comment section below. I love reading random facts from bloggers and vloggers I follow.

My questions:
1.      What is your goal length?
2.      Where is your dream vacation?
3.      What do you do for a living?
4.      What is the weirdest thing/food you have ever eaten?
5.      What's your most used phrase or word?
6.      What is your favorite hair product?
7.      What's your most annoying habit?
8.      What state do you currently reside?
9.      Who is your hair crush?
10. What's your favorite season?
11. What is your favorite place to eat?