Friday, March 16, 2012

March/April Goals

In order to keep me motivated on this new and improved hair journey of mine I  decided to set a few goals for myself every month. Since we're already halfway through March, I thought I'd give myself til the end of April.

In March/April I need to:

1. Be consistent with the products I use. The glorified product junkie that I am has an entire stash of products just waiting for me to try them out. So, I need to pick a few, use them consistently and resist the urge to try something new every week. This is going to be hard.

2. Baggy my ends at least 2x a week. If you guys remember, baggying was part of the things I wanted to add to my regimen becuase of the great results it gave some ladies. I figured I need all the help I can get with my length retention if I want to be APL by december.

3. Keep my hands out of my hair.
I have a self-diagnosed wicked case of hand in hair syndrome. Throughout the, I will undo my bun for no reason and re-do it. As soon as I get home, I take my hair down and proceed to repeatedly run my fingers through it. This practice is deadly for hair because it will not only cause breakage but overtime it will also result in hair thinning. Finally, I'm very tender-headed, so quite often I end up with headaches and a sore scalp from all that pulling tugging at my hair. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a masochist. But I just can't seem to help it. I don't even notice when I start doing it. I find that keep my hair covered under a scarf or a bonnet keeps me from playing with it so that's just what I'll do.

4. Cover my head every night. I have been known to go to bed without a scarf or a bonnet because I was too tired to look for it or just plain lazy. The result is always the same: dried-out hair. I have to work on that.

5. Start learning how to rollerset my hair. Now that I'm texlaxing my hair, roller setting is definitely going to come in handy to create a smooth look, specially deep in a stretch, when I'll be dealing with three textures. Not to mention that staring at Jeni's (JustGrowAlready) gorgeous roller sets really motivated me.

I'll check in with you guys  at the end of April!

MopTop Maven's Xtreme Deep Conditioning Tutorial

I bumped into this video awhile ago and I have been dying to try it, specially since my hooded dryer broke in december. In the video,  she specifies that she only does this every 6-8 weeks after a henna treatment so as to avoid over-moisturizing her hair but I honestly don't see that ever happening with me. So, if I like the results I get wih this method, I might do it 1x-2x a month. She has been doing this for awhile and and her gorgeous hair has obviously not suffered any adverse effects. By the way her name is The MopTop Maven.

I'll kee you guys posted on my results.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Relaxer Update

Thursday was relaxer  day. Yay! I relaxed one day shy of 14 weeks post and I used Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil No-lye  Relaxer Regular Strength Formula. Here's what my friend did (under my close almost dictatorial supervision).

Step 1: Protection
My best friend Sabrina started off by parting my hair in four sections. She then parted those sections in smaller ones and based my scalp with ORS Olive Oil Scalp Protector. She protected my ears nape and edges with Vaseline. I decided  I wasn't going to relax my napes because  not only are they very fine, they also grow at a slow rate. I barely had any new growth there so I had my friend cornrow that section of my hair and apply Vaseline to it. She then proceeded to protect my already relaxed ends with Roux Porosity Control Conditioner and some CHI Silk Infusion on top of it. She then clipped each section up.

Step 2: Relaxing
If you've read my last few posts than you know I decided to transition to texlaxing. In order to do that I added about 1/4 of a cup of olive oil into the relaxer to dilute it. My friend parted my hair in small sections and applied the relaxer to my new growth only with a tint brush. She then proceeded to smooth my hair. Since it was my first time texlaxing I didn't really know how long to leave it on and I was terrified I was going to over-process my hair. I didn't. We ended up rinsing it out after 23 minutes. I took over from there.

Step 3: Neutralizing
I rinsed out the relaxer for about 2 minutes. Before neutralizing I did a mid-step protein treatment with Joico K-PAK Revitaluxe Bio-Advanced Restorative Treatment (whew, that's a mouthful!). I received a sample when I bought my Joico Moisture Recovery Shampoo & Conditioner and I had been saving it for that purpose. I made sure I got all of my newly relaxed hair covered with it, then got some on my ends, put a shower cap on and rinsed it out after 5 minutes. I started neutralizing with  Isoplus Neutralizing Shampoo and not the one that came in the box because of the color alarm in the Isoplus Shampoo. I then switched to the ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo that came with relaxer because it neutralizes AND chelates (removes calcium deposits left on the hair by the relaxer). I applied Roux Porosity Control for about 2 minutes and neutralized again. I neutralized about 10 times and left  the shampoo on for about 15 minutes the last time. I stopped when the Isoplus Shampoo stopped being pink. By that time my hair was feeling soo stripped! Quite an unpleasant feeling.

Step 4: Deep Conditioning
I chose to deep condition with a mix of L'Oreal Absolut Repair Cellular Mask (for ceramides) and ORS Replenishing Conditioner (for proteins). I left the mixture on for 7 seven hours while I did things around the house, wrote my history mid-term paper and took a nap. I didn't plan to deep condition for that long, it just happened. I detangled my hair and rinsed out the conditioner. By then, my texlaxed curls were looking nice.

Step 5: Styling
I gently patted my hair with a towel to remove excess water and applied my leave-ins. I sprayed my hair with Aphogee Keratin & Green Tea Reconstructurizer, mixed my HE leave-in with my Giovanni and massaged it through my hair, concentrating on my ends. I finally added my CHI Silk Infusion and a little bit of Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum (not pictured). I tied the front of my hair with a scarf and left my hair to air dry overnight. The morning after, I sprayed on  some Tresemme Heat Tamer Spray (not pictured)  and flat ironed on a low setting.

The Verdict: So far my hair feels smooth but also really strong, probably from the Aphogee Two Step Protein Treatment I did last week. I got my hair texlaxed and not relaxed bone straight, as I wished. However, I think I might leave the relaxer on for 3-5 minutes longer to get a looser curl pattern next time. I'll see how my hair looks and feels after a couple of washes before I decide.  As for growth, I definitely see some, even if I cut some off some of my damaged ends recently.  Unfortunately, my friend didn't have time to take some shots of my hair, but I'll try to do it myself on my next wash day. Can I just say how much I love that my hair looks thicker?  I love it!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Wash Day/Relaxer Prep/ Aphogee Two Step Protein Treatment Review

So today was my last wash day before my relaxer on Wednesday. Here's what I did to prep my hair for it as well as my review of the Aphogee Two Step Protein Treatment System.

I started off by pre-pooing with Dabur Vatika Coconut Oil for 30 minutes and shampooed with Aphogee Shampoo for Damaged Hair. I decided not to clarify since I did so 3 weeks ago and the Aphogee shampoo is pretty stripping. 

I then sprayed my hair with the Aphogee Two Step Protein Treatment  (I poured mine into a spray bottle),  blow dried my hair until the treatment made it hard and I rinsed with warm water. If you don't already know,  this treatment is messy, runny and stinks. Not to mention that I got some in my eye while rinsing it out and it was very unpleasant. I followed it with the Aphogee Balancing Moisturizer for 2 minutes, and my hair thanked me for it  by instantly becoming softer. I then proceeded to deep condition for 45 minutes with my L'Oreal Professionnel Absolut Repair Cellular Masque.

To help close my cuticles and hold in moisture, I rinsed with cold water and applied Roux Porosity Control Conditioner for 2 minutes (I tried to detangle with it but I realized pretty soon it was a bad idea as it gave me no slip). I rinsed again with cold water, wrapped my hair in a T-shirt and let it soak up the excess water for a few minutes.

Next, I applied my leave ins : A mix of 2 pumps of  Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship Leave In and a squirt of  Giovanni Direct Leave In (because the Giovanni leave in by itself has a pH of 7! Too high for porous hair!), I sealed the moisture in with my beloved CHI Silk Infusion and added 2 pumps of Tresemme Split End Remedy Leave in only on my ends (for added protection) . Afterwards, I detangled and tied the front of my hair with a scarf to make my edges lay flat as I air dried.

When my hair was about 85% dry I blow dried on the lowest setting then flat ironed my roots on a similarly low setting. I did this, not to straighten my hair, but to make it easier for my friend to part it and apply the relaxer on Wednesday (I'm 13 weeks post!). When my hair was completely dry I added a teeny bit of HE Leave in  on my ends and sealed with a few drops of olive oil. Right now my hair feels so soft and moisturized, I can't believe it!  I mean, I just did a hard protein treatment! Aphogee's definitely a keeper. The real test will be how it holds up in the next few days but as of now, I am in love with my hair! However, I don't know which product(s) is (are) responsible because I used a lot of them for the first time. I guess I'll find out in the upcoming weeks.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Update:  The next day my hair stayed moisturized throughout the day! This never happens to me! I chose to moisturize and seal before going to bed, not because I HAD to but because I WANTED to (I'm a bit of a moisture maniac) and as a result my hair was a little greasy. My hair definitely felt different the next day. A lot stronger. I guess the protein finally kicked in. Still, it wasn't unpleasant. I combed my hair a few times and there were no broken hairs on the comb! I'm so happy! Yay for Aphogee!