Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Review of September's Goals + October Goals

Wow, this month flew by.  Let's review my goals for the month.

Goals for September

*Participate in 30 Days of Moisture with Just Grow Already & Relaxed Thairapy (There is still time to sign up!)   done 
* Participate in Kinky Curly Coily Me! 's Fall Castor Oil Challenge. The deadline to register is Sept. 7th! Don't miss out on a great challenge.  done--Minus the four days I waited for my new bottle of Tropic Isle's Jamaican Black Castor Oil to arrive from Amazon. I really wish this was sold in stores. #thestruggleisreal
* Try a new nighttime routine for my TWA.  done. Not really a "new nighttime" routine but I've gone back to doing the L.O.C. method before bed. Moisture Retention is one of my main concerns at this point and the LOC method has made a difference. Here is an explanation of the method by NaturalMe4C .  
* Get a trim/dust my ends--The appointment is already scheduled :).  done. Read about the results of my "trim"

4 out 4 for September (mini dance break). I love setting goals and actually accomplishing them every month!

Goals for October

1. Stick to my current hair regimen and products for the entire month. -- I totally revamped my hair regimen and bought 3 new products in September. It was needed but now I need to monitor my hair and its health. I want to stick to my current list of products and regimen for at least a month before making any changes down the road.

2. Continue Kinky Curly Coily Me! 's Fall Castor Oil Challenge. --The week 5 check in is this week and I will do a post about that in the new few days.

3. Research protein treatments/products that might fit into my hair regimen.

4. Take part in Just Grow Already's  Challenge for the month. --I'm not sure what the challenge is yet but I'm sure it will be a good one :).

5.  Continue experimenting with hairstyles and accessories that work for my current length.

6. Find natural hair meet-ups/other events that are close to me and attend them (if possible).

7. Drink at least 2-3 bottles of water per day. ---This has been tough lately. My OAB has been making it difficult to accomplish this in the past weeks.

Funny meme about goals that I think is pretty accurate.

         Do you set monthly hair or other goals? If so, what are your goals for the month?

Until next time :)!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Natural Journey: 5 Months Natural

Current Length: 5" (when stretched in some areas, according the stylist that cut my hair).

 I know, my previous "length" checks are not accurate. At some point in the near future, I need to do an official length with a tape measure and all.

Before the Deva trim/ unplanned second big chop

Side view

Back view 

My Go-to Styles this month: At the beginning of the month I started playing around  with different styles. Because I had more length, I was able to try flat twists for the first time. The pics above are from my first attempt. I also wore my fro a lot as usual and picked it out or wore a headband. Unfortunately, that ended after my trim. The trim took about four or five inches, which was about half of my length.  At first I was mortified and disappointed by this setback. It took me almost two weeks to feel comfortable with wearing my shorter fro without a headscarf. But now, I have embraced it and I'm looking forward to seeing my hair grow even healthier than the first time. 

Two weeks after the unplanned big chop

 Hair Regimen:  One of my main issues so far has been dry hair. I took a hard look at my hair regimen and made a number of changes. First, I purchased a new conditioner to use a leave-in, rinse out and for deep conditioning. Check out this post to see the conditioner that I currently have in my regimen. I also wanted to  try a few products from Carol's Daughter: Black Vanilla Leave-In Conditioner and Marguerite's Magic Restorative Cream. I just received those products yesterday and so far so good. I'll post a review of sometime next month to give me time to see how my hair responds. Knots and tangles also became an issue for me. Instead of solely using my  fingers to detangle, I now try to use my Denman brush or a wide tooth comb at least once a week.

Plans for next month: Keep track of my progress with moisture retention and adjust my products if need be.

That's all for now.

Until next time :)!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Recap of Wash Day + Review of Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner

Here's a recap of my wash day today.

[1]  Pre-pooed with Jamaican Black Castor Oil and EVCO under a plastic cap of an hour. I
[2]  Co-washed with Shea Moisture Coconut Hibiscus Co-Wash Conditioning Cleanser
[3]  Deep  Conditioned with Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner for 15 minutes. I decided not to do a tea rinse today but I will do one on my next wash day. Check out my review of this conditioner below
[4]  ACV rinse + Water after I washed out my conditioner. I left the mixture on my hair for about 5 minutes and then washed it out. 
[5] Dried my hair for about 10 minutes with a t-shirt.
[6] I applied Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner and used a wide tooth comb to detangle. I also used Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner,  Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Leave-In Conditioner, JBCO, Marguerite's Magic Restorative Cream  (also from Carol's Daughter) and Shea Moisture's Curling Custard. I was pumped to use my new products from Carol's Daughter.

Overall. the wash day went well. It only took almost two weeks but I'm actually okay with my haircut now. 

Product Review: Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner

Price: $9.75 for 13 fl.oz. I bought my bottle from Walgreens but you can also find it at Target, and CVS.

Ingredients: Deionized Water, Butyrospermum, Parkii (Shea Butter), Argan Oil, Coconut Oil, Behentrimonium Chloride, Essential Oil Blend, Vegetable Glycerin, Emulsifying Wax, Sea Kelp Extract, Panthenol (Vitamin B-5), Avocado Oil, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle), Flower (and) Lonicera Japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil. 

Directions/Suggested Use: Work conditioner through hair from root to ends. Leave on for 3 minutes, then rinse. For deeper conditioning, leave on for up to 15 minutes. As a leave-in, work a dime-sized amount through damp hair, than style as desired.

How I used it:  When I bought this conditioner, I intended to use it for deep conditioner. It wasn't until I used it for a couple of times that I realized I could use it as a leave-in as well. So I now I use it as a deep conditioner,  rinse out conditioner and a leave-in. 

What I love about it:  It's a triple threat for such a great price.  It promises to "detangle, moisturize, repair and restore lifeless, damaged hair. After using it for a month, I notice that my hair is retaining more moisture and I haven't had any issues with knots or tangles. Also, like the other SheaMoisture products, the smell is so good. The smell is evident but not overpowering, which I like. 

What I don't like:  Honestly, I don't have any complaints. I absolutely love this product.

Final thoughts:  This conditioner is definitely on my list of go-to products. I'm going to keep using this as a rinse-out conditioner and leave-in. I curious about the Shea Moisture masque so I might try one for as a deep conditioner in the near future.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The search for moisturizing products: Review of DevaCurl Set It Free

Retaining moisture has been an issue for me since I big chopped in April. Add the California dry air + hard water to the mix and now you understand my struggle.  So, after my disastrous trim, one of my new goals is to find the products/techniques to keep my hair moisturized. Now, I'm against becoming a product junkie but at the same time I need to try different products until I find the ones that work best for my hair. I still abide by one rule though: I can't by a new product until I have used up at least one old product. My theory is that this will keep me from having baskets full of products that I never use. And you know what? It's been working so far.

Now the only good thing that came from my trim was I found a new product to try: DevaCurl Set It Free. Here are my thoughts on the product thus far:


Price: $19.95 for 6 fl.oz. I bought my bottle from the stylist that cut my hair. I know, I can't believe I actually bought something after my experience. But, if you do some research, I bet you can purchase it for less.

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Isopropyl Myristate, Acrylates/C12-22, Alkyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Cetearyl Alcohol, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Lipids, Beeswax (Cera Alba, Cire D'Abeille), Melissa Officinalis Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, Ceteareth-20, PVP, Aminomethyl Propanol, DVDM Hydantoin, Fragrance (Parfum).

Directions/Suggested Use: Mist on wet or dry hair.

How I used it:  Since I'm rocking a shorter TWA these days, I opted for spraying it in my hands and rubbing it in my hair. I found this to be more effective for me. In addition to using it as a refresher spray, I also used it after applying my leave-in conditioner and SheaMoisture's Curl Enhancing Smoothie in the morning and before bed. I've been using it for almost two weeks now, so I think I have a grasp on how it works for my hair.

What I love about it:  I love the smell. I didn't realize how much I liked the smell of hair products, until now. Most of the hair products I use are all natural and smell divine. So, I give it an A+ in that area alone. Another thing I love about this product is that it actually works! It claims to "enhance curls" and it it definitely does.  If I ran out of my Curl Enhancing Smoothie, I could use this and get the same defined curls.  The moisture also lasts throughout the day and even though I reapplied it at night, my hair wasn't dry. This mist leaves my hair feeling soft without weighing it down.

What I don't like:  The price. As much as I loved the results, I can't justify spending that much on a hair product, especially for 6 fl.oz.

Final thoughts:  This is a great refresher spray/moisturizer. If I can purchase it somewhere else for less, I will definitely buy it again. Until then, I may have to revisit Soultanicals Hair Sorrell Knappylicious Kink Drink, which is sold for $14.00 here.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  Any reviews or opinions expressed about items in this post are my own personal views. I purchased all items with my own funds and have not received any compensation for writing my opinion. I have no connection to the products or brands mentioned in this post.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

New products for Wash Day & How a trim turned into an unplanned 2nd Big Chop

New Products for Wash Day

This week has been crazy to say the least. With moving into a new place and trying to settle in, my regular hair routines for the week were thrown off completely.

For this month's "Wash Day Experience" sponsored by Just Grow Already and Saving Our Strands, there are weekly wash day themes for September. This week I incorporated the themes for week 1 & week 2 (Uncharted Territory and Tried & True). One of my goals for this month was to try new products and improve my hair regimen. Up to this point, the only real issue that I had was retaining moisture. My hair is really thick and dense, so my hair has a problem retaining moisture.   Last weekend, I decide to use SheaMoisture's  Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner  & Carol's Daughter's Monoi Repairing Shampoo (a free gift from Ultra after buying Carol Daughter's Tui Moisturizing Leave-in Conditioner).  I did my regular tea rinse, followed by an ACV rinse and used the LOC method before prepping for bed.  The results were great and my hair felt better than it had in awhile. I definitely plan on using the Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner the rest of this month before officially adding it to my list of go-to products.


Unplanned 2nd Big Chop

Another goal for this month was to get my ends trimmed. I decided to go to a DevaCurl Salon, if you're interested in learning about more about DevaCurl products and the cutting method, go here.  I had envisioned maybe at most getting an 1/2 " or 1" trimmed off. Unfortunately, by the end of the visit I lost almost 5 inches of hair.

 Needlessly to say, I was in shock and more than a little upset. The hair stylist explained that my hair was severely dry and that was the reason for cutting so much of the length off.  I don't know if I agree with the loss of so much length and while I was upset after ( I cried for about an hour after I got home), I realized that this is just a minor set back. I can use this as a learning experience and going forward I need to really focus on keeping my hair moisturized especially my ends. The good news is that my hair grows fast and with proper care it will be longer than before.  So instead of the nearly 8-10 inches of hair (when stretched in some places), I now have about 5 inches of hair. The cut itself is uneven, with longer pieces in the middle/back and short in the front.

I'm not ready to share a pic of the new haircut yet, but I will at some point :).

Have you experienced any setbacks in your natural hair journey? What did you do going forward? Feel free to share comments, experiences or advice below.

Until next time!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Review of August's Goals, Goals for September + Results of Summer Castor Oil Challenge

Summer is officially over! It feels like it went by so fast. I'm sad to see summer go but I'm already excited about my plans for next summer ;).  All in all, I did pretty well with my goals for August. I'm proud of how much I accomplished with the move to Monterey and adjusting to live in Cali.

Goals for August

*  Try at least  hairstyle this month----My intentions were good but I definitely failed at this one.
* Research a hairstylist for a trim/research how to trim ends at home    done! As much as I want to believe I can do this at home, I'm going to a professional. Hopefully, I'll be able to trim my own hair in the future.
* Get back to doing tea rinses (I took a week off during the move)   done
* Participate in and complete Jen's 30 Days without Split Ends Challenge  done
* Reevaluate regimen and see if changes need to be made  done. 
* Drink at least 1 liter of water twice a week  Epic failure! In my defense, the water here in Seaside/Monterey is doesn't compare to the water in Ohio :(. But, we're buying our water now and I hope to be better about it this month.
* Work on handstands and headstands at least twice a week   Almost. I've been working on my headstands and neglected my handstands a little. This month I need to focus on both.
* Complete Summer Castor Oil Challenge and register for the  Kinky Curly Coily Me's Fall Castor Oil Challenge   done! (Great challenge. I'm pumped to do the fall challenge as well.)

Goals for September

*Participate in 30 Days of Moisture with Just Grow Already & Relaxed Thairapy (There is still time to sign up!)
* Participate in Kinky Curly Coily Me! 's Fall Castor Oil Challenge. The deadline to register is Sept. 7th! Don't miss out on a great challenge.
* Try a new nighttime routine for my TWA.
* Get a trim/dust my ends--The appointment is already scheduled :).

Summer Castor Oil Challenge Results

The challenge ended on August 31st but it has taken me an extra couple of days to share the results. I went into this challenge with no expectations. I wanted to see if Castor Oil would be beneficial for my hair and it was. My hair was softer and thicker, my hair was already thick to begin with but I still noticed a change. Also, I had some more hair growth along the edges. Nothing huge but again I saw a difference. 
Throughout the challenge I used my JBCO as a pre-poo and to seal in moisture on a daily basis. This time I plan to do the same thing, however, I will also add in emu oil

Here are some pictures from the beginning, middle and end of the challenge.

Did you participate in any summer challenges? If so, how did they go?  Do you plan on doing any challenges this month? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Until next time :)!