Friday, 31 January 2014

Friday Frolic - I'm in love with baths!

I am totally a 'Friday' girl! I have always been. I just come alive on the weekends and I usually kick the weekend off with some Friday fun. So I guess I want to inject a bit more of me into the blog by doing "Friday Frolic" posts. I mean really, you didn't think the only thing that interests me is hair, did you?! No! So on Fridays, I want to share other parts of my life with you, and yes you read today's title right, I really am about to share my bath time habit.

For a while, I did not take baths (and by that I mean I only took showers!! lol) I just did not have an hour or so to waste away in a tub. But recently I got a new tub installed and decided to give it a whirl...we have been going steady ever since. There is just something about running a hot bath at the end of the week, after you have worked up a sweat in the gym. It just feels as if you are washing away the stress of the week, it's like food for a hungry soul!

Thursday, 30 January 2014

My Go-To Products & Techniques While Short-term Protective Styling

Am I ODing with the protective styling posts yet? I know, once I'm into something I'm all in! Plus, there's just so much to discuss re PSing. So today we delve once again into my product stash, and find out what I've been reaching for during the last month of weekly protective styling, as well as a few techniques which I use regularly. Let's start on wash day, shall we?


Wednesday, 29 January 2014

All Night Week Long - How to Make Your Protective Style Last

Naturals have been doing it since forever. Many of them set their style on wash day and maintain it until the next wash rolls around. It is bomb for length retention since it allows you to both protective style and reduce manipulation.

protective styles

I love long-term protective styling! I really do. It's a great way to take care of your hair with ease and it's awesome when you just need a break. But I decided to forego the wig as a means of protective styling and there is no way for me to get braids (with extensions) or a weave installed in these parts, so my next best is to utilize styles that last in the mid-range time frame, i.e. 1-2 weeks at a time.

You may have already encountered my HOTW posts. This is where I create a style at the beginning of the week and wear it throughout. There is no restyling and especially NO combing. Therefore, these styles are great for both increasing protection and reducing manipulation, result? super duper length retention! Below the Waist length here I come lol

I admit, finding a decent style that will hold up through a week's worth, may not be the easiest. So, here are a few tips to help you accomplish this task:

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Flowers? For me?! - Hair of the Week (HOTW)

I am continuing with my weekly protective styling plan. This week's style was a lot of fun to do. It features flat twists and two-strand twists shaped into flowers.

HOTW - Flower Power

Monday, 27 January 2014

I Could Get Used to This! - Wash Day 1.26.14

Yesterday was wash day, at which time I was 2 days short of 6 weeks post relaxer, and yet it was as smooth as butter.

I started off by pre-pooing with Aubrey's Honeysuckle Rose  (+ the remainder of a conditioner mix from last wash day). I detangled with my fingers and a wide tooth comb and then put my hair into 4 braids for the wash process. (Can I tell you?! The Aubrey may not have a lot of slip, but it is great for detangling because it is so moisturizing and gives my hair elasticity. It works really well.) I then sat under a plastic cap and bonnet dryer for 15 mins and left it in for quite a while thereafter. 

"co-poo" mix

Saturday, 25 January 2014

It's OK - Hair Edition

No one is perfect and everyone is different. On hair journeys, we will have similarities but the differences will also abound. Sometimes we are made to feel that what we are doing isn't right or that there is a better way to skin the cat. I'm here to reassure you that there is no right way to eat spaghetti and that it's OK...

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Put a Sock in it! - DIY sock donut

In line with my current protective styling stint, I am featuring a gadget that may just take your PSing to the next level! It's no question that the bun is one of, if not THE most popular protective style. It is versatile, easy and can be done on hair in a variety of states. There are elegant low buns, fun top buns, messy buns, big buns, small ones...the list goes on and on.

But what if my hair alone just doesn't get me the results I desire when bunning?
Well, that's why we're here grasshopper! There is a gadget on the market that is designed to give you full beautiful buns every time. Enter the "Soft 'N Style Hair Donut ". You simply make a ponytail, then add the donut to your hair and have it sit on the ponytail holder. That is, the ponytail is pulled through the donut.

That's a great idea, but the Soft 'N Style Hair Donut doesn't look so soft to me, it may very well snag my hair. Are there any alternatives?
Ahh grasshopper, you ask all the right questions. Let me show you how to create a donut by using only a pair of socks and scissors.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Love Potion - Simple Hand and Strand Moisturizer

We're in the depths of winter and with that come dry hands, feet and hair.

I have only ever found one product that I loved for moisturizing my hands and that was the Soap and Glory Hand Food. It left my hands feeling really moisturized without a 'lotion-y' after-feel and too strong a smell. It was gifted to me by a friend who went on vacation to America and so I am unable to get my hands on it now. I have tried so many others but nothing left my hands feeling the same.

EVOO to go

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Benefits of Protective Styling other than Length Retention

We all know that protective styling is king when it comes to length retention. But there are several other reasons to jump on the PS wagon:

  1. You can wear lip gloss, no seriously

Monday, 20 January 2014

The Braid Parade - HOTD (W)

My hair just would not cooperate last night. After little less than an hour I gave in and went for something basic. This is what I ended up with...

Braided perimeter + braided bun

Friday, 17 January 2014

Using Protection - Arming Hair for Heat Styling

I've been talking a lot about heat in the last few posts (find them here and here). But no discussion about heat-styling is ever complete without mentioning heat protectants. As with any category of products, there are a mountain of options out there to cater to your whim and fancy. For the sake of brevity, I will speak on my methods in this post and of course you can chime in in the comments section about how you do things in your neck of the woods. Let's go.

L-R: LottaBody setting lotion, Nioxin Thermal Bliss, Aphogee Keratin & Green Tea Reconstructurizer,
Elasta QP Design Silk & ORS Thermal Protect and SHine

The way I use heat protectants depends on whether I'm using direct heat versus indirect heat.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Staying on the Straight and Narrow - Maintaining Straight Hair

Let's continue on the straight hair topic. This is a follow up to my previous post about achieving straight hair.

During my very first stretch on my new hair journey, I diligently took care of my hair and new growth. I was enjoying the fact that I was on my way to long healthy hair. I stretched for 8/ 9 months, but during month 7, I got really curious about the length I was (or wasn't) achieving. I pulled out my flat-iron! I can't remember right now if I blow-dried as well, but I know I used the comb-chase method and a lot of heat protectant, a lot! When I straightened, the excessive heat protectant made my hair look thin and stringy but I was pleased with the length. 

8 months into my HHJ/ 7 months post

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Exploring Your Options - Ways to Achieve Straight Hair

I mentioned in this post that I used quite a bit of heat during my vacay to keep my hair straight for the sake of manageability and ease. By 'quite a bit' I mean 3 times! That may or may not seem like a lot to some, but for me it is. This is so because I rarely use heat during the course of a regular month. As a matter of fact I usually go 3 or 4 months without it.

Needless to say, I was very cautious during the process of creating straight hair. That is, I did a protein, used heat protectants, and used low heat with few passes, but that's a whole 'notha post. The point of this one, is to discuss ways to get your hair straight and keep it that way (at least for a while) while using heat.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

You Got Me Twisted - HOTD

I say HOTD, but it's more like my HOTW; hair of the week.

Since I'm not long-term protective styling with wigs, my aim is to keep each style for a week without redoing it, so as to limit manipulation. Last week I did a simple single cornrow of my entire head, and accessorized with head bands. I was pleased that it lasted throughout sleep, work-outs, and everything in between. So this week I decided to try again, but with something different to break up the monotony.

This week's style is an up-do of sorts.

How to:

Monday, 13 January 2014

Saved by the Braids- Wash Day 1.14.14

Don't you just love easy breezy wash days?! *insert loong happy sigh*
This wash day was just that!

It started off with me doing a hot oil treatment using EVOO on Saturday. I applied the oil to my hair and scalp in sections and proceeded to braid each section after it had been oiled. I pinned them all up and went on my way. I didn't have any engagements this weekend and Monday is a national holiday, so I let my hair stay this way until I was ready to wash...I was finally ready on Monday lol.

Queen Helene/ Moroccan Argan Oil DC/ Hair Spa Aloe DC + EVOO
I woke up and applied my DC (pictured left) mix to the four sections while still braided. I wrapped my head in cling foil and a plastic cap and sat under my bonnet dryer for about a 1/2 an hour. It remained in this condition for another 2 hours. I hopped in the shower and rinsed the DC mix from my hair, and absent-mindedly applied the very same shampoo (herbal essences moisture shampoo) that I hated a few wash days back...oh hellll no! Why'd I do that? 

Saturday, 11 January 2014

If You Like it Then You Shoulda Put a Rinse on it...? - Clear Rinsing

I rambled about my interest in clear rinses before. I shared with you some of the benefits and reposted some testimonials from a few bloggers. The time has finally come for me to try it out.

I did the rinse on the wash day following my relaxer. I skipped it on relaxer day for a few reasons: I didn't have much time and I didn't plan on styling my hair properly. I simply air-dried and went on my merry way. I wanted to see the full effects of the rinse so I wanted to wait until I was able to style properly.

I started the following wash day with a coconut, EVOO, and grapeseed oil hot oil/ pre-poo treatment. I followed that with a mini clarifying wash with ORS (to fully remove any relaxer that may still be present, although I highly doubt that), then I deep conditioned with ORS HaiRepair Nourishing Conditioner (light protein), followed by a moisturizing DC with Queen Helene Cholesterol creme (ginseng) to be on the safe side. **You may remember I struggled with protein overload a little while ago ad I don't want to risk that agin. I think it's important to have the moisture/ protein balance on point as the clear rinse will 'lock' your hair in it's current state.** Finally, I cooled and sealed with Tresseme Moisture Rich conditioner and then did my clear rinse.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Vacay Behavior - Hair Edition

  Hey guys,

I'm here to share a few of the hair styles I wore during my winter break. I used quite a bit of heat in these styles (judgement-free zone lol).  I did a full flat iron only once after my relaxer, but I flat-ironed the roots of the roller-set twice subsequent to the full flat iron. It makes my hair more manageable and that's exactly what I needed during my 'time off'. 

I did flat-irons, braid-outs, roller sets and more.I didn't take as many pictures as I should have, but these are a few I captured. Take a peek.

En route to the Philippines (hair pulled up for the ride) 

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

New Year, New Hair

So it's a brand new year and I feel compelled to talk about my elaborate plan for my hair...except I don't have one. I will really only be continuing to execute my regimen or some variation thereof, and using what I have learnt last year especially with regards to the moisture/ protein balance. The only thing that will be different this year is the lack of long-term protective styling. During my last go round, I got super tired of my wig at around the 4 week mark and decided that that was it for a while. I still intend to protective style in the short term though. 

With that said, here are the few (hair) goals and intentions I wish to realize this year:

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Back for More - with a few new things

I'm baaackk! lol

Initially, I only planned to refrain from blogging for the week that I was in the Philippines, but then I was so caught up when I came back to Japan that no blogging was done. Anyway I'm here now and I thoroughly enjoyed my winter vacay! The weather, the food, the people and spending time with my boo thang lol but one of my favorite things was the shopping. I was really pleased to find that they have a wider array of western products including hair goodies and I took advantage.

I had just stocked up on a few of my must-haves in December, but who can resist trying out some new stuff?!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Happy 2014

I know this is a little late but I really want to wish everyone out there in the blogosphere a wonderful and prosperous new year. 

All the best for 2014.