New Year, New Hair Goals

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Wiggin’ It!
Wearing my new everyday
lookby Freetress

I want three more inches!  My hair has been stuck at APL (armpit length) for what seems like forever.  Part of this is due to my frequent trimming to even out my layers and add thickness.  Now that my layers are growing out, I want to concentrate on overall hair growth.

At the end of 2014 I started looking into ways that I could retain more length in the new year. Of course a lot of people with longer hair contend that protective styling is what got them the hair we all lust after.  I for one am not keen on putting my hair away for months at a time.  I love variety and my scalp does not do well under such conditions.  It looks like cleansing my hair multiple times per week is preferred.  So any type of long-term protective styling is out.

I do still want at least three more inches though and I want them this year!  I’m thinking along the lines of protective styling on the go with wigs and half wigs.  I can braid my hair up underneath the wig and no one would be the wiser.  This would also allow for washing and co-washing whenever I need to. 

So far, I only have two wigs and a diy u-part wig which requires that I leave some of my own hair out.  My current wig selection is okay but, I’ve got my eye on a couple of styles that may be more in line with what I’m craving right now.  I don’t want to wear anything too outrageous.  Just something to get me through the next few months while I quietly hide my real hair. 

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Same wig with shorter bangs

As far as haircare goes, I plan to keep my hair in good condition by doing deep treatments weekly.  I will probably use things like light protein treatments, moisturizing deep treatments and hot oil treatments.  I have videos for how I do these on my Youtube channel.  I’m also putting away the scissors.  I can’t seem to get enough of those blunt cut ends but I’ve been cutting off all of my progress.  I do like to do a light trim on my ends every three months though so we’ll see.  Here’s to reaching new lengths in the new year. . . fingers crossed.

In Review: Shea Moisture’s Purification Masque

This morning I posted a video on my Youtube channel showing my first impression after using the Purification Masque by Shea Moisture.  The product claims to relieve itching from dry scalp caused by conditions like dandruff, eczema and psoriasis.  I suffer from scalp psoriasis which thankfully is a lot better after taking my vitamin supplements and eating healthy.  I still have a little bit of an itchy scalp so I thought I would try this product to see if it would help.  Check out the video to see what I thought!

MY REVIEW ON SHEA MOISTURE’S PURIFICATION MASQUE

Also, be sure to take a look at my recent posts on how I deal with my psoriasis.  It is an autoimmune disease that tends to flare up during the fall and winter.  I talk about how I cleanse my scalp without causing too much stress on my hair and also how diet and supplements help me to get my skin back
to normal.  

How I Maintain My Straight Natural Hair

I’ve been wearing my natural hair straight more often recently.  My straight hair calls for a totally different routine than the one I would use for my hair when it is shrunken and curly.  My main objective for my straight hair is to keep it looking fresh while maintaining moisture levels.  Some naturals find this hard because our hair can revert back to curly so easily.

Hair that is moisturized looks and feels so much better after using direct heat.  I still moisturize and seal my hair while it’s straight but I’m also aware that starting the straightening process with a moisture based deep condition is key.  I also use grapeseed oil to seal in the moisture from my leave-in conditioner prior to air drying, roller setting or blow drying my hair.  Ever since I added the grapeseed oil to my flat ironing regimen, I have noticed that my hair feels softer and more supple after straightening.  The oil also helps to give my hair a smoother finish without having to use extremely high temperatures.

 
 

Once my hair is straight, I continue to moisturize it using a leave-in conditioner.  I’m currently using Herbal Essence Touchably Smooth Split End Protector*.  The trick here is to use just a little bit so that it doesn’t wet my hair.  I split my hair into two sections and then apply a dime size amount (or less) to one section.  I then use two to three drops of grapeseed oil to seal in the moisture.  I don’t have to do this every day that my hair is straight because the oil does such a great job of locking the moisture in.

When I want to keep my hair really straight I just wrap it and then wear a wig cap to keep my wrap down tight.  I used to use a satin scarf but it kept coming off at night.  In the morning I just comb my hair down with a wide tooth comb and go.  If I have curls in my hair then I do five or six large pin curls and go to sleep with a satin bonnet or scarf.  The next day, all I have to do is take the pins out and finger comb my curls.

 

My straight natural hair isn’t perfect though.  I still get fuzzy edges from when water seeps in underneath the edge of my shower cap.  My nape area also tends to revert back way before wash day but I’ve learned to just live with it.  I usually wear it straight for about a week but would like to start stretching that to two weeks in the future.

*Formerly and currently known as the Long Term Relationship Split End Defense Cream depending on which packaging is available.

Be sure to check out my Youtube Channel, Mitchellzee, for videos on my Straight Natural Hair routine

Olive Oil Pre-Poo for Dry Hair

www.curlyincolorado.com olive oil pre poo shampoo dry hairJust thought I would share that my hair is making a turn around thanks to my new bestie Extra
Virgin Olive Oil.  This stuff is amazing!  I’m so glad because I was really beginning to worry about where my tresses would end up without some major TLC.  One of the ways I have incorporated the oil is demonstrated in my video below.  I’m learning how important a good pre-poo treatment is if I’m going to continue using shampoo.

I have used mild shampoos and sulfate free versions in the past.  I noticed though that they didn’t always remove all of the product from my hair.  Last summer, I was using shampoo all of the time because we were doing lots more swimming.  It all caught up with me and resulted in dryness that my natural hair is not accustomed to.  Also, the dryness that comes with the Colorado winter weather doesn’t exactly help either.  So, I’m super excited that the olive oil is working for me.

WATCH HOW I DO A PRE-POO WITH OLIVE OIL
Also, my braid outs have been looking a lot better since I’ve started using the olive oil.  I first apply leave-in conditioner, which lately is Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in, and then put a little oil on the section. Then I braid it up and finger coil the ends.  My hair is turning out a lot softer using this method because I’m moisturizing the hair from root to tip.  So it’s olive oil for the win!  I’ll be using this in my regimen for the next few months and post an update on how my hair is doing.

Straight Natural Hair: Prepping My Hair for Heat

www.curlyincolorado.com  Straight Natural Hair
“Platform” Flat Iron with 1″ plates
by FHI 

I am proud to say that I’m finally coming to the end of my four month No Heat Challenge.  The challenge started on October 1st of 2013 and ends on February 1st, 2014.  I was able to get through the holiday season without using heat to style my hair.  This is a first for me because I’m known for wearing my hair straight for special occasions.   This challenge taught me that there are plenty of other styles for when I want something more exciting.

In my no heat challenge video I explained that I would be straightening my hair and doing a length check in February.  Then I will see if giving my hair a break from the heat resulted in more length retention.  Now that the day is fast approaching, I’ve been thinking of ways to fortify my hair so that it will be ready for the heat.  My first thought was to use the Aphogee 2 Step protein treatment because it is known for it’s ability to strengthen the hair.  I’ve been experiencing some breakage though so I thought maybe I would address that issue first before doing such a strong treatment.

www.curlyincolorado.com Straight Natural Hair
Aphogee 2 Step Protein Treatment for
extra protection against heat and breakage

That led me to thinking about some of the things I did in the beginning of my journey when I had fewer problems with my hair.  Back then, I used a whipped shea butter mix that I made myself.  I was also a huge fan of olive and coconut oils for deep treatments.  Another thing I did were deep conditioning treatments one time per week, without fail.  Well, my regimen has gotten a little simpler but I think that some of these things were working for me so I’m bringing a few of them back.

Whenever I had dryness or breakage before, I always did moisturizing deep treatments twice a week until the issue was resolved.  After that, I would go back to once per week.  In that fashion, I deep conditioned last week using Tresemme Naturals Conditioner, for moisture, under a hooded dryer for about 30 minutes.  A few days later, I co-washed and  then used the new Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Strong version.  I would consider this conditioner a light protein treatment.  I wanted to alternate the moisture and protein treatments for balance.  Thankfully the Aussie conditioner also gave excellent slip so detangling was a breeze.

This week I still may do the Aphogee 2 step treatment but then, the day before straightening, I plan on doing nothing but moisture.  For this, I revisited an old video by Patchouli85 where she explains how to deep condition with coconut oil for moisture and honey for shine.  It’s a pre-poo treatment so you end up washing it out before using the heat.  The last time I did it my hair was so shiny and soft.  That’s exactly what my hair needs.

It’s so funny how right now the best thing for my hair is what I started doing at the beginning of my hair journey.  I’m just glad that I’m finally getting back on the right track.