About me portrait

New Year, New Hair Goals

www.curlyincolorado.com
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. 

www.curlyincolorado.com
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.

About me portrait

4 Month No Heat Challenge

Finally!  I’m gonna stop being stubborn and just own up to the fact that using heat on my hair is keeping me from achieving greater lengths.  I had my suspicions of this earlier this year but now I’ve decided to put myself to the test.  Even though I like the look of straight hair, I’m going to go without using my flat iron until February of 2014.  This may sound like a walk in the park to those of you who gave up straight hair a long time ago.  For me though, I’ve actually kept up with wearing my hair straight every other month.  Sometimes I even straighten twice in the same month.

Of course I saw how other naturals who were gaining two to three inches of growth every time they decided to lay of the heat for a 4-6 month break.  Still, I kept up with the same regimen hoping that maybe my light protein treatments would rescue my curls.  After having to trim some loose curls last month I decided that that was the final straw.  Using heat means I’m gonna be up for a trim so the more I use it, the more hair I lose.  I just can’t keep doing it so it’s time for me to step away from the flat iron and just style my hair in other ways.  Here’s a video discussing the, “rules,” for my personal no heat challenge.  Feel free to join in!

4 MONTH NO HEAT CHALLENGE
About me portrait

New Year; Same Hair Goal

Trying to get past this length in 2013

For my hair journey, the beginning of 2013 looks pretty much like the end of 2012.  My main focus this year will be to protect my hair from ME!  That’s right, I’ve figured out the real reason why I’m still sitting at the length I am now.  Some people call it “Scissor Happy” but I’m now calling it counter productive.  I really like when my ends have that blunt cut appearance and when they don’t, I’m pulling out the scissors.  As far as retaining length, with this way of thinking, I’m at a stand still with my hair.

Lately I have been looking for ways to distract myself because yes, I’ve been thinking about cutting again.  I hit APL (Arm Pit Length) at the sides a couple times in 2012 and saw it as an oppurtunity to even things up.  Now, I do still have bangs in the front and layers on the top and sides, so my bottom layer is still the lengthiest part of my hair overall.  I guess I have always wanted to help the other sections catch up to the rest which would mean trimming the longest bits little by little.  Still, even with that being the goal I figured I would just hover at BSL (Bra Strap Length) before trying to make my hair more even.  At this rate, I’ll never see BSL which for me is only two more inches away (in back; when the hair is stretched).

Last fall I counted and it looks like I gave myself at least 6-7 trims throughout the year.  Some to get rid of heat damage (searching for the perfect curl) and some to give my hair that look of blunt ends.  My last trim for 2012 was at the end of November and I honestly think I should put the scissors aside until the spring.  I really am curious to see where my hair will end up in the coming months but the urge to cut is always there.  Not sure if I can do it but I’m gonna try.

About me portrait

Healthy Hair and Skin from the Inside

Recent twist and curl style

I am pretty happy with my hair recently and am feeling like things are getting back to normal.  By that I mean I was having some issues with dry, flaky scalp followed up by a month or two with heavy shedding.  Both issues are finally getting under control so I have been uploading to my YouTube channel more often with hair tutorials.  Before now though it was so frustrating to do anything with my hair because I almost felt like there was no point.  The flakes made it look so bad that I didn’t even want to go out some days.

One of the things that I think helped was that I started working on my immune system to help get my skin under control.  I have psoriasis and I have known for a while now that the inflammation in my skin is because of something not quite right with my immune system.  When the psoriasis flared up I started introducing probiotics into my system by eating a serving of Activia yogurt each day.  This helped with digestion and made it possible for my body to absorb my supplements better.  After doing that for 2-3 weeks I decided to go back to a more effective multi-vitamin formulated for women.  It costs more but has proved to be much better for my body than the usual store brands.

So happy my scalp is finally clearing up

I also added some supplements to my daily routine like garlic, super B-Complex and vitamin E.  The garlic helped with the shedding and didn’t start working right away but I can tell that I am shedding fewer hairs per wash session now.  I would say it took about a 3-4 weeks before it started to make a difference.  The B-Complex contains biotin and I can see that it is helping my nails so hopefully it’s doing something for my hair as well.  The Vitamin E is a given because it’s known for being good for the skin.  I usually try to take my multi-vitamin on its own  and then the other supplements together at another time during the day.  Both times are with a meal.  I also started drinking Green Tea for the antioxidants and increased my daily water intake.

With the Colorado climate being especially dry right now,  I hope that this regimen will get me through the winter without having anymore problems.  For now,  I’m using shea butter to moisturize my skin and staying away from heavy oils on my scalp to avoid build-up.  I’ve also started doing more finger detangling instead of using a tool to get rid of shed hairs.  

NOTE:  As with anything health related be sure and speak with a physician when considering adding vitamins and supplements to your daily routine  

About me portrait

Protecting Your Hair at Night

Satin Bonnet
for when I’m wearing rollers and
curly braid outs

I’ve been writing lately about Protective Hairstyles which can help with length retention.  Yet another way to protect the hair is by wrapping it up at night.  This may sound like a no brainer to some but there is a lot of benefit for the hair by doing this one thing.   This practice can be a huge help when trying to reach your hair length goals.

I  recently re-read a bit of Wanakee Pugh’s “Practical Guide to Haircare” and something stood out to me.  She stated that even if your hair is too short to be pulled back into a protective style, you can still benefit from wrapping your hair at night.  This reminded me of the beginning of my Natural Hair journey because I did this faithfully every night.  My hair was maybe only 1 1/2 inches long at the time but I kept it wrapped up in my satin scarves when I went to sleep.  Now that my hair is longer I can tell a huge difference in my hair when I go to bed without covering it up.  I wake up to tangles and sometimes dryness.  I agree that it is not the cutest look going but it works.

I mentioned my satin scarves (I have a nice little collection) but you can also use a satin bonnet.  Satin is a man made material that is easy to wash and can be long lasting.  This is highly recommended as far as material choice because it does not draw moisture away from the hair and is smooth so it won’t disturb it very much while you sleep.  When I wear rollers to bed I usually reach for my satin bonnet.  Otherwise, I have scarves in a variety of sizes for when I wear braids, twists and protective styles to bed.  Here’s a few pics of how I wrap my hair.

Pineapple for the Corkscrew Braid Out
with my edges protected

Air drying while smoothing my edges 

Large Satin Scarf to protect my
 Roller Set from the rain

Satin Bonnets and Scarves from
the local BSS