Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hair Story Feature: Meet Tathiana

Your hair is? Natural

When did you start your hair journey? What inspired you?
I started my natural hair journey in January 2014. I was inspired by other natural women on YouTube.

Describe your hair for us.
In its stretched state my hair is around SL to APL. I have a bunch of textures in my head... 3C in the back, 4B in the middle, and 4C on the sides I think. It's a jungle! I have high density hair and my strands have medium thickness.

What is your current regimen?
I wash with shampoo once a week, cowash twice a week, deep condition at least twice a week, and wear wash and gos.

Do you have any hair goals? Have you achieved them?
I want my hair to retain moisture and be overall healthy. I am hoping that in the process my hair will eventually grow to BSL in its shrunken state. I am ready for the challenge.

How did you achieve them? How are you working to achieve them?
I keep my hair moisturized with cowashing and deep conditioning. I try to keep my hands out of my hair but its hard!

Have you had any setbacks? How did you bounce back?
I had a setback once I decided not to wear wigs or weaves anymore (or at least for a long while). My natural hair was not getting the proper moisture it needed in these protective styles so I am still in the processes of getting my hair to retain more moisture.

How has your hair journey impacted other parts of your life?
I am significantly more patient and organized now.

What are your favorite protective styles?
I haven't done too many protective styles because I like wash and gos but I used to enjoy protecting my hair under wigs... not anymore. I'll be experimenting with mini twists soon!

What are some of your favorite products?
The SheaMoisture JBCO line has really been impressive lately. Actually any SheaMoisture product to be honest...

How do you deal with people who doubt you? What motivates you to keep going?
I don't deal with them. My goals help me to move along.

What advice would you give someone just starting out on their journey?
Learn to be patient. Patience will take you very far in any journey.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things (e.g. conditioner, bobby pins) would you wish you had?
1. Water
2. Coconut oil
3. SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave In Conditioner
4. Satin scarf/pillowcase
5. Aloe Vera Juice

What do you love most about your hair?
I love how versatile it is. It can be shrunken one day and longer the next. Frizzy or smooth depending on styling. Twisted up or naturally curly. I love it!

Where can we find you on the web?

Thank you for sharing your story with us Tathiana!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Hair Story Feature: Meet Rachie

Your hair is? Relaxed (this includes texlaxed)

When did you start your hair journey? What inspired you?
I started my healthy hair journey officially in January 2013. I was inspired by YOU actually! I was tired of having perpetually shoulder length hair, so I did some reading, looking for someone with hair similar to mine, and I found (you) Jeni from "Just Grow Already", Traycee from "KISS", Chime Edwards and Leila from "Fusion of Cultures" and I was like, so it is possible! So I decided to give it a try!

Describe your hair for us.
My hair is now just above or at waist length; Hair type: 4abc, transitioning to fully texlaxed hair, high porosity, fine, medium density.

What is your current regimen?
A. From Within: I take a Hair Skin and Nails multivitamin daily - (I try), drink at least 1.5 liters of water per day, and I try to exercise 3 or 4 times per week.

B. From Without:
Daily Regimen: 1. Moisturize and seal my hair at nights (with my Profectiv Mega Growth Leave In Conditioner & Grape seed/Castor Oil Mix - a little goes a long way), 2. Baggying/GHE method every 2-3 days with scalp massage (with scalp massage oil mix), 3. I wear a satin scarf at nights - if not I make sure I have my satin pillow cases!

My Wash Days are mainly once a week, I may deep condition twice a week though if my hair asks for it :-)*
When I use Shampoo: I Pre-poo with Coconut Oil for 1hr/overnight with a plastic cap, then wash with Design Essentials Moisture Retention Shampoo, Then Moisturizing Deep Conditioning with Herbal Essences Hello Hydration (HEHH) Conditioner (with plastic cap and heat) for 45 mins at least, I then rinse with warm followed by cold water, followed by an AVC Rinse. I Dry with a cotton T shirt for 10 mins the proceed to Air Dry with the same products I use to moisturize and seal with nightly. Once Dry I tend to redo/re-install my protective style for the week - braids/twists.
*When I don't use Shampoo: I co-wash with Mane and Tail Deep Moisturizing Conditioner/ HEHH Conditioner.
* I always Air Dry - unless I just Texlaxed, at which point I'd do a roller set.

Two Weekly: Black Tea rinses every 2 weeks or at least once a month, and Protein Treatment every 2 weeks or at least once a month with Nexxus Polymedic Emergency Reconstructor.

Monthly: Search and Destroy - trim away any split ends or SSKs

Texlaxing: I don't have a fixed schedule for this one, but I do it AT LEAST 10 weeks apart, with an average of 12-14 weeks. I use ORS Normal Strength Lye Relaxer for Fine hair.

Do you have any hair goals? Have you achieved them?
This year I'd love to achieve Thick Fully Texlaxed hair, at WHIP Length - I dream big, LOL :-)

How did you achieve them? How are you working to achieve them?
My original goal was to reach WL, and I achieved it on the fateful day of June 11th 2014! Raaaay! I think I achieved it by doing my best to be consistent with my regimen, and being patient! The latter was a challenge in the first few months of the journey. I think once I started to see the health of my hair improving, I could then sit back and "trust the process" :-). For 2015, I'm focusing on Length Retention - by way of protective styling and lots of strand TLC - as well as healthy eating and exercise to achieve my goal.

Have you had any setbacks? How did you bounce back?
Gosh! I had a major setback in December 2013, when I tried Cassia just before I went home to Jamaica for Christmas Holidays - worst timing ever! I guess I didn't do it properly, or my hair dislikes Cassia intensely, but long and short, it was a matted mess that took 4 days to fully detangle, yes you read that right, 4 whole days! I had to cut out knots, my husband (then fiance) had to cut out knots, I lost about 2/3 of a small dustbin of hair. I BAWLED! Lol, Its all good now though, I'm still trying to grow out that part of my hair, but so it goes, you live you learn. I started protective styling in braids right after the "Cassia Incident" which saved the hair I had left, thank goodness!
Another recent setback was this December 2014 - hmmm, seeing a trend? lol - I got married (yay!) but the stress of the planning took its toll and I had loads of breakage and shedding! I cut about 3 or 4 inches over the course of December and early January to get rid of the straggly ends that were left behind :-( Ah well, no worries, 2015 is a New Year! :-)

How has your hair journey impacted other parts of your life?
In lots of ways! I have to say its been really good in terms of helping me to get back into a better mindset with regards to healthy eating and regular exercise. Also, I have met a lot of great people (on the web and in person) who are also on or are considering going on a healthy hair journey. It's so nice to be able to share experiences, product suggestions, techniques as well as get feedback and advice from others on the same journey! In fact, many of my friends are now on Relaxed/Transitioning/Natural hair journeys for 2015! Woot woot! HHJ to the world! :-)

What are your favorite protective styles?
Right now my go-to protective style is braids with twists at the ends. I put it all in a bun when I go to work, to protect my ends from the drying effect of the air conditioning.

What are some of your favorite products?
1. Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditioner
2. Profectiv Mega Growth leave In Conditioner
3. My DIY grape seed + castor oil mix, and scalp massage oil mix (has rosemary oil for growth, yay!)
4. Design Essentials Moisture Retention Shampoo (probably the only shampoo my hair really really loves at this point)
5 Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl and Style Milk - Oooo the smell is heavenly!

How do you deal with people who doubt you? What motivates you to keep going?
Naysayers are all around! But, you know what? So are the positive uplifting people! I just made a conscious effort to start surrounding myself with positive people, and once I did that it made the journey that much more enjoyable. Seeing my hair respond positively to what I was doing was a HUGE plus, and for that reason I am motivated to continue on the journey! :-)

What advice would you give someone just starting out on their journey?
Read as much as you can - there's a TONNE of information out there!, develop a simple regimen that works for YOU, set a hair goal (as in what you REALLY want to achieve, don't limit yourself - easier said than done sometimes), Take a starter picture, and then just go for it! It takes time and and patience to see results, but once your consistent, and get to find out what your hair wants, you'll see results! It's soooo worth it! :-)

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things (e.g. conditioner, bobby pins) would you wish you had?
1. My trusty Goody brush
2. Profectiv Mega Growth Leave-in conditioner
3. My grape seed + castor oil mix
4. Satin scarf
5. Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditioner.
If I had a sixth.... :-D.... I'd say bobby pins!

What do you love most about your hair?
Definitely it's uniqueness! It's hard to type it because it behaves differently depending on the moon, rotation of the earth, the Chinese calendar.... LOL! It's definitely in the type 4 category, but its all my own, uniquely me! :-)

Where can we find you on the web?
Blog | Instagram: @rachiedarling85 | Facebook

Thank you for sharing your story Rachie, your hair is GORGEOUS!

If you'd like to share your hair story, submit it here.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Return of the Wash Day & Twists Have Won My Heart

Feels like I've been gone forever and a day, thank you ALL so much for the encouraging emails and well wishes!!!!!!!! I've missed you all! I survived the bar exam. I've pretty much been a walking zombie who has been catching up on sleep and restoring her sanity... at least until I have to start studying for my next one. I'm a glutton for punishment huh?

I'd fully intended to do a complete recap like my last wash day post, but the first week I'd only done a boring fluffy bun that you've seen lots of times before so we'll skip that and get into these twists that have completely won me over.

If you've been following the blog since it's early days (I started my HHJ in 2009), I've never worn twists, braids, or hair of any kind, so these twists were a big (and welcomed) changed for me. Over the last couple of weeks I've had pretty much zero patience or time to do battle with my transitioning hair so I decided to put my hair in twists to give it a break.

I started off by watching a handful of YouTube videos on marley twists and the invisible root method, and when I sat down to do my hair, I quickly realized that doing the invisible root method was not a skill that I possessed. I really can't do it. Like my fingers and brain just cannot communicate when it comes to figuring out the invisible root method.


I use Janet Collection Afro Marley Hair, color: 2, for my twists. To prep the hair I soaked it in apple cider vinegar, to strip it of some of the chemicals the synthetic hair is treated with.


[1] Pre-poo as normal with conditioner. I've been using either Shea Moisture Intensive Hydration Conditioner or Kenra Moisturizing Conditioner.
[2] Shampooing with a moisturizing shampoo, either Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Shampoo or Bobeam shampoo bar.
[3] Tea rinsed.
[4] Deep conditioned with either SheScentIt Curl Moist Conditioner or HairVeda Sitrinillah Deep Conditioner.
[5] After deep conditioning, I apply my trusty leave-ins Kurlee Belle Thirsty Kurls Leave-In + Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum to seal in my leave-in.

Once my normal wash day routine is done, I section my hair and twist. To secure the hair I start off as if I'm doing a braid and after about 4 plaits, I switch to twisting.


I've been undoing my twists every 2 weeks to fully wash and deep condition my hair but in between  the take down days (about 1-2 times a week), I've been saturating my hair with watered down conditioner (with a little glycerin added for extra moisture).

After rinsing the conditioner from my hair, I spray my scalp and hair with apple cider vinegar + water. Next, I wrap my hair in a towel for about an hour and then retwist the front sections and sections that are frizzy and need to be redone.


I'm absolutely in love with my twists. They've been such an easy to way to wear my hair and completely tucks my hair away. Don't be surprised if a few years after I'm completely natural I suddenly say I'm going to loc my hair O_O

Tell me all about your wash day!!!

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