Monday, April 21, 2014

Hair Story Feature: Meet Sabrina

Your hair is?... Natural

When and why did you start your hair journey?
When I was little my family put a perm in my hair, I disliked having my hair at the nape of my neck and I hated the perms.

What is your current regimen?
For a couple of years i have been braiding my hair,using natural oils and using organic shampoos and conditioner now I just use argon oil and go get a blowout every two and a half months because my hair is at a lovely length.

Do you have any hair goals? Have you achieved them?
Now my goals are to just keep growing.Yes! It took years but I was dedicated.

How did you achieve them? How are you working to achieve them?
I have achieved them by just eating healthy, being patient, not messing with my hair or combing it, I use no products out of the store but argon oil (Organix products).

What do you wish you knew at the start of your journey?
Well I researched about every part of the hair to see what I was doing wrong.

Have you had any setbacks? How did you bounce back?
For one part when I wore my weave I left the same hair out and flat ironed it everyday leaving it to break off but now I wear my hair down everyday and it's growing at a good pace.

What are your favorite protective styles?
Then it was weaves but now I just wrap my hair everynight and brush it twice a day with a paddle brush to keep from tangles.

What are some of your favorite products?
Organix Argon Oil, castor oil (for hot oil treatments), Organix Brazilian Keratin Shampoo and Conditioner.

What do you love most about your hair?
It's so long, natural, straight... and the best part, it's all mine!!

How do you deal with people who doubt you? What motivates you to keep going?
I show them the pics and encourage them that it will make you feel more of a women. ANYBODY can do it if they set their mind to it.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things (e.g. conditioner, bobby pins) would you wish you had?
Scarf, paddle brush, oil, organix shampoo and conditioner.

What is the funniest or strangest hair related experience you've ever had?
I flat ironed my hair and it looked nice so I wanted it to last all day and I put the tresemme extra hold spray on by the time I got home it was and big frizz that was stiff lol.

Where can we find you on the web? Visit me on Facebook at Sabrina Williams.



Thank you for sharing your story Sabrina!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Hair Story Feature: Meet Tiki

Your hair is?... Relaxed (this includes texlaxed)

When and why did you start your hair journey?
January 2011

What is your current regimen?
I co-wash 1-3 times during the week because I run. I do a full wash day on the weekends. I moisturize and seal 2-3 times per week. I find that if I cowash I don't have to m/s often. I only use heat for length checks and trimming my ends. I mostly protective style and it's time for me to start wigging it again

Do you have any hair goals? Have you achieved them?
My initial goal was to grow to APL. However, it seems with each goal I set that it gets extended. Right now my goal is to grow to HL.

What do you wish you knew at the start of your journey?
I wish I knew that less was more. It seems like once I cut back on cowashing and manipulation, my hair has flourished.

Have you had any setbacks? How did you bounce back?
I had one major setback to a splitend mending product. I lost over an inch. In the end , I realized that a splitender is my best friends.

What are your favorite protective styles?
Buns, french braids, and wigs

What are some of your favorite products?
I have two: Suave Almond and Shea butter condish and Wen

What do you love most about your hair?
The thickness. I texlaxed to maintain the thickness b/c I don't like the flat just relaxed look.

How do you deal with people who doubt you? What motivates you to keep going?
I don't have that issue. Most people have been encouraging and ask for advice. I just mixed a product for a friend to ship down to FL.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things (e.g. conditioner, bobby pins) would you wish you had?
• Satin bonnet
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Satin elastic hair ribbons,
• Conditioner, and
• one of my seamless combs


What is the funniest or strangest hair related experience you've ever had?
The funniest is having my hair down and thinking something is crawling on me. The other is sitting back in a chair and yanking my own head back.

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



Thank you for sharing your story with us! Your hair is gorge!!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Transitioning Talk: Decision Made


Do you remember in junior high or high school when you were voted "most likely to...," "best smile," or "most friendly?" It's graduation day and I've been voted "most indecisive, fence straddler extraordinaire." Welp I've finally made up my mind.

I started stretching my relaxer to give myself time to decide whether I would transition to natural to support and cheer on my mother who is natural but isn't a fan of her natural hair. Being this far along in my stretch (10 more weeks until I hit the 1 year mark) I was ready to say "just do it," but my mother's excitement when I told her I was committing to joining her journey sealed the deal. She was just over the moon. I was a little surprised at her reaction but I should've known. I'm an only child and my mother LOVES ALL mother-daughter activities, so going natural and growing my natural hair out with her is right up that alley.

My biggest goal will be getting my mother to feel comfortable wearing her curls out in public (she's been natural for about 9 years but wears wigs). I'm pretty sure I might cry when she does lol!

What does going natural mean for my relaxed content?
Well, nothing. I will still love healthy, relaxed hair just as I've loved healthy, natural hair while relaxed. While the bulk of my posts and responses are based on my experiences, a huge percentage of them are applicable to both natural hair care and relaxed hair care, e.g. moisture, detangling, hot oil treatments, shampooing tips... you get the point.

Will I abandon my relaxed readers now? Heck no! I will still continue to post tips and respond to questions that pertain to maintaining healthy relaxed hair. HEALTHY HAIR is the goal around these parts, be it relaxed or natural. All walks of readers and hair story submitters have always been welcomed and will continue to be welcomed. #healthyhairhugsallaround!

Will I transition long term or plan to big chop?
No chopping around these parts. It'll be a long transition, while gradually trimming (just like I did when I made the switch to texlaxing my hair instead of relaxing bone straight). I'm nearly a year post relaxer and plan to transition until my natural hair is at least mid-back length, straightened.

How will my regimen change while transitioning?
Only time will tell, but for right now it won't. The regimen I've been using for a very long time now — pre-poo, shampoo or co-wash, tea rinse, deep condition, leave-ins and then detangling, with the sort of recent addition of stretching out my hair via tension method — will be what I follow until I have to adjust out of necessity. My regimen works... "and if it ain't broke..."

"Transitioning Talk"
I'm going to do a "Transition Talk" series from time to time on what's working, what isn't, and tips so be on the look out for that!

Even though I've typed up this wordy post on transitioning to natural, it doesn't really feel like my universe has shifted haha. Same ol' Jen, same ol' basic outlook on maintaining the health of my hair: moisture + a little protein + low manipulation. Same ol' JGA... just with the addition of more texture, curls & kinks popping up.

And speaking of which, it's been really fun to see how my texture varies across my big head. Like the tight curls that live at the left side of my nape.

To the looser texture that lives at the right side of my nape.

To the looser texture at my crown that just waves in some parts and can't be bothered to even curl.


Is anyone else starting a new journey? Or on a long-term relaxer stretch?


Update: Thank you everyone for the outpour of support!!!! ((HUGS))


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wash Day

[1] Pre-poo: hot oil treatment with Jason Vitamin E Oil. the name is a little misleading because it contains more than just vitamin E oil: Sunflower seed oil, safflower seed oil, tocopheryl acetate (also known as vitamin E acetate), tocopherol (vitamin E), rice bran oil, sweet almond oil, apricot oil, avocado oil, wheat germ oil, and lecithin. I pre-pooed for an hour under my Hot Head Conditioning Cap.

wet hair after deep conditioning
[2] Co-wash: As I Am Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner.

[3] Tea rinse: with a mix of marshmallow root + burdock root + peppermint tea + lavender tea + green tea mix (from CC's Natural).

[4] Deep conditioned: with HairVeda Sitrinillah Deep Conditioner overnight. As much as I love thick conditioners and the moisture this deep conditioner provides, I need more slip in my life. With this conditioner my only option is to mix it with oil to improve slip but I prefer to use conditioners right out of the jar so this conditioner might be benched for a while in the upcoming weeks.

[6] ACV: sprayed my hair and scalp with apple cider vinegar + water mix.

[7] T-shirt dried: for 30 minutes.

[8] Detangle & stretch: applied leave-ins—Kurlee Belle Thirsty Kurls Leave-in Conditioner (love this stuff) + Organix Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum—and stretched my new growth by blow drying my hair with cold air using the tension method.

My wash days have been pretty drama-free (thankfully!) and I normally have the patience to deal with my hair from start to finish but I guess I was fresh out this wash because the thought of cutting back to BSL was very appealing.

I'm pretty much used to all of my different textures (bone straight, texlaxed, new growth and even that varies) but it never fails to shock me a bit when I compare my wet hair to my stretched hair. Keeping my new growth stretched has been a lifesaver. I really wouldn't have been able to make it to 41 weeks without tangling problems if I didn't keep my new growth stretched.



How was your most recent wash day?


Have a wash day post? Join our happy tribe and share your wash day experience below!

The Wash Day Experience Linkup RULES
  1. Follow your hosts SavingOurStrands and JustGrowAlready via Bloglovin', Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.
  2. Healthy Hair is the theme. Entries completely unrelated to the theme or linked to your homepage will be deleted.
  3. Share it! Your blog post must link back to this site so others see. We even made this nifty button below which links back to The Wash Day Experience page! Just copy and drop the code into your blog post.
  4. Encourage the wash day experience contributor that linked up directly before you with an inspiring comment. We are each here to support each other and build a community of determined women and hair-friends. Don’t worry, the chica who links up after you will do the same; comment love for everyone!






Monday, April 14, 2014

Hair Story Feature: Meet Titilope

Your hair is?... Relaxed (this includes texlaxed)

When and why did you start your hair journey?
I started my hair journey (playfully) in October 2012 but took it seriously in March 2012. Then I felt my hair wasn't growing as long as I wanted it plus I didn't have enough time to go to salons, so I started taking care of my hair myself.

What is your current regimen?
  • I shampoo once every week which goes like this: deep condition ( I deep condition with a number of products which varies from avocados, eggs, deep condition cremes), shampoo, tea rinse (black tea), condition, rinse, air dry & apply my leave in.
  • I stretch my relaxer between 16-22weeks but hope to stretch longer.
  • Moisturise as the weather demands but ideally I moisturize 2 times a week. Baggy 3times a week when I have lots of new growth.

Do you have any hair goals? Have you achieved them?
  • My ist hair goal is to have a head full of healthy hair (lol), its coming to a realization.
  • 2nd, is to reach BSL, I am gradually hitting that milestone too
  • **3rd is to have a healthy body which will entail me taking some multivitamins, healthy diet, lots and loads of water. I have started working on this.
  • **4th is the almighty EXERCISE, I haven't really being doing this religiously.

What do you wish you knew at the start of your journey?
Wish I knew the proper method of applying relaxer to my hair and never to be friend to heat/heat things on my hair.

What are your favorite protective styles?
BUNS!! BUNS!!! BUNS!!! Either High, low, mid-high or side bun.

What do you love most about your hair?
I love love love the healthy state of my hair, the strength and of course the length.

How do you deal with people who doubt you? What motivates you to keep going?
I ignore some and make some understand that health isn't only about a fine face alone but also includes a healthy pack of hair too.

What is the funniest or strangest hair related experience you've ever had?
Initially people felt I was obsessed but now that the result is there for them to see, they believe me more now.

Where can we find you on the web? Blog



Thank you for sharing your story with us Titilope!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Hair Story Feature: Meet Deja

Your hair is?... Relaxed (this includes texlaxed)

When and why did you start your hair journey?
I started my hair journey in the summer of 2013. I had many hair issues like dandruff, not being able to retain my growth, hair loss, and the list goes on. I got tired off it and decided to finally do something about it. I found endless communities, blogs and YouTube videos dedicated to black hair and they informed + inspired me to grow my hair long and healthy.

What is your current regimen?
I get my hair relaxed and flat ironed every ten to sixteen weeks at a Dominican hair salon. I wash my hair once every week, then let it air dry and style it in whatever I'm wearing for the week and wrap it.

Do you have any hair goals? Have you achieved them?
My ultimate goal was to just learn my hair; know what it needs, when it needs, and just how to care for it in general since I hadn't really done anything on my own with it before. I sometimes don't know the extent of its need for moisture, but I've definitely learned my hair pretty well. As for length goals, I want to grow to hip only to say that I can, but I want to maintain waist length after that. I've reached a milestone of APL.

How did you achieve them? How are you working to achieve them?
I educated myself first and foremost. I found people with hair that is similar to mine and mimicked the basics of what they were doing to see what worked with them. I tried some crazy stuff along the way, some that did help, some that were pointless. Most importantly, I became patient. Growing long hair takes time and as soon as I realized that, I knew I had to just keep it simple and steady.

What do you wish you knew at the start of your journey?
I wish I knew all of the products that I love and that work for me. It would have saved me a couple of dollars. :P It's all part of the journey, though.

Have you had any setbacks? How did you bounce back?
I have not had any setbacks and am claiming that I never will. I would probably just jump back into the game and try not to be discouraged.

What are your favorite protective styles?
My favorite protective styles are buns and twists.

What are some of your favorite products?
Jamaican Black Castor Oil is the best thing ever. But I really like the Creme of Nature and Organic Roots Stimulator brands' products.

What do you love most about your hair?
I love that it's versatile. I can get it really straight but I can blow it out and have a nice 'fro.

How do you deal with people who doubt you? What motivates you to keep going?
I haven't formally announced my journey or my goals. I did not know if I would succeed and it would be too embarrassing if I were to fail. But also, I do not care for negativity. My family says little things here and there, so I know they're not blind to my practices but they don't agree with certain things like washing my hair every week.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things (e.g. conditioner, bobby pins) would you wish you had?
JBCO, ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo, CON moisturising conditioner, scarf and ORS Replenishing Conditioner.

What is the funniest or strangest hair related experience you've ever had?
My sister came in my room when I was in inversion method position, hanging upside down. I guess that was more awkward than anything. I said, "hi." And she closed the door.

Where can we find you on the web?
I have a hair blog named Relaxed Voyage where I ramble on and on about my hair :)



Thank you for sharing your story Deja! Love the progress you made from Jan-July and your ends look great!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Q&A: Picking Your Brain Responses

Dani asks:
Dear Jen, firstly I'd like to say your blog has been a big help many a times. Thank You! Whats your advice on correcting an under processed texlaxer? Overall my hair is texlaxed but after touching up, the hair closer to my roots are more thicker whilst my older texlaxed hair is more curly. Help!
Hi Dani, so glad the blog has been helpful! To correct your texture you'd have to do a "corrective relaxer," which essentially means you'd go back and re-relax the sections that have too much texture, processing them just enough so that they match the other sections. If you choose to do a corrective relaxer and self-relax, I recommend practicing on shed hair.

Also, I suggest you wait at least 8 weeks (2 months) before relaxing your hair again. On average, hair grows 1/2 an inch a month. By waiting 2 months to relax your hair (and if you grow an average of .5" per month) you'll have an inch of new growth. Having an inch of new growth will decrease the chances of overlapping your relaxer. If you can stretch your relaxer for longer than 2 months, go for it.



JS asks:
Hi Jen: I would like to relax my hair myself but I am afraid that I would break off all my hair. Can you do that self relaxing?  A lot of stylist have complained that 3 months is too long to let my hair go without a relaxer. I am tired of people complaining to me and would like to do it myself.
Hi JS, you certainly can stretch your relaxer for 3 months AND self-relax it. Definitely, definitely, definitely practice with conditioner to first get used to how you'll apply the relaxer, how long it will take you, what section you will start with, etc. Also, apply the relaxer first to shed hair to test how long it will take to process your hair.

Here's my video on how I self-relax my hair, I hope it helps.




Shaunie asks:
Hey Jen, have you heard of or tried the Inversion Method for hair growth? Our hair textures are similar so I would love your input! Best, Shaunie
Hi Shaunie, yes I've heard of it. The only inversions I do are when practicing yoga (e.g. headstands, forearm stands), but I do not apply oil to my scalp and massage as I've read the "inversion method" requires.



Jess says:
Hi Jeni! First off, I am obssessed with your blog! I check it daily and you inspired me to begin my hair journey.
Aw thank you, Jess!



A reader asks:
Do you have any methods for stretching new growth with out heat because I've tried braid outs but it doesn't stretch anything and it's become a real issue because I find I'm manipulating my hair too much causing breakage. Thank you so much I'm transitioning btw
I stretch my new growth weekly by blow drying with cold air while holding my hair taut with my hand, the "tension method." Check out this post on how to go about it, along with video: The Tension Method When Blow Drying: How To & Benefits

You can also try the banding method to stretch your hair without heat. Check out Relaxed Thairapy, she has a couple posts on the banding method.



Lakisha asks:
What can I do to start the growth of the VERY back part of my nape (the hair that meets the neck). Those hairs are extremely short and very dry compared to the rest of my hair, the texture is different but those hairs tend to break off more then the rest of my hair. Also combatting dry, crunchy ends.
Hi Lakisha, I have a section of my hair that always seems to be drier than the rest of my hair.



Stephanie says:
Hi Jen, I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your tips and hair journey. Your site is excellent. I'm actually a white girl, but my hair is wavy and dry, so using oils, protective styles and tea rinses has been really helpful. Your hair is beautiful, I love the volume and length! Thanks again.
Hi Stephanie, I'm so glad JGA has been helpful!!



Lashanda Williford asks:
Hey Jen, I really would like to know of all of the natural hair moisturizers that you have tried which one is a must buy or order? Hairveda whipped creme ends hydration, Bee mine luscious, Pura body naturals murumuru, Darcy Botanicals lemongrass transitioning creme and so on and so forth.
Hi Lashanda, I've tried and my "must try" moisturizers would be Pura Boday Naturals Murumuru Moisture Milk, HairVeda Red Tea Satin Moisturizer, and Darcy's Botanicals Coconut Lemongrass Transitioning Creme.




Alicia asks:
Hey Jen!!!! I just wanted to know how has your hair changed since you included steaming treatments with the Secura steamer on our wash days? Did you notice more thickness, growth or moisture in your hair?
Hi Alicia, I have not noticed increase in thickness or growth, but my hair is more moisturized when I use steam. The steam helps the conditioner penetrate more effectively into my hair and water itself is moisture.



A reader asks:
I recently found out that I have low porosity hair so I decided to try Roux Porosity Control Conditioner. I have used it and it has help make my hair soft and moisturized but I read that it close the cuticles, should I be using this if I have low porosity hair?
The cuticles of the hair shaft in low porosity hair are tightly bound, making it harder for moisture to penetrate into your hair, I would not recommend using Roux PC because it has a low pH and will further close the cuticles along the hair shaft. But as will all things, always use your best judgment and do what is best for your hair.

Other posts to check out: Low Porosity, What Does It Mean? and Acidic and Alkaline pH Levels & Why They Matter



Rosalyn asks:
Hey Jenn. Would you suggest that I wait to get a new relaxer until after my swim classes are over or just get it and continue to coat my hair in conditioner and put on a swim cap before each lesson? Thanks.
Hi Rosalyn, I would wait until after your swim classes are over.



A reader asks:
I'm transitioning and I have low porosity hair I use scurl to moisturise my new growth the glycerin in the product I think be matting my demarcation Line. But I've found that scurl is one of the only moisturizers that moisturizes my hair.
Hi there, unfortunately it should like S-Curl is causing more harm than good. Try finger detangling after moisturizing with S-curl to separate your hair and minimize matting but S-curl continues to cause problems, you may have to let it go.



Savie asks:
I know you love tea rinses and have also done coffee rinses. Do the coffe rinse have the same tendency to harden/stiffen the strands? Also I think I may have OD'd on protein. Do you have some protein-free DC's you can recommend? Thanks for helping.
Hi Savie, no coffee rinses do not stiffen my hair as tea rinses do. Here are some of my moisturizing conditioners:

P.S. The link to submit PYB questions now lives under the "Contact" tab under the header. And here :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wash Day

*Don't forget to enter to win a JGA Journal!

[1] Pre-poo: hot oil treatment with HairVeda Vatika Frosting for an hour with my Hot Head Conditioning Cap.
[2] Clarified: shampooed with Redken Hair Cleaning Cream Shampoo to remove product and mineral build up from my hair. My have moderately hard water in my home, and even though I use a water filter (this one) to remove the minerals from my water, I love that this Redken shampoo also removes any mineral build from my hair. For more on hard water, check out this post. For more on chelating and clarifying, check out this post.
[3] Tea rinsed: with a mix of black tea and rooibos tea.
[4] Deep conditioned: for 2 hours under my conditioning cap with HairVeda Sitrinillah Deep Conditioner. I mixed in HairVeda Vatika Frosting and a little wheat germ oil. The oils helped add slip to the conditioner and boosted the conditioners detangling properties. My hair felt very nice after rinsing  out the conditioner: soft, conditioned, and smooth (y'all know I smooth hair).
[5] ACV: Sprayed my scalp and hair with apple cider vinegar + water mix.
[6] T-shirt dried for 30 minutes.
[7] Applied my leave ins: Kurlee Belle Thirsty Kurls Leave-In Conditioner + Organix Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum and then detangled. After detangling each section, I stretched my new growth by blow dried my hair (with cold air) using the tension method.
[8] After detangling + drying (well nearly drying, my hair was still damp in some parts) I applied Eco Styler Gel to my edges, loosely gunned my hair, tied my edges down with a silk scarf, and finished drying my hair overnight.

The next morning, I twisted two sections in the front, pulled them back, and secured them with my Lilla Rose clip. Then I divided the rest of my hair into three sections and twisted again, and secured the ends to my nape for a faux bob.
"Queen" t-shirt is currently available in the JGA t-shirt shop!

If you have a wash day post, join the link-up!

The Wash Day Experience Linkup RULES
  1. Follow your hosts SavingOurStrands and JustGrowAlready via Bloglovin', Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.
  2. Healthy Hair is the theme. Entries completely unrelated to the theme or linked to your homepage will be deleted.
  3. Share it! Your blog post must link back to this site so others see. We even made this nifty button below which links back to The Wash Day Experience page! Just copy and drop the code into your blog post.
  4. Encourage the wash day experience contributor that linked up directly before you with an inspiring comment. We are each here to support each other and build a community of determined women and hair-friends. Don’t worry, the chica who links up after you will do the same; comment love for everyone!


   

    An InLinkz Link-up