My randomness

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I get a lot of questions from people regarding what I do to get my hair to grow so fast. As I was thinking about this, it brought to mind ALL of the “grow hair fast” schemes, routines, and rituals that are out there and the ones that I’ve actually tried…Biotin, MSM supplements, KimmayTube’s growth moisturizer, growth serums, the Inversion Method (yes, I tried that too)!

What I’ve come to realize, for me anyway, is there’s no real hair growth elixir. My hair grows and thrives with consistent care. I can’t say that any of the rituals and routines actually “make” my hair grow. Some of them may assist in keeping my hair healthy, which in turn prevents breakage, which allows my hair to grow. But they don’t accelerate growth. Our hair grows at a rate that is personal to us.

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My hair notes – Baggy Method vs Greenhouse Effect

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The question about whether baggying is an effective means for moisturizing hair was posed on Curlynikki‘s hair forum. I responded on the thread stating that I baggy my hair. Since that post, I’ve received many questions about baggying. I realized that many people confuse it with the Greenhouse Effect, or they use the terms interchangeably when they actually are different processes.

The link below provides more information about the two methods and how they are different, as well as how to use them to moisturize your hair. Hope this helps anyone that is interested in these methods.

Baggy Method vs Greenhouse Effect
https://hairdiary.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/the-baggy-method-vs-the-greenhouse-effect/

My hair continues to evolve

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One thing I’ve learned on this natural hair journey is my hair is constantly evolving. I find a product that works well and then all of a sudden, it doesn’t.

I think I’ve finally gotten to the point where I can actually read my hair and know what the issue is that needs to be resolved when my hair starts to act differently. This has been the hardest stage of my journey and definitely took the most time. I’ve realized once I got to this point, the easier it became knowing my hair’s needs.

Over the course of past few weeks, my hair started to break again. A trim helped, but it didn’t resolve the issue completely. I’ve realized that I need to really work at maintaining the moisture/ protein balance better. I’ve learned that I MUST moisturize my hair daily, morning and evening. I’m also realizing that my strands have been weak, with see through ends which usually means they need more protein. For this reason, I’ve been looking for a protein enriched leave in without all of the other gunk in it. I’m still trying to stay with products that are all natural as much as possible.

I’d seen the Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen Grow & Restore Leave In Conditioner, but never paid much attention to it. After reading the ingredients label I thought it may be just what I needed.

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Featured Ingredients
Organic Shea Butter – Deeply moisturizes while conditioning hair and scalp.
Jamaican Black Castor Oil – Loaded with repartive omegas that promote healthy hair growth.
Peppermint -Stimulates the scalp for an invigorating experience

Ingredients
Water (Aqua), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Panthenol, Glycerin (Vegetable), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil , Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil , Hydrolyzed Keratin, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend), Mauritia Flexuosa Fruit Oil, Tocopherol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Vinegar, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-3, Niacin, Dextran, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Caramel, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract

Usage
Apply to clean, towel-dried hair. Work a generous amount of product into hair from root to ends. Comb through for even distribution. Do not rinse. Apply more to longer hair at the end of problem areas. Can also be used as a rinse-out conditioner.

After using this product twice a week for the past two weeks, I’ve definitely noticed that my hair is somewhat stronger when stretched. My strands aren’t snapping off at the ends. The trim and this product seems to be exactly what I needed. I bought the styling lotion as well, but not quite sure about its purpose. When I bought these I was thinking the leave in was a deep conditioner and didn’t realize it wasn’t until I got home. So how I will incorporate the styling lotion is still undecided.

My Ah-Ha moment

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You know it’s time for a trim when you simply stretch your hair with your fingers and it breaks off.

Of course, this could happen for other reasons, for example protein overload. But I knew that wasn’t the issue. I had been eyeing those scraggly ends for a few weeks and it was time for them to go.

It had been a year since my ends were trimmed. So, I took my scissors and remedied the situation. After doing so, the issue with my frizzy twist outs was resolved as well. Winning! ☺

My current hair regimen

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It’s been awhile since I’ve posted my hair regimen. Since it’s changed slightly, I figured it would be a good time to share.

I’ve worked hard the past year on rehabbing my hair and getting it healthy. I made the decision to start using all natural products. I also wanted to stop using rinse out conditioners as leave ins and find actual leave in conditioners. I got lucky and found some that I’m pleased with.

Wash days are no longer an all day affair. I typically can get it done within 2.5 hours. My hair regimen is as follows:

My go to products:
Leave in: Kinky Curly Knot Today – this has proven to be worth the $12 price tag. It keeps my hair adequately moisturized; it’s lightweight and doesn’t weigh my hair down.

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Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk – a decent moisturizer. I alternate it with my KKKT to stretch the products.

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I use one of these daily.

Sealer: Olive Oil or Grape seed oil – both of these oils absorb into my hair well and doesn’t sit on top of it.

Styler: ORS Twist & Lock Gel – used when I twist my hair. This gel doesn’t leave my hair hard and stiff like EcoStyler does at times.

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Co Wash – Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa & Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle – both of these are reasonably priced and provides enough slip for me to detangle if I need to. When I first started my hair journey, I co-washed about 4-5 days a week. Now, I normally do it about twice a week. When I’m not trying to keep my hair stretched, I also might apply one of these when I shower, just for extra moisturizing benefits since my hair dries out easily.

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Pre-Poo: Extra Virgin Coconut Oil – I don’t always pre-poo, but when I do, I use coconut oil. I might pre-poo anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight. There’s no reason why I choose the amount of time. It just depends on my mood at the time.

Shampoo: Shampoo bars – I fell in love with these last summer and have been using them since then. I try to wash weekly.

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Deep conditioner: Shea Moisture Tahitian Noni & Monoi Smooth & Repair Nourishing Masque – this deep conditioner has been working well for me. I mix it with honey, JBCO, and sometimes coconut milk if I need a bit of protein. I cover my hair with a thermal heat cap for about 30-45 minutes. I’m back to deep conditioning once a week, sometimes every two weeks at the latest because my hair seems to like it better. When I was deep conditioning less frequently, my hair would start to break. 

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Rinses: ACV & honey – I use these depending on what my hair needs.

Of course, I have other products that I use less often and I’m still in somewhat of a trial and error phase with a few. I will be posting updates about these products as I use them and can figure out how my hair likes them.

My hair is really growing!!!

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As I twisted my hair tonight, I was surprised and amazed at how much my hair had grown, the crown in particular.  The hair at the crown of my head, which was shorter than an inch at the time, was the sole reason that I BCed again last summer. This month marked a year. Although I was devastated that I had to start all over again, when I look at my hair now, I realize it was well worth it.

This was my hair at the crown this time last year.
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It may be hard to tell how short it actually was from this picture.

This is my hair after I cut it AGAIN…

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I actually liked my TWA once it was cut. Those coils in the bottom picture were giving life! Lol

Here is my hair now at the crown a year later.
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Unstretched…last look at those curls!
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Stretched hair…

I took excellent care of my hair this time around and it paid off! What a difference a year makes! This makes me ☺.

My hair today

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Baggying my hair yesterday definitely did my hair good. I unraveled my twists this morning and was happy to see shiny, well-defined curls. The grape seed oil that I used to seal my ends was absorbed well, leaving no greasy film. My curls, including my ends, are nice and smooth.  Operation Save My Ends is off to a good start! ☺

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My self imposed “ends” challenge

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So, I have challenged myself to take extra special care of my ends. It is a never ending battle trying to keep these bad boys moisturized. The issue with my ends is ultimately the reason why I BCed again last summer. I ain’t trying to go there again.

The past few days I’ve been using shea butter on my ends to see what effect it would have. My hair has been soft, but it has also been greasy. I hate touching my hair and getting that greasy film on my fingers. I also don’t want to leave grease stains behind on any place I might rest my head. Maybe I need to use less. I’m not giving up on it completely yet.

OK…so this evening I baggied my hair. I’d planned on doing the ends only but I had to do my whole head because my hair isn’t long enough for me to just cover the ends with the bag. But this time I made sure that my ends were slathered with conditioner. I left the baggy on for about 4 hours instead of overnight since I was doing a protein treatment because my ends have breaking really bad. If you’ve been following my blog from the beginning, you may recall the horrible experience I had the first time I used the baggy method – I did it overnight and woke up to mushy, soggy hair that started to shed a lot.

Well, this time I noticed a big difference. My ends were moisturized and my hair was soft, but not soggy as before. Lately, when I’ve applied my leave in, I’d have hair covering my hands as I raked through it. This time there was none! So I’m guessing the protein was definitely needed.

Tonight I’m trying Herbal Essences Naked Moisture Conditioner.

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This line is paraben free. The consistency is the same as Hello Hydration and about the same amount of slip. I didn’t have a problem detangling my hair (something I rarely do). It has a light, citrusy, minty scent. I like that fact that it has rosemary and peppermint oils in it. I sealed my ends with grape seed oil and let my hair air dry slightly before twisting. My twists were plump and juicy like I like them and my ends were nicely sealed and smooth. The jury is still out on whether they will stay smooth and hydrated. I will update.

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Ends moisturized, smooth, and nicely sealed

My product review – Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk

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The one year membership that I purchased with Carol’s Daughter is about to expire so I decided to try the Hair Milk. I’ve read that hair milks are good moisturizers and I had pretty good results with the Shea Moisture. I wanted to try this one so I could compare the two.

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Carol's Daughter Hair Milk - 8 oz regular price $12; member price $10.80


Product Description

FOR CURLS, COILS, KINKS & WAVES.
Dry hair = frizzy curls! So, protect your hair from unwanted situations – breakage, thirst and unmanageability – with this fan-favorite leave-in moisturizer. It has all the goodies you know and love, like Shea Butter to intensely hydrate curls, coils, kinks, and waves, plus Soybean Oil to soften and strengthen it too. We’ve also added Agave Nectar to ensure that your hair keeps moisture locked in and is extra healthy. This rich cream quickly and easily absorbs into your hair, leaving it glossy, nourished, and frizz-free.

Ingredients
Water (Aqua), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Fragrance (Parfum), Polysorbate 60, Agave Tequilana Stem Extract, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid, Beeswax, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-butly Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Polysorbate 80, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Xantham Gum, Methylisothiazolinone, Phenoxyethanol

Featured Ingredients
* Cocoa & Shea Butters intensely rehydrate your hair
* Soybean Oil leaves hair softer and stronger than before
* Agave Nectar keeps moisture locked in for better definition and frizz control.

How to use
After co-washing, apply a quarter-size amount into soaking-wet hair, working it in evenly with your fingers. Use your hands to gently squeeze out excess water or use a cotton T-shirt for best results. Add more as necessary and style as desired.

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This hair milk is more liquidy than it is thick. I thought the consistency would make it perfect for summer. The smell, however, I don’t care for. I guess I expected it to have a sweet scent like the other products that I’ve purchased, but it smells more like a sunscreen lotion… and it lingers.

The directions say to apply a quarter sized amount to soaking, wet hair, distribute it through the hair, and add more if necessary. Just because I know my hair, I knew from the start that a quarter sized amount would not be sufficient, but I used this as a starting point. I ended up using about 4 quarter sized amounts and then sealed my ends.

My initial thoughts about this hair milk once I applied it to my hair – I’m not impressed. It has absolutely NO SLIP which is the first thing I look for in a moisturizer/leave in. The second thing I look for is how it coats the strands of my hair. This product is lacking in that area as well. My hair almost feels stripped – like it feels after a shampoo and the hair is squeaky clean. So basically, it feels like it has no product in it. One of the last things I look for is how well my curls are defined and how they clump together. Disappointingly, I didn’t notice clumpage, but my curls were somewhat defined. They just didn’t have that spring factor that I like.
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I’m going to let it dry and I will update in the morning.

UPDATE 7/13/15
Soooo, I must say that I am pleasantly surprised with how soft and moisturized my hair feels this morning. My curls are still defined to the extent they were last night. The oil I used to seal my ends absorbed well, which I like. I do notice that the smell is still prevalent now. It’s not overbearing, but I just don’t care for it.

Overall, I think this hair milk did what it was claimed to do. I do have a few frizzy areas though. I don’t think this product will work well enough alone when styling my hair. I think some type of gel will be needed. I’m going to use this product more to get a better feel for it and to decide whether I will buy it again. I will write an updated post afterwards.