Showing posts with label regimen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label regimen. Show all posts

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

From scalp to collarbone in 1 year, plus a moisture-retention tip that works!


I promised a one year-natural hair length check and here it is! Three posts ago or so, I spoke of how I tried straightening my hair and it was a total WASTE of time as the hair started reverting and gave me this "don't gimme none o' that!" attitude. I had to make do with pulling my hair towards my collarbone, as seen in the pic above. I also tried to measure my hair with a tape rule and found it to be between 6 and 6.5 inches. Not bad. I know that it's easier for naturals to retain length, but I also know that some naturals don't retain length the way they are supposed to. I will give you a very brief summary of my hair journey and regimen, goals and stuff as well as a tip that's been working great for my type 4 hair. I won't bore y'all-promise!

Damp hair, I was relaxed here. Note the thin, limp ends
My story is not quite like the usual you know, "my relaxed hair never grew past my neck" story. I had "good" hair when relaxed, but as the years went by, I kept going back and forth from arm-pit length to a shorter length. My hair also started looking limp, the ends were always thin and it just wasn't behaving. I started a healthy hair journey when I started this blog (I still have a few posts on relaxed hair care- around February and March 2013) but I grew impatient and decided to try the natural route. I transitioned for four months and chopped of the relaxed ends myself in July.

My hair at 5 months, sorry about the blurry pic!

I was intrigued with my Type 4C hair, didn't quite know what to make of it, was almost always covering it in wigs and weaves, and had one or two moments of "what the heck did I do!". However,as is experienced by every new natural, I experimented with products and techniques, with natural stuff, and started getting used to it. Now I wear weaves as a form of protective styling, but I definitely rock my natural locks with much more confidence.

My regimen: Wash every 3 weeks (sometimes 2 weeks- though this would mean I am washing my scalp under a weave) with Pantene Repair & Protect shampoo, or co-wash with either VO5 Herbal Escapes Strengthening conditioner or Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Anti-Breakage conditioner. Once in a while I clarify with Arganics Neutralizing and Clarifying shampoo.

I deep condition after washing using a mix of any conditioner, shea butter, olive/jojoba/almond oil and coconut oil and some honey, for at least 2 hours. I rinse off and use either Aphogee Provitamin leave-in conditioner, or ORS Olive oil replenishing conditioner. I seal with any oil I like. I also use hair creams/butters-particularly loving the Curl Junkie line.

I style by doing twist outs or wash-n-gos. Every day, when my hair is out, I moisturize with water or a leave-in product, and then seal with an oil. Every night I use a silk scarf, and sometimes I moisturize too. When I am in braids or a weave, I try to wash and moisturize my hair/scalp as best as I can. I do rinses (green tea rinse, ACV rinse, sorrel rinse) every now and then. Other products I love are: Sof n Free curl activator lotion (really love it), Fantasia heat protector straightening serum for when I blow-dry/straighten and CatWalk Tigi Oatmeal & Honey conditioner.

My beloved holy grail products: Sof n Free curl activator lotion, Curl Junkie Coffee-Coco Curl Cream, Curl Junkie Aloe Fix Gel, Aphogee Provitamin leave-in conditioner, all my oils.
Now for that TIP I spoke of. The pic above says it all! Yep, HEAT and ICE. OK here's what I mean. Now many of you may already know how heat is great for deep conditioning because it opens the cuticles. Many however, neglect to close the cuticles back, and on time too. Now I realize that products won't do much for Type 4C hair- it's more of a PROCESS thing, not a product thing. Type 4C hair is so low in porosity, meaning it takes a LOT for moisture to get in and stay in. That's why our hair always craves moisture. So no matter how awesome the product claims to be, 4C hair just always has issues. That is why the PROCESS of adding moisture needs to be addressed. If there is a way we can safely open our tight hair cuticles so that the good stuff can get in, and then quickly seal the cuticle back to lock in that good stuff, then WHAM BAM! We get softer hair. 
Some of you may have tried the trick: use heat to deep condition, then use cold water to rinse off. But there's usually a bit of a difference required to make things really work eh? Here's what I do- precisely.

1. I only use heat for a few minutes- then I yank off the shower camp and use heat DIRECTLY on the hair for just 3-5 mins- the hair saturated with product and oils and all that of course. 
The logic behind it: Staying under a dryer or steamer for an hour is good, but you don't need to use heat for that long to get your cuticles to open up and "drink" the moisture. Also, direct heat to the hair for just 5 mins goes a long way, as long as you finish up the process the right way, which brings me to the next point.

2. I immediately get COLD, ICY water. Not cold water from the tap, not chilled water from the fridge. I mean veeery cold water. Don't worry, the "brrrrrr" moment only lasts a few seconds. Also you want to dunk your head in the sink or tub. This is not the time to splash the icy water on your head while standing! Lol! Anyways, so I rinse off quickly with the icy water.
The logic behind it: The colder the water, the better. We want to quickly close those cuticles as tight as we can. Also do this bit immediately you are done with the heat bit. We don't want any moisture evaporating away.

3. I don't rinse off completely. I leave some stuff in there. Many naturals already do this. I also rinse in smooth, gentle, raking motions, not vigorously.
The logic behind it: Rinsing everything out wastes product and time. Also vigorous rinsing could disturb the cuticles. 

When I am done with these steps, I use a T-shirt to dry, then I add a leave in, seal with oil, then add a styler if I want to do a twist-out or something. My spray bottle also has very cold water, mixed with a bit of ACV. Ladies, I get SOFT hair for days. My stylist was surprised at how soft my hair was when she wanted to install my weave. The only other thing that gets my hair super soft is a sorrel DC and rinse. But that's a lot of work.

This is my goal length in the next 3 years! Yep! I can't wait till I reach bra-strap length. I need to reach lengths I could never attain when I was relaxed, and at a healthy state too- unless, I went natural in vain! I am not one of those naturals who don't care about length. I CARE about length. Period.

One thing I am so gonna do in the nearest future is dye my hair. That would be when it gets longer- probably in a year's time. I am obsessed with dyed hair!

One thing I have learnt this past year is to love my own hair. I still drool over 3C curls often-but I guess I have accepted my curl pattern for whadiddizz.

I am really looking for relaxed heads to feature on Fola's Oasis though! As you may know, I want relaxed heads on this blog- I don't have anything against relaxed hair. If you know any ladies with healthy and at least, Arm Pit Length relaxed hair, please let me know! I will beg them if that's what it takes, to be featured here. I saw Lade's relaxed hair recently and I was stupefied for

So before I peace out, I thought I should share some direct links to former posts I wrote about my hair, that may interest you. Of course you could just click on the "hair" tab under "My lifestyle labels" on the right side of this page to see all my hair-related experiences, reviews and features.

My relaxed hair:
My big chop:
One of my relaxed hair features, Unoma:
Sorrel rinse results:
More pics of my natural hair at the 'mo:    and


Friday, 15 November 2013

Sorrel hair rinse results

It's my 90th post! Just 10 posts away from the 100th! It might sound cheesy but I have ENJOYED every minute of posting and connecting with YOU. And even though majority of my readers are women, I still feel good knowing I'm reaching out to awesome people out there....
I loved this sorrel hair rinse so much that I have decided to do a review on it. These natural dried sorrel petals are actually dried hibiscus petals, called zobo here in Nigeria. Some of you might have heard or read about how sorrel tea rinses are great for the hair, how it softens the hair, strengthens it and also gives it a slight reddish tint. I even read about a lady who uses it to touch up her gray roots in between henna applications. 
Sorrel is widely known as a refreshing drink in Jamaica and in Nigeria, usually flavoured with diced pineapples, sugar and/or ginger. So it's a 2-in-one combo and it's super effective as a detoxifier and weight loss booster when taken as a drink, and also effective when used as a hair rinse.

So with all this in mind I asked a friend to help me get some (thanks Shyne!) and he got quite a lot. I finally decided to give it a try some days ago. Here's how it all went:

I put some petals in a pot (preferably non-metallic pot, so I hear), and added a bit of water. In the pic below, the colour was already seeping out within seconds of adding water.

Showed my friend this pic and he thought it was burnt paper! lol

 In the pic above, I had actually added about 2 cups of water and then boiled for 10mins, allowed to simmer for another 5 and allowed it cool.

Next, you need to sieve it to get a good dark sorrel liquid:

I had washed my hair so I just added about 5 tablespoons of the sorrel to my DC mix (shea butter, almond and coconut oil, Herbal Essences conditioner, honey). The sorrel gave my mix a sweet-looking colour:


I applied that and used a shower cap for about 3 hours.

Can you make out the pinkish tint?

I rinsed it out properly after 3 hrs and then I did the rinse. I just basically ran the liquid from the bowl through my hair with one hand while massaging with the other hand. Then I made sure to put another bowl under my head (in the bath tub cos that's where I did all this). This second bowl would catch most of the sorrel liquid, enabling me to repeat the process 2 more times. Now, this sorrel ish is MESSY! I'm sure you can imagine why! Imagine red liquid splattered all over the place! It's best to rinse the tub out as soon as possible and wear an old dark-coloured T-shirt. Also you will get red liquid dripping down your face! I kept wiping and wiping. I eventually succumbed to using my hand dryer for some minutes to speed up the drying process.

I read that it's best to pour sorrel in a spritzer and just spritz it on as a leave-in. This DEFINITELY saves a lot of trouble and time. I will do this next time-and I even have some sorrel and water in my spritzer that I use as a leave-in every few days.

The next set of pics shows a stage-by-stage gallery of how my hair looked while drying.

You can still see some "drip" on my neck and the reddish tint on my hair

Hair has "drunk" most of the liquid

Completely dry plus good ol' shrinkage

Completely dry
It made my hair feel softer and shinier. I believe the sorrel adds some kind of coating on the hair shaft that helps seal in moisture and clump the coils or curls a bit. Sorrel rinses also work great for relaxed hair.
My hair looked close to what my hair looks like when I do a wash and go. Days after this rinse, my hair is now under a weave, but I left a lot of hair along the hair line and parting, and that hair has been doing pretty well. Like I said earlier, I used the sorrel as a leave-in 2 days ago. My scalp looked quite pink though! So you might want to use a Q-tip dipped in toner/make up remover to wipe through any parting you leave out. That would take care of it.

Would I use this again?:
YES. But definitely using a spritzer!


Thursday, 14 March 2013

Must-have, low budget regimen for beginners on their longer healthier hair journey-Part 2!

Protective style: high bun done on an old twist out.

Hello ladies! Here are a few more additional suggestions and ideas for you as you begin your longer hair care journey. I had a prior post about the must-have products and regimen for you.

I advise you start your length check after your next relaxer, if your last relaxer application was done over a month ago. Note where your tips end and take a picture! Have a friend help you out if you can. You want your hair nice and as straight as possible, so you probably would need a straightening iron to help with this.

Now I understand that some of my friends out there would still have issues with following this regimen. I know! The weaves, the time and energy for all this wahala! I have thought about this and trust me it is an issue for me too, and I have thought of this veeery well and I came up with a few tips:

Wigs: If you can, you need to look into wigs. The wig-wearing culture is not too strong here as it is in the US, but wigs are sold here and quality ones too. I also know that stylists now sew weaves on wig caps so that you can pull the cap off and back on at anytime. I have decided to try these out this year so that I can still av the “fab” look whenever my natural hair isn’t looking its best or when I just want to look different. And most importantly, I can pull the wig off and do my washing, DCs and daily moisturising and sealing, while protecting my hair and ends! :-)
If you do have weaves installed-as I am sure even I would sometimes, try not to leave it on longer than 2 weeks. While it is on, spritz often with water and glycerin, or water and conditioner after lifting the tracks. For braids, do the same on the scalp and along the length of the braids. DC as soon as the weave/braids come off.

The salon aspect: We know how incompetent Naija stylists are right? It makes my heart bleed mehn….that is why we need to learn to do lots of stuff ourselves, and then look for a good salon or make sure you instruct your stylist on how to handle your hair-from relaxing, to detangling etc. Try to do things yourself much as you can. E.g You could wash and DC your hair at home and tie a scarf and hop to your salon for roller sets or straightening, make sure you take your products to the salon, base your scalp and relaxed ends before heading to the salon for a relaxer touch-up, talk to your stylist about your relaxer technique BEFORE beginning the process etc.
Try out cute protective styles like twist outs, bantu knots, buns etc. Our hair is beautiful and versatile. Flaunting is compulsory! Lol. Also before using a straightener or any form of direct heat, use a heat protectant serum or oil your hair; this serves as a barrier for the heat. Our hair hates heat! Also try to use heat not more than once a week.

Protective styling: Check for videos and tutorials on twist outs, braid outs, cute buns, faux bobs etc. These hairstyles are an essential for anyone who cares about their hair. Plus they look good too! The styles help to protect our ends, reduce manipulation that leads to breakage and ensure easy access to the hair for daily moisturising and sealing.

Availability:  For hair care products check large supermarkets around you. I like Oasis at Opic plaza along Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, or Goodies stores, Shoprite and other supermarkets. They have popular brands like Pantene, Motions, Herbal Essences, Organic Root Stimulator, Crème of Nature, etc. The oils are more difficult to find; u could check blogs like the, or Extra virgin olive oil is relatively easy to find in cooking sections of supermarket though.

For natural unrefined shea butter or natural unrefined honey, ask for these at markets or check these blogs as well. You can also contact me to place an order.

So ladies! Let’s call this a longer hair for beginners challenge shall we? IT CAN BE DONE! We can have beautiful hair; we only need to give our hair some TLC and be patient. :-)   Let me know what challenges you are facing with keeping this up, send me progress testimonials and pics and throw your suggestions at me!   :-)