Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Pros of Full Head Weaves

The excitement I had when I got my weave was gradually dying out as I found myself getting frustrated each day by the difficulties faced while attempting to care for my own hair. I couldn't reach my entire scalp though I got circular cornrows. I knew it would be challenging but not this much.

I however do not regret my decision to have a full head weave as my new growth was getting more difficult to manage; giving me less styling options for outings and I had no desire to relax or flatiron it. I find that this full head weave gives me advantages such as:

Low Manipulation: There is simply close to no ability to care for or mess with your own hair. Length retention may be maximised with a full head weave. If your goal of wearing a full head weave is to achieve low manipulation of your own hair, then you have definitely made the right choice.

Saves Time: Styling one's real hair, whether natural or relaxed can be a challenge especially when battling hair breakage and shedding. It is even more challenging when transitioning as one has to detangle carefully as the hair is prone to breakage at the line of demarcation. It sometimes takes tons of trials to get a style right for the day which could result in breaking one's hair. With a weave, styling may be easier as one does not fear to manipulate the extension.

Aids in Relaxer Stretching and Transitioning: Being more than 20 weeks post, I certainly needed a break from wash days. Dealing with curly, kinky or coily hair can be really time consuming if the hair is long. Longer hair means more detangling time. During relaxer stretches, one has to be even more careful. Weaves can be a great option when transitioning or stretching as they can be worn for weeks at a time. Weaves also provide ease with switching styles as one can cut and colour them as they please.

Protection from Elements: Exposure of the ends of our hair to the sun, wind and clothes can cause serious breakage. Since the hair is tucked away under the weave, it is highly protected from the harsh effects of elements.

These advantages are too good to let go of so I have taken  to my spray bottle again. It contains a mix of water, Hawaiian silky 14-in-1, coconut oil, and castor oil. I spray it on the tracks where possible and massage it in as best as I can. I then spray with my African Pride braid spray. I still massage my edges, the little that was left out once a week with T444Z Hair Food and everyday with Diva by Cindy Hair dress. I don't have any scalp itch yet and I intend to dry wash my hair in a week's time.

I still sleep with a shower cap and scarf in order to keep new growth moist and prevent knots and tangles forming in the weave. I don't dampen the weave at all... my scalp produces enough steam even with a little water sprayed on a few tracks. I do not apply any product to the weave. It is not human hair and using product on it will weigh it down as dirt easily clings to it.

I intend to keep this weave in for 6 weeks. I just hope I get at least an inch of growth even without being able to apply my growth aid on my full head.

Which growth aids are you using? Does your growth aid fasten your hair growth rate?


Saturday, 27 July 2013

Protective Style: Full Head Weave

deep conditioning treatment
Mixed Vitale Mayonnaise, an egg and coconut oil
At long last, I got a full head weave. Been almost 2 years since I wore a weave! Wasn't too keen on getting it because I knew access to my scalp and daily care may be a bit more challenging than with braids. I didn't want to miss out on massaging my scalp everyday.

I did a protein treatment a few days earlier, detangled and combed my hair thoroughly before I went to the salon.

When I got to the salon, I wasn't too keen on allowing the hairdresser to comb my hair but thought I should give her the benefit of the doubt. I asked her to be very gentle. 

She picked a comb.... not as big as the one I used at home.  Said that was the biggest she had when I asked......Seriously?!! Hmmmmm.....disappointing!!
deep condition results

She started combing; from the roots to the tips. Just 3 strokes and I asked to see the comb. Yikeeeeeeeeeeeeeees!! ...a lot of hair. MY hair. 

Before I could utter a word, she started being defensive saying, "See, all your relaxed hair will break off; if you refuse to relax new growth as soon as it appears"! I politely answered she should stock bigger combs; especially for those with lots of new growth, also comb in sections and from the tips to the roots. She didn't refute my suggestions but wasted no time in pointing out that she didn't have customers who "held on to a lot of new growth". I simply told her not to comb through the entire head but only comb through as she parted the hair for the cornrows. I was determined to get my hair done my way. Thankfully, she listened and from then on....I liked her. 

full head weave
New Golden "Classy Deep" Color 2
She combed through gently as she made the rows. I opted for the cornrows to be braided in a circular style so I could have easy access to my scalp. She then went on to attach the weave in a way that showed she knew what she was doing. With such conviction and precision. She was such a gentle braider and was done in a short while!! Actually, a very short while. I was finally ushered to the styling chair, as all the while, I had no opportunity to see what was going on. 

 She did her thing with a comb, a pair of scissors and a blade, and then she was all done. Start to finish in an hour!! I just love good braiders with speeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed!! And , wow; I loved what I saw!!

An ugly duckling turned into a swan!! If only all that hair were mine, I'd remain a swan forever!!

Ever been disappointed with a weave style?


Friday, 19 July 2013

Hair Update: 20 Weeks Post

Say my name, Star; I'm 20 weeks post already!! (Clap clap clap clap ......claaaaaaaaaaaap).

Time flies so fast and I can't believe how easy this stretch has been so far though I'm not on a braid or weave regimen. My hair has been out of extensions for almost 8 weeks now. There are a few steps I am using to make this stretch easy without extensions:

Edges and nape still growing back nicely.

1. I have adopted a "no comb " approach to minimize breakage. I comb my hair only once a week with a wide tooth comb.

2. I still green house effect (ghe) every night. This keeps my new growth really soft and moisturised.

3. Since I ghe so much, my hair doesn't dry out so much. I m&s at least every other day.

3. I don't style my hair. I just keep it in 3 or 4 large braids which I undo only to moisturise and seal. Even so, I don't always undo it to m&s. I m&s in the braids.
20 weeks post relaxer

4. When I need to go out; which is about once a month since I'm on leave, I undo the braids and just finger detangle into a braid out style. I use pins to tuck the ends into a cute style. My wig comes in handy when I'm running late.

5. My T444Z hair food is almost finished so I'm back to using it only once a week. I have a lot of thick new growth I'm quite satisfied with. I need just about 4 inches to reach my APL goal by the end of the year. I'm quite sure I will make it with even 1/2 inch growth per month since I have at least 2 inches (yeah, I used a ruler to measure...lol) of new growth already. 

New growth stretched.

6. I am trying out the DIVA by CINDY hair dress as a regular growth aid now. I use it on my entire scalp every other day and every day on my edges. Will use it for at least 2 months to see how much progress I make. It is an award winning product so I really hope my hair loves it, especially my edges. It feels good on the hands and is really easy to apply. It has a tingling sensation which lasts a long while.

6. I don't massage my scalp and rub my fingernails together as much as before.......laziness....lol!! Not much fruits and veggies too........that is real bad, I know.....but I still love my water!!

How many inches of new growth do you have now?


Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Preparing Henna for Hair

Yes, you want to henna your hair!! And I'm absolutely happy for you!

Being a hair mixtress can be such fun and I always feel attracted to homemade recipes. Most people do not need an apron but henna preparation for hair can get really messy and stain your clothes so in case you want to try this for the first time.....grab an apron (or an old t-shirt), a pair of gloves, a ceramic or plastic bowl, a plastic or wooden spoon, cling film or plastic bag and let's get on with this.

There are many recipes out there but the standard one goes this way:

You need:

100g to 300g of 100% pure henna depending on the length of your hair.
Lemon or lime juice; anything acidic to enable the dye to release.

Mixing Steps:
1. Put on your apron or use an old shirt to protect your clothes. Make sure you protect your hands with gloves. Improvise with plastic bags if you do not have gloves. Henna stains so be sure to clear your work area of any items that can get stained.

2. Pour your natural henna into the ceramic bowl.

3. Pour your lemon or lime juice onto it a little at a time and stir with your spoon till you get the consistency of yoghurt. Your mixture should be not be watery. In case you run out of your juice, you can add warm water.

4. Cover bowl with cling film or plastic bag and leave in a warm place for some hours or overnight. Your henna is ready for use when a brown film develops on top of your paste.

Application Steps:
1. Part your hair into 4 or more sections to make application easier and less messy.

2. Apply henna thickly from roots to tips of hair making sure you apply enough to the hairline without staining your forehead. Rub off any streaks or runoff with a wet towel immediately.

3. Pile your hair on top of your head and wrap with cling film or cover with a plastic bag. Leave on for 2 hours or more. If you leave it in overnight, cover your pillow with a plastic bag and old clothes to avoid staining it.

4.  Rinse it out thoroughly and proceed to shampoo. Rinsing out henna can take 30 minutes or more for very long hair especially if it is curly. 

5. Remember to deep condition afterwards to prevent your hair from drying out. Do not wash your hair until after 3 days by which time the henna colour would have stained your hair properly.

Very easy, ain't it? My first time was not as tedious as I expected it to be. What I found very helpful was putting my head under a running tap and using the force of the water to rinse out the henna. 

My hair felt stronger and looked shinier. My new growth was also easier to comb through days after. Having black hair, it is difficult to see any colour change unless I stand in the sun. Even so, the colour is subtle. Nothing wild at all. I loved the experience so much that I couldn't help but henna my mum's hair too a few days ago. Her grey streaks developed into a beautiful red shade !!

What other ingredients can one add when mixing henna?



Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Benefits of Henna for Hair

Tons of black ladies on forums had been teasing me for months with the stunning results of their henna paste applications and after months of searching, I finally found and used henna for my hair. You know why it took so long for me to try henna? I had no idea it was available in Ghana .... mostly used in tattooing skin; and widely known by the name "Lele". Henna is a plant and thus it's pure powder which is green in colour contains no chemicals that could be harmful to the hair and scalp when applied. Henna treatments can be applied to the hair every 4-6 weeks.

I tried my first henna treatment a few weeks ago and I say that with just one application, I can say all the promised benefits of henna hold true for me and my hair. Henna benefits the hair in several ways some of which are: 

1. Adds color: This is the most common benefit for which many people use henna. Henna dye is a  natural plant based dye used for colouring hair. It is a safer alternative to chemical dyes which destroy the hair in the long run. True henna powder is green in colour but deposits a red-orange colour on the hair producing various hues in sunlight. The colour shade produced by the treatment depends on the colour of hair it is deposited on. It therefore produces just highlights of red or brown when applied to black hair. The colour is more permanent and intensifies with continuous application.

2. Strengthens: Henna is able to penetrate the hair shaft and bind with the keratin in it thereby making it stronger. It is also able to fill open pores along the hair shaft. The great thing about henna is that it fills the pores, without making it impossible for moisture to enter and be retained by the hair.

3. Thickens: Henna deposits material along the individual cuticle to increase individual shaft thickness. Using henna thickens the hair over time as it's deposits continue to build up on the individual hair strands. The more the deposits, the more the buildup, the thicker the hair. Many use henna to thicken their hair because the results can be seen across the entire shaft of the hair.

4. Smoothens and Shines: With less pores along the hair shaft; as a result of the deposits of material from henna treatments, the hair cuticle becomes smoother and shinier in sunlight as the rays of the sun are able to bounce back perfectly. It does not lock out moisture so one can wash, condition, moisturise and oil hair as usual.

Other benefits could be seen as negatives by others depending on what one wants for their hair. These include:
1. Loss of coils and curls: Due to deposits along the cuticle, the individual strands are weighed down and may leave hair straighter. This is known to loosen curl patterns. Less seen in kinky hair though.

2. Interference with chemical relaxing: If a relaxer is applied too soon after a henna treatment, it could result in texlaxing instead of bone straight hair. To avoid this, leave at least 2 weeks between a henna and a relaxer application.

3. Darkening hair colour over time: With multiple applications, the colour of hair darkens over time. Remember, henna does not lighten hair. To avoid this, apply henna to roots only.

4. High cost as compared to some chemical dyes: Pure henna could be considered expensive as compared to some chemical dyes.

There is more you need to know about henna before you try it..RED LIGHTS!!..(not really so red)
I would update this post with pictures later as my internet connectivity is at it's worst today. Stay tuned for more about henna in upcoming posts. I promise I will add pictures of my henna day.............

Will you consider henna treatments on your relaxed or natural hair? Why not?


Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Hair Goals for July

Ladies, I apologise for taking such a long break. The past month had been quite busy, full of babysitting my 2 kids though I still tried to have some hair-time anytime my mum came back from work. 

Reviewing the goals of last month, I could have done better. It was not easy as I stay awake all day and almost all night.
Product Needs: Was not able to purchase any products due to my inability to go to town ....I however purchased a hooded dryer I haven't picked up yet. I've run out of almost everything; my sister will come to my rescue soon. She is the best person to go shopping on my behalf as she knows most of the products I use.

Hair Care Needs: 
1. I will shampoo once a month: Reduced from 2 times using only the moisturising shampoo as I couldn't buy the clarifying shampoo.
2. I will alternate between protein and moisture treatments: Provided it is feasible.
3. I will not prepoo and cowash as many times as last month as I plan on getting a weave.
4. I will not tea or ACV rinse till I undo my weave (if I get it installed...lol).
5. I will green house effect every night using a moisturising mix and coconut oil.
6. I did well with drinking water but as the weather is colder now, I'm not sure if I can take 3 litres this month.
7. Not doing too well with fruits and vegetables.
8. Still taking my prenatals.

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