Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Away Goes A Great Year!! Xoxo 2013!!

Praise God for His mercies and kindness!! I am so thankful to God for bringing me this far. It is indeed the Lord's doing. I am REALLY writing.....and wonderful people are REALLY reading!! It gives me such great joy. I used to write a lot of poems and stories when I was much younger and by the time I was in university, I wrote very little so I had no idea God would give me back my gift of writing. Indeed, may His name be praised!! 

Hair-wise, it wasn't all rosy this year especially the past 6 months. Twas many ups and downs with my hair, many cuts and trims due to excessive breakage but overall, my hair grew!! My hair grew a lot!! I did purchase much more products this year....not so light on my small Ghanaian purse, but I had little purchase regrets too so I am happy about that too. I have loads of products still in my stash and I'm very product-ready for 2014. Whoooooooooooop whoooooooooooooooop!! ** Dancing Azonto**

As usual, the end of each year affords us the opportunity to look back at our past happenings, do our best to prevent the worst moments from recurring and cling to the best moments with the hope of making them better. I thank you all for your support and encouragement; especially my husband, parents and siblings, my wider family and all my friends and work colleagues. And You my fans and readers...You are the reason!!

My dear husband has suffered the most on my hair care journey....I always have something in my hair!! My love, I know we live apart and each time you come home, I should give you my utmost attention. I have failed several times by having too much going on with my hair even into the wee hours of the day **wink wink**. Away with my over protective hair wahala.....**silk scarf coming off woes**!! Thank you for accommodating my excesses!! I LOVE YOU, ALWAYS!!

Family, friends, colleagues, fans, video subscribers, blog followers.............I appreciate so much the interest you have taken in what I do. You have no idea how much it pleases me that you follow my journey. My greatest joy is in the fact that some of you had started your own hair journeys and have made so much progress!! I love all the pictures you have sent, the questions you have asked, the whatsapp messages (need 2 spare batteries and a solar charger for that...xoxo)....they are all treasured and have been safely place in my 2013 treasure chest!! The height of my joy is in the success of the meetup events held in collaboration with Ghanaianemprezz blog. To the awesome ladies who cleared their busy schedules to be there..."You are TRULY amazing"!! **BIG HUGS AND KISSES**

Everyone..............................THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! God richly bless you!!

In a few hours, there will  singing, drumming and dancing everywhere in Ghana and in the world, there will be loud music, shouts and screams, there will be fireworks and countdowns as we welcome 2014 with extreme joy and gladness for having seen the New Year. 

Let's all join in the joyful activities going on all us, be glad and make merry for we are among the blessed ones God has granted the opportunity to see 2014!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!


Saturday, 28 December 2013

How To Start Your Healthy Hair Journey.

It's been an awesome year; looking back, and I am really, really happy about where I am right now. I love my hair much much more than ever before. When I started my hair journey, I didn't really "believe" I could achieve so much within 1 year. Now see, in just 12 months!! Thank You God!!

Though I trimmed off some of my ends for a nice, U-shaped look, I should be back to this length by now as I have had some more growth since my last relaxer. Been almost 2 months since my last trim. 

Now, what stops you from beginning your own healthy hair journey? Honestly, mine was for fun; that was how I started. But now I see that really, I could get any length of hair I wish to have so I intend to take my journey more seriously. 

1st January, 2014 will mark a new beginning for me and my hair. It's going to be a Hair Growth Boot Camp for me. I know you want to join me so here are a few tips to help you start your hair journey.

1. Research: Believe me if I say I spent months researching about relaxed black hair growth. Just seeing tons and tons of black women with loooooooooooooong hair got me longing more and more for looooooooooong hair too!! I read thousands of blogs....watched thousands of videos......read thousands of articles!! About just anything; from how to comb hair to how to cut hair; how to wash hair to how to dry hair.....even how to tie and sleep with a satin scarf. Do a lot of research...it will make your journey easier and you will be more prepared. There is so much information out there...the hard part is taking out what is useful to you and your hair needs.

2. Take Photos: The moment you decide to embark on your hair journey, take photos. Take photos of  the back, side and front your hair. Take photos of hair wet and dry. And take more pictures as you go along...every week. This will help you to see if you are making any progress as the months go by. Progress may seem slow at first but as you master how to care for your hair, it will show more quickly in health, thickness and length. And once you begin to see the changes for yourself, you will journey on more happily.

3. Set Goals: Like any other goals you set for yourself in life, you must set a hair goal. Long term goals and short term goals. I find that setting short term goals is important in order not to stress yourself too much. However, set an ultimate goal for your hair especially if your aim is to grow it not only healthier and thicker, but longer as well. Do well to keep in mind that hair grows at a rate...depending on each individual so first check how much your hair grows each month and then use that information to set your goals. Hair takes time to grow, so just be patient and work hard at retaining the health and length of your hair. 

4. Get Hair Products and Tools: Yes, you need to get your own poducts and tools that will suit the needs of your hair. Remember, hairdressers don't get products to suit every client's hair. They get products that will work in general for whatever purpose they have been made to serve. It may work perfectly for someone's hair but it may not work well for your hair. I've seen people with long hair irrespective of whether they use the worst concentrated sulfate, alcohol or petrolatum products. Lucky them!! But for some of us, those products kill our hair in record time. It is your hair. Make a little investment  in products and tools. Start with the less expensive but good stuff. Build a hair care routine and be consistent with the use of products for at least 3 months before writing them off.

5. Do It Yourself (D.I.Y): Sounds funny but this is one of the things I didn’t take into consideration at the start of my journey that I hold onto like the Gospel now. I achieved much more length-wise and health-wise at the times I did my hair myself than when I let others do it. My hair loves my hands. Your hair will love your hands. No one can love your hair like you do so just do it all yourself. Yes, some neighbours may say in the beginning that you are broke (yep, somehow you hear the gossip) but those same neighbours will ask you what your "secret" is...lol!! My biggest secret is: "I do my hair myself"!! 

Now, these are the things you need to consider before you start your journey. Now the real deal is what to do when you start. Brace yourself!! More tips and tricks coming up from 1st January, 2014. I am "starting all over again"...with you in mind this time. Armpit Length to Bra Strap Length is another marathon all over again for me and I am still learning the ropes.....This time, I will share all my discoveries with you.....dito dito.

I have a lot of tips written down and waiting to be tried. I am more determined than ever to try everything there is to try considering that the few things I tried got me this far. From washing hair with potato syrup to rubbing scalp with cactus juice....hehehhehehhehe!!

Photo credit: Hairlicious Inc.

I do not have very, very thick hair....still working on that. But I think I may get to the above length and thickness if I put in my best next year. Healthy Hair Journey 2014..........I just can't hide my excitement!!

Ready for Hair Journey Boot Camp 2014? Do not miss this bus!


Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Hair 2014!!

Wishing you all the best for this Christmas and beyond from the bottom of my heart!!

ghanaian blogger

I had some hair plans but too bad I'm not in the best of health. Would have loved to do something like this to my hair today though.......


Let's enter the New Year with great hope and expectation that all areas of our lives will thrive....especially our love for our families, friends and last but not the least, our hair!!

ghanaian blogger

We had a 2nd hair meetup on the 22nd of December, 2013. I will bring you excerpts from the meeting as soon as I'm up and doing. Please check out my facebook page for some pictures I uploaded there. Don't forget to click the "Like" button. 

My 1000 Likes giveaway is still on .....do well to enter to win some hair products!! Off to bed rest.... :)

Have you made your hair plans for 2014?


Thursday, 19 December 2013

Care to Share: Meet Rubie!!


hair story feature
My name is Rubie, 29 years old and a travel consultant. I do not know when I started my HHJ but I think it was after I have read a few post on Stella’s blog (http://ghlonghair.blogspot.com/) a few months ago.

I did not know anything about HHJ; all I knew was to go to the salon and have my hair done. I washed my hair with any of those gallon shampoos and conditioners they had in the salon. Will blow dry, flat iron my hair most at times and also wear braids more often. I realized I started losing the hair on my edges and my hairline was badly damaged. I did nothing to grow the hair back but rather kept wearing those tight braids which later left me with a bald hairline. It was so bad that I will fix weaves to hide it. Sometime 2 years ago, I got tired of my hair and went for the big chop. I wanted to start growing my hair all over again but as usual I was back to the same bad hair practices.

I had fine neck length hair which was so thin and was breaking all the time. I was so tired of my hair and was thinking of going for the big chop again when I came across Stella’s blog online whilst I was searching for information on growing healthy hair. I was relieved to read from someone who was a Ghanaian and also knew a lot about growing healthy hair. I started practicing some of the things I read on her blog and I realized some changes in my hair. I then decided to have time for my hair and give it tender loving care in order to achieve my aim. I started by creating a regimen which I initially knew nothing about.  I washed my hair twice a week, deep conditioned; air dried and also started applying some oils to my scalp. 

healthy hair journeyhealthy hair journey
So far I think I have done a good job with my hair, it’s growing well and it’s healthier than before. Because I want to retain thickness in my hair, I have started stretching my relaxer days and so far I am 16 weeks post relaxer and aiming at 24 weeks before my next relaxer day.

These are the products I am using now:
healthy hair journey
Crème of Nature Detangling Shampoo

V05 Clarifying Shampoo

ORS Replenishing Conditioner

ORS Wrap Set Lotion

Hawaiian Silky 14 in 1 Miracle Worker

Cantu Shea Butter Leave in Conditioner

Dark n Lovely Argan Oil Moisturizer

Ghana Black Castor Oil

T444Z Hair Food

ORS Hair Repair Crème


Thanks Rubie for sharing your amazing story with us!! We wish you all the best and we are journeying with you. We love successful hair stories!!

What is your story? Care to Share : Send your story to ghlonghair12@gmail.com. 

Friday, 13 December 2013

I Miss My Hair Already!!

It's just been a little over 2 weeks since I installed my box braids and believe me, I'm mighty exhausted already. Seems like forever!! Protective styling can be so boring unless you can think of ways to switch up the style. Turn it up a lil bit so it looks more interesting everyday.

My braids look pretty frizzy now as I wash them at least 2 times a week. I see my own hairs sticking out left, right and centre. I do enjoy the softeness and curl in my new growth and just can't keep my hands out of my hair. I do the green house effect every night by just spraying my hair with my homemade moisturising spritz, cover with a plastic bag and scarf.

box braids for hair growth
You can't believe how soft that new growth really is!

box braids for hair growth

I always hold my braids with that same hair band in that same manner. How come I am so poor with styling!!

I love the uncomplicated hair life of wearing braids....you never really have to bother about styling.

Wash and go.....wash and go....wash and go!

Life has been so much easier but I just can't stop missing my hair.

What is the longest time you have kept braids or weaves in?


Friday, 6 December 2013

Such A Nightmare: Thin Ends!

It can really be a nightmare to wake up to the realization that your once healthy ends have thinned badly. No matter how hard we may try, some of us have such dry and brittle ends that break away uncontrollable if not cared for properly. We simply have to be cut off. That is the way our hair is and until we have mastered what our hair needs to keep it moisturised to the max, we just have to keep the hair shears close by.

Let me show you what I mean:

I hope this is the worst setback I will ever encounter.

Devastating huh? See how much length I gained in just 6 months and see the horror breakage caused. In the first 6 months of my hair journey, I was able to retain a lot of length and my ends were just cool so I needed no big trim. But in the next 6 months, after my relaxer, my ends were so arrrrggggghhhhhhh!! Just plain ugly! I needed a cut. A big chop. What accounted for the big change? What went wrong? These are a few things I have taken note of. Yes, we go through a bad experience and we should guard against recurrence right?

I know you do not want thin ends. In order not to face this setback, these are a few things you should do:

1. Moisture, moisture and more moisture: Water is your hair's best friend. Just as you get thirsty, your hair gets thirsty too. If your ends are extremely dry, do step up on your moisture. Wash at least 1-2 times a week, use a good conditioner, water-based moisturiser and seal with a sealing oil. You do not need to shampoo on every wash day. Remember, some shampoos are extremely harsh and do more harm than good. Better still, get a sulfate free shampoo. I just got plain lazy in the last 6 months. I could easily blame the big bulk I was carrying back then but that isn't a good excuse. I got braids and weaves and didn't wash, or moisturise and seal as often as I was doing the first time. That made my ends get so dry and brittle. It is no wonder it just broke off.

2. Have a Fresh Trim: If your ends are badly damaged and split, it is best to trim them off before you begin to care for your ends. Sometimes, no matter how much moisture you give to your ends, they just don't stay moisturised. You apply the best moisturisers and they still look dull, dry and very brittle. Do yourself a favour and trim the damaged ends off else they will continue to split to the roots, hence causing more harm than good. Believe me, sometimes when you trim off those split ends, in a few weeks, it's hard to notice how much you trimmed off. Your hair grows in fuller and looks thicker. 

3. Avoid Wet Brushing and Detangling: Not all hair can survive wet brushing or combing. Especially when the hair is relaxed. Same goes for detangling. Even sometimes, combing the hair soaked with conditioner just causes so much breakage in my hair. I totally took it off my regimen. I do not comb my hair in the shower anymore. I make sure I detangle when dry or damp. I ensure my comb can glide through the hair easily before I proceed to wash my hair. Natural hair is easier to work with when wet, but relaxed hair falls all over the place when touched wet.

4. Cut down on Direct Heat: Direct heat on the hair too many times a month can cause the hair to dry out extremely and become unresponsive to products. Airdry or rollerset as often as you can. Use a hooded dryer with low heat setting if you must use heat. I eliminated direct heat from my regimen as much as I could. I flat ironed just a few times to get my roots straighter. The few times I flat ironed and blow-dried, I used my profectiv mega-growth oil which doubles as a heat protectant. Not all salons use heat protectants so be sure to carry one along in case you are unsure. Buy a good head protectant. Grapeseed oil is a great heat protectant too. 

5.  Strenghten with Protein: You hair is weakened once you apply chemicals to it. If your hair is relaxed, do mild strengthening protein treatments as often as you can. I recommend once a week until your hair is strong. Do a hard protein treatment once a month or every 6 months. Best a week or two after a fresh relaxer. Always follow with a moisturising conditioner. Natural hair also needs some protein but not as often and as badly as relaxed hair.

6. Avoid Unnecessary Manipulation: This was my biggest downfall. Boy, was I glad I had gained so much length that it took just a few weeks of combing too often and wearing my ends out for it to break off extremely. Do protect your ends as often possible. Protective styles such as braids, buns, bantu knots, twist outs, etc can get boring sometimes but if you really want long hair, do hide your hair. Why African hair tends to be so fragile beats me, but once there is a way; follow it. 

7. Go easy on Chemicals: If you must apply chemicals to your hair, apply them correctly. Do not overprocess your relaxer or overlap them onto already relaxed hair. Leave at least 8 weeks between relaxers. The more you can stretch, the better as it greatly reduces the risk of overlapping. The more you keep processing your hair, the weaker it gets. Imagine relaxing relaxed hair!! Do not let hairdressers play with your hair and do not assume they all know what to do. By all means, educate your stylist if you believe she got it all wrong. Time to speak up girl. 

With all these noted , I have plans of sticking strictly to these hair rules in 2014. I have stocked up on the best hair products one can ever find in Ghana and I'm no doubt armed to the tooth for 2014 personal hair boot camp. Not too much of a price to pay for long and healthy hair. 

Bra Strap Length by December 2014, here I come. I do want this; Waist Length Relaxed Hair!

What is your hair length goal by December 2014?


Sunday, 1 December 2013

Inversion Challenge Results!

It was all joy and enthusiasm when I begun the Inversion challenge with my friends last week but as the days rolled by, I got bored with the routine and missed 2 days!! Those 2 days, I barely massaged and inverted my head the full time duration. I always thought I could do anything for an extra inch....yeah, right....I gotta be kidding myself!! This is one of the easiest things I could have done to get a whole inch. I couldn't stick to this simple challenge religiously.That makes me unhappy and I look forward to really do it in full next month. You bet, I'm going to do it every month since I didn't have any scary encounter. Not even dizziness.

But I am absolutely happy with my results. Here are my pictures after 7 days of inverting my head for 4 mins after oiling and massaging a few minutes. I warmed the grapeseed oil up in a hot bath a few times. It was really soothing on the scalp. The massage was relaxing and I missed those days when I used to massage my scalp everyday.

  inversion for hair growth

inversion for hair growth

inversion for hair growth

Measuring as best as I could with a paper which was cut out 1 inch wide, I see and feel new growth which is more than 1/2 inch under a lot of my braids when stretched. Could be more if stretched totally but  my hair is in braids, and I'm in no mood to undo a braid in order to measure and redo it. 

What I intend to do is to try and keep these braids in for at least 2 months. I do hope I get 2 inches of growth by the time I undo my braids. I will continue to test this theory more consistently for as long as I can. Hopefully, I will have the chance to do it with my hair loose in the future and do it for the full 7 days massaging for 4 minutes and inverting my head for 4 minutes. 

how to wash braidsI also washed my braids today. Though I usually wash my hair twice a week whenever in braids, I decided not to wash during the week of inversion and boy; am I glad it's over so I can wash as often as I want. My hair grows faster when it is adequately moisturised so I will do the green house effect at least 3 times a week from now on as I don't like to use too much product in my hair when in braids to prevent buildup. I will also continue to spritz my hair every morning with my homemade moisturising mix. I need my 1 inch in 4 weeks.....lol!

So, after doing the inversion for a week, I believe it does work....if not for a full inch, at least it gives you more than average hair growth in just 1 week!! Hurraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, my 2014 regimen is under construction and I'm definitely adding Inversion every month to it!

Did you join in our challenge? Please share your results.


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