Breakage: Bare Sides Exposed!

I promised that if you read this blog, you’d experience the good and the bad of a transition. I definitely have my moments where I think to myself, “What am I doing? I am not capable of caring for such a demanding texture of hair!” Lately, I have been on a natural hair high, but this week brought me back down again.

Breakage has always been my ultimate fear as I transition, and I believe it’s why a lot of ladies just decide to chop it off. Even the most care can result in breakage simply because of the constant battle between the two textures. Well today I feel like I’m losing that battle.

A while back I posted on the top 5 frustrations of a transition, and of course breakage was the number one culprit. To illustrate, I described a situation in which the right side of my head where the hair just seemed to constantly break off. My right side is just not as full as the left side of my hair.

There are many reasons for this. Back when I used to get relaxers every 6 weeks, I always started on my right side. So not only was my right side getting relaxed too soon like the rest of my head, but it suffered from having the relaxer on the longest…and this happened every 6 weeks for 9 years. I shouldn’t be shocked that it’s thinner than the other areas on my head, but for a minute it looked like it was growing back (thus, the optimism in the Top 5 Frustrations post).

But this past week when I took a look at it, it looked very thin, and that freaked me out again. I like to be completely transparent, so the pics are below. You’ll see that for a moment it looks like it’s growing, then the most recent pics, it looks like it’s thinning again.

4/23/11 – This was 7 weeks post-relaxer. You can see how much thinner the sides are pretty much until you get above my ear. I can’t believe I never noticed this!

 

2/6/12 – 5 months post-relaxer. This was actually when I started noticing

5/31/12 – 8 months post-relaxer. I really tried to take a picture of the same exact section, and it definitely looks like it is growing in healthy and thick. I was happy!

7/23/12 – 10 months post-relaxer. Alright, it’s obviously longer, but it looks so much thinner. Back to being sad again 😦

Now, I will admit that the picture from this past week is on very dry hair. I’m trying to adjust to my new job that has, so far, been very demanding. I haven’t been able to wash/co-wash as often as I used to (2x/week) and my hair is definitely noticing the neglect. To combat the dryness I tried misting/sealing nightly, but apparently it’s not working lol. So, I now mist every few days (still sealing every night). I’ve also gone to a more protective style that has so far lasted me about 3 days. Hopefully the protective style will prevent me from twisting each night. The less manipulation of my sides, the better.

My plan is to focus on keeping my hair hydrated, and more protective styling manipulation (which means less of my twist outs that I love so much). Hopefully you’ll see a happy post soon on how they’re growing in so much thicker! Until then, the transition continues…

~TS

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Slowly Turning into a Product Junkie

 

Alright, so I feel kind of bad because since my transition, I have said over and over that I am not a product junkie. For the longest time I stuck with the products that worked for me. I even started a personal product challenge to force myself to try new products that would work better on my hair since it has changed quite a bit since my transition. However, recently a few things have happened that have let me know I may drifting down the path of a PJ.

1. When I moved from Wisconsin to Chicago, I threw away two bags full of products that I only used once, or hadn’t used at all.

2. My boyfriend looks in my bathroom and says it looks like I have an entire hair store!

3. Today, I go to Target for a few essentials and leave with Kinky Curly Knot Today.

I had to buy it :). I’ve been hearing so many good things about it. It seems to be everyone’s staple. And! (the reason that makes me feel so much better) One of my toughest issues is still detangling. It has gotten a lot better, but it’s still an issue I can focus on, and I am hoping Kinky Curly Knot Today can help.

So, I promise all of my posts will not turn into product reviews (but I am in an experimenting phase, so bear with me!), but I do plan to use it for 3-4 weeks then get back to you with a review.

In the meantime, have a great week!

~TS

 

Hair Regimen Change: Fewer, Bigger, Better

Over the past few weeks, my regimen has slipped quite a bit. You know, busy, tired, adjusting to a new city, blah blah blah 🙂 During the summer I intended to moisturize more (misting each night with water, or even adding an additional co-wash during the week). I also wanted to do more protective styling, especially in the humidity. Well I’ve done neither.

Because of the demands of work, I have actually dwindled down from washing twice a week to washing once a week alternating between a shampoo-wash and a co-wash. I assume my hair will be a little dryer because of this, so I have been making sure I mist with water each night. But my scalp does seem to miss the shampoo. It feels a little itchy.

Secondly, instead of protective styling, I’ve actually let my hair out even more! I love the look of my bigger, fuller twist out (below is the same nightly process, but I separated my twists more in the second two pics). Having my hair out more may result in more tangles, however I am moisturizing and re-twisting each night, so I am fighting hard to tangles and knots.

So there you have it. Fewer washes, bigger hair makes for a happier me during the summer…hopefully my hair won’t be too angry with me.

Has your regimen changed much this summer?

~TS

Product Review: Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose Conditioner

Quick post before I get back to unpacking!

I’ve been using Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose conditioner as a deep conditioner for about a month now, and in short, it has won a place in my hair pantry!

Straight to the point

Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose conditioner felt thicker in my hands than it did on my hair. When I squeezed into my hands, I was concerned it would just sit on my hair and not penetrate the hair shaft, but that was not the case. It did not overwhelm my hair strands as I applied it and, yet it was thick enough to allow my strands to easily slide by each other as I detangled (aka it gave good “slip”). Plus it smells like heaven! It left my hair feeling soft and smelling amazing!

The only downer is that I had to find this organic pharmacy-like store just to buy it (I really hate buying online, waiting for shipping, tracking my order, etc.). It’s not as accessible as my Walgreens products, haha (Shea Moisture), but now that I live in Chicago it should be easier to find.

How I use it

I deep condition on wash days after I wash with my sulfate-free shampoo (currently Shea Moisture Moisture Retention). I shampoo with my hair in 8-9 twists/sections (sealed with small clips at the ends since I’m still transitioning from relaxed to natural). After shampooing, for each section I take out the clip, apply a generous amount of conditioner, re-twist, then pin up. On a good day (when I have patience and time), I sit under the hair dryer for 45 minutes – 1 hour. However, lately I’ve just put on a shower cap and finished my shower ritual. I then rinse out the conditioner then proceed with my leave-ins and styling.

What I look for in a conditioner

I’m not going to get scientific here, but I look for enough slip to detangle my hair with ease without it weighing my hair down and feeling product-y. When a product weighs my hair down I find that my hair breaks more easily during a detangling session. And I’m all for seeing less strands on my shower floor. For a more scientific description of what you should look for in a conditioner, you may want to read The Science of Black Hair by Audrey Davis-Sivasothy.

That’s all she wrote! Back to work 🙂

~TS

Product Review: Olive Oil (as a detangler)

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been searching for a detangler I can use as a pre-poo/detangler on wash days. I started out with Herbal Essence Hello Hydration, one of my staples for co-washing. But it felt too heavy for my pre-poo and it seemed as if a lot of hair came out as I detangled.

I then tried Vatika Coconut Oil because it is a known light oil that many people use to pre-poo/detangle. For me, it was too light, and it was almost like detangling with no product on my hair.

So I then reluctantly tried Olive Oil. I was reluctant because I thought it would also be too light, and I figured I would have to go back to a heavy conditioner to get the job done. So here are the results.

Straight to the point:

I think I’ve found a winner! I used Winona Pure 100% Olive Oil, and the oil was heavy enough to give me a little slip (not as much as I’d have with a conditioner of course), but it didn’t weigh too heavily on my hair and cause breakage/excessive shedding. I bought this particular brand because it was in a very convenient spray bottle (I’ve been trying to tell you I’m lazy!), so the oil did not get everywhere. I found this at Walmart, so I’m pretty sure you can find it anywhere.

I will say that after leaving the olive oil on for 30 minutes, my hair is not as soft as it was when I pre-poo’d with Vatika coconut oil. However, I don’t mind as much because I still deep condition with a heavier conditioner once I wash my hair.

So, my Winona Pure Olive Oil is definitely a keeper.

Next week sneak peek! I’ve been using Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose Conditioner as a deep conditioner and I will give a quick product review next week (after I move into my new place in Chicago!!! Yay :))

~TS