My 2014 Hair Goals

It’s still the beginning of the year, so it’s not too late for me to make my 2014 hair goals! I push myself to set goals because it gives me focus throughout the year. Setting goals really helped me while transitioning. For example, since I risked a lot of breakage from managing two textures, my primary hair goal for 2012 was to minimize breakage.

Why focus on 1-2 goals?

Of course everyone wants longer hair, stronger hair, less breakage, more elasticity, and the list goes on. But I’m a firm believer that focusing on 1-2 goals increases your chance of achieving them. It’s hard to track the results of your hair goals when you’re focused on so many.  Plus, focusing on 1-2 goals let’s you dive deeper and lay out action plans to help you get to where you need to go. Using my 2012 example above, I achieved my goals through learning about protein treatments (and balancing them with moisturizing) and protective styling. So below are my 2014 hair goals and my action plans!

2014 Hair Goal (1): Minimize breakage (resulting from heat damage)

My hair suffered heat damage from my wedding hair trial, and as a result I find myself working with two textures again. This happened Sept 2013, so the majority of my texture is a looser curl with weaker strands, but my new growth is my extremely tight 4c curl. So you can imagine detangling across the two textures can be a hassle (which leads me to my 2nd goal below).

Action plan for minimizing breakage:

  • Weekly protein treatments – I’m currently using Aphoggee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor, but considering exploring other options (let me know any suggestions you have!)
  • Daily moisturizing – I still use a mixture of 1/2 water and 1/2 sum of olive oil, sweet almond oil, aloe vera juice, and vegetable glycerin). It’s all in a small spray bottle that I use nightly before sealing with my Hot 6 Oil and sometimes also adding Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing smoothing (or a similar heavy cream)
  • Protective styling – Two-strand twists are my go-to, but I am looking to expand this year. Looking for quicker protective styling that doesn’t take me hours at a time!

Less of this…

More of this…

2014 Hair Goals (2): Minimize tangles, especially where my new growth meets my heat damaged hair

With the heat damage mentioned above, my hair has some stubborn tangles near the root where my two textures meet.

Action plan for minimizing tangles:

  • Stretched hair – A huge part of this for me is changing the way I allow my hair to air dry. Right now it air dries in big twists I wear when washing, but I’m considering a flat twist/two-strand twist combo that will keep my roots stretched more. More on this later.
  • Patient detangling sessions – I had a lot more patience when I was transitioning, but detangling got a little easier when I became fully natural so I lost a lot of that patience :). I’m going back to only washing my hair on Saturdays or Sundays, so I can really take the time I need to get the job done in a damage-less way.

By December 2014, I will hopefully have some length to show for my new strategy!

Cheers 🙂

~TS

My wedding day hair (natural bride)

November 9, 2013 was one of the greatest days of my life. I was able to marry my best friend, celebrate with loved ones, and still ROCK MY NATURAL HAIR! Lol 🙂

I went with two flat twists leading into a BIG bun. He had to add to my bun of course. I love my hair, but I wanted big for my wedding day. I bought 2 packs of textured “braiding” hair, and he literally just pinned it to the back of my head and wrapped it around several times. I loved it.

3 things I loved most about this style:

1. Took 20 minutes

2. Showcased my natural texture

3. Was easy to take down that night (I couldn’t sleep with that thing in my head! So I un-pinned, took my twists down, and I was free to go!).

That’s it! Short and sweet 🙂

~TS

Heat Damaged, but not broken (well, a little)

***Sorry in advance for the long post. I needed to vent!*** And spoiler alert: I’m a little dramatic 🙂

So, after 2 years of taking great care of my hair and seeing decent length retention (on a strict no-direct heat regimen), I finally let a professional stylist touch my strands. I procrastinated and fought as long as I could, but the fact was I was getting married in November ’13 and I did not want to do it myself on my wedding day.

I did my research. I searched online, read reviews and ended scheduled a consultation with a stylist known for taking care of natural hair. I met a girl at a Curly Nikki meet-up with healthy-looking natural hair that recommended him from personal experience, so I trusted her.

My vision was simple, or so I thought. I wanted a low bun with my natural texture (willing to do a blow out if needed, but didn’t want a bone-straight style). Emphasis on my natural texture. I dreaded heat damage. Honestly, I’ve seen too many “gone wrong” videos. So I wanted my hair in its natural state.

Well, during the consultation he agreed with my vision, but when I arrived for the actual hair trial he said he needed to straighten my hair to trim my ends. I stressed that I didn’t want my hair straightened, especially since the style did not require it. He strongly suggested I get it straightened so he could trim, and I’ll be honest, I said “he’s the professional, maybe he knows what he’s talking about”. It’s a little sad how I immediately began to doubt my ability to take care of my hair even after seeing results.

So he flat ironed my hair. AFTER sitting under the blow dryer, and THEN blow drying my hair. Yep, there was heat damage involved (only a little though).

My curl pattern is just too tight, so the amount of heat it took to achieve his definition of straight, was too much for my hair to handle. Now the good news is, because my strands were so tightly coiled, the damage didn’t completely straighten my strands, but it definitely loosened my curl pattern…just when I was falling in love with my curl pattern 🙂

September 2013

September 2013 | Before trim

September 2013

September 2013 | Before trim

In addition to the heat damage, he trimmed what looked like a good 3 inches. I could be exaggerating…you be the judge. I’m not sure I’m convinced that I needed that much cut.

September 2013 | After trim

September 2013 | After trim

September 2013 | After trim

September 2013 | After trim

If I’m being completely real with myself, I was more hurt about the length loss than the heat damage (#shame). I mean, my feelings were really hurt. Not only would I have to learn to deal with a slightly looser texture (which made a big difference in how I styled my hair), but I also had to work with shorter hair (no more faux buns!). Not to mention I was worried about length retention now with the strands being weakened.

For that week, I used pin curls to add volume and provide that curled look.

September 2013

September 2013 | result of pin curls

September 2013

September 2013 | result of pin curls

Wearing my hair straight was cool for a few hours, but I quickly missed my texture. Plus I didn’t know what to do with my hair at night, thus the pin curls lol. I’m not knocking straight styles at all. I’ve just learned that I really love my big, curly styles, and I can’t wait until my original texture grows back…no matter how stubborn it is!

After all of my whining, it’s not the end of the world. Many women have experienced much worse (all about perspective right?). The benefit of the looser texture is that it is a little easier to manage, but my ends tangle more easily. I’ve definitely noticed a much higher amount of breakage, but I try not to let it discourage me. After all, mistakes will be made along the hair journey 🙂

Since then I’ve been baby’ing my hair quite a bit. I’ve been doing (almost) weekly protein treatments and making sure my hair is moisturized throughout the week. Of course, back to my no-direct heat regimen. Styling mainly consists of twists to protect my ends. When my hair is “out” it’s usually a twist out from the latest installment of twists (still very low maintenance).

November 2013

November 2013 | twists pinned up in back with bang

December 2013

December 2013

December 2013

December 2013

January 2013

January 2013 | twists pinned to a small side bun

December 2013 | Twist out

December 2013 | Twist out

January 2013 | Twist out

January 2013 | Twist out

It’s been about 4 months since the heat damage/trim, and I’ve gained some length back, but I’m looking forward to getting back to a healthy hair state!

Thanks for letting me vent! Actual wedding day hair pics coming soon. Here’s a hint…it was all worth it 🙂

~TS

I’m back!!! … for a late 2-Year length check

Hola chicas! I am SO sorry for being MIA over the past year, but life just kind of took over…in a positive way 🙂 Over the past 8 or so months I got married, started a new job (again), and moved into a new place with my hubby! But enough about my personal life, on to the important stuff, right…hair 🙂

I’m awful at “legit” length checks with the measurement shirts and rulers (not taking away from any ladies that do!), but I do have a few pictures comparing the start of my journey to two years out. So this is a retro-post that should’ve happened in like Sept 2013 (sorry!).

For those who are just joining me on my journey, it started Sept 2011 when I received my last relaxer (check this out for the full story).

Sept 2011

Sept 2011

After being fed up with breakage, I chopped after one year of transitioning.

Looks like about 5-6 inches???

August 2012

photo 5

September 2012

Fast forward to present day (well, September 2013).

IMG_2801

September 2013

IMG_2802

September 2013

IMG_2803

September 2013

Throughout the year I primarily wore twist outs and faux buns (see below).

September 2013

September 2013

September 2013

September 2013

Okay, so I skipped a lot, but to see more pics follow me on instagram and I’ll follow back! (savvyrenae). Here’s a snippet:

Aug 2012 - June 2013

Aug 2012 – June 2013

 

Aug 2012 - June 2013

Aug 2012 – June 2013

Overall, I was really pleased with my growth. The greatest fear I had when first going natural was not knowing if my regimen would provide the desired results. Looking at the progress, I felt much more confident in my regimen (more to come on the regimen).

Great story right? Well, everything changed after my wedding hair trial. After handling my own hair successfully for 2 years, I dreaded seeing a professional stylist. No, I mean I literally lost sleep over it! Even after doing my homework. But I won’t bore you on this now…more to come on that soon…

Until then…

~TS