Saturday, October 25, 2014

Relaxed hair journey post - In retrospect - 2009

Update on my setback...

As I am writing this, I am a little sad. The setback I noticed at the beginning of this month has gotten worst. I do not know what is causing the breakage. I lost hair at the crown and going down to the nape. I just don't know why, so I can't stop it.

My symptoms : my scalp is itchier and itchier in the area in question (I never noticed itching before), my hair has a different texture in the area it feels really weird to the touch (like it's dryer than the rest of the hair even though I moisturize), the hair in the area breaks very easily, it is thinner and the care I'm giving it is not working. I also think I burnt my scalp in that very area with my hair therapy wrap.

Conclusion : Although I've been babying that area and it is still not getting better.

I know how Ateeya and FM (from Hairlista) felt. For me, this is a major setback because I really thought I was on the right track. I was hoping it would be just a small setback. I had noticed just a very small section at first, 1/8 of an inch. This is my first real setback since I started my hair journey. I am sad but resilient. I will overcome it all.

Looking back on 2009...

I am very happy that I stumbled upon Sunshyne's You Tube channel when I did. I wasn't even into You Tube back then. Learning about hair care changed my life.

What has stuck to me the most is that my hair NEEDS moisture. I moisturize and seal every day. I wash 2-3 times a week. I air dry. I stretch my relaxer to 12 weeks now. These are things that I NEVER did, not even less than a year ago.

Looking ahead : in 2010, I will...

* Prepoo, wash, DC, do protein treatments, air dry, roller set with the same regularity
* Continue stretching my relaxer 12-14 weeks (if this is not the cause of my breakage - if it is, I'll go for 10 weeks max)
* Self relax (I will only go to a stylist for 1 relaxer per year - I honestly can't trust anyone - I did try though)
* Find out the true reason of my recurrent hair loss

Mostly, what I've learned is that doing my hair myself is the best choice for me. Although I understand that I can talk to the hair dresser or stylist and tell her my preferences, it is not of any interest to me to tell them what to do every step of the way.

I understand that my journey will be filled with peeks and valleys, ups and downs. I did wallow in self pity for a couple of days. Now, I'm ready to work and solve my problem.

HHJ to me and to everyone.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Hair update... December 15th 2009 (pic 11 weeks post, blow dried)



Yesterday was my last wash day before my next relaxer, Saturday... I am super excited. 11 weeks post this time. I will go to a stylist for the first time since I started my hair journey (for this service). I'm nervous. I keep telling myself my hair won't fall out even if she doesn't do it exactly how I do it. I cannot tell her what to do every step of the way. I will calculate the time it takes to apply and tell her when I'm ready to rinse. I will ask for a reconstructor ofter the rinse. I will ask for a DC after neutralizing. I will only roller set, no heat pass. I'll do my own saran wrap at home. Oh yeah, and before I go, I'll base my scalp and protect my already processed hair with oil or conditioner.

I've already tried her out, she's ok. I don't think I'll have a major problem. I will also say a prayer because I don't want to be annoyed and have an awful time.

So yesterday, for my wash day I did my pre-relaxer routine. I did a medium protein DC ( ORS hair mayo) on dry hair. I washed with a clarifying/chelating shampoo (1st lather) then another lather with Kera Care hydrating detangling shampoo (love it). Then I DCed with Kera Care Humecto (my hair loves this stuff).

What a difference. I think my hair likes high-end, expensive hair products. It likes the Chi products I had (I bought sample sizes to try out) and it likes Kera Care a lot. When I use cheapie conditioners for cowash for example, my hair tangles in an abnormal way. Also, when I have a lot of new growth my hair reacts differently to certain products. I really have to be careful.

It doesn't do that with the high end products. Yesterday, after my DC, my hair was like butter, B-U-T-T-E-R!!!! I did not use a detangler and did not lose much hair. It was a great wash day. I am willing to use high-end, but I don't think I can afford it. I wash and cowash my hair 2-3 times a week. Once a week is not enough for me.

Does this mean I have to buy more products just because I don't want to buy Chi and Kera Care regularly. I don't really feel like it... We'll see.

I ended my wash day with a blow out. I decided to blow dry on the last wash to fully detangle my hair before the relaxer. My only mistake was drying with the hooded dry before because that caused my hair to harden and tangles. I thought it would minimize the heat, but nah. I'll know for next time.

Overall, great wash day. *happy dance* :-D

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Good hair, bad hair and whatever's in between



It seems people are noticing my efforts. I am happy about that, but I had a discussion today about hair and it wasn't pretty. It was after church. Me and my husband are mostly always with the last people to leave. I guess we love to hand out with our church friends. Any-who... Some girls were talking about how good my hair looks and asking me what I'm doing.

I was trying to explain about moisturizing and sealing and washing more often and Dcing and mineral oil and petroleum, etc. So we're talking and one girl just said that it works for me because I have... wait for it... GOOD HAIR *gasp*. ME!!!!!! Good hair!!!! Never!!!!! Even when I was a young girl, I never had long hair. My hair always looked dry and broke off periodically.

I wasn't really broadcasting my hair journey, although I haven't hidden it either but discussing hair with the skeptics is not easy. They are reasonable ladies. They're like me before this journey.

Some people think that the hair they were born with is the hair that they have right now, but a lot of them are wrong. Unhealthy hair is not the hair you were born with. Ear length is not your terminal length.

I am so happy to be on this journey. I think I convinced one of the girls. I will work on her to see if I can get her to join the site.

HHJ!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Relaxed hair journey post - Approaching 6 months of my HHJ (September 13th, 2009)


I am myself only starting out on my hair care journey. It hasn't been six months yet. My next birthday will mark my six months hair care anniversary. I will actually try to relax and take picture on the 9th of October, the exact date of the 6 months anniversary (my birthday is the 11th).

I already have people asking me what I did and how I got such great results. I am so happy I go any results at all. It was not magic for me. All I can say is that it takes patience and consistency. Also, it is important to have a goal, something to look forward too.

One year after the last BC of my life (that's how I feel right now)! I can say that hair grows every second of every day. Always remember how often you have to shave your legs and armpits. No matter what abuse you subject your hair to, it grows (unless you have an medical condition, of course).

Let's put aside my one year progress and focus on the fact that my hair care journey started in April. Personally, I wouldn't gasp in amazement at my results. I was NL and I am still NL grazing SL. My hair doesn't grow as fast as others. It doesn't matter to me because my ultimate goal is in three years and I still have time for great results. Furthermore, I am focusing on minimizing breakage and unnecessary shedding right now.

I'm thankful I found the hair care boards when I was really feeling like nothing was working for me as a natural, texturized, relaxed even braided. I am thankful for all the ladies who love to share what hair care tips worked for them. Even if everything doesn't work for everyone, one or a few things will work. And the more I understand my hair, the better I will be at understanding and deciding what can work for me.

The fundamental tips I've learned probably should have been second nature to me like brushing my teeth or taking a shower, but it wasn't because of all the misconception, myths and bad advice we got about black hair care ever since we were born.

Fundamental Tips (foundation for every regimen)
• Moisturising and sealing daily (for me it's a must)
• Washing hair at least once but really twice a week and DC once a week (to add moisture to hair)
• Sleeping with silk scarf and/or satin bonnet (a must once again)
• Stretching my relaxer + applying relaxer properly (soooo important, duh!)
• Using a wide tooth comb

These have been the most important tips I received. They have also permitted me to take back the hair care job for myself and not rely on a stylist for every little thing regarding my hair. I've always been a DIYer, but now I have knowledge. My favorite saying these days is Knowledge is Power...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sedona Lace - 12 Piece Professional Makeup Brushes - Pink review

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picture from sedonalace.com

Everyone who knows me personally knows that I love makeup. Unfortunately, even if I wanted to buy and try every makeup item accessible to me that would be unreasonable and also frivolous. I have a budget to respect. It does allow me enough to treat myself here and there, but I am still mindful of how I spend my money even for fun things that I love like makeup.

When I first started my makeup collection I had one brush set.  It was an inexpensive travel set from Walmart that I truly never really used. I used the little brushes that came with the makeup item or the foam tips (for eyeshadow).

When my interest in makeup peeked, I realized that I needed real brushes.  My first brush set was from eBay, from a company in China. I got it as a gift with my Manly 120 eyeshadow palette. Then, I got another brush set (Sigma travel set) for my birthday that same year. After that, maybe a year or two later I got a brush set from BH Cosmetics.  A few months after that, I found out about Sedona Lace. 

Just like I usually do, I searched for reviews and You Tube videos on this company and their products. Most of the reviews were good. And so, I decided to purchase a brush set.  

I needed a full size, full set to travel with for my cousin's wedding in Europe.  This special occasion required a complete set of full-size brushes. I found a coupon code and waited for a sale and ordered my brush set online.

The website is quite easy to navigate and they do offer much more than makeup brushes.  For someone starting out in makeup, it is a great company to consider. They offer a wide variety of makeup products at very affordable prices.

The brush set I chose was the 12 Piece Professional Makeup Brushes - Pink. The day I purchase it, the set was on sale for 47.96$ and I also had a 4$ off coupon code I got from one of my You Tuber.  However, for Canada, shipping was 11.95$.  So in the end my total was 55.91$.  Still that is an excellent price for a complete brush set.  

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Here is the breakdown of my review:

Good:

  • Affordable even at the full price but the always have sales going on
  • Complete brush set (great for travel)
  • Super cute (I love the pink)
  • Full-size brushes
  • Comes with brush-roll
  • Excellent and fast service
  • Paypal is accepted

Not that good:
  • some of the brushes shed

If you are interested in checking out their site click here.
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picture from sedonalace.com

My comments on shedding are that I've realized over the years that some makeup brushes will shed more than others. That doesn't necessarily mean that they are bad quality.  In my experience, it's the type of hairs used to make the brushes that can cause them to shed. Synthetic brushes shed less from what I have observed. Sedona Lace does have this same brush set in synthetic. It also got great reviews on You Tube.

After using this brush set for more than one year, I can say that I do recommend it.  I compare the quality to my Sigma brush set with which I've also experimented some shedding. In both case, it wasn't a major issue for me. I really like them even more than I originally thought.

I'm planning my next purchase from Sedona Lace and I can't wait!

I posted a video about this brush set when I first got it.  I did the review a few days after receiving the brushes.  I may do an updated video, but for now, here's what I had to say about them.






Saturday, October 18, 2014

I tried it! Sally Hansen Salon Effects real nail polish strips review

First day, September 27th

We all know as moms or simply as a busy woman or young girls sometimes cutting corners and finding hacks can feel like winning the lottery (well, almost).  I had seen these boxes in the store before but never really knew if I would like to try them.  No one I know had. I didn't know how easy they would be to apply and how long the would last.

Can I just say how much I love You Tube right now!  One of the girls I follow nguerriero19 (Nicole Guerriero) tried it and she said she was obsessed with them.  Actually, she didn't try the Sally Hansen brand but to me this brand is reliable and I like quite a few nail products from them.  I had a special occasion and I wanted my nails to look really good so I bought a box and tried.

Just like I hope, the process was not "painful" at all. It was easy, a no brainer even.  I prepped my nails the same way I would have if I were going to apply nail polish.  They give you a mini file/buffer so I shaped my nails, I like them squoval. I applied some nail polish remover to get rid of oils on top of the nail.  I buffed the nail bed just a little bit and then I was ready for the nail strips.

Next step is to size each nails with the right strip and then to start applying. I found that my nails were a little big for the strip they give you. But then again, the style is to not cover the nail completely with polish anyway (at least I hope it is). I still like the overall appearance of them.  They looked really sharp.  I got so many compliments!

Writing this October 7th

                                         

It most definitely will last up to 10 days like it says on the box.   It looks better than worn out nail polish.

On my first try of this product, I did not use a base coat or a topcoat.  Next time, I will add the topcoat to see how much longer it will last.


I can say I give it a thumbs up for sure.  I will give 4 out of 5 stars though.  I bought a second pack of the polish strips (a French manicure set) thinking it was going to be just as easy to apply only to realize that this was not the case.  The French manicure set may take me twice as long and require precision.