Monday, 31 December 2012

1 Year Hair Anniversary: A look back at 2012

source


As we get ready to toast to the new year, its time to reflect on 2012 and give thanks for the many blessings I've received.

I thank God for a successful year, and for Jesus's help through my transition to university, as well as on my hair journey!

Entering 2013, I'm forced to wonder: how did the time fly so fast?
This month marked one year since I officially began my hair journey. I remember last December when I was dealing with irksome scalp issues and very heavy shedding. I thank God that it spurred me to research healthy hair care. From my first hair revelations by ulovemegz on youtube, to the Science of Black Hair, blogs and forums, I learned a lot of information that helped me to improve the health (and length!) of my hair.

Lets take a look at my hair near the beginning of my journey, and then to present.

January length check:



December length check:




I can definitely see progress!!
In January I was just shoulder length, and now in December I'm grazing arm pit length.

Other areas I've noticed health improvement include my scalp. For the past two to three months I have not had a major flare-up of seborheic dermatitis and my scalp is much less sensitive, dry and itchy. Whether this is due to healthier hair practices, hormonal shifts or diet, I'm glad that my scalp has been behaving!

I can't forget to mention that now I'm almost totally my own hairdresser. I've increased my DIY skills to the point that I am now a pro at washing, conditioning, rollersetting and airdrying my hair myself. I am especially happy that I've mastered these areas since I feel much more in control over my hair, instead of being totally dependant on a hairdresser.





On the other hand, I also had two minor setbacks this past year. The first was a "trim" by my old hairdresser that put me from about collarbone length to the shoulder length picture above. The second was the tear-worthy balls of hair I lost on my second to last relaxer due to major knots and dreads that formed in my new growth.

Ahh, and how can I forget my stretching issues at 8-9 weeks post? Those were the worst obstacles I've encountered on my hair journey, and I have to pay particular attention to how I stretch my relaxer in the new year.

Although there are still several areas of my hair's health that I have to work on, overall 2012 has been a successful year on my hair journey as I've learned a lot about how to take care of my hair and help it to thrive. =) Relaxed hair can grow!

What stood out on your hair journey in 2012? Have you thought of any areas of improvement for the new year?


Ask for what you want in faith and you shall receive it!


"And all things, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive."
Matthew 21:22

P.S.
Aren't you glad the world didn't end this year?? haha

Have a happy New Year!
~Hatter

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Small Hair Haul

Yesterday I went to one of my local beauty supply stores and bought two deep conditioners that I've been wanting to try for a while now:


1.
Organic Root Stimulator HAIRepair Nourishing Conditioner

Since the release of the ORS HAIRepair line I've been eager to try all of its products. I used the Vital Oils and the Moisture Creme and I liked them both, so I was glad to find samples of the Nourishing Conditioner. 

I first saw this product reviewed by my favourite youtube guru, ulovemegz:




There are many more reviews by other women with relaxed hair. Some women thought it was mild/heavy protein treatment while for others it was more of a moisture treatment. What's interesting is that they all agree that this product made their hair soft but strong, and some said that it might not be ideal for weekly use. If my hair responds the same way, this conditioner might be good for my first wash day after getting a relaxer to really strengthen my hair after being striped of protein bonds and moisture. 



2.



Creme of Nature Professional with Argan Oil  Intensive Conditioning Treatment


I'm sincerely hoping that this product is the same as the ones pictured below. The only difference I see from the packaging is that my bottle is all red, says "Professional" and the bottle holds 20 oz. I'm assuming that the formula is the same but the packaging is a little different because the size is bigger than the standard packaging. 
cremeofnature.com

I'm excited to try both products and post a review in the new year. (That's 2 days away!! haha)
This has been my last hair haul for 2012! I wonder how many more products I'll try next year...hopefully I won't become a product junkie x.x

What were some of your favourite hair buys this year?

Love!
~Hatter

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Wash Day @ 1 week post relaxer



Last night I washed my hair at one week post relaxer. It was an extremely easy, enjoyable wash since I had smooth, straight roots. I was also surprised that my hair felt extra silky. It might have been due to my coconut oil pre-poo.

This brand is made in Barbados (yay regional products!) but it doesn't indicate whether the coconut oil is 100% raw/organic. Judging from the lack of smell I suspect that it's refined oil. I'll be using this as a pre-poo a few more times to see if it really gave my hair the silky slip I experienced when washing it out of my hair.

After washing and deep conditioning I did a rollerset and I lost very little hair =) That is always something to smile about!

I then sat under the hooded dryer for about 1 hour & 10 minutes, combed out my light, bouncy curls, wrapped my hair and went to bed. This morning I unwrapped my hair, and voila! Soft, swingy hair!


Wash day success!

*Note- In this rollerset I didn't use any moisturizer or leave-in conditioner. To make up for this, I kept my hair verry wet while rollersetting and used some African Pride Olive Oil Miracle Braid Sheen Spray! lol yes I used a braid spray. I have the moisturizing lotion in this brand and I love to dilute it with water as a leave-in while I rollerset. I should definitely review this brand soon.

I also used some Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Wrap/Set Mousse and Organix Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage to help me get soft, full hair.

Products I used when rollersetting my relaxed hair.

Cheers for an easy, enjoyable wash day!

P.S.
What do you think of the new blog design?

~Hatter

Relaxer and Trim Update

Last Thursday 20th December I had my hair relaxed at about 6 and a half weeks post relaxer. 
Yes, that was a short time, even for me! I'm definitely not going on such a short stretch again. I hardly had new growth! 

As per usual, the hairdresser used Precise Relaxer in Mild. This time my scalp got burned on my left side since I was scratching it during the week *guilty face*.

Comparison between November 3rd and December 20th relaxers:

November relaxer (left) and December relaxer, after self-trim (right)

There is very little difference between the two pictures for these reasons:
  1. This time I only waited 6 and a half weeks before relaxing. Consequently, I saw much less "length" than if I had waited my usual 8 weeks.
  2. I trimmed my hair myself. Minor length gain + self trim = little retention. lol!
I'm actually not sure if I trimmed too much, because my ends were quite ragged. In my November relaxer I did not get a trim by the hairdresser and "dusting" my ends wasn't enough to remove the uneven ends. This relaxer, I tried to give myself a thorough self trim. That might be why it doesn't seem that I retained any growth over the past 6 weeks.

In this last post I described the methods I wanted to use to trim my hair. In reality, they didn't work so well! I started with Feye's Method then switched to sectioning my hair across my head, pulling the section upwards, (like I was rollersetting) and snipping off thin ends.


The amount of hair I trimmed off of my ends. 

Anywhoo, I'm happy to saw that I'm officially grazing Arm Pit Length! woot woot!
APL was my goal for 2012 and I'm glad that I'm almost there!

I won't officially claim full arm pit length until my next relaxer in the new year, but I'm happy that, despite the set backs and obstacles, I made significant length progress in the first year of my hair journey! 

I'm keeping an eye on my ends so make sure they don't get too ragged again. I hate major trims, so I'm thinking of dusting my ends every month or so to keep them in shape.

Soon I'll post a full review of my hair journey in 2012, my reflections and goals for next year.

How has your hair progressed this year? Have you made any new hair goals for 2013?

Love!
~Hatter

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Preparations for trimming my hair...myself!

Today I had my hair relaxed at the salon at 6 and a half weeks post.

Yes I know what you must be thinking...what the heck's wrong with me?!

I only relaxed before 8 weeks post because I'm travelling home this week and next week is Christmas. I doubted whether I would be able to find a working hairdresser after this week. Anyway, after my relaxer I declined the offer of a trim as I am determined to trim my hair myself...properly this time! lol

On my hair journey I've already had one set back in length due to a "trim" by my previous hairdresser, and I switched in good faith to my sister's salon in refuge. Unfortunately, scissor-happiness seems to run in hair salons.

So I decided that I would trim my hair myself. I've tried to do this over the past few months but I really wasn't sure how to get all the uneven ends throughout my hair. Sectioning my hair in two ponytails and trimming the ends wasn't enough to cut off the ends of the shorter layers of my hair.

To help solve this problem I did done some research and found a couple of interesting videos that should help me to do a better self trim.

1. Search and Destroy Method. This involves twisting the hair to reveal shorter layers that "poke out" from the rest of the section of twisted hair. This will allow me to cut off the ends of shorter hairs throughout my head.



2. Feye's Method for a U shape cut. I actually learned about this method through Jeni's blog, justgrowalready.com as she uses it herself. Here is her original post and a video of how she trims her hair.



I won't be cutting off as much as the woman does in the video (hopefully) but I thought that this method should be great for shaping up my ends.

Honestly, I'm anxious about self-trimming because I don't want to accidentally cut off too much hair...At the same time I don't want to cut too little and remain with split ends again =(


Do you have any more advice on how to trim my own hair?


Happy Christmas (season)!
~Hatter

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

21 Questions Hair Tag

Here's my response to Ms. Fancy Flair Lady's 21 Questions Hair Tag.

Although she tagged me a couple weeks ago, I've only been able to complete it this week. Sorry for the late post! Hope you enjoy =)

1. Why did you start taking better care of your hair?

Last year around this time I was experiencing major shedding, plus a severe flare-up of seborrhoeic dermatitis. This led me first to watching videos on youtube (shout out to ulovemegz!) and then hair blogs to find a solution to my hair issues. Then I decided to start my own blog this year =)

2. What are your 2 favourite hair products?

This is a hard one! If I had to choose only two they would be Organic Root Stimulator Replenishing Conditioner and Neutrogena Triple Moisture Silk Touch Leave-in Cream.

3. Who's hair did you admire as a child?

My mother's! From the braids she wore, to the times that her hair was relaxed or natural, I loved watching my mother take care of her hair.

4. What is your ultimate goal length?

Right I haven't decided on an ultimate goal. I definitely want to get at least to bra strap length. Maybe after I reach that goal I'll go for waist length.

5. How are you going to celebrate when you reach your ultimate goal?

I'm going to do a bombshell hair style! lol Like a retro or pin-up style with bouncy curls. I'll probably wear a matching outfit and makeup and wear that all day =P

6. Two styles you want to try at your goal length?

A fish tail braid and super curl hair using a curling iron or even flexi rods.

7. Which do you prefer: Health or Length?

Both are important to me, but I know health is what matters more overall.

8. Which do you prefer: hair ties with no metal parts or butterfly clips?

Hair ties. Butterfly clips are too uncomfortable for my scalp.

9. What products do you prefer: salon brands, organic brands, BSS brands, Drugstore brands, or other?

All of the above! Brand doesn't matter as long as the product does what it's supposed to, and doesn't have too many harmful ingredients.

10. Which product/technique do you think is over-rated?

Extended relaxer stretches. I admire the women who gan go 3-6 months or longer on a stretch but just 9 weeks post is a headache for me. Plus it damages my hair more than increases its health.

11. Which product/technique do you think is under-rated?

Pincurls!

12. What is your favourite part of your hair regimen?

On wash days, it's taking my rollers down from my hair and enjoying the curls =)

13. What is the most annoying part of your hair regimen?

Detangling after washing my hair at 8-9 weeks post relaxer. Ouch!

14. Oils or butters?

Oils. I've never tried hair butters.

15. Buns or ponytails?

Buns! Especially big buns from an old braid-out.

16. Wigs or weaves?

Neither. I don't particularly like them. (don't hate! =)

17. What is your opinion of growth aids?

Although I don't use any, I would prefer "natural" growth aids like castor oil. I don't like the idea or using a pill, cream or gel.

18. At what length do you consider hair long?

Arm pit length.

19. When is the last time you visited a salon?

About seven weeks ago for my last relaxer.

20. What do you like to surf most often: Youtube channels, personal blogs, or hair forums?

Oh gosh, who can choose among those?? I think I surf personal blogs most often.

21. And finally, what piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out on their hair journey?

I would advise him/her to be armed with as much information before starting a hair journey. Besides hair blogs and forums, The Science of Black Hair by Audrey-Davis Sivasothy is a priceless book about healthy hair care.  Knowing as much as possible before the journey would make it a lot easier to be prepared for possible setbacks, as well as to prevent them.


Love!
~Hatter

Monday, 17 December 2012

Exam Season!

Yup, its exam time.

Well, my exams actually started about two weeks ago...but I'm still hitting the books.

Thank God I have my last final tomorrow and then I'm freeeee for the Christmas break! =)
Does anyone know statistics? My statistics course has been the most difficult course I've taken this semester x.x Pray that I do well in the exam!

I haven't been able to post as often as I wanted to since I've been studying, but by the end of this week I'll have some new posts up. I might be getting my hair relaxed later this week so I should do a relaxer update, plus an update on managing my new growth/hair health.

Who else has been consumed by finals?? I hope your hair's health hasn't suffered because of it =)



Farewell!
~Hatter

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Liebster Award!


I've been nominated for the Liebster Award from Fancy Flair Lady! Thanks hun! :)


Liebster is German for "favourite" or "darling", so I guess I have a darling blog :P


How the Liebester Award works:
1. Each person must post 11 random things about themselves (optional).
2. Answer the 11 questions that the tagger set for you.
3. Choose 11 bloggers who you would like to give the Liebester Award.
4. Create 11 questions for the bloggers you have tagged with the award to answer.


My questions (from Fancy Flair Lady)

1. What was the last movie that you watched?

Rise of the Guardians. It was better than I expected, but I never like evil characters in childrens' movies (like the Boogeyman in this movie) I always feel that they're a bit overdone! lol

2. What or where is your happy place?

This is a hard one! I think my happy place is in my head, when I meditate, pray or listen to music. I'm also happy whenever I'm with my mom, so...home is a happy place too! :)

3. What's your biggest fear?

Not finding my purpose and passion in life. I'm still praying to God for Him to lead me to what I was created to do here on earth.

4. If you could ask any one person any one question, what would it be?

Hmmm, I would ask my Dad why he really left home.

5. How tall are you?

I'm 5'3! :D Short people rule! haha

6. What describes you on most days: Save or Slurge?

I admit it, I splurge! I need to start living within my budget...LOL

7. What is your favourite thing to blog about?

Hair, hair and more hair!

8. When did you start blogging?

I think it was in February or March of this year, 2012, but I started my official hair journey in December 2011.

9. What was the first thing you learned to cook?

That was probably macaroni and cheese :) or plain spaghetti.

10. What trait from your zodiac sign best describes you?

I don't follow my zodiac/horoscope so I wouldn't know.

11. Do you excercise?

Yup! This Hatter has been playing tennis off and on twice a week with my best friend here at university. :)


I tag:
1. Bee at younganddoingit.blogspot.com
2. Carolyn at waistlengthwishes.blogspot.com
3. Jenna at jennashair.blogspot.com
4. Vienna at persiannamedgirl.blogspot.com
5. Mznappytrini at mznappytrini.blogspot.com
6. RainyJenks at streetsmartbeauty.blogspot.com
7. Nadine at texturedstrands.blogspot.com
8. Lesley at freshlengths.blogspot.com
9. Shanique at thickbeautifulhairjourney.blogspot.com
10. Jeni at justgrowalready.com
11. Fiona at loveyourtresses.com

You have a darling blog! 


My questions for my nominees:

1. What style do you have your hair in right now?
2. If you could travel to any exotic destination, where would you go?
3. Do you ever experience hair envy? (Be honest! ;)
4. Do you play a musical instrument?
5. Who is your favourite person?
6. Do you believe in karma?
7. Chocolate or vanilla??
8. When was the last time you broke down and cried?
9. What are your top 3 favourite hair/fashion sites?
10. How old are you?
11. If you could meet one famous person, who would it be?

Hope to read the responses from my nominees soon! :)


~Hatter

Airdrying: T-shirt method changed my whole experience!



Shout out to Fancy Flair Lady for sharing her experience with the T-shirt method!

Today I washed and deep conditioned my hair, and instead of my usual rollerset I decided to air dry.

Now, before I tried the T-shirt method I did not like airdrying. My hair would become puffy, slightly rough and very dry.

However, about two weeks ago Ms Fancy Flair Lady posted her wash day in which she simply used a T-shirt to absorb excess water from her hair after washing it. I remember watching a video by Sunshine of hairlista.com with the same method, but because she did not show how her hair looked after drying, I wasn't motivated to try the method at the time. However, seeing a recent post spurred me to try it out for myself.

Today was actually the second time I tried it, and I used the same old, 100% cotton T-shirt and wrapped it around my hair, leaving it to soak up the moisture for about half an hour.




My results?

My hair was soooo soft and fluffy! I honestly thought the ladies who praised the T-shirt method over-exaggerated, but trust me they did not! My hair cuticles were flat and smooth, and my hair was incredibly soft, even before adding my moisturizer. Anndd my hair mooooovesss! *swishes hair back and forth* Before, my airdryed hair was always stiff and dry and did not have the movement and fluffiness I'm experiencing.

I think the major difference between using a towel and a T-shirt is that the smooth cotton texture of my shirt did not ruffle or raise my cuticles like the rough, abrasive texture of most towels. The T-shirt allowed my cuticles to stay closed and lock in my hair's moisture.


My hair after moisturizing and de-tangling. 

This method is definitely a good alternative for weekly rollersetting for me as it gets my hair smooth without using any heat at all. I think my results are almost as good as rollersetting! My hair also dries faster and I'm not restricted to sitting under a dryer for an hour waiting for my hair to dry.


T-shirt method, you are here to stay!

Have you tried the T-shirt method?

Ta ta!
~Hatter