Wash Day | Braidout Bun

This was a simple wash day. Nothing fancy, which is probably why I didn't plan on posting about it. But I guess boring wash days matter, too, right?? I did love my bun at the end. I'm a sucker for a big, fluffy, high bun tho. 

After dividing my hair into my usual 4 sections, here's what I did:

{1} Pre-poo: PM Tea Tree Moisiturizing conditioner and safflower oil. I put on a plastic cap & scarf and left it on overnight.

{2} Shampooed with CON Argan Oil Moisturizing & ORS Creamy Aloe watered down in an applicator bottle.

{3} Deep conditioned with CON Argan Oil Intense Moisturizing and Aubrey Organics GPB on my ends for about 30 minutes.

{4} Did an ACV and aloe rinse after rinsing the conditioner out.

{5} Detangled my hair section by section while applying my leave-ins: Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner and grapeseed oil

I put my hair in 8 braids to air dry. I wanted to rock a big braid out, but then I wasn't really feeling it once I took the braids out. The texture was nice. I guess I just wasn't up for all my hair being out anymore. Who knows? Anyway, I went for my fave big bun. 

I used a banana clip to secure my hair at the top. I love using banana clips for two reasons: 1) it has no problem holding alllll my hair securely without being too tight, and 2) it give me more freedom to create a huge bun. I just fluff my hair around the clip, pin down with bobby/hair pins and voila! A big braidout bun!

How was your wash day? Make sure you check out other wash day experiences over at SavingOurStrands and JustGrowAlready!

Perm Rod Set on Dry Hair

I have drooling over beautiful perm rod sets for awhile now. I've attempted them a couple times, and either given up or completely failed :) After losing my steam rollerset, I decided to go for it again. I figured I'd attempt it on dry hair to help me get the technique down and hopefully get better results this time. I was also hoping that actually setting my hair with mousse would help my curls combat the heat. 

It was a very simple process. I used the smaller pink rods, Shea Moisture Frizz-Free Curl Mousse, and Creme of Nature Repairing Oil. I only applied the mousse to the length of my hair, not my roots. I twisted my hair around the rod working downward instead of starting at the end of my hair and rolling upward. I let it air dry overnight. That's pretty much it!

When I took it down the next day, I unraveled the rods from my hair in the same direction. I was so excited at how well the curls turned out! I didn't even separate them that day because I wanted to see how they behaved in the humidity. Of course, my hair swelled some because that's what it does best, but my curls were still yet holding on :)

So I guess this is the trick: if I want my curls to stay in the summer heat, I have to actually set my hair. Even as the rest of the humid, rainy week progressed, my hair stayed curled pretty tightly. It just got bigger lol typical. I think I'm going to practice a few more times with these on dry hair before attempting to do it wet again. But this is hands down the best way to "cheat" a perm rod set! Loved it!

Steam Rollers vs. Humidity | Wash Day

I've had box braids in since close to the end of April. Pretty much installed them a week after my relaxer update. I almost can't believe I made it close to two months before I removed them! Of course, after taking them out, I was itching to play in my hair. So I decided to go for a roller set with my Caruso Steam Rollers. 

I'll just go ahead and admit I didn't wash my hair the ENTIRE time my box braids were in. Ha! I'm not even ashamed either y'all. #nojudgmentzone Needless to say my hair was quite dirty. So, I knew this wash day was going to be serious. Here's how it went down:

{1} I divided my hair into 4 sections and slathered (yes, slathered) coconut, safflower, peppermint & tea tree oils alllll over it. Finger detangled followed by a wide-tooth comb. Added Paul Mitchell Lavender Mint Moisturizing conditioner and let it marinate under a plastic cap for awhile. 

{2} Shampooed my hair with a combo of ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo and CON Argan Oil Moisturizing shampoo. Lathered three times. Towel wrapped my hair to soak up excess water.

{3} Deep conditioned with ORS Replenishing Pak and TRESemme Naturals conditioners. Sat under my bonnet dryer with a plastic cap for about 30 minutes. 

Time kinda escaped me at this point and I ended up deep conditioning overnight... and most of the next day (lol!)

{4} Rinsed the conditioner with cool water. Followed with an ACV rinse (didn't rinse that out. 

{5} Towel wrapped hair then t-shirt dried. 

{6} Section by section applied leave-ins: Apogee Green Tea & Keratin, Shea Moisture Restorative conditioner, and Creme of Nature Repairing Oil. Detangled. 

{7} Blew my hair dry on low heat.

{8} Set my hair using the Caruso Steam Rollers. I usually leave the rollers on for at least 45 minutes so my hair can dry. Sometimes, I will run the blow dryer around the rollers a little bit before I'm ready to take them out just to be sure they're dry. 

After I took the rollers down, I was very pleased! My hair was so soft and shiny. The curls were pretty & bouncy. Yes! Seemed like a win in my book. And then... I went outside y'all.

*blank stare*

Ok, first of all, I hadn't even thought about how humid it was outside before I decided how I was going to style my hair. 2nd - this happened to me last year, but I didn't think about that either. 

Basically, I left to go to an event and by the time I arrived my hair was so different. But at the very least, it was still curly. By the time I left though -_- it was pretty much completely straight. I wish I was exaggerating, but the pictures don't lie. Obviously, the humidity won this battle. And because it's not the first time, humidity wins the war. Steam rollers don't get to come out and play in the summer anymore y'all!! I'll see them in the fall. 

How was your wash day this week?

Relaxer Day!

I finally relaxed my hair at about 18 weeks post! In my mind, I felt like relaxing my hair would renew my desire to spend time styling it... wrong. I knew I was tired of battling my new growth, but I could actually just be tired of doing my own hair. Haha! I'm so serious ladies! Does anyone else ever feel like this?! No? ...just me? Okay...

On to the details of relaxing, or texlaxing, whatever floats your boat. I used my fav Creme of Nature Straight From Eden Relaxer. If you've been following me long enough to know how I go about texlaxing my hair, you'll be shocked to hear I didn't add any oil to the relaxer this time. Why you ask? Because I completely forgot. I mean it didn't even cross my mind until I was starting to rinse it out. At which point I may or may not have freaked out a bit and contemplated shedding real tears at the thought of having bone straight hair again #Iwasntready

Prep - 
{1} I thoroughly detangled my hair using my fingers followed by a wide tooth comb. Divided into four sections.

{2} Layered the length of my hair with my "triple threat" - safflower seed oil, Aubrey Organics GPB conditioner, and vaseline - to protect my previously relaxed hair.

{3} Parted my hair to base my scalp with vaseline. After applying vaseline to my scalp, I twisted the length of each section. 

{4} Mixed the relaxer... this is the point when I usually add the oil to help slow down the relaxer process, but I forgot  -_-

Relaxer Process - 
{5} I always start applying the relaxer at the crown of my head since it is my most coarse area and work my way down each section, saving my nape and edges for last. I love this twisting method because I can move through my whole head in about 5-6 minutes. I use the rest of the time to make sure I didn't miss any areas. I do not smooth the relaxer in my hair. Total time: 13 minutes.

{6} Rinsed the relaxer out and soaked up the excess water with a towel. As you can see my hair was still very textured after I rinsed!

{7} Mid-step protein treatment with Umberto Beverly Hills Repair Treatment Masque and L'Oreal Damage Erasing Balm. I put on a plastic cap and sat under the dryer for about 15 mins. 

{8} Neutralized with the Straight From Eden Hydrating shampoo. I lathered three times, allowing the third to sit for a few minutes just to be sure.

{9} Deep conditioned with CON Straight From Eden conditioning treatment and TRESemmé Naturals. Rinsed and did and ACV & aloe rinse. 

Styling - 
{10} Applied my leave-ins - Elasta QP H2, Shea Moisture Restorative conditioner, Straight From Eden Repairing Oil - and detangled my hair.

{11} Blew my hair dry on low heat.

{12} Went for my Caruso steam rollers. They always make my hair look like I put a lot more effort into than I actually did :)

I was pleasantly surprised that my hair didn't over-process, retaining just as much texture as I wanted, despite the fact that I forgot to add any oil. That, of course, makes me wonder how much of a difference adding oil really makes when under-processing my hair. Perhaps my triple threat of protection is enough for keeping the length of my hair from over-processing along with my new growth. But it also makes me love this Creme of Nature relaxer even more. I definitely don't have to worry about it being too strong for my hair. The back of my hair is pretty much fully texlaxed now. The shrinkage is ridiculous. Cheers to a successful relaxer day!

I'm happy to be back to linking up for the #WashDayExperience with SavingOurStrands and Just Grow Already! Be sure to go check out other wash day experiences!

Hair Update

I cannot believe its April already! 2015 is flying by so quick. I realized I haven't done a full hair update at all yet. Eeek! Well you'll be happy to know that you haven't missed too much. My hair and I are not the best of friends right now. She's getting on my nerves a bit.

I am in a hair rut, ladies! I seriously don't know what's going on with it. I'm quickly approaching 18 weeks post aaaand I don't know what to do with myself. I want to relax my hair, but I haven't felt like it nor have I had the time to do it. My scalp has been oddly sore, too. Sometimes that happens when I start getting a lot of new growth, but it's never been this extreme. It's much better now, but that is something that has kept me from relaxing as well. I already bought my relaxer so it's just a matter of time.

I started out the year with some crochet braids (pictured above). They were awesome and lasted much longer than most of my crochet sets. I think because I was so in love with the style and too busy to take it down to do something else. Dont worry I'll be posting about them soon!  It wasn't until I took them out that I realized how much new growth I have. Needless to say, I haven't been doing ANYTHING with my hair. I even bought a wig!

I had my hair trimmed in January. I knew I had at least a couple inches of thin ends that needed to go and I did not want to do it myself. I went to Great Clips. It was quick, painless and she did a great job. I actually recorded the whole thing, too. I'm really quite over these bone straight ends! I thought they were going to be all gone after this trim because I gave her free reign. Surprising, I know. She was more conservative than I expected, which showed me I can trust her and she will be trimming my hair again. She complemented the health and thickness of my hair and said there wasn't much that really needed to be cut off. She also said I had little to no split ends! #winning She really just focused on getting rid of the thinner ends.

I want to keep up protective styling at least until the summer time. I think it's easiest for my life right now and it will help me finally get passed bra-strap length without having to cut it off again. So that's one of my main hair goals along with being fully texlaxed. Box braids are next up. I've thought about going to get them done somewhere, but the fact that my traumatic braiding experience still makes me shudder means that's probably not going to happen. I just have to find the time to do them myself I guess. We shall see!

Hope you all have been well!

My Sister BFFs | 52 Weeks of Gratitude

Two of my sisters are two of my BEST friends!! They are there for me through the good, the bad, and the ugly. They're hands down two of my biggest supporters - I promise they tell more people about my blog than I do lol - but in any & every aspect of my life, they are constantly offering that kind of support. Words can't express how much they mean to me. 

Growing up, I never would have guessed that we would have such close relationships. We fought like honey badgers! But I guess that is pretty typical in a house full of girls. I'm sure our age differences played a role in it, too. 

It didn't take us very long to go from roommates (yes, voluntarily, as adults) to living hundreds of miles away from each other, but I think my relationships with them are stronger than ever. I cherish the times we do get to spend together, and I know they do, too. Their names are Karla and Mariya, and they are six years older and two years younger than me, respectively. 

Karla is a lawyer and Mariya is a chef. Understandably, Karla is my voice of reason, while Mariya is my partner in crime. Mariya would be sitting beside me in jail, while Karla would be bailing us out. Ha! Of course, I say that jokingly, but it is a good illustration of our relationships. We're there for each other. I have their backs and they have mine. 

"There is no problem that sisters cannot confront, combat, plot against, ignore, make fun of, drown in chocolate, or run over with the car." - unknown

That quote is so true and funny at the same time. My sisters and I are ride or die for each other just like that. I can call them for a good laugh or a good cry. If I need some good advice or if I just need to vent, I know they will be there for me. It's funny, too, because in that closeness, we can get under each other's skin better than anyone else. But it really doesn't matter how mad we make each other because there's nothing we can do about the fact that we're sisters. We'll inevitably get over it and keep moving like it didn't happen.

All sisters don't experience the luxury of the tight-knit relationships that we share with one another. We may not talk daily, but when we do talk, it's as if the distance between us doesn't exist. While my sisters can't physically be here to help with my dad, they are here in every other way they can be. I truly appreciate them for that. Sometimes, when difficult situations arise in a family, it can lead to division. But this has done nothing, if not bring us closer to each other. I'm extremely grateful for that. 

Do you have sisters or relationships like this that make you grateful?

Best of 2014

2014 was definitely a good year for my hair. I hit my length goal (twice), gained so much thickness, and found some products & tools that my hair loves. These are things I want to make sure I keep up in 2015. As I was looking over last year's posts and pics, I came up with the top four things I loved about my hair care and the top 10 posts you loved in 2014.

Protective Styling: I made a serious commitment to long-term protective styling last year. I never thought I would like protective styling on a long-term basis, and by long-term, I mean 4-6 weeks. But, I was wrong. Not only did I start to truly enjoy it, but it was very beneficial to my hair. I tried crochet braids for the first time and they worked so well with my hair, I ended up installing them three times! I did crochet braids with braiding haircrochet braids with box braids, and crochet braids with senagalese twists. I also installed another set of box braids and even tried out faux locs for the first time. It spoiled me, ladies. After all that, I did not want to keep up with my hair daily. It makes life so much easier! I understand why some ladies live in protective styles now.

Flexi-rods: I tried flexi-rods for the first time (on wet hair) last year. The first time I tried to flexi-rod my hair, it did not turn out like I wanted. But the first time I had a successful rod set, I was hooked. At this point, I can achieve pretty consistent results. I am proud of that, too, because I never thought I would be good at any kind of roller set. The only thing that I do not like is sleeping in them. Yea... that's horrible.

Henna: This one is an oldie, but a goodie nonetheless. I just can't speak highly enough about my hair's relationship with henna. It's all love. Henna can be messy and I don't like the smell, but it's worth alllll of that and more for the results. New growth getting unruly, but not ready to relax? Henna. Detangling sessions getting out of hand? Henna. Want to strengthen my hair, but don't want to use hard protein? Yep, henna. It smooths my hair, loosens my new growth, and gives it great shine. Certified that it's something I can't go without in 2014.

Caruso Steam Rollers: Gaaah!! These things are Ah-Mazing. Like I'm not sure why I didn't make an effort to try them sooner. They can be my best friend, especially when I'm feeling lazy. Because they're so easy to use, too. If I've done nothing to my hair, I can throw them in an hour before I have to leave and achieve curl perfection. Without direct heat. Annnnd they always make my hair feel SO soft because of the steam. I got one of my sisters hooked, too :)

When I was figuring out which posts you all liked the most, I couldn't help but notice that about half of my most popular posts were about about protective styling. I'm so glad you ladies enjoy these posts since those styles have become such a significant part of my regimen. I can guarantee there will be more of those types of posts this year, as I am already planning my next protective style.

Here are my top 10 most popular posts of 2014:

{10} Wash Day | Henna & Flat Iron

{9} How I Took My Box Braids Out

{8} Wash Day | 21 Weeks Post

{7} Length & Nape Check - 2 Year Update

{6} Twisted Back Updo | Tutorial

{5} Crochet Braids #2 - Box Braids

{4} Wash Day | 20 Weeks Post

{3} How I Wash My Crochet Braids

{2} Best Products for Protective Styling

{1} My Crochet Braids
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