Wash Day

Saturday's wedding hair/last protective style!

I had a great wash day this weekend! I got home Saturday night planning to go through all my usual steps. My hair felt great so I skipped the pre-shampoo (pre-poo) treatment I usually do.  

I shampooed my hair with Shea Moisture's African Black Soap shampoo and Creme of Nature's Moisturizing Argan Oil shampoo. I mixed both shampoos with some water in an applicator bottle. I've been doing this for awhile now and it just makes things so easy for me. I can put the shampoo mix directly on my scalp, clean with my finger tips, and the suds get the length of my hair clean as well.  

Next I applied my deep conditioner. I tried a new one this week: Shea Moisture's Deep Treatment Mask, from their Organic Raw Shea Butter line. I got this about a week ago and had been waiting for it to go on sale for a month or so. I thought this would be a good time to try it out since I was planning to flat iron my hair. After I saturated my head with it, I put some grapeseed oil on top of it. I placed a plastic cap and two scarves on my head thinking I would sit under my bonnet dryer, but that didn't happen. I laid down and fell asleep so quick!

When I woke up the next morning, I rinsed out the deep conditioner and did an apple cider vinegar rinse, rinsing with cool water. Usually at this point my hair feels so soft, but it wasn't as soft so I got kinda skeptical about this new deep conditioner. I put a t-shirt on my head and laid back down for about 30 minutes. Then I applied my leave-ins: Aphogee's Green Tea & Keratin Restructurizer and Elasta QP's Feels Like Silk H2 and detangled my hair. At this point, my hair was probably about 75% dry. 

my hair blown out
I could not find my heat protectant at all! So, I applied a little of Organix Macadamia Dry Styling oil to my hair from root to tip before blow drying. I blew dry my hair on medium, which didn't take very long at all. Finally, my hair felt so soft and strong! So I will be trying it out again. It might be perfect for when I'm about to use heat or need a strengthening treatment. I, then, flat ironed using the chase method for the first time. With this method, you place a brush close to your roots and as you begin to brush the length of your hair, you "chase" the brush with the flat iron. This is supposed to separate and smooth your hair as you flat iron, enabling you to use only one heat pass. It worked perfectly! My hair was soft, smooth and oh-so-whippable! It actually felt like it was done by my stylist. I will probably forever use this method now.

This is the first time I have used any direct heat since December. My hair thanked me for it. I was so ready to give up on protective styling and run my fingers through my hair. The funny thing is my hair looked so pretty to me, but it started getting on my nerves not even half way through the day! Ha! It ended up in a pony. I tried to wear it out on Monday to work and the same thing happened - it was getting in the way and I put it in a bun. How's that for irony? I can't believe I am not used to wearing my hair out anymore! This challenge has changed my habits more than I thought it would.

Here's part of my flat iron results. I will wait to show the full length in my final protective styling challenge update. I am pleased with my progress to say the least!


Honey & Cinnamon to Lighten my Hair

I did an experiment this week: using honey and cinnamon to change my hair color. I have read a lot about women doing this and having success with it. So, I wanted to try it out. I haven't colored my hair in about two years, but oh how I LOVE hair color. Before that, I was getting highlights annually. I would get them right before the summer time, but only did it annually because I knew it was bad for my hair and I loved the way my hair looked as they grew out. However, after my stylist put highlights in it the last time, she [low-key] didn't want to do it anymore! Lol it's actually funny because she would do stuff like buy rinses for my hair instead of restocking the hair color I wanted since she didn't want to do it. Finally, she admitted she thought my hair was doing so well that she didn't want to ruin it by coloring it again. I couldn't argue against that of course.

Anywhooo... back to the subject at hand. After reseaching why these two household items are chosen to lighten you hair color, I found out that honey contains trace amounts of hydrogen perioxide. *gasp* I seriously didn't know that ya'll! Cinnamon acts as a peroxide activator, as does lemon juice, which I also used. So there you have color change in your kitchen! Not to mention all the benefits honey is known to have for hair. Now, as I said trace amounts, that means slight results. You are not about to have serious results from this, especially if your hair is dark. My hair is black, but my hope was in boosting my color treated ends. They were beginning to look dull to me and I just refuse to do damage to my hair with color when I haven't even reached a goal with it yet!

So, I looked over a number of recipes for doing this and decided on combining two. I'm not the best at following directions with recipes, as in I like to put my own twist on pretty much everything. I used:

  •  1/2 cup of honey
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

When I say I messed up this time, I mean I messed up! Fortunately for me, it was not to the detriment of the whole experiment. Since the honey was so very thick and slow (it was honey after all), I decided to warm it up a little. A little was too much and it got so liquidy, never congealing again. Ugh. Way to make an already messy situation even messier. Once I had a bowl of this liquid magic, I thought to myself maybe if I add some conditioner it will help thicken it up some. Ha! The conditioner floated in that stuff *shaking my head* 

I ended up having to use a relaxer brush to apply the liquid mixture to my strands. I didn't go all the way to my roots because I wasn't sure about how my scalp would feel with cinnamon on it overnight. After applying it where I wanted, I put a plastic cap and scarf on, leaving it on overnight. I attempted to rinse with conditioner to get all the cinnamon out, but it was as if my hair just laughed at that. So I have to do a few lathers of shampoo before I felt it was actually clean. Here are my results:

my color before (without & with flash)

my color after (sorry for the weird glare)
 It worked! I need to take some more before/after pics because I feel like these have a weird glare or something on them. But my hair color definitely got brighter. I thought it was quite cool to see it work the way people claimed. If I were to try this again, I would use raw honey, not warm it, and a lemon instead of lemon juice from concentrate.

Lessons learned:
  1. honey and cinnamon will lighten/brighten your hair color
  2. sometimes, you should just follow the directions. That's what they're there for anyway.

Relaxer Update

I relaxed my hair about a month ago, ending a 12 week stretch. I used Elasta QP's Ultra Hydration conditioning relaxer. I really like the way my hair feels after relaxing with this kit. It also under-processes my hair even if I leave it on for longer than the recommended processing time. 

Knowing I was soon to relax, I did a protein deep condition the wash day before my relaxer day. On relaxer day, I pre-pooed with Herbal Essences Honey I'm Strong and grapeseed oil for about an hour. After, I based my scalp with vaseline and also coated the length of my [previously relaxed] hair with it. 

shots of some of the texture left in my hair
Now that I am intentionally texlaxing/unprocessing my hair, my goal is to have a processing time of only 10-15 minutes max. I didn't make it this time. Came in right under 20 minutes. I also didn't add anything to the relaxer like I have the past two times. However, my hair still came out pretty darn textured and SO very thick. So I'm not upset at all. I'll move faster next time. 

Once I rinsed out the relaxer, I applied my protein treatment, this time using a spray bottle. Although the spray bottle made it a little less messy and Aphogee works well, I am considering finding another hard protein treatment. The sticky mess plus the bad smell makes me roll my eyes when I use it, honestly. I saturated my hair, made sure it was evenly distributed and then used a blow dryer to harden it. I rinsed in the shower, neutralized (3 lathers) and used Aphogee's balancing moisturizer, leaving it on my hair for about 5 minutes. 

Aphogee 2-step Protein Treatment (in spray bottle)

I used Beautiful Textures Rapid Repair Deep Conditioner along with Silk Dream Vanilla Silk Cream Moisture Dream conditioner to deep condition my hair. I mixed them in an empty jar and applied from root to tip. I put on a plastic cap and a scarf and left it on for about an hour and a half, spending half of that under my bonnet dryer. I rinsed with cool water followed by an apple cider vinegar rinse. 

Since I am participating in this protective styling challenge with a goal of using no heat, I did not straighten my hair or do a length check. But I will be very soon! I applied my usual leave-ins (Aphogee Green Tea & Keratin Restructurizer and Elasta QP Silk H2), let my hair air dry and put it up in my go-to bun. I was pleased with my results!


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