Michelle Howard Smith’s Final GOC Update

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Michelle (First Wave) of Radiant Brown Beauty

So here’s my Grow Out Challenge final post :-).

Hair Growth:
Since the challenge began, my hair has grown about 3 1/2 inches and I lost about an inch from trimming and a little breakage. From October of last year to date, I have 2 1/2 inches of retained length. That’s basically a 1/2 inch a month of growth.


I have yet to straighten my hair with heat, but I’m actually considering it in April. That will be a year since I’ve heat styled.

Regimen and Products:
Anyway, my winter hair care regimen is only slightly different from my summer regimen. The first change I’ve made is to do everything in four box braids (I’ll continue doing this). My products are mostly the same, but I used the Jane Care Nourish and Shine as a triple threat for protection *lol* versus how I used to use it before to just lay my edges down after using aloe vera gel.

  • Pre-poo: Vatika Oil
  • Wash (alternate): Hair Rules Shampoo, Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Shampoo and Shea Moisture Hair Thickening Shampoo
  • Moisturzing deep conditioner: I used a lot of samples that I needed to get rid of (too many to number *lol*), but I’m returning to my regularly used As I Am Naturally Hydration Elation. I finished up the Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Mask, to which I added Brahmi oil. It has greatly improved the condition of my scalp. I’ll continue to use Brahmi but I’m not repurchasing the Deep Teatment Mask. I always have to doctor it up with something and that shouldn’t be the case.
  • Rinse out conditioner using the Cool and Seal technique: Hello Hydration
  • Protein Treatment/Conditioner: I still use Jamaican Black Castor Oil’s Protein Treatment (love this stuff) every other week or so.
  • Leave In conditioner: Kimmaytube Leave-in or As I am Naturally Leave-in
  • Sealer: Jojoba Oil to the length of the strands and JBCO on the ends. I top that off with Jane Carter Nourish and Shine.
  • Styler: I am not really using styling creams right now, but I most recently tried Jane Carter Curl Defining Cream. See my review of that product here.

I’ve also continued to henna my hair – down from every 3-4 weeks to every 4-6 weeks. I think I’m going to switch to a henna gloss going forward since it’s an easier application.

Fitness:
I hadn’t started out seeing this as part of my Grow Out Challenge, but I’ve been inspired :-). I now work out 6 days a week, alternating my work-outs with cardio and muscle conditioning/sculpting. It’s been rough, but so far I’ve been consistent for 6 weeks with only 1 rest day.  I started when I began Weight Watchers in January and, so far, I’ve lost a total of 9 pounds. My goal is 50 pounds total.

Oh and, by the way, I’m on the Lean Cuising kick *LOL*. I don’t really like boxed food, but it’s easy for lunch so I have them at lunch time.  I tried Healthy Choice.  YUCK. They are the worst.  The Smart Ones are OK. It’s hit or miss with those.

Final Thoughts:
I credit my length retention to protective styling and keeping my hair sealed, which in turn keeps it moisturized. I also continue to detangle my hair with my fingers and sometimes a Denman when my hair is soaking with conditioner. I never have to add a moisturizer to my hair, which is amazing. My ends stay moisturized and silky smooth until wash day (Sat/Sun). I credit the Jamaican Black Castor Oil for that.

I’m also now using a hair journal where I’m tracking what I use and how I care for my hair. The purpose is to keep track of what’s NOT working more than what is. I also am looking to see if my growth accelerates with the addition of healthier eating and exercise.

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If you would like to see all of the updates of any of our GOCers, just enter their name in the “Search” box on the right ——->>>>! The results will return all of their updates (and guest posts) since the beginning of the GOC!! See where it all began and how they’ve progressed over the course of the challenge!

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7 responses »

  1. Michelle, you may like Cafe Steamers too. They really fill you up :) Congrats! Maybe Ill start working out now rather than waiting on the first signs of spring lol.

  2. Darn I typed this whole big response and it disappeared :-(

    Gina, I hate the Steamers. Bland and nasty to me. I will stick with the Lean Cuisine. I like the variety and the taste. The WW Smart Ones are a toss up.
    And yes you gotta get in gear lol. I waited until my body was in pain and I got scared. Now the pain is gone Thank God but I’m doing this to first, bring honor to Him in my body and second, to live long and strong so I could be here for my family.

    Thanks Elise. They are a little time consuming but you can alter it with bigger twists. Bear in mind that only my sides are twisted. The centered and front section isn’t really twisted. They were big twists that I loosened.

  3. Great progress, Michelle! Love the updo….very clever to just do the small braids/twists around the perimeter. I will definitely try that.

    • @shoehotline, i got it from this online store. I totally forgot the name of it. I found them by Googling “hair length check t-shirt” or something like that. I think it was $14. Shelli has a tutorial on how you can make your own but I’m not much of a DIY gal :-)

      @Lavendar, thanks. You still have to twist the whole head but you can make the center twists much bigger. You only need the center twists to create texture

      @Terysa you crazy girl lol just make sure you don’t go through the changes I went thru to get here!

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