Daily Archives: January 4, 2012

Project Scale Down: Day 2 & Kettlebell

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I got home from work at 7 p.m., after an approximately 2 hour drive home from my Trenton office. This is normally when I convince myself that I can take a day off of exercising or that I’m just too mentally and physically exhausted from work and meetings and driving to work-out. The act of putting on my exercise gear immediately upon arriving home, especially socks and sneakers, helps me get over that mental hurdle.

Day 2:

  • 10 minute Abs of Steel routine (a.m.)
  • 30 minute* Bob Harper Kettlebell DVD with 15 lb, then downgraded to 10 lb, kettlebell (p.m.)

*The 30 minute work-out took 40 minutes … because I had to stop 3 times to rest before I passed out! Hmmm … does that make this 50 minutes of exercise ;)? LOL!

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Flexi Rod Set

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Remember Marsha’s experiments with Curlformers? Well, now she’s back with a Flexi-Rod set!

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by Marsha of Hairology (aka 24 Hour Hair)

So, the last few weeks I have been trying more low manipulation hair styles. The first weeks I have done curlformers and my styles, although simple ponytails, have saved me in the mornings. At nights, I wouldn’t do anything with my hair, only put on my satin bonnet. In the past, after having a two strand twist set, I would re-twist each night to untwist in the mornings, repeating the process for, like, 3-4 nights in a row. Too much manipulation. Although it has been, like, almost 4 weeks of doing the roller/curlformer sets, I have definitely seen some improvements. Oh, another thing, I have been doing a lot more search and destroy methods. Doing this, I would get the little split ends or shabby ends before they attack the rest of my hair.

Okay, so this week’s set was done using flexi-rods. I have tried flexi-rods in the past, but never attempted a full head. Applying the flexi-rods were easier and quicker than the Curlformers. The curls were popping, yet my roots were really puffy. I started to use the Motions foam setting wrap lotion and my CD Healthy Hair Butter, but I had to rinse my hair and start again without the setting lotion. When I placed the setting lotion on my hair, it instantly felt coarse and dry, even after I added the hair butter. So, I decided to only use the hair butter. Flexi-rods on my head remind me of the lady with worms and snakes in her hair.

NOT CUTE.

So this is what my set looked like after removing rods:

Okay, I know, my roots were awful. I separated and it looked a little better.

My hair felt uber soft and really moisturized. I think I might have been too heavy-handed with the hair butter, because my hair was very oily.

So using some hair tools, I pinned my hair up because my hair down had a weird uneven shape.


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Learn how long Marsha’s flexi-rod set lasted here and see her update about her newest gorgeous style, mini twists, here.

Tales of a Transitioner: Courtney’s HairStory

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Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
I’m 33 and I work in IT. I’m funny, sensitive, smart and enjoy meeting new people.

What prompted your decision to go natural?
I noticed my hair was lacking body and shine. It was always the same length. It wasn’t as thick as I remembered it and it was … just blah.

How long did you transition?
In college (back in the late 90s), I tried going natural 2 or 3 times … each time, only lasting a semester or two. My hairdresser didn’t encourage transitioning; either BC or relax, so I would give in and relax. Eventually I changed hairdressers, but kept getting perms. In 2007 I started getting a light relaxer; putting the perm on, but not working it through. By September 2008, I decided to stop all together. It took 11 months to fully transition.

What was your initial reaction to your growing natural hair?
My initial reaction was “Wow! Look at those waves.” Then I was like, “ummmm …  soooo now what?”

How did family and friends react to the new you? What was your response to them?
My immediate family did not like it. They were used to seeing me with nice, neat relaxed hair and couldn’t understand why I was going natural. Initially, I explained that I was trying something new and wanted to see my hair in its natural state. After a while, I stopped trying to explain. Now that I have mastered a few cute hairstyles, they like it. LOL. 
 My friends didn’t care either way. They all have different types of hair, so it wasn’t a big deal. They do send me links to natural hair sites, etc., which is so cute and supportive. 
My ex-girlfriend was very supportive, although there were plenty of jokes when I was learning how to deal with natural hair in August humidity.

What is your current regimen? Go to products?
 
I pre-poo/shampoo as needed. When my scalp starts to feel tight or the style looks old, it’s time to wash. I know it’s a no-no, but I shampoo. I use a dye bottle with 1 part Head and Shoulders/1 part water. I apply it directly to my scalp. I pre-poo with EVOO for a day or two. Deep condition with a EVOO/Coconut oil mix or any one of the deep conditioners I have from my permed days. I like the Huetiful Steamer too. I sleep on a satin pillowcase and use a satin scarf. My favorite product is Karen’s Body Beautiful Butter Love. I use it from scalp to ends several times a week. It’s also a really nice hand/foot cream. That and EVOO are my go to products.

What are your favorite styles?
I’ve mastered the cute ponytail and braid-outs. I can stretch a braid-out for up to 2 weeks. I think once I get better control over my edges, I’ll have more updos in my arsenal.

What are your hair plans/goals?
My goals for 2012:

  • Complete The 2012 BGLH “Protect Ya Ends” Challenge.
  • Take a break from braid-outs and learn more styles.
  • Learn how to trim my ends.
  • Grow my hair to APL.
  • Incorporate KimmayTube’s conditioner.
  • Eat better/exercise/lose weight and it’ll reflect from the inside out.

Dry roller set

What was the most challenging part of transitioning?
Whew! Good question. The most challenging part was and still is my edges and kitchen. The texture is totally different than the rest of my hair. It’s just … rough and frizzy, lol. My mom refers to it as my “daddy’s hair.” I’ve learned to work with it. I apply extra conditioner and moisturizer to those areas. My scarf and gel help a lot when I need to lay them down. I also have a (2 inch) section of hair, right in the front that’s bone straight. It took about 6 months post-transition for me to realize that’s how it grows; it is not heat-damaged hair, so I stopped cutting it.

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
Shelli, from Hairscapades, of course!
Ebony Knots from Mahogany Knots
Taren916
Glamtwinz334
LongHairDontCare

Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, YouTube, Fotki, etc.)?

I follow all my “hair crushes” blog/websites and YouTube videos, along with KimmayTube, AfricanExport and BeautifulBrwnBabyDol.

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?

Go for it! Find a stylist or learn a few styles to get you through transition or go for the BC! It’s not about long hair; it’s about healthy hair. Remember to moisturize and deep condition often. Everyone’s natural journey is his or her own. Don’t let the opinions of others affect you. It’s your hair :).

Bow Down … BOW DOWN!!

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The noun “bow,” not the verb!! So, on Tuesday, I wore my little dollar store bow headband as I mentioned that I intended to do here. Remember? it looked like this:

I thought it was so cute and couldn’t wait to wear it again. So why, when I got home and removed it, was the bow GONE?!?! What the frickin’ frack alack?!? Guess we know why it was a dollar now!! You get what you paid for, right? *sigh* So, this is the thing, I would still totally recommend this headband, but with the caveat that you should pull out your glue gun and make sure that joker is secure before wearing it!! LOL! I’m hoping that I’ll find it at work somewhere today so that I can rehabilitate the headband. If not, I’ll probably get another one and follow my own advice.

In other news, when I got home and was getting ready to work-out, I needed to do something with my hair. I suspected that the pin-curls would fall out once I started hopping around. So, I took out all of the bobby pins, made the big front “flat” twist into a regular twist and secured the end with a small elastic like the remaining 5 twists.

I pulled the two front twists back and secured them with a medium jaw clip. So, now I had the ends of those twists and the four other twists hanging like a half up/half down style. I needed them off of my neck, so I decided to start with the long twists and fold them up in a criss-cross fashion over the jaw clip. I secured with bobby pins and tucked the ends. Then, I repeated this with the next two twists, but kept them under and outside the first twists. Finally, I took the shorter ends of the front two twists that were the lowest, criss-crossed and secured them under and outside of the second row of twists.  Well, what I intended as a work-out do turned out so well, that I took photos and am wearing it to work today!!

My one regret? I should have oiled my scalp before putting my hair in the updo!!