Daily Archives: February 10, 2012

Michelle Howard Smith’s Final GOC Update


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.

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.


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!


Ramblings: HIH, Edges & New Obsessions


So, this post is just a hodge podge of the going ons over the last couple of days.

Hand-in-Hair (HIH):
So I’ve still been wearing the same bun with the three twists in front. I’ve changed it up a little by wearing a big red flower on Wednesday and a hair stick yesterday. But last night, I really wanted to try this bun that I’ve been eyeing for months. My hair is stretched and feeling strong and I’ve been wearing the same style for three days. However, my hair looks fine; no need to mess with it. So, that inner battle ensued and my desire to try something new waged war with my knowledge that leaving it alone when it’s fine is better for my strands. Knowledge prevailed this time, so no manipulation and the bun it is … again … for another day. *lol*

Do you ever struggle through this inner battle? Which side wins most often?

You know, I generally use Eco Styler Gel and shea butter mixed to smooth my edges, when needed. Though it works pretty decently in the morning, by the time I get home, I always have frizzies all over. Well this week, Sofn’free sent me a frickin’ massive amount of products from their new GroHealthy line, Nothing But, which is especially created for natural hair. One of the items was their Mold & Hold Wax, which I started using on my edges on Tuesday.

Gotta tell you, I’ve tried a lot of things and nothing works great all day. This stuff right here? Yeah, color me impressed so far. At the end of the day, my edges are still smooth. A full review with the ingredient lists and all that good stuff will be coming next week. But, as you can already see, it is free of a lot of stuff. One quick word, it does have dimethicone. So, if you are a strict Curly Girl, then it probably isn’t for you. But, if you’re not … stay tuned!

End of work day with NO product re-app!

What do you use to lay down YOUR edges?

New Obsession:
Did y’all see Curly Nikki’s dress from her post yesterday about attending the Essence Black Women in Music Event?!?! OMGosh y’all, that dress is HAWT!! Well, she purchased it from my newest obsession, Asos!! You see, I discovered this UK based online shop via my Lucky magazine a couple of months ago! Kirsten Dunst was on the cover and in the feature inside the mag, she had on this dope, retro pencil skirt that was, like, 50 or 60 bucks at Asos. Ever since then, I’ve been going on the site on a weekly basis, putting things in the cart (always end up with, like, $240 worth), convince myself that I shouldn’t be spending any money, leave the cart, return a week later to find that half the items in my cart have sold out, add new items to my cart and repeat. LOL!!!

Well, after seeing the dress that Nikki was rocking and checking it out to find that it was only $72 … the streak has been broken. I knew if I waited more than 24 hours, it would be GONE. And, in fact, I ordered two!!! I’m not sure of their sizes, so I got it in a 6 and an 8. Because, as you know, I’m hippy and bootylicious and it’s very fitted and narrow down the lower body as it’s cut like a pencil skirt. I was scared that if I ended up with the wrong size, the right one would be gone by the time I figured it out. And hey, with FREE shipping and return shipping at all times, how could I go wrong?!?!

LOVES it!!

I love the dress as I think it’s perfect for many occasions, including evening work events where I want to be fla-DOW, but still professional ;)! *LOL* I was planning on telling you guys about Asos once I actually purchased something and could check out the quality of the items and the service. Well, now you have a preview and I’ll be back with pictures and a full review once my order arrives! Oh, and one last thing, they have this really cool, ingenious feature. Under each item is an option, “See it on the runway” that you can select to see video of the item in action! Nice!

Have you ordered from Asos in the past? If so, what has been your experience with the quality of their items and level of service?