Category Archives: Eighth Wave

CJ’s Final GOC Update


by CJ (Eighth Wave)

Well, it’s grown, and thickened (I started taking MSM and biotin 2 months ago). I’ve learned a lot during my PJism, but I’m now claiming recovery – it’s a day by day process y’all. Day by day and prayers for strength. My hair likes protein … in small doses. It LOVES water-based moisturizers, Keracare essential oil, to be left alone, sleep and a healthy diet, specifically vegetables and water. It hates dry styling and the blow dyer (we’re not gonna talk about my week long experiment with that), but will tolerate the bonnet dryer at low levels.

August 2011

August 2011

August 2011

Shelli, thank you for hosting the GOC. And congratulations to you and the Mister!

(p.s. The PJ bit reminds me, I have nearly full bottles of The Original Moxie’s Everyday Leave-in Detangling Conditioner, Intense Quench Deep Conditioner and Shape Shifter Re-forming Creme. If anyone’s interested, I’m willing to mail them for the cost of shipping!!)


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!


October GOC Update: CJ



August 2011

Not the best picture, but an idea of how my hair has grown.

I’ve realized I need to quit experimenting with every possible product known to man. In the last 4 months, I’ve tried:

  • Hair Rules (hated it)
  • DevaCare (One Conditioner is great … everything else, eh)
  • Oyin Handmade (my hair is not a fan of castor oil)
  • Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk line and Honey Mimosa (my hair didn’t absorb it at all)
  • Wen (I liked it, but refuse to spend that much money on a 16oz bottle that’s gone after 8-10 uses)
  • Curl Junkie (CJ) Cleansing Conditioner (smelled funny and didn’t clean my hair)
  • CJ Coffee-Coco Curl Creme (I had to use soooooo much and it smelled … just, wrong)
  • CJ Curls in a Bottle (only worked on top of the curl creme–too much product)
  • Curls Souffle (coated my hair–without any definition–so badly I had to shampoo it off)
  • henna (made my hair unbelievably frizzy)

My stylist suggested using KeraCare … and now that I finally decided to listen to her and stopped all the experimentation, my hair is so much happier. (Shout out to Camille, owner of Noire Design Concepts Salon in Silver Spring, MD!!!!). So, right now, I’m washing with As I Am Coconut Co-wash (a new line for naturals created by the chemist in charge of product development for KeraCare. Reviews say it’s like Wen, but only $9/16oz.), co-washing with KeraCare’s Moisturizing Conditioner for color treated hair, clarifying with diluted ACV and DCing with KeraCare Intensive Restorative Mask. The only new products I plan on trying are KeraCare’s natural textures leave-in and twisting cream. Other than that … no more PJism for me. I end up broke and frustrated.




WOW!! That’s a lot of products!! That’s rough CJ, but it is all about trial and error and finding what works for you and what doesn’t. Seems like you figured out what to avoid, as well as your staples that get the job done! Your wallet is a little lighter, but it seems you were able to accomplish what takes some years to do. So, kudos! 

What products have you tried and kicked to the curb? Why?

Marsha’s HairStory


Remember Marsha’s GOC Update last week? Wanted to learn more about her natural hair journey? Well, she wrote a song about it … wanna hear it? Here it go!! *LOL*

Describe yourself in 20 words or less.
Newly natural and celebrating 2 years post relaxer in August and 1 year post mini-chop in September.

How long have you been natural and why did you chose to go natural?
This is actually my second time going natural. I failed after I relaxed again at 1 year post BC. The picture below is after I BC’d the first time around. I had no idea what to do with my hair, so I wore a headband. I would later do a sew-in style myself to hide my hair :(.

Full sew-in

Back then I was clueless and never did research on how to care for my hair. I also wasn’t a YouTube junky like I am now. The pictures below were taken after I relaxed again and my hair was growing nicely. I even colored the bang area.

Then my hair started rejecting the relaxer/color and started breaking again. I cut a bang and most of the color when it grew. I hated the bang and my hair was breaking even more at the crown. The picture below shows my damaged and brittle crown. Lesson learned, no more relaxers. I went natural due to hair breakage caused from relaxer, mostly at the crown of my head. The crown is the most dry and kinky area and more prone to damage. I have been completely natural since September 2010, after I cut the remainder of my relaxer.

Did you transition or big chop?
I actually transitioned for a year and a few weeks. During the transition, I would clip away stringy ends as time went. Then, I finally decided to got rid of the remainder of my relaxed ends after anxiety kicked in. I was tired of the two textures. So, one day, I got up, co-washed and started cutting. No regrets whatsoever. I felt relieved.

What is/was your biggest hair challenge/obstacle? How did you overcome it or what are you doing now to try to address the problem?
My biggest challenge is to grow my crown and what I have been doing to address this is to do scalp massages from time to time and keep my hair moisturized more. I also have problems with single strand knots, so moisturizing more often with water, then sealing my ends with a hair butter or oil helps.

What do you love most about your natural hair and/or about being natural?
I love the diversity of my natural hair. I love that my hair is not flat after a blow out.

What is your current regimen? Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
My regimen might change from time to time. But I try to shampoo every other week and co-wash every 3-4 days. I moisturize daily.

What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
I can’t live without Carol’s Daughter Some of Marguerite’s Magic, water, castor and jojoba oil. I love the softness and shine of my hair when I use them.

What is your “go to” style? Do you wear protective and/or low manipulation styles? If so, how often and why?
I love pinned up styles. They are my saving grace because, if I’m having a bad hair day, they’re quick and easy to do. I guess you may call this a low manipulation and protective style.

How often do you cut/trim your hair? How do you cut it (salon, DIY, straight, curly, in twists)?
I don’t cut or trim in any set or specific time. If my hair needs it, it gets done (i.e. if there are split or shabby ends). I do it all myself, either when it’s curly or straight. It doesn’t matter, because I can still see the ends either way.

Has going natural impacted other areas of your life (i.e. health & fitness, style, environmental consciousness, etc.?) If so, how and in what ways has it affected your lifestyle?
Not really, though I think more of what styles or products that I put in my hair now than before. This way, I’m able to maintain a more healthy head of hair.

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
Yes my daughter. She has beautiful hair. The more I learn how to take care of my hair, the more her hair also maintains its healthy strands, because I am her hair stylist.

Who do you follow online (i.e. blog/website, Youtube, Fotki, etc.)? and too many curly hair gurus to name.

Where can we find you online?
My blog, Hairology, at

(Marsha also previously maintained a blog on as part of the CurlyNikki presents Kim Coles GOC.) 

What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
Do A LOT of research on natural hair care and products first. Don’t be forced into it (going natural because everyone is doing so). Do it for you. Don’t watch other’s hair and use products based on what others use. Your hair is your hair, not the other 3a or 4c female’s hair that you saw in the grocery store or on YouTube. Do a lot of protective hairstyles until you’re ready or have achieved the length you want to wear your hair in its natural state. Don’t be discouraged (easier said than done sometimes), because it’s hair and it’s a trial and error process. Join hair blogs, you will find out that you’re not alone. Good luck!

GOC Update: CJ


Eighth Waver CJ does what needs to be done!


So the month of August was, to put it mildly, a huge fail in the exercise department. Between working 70 hours a week, my last 2 weeks of the internship, driving back to DC, getting sick, clinic orientation and school starting, I have not been on my eating/fitness game. I have a game plan to fix this all starting tomorrow.

As for the hair …

  1. I quickly gave up on the twisting every night. It didn’t take that long (while watching TV), but my hair HATED it. I was getting more knots and split ends.
  2. The budget doesn’t have room for all the new products I’d like to try.
  3. I did a henna/amla gloss the first week of the month, and will do a hendigo/amla treatment this coming friday. My hair already feels smoother, without curl loss, which has made it much easier to deal with.
  4. I’ve started doing big twist/bantu knots every night and pinning up my hair during the day as a protective style. Keeps manipulation to a minimum and lets me stay on top of moisturizing.

I got my first trim in *gasp* 15 weeks on Wednesday! These pics are post trim. I anticipated losing more than I wanted because my ends are so thin/split. But, it’s long enough to put into 2 french braids!


I think that we need something to help most of us in the motivation department! Chandra said something the other day that has me thinking! More to come on that! As to your trim, good job CJ! You have to get rid of thinning, split ends in order to prevent additional breakage if you want to work towards retaining length!

GOC Contenders – The Eighth Wave


And it’s the next to last wave of GOC Contenders (added a ninth wave at the eleventh hour as we now have 45 participants).  Anywho, wrote a song about it.  Wanna hear it?  Here it go …



Current State: Hair – Lip length (front), chin length/CL (sides), collarbone length/CBL (back); Health/Weight – 190 lbs, size 14/16

Goals: Hair: Chin length/CL (front), collarbone length/CBL (sides), armpit length/APL (back); Health/Weight – Run a marathon in October, go down to a size 10

Hair Regimen:


  • Dampen hair and twist into large twists using Oyin Handmade Hair Dew every night
  • Sleep on a silk scarf covered pillow
  • In the morning, separate the twists, apply Giovanni Leave-in, coconut oil and go
  • On important occasions, add Kinky Curly Curling Custard (KCCC) to define curls


  • Co-wash or wash with diluted shampoo (depending on how scalp feels)
  •  Deep condition every week
Bi-weekly (every 2 weeks):
  •  Cassia treatment

Starting in September (when my budget imposed purchasing ban is over), I’ll maintain my nightly routine. But I plan on switching to DevaCurl’s No-Poo cleanser, DevaCurl One Conditioner for DCs and the Kimmaytube recipe for a leave-in (substituting Argan oil for jojoba oil). When it gets cold, I plan on twisting my hair and leaving it for a week, moisturizing as necessary. 

Health & Fitness Regimen:

  • Run 4 days a week
  • 30 min of strength training or cardio on “off” days (ex. speed walking with the dog, exercise bands, etc.)

Reward: I turn 30 in December and plan on rewarding myself by being in a 2-piece on a beach somewhere.

Journal: I’ll maintain a weekly journal to document my progress.

L u v . L y f e

Current State: Hair – armpit length (APL); Weight – 144 lbs

Goals:  Hair – Bra-strap length (BSL), improved moisture, shine and better health overall; Weight – 130 lbs

Hair Regimen: I am new to all of this (blogging, forums, natural hair care) and am in need of much help in the area of natural hair care. I’ve never relaxed my hair, but I pressed my hair for years. I am leaving the world of straightening and trying to care for my hair naturally!


  • Finger detangle
  • Co-wash
  • Deep condition
  • Detangle and stretch
  • Protective Styling


  • Shampoo
  • Henna (Pending the results of the next two hennas. My color has changed quite a bit since my first one and I’m concerned the color may not look too hot on me)
  • Trim as needed

(I’m hearing a great deal about Kimmaytube’s leave-in.  I’m strongly considering it and if it is worth a try.  This may be worked into my regimen on the next co-wash day.)

Weight Loss Regimen:

  • Drink at least 32 oz of water daily (It doesn’t seem like much, but I’m not a big water drinker AT ALL!)
  • Work up to 64 oz of water per day, within three months
  • Stay away from fast food restaurants
  • Eat more fruits and veggies
  • Eat fewer sugary snacks and fried foods
  • Exercise 3-5 days a week for at least 30 min. (cardio)
  • Toning exercises 3-5 days a week
  • Stress less
  • Live, luv, laugh

This challenge has inspired me to change in many other areas of my life. I’m looking forward to this!!!

Reward: A very small shopping spree.

Follow me online: (My brand new blog!)

V a l e n c i a

Current State: Hair – A little longer than armpit length (APL), but back is longer than the front

Goals:  Hair – Fuller and healthier bra-strap length hair; Weight – Lose 20 lbs

Hair Regimen: I want to have a trim by August 6th/7th. I have suffered a lot of breakage over the years so I want to focus more on the health of my hair and hopefully that will bring along the length that I desire. I love wearing my hair out but it just doesn’t protect my ends enough, so I will need to sacrifice style for growth and strength. I will allow myself to wear my hair out on Saturday and/or Thursday, if I have the itch. My plan is to moisturize like a maniac, do strengthening treatments on a regular basis and protect, protect, protect!

Weekly (Thursday-Friday):

  • Pre-poo with coconut oil and a cheapie conditioner (afternoon)
  • Finger detangle thoroughly while applying the mix
  • Wash in sections with a diluted low-sulfate shampoo (night)
  • Rinse the shampoo completely
  • Apply deep conditioner mix
  • Twist into four big twists, put on a shower cap, a scarf and a winter hat and go to sleep
  • Rinse with cold water and apply diluted apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse (next morning)
  • Apply leave-in and set in approx. 6 large braids
  • Leave it in braids unless planning to wear it out on Saturday
  • Wear braids, updo styles and buns the rest of the week
  • Moisturize and seal nightly  (I use the layering technique for moisturizing: water-based, oil-based, heavy cream or butter)


  • Henna (Jamila or Dulhan)

Staple products:

  • Tresemme Naturals shampoo and conditioner
  • Herbal Hessence’s Hello Hydration shampoo and conditioner
  • Aussie 3-minute Deeeeeep Conditioner
  • Cholesterol
  • Organic ACV
  • Vatika coconut oil
  • Organic coconut, olive, sesame and castor oil (I mix a little oil in everything)
  • Glycerine
  • S-Curl moisturizer
  • Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In
  • Elasta QP Mango Butter
Weight Loss Regimen: I would also like to lose 20 lbs over the next 6 months.  I would like to lose more but I can start with 20 lbs. I have definitely slacked on maintaining a healthy diet, so I want to start fresh and new by making better food choices for myself and my family, and cooking more at home! I will also start  with at least 30 minutes of activity a day. In general, I need to move more period. I sit behind a desk at work and I absolutely hate it.  I would rather be on my feet all day than on my behind! Soooo, I need to get moving…because my 18 month old is showing NO signs of slowing down.
  • Limit eating out
  • When eating out, no fries on the side, no bun, grilled and not fried
  • Eliminate unnecessary sugars and fried foods
  • Fruit and veggies need to be the bulk of meals
  • 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days a week (dancing, brisk walking, Tae Bo, Zumba, elliptical, etc.)
  • Try to incorporate at least 15 minutes of yoga and meditation every day

Reward: We are attempting to save as much money as possible over the next 6 months, so the satisfaction of my achievements will have to be the reward in itself *lol.* When I can splurge, I will definitely reward myself with new clothes. I am using this challenge to focus more of my time on planning out the rest of my life (which is exhausting). So, maybe I can treat myself to books when I reach mini-goals (I may be a closet nerd :)).

Journal: I will keep daily tabs on my progress and will take pictures (body and hair) weekly.

K i m   R e n e e'

Current State: Hair – Eyebrow length (front), Ear length (sides), Nape of neck length (back)

Goals: Hair – Nose length (front), jaw length (sides), shoulder length/SL (back); Weight – lose 15 to 25 pounds

Hair Regimen: I BC’d on April 2, 2011. After that I really didn’t take time with my hair. I immediately put braids to get more length (good results). I’m still trying to figure out what products my hair likes/dislikes.


  • Moisturize hair with water or a water-based moisturizer
  • Seal hair with oil or butter
  • Scalp massages


  • Pre-poo treatment
  • Shampoo
  • Deep condition


  • Mini-wash or co-wash (depends on how my hair feels)

Bi- weekly:

  • ACV rinse


  • Protein treatment

Weight Loss Regimen:

  • Continue using My Fitness Pal to track calories, weight and exercise
  • Exercise 3-4 times a week
  • Drink a minimum of 64 oz of water daily
  • Take a multivitamin daily
  • Possibly do 2 days a week eating no meat *fingers crossed*

Spiritual Regimen:

  • Daily meditation on the word
  • Daily prayer
  • Attend mid-week service

Reward: For every 5 lbs lost, I will buy a new accessory (hair, jewelry, handbag, etc), outfit, or heels. At the end of the challenge, I will buy a Platinum Stages Dance Pole.

Journal: I will take monthly length check pics and will maintain a hair journal. I will also use My Fitness Pal to journal my health/fitness activities and weight loss progress.

N i c o l e

Current State: Hair – Between chin (CL) and shoulder length (SL); Weight – 125 lbs

Goals:  Hair – healthy and long, like I had when I was a kid! Between shoulder (SL) and armpit length (APL); Weight – 110 to 115 lbs (lose 10 to 15 lbs)

Hair Regimen:  My last perm was 2 years ago (2009). But, since then, I have received highlights and semi-permanent color, so I’m experiencing a lot of dryness and hair damage due to excessive heat (I loved Dominican blowouts, but since my hair is fine, excessive heat is not my friend). In January 2011, I set a 6 month no heat challenge for myself and so far I have remained faithful to my challenge.


  • Pre-poo with Vatika or coconut oil (15-30 minutes)
  • Shampoo (currently experimenting with different ones: Jane Carter, Shea Moisture Moisture Retention and Natures Gate Nourishing Shampoo)
  • Detangle with Pantene Hello Hydration conditioner
  • Deep condition with Curl Junkie HIbiscus & Banana Deep Fix or Aveda Damage Remedy Intensive Restructuring Treatment (minimum of 30 min. using my heat wrap)
  • Rinse deep conditioner
  • Apply leave-in (currently experimenting with different one: Giovanni Direct Leave-In and Paul Mitchell The Conditioner)
  • Seal with extra virgin olive oil or shea butter
  • Style: Mainly twist outs or wash and go’s (WnGs) with Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie.


  • Moisturize with water
  •  Seal with jojoba oil

Weight Loss Regimen:

  • Exercise at least 3 times a week
  • Cardio: Biking, Tae Bo, walking, etc. (minimum of 30 min.)
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day (this is going to be hard for me)
  • Take a multivitamin
  • Eat 1200 calories a day
  • Prepare and bring lunch to work
  • No fast food, sodas
  • Reduce sugar intake and white carbs (i.e. flour, bread, pasta, etc.)

Reward: SPA DAY!!

Journal:  I will make sure I write in my journal at least once a week.


Okay, for real this time, one more wave to go!!  It’s 9 pm and I’m going to try to finish this up before midnight so that everyone is up for the first week of the challenge :)!!