Tag Archives: grow out challenge

Bunning Challenge Week 6: Henna Time and a Braid-Out

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Okay, super quick update. I wore a pretty standard boring bun all last week. But, around Thursday last week, I knew that there was no putting off a henna/indigo treatment anymore.

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The roots were GLARING!! So, with a four day weekend ahead of me, I knew that I could get ‘er done! I’d already mixed and frozen a couple of boxes of henna a week ago. So, I just needed to decide which kind I wanted to use, thaw it and get to work.

I had mixed and frozen a box of Dulhan and Godrej Nupur and decided on the Nupur. I’d picked it up several months ago from my local Indian grocer, Patel Brothers, for about $4 based on the review of Marsha of Hairology. It is a BAQ henna, but has 9 other ayurvedic “herbs” added into the mix.

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via Godrej Nupur 

Godrej Nupur brings to you the best quality Rajasthani Mehendi with 9 carefully chosen natural herbs. The ingredients are added in perfect proportions to give your hair the fabulous shiny & silky feel that you desire every single day.

Following are herbs used in Godrej Nupur Mehendi with their benefits.

Brahmi – Promotes hair growth.
Shikakai – Leaves hair clean & shining.
Aloe Vera – Maoisturises hair & makes it silky.
Methi – Conditions, nourishes & revitalises hair.
Bhringraj – Makes hair luxuriant.
Amla – Darkens hair colours, adds shine & luster.
Neem – Fights scalp infection & prevents dandruff.
Hibiscus – Rejuvenates hair making it shiny & silky.
Jatamansi – Prevents graying of hair.

Now, I was a little worried about the amla given my allergic reaction to it in the past and the excessive and prolonged shedding that I think was the result of it. However, because amla was low on the list and I knew to be on the alert for itching, I decided to give it a go on Sunday morning. And …

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 … All went well!!! No itching to speak of and, post 4 hours of henna/heat … great grey coverage!!

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Of course, after this, I had to apply indigo to the crown of my hair and then deep condition. Now, after dealing with my hair all day (started at 11 am, finished around 7 pm), the styling session was SUPER quick. I applied a little Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose conditioner as my leave-in, placed my hair into 6 braids and sealed with my coconut oil body whip *lol*.

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It was dry the next morning by the time we were getting ready for my family Christmas Eve dinner (actually, the above pic is of dry hair), so I was psyched. And, I released the braids to reveal a pretty nice braid-out!

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But, it was up in a bun before we went out the door. I know, I know! But, I had on a corduroy blazer, a wool coat and a scarf!! That’s a lot of friction and it’s exactly why I’m in the midst of this bun challenge! And no, it wasn’t even a fancy bun. It was a plain ol’, regular boring bun that wasn’t even that smooth around the edges. No pics.

Alright that’s it! Gotta go!! Hope that you all had wonderful Christmases!! Mine was nice, spent with my family on both sides, but pretty uneventful!

Lata!!

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Okay Bunning Challenge ladies! Who is still doing this?!?! C’mon, give a quick shout and let us know if you are still hanging in there!

CurlFriends!!

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Do you recognize those two other faces?!? YES!! It’s Rece of A Hair Story and Marsha of Hairology!! This past Saturday, my buddies from the original NC.com CurlyNikki presents Kim Coles’ Grow Out Challenge (whew! That never gets any easier!!) and I got together, with our sisters and other fam in tow, for brunch in the city!! Marsha had come to the Northeast to visit family for the holidays and contacted us to hang out!! I was so excited to meet her in person!! The original GOC was … like …. 2 YEARS AGO!!

Rece and her sister suggested Rue 57, a nice little brunch spot in NYC, and we met there around noon. We had an AWESOME time!!! We ate, laughed, talked about hair, bantu knots, henna, puffs, twists, DIY natural tee shirts, wedding planning … or, should I say, the lack thereof 😉 … Rece’s mystery man, and hair again!! Everyone was soooooo sweet and down to earth. It was like family!! Okay, here are a few more pics!!

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All red’ ta go with my requisite bun and flower!

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On the road again … we’re on the road again. Yes. Yes that is a scarf tied around my edges. Don’t front. You know that you do it too!! LOL!!

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From left to right: Marsha, Shamar, Tresha, Keith (Marsha’s cousin), Rece, Shanna and Shana!

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Marsha with her daughter Shamar (YES! That’s Marsha’s name with the syllables switched ;)) and her sister Tresha.

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Tresha and the AWESOME shirt that she made herself!! The hair is not felt. It is THREAD … all hand-stitched!! Yeah, we all want to order one!!

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Rece and her sister Shanna

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My sister Shana and I … or, is it me?

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Is this a handsome bunch or what?!?!

Seriously, everyone in this group, except for the youngest, is under 5’3″. I’m 5’1″ and I felt downright tall (with my 3″ heels ;)). We could not be mad if someone hollered out at us …. “SHOOOOWWWTIES!!” LOL!! Oh, and the other thing that tickled me pink was our names …. Shelli, Sherece (Rece’s full name), Shanna, Shana and Shamar (again … Marsha reversed).

I really hope that we all get to hang out again soon! If Marsha can’t make it up here … we’ll have to go visit her in Florida!! Sounds like a plan for a vacation this year to me!!

July-September GOC Final Update: Margaret (#5)

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This is a July/ Aug/Sept update of the 2012 GOC. Here I am summarizing my accomplishments, challenges, continued commitments as well as lessons learned.

Hair
I continued to involve myself in the mid-week modified co-wash using H2O/Aloe drench, shea butter mix and coconut oil. Love it!!! With the fall/winter season, I realize I will need to up my moisture and there have been some awesome ideas presented here to maintain moisture for a week or more.

I am still washing with Terressentials Left Coast Lemon Mud Wash (undiluted) weekly. I also have a bottle in Lavender Garden when I want to switch it up. My hair seems to favor the Left Coast Lemon more due to the essential oils. ACV is used monthly before the mud wash on the days I henna and continues to work well.

Henna and Ayurvedic powders (Amla, Brahmi and Bhringaj) monthly make my hair conditioned and dark. Although I do not use indigo, I mix my henna and place in the freezer a month ahead of time. I understand repeated henna’s as well as freezing and thawing henna will allow your hair to darken.

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I found a new HG … Blensblend 3 in 1 Conditioner. It is an all natural conditioner that can be used for 3 purposes … detangler, rinse out and/or leave-in. I have been using it just as the conditioner in Shelli’s cool and seal technique. Once it is placed in my hair, any existing tangles melt like butter and the slip is phenomenal. I have also used the Blensblend hair and body butter after applying Giovanni Direct Leave-in (GDLI). I have not used the new formula for GDLI, however I plan to soon. I have also experimented with adding full fat yogurt to my deep conditioners. Works like a charm.

Finger detangling is continuing to work well especially with slippery conditioners. I pre-poo weekly, prior to every wash, with coconut oil and will switch to EVOO for my Fall/Winter Regimen. I may start using the comb at least once a month as a safety measure and for trimming purposes. Any stylist for the most part will comb prior to trimming. I have dusted my ends during this time and have a recommendation for a stylist, who I will consult with soon for a trim. Regarding length check, I appear to be at waist length at my longest layer. (Excuse the oily hair/fingers) lol. I am aiming for continued growth with hip length being the ultimate goal.

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Health & Fitness
Carlson’s Fish Oil has been great; however I am going to order Viviscal to further support my goals (I have some thinning that has to be tackled). Walking 6 days per week is not a problem due to having a partner to encourage. Being consistent with fitness classes have been more of a challenge due to my second job schedule. This particular portion of the challenge I am continually working on. My food vices are no-no’s right now as it seems the items I like are those that cause my GI problems to occur.

Cleansing
I am continuing to work on this element of the challenge as well. On a good note, although negative situation continue to raise its ugly head, I have been blessed with strength to stay away from the drama and toxic situations.

I feel that I have not obtained the goals I originally set forth and plan to continue my plans throughout the remainder of the year. My reward will come next year in the form of a trip to the mountains in Spring 2013. Life is full of its challenges and I am not going to allow these defeat me.

Shelli, with everything you and your family have endured this year, I appreciate the strength and perseverance you have shown during challenging times. We take so much for granted. Thank you for sharing with us the good and bad. I hope all of you ladies did well as we continue to isnpire and uplift each other. 🙂

XOXO

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Check out the rest of  Margaret’s GOC-The Sequel posts here:

Initial Submission
April Update
May-June Update

Final GOC Update: TerrificLady (#6)

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Hair
This is the end of the challenge and I should say I did not reach my goal of 8″ long hair. However, I am close. My front section reached 6″+ and the rest of the areas are 7 to 7″+ long. Keep in mind that I dusted my hair in July and August and lost maybe a 1/2″ only. Here is a line up of progress pics from April to September.

I did not continue using the JBCO and WHGO … for no apparent reason. However, I will try them again for a longer period of time. I guess I was not consistent. Dunno.

Anyways, a new product that I like is the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. I kept the same hairstyle for this month, which is the one where I pull half of my hair and hold up in the middle and leave the back area loose.

I flat-ironed my hair with my Solia flat iron. The ends were terrible. Too many knots at the ends. you could feel and see them on the pic I took :-(.

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Health & Fitness
Now that we are at the end of the GOC, I started going to the gym finally on Ocotber 5th. My weight varies between 137 to 140 pounds, depends which scale I step on. Does not matter, I don’t really want to loose weight, I just want to tone my body and lose belly fat only. I am from the Caribbean, I like to have curves. lol.

(By the way, I also did my medical tests and got good results. Hope to keep it that way with Jehova’s help. Nobody wants to get the big C.)

And my two beautiful daughters are going natural as well. The youngest 1 year before me and the eldest about 7 months after me.  At the left is my eldest and at the right my youngest. My niece is in the middle.

13OCT2012 RIENNE,MIRELLY&JARRI

Want to read TerrificLady’s GOC-The Sequel journey from the beginning? Check out her initial submission and updates here:

Initial GOC Submission
April Update
May Update
June Update
July-August Update

Final GOC Update: Mershauna (#14)

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by Mershauna of The Dancing Optimist

Man, where has the time gone? Two senior showcases and countless midterms later I am finally able to get a feel of having a life again. Sadly, my busy schedule has limited the frequency of my updates. I am, however, excited to hear about this new bunning challenge. I’m always down for a challenge lol. But, back to the subject at hand, my final update.

Hair
To be honest, I haven’t measured my length since October when I straightened my hair. My hair is past the bottom of my sports bra, so I have been retaining length.

I’ve stuck with twists to protect and stretch my hair. I’ve been wearing mostly buns since I dance everyday, so my hair has been protected. Recently I started experimenting with gels to keep my hair tamed and hopefully cut down on tangles, which cause me the most breakage. I’m really considering Donna Marie’s Miracurl Styling Gelly. All of the reviews I read said it was good, but had too much hold, which sounds perfect for my hair.

Health & Fitness
I have not been able to get to the gym. But when I have free time to workout, I tend to run. It’s not as bad as I use to think. The iPhone app Zombies, Run!, keeps things interesting. I managed to lose a few pounds also. I now weigh 133 pounds, which is a great feat for me. My diet has helped a lot with this. Eating more seems to be boosting my metabolism and the way I feel.

Want to see where it all began with the first GOC? Find Mershauna’s entrée into the first GOC in June 2011 here.

Check out the rest of Mershauna’s GOC – The Sequel posts here:

Initial Submission
April-July Update

Final GOC Update: Cassandra (#26)

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Hair
Wow. First, I wanted to thank you all for all of the kind comments throughout this six month challenge. I have learned so much about taking care of my hair from viewing Shelli’s site and the results don’t lie. My hair when straightened is about an inch short of BSL and shoulder length when curly. My edges has filled in more with daily use of my Castor Oil oil blend and I expect it to grow more. I’m still following the Curly Girl method and have a set regimen in place, which might be modified with the upcoming cold weather. If anyone has a CG-friendly moisturizer, please let me know. I’ve reached my hair goal and will be looking into finding more styling options other than WNG or Two-strand twists.

Health & Fitness
Overall, the weight loss journey hasn’t gone as well, but I’m ready to continue the challenge on my own. Since my hair is at a length that I am comfortable with now, I can focus more on losing weight. I didn’t make my 20 lbs weight loss goal, but I have lost a lot of inches. Even though I didn’t make my goal, I am still planning on purchasing the Garmin FR70 Fitness Watch with Heart-Rate Monitor. I will continue doing the Supreme 90 DVD, but I’m thinking of buying the Turbo Fire DVD to increase the workout complexity.

To read Cassandra’s GOC journey from the very beginning, check out these posts:

Initial Submission
April Update
May Update
June/July Update

Final GOC Update: Gina (#40)

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Hair
Clearly i’m not good at updating *lol*. So I did end up getting my hair trimmed by Tameeka of Jadded Tresses. Came out great and now I think I can appreciate the power of a good trim. I’ve been keeping my hair in updos once I realized that I had enough hair to do so *lol*. Between that and twist-outs, I’ve been going with the flow of this grow out challenge. I kept up the regimen for the most part.

The product junkie in me got to try out Wen and fell in love with it. The shedding minimized some, but was still ongoing. I believe I figured out why!!!! My town has hard water and I’m sure that’s the cause of all this mess. So, I will be purchasing the Aquasauna shower filter that Shelli posted last year. My edges thinned a little, so I have been using JBCO even more than usual.

Overall I almost got to my goal of being able to have my hair touch the tip of my nose. So I’m happy! I’m where I wanted to be at my one year Nappyversary. I do see the growth and have paid even more attention to what my hair likes and doesn’t like.


Left: March; Right: September

I’m also scaling down on the amount of the different products I keep buying and trying. ETA: But, Gina FINALLY got a CurlBox subscription this past Friday after trying for MONTHS! PJ Powers Activate!!

My greatest accomplishment … wait for it……I made a puff!!!!! *LOL* My girlfriend, Monet, and Shelli kept reassuring me that I had enough length to make one, but I wasn’t trying to hear it *lol*!! Whoooppwhooppp Praise God!

Reward!!! Lol! I’m prioritizing and buying the filter instead of my Huetiful steamer. I’ll just get that for myself for the holidays *lol*!

Health & Fitness
Maintained my weight 🙂

Pray for me ladies! Smooches & God Bless!

Want to see how far Gina’s come in a year? Check out her Big Chop Hairstory here!

And check out the rest of her GOC – The Sequel posts here:

Initial Submission
April Update
May/June Update

Final GOC Update: Charelle (#10)

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by Charelle of CandyCurl.com

Hair
I started August with a fantastic haircut from Tameeka of Jaded Tresses. When I saw the special deals in August for haircuts on Facebook, I knew I had to take advantage of it quickly! Since my haircut, my wash n gos look so much better! In fact, I’ve been only wearing my hair in wash n gos now because it’s the easiest, most time effective style for me.


Before: June 2012; After: August 2012

I also gave myself some highlights in August. I really wanted some color, so I bought some lightener and highlighted the very front of my hair. I feel so much better about my hair now that it is even and has some shape. I lost about 2-3 in of hair all around, so I’m back to APL. But, I know that my hair will grow so much better now and I will retain more length now that I’ve gotten rid of my heat damaged ends! My modified regimen now is:

  • Deep condition before I wash with AO GPB Conditioner and olive oil (leave it in for a few hours).
  • Wash with AO Honeysuckle Rose Shampoo.
  • Apply KCKT leave in directly after washing (wash the rest of my body).
  • Get out of the shower and finger detangle in about 6 sections.
  • Apply KCCC and let my hair air dry.

I wear my hair out for about 3 days, and put it up for the rest of the week. I’m so glad I now have a reliable routine!

Health & Fitness
I’ve been keeping up with working out and trying to eat healthy (for the most part). Since June, I’ve lost about 8 pounds. I’d be happy if I could lose about 7 more and tone up.

Want to read Charelle’s other GOC-The Sequel posts? Find them here:

Initial Submission
April Update
May Update
June/July Update

Final GOC Update: Michelle & Chloe (#13 & 13.5)

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Hair
Ok, so we when we left off last folks, the summer was just beginning and school was ending. Our routines were all over the place; this was mainly due to activities that the camp did (water play!) and going swimming. Chloe’s hair was in braids or twists most of the summer. Earlier this year, I bought a large HE HH SHAMPOO, thinking it was CONDISH and it’s been sitting in my shower not being used. So, I began diluting it in a dye bottle and washing Chloe’s scalp in between braiding or re-twisting sessions and I LOVE IT!! Don’t get me wrong, the TMW is “DaBomb.com,” but it’s not as easy peasy to apply and wash out like the diluted HEHH poo and the SMELL of HE HH is wonderful!

I’d follow the scalp wash with the AO Honeysuckle condish, wring dry with a white tee, and apply KBB Sweet Ambrosia Leave-In and voila…DONE! One major event this summer was Chloe got ANOTHER cut, first one was in March of this year and she lost about 2 inches. And then Tameeka, the Curl Whisperer, cut an average 1.5-2 inches all around and shaped her curls (see the results in the slide show here). Now her curls fall better and look more balanced. Tameeka confirmed Chloe has more bulk on one side so it looks like its growing unevenly-HAIR is cray!!!! Anywhoooo, I haven’t let her wear it out since the cut, just because the braids and twists would last 2 weeks and that meant only 2 styling sessions a month. Just for the end of the GOC, I’m going to wash and let her wear it out for pics for you guys.


My hair was doing ok, but then I went to the Haircut Party and no more random straight pieces. I mean, NOT ONE! Tameeka cut my hair and I was so nervous, because she stood behind me the whole time and was measuring by pulling pieces on either side together, but it worked!!! I lost length, but I gained a head full of curls, I mean ALL curls. It’s crazy because, I BC’d, then I rarely applied heat to my hair, so I don’t think it was heat damage. But, I just took it as par for the course that all curls are different, even ones on ones head (lol). But I know different now!

Moving on, I have “jacked” MahoganyCurls’ WnG routine using Paul Mitchell’s The One and Eco Styler Gel (Protein One), smoothing each row within each of 4 sections. I have been able to achieve 3-day, “lookin’ good hair” and 4-5-day, “ok you pushing it, but still can rock it hair!” Day one is flat but curly and Day 2 is the best hair day (IMO), because it softens up and expands. I LOVE IT!!! Update to that update: Just this past weekend I read CN’s reggie on how she just ‘smooshes’ in her leave-in and styler and rolls with it … and, guess what? It works for me too!!!! Still using the same products, still applying in 4 sections, but the application is less tedious and takes half as long, 15 minutes as opposed to 30 minutes. And, I don’t have day one flat and curly hair!!!! So I’m doing my happy dance!

One other thing that has changed since my cut, I can’t pineapple anymore. I told Shelli it looks more like a peach and it takes away from my curls (straightens them). So now I just sleep on my satin pillow F-R-E-E! On another note, I’m yearning for some color (RED) and have been eyeballing the Garnier Nutrisse Hair Color line with the foam application … would love to hear if any other naturals use it and their thoughts!!


Left: Garnier Nutrisse hair color; Right: Hair Color Crush, Quest for the Perfect Curl

Lessons Learned – Hair
Ok, so although this challenge started out with a length goal, I believe I achieved an even better reward, a head full of healthy curls that are growing. I’ve learned that protective styling isn’t my strong point and I might just be a WnG girl (gotta get my diffusing skills together for the winter). This has weaned my PJism down a lot for my hair to just a leave-in, a gel and a shine serum when needed. Now, for Chloe’s hair, protective styling works and looks good when released. My PJism is still alive and kicking when it comes to products for Chloe’s hair, because of all the styles she wears and different products achieve different look … #dontjudgeme. As for Chloe’s goals, I’ve maintained her healthy hair and hoping the curly cut will help keep her curls balanced as her length comes back. I plan to see Tameeka in February/March of 2013 to have her trim/maintain our cuts.

Health & Fitness
Ok, so I have been keeping up with running with Black Girls Run (BGR). They are SO supportive; I couldn’t do it without them. I’m doing the C25K (Couch 2 5K) and I’m able to run for 2-3 minutes straight. Thank God for the walk interval, but I see progress. I’m running 2-3 times a week, 2.5-4 miles a run, and I look forward to it.

I know I will need to work in some strength training, but one step at a time. I’m working on my pace and endurance and then distance and time. I’m eating a lot better, but not 100% clean. I know that will make all the difference in the world if I could just eat right all the time, but 80% is better than none. I’m drinking more water, not half my body weight, but definitely more than ever and I love Vitamin Water DragonFruit and Tangy Citrus. It’s a lot less calories than my faves Pepsi/Coke.

Lessons Learned – Health & Fitness
Ain’t nothing to it, but to DO IT! Just as with my natural hair process, patience is key. The results come from practicing healthy habits, like eating and exercising, and the results will come. I’ve come from a TWA to BSL, so I can reach my weight goal of being in the 130’s and overall healthy! Good luck to everyone and I can’t wait for the next GOC!


To see where it all began, check out Michelle and Chloe’s other GOC-The Sequel posts here:

Initial Submission
April Update
May-June Update

Final GOC Update: Miss Leah (#7)

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Screeeeeeeech!! Hold the phone!! Miss Leah is now Mrs. Leah!! That’s right!!!! Miss Leah is now MRS. Leah!!! She jumped the broom this summer!! To see pics from her special day and learn more, see below.

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by Mrs. Leah of Curly, Creative, and Homemade (formerly A Diamond through the Fire)

I finally straightened my hair and put on my trusty white tee to tally up my length retention. In total I retained … (drum roll please) 2 1/2 inches … womp womp wooooomp. lol. I was looking for more retention, but I need to factor in the trim/cuts I did throughout the year that equal about 2 inches. When I started the GOC, my longest strand was 8 1/2 inches. Now it is 11 inches!! The shorter hair on the sides have finally made it down to the red line. I desperately need a trim and that will probably take about an inch of growth too. I am currently looking for a stylist to do that for me. After the trim, my hair will be more even and the ends will be healthier looking. lol.

Going into this winter, I’m all about the protective styles! Buning will be my go to style. I’m also in search of more conditioners and hair cremes to get me through these dry months. I plan to continue the GOC for the rest of my life, even if I don’t record on the blog. It’s really exciting to see what hair can do if you take good care of it. I’m still learning how to take care of it, but I’ve come a long way!

New Hair Goals:

  • Wash weekly, Co Wash as needed (once a week)
  • Deep condition weekly (Saturdays)
  • Spot Snip (see a single strand knot and snip that joint lol)
  • BUN
  • Research new products
  • Make my own hair creme
  • Retain more length this WINTER

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And now, what you’ve all been waiting … or scrolling forward for 😉 …

Beautiful!!!

To read more about Mrs. Leah’s special day, go here!! To find out what she did for “honeymoon hair,” go here!

CONGRATULATIONS MRS. LEAH WILLIAMS!!