Tag Archives: growing long hair

My Winter Regimen (2013-2014)

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Regimen update time!! This is essentially the regimen that I’ve been following all fall/winter and I have no plans to make any changes for spring/summer.

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WINTER/SPRING 2014 REGIMEN

Weekly to Bi-weekly:

  • Option: Pre-poo with Aubrey GPB, Honeysuckle Rose and/or Vatika Oil. (I used to pre-poo wash day, but haven’t been doing it as much as my hair has been doing well. So, as long as my hair doesn’t feel excessively dry, I have been cutting it out to save time.)
  • Shampoo hair in twists with DevaCare No Poo or Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship shampoo diluted in water (approx 2 oz. shampoo to 5-6 oz. water). Rinse.
  • Apply Joico K-Pak Revitaluxe Restorative Treatment (or Sally GVP Joico K-Pak), gently finger comb through hair (protein) and rinse after 10-15 minutes.
  • Apply Herbal Essences Hello Hydration (HE HH) to thoroughly finger detangle hair and finish detangling with Ouidad Double Detangler. Rinse.
  • Deep condition with my awesome DIY goat milk hair mask (60 minutes with Hair Therapy Wrap).
  • Use “Cool and Seal” DC technique to rinse DC with diluted HE HH.
  • Blot hair damp with an old t-shirt or Curl Cloth.
  • Apply styling products (these can vary, but generally):
    • Leave-in: Kinky Curly Knot Today
    • Cream styler: Curl Prep Sweet Butta
    • Hold: Aloe Vera Gel (cosmetic grade) *prior to applying gel, gently detangle hair with shampoo brush from tip to roots.
    • Seal: JBCO/EVOO mix.
  • Style:
    • Part hair into 12-14 sections and braid roots, twist length and set ends on small grey perm rods; or
    • Place hair into two pigtail braids and wear in a crown braid for work; or
    • NEW: Place hair into 4 twists, stretch twists across head and dry (tutorial coming soon!).
  • Air dry (experimented with the bonnet dryer on the “NEW” style and it worked well, so may be doing that more often).
  • Wear out styles for 2-4 days.
  • Protective/low manipulation style as needed once braid-out becomes too frizzy (buns, updos, side braid, etc.).
  • Nightly: Loosely French twist hair and secure against crown with Goody Comfort Flex barrette, leaving curled ends out at top of head (click here for “How To” video). Wrap edges in satin scarf /bonnet for bed; Sleep on satin pillowcase.
  • Apply JBCO/EVOO mix or WGHO to scalp and hair as needed, usually 1-2 times during the week. I’ve also started to use Carol’s Daughter Healthy Hair Butter again (an old holy grail product of mine) to smooth my edges and moisturize the length of my hair prior to sealing.

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Deducting the time spent “marinating” a pre-poo and DC, the actual work time for my wash day is probably about 2-3 hours to wash, condition and style. I spend very little time on my hair during the week. All the heavy lifting is done on either Saturday or Sunday, but usually Sunday after hot yoga.

Every 8 Weeks (or so):

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And that’s my regimen! I am really loving the products that I am using and think they are working very well. My shedding and breakage have been significantly reduced since incorporating goat milk into my regimen and reincorporating Kinky Curly Knot Today leave-in. So, my PJ ways have been seriously curtailed and I am pleased and content with the state and health of my hair. Though, I really need to schedule a trim since I haven’t had one since last June!!

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Have you found a regimen/products which is/are working well for you?

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Growing Long Hair: Diet, Exercise and Vitamins

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I have been asked about the whether diet, exercise, and/or vitamins help hair grow a few times and have seen it posted in some form or the other a lot lately. So, I figured I’d share my thoughts on the subject. I’m not saying I’m an expert, but these are my observations based on the things I’ve learned about hair through reading lots of hair blogs, watching lots of videos, and/or observing through my own experiences.

A good diet, adequate nutrients, hydration, and exercise are foundations for healthy hair and growth. But, many mistake lack of length retention for lack of growth. Unless there is some underlying condition, hair is always growing. If hair is growing elsewhere on your body, it’s growing. And it’s pretty easy to know your growth rate if you relaxed/relax or color/colored your hair. However much new growth you had 4-8 weeks post relaxer/color will tell you your growth rate. The problem often is that the growth is lost to breakage (i.e. the hair is not retaining length).

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So, the assumption is that the hair isn’t growing when, in fact, it is. So, the focus needs to change from growth to retention. All that being said, hair is dead once the strand “erupts” from the scalp. So retention is about preserving dead cells. Eating a healthy, well-rounded diet and exercising helps build stronger hair IN the scalp. Stronger and healthier live cells inside mean stronger and healthier dead cells outside. And the latter will be better able to retain length with the right protective/retention practices for you.

And those are my thoughts in a nutshell!! Yes, a good diet, exercise, and adequate nutrients play a part in growing healthy hair, but if that hair isn’t retained, you won’t see longer tresses. So, you have to make certain to take care of both ends, literally ;), to see results if long hair is your goal. To learn more about what I do to “grow” my hair long, check out my post, How I Retain Length.

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What have you found helps you grow healthy, strong hair that retains length?

My Summer/Fall 2013 Regimen

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Welp. I’m at home with conjunctivitis. My eye started acting up this morning. I went to work hoping it would clear up … it didn’t. So, I went to a “One Minute Clinic” at CVS (who knew?!) and they confirmed it. My first ever case of pink eye! Ughh! Anywho, it’s highly contagious until you’ve used the eye drops for 24 hours, so I took the rest of the day off from work.

Since I’m stuck here with something better to do … no, that’s not a typo, I should be folding clothes and picking up around the house … I decided that it’s about time that I post an updated regimen!! I mean, really, there is nothing here that you haven’t read before if you have been following. But, I think it’s good to be able to point to my current regimen post if someone asks.

This is essentially the regimen that I’ve been following all summer and plan to follow this fall and probably winter too.

SUMMER/FALL 2013 REGIMEN

Weekly:

  • Pre-poo and lightly finger detangle dry hair with Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose mixed with Vatika Oil (moisture).
  • While detangling, trim any visible/tangible split ends and SSKs.
  • Place hair in 6 twists.
  • Apply JBCO/EVOO mix or Wild Growth Hair Oil (WGHO) original formula to scalp and massage for a minute or so.
  • Don plastic cap and apply heat using Hair Therapy Wrap for a minimum of 30 minutes. 
  • Shampoo hair in twists with DevaCare No Poo diluted in water (approx 2 oz. shampoo to 5-6 oz. water).
  • Apply Joico K-Pak Revitaluxe Restorative Treatment, gently finger comb through hair (protein) and rinse after 10-15 minutes.
  • Apply Herbal Essences Hello Hydration (HE HH) to thoroughly finger detangle hair and finish detangling with Ouidad Double Detangler.
  • Deep condition with Matrix Biolage Conditioning Balm (30-60 minutes with Hair Therapy Wrap).
  • Use “Cool and Seal” DC technique to rinse DC with diluted HE HH.
  • Apply styling products (these can vary, but generally):
    • Leave-in: Kinky Curly Knot Today
    • Cream styler: Curl Prep Sweet Butta
    • Hold: Aloe Vera Gel (cosmetic grade)
    • Seal: JBCO/EVOO mix or other oil.
  • Section hair into 12-14 braids or twists to stretch hair and set ends on small grey perm rods (lately I’ve been braiding the roots to keep them flat and tight and then twisting the length for volume).

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  • Air dry.
  • Wear hair out days 2-4 days, maybe re-braiding once.
  • Protective/low manipulation style as needed once braid-out becomes too frizzy (buns, updos, side braid, etc.).
  • Nightly: Loosely French twist hair and secure against crown with Goody Comfort Flex barrette, leaving curled ends out at top of head (click here for “How To” video). Wrap edges in satin scarf /bonnet for bed; Sleep on satin pillowcase.
  • Massage scalp with WGHO as needed, usually 1-2 times during the week.

Deducting the time spent “marinating” with my pre-poo and DC, the actual work time for my wash day is probably about 3 hours: 1 hour pre-pooing/detangling and 2 hours to wash, condition and style. I spend very little time on my hair during the week. All the heavy lifting is done on either Saturday or Sunday, but usually Sunday after hot yoga. I really have to stick with washing my hair weekly, because when I try to stretch it to two weeks, it’s usually a nightmare. Although my scalp doesn’t itch from working out/sweating daily (and I DO sweat in my head), my hair does get very matted and tangled. So, my detangling sessions are rougher and I think I lose more hair when I wait that long. So, weekly it is.

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And this fall/winter, I might experiment a little stretching my hair with blow-outs or flat ironing (one or the other at a wash session; not both). We’ll see. I’m not sure how often I would feel comfortable doing that … maybe once a month? I’ll play it by ear. But, I did it this weekend and was pleased with the results (post on that process coming soon)!

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Every 4-8 Weeks:

  • Two step henna/indigo (roots only full strength application/gloss on length).
  • Clarify, with diluted Ion Curl Solutions Shampoo (though this may be replaced with Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship, which I tried for the first time this weekend. I liked it!).

And that’s that! Slowly working my way towards hip length and hoping this regimen will help get me there!

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What tweaks (if any) are you making to your regimen and styles for fall/winter?

Guest Blogger on Carol’s Daughter Transitioning Movement

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When I went natural all those many years ago, the first product line that I used that was specifically created for natural black hair was Carol’s Daughter. The Tui Hair Smoothie, Healthy Hair Butter, and Mimosa Hair Honey were HOLY GRAILS in my book!! So, imagine how siced I was when I was given the opportunity to be a guest blogger on TransitioningMovement.com, the blog of Carol’s Daughter!! And, now, my first guest post has been published!! Read the full article here: Three Steps to Maximum Length Retention!

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Flat-Ironed Hair and a Length Check

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Okay, THIS is really is going to be a quick post as I need to work on an article for … wait for it … Carol’s Daughter Transitioning Movement site!! Yup! They accepted a proposal I made for an original guest post and my deadline is tomorrow! Anywho, just wanted share some pics that I’ve shared over on Instagram and Facebook (so, if you follow me there, some of these are old news) and a few impromptu length check photos I had Wei take this morning :).

A couple of weeks ago, I flat-ironed my hair (one pass with my Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium flat-iron set at 300°) to stretch it some. Then I put it into a couple of “Pocahontas” braids for a “beach wave” love. It frizzed up by the end of the day. But, whatevs. That’s ALWAYS been my hair, even when I was relaxed. So, it doesn’t bother me much anymore.

Anywho, it looked like I had gained some decent length since my haircut in December (and it’s definitely time for a trim, which I’m getting next weekend). And, since I was thinking about it, I grabbed Wei and had him take a couple of quick, pseudo length check pics this morning.

Top: Jan. 9, 2013
Bottom: June 16, 2013

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6/16/13 length check (back close-up)

The longest parts in the back have now gone past the lines on my length check shirt! I’ll be back to at least the last one after my trim. But, on my way to tailbone length!

Okay, gotta go! Hope that everyone is enjoying their Sunday/Father’s Day!!

The Best of Hairscapades 2012

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IMG_5246Okay, it’s not quite a New Year’s kiss but, … you get the idea!

It’s been yet another amazing year for me in regard to this natural hair blogging thing!! Hairscapades has been consistently receiving about 100K views a month since May, celebrated its first year anniversary in June, reached 1M views in August of this year, posted its 1,000th article in October and (ETA) had its highest monthly views EVER (126,656) in December!!! I hosted my first natural hair meet-up in February, a second one in June and also co-hosted two haircut parties this year. In addition, I got the opportunity to be one of the guest bloggers featured in CurlyNikki’s new book, Better Than Good Hair, which will be released at the end of January 2013, and the name “Hairscapades” will soon be seen on the shelves of stores nationwide (no, I’m not launching a product and I can’t give details yet … but I’ll share more about this as soon as I can!). Oh … and on a personal note, I turned 40, enjoyed a budget-friendly awesome vacation in Mexico and attended my sixth NY Comic Con in a row!! Oh, and you know … this other “little” thing happened this year … I GOT ENGAGED!! LOL!

Anywho, to close out the year, I wanted to share the top 10 posts and pages published in 2012 that received the most views. If you missed the 2011 edition of “The Best of Hairscapades,” you can find it here.

And, without further ado … here we go!!

1. How I Retain Length

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2. Terressentials Mud Wash: The Newly Initiated

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3. Afro Puffy Twists: A Protective Style in Review

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4. My Two-Step Henna/Indigo Process

5. I Found It Cheaper!

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6. ApHogee & Me: My 1st Two-Step Protein Treatment

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7. Moisturized Hair: It Starts on Wash Day

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8. Impulsive Blow-Out

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9. The L.O.C. Method

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10. My Spring/Summer 2012 Regimen

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Okay … and because I can, I’m adding to this list some of MY other favorite posts from the year ;)!! I’m sharing these first two because they were pivotal moments for me in my healthy hair journey. Protein was something I didn’t know anything about or understand at all about 3 years ago. In 2010, it was something that I learned a little about and avoided like the plague … eventually, to the detriment of my hair. In late 2011, I stopped fearing “protein sensitivity,” learned how to use protein properly, and began incorporating it into my regimen. And, in 2012, I was able to improve and refine my knowledge and use of protein. These two posts share my 2012 discoveries and learnings.

I ♥ Aubrey Organics

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Can I Over-Condition?

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This next one was from my busiest day ever … May 8, 2012. I had 6874 views and this was the most popular post (probably because it was also featured on CurlyNikki.com on the same day ;)). Hope to set a new record number of views in 2013!!

Protective Styling Boring?

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And finally, these last posts are by the best Hairscapades guest blogger ever … my amazing, loving and supportive fiancé ;). I’m sure that you won’t be surprised by the first two, which are the story of our engagement. And, the last one holds a very special place in my heart. It tells a story of a summer vacation that started horribly, but ended amazing. However, far more importantly, it shares a moment in time that reinforced for me how God always knows what’s best and this includes sending me a very special, loving, patient, kind, supportive, positive life-mate who may not be perfect, but is perfect for me.

An Anti-Valentines Day Love Story

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Off Topic: On Our Engagement

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Everything Happens for a Reason

2012: You brought challenges (family illnesses, super storms, black-outs) and losses (the passing of family and friends), but you also gave joy and triumph. 2013: I know that you will bring a new set of struggles and victories. But, I’m counting on the good far outweighing the bad. So, Here We Come!!

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Did your favorite(s) make the list? If not, what was your favorite Hairscapades post of 2012?

And, more importantly, what were YOUR best moments of 2012?