Tag Archives: healthy hair journey

Trimming Natural Hair and Length Retention

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I straightened my hair about two weeks ago (see that post here). Although I “search and destroy” regularly, my ends were desperately in need of a trim as it had been 10 months since my last professional one. So, the Monday morning after straightening my hair, I reached out to my stylist Tameeka (aka Jaded Tresses) to see if she would be in her NJ location that night. I was hoping that she might be able to slip me in between her other appointments.

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Well, it turned out that it was her son’s birthday and she wasn’t working that night. I was totally bummed, but understood. However, later that day, Tameeka texted me that she was going to Sam’s Club in Edison and couldn’t come to NJ in good conscious without trying to hook me up.  So, she asked if I could meet her at the salon later! Y’all … I was on YouTube trying to figure out how to self-trim when I got the text (and, she suspected that is what I would do)!! LOL!! I was ecstatic that I wouldn’t have to take on that task myself!!

So, I met Tameeka at the salon in South Orange, NJ, where she usually works Monday nights. And, in like 5 minutes flat, she cleaned up my ends and made me a very happy lady.

Left: Prior to trim; Right: After trim

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My hair felt sooooo much better after that trim!!  The thing that I love about Tameeka is that she really listens, understands, and respects my length goals and that when I say that all I want is a small trim, that is what she does. I’m sure other stylist would have tried to chop several inches off of my hair due to the thinner perimeter and would claim that my ends are not healthy, but that has NEVER been an issue with Tameeka. She never says, “Oh, you should take more off” or “your ends are unhealthy” or “It would look better like … .” No, she respects that I know MY hair and really evaluates the condition, and not just the aesthetics, of hair to determine what it needs. And, she has never taken off more than an inch when I have requested a trim only. A non-scissor happy stylist? That’s priceless for me y’all.

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TRIMMING NATURAL HAIR

Anywho, since we’re talking about trimming, I figured I’d take this opportunity to discuss my thoughts on a couple of questions that I’ve seen related to trimming natural hair and trimming in general.

1.  Do naturals need a blunt perimeter/even cut/ends?

In my opinion, if you wear your hair in a curly state the majority of the time, no. I don’t trim, cut my hair to keep my ends even. I trim to eliminate damaged ends that are excessively weathered, knotted and/or split. I do this with regular search and destroy (S&D) missions (usually on wash day) and a professional trim every 6-12 months. I trim in this way because, if I don’t, the damaged ends will inevitably cause collateral damage (i.e. more splits, knots, and weathering), because the “bad” hair snags on healthy adjacent strands and causes friction to the cuticle.

Another reason I don’t worry about a totally blunt/even perimeter is because hair tends to grow at different rates. The front and lower back half of my hair grow a lot faster than my crown. So, I accept that my hair does not grow out evenly or into a blunt shape. What I do try to do is keep the longest layer not too much longer than my shorter crown. When I get trims, I ask Tameeka to trim more off of the longest layer and less off of the shorter layers, to gradually thicken my perimeter. Since I wear my hair in updos and twist or braid and curls the vast majority of the time, my irregular curl pattern and length differences are disguised.

2.  Does trimming the hair stunt or encourage growth?

It does neither. Hair grows from the scalp and is dead the minute it “sprouts” from the scalp. Trimming eliminates weathered, thinned, split and knotted ends. It makes the hair appear healthier, neater, and more aesthetically pleasing to some. It helps reduce and prevent the continuous cycle of splits and breakage. However, it doesn’t encourage growth. Some may call it semantics. However, I want to state for the record that what trimming actually does is help prevent continued breakage, which impacts length retention and can make it seem like the hair is not growing. By trimming damaged ends, the hair will be better able to retain the length that grows, which some see as “encouraging growth.”

That being said, if you constantly trim and hair grows at an average of 1/2 an inch a month, you may trim off all or most of the growth, which will make it seem as if your hair isn’t growing. For example, if your hairs grows an average of a 1/2″ a month, and you get a 1″ trim every 3 months, you are only retaining a 1/2″ of growth instead of 1-1/2″. If your ends are healthy and well-maintained, that is totally unnecessary. This is why some may think that trimming stunts growth. But again, it’s not the growth, it’s the retention that is being impacted by trimming.

So, in conclusion, trimming (or not trimming) impacts length retention, not growth, depending on how it is used. And that’s all I have to say about that.

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How do you trim? How often do you trim?

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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?

Final GOC Update: TerrificLady (#6)

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5JUL2012

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

Hair Journey: Relaxed to Natural … to Relaxed Again!

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Okay, so obviously this is a natural hair blog. That is my focus. But, I know that I have texlaxed readers and also suspect that I may have some followers who are relaxed. And, I think that is GREAT! I am not a person who believes that every person’s walk has to be the same. I believe that everyone has the right to choose what journey is best for them. So, I don’t judge those who choose to wear their hair relaxed, texlaxed, natural but straight, weaved up or with extensions. If it’s healthy and flattering and you aren’t judging others for THEIR choices, DO YOU BOO!!

So, I say all of that as a preface to sharing this healthy hair journey video by a young woman who transitioned from relaxed to natural and BACK TO RELAXED. I came across this video a couple of weeks ago and was soooo impressed by the growth and health of her hair. It also proved something that I’ve suspected. Some women can experience great length retention and hair health with relaxers IF they use them and heat judiciously and practice the moisturizing, strengthening and protective techniques that so many of us only learn upon going natural.

Hope that you enjoy and appreciate the sharing.

via The Happy Hair Show

“All that matters is HEALTHY hair.
Happy Hair Journey to EVERYONE. ♥”

I wholeheartedly concur.

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