Tag Archives: trimming

A Time to Trim

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pre-trim_june2013

Yeah … so, I’ve been pretty absentee around here lately in regard to any substantive hair and fitness updates. Between a very demanding and hectic work schedule and my daily workouts … I’ve just had no energy or attention span to write blog posts … though, I’m active on my Facebook and Instagram pages daily *hint hint* LOL!!

Anywho, as I alluded to, my personal 365 Days of Fitness challenge is still in full effect and I finished day 157 this morning. I’m quickly approaching the halfway mark; that’s when the real challenge begins as I’m trying to break the yo-you pattern that I’ve been stuck in for the last decade. I started a new program at the recommendation of my girl, Christabel of Chy’s Curlz, and it should help get me over the 6 month hump and “break the cycle.” I began the 12 Week Strong Curves At-Home Bodyweight Program from Bret Contrera’s book, Strong Curves: A Woman’s Guide to Building a Better Butt and Body, on July 1st and I have one workout left in week 4. Buuuuuuttttt, this isn’t a fitness post, so more on that on another day … soon … I hope!! 😉

Welp, speaking of what type of post this is … it is about HAIR and I hope that it will be the catalyst to me resuming a more regular posting schedule! Just like I’ve set fitness goals, I’m am setting a Hairscapades goal to resume blogging at least once or twice a week. That’s very doable. So, I just need to suck it up, control my self-diagnosed AADD (Adult Attention Deficit Disorder ;)), and get ‘er done!

Okay … now that that is out of the way. Here is the first of several short hair updates related to the going ons of the last couple of months!!

Six-Month Trim

Back in June, my old GOC buddy and curlfriend, Tiffany, hosted another haircut party with my natural hairstylist and Curl Whisperer, Tameeka aka Jaded Tresses (check out prior haircut party recaps herehere, and here). It was about time for my 6 month trim, so I decided to wash, condition, stretch to air dry, and lightly press my hair (one pass with the flat iron at 300°) for the occasion. After, pressing in the morning, I placed my hair in a bun for hot yoga and this was my hair after I took my shower and was ready to head to the party.

pressedhair3Pressedhair

Yeah … those beach waves lasted all of 5 minutes #wompwomp. It was super humid and HOT and by the time I was sitting in the chair to get my hair trimmed … it looked like the this:

photo 5-5O_O

And, after the trim (I was going for cleaned up, but not blunt, ends):

post-trim1_june2013 post-trim_june2013

And … because it was crazy hot and humid … I rocked a simple, but cute, single twist ponytail for the majority of the week.

straight_twistedponytail

And that’s it for my first hair update!! Next time … I revisit the Curly ‘Fro!!

Oh, and before I leave … it’s POLL TIME!!! So … ya know … all the stuff that I just shared here, I shared on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter as they happened. That being said, I’m wondering if this is redundant material for most people or if it is new for many who don’t follow me on those other platforms or prefer the blog. So, hope you’ll participate in the poll to help me gauge how to proceed!! Thank you in advance!!

(p.s. It felt REALLY good to write again!! Gotta make this a habit! LOL ;)!!)

Split End Prevention: Pre-Pooing, Protein and Pruning

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split_ends_diagram

Source: Tamullar (Long Hair Community)

Did you know that there were this many kinds of split ends?!? Pretty nasty, right? Well, I can attest to the validity of this chart. Because, about 2 1/2 years ago, I saw just about every split end on it (except the white spots) in my own head of hair. It was bad y’all. I mean, baaaaaddddd! That’s when I took to carrying around purse scissors … so that I could take split ends to task at a moment’s notice, any time, any place (seriously, I was out of control)!!

2011 NYC Curly Nikki Meet-Up: Told ya!

But now, in 2013, the split ends are few and far in between and have been for quite a while. Let’s put it out there. I have fine strands. So, I I’ll probably always get split ends no matter how protective I am of my hair/ends (unlike my compatriots with strong, thick-strands ;)). But, now I generally only see the vanilla variety, single “split” end … and they tend to be far rarer and very small. No more nasty “feathers,” “trees,” “double Ys,” “incomplete splits” (I call those “needle hole splits!”), “ETCETERA, ETCETERA.” (“The King and I?!?” Anyone, anyone? Okay, moving along.)

Anywho, as I was writing Fairytale v. Blunt Ends and discussing whether uneven, thinner ends can be healthy, I thought about my own hair. Although I have “fairytale” ends, when I examine my strands, they are mostly un-split and healthy in appearance. So, I thought about the techniques and products that I’ve incorporated into my regimen that are probably the most responsible for that. I came up with three things that I think help me keep splits under control:

  • Pre-pooing: Applying coconut oil, or a form of it (in my case Vatika Oil), to hair for an hour to overnight prior to washing reduces/prevents hygral fatigue and protein erosion that generally occur when washing hair. (For more on hygral fatigue, see this informative NaturallyCurly.com article).
  • Protein treatments/reconstructors: Protein treatments help to “patch” cracked, chipped or missing cuticle in damaged hair and “gaps” in porous hair. Protein, when used correctly, temporarily shores hair up against environmental and mechanical damage. (For more on protein, check out the great 2 part protein series on Natural Haven, which starts here.)
  • Pruning: Trim split and knotted ends that have already occurred to prevent collateral damage to healthy adjacent strands and as a prophylactic measure to prevent a cycle of breakage. You see, nothing can permanently fix/repair split ends. So, once you have them, you have to cut them off to get rid of them. There is a myth that, if left unchecked, split ends will travel all the way to the root of the hair. Yeah, have you ever seen that? I know that I haven’t (see above about having almost every split on the chart). What does happen is that a weakened, split hair will typically break somewhere around the split and leave a new split (because the hair doesn’t break off clean/blunt). So the new split forms and may spread until it also breaks. Then another split is left behind and so on and so on. Therefore, cutting off split ends periodically, through search and destroys (my method of choice) and/or periodic trims as needed (once every few months, twice a year or yearly, all depends on your hair), helps prevent a cycle of splits and breakage. (Tip: Make certain trimming scissors are created for that purpose, are sharp and are used for hair only or you can cause more harm than good!)

Ultimately, a lot of things contributed to a reduction in damage and split ends: weekly deep conditioning, gentle detangling, protective styling, etc. However, I think that incorporating pre-pooing, protein and pruning into my regimen are largely responsible for the significant reduction I’ve seen in split ends. And, a reduction in split ends and breakage has allowed me to retain length and grow my hair the longest it has ever been in my life. Don’t get me wrong, it ain’t perfect, but it seems to get better and better all of the time:).

1/9/13 length check (back1)

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Is your hair prone to split ends? What do you do to prevent/reduce splits?

Lead Hair Experiment: Jackie

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Meet Jackie, the other volunteer for our Chicoro lead hair experiment! This is her starting point submission of 9/18! She’ll update us with her progress in January 2012. But for now, let’s learn a little about her, her regimen, her current state and her goals!

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Hi, my name is Jackie. I am a graduate student and I’ve been natural(no relaxer) since 14, however I would blow dry and flat iron my hair to within an inch of its life. As of January 2011, I have been a healthy natural, no blow dryers or flatirons since then. Today was the first time in nine months that I’ve used a flat iron. My goal is to have bra strap length hair. I have recently started to do protective styles to help retain length. If any ladies have any helpful tips to maintain length, I would love to hear them!

I have attached he intial pics of my hair that I took today (9/18/11). I got a trim to even out my hair and get rid of some split ends. You can see the thinning edges of my hair on the t-shirt.

My Regimen:

Daily:

  • Usually re-twist  my hair each night with water and EVCO.
  • Detangle every other night with my fingers.
  • Wear updos as a form of protective styling.
  • Cover head each night in my silk bonnet or use my satin pillowcase.

Weekly:

  • Co-wash approximately 4 time a week with either Suave Tropical Coconut or Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition (I go to the gym very frequently, so I use conditioner to wash my hair afterwards).
  • Deep condition twice a week. I alternate between a regular conditioner and a protein rich conditioner (Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition or Queen Helene Cholesterol with Ginsing DC both with EVOO, honey, and EVAO.) I don’t use a heat source I usually put a hat over the plastic cap and wear it for an hour or more depending on my mood/schedule.
  • Apply leave-in (I have yet to find an amazing leave-in, so I sometime use my conditioner as a leave in if my hair is feeling dry).
  • Seal with EVCO, shea butter and/or EVOO

Monthly:

  • Pre-poo with a mix of equal parts honey, EVCO and EVOO for about 30-60 min.
  • Shampoo once every 4-6 weeks with Burt’s Bee’s Baby Shampoo.
  • Detangle using Denman D3 Brush.
  • Henna

Supplements (daily):

  • Women’s multi-vitamin
  • Biotin-5000 mcg

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Check out Jackie on her blog, Engineering Natural Beauty, to see how she is progressing and learn about modifications that she’s made to her regimen since September!

Lead Hair Experiment: Michelle’s Update

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TO BE lead hair or NOT TO BE lead hair? That is the question!

Do you remember that, a few months back, I wrote a post entitled, Chicoro’s Lead Hair Theory? And, do you remember that I asked for guinea pigs to participate in a lead hair experiment? And then, remember how I never wrote anything else about the experiment? Ummmm … yeah … my bad! *lol*

See, I ultimately did enlist two viable volunteers. The first is our very own Michelle of Radiant Brown Beauty and the GOC First Wave. Below are her October and December length check comparison photos and thoughts.

M i c h e l l e

Attached is my hair growth comparison photos from October and December 2011. Not real impressive. There’s a little over a 1/2 inch of length (maybe about 1/4 inch a month, but I think that it was more). I had some breakage, so this could be better. I’m 95% sure that all the over-manipulation of my strands caused hair breakage in the back. I know better for next time. The sides and front of my hair have not incurred any breakage. They are growing nicely. My crown is also growing in (you’ll notice it in the non-lead hair photo).

Here are my take-aways or, rather, my update:

  • Stick with big twists and buns and cutting down on braids (except the occasional fishtail).
  • Cut back from washing twice weekly to once weekly..
  • Increase my protein treatments from once a month to weekly.
  • Added a new vitamin to my regimen.
  • Working on improving exercise, which is sporadic due to my schedule.

Stretching my lead hair. At 7 in Oct; at 8 in Dec.

Hair not stretched at all. You’ll notice the hair filled in and grew in some of the spaces.

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I definitely see an increase in length and thickness Michelle! One component of Chicoro’s theory and method that I didn’t know when I wrote the prior post is the concept of goal points. However, Misha explained it in the comments on that post and I’ve since read the concept in Grow It! In order to really the test the theory, I would suggest the following:

  • Set your first goal point length (which should not be more than two to four inches longer than the bulk of your hair).
  • Keep your lead hairs at that length to evaluate whether the shorter lengths grow to fill in your perimeter and create full thickness at (or beyond) your goal point. 
  • Once the bulk of your hair reaches your goal point, trim all hair even at that point. 
  • Then, you start over again by setting a new goal point.

This may not be your cup of tea, but just wanted to suggest it, as well as explain it for the benefit of those not familiar with the process. Can’t wait for your update at the end of January!

Tomorrow, I’ll share the starting point of our other Lead Hair experiment volunteer. So, stay tuned!