Monday 26 November 2012

The Aftermath Wash

Theme tune for this post? 
It's been a long time (Cassia), shouldn't have left you, left you without a dope beat to step to...

 It's been a while, but I said I would, so I did - another Cassia treatment that it!

- Generously applied coconut oil all over and left it overnight.
- Shampooed front (and highly abused) section of hair with some random sulphate body wash to get the cones out.

- Mixed up my Cassia mix: Three shovels tablespoons of Cassia and enough hot water till it looked like cake batter. Not overly runny but not as thick as before.

- Slathered it all over my loose hair and covered it and left it for an hour.

Lack of a plastic cap meant that I used a plastic bag. However, I do not (yet) lack the pride to put that picture up here.

- Before I jumped in the shower to rinse it all out, I poured some more hot water in a bowl. In a separate bowl, I mixed together some conditioner and hair oil, and then plunked the bowl full of conditioner into the hot water bowl. Like a bain marie.

The conditioner + oil

It was slightly too much...

...So I spooned it back into the bottle #NoWastage.

- Rinsed Cassia out and then applied conditioner mix to hair, also separating hair into six twisted sections.

- Covered with another plastic bag and gently heated up the whole bag situation with a hair dryer 10 minutes for 2 minutes at a time, every 5-10 minutes. I kept the hair dryer at least 6 inches away the whole time - I didn't really fancy melting the bag onto my head.
When I went to rinse, it looked like the conditioner had absorbed beautifully into my hair. Good sign, I hope!

 Rinsing out was easy as eating pie - literally. I finger de-tangled in the sections and my hair just did it. No complaints. No questions asked - it just happened.

- I wrapped my hair in a towel while I lotioned up, to absorb excess water.

- Then I applied my homemade leave in to each section, and some hempseed oil on the ends, since I've run out of brazil nut oil. Hempseed oil does not even smell half as good as brazil nut oil does :( Satin scarf on under a hat and out I went.

- Hair still wasn't dry 5 hours later (of course), so I used a blowdryer on the twisted sections on cool, so I wouldn't have to go to bed with wet hair. Wrapped the ends of my twists around bobby pins and then pinned them up onto my head,

- Unravelled in the morning (after putting them in a ponytail for a bit, to remind my hair of gravity's purpose).

Definitely not a twist out to be worn outside the house, but brilliant for my stretching purposes! 
The resulting bun.

Monday 12 November 2012

Plan of Action - 3 Challenges for Winter

Concerning my latest hair woes, I wasn't sure what to do. I considered heat treating my hair (but if it's already weak enough to be breaking, this won't help), switching out my usual products to try some newer things (but it's not the products, it's the techniques, no?).

After a little bit of research (over two days ), I've decided that my main problem is not being diligent enough with my hair care.
My new goal is simple : Break the APL plateau some time this winter by gaining an inch all around:

9 inches all around or...I'll stop talking about it!

I've taken up two challenges, as well as (or working with) my own personal one: Loo's 1in3 rules and Shelly's Hairscapades Bunning challenge. Although one seems to defy (bunning, instead of wearing twists) the other, Alice's in-depth comment really got me thinking about lots of specific manipulations one time versus more regular, more general manipulation during styling.
That doesn't make sense right now, but I'm still thinking on about it! 

The Routine
  • I'll wash every weekend as normal.
  • I'll also make Cassia treatments something that happen at least monthly. At least. I may try and switch in some yoghurt treatments too.
  • Not de-tangling unless it's wash day. I have a bad habit of finger de-tangling through the week. Despite the fact finger de-tangling may be gentler, it's still manipulation. 
  • Moisturise hair daily. My hair really seems to like that.
  • Make sure my satin scarf stays on overnight. I'll be keeping it secure with a slightly stretched headband.
  • I'm going to try applying some heavier oils on my ends to preserve them better. I've got some brazil nut oil and I'll see how that works out. Doing fine so far, but man does it attract the dust! If not too great, I'm looking forward to trying hemp seed oil. Hellooo ceramides!
  • No cutting. Just search and destroys. 
  • Keep taking my supplements. They're nothing special but I've got them so I might as well use them. They're from Hollands and Barretts and have sugar and sweetener in them-  not that you can tell *ick face*

That's it! I don't want to tie myself down too strenuously - I've just got to be diligent and consistent
Just gotta hop to it!

Persistance supplied by 'Chemical X'

Monday 5 November 2012

A Sunday Wash

- Since I had planned on washing my hair on Saturday, I generously applied coconut oil on Friday night.

- Didn't get up in time, so my house mate used up a lot of the hot water cleaning and informed me that there was about 25 minutes left of hot water, and she hadn't showered yet.

- So on Sunday, I decided to slick some yoghurt on my head as a sort of pre-poo thing too (I had some left over from eating porridge and couldn't bear to put it back in the fridge). My hair was in about 6-8 sections. I left it on for about 20 minutes before rising out with warm water.

- Rinsed with heavily diluted apple cider vinegar (like 9 parts water to 1 part apple cider vinegar) to combat the effects of the hard water, with a few drops of tea tree oil and massaged it into my scalp and hair.

- Gently applied conditioner and finger de-tangled with conditioner in. Left on for about 5 minutes.

- When I got out of the shower, I wrapped my hair in a normal towel, and then added my leave in, as well as some brazil nut oil and some shea butter (why? Why did I do that??) on the ends.

- At this point, I was running late for church and I panicked (maybe that's why I added Shea Butter too...). At first, I considered doing a half up, hlaf down style, but my hair was barely dry. Such impulsive actions would surely come back to bite in the form of tangling during shrinkage and SSKs and breakage. So instead, I split my hair into two vertical sections, twisted each one and then added further stretch with some hair bands (Goody Ouchless), then rolled them under.

The problem was that having applied the shea butter to my ends that were no longer in twists means I ended up with stringy hair that evening when I unravelled everything.. 

So I put my hair in a puff.

I think I need to do what I did for my self-summer challenge and plan what I'm going to do with my hair and how I intend to do it (including stretching time - because my hair very rarely dries fully overnight). I know it sounds like extra effort, but if I don't, I just always end up disappointed with my hairstyle.In two days, In the 24 hours since washing my hair, I've done about 8 styles, because I'm never really happy with them. At the moment, I've got it in twists that I did this morning for a potential twist out on Wednesday, but if that doesn't work, I'm sock bunning it until I can put my hair back up in twists.

Panic! At the APL Plateau

A couple of weeks ago, two weeks ago, I flew into a panic and a glum mood because I realised something was wrong.  I even wrote a post about it but I started using words like 'y'all' halfway through, which means I was really upset.


If there's anything more depressing that comparing your progress against other, it's comparing your progress against yourself and finding yourself wanting. My ponytail in mini-twists in October was the exact same length as in January/February.
I have pieces in the front of my head that I'm still pinning up because they won't reach into my ponytail. Two years later and they still won't reach into the blasted ponytail!
This is not a setback. It's something that I've been ignorant of but it's been happening for a while.
When it comes to giving myself reasons why I'm not making leaps and bounds in all my hair-related incidents, please trust that I am always the person in the front of the queue.
I've told myself that:
  • I'm tall (5' 11.5"), so it'll take me longer than other people to hit certain points.
  • My fine hair means that splits and trims are inevitable.
  • Half an inch isn't that big! Patience, grasshopper.
  • Health over length, after all. 
  • Shrinkage is so deceiving.
  • You dyed your hair and it all broke off, so if that's not a major setback....
  • Maybe I'm a slow grower, eh? It happens!
But I know I'm not a slow grower. My hair colour from last year has near enough completely grown out. If the ends of my hair had made the same progress, I would not be writing this (extremely whiny) post. My hair is growing - it just bloody well isn't staying there. 

I don't sound right when I say 'y'all' and 'ain't' and 'in this game' (yeah, I didn't include those bits...)
You see, I'd taken out one of my twists out and tugged at my hair and it ended waaaay earlier than it should have been.
So I went out and searched for a measuring tape, came home and confirmed it.

8 inches. 

This is a problem. Mainly because that nape section always retained length well, even back in the beginning when I had no idea what to do with the rest of my hair. But now I think it's breaking the most, because at the rate it retained back in the day, it should steadily be on its way to BSL.

It's not even APL. Heck, it's barely shoulder length reaching my collar bone!

Look familiar? This is me 17/10/2012.
And this is me 31/12/2011.
Aaand on the 1/1/2011.
8 inches. After 3 years. Somehow, 10 inches of hair has gone walkies. Other sections are around 10/11 inches.
I don't know what's happening but when I started this blog, it was not after just having cut off all my hair. And that was more than two years ago. 2 years = around 12 inches, no? I'm not even there!!

I know some people think length checks are stupid and unhelpful but when you realise that in two years, you have retained -1 inches (not even an exaggeration), would you say that hair was healthy? That everything's okay? And that's with me only length checking every year, which may be why it's taken me so long to establish a pattern and realise there is a problem.

In my panic, I started googling furiously, but the only thing that seemed to come up was that other ladies with fine hair like me who weren't plateauing were using henna.
I actually looked into it, remembered the mess (rented apartment, y'all), time and faff...eurgh.

Nope. But it does mean that as of now, I'm back on the Cassia. Part of my game plan and all that.

Friday 2 November 2012

Simple Hair Thoughts

I tried a pin up bob with my mini twists.
 It looks awful in real life but I like how it looks in the picture. Typical.
I cover my face but not my shame.
- Wouldn't it be funny if all the good stuff from my supplements was going mainly to my nails, instead of my skin and hair?

- Thinking about where you could be isn't going to get me there any faster.

- Having a real to the ground plan, as well as more specific and attainable goals makes me feel a lot better.

- One of the main reasons I wish my hair was slightly longer is so that it'd be easier to sniff when it smells delicious. Otherwise, it just feels like I'm teasing myself, haha!

- No matter how my scarf rolls up during the night, my trusty headband will keep it on. Bwhahaha! Thwarted.

- Despite all the damage I incurred from colouring my hair purple, I still want to do it again :) (example of how cute it was to be found here). I considered chalking, but then a safer alternative came along.

- I will get better at styling.

- No, Ma, I still don't know what I'm going to do with my hair that day. Just focusing on making sure that other essentials will be there. Like. Food.

- I miss the cheapness of British hair products. Wherefore art thou, Poundland??