I am NOT happy about this! (update)

Okay, so as you all know from my last post I went through a hair crisis. What? Don’t look at me that way. If I say it was a hair crisis, it was a hair crisis (rolls eyes).  Lol.  Anyway, this is just a quick update on how it turned out. I continued the apple cider vinegar rinse for about 2 more weeks. Let me just take a moment and say that apple cider rinses stink to high h*ll! Ugh!  Afterwards, I decided to chill on the WnG’s and keep my hair in twists and braids and only took them down once a week if I went out. Otherwise, I’d just put a tam hat on and rocked it. My hair was doing well as far as I could see, and when I washed my hair my curls were looking normal again. I attempted my first Wng this past Thursday and it didn’t look right…again. However, instead of panicking I took a minute to really look at my hair. It was dry, very dry. I would leave my hair in twists for up to 12 days at a time. Yes, I would moisturize them with Hair Dew, but I never sprayed them with water. Oops, my bad, but hey you live and you learn right? So, I just took this time to try out this treatment Denim Pixie did for her hair called the Cherry Lola Treatment.  Here are the results…

POW!!!!!! My curls are back babeeee. LOL

Needless to say I’m thrilled. I’m so excited to rock my WnG’s again.

Talk to you all soon 🙂

Jiquay

I am NOT happy about this!

My hair has been acting very weird lately. I began noticing it about two weeks ago. I was in the shower washing my hair and it felt different. Each product I applied wasn’t feeling the way it normally does on my hair; from the shampoo to the gel it just all felt very wrong. After thinking about it I figured that I just had product build up. So I opted for a shampoo that had sulfates in it. I washed my hair once because I am still rocking a TWA and it doesn’t take much shampoo to cleanse my hair. Afterwards, I DC’d with Curl Junkie’s Deep Fix Conditioner under a hooded dryer for 15 min. I then left the conditioner in my hair for about 2 more hours. I rinsed and commenced to adding my leave in, followed by my styler, and then my gel. My hair still didn’t feel right. It began to look frizzy, poofy, and just sad. It seemed like it grew worse each day. I thought I was going crazy. The curls in the front of my hair have always been looser than the rest of my hair but now they were just laying down on my forehead. This was crazy because it’s only 3 inches! I was completely baffled by this.

Each day I became more and more confused and terrified about what was occurring with my hair. I went over it again and again in my head and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. One day as I was doing my hair I kept noticing this weird smell. I began sniffing and looking around the bathroom. The smell was of spoiled fruit. I was like, “where the heck is this coming from.” I picked up a container of gel that I was applying to my hair at the time and it was the culprit! I was like, “WTF!”  I’m thinking to myself, “I just purchased this, how the heck is it spoiled?”  I emailed the company and they told me it must have been a fluke with the fragrance and to throw it away and they will send me a new one. As I walked to the garbage can wondering what made it go bad, I had a thought. What if this was the cause of my hair issues? The next thought I had was a memory of reading Elle’s blog post about her experience with a bad product. I immediately pulled up her blog and reread it. Yep, this could be it. I ran to my bathroom and pulled out my litmus strips. It is highly possible that the bad batch of gel I had could have changed pH levels and affected my hair.  Lo and behold, the strip came out with a pH of 8. Now, I believe that for many people this may not affect their hair. However, it greatly affected MY hair. Needless to say I am having an absolute fit right now!!!

Some tidbits about pH levels…

pH is a scale used to determine the amount of acidity or alkaline properties of a solution. The pH scale runs from 0-14, with 0-6.9 being acidic and 8-14 being basic /alkaline. A pH balance of 7 is neither acidic or alkaline, it is neutral. Water falls in the neutral category. Hair has a pH balance of 4.5-5.5. pH also affects how our hair behaves or reacts to products. Products that are acidic close the cuticle of the hair sealing it while products that are alkaline lift the cuticle. As I stated earlier, the pH balance of the product that I used was 8. Based off of my research, it is safe to use products that range from 4-7 without any significant change. Although 8 is just one step up from 7, the pH scale is logarithmic. This means that this one step up from 7 to 8 is an increase of ten times more than the pH of 7. That is a significant increase. At a pH of 8 or higher the hair swells and lifts the cuticle, this causes the hair to become tangled, poofy, frizzy, and exceptionally dry.

So, my objective is to nurse my hair back to health by returning my hair to it’s normal pH balance. As of now, I’ve had a protein treatment. Next, I will deep condition my hair 2x a week and make sure I use products that are very moisturizing.  Also, I will do Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) rinses 2x a week since ACV has pH of 4.0 when diluted with the proper amount of water.  I’ll use 4oz of ACV and 4oz of water for my rinse. I know most people say use 1-2 teaspoons in 8oz of water or 1/3 cup in 16oz of water but that doesn’t work for me. When I tested those solutions the pH was higher than 4.0 and ACV alone has a pH of 3.0. I’ll be keeping my hair in twists and wear a twist out if have to go somewhere. I’m leaving my hair alone as much as possible!

I’ll keep you guys posted on the results,

Jiquay

Hair length Check

Hey lovelies!

I’m sorry I have been M.I.A.! I’ve been super busy. So, I realized that I haven’t done a hair length check update since my big chop. Well, at least on here.  As you all know, I did my big chop October 16th and I decided to only measure my hair every 2 months. I actually did a length check on December 16th. I didn’t take any pictures of it but I wrote down the measurements. Sorry guys, I didn’t measure the starting point so we can go from here…

Front – 3 inches
Front Left – 2 3/4 inches
Front Right – 3 inches
Middle – 3 1/2 inches
Back Left – 2 3/4
Back Right – 2 3/4

I will do the next length check February 16th. How is Your hair journey coming along?

Until next time sweeties,

Jiquay

Look at this ish….

So one of the things that I have struggled with since I have big chopped is how to apply the products in order to get the results I want. Fuzziness has been my arch enemy and he has been winning every epic battle. Until… tonight. Tonight in which I have absolutely no where to go and didn’t give a crap about what my hair looked like. Tonight was deep conditioning night so I washed my hair and slapped on my favorite DC. I baggied and sat under the dryer for ten minutes. I left the baggie on for another hour while I checked my email. Then I rinsed and decided since I wasn’t going anywhere I wasn’t using my expensive stuff and grabbed some Giovanni direct leave in and some KCCC (Kinky Curly Curling Custard) . I had some left from when I was transitioning and hated them both. I basically slapped them in, not really caring how it would turn out. I walked out of the bathroom to go answer the phone, returned to the bathroom, and looked in the mirror and was like wth! It actually looked great!! It wasn’t fuzzy At All and my hair is ALWAYS fuzzy. I didn’t have white head and it dried wonderfully. I had inadvertently discovered a sweet combination and method of getting the WnG results I wanted (with no freaking where to gooooo!).  Ugh. Ah, well. Trial and error is the best way right?

Front/Top

Look at this ish...No Where To Go! lol

I guess I need to revisit KCCC again!

Until next times hunnies!

To big chop or not, that is the question? Part 3

*Note: This post was written weeks/months before posting. I was still deciding whether or not to blog.

So, I have been deeply mulling over this belief that long hair equals beauty. After many nights of ranting to the bestie, I discovered that this “conditioning” came from many areas in my childhood which followed me into my adulthood. I remember in the 7th grade I got my first hair cut. I was very excited and loved it. I was an 80’s baby so the hair style I had was a mushroom cut with long hair in the back. All of my friends loved it and I did to until I overheard this particular conversation. There were these two boys who sat in the back of the classroom. One of the guys, the girls were absolutely crazy over. The other, well let’s just say his mommy loved him very much. Anyway, they were discussing what girls they thought were pretty and which ones were not. As they were judging girl after girl my name came up. I heard them both agree that I was cute except my hair was too short and I would be fine if I wasn’t bald headed. I turned around and said, “umm, excuse me but you cannot see my scalp and my hair is short by choice!” One of the long haired girls said, “yeah right.” Then, the boys said, prove it. Bring a picture tomorrow. By this time I am pissed, but being the Aries that I am I arise to challenges with the utmost intentions of crushing my opponent. I reply, not only will I bring a picture, I’ll show you (the girl who said yeah right) that my hair was longer than yours!

The next day I brought my pics and the boys say, “you are so pretty, why did you cut your hair?” Although I poked my chest out and gave those two a piece of my mind, that moment stuck with me deep inside my subconscious. Also, many of the guys I dated when I grew up were stuck on long hair. Even my grandmother was obsessed with it. When I told her I was thinking about going natural she was fine. But when I said I was thinking about cutting my hair she told me I was crazy and just about bit my head off. My apprehensions about cutting my hair began to makes sense to me now. I was now determined to shake off these past experiences and redefine for myself what beauty means. Also, I have a beautiful daughter who looks up to me and it is my job to set the example of how she should view herself. So, I shared these inner discoveries with the hubby, who loves long hair btw. However, he is totally supportive of whatever I decide to do, I’ll always be beautiful no matter what (hey, those were his words not mine lol)!

So, with that being said…

Big Chop Oct.16th, 2011

I did it! I cut off all of my heat trained hair and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

Until next time…Lotus Blossom out!

Umm, new style…I think. (I tried) lol

*Note: This post was written months before posting. I was still deciding whether or not to blog.

So, I’ve been trying out new styles I’ve seen on my hair and, well…no. Let’s just say I need to stick with what works, lol. Well, at least I tried! Enjoy…

I flat twisted the front of my hair

See, I already knew this wouldn't work lol.

Then I bantu knotted the rest.

Results

What do you all think?

Talk to you all later…xoxo

Transitioning hair styles (wins and fails)

*Note: This post was written months before posting. I was still deciding whether or not to blog.

 

As I stated in a previous post, bantu knots and pony tails are my go to hair styles while I am transitioning. I’ve added buns to the list and attempts at twist outs/braid outs. I have had some great hair days and some not so great days. Here are a few pics giving you a glimpse of what my journey has been like so far…enjoy.

My go to style…

Bantu knots

Bantu Knot (win)

Pony Tail

Twist Out

Twist Out (Fail)

Wash N Go

WnG ( major FAIL)

Yeah it pretty much obvious that WnG’s are NOT an option right now. That was a major fail.

Until next time …(Whatcha’ll doing)?

To big chop or not, that is the question? Part 2

*Note: This post was written months before posting. I was still deciding whether or not to blog.

I have been enjoying my transitioning  journey for some time now.  My new growth is coming along quite nicely. However, every once and awhile I look at my hair and wonder what my texture will be?  How will it curl?  Will it be loose or tightly coiled?  Then I imagine what I would look like if I got my big chop now? I would take a section of my hair when wet, find the line of demarcation and imagine how many inches would be left. Then I would damn near have a panic attack when thinking of chopping off my hair.  I’d shake these thoughts off with a “hmmph” and walk away.

Each day my curiosity of what my texture would become grows more and more while my fear of cutting my hair grows as well. What am I afraid of? Yes, the easy answer would be cutting my hair but I feel there is something more. Some “thing” that lies beneath the surface that I can’t quite put my finger on. Now I bet some of you are saying, “really Jiquay, it’s not that serious.” I’m telling you, IT’S THAT SERIOUS. As you continue to read my blogs you’ll realize I’m an unnecessarily complex person lol.  Any-who, after accompanying my cousin to get her bc (who btw just decided, “ok let’s do this”), and gasping after my friend showed up with her hair cut off out the blue; I knew it was time to figure out what was holding me back.

I’d like to take this time to tell the hubby and the bestie thanks so much for listening to my rants about why I need to cut my hair but not really at 3 in the morning! Hey pookie bear and Angel!!!!! Seriously, I’m taking these people through changes. I keep going back and forth. Up and down. Who knew hair could take me through so many emotions? I continued to contemplate what was holding me back and I finally realized what I was afraid of. I didn’t know who I would be without my hair. I had become so attached to my hair that I could not see myself without it. I identified with my hair. I was shocked and livid at the same time. How did I get here?  Where did I develop the belief that long hair equals beauty? It was time to find out…

Until next time… (Whatcha’ll doing 😉 )?

To big chop or not, that is the question?

*Note: This post was written months before posting. I was still deciding whether or not to blog.

When I made the decision to go completely natural, I made it my mission to transition long term. I took very good care of my hair and I was not the one to just go and cut my hair. So I researched for hours on YouTube and CurlyNikki.com for tips on long term transition styles. My go to styles were Bantu knots, and curly pony tails. Wash n Go’s weren’t an option because half of my hair curled just fine, while the other half had major heat damage. Eh, what’s a girl to do. I didn’t mind the transition styles. I had fun trying to figure out what style to do next. What I did mind was the detangling process. The first night of detangling my hair I cried. I had never lost so much hair in my life. It took me 2 hours to detangle my hair!!! I’m actually convinced it was longer to be honest. I frantically went to the Curly Nikki forums searching for help. Someone suggested detangling in sections, so the next time I washed my hair I did just that. It helped some but not very much. So I went from using Giovanni conditioner as a rinse out to Tresemme naturals. It helped a little but I was frustrated because it was still taking an 1hr to 1hr45 minutes to detangle.(I began to seriously consider the big chop) Even when I sat under a steamer it didn’t help. I tried Hair Rules quench to detangle and that didn’t help. The only relief I got was to dry detangle. “Say what?!” Yes dry detangle… well technically. Let me explain. I would gently separate my hair up into 8 sections. Then I would spray that section with Jane Carter’s Revitalizing Leave In Conditioner. (It is an excellent detangler!) Next, I would use my Denman brush to detangle and then braid that section into one braid. I did this for each section. It made detangling easier, but I still had a lot of shedding/breakage. Then I would wash each section one by one, add conditioner, clip up, and baggie. My hair would tangle right back up after rinsing the conditioner out and I’d have to detangle all over again with more shedding/breakage. I realized that one of the issues that contributed to my tangled mess was the fact that I had just gotten color 2 months prior to my natural hair discovery. (See previous post) It dried my hair out significantly. I purchased product after product. Nothing seemed to work. It seemed as if the big chop was eminent.

I came across the book, “Science of Black Hair,” along with the discovery of Denim Pixie’s (Elle) YouTube channel and blog, “Quest for the Perfect Curl.”  She did a video called, “Some Tidbits on Protein,” which I found very informative and the “Science of Black Hair” really broke it down further for me. So I grabbed all of the products I had and realized I was causing major protein overload in my hair which was causing it to be perpetually dry and shed/break. I began looking for moisturizing shampoos and conditioners. I used Hello Hydration conditioner as a rinse out first. I still hadn’t found a moisturizing shampoo. I had significant improvement on detangling but it still took awhile. I was down to 45 mins detangling in the shower, and for the 1st time my hair felt somewhat softer. Also, my shedding/breakage decreased.  I returned to Elle’s blog and on her Holy Grail list I saw Creme of Nature’s Argan Oil Moisture and Shine Shampoo.  I went to my local beauty supply store and picked it up. Score!!!! My hair felt so soft while washing, still in sections but much easier. The Creme of Nature coupled with my hello hydration decreased my shedding/breaking and detangling time significantly. I was down to 30 mins and was finally experiencing regular shedding. All is well in my world so there is no need to big chop now … Right?

See the heat damage?

The qualities we admire in others are already apart of us.

*Note: This post was written months before posting. I was still deciding whether or not to blog.

18 was the age I began admiring the girls with the big curly hair. I thought it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life. However, my hair was bone straight and I just didn’t possess those type of genes so I just admired them and moved on. I had to work with what I had. Back in Jr. High I stayed with the local trends in hair. My mom allowed me to be a little freer in that area the older i  became,which was far from where I had come. My hair regimen as a child was wash, condition, sit under a dryer until dry, hot comb with grease, and various pony tails. My grandmother was a hair stylist who prided herself on being able to grow and maintain hair. She was right to do so because she had my hair down the middle of my back.  No matter how much i begged her to relax my hair, she refused.

After my mom and dad split we moved to a different state away from my grandmother. My mom continued the hair regimen faithfully (plus a few burned ears).  Fast forward to Jr. high as we returned from summer break, things had changed. There were no more ponytails and barrettes. They were replaced with wrap styles, asymmetrical cuts, and relaxers. Here I am thinking I’m cute with my one big pony tail to the side and a big bow. Geesh, how come I didn’t get the memo? I couldn’t wait until I got home so I could reason with my mom on the necessity of getting a relaxer. After all, I was older now and needed a more mature look. Before the words perm could come out of my lips, no was declared to my dismay. I had to regroup, there had to be a way to appeal to my mom. After about a day or so of plotting on the phone with my friends, we came up with the ultimate pro-relaxer argument. Mom, if you put a relaxer in my hair, it will cut our hair routine time tremendously.  (Not bad for a bunch of 7th graders huh?)  Any who, she thought it over and decided to apply a Juust for meee (singing the commercial)! SN: Just for me was just a horrible, horrible relaxer. I mean really. Basically, I was on the creamy crack from that point on until I turned 24/25. Until then I cut my hair short, grew it  back out, wore it in hard gel styles, braids, color, highlights and whatever else the trend was at that time. Not to mention relaxing my own hair in between salon visits myself because I could get it straighter. (Yeah right LOL , I tickle myself  sometimes).

After years of hair abuse, my hair decided she couldn’t take it anymore. I was in my phase of wanting long hair and growing it back. However, I noticed that my hair in the back of my head at the top-middle section was extremely short while the rest of my hair was just past shoulder length. I decided to go to the salon and see what was going on. She told me it was a stress spot and it had damage. We came up with a treatment plan and decided to try it out for about 3 months and see if that helps. She explained that if it didn’t get better that she would have to cut my hair short and I’d have to start fresh. I DID NOT WANT THAT. So I followed the plan faithfully but to no avail. Alas, we would have to cut my hair. Needless to say I cried like a baby. I rocked the short hair for about a year and then decided it was time to grow my hair back. When I informed my stylist of this she said okay. Then she dropped a bomb on me.  I’m not going to relax your hair anymore since you are growing it out and you can’t have any color either. My mouth dropped. She explained that she felt that to keep my hair at its healthiest it is best to eliminate all chemicals whatsoever and do thermal heating instead ( just a fancy way of saying flat ironing).  After the complete shock and ranting about how nappy my hair would be, I finally relented and began my long hair journey. My hair growth was very successful. It grew back very thick and long. I’m talking past BSL long ( that includes every bra I owned).

So, it’s 2011 and my hair is long, healthy, and full. I don’t have a complaint in the world except, I’m bored. My hair is boring and blah and I’m tired of wearing the same styles over and over. So I call up my stylist and ask for color. Something to liven up my hair. I get a warm rich brown with golden brown highlights. I absolutely loved it. While at the salon I tell my stylist I am bored with my hair and wanted to perhaps get a sew in of big curly hair. She informs me that my hair is too long and thick for a sew in style. So I say what about braids? She replies, your hair is too long for braids. Ugh! Well cutting my hair is NOT an option since I worked hard to grow it. She replies, Girl i don’t blame you. Hell I took the journey with you. I then asked, why can’t I wear my hair curly, I mean when my hair gets wet it curls up. She says, you just don’t have that textured type of hair (don’t give me the side eye; when we know better, we do better). Ugh. I really like that hair I say. Frustrated and bored, I returned home. That night I went home and turned the TV to HGTV.

A new show was coming on and its host was Tanika Ray. She had the most beautiful big curly hair and she looked like me. I thought to myself, umm, is she mixed because she doesn’t look mixed but she has big curly hair!!! I immediately picked up my laptop and typed “Tanika Ray Hair. The first link I saw was Tanika Ray’s Hair Journey on curlynikki.com.” I was opened to a whole new world!!! I had no idea that this world existed!! I saw so many different women who looked like me rocking the big curly hair. I was so freaking stoked!! I read for hours and hours until my eyes were burning, only to wake up and start it all over again the next night. Oh, and when I discovered the natural hair community on youtube…that. was. all. she. wrote. I immediately announced to everyone, I’m going natural. Thus my natural hair journey began. Hmph, it turns out I could have been big haired and curly after all .

Well, those are my thoughts of the day. What cha’ll doing? 😉

Hair during relaxer days

Growing hair back post relaxer

Regrowth, no chemicals but consistent straightening

Transitioning Style (bantu knots)

Hugs and Kisses!