Monday, March 28, 2016

Update in Hair Regimen

Hello people!

I know I haven't blogged about anything in months and that's because I don't feel I have much to blog about because, as you know, I'm still dealing with damaged hair. Also, I don't have that much time to blog, as you must have noticed, with the months-long delay with blog posts on all my blogs.

However, I thought that I should put up something new for the lot of you who still check out my blog. Also, I will try to upload a few things within the next month.

Okay! So here's an update on my hair regimen. Lately, I have been cowashing biweekly instead of weekly and I've been tucking all my hair away. This is not just to make life a bit easier for me, but also because I feel like I should go a bit longer with combing and washing (if my hair/scalp's not dirty). I haven't used heat on my hair in about a month or so too and I took a break from heat because I have been working from home more often, which means I don't need to worry about stepping out with wet hair and I also thought that my hair would thrive well/better taking a bit of a break from heat drying if it wasn't needed.

I have been moisturising more using my Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Conditioner, water-only washing if my hair is not dirty, but needs refreshing, mud washing more (with a mixture of Amla, Terressentials Citrus Mud Wash, an oil mixture, Midas Naturals Conditioner, Shea Moisture's Restorative Conditioner, rose water and Shea Moisture's Coconut & Hibiscus Conditioner), shampoo washing with my hair in twists to ensure I clean my scalp well and sealing in the moisture using a homemade oil mixture of pure castor oil, extra virgin olive oil, almond oil and Jamaican Black Castor Oil with Ylang Ylang.

My hair L.O.V.E.S the mud wash. However, I get a bit annoyed if I get out of the shower and start getting dressed just to find a bit of mud left in my hair (some times when my hair's almost dry) although I spent like 10mins rinsing out my hair. I must say that the look and feel of my hair after a mud wash is amazing, though.

Lastly, I have been going longer with my use of the comb. I chose to use a comb to detangle my hair just once a week, but now, I've been pushing it further and going weeks  (and maybe a whole month) between using a comb.

I still choose not to wear my hair out in a big afro because it's pretty humid here in England so my hair will shrink and tangle up a lot, I don't want to have to comb my hair to maintain and afro, I might get annoyed about having hair everywhere, and, let's face it, people's hands will be in my hair and I'm not a huge fan of that as I don't like feeling like a dog (due to the stroking way some people touch my hair).

I'm growing out the length that I cut off. However, I doubt I'll be cutting my hair again in April.

I am considering getting extension before the summer, but because I'm home (Southampton) less often, I think I'll stick with my plan of going one year extension-free and then get extension in during the summer or just after the summer as I feel like extensions are beneficial to growing out the hair as long as they're maintained well and installed properly.

I may or may not get crochet braids again (I feel like I might get a wig instead), but what I've had in mind lately are large box braids or Marley twists (I'll probably go with the twists).

So, yeah, that's an update on my hair, hair regimen and plans for the future!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

My Pre-Poo Regimen

Hey everyone!

I would like to share my pre-poo regimen with you today. Eeep! I'm a bit nervous about putting this video up :).
Sorry about the voice recording, my next video will have a much clearer and better recording.

Okay! Before you watch this video, I will let you know that there is a slight difference between the regimen showed in this video and my regular regimen. This difference is that I usually just run my hands down my hair in closed fists with the oil/conditioner and I don't finger comb. Also, I tend to only use the Coconut & Hibiscus conditioner. The reason for this video being different is because I shampoo-washed my hair on that day (I usually just co-wash my hair, partially rinse out the pre-poo, add a little more conditioner and run a comb through my hair under the stream of water from the shower). On this day, I had to add other things to my regimen because I felt that my hair needed them (using the Restorative Conditioner too), I didn't use a comb in the shower, but instead, just worked with my fingers and as I was shampoo-washing, I needed to ensure my hair was tangle free before adding some shampoo to my hair because, as some of you know, the hair can tend to get really matted if you use shampoo on it without it being detangled. 

So, yeah, I guess this is my monthly pre-poo regimen, but slightly not the same regimen I follow during the week.

Enjoy!

If you can't view the video, click on me

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In case you're wondering, my hair fully reverted (and clumped wherever it wants to clump) is mainly type 4b. However, I do have some 4a and 4c strands of hair in some parts.

Also, you might notice that the back of my hair is much shorter than the rest of my hair, that's due to having a bad weave. The middle of my hair also has a ridiculously short bit of hair and so does the left side of my hair (the right side in the video) although that side is not as short as the middle of my head. I had a few practically bald, if not bald, parts of my head after the bad weave, but those have started filling up and my hair is getting thicker.

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Monday, January 4, 2016

Journey from Damaged to Healthy: First Trim + Hair Update.

Heyo!

Unfortunately, I don't have pictures from this, but I got my hair trimmed on Saturday! I took off about an inch everywhere.

My hair is still at various lengths, but I have no intentions of ever big chopping so, I'm just trimming off the damage every few months and then when the shortest parts of my hair get to a particular length, I'll probably get my entire head of hair to that length.

Most of my hair is still relatively long, I guess. The hair at the back of my head is growing out and my hair is thickening up everywhere now so that's awesome.

My regimen still consists of cowashing/mud washing weekly and shampoo washing during the first week of every month, sealing moisture with castor oil, taking out shed hair using extra virgin olive oil followed by conditioner and combing once a week (in the shower with conditioner and water in hair and when stretching out hair).

I think I'm going to stick with not getting crochet braids or twists with extensions till around next summer. I'm actually loving having just my hair out and it is helping with my recovery process. When I do get crochet braids/twists with extensions done, I plan on only keeping them in for 2-4 weeks and not as long as I did for the past two years. I also plan on going longer between protective styling with extensions. Instead of just a few days to 2 weeks (*cringe*) I'll probably go a month, especially depending on how long I protective styled for.

I can't wait till my hair is completely healthy and even!!
Oh my!
That will be awesome!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Big Reveal




Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi, my name is Samantha and I just so happen to be the founder of this blog and a few others. I'm a daughter, sister, aunt, friend, blogger, activist, Jesus follower and in uni studying architecture.

How long have you been natural?
I have been natural for about 4 years now.

When did you get your first relaxer and why did you get it?
I'm not exactly sure when I got my first relaxer, but it was between the ages of 4 and 6. However, I big chopped and then got a relaxer between the ages of 7 and 8. Each time, I got a relaxer because I wasn't born with a manual. Haha. My parents didn't know how to manage my hair and therefore, my hair broke many combs. Actually, it broke every comb in the house at some point.

What made you decide to go natural?
Well, I was 13 years old (same month as my 14th birthday) and I didn't know what my natural texture looked or felt like and I was just so curious about it, what I can do with it and how I can grow it out to the length it was while I was little.




How did your family and friends react to the idea of you going natural?
Oh my! They were not having it! My mum told me that she's not going to help me out with it (shout out to my mamma who's natural now), my paternal grandmother thought it was a bad idea because my hair was "too tough," my dad was cool with it, my brother wasn't (and he still tells me to get a relaxer because straight hair is more attractive, according to him) and some of my friends liked the fact that I was going natural while others told me not to do it and to just get another relaxer.

What's your hair journey been like so far (and how has it changed your perception on some things)?
My hair journey has been pretty eventful! I heat damaged my hair during my first year natural (and grew out the damage), I lost a bit of hair from box braids (with extensions) that weren't installed well (my hair fell out), my hair got cut by a stylist when I didn't ask for it to be cut and (fast forwarding) I have damaged hair (and not so "BigHair") right now, from a bad weave (which I might add was my first weave as a natural and my first weave in about 7 years). Besides those, my hair journey has been pretty nice, discovering new styles and products and just having fun switching between long (stretched) hair and short (shrunken) hair.
My natural hair journey has made me realise that people look best when they embrace the natural things about them. It also makes them happier. And I guess that it has made me realise that so many people are scared or very judgemental and we just have to accept that because we can't please everyone so, we just need to be happy with who we are.


Picture from shortly after I noticed the damage.

What is your daily hair regimen (including your night-time routine)?
This changes a lot. I would say that daily, if my hair was set in a bantu knot out, I saturate my hands in oil, take down the knots, separate the curls, fluff out my roots, pin up a bit of the sides and that's it. If I'm doing my lazy girl style (which is actually kinda chic), I take my hair down from a low ponytail, shake it out and fluff it out with my hands, put it in a low ponytail again, braid the ponytail, attach pre-braided extensions to it, tuck in my hair and then pin the extensions round my head forming an elegant halo braid (or series of halo braids). At night, I just divide my hair in 4-6 and put it in loose bantu knots (to preserve the initial style) or I leave it in a low ponytail (no extensions) and cover it in a satin scarf (although i don't care much about the scarf now that I have a satin pillowcase and duvet cover).
I should add that I wash my hair every Saturday after my workout (because I don't have the time to do so, any other day), shampooing once a month and co-washing every week. I stretch my hair out using a blow dryer on a warm-cool setting just to speed things up for myself.



Do you think you might be changing or incorporating new things to your regimen soon? If so, what do you have in mind?
I would deep condition more often, if I could. Right now, my schedule is too hectic because of uni so, I can't change much.

What are your go-to hairstyles, which is your fav. and how do you achieve it?
My "lazy girl" halo braid and bantu knot out are my favourite hairstyles and they are described above. As a side note, I always do my bantu knots over a braid out or an old twist out for best results.

What are your must-have hair accessories and tools?
Bobby pins! You can never have enough of those! Those little guys disappear like it's nobody's business. Metal-free ponytail holders are also a must-have and if you're in uni and not on the best schedule, a good blow dryer with a cool setting is good too.





How do you deal with hair issues such as: breakage, length retention and moisture?
The only day I comb my hair is on wash-day and in the shower with conditioner in my hair and under the shower stream. I seal my hair with oil and shea butter or Shea moisture's restorative conditioner and some times, Shea Moisture's Gel Soufflé too (that product is so moisturising). I also try not to touch my hair much and I sleep with my hair covered in a satin scarf or on a satin pillowcase (and I dry my hair with an old shirt instead of a towel).

What products do you currently use, and how are they working for you?
I use the shampoo, conditioner and gel in the Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus line and I really like the products. They are moisturising, minimise frizz, have slip and are not too heavy. I use Shea Moisture's Restorative Conditioner as a leave-in and detangler and it's awesome for those. I also use extra virgin olive oil and Terressential's Mud Wash in Lavender and Cool Mint and I like both. The lavender mud wash leaves your hair feeling so soft and nice and the cool mint stops itchy scalp (and dry scalp) quickly.
(I also use the deep conditioner by Midas Naturals and can't wait till it's back in stock because it is AWESOME).

Hand-In-Hair syndrome -  an issue I have only that....it's not my hand. Do you have this issue? Do people ask before touching your hair or do they just randomly reach out and touch (or grab) it? How does this make you feel? What is your reaction to this?
It's actually not been so bad in the past year. People actually ask now if they want to touch my hair (most of the time) and I'm cool with it although if someone doesn't ask before they touch my hair, I get a bit annoyed (esp. if I don't know the person/I'm not close to the person) and I calmly tell them to ask next time. Oh! And I make sure my hair's not been messed up each time (gotta do that!)




What do you love the most about being naturally curly?
Versatility! Not just with hair styles, but with hair lengths too! I can switch up my length daily. My hair has a personality of its own too and it's beautiful and just so unique!

Any advice for the natural teens, parents, kids and grandparents?
You do you, boo! Go natural, stay natural if you want to. Try different styles and learn how to take care of and style your hair by yourself because not every hair stylist knows how to properly care for curly hair and you'll be able to treat your hair better than anyone can once you master what to do.


Where can we find you online?
On here, of course.
And on:

p.s All pictures without extensions are post-damage and all curly hair styles are day 3-4 hair.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Reason for no recent blog entries

Hallo!

I miss talking to you guys. I really do.

You see, the reason for my absence is that I recently moved to London (yup! the big ol' city!). I'm still getting used to living here and being at uni. Uni's great, if you're wondering. However, I'm not used to getting home late because I'm working and voluntarily going to school on the weekends, but that's okay. What has to be done has to be done.

I am getting more accustomed to where I live and being at uni here in London so, expect some new posts soon. I might pre-write them if I have a few minutes/hours free and just upload them every few days. Here's what to expect (in no particular order):

  • A reveal - y'all have been wondering what I look like. If you've checked out my Facebook page, you know what I look like. If not, you could either go check out and 'Like' my page or wait till I upload the blog post that is 'My Big Reveal.'
  • Rocking a....not day 1, or day 2, but day 5 bantu knot out. I have perfected preserving bantu knot out without having to completely reset your hair every day. Trust me, every morning, my hair looks much better than the night before and I don't have to redo the bantu knots daily.
  • VIDEOS! Recording things I normally do will make it easier for me to get things across to you. I can quickly whip out my camera and record myself while styling my hair. I can also, do more for my other blog in the sense that I can make, "What I Eat In A Day" videos, "Exploring London," "My Workout Routine," or "A Day In My Life" videos. I guess I'll make all those pre-recorded so I have time to edit them if necessary and not have to spend so much time on them to finish them up. Film and photography are part of my course so these videos will also help me practice some things and get used to my new camera (which I don't have yet, but will get soon).
  • I can also make advice videos for freshers especially those studying architecture as that is the course I'm taking, in case you didn't know what I was doing at uni.
  • Quick hair styles for people in uni is also something I'm considering posting.
And more.

My big reveal will probably come up before the others. I don't know when I'll do it, but I will some day soon. Just hang in there and please be patient with me, okay? Danke.

~SammyWithTheBigHair

Saturday, September 19, 2015

I BOUGHT A BLOWDRYER!!

Picture got from Jesuseun

So, yeeeeeeaaaaah, I bought a blowdryer. It worries me a bit because I heat damaged my hair at the start of my natural hair journey. However, there have been quite a number of reasons for me to purchase this hair tool and that's what I will talk about in this blog post.


REASON 1: I am a uni student and I live a bit far from school
As a uni student, I need more time studying and working and less time doing other things. So, by investing in a dryer, I can quickly dry and stretch my curls and the curls will stay stretched longer and I might even get them more stretched than if I just braided them (and some times, aft,,.er setting your hair in braids, you wake up and your braids are still damp!).
Also, I live 30mins away from school if I use the tube (London Underground) and I need to have my hair dry when I leave where I live especially if I wash/rinse my hair in the morning, which I might do depending on if I go to the gym in the morning or in the evening.


REASON 2: It has been predicted that the UK will experience the coldest winter in 50 years this year
Wet hair and being out in the cold are two things that do not go together well. I don't want ice in my hair neither do I want to be freezing because I walked out the door with wet hair.


REASON 3: I work out on an almost daily basis now
Working out a lot, I might need to rinse my hair out every now and then so it still looks good and yeah, I'll need a blowdryer to speed up the process of rinsing and drying out my hair in the morning/late at night.


REASON 4: It's easier to style stretched hair/styles look better when done on stretched hair
I must say, a braid out on pre-stretched hair looks really good and so does a twist out. If the braid/twist-out is done on a Curlformer set or on hair that wast stretched by pre-braiding, African threading, banding, et cetera it looks better than if it was done on freshly washed and wet hair, in my opinion. Well, this is the case for my hair. With a blowdryer, I can stretch my hair to style it much easier and faster than if I just banded, braided, African threaded it.


So, yeah, I had one or two more reasons, but I can't remember them right now.

Hope this helps you understand why I decided to take this step and invest in a blow dryer.

~SammyWithTheBigHair
(SammyWithThe"Not as big, but will soon be as big"Hair)

Saturday, September 12, 2015

My New Hair Routine


I waited about a week before uploading this.

So, as I mentioned before, now that my hair's longer, I have realised that I need to wash it more often. I actually need to wash it every 2-3 days. Due to this, my hair routine has changed quite a it. It is stable now and that's why I'm uploading this. So, here it goes, my hair routine:

Shampoo
I wash my hair with shampoo once every 2-4 weeks using Shea Moisture's Coconut & Hibiscus shampoo. I haven't reviewed this product yet as I have only used it once since I received it and I feel I have to use a product more than once before reviewing it especially if I've been protective styling for a month or more (with extensions). I focus on my scalp, but I work the lather down my hair shaft before rinsing it out of my hair. I would usually shampoo once, but depending on how much build up I feel, I might shampoo twice.

Condition/Co-Wash
I condition my hair after every shampoo wash and I co-wash my every 2-5 days using Shea Moisture's Coconut & Hibiscus conditioner. I really like this conditioner. I had a better experience with it today than I did prior to reviewing this product. I focus on my hair shaft when using this product, but if I'm co-washing, I put a bit of the product on the pads of my finger and massage my scalp a bit before rinsing out the product.
I also use about a dime-size amount of extra virgin olive oil, working it in on the two halves of my hair before leaving the shower. Some times, I partially rinse out the oil, other times, like today, I leave it in.
As a leave-in conditioner, I tend to just use a little of Shea Moisture's Curling Gel Soufflé as I have found this product to be rather moisturising and good at reducing the amount of frizz I experience.

Other forms of cleaning
I rinse out my hair and water-wash whenever I decide not to co-wash, but I need to get my hair wet and ensure my scalp is hydrated/cleaned to an extent. I plan on using my Terressentials Mud Wash every now and then to cleanse my hair and scalp too. Also, I might invest in to Bentonite clay or Amla powder as I find these work really well in cleansing and conditioning the scalp and my hair looks awesome and my curls clump and look amazing after mud washing.

Detangling
I try to keep detangling to a minimum. I thoroughly detangle my hair whenever I wash it so that's 2-3 times a week. However, I might run a comb through it a bit if I want to achieve a really big and neat puff.
To detangle, I first part my hair in two and saturate each section in extra virgin olive oil while moving my hands down my hair shaft in closed fists. This makes some of the shed hair slide out easily. Next I repeat this process, but using Shea Moisture's Restorative Conditioner, but I do not saturate my hair in it because....well....this product is rather pricey and you actually don't need to saturate your hair in it for it to do its job. Some times, I put on a heat processing cap (I have a foil-like one) while I sort out some things then I hop in the shower, rinse out my hair and then start my co-washing process. After applying the Coconut & Hibiscus conditioner, I run a comb through my hair (usually under the shower stream, but I can do it without this). As my hair is longer now, I spend less than 5mins detangling it as the tangles just slide out (whether or not there is product in my hair - as long as my hair's under the shower stream, the tangles are out). I do not comb or really finger detangle my hair before this.

Styling
If I'm not leaving my house, I wouldn't bother styling my hair. I would just leave it in whatever it's setting it - braids, twists, bantu knots, et cetera. If I am heading out, I would've had my hair stretched so all I'll do is take it down from its stretched state and either style it with bobby pins, put it in a bun, do a tuck-roll-and-pin or put my hair up in a puff. I try to keep styling/manipulating my hair to a minimum and most of all, I try to keep the need for a comb to a minimum too so I always end up doing a tuck-roll-and-pin quite often as it saves me from a bad hair day or old-looking hair. When styling my hair, I seldom put any product on it, but if I do use a product, it would be Shea Moisture's Curling Gel Soufflé and a little goes a VERY LONG WAY with this product.

Night Routine
I sleep on a pillow wrapped up in a satin material (or I cover my hair in a satin-scarf). If I feel lazy, I just put my hair up in a bun and go to bed. If not, I re-braid my hair or add flexi rods to the ends of my braids/twists if I never took them down. At times, I will use some of the Curling Gel Soufflé on my edges and wherever my hair was parted and that's pretty much it. My night routine is very minimal. Ain't nobody got time to be going through a long process when they're tired.


And that pretty much sums up my hair routine. It's pretty simples, I guess. I try to keep manipulating my hair to a minimum and I try to avoid using combs more than twice during a week (if not just once).

My routine might change slightly in the next few weeks to months. All that would be different would be that I'll invest in a blow dryer and be using it on the cool setting after washing my hair on weekdays especially because I'll be doing that after working out in the morning and as a student at uni (who lives about 30mins, using the tube, away from school), I need my hair to be easily sorted out and stretched before I need to start heading out to school.

This routine has been working pretty well for me as my hair has been breaking less and I've been having less shed hair. Also, my hair looks much better and as most of you know, my hair got really damaged from my last protective style.