24 weeks!

This means that I am six months post now! I've done it! Half a year without a relaxer. 
Nothing new with my hair though. Two weeks ago I removed my Senegalese twists to have a proper wash. I've lost a lot of hair in the process: mix of shedding and broken ones :-( I have taken a picture which I need to post by the way lol
After the wash I did kinky twists again. Not that they are my favourites as you know but I was so tired that I was running out of time and had some Marley extensions left so...I used them. Of course, it had to be that week that they'd decided I needed to have my portrait done for work...if only I had known...
It's been two weeks now and it the extensions are making my scalp itchy a lot. I'm considering removing them, deep condition, probably try a heavy protein treatment at some point (oh dear Aphogee...) and maybe, just maybe relax (read here "attempt to texlax") my new growth. I'm still not sure about that as my hair is still fragile.
Anywho! I am six months post!!!!

Still stretching...

I am so excited and proud of myself right now. Yesterday marked the 20th week of my stretch. That's 5 months. Yes! 5 MONTHS!!
I haven't stretched for so long for....ever! I mean, I must have when I wasn't on my hair journey, without knowing it, but it is an achievement right now due to the fact that I am on a Hair Journey.
There is really not much happening when it comes to my hair at the moment to be honest though. I've been wearing braids for 3 weeks now and except washing and spraying my hair with conditioner, I have not been doing anything else to it. I've never denied the fact that I'm not the best at taking care of my hair when braided :-)

In any case, I'm still happy that I've lasts that long with a stretch, even if a few weeks of it have happened thanks to braids.
Hope your Hair Journeys are going well ladies!

Senegalese twists

15 weeks post (time flies when super busy!) and back to braids. I have missed my Senegalese twists. The weather is so hot and humid. This is the sensible thing to do with my hair right now!

This is officially my longest stretch ever. Yeaaaaaah!


A new button

Just a quick post to let you know (in case you hadn't noticed) that I have added a new button on my blog: an Instagram one. You can find it on the right handside, just above my "Grab Me" button.
I hate pictures of me (yes i do lol) but as I have been so busy lately, Instagram seems like a nice way to show my progress when I cannot post anything here...or until I can post more regularly again. Gosh I need a proper job! lol
Have a good day everyone :-)

12 weeks post

I have reached that number once before and it was a disaster (yes, yes the huge whole in my scalp! need to post an update on that at some point lol). This time is has been let's say...challenging. Some days I have enjoyed it, some others I felt like relaxing everything. BUT my hair still feels weak and dry and it breaks so I am way too scared to go ahead with it.
I have told you several times that I enjoy touching my curls when it grows but I had never taken a picture of it to take a proper look at it. Now it is done!
Click on image to enlarge
From what I can see, I think my hair type is 4C. I have noticed that I have a curl pattern that is a bit looser at the back of my head but it is mainly 4C though. Now...I don't want to go and say that I am disappointed with that news (I can already hear the "pro natural" ones being outraged at my comment) but because I absolutely cannot remember what my natural hair look like, I had hoped that my hair would have a curl pattern a bit looser than 4C. Simply because I am finding looking after my relaxed hair difficult enough, so tiny coils.....
But again, I find these so cute! A nightmare with the shrinkage and even worse when trying to detangle, but cute. I think right now it is because of the two textures together and the fact that I am still learning how to deal with both of them at once.
I don't know how long it will take me to get some moisture back in my hair so that I can relax again. The thing is...am I actually doing more harm than good by waiting as my hair is also breaking at the demarcation mark too. One half of my head is full and seems somewhat moisturised, the other half is so seen and dry it is ridiculous!
I can't believe how gorgeous my hair was after I cut it and the state it is in now. I am experiencing my second major setback in almost 3 years on my Hair Journey....

A little hi!

I know I haven't posted anything for a little while so I thought I'd give a little update on what's been going on with me.
I mentioned a few weeks ago (when I put my hair into kinky twists) that I was starting a job...well that's the reason why I haven't posted lol
This job is quite far and I had to commute for hours (and I do mean HOURS) to get there. By the time I make it back home in the evening, I'm so exhausted that I just jump in the shower, eat and usually fall asleep as soon as I make it on my bed. I do kid you not, I literally fall asleep on my laptop each time I turn it on and try to do anything :-p
The job is going OK so far and although it is just for a few months, I hope it will lead to other stuff there or in another company.

Now when it comes to my hair.....I am 11 weeks post right now and I cannot say that this stretch is going well or bad as a matter of fact. I have a certain amount of new growth which I haven't measured. It seems quite "long" when stretched but I have a lot of shrinkage so I mainly have that sort of sponge feeling when touching my hair. I still really enjoy (like each time I stretch a relaxer) running my fingers through it and feel my curls.
I promised myself I would never stretch for more than 8-9 weeks as that's when I can't manage the NG anymore but this time it has been a bit different: I think I'm paying more attention to how my hair feels. I've read more material on natural hair too so that I could manage the NG easily. 
The fact that natural hair is easier to manipulate while wet, when relaxed hair needs to be manipulated when dry is so difficult for me! Wash day is close to a nightmare lol

Anywho, my hair still feels weak so I won't relax it yet. I guess I'm gonna have to learn more about my natural hair texture and how to care for it until relaxer day.

I need to try to post regularly again as I have loads of things to post about, but my body just won't stay awake long enough to do it.
In the meantime, I hope that those who've been reading my blog are all fine and I will be back very soon with more posts. Thanks again for reading me ladies!


Hadn't done this manicure for a very long time.
Leopard print nails using Kiko's 346 Olive Drab.

Click on image to enlarge
Hope you all had a nice, warm weekend!

Two weeks on...

I've been wearing my twists for 2 weeks and was really having doubts about the way it was ageing lol
Click to enlarge picture
The hair texture is getting...I don't know. Just that it feels rough on my skin as the days go by. It feels like it's getting dry (even though it is synthetic hair lol).

So.....the above picture was taken on Friday and on Saturday afternoon....
Click to enlarge picture

Yes! I took them down! It didn't take long at all. Just over an hour I think. The worse part was the washing and detangling! Terrible! Took forever and so much breakage.
Below are my the pics of my hair about 95% air dried, with the amount of hair I've lost in the detangling process. I also had to go out so dressed it up with headband and nail polish lol

Click to enlarge picture
When I came back on Saturday night, I put my DC overnight. Today I washed it off, let my hair air dry and finished with my blow dryer: it tamed my New Growth quite well. So back to my normal routine now I guess lol

A little tip

I know I am wearing kinky twists now but that doesn't stop me from sharing experiences I've had just before I put them on (can you say "put them on" for braids? the French in me wonders...) I saw this video on YouTube a couple of years ago. I can't remember how I ended up watching this. You know? Like when you start looking for something specific and you end up watching videos of funny little cats doing silly things? (I know you've all done it at least once...probably more!)
Back to the video though: in this video, this girl explains how to refresh flat ironed hair after a workout and towards the end ( from 5:35) she shows how she uses baby powder to remove excess oil from her hair.

I can confirm that it works! I had pre-pooed overnight with Amla oil and although I rinsed it out, when my hair was completely dry, it was still oily. That's when I remembered this video. Now, I do not have a baby but as I use baby powder for my jewellery making, I had a bottle handy. I put it in my hands (NOT directly on my hair as advised in the video), and then in my hair. Afterwards I brushed my hair to get rid off the powder. I repeated this three times and indeed, the hair was not as oily as it was. Of course, all the oil wasn't gone, but most of it did. It did the job until the next wash :-)

On est jamais mieux servi que par soi-même

I needed a new protective style: starting a contract next Monday and as I will have quite some travelling to do, I won't really have that much time in the morning (or evening) to style my hair properly.

My hair is still in the need of a break too so I thought about Senegalese twists as it is what I normally do if I decide to braid my hair with extensions. While looking for styles I came across this video from Jobabylive on YouTube and really liked her haircut.

I tried to have kinky twists done once before a few years ago in London: a colleague of mine had some cute ones and recommended her aunt. £40 or £60 later...I hated it and only kept them on for about 4 days I think. They were so huge on my head, I had the feeling everyone was staring at me and felt super uncomfortable with them. Think it was also the last time I let someone else braid my hair (I taught myself how to twist straight after that lol)

So! Went out on Tuesday morning, bought some hair, came back and got started at around 3.30pm.
I can basically resume this in 3 steps:


I have such a migraine! I had forgotten how painful it was to have braids. My head has been extensions free for so long now. It hurts!

But I am very pleased with the result though and glad I tried to do it myself. Like we say in French "on est jamais mieux servi que par soi-même" (i.e. "You are never as well served as when you serve yourself" or "If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself"). Took me about 16 hours to complete this so it is definitely quicker than Senegalese twists.

I intend on keeping this on for a couple of months hopefully. But as I am not the best at braiding, they are usually loose after a week or so, which is a good thing. Then I will do them again for another couple of months, and that should be the summer done (that is if it ever starts here: it's been raining non stop since last week and we are still wearing our winter clothes...yes! that includes scarves!) with protective styles only :-)

It is my second attempt at braids with extensions while on my HJ. First time was a huge fail and I had a lot of breakage and it turned into a major setback. I am doing research this time and will try to do better to protect my hair and NG.

Will you be using protective styles during the summer?

Protective Styling

Here are the pics of the look(s) I had this week.
On Saturday last week I braided my hair (without extensions as I didn't want any). It took me about six hours for those box braids. But my hair is so thin that the result wasn't great. But after six hours, there was no way I would have undone that! plus, I wanted to give my hair a break for a few days.

Of course, I could not do much so I wore it like that Sunday through Wednesday: 
Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge
Then like that Thursday through Saturday:
Click on image to enlarge
I actually really love the texture in my hair once the box braids were undone. I couldn't have kept them much longer anyway as the ends were starting to get tangled up. I hope that one day I will be able to rock nice box braids or even better...TWISTS! But with my own hair. Now I need to think about my next protective style for the upcoming week...

Going Natural: an unconscious wish?

Today I was checking out my YouTube history out of curiosity and realised one common thing about the videos I've been watching: they were all about girls who were either natural or transitioning.
Same when it came to my Internet browsing history.

This made me ask myself one question: "Girl, are you REALLY thinking about going natural?!"

I am still not sure about what to answer to that question to be honest. It would be a lie to say that I have never considered it since the start of my hair journey. Actually, I think I have tried (without really knowing or realising it) twice during the last year or so. I have tried to stretch my relaxer for longer than my usual 8 weeks. I went as far as 12 and gave up as I just couldn't handle the amount of new growth. And again, for those of you who have read my posts on K.I.S.S, stretching contributed to my bold spot.

October 2013 will mark my three year hair anniversary and if you had told me in 2010 or even 2012 about going natural, I would have laughed real loud! But in the last year I have caught myself wondering. Not considering it but....I've been growing more and more curious about what my natural hair texture looks like. Especially when I have new growth; I catch myself just touching it constantly, playing with the curls and wondering what it would look like if it was longer.

I do not remember what my hair was like when I was younger. I remember the haircuts and have some photos, but I honestly can't remember what it felt like.

I have also realised that I have been "finding" more and more reasons to stop relaxing lately. Just when I do something to my hair, I hear a voice inside my hair saying "wouldn't it be better to have fuller, stronger hair? Wouldn't you like to finally make some proper, fuller braids/twists? Aren't you tired of relaxing and burning your scalp?"
My hair is thin. Fuller than it was at the start of my hair journey, but still too thin to my liking.

So anyway, I was wondering: is it a common thing when on a hair journey and relaxed? Do you automatically, at one point, think about going natural? Or at least consider it? It's like my mind has been obsessed with that for the last few months. I have witnessed quite a few relaxed ladies on YouTube or hair websites that I was following who decided to go natural. I also follow a lot of natural women too. But then I try to also be realistic: would I do more harm than good to my hair if I ever decided to go natural? Can I handle my thick 4b/c hair once passed 12 weeks? I cannot do braided hairstyles with my thin relaxed hair, so how will I manage to style my coily/kinky hair? I am not sure I am ready yet to go down that route. I've been reading so many blogs, articles, watching so many videos...a hair journey is not easy lol

What about you ladies? What do you think each time you're about to touch up your hair? Or when you look at your NG? Have you had those thoughts? Would you go natural?

The Baggy Method

As promised on Tuesday, here is a post explaining what the Baggy method is.
The idea of the Baggy method is to help locking in the moisture you "bring" to your hair. It is very easy to do but the results, of course, vary from head to head: it works and does wonders for some, but can be a nightmare for others. Like every products or methods out there :-)
To use the baggy method you will need the following:
  • your favourite moisturiser/conditioner
  • an oil of your choice to seal that moisturiser/conditioner (EVOO, Castor oil, Coconut oil...)
  • a plastic bag/cap
  • hair band
Click on image to enlarge

First, you wet your hair with the water (doesn't have to be soaking wet, just damp hair is enough).
Second, you apply your moisturiser/conditioner to your hair.
Third, you seal the moisturiser/conditioner with the oil.
Fourth, you cover the hair with the plastic bag/cap and keep it in place with the hair band.
Click on image to enlarge

And you are done! All you have to do is to cover your head with your usual satin scarf/bonnet and go to bed. The next morning, remove the plastic bag/cap and let your hair air dry (as it will be damp from the moisture overnight).
Note that you can use this method on your ends only or on your entire head. The only difference is that for your ends, you put your hair in a bun put the plastic bag/cap on that but only.
Depending on how heavy you are with the oil, you won't want to do this every night as the build up will be important. If you want to use it each night, you might want to consider co-washing your hair the next day. Although it is not good to keep your hair wet all the time.
This method is quite helpful in order to retain length as it helps keep your ends moisturised, therefore, they will be less likely to break. I try to use it at least 3 times a week. Sometimes I do it more, sometimes less. I stay careful in order to have a moisture overload.
Do you use the Baggy Method? What results did you get?


When you start a Hair Journey (HJ), experimenting is a very important part of it, and especially at the beginning (I think no one will say the contrary).
Deciding to go on a HJ is not an easy thing when it comes to the whole organisation: you have so many questions going through your head once you've said "That's it! I'm going to take care of my hair!". No matter what your reason for it is and the goals you set for yourself and your hair, you will have to experiment at some point.
And this does not have to be a bad and tedious thing: experiment is a good part of the whole process. Now, the only surprise you might get with experimenting is....you might turn into a Product Junkie lol I know I definitely turned into one at the beginning and although I have managed to stop myself from buying every single product I read about in forums and saw on TV, I still from time to time buy some things I don't necessary need there and then. And it also doesn't mean I don't have a wish list of things I would like to experiment with in the future.
Soooo! All of this to say that after almost three years on my HJ, I still experiment with new techniques or products on a regular basis. Just because I have found a regimen that works for me, doesn't mean that I stick to it religiously. There are loads of things that can make me change my regimen: for example, I have moved around a lot in the last year or so and I have not been able to carry all my staple products with me abroad. And sometimes, finding them in another country is not easy! So you have to adapt, and find new things. Other times, a product your hair loved for months simply stops "working" (despite clarifying your hair for an product build up). In that case, I stop using it for a little while and get back to it later on.
I had used the Baggy Method (I will discuss this method in my next post) at the beginning of my HJ. But had stopped. After the cold (VERY cold) weather, my hair needed some serious TCL so I started using it again. But my usual product didn't seem to work. Which meant one thing: experimenting time for Pti Kikó!
I created my own mix: Rosewater and Glycerin (yes, as the Winter is gone now, Glycerin is back in the place). But I had put a little bit too much Glycerin and the mix was a bit sticky on my hands so I added a tiny bit of my VO5 conditioner. Shook it well and voilà! I will see how it goes after a few weeks of using it. But so far, it is OK.

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge
What about you ladies? What mixes do you make that help your hair when in need of TLC? Or methods?

More progress

A little update on my bold spot (see previous update here).
I am still happy with the progress. Considering I did not use my Castor oil every single day in the last few weeks (please read "the weeks when I was ill" lol).
It has definitely got a bit fuller since February. What do you think?
Click on image to enlarge

Product Review - TRESemmé Thermal Recovery intensive repair & hydration treatment

A few days after my relaxer, I treated my hair with my usual heavy protein treatment (Aphogee 2 step protein treatment).
Then of course, I had to follow with a deep conditioning session. Which I did the following day.
Although I have found my now much loved Keracae Humecto, I still have some products to finish that I had started to use before that one. One of them is the TREsemmé Thermal Recovery Treatment.

Click the image to enlarge
Aqua (Water) , Cetearyl Alcohol , Quaternium-18 , Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine , Phytantriol , Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil , Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice , Panthenol , Dimethicone , Glyceryl Stearate , Quaternium-80 , Propylene Glycol , Ascorbic Acid , Hydroxyethylcellulose , Glycerin , PEG-12 Dimethicone , Steareth-21 , Panthenyl Hydroxypropyl Steardimonium Chloride , Oleamine Oxide , Tocopheryl Acetate , Disodium PEG 12 Dimethicone Sulfosuccinate , Silk Amino Acids , Keratin Amino Acids , Hydrolyzed Soy Protein/Vegetable Amino Acids/Lysine Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride , Hydrolyzed Oat Protein , Biotin , Niacinamide , Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract , PVP , Sorbitol , Citric Acid , Disodium EDTA , Polysorbate 20 , Methylcloroisothiazolinone , Methylisothiazolinone , Amyl Cinnamal , Butylphenyl Methyl Propional , Citronellol , Geraniol , Hexyl Cinnamal , Hydroxycitronellol , Limonene , Linalool , Parfum (Fragrance) .
As always, we know that the most important ingredients in a list are the first five.
Here it starts well with Aqua and Cetearyl Alcohol (a "good" alcohol that is an"Used as an emollient, emulsifier, conditioner, and thickener.") (source: Tightly Curly website)
The next on the list is Quaternium-18 which is used to "keep products from separating. [It also] gives hair shine, conditions hair and helps reduce fly-aways due to static electricity" (source: Tightly Curly website).
Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine (this one gave me a headache to figure out during my research lol)is a surfactant which means that it is cationic (positively charged as opposed to the hair that is negatively charged). It is basically a conditioner. It has good effects on the hair but be aware that due to its nature, it can build up on the hair so you might need to use a clarifying shampoo from time to time.
And last, Phytantriol. It is an emollient which helps hair retain moisture.
In all, it looks like the first ingredients are not so bad.
This thing smells sooooo good! I am in love with the smell. It is a bit fruity and I really wished the smell would have stayed longer in my hair :-)
Very creamy. Even after I've had added some Olive Oil to it.
Very quick and easy. Maybe because I have a fresh relaxer? I don't think so because I have used it once before and it was the same experience.
I wish I could say that I had fallen in love with the product as much as the smell. Unfortunately....no. It is not a bad product but I didn't get that "wow" factor once rinsed out. My hair felt exactly the same as it was before the application. And what I am looking for is for something that will give me this "wow" (and I do mean "WOW"!) feeling.
On the other end, instead of using a plastic cap, I used some cling film and I must say that I prefer that method. I have used it a second time since then for another DC session and I have the feeling that it was more beneficial.
So ladies? Any experience with this product?

Product Review - Kinki Coili Curli Heaven's Hair Milk

Yes....this quest is still going on unfortunately.
As said earlier, I am trying to find a hair milk as a daily moisturiser. I now have a little list of moisturisers that do not work with my hair (or at least not as much as I'd like them to).
It seems like each time I think I have found something that I'd consider trying from the reviews on forums, the ingredients don't please me.

Until a few weeks ago when I saw this product:
Click on image to enlarge

I found it on the UK website of the shop I am used to go to for my products. It was hair milk and the ingredients didn't look bad.

Aqua, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit oil, Riccinus communis (Castor)Seed, oil, Butrospermum parkii, Cetyl alcohol, Cetrimonium chloride, Hydrogenated Jojoba oil, Glycerine, Phenoxyethanol (and) caprylol glycol (and) chlorphenisin, Parfum, Guar Hydroxyprpyltrimonium Chloride.

I ordered it and the price was £5.99 (around $9) for 120ml.
Now what can I say?

When I opened it and smelt it, I was put off straight away. To me it has a weird smell to it. Like something rancid. So much that I had the reflex to check if there was a use by date on it! Really didn't like it.

This products actually looks like some sort of milk (a bit thicker) once on your hand. It is not creamy or anything, but still smooth. Unfortunately, once it starts drying on the skin, it has this odd feel to it which I cannot describe...it is not sticky but it leaves the skin a bit "rough".

I was already not up to applying it due to the smell lol but I tried it anyway. The feeling I had on my skin was the same on my hair. At first, it feels smooth but once it starts penetrating the hair, it's almost as if I had used a clarifying shampoo. And of course, the smell!

I've tried some products that didn't work since the start of my hair journey, and I have to say that this one is the one I've hated the most so far. Yes, I have used the word "hate".

Now I am left with this bottle hardly used. I need to "recycle" it as I have paid for it at the end of the day.

Has any of you tried Kinki Coili Kurli Heaven's Hair Milk? Or any product from that brand? What did you think of it?

Relaxer nº2 (April 5, 2013)

I finally relaxed my hair last Friday after a 3 months stretch! This was much needed, I can tell you that.
Due to the amount of new growth, I asked my sister to give me a hand and apply it for me.

I had started using ORS Lye Relaxer for my last relaxer, but as I was worried I would not managed to apply it to my entire head within the required time, I preferred to go for a milder relaxer. One that would not be so harsh on my scalp.

I had one application left of the following:
I honestly could not tell how long it took for my sister to apply it on my head. But I had to rinse as soon as it was done: my scalp is extremely sensitive so I cannot keep relaxers for long.

I rinsed the relaxer, then applied my Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructer under a plastic cap for 20 minutes. Rinsed that and then used the ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo. I deep conditioned with Keracare Humecto for a couple of hours. I then let my hair air dry.

I washed my hair again the following day with the ORS shampoo and my Roux Porosity Control shampoo (I know it sounds like much, but my hair still felt like some relaxer was on it so....)

I have not made any length check, purely by choice as I don't want any disappointment. I know it will take a while for me to reach BSL again so I prefer to focus on the health of my hair rather than that.

I have experienced some breakage though: a little chunk of my hair just broke. It fell with the water as I was rinsing the relaxer. "Luckily" (I guess) it is under my hair so it cannot be seen.

With all the lack of TLC in the last few weeks (very, very cold weather; flu...), I am going to need to do some serious deep conditioning/protein sessions!

I have returned

I do apologise for not posting for a little while but the Flu got hold of me. Or at least I think it was the flu as I've never had it before. All I know is that I got stuck in bed for a few days and I am still recovering now.

So what happens when you are n a hair journey and you get ill? Your routine slowly, but surely fades away.... At least mine did. I tried to keep on M&S every night before bed time, to deep condition and all. But when the worse of the flu hit me so bad that I could not even get to work, my hands were too tired at night. I managed to deep condition once and skipped the weekly protein treatment (or pre-poo now that I think about it!).

No need to say that my hair is, once more, making me pay my lack of attention to it for the last two weeks. It is going to need a lot of TLC in the next few weeks to get back to normal. Added to that the fact that the weather as yet again changed to freezing conditions (yes, two days after Spring, it started snowing again! seriously?!). The super cold weather really doesn't help.

Anywho, I am now 10 weeks post (11 weeks tomorrow)and I think I am close to my limit. I had decided to stop trying to stretch for more than 8 weeks as that is what had led to my bold spot in the past, but my relaxer was due the week I got sick so....and now I will not have the time to do it until next week. Looks like I will have no choice but to reach the 11 weeks post. Just hope I won't have too much damage done when it comes to breakage.

So how have you been ladies? How is your HJ going? I have some serious blog reading to catch up on!!

No I didn't!

Just a quick update: I did not relax my hair in the end over the weekend. Which means that in two days I will be 9 weeks post.
Again: so far so good. I have a layer of NG which feels like a sponge on my scalp when wet lol In order to manage them and avoid breakage at the demarcation line though, I had to give up and use my blow dryer once a week after I shampoo and DC.
My hair stays sort of straight for the week (unless I feel like there is too much product build up and I have to co-wash), and I shampoo and blow dry again after 7 days.
It has been working fine for the last two weeks. I shall see how much longer I will stretch for.
I have to admit I am glad this stretch is going well so far as I have a cold :-( I am so tired that wouldn't have managed to relax my hair even if I wanted to.
It seems like my bed and hot tea are more important  than my hair right now (and I do apologise to my hair every day for it lol). It is a very bad time for me to be sick as the weather is soooo bad over here that it is not good for my hair: temperatures are a degree above or below zero most of the time, it has been snowing for the last two days, and the wind is so strong that hats or hoods refuse to stay on my head!
So what about you ladies? How is the weather where you are right now? And what techniques do you use to stretch your relaxers?

8 weeks post

Today I am officially 8 weeks post relaxer and I can say that so far, my stretch is going well. I have stretched to 8 weeks before of course (as it is the minimum one has to wait between two relaxers), but it normally doesn't go that easy.
Again, for those of you who are from K.I.S.S, and have read my posts on there, you will know that i normally have issues around week 8: my scalp becomes very (and I mean VERY) sensitive. so sensitive that it hurts. But it also starts itching like crazy around that time (which is also how i normally know i have made it to week 8).
I am happy to say that so far I have had no itching at all in my usually itchy part, and have no sensitivity issues either.
My hair has grown for sure, but I do not know how much. I am trying not to measure until my next length check (I prefer it that way). I can feel/see some new growth, but they are more manageable than they would normally be. I would, at that point, start experiencing breakage at my demarcation line, and it would be impossible for me to comb through them. Right now, it is still possible and the breakage is minimal really: not more hair than I normally "break", if I can put it that way.
I tend to think this is because of the vitamins I am taking: my curls pattern is not as coily as it has been. But then, I might be imagining it lol I have also changed my deep conditioner this month so who knows?!
In any case, I cannot relax today as it is mid week, so I do not have time :-) I will see how it goes until the end of the week, but so far, I don't feel like relaxing my hair yet.

Protein Update

I did my last Heavy Protein Treatment (HPT) on my last relaxer day, which was January, 9th. It has therefore been 6 weeks. Well...a bit more than six weeks now but I would have had to do it on a Wednesday which was impossible time wise. So I did it last Saturday, the 23rd of February.
I used the same protein treatment I have been using since the start of my HJ: Aphogee Two-Step Protein Treatment.
click on image to enlarge
As mentioned above, this treatment is a HEAVY one, so you do not want to use it on a weekly basis unlike the light or mild protein ones. I use the Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructor on a weekly basis and it is a mild protein treatment. Now I use it because I feel my hair need it (breakage). But every hair is different and what works for me, might not work for you. So be careful when using protein because you can easily get into protein overload which can cause some serious breakage to your hair.
Let's get back to my HPT. This one has to be applied properly in order to avoid (again) some serious breakage. How? Let me explain...
First I washed your hair (with Aphogee Deep Moisture Shampoo). Then, once towel dried, I applied the 2-Step treatment. I usually have to be pretty fast because it gets very sticky, very quickly and my hair can get messy. Then comes the tricky and most important part: you need to dry the hair. Normally I would sit under my dryer, but as I do not have it with me, I used my blow dryer. I have to be very, VERY careful when drying because at that point, the product will start getting hard on my hair. Like super hard! So no matter what, I DO NOT manipulate my hair once dried: they will snap and break otherwise. Then I rinse by running the water on them without touching, then when they get soft again, I can start using my hands.
Of course afterwards I need to apply the Balancing Moisturiser and deep condition too to restore the moisture/protein balance.
I always feel that my hair is stronger after this treatment and will not use the mild treatment the same week to avoid any overload.
What about you ladies? What is your heavy protein treatment?


Relax Day!

No no, I do not mean that I have relaxed my hair today (this is not due for at least another 2 weeks).

Today is relax day because it is my birthday!!! Yes, I'm getting older :-(

Nothing special though as I am away from my family and working...I will probably do something with my other half over the weekend but to be honest, I am not more bothered than that this year lol

I know I did not post yesterday because the start of the week has been quite rough on me and I did not have time to prepare my post....I do apologise for this.

I will get back on schedule shortly, promise!

Protective style

This is one of the protective style I have been using this winter: my first lace front wig.
It is a synthetic one and it getting old now (although I've only used it over the last 2 months). I guess this is what you get for buying synthetic but the natural ones are out of my league...or my wallet lol

Anywho, this one was nice enough and I was very surprised with it. I mean, I have never really been comfortable wearing wigs due to the fact that I was scared it would look too fake, or someone wild pull on it. Or it would fly when too windy!

This one has enough combs (one on each side for the temples, and me at the back), and the lace part blends well with my forehead.
click on image to enlarge

I can't wear it very often and definitely not two days in a row because first, it gives me a headache, and second, I'm too scared the combs will damage my sides by pulling on them and breaking it.

But I try to wear it every now and then when the weather is very, very cold and dry.

What about you ladies? How often do you wear your wig?

Product Review - Keracare Humecto Creme Conditioner

I have been on the search for a good deep conditioner for a while now. I have used HE Hello Hydration and Beautiful Ends masks or ORS Replenishing Deep Conditioner to name a few.

Despite being consistent with the one I have used (ORS for the last year or so), I still hadn't found that conditioner that gives you that "moisturised" feeling so many girls talk about on hair forums and YouTube. I started to feel jealous and left out lol

A few weeks ago, I finished my products and decided to try the next one on my list: Keracare Humecto Creme Conditioner.
click on image to enlarge 

First, the basics of course, the ingredients:
Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycerin, Polyquaternium-37, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, PPG-1 Trideceth-6, Cetearyl Alchohol, PEG-40 Castor Oil, Stearalkonium Chloride, Dimethicone PEG-8 Isostearate, Quaternium-80, Dimethicone, Panthenol, Propylene Glycol, Lamium Album Flower Extract, Pinus Sylvestris Cone Extract, Arctium Lappa Root Extract, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Hedera Helix (Ivy) Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Nasturtium Officinale Extract, Allium Sativum (Garlic) Bulb Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Tilia Cordata Flower Extroct, Centourea Cyanus Flower Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Hypericum Perforatum Extract, Fragronce/ Parfum, Amyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl, Methylpropional, Benzyl Benzoate, Citronellol, Hexyl Cinnomal, Glutaral.
Now, the second ingredient is Glycerin, which technically shouldn't be used in the winter, BUT as it is for deep conditioning...it doesn't matter, does it? The first five ingredients are good for my hair though (I will get back into what ingredient does what at a later time)

Well...I have been using it twice a week for the last three weeks and I have to say...WHY HAVEN'T I USED THIS BEFORE?! From the first try, I finally experienced that "moisturised" feeling I had heard about.

I used it on wash day first: this was to ensure I had no build up on my hair to get the full benefits of the product. I washed with Aphogee Deep Moisture Shampoo, then applied Two Minute Keratin Reconstructer followed by the Balancing Moisturizer. Once rinsed, I deep conditioned overnight.
The application was very quick and easy: the product has a creamy but light consistency to it. I thought it would be like all the previous ones (which normally make my hair lumpy and I can't run my fingers through it), but to my surprise, this creme turns sort of watery as soon as it gets in my hair. It was almost as if my hair turned to silk. I can even run the comb through to make sure the product is evenly distributed. Oh! And it smells really nice too!

The next morning when I rinsed, I was happily surprised, again. The product was still there, the silk effect too. And when the water ran through my hair, it felt like butter. I could run my fingers through the hair without problems.

Once towel dried, I put my leave-in and went on to detangle. A piece of cake!! Hardly any breakage.

Below are comparison pictures between before Keracare and after. I think they speak for themselves, no? In both, I had a mix of shedded and broken hair.
click on image to enlarge

So far it has been three weeks and I got the same effect each time. Think I might have ticked off the box for my staple deep conditioner.
Any Humecto users out there? What results have you had with it?

Cheat sheet

The weather has been pretty miserable lately (it started snowing again this week!)
It has turned so cold that I am considering going out with my duvet from now on.

Earlier this week, I was bored with wearing a hat so decided to wear my wig again. My hair was getting a bit dry from the freezing cold so I remembered one thing I saw on YouTube video one day (I do not have a clue as to who she was, it was a while ago). This girl mentioned that she went out with her hat on, but that she had put a plastic cap on her bun under the hat in order to use the Green House Effect (GHE) at the same time.

I thought....."I could try that?! I need to deep condition my hair anyway and I will not have time to keep it overnight so...."

So yes! The next morning, I got ready, applied my DC, a plastic cap, my wig cap and my wig. I just hoped that no one would have the usual idea of touching my head so that we wouldn't hear the horrible noise of the plastic against my hair lol

In all, it was practical as all I had to do was to rinse it off when I came home at night.

I'm not sure i would do this again though as it does not DC the whole head: the sides stay uncovered due to the wig's combs. So basically, my baby hair, edges and back did not benefit from that: the product got removed by the wig.

Still something to keep in mind for those times when you can't DC properly :-)

How about you ladies? Are you all brave enough to go out while DC? I wonder now what I would find if I decided to pull on the wigs and hats of the ladies in the streets. Ha ha ha!

Length/ends check - February 2013

I have not done a proper length check for a looong time. Even when I cut my hair last January (it was already just over a month ago), I did not take a proper picture of my back. So allow me to rectify that today.

Two weeks ago on my wash day, I blew dried and flat ironed my hair (I was just over 4 weeks post on the day I took those pictures).

And here is the result of the length/ends check:
click on image to enlarge

I am very happy with the overall state of my hair really. Since I did that big cut, my ends seem to still be fine: I have not found any split ends neither so far. Fingers crossed!!

My head does look like a Playmobil's one from the back but I do have some new growth and I did not straightened them completely lol

My hair has never been that nice, so I am going to stick to this regimen. I think (and hope!) I have found the right balance for now :-)

Don't you think?

Every little helps...

I guess only the British people reading this will understand today's blog title lol
I have promised myself to be more disciplined with my hair regimen this time in order not to ruin the sacrifice of the 15cm (...or 6 inches). I am happy to say that I have been consistent for exactly 30 days in a row. Yeaaah! And that includes daily scalp massages, moisturising and sealing every night, the satin scarf and everything else that you can read on my regimen page.
As I have sort of started fresh again with my new hair cut, I also wanted to put all the chances on my side in order to retain some length. But in order to retain some length, I need the hair to grow too!
I have started to take vitamins again on a daily basis to help my new growth to come out stronger...and a bit quicker if possible.
I am taking the following:
 click on image to enlarge 
Now you are asking me: "OK...you take those stuff, but what do they do?"
Biotin is also known under the name of vitamin B-7 and can be found in a lot of various foods such as eggs, avocado, cauliflower or yeast for example. Biotin helps our body to assimilate proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Studies have shown that Biotin helps in getting stronger nails and healthier skin. However, one of the great effect that biotin has on our body is that it increases the growth of our hair when taken on a daily basis.
MSM is a form of sulfur. It is known in the hair community to reduce the shedding of the hair. How? It increases the growing phase of your hair. Basically, it makes your hair stay longer on your head before it sheds, which gives it a chance to grow longer. I have taken MSM before but was not very consistent with it so I hope to see some effects this time. Apparently, it also gives you a nice skin :-)
The B-complex is just for my overall health really lol
One thing I find absolutely ridiculous though is the waste when it comes to packaging. I mean, look at the bottle for 100 tablets of Biotin! Couldn't they just put this in a tiny bottle?! It would be more practical to carry and store and better for the environment surely.
 click on image to enlarge

I know Biotin has helped me in the past and I did see an increase in my new growth when I tried it a year ago so I thought: why not? I will see the progress at my next relaxer in March.
And you ladies? What supplements and vitamins do you take to help with your growth?

PS: I have, via my research, realised that probably my dosage of Biotin is lower than the one they normally advise on taking to see good results: I use the 300mcg ones and the dosage "recommended" is 1000mcg. I experienced more growth last time with the 300mcg and I was taking 4 pills a day. I will probably switch to the 1000mcg ones to make it easier to take though.

Some progress :-)

For those of you who are part of the K.I.S.S community, you might have seen on my page that I had a little problem last month and ended up with a bold spot in the middle of my head.

I have, since then, used Castor Oil every day to massage my scalp and I can say that I am making some progress and it is encouraging.

See for yourself! What do you think ladies?
click on image to enlarge
It will take a little while for it to be full again but I think it is pretty good in 3 and 1/2 weeks!

My sides

Back in October, after having given it a good thought, I decided to change my relaxer: go from a No Lye, to a Lye one (I shall explain the reasons in another post, as this is not the point here).
Anyway, I relaxed my hair with this Lye relaxer and until today, I am not sure if it is due to that or not, but I noticed a few days later (don't ask me why I didn't notice it on the day!) that my edges were broken. Like PROPERLY broken!

click on image to enlarge

Like I said, I am not sure if it is due to the relaxer or if my hair was damaged and simply not ready for a relaxer. Or if it broke afterwards, which could explain why I didn't notice it straight away.
I am not hugely upset about it now as I view it as a set back and my sides are fuller than they were at the beginning (I had those "clear" temples due to the years spent braiding my hair with extensions). I have to thank Castor Oil for that!
This is another goal for this year: grow my sides back.
This list is getting long! :-)
Anyone had their sides broken before? How did you grow them back?

Drying my relaxed hair

The eternal question of how best to dry our hair, huh?

Before starting my hair journey (and before that...before I wore braids for a couple of years), I used to dry my hair with my faithful Babyliss Beliss dryer after every single shampoo. It gave me beautiful, sleek, healthy hair each time. Or at least it gave me the illusion of nice healthy hair, but I didn't know that then!

Since 2010, I have tried to cut back on direct heat on my hair: I invested in a Hooded Dryer (also for my hair treatments) and have almost stopped using blow dryers. The difficult thing was to manage to get a sleek effect on my hair without direct heat. Erm...not easy!

I tried roller setting, but I realised after a few attempts that except taking up my entire Sundays, it wasn't doing much for the sleek, flowy effect. It also killed my arms. Maybe one day, I will give it another go...

One day I thought: "I don't have anywhere to go today so it won't matter if my hair is not super straight!". And that's how my Air Drying Journey started :-)

I've tried different methods in the last two years and I think I have found a good one now. So here it is:
  1. Did my pre-poo with Black Jamaican Castor Oil the night before
  2. Rinsed the oil the next morning and co-washed with V05 Give Me Moisture Conditioner
  3. I sprayed Aphogee Provitamin Leave-In
  4. Detangled + put in a loose bun + satin scarf to smooth my edges
  5. Once about 95% dry (I still had a tiny spot at the back of my head which was wet), I moisturised and sealed with HE Long Term Relationship and Coconut Oil (one section at a time)
  6. I made some big, loose Bantu Knots
  7. A few hours later (I had a nap, had a terrible migraine on that day), I took down the Bantu Knots
  8. And...VOILA! Actually it would have looked better on my almost BSL hair lol
  9. After that I put my hair in a loose bun as I am still protecting my ends
click on image to enlarge
click on image to enlarge

I used to Moisturise & Seal when my hair was still about 50% wet and then let it dry completely, but I realised my hair prefer when I don't apply anything on it until it is almost fully dry.

The problem with me I think was that if I applied products while the hair was still wet, I could not really realise how much I applied. Then my hair would be weighed down by either too much product or too much oil. So I think I am going to stick to this method for a little while.

What about you ladies? What method do you use to air dry your hair?

Protective Styling

First of all, although it has been done many, many times before, let me explain quickly what protective styling is (I might be lucky and you will come across my blog on the start of your journey lol)

Protective styling is basically any hairstyle where your hair is protected and more importantly, your ends. It can be anything, as long as those ends are tucked in: this greatly helps those of you, like me, with shoulder length hair. At that length, the hair tend to rub against your shoulder, which can cause breakage. If your hair is longer, you can still benefit from protective styles of course.

Well, for me protective styling has always been a challenge. It got a bit easier when I reached APL, but I have never really managed to find protective hairstyles that I find suit me and that I feel comfortable wearing. Or that I could actually do! So I tend to bun a lot.

Now that I am back at SL again, the whole protective styling nightmare starts all over again lol
Like I said, bunning is the easiest thing for me and I think I might stick to it for a while. Until I reach APL again.

Today, the sock bun. I am glad I got a small doughnut a few months ago: it is proving very useful now!

Very simple and quick to do. I accessorised it with a headband.
click on the image to enlarge
What are some of the protective styles you use when shoulder length?

A good mix: fail or not?

Following up on the mix I made over the weekend, here are the results.
I have "mixed" feelings about it actually: I undid my two braids and although my ends are nice, still soft and sort of moisturised, I have a couple of patches where my hair is dry. Now, I am not sure whether it is due to the products or because my hair tends to do that on a regular basis (yes, I have specific spots that tend do be dry, no matter what I do).
I am also wondering if I should have followed straight away with a moisturising DC, as we all know  that a protein one dries the hair. But I have done the mix of protein/moisturising DC before and had very good results, even on those dry patches. Maybe I did put too much of the Elasta QP in there this time?
Or maybe I should simply come to the conclusion that my hair does not like the Elasta QP's protein DC!
So my verdict is that I will finish this pot but will not re-purchase it again and stick to what I know: ORS Replenishing Conditioner mixed with other moisturisers...
I will have to give extra TLC to my head for the next few nights when I moisturise and seal as this was not a good experience.
Has anyone had a bad experience with that product in the past?

A good mix

I had to adjust my hair regimen and change the way I do my DC: I now have to do it over night.

On Saturday night, I tried a new mix with some of my products. I wanted to do a protein treatment, but the product I got, ElastaQP Ultra Hydration Deep Conditioner, I didn't really like the texture of it and the effect on my hair afterwards (really dry hair, more than usually after a protein treatment). So I grabbed a few other products to try and stop that drying effect I had after the rinse.

 click on the image to enlarge
I applied it, put a plastic cap on, my satin scarf and went to bed. The next day I rinsed it off and already my hair felt really soft and nice. I put some VO5 conditioner on my hair and kept it on for 5 minutes with a plastic cap on, then rinsed.

I sprayed some Aphogee Provitamin Leave-In Conditioner and let my hair air dry. Once it was 90% dry, I applied some moisturiser (ElastaQP Olive Oil & Mango Moisturiser) and sealed with One n Only Argan Oil. I put my hair in two braids which I will keep overnight until my hair is fully dry.

So far, my hair is still super soft so I am happy with this mix. I shall see how it is once I take the braids down :-)

Let's start fresh!

I relaxed my hair on 9th January and realised that my ends were still thinning. What is the point of being almost BSL if you have ugly ends? Erm...none I'd say

I realised that my idea of trimming a tiny amount of my ends at every relaxer (and I wasn't actually really following that as I was scared of losing the tiniest amount of length) was simply a bad one. Postponing that long due trim wasn't gong to help me in achieving those healthy ends I've been trying to have since the beginning of my hair journey.

I blow dried my hair and as it was straight enough, didn't flat iron it. I put it in a low ponytail...and cut! In all it was about 15 centimetres (which is about 6 inches). My sister had to rectify the cut a bit three days later for it to be straight and look better but in all, I am satisfied with the cut.

 click on the image to enlarge
I am now officially back at shoulder length (SL). My ends are nice, healthy (so far) and full! I will just need to get better at documenting my new hair journey and take more pictures. Not easy when your brand new camera breaks and you have to send it back to the shop, huh? I will still try with the old one.