Type 4b Tightly Curled Hair with a Cottony Texture


All About My Hair

My Journey [1999-2004]


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Main > Journey > 2004


A New Year

I really enjoyed my twistouts last year. I perfected it for my New Year's celebration with my b/f--it looked so cute, but I don't think I took pics ('cause we were celebrating at church). This new year, atlest for this wintertime, I'm holding off on the twistouts because 1) they don't allow me to wash my hair frequently during the week, and 2) I'm trying to grow out my dry ends so that my twistouts can look fresh at the ends. I'm really happy with my success from last year with experimenting with products to use on my hair. I found many good products that I'll be sticking with. I started caring for my hair again and now the first few inches of new growth are fresher looking (soft and have more sheen) than the second half of my hair that doesn't look as healthy. I learned a lot and plan on improving upon it this year.

A New Plan

With this new year I devised a new plan for my hair.  I am on a personal challenge to grow my hair to unbelievable lengths. I'm determined to grow 6" of hair by the end of this year!  I also plan to keep the hair I already have on my head. I've been on the LongHairCareForum a little more last year and picked up a lot of tips and have tried some of them and they really are working for me:

  • VO5 conditioner washes every other day. I love the smell of their new line of conditioners. They're less than a dollar (so don't get them at the 99¢ store!) I actually feel like my hair is being cleaned. I think this is because I stopped using heavy creams in my hair. And, from the looks of my past entries about the "no poo" method, Practice Makes Perfect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Using less to no heavy products in my hair. When I used CD's Healthy Hair Butter for example and tried to conditioner wash it out (with a 2 in 1), my hair stunk like a skunk until my next wash. I found that it was because the stuff I had in my hair was so thick that it needed to be shampoo'd out. I think it mainly has to do with the beeswax content in the Healthy Hair Butter and the Mimosa Hair Honey. I 've almost completely stopped using these products, gels, and oils in my hair! My hair still feels soft and healthy without them anyway.

  • "Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize"! So many women would repeat this line over and over in the message boards that I frequent, but I would never know what to moisturize my hair with! After splurging a couple times at Sally's, Kmart, Sav-on's, Trina's (in L.A.) and wherever else hair products are sold, I've finally found moisturizing products. Protectiv, Elastica, and Pantene are some companies I've been experimenting with recently. I've also taken a liking to my once hated CD's Hair Milk; once I got rid of most of the oil in it, it actually felt like a very moisturizing white cream that feels good when rubbed into my wet hair. The smell doesn't get to me anymore either. Long gone are the days of using oil for moisture!

  • Every-other-day rinsing. I work out atleast 3 days a week, so I've been trying this thing of rinsing my hair in the shower after a workout. I usually let conditioner sit in my hair after rinsing while I shower, and rinse it out minutes later. This works best for me if my hair is in twists, so I don't have to worry about parting, combing, brushing, or anything and can just run off to work or classes as it dries. I love this conditioner wash/rinse thing because I noticed that going a whole week without washing my hair put my hair in bad shape. If I was wearing a ponytail for the week, for example, my hair will stretch straighter everyday until my hair is so stretched and stiff that I can hardly do much with it. Daily use of products also makes my hair feel weird after some days when I used to wash just once a week. I'm hoping that this frequent rinsing will help my hair grow!

  • Eat right. I've gotten the gym down, now I need to practice eating right--or eating at all! Since I've been living on my own I haven't been splurging at Jack In The Box or cooking big meals nightly (like when I lived w/ my b/f). I've been watching my money, and inturn I've been watching what I spend on. With the Ramen diet (lol), I lost 10 lbs of unnecessary weight last year (whoo hoo!) But now, I find myself unknowingly skipping meals and in the long run that won't be too good for my health. I plan on adding lots of greens and fruits to my weekly eating regimen, along with "hair growing" foods like Horsetail, Molasses, and protein shakes (yum). Throughout the year I'll be experimenting with these kinds of foods and incorporating them into my daily eating.

  • Taking care of my ends!! This is why my hair doesn't seem to "grow". It's because I haven't been tending to the hair I already have. And since my ends are the oldest part of my hair, I should be taking even better care of them :) I used to remedy bad ends by cutting them off. If I keep on with this I will never be able to realize any length with my hair! I am now concentrating my moisturizing creams to my ends... before I go to bed, and in the morning b/4 I leave for my day. In addition, I started running my fingers down bunches of strands of hair to feel for knots at the ends of my hair. When I feel one, I whip out my trimming scissors and clip it off, one by one. This is a good way to get rid of the obviously bad ends, without having to chop off hair all around my head when I could just get that one bad hair.

I'm really excited about what I've been learning about my hair and hope to realize a great growth in my hair this year!

2-24-04 Update

I feel like I'm on the right track with my hair.  I've been using protective styles to keep away from my hair as long as I could.  So far, I've worn two protective styles each lasting two weeks. Right now I'm on week 2 with my small twists. I did these before Valentine's Day Weekend as a twist-out (to be cute :), then retwisted after the weekend. The only problem I have is that I'm always feeling around for not-so-twisted twists, undoing them, and pulling at the hair to re-twist it. So I don't feel like I'm "technically" letting my hair rest, but oh well. It's always the week 2 of twists where my twists don't want to cooperate. In the mornings after my rinse or conditioner wash, I mix my Elastica Mango Butter with some ORS Lock & Twist Gel and rub it through my wet twists. I'll use my boar brush to lightly brush down the fluffs at the top of my head and tie it down lightly with a scarf for a little bit (I make sure not to leave my scarf on too long because I want my twists to dry freeform, not flat on my head). And when I remember I'll rub my Protectiv over my ends. I'm also spraying this Dark & Lovely Naturals Citrus Braid spray in my twists. All these products can be easily washed out with my conditioner washes.

I'm still doing this no-poo thang. I'm actually almost done with my first VO5 Strawberries and can't wait to start on my Tangerines!  I also bought another conditioner that I saw at Costco that was shaped like a wine bottle and smelled minty--so I just had to grab it. Also, Bath & Body Works had this $1 Conditioner (the size of your palm) that listed all these natural ingredients. I thought it was cute and got that to try.

I took my sis to the salon to get her braids in. Her hair has been breaking off from her bad relaxer. The braider, who saw her a year ago, even noticed that it hasn't grown. Unfortunately I can't see her everyday but try the best to help her out and teach her when I do see her. I hope to keep her hair in braids by learning how to braid myself, 'cause I can't keep dishin' out the big bucks every 3-4 weeks!  I'm probably gonna buy that braiding video from Robin the Hair Lady (@growafrohairlong.com). I'm skeptical about getting it elsewhere, afraid that their featured styles may date back to the '80's or something(some of those videos are so dang old) and I can't have my sis looking like Rick James.

As for my diet, I started incorporating home-made salads into my meals. I try and make different creative meals using salads. Last week, my favorite was a mix of iceberg ready-made salad mixed with spinach leaves, cut mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and chopped broccoli & carrots mix. I'd add an avocado to the salad and that was my meal. This week I baked some frozen battered fish, diced into cubes, and stored for the week to dress my salad with for my lunches (like they do at fastfood restaurants, except with chicken). I also sprinkle corn and add my dressing. I'm still taking my Flax Seed oil almost every day, so I'll drizzle that over the salad as well (practically tasteless & undetectable). This week I've been snacking on dried fruits and nuts, and drink a Boost High Protein shake in the morning (it was expensive for a 6-pack, so I'm trying to stretch it out. The shake is really tasty. I'm drinking it mainly because it's what's recommended by so many women for growing healthy hair (protein shakes in general).

Anywhoo, I plan on expanding this site as soon as I can. There's so much I want to write about, so much I wanna do! *snap* But reality says "back to my studies"!

6-11-04 Update

Wow, I desperately needed to update my website...  I've still been working with my hair, but I've done too much to remember it all.  I actually bought a new blow dryer.  I haven't used one in such a long time, but I decided to buy one because of the summer heat.  It's hard to air dry in humid air and keep a style.  Also, I need to think about work and school so I won't be able to airdry all the time.  It's a really great dryer.  I experimented with hooded dryers for deep conditioning, but they all sucked.  So I'll stick with my plastic caps for deep conditioning, and use the blow dryer for quick drying.  I used them to dry my twists and they came out very soft, as opposed to airdrying hard.   

I've also simplified my routine after splurging over every product imaginable (and I will add these products to my reviews).  I found the PERFECT shampoo for my hair: AVEDA Curessence!  It cleanses my hair so well without stripping it, and no after stuff left on my hair.  It detangles my hair sooo well too--I can actually comb my hair with shampoo in it!  I wash with that once every week or two, and then deep condition or whatever, and then rub coconut oil in my hair when done, and maybe a little moisturizer into my ends and that's it.  I'm doing this with my twists, I'll see how it goes with my hair when it's out of twists.

I tried a coconut milk conditioning treatment: I bought a can of pure coconut milk from VONS, poured that in a bowl and mixed with olive oil, deep conditioner, and poured over my hair.  It was very drippy so I had to cover it with a showercap and tie the edges down with a scarf to stop the drips.  I left it in for some hours and washed it out.  My hair was too tough to comb, but when I rinsed it out my hair was soft regardless of the shrinkage.  I blow-dried my hair to get the debris out of my hair from a henna treatment, and my hair came out very straight, soft, black, and shiny.  I mean, my hair shinned sooo much it was like shine was infused INTO my hair.  My hair had never been this shinny, and when I touched it it didn't feel overly greasy.  I'd like to try this again with a thicker coconut milk, a more pasty one.

Also, I got the best results when I blow dried my hair straight.  I parted my hair down the middle, I took one section of hair at a time starting from the nape of my neck and worked my way up.  I used my Denman brush to pull the hair while blow drying from a slight distance.  I did this twice since I bought my blow dryer.  The first time, my hair felt a little dry and very fluffy and full.  This second time, after my henna and coconut milk treatments, my hair came out much straighter and felt so soft and SHINED yet didn't feel greasy.  I was combing it in all directions wearing it in different styles!  Of course I took pictures.

8-22-04, Sunday
Wash day

For most of this summer, I have been leaving my hair in two ponytails because my hair has gotten too thick to pull into one ponytail.  I'll wash my hair in those same ponytails and keep them secured with my pantyhose hairbands. I have been using Suave's Milk & Honey conditioner for my conditioner washes during the week. Lately, I've been leaving some of it in my hair as a leave-in. Coats my hair well and makes it smell great all day. The only drawback though is that it thickens the hair. I have to rinse the next day or so.

I'm still eating healthy, mostly cooking at home. My usual meals:
- Ramen cooked with frozen veggies and sardines (no more Mackrel for me, contains high levels of mercury)
- Frozen Tina burritos occasionally for lunch
- Home made salads with the fixin's. I'm using this bacos-type seasoning mix to top over my salads and I use Newman salad dressings; the Ranch is reeaally good!
- Avacados (yum!). I eat them at home or take them on the go. All I need is one plastic spoon and I'm set. I use the spoon to carve an opening on one side of the avacado, use my fingers to pinch/peel that piece off, and that's it, I scoop out the goods from that opening and eat it just like that.
- Boost protein shakes. VONS made a boo boo some months ago and accidentally labeled the Boost 6-pks as "$1.66", showing a savings of over $5, lol. After about 4 months I'm finally getting down to the last cans. I drink these for breakfast when I'm on the go. They usually do a pretty good job of filling me up.
- Hard-boiled egs. I've recently added this to my regimen after hearing from a long hair'd natural that she eats maybe 3 hard boiled eggs per day. In one year, her hair grew from her ears to almost bra strap. That's gonna be me, fo sho.

I'm still exercising as well, more intense than before. I've been gaining so much of my beautiful shape back. The more I work out, the more beautiful I feel, and the more it shows in my body. My legs are my focus as of now.

I've been doing a lot of revisiting of my old products stash and finding new uses for them. I'm also trying to put together a long-term product's regimen for myself as to what products I should use, for what, when, and how often it should be used.

Pre Shampoo Treat/Suave Shampoo/Lustrasilk Deep Conditioner/Suave Conditioner/AVEDA Leave-In/Oil & Serum:
I rubbed Alma oil into my hair and wrapped it with seran wrap and kept covered for hours. Went jogging, came back to wash it out with my new Suave Humectant Shampoo. I loved the way the shampoo felt. It was very thick almost like a conditioner and it smelled like their Coconut conditioner. I felt it did a good job of washing my hair and not stripping it. I washed each of my 4 sections, rinsed, and rubbed in my Lustrasilk Aloe Vera deep conditioner.
It felt very silky going in. I left this in for a few hours. I rinsed it out and my hair was still feeling pretty silky!  Problems start when I want to comb my hair into its usual two ponytails. I started combing my hair from end to top while dipping my hair in and out of the water (too much running water will wash the nice slip that was in my hair). I added in Suave Awapuhi conditioner. I was having a hard time combing my hair and was taking longer than usual. My hair was getting fluffy (something that conditioner is supposed to counteract) and I was not liking this!  Finally I somehow discovered that I had been combing the WRONG WAY. I was holding my hair at my head and was trying to pluck out and comb my hair at the ends. When I reversed this--holding my ends and gliding my comb right above my hand and combing down (and sliding my hand down until the comb reached my ends) it was incredibly easy to detangle my hair! I can't believe I had never realized this before, but I'm glad I did. My poor ends have been suffering (once again). When done, my hair felt too fluffy, not slicked down like how it normally feels. The hair feels very cottony instead. I decided I want to try out bangs; I pulled out a piece of hair from the front and rolled onto a roller. When I did this, I noticed how shiny my hair really is :) So even though it looked dull and fluffy out of the shower, when pulled taughtly it has shine. I rubbed in my new AVEDA Elixir Leave-in and it felt "okay", nothing grand. Rubbed in a mix of Coconut oil and Neutrogena Triple Moisture Serum ontop of that. Because I read in "In-Style" mag. that brushing over wet hair causes hair to split (!), I smoothed my hair with just my hands (for the first time) and resecured my ponytails, twisted the ends, tucked under hairbands, and put on my scarf.

8-23-04, Monday

My hair came out pretty good considering I didn't even use a brush over it???  I may end up doing this more often :) It didn't have the shine it usually has because it didn't have that slicked feel out of the shower yesterday, but it looks very neat. I brushed the hair at the nape of my neck. I brushed down both sides of my "bangs" (split the hair on either side of my face cause they're too long and tucked behind my ears). I combed out the two twisted ponytails into puffs, and twirled around and re-tucked under hairbands (I should have rubbed in some moisture, huh?




Last Updated: Friday, 11/17/2006 by CottonNappy || © Cottony Hair Journey 2006.  All Rights Reserved.