Relaxer prep!

Last Sunday i did a protein treatment to strengthen my hair for my upcoming relaxer touch up. I’ve mentioned before that relaxers are damaging to hair in that they breakdown the bonds that hold protein (in the hair) together. Bottom line, chemicals weaken hair so its important to do a strengthening treatment a few days to a week before (and after) applying a relaxer to your hair.

I normally use henna to strengthen my hair but i was unwell that Sunday so hennaing my hair was out of the question. I just wanted to get the whole wash day routine over and done with in the least amount of time possible.

Because i had shampooed my hair 2 days prior, i didn’t need to do that again. I went straight into doing the protein treatment. I used 2 eggs for that.

Eggs

I know a lot people say that eggs are not effective for this treatment because the protein molecules present in eggs are too large to penetrate the hair strand, but you know what? i still do it. It not as effective as henna but it works for me to some degree. To each his own i guess.

Anyways…, all i did was beat the eggs in a container and apply them to my already sectioned hair from root to tip. I initially thought i’d need more eggs because my hair seemed to have so much volume but 2 was all i needed.

Sectioned

Need i mention how messy this process is?

Egged

Egged

Afterwards, i covered my hair with a plastic bag which i then secured with a head scarf. I left the treatment on my hair for about 30 minutes as i tidied up the house.

Once that time was up i rinsed my hair with cold water (you have to use cold water), wrapped my hair in a towel to soak up the excess water and then made my deep conditioning mix.

deep Conditioner

I applied this 2nd treatment to my hair in sections, from root to tip, covered my hair in a plastic bag and then a scarf, and left in on for about an hour.

See my new growth vs relaxed hair?

See my new growth vs relaxed hair?

Once again, when that time was up, i rinsed my hair (this time in the shower), applied my after-wash products (leave-in conditioner + oil) and air dried my hair in a bun.

14 weeks post update

Am 14 weeks 5 days post relaxer today!

This has been my go-to style of late…

Ponytail

Last Monday, i washed my hair with Oliive olive oil shampoo with conditioner. Despite it having SLS (sulfates) listed as one of the ingredients, i find it to be a relatively mild product. I do however like follow it up with a conditioner but this time round, i didn’t. And my hair felt fine. I wore my hair in a ponytail on that day and the following day.

Oliive olive oil shampoo

On Wednesday and Thursday, i rocked a busted twist out. I’d worked out on both mornings, didn’t wash/rinse my hair like i’d been doing previously (i didn’t want to ruin my style), as a result, the 3.5 months’ worth of new growth i was spotting got so puffy and frizzy…i just looked like a hot mess. When i got home on Thursday night, i spritzed my hair with water and detangled it in sections. I don’t like that process :/

Yesterday morning i shampooed my hair using Enliven shampoo. I wanted to get rid of all the sweat, and products i had used on my hair for the twist out. I followed up that wash with Creme of Nature moisture & shine shampoo because…why not? After that i used Suave daily clarifying conditioner and then it was back to my trusty ponytail for 2 days.

Wash day products

Am in love with my ponytail! I even love it more than my buns! Problem is, my hair gets so dry from all that exposure 😦 It doesn’t help that i haven’t done a deep conditioning treatment in weeks. Ahhhgggrr…oh well, tomorrow i’ll prep my hair for next weeks’ relaxer touch up. Need to show it some TLC πŸ™‚

ponytail

Regular conditioners Vs Deep conditioners

Post requested by Hellen

Regular vs Deep conditioners

Regular vs Deep conditioners

So what is the difference between these two types of conditioners?

Perhaps the most commonly known difference is the length of time these products are left on the hair. Regular conditioners, also known as rinse-out or surface conditioners are left on the hair for 2-5 minutes (without heat), while deep conditioners are left on for at least 10-15 minutes (with heat; under a hooded dryer or steamer) or upto 45+ min without heat.

conditioning time

Regular conditioners provide a quick moisture fix that only lasts a couple of days to a week (in my opinion). Deep conditioners on the other hand provide a longer lasting effect…keep hair moisturized for a longer period.

Deep conditioners are basically heavy duty versions of the regular conditioners in that they use higher levels of ingredients that can penetrate the hair strand e.g water, natural oils & shea butter. Glycerin is a key ingredient in most moisturizing products because it’s a humectant (draws moisture from the air to your hair. Honey does the same thing). Using heat while deep conditioning opens the hair cuticles allowing for easier and deeper penetration of the product.

What makes regular conditioners not as effective as deep conditioners is the fact that they mainly contain ingredients meant to smooth the surface of the hair strand…you know, lay down the cuticle so hair isn’t rough and frizzy. These ingredients have very low (or no) penetrative properties so they basically sit on your hair strand, coating it. Thats not all bad because they lock in the moisture so your hair doesn’t dry out, and in some instances provide some level of protection from the harmful UV rays.

October ‘mini’ haul

oct mini haul

1) Perfect cosmetics hot oil hair cream 2) Eco Styler olive oil gel 3) Cantu Shea butter leave-in conditioning repair cream 4) Creme of Nature Intense conditioning treatment 5) ORS replenishing conditioner

I did some shopping last Friday in preparation for my upcoming relaxer day. I also bought a relaxer kit but forgot to include it in the above picture.

The deep conditioner i got this time has olive extracts. I normally use the one with mixed fruits extracts but they didn’t have it. I haven’t deep conditioned my hair in a long time so am really looking forward to doing that.

I’ve used the Eco Styler gel a couple of times already to slick down my edges for ponytail styles and i love it. I still have some Eco Styler brown gel left over but i really wanted to try out this olive oil one so bad.

Another product that i’ve been looking forward to using is the Cantu Shea butter leave-in conditioning cream. Seriously, i’ve been on the lookout for this product since before the beginning of my hair journey! Of course i forgot all about it but when i saw it on the shelves, i had to have it!

The Creme of Nature Intense conditioning treatment has been on my wishlist ever since i tried out the Moisture and shine sulfate-free shampoo from the same line. I can’t wait to use these two products together!

And finally, the ORS replenishing conditioner. I run out of my first bottle which i’d had for slightly over a year. This product is amazing and i was actually going to purchase the bigger ‘professional-size’ bottle but seeing that the gel, leave-in and CoN treatment were impulse buys, i had to compromise :/

#Failing

My 3rd week of Insanity is coming to an end yet i feel like i have made zero progress. Here’s the deal; i haven’t been eating healthy foods and I’ve skipped quite a number of workout days. I also forgot to pick up this months’ supply of multivitamins so…no supplements. I run out of the Omega supplement towards the end of September.

I think my little setback was/is mostly due to my poor food choices. I have to mention that i love carbs and sugar. Unfortunately for me an excess of these foods just slows down my body. Lately i’ve been feeling sluggish, tired, sleepy and hungry throughout the day.

I’ve been waking up feeling tired – do you want to guess how many times i hit the snooze button before i actually get out of bed? Yea, its that bad. As a result, i end up oversleeping and by the time i get out of bed, there’s really no time for my morning workout! In the evenings, am just about ready to crash so working out is not something i want to do.

On the upside, am always sipping some water so i get my 2L in. I also start each day with a cup green tea (with freshly squeezed lemon juice) so that serves as a detox for me. In the course of the day i drink 1 or 2 more cups of green tea so i guess thats whats keeping me going for the most part.

About the multivitamins, when i started taking them last month, i noticed a difference in the way my body felt. I mentioned here that having only 3 meals a day was enough for me and that i wasn’t always looking for stuff to eat. Now that am not taking the supplements, i feel that having 3 meals a day is not enough. Am always picking up extra stuff to eat and, i pick the wrong things.

I have to admit that i don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. I rarely eat fruits. I’ll have a banana or avocado here and there but thats about it. Oh and a bit of lemon in my green tea. I try to eat my veges but again, not enough. The supplements were clearly doing their job so i’d better remember to pick up some more soon…or i could just start eating better.

Random chatter, hair regimen

For the past 3 weeks i have been rinsing my hair daily with plain water. I remember the first day i did that, i was taking a shower and all of a sudden felt like washing my hair. Since i didn’t have any products with me in the shower, i just rinsed my hair with plain water…and i loved it. I had shampooed my hair maybe 2 days prior. The next day, i did the same thing and that went on for a week.

I would finger comb my hair in the shower in one direction (flowing back) to avoid any tangles, squeeze out the excess water, wrap it in a towel for a bit, apply some leave-in conditioner then a bit of coconut oil, bun it and smooth it out using a bristle brush to kind of make it neat. No combing was involved that week.

By the end of that week, my hair was a pain to comb and my roots were really curly (9-10 weeks post). When my best friend found out how long i had gone without combing my hair, she grabbed a seat, sat me down and detangled the heck out of my hair. She was gentle though πŸ˜€ Thank God she did that because i wasn’t going to do it for another day or 2.

DETANGLING

After that, i realized that not combing my hair for a week while doing the daily rinsing was a bad idea. I also realized that my roots get really curly just from the daily rinsing. I now think using hair products loosens the curl pattern some.

So, for the past 2 weeks, this is the regimen i have been following:

Weekly
Shampoo and condition

Daily
Rinse with plain water

Thats it! Of course i apply leave-in conditioner and coconut oil afterwards. My styling options are limited to buns because, what am i to do with damp hair and limited time on my hands? I always tie a scarf on my head after bunning to lay everything down and i keep it on till am about to leave the house.

I’ll get back to deep conditioning and doing henna treatments soon, but for now, this is all that am doing,…and its working pretty well for me because my scalp gets really sweaty from my daily workouts. I always feel refreshed after the rinse.

I comb my hair daily under the shower head or after i get out of the shower and so far so good. My hair is never tangled really and i seem to be shedding very little hair. Maybe thats because of the scalp massages i do while rinsing my hair.

I’ve been using milder shampoos. You’d think my hair would be over moisturized due to the daily rinses but its not. I do however plan on doing a strengthening treatment soon and take a break from the daily rinses as i prep my hair for a relaxer. Am already 12 weeks 5 days post relaxer today so relaxing my hair anytime now is okay.

Insanity

Train insane or remain the same!

Train insane or remain the same!

I mentioned Insanity in my previous post but didn’t really say what it entails so for those of you who are curious, this is for you. I have done it on and off and this what i have to say about it so far.

Insanity is an interval training program. This means you workout for a given length of time and then take a break. Well, thats what most programs are like. With insanity however, its max interval training in that you workout intensely for 3 minutes straight (you really push yourself to the max) then take a 30 sec water break. Of course if you can’t keep up for the entire 3 minutes, its okay to take a short break then start back up. I personally do that.

The 60 day program comes with a calendar/schedule so you know what workout to do on which day. This way, you won’t get bored doing the same thing day in day out. You workout for 6 days and take the 7th off to recover. For me that day is today and i really need it.

Each session begins with a warm up, followed by stretching, then the actual workout and then the final stretching/cool down. The warm up itself is about 10 minutes long (non-stop). You start out slow then increase your speed as you proceed. Its intense! The first day i tried it, i was ready to quit 1 minute into it. I managed to go for an extra 30 seconds before deciding i’d had enough workout for the day. Now i can do the entire warm up without stopping so i have something to be proud of πŸ™‚

Once your muscles are nice and warm, stretching ensues and this is important so as to prevent injury. You really don’t want to work out a cold muscle. This step involves a few yoga poses which have helped me attain some sort of balance, flexibility and strength.

The actual workout is a total body workout. It just doesn’t focus on one part of the body. Its a mix of cardio (fat burning) and resistance training (builds strength and sculpts the body). Now am not going for the bulky look. Am a girl who loves her curves…i just want to lose the bulges & flabby arms i have going on. I don’t even want to lose weight. I just want to become lean/toned. Fun fact: Muscle burns fat, so the more muscle you build/strengthen, the more fat you burn. Here’s the kicker, cardio burns fat and the resistance training builds muscle (which in turn burns more fat). I.Love.This.Workout. And you don’t need any weights or equipment. Only your body. You use your body weight.

Am not going to lie, the workout is hard. And it doesn’t get easy. I can do more now than when i started but its still hard. There is a lot of Plyometrics/Plyo…jumping up and down/side to side, which works the legs and glutes (for a great derriΓ¨re). There are also push ups, Burpees, Jogging (on the spot), Star jumps/jumping jacks, lunges, squats, yoga poses,…so much. I think they call it ‘muscle confusion’ or something…your body is always ready for something else. It doesn’t get used to just one or a few moves.

The final stretching feels soooo good. I find that i stretch better at this point. After that, you will most likely find me lying on the floor, all sweaty, thanking God that the workout is finally over πŸ˜€

Its important to note that if you have any medical issues (or even if you don’t), you might want to check with your doctor first because this workout is really intense. You don’t want to end up in worse condition than when you started.

If all the jumping, grunting, straining and what feels like self-punishment isn’t for you, there are other low-impact workouts you can try that are just as effective. Yoga and Pilates are great alternatives. I used to think they were easy, boy was i wrong. Try them and see. You’ll feel the burn in places you never thought possible πŸ™‚

I just like to ‘punish’ myself so i choose to stick with Insanity. Besides, i love Shaun T so…anything to see him 6 days a week for 40 minutes at a time πŸ˜‰ Jokes aside, he’s a really good motivator and i like the way he takes one through the workout. I have his other workout (T25) but i haven’t done it yet. In December another program – Insanity Max:30 will be out and i can’t wait to do it next year (God willing). I just need to build endurance first. Yea, am turning into a fitness junkie πŸ˜€

Did i mention that i want to take up running?