Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Inspiration: Nine months + Healthy Regimen=Fabulous Progress

I get really excited when I hear from readers of the blog who say that my random hair rantings have helped them out on their journey. So you can imagine my elation when LHCF member Nix08 sent me an email pictures of the incredible progress she made in just 9 short months! I was so inspired by her success that I asked her to share her regimen with me so I can share you! She was gracious enough to talk in detail about how she was able to quickly achieve her results. So without further adieu......
When did you begin your hair journey and what inspired you to get serious about your hair care?
"I began my hair journey June 17 2010. Earlier that year I started following ‘Jenna’s Victoria Beckham blog’ after doing a fashion overhaul. Her blog lead me to ‘The Girl in a Cashmere Daze’ which lead me to your blog, You inspired me to get serious about hair care. For a few months I'd drop by and read the current postings. Then you posted about the girl at the party you went to who's hair you were in amazement with. From that post it dawned on me that you felt that anyone could grow their hair. It wasn't based solely on DNA or being mixed etc – how was I to know any different. I then went back, printed and probably read every one of your posts, with a highlighter! Your blog became my guide. I had recently relaxed my hair so I went and got a journal for my hair and a trim.

Again on your recommendation I picked up a Sedu, Biolage Cera repair, Biolage daily leave in tonic and a satin cap and a few other items I'm sure. After my first Pre poo/DC with the cera repair, blow dry and flat iron with the sedu I went outside and my neighbour commented on my hair! I'm an excitable person as is but I was downright giddy...so much so that I emailed you to say thanks!! You were gracious enough to entertain my madness and gave me further advice...of which I printed off and put in my journal. You said that the key was to focus on the basics (moisture, strength and stimulation). At the time I wasn't about protective styling so you did warn that things would likely go slower as a result...I'm not a very patient person so within days/weeks I started wearing a low manipulation style...front puff with the back up in a claw clip. I joined LHCF and hairlista and continued to read any and everything I could find on hair care, including re-reading your posts now with even more understanding.

Looking back what was the biggest change in your routine from before to now?
The biggest change would be that there was now an actual routine. I would dread wash day!! I now pre poo which I never did, DC which I never did, moisturize and seal and gently handle my hair both of which I never did.

What are you doing daily/weekly to retain length?
Daily - I focus on maintaining moisture with nightly M&S (moisturizing and sealing), also mid day if my hair is out. I keep my hands out of my hair and wear low manipulation styles majority of the time (that won't be the case for too much longer. But I do plan on investing in some silk blouses – is that taking it too far – I think NOT … hehe ). Also taking my multivitamin for health but as you indicated it also benefits hair.

Weekly - I ensure a balance of moisture and protein, stimulate my scalp, maintain a neutral PH level and handle my hair like fine silk

What do you think is the greatest contributor to the health of your hair?
The greatest contributor to the health of my hair would probably be an understanding of the science behind healthy hair. I've read so much and I’ve been so bewildered as to how ignorant I was about hair that now everything that I do to my hair and every product that I use has a reason behind it: moisturize, strengthen or stimulate.

What advice would you give to someone new to their hair journey?

Think of your hair journey as a course - it takes about a semester to understand the science, the what's and why's of it all, to get your products in order and your routine down. Patience is key with a hair journey but knowledge is fundamental. Read, read and read some more. Some things you will have to experience to fully understand, for example; the moisture/protein balance...I had to get moisture overload to understand what 'mushy' felt like, I had to get protein overload to know when I'd used too much... when I finally got the balance I understood the result of a wet strand test. If you pull and your hair breaks that is dryness or too much protein. If you pull and your hair stretches like chewed gum, that's too much moisture. However, if you pull and your hair springs back like a rubber band, that's Balance!
I think educating yourself on the science helps prevent setbacks....anyone starting their journey now has tons of information at their fingertips and lots of testimonials of people that they can learn from to achieve maximum success and to learn from their mistakes so you don’t have to make too many of your own.

Regimen?
I’m often tweaking as I do love product and playing with my hair but I do have the fundamentals down. I think I probably do a lot to my hair and it likely all isn't necessary however, hair care was once a chore and now it brings me an unbelievable calm and joy so like you will hear often regarding hair do what works for you - this works for me, my hair and my mental health

Daily:
Moisturize with Beauty without Cruelty leave in conditioner
Seal with Gleau!!
Scalp massage (I often forget this step nowadays)
Wrap hair with a satin scarf and sleep on a satin pillowcase

(I don't have the time to co wash now so I don't but for a while I did mid week with Elucence moisture Balance Conditioner then condition with Silicon Mix (for ceramides and protein)

Weekly
Detangle – wide tooth/pick like comb

Pre Poo/Dry DC (Again due to time it’s also my dry DC (I don't DC with heat because although I try and use organic/natural products not all of them are and I don't want to open my pores to more chemicals)).

I layer these products in my hair in this order:
Aloe vera juice or gel (stimulates the scalp and helps neutralize the PH levels of the other products)
Reconstructor - mild protein weekly (I don't do any strong protein treatments)
biolage Cera repair (the week after a perm and every couple months) - ceramides are important
Conditioner(s) of choice - moisturizing with some protein
Wheat germ oil, Avocado oil and olive oil ( ceramides, shine, moisture and additonal stimulating benefits of these oils)
I cover with a couple plastic caps and leave on for a minimum of 30 minutes to several hours - never overnight as my hair seems to get more fragile if I do that.

Rinse - keeping my hair hanging down - never piled on top of my head and being careful not to tangle

Wash:
First lather with diluted elucence clarifying shampoo or Giovanni Triple Treat shampoo put in a squeeze bottle and applied to my roots, I part my hair with my hands and use the pads of my fingers to rub my scalp

Rinse

Second lather with elucence moisture shampoo applied to my hair - just smoothing over my hair again keeping my hair down and straight being careful not to tangle.

Rinse
Conditioner – Govanni Triple treat/Elucence Moisture Balance or Silicone Mix

Rinse – using the water to detangle (its usually still pretty detangled from my detangling before the pre poo

Final rinse, diluted Apple Cider Vinegar with cold water (I do not rinse it out)

Leave In - Spritz of water with Silk Amino Acids and Lavendar oil (SAA is a moisturizing protein, Lavender oil is stimulating), Nioxin Bliss, Beauty Without Cruelty leave in conditioner and Gleau!

Airdry with a headband smoothing my hair down as it dries. Next day I may flat iron if I am over 7 weeks post.

Relaxer
I'm still trying to figure out how long to stretch my relaxer I've gone 15 weeks the first to relaxers after starting my journey then 11. I start to get breakage after 7 weeks and if I really leave my hair alone I can stretch longer but as it grows I want to enjoy it more so I think 8-10 weeks will be it for me.
Trims
I’ve had one trim mid journey but I won’t be getting anymore until I reach my secondary goal of BSL or my ends start to show a lot of splits.
My ultimate goal is MBL mid 2012!!
  1. Oooh what an honor.....thank you Nadege:)

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  2. incredible! my hair is a little longer than hers before she started this journey id say a little above SL i always believed the myth of "everyone has a max length they're hair can grow" it was until i asked my hairdresser and she told me otherwise
    your both right education is the key this post has inspired me to get to the length i want MBL
    *runs off to moisturise and seal!*

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  3. Wow, what awesome progress!!! I really enjoyed this interview, it is one of my favorites, =o)

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  4. Great interview!
    You two are helping a lot people on a hair journey.
    Thanks for sharing

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  5. This is such a great post Nadege! Thanks Nix08 for sharing your journey. You mention silk amino acids in your spritz. Can you further explain what that is and where you purchase it? Currently working on my hair journal :)

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  6. Hi Anonymous, In this post Nadege talks about Silk Amino Acids: http://relaxedhairhealth.blogspot.com/2008/08/five-healthy-hair-booster-for-better.html. I bought the powdered version (the liquid may be easier to use). I dilute mine in water and add lavendar oil (SAA stinks!!!) I use it as part of my leave in. I use to use it as part of my DC but don't bother now. People add it to their conditioners, shampoo, leave ins etc. It literally gives your hair a silky feel. It's a mild protein so you can't over do it and it's also moisturizing. It's just a must have:)

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  7. Oh, I bought mine online at www.newdirectionsaromatics.com however, I think most buy it through lotion crafters.

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  8. Lacio lacio is a leave in with SAA

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