New Hair Challenge! + I Need YOUR Help!: From SL to APL ~ Continuing Growth and Retaining Length

Yup Yup!  From one challenge right into another!

I’ve actually been thinking about really starting an official “Hair Journey” for a little while now.  And now that my first official and conscious relaxer stretch has officially ended, and so successfully at that, I really am ready to get it on and poppin’!  Just to refresh your minds, and because I don’t really feel the need to retype everything (lol), here’s a little excerpt of what I’ve been thinking, as noted a few posts ago…

I’m kinda getting bored with my hair guys!  Thankfully doing posts on the blog has made things a bit more interesting so I don’t do anything crazy.  And while I’m still in the midst of this “Relaxer Stretch” challenge, I’m actually already thinking about another challenge for myself/my hair.  I’m just in the beginning stages, putting the pieces together but just as a general overview this is what I’m thinking.  I’ve had what some would think of as “long hair” and I’ve had shorter hair (pretty much by choice) but it hasn’t always been healthy.  And that’s what I’ve been working on for the past year and a half or so.   I think I’m pretty much pleased with the health of my hair now and I’ve learned A LOT about taking better care of it and I really can tell the difference.  But now that I’m kinda getting the hang of that I want to take the next step, and for me that is challenging myself to see just how long my hair can actually grow.  That for me really means babying my ends really because what I have noticed, especially during this relaxer stretch is this:  I get some pretty good new growth!  My problem is I DON’T take care of my ends very much at all, so whenever I go to the hair dresser I have to get a trim which pretty much cancels out any real progress that I made.  So I’m gonna implement some new techniques that I’ve seen around different hair care sites such as dusting and the search and destroy method to take care of my ends.  No more salon trims for me!  I’m doing this by myself starting with the fresh healthy ends that I have right now!  But of course that means coming up and actually sticking to an actual regimen (where consistent moisturizing and sealing will be KEY) and…buying some hair cutting scissors of my own.  I got some prepping to do!  But that won’t “officially” start until after this challenge is over and I’m back home.  Gonna start implementing some small things now.  But stay tuned for that separate post.  Cuz it’s about to go down!

Well peeps, this is THAT post!  It’s gonna be kinda long so bear with me.  Basically, I will be attempting to see how long I can get my hair to become by just really taking care of it and doing my best to take care of my ends and retain length.  I’m gonna try to do this in phases.  And this is going to begin the first phase:

PHASE 1:  MARCH 25, 2011 – MARCH 8/9/10, 2012
From SL to APL

SL = Shoulder Length
APL = Arm Pit Length

STARTING POINT

 

The reason I’m only giving the first phase is because I may not necessarily make my goal by the end of that time period so I may have to adjust.  Therefore, I’ll just roll with the punches and develop the phases as I go along 🙂

ULTIMATE GOAL:  MBL

MBL = Mid-Back Length

Honestly, I really don’t know what my ultimate goal is lol.  It’s pretty much however long I can get it without it becoming a hassle or without me being frustrated with the length.  We’ll see.

THE PLAN 
(yes, it is a WHOLE LOT and a bit overwhelming, so brace yourself.  BUT better to have a plan than be a fish outta water with this thing lol)

1.  Moisturize and Seal Daily
      a.  Straight Styles/Pin Curling:  Neutrogena Triple Moisture Silk Touch Leave-In + One N Only Argan Oil (both of these are lighter but still do their job)
      b.  Textured/Non-straight Styles:  Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship + Coconut Oil (a little bit heavier)

2.  Pre-Poo & Shampoo Wash (w/ moisturizing shampoo) 1x/week
      – Pre-Poo with Coconut oil (LOVE that stuff!)
      – Same Products that I’ve been using, including my leave-ins, which can all be found HEREOnly change is that for textured styles or when my new growth really starts coming in, I’ll be using Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship as my leave-in.

3.  Massage Scalp with Castor Oil 1x/week (on wash days)
      – JBCO or Regular Cold-Pressed organic brand depending on what I have

4.  DC 1x/2 weeks 
      
 – Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Mask during the beginning of my stretch, when there isn’t as much new growth
       – Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Mask when my new growth demands more moisture/attention

5.  Protein Treatment 1x/2 weeks (on the weeks I’m not DC’ing)
      – ApHogee 2 Minute Reconstructor

6.  Clarify 1x/month (shampoo with Sulfate to really rid the hair of product build-up)
      – Silk Elements Megsilk Olive Shampoo (I used to love this before I started using sulfate-free shampoo.  It is indeed a good clarifying shampoo)

7.  Direct Heat Straightening 1x/month (most likely not on the same week with the clarifying…)
      – Flat Iron or Blow Dry with Curling Iron

8.  Dust + Search and Destroy 1x/month (when my hair is straight)
      – To prevent and manage split end damage

9.   Styling:  Bantu Knot-Outs (not very frequently cuz they can be a little stressful on my ends), Braid Outs (every now and then), Curlfromers, Straight, Roller Sets (gonna try the saran wrap method of using this to get my hair straight), BUNS BUNS BUNS!!!  Gonna definitely try to keep my hair in buns to keep my ends protected for the majority of the time.
       – My styling products may change from time to time depending on what I’m doing, but I’ll definitely keep you guys updated.

10.  Relaxer Stretching:  16-18 weeks ~ Relaxing 3 times/year
      – Because I’m very blessed and fortunate to have a wonderful mother who knows a thing or two about doing hair, I’m gonna go back to the basics, meaning that as much as possibly I will try to have her do my relaxers at home.  As much as my time and her schedule allow.  It will not only save me some serious moolah (!!!) but it will also give me some control over how my hair is getting done.  The home relaxer kit that I’m considering is one that some of my hair inspirations (Sunshyne from hairliciousinc.com and Megan from ulovemegz.com, among many others) tend to really like and rave about:

Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Built-In Protection
No Lye Relaxer System

11.  Professional Trim 1x/year (the least amount possible lol)

12.  WATER WATER WATER!!!  (to help maintain my hair’s moisture balance; and of course it’s good for flushing toxins from your body and to help keep skin moisture balanced and glowing as well)

13.  Exercise at least 2x/week (Starting small and realistic lol; A healthy body equals a healthy life!   And also healthy hair.  It increases circulation to all of your organs including your scalp, which can help stimulate healthy hair growth)

 12.  Co-Washing 1x/week as needed (when my hair isn’t being worn straight; to help cleanse my hair within the week if it gets pretty funky like if I’ve been working out during the week and my hair is in a style that I can recreate without too much effort; like a braid out or bun or something)
         –  Now this is gonna be new for me and here’s where I need YOUR help.  I really don’t know what product to use! lol  I’ve done some research and I have 3 Top Contenders.  So what I’d like for you, my very helpful readers, to do is vote on the poll below as to which conditioner you think is the best. 

Here are some pics of the contenders below.

Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Moisturizing Conditioner w/ Orchid and Coconut Milk

Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner w/ Aloe Vera and Avocado (Silicone Free)

VO5:  Herbal Escapes Strengthening Conditioner w/ Pomegranate and Grapeseed Extract
VO5 Herbal Escapes Strengthening Conditioner

ALSO, if you have other favorites that you’d like to rave about, please feel free to leave a Comment below.  I’d really appreciate any input that you have.

I think that’s it for now!  I’ll be giving progress pics at least with each relaxer, but I’ll try to do it also whenever I have my hair straightened.  I’m excited about this guys!  I hope I stick with it without getting bored or frustrated in the middle….

If any of you guys also want to start your own personal hair journey with me, definitely feel free to share your plans!  I’d love to hear about it.  Until next post…

*DON’T FORGET TO:  1.  Click HERE to follow the blog and THEN 2.  Click HERE to enter for the BIG Giveaway!*

Love and God Bless,

– T


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