Saturday, January 17, 2009


Weeeeellllllll....there are so many other things to talk about. I LOVE talking about hair, but so many of my hair idols have thick hair. WHY do I sit and drool over their fotkis KNOWING that my hair will NEVER be like that. WHY? I know that my hai is fragile (hence this blog) and though many people out in nappy cyberspace ALSO have kinky hair, when see their strands I'm like MAN!!! There ARE a couple of fine haired extremely kinky nappies with long hair (that I KNOW of ), but it would seem that they are few and far between. I wouldn't even knw where to begin to get long hair. I know that braids and twists (basically just moiturinzing the hair andkeeping it in protective styles) would help, but my scalp goes CRAZY when I leave braids in for any length of time. I don't neccessarily like the way that ma hair looks when I don't pick it out, plus I get terible knots if I don't. I don't know what to do! I am 34 and I have always wanted long hair, but perhaps I shuld get over that too. I mean, with all of the allergies and problems that I have had, there's really not MUCH that I can use.

Okay, so I found a really GREAT gentle shampoo. It is Nature's Gate Herbal nourishing (I think) but it is also known as the "original". I was tempted to get the conditioner, but then I was like WHY?? I love that strong herbal smeel, though. It is no longer SLS based (the shampoo) but it has SLS in it after the long C14-blah-blah-blah lathering agent. It is really very gentle and mild. It is also easily affordable and readily available. That's a plus for me these days!


So, my hair is doing what hair does (growing) but with shrinkage it is IMPOSSIBLE to tell. I REALLY want to be able to wear a headband with my fro, but it is SO tiny. I have been experimenting with making a homemade spritz. My first concoction consisted of conditioner, oils, glycerin and water, but the particular conditioner that I got (Suave Natural Vanilla Floral) did not provide ANY slip for my hair. When using this concoction, I began to notice little pieces of hair on the counter after piking, which is something that I never had with my Qhemet products. I stopped using Qhemet because I think it was causing me to break out. My skin is slowly improving, so we'll see. Still not quite sure if it was the products or the monthly, only time will tell. Qhemet is still working out well for my daughter, so I will continue to use it on her hair until I run out. I also have a few jars of Qhemet's Burdock Root butter cream on order, so that should tide her over for a while. I love high quality, natural products, but I REALLY don't like having a wait time for haircare stuff. I think my next spritz concoction will be simply glycerin and water. It is very moist here in Washington, so I should be good. I am tired of acne, and I think that oil and acne simply do NOT go together. I haven't had a lot of success in the past with glycerin and water, but since I STOPPED using conditioner, my hair actually seems to respond to moisturizers better. We'll see how it goes! LOL!

I think I'm in a boredom phase with my hair. It takes SO LONG to show any significant increase in length that I get frustrated. It LOOKS like my hair doesn't grow, but I KNOW that it does. I just want to be able to wear a headband without it showing in the back. I used to be okay with my headband showing, though. Maybe I just need to get over it!! LOL!

Another thing that would probably help is if I could lose some weight. It's hard for me to feel good about a simple thing like hair when the way that I feel about my overall physique is out of whack. I can REALLY see my weight gain in my face, so that ALSO makes it difficult for me to like my TWA. I feel like my face just looks HUGE!! The problem with weight loss (at least for me) is dieting. It DOESN'T work for me. I'll get on a diet (or lifestyle change) and I'll lose the weight only to gain it back and then some. Right now, even a two pound weight loss is an incredible feat. I was reading the book "Overcoming Overeating" and it began to help, but it has been extremely difficult to break some of my old habits.

I guess this is just a frustrating time for me as a whole! My goal is to STOP saying such negative things to myself each and every day and learn to LIVE. It's hard to overcome years of negativity at times, but I KNOW that I must get there.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Here is my post dated January 1, 2009 in the "Fragile Hair " thread that I started. It contains some of the info from my earlier essay, but it also contains a few nuggets that I hadn't though of before.

** Disclaimer- you have probably heard all of this a THOUSAND times. Knowing is half the battle....

Hi ya'll!! So many many things!! Well, I'll address these as I remember them....
These are the findings for MY hair, so if you don't Take what you can, though.
KNOTS- not NECCESSARILY due to having split ends. Think of nappy hair as a mass of telephone cords that are curled up from daily use. If you have a job where you have to be on the phone at all....this visual might work for you...anyway, imagine that you try to pull ONE cord out of the pile...well, the other cords are going to cling to that cord, making it very difficult to get it out of the pile. This is what happens to our hair when we pull on it for ANY reason, whether it be hand in fro, picking, twisting, braiding, etc. Now, there ARE ways to avoid the MAJORITY of tangles, but I tend to think that tangles are a characteristic of the type of hair that we have. Now, I know there will be people who say that they NEVER get tangles (come out, come out wherever you are) and that's cool, but after handling MINE and my DDs hair as well as reading the posts of others, I tend to think that this is part of the territory. These days, when I find a tangle or knot, I slide my fingers ACROSS the knot rather than containing to pull on it vertically, which TIGHTENS the knot. Sliding the fingers across the knot loosens the strands. It's pretty amazing! Another tip (which I got out of a fotki SOMEWHERE) is to lift the strands up OUT of the knot, which also works.
CONDITIONER- I don't NEED this stuff. After looking at COUNTLESS bottles, I just don't see (other than external applications of protein) WHAT the benefit is other than coating the strands and making them APPEAR shinier. A decent conditioner will make the hair feel soft after rinsing, but doesn't clean (not stripped) nappy hair feel soft when it's DAMP anyway? That is definitely the case for my hair. What got me was the fact that AFTER my hair dried, it felt NO DIFFERENT than it would after simply shampooing and applying moisturizer. Another point to make my case....the ingredient that are found in a conditioner are often found in leave in moisturizers. If these ingredients are so great for the hair, WHY rinse then off? Keep in mind that I'm not referring to protein. I HAVE however seen ceteryl and stearyl alcohol (which are the base alcohols for most conditioners) in leave-ins. A lot of people also use things like honey and olive oil to condition, and these can ALSO be left in. I'm not suggesting that people leave mashed avocado, mayonnaise, etc, in their hair, though, LOL!! :lol: FOR ME, conditioner was an unnecessary expense and a marketing ploy.
SLS IS EVIL- I used to argue that I could use regular shampoo with success. However, after finding a GREAT non-SLS shampoo , I no longer feel that way. It all started with a shampoo bar, but it didn't stop there because I have hard water, and shampoo bars leave a film on my hair under those circumstances. HOWEVER, my hair felt softer after using a shampoo bar and then applying moisturizer than it did after using regular shampoo and then applying moisturizer. So, my final diagnosis is that SLS is the debbil. Another reason that I feel this way is the fact that my DD's hair would always be brittle after shampooing with REGULAR shampoo, but NOT after using the natural alternatives. I HAVE to use shampoo, though. I cannot no-poo, use baking soda, herbal rinses, etc due to my scalp. It just is what it is.
OILS LUBRICATE, BUT DO NOT MOISTURIZE- In the beginning paces of my naptural journey, I noticed that most all-natural hair creams had shea butter as a base. This was fine as long as the shea was combined with water and other goodies. However, after using the product for a while, my hair would become BRITTLE. What happened? BUILDUP! It wasn't obvious to me at first, but I would use good old-fashioned shampoo and voila! The shea based product would work for me! Nowadays, I have come to realize that there are better ingredients for my hair than shea. Another interesting phenomenon regarding moisture was that if I combined glycerin and oils along with water, I had a REALLY great moisturizer. However, if I tried to only use glycerin or ONLY use OIL, it was a recipe for hair disaster. So, I now use a cream that has water, oils and glycerin and my SHRUNKEN hair feels great, which is saying a lot.
TWISTS BRAIDS AIN'T FOR EVERYONE- When I twist or braid my hair, little peices of hair drop off and fall onto my shirt. I do not like this, so I just don't braid or twist my hair. EVER. Now, as my hair get's longer (if it ever gets long enough to pull back) my style methos will change, but it won't involve taking small sections of my hair and twisting them around each other. If I had hair like my DD, it would be eaisier. The surface of her hair is smoother. It's hard to explain, but braiding and twisting is NOT for me.
I KNOW I don't have long hair, but I DO believe that with everything that I have learned I will reach my full growth potential. My hair was cut down to about 1/8 of an inch or so back in June and I am well on the way to 3 inches of hair. Now, that equates to about 3 inches in 6 months, which is average, but I had several trims before deciding to go full on with the growth progress. So, that's my .02.