Monday, 30 September 2013

Slippery When Wet - Oil Rinsing

This is simply saturating your hair with oil AFTER it has been shampooed, before conditioning. Aside from the obvious benefits that oils provide you hair such as vitamins, moisture or protein, oil rinsing is really effective at providing slip to the hair making it a dream to detangle. It certainly works magic.

How to oil Rinse

Oil it up - Coconut oil

This is another favorite among those on hair journeys and rightly so. Coconut oil provides many benefits to the body and the hair in particular. It too, is one of the few shaft-penetrating oils, thus lodging its nourishing properties deep into the strand. 

It is considered anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial because it contains lauric acid, a chemical that is otherwise only found in human breast milk. Thanks to the anti-fungal and healing properties of coconut oil, it can be used to treat scalp complaints.

Coconut oil contains Vitamin E (an essential nutrient for skin and hair), which along with the previously mentioned lauric acid, help to promote protein regrowth in the hair, making it stronger.

Like all other oils, it is unable to moisturize, but it is very effective at sealing in moisture and leaving hair with a shine that screams health, and it smells good too! You can't beat that with a stick!

Uses of Cocout Oil

  • Prepoo
  • Deep condition
  • sealing 
  • scalp treatments/ massages

Are you a lover of coconut oil? How do you use it? Let me know down below.


Sunday, 29 September 2013

The Peak - Hair Goals

Initially, at the start of my journey I wanted MBL hair, but that has changed and I now find myself lusting after, you guessed it - BELOW THE WAIST length hair. That is my ultimate goal length. Also, I am not a fan of the blunt, straight across cut, but neither do I like thinning and uneven ends, so I'm aiming for a nice full rounded, or "V" cut look. I also want soft, strong, shiny hair that I know well and am a pro at. I want to be able to enjoy my hair without suffering breakage. I want it to be manageable and easy. I want it to be gorgeous.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Quickie - DIY Steaming

There's no doubt that steaming is beneficial to our hair. Steam is the enemy of dry hair and our hair loves it some moisture by way of steam. The problem is, not everyone owns a steamer. Luckily for those of us who don't, there's a really simple alternative.

Apply your conditioner to hair. Dip a twisty-turby into some hot water and use your kitchen gloves to ring the excess water from it. Next, wrap your product-ridden hair with the twisty-turby and cover with a plastic cap. You can move to the hooded-dryer now. However, to amp it up a bit, add another steamy twisty-turby and another plastic cap. Sit under the dryer for at least 30 mins and BAMN! You steamed without a steamer. 

Alternatively, you can make use of your shower, or pull a DC session at a steam room or sauna.


The Thirst is Real!! - Dry Hair

I've had dry hair since the start of my hair journey and perhaps even before. I didn't worry much about it as I have never suffered any setbacks because of it. My hair has grown and I have retained a lot of length. I just figured constant M&S was part of the game. I'd moisturize and seal in the morning and in the evening my hair would still be dry!!! So I'd M&S again at night, and still wake up with dry hair. Last summer, I used vegetable glycerin for the first time, it helped, but it's effectiveness waned with time. What's a girl to do?

Recently I started becoming annoyed and discontent with this persistent dryness and got to thinking. Could I be that I'm suffering from too much protein in my hair??

Looking for you in the Daytime with a Flashlight - S&D

I've briefly referred to the search and destroy method in posts such as this and this. Allow me to elaborate.

What is it?

This is a really simple method of identifying and locating split or otherwise damaged parts of the strand and then snipping them off with a pair of sharp hair shears.

Why do it?

Friday, 27 September 2013

Oil it up - Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil, affectionately nicknamed EVOO is one of the most popular natural oils used not only by kitchenistas, but by hairlistas as well. Extra virgin is the highest quality and most expensive olive oil classification. It should have no defects and a flavor of fresh olives. It's a nutritious oil, containing both Vitamin E and A. It is also rich in fats.

It is a carrier oil, which means it can be used as a base for essential oils without harmful effects. EVOO is used for pre-pooing, hot oil treatments, deep conditioning, making shampoos a bit more moisturizing, sealing moisturizers and so much more.

Store-bought Deep Conditioners - My five faves

Deep conditioning really is one of the pillars of my hair regimen. I've never missed a week since the start of my hair journey. I have tried a few deep conditioners so far, some I didn't care much for but made them work, others I loved straight out the bottle. Let's take a look at my faves.

  1. ORS replenishing Conditioner - conditions my hair adding both moisture and protein. Gives great slip making detangling a breeze. Results in soft, strong, shiny hair.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Quickie - Drink your Water!

Many of us obsess about moisture in our hair (or the lack thereof). We pre-poo, DC, use leave-ins etc etc but what many of us don't do is

Drinking water can elevate moisture levels in our hair, and promote growth due to increased circulation. Increase your intake and your entire body will thank you. 

"Milk does a body good"... nuh-uh that's water, water does that!

Drink up!


Get Even... or Not! - Trimming

I'm gonna let you in on a little secret! No, not that! This: I'm not a big trimmer. Yeah you heard me! I'm not like some others on hair journeys who trim every 8 or however many weeks. I usually trim once, that's right, once per year! I don't trim more often for three main reasons.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Doing the Splits - a Look at Split-ends

Trichoptilosis is longitudinal splits of the hair fiber, commonly called split ends. No one likes them! They come in all shapes and sizes and despite their name, can occur anywhere along the shaft.

Check them out below

So what causes these little rascals? There are a myriad of reasons such as:

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Lala-lala-laa Warm it up - Hot Oil Treaments

I love a good hot oil treatment! It gives me the feeling of a hot cup of cocoa of a cold winter day! It has been a part of my regimen since the start. However, I do it sporadically (mostly during the colder months), which I need to change and make it a regularly scheduled event even when it's warm.

What's it it?

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Love Potions - DIY Deep Conditioner #1

Banana Avocado Deep Conditioning Treatment


1/2 avocado
1 overripe banana
2 tbs olive oil
3 tbs Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose (or your favorite moisturizing conditioner)
3 tbs water (optional)


Saturday, 21 September 2013

oil it up - My favorite Natural oils.

When I first started my hair journey a year and a half ago, I read a lot about natural hair oils and pretty much bought every one that I could get my hands on that had gotten good reviews. 

My stash

Now I have quite a sizable stash, some have finished and I haven't repurchased because they didn't seem absolutely necessary. But this post is dedicated to those that have been good to my hair and that I cannot live without. 

My lucky 7: 

Wrap it up - Protect your hair while you sleep

I recently posted about protective styling, but what I didn't mention is that it doesn't stop there. Nope, we should protect our hair as much as we possibly can. How, you ask? By wrapping it up every chance we get! 

Friday, 20 September 2013

Layering it on - M & S

Whether relaxed or natural, black (people's) hair is inherently dry! Many of us struggle with this (myself included) and attempt to combat dryness in various ways. We deep condition, steam, co-wash, and use leave-ins on a weekly basis, but there is one vital measure used to keep dryness at bay on the daily! What is it?

Moisturizing and sealing. 

Straight hair - Hair Repair & Jojoba oil
Curly styles - Water, Wave Nouveau & Coconut oil

This is the act of applying water or a water-based product to our strands to provide our hair with much needed moisture and then using a layer of oil on top of our water-based product to ensure that it isn't readily evaporated. 

Why do it?

Anatomy 101 - A look at the Hair Strand from Root to Tip

What's a hair blog without taking a look at the strand itself? 
This post leans more to the scientific side, learning about the strand, thus providing a greater understanding into why we utilize the techniques and products we do. This is not my area of expertise, nonetheless, I'll share what I do know with you, cuz' that's what I do :-) Let's get started. 

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Bunning - My Five Faves

I'm not a serial bunner by any means, but I think all of us on hair journeys do this protective style from time to time. They are quick and easy and great for length retention. So naturally, I go this route now and then. Here are a few of my faves:

Celestial Frontal Bun

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

I've Got My Eyes on You - Products I Want to Try

There are some products and tools out there that I have seen and been wanting to try but living in the far east, it's either unavailable or too expensive when you add shipping fees to the product cost. I mean who wants to pay $60 U.S. for some $3 hair rollers?! Not me! So for now, I'll keep them on my want list until they land in my hands. 

Here they are: 

  1. Shea Moisture line of products 

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Quickie - Moisturizing Shampoos

Instead of this...

In this post, I talked about the possible ill-effects of shampooing, but there are ways of using your shampoos without them being too drying or stripping.


Successful Stretching - 10 Tips

We've already discussed the effects of stretching, and decided that the benefits won ;-). So... now you have decided to embark on a stretch. Good for you! But you want to know how to keep the drawbacks at bay. You're in luck. This post is geared towards just that. 

10 weeks post, wet hair

Below are some tips for having an incident and accident-free stretch. 

Monday, 16 September 2013

Stretching It out (Your relaxers that is) - benefits vs. drawbacks

I'm a big fan of relaxer stretching! There are a few drawbacks, but the positives far outweigh them. We'll compare them in a minute, but first of all... 

What is Stretching? 

20 weeks post relaxer 

This is the act of extending the time one waits between getting relaxers. That is, if you are accustomed to retouching your hair at 6 weeks posts, then going a 7th week without it is considered stretching. Many stretch for anywhere from 10 weeks to 12 months and some go even longer. Prior to my hair journey, I never stretched my relaxers. I retouched at the first hint of new growth to keep my hair looking 'fresh'. These days however, I stretch to 7 and 8 months at a time with the help of my long-term protective styles. When I get closer to my goal of "below the waist" length though, I intend to stretch to 12-16 weeks. In my experience with stretching, I have encountered the following drawbacks:

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Au Naturel - Air-drying

Although I love the sleekness of either direct or indirect heat styled hair, about 90% of the time my hair is air-dried.

Air drying prior to roller setting

What is it? 

Air drying is avoiding unnatural heat sources such as a blow dryer or a hooded dryer, opting instead, for nature to work its magic on your tresses. 

Why do it? 

Turn on the Heat... Again - Indirect Heat Styling

What is it? 

Indirect heat styling involves using tools to create a hairstyle without exposing the strands directly to heat, making it less vulnerable to heat damage. A very popular tool for this is the hooded dryer which is usually accompanied by a wrapping or roller setting. Roller setting is able to produce gorgeous curls, but take it a step further and straight hair is yours. Thus it is a valid alternative to blow drying and/ or flat-ironingUp until recently, I had not bothered with roller-setting. I did it when I was younger but thought it was somewhat out-dated... boy was I wrong!! When I decided to give it another go, I was pleasantly surprised by the results, and needless to say, it has become a staple in my "enjoy that hair" periods. 


Friday, 13 September 2013

Turn on the Heat - Direct Heat Styling

Although low manipulation and protecting styling are integral parts of any regimen, every now and then a girl wants to let her hair down, literally. And while she can do so using braid-outs, twist-outs and the like, she just wants something more. A straighter, silkier, sexier look. ENTER THE BLOW DRYER AND FLAT IRON.These heat styling tools will allow you to go from kinky, coily, curly or wavy to straight in minutes... well, maybe hours.


Thursday, 12 September 2013

No hands - Low Manipulation Styling

What is it?

These are those styles which can be done without handling the hair too much or too often. Any style which allows you to create it without using a comb or brush may pretty much be thought of as a low manipulation style. Many protective styles can be turned into low-manipulation styles.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Let's Talk Protection - Protective styling

up-do with a half-wig

What is it? 

Protective styles are those which keep your hair or the ends of it from being exposed to the elements (air, wind, sun etc.), clothing and even your hands. They can by classified into two categories:

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Leave it in! - Leave-ins

So we have pre-pooed, cleansed, and deep conditioned our tresses. What's next? Leave-ins of course! 


What is it?

A leave-in treatment is a product that isn't rinsed from your hair. It is applied at the end of the washing process after your deep condition and your final conditioning rinse have been done.

What's in it? 

Monday, 9 September 2013

Quickie - Green Juicing + Hair Growth

Give your hair and body an extra boost of nutrients with green juicing. Some of my favorite ingredients for this are spinach, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, oranges, apples, lemons. You can add whatever fruits and veggies you like to customize the taste and nutrient benefits.

Go ahead, try it.


Hot, Steamy Sessions ... of Deep Conditioning

MMMMMmmm This is the feeling deep conditioning evokes within me! I absolutely love this step of my regimen. 

deep conditioning session

What is it? 

The name says it all. Deep conditioning is simply using a conditioning agent to penetrate the hair shaft providing the requisite nourishment to the strand making it stronger, moister, and/or more elastic. 

What's in it? 

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Take it to the Shower - Shampooing

What is it? 

There are many ways to cleanse your hair. Shampoos are the most popular. However, some shampoos, particularly those containing sulfates, the harshest of which is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), can prove detrimental to your resolve to grow your hair long. As we have become more knowledgeable about the ill-effects of traditional shampoos on black hair, we have been making use of more suitable ways of cleansing it. The way in which we do this ranges from sulfate-free shampoos, and cleansing conditioners, to more natural products like ACV (apple cider vinegar) and clays such as bentonite. 

Why is cleansing necessary?

Friday, 6 September 2013

Getting to Know me - 20 Random Facts about Me - Blogger Tag

One of my favorite hair bloggers (Lesley of Fresh Lengths) did the "20 Random Facts about Me - Blogger Tag", beneath which, she welcomed others to tag along. So since I'm a new-comer to the blogging game, I decided it's perfect timing to allow readers to get to know me.

I could go on and on, but below are the first 20 that came to mind. Enjoy.

Preparing for the Action - The Pre-poo

Pre-poo Ingredients

What is it? 

'Pre-poo' is short for pre-shampoo treatment. It's the act of applying a conditioning agent to the hair to prepare it for the washing process. It can be done for a few minutes, a few hours or even overnight.

What's in it? 

Quickie! Diet and Hair Growth

Today's dinner

A healthy, balanced diet is vital to healthy hair!
Step away from the product cabinet and head for the kitchen cupboard. Prepare your meals using fresh, wholesome ingredients. Include lean proteins, low G.I. carbs and plenty of veggies. Your hair (and your waist) will thank you.


My Love Affair... with Hair Products

I previously outlined my regimen here. Now let me tell you about the products I have been utilising in this regimen. First off, I must mention that living in Japan has denied me access to the barrage of products others have access to. 90% of my products are ordered from online shops and sometimes I pay A LOT for shipping so I take a minimalist approach to products, well I try to anyway. 

These are they: 

Thursday, 5 September 2013

How I DO IT! - My Hair Regimen

I relax my hair no less than 12 weeks apart. I love stretching, I've been known to stretch for as long as 8 months. 

With that out of the way, let's start with wash day since this sets the tone for the rest of my week. 

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Let's Go Deep...into the past - My Hair Journey in Pics

It started 16 months ago when I met this wonderful gem. 'Twas love at first sight browse. Sure we've had some rough patches and I even started having second thoughts a few months down the road. But I stuck it out and thank God I did. Here's how it went down:

Pre Hair Journey

fried, dyed and blow-dried hair  - '08

Six Steps to Sexy Hair

I've come a long way since I started on this journey almost a year and a half ago. Since then, I have learnt what techniques are right for me and my hair. I'll give you a rundown but before I do, let me tell you how I got to this point. 

My virgin hair was relaxed just prior to entering the 7th grade at 10 years old. In Jamaica (my home land), a relaxer is like a rite of passage for most girls and I was no different. I have now been a relaxed head for 15 years during which I retouched at the first sign of new growth and at times when I self-relaxed, I even pulled the relaxer all the way to my ends (eeekk!!) Fast forward a few years and here I am living in Japan where the environment is achingly different from Jamaica: the weather, the language barrier, the exorbitant cost of everything in sight and worst yet, the availability of products and stylists, or rather, the lack thereof, for black hair! All these factors led me to take my hair into my own hands and really take care of it, growing it from a little below shoulder length (SL) to mid back length (MBL) in 16 months. 

A month before my hair journey

16 months into my hair journey

How'd I do it, you ask? 

Tuesday, 3 September 2013


I have been lurking in the shadows of the blogosphere for a long time, and now I have decided to reveal myself through my very own blog. My name is Abbi and I have decided to document my life and it's escapades, particularly that of growing my hair below the waist, and I'd like you to come along for the ride. 

A lil' background info

I started my hair journey on April 1, 2012 and although I wish I had a dramatic or interesting story to tell you about how awful my hair was, how much it broke, or the life-altering relaxer I got... I don't! My hair was doing OK, growing out nicely from a short cut the year prior, but then a friend of mine was giving me an update on her life and happened to mention this site and suggested I check it out, and the rest, as they say it, is history. With that said, like all others, I have had ups and downs during my journey, but so far, the results have been well worth it and there's a lot more growing to do.

So please join me as I explore my hair growth potential by satisfying its needs using the wealth of knowledge I have gained and the skills I have honed. Who knows, maybe we can learn a thing or two from each other!