Hi everyone, I 've been getting a lot of questions concerning my progress. I've been thinking a lot about it and I just wanted to answer and clarify my progress for those of you who may have just started the regimen or feel like you're progressing at a slow pace.
I just wanted to say that I have been natural for five years now. Through the course of being natural I had never seen curl pattern on my hair. I never got good results with set styles like twist outs, bantu knots outs etc they always came out frizzy therefore I always wore my hair in updos or twists.
I big chopped May 2013 due to postpartum shedding.
Before I started the regimen I had been doing the GHE with castor oil. I started doing this since the beginning of September 2013 at 3 months post Big Chop. The reason I decided to do this is because I had noticed my hairline was not growing at the same pace as the rest of my hair. I also noticed my hair was very dry and I was hoping this would help with that.
At the 3 months point I did a video complaining about my dry hair and Joso Anani told me to check my porosity because I could be Low Porosity. After researching about Low porosity it was just light bulb, after light bulb, after light bulb, everything made so much sense.
I did feel like most of the symptoms of low porosity were exactly what was going on with my hair. I did the home based water test and according to this test I was low porosity. I also ordered a Hair analysis test from Live Curly Live Free(this was recommended on a forum board for low porosity) their results contradicted my water test. They said that my hair porosity was actually normal porosity. I was about to do the regular cherry lola but the results from the paid test stopped me. Instead I continued doing the castor oil and GHE on average about 3-5 days a week.
March this year I decided to get more serious about the castor oil and GHE and therefore I tried to challenge myself to do it every single night. At this point my hair started being soft. I thought this meant my hair was moisturized.
I have blog posts documenting this if anyone is interested let me know and I'll add links here.
I also started noticing a few curls at the crown of my head. Around the same time I found this forum post about MHM and everything made sense because of all the issues I had been having plus my GHE experience.
Before I got all my products and ingredients for the Cherry Lola Caramel Treatment I mentioned to Pinke here on the forum that I will continue to do GHE overnight and heat my conditioner as I wait for my products. She advised me:
Another thing i can suggest is while you wait, still clarify your hair everyday but more diluted. Do baking soda option to help lift the cuticle before u DC, but only 1.5 teaspoons, with the 1/3 cup of conditioner, and add water (not so much that it gets watery, but enough to foam a little) into an application bottle. Rinse out after 30 mins to an hour under a shower cap. Then do the DC/ghe step, and wear a fancy headscarf when you go out over your cap while you ghe during the day.
So this is what I did every single day until I got my products and officially started the regimen. I didn't use the approved Conditioners because I didn't have them. I used Tresemme the one with avocado and Giovanni tea tree tripple treat and I did feel like they were drying that is when Pinke analyzed the ingredients for me.
You can see me talk about this and I even posted pictures on pages 7, 8, 9,11 of this forum thread
For the first few days of me doing the regimen I experienced white residue. But that eventually went away with time. I think as my hair started absorbing moisture better and holding it in.
I did the regimen every single day or every two days.
I always do the deep condition over night option. Because I had great results with the GHE so I wanted to continue doing this. Also because I felt like splitting the regimen into two was better for me time wise.
I did it at one go only once or twice.
There were three times in between that I ran out of products. During this time I would clarify in the morning with the baking soda mixture option and then GHE. This would be just my hair wet with no product in a plastic bag all day and night, under a scarf or hat 'till the next morning. In the morning I would clarify and do it all over again. I would do this everyday until I get my products and then I would continue with the regular regimen. This would go on for about 2 weeks at a time.
I was asked if I think that I'm close to Max Hydration, I dont think so because I consider this to be when you get root to tip definition on wet hair with no product.
I only have that for a couple of strands at the crown on my head(I've shown this in my cowash video) and on the nape area.(These were the first areas that I started noticing curls during my GHE even before I started the regimen) I assume they had a head start in the hydration process.
I do get curls in some area with conditioner only, the gel sets these curls in place and helps other areas that are stubborn to clump as well.
As far as frizzing and shrinkage when my hair dries up. I do have a little shrinkage. The frizzing is at a minimum now, only in areas that are not as hydrated yet. 2nd day hair has more shrinkage, I think this is due to the fact that I run it under the shower to reactivate it.
I have only spaced the regimen to 3 days maybe once. Because I didn't like that I had to spend more time detangling. So I prefer to do my hair every 1 to 2 days. I also love the feeling of water on my hair.
As far as the wash and go technique that has been a huge trial and error for me.
For a very long time I would get over clumping of section of curls. It wasnt until Pinke posted her video that I started doing it correctly. I watched that video over and over. I still do at times when I'm about to do my hair. I dont think I have gotten this part of the regimen down just yet.
I really started noticing a difference when I started separating my curls when I apply the clay step and also when I apply the leave in and gel. I try to do really small sections as I can and separate them to little individual coils.
As far as length retention I do believe that I have retained length if I compare my hair in march vs where it is now. When I started this regimen length was the least of my concern so this was a huge surprise for me.
I think I will start doing official length checks when I reach max hydration. It would be a great reference to know how much length I'm retaining with this regimen.
Ok So I hope this helps everyone who is trying to figure out my progress. I will start keeping a diary and will share some things that I may be noticing as a reference point from now on.
I will also post pictures of my before I started the regimen and the first day doing the regimen because I dont think I posted those here. I will also be adding this with more information as a blog post on my blog.