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3 Month Check-In: No Heat Challenge!

9:12 AM

As you guys may or may not know, back in the beginning March I began the first leg of my No Heat Challenge. For the months of March, April, and 3/4 of May (tee hee hee), I ditched the flat irons, blow dryers, and curling iron in an attempt to refresh, rejuvenate, and restore my hair's health. As promised, here are the results!

Before:
Prior to March, I wasn't fully aware of how deep down the drain my hair had fallen. Yes, it was still growing, but split ends ran rampant, and every time I straightened my hair (monthly), I ended up snipping away at any growth progress I had made. Even with constant snipping, my ends never remained strong, chipping away little by little. Even worse, I felt like one day I woke up and my hair was thin. I have never had thin hair -- (and admittedly, my definition of thin is not everyone else's) and I didn't want this downward trend to continue. I realized my hair was suffering greatly from heat damage. In all actuality, my cuticles were melted. I was straightening my hair at temperatures upward of 430F... Yeaaaaaah. Not my proudest moment.

During:
No heat. All natural hair. Lots of deep conditioning, co-washing, protective styling, henna, and protein.
Product Hits:
  • Aussie Moist: Excellent for regular conditioning, co-washing, leave-in sprays, detangling, and henna mix-ins.
  • ApHogee Green Tea & Keratin Restructurizer: Awesome post-wash and mid-week refresher for added strength and body.
  • Coconut Oil, Castor Oil & Avocado Oil:  Lovely additions to henna mixes, leave-ins, deep conditioning, pre-wash treatments, and scalp massage oil.
  • Shea Moisture Coconut Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie: Great moisturizing, sealing and styling product. Plus, who can deny that heavenly scent?
  • Eco Styler Gel: My protective style saving grace. Great for taming edges. 
  • Henna: No elusive, fancy online-only, can't pronounce the source's name henna. Just a regular ol' box of red Light Mountain Henna, purchased at Sprouts or Whole Foods for about $7. Smelly, yes. Messy, absolutely. But I am SO willing to pay the price for the strength, shine, thickness, and cute color. (If all goes well, I will be doing a henna video soon!) 
"Meh" Products:
  • Aussie 3 Minute Miracle: I compared the ingredient list to that of my regular bottle of Aussie Moist Conditioner...and it was pretty much the same. Sus. It didn't wow me, but it wasn't bad either.
  • Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque: Definitely provided deep conditioning and moisture, but didn't work any miracles. Plus, the scent was way too strong. 
  • Giovanni 2Chic Brazilian Keratin & Argan Oil Ultra Sleek Conditioner: Cool conditioner, yes. Miracle worker, no. Does it hold a candle to Aussie Moist? Not really. (Fresh Feature coming soon).
Complete and Utter Misses:
  • Curls Defining Momemnts Curl Release (Curl Defining) Serum: I had always been curious about this product, but at $10 bucks a pop, I wasn't ready to make that product plunge. Luckily, I found some on clearance at Target for under $5 bucks. Good think I kept the receipt, because I completely and utterly hated the product. Yes, my curls were friz-free and defined. But at what cost? A sticky, goopy mess, that never really dried up. (Fresh Feature coming soon).



After:
Despite the setbacks, frustration, and mental overhaul I endured, I can honestly say I LOVE everything that the no heat challenge has done for my hair. The thickness that had disappeared is returning. I can honestly see the difference between my new, thick and thriving hair and that old stuff that I jacked up. I cannot WAIT until it all grows out. I think I did fairly well, in terms of retaining length. I will be posting comparative side-by-side pictures as I go along in this journey. My hair is pretty much the same length as before I begun the challenge, but much thicker. I am not disappointed though -- because if ya'll recall, I snipped about 2 inches from my head somewhere in the middle of this challenge.   I am super excited to begin the second leg of this journey to healthy hair. I won't be touching heat again until August, just in time for me and my babe's 2 year anniversary :-)

As I look back on how I spent the first three months, I can't believe how big of a fuss I made over certain things, like protective styling. It's almost like second nature now. Tuck it away during the week, and let it come out to play on weekends , if so inclined. Oh, and I'm learning how to braid and flat twist! Yee!

Before I check out, here's a side-by-side comparison of my hair From January 2012 to May 2012:




Highlights:
  • My hair is thicker overall
  • My ends are in 137% better condition
  • Check out that SHINE!
  • My hair is pretty much the same length (pretty neat, considering my two-inch chop!)
  • My hair hangs with some "weight" to it
  • You can kinda see the henna color here...
Ok, that's all for now! Toodles!

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3 comments

  1. I'm curious, I'm trying to see if I could do the no heat challenge but how hard was it to resist the urges to run a flat iron though your to keep it smooth and not frizzy which I hated. Should I smooth conditioner on my hair before putting up into a ponytail? What do you suggest?

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    Replies
    1. It was HARD. But much like anything, I had to take it one day at a time. Once I got the hang of it, it was pretty much smooth sailing. After cowashing/conditioning hair, I would definitely recommend going back through and putting a little conditioner in your hair to help keep it moisturized!

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    2. Thank you. It has been a while since I have been on this page. Update my hair has improved greatly. I am no longer suffering from breakage or having damaged hair. Thank you for sharing your experiences. It help me on my hair journal.

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