FROM NATURAL TO BONE STRAIGHT, HOW TO ACHIEVE THE PERFECT DIY SILK PRESS

For the past couple of weeks I’ve had straight hair on my mind. I decided when I went natural that my first straightening session would be once I had hit my five-year natural landmark, but with the recent Instagram buzz of salons and stylists doing silk presses, I’m not sure I can wait that long.

My relaxed hair days saw a lot of heat usage, and whilst I can wholeheartedly say that I was often pleased with my hair straightening results, one thing is for sure, I could never master the at home salon finish, i.e. the bounce and free flow that would have you feeling like you were in a L’oreal ad [you know you’ve been there too!]

Well, if like myself you’ve climbed mountains and crossed valleys  tried and tried, and have yet to achieve that salon look at home, then this post may just be the beginning of your journey to silk press perfection!

What is a Silk Press?

A silk press is a modern-day version of the traditional press and curl. Instead of using a hot comb to press the hair a flat-iron is used, and instead of using products such as heavy oils/grease to press the hair, the silk press favours serums or very light oils. If done correctly a silk press will result in bouncy shiny hair which feels light and free-flowing.

FROM NATURAL TO BONE STRAIGHT, HOW TO ACHIEVE THE PERFECT DIY SILK PRESS

What you will need

A Clarifying Shampoo
A Hydrating Shampoo
A Deep Conditioner
A light Moisturiser/Leave-In
Heat Protectant Serum
Blow Dryer
Narrow-toothed Comb e.g Rat Tail Comb
Flat Iron/Straighteners

Method

1.Wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo. In order for you to achieve the bounce and free flow that silk presses give, you need to ensure your hair is clean and free of all product build up

2. Follow up with a hydrating shampoo to help restore a little moisture back into your hair, and also to ensure your hair has been cleaned thoroughly

3. Deep condition for 20 – 30 minutes. This will help to restore moisture back into the hair as well as increase elasticity. I spoke to a friend who works as a stylist and she advised on using a deep conditioner which is both moisturising and strengthening (protein), this will help to ensure that the hair is stronger and in a good condition before any heat is applied

4. If possible rinse the conditioner out with cool water, this is said to help seal in moisture and increase the shine in our hair

5. Apply a light leave-in/moisturiser to your hair. Dry hair is more susceptible to heat damage so this step is crucial

6. If your heat protectant doubles up as a serum apply a small amount to your hair at this stage. If not, only add your heat protectant and then blow dry your hair

7. Blow dry hair on low or medium heat

8. Add a few drops of your serum again to the strands of your hair (for shine and flow), and then use the comb chase method to straighten your hair in small sections.

FROM NATURAL TO BONE STRAIGHT, HOW TO ACHIEVE THE PERFECT DIY SILK PRESS

Comb Chase Method
In simple terms the comb chase method is a technique whereby you run a narrowly toothed comb through the strands of your hair whilst straightening/flat ironing. In most cases a rat tail comb is used, and this helps to stretch out your hair ensuring that you get smooth and straight results, example here.

So that’s it from me, I can’t wait to give this a try. When I do you’ll be the first to know about it! Don’t forget, practice makes perfect so if you don’t get the results you hope for the first time try again, who knows it could simply be a case of switching up your selection of products to help make all the difference.

5 HAIR GROWTH & RETENTION SECRETS OF WOMEN WITH WAIST LENGTH HAIR

A few weeks after cutting my hair to the lowest length I have ever had, my excitement at my boldness and new hair cut was suddenly drowned, by the realisation that my hair would not be long enough to wear in its natural state on my wedding day next year!

Now I love a well done weave, and could of course get a sew-in using hair similar to the texture of my natural hair, but how boring would that be? A hair growth challenge sounds a lot more exciting and that’s exactly what I’ll be doing for the new year, challenging myself to some serious hair growth [post on its way!].

In the meantime, whilst I make the final edits to my ‘2018 speedy hair growth’ post, I thought I’d share my recent hair inspiration and stalking antics. I’ve been following this group of ladies for some time now and it’s fair to say they are bosses when it comes to hair growth and retention! So get your pen and paper at the ready, what are these ladies doing that you could take into the new year?

5 HAIR GROWTH & RETENTION SECRETS OF WOMEN WITH WAIST LENGTH HAIR

I love finding long haired ladies who are open about sharing their tips and tricks for hair growth and retention, Ms Robin is one of them. Two weeks ago she told her insta followers what she felt had contributed to her hair length and retention. Did I mention she went from shoulder length to waist length in just three years and is an avid exerciser?!

 “ I started a healthy natural hair journey /waist length hair challenge in January 2010. I was shoulder length at that time. I am 5 foot 9. I achieved waist length December 2012 (so it took 3 years). My new goal is hip length. Cut back on the direct heat – you can not flat-iron and blow dry your hair frequently and expect to retain length. Your hair is gonna grow and break right off. Be gentle – you can not man handle your hair all the time and expect it to last on your head for years. Also, be careful of anything that puts strain on your hair (ex: super tight braids and weaves). One of my favourite tips is leave your hair alone. I noticed early on in my hair journey that excessive combing, brushing and manipulation of the hair in general did not contribute to retention. In fact it does the opposite “

5 HAIR GROWTH & RETENTION SECRETS OF WOMEN WITH WAIST LENGTH HAIR

“I haven’t combed my natural hair in 2 years but it’s longer than hip length“ 

As crazy as it may sound several long hair ladies [1], [2] swear by the results of finger detangling. I myself have seen my hair thrive over the past few months from only using my detangling tool once a week. I’m still on the fence about completely getting rid of it but I’m not far off, who knows perhaps I’ll give it a try in the new year. Detangling tools, as great as they are, can also wreak a lot of havoc on our strands if used too often. It’s definitely worth trying your hand at finger detangling as often as you possibly can. 

5 HAIR GROWTH & RETENTION SECRETS OF WOMEN WITH WAIST LENGTH HAIR

Besides the occasional biotin supplement in the past, I was never brave enough to fully commit myself to hair supplements but Courtney may have just changed my mind! I don’t know about you but it’s not just the length that has me drooling but how healthy her hair looks, all of which she says is thanks to her own developed brand of Manetabolism Vitamins. I had a good gander on her site to find out how the supplements differ to that of brands such as Hairfinity. Here is what she had to say:

” Manetabolism was created and formulated by a physician and nurse team. To understand vitamin deficiency and its relationship to slow hair growth, one must understand the anatomy and physiology of the body. Manetabolism is a comprehensive dietary supplement designed to provide your body with the proper vitamin nourishment to maximize hair growth, thickness and health; while simultaneously boosting your energy level and strengthening your immune system. Every ingredient was selectively chosen not only by its beneficial relationship to what it has to offer the hair, but the body as a whole. Here at The Mane Choice we dig much deeper than hair. We understand that a healthier inside WILL show from the outside! ”

5 HAIR GROWTH & RETENTION SECRETS OF WOMEN WITH WAIST LENGTH HAIR

I came to learn about this holistic beauty after stumbling across her DIY Onion Juice Hair Growth Recipe. Of course I was immediately sold as to this being one of the reasons behind all of her gorgeous hair. I’ve been meaning to whip up a scalp treat containing onions, garlic and horsetail so that my hair can indulge in the cocktail of sulphur and silica. I’ve got a few weeks to figure out a low stink recipe… Wish me luck!

5 HAIR GROWTH & RETENTION SECRETS OF WOMEN WITH WAIST LENGTH HAIR

For those of you who have been here with me on this journey for some time you’ll definitely know this amazing lady already. Jen of Just Grow Already is an absolute all rounder and her hair journey speaks for itself. It’s hard for me to pinpoint one hair secret or tip because there are so many! It’s her regimen on the whole that owes to her long and luscious locks, from her famous tea rinses to low heat regimen and commitment to protective styling, she really is the perfect one stop shop for everything you need to baby your hair to greatness. Definitely check out her blog!

So that’s it from me till my next post, I think aiming for waist length by August 2018 will be too far a stretch but I’m definitely banking on some of these tips to get myself to bra strap length at least!



IT’S OFFICIALLY HERE! THE 6 MONTH PROTECTIVE STYLE HAIR GROWTH CHALLENGE

It’s officially here!!! My big hair growth challenge of 2016 and one that I’ve had in the pipeline for quite some time…

Since my decision to go natural and the official start of my natural hair journey, I’ve focused on one thing above all else… hair health. With a completely new texture to embrace and new regimen to figure out I wanted to take things slow and perfect those things before focusing on growth.

Well, I’m happy to say 2+ years later my hair is the healthiest it’s ever been, and all that’s left for me to do now is grow it, grow it, grow it! To do that I’ve decided that protective styling is my best bet. It promotes low manipulation, no heat damage, and on top of that the challenge has a whole bunch of benefits that go beyond hair growth. Check out the video (below) and challenge rules for yourself, trust me you’re bound to see some amazing results!

IT’S OFFICIALLY HERE! THE 6 MONTH PROTECTIVE STYLE HAIR GROWTH CHALLENGE

Now onto the best part of the challenge, you can join in too! Here are the rules:

Rule 1 – Take a before photo
Rule 2 – Be nutrition focused (up your fruit & veg intake)
Rule 3 – Take Vitamins/Supplements (optional)
Rule 4 – Increase your H2O drinking game
Rule 5 – Chose a long or short-term protective style
Rule 6 – Wash and deep condition your hair at best 2x a month and at the very least once a month
Rule 7 – Moisturise your strands
Rule 8 – No heat tools + reduced use of tools in general + finger detangling
Rule 9 – Baggy & add Peppermint essential oil to your scalp lotion/oil (optional)
Rule 10 – Be patient & take photos!

IT’S OFFICIALLY HERE! THE 6 MONTH PROTECTIVE STYLE HAIR GROWTH CHALLENGE

If you would like to join simply use the hashtag #lyt6mpschallenge on any of your social media accounts such as Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. Better yet, if you’ll be tracking your progress via your very own blog, then click on the blue ‘add your link’ button below to add yourself to the challenge so that myself and others can follow your progress and blog posts too!

I’ll be checking in with you every two months or at the challenge half way mark. The official start date of the challenge is January 18th and the end date is July 18th.

HOW I PLAN ON SPEEDING UP MY HAIR GROWTH LIKE NEVER BEFORE

Happy Friday Lovelies,

I’ve been talking about this post for a few weeks now and I’m super excited to finally share it with you!

Back in August 2018 I had my hair cut to the shortest length I can recall myself ever having. I was craving the tapered fro look and figured my hair would grow back in no time. Then, a month later Mr LYT decided to hijack the trip I had planned for his birthday and turn it into a surprise proposal! Once all of the excitement had settled in we agreed that we would like a 2015 wedding but it wasn’t until the date was secured and friends and family were on board that I had another huge shock! I suddenly remembered how short I had cut my hair and began to panic about how I would get it to grow longer in time for the big day.

So that’s basically how I came about this post and the ‘Speedy Growth Challenge’

I won’t go into too much detail as to how I decided upon the methods below, but all I can say is that as a future bride who wants to wear her own hair on her big day, desperate times calls for desperate measures and I’m pulling out all of the stops!

So here it goes already, my four steps to faster hair growth in 6 months! Wish me luck!!!

HOW I PLAN ON SPEEDING UP MY HAIR GROWTH LIKE NEVER BEFORE

Water, Tea, Smoothie
Besides the obvious benefits of keeping hydrated I will be taking my daily intake of fluids to the next level. You may remember me mentioning in my ageless beauties post how much of a difference my Smoothie/Juice a day challenge in 2013 made to my overall health, and how I noticed a few [very minor] health issues when I fell off the bandwagon. It was almost like my body was craving what it had previously enjoyed and was having a cold turkey moment when I stopped!

Since the start of the year I’ve been following the regimen below quite strictly and I’m convinced it will help me in achieving the growth I need over the next 6 months.

Morning: Cup of warm Lime or Lemon infused Water [hydration is key for healthy hair]
Before Lunch: Cup of Bamboo, Rosebud and Grapefruit Tea [Silica and Antioxidant rich]
After Lunch: 1l of water
Early Evening: Fruit & Veg Smoothie [using my trusty Nutribullet]

Join the challenge: If you find all of these steps too overwhelming, start off by increasing your water intake at least. Feel free to substitute your smoothie/juice with fruit and leafy greens with your meals. The most important thing? Stay hydrated!

HOW I PLAN ON SPEEDING UP MY HAIR GROWTH LIKE NEVER BEFORE

Drown Your Ends in Oil
Now I know this may sound a little crazy but the method literally is exactly that, drowning your ends in Oil! Our ends are the oldest and driest parts of our hair and undergo a lot of manipulation, the end result of course being single strand knots or split ends. Every wash day I will be rubbing some oil unto my damp ends before I commence with styling. On top of this I plan on spraying the absolute tip of my ends with my Misto Oil Spray mix every night so that my ends are always lubricated. So far I’ve been doing this for 2 weeks straight and it does not weigh down my ends. I’m guessing this is because the Misto Sprayer is so great at its job!

Join the challenge: Even if you don’t make a habit of moisturising and sealing everyday, try to at least moisturise and seal your ends. If you can only seal then that’s great too.

Exercise, Yoga & Inverting
Yes you read it right! I’ll be inverting my way to longer hair but not just for the reasons you may think. I heard about the inversion method for hair growth some months back and whilst I was impressed by some of the results I saw on Youtube, I was also very skeptical. The idea of flipping your head upside down for the sake of hair growth just didn’t sit well with me. This was until two weeks ago when I decided to finally use the Bikram Yoga voucher one of my colleagues bought me for my birthday last year.

The super warm air in the yoga room had me close to fainting and I almost decided to leave the room and call it a day until the yoga teacher did a pose I believe is called the Shirshasana [pretty much a headstand]. I saw this and my energy and alertness came right back! All I could think was yes the inversion method is a form of exercise!!!

Whilst I didn’t attempt the pose then and there I did give it a try at home up against my bedroom wall. I have now included it in my tri-weekly exercise session. My version however unlike the inversion method does not include a head massage. I think this may be taking things a little too far considering I’m already upside down!

Join the challenge: If like me you’re not the biggest fan of traditional exercise then workout clips or videos are the best. I absolutely love Zumba! Increasing your heartbeat will increase blood circulation even to your scalp, plus the benefits of exercise are endless.

Scalp Cream Over Oil
Last but not least, I will be giving my scalp some extra TLC over the next few months and hopefully for the long run. Ever since I made a habit of washing my hair every week I have noticed that I can easily go without applying anything onto my scalp until the next wash. I’ve seen since my cut in August that even when I seldom use anything on my scalp that my hair grows, let alone if I were to feed it with a moisturising and stimulating scalp cream every day.

HOW I PLAN ON SPEEDING UP MY HAIR GROWTH LIKE NEVER BEFORE

The cream is extremely simple to make and the best part is it’s packed with a whole bunch of goodness: stimulants, ceramides, silica and sulphur! Did I mention the cool and refreshing tingle it gives when applied to the scalp?! I massage this onto my scalp every day or every other day in the evening before bed.

I choose to use a cream over an oil simply because I find creams to be more moisturing and I experience less product build up with them. I haven’t however abandoned my Super Scalp Tonic. I massage this onto my scalp a day before wash day so that my scalp can enjoy its benefits without any worry of product buildup.

Here is the recipe for the scalp cream [I’ll do a more detailed post on this next week]:

100ml Aloe Vera Gel
1 tspn of MSM Powder
1 tspn of Horsetail Powder
A few drops of Lavender Essential Oil
A few drops of Pimento Essential Oil
A few drops of Camphor Essential Oil
A few drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil
2 tbsps of Chamomile Floral Water

Join the challenge: Add some drops of a stimulating essential oil to your favourite scalp oil or to a cup of Aloe Vera gel. Make a habit of massaging this onto your scalp every day or every other day.

So there it is, nothing too out of the ordinary but definitely some methods I plan on committing to. If you’re up for the challenge too then please let me know, I could do with a power team on this! Don’t forget to take a photo of your current length and don’t be too hard on yourself. Practice makes perfect! The challenge will officially start next week Monday!

READY FOR SOME SERIOUS GROWTH? PROTECTIVE STYLE CHALLENGE KIT

If you hadn’t already heard, the 2016 LYT protective style hair growth challenge officially kicks off tomorrow!
I took some time out this week to stock up on some of the challenge supplies that I had run out of, or simply needed to buy in time for Mondays start. I thought it would be good to show you exactly which tools/products I plan on using over the next 6 months, and so with that said I present to you my 6 month protective style challenge battle kit!

Rule 1 – Take a before photo
I will be posting my length check photo tomorrow on Instagram, be sure to check it out and tag your starter photos with the #lyt6mpschallenge hashtag

Rule 2 – Be nutrition focused (up your fruit & veg intake)
As well as eating more fruits and vegetables in general and alongside my meals, I have my trusty and amazing Nutribullet on deck for daily smoothies as well as a stash of silica rich Bamboo Tea which I also plan on drinking every day.

READY FOR SOME SERIOUS GROWTH? PROTECTIVE STYLE CHALLENGE KIT

Rule 3 – Take Vitamins/Supplements (optional)
As per a comment from a lovely Youtube subscriber I have switched out my vitamin D3 supplements [which were shown in the challenge video], with a bottle of Pure Cod Liver Oil. The reader advised that this would be a better form of vitamin D and I couldn’t agree any more. Cod liver oil is one of the richest sources of vitamin A & D and I’m always happy to try more natural forms of anything that is to be taken orally.

READY FOR SOME SERIOUS GROWTH? PROTECTIVE STYLE CHALLENGE KIT

Rule 4 – Increase your H2O drinking game
As mentioned in the challenge video I have my Waterlogged app on deck and also ordered this super cute water bottle which should hopefully arrive in time for the challenge start.

Rule 5 – Chose a long or short-term protective style
Wigs, wigs and more wigs!

Rule 6 – Wash and deep condition your hair at best 2x a month and at the very least once a month
All stocked up on my current favourite shampoo and deep conditioner.


Rule 7 – Moisturise your strands
I have a tonne of moisturisers I will be alternating over the next 6 months, but the ever so light Mango Lassi Conditioning Hair Milk by Sheadecadence always wins first place, because of just how delicious it smells and how soft it leaves my hair when paired with a good baggying session.

READY FOR SOME SERIOUS GROWTH? PROTECTIVE STYLE CHALLENGE KIT

Rule 8 – No heat tools + reduced use of tools in general + finger detangling
As it stands I have not used tools on my natural hair for quite some time, so fingers crossed this part will be easy!

Rule 9 – Baggy & add Peppermint essential oil to your scalp lotion/oil (optional)
I have added Peppermint Oil to my scalp oil, edge control [yes you read right, anything that has access to my scalp has been given the Peppermint oil blessing!], and also to my shampoo for the menthol boost which will encourage stimulation and thus encourage growth.

READY FOR SOME SERIOUS GROWTH? PROTECTIVE STYLE CHALLENGE KIT

Rule 10 – Be patient & take photos!
Six months will fly by so I have set a monthly reminder in my calendar to journal my thoughts on the challenge and any observations as the months go on. of course I’ll be sure to fill you in each step of the way!

If you’re yet to join the challenge or are hearing about the challenge for the first time, no worries, you’re not too late! As long as you do your best to follow the challenge rules you can join in at any time! Check out this post for full details.