I cannot believe how fast the summer is flying! July was filled with hot days and lots of travel on our end. Now August is here and school time is knocking around the corner. Here is a wrap up of our July happenings and August goals going forward on Beautifully Curled.
1. July Blog Posts Recap
My Six Week Rice Water Challenge Progress
In the beginning of last month, I decided to hop on board a personal 6 week rice water hair challenge. I am the ultimate skeptic when it comes to things such as homemade solutions/rinses that supposedly increase hair growth at some alarming rate. Although the rice water trend has been around for years now, it is still a hot topic when you read other blogs and watch YouTube videos of natural women’s experiences with rice water.
I figured with a 20 lb bag of white rice sitting in my kitchen, what harm could it be for me to test the theory of rice water on my own hair. As of today, I have completed 4 rinses with two more to go. I have documented my initial thoughts plus the first three weeks of the challenge so far.
I must admit, I did not have high hopes for the rice water. However, after one week in, I have noticed some pretty remarkable differences in my hair. You can read about what I discovered in the following recaps:
- Initial Post: Rice Water on Natural Hair: A Skeptic’s Thoughts
- First Rinse: Rice Water For Natural Hair: Week 1
- Second Rinse: Rice Water Natural Hair Rinse: Week 2
- Third Rinse: Rice Water Challenge for Natural Hair: Week 3
I did my 4th rinse on last Monday but have not done a formal update post. Nothing really has changed in reference to my hair between the 3rd and 4th rinse. My hair is still experiencing the same amazing shine and smoothness as in the previous weeks. I also experienced less shedding following the 4th rinse compared to the previous one.
As far as styling, I simply have been wearing my hair in a simple flat twist and low bun protective style.
I will do my 5th rinse (out of 6) tonight and will do a length check update in my next rice water challenge post..
Stretching Natural Hair Methods
As much as I find that using heat to stretch our natural hair is convenient, we are still very moderate users of it. The frequency we employ heat as a regular part of our natural hair regimen is ideal for our current needs and hair goals.
If you would like to know how we prepare our natural hair for heat stretching, definitely check out our Ultimate Heat Application on Natural Hair Guide. To see our absolute favorite heat stretching blow dryer (with a video tutorial), head over to our Revlon OneStep Styler Brush Review post.
In between heat stretching sessions, we use other methods for keeping our natural hair stretched that is just as effective. As I have mentioned plenty of times on our blog, we like to use braiding, twisting, bunning, banding, and threading as techniques to elongate our texture without the risk of heat damage.
Of all the methods above, the one I have been using the most is banding. It is an easy non-heat stretching method that can be done on any hair type and length. The best part is that it only takes a fraction of the time to do!
For more information on how to use banding for any natural hair type and length, visit the post: Banding Natural Hair | No Heat Method to Stretch Curls.
Busy Moms, Simple Routines
As a busy mom, I shared with you my simple wash day routine that will get you in and out of the bathroom in under 4 hours (that’s including styling time). All the basics are covered that are essential to healthy natural hair growth.
I even created a pinnable KISS (Keep it Simple Sister) Wash Day Flowchart for your reference:
Stop the Hair Growth Setbacks (Physically AND MENTALLY)
Lastly, I provided practical tips on how to grow your hair longer in one month. Many women struggle with hair growth and feel that longer healthy hair is outside their grasp. I have been in those shoes many times during my natural hair journey but have figured out what I needed to do (and stop doing) in order to see my length increase.
But first, you have to change your mindset about your natural hair. Many times the attitude and perception we have about ourselves manifest in how we actually treat ourselves. The same goes with our natural hair. If you have a defeatist attitude, then more than likely, you will not be motivated to make the necessary changes in order to see changes in the health of your hair.
If this is you, check out this infographic to encourage you to reset your mindset (pin it for your own reference!):
Head over to the post, How To Grow Natural Hair Longer in A Month, for more details on ways to improve hair growth and retention. Ready to create your own regimen today? Then grab our FREE 4 Week Natural Hair Regimen Worksheet Packet to get started ASAP.
2. Our July Natural Hair Progress
Most my July hair related activity has already been discussed above. I am still on a very low maintenance styling regimen where I am either rotating among banded ponytails, buns, and twists. All three of these styles help me to keep manipulation at a minimal for at least a week at a time (aka from one wash day to another).
For now, I do not plan on doing anything extra to my hair until I finish up my 6 week rice water challenge this month.
My Daughter’s Hair
Protective Styling with Cornrows
Z’s hair has been in protective styles last month. I practiced on my cornrowing skills on the following hairstyle near the end of June:
Third DIY Box Braids Install (Rubber Band Method)
After two weeks of this style, I installed her third set of box braids. Here is more information about set 1 and set 2. I did fewer braids for this third set but made the braids slightly thicker and much longer to accommodate for her longer hair length since the second set of box braids. I switched up the parting and went with triangular parts.
Prior to that, I gave her a good wash and deep conditioning. Normally, I like to do a light protein treatment on her hair before installing braids. However, I decided to try the rice water rinse alone on her hair instead. I did not want to risk protein overload.
Revisiting Our Old Love: The Tension Blowout Method
As much as I really love how fast I can stretch my daughter’s hair with the Revlon One-Step Styler Brush, I gave the tension method some love. The process definitely took much longer because of the thickness of Z’s hair:
Here’s a video showing my process of using the tension method on her hair:
The box braiding install went very smoothly. Once again, I used the rubber band method for installing her braids. I did all the parting first and then added the braids. My daughter really liked the final result:
She is going into week three of the braids which I will remove soon to allow her hair to rest for a few weeks before school starts.
Losing too much hair during the braid removal process? Hair is matted at the roots? Check out this Top 5 Braid Removal Tips To Save Time (and Your Hair).
Back to School Style Request: Passion Twists!?!
I was totally caught off guard when I asked my daughter how she wanted her hair for back to school!
I am a bit overwhelmed at the thought of doing passion twists because I have never installed them before. At this point, I have my doubts about whether I can pull this off! I love the look but just need to watch more tutorials and figure out the type of hair needed to accomplish the look. I will update you on how they turn out if she ultimately still wants the wear that style for back to school.
3. August Plans and Goals
As mentioned earlier, I am going to finish out the rice water challenge before I make my final verdict on the effectiveness of the rinse on my natural hair. Following the challenge, I plan to do a second bentonite clay treatment to clarify and detoxify my natural hair. I also plan to do a trim by the end of the month.
In regards to Z’s hair, I need to figure out our school time styling routine. I am aware that Z could become more particular about the types of hairstyles she would like to wear but I also have no desire to style her hair more than 2-4 times per month (ideally twice).
This may mean more cornrow type hairstyles which last longer and give us an unlimited amount of styling options. I will have Z go through my Children’s Hair Board on Pinterest to see what styles are “Tween Approved”. Then, I will share that list of hairstyles on here to help any mommas who may be stumped on what styles to do for back to school.
Well, this wraps up July as we launch forward into August.
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