Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Wash Day Fail

Happy Tuesday :),

So last night's wash was so awful I just had to blog about it smh. I worked out on Sunday, and it was hot yesterday so it was def time for a wash. My hair felt like it could use some strengthening but some moisture as well, so I opted to try something new, I used the CHI Deep Brilliance Moisture Conditioner which contains both hydrolyzed keratin and silk about midway through the list so I figured it would be a safe thing to try for last night. Here are the steps of what went down:
  1. Pre-pooed for about an hour with coconut oil on my scalp as well as the length.
  2. I shampooed twice using the Shea Moisture Moisture Retention shampoo
  3. I deep conditioned with the CHI Deep Brilliance Moisture Conditioner for 5 minutes without heat (per the instructions on the package), then rinsed.
  4. I t-shirt dried for about 5 minutes. My hair felt somewhat soft, but I couldn't detangle it.
  5. I then applied my leave-ins Redken Smooth Down Butter Treat (more on that later!) to the length and argan oil to my ends.
  6. I then attempted to detangle then let hair air-dry hanging down. 
So lets talk about what happened...
As I was rinsing out the conditioner my hair felt reasonably soft, but there was so little slip that I didn't really bother to attempt to detangle my hair in the shower. After I finished rinsing and t-shirt drying, of course detangling was still a chore so I applied my new fav moisturizing leave-in Redken Smooth Down Butter Treat and argan oil and absolutely nothing happened. My hair was still a tangled mess. My hair definitely feels stronger, it's not hard, but it feels dry and tangly. I even broke out my Pantene Normal-Thick detangler, which helped but now my hair feels coated because of the silicone in my leave-in and that detangler (ugh). It was still entirely too difficult to detangle so I just stopped and let it air-dry completely lol. Not only could was it tangled, it was also fuzzy and didn't dry anywhere near as straight or smooth as it usually does. I then moisturized and sealed with Bee Mine Deja's Hair Milk and argan oil, and that combo saved the day. I was able to get a good portion of my shed hair out but my hair looks and feels like crap. It feels coated, looks stringy and Jenna's just not pleased by this outcome.
Perhaps the CHI conditioner was used to close to my last application of Nexxus Keraphix (my medium protein treatment) and maybe that was why my hair reacted the way it did. In any case, I'm not certain how they managed to advertise this conditioner as a moisturizing conditioner, I wouldn't even say this was a moisturizing/light protein conditioner, for my hair it made it feel about as strong as Keraphix does. That was just bananas. Needless to say, I will have to clarify (to remove the silicone) as well as deep condition again tonight to avoid any crazy damage from dryness or silicone build up. I clearly should have done another moisturizing deep conditioning after, but it was so late last night and I was so tired that I knew that wasn't going to happen. I'm not going to give my final verdict about the CHI conditioner until I use it a few more times, but at this point I'll probably have to wait until after I relax my hair next (mostly because after a fresh relaxer I won't have to worry about tangling and also because my hair can generally tolerate more protein). Well, today definitely turned into a day for an updo lol...

What was your worst wash day experience?

Thanks for reading :),

Friday, July 27, 2012

Back to the Gym and Hair Talk

Hello there :)

For approximately the last two months, I have been out of the gym due to a bruised rib. It took about 8 weeks to heal, and on the 9th week (last week) I was finally cleared to go back to the gym (yay!). Unfortunately, I gained about 10 lbs, so it's time for me to get crackin. I've been taking it easy since I've been back, mostly just cardio. Needless to say, since I've been back at the gym, my hair has been boring lol. It's mostly just been air-dried straight, pinned up, or half up/half down. Nothing interesting... I've also noticed a slight increase in breakage because my hair has been drying out faster. The breakage has been making me a little cranky so I've just been washing, deep conditioning and leaving it alone. I think I'll still try to style it at least once a week to keep myself interested in it. My scalp has stopped hurting, so now I can do a bun or do an updo a couple days a week, making my life a bit easier. However, since I've started working out again, I've noticed I have been annoyed with my hair. The breakage, dryness, and it not being able to do any fun styles has got me a bit down, so I wanted to remind myself of a few things that I love about my hair.

I love the color, the thickness and how soft/flowy it is when properly taken care of =].

So tell me, have you ever been in a hair rut and what do you love most about your hair?

Thanks for reading :),

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Introducing My Sister!

Hey all,

My sister has recently decided to start a hair journey!

Hi Janelle!

She came to me to talk about healthy hair practices and the steps that should be taken to help her grow out her current neck length bob to longer lengths (around armpit length I believe). She even agreed to be on my blog as a feature and so that we can track her progress :).

Here are some stats about my sister's hair:
hair type: relaxed and semi-permanent color-treated, 3c/4a
current length: neck length
density: normal
strand diameter: fine/normal
porosity: normal to low

Last weekend I visited her at home and we did her first wash. Janelle did a pre-shampoo treatment with coconut oil, washed with the Organix Moroccan Argan Oil shampoo and deep conditioned with the ORS Hair Masque for 20 minutes with a plastic cap and heating cap. She then applied leave-in (Garnier Fructis sleek and shine leave-in conditioner), air-dried and we discussed detangling techniques and how to air-dry smoothly (she chose to use Sunshyne from Hairlista's air-drying method).
Pic during the air-dry process

After her hair fully air-dried, we moisturized and sealed with Bee Mine Deja's Hair Milk and argan oil. She then put rollers in her hair and called it a night. Here was the final result:
I think it's looking great so far! I'm so excited to help her with her journey and I look forward to seeing her amazing progress over the next few months :).

Thanks for reading :),

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Scalp/No Protective Styling Update


I mentioned in a few previous posts that I have been having some scalp troubles.  I believe I mentioned that about a month ago, since that post I have been actively working to improve the condition of my scalp. The problems I was suffering from were: extreme scalp tenderness near my edges and the crown of my head, as well as an extremely itchy scalp that was producing large flakes. Today I am happy to say that the condition of my scalp has drastically improved.

To reduce the flaking, I just try to stay away from sulfate shampoos and non-water soluble silicones as often as I possibly can. When silicone builds up on my scalp, it gets irritated and then it requires a sulfate to remove and my skin hates that too, so it turns into a viscous cycle. So stay silicone and sulfate light has certainly reduced the flaking and itchiness, and of course with a cleaner, healthier scalp shedding has greatly reduced as well. I'm going to continue to be kind to my scalp and keep it clean. Since it's the summer, and I tend to produce more sebum than usual I will also avoid oiling my scalp too far from wash days to avoid any additional itching.

As for the scalp tenderness, it's gone! So it really did have to do with too much tension mostly from protective styling, but also apparently from the force of the shower head in my bathroom (how crazy is that? lol def had to turn that down). Ive spent the last 4-5 weeks protective styling free to give my edges and crown a break. While I don't mind my hair being out, I am aware of the risks of not protective styling. To combat any problems with retaining length, I have stepped up the frequency and duration of my deep conditioning sessions as well as being extremely diligent about my moisturizing and sealing. Also, incorporating rollersets has seriously helped me maintain the health of my ends. Rollersetting (see last week's small set to the left :) keeps ends smooth, moisturized and kept off of my clothes for extended periods of time without the need to protective style. My ends seem to be doing alright, but after my scalp recovers I plan to gradually increase the frequency of my protective styling. I have noticed on average that protective styling more than 50% of the time starts to negatively affect my retention, especially on the sides of my head--after all moderation is best, so I will be sure to vary my styles frequently. 

I'm pleased with the progress I've made so far on these issues, and I plan to continue to pay attention to my hair and do what it says! I just wanted to ask you ladies though, have you had any setbacks from protective styling? If so, how did you do to fix the problem?

Thanks for reading :),

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Wash Day -- Rollerset with larger rollers

Good evening!

I actually didn't wash my hair for about 5 days, and in the summer that is horrific for me. My scalp was so angry and oily that I had to wash as soon as I possibly could which was on yesterday (pheww...). I was also dying to do a rollerset with larger rollers because I actually got fairly adept at putting in the small 1'' rollers that I figured I'd try my skills on a larger set. Here's what my wash day consisted of:
  1. Pre-poo with Kinky Curly Perfectly Polished Nourishing Hair Oil and coconut oil on the length, I skipped putting oil on my scalp... I think it had enough lol.
  2. I shampooed twice with the Shea Moisture Moisture Retention shampoo. This shampoo completely calmed and cleaned my scalp... #winning.
  3. I deep conditioned with Nexxus Humectress for 20 minutes with heat and then rinsed. 
  4. I t-shirt dried for about 5 minutes then applied the Rusk Smoother Leave-in conditioner and detangled. 
  5. I then set my hair on 1.75'' rollers (the purple ones, is that the size?? lol).
This was a pretty good and predictable wash day. Humectress does a great job of keeping my hair smooth and balanced and since it contains a ton of silicone my hair dries really smooth, while the roller helps my cuticles to lay flat as they dry. Here's the set:
I used larger rollers for the body and put small 1'' rollers for my nape 
and around my hairline.

Here are the results:

The first pic is from the morning when i took my hair out and the 
last two are at the end of the day (after the gym!)

I seem to do better with smaller rollers, so maybe I'll stick to that :). The curls also last longer with less product, so small sets it is lol.

Thanks for reading :),

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Product Review: Organic Root Stimulator Hair Masque

Good afternoon!
My staple light protein conditioner is Miss Key 10 en 1, but I have to admit I've never been crazy about the smell. It has this weird mango/peach smell, which in theory sounds like it would smell great but it just doesn't seem to work for me. Although it works very well, especially with heat, it would also be good to find another reasonable alternative in case I can't find the Miss Key conditioner. After browsing Hairlista for a while and reading a bunch of reviews, I chose to try the new Olive Oil Hair Masque from ORS. From what I researched prior to purchase/use, it was advertised as a (more) moisturizing deep conditioner, that had great slip, clean scent and was light on silicone.
ORS Hair Masque

I've used the Hair Masque a few times, deep in a stretch, right after a relaxer and for use prior to relaxing to strengthen my hair. In all of these situations, this product has done what it was supposed to. It has detangled, smoothed, strengthened and left a fresh scent that has persisted for days. For my hair though, this was not a moisturizing deep conditioner, this was def a light protein as it contains hydrolyzed keratin. My hair rarely interprets protein containing conditioners to be moisturizing, with the exception of Nexxus Humectress (but only the one in the bottle). The ORS Hair Masque really does a flawless job of strengthening without making the hair hard, tangled and unmanageable. I'd say this product is safe to use weekly, especially if you chemically process your hair. I highly recommend this product, unless you are sensitive to fragrance or protein. My skin is a bit sensitive to fragrance though, and due to the intensity of the fragrance I will keep an eye on my scalp's reaction and update that later on if necessary ;).

Rating: 4.5/5
Claims: An intense treatment conditioner that helps restore heat and color damaged hair. Infused with natural and other ingredients, this hair masque will revitalize and detangle the hair leaving it soft, shiny and smooth.

Ingredients: Water, cetearyl alcohol, polysorbate 60, PEG-150 stearate, cetyl alcohol, ceteareth-20, PEG-20 hydrogenated lanolin, PEG-40 stearate, coconut oil, polyquaternium-7, cetrimonium chloride, behentrimonium methosulfate, cetearyl alcohol, polyquaternium-37, propylene glycol dicaprylate/dicaprate, PPG-1 trideceth-6, glycerin, dimethicone, PPG-3 benzyl ethyl myristate, hydrolyzed keratin, sweet almond oil, olive oil, panthenol, hydrogenated olive oil, PEG-7 methyl olivate, amodimethicone, trideceth 12, hydroxyethylcellulose, DMDM hydantoin, disodium EDTA, citric acid, methylchloroisothiazoline, methylisothiazoline, caramel, fragrance, benzyl benzoate, d-limonene, hexyl cinnamal, lilial, linalool
pH: 5.5/6
Type: Light protein deep conditioner

How do you feel about the ORS Hair Masque?

Thanks for reading :),

Monday, July 9, 2012

Current Favorite Oils

Good morning!

I own a lot of oils, sometimes I wonder where I found the time to get all of these items lol. I won't bore you with a list of my oils, but I would like to mention the ones in my rotation right now, a brief description and how and why I use them.

Argan Oil -
Argan OilI am currently loving argan oil as a sealant in the summer time. It is super lightweight, has a light odor and is partially absorbed into the hair shaft so it is non-greasy. I also use it on my skin and on spots where I have eczema during the winter, but since it's been 90+ degrees, there hasn't been much of a need for anything other than baby lotion occasionally lol. I also mix a bit of argan oil into my pre-poo now, especially when I'm taking down any low manipulation styles (twists, twist outs, etc). Argan Oil is also a large component of my newly purchased Kinky-Curly Perfectly Polished Nourishing Hair Oil, the oil mixture is also very light and smells amazing, more on that soon ;).

Macadamia Nut Oil -
This oil is currently acting as hair sunscreen for this season :). This natural oil has an spf of 6 and has been doing wonders for keeping the outer layers of my hair smooth, soft and moist in the face of the brutal summer heat. A little goes a long way, and about 2 drops is enough to cover my hair's canopy. I recently purchased the Macadamia Natural Oil Healing Oil Spray (I saw it in a GlamTwinz youtube video), this spray contains silicone and macadamia oil, it's great for spraying over a rollerset or finisher for a twist out to keep your hair protected from the heat.

Coconut Oil -
coconut oilThis is my all time favorite oil. I use it for absolutely everything and I love everything about it lol. It smells like macaroons, is light enough to seal with, reduces protein loss, seals in moisture, smooths dry skin, can be used as a deep conditioner and for those of us with scalp conditions it soothes, protects and has anti-bacterial and fungicidal properties. Basically what I'm saying is, you can't really go wrong with coconut oil! Currently I'm using coconut oil as the majority of my pre-poo formulations as well as around my hairline to keep my seborrheic dermatitis happy. I also love using it during the week because it keeps my scalp smelling delicious between wash days.

Thanks for reading :),

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Wash Day

Hey there

It has been 90 degrees the entire week in the nyc, so my scalp has been saying wash me since I co-washed on Wednesday. My hair was also super dry since I can't protective style, I'm still allowing my scalp some time to stop being tender. I figured that last night would be a good time to wash and do a good deep condition to restore the moisture the heat has stolen from my hair. Here's what went down last night:
  1. Pre-poo with coconut/sweet almond mix on scalp, on the length I used Kinky-Curly Perfectly Polished Nourishing Hair Oil as well as coconut oil. I then left that in for 30 mins under my heat cap and an additional 30 mins due to laziness :).
  2. Shampooed twice with Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo.
  3. Deep Conditioned with Silicon Mix Bambu Nutritive Hair Treatment for 10 mins under my heat cap, allowed my hair to cool and then rinsed in cool water.
  4. I t-shirt dried for about 10 minutes and then applied Silicon Mix Bambu Nutritive Leave-in to the length and argan oil to my ends.
  5. I then finger detangled and allowed my hair to air-dry loose. 
I got bored with my usual deep conditioners, and since I used Humectress all week so I figured I'd try something new. I like the Silicon Mix Bambu DC and leave-in so far, my hair came out very smooth, even my underprocessed edges. I'll be using them a few more times before I form a concrete opinion.

I let my hair finish air-drying which took about 2.5 hours for it to be like 90% dry and then I went to bed. This morning I moisturized and sealed with Bee Mine Deja's Hair Milk and argan oil and pincurled my hair. Here are the results:


The lighting is weird, I'm still trying to get this right :p

I like how they came out, I think it was a good choice for a little party that I went to shortly after taking the down the pincurls. I also put some argan oil on my hands to take the pincurls down as well as some macadamia nut oil on my canopy because it is still 95 degrees and sunny in nyc and my hair needed some spf lol.

Thanks for reading :),

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Rollerset with Small Rollers

Good evening ladies!

I hope all of you had a great 4th of July! It has definitely been hot in the northeast this week and having my hair straight has been making me hot lol, so I decided to do a rollerset with small rollers 1'' rollers on Sunday night.

Day 1- Monday



Day 2-Tuesday 


Day 3-Wednesday


I didn't fluff the curls at all, I just let them fall naturally for the days they stayed in (lol laziness :). I kept this set up for about 3 days by moisturizing, sealing and pin-curling the front at night as well as scrunching argan oil through the back. I then put a hairnet over the rollerset portion of the back of my head and called it a night. I love the low maintenance of this style, how smooth my ends feel from roller setting as well as no hair being on my back in the summer heat :). I'm also so excited that I get to practice rollersetting for a while until my new growth kicks in. I think I'm improving and practicing is fun!

Thanks for reading :),

Monday, July 2, 2012

My 1 Year Hairniversary!

Hi there!

Yesterday marked one year since I embarked on this mission to take better care of my hair. After months of research, trial/error, adapting techniques to work for me and product selection, I've made more progress in one year than I ever imagined. I have learned so much about my hair, skin and body since I've started this journey and I still have so much more to learn.

At the start of my journey, at a choppy shoulder length

First trim during the journey 1'' in October '11

Current length now as of July '12 (air-dried after relaxer, prior to trim)

I do certainly still have a long way to go, but I am definitely pleased by how far I've come! I would def like to give a special thanks to those that read my blog + those that have subscribed, as well as to a few of the special people in my life who have supported me since day one and that stayed interested [my mom, Sof, Sammi + Sam ]. I look forward to the next year and what it brings!

Thanks for reading :),
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