Hair Journey: Daughter’s New Regimen to Jump Start Natural Hair Growth

Hi, everybody!!! So, today my daughter decided to embark on a new hair care regimen journey to grow her hair out naturally so she can start to style it and have hair styling options. And as many of you have followed me in my hair journeys, please join me in supporting my girl in her first hair care journey.

Along the way we will chart her progress, see how she’s coming along in her progress, and chart the hair growth. We will look at the products she uses, steps she takes to deep condition her hair, and what she does to keep it hydrated.  We will protect her ends by keeping them trimmed as her hair grows; keep her hair hydrated, eat healthy foods that promote healthy hair, and make sure she is drinking the required amount of water of at least 2 liters a day, staying active, and contributing to her hair growth by taking multivitamins with Biotin.

Hair Care RegimenFor her hair care products, she is using Shea Moisture 100% Pure Jamaican Black Castor Oil, Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Leave-In Conditioner, Amla Oil, Creme of Nature Sulfate-Free Argan Oil Moisture & Shine Shampoo.

To start I sprayed her hair with water, then added some Amla Oil and Castor Oil in her hair and comb it completely through. This helped to detangle her hair.  She is going to let it sit on her hair under a shower cap for about 30 minutes or so, then wash it out.  She will use the creme of nature shampoo and a conditioner.

Amla OilHer hair will air dry, but not before she adds back in the oils and apply the leave-in conditioner (starting with the leave in conditioner first) to moisturize her hair and oil her scalp.  For daily hair care, I recommend she use the leave in conditioner or the black castor oil to keep her hair hydrated and her scalp free from dryness.

I have a friend who swears by using Amla Oil.  It’s been instrumental in the growth and health of her hair.  I tried it a couple of years ago and have liked how it keeps my scalp from being dry and itchy.  I use it as a preconditioner.  Let it sit on my hair then wash and shampoo afterwards, follow it up with Redken Mega Soft Hydramelt leave in conditioner.  Using it on my daughter’s hair I believe it will play a major part in her heart hair growth.

After she applied her leave in conditioner and the oils on top of that, her hair feels soft.  Committing to this journey means she will have to wash her hair regularly — every week to get the nutrients that her hair needs locked in and until she can start to see her hair being rejuvenated, growing healthy and thick, and beautiful.  She will start to notice the shedding reduced and will see the difference.

NOTE:  With every journey you start, it’s important to make sure you research all of the products you are planning to use to make sure they are designed for your hair whether you are growing your hair natural or your hair is colored, or you wear a relaxer.  Develop a hair regimen you are willing to commit to using products that are specific to your hair type.

I will be helping her along the way.  We hope to have significant progress by the time of her 2019 Summer Wedding.

Let’s cheer her on!

Hair Journey: Hair Bouncing Back From the Cut and Return Dark& Lovely Relaxers

Hey there all of my hairlista readers.  I have been on my hair journey now since I cut my hair four months ago.  The decision to start cutting my hair — mostly cutting the color out — came when I noticed a considerable amount of thinning from using the sulfate free shampoos and conditioners.

NOTE:  Remember that if you wear relaxers and/or color, that not all sulfate free shampoos and conditioners are not chemical safe for your hair when you are contemplating using them.  I think they are mostly designed for people with natural hair that has never been chemically treated or has transitioned back to natural.

After talking with my hairstylist in Portland almost a month ago, and told her of my experience since I last saw her, she recommended a deep conditioner or moisturizer that would protect my hair and my color.  I went to Beauty First in Clackamas, OR and the ladies there talked to me about a number products that are designed to protect hair that is chemically treated and locks in moisture the hair needs.

So, if you read my previous post you will know that I have now added Redken Mega Soft Hydramelt to my regular hair care regimen.  It is a leave in conditioner that is designed to protect hair that is chemically treated (i.e., permed, relaxed, colored).  I started using it Memorial weekend.  Since I started using it my hair has felt healthier, the shredding has been reduced dramatically, and I actually noticed more than a half inch of new growth in parts of my hair, especially on the areas I was focusing on for new growth.

I use just a dab of the Redken Mega Soft Hydramelt after I shampoo and condition my hair.  After I rub it through my hair I comb it through with a semi wide tooth comb.  I blow dry it dry.  Afterwards my hair feels soft.  You don’t need to use a lot of the Redken Mega Soft Hydramelt unless you are going to put your hair in a ponytail.

The key to a successful hair journey is to make sure you are drinking plenty of water, have daily routine activities — sweat contributes to how the hair grows — eating natural fruits and vegetables in a healthy balanced diet, and taking vitamins that contribute to healthy hair growth.

Rene 6.22.18It’s been a long journey this time around, but one worth it because since the experience with the previous shampoos and conditioners, I think returning to my regular hair care products have been the best thing I could do.  The huge difference since the move to Washington is that my hairstylist is almost an hour away so I don’t have the luxury of going to see her regularly like when I was going to Lakewood, CA,  This picture is the first back full picture since cutting my hair four months ago.

Picture taken by my daughterBiosilk6.22.18, Christina.

I keep my ends trimmed and my hair hydrated.  I use the Redken Mega Soft Hydramelt 2 – 3 times a week.  Just a dab because using just a dab goes a long way.

Biosilk is still my favorite heat serum when I am pressing and/or flat ironing my hair.  It does just what the name says, leaves my hair feeling silky smooth.  It’s still on the pricey side, but I was fortunate enough to find it at Wal-Mart at a reduced price.

Do I still use Coconut Oil?  Since I added the Redken product, and I use a polisher and  Biosilk, I really don’t use Coconut Oil all that much.  Specifically because I also use the Redken on my ends to keep them from being brittle and dry, and breaking off.  Don’t get me wrong, I do keep the Coconut Oil close.  I never know when it may come in handy.

Amla Hair OilFor an extremely dry scalp, because it does happen, or when my hair feels dry after I’ve been wearing a ponytail for days I use my Amla Hair Oil.  I just put a little in my hands, rub on my finger tips and rub throughout my scalp, getting those areas that are the driest, which usually tends to be the middle top and towards the front of my head  I learned that using this once a week is fine because too much will leave my hair heavy, stringy, and limp.  And I had to balance out using it and the Redken leave in so that the buildup is not as bad by the time I have to wash it again.

I have friends who use the Amla Hair Oil religiously and pretty much swear by it so I bought some for both myself and my daughter to try.  She uses a little on my granddaughter’s hair to keep her curly coils defined in addition to the Cantu she uses.  My daughter put a little of the Amla Oil in some leave in conditioner with water in a spray bottle and sprays it on my granddaughters hair when needed.

NOTE:  I wash my hair every weekend — or a day during the week if my hair really needs it.

Finisheen6.22.18Ok, so when I finish my hair and all the frizz is gone, and I have it laid the way I want it, I finish with my Finisheen hair spray.  Now I have been using this spray for as long as I can remember.  I was turned on to using it from a hairstylist at JCPenny in the Fox Hills Mall back in the 80’s.  That’s how long it’s been around.  And my hair just loves it.  The other spray I like is by Paul Mitchell, which is the only hold spray I’ll use.

Now, let’s talk about doing a relaxer at home.  There is a lot to consider when contemplating doing a relaxer at home.  There are certain factors you have to keep in mind.

  1. You should only do a relaxer if your hair grow is at least an inch, especially if you are touching up your relaxer from a previous one.
  2. Don’t over process the relaxer, meaning do not leave it on your hair longer than the suggested time based on your hair type
  3. Don’t overlap a relaxer.  This means do not touch up a relaxer if you do not have new growth that is at least an inch or more.  This could cause significant damage to your hair.  A touch up should be done 6 – 8 weeks after your relaxer has been refreshed.  Or it depends on how fast your hair grows.
  4. Avoiding using relaxer products stronger than your hair type.  To play it safe use Regular or mild.  Mild if your hair is coarse.  Super is for those whose hair is super coarse and not to be used on hair that is fine or thin.
  5. Use proper hair care methods to care for your hair while relaxed.  Use a protein complex, deep conditioner, and a shampoo designed for chemically treated hair.

DarkandLovelyDoing a relaxer at home — if it is your first time — you should perform a strand test.  Always use a protectant around your hairline and ears to protect from burning your skin.  I am back to doing the relaxer touch up at home because I am not as close to my hairstylist and it costs nearly $100.  I had to go back to using Dark & Lovely because no one here in town where I recently moved to sells the Elasta QP that I really like.  It would mean I would have to order it and pay cost in shipping.

Why did I choose Dark & Lovely?  It’s the only other product I know and grew up using since when I was a teenager, and my mom was doing it for me.  So, for $5.58 (give or take a few cents or less) picked up at Wal-mart, it is the go to product that is still one of the best on the market.  I come away with soft, silky feeling hair.  Don’t get me wrong, you do have to mix in an activator into the cream, but other than that, and with following the instructions, you can’t go wrong.

Thus to say this hair journey has been tough at best, it’s the results from all my efforts are really starting to pay off.   I drive to Portland next week to let my hairstylist clean up the cut, take care of any split ends there may be, but I can assume she won’t find any because I took care of them when I did my relaxer Friday night at home.

If you wait too long to do a relaxer touch up, meaning you went beyond the 8 week mark, your hair [if it’s like mine] will start to not respond to presses or flat ironing straightening, it will not hold it’s shine and you will find yourself stuck in a rut waiting for the time you can get your hair done.  This is why it is important to get your relaxer touch up on time, or find out what you can do for extra hair care if you are in between visits.  Ideally you want to make sure your hair care regimen has all of the needed components needed to maintain healthy hair.

Your hair journey could consists of your regular hair care products.  Adding only those products that are essential to your hair.  This is a good idea because it is giving you the understanding of what works for your hair and what does no work.  Remember that if you are going to do a relaxer at home, trim up your ends.  Should be no more than a half inch to an inch — if I remember correctly, or unless you are going for a specific style.

A healthy hair care routine makes for healthy hair.

Updated July 21, 2018

Hair & Health: Enhancing Your Current Hair Care Regimen Without Actually Changing It

We pride ourselves in our hair care regimen and what it does for our hair.  But have you asked yourself what more could you do to better care for your hair without actually changing your hair care regimen?  There are products on the market that can add extra care to the health of your hair, but it takes talking to the right people, asking the right questions and researching various products.  After all, how you care for your hair is a job within itself and you want to ensure that whatever product you add is going to do its job in providing the extra care you are looking for.

If you’re like me and have color in your hair and/or you wear a relaxing, taking care of your hair has to be done regularly with measures that have to be taken to ensure the health of your hair.

Just recently I embarked on a journey of stepping up my hair care regimen because I am not scheduled to see my hairstylist until the end of  June.  This is because where I live and where the beauty salon is located, that I can only get out there once a month.  Therefore hair care is a much more serious concern, and my hair care regimen has to do more than that it has been doing.  My hair care regimen has to reduce and prevent breakage and unnecessary shedding.  It has to keep my hair hydrated and my scalp free of getting dry.

With having to cut my hair due to the breakage I experienced from using a product that was too harsh for my hair — I had to cut out the color that was damaged — I am happy to say that it has already grown back half the length from when I first cut it.  I didn’t want to because I knew I would be [once again] starting all over it again, but it meant the health of my hair, and returning to my original hair care regimen would be the best thing I could do because my hair responded very well to it.  And since my hair care appointment is so late in the month I was able to communicate with my hairstylist to ask her advice on what to use to achieve and maintain hydrated hair that is moisturized and nourished with nutrients that protects the shaft of my hair.

After speaking with her, and explained what my current situation was and asked until I saw her what did she recommend, she suggested a deep moisturizer for my hair would be the best thing I could use until my appointment with her and I am assuming in between visits as well.  Because we live in a city that does not have a lot of products available for black women hair or hair salons that caters to black women hair, I have to travel 35 minutes to an hour and a half to see a hairstylists and go to a beauty supply store.

Redken All SoftLast Sunday, while leaving the Clackamas Town Center Mall in Clackamas, OR my daughter and I came across a beauty supply and salon called Beauty First and the ladies there were very knowledgeable that in order for them to understand what I needed they allowed me to explain my situation including when I was schedule to see my hairstylist.

The ladies at Beauty First showed me various products that they were able to explain to me in full detail of how each one worked in protecting the color in my hair while giving me the moisture I was looking for until I am able to see my hairstylist and in between visits.  The products they showed me ranged from $20 – $35 but they had ingredients in them designed to protect the color of my hair and provide a deep moisturizing I was looking for.

Redken All Soft2I came away with the the Redken All Soft Mega Hydrant because it is a leave-in which I can use 2 – 3 times a week.  I like this particular one because it is not heavy, it is not greasy, and it does just what it says.

I have used it a few times so far and I love how it makes my hair feel.  I have washed my hair, and have used it just after shampooing and conditioning my hair.  I put some in it and rubbed in down to the ends, blow dried my hair, flat ironed it out and the results were amazing.  This was $20 well spent so far.

After a month of using this product I will come back with my overall review.  I did not change my current hair care regimen, simply added a moisturizing product to it that does more than what my other leave-in conditioner by Cantu does.  The Redken All Soft Mega gets down to the heart of the matter and hydrates my hair.

Sometimes we have to think about how well our hair care regimen is working and if whether or not it needs a boost.  If you are not currently using a moisturizer for your hair, ask your stylist or seek the advice of a professional to see if adding a moisturizer could benefit the health of your hair.  But before you add just any product, do your research.  Ask the right questions.  Gather information.  Your hair will love you for it.

Hair & Health: Your Hair & The Benefits of Water — Why You Should Drink 2 Liters Daily

Hair is like a garden.  It grows based on how you treat it and how much water you drink, and also by what you put in your body in terms of having a daily balanced diet fortified with green vegetables, fresh fruits and exercise.  How you care for your scalp and your ends are important because they thrive by what your hair care regimen consists of.  This includes regular trims, moisturizers, deep conditioners, the right shampoos and conditioners, special treatments, your daily dose of water, vitamins, and a healthy diet contributes to a healthy head of hair.

Water is essential not just for keeping ourselves hydrated, but the benefits of drinking water contributes to less dandruff caused by a dry and itchy scalp.  Even though we use various oils to keep the scalp dandruff-free water is a natural resource that also helps the scalp produce its own oil.  But also keep in mind that if the body undergoes a mild dehydration this can cause the body to take energy away from other parts of the body like the hair.  The roots will suffer and you can experience some hair loss.

Sites like AskMeAboutMyHair.com and StyleCraze.com are two of the best online resources that talks about the benefits of drinking water everyday. And provides 22 steps to achieving the goal of increasing the health and care of our hair. Ideally we should be drinking at least 2 liters on a daily basis.  Can your roots dry out from not drinking water?  Absolutely so!  Because you are not hydrating your body up enough to where not only your hair suffers, but so does your skin and your body — dehydration then becomes a problem.  Your body is fighting for an energy source and is taking it from wherever it can.

If you use chemicals on your hair (i.e, perms, relaxers, hair coloring, etc.), water and oils are an essential and is vital to keeping your hair healthy and beautiful in addition to your regular regimen.  A healthy amount of exercise also helps to hydrate the roots well being because with the exercising and/or your activities that are rigorous and produces sweat, it keeps the scalp hydrated.

Keeping hair clean by removing buildup by washing and conditioning the hair once every week and maintaining routine trims to keep the split ends away, keeps it on its growing path.  Drinking water regularly — 2 liters daily — contributes to 1/4 (one fourth) of the weight water makes.  So sweat on and keep on drinking your daily dose of water.

Health & Hair Growth says roots can be deficient.  What does this mean?  The cells that are the driving force to hair growing will not even be produced because the hair is parched.  Who knew that hair can become parched?  Think about it — if you are in Las Vegas on a 105 degree day and you have gone an entire week without drinking water, your body would feel deprived.  The mouth would be dry, your body would feel extremely hot and you will feel exhausted.  The body is trying to find what it needs to quench its thirst from dehydration.  Imagine what this does to your skin and hair.  Starting with a bottle of water can start to give your body the strength and energy it needs, but if you give the body the full 2 liters it needs your body is regaining is strength and energy, and on a daily basis the body is restored from dehydration, your skin starts to look and feel healthier, regain its color, and the hair is not brittle.

Water contributes to regulating the circulatory system.  Hair growth stems from water feeding the circulatory system “which feeds the hair follicles.”  2 liters daily can keep the body hydrated.  The body is made up of 50 – 65% of water, hence why you should drinking that much daily.

Every article I read have all said the same thing — we should be drinking at least 2 liters of water daily.  It provides the hair cells and the roots what it needs to grow beautifully and healthy.  Though black women and white women hair hair are essentially different in textures, the benefits of drinking water promotes the same principle.

Updated June 4, 2018

Hair: When You Can’t Achieve the Shade on the Box of Your Favorite Hair Color Brand

Hair 11.25.17Thus we set out to dye our hair that amazing shade we see on the box of our favorite hair coloring brand because — for the best that I can tell — it makes us feel alive, more vibrant, cuts out the gray hairs, and let’s face it….we just love the way it makes us feel.  But what if the color you are trying to achieve that is on the box doesn’t work out the way expected — either too dark or way too light, or something altogether different?  Relax!  It happens.  There are ways to fix the problem, which I have to say is not a quick fix, but merely suggestions to help remedy the problem which will either give you the desired results you are looking for or it will take you in a different direction that you can tolerate or you will find yourself running to a professional hair stylist.

I had my hair done by a professional stylist in Lakewood, CA.  At first my hair was supposed to just have blonde streaks in it after I had the weave removed.  Instead, what she did was permanently dyed my hair a platinum blonde, then topped it with a dark brown cellophane.  After several washes it started to lighten and the end results is in the above picture of what I came away with.  Not the blonde I initially wanted, but a blonde I was use to having, so I didn’t freak out.  And the dark roots were purposely done like that, just so you know 🙂

Clairol TexturesTonesNow, a reader contacted me via email to ask about this very situation of achieving results she totally did not want.  She used the Clairol’s Textures & Tones hoping to achieve the blonde shade she was looking for.  What she received instead was something altogether different from what she wanted.  After the first two attempts she contacted Clairol and they told her to use a shade darker and leave on for half the recommended time.  She did this using a semi-permanent shade and came away with an orangie color, which almost looks like it’s that cinnamon color I used to get when I had my hair streaked.  But this is not what she wanted.  She was completely disappointed and wanted a fix quickly that would undo the shade she did not want.  Clairol admitted that you can’t expect to achieve the same color you see on the box, being a false statement/advertisement, however, it does depend on a few factors that can be done to get the desired shade which is a big process.  If we don’t know what that process is, then how can we achieve the shade we want?

If you run into a situation where the color you are trying to achieve comes out way too light or way too dark, or is just something you were not expecting at all, there is a couple of things you can do.

  1. If your hair comes out too light you can apply a darker shade from the same brand you are using to your hair.  Keep it on for half of the recommended time, but be sure to check every five minutes until you feel that it’s dark enough.
  2. If your hair is too red or an orangie color you can try dying your hair a shade of brown that is the same color level as the red or blonde you used.  Start applying to the areas that are the most red or orangie and leave it on for five to ten minutes.  Rinse it out when you feel your hair is dark enough or the shade of darkness you want.
  3. You can also use a semi-permanent color in a shade darker or lighter depending on the previous results.  But note that this could give you something entirely.

If all else fails I recommend consulting with your professional hair stylist or someone with years of experience in correcting hair color.  Keep in mind that if you keep trying to correct the color you run the risk of damaging your hair and will cause it to break off.  You don’t want that to happen.  You should really be waiting one week and one shampoo between hair dyes if you are correcting a color and you should be using a protein pre-dying in order to protect it if you are doing yourself at home.

The one thing we can take away from this is don’t be fooled by the shades you see on the box expecting to achieve that color right away.  There are processes that you must do in order to successfully achieve that shade.  I have never used those processes, which I believe is using a toner. Do as much research as possible if you want to go from a dark color to an extreme light color in order to know what you have to do.

If anyone had this question, I hope this helps.

 

 

 

 

Hair Care & Education: Benefits of Braiding Hair During Winter Months

Have you ever wondered about braiding up your hair during the cold winter months?  I have already started braiding up my hair every other month, but in reading articles I read that it is actually a good idea because hair tends to become brittle and breaks off if not cared for.  And with our busy schedule, we hardly take the time to think about what the cold winter months are doing to our hair.

Where we use moisturizing leave-in conditioners, it is said that using water based products are better because we want to avoid using products that are known for causing  a build up.  But I think this depends on your hair type.  I know if I do not use something that has a little oil in it when I am braiding my hair, my scalp gets dry and so does my hair and the ends.  when I am braiding my hair in french braid (or corn rolls) I have to focus on the ends, making sure my ends are oiled enough to where they are not breaking off.  And for my scalp, I have to use an oil blend to keep my scalp hydrated, thus keeping my hair hydrated.  If braided property, and tied up every night, I can go an entire week without taking it down.

In the article I read from 2013 from Ebony on Best Reason to Wear Braids in the Winter Susy Oludele stated that shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, Coconut Oil, Jamaican Castor Oil, 100% African Shea Butter, NuNaat Products and good ol’ H20 are the best products to use when you are wearing braids during the cold months, and I couldn’t agree more because I use or have used some of these products.

Live About gives up five good reasons to wear protective hair styles in the article written February 2017.

  1. Low maintenance
  2. Keeps hair soft
  3. Retains growth
  4. Versatile
  5. They are timesavers

But what if you wear perms or relaxers?  Can these benefits apply if you wear a relaxer?  I have to say the do because even with wearing a relaxer you have to — at some point — give your hair a break to give it a chance to recuperate from the day to day styling, heat and whatever else you do to your hair that can over stress it.

I wore my hair down for a week.  The week before I wore my hair braided up for a week.  Now that the holidays are behind us, I have braided it back up and will it braided up during the cold weather and until I see my stylist again at the end of the month.  But just because you wear your hair in protective styles or you’ve gotten hair extensions to create those fabulous braided styles, you still have take care of your scalp.  Keep it and your braids looking fresh and hydrated.

What I have found is there are not a lot of articles about braiding your hair when you have a relaxer.  In fact, if you ask an expert they will probably tell you not to or give you advice on the best routes to go.  But the truth to the matter is at some point you have to give your hair a break and as far as I can tell braiding your is a good idea.

Now, me being me, I would not for the added extensions braids or the box braids.  What works for me and has way back in the day is the french braids (or corn rolls as so many of you out there call them) because I can braid my hair, tie it up at night, wear nice head bands or decorative combs and be good to go and not have to take my hair down for weeks on out except to wash it, oil it up and braid it back up.  By not using any heat my hair grows faster simply by keeping it oiled, cleaned, and hydrated.  When I wear it down for special occasions I can see the difference.  At the same time, even with keeping it braided, I have to take care of the ends by keeping them trimmed.  And by keeping them trimmed, I mean going to someone who is not scissor happy and will not chop off my hair.

Wearing color?  Not a big deal.  You can still wear protective styles to let your hair rest.  Nothing wrong with that as long as you follow important steps to maintaining good hair health. If you are going to braid your hair, think about the types of braids you want and how long you want them, and how long you anticipate wearing them.  That depends on the time you want to spend caring for them all the way around.  For me I wear my braids for a week.  Take them down, wash and condition my hair, apply my leave-in moisturizer to my hair and my oil blend to my scalp and braid it back up.  And I said I tie up my hair at night with the braids.  Actually I wrap it up with my wrap scarf.  It keeps the braids in place better and keeps them looking fresh for the week.  I spray some Cantu oil probably once or twice a week with the braids.  This week and it’s just Tuesday, I only sprayed them once.

In closing, it’s cold out.  And if you live where you are experiencing some serious cold temperatures like I do, think about putting your hair up to protect it from the cold weather.  It could be a braided style, protective style, or even a wig — whatever you choose to do, protect your hair during the cold months.

Hair Care: Your Hair and You — How Extreme is Your Hair Regimen?

It’s no surprise that those of use who really care about our hair and take the time to make an effort to see that we are doing everything possible to use the best products to help promote growth, we build a regimen around the products we use once we discover what works the best.  But when does a hair regimen become too extreme or too way over the top?

It is a question I have started asking after watching different videos following what some women are doing in the efforts of achieving and maintaining healthy hair growth.  What I have seen is just too way out there for me to conceivably believe it is even possible that these regimens are maintainable long term; given the number of products used and the time it takes.

For example, do you really need to use 2 – 3 different shampoos and conditioners? 2 – 3 different types of oils?  Plus a leave-in conditioner, a protein treatment, with a heat serum, polisher, and a spay?  And then you want to stand in the shower using a scrub brush spending five to ten minutes just to scrub your scalp to stimulate it.  Not to mention the time it takes to style your hair which can be anywhere from spending another 45 minutes under a portable hair dryer, an additional half hour just styling your hair.  Sounds a bit ridiculous to me.

If started early in the morning it is possible you spent a good part of your morning just on your hair alone.  And you repeat this ritual on a weekly basis.  Do you really have that kind of time?  Think about it.  One week you are using one set of products, then the next week you are using another set of products.  And then there is the time under the dryer and the time it takes to style your hair.  Unless you can actively set aside this time to dedicate to your hair and you have the money to spend to stay supplied with the amount of products you use then you are good.  Because this is a job within itself.

Stop with the nonsense of spending this much time just to wash your hair!!! It’s crazy.  Ladies, you do not need to do this.

Then, let’s factor in what you eat, how much water you drink, and the vitamins you take.  These are important factors in the growth of your hair and should be consumed on a daily basis.  You should be drinking 8 ounces of water regularly.  Your hair is a like a plant and needs to stay hydrated daily.  Of course topical products help for the outer layers while the water helps with the roots.

If your hair regimen takes you anywhere from 3 – 4 hours to complete, then your hair regimen is too extreme and extensive and you might want to rethink it and consider simplifying it just a bit.  In fact, simplifying your hair regimen can produce the same effective results as well as save you some money.

  • Use a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner
  • Leave-in conditioner (or moisturizer)
  • Oil for the scalp I recommend Argan, coconut, or olive oil,
  • Polisher after flat ironing or pressing your hair and if necessary a part of your daily hair care.
  • Heat serum while flat ironing or pressing your hair (I recommend BioSilk)
  • Finisheen spray (optional), I recommend Finisheen by Revlon
  • Protein treatment that can be done every other week
  • Satin scarf for wrapping your hair every night.
  • 15 – 30 minutes under a portable hair dryer is about all the time you really need for locking in the moisture of your hair.  Sitting under a portable hair dryer is just too excessive.  At a hair salon the most time you will sit under a dryer is approximately 15 – 20 minutes.  When I had my portable hair dryer, I never sat under it more than fifteen minutes.  I’m a mother, grandmother, I work two jobs, so I have no time to spend under a hair dryer when there are things I need to get done.   And if I am doing my hair a night, then all I am thinking about is getting a good nights sleep.

This seems simple enough doesn’t it?  you can add  the protein treatment as I mentioned, every other week.  And limit sitting under a portable dryer to 15 – 20 minutes.  That’s about all the time you need.  If you need the extra ten minutes, by all means do so.  But you don’t need to sit there for 45 minutes.  Who has time for that?  Your hair regimen does not need to be so extreme that a good part of your Saturday morning goes to your hair.

Now, if you are considering a new hair regimen, do like my daughter and I do, we research what’s currently on the market, what’s in certain products, how they work on women of color’s hair, and what the reviews are for those particular products we are considering using.  Think about what you want those products to do for your hair.  Is this new regimen long term or short and what results are you looking to achieve.

Of course for black women’s hair we want to stay away from having damaged hair as much as possible.  Therefore the products that cater to black hair is essentially the best route to go.  At the same time, be warned that not all products that claim to be designed for black hair or for all hair types is not necessarily the case, so it is important to research every new product you find.  Read reviews, talk to seasoned hair stylists, get opinions from others who have used it.  An extreme hair regimen is not always necessary to achieve health hair unless there are circumstances that exists that calls for it:

  1. Excessive shedding
  2. Breakage from over processing (i.e., dying, perming, relaxers, etc.)
  3. Hair loss extenuating from other factors such as health problems, medications, extreme stress
  4. Allergic reactions that caused hair loss
  5. Or other factor

Know your hair.   Knowing what your hair likes is important.  I think if you are using 2 – 3 different shampoos and conditioners, with various types of oils and sprays, and different leave-ins, and different protein treatments and not sticking to a simple process along the way, you are not giving your hair a chance to react to what it likes and to what it can respond to.

Keep in mind which products really worked before and how well they worked.  What results did you achieve with the products?  If your results were positively effective then you should stick with that regimen because that is what your hair best responded to even if you had damaged hair.  Know which products that didn’t work and why.  The best thing you can do is keep a running list of products you used and chart your experience.  Using too many products at one time can weight your hair.  They can make your hair look limp and stringy before the weeks end.  A simple regimen can leave your hair looking good and fresh to the end of week when it’s time to wash and condition your hair again.

Now, let’s take a look at my hair regimen.  I keep it simple because — for one — I work two jobs, spend time with my family when i am not working and do not have projects to work on, so my time is important and what little time I get to myself is just that…my time.  So with that I keep my hair care process simple as possible that always includes a nice hot shower.

My hair regimen consists of the following;

  • A sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner.  Preferably the Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Shampoo and Condtioner
  • Cantu Leave-In because it’s light and does not weight my hair.  I use this before blow drying and for when I plan on pressing my hair or flat ironing into a style and for using a curling iron.
  • Carol’s Daughter Original Leave-in Moisturizer for when I am only blowing drying my hair and braiding it up for the week.
  • Coconut oil or olive oil for scalp treatment
  • BiolSilk serum for flat oroning or using the curling iron after pressing.
  • Paul Mitchell for extra hold on certain styles
  • Hair polisher for an extra shine and control any frizz.
  • Creme of Nature with Argan Oil Perfect Edges to smooth the edges down

This is my regimen.  My hair wash days are typically Saturday nights.  Depending on how the day starts, I was it Saturday mornings before everyone is up and needs to occupy the bathroom.  I always start with a hot shower.  This gives me a chance to wash and condition my hair.  My goal is to braid up my hair every other week.  This gives my hair a break from daily styling.  I still wrap it up to protect it.

Through my hair regimen I stay away from those protects that are straight Keratin.  For some reason my hair does not like it…it breaks off every time I have used it.  I take my vitamins which includes a 50+ multi vitamin, 1000 mcg Biotin, and Lutein.  I eat Brussels sprouts, spinach, mixed vegetables, mixed green salads, chicken, fish, and the majority of foods that promote healthy hair growth.  I also hear a lot that exercising can contribute to stimulating the scalp help the hair grow.  It’s actually true because when I spent a year exercising at the Cherry Beach Bluffs back in Long Beach, CA my hair grew more during that time than it had in previous months.

It’s my opinion that if you are going to spend money on your hair let some of it be spent with an experienced hair stylists who is not in it solely for the money, but understands your hair care concerns and is working with you to actively grow your hair.  It does not matter how good you think your extreme hair care regimen is, you still have to remember to limit the use of heat that you use.  A good hair stylist will tell you that.  And avoid over oiling your hair and your scalp, it can cause build up.  There are little things you should keep in mind that you may not think are important but are major factors to consider for the growth and health of your hair, and your hair regimen does not have to be extreme just to achieve beautiful hair.

 

 

Hair Care: Giving Your Hair a Break with Tender Loving Care

Happy Holidays to all my hair care lovers.  I hope your Christmas was just as joyous as ours was.  Well, it is getting close to the end of the year and I wanted to continue in my blogging of good hair care tips, suggestions and ideas as we close 2017 with a huge bang.

So, before I get started, I want to hear from all of you, my readers out there, in how your hair care journey was throughout the year.  What was your hair care regimen, how often did you change it, what was your hair care journey, what did you do along the way, what products did you try, incorporate or stop using, what experiences did you experience throughout your hair care journey, what would you do differently, and more importantly, if you experienced any hair damage, what resources did you avail yourself to in order to resolve the damage to turn your hair around to achieve healthy growing hair?  You can email me and tell me all about it and I will include as many of the emails I can my next blog.  And feel free to tell me what was your favorite blog post of 2017.

Ok, let’s get started.

I went through a great deal this year and as many of you know who have been following my posts, my hair suffered a great deal.  Thanks to my stylist in Lakewood, CA, Tracy at Tracy’s Blessed Hands Hair Salon, she helped me turn things around with my hair, including giving me new looks that really received rave compliments.  Having relocated to a new state, I had to keep up with the hair care that including having to find good hair care in Portland, OR.  But now the question became, “what to do in between visits?”  In this process I changed shampoos and conditioners going to the Carol’s Daughter Monoi, and as I worked to improve my hair regimen, I have since added one more product to include the Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Leave-In Hair Moisturizer.

This year is the first time I have ever tried using Carol’s Daughter.  The products focus on restoring and maintaining healthy hair while continuing in the growth process.  Understand there are other hair care processes you have to maintain such as regular trims as needed to avoid splitting ends.  Because I am now so careful and cautious about the products I use, I read and research everything because I want to know what I am using on my hair in the efforts of staying away from those products that dry out my hair.

On December 19, I decided to wash my hair only I was not intending to flat iron or press it out.  Instead, I just blow dried it then put just a little oil in it and braided it up.

It has been a few years or so since I have been able to braid up my hair.  So you can imagine how excited I was when I was able to braid it up, tie it up and wear my hair like this.  I put my hair up for a week to give it a break from daily styling.  It is my goal to do this regularly — at least once a month, if not every other week.

HairMilkSet 12.23.17BOn December 23 at the end of my second shift I learned that my job sold a three piece set of Carol’s Daughter that included a refresher spray, a leave-in moisturizer, and a conditioning cleanser.  Now the conditioner cleanser is used as a stand alone cleaning product for your hair, otherwise called “co-washing.”  I have read different articles that talk about how co-washing is not that great of an idea especially if you wear relaxers like I do, or have color in your hair.  But the fact that Carol’s Daughter has a product on the market catered to the idea, there must be something to it, however, I am lead to believe it is for women with natural hair and is not chemically processed.

The refresher spray is said to revitalize curls, hydrate the hair — also for natural hair and not ideally for chemically processed hair.  But I tried it on my hair when I braided it and it was fine.  Gave it a nice shine after I had taken off my scarf and wanted to have a clean look with my braid.  I just spritzed my hair just a little and I was good to go.

CDHairMilk 12.23.17I particularly like the leave-in moisturizer.  For wearing my hair in braids I particularly like this product because it is the right amount of moisturizing my hair needs.  It is not that oily and it hydrates my hair and scalp.  I had taken down my hair and rubbed some throughout my hair from the roots to the ends, combed it out through, brushed the edges lightly and braided my hair back up and the results were amazing.

The next morning all I had to do was remove my scarf, spritzed my hair lightly with the refresher spray, fixed up my bangs and I was good to go, right out the door.  As I plan to put my hair up for a week on a regular basis, if not every other week, I will be using the Hair Milk Leave-In Moisturizer.

If you try this Hair Milk Leave-In Moisturizer and you are concerned about the oil content, I would recommend applying right after you have conditioned your hair and before you blow dry it.  You can regulate how much you want to use by first applying a little from scalp to the ends and go from there.  If you feel you need more, apply as needed, but remember, too, that a little goes a long way.

You can find this product at most beauty supplies, some (but not all) Wal-Marts, Walgreens and Fred Meyers.  Be prepared to pay as much as $11.99, depending on where you purchase it.

Hair Health: Your Hair Grew Out, What’s Next?

Growing your hair is its own process. There is a lot that goes into it such as maintaining a balanced diet, drinking enough water, and even exercising can contribute to how your hair grows.

It takes anywhere from one to five years for hair to grow, depending on how fast your hair grows and if whether or not your hair is recovering from having been damaged or if you had your hair completely chopped off go do away with chemicals and you wanted a fresh start, or you just want to start over with your natural hair.  With either scenario your hair care regimen plays a huge part in how you care for your hair and starts with staying away from bad habits.

If you want to continue in your hair care journey think first if you want to maintain the same regimen or if you want to incorporate, add or change any of the products you are currently using to enhance your hair care experience.  Keeping your regular appointments with your hair stylist is always a good idea.  They keep the health of your hair well in their hands and today’s stylist provide helpful tips and suggests useful tools to help you maintain the health of your hair.

You can avoid things like over processing, over styling, and using excessive heat.  That is the number one thing a stylist will tell you.  If you wear relaxers the upkeep of a relaxer — and I have mentioned this before — is six to eight weeks, depending on how fast your hair grows.  I recommend investing in protein treatments in between touch ups because they play a major role in keeping your hair hydrated.  Using sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners at home can aid in your hair care journey.  I recommend Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing shampoo and conditioner and Shea Moisture Black Castor Oil Strengthen and Restore shampoo and conditioner.  They are not heavily fragranced, and leaves your hair with a cleaner and softer feeling.

If you are new to relaxers (and I talk about relaxers a lot), talk with a stylist to see if a relaxer is right for you.  Not many want to invest the time in the upkeep which is a waste of money if you don’t want to put in the time to care for your hair properly.

In our hair care efforts we tend to become lax in the work that it takes to keep our hair looking healthy.  Developing normal habits that cater to how you do your hair on a daily basis will be your sounding board for ongoing hair care routines.

Use natural oils for keeping your scalp from being dry.  Coconut oil, olive oil and even Cantu’s oil are good ideas and remember that a little goes a long way.  You don’t need much to oil your scalp to avoid weighting the hair.

Wash your hair every seven days.  That is once a week.  Limit the use of heat to maybe once or twice at week at the most.  Any more than that and you run the risk of your hair breaking off.  Hair will shed, but there are products that you can use that will reduce shedding.  Mostly chemical free products will aid in that area. You will find the offer cleaner feelings as I mentioned earlier.

What you eat contributes to the health of your hair.  Eat vegetables that promote healthy beautiful hair.  Usually leafy green vegetables.  Take Biotin and vitamins at that provide the essentials you need.  And the method you used to come this far in growing your hair can very well be the same method you continue to use should you choose to.  Just remember, avoid those bad habits that do not help the hair but rather hurt it.

Hair Care: The Jayah Rose Salon & Spa Experience

So, it pays to listen to my daughter sometimes.  Did I say sometimes?  Let me correct that…I should say all the time because I had spent the last couple of months looking for a salon that does black hair and had been unlucky in my search.  The salon in Wal-Mart has relaxers listed as  part of their service, but the two stylists I spoke to said no one in the salon knew how to do relaxers.  She told me I was going to have to travel, but believe me I certainly was trying to not have to.

It became very apparent that I was going to have to travel 45 minutes to an hour away just to find a salon who could do my hair after I exhausted all of my research efforts.  I was either going to Vancouver, WA or Portland, OR where I found many who offered relaxers ranging in prices from $65 – $110.

Living in Longview has two draw backs.  Don’t get me wrong I love living in Longview, it is just missing two local elements that cater to the hair care of black women:

  1. Salons are not equipped to do black women hair.  And students at the local cosmetology school are not trained to do relaxers.
  2. There are no beauty supplies stores that cater to black women hair products.  I had to order a hot pressing comb from Amazon when Ithought I lost mine.  Both Sally’s and Ulta only had electric pressing combs.

It makes it tough to find a lot of black hair products here when you are looking for specific products.  Your options — if you can’t find what you’re looking for in the local stores — is to order what you need online.  You run the risk of paying double the amount of what you are used to paying.  When I was going to order my relaxer cream by Elasta QP from Amazon, I was going to end up paying way more than what I paid in beauty supplies in Los Angeles, CA and Long Beach, CA.  Fortunately I was already in the market for changing my hair regimen.  Finding specific products was not as difficult at that time.

Jayah Rose Hair SalonMy search took me to Portland, OR to The Jayah Rose Hair Salon & Spa where I met Ruby.  First you walk into the salon and are met with a nice waiting area with comfortable seating.  There are two counters where you can check out after services are performed.  It is a full service salon that offers a pampering atmosphere and talking about God is certainly a subject very high on the list of topics to discuss.  Everyone was talking to everyone, laughing and enjoying each others company and the clients were seeming comfortable and at home with their stylist.  Photo from onshegoes.com.

Ruby was very thorough.  She listened to what my last salon visit consisted of, how long it had been since my touch up, and what I was looking for in terms of ongoing hair care needs.  She provided a brief consultation to get a general idea of my hair type.  I told her I had started using a new sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner and had started using Cantu Oil spray which was making a difference in my hair care regimen.

She proceeded to tell me what she planned to do and gave me a great salon experience.  She washed and conditioned my hair thoroughly.  She sat me under the dryer for ten minutes where I had a chance to really relax.  Even though it was just ten minutes, it was the first time in a long time that I relaxed with my eyes closed while listening to some great music.

It had been a long time since I had been in a full service salon.  I was rather impressed by the way everyone got along and actually talked to one another without the usual salon gossip you would always hear when you went to a salon.

I was also impressed with the way she took her time doing my hair.  It did not feel rushed.  She put time, care, and consideration into my hair because in the end, I was amazed.  Last time I was that amazed was when Tracy of Tracy’s Blessed Hands in Lakewood, CA had done my hair and had it just popping.  The touch up Ruby did on my hair did not leave my gray green.  I was concerned about that because she did not put a cellophane on my hair.  So, I was happy about that.Hair 11.25.17She trimmed my hair and left it at the length I walked in with.  She cleaned up my ends very nicely without chopping of my hair like others had done.  She used a leave in conditioner to keep my hair moisturized and used a polisher when she flat ironed it that took down any frizz.  She instructed me to tie up my hair tightly at night and to avoid using excessive heat.Hair 11.25.17BWhen I looked in the mirror I could tell right away that my hair was on the right path. And deciding to change my regimen came at the right time because after reading various articles, getting away from harsh chemicals and shampoos and conditioners was a good idea.  And using what is better for relaxed and colored hair.

Choosing a new stylist is never an easy task.  There is a lot to consider and that is whether or not you are getting your money’s worth.  I look for experience, how long the salon has been in the area, and how many repeat customers they’ve had. And by the looks of it, the ambiance of the salon was vibing and it made me feel comfortable.  Was it worth the $95 I spent?  It was.  Going into this, I only had two options:

  1. Spending the $15.99 on the relaxer cream and doing it myself, and running the risk of damaging my hair again.
  2. Going to a professional who was experienced in doing relaxer touch ups and knows what they entail.

Naturally I chose the latter and I am glad I did.

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