Saturday, September 29, 2012

September Update: Twists and Giovanni Smooth as Silk


What is the current length of your hair?

What products are you currenty loving?
Still loving Tresseme Naturals - This not only gives me great slip, but is also super moisturizing!
Giovanni Smooth As Silk - As the name implies, this protein treatments keeps my curls silky, bouncy, strong and moisturized!
Kinky Curly Knot Today - Great slip, nice smell and moisturizing!

What's your current wash regimen?
  • Cowash 1 - 2 times per week, depending on the style.
  • Shampoo (using my special mixture) twice per month (every 14 days).
  • Apply an oil, apply a leave-in.

How have you been styling your hair?
Blown out braid outs and twists. Blow drying my hair allows it to stretch and gives me a bouncier, looser wave pattern. Twists are great for moisture retention and keep my hands out of my hair for about a week. Those are basically my top 2 to-go-to fall stylesl. Besides twists and blow outs, I wear my hair pulled back.

Twists in a bun

Blow out, braid out

Blow out, braid out

What challenges have you faced?
Edges, I've always had thin edges, but I want to make sure I don't put pressure on them . I try oil my edges with castor oil and try to alternate my styles.

Awkward length, unless my hair is stretched or in an updo. I'll be really happy to reach shoulder length unstretched. Patience is a virtue.

Any drastic changes to your regimen or hair?
LOC (liquid, oil, cream) method changed my life! I've been testing out the LOC method a few months. Alternating back and forth between LOC and LCO (liquid, cream, oil). Here's what I've noticed. The LOC method leaves my hair soft, supple --- it feels like butter-- and moisturized, much longer than the LCO method. Although, my curls are less defined with the LOC method, I feel a major difference in moisture, especially my ends. I rarely use the LCO method, unless I'm planning on doing a wash-n-go. My LOC ingredients consist of water, coconut oil, then a leave-in, typically Kinky Curly Knot Today.

Would you like to offer any hair advice for this month?
If your ends are dry and brittle trim them and try to deep condition every time you wet your hair. Now that we're experiencing dryer weather, I make DCs a vital part of my regimen.

Happy September!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Moisturizing Shampoo Recipe

This month has been loaded with exciting updates, thus I've been blogging more frequently than I thought I would! Guess fall is the season for change and experimentation!

Update on my previous fall style: I was able to wear my blown out braid out for a total of one week! I'm really impressed. I tried to go 2 weeks, but I am finally accepting the fact that my hair cannot go longer than 1 week without washing. It was like this when I was relaxed and it's still the case now that I'm natural.

This is an update on a slight change in my routine. Shampooing. I simply can't go without shampooing. As dry as it makes my hair feel in comparison to co-washing, it cleanses my scalp and removes buildup and grime. Co-washing only just doesn't cut it for me. On the contrary, I hate how drying my shampoo sessions can be. I use a sulfate-free gentle shampoo and it still does a number on my hair.

Recently, I got the idea to doctor up my shampoo as I would a conditioner, when doing a deep treatment. I squeezed some shampoo (Giovanni Tea Tree Tingle) into an applicator bottle, added water (rough measure: add 1/4 - 1/2 the amount of the shampoo used), a big squeeze of vegetable glycerin, a TBSP Neem Oil (you could use your oil of choice) and a small pump of KCKT leave-in/detangler. I shook the contents gently, sectioned my hair into four parts and applied it only to my scalp. The results: a clean and rejuvenated scalp and hair that did not feel to stripped but still clean.What's best my hair did not tangle much and felt soft to touch. I'm happy to have tried this and now I won't dread wash day as much as I used to!

Have you tried adapting your shampoo to make it more moisturizing? What are some of your favorite recipes?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fall Style

Braid out on blow dried hair. Gave myself a good trim, detangled and blow dried small sections on a low setting. I'm hoping to wear my hair like this for two weeks, oiling and moisturizing in between when needed.
+ No washing in the morning
+ No leaving the house with wet hair
+ No shrinkage
+ Versatility (flexi-rod, braid out, twist out, or wrap it and wear it straighter)
-/+ Takes a long time to blow dry small sections, but my morning routine (showering, getting dressed, makeup, hair) has gone from 1 hour to 25 minutes!

I'm not worried about heat damage, I was gentle and used low heat.

What are your hair plans for the fall?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Experiment: Strand Test

As mentioned, I decided to post monthly updates to my blog, unless I have something to write about that is blog-worthy and out of the ordinary.

Last week, I wanted to test the use of yogurt as a deep conditioner on my hair. I'd seen many bloggers  rave about the soft, moisturized and  tangle-free hair they achieved using this as a deep conditioner. Now, usually when I try something new that has provided other naturals with great results, I go in deep. I cancel any routine wash plans I've had and try it out. This spontaneity has sometimes resulted in negative outcomes, contrary to it working for others.

This time, I decided to play things safe and do a strand test on my hair before emptying my breakfast stash of plain yogurt. Then it hit me, why not do an experiment! I decided to test 5 different natural items on my hair and determine which one would yield the best results.

Strand Test Variables
  1. Vinegar diluted in water
  2. Plain yogurt
  3. Plain yogurt, Tresseme Naturals and glycerin
  4. Rhassoul clay mixture (vinegar, distilled water, aloe, essential oils)
  5. Water (control variable)

  1. Wet hair and apply the mixture to wet strands. 
  2. Wrap hair in plastic cling wrap and let sit for 15 minutes, rinse.

Measures (1 poor/not at all - 5 excellent / totally)
  1. Level of Shine
  2. Softness and Moisture
  3. Detangling Ease
  4. Definition/Clumping


Level of Shine Softness and Moisture Detangling Ease Definition/Clumping
Diluted Vinegar 4 3 3 2
Yogurt 2 2 2 1
Yogurt Mixture 4 4 3 3
Rhassoul Mixture 5 5 5 5
Water (control) 5 5 4 4

Diluted Vinegar 3
Yogurt 1.75
Yogurt Mixture 3.5
Rhassoul Mixture 5
Water (control) 4.5

Photo Results (click on photo to enlarge)
Diluted Vinegar

Yogurt Mix

Water (control
Rhassoul Mix

There you have it. Rhassoul clay was shown to provide all around perfect results for my strands. Surprisingly, the yogurt by itself did not prove to be so effective and has the lowest average score. My hair felt rough and dry and it wasn't as easy as the other methods. Surprisingly, plain old H20 was more effective than all of the variables, excluding rhassoul clay. The yogurt mixture, did leave my hair with a nice shine and it felt moisturized, however rhassoul clay is the clear winner in this trial. So, contrary to the overwhelming amounts of positive results using plain yogurt, this did not work for me. Possible explanations, my yogurt was not full-fat, I have a protein sensitivity or it just doesn't work for me. What I learned, it couldn't hurt to do a strand test, your hair will thank you for it. Oh yeah, rhassoul clay rocks!

Rhassoul application

Oh and one last thing, I read about rhassoul clay interacting with color-treated hair. I was nervous it would strip away my color-treated strands, however, it didn't at all. Now, this could be due to the fact that the stylist used a color without bleach from a natural line. So when it doubt, test it out!