Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January Update: Baking Soda Washes + Shea Moisture + Flaxseed Gel

What is the current length of your hair?
When stretched, the back is shoulder-length and the sides are a little past chin-length.

What products are you currently loving?
Baking soda - Earlier this month and in previous posts, I discussed how my hair is low porosity. Baking soda washes have helped me lock in the moisture my hair so desperately needs. It's a cheap, affordable-- and in my opinion, safe solution. 

Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie- This is a great refresher product. Earlier, I complained that it did nothing for my hair. I think this is due to the fact that I was applying it to wet hair. If I had simply followed the instructions, which say apply to damp or dry hair, then I would have realized it's actually a stellar product!

Flaxseed gel  - Homemade flaxseed gel is amazing. It defines my curls and coils, leaves my hair shiny and soft and provides a soft hold. This is really economical. It costs pennies and it took only 10 minutes make. There are wonderful tutorials on Youtube. I recommend Naptural85 or Heyfranhey's tutorials. Some people complain about the gel being to viscous. If you put it in a squeeze jar, e.g. clean shampoo bottle, it's much easier to dispense. I tried a plastic tub, like many Youtubers, but found it impractical.

Cantu Shea Butter Rinse Out Conditioner - Great ingredients, smells yummy and it's very moisturizing. I only realized this once I started my baking soda rinses.

Tropical whipped shea butter  - My homemade whipped cream that contains mango and shea butter, coconut and papaya oil. It can be used on the body and hair, so 2 for 1!

What products disappointed?

For the first time, I do not have any products that disappointed me. I finally found the products that work for me. I don't plan on going astray and trying more, I'm just going to keep these in my rotation. No product junkies over here!

What's your current regimen?

  • Clarify once per month: I put 2 TBSP of baking soda in about 1 liter of warm water and mixed it thoroughly. I wet my hair then pour this mixture over my head, being sure to distribute it evenly and avoid getting it in my eyes. I slap on a plastic cap and let it sit for about 20 minutes. I then gently massage my scalp to remove any buildup and rinse my hair.This helps me lock in moisture and prevent buildup. Following the baking soda rinse, I do a deep conditioner and sometimes a protein treatment.
  • Shampoo once per month using my special mixture of rhassoul clay. This is the perfect light shampoo. It makes my hair soft and detangling is a breeze.
  • Deep conditioner: every time I wash my hair. I mix my conditioner and an oil and sit under my dryer for about 30 - 45 minutes.
  • Cowash - once per week or every other week.
  • Moisturize: KCKT and a light oil on my ends only.
How have you been styling your hair?
For the month of January I've been doing twist outs, coil outs and buns. Mainly, I try to keep my hair stretched.

What challenges have you faced?
Not many, dry ends were a huge issue for me before, however with my new baking soda treatment, I've been able to retain moisture. Low porosity hair is hard to moisturize, but once you lock it in, I find it stays moisturized for several days! Additionally, using shea moisture as my refresher to moisturize my ends during the week, has worked out quite nicely.

Any drastic changes to your regimen or hair?
I traded in my poly-sateen scarf for a 100% silk scarf. I'm very happy with my choice. My hair can breathe, my ends stay really soft and moisturized and it feels so luxurious. Definitely a much needed investment.

Would you like to offer any hair advice for this month?
Determine your hair's porosity. Avoid glycerin in the winter if you live in a dry, arid environment. Use a silk scarf.

That's all for the month of January!

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