Your Hair Regimen is Working If….

One of the most frequent questions I receive from readers is ‘how do I know if my hair regimen is working’. That’s easy peasy. We have identified the following things to lookout for a successful hair journey.

1. Breakage: this is the bane of African hair. Due to the dry nature of our hair, it’s often prone to breakage if you’re not abiding by the principles of weekly deep conditioning sessions using heat. Once you get the hang of deep conditioning with a protein or moisturizing deep conditioner, you’ll observe minimal breakage.

2. Thicker hair: we’re all familiar with over processed hair caused by relaxer run-off. This leads to thinning, brittle hair over time. Relaxer run-off occur during the retouch session if you do not take care to coat your previously relaxed hair with Jamaican Black Castor Oil & Vaseline.

Coating your relaxed hair with these two items acts as a barrier against the damaging effects of relaxer when your stylist is rinsing out the relaxer from your hair. If you absolutely hate the brownish, dull hue you see on previously relaxed hair, then it’s time to get rid of this by coating your hair whenever you go for relaxer touch up.

3. Thicker ends: yes it’s hard to let go of length when you’re gunning for a whole lot more. However, the best thing you can do for your hair at the start of your journey is to critically asses your ends. You want to get rid of split ends, mid shaft splits, thin, straggly ends and single strand knots. Get a pair of brand new scissors. Divide your hair into small sections and trim away. If you do this at the start of your journey, you’ll be able to observe changes to your hair in the long run.

4. Healthy, Stronger hair: if you’re consistent with making these changes to your hair, 2-3months down the line, you’ll observe a change in hair texture. Gone are the days of dry, crinkly hair. Welcome to your best hair days.

Recent Wash Day

Wash days recently have become shorter. I’ve had to do away with methods like:
* Deep conditioning overnight
* Prepoo overnight
Less is simply more and I’m enjoying this new found relationship with my hair. My ends are in a better shape as I’ve done away with all the bone straight ends and only have texlaxed hair to deal with. I’d like to start texlaxing myself but it’s better I leave it to the hands of the hair stylist I can instruct. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt, keep it simple always.
My wash day routine now follows this pattern:
* Prepoo for 40 minutes with Trader’s Joe Virgin Coconut oil  (simply love the thick coconut gooey goodness). I’ve also incorporated the use of Trader’s Joe Virgin Coconut oil for cooking as well. It adds a nice flavour to vegetable stir fry when you’re making Tortilla wraps.
* Wash in sections (using hot water) with a sulfate free shampoo or clarifying shampoo depending on the product build up I’ve got.
* Apply Roux Porosity Control to my hair for 5 minutes before rinsing out.
* Apply green tea rinse before deep conditioning.
* Use a protein (Aubrey Organic GBP; Naturellegrow Intense Deep Conditioner ) or moisturising deep conditioner  (Hairveda Sitrinillah, Naturellegrow Marshmallow Root, Slippery Elm, Naturellegrow Mango & Coconut Water) alternating on a weekly basis.
* Rinse out the deep conditioner, wrap a cotton towel on my hair for 20minutes.
* Divide my hair into 4 sections, apply Chi Silk Infusion and proceed to blow dry on cool using the ‘Red by KISS Handless Dryer with the comb attachment’. It does a fantastic job of straightening my texlaxed hair including my roots.
* Apply Hollywood Beauty Mayonnaise Moisturizer to freshly blow dried hair.
* Whip out my paddle brush and proceed to brush each section 25 times (focusing on my scalp to stimulate growth).
Voila, I’m done within 3 hours.

Weekday Regimen:
During the week, it’s easier to maintain now by adopting the following routine:
* Pop 1 chewable microlozenge (5000 mcg biotin) daily. My nails have been sprouting like crazy. This is the last thing I take before going to bed as Stevie recommended cos when the body is at rest, it has the time to regenerate. I’ve gotten more than an inch since I commenced usage.

* Apply Hollywood Beauty Mayonnaise Moisturizer 3times weekly at night before going to bed. I simply divide my hair into 4 sections, apply the leave in and whip out my paddle brush. Proceed to give 25 brush strokes to each section focusing on my scalp (to stimulate growth). This leave in sinks in pretty fast and I don’t have to bother about staining my satin pillowcase.

I’m in a better place with my hair now I can see what’s working. I’ll be due for a monthly scalp check up with Stevie in about 3 weeks from now. Can’t wait to see and hear her reactions. I’ve been snapping pictures of my scalp, length and ends which I’ll be sharing with her.

Trimming your Ends – How to?

It’s important to have a schedule you can stick to when trimming your ends. If you’re just starting out on your hair journey and your ends are in a weak state, start afresh by sniping those dead ends off. Your hair will thank you for it.

If you decide not to, months later down the road, you’ll have to face this monster head on. At that point in time, you’ll be battling with split ends, breakage and mid-shaft splits as well. It’s important you nip this early on by doing the needful. As time goes on, you’ll reap the rewards in terms of healthy, thicker ends.

What schedule should I implement for my hair?

You can either have a 6week or 4week calendar you adhere to for trimming.

How do I trim successfully? Check out these YouTube videos below:

Hair Regimen Changes

The interesting thing about a personal hair journey, is the ability to learn and try new practices. When I met with Stevid to discuss changes to my hair regimen, I’ll always remember what she said. “Honey, you gotta learn to treat your relaxed hair in its current state”. Basically, she meant using appropriate products and techniques for my hair type.
I’ve got fine strands and one major element I’ve had to contend with is finding the right leave in conditioner that won’t weigh my hair down irrespective of the frequency at which I use it during the week. I’ve used Giovañni Weightless, Elasta QP, Advanced Biolage Matrix successfully by using pea sized amounts while following up with a natural oil to seal. However, it can be tiring after a hard day at work mustering up the energy to do this on a daily basis.
I wanted a fuss free regimen that won’t require more than 2-3 hours max on wash days and 5 minutes maintenance schedule during the week. Basis my explanation, she drew up a new regimen for me. I’ve had the opportunity to implement for the past 6weeks and it’s been liberating.
What changes were recommended?
* Trim my ends monthly.
* Reduce my relaxer stretch from 6 months to 4 months.
* Use a paddle brush 3 times weekly to stimulate my scalp.
* Incorporate the use of a hair supplement.
*Incorporate blow drying on cool once weekly.
*Stop sealing with a natural oil & incorporate the use of a creamy leave in.
At the end of 90 days, I’ll send in pictures of my scalp, ends and hair length. She’ll analyse and we’ll meet on Skype to discuss my progress. I shared my lazy attitude with popping hair pills and she recommended I try this hair vitamin out.

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I only need to take 1 microlozenge daily and it’s got this natural strawberry flavour. It’s like popping Vitamin C….
Makes my life easier. So far, I’ve been good with this one.
She recommended I start indulging in 100 brush strokes, 3 times weekly before going to bed as it stimulates the scalp for growth and prevents split ends. The key to successful brushing is to ensure that your bristle is soft, widely spaced and you’re using a creamy leave in. You also need to brush in small sections…

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This was the brush she recommended I got for my hair type. The biggest change was when we had to decide on the type of leave in conditioner to use going forward. She requested I bring with me, previous samples of leave in conditioners I’ve used over the course of one year. I went with Elasta QP, Giovañni Weightless, Advanced Biolage Matrix.
Once I got to her salon, we went into demo mode. She took a swipe of each leave in and applied it to her inner wrist. She proceeded to rub lightly and would ask me what I observed. I noticed that the leave in just sat there and it wasn’t absorbed. She went ahead and applied same to small sections of my freshly blow dried hair, it was the same reaction we got. She stopped at this point and informed me that once my leave in was not creamy & oily, then it’s not good enough for my strands. From her explanation, it was clear that the products just sat on my hair and it wasn’t absorbed. Partial absorption actually occurred when we sealed with a natural oil. The oil aided further penetration.
At this point, she brought out what she felt was more appropriate for my hair type.

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The first bottle is ideally suited for ladies with thicker hair strands while the 2nd bottle is for ladies with fine strands like myself. The tag line on the 2nd bottle states “for ends that bend not break”. This product does exactly just that. I’ve had the pure pleasure of using it for the past 6weeks and wearing my hair out daily has been a pure joy. Talk about ends that bend….that’s what I got and those days where my ends got snagged on my clothes are now over.

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Upon application, my hair was lapping it up as I could see it was completely absorbed. My hair was left with a shine and sheen that was unbelievable. After application was complete, she divided my hair into smaller sections and began to brush starting from my ends while working her way up to the roots. No snagging, ripping or tangles…It was easy breezy. The beauty about this product…your hair is not weighed down. It allows your hair to move in its natural state. My hair remained soft and fluffy all through the week and my ends….In tip top shape. Both bottles will be available on our website next week. You can place a pre order now.

Fab Find for Christmas

For sometime now, I’ve been in search of a makeup kit that I can store in one place rather than searching haphazardly for my eyeshadow, lip gloss or lipstick each morning while going to work. It used to be tedious searching YouTube for the perfect makeup tutorial that’ll make my face pop without unnecessary drama.
My wish list for Xmas this year was a collection of palette that would suit my  purpose. I searched high and low and wasn’t satisfied with the ones I’d seen till I stumbled across this brand. I got the Stila Artist Essentials Set as an early Xmas gift from my mom and it’s set the tone for 2015.

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What do I like about this set? Several things. It comes in a sleek, earthy box with a clasp in front which keeps the content together. It’s lightweight and  compact size, makes it easier to travel with. I don’t have to worry about makeup spilling on my clothes or having to store it in a Ziploc bag. The clasp was well thought out.
This box contains the following items :
– 4 different sets of palette ranging from pop art, renaissance, abstract and surreal.
– #9 all over blend brush for applying and smudging your eyeliner or eyeshadow.
– smudge stick waterproof eyeliner in stingray.
– a convertible color dual lip & cheek cream.
– stay all day liquid lipstick in patina

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I forgot to mention it’s got an instruction sheet on how to blend the different palette to achieve whatever look you may be going for.

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Each palette type is represented on the instruction sheet making it easy to interprete.

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My first impressions? I love, love this makeup brand and I’m sold. I started by checking out the instruction sheet to see which of the looks I wanted to interprete. I settled for ‘pop art’ and went to work with my brush. I was done within 5 minutes. That’s a first as I usually spend a lot of time wiping off and doing up a new set once I’m not satisfied with my look. With the manual it was easy at a go. I applied the eyeliner and used the blend brush to smudge the lined eyes for a smoky effect.
For my lips, I decided to go with the ‘all day liquid lipstick in patina’. I must warn that a little goes a long way. I ate, drank loads of water and this lipstick stayed put throughout the day. I was pleasantly surprised to see that my entire makeup stayed put throughout the day. The eyeshadow stayed true to form all day.

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I haven’t used the lip/cheek cream but based on the experience I’ve had so far, I do not expect anything less. This is definitely a keeper for me.
For ladies who made specific requests for this brand, your package will be delivered tomorrow and I hope you enjoy creating different looks like I’ve done.
I’ll be back tomorrow with another fab find.

Follow up Treatment@Hair Elite Salon

Today, I was scheduled for a second appointment with Stevid and ran late. Once I got there, we got started right away by washing my hair. The washing experience at this salon is extravagant as they usually take out time to massage your scalp thoroughly. Furthermore, they finger comb to detangle. No combs are used while your hair is wet.
My sister and I settled for the Mizani strengthening treatment to prevent breakage.

She had to undergo some scalp treatment which she had issues with. Since I didn’t have any of that, my hair was washed and deep conditioned with the Mizani strengthening treatment (protein treatment). The stylist proceeded to apply Chi Silk Infusion to my hair before blow drying.  These comb attachments are the truth as they straighten the heck out of your hair. Once we were done, she divided my hair into sections and sprayed it lightly with a holding mist before rolling it up.

I sat under the dryer for 30minutes and once my hair was dry, Stevie went ahead and finger combed it since I wanted lots of volume. She recommended I pin curl my hair in 8 sections at night when going to bed and simply finger comb once I take it down the following morning. My sister was shortly done as well and these are the results.

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That’s a protective style she’s got on which she’ll keep for a week before taking it down. We settled down to talk before her next client came in and due to previous assessment she’d made earlier, new products were recommended. I’ve seen this product work on my sister’s hair so I’m really glad to try it out.

Basically what she’s recommended is to incorporate the 100 stroke brushing for my hair 3 times weekly, using the paddle brush below. The leave in conditioner she’s recommended does not require me to seal with oil as its a creamy lotion and quite rich. When it’s applied to my hair, it completely sinks in immediately and using the paddlebrush is easy, breezy. Hair remains moisturized for 5 straight days. What do you look out for when buying a paddle brush? You make sure it’s open like a comb and soft as that’ll prevent breakage and spit ends as well.

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The brush is soft and opens up without snagging your hair. I’ll put up a demo next week using the leave in conditioners she recommended.

Hey

hair comicLadies!!! How was your weekend? Trust it was fun-filled. I spent the major part of last week indisposed and I’m recuperating currently. I’m downing 3litres of water as I write this post based on doctors’ advice.

How was your wash day? I spent 2days to complete mine as I simply found it difficult getting up from my bed. For the past 2 months, I’ve been taking a supplement (not a hair supplement) and suddenly woke up to excruciating pains which rendered me immobile.  The resulting effect was a diagnosis of kidney stones due to excess calcium intake and it’s mandatory I drink at least 3-4litres daily to flush out the stones but so far so good, I’m back on my feet and can move about.

All’s well that ends well. Have a great week ahead.

 

Wash day diary

Products used: Peppermint oil, Sunny Isle Castor oil, Mane N Tail Detangler, Kanechom Acai deep conditioner, Biolage Advanced Matrix Fibrestrong, Jojoba Oil, Green Tea, Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo, Ion Keratin Smoothing conditioner & Chi Silk Infusion.

1. Commenced by detangling in sections with Mane N Tail Detangler (this is the go to product when you’re on a long stretch) works its magic on tangled strands.
2. Applied JBCO to my scalp & coated my lengths with it. Covered my hair with a shower cap, satin bonnet.
3. In the morning, I washed in sections with Suave Clarifying shampoo, rinsed and applied Ion Smoothing conditioner. Waited for 2 minutes before rinsing off.
4. Wrapped my hair in cotton towel for 10 minutes before spraying my green tea mix liberally in sections. Left to dry out completely before applying my deep conditioner mix.

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I was a bit spoilt for choice on which of the Kanechom conditioners I’ll use but at the end of the day, I decided on Kanechom Acai deep conditioner. This deep conditioner contains a lot of fruit extracts and is deeply moisturizing.

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As you can see in the picture above, the jar is filled to the brim and if you’re not careful when opening it, it’ll result in a spill. Ladies, a little of this goes a long way. I scooped and mixed it with Roux Porosity, JBCO & Peppermint oil and proceeded to apply in sections. Immediately I was struck about how my hair absorbed this mix and I got instant slip at once cos I was able to finger comb my hair from ends to root as the conditioner resolved all tangle issues. I can’t rave enough about the kind of slip I got till you try it out yourself.
Anyway, I covered my hair with a shower cap & left it on for an hour (PHCN) had done their thing.
5. After an hour, rinsed off the mix and this was the result I got…beautiful defined hair. I couldn’t be more pleased.
6. Proceeded to seal in moisture with jojoba oil & Biolage matrix advanced fibre strong. Applied Chi Silk infusion in section and blow dried using the tension method.

Pictures are below. I’m wearing my hair out today. My hairs’ thickness is amazing.

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Readers’ Q&A

Q&AQ: How do I deal with hair breakage?

For starters, you should try to limit the manipulation of your hair. Try to avoid heat styling and blow-drying as much as possible, and excessive brushing or combing on an everyday basis. In addition to giving your hair, and body, the nutrition it needs to be healthy, you have to choose the right products that will repair your hair in its fragility.

You want to find products with gentle, natural ingredients that are formulated for your hair texture. Avoid getting confused by products that contain mineral oil, which sounds natural, but is actually harsh and drying to hair. Most importantly, use products that were made for YOUR hair type. If you have finer hair, you should go for clear shampoos- try to abstain from using the creamy kind – they’ll weigh your hair down with product, and won’t lock in true moisture to prevent breakage. If you have curlier, fuller hair that tends to get drier, frequent conditioning should be a part of your regular hair regimen.

Q: Is kerapro intensive treatment good for relaxed hair?

A: This is a review from a client who has used this product. “KeraPro products, BABY, let me tell YOU, I’m in HEAVEN, my hair is sooooooo darn soft it didn’t feel like it was real. Let me explain; put a fresh relaxer in my hair a few days ago; today, I dampened my hair, applied the KeraPro intense treatment, let it sit in my hair for about 15 mins; washed out, applied the KeraPro conditioner, let sit on hair for about 5 mins; washed out in cool water. Then applied foaming wrap lotion, wrapped my hair, sprayed the One-N-Only Argan Oil Spray Treatment on hair; let air dry about 60% of the way; proceeded to blow dry hair dry; put some of the KeraPro Elixir on my hair massaged it in, when I say SOFT, BABY, I didn’t think my hair could ever be this darn soft. You talking about MOVEMENT, honey I had it!!!!!!!I really don’t use shampoos, only to clarify my hair, other than that, co-washing.”

Q: Is it good for me to mix peppermint oil with coconut oil, tea tree oil and jojoba oil for African hair?
A: Yes you can

 

Q: Does texlaxed hair break?

A: Going from relaxed hair (fully processed) to texlaxed hair (intentionally under processed) is pretty simple, and is really one of the best things you can do for your relaxed hair. Leaving in a bit of extra texture helps reduce hair breakage and improves your hair’s elasticity.

At your next relaxer, simply base your hair with an oil of your choice from root to tip. This will protect your relaxed ends from additional processing from relaxer run-off and it will give a buffer to your new growth that will slow down the relaxing process.  Adding oil to your relaxer cream, as well as, processing the hair for a shorter length of time will also help you safely move from fully processed hair, to just slightly under processed (or texlaxed) hair.

Depending on how under processed you decide to go, there may be a big texture differential (line of demarcation) that you’ll need to contend with. As with any transitioning hair, you’ll need to handle you hair with care to avoid breakage.