Why Hot Water is Essential

While prepping up my hair for a wash today, I had time to reflect on some of the practices and changes I’ve made to my hair. The most frequent question I’m asked at the salon is “Aunty, do you prefer cold or hot water to wash your hair”?

Over the years, I haven’t had the desire to probe why this question is often asked at most Naija hair salon till I began the quest for healthy, long relaxed hair. When I commenced my journey, I often used cool water to wash my hair. This I did continuously for a year before evaluating what was working in my regimen.

A common feature of a typical wash day is the 1hour prepoo session, consisting of a protein deep conditioner and a mix of several natural oils. Using cold water will not get rid of the product buildup and once my hair is dry, I often have this coated film over my hair which indicated I was doing something wrong.

Why Hot Water is Essential: An important reason why you need to use hot water when washing your hair is it opens up your hair cuticles. If cold water closes the hair cuticle then hot water opens it up and it needs to be open when you cleanse and condition. Then you can easily remove any dirt, build-up and oils from your hair and be sure that your hair will effectively absorb everything you put in it.

Today, as you prepare to wash and deep condition your hair, never  stray from this basic rule. Incorporate the use of hot water when washing your hair and you’ll see tangible results sooner than you think.

Caution: Always ensure you mix an adequate amount of cold water with the hot water. It should be in a ratio of 60:40 with 60% being hot water and 40% cold water. The thing is that hot water can be quite harmful at times but you also shouldn’t use solely cold water for washing your hair. The best strategy for most ladies would probably be to use warm water instead of hot when shampooing and conditioning. Don’t apply cold water at that point because you want the scalp pores and the hair cuticle to be open.

If you feel like there’s particularly much grease and oil in your hair then you may turn the water from warm to hot in order to really open up everything and get those things out but remember that frequent use of very hot water is damaging and you have to be careful. Use cold water only for your final rinse in order to seal everything after you’re done and remember that it doesn’t have to be ice-cold – choose a temperature that you can tolerate.

Popping & Hand in Hair Syndrome 

I’ve got an ongoing nasty habit. On days I wear my hair out, I often have my hand in my hair searching for a split end or single strand knots. Often times, I might not have access to my scissors and end up popping these offending hair shiznits (as I like to call them). The other habit is twirling my hair around my fingers once I’m behind the wheels driving. It’s a bad habit I know, but it’s become a daily ritual and I’m trying to wean myself off the wide path that leads to hair destruction.

To kick this habit to the curb, I’m indulging in some protective styles I came across on Pinterest. I still intend to wear my hair out but by the 2nd half of the day, it’ll end up in a messy bun held up by bobby pins.

To other matters, I’d like to give a special shoutout to a reader on this blog who has gone ahead to establish an online food delivery service within the heart of Calabar. If you’re on vacation or reside and work within this serene city, then it’s time to get your food groove on by placing an order with ‘Dineoutng‘. They’ve got a range of indigenous and international cuisine available.

They also cater for corporate organizations, weddings, bridal showers, baby showers and a whole lot more.

Product Review – Natrol Biotin Chewable

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I was introduced to this brand of Biotin Chewable during my hair assessment with Stevie. She advised me to get it as it’ll aid my new hair regimen. I was a bit skeptical cos I’ve always been lazy when it comes to popping pills but she’d assured me this will be different since I’ll only be required to take one pill daily. Furthermore, it was available in a sweet strawberry flavor and easily dissolves without drinking water.

She told me to get the 5,000mcg and 10,000mcg jars. She’d advised I start off with the 5,000mcg and if I love the results, then I should switch to the 10,000mcg jar provided I’d exhausted the first jar. Off to the store she recommended and I got both jars.

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I commenced usage by mid-November with the jar of 5,000mcg and dutifully popped one pill at night before going to bed. True to her words, it was like popping Vitamin C and it made it easier. When I shared my concern about possible breakouts and stuffs, Stevie had laughed away and stated there won’t be such episodes.
My Observations:
* Easy to swallow as it dissolves easily.
* I was going to the toilet 2ce daily for No. 2 which I never missed since I commenced usage.
* By November ending, I observed my clothes were loose and I needed to take in my jeans.
* My nails grew like crazy.
* My skin has remained clear and there have been no breakout incidents.
* For the very first time, my eyelashes were popping as I noticed more growth in that area.
I compared notes with my younger sister who commenced usage at the same time and noticed that she’d lost 10kg within 2weeks of usage. During my monthly Skype chats with Stevie, I had casually mentioned that I was losing weight and she affirmed that this brand of biotin actually processes your food intake which increases your metabolism leading to weight loss. She further asked if I’ve been going to the toilet frequently and my answer was a big fat ‘YES’.
You might be wondering what happened to my hair with all these wonderful results. Yes, I got growth and it’s the kind of growth I usually get within a 6month stretch cos I got an inch each month as can be seen from the picture below:

IMG_2541 I also went online to check if there were ladies who had recorded growth and this was what I saw:

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These are some of the pictures I saw online and it cuts across racial divides but the reviews are largely positive. So I’m onto a good thing and will be ending my 16week stretch by next week.
I’ve been quite diligent with my new regimen and the results are paying off.

New Year, New Goals

Happy New Year and it’s great to be back on this platform after a long break. During the Christmas and new year break, I took out time to assess the health of my hair and also decide on the hair goals I want to achieve this year. By the way, I love this cold, dry weather and I’ve been keeping my hair protected by investing in some quality silk head scarves I can wear when going out. Of late, I’ve been wearing my hair out a lot since I commenced on this new regimen.

Basically, my hair goals for 2015 are:

* Maintain and sustain my new hair regimen.

* Keep up with a daily dosage of Biotin chewable vitamin (gotta say the growth has been amazing and it also keeps the weight off).

* 100 strokes three times weekly with my paddle brush.

* Touch up every 16 weeks.

* Eyelash trimming every 4 weeks.

* Blowdry on cool once weekly with my KISS Hand-less Dryer.

* Keep up with monthly scalp scrubs.

In terms of length, my full year goal is to achieve bra-strap length. I intend to keep things simple and easy going forward based on the results I’ve been seeing.

I wish you all an amazing year ahead.

Wash Day Chronicle

Apart from Lauren Mechelle whose hair I absolutely adore, I’ve got a hair crush on Kimberly Holden as well. She makes these fun quirky and engaging videos. If you’re thinking of trying on clip in extensions for the holidays, you should also know how to wash them as well. If you’re in the mood for a messy bun tutorial, check the videos below:

 

Credit: YouTube

Reader’s Q&A

Q: Jamaican Black Castor Oil matts my hair. How do I prevent this going forward.
A: Let me start by saying that Jbco is quite thick. I’d assume you’re using it to seal your ends. Unless you’ve got thick hair strands, it might be okay to use. The key to prevent matting when using this oil is to use it sparingly (pea sized amounts as a little goes a long way). One other option is to use it as a growth aid for your scalp only while you can seal with coconut oil; grapeseed oil, avocado oil or any other natural oil.
Using Jbco to seal for ladies with fine hair, results in matting and it weighs your down giving your ends that stringy , weak look.

Q: How do I prevent breakage during harmattan?
A: There are two options you can consider:
– Protective styling such as braids, wigs and weaves. It’s important you do not leave these styles beyond 4weeks max. If you’re going the wig route, make sure you’ve got corn rows installed underneath. You can wash and deep condition your hair on a weekly basis (assuming you’re opting for wigs). Maintaining your hair during this period is key.
– Second option for ladies who’d like to carry their own hair for the festivities is to incorporate weekly hot oil treatment as your prepoo (keeps your hair lubricated and in top shape, preventing dryness which often leads to breakage. Also make use of heat during deep conditioning sessions on a weekly basis. This you can do with a heat cap or steamer as it ramps up moisture for your hair strands.
These are some of the things I do once Harmattan arrives.

Have a great week ahead!!!

Update: NAHCO finally called off its recent strike. For Ladies who wanted to place an order for the following products, you can now do so.

– Hollywood Beauty Mayonnaise Moisturizer

– Hollywood Beauty Creme Brulee

– Hairveda Red Tea Satin Moisturizer

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: