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.

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

Wash Day Diary

1. Prepoo session got tossed outta the window for one strange reason..wasn’t up to it. I’ve been a bit lazy about my hair.
2. Divided my hair into 2 sections and detangled with the Hercules Sagemann Comb. Proceeded to wash my hair with Ion Keratin Smoothing Shampoo. Once I was done, I wrapped a cotton towel around my hair and waited for 10minutes to absorb all that wetness. Since I hadn’t bothered to prepoo and skipped my tea rinse, it was important to deep condition on damp hair (as my hair was screaming for moisture). Oh! before applying the deep conditioner, I detangled once more.
3. I slathered loads of Hairveda Sitrinillah Deep Conditioning Masque on both sections. Covered my hair with a shower cap and wore my heat cap while setting the timer for 45minutes.

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4. Laid down on my bed and decided to finish up on Agatha Christie’s ‘Murder On The Orient Express’. Loved the film adaptation and I can’t count the number of times I’ve read this novel back to back. Simply astonishing what Hercules Poirot gets up to when solving murder cases.
5. Once the timer went off, I switched off the heat cap and waited for 15minutes before rinsing out. Wrapped a cotton towel on my head and waited for 15minutes before sealing with Coconut oil, Giovanni Weightless Leave in & Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum. Applied Jbco to my scalp and edges.

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I’m left with smooth, fluffy air dried hair.

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Why You Need To Clarify

paul mitchell skinny shampooIf you have observed that your hair is weighed down, not responding to treatments, extra greasy or it’s not just behaving, then it’s time to whip out your clarifying shampoo.Product build up is a common occurrence due to the kind of products we use on our hair. Deep conditioners, moisturizers, carrier oils  can leave product deposit on our hair over time. This build up can cause your hair to be greasy, dull, heavy, limp and non-responsive. What a clarifying shampoo does is to remove this deposit giving your hair the fresh start it deserves.

How often should you clarify?

If you use a lot of hair products like hairspray, hair gels e.t.c you might need to clarify on a weekly basis but if you are not heavy handed with the hair products you use, then you can restrict use to once a month.

How do you clarify?

Start with a quarter sized amount of clarifying shampoo and work it into your scalp with  a light massage for 60 seconds. Depending on the amount of oil and product build up on your hair, it might not lather much, but that’s okay. Rinse very well. Take a smaller amount of shampoo (the longer your hair, the more you’ll need to use) and work the shampoo into your hair. You will notice lots of lather in your hair. Let the shampoo sit on your head for 2minutes (you can use that time to shave your legs cos that’s what I do). It’s important to let the shampoo sit for the recommended number of minutes to allow product build up release. Once time is up, rinse very well.

You can now proceed to use your regular deep conditioning treatment (however be generous with application) since the clarifying shampoo does not contain moisturizing elements that regular sulfate free shampoo has.

Your Ends are Vital to Retention

hair ends2 hair endsYour ends are pretty important and if you are going to achieve any form of growth, then you need to take better care of your end. Due to the length of my hair I regularly flip it over to inspect each ends thoroughly checking for single strand knot and split ends. To a large extent adhering to consistent weekly deep conditioning; moisture and sealing has reduced split ends to the barest minimum. I only have the odd one or two.

On wash days once I’m done, I proceed to search and snip with a pair of scissors. By examining each hair strand, I have the opportunity to evaluate the progress I have made over the long term. As depicted in the pictures above, you cannot afford to toy with your ends as you don’t want to end with thin, stringy ends after all the hard work you have put in. You can see the point at which the ends are damaged (tapers off) which goes to show how important having a healthy hair regimen is. If you’re not comfortable about cutting off so much, at some point in your journey as your hair grows longer, you will have to make that decision.

Till you get to that bridge, give your ends the utmost care you can.

Update on my cousin

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Thought I should share this picture with you. It’s my cousin’s hair and she sent me this yesterday after her recent touch up. She’s officially mid back length now and thinking of cutting it back to bra strap length for easy maintenance.

Ladies you can achieve your desired length. Her regimen consists of daily moisture and seal with Elasta QP Mango Butter & Grapeseed oil; weekly deep conditioning with JBCO, BPT Wheat Germ Treatment, Roux Porosity Control & Grapeseed oil; using satin bonnets and for protective styling, she wigs consistently.

Length Check for my sister

So my sister went to the salon for a touch up last week Friday. Before leaving for the salon, she coated her hair (from roots to the end) with Jamaican Black Castor Oil, Roux Porosity Control & a bit of Chi Silk Infusion to protect her hair from overlapping during the touch up process. You know how it is with our hair salon, they profess to know more than they actually do. I had told her to be watchful through out the entire process and if at anytime she felt they weren’t listening, she should get up and bolt for the car.

However the hair stylist seemed to listen and followed all her directions. She was on a 6 month stretch and prior to this touch up, her last length check was at shoulder length. Well she’s gone from shoulder length to arm pit length and her hair is simply amazing. The hair stylist kept asking what the secret was in terms of her healthy mane of hair. What aided this length retention was weekly deep conditioning, moisturizing and sealing, proper handling when combing and detangling. This aided her in retaining previous length. When she was done, the hair stylist stated there was no pint in trimming her hair as it was even all through. These were the products she used:

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Current length:

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Product Review – Shea Moisture Organic Hair Thickening Growth Milk

220Product Description:

This product thickens, volumizes and softens.

  • Baobab oil-Contains vitamins A,C,D,E and F to fortify and strengthen hair
  • Yucca-Thickens hair and helps to prevent hair loss
  • Biotin-A powerful B vitamin that strengthens the hair follicle
  • With coconut oil, silk protein & neem oil
  • No parabens, phthalates, paraffin, gluten, propylene glycol, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, animal testing, PABA, synthetic color, DEA, animal ingredients or sulfates

My review: After reading great reviews about this sulfate free organic shampoo online, I decided to give it a try since I wanted an alternative from my regular Ion Smoothing Shampoo. This product actually works and it contains some fine ingredients such as Yucca & Biotin which are especially good for preventing hair loss and strengthening as well. You need to shake the bottle before using due to its’ organic constituents. After washing my hair, it felt smooth  and gave a great a slip making detangling a breeze since I’m 13weeks post relaxer.  I also noticed more volume after air drying. This is definitely a keeper and I will be alternating it with the regular shampoo I use.

To place an order, send a mail to: todaysnaira@hotmail.com

 

 

Wash Day Diary

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1. Pre-poo my hair with Jamaican Black Castor Oil & Grapeseed oil on my scalp & entire hair length. Covered my hair for 2 hours with my shower caps to generate heat.
2. Washed my scalp with Ion Sulfate Free Smoothing shampoo. Wrapped my hair using a cotton t-shirt & left it for 30 minutes. Applied black tea rinse & left it on for 30 minutes before deep conditioning.
3. Deep conditioned with ORS Replenishing Conditioner, Roux Porosity Control & castor oil, covered my hair with 3 shower caps & left it for 2 hours ( I deep condition for longer due to my new growth & texlaxed hair).
4. After 2 hours rinsed out the deep conditioner, wrapped my hair with a cotton towel & left it for 30 minutes.
5. Once my hair was 80% dry, I applied Elasta QP Moisturising Butter, Paul Mitchell Skinny serum & sealed with Grapeseed oil.
6. Divided my hair into 5 sections and carefully detangled. I only had minimal shedding as seen below. My new growth was soft and easy to comb. I ended up with soft fluffy air dried hair.

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I’m currently 14weeks into my stretch and becoming more adept in managing the 3 textures I’ve got (bone straight, texlaxed & new growth) without losing so much hair. Can’t wait till my 21 week stretch is over.