Friday, May 30, 2008

While strolling down the streets of youtube USA, I stumbled upon this video of a very lucky gal with a gorgeous head of hair. She was generous to share some of her healthy hair habits with us. There are actually two videos because she takes her time to explain of all the details of how she maintains the health of her hair.

Andrea is another youtuber who shares with us her hair tips. She experienced an inch of growth in a month. Here she details what has helped her along the way (you'll get used to looking at the sideways angle once you watch the first couple of clips). She has a couple of other vids (part 3 and part 4) but she rambles a bit so I left them out.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

In the early days of my hair journey, I would lovingly gaze upon the hair of some lucky person who had fabulous tresses. The first thing I would think to myself was, "I wonder what her routine is." Once I found out the magical secrets, either by asking the person, or by researching online, I would be somewhat disappointed.
The routine of this person would not reveal any hair growing secrets that I was so desperately longing to hear. Worse yet, her routine would consist of similar steps that what I was doing week after week.

That's when I decided to fine tune my routine instead of constantly seeking salvation in another person's way of styling. Don't get me wrong, I definitely picked up some great ideas along the way. But overall, I can confidently say that I know what she did to achieve such great lengths. She was consistently using a solid routine that she worked long and hard to perfect.

So for those of you who are still experimenting with your routine to see what works best. Here are some ideas on how to make your routine the one that others will want to know about.

Start with an objective
The simple premise of creating a hair routine is to develop a series of steps, you can replicate, that will result in similar (fabulous) results time after time. There should be no guess work in how your hair will turn out. In fact, you should have a visual picture in your mind of how you want the end product to look even before you start your routine. Take a few minutes to visualize your hair if it turned out absolutely perfect. The more clearly you see the picture, the better.
In fact I would even take it a step further and develop an idea of what you want your hair to look like at every step of the process.

Scrutinize every step
Your wash routine should consist of multiple steps. Whenever anyone works on a complex task, there is bound to be room for error. Washing and styling our hair is no different. You should think if the process as one that is of high importance and must be done to precise standards. If anything goes "wrong" along the way, you're stuck with hair that must be bunned to avoid the shame of your shabby styling skills (believe me, I've been there). Noting can be worse than having to walk around with hair that does not meet expectations.

So when I scrutinize each step, it looks something like this:
Objective-"I need to make sure to saturate all sections of my hair with the oil/conditioner before I wash.
End result-"My hair will be evenly be covered with the product. I will also make sure to saturate the ends."
Make certain-"That I don't get lazy and just put the product on the top of my hair and not take the time out to section and saturate each one of the sections completely, including the ends."

Objective-"To cleanse any product, dirt, and buildup from my hair. I also want to treat my dandruff. I may also want to use the opportunity to massage my scalp."
End result-"My hair will be clean and my scalp will be treated. The hair will be ready to receive deep conditioning."
**You then ask yourself which product(s) work best to create this result.**
Make certain-"That I don't tangle my hair in the process. If I do, I will create havoc for myself later on when I try to style."


Objective-"To provide much needed moisture and strength to my hair for maximum health."
**Again, you want to scrutinize all of your many conditioning products to see which one(s) will create the result you want.**
End result-"My hair will detangle easily. I will also increase the moisture levels of my hair along with adding a light or heavy protein depending on the needs of my hair.
Make certain-"To assess the needs of my hair before I condition. Do I need more strength or moisture?" "If I provide more moisture when it needs more protein, I will still be fighting unnecessary breakage and my objective will not be reached."

Objective-"To produce healthy shiny looking hair. I also want to wear my hair straight this week so I need a styling method that will allow me to easily achieve that style."
End result-My hair will reflect shine naturally. It also will feel soft and healthy to the touch. I should be experiencing less breakage."
Make certain-"That I take my time when rollersetting. Any wrong moves and my entire rollersetting experience is down the toilet. I need to make certain I dry my hair completely under the dryer and each individual section is properly rolled in a way that will result in a smooth curl (you can even take it a step further and breakdown the rollersetting process step by step).

Notice that I tried to keep the format as generic as possible. The reason for this is because ultimately you have to fine tune your routine to what works best for you. Think about what you want for your hair. Then dissect each step until you achieve it one step at a time. When you break your routine apart into sections, there is also a better likelihood that you can isolate areas of weakness much more efficiently.

For example, lets say you know that you have a hard time with styling your hair. You can break down each incremental step of the process until you isolate the step that is not working for you. Once you find that step, modify it over and over again until you have what you want. The goal is to create a fool proof system that will work for you time and time again to produce magnificent results.

Even if you did implement my weekly routine step by step it probably won't "work" the same way. Your hair is different. It reacts differently. Your job is to develop your personal routine by taking a more systematic approach to entire process. Once you have the system down pact, you won't have to worry about how your hair will turn out for a special event. Your results will be consistent and your hair will flourish. Best of all, wash days will become less of a hassle.

Great luck.

-Here's to the health of your hair.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A study published in 1991 article of the British Journal of Dermatology revealed that hair tends to grow faster in the summer months than in winter. Summer is also a time when alot of us are no longer experiencing the massive shedding cycle that normally occurs around the end of the year. Those two factors combined can mean only one thing-lengthier locs!

Now is the time to plan ahead and create action plans to capitalize on this extra growth to reach our hair goals that much faster.If you are consistently taking action to benefit your hair this summer, your reward will certainly be great.

Just in case you forgot, here are some of the healthy hair fundamentals that need to happen this summer:

*Nutrition-My last post discussed the benefits of adding green foods to your diet. Since then I bought this nifty single serve smoothie maker at Walmart.

This thing is marvelous! I love the fact that the "blender" part doubles as a cup that I can take with me on the go if I so choose. Best of all, the cost was around $15.00. I'm giving everyone I know one of these for Christmas.
For those of you who don't really like taking all of those nutritional supplements, or you tend to forget to take them, a smoothie maker may be just the solution for you. You could add all sorts of hair food to your drink. I have bottle of a liquid multivitamin purchased from Vitamin Shoppe that is just begging to take part in my smoothie concoctions.

*Cleansing/Conditioning-The hot stickiness of the summer is likely going to result in more frequent washings. More washings is a good thing. That means more chances to add conditioning moisture to your hair and more scalp stimulation during the wash. Your hair definitely thrive if you wash more frequently. Even if it's just a day or two sooner than you normally do. Just be careful not to take wash days lightly just because they are occurring more frequently. You still want to take extreme care to be as gentle as you would if you had one wash day a month.

You also want to make sure that your hair is properly conditioned so that it can retain all of the wonderful growth that you will experience this summer. Because of how hot it gets down here in Florida, I had to make some changes to how I deep condition. No longer will I sit under a hot dryer and sweat my way to beautiful hair. I have since implemented this fabulous little hair towel in my routine to help me in my deep conditioning needs. The one I actually have is a generic version that I bought from a $1.00 store. After washing I wet it with very hot water and secure the towel on my head. I then place a plastic cap over the towel to trap the heat and viola! Deep conditioning w/heat without having to sit in one place.

*Trimming-If your hair is getting to that point where it would definitely benefit from a trim, now is the time act. Don't think about losing the 1/4" inch of damaged hair that has no business still being on your head. Think about the new healthier appearance your hair will have once you finally get the nerve to trim those ends.
I can honestly say that every time I've received a trim, my hair benefits. Any length gained after trimming is extremely obvious because of the massive reduction in breakage. If you do what needs to be done now, you will forget all about it four months from now when you are gliding your fingers through your luscious lengths.

Protecting-I like wearing my hair out for all the world to see but I realize that summer time may not be the best time to do that. First of all its hot! So that means that I probably won't even want to wear my hair down if even if I could. Secondly, it's sticky. So wearing my hair down will likely mean that my ends to succumb to unnecessary moisture from touching my wet back (sorry for the visual). Wet ends that are allowed to air dry can be very dangerous. Avoid the probability of happening at all costs by wearing your hair in the most appropriate protective style for that occasion.

I can't wait until the early fall months when I am assessing the amount of growth I was able to retain from the summer rush. Lord willing I will millimeters away from mid-back by then and all of my wildest dreams will come true. Start thinking about your game plan for maximizing the health of your hair this summer. Don't allow summer to pass without you reaching another hair milestone.

-Here's to the health of your hair.

Friday, May 9, 2008

There's lots of talk nowadays about going green. Well I'm here to talk about how we could be friendly to our hair by going green. Specifically, green superfoods and how they can take our health, and our hair to the next level.

I ceased from eating red meat and chicken about a year and a half ago. As I started researching the nutritional impacts to my decision, I stumbled upon a wonderful world of green supplements that I had never before heard of. These superfoods came in the form of blue-green algae. The more I researched the health benefits the more excited I got about the overall possible improvement to my hair. I even found this fantastic video on youtube that went into detail about the nourishing qualities of the green foods.

This food product has been called the world's healthiest food. I was attracted by the fact that spirulina, pound for pound, contains more protein that meat. It even contains high amount of valuable B vitamins one does not normally find in plant foods.

Lets talk about some of the benefits:
*Spirulina contains 10 times the concentration of beta carotene of carrots.
*Spirulina is the highest protein food without the negative effects of cholesterol.
*Spirulina contains essential fatty acids and amino acids.
*Spirulina contains phytonutrients for optimal health.

Spirulina's close relative is chlorella. Chlorella contains all of the wonderful nutritional properties of spirulina along with an added property that helps to detoxify the body. I can usually find Spirulina in powder form but for some reason, I usually tend to find Chlorella in tablets. I keep both the spirulina powder and chlorella tablets around. The powder for when I have time to make delicious smoothies in the morning. The pills for when I have to rush out the door.

Sometime last year I was able to cultivate the habit of drinking a green smoothie every morning. The smoothie was a combination of:

1 Banana
2 Vanilla Soy Milk
3 Spirulina
4 Powdered fiber

It was a fairly simple and truly delicious drink. The spirulina will make everything turn green but don't be fooled, you will not likely taste it. The only time I can remember actually tasting the stuff was when I got adventurous and mixed the powder with plain water. That was before I knew how easily I could mask the taste with just a banana and some soy milk.

At one point in time I was faithfully making my morning smoothie daily. My wavy new growth was proof that my hair follicles were being nourished by the superfood. The new hair was unlike anything that every grew out of my head before. It made stretching a snap. I fell off the daily smoothie bandwagon when my mixer malfunctioned. But I know that now is the time to get back to my routine! Since going without a blender for so long I have found alternative ways to enjoy my spirulina powder.
*I mix with my Yoplait yogurt
*I add to my Bolthouse farm juices.

Next I will try mixing into plain fruit juices to see how it goes. These alternative ways of consuming will keep me from making excuses when I don't feel like peeling a banana. I can no longer make excuses for not consuming this incredible product every single day.

So join me, won't you, in helping to make our world a better place. A better place by going green and creating a head of healthy hair. The planet will thank you.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Years ago, I was constantly hearing about how great Aphogee treatment was. So of course I immediately went out and bought it. I don't remember much about the details but what I do remember was saturating my hair with this stinky liquid that hardened after a few minutes. The details get blurry after that but what I do remember was eventually throwing the stuff away.

Well last week I paid a visit to my local Sally's store in search of Hennalucent clear for my wash. They were out. The nice lady did recommend an alternative clear rinse. When I told her that I was looking for the strengthening properties of Hennnalucent, she asked me if I ever tried Aphogee. I told her that I had but the experience was not enjoyable to say the least. She then proceeded to go on and on about how it did wonders for her type 2 hair and how she recommends it to all her customers. She then reached out and handed me a sample packet of the Aphogee treatment and the balancing conditioner. A thought then crossed my mind. Maybe the missing link to better results would be this balancing moisturizer. Maybe if I gave it one more chance I could experience the amazing results everyone was talking about.

My next wash I pre-poo'd and clarified. I then proceeded to condition my hair with a moisturizing conditioner mixed with a dab of honey. I figured that this step would help to protect my hair from getting too hard from all of the protein. Then came the stinky liquid. I saturated my hair with it and proceeded to watch funny videos on youtube. I was having so much fun that I had no idea how much time had passed. Once I realized that I had forgotten about my hair, I began to panic.

"What would happen to my hair if I exceeded the recommended time?"
"Would my hair harden like a twig and just snap whenever I touched it?"
"OMG I am going to be bald when I rinse this stuff out!"

I honestly had the stuff in my hair for probably more than a half an hour. I am not sure if I had done something terrible. I quickly ran to the bathroom to see what the time specifications were. I did not find any. I jumped in the shower and began to rinse as quickly as I could. Once I got most of it out, my hair actually felt soft even before I used the balancing moisturizer. I think that using conditioner before the Aphogee treatment helped. Next was the balancing moisturizer then a final rinse with ACV and cool water.

During the rollerset I noticed that my hair was not as light and fluffy as it normally was. I seemed different, stronger maybe. When I removed the rollers, my hair was not like before. My hair was not bouncy like normal but I did appreciate the fact that it felt more resilient. I did experience less breakage when I combed out my rollerset then I usually do. That is definitely a plus.

It has now been a few days since the treatment and I can honestly say that I am experiencing less breakage. Has it stopped my breakage dead in its tracks? No, but less breakage is just fine with me. Overall I am pleased with the results. I wish I could have bouncier hair but I think I still will be able to achieve those results during my next wash. I'm glad that I only need to use this stuff every 6-8 weeks or so depending on the condition of the hair.

So to finish my review, I am recommending the product. If you have not tried it yourself and you are experiencing unnecessary breakage, give the sample pack a try. I paid like $2.99 for both the treatment and the moisturizer. If you use it and have undesirable results, at least you won't have a full bottle of the stuff to throw away.

Aphogee Treatment for Damaged Hair
Pros: Stronger hair
Cons: The smell, Hard hair
Consider: This product has a lot of protein. It can work against your hair if you use it to frequently or if you do not balance with moisturizer
Rating: 3.5 stars

Saturday, May 3, 2008

There is nothing more frustrating and time consuming then having to deal with a head full of tangled hair. Not only do you have to spend more time on your hair, you're also risking additional breakage as you detangle.

Here are some tips on how you can keep your tangles at bay.

* You need the right tools and supplies. I probably have over 50 combs and brushes in my arsenal. Over the past several years I've been in search of a special comb or brush that I could use daily without the fear of causing more damage to my hair. I have a couple of favorites that I like.

1. Sally's has a bone comb set that I bought a few years ago. It comes with a bunch of various combs in all different sizes and for different functions. There is even a rat tail comb that I use when I rollerset. When I use these combs properly, I have no concerns that unnecessary breakage is happening because of the comb. The beauty of these combs is the smooth surface and seamless construction. I remember the days of old when I would comb my hair and find single broken hairs caught on the seams of the comb. Breakage is frustrating on its own, you don't want your comb getting a piece of the action.

Another helpful piece of advice would be to finger comb your hair before runnning a comb through it. When you use your fingers, you can feel tangles much more easily and work them out with much more care than you would with a comb. Its one thing if your comb causes your hair to break, its a whole different feeling when you experience breakage from your own bare hands.

*You need the right technique. All the fabulous combs in world won't help your hair if you aren't detangling properly. Whenever you are getting ready to detangle, you should begin with a mindset that the activity alone can possibly cause damage. Think of your hair as fragile strands of silk, better yet, think of your hair strands as being as fragile as a spider's web. You are the spider. You must carefully and gracefully navigate through your entire head of hair without disturbing the beautiful essence of it. In other words, don't just run a comb through your hair.

1. Section your hair. If your hair is as thick as mine, it can be overwhelming to detangle your entire head of hair. If you try to take it all on at once, your arms will inevitably become tired and your will take shortcuts just to finish. That's why I recommend sectioning. Sectioning your hair into four pig-tails should be enough but if you want to be even more careful, you can use smaller sections. The smaller the section, the easier it will be for you to locate snags and to carefully work them out of your hair. Sectioning just helps you to put things into perspective. You soon will learn the most difficult parts of your hair prone to matting when you detangle by section. Then you can carefully navigate through your hair without concern. If you tend to go a few days without combing, I recommend smaller sections.

2. Use short strokes. We've all heard that you should begin detangling a section of hair from the bottom up. I like and have used this technique. But for some reason, I have not been able to faithfully use it. If you can, more power to you because it works fabulously. I, on the other hand, have been using a different technique. I take a small section of hair maybe a couple of inches wide. I then take my trusty comb and carefully work it through my roots. Once I have loosened all of the shed hairs, I grab my roots with one hand and begin using very short strokes, with my other hand, to work the shed hairs down the length of my hair. As I move down with the comb, I also move my other hand further down so my hand is only a few inches away from the section I am combing. I never comb a section of hair from root to ends in one stroke. I am not running the comb down my hair, I am working the comb down my hair. There is a huge diffence between the two.

I hope you get the idea of how I detangle. Trying to explain it in writing is a bit difficult. My method is essentially the inverted version of detangling from the ends up. When you do detangle from the bottom up, you use one hand to hold your hair about two inches from the ends then you begin to detangle that small section. Once that section is detangled then you move your hand an inch or two higher until you finally work up to the roots. Please remember that even though I detangle from the root down, I still work on one section at a time (1-2 inches). I NEVER run the comb down the entire length of my hair unless I have already detangled the entire section. The reason why I start from the root down is because my shed hairs tend to remain close to my root. The curly new growth easily winds around other hairs and begins to create a tangle. I found that when I started from the bottom up I would not get to the "root" of the problem until the very end. Whichever way works best for your hair, while causing as little breakage as possible, is the method you should use faithfully.

Other tips for detangling:
*Lubricate-If your hair is dry, it will have a tendency to snap when you manipulate it while detangling. Always start to detangle by using your favorite oil or product on dry hair or leave-in conditioner on wet hair. Tangles are extremely frustrating when rollersetting. Keep a spray bottle of water handy.

* Don't wait too long. I can't tell you how many times I have tried to save the length of my hair by bunning only to loose tons of hair in the detangling process several days later. Loosing up to 100 hairs a day through shedding is not uncommon. Those hairs, if not combed out, will likely end up latching on to other hairs. The longer you go without combing your hair, the bigger the headache later on. Even if you are protective styling, try to see if you can safely detangle your hair every so often.

If you can perfect the way to detangle your hair with as little breakage as humanly possible, you'll be rewarded more length in the long run.

-Here's to the health of your hair.

Friday, May 2, 2008

I was tagged this morning by
Traycee to share six quirky things about me. I hope the crazy revelations I am about to unveil do not change how you look at me going forward.

O.k. so here it goes.

1. I have the strangest obsession with picking fruit from trees in public. If I can't reach the fruit, I beg my husband to climb the tree and get the fruit for me. Once I have it, I take it home and set it on my desk. I never eat it.

2.I carry on full-fledged conversations with my self from time to time. I think that I am the funniest person in the world. I laugh the hardest at my own corny jokes.

3.I haven't eaten beef or chicken in over a year and a half. Sometimes I wish I hadn't because now I can't stand the thought of consuming it.

4. My brother and I share the same brain. We can finish each other's sentences. I used to wish I had a sister, but he is much better than a sister 'cause he never asks to borrow anything of mine.

5. Sometimes the thought of reaching my hair goal makes me sad. Then I have no goal to strive for. I have an intense passion for reaching goals. Sometimes I think I subconsciously sabotage just so I can have a goal to reach.

6. I like the fact that I turned 30. I feel like like I have matured into a woman like a ripe peach hanging from a limb......ready to be picked.

I've also tagged Hairly Obsessed,Fourty is the New 20,Braids4grow,lesbianbap,Beauty Logic,My Hair Story
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