Saturday, August 30, 2008

Wash day 8.28.09: I discover cleansing conditioner

I love the fact that the Internet has become a such great source of information. Somehow, some way, while surfing online, I landed upon a professional product which promises to do for your hair what normal shampoos won't or can't do.

Here is the product description as found on their website:

The WEN® Cleansing Conditioner is a
revolutionary new concept in cleansing your hair that has Hollywood buzzing! It’s special because it cleanses hair thoroughly but without lathering and all the harsh ingredients that may be found in ordinary shampoos — it is designed so it won’t strip your hair and scalp of their natural oils. Your hair is left with sheen, moisture, manageability and better color retention.
(Photos from Wenhaircare.com)





Of course, I immediately scoured the web for product reviews. As expected, the reviews were mainly positive. I did find comments from those who felt the product left their hair feeling a little heavy. My thought juices immediately started flowin' once the words "cleansing" and "conditioner" were introduced to me in the same sentence.


"I've got cleansers and conditioners," I thought, "why don't I make my own cleansing conditioner?"

So off I went into the shower for my weekly wash. Only this time, instead of using my Cream of Nature (CON) shampoo the way I normally do, I decided to squirt a little bit in the palm of my hand then proceed to cover the CON with my Suave Tropical Coconut cheapie conditioner. Hence, I had created a cleansing conditioner (sort of). I decided to use a light moisturizing conditioner so that cleanser wouldn't be overpowered by a heavy protein product. My goal wasn't to deep condition while I washed, my goal was to help further protect my hair from over drying while I washed.

I used this product mix on the entire length of my hair. Because I used such a high conditioner to shampoo ratio, no lather was created. Now that my hair is completely dry, I can touch and smell my hair which feels very similar to when I just use straight shampoo. The main difference was when I washed out my cleansing shampoo. My hair was soft and relatively tangle free because of the immense slip the Suave product provides.

I still proceeded to deep condition as normal under a plastic cap. This cleansing conditioner is not meant to replace the deep conditioning step. You still need to deep condition so that your hair can get the intense moisture or protien it needs.

Because I don't normally wash more than once a week, a straight conditioning wash may have not have satisfied my cleansing need. With this method, I enjoy the benefits of both a conditioning wash and a normal cleansing wash.

Afterwards I airdryed my hair in a ponytail to help combat this insane new growth. I am very pleased with the results. My hair feel light and clean (no heavy buildup) but yet it feels nice and conditioned. What I like most about this method is that my hair is being pampered and protected every step of the way from the pre-poo, to the wash, to the deep conditioning, to the leave-in step. This is definitely a keeper for me. I have not yet tried this method with a rollerset, but if my hair doesn't turn out as expected, I won't stop using conditioner when I wash, I'll play around with the amount of conditioner I use until I find the right combination.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008

CHI Keratin Mist Review Part II: Redemption!

My heart is overjoyed at the moment as I sit here and type. I have removed one roller from my lazy man's version of the rollerset and I am pleased with what I am seeing so far. When I say the lazy man's rollerset, I mean that instead of rolling my entire head with rollers as one would normally do, I thought it would be best to combat my ever increasing amount of new growth with an alternative styling method.

Prior to rollersetting, I refilled my magical leave-in mix with more distilled water while adding only a little bit of CHI Keratin Mix to my spray bottle. I made sure to only added enough of the product to help my hair where it needs it the most without the risk of protein overkill. I definitely was not heavy handed with this product especially after the results I got during my last wash. After adding the CHI to my leave-in, I shook the mix vigorously to make sure all the ingredients had a chance to become one harmonious healthy hair union and began to spray liberally throughout the hair.

What I did next was comb my wet hair in a backwards motion as one would do when preparing the hair for a ponytail. I then proceed to tie one of my satin scarfs around the front of my head as if I were creating a wide headband with the scarf. The rest of my hair was loose in the back. With my trusty snap magnetic rollers in hand, I proceed to put together a sub-standard rollerset. By substandard, I mean that I did not even think twice about perfectly straight parts nor was I concerned much with the tautness of the roller. I only wanted to make sure that each strand of hair was some how wrapped around a roller.

Even though my efforts were sub par, the leave-in mix still remained effective. This time, however, my hair was enjoying both the moisturizing properties of the rosewater and coconut oil, all while receiving the strengthening component of the Keratin Mist. This new leave-in combination is force to be reckoned with.

So as I complete part 2 of CHI's Keratin Mist review, I am running my hands through my hair as I normally do. Only this time, I am not becoming ever increasingly frustrated by breakage. My hair is strong and moisturized. I can not ask for much more. With that said, I will definitely recommend this product to those of you who would like to enjoy stronger hair. I paid around $14.00 for the bottle but because I pour very little of it into my leave-in mix, I know my $14.00 will go a long way. The strength my hair receives from the product is nearly instant and I feel that by heavily diluting it, I can use it weekly to keep my hair strong. I will update everyone if using it too frequently leads to any adverse effects.

Thanks for listening.

CHI Keratin Mist is definitely a keeper.
Saturday, August 23, 2008

CHI Keratin Mist Review Part 1


As promised, I will detail my first full experience with this most coveted hair product. In my quest for hair perfection, I have been searching for effective ways of strengthening my hair. What I'm looking for is not just a product that works just immediately after use but one that is powerful enough to leave a lasting impression on my hair. I want something that truly works to build strength while allowing me to keep the moisture balance which I have finally been able to achieve. My search led me to CHI Keratin Mist. I used this product this past week while rollersetting. My experience is as follows:

Just prior to purchasing Keratin Mist, I put together a mean leave-in combination modeled after my blog entry. That stuff had my hair singin' and swingin'. It had been a while since my hair looked and felt that way. I didn't even have to use any oil afterwards to finish off the style. My hair was darn near perfect. Even while my hair was still basking in the glow of the effects from this miracle elixer, I still felt that I could kick it up a notch by adding in a strengthening aid. Keratin Mist was my answer. Or so I thought..........

After experiencing such amazing results with my current leave in mixture, I was not willing to forgo it and only use the Keratin Mist as my only leave in product. So what I did was use my current concoction to keep my hair saturated. Meaning, as I parted sections and prepared my hair for rolling, I used only my mix to wet the hair. With the Keratin Mist, what I did was cover the palms of my hand with a few sprays, rubbed my hands together, and ran the product all over my hair, concentrating on the ends.
Though I noticed that my hair was a little difficult to detangle, the amount of hair lost during the process was much less than I experienced in the last couple of roller setting sessions previous.

Once dry, I removed the rollers in eager anticipation of the wonderful results that I was about to experience. My hopes were not realized. My curls were not as bouncy and full as before. The look of my hair just did not impress me at all. It didn't look bad, but it didn't look great either. Worst of all, my ends were frizzy. Yes, I said frizzy. I pretty much ended up wearing a bun all week because there was no way I could wear it down and have it look right.

Now, after reading that, you're probably thinking that Keratin Mist is going in the graveyard for hair products, my product closet. That place is dark, cramped, and houses all of products my hair has rejected. For now, my bottle CHI Keratin Mist has not yet been sentenced to a life of exile, why? Because even though my hair didn't look all that great, it was actually stronger. CHI Keratin Mist is definitely a strengthening good product. I have decided to somehow find a way to make it work for me. I need to harness the power of this product while still enjoying the fabulous results of my leave-in mix. My solution is to pour a little Keratin Mist into my leave-in bottle instead of just rubbing it into my hair straight. That, my friend, is the reason why I decided to write a two part review. This product definitely has some potential that I need to somehow exploit. I think my alternative method just might work.

By the way, before buying the product I read tons of great reviews. I still believe that this is actually a good product worth purchasing. I just think the protein content was a bit much for my hair. I actually used a small amount on my ends (while dry) as soon as I purchased it. My ends looked great when I first used it. But a day or two later, my ends started to frizz. My breakage slowed down, but my ends were all over the place. You may also want to test the product on your hair when you first buy it (or if you can sneak some on your hair while in the store to see if the protein content is too much for you to use straight up.

Part 2 will be posted soon. Stay tuned.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Krill oil for mega omega power!

Krill? What in the world? That's what I thought when I first heard of krill. Is an ingredient in hair products? Do I just buy the oil straight and rub it all over my hair?
The answer is neither. That's because krill is an crustacean which closely resembles a shrimp. Don't be fooled by the name, the oil from this little creature is said to be 48x more potent then that of fish oils. Yes, that's right, 48 times more powerful!

How can that be? Apparently the composition of the oil is one that is more readily absorbed in our body than regular fish oil. Another benefit of krill is that it doesn't have the fishy after taste that we normally experience when taking fish oil supplements. Krill, unlike fish oils contain high levels of antioxidants which contributes to its high shelf life. Its also said that high mercury levels is not prevelent in krill because of the remote arctic waters where the krill is harvested.

Here's some information taken from aboutkrilloil.com describing the wonder oil.

"Unlike fish oils, Krill oil carries omega-3s in the form of phospholipids, which are liposomes. This is then delivered to your body’s cells. The compounds EPA and DHA are carried more effectively by these phospholipids. Fish oils do not have the phospholipid complex and instead their omega-3 fatty acids are contained in the form of free triglycerides which are less effective.

The phospholipids are known as the building blocks for your cell membranes. They control the cellular transport and this helps to protect the cell membranes from free radical attacks. The control helps omega-3 fatty acids as it allows them to pass their molecules into your intestine wall.

Astaxanthin has great antioxidant benefits. In studies it has been shown to be 10 times more effective as an antioxidant than carotene. It has also been shown to be 100-500 times more effective than Vitamin E. Other studies have shown the antioxidant benefits of krill oil is more than 300 times greater than that of measured Vitamin A and Vitamin E and 48 times greater than Omega-3 18:12 fish oil."



We all know that in order to have truly healthy hair we absolutely need to have an ample amount of omega 3's in our diet. Its crucial. Any lack of this essential nutrient will result in dry hair, dull skin, brittle nails. Not to mention the lack of concentration and other health effects.

I don't know about you but I'm super-excited about this product! I'm all about bigger and better so this is a perfect find for me. I'll definitely be adding this product to my arsenal.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Searching for Nanokeratin alternatives

After posting an entry on the nanokeratin process and its benefits, I received a comment on the potential downside to having the treatment done. Some say that the fumes emitted during the treatment may be toxic. That's because some keratin treatments contain formaldehyde which, according to the FDA, has been linked to cancer. As I continued to research, I did find out that there are versions of the treatment available that do not contain the formaldehyde. But by then I was already pretty much turned off from the treatment and quickly began searching for alternative keratin boosters for my hair.

My first glimmer of hope came in the form of an online article from cosmeticdesigns.com about genetically engineered keratin developed in the labs of Dermaplus, a company that manufactures hair and skin care products. They have somehow managed to replicate the specific strands of keratin that naturally occur in the human skin and hair. The product they created with the technology, called Keracyte, is mainly used to strengthen the hair shaft, not the already existing hair. In other words, the product is used more as a scalp treatment not a topical hair solution.

The creators of the product are mainly targeting men who have thinning hair because this product has the ability to regrow thinning hair(and even restore natural hair color). Even though the product doesn't fully serve the purpose I am looking for, its still a start. Maybe someday they can find a way to incorporate their new strand of keratin into conditioners and other hair products.

My second alternative,so far, is a product from CHI called Keratin Mist (review to come later). I just purchased this product yesterday because I saw some great reviews on LHCF and makeupally. When I first picked up the product from the shelves, I immediately searched the label for the list of ingredients. Wouldn't you know it, Rosewater and silk amino acids were like the first and third ingredient on the list. Sound familiar? There were some other notable ingredients like wheat protein and aloe extract that helped me make up my mind to move forward with the purchase.

I was a little impatient and sprayed a little on my dry hair (instead of waiting 'till wash day to get the full effect). So far I liked what I saw. Stay tuned.....
Sunday, August 10, 2008

Five healthy hair boosters for a better Leave-In experience

I thoroughly enjoy the results of a perfectly executed rollerset. In just a few short hours, my hair can go from being a tangled and dry mess to soft, silky, bouncy curls. One of the quintessential aspects of creating your own rollerset masterpiece is utilizing the perfect leave-in product. The perfect leave-in could mean the difference between dull or shiny curls. The right leave-in could also be the deciding factor to whether you love your rollerset results or think the results are just o.k.

So in my quest to help you reach your hair perfection, I put a list together of some fabulous healthy hair boosters you can add to your spray bottle for rollersetting (or for your braid outs, or flexi rod sets, or whatever).

1.


Distilled Water
Hard water is a mofo on relaxed hair. Calcium and mineral build up works against all of your efforts. What you are left with is dry and lifeless tresses that doesn't respond get the optimal benefits of most hair products. If you live in a state which has hard water (like I do) you can't afford to let just sit back and let that evil water have its way with your hair. If you opt to add water to your spray bottle, make sure your water of choice is distilled water. Distilled water is soft water. If you do not have a soft water filter at your disposal, distilled water is the next best thing. When you use distilled water in your spray bottle, you are not spraying on mineral deposits to your hair. Imagine how light and healthy your hair will feel when you use a water that does not have the potential to create build-up.

2. Rosewater


If you haven't done so, you must try some rosewater in your spray bottle. This product is known for its moisture enhancing properties and its faint rose scent. You can use rosewater as a substitute for just plain ole water in your leave-in blend. Mix rosewater with glycerin for an even greater moisturizing effect.



It was said that Cleopatra's bath was heavily laced with rose petals. Creating her rosewater bath was said to keep her skin moisturized and beautiful and helped her to seduce her Roman lover Anthony. Let's create seductive, sexy hair with the help of moisturizing effects of rosewater in our rollerset.



3. Silk Amino Acids(SAA)
Just the sound of that word alone sounds healthy. This product is the perfect friend to your spray bottle. It practically looks just like water and its odorless. The light feel of the product means that you won't have to deal with heavy, unwanted build-up. Not only is the consistency perfect for rollersets, it also contains wonderful properties that make your hair fabulous. Silk Amino Acids have exactly what our hair needs, strength and moisture. Because silk amino acid is technically a protein, it will bond with the fragile areas in our hair shaft working to make it stronger. Not only that, silk amino acids also demonstrate moisture enhancing properties. According to Dermaxime.com, silk amino acids have powerful water binding properties which enhance moisture levels of the hair.

Here is an excerpt taken from jajagroup.com about the wonderful effects of silk amino acids.

"After silk protein on the hair dries, it becomes a transparent crystalline protective film. This film can directly prevent the hair being damaged by alkaline materials in hair products. This protective film can increase the hair elasticity and increase the hair’s natural shine. It has a very special protective function in hair products."

Need I say more?




4. Coconut Oil
If you are looking for something with a little more kick to put in your spray bottle, may I suggest coconut oil? You guys already know how much I rave about this oil. Because coconut oil is so light when melted at room temperature, it make for the perfect spray bottle companion. It's said that coconut oil is able to penetrate the hair shaft unlike other plant oils. Your hair will drink up all the nourishing benefits of this oil while under the dryer. In my opinion, this oil is probably the best choice for creating bouncy shiny hair. Again, its liquidy texture will work well with whatever else you chose to put in your spray bottle. If you hair loves the feel of oil, why not try a little bit next time you rollerset?

You can also experiment with other oils, if you choose, depending on the results you wish to obtain from your rollerset.


5. Your favorite conditioner

Just because you washed your conditioner out in your final rinse doesn't mean that you have to store the bottle away until next week. If you have a moisturizing conditioner that your hair absolutely loves, you may want to try diluting some of it in your spray bottle. I remember rubbing a little bit of Suave's Milk and Honey conditioner in my hair before air drying. The results were amazing! Maybe you haven't found a leave in conditioner that meets your needs. Give your best moisturizing conditioner a chance. It may be just what you were looking for.


There are so many other healthy hair extras you can mix in your spray bottle. I wanted to get your juices flowing to think about the endless possibilities. Remember that nothing is neutral, everything either works for you or against you to create exactly what it is you want. Make sure that whatever you put in your spray bottle words hard to create the head of hair you most desire.

*Edited on 8.15.08 to add:
I washed a rollerset my hair yesterday. I actually incorporated all 5 suggestions into my leave-in. It was a mix of mostly distilled water and some rose water, a few drops of coconut oil, some silk amino acids, and some Biolage Daily Leave-In tonic. The results were amazing. I can't tell you how great my hair feels. Usually when I rollerset, I add some moisturizing oil once the rollers are out just to help finish off the style. This time I didn't need to, my hair felt perfect and did not need any other product to enhance its appearance, moisture levels, etc.

When I wrote the post, I did not mean for all products to be used simultaneously but for me it worked out. You can opt to use any combination of these suggestions to create the perfect forumula that is right for your hair.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Flexirods saved my weekend

This past weekend was kinda busy for me. It all started off with a call from a friend of mine who was a birthday on Sunday. She organized a girls night out on Friday, and because I didn't prepare until the last minute, I had to rely on a quick and easy tool to get my hair ready.

I had no time to conduct a full wash and set routine and I had to think fast. The first thought that popped into my head were of my trusty flexirods. The weather in the city where I live is hovering at around 100% humidity so I knew that I had to employ the use of some type of styling products in order to create loose curls in just a few short hours.

With my trusty Silicon mix intensive leave in at hand, I quickly went to work. I parted my hair in large sections and created a dime-sized mix of Silicon Mix and jojoba oil for each section. I then proceeded to wrap each section around the flexi rod in a spiral curl motion until I completed my entire head of hair. The flexi rods were in my hair about an hour or so before I removed them one-by-one. It wasn't long before the curl-loosening effects of the humidity set in causing my curls to drop.

The end result looked something like this:










The very next day I had to once again create a last minute do it yourself hair style for a wedding I was attending. The person organizing the wedding gave all of us bridemaids only one suggestion, that we wear our hair curly. Again, I went straight for my trusty flexi rods. This time my goal was to create tighter, more defined curls. Because my husband and I spent most of our afternoon exploring the streets of our newly renovated Downtown, I basically had only a couple of hours to create the perfect look for the wedding. The tight timeline forced me to use a product that I haven't touched in probably a year, my Hask Placenta styling mousse.

The wedding hairstyle required much more flexi rods then the style I created the night before. Because I created the look starting with dry hair, I had to use an ample amount of mouse with each section of hair. I was pleasantly surprised at the end result considering the fact that my hair was not freshly washed and the look came together within a couple of hours (at the most).


Here is a pic of the finished look:










The wedding party was quite large. There were probably 20 bridesmaids or so sporting curly do's. Of all the bridesmaids, I was the only person who did not use an ounce of weave.

Here is a pic of a fellow bridesmaid, my husband, and me on the right.














Where would I be without my flexi rods?


 
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