Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Stagnation or circulation? Which do you prefer? Does a flowing river not support and create growth and abundance more than a retention pond? I'm using this analogy to help you realize the importance of flow and circulation. More importantly, circulation to the scalp. Anytime circulation slows, in any environment, you restrict possible the life-giving source that supports further growth. I've posted several times on the benefits of increased stimulation. Today, I'm here to present to you the newest addition to my hair team.

My new scalp massager....

This thing is amazing. Even with a heap of new growth, this massager is sturdy enough to reach into the deepest parts of my hair all the way down to the scalp. Not only that, I also love the fact that I can massage away to my heart's content without even the hint of fear of damaging my hair. It's so gentle, yet so firm, yet so effective.

Scalp massages are important because it encourages increased blood flow directly to the follicles. Because the scalp is an extremity, increased blood flow to that area doesn't occur naturally unless you take direct action to do so. Tension and stress of the every day also works to restrict the muscles. Even the scalp is impacted by tension. Tension is restrictive. We need to do whatever we can to encourage free flowing movement of blood flow right where we need it most.

Enough talking. I actually created a video praising the magnificence of my massager.

Roll 'em!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

You may have heard this before, oils seal not moisturize. Use oils to keep in what you've put on the hair. The idea of using oil as a sealer made sense to me. When I applied oils on my skin, it would create a protective barrier far superior to that of my lotion alone. Everything clicked in my mind when I rationalized this logic. That is-until one day the internet told me that coconut oil had the ability to actually penetrate the strands.

What! How could that be?! If an oil actually had the ability to penetrate the hair strand, that would change everything. That would mean the oil could possibility work to benefit the hair while inside the strand. Which would make the oil more than just a sealer. It would now also become a strengthener and a nourisher. "Well," I thought, "before you get too excited missy, remember that you heard it on the crazy internet." "Oils penetrating the hair could be a pack of lies generated out of the evil hearts of malicious liars."

I didn't know who to believe. That is until I found proof! Yes, proof! I actually found the results of the published 2005 study titled the Investigation of penetration abilities of various oils into the human hair fibers. In this study, various types of oils were applied to hair samples in order to observe and measure "the capillary adhesion resulting from the penetration of oil into the fiber." So what they did was measure the thickness of the oil film on the hair strand after some time elapsed. They also did the same observation with the use of heat on the strand.

 The theory was that the thickness of the oil film on the hair would diminish with time and heat as the oil was absorbed into the hair. Those oils that left a film thicker than a certain amount, actually masked the hair as it remained on the surface. During the study, a measurement tool was also used to view the hair's surface. Strands with the "non-absorbing" oils would appear to have a thicker film covering and masking the scale structure of the hair for extending periods of time even with the use of heat (blow dryer). Basically, this would mean the oil was just idly sitting there.

The oils used in this particular study were coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, mineral oil, sesame, rice brand, mustard, and olive oil. Scientists measure the "capillary adhesion," or amount of penetration of mineral, coconut, and sunflower with the use of heat. The higher the adhesion, the less the oil was able to penetrate the strand. It's no surprise that absorption levels of mineral oil was pretty much non-existent, even with the use of heat. The study found that coconut oil treated hair (with heat) looked close to untreated hair after 24 hours. That speaks to the high absorption rate of the oil. To further prove this theory, a second assessment was made on the hair fibers by studying the interior of the hair fiber with a specialized tool. Mineral oil was not detected in the hair's cross section. Coconut oil, however, "was found to penetrate partially or completely."

As mentioned earlier, other oils were also analyzed during this study. Unfortunately, the other oils tested did not demonstrate the high level of penetrability of coconut oil. Some of the oils partially penetrated through the cuticle layer but the scientists weren't able to determine if the penetration went down into the hair's cortex. The general consensus of the study was that monounsaturated oils penetrate or "diffuse" into the hair much more effectively than polyunsaturate oils.
I, for one, am excited about seeing this for myself in black and white. I've used coconut oil forever. You could see me using it during my pre-poo steam treatment video. It's even an ingredient in Gleau. Now that we've discussed, what I want each one of you to do is scour your hair product closest looking for anything with the word mineral oil on it. If you happen to find such a product, I'd like for you to immediately chuck it into the nearest trash can and never look back.

That's an order!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

2010 is fast approaching. With only a couple weeks left in the year, I knew that I'd had to take the opportunity, now, to set my hair intentions for the year to come. I believe setting intentions is a powerful way of guiding the outcomes we experience in life. Without clear intentions, we are leaving our results to environment and chance. There's no way I'm letting chance be the decider on what happens to my hair.

So here we go.....

First I'l start by taking a look back. This past year was the year I was introduced to many staples. Some of them now include: Burt's Bee's Avocado pre-poo. 2009 was also the year that I experimented with little known products such as the Asience product line. Last but not least, my most favorite addition in 2009 was the purchase of my beloved facial steamer which I now use weekly when I pre-poo and deep condition. This past year was also the year I began creating online videos and product giveaways on my blog.

So now we're at a place where it's time to look forward. My focus now is geared towards the days and months ahead. I'd like to take both my hair, this site, and my youtube channel, to the next level. I've heard that one should always dream big, that way even if the biggest goals aren't reached, you are likely to still end up a lot further than if you dreamed small.

Let's start dreaming big shall we?

For the past two years, I've used this blog as a means to share my thoughts and ideas about creating healthy hair. Moreso, this blog, for me, has been a tool I've used to address my own hair issues and find solutions to the hair dilemmas I was experiencing. This year will be no different. My greatest hair desires still remain. I still wish to elevate strength and moisture levels of the hair. My topics of discussion will continue to revolve around these topics. Recently, I've had random thoughts popping into my mind about increasing elasticity levels in the hair. Moisture, strength, and elasticity are the holy trinity of healthy hair so I'll be seeking out ways to promote these three qualities with every action I take. Not only that, I'll also want to focus on eradicating the actions, products, and methods that work against achieving the big three.

The dilemma we face, as women who subject our hair to chemical processes, is having hair which is robbed of moisture, strength and elasticity every time we undergo a chemical process. Don't get me wrong, chemicals aren't the only culprit but it's certainly a viable enemy. So of course I'll make it my mission this year to find out the little known secrets of supporting the development of the "big three."

On a more personal level, the intentions for my hair health are as follows:

* Rehabilitation- I talked a little in my deep conditioning post about treating areas of damage with a more effective deep conditioning method. In 2009, I identified some real opportunity areas in my hair where the length and health isn't evenly distributed. In other words, I've got some damage. Actually the areas aren't as damaged now as they were when I first identified them. But now, I'm in intensive repair mode. This year will be the year when those areas are brought back (length and strength) levels of the healthiest parts of my hair.

* Thickness-More often than not, my ends are exposed to the open air. Manipulation is also a major detractor in my routine. As a result, I feel I'm sacrificing much needed thickness especially on the ends of my hair. So my objective this year will be to promote retention and health from root to tip (focusing on tip). How will I do this, I'm not sure yet. There's obviously something amiss in what I'm doing now which causes my current results. So this year I'll closely scrutinize what I do day to day to find solutions to this issue.

*Elasticity-I would love to create a documented systematic process that is proven to increase elasticity in each individual strand of hair. I'm not sure what that looks like yet but I salivate at the thought of making this possible. Look out for more posts on this topic to come.

*Moisturizing-I'd like to compile a powerful moisturizer that could incorporate into my routine. This moisturizer would work hand in hand with the oil blend I now use to create hair that is absolutely fabulous.

*Styling-Even though I vehemently vowed several times never to go back to a Dominican salon, I still keep going back. Why? Because I absolutely can not deny the wonderful results of having perfectly silky hair. But it never fails, I always seem to suffer some type of set back shortly after my visit. This last visit in September was no different. In 2010, I'd like to go the entire year without visiting the salon. Now that I think about it, there is a reason why I might go back. There's this girl who attends frequently who has some bomb hair. I salivate over her tresses every time I visit. It never seems to fail that every time she steps into the salon, some admirer begins to interview her for her hair secrets. What I love about her is that she's always willing to give her hair tips. I would love to interview her on this blog next year. Either way, my focus next year is to perfect a method of creating professionally looking results from home.

I think I'll wrap up my list there for now. I'm sure many more goals/intentions will become areas of focus for me next year. Until then, I'll start marinating over these as a starting point. I'm really excited about these and everything we'll accomplish next year.

What about you? What hair intentions are you working on this for 2010?

About a year ago, a friend and I were having a conversation about our intentions for the new year. My intention was to seek out and bring together the most nourishing oils I could find, in one bottle to create one effective fusion. Yes, I am aware that technically oils don't moisturize, but I specifically looked for plant oils that have moisturizing qualities. What I mean by moisturizing qualities is the ability to effectively lubricate the hair. I wanted the oil to not sit on the hair and weight it down, I wanted the blend to help the comb glide through the hair. I wanted instant shine, but not the "I got a bunch of oil in my hair" shine. After using the oil, I wanted my hair to be more lustrous and appear healthier overall.

That was a year ago. Today I finally arrived at the place where my intention has now manifested. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring to you Gleau.

Gleau (pronounced glow) is a blend of 8 different oils each unique in their ability to impact the hair. Included among the oils is Moroccan Argan Oil, Camellia seed oil from Japan, sweet almond, two types of jojoba, two types of wheat germ, coconut and more.

I first mentioned this blend earlier this year when I talked about how I gave a sample to my mother in law to take back with her to California. Soon after, I received some emails from you asking about ingredients and such. It was then that I decided to provide some samples to you guys so I can get some much valuable feedback. My thanks to all of you who tried it and gave me your honest opinion. I was overwhelmed with the amount of positive feedback I received. So now I'm at a place where I'm ready to bring Gleau into the marketplace. For those of you who are dying to try a bottle, you can visit the website at

You can also check out the link below to read customer reviews on Amazon.com

Sunday, December 13, 2009

We're charging through the Maximum Moisture series which is a critical topic of discussion. Especially for those of us with chemically treated hair. So far my discussion has been focused mostly around the weekly wash and set. Now it's time to move on to styling and beyond. I strongly believe in using the wash and set as a major way of injecting moisture back into the hair. Most of your focus during the weekly wash should be around the intention of impacting moisture levels (as well as strength) in preparation for the week ahead. Why? Because of the simple fact that your hair will be exposed to air. Yes, the same life-giving air we live in and breathe is the mortal enemy of our hair's moisture.

My heart nearly sank years ago when I was reading Wanakee's informational hair care booklet as she articulated the dangers of constantly exposing the hair to elements. As you may know I am a self-proclaimed non-protective styler who struggles constantly to keep my hands out of my hair. I love detangling with my fingers, or examining the ends for strength, or just playing in my hair for no apparent reason whatsoever. It's a problem I've been dealing with since I was a child after notifying my mother, at the age of 10, that her hair styling services would no longer be needed because I would be doing my own hair going forward. It was then my love affair with my hair began.

I fail miserably every time I attempt to hide my hair for weeks or months at a time. I knew this was a lost cause when I got my hair braided back in high school. Back then everyone was rocking extension braids and I wanted them badly. So, like others, I paid good money to have one of the best recommended braiders work her magic on my hair. Two weeks later, the braids were removed and I was rocking my hair like nothin' happened. It's just something I'll have to live with. So, as you can imagine, dryness is the achilles heel to the health of my hair. I am still seeking ways to impact moisture levels day after day. But I'll share with you some of the steps I take today to give my hair a fighting chance.

Just recently, within the last several weeks, I decided to air dry. No, I'm not talking about the normal air dry where you use no styling methods to dry the hair. I'm talking about air drying my roller sets. Setting my hair on rollers is pretty much a part of my weekly routine. This past month, I experimented with "normal" air drying where the hair isn't dried on a roller or with a styling tool. I failed miserably at this attempt because I had two things working against me:

1. I am three months post.
2. I'm shedding like a dog.

Put those two together and, for me, you have a recipe for insane tangles. So I decided after a few weeks of trying, that I'd have to roller set no matter how much new growth I had. I thought about sitting under a hooded dryer on maximum heat which didn't sit right with me. Fall is upon us and the amount of moisture in the air is minimal. Drying every ounce of liquid from my hair with hot air was no longer appealing. So last week I air dried my roller set, which I haven't done in a very long time. There's certainly great benefit in air drying. I'm now combining the moisture preserving aspect of air drying with the styling options available with roller setting.

Ok, so what do I do to maintain moisture after the style is achieved?

I've had two experiences that I'd like to share with you today.

In scenario 1, I wash, condition, roller set, and style. What's important to notate in this scenario is after I've finished styling, I take advantage of my fresh hair do by wearing my hair down for a majority of the day. What happens by night fall? My fabulous curls start to drop and I begin to see signs of frizziness and lackluster.

In scenario 2, I wash, condition, roller set, and style. What's important to notate in this scenario is after I've finished styling, I tie down with a silk scarf. Again, I'm not a fan of hiding my hair but I can not deny the power of preserving moisture with a silk scarf especially after the wash and set. This is the perfect opportunity to seal in and protect all of your hard work.

I've lived both scenarios and I'm committed to only living out scenario 2 from this day forward. Every little bit counts. There's another daily habit that I've just implemented to help with moisture but I feel like I'd make a bigger impact if I explain it via video. It's nothing major but it's worth mentioning. Perhaps someone will benefit from it. I'll be working on that video shortly for official release.

Until then, I should also mention that I rarely use moisturizers. Even though I know it's a necessity for the health of the hair. I am in no way condoning the elimination of moisturizers from your routine. If your hair is thriving with the help of moisturizers, the last thing you want to do is remove that step from your regimen. That could be disastrous. For me, it was more about looking for other ways to moisturize aside from just the help of product. There is one product I use, it's a blend of oils that combined in varying quantities. My goal, when I blended these oils was to create a formula that would help promote softness and shine on a daily basis. I also wanted to act like a moisturizer on the hair. What I mean by that is that the oil would not only make the hair look good, but it would also make it feel just as good. That was probably six months or so and I've been using it ever since. Just one product.

I'll wrap up this post for now but I will say that there's so much more on this topic that I'd like to discuss. I don't think we can ever exhaust this topic. By the way, if you've got some great moisturizing tips you'd like to share. Or even if you've got a bomb moisturizer you'd like to recommend. Leave a comment.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Deep conditioning, ah yes, the holy grail of our hair care practices. Deep conditioning is where we enlist the powers of our fave product(s) to bring about glorious results. The strength of your hair for the week to come relies on how well your deep conditioner was able to get the job done. Because of the crucial nature of this process, we need to make sure we get this step right.

In order for this to be a well rounded discussion, I feel that we need to first cover the basics of deep conditioning. Let's talk fundamentals:

First you'll need.....a deep conditioner. Notice that every conditioner is not a deep conditioner. What you're looking for is a conditioner specifically designed to work even more instensely with increased time/heat. Take a look at the back of your current conditioning product, is it instructing you to rinse a minute or two after application? If so, then your product not working deep enough. Damage to the hair can occur deep below the surface layers so your product needs to get at least that deep. What you're looking for as you inspect your product label is the requirement that the product remain in the hair for more than 2 minutes. Anything 2 minutes or less is not likely going to have a dramatic impact on the hair.

I'm not going to specifically name or recommend products in this post. We all know that not all conditioners are created equal. What I love may work just o.k for you. Because of this, I'll keep my discussions at a higher level. I will tell you that when I deep condition, I rarely rely on the strength of just one product to get the results I am seeking. Most often, you'll find me blending a variety of products each with its own specific purpose.

Although strength should be a major objective of deep conditioning, I almost always layer my need for strength within my desire for moisture. I've tried several different methods of deep conditioning only to find that, for me, I can rarely ever go wrong if I first focus on moisture. So what I do is seek out thick moistening conditioners that coat the hair heavily. I don't have the time, nor the money, to allow even a small percentage of my product to run down my back and into the shower drain. I need my product to stay where I need it the most, on my hair. So thickness is key.

Along with thickness, my deep conditioning products have to soften the hair the minute its applied. I'm not waiting all the way to the rinse step to know for sure whether the product has softened the hair. I've been disappointed one too many times by deep conditioners leaving me less than impressed after rinsing. If I can't get slip from my deep conditioner, when is it gonna happen?!

Softness, slip, and strength. How can you get this from one conditioner? If you've got a conditioner that fits this description, then more power to you. I find that I get more of the result I want when I combine several heavy hitters to make one phenomenal conditioning concoction. There is no exact recipe involved in this creation. Only the mixing of moisture heavy conditioners coupled with strengtheners to create a delightful masterpiece. Prior to selecting my favorite conditioners for the mix, I made sure to measure their pH levels with my testing strips. Adding this step makes me feel a bit more confident that I wasn't just mixing for the heck of it. My creation also landed in the desired pH range where the hair most benefited (quick tip: Porosity Control boasts of a low pH. This is perhaps the reason why this product added to conditioners makes them seem more effective somehow). The final product looks something like this: 80% moisturizing 20% strengthening. This percentage only arises out of the fact that my hair doesn't deal too well with heavy proteins. If your hair can flourish with a 50/50 mixture, then have at it! I find that if I am able to create balanced enough conditioning mixtures of strength and protein, I don't have need to set aside certain weeks where I've got to barrage my hair with an intense strength treatment because I've been overlooking that aspect of my regimen. Same goes for the moisture aspect.

Ok, so once I know that the product going on the hair is impactful, my next area of focus is in maximizing the conditioner with the application technique. Once upon a time, my conditioner application consisted of me, standing in the shower, while rubbing a single conditioner into the length of the hair. As you would imagine, there were several problems with this technique:

1. By remaining in the shower, I was unable to accurately keep track of time. I always had this false impression that more time had passed than realized. In the end, I was robbing my hair of precious and much needed repair time.

2. Another fatal flaw in my technique was my lack of attention to detail during application. I AM CERTAIN this is the reason for the areas of damage my hair suffers from today. I wasn't taking the time to gently part my hair into multiple sections before applying. I did this thing where I'd apply all over the parts of the hair that were most visible to me. The result was long thick hair in the front and sides while the hair underneath struggled to maintain strength levels. I head my head in shame when I think of it.

3. Finally, I have to also admit that when I followed this technique, I rarely did anything more special than placing a plastic cap over my head. There was no additional heat for deeper penetration. No warm towels, no sitting under the hair dryer, nada. Honestly, I don't know how I expected to have healthy chemically treated hair deep conditioning the way I did.

But now, my friends, I am in a different place. Deep conditioning is no longer executed poorly. I now put in an adequate amount of time thinking about ways to improve on what I do, even if its only a slight adjustment. No change is too small.
There will probably be a video from me in the near future discussing the virtues of deep conditioning the right way. Until then, I hope this post was helpful in your quest for moisturized hair.

I'd love to hear your comments.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Normally, when I think about ramping up moisture levels in my hair, rarely do I spend more than quick minute thinking about the shampoo step. Why? Well because when I think of shampooing, I normally equate it with cleansing which usually involves removing, not adding. For the longest time, I'd spend countless man hours contemplating how I can increase moisture levels during the pre-poo, deep condition, and styling phase of my routine. Little did I know that I was missing a huge opportunity by not adjusting my shampoo to work with, not against, my overall moisture regimen.

So how do you get your wash to be more moisturizing?

Well first and foremost it begins with the pre-poo.. By the time you are stepping into the shower to wash, you should always be working with a head of pre-conditioned hair. I cringe when I think of those days long ago when I'd get into the shower with dry damaged hair while rubbing in a harsh clarifying shampoo to start off my routine (yeah, I know it's pitiful). By the time I was done, my hair would have formed one hard mass that I prayed to God the conditioner would reverse. I also look back on the days when I'd feel a sense of pride every time I'd work up a crazy lather in the shower like I wash shooting an Herbal Essence commercial or something. The foamier that lather, the better (or so I thought). In hinsight, cleaning the hair with a sudsing shampoo wasn't entirely bad considering how much of a product junkie I was and all the experiments I was putting my hair through.

So now my wash step has evolved. Today, shampooing is in lock step with everything else I do on wash days. Much of my gratitude for this new way of washing is directed at my new favorite shampoo of all time: Hair One Conditioning Cleanser!

Yesterday, I just picked up the most recent copy of Allure Magazine which had this to say about the conditioning cleanser.

"A hit with beauty bloggers, Hair One Olive Oil conditions, detangles, and adds shine without damaging detergents or harsh chemicals. It's the only hair care item you'll want."

I've reviewed the product in the past so I won't go into too much detail about how amazing Hair One is. What I will say is Hair One does it's purpose of cleansing the hair without working against my overall goal of conditioning the hair. When I pre-poo, I load the hair up with a concoction of heavy conditioners and oils. Hair One is able to cleanse the hair of all that without undoing all the good. I'm so glad hair one came into my life.

Ladies I urge you to spend a few moments considering your current shampoo and responding to this question. What does your shampoo do for you? Sure it cleans the hair but at what cost? We know your shampoo takes away dirt but does it also add value? If your answer to this question is not an overwhelming yes, then your shampoo isn't the One.

Hair One Olive Oil Cleansing Conditioner

Hair One Olive Oil Cleansing Conditioner

Monday, November 23, 2009

I interrupt my regularly scheduled posting to announce another Burt's Bees Giveaway. In my overzealous reaction to the wonderful results I was experiencing with Burt's Bees Avocado Pre-poo, I stockpiled several bottles in case of unforeseen emergencies. I gave one bottle away a couple of months back. Now I'm ready to give away another. I was really excited about the number of people who emailed me requesting to be considered for the random giveaway. I just couldn't hold on to this bottle knowing there's so many people out there who are dying to try this.

Here's the good news. Those of you who sent me an email to [email protected] are already entered for this second giveaway. If you didn't enter the first time, here's your chance!

Best of luck!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

It wasn't too long ago when my pre-poo only consisted of rubbing in some conditioner a few minutes before I jumped in the shower to wash my hair. I figured, "as long as I did something before I washed, I was in a pretty good place." That was before I got focused and decided to target specific areas of my wash routine for maximum effectiveness.

I know that achieving the moisture strength balance is the holy grail of healthy hair. This past year, I focused much of my attention to strengthening the hair. You might remember my hair fixer series and my posts on Asience as an example. It wasn't long before I realized that I was neglecting the moisture element of my routine. Sure I deep conditioned faithfully week after week, but since I was so intent on increasing strength, my deep conditioning did little for my hair in the way of moisture.

Which came first, the moisture or the strength?

Now that I look back on my routine modifications over the past year, I kinda wished I focused on moisture first then strength. Why? Because I believe that proper moisture levels can impact some of the breakage we're plagued with. Sure, I do believe that damaged hair needs additional protein, but some of us are treating our dryness with protein believing that protein is the end all to all of our hair issues. May I ask you to consider what happens to pretty much anything that has been dampened by water. What happens to it? Yes, it becomes moist but I'd like you also to think about its level of elasticity. Pretty much anything that has been fully permeated by water becomes more pliable and resistant to breakage.
For this reason, I have spent countless man hours contemplating how I can raise, and maintain, the levels of moisture in every strand of hair from this day forward.

Ok, let's get back to the pre-poo. Today, my pre-poo step is the most elaborate of my entire wash day routine. This is because I believe that a proper pre-poo sets the stage for moisture throughout the entire process. Not too long ago, I analyzed the amount of hair I would loose during my wash day process from start to finish and determined that it was excessive and unacceptable. That's when I decided to break down each step and look for improvement opportunities. I saw my biggest opportunity in the form of my pre-poo. I was doing it as a necessity but really couldn't identify it's true benefit to my routine. I had to think about this long and hard because I felt that my results from the deep condition were far superior to my pre-poo.

Then one day things changed. I made the decision that my pre-poo was going to lead the way with regards to results. I determined that if my pre-poo step was A.MAZ.ING, then every thing that came after that would be like icing on the cake. My pre-poo has evolved greatly to what it has become today. I won't go into great detail but now it includes steam, quality conditioners, oils, and other products. I demonstrate this step in my latest video that you can see below.

So what have my results been from amping up my pre-poo routine? Let me just say that I step into the shower (before I wash my hair) feeling like I've just done an intense deep conditioning. I no longer have to wait until after the conditioner to experience the feeling of having intensely nourished hair. Since my pre-poo is all about moisture, I know that I've addressed dryness right from the get go. That way, if I'm using a strengthening deep conditioner, I no longer have to fear excessive stiffness from hair that hasn't been moisturized properly. You guys have all been there, you're trying to repair your dry damaged hair with protein, only to find out that you end up with dry stiff hair after using your conditioner. Not a good place to be.

So the take aways from this first lesson in moisture is to assess your pre-poo and begin with the end in mind. If your intention is to bring about moist, supple hair, shouldn't you try to create moist, supple hair right from the start of your routine? Take some time to reassess your pre shampoo step. Are you using products that impact the hair, or are you just trying to get through that old bottle of conditioner that didn't work for you in the first place? Do you get the same feeling of excitement when you rinse out your conditioner as you get when you rinse before the shampoo? These are some questions to seriously think about as you continue to inch your way to hair perfection.

Stay tuned, for lesson two in our Maximum Moisture series entiled: What can your shampoo do for you?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

As I take a step back and assess the state of my hair, one thing I can say pretty confidently is that my moisture levels are fairly good. That's saying a lot for someone who isn't bunning 99.99% of the time. In fact, if you remember my regimen video, I pretty much wear my hair out more often then I style protectively. My refusal to bun constantly has created an even greater desire and need to stay two steps ahead of the two worst culprits to textured hair...dryness and breakage. What's even more amazing is that I don't use a bona fide "moisturizer" in the traditional sense of the word.

Over the next several posts, I'll be detailing specifically some of the little tips and tricks I've implemented into my routine to help impact moisture levels significantly. Some of the things I do you may have heard before. Some of them you haven't. Either way, I just want to put it all out there for you so you and your lovely head of hair can benefit.

We'll start this series off by talking philosophically more so than practically. My philosophy on perfect hair is to constantly work to improve those hindrances to your moisture/protein balance. I now also believe that though products are a great tool to helping you achieve the hair you want, the true actions that truly makes a difference is your overall strategy. What I mean by this is that you must think intently about ways to make noticeable impact, not just which product you should buy. You need to know the impact you want to make before you attempt to make it. And you must measure your results against your intentions.

When I first began to implement my strategy, I new that I would be using overwhelming force to get the results I wanted. This meant, I would be injecting moisture into every step of my process. My pre-poo would focus on moisture, my shampoo would focus on moisture, my conditioner would focus on moisture, my set would focus on moisture, my styling product would focus on moisture. Moisture was the only option available. There... would... be... no... other... choice.

So ladies join me, would you, as I recount the steps I took to get to where I stand today in the series entitled : Maximum Moisture, how I am beating the battle over dryness day after day.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I've talked about the importance of documenting your hair journey in previous posts. Well I just became the beneficiary of my own written documentation process when I came across a draft of an old post that I never published.

Just last week, while I was setting my hair, I thought about setting a goal of reducing the amount of loss (breakage and/or shedding) week after week. After analyzing my routine over and over, I still couldn't figure out what I needed to do differently to loose less hair. That is until I found this excerpt taken from my drafts folder.

Take a gander:

In my quest for glorious hair, I've often sat back and thought about the washing process in general. I know that wash day should be the one time of the week were I'm nourishing and replenishing the health back into my hair. But for some reason, I could never become comfortable with loosing a lot of hair in the process. Well not too long ago, I heard about a method of washing the hair in braids section by section. The idea never caught on with me because I figured that because I wasn't scrubbing the hair and overmanipulating, there was no need to go the extra step.

This week, however, I bought into the idea that I need to try something different if I want to experience different results. So here's what I did:

-A day or two prior to washing I pre-pooed with one of my fav conditioners. My schedule that day prevented me from washing. Actually, I didn't get to wash until two days later. The morning of the actual wash, I re-applied a bit more conditioner and some Alma oil and proceed to create four large braids.

-Next I stepped into the shower and took one braid loose so I can apply Keracare Dry Itchy Scalp shampoo liberally to my scalp. Then came the Hair One conditioning shampoo down the length of the hair. This product is so moisturizing that I am able to begin detangling with ease. Afterwards I apply a really moisturizing conditioner to that section and two strand twist.

-I repeated this step with each section seperately making sure to keep re-twist each section after applying shampoo and conditioner. By keeping each section separate, I found that I had more control of the entire process. I wasn't dealing with an entire head of hair at once, I could focus on one manageble section at a time.

-Finally, I took the sections individually and applied a heavier conditioner. I re-twisted once again, put on a plastic cap and went on about my business.

By the time I did my final rinse, you could imagine my glee when I washed the conditioner out of perfectly detangled hair. I rinsed each section separately. I also opted not to retwist after the final rinse. The results were amazing! I normally air dry in a pony tail and loose a ton of hair trying to work the tangles through. This time was a totally different experience. I had no worries once I stepped out of that shower.

This method does take a little bit more time than normal to execute but believe me, the results are well worth it. I can only imagine who easy rollersetting will be going forward. Today I'm going about my day as normal but I've got a bit of a swagger. My confidence is sky high because my hair feels good, looks, good, and will only get better.

I'm excited about being reintroduced to this method of detangling. I'm going to reinstitute this method into my routine going forward. Will keep you posted on how this works for me long term.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hair goals. We all have 'em. Whether you're striving for armpit, brastrap, or butt-length, chances are you're hoping to have reached a specific length by a certain period of time. Today I want to talk a little about hair goals and how we can get closer to the all allusive next step of our hair journey

What I'd like to do is take this opportunity to challenge you on your current hair goal. When I say challenge, I'm not asking you to give up your hair goal. What I'd like you to do instead is to reconsider how you vocalize and strive towards your hair goals. Actually, I'll start by asking that you change your vocabulary and replace hair goals with hair intentions. For instance, when you say "I want to have bra-strap length hair." That is an intention. By intention, I mean your desire to bring about something. In this case, your desire is to bring about healthy hair at a certain length. Simple enough.

Now let's talk about hair goals. For the purposes of this discussion, you should think of hair goals, going forward, as the results you want to create that will bring about your intention. Let me clarify. If your intention is to create bra-strap length hair, your goal should be to achieve the results needed to create hair that length. Let's take a look at some examples of what hair goals should actually look like

*Have more flexible hair that is resistant to breakage.
*Increase shine levels of the hair.
*Reduce the amount of breakage occurring during wash and set every week.
*Thicker even length ends via trims.
*Create a healthier detangling routine on wash days.
*Increase (and retain) moisture levels in the hair.
*Improve the deep conditioning step of wash to address protein/moisture balance.
*Take hair vitamins at least 4 times a week.
*Protective style at least 4 days out of the week.
*Stimulate scalp via massages on a nightly basis.

The list goes on....

As you can see, I'm recommending that you break your "goal" down into several action steps which you can implement directly into your routine. These more specific and actionable goals helps to keep your focus on what you really need to do get to your intended length. Sure you can keep walking around talking about mid-back but unless you address your breakage issue and set your goals accordingly, mid-back probably won't happen. What I'm asking you to do is shift your focus in a way that addresses specific issues in your hair care regimen, one at a time, until your hair has no option but to respond accordingly.

So from this day forward, think of your length goal as an intention you wish to bring about. Then break down the results you want to experience one by one and attack them like a wild animal attacks its prey. Also, by focusing on and hitting each one of your goals, you're not having to deal with the frustration of not having the length you want (yet). You can keep your eyes on one goal and focus until you have it conquered. All you have to do is focus on moisture, or strength, or thickness, or whatever.

It's all about harnessing the power of focus and directing that power towards overcoming obstacles. The intended length you want is just a sweet by-product of doing the right things.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Recently, I posted about my new and improved wash day experience ever since this facial steamer came into my life. I figured that mere text wasn't enough to detail the intricacies of readapting a facial steamer for hair benefits.

So I made a video......

Watch and enjoy!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I received an email from a reader the other day. Her question to me was so incredibly relevant that I thought I'd share it with everyone. The reader asked about tips and tricks she can use to help her lengths get to the next level. She's currently above shoulder length and wanted know more about how to get her hair past the shoulders. Part of the reason why I was asked that question is because she knew that I am a self-proclaimed non-protective styler. Everyone knows that if you want to gain length, protective styling can be your best friend.

But what if you aren't protective styling consistently?

Let me first start off this conversation by stating the following:

*I've had above shoulder length hair on more than one occasion.
*I've suffered several setbacks during my journey and have since come back victoriously.

O.k. now that we've got that out of the way, let's get back to business.

I know I can start this conversation by discussing some of the things you should be doing to retain length, but I think I'll look at it from another angle and focus on what you should avoid doing. This way, if you ever catch yourself doing them, you'll be overcome with a sense of guilt for your naughty behaviors.

Don't be a heat styling addict

The very first action that comes to mind that you shouldn't do consistently is heated styling tools. You should not use your heating tool (flat iron, curling iron) as your main means by which you style your hair on the regular. You need strong ends more than anything else while you are on your journey. Strong ends aren't going to happen if they are constantly being assaulted with a hot piece of metal day after day. It just can't happen. You've seen if for yourselves, the lady at the grocery store standing in front of you in line. Her hair is chemically treated. In your mind, you commend her for not resorting to weaves and for having relatively healthy edges. But you can tell by the stiff bump on her ends that the curling iron is her friend. You look on her shoulders and notice a few broken hairs on her shirt. You think about how unfortunate it is that she doesn't take a more organic approach to styling her hair. You say to yourself, "if she only knew about steam curlers, flexirods, etc. Maybe, just maybe her hair could be transformed if she incorporated other styling methods in her routine.

Don't skimp out on your vitamins
I know that when we talk about retaining length, we focus on our ends. But may I suggest to you, that moving to the next level of length would be that much easier if you supported your hair with life-giving vitamins and supplements. Just as an athletes would take supplements to enhance the performance of their limbs so must you supplement to support the strength of your hair. Vitamins give you such a leg up on your journey. It's the difference between taking a pop quiz with no forewarning or taking the same quiz with an open book. The vitamins are there to support you, take full advantage of them.

Don't let those damaged ends linger
There's not a worse feeling in the world than trimming when you are trying to gain length. The experience is horrible and makes you wanna cry like a Next Top Model contestant getting her head shaved during a makeover. You know when you ends are damaged. They look thin and no amount of moisturizer can get them to look right. I know that you need them to hold on just a little bit longer, but what you may not realize is that they are silently causing more damage. Damaged ends are the reason your broken hairs are all around the same length. They are robbing you of your chance at longer lengths. Thinking you can save damaged ends is like thinking you can nurse a foot infected with gangrene back to health. The longer you allow that thing to hold on, the more you risk loosing the whole leg.

Don't be so quick to relax
You know how on those work out videos the crazy exercise lady is always telling you to hold a pose for a few seconds more to feel the burn? What she's doing is making the exercise more effective on the muscle, causing it to become stronger. Well today, I'm going to be the crazy hair lady and ask you to hold on to your relaxer stretch for just a little bit longer. Yes I know it's painful, yes I know you want relax, but it's going to make your hair stronger. If you are able to manage to make it up to seven weeks, why not go for eight, or maybe nine? The longer you are able to successfully stretch the more proud you will be of yourself when you see the results afterwards. Notice I used the word successfully. This means that you aren't experiencing a ton of breakage while you stretch. This also means that your new growth is merely a hassle and not a hinderance. Your goal should be to keep tangles at bay, the hair moist, and the ends strong. Even though I don't protective style on the regular, I do know when to say when. You will likely find me sporting a bun from week 7 on up. I tend to think of the last weeks deep into the stretch as going into battle, and my ends are the target. My job is to keep as many of my men alive as I can until the battle is won and I can relax again.

Alright, so I've given you four tips of the things you should not do if you're looking to experience more length. Thank you all for listening.....you've been great.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Today's wash day was magnificent. Yes magnificent. As you guys already know, I'm always looking for ways to fine tune and improve my routine. Even if it involves changing only the slightest detail. Today, my focus on was on the pre-poo step. Let me first start off by declaring that I'm pretty happy as it is with my pre-poo routine. Ever since Burt's Bees came into my life, my pre-poo step has been meeting my expectations. That is until I came across this:

Ladies, let me introduce you to my new love. This thing is absolutely amazing! I am so grateful to have this in my life.

So let me back up a little and tell the story from the beginning....

O.k. so a few weeks ago, I was strolling down the aisle of my local nail supply store. For those of you who aren't fortunate enough to have one of these locally, just imagine a beauty supply store but instead of hair goodies, the place is jam packed with nail tools, equipment, accessories, and such. Now mind you, I'm not a big nail fanatic but I still find myself feeling the same level of appreciation walking down the aisles of a nail supply store as I do a Sally's or Ulta. So anyway there I was standing between economy size buffers and the paraffin wax display when my eyes just happened to land on a large box sitting high above eye level. As soon as I saw it, I knew it would be a future purchase. Right away, I asked the young Asian gentleman for the price. He took the box down, showed me the price and, after seeing the cost, I didn't even flinch. The price for this product was $75.00. But I thought to myself, if it does what I'm hoping it would do, then this thing would be worth way more to me than $75.00.

So I'm standing there examining the box with a look on my face like I'm actually contemplating whether I should buy when I really just want to beeline to the register, pay for my item, and run straight home for a test spin. I couldn't wait to use this facial steamer. The reason I wanted this steamer soooooo badly was two fold. The first was to fulfill my desire to pamper my skin with yummy facials. While achieving better looking skin was important, the real reason I was so quick to pay $75.00 for this bad boy was because I knew that if the claims of "powerful steam action" were true, I would have myself a dual facial/hair steamer in one convenient little package.

The very first time I plugged my steamer in after filling it with distilled water, I was overcome with emotion. Unlike my Conair facial steamer, this thing actually produces an adequate amount of steam. The nozzle has some flexibility so I can adjust as needed. The first couple of times I used the steamer, I focused strictly on therapeutic facials and got some stellar results. All the while, I knew that the steamer's primary purpose, at least for me, was to amplify moisture levels in my hair with its potent steam producing action.

Fast forward a couple weeks and I get this brilliant idea. "What if I were to rev up my wash and set results by implementing steam in my pre-poo step?" "How amazing would that be?!" The reason why I got so excited about the thought of adding steam to my pre-poo is because I understand that just as steam has the ability to open my pores to allow for deeper cleaning, so too does the steam have the power to open up the cuticle layers of the hair allowing for deeper penetration of the nourishing products I would be applying.

Then I began my routine, first applying some Suave Milk and Honey, next Burt's Bees Avocado Pre-Poo treatment, and finally a light layer of coconut oil. I allowed the steam to work its magic. Let me just say that pre-pooing on steam dampened hair does not feel the same as pre-pooing on dry hair. Don't get me wrong, pre-pooing on dry hair is good. But pre-pooing with steam tonight was intense. When it came time to wash the hair, I felt as if I had already deep conditioned. Of course the rest is history. I washed with my favorite shampoo and repeated the steaming process with my conditioner mix (Asience,Humecto,Silicon Mix and a dab of oil).

Needless to say, my hair feels incredible right now. The moisture levels are sky high and I'm smilin' from ear to ear. You guys have to see this steamer in action. I'll probably do a video and post in the near future demonstrating the awesome amazingness* of my table top steamer. Once upon a time a hair steamer was on my list of must haves but now that I have my new toy, I don't think I need an official "hair steamer" in the original sense of the word. Don't get me wrong, I could change my mind at any time but for now, I'm pretty satisfied to say the least.

*yes I did say amazingness.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A few weeks back I announced my first giveaway. Up for grabs was a tube of one of my new favorite products, Burt's Bee's Avocado Butter Pre Shampoo treatment. The only action one had to take to be entered was to follow my blog. On the last date of the contest, I randomly selected a winner and tried to reach out to her. It's been several weeks and I haven't heard back. I'm dying to give this thing away so I'm relaunching the giveaway.

This time, I'll ask that everyone who wants to be entered in the giveaway send me an email to [email protected] and put "Giveaway" somewhere in the subject line. This way I know I have an updated email address where I can reach the person selected.

Please send your emails to me by October 17, 2009!

Thanks again and good luck!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

BelleMocha.com reviews notable products and brands that appeal to our readers.  Articles published on the site may include various affiliate links in which BelleMocha receives compensations for purchases made through these link.

BelleMocha strives to maintain it's integrity by offering honest opinions on the products mentioned.

We take your privacy seriously. This policy describes what personal information we collect and how we use it. (This privacy policy is applicable to websites falling under the primary holder BelleMocha.com.

Routine Information Collection

All web servers track basic information about their visitors. This information includes, but is not limited to, IP addresses, browser details, timestamps and referring pages. None of this information can personally identify specific visitors to this site. The information is tracked for routine administration and maintenance purposes and lets me know what pages and information are useful and helpful to visitors.

Cookies and Web Beacons

Where necessary, this site uses cookies to store information about a visitor's preferences and history in order to better serve the visitor and/or present the visitor with customized content.

Advertising partners and other third parties may also use cookies, scripts and/or web beacons to track visitors to our site in order to display advertisements and other useful information. Such tracking is done directly by the third parties through their own servers and is subject to their own privacy policies. Click here to find additional information regarding rStyle's privacy policy.

Controlling Your Privacy

Note that you can change your browser settings to disable cookies if you have privacy concerns. Disabling cookies for all sites is not recommended as it may interfere with your use of some sites. The best option is to disable or enable cookies on a per-site basis. Consult your browser documentation for instructions on how to block cookies and other tracking mechanisms.

Special Note About Google Advertising

Any advertisements served by Google, Inc., and affiliated companies may be controlled using cookies. These cookies allow Google to display ads based on your visits to this site and other sites that use Google advertising services. Learn how to opt out of Google's cookie usage. As mentioned above, any tracking done by Google through cookies and other mechanisms is subject to Google's own privacy policies.

About Google advertising: What is the DoubleClick DART cookie? The DoubleClick DART cookie is used by Google in the ads served on publisher websites displaying AdSense for content ads. When users visit an AdSense publisher’s website and either view or click on an ad, a cookie may be dropped on that end user’s browser. The data gathered from these cookies will be used to help AdSense publishers better serve and manage the ads on their site(s) and across the web. Users may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the Google ad and content network privacy policy.

Concerns or questions about this privacy policy can be directed to fill in your contact information here for further clarification.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Saturday I decided to make a vitamin run because it had been a while since I ran out of my omega 3 supplements. Normally I tend to toggle back and forth between cod liver, krill, or fish oil depending on my budget at the time. I know how crucial omega 3 oils are to the overall functioning of the body. That's why I walked into the store determined to come out with a quality fish oil supplement.

Ok, so there I was standing in front of a huge display of numerous varieties of fish oil brands. After a few moments, I summoned sales person over for some sound advice. Little did I know that I was about to strike gold. As it turns out, the sales rep suffers from eczema. Because of her skin ailment, she has come rely on the use of omega 3 oils not just for overall health, but to treat a specific condition. I knew from the moment she shared this piece of information that I was talking to an expert.

Even though I had already selected a bottle which I intended to buy, the store rep graciously let me in on her little secret. She grabbed a bottle of Nordic Naturals, held it up, and I'll never forget what she said next.

"I've tried every brand of fish oil on this shelf because I have a skin condition. No other brand that I've tried has worked for me like this one. I can usually see a difference in my eczema after a few days of using this."
Well that's all I needed to hear. It's one thing to buy fish oils because it's good for you. It's completely different when someone has identified a brand for you that actually provides noticeable results. Why do I care about which brand of fish oil someone with eczema likes?

I... no, we care because our hair needs it. Our hair is made up of several layers. One of those layers consists of lipids, i.e. fats. Essentail Fatty Acid (EFA) is litterally one of the components of the hair. Proper amounts of EFAs in the system actually helps improve the levels of elasticity and hydration in the hair. If you aren't getting sufficient amounts of EFAs, you are probably growing hair that may be dehydrated and vulnerable. Oh, and by the way, dry flaky scalp can also be impacted by an increase of EFAs in the diet.

Once a superior brand of Omega oil was identified by the store rep, I immediately made my purchase and returned home to research. The first thing I did was look online to find out what made this brand of Omega 3 so effective. It didn't take too long for me to find this taken from Nordic Naturals' website

Exceeds International Pharmaceutical Standards
Standards are set to protect consumers
Fish oil quality standards do not exist in the United States. To ensure ongoing quality, Nordic Naturals adheres to and exceeds the stringent Norwegian Medicinal Standard (NMS) and the European Pharmacopoeia Standard (EPS) for all products. These standards guarantee quality products by setting maximum allowances on peroxides, heavy metals, dioxins, furans, and PCBs.

Exceptional Freshness Levels
Freshness, which ensures product integrity and biological efficacy, may be the single most important quality of fish oils. Nordic Naturals’ patented, oxygen-free manufacturing process delivers peroxide values (indicators of freshness) down to absolute 0.0 mEq/kg, with an average of 0.75 mEq/kg or approximately 14 times below the Norwegian Medicinal Standard and European Pharmacopoeia Standard limits. The lower the peroxide value, the fresher the fish oil.

Exceptional Purity Levels
Purity is a significant concern among fish oil consumers
Nordic Naturals’ raw material is harvested from some of the cleanest waters in the world, and is tested by independent laboratories for heavy metals and over 210 other environmental contaminants. See research for more information on environmental toxins.

Award-Winning Taste
The key objections to taking fish oils are taste and aftertaste. Nordic Naturals utilizes a proprietary enzymatic process to ensure a completely repeat-free product. Our patented manufacturing process adds natural fruit essences into both the capsule and oil for a light, fruity taste.

Exclusive and Exceptional Raw Material
A great finished product starts with the best
Nordic Naturals starts with the best raw materials available: fish low on the food chain, which naturally contain low levels of impurities. All of our products are made exclusively from three fish species: Arctic Cod, Anchovies, and Sardines, as they are naturally high in the Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. Additionally, we use organic evening primrose and borage oils whenever possible for our fish oil blend products. In fact, Nordic Naturals is one of the largest buyers of organic primrose and borage oils in the world.

Multi-Patented Manufacturing Process
Without chemicals or excessive heat
Nordic Naturals’ multi-patented manufacturing processes, accompanied by leading edge processing technologies, deliver fish oil with exceptional freshness and purity levels. Nordic Naturals uses several steps in processing the oils, from water and clay filters to an enzymatic molecular distillation process.

We use only the natural triglyceride form of fish oil
Triglycerides are considered the natural form of the essential fatty acid molecule. Over 98% of all fats ingested are in triglyceride form.
Next I scanned various websites and found numerous glowing reviews about this product. Most of those who tried it enjoyed the fact that the fishy aftertaste burp common to most fish oil supplements is not a concern with Nordic Naturals. I, for one, have not experienced any of this unwanted side effect. So I just wanted to share this wonderful find with you all. I do have to mention that this brand is a tad bit pricier than your average Omega 3 supplement but the concentration of EFAs per capsule is higher than most. Not only that, you are also getting a quality purified supplement compared to other oils on the store shelves. It think this brand will definitely be a keeper for me.

~Here's healthier hair, ladies~

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I was in the middle of conducting some research online on the specific ways to improve elasticity in the hair when I come across this golden nugget of wisdom written by our good friend Dr. Ali Syed who authors a very imformative blog called In the Lab with Dr. Ali Syed.

The 10 page document I stumbled upon is titled: Hair Damage, it's causes, prevention and cures. I especially like the chart at the end of the document which describes the various hair damage symptoms and how to address them. The minute I saw this document, I just new I had to share. Hope you like.....

Image by: Dr_Alan_Bauman

Friday, September 18, 2009

Part of my regimen weekly regimen involves washing and rollersetting. Because I tend to have new growth more often then not, I usually finish up my routine by blowing out my roots with my Super Solano dryer and a round brush. Even though I haven't experienced much noticeable damage by consistently following this practice, I really felt that this method was a healthier alternative to flat ironing the roots. That is until I heard of this......

This, my friends, is the Sedu professional tourmaline flat iron from Revlon. It's one of those fancy shmancy flat irons with a hefty price tag. As of late, these irons have been gaining more and more popularity. I paid around $139 for my Sedu. My only saving grace in affecting the price was my opportunity to use the 20% off my total order coupon from Ulta Beauty. I purchased this product after reading multiple pages of reviews on folica.com. Not only were these ladies loving the results they were seeing, they were so happy that they were willing to post pages upon pages of before and after pictures depicting how amazing this flat iron works.

Before I talk about why I bought this iron, let me first say that I hate normally using a flat iron. What I hated most was the look and feel of having limp hair which felt like it the life taken out of it. I'm not talking about how straight the hair is, I'm talking about how unhealthy the hair feels afterwards.

So why did I buy this iron?

The Sedu people claim this iron to be a "healthier" alternative to it's counterparts. They claim that the key to a better flat ironing process lays in the superior nature of their tourmaline heating plates. Here is some information I gathered from seduflatironsonline.com:

Sedu flat irons are the only irons with plates constructed of solid tourmaline and ceramic. These naturally moist substances infuse moisture and shine deep into the hair strand. Tourmaline is a precious stone that has the ability to release negative ions when heated. These negative ions are beneficial because they prevent damage to the hair cuticle, but simultaneously infuse moisture and shine into the hair shaft during straightening. As this "Infra-red heat technology" infusion of negative ions seals in moisture, hair gains lustre. Hair maintains that healthy, shiny sheen that is oh so difficult to keep when frequently straightened. The result is that coveted, glossy smooth finish that Sedu Flat Iron users achieve.

Other 'ceramic" flat irons are merely coated with a thin plate of the material. Some of these other flat irons will eventually straighten hair, but only at your hair's own expense! They dry out hair and cause extensive damage to the hair shaft. The plates heat unevenly and scorch the hair cuticle in some places while leaving it rough and untreated in other spots. In addition, the strength and moisture in your hair is depleted. Over time, hair becomes brittle, weak and even more difficult to manage. Because its plates are made of solid ceramic and tourmaline, the Sedu releases up to five to six times the amount of negative ions and healthy energy as any other flat iron, cutting your hair straightening time in half. Even though the styling time is shorter, the Sedu still offers more protection for your hair than any other flat iron.

The Sedu ceramic flat iron plates are engineered to be micro smooth. Hair strands glide smoothly through the silky, ultra smooth plate surfaces.This ensures that you can maintain a smooth, steady straightening motion as you style your hair. The uniquely smooth plates eliminate any pulling, snagging and breakage that occurs with conventional metal-plated flat irons.

All that information sounds absolutely beautiful but I still went into the purchase knowing that I was buying a hot iron to straighten my chemically treated hair. No amount of "healthier hair" talk would convince me to believe that a flat iron would actually be good for the hair. I bought the Sedu, not because I felt like I was being given a license to straighten recklessly. On the contrary, I went into this decision by first assessing my level of discipline regarding the use of this product. I made a promise to myself that no matter how amazing this iron was, I would still use it sparingly and with great caution.

So there I was with the Sedu box sitting in front of me. I carefully opened the package finally made it to the 1 inch iron. This thing is absolutely beautiful. I plug it in and turn on. Seconds later the iron reached it's pre-set temperature. This iron is very different from my $30 straightener I normally use. One of my favorite features of the Sedu is the temperature controls. I like the fact that I can set the temp on the lowest setting possible that will still straighten. I don't have to settle for just high or low. So when I first used this thing, I had a good inch of tightly coiled new growth. I took the smallest portion of hair possible and quickly ran the iron across my new growth. My rollerset took care of straightening the length. Let me just say that this iron is extremely effective. My new growth was no match for the straightening power of the Sedu. I even did a test where I ironed a section from root to tip just to test the claims of smoother, healthier feeling hair.

I must admit, that somehow, the iron was able to make the hair feel healthier after use. The hair was shinier and felt softer. I do consider this iron to be a more effective way to straighten new growth then my old iron. Because it works so well, I only have to leave it on the hair for a few seconds to get the results I want.

So if you are in the market for a new flat iron, may I suggest that you consider using an iron that claims to better protect the hair. It's all about continuous improvement. This iron does definitely seem to be an improvement compared to other irons, both on how the hair looks, and how it's impacted by the heat. Once again, I will remind myself and everyone else that no matter how advanced the technology, a flat iron and should still be used sparingly.

For those of you who are ready to step up your flat ironing experience, welcome to the world of the Sedu.
Revolution Professional Nano Tourmaline Ionic Styling Iron (1 inch)

Revolution Professional Nano Tourmaline Ionic Styling Iron (1 inch)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I've published yet another video. This one focuses on my basic hair care routine. For me, the biggest area of focus is my wash and set. This step lays down the foundation for which I am able to further build upon. There will be more regimen-type videos to come. For now, check this one out and feel free to ask any specific questions..

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sometime last year, I created a post on LHCF about the scarcity of Suave Milk and Honey bottles on store shelves. It seemed, at the time, that no matter where I searched, I could not find a bottle of it anywhere. Out of my despair, I asked the ladies at LHCF to find out for sure if my worst fear actually came true. Once it was confirmed, I pretty much was heartbroken. That is until I got a private message from a fellow hair fanatic at LHCF. This member (let's call her Angel123) went out of her way to help me when I was at my lowest. I'll never forget what she told me.

It seems that "Angel" had some type of premonition about Suave M&H's impending demise. Her sixth sense about what could be happening, was the driver behind her purchasing numerous bottles of the product. In her private message to me, "Angel" expressed her condolences for the pain I was feeling. She then told me that she had amassed a small stockpile of the product and would share some of her stash with me. "Angel" did not ask for any money or notoriety, her only request was that I "pay it forward" to someone else.

Weeks later a shipment came. In the package was several unopened bottles of Suave Milk and Honey and a brand new jar of Pantene Relaxed and Natural deep conditioner. I'm still overcome with gratitude when I think of the self-less actions of "Angel."
For this reason, I've decided to use this humble blog as a platform I can use to pay it forward. So here I am to tell you all that I've decided to create my very first Relaxed Hair Health giveaway!

Shortly after I posted my review on Burt's Bees Pre-poo treatment, I went out and bought two more bottles. While I do enjoy the feeling of having three tubes of the treatment staring back at me everytime I open my product closet, I'd much rather share the wealth with those of you who have supported this blog with your readership.

So here are the details of the giveaway:

This giveaway is open to all followers of this blog (sorry but this first giveaway is not open to those who only subcribe to my youtube channel).

If you are not 18 years of age, you must get your parent's permission in order to claim your prize.

I'll use random system to select the lucky winner.

The winner of the Burt's Bees Avocado Pre-Shampoo Treatment will be announced on Saturday, September 19, 2009. Anyone who follows the blog between now and September 18th, will be eligible.

I'll contact the winner directly to obtain mailing information.

I'm willing to ship internationally if applicable.

They say it's better to give than to receive. Well I'm feeling all gitty and excited about the opportunity to give back and "pay it forward." Something tells me that this won't be the last time I give away something fabulous to Relaxed Hair Health followers.

Good Luck Everyone!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Awwwww yeah! I'm brimming with excitement right now. Why? Because as of today, I'm now able to offer readers of relaxedhairhealth.blogspot.com some amazing discount offers from purchases at Ulta!

For those of you who aren't familair with Ulta Store, they are, in my humble opinion, thee most amazing beauty product supplier around. I've heard of Ulta well before they actually came to my town. I was told that Ulta provided a wide variety of hair products ranging from "over the counter" brands to salon quality. Before Ulta, I was forced to by my salon brands from expensive mall salons. Then came the day when Ulta was brought to me. I remember the first time I experienced Ulta, I felt like I walked into hair product heaven. Best of all, most of the product prices there were well within my budget.
Add to that the fact that Ulta offers some amazing discounts on their already low prices. I'm always taking advantage of their $3.50 off any $10.00 purchase deal. Before I get it elsewhere, I check to see if Ulta's got it. Just the other day I bought two more tubes of Burt's Bees Avocado Pre-Shampoo treatment with my $3.50 off coupon.

Some of my other faves I like to pick up with the $3.50 off include:

-Products from the Neutrogena Triple Moisture Line

-Biolage Silk to Touch Leave-In (I pretty much love their entire line).

-Nioxin Healthy Hair and Scalp Products
-Makeup colors, brushes, etc. (I take full advantage of their buy one get one free sales of L'Oreal HIP eyeshadow offers).
-Nail Colors. (I can get OPI products there cheaper than anywhere else if I use the coupon.)

Ulta also offers a nifty 20% off deal which I utilize for my larger purchases. For instance, I bought my Super Solano (uber powerful) hair dryer there and saved $20 off the total price. Also got my Revlon steam setter from Ulta with coupon in hand. Right now I have my eye on the Clarisonic as a future purchase. I could save up to $40 bucks off that thing if I use the coupon.

Since I was just talking about saving money on products a couple of posts ago, I felt that this would be a great way to follow up for those of you who do plan on buying in the near future. If you haven't heard of, or shopped at Ulta before, I urge you to take a look to see if Ulta has what you're looking for.

$3.50 off $10.00 Purchase at Ulta.com

20% off one item using code 23387

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ladies and gentleman, class is in session. Please have a seat and make yourself comfortable. In today's class, we'll be re-learning about healthy foods and, of course, the benefit to our overall beauty. I found this nifty video on youtube from fellow blogger Beauty Logic. Here "DE" (Dominican Enigma) is interviewing Kimberly, founder of Envision Beauty, about the tips and tricks she uses to keep her skin and hair as healthy as possible.

Before we get started, I wanted to give you a hint. What's smooth, rich, and has lots of green? No, not the man you were dreamin' about last night, I'm talkin' about morning smoothies!

You ladies know that I'm big on eating and drinking healthy so this video is right up my alley. As you might have remembered, I wrote a post a while back on green foods. I've even written a post recently on healthy drinks for the summer. I could go on and on but I figured that you might enjoy hearing it from someone else for a change.

Now, it's completely obvious that Kimberly is fully devoted to her natural eating and raw food lifestyle. I'm not saying that we should all give up our rice and beans for vegan/raw diet. I am suggesting that we can try a little harder to give our bodies some nourishing foods every once in a while. I for one, love the idea of starting the day off with a healthy smoothie. Maybe you don't want to drink a head of lettuce for breakfast but perhaps you can add some more palatable green powders and your fave fruits for taste.

O.k. ladies. Class is dismissed. Thanks for being prompt and attentive for today's lesson. I appreciate you joining me and one last thing before we end for the day........please don't forget your homework.

. BELLEMOCHA.com Theme by STS.