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 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

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..

. Theme by STS.