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'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 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.

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