Sunday, May 31, 2009

Like a virgin! Give your chemically treated hair what it needs

Image by IVLpics



Not too long ago there were a slew of banner ads posted across the web which advertised an Asian hair product brand by the name of Asience. The ad displayed an image of an Asian girl with long, luscious, healthy hair. Being that I'm obviously not an Asian with type 1 hair, I should have immediately dismissed the ad as not of any value to me. Deep down inside, however, I could not just deny the fact that I was just itching to find out more about this Kao Asience.

So I immediately Googled the brand and landed quickly on their website. On the home page were the words "specially formulated for Asian hair." Now when you and I think of Asian hair, we don't tend to think that they need any special forumlation to keep the hair healthy. In fact, I'm going out on a limb to say that I feel like Asian's have some of the healthiest looking hair I've seen. Why do they need a product specially formulated for that type of hair?

According to KAO, the makers of the Asience, the structure of Asian hair actually makes it more prone to damage than Caucasian hair. Because Asian hair has more cuticle layers at a sharper slant, it's more prone to protein loss as a result of chemical treatments, blow drying, and UV rays. Not sure if you know this, but more and more of the Asian population is moving away from sporting virgin hair and experimenting with chemical processes which causes long term damage to the hair structure. That's why a product like this has such appeal.

Take a quick look at the video below and you'll see how virgin straight black hair is not as popular as it used to be in the Asian culture.


So what makes Asience so special?

According to the manufacturer, Asience has within it's contents, an ingredient called 18-MEA which is said to cause a dramatic improvement to the touch and feel of the hair. Having no idea what 18-MEA was, I immediately began my research. It turns out that this secret ingredient is actually not a synthetic product created in the labs of KAO but rather a natural chemical found on the hair's outermost cuticle layer. This naturally occurring chemical is depleted with chemical processes and does not naturally regenerate. I found some great information about 18-MEA from truthinaging.com.

Here's an experpt from the website:

"What is 18-MEA or Methyl eicosanoic acid? Dry hair consists of around 95% proteins and 2% lipids. A substantial amount of the lipids are present as 18-methyl eicosanoic acid at the surface. The rest of the hair is made of 'nuclear' remnants, carbohydrates and inorganic salts. These lipids are on the outside of each cuticle to protect the surface and give hair its smoothness and ‘slip’.

The exciting part about the discovery of 18-MEA is that researchers say it minimizes future damage and actually halts the aging process. It can target and repair each hair, attaching itself to the damaged areas, restoring the surface."



The article also goes on to say that although she was excited about the possibilities of 18-MEA, she was bummed out about the fact that she couldn't find a legitimate hair product (at the time) which contained adequate amounts of this ingredient. Well now the day has come and we are all lucky to have lived to see the day that this product came into existence.

I myself am extremely excited about the product because it promises to provide suppleness to the hair instantly. Not only does the product claim to add shine and suppleness to the cuticle layer, it also boasts about improving the health of the hair on an ongoing basis as you continue to use it. What more can you ask for?

Also on the truthaboutaging website was a customer review after using the Asience product that I'll share with you.

June 11th, 2008 at 11:56 am

Kathy
OK. The Asience stuff arrived last night. It is a shampoo, conditioner and “treatment” which is more concentrated version of the conditioner. The shampoo is a pearly white, thinnish liquid. Very fine lather. Rinses well, hair has lots of slip to it. Put about a quarter’s worth of the treatment on and opened the conditioner to see what it looked like and put a pea’s worth of it in my palm It’s a thinner version of the treatment. Fresh, floral-y scent. Left it on for a few minutes while I finished my shower. Rinsed off. Hair felt good, quite conditioned, lots of “slip” to it. Combed out easily. Blew it dry. Hair is shiny and it feels great. My fingers glide through it. it really FEELS different. It has a silkiness to it that it doesn’t always have. You know how in shampoo commercials where the model’s hair has silky movement to it? That’s what this does. Is my hair the shiniest it’s ever been? Not sure about that after just one use. But it does feel amazing. I do like it.


By the way, speaking of shampoo commercials, I found one on youtube for Asience. Take a look.





Here's another review. This one's from Amazon.com:


By Esmeralda (Florida) - See all my reviews

I'm Chinese with very long, straight hair that had a dull sheen. I tried all kinds of products, especially the Garnier line because I color my hair. Only the ASIENCE conditioner did the trick. I saw the commercials on Japanese TV and at first scoffed at the models showing off their luxurious looking hair (obviously salon done), but then I thought, why not TRY it? After using it for two weeks, my hair became smoother, sleeker and very shiny. I started to get loads of compliments about how HEALTHY my hair looked. Now, it is the only conditioner I use, and I have been using it for 4 months. I have switched recently and tried something else, but found that I always came back to the Asience conditioner.

They recommend using the shampoo together, but because I tend to have oily hair, I found using both made my hair feel too heavy and greasy. I think people with very dry and brittle hair may find it more beneficial to use the shampoo as well. For me, I find just using the Asience conditioner and some other shampoo works just fine.

I have spoken to friends (Japanese) who also have straight hair, and they have found the same results. In addition, I don't dye or perm my hair, I henna it, and I don't subject my hair to harsh elements. Therefore, I had healthy hair to begin with. I just didn't have the shine, but this conditioner definitely turned on the gleam!


I'm gushing with excitement because this product seems extremely promising. Needless to say, I will soon have this product line within my clutches and, of course, a review will be coming.

Supple hair, here I come......



Saturday, May 23, 2009

Is your Hair Journal the Secret to creating Beautiful Hair?


Image by Dreamglow

Yesterday I stumbled upon my old hair journal from (get this)....2004! Apparently, I was going through a phase where I was extremely serious about my hair practices. So serious that I was willing to dedicate my time and energy into the documentation of all my hair routines and the results of what I was doing. Once I found this little valuable archive, I immediately began reading to unlock forgotten long lost secrets to healthy hair.

Much to my dismay, there weren't any long lost secrets, what I did find was a collection of pages documenting my wash routines and product usage along with the results I experienced from my current regimen. While I enjoyed reading the pages from the past, I felt that the data was a bit lacking. I really couldn't get a clear read about my hair condition at that time other than the fact that I was dealing with a little breakage. My goals and progress we're not clear enough and I had know idea what my nutritional habits were like back then.

That's when I decided to bring this baby back.....and with a vengeance. This time I want to use the journal in the most value-added way possible. So far I've decided to track and measure these major hair indicators:

Wash day regimen
Logging the techniques and products used from pre-poo step all the way to styling. Notating the hair's condition prior to washing and it's the final outcome after each step (look and feel of the hair). I'll also describe the success of the regimen with regards to the overall vitality of the hair and the amount of hair lost throughout the process. Last but not least, I'll talk in detail about the condition of the hair throughout the week as a result of the last wash routine.

Nutritional Support
I sometimes fluctuate the types of nutritional supplements I use. For instance, not too long ago, my nails were weak chipping and breaking all over the place. Now, weeks later, my nails are amazingly strong healthy and growing. I'm sure this is the result of some changes in my nutritional regimen but unless I document what works, I will not likely be able to sustain these great results. So as part of my new supped up hair journal, I'm making sue that I keep a log of what and how much I'm taking to feed my hair from the inside out.

Goals and objectives
In my old hair journal, I mentioned something about the length I wanted to achieve but looking back, that wasn't specific enough. When did I want to achieve it? How was I going to do it? What would have to change to make sure I succeed?
These are some of the the questions that I'll be putting some thought into while I document my journey. For instance, I say I want supple hair. Well I know for a fact that certain specific actions will help me to create supple hair. I may not know what all of those actions are right at this moment, but I'll make educated guesses, take deliberate action, document my results, and adjust as needed. But I finally get the idea that hair goals don't just fall on your lap out of the sky (especially for chemically treated hair). If I want perfect hair, it's going to take some planning along with effective execution.


Pictures and Inspiration
Image byiheartjack18

One major missing link from my last journal was inspiration. I faithfully washed and conditioned week after week and only talked about how much breakage I was experiencing. I didn't talk about what I wanted my hair to look and feel like. I didn't mention what kind of hair I was inspired by and how much closer I was to reaching my goals. This time will be different. I'm sprinkling in some inspiration to get me motivated to succeed. This hair journey thing should be fun and exciting but if I continue to only focus on my hair's weak areas, then I'm taking my eyes of my goals. Once you take you eyes away from where you are going, you have no idea if you're still headed there.

I am brimming with excitement about this new and improved process of tracking and measuring my hair progress. With 100% certainty I can truly say that if I stay consistent with this improvement tool, my hair will flourish. May I be bold and predict that I'll be the proud owner of the most fabulous of hair that I've ever had?

I expect no less than a huge turnaround in length, strength, and vitality if I do this thing right. I say this with conviction because the hair journal will help to bring focus to my efforts and we all know that powerful changes start to take place once we align our focus to what we want.

Happy hair growing ladies.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wash day 5.18.09-My Keracare Humecto and Aubrey GPB experience

So yes, this past week's wash day was absolutely magical-thanks for asking.

I just returned from a four day mini-vacay to the Bahamas with the husband, desperately needing a wash. Over a week passed since my last wash and, during the vacation, my hair was exposed to harsh elements of island salt water along with the blistering heat of the caribbean sunshine. Add to that the fact that my absent-minded self forgot to bring along my satin scarf and you have a recipe for disasterous hair.

I came back with dry, tangled tresses in desperate need of some TLC. The minute I had the opportunity I began to saturate my hair with my trusty Amla oil and coconut/amla blend. The more oil I rubbed in my hair, the more relief I felt. As the oil soaked in as the dryness softened. Within a half hour, my state of my hair began to transform. That's when I knew everything would be alright.

After washing with my Hair One Conditioning cleanser, I broke out my secret weapons which were to fully complete the work of transforming my hair. You see, the week before I washed, I made two small hair product purchases. First, I was finally able to get my hands on the "new thicker richer" Keracare Humecto (the one with the bright yellow sticker on it).

Let me tell you people! This thicker formula is no joke..

I absolutely love the fact that I can apply this product on wet hair and have it stay completely put. There's no fear of conditioner run off in the shower (what a waste). Every ounce of product stays on on the hair strands doing what it does best. And of course, this product was amazing before so now it's uber-amazing...

Get some.

Not only did I get my hands on some Humecto but I also went back to the old school by scooping up some Aubrey Organics GPB balancing conditioner.

Yes. GPB.

While strolling down the aisle of my of my local natural foods store, I stumbled upon this oldie but goodie. After looking at the list of ingredients on the backside of the bottle, I knew I had to have this product back into my life. I don't think I own a conditioner this natural.

Take a peek at the ingredient list:

Coconut Fatty Acid Cream Base, Organic Aloe Vera, Wheat Germ Oil, Lactalbumin, Organic Rosemary Oil, Organic Sage Oil, Horsetail Extract, Coltsfoot Extract, Nettle Extract, Amino Acid Complex, Glycoprotein (from oyster shells), Balsam oil, Citrus Seed extract, Vitamin A, C, and E

According to the bottle, "nutrient-rich, protein-based GPB rehydrates and re-energizes your hair. Glycoproteins strengthen the hair fiber, repair the damage from salon treatments and restore softness, manageability and shine." GPB is Aubrey Organic's most popular product ever!

With these two products working together to mend my hair, I knew that everything would be o.k. It felt like they were working together to achieve a balance of moisture and strength in my hair. My airdrying experience tonight was magical to say the least. It's unbelievable how quickly my hair went from mangled and tangled to soft and moisturized.

While washing out this luxurious mixture, a thought ran across my mind. "What if I were to treat my hair to these delicious ingredients twice a week instead of just once?" Currently I wash pretty much every Saturday and that schedule is convenient. Deep down though I realize that if I really want to have supple hair, I need to implement some actions which will promote suppleness. One such action would be to wash more frequently. I've operated in such fashion in the past and know the benefits of a more frequent wash cycle. Moisture levels in the hair are maintained and hair loss is likely to reduce as a natural result.

My only concern with taking on a more frequent washing routine is the possibility of long term hair loss due to my unsuccessful airdrying stints. Today's airdrying result, however, has caused me to change my ways and believe once again that this frequent washing thing can work. So I'm taking on Wednesday (or Thursday) as an added wash day. Yes, it will be slightly inconvenient to wash in the middle of the week but I know it's all for the betterment of my hair. The reason I am doing this is simply so I can realize the following:

-Higher moisture levels in the hair.
-Increase of strength in the hair.
-A noticeable reduction in hair loss via breakage, shedding, etc.

If I don't realize these desired outcomes, then I may go back to the once a week wash and set. On the other hand, if I do notice a reasonable benefit to the twice a week wash, then the routine continues-no matter how much time and effort it requires.

Wish me luck people.....


Friday, May 15, 2009

If I could have my dream hair, what would it be?

I'm at a good place right now. So far I've been able to successfully address issues that commonly plague relaxed heads. I hardly ever have to worry about dryness since I've introduced Hair One Conditioning Cleanser and Shea Butter Oil into my routine. As far as breakage, although I can not say that I've been able t to stop breakage dead in its tracks, I can say that L'Oreal Hair fixer has changed the strength levels of my hair tremendously.

Now that Zen Detox has come into my life, I'm at much better place. Now I'm looking ahead. My biggest focus with regards to healthy hair consist of three major accomplishments:

-MOISTURE
-STRENGTH
-SUPPLENESS

I'm sure I don't have to get into much detail around strength and moisture. Moisture to me means the ability of the hair to remain soft and pleasant to the touch even when exposed to the air. Moisture speaks to the hair's ability to stay moist long after your best products have been applied.

For me, hair with strength is powerful! Strength gives you the freedom to style the hair without fear of excessive loss. Strength leads to length. Strength gives you confidence. Strong hair is thick and luxurious. Without strength, our hair is nothing.

Suppleness is, for me, the epitome of healthy hair. Supple hair is both strong and moisturized. Supple hair flows in the wind and falls to your back when you remove your hair accessory. Supple hair shines. Supple hair makes you smile inside. Hair that is supple is unmistakable and widely coveted. Supple hair rocks!!!

So for me, the next challenge that I gladly face is the pursuit of achievement of supple (dare I say) relaxed hair.

I am fully aware that desire of mine is not unlike having the desire of slaying a vicious dragon. All the odds are stacked against me and I'm not supposed to win. But in the end I will fight, and I will fight hard. I know that my efforts will not be in vain because I am extremely focused and my determination is ruthless.

I only ask, my friends, that you are with me as I prepare for this battle. Do not feel any angst for me for I am tenacious.

Soft, supple hair is my end goal and I will fight with everything I have until the dragon is slayed or I'll die trying.....

Who's with me?!
Saturday, May 9, 2009

Heatless Hairstyles Episode 1: The "loose flowy waves"

Time for another relaxedhairhealth video!

In this episode, I attempt to recreate the lovely soft wavy curls that I often see emulated in other youtube vids. But instead of using the all-to-common curling iron, I recreated using my steam curlers.

I attempted this heatless hairstyle as an alternative to resorting to the evil curling iron. I wanted to prove to everyone that yes we can create fabulous styles without compromising our desire to remain (direct)heatless.

So here it is, hope you love it!

 

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