Friday, March 26, 2010

Hair mistake confession: The comb that taught me a valuable lesson

I've gotta hand it to myself, I've been on a bit of a winning streak as of late with regards to my recent hair product purchases. I pride myself in my ability to identify my hair's needs, research potential products, and embed them perfectly into my regimen for stellar results. Burt's Bees, Asience, Cera Repair, and Silicon Mix are some of the big winners that immediately come to mind. Yeah, I was feeling so darn good about my midas touch-like ability to identify amazing products that I allowed myself to let my guard down. As a result, I ended up making one of the biggest hair purchase mistakes ever!

Ladies, let me introduce you to my metal dog grooming comb.















Yeah, that's right. It's not a typing error, you actually heard me say "metal dog grooming comb." Your girl actually paid money to buy a metal small toothed comb.... to use on her hair. I actually went back and forth trying to decide whether I should confess this most horrible of hair sins. I decided to come forth for two reasons:
  1. It's all about being transparent whenever possible.
  2. There's a lesson to learn in my foolish decision.

So how did this comb come to be? It all started when I was strolling through an online hair board. A product rave thread about a dog comb caught my eye. A couple of people said they tried it and experienced good results. Without thinking about about I browsed through the thread and moved on. A couple of days later, I accompany hubby to the feed store and, while standing in line, I see a shiny silver comb starring back at me. Again, without thinking about it, I picked up the dog comb and went on my merry way. I was less than a block away from the feed store when I knew I made a terrible mistake. That little metal comb I was clutching in my hand was a huge wake up call.

It was then that I realized that I broke the the cardinal rule of the healthy hair journey. "Always buy according to your hair's need." The very last thing my hair needs is a little metal comb. What's worse is that I have over half a dozen wide tooth, hair friendly combs at my fingertips. This purchase was foolish and unnecessary. I allowed my judgement to be influence solely by what others thought was a decent product. And maybe it is..... But what I failed to do was think critically and ask myself whether this product would be good for me. What value would this product add to my routine? How would my hair benefit?

None of that conversation took place. I just heard about a new thing, saw it, and bought it on a whim. That is part of the reason I am deciding to keep the comb. Yes, that's right, I'm keeping it. This comb will serve as a lesson to me so I never forget. This hair journey is one that should be filled with wise, strategic choices that bring us ever more closely to our ultimate hair goals. We don't have the time or money to be bothered with frivolous hair choices that don't bring us closer to where we want to be.

As I type this post I look down at my little metal comb laying next to my keyboard. The comb means so much more to me now then it did when I first bought it. I now understand how crucial it is to take a direct path to our goals without any side roads or unscheduled stops. Maybe I'm making too much out of this but I believe there's a shiny gold nugget in every circumstance. Thank you little metal dog comb, for helping me to refocus myself on my hair priorities.

Thank you.
Sunday, March 21, 2010

Touch ups: Stretch it out but don't hurt your hair


Stretching is like the holy grail of healthy hair practices for those who relax. If you are able to do it successfully, you'll be rewarded with thicker, more resilient hair. It's no wonder you see hair boards loaded stretching superstars able to extend the time between touch-ups up for up to a year. Remember the days when relaxing every 6-8 weeks seemed like a long time? Well those days are long gone so stretching correctly is now a must.

Like a two sided coin, stretching can produce two very different results. A couple of wrong moves and your hope of retaining length from the process is destroyed. I received an email from a Relaxed Hair Health reader asking me "when is a good time to say when" while stretching. I figured I would further elaborate my answer here for everyone's benefit.

So let me start by saying that when you're deep into your stretch, it's a whole 'nother ball game. By the way, for the purposes of this discussion, I will not be talking about specific weeks post relaxer because terms like "deep in your stretch" are different for everyone. When I say deep in your stretch, I'm referring to a period of time when you have adequate new growth.

So as you begin to deal with two distinct textures, you've got to be able to adapt fairly quickly. What is your hair asking for now? Are those watery leave-in conditioners still cuttin' it? Is rollersetting still the best method of styling? I don't have those answers for you but these are the types of questions you should be asking yourself during that critical time. This is do or die for your hair and you must be able to react quickly.

A couple of things you should consider while stretching. First, don't be a superhero and try to stretch 30 weeks if your longest was 9. I only recommend super-extended stretches if the hair is protected and little manipulation will occur. A stretch should be just as the word implies, waiting just a little longer than last time and building your resistance gradually. So your last stretch was nine weeks, why not set a goal for 10 or 11? It's all about progressive improvement and keeping the hair healthy at the same time.

So let's talk about breakage. Part of the reason I have such a supped-up moisture regimen comes from trying to maintain elasticity while dealing with the two textures. Your hair has to be able to withstand breakage so keeping the hair moist is key. I'm pretty proud of my last stretch where I was able to reach new heights both in duration and in how manageable the hair was throughout. It was from my days of stretching that I began adding conditioner boosters and seeking out the benefits of steam. These are the times where your hair requires more and if you're willing to respond, you may find yourself with some ultra-healthy habits that can benefit your hair long after your stretch is over. Your goal should be to fine tune your regimen ever so slightly to incramentally improve upon your results.

With every stretch, you should acknowledge your hindrances and address them the following stretch. For instance, my last experience was bitter sweet as I had to spend nearly a full day babying a bazillion tangles out of my hair. So my lesson was that I couldn't just leave my new growth alone and see what happens, I had to be proactive and take the time to fully detangle on a regular basis. Lesson learned and I'm making sure I don't run into that problem ever again.

Your stretch is also a good time to figure out if you're using the right products at the right time. In general, you want to start heading for the thicker, more nourishing products that act as extra reinforcement to the hair. Thicker oils, creams, and moisturizers are wonderful especially during times when you manipulate the hair. You can opt to dilute those products if you wish but they are certainly worth including in your regimen.

One last piece of advice I would give you is to not be afraid of "giving in" and touching up if necessary. Again, this is not about being a hero, it's about doing what's best for your hair. The minute you find yourself completely overwhelmed with breakage, tangles, etc, and you're losing more ground than you're gaining, it's time to relax. But don't just relax for the sake of relaxing, I also want you to identify what the barrier was to you reaching your goal, then address it next stretch. The end game of it all is all about retaining length. So make sure you do what's best for your hair during that time.




Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Gleau Nourishing Oils

THE STORY
For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of being introduced to Gleau, allow me the honor of sharing some info with you. Gleau (pronouced "glow") is an all natural blend of 8 unique oils brought together for the sole purpose of nourishing dry, stressed hair. This blend was born out of a need to have and use natural plant oils that somewhat mimicked the results of a moisturizer. What I mean is that results like softer hair, shine, light feel would be common experiences to those who used the product.

For the longest time, I struggled with finding the right moisturizer that actually gave my hair what it wanted without being too heavy.  I couldn't find that product so I sought out to blend various oils together, each with their own unique qualities and benefits, to create an ultra-blend!  For the longest time, I used the oil blend on myself. Then one day, my mother in law visited and asked to try some after complaining about the condition of her hair.  When she flew back home, she left her hair products behind and took Gleau back with her.  Days later she emailed me sharing that she'd received several compliments from her coworker on how great her hair looked.   She had a completely different hair texture than mine (type 3) and I thought to myself, "if this works so well for the both of us, perhaps others would love Gleau as well"

THE INGREDIENTS

As you may already know, there are dozens of plant oils out there to choose from. Each with their own unique qualities. What makes Gleau special is the oils selected to comprise this amazing blend. Each one of the oils selected is said to have "moisturizing' qualities. Some of the oils used even have the ability to penetrate the hair strand, nourishing it from the inside. Another thing I should mention is the blend a pretty varied mix of some truly healthy oils-all in one bottle! Gleau contains moroccan argan oil, camellia seed oil from the orient, two varieties of jojoba oil, wheat germ, meadowfoam seed oil, and more. These are definitely ingredients your hair should be exposed to on a regular basis. It's like food for your hair!


THE EXPERIENCE

Those of you who've tried Gleau are saying the same things:
  • "Gleau makes an excellent sealer. It helps keep in moisture from your favorite product in longer."
  • Gleau produces intense shine. It gives the hair a nice healthy glow.
  • Gleau helps soften the hair. It's light and DOES NOT weigh the hair down. It's never greasy or heavy.
I myself use Gleau on a daily basis. I often use it on it's own without a moisturizer. Either way, I still get great results. Even when used on a daily basis, I don't experience the flat, greasy hair I get if I use other oils regularly. This recipe brings out the best in each ingredient.

One thing I'll also say is that Gleau is pretty affordable considering the ingredients. I've seen argan oil products sold for upwards of $30.00. Even a bottle of plain Jojoba oil can cost more than Gleau. Here, you are getting a blend of quality, effective oils for one very affordable price. Argan oil is one of the first ingredients in Gleau

The glowing reviews on Amazon.com speaks to how wonderful this product has been to those who've tried it. To learn more, visit Gleau's website.

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Product!, June 24, 2010
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Gleau Nourishing Hair Oil Blend (Misc.)
Light feel and smell on the hair. Great moisturizer.
Take it from somebody who lives in the desert.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This one's a keeper!!, May 19, 2010
This review is from: Gleau Nourishing Hair Oil Blend (Misc.)
This oil doesn't weigh my hair down, I don't have greasy product build-up, the shine is ridiculous, and my hair (I promise) has never felt as soft as it does when I seal with it. Even more, a little goes a very long way with this product. It's literally a healthy, moisturizing, nourishing, "Gleau" in a bottle! I know what works for some may not work for others, but I think this one is worth a shot and I strongly recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gleau Nourishing Oil, April 18, 2010
By Shay (Virginia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Gleau Nourishing Hair Oil Blend (Misc.)
This oil is light and easy to spread. The smell is really light because I can not detect a distinct scent which works for me. I appreciate all the great oils in this product. Rather than having to buy all of these oils separately they are all in one convenient product. It makes my hair really soft too. This will be a repurchase.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Light and Nourishing, April 11, 2010
By Relish (Chicago IL) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Gleau Nourishing Hair Oil Blend (Misc.)
As someone with thin, fine relaxed hair, I immediately appreciated the lightness of this product. I apply only once a week at night. Any other application weighs my hair down. This product completely absorbs into the hair. I also use it in my "pre-poo" deep conditioning. I would recommend this to anyone looking for weightless moisturization.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A little goes a long way, April 9, 2010
By Mum2L (CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Gleau Nourishing Hair Oil Blend (Misc.)
I first tried a sample of the Gleau Oil before it was even on sale on the market and really liked it. A little goes a long way. It's a very light oil (a combination of oils including Argan, almond, coconut), and it easy absorbs into my hair and does not weigh it down even when I use it daily. I find it has no scent. I personally don't like products that have a strong smell, so that's a big plus for me. Definitely a keeper.
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5.0 out of 5 stars High quality product that works!, April 9, 2010
By Lisa "southernbelle54" (Atlanta, GA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Gleau Nourishing Hair Oil Blend (Misc.)
After trying a free sample of Gleau I knew I had to go ahead and purchase it. I use it to seal in my moisturizer and it keeps my hair from feeling dry all day long. After using it just a few weeks, I've noticed a significant reduction in breakage and my hair feels softer too. A lot of products make promises but Gleau is the real thing!
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5.0 out of 5 stars cocochava, April 9, 2010
This review is from: Gleau Nourishing Hair Oil Blend (Misc.)
The oil was fabulous. It is very light,and the scent is not bad. I received my shipment in a very timely manner. I look forward to ordering more Gleau oil. I normally shy away from most oils cause my hair is fine but this oils is not too heavy at all. Thanks a million Nadege!!!!!!!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful product!!, April 9, 2010
This review is from: Gleau Nourishing Hair Oil Blend (Misc.)
Hey girls!

I became interested in really caring for my hair only about a month ago. I discovered Gleau oil from Nadege and since she has such beautiful relaxed hair I thought that if she's using this product it must be pretty good. I got the order in about 3 days and its one of the best moisturizers that I've ever used. I have dandruff issues and this really works as a great scalp oil and its makes my hair really soft to the touch as a daily moisturizer. I have below shoulder length relaxed hair and I'm really interested in growing it out. I really focus on putting it on my ends to keep them from splitting and I can already see a difference. I'm on my way to longer healthier RELAXED hair. Thanks Nadege!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!!, April 9, 2010
This review is from: Gleau Nourishing Hair Oil Blend (Misc.)
I love using Gleau on my hair every day. Great texture and smell. Never leaves a greasy film on my hair. I absolutely love it best as a moisturize when my hair is flat ironed straight, as it maintains my hair as is---it doesn't weigh my hair down. Great price too! I hope the formula never changes....LOVE the ingredients
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