Friday, April 30, 2010

Misikko Hana Flat Iron Review (and giveaway)












I was contacted not too long ago by a representative from misikko.com. They generously offered to send me one of their favorite hair straighteners for review. The particular model I received was the Hana professional pink edition. At first, I wasn't really compelled to take on another flat iron because I already owned the Revlon Sedu. But, honestly, I was sold when the good folks at misikko generously offered to give a flat iron away to a Relaxed Hair Health reader.

One thing I have to say about this iron is that the package came with more than what I expected. Within it's contents was a rubber-like mat for laying the kana. I can remember burning a mark into my bathroom countertop many moons ago under the hands over an over-heated curling iron. With the mat, I never have to worry about this happening again. Also inside the package were some emory board nail files, a travel size bottle of hand sanitizer, and a 2 oz size "shine shield" serum. The shine serum itself was unbelievable light and contains jojoba oil. At first I though the nail files were kinda odd in a flat iron kit. But after thinking about it for a few seconds, I knew the folks at misikko were contemplating how crucial it is not to have chipping, or splitting nails when you are about to manipulate the hair. Perfectly smooth nails help avoid snagging of the hair on your nails which can lead to unnecessary breakage. The iron also came in it's own pink storing case but I think my favorite accessory of all was the tin box the iron came in. This thing turned out to be the perfect storage device for my eye shadow collection.


The iron itself has multiple temperature settings for optimal control. This thing also heats up in record time. The Hana iron was ultra light and easy to handle. I also love the fact that irons are now evolving to a level where they are able to do their job without inflicting as much damage to the hair as they did in the past thanks to tourmaline technology.

So let's talk about your opportunity to get one of these babies for yourself (for free).

The contest will run between now and May 14th to U.S and Canadian residents. The winner will be selected randomly on May 15th. Here's what you can do to enter in the giveaway:
  • "Follow me" on the blog/"Fan me" on Facebook.
  • You can blog about the giveaway on your website/blog/Facebook, etc.
  • Follow misikko on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/misikko (2 entries)
  • Join misikko's newsletter, you get three contest entries.

**Send me an email to relaxedhairhealth@gmail.com letting me know you want to enter the giveaway. In the email, please include which of the options above qualify you for entry into the giveaway. You can choose to fulfill the requirements of more than one option for additional chances to win. Winner will have 48 hours to respond once selected on May 15th.


Best of luck to you all! If you want to check out other hair tools, misikko.com also has
Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spotlight on healthy hair: Royale3086

On this long journey of ours, it's always nice to run across a passerby with a luscious, mouth-watering head of hair. I just happened to stumble upon such a person on youtube. This wonderful hair inspiration goes by the username Royale3086. In the video, Ms. Royale discusses her favorite products she uses to keep her hair looking fabulous. My hat goes off to her for maintaining double processed hair that is still able to look like this
Thursday, April 22, 2010

Detangling Combs Rock!

Yes, it's that time again. I've posted another video update on Youtube that I wanted to share with you all. Today I'm all excited about my detangling combs. Tangles have been my achilles heel for a while now and today I feel like I've been set free from the bondage of those nasty tangles. I talk about two different types to detangling combs, each effective in their own way. I am really confident about the possibility of extending my stretches with the help of these babies!

Any ways enough talking, check out the vid:





I also thought I'd post another vid of a fellow hair journey traveler who also reviewed the Conair comb. Notice how easy the comb glides through his freshly washed natural hair.



For those of you were are as intrigued about the Ouidad comb as I was, here's some more info:




The Ouidad comb is available at Sephora or at Amazon.com
Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Three techniques I used to cleanse and detox my scalp

Since my last post, I've completed a total of three wash cycles where I placed a heavy focus on cleansing/purifying/detoxing my scalp. With each wash, I used a different process to treat the scalp. Zen detox, Nioxin scalp therapy and baking soda were my weapons of choice as I declared war on my unhealthy scalp. Part of the reason why I used overwhelming force to treat my scalp is because, some time ago, I was diagnosed as having seborrheic dermatitis. I just knew that without direct intervention, my poor strands were suffocating under a layer of build-up and dandruff.


Nioxin scalp therapy has been a staple of mine for years. As I mentioned in the last post, this was the first product I purchased the moment I read about and understood the need to maintain a healthy scalp. What I appreciate about the Nioxin brand is the amount of attention and focus they place on a functional scalp. Their line boasts of several products dedicated to the health of your scalp. Next on my list of products to try from them is their follicle booster. Back to the Scalp Therapy. I've used both the normal formula and the one created for chemically treated hair. Not sure why, but I think I like the normal formula better. I think it's because normal formula gave my scalp a bit more tingle when I used it. Both formula's do wonders with regards to my dandruff situation.



Another amazing, unexpected benefit of the Scalp Therapy is it's ability to tame my new growth into full and complete submission. I'm not sure what it is in Scalp Therapy that causes this wonderful side effect, but whenever I use it, my new growth just seems to bow down and listen. It just has a way of slightly loosening the texture, turning tight curls into softer waves. Detangling becomes a breeze and styling the hair becomes much more possible. In the past, I've used Scalp Therapy as a last resort when combating dandruff. Now that I have this new level of awareness, I'll be re-incorporating into my regimen on an ongoing basis. When I used this amazing product the other day, I parted my hair into multiple small sections and applied to the scalp much like a relaxer. Then I massaged and left the product in for a good 30 minutes while I allowed it to work it's magic. Scalp therapy acts like a conditioner, so when it's rinsed out, the hair feels soft and more manageable.





The following wash I, broke out my Zen Detox so I could complete a scalp purifying mask. In my zealous attempt to really draw out impurities, I also combined some of my Aztec clay to the Zen Detox. These purifying clays are supposed to act on the scalp as they would on the skin (after all, the scalp is still skin right?). They remove impurities from the surface level while claiming to have the ability to also draw out toxins from beneath the surface. Once again I applied this liquid clay in the same manner as a relaxer, parting and applying. Applying and parting. I also used some of the mixture on the length of my hair as well. I should also mention that Zen Detox also has a way of softening up the new growth. While I applied product and massaged, I could feel my curls lengthening as the clay penetrated. Honestly, I felt like after I washed and styled, my hair seemed to have some build up. My scalp felt great but my hair had somewhat of a film to it. I think it has something to do with my mix of both Zen and Aztec. Last time I only used Zen, I didn't mix the product and I had no felling of residue. I should also mention that I included an egg in my conditioning mix and absentmindedly used warm water during part of my rinse. I had dry egg bits in my hair which could also have been culprit of my build up. Either way, I'll use Zen Detox again, but next time I won't try to get all fancy with how I use it. Just Zen and nothing else.



During my third wash, I tried a totally new experience by using baking soda. Much like the detox clay, baking soda is said to have the ability to loosen old skin cells and remove impurities from the scalp. Baking soda is alkaline in nature so it also worked to slightly straighten the new growth. Because of it's grainy, gritty texture, I decided to mix the baking soda with a conditioner so that I didn't cause too much abrasion to the scalp as I massaged it in. As with the other scalp treatments, I parted and applied as one would a relaxer. Following the application I proceeded to gently massage. The entire experience felt really good. I kept the baking soda mixture on/near the scalp and applied my regular conditioners along the length of the hair. I left everything in for about 40 minutes or so and, I'm sitting here two days later with fabulous hair. My hair is soft and, most of all, my scalp is thriving.



The final step to my ultra-healthy scalp routine was a relaxing massage using drops of eucalyptus oil directly on the scalp. This was such a soothing experience that I've decided to make it a weekly activity. People rave about the benefits of eucalyptus oil on the scalp. I just really enjoy the mild scalp tingle. It makes me feel like I'm really doing something beneficial.

Since incorporating these three scalp treatments into my routine, my dandruff has reduced dramatically. My hair also looks amazing which is an added benefit that I was not expecting. Now that I think about it, those wonderful scalp treatments were probably also working to clarify the hair which is why it responded so well to the conditioner.


I think that process I've undergone the past few washes was an experiment in what method worked best. While I don't expect to conduct full scalp "facials" every wash, I do intend to incorporate at least one healthy scalp aid into my routine at least once a week. I just want to make sure I never get to a place where the health of my scalp isn't always top of mind. I also want to thank you ladies for leaving comments on what you do to keep your scalp healthy. You gave me some great ideas. Thanks again and keep 'em coming!
Friday, April 2, 2010

Is your scalp suffocating? Find out what it's doing to your hair


A have a ritual that I do before every wash where I stand in front of my massive hair product closet and select the items I'll be including in my pre-poo and deep conditioning. Some of the products are my staples and remain within arms reach. Others are less frequently utilized and rest in the shadows. Rarely do I spend much time peeking at the products in the back because I just assumed they were back there for a reason. This week, however, I decided to take a gander to see if there's any special conditioner I may be missing out on. I'm so glad I took that extra time to look because I rediscovered one of my greatest hair loves of days past. Nioxin Scalp Therapy.


I've used Scalp Therapy on and off for years. I first rushed to the store for this product when I read the online story of a girl who received a scalp scope. A scalp scope is like a microscope for the scalp. It takes up close images of the hair strands and scalp. It helps to determine the level of blockage and buildup one has on their hair and scalp. The images are magnified 200 X and displayed on a TV screen where you can clearly see how your scalp measures against a healthy scalp.

An "unhealthy scalp" usually appears shiny due to the excess sebum build up near the hair follicles. The woman online described her scalp as looking like a Krispy Kreme donut. I found a site online with some close up images of what is considered an unhealthy scalp along with the ideal appearance of a healthy, thriving scalp. As you scroll through the images, start from the bottom of the page and work your way up. Notice how the strands of hair are impacted when the scalp is clogged and unhealthy versus when the scalp is healthy and vibrant.

Check out the pics and see for yourself.

Did you notice how strong and healthy the hair strands appeared when the scalp was in it's optimal state? As I was looking at those pics, I found myself wondering how much of our shedding could be attributed to the health of the scalp.

So what does this all mean? While we're focusing on deep conditioning, moisturizing and sealing, we may be missing out on a crucial part of our ultimate healthy hair experience. It all starts from the scalp so we also should implement strategies that bring health to the area where we need may need it most. When I think I about my own experience, I have to admit that my scalp is just not something I focus on. I think back to years past when I used to "feel my scalp." By feeling I mean I would experience the sensation of the air touching my scalp. Nowadays, I'm sure my scalp is laden with so much buildup I can't remember the last time I had that "clean scalp feeling." Sure, I apply ACV to my scalp from time to time but so did the woman who got her scalp scoped. She also claimed to wash her hair nearly every day.

I'm convinced in the direct link between a healthy scalp and thriving hair. Follicles that are suffocating under large thick flakes or a sea of sebum can't possibly produce the most healthy hair. You've seen it for yourself in the pics on that website. This post was originally meant to serve as a review for Scalp Therapy but I'll save that piece for an upcoming post. What I'd like to do is continue this conversation further by discussing ways we can treat our scalp to bring about health.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. How do you think your scalp would look under a scope?
 
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