Bringing in 2012 with lessons and learnings from 2011
Increase your Hair Growth this winter with these 5 simple techniques
Since we have a hair journey to attend to, we can't have something as simple as cold weather slow us down. We've got to keep moving! Oh, and by the way, you know that seasonal shedding we always seem to get? I have a hunch that poor circulation to the roots may have something to do with it also. So then let's discuss some methods of promoting much needed circulation even during the winter months.
Conair Flexi Rods: Giving me absolutely perfect curls every time
Boy am I glad I did. Fourteen months later and these bad boys are still as firm and bendable as the day I got them! I can't tell you the number of times I've been disappointed by my results in the past when I've used faulty flexi rods that couldn't create or hold a curl. Currently, I'm in the midst of purging my clutter and unnecessary items as I move into the new year and one of the items on the chopping block are my old, worthless, flexi-rods that no longer serve their purpose. So I'm dedicating this post to my new flexi curlers because they never seem to fail me. Take a gander at this look I created today on dry hair with the help of my curlers, leave-in, and some Gleau oil. I slept overnight in the curlers, took them out this morning and voila!
The look I was going for was volume. On my side is four months of new growth plus the fact that I wore by hair in a high bun for the last couple of days. When I took my bun down, my hair was much more voluminous than if I had been wearing my hair down. I used that to my advantage.
The flexi rods have pretty much been my hair's best friend ever since the humidity died down. They help me create wearable looks without (potentially damaging) heat. They're so wonderful.
Finally, a liquid cod liver oil that doesn't make me gag
In previous posts, I've discussed using quality fish oil and even krill oil capsules in my regimen to support my omega 3 dietary requirements. Recently though, I've decided to take it up a notch and go "all liquid" with my omega 3 intake. In the past, I attempted to create a habit of consuming liquid fish oil for at least 30 days. While I was successful at this 30 day challenge, it did translate into a long-term habit. Looking back, I think I set myself up for failure in the long run.
I say this because I purchased a lower quality liquid fish oil from a super-retailer. The cod liver oil was a thick "creamy" liquid opaque in color with a harsh lemon flavor covering the even harsher fish taste. It was not pleasant. This time, I've decided to change my strategy so I can ensure my success in this new daily habit creation attempt. For one, I've decided to upgrade the quality of my liquid cod liver oil. Since I was already taking in Nordic Naturals supplements I was aware of their high quality. The supplements don't give you that fishy burping side effect one may find with lower quality oils. I've heard that fishy burps maybe due to consuming rancid fish oil.
So off I went to Vitamin Shoppe in hopes of coming back with a liquid cod liver oil supplement that I could actually consume on a daily basis (long-term). I picked up a bottle of Nordic Naturals and was on my way. Fast forward two and a half weeks later and I must say that I'm pretty proud of how consistent I've been in taking a spoon full of the lightly flavored lemon fish oil each morning. I attribute my success to how wonderfully light and palatable this stuff is. Sure, in the end, I'm still taking in a spoonful of oil but let me tell you, I can see myself taking this on a regular basis much more consistently than in the past.
In the past, I felt like I was setting myself up for failure before because I wasn't really enjoying the experience. This time around I'm shifting my mindset around the whole "liquid fish oil" thing by creating it as a pleasant experience in my mind vs. a negative one. So now, just prior to consuming the oil, I take a brief moment to reflect on the benefits I'll receive from taking this action and I might silently say to myself "I have flawless, glowing, skin and healthy, shiny hair." Then, right after I've taken the oil, instead of gagging and making faces of disgust, I smile, look in the mirror, and reaffirm the benefits I am receiving. This changes the entire experience to a pleasant one that I don't mind repeating on a daily basis. I've even purchased a second bottle, though I still have half a bottle left, so I can ensure I continue this practice without the possibility of using that fact that I've run out as an excuse to break my routine.
So what's in it for me? One of my intentions is to promote a healthy scalp. More specifically, I'm hoping the omega 3 nourish and lubricate my hair follicles by impacting my dry, itchy scalp. Usually by now, my scalp is a dry, flaky mess but I must say that I've seen some improvement as of late. The amount of shedding I experience is much less than I would normally get this time of year. I know that the full extent of fish oil benefits will only multiply when I continue this habit long-term. Of course I'd like to create hair that is more resistant to breakage due to the increase (or adequate) levels of lipids in the strand. My battle against dry hair is always first priority for me and this habit sets the foundation for battling dry tresses.
For those of you who are information nerds, like me, here are a couple of vids describing Nordic Natural's high standards in creating the cod live oil.
Four hair related crazes I have yet to try (until now).
The Long Term Stretch is a powerful pathway to healthier hair for those of us who relax. If you didn't know already, stretching helps preserve health and thickness by reducing the amount of time we have to touch up a year. By minimizing the number of times were are relaxing, we are promoting the integrity of the strands and reducing breakage in the long run. Those who are successful at the long term stretch reap bountiful benefits of gloriously thick hair. Sounds wonderful right? So why haven't I stretched for 6 months or longer? Well in order to stretch successfully, one must overcome the hidden dangers along the way. It's kinda like playing a video game with multiple levels where the "bad guys" get stronger at each level. The "bad guys" of long term stretching include tangles, shedding, and breakage cause by the battling textures. In a couple of weeks, I'll be four months into my stretch. Based on my past experience, four months tends to be my limit. I desperately want to last to six months because I know that once I've done it once or twice, it could become the norm for me. I just have to make sure the reward is greater than the risks. Thanks to the increase moisture levels I've been experiencing from my new deep conditioner, I finally feel as if a six month stretch could actually be possible.
I'm almost ashamed to say that I've never experimented with henna on my hair. This is partially because I heard that quality henna makes all the difference in the results and some women with relaxed hair experienced dryness following application. I remember having dry hair after a tea rinse some time ago. Once that happened, I gave up tea rinses just as quickly as I started. My hair is always searching for moisture so henna was not all that appealing for me to look into much further. Since I first heard of henna, many pioneers have worked to improve the process and end results by adding oils and other goodies to the mix. Now that I have steamers and more powerful moisture creating/promoting products, I can let my henna guard down and actually try it. Of course I'll post a review once I get to experimenting.
It's kind of sad that I've had this aversion to weaves ever since this once incident because proper use of weaves/wigs can really help protect the hair. How many women have made huge progress on their hair journey from the use of weaves in their protective styling? Nowadays I've seen weaves that look amazing. Girls are even able to pull their extensions into ponytails. It's incredible how natural looking some of these installs look. Honestly, I would love to get a professional (not street professional) install especially in the summer time when humidity and my hair go into all out war against each other.
What I'd like to do is become more open minded to these four things that I've avoided for so long. Or at the very least, I'd like to find alternatives that provide similar benefits without the negative side effects.
KeraPro: How does the low cost version of Kerastase stack up to the original
I figured that now is a good to see if I could find another product that could work as effectively as my darling Nutri-Thermique at a fraction of the price. So of course I made a trip to my local Sally's to see if I could get my hands on the product. I thought to myself "even if the Kera Pro isn't exactly like the Nutri-Thermique, as long as it's 75% as effective, I can at least use it to help stretch my Kerastase". I must have paced the store 5 or 6 times before I found the Kera Pro. For some reason I thought it would be packaged like the traditional black and white bottles containing "generic versions" of professional products. Finally I summoned the help of an employee who helped me identify the product once I gave her the name. Within moments I had the product in hand. I glanced at the price and realized that for the price of one 6.8 oz jar of Kerastase was equal in price to about five jars of the Kera Pro.
As part of my review, I'd like to compare the ingredients. "But what had happened was" that Kerastase doesn't actually list the ingredients on the jar but on on the product box the Thermique comes in. Unfortunately, I threw away the Kerastase box shortly after I ripped it open to reveal the contents. Luckily for me, the ingredients were available online. One thing I notice immediately when comparing the two is that Kera Pro actually contain some natural ingredients. Coconut and safflower seed oil to be exact. Kera Pro also has both Hydrolyzed Keratin and Hydrolyzed rice protein. Kerastase contains only Wheat Protein.
What I can say for sure is that the products vary greatly in appearance. The Kera Pro is a solid white conditioner, while the Nutri-Thermique has sort of a beige buttery hue. Another thing that jumps out at me as I check out both products is that the Nutri-Thermque has a glisteny look to it. The Kera Pro looks much more matte than its counterpart. When I pick up both jars and tilt them on their side. The Nutri-Thermique starts to "run" to one side of the jar. The Kera Pro remains completely still. I interpret this as the Nutri-Thermique has a more of a watery texture than the Pro. When I scoop both products with my fingers. The Nutri-Thermique is obviously more creamy. As I rub my fingers together, I feel like the Kera Pro feels like a dry, heavy, lotion more so than a conditioner (the consistency is similar to a body butter). I dunno, it just doesn't scream "moisturizing" when I touch it.
(when I did a finger test, the Kerastase began to slowly travel down my fingers, the Kera Pro remained in place)
The real test, however, comes when the rubber meets the road and the product is applied to my hair. Believe it or not, even though the Kera Pro doesn't look or feel as moisturizing as the Nutri-Thermique, when I massage into my dry hair, it feels almost as moisturizing as the Nutri-Thermique. How can that be? Honestly, I don't know how to explain it. I just don't. Because of its heavier texture, the Kera Pro does take a little more work to massage it into the strand. The Thermique seems to settle into the hair much easier. But once in, I can barely notice the difference between the two, with the exception that Kera Pro is a bit heavier and can leave a white residue if not worked in all the way. But as far as how moisturizing the product feels on the strand, Kera Pro holds its own.
Since our first conversation, EbonyPrincess sent me an email sharing her experience after purchasing the KeraPro shampoo and elixir. Her experience with the products gave her "amazing results." Ebony was gracious enough to give us a detailed account of her experience.
Shampoo - I normally am a die-hard fan for sulfate free shampoos and cleansers, and although I bought the Kerapro shampoo for dry to very dry hair I was skeptical. However, it did feel moisturizing but clean. And if I adopt the Kerapro regimen completely I do think sulfates are necessary because the serum contains a fair amount of cones. One wash got my hair very clean and I do think it is gentle enough to use weekly.
Conditioner - The directions say to apply for five minutes, no mention of using heat. To do a fair review, I tried it with heat, without heat, for five minutes and for longer. It definitely is effective in as little as five to ten minutes but should be used with heat to gain full benefits. Without heat it felt like it coated the hair whereas when I conditioned with my heating cap it felt like it penetrated the strands and made my hair feel soft and moisturized long after it dried.
Elixir - Slightly superior to the other serums I've used, gives the same smooth coating effect but is not as heavy as some of the other -cone laden serums.
All of the products contain both protein (hydrolyzed keratin & rice protein) and ceramides in the way of safflower oil. I lost very little hair while rollersetting and despite them being a little heavy on the protein side, my hair felt VERY soft and moisturized which still has me a little perplexed. However, my results have been amazing and I can't wait to try the conditioner with my new steamer which is on its way (another item I literally couldn't wait to get because of your reviews!).
So there you have it! Ebony sounds like she's one happy camper. My final assessment of the product is that it's definitely worth trying since KeraPro is modeled after such a superior line. I will continue to purchase Kerastase products since I now have a taste for it that will never subside...but I am also elated that there's an alternative for times when I run out and can't afford to drop $60.00 plus on a conditioner (it sounds worse when I see it in writing). I'm grateful that KeraPro is available to us and I'm thankful that Ebony was proactive in giving good feedback so we could try it for ourselves.
My MicroMist Salon Experience: Did it live up to my expecations?
While I waited for someone to surface, I visually browsed the inside of this swanky salon. I've seen it many times before but never had the opportunity to view the inside. As I was taking it all in, something immediately caught my eye. It was this weird looking steamer machine situated near the back of the salon. Intrigued, I immediately wanted to take a picture so I can find out more about this mysterious piece of equipment. After my brief consultation, I proceeded with my purchase. The ever observant receptionist noticed my purchase and graciously shared a special offer of a free (steam) treatment if I purchased a shampoo/conditioner combo. You guys know what happened next......
Fast forward a few weeks and I stumbled upon this salon in West Hollywood offering oxygen scalp therapy. My curiosity got the best of me so I immediately located someone who I could interview to learn about this process. While her answers were a bit veiled, what I got from her was that the Oxygen Therapy machine used technology that influenced the quality of the "oxygen." A little confused, I asked the lady, "so is this like a steamer?" A bit reluctant to use layman's terms, she eventually responded "yes."
That night, the first thing I did was research this magnificent steamer. I learned that it was a MicroMist steamer. Now, all of us by now should be familiar with steamers. We've discussed this topic many times on this blog. This steamer, my dears, is unlike all of them we've been exposed to whether via YouTube, hair forums, or whatever. The MicroMist steamer is the Bentley of the steamer world. Here's a brief summary describing it's benefits that you can check out. Basically, it uses ultrasonic technology to emit microscopic water particles that are better able to penetrate the strands. Plus this bad boy has the ability to release cool mist which we know can help seal the cuticle layer after the moisture has been infused. Immediately upon learning more about the MicroMist, I was ready to explore the option of purchasing one.....that is until I came across the price tag of $2,000. Y'all know I can get a little crazy sometimes with the hair related purchases but $2,000 is where I draw the line. Just before the tears of sorrow were about to well up from deep inside, I remembered that I had free treatment coupon from the Prive Salon.
Literally, the next chance I had, I went to book my appt. Part of the reason I agreed to a service at this Euro salon is because:
#1. The MicroMist steamer and
#2. They have a woman of color stylist on staff.
Prior to securing the appointment, I asked to have a face to face discussion with the stylist. I left the salon that day with a huge smile on my face because Marie was the most pleasant, accommodating stylist I ever met in my life. She put me completely at ease and let me know that my desires to keep my hair healthy during this process was her number one priority as well.
The day of my visit, I felt like I was part of the upper echelon. While sitting in the stylist chair, the salon's owner came by to offer clients chilled Mimosa drinks. Never had this experience in a salon before. Is this what it's normally like in these salons?
Another reason why I was excited for the service is because the salon uses Kerastase products, which means that I know the products will be effective and I could save the use of some of the products I have at home. Prior to my deep conditioning Marie broke out a jar of the Nutri-Thermique (which I've raved about). She used ample product on my thick, course hair and she took the time to part my hair in small sections during application while I sipped my Mimosa. What more can a girl ask for?
Then came the moment that I had been waiting for. It was as if cherubs where singing as she wheeled the MicoMist closer to me. The excitement I was feeling was disgustingly obvious. I couldn't wait to get started.
So she started off by loosely pinning my hair up placing the steamer over my hair. Next she secured the velvet cloth so there was no exit point for the steam. Most (I think all) other steamers I've seen have steaming coming from the hood that escapes out during the process. With the MicroMist, all of the steam stayed exactly where it needed to be.
Ten minutes later, Marie popped back up and removed the hood to observe my hair. I too had a chance to take a look. Unlike when I do traditional steaming, my hair didn't feel hot. This is likely because the machine boil the water to produce steam like traditional steamers. Marie, decided to do an additional 10 minutes just to make sure my thick, textured hair could receive the full benefits. When she finally removed the steamer a second time, my first observation was how puffy my hair was. If was like each strand was swollen by the steam absorption. Instead of hanging downwards, it grew upwards. I take that as a good sign. Also, sometimes my hair drips when after my traditional steam treatment. This time, no sign of dripping. All the moisture was trapped in the strand. It was fabulous.
Marie then began the painstaking process of blow drying and flat ironing my hair. Mind you, my last relaxed was August and my hair has plenty o' texture in it from my use of mild relaxers. I think roller setting may have saved some time but she opted to use a different method. I was terrified of having my wet hair blow dried with a round brush. It was pretty bad when I had it done on dry hair at the Dominican Salon. I could only imagine how damaging doing it on wet hair would be. After voicing my concerns, Marie immediately switched to using a flat brush. Her blow dry technique was surprisingly gentle. The blow dryer was at a very comfortable temperature. No steam arose during the process. Marie was even gracious enough to provide tips on how I could get my hair straighter at home.
When each section was done, she began to flat iron my hair. Being the awesome stylist she is, she applied a small amount of Kerastase Fibre Architecte to each section prior to flat ironing and she showed me the temperature setting of the iron which was below 400 degrees. I think I actually love her.
When the service was completed, I skipped over to the receptionist desk like a school girl and paid for the experience. Then Marie and I walked over to a neighboring restaurant to order take out. While waiting for our orders, a customer complimented Marie on my hair as I walked to the restroom. The end result appeared similar to when I would go to the Dominican Salon but there were some notable differences.
First, my hair had a natural shine to it that was incredibly obvious. Secondly, it was baby soft to the touch and felt nourished and moisturized. I don't know if it was the steamer, the Kerastase products, or (most likely) the combination. But whatever it is, I liked it! My only concern is that I generally don't enjoy my hair being bone straight. But in this case I'll make an exception because it felt so incredibly healthy. My schedule prevented me from taking pics right away so I apologize to all of you for not fulfilling my duty to post fresh from the salon pics as any decent blogger would do. I believe these was taken a week after my salon experience and my hair still felt incredibly soft. As of today, I'm nearing two weeks and even still my hair is perfectly straight and my hair feels really nice.
I still wish I had my own MicroMist that I could have to use weekly. The salon experience, while great, is still more manipulation and heat that I use on a normal basis. Although I'm extremely grateful to have found Marie, I know getting my hair blow dried wet on a weekly basis will create long term results that don't align with my hair goals. I'm seriously contemplating setting up an account where I can draft a small amount of money on a regular basis so that one day, I'll have my MicroMist money sitting there waiting for me. Or perhaps, I will stumble upon a salon that is selling their equipment online due to closing or upgrading and buy the MicroMist at a fraction of the cost.
A girl can dream can't she?
Black Friday promotion: Enjoy 20% off Gleau!
Kelly Rowland, Will Smith and my daily habits
It all became real for me when I read the fitness routine of a Victoria's Secret model prior to her runway appearance. She worked out 2 times a day for hours and went on a liquid diet a week or two before the actual event. Although her workout and diet was a little extreme, I learned that actual work was put into achieving the result she desired. My guess is that this model was a naturally thin person in general, so exercising and shifting her eating habits is a way of taking her fitness results to the next level.
Take a look at this quick video featuring Kelly Rowland.
Hideous looking wig aside, how many of us have looked at Kelly Rowland's tone figure in a bikini and thought to ourselves "I wish I looked like that." Since Kelly was a teen, she's always been on the slim side. Why would Kelly Rowland need to do 200 sit ups each night? If I looked like Kelly Rowland, would I ever do a sit up? (Could I even look like Kelly Rowland without ever doing a sit up)
Another amazing attribute of Kelly's is her gorgeous, flawless skin. I will never forget a Destiny's Child special I watched many years ago featuring the behind the scenes lives of the all-star girl group. Honestly, I can't remember hardly any of it except for one scene where Kelly was in a spa receiving a treatment. While sitting in the chair, she went on and on about how much she loves getting pampered and receiving skin treatments. Once again I ask myself, if my skin looked like Kelly's, would I feel the need to get skin treatments? One might say to themself, "she's got gorgeous skin, she doesn't need to get skin/spa treatments", but now I wonder, if her perfect skin is the result of how well she's taken care of herself for years.
Yesterday, I spent a few moments watching skin care regimen videos on YouTube. I chose which videos I would watch by selecting the thumbnail pics of the most flawless faces. Secretly, I hoped those glowing faced ladies would say something like "I don't really do much to my face, this comes naturally." Reason why I hoped to hear them say this is because it would give me an excuse to say "oh well, I wasn't born with perfect skin like her so I might as well accept my results." But instead, I listened to intricate daily and weekly regimens geared toward creating perfectly healthy skin and suddenly I was faced with the grim reality of how my inaction has lead to the results that I now experience.
Seriously, this week has been so clear to me how little effort I've been putting into getting what I say I want. It's like I think either it will happen naturally or it wasn't meant to be. Now I realize that I've been horribly mistaken. For me this reality is most obvious in the area of my physical maintenance but I could also see where this type of thinking also applies to any and every area of my life. Will Smith is likely the most highest paid African-American actor in the U.S. One could look at his acting career from the Fresh Prince days and think, "wow, he got a big break with Independence Day, he's one lucky guy." But that thinking is completely inaccurate. That man has a work ethic like you wouldn't believe.
He created his success.
So, I'm now in the creation business. One by one, I'm reviewing the goals/results I say I want and I ask myself "do I think this will magically appear for me or am I willing to put in the work to get there?" As I searched the web for inspiration, one commonality that emerged was that most folks had a daily action they took to get their results. I don't even do 200 sit ups a week, imagine how different my abs would be if I did them nightly? One thing I won't kid myself about is the fact that mastery of anything takes time. Doing anything for a couple of weeks won't create the results I want. Time is required achieve the level of mastery. It has to become a part of my life.
Even in my hair care routine I can do better. Sure, I'm willing to invest in quality products and I'm constantly tweaking my weekly deep conditioning routine to take it to the next level but I don't have a strong daily regimen to support my overall hair goals. What am I doing every day to get what I want?
More thought and planning will go into this and when I create/perfect my optimal daily hair regimen, I will certainly share.
Nutrients. Yet another way to take your deep conditioning to another level
One of the unique treatments they offer are the hair conditioning smoothies fortified with amazing ingredients made specifically to promote beautiful hair. When I checked out the vast selection of "boosters" available for the hair smoothies, I was truly inspired and I wanted to see how I could take this experience and apply to my personal routine. What really got me excited was how nutrients could be added to conditioners directly for the purpose of feeding the follicles. At first I questioned whether simply adding nutrients topically is enough to truly nourish the strand. Then I got to thinking about how permeable the strand is. In high humidity conditions, our hair absorbs water particles in the air. When we add honey, eggs, a vitamin e capsules, an avocado, etc, to our conditioner, our hair responds. Why wouldn't my hair respond to amino acids, spirulina, or other powdered nutrients?
So I immediately got to thinking about the Brewer's Yeast I picked up not too long ago at Vitamin Shoppe. Brewer's Yeast is amazing because it's jam packed with loads of amino acids. On one site I visited, they stated that lackluster, dry hair could be an indicator that the amino acid amounts in the hair may have diminished. That was all I needed to hear to start my experiment. I wanted to create a conditioner "smoothie" of my own. So I skipped over to my kitchen and picked out my jar of Brewer's Yeast along with some green "Super Food" powder I had sitting in the fridge. Minutes later I was scooping out a heaping spoon of Yeast to mix into my conditioner. I used much less of the green powder than the yeast just because I wasn't sure if it would make my hair smell weird or whatever.
The brewers yeast and green powder mixed in quite easily. I didn't use a professional mixer so the final product did have a grainy appearance. As I applied the conditioner, section by section, I couldn't feel the yeast and green powder. So although the mixture looked grainy, it actually felt smooth to the touch.
Not sure what happened but this was the first time in a long time that I only used half of my conditioner mix. Every week I always use the same plastic container to mix my conditioner. I always fill the bowl up to the same level with conditioner (and I use all of it). Sometimes I even run out and have to get more conditioner, but I've never only used half the batch. Each section felt so moisturized that I didn't feel the need to continue adding conditioner to my hair. It just felt like overkill.
Then I steamed for the first time in a couple of months then jumped in the shower to rinse. For some reason I decided to skip the wash with WEN, so after rinsing I proceeded directly to the roller set. Unsure if the amino acids would act as a protein, I opted out of using Kerastase Ciment Thermique this time. While roller setting I noticed that there were less of those small pieces of broken hair that I sometimes tend to get. Perhaps the steam treatment, or the fact that I refreshed my shower filter had something to do with it. Either way, I knew something great happened the moment I started my conditioner application.
Honestly, I don't know if adding these powerful nutrients to my conditioner is making any difference in the strength of my hair but I like how great my hair feels. This will definitely be a treat that will be a part of my regimen from now on. In fact, I plan on adding fresh wheat grass juice to my conditioner in the near future. The possibilities are endless.
My search for an Ultra-Moisturizing Deep Conditioner is finally over!
I visited a local high-end salon and asked the stylist to help me identify which product would best work for me. She recommended products from the relax line but I insisted that I wanted an intense moisturizing conditioner over anything else. In the end, I left the salon with this:
The Nutrithermique is an ultra-moisturizing, heat activated, deep conditioner. At only 6.8 fl oz, I didn't get much product for the $40.00 I invested. This was especially concerning for me because I'm quite possibly the most heavy handed person I know. Especially when it comes to deep conditioner. I've been known to use an entire bottle of cheapie conditioner in one pre-poo session.
Now that I've had three opportunities to use this product, I must say that this is THEE most moisturizing deep conditioner I own. It's even more powerful than my Aveda Dry Remedy line which fell way below my expectations. The Nutri-Thermique has become an instant staple for me. The product itself is thick like any self-respecting deep conditioner but what makes it special is how it instantly transforms to a watery-moisturizer the moment it touches the strand. My hair feels damp with just a tiny amount. Because it's so powerful, I actually use much less product than expected. I apply small amounts of it to individual sections then overlap it with one of my other "moisturizing" conditioners.
Because my experience was so great, I decided to go back for more by experimenting with other Kerastase products. So far, I've picked up the Voile Nuit, a night time treatment that I absolutely adore! It's a restoring water-based moisturizer spray containing natural oils and ceramides. I'm in love with how fine the mist is. Even when I run out of this product, I'll use the bottle to house my Biolage Leave in tonic. Or maybe even my ACV/H2O blend..... Oh, and did I mention how much I love the Viole Nuit?
I also swooped up the Nutritive Sublimateur Jour as a daily leave in moisturizer and the Ciment Thermique which is a heat activated reconstructor (also contains ceramides). I apply the Ciment to my hair during the rollerset since it's heat activated and sitting under the hair dryer is the only time I really use any heat. Most recently, I purchased Aqua-Oleum vials. I dunno but something about a hair product in vials makes it irresistible to me. The reviews on this product were highly positive so I figured I would give it a go! The sales rep at the Beauty Store where I purchased the Aqua-Oleum also gave me a nifty sprayer attachment that fits perfectly on the vial. This sprayer is worth its weight in gold 'cause I can also use it to top my Biolage Cera Repair Pro vials. Once again, the sprayer gives this ultra-fine mist that I really appreciate. Although I've amassed quite a stash of Kerastase products, I'm still on the hunt for one more item, the Oleo-Fusion. Once I get my hands on it, I will slow down I promise (two fingers crossed behind my back).
When I started writing this post, I was in the beginning of my weekly wash process. Now I've finally completed the roller set take down and I am memorized by my hair. My last relaxer was in August and usually, by this time, my hair would be fighting me every day. Right now you wouldn't believe how soft it feels and how healthy my hair looks. Even hubby came in and said "nice hair" before walking out of the room. If I got his seal of approval, I know something magical had to happen. Yeah for Kerastase!
In these pics,I did a pre-shampoo deep condition with Nutri-Thermique using heat, then washed with WEN. I used the Ciment prior to roller setting then misted individual damp sections with the Aqua-Oleum. Once dry, I rubbed a little Sublimatuer leave-in and Gleau Nourishing Argan oil blend for extra shine and softness.
Let the Games Begin! Wanna play?
My thoughts went beyond just what has happening in those pictures at that moment. I pondered on how amazing Melyssa felt about herself because of her level of fitness and the body that was a result of it. Think about it, every time she puts on clothes, or takes them off, she's probably holding a positive internal conversation with herself. How do I know? Simply because all of us are constantly holding internal conversations whereby we make comments, good or bad, about what we are experiencing at the moment or what we experienced in the past or what we think we might experience in the future. I reckon, that her internal talk about her body is empowering. And by creating those empowering conversations, she produces positive emotions, which, in turn, help her take inspiring actions.
Then I got to thinking about myself and my lady gut. I flashed back to how I felt the other night when my husband started rubbing it in his sleep as if he were rubbing a lucky buddha. Memories of back in the day, when he used to give me props for my abs flooded my mind. That's when I decided at that my belly has to go. No more excuses. Next came the million dollar question. How?
I've decided to make a game of it. Remember as children when we would craft games out of thin air and our vast imaginations? Games relieved us of boredom and brought excitement to our day. Games made our lives fun. Let me tell you more about this new game I created.
The object of the game: To create a flat stomach, toned legs, thighs and arms.
My winning strategy: Engage in physical activity daily, adjust eating habits, improve digestion.
An apple a day. 1.5 liters of H20 daily.
Transverse abdominal exercises.
There's a large park near my neighborhood.
Access to hotel gyms while traveling.
Work related dinners with co-workers occurring after a long day's work.
On the weekend of December 3rd, 2011. My husband and I are planning to head down to Miami for a mini-vacay. I have every intention of having won the game by then. The last thing I want to do is walk around South Beach feeling down about myself. Not when I have a choice. And I do have a choice.
I can already see it now. The warm, low humidity air feeling divine on my skin as I stand in the Miami sun. For the first time in months, I feel spectacular. Maybe my body doesn't look exactly like Melyssa's but I feel as good a she did when on that faithful day when the above pictures were taken. By making a game out of it, I essentially change my outlook on creating my new body. In the past, I viewed making these changes as something difficult and unpleasant. Now that it's a game. I plan to have fun and I plan to win.
Mizani D'Tangle Leave-In Milk Giveaway!
Although I haven't yet tried this product, I picked it as a giveaway item because I remember how disgustingly painful it can be to have to deal with stubborn tangles. So let's cover the rules of the give away shall we?
- Follow the blog!
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org titled "Detangle Giveaway"
- Say a silent prayer for me that I will reach my hair length goals.
- Rub the belly of your puppy three times counter-clockwise while saying "detangle, detangle, detangle!"
- Ok, you don't have to do the last two but make sure to follow and send your email to enter!
Winner will be announced via email on November 6, 2011. Good luck everyone!
Congrats to Tiffany, the randomly selected winner of the Giveaway!
"Help! I had cut my hair from mid-back to shoulder length"
I received a very interesting email the other day from a reader who was seeking help regarding her predicament. She recently cut her hair back from mid-back to neck length due to breakage (for the second time). The writer also mentioned that she deep conditioned regularly, doesn't use too much heat and stretches up to 16 weeks. Sounds like she's doing everything right, so what could be contributing to her breakage?
I can also share scenarios for thinning hair, breaking ends, and so forth. What's important to focus on is the how we address the issue. It's important that we remain committed to identifying the root cause, and not simply search out products as a cure-all. Sure I could have shelled out money and got more products, but if my behaviors remained the same, progress wouldn't have been made.
The key to effectively overcoming setbacks (especially those ones that show up out of no where) is to analyze our actions. Really take a look at yourself and what you do with regards to your hair. I believe that every action produces a result. Some of those results are immediate, some long-term. Breakage and damage is a result of our past actions. So understanding and identifying those actions is critical.
So take a moment today and think about what you do that could be contributing to any set backs or current issues. If nothing comes to mind then try this exercise again when you are actively engaged in doing your hair. Take notice of everything from how you are feeling at the moment, to how much time you invest, to the techniques you are using. If you are truly present to this experience, you will learn from it and your hair will benefit.
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