Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Rubbing my nails together gave me good results": A Relaxed Hair Health Reader Experience

About a year ago, I wrote a post about rubbing the nails together to promote healthy hair. After writing that entry, I was pleasantly surprised to receive several comments from folks who tried this technique and experienced great results. One such experience comes from a reader who contacted me yesterday telling me all about her nail rubbing experience.

Here's what she shared:

"I was reading about the posting you had about rubbing your fingernails together.
I tried it and it really works. My hairstylist who is Cuban told me about it from
a stylist from India that works with her. And I still do it it's like a habit
now lol. She told me that the women from India would rub their finger tips
together to make their hair grow. She also showed me how it was done. From then on I would do it constantly while sitting in the chair getting my hair done at the shampoo bowl, or sitting under the dryer etc. I would massage my scalp afterwards. It just became a habit. I would feel tingling in my finger then going through my arms then my scalp would get tingley then itchy but I would keep doing it 'til I was tired."


During our email exchanges, she mentioned how over the past five months while continuing this practice, she's gotten good results. She was even gracious enough to share some pics of her gorgeous hair.




For those of you hearing about this technique for the first time, the "science" behind the theory of rubbing nails for healthy hair is linked to the art of reflexology where parts of the body are stimulated to active and heal other, specific areas. If you take a look at this diagram, the finger tips are connected with the top of head and brain. Thus, by rubbing the finger tips (nails), you are able to reach and stimulate the head and scalp.


In her book, Hand Reflexology: Key to Perfect Health, Mildred Carter devotes a chapter to stopping hair loss, growing new hair, and prevent grays through the use fo Reflexology. She shared the advice of another famous reflexologist, Dr Joe Shelby Riley, to rub the fingernails together 2-3 times a day for around 5 minutes a session. We can further enchance the experience by being intentional and visualizing the scalp as we rub our nails together. I'd like to thank the reader who reached out and reminded us of this wonderful practice. I myself saw some great results whenever I was consistently rubbing my nails. Perhaps, I can pair this habit this to my scalp massage practice as my reader did to help me remain consistent.

Here are a couple of the comments I received from other believers in this process. They shared their feedback with me when I first posted on this subject:

Anonymous said...
Hi, I have been rubbing my nails for the past 3 months and I have noticed I don't lose as much hair as I used to. I am 27 years old and my hair started thinning after using hair dyes and perming my hair twice when I was younger. But this technique has helped me in just 3 months my hair has stopped falling a lot and my hair looks healthy/shiny compared to before when it was dry and weak. I had lost some of my baby hairs but even that has come back. I realised this after my mother noticed that my hair doesn't look as thin as it did 3 months ago. I have also changed my diet, which means a lot of fruits and veg is involved, I make sure I drink 2 litres of water daily, massage my scalp for 5 minutes with my finger tips everyday and I do yoga everyday. All this is helping internally therefore I feel it's showing on the outside. Do try keep it up as I stopped few years ago and the hair thinning started showing it's ugly face. It's only after I realized how much I want my thick hair back I have kept it up.
Even I wanted quick results, but you have to be patient and keep it up.

December 21, 2010 11:07 AM


Anonymous said...
Hello there,

I've done this for quite a while, but I've always had great hair even when not doing it. I'm 28 and male, from Ireland. My hair was already Jet-black (always has been) but I am starting to see a blue'ish tint to it which I had when I was younger (around 20ish).

When I was younger I needed my hair cut every two weeks and my nails cut every other day because it grew so fast, it's slowed down as I've gotten older but since I've started doing this again (around 3 months ago) the exact same thing is happening, I'm needing to cut my hair at least once a month and my nails twice weekly.

I can't exactly tell you HOW this works, all I can see is that you will NOTICE considerable improvements. Trust me on this.

I rub my nails when I'm on the bus going into work (10-15 minutes) then at night before nodding off to sleep (around 20-25 minutes). I also rub my nails when I am stationary and not using my hands (I've done this since I was a kid)

Would love to hear about a blonde person doing this, and see'ing if their hair gets darker

Marty

October 10, 2010 8:06 AM
Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hair One vs WEN! The battle of all battles!

This is likely the most long awaited post I've ever done. Yes my friends, it's time for the battle of all battles, WEN vs Hair One. Let the games begin!

First, I need to start off by saying that this battle was supposed to take place months ago when I first experienced WEN's Sweet Almond Mint conditioning cleanser. This opponent, however, was quickly disqualified for not meeting minimum qualifications needed to become a serious contender. I think I used it twice, then quickly proceeded to calling customer service for immediate cancellation of the monthly automatic shipping. I really wanted to like this product but it offered nothing for me in the way of moisture. In fact, I haven't used it since I got off the phone with the customer service rep. I may go back and try to soup it up with some oils or something. Either way this was a first round knock-out against Hair One - no competition.


So let's move on to the real battle shall we? It's what you all came here to see. We all know that you guys have a taste for blood and want to watch as these to contenders fight to the death finish.

"Ding!" "Ding!" "Ding!"

Price
In this corner we have Hair One coming in at only $11.00! Plus because it is sold at Sally's, you can easily take advantage of random sales and discount offers which can further lower the price. Another strength of Hair One is how readily available it is compared to it's contender. At first I could only find it at Sally's, now I have a choice of heading to my local Beauty Supply to pick up a bottle (or two).

WEN, on the other hand, goes for around $36.00 for 16 ounces. Add to that the fact that you can only get the product online. It's almost like they're saying "don't buy me, I'm expensive and hard to get." That's why it took me so long to write this post. I had to push through all the sense I had within me to pay nearly $40.00 for a glorified shampoo product.

So if you were to break it down to cost per ounces, Hair One is going for around $0.92 per ounce ($11.00/12 ounces). Wen is $2.25 per ounce (which still blows my mind by the way). I gonna have to give this round to Hair One. For $36.00 you could purchase 3 of the 4 varieties available and still have money left over for a piece of candy.


Ingredients
Many of the ingredients in both products are comparable. WEN, though, has around 7 fewer ingredients than it's contender. I also noticed that the order of the ingredients they have in common are somewhat different. Hair One has amodimethicone as #4 on the list. This same ingredient falls way lower in WENs composition. High up on WENs ingredient list are the numberous plant extracts which probably account for it's yummy smell. Hair One appears to have a few ingredients that were harder to pronounce than WEN. I felt I could make more sense of it's ingredient list than with Hair One. Some of the desirable ingredients I found in both products include: wheat protein, sweet almond oil, and Panthenol. Hair One also included Aloe Leaf Juice and Avocado oil into the mix. Even with the effort Hair One put in by including these oils, I still get the feeling that WEN is a more "natural" product compared to it's rival. So WEN wins this round.

Product
Like I mentioned before, a lot of the ingredients are shared by both products so I figured that there shouldn't be much difference between the two. But boy was I wrong. The moment I got a whiff of the Honey Fig scent, I was hooked. It smells so much like a real fig. It doesn't smell like fragrance, it smells of natural extracts. That's probably why fragrance isn't listed as an ingredient (unlike it's rival). Once I got beyond the smell, I moved on to actually using the product. Just like WEN Sweet Almond Mint, Honey Fig is uber thick. I...like....that... Feels more like a "conditioner", conditioner instead of just a "cleansing" conditioner. The biggest difference between the Fig and Mint version of WEN, is the moisturizing quality. Fig feels good. Hair One feels good to but, honestly, Fig feels better. When I compare the consistency and feel of both products side by side, WEN feels smoother and creamier to touch when I rubbed it between my fingers. The experience is a bit more decadent.



*I do want to mention that the "creaminess test" was conducted with a newer bottle of WEN vs. an older bottle of Hair One.*

So over all, I feel like WEN Fig has an edge over Hair One when I compare the products side by side.

Results
I think both products have the ability to get the job done. Both cleanse the hair without stripping it of it's natural oils etc. I feel like using a cleansing conditioner helps to continue the work of your pre-poo. Those of you familiar with this blog know that I've been signing the praises of Hair One for the longest. In fact, I made my youtube debut by doing a Hair One review. But honestly I feel like I've found a better product. Hair One is good, WEN Fig is better. It's thicker, creamier smells awesome and feels great. This doesn't mean I'll never use Hair One again. It's still a great product. I'm just glad to have access to the original product line that inspired Hair One's existence. WEN is definitely going on the staple list. I need to thank those of you who recommended WEN Fig to me. Good lookin' out.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Which came first the deep condition or the shampoo? My dry deep conditioning experience


Do you guys remember my review of Hair Fixer way back when? During the six weeks I used the product, I had to forgo using conditioner per their usage instructions. After that experience I learned to place a higher value on the pre-poo step. Since I couldn't deep condition as normal, I had to amp up my pre-poo by using higher quality product. Ever since I've paid close attention to maintain a pretty healthy pre-shampoo regimen but this time I decided to take it a step further.

Instead of using conditioners like Long Term Relationship, etc for my pre-poo, I decided to go all out and conduct a full deep conditioning (pre-shampoo) session. On dry hair, I applied a mix of my favorite high quality conditioners like Biolage, Silicon Mix Protein de Perla, Aveda Damage Repair, and other heavy hitters. I also added a little Argan oil and popped open some vitamin e capsules into the mix. Then I proceeded to part my dry hair into small sections and applied liberally.




Next I finished it off as I would any deep conditioning session, with heat. After 30 minutes or so under the dryer, I jumped in the shower and proceeded to cleanse the hair with WEN. Just before I jumped out of the tub, I reapplied some conditioner to the hair and allow it to sit on the hair for a couple of minutes before the final rinse with cold water. After that rinse, I proceeded with styling. The coolest part about this process was that I only had to jump in the shower only once which is way more efficient than my traditional way of doing things.

So the question I have to ask myself is whether or not this method is more beneficial to the hair or is the time savings the only benefit. To better answer this question one has to look at what happens when the hair becomes wet. Water is easily absorbed into our hair strands. In fact, our hair is so attracted to water that it'll readily pull water from the air. That's why we're constantly fighting against frizz in humid weather. The hair strand can expand as much as 30% when exposed to water. When I think about this swelling effect water has on the hair I ask myself, "is it possible that the absorbed water could be taking up valuable space in my strand that should be granted to my conditioner?"

If that's the case, then it would make sense to apply conditioner to dry hair, then utilize heat to open the cuticle layer, and allow the deep conditioning process to happen. I can tell you from my experience that I had less hair loss this wash then in previous sessions. Not only did I realize some great benefits during the wash, I also enjoyed great feeling hair throughout the week. Dry deep conditioning requires more product then normal deep conditioning. I found myself having to apply ample conditioner just to saturate the hair. In the long run, I'm sure it'll be a little more expensive since I use less conditioner during my normal routine. But I think the results will speak for themselves. You should also check out a post a while back sharing the details of a study that supports the importance of applying product to the hair prior to the wash for added protection to the cuticle layer.


Some might be thinking, "isn't having lots water in the strand a good thing?" Yes it can be a good thing but remember that water evaporates. If I can help it, I'd rather have the deep conditioning ingredients swelling up the strand, not just water alone. The key to making this process successful is using heat to open the up cuticle layer so the conditioner can truly penetrate. Once the cuticle is open, your hair is ready for 100% conditioner penetration. No additional water taking up any valuable cuticle space.

I'll be using this method over the next several weeks to see if the benefits are lasting. I really hope this will turn into a permanent change in my regimen. The thought of saving time on wash day and the possibility of a deeper conditioning process gets me all excited. Anyone tried this technique before?


Show off your fabulous mane & become a Pantene Hair Model

If any of you ladies plan to attend the upcoming Essence Music Festival, go visit the folks from Pantene as they host a casting call for their next round of hair models. You guys may remember Brooke, who won a chance to represent Pantene in their previous champaign. Now it's your turn!


MEDIA ALERT



WHAT: PANTENE PRO-V CASTING CALL AT ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL


Pantene, known for providing women with healthy, beautiful hair for more than 60 years, is seeking five African-American women to star in its upcoming 2012 print advertising. The search will take place at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans.

WHEN: FRIDAY & SATURDAY, JULY 1-2, 2011, 11:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.

Sign-ups begin at 10:00 A.M. and are limited to the first 200 people


Callbacks will be held on Sunday, July 3, 2011

WHERE: MORIAL CONVENTION CENTER

2ND FLOOR- ROOM 226

900 CONVENTION CENTER BLVD


WHY: Pantene aims to provide women with healthy, beautiful hair and offers a variety of products for every hair structure, including the Pantene Pro-V Relaxed and Natural collection, designed to help keep African-American hair strong against damage, shiny and moisturized. As part of “My Black is Beautiful,” a campaign that celebrates African-American beauty, Pantene hopes to encourage African-American women to let their beauty shine inside and out. To find out more, women can visit www.pantene.com/womenofcolor.


MORE: Women with relaxed and/or natural hair are able to participate, however those with extensions or weave will not be considered. The winners will be featured in Pantene’s print advertisements beginning in 2012 and will receive an all expense paid trip to the print shoot location. Winners will be announced at a later date.

*If anyone needs more info. Contact me and I can get your questions over to the folks in charge of the event.*

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Spotlight on healthy hair: Beautiful Flower!

I've been drooling over this woman's hair for the longest so I finally reached out to her to find out more about what creates her healthy hair. Check out my interview with Beautiful Flower!




You shared on your blog that you were inspired by some of the greats on LHCF including Syvler77, what were some of the tips you learned that really helped you in your journey?


I based my regimen over the years by mixing and matching the techniques of my relaxed legends. I think some of the main tips I have learned are:
- Air drying doesn’t always look pretty but it will keep the hair on your head
- Make braidouts and buns your default
- Stretch relaxers at least 3 months at a time
- Moisture is your friend
- Low to no heat but sometimes a little heat can make your hair feel a lot better

Your hair is super thick, are you doing long term stretches? When you relax, are you using a milder formula to texlax? How do you maintain your thickness

My only and last long term stretch was before this past relaxer and it lasted from November to May (24 weeks). I usually do 3 months at a time. I think I will do another 24 week stretch.
I have always had thick, dense hair but it has increased in thickness since starting my hair journey. Air drying, stretching, moisturizing, detangling properly, and heat reduction makes a difference in hair density. I suggest going for a blunt cut then adding layaers after you’ve reached your hair goal to add dimension for those with thinner hair. Also your ends will get thin over time so I dust with every relaxer and do a good self-trim once a year. If you can find a stylist you trust to trim you, I recommend going to that person. They can see what you cannot.
I do relax with a regular strength lye relaxer always. I do not consider myself texlax’d. Why? I relax my hair in a way to keep the hair stronger by not killing all my protein bonds. I also fear burning my scalp so I prefer to smooth and rinse as quickly as possible. I don’t relax to keep it thick but it does help maintain volume. If you’ll like at a strand of my hair it’s not straight nor does it have any particular wave/curl pattern. I don’t know if that makes sense. LOL.





Based on the photos from you blog, you don't seem like a consistent protective styler. How do you wear your hair day to day?

I don’t. LOL! But my defaults are braidouts (pinned up, straight-down, half-n-half), buns (all kinds), and ponytails. I do more braidouts now than anything. When I was Mid-back and shorter, I did mostly buns. I do ponytails on old straighten hair or old braidout hair. I have been rollersetting a lot lately so I rock ponytails then morph to braidouts like today. I also LOVE Ez-combs so I wear these alot now. I have 6 and they are super cute and easy to use.


If you're stranded on a desert island. What three products do you take with you?

It would be a good shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in. Currently that would be:
-Crème of Nature Detangling Shampoo
-Queen Helene Cholesterol Conditioner
-Silicon Mix Intensive Leave-in Conditioner (this stuff is AMAZING)
If I could add three tools: a medium tooth comb, scarf, and perm rods.





What's has worked for you to help retain length? Have you dealt with excessive breakage?

I have not dealt with excessive breakage since I started my journey. Regular Breakage? Yes…everyday. I manage it with maintaining my protein-moisture balance. I do that by doing moisture during the week with leave-in and co-washing, a deep condition overnight once a week, and one protein infused conditioner on the weekend. This typically keeps me in check.
I also retain length with low to no heat styles. I may blow dry once a month and flat iron once every 2 to 3 months. DETANGLING PROPERLY and GENTLY. This cannot be stressed enough. This will help or break (literally) your hair progress. Use a proper comb, a lot of leave-in, work from bottom to top, work in sections, and be patient. And I use leave-in of some sort EVERYDAY. If I flat iron, I use a serum EVERYDAY.





Do you support healthy hair nutritionally? If so, how?

I do but it’s not intentionally. I work out 4 days a week and have been doing this off and on the last 6 years. Protein drinks really help nails and hair. I also do not eat a lot of junk but I don’t deny myself either. I practice moderation. I do not take vitamins and I don’t drink as much water as I should. I’m getting better though.



How do you maintain moisture on such a thick head of hair?

I moisturize EVERYDAY and I pay attention the ends. And a lot of times, if my hair feels dry, I just hop in the shower and wet my hair. I love water on my scalp.



Any setbacks?

Twice. It was more like ripped out hair in sections. I tried Curlformers once and never again. My hair was too thick and too many textures for that. Another time I shampoo’d my hair after coming out of a 2 month weave without detangling. BIG NO NO. My hair knotted and matted like nothing before. It took 2 days and a lot of conditioner to remove all the shed and knotted hair. I lost a lot of hair (good and shed hair) but because of patience, conditioner, and a rat tooth comb, I keep a lot of hair too.






Before your recent trim, you were a member of the waist length club, was it like everything you imagined it would be?

Yes and no. Waist length is long to most everyone that sees you and you can play with the length but hip length is yummy. It felt nice to have the hair grazing the bottom of my back after a wash. My air dried hair hung a lot lower and my braid-outs looked crazy long. I am shooting for hip length again. I hope to be there again by the end of this year or early next year and I’ll be maintaining that length.





What are the three pieces of advice for someone just starting in or struggling with their hair journey?



- RESEARCH. I spent hours and days and months researching about hair, hair science, moisture, protein, products, and techniques. Research the regimens of people that have the length you want. Try it out. If it works, keep it. If it doesn’t, dispose of it. Ultimately, you’re making your own regimen. It will take time and your regimen will be ever changing but you’ll find what works if you don’t give up.
- Products only make your hair manageable; they do not grow your hair. Find products that make your hair feel soft, light, strong and smell good.
- Patience. The progress is coming. If it’s not, look at the regimen of some one that has your goal and see what you may be missing. Give your regimen 6 months at least to decide your process isn’t working.








Check out beautifulflower's blog for more about her beautiful hair.






Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Curly Nikki Mizani Meet Up event Part Deux

The Curly Nikki/Mizani natural hair meet up was in full force. This fabulous event was hosted at the Blue Martini and there were tons of ladies in attendance.


I got there a little late. When I wandered in the place was pretty much packed. The folks from Mizani and Michelle, from naturallycurly.com were on stage educating the audience on Mizani's new line of products made for curly textures.

At that moment, I looked around and realized that pretty much everyone in the room had a cute little gift back containing samples and product information. Since I was running behind schedule, there were no gift bags left.

That's when my pouting session began. I was like "how come I didn't get a gift bag?" How am I going to sample these potentially amazing products?"

Just then Michelle began announcing winners and lo and behold, my name was announced! Instead of itty bitty samples, I won full sized bottles of the entire line!


Once my taste for hair products had been satisfied, that's when I decided to do what I do best....hair stalking.

Nikki was such a gracious hostess! She made time to take pics and chat with the fabulous ladies in attendance.




For the remainder of the night, I pretty much worked the room asking perfect strangers if I could take pics of their hair. So now I'll step back and allow you to indulge in the barrage of beautiful natural hair porn. Enjoy!












Yeah! Someone recognized me from the blog! She also won a full sized gift back (and so did her mom).

Now back to the glorious hair gazing........









Will definitely do this again! Thanks Nikki/Mizani/Naturally Curly for hosting such a wonderful event. I'm trying to partner with the Mizani folks to host a giveaway. Once it's set I'll share the details.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Curly Nikki Mizani Meet Up event (Pre-party)

Curly Nikki and Mizani were working together to hold an event in Orlando. Prior to the event festivities, Nikki sent out an open invitation to meet up with her for casual conversation. You know I was all over that! In fact, I was the first person to show up. Nikki graciously invited me, and the others who attended, to her hotel room where we could do what we do best...talk about hair. As we all talked, Nikki got up and went to the bathroom to take down her twists. That was my queue to grab my camera and head after her. She was gracious enough to allow me to get all up in her personal space to take these fabulous pics of her twist out take down.






The end result was gorgeous! Once the twists were taken down, she pretty much left them alone so the Orlando humidity could work its magic. She even allowed us to touch her hair which was buttery soft to the touch.

I did a caruso set on dry hair which gave me large waves. This time I added a couple drops of ACV to the water to help with the pH balance and seal the cuticle so I could combat some of the 100% humidity. I was sweating even before I got to the hotel room. At first I waited by the pool, the walked the property to find out where she was staying and I couldn't believe how well my curls handled all of that. Sure the dropped a little but they maintained their dignity the entire night!

Stay tuned for part II of this post where I'm on location at the Mizani Event.........
 

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