Thursday, 31 October 2013

Oil it up - Argan & Jojoba Oil

Since it's Halloween, my treat to you is an "Oil it up" post with not one but two oils being put under the microscope ;-) I've decided to double up this post to include both argan and jojoba oil as these oils have been interchangeable in my hair journey. It also serves as a good opportunity for me to evaluate whether or not these oils are indeed similar and to find out why I felt that they did pretty much the same thing for my hair. Let's take a look.

Argan Oil

Argan oil, also termed "the Miracle Oil" or "liquid gold" (hmmm interesting) is a plant oil derived by pressing the pits of argan kernels. The argan tree grows in only a part of Morocco and is little known outside of that area. This oil can be used for nutritive as well as cosmetic purposes as it contains vitamin E, phenols, carotenes, squalene, and fatty acids. It is said that depending on the extraction method, argan oil may be more resistant to oxidation than olive oil.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Asian Persuasion - Black vs Japanese hair (care)

I ride the train to work every morning. This morning I took note of a young lady who at about a year or so ago had neck length hair. However, today her hair is just about BSL heading to MBL. Now, I live in Japan so of course this lady is not black but Japanese. So it got me thinking...what are the differences between our hair. I know (or atleast I think I know lol) that she doesn't spend her Friday nights pre-pooing so she can wash, deep condition, tea rinse, towel/ air dry and then protective style.

We already know that the shape of the follicles has a lot to do with the structure and appearance of our hair and that in turn affects the strength and hence length retention. Asians tend to have round follicles producing straight hair which is easily lubricated by sebum, while African descendants have flat follicles which result in kinky, curly/ coily hair. There are two major issues here 
  1. sebum doesn't travel as freely, causing dryness and 
  2. the kinks which form at the turn of each curl or coil represent a point of weakness, making black people's hair vulnerable to breakage.

    But that's not what this post is about. We can't change nature and biology, but there are some things we can do.

What can we learn from our Asian (Japanese) counterparts?

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Left Me Wanting More - ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo

Olive Oil Creamy Aloe Shampoo

As per website:

Aloe Vera and Olive Oil are two of nature’s most nourishing ingredients. This shampoo detangles, neutralizes, and moisturizes your hair, leaving it more manageable and soft. It’s not simply a neutralizing shampoo, it is the perfect moisturizing and detangling shampoo that conditions while cleansing the hair. Now available in a Pak!

Olive Oil Creamy Aloe Shampoo: Moisturizes and neutralizes the hair leaving it tangle free and soft after every shampoo. A rich blend of Olive Oil, Aloe Vera, Panthenol, and Lecithin to provide moisture. When used regularly it can help prevent calcium, magnesium, and iron build-up on the hair.

How To Use

Monday, 28 October 2013

Budget-Friendly Journey - Making the Most of your Products

Let's face it, times are hard and not everyone is a billionaire YET. Some of us are students, budding entrepreneurs, mothers and the like. We just don't have money to throw around on 6 bottles, tubs or jars of product for each step of our regimen. So how do you make-do with a few products and still have a successful hair journey? Milk those MUHGS for all they are worth!

Here are a few tips:

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Trying Something New - Wash Day

I am not one to do wash day posts every week, but since I tried something new, I thought I'd go ahead and do one this week. I had cornrows for two weeks as a protective style. This is how it went down:

On Friday Night...

13 weeks post wash day

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Quickie - Bouncy Flat-ironed Hair

FLAT-ironed hair should not mean FLAT and lifeless hair, right?! Unfortunately, sometimes it does, especially when there is just too much product involved.

TIP: Do protein and moisture treatments PRIOR to shampooing when you intend to straighten your hair. This leaves it nourished but weightless, bouncy and full of body!



Thursday, 24 October 2013

Straddling the Fence - Texlaxing

Braid-out on texlaxed hair

When I started my hair journey I weighed the positives and drawbacks of processing my hair vs wearing it in a natural state. Since I was already relaxed, I looked deep into relaxing bone straight, texlaxing, and returning to my roots (pardon the pun). I made little jottings in my hair journey, these are they:

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Round and Around We Go - Beehive Braiding Pattern

I absolutely love to protective style with wigs. My last go-round, I was able to last 6 whole weeks without loosening the braids, the longest I've ever gone. See, before now, the longest time I was able to wear a set of cornrows was about 4 weeks, and many times, I only got to two or so. I attribute this to two things: 1) I seem to miss my hair being out and 2) when I braid my hair going back, the ends unravel and the nape tangles. My success in achieving 6 weeks last time was in large part due to the braiding pattern I used - the beehive pattern.

In this method, the hair is braided around in a circle starting at the perimeter and ending in the middle of your head. I braid my hair myself, and at first I thought I wouldn't be able to do this pattern on my own head, but it turned out to be quite easy.

Beehive Braiding Pattern

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Bendy, Straight or Somewhere in Between - Hair Typing

There are a number of means by which one can classify her hair type by scrutinizing the diameter of the strand and how tight or loose the curl is. There are various systems, charts, and guides. Check out some of the examples below.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Quickie - Make it Last

Do you have a conditioner that you love oh so much, but it comes in an itsy bitsy bottle or jar? Do you only get one or two uses from your beloved deep conditioner? Make it last by adding water, your favorite oils, or other conditioners and get more bang for your buck. Adding other ingredients will give you the added benefit of those other ingredients while allowing your favorite conditioner to last even longer.

Add other ingredients at the time of use only so as not to throw off the balance of the original product while it is being stored.


Saturday, 19 October 2013

Can't Sleep at Night with You on my Head - GHE/ Baggying

In trying to get my hair to achieve optimal moisture levels, one of the most integral methods I've been using is the GHE. I love it because it is a double win for me as it keeps my hair soft and moisturized, while providing the added benefit of stimulating hair growth. All was well, until not so long ago, when the seasons changed. I started waking up day in and day out with a cold. Then I realized that the GHE method has contributed to this. Needless to say, I have to find another way. What is a good substitute for the GHE? Baggying of course!


What is it?

Friday, 18 October 2013

Oil it up - Castor Oil

I am tempted to call this the king of all natural oils. After all, I've never seen a grapeseed oil or jojoba oil challenge, but there are plenty of castor oil challenges around. As a matter of fact, I think there is at least one taking place right now, check this link for more details.

So, why all the hype surrounding castor oil?

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Piling on the Moisture - LOC method

Today is the first of too many cold days to come here in Nagoya. I am not a fan of the colder months at all. You see, I'm an island girl hailing from Jamaica - land of sun, wood and water, so the cold is just too much for me. It wreaks havoc on everything from my sinuses to my skin and it doesn't bypass my hair in the process. It leaves both my skin and my hair screaming for moisture!

How do I put back what the cold, dry air takes away from my hair? Typically, I'd moisturize and seal, but this won't cut it in the winter. I've got to pull out the big guns, enter the LOC method of moisturizing.

Left Me Wanting More - Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose Conditiioner

Honeysuckle Rose® Moisturizing Conditioner 11oz

As per the manufacturer:

For Dry, Brittle Hair

The sweet smell of success for your hair. Trade those dry, thirsty tresses for vibrant, touchably soft hair with this moisture-intensive conditioner. Restorative herbal emollients detangle and rehydrate to leave hair ultra-silky and irresistibly fragrant. Also recommended for bleached or highlighted hair.

Organic Shea Butter & Organic Rosa Mosqueta® Oils Organic Aloe VeraHoneysuckle Oil

Deep-condition & protect; soften hair texture
Replenishes moisture
Adds a soft, floral scent

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Back to Square One - Constructing a Simple Hair Regimen

This post is not only for those who are new to the healthy hair lifestyle, but for those of us with over-complicated regimens that need to be simplified in order for us to carry on on this journey without feeling burdened by all the steps we have to execute.

My Hair Journey

Believe it or not, there are (only) four basic tenets we need to consider when building a regimen; cleansing, conditioning, styling, and maintenance. What, when, why and how you choose to execute each is totally up to you. Let's get to it.

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Sunday, 13 October 2013

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Been So Long! - Routine After 6 weeks of Protective Styling #2

Click here for part one.

Cleansing, Conditioning & Styling

After about 4 hours of detangling and pre-pooing (I threw a workout in the mix as well which lengthened the time a bit), I still wasn't done! I still had to complete the routine. I had to shampoo, condition and style! Being that this is the first time I had full access to my hair after 6 weeks and as per operation moisture, a clarifying wash was in order. I reached for my beloved ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo and diluted it in water in a ratio of about 1 part shampoo to 2 parts water. I applied it to my scalp and hair without rinsing my pre-poo. I scrubbed my scalp with the pads of my fingers and then pulled the excess suds down the shaft. I let it sit for about 5 minutes and rinsed.

I T-shirt dried for about 20 minutes while I had dinner (again with the multi-tasking lol). Subsequent to that, I applied my wonderful mixture of a deep conditioner. I keeping with my no protein plan, this mix included Queen Helene Cholesterol (which I recently discovered doesn't contain any protein - hallelujah!), Aubrey's Honeysuckle Rose, EVOO, vegetable glycerin and of course WATER! I don't know why, but I totally forgot my essential oils.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Been So Long! - Routine After 6 weeks of Protective Styling

Detangling and Pre-poo

I am sitting under my hooded dryer, writing this post at 11:50pm on Friday. I am TIRED ! It has been a long night. 

6 weeks old beehive braid pattern

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Falling for Fall - Gorgeous Scarves!

I found this pic and thought it was gorj! 
It's a great way to get some extra protection and still look fly. Enjoy!

I love them all! Which would you rock?


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Becoming Detached - A Look at Hair Breakage

If length retention has a nemesis, then this is most definitely it. Breakage occurs when the strands become too weak to hang on any longer. Many people think their hair isn't growing as they have been at the same length for years. What is really happening though, is BREAKAGE. Hair is constantly growing (unless there is a medical impediment), and grows from the scalp at an average rate of 1/2 inch per month. The reason it appears stagnant is that it is breaking equally as fast as it grows, leaving you to think there is no growth. Do you find little pieces of hair on your floor, in your sink or in your combs and brushes? That's a sign of breakage, so please keep reading.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Oil it up - Grapeseed Oil

This light, non-greasy, odorless oil is loved by many in the hair care world, and who can blame them?! There's just so much to love about grapeseed oil:

  • it is rich in vitamin E and linoleic acid, two ingredients capable of strengthening hair.

  • It contains ceramides which fill in gaps along the cuticle, resulting in hair which is stronger and less prone to breakage.

  • it has been proven to smooth the cuticles while simultaneously sealing in moisture.

  • it is able to treat dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Like many other natural oils, it can be used in various ways. Here are the top 5 uses for grapeseed oil:

Monday, 7 October 2013

Quickie - Cool and Seal

Love the feeling of your hair while deep conditioning but hate that you have to rinse all that goodness away? Yes?


Sunday, 6 October 2013

Operation Moisture - Deep Conditioner Mix

So as I said before, I am taking some steps to combat my dry, seemingly protein-overloaded hair. Read more in this post. I am making some changes to a few steps, one of which is my deep conditioning session. I have eliminated the proteins from this step and amped up the moisture. Here's how it went down this past weekend.

moisturizing deep conditioner mix

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Going All the Way - Holistic Approach to Beauty

As the hair and nails are the last to receive nutrients from the body, if we want healthy hair, we must step up our game when it comes to our overall health. As a matter of fact, regardless if there is a desire for healthy luscious hair or not, one should not neglect health and wellness.

Personally, I take a holistic approach to beauty. All things seem to tie in with each other, be it gorgeous hair, long, strong nails, glowing skin or a small waist. It starts with the premise that what you put in is what you will get out, both literally and figuratively.

Here are a few of the things I incorporate in my beauty regimen/ lifestyle:

  • Clean eating - While there are days when I have a "happy meal" (not from McDonalds!!), typically, I try to have about 5 small balanced meals each day, which consist of food in it's natural form or as close as possible (limiting processed foods). Some of my preferred ingredients include rolled oats, whole wheat bread, eggs, chicken, fish, sweet potatoes, vegetables (especially leafy greens), and fruits.  I also enjoy various kinds of shakes.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Upside Down You're Turning Me - Inversion method

Now call me crazy, but I tried this bad boy a few weeks ago! I had previously seen this method circulating on the net but for whatever reason, I didn't pay it much attention. About a month ago, I read a post in which Yahya of Pocahontas Haircare Secrets spoke about this method and her successes using it. At this point, I thought well it's only 28 minutes of my week, if it works great, if not oh well.

The Bigger the Better - My Five Faves

I love big hair! I love the thickness and volume and it just screams "fun". I achieve big hair using various methods. Check out some of my faves:

Big A** Blow-out

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

The Heat is on - Greenhouse Effect

In my post about the dryness I have been experiencing, I said that I will employ this technique to infuse moisture into my strands. But can it also be used as a growth aid? What is this technique all about?

Greenhouse Effect
Well remember, in science class we learnt that this is the natural process by which the atmosphere traps some of the Sun's energy, warming the Earth enough to support life (and obviously growth).

Many also use this technique to grow plants and now, you guessed it, we use it to grow our hair (no surprise there! lol).