Sunday, February 27, 2011

Product Review: Tresemmé Fresh Start (ooh la la :-)

I picked up some goodies the other day from the department store beauty aisle and I think I'm in love, ya'll :-). When I did my last retwist, I had decided that I want to wait AT LEAST 3-4 weeks before the next one so that I can avoid over twisting. My hair was starting to smell "unclean" so I went looking for a dry shampoo when I stumbled across the Tresemm√© Fresh Start line.


I was a little reluctant at first but it was pretty much the only dry shampoo they had so I brought it along with the Refreshing Mist and I am so glad I did! I am more than satisfied with the way these products work with my hair. The scent is absolutely DIVINE, slightly citrus-y but very fresh and clean. Two of the best smelling products I've tried in a looong time.  I would buy this product line just for the scent alone! It gives the hair that "just washed" smell. I purchased the Waterless Foam Shampoo, which is the one for curly hair as well as the Refreshing Mist (odor neutralizing spritz A.K.A heaven in a bottle). The Refreshing Mist is used after the Waterless Shampoo.  My hair didn't feel dried out or weighed down and there is no white residue that you normally get from some dry shampoos, it just simply absorbs into the hair upon contact and both of them cool the scalp and are extremely light. It's been about 3-4 days and my hair still smells and feels clean, I give the product 5 out of 5 stars. Has anyone tried this? Let me know what you think!

It feels good to know that I can go without shampooing and not feel self conscious about the way my hair smells. My hair has grown almost a half inch since the last retwist and I am pushing for another week and a half! :-)



Saturday, February 19, 2011

LOCSPIRATION: Freeform + Traditional







 If any of the pictures w/o a name belong to you and you would like it removed, please let me know in
the comments section and I will gladly do so. :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Your HAIR is what you EAT

We all suffer from hair and scalp issues at one point or another even if we have seemingly perfect hair. Believe it or not, diet plays a huge role in not only the health of your body, but the health of your hair as well. Have you ever heard the expression 'You are what you eat'? Well, your hair is what you eat as well! I've suffered from breakage, dryness and although I have done a decent job thus far at combating those issues, I still suffer from SD. Many of us in the loc community tend to have this common misconception early on that leads us to thinking we don't need to do much to our hair because it's matted so it won't make a difference. I am guilty of this as well. It is true that natural hair/locs are not as high maintenance as relaxed hair but we still need to keep up with our moisture content above all things. MOISTURE imbalance is one of the top problems among women with kinkier textured hair and therefore leads to brittleness which then leads to breakage which keeps us from retaining any growth. One point that I want to bring up here is that while you should be nourishing your body from the inside to keep moisture balance up to par; at times it can be very necessary to apply a water-based moisturizer to the hair since diet will not cure your hair's moisture needs overnight. Remember that when using a WATER-BASED moisturizer (try to stay away from fillers like mineral oil and petroleum, etc), you should use a light oil after applying your moisturizer to keep the moisture locked in. Oil isn't a moisturizer because the oil molecules are too large to penetrate the pores of the hair which is why the hair usually feels "coated" or "greasy" afterward. Oil should ONLY be used sparingly for locking your moisturizer in the hair.


WATER is your friend. Water helps hair maintain its elasticity and moisture content. If you want to start retaining your growth so use and drink water.



EAT WHOLE FOODS. Things like beans, vegetables, fruits, grains. You need vitamins for the health of the hair as well as Iron, Zinc and biotin. Stay away from too much high sodium and sugar. You should have a balanced diet. Look at the food pyramid for starters. Supplements will work if you are not able to consume certain types of food for any reason but I prefer whole foods because they are natural sources of vitamins and minerals. You don't have to follow a perfect diet but just make sure you make healthy choices along with the not-so-healthy ones :-) An excellent website for the foods we need for our hair is here: http://www.growafrohairlong.com/foods.html.





 Please note that when I use the word "you" I really mean "we". I am learning along with everyone else but I like to share my findings with anyone who can benefit from it. There are plenty of websites online that will tell you exactly what to eat to get the vitamins and minerals needed to promote a healthy head of hair. This post was just to get you thinking and moving in the right direction in case you are suffering from hair loss, breakage, dandruff or brittleness.




More sources:


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hair Regimen

     After recently switching up my hair routine, I've decided to share my current hair regimen. I'm discovering that it is more effective to care for my locs by listening to my specific hair needs rather than going by general information and when my locs respond poorly to a product I've tried, I know to go a different route. When my hair is dry, rather than using a moisturizer in the form of oil or creams, I spritz it with water or a water/essential oil mixture.  I used to be so afraid to get my locs wet in the shower or to go out in the rain, but I've noticed that my hair really likes water!



My hair when wet  2/08/11


   Locs don't necessarily have to shine in order to prove that they are healthy, but they are supposed to feel flexible and supple to the touch. If your hair feels dry and brittle then you may need to switch up your  regimen. I am a firm believer that good hair starts with a healthy scalp. The health of the scalp is essential to healthy and strong hair so I make it a point to pay extra attention to the condition of my scalp and my roots. Here is what I am currently doing for my hair and it seems to be working well so far:

  • AVC Rinses- I do them weekly. I dilute one part apple cider vinegar with 10 parts water and I like to use a spray bottle (It's less messy) containing the solution to spritz my hair after I shampoo. I leave on a shower cap for 30 mins and I rinse away. Apple cider vinegar removes build-up from the hair, kills bacteria and it also smooths the hair shaft. I've done this twice so far and it really works well for my SD.
  • Nizoral (As my shampoo)
  • Distilled water + Essential oil- Right now I use Rosemary oil because it's supposedly great for dandruff; However, I have not seen any change in my SD while using this, BUT it works great as a moisturizer believe it or not. I put 20 drops of the oil into about 5-6 cups of distilled water.
  • Fish oil supplements + Drinking lots of water- Fish oil is excellent for your general health but it also benefits the nails and hair. I've seen a HUGE difference in the softness of my hair while taking these supplements. Also drinking lots of water as we all know, is the BEST thing for your hair. If you had to pick only one thing for the health of your hair, it should be drinking lots of water. I've heard this time and time again and it is so true!

Right now, these are all of the products I use on my hair consistently. I have not been using conditioner since my last salon retwist which was nearly 2 months ago and my hair feels fine. I am not recommending any of these products listed above because every one's hair is different but this is what works for my hair. I DO; However, recommend listening to your hair. It may sound crazy but it will tell you what it needs by showing you. :-)

Monday, February 7, 2011

My Loc Journey thus far! + Pictures

This post is inspired by one of my readers who asked to see a comparison of my locs now to my locs back then. So I had to dig in the archives ;-) to find some old pictures. I am still organizing my picture files, I have so many of them already and my locs aren't even a year old yet!  I took some BRAND NEW pictures just a few minutes ago to also show you guys how the locs look now. For some reason, hovering over the images doesn't work on my computer but you can right click onto 'Properties' to see the exact date it was taken on. Enjoy!


The Beginning: June 7th, 2010







Now: February 7th, 2011












Saturday, February 5, 2011

LOCSPIRATION









 If any of the pictures w/o a name belong to you and you would like it removed, please let me know in
the comments section and I will gladly do so. :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Product Review: Nizoral Shampoo + JML Locking Gel!

I suffer from Sebhorreic Dermatitis, that's no secret. I am very honest about it and am consistently trying to find ways to battle the condition on my scalp without harming my hair. A few days ago, I began using Nizoral Non-Prescription Strength Shampoo which is specifically made to treat Psoriasis and Sebhorreic Dermatitis. It contains 1% Ketoconazole which is supposed to kill the fungus that causes dandruff as opposed to Salicylic acid which acts as a peeling agent to encourage the growth of new skin cells on the scalp. I have used Head & Shoulders, Selsun Blue and Neutrogena T-Gel shampoos. They did not work for me and the Head & Shoulders actually irritated my scalp. I decided it was time to give Nizoral a turn!


It has a very pleasant odor and it's actually blue in color just like the bottle. Although the instructions did not read that it should be left on the scalp for a certain period of time before being rinsed away like many other dandruff shampoos, I decided to do it anyway. I left it on for about 2 minutes until I felt a mild burning sensation on my scalp. I rinsed it out and was surprised to see that most of my dandruff was eliminated from my scalp as well as my locs which could have been partially due to the AVC rinse. My scalp felt very clean and it did not dry out my hair at all, However, over the next few days I could literally see and feel the dandruff coming back. I give this product 2 out of 5 stars. With that, I must add that the instructions read to use every 3-4 days for 8 weeks so I will continue to use it for at least a month and report back with the results.

On to the next one....


I wanted to try a new gel on my hair so I chose the Jamaican Mango & Lime Locking Gel, not only because everyone and  their entire family seems to use this product line :) but because I've heard so many great things about it. I came across a picture of a woman with the most gorgeous set of locs and she told me that she uses this and that it doesn't cause build up. I had to try it.

I can honestly say that I like this gel. The only thing I was turned off by was the color. From what I've heard, the darker the gel, the more build up it leaves behind but I gave it the benefit of the doubt. One of the ingredients that caught my eye was the Lime Extract. I've done research on essential oils and lime has bactericidal properties which is known to tame dandruff. The gel has a very pleasant tropical odor and a little goes a long way. Once dried, my hair felt soft and healthy. It didn't leave that hard, crusty feel that I am used to with salon retwists. The hold is not the best but it made my hair look, move and feel very natural. I give this product 3.5 out of 5 stars. I would HIGHLY recommend this if you are looking for a more natural look rather than a perfect, every-hair-in-it's-place, salon retwist.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

DIY:1st Retwist!

So I finally gave in and twisted my own locs. I was so afraid for a really long time just because I have a LOT of hair and I didn't want to lose my parts after washing. I had to be quite meticulous here so I picked up all of my supplies at my local beauty supply and I laid them all out perfectly in order from what would be used first to last and then I got to work. Since this was my first time I made sure to section and use rubber bands for the wash. Supplies included:
  • Rubber bands
  • Nizoral shampoo(review next post!)
  • Jamaican Mango and Lime Locking Gel (review next post!)
  • Spray Bottle filled with AVC rinse (10 parts water:1 part AVC)
  • Duck clips....a lot of them :-)

I proceeded to spritz my hair with the AVC mixture and covered with a plastic cap and left on for 30 minutes. When I took the cap off, the dandruff seemed to have loosened from my scalp and my hair felt very soft. I washed with Nizoral and left it on my scalp for about 2 minutes.


I rinsed and used the JML + duck clips to secure it. Not as bad as I thought it would be. The parts really kept well since I used the rubber bands so I had no trouble whatsoever finding my parts. I was relieved!

The end result: TA DA!
                


I was happy to know that I could do my own hair without distaster being the end result but I was a little put off by the puffiness so I  immediately took to the forums. My girls on Nappturality.com told me not to worry though and assured me that the puffiness is normal around this time. Once my hair locks, it will condense and the puffiness will go away. Thanks girls!

 Knowing that I can do my own hair is such a rewarding thing. I can save money and be the only set of hands to touch my hair. I can do it from the comfort of my own home! I don't have to wait on unprofessional hairdressers! No more worrying about canceled appointments! This is the ultimate freedom for me. I am loving it so far.