Saturday, June 28, 2008

Vacation hair

I've been in Florida the past week for a work conference, so I'm not technically on vacation, but I did spend some time by the pool. I didn't actually go under water (although I really wanted to), but my hair got a little wet from getting splashed yesterday. I was just telling a friend that even though I'm 6 weeks post relaxer, my hair is so nice and straight. Um...wrong! I saw how bad I need a touch-up after getting wet. (I'm still going to try to go at least 2 more weeks before getting a relaxer.) I was in a workshop looking so crazy yesterday. I would have co-washed, but I mistakenly left my beloved Giovanni leave-in at home, and am afraid that the results would be worse. I just put some conditioner and moisturizer on my ends. I flat ironed the roots, wrapped and pin curled my hair and went to bed. Today, my hair looks much better, but no where close to how it looked when I first got here. I'm flying home today, so I'll wash tomorrow. I usually wash at least 2x a week, so my hair and scalp are screaming for water and moisture right now. I can't wash tonight because I'm meeting my girls for drinks- maybe I'll don my half wig? The good thing is that I have started on my summer tan!

I realize that I need a summer regimen, but I have no idea what that is. Based on yesterday, I'm scared of air drying. Plus, my hair is so short, I'm not sure it would look good anyway. I would like to try a straw set or something...I just don't want to sit under the hot dryer 1-2 times a week and then sweat my hair out the next day. I have started using my heating cap, which is much cooler...who knows, I'm still thinking of going shorter, so I may not have to worry about it. When my hair is really short, I just slick it down with a scarf until it dries.

On another note, I know that the B&B moisturizer has mineral oil, but it has been the best moisturizer for my hair in years. I only put it on my ends and my hair just drinks it up. I'd like to find a healthier alternative, but until now, B&B is my friend.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Short Hair Chick?

Every other week or so, I consider cutting my hair short again. I first cut my hair my junior year in college. I've grown it to my shoulder maybe 2 or 3 times since then, but I always end up going short again. Lately, I've been asking myself, "Am I a short-hair chick?" Most people think short hair is difficult to maintain, but not for me. I still rollerset, and I feel like I don't have to do much besides keep my nape lined up, which a barber can do. I find that when I have short hair, I look neater, more sophisticated, and more professional. Even my friends tell me that short hair is more flattering for me. My boyfriend recently told me that I seem more confident with short hair. Interesting...I realize that I'm not as good at doing my hair when it's longer, so part of me thinks I should be more patient. Even though long hair is more in style right now, when I see women with short hair, I get jealous!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Rollersetting again

I know I said I would take a break from rollersetting, but I like my hair to have body, and it got so flat after a day and half with flat ironing. All of the curl was gone- not a good look since I don't use heat between washes. I'm 5 weeks post relaxer and was a little nervous about it, so I did a few things differently yesterday:
  1. I pre-poo'd with my usual vatika oil and Organix Vanilla conditioner. I usually work out or do things around the house, but this time I used a heating cap for about 20 minutes.
  2. I used Dudley's Fantastic Body setting lotion diluted with water instead of Lottabody. Even while wet, I could feel how much softer and more manageable my hair was.
  3. I tapped each piece of hair with coconut oil before rolling.
  4. I used Paul Mitchell's Foaming Pomade and Elasta QP Glaze to keep my edges down.
  5. When I took the rollers out, I wrapped my hair counterclockwise instead of clockwise.
I really like the results! My new growth is soft and even straight (what?!) in some areas! My hair is moist, but not heavy from the oil. Usually when I take my rollers out, my hair is dry and I have to really rub in moisturizer and oil to get it not so dry. I'm still afraid to wrap it. Yes, it was nice today, but I don't think it will look so nice if I wrap again tonight.

The only thing that sucks is sitting under the dryer in the summer. I actually only sat under the warm dryer for about a half an hour (with a fan in front of me), then used the heating cap for an additional 45 minutes. It was cooler, I could lie down, and I didn't have to turn the tv all the way up to hear it!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Product Review: B&B Oil Moisturizer

I've been looking for a good moisturizer for...well, forever I feel like. As usual, most products that work on everyone else's hair do not work for me. I've used grease, oils, KeraCare, VitaPointe, Razac, ORS, and many other products to moisturize, but I haven't fell in love with any yet. And, I'm not spending an arm and a leg on a product that doesn't work. I really need to find some samples..

Anyway, the other day, I saw this in the beauty supply store. The ingredients looked pretty good (no mineral oil), and it didn't seem like a huge risk for $2.99. I even tried a little in the store and walked around a bit to see if my hair absorbed it. I thought it was pretty light and my hair felt moisturized, so I bought it.

So far, I like it. It's only been 3 days, but my hair looks and feels silkier. I really only put a small amount on my ends. I still seal my ends with coconut oil, although I don't know if I need to.

What's on the bottle:
Try BB Oil Moisturizer with Castor Oil and you'll see why doctors have recommended castor oil for babies hair and skin for years. Unlike other oil moisturizers and castor oils, BB Oil Moisturizer with Castor Oil contains over 10,000mg. of pure castor oil per bottle. BB Oil Moisturizer with Castor Oil goes on light. It not only protects your hair against harmful hot blow drying, the sun and other harsh elements but it will actually condition and beautify your hair in the process. The whole family can use it. It works great on perms and short natural styles. It's formulated to penetrate the hair shaft and replenish your hair's natural moisture. Yet it's protective features lubricate the hair and scalp and seals the moisture in.

Ingredients: Water , Canola Oil , Sorbitan Sesquioleate , Castor Oil , Polyquaternium 32 , Polysorbate 80 , Aloe Vera Gel , DL Panthenol , Diazolidinyl Urea , Methyl Paraben , Propyl Paraben , Fragrance , D&C Red No. 33

Product Review: Organix Conditioner

Another purchase because it was on sale, lol! I was looking for a good conditioner for co-washing, preferably with coconut or shea, and since I had heard some good things about the Organix line, I decided to buy it when it was buy one, get one free at Rite Aid a little over a month ago. I bought the coconut and the vanilla conditioners, and got a rebate to get my money back. So, as soon as my they send me my money, it will be like getting 2 for free! When I got home, I decided to co-wash with the vanilla conditioner. As I rinsed my pre-poo out in the shower, my hair felt so soft and silky. I put about a quarter-sized amount of the Organix in my hair, and within seconds, my hair felt hard and it was so tangled, I wanted to cry! I immediately applied a lot of Suave conditioner in to soften and de-tangled. It worked okay, but my hair was so much better before I put in the Organix!

Of course I vowed to never use it again. However, after I got over it, I thought about trying it as a pre-poo. Since then I've been alternating between the coconut and vanilla. I either put in on after my vatika oil, or mix it with it. It's been really good for my hair as a pre-poo, helping to make it stronger and thicker. Next, I want to try the Organix serum- when it's on sale of course.

Coconut Ingredients: Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Bethentrimonium, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Jojoba Oil, Panthenol, Silk Amino Complex, Coconut Milk, Egg White Protein, Coconut Oil, Vitamin E, Terasodium EDTA, Fragrance, DMDM Hydatoin, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone

Product Review: Giovanni Direct Leave-in Conditioner

I purchased the Giovanni Direct Leave-in over a month ago. I've been using leave-ins for a while, but I never really understood why I needed one. I never saw much difference in my hair. I did have great results with Infusium 23 years ago when my hair was bleached, but now it leaves my scalp flaky. I had so many good things about Giovanni, and when it went on sale at Rite Aid, I jumped at it. Unfortunately, none of the Rite Aid stores I went in had the leave-in, so I bought it from Whole Foods. Let me say it was well worth the search and paying full price for it.

I used it for my next wash. My hair wasn't that dangled when I applied a dime-sized amount, but my comb slipped through my hair like it was silk! I couldn't believe it. Like Oprah says, I had an "aha" moment. This is what a leave-in conditioner is supposed to do. After I took my rollers out, my hair was so soft and silky, and even though I was 7 weeks post-relaxer, my new growth was so soft and manageable. I even started to think about going natural!

The one thing that doesn't work for me and GD is using it as a moisturizer. When I put it on my dry hair, it makes my hair frizz up. Also, some people use it to rollerset, but I have better results if I use a setting lotion on top of it. That's okay, because I love it enough as a leave-in to forgive it for that small shortcoming. It also has a little protein in it. I was encouraged to dilute it with water before applying, but I've found if I just use a dime-sized amount and apply it to all of my hair, I don't have any breakage. This is definitely a keeper!

Ingredients: Purified water with rosemary oil, nettle oil, thyme oil, birch leaf oil, chamomile oil, clary, lavender, coltsfoot leaf, yarrow, mallow, horsetail oil soybean protein, cetyl alcohol, vitamin E, pro-vitamin B5, trace minerals, citric acid, sodium hdroxymethylglyceride, grapefruit seed, and fragrance with essential oils.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Everything that glitters is not gold

I have to constantly remind myself that what works on others' hair usually doesn't work on mine. Stylists have tried to tell me what hair products to use, and I used to blame them when the products didn't work. Now, I listen to my hair and I'm really really trying not to go out and buy products because of someone else's success. I've been noting what products work on my hair and finding common ingredients and techniques.

I know I've written this here before, but my hair does not like olive oil! I mixed some in some Queen Helene Cholesterol with Ginseng and dc'd last night. As I washed it out, my hair felt so hard and weighed down. I tried an acv rinse, which softened it up just a little. I then put in some Pantene Relaxed and Natural conditioner for a few minutes and that seemed to help. I just need to accept that straight evoo is not good for my hair. I'll only use it for cooking from now on!

I had to wash yesterday, because I sweat my hair out so much over the weekend. I tried to get up early to walk my dog and mow the lawn, but it was still hot as hades outside at 7am! I just couldn't take going to work looking crazy another day, so last night I decided I would wash without using the dryer. I pre-poo'd with vatika oil and Organix Coconut conditioner (I alternate between the coconut and vanilla for my pre-poos). I co-washed with V05 clarifying conditioner, dc'd with the cholesterol-olive oil mix for 20 minutes with a heated cap, and applied Giovanni Direct leave-in, combing it through with my Jilbere shower comb. I wasn't planning to use setting lotion, but since I was a little nervous about airdrying for the first time in a while, I sprayed a little diluted Lottabody on my hair and put some Paul Mitchell Foaming Pomade on my edges and nape. I then combed my hair with a rat-tail comb in a half wrap and put a scarf on. Tight. Since my house was so hot from this heat wave, most of my hair dried within an hour or so. Before I went to bed, I exchanged my scarf for a smaller one that I wrapped just around the sides, so the top could dry while I slept. I got up a half an hour earlier this morning to flat iron and bump my hair. I applied a dab of KeraCare Creme Hairdress in my hair, concentrating on the ends, and used some Motions heat protectant before I flat ironed. When I was done, I half-wrapped my hair again while I took a shower. When I took the scarf off, I sealed my ends with grape seed oil. I also had to press my roots at the part with a hot curling iron (I'm almost 4 weeks post relaxer). I really liked the results. I think that this is better than rollersetting for me for a while, because molding my hair together while it dries keeps my hair "together" and makes it look so much thicker. It also keeps my edges straighter:

My takeaways from this wash experience:
  • My hair does not like straight olive oil, although I have had some good experiences with products that contain olive oil.
  • I don't like the V05 Clarifying conditioner. I will stick with Suave, and shampoo every week and a half. I'm not sure if I ever need a clarifying product.
  • The condition of my hair is getting so much better, that I will only use semi-permanent color on my roots where I have some platinum hairs.
  • I think the vatika oil is helping my platinums- I don't see as much around my hairline as I used to, and I haven't been using the semi-permanent color as often.
  • I will continue to do a wet half-wrap and curl my hair for at least the summer.
  • A lot of women on the hair boards speak ill of Pantene Relaxed and Natural shampoo and conditioner, but it works for me. I threw out the shampoo when I started my journey because I heard about all the bad things, but my hair responds well to the conditioner.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Product Review: At One Botanical Silky Texture 3 IN 1 foam

I went to a new bss the other day and bought this At One Botanical Silky Texture 3 IN 1 foam. I wanted to try to wrap my hair for the first time in years, and I didn't want to invest in an expensive foam. The At One Itchy Scalp Treatment did wonders for my scalp a couple of years ago, so I thought this brand was okay. Also, it was only $3.99. Well, in this case, you get what you pay for. I really didn't like it after I combed out my wrap last night. My hair didn’t come out horrible, but I don’t like it. I'm looking for body and bounce and this isn't where it's at. It made my hair a feel little stiff, although it does look thicker. I should have immediately washed it out, because it felt hard as soon as I put it on my wet hair. I have to also admit, that my wrapping skills aren't as tight as they should be, so I'm sure that had something to do with it. But, I also think that if it wasn't so hard when I applied it, wrapping would have been a lot easier. I actually put 4 rollers on the top and wrapped the rest, which was much easier than trying to wrap my whole head. My roots are kinda fuzzy, and the walking to the subway in the rain this morning didn't help either. If it wasn’t 11:00 at night when I got from under the dryer, I would have wet it again and rollerset it! I’ll probably do it tonight or tomorrow (even though it will be 1000 degrees under the dryer). I went over some parts of my hair with a warm flat iron. It looked okay last night, but this morning, it looked less than desirable. I'll probably never use this foam again, but I may try another kind one day. For now, I'll continue to rollerset my whole head!

If I hadn’t used that foam, I think it would have come out really nice. I put my vatika pre-poo oil in before I played tennis last night, so it marinated in my hair while I got a workout. When I put my Giovanni Direct leave-in on, my hair was so silky and de-tangled. Also, I wrapped my hair for the first time in over a month before I went to bed, and the back of my hair is laying down very nicely. I don't want to wrap every night (because the side I end the wrap on never behaves), but I will wrap once between washes just to get my back to fall like this.

I'm also in love with the grapeseed oil I bought the other day. It's been rainy the past couple of days, and my ends got a little frizzy. Putting a touch of grapeseed oil on the ends cured the frizzies!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

May '08 Cut

Finally, here's a photo of my haircut. I took this today:
It's been 3 weeks since my relaxer, so my kitchen nape area is looking a little crazy!


For my new job I started a couple of weeks ago, I have been commuting via subway. I actually like taking the train. Not only do I save on gas money, but I get to work a lot faster than if I drove, and I don't have to pay attention to the road. I can read, sleep or just look at people. People watching has to be one of my favorite pastimes. Well, in the past 2.5 weeks, I have realized how many women in Boston have bad weaves. I swear, at least 3 out 5 women have weaves, and at least 2 of those weaves are horrible.

Now, I'm not judging weaves. Personally, I don't like to wear weaves, but I have no problem with someone else sporting one. I've had a weave a couple of times, and it just didn't work for me. One big reason is that I like to touch my hair and scalp, and that can be difficult or nearly impossible with a weave. Also, I never had any benefits from weaves (or braids for that matter). Maybe I didn't take care of it like I should have, but I found that the length I grew while having a weave or braids didn't matter, because I had to cut at least that same amount off because my ends were so damaged. I've also seen my friends and family members permanently lose their hair and/or thickness from constantly wearing weaves.

So, back to the women I see on the train. A lot of them wear glued in weaves, which is a big no-no. I can only imagine them going home and ripping the weave out, along with some of their own hair (yikes!). Some of their weaves are matted and dry looking and you can see a distinct difference in the texture of their real hair and the weave. I just want to tell them nicely, "Girlfriend, take that stuff out! It's better to have short, healthy, pretty hair, than to have a long, matted dry mess!" I can't believe they go to work like that. I can only imagine what people of all races think about their crazy looking hair! I was reading the latest Hype Hair magazine today, and it's so obvious how the hair industry pushes weaves on black women. I know white women wear weaves too, but I feel like we get the message (from the media and hairstylists) that if your hair is damaged and/or won't grow, you should slap a weave in it instead of putting in the effort to make it healthy again.

I guess the new trend are lace front wigs. They don't seem safe for your hair either. Like constant use of braids and weaves, those things will pull your hairline back a few inches over time. Look at Tyra, Beyonce and Vivica's hairlines...their foreheads have grown considerably over the years from fake hair. I actually saw this photo of Naomi Campbell online yesterday. If you look at the top of her forehead, you can see how far back her hairline is:

And Miss Vivica:

It makes me sad that women want long hair so bad that they would cause permanent damage like that.


I can definitely see a difference in the feel and thickness of my hair. Even though I didn't want to lose my length, my cut 3 weeks ago was the best thing that could have happened to my hair. I will need another trim when I go for my next relaxer, to get rid of all of the damaged strands, but even now, it's so much easier to style my hair and I don't have to use only products for damaged hair. The color I put in last week still looks strong, and I've co-washed twice since. I haven't experienced any major shedding or breakage either. I still have some areas to tweak in my regimen, but I'm feeling really good about my hair health.

I've been rollersetting, but I'm not too satisfied with how it looks. It's not as straight or bouncy as I want it to be. So for my wash tomorrow, I'll either rollerset the top and wrap the sides or attempt at wrapping the whole thing. I'd probably be better off doing the former, since my wrapping skills are a little shaky- I can never get the top straight and smooth. So, I'll need to fall off the wagon of my product rehab program and buy some kind of wrap foam. Lottabody just isn't doing it for me anymore. My friend Shaun told me that she loves Mizani's foam. I just wish I could buy a sample size to see if it works on my hair before I make the investment! I used to have a great foam when my hair was ultra short. I don't remember the brand, but I bought it from Sallys and it lasted forever.

Last night I had a few of my girlfriends over for a "product swap." They brought some good stuff, but there was nothing I actually needed. I was just glad to get rid of more products I don't use. My girl already emailed me today telling me that the Lady Hilda moisturizing lotion she got from me worked great in her daughter's hair this morning. It's so true that one woman's trash is another woman's treasure. I think I'll have another one in a few months and invite a bunch of people so we'll have a lot of products to choose from!

Tif's current wish list:
  • ORS Aloe Shampoo
  • Nairobi Setting Foam
  • Organix Serum
  • Hask Pure Shine Serum