Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall/Winter Regimen

Today is the first official day of fall. I thought I would still have a few days to enjoy summer things (open-toed shoes, tank tops, keeping my windows open all day), but here in Boston, you never know! I didn’t think my hair regimen would change too much, but now I’m re-considering. Even as I walked to work this morning, I felt like the cold, dry wind was hurting my hair already. Given that, I’ve come up with some things I’ll do differently to my hair for the next 8 months:
  • Consider going back to washing once a week instead of 2 (I’m thinking every 5-7 days). I don’t think I’ll have the energy or motivation to wash as often anyway (I think I have a touch of seasonal affective disorder). My hair may need a wash twice a week since it has been thriving, so we’ll see..
  • Wear hats whenever I can. In the winter in Boston, I usually keep my hair wrapped in my silk scarf, put a hat over it, and comb out my hair when I get to work.
  • Wear silk scarves so that my hair doesn’t rub against wool sweaters and coats.
  • Leave my pre-poo in longer than 30 minutes.
  • Use the DIY steam treatment every time I deep condition.
  • Be better at massaging my scalp and sealing ends- once or even twice a day!
  • Apply a color rinse every other week to better condition my hair.
  • Incorporate protective styles once my hair gets to shoulder-length (crossing my fingers for February ’09).

I plan on changing my products too much, I’m just not going to be doing as many co-washes.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

No Setting Lotion?

For my wash yesterday, I re-visited using serum for my rollerset. Lottabody and Dudley's setting lotions are okay, but I haven't felt that my hair is as moist as it could be. I did my regular pre-poo and co-wash. I also applied the color rinse again, but this time I put deep conditioner on top of it- to soften up my hair and to save time so I wouldn't have to sit under the dryer twice before setting. After I rinsed the color/dc out, I used Salerm 21 leave-in, sprayed some coconut oil mixed with water, and then sprayed some Paul Mitchell Skinny Serum mixed with water. I then set my hair as usual, using a spray bottle of water to keep it wet. I'm not sure if it was from the color, the serum or a combination of both, but my hair came out shiny and much thicker looking. I also had less hairs in the sink when I combed my curls out.

I had been wrapping my hair all the way around for the past 2 and a half weeks since my relaxer, and decided to go back to cross-wrapping, which works much better for me. I'll try the full wrap again when my hair gets longer. Funny, when my stylist wraps my hair it comes out great. I guess I don't have the technique down.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Product Review: At One Botanical Reconstructor

I bought this a couple of years ago, used it a few times, and never used it again until this weekend. I'm not sure why I stopped since there's more than half of it gone. I used to religiously use At One's itchy scalp treatment, so that's probably why I purchased this. I decided to re-visit it as a protein alternative. Most reconstructors contain protein, but this doesn't.

Repairs damage; controls breakage, shedding; detangles; adds body, shine, elasticity. Rich in nutrients to treat damaged areas inside and on the surface of hair shafts. Natural emollients and botanical extracts give hair more elasticity, body and shine. Apply to damp hair after shampooing. Leave on for 3 to 5 minutes, then rinse. For intensive treatment, leave on for 10 to 20 minutes.

Aqua, Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Stearalkonium Chloride, Dicetylcdimoium Chloride, Tocopheryl Acetate, Octyl Dimethyl Paba, Polysorbate 20, Mineral Oil, Emulsifying Wax, Peg-40 Castor Oil, Sodium PCA, Panthenol, Magnesium Citrate, Polyquaternium-7, Exracts Of: Chamomile, White Nettle, Pine Cone, Lappa, Rosemary, Ivy, Arnica, Watercress, Garlic, Calendula, Linden, Cornflower, Matricaria, Hypericum, Parfum, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Imidozolidinyl Urea, Simethicone

My Experience
I shampooed with Elasta QP Creme Moisturizing Shampoo and applied this while still in the shower. I left it on for a little over 3 minutes and rinsed. My hair felt stronger, and somewhat moisturized. The feeling reminded me a lot of the Aphogee 2 minute treatment. It's been 2 days since I used it, and even after deep conditioning with the diy steam treatment, my hair isn't that much more shiny or moisturized. I've had a little more shedding than usual for the past week or 2, and this didn't help. I may use this about once a month until I finish it, but since it hasn't made the earth move, I won't buy it again.

Water, Water Everywhere

I'm on a mission to drink more water. My forehead has been breaking out lately. Last night I was really thirsty for some reason, and drank 3 glasses of water before I went to bed. When I woke up, my forehead was almost totally clear! I know water will help my hair growth and overall health too. I'd like to lose another 5-10 lbs, so water will help that too.

It's not going to be hard to increase my H2O intake. I like the taste of it, and have just about altogether stopped drinking juices and sodas over the past year. My water has to be room temperature though- I can't drink it as fast when it's cold and I'm cold-natured in general. I used to drink a lot of water when I was in NC (at least 70 oz a day), but I stopped a few months ago when I moved and started my new job because I didn't want to be running to the bathroom every 20 minutes. It's worth it, though, if I'm going to have clear skin and pretty hair. I've heard that you lose the urge to go to the bathroom once you've been drinking a lot of water for a while. I try to stop drinking water at 3pm, so I don't have to pee on my way home! Now, I'm going to try to drink most of my water in the morning. It's only 9:30 and I've drank 2 glasses at home and a bottle at work- and have had to haul ass to ladies' room 3 times, lol.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

DIY Steam Treatment

I have to try this, especially when the harsh winter weather starts getting to my hair.

1 or 2 turbies or hand towels1 or 2 plastic caps or Saran wrap
Kitchen gloves

First, you place your turbies/hand towels in water and place in microwave for 2-3 mins (depends on the brand of microwave). Apply conditioner of your choice to your hair. Using the kitchen gloves, wring out one turbie and place one on your hair, then place a plastic cap or saran wrap on top of the turbie. Then wring out the second turbie (that's if you used 2) and place on top of the plastic cap then place your last plastic cap over the second turbie. Think...turbie, plastic cap, turbie, plastic cap.....really simple.Then sit under a heat cap or hooded dry for about 30 minutes. Rinse with cool/cold water, this will aid in closing your hair shaft.

Update 9/15/08: I did the steam treatment yesterday with ORS Replenishing Conditioner. All I can say is...WOW! I could tell a difference before I even rinsed the conditioner out. My hair felt so silky. After rollersetting, my hair fell so nicely, I couldn't believe it. I'm only 2 weeks post-relaxer, so the real test will be when I'm past 5 weeks. I'm going to incorporate this into my regimen and do the steam treatment every week and a half!

Product Review: J/A/S/O/N Scalp Balancing Natural Jojoba Conditioner

I bought this conditioner last month. I found it at TJ Maxx for $3.99, and ever since I saw this line in Whole Foods, I've wanted to try one of the conditioners. I've also been experimenting with natural products. There really isn't a reason why I waited almost a month to use it.

"Volumizing" JASON Jojoba Conditioner normalizes hair and soothes the scalp. 22 Keratin Amino Acids, 3 Proteins and Planthenol-3 deeply penetrate the hair shaft and strengthen hair while imported botanicals, vitamins and minerals add a deep, moisturizing boost and a natural, healthy shine. JASON Jojoba Conditioner helps correct itchy scalp, excessively dry hair and dandruff from heat curling, blow-drying, perming and too much sun. Continued use can produce dramatic results in as little as two weeks.

Aqua (Purified Water), Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract*, Calendula Officinalis (Marigold) Flower Extract*, Emulsifying Wax, Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Leaf Extract*, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) leaf Gel*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Stearalkonium Chloride, Natural Tocopherol (Vit. E), Stearyl Alcohol, Panthenol-3 (DL-Panthenol, Ethyl Panthenol and Panthenyl Hydroxypropyl Steardimonium Chloride), Retinyl Palmitate (Vit. A), Lavendula Intermedia Leaf/Flower/Stem Extract*, Linoleic & Linolenic Acid (Vit. F), Triticum Vulgare (Hydrolyzed Wheat) Protein, Vegetable Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Cyclopentasiloxane and Dimethicone, Oxybenzone, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Fragrance Oil Blend (ingredients with a * are certified organic)

My Experience
I decided to use this as a pre-poo after I applied some vatika oil the day before. I applied it like a relaxer, as I do with other conditioners. I have never used jojoba oil before, and the smell was pleasant. I put on a plastic cap, then a scarf, and left the conditioner on for about an hour while I did housework. I actually worked up a good sweat sweeping, mopping and dusting! When I rinsed it out in the shower, I didn't really like how my hair felt. It didn't feel dry or stripped, but it didn't feel good either...a little rough, I think. Usually when I wash my pre-poo out, I feel a difference in my hair. It feels moisturized and smooth. I co-washed with my V05 Strawberries n Cream twice, and put in some Pantene Relaxed and Natural conditioner in for a minute or 2. That seemed to soften my hair up. I also put in a cedar red brown rinse from The Beautiful Collection and deep conditioned with ORS Replenishing. My set came out shiny, moisturized and bouncy, but I'm sure it wasn't from this conditioner.

The co-washing helped soften my hair up, but overall I didn't see much difference using this product. Maybe I used too much. Maybe I should try it as a conditioner after washing my hair. I won't give up on it just yet...

Monday, September 1, 2008

August '08 Relaxer

So, I decided to go to my old stylist for my relaxer. I just didn't want to chance it. I will try the new stylist in a couple of weeks and see how she does a rollerset.

I was pretty pleased with my relaxer, especially since I didn't get a chance to do a protein treatment before I went. I based my scalp with castor oil, but I still burned a little in the back. She wrapped my hair and bumped the ends, but I didn't let her trim it. I don't think I needed it, and I wanted to see how much my hair grew over the past 2 months: