Thursday, January 27, 2011


Last night I decided to try to airdry again. I co-washed with V05 Moisture Milks, used the t-shirt method to dry my hair a little, applied Giovanni Direct Leave-In and some grapeseed and castor oil to my roots and ends. I put my hair in 2 braids and used a satin roller on each end.

Today when I woke up, I applied a little more castor oil to my hands while I took the braids out. This was much better, but still not where I want to be. The part of my hair that was braided came out pretty good, but the rest of my hair was still frizzy.

I'll try again next week. Back to the drawing board....

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mo' Protein

For this past weekend's wash, I substituted Aphogee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor with Mane 'n Tail Deep Moisturizing Conditioner. I'm not sure how moisturizing it was, but I definitely saw more of difference with this produce than with the Aphogee. I'll do a review of the Mane 'n Tail after I've used it a few more times (I think I like the original formula better). I also put a brown rinse in my hair, which sometimes feels like a mild protein treatment to me. Instead of shampoo, I used my Hair One cleansing conditioner. It's been in my bathroom for months- I'm not sure why I haven't been using it...but anyway, I used it this weekend, and it was pretty good. Still not great, but good. I loved the smell! After I deep conditioned with Aubrey Organics White Camellia conditioner mixed with a little grapeseed oil, I applied Infusium 23 and Giovanni Direct leave-ins and roller set my hair.

I can definitely see and feel a difference in my hair. It's a little thicker, and even though I do the saran wrap method, my hair still holds a little curl, which hasn't been happening lately.

I'm finding that it takes a day or 2 before my hair is really how I want it. I don't know if it needs to soak in the moisturizers and oils and/or have me sleep on it so that it falls nicely. I am 7 weeks post relaxer, so that could be it too. I'm really happy how well my new growth is behaving!

I still need to do something with my edges. I've been tying a scarf around my hairline before I rollerset, which has made them lay down, but their still a little fuzzy. I've tried aloe vera gel and ORS Edge Control with no luck. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How to Know if a Product Has Protein

Here are some ingredients to look for if you want to know if a product contains protein:
  • soy protein (Glycine soja)
  • soybean seed extract
  • hydronized wheat protein
  • amino acids
  • keratin amino acids
  • anything hydronized
  • collagen
  • milk
  • sometimes panthenol might have the same effects as protein

I'm really liking my hair this week after my protein treatment! It looks and feels healthy again! I've gotten a few compliments on how sleek and shiny it is too. Why didn't I try the egg a long time ago????

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fine Hair vs. Thin Hair

I think a lot of us confuse having fine hair with thin hair. My hair is not thin, as I have a lot of hairs on my head; but, it is fine because the strands are thin. Those of us who have fine hair face some of the same challenges, though.

The term “fine” refers to the actual diameter of the shaft of an individual hair strand. The term “thin” is used to reference the number of hairs per square inch dispersed amongst the entire head and is also used to describe the density of an individual’s hair. Regardless of the term that is used to describe one’s tresses, the same problems often occur with each hair type.

Hair texture is often described in terms of fine, medium, or coarse, which refers to the diameter of the strands. Hair density is usually described in terms of thin, medium, or thick, which refers to the compactness or concentration of the hair. The texture a person is born with is often determined by their genetic makeup. On the other hand, thin hair can be caused by a wide variety of factors, like an individual’s diet, their age, illnesses, etc. It is best to consult your physician in order to determine the underlying cause, usually the cause can often be successfully treated and the effects reversed.

In both cases - fine hair and thin, low-density, hair - you can have similar problems with the way the hair looks. Both situations result in flatter hairstyles and in both cases, the hair is more susceptible to damage from styling and chemical processes. There are ways to protect against this damage, and there are many products available today to deal with both hair traits - fine hair and low density - to give you thicker-looking, fuller hair.

For my fine hair, I also experience tangles and sensitivity to thick products and heavy oils. I’ve learned that a little goes a long way with most products. I also have to shampoo or co-wash my hair often to get rid of product build-up. Protein is key. Clarifying is key. I haven’t had much luck with “thickening” hair products. I find that they either make my hair more tangled or stiff.

Source 1, Source 2

Benefits of Castor Oil

Since my hair is loving castor oil so much right now, I thought I'd post some of the benefits of this oil:

Castor Oil is derived from the castor bean, and seeds of the castor plant. It has been used for decades as a laxative, a purgative (to induce vomiting) and as a skin softener.

The anti-bacterial and anti-fungicidal properties of Ricinoleic Acid in castor oil protects the scalp and hair from infections which can cause hair loss. Castor oil has omega-9 fatty acids in it that prevents your scalp from drying out and that also nourishes your hair from the roots. Castor oil is a humectant as it draws moisture into the hair and skin. Applying castor oil on hair will keep it looking soft, shiny and strong.

Castor oil coats the hair shaft and smoothes the cuticle layer, sealing in moisture and leaving the hair feeling soft and silky. It is more easily absorbed by the hair, allowing for deeper penetration into the hair shaft. Rubbing castor oil into your scalp and roots on a regular basis helps lost hair grow back and also helps thicken hair that’s already growing. You can also experiment with castor oil for hair on your ends. This rich, thick oil will help your ends becomes shiny and hide the appearance of frizzy, damaged, and split ends. Over time, as you trim damage away, you'll notice your hair won't develop split ends as easily.

Castor oil can be used in several different ways for hair:
• As a leave-in.
• Combined with other ingredients to make your conditioner or moisturizer.
• As a pre-poo or hot oil treatment.

As with any hot oil treatment, it is important to avoid overuse of castor oil, especially if you are prone to oily scalp and hair conditions. For hair that is damaged, a hot oil treatment is typically indicated as a monthly treatment, while weekly moisturizing treatments are more useful to restore the good condition to the hair. Since my hair is fine, I have to be careful not to use too much. Otherwise, hair becomes extremely oily and stiff.

Castor oil also thickens eyelashes and eyebrows.
I’ve been rubbing a little castor oil over the base of my eyelashes before bed. This should prevent thinning and promote rapid growth, leading to thicker and fuller lashes. Many commercial products for eyelashes actually contain castor oil. If you want to thicken sparse eyebrows, rub a little castor oil over the brow line before bed.

Here are some non-hair benefits of castor oil:

*Softens thick calluses and removes corns
*Cures skin infections like athlete’s foot and ringworm
*Prevents stretch marks
*Removes moles and warts
*Removes age spots (liver spots)
*Cures acne
*Keeps the skin looking smooth, youthful and unlined
*Breaks up external and internal scar tissue, and prevents new scars from forming
*Soothes shingles

Monday, January 17, 2011

Egg Protein

Since I'm too afraid to try a hardcore protein treatment, I decided to use an egg this weekend. I've used mayonnaise before, which is good, but a little too oily for me.

I beat one egg, and added about 10 drops of my grapeseed oil mix. I applied the egg all over my hair, and let it sit with a plastic cap for 10-15 minutes. I shampoo'd it out, deep conditioned, and rollerset.

When I took my rollers out, the first thing I noticed was how shiny my hair was. It was late and I was tired, so I wrapped my hair and went to bed. When I woke up, I did the saran wrap treatment just to make my hair silkier. When I combed my hair out, my hair was silky and strong. I don't think my hair has been this strong since I was pregnant, and that was over a year ago. My hair did feel dry, but I applied a little castor oil to my scalp and ends, and my hair was better.

Now I'm positive that my hair needs more protein. I am going to pre-poo with an egg once a month. I also bought some Mane 'n Tail conditioner, which has protein. I will use it every week instead of the Aphogee 2 Minute Keratin Treatment. The Aphogee really isn't doing anything for my hair, so I'm going to stop forcing it.

I'm about 90% sure that I will put another black rinse in my hair soon. I asked 3 of my friends this weekend what they thought of me coloring my hair black. All 3 of them said, "Isn't your hair already black?" I guess I'm the only one who notices my brown hair, lol.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Winter 2011 Hair Plan

The end of this month will mark my 3 year hair journey anniversary. I have learned so much about my hair and have achieved great progress, but in some ways I feel like I am where I was 3 years ago. I wrote in my last post that I need a good trim, which I will get in a few weeks at my next salon visit. However, I need to work on incorporating products and techniques that will prevent me from getting to this point again. I have developed a plan that I think I can stick to:

Use conditioners from the Mane 'n Tail line. The products are protein based, which my hair desperately needs. I will try the original conditioner, deep moisturizing conditioner and de-tangler initially.

Apply castor oil to my scalp at least once a week. Although is a little heavy to me, I think it will be good for my strands, especially during these winter months.

Drink more water! I can't believe how much I have slacked on my water drinking over the past couple of months. I recently got a couple of new water bottles, so I'm committed to drinking at least 4 bottles of water (I think the bottles hold 18 oz of water) during the work day, and 3 at home. NO SODA.

Eat a hard boiled egg for breakfast every morning for added protein. I eat oatmeal and Greek yogurt, both of which have a good amount of protein, but the egg can't hurt. Plus it will fill me up in the morning. I will also be better at adding flaxseed to my oatmeal, pancake batter, and other breakfast foods for the Omega 3.

Baggy 2-3 times a week for 2 hours. I tried baggying at the beginning of my hair journey, and it made my hair mushy and week. I think I used too much product, and I also baggied for too long. I'm going to use a little moisturizer, and put a plastic cap over my head for just 2 hours each time to see if I can retain more moisture.

Add more to my conditioners. I've never really wanted to "doctor" up my conditioners, but it's not very time consuming, and it can't hurt, right? I'm going to experiment with adding oils (coconut, avocado, jojoba, grapeseed), aloe vera juice, glycerin and honey to my conditioners to help them help me.

Give my hair protein treatments. I've always been afraid to do hardcore protein treatments. I think my old stylist scared me out of them. I'm going to start with an egg this weekend. If that goes well, I'll consider buying Duotex or Aphogee.

Baby my ends. I moisturize and seal my ends nightly, but I could and should be putting a lot more effort and time into them.

I'm hoping some of these actions will help my skin and overall health as well. There are also some other moisturizers I want to try, since I still haven't found a great one.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Airdrying - #FAIL

I air dried my hair this weekend and the results were not good. I shampoo'd and deep conditioned. After I applied my leave-ins, I put a satin scarf around my edges and let it air dry. My hair was a dry, frizzy mess. It started out okay, but in retrospect, I should have applied a little oil before it was completely dry, and maybe put it up in a clip or bun or something. I know a lot of women put their hair in 2 braids, but I decided not to do that because I didn't want the braidout look.

I even flat ironed it a little the next day, but it was still stiff. So I co-washed and roller set it the next day. The good thing that came out of this was that I saw how much I'm in need of a trim. I truly believe that with a good trim comes easier styling.

I'm going to keep trying!

January 2011 Hair Update

I've been doing some heavy thinking about my hair. I get into these "deep thought" moments especially when I'm not happy what's going on with my hair. I was in the process of making a slide show of my 3-year hair journey, and looking at the pictures side-by-side really helped me look at the condition of my hair, the products I've been using, and my styling techniques. I know a lot of it is the cold, dry winter air, but I've identified some other issues:

* I need a good trim. My stylist is so good at just giving me dustings, but I can't remember the last time I had a real trim. I'm so happy that I made arm-pit length, but I'm willing to cut up to an inch if it means my ends are thick and healthy again.

* I may go back to black again. I know I've written more times than I can count that I wanted to stay away from the black rinses, but I miss the shine and thickness the black gives me. I feel like the black color conditions my hair better than any other colors, and it allows for products to work better in my hair. I'm undecided on whether I'll go black before or after my trim.

* I thought I had porosity issues because my hair wouldn't hold a curl, but I realized yesterday that I just needed some setting lotion. DUH! Why I thought my hair would just stay curled without setting lotion is beyond me. Last night I used Dudley's Fantastic Body Setting Lotion, and my curls looked amazing. Even today after I took the pin curls out, my curls are really thick and bouncy.

* I'm going to start using a t-shirt or microfiber towel to dry my hair from now on. I've been wringing my hair out with my hands, which I believe is causing breakage.

* I still need a good moisturizer. The ones I use are pretty good, but not doing what I need them to do. I think I'll try one new moisturizer each month until I find what my hair is so thirsty for!