Thursday, March 24, 2011

Goodbye Aphogee 2 Minute

I've been using Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructor for 3 years. I realized last year that it really wasn't doing anything for my hair, but I continued to use it because I thought my hair needed the protein. What I know now is that my hair does need the protein, just not from this product. A little over a month ago, I replaced the Aphogee with Mane 'n Tail conditioner as my 2 minute protein conditioner while I'm the shower, and boy do I notice a difference. Even after 2 minutes, I can feel how much more moist and strong my hair is. I'm throwing out the Aphogee for good now. I'm still mad at myself for trying to force that product. This is another lesson for me to not use products that don't do anything for my hair. What a waste of time and money...I can't even be mad at the product because I should have known to stop using it a long time ago.

My Baby Boy's Hair

My almost one and a half year-old son's hair is so dry! I know it has a lot to do with the winter and the hats I put on him. I just sewed satin linings into his hats like I do mine, but winter is pretty much over! In the warmer weather months and when we went to the Caribbean a couple of months ago, I didn't deal with this dryness.

I'm not good at hair typing, but I would say his hair type is a 3C- it's mostly curly and very soft. Very UNLIKE his mother's, lol! He has a loose curl pattern that gets very curly when wet, but straightens out a little when it drys. The back of his hair is much curlier than the front. I've learned that his hair does not take well to shampoo, so I only do conditioner washes. Since he was a couple of months old, I have been using V05 Moisture Milks to co-wash his hair. I use a mix of water, glycerin and aloe vera juice as a leave-in, and ORS Moisturizing lotion as a moisturizer. It looks good when it dries, but as soon as I put a hat on or after a day, it looks like a dry nest. My girlfriend told me to try mousse- I did it one day and it really defined the curls, but it was crunchy and dry. I've also tried olive oil. Like the other products, it only works for a couple of hours. His hair is also a light/medium shade of brown (like mine), which I think is another reason for the dryness. I call it "dirty brown."

I did a little research online to come up with some ideas for his hair. Last night, I co-washed it with Aussie Moist conditioner. I also used a little as a leave in. His hair was still moist and curly when he woke up this morning. I applied a little castor oil to seal the moisture in. Let's see how it looks when I pick him up later today... Some ideas I read are to use Aubrey Organics White Camelia as a co-wash and leave-in, castor oil, a half glycerin/half aloe vera mix, and cocoa butter oil (that you use on your skin). I would appreciate any advice...

Update 5/5/11 I've been using Kids Organic Hair Lotion and sealing with Hollywood Beauty Castor Oil, and my baby boy's hair has been blinging! So moist and shiny!

Foods for Healthy Hair

I've always been a pretty healthy eater, but lately I've been stepping it up a little. I do it for my health, to shed a few pounds for the summer, and to keep my hair healthy. These are my top foods (or beverages) for healthy hair that I've incorporated into my diet:

1. Water. Hair is made up of about 25% of water, so when we drink enough water, our hair will stay shiny and moisturized. Water also flushes out all of the bad toxins in our body. I discussed water in this blog a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, I didn't stick to my water routine very well. I don't know if it was because I was sick of running to the bathroom, or if I just got lazy. Anyway, I started it back up when I was pregnant and kept it up while I was nursing, but then I fell off again. In January, I promised myself to drink at least 60 oz of water every day. This meant I basically had to cut out any other beverages. I lost 5 pounds in one week! That alone was motivation enough to keep going. Some of things that help me with my water commitment are drinking it at room temperature (I can drink more this way), setting time goals (i.e. I have to drink 30 oz before 10am), and halting water 2 hours before I leave work (so I don't have to go to the bathroom on my way home!). I rarely even think about drinking soda or sugared juices now.

2. Flaxseed. Flaxseed is rich in Omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are essential for glowing skin and hair. I started taking flaxseed oil pills in 2008 to help the condition of my hair, but I had an allergic reaction to them. About 6 months ago, I decided to try just plain flaxseed. I mix a teaspoon into my oatmeal every morning. Salmon is also a good source of Omega-3.

3. Protein. We all know that our hair is made up of protein (called keratin), so we need to add protein back into our hair to make the strands thicker. I especially need more protein after the thinning I experienced postpartum. I maintain a high-protein diet of hard-boiled eggs, chicken, fish, and lean beef, pork and lamb.

4. Vitamin C. The body needs this vitamin to produce collagen and sebum, the oily substance, secreted by our hair follicles which naturally conditions the hair. Even a mild vitamin C deficiency can cause split, dry ends. I make sure I bring at least 2 pieces of fruit to work every day, and usually one of them is a fruit containing vitamin C. Lately, my favorites have been strawberries, tangerines and pineapple. You can also get vitamin C through broccoli, asparagus, spinach and other dark leafy vegetables, which I eat daily.

5. Nuts. Nuts contain the mineral zinc, which aids in tissue growth and repair, including hair growth. It also helps keep the oil glands around the hair follicles working properly. If you don't have enough zinc in your diet, you could experience excessive hair shedding. I also like nuts as healthy afternoon snack, so I avoid potato chips and other food I shouldn't be eating!

6. Carrots. Carrots are a rich source of vitamin A which are high in anti oxidants. Anti oxidants can help you balance the pH levels of the skin and also helpful in preventing the damage caused by the free radicals on the skin. Carrots can also help aid in hair loss. I bring carrot sticks to work as a snack, but I also juice carrots on a regular basis. They say that one ounce of fresh carrot juice can provide about 800% of the daily requirement of the vitamin A to the body. It can also help to burst the energy levels of a person. Carrots also contain vitamin C.

Other foods I eat to make sure I get the necessary minerals and vitamins are whole grains, shellfish, soy milk, lentils and beans. I take a daily multivitamin to make sure I get what my body and hair need as well.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

No Photos

I haven't posted any photos recently because my camera is broken :-(

I actually tried to take it apart and fix it, but that was a disaster. I told my man to bring me an eyeglasses repair kit on his way home because I needed a tiny screwdriver. He said he would rather bring me a new camera, lol. I've had my camera for about 6 years, so I guess it is time for a new one. Even my stepdaughter told me that cameras have come a long way in the past 6 years. Alright, alright. They said they'll buy me a new one for my birthday next month, but I want one now. I need to take pictures of my hair, but I also just like taking pictures in general. How am I going to go another month without taking pictures of my baby and the rest of my family?! I know a lot of people do it, but I hate how photos from my phone come out. If I see one I like on sale, I might have to buy it myself.

Anyway, my hair is doing really well. I'm loving the products I've been using, and my hair has been so manageable. I'm focusing on retaining moisture through conditioners, so during the week, I've only been sealing with oil at night. It seems to be working pretty well. I'm convinced that either I wasn't using the right moisturizers and/or I needed a better conditioner. Well, I've been using Kenra for my deep conditioning for the past 3 weeks and it's been wonderful. Wouldn't it be nice to not have to use moisturizer at all?

I also think using the black rinse has conditioned my hair and helps it retain moisture. My natural hair color is a "dirty" shade of brown, and I have almost always had a hard time keeping it moisturized without a color rinse. My son has the same issue. Even though his texture is different from mine (probably 3c or something), his hair seems like it's always dry. I didn't get a chance to do it this winter, but next year I will be sewing satin linings in his hats like I do mine!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Product Review: Kenra Moisturizing Conditioner

I finally decided to try the popular Kenra Conditioner. I had a coupon, so I got it at a great price. My old faithful, ORS Replenishing, hasn't been wowing me lately, so I've been on a hunt for an ultra moisturizing conditioner to deep condition.

Product Description
Improves elasticity and manageability in dry, damaged hair
Wheat proteins moisturize naturally curly and coarse hair
Readily detangles and imparts shine
Hydrate excessively dry, brittle, and coarse hair
Deep penetrating formula replenishes moisture for greater elasticity

Water (Purified), Hexadecanol, Stearalkonium Chloride, Cetearyl Alcohol (Emollient), Ceteareth 20, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Panthenol, Isopropylparaben, Benzophenone 4, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben, Fragrance (Parfum), FD&C Yellow 5 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Yellow 6 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Red 40 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Blue 1

After shampooing, work small amount of product throughout the hair. Leave product on hair for one minute. Rinse with warm water.
Additional Uses
Add maximum moisture by applying Moisturizing Conditioner, covering hair with plastic cap and placing client under warm dryer for 10-15 minutes.
Revitalize old perms by working Moisturizing Conditioner and Styling Gel into relaxed curls and diffusing with a blow dryer.
Work small amount of Moisturizing Conditioner into dry hair ends to control frizz.

My Experience
Usually I don't try 2 new products at the same time, but I was so excited about my new purchases, that I used this after using the Burt's Bees pre-shampoo treatment. I shampooed with Elasta QP Creme Moisturizing Shampoo, did a 2-minute protein conditioner rinse with Mane n Tail, and then deep conditioned with the Kenra. It has a lovely coconut scent- another reason I couldn't wait to try it! I used maybe a little over a dime-size amount on each half of my hair. I left it on for a total of 45 minutes, 15 minutes with heat. Some of the reviews I read about this conditioner said that it didn't have any slip unless you add oils to it. Since it was my first time using it, I didn't add any oil because I wanted to see how the product would work on its own. Also, I'm not that concerned with slip anymore. It usually doesn't determine how moist or bouncy my hair comes out when it's dry. I also don't detangle my hair during my wash and condition process until I apply my leave-in conditioner- I lose A LOT less hair this way. When I was ready to rinse the Kenra out, I could see how moist my hair was. I proceeded to roller set my hair. When I took my hair out, I was in love. My hair looked thicker and shiny, felt moist and was bouncing all over the place! I didn't even need a moisturizer, so I just sealed my ends with a little oil. I pin curled my hair and went to bed, and when I woke up, I loved my hair even more. I got tons of compliments at work. This will definitely be a staple in my routine. I'm not sure if it was the Kenra, the Burt's Bees, or a combination, but I'm really happy with my hair. It is pricier than the other conditioners I use, but I don't think it's outrageous. My results are worth paying $14 (or less with a coupon!). I also didn't need a lot, so I think my bottle will last me a while.

This does contain protein, but I consider it a moisturizing conditioner. Also, my hair is loving protein right now.

Product Review: Burt's Bees Avocado Butter Pre-Shampoo Hair Treatment

I've read reviews about Burt's Bees Pre-Shampoo Treatment, but have never seen it any stores. I had a coupon for, so I decided to try it. I usually pre-poo with vatika oil or Organix conditioner, but lately I haven't noticed a difference when I pre-poo.

Product Description
Avocado Butter Pre-Shampoo Hair Treatment restores body, shine and manageability to dry and damaged hair. Perming, coloring and styling can leave your hair looking dry and damaged. This luscious formula combines Avocado and Olive oils to penetrate and replenish natural moisture to your hair and scalp. Rosemary, almond oil and nettle extract condition your hair leaving it soft, with a glossy shine.

Excellent for both women and men alike
Avocado Oil softens and conditions dry, flaky skin and scalp. Also stimulates hair growth
Makes a great styling aid too!
99.25% natural
Not tested on animals

Vegetable Glycerin, Olive Oil, Avocado (Persea Gratissima) Oil, Oat Flour, Lecithin, Sucrose Stearate, Sucrose Distearate, Magnesium Stearate, Citrus Rind Oil, Oat Kernel Oil, Chlorophyll, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E) (Vitamin E), Nettle (Urtica Dioica) Leaf Powder, Rosemary Leaf Powder, Vegetable Oil, Fragrance (Parfum)

Massage a generous amount (amount will depend on the length of your hair) of the treatment into wet hair and scalp, and comb through from your scalp to your hair's ends with a wide-tooth comb. Leave the treatment on your hair for at least 5 minutes and up to 20 minutes for maximum conditioning. Rinse hair and scalp thoroughly. Shampoo as usual. Use daily or as needed. To use as a styling aid, rub a small amount into palms and apply to damp or dry hair. Style as usual.

My Experience
I sprayed water on my hair to make it damp. I had read that the product was really thick and hard to get on, but I didn't experience that at all. It's thick, but it wasn't hard to apply. I did put some vatika oil in my hair earlier in the day, so maybe that's why it was easy. It has a sweet, citrus scent. I immediately noticed how shiny my hair was after I put in about a quarter size amount. As each minute went by, I felt like my hair got softer. I left it in for about 30 minutes before I washed it out. During my whole shampoo process, my hair felt moist and strong. Sometimes I do feel like I'm losing moisture as a shampoo, but not with this. I continued to deep condition and rollerset, and my hair was so shiny and moist. I didn't even need a moisturizer after I took out my rollers. Overall, I loved this product. I plan on using it weekly.

I'm curious to see how this works as a styling aid, although I'm cautious, since most styling aids don't do much for me. I'm going to wait until I'm past 6 weeks post-relaxer to see what it does for my new growth.