Thursday, September 18, 2014

Benefits of Avocado for Hair

Avocado oil is a great oil for hair.  It has a high amount of monounsaturated fatty acid, which helps moisturize, strengthen and nourish dry and damaged hair. Using avocado to massage the scalp also stimulates blood flow to the hair follicles, helping new growth and healthier hair. It also has high levels of vitamin E, which is also moisturizing and protects against environmental damage and helps to unclog blocked follicles.  You will also find the super good vitamins A, B, and D. It also has protein, amino acids, iron, copper, magnesium, and folic acid - all nutrients that help keep hair healthy and damage-free.

I bought avocado oil a while ago, but I've been using it more and more lately.  I find that it is a good sealer, and doesn't weigh my hair down like some other oils.  I've used it to pre-poo, for my oil when I'm moisturizing using the LOC method, and to rub on my hands when I'm taking down my twists (this is my favorite way to use it). 

I have read reports that too much can make the hair brittle, so as with almost everything, I use it in moderation!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Product Review: ION Demi Permanent Creme Hair Color

If you've been reading this blog, you know that gray coverage is one of my biggest hair challenges.  I started seeing gray hairs the day I turned 30, and every year, I see a little more.  My gray grows mostly around my edges in the front with some random white strands in my crown.  Every year, they also seem to get more stubborn to color.  Some strands are a different texture than the rest of my hair- more wiry, thick, and harder to control.

For years, I used semi-permanent color, either at home or at the salon, and it worked.  I could apply the color right after relaxing, and it would cover my gray until my next relaxer most times.  I also loved semi-permanent color because it helped moisturize my hair and increase the shine.  It was a great option for my low porosity hair.  A few years ago, I noticed that only the black colors would cover the gray, and that I would have to re-apply every 2-3 weeks.  BUT, I'm allergic to PPD, a chemical that is in a lot of black and dark brown dyes.  After I cut out my relaxer, semi-permanent colors stopped working in my hair altogether.  They didn't cover the gray or help with moisture and shine.  It was a waste of time and money to apply them.   I tried henna, but it ruined my hair (a different story for another time).  Permanent color is not an option for me at this time because I want to get my hair to a healthier state before risking a permanent color.

I had been reading about demi-permanent color, mostly about how it's good for low porosity heads because it lifts the cuticle, allowing moisture in without damage.  I was afraid to try it for a long time, but when my curlfriend Suzy told me about her success with it, I decided to give it a try.  I bought the ION Color Brilliance Intensive Shine Dem-Permanent Creme Hair Color from Sally Beauty for about $5. I also bought the level 10 developer for sensitive scalp for about $2.  I've applied this product twice, so I'll discuss how I applied it both times.

Product Description
  • Enhance, change or increase the color intensity
  • Ionic protection for stronger hair structure
  • Botanically derived nourishing ingredients
  • Fade resistant and intense conditioning
  • Cover and blend gray hair up to 100%
  • Maximum light reflection and shine
Ion Color Brilliance Intensive Shine Demi Permanent Creme Hair Color is a state-of-the-art European Ionic Formula that is a luxurious, long-lasting, deposit-only hair color without ammonia.

Covers and blends gray hair without lifting the hair's natural pigment. Same-day color with chemical relaxers and permanent waves.

The Ionic formula provides protection for stronger hair structure. Ion Color Brilliance Demi Permanent Creme Hair Color contains botanically derived nourishing ingredients with a refreshing fragrance.


Select desired shade. Mix 2 oz. of Ion Intensive Shine Demi Hair Color with 4 oz. ion Sensitive Scalp Crème Developer 10 Volume in a non-metallic bowl. Mixing ratio is 1:2 unless otherwise noted. See Color Objective Chart.

All instructions are based on average texture, normal porosity; Fine hair is much more receptive to hair coloring where coarse hair is not.

Use Ion Color Brilliance Pre-Color Treatment to help ensure even color results from scalp to ends. A 5-minute cool down is recommended if heat is used prior to rinsing. Standard processing time is 10-40 minutes at room temperature and 10-15 minutes with heat. After processing, rinse hair thoroughly until the water runs clear.

Shampoo and style as desired

My Experience

First time: The first time I used this, I bought the #3N Dark Natural Brown Color.  I read a lot of reviews saying that the color results are dark, and if you leave it on long, you'll have black hair.  I didn't want black hair, but I also wanted to make sure the grays were covered.  I mixed the whole bottle of color with the entire bottle of developer (1:2 ratio).  It took me about 10 minutes to apply the color, and then I sat under the dyer for 30 minutes.  I then co-washed it out.  I kept it in too long, because my hair was pretty much black!  I also had some staining around my hairline.  The skin along my edges felt a little irritated. I was so scared I had an allergic reaction, but this product doesn't contain PPD.  I think I just left it on too long, and I had applied the product to my edges first.  The irritation went away after a day or so.

Second time: I applied the demi permanent again about 5 weeks later.  The grays that the color covered were still almost black, but I had a lot of newly grown grays around my edges.  This time, I used color #4N Medium Natural Brown. Again, it took me about 10 minutes to apply to my whole head, but then I just walked around with a plastic cap on my head for another 10-15 minutes, without heat.  I shampoo'd the color out this time. The shorter time with the product in my hair, along with using shampoo prevented the staining, the dark, dark color, and the skin irritation.  The result was a dark brown, but not black at all.  A week later, I noticed my hair looked lighter brown in the sun.

Both times, my hair was shiny and so moisturized...or, should I say the product opened my cuticles so that I could get some moisture into my hair.  Since using this product, my hair responds to products SO much better.  Before, any product just sat on my hair, but now I can actually form an accurate opinion on a product since my hair is finally absorbing it.  There are also a lot less broken hairs in my brush, on my shirt, and on the floor.  I haven't seen the color run at all, even when using shampoo. The only grays I see now are the new ones popping up!  I really wished I had tried this at the beginning of my natural hair journey, because it would have saved me months and months of dryness, breakage and frustration.