I am going to give this stuff one more try …

So I am doing my twist outs without heat and am loving it! I go home, wet my hair, put on some moisturizer, twist, put up … only to take down in the morning and go!

I decided to use the Roux 619 leave-in last night in lieu of the Alterna Caviar and it was bit hard compared to yesterday when I used both of them together. I do not like hard, crunchy hair … by golly, the 619 was supposed to be moisturizing!

I swear, my hair ONLY likes Alterna products. It has been this way for a long time, but now that I am testing new products and seeing that my hair reacts quite poorly to them, I am somewhat convinced. Of course my hair reacts to the shampoos and conditioners that are $30 a pop (in Alterna’s defense, they do last a long time since I only wash once a week).

I am going to do it again tonight with only the 619 and if I get the same results, then I know that this is not for me. I plan on doing these styles quite often to keep heat off my hair, so if it is making my hair hard, then I cannot use it.

I will update tomorrow!!!

No, I will update today … That stuff is a no-go. My hair was a dry mess by the time I got home. It goes back to Sally’s and I will use my Alterna …. Man! I really think my hair and Alterna are trying to tell me something!!!

 

UPDATE 3/2 – Ok, so this stuff is not that bad when used in conjunction with the Alterna stuff. I guess I will keep it … My best twist out was Tuesday and Friday morning when I used that stuff and the Alterna. I also wonder if me not oiling my hair after putting the aloe vera juice caused it to dry out, as I found out that if AVJ is left on the hair, it needs to be in conjunction with an oil or it will dry out! Last night I used grapeseed oil to seal and my curls turned out very nice this morning.

“Kenny Powers” always has a fresh-looking curl! I wonder what he put on it!! Activator??

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Product Review: Caviar White Truffle Hair Elixir

I have been using this stuff for years. At the behest of my stylist in Hawaii, Jeanne, I was to use this stuff for moisture, as the salty air of Hawaii had did a number on my tresses.

At the beginning of my hair journey, I used it in my M&S, with good results. However, I heard the rave reviews about activators and thought I should try one. Well, three weeks later after dry ends due to coconut oil and Hawaiian Silky, I returned to the white truffle elixir … with great results!

This stuff has helped the breakage on the ends. When I started using it consistently last week, I was amazed about the few hairs that had broken off the ends! My ends also stayed hydrated longer … so until further notice, this is going to be my moisturizer of choice.

Of course my hair likes the most expensive stuff … as this stuff is about $28. That is ok, though … I use about 2 or 3 pumps a day. I predict that one bottle will last me about 3 or 4 months. Nothing is too good for my hair! :o)

Highly recommended!

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(Heatless) Wash Day and dry ends update

Yesterday’s wash day was most uneventful … but awesome nonetheless! I did my pre-poo with molasses, vegetable glycerin, oils and honey (ya, I am just mixing mess together now), then washed with my shampoo.

I steamed my hair with my conditioners for about 40 minutes, then applied my leave-ins. I tied my hair down in the front (as the edges are quite fierce at this point) and two-strand twisted the remained of my hair to let them air dry. I sprayed aloe vera juice on the ends and the ends turned out to be so curly instead of the normal dry frizzled mess they end up looking like!

This morning, I untwisted them, fluffed them out and sprayed some Alterna on it. I put a little veggie glycerin on my ends. I look like I have a texturizer!

I have decided to do heatless at least once a month now! It saved me SOOOOOOO much time (like two hours!) and it gives my hair (and me) a break from rolling and heat.

NOTE: The Kimmaytube leave-in freezes in my refrigerator! I am not sure if it is the Roux leave-in, the JBCO or jojoba oil; however, aloe vera juice has to be refrigerated! I think I am going to use a modified Kimmaytube mix by just spraying the Roux and aloe vera juice on separately. I will try this on Thursday’s relaxer prep day!

UPDATE on dry ends: The dry ends are becoming less and less. Last week, they only seem to come out when they were wet … but not much. I was actually in disbelief when I would rub my fingers through them and nothing came out. Some came out during washing, but I hear that it takes a bit of time for them to stop breaking off after incorporating a healthy hair routine … but they are NOTHING like they were two weeks ago. I think the use of humectants, decreasing of proteins, protective styling, using aloe vera juice and discontinued use of Hawaiian Silky and coconut oil have really helped.

I did get a little angry yesterday and clipped a tiny bit off … but they were not split. I also think I cut off some of my hair (the ends were pinned up near the scalp!)

Tuesday’s twist out ponytail! Cute as ever!

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New Growth

So here’s the new growth check … I am at 2 inches some places, 1.5 inches in others. So I have grown 2 inches in 4 months, which is the normal rate of 0.5 inches per month. The funny thing is … Most of my new growth came in after returning from North Carolina in January. I hardly had any new growth when I started this journey about 6 weeks ago … See? It was about half an inch (if that!)

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Now this is the new growth six weeks later (the first one looks like my new growth is straight, as I flat ironed it … I included the second picture to show how it looks when the new growth gets wet!

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So if my calculations are correct (the pictures prove that they are) … My hair has grown ~1.5 inches in six weeks. Wow! I know that this is not typical and probably a result of vitamins and all, but I will take what I can get! Imagine if that happened every 6 weeks! I would grow 13 inches a year … That’s not even possible! But oh well! It’s nice!

Another one bites the dust …

This long weekend was all about discovery … Discovering which products worked best for my hair, why they did or did not and what to do next. Today, I had a hunch to check the label in my Hawaiian Silky (HS). Although my ends were 90% better, something felt amiss. There it was … Mineral oil as the fourth ingredient.

Mineral oils are considered a no-no among natural hair enthusiast. Yes, I know I am not natural, but still… It has the same effect on hair, which is that it doesn’t allow moisture in. They also are said to have a drying effect and HS contains small amounts of protein, which may be why my hair’s end started to get crunchy. Could it have been the HS all the time? I have gone back to using the Alterna Caviar white truffle moisturizer until I figure something out.

The Product Graveyard grows! I am loving this part of the journey! Figuring out what my hair likes! I was just thinking about how I would use a product based on its claims, despite what my hair needed. This will also prevent me from spending a ton of money in the future.

I also revisited the cross-wrapping technique this weekend. It actually didn’t turn out so bad! Maybe since my hair has grown since I did it last. It is actually holding a curl and doesn’t have all the bumps, ridges and the like!

Well, back to work tomorrow! This weekend really flew by!

Peace, love and hair grease!

LaShanda

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An inch for your thoughts #3

I will never forget an encounter with my ex-boyfriend, Scott (who is still one of my dearest friends today). It was our first getaway together at Carolina Beach in May 2004. He taught me how to drive a stick shift and he made one of the most profound statements of our relationship …

We had just arrived at the beach and of course my hair was not cooperating with the humidity. I told him I needed to stop by the Dollar General to buy some oil and grease for my hair. He looked at me and said these words: “Are you sure you don’t want me to take you by Jiffy Lube?”

 

What I want my hair to be … an well oiled (and moisturized) machine!

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Sulfur Challenge! Bring it!

So my sulfur came and I did my sulfur mix scalp massage! NOTE: Avoid getting this on your hair, as it can dry it out. I will aim to do these three times a week.

I could also use the sulfur to cure these horrible pimples on my face. I have started using Retin A Micro again and have had the worse breakout! I know this is what it’s supposed to do, but damn!! All of a sudden I had a crop just pop up! I will be glad when it calms down!

I took a picture at baseline (my hair really is growing!)

February 19, 2012

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January 22, 2012

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A fluke! My shirt was up a bit high!!! I wish! It appears I am at APL!

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Keeping it simple and custom for my hair

So I had a wash day on Saturday. Nathan and I were to go out for a date, so I wanted my hair fresh and clean!

I started off with a molasses, EVOO and vegetable glycerin pre-poo. I left it in for a few hours while I watched Whitney’s funeral, which was awesome, and doing some housework.

I washed as normal and instead of just sitting under the dryer, I steamed my hair (by using a hand towel soaked in hot water, wrapped around my hair, covered with a bag and sat under the dryer) with some of my conditioner. Oh my! I am addicted! I will steam my hair every week!! It left my hair so infused with moisture!! I rinsed it out with cold water, applied my leave-ins and did a blow out (on low, of course!)

Everything turned out nicely. I just wanted to share what I am doing five weeks into my journey …
Along the way, I have discovered a lot about my hair … What it likes, what it needs, what it hates! Knowing all of this information has allowed me to start to simplify my routine. Here’s what I mean …

My hair has low porosity, as I explained earlier, means that moisture has a hard time getting in due to the tightly laid cuticle, but once it gets in, it stays in. I need something that opens my cuticle (heat), allowing moisture to penetrate! I looked at some of my products … Roux Porosity Control SHUTS the cuticle (it is intended for porous hair)! I need the cuticle open!!! It must go!

I also looked at the Redken All-Soft conditioner. It has protein in it … Which is a not need as much for hair that has low porosity! Even though it is a small amount, I did not want to chance it and eliminated it from the hair stash. Secondly, I looked at the Redken Anti-Snap that is supposed to be for breaking hair. It has protein in it, so I decided that it, too, needs to go out of the routine for a while. If I need it, I will use it. Finally, I looked at the Redken Time Reset stuff (I gave the shampoo away because it had sulfates in it). It, too, was for porous hair. No wonder my hair did not do well when I used the Youth Revitalizer deep conditioner!

So that left me with using Alterna Caviar shampoo and conditioner. No more having to decide which products to use this week. I want a simple, consistent routine. I want to get this product junkism under control! It felt great to put all that stuff under the bathroom vanity!

Once you understand the science behind your hair, getting products to meet those needs are a breeze! I need products that moisturize deeply. I am just so excited learning all of this new stuff! I can’t wait to share my findings with everyone!

My ends are doing better … I still see a few and get a bit anxious, but now that I am starting a new regiment, I am sure they will fare a lot better!!

Peace, love and porosity!!

LaShanda

RIP, beautiful angel!

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Porosity Testing

I wanted to test my hair to see its porosity. The test is quite simple, you take some dry hair from a brush, floor or wherever and place it in a cup of water. You wait about 5 minutes and see what the hair is doing.

If it floats, you have low porosity. If it sinks, then you have high porosity. It takes a while for it to sink, then its normal.

So my hair floats! Which means my hair has low porosity – in laymen’s terms that means my hair is slower to absorb moisture, but when it does get moisture, it retains it really well. According to curlynikki.com, “excessive or pure protein treatments may cause the crispy, straw-like feel of protein overload.”

Nathan’s hair also is low porosity!

Ah! It is starting to come together for me! That is why my hair hated coconut oil (hence the snapping ends last week). Coconut has protein in it and my hair just did not need it, which is why my hair broke off and felt dry!!

So what’s a low porosity girl to do?

They recommend the use of humectants (e.g. honey) that helps draw moisture into the hair.

Here’s a deep conditioning recipe from Healthy Hair and Body

For low porosity hair, I would actually recommend using a humectant-based moisturizer after a good deep conditioning treatment. After washing your hair, rinse with hot water (not too hot), then apply a moisturizing deep conditioner. (The hot water and subsequent heat will help to open up the cuticles.) Let the conditioner sit for 20 minutes with heat, then rinse with warm water. Follow up with a moisturizer containing glycerin or honey. (I recommend whipping a moisturizer of 1/2 part shea butter, 1/2 part mango butter, 1 part conditioner (I recommend V05), and 1/2 part glycerin. If this mixture does not work for you, then check out the Hibiscus & Banana Leave-In from Curl Junkie (click here). It contains even more humectants and is also geared towards fine hair.)

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Baggying hair for moisture: Do or Don’t?

The first time I baggyed my hair was last week during the Dead End debacle. I heard that it was like a mini deep conditioning treatment, so I baggyed my whole head for a good part of the weekend. You know, my poor boyfriend looks at me with half humor, half disbelief. He asks me why I am walking around the house with a plastic bag on my hair. I am sure that it looks sooooo sexy to him! LOL!

I must say, it works, for the most part! One thing that I have discovered is not to wet my hair with my Refreshing Spritz then baggy my head … when I take it off, my hair is mushy. From now on, I will either baggy just the ends of my hair or not spray the Refreshing Spritz on.

I also like to baggy my hair after a JBCO and peppermint oil scalp massage! Ah! That feels really nice!

Remember not to baggy your hair after you seal … you will seal the moisture in once you remove the bag!

Don’t do this!! :o)