Ingredient Spotlight: Water

Greetings! I am starting a new segment of my blog where I highlight ingredients that I find are essential or preferable in a HHJ. The spotlight will also include how I use these ingredients and how they have benefited me.

I feel that I must start off with the most essential ingredient in a HHJ (and life period) –  water!

Agua. Eau. Nero. Acqua. Wai. Aigua. 水. Ama. Wàsser. H20. No matter how you say it, water is a vital to all know forms of life. It is so simple and readily available, yet so underutilized in the black community when it comes to hair care. We probably have heard the old myths “don’t get your hair wet, cause it will dry it out!” but that fallacious statement could not be more further from the truth. Water itself will not dry your hair out, but if you put things on your hair that does not promote moisture retention after you wash it, then yeah, your hair will dry out (which is odd … because eventually all things dry … I guess it depends on what one’s definition of “dry out” is … hmm). So instead of using sources of true moisture (where water is in the first or second ingredient), we use greases, oils, pomades, etc. that promise to “moisturize” our hair with harmful ingredients such as mineral oil, jellies, lanolin, etc. (look no further than this post, where the Isoplus product promised to “moisturize,” yet didn’t contain water!) When those products do not deliver anything but limp and greasy hair that is dry and breaking, we slather on something else!

Water is comprised of  one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Most often, water is found in the liquid state, but can also be found in its solid state (ice) or gaseous state (steam or vapor). Water has long been touted as beneficial to health from a holistic vantage point: from preventing dehydration, to improving the appearance of skin, to weight loss, to maintaining digestive health and to having a healthy head of hair!

There can also be a downside to water in a HHJ which everyone should be aware of:

Hard water (having high mineral content) can leave hair dry, brittle, and breaking. The best ways to combat hard water is to install a shower water filter system (try this one from Aquasana or Culligan), regularly use a chelating (kee-lating) shampoo to remove minerals from hair, and deep condition as often as possible)

Leaving hair in an excessively wet state can cause breakage. This is due to hair losing it’s protein structure and elasticity. I realized that when I would baggy my hair, it would be gummy and stretchy, so I abandoned it early in my HHJ.

I am 100% sure that my length retention has come from from me keeping my hair properly moisturized with water-based products!! Also, it is important to make sure that you stay hydrated from within. One of my goals for the summer is to drink at least 60 oz of water a day. I am doing quite well on this challenge.

And remember this quote from the philosopher Derek Zoolander:

“water is the essence of wetness, wetness is the essence of beauty!!!”

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I’m Back and Hair Updates!

Greetings! It’s been a while so I thought I would do a quick update about what’s been going on with my hair …

– I plan on doing a color rinse this weekend (like I did in March). I think that the semi-permanent no-lift color has been great for protecting my porous ends, so I think it’s time for a refresher. I will be doing it myself, as I don’t want to have my hair flat ironed or pay an extra $20 to have it rolled. I will be using the Clairol Moisture-Rich Colorgloss system. I am not sure if I will just do clear or do some shade of brown. I will get an opinion when I go to Sally’s.

– I am scraggly-end MBL! Yep!! There are a few hairs that have touched that point! I think by next relaxer in 9 weeks, I will be ready to claim it.

– I am loving coconut oil pre-poos. My hair retained so much more moisture when I pre-pooed with it. This past weekend I did not pre-poo with it and my ends are so dry!!! Coconut oil is back in my life!!!!

– I am enjoying my new dryer!! It gets uber hot, though. I am always sweating by the time I finish.

– I am doing the L-O-C method and it seems to be doing fine.

– I bought two Hercules Sägemann combs after seeing a bunch of hair in my comb a few weeks ago. I have been meaning to buy seamless combs for a long while, but two weeks ago really lit a fire under my behind! Here are the combs that I ordered: the HS6450 Tail Comb for roller setting and my absolute love, the Magic Star Jumbo Rake.

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The Magic Star Jumbo Rake is everything my hair has been missing! I normally do not comb my hair every day to reduce the risk of losing hair, but this comb glides through my hair and causes me no anxieties whatsoever. Even the Tail comb was amazing! Here is the amount of hair I lost roller setting my hair last week:

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– I have been bunning a lot, as I am trying to do high-intensity workouts 4-5x a week. I may have to start incorporating mid-week co-washes and air-drying sessions … that’s to be determined!

Ta-ta for now!!

An Inch for Your Thoughts #15: Arrested [Hair] Development

For the past few days and nights, Nathan and I have been on an Arrested Development mission. He has never seen the series in its entirety, so before we embark on watching the all-new season 4 episodes, we made a deal that we would watch the old ones from Seasons 1-3. We have almost made it through Season 1! Mind you, I was an original Arrested Development fan since 2004. I remember that I would make sure my Sunday nights were free so that I could watch those Bluths and their tomfoolery! I remembered having such a crush on Will Arnett (Gob Bluth) and loving the antics of Lucille Bluth (portrayed by the lovely Jessica Walters) who held NO punches when it came to speaking her mind (I loved her classiness and snappy tongue)! I even paid homage to Lucille last week when I had a liquid lunch (nothing but alcohol) at The Cheesecake Factory (mmmm … their green apple martinis are the best!)

Today, I was thinking about my hair and antsy I get during the first weeks after a relaxer, because I don’t have any new growth! As someone on a HHJ, having new growth presents affirms the mission that we are on and it allows us to track progress. Well, at the moment, I feel some tingling and movement in the scalp, so I know my hair is growing (revisit this post when I first revealed I could feel my hair grow), but not seeing it kinda makes me sad! Sooooooooooo …. I thought I would use Lucille Bluth to depict how I feel during my relaxer cycles. Her faces represent my sentiments exactly!!!!

My Relaxer Cycle!

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MBL-Bound and Goals for Summer

It’s been awhile since I have posted some goals (see these from last summer) and I felt that it was high time to do them, considering that I am heading into a 13 week relaxer stretch!!

Summertime is upon us and for some, it’s when their hair grows the fastest … for some reason mine grows faster in the winter! Last summer did not yield too much new growth for me. I am not sure why that was, but from May to about September, it looked like I gained maybe 1.5 inches, which is pretty slow for me! I will definitely be looking to maximize growth and can only hope to get the same amount of growth that I did the past relaxer stretch, which was about 2 inches in the front and back and 1.5 inches in the middle (yes, I measured).

So without any further mindless chatter, here are my goals for the summer (defined as ending Labor Day weekend, when I get my next relaxer):

1. Get to MBL! This is the ultimate goal. I do not mean just a few scraggly hairs, either, I mean a good portion of my lower layers (meh, I will take 20%).

2. Continue to grow out my front. It is a few inches past my chin, right at my shoulder (HOORAY … I am full-SL hahahahha!)

3. Use the L-O-C method to improve moisture retention.

4. Use only one heat pass for length check in mid-July (if I so desire)

5. Pre-poo with ceramides weekly

6. DRINK at least 60 ounces of water a day (sigh … I will accept 4/7 days on this one!)

7. Dust only once this relaxer period (search and destroy sessions for overgrown hairs are OK)

8. Protective style 80% of the time

9. Maintain my hair’s gorgeous thickness! 😉

10. Apply clear semi-permanent color late June/early July to help with ends

 

How much further until … 

– MBL – I have about an inch to go!!!

– WL – Ugh! I can tell this is going to as elusive as BSL was! Nathan measured and I have about 4.5-5 inches to go. My length check shirt indicated that MBL was only 2 inches away from WL … well, anatomy trumps markings on a shirt! This will definitely be next year (*screams at hair to grow*)

 

Well there you have it … my hair goals for summer! I will check in periodically to look at my progress!

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Here Comes Jackie Kennedy Onassis Obama!!

This past week, I was at Ann Taylor with a colleague from Hawaii and saw the most beautiful, colorful silk scarf!! It was marked down from $70 to $9, so I couldn’t leave it. I tied it around my head and decided I would use it for when I went on the lake Saturday! In the store, I put on my [authentic] Chanel shades and officially coined myself “Jackie Kennedy Onassis Obama!!!” Jaimie let out a big laugh! It reminds me of pics when I would see Jackie O in all her classiness on a yacht with her big shades and scarf!!

Fast forward to Saturday when we went on the lake … I made sure my hair was moisturized and seal, clipped up and then I tied on the scarf!! I sort of looked like a Polish refugee (Hahhaha!) but more all I thought I was serving “regal white woman tea” like my favorite vlogger Funky Dineva says!! People kinda looked at me a bit weird (probably assuming I was a Muslim because I was definitely not in Cape Cod … It was more like the Redneck Riveria), but that was no concern of mine! It was a great way to keep my hair protected from the wind and water!

Here’s my inspiration!

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Here is my goddaughter Ny’Lasia and myself!! (with Dior shades – I’m a designer shades junky!)

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How I M&S My Hair for Maximum Moisture Retention

A few days ago I blogged about how my hair has been breaking less and less, which I am extremely happy about. I have been incorporating a new technique of how I apply my moisturizers to my hair that seems like its beneficial.

1. Section hair into 6 parts.

2. Take one section, apply moisturizer to your hand and apply moisturizer to bottom length, working all the way up to the top. Apply some more moisturizer and begin to twist hair in two strands, applying more moisturizer if necessary.

3. Apply oil to the bottom part of twist, the work up the hair.

4. Repeat until all sections are done.

I do this nightly and it feels like my hair gets more moisture, especially when I apply when twisting my hair!

Here is a photo … It’s just how the twist looks after I M & S!!

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