Wash Day (and a traumatic experience … )

Yesterday was Wash Day. For some reason, I felt the strong need to chelate (pronounced kee-late) my hair. This is when you use a shampoo to strip all minerals from your hair. Clarifying shampoos do not do this. You need a swimmers shampoo or a shampoo made for stripping minerals out of hair (commonly called chelators). This is helpful to do if you swim, have hard water or well water or get no-lye relaxers. Minerals left on your hair can rob your hair of shine, dry your hair out to the point where it is brittle and breaking.

I do not have hard water in my apartment (water in the Pacific Northwest is pretty good) and have not had hard water for years (according to The Science of Black Hair, Hawaii has some of the softest water in the country). However, I had a calcium based relaxer back in March (sigh … that horrible relaxer) and I did swim in the pool when living in Hawaii. I was worried that I had some old minerals left in my hair and felt that I needed to do it, just in case.

Knowing that chelators can strip all oils and moisture from your hair, I did a pre-poo that consisted of a hot oil treatment, EVOO, and some V-05. To make sure this penetrated my hair, I sat under the dryer with this for 45 minutes. Then I washed my hair with the Ion Solutions Swimmers Shampoo (bought at Sally’s for $5.49). I must say that my hair felt so much better afterwards! It felt light. I then washed with Alterna Caviar moisturizing shampoo, followed up by their conditioner. I did my normal Alterna 10 and EVOO steam treatment for about an hour. I sprayed in my Roux 619 to detangle and applied my normal leave-ins.

I noticed that I had a great deal of shedding, which is normal because I don’t manipulate my hair during the week and so all that shed hair has to come out some way. But that was not the bad part. I noticed several broken hairs. I am talking about the small ones that are the bane of my¬†existence¬†… I am talking about long ones. It was not many (but no telling how many came out when I detangled), but it was enough to make me worry a lot! I think that I need hard protein treatment this week. Since I have been wetting and moisturizing my hair almost every day, it could be getting a bit weak and mushy. I will co-wash and do this treatment on Wednesday evening. I think that will help.

For the most part, the hair air dried nicely. I dried it in a bun and it looks straighter and shinier today … I wonder if the swimming shampoo helped by removing all the crap from my hair?

Well Saturday marked the four week mark since I have used heat on my hair. I went to Ulta on Saturday and saw where they were doing free blow-outs! You know that I was so tempted … but I must keep going on this heat break. I have about 35 days until my relaxer. I am anxious to see the length change but I must be patient!

Here’s to healthy hair growth for the next month!

Black tea rinse!!!

Last Saturday I finally tried the black tea rinse (btr) during my Wash Day festivities! BTRs are a common way to reduce shedding, as caffeine from the tea blocks DHT, which is the chemical that is responsible for hair shedding.

I was very pleased with the results! I did still see shed hair when I rinsed it out and during my roller setting, but it was a lot less. However, the real results were apparent throughout the week. I lost very few hairs during the week, whether through finger combing or combing with a regular comb! I have spread the good news of the btr with my friends, so hopefully they will try them as well! I will be incorporating this into my regimen as needed …as I do not have a lot of shedding in the first place. I just wanted to try it out and see what the fuss was about … And now I know!

Here’s how I did mine … I will take pictures the next time. When it comes to types of tea to use, I just used regular black tea … It was 100 bags for 1.50. Some people like to use green tea, chai tea or whatever, but black tea works just as well. Just make sure it’s caffeinated.

1. Brew tea (make sure it’s caffeinated, as it’s the caffeine that blocks the chemical responsible for shedding). I used 6 oz for each bag of tea and I used 4 bags.

2. Let cool overnight or for a few hours. Some people throw ice cubes in theirs to make it cool faster. DO NOT USE TEA HOT!!!

3. Once cool, put some tea in a bottle with a nozzle. Apply tea directly to scalp, as thats where the shed hair comes from! If you don’t have a bottle with a nozzle, apply the tea as close to the scalp as possible.

4. Using the left over tea, I pour it all over my hair.

5. I clip up hair and leave on for 20-30 minutes, covering with plastic baggy. Note: black tea can stain … Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting a bit soiled!!

6. Rinse out with cool water … Follow up immediately with deep conditioning treatment, as the tea can be drying to hair.

I hear that this can also be done with coffee .. I am not sure how that works, but maybe I will try it soon!!