Archive for the ‘conditioner’ Category

Experiement for Hair Growth

Since I cut my hair down to the natural curls, I have been surprised by how much new growth I got since my last relaxer in May ’09.  When my hair is compacted down, it is a TWA (Teenie Weenie Afro), but when I stretch some of the curls, they are about 3-3/4 inches long.  The longest part in the back is already almost to my shoulder and the front area just touches my eyebrows.

I have been using MT/OCT/MSM and just added Bee Mine to the rotation of growth aids I am using.  I would like to see full shoulder length by December of this year.   What has been working for me so far is the regimen I am going to follow for the time being.

  • Co-wash 3-4 times a week
  • Use shikakai bar once a month
  • Deep condition after each co-wash/shikakai wash (mixture of protein and moisture)
  • Trim every 2 months
  • Scritch my scalp at least once a day
  • Apply growth aid after scritching (i.e. MT/OCT/MSM one night, Bee Mine the next night and so forth)
  • Drink hot green tea with stinging nettle powder and honey at night in the winter and spring, iced in the summer
  • 5Grams Biotin each night before bed
  • be-Beautiful vitamin powder with MSM during the day
  • Baggy as needed

It may seem like a lot, but I have become accustomed to this regimen, and it appears to be working for me, so I’ll keep on keeping on =)  I’ll be checking in about every six weeks to see what’s up.

Product Review: Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery

I’ve heard a lot about this product from the forum I belong to.  Since I have a great deal of new growth, I’ve been looking for a deep conditioner that will soften all of my hair right down to the curly roots.

I searched high and low for this deep conditioner in my city, but had a hard time pinning it down.  I finally found it at my local Walgreens for $6.  It is also available on the Walgreens website.

I tried it as soon as I got home.  I applied it to my dry hair, and applied a steamed towel to my hair.  The directions say it works within 3-5 minutes, but I kept it on for about 2 hours, re-steaming the towel along the way.  I must say I didn’t have high hopes for this product, so this was a litmus test to see if it would do anything.  It better do something for $6 (yes, I’m cheap).  The jar is rather small, and the directions claim that it only takes a little to get the job done.  So, I used a little in an effort to not use it up too fast.  It melted right into my hair.

Results

Turns out a little was all I needed.  With our hard water, I expected the same thing I got from other conditioners: moist for about a day, then dry.  With this conditioner, though, not only was my hair velvety smooth after rinsing, but the soft feeling lasted for several days afterward.  I must say it’s quite addictive the way it made my hair feel!  As I type this post I am deep conditioning with it right now.   Is it worth the money I paid?  In a word, I’ll have to say yes.  I will be making this a regular part of my conditioning regime.

 

How I Steam Condition

Thanks to this post from another site, I found an ideal way to achieve nice and moist hair that is resistant to humidity and daily dryness.  I use these items:

Conditioner

Microfiber towel

Conditioner cap

Microwave

Bonnet Dryer

Rubber Gloves

After I cowash, I apply conditioner from root to tip, making sure all the hair is covered.  Then I get a microfiber towel (the one that has a button to hold the towel on the hair) and run hot water over it.  I take the wet towel and put it into a plastic bag.  I put the bag with the towel in it into the microwave for about 60 seconds, making sure I watch it closely.  After the towel has been heated up, I put on my rubber gloves, open the bag, them put the towel around my hair.  I close up the towel and then put a conditoner cap on top of it.  When that’s done, I put on my bonnet dryer and sit under it on med-high heat for 30-60 minutes.  If I want faster results I simply apply another moist hot towel and conditioner cap on top of the original towel and cap.  This makes a kind of a double steaming treatment, and lessens the time I have under the dryer.

After the steaming treat is done, I take of the towels and caps then rinse in lukewarm to cool water.  It is absolutely amazing how soft and moist my hair feels.  I find that if I just put it in a ponytail, my edges stay smooth.  Even in humidity they don’t puff up as much.  When I used to straighten my hair, I noticed that it didn’t puff up.  I have definitely made this a part of my regular regime.

Back to Basics: Caring for Naturally Curly Hair

It’s back to basics for me.  If you read my other post “Snip!”, you already know that I had to cut off a bit of my hair due to damage.  I should have known better.  Now I’m going back to basics to regain the length that I was gaining before I let damage set in.  These are what I’ve found to be the basics of caring for naturally curly hair.  The main key is moisture.

My Keys to Keeping Curly Hair Moist


Curly hair has a tendency to feel really dry. Because of the curves and corners of our individual hairs, the natural oils have to work much harder to flow down the hair shaft. This may be the reason many women decide to straighten their hair–trying to capture the shine and sleekness that comes with straighter hair.

Those of us who have made the choice to embrace our curls also know what it is to make sure there is a balance to having curls: full of bounce and body, yet moist and manageable. I have learned some tips from fellow curly-haired divas.

  • Baggy with Moisture
  • Use conditioner during wash days (Co-washing)
  • Moisturize hair daily
  • Seal moisturized hair with oil
  • Steaming
  • Regular deep conditioning

Baggy with Moisture

What does it mean to baggy with moisture? To put it simply it is applying moisture to the hair (either with water, conditioner, leave-in or any combination of these) then using a conditioning cap to cover the moisturized hair. I usually do this at night before I go to bed. Be careful not to put too much moisture on the hair before baggying or else you will have a wet neck, wet pillow…you get the idea. It’s also possible to pass the limit of moisture intake for your hair, so be sure to monitor your hair’s condition when first starting out.

Why baggy with moisture? To give your curls a chance to hydrate.

When to baggy with moisture? You can do this after your shower/hair cleansing, before or anytime you feel your hair needs the extra moisture.

Since I work at home (lucky me, right?), I like to baggy after I cleanse my hair, just so that I can keep as much moisture in my curls as I possibly can. I usually leave the cap on my hair for anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight. Start with about 15 minutes at first, and then if your hair seems to respond well to it, you can increase time until you find the limit. The limit is when your hair absorbs so much moisture that it becomes mushy and lifeless–you don’t want that–so, as I stated before, try it in small increments first.

Side note: If you have good moisture levels, but your ends are looking worse for wear, then you can make a ponytail, apply moisture to your ponytail (just the ends or the whole pony), then put a small plastic bag around your ponytail to give a concentrated infusion of moisture to your hair ends.

Co-Washing

Since curly hair is more prone to being dry, it is important to keep as much moisture as possible in the hair, while keeping the scalp clean. How to do all this? Conditioner to the rescue! Yes, you read right–conditioner.

I was not sure when I first found out about using conditioner as a way to cleanse my hair while keeping moisture levels high in my hair. As my Grandma says, I’ve gotta see this for myself. So I got into the shower and wet my hair. I almost reached for shampoo out of habit, but passed it over for conditioner instead. I poured a small amount into my palm and concentrated the conditioner on my scalp, working it in like shampoo. After messaging it in, I rinsed it out and finished my shower. It still felt weird not to use anything with suds in it, but I forged on. After letting my hair dry, I gave co-washing the litmus test: scratched my scalp.

I was almost scared to look under my nails. When I did I saw…nothing! My scalp was as clean as if I used my suds–couldn’t believe it so I tried it again on another part of my scalp. Same thing; nothing. On top of it, my hair was feeling quite good, not as stripped as it usually did.

I was told the reason for this. Little known to me many conditioners contain a bit of the same ingredients that shampoo has. The action of scrubbing the scalp is actually the legit reason the scalp gets cleaned, not just the fact that there are suds on top of my head. This actually made sense to me. Now I use co-washing as a regular part of my hair cleansing regime. My curls behave much better, and the growth I’ve been getting is starting to show in my length because I get to keep moisture in my hair, which keeps my hair from breaking as much as it used to.

Moisturize Daily

Depending on many factors, some of us curly haired divas need to make sure we keep on top the moisture levels in our hair. Using a tiny bit of conditioner, leave-in or other moisturizer give curls relief from the thirst that it suffers on a constant basis. Make sure that you are using the correct weight of moisturizer for your hair. Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet to know what will work right from the start. What works for one head of hair will not necessarily work for another. Unless you are one of the lucky ones to get it right from the get-go, it is a game of trial and error. At least it was for me =)

Seal with Moisture

When you mention putting oil on the hair, many people will run and hide. Oil conjures images of flat, limp, lifeless hair. This is true depending on the oil. As a matter of fact, there are cultures where applying particular oils to the hair results in luster, body and health of the hair. Yes, heavy oils will weight hair down, and may be more suitable for a hot oil treatment before cleansing.

Steaming in Moisture

Steaming is simply applying conditioner, then using steam to open up the cuticle of the hair. This allows more to get into the hair shaft. The result is much less frizz in humid temperatures. Less frizz means better maintained curls!

Regular Deep Conditioning

Deep conditioning is a valuable part of your haircare regime. The key word throughout this post has been keeping curly hair moist. If you’ve read about the steaming, then deep conditioning is simply the same thing without the steam. If your hair is coarse (like mine) deep conditioning may benefit you if you do it about 2-3 times a week. If your hair is not as coarse, about 1-2 times a month. If you’re one of the lucky ones who rarely has a problem with your hair, deep conditioning might still benefit you–you just won’t have to do it so often. Think of it as a treat you can give yourself every now and then.

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