Saturday, May 28, 2011

Dry Conditions

After my last posting I was asked about hair remaining super dry no matter what's tried. I knew exactly what they were talking about. There were times, especially when I was transitioning, that no matter if I dunked my head in water it would be dry! This was very discouraging and frustrating for me. If you have a good stylist who knows about textured hair they can be a great resource to managing your hair.

Weekly visits to the salon can become very costly and time consuming. So, through trial and error I've come up with my own solutions to this problem. Eating right, drinking plenty of water, covering your hair at night, not spending too much time in direct sun, avoiding products with a high alcohol content, using high heat as least as possible--these are a few ways to gain a healthy scalp and head of hair.

Deep conditioning packs!! About $2 each!

Olive oil and argan oil have been to my rescue many a time! I'm not sure if they're hidden secrets or what, but I don't really hear much about either product in general. When I hear oil and hair they don't seem to go together. Greasy hair is the last thing you want if you're goal is to maintain healthy hair. Trying random products out and doing a little research I've learned a thing or two. If you're like I was here's a little info on both:
Argan Oil
  • Comes from the seed of an endangered fruiting tree found in northern Africa that's high in vitamin E and essential fatty acids
  • Can be used in foods, for dry and dull hair, brittle nails, skin problems such as wrinkles, stretch marks, acne and eczema
  • Natural antioxidant, so it helps lock in moisture, repair damaged hair, maintain healthier roots and scalp
Olive Oil
  • Originally from Asia, pitted olives are pressed to retrieve the oil
  • Contains both vitamin E and essential fatty acids, which are vital to healthy skin and hair
  • Can be used in food, treating ear aches, digestion issues (such as constipation and indigestion) and to combat dry skin and hair
As always, I started the process with freshly washed hair and a clean scalp. Since I was planning on straightening my hair I didn't want to add more stress to it than necessary. I used a detangling shampoo with tingling peppermint oil. Smells SO good and your hair/scalp feels really nice after wards!

Next, I used the Olive Oil Replenishing Pak that's in the first picture. After gently towel drying my hair I SOAKED it in this conditioner. There's a lot of product in that little pack, but I used it all. 
To make sure the product was distributed evenly I used my shower comb to detangle my hair. With the olive oil conditioner in still, I parted my hair into four braided sections so it would be easier to rinse and keep untangled.
Nothing fancy, just 4 sections

Side note:
In theory, knowing your hair type could help you in knowing how to work with your hair. I honestly have no clue what my hair type it besides a "do what it wants to do" type. 4B, Type 3..sounds like a game of bingo. Might just add this to my research list and get back to ya on it!
If you know hair types maybe you can help me out?
After I got done with sectioning my hair I put a shower cap on. The longer you keep it on the better, but I had some things to do so I kept it on for about 20 mins before rinsing. 
Tip: If you do a conditioning pack in the evening, and will be in for the night, you can try this. Wash your hair and condition as explained here, but instead of rinsing, keep the shower cap on. Add a bonnet or scarf on top of the shower cap to keep it in place. You can continue with your normal activities; including sleep. Keep the scarf and cap on while you sleep. The shower cap will keep the moisture trapped, so your hair doesn't dry out during the night. The scarf/bonnet will keep the cap from coming off while you sleep. In the morning rinse and continue the steps like usual. This deep conditioning method is great for wash and goes too!
Whenever I rinse my hair I use low pressure and lukewarm water. Hot water can strip your hair of its needed oils, and cold..well I just don't like being cold but it helps seal your hairs cuticle. 
The braids were left in while rinsing the conditioner out. I squeezed the sections to make sure all of the product was out--rinsed for about 3 minutes. 

Working one section at a time I blow dried my hair, pinned it out the way and moved onto the next. Since the hair was detangled when the conditioner was applied it doesn't need it again. This is a plus to rinsing with the sections in tact. After my whole head's dried I took small sections out of a pony tail to begin flat ironing.
Helps split ends and breakage that can occur from styling

A little Healing Serum was applied to the sections before flat ironing, focusing on the ends. The ends of hair tend to be the driest, most vulnerable to heat, everyday wear and prone to breakage. This product adds shine, and a protective layer to seal your hair and keep it from breaking. It also smells good! One tip with this product is a little goes a long way, don't over do it! It's always easier to add more than to take away when it comes to hair products.

Tip: When it comes to flat ironing hair smaller is better. Most people want to get it over asap and work in chunky sections to achieve this. I don't want to be doing touch ups often, or having wavy roots after all of this. Taking small, thin sections to iron out, may take more time, but the end result looks better and lasts longer.

Hair after flat ironing! It's grown since getting it cut a couple months ago!!
Before I decided I was going to straighten my hair I checked the weather. If it's raining, going to rain, be foggy, a chance of rain, humid--in other words any type of moisture in the air--I'm not straightening my hair. Right after spending all this time on my hair I walk my dog, Scrappy, and of course I get hit with some sprinkles. Funny how that happens o___O

As I mentioned before, I had some business to take care of  ^_^'  Dealing with the weather wasn't going to be one of them. I wrapped my hair and put a scarf on. Nice and simple. Chunky earrings, and a tie on the side to dress it up a little and I'm out the door!
-_________-        It didn't end up raining after all, but I still looked cute!

This is one of a few ways I've found to keep my hair from being overly dry. 
Know of other ways to keep your hair moisturized, conditioned, and/or healthy? Let me know!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Wild Wild West

Sooo recently I went on a trip to Nevada/Arizona. I've never been that far west before, but I had a blast while keeping my hair cute and simply maintained. The only hair items I took with me were hair flowers, a ribbon, brush and comb. One thing I learned very quickly was how drying the air was on my hair, and how hard the water is on it and my skin. Since I'm all about light traveling I took no hair products with me, but I do know how to maintain hair in dry conditions.

Whether in Nevada or  in humid Ohio here are a few quick tips:
  1. Don't use products that have a high alcohol content. The alcohol will dry your hair even more
  2. Minimize the use of high heat from blow driers and flat irons
  3. When towel drying your hair try not to rub, twist, or tug too much
  4. Conditioner is your friend!!! Using deep conditioners and/or hot oil treatments are super helpful
  5. Try to choose a product that's heat activated. Make the arid conditions work in your favor

Before the trip I wore my hair in 2 strand flat twists going all the way back. I kept these in for a good 5 or 6 days. Whenever I travel somewhere I don't want to have to fuss over my hair too much.

The morning of my flight I undid my hair and wore a twist out. The bigger the flat twists the bigger your curls will be. I wanted full hair so the initial twists were at a medium size and not super tight. I didn't add any product to it. Simply untwist, added a flower, and left!

Left: Back of my hair

I was thrown off by how many people LOVED my hair!! Complete strangers would stop me, say something walking by, or start up a conversation either over my flowers, or my fro that I wore later on the trip. I stayed in Vegas for 5 days. Everyday a different color flower was worn depending on the outfit  ^_^  

At night I didn't cover my hair at all. Just slept carefully so the curls wouldn't be flattened too much. Day 1 to maybe the 3rd day everything stayed in tact and was fine. We stayed pretty busy while out there, so after the 3rd day I was pretty pooped and slept any and every way! Woke up diagonal in the bed with a mess of hair. Before going to the pool I used my hair ribbon to pull my hair up and off my neck so I could get in and decorated with a flower of course. After being in the sun for so long not only was my skin dry, but so was my hair. As I said before I don't like fussing over my hair when on vaca. After taking a shower, and letting my hair steam a little, I put conditioner in (courtesy of our wonderful housekeeper) and tied back with the hair ribbon. The middle picture (above) with the red flower is the result of that. Simple curly fro and out the door to see the Lion King Broadway Show!!

More hair tips:
  1. When hair is wet the cuticle expands. This is a great time to nourish your hair and let it soak it up cutting down on frizz
  2. Hair products with silicon in them are useful if you have hair that tends to poof or frizz in any humidity filled situation. John Freida's Frizz Ease is a great product to help fight this!
  3. Sometimes it's easier to just go with the flow than to fight the current. When it comes to moisture filled environments if you have wavy, curly, or kinky hair just let it do its thing. Find a style that works with your texture!
I love wearing different hair flowers and pins in my hair. They can be worn casual and more formal. They come in all sizes, some have glitter, some ribbon or feathers---it just depends on your style or mood. Since the flower can be a focal point of your style for the day big jewelry or loud makeup isn't needed. I also don't spend a ton of money on hair accessories either. I found these flowers at a local hair shop for about 99 cents seriously. I've also taken plastic flowers that were meant for decorating and cut/tied them into hair pieces. Get creative and have fun!