Monday, April 29, 2013

Liquid vs Creamy Leave In Conditioner

Using a leave in conditioner is essential to your moisturizing hair regimen post wash. I usually use a creamy conditioner, but decided to use a liquid leave in conditioner on my last wash day. Click to watch my vlog about my wash day.

Why do I use a creamy conditioner?
 If your hair has a fine texture, then choose the liquid conditioner. For thick and coarser hair, a creamier leave-in will work better - Choosing the right conditioner

I used the CURLS Cashmere Curls Leave In conditioner, which is a liquid leave in conditioner. My hair DID not like it.
My hair did not feel moisturized, and it seem like the combination of this leave in with the Curls Cashmere Jelly, made my hair a greasy mess. When I use the Giovanni Leave In Conditioner  (a cream based product) with the Curls Cashmere Jelly, it works great.

 So, my hair does prefer creamy leave in.

... LOOK WHAT I CAN DO NOW!!
My first #naturalhair Ponytail Major milestone, BABY!!
What type of Leave In conditioner do you use?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wash and Go on 4C Hair

Still wet

Mostly dry...and SHRINKAGE has kicked in!
The last time I tried a Wash and Go was 2 days past my Big Chop, around 5 and a half months ago.


I decided to attempt it again without leaving the conditioner in, but with Shea Moisture Curl and Style Milk and Eco Styler Gel.

Here is my experience.

How do you wash and go?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

HairChemistry: Protein Overload

Source: http://www.thenaturalhavenbloom.com/2011/08/protein-treatments-coconut-oil-and.html
Yesterday on DiscoveringNatural Facebook page, we discussed Protein and Natural Hair. The topics ranged from Protein Sensitivity to Protein Treatments to Protein Overload. I have done previous posts on the first two subjects, but wanted to discuss Protein Overload.

What is Protein Overload
In the past, people have thought of Protein Overload as a myth, however, time and time again it has been proven that this situation actually exists. If you have been using protein in your hair without giving yourself a break with a moisture enriched non-protein treatment, and your hair feels dry and brittle, you might be experiencing Protein Overload.

Why we need protein in our hair
Remember, your hair needs protein, therefore there are some types of protein that will attach to the hair and create problems for people that are protein sensitive. Protein helps strengthen the hair and repair damage that has occurred in the hair. Products that contain ingredients such as Hydrolyzed soy protein has the ability to let the protein attach to the hair and provide strengthen properties to the hair strands. There are some other proteins that will do this.

How to reverse Protein Overload
Since Protein Overload can cause severe breakage, it is important to know how to reverse the effect of protein overload.  Here are some steps to take:
  • Clarify your hair with a clarifying shampoo or a sulfate shampoo
  • Use a non-protein deep conditioner (Read the ingredients make sure it contains no protein)
  • Apply a leave in conditioner that does not have any protein
These steps will help you.  Try to avoid using products with protein for at least 2 weeks, then gradually introduce protein back into your "hair's diet".

Have you ever experienced Protein Overload?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Washing Cornrows on Natural Hair

 Which side did I do two weeks ago... and which side did I wash and redo today? 
Can you guess?

If you can't.. well, the two weeks ago style I on the left while the one I washed and redid is on the right.

I think I have found my new way of washing and restyling Big Sis's hair. I posted earlier this week that I was going to try washing her hair while still cornrowed. I must say, I LOVED IT!!!

She had no build up because all the products we use are natural and also do not cause build up.

What did I do...

Co-wash Process
1. First saturated her hair with warm water (to open her hair cuticles) and rinsed her hair multiple times
2. Apply a generous amount of co-washing conditioner, we used V05 Clarifying Conditioner
3. Massaged her scalp and then applied to the length of her hair. Rinse
4. Repeated steps 2 and 3.

Deep Conditioning Process
1. Applied Giovanni Smooth as Silk Deeper Moisture Conditioner to her hair
2. Covered hair with plastic bag and thick cap
3. Leave on for an hour
4. Remove and Cool and Seal (15 mins) and rinse off with cold water to close her hair cuticle and give shine.

Restyling
1. On the wet hair (40% dry), applied my oil mix and Giovanni Direct Leave In Conditioner
2. Let conditioner penetrate for about 30 mins
3. Going cornrow by cornrow, loosen the row, seal ends with whipped shea butter and then redid the cornrow.

That was it!



With this modification in our routine, her hair did not tangle up AT ALL!! She lost about 80% less hair.  Her hair was more in a stretched manner. See right picture above. You can see that the bangs area has more stretched. We also finished styling 30 mins earlier than originally done.

I will be changing our hair routine for Big Sis to keep the same hair style for a month and use this method. The only time, we will do the unbraiding first is when we do a clarification and also when we do threading.

Let me know if you give this a try.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Science of Black Hair :: Moisture Basics


From December 2012 to February 2013, I studied the book, The Science of Black Hair. A well written book by Audrey Davis-Sivasothy. If you want to understand your hair and how to better take care of it, this is the one of the best books to use.

I am very happy to say that Audrey has created a YouTube channel (ScienceOfBlackHair) that gives a visual representation of key information discussed in her book.

Here are some of the videos where talks about Moisture Basics.

Part 1: Moisture Basics: Moisturizing and Sealing Your Hair  

 
 

Part 2: The Science of Black Hair: Hair and Hard Water



Part 3: The Science of Black Hair on pH Problems & pH Balancing (Moisture Basics 3/4)  
 

 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Wash day with Steam!!


Today was Wash day.  I'm sure you know that already if you read my earlier post on the Benefits of Steam Treatment and my experience at my gym's steam room. I wanted to better document how my wash day went, for my personal record and also maybe someone can find something useful in what I about to share.

I skipped last weeks wash day because I was experimenting washing every two weeks instead of every week. My hair DID NOT LIKE THAT. I started to experience a little flaking at day 10. Now I know that my hair prefers weekly wash.

I started my wash day process the night before by not undoing my medium size twists. I decided to give the washing in twists process another go. By the way, it worked out well this time. So the bigger the better!

Pre-poo
I misted my hair with warm water and applied a mixture of warmed Vatika Oil and Jamaican Black Castor Oil. Applied that to my hair, covered hair with plastic cap and thick knitted hat overnight.

Steaming
After my morning workout, I spritz my hair a little with water, and applied Nubian Heritage Indian Hemp and Tamanu Grow and Strengthen Treatment Masque. I steamed my hair at the gym's steam room for 10 mins. Click to watch my experience.

Shampoo
I washed my hair with Elasta QP Crème Conditioning Shampoo, which is sulfate-free. After rinsing off the shampoo, I applied Aubrey Organics GVP Conditioner for just 2 minutes for a quick protein treatment. My hair was in need of this. It lacked some elasticity. Click here to learn how to test if your hair needs protein treatment.

Deep Conditioning
I deep conditioned my hair with a moisturizing non-protein deep conditioner, Eden's Bodyworks All Natural Deep conditioner. After 2 hours (kept it longer...no reason, just super busy), I did my cool and seal with Oyin Handmade Honey Hemp Conditioner. I then did my final rinse with cold water.

Moisturizing, Sealing, and Styling
I decided to use the Oyin Handmade Honey Hemp Conditioner as my leave in, after reading that this product works as a multi-purpose product. So tempted to buy this!! But can't break my #UseItUp challengeI followed this up with my oil mix, giving myself a brief scalp massage and oiling my hair and ends. I then applied Shea Moisture Curl enhancing smoothie to my hair and Whipped Shea butter to my ends to seal it, then I twisted my hair. To stretch my hair for a couple of days, I threaded the hair and left the bangs area twisted, unthreaded.

I styled it with my scarf. Did you see all the beautiful scarf pictures on DiscoveringNatural Facebook today? If you missed it, Click here.

QOTD: It seems like my hair has stopped growing. What can I do?

 
 
I see this question being asked over and over again on forums, hair Facebook pages, YouTube and even at Natural Hair Meetups. Most people answer back with this product and that product. However, there are different factors unrelated to products that can be causing this problem, if really there is a growth problem.

To address this question, one needs to get an idea of a baseline when it comes to figuring out if truly  the hair is not growing . Keep note that hair grows at the rate of 0.5 inches / 1.25 centimeters a month.


What is your baseline?
Your baseline typically is what you would use to compare the rate at which your hair grows. First, start by doing a length check on your hair, taking sections from each part of your head and measure them. Then wait at least a couple of months before you do another measurement. At least 4 months to get a typical 2 inches of growth, if all factors are kept in check.

 

What is your hair routine?
 Look at what you are currently doing in terms of your hair routine. Is there something that you are doing that could be hindering growth? Is your routine lacking proper moisturizing factors and maintenance processes?

How is your diet and lifestyle?
Most of the hair problems that people have stems from what they are eating. Sometimes, your diet and lifestyle habits might be affecting your health and indirectly your hair growth. Make sure that you are drinking enough water, eating the right types of foods and getting enough exercise. This will help in the circulation of blood, which helps hair growth.

Are you retaining length?
Remember, in normal cases, hair is always growing. The issue might be that you are not retaining length. If your ends are breaking off easily, you might not be doing a good job at sealing your ends. Using a thick oil or butter to seal your ends will help in reducing the breakage in that area and minimize split ends.

How often are you trimming your hair?
Although this is not a problem, many people still go by the "relaxed" way of thinking when it comes to trimming their hair. They trim on schedule, every 6 weeks.. every 8 weeks... whenever, without really thinking, does my hair need to be trimmed?  Think about it this way:
 You start off Month 1 with 4 inches of hair, and then 2 months later, you trim off half to an inch of hair (or more if the person trimming is scissors-happy). Then you measure your hair and it is maybe 4 and a half inches long... then you say, "My hair is not growing!!". Now, remember hair grows half an inch each month. Meaning that in 2 months you should have at most 1 inch of growth... well, in the 2 months mark, you chopped that off..   o_O   see my point?? 


Other factors...
Stress, medication, health condition, some autoimmune diseases such as alopecia can also affect hair growth. If you do not see retention of growth in your hair, you can contact your health physician.

Benefits of Steaming Natural Hair and My FIRST experience

Source: BlackHairInformation.com

Watch my first experience using my gym's steam room to do steam treatment on my Natural Hair

Monday, April 15, 2013

Steam Treatment for Natural Hair : Before or After Shampoo

Picture Source: HelloBeautiful.com
 
Today, I pose this question on my Facebook and Instagram page:

 
While a couple of people have not steamed their hair before, most of them stated that they steam their hair after they shampoo.

Reasons why you should steam BEFORE you shampoo
From CurlyNikki.com :
 Always use the steamer before you shampoo, not after. The point of the steamer is to gently lift the cuticle and make it easier for strengthening ingredients to penetrate into the strand. Once you fully wet your hair in the shower, each strand gets flooded with water which causes the hair shaft to swell. You’ll condition your hair at that time too, but the real benefit of the steamer is to allow penetrating ingredients to squeeze under the cuticle layers before water hits your hair directly.
Also, check out Black Girl Long Hair's article: Rethinking Old Hair Habits.

Ways of steaming your hair
Here are some ways to steam your hair:

- Using a steamer
- With a heated towel over a plastic cap
- In the shower
- In the gym's steam/sauna room

How do you steam your hair?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Healthy Eating: #GreenSmoothie Challange - Week Two

Day 8: Tongue Twister


Ingredients:
1 banana
1 green pear
1 pink grapefruit
Kale
Flaxseed

My thought: Starts off bitter, then tangy, then ends sweet.

Day 9: Berry Blast

Ingredients:
Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, Banana, Kale, Flaxseed

My Thoughts: Surprisingly, not too sweet. I was not a big fan of the raspberry seeds, thought. Couldn't taste the kale. Overall, it was ok.

Day 10: Celmangery


Ingredients:
1 Collard green leaf, 2 stalks of celery, 1 mango, 1 orange, 1 banana, 1 lemon, 2 tbsps flaxseed

My Thoughts: I loved it. It started off with a celery taste and before you start thinking okay...another celery smoothie, your tastebuds get a little happy dance with a mango taste, and when you are done, a little bit of celery aftertaste comes back to let you know... who owns this Cel -mang- ery" LOL!


Day 11: Spicy Pineapple

Ingredients: 1 apple, I pear, pineapple, ginger, collard green, flaxseed.

My Thoughts: I love it, you only taste the pineapple and then at the end, the little hint of spice from the ginger. What a way to wake up the taste buds.

Day 12: Peachy green

Ingredients: Kale, collard greens, ginger, peach, banana, flaxseed, green tea

My thoughts: Couldn't taste the greens, but the peach and ginger. Pleasant taste.

Day 13: Sweet Cold buster 
Ingredients: orange juice, tangerine, pineapple, mango, collard greens, carrot, flaxseed.

My thoughts: Sweet! Next time I will skip the juice. Kicked the sweet part of my taste buds onto high gear.

Day 14: Immune booster 

Ingredients: lime, lemon, ginger, orange, honey, kale, flaxseed

My thoughts: Tart and sweet. I love it!

Afro Puff Week : Easy Style for Short Natural Hair

Original Afro Puff
 
Last week, I wore my hair out in different puff styles. I enjoyed the freedom of not having to retwist at night. I did not have a lot of tangles as I thought I would. Yeah!

So, I skipped my wash day for the week... That will be in another post.

 The original puff (shown above) was from a mini braid out style that I did:

The next day, I "woke up" my hair using the method below:

I got a little bored with just puffing out my hair and decided to create a new style.


Glad the week is over, time to wash this hair and protect her.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Video Tutorial: From Wash To Style



Watch as I take you through the entire process of a wash day.

Part 1: Pre Wash


Part 2: Shampooing






Part 3: Deep Conditioning


Part 4: Styling

Thanks for watching.  If you have not yet subscribed to DiscoveringNatural on YouTube, please visit http://www.youtube.com/DiscoveringNatural

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Healthy Eating: #GreenSmoothie Challange - Week One.

Day 1: Celerade
Ingredients: 1 Apple, 1 lemon (3 tbsps. liquid), 2 celery stalks.

My Thoughts: Surprisingly, it tastes more like lemon. I am not a huge fan of celery so it was nice that the lemon overpowered the taste


Day 2-4: Sweet Kale
Ingredients: Watch the video above

My Thoughts: This is a sweet smoothie that is a hit with the entire family...and friends.


Day 5: Tropical Green

Ingredients:  Kale, banana, Orange, apple, mango, strawberry, blueberries, lemon, flaxseed

My Thoughts: Smooth and Sweet but not overly sweet.


Day 6: Apple Blossom
 
 Ingredients: 3 leaves of collard greens, 1 Apple, 3 tbsps of lime juice, 1 tbsps of flaxseed,  water

My Thoughts: Tart and Chewy. 30 mins after drinking this I had a huge burst of energy!! I felt as if I could run a marathon.
.

Day 7: Tangelo Love


Ingredients: 1 leaf of fresh collard green 2 tangerines 1 red apple 1 lemon 1 banana Blueberries 1 tbsp of flaxseed

My Thoughts: Sweet with a light tart aftertaste


Watch out for next week's Week 2 smoothies. Have you drank your smoothie TODAY?

Check put simplegreensmoothies.com for more info.

Healthy Eating: Preserving My Collard Greens



I am blessed to have neighbors that have "green thumbs".  LOL, not literally!  I got a huge bag of freshly cut collard greens last week and decided to show you how I preserve my greens.

Big Sis and I started off by removing the stem off the greens and the middle stems.


After doing this, thoroughly rinse the greens in cool water to remove any dirt.

In a pot of boiling water, soak the greens for about 3 to 4 minutes.

After this is done, drain the water off the greens.
 
Then quickly dip the greens in some ice cold water (I had to add ice because my water was not quite cold enough)
 
 

Remove as much moisture as possible from the greens
This is an optional step, but I love to chop my greens,


Store the greens in labeled bags. Frozen greens can last for up to 10 months.

I use my greens to make my Nigerian stew, efo, and  I also add it to my green smoothies.
To see my Green Smoothie Recipes, visit my Instagram page. Click here.

#UseItUp Challenge and Product Junkie


Monday, April 8, 2013

May 18th is International Natural Hair Meetup Day


What events are you attending in your area?

Natural Hair Night Routine and Morning After


Yesterday, I did my Mini Braid Out.  The outcome was not stellar at all!! I did a video but not sure if I will edit it.. Hmm...

Anyways, at night, I decided to moisturize my hair and band it and see what type of results I get.

Sectioning my hair into four, I misted with a little warm water, applied my oil mix and coconut oil, and then applied my leave in moisturizer, and sealed my ends with whipped shea butter.

I then banded my hair using the method in the picture above.

The next morning, after working out at the gym, I undid the bands, putting a little Argan oil at the ends of each band as I removed it. and fluffed my hair. I accessorized with a headband.


Made some breakfast for "The Man" and I....

And went to work.....

Hope you have a wonderful day!!!

If you don't follow me on Instragram... you probably missed our family adventure yesterday,,,

The Man finally shows his face... LOL!