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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Let's talk Oils! Part 2: Essential Oil: Lavender and Carrier Oil: Grape seed

December 26, 2010

Hello, Hello, Hello!

In my last post I talked about the essential oil Eucalyptus and the carrier oil Avocado. If your thinking that the intro to this blog looks similar don't think your crazy because it is! I basically copied the intro from that post to this post to go over the basics of what an essential and carrier oil are so please feel free to skip to the good parts!

Doing some research and I wanted to buy some essential oils (An essential oil is a liquid that is generally distilled from leaves, stems, flowers, bark, roots, or other elements of a plant. Essential oils don't really have oily feeling. Essential oils are highly concentrated and a little goes ways)

I found an an essential oil set on Amazon for $19.95 and it includes: Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Sweet Orange & Tea Tree. Which I think is perfect because I am a still learning and going through my T&E(Trial and Error) stage.

So from what I gather you want to add an essential oil with a carrier oil to your hair care products to boost the effect of the product. Like I have said no product is a miracle product, they just help you on your way and these added oils should help. So this is part one of, well I don't know how many parts there are quite a few essential oils and not nearly as many carrier oils, so I will try to stick with the most popular or well known ones but I may add more essential oils as they interest me.

Lavender Oil
  • has recently been implicated in gynecomastia, the abnormal development of breasts in young boys, However, that gynecomastia actually was caused by the essential oils in the products used by the three boys are currently being disputed by the Natural Artisan Perfumers Guild and Cropwatch on the claimed basis of insufficient evidence (Side note: This was a study of 3 boys...3, most studies contain a large variety of people. The reason for this is so that you can have a control group and a test group. Most studies are double blind so that the results won't be skewed in either direction. I would not consider this a study but rather a case where 3 boys had the same symptoms and were treated successfully by the removal of any products that contain Lavender or Tea Tree Oil. That does not necessarily mean that these products caused there situation and no follow up results were taken from the boys. All had either used lavender-scented soap and skin lotions, or shampoos or styling products that contained tea tree oil and lavender oil as ingredients)
  • effective in treating the problem of hair loss
  • treats a variety of hair problems including alopecia
  • enhances blood circulation, hence a scalp massage will definitely help improve hair growth
  • Can reduce itchy scalp and dandruff

Grape Seed Oil
  • grape seed oil leaves a glossy film over the skin
  •  It contains more linoleic acid than many other carrier oils (Side Note: deficiency in linoleic acid can result in symptoms such as hair fall and dry hair. Can help support cell health) 
  • contains small amounts of Vitamin E but not as much as Safflower Oil, Cottonseed Oil or rice bran oil
  • can help add shine and moisture to your hair
  • has a light non greasy texture
  • absorbed by hair quickly
  • When grape seed oil is used as a carrier oil by diluting it with other essential oils it moisturizes and nourishes the hair making it soft and manageable
  • heating grape seed oil and applying it to the scalp and hair ends greatly helps to make hair shiny, reducing brittleness
  •  smooths the hair cuticles, sealing in the moisture and making each hair strand strong
So can I say OMG! Grape seed oil sounds fantastic. From what I gather it is the only carrier oil that someone hasn't said is bad in some way. I knew I wanted to try it because I Megz (From youtube) uses it. It's a light oil that seems perfect for sealing your hair and to extend an essential oil. As for Lavender oil, I don't really think it's for me. It has some nice benefits but they are pretty much the same as some other ingredients. From what I can tell the best benefit is increased blood flow which is also caused by Eucalyptus oil.

Stay turned for the next part. Let's talk Oils! Part 3: Essential Oil: Peppermint and Carrier Oil: Jojoba

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The truth about sulfates

December 23, 2010

Hello, Hello!

So "The Truth about Sodium Laureth Sulfate", is really my truth about sulfates as I see it because, your truth might be completely different. You might have a totally different experience with sulfates and that will be your truth. Shampooing removes dirt oils, dirt, skin particles, dandruff, environmental pollutants and other contaminant particles. The goal is to remove the unwanted build-up without stripping out so much sebum.

Have we talked about Sebum? Well, it's the naturally produced oil by our scalp. It is very thick and coats your scalp and hair which is good for your hair and you should naturally produce only just enough sebrum. However outside factors effect the production of sebrum. One of these factors is shampooing your hair. The whole purpose of shampooing your hair is to remove build up, but we don't want to remove to much of our naturally occurring sebum and we also don't want to over stimulate the glades, which will make the glades go into over production.

Different types of sulfates generally act as a detergent and as such help to remove oil and grease from your hair and scalp. What is what? What on earth do you call it Sodium Lauryl, Laureth? Ammounium?! There is Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laurilsulfate or sodium dodecyl sulfate which shouldn't be confused with Sodium laureth sulfate, or sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES) or Ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS).Well, let's stick with the two we recognize or see most often and we will call it SLS, SLES and ALS. (There were so many different types however that I am lumping them all together.)

The facts! (Or as close as I can get to it)

What is SLS? It is a surfactant detergent that is very effective as a foaming and thickening agent research shows that it is NOT a carcinogenic and that it can be a skin irritant.

What is SLES?  It is also a surfactant detergent that is also effective as a foaming and thickening agent and research DOES show that it can contain low levels of carcinogen however per the FDA the levels should be monitored but should be safe in the low quantities used in beauty products.

What is ALS? It is also a surfactant detergent and foaming agent.

What do people say about Sulfates? SLS, SLES and ALS are used in things like shampoo, toothpaste, as cleaning products. The lather is very effective at cleaning the hair of oil and residue. SLS is more commonly used as it chemically synthesized and cheaper to produce and is found in over 95% of commercially available shampoos. There are sites that say that SLS is an extremely dangerous ingredients in products and that it is corrosive and greedily attacks grease. That SLS penetrated into skin or tissue and has shown long term retention in these areas. It is potentially harmful to skin and hair. Dries skin by stripping the protective lipids from the surface so it can't effectively regulate moisture. Another extremely serious problem is the connection of SLS with nitrate contamination. SLS reacts with many types of ingredients used in skin products and forms nitrosomines. Liver toxicity. The Journal of the American College of Toxicology says that it has “a degenerative effect on the cell membranes because of its protein denaturing properties”. The Journal adds that “high levels of skin penetration may occur at even low use concentration" (These are things I have found said on the web) 

Are Sulfates harsh chemicals used to clean floors, car engines and the like? Why, yes they could be! Sulfates are a detergent and as such it is used in varying concentrations in a wide range of uses. You really wouldn't pour 100% vinegar or lemon juice or even a baking soda and water mixture on your hair because they would eat through your hair. But you would lower the concentration and limit the use of each item as necessary.

We have gotten some good information, but I think the truth is in the pudding. I will leave the possibility of cancer out of all my thoughts on this subject and the reason I am doing this is for a few reasons. First of all, the people who determine if something will cause cancer or not are constantly changing there mind. There is only one thing that I can think of, off the type of my head, that ALL scientist agree on that can cause cancer but I am sure that you could find someone who says it can't. There is such a wide discussion on the risk level of SLS, SLES, ALS or sulfates in general that if you feel that this is a real concern than you should do what is right for you. Secondly, I do not believe it causes cancer by itself in my shampoo and conditioner.

Now for some truth pudding! Before you say get rid of all the sulfates; take a look at your toothpaste or your body wash. Especially the body wash because they usually contain sulfates and I think that's a good clue that you and sulfates don't get along is that if after you have used a sulfate containing item your skin is dry, tight or itchy.

List of Sulfate free shampoos
  • Burt's Bee Shampoo (There are a bunch of them so I will leave it at that)
  • Alberto VO5 Herbal Escapes Moisturizing Shampoo Free me Freesia
  • Jason Hair Moisturizing Conditioner, Sea Kelp
  • Jason Thin-to-Thick Shampoo, Extra Volume
  • Jason Natural Apricot Shampoo
  • Jason Aloe Vera 84% Shampoo
  • Jason Shampoo Apricot Kiwi Volumizing
  • Kiss My Face Obsessively Organic Shampoo, Big Body, Volumizing, Lavender & Chamomile
  • Avalon Shampoo Rosemary
  • Avalon Organics Nourishing Shampoo
  • Medi-Dan Extra Dandruff Treatment Shampoo
  • Hair One Hair Cleanser Conditioner
  • One 'n Only Argan Oil Moisture Repair Shampoo (This one is slightly suspect because of one of the ingredient but I still think it fits in this list)
  • AGEbeautiful Fullness & Body Sulfate-Free Shampoo
  • Sulfate-free Coloresse Rescue Shampoo
  • Silk Elements ColorCare Sulfate Free Shampoo
  • Diamond Shine Volumizing Shampoo (Has silcones)
  • Organix Vanilla Silk Shampoo
  • Organix Coconut Milk Shampoo
  • Organix Tea Tree Mint Shampoo
  • Organix Pomegranate Green Tea Shampoo For Revitalizing Hair
  • L'oreal Paris Everpure Smooth Shampoo, Rosemary Juniper Sulfate-Free Color Care System
  • Thicker Fuller Hair Moisturizing Shampoo
  • TIGI Rockaholic Livin The Dream Sulfate Free Shampoo
  • CHI Ionic Color Protector System 1 Shampoo
  • Alba Hawaiian Coconut Milk Shampoo
  • Alba Hawaiian Mango Moisturizing Shampoo
The list is just a start, I am working on it lol.
**Note: I looked up some specific products because I didn't want it to seem that I ignored them. I could not find a sulfate free shampoo by: Pantene, Herbal Essenes, Paul Mitchell (At least I couldn't find one), Nexxus and Infusium 23. Tresemme had a silicone free but only a lower sulfate shampoo**

Well, I have learned that all sulfate shampoo's are not created equally. There are many different types of sulfates that companies use in products and each of these types have varying concentration or strengths. Also, some shampoo's had the sulfate as the second ingredient! While a few of them had them lower down on the list (and I mean a few!) and some had multiple types of sulfate and were usually back to back. Above I stated that sulfates could or can be a skin irritant and as such I expected to find the dry, flaky or dandruff shampoos to be sulfate free, but to my great surprise NONE of the ones I looked at were sulfate free.

Sulfates oh sulfates why do they cause such contention?! So many rumors and suspect information. Sulfate free is like the big thing, like being Green. Here is what I believe though and what I know. I know that the word shampoo has been around since 1762 and while at that time it related more to massaging your head than the act of putting something on your hair to clean it. This changed in the 1860's and people applied any kind of soap they could find to their hair. The first commercially available shampoo's started to appear around the turn of the 20th century. Which means to me that people have been using the same kind of shampoo I am using for generations and that while sulfates CAN be harsh to your hair I think that there ok by me.

So my plan would be to add a sulfate free shampoo to my mix and put it in my rotation to help maintain my natural sebum levels. I think I would add a sulfate free shampoo to my mid-week wash. I am have been constantly looking for a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner for ages and the search marches on. I do like few of the options above.

I have tried the Hair One Hair Cleanser Conditioner and I do like it. It really doesn't lather but that's ok.
I would like to try:

  • Alba Hawaiian Coconut Milk Shampoo or Alba Hawaiian Mango Moisturizing Shampoo (It is a very green product. No Animal testing, parabeen free (which I don't know if that is good, but I heard it was :), natural ingredients

  • So that's that I guess. From my research I think I would rather take a sulfate over a silicone. A harsh sulfate may dry your hair out a little (but you don't want to use a shampoo that dries your hair anyway) but at least you can fix that. A silicone will block all your corrective actions because they coat your hair. But! But I would use a silicone product if I were going to wash it out that night or next day.

    Have a good one and Happy Holidays!

    Lets Talk Oils! Part 1: Essential Oil: Eucalyptus and Carrier Oil: Avocado

    December 23, 2010

    Hello, Hello, Hello!

    It's been awhile since my last post just because the holidays are here! I am trying to get back in the swing of things so, lets jump right in!

    Doing some research and I wanted to buy some essential oils (An essential oil is a liquid that is generally distilled from leaves, stems, flowers, bark, roots, or other elements of a plant. Essential oils don't really have oily feeling. Essential oils are highly concentrated and a little goes ways)

    I found an an essential oil set on Amazon for $19.95 and it includes: Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Sweet Orange & Tea Tree. Which I think is perfect because I am a still learning and going through my T&E(Trial and Error) stage.

    So from what I gather you want to add an essential oil with a carrier oil to your hair care products to boost the effect of the product. Like I have said no product is a miracle product, they just help you on your way and these added oils should help. So this is part one of, well I don't know how many parts there are quite a few essential oils and not nearly as many carrier oils, so I will try to stick with the most popular or well known ones but I may add more essential oils as they interest me.

    Eucalyptus Oil:
    • Has medicinal properties: Anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, decongestant, antiseptic, analgesic, antiviral, antibacterial and stimulant properties
    • cooling effect to skin or scalp
    • help to get rid of dandruff
    • stimulate blood circulation
    • increase elasticity of hair
    • this oil in its pure form is toxic, if it is ingested or taken internally
    • is pale yellow in color and watery in viscosity
    So Eucalyptus oil should be used with caution and in a diluted form. As with many essential oils, it is a violate substance. Due to it's cooling effects, ability to increase blood flow and elasticity of hair, I would add a few drops to my shampoo because I would be rinsing it out so limiting my exposure.

    Let's move on to a carrier oil. A carrier oil is used to dilute essential oils. They carry the essential oil onto the skin or hair. It should be used as natural and unchanged as possible. Organic oils for the win. Mineral oil is not really a carrier oil because it not absorbed by the skin or hair.

    Avocado Oil:
    • Light texture that makes it easy to soak into the scalp and skin
    • Can help with hair related problems like hair fall, thinning hair and dandruff
    • contains essential nutrients like proteins, vitamins A, D, E and B6, magnesium, copper, iron, amino acids and folic acid (Side note:Folic acid is super good for your hair)
    • natural sunscreen properties
    • better when blended with other oils like almond oil or olive oil
    • natural humectant properties
    So based on these research I might have to do a little T&E and mix a little Eucalyptus in my shampoo and maybe create a deep conditioning treatment or Pre-poo of Avocado Oil, Olive Oil and Shea butter. I want an essential oil in this mix, but that needs more research!

    Stay turned for the next part. Let's talk Oils! Part 2: Essential Oil: Lavender and Carrier Oil: Grape seed

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Things I want to add to my reggie (Deep Conditioner)

    November 10, 2010

    Hello, hello. This particular blog is just, well I wanted to basically get my idea's down and the research I have done all gathered in one place so that I can refer to it.

    I am trying not to be a product junkie but it is so very hard. I want to try so many things that I read about or see on Youtube. In an effort not to be a Product Junkie (PJ) I try very hard to use all the product before I buy new stuff. If I buy new stuff before I finish the old stuff I will cave and never go back to the old stuff.

    This deep conditioner is all the rage I hear and I really wanted to try it:
    Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle (Really excited to try this)
    1. Water
    2. Stearyl Alcohol (Fatty alcohol)
    3. Cyclopentasiloxane (Silicone but evaporates easily)
    4. Cetyl Alcohol (Fatty Alcohol)
    5. Dimethicone (Silicone/detangler)
    6. Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine (Conditioning agent)
    7. Glutamic Acid (Conditioning agent/Protein)
    8. Fragrance
    9. Benzyl Alcohol (Preservative)
    10. EDTA (Preservative)
    11. Methylchloroisothiazolinone (Silicone preservative)
    12. Methylisothiazolinone (Preservative-Listed as a dangerous ingredient)
    13. Ecklonia Radiata Extract Australian Sea Kelp Extract (Moisturize and conditioning)
    14. Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (AKA Aloe Vera-Improves the dry appearance of hair)
    15. Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil (AKA Jojoba Oil-Humectant/moisturizer)

    Well, I was excited to try this and I can see why so many people rave about how silky their hair was after using this product. It is full of Silicone's! OMG!! Ok seriously though, silicone this, silicone that and that one ingredient, when I google it all these articles say "Dangerous. Toxic etc" I think this will be a pass for me. I really wanted to try it, and I might have if it wasn't for all the silicone's in it. I mean silicone's will prevent the moisture from penetrating the hair shaft, your hair will be pretty but not healthy.

    The alternative Deep Conditioner I wanted to try was:
    Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask Professional

    1. Water
    2. Cetyl Alcohol (Duplicate Ingredient)
    3. Behentrimonium Chloride (Detangling Conditioner)
    4. Cyclopentasiloxane (Carrier Silicone-Carries heavier silicone)
    5. Dimethicone (Duplicate Ingredient)
    6. Cetearyl Alcohol (Fatty alcohol)
    7. Ethylhexyl Isononanoate (Fatty alcohol-Emollient)
    8. Behenyl Alcohol (Duplicate Ingredient)
    9. Meadowfoam Seed Oil (Limnanthes Alba)
    10. Cyclohexasiloxane (Duplicate Ingredient)
    11. Olive Fruit Oil (Olea Europaea)
    12. Sweet Almond Oil (Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis)
    13. Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine (Duplicate Ingredient)
    14. Behentrimonium Methosulfate (Mildest Detangling  ingredient)
    15. Amodimethicone (Silicone)
    16. Panthenol (Pro Vitamin B5)
    17. Glycol Stearate (Emollient/Humectant)
    18. Ceteth-2 (Derivative of cetyl alcohol)
    19. Hydroxyethylcellulose (Thickener-Like air in bag potato chip bag)
    20. Phenoxyethanol (Preservative)
    21. Methylparaben (Preservative)
    22. Propylparaben (Preservative)
    23. Citric Acid
    24. Mica (Opalescent)
    25. Titanium Dioxide (Colorant and SPF)
    26. Iron Oxide (Colorant)
    27. Fragrance Boi oh boi, this product has a lot of ingredients! I still want to try this product because I am using the Daily conditioner and leave in product and I really like them. I probably like them because of the silicone's making me hair "feel" soft instead of actually being soft.
    So what's a PJ to do? Search for silicone free product?
    List of products I am pretty sure I can buy locally:
    V05 Blushin' Apple conditioner
    V05 Creamy Citrus Healthy Shine Conditioner
    V05 Extra Body conditioner
    V05 Free Me Freesia conditioner
    V05 Fruitsation Naturals Conditioner
    V05 Kiwi and Lime Squeeze conditioner
    VO5 Lavender Luster
    V05 Moisture Milks Strawberries and Cream conditioner
    V05 Peaches & Cream
    V05 Passion Fruit Smoothie Conditioner (Moisture Milks)
    VO5 Silky Experiences Champagne Kiss
    VO5 Spa Lemongrass and Chamomile
    V05 Spa Volumizing Conditioner (Invigorating w/ Spring Water and Lemongrass)
    V05 Strawberries and Cream
    V05 Sun Kissed Raspberry conditioner
    V05 Tangerine Tickle conditioner
    V05 Tea Therapy Nourishing conditioner (Tranquility Calming Chamomile Tea)
    Herbal Essence Protection Conditioner
    Garnier Fructis (Fine Hair)
    L'Oreal VIVE Fresh-Shine Conditioner
    L'Oreal VIVE Non-Stop Volume Conditioner
    L'Oreal VIVE Nutri-Gloss intensive shine masque
    Nexxus Color Ensure Replenishing Conditioner
    Nexxus Ensure Acidifying Conditioner & Detangler
    Nexxus Humectress Ultimate Moisturizing Conditioner (I guess I will try this one, I have heard good things, I just hate the $10 price ><)Nexxus Keraphix
    Suave Aloe Vera
    Suave Juicy Green Apple
    Suave Milk and Honey conditioner
    Suave Naturals Fresh Berry Smoothie Conditioner
    Suave Naturals Citrus Smoothie
    Suave Naturals Juicy Green Apple Conditioner
    Suave Naturals Lavender Conditioner
    Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut Conditioner
    White Rain Energizing Citrus
    White Rain Extra Body conditioner
    White Rain Jasmine conditioner
    White Rain Regular conditioner
    This blog took on a life of it's own and has become a monster! However, I feel good about the information I have gathered. It was hard work too! Anyway, I wanted to include shampoo's, conditioners, oils etc into this blog, but I don't think it will happen tonight. Look for my next blog. Things I want to add to my reggie (Shampoo and conditioner) part 2

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    Happy Veteran's Day.

    November 11, 2010

    Hello, hello and Happy Veteran's day. I want to take a minute to say thank you to all the men and women who fight in the service of our military service. They go were they are needed and stay until they need to leave. I am grateful for every family that has given their loved one in an war or conflict or whatever political name the people want to give to it. Thank you and I honor you today and everyday.

    A few thoughts to someone starting their hair journey

    November 10, 2010

    Hello, hello!

    When I was little, I hated washing my hair because I hated having to dry it and tame it into something other than the poofy mess it would become if I just let it dry. As I got older, I loved washing my hair. Really I just loved letting the water run through my hair and then since I wet it, i put some conditioner on it! Little did I know I was co-washing. Then when I got into my teens and I was really feeling that straight hair, which I had no idea how to achieve it by the way, I relaxed my hair more regularly and I would not wash my hair for weeks after a relaxer! Ruin my straight beautiful hair?! Never!

    I tried to get serious about my hair journey last year and so I started trying to wash my hair once a week. I did and flat ironed once a week at least! Than I found out to much heat was bad for your hair! Oh my now what?!

    What have I learned? Well, water is good for your hair, Ever notice that the first ingredient in a lot of products that MOISTURIZE is what? As a relaxed woman I know that I need to do more to maintain strength and moisture.

    Moisturizing and sealing (M/S). All depends on what your hair needs. If you m/s in the morning and then before bed your hair feels dry than m/s again. I m/s twice a day if I can and I am noticing less breakage.

    As for products to use, well my thoughts on that are that there is no miracle product and what works for me, may not work for you. I like to say that the begining of your hair journey is full of trial and error. I try this product and it sucks. I try this product and it's pretty awesome and my hair really responds to it. So then you have to ask yourself some basic questions: What does that product do? (Provides protein? Moisture?) Provides moisture? Sweet! Now I need an awesome product that provides protein or vice versa.

    I think some staple items would be an essential oil and a carrier oil. An essential oil would be like: Lavendar, Peppermint, tea tree oil, Eucalyptus oil, Peppermint oil etc. A carrier oil is like: Jojoba oil, Sweet almond oil
    Grape seed oil, Avocado oil, Olive oil, Sesame oil, Sunflower oil,Emu oil, Castor oil or coconut oil.

    You can really improve a product by adding an essential and carrier oil to it. I suggest you figure out, or try to, what your hair needs and than make your choices based on that.

    For instance, I am relaxed and was very naughty to my hair. My hair tends to be dry and I am constantly fighting split ends. I think I need protein and moisture. I am using a protein leave-in conditioner (ProFective Mega Growth Daily leave in conditioner) and sealing with an pre-mixed oil (African's Best Herbal Oil) that I bought and I alternate that with a regular leave-in conditioner (Garnier Fructis Leave-in Conditioning cream-Sleek n Shine) and sealing with the same oil. I use them alternative every day or one set in the morning and one in the evening. It really depends on how my hair feels.

    I want to add an essential oil to the mix in my shampoo's and conditioner. I want to add Peppermint and jojoba oil to my shampoo and Castor oil and lavender oil to my conditioner.
    So I am kinda cheap, so I haven't purchased an Essential oils, but I saw this on

    It has all the stuff I want to try in it. Lavendar oil, eucalyptus oil, peppermint, tea tree and I am hoping the lemongrass and orange smell really nice, I might throw them in to my spray in leave in conditioner.

    Anyway, I wanted to post this blog as I answered a post on a hair board and my post was very long and I wanted to add more, and so I did and put it here :)

    Saturday, November 6, 2010

    Battle with Split ends

    I'm in the Healthy Hair Journey war. I call it a war because it is hard work and it requires, diligence, planning and attention to details to wing the reward of healthy hair. I want my hair to be healthy, I really, really want to have beautiful healthy and long hair.

    To that end I try to work hard, so in this war I have many battles to fight. Right now I am focusing on healthy ends, and no split ends. I got my hair trimmed on 10-2-10
    After my last relaxer on 9-18-10

    Length check on wet hair on 10-30-10

    I was really bummed about my ends after my relaxer in September, so I decided that I needed to get my ends trimmed in an effort to get rid of those terrible ends. So I went to get them trimmed.

    (Side note: The woman who trimmed my hair was freaking out of her mind! I mean seriously she was. I should have walked away when I saw how jacked up her hair was, but I really needed a trim so I sat down. This woman told me that my ends were dry and that next time I did a relaxer to apply the relaxer to my ends for a couple of minutes to lay down the cuticles! Now I don't know much but I know that was a fool thing to say.)

    I was so sad when I got home. I went to my husband and laid my head on his chest and got a little teary eyed. He said my hair looked pretty and it didn't look like they had taken hardly end length off, but I knew different. I felt it! My hair was shoulder length again and I was none to happy.

    As you can see the length in the picture above, I was so freaking happy that day. This was the longest my hair had ever been, and I was really feeling the new length but I did what I had to do.

    So anyway, after I trimmed my hair I thought I would lay off the heat and my ends would do better. Little did I know. I was sitting on the couch last night looking at my ends and noticed split ends. I started to dust them and noticed quire a few! Now I will be danged but I was sure that I would have like NO split ends but noooo I am furious! I can't wait to get the Splitender for Christmas because dusting the back of my hair is super difficult.

    I tried to do some research about preventing split ends but I really couldn't nail any specific information down, but here is what I know:

    Split ends occur when the protective cuticle is destroyed at the end of the hair. The hair will then split into two or more strands or sometimes the strands will split mid shaft and come back together. (SN: That sucks)

    Causes of split ends are: Over processing the hair with chemicals, over exposure to the sun, stripping of essential oils from hair, using a damaging brush or comb (SN: I had to look more into this one because, what is the right brush or comb?! So an ideal brush is a Boar Bristle brush. Brushes should not be used to de-tangle hair, so they should only be used on dry hair that is tangle free with good slip. No info on bad combs at this time), exposure to the elements, over use of heat styling tools and anything that snags or catches the hair which will damage the cuticle and expose the hair shaft.

    So here is the plan! We know that split ends occur when the protective cuticle is destroyed or stripped from the hair shaft, so I have to redouble my efforts to baby my ends. Keep that oil on them and look for something, silicone free to keep them moisturized. Oh and try super hard to find something that stays on my head while I sleep.


    My first Air-Dry Roller set!

    October 31, 2010

    My first Air-Dry Roller Set. Oh my! So I wanted to do a roller set because I am trying to stretch my relaxer for 10 weeks or more AND avoid heat.

    The thing is, I like straight hair, shoot like it, I LOVE it. However, heat and hair are not best friends. If my hair was super healthy I wouldn't worry so much about it, the heat that is, but because it's still a work in progress I want to be kind and not heat damage my hair. So I watched a bunch of YouTube videos (ulovemegz was awesome) and I feel confident that I can do this.

    I purchased the Conair 75 Piece roller set for $14.99 from Kmart and it comes in it's own little case. (See the pic)

    It comes with:
    9 Rollers in each size (For a total of 54 rollers)

    20 metal clips (I purchased an additional 12 clips from Sally's because 20 is just not enough)
    1 Rat tail comb

    • I pre-conditioned with oils Friday night.
    • On saturday morning I deep conditioned with the last of the Fructis 3 minute masque (So glad that stuff is gone, but I can't find the Aussie Moist 3 minute which is what I wanted to try next. Guess I am going to have to do a bunch of research and find a different DC. Maybe the Neutrugena Triple moisture one)
    • Applied the Kimmaytube Leave-in conditioner recipe (I used Fructis Leave in Conditioning cream instead of Kinky kurly or whatever that stuff is she uses.)
    • Kept my hair moist with water and applied Extra Virgin Coconut Oil as I did each section.
    • It was very hard to figure out each section. I used alot of rollers and effort to get the sections right and I think I only did it 'good enough' which was not acceptable. I was tired though.
    • As you can see from the picture, my sections are super sloppy! I will have to do better next time.

    So Sunday morning I woke up, and I was so excited to see how it turned out! But I guess I still need work, because I was not impressed with my first attempt.

    I took the rollers out:

    Wasn't that much I guess, but I have shoulder length hair and it felt like alot to me!

    I tell you what, new growth is the suck. I really just wanted to take the flat iron to my entire head! Seriously it was that bad. To make it worse, the left side looked fantastic but the right side looked off. The curls were not quite right. I put a hat on and worked with it all day sunday but I was none to happy.

    I tried the Pineapple wrap and went to sleep, but OMGoodness it looked terrible! Seriously, I sucked at this roller set. I wet my hair down and put it in a pony tail and bunned for the rest of the week.

    My Kimmaytube Leave-in Conditioner recipe

    October 30, 2010

    Hello, hello!

    If you do not know who Kimmaytube is than you really need to check her out on Youtube or her website I love her videos  because they are so informative and she has such a nice speaking voice!

    Anyway, she really got me thinking about the Ph balance of my hair and my hair cuticles. She has a Youtube video about a Leave-In Conditioner recipe that I really wanted to try, but with the products that I use. I don't know if I have said this before, but I do not want nor will I order hair care products over the internet. If I can not get it locally than it was not meant for me to have it. That's just me, I understand that means that I may be limiting myself, but wateve!

    Anyway for my verison of her recipe I used.

    1. 1. Garnier Fructis Leave-in Conditioning cream (I was going to use the Neutragena but it has 3 oils in it already that I think they are more pervasive and might overwhelm the mix and make it to oily. I am going to be getting some honey or Tea Tree Oil to add just enough to the mix as a perservative so the mix will keep.) (1 Tbs)
    2. Aloe Vera Juice (This was hard to find! I bought it at an organic food store-2 Tsp)
    3. Jojoba Oil (2 Tsp)
    4. Castor Oil (2 tsp)

    I made the mix today as it is my Saturday Pamper my hair day and I will be doing my first Air-Dry Roller set. So see that post for more info on how that went.

    As for the mix? Well.... I like it pretty good :)

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    My Hair journey: This weeks Trial and error

    My Hair journey: This weeks Trial and error: "So as you can guess my regimen is a work in progress and while I have learned so much I still haven't gotten a regimen nailed down yet. It's..."

    This weeks Trial and error

    So as you can guess my regimen is a work in progress and while I have learned so much I still haven't gotten a regimen nailed down yet. It's hard work because I am a little bit of a product junkie in recovery. There are quite a few products that I still want to try and techniques that I am still learning.

    Last week I had a semi-successful flexi-rod set. I feel bad there is not a blog about that first one, but look for one in the future. Next week I will be trying a roller set, I would try it this week but I am super broke! So no money for my hair obession this week.

    So this week is for Product Trail and Error!

    1. Pre-Conditioned with my mixture, sat with it on for maybe 20 minutes, I lose interest so quickly that was as long as I could stand it.
    2. Shampoo'ed with Vo5 Herbal Balancing shampoo (Added a little Castor Oil and Jojoba oil to it) (Note: This is on the way out, along with the Ion Volumizing Shampoo, I want a rich moisturizing shampoo. I am going to try ProFectiv Mega Growth Shampoo (Light Protein Shampoo) and Neutrogena Triple Moisture Cream Lather Shampoo. I want to alternate between these two.)
    3. Conditioned with Vo5 Moisture Milks (Very nice CHEAP conditioner!)
    4. Deep Conditioned with Fructis Sleek N Shine 3 minute Masque (Note: This product is on it's way out. I like it, but it is not giving me the feeling that I want for my hair. I am going to try Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle and add a deep conditioner that I use with heat, under the dryer. I have no idea what that will be yet) I did my thing in the shower with a shower cap on for the 3 minutes.
    5. Rinsed out the Fructis with warm water and used Neutrogena Triple Moisture Daily Deep Condition and rinsed that out with cold water to seal the hair cuticle.
    6. Spritzed with Proclaim TeaTree Leave-In Conditioner and let my hair air dry. Took freaking forever because my hair is so thick!
    7. After it was dry, I moisturized with ProFectiv Daily Leave-in Strengthener and applied Proclaim glossing heat protectant. Sectioned my hair in 4 and flat ironed it. (Note: I could have skipped the flat iron because I haven't used heat in 3 weeks, since I had my hair trimmed by a crazy lady, and I am 5 weeks post relaxer. I am trying to avoid heat but I had no idea what to do with my hair this week. So I flat ironed it.
    Saturday hair pamper days take forever! Next week is going to be a mess because of the roller set which I have not done before.

    So for the Trial and Error bit for this week.
    I am trying to use Castor Oil on my edges. I did it a few times the week of 14th but was a slacker about it.

    10-14-10- This is my left edge. You see how it looks sparse? I want to thicken it up. My hair was still wet here

    10-25-10 This is my edge today. Hair is completely dry.

    So I did my normal routine and for my edges I applied 3 drops castor oil, 1 drop oil mix and applied to my edge. I will be doing this 3 times a week until my next relaxer and see if I see a difference.

    So I had no idea what to do with my hair, so I put it in pigtails and then I had a lightbulb go off! So I used four flexi rods, 2 on each pigtail and I will see how it looks. Will post a pic after the fact and see if I can work it tomorrow.

    **Update: This did so little lol. It had a nice full curl but nothing wowish, but I didn't keep them in long. Took it out before my husband got home :) will retry and post results**

    Sunday, October 17, 2010

    Ingredients! What is in your hair care products

    1. Water
      1. PH Balance: 7(Neutral)
    2. Sodium Laureth Sulfate or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
      1. It is a detergent and surfactant and is very effective as a foaming agent.
      2. It is very effective at dissolving oils and is used in many commerical applications
      3. Depending on the concentration it can be a skin irritant
    3. Cocamide Mea or cocamide monoethanolamine
      1. Is a pale yellow viscous clear to amber liquid, or solid flakes. It can be made from fatty acids in coconut oils, reacted with ethanolamine
      2. Widely used fatty acid of coconut oil. Used as a thickener and foam booster
      3. The safety of Cocamide MEA has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that Cocamide MEA was safe for use in rinse-off products and safe at concentrations up to 10% in leave-on products.
      4. Increases foaming capacity and/or stabilizes foam. Cocamide MEA is also used to thicken the  (water) portion of cosmetic and personal care product.
    4. Cocamidopropyl Betaine (CAPB)
      1.  Is a synthetic surfactant derived from coconut oil and dimethylaminopropylamine. It is a zwitterionic chemical compound with a quaternary ammonium cation.
      2. Derived from coconut fatty acids, it is known for its mild conditioning properties. It is used as a cleanser agent and as an additive to shampoos and conditioners
      3. It is an organic compound that allows smooth spreading of lotions
      4. It is (coconut based) a mild cleanser. Controls product thickness and acts as a foam booster, stabilizer and anti-irritant
      5. CAPB has been claimed to cause allergic reactions in some users, but a controlled pilot study has found that these cases may represent irritant reactions rather than true allergic reactions
      6. Suspected to be an environmental toxin
    5. Panthenol
      1. Is a humectant, emollient and moisturizer. It binds to the hair shaft readily and is a frequent component of shampoos and hair conditioners (in concentrations of 0.1-1%). It coats the hair and seals its surface, lubricating the hair shaft and making strands appear shiny.
      2. (Vitamin B5) Acts as a penetrating moisturizer. Plumps and moisturizes hair shaft to make it appear thicker, reduces split ends, smoothes skin and strengthens nails
      3. Stimulates skin regeneration and improves the moisture-retention capacity of the skin. Has some anti-inflammatory & anti-itching effect
    6. Hydrolyzed Rice Protein
      1. Abrasive, Absorbent, Binder, Bulking agent, Hair conditioning agent, skin conditioning agent and surfactant
      2. Very Mild protein
      3. Strengthens the hair and provide abrasion resistance, excellent moisturizing & film-forming properties, well absorbed by damaged ends of the hair making it ideal for hair repairing systems
    7. Hydrolyzed Soy Protein
      1. Derived from the beans; provides a smoothing effect to the skin.
      2. Is used for emulsification and texturizing.
      3. Moisture retentive, protective, and sealing films. It adds shine, body, and manageability to hair care products.
      4. Soy Protein increases the ability of the hair and skin to bind moisture and specifically improves the tensile strength of hair. It mitigates damage due to bleaching, perming, and hot combing.
      5. Is substantive to hair and skin. It helps to minimize roughness and chapping of skin caused by dry climates
    8. Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride
      1. It is a water-soluble quaternary ammonium derivative of natural guar gum. It imparts conditioning properties.
      2. Improve the ease of combing (Detangling agent)
      3. No adverse side effects and it has been approved for use by the Environmental Working Group.
    9. Disodium EDTA
      1. Has a high affinity to free metal ions, a common pollutant and impurity in many chemical environments, as a chelating agent helps bind the free radicals and impurities, allowing the major ingredients in detergents to work effectively and consistently without excessive "chemical disturbance."
      2. Products regulated by the FDA, levels of disodium EDTA is too low to cause direct harm when products are used as directed. The only time to be ultra aware of disodium EDTA content is in processed foods and beverages
      3. Is used as a preservative, stabilizer and purifying agent to keep formulas free of contamination from tap water. Also helps the topical penetration of active ingredients in skin care.
    10. Sodium Chloride
    11. Methylchloroisothiazolinone
    12. methylisothiazolinone
    13. benzyl salicylate'
    14. hexyl cinnamal
    15. limonene
    16. citric acid
    17. dmdm Hydantoin
    18. Polyquaternium-7
    19. Hydroxpropyl Methylcellulose
    20. Benzyl Benzoate
    21. Linalool
    22. Butylphenyl Methylpopional
    23. Alpha-isomethyl
    24. Ionone
    25. Limonene
    26. Glycerin
    27. Polysorbate 20
    28. Propylene Glycol
    29. tocopheryl Avetate
    30. Ascorbic Acid
    31. niacinamide
    32. Biotin
    33. Cyclopentasilozane
    34. Behenyl Alcohol
    35. Behentrimonium Chloride
    36. Cetearl Alcohol
    37. Cetyl Alcohol
    38. Cyclohexasiloxane
    39. Dimethicone
    40. Amodimethicone
    41. Behentrimonium chloride
    42. Sweet Almond Oil
    43. Fruit Oik
    44. Meadowfoam seed oil
    45. Glycol Stearate
    46. Ceteth-2
    47. Hydroxyethylcellilose
    48. Methylparaben
    49. Propylparaben
    50. Titanium Dioxide
    51. Iron Oxide
    52. Mica
    53. Pokyquaternium-11
    54. Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
    55. Trimethylsiloxyamodimethicone
    56. Mauritia Flexuosa Fruit Oil
    57. Jojoba Seed Oil

    This list is a work in progress. The list of igrendients (Up to 57) is only from 4 products! Please check back for additional items and what they are. If you have any additional information please leave a comment

    My Regimen!

    This is probably the hardest post because it will constantly change, adapt and morph into a horrible uncontrollable mess of trial and error and maybe a little crying in the bathroom.

    So here is my regimen as it is a work in progress:

    I know Pre-poo sounds like pre-shampooing but it is more like Pre-conditioning before you wash your hair. Basically you deep condition your hair while it is dry for a certain amount of time before you wash it. I pre-poo an hour before on my wash day.
       -Currently using: A mixture of the 3 moisturizing daily leave-in creams, the neutrogena daily deep conditioner, the Africa's best Herbal Oil and Proclaim 7 natural oil.

    Shampoo and Condition
        Shampoo and Condition Hair once a week
        -Currently using: Ion Vitalizing Thickening Shampoo/Conditioner or Vo5 Herbal Escapes Balancing Shampoo/Vo5 Moisture Milk Conditioner or this strange concocution of Proclaim Olive Oil Shampoo with Olive Oil, Castor Oil, Jojoba Oil and some other stuff I threw in there and Neutrogena Triple Moisture Daily Deep Conditioner

    Deep Condition
        Deep Condition Hair after each wash
        -Currently using: Fructis Deep Conditioning 3 minute masque Sleek N Shine.
       WIP(Work in Progress)-Add a longer deep conditioning process

    Co-Wash Aka Conditioner wash
       Some people like to co-wash their hair in between their regular wash day for various reasons. Working out, excessive sweat etc. When they do this process they use a less expensive conditioner and 'wash' the hair with only water and the conditioner. Shampoo has harsh additivties that will strip the essential and natural oils from your hair. I don't co-wash, I will wash my hair mid-week if I feel my hair is dirty or has excessive product build up. I just don't have the time to do deal with 'puffy' hair every twice a week, especially with me trying to avoid heat, if I have flat ironed my hair the last thing I want to do is ruin that! I also wash my hair, with both shampoo and conditioner if I do a mid-week wash.

    Flat Iron:
       Flat Iron once a week if necessary. (Heat seems to be to hair like water is to the Wicked Witch of the West! A very bad thing. Without proper care to much heat can lead to damaged hair with split ends) I am attempting to forgo heat treatments unless I am going out somewhere fancy! I am also exploring more alternatives to bone straight hair. I have not used heat on hair in the past 2 weeks and I am currently sporting my first semi-successful flexi rod set!
       -Currently using: Proclaim Glossing Heat Protectant

        Use a moisturizing product daily (My hair is dry and so I need to use something daily to maintain moisture)
        -Currently using: Profective Mega Growth Break Free Daily Leave in Strengthener or Fructis Daily Leave-in cream Sleek & Shine or Neturogena Triple Moisture Daily Silk Leave-in cream

        Use an essential oil to seal the cuticle of the hair shaft after I moisturize (More on the hair cuticle later!)
        -Currently using: A mixture of Africa's Best Ultimate Herbal Oil, Proclaim Natural 7 Oil, Jojoba oil and a touch of castor oil or Coconut oil.

    Protein Treatments
       Your hair is made up of proteins, while the hair is already dead you maybe able to added strength to your hair with proteins. I just recently discovered this and as a results the ends of my hair are pretty trashed and the only help for them is a snip, snip! (I cry a little inside whenever I think of trimming my hair)
       -Currently using: Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstruct twice a month and after I have rinsed out the relaxer but before I have neutralized. (More on relaxer's later.)
       -Also using: Aphogee 2 step Treatment (This is a very 'hard' protein treatment and should be used sparingly) 1 week before relaxer.

       A chemical relaxer is: is a type of lotion or cream which makes hair less curly, and easier to straighten by chemically "relaxing" the natural curls. The active agent is usually a strong alkali although some formulations are based on ammonium thioglycolate instead. The relaxer is applied to the roots of the hair and remains in place for a "cooking" interval, during which it alters the hair's texture by a process of controlled damage to the protein structure. The hair can be significantly weakened by the physical overlap of excessive applications or by a single excessive one, leading to brittleness, breakage, or even widespread alopecia. Sciency enough for you?! I tell you this because a relaxer is a strong chemical that you apply to your hair that can have long lasting consequences and yet we do this process over and over again with no thought as to how it will affect you. Based on the sevority of this act I will save the entirety of this process for a later post please see(Relax the new growth away)
       -Currently using: ProFective Super Relaxer (Trying to stretch my relaxer out to ever 10 weeks instead of 6 to 8 weeks.)

    My regimen is a work in process and I am constantly updating, modifying and making it just right for me.
    Please see my next blog (This week's Trial)

    What have I done to my hair?!

    Have you ever asked yourself this question? I have and I still do. When I am fighting breakage, split hairs and dry, crunchy hair I look in the mirror and wonder what am I doing wrong?!

    I have tried maybe hundreds of products and still my hair isn't the way I want it. What on earth am I doing wrong?

    Well, it turns out I was doing alot wrong! To much heat, using products that had things in it that shouldn't go on your hair, using products inappropriately the list could go on and on. So I had to come up with a game plan.

    Step 1: Set up a goal
    Healthy hair

    So simple right? No! Healthy is hard work. Read on...

    Step 2: Identify problem area's
    You have to know what your challenges are in order to correct the issues that you have, so here are the issues that I am having:

    Hair is dry and sometimes brittle
    Split ends

    Step 3: Trial and ErrorAnyone who tells you, do this and that and the other and your hair will be perfect is in my opinion crazy! I say this because you are unique. We are all unique. We may have the same issues but we can react to the same product differently.

    I am currently trying a number of different products, looking for that elusive 'miracle' product. I actually know that there is no miracle product, but some things are good for your hair and some things are just terrible!
    More on Trial and error in my next blog: My regimen!