Cure for Dry Ends

When I style my hair in a twist/braid out, it’s usually soft and moisturized the first day. However, on day two my ends are particularly dry. This dryness increases as days go by. Recently, I started a different night-time regimen to keep my style and keep my ends moisturized.

In a previous post, I mentioned that I usually put my hair in a few large braids the night prior and then wear a satin scarf. Now, every night and morning I lightly spritz my ends with water using a spray bottle. Instead of braiding all my hair I leave about an inch unbraided. I then spritz the unbraided hair with water and pin it down. If I don’t braid my hair, I can also get good results by loosely wrapping my hair (if you ever had relaxed hair then you probably are familiar with this nighttime technique). Again, before I wrap my hair, I lightly spritz my ends with water. The next day, I spray them with water again to refresh my ends. If I wear my hair up, I make sure to tuck all my ends away. This is almost like a deep conditioner and when I take my hair down, my ends are damp and touchably soft.

This method works really well for me, even better than simply applying a leave-in. Although, half-way through the week, I do add more leave-in to condition my ends. But the key for me really is water.

The ends are the oldest and most vulnerable part of our hair, so it’s important to keep them well protected. How do you protect your ends?

Have a great Easter weekend everyone!

Mullet to Bob: How to

So, I’m not sure if I’ve discussed my mullet days on this blog. I probably mentioned it at some point, but after cutting off my relaxed hair, I went through an awkward phase. My hair was way longer in the back than the front (it was rave in the back and super professional in the front, read: mullet). Now, I was obsessed with growth and long hair when I first chopped my hair off. So the only cutting I ever did was trimming my dead ends. This is still my philosophy to this day. Although, these days I’m not concentrating on growth, I just let my hair be.

Back then during my mullet days, I would envy  many bloggers I saw that would simply avoid the awkward look by getting a gorgeous hair cut, getting layers or just chopping it all off again. This just wasn’t an option for me, living in Europe, where most people aren’t used to washing, let alone cutting my hair type. I wasn’t going to play stylist to myself either.

So, during my awkward phase, which I’d say lasted almost one year, I just pinned my hair back and found creative ways to work with my hair. I’m very happy that I did this, because my once naturally awkward two level hair and very slow-growing front section is starting to catch up. The mullet, I was hiding with bobby pins, hair elastics and headbands has now grown into a nice bob. And I loves me a good bob. That’s one hair style that I will never get sick of. Curly, straight or wavy, I just love seeing women rock a sassy bob, heck men too for that matter. Guess it’s my appreciation for 1920′s fashion. In any case, what I’m saying is. If you are on a growth journey and are going through an awkward mullet phase, hang in there. Of course you could cut it, but if that’s not an option for you. Find creative ways to work around the mullet, keep your hair healthy and keep trimming it and eventually it’ll grow into a style of its own. Well, that’s if your hair, line mine, grows slower in the front than the back.

What was your most awkward hair style? Did you ever cut your own hair? I always feel like I can just grab a pair of scissors and whip out a nice style, but I think I’d end up looking like Edward Scissor Hands…

Shiny Beach Waves

So, if you follow my blog, you know that I’m experiencing postpartum shedding. I’m not letting it get me down, as dramatic as I sounded in the earlier post. It’s just a phase and I know it’ll pass. The past couple of days, I tried pulling out shed hairs every day. This has reduced tangling, matting and frizz.

Friday night I decided to give my hair a thorough cleanse. I was long overdue for a wash. I decided to do a semi-clarifying shampoo with Giovanni Triple Treat Shampoo. This time I tried something different and put conditioner on my soaking wet ends, then proceeded to shampoo my scalp. I gave my scalp a vigorous scrub with the pads of my fingers to break up dirt and build-up. Shampooing my conditioned hair made detangling easier and left my hair more moisturized– win-win situation! After this I put on Aussie Moist 3 Minute Repair (amazing deep conditioner, btw) and added coconut oil on top of this (see posts: 1, 2 ,3 on reverse oil rinsing). My shed hairs of course flowed down the drain like a stream of water, but better out of my hair than tangled in my hair. Note: since I’m experiencing extreme shedding, I’m back to washing my hair in 4 sections. It makes detangling more manageable.

For the styling phase, I simply applied a generous amount of KCKT leave-in and applied Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine. My sister forgot her bottle here on her last visit, so I just decided to give it a try. After this, I installed four chunky twists in each section. This is my lazy, wavy twist out method….fewer twists and less time (see post on Beach Waves). I then sat under my hooded dryer to let the leave-in penetrate and dry my hair half-way. The next day, I was left with a less frizzier look than usual and my hair was remarkably shinier. My hair has been quite dull the past couple of weeks. I credit the shiny results this week to: the clarifier, meticulously removing all my shed hairs, reverse oil rinsing and perhaps the Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine. I’ll give this method another try to see if I get the same results.

The weeks prior, because I was low on time, I tried co-washing for two weeks. I don’t know why I never learn my lesson, but co-washing just doesn’t yield good results for me. I guess I’m always revisiting past routines that failed in hopes that it suddenly will work again. Do you find yourself too trying things again that consistently yielded poor results in the past?

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Real Talk II: Stretch Marks

Pregnancy changes you in so many ways. The first change you notice, above all, is the physical change. It’s a challenging period, where you feel you lose a lot of control over your body. To stay fit and healthy, I exercised through most of my pregnancy, so losing the baby weight was not my main issue. The thing that I was most concerned with during and after my pregnancy was and is stretch marks. I got some pretty severe war scars to show. And while, I know I shouldn’t care, be superficial and should proudly wear my badge of honor, they just make me a little self-conscious. I’ve googled solutions and there are many modern techniques, which help improve the appearance, such as laser surgery. However, since I’m brown-skinned, this type of treatment wouldn’t work for me. I don’t want to go under the knife and would like to find some natural cures to improve the appearance of stretch marks.

I’ve tried cocoa butter, shea butter, aloe vera, jojoba, coconut oil, massaging the area, rubbing alien gunk all over my belly– you get my point. Nothing seems to work. They don’t look as harsh as they did after the birth and they have seemed to lighten a bit. However, what I want to know for my female readers who have children, did the appearance get better over time or is it just something we have to live with.

After rigorous searches on the web for dark-skinned tricks for combatting stretch marks and looking through some pregnant vlogger videos–I got nada! This makes me think either people of darker hues, just aren’t falling victim to stretch marks or perhaps they’re just not talking about it.

Have any of your experienced stretch marks? What tricks did you try to fight them and did their appearance improve overtime?

In the meantime, I will be sporting a one piece this summer until I’m a little more comfortable. It’s a good excuse for me to shop for a new bathing suit. I’m excited, because I didn’t realize how many cute bathing suits there are today. Some of my favorites from Asos.com:

Image 1 of ASOS Plunge Halter Swimsuit

Who snatched my edges though?

Pregnancy, that’s who. The dreaded day has come. For a couple of months I thought I had escaped its ugly grip. Thought I’d continue living my life and motherhood with that thick head of hair and intact edges I’d come to appreciate. Think again! postpartum shedding is no joke people. I mean, I literally watched what felt like half my hair collect in my bathtub when I washed my hair two weeks ago. Not gonna lie, I kind of ugly cried.

My hair is still very dense, so it doesn’t look thinned out. However, my temples and edges are really thin. See: that horrifying picture of Naomi Campbell that was going around the web, if you haven’t already. I’ve heard this is normal, as during pregnancy, hormones send your hair into a growth phase and it sheds less. After birth that all changes. It’s kind of scary, I thought at one point, Id emerge from the shower bald.

The thing that bugs me most is the fact that most of the shedding comes from my edges and temples. So for the moment, I’m sporting comb overs, comb forwards and comb all arounds to manage that situation. I don’t pull my hair back completely anymore . And since I don’t really have the time to come up with an anti-shedding regimen for the time being I just use some quick fixes.

So I thought I’d share my quick fixes:

  • Be gentle – try conditioners with a lot of slip or mud wash, finger detangle or just detangle gently.
  • Stretch – Keep your hair in gentle, stretched styles. This makes detangling easier. Wash n gos increase tangles, which could lead to breakage and more shedding.
  • Essential oils and massage – Massage a little diluted peppermint or tea tree essential oils into your temples or throw some in your shampoo or hair wash.
  • Wash regularly – wash your hair once per week. The longer you go between washes the more shed hairs collect. You still probably lose the same amount, but psychologically it’s easier to see less hair go down the drain.
  • Comb over, forward and all around – It’s like a mini-makeover. Suddenly, you’ll have people asking you. Did you do something different with your hair? Why yes, I’ve essentially styled it in a bird nest to hide my balding temples.
  • Relax – Easier said than done. However, if you have a free 10 – 20 minutes per day, use this time to clear your mind and think positive thoughts. I do this just before going to bed and in the shower.
  • Inside out – Drink plenty of water and eat your veggies and fruits
  • Exercise to get increase circulation – I incorporate my baby into my fitness routine (peek-a-boo crunches/sit-ups, 14lb reps with my baby as my weights, long walks with the stroller, squats to calm a crying baby).

Well, pregnancy hair was beautiful while it lasted. I guess I got used to losing only one or two strands of hair during that phase. #youdontknowhowgoodyouhaveituntilitsgone

What do you do to combat postpartum shedding or any shedding for that matter?

Parenting Hair Tips

I’m still here. I still have hair and low porosity hair at that. My posts are not as frequent as before, because I’m enjoying being a mommy to my little peanut and learning about my new role as a mom.

I have so much respect for parents. I mean, some people make it look so effortless. Parenting changes your life in so many ways (good ways, mostly). No day is identical and each day is a new discovery, not only for me but for my son. Thus, my hair regimen changes regularly. I’m lucky if I can wash my hair once per week. Rhassoul clay weekly washes have become monthly hair spa treatments. Deep conditioners and oil rinses– what are those! Although I don’t have time for all of those wonderful (yet lengthy) healthy hair practices. I still try to do an abbreviated version.

So here’s my list of tips for busy low porosity moms (or anyone for that matter) on the go.

1. Larger sections. Wash and condition hair in two sections instead of four sections.

2. Shampoo to reset your hair. No time for weekly mud washes? Find a gentle cleansing shampoo that will do the job and cleanse your hair once per. I don’t really co-wash, because I find my hair needs a weekly reset.

3. Quick DCs. No time for a deep conditioner? Dilute a bottle with half conditoner and water, apply it to soaking wet hair, detangle, let it sit for a few minutes while you continue with your shower rituals – semi quick deep conditioner. Sit under a blow dryer after applying your leave-in and styling your hair. I find this leaves me with more moisturized hair and helps the leave-in penetrate my hair.

4. Care for your ends! Seal your ends with an oil to keep them protected. Every other night, dampen your ends or apply a leave-in (with water as the main ingredient), to your ends. I use Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie to do the trick.

5. KISS. Do simple styles. If I have time I will do a twist out or braid out. If not, I put my hair in a bun and do a twist out on a few strands of hair to frame the face. You can also braid the side of your hair and put your hair up into a side pony, for a fun, free-spirited look.IMG_3497

 

6. Make a date. I may not be able to do rhassoul clay washes weekly, but I schedule a monthly date in my calendar and make sure my husband or another family member is around to take the baby while I enjoy my little spa day. Sunday is usually the best day for this.

There you have it, my simple tips to keeping healthy hair when you’re busy and low on time.

What would you add to this list?

Color And Lo-po Hair: BFFs?

Thinking about coloring my hair, but am afraid of damage? At the same time, I think my low porosity hair might benefit from color more than someone with high porosity hair. Note: I’m not advising you to bleach or dye it a new color every week or even color it. This is just my crazy obsession at the moment. For some reason, I’m thinking a gentle semi-permanent or permanent dark color might result in moisturized hair, granted I take appropriate steps (condition, condition, deep condition).

I’ve been toying with the idea for the past few months of dying my hair medium brown or a dark reddish brown. My hair is already in this family shade, but I’d like to have a more intense shade of brown.

I’ve been doing a little reading and from what I’ve read, permanent hair dye has an alkaline PH ranging from 8-9. Semi permanent 7 (neutral) – 8. Hair color that uses bleach is very alkaline, ranging from 9 – 11. This makes sense, because in order for hair to accept color, the cuticles must be lifted. Since semi permanents have less need to penetrate the hair shaft (I.e. temporary color that fades with washes), the PH is neutral to slightly alkaline.

My experience with color and natural hair:
Two summers ago, I highlighted my natural hair. It didn’t damage it and I was sure to deep condition on a regular basis. However, since I had honey brown highlights, I had to bleach my strands to get it lighter. Personally, I wouldn’t do it again. While it didn’t do any damage, my hair felt slightly drier and I had to give it lots of TLC.

Now, you’re probably wondering why I’m sitting here toying with the idea of color…. Well bleach is much harsher on the hair and has a very alkaline PH. I think it’s more drastic to go a lot lighter than your hair color, rather within your color family or go darker.

I’m thinking if I do a medium brown or black…I’ll use lots of conditioner and deep (heat) conditioning during the application, to let moisture in and help the color take. Specifically, apply color and give it time to take then add a cone-free moisturizing conditioner on top of the dye letting it sit a bit, rinse, then deep condition with heat.

I noticed my highlights can sometimes look frizzy, which I enjoy in summer, as it gives a sun dyed, beach bum kind of vibe. However, I’m thinking a deep brown should impart shine. As, low porosity hair, when properly moisturized, is often very healthy and shiny. It’s particularly shiny when it’s a dark color. (Ref:

http://www.naturallycurly.com/texture-typing/hair-porosity).

So if and when I take the plunge, I’ll be sure to keep you updated. I definitely need to do more research first though.

Any readers have recommendations for gentle color systems? Ever dye your hair, if so what color? What was your experience? Have I gone cray cray lol!? Sound off in the comments section.

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Curly Nikki Wash Method

If you follow this blog, you probably know that I LOVE rhassoul clay and get stellar results every time I use it. However, as a new mother, I don’t always have time to prepare my rhassoul clay wash. When I’m short on time, my product of choice to cleanse my hair is Giovanni Triple Treat Shampoo. This shampoo is sulfate free and while it doesn’t leave my hair as soft as rhassoul, it certainly does a good job of cleaning my scalp and hair. It doesn’t leave my hair with that stripped, dry feeling. It’s also a great relaxing shampoo, because it contains tea tree and peppermint essential oils– it’s like a mini scalp massage.

Typically I wash my hair in 4 sections, but I tried a method I read about on Curly Nikki: I simply put my hair in two pigtails. After shampooing each side. I saturated conditioner and detangled under water for added slip. The CN method advocates using practically an entire bottle of conditioner. Since this blog is about being cheap, economically savvy, I diluted 4 ounces of conditioner (Tresemmé naturals) with 4 ounces of water. I soaked each side with 4 ounces of this mixture, massaging the conditioner into my strands then rinsed and detangled under water. Detangling was a breeze with this method and my hair felt great. After this, I put on a deep conditioner, continued on with my shower rituals (voila time effective deep conditioning).
Finally, I tried something new for styling:
1. I applied my leave-in almost dry hair (t-shirt wrapped around my hair 5 m then air dried. I noticed this really help my leave-in penetrate my hair. Sealed with oils on my ends per usual.
2. I sprayed a little mixture of water and setting lotion on my hair, then twisted it. For more hold and definition.
3. I dried my twists for 10-15m under a hooded dryer.

When I undid my twists my hair felt über soft and moisturized.

This is a great method for those little on time.
What’s your rushed routine? What are your favorite shampoos/hair wash products?

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