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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Low Porosity Hair Care Giveaway!

Hi Everyone,

Tomorrow is the last day for you to enter the giveaway. This weekend, one lucky reader will receive a bag of organic rhassoul clay and my favorite leave-in, Kinky Curly Knot Today. I’ll enter all your names into a hat and select the first name drawn as the winner. Remember, to be eligible you have to leave one comment on this post. Once the winner is selected, I’ll contact him or her per email and request their mailing address.

Good luck!

 

Rhassoul Clay 1st love

Happy Valentine’s Day readers!

I know it’s a Hallmark holiday, but I just love love. So anything that celebrates friendship, love and happiness is all good by my standards! It’s also a special day for me, because my husband I married 6 years ago from today on Valentine’s day.

Speaking of love, why do I always go astray from my first lo-po love rhassoul clay?? I keep trying to find something that rivals it as a moisturizing cleanser, but nothing does.

After my flop with my homemade castile shampoo last week. This week it was back to my beloved rhassoul clay. Oh and how lovely it was to reunite. My hair felt soft, clean and my curls were bouncy and breathed new life. The only downside, which I didn’t miss was the dirt slinging all over my shower. It’s quick to wash down, but it would be nice to have a slightly less messy version (…still working on a formula).

Any way, for now I’ll stick to rhassoul for my weekly cleanser and Giovanni Triple Tea Tree Shampoo as my monthly clarifier. It’s not drying and is pretty effective.
After applying my mud wash I decided to put my hair in Curlformers (per usual). I’m getting a lot faster at installing them and as usual I let them dry under my hooded dryer to cut down on drying time.

What products are you loving these days? Any plans for V-day? I’d love to hear about them.

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Homemade castile soap review

Last week I tried to be a little kitchen chemist a whipped up my very own castile soap. Wonk, wonk, wonk. I found this hair wash was too drying. My hair felt a little stripped. So I don’t think I’ll be using this anytime in the future for a hair wash. This even makes me think I’ll skip ever trying Dr. Bronner’s. Well it wasn’t a complete failure, I’ll use the remainder as a body wash– so not a complete bust. Basically, I’m coming to the conclusion that nothing compares to my mud wash. It’s the only thing that keeps my hair clean and moisturized. I do occasionally use Giovanni’s Tea Tree Tingle shampoo to clarify and that does a decent job. Not nearly as drying as my wash. Next week I’ll be dabbling in the kitchen again attempting to whip up a rhassoul clay conditioner.

Here’s my hair after washing it. as you can see it looks undefined and dry. After I styled it in a braid out. It was defined, but felt a little crunchy and hard.

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Have you ever tried castile soap on your hair? What was your experience?

Give Away: Low Porosity Products

Today is the 1 year anniversary of this blog. Looking back, it’s been an amazing journey. I’ve connected with people from all over the world, received amazing feedback and support.

Some of my new goals for this blog is to give it a face lift, to increase communication and exchange with readers (i.e. more comments and contributions from readers).

To celebrate, I’ll be doing my first giveaway. I’ll give away a couple of my favorite low porosity hair products. To qualify to win, all you need to do is comment on this post. I will randomly select a winner at the end of the month. Please note, you can only comment once to qualify. This giveaway will only take place if this post gets at least 20 comments (from individual readers) by the end of this month #workingtowardsgoals. So pass this post along to friends and have them comment away.

UPDATE: this giveaway is open to readers from around the world.

Kitchen Chemist: Low Porosity Castile Shampoo

This morning I attempted to whip up a low porosity shampoo that has a PH above neutral. The goal is that it will  open my cuticles, clean my hair and leave it  moisturized, but not stripped. Here are some pictures of the process. I haven’t tried this shampoo yet and will report findings once I use it tonight or tomorrow. I’ll follow-up with a conditioner to get the moisture in my hair and close my cuticles (as conditioner has a naturally acidic PH).

I won’t share the recipe for now as I will be the guinea pig first and test the results. However here are the ingredients I used: distilled water, shavings of organic castile soap, black strap molasses, argan and sweet almond oil, vitamin E, essential oils. It looks like a mud wash because of the molasses. This soap has a PH of 9 (about the same PH as my rhassoul hair wash).

Look forward to reporting findings!

New Mom Regimen

A reader recently asked me what my hair regimen looks like now that I have a little bundle of joy. It has changed slightly in terms of how often I wash it, how I style it and the products that I used. Here’s a quick overview.

I cleanse my hair every 7 – 10 days. I never go longer than 10 days in between washing sessions. I often dampen my hair for added moisture on day 6/7.

Wash

For products , I still use rhassoul, but not for each wash session, but every other wash session. As before, I apply it to damp hair, let it sit 30 minutes (outside the shower, which leaves me free to nurse if needed). After rinsing the rhassoul, I often skip the conditioner, as it’s pretty moisturizing. Additionally, I use diluted Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Shampoo. It makes my scalp feel refreshed and cool. However, since it’s more of a clarifier I use it once per month. Sometimes I just co-wash when I’m strapped for time.

Condition

The same as before, I do my simple reverse oil rinse technique (conditioner, oil, rinse) or simply cowash. However,  I no longer deep condition weekly. I try to deep condition my hair once per month on a Sunday, when there is not a lot to do and I have helping hands at home to sit with the baby, when needed.

Style

I pull back my hair back into a high pony “puff” or I use Curlformers. These styles can carry me through the week. Pulling my hair back is the simplest and easiest style, so I probably do this more often.

Preserve

If my hair is curled using Curlformers, I wrap it around my head and pin it and release it the next day. I typically end up wearing it in an updo as the curls loosen. If I wear it up or do a wash and go, I pineapple my hair at night and go to bed.

That’s all. Nothing fancy, but I still try to maintain my hair’s health and stick to my low porosity regimen. So far, I’ve been lucky and have not experienced postpartum shedding (it’ll probably happen tomorrow now that I’ve mentioned it).

Me and the peanut (in the Moby)

photo 4(3) Me and the peanut (in the Moby)

 

What’s your hair regimen? Do you have little one’s? What’s your mommy hair regimen?

 

Follow-up: My Mom’s Porosity

Last week, I interviewed my Mom about her recent big chop. This weekend, I decided to do a porosity test on her hair to help her decide what products work with her hair. She washed her hair and I snipped off a small strand and placed it in a glass of room temperature water. After 30 minutes the hair was still floating on top of the water. From this test, I speculated she likely had low porosity hair (like mother, like daughter). To make a conclusive decision, I applied aloe vera to a small section of her hair and her coils frizzed right up!

With this knowledge, I’ll help her test out some products that have worked for me, including a rhassoul clay wash and KCKT and report back findings. For the meantime, she’s stopped using petroleum-based products— big no-no for low porosity hair. Instead she’s simply using some cream leave-ins as well as Taliah Waajid Kinky, Wavy, Natural Herbal Style and Shine, which actually did a pretty fantastic job of reviving my dry ends half-way through the week.

I look forward to some future posts about her experience using some of my recommended products. This leaves me wondering if low porosity hair is hereditary. Your thoughts?

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For more information on low porosity, check out my ealrier post: Low Porosity Introduction

 

NYE: Curlformers + Solo Parents

Happy New Year again!! My Mom arrived 2 days ago, sporting freshly dyed, auburn red cropped hair. I’ll be interviewing her on my blog and also helping her create a new regimen as well as determining her porosity. Stay tuned!

So with grandma in town, my husband and I decided to keep a long standing tradition. Every year we eat at this amazing Japanese restaurant, nestled in the Alps. This year we invited friends (mostly parents) and said it would be a kids-free night. It was my first time being away from the peanut for so long. I called a couple of times to check in. Overall I had such a good time!!! It felt good to just chat amongst friends, uninterrupted.

For NYE, I wanted a special look so I tried Curlformers!! Let me say, I think this will be my to-go to winter style!! It leaves my hair stretched and moisturized! I’m not sure how many days the curls last, but I plan on putting it in a protective style in a couple of days anyway.

I forgot to take the customary Curlformer picture, but I did take an after pic. It took me 2.5 hrs to install them, but I found my rhythm at the end and think it’ll be faster the next time. I used all 40 long and wide Curlformers, 24 in the front and 16 in the back. Before styling I had washed my hair with diluted shampoo and then reverse-oil rinsed. I’m really happy with the results.

How do you preserve your Curlformer style? What did you do for NYE?

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