Cantu Shea Leave-In

Hi Everyone, life has been insane and now that I have the summer off from teaching things have “calmed down” a bit. I still have my little boy, who is a year and a half now and keeps me on my toes. If any of you with kids, nieces,  nephews etc., have tips for creative activities to do with a toddler at home, please send them my way. As many of you know, I live in Switzerland. Far away, from my family and childhood friends. While, I’ve created friendships here, it’s not the same as my connections back home. Relationships are a lot more formal and a lot of times, excluding our weekly play dates,  it’s just me and the little guy. I’m heading home in a bit and I’m thrilled at having people around, crowding over us, showing up unannounced. Any way, I don’t know how I ended up sharing all of this, but I know you guys usually have great ideas or maybe some of you have similar experiences and can relate??

Any way, I’ve just put my hair in boot camp mode. Last month my hair was a total disaster. Desert-dry, tangled and matted. I just kept pinning it back and stretching my wash days way too much. Now I’m washing it every 5 days and deep conditioning everytime. It’s just necessary for me to DC retain moisture, I’ve come to this conclusion. I’ve brought back reverse oil rinsing. And, depending on the shape my hair is in, I follow up with just an oil or a leave-in and seal with a light oil, I’m loving grape seed at the moment. The past couple of weeks I’ve been testing out a big tube of Cantu Leave-in that I bought this winter. 

When I first used this product, I thought meh, pass. However, upon using it again, it’s a definite winner in my book! If I apply this, and only this, it imparts a nice shine and leaves my twist outs defined and moisturized. For the low price (about 6 bucks) and size (16oz), you can’t beat that. 

Here is a pic of my twist out using Cantu Leave-In Repair Leave-in. I still had some fluffing to do, so ignore the strange shape of my hair. 😋 Have you tried the Cantu Leave-in before?

For my US readers, I hope you have a fun and safe 4th!  

Blown-out Twist-out

This is by far my favorite to-go-to hairstyle in the spring and fall, when the weather is warm and dry. I simply, blow dry my hair, my goal is not bone straight blown out hair, but just stretched hair. A heat protectant and small amount of leave-in was applied before blowdrying my hair. Next I put my hair in big chunky flat twists and unravel the next day. I enjoy this style, because it’s soft and fluffy. I get to enjoy the length of my hair for a bit. In addition, this style lasts longer than my wet/damp set twists, typically 10 – 14 days. I follow-up by oiling my ends each night and placing my hair back in jumbo twists. Love the versatility of natural hair!

I’m mostly doing my usual routine (clay wash, occasional slippery elm detangle, deep conditioning and sealing with oil and for the most part skipping the leave-in). This week, I started with a new practice and that’s oiling my scalp before I wash my hair. I’ll post on that soon.Have you ever oiled your scalps, is it part of your regimen?

blwtwt

That Time of The Month Hair

Why did I even bother pre-pooing?!

This post may be a little TMI for some. However, I can’t help but address this topic, based on my experience. My hair is typically predictable and easy to care for, given I follow my low porosity regimen. Although, there is one time during each month where it’s drier, more tangled, duller and harder to care for and that’s during menstruation. Shortly after “Aunt Flo” has made her visit, my hair gets a breath of life and looks instantly healthier.This is probably due to the drop in hormones during the start of the cycle and the increase in hormones after and during ovulation.

Since my hair is unwilling to cooperate with me during that time, here are some tricks and I use.

  1. Increase conditioning. During this time of the month, I try not to skip deep conditioners and moisturize my hair more.
  2. Protective styling. I don’t wear a lot of protective styles. I like to wear my hair out. However, you’ll find me in a bun one week out of the month. I just tuck it away and don’t bother trying to force it to do what it won’t.
  3. Increase H20 intake. I generally try to drink enough water, but am more conscious of my fluid intake during this time.
  4. Eat more healthily. See above.

Do you notice any differences in your hair around that time of the month?

Twisted Twist Out Feat. Slippery Elm and Dry Deep Conditioning

Happy Spring. Hope you’re all enjoying milder weather, blooming trees and longer days.

I’m no hair styling queen and rarely post on styling. However, I’ve found a twist-out method that I had to share. So there are different twist out techniques. I’ve used two on my hair. 1. The two strand twist. This is simple. You take two pieces of hair, wind them round and round from the roots to the tips. 2. The flat twist. This one is a little more involved, you take small sections of hair and twist them from root to tip, incorporating more as you work your way down. Kind of like a french braid, but a twist instead. I find method 1 is faster and easier for novices like myself. The latter method takes times, but yields more defined  results than the first.

Since, I’m low on time, I typically do two strand twists. Recently, I accidentally enhanced this style. I don’t have pictures or a video, but it’s quite easy to explain. You put your hair in twists. Let it air dry, or as I prefer partially dry under a hooded dryer. You then wind/twist the twisted hair around from root almost to then ends, but not all the way down (to reduce manipulation on the ends of your hair), pin the twisted twists, in place with a hair pin, so they don’t unwind. This method results in a more defined and stretched twist out. When you’re twisting your twists, it’s a similar motion to making a bantu knot, but not as tight.

Another new technique I’m using to get a different  style and more defined look counter clockwise twisting (just made the name up). I twist towards my face, so the curls go forward rather than off my face. I like the final look a lot more than my usual twisting direction.

Finally, I’m loving my short on time, dry deep conditioning routine. My hair is still very moisturized and it’s a great alternative to rhassoul. Here’s what I do:

  1. Apply a deep conditioner mix. This week it was coconut milk, Giovanni deeper moisture, a few drops coconut oil and honey.
  2. Sit under a dryer for 20 – 30 minutes.
  3. While conditioner is still in my hair, shampoo my hair. Rinse.
  4. Apply my slippery elm mixture, apply some consitioner on top of that (Aussie Moist, this week) and detangle.

I then sealed my hair with jojoba oil and applied leave-in to my ends.

Here’s the final result.

Now to you, I’m curious… Have you ever used slippery elm? What’s your favorite stretched style?

Updated Regimen

So, I added this information to my “regimen page”, but thought I’d just take a moment to chat with you, as I’ve been MIA lately. I’m still experimenting with skipping my leave-out. However, this is only when I do rhassoul clay treatments or use my slippery elm mixture to condition my hair. These products tend to leave me with moisturized hair. So I find that just sealing in the moisture with an oil, is enough for my hair.

Another practice I’ve added to my regimen, that I’m very excited to share with you is deep conditioning on dry hair. I LOVE this method. Not only does it save me time, but I feel it also gives my hair a kick of moisture. Per usual, I divide my hair into four sections and work a moisturizing conditioner into each section. Concentrating on my ends and detangling as I go along. If I’m feeling fancy, I might throw in some honey and oil for an extra moisturizing deep conditioner. I then, put on a plastic cap and sit under the dryer for 20-30 minutes. The conditioner that I use, must have water as the first ingredient. I feel that deep conditioning on dry hair, allows me to maximize my use of the conditioner. When the hair is wet the conditioner, slips off or gets diluted, this method encourages my hair to absorb the product.

Finalls, I hop in the shower and shampoo the areas of my  hair and scalp prone to buildup (while the conditioner is still in my hair). I rinse this out after and then use another slippery rinse out conditioner to do the rest of the detangling job. This method cuts down on a lot of time for me and I really enjoy it.

Have any of you ever condtiioned on dry hair?

Happy International Women’s Day!

There are a series of YouTube videos called #Dearme. It’s a campaign that honors and celebrates, International Women’s Day, which is today. The campaign asks women, what advice they’d give to their younger selves. I like the idea, even though I don’t have a YouTube channel. So in true blogger style, I present to you, my advice to my younger self.

Dear Younger Me,

Love yourself and don’t change yourself to make others love you. If a friend or partner can’t accept you as you are, they’re not worth your time.

 

Girl, you better strut it and stop being so insecure about your body image. Your body will later go through the blender of life that is pregnancy and childbirth and you’ll wonder what all the fuss was about earlier.

 

Follow your dreams, it’s never too  late. Don’t put a timeline on pursuit of happiness and knowledge. Life is for living and learning. It’s not a series of steps (highschool, college, etc.), it’s not linear. It’s an experimental process and you can and should do what you’d like with it, because YOLO.

 

Take care of yourself from the inside out. Sure hair isn’t everything, but don’t dye it, chemically straighten it, jump in a pool of chlorine then sit out in the sun all day without a hat, each and every day of your summer vacation. Your 30-year-old self called and wants some of that hair that you killed back, especially on my edges.

 

Sharing is good for yourself and the world. So share a part of yourself in everything you do. Share your ups, downs, your losses, your wins, your wisdom, your lack of understanding, your love, your time, your money, your food and your heart will thank you for it.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Leave-Out: Week 3

A few weeks back, I posted on experimenting with my regimen, specifically, skipping my leave-in. I like a minimalist approach so if I can edit my routine and drop some unnecessary steps that’s a win my book. Here’s a picture from week 3 leave-out experiment. I simply sealed with coconut oil.

Twist Out:Leave Out

About three days post wash, I usually moisturize my hair with a small amount of leave-in or just oil and a little water.

What I’ve noticed over the past few weeks:

  • Softer, shinier, bouncier next day hair.
  • When, reapplying moisture to completely dry hair (as needed basis) my hair seems to drink up the product. It never does this when it’s damp or wet.
  • Less frizz. My theory, fewer products to interact with dew point levels…. just a wild guess.
  • Faster styling and drying times.

I’ll continue with my leave-out experiment this entire month to monitor my results. Have any of you tried skipping your leave-in or experimenting with your regimen?

 

Lo-Po Shampoo Dos

Shampoo has a bad rep in the natural hair world. There’s a huge no-poo / curly girl following, who skip this step of their routine. While I don’t think shampoo is the essential ingredient for moisturized, healthy hair, I do think it’s a necessary and beneficial product. I typically use rhassoul clay as a cleanser and conditioner. However, I have a full plate and often don’t have time to mix up my batch of rhassoul clay every week. To make my life a little easier, I shampoo when I’m low on time. For my low-porosity hair, this is a less moisturizing, yet still nice alternative to my rhassoul treatment. It opens up my cuticles and helps my hair absorb the moisturizing conditioner that follows. It’s taken me a lot of trial and error to figure out what works best when shampooing my hair, but I thought I’d share my Lo-Po Shampoo Dos:

  1. Shampoo your hair from root to tip. I used to always think I could just shampoo my scalp and then suds would trickle down and remove any grime. I used the scalp technique for years and never understood why I battled build-up. Low porosity hair is very susceptible to build-up and needs a good cleaning to remove product and grime. I’ve noticed by applying shampoo all over, my clean hair is ready to absorb moisture after. You don’t have to apply a ton of shampoo a little goes a long way.
  2. Creamy, rich, moisturizing. When I use shampoo, I try to find one that is conditioning. I do try to avoid sulfates, when possible, but a cream based conditioner usually doesn’t leave my hair feeling stripped and dry.
  3. Do not detangle your hair with shampoo in it and do not tangle it too much in the process of shampooing, be gentle.
  4. Follow-up with a rich, deep conditioner. Whether it’s doctoring up your own blend or using a purchased deep conditioner, it’s essential to apply conditioner from root to tips and let it sit on your hair for a little (e.g. at least 15 minutes).

That’s it. What are some of your Lo-Po Shampoo Dos? Or do you follow a no-poo regimen?

Interesting link: http://www.blackhairinformation.com/growth/shampooing/co-washing-everyone/

Keep calm, put down that flexirod and carry on

How often does this happen to you? It’s a normal Sunday evening. You’ve decided to relax and go to bed on time. You look in the mirror and just feel like changing your look, cutting your hair, dying your hair, just something different. You pick up the scissors, contemplating cutting, when suddenly you decide, a new style is probably just what you need. Your eyes scan your hair styling tools and suddenly before you know it, you’re on YouTube searching for “flexirod set on natural stretched hair”. Naptural85’s video pops up in your results as the number 1 video and you love her videos, so somehow feel it’s meant to be. You watch the video and are motivated at how simple it all seems, gel, brush, set, sleep and voila hair commercial results. So that’s where I am now, getting ready for a night of uncomfortable “pretty” sleep and wake up and wonder, WHY???

flex

I guess I was blinded by Naptural’s awesome results.

 

 

Operation Save My Edges

My edges suffered so much after my pregnancy. I’m finally starting to see the light, as they’ve started to grow back, granted slowly. I still have to use my comb-over technique from time to time. Pulling my hair back completely, is not an option, as I don’t want to put too much pressure on my edges and I don’t want expose my barely-there edges. So, I wear my hair down a lot and if I do pull my hair back, it’s always in a very loose low pony or bun.

Yesterday, I did a braid out and I loved the look, but my edges killed it and made my hair look flat and lifeless. I used a headband to hide my thinning hair and give the illusion of volume by fluffing. This is a nice quick fix that’s gentle on my edges. In addition, to being gentle with my edges, I’ve tried massaging them lightly with a light oil (e.g. jojoba) and mixing in some essential oils like lavender and tea tree. I’ll have to pick up some rosemary essential oil as I’ve heard this is really good for hair growth.

Are you team thin edges? What are some tricks that have worked for you? Even if your edges are normal to thick, what are some tricks you use to keep them that way??

Happy Sunday!

braidout