Hi All! In an earlier blog post, I mentioned that I would have some exciting news for my blog readers and subscribers in December. However, I’m coming a little earlier to share the news. No I’m not pregnant. =) Blogging is something I enjoy … Continue reading
Lately, my hair has been in such a bad state guys. It has been dry, lifeless and dull. No matter what I do. My wash and go experiment last week– total failure. My day two hair was helmet-y, lackluster and undefined. I tried revisiting Curlformers to try something different, but I ended up with a horrible set. Not even worth blogging about. And not just that… a total waste of time. I did get a good twist out, from my stretched, curl-former style. So, I liken them to curl stretchers more than formers.
As many of you know I often praise my all-star hair care product, rhassoul clay on this blog. Each time I use it, I’m left with amazingly hydrated, plump coils and curls. Sometimes, I’m almost afraid to use a leave-in, for fear of reversing all the goodness that comes from using the rhassoul. Most times, I just forego this idea and add my leave-in. My hair does change slightly. I notice slight frizz, weighed down curls and a little less clumping. Well, last night after washing my hair at an ungratefully late hour, I decided to skip the leave-in.
I’d just followed my shampoo and protein treatment, with a rhassoul mask and my hair was on fleek (I’ve been dying to use this expression). Any way, I took a plunge after some hesitation and lightly coated my hair with coconut oil, concentrating mostly mid-shaft down to my ends. Then, I twisted my hair, sat under a bonnet dryer for a short time, wrapped and went to sleep. What I woke up to?
Extremely soft, moisturized hair that held the curls nicely. I was absolutely thrilled. It’s the end of the day and my hair is still soft and moisturized. I’ll probably add some leave-in to my hair, when it feels dry, but for now, I’m very content with its current state.
Some things I noticed about my hair sans leave-in:
- drying time was much faster
- it was bouncier than usual
- it feels softer and more hydrated than it ever did
If I’m on to something here, this means major savings for my wallet and a faster routine. Stay tuned. Maybe my fine, but dense low porosity hair, just does not like heavy cream based products.
Have you every skipped the leave-in conditioner?
Speaking of rhassoul clay. I’ll be giving away a bag of organic rhassoul clay to a reader based in Europe, US or Canada. To enter, subscribe to the blog, comment on at least two posts on this blog. Entries close the 25th of February.
So I’m back from Boston. I had a lovely stay and enjoyed every moment that I spent with family and friends. Now it’s back to the daily grind (i.e. running too and fro with a toddler and working). Oh it really does take a village to raise a child. I’m so grateful for every moment I had back home with my family and friends. Hubs and I got a lot of quality time on this trip and everyone was ever so happy to “take Peanut off our hands”.
Per usual, I did a little shopping on this trip for hair products.
- Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Treatment. My verdict is still out. I only used it once and it wasn’t at home, so I couldn’t do my usual deep treatment. So I’ll do a review at a later time.
- I can’t remember the name of one conditioner that I bought, but it was a very inexpensive Suave Conditioner.
- Pantene Pro-V Damage Detox. Again, I only used this once. However, I did really like how my hair felt after one use, so am really excited to give it another go.
- Aveda Be Brilliant Conditioner and Styling Creme. I used to love this stuff during my relaxed days. It’s on the pricey side, but I plan on doctoring it up and adding my own ingredients to it sometimes, to stretch it out. I wasn’t crazy about their Be Curly Line, it did wonders for my relaxed hair, when I wore a wash-n-go, but absolutely nothing for my curly hair. The sales clerk at the store had beautifully, tightly coiled hair and praised this product. I’m hoping it won’t disappoint.
- Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In. I didn’t like this after using once, but I bought so am going to make it work. I might try using it as a conditioner instead of a leave-in and of course adding some moisturizing ingredients to it. I just feel it sits on my head. Maybe diluting it in water would help… I’ll of course, give it another try, before reviewing it.
At the moment, my hair is straight. I went to my old stylist to get my hair blown out and get a much-needed trim. I’m going on week two *hides in shame* of straight hair at this point. I’ll probably wash it this weekend. I do miss my curls, but pin curling or wrapping at night and heading to bead without any additional work has been so heavenly.
I’m still here and haven’t forgotten you. I miss my blog family!
Things have just been so busy lately. I’m working, raising the little peanut and embarking on a new venture, all at the same time. Some days I’m just floating on the surface, but I’m not drowning, so my glass is half full.
Baby boy keeps me motivated and on my toes. Little man is trying to walk and getting down right mad (almost throwing a tantrum– toddler world here we come) if I so much as suggest helping him walk while holding both of his hands. He will only allow me one hand so he can waddle to and fro at the park. Call me emotional, but why do I already feel like he’s walking out the door and going off to college. I think I’ll be an emotional wreck on his 1st birthday– at least he’s not old enough to be embarrassed by me just yet.
I’m reposting my blog’s first post. Many of you might recognize this post. I get a lot of questions from new readers on low porosity hair. I’m thinking about putting up low porosity 101 page that way the quintessential information is available to everyone, without them having to search the blog for it. So without further ado:
An Introduction to Low Porosity Hair
Hair porosity is your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture (i.e. water). Retaining moisture is the key to healthy hair. In order to properly care for your hair, understanding your hair’s porosity is a pre-requisite.
There are three types of porosity: low, high and normal. Porosity is determined by the position of the cuticle, which is the outermost part of our hair made up of a layer of overlapping dead cells. It provides the hair with strength by protecting it from harsh elements and by protecting the inner structures of the hair. It also controls the water content.
If you have normal porosity, consider yourself lucky. Normal porosity hair requires the least amount of maintenance. It easily draws in water, however does not allow too much water to enter the cortex. This type of hair tends to be shiny, hold styles well and is easy to process (e.g. color, highlight, perm). A occassional deep conditioner and light protein benefits this type of hair.
Think of your hair as a sponge. It can absorb its weight in water and easily allow all the water to escape. Cuticles of high porosity hair are too open and allow too much water to enter the cortex. However, just as easily as the water enters, it also escapes rapidly, making it a challenge to keep moisture. This type of hair may be damaged, because of chemical processing. High porosity hair benefits from heavy creams, thick oils or emollients and butters, to seal in moisture. It also benefits from routine protein treatments, which may help to fill in some of the gaps in the cuticle. Additionally, cold water rinses, low PH products such as diluted vinegar or aloe vera, help to seal the cuticle.
Low porosity (lo-po)
The focus of this blog will be on low porosity. Despite the plethora of information on the web about porosity, there are not enough sites that thoroughly discuss caring for low porous hair. This type of hair has flat, shingled cuticles. Picture the shingles on the roof of a house, when it rains the water simply glides off the structure. As you can imagine, it’s challenging for water to enter the hair shaft. This type of hair often takes a while to wet in the shower and it takes forever to dry. Product buildup is a common complaint, as products just seem to sit on top of the hair. Chemical processing is long and difficult.
The trick with low porosity hair is getting the moisture in the hair shaft. Once it’s in, the hair retains moisture quite well and is lustrous and shiny. One of the most helpful methods is deep conditioning with heat or steam to open up the cuticle and help the hair absorb moisture. Additionally, washing and rinsing the hair with warm water helps loosen up debris and open up the cuticles.
If you’re low porosity and looking for some useful tips and advice, well, you’ve come to the right place. This blog will be dedicated to lo-po hair and more methods for caring for lo-po hair will be discussed in detail on this blog. I’ll also include my experimentation with my lo-po hair and what works and does not work for me.
In the meantime, to find out your hair’s porosity. You could take a clean, freshly washed (without products) strand of hair and place it in a cup of water:
If the hair stays afloat for a long time (more than 1 hour), without ever sinking, you’re likely lo-po
If the hair immediately sinks to the bottom of the glass, you’re likely high porosity
Keep in mind, this is not a glass half empty or half full matter. Whether high, low or normal, the important is figuring out how to properly care for your hair. What’s your hair porosity?
1. Take the upper half of your hair and place it in a high pony.
2. Take the bottom half of your hair and wrap an elastic around it and the upper pony. This connects the two sections. The ponytail will appear fuller and longer.
3. Slick back frizzy areas with gel and a brush.
Takes about 5 minutes and you’re out the door. =)
I have about a drop of Giovanni Triple Treat Shampoo left. However, I still have a few bottles of other shampoo sitting in my medicine cabinet. So please tell me, why do I feel the need to detour down the hair aisle and grab this shampoo and conditioner? (bows head in shame). Ugh drug store hair aisle be damned!
Any way, I did want to try a creamy shampoo lately, as all of mine are clear liquid shampoos (coughs: excuses). I haven’t really used Garnier Fructic shampoo or conditioner, since my relaxed days. I’m wondering how it will work out. In any case, I’ll give these a try this weekend and report back with results. I can always give them to hubby if they don’t do anything for me. Have you ever tried Garnier products? Is your shampoo cream or liquid-based?
I receive so many emails and comments from readers that sound a little like this:
“Help, I have low porosity hair!” “Ugh, I’m about to relax or texlax this situation, because this low porosity hair is no joke” “My hair is dry and dead, because it’s low porosity” “My hair will never grow, because it’s low porosity”
I would like to say to everyone lamenting over their low porosity hair, you should be celebrating.
- You have beautiful, healthy and low to no damage hair. Next to normal porosity, low porosity hair is considered very healthy, because once it receives the necessary moisture, it thrives and retains the moisture.
- Low porosity hair that is well moisturized glows and shines.
- Once you figure out what works for your hair, it will grow to great lengths and look healthy
You should consider this hair as a blessing. It might not be where you want it to be now. However, once you give your low porosity hair the key ingredients, regimen and environment that it needs. It will thrive and it will shine like a star. The key is just application and patience.
Next time you think about getting a relaxer or texlaxer, because you’re tired of your low porosity hair. Just remember, low porosity hair takes longer to process than normal or high porosity and it’s more difficult to process. While possible, this might not be considered an easy solution.
So with that being said, embrace your lo-po hair and let’s keep finding ways to keep it moisturized and healthy.
Were you excited or disappointed when you found out you had low porosity hair?
I’d like to share a natural hair story from a lovely reader, Dabney:
How long have you been natural?
I have been natural since 1991.
Why did you decide to go natural?
After high school, I decided that I wanted to chop off all my hair because I was tired of trying to keep up with the hair trends. I went to college with 3 in. of hair and I was happy! My hair never got particularly long. I was more interested in curl definition. However , it once grew to chin length and then broke off. I have big chopped several times over the years, I have dyed it and braided it as well. My biggest issue has always been severe dryness and breakage. Recently, I cut my hair off and dyed it red. I loved it until my hair started to split into tree branches. I had to big chop four inches from my 6in hair! I said that is it! I need to get my hair’s health back. When I was in Salzburg in the summer the humidity helped my hair stay moisturized and soft. I came home put it in box braids again and slowly my hair began to return.
How did you find out your hair was low porosity?
Through Pinterest I found several helpful pins on natural hair care. They helped a little but the dryness was still there. Then I came upon the theory of Porosity.I did the porosity test and found my hair is low porosity. I was on the attack! This was the reason for the dryness!
What’s your low porosity hair care regimen?
I was using the wrong types of oils on my hair. After cleaning out my product shelf, I switched from heavy oils to light oils and liquid moisturizers that were water based. I clean my hair with a co-wash, rinse it with baking soda and water, and seal it with grape seed and wheat germ oil and voilà, moisturized soft hair! It isn’t greasy and doesn’t feel like paper!
Thanks Dabney, for this wonderful story and your great tips! If readers want more of Dabney’s luscious hair, you can find her on the web: http://www.youtube.com/user/Dashingdiva73/videos
If you’d like to share your story, please contact me.
- That time I jumped on a chair and screamed for my husband to come and kill the huge spider moving across the kitchen floor. Yep, that was actually some shed hair and not at all a spider. We both got a good laugh out of that one.
- The time I was pulling my hair up into a bun, after wearing it down all day and happened to find a few hair pins. It was like an emergency storage or something. Guess if I had a pat down at airport security, they’d probably question me about the strange tools I “store” in my hair #Bighairdontcare #CanTSAputsomeleaveinontheirhandsbeforethatpatdownthough
- The time I was walking through a forest with friends and could no longer go forward, because a branch got stuck in my hair.
- Today when my cat jumped up on the bathtub edge, grabbed my ball of shed hair and started kicking it around like a pro soccer player. #Atleastsomeoneisenjoyingmypostpartumshedding
What are some of your funniest hair (curly, straight, shaved, etc.) moments?
The other day, my hair was on day 5 post wash. It was starting to look a little limp and dry. To refresh and keep it hydrated, I decided to give my hair a little face lift, using a special mix of ingredients that a reader recommended.
I put some water in a spray bottle, a little leave-in (Kinky Curly Knot Today) and a tiny amount of glycerin. I separated my hair in four sections and lightly sprayed each one with my special cocktail. The idea is to dampen the hair slightly, not to soak it. Especially since wanted to keep my definition. For more shine, I added Garnier Fructis
Sleep Sleek and Shine (Freudian sleep slip, can’t believe I just wrote sleep accidentally twice, guess I’m not getting much of that these days). Anyway, next, I finger coiled each large section in the back and tuck my ends under the my hair and pinned each section. The two front sections, I placed in bantu knots. Finally I wrapped my hair in a satin scarf and finished getting ready while it “marinated”. After about 25 – 30 minutes, I took my hair down. It was touchably soft, shiny and had lots of volume.
So if you’re looking for a quick moisturizing tip before wash day rolls around, I highly recommend this method. How do you moisturize your hair post-wash day?