Avoiding Set Backs: Master Pre-Detangling

8.01.2015

I'm shifting my thought process around regarding how I view the topic of setbacks.   In the past, I would classify a set back as an incident that resulted in loss of (hair) length.  And, while it's true that losing length does constitute a setback, I also think that remaining the same length for an extended period of time can be likened to a having setback.

Here's why I say that.  In it natural and healthy state, we would retain much of our growth.  I'm sure you've seen progress pics of someone who big chopped 2 years ago and is now enjoying hair past their shoulders.  It's as if they retain most,  if not all of their growth, which is wonderful.  What if we created the expectations of maximum retention for ourselves as well?

In order to do that, we have to find the weaknesses in our regimen and effectively address them.  One of the weak areas for me personally is when I detangle.  I call it a weak area because it's when I experience the most hair loss.  Sure, most of the hair on the comb is shed hair, but I'm sure I can do better managing any detangling related breakage as well.

To do better, I've decided to make sure I implement some pre-detangling actions to minimize the potential damage as much as possible.  Just like how pre-pooing helps minimize damage to the hair on wash day, I'm hoping the pre-detangling will mean less broken hair on the floor whenever we detangle.

Prepare the hair
If your hair is in need of detangling. Chances are it might be dry and a little matted.  That is not the right time to attack it with a comb.  You're only asking for trouble.  Instead, you've got to prepare for the session by priming your hair so it's fully ready to release the shed hair.  Treat it like a game.  Your goal is successfully find and remove all the shed hair and knots without causing one strand to break.  If you can do it successfully, you're winning.

Find out what your hair needs in order to make the detangling session go as smoothly as possible.  Does it need to be moistened?  Then have your spray bottle ready. Does it need the help of detangling products? Then grab your blue bottle of It's a 10.  Does your hair need the power of steam to soften the strands?  Do you need to spray it with oil to help the trapped hairs glide through the madness?  I want you to experiment.  Try some of all of these tips and see how your hair responds.  I know that my hair detangles much more easily when it's moisturized so instead of manipulating dry, parched hair.  So I need to focus on super charging the moisture levels through daily steaming or some other method to increase elasticity.  Elasticity, by the way, is the golden key to detangling without a lot of casualties.  When your hair can stretch, while manipulated, instead of breaking, you have made it to the big leagues.

Another way to prepare the hair is to start at the macro level then focus on the small details.  Start with large sections and gliding your fingers through pre-treated hair. That way you can grab the low hanging fruit, or the hairs that you can easily grab and remove.  One you've completed the entire head, then you can grad your most qualified comb to do the job and start working in small sections.

One more tip, start in your weakest areas first.  The back of my hair seems to get tangles the most.  Before, I would start in the front. By the time I got to the back, I had little patience for those stubborn tangles hiding in the back and I paid severely for it.  Now, I start there and can dedicate as much time as I need to get the job done.

Finally, one other thing to be aware of is how much time you go in between detangling sessions.  When I traveled like mad, I'd detangle once a week on wash days and wore my hair in a bun every day.  That might have been ok if I better prepared for it.  But instead, I would try to detangle parched hair with loads of shed hair trapped in my bun.  If I were to do it all over again, I'd conduct a light session mid-week then do a detailed detangle  pre-moistened hair on Saturdays.

As I mentioned in the last post, the best way to prepare the hair for the manipulation of detangling is to fortify it with protein.  Strong hair is the ultimate win so don't skip your protein treatments.  Heck, sometimes I would saturate my hair with coconut oil overnight before a heavy detangling session. That way, I'm getting the lubrication of the oil, plus additional strength from the absorbed protein.  Worked like a dream.

You can even play around with protein leave-in conditioners like Grund Tiger Protein.  When I was first experimenting with daily steaming.  I decided to braid my hair in two cornrows before getting under the steamer.  Since I was headed under the steamer, I didn't prepare and pre-detangle my hair prior to braiding.  I noticed a little breakage and immediately went into action.  After reaching for the Tiger Protein and misting the length of my hair, the breakage ceased and my hair felt ultra soft and moisturized.  That was the reminder that I needed to always, ALWAYS prepare the hair before heavy manipulation, even before conditioning treatments.

Hopefully, pretangling is one solution that will leads us towards our goal of being as close to 100% retention as possible.


































































0 comments


Insta lately.

7.31.2015

Hey!  Glad to see you here again.  Just wanted to let you know that you can also follow my adventures on Instagram.   See you there!

@Lifeasnadege



0 comments


Nightly Exfoliation | How to wake up looking like you had a facial.

7.30.2015

You guys know that I love the topic of exfoliation. We've discussed it time and time again. We've even been inspired by celebrities who attribute regular exfoliation as the key to their glowing, youthful skin.  I thought we've learned all their is to know, until I was given new advice by a beauty expert in the industry.

I was making my rounds in Sephora, hoping to pick up the free birthday gift they so generously provide when I saw this striking blonde woman who stood about 6 feet tall, wearing an all black dress.  Her hair was in a stylish bob and her makeup was perfect.  She just so happened to be near a product that I wished to sample so I asked for her help.  Since she wasn't in the typical Sephora uniform, I first asked a series of questions to find out more about who she is.  Turns out that she represented a company called Korres.  She asked how she could help so I requested a sample of Dr. Dennis Gross' dark spot correcting sunscreen.

The reasons I want to try it, I told her, was because I was intrigued by a sunscreen with active ingredients that exfoliates and fights hyperpigmentation.  She agreed that Dr. Dennis Gross has decent products but responded by saying  "the best time to use products that exfoliate and treat hyperpigmentation is at night."  While you're sleeping, she goes on to say,"your skin is regenerating and going though a cleansing process.  Using exfoliation products at night helps the process."  I thought about it for a moment, and it made complete sense.  I almost liken it to exfoliating in the shower. We're already cleansing so pairing an exfoliation session while showering just seems natural.

When we exfoliate during the day (or in the morning) we then immediately expose our already sensitive sensitive skin to the sun.  But, in the evening, we're giving our skin a chance to recuperate. Wonderful things happen to our skin at night.  I experience it first hand when I use coconut oil on my face or when I take certain supplements at night.  When I awake the next morning something about my skin seems different, renewed.  It makes sense to use products that can aid in the rejuvenation process while you sleep.

The helpful Korres representative happily prepared a sample of Dr. Dennis Gross' sunscreen, along with a sample of Korres' Wild Rose brightening sleeping facial.  I really like the idea of a "sleeping facial."  It got me thinking about how I could create a nightly regimen that produces facial-like results when I awake.  I'll put more thought into it and, if I come up with something brilliant, I'll let you know.  But for now, let's start to experiment with using our acid based products or doing our at home chemical exfoliation routines at night and see if your skin transforms by morning.  Because, hey, who wouldn't want to look like they just had a facial when they first wake up.



1 comments


Hair Botox (at home) part II- Success!!!

7.29.2015

Majestic Hair Botox | LV Cles
I'm excited to share the second installment of my feedback on the at home Hair Botox treatment.  If you recall, the first go around didn't go so well.  Unfortunately, the Hair Botox formula I purchased contained formaldehyde and I immediately reacted to the chemicals.  I was down, but not out.  The lure of experiencing a true hair botox treatment led me to purchase a second product.

After a decent amount of research, I settled on Majestic Hair Botox.  Although the product doesn't have many reviews on Amazon, they were pretty much all positive.  I bit the bullet and spent $175.00 on a 10 oz bottle.  The product came quickly and included a free small bottle of clarifying shampoo.

Ok, here we go.  First came the scent test.  I need to make sure the product would not irritate like the last one.  After reading the ingredients and confirming that there was on formaldehyde in sight, I began the application process on freshly washed/air dried hair.  This product smells absolutely delightful.  It sorta sweet and reminds me of cherry candy or something.  Because it smelled so good, I took my sweet time applying section by section.

The product itself has the consistency of a watery "cheapie conditioner."  This made it easy to spread down the length of the hair.  My hair immediately responded to the product. If felt like I was applying conditioner to the hair. In return, my hair softened as I rubbed the product in.  I love products that make an immediate impact on the hair.

The plan was this:  After rinsing the instructions state that we're supposed to blow dry and flat iron.  I didn't want to do that.  Instead, I wanted to roller set, as normal so I can compare apples to apples.  Blow drying and flat ironing might give me a false sense of the true outcome.  Once I had a chance to assess the results from the roller set, I would then flat iron the hair (if necessary) to further seal the product in.    Majestic Hair Botox, in raw form, gave my hair a ton of elasticity and softness.  Although it's a keratin containing product, my hair didn't feel AT ALL like it was saturated in a protein conditioner.

Time to rinse.  Unlike the Kashmir Hair Botox, the instructions didn't say that I can use a deep conditioner after rinsing.  Instead, it advises us to begin the drying and flat ironing process.  I rinsed and sat down to roller set.  I'll be honest, my hair did feel like it needed a conditioner.  But I moved forward like a G.  10-15 minutes in, I noticed something.  My hair didn't seem to have as much bulk as normal.  Upon closer examination, I realized that my texture was loosened.  This took me completely by surprise as I didn't expect the product to straighten the hair. I thought it was a strengthening aid and straight hair would come from the blow drying and flat ironing process.  At first I thought I was mistaken, but the more I examined, the more I was convinced that my hair texture was looser than before.

It wasn't straight in the same way as when I touch up.  The texture just was much looser. Even my new growth (3 months post) was less curly.  I guess one way to describe it is like my hair looks/feels about a month or two after touch up.  Now that I'm aware of how this treatment softens the hair, maybe I'll try smoothing it into the new growth, next time, to see if that makes any difference.  I may also dabble with mixing some with my other conditioners and see what happens.

This product has so much potential.  Currently, relaxers/texturizers straighten the hair by dissolving the natural bonds.  This product loosens the curl, while repairing damage (keratin is the 4th ingredient).  The long term implications are huge.  Stretching relaxers beyond your comfort zone will be much easier.  You may find this product could replace your touch ups altogether.

Recently, someone shared a detailed review of the product on Amazon.  I'll post it here so you can read her experience.
Wow! So far so good. Product arrived yesterday - tried it right away. Took about 4 hours for the whole process. Used on coarse, relaxed, shoulder-length hair with about 1 to 2 inches of new growth. Turns out at least 6oz would have been better - started from the back and may have over saturated, so the front got much less product. Will start from the front next time. Bought this & the clarifying shampoo - they included 4oz of both the after care shampoo & conditioner at not charge. Product arrived fast. 
Really this is just a one application size. Long hair may need the next size up. The clarifying shampoo strips your hair of everything. You have to detangle & dry it as is. Application was easy. Maybe I applied too much product or perhaps didn't rinse it out well enough before the flat ironing, but my hair felt dry & brittle while looking soft & shiny. Very straight after flat ironing. This product seems more of a hair softener than straightener, though it did come out super straight, shiny & soft. The hair felt like it really needed moisture / deep conditioner. The next day (today), washed it with their replenishing shampoo & conditioner (came in the box) - added some jamaican black castor oil to the conditioner, put a plastic cap on & sat under the dryer for 10 minutes. Hair still straight after washing. Put light product in it & sat under dryer as is. It dried in 10 minutes. Could have worn it just like that, but chose to flat iron at 340 for a sleek, straight, shiny look. Hair now feels amazing. Looks amazing.
Will definitely buy again in the bigger size. This will replace relaxing if hair remains healthy, and the treatment lasts for 2 months or more. Very, very happy so far.
She's absolutely right about the product size.  Amazon offers three different sizes.  I purchased the middle size (10fl oz) and used about half the bottle in one application.  Next time, I'll scape together all of my pennies and buy the largest size which costs "a lot of money" but is much less expensive per ounce than it's smaller counterparts.   I know the smallest size requires less of an up front investment, but unless you have very short hair, 4 oz may not be enough.  Plus, with a larger bottle,  I can apply using really small sections (and I mean really small), so every strand experiences the product.

The reviewer also made mention of her hair feeling dry.  Since the instructions don't state that we should deep condition, both us skipped this step.  Notice she stated that this is more of a "hair softener" rather than a straightener.  I agree 100%.  You will not get straight hair with this product alone (although the blow dry and flat iron will help).  For me, it loosens/stretches the curl really effectively. But don't expect bone straight hair.

The day after application I co-washed and steamed using a deep conditioning product.  My hair responded well and looked much healthier than before the treatment.   It's been about about a week
since my initial experience and I'm already excited about my next treatment.  According to their website, the treatment can be used as often as one desires since it contains no harmful chemicals (although the results should last up to 3 months).  I'm contemplating another treatment but leaving in much longer (the instructions say to leave in for 75 minutes but I was in a bit of a rush). I may also experiment with sitting under the dryer to deepen the penetration.

My hair has maintained its softness and retains moisture much easier than before.  Breakage has slowed and my hair responds much better to manipulation (not as fragile).   Overall, I would deem this purchase a huge success.  I look forward to trying it again only next time, I'll deep condition after rinsing as normal.  I've experimented with lots of expensive hair treatments but this, by far, is my favorite.  For such an investment, I expect my hair to be different then before treatment.  Majestic Hair Botox has done it's job.  I'm looking forward to using this product to help extend my stretches while helping my hair retain length.  A lot of you have send me emails asking about my experience and I absolutely give it two thumbs up.

Yes it's an investment, but I'm sure a Hair Botox treatment at the salon is much more expensive.  And this product is ultra gentle so it's fool proof.   It just like applying a conditioner.  Although they recommend using gloves, I applied with a Sprush and my bare hands with no ill effects.  This is good stuff, people.



1 comments


My anti-aging tools that I've never told you about.

7.28.2015


Besides hair products a good amount of my disposable income goes towards facial beauty tools and anti-aging contraptions.  My is collection small but growing.  Ideally, I'd love to invest in expensive machines like one that does at home oxygen facials.  But for now I'm starting small while adding items one by one.

One of my beloved purchases is the cute little vibrating facial wand.  The claims are that this wand eliminates wrinkles.  I don't know about that, I'm more interested in the vibrations which might have a positive effect below the surface of the skin.  Ever since I learned that vibrations can impact bone density, I've wanted something with vibrating power made specifically for the face.  Not only was I hoping that it would increase blood flow to specific areas but I'm also hoping to target specific areas for greater impact.  Especially around the eye area.

 As we age, changes in bone structure  occur.  One of the most obvious changes, to me, is the widening of the eye socket.  It's a subtle difference but it definitely happens. This widening is what promotes hollows and the appearance of tiredness around the eyes. Our eye area doesn't get much exercise as the rest of the face. And were warned to be very gentle when applying eye creams and whatnot.  This could be a contributor to atrophy around the eye socket.  Jumping on a trampoline is supposed to be powerful enough to exercise the elusive eye muscles (which some say can even improve your vision when done regularly).  Along with rebounding, I choose to stimulate the eyes with this tiny little vibrating wand.   Even if the wand has no effect on the bone density around the eye area, it still feels really relaxing when I use it.

I was in a hotel once, watching late night infomercials when suddenly an announcement was made for an at home microdermabrasion machine.  Since I already have the Riiviva, I wasn't really interested in purchasing. But the host said something I would never forget.  As a selling feature, he highlighted the strong suction of the machine.  The suctioning, he claimed, promoted collagen formation in the deep layers under the skin.

I theorize that mild trauma to the skin can promote thickening and collagen formation.  We know this because getting fillers and using derma rollers can produce collagen.  While the plumping affects of the facial suction cups might be temporary (think lip plumping devices) they could help produce collagen below the surface of the skin.  Cupping therapy is based out of Chinese tradition and can provide a multitude of benefits to the body.  When used on the face, cupping massage promotes lymph drainage, and can help firm and plump the skin.  I bought my little facial cups specifically to experiment on the lower half of the face.

When you look close at the faces of women who appear younger than their age vs women who look their age (or older), one of the obvious differences is the amount of volume in the lower half of the face.  We loose fat/collagen in that area and it's a bit challenging to get it back once it's gone.  I don't use my cups on a daily basis but I do think they have helped in thickening the intended areas.  I just place them on either side of my jaw for a few moments to allow blood flow. Then I remove, place them in a new location, and start again.  I definitely feel the burn in the area after a cupping session. Next, I'll get some in smaller sizes so I can practice cupping between my eyebrows and other parts of the face.
_________________________________________________________________________
Last on this list is probably my favorite.  Again, in my quest to find ways to impact the facial structure, I stumbled across the Yamuna face rolling kit.  Basically, it's two balls and an exercise video that demonstrates how to use the rolling action to massage your face.  This exercise/massage technique is phenomenal for removing facial tension that you probably didn't know you had.  When I sit in front of the computer, I tense my facial muscles as I squint or whatever.  When we're stressed out, the stress usually ends up in our shoulders, on our face, and in our scalp (that's why scalp massages feel so good).  [Side Note: If you have moderate to high stress, please reward yourself with scalp massages to keep blood flowing to the scalp. Stress causes constriction, we need to counteract the constriction by promoting healthy flow to the scalp again.]

After you finish your Yamuna face rolling session, you immediately feel the tension leaving your face.  Best off all, this ball does an amazing job of lifting the face and giving you a younger overall look.  I may be imagining things, but I notice a reduction in my smile lines and forehead wrinkles when I'm consistent.  Not to mention that I can use as little or as much pressure as I desire.  The more pressure I use, the more bone stimulation I experience.  For people with facial congestions, tension headaches, etc, this ball could provide some much needed relief.  The kit is a little pricey but I highly recommend it. There's even body rolling kits to work out tension located deep within the muscles.  Even if I'm imagining the anti-aging benefits, I still think this is a great purchase to destress the face after a long day.

If you want to see Yamuna Face Rolling in action,  check this video out.

This is only the beginning of my anti-aging goodies.  I plan on amassing many more tools in the future.  As my collection grows, I'll be sure to share my finds with you.  If you have any anti-aging techniques/tools that you love.  Be sure to share them below.






1 comments


Motivation Monday | Dreaming Big vs. Doing Big

7.27.2015

I just happen upon this wonderful comic that I had to share with you.  It details the wonderful lesson of being a producer vs. consumer while reminding us of the rewards of remaining diligent & consistent with our actions.

Take a look.


Never forget the power of action. Dreams that aren't brought into existence, are simply fantasy.
8 comments


5 Reasons to stop wearing bummy clothes around the house

7.25.2015

cute + comfy //wearing basics, gold accessories, stylish flats and statement handbag
It's the weekend, and you've made plans to chill out at home, catching up on your favorite shows or browsing through fashion magazines.  Maybe you'll even get some decluttering in or knock a few other chores off your list.  Staying in typically means throwing on a pair of comfy loose fitting pants and a t-shirt.  The only people you'll probably come in contact with are those who don't care how you look.  No problem, right?

I'm here to make the case for why you should give up the habit of wearing unattractive house clothes, even if you have no where to go.  Let me first start off by saying that I've violated this rule ever since I began working from home full time.  And I've suffered major consequences because of it.  At first, I thought it was cool not to have to get up and get ready for work. But, as time passed, I realized that not doing so was not beneficial.  Learn from my mistakes so you don't fall into the trap of looking like a house-bum.

Reason #1: Undetected Weight Gain.
There a  couple indicators of weight gain.  The first is what your bathroom scale tells you.  But, if you've decided not to weigh yourself on a regular basis (like I have), you have to rely on other signs, like how your clothes feel.  Typically, the clothes you change into when you're at home are much more casual and loose fitting.  This allows you to gain a little here and there without causing much alarm.  I didn't really realize the couple of pounds I put on until, I started working in my "normal clothes."  And, the more weight you put on, the more you are likely to reach for loose fitting clothes.  Then the vicious cycle begins.   Wearing my nicer close raises the level of awareness of my body.  Comfy house clothes are designed to feel effortless and undetected.  This could work against you if you spend a lot of time at home.

Reason #2:  You slowly turn into a home body.
When you automatically change into house clothes, you send yourself a signal that you're gonna be home for the day (or weekend).  Your mind goes into "sleep mode."  It's the complete opposite when you dress up.  Especially if you go all out and apply minimal make up and wear your favorite scent.  After you're done with your household stuff, you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and think to yourself "I'm looking good, maybe I go visit friends, or attend an event."

Reason #3: You're less likely to dress up when you leave the house.
Once I got comfortable wearing house clothes as a daily affair, I'd put very little effort to put myself together whenever I left the house.  Sure I'd dress up if I had somewhere special to go, but if I was making a quick trip to the store, I made little additional effort to look presentable (thank God, I didn't run into anyone from the past).  But, on the other hand, if I invested a few extra minutes, each morning, to execute my signature casual look, I found myself doing even more before leaving the house.  By then, I really looked like I had put in more effort than I actually did.  The absolute best way to practice looking your best on a daily basis is to look presentable even when you're at home.

Reason #4:  You walk around the house feeling uninspired.
Your life consists of (a) the time you spend at work (b) the time you spend at home (c) the time doing outside activities.  You're probably the most productive while you're at work.  The time at home, is likely on the other end of the productivity scale.  You might be thinking that your time at home should be for decompressing and not necessarily for productivity.  But I'd like to challenge your thinking for a minute.  If there are aspects of your life that you want to alter, the only time you can really affect this is when you're at home.  Work time is already accounted for by your employer. So if want to change your life, you've got to use your personal time to do that.  But if you're in "lounge mode" whenever you're at home, you aren't using the time to create your new future.

If you dress well, even while at home, you raise your level of awareness about all the additional time you have available to you.  If you're at home dressed, with freshly painted nails, while wearing your favorite scent, you might think to yourself "let me check out ideas to launch my business" instead of "I wonder what reality shows are on."

Reason #5. Dressing well alters your life.
I have a theory that people who present their best selves (physically) actually have different experiences from others who don't.  I think human beings are drawn to attractive people.  Attractive doesn't just mean being born with the perfect features.  I define attractive as (a)someone who invests time in their personal appearance and (2) someone with a charismatic personality.  People respond to others who present themselves as "attractive."  I've experienced this myself. When I nurture my appearance, strangers are more friendly and attentive. Opportunities seem to present themselves to me.

You've had this experience too.  If not, I urge you to test this theory for yourself.  Imagine what happens when you multiply those small benefits day after day.  Our lives are comprised of what happens to us every day.  Why not experience a life of feeling good about how you look, day in and day out.  Walking around in full confidence and positive anticipation of what's ahead absolutely has an effect on how you lead your day.

When I talk about looking presentable, even at home, I don't necessarily mean that you have to wear formal clothes on your days off.  It's up to you decide what works best for you.  Just try to avoid defaulting to t-shirts and sweats.   Start with the basics like wearing minimal makeup, a light fragrance an your favorite accessories.  From there, you'll find it easy to elevate your personal appearance, even if you have no where to go.
3 comments


How to use steam in your every day routine to increase your hair's moisture.

7.21.2015

When I experimented with frequent washing, my hair thrived.  Retaining moisture seemed much easier and I experienced the benefits from increasing the number of conditioning sessions per month.  But, since I fail miserably at air drying and must roller set after each wash, I couldn't keep up with frequent wash days due to lack of time.

Then I got to thinking, "what if there's a way to add deeper levels of moisture into the strand without having to do a full wash?"  After a few moments, the answer came to me. Steam!  Sure, we all do the LOC method of moisturization. But what if we replaced the "L" (liquid) with "S" (steam)?

Some possible benefits of using steam vs. liquid.
  • Steam is water in smaller particles which could mean deeper penetration into the strand.
  • Steam can cover the strands more evenly than spraying the hair manually with water.
  • Steam could open up the cuticles for better absorption of the other moisturizing products you wish to use.
That was enough for me to move to the next step in the experimentation process.  Next I contemplated what form of steam I should use.

MILD: This is where you just use hints of steam of boost moisture levels ever so slightly.  One of the simplest ways to use just a touch of steam to increase moisture is to test out the Greenhouse method.  Really, this method doesn't incorporate steam in the form that you're familiar with. The Greenhouse method is more about water and heat working together to fuse the hair with moisture.

Simply put, this method can be achieved by applying a plastic cap over the hair and allowing your own body heat to do the work.  Sometimes I'll tie a silk scarf over the cap to further trap in heat.  If I leave the cap on overnight, I wake up with very damp hair in the morning.  If I do it for several minutes, my hair feels softer and ready to receive moisturizer/oil.  

Some claim the heat generated from the Green House Effect stimulates the scalp and promotes healthy hair growth.  I liken it to when someone wears a cast find that their arm hairs are darker, thicker, and long, once the cast is removed.  The warmth and "irritation" to the scalp promotes blood flow which could increase hair growth.

MEDIUM: Sometimes, when my hair is feeling extra dry, I reach for my steam rollers.   Seemed like whenever I used my steam curlers, not only was the hair curly, it was a bit more moisturized.  Then I started to experiment by adding a couple drops of apple cider vinegar to the water to lower the acidity, which helps seal the hair (curbing frizz).   I'd love to experiment with using low pH water as an alternate option to see if the results are similar.


HIGH: On the higher end of the scale there we have steamers.  Steamers range from held held tools like the Q Redew to the steamers we use on wash day.  The last couple of days, I've been playing around with using brief 15 minute steam sessions (under the MicroMist) as a way of elevating moisture.

It went something like this:

Day 1:  My hair was feeling dry and was a bit tangled.  I wanted to see how much moisture the MicroMist would add to dry hair and if it would aid in detangling.  After setting the timer for 15 minutes, I sat under the hood and awaited the final result.  Once the timer went off, I assessed my hair realized that certain areas were damper than others.  The damp areas were really damp (but not wet enough to cause dripping).  Once I was done, I had no definite plan on what to do with the damp hair after the session was over.

Day 2:  After steaming the second day, I braided the damp hair and allowed it to air dry as I completed chores around the house.  When I took down the hair, the waves were defined and moisturized.  The outcome was good, but something was still missing.

Day 3: For my third 15 minute session, I sat on a cushion, to boost me up, so my hair could evenly receive the steam.  This time I decided to mist my hair with Biolage Leave-In (prior to steaming) to take things to the next level.  That was a great move.  Not only was my hair moist, it was conditioned.  This meant that it could better withstand manipulation,  Once the 15 minute session was over, I quickly roller set the damp hair and went to bed.

At this point in the experiment I've identified some clear pros and cons to using steam as part of a daily moisture routine.

PRO: Steam seems to put moisture in the strand vs. normal moisturizing and sealing when we add product directly on the strand.

CON: Steam opens up the cuticle layer of the hair, promoting frizz and volume (not good if you wear sleek hair styles).

CON: Using water alone can have negative effects on the hair, causing dryness and brittleness once the water evaporates.

PRO: My hair is more elastic, it can better sustain manipulation without easily breaking.

Final thoughts:
There are great benefits to using steam, but it requires a bit of thought and planning to make sure you achieve the outcome you want.  Steam is just water in different form.  Just putting water on your hair doesn't respond well. In fact, you might be promoting even more dryness as the water evaporates from the strand. (hydration does not equal moisturization)   You MUST moisturize and seal after you hydrate the hair with steam.  And beyond moisturizing, you have to seal the cuticle layer.  Steam is water + heat which opens the cuticle thereby creating the potential frizz.

The one thing to be mindful of is what you'll do with your hair after steaming.  The easiest way to prevent the frizz is to use steam curlers (correctly).  Or the GHE method for short, measured periods of time.  If you're afraid of sweating out your edges, avoid steam altogether.

The benefits, in my opinion, are worth experimenting until the process is perfected.  My hair went from feeling dry/brittle to moist/hydrated without having to do a full deep conditioning session.   I also experienced increased elasticity which can be quite elusive if you have chemically treated hair.

I'll keep experimenting and tweaking process to make it better. The results are worth it.


3 comments


Motivation Monday | Try this Law of Attraction technique & see if it works for you.

7.20.2015

If you're like me, you were super excited about the potential available through using the law of attraction.  After watching The Secret, I was ready to attract all kinds of new experiences into my life.  But, I wasn't quite sure how to do it.  Being terrible at visualizing, I found it hard to get myself to "feel good" about something I wanted to attract.  Most often, the feeling of lack would creep in as I realized that I didn't yet have it.

The practical application of the Law of Attraction can get a bit tricky, which is why I love this video so much.  In it, he describes three, very easy to do steps to elevate your vibration by using a focus wheel to attract what you desire.  The focus wheel helps you to generate the powerful feelings that serve as fuel to attract your intentions.  This easy to do exercise helps transform your affirmations from empty words into belief raising mantras.

Doug asks you to maintain that level of energy (and celebration) for at least 90 seconds.  I may try this with energizing music playing in the background to further increase my vibration.  Once you've completed your focus wheel, it's easy to repeat the process every morning (causing you move into action) until your intentions become reality.


(1.)Write what you ultimately want
(2.)Write out your feeling affirmations associated with what you want.
(3.) Affirm your intentions over and over again (for at least 90 seconds), focusing on your feelings, to raise your vibration.

Check out some of the comments below the video where people share their experiences of how this technique worked for them.
3 comments


Frequent vs. Infrequent Washing| Let's Discuss

7.18.2015

When it comes to wash day routines, there are people who find success on two opposite ends of the spectrum.  I'm referring to those who wash frequently and those who don't.  Proponents of frequent wash days boast about increased retention while some advocate leaving the hair alone which also promotes length.

Neither option is right or wrong, but let's discuss some pros and cons of both so you can decide which choice is best for you.
If you wash your hair 2 or more times a week, you can consider yourself a frequent washer.  I've written a complete post on the benefits of this type of regimen.  Basically, you expose your hair to water multiple times a week, thereby increasing moisture levels.  The need for daily moisturizing and sealing diminishes as your hair is better able to retain moisture on its own.

Frequent washers attribute their length retention and progress to this method.  I gave it a go for several weeks and my hair approved.  Unfortunately, since I'm a loser at air drying, which meant that I was roller setting multiple times a week.  Yes, that's a lot of manipulation, but as moisture levels rose, I barely lost any hair.  The time commitment involved caused me to go back weekly wash days, but I'm currently experimenting with an alternative method that I'll write about in an upcoming post.

If you have chronically dry hair, frequent washing may be just the answer you're looking for.  The key to success, using this method, is to manage the manipulation.  If you can find a low manipulation way to handle your hair after cleansing, you're as good as gold.  One other pitfall to be aware of is over moisturizing the hair.  When the hair becomes over saturated with moisture it can feel week causing you to lose out on making any progress.

Lastly, let's never forget the issues of some of WEN's customers who claimed to have experienced hair loss from using their cleansing conditioner.  I saw my mother in law earlier this year who raving about how amazing her hair felt after introducing WEN to her regimen. After complimenting her hair, I advised her other's experiences to which she replied "you may be right, I do notice that I shed more hair when I use their product."  So keep an eye on that kinda stuff just to make sure you aren't doing more harm than good.  But, if you hair loves frequent exposure to water, frequent wash days can take your journey to the next level.
I've met people who wash their hair every few weeks and claim that this is their secret to retention. I get it. Leaving your hair alone can have a huge impact on manipulation related breakage.  Back when I'd get my hair professionally straightened, my hair could go two or more weeks without issue.   It required just a tiny bit of finger combing each day. Detangling was a breeze because shed hairs are easy to remove when your hair is so straight.  If I incurred any breakage, I'd just mist with a little It's a 10 with Keratin and call it a day.  At one point I contemplated using this method to promote retention.  But then I remembered how much manipulation and heat was required to get my hair to that point.

There was a girl at the dominican salon who has the most amazing hair.  Her hair was probably close to waist length, jet black, and had so much volume (think Kenya Moore's hair but a little bit longer).  Based on our brief conversation, she seemed to be a regular patron.  I only visited once every 6 months or so.  A couple years passed, and I decided to visit the salon out of the blue.  That day she just happened to be there, only now, her hair was around bra-strap. It still looked good but no where near where it was during her glory days.  That's realized that my hair wouldn't do well if I tried to keep it bone straight 100% of the time.

Another issue is my scalp.  Going without washing for more than a week can be asking for trouble if you've got scalp issues.  I'm sure the people who can endure extended times between wash days have little scalp concerns.  I had to leverage anti-fungal oils like coconut and essential oils to make it through the experience.

But with all that said, there's some merit to successfully creating a process where the hair can thrive if you only wash once or twice a month.
Many of us, including myself, full under the category of washing once a week.  For me, washing once every 7 days came about out of convenience.  I worked 5 days a week and the weekend was a best time to wash, deep condition and set.  But in all honesty, a once a week wash (in it's current form) isn't optimal since my hair responds better to washing more regularly.  Once a week is adequate but frequent washings would be ideal.  For others who use heavy heat to straighten after washing, extending wash days to every 1.5-2 weeks might give hair hair a much needed break. Or, if weekly is just right, then keep going.

 And by just right, I want you to think of retention as your measure of success.  Retention is made up of how your hair behaves from day to day.  If you're constantly battling dryness and breakage, play around with increasing wash day frequency.  If your hair likes to be left alone to do it's thing, try extending and see what happens. Don't just stick to weekend wash days out of convenience, make sure it's truly adding value to your hair.

I'd love to hear your experience.  Does your hair thrive more when its washed frequently or when left alone?
4 comments


         

 
here