Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mini Two-Strand Twist (Protective Style)

Micro in the front and Mini in the back
 Winter is here and that means that my wash and go has been tucked away until Spring returns. In the meanwhile, I have unpacked the protective styles of winter.

This past Thanksgiving Weekend I washed my hair with a Shea Moisture Reconstructive Shampoo Condition Mix. My hair rejected the idea of Shea Moisture (again) so I think it may be tired of this particular product. Sigh~ So I used the Shea Moisture Deep Conditioner just to make sure it wasn't just dry but my hair didn't like that either. I ended up leaving it on about an hour before washing it completely out. I couldn't even detangle with it. I then added about an oz of  Kinky Curly Knot Today (KCKT) and 1 oz of almond oil to my sectioned off hair and detangled. Using a blow dryer and a paddle brush I straightened hair section by section. Once hair was straight I began twisting very small sections from the nape working my way up. Once I got to the front I divided the section size in half making micro twist. In the front I was also careful to use a rattail comb to make clean parts because that is what people see. I twisted using my Pomegranate Mango Whipped Shea Butter. I snipped ends that looked raggedy (frayed) less than a 1/4 inch.

At night I sleep with a satin bonnet on. In the morning I refresh with Shea Moisture Coconut Habiscus Spray. Every other day I oil my scalp with Whipped Shea Butter. My scalp tends to itch more when it is exposed.  The picture above is second day hair of the finished 3 hour process. Don't be intimidated by time when it's the care of your hair and if you have little ones like I know there are plenty of interuptions. Remember this...You're worth the investment!


Friday, November 11, 2011

Some throwbacks should be left back!

Grease is making a comback?!?

Okay, so we all remember those days of sitting between someone's legs having our hair braided and our scalp "greased." It seems as though some of the hair naturalists who originally avoided "grease" like the plague are now returning to the roots of our grandparents. Some hair naturalistas are even arguing that "grease" of old is comparable to modern day hair butters.  What? Really?

Well, being a teacher I thought I would dispel that argument. So here is my case AGAINST grease and FOR Butter and how the two are different.

The traditional goal for using butters or "grease" has been to moisturize the scalp. The scalp is skin and there is essentially only one way to effectively hydrate it; that is from the inside out. Drink plenty of water. The skin can absorb some moisture but that happens only at the surface level (the epidermis). As you can see from the diagram the root of your hair is far below the dermis where moisturizers do not penetrate.  In order for any moisture to be absorbed into the skin it has to penetrate the pores and enter the dermis. These molecules must be very small to penetrate the . pores. Skin by design is created to protect our bodies from toxins and keep moisture and heat in. Most often what happens is a smal amount of the what are skin comes in contact with may pass through  and enter the body but most often lotions and creams merely rest on the skin forming a barrier. This can create the allusion of moisture but often it's temporary and when one takes a bath the barrier can be broken down or washed away.  With that said there is no scientific way to determine if what you put on your skin will be asborbed (beneficially or harmfully) into ones body; despite what the beauty industry may claim.

Most ingredients found in typical grease have a toxic affiliation as the base. The main ingredient in Blue Magic and other "grease" is patrolatum which is the source of both kerosene and gasoline. In at lease one country (EU) this has been banned because of its link to breast cancer. Petrolatum is a nonregulated chemical and therefore there is no information available on how much of it (if and when it is absorbed) is toxic to the body. It is stated as being harmul when ingested. According to Patrolatum has no reaction to water which suggests to me that it cannot be absorbed in the skin to create moisture.

Butters are different in the fact that they are usually derived from natural sources that are proven to cooperate with water and have beneficial properties for skin, hair and health. The most common bases of butters are shea, cocoa, mango (bases are the first ingedient on the product's list). In hair butters beeswax may also be included. All of these ingredients are derived from nature and have proven beneficial components that can be absorbed safely by most users (everyone has differentiated allergies).

In the case of going back to grease...I suggest we make that throwback a thing of the past.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Condition Wash Condition...not really anything new

Today, I read an article that talks about an alternative to co-washing. It's been called the condition wash condition method. For me it's not really anything new. I use this method when my hair is dry (straw like). I discovered this method quite by accident when I had a bad experience with a Natural Shampoo that completly stripped my hair. This method entails the following (flexible) method:
  1. Wet hair with warm water smoothing in one direction. (Usually I am in the shower so away from the forehead). Hair should be saturated.
  2. Apply a deep conditioner. All the conditioner to sit on hair while you shower.
  3. Apply shampoo (leaving conditioner in) work through hair the same way you applied the conditioner. (At this point I generally finger comb or use a very wide tooth comb).
  4. Rinse out both shampoo and conditioner. Working from forehead to nexk.
  5. Apply a good leave in conditioner andfinger comb to ensure hair is detangled.
* Before I apply the final leave in conditioner I generally add a quarter size amoun of almond oil from root to tips.

This is my method as I mentioned before this method can be tweaked to your hair. I find this method allows my hair to be less tangled and I can maximize moisture as well.