Curls and Lipstick

My Curly Girly Life

Archive for the tag “wng”

My Shedding

Ok, we all know the difference between a broken hair and a shed hair, right? If not, a shed hair is a hair that naturally falls out the scalp (with the root bulb attached) at the end of its natural life. A broken hair is broken at a place along the length of the hair. Hair can be broken anywhere along the hair shaft where it has been weakened or simply because the hair was pulled too taut i.e. rough handling. It’s rumored that everyone sheds (not breaks) around 100 hairs a day standard.

I’ve been eyeing the hair I lose since I cut my hair in February. Let me tell you I am so pleased (in a southern voice)! I’m pleased because when I was permed, I shed like a cat. I know that’s a common saying, but I’m for real… Like… strands of hair was all over the sink and counter and floor and shower and wall (not really but you get my drift) every.single.morning. I know most of these were BROKEN hairs because there were no roots attached and the hairs were different sizes. I used a wide tooth comb and hardly brush it, so I can’t say it was from rough handling. It was breaking because it was essentially damaged (perms work by breaking down proteins along the strand and all that jazz I don’t want to get into right now), on top of that I have microscopically thin strands and perms made it that much more fragile. I also learned that this chronic shedding was my hair rebelling against the perm, it was dry, and grease wasn’t my friend. What a recipe for a mess! I’m surprised I had bra strap length straight hair actually… It was getting nothing that it needed on a regular basis *clears throat* umm water and good oils! I think I retained length because I never wore my hair down (so no damage from the environment), wrapped it up nightly, and I wore ponytails that I didn’t pull too tight. Low manipulation saved my hair.

Now a day, my shredding has been massively reduced and it consists mainly of shed hair instead of broken hair. I see the lost hair when I finger detangle during cowashes during the week for my wash and go’s and when I comb by hair when deep condition every other week. In between these times, there is no hair on my shirt, on my pillow, or on the floor like before. I’m sure I still lose hair, but it’s caught up in the curls and can’t easily fall out. This is why when I do detangle, I expect more than 100 hairs, maybe even double this, but even then I don’t think I get that much.

This is my shed hair. ATTENTION: If you don’t like hairballs, this may be graphic!

Shed Hair

Note: This is a dual use picture. It also shows the 2 different textures of hair on my head. There will be a post about this later. 🙂

The hairball is after I detangled with a comb when I lose the most hair. Does this look like 100 hairs to you? This is a serious question. I have no clue. I thought about counting them but I chickened out because that may be a tad insane. I did audit 10 hairs and only 2 of the 10 were broken! This says so much! I handle my hair, in my opinion, way more than I ever did when I was permed and the shredding is zilch compared to then. The individual hairs on my head are super thin, even though I have a massive amount of them, and I would think they would be more susceptible to breakage no matter what kind of tender loving care I gave to my tresses.

This difference in shedding alone has been a huge payoff in going natural. If I retained length when my hair was fundamentally unhealthy, what amazing things are in store now that I am actually more concerned about the health of my hair this time around?

Have you noticed any difference in shedding since you’ve become natural?

Can’t Deny A Jheri Curl Today!

Yea… So I ran out of gel yesterday and this morning, mid cowash, I suddenly remembered. There was an eerie hush and the water ran cold… What do I do? I’ve never done my hair without gel. I’ve heard ladies on Natural Hair Nation trying conditioner only Wash and Go’s when testing out products, but never have I styled my hair with only conditioner! I live in Florida… High Dew Point Central!

I had no choice in the matter. I used the corner I had left of my beloved Darcy’s Botanical Pumpkin Seed Conditioner. I used this instead of the Oyin Hair Dew, which I’ve been favoring of late, because the dew has a lighter lotion-y feel whereas the DB was heavier. It was 5 am and made sense to me: The oilier, the stronger the hold.

No sooner did I shake my hair out did the fluff start. Which was coo’. I want big hair. It actually reminded me of good third day hair. My worry was that it would fluff to the point of no return by the time it dried.

It’s 4pm now. It did not fluff out. It is fluffy and a tad frizzy like I’ve had my hand in my head and unraveled most of the corkscrews, but very wearable. But lawd, the shine! My hair is shinier than a waxed 2015 Covette at a car show. It looks oily! Oily to the point that it could possibly drip oil or **gasp** Jheri Curl Juice at any moment!

This is the last look I need. I’ve been asked “Do you have a ‘curl’?” more times than I care to answer in the past, so today’s hair is not doing me justice. If someone ask me today, lawd know, it’s going to be hard to deny.

Hair Regimen **PRODUCTS UPDATED**

*****Bold and in parenthesis notes reason for change*****

Mission: Locate products that give optimal results.

Optimal Results: MOISTURIZED hair!

•••Please consider my hair’s attributes when reading my regimen and products I use•••

♥*´`*•.¸ Current Arsenal ¸.•*´`*♥

(I try to use products with as many natural ingredients as possible!)

Shampoo

  • Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Shampoo

Deep Conditioner (DC)

  • Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Moisturizing Conditioner + EVOO
  • Curl Junkie Curl Rehab (haven’t tried as a DC yet, only as LI)
  • Curl Junkie Repair Me! (protein conditioner/treatment – unopened as of now)

CoWash Conditioners – Rinse Out (RI)

  • Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner
  • VO5 Kiwi Lime Squeeze Conditioner (just haven’t used it in a while)
  • Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Conditioner (too creamy to ‘wash’ with)
  • Curl Junkie Daily Fix (when there’s a bad product reaction, i.e. whiteness)
  • Curl Junkie Beauticurls Argan and Olive Oil Daily Conditioner (moved from both LI and RI to RI only)

Leave In Conditioners/Creams/Milks/Etc (LI)

  • Darcy’s Botanicals Pumpkin Seed Curl Moisturizing Conditioner
  • Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl and Style Milk
  • Darcy’s Botanicals Cocoa Bean Curl Smoothing Cream
  • Darcy’s Botanicals Pumkin Kernel Hydrating Milk (added — forgot to put on list initially)
  • Darcy’s Botanicals Shea Butter Curl Moisturizing Cream (never used it on my hair; had only a sample so I used it as hand lotion :-/) 
  • Curl Junkie Curl Rehab
  • Oyin’s Hair Dew

Styling Gels/Puddings/Custards

  • Kiss My Face Upper Management Gel
  • L’Oreal Paris EverStyle Alcohol-Free Curl-Defining Gel (Too many humectants for Florida dews — frizz central!)

Spritzes for Refreshing a Wash and Go

  • High Quality H2O
  • Shea Moisture Hold and Shine Moisture Mist
Oil/Sealants
  • Pure Jojoba Oil (used only for the occasional scalp massage)
  • Oyin’s Burnt Sugar Pomade (added – used to seal my edges)

Ok. So I’m product obsessed. Judge me.

♥*´`*•.¸ Current Everyday Wash and Go Regimen ¸.•*´`*♥

(I redo my hair almost daily using the following technique while in the shower)

  1. Cowash with a RO.
  2. Divide my hair into 4-6 sections and clip up.
  3. Undo one section.
  4. Finger detangle, rinse out RO, apply a LI conditioner/cream/milk-of-the-moment.
  5. Apply a styler like a gel/pudding/custard-of-the-moment.
  6. Clip section back up.
  7. Repeat on all the sections.
  8. Get out the shower, unclip all sections, and shake it out!
  9. Let it air dry.
  10. I DON’T TOUCH UNTIL AFTER IT DRIES!

Wash, Deep Condition, and Detangle Day (every other week):

  1. Wash with a sulfate-free shampoo.
  2. Apply deep conditioner.
  3. Detangle with wide tooth comb with deep conditioner distributed in hair.
  4. Rinse.
  5. Follow the regular routine, starting with the leave in.

Me and Deep Conditioning

When I was permed, I only remember once or twice that my beautitian deep conditioned my hair. When she put conditioner in after shampooing, she would let it sit for a minute or two, but only once or twice did she actually put me under the dryer for a DC. The only time I heard people even mention deep conditioning  was when someone had severely damaged hair, like edges that were thinning or hair that was falling out. I came to the conclusion that that was the only time you used one. It was not until I came into “the natural hair world” that I found out it was use for general upkeep of healthy hair! Blew me away.

When I Big Chopped, I deep conditioned every week. My hair needed it because my hair looked “wiry” (as a stranger called it). It was dry. After wetting my hair daily and a couple of rounds of deep conditioning, it felt softer and looked better. Ringlets started to come through! The benefits of DC’ing were noticeable almost instantly.

Now, 4 months in, I deep condition every other week, but my hair doesn’t feel as vastly different after DC’ing like it did since the initial turn around from my BC, no matter the method, dry or wet, 10 mins or overnight. It has stayed very soft and manageable. My thinking is that I don’t get those same raving results is because my hair is seemingly never without moisture, now-a-days, as I wash and go so much. With my routine, I am constantly introducing water to my hair under the shower head, and I use water based products. My leave in’s (whether a cream, custard, a regular leave in conditioner, or a deep conditioner that I use as a leave in, such as Curl Junkie Curl Rehab) are rich in oils and extracts in addition to being water based. Actually… thinking about it, I’m essentially deep conditioning all the time! I just figured it out! Eu-flipping-reka! I’ve been keeping my hair a its optimum moisture level consistently by using quality conditioners with great moisturizing capabilities and my hair has shown out! And maybe that’s why after deep conditioning, I don’t feel these miraculous everyone talks about.

I’m not saying that deep conditioning isn’t beneficial to my hair. NOT AT ALL. But I can see that if I was one to style my hair once a week, like in a braidout or twistout (which I have yet to do) and maintained it or other protective styles for any length of time, I would imagine the moisture levels of the hair dramatically faltering and a good DCing yielding immediately noticeable results.

I do deep condition every other week on shampoo day using Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner in the dry formula.  I love the ingredients and it has a heavier thicker consistency than my regular everyday rinse out’s and leave in’s. I get tons of slip in my ‘everydays’, but I only choose to finger comb my hair with them in the shower (this is where I do my hair, I don’t have to actually be in the shower to finger comb using these products, though). But when it comes to a thorough detangle using a comb (which I do every other week after shampooing), I LOVE the AO coupled with EVOO.

I’ll continue doing my DC on a regular basis with the purpose of giving my hair the nutrition it needs to grow up big and strong. I might not feel a whole lot of difference, but maybe that’s a good thing; maybe that means I’ve been keeping my hair at its paramount? Who knows, I just know it feels good at the moment and it’s growing from what they tell me.

Until next time…

My First Swim in the Ocean with Natural Hair | South Beach, Miami!

Hi Yal,

I’m was in Miami Beach for an impromptu get-a-way this weekend and I had a bawl!!! I sooo miss living there… I had so much fun!

Anyway, I was all up in the Atlantic Ocean! The water was warm and the sand was hot!

I was afraid of the salt water getting all up in my hair’s cuticle. I thought it would make my hair explode from what I hear about swimming and natural hair. It bummed me out because I figured being a natural head would make me run for the water faster because I can rinse/wash/condition/whatever at a drop of a dime. The advice online said I should saturate my hair with water OR oil, or water AND oil, or JUST oil before I got in, then rinse as soon as I got out, and apply conditioner promptly after that. Girl, bye!

Let me tell you what I did do… I hopped right in that there ocean and swam like a fish! I mean I came prepared with my spray-bottle-o-water to saturate my hair before getting in (the idea is to fill the hair up with regular water so it couldn’t absorb much salt water), but umm yea right. That clear water was calling me. I mean it just salt right?

I stayed out in the water like I was a marine biologist. My friends couldn’t get me back to the shore. I was all in, out, and under the waves. I was so deep in, that the lifeguard came by on a Jet Ski to tell me and others that we needed to go in some. There were other girls in almost as far as me trying to keep their hair clipped up so it wouldn’t get wet but it kept coming down. I even saw a girl with a shower cap! I don’t remember being that concerned when I was permed. I mean, you can’t be that far into the ocean and expect to not get your hair wet. You embrace it. You either wade with the kids by the shore and keep your hair dry or get in, get wet, and fix it later. I wasn’t even bothered. I was bobbing in and out of the water, keeping it moving. The girls eyed me a few times, which was cool. Women are curious about natural hair and I was all like “Look what I can do!” in my Stuart voice from MadTV (remember him?).

After I was finally dragged out, I didn’t run straight for the shower. I LOL’ed and BS’ed with my friends for however long before I made it over to the spout. When we finally did mosey off the beach, my hair hadn’t quite dried so it couldn’t have been that long. I proceeded to rinsed my hair very well. It didn’t feel dry. After I rinsed, I applied a couple of quarter sized amounts of Darcy’s Botanicals Pumpkin Seed Conditioner I had brought with me. I left that in my hair and let it dry while we did other things around Miami. My hair felt good and it was super curly!

I didn’t actually plan on shampooing my hair after the beach to tell you the truth. I didn’t think it was necessary. In my mind it’s just salt and salt is water-soluble, right? I planned on just re-rinsing and cowashing to get the rest of the salt out as soon as we got back to the hotel. What was a bummer and probably a bad move, was that I didn’t do a cowash when I got in the shower because we got back so late and I refuse to sleep with wet hair. I didn’t like that. I was up with the birds the next morning, though, singing under the shower head.

All and all, my hair feels good. It was Saturday when I went to the beach and it’s now Tuesday. It’s soft and still über curly even though I’ve WNG’ED twice since then. I’m definitely keeping a close eye on my hair to see if there are any negative effect of the salt water, but so far so good.

I’ll update if I notice anything.

Until next time Miami…

Let’s Jam in Alabama!

So I’ve just cleaned up at Curl Mart and I definitely didn’t plan on buying any more products this month, but I went away for the weekend (supposedly on my way to Atlanta, but made an impromptu stop in Alabama don’t ask because I don’t know either) and ran across Let’s Jam Custard randomly at Walgreens!! I’ve been in and out of Walgreens, CVS’s, Targets, and Walmarts home in Florida looking for this product since I first heard about it from Jesse of Mahogany Curls back in April. This product has been soo elusive.  I eventually gave up and came to the conclusion that Florida has a ban on it. I couldn’t even find it on the black market. So when I saw it during my usual-walk-through-of-the-product-aisle-even-though-all-I-came-for-is-an-emergency-water-squirt-bottle, I cleaned the shelf! Who knows when I’ll run across it again. I walked out with 3 containers of Let’s Jam Custard. Alabama’s Walgreens is where it’s at!

I’m playing with my Oyin’s Hair Dew this week, but I cannot wait to get my hand in the Custard. Stay tuned for the update!

My Curl Mart Came!

Stay tuned for pix/reviews!

Deep Conditioning and Detangling My TWA

How I deep condition my hair. I used Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner.

Deep Conditioning Miss Fire

I’ve been dry DC every week with Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner (AO) once a week since I’ve cut my hair. Love it. No problems. This time around though, I tried a different conditioner. I had heard some hype about Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque and since I pick up unnecessary items at Target anyway, I went and bought it. The ingredients are stellar;

  • Contains de-ionized water, Shea butter, Argan oil, vegetable glycerin, emulsifying wax, sea kelp extract, Panthenol, essential oil blend, avocado oil, Lonicera Caprifolium (honeysuckle) flower and Lonicera Japonica (Japanese honeysuckle) flower extract, Tocopherol (vitamin E), Hyssopus Officinalis Extract, Salvia Officinalis (sage) leaf and Equisetum Arvense Extract, soybean oil and Daucus Carota Sativa (carrot) seed oil.

I put it on my dry hair, as I would the AO, before bed. I use my hands to distribute the conditioner by smooshing and rubbing it in my hair, not running my fingers through. I like that it comes in a jar because I use a lot of condish to cover my hair and it’s much easier to scoop. Oh… when I say cover, I don’t mean I saturated my hair to the point you can squeeze or scrape out much excess once I finish; it’s just slightly moist with product.

Anyway, I wrapped my hair up in my old perm satin scarf and went to bed. When I got up and rinsed it the next morning and I almost died! I don’t know what happened, but YUCK! My hair felt soggy! It was so limp and soft like mushy overcooked noodles. It was horrid.

Mind you, the individual strands of hair on my head are fine, not coarse by a long shot. After rinsing, my wet hair felt like I was running my hand through a massive spider web. <– think about how that would feel… I’ll wait. Yea, I know right. I was scared that I had permanently damaged my hair.

So with a little googling, I found out my hair had the signs and symptoms of being overconditioned! I didn’t know you could have too much moisture! This was news to me. I searched and searched and come to find out it’s reversible. I just needed a dose of protein.

A massive amount of blogs and websites suggested ApHogee Protein Treatment. I didn’t have that on hand and not only that, it seemed way strong! Other sites claimed protein foodies would help. I had some eggs, so I mixed it up with some extra virgin olive oil and prayed.

I poured it over my wet hair in the sink, trying to saturate all the strands. It was a mess! Yellow yolk dripping everywhere. I put on a clear processing cap and it started to drip down my face and neck so I tucked some toilet paper under the elastic band (good thing I buy the good stuff), but it eventually saturated it and dripped down my neck some more. Who knows how much was actually left in my hair at this point, but I rinsed it out after about 30 mins because I was beyond grossed out. (Also, I didn’t use heat, of course, because I didn’t want scramble eggs in my hair.)

After the rinse, I didn’t feel instant improvement. I lightly shampooed with Shea Moisture Curl and Shine Shampoo to ensure I got the yolk yuck out. I was a little if-y about the next step. I was apprehensive about putting conditioner back my hair. Isn’t that what got me in this state in the first place? I bit the bullet and followed up with Tressemme Naturals. I figured I could always try the ApHogee Protein Treatment if all else failed.

After the whole little “treatment” , applying the conditioner, rinsing it out, then leaving in Shea Moisture’s Curl and Style Milk, it didn’t feel any more soft which was good, but it still didn’t have much life or body. I was grateful that it didn’t still feel like wet cobwebs though, just more like limp ramen noodles. When it had air dried, it was still not right. There was no spring in the curls and my hair felt thin and I had a lot of stray hairs sticking out between limp semi formed curls.

I, then, decided I would wait it out. Maybe it would even it’s self out over time. So I didn’t rewash and go for 3 days. I just sprayed it lightly with water every morning just to get the bedhead out. My angle was to starve my hair of moisture hoping for it to be less moisturized. I mean, I can alway recondition it. It got frizzier and frizzier. I finally decided to rewet it in the shower the 4th day and did my usual wash and go routine and my hair felt good!! Dehydrating (as I called it) breathed new life into my hair. It was back to its thick springy self and I was so happy that I didn’t have to do a hardcore protein treatment because, honestly, they scare me to death. The horror stories I read about them leaving hair brittle to the point of it breaking, like for real snapping in two, because the protein was too much so then people remoisturize to  them throwing the balance of moisture -vs- protein even more out of whack

This fiasco left me perplexed. What did I do wrong? Did I leave it in too long? I DC with AO in the same fashion without any problems. The ingredients in this Shea Moisture DC looks good, so what happened? Needless to say, I won’t be using this product anymore.

I am grateful though that I was able to experience what overconditioned hair feels like and even more grateful to have been able to reverse it by sheer flipping luck. I don’t know what was more effective the egg and EVOO combination or the ‘dehydrating’ process or neither, but either way I needed a fail proof protein replacement plan in case this were to ever happen again. 

I searched for a protein treatment that wasn’t ApHogee Protein Treatment and I came across Curl Junkie’s Repair Me!. It’s a protein based conditioner that supposedly feels like a silky smooth conditioner with tons of slip and makes your hair super strong and soft as opposed to ApHogee Protein Treatment that can leave your hair hard after rinsing so you have to follow up with a moisturizing deep conditioner. Now with the Repair Me!, I’ve heard that people have been tempted to leave it in because it’s so moisturizing. This sounded so good so you know I bought it! I now have it safely in my arsenal and I would say I can’t wait to use it, but having overconditioned hair is not fun.

I’ll stick with my AO.

Wash and Go using L’oreal EverStyle Alcohol Free Defining Gel

I tried gel for the first time today! I used L’oreal EverStyle Alcohol Free Defining Gel based on Jess’s [from MahonganyCurls.com (HEARTZ HER)] review. I was a little nervous because if it turned out funny, there would be any time to redo it without being late for work.

Here’s the low-down. I wet my hair, cowashed with Tresemme Naturals, and kept it in while I showered. I finger detangled and rinsed the very moment before I stepped out so it would be super wet. Then, once out the shower, I put on about 3 quarter size amounts of Shea Moisture Curl and Style Milk then went straight for the gel. I used about 2 quarter size amounts of the gel. It up the slip of the SM Curl and Style Milk and my fingers glided through my hair like warm syrup down hot pancakes. Then I shook it out like a mugg-stanky. It look like it usually does, but without a lick of hair out of place. Weird.

I did my hair at 5:30 am and it was dry by 10:00 am… Unprecedented! As it dried, my hair shrank more dramatically than usual. It didn’t just shrink in length, like it always does, but in volume as well.  My hair usually goes upward and outward as it gets shorter while it dries (frizz?).

The results with the gel looked like I had super fine and thin hair and had done comb-curls. Not only that, the curls sprung up on themselves and dried like a collapsed accordion.

My hair didn’t feel crunchy, though. It was soft, yet firm. I probably can attribute that to the SM Curl and Style Milk diluting the holding properties. I’ll have to play with it more to see if it will give harder/softer results with less/more of a leave in.

I have a mix of thin and medium hair when talking about the diameter of individual strands and thick hair when it comes to density (a lot of strand per square inch).This gel made my hair look a little too err…. tamed for me. I mean, I could see my scalp between curls. In the 3 months I’ve had my TWA, I hardly ever see my scalp. I was kind of proud of that fact because that meant I’m on my way to having “disrespectfully big hair“; this gel killed that dream. To see that much of my scalp between curls made me kind of… sad. And them looking like they had been individually Shirly-Templed by mercels looked unnatural. Not the look for me. Thank goodness I can wash it out.

I usually redo my wash and go everyday, but I had hardly touched my hair and it didn’t seem to frizz at all, so tested out second day hair with the gel. I slept in my bonnet and woke with the usual bed head. I took my spray bottle-o-water to it until it was just moist (not wet) and shook it out and it came back to life. When it dried (about 2 hours later) the firmer hold had loosened up a bit and my hair looked a wee bit ummm… disheveled. It looked good. It looked like the final product of my usual wash and go. You know, fuller. I liked it and it still felt soft and moisturized.

The third day was gloomy and rainy, you know, one of those cuddle-up-with-your-boo kind of days, and since I don’t have a boo, I decided to watch sappy romantic movies instead. I didn’t want to redo my hair because I didn’t want to lay around with wet hair, so I refresh it like the day before and I sooo could have left the house with this third day hair! It was frizzier and bigger than the 1st 2 days, but not horribly so. It didn’t look like I had neglected to do anything to my hair or anything like that; it just looked like curly fro.

In conclusion, this gel did tame my hair… too much I might add. I don’t think this gel is a total bust though. I am going to experiment with the amount I use vs the amount of a leave in to see if I can find a happy medium between totally frizz out and a lifeless accordion. I did like the fact that I could have that much control of my hair… All 2.5 inches of it.

I’ll update soon…

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