In defense of mineral oil and other naughty ingredients

My hair broke up with mineral oil, silicones, and sulfates and the like many moons ago. Leaving the commonly thought to be naughty ingredients in my distant past, I had the  opportunity to get to know my hair.

I know my hair is fine. I know my hair loves protein, I know my hair is low porosity. I know how my hair hates shea butter. I know a lot about my hair, but why it frizzes has always been a mystery.

I have heard frizz is just a curl waiting to happen. Well it neither happened nor happened to get any better. Then my sister reminded me of an old salon favorite: silicon mix. Studying her quickly emptying jar brought me back to the days of flaming hot dryer and rat tails combs. I looked at the ingredients and they looked as bad as my relaxed hair:

Water, Mineral Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Glycerine, Citric Acid, Cetrimonium Chloride, Dimethycone Copolyol, Cyclomethicone, Keratin, Ceramide, Diazolidinyl Urea (and) Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Fragrance.

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Yet I had a suspicion my frizz may be tamed by the added weight of the no-no ingredients. After much debate I spent 3.99 and took home my jar of rollersetting history.

To begin I decide the silicon mix would sit on top of my hair, so I better get some healthy stuff on inside my hair.

I rinsed my hair with warm water and shampooed with my beloved beer shampoo. I then deep conditioned under the dryer with a yogurt and cassia blend. After nearly and hour I introduced the silicon mix. I applied the thick solution heavily. I sat under the dryer for 30 mins. I rinsed and got to rolling!

I could immediately tell this rollerset was going to be different. My hair refused to get wet. It seemed to be coated in some sort of water replant. The spray bottle wasn’t working, so I resorted to sticking section of hair under the faucet.  My hair was well detangled from the yogurt mix, but it seemed attracted to the roller like never before.

As I rolled I could see my hair laying down and clinging to the roller. My hair wasn’t trying to curl. instead, for once, my hair was taunt to the roller.

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The difficultly getting wet helped during the dry time as my magnetic rollers were completely dry in 75 minutes instead of the 100-120 mins.

I am not sure what the long impact of the silicon mix will be, but compare the results and decided if the no no ingredients, should become ” sometimes” ingredients.

Normal setting results:

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Typically my hair has a certain amount of frizz I attributed to my tight, natural curls. However the same technquie plus the silicon mix yielded the following results:

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I feel the silicon mix added a smoothness that allowed my hair to be more taunt and thus more stretched. What do you think are do all ingredients have a place in your hair care routine?

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Curlformers: My low heat solution to straight hair

Forgive my long absences.

My hair and I briefly broke up, but we have recently gotten back together. To celebrate our reunion here is an account of my most recent hair adventure.

My low heat straight hair

The forever curler addict I decided to dust off my curlformers.

My problem with curlformers, you may recall from previous post,  is I get straight roots and slightly molded length, which after a day looks like a hot mess.

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Curlfromers at the start

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Curlformers at the end of the day

Essentially, curlformers give me stretched hair, but no style longevity. So I decided maybe the stretch would work well for straighter styles.

My hope was sleeping with curlformers and introducing a blowdryer into the mix would give me the straight hair I occasionally want without flat iron.

To test the theory I installed a set a curlfromersIMAG2146

I slept in the curlformers and did not use my beloved hooded dryer.

When I woke up I dusted off my cheap blow dryer and unraveled the curlformers two or three at time. I wanted to blowdry in small sections, so I did not take them out in large groups.

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I started by gently brushing out my curls. I then blow dried my hair on cool  with no comb attachment. I was happy that without flat ironing I was able to get my roots flat. IMAG2148IMAG2160

The process was much faster than blow drying my wet hair and I was able to get much straighter roots. I kept my hair straight for about 2 and half weeks and used flexi rods and pillow rollers to style. When given the option this will be the only way I straighten my hair.

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The Lazy Girl Flat Iron: Low heat natural hair Flat iron

The more I grow the lazier I become about styling.

I don’t use combs. I don’t use brushes. I don’t even use rinse out conditioner anymore. However I did need to detangle my hair more thoroughly as it has been about year -so straight hair was my solution.

After a horrible salon experience last year I knew I needed to DIY, but I also knew the process needed to be quick, conditioning and effective.

So to start

I used my hourglass rollers to stretch my hair. I sat under the dryer for 45 mins. My hair was stretched but still damp enough to blow dry

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I busted out my cheap TJ Maxx dryer, sat down in front of a mirror and blow dried. I took several breaks to cool down as a was sweating buckets and I had some matting to work out. Two hours later the blow drying was done.

After that I wanted to flat iron, but I was over it. So I broke my hair into six sections and ran my flat iron over each sections cranked up to 400 degrees. Dangerous, maybe. Damaging, definitely not. My hair revert with no issue because the sections were so large.

I decided to use my trusty flexi rods to give my hair that sleek look

 

When I unwrapped my hair I was greeted with sleek result

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My hair was extra sleek and had a sheen I don’t typically achieve. After i finger combed my hair I had a loose wave.

 

 

 

 

IMAG1955If you are looking for pin straight hair this method is not for you, but if you want to wear your hair down with minimally heat exposure in a style for a week or two, I would definitely recommend.

 

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Liquifying Shampoo Bar: Reinventing the Beer Shampoo Bar

A while back I did a review of a beer shampoo bar that I loved. What I didn’t love was trying to keep the bar dry during use to avoid it wilting  away.

So I got a knife and cut the shampoo bar into chunks

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I was able to get about 14 chucks when I diced the bar. I took the chunks in the shower to shampoo and ran into another problem. One piece would last 2-3 shampoos and as it shrunk became harder to grip, got lost/tangled in my hair, kept failing through the soap grate and just generally became a pain in the ass.

So time for plan C

I decided to toss the a few pieces in water and see if I could make this shampoo bar into regular shampoo.

I filled a travel size container with 1.5 ounces of rosewater.IMAG1756

I dropped in two pieces IMAG1757

I topped the container off with regular tap water and made sue to leave room for the soap pieces to dissolve. I then gave the water+soap time to dissolve and turn into a solution. I left it sit for about 6 days and made sure to shake it daily.  Here are some pictures of how the combination evolved.

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The soap gradually broke apart and   the mixture became more of solution. and got thicker and thicker as the days went by. I kept shaking the solution to help further break up the soap. By the time wash day roles around the solution was ready to go!

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The mixture turned into real shampoo! The soap completely dissolved and the mixture became thick and gelatinous. The 3 oz jar has lasted me 3 separate shampoos. Which means I used 2 pieces to make 3 oz of shampoo. Thus I could make 21 oz out of the 14 pieces I originally cut the bar into . So this bar would last me 21 shampoos! That is an amazing value $6.00.

I said it before and I will say it again this bar is great for my hair, my wallet and malleable to my lifestyle.

I love it!

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Ynobe Amla & Nettle Moisturizing Deep Conditioner Review

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[Product Name]:Ynobe Amla & Nettle Moisturizing Deep Conditioner

[Product Price]: 14.95 or 19.95 depending on the size

[Product Size]:8 or 16 ounces

[Product Ingredients]:Distilled Water (Infused With Nettle Leaf), Cetearyl alcohol, Stearalkonium chloride, Amla Powder, Slippery Elm, Neem, Aloe Vera Juice, Olive oil, Flax seed oil, and Jojoba Oil, Coconut Oil, Soy Protein, Optiphen (Preservative), Cinnamon, Carrot Seed Extract

[Product Claims]:Ynobe Amla & Nettle Moisturizing Deep Conditioner is formulated to moisturize and condition; leaving the hair soft, silky and manageable. This moisturizing treatment is made with essential ingredients that keep the hair healthy and strong, add elasticity, shine and luster.

[Product Scent]: It smells earthy, but has no distinguishable scent when applied or rinsed. In addition the product fades into hair quickly–I was heavy handed and the conditioner, despite being brown in color, disappeared in my hair.

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[Product Consistency]: The product comes in a jar as it is likely too thick to squeeze. However the consistency isn’t very thick more like that of lotion as opposed to a paste. It is also smooth you won’t feel any grit from the Amla powder

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[Product Realities]: This product and I did not get along. I was hoping the Ayurvedic element and the protein would make my hair happy, but I was wrong. I left this conditioner on for about 2 hours under a plastic cap while I did housework and my yoga DVD. When I rinsed I did not use another conditioner–just warm water.

Initially my hair felt soft, but that softness faded as quickly as those non-water proof labels. By the time I stepped out of the shower my hair was dry.

Normally when I rinse my deep conditioner my hair has a definition that makes detangling a breeze and indicates my hair is protein and moisture levels are in check.

This is my hair post rinse with yogurt,oils and cassia:

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The clump in my curls tells me that my hair is balanced enough to ensure easy detangling, easy rollerseting and week long moisture.

Here is my hair after rinsing the Ynobe Alma and Nettle Conditioner

IMAG1685This is a frizzy, undefined mess. My hair was not coated in silk like I normally get from cassia. It was not strong and without tangles like I normally get from milk protein. It was not shiny like I normally get from added oils. Essentially, my hair looked dull and old like I hadn’t washed in weeks as opposed to having washed moments ago.

This conditioner did nothing for me. My rollerset was frizzy and dull, my hair needed to be moisturized and sealed several times throughout the week and I have had to detangle seemingly endlessly. Basically this conditioner is getting benched!

I would not repurchase. 

 

 

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Beer Rhassoul Shampoo Bar : Review

I spend too much time on etsy. And in my clicks I stumbled upon FattysSoapCo .

I couldn’t resist the Beer Rhassoul Shampoo Bar 

My neighbor to the north shipped the bar quickly and it arrived 3 days after ordering.

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[Product Price]: 6.00 plus 2.50 to ship

[Product Size]: 3.50 ounces

[Product Ingredients]:

Oils of: Castor, Coconut, Jojoba, Hazelnut, Unrefined Hemp Seed, Macadamia Nut, Olive, Palm Wheat Germ

Oil, Vitamin E, Aloe Vera, Silk, Panthenol
Sodium Hydroxide
Stout Beer
Rhassoul Clay

[Product Directions]:  None are given, but I applied it wet hair and massaged to a lather and rinsed.

[Product Claims]: Formulated especially for hair with plenty of quality, hair-loving oils and extracts. Naturally scented with Guinness Stout beer.

[Product Scent]: The site claims it is scented with Guinness, but it has no distinct scent — somewhat earthy, but really no fragrance.

[Product Consistency]:It’s a disc ! It is solid, well shaped, but a you are getting a brick of product.  I anticipate this would last me months depending on frequency of use.

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[Product Realities]:The shampoo bar lathers really well. I washed my hair in twist, but unraveled them to better lather. The bar lathers well, but the suds aren’t stripping like conventional shampoos. The suds came quickly and were easy to rinse. The water initially rinsed brown, but ran clear when the suds and dirt were gone.

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 I will say my hair was not very dirty when I used this bar, nor had I used any silicone products since my last wash.  My hair felt clean and light after use. I had been using conventional shampoo, but over time I felt like the shampoo dulled my hair and I felt contributed to tangles.

What I really enjoyed about this shampoo bar was it left my hair defined and not tangled.  While my traditional shampoo cleaned it left my hair in a state that it was prone to tangles and needs conditioner immidetanley.

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After rinsing away the lather I didn’t need to immediately need to apply any product.

[Shopping Experience]:

The seller was very nice. She contacted me to confirm my address, offered me custom order, and sent tracking information promptly. Very professional with quick shipping!

The owner was also nice enough to send me some free samples along with my purchase. I got two soaps to try, and while my sensitive skin will likely make me pass them along to my him counterpart it is very nice of her to think of her customers and not let any material go to waste!

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I would definitely repurchase.

 

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Natural Hair Rollersetting from Failure to Success!

My hair and I had a problem.

My hair didn’t absorb moisture well and didn’t dry quickly.

However I had no time to have wet hair for 3 days that would be begging for water on the fourth day.

 My solution? 

Get an LCL Beauty Dryer and a collection of rollers that just won’t quit.IMAG0874IMAG0710

Together with my collection of two inch, grey, magnetic rollers, duck bill clips, spray bottle, combs, (occasional) curlformers and products I have been roller setting my hair 3-4 times a month since July 2012.

The Good:

  • My hair has thrived from this practice. Outside of drying in a reasonable time my the heat helps the moisture from my products penetrate my hair.
  • My hair is stretched and makes twist outs, braid outs, buns, and the like are easy
  • Time under the dryer is relaxing
  • I can better inspect my ends and catch splits in addition to trimming/dusting more easily
  • Soft, supple hair all week long
  • can be a base for flat ironing

The bad:

  • Rolling is hard on my nail polish
  • Rollers are not to be slept on
  • Can be time consuming, but it grows faster with practice
  • Parting can be difficult with dense natural hair, but again you can adjust

The Ugly:

  • My hair when I don’t rollerset

My hair is not relaxed and my rollerset don’t look like I am relaxed. My rollersets will never look like a relaxed lady and I am okay with that. In fact I am happy about it! My hair looks like my hair  and rollersetting enhances that look!

Despite rollersetting for over a year there are things I still struggle with:

Webbing

IMAG0871My hair is curly. It loves to clump together and not let go of its curly haired brethren. That means inside the circle you should be should be a clear and uninterrupted, but my formed a type of web and despite my best effort to make clean parts my hair will exist beyond the bounds of the roller and not get be uniform.

I have over come by being extra diligent, but sometimes i am just too lazy.

Root Tension

For a long time I was afraid to comb my hair because–well I never really comb my hair. I detangle with my

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fingers and before roller setting never needed combs or to even part my hair. Because of my failure to comb I wasn’t able to smooth effectively and get enough tension on my roots. I ended up with roots that while stretched, had a lot of texture and were still very, very dense. I don’t mind this, but if you are looking to flat iron or wear your set down this is an issue that will need to be addressed. Nothing has addressed it better than a rat-tail comb, but some sets, when bunning is the goal, the comb stay in the cabinet.


Continue reading

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Hello Hair: Relaxed to Natural Journey

I never intended on starting a hair journey.

I never intended on becoming a DIY girl.

I didn’t hate my relaxed hair.

Yes I had relaxer burns, spent the entire day in the salon, paid friends to relax my hair and the like. I just considered it all apart of the process.

I always kept my hair in a collar bone length bob. I never wanted long hair. I never wanted curly hair. I just wanted straight, black hair. I had my beloved straight, black hair for 10+ years.

But when my sister called me and told me her dermatologist said  her scalp was inflamed and she nearly had alopecia as a result of relaxers I decided to take a break from relaxers. That was in [July 2010].

Initially my plan was to stretch my relaxers.

After about 4 months  I thought to myself “ What is the point? Either I am going to have deal with two textures all the time or I’m going to just grow it out.”

Grow it out is what I did.

I [transitioned for about two years], but I don’t consider myself a long term transitioner. I hid my hair everyday.

My curls started small and shrunken

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I waited for my curls to grow heavy and fall

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I gave up waiting and  started having fun with my hair and my hair grew and retained length. IMAG0774

It also grew bigger and fuller

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I started with no knowledge and gradually through online searches, books, and other bloggers have come to both learn and skillfully manage my hair. This section is my effort to give back to the community that gave me the knowledge to DIY. I’m a 4a/b, lo po, natural girl who mixes products, deep conditions, cuts, rollersets, styles from the discomfort of my bathroom

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BellaMantra: Cute headband Headquaters Review

[Name]: BellaMantra Cute Metal Headbands and accessories

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[Product Price]: $18.00-25.00

[Product Claims/Information]:A great addition to any accessory collection and perfect for gifting!

The cutest brass stamping professionally plated in a silver ox finish and securely adhered to a 3mm (1/8″) silver plated metal headband with bent ends for comfort. The dragonfly measure approximately 2 1/4″ x 1/2″ (57mm x 13mm) and is formed to fit the curvature of the band which is flexible and very comfortable to wear!

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[Product Realities]: The products come with great packaging: individually wrapped with a cute bow and all.IMAG0979

The headbands are adorable! The headbands are teeth free so they glide on smoothly with no snags. The bend at the ends give the headbands a snug fit that makes the hair toy feel secured and well fit. You can also tell the headbands are well made as they revert to original shape after you take them off.

The headbands are also very well made. The quality is expressed in the regal appearance of the  headbands. The detail on the feather and dragon fly I bought is very intricate. No one will confuse this for a Target purchase. Overall I love the touch of class and fun expression that came in this  small package.

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[Shopping Experience]: The greatest! Now 25.00 dollars is a bit much for a headband, so I wrote the owner Jen, the owner, and asked her about discounts. She readily told me that she offers new customers a 10% coupon and would extended that offer to me! With my coupon code issued I purchased two items which arrived in about 4 days! I would definitely repurchase!

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Komaza Care Matani Hair Serum

[Product Name]: Komaza Care Matani Hair Serum

[Product Price]: $8.00

[Product Size]: 2 oz

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[Product Ingredients]: Coconut Oil, Argan Oil, Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Phthalates-Free Vegetarian Fragrance.

[Product Directions]:Apply small amount to hair for shine and heat protection.

[Product Claims]:Heat can damage hair causing it to lose elasticity resulting in weak hair and breakage. This is a light serum designed to protect and restore hair from heat damage. It is not greasy so it will not weigh your hair down.

[Product Scent]: Hardly any. A light fragrance can be detected wen you pump it, but it fades by the time it hits your hair.

[Product Consistency]: Typical Serum. Clear and thick while still being running.

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[Product Realities]: I wanted to love this, but my hair and I hated this. Why?

  1. How the hell are you supposed to get this out of the bottle? It is so far too difficult to pump this stuff. Between my wet hand, the small bottle and the tight spring nature of the cap it was far to hard to use.
  2. Did I get any? So little comes out at once that sometimes I couldn’t tell if I had actually gotten any product or failed to use enough pressure to force it out.
  3. Did my hair get any? This stuff did nothing for my hair. I expect slip and shine. I have gotten better result with just water. For having cones this product provided zero slip. I had to reapply in places in an effort to get the similar result to the cheap Sally’s GVP Super Skinny Serum.
  4. They are telling the truth when they say it won’t weigh your hair down. I used this in a rollerset and my hair reverted quickly and felt gross upon unrolling. It felt like an oil slick, with no slip with enough volume to make it looked like i teased my hair.
  5. No. Never. Not Ever

This was a huge let down. The hunt for my natural hair roller setting companion contuines.

[Shopping Experience]: Great shopping experience, but nothing would make me repurchase this product