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?

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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Perserving the curl: Flexi Rods to extend Natural hair Rollerset

Readers know rollersets are my standards. I recently decided to dust off my magnetic rollers because I wanted a smoother look. But how to preserve the curl? This week I am riding the flexi rod train to smooth, lush hair.

To start I washed and deep conditioned my hair. After washing and deep conditioning, I applied my leave in and flax seed gel and then got my roll on.

IMAG1841I rolled on grey 2 inch rollers. I used duckbill clips to secure the rollers and snap on covers from another set of rollers to smooth my hair. This combination gets me the smoothest results, but extends the dry time.

 

I sat under the dryer for one 60 minute cycle, let the rollers cool for 20 minutes and went back under for another 40 minutes and let the rollers cool again for 20 minutes. In total that is 2 hours and 20 minutes of dry time.

 

The benefit of letting rollers cool ensures that your curl stays curled. Without cooling your hair is more likely to fall because while it is dry, it is hot and thus very malleable.

 

 

 

After those nearly 2.5 hours I was tired, but napping with magnetic rollers is a literal pain. So I unrolled and below are my results

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I then busted on my flexi rods. I used a total of 6 rods, but have done a similar method using four. I am not sure as to the size of the rods, but if inquiring minds want to know I will gladly bust out the measuring tape.

I finger combed my hair to make one part down the center of my head. I then sectioned my hair into 6 groups and spiraled my hair onto the rod.

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I place the smaller rods in the back to achieve both a tighter curl and a more comfortable sleep. I used no holding product and in the morning was greeted with:

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I finger combed the results and wore my hair half up/half down

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I have also done this in the past with similarly great results which you can see below

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I then finger combed to achieve this look

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How do you preserve your curl? How do you use flexi rods?

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Jumbo Curlformers

My extra wide curlformers and I are beginning to have issues. The main issue being they are 16 inches stretched and my hair, in places, is 17 inches.

What a wonderful problem to have.

So not wanting to give up the barrel look of curls I search through the bootlegers until I found ashopndiva on eBay who had curlformers that are 21 inches when stretched. After much debate I clicked buy and despite some issues I am happy to report they arrived!

IMAG1790The rollers are both longer and wider than the previous extra wide style. This extra length is just what my hair ordered. But I didn’t realize how hard it would be to get the hook through 21 inches of fabric.

The hook that came with the package had these hair snagging teeth

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I tried the hook once and it was awful. Even though it was a struggle, I used the original smooth curlformers hook. The seller suggest using a nail clipper to cut the teeth down. However that would mean filing the reaming portion smooth. I’m too lazy for that.

The jumbo curlfomrers come  12 in a pack, so I mixed them with my extra wide curlfromers and looked like a crayon box

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The black and white new additions were heavy and hard to sleep in. I used stretched hair ties to contain this colorful mess. I sat under the dryer for an hour and then slept in rollers.

In the morning I was greeted with very different, but equally great curls.

IMAG1800_BURST002This picture best shows the difference in the curls. The extra long extra wide, black and white curlformers gave me loose waves; rather than tight curls.

IMAG1803 you can see the mixture of curls plays nice with each other. When I styled and pulled the curls apart the blend was great!

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Overall I was pleased with the experience. The jumbo rollers gave the same stretch as traditional curlformers. They also gave the same temporary results.

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My hair the next morning

After 12 innings of baseball, some much need rest my hair looked like it wasn’t styled. I plan to wear a bun followed by a braid out later in the week, so overall I am happy. The White Sox won and my hair is stretched !

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Preserving the Curl: Making Natural Hair Rollersets last

I have been rolling away since I got my hourglass rollers, but I have been looking for a way to get my curls to last throughout the week.

I can’t pin curl. I can’t pineapple. I can’t be bothered.

So I thought maybe I would try putting my hair in two pig tails and pinning the tails up while I slept. In an effort to measure effectiveness I rolled and smoothed the left side of my hair and left the right side in roller set barrel curls. I ponytailed and pinned and took pictures daily.

So follow me along the experiment and decide if the ponytails worked.

Step One: Roll

I used my hourglass rollers to rollerset my hair. And yes I see that big piece I missed–and no I don’t want to talk about it.

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Rolling went well. I used homemade flax seed gel mixed with aloe vera gel for hold after a yogurt and honey deep condition. My hair took an hour and fifteen minutes to dry. The pictures so my hair after drying.

Step Two: Unroll

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The next step was to remove the rollers. I let my hair cool for 20 minutes and then removed the duck clips and unraveled each roller.

Step Three: Smooth/ Not Smooth

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For step three I smoothed the left side of my hair. I did not smooth the right side. The idea here was to see if the curls longevity was influenced by smoothing.

I used my fingers to lightly comb through my hair and smooth the curls. I placed the smooth curls in a banana clip and pinned the loosed ends on top of my head.

On the opposite side I did not finger comb the curls but placed them in a banana clip pig tail  directly after removing the rollers. IMAG1582

I followed the same process for the next three nights and below are those results.

Day 1:

IMAG1586 smoothed side

IMAG1590unsmoothed side

Day 2:

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IMAG1594smoothed side

Day 3:

IMAG1604A picture of my very uneven part and ponytails

IMAG1601close up of the smoothed side in ponytail

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After day three I wanted to switch my style, but it think pig tails helped the curls hold up well enough. Keep in mind I applied no products, used no combs, and no additional heat over these days. I think I like the smoothed side better!

So, are pig tails worth a try in your regime?

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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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Only an Hour with Hourglass Rollers: A Rollersetting Review

As a rollersetting enthusiast I have long been tempted by Vented Hourglass rollers. What some call Ethiopian  or conici rollers I called a challenge.

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I placed an order Thursday with http://capellicare.com and Monday I had a package of brand new rollers.

In this experiment I :

  • Started with freshly deep conditioned hair
  • Used no setting/holding product
  • Used only my fingers to part and detangle
  • Used no end papers

I skipped many steps  to judge the true performance of the rollers less products.

I deep conditioned my hair with aubrey organics honeysuckle rose for 2 hours without heat.

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Once rinsing I applied a leave in conditioner and sectioned my hair into a Mohawk pattern.Because I only used my fingers to part my pattern was off, but for the bun I plan to where that was okay with me.

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I decided to skip the end papers to test the website’s claim the rollers did not snag hair. I smoothed my hair with my fingers as I rolled and I must say the texture of the rollers gripped my hair tightly the first revolution. There was no slipping. No hair sliding off the roller. Just even, thorough tension. Made rolling a breeze.

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I continued to roll my hair down the center and then the back sections followed by the front. The rollers fit comfortably. And while it may not look like it: my hair is in sections.

I used duck bill clips to secure the rollers and finished rolling in a about 30 mins. Not being super precise dramatically cut down on my rolling time. IMAG1430

I then sat under the dryer for exactly 60 mins.

To my shock, amazement, awe and sheer surprise my hair was completely dry.

MY HAIR TOOK ONE HOUR TO DRY

This is a huge improvements from my two hours with grey magnetic rollers.

I was thrilled with my greatly reduced dry time and the results.

When I unrolled the rollers weren’t stuck to my hair. In fact when I removed the duck clips many rollers fell out by gravity alone. Each roller formed strong ringlets.

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I was impressed how well the rollers straightened my ends. From previous post you may know i have had an issue with my ends staying curly, but not with these rollers! The rollers did leave behind a slight indent, but the pattern dissipated quickly.

I finger comb the ringlets and was rewarded with:

Without flash

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With flash

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I am very happy with my results and plan to incorporate my normal holding products and parting routine my next set. I will say the rollers also caused no noticeable breakage!

Challenged accepted and accomplished!

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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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