Thursday, May 14, 2009

Caring for natural hair

By nature, curly hair is dry because the oils in your scalp aren't able to move down the hair shaft. Curls, to put it simply, inhibit this from happening. Also, curly hair is full of weak spots, each curl is a potential break point. By taking certain measures when working with my hair, I've found that I've been able to reduce breakage and even the amounts of hair I shed has lessened considerably.

Shampoo less often. I shampoo my hair once a week. I make sure the shampoo I use is pH balanced to not only cleanse and remove all the products I've used during the week. If I don't use shampoo, I do an apple cider vinegar rinse. Yes, my hair smells like a salad for a few minutes, but the smell goes away and the conditioner leaves a pleasant odour.

Deep condition. I try to deep condition my hair when I cleanse it with shampoo or the rinse. Deep conditioning treatments penetrates the hair and makes it smoother. This also makes detangling easier.

The last time I used a comb was last month. Before you get grossed out, I detangle my hair when I condition it with my fingers and again when I work the products through. Combs can snag, creating more breakage and tangles. Your fingers are gentler.

I also make sure each product I use serves a function.
First I add a leave in conditioner. See my post on Philip B,, it's one of the better ones I've found. It softens and reduces the frizz.
Second I use virgin organic coconut oil. It's very important to make sure it is virgin organic. Only this kind has been scientifically proven to penetrate the hair and make it stronger. For more information:!.html
Third is aloe vera gel. Aloe is a best friend of curly hair, especially kinky hair. Its water properties works to moisturize without weighing down and also smooths away any frizz and works as the ultimate antihumectant. This is a product I don't think one can ever overuse,I know, I've tried.
You can stop there and get perfect curly locks, but as an added sealant for my hair I use Curlisto's Structura Lotion. This should be called miracle in a bottle. It adds extra shine and smoothness to hair as well as works as an antihumectant.

I usually let my hair air dry or I sit under the hair dryer if I'm in a rush.

The result is great curly hair every time.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dying curly hair

I've read several different sites about how to dye curly hair and frankly I was intimidated by them. It made the whole idea downright scary. So I decided to figure out how I could dye my hair, and being the impatient person that I am, I wanted to do it easily and quickly.

First, I did take my time in the drugstore. I read all the different brands, read their ingredients and made the decision that I wanted a product with no ammonia, but was permanent. I finally came to Revlon Colorsilk. Not only was the price point perfect at only $3.00, it had no ammonia and claimed to make your hair better. Who doesn't want better hair? I bought two applications since my hair is very thick and wanted to be sure I had enough to saturate every strand. I wanted my hair only a shade lighter, about the colour of my eyes which is a medium to light brown depending on the light.

That night I read the instructions which told me to do a strand test, meaning I had to cut some hair and dye it the night before. I did as I was told and was happy with the results.

Now, for the heavy lifting...

I rinsed my hair the next morning to make sure it was clean and then blow dried it straight (not too straight of course but enough to get it dry and manageable). I began to work the dye throughout my hair. And as predicted, halfway through I ran out and had to apply the second application. As instructed I waited 25 minutes before rinsing out my hair. The entire process must have taken about an hour.

The results were fantastic. My hair felt softer and had less frizz. I was also pleased with the resulting colour. I didn't want anything too different. Now that it's summer, my hair will only get lighter and have natural highlights.

Stay tuned to read about my review of L'Oreal's new Everpure line. It sounds promising.