Sunday, November 30, 2008

Heat Damage!!!

For those naturals who like to press their hair every once in a while (including myself)....brace yourself....heat damage is REAL!! DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN.

Of course I've always known this, but I have never actually seen the damage in the flesh, that is until last week. SHORT STORY: My sister in law to be wears her hair natural but she's still in transition and currently wears a partial weave while it grows out. The natural hair that she leaves out to cover the extension wefts, she presses and flat-irons daily. We washed it not too long ago and to my SURPRISE, HER HAIR DIDNT REVERT BACK!!!! "OMG, YOUR HAIR IS STRAIGHT!", I said. No curls poppin anywhere. However, a couple of protein treatments and washes later, the curls began to form...whew!

Okay, so after my mini panic attack, I came up with a plan of action or tips (if you will) to prevent this from happening again. PLEASE READ so this doesn't happen to you my friends.

This is your healthy hair cuticle.

This is your hair's cuticle layer on drugs...(i.e. heat damage)
SO, what is the cuticle and why do we care about it? The cuticle layer is the outermost layer of the hair that serves as a protective barrier against the innermost layers (i.e. the cortex and the medulla). The cuticle, when healthy, will emit shine and will allow the hair to feel soft and bounce freely. When damaged, the hair will tangle and break easily and appear very dull.
The blowdryer

The Flat iron

The pressing comb

-Use a heat protectant cream: This is a must. If you insist on pressing/flat ironing those curlies straight, you have to protect them. Use a serum like Mizani's ThermaSmooththat smoothes and protects the cuticle layer in your hair, which helps prevent thermal damage. One of the active ingredients in this heat protectant serum is Coconut oil (which I LOVE), which serves to "infuse moisture into each strand and help guard against breakage from mechanical damage resulting from hair straightening" so look out for that ingredient in your bottles!
Glycerin is another great ingredient because it is a humectant, which means it attracts and retains moisture in the hair!
-Alcohols are a no-no: Don't use products with alcohols as they will strip your hair. There are good moisturizing alcohols like Cetyl Alcohol and ceatearyl alchol that actually help maintain moisture in the hair.

I haven't found a highly natural alternative to these creams yet, but I'm working on one so stay tuned.
-Don't heat style everyday. Constant heat breaks down the cuticle layer in the hair causing major breakage and overall damage. To maintain your straight style for the next day, wrap your hair in a silk scarf over night.
-USE PROTEIN TREATMENTS. Protein treatments will rebuild your hair's structure and prevent it from breaking. Many people swear by Aphogee, but judging by the ingredients, I just can't recommend it. Lookout for products that contain hydrolyzed wheat protein, hydrolyzed oat protein or silk amino acids. For many, protein can make add sheen to the hair since it helps rebuild the hair's structure and smooth the cuticle layer. There are many warnings out there about using too much protein as it can make the hair hard for those who have a "sensitivity" to protein. Simply use a moisturizer after doing a protein treatment if your hair feels hard as a result.
-JUST DON'T DO IT- The reality is, we don't NEED to wear our hair straight. We can rock it curly because hey, that's how God made it. BUT, the straight look can be so much fun sometimes, so I know this probably is unrealistic for some, including myself. What can I say, I like options. I have to admit, my natural curls are so much more fun!

Stay tuned for more great tips next week! Hope this helps.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm back and with my second Big CHOP!

I know I have been MIA for a minute...But I'm back and with a new cut. I got bored with my hair over the past few months and plus I still had some color in my hair that I NEEDED to get rid of DESPERATELY. I still have some color left, but most of it has been CHOPPED OFF!!!

The verdict: Well, at first, I wanted to cry! My hair was literally to the middle of my back (well, when you stretch it out) and now I can barely put it in a ponytail. Considering that it took almost four years to get to this length, it was pretty devastating to see all that hard work laid out on my bathroom floor. But now...I love it! Its too cute. At the end of the day, I realize that its just hair and because its even healthier, it will certainly grow back! (Now I need to figure out what I'm going to do for my Jamaica Wedding...that heat and humidity will instantly turn my hair into a helmet and a I barely have enough hair for a braided updo). Anywho, pictures will soon come so stay tuned. I also plan to work on all my various Youtube "How to videos" over the holidays for all you hair junkies out there who just can't get enough of these hair tutorials.

I've also been working on some new products (some old ones have been reformulated or enhanced) so please check them out at The sampler pack is in stock now so you can try it before you buy it!

Look out for more posts as I am now back to my regularly scheduled program! Thanks for following and if you are a newbie...welcome!