Monday, February 23, 2009

Building Your Regimen: Day to Day Handling of Your Hair

The way you handle your hair every day will make or break your hair. You have to handle your hair gently, handle it as though you are caring for fine silk. This is how you retain length and limit split ends. Here are some tips to help you do just that:

1. When you detangle your hair, you should detangle from ends to roots. Always start from the bottom and work your way up with a very wide tooth comb. If you are natural, only detangle your hair when it is wet with a lot of conditioner or oils and in small sections. Also, if you can... try to use a seamless comb. I don't use a seamless comb, but it is best.

2. Aim to moisturize your ends daily with a water based moisturizer or butters/oils. If you are a natural who heat straightens, you will not want to use a water based moisturizer. It will revert your hair. When you wear your hair straight use some all natural butters or oils to maintain moisture and sleekness. Keeping your ends moisturized helps keep hair on your head. A lot of people advocate sealing in moisture with an oil, but I don't find this necessary. Again, do what works for you.

*tip: putting moisturizer on your new growth helps you stretch your relaxer and soften your new growth.

3. Avoid putting anything on your scalp except as a pre-shampoo treatment. It is my belief that a clean scalp helps your hair grow. Many will say that they have dry itchy scalp and need to put something on their scalp. I used to have this same problem. When I stopped using shampoos with sulfates and starting washing my hair at least once or twice a week. Most of my scalp issues ended. Also, I noticed when I stopped putting oil/grease on my hair, my scalp balanced itself and started secreting its own natural oils.

*tip: to help with a dry itchy scalp make this mixture and massage it into your scalp about a 1/2 hour before you shampoo your hair:
a table spoon of jojoba oil mixed in with about 15 drops of rosemary essential oil, 10 drops of ylang ylang essential oil, and 15 drops of peppermint essential oil. The peppermint will stimulate growth. The rosemary and ylang ylang will regulate sebum production. You can change the measurements to suit you. Just don't over do it. Also, avoid rosemary if you are pregnant or if you have high blood pressure.

4. At night you should always cover your hair with a satin scarf or sleep on a satin pillow case. Try not to wrap your hair every night. Wrapping your hair every night may cause one side of your hair to be thinner than others. Rather than wrap your hair, you can do a cross wrap. As soon as I get someone to hold the camera for me, I will show you how to do a cross wrap. At night, I typically sleep in a bun on satin pillowcase.

5. Keeping your hair in a protective style, ie: bun, french roll (anything that keeps your ends away from the elements) will really help you retain length. This is true, especially in the winter time when your hair is rubbing against rough wool coats and scarfs. Keeping your hair up helps to stop split ends.

6. Always remember the key to growing long healthy hair is retaining length. Many people focus on the scalp using growth aids and other things. Growth aids may give you a best in growth. However, if you are not taking care of the hair you have, you will never see increased length.

Hope these tips helped. If you have any more questions, please contact me at

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Ayurvedic Herbs: Amla

Everyone is going Ayurvedic nowadays. There are so many awesome benefits to all these natural herbs. So I purchased some herbs today... amongst other things. The first one I want to discuss is Amla.

Amla aka Indian Gooseberry aka Emblica Officinalis is supposed to be one of the wonder herbs. It is moisturizing and strengthening. It helps to darken hair and prevent grays. It helps to prevent hair fall by strengthening the roots of your hair. It also stimulates growth and helps make hair thicker. Like I said... a wonder herb. It has an extremely high Vitamin C content. You can purchase Amla powder or oil.
I'm cheap so I decided to buy the powder and infuse it into oil. So I used a muslin bag and filled it with Amla powder. The more powder you put... the stronger your infusion will be. I used about 8 ounces of extra virgin coconut oil. I threw that in a mini crock pot. I'm going to leave that for a few hours for it to infuse. I will let you know how it goes. The possibilities for this oil are endless. Hopefully, it will be finished by tomorrow so I can do a pre -shampoo hot oil
Any questions, just e-mail me at

Review: Aubrey Organics White Camelia and Jasmine Shine Conditioner Spray

I know you guys were waiting on this part, the product reviews. The first product I'm going to review is this leave in conditioner by Aubrey Organics (AO). This leave in conditioner was surprising for me. I have yet to meet a conditioner from AO that I didn't like. However, this leave in did not do what it was supposed to do at all. It didn't moisturize my hair... in fact my hair felt dry and brittle. It didn't help with the tangles at all. I didn't get any shine. I was better off using my moisture mist. Plus, I HATED the smell.

However, this is my fault. I always say to pay attention to the ingredients and this time I obviously did not pay enough attention to the ingredients. Of course I read the ingredients, but I didn't pay attention. It's AO so I just assumed I would love it. What I didn't pay attention to was that the second ingredient was witch hazel. Witch Hazel is like nature's alcohol. It's cleansing and antiseptic, but it is not moisturizing.

This is not to say that you may not like it. However, if you are looking for a leave in that moisturizes and detangles then this is not it. Here are the ingredients:

INGREDIENTS: Water, Witch Hazel, Organic Aloe Vera, Vegetable Glycerin, Panthenol (Vitamin B-5), Gum Arabic, Gum Tragacanth, White Camellia Oil, Ginkgo Leaf, Ginseng Root, Magnolia Blossom, Angelica and Chrysanthemum Extracts, Jasmine Oil, Aubrey's Preservative (Citrus Seed Extract, Vitamins A, C and E).

If you are still interested in purchasing, you can get this leave in conditioner here :

Friday, February 20, 2009

Building Your Regimen: Styling

After you wash and deep condition your hair, you have several options when it comes to the style you want. Just remember with every step, you want to be thinking about the ends of your hair. Retaining length is the most important aspect of growing long healthy hair. Here are some of your options:

It is always better to air dry your hair. I find that styles that are air dried call for less manipulation and are better on your ends. You have many options with air drying. You can put your hair in braids or twists until it dries for a sexy laid back curly style. You can air dry in a bun for a nice sleek bun. The possibilities are endless. Once you find an air drying method that works for you... you will be hooked on how easy this makes your life.

If air drying is not your thing, there are methods of using heat that will limit the damage done to your hair. The one method that comes to mind is roller setting. I LOVE the way roller setting makes my hair look and feel. I'm not very good at styling my hair, but roller setting is the one style I can actually do. Trust me if I can do it, anyone can do it. This is a method of using heat that protects your ends from direct heat. If you want your roller set to come out really sleek, then you can do a saran wrap. Here is a video on how a saran wrap is done.

Another method of styling is using direct heat. It is possible for some people to grow their hair long and healthy while using direct heat. However, I personally think it takes longer and you have to do more frequent trimming to counteract the damage that direct heat does to your hair. Direct heat is using a blow dryer, curling iron or flatiron to style your hair. Anything that puts heat directly on your hair is using direct heat. If you do choose to use direct heat regularly, there are some simple tips you can follow.

1. Always use a heat protectant. My favorite heat protectant is Sabino Moisture Block.
2. Only use direct heat on clean freshly washed hair.
3. Always use direct heat on hair that is fully dry (flat iron, curling iron). If you are using a blow dryer, dry your hair about 80% before using the blow dryer. Never blow dry soaking wet hair.
4. If you use heat regularly, it will help to incorporate more protein into your regimen.
5. Always deep condition before using direct heat.
6. Don't flatiron/curl with oil or grease. This is frying your hair. Plus you won't get the "swang" that you are looking for. Using light products will keep your hair light. Heavy products will give you a weighed down, greasy look.
7. Do not use direct heat more than once a week.

As always, if you have any questions feel free to contact me at

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Babassu Oil

Apparently, Babassu Oil is Brazilian beauty secret that I was unaware of. Brazilian women have been using this oil for years to maintain their youthful skin. Well, I'm thinking about what this oil will do for my hair.

Here is what I read: Babassu oil has very similar properties to Coconut Oil. Babassu oil is about 70% lipid and is very emollient. It will help with eczema and other dry skin conditions. Like all vegetable oils, it contains vitamins and minerals that will positively effect your hair. It forms a covering over hair and skin that will protect it from moisture loss. Best of all, its cheaper than coconut oil.

Here are my personal observations: Babassu Oil is solid like Coconut Oil. In fact, if it wasn't for the scent differences... I wouldn't be able to tell the difference. It penetrates quickly and does not leave a greasy film. It will also impart a nice shine on your hair.

My favorite part of this oil is that it delivers the feel of coconut oil, but is cheaper.

I'm looking forward to adding this to my butter mixture.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day

Like every woman, I want to look amazing for my boyfriend tomorrow. So I went to the Dominican style hair salon next to my job. However, by the time I got there... it was too late for me to get deep conditioned after I washed. I could only get a leave in. So I left. Yes, I know I'm hair crazy. Whatever, I've come to terms with it so you should too. Especially if you will be reading this blog. Back to the point. So, i decided to tough it out on my own. The only reason I was really going to the hair salon was because I wanted my roots blown out. I'm about seven weeks post and the two different textures are starting to look a little bit crazy. Since I don't have anyone to do it for me. I am going to try to flatiron/blow dry my roots after I roller set. This is an experiment....

I'll post pics and tell you how it went after if I'm not exhausted.

Okay, I wound waking up early and going to the Dominican hair salon around the way. After doing my cousin's hair I was too tired. I used the Victoria's Secret So Sexy set, mostly for the scent. Trust me guys, this conditioner will attract your significant other to your hair. I don't use this conditioner regularly. Only when I want my hair to smell like it. So, I used the shampoo and conditioner. Then I used KeraCare silken seal to roller set. I then pin curled my hair after I had my roots blow out. The finished product was shiny and bouncy.

disclaimer: I'm not normally that non-photogenic.

Building Your Regimen: Conditioning

Conditioning your hair is probably the most important part of a hair regimen. Conditioning forgives many hair sins. Chemically treated hair and hightly textured hair tend to need more conditioning then other hair types. This is simply because these hair types are usually dry or lack protein.

Conditioners serve several different puposes. How you treat your hair will determine what type of conditioner you use. There are rinse out conditioners which help to detangle and soften the hair. There are conditioners that deep condition by adding moisture, protein or both. In order for a conditioner to be a deep conditioner, it must have the ability to penetrate the hair strand. As a general rule, a deep conditioner will say on the packaging to leave on for a period of time. A rinse out conditioner will just say to put on and detangle or rinse.

Aim to deep condition your hair every time you wash your hair with shampoo. In my opinion, the point of washing is to clean the scalp and condition the hair. You only need two or three types of conditioner. If your anything like me, you will have much more. You will want a conditioner that is moisture based. A conditioner that is protein based. Depending on your needs, you may also want a rinse out conditioner for cowashing. Cowashing is simply washing your hair with conditioner. How often you use each type of conditioner will be based on your hair type, heat usage and chemical usage. For example, a person with natural hair will not need as much protein as a person with relaxed hair.

There is no way of setting up a protein/moisture schedule. There may be times when you have scheduled protein, but you only need moisture. So you must pay attention to your hair and test it. One way of telling is to do a strand test. You can pull the strand to test the elasticity. I prefer to do this when my hair is wet. I take the strand and stretch it. If the strand stretches too much and does not break then you may need protein. However, if the strand does not stretch, but just snaps and you can hear a snapping sound, then you need moisture. There are times when your hair is just not behaving and it needs both. When this happens, I clarify my hair. Condition for about 10-15 minutes with a reconstructor, rinse and then condition for about 30 minutes with a moisturizing conditioner.

When you deep condition, it is important to use a heat source. There are some conditioners that do not need heat to penetrate, but most conditioners do. To condition:

Shampoo as usual. I find it is helpful to remove some of the moisture from your hair with a t-shirt like material. It is better to use a t-shirt then a towel because it is gentler on your cuticles. Also, don't rub. Just wrap your hair in the t-shirt and pat it gently. This removes some of the moisture so that the conditioner can penetrate better. Also, this helps you to use less conditioner. Especially if you are heavey handed like me. Make sure you slather on the conditioner. You want to make sure it covers every strand. A good way to do this is to apply your conditioner like relaxer. This especially helps when you are trying to stretch your relaxer. Put on a shower cap. You can then use some sort of heat source, like a hot towel, heating cap or dryer.

Protein Based Conditioners I Like:
Aubrey Organics GPB
MOP C-System Reconstructor
Nexxus Keraphix (Old Formula)
Motions CPR

Moisture Based Conditioners I Like:
Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose
MOP Extreme Moisture
Nexxus Humectress (Old Formula)
Hairveda SitriNillah Deep Conditioning Masque (

Rinse Out Conditiners I Like:

VO5 Conditioners (all of them)
Suave Conditioners (the ones with out silicones)

Also, you can read this thread for more ideas for conditioners:

As always, if you have any questions my e-mail address is If the questions seems to apply to a lot of people, then I may post the question on the blog to answer the question.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


The most difficult part of your haircare journey will be creating a simple regimen that works for your hair goals and lifestyle. The reason this is so difficult is because every one's hair is different. It's impossible to take someone's hair regimen and follow it without little tweaks to make it work with your hair. Throughout this week, I'm going to go over different aspects of a haircare regimen in order to help you come up with your very own regimen. Feel free to e-mail me at if you have any questions.

An important step in your regimen is shampooing. Choosing a shampoo is very important. The type of shampoo will vary depending on your hair type, lifestyle and product usage. There are several different types of shampoos. It's very important to look at the ingredients of a shampoo to ensure it does what you want. If you have dry hair or chemically treated hair, your regular shampoo should be moisturizing.

You will want to choose a shampoo that has mild surfactants so that your hair is not stripped of all the good oils. Try to stay away from shampoos that contain the ingredients: sodium lauryl sulfate or ammonium lauryl sulfate. As a general rule, the lauryl sulfates are much stronger than the other sulfates. You may use a shampoo that contains sodium laureth sulfate or ammonium laureth sulfate. These are generally milder. It would be best to stay away from shampoos with sulfates all together.

Many people prefer to use shampoos with sulfates because they use a lot of heavy products between wash days that contain non-water soluble ingredients. However, there is an alternative: cocobetaine. This is a mild cleanser derived from coconuts. It does remove build up from hair products and is not as drying as sulfates. Shampoos with this ingredient are very good for people who love silicones.

Your method of shampooing is just as important as the shampoo that you choose. There are two methods I like to use depending on how far along I am in my 12 week stretch.

I can use this method up until about 8 weeks:
Stand under the shower and wet your hair. Always shampoo in the shower and not in the sink. This will help you with detangling when it is time. While you are in the shower, do not pile all of your hair on top of your head to wash it. When you wash your hair focus on your scalp. The way I'd like to describe it is to wash your hair as if you were giving yourself a scalp massage. Put about a quarter size amount of shampoo on your hands and massage your scalp thoroughly. Do not scrub your hair. You are not washing clothes and this does not help to get your hair any cleaner. It is only necessary to shampoo once. Only shampoo twice if you have a lot of buildup. When you are finished shampooing, stand under the water to rinse your hair. Don't worry if you don't get a lot of suds from certain shampoos or this method. The suds do not clean your hair, the surfactants in the shampoo clean your hair.

After 8 weeks, I have to start getting really creative:
Mix water and shampoo in an applicator bottle. You will be using about a ratio of 2 parts shampoo to 1 part water. Shake it up. While your hair is dry, apply the shampoo water mixture as though you are applying a scalp oil. Massage it into your scalp while your hair is dry. After you are finished stand under the shower and rinse. I find the hair becomes less tangles when it is not agitated while wet. Also, it would be help to use a detangler before you shampoo and detangle your hair a little bit. I also find this help a ton.

Some moisturizing shampoos that I've tried and liked:
shescentit eucalyptus mint shampoo
shescentit jojoba hemp shampoo
mop c-system moisturizing shampoo

Some moisturizing shampoos that I've heard raves about:
The organix line of shampoos
Cream of Nature (the original formula)
The vitamin line of shampoos
Kenra Platinum shampoo

I will update this list periodically.


Many people on the hair communities pm (personal message) me and ask me about my regimen. I don't have a fotki, but I would really love to start documenting my hair journey so I am starting this blog to do just that. I'd also like to share some of my finds with you guys.
Well, here goes...I wash and deep condition my hair twice a week or every 3 to 4 days. I never wash and not deep condition.
I very rarely use protein conditioners ... only as needed or the wash right before my relaxer.
After I condition, I use a moisturizer/leave in conditioner or my homemade spray to moisturize my hair.
Then I'll rollerset or simply air dry.... depending on how lazy I am.
Between washes, I keep my hair well oiled. I don't always moisturize with a water based moisturizer, but I always use natural oils on my hair. Some of my favorite oils are coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil and castor oil.
I typically wear my hair in a bun to protect my ends, especially now in the winter time.
I usually stretch my relaxers for about 12 weeks, this time I am going to about 16 weeks because I'm trying to hold out until my birthday.
I trim my hair every 6 months.
Feel free to send me a message at if you have any questions about my regimen or your regimen. I love talking about hair.