Monday, August 1, 2016

Rapunzel's Consultant's 6 Month Protective Style Challenge!

I am hell bent on retaining 8 inches by December 2017 so that my hair can be tailbone length. Therefore, although I've utilized low manipulation styles all of the year, for the next six months I will be in protective styles.
I would love anyone to join me on this challenge.
The protective styles I will utilize are buns and braids (pigtails or crown braid). Although I personally do not wear weaves or wigs, those are great long term protective styles for anyone interested in participating.
At the minimum, I would love participants to deep condition once a week and use a protein treatment once a month. I deep condition once a week and use a protein treatment once a week too. I have not posted in a while because I've been gathering information for an in-depth post about protein and hair care. Although my hair is natural (no dyes or relaxers) and I only use heat once a year to once every two years, I have to use protein treatments frequently due to my vegetarian diet. My protein post will go into detail about the different protein types in hair products and how protein in your diet affect your hair growth.
My goals for this challenge is for less breakage and split ends, thicker ends, and increased length retention. I hope by the end of this challenge I am officially waist length. Because I wear my hair curly, it is difficult to ascertain how long my hair exactly is. However, I've been using the pull down method where you just pull down on the bulk of your hair and see where it rests on your body. It is difficult to tell from the back. My hair seems to lay the same in the back, although with shrinkage who really knows. However, my hair certainly grew longer in the front.
The photo is from last November. Anyway, my hair on the side is halfway to the edge of my boob while the hair in the front just passes my nipples (TMI I know but hey we all know female anatomy).

The black line is my hair in the back now (when I use the pull down method) and the purple line is my goal (I think that's waist length).
The red line is my end goal for December 2017, which is tailbone length.

I really hope I achieve these lengths and I believe by being consistent with the rules in this challenge I will. In addition to the rules, I will make sure to consume 40-50 grams of protein a day, I will take a hair vitamin, and I will drink 50 oz of water a day. In three months (November 15th), I will make an updated post to talk about my progress.

I will have another post to show my length with my actual hair instead of these above illustrations lol.

Happy growing everyone and I hope others will follow me on this challenge!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sweet T's Beauty: Product Line Review

I bought these products with my own money and I've used each product at least a couple times each in order to give an effective review.


  • Peppermint Rose Hydrating Shampoo 
  • Organic Peppermint Rose Hair Hydration Conditioner  
  • Bananas and Cream Deep Conditioner 
  • Blueberry Mist 

The Wash

  • I applied the shampoo to my scalp and massaged for a few minutes before rinsing with warm water. Warm water opens the cuticles, allowing for hair to be cleansed. Although I only apply the shampoo to my scalp, the shampoo still covers my hair when the hair is under the water. 
  •  After I rinse out the shampoo with warm water, I apply a reconstructor (Aphogee 2 Minute). This is because this was my protein wash day (I wash my hair 2x a week and one of those times I use Aphogee 2 Minute).  
  • I rinse out the reconstructor with warm water after a few minutes and then apply the Sweet T's deep conditioner. I liberally apply the deep conditioner, braid the section, and then put on a plastic cap and wait 30 minutes.  
  • After 30 minutes, I apply the conditioner and then rinse out both the conditioner and deep conditioner with cold water to seal the cuticle.   
  • Then I apply the leave-in, which I keep refrigerated, and braid my hair. The refrigerated leave-in treatment is cold enough to seal the cuticle, which minimizes frizz and keeps the porosity in check (high porosity has open cuticles which allows for moisture to escape the hair shaft quickly). 

*I only did one section for the video, but after completing that section I did wash the rest of my hair the same as I had washed that first section.

The Review  
    I love these products! A little goes a long way for both the conditioner, shampoo, and leave-in spray. It is important for me that a little goes a long way because my hair is 21 inches and I am not finished with my hair growth journey. My end goal is 29 inches so a product that I can keep for months is cost-effective for me. I have had the deep conditioner and the leave-in spray since I first bought from Sweet T's Beauty at a local August Wilson event on April 30, 2016. I finished the deep conditioner with this wash day, and my leave-in spray is not half way finished yet. It is only about 40% finished. I am quite pleased with how long these products last.
  I am equally pleased with the performance. Both the shampoo and conditioner was highly moisturizing. My hair did not feel dry at all with the shampoo! Although my hair felt clean, it did not feel strippedThe conditioner had slip which aided me in the detangling process. My roots are usually unruly and more tangled than the rest of my hair. My fingers were able to glide through my roots with ease because of the conditioner and it also laid my roots down.
  The deep conditioner proved to be moisture and protein balanced because my hair felt both hydrated and strengthened after each use. Our hair needs to be moisture/protein balanced in order to prevent breakage, so therefore this product minimizes breakage and promotes length retention. Although I did use a reconstructor in this video, the results are the same without one: hydrated and strong hair that withstands breakage.
An important note is that due to the peppermint in the shampoo and conditioner, make sure to avoid your eyes when you are applying both and rinsing both out.
   Lastly, the leave-in is my Holy Grail Hair Product because it seals my cuticles, reduces frizz, keeps my hair hydrated, lasts forever, and has blueberry extract which promotes hair growth.

According to Curls Understood, "Aside from tasting fantastic, blueberries stimulate hair growth because they contain proanthocyanidins – a plant chemical. Proanthocyanidins are a class of polyphenols found in a variety of plants. This chemical interacts with hair follicles to accelerate growth. Blueberries are also packed with antioxidants and vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Vitamin B complex is particularly good for growing our curls. Blueberries aid hair growth by improving oxygenation and circulation of blood in the body, particularly the scalp.
Beauty practitioners also endorse blueberries for the thick and healthy locks. It’s also been proven as a food that helps to slow down the process of hair aging. No grey hairs here!"

It is great that this superfood is incorporated in every part of Sweet T's Beauty product line and why this line is a surefire staple for any naturalista.
To purchase, you can check out her Facebook and her website, which is currently under construction.

I was using Blueberry Mist as a leave-in conditioner for these two photoshoots:

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

#TheWashDayExperience: Sun &Swimming Hair Protection


Today is week 2 of the #washdayexperience! Today's topic focuses on Sun&Swimming Hair Protection.  
As you may remember from last week's post, I gave a simple and quick vacation hair list: 
The style: 
Mini-braids or twists with no added hair
The "wash day": 
Seabreeze spray applied to scalp
The Moisture: 
L.O.C. method 
The Sun Protection:
Wheat germ oil 
The Water Protection: 
Coconut oil
 Last week's post mentioned that I recommend protective styles using your own hair, such as mini-braids and twists. I also believe you should use Seabreeze spray to cleanse your scalp. If you recall this post on scalp exfoliation, salicylic acid "softens dead skin cells and remove harden sebum that is trapped in the folicle, and it makes it easier for the shampoo to remove the dead skin. Because it softens the dead skin cells, it does not require any scrubbing. It also removes excess sebum on the hair follicle. It is very gentle and the first choice to exfoliate the scalp." Lastly, the L.O.C. method is a great way to preserve moisture in your hair.

The Sun & Water Protection:
Today I am here to talk about the last two pointers of my vacation hair list, "the Sun Protection/the Water Protection."

The Sun Protection
Wheat Germ Oil:
Wheat Germ Oil has 20 SPF, which is the third oil on this and this list of natural sunscreen oils. I chose this oil because it is the most inexpensive out of the ones with a SPF of 20 and higher. Oils as sunscreen may not be a perfect solution for all-over body sunscreen, but I believe that it is a viable as hair sunscreen. Wheat germ oil is not only cost-effective but all-natural and safe. I recommend keeping it refrigerated to improve keep it fresh. It can be preserved for up to a year if refrigerated.
Other benefits of wheat germ oil is that it is a ceramide. If you remember one of my very first posts, which you can read here, "A ceramide is a lipid. (Lipids is another word for oil and ceramides are one of the three types of oil found actually IN the cuticle of the hair. Ceramides are important because they are the oils which bind the different layers of the cuticle together. These cuticle layers are important because they protect hair from damage) Ceramides are important for chemically damaged hair (colored or relaxed) because they can actually replace the ceramide that HAD been in the cuticle but that was destroyed during the coloring and/or relaxing process." Wheat germ has a 55% of ceramides.

According to this study, "Oily vehicles are more effective for producing a uniform and long-lasting film of sunscreen on the skin, and their emollient properties protect the skin against the drying effects of exposure to wind and sun." Therefore, utilizing wheatgerm oil as sun protection also prevents hair from drying out underneath the sun's harsh rays, which is perfect for the summertime.
Another method of protecting hair from the sun is by wrapping it in a satin headwrap. However, I chose the wheatgerm method because I love enjoying my hair out. If you love enjoying your hair and do not want to keep it wrapped all vacation and summer, consider utilizing wheatgerm oil in your hair regime.
For more information check out this article on oil as sun protection

The Water Protection
Coconut Oil:
Before you go in the pool or beach, apply a thick layer of coconut oil to your hair to prevent excess water absorption. Too much water in your hair can cause hygral fatigue, which can lead to fragile hair and breakage. Because it takes 6-12 hours for coconut to penetrate the hair shaft, apply the night before a day you know you will be in water. However, if you are not alerted to the fact that you will be submerged in water beforehand, "The hair absorbs 15% of its weight in coconut oil after the first hour (". Therefore, the coconut oil will still offer some form of protection. To increase your level of protection from the water, spray your hair with water and apply conditioner. Hair already soaked with water will not absorbed the harmful chlorinated water of pools and water parks nor the dirty water of lakes, oceans, and rivers. Do not forget that after you return from the water, you must wash your hair with a swimmer's shampoo to wash out the chlorine and minerals.

See you next time! Enjoy your vacation :)

Monday, July 11, 2016

It's A Natural Thang: A Mid-Summer's Day Dream Natural Hair Meet-Up

Saturday I attended my first natural hair meet-up!  

It was hosted in my hometown Pittsburgh, PA at AlphaLab, which is an organization that helps startup companies by offering mentor-ship, capital, and space.  
The company that organized the meet-up was Pittsburgh's premier natural hair meetup organization and hair event organizer, It's A Natural Thang, which was founded by Tamiah Bridgett.  
Currently, AlphaLab is assisting Tamiah Bridgett on her revolutionary hair care tool, Diversame, which she developed to assist naturalistas with their curly hair textures. More information on Diversame can be found here.   

Tamiah Bridgett

      The meet-up was a great experience! I loved the vendors that were there. They were all black and had unique wares for sale. My favorite was Sweet T's Beauty, which is a homemade natural body and hair product store. There is no storefront but you can order online here and follow her here on Facebook  . You can find the owner at local events throughout Pittsburgh. In fact, the first time I ordered from her was from a local August Wilson event that celebrated his birthday outside of his home. I bought her leave-in spray (Blueberry Hair Mist) that contained blueberry extract as one of the main ingredients. Blueberries are great for hair and it helps to promote hair growth. The fact that she incorporates blueberries in most of her products is a good sign. I love this leave-in! 
    Anyway, at the meet-up I bought her shampoo, conditioner, and she threw in a body scrub for free. Look out for a review from me--she promised to supply me her whole line for free if I was to create a video review. This will be my first video and the first time I'll be given hair products in exchange for a review so I am excited. I am especially excited to try out her Blueberry Hair Pudding which I hope will rival Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie because I'd love to give my money to small local black businesses instead of big companies.  

         So--back to the event. It lasted from 11:30 to 3:30. Early birds like myself were gifted free swag, such as a sample of Curlific Texture treatment and a full size bottle of Curlific Textured Hair Wash (the event was sponsored by Aphogee!). More free items also included a belt and a purse filled with a small memo pad, a sample pack of both Aunt Jackie's Quench! Moisture Intensive Leave-In Conditioner and Aunt Jackie's Don't Shrink Flaxseed Elongating Curling Gel.  Local vendor Good Body Stuff's body butter sample was included as well as a pack of Doublemint gum.  
Now to the itinerary. 

     In addition to the great vendors, the free swag  (there were giveaways toward the end of the event as well), there were presentations that were highly informative.  
 My favorite was one titled “History of Black Hair”: 

  •  I learned about the braid styles in Ancient Egypt, which the presenter referred to as "Kmt." Apparently, farmers were held to a high regard because they fed people and those most popular was given intricate braid styles to show off their status. Intricate cornrows was a signal of status in Kmt, but when the Africans were stolen and taken to America they were unable to keep up the styles. 
  •  The African women hid their hair with scarves in order to keep their hair free from debris and because it was a law to prevent the white men from being interested in the black women. However, the women wore the scarves as beautifully as the braids had been worn and the law's objective failed.  
  • My favorite part of the presentation was how she ended it in Pittsburgh. Apparently, African American female entrepreneurs started hair schools in Pittsburgh's own Hill District.
  •  It was an informative presentation and I loved how she was able to include the history of black hair of my own hometown (I am a big history buff). 

 There was also a Natural Hair Q & A session, where Tamiah Bridgett answered hair-related questions such as those regarding breakage, homemade deep conditioners, and preserving grey hair color. What interested me about her talk of homemade deep conditioners was that she have not found a way to create a helpful handmade protein conditioner. Apparently, the well-known egg-and-mayo protein treatment is not effective. These proteins have too big molecules that are unable to penetrate the hair shaft. Protein must be hydrolyzed to effectively enter the hair shaft. Therefore, homemade protein treatments are not actually beneficial to the hair.   

   One of the presentations was about Tamiah Bridgett's invention, and another was where a renown black dermatologist--Dr. Melanye Macline--was able to answer questions dealing with skin issues via Skype.   

The emphasis of the event was the importance of funding black-owned businesses in order to build the black community. Although the black hair care industry is a half a trillion dollar industry, most of this money is not in black hands. Tamiah emphasized the importance of changing this reality. We have to find black-owned alternatives of companies such as gas stations and ice cream places in order to fund our community.  

For more information on Tamiah Bridgett's organization It's A Natural Thang (IANT), you can check out the Facebook here and IANT's website here.   

Have you attended a natural hair meet-up before? How was your experience? If not, are you interested in attending one? 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

I went to my first natural hair meet-up today!

My boyfriend and I at It's A Natural Thang's Natural Hair Meet-Up

Review coming on Monday. Have a great Weekend!
Edit: check out  my review here.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

#TheWashDayExperience: Vacation Hair Styles & Maintanence

It is July so there are new themes for the #WashDayExperience! Today's theme was Vacation Hair Styles but I tweaked it to also include "and maintenance".

Because I am all for low manipulation styles, my vacation hair styles list may differ from what is usually said. Most hair care enthusiasts emphasize utilizing protective styles such as box braids, kinky twists, and crochet braids. This is so that the vacationer does not have to worry about their hair during the vacation. They can swim and have fun without worrying about ruining a style.
  However, my problem with protective styles using weave is that it is easy for the person to forget to care for their hair underneath the fake hair. Also, poor quality weave rubs moisture from hair, causing perpetually hair dryness. This can lead to breakage. Moreover, shed hair is unable to leave the hair while it is bound, and this can cause severe matting. Matting can also lead to breakage.

The above screenshots were taken from CoilyQueensRock' website on hair dryness. As you can see, protective styling with added hair can be more detrimental to your hair than helpful.

I have explained the negative effects of protective styles just to say that my vacation hair styles suggestion is protective styles--but with no extra hair added!
Your Vacation Hair Guide
My suggestions are mini-twists or mini-braids using nothing but your real hair.
 You do not need to wash the length of your hair during your vacation, but if needed, you should clean the scalp with Sea Breeze.

 If your hair feels dry, spray occasionally with a liquid-based leave in conditioner ("L" from LOC), and you can seal the moisture in with a cream that includes oil ("C" from LOC method), such as Qhemet Moringa Tree Conditioning Ghee or Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. Both includes coconut oil, which penetrates the hair shaft and protects hair from hygral fatigue. During a vacation, where you may go swimming, protecting hair from hygral fatigue is important. I also recommend as the "O" step in this LOC method to be wheat germ oil. Wheat germ has one of the highest SPF. It is fairly inexpensive and its SPF is 20. SPF is important to protect hair from sun damage. Wheat germ oil can protect the hair from both UVA and UVB waves.
Before you go to the pool, remember to apply coconut oil to your strands to make sure they are protected even further from hygral fatigue

The style: 
Mini-braids or twists with no added hair
The "wash day": 
Seabreeze spray applied to scalp
The Moisture: 
L.O.C. method
The Sun Protection:
Wheat germ oil
The Water Protection: 
Coconut oil
This is a very easy and straight forward method to care for your hair while you are on vacation. You know all of your bases are covered and it requires minimal maintenance during your vacation.
In this post, I touched on next week's theme--Sun&Swimming Hair Protection. No worries, I will expand on it still in next week's #TheWashDayExperience post!

Have fun and enjoy the rest of your summer!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Do You Want to Be Featured on RC?


I am accepting applications for my #FridayFeatures! This is a new segment where on a Friday I will post a blog post that will tell YOUR Healthy Hair Story!
I will post anyone's hair story. Just fill out the information below and send the information to

Are you relaxed, natural, or transitioning? 
How long is your hair (inches or by milestone--Shoulder Length, Bra Strap Length, etc)? 
What can you tell me about your hair before you started your Healthy Hair Journey (HHJ)? 
What was the catalyst that started your journey? 
How did you learn to take care of your hair? What was your starter regime (if you remember)? 
How was other's reactions to you starting your HHJ? 
How do they feel now that you've been on a HHJ? 
What is your current regime and your holy grail products? 
Do you have any hair issues or problem areas that you are working on? 
What are your long-term and short-term hair goals (This can be in terms of length or just increased hair moisture retention)? 
Please include pictures! 

As an example, here are my answers. I answered short-handed for some questions because my whole hair journey can be found on the page "Hair Journey" and my current hair regime can be found on the page "Hair Regime".

Are you relaxed, natural, or transitioning? Natural
How long is your hair (inches or by milestone--Shoulder Length, Bra Strap Length, etc)? Midback Length, 21 inches
What can you tell me about your hair before you started your Healthy Hair Journey (HHJ)?
In high school, it hovered around ear and neck length. Starting in 2011, it hovered around shoulder-length and arm pit length. It was damaged, breaking, and hard to control.
What was the catalyst that started your journey?  
I was tired of being ignorant about my own hair. Others threw it in my face that I knew nothing of how to style and take care of my hair.
There were several catalysts:

  • When my sister didn't feel like doing my hair and/or I couldn't afford it, but I had school. I would have a mini-meltdown in the girl's restroom of my high school looking at my unkempt, out of control hair. I had no idea what to do with it and anytime I would touch it, it would break. A few were sympathetic but most made me feel horrible for the state of my hair. I was not allowed to touch my hair after accidentally pulling my hair out at 7 years old. Therefore I had no idea how to care for it, and I suffered for this ignorance during high school. I've literally cried over my hair.
  • Walking around in public with unkempt, ugly hair, and it caused my self-esteem to plummet. 
  • Having family members make fun of me for my hair and refusing to style my hair. 
  • Unable to fix my sew-ins when they started looking bad.  

I knew I had to take my hair care in my own hands. I was tired of being at the mercy of my family members (they could easily decide not to do my hair, and then my hair would look horrible), and I was tired of going around hating my hair. I was tired of relying on sew-ins and having ugly hair. I wanted long, beautiful hair, and finding African American women on hair forums and blogs who were able to grow out their short, damaged hair gave me hope and motivation. Honestly though, the ridicule I received in regards to my hair was the highest form of motivation.

How did you learn to take care of your hair? What was your starter regime (if you remember)?  
I used Google a lot. I subscribed to a lot of hair blogs and lurked on LongHairCareForum for hours. I was desperate. I was tired of my low-self esteem and self-consciousness that stemmed from hating my hair and not knowing how to care for and style it. I do not remember my hair regime at the time.
How was other's reactions to you starting your HHJ?
I had a whole bunch of people who didn't believe that I could grow my hair. My brother believed in me, and recently he told me that he'd never thought I'd grow my hair as long as I did. It made me feel good because he was my #1 believer while others laughed at my dreams. I've also heard from many that they believed it was impossible for black girls to grow their hair long. Now their hair is shorter than mine!
How do they feel now that you've been on a HHJ? Many who knew my hair as short and brittle are amazed at how much my hair grew.
What is your current regime and your holy grail products?
Wash 2x week, PT 1-2x month Scalp exfoliator 2x week Search & Destroy 1x month.
Low manipulation styles always.
 I alternate products and I am in search of my holy grail products. However, usually I've been using the full Mielle Organics line for everything from my shampoo, cowash, deep conditioner, leave-in and my scalp oil mix (their Mint Almond Oil is the basis for my scalp oil mix). My protein treatment is Aphogee 2 Min and I've been using it when my hair feels like it needs it (has been 1-2x month lately). I've been using Neutrogena T/Sal Scalp Build-Up Control Shampoo for my scalp exfoliator.
Do you have any hair issues or problem areas that you are working on? My crown area is my problem area. It breaks easier than the other areas. It needs more TLC than the others and perhaps more moisture (I'm still not 100% sure what's wrong with it and I hope this Komaza Care Hair Analysis will help me out in pinpointing what's going on there). The hair issue I'm combating is moisture loss in this summer heat and humidity. I am currently focusing on moisture retention.
What are your long-term and short-term hair goals (This can be in terms of length or just increased hair moisture retention)?  
  • Short-term (Hopefully reached by Dec. 2017) Tailbone Length Straight
  • Long-term (Who knows when) Bra-strap length or Tailbone Length curly 
  • Hair in a perpetual moisturized state

Please include pictures!  
Hair Curly Goal

Straight Hair Goals.TBL. Chicoro

Moisturized State Goals--Beautifully Hydrated. Chicoro

Straight Hair Goals-TBL. Chicoro

Hair BSL-TBL curly goal

Hair Curly Goal

Hair Curly Goal

Hair Curly Now-Shoulder Length. Healthy Hair Journey is far from Complete.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Accelerating Hair Growth with Peppermint Oil

I came across this study on peppermint oil accelerating hair growth, increasing hair thickness, and increasing the number of hair follicles on the scalp.
The study was  performed on mice, so the results may not directly correlate to results on humans. However, I still believe this study to be highly beneficial.

According to the study, "This study investigated the effect of peppermint oil on hair growth in C57BL/6 mice. The animals were randomized into 4 groups based on different topical applications: saline (SA), jojoba oil (JO), 3% minoxidil (MXD), and 3% peppermint oil (PEO). The hair growth effects of the 4-week topical applications were evaluated in terms of hair growth, histological analysis, enzymatic activity of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and gene expression of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), known bio-markers for the enhanced hair growth. Of the 4 experimental groups, PEO group showed the most prominent hair growth effects; a significant increase in dermal thickness, follicle number, and follicle depth."

 The mice group that I concentrated on while reading was the peppermint oil group. The mice were shaved and then the compound was applied to the shaved area once a day, six days a week, for 4 weeks. The group that used peppermint had a more significant increase in hair growth than the other groups. By the 4th week, this group had 92% hair growth while the Minoxidil, a product used to fight hair loss, group experienced approximately 55% hair growth.  By week two, the peppermint oil group had 95% and 66% more increased dermal thickness than the other groups. Additionally, by the 4th week, it had 120% and 81% more dermal thickness.   The rapid increase of hair growth and the increase of thickness started from week two. In addition to  proving that peppermint oil caused rapid hair growth and increase in hair thickness, the study also revealed that "the number of hair follicles increased as the hair regrew." At week four, the mice group using peppermint oil had 740% and 307% more hair follicles than the other two groups.

Taken from here

In order to understand this study, you need to understand the phases of hair growth. These mice's hair growth was in the telogen stage and the peppermint oil induced a rapid anagen hair growth. The oil actually forced the hair to grow while it was supposed to be at its resting stage!

More on these two phases according to Avanti Electrolysis's article:

"Telogen phase
During the telogen, or resting, phase the hair and follicle remain dormant anywhere from 1–4 months. Ten to fifteen percent of the hairs on one's head are in this phase of growth in any given time. The anagen phase begins again once the telogen phase is complete. The preceding hair strand is pushed up and out by the new, growing strand. The process causes the normal hair loss known as shedding.
Anagen phase
The anagen phase is known as the growth phase. It begins in the papilla and can last up to eight years. The span at which the hair remains in this stage of growth is determined by genetics. The longer the hair stays in the anagen phase, the faster and longer it will grow. During this phase, the cells in the papilla divide to produce new hair fibers, and the follicle buries itself into the dermal layer of the skin to nourish the strand. About 85% of the hairs on one's head are in the anagen phase at any given time."
Screenshots taken from the study are below. Please read more on the actual study's website here.

How can you utilize this information?  

I've been applying a homemade scalp oil as often as possible. This is wash day (after I wash and style my hair. I style in 8 braids for a braidout, apply the mix to my scalp, and massage for a minimum of five minutes), prepoo day (I section my hair in four and apply coconut oil to my hair. While my hair is sectioned, I apply the mix to my scalp and massage for a minimum of five minutes), and 1-2 days in between.
My oil mix consists of Mielle Organics Mint Almond Oil, olive oil, castor oil, peppermint oil, and jojoba oil. These oils are great for the scalp and jojoba oil mimic our scalp's natural sebum.
I recommend just using MO Mint Almond Oil because it already has peppermint oil in it. Pour it in an applicator bottle (the basis for my scalp oil mix is this oil. I poured it into the applicator oil above and then put in a few drops of the other oils and shook to mix) and apply it to your scalp a few times per week.

If you have any hair questions, feel free to email them to

See you Wednesday for #TheWashDayExperience!

Oh, Ji Young, Min Ah Park, and Young Chul Kim. “Peppermint Oil Promotes Hair Growth without Toxic Signs.” Toxicological Research 30.4 (2014): 297–304. PMC. Web. 28 June 2016.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

#WashDayExperience: How to Tell If Your Hair is Moisturized

I learned a lot about keeping hair moisturized from
It is difficult to know if your hair is truly moisturized or not when you start your healthy hair journey.
Moisturized hair have few single strand knots (ssk), is easily detangled, has shrinkage, stretches without breaking, coil/curl definition, and there is no webbing. Most importantly, your hair retains moisture for three days.

I used to think wearing braidouts and twistouts were causing my ssk, but I have had a significant decrease in ssk this past month. I was going to start primarily wearing roller set styles but I decided to give my trademark braidouts another try. I thought that the roller set styles will decrease my ssk because my hair will be stretched. However, as I said earlier, my hair has had a significant reduction in ssk although I've been wearing braidouts. I believe this is due to the fact that my hair is starting to retain moisture better. 
   It takes a while to get your hair to the point of perpetual hydration and my hair is still not to that point. However, it is good to first realize that your hair is not adequately hydrated before you can fix it. If you do not even notice that something is wrong and what is wrong, then how can you help fix the problem?  
Dehydrated Hair Vs. Hydrated Hair 
  • Is your hair frizzy? Does your hairstyles (twist outs/bantu knot outs/braid outs) lack definition? Is your hair rough and does it break easily? Is it hard to manipulate and do you experience constant ssk? 
  • Is your hair soft and flexible with definited coils and curls? Are your hair styles defined? Can you go days before having to apply a moisturizer or leave in spray? Can you retain your length? Does your hair have sheen and is the natural color deep and rich? Is your hair smooth and not rough? Do you have a low amount of shedding and ssk?   
If your hair is more of the second one, then congratulations! Your hair is adequately moisturized. If not, then you need to improve on your methods in order to increase the moisture levels and retention in your hair. 
How Learning How to Notice the Symptoms of Dehydrated Hair Helped Me
 The length of my hair is a breeze to detangle and it is easily detangled under running water (an effect of moisturized hair is being easily able to be detangled). However, my roots were the problem. It did not detangle so easily. It was also very rough. I first noticed how rough my roots were when I first started practicing roller sets. The results of my sets were always the same: length of my hair was smoother than the roots.
What was the problem? While applying my LOC products after my last wash day, I realized the problem: I do not effectively moisturize the roots.
   When applying products, it is important to apply from root to tip. I've always focused on my ends because I've always known the importance of preserving the older part of the hair, which is more prone to breakage due to wear, tear, and age. However, in paying so much attention to my ends, I've neglected my roots.
I realized I do not apply product very well to my roots because I've been worried about getting the product on my scalp. I wanted to prevent scalp build up as much as possible. Now that I've been using a scalp exfoliator (check out this post here), I do not have to worry so much about scalp build up. I can efficiently cleanse my scalp and rid it of build up and debris trapped in my hair follicles by using a scalp exfoliator.
   I never would have noticed the problem with my roots if I did not see the symptom of dehydration: webbing. My roots were hard to detangle because they were webbed! When I noticed the weebing in my roots while I was applying my LOC products, I realized that my hair was not adequately hydrated. Because I was able to recognize the symptom of dehydrated hair, I am able to fix the problem by solving the cause: my negligence of my roots.
Therefore, first realizing you have a problem and then realizing the cause  step one in helping your hair become perpetually moisturized.
How to Moisturize Your Hair  

  • Only use products with ingredients that do not dry out your hair.  (CoilyQueens said to avoid products with these alcohols: Denatured, SD alcohol 40, Witch hazel, Isopropanol, Ethanol, SD, Propanol, and Propyl) The more natural and short the ingredient list, the better.
  • Always use a moisturizing conditioner after you shampoo.  
  • Always apply shampoo only to your scalp.
  • Deep condition at least once a week. 
  • Chelate at least once a month in order to remove any build up on your hair, thus letting it accept moisturizing products easier and more readily. 
  • It can take up to 6 months for your hair to become adequately moisturized (you can tell by no webbed hair and also your hair stays moisturized for 3 days).  
  • For more information on hair moisturization, check out CoilyQueen's post here.  
Some "Controversial" Things She Had To Say 
I call these controversial because they go against what many believe, but she does make sense:  
  • "Do not waste time on the LOC method or the LCO method these methods are not necessary. You need to get your hair cuticle to lay flatter that is your goal, not piling products on top of  your hair. The Loc or LCO method gives you a false sense of moisturized hair." 
  • "Co-washing means washing your hair with conditioner. Do not use co-washing as a substitute for shampooing your hair. Conditioners do not cleanse the hair well enough. Conditioners are not made to clean the hair they are made to be applied AFTER  hair has been shampooed."   
  • (In reply to a comment about why she recommends to wash at least once a week, when so many women are told that natural hair should be only washed twice a month) "Those who say to only shampoo hair whether 4C or 3A only once or twice a month are in error. It is not the curl pattern that makes your hair not retain moisture it is the condition of your hair cuticle which keeps it from retaining moisture. Water is the best thing for your hair and it will turn your hair growth around if you stick with a weekly shampoo regimen. 4C hair is not drier than any other curl pattern. Washing your hair weekly is recommended because daily you accumulate: dirt, bacteria, dead skin cells, dried sebum on your scalp and all of these things must be removed in order to have a healthy scalp. What would happen if you only washed your skin once per month? Not good right? Hair, skin nails should all be kept clean. Most black women stay away from water because of the inconvenience of shampooing and detangling their tightly coily hair. But if you read my other articles you will be able to create a healthy daily hair care routine, that greatly reduces the amount of time it normally takes you to wash, detangle and style your hair. Read my other articles you will further understand my rationale behind keeping clean hair. Read, "Understanding your hairs porosity", "3 steps to growing longer and stronger hair" and "The nine day moisture retention method".........Remember water is a friend to your entire body, do not shy away from it because of the incorrect information given by some. If you follow the suggestions here within 2 weeks you will see a major difference in your hair and after months on this program you will see a great difference and marvel at how healthy your hair is......"
In Conclusion 
She is the first blogger who I've seen extensively address the questions that many naturals would love to know the answers to: What is moisturized hair? How can I tell if my hair is moisturized? What techniques can I do to moisturize my hair? Which products and ingredients should I look for or avoid? How long does it take until my hair becomes adequately moisturized
I highly recommend checking out her site to see her thoughts. I do not base my regime off of her and instead I created my regime based on my own knowledge of hair care and my knowledge of what works for my hair. However, I love to incorporate some parts of what others believe if I see it to make sense. Therefore, although I do not change my routine with each new information, I try to take away what I can from it. I do not follow her exact regime, which she does list on her blog, but I do take away much of her information and adapt it to my own regime. Before reading her blog, I never knew what webbed hair meant! 

Thanks for the read and see you at the next #WashDayExperience :)

*I wrote this post with my ideas on the subject and what the blogger of has said on her blog.

References & Links to Find Out More

Monday, June 20, 2016

Hair Tips from LHCF

Hey y'all!

I started my healthy hair care journey by visiting the popular African American hair care forum There is a thread which members list hair tips and I've compiled my favorite tips from the thread below.

Have fun reading!

  • Make "vitamin paks": 
Purchase 2" x 2" or 2" x 3" small plastic ziplock bags. You can make a month supply of "vitamin paks" by placing your daily supplements in the bags and putting them in a little storage container on the counter, shelf, or in the fridge. You can grab a pak each morning to make sure you take your daily supply of vitamins. You can even keep paks at work as back-ups for those days you forget to take your daily vitamin pak from home.

  • Put an applicator top on your shampoo bottle or transfer your shampoo to an applicator bottle. This helps to apply the shampoo directly onto your scalp to help with massaging and cleansing the scalp. 

  • Most conditioners work fine without heat. In fact, deep conditioning with dry heat (sitting under a hard bonnet hair dryer) will make your hair dry and difficult to deal with (I just use my own body heat to "warm up" my deep conditioner by applying a plastic bag on my hair while deep conditioning). 

  • When shampooing/conditioning or detangling in sections, try parting those sections straight with a rat tail comb. It will keep breakage around the parted area at a minimum, else the breakage will become more noticeable over time. 

  • Whey protein (powdered form for protein shakes) can accelerate hair growth. 

  • When using oil, place it in a  spray bottle  and lightly spray throughout hair for even distribution, focusing on the ends; comb through. This will prevent hair from being too oily and weighed down.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Tracking Hair Milestones with Curly Hair

Those with straight hair or who can straighten their hair are able to track their milestones using the length check markers such as shoulder-length (SL), back shoulder blade length (BSB), bra strap length (BSL), mid-back length (MBL), and etc.


However, if you prefer to wear your hair curly, this might not work as well. Curly hair has shrinkage, and based on curl type and size, someone's curly hair might sit at a different length than if it did if it was straight. Recently I saw a photo on Instagram of a girl with my dream hair curly. Very big and very curly. My hair curly almost rests on my shoulders but not always and not quite.

As you can see in the picture on my hair crush's Instagram (follow her @inkedcurls), she says her hair is a little past bra-strap length straight. My hair is a little past mid-back length straight. Because she has a looser curl pattern than mine, her hair hangs lower when it is curly.
Therefore, as you can see, the usual length check markers does not work for those with curly hair. (By the way, and I am being random here, if anyone can tell me what my hair type is, please answer in the comments lol).
  I am creative when I want to check if my hair has grown since I can not rely on how long my hair looks. I received inspiration from random times when I realize my hair has gotten longer and also this thread on LongHairCareForum called "FINISH THIS SAYING: YOU KNOW UR HAIRS GETTING LONG WHEN".  
Curly Hair Milestones

  • There are certain things that you can and cannot do with your hair.  When you realize you can do things to your hair that you previously couldn't, then that is an indicator that your hair has grown longer. I remember when I could barely put my hair in a ponytail. Then I remembered when I could only put it in a ponytail when it was straight. Then my straight hair ponytail almost reached the back of my shoulders. Then, at BSL, my straight hair ponytail reached the back of my shoulders. Now, my curl hair ponytail can reach the back of my shoulders. Although my hair is curly, I know it has grown because previously only my straight hair could've reached the back of my shoulders in a ponytail. 
  • How big your hair is. Curly hair usually grows up and out instead of down. Before, I could lay down on my silk pillow without worry. Now, my hair has grown so up and out, that my hair overflows the pillow and touches the sheets and the curtains that falls across the bed from the window. Therefore, although I have a silk pillowcase, I still have to wear my silk cap. Even if my head is firmly placed on the pillow, my hair will have too much overflow to be sufficiently protected.   
  • Other's comments. Frankly, the #1 reason why I know when my hair has grown is based on other people's comments. Others would tell me my hair has grown longer before I've even realized it myself. I look at my hair everyday and wash it every 2-3 days, so I get used to its appearance and length. Therefore, it is other people who are far more able to realize a change in its appearance and length than I am.After they have noted that my hair has gotten longer, then I start noticing the other milestones such as my hair has gotten bigger, it can no longer fit my PuffCuff the same, or that I can do more things with it than I could say, half a year ago. 
How do you realize your curly hair has grown? What are the curly hair milestones you use to track growth?