Phenomenal . . .

Phenomenal . . .
Life, Growth, and Connection (This sunflower was nourished by my hands.) 2010; Photography by Benita Blocker. Please become a follower of this blog.

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Paul Mitchell Retexturizing/Relaxer System

I have been getting phenomenal results with all of my clients - both African American and Caucasian by using the Pureology line. I also received great feedback from hairstylists and clients too on both the previous Paul Mitchell relaxer line as well as Farouk's Deep Brilliance Relaxer lines.

It had me thinking . . . if the ethnic product lines do not have it right when it comes to shampoos and conditioners, then why should I believe that they have it right with relaxers?

Paul Mitchell just reformulated their relaxer system. It used to be Regular or Super only. Now, they have Mild, Regular, and Super.

I have a highly sensitive scalp but I was ready to try something new. So I went for Super strength. To my surprise, mininal scalp irritation and I did not base any part of my head. I was bold, but I needed to see what it would do. My ears were immediately sensitive to the relaxer. I will have to base those first next time.

Also, I only did the sideburns/corners, but it did not overprocess nor cause any immediate sensitivity to my scalp.

I liked it. I must remind you that I have Type 4C kinky hair. I am definitely ready
to offer the Paul Mitchell line as a sensitive scalp option to my clients.

Pravanna Keratin Fusion Texture Control

So you are interested in the Pravanna Keratin Fusion Texture Control System?

According to the instructions, it is NOT compatible with relaxed hair. It is more compatible with thio based traditional perms. But ideally, someone with absolutely NO chemicals in their hair is the best candidate.

If a flat iron is used, then the process is definitely permanent and touchups should not be less than 3 months a part or at least a solid one inch and a half of new growth.

If processed at room temperature on wavy hair for curl reduction, it is more temporary.

If you have "kinky hair," then it probably will be a waste of time and money unless you are going for the permanent flat ironing option, but I am certain that by 3 months time, you will be begging for a what seems like a past-due touch-up.

Again, for kinky hair -- I recommend staying natural or considering the Paul Mitchell retexturizing/relaxing system for straightening.

Believe it or not, I am learning that the ethnic product lines often times are focussed on the the styling finish versus the health of the hair. Also, 99% of the time, the demo models do not have truly kinky hair. I am uncertain if the ethnic product lines really know how to deal with kinky hair and keeping it healthy.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Brazilian Keratin Treatment

So you are curious about the Brazilian Keratin Treatment?

The process costs on average $250. It is temporary. It lasts about 2 to 3 months on average.

In a nutshell, a 450 degree flat iron infuses a keratin treatment/solution into the hair and seals it in. Certain shampoos can raise the cuticle and cause the treatment to release faster. Shortening the longevity of the straightening results.

I personally took a Rejuvenol class on it, but did not buy the intro kit . . . mainly because people complain about paying $80 for a relaxer service that lasts for 2 months. I don't even want to offer $250 process that lasts for 2 months.

As far as health of the hair; I have not seen it to be any healthier. It is more a styling enhancement for those who shampoo more than twice a week at home.

Some BKTs have formaldehyde. Some do not. Typically, the ones with formaldehyde last longer.

Clients are forced to wear the sleek or bone straight look all the time. So if you want to have more curl or body without the frizz, please consider using higher end shampoos and treatments such as Pureology and Aveda. Your hair will transform over time with higher end products.

If your hair is straight, wavy, or slightly curly naturally, then the BKT will be a great option for you because after about 3 months your unprocessed/new growth has never been unruly, but you desire more smoothness. The BKT would avoid any permanent processing of the hair, but the sleek/straight look should be your desired style everyday. It will make your regular home maintenance easier.

If you are overcurly/kinky naturally, then after six to eight weeks, your new growth will still be the same. So you will have the choice to BKT it again at the $250 rate or go back into the relaxer touch-up for less.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bodiphier Relaxer Final Evaluation and Hair types

I have been reviewing this product for months. Notice the keyword "permanent" on the label? That means "permanent chemical change." Notice that it says will not overprocess? That means "will not overprocess on the first use." What I have found is that the "BodiPHer" can overprocess the hair if used too frequently which can result in overlapping just like any other relaxer. When I put strands of my hair in the "Bodipher" it eventually turned brown and dissolved away just like any other relaxer. The founder recommends keeping the moisture level at a high if trying to sport a texturized look. Also, according the founder, if you are locking in moisture by wearing it straight, you will be fine without a curl defining lotion.

So in a nutshell, the application of this relaxer on the first try is beautiful. Very little irriation to the scalp. No scabbing. Nice loosening of the curl pattern without overstraightening. If you are not sensitive scalp, then there should be no irritation to the scalp.

But the maintenance is not what I signed up for. I desired lower maintenance hair. It seems to have created higher maintenance hair than my own natural hair without a chemical. Applying it yourself even once a month on shorter hair may overprocess it within three to four months. I was lead to believe that the Bodipher "was not a relaxer," but it is a low pH relaxer, and it should be treated as a relaxer.

What makes it dangerous to me is that the "Bodipher" eventually overprocessed my hair without overstraightening my hair. Let me repeat: It overprocessed (weakened/softened) my hair without straightening it.

I must also mention that I have Type 4c hair. The curliest, wiry hair on the planet.
"The roll and park curls." The hair that shrinks to 75% of its length when dry.

Oprah Winfrey's hairdresser Andre Walker describes hair types in his book from 1997.
Type 4 hair surpasses curly; it is called kinky!

So I asked myself: Why have softened/weakened hair that still looks like it is natural when I can have strong natural hair? It made no sense to me. There was no humidity resistance with the Bodipher when trying to wear it straight. Again, besides it being softer to touch, the "Bodipher" did not serve a purpose for me.

Type 1 and Type 2 hair do not need a relaxer service. Type 3 and Type 4 hair usually resort to the relaxer for weather control. Too much humidity in the air can transform Type 3 and 4 hair into a volumious afro within 30 minutes or less.

So the Bodiphier should be sought after by those who have wavy to curly hair (not kinky hair) who want "control" without additional harsh products. Touch-ups with the Bodiphier needs to be once every three months or longer. If you are trying to use the Bodiphier for complete straightness, then I recommend "NOT!" Try the Paul Mitchell relaxer System instead. (Please see my articles on Paul Mitchell relaxer!)

The Bodiphier is a ultra gentle relaxer with a pH so low that it will not straighten the kinky hair without adding heat to raise the pH even higher.

It claims alkaline water softens the hair . . . but regular water usually softens the hair without the alkalinity.

I mentioned earlier that I left hair in the Bodiphier jar over an extended period of time. The hair eventually melts away like any other relaxer.

The Bodiphier's application is stress-free, but not for the natural Type 4 kinky hair.

My experience is based on three to four Bodiphier applications myself. I had a few areas of my hair that had a soft&beautiful texturizer on the ends, but those longer strands stayed in tack without any breakage. However, the shorter lengths of my hair were over processed by the Bodiphier touchups that I had performed four times within four months. Regardless, the breakage of the ends on my shorter hair was scary. I did not moisturize everyday; but a few times a week should have been sufficient in my opinion to keep in from breaking which is what I did. So the product claims that it will not overprocess; however, I found that it can overprocess with excessive overlapping. This product is a relaxer that uses alternative chemicals versus sodium hydroxide. It is still a chemical. It should be treated as a relaxer.

I am happy that I tried my natural journey. I encourage others to do so as well. You may discover that you like it.

A few youtube video recommendations for natural type 4c hair are:
1)Easily Elongate 4b or 4c and 2) detangling my 4c hair
Both videos are by summerorchid1 and they are at

As of December 3, 2010 -- I have completely recovered from the Bodiphier. No more breakage. The Paul Mitchell relaxer system plus a few extra conditioners were a lifesaver for me! (Please see my articles on Paul Mitchell relaxer system.)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Why pay $30 to $60 for a shampoo?

Higher end products generally have superior quality ingredients such as "Certified Organic Botanicals." These higher end products deliver dependable results and often times a little goes a long way.

Higher end products should be bought from a professional licensed salon.

Be careful of manufacture date. All high-end products should be used within three years of Manufacture date for best results.

Paraben-free products have an even shorter expiration time-frame because they don't have the preservatives. (Examples: Jane Carter Solution, Bioken)

Pureology and Aveda are two of the most popular high-end product lines. Both lines have shampoos that work very well on ethnic hair. Seek a salon professional to advise you on which shampoos are best for your hair type.

Conditioners are a whole different story. Ethnic hair often times need heavier conditioning treatments than Caucasian hair. For example: A regular cream conditioner may work on Caucasian hair/straight hair whereas a heavier hair masque may work better on ethnic hair/drier hair.

Please note that high-end shampoos start the conditioning process. So fine Caucasian hair/straight hair may not need a conditioner when a light conditioning rinse may perform better.

Hair Cover to Avoid Shocking your Mate

Okay, beauty begins within, but . . . .

Sometimes we have bad hair "nights." Often times, if you are wearing wigs, ponytails, clip-ins, half-wigs during the day; then you do not want to destroy the glamour at night for your mate by sporting a totally different natural look.

Try a satin Bonnet with a string tie. Plait your hair around the hairline to create a barrier to avoid the bonnet from slipping off.

If your hair is too short to plait, then try to bobby pin the string tie. CrisCross the bobby pins to hold onto your top forehead. Try Bobby pinning the perimeter for support as well. The Goal is to keep the bonnet on until you are ready to put your glamour hair back in or back on.

If you go naturally kinky, you probably will need less bobby pins. Your afro should create a nice barrier from slipping off.

Hair hard to Hold a Curl?

Hair Tips for holding curls:

1) If you have naturally straight hair (i.e. in most cases, Caucasian hair), the Aquage Working Spray on clean, dry hair should do the trick.

2) If you have chemically treated hair (i.e. Relaxed hair) and want to hold the curl withOUT stiffness, try Essations Regular hold Styling Spray on clean, dry hair. (Green liquid)

3)For all types of hair, wet setting on rods/rollers/wavers, etc will give you some long lasting curls if you can stand the drying time.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Deep Cleansing is the Secret to Free Flowing Hair

Yes! Regardless to your hair type, Deep cleanse your hair at least once a week.

If you wear shades or eyeglasses- do you know how dirty the lenses can get in the course of a day? Imagine your hair attracting as much residue or debris?

There are clarifying shampoos and deep cleansing shampoos. If you have a relaxer without heavy gels or grease buildup, then I recommend a deep cleansing shampoo such as Paul Mitchell Shampoo one or Design Essentials Organic Cleanse.

If you have a relaxer and HEAVY grease or sticky gels, then I recommend clarifying shampoo such as Pureology Purify, Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two or Rusk Clarify.

If you are color-treated or no chemicals at all, then choose clarifying shampoos for oily scalps. Careful, you do not need a clarifying shampoo every day! There are some daily shampoos and daily conditioners that are light.

Try to go for a clean scalp and clean strands without stripping excessive amounts of natural oil/shine.

If you have an extremely oily scalp, then clarify as much as possible. There are only a small population with extremely oily scalps. You will know your level of oil production by how fast your hair gets weighed down naturally.

If within 24 hours of a shampoo, your typically straight hair is weighed down again; then you probably have an oily scalp. This particular hair situation may need clarifying shampoo or a volume shampoo. Talk to your stylist about a good regimen for you.

After you clarify or deep cleanse, an appropriate moisture shampoo is needed and/or appropriate conditioner.

Relaxed hair definitely needs a moisture shampoo and a moisture conditioner layered with a little reconstructor after deep cleansing. (Careful, do not overdose on the protein.) Great reconstructors that also moisturize include: Paul Brown Hawaii Resurrect and KeraCare Intensive Restorative Masque. Paul Brown Hawaii Resurrect should have an instant moisture conditioner followed behind it just to make sure the hair is balanced. However, KeraCare Intensive Restorative Masque does not need a followup conditioner.

In summary, everyone needs two types of shampoos and one conditioner at a mininum.
Others may need more.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Humidity Resistant Products for Natural Hair

I have discovered more products to assist with avoiding reversion of naturally curly hair without the weight. I wish that I had discovered these products three or four months ago.

1) Alfaparf Divine Cream - put on wet hair
2) Kimble Silk Treatment Leave-in spray or Paul Brown Hawaii Treat Elite Leave-in spray
3) Fresh Look Blow-drying Cream - put on wet hair
4) Pureology Smoothing Elixir - put on wet hair
Then Thoroughly blow-dry with a Denman Brush followed by a aluminum barrel round brush if more straightness is desired.
5) Mizani Thermasmooth Anti-Humidity Spritz -- spray on after throughly blow-drying hair, then you will be flat-iron ready!
6) Joico Humdity Blocker as a finishing aerosol throughout.

Want to hold more curls? Include Essations regular Styling spray prior to flat ironing.

Want to experience the results before buying all the components? You can schedule with me to have the service completed. Please mention this blog for a complimentary treatment service to be added to the regular thermal service.

Flat Iron Testing

Pictured: A Babybliss Tourmaline flat iron that was burning out hair!

A good way of testing flat irons is clamp the flat iron on a piece of white toilet paper. Hold it steady for about 35 to 55 seconds. Release the toilet paper. If a Brown imprint is left on the toilet paper, then that flat iron is NOT good for your hair. The toilet paper should not turn colors if it is a good flat iron. My favorite brands are Paul Mitchell and FHI Heat!

I tried my flat test with one of the Babybliss flat irons that I was suspecting was causing damage and sure enough, the toilet paper was "toasted" in 35 seconds. Yes, as you can see from the picture: pecan brown. There are different Babybliss irons out there but I would test before using another flat iron.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bodiphier Touchup and Alkalinity discussion

I completed my Bodiphier touchup this week. I have to admit that I had two shampoo services within about three days of the Bodiphier touch-up. I gave my scalp one full day of rest before performing the touch-up.

To my surprise, I did experience a tingling/burning with the touch-up. I remember the water during the rinse prickling my scalp in some areas. So I did burn. However, I did not scab up.

I talked to the founder about my experience. He assured me that there was not sodium hydroxide present, but the alkalinity of the relaxer as a whole could cause burning in sensitive scalp clients.

I have an extremely sensitive scalp. I can not take a regular lye relaxer past five minutes. So I was a good test person for the Bodiphier's ability to burn.

I am still content with the Bodiphier relaxer. I just know that I need to give my scalp the traditional three day wait after shampooing before I touch-up again.

My main reason for all the shampooing was because I was going back and forth between the "wash and wear" styling and the pressing. I wanted it to be pressed and free of any styling products in order to complete the touchup.

I still have some straighter ends from the initial Soft and Beautiful Texturizer. I will eventually cut them off but not yet. Smile.

Overall, the Bodiphier is still the best option for going back and forth from straight to curly.

Chris Rock's "Good Hair" Documentary

I saw the movie on Friday night, October 23, 2009 in Charlotte, NC. It was an opening night.

I found the movie to be insightful, entertaining, and somewhat educational. I also feel that everyone who sees this movie will take away a different message and opinion.

I was literally in the audience during the Bronner Brothers hair Battle that Chris Rock featured.

After seeing the beginning to end of each competitors show in 2007, it was interesting to find out in 2009 what played into the judges' decision. CLEARLY without a doubt the BEST hair stylist of the four stylists competiting was Jason Griggers i.e. "the white stylist." Jason's skit was a little slow and a little too provocative; but who knew what was the criteria to win. After seeing "Good Hair" -- I now know that Jason was set to win until Derek J found a loophole in the competition and had a whole marching band come through the audience. It was amazing. I remember that Battle very clearly.

Also, I had no idea that Raven Symone wore extensions! Too much information. Smile.

But on a separate note, prices that were quoted in the documentary was based on a 2007 market. So if there are any hairstylists leaving out of the movie ready to become a "weaveologist," please know that the demand and pricing is much MUCH different now than it was then (2007). Not to burst any aspiring weaveologist's bubble, but you probably already "missed the boat" on making any real money in the "weave industry."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bodiphier Relaxer Touchups

Hey! I am still enjoying the Bodiphier natural relaxer. I have quite a few clients in the product now, and they are enjoying it!

After enjoying the benefits of the Bodiphier myself for so many weeks (six weeks so far), I almost forgot about the additional touchups that are needed. The new growth still needs to have a regular touch-up schedule if you are wearing the Bodiphier in a thermally straight capacity.

If you are "wash and wear" then you can push the touch-up out as long as you want. However, if you are pressing your hair out, the new growth reverts much quicker with the humidity as to be expected; and you can be prone to popping the hair off just like any other relaxed hair in need of a touch-up.

So if you are pressing; please keep your Bodiphier touch-up at regularly scheduled intervals. About every five weeks would be safe. My touch-up is scheduled SOON! My new growth is in full force. I can only tell when I pressed it out on Sunday and my roots stayed straight for about a day.

Is this process more expensive to keep up than the traditional relaxer? Yes, it is. But remember, you can "wash n wear" at anytime so you have the choice of TWO Looks after every shampoo! Either press it Straight or crunch it curly!

Water: The natural moisturizer!

After interviewing a lot of naturally kinky hair women, and 90 percent have to wet their hair everyday just to get the moisturized look. Most have a water spray bottle that they use to control the wetness.

I was tickled to learn the similarities of non-relaxed hair. Naturally straight hair people mostly have oily scalps, and they have to shampoo their hair everyday to control the weight from the oil.

A daily dose of water is becoming more and more common across all cultures.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hair Business

The movie "Good Hair" by Chris Rock was released in D.C. , L.A., and ATL. I am looking forward to watching it in a few weeks if it comes to the Charlotte, NC area.

I attended an Essations class on yesterday, and the educator mentioned how the relaxer process was put into a negative light during the movie. He also mentioned that naturally curly hair was hard to control which was why the relaxer became so popular.

So the natural hair trend for some will end eventually, and the relaxer will be popular again!

On a separate note, hairdressers are seeing a "market correction" in their business. The good stylists are seeing "cutbacks." Mediocre stylists are just totally getting "cut out."

Support your stylist by coming into the salon to be serviced looking like your hair does not even need to be done. That means wrap it/roll it/pin curl it the night before the hair appointment just like you usually do! It just reaffirms the other clients. Your stylist will thank you!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Hair Rolling at Night

Rolling your hair at night is a chore for the medium to short length women. Pin -curling works for the longer hair women.

I suggest starting with a little Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment (bought from Sephora). It is a oil treatment. Use sparingly throughout the hair. Then follow up with Big Bad D's "Glass Curling Creme" (King Premium Products). It has Amino acids for strengthening as well as moisture and shine to assist in nighttime curling.

The main purpose in rolling hair at night is to keep the hot tools out of it in the morning.

For those who wrap their hair at night, don't stop if it is working for you!

A 100% silk scarf is best for breathability of the hair. The next best material for nighttime coverup is the satin polyester scarf. By all means, please get rid of the cotton scarves! Cotton is breathable, but it absorbs a lot of moisture from the hair.

As far as rollers go, if you see a lot of hair in your rollers (i.e. exposed sponge rollers) then you probably should try some satin rollers or the hard rollers if you can stand them.

Seeking a Dermatalogist for Hair?

Black women, if you decide that you need a medical opinions on your hair and/or scalp, please schedule with a Black dermatologist.

Most of the White dermatologists are only going to tell you something like "you have midshaft fragility." Or "You need to cut all of your hair off and come out of the relaxers." or "Don't braid your hair too tight."

Do we really need to pay a White dermatologist to tell us something that we could have "guessed" on our own? Some of the White dermatologists have went as far as instructing how to put in your own relaxer and touching your cornrows to tell you how tight a braid should be.

Most dermatologists are not cosmetologists, and most White dermatologists have not braided hair in their life.

Please by all means go to a dermatologist that has hair texture closer to your texture, and if you don't know if they have kinky hair or not, then ask at the time that you are making an appointment. It may take a few months to get scheduled with a Black dermatologist because they are not as plentiful; but I would trust their opinion on hair and scalp before I would trust a White dermatologist.

Please understand that I am not being racist; but I am discriminatory when it comes to Black hair.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hard Press versus Soft press

A hard pressing service is an old school art that is dying. The beautician has to know how much heat to silken the hair without burning it up. If done correctly, the hair becomes very humidity resistant. However, a downside, if done enough, the hair will lose its natural curl pattern when it is wet. The hair protein loses its natural behavior. (Please see my separate article on the "effects of heat" which describes the nature of protein.)

So if you ever want to have "wash and wear" hair, then you should not seek hard pressing on a regular basis. You should embrace your natural curl pattern.

A soft press service is a healthier option, but it can be unpredictable until your hair gets trained. Getting your hair trained can take several months; otherwise, your straight look may last for about 5 minutes in high humidity weather. Can you say "instant afro?" and a feeling of "wasted time and money?"

My conclusion on naturally curly hair is to wear it curly. If you want the occassional straight look, buy a great looking wig and get it cut and styled.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bodiphier Natural Relaxer is my choice!

I am approaching my second week with the Bodiphier relaxer, and I am still loving it. I can wear my hair "wash and wear" or blow-dry straight. The blow-dry straight lasts for about a week before I get frizzy/puffy.

Oh yes. I also discovered the perfect gel for my "wet and go" look. You have to guard this secret or at least let people know about this blog. Okay?. Biolage Firm Hold Gelee is the BEST moisturizing and defining gel that I have discovered thus far. It's not too stiff, and it enhances every type of curl pattern that I have used it on thus far. This product is so good that I would be willing to discard every other curl defining gel in my salon. Mainly because many of the other curl products do not work on every type of curl pattern.

For example: Paul Mitchell Foamming Pomade - did not deliver good results with coarser/curlier textures nor medium textures with oily scalps. However, there is a huge population of more hispanic looking textures that it works wonders on.

I will be definitely offering the Bodiphier Natural Relaxer at my salon as well as the Biolage Gelee. They are both in a league of their own.

Watch the Waves

This article is dedicated to inner beauty, encouragement, and inspiration. Enjoy!

From my memory:
I am reflecting on a time as a little girl on vacation at the beach. I may have been preteen age.

I never learned to swim, but I remember walking very slowly into the ocean trying to keep my balance. I kept walking and walking into the deep blue. I got chest level deep, then I saw a huge tidal wave out in the ocean headed towards me. I turned as gracefully as I could in order to attempt to walk back as quickly as I could, but it was no use. The water was going to cause me to lose my balance if I did not tread it slowly. So I held my breathe, kept my back toward the incoming wave, and braced my body for the impact of it so I would not fall over.

Believe it or not, absolutely no water went over my head. When the impact of the water never came, I turned my head around and realized that by the time the huge wave got to me, it had curved over, smoothed out, and flowed right over my shoulders. I was thankful, relieved, and happy. I then started walking back to shore. That was enough anxiety for a day. When one reflects on blessings like this, one realizes that God is protecting us and teaching us lessons.

For me:
1) I was venturing out too far into the ocean.
2) I was on the wrong path; it was time to go back to my base.
3) It was not my time to leave this world. (An undercurrent or the waves could have swept me away which was unknown to me because I was unfamiliar with the water.) God knew that He had more work for me to do. His purpose for me had not been served.

We all need to be thankful for second chances. Make today a good day!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

High Maintenance Hair = Low Maintenance Lashes

For all the extremely curly hair women out there, we can embrace the benefits of our curl pattern . . . low maintenance eyelashes!

One of my clients brought up an eyelash curling routine that she had, and that is when I realized that I had low maintenance eyelashes. My naturally over-curly texture that has been a primary focus on the top of my head is the same pattern that gives me perfectly curlied eyelashes ALL THE TIME. No eyelash curling tools for me . . . . I did get a blessings out of it! Smile.

I only need Mascara and eyeliner, and I become Volumious and Fabulous! No eyelash extensions needed!

Also, my over curly hair can withstand a lot of pull and tension from hair pieces and extensions. However, extended periods of pulling and tension will always cause trauma to the scalp. So no one curly nor straight need to overindulge in this act. Having curlier hair will buy you more time to wear quick fixes for bad hair days.

So overcurly hair women now know that they have some low maintenance benefits in other beauty focus areas . . . your eyelashes!

Bodiphier Relaxer Works!

Trial two: I tried the Bodiphier Relaxer by Fresh Look Products on yesterday.
Absolutely loved it!!!! It softened my curl pattern, but my texture is still in my hair. High humidity still caused some frizzing, but it blow-dried much straighter than I have ever achieved since going natural.

I did not burn. I worked the product for about 30 minutes. I still had waves. It works for those who just want an easier blow-dry for extremely curly hair. The conditioner that was included in the Bodiphier kit was excellent as well. I did not need to cocktail any other conditioners with it.

My hair blow-dried to a healthy shine. My hair felt 10 times better at the end of the Bodiphier process than with the Soft and Beautiful Botanicals Regular Texturizer that I tried about three weeks prior. (The Soft and Beautiful Texturizer was Trial one -- see other blog entry.)

If people want straight hair without reversion, then the Bodiphier is probably NOT the answer, because the Bodiphier is more of a slow acting texturizer with a low pH that is practically impossible to overstraighten. It gives you as much time as you need to massage and manipulate new growth without worrying about existing relaxed hair getting overprocessed.

I plan to add this product as one of my salon services. The Bodiphier kit is about four to eight times expensive than a box relaxer, but the results are like nothing else on the market that I can find so far. No wonder they have been in business for awhile.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Natural Black Hair Care

Naturally Curly Black Hair is everywhere right now. TV Commercials, National Print Ads, and Informercials.

After talking to quite a few Black women sporting natural curl patterns, I found maintenance items to include 1) glycerine 2) coconut oil 3) mayonnaise. (products from local health foods stores)

I found styling items to include 1) foam 2) Paul Mitchell Foamming Pomade 3) DevaCurl AnGel 4) other gels OR 5) other curl creams.

All women mentioned that they experimented until they found a regimen and product that worked for their look and their hairtype.

For coarser hair, the women stated that maintaining a natural look is still a lot of work.

All the women agreed that going to the salon was getting expensive and maintaining the straight look was a burden they no longer wanted to bear.

Some found a solution with "Sister Locs," regular locks, braids, kinky twists, or a barbered look.

My conclusion is that you are on your own to find what works with your own unprocessed hair. Have fun while searching . . . it may take you a few years to settle on a routine as your length changes.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Going from Relaxed to Natural?

Transitioning from Relaxed hair to natural is a customized journey.

Depending on your head shape, body shape, personality, and lifestyle requirements, the options can be limited.

Blow-dry styles will work for the first 2 to 4 months depending on your length of your hair and the weather in your area. If you never needed a relaxer, then you are home free. Just use either Design Essentials Organic Cleanse and Moisture Retention shampoos or Pureology Nanoworks and SuperStraight shampoos plus your choice of conditioners that works for your hair type. Pureology shampoos are sulfate-free and around a $100 purchase. Design Essentials are within a $25 purchase price.

Glue-free quick weave can work for the first 2 to 3 months or all the time for those that never needed a relaxer.

Tree-braids or Interlocking can work starting at the third month and on into a year.

At six months, you can start twists or locks or wear your own curl pattern. Some curl patterns do not lock easily. Others only take a month.

You can wear individual braid extensions as well.

I recommend cutting the relaxed hair off when you are ready. Trim a little every other month or at a six month period, cut all the relaxed hair off.

If wearing your own curl pattern, try different curl creams, curl gels, curl pommades until you find a good fit for your scalp and hair type.

I personally texturized my natural hair after the one year mark, and I started wearing my natural afro. I adorn it with jeweled or floral hair accessories. Definitely lower maintenance for now. I will probably continue to texturize my hair so that I can have the option of blowdrying straight without the humidity reverting it so quickly.

Transitioning from relaxed to natural is a tough journey. Be careful of the press n curl, this process can be just as damaging as the relaxer that you are growing out of .

Have fun!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Define Good Hair?

First of all, there is no such thing as "bad hair." Our Creator knew what He was doing when He created us.

Now, for people born with "low maintenance hair." You are blessed.

Low maintenance hair is hair that can be washed and air-dried or diffused. No wrapping at night. No rolling at night. No flat ironing. Just finger and go.

Low maintenance hair can have the flexibility of being worn straight which makes it high maintenance for that time period.

Now, for those who do not prefer to wear their curl pattern or if you don't have a curl pattern at all, our hair (me included) is high maintenance all the time.

High maintenance hair is sensitive to chemicals, heat, weather and stress. Finding a hairstylist is extremely hard. Most of the hairstylists with absolutely gorgeous hair are born with "low maintenance" hair.

Just because their hair looks gorgeous does not mean that they know how to maintain your higher maintenance hair.

If you are interviewing a hairstylist, ask about their maintenance for their hair. How often do they need a chemical touch-up? is a great question. If they are at 8 to 10 weeks, and you know you have an afro pushing 5 weeks, then you also know that your hair is not in the ballpark with their hair. I would keep looking for the next hairstylist in that case.

Now, suppose the hairstylist's hair looks a "hot mess?" Interview them anyway. Why? I always find it hard to work long hours and maintain a cute style with high maintenance hair. You either are going to pay "top dollar" to offset the fact that the stylist needs to keep her hair done . . . or you are going to let her work speak for itself.

As far as male hairstylists go, I do not understand how men keep their hair barbered short and female clients are drawn to them for service. Female hairstylists can not even get a break. Their hair has to look flawless all the time.

Good hair means low maintenance hair. Bad hair is good hair. It takes more time, but when you find the right stylist -- life is good! Keep interviewing until you find her!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dreaming of Opening a new salon?

A lot of folks dream of owning their own salon so . . .

Here is a list of rooms to put in your new salon whether you are a stylist or a salon investor:

1) Dispensary ( room to mix chemicals, formulate color formulas, store hair color)
2) Break room (a place to eat, make a short phone call, take a mental break)
3) Storage room (for cleaning chemicals, office supplies, disinfecting tools)
4) Laundry room (washer and dryer --as many as you need to keep towels going)

If you can imagine these four rooms can take up a 1000 sq ft then you still have shampoo area, styling stations, platform hair dryer area, retail display, checkout counter, waiting area.

2000 sq ft is still a small salon.

The task of finding booth renters or trainable employees is even harder. If they are extraordinarily good, then they will eventually start their own salon. So you start over again with finding good staff.

The salon business is not an easy one. There was a time when it was excellent money, but with the cost of living going up, expenses are up, and demand for hair services is down.

I hear that people always want to look beautiful. They are right, but only a small percentage need to look glamourous all the time. Clients are stretching their appointments out until they absolutely need you. You have to be patient, educated, and ready.

Downtime is for cleaning, studying, and trying new initiatives. (Always remember this secret!)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Texture and Texturizing

Hey! I have a lot on my mind for my first day of blogging!

Texture is your wave pattern or lack thereof. I am in search of the best texturizer to take a zigzag pattern to a s-shape without compromising the integrity of the hair nor overprocessing.

I am have some leads . . . . I just have to finish my product testing.

First trial: Soft & Beautiful Botanicals Texturizer - Regular; I loved the new wave pattern, but product seemed extremely drying to the hair. A lot of hair dressing (Mizani Rose H2O) was needed to maintain the moisture balance in the hair for the styling phase. It's a lithium hydroxide base texturizer, and the more porous ends went straighter than the rest. The product makes the hair more humidity resistant which is a second benefit. However, one trial with this texturizer was enough. I have another texturizer on my list to try.

It is being shipped to me. It will be a few weeks before I will have time to try it and give you feedback. So stay tuned!

Higher Power

Hey! I debated about putting "God" in my blog name, but that is my higher power. I hope that I do not offend anyone.

My blog is about hair and its timeless beauty regardless of texture, length or density.

Secret #2 Hair can still be growing even if you are not seeing any real increase in length. If you are seeing new growth at the root, then you should make sure that you are not breaking at the ends.

Hello Beautiful! So you are interested in Hair!

Hello and Greetings! I am sooo excited to share my hair secrets with you. I am a full time cosmetologist licensed in North Carolina, California, and Georgia. Everyday I learn or discover something beautiful about hair that I want to either research further or repeat the performance.

My clientele is diverse. From ZigZag curl pattern to Wavy to Straight. From medium to coarse in texture. From extremely thick density to thinner densities due to various reasons.

I have seen a lot over the years. I have grown many heads of hair over the years. I have learned how to improve some hair processes and invent my own routines.

I love customizing hair solutions and products for whomever sits at my shampoo bowl.

Secret #1 Everyone who sits in my styling chair gets a consultation, but they do not always get invited to my shampoo area. Smile. We all have choices. Stylists and Clients should be a good fit personality wise too!

Okay. I do not want to write a book on my first blog entry. So I digress here. Talk to you again soon.