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.