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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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Review: Nioxin hair products for thinning hair

The Nioxin line has been around for several years. It has been reformulated in recent years. According to the class that I took about four years ago, this product line is focussed on a healthy scalp. A healthy scalp assists in optimum hair growth.

Over the years, I have received repeated feedback that if you discontinue using this product line, the hair condition will return to its original thinness or worst.

Many hairstylists have become wary of this line as well as other "thinning hair" brands; however, I believe that many dermatologists are still recommending it.

I believe there are a few products such as a "follicle booster" in the Nioxin line that will enhance your hair growth without becoming a slave to the whole line.


Their shampoo is called a "cleanser." Their conditioner is called "scalp therapy."

If you are experiencing shedding or thinning, please consider the ceramic/ionic flat irons as a source of your dilemna. I have written separate articles on the dangers of flat irons.

If you are not flat ironing, then please consider sensitive scalp/no lye relaxers as a possible source. Those relaxers typically are calcium hydroxide based and can become unstable shortly after being mixed. Over the years of continued use, sensitive scalp relaxers can begin to thin the hair.

Also, if your hair is breaking at the ends verus thinning, then I re-emphasize that the Nioxin line is more like a medication for the scalp versus healing existing hair strands.

There are a lot of product lines out there. Please make an informed decision when buying a "medicated" product line or hair product.

Review: Sedal Obedientes Curls hair products

Sedal Obedient Curls Anti-Frizz hair products are perfect for all curly hair type 2 and 3 curl patterns. It is great for those with permanent waves as well. The shampoo and conditioner perks up the curls for fine and medium textures without weighing them down. The Sedal leave-in conditioner is good for Type 2 curl patterns. The Mixed Chicks Leave-in Conditioner is better for Type 3 curl patterns. Type 3 curl patterns often need the extra frizz control and can support a little more weight.

Where can you buy the Sedal line? Most spanish based stores such as "Compare Foods supermarket" and Mexican convenience stores. Sedal products typically cost around $8 to $11 for the conditioner. This is a very affordable curly hair product line that delivers great curly results!

Mixed Chicks Leave-in Conditioner is being carried in more and more beauty supply stores nationwide. Blooming Beauty Supply and Salon in the Northlake Mall carries the Mixed Chicks line.

A Look at Hair Growth in two months

Hair typically grows around a half inch a month. Pictured here is a few clippings from a haircut. The client has mid-back hair in long layers; so for her- this was a trim. :-)

Notice the clippings are about an inch long? That is about two months of growth. So it is easy to cut two months of hair when you have a lot to work with; but those who are working toward gaining length, an eighth of an inch is more than enough for a routine trim.

It is amazing how quickly two months can go by. Patience is a virtue when it comes to hair growth. Want to learn more about this clients' hair? See our September 2010 article. (Click on the link to find out about these double processed clippings.)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Review: Paul Mitchell Relaxer Super Strength

This hair was already texturized about 7 weeks prior with Paul Mitchell Super relaxer. (super strength) It has started to revert and draw back curly.
Performing a Paul Mitchell Super relaxer. Toward the end of the application, the relaxer was combed through the entire strands to try to obtain a more consistent wave pattern. Sixteen minutes (16 minutes) timing before rinsing. Taking photo was within the 17 minutes timeframe of rinsing the relaxer out.
Noticed that the super strength Paul Mitchell relaxer still left some wavy texture to the hair? This hair was originally a coarse, Type 4c curl pattern. It had been texturized before using a super strength application, it still has some curl to it.

I have mentioned in other articles in this blog about how "less aggressive" the Paul Mitchell relaxers are . . . a picture is worth a thousand words. The hair can be worn curly or straight.
This style was achieved after the Paul Mitchell Super Strength relaxer, blow dry and stove/marcel heat styling. It was too wavy to roller set. Those with Type 4c, coarse hair who desire straighter hair should look at a different brand of relaxer. This relaxer may not hold for you. Those with type 4c curl pattern, but fine hair - Paul Mitchell regular should be a good selection to start off with because of the "fineness" factor.

Many people are afraid of super strength relaxers. Rightfully so. Paul Mitchell can be your exception. Also, note: Color-treated hair is a different topic. Model pictured does NOT have haircolor nor highlighting in the hair.

Review: Phytospecific Relaxer (Phytorelaxer)

This relaxer does not have sodium hydroxide or lye in it, but remember it is still a relaxer. Most find that they can go a few weeks longer before the next touch-up service. The hair strand seems to have a different texture to it. The strand seems more fiber-like to the touch as far as texture. This relaxer typically costs around $60 for the box which means you pay a hairstylist another $60 or more for application and styling. There is index 1 and index 2 as far as relaxer strengths. Some people have marketed this relaxer as organic and natural. It is still a chemical. It still should be used with caution. It still causes a permanent change to the hair structure.
The Inductor ingredients show guanidine carbonate as an activator for the straightening creme. So this is a no-lye relaxer that has to be mixed. I have no issues with this relaxer. Everyone has to find a good fit for their own individual hair type. Index 1 is best for Type 2 or type 3 curl patterns. Index 2 for Type 4 or borderline Type 3c curl patterns. On a separate note, I do question the tensile strength of the hair after using this relaxer. It may be more vulnerable to abuse. Roller sets or wet wrap services are recommended.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Going Natural: Ready for the Big Chop?

First of all, please go without a relaxer for about 16 months before you get the BIG Chop! If you do not care about styling flexibility, then you can start with a small fro at anytime.
So if you go without the relaxer, then flat twist styling will be the best. This picture is from "about.com blackhair." While the hair is wet, flat twist five large cornrows (about the size of two of the small cornrows pictured) with an appropriate curl creme, then let them dry about an hour and a half under a pre-heated dryer. After they are completely dry, then gently loosen each cornrow (5) into a wavy style. Try to avoid heat styling for those 16 months because intense heat can cause permanent straightening of natural hair.

So you have waited 16 months? You should have about 8 inches of new growth. You are ready for the big chop! How to do it? Shampoo with KerCare Cleansing Cream about 3 times. This cream seems to condition as it cleanses. Do not expect a squeaky clean feel. Then condition with Sedal Obedient curls Anti-frizz conditioner. You should clearly see the difference between the new growth and the relaxed hair that is still hanging on. Using your hair cutting shears, cut the relaxed hair/straight hair off while the conditioner is still in the hair. The hair that falls is going to be a messy cleanup from the floor because it has conditioner all over it. Once all of the relaxed hair is cut away. You should have a head full of freestyle curls with conditioner on them. No tangles. No catching. Rinse the conditioner out and put in your leave-in conditioner while it is soaking wet. Which leave-in conditioner is right for you? If you are Type 2 or 3 for your curl pattern, then your choices are endless. If you are Type 4, then you will probably want a creme that will assist in stretching the curl pattern into twists for control until it dries, then try to style. Type 4 curl patterns are not the typical "wash n go" type. Only Type 2 and 3 curl patterns are easy to wash and go as needed. (i.e. low maintenance.)

If you are a type 4 curl pattern, learning to control and appreciate your curl pattern is a process. It may take 2 years to get it a routine down. Also, decide why you are coming out of the relaxer. Was it shedding? If so, the ceramic, ionic flat irons that claim they are "healthy" may have been the problem; not the relaxer. Please see other articles on this blog about the dangers of flat ironing.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Benita Blocker: The Look over the Years!

Special thanks to Bruce the Entrepreneur, Charlotte, NC for assisting with filming and editing.


video The original video.

The OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) Audition was revised because they rejected this original video for some unknown reason.

Manipulating hard hair equals Breakage

This is a beautiful avant garde updo from www.hairstyletwist.blogspot.com! However, you would not try to comb this hair. After all the hair pins and detachable hairpieces that can be removed are removed, then rinsing this hair until all the gels run clearly out would be the first step toward manipulating this hair. A wide tooth comb to detangle any trapped hair would be your next step. Then shampoo and condition as usual.
Pictured here is a broken stick. Imagine if your hair is hard and brittle. If you bend this stick, then it is going to break because it is not soft. The same principle applies to your hair strand. Soft hair strands can withstand manipulation. It is pliable.

If your hair is hard, specifically look for moisturizing conditioners. Please see other articles on this site for moisturizing conditioner options. If it is soft but breaking, then look for a protein/moisture combination.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

"It's a 10" Leave-in Thermal Protectant

"It's a 10" is one of the best leave-in thermal protectants! There are a lot of good ones out there! This one however, has just added a "keratin" version to their line. So if you have a keratin straightener or keratin treatment in your hair, it is designed to assist in prolonging the results of the salon service. I have not tried it. I would caution to be on the lookout for too much keratin. Keratin usually means protein, and too much protein causes hardness in the hair. Then hardness causes breakage.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Image: Keeping it Real!

This picture was submitted to a photo contest and did not make the final cut.
This picture was also submitted to the same photo contest and it DID make the final cut. The judges' decision completely blew my mind. Why did they pick the "less glam" look?

I figured the "non-glamourous end of the day, bad lighting" photo would be the last picture that would be selected to make the final cut. However, I was soooooo wrong. Anyway, in an attempt to do damage control, I figured that I would critique my own photo.

1) Yes, I have two different textures going on with my hair in both pictures. Why? Synthetic hair is heavier than human hair. Because I have not made the decision to fully relax my hair; I embrace the texturized look. I have the option of pressing out my hairline, but the texture in my hair actually holds the hairpieces more secure. Also, the texture in my hair is stronger and can support the extra weight of the synthetic hairpiece.

2) Yes, I have a hairpiece on. It is a quick and neat hairdo while I decide if I want to go completely straight or figure out a low maintenance hair regimen for a textured look. Also, with changing weather conditions, hair pieces are great for rainy days, high humidity, and cold days.

3) Yes, my eyebrows are not shaped. I had a threader to decide to remove half of my eyebrows against my desires. I was sooooo mad. Then every time, that I would go back to someone else they would try to follow the shape that the prior threader left and would continue to take off the brow hair in the areas that I wanted to grow back in. So I promised myself to grow as much of my brows back before I get anyone to reshape them again.

4)Yes, I have very little makeup on. It was the end of a work day. I definitely know why celebrities wear baseball caps and big sunglasses. Society expects them to look glamourous all the time. That is not real nor realistic for anyone except "Halle Berry." On her bad days, she looks great! My philosophy is when I need to impress . . . I know how to impress. Most of the day to day people that I encounter, I prefer for them to be impressed with my inner spirit and my intelligence.

Undoubtedly, keeping up with the "Joneses" can get you into a great social scene, but as I have matured, the "Joneses" have become less impressive to me.

As a former model, model instructor as well as being a licensed cosmetologist, I have knowledge of beauty, and I have mastered it well. There is a time and place for all things. The time to impress is 1)political settings/social functions, 2) job interviews, 3) television, 4) photo shoots 5) courtroom, 6) presentations, and 7) "first dates." For those who need to impress everyday and have the finances to impress at that frequency, I salute you. Keep up the good work! Those lifestyles have their positives and negatives aspects.

On a separate note, this is one of my bus pictures that made the final cut for the contest. Please feel free to vote at http://picturethis.ridetransit.org/
Thank you! Voting ends around May 18, 2011.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Moroccan Oil Treatment has a Light version


Moroccan Oil treatment is one of the leading brands of silicone based serums designed for all hair types. It smells great and assists in heat protection. The company now has a "light" version. The light version is more suitable for fine hair and true blondes. I believe that the brownish-yellow color of the original oil treatment was causing some brassiness or color change on blonde hair. Also, fine hair customers had to use it more sparingly. Thus the Moroccan Oil Light Treatment was birthed.