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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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Using plain water as a conditioner

I made an incredible discovery last week. I got extremely off schedule with my client timing. My natural client had to sit room temperature with a plastic cap on for about 45 minutes. I had shampooed her with Pureology Nanoworks shampoo a few times then skipped conditioning. Amazingly, the water alone seemed to soften her natural tresses without any conditioner being applied.

We were purposely skipping the conditioning step because we found if the hair is too soft that it would not hold the curls. So her hair ended up soft from the "tap" water. I also have to admit that our city has "soft water" running through our tap versus hard water in other states.

If you live in a "soft water" area, then consider just sitting with a wet head in a plastic cap for about an hour while you complete household chores. You might save on having to buy so much conditioner.

15 weeks Post relaxer update

It's been about 15 weeks since my last relaxer touchup in the front of my head. About 9 weeks post relaxer for the back. I have been enjoying the convenience of protective styling during the daytime and moisturizing each morning. As you can see, I still have good length and quite a bit of new growth. It looks like a mound of hair. Right? That's type 4c transitioning hair air dried.
I think that I want to reach six months post relaxer for the back before I relax again.

In this second picture, I am putting tension on my hair to showcase the root area. Hopefully, you can see the defined curl pattern. I am holding the same piece of hair in both picture.

Also, please excuse the craziness in the backdrop of the pictures. We are remodeling the salon, and some areas of the salon are still a work in progress.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Product Review: Sebastian Cellophanes color

Sebastian Cellophanes are a semi-permanent hair color. No mixing required. I have attempted to perform color baths with it, but it does not work well when cocktailed with a conditioner. The conditioner seems to dilute it.

However, it works well as a separate step. It does not save time, but it works!

Pictured is the Deep Brunette color. I love this color for gray coverage on the same visit as a relaxer service. There is NO red undertones. Also, it does not deposit excessively dark. I paint it on with a tint brush at the roots as to not disturb a client's highlights.

It should fade within a month when it will be time for another color service.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Another Avlon MoisturColor hair color Complaint

In some of my past articles, I have complained about Avlon's MoisturColor hair color. Well, here is another one!

Pictured is a very old, unopened tube of L'Oreal Majirel permanent hair color that I bought at a discount probably three to five years before I purchased this unopened tube of Avlon's Moisturcolor. Notice the corrosion on the new, unopened Moisturcolor tube?

So the L'Oreal haircolor probably had three years shelf life sitting in the store when I did buy it???? So I am guessing that the L'Oreal hair color is at least eight years old. You may be wondering does hair color expire? I don't know. If it is a sealed and unopened tube, then you could prepare for use and have a plan B for backup purposes in case when you open the tube it smells sour, looks dark, or looks separated. By the way, developer does get old. Fresh developer is important!

But let's get back to the original point that I was making. The Avlon MoisturColor tube is probably three to four years old max. In other words, the MoisturColor tube is half the age of the L'Oreal tube, but the Avlon MoisturColor haircolor seems to corrode within a year of its shelf life. It seems to be the highlift colors that seem the most volatile within the MoisturColor line. That is another reason that I stopped using their color line. The other reason was that the color darkened if left on past the 45 minute processing time. They really probably owe me for a few foil color services that went darker than I wanted. Nonetheless, they had been trying to fix their haircolor packaging for years because the tubes were leaking before the distributor could even sell them. I really did give up on them after a year or more. I just felt that Avlon had let me down.

Anyway, the proof is in the picture. The Avlon MoisturColor packaging will not hold up. In the trash, it goes.

Friday, March 23, 2012

CelluDri versus CelluCotton

CelluDri is a covered perm coil to be used with the permanent wave process to prevent chemicals from running into client's face. CelluCotton is just a beauty coil of cotton for multiple uses.
You can see the different in the reinforced CelluDri coil and the "cotton ball" one.
Pictured is a perm. Not a relaxer. But yes, a permanent wave. The word "perm" is often used in the European beauty industry for a curly hair process. Many African Americans call relaxer (straightening) services: a perm.

Perms can also mean "permanent" change. If a client has kinky curly hair, then a "perm" request more than likely means a relaxer service. Otherwise, anyone with straight hair and is desiring curly hair would get a perm. Reminder: Perms and relaxers are not compatible with each other.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

KeraCare Intensive Restorative Masque Growing Mold

I have to admit that I do not use this masque on a regular basis. Also, if the pump gets clogged then I take off the top and scoop what I need out of it.

However, I was surprised to see furry mold growning inside the jar the last time I opened it up. I have no idea which ingredient is the source of the mold, but I am definitely tossing this product in the trash.
As you can see the product/masque is not expired according to the three year rule.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Product Review: Summit Mend conditioner

I was excited to meet a retired beautician at my local nursing home (where I also work as a hairdresser). Why did she tell me that? I started asking all of these questions about "pressing and curling." She agreed with me that these pressing combs on the market right now are not as good of construction as the "old school" pressing combs. Thank God I still have my twenty year old ones. Please see my separate blog article on pressing combs.

She described how they use to deliver the most beautiful press and curls back in her day. I asked her so "which conditioner did you use?" (because I know that your final results are based on the results from the shampoo bowl.) All she remembered was the word "Men" and it looked like a relaxer jar. She remembered only one beauty supply that still carried it. I tell you I was googling "men conditioner" and could not get a hit on the right thing until I searched on "old school hair products." Then Voila! Within the pictures of products, the conditioner "MEND" came up. Oh my God, that is it! It has to be. She remembered the "Men" but not the "d" on the end of it. So once I knew what I was looking for, I narrowed my beauty supply store down to large, foreign owned stores who carried everything from Murrays Pomade to Ultra Sheen.

So yes, I found it! I was so excited that I decided to try it on my own hair. I have mostly relaxed hair, but I am about three months post relaxer. So my hair has two different needs. My relaxed ends did not absorb the Mend conditioner very well; however, my underprocessed hair and new growth seemed to like it well. I had to follow up with Bee Mine Beeloved moisture conditioner through my relaxed ends to balance them back out.

The Mend conditioner has a pleasant smell to have "animal protein" within its ingredient list. So for relaxed hair - this conditioner is probably a "no go." But for the naturally kinky head of hair, this conditioner will be a good start toward filling the hair with protein instantly without heat in preparation for the press and curl.

The product is very thick; it reminded me of a "Crisco based frosting." It needs to go on wet hair versus damp hair. Read the directions on the jar if all else fails. Smile.

So I have Kayvel Creme Press and Kayvel Curl Wave as well as the Mend conditioner plus the old beautician's instructions about how much product to use. I will be experimenting on my kinky head mannequin next, but by George, I think I got it!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hair color: Progressive versus Non-progressive oxidation processing

Yes! Color was calling me!!! I decided to experiment with this new color: DX3427. And yes, it's protective styling! "Wink" It is the same style as before: "B. Morning".

On a more serious note, I just took a Chi color class. They are advertising it as ammonia-free as well as ppd-free. Those who are allergic to hair color are usually allergic to the PPD's. Please see my separate article about hair color allergies.

Also, while in the class, it was mentioned that the Chi hair color is non-progressive as far as its oxidation process. This technically means that it will not turn the client's hair darker than desired if you leave it on the hair past the normal processing time.

You may ask why is that important? Well, if you are foiling a client's hair for dimensional coloring, then unless you are a speed foiler or have an assistant, then hair color can be on a client's hair for an extended period of time. Imagine the first foil that you place in comparison to the time lapse on the last foil that you place. Get the picture?

Okay. If the color is progressive versus non-progressive, then the first foil you put in may have lifted to the desired color and then it may have started to darken back up. So you will not end up with the desired color by the time that you rinse all the foils out.

Your multi-dimensional color service would be ruined. Yes. I have had this happen to me in the past, and I had no idea why. Through enough color classes like Igora10 and Chi, I learned about non-progressive oxidation versus progressive oxidation.

Color lines such as Avlon's Moisturcolor and Schwarzkopf Igora10 hair color will go dark if you keep it on the client's hair longer than the recommended timing.

Chi and Wella color lines are non-progressive and pretty true to color.

The Chi Color line also offers Infra Shampoo and Color Lock Treatment. The Infra Shampoo is great for shampooing the "bad stuff" out of the color process. The Color Lock Treatment is designed to avoid "creeping oxidation." If for some reason, haircolor residue gets left in the hair, it can gradually continue lightening or damaging the hair at a slow pace. (i.e. creeping oxidation)

I initially heard this term: "creeping oxidation" in a hair class taught by platform artist Belinda Baker. It was relevant to relaxer residue getting stuck in the hair due to insufficient rinsing time and shampooing. The Chi Color Lock treatment is designed to assist in neutralizing all alkaline chemicals.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Barber Highlight: Joe Barber of San Antonio

A barber carves Michael Jordan images into a client's haircut.

This type of artwork is not new. Barbers with exceptional artistic skills have been around for quite some time.

However, when artwork that a corporate professional can appreciate comes around, then barbering takes on a whole new global image.

The barber's name is Joe Barber out of San Antonio. (Texas?) I discovered this link on Yahoo! sports/news.

Congratulations Joe Barber! Great artwork! You should be able to retire quite nicely with the most recent global recognition! Great job!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Color Service: Golden Brown Color Highlights

Hair by Benita Blocker 2012. This client wanted golden brown highlights. We wanted to completely avoid any reds. We did it! Pizzazz with a professional finish!
I used two different brands of lighteners. The Moisturcolor Lightener by Avlon has a blue undertone. The Wella Blondor lightener had a pastel voilet undertone color. It may be harder to see in this picture, but they were distinctly blue versus purple in color. I really prefer the Wella Blondor lightener over the Moisturcolor. I believe that I get less brassiness with the Wella "purple" lightener.
I had to use Goldwell mild demi-permanent color to tone. We ran out of time to perform a "clear" color bath, but we did roller set the hair. This client has a type 3 curl pattern. Color service by Benita Blocker 2012.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Design Essentials fail to properly label their relaxer tubs

Back in October 2011 timeframe, I introduced the new and improved Design Essentials regular relaxer with shea butter and olive oil. Take a good look at the old packaging on the left and the new packaging on the right.
Recently, I purchased another full container of Design Essentials regular relaxer. I was floored. "No they didn't" just sell me a tub with old labeling and put a sticker with "New and Improved" on it? So let us check the ingredients.
As you can see, there is no Olive or Shea butter listed in the ingredients list. So Design Essentials used old packaging to put their new relaxer formula, but they did not bother to update the ingredients' portion.
Pictured is what the ingredients' label should be. This picture was taken of the tub with the new labeling. The ingredients may look a little blurry, but you can see "Olive Fruit" oil and Shea Butter listed. Design Essentials is a ethnic line sold nationally across the United States and probably abroad. Failure to update the ingredients label with an updated sticker to match the "new and improved" sticker is just outright unprofessional in my opinion. In addition, this relaxer has caused some shedding issues with a few Type 4 curl pattern clients. Type 3 curl patterns grow out and away from the scalp and seem to do well with this relaxer. So I am debating on discontinuing all Design Essentials relaxers for Type 4 curl patterns. I have been using the Design Essentials Stimulations conditioner to correct any shedding issues about a week or two after the relaxer touch-ups for the type 4 curl patterns. This issue has me concerned because the relaxer is quite tolerable (i.e. no burning.) However, no one wants any scalp damage. Type 4 new growth is very much concentrated and coiled at the scalp. With Design Essentials trying to "save money" on packaging, it makes you wonder how are the relaxer sales going with such a push for African American women to wear their natural hair?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hair Extensions: 24 inches Exotic Length

Hair by Benita Blocker. This model's hair is 15 inches long without hair extensions. We added 24 inches hair extensions to give her exotic length. She will wear these extensions styled to the front. Either all the length to one side or split the length equally on both sides. You can see how I layered her extensions to connect with her existing layers that framed her face. I purposely did not cut extreme layers in the back in case we decide to add more extensions. Having a solid back length will make it easier to drape the hair extensions over her shoulders for a more dramatic look in the front. It can also be worn in an updo in the back.
Hair by Benita Blocker. Ultratress II seamless hair extensions were cut and blended into her own long length. We only added a "half head" of extensions. We may add more later. Color matching was tricky with the vibrant reddish haircolor.
Model came in freshly shampooed, colored, and straightened ready for extensions to be added. You can see her thickness before extensions were added.
You can see her length before hair extensions were added.