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.

Total Pageviews

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!