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, May 26, 2014

2014 Hair Options for Working Out in the Gym

 Master Personal Trainer Nicole Chaplin mentioned two options for hair in her New Growth Hair magazine interview.  (May 2014 issue)  Those two options are 1) "Wash and go" styling or 2) (hair) extensions.

For those who do not have "wash and go" type of hair nor the budget for hair extensions, then I wanted to piggyback on Nicole Chaplin's suggestions.  A third option from my client feedback is the flat twists option.

I took these pictures from the Design Essential Natural Textures Styling Brochure.

Essentially, before any "intense workout," flat twist your relaxed hair. Two strand or Three strand twists both work fine.  As your hair gets wet from the workout, it wet sets the whole head.  Let it dry and then undo the twist set to achieve wavy hair.

My clients that participate in Bikram yoga, hot yoga, and other intense workouts have found the flat twists the best long-term styling option for active workouts.  The final wavy look can be twisted into an updo or a ponytail with a textured look.

In regards to Nicole Chaplin's extensions suggestion as a workout hair option, please remember that according to Chris Rock's Good Hair movie, some guys view hair extensions as high maintenance and limiting as far as riding in a convertible as well as participating in outdoor activities.  Therefore the flat twists may look a little masculine for workout purposes, but they deliver a very feminine finish.

My Baby Picture: A head full of hair!

I had my parents to bring my High School Senior yearbook into town.  My baby picture was posted in there along with other classmates.

I look adorable.  LOL! I had a teeny weany afro, and a head full of hair!  I also had a big forehead.  LOL! Some things never change.

I purposely covered my family member names from the photo ad to protect their privacy.  On a separate note, I think it is refreshing to reflect on what type of hair that we were born with.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Cosmoprof Carries Expired Paul Mitchell Relaxers

 Cosmoprof is a national beauty supplier to the professional licensed cosmetologists and other licensed beauty professionals.  They are the exclusive supplier for the Paul Mitchell relaxers in my territory.

I went to purchase a Paul Mitchell relaxer today, and I literally found that most of the relaxers were expired.  I learned a few months back how to read the Paul Mitchell batch codes.  I also had to return expired relaxer back to the store a few months back.  I have called the Cosmoprof toll-free number twice since then in order to get the Cosmoprof headquarters to eliminate expired chemicals from all of their stores.  I have not seen any progress.

I am hoping that no one else buys the expired Paul Mitchell relaxers. On a separate note, Paul Mitchell headquarters said that they discontinued making mild and super strengths, yet Cosmoprof still keeps the expired mild and super strengths stocked on their shelves.

I assume that the Cosmoprof warehouse keeps shipping expired products into its stores to replenish their ordering counts. I am still waiting to hear from Cosmoprof headquarters with an update on removing expired Paul Mitchell relaxers from all their stores and their warehouses.

Anyone purchasing the Paul Mitchell relaxers from Cosmoprof should call Paul Mitchell headquarters to confirm the freshness of the relaxer.  If the batch code starts with a "9" then it means the relaxer was manufactured in 2009 which makes it approaching five years old.  Our clients deserve fresh products!

Expired shampoo is one thing, but expired chemicals cause huge liability issues.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Hair Styling: Acheiving Memory plus Movement

Photo credit:

Do you know the difference between a good hairdresser and a great hairstylist?

A great hairstylist learns to deliver memory as well as movement in the hair.  Many good hairdressers can deliver movement in the hair, but as soon as a "good wind" hits the style or after a long day at work, the style is shot and short-lived.

So how does a good hairdresser become a great hairstylist? 

Add a styling spray, holding spray, hairspray, spritz or finishing spray before ironing the hair.  The sprays and spritz have different hold levels.  If you want the client to have maximum movement along with maximum memory, then you should be as generous as you want with the "right" hairspray. Determining the "right" hairspray may require some trial and error.

I have found the Paul Mitchell Extra Body hairsprays allow me to deliver hair that can be combed through, but stays in the style even after the wind blows through it.  The finish is very natural and humidity resistant.

I must admit that the other hairstylists from the charity event inspired me to move to the next level of finishing my own clients' hair.  I was so impressed with the hairstyles lasting for hours and hours without dropping. However, I was unimpressed with the usage of the ionic flat irons, but sometimes you have to take the good with the bad. Receive the message that is for you and let the rest go.

I have a feeling that the rest of this year is just going to be wonderfully blessed!  I envision a waiting list for every week.   It is hard to believe that something so simple as a "hairspray" making the style last without being stiff can be a six figure money maker.  I suppose it does make perfectly good sense that when people spend time and money then they want healthy hair and their style to last.  Well, I am excited about the remainder of 2014!  It's looking awesome!

One year 10 Months Lock-versary

As I look back at all of my pictures of my lock journey, one year definitely makes a difference!  I also remember when I was attending the Boston, MA Sisterlocks training that some of the Sisterlocks consultants shared with me that they partner with their clients.  Sometimes the client may be ready to give up on Sisterlocks, but the Sisterlocks consultant coaches the client on the long term goal of Sisterlocks.

I did not receive this coaching and support from any consultant nor Sisterlocks headquarters.  I salute all consultants that just want the best for their clients.  I ran into some money hungry hustlers and thank God for the ability to maintain my own hair when all else failed.

I am committed to my personal loc clients now and in the future.  If I do not think Sisterlocks or any other type of locking is a good fit for the client's lifestyle, then I am going to tell them.  Certain corporate settings have too much office politics in play to risk showcasing an alternative hairstyling that is in its starter stage.

As far my loc future,  I am thinking about highlighting my locs over the next year.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Longer Locs Compensate for thinner Density

 I could not decide which picture to start this article, but it made sense to start with the foundation and build.  So from the picture above, you see that I have some stray hairs that are "rolled up and parked."  You also see I have some minor scalp areas that have suffered from chemical damage.  I must also mention that I sleep on my center crown area, and historically, major stressors have thinned my crown area before.  Does any of this sound like your story?  Even if none of what I just mentioned sounds familiar to you, trust me that the back of my head looks normal and falls into a normal healthy range as far as scalps are concerned.  Of course, many hairstylists and locticians are biased to a much fuller head of hair with a looser curl pattern, but somehow, I think my particular natural hair texture actually give many of my clients a lot of relief because they feel that I can relate to their hair struggles.  Although, I do have plenty of clients that have looser curl patterns than mine, but  many women with looser textures of hair have sisters, cousins, daughters, and other relatives with hair like mine and they respect the fact that "kinky hair" does not define one's essence.

Some people may get stuck on the density of my hair.  I assure you that I have seen many people come in with a "thin looking" ponytail and by the time, their hair is shampooed and blowdried out, there are volumes after volumes of hair. So do not let my density fool you.   My bantu knots showcase my length.

I started my loc journey at a good time.  I do not have any large bald patches, and my length now works in my favor for curling and making my hair look fuller.

 As you can tell, below my crown area is "fierce and full."  Most people keep their fullness in this area as they age.

 My crown area is a little more scalpy, so finger twisting sometimes benefits me to allow a more full appearance.  The Interlocking technique can make thinner areas thinner looking if tightened too far down to the scalp.

I created a  faux pompadour using my curly length in the front.

I added a hair accessory to the back to enhance my partial updo look. Hopefully, those who were not sure if you had enough hair to get locs, will feel more comfortable about crossing over.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Bantu Knots: Loc Photo Shoot

I completely loosened up the Bantu Knot set for this final styling of my Partial Updo.

The Swoop

 Center part styling

 The Swoop from the other side with the Bantu knot set freshly let down.

 The results of the Bantu Knot set when it is freshly taken down.

I started the Bantu Knot set the night before with Lottabody setting lotion.

Hopefully, these different loc styles will inspire some of your own styling ideas.  I kept the aloe vera gel handy to dry twist some of my hairline and my parts for a neater appearance for my partial updo styling.  I am three days short of 1 year 10 months.  So far, I can tell you that tightening the roots and styling locs takes about the same amount of time.  So a full day with lunch is needed to do both in the same day yourself especially with drying time.  Who knew that locs can still be quite a bit of work?  Thank God that the daily maintenance is so low that one can not complain about the tightening nor the styling.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Response to Essence June 2014 Love Your Locs Article

Pictured is page 30 of the Essence magazine June 2014 edition.  The article was written by Nykia Spradley.  The natural hair expert used for this article content is Anu Prestonia.

Sisterlocks headquarters sent out an email on May 13, 2014 voicing their overall dissatisfaction with this article, and I understand why. Sisterlocks are trademarked.  They have their own rules.  Anyone buying into the true "Sisterlocks" brand would not be fooled by the article. However, there is some advice that does overlap into the Sisterlocks culture.  So allow me to give my detailed opinion on this article.

However, before I do so, let me state what Dr. Cornwell lead her email with "There is so much BAD information out there about Sisterlocks these days! This is mostly because it is so easy for people to use social media to promote themselves as experts, whether or not they have the skills, integrity and experience required to give good advice!"

First of all, not saying that Dr. Cornwell was referring to me, but I remind you that
1) I am a licensed cosmetologist in three states:  California, Georgia, and North Carolina.
2) I am a Sisterlocks registered trainee who has completed 12 days of Sisterlocks training with two different Sisterlocks instructors.
3) I am a Loctician as well as a hairstylist.
4) My own hair is Sisterlocked and is maintained by two different locking methods.  So I am a loc wearer.
5) I have plenty of receipts reflecting my "Sisterlocks investments" as well as a few open wounds left in my spirit.
6) I am a full-time hair professional. My life is devoted to hair services.

Now, regarding the article, I will tackle the "5 Ways to Keep Locs Tight."

Before I start, I commend the article for spelling "locs" without a "k."  Dreadlocks have come a long way as far as corporate professionalism is concerned.  "Locs" is now a name that you can be proud of.

So Recommendation #1 states cleanses correctly. Since washing loosens dreads, shampoo every four to six weeks.  Use a clarifying shampoo to remove product buildup.

MY RESPONSE:  If you have locs that are coiled or rolled or twisted, then I totally agree with Anu Prestonia's advice.  However, if your locs are interlocked, then water has minimal effect on loosening.  You can wash, swim, or get your locs wet as often as you like without fear of them unravelling.  If your locs are not settled in, then bundling is necessary no matter what type of locs you start off with. Sisterlocks are a trademarked interlocked look.

Recommendation #2 states Refresh roots. Maintain a clean scalp and a fresh smell with a dry shampoo in between water cleanses.

MY RESPONSE: Dry shampoo can cause a buildup problem in locs that are interlocked.  Otherwise, I agree with Anu Prestonia's advice.  The dry shampoo may give an illusion of thicker and more voluminous roots as well.  However, I caution that all dry shampoos are not the same, and the results will vary based on the natural oils that each individual naturally produces. I personally do not push the dry shampoo for loc wearers, but for a small percentage of loc wearers, it may work perfectly.

Recommendation #3 states Pack in moisture.  Locs tend to get dry and brittle.  A hydrating conditioner or hair oil will keep them soft and prevent breakage.

MY RESPONSE:  Again, this recommendation does NOT apply to every loc wearer.  Some people's scalp produce natural oils and their hair texture is never really dry and brittle. Conditioner may only be needed if they start permanent haircoloring their locs.  However, for those loc wearers who naturally have more dry and resistant hair, conditioners, leave-in conditioners, and hair oil may be required.  Not necessarily all three at one time.  Every loc wearer has to be careful of product buildup and by all means pay attention to your locs softness and hydration levels.  Different seasons, medications, and city weather for frequent travellers can affect your locs.

Recommendation #4 states Add sheen. Dreads naturally have a matte finish. For glossy and healthy-looking hair, use a shine spray.

MY RESPONSE:  Overall, I disagree with this recommendation.  If the hair looks dull, it is probably because of one of the following:
1) product buildup,
2) dust from the environment attaching to the existing oils in the locs, 
3) the locs are in need of hydration, 
4) the locs have been damaged by permanent haircolor and need reconditioning, or
5) the locs need to be clarified free of chlorine or any other surfactants.

However, if you have an upscale event to attend, and you need a quick "shine" fix - shine spray as much as you want to cosmetically give you the healthy look that you want for that day.  I do advise that the shine spray may attract even more pollutants from the air which increases the product buildup and the dullness.  Without clarifying the hair, product buildup will continue to occur.  Shine spray may start a vicious cycle of environmental buildup.  Just pay attention to your hair needs.  Locs are still hair so if you don't attend to their needs, then they will break off.

Finally, Recommendation #5 states Go softer and shorter.  The weight of longer locs can thin the hair at the scalp.  Cut the length and experiment with less structured styles.

MY RESPONSE:  I totally agree with Anu Prestonia.  If you see something is not working for your locs, then recommendation #5 maybe be your final answer.  Everyone's loc journey will vary.  Be open to change.

In conclusion, those who start out with braidlocs should know that product can build up in the braid even though it may not be formally interlocked.  Also, Dr. Cornwell, Sisterlocks founder, did respond to these five recommendations as well.  Please visit for her response.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Focus on Individual Loc Personality

I am hoping to wash, finger twist, and perm rod my locs for my official one year and ten months Loc-versary.  I haven't had it tightened lately.  I am hand locking looser locs as I find them.  I am still not sure if the interlocking method is the best method for extremely resistant hair.  A rule of thumb for me is if the depth of the loc base is significantly smaller than the parting size, then twist the surrounding stray hair around the loc versus interlocking.  So treating each loc individually according to its curl pattern and its curl behavior will continue to be my focus. I call it -"working with the loc personality."

May 2014

May 2014

A CurveBall: The Secret Was Not in the Juice!

photo credit from

Many people feel that the Jheri Curl "juice" was the secret to longer, fuller hair.  They felt that the moisture was the key.  Now, let's throw a curveball into that thought process:

Access to Air
1) As mentioned in my previous blog article, "access to air" promotes hair growth.  The "jheri curl" allowed plenty of access to air because the haircut was the style.  Ponytails were not necessary.  The "jheri curl" was "wash and go" styling.  Of course, curl activator and other leave-in moisturizers were necessary, but there were never any bad hair days.  Some may argue that the whole "Jheri curl" movement was a "bad era." Regardless, outside of the fact that some people started sleeping in plastic caps which denied air to the scalp, the "Jheri curl" was  hair freedom.

Less Tension/ Less Manipulation
2) Again, most "jheri curl" wearers did not put a lot of tension on the hair.  It had a wet finish.  So the shine and the style was built in without ponytail holders.

More Hydration
3) The daily moisturizing of the "Jheri curl" helped to prevent breakage from the double processing that the chemical service entails.  Remember the natural curl of the hair had to be "thio-relaxed" first then a looser curl had to be formed and neutralized into place.  The curl activators and moisturizers kept the damaged hair conditioned and masked.

Less Heat
4) No hot tools were necessary with the "Jheri curl."  Damaged or porous hair dries faster than healthier hair.  So the curl activators sealed the hydration in the hair.

As I searched on the Internet for extra long "Jheri curl" hair, I found mostly wigs, weaves, etc.  I also found a good amount of men with length on their "Jheri curl."  However, I could not find that many women who had exceptionally long, beautiful, and real "Jheri curls."  

Was it just our imagination that the soft curls and "Jheri curls" were helping our hair gain length?

I missed the "Jheri Curl" trend.  My mom did not like the "loc" styling nor the "Jheri curl" styling.  Oh well, I am grateful that my mom was consistent in her styling restrictions.

I only know of one person who got a beautiful s-wave pattern from the Wave Nouveau process.  Her hair grew extremely long and beautiful with the  Wave Nouveau.  She wears her natural hair now, and it is gorgeous without any chemicals.

So the secret was not in the "Jheri Juice" - it was probably in the "lower maintenance" care of the hair as well as the airflow to the scalp.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Access to Air Promotes Hair Growth

I don't know about you, but this sleep cap with the holes in it is what I grew up wearing at night.  The emphasis is on the air flow to the scalp.

Now, consider the fact that we always envy women who can go to bed without "tying" their hair up.  They get maximum air flow to their scalp.

To further support my conclusion that the scalp's access to air flow promotes hair growth - I have a client who started with me seven years ago who had a "baldness pattern" where she had a little afro in the back of her head, but  no hair in the front.  Over the years, we kept her in wigs for corporate job purposes.  What we found was that the wigs that allowed more air flow seemed to promote more hair growth as far as thickening was concerned.  The healthy hair in the back seemed to spawn additional hair to continue growing from the back to the front.  So within six years, she actually had enough hair to braid cornrows from the front to the back of her head.  This was a huge accomplishment.  Now, that it is seven years later, she is comfortable wearing a baseball cap and showcasing her long cornrows in the back in her downtime. Her hair had finally grown enough to help her feel normal enough to go in public without a wig. This was a huge milestone.  I was so happy that she was happy.  There are still some areas of her scalp that are "smoothed over" and  shiny and will probably never grow another hair, but to look in the mirror and to see hair all over her head brought her joy.  I was proud that I made this journey with her.

So what is my message to everyone:  If your headscarf that you sleep in does not allow airflow, then you may be causing your hair to thin.

Think about it, have you ever let down a sweaty ponytail that had been in that ponytail for three days or even a whole week?  The scalp sometimes smells rancid right?  The sweat which is moisture, the thickness of the ponytail can compact heat, and we are always shedding cells which is "food" for bacteria growth.

So just like sweaty feet and any other sweaty body part that does not get enough air flow - bacteria or fungus can grow or suffocate the scalp and hair follicles without proper airflow.

Consider a real silk scarf which are usually dry clean only care or a sleep cap that allows airflow through it.  Those satin polyester scarves and bonnets do not allow air through them if there are no holes in them.

I even had to discontinue wearing my extra wide headband at night because my scalp area that I slept on seemed to feel a little sticky.  After a few days of sleeping free of any headwraps of any sort, my scalp felt more normal and healthier.  No stickiness and more volume.

For those who need to save their hairstyles at night, use several roller pins to anchor your style down and sleep on a satin pillow cover.

Let's try to give all the headwraps a rest!  You should be able to see a difference in one week.  If not, at least within two weeks, you should see and feel a difference.  Keep me posted.

Update:  I just purchased this "slumber cap" from RiteAid Drugstore for $3.79 USD plus tax.  It is ConAir brand.  So yes, these sleep or slumber caps still are being made.  Yay!!! They came in pink, white, and blue colors.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Adam Levine: The Platinum Blonde Bomb

photo credit:

Adam Levine of Maroon 5  and the "Voice" television show debuted platinum blonde hair last week.  My first thought was "what the h*ll?"  The hair looked like one solid platinum blonde color.  I hated it.  It aged him.  The platinum blonde reminded me of a full head of gray hair.

I am happy that his roots were starting to grow back brunette this week. As to why Adam went blonde, I was hoping that he colored it for a movie role, but apparently, he was just bored and wanted something different.  Okay . . . Adam.

 And to top that, he was still bored when he had animal manure dumped on Blake Shelton's truck as revenge for tweeting Adam's cell phone number.  At least, this was the latest news buzzing on social media about Adam Levine.  

Maybe the blonde color did affect Adam's brain.  Dumping manure on a car live on camera is vandalism to me.  Anyway, back to the haircolor,  Adam should have went with "shoeshine" highlights versus a full haircolor overhaul.

A platinum blonde wig could have been beneficial to determine whether his skin color would support platinum blonde.

The only positive thing that I can say about Adam Levine's blonde hair is that I love the shine on the platinum blonde.  His hair seemed to have been lifted in a very healthy manner from brunette to platinum blonde.

I am looking forward to his blonde hair growing out and his brunette hair coming in!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Haircutting: Real Hair Terms

I completed quite a few haircuts so far this week, and  it was refreshing to know that people do expect their hair to grow.  People do want to keep their hair styled.  All people are not trying to hang on to every eighth of an inch.  Some people want a half inch or more cut off periodically to keep their ends blunt and healthy looking.

Haircut Terminology
I always say if you can see the hair on the floor, then it is a haircut.  

If you can barely see anything on the floor, then I call it a "dusting."

If you want a haircut around the perimeter only or less than half inch all over, then I call it a shaping.

If you want an all over haircut but limit it to an inch or less, then I call it a trim.

I hope this terminology assists you in your communication with your hairstylist for your next haircutting service.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

My Horrible Hair Dream

I woke up in a panic attack recently.  I dreamed that I was a hair model for a hair show, and the platform artist cut all my locs off and gave me a relaxer.  I was numb in disbelief.  I was almost in tears.  My heart was racing.  Then finally, I felt my head and with a sigh of relief, my locs were still on my head. Whew!

Of course, I had to really take inventory of what was my source of anxiety.  Was it the relaxer?  or  Did I miss my locs?  Honestly, I think that my biggest panic was the thought of starting my locs over beginning with day one.

I honestly do not know how some people have said they are on their third and fourth set of locs. Oh no, not me.  I have weathered quite a storm.  No ma'am, No starting over for me so help me God.  I pray that I do not get sick and have to go through chemotheraphy.  I just do not know if I could start with day one ever again.

My loc journey was a rough one.  I finally see that the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter and closer.  I don't want to make this journey again.  It may be because I am single, and I did not come from a family where locs were an option.

I received an email from Sisterlocks headquarters today about the June 2014 Essence magazine article grouping Sisterlocks into the "dreadlock" category.  I will have to make sure that I pickup this Essence issue.

Dr. C apparently is not happy with the light that they put on Sisterlocks, but my panic attack was real, and it was associated with my Sisterlocks journey.  Sometimes we have to suck up the "Bad" with the "Good."  I have made peace with both.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Relaxers: Neutralizing Steps Explained

Folks, please use your head when it comes to neutralizing a relaxer.  Answer these questions.

1. When you base the scalp before applying the relaxer, what is that product made of?
2. What ingredients are in the relaxers that make them slick the hair down?

And the answers are: OIL.

Now, does oil and water mixed?   And the answer is NO.

So what would make you think that you can rinse all traces of the relaxer out of the hair without shampooing?  All of the oils will not rinse out without some heavy duty water pressure. Every salon does NOT have "fire hydrant" steady water pressure. So do not count on all traces of relaxer to rinse away without shampooing.

So with that said, disregard Affirm's recommendation to condition the hair before shampooing the hair.  This pre-conditioning has caused hair thinning in some clients.  Once they come to me, and I start shampooing before conditioning, then their hair begins to fill back in.

Of course, someone is thinking -"but Affirm says to condition while the cuticles are still open."

Listen.  What is the pH of water?  7.0  Right? 

As long as the hair is wet, trust me the conditioner will condition just fine right after shampooing three times.  Truth be told, the relaxers are so high on the pH scale that the cuticles will take about three days to calm down anyway.  The neutralizing process is designed to start to close the cuticle, but if you air dry, you will probably notice that the cuticles look frizzy because they don't actually close without some product help or some heat help - so ease your mind.  Shampoo all the bad stuff out before you condition.  Please.

And by all means, use the designated conditioner that goes with the relaxer system.  Too many people are adding too much extra protein during the relaxer process.  If your cuticles are open, then the hair shaft is going to absorb too much protein and prevent your cuticle from sealing back down.  This creates more frizz and more damage.

I have seen a lot of incorrect relaxing tips floating on forums and message boards. These tips were scary because the people giving them sounded like experts.  Be careful what you read when it comes to chemicals.

If my tips listed in this article does not make sense to you, then do not follow my tips, but do inform me if you have questions.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sulfate versus Sulfate-Free: When to Use Each?

Products with sulfates have been around for centuries; however, the sulfate-free trend has everyone running away from shampoos that have sulfates in them.  Please ease your mind.  There is a place in the beauty world for BOTH types of shampoos.

Shampoos with a Sulfate in them work best in the following cases:

1) Neutralizing a chemical relaxer - you want your neutralizing shampoo to have sulfates in it to wash out all the "bad stuff" from the hair.

2) Cleansing hair bleach, hair lightener, or color remover from the hair- you want a deep cleansing shampoo with sulfates to make sure the pigment that you just lifted up is washed away to keep it from going back into the hair.  Also, you want to wash out all the "bad stuff" from the hair as well.

3) The first cleansing after a permanent hair color application should be a shampoo with a sulfate in order to wash away any extra "bad stuff" that did not get rinsed out.  Only one lather of the shampoo with sulfate is necessary because you want to avoid stripping the haircolor that you just put in.  The color sealant and other sulfate-free shampoos can used for the second and third lathers after the permanent haircolor service.

4) Deep cleansing the hair in preparation for a demi-permanent or semi-permanent haircolor with a wet application should be done with a shampoo with sulfates to make sure that their is no product buildup on the hair that would prevent the low-strength haircolor from adhering to the hair.

5) Deep cleansing hair with a lot of oil, grease, and layers of products should be done with shampoos with sulfates until the hair feels free of the excessive slickness.  Some finer hair that gets oily quickly should also be cleansed with a shampoo with sulfates to prevent the fine hair from being heavy and limp.

6) Most Keratin treatments or Smoothing Treatments require a shampoo with sulfate in it to prepare the hair to accept the keratin solution.

When to use Sulfate-Free Shampoo?
1) If you are not receiving a chemical service, then sulfate-free shampoo should be the best way to go!

2) If your natural hair does not feel too heavy from product build-up then stick with sulfate-free shampoos until your hair starts to look dull.  When the hair begins to look dull, then clarify it with a sulfate shampoo.

3) If you are trying to maintain your haircolor to keep your gray hairs "undercover," then yes, please stick with sulfate-free shampoo to keep the color from fading too quickly.

4) If your hair feels a little dry and brittle, then stick with sulfate-free shampoo to moisturize the hair while cleansing it.

Okay.  Simple enough rules- right?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

That One Outstanding Loc

Yes! I have heard others talk about that one loc that seems to reach past leaps and bounds in length.  It is the loc in the lowest part of my nape on my right side.  It never seems to curl nor shrink nor bunch up.  It just stays straight and to itself.  It is only one loc, but everyone seems to notice it because it is always hanging significantly lower that the rest of my locs.

I am getting more and more compliments, and I am not at my next loc milestone.  I have not gotten it Sisterlocked again but I have fingertwisted the edges with Aloe Vera Gel while it is dry.  The gel is wet enough to manipulate the loc.

My left side bunches more.  My entire left side of my head have larger locs from front to back.  The alternative was to start over, and I have no intention of ever starting with a big chop ever again.  So my locs are what they are.  I am working with what I got!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Honorable Mention Photo: Plait-Mania

This picture was a Facebook share from Obvious Magazine.  The plaits are interwoven into each other in a very intricate design.  I love the hair artistry.  I do not know if one person or many people completed these looks but it takes the naturalista to a new height in creativity.  I am not sure how the mainstream public feels about it, but the designs are gorgeous to look at!

KeraCare Sulfate-Free Hydrating Detangling Shampoo

The Sulfate-free version of the KeraCare Hydrating Detangling Shampoo came out years ago, but many stylists preferred the "Classic" version for wet set services. The ingredients in the sulfate-free version of the hydrating detangling shampoo are healthier than the "classic" version.  Also, the pH value of 6.0 helps to elevate the cuticle and loosen up dirt.

I started using this shampoo as my first lather with almost every client over the last few weeks, and I really am seeing incredible shine and less frizz even when they come in for their next appointment.  It may be the wheat protein that is in the product is strengthening the hair without extra heat.

I am not sure why this shampoo seems to make a difference in my non-chemical hair services, but I definitely found a new favorite.  Natural or relaxed hair should feel at ease with at least one lather from this shampoo.