Posts tagged ‘Jane Carter Revitalizing Leave-in Conditioner’

December 14, 2009

Taking Chances

I’m nervous about it, but …no Process this week. Nothing to do with time or energy, the hairz just kept on working well past the Sunday mark…and I refused to fight it. This morning had a doctor’s appointment and had no worries when it came to styling.  I’d been using the baggy method over the course of the week, and hair remained relatively moisturized and defined. Mid-week, sprayed a bit of Jane Carter’s Revitalizing Spray to combat the cold/dry air we’ve been having here on the East Coast and and honestly have no complaints…hair or scalp wise.

A bit hesitant to prolong anything beyond the usual  7-day mark, while all does still look good and non-itchy, inevitably I’ll have to fit the time in later this week to do a quick wash.  Not sure how this is all going to go down amidst holiday parties, shopping for friends and families & the general hustle/bustle style of the holidays…but it will get done.

With not much to update on this week, I thought it a good opportunity to answer a question posted by a reader last week:

I’m transitioning from locs to natural hair, I’ve had locs for nearly 9 years and so I’m naturally out of sync when it comes to hair regime and products for natural loose hair. Is it possible for you to to give me product, herb, oil and hair regime recommendations?



Mmm….did I ever mention anywhere on here that I had locs? I’m almost certain of it, though it’s not a period of my natural hair journey I choose to talk about in depth. In hindsight, while I was still natural wearing locs, I do feel the hair was in it’s resting phase, taking a break from other elements in life. I’d just transferred to a new school, full time student working full time work hours day to day…I had no, zilch, NADDA time to style the bouffant before classes in the a.m. and work after 4.  My locs weren’t in nearly as long as 9 years, but I grew to love & appreciate them from their first latch to every inch of growth subsequently gained while they were in.

If you’re a locked natural, perhaps you’ll understand this. Reasons for deciding to venture into loc-dom vary in considerable amounts, & visa vi…the decision to end the relationship with locs differ and range in significance ways. I made the decision to cut my locs because I found myself constantly looking in the mirror and longing for a new face, a new way to wear my hair once I walked across the stage to accept my diploma. Plain & simple. When I graduated college, I was sporting a short cut administered by my brother’s barber.  Because it felt right, and the time was right, I went for it. No regrets.

Okay, that’s the better half of the story. While I didn’t transition from locs to loose hair, I was still in la la land as far as how to style my hair, & what to put in it. I know of women who’ve chosen to unravel their locs, and while it is a tedious process, the rewards are a full head of head.

Things I did notice after the locs were cut, was a significant difference in hair texture. The best way to describe it would be to say that my natural texture had grown a bit looser.  Texture change in hair is not uncommon whether you’ve worn locs for 15 rs or loose hair for 5. A change in hormones could be a factor or another range of undetermined factors. Full Disclosure: I was experiencing a slight change in hormones i.e., I’d developed scalp conditions, all over winter itch, and hairs were sprouting up where they normally had no business occupying.

With a change in hair texture, I soon realized it was an entirely new ball game, as far as finding products best suited to moisturize and style the hair.  And while general hair advice is relative to….a multitude of factors, here’s the advice I would have given to my lost self many moons ago:

  • Keep it Simple:  Biggest past mistake was pressing the panic button each morning, looking in the mirror not recognizing what was now growing out of my scalp.  Gut reaction was to rush out and fill my bathroom cabinet with anything in the conditioner/moisturizing category.  Sooner than you could blink an eye, I had  tried everything Garneir Fructis put out, all the mousses from different brands, gels, pomades, waxes, puddings, milks, butters, lotions, serums, smoothies. It was a lot of crazy for no cool reason. Advice to former self: Keep it Simple, start off small. Hair needs time to adjust to it’s natural environment, and combating what it needs with what it inherently doesn’t pulls you in two steps back rather than forward.
  • Access the damage: By this I mean, pay attention to scraggly ends and the overall structure/shape of the hair. If you’re planning on un-doing the locs, beginning to wear the hair loose can pose a bit of a challenge if the overall structure is out of whack.  My first few trims after loc-dom was done by a professional because, while clueless was no longer my middle name, it’d become my first. A smart cut helps in overall hair health, styling the hair, but also in retaining length while detangling during a wash
  • Shoulda/Woulda Products: I have to say, I’m not sure how my sense of direction went so crazy after cutting my locs, but establishing a routine was never a top priority. That was mistake numero 1. Developing a routine right out of the gate is a sure sign to your hair that you are in compliance and are willing to stick to what works & not what’s popular. Recommendations are great, product reviews are often times invaluable if you’re not yet ready to commit to a full jar of a pricey pudding, but finding what naturally works for your hair should come first, while implementing the product du jour…a tad later. It’s primarily about re-adusting, and finding the right hair regime  takes time, patience & researching what your hair texture needs. All this is relative to climate temps, tools used to style & technique.

The BEST product used for hair after loc-dom & for any natural loosed hair lady is what once used to be an enemy, and that’s conditioner. My biggest splurges after cutting off the locs were on conditioner, spending up to 20 bucks for a jar of promised goodness.  Carol’s Daughter was once my condish of choice, namely the Tui Conditioner, but other brands such as Aubrey Organics, Pantene Relaxed & Natural( their Breakage Defense Mask is highly recommended, affordable & works well!),  Herbal Essences.  These products get a lot of word play throughout the natural hair community mostly because they work for the majority. Most have softening properties, i.e. coconut oil/cream, jojoba oil,  & surfectants that opt you out of using an overly harsh shampoo to cleanse. As an alternative to shampooing with a harsh sulfate shampoo, co-washing is often preferred amongst naturals because of it’s more gentler approach to cleansing while also conditioning. Unless you suffer from scalp irritations and need the frequency of washing with a regular shampoo, co-washing is a positive starting point.

Coming from personal experience and spending oodless of $$ on products ranging from the low end to high end, there is no definitive product, or oil. There is finding a good plan/regime, learning patience & sticking with what works. Mane & Chic put together an amazingly comprehensive guide to transitioning that’s helpful for all naturals new and old.  A few other great resources are Nappturality.com & Black Girl With Long Hair & my personal fav, YouTube!  All offer great tips, tutorials & advice that hardly ever seem overwhelming just simply informative.

Hope this helps, & wish you all the best on your continued journey! If anyone has any follow up questions, you can reach me at backtocurly@gmail.com

October 20, 2009

Protective Stylin, Yo!

curlI think I’ve finally hit a milestone in my hair this week! Unexpected, but very much welcomed. I’ve been fighting an impending cold over the past few days, took the day off from work just yesterday, and could not muster up the strength to dip my head in water. So while Sunday flew by, & Monday made its appearance, I played it cool and simple by re-twisting my hair last night using a light moisturizing spray.

Last week Thursday, took down the protective twist style, unraveled without separating too much and just let the hair be, probably the best thing I could’ve done. Sunday all day wore my hair up in a pony and tied down, essentially going for the ‘I’m sick don’t care,’ look. Worked great! Monday night found me really with no choice but to re-twist my hair, while I spritzed a bit of Jane Carter’s Revitalizing Leave-In.

That was it! From the time I had my hair up in twists to the takedown, the only moisturizer of choice was surprisingly the Jane Carter spray. My hair was still shinny and relatively frizz free. My biggest concern with skipping my wash day was my scalp. I need that puppy to be prime and cleaned each week to ward off a case of the itchies, but a dab of Afroveda’s Shikakai Oil on the scalp before heading to bed seemed to do the trick. Before donning the bonnet, I did cover the twists with a conditioning cap to seal in the moisture…similar to the baggy method, yet my hair was fully dry.

This morning, I kid not…I walked out the door with what resembled first day hair! Frizz-free, moisturized and shiny from root to tip. I do feel a bit leery about not washing/styling this week, almost as if I’m getting away with something…Yet the results after last week’s hot oil treatment was probably the best thing I could’ve done to kickstart my winter hair routine. It’s been more than a year since I’ve gone longer than 7 or 8 days in between washes, and today marks the 10th day! I’d call it a milestone because I’d long given up on going this long due to my scalp problems.

I won’t lie, my scalp irritations do still exist, but I do believe a happy medium has been found in choosing the right shampoos to cleanse the scalp, the right routine to help eliminate unwanted buildup, and just because I think it’s important to mention…what goes in the body as well. I’ve been carefully monitoring what I eat over the past few months and also hammering down my stress levels…all past contributors to flare ups in/around my scalp.

Essentially though I’m excited! Protective styling is the bizness, and I certainly plan on continuing well into the winter months. Why mess with what works?!

October 12, 2009

Fly Inspiration

curlAnyone make it to a GOOD HAIR screening this weekend? The buzz so far aims in the more positive directions, which I think is a great thing! Positivity all around is a good thing;-).  I’m a late bird, so I’m off to see it tonight with a friend after work.  Brief review and thoughts TBD tomorrow!  I’ll be taking mental notes while munching on some snacks and surveying the crowd of peeps to see the general consensus of those in attendance.  Anyone who’s willing to shell out $12 (!!!) to see women/men talk and ramble about hair for an hour and a half are …in my short book, special people!

I really did want to show up to the theatre with my hair praising all things natural and wow! But the inkling I had that the weather might take a nasty windy turn was right on point.  Quest # 1 of my protective style began this past Saturday, and triplemoisturecommenced as usual with a pre-poo ( Aubrey Organics Island Naturals Condish diluted in some H2O).  I’m still determined to find a relatively good sulfate-free shampoo that will not strip my hair like my previous try with J/A/S/O/N/’s aloe Shampoo.  The road was scary especially after last week’s dry fest, but I sank back into my earlier PJ stash and found an oldie yet goodie in Neutrogena’s Triple Moisture Dry Scalp Remedy Shampoo.   At a relatively good price of about $6.99 to $9.00, it’s more than an effective poo at fully cleansing the scalp without leaving hair stripped.  What I used to find especially pleasing is after shampooing, my hair actually felt a bit more moisturized (++)!!  The Shampoo does have active ingredients ( Pyrithione Zinc (0.5%) (Purpose: anti-dandruff), that are meant to alleviate scalp irritations, and a mild  surfactant sulfate (Sodium Trideceth Sulfate),  yet because it has never stripped my hair, it’s a definite keeper for now. 

DC this week was a first for me, and also a new found love!! I’d never done a Hot Oil treatment until this past weekend, and I cannot believe what my hair has been missing out on!  I think too much of the time we hear about traditional DC’s packed with our favorites (shea butter, coconut cream, etc.) that we pardon the idea of treating our hair to an oil treatment much too quickly.  To be honest, it was on a whim that I decided to try it, time on my hands as well…but I used some Hairveda CoCasta Oil along with Oyin Handmade’s Blended Body Oil.  That’s right….BODY OIL!  I had a full bottle since the beginning of the Summer, only using a dollop here and there….but the ingredients where just too good for me not to use.

Descrip from site:

AfterBath is a blended vegetable oil mix rich in Vitamins E, D, B1 and B2. Some of its ingredients include olive, virgin coconut, jojoba, avocado, sweet almond, wheat germ, rice bran, and black seed oils. It glides on smoothly, making it ideal as a massage oil; penetrates deeply, making it a lovely body oil.

As with most of the Oyin goodies, it’s multipurpose and lovely smelling! I was able to safely and effectively detangle my hair with the oil saturated in, sit under a plastic cap with heat for two hours, fully rinsed (lightly co-washed) and was just the most giddy person looking at the shine and moisture BACK in my hair! Mission Accomplished!! Hot Oil Treatments are simply…THE BEST! Frankly, a tad messy, but heck anything with practice gets better right? That’s the track I’ve set for myself…a once a month Hot Oil treatment with an oil goody of my choice and my hair will soak in the rewards.  As of now (Monday, did my hair Saturday night), my hair is rocking the Black Cedar Fig aroma of the Oyin Bath Oil.  It’s a warm lovely, inviting smell perfectly suited for the current weather.  Me loves!

So beyond the Oil treatment, for styling I opted for simplicity, going with a light leave in, Jane Carter”s Revitalizing Spray & to style the reliable Darcy’s Botanicals Madagascar Styling Creme.  The point was NOT to have my hair appear one gleepy globby mess of oil, and the Jane Carter leave-in stepped up to the plate.

Ingredients:

Purified Water, Extracts of Aloe Vera, Comfrey, Watercress, Myrrh, Panthenol, Essential Oils, Anthemis Noblis Flower, Symphytum OfficinalLeaf, Equisetum Arvense, Urtica Dioica (Nettle), Rosemarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Lawsonia Inermis (Henna), Butoxyethenol, Polyquarternium11, Soyamid DEA, PPG30, Cetyl Ether, Oleth-3 Phosphate, Hydantoin, Glyceryl caprylate, methylisothiazolinone (preservative)

I’d like to say it’s more of a setting lotion than a leave-in…? Yep, going to say just that because while it does hydrate, it fails to aid me in detangling my coarse hair.  I’ve tried with a large toothed comb before, and there just was no give.  If your hair is sufficiently conditioned (DC’d), and you’re able to run a comb through it without any resistance, treat yourself to this spray because it’s effective in acting as a humectant (Panthenol is high on the list), and it doesn’t weigh the hair down if you’re prone to using a heavy styling butter/creme.

Protective Styling. I’m new to this game, let me just say that.  I’ve never fully committed to a hair challenge or style in the past, and honestly never thought to until this past week.

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October 6, 2009

Much To Do of Nothing

curl

Alright, so I can’t lie.  I’ve been procrastinating summing up this week’s process because Monday morning left me with a bitter taste in my  mouth.  I will backtrack in summary:CQCustard

  • Prepoo: V05 Moisture Milks Conditioner
  • Poo: J/A/S/O/N Vitamin E with A & C Shampoo
  • DC:  Millcreek Botanicals Aloe Vera Conditioner (added Babassu Oil, Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E oil, Tea Tree Oil, Honey)
  • Style: Leave-In/KBB Hair Milk & Curls Curly Q Custard

 

So, that was the gist of the process this past week.  Finished at a decent hour…2ish in the p.m., and went out to air dry my twists. I have to say though…before heading to bed Sunday night I had a sneaking suspicion something was amiss with my routine this week.  It was just a hunch, so before going to bed I added a bit of castor oil and Oyin Handmade Whipped Pudding. A LOT of product to add to hair on first day, but to actually see my hair is to know of the predicament that awaited me in the morning…and oohhhh was it….interesting.

Okay, so there was frizz…not really unusual…a slight bit of stiffness from the Curly Q Custard…fine.  But my ‘bad hair day’ undoubtedly consisted of the driest, most brittle hair I’ve yet to experience this year.  I kid not…I dared not initiate any HIFS for fear of breaking off any strands.  The front edges of my hair were so dry and brittle to the touch I began strategizing a way to salvage the do while at work.

Once reaching home, I headed to the bathroom armed with three things:

  • Jane Carter’s Revitalizing Leave-In
  • Curls by Sisters Smith Wet Set Pudding
  • Oyin Handmade Whipped Pudding

janecarterSprayed the dry nest with the Revitalizing Leave-in, emulsified the wet set pudding in the palm of hands along with a dab of Oyin’s Pudding and applied to hair.  I retwisted the entire  head of hair, and hoped for the best in the morning.  This morning I breathed a hefty sigh of relief and found my hair fairly moisturized all the way down to the ends. I aim to remoisturize and re-twist into larger twists tomorrow evening for the start of Thursday. 

Theories:

My choice of Shampoo this week was probably the biggest mistake? It contains NO sulfates which drew me in, yet as I was washing my hair after pre-pooing, I knew I wouldn’t be using it in the near future.

Styler this week, a new product I tried from the Curls line, the Curly Q Custard.  Formulated for coarse curls, this curl cream provided VERY little hold and added virtually no moisture to my hair.

Okay, another factor, which is probably the most annoying factor because of it’s inevitable nature…is the weather.  Cold temps have crippled my hair with dryness over the past few weeks.  Is anyone else experiencing an excess in dryness these past few days? I doubt it’s just me, even before getting to the train for work, the winds are WHACKING my twists back and forth…it’s not hat season yet is it? Protective Styling just might be in my future….

 

Et fin!