Monday, 15 October 2007

Hair & Colour

Are you a commitment phobe? Well, then maybe temporary colours are better for you they wash out in about 12 washes (generally) and are usually the kindest to your hair.

If you want a drastic hair change I generally believe you should test it out first with pieces of extensions to see if you like the new you if not it's a few hours reversal with no damage to your precious locks :o).

There are various colouring options for those that want a change or just to cover up greys. There are the temporary colours, semi-permanent, and permanent colours. The difference essentially is the effect they have on the hair shaft which would indicate colour intensity. For example if you have dark brown hair using a rinse that's gold/ blond will not change your hair colour unless it contains a lifting agent like peroxide.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Product Review for Aussie Miracle Moist Conditioner: Curly Hair Alert!

Ok being the PJ (product junkie) that I am I bought a bottle of this for about £3.99 at Boots.

What it says: For hair that's dry/ damaged / a bit unhappy
Our unique formula, with Australian Queensland Macadamia Nut extract, rehydrates your hair leaving it strong and healthy looking. Bad hair days will be a dark, distant memory, and not answering the door because you haven't done your hair will be a thing of the past.

Native to the land down under the Australian Queensland Macadamia Nut is rich in oils and has been used in Australia for centuries. But it is thanks to an intrepid 19th century explorer that the rest of the world was let in on the secret. What a guy.

Directions: For best results, we suggest starting with the Aussie Miracle Moist Shampoo before moving swiftly on to this fabulous conditioner. Rinse out with water.


What I did: I rinsed my hair with dilute ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar), I then applied the Aussie Miracle Moist Conditioner to my hair and worked through, now I have on a full head curly weave (extension hair type 3b/c) my own hair felt moisturised but nothing compared to the aftereffects of my Aveda DR conditioner, however the extension hair was amazing! The curls were so well defined, and air dried with hardly ANY frizz! I have not been able to keep my hand out of it and the curls looks sooo bouncy and fresh, when I 've got my hair out I will try this on a wash n go.

2nd Opinion: I have a friend staying with me, she's about 4a/ mostly4b and about 5-6 weeks post relaxer. She put this on after shampoo-ing left it on with a shower cap for half hour and rinsed out, she says it gave her good slip. She combed through her new growth easily and usually would be itching to relax now but her hair looks good and is easy to manage so she will be stretching her relaxer a couple more weeks using the Aussie Moist Conditioiner.

The ingredients are good, it's not high end so I think its a good balance especially if you are curly for the price!

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Protective Styling...

Well when trying to grow long hair, you have to treat your hair like silk. Except in extreme cases, your hair will grow regardless of its condition (dry, breaking etc) its "retaining" the length that's important. You know how when you have nail polish on your nails your hair seems to grow longer? Well its the same principle, the polish acts like an extra layer against wear and tear,especially the ends which are older, usually weaker and more likely to break. Protecting your ends helps- a lot! There are various ways to style your hair while protecting those ends.

Up-dos, Buns, Phony ponies:
When your hair gets to a certain length (neck-shoulder length) it brushes against clothing, scarves etc and this friction leads to breakage. Keeping your hair up keeps your fragile ends out of harms way. You can put your hair up in a variety including using phony ponies to create curly ponies, straight ponies etc has a wide range of styles. Make sure the pony/bun is NOT tight constant pulling may cause your hairline to thin. Also if using pins make sure the tips are coated so they don't catch on your hair. Do NOT use rubberbands on your hair as they will cause breakage. Use ouchless bands (those without the metal).

When you have your hair in extensions you should try as much as you can to treat your hair the way you would if its out. So wash and deep condition at least once every 1-2 weeks max. Also use a braid spray daily to keep your own hair moisturised.

Braids or single plaits are a great and flexible protective style. There are as many braiding styles as your imagination can get. You can have it straight, curly, wavy, in twists, loc-ed. Make sure to find a braider that will not make the plaits too tight! Use Kanekalon hair or human hair (when using kanekalon) you may want to wash it in a basin of diluted shampoo first to remove any residual chemicals. If you cannot move your head from side to side your braids are too tight. Also hair (synthetic) should only be sealed using hot water, not a lighter or glue. Wash and condition your braids paying particular attention to where your own hair stops, dilute the shampoo and concentrate it on cleaning your scalp to encourage hair growth and make sure there's not residue or dirt clogging up your follicles. Use braid spray daily on the hair especially concentrating on where your hair stops.

Weave extension:
As most of us know there're a whole range of methods of applying extensions to hair, but the one I think is safest and good for your hair is sewing the track weft unto cornrows. Weaves are also a good way to try out new hair styles, cuts, when you get the urge for a drastic change test it with a weave first! As with braids make sure the cornrows are not too tight. I don't recommend keeping in weaves for extended periods of time as your hair could matt underneath the weave for me 6-8 weeks is a definite maximum. If you are leaving your hair out try to get hair that's similar in texture to yours so you don't stress your own hair by excessive heat use to get it to match the extension. So for most people of African descent you would be looking for Yaki extensions. You can now get all sorts of different closure pieces including lace closures if you want to do a full head weave (I love and recommend this).

I will be back with more protective styles ;o)

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

To Heat Or Not To Heat?

Heat is not all bad, its great for treatments, rollersetting, styling etc. Abusing heat is though. My hair's natural so I only use it (rarely at the moment) for deep conditioning. I have used a lot of styling equipment so will give my take on some. When using heat ALWAYS use a heat protectant.

Flat Irons:

To style your hair or get those roots straight a flat iron can be your good friend. I say don't be cheap invest in a ceramic coated iron, it conducts and maintains heat more evenly so is less likely to totally fry your hair. ALWAYS use a heat protectant I like Tresseme Heat Defence Spray

Curling tongs:

Similar to the above although I think they are more redundant a good flat Iron (I love my GHDs, FHI is also good) can give you curls as well. Keep your hair AWAY from Marcel irons (the stove curlers) its ok to use on hair that's not yours (extensions) but will damage you own hair because the temperature cannot be controlled.


Well, its winter (soon anyway) so you don't really want to walk around with dripping wet hair. Wrap your hair in a towel turban syle and press (don't rub!) to get moisture out, If you have to blowdry don't do it on wet hair. Use it on the coolest setting after applying your heat proectant and take it small section by section beginning at your nape. For curly hair use a diffuser unless you want to blow out your 'fro :o).


Remember when you had to wait ages for your mum/aunt/older cousin at the salon? Rollersets are brilliant, they get your hair straight or curly using indirect heat (good heat :o) ). There are various types of rollers, magnetic, mesh, steam etc. The type and size of rollers you use depend on the effect you're trying to get.

Sunday, 30 September 2007

Building a Basic Regimen

Well to start with, in order to grow healthy hair you should have a regimen just like you wash and moisturise your skin every day so you should have a regimen to maintain your hair. A good way to begin is to have things you do to your hair every week:


1. Wash your hair with shampoo (a mild shampoo) I like Aveda DR.

2. Follow up with a deep conditioner I use the Aveda DR Intensive Reconstructive Treatment but a good and cheaper alternative deep conditioner is Lustrasilk Shea Butter. Put it on damp hair after shampooing, put on a shower cap and leave on for about 15-30 mins (if you've got a standing dryer) you can sit under it to let the heat penetrate your hair shaft. Rinse out.

3. Apply a leave-in I like Bumble & Bumble (leave in) Rinse Out when hair is just damp (not soaking wet) and then apply a dime sized (5p size) oil [I like castor oil but you can use olive oil or Wonder 8 oil] on your palms rub together and rub on your hair especially concentrating on the ends, this is called "sealing" because you seal the moisture in your hair shaft with the oil. It's a bit like the technique of putting baby oil on your skin while its still wet it makes your hair very soft and moisturised.

4. I am not a great advocate of using direct heat so you can either put your hair in a ponytail now and leave it to dry or put it plaits and let it dry. If you know how to rollerset you can do this too.


Everyday apply a moisturiser like Bumble & bumble (Leave In) Rinse Out, Keracare does a good leave in moisturiser too in the palm of your hand you only need a little rub together and apply to your hair, paying attention to the ends of your hair. "Seal" with an oil. Remember you do not need a lot of product.

Leave comments if you have any questions or anything to add...

Friday, 28 September 2007

Determined to Grow

Black women can't grow hair except....[fill in whatever stereotype you like].

I am of Fulani and Efik descent and both have been known for their physical attributes (beauty and hair :o) ). I've never really had hair as long as my family members (on both sides) but I have now made a conscious decision to grow my hair out, because I can. In the last year I have found a variety of resources that have shown me with good hair care my hair can flourish. And it has begun to.

I have had my hair blond since I was about 16 with a few weeks/months experimenting with tones closer to my natural colour. But I am a blond and happy about it. So I have decided to grow my hair to waist length in the next three years maintaining my colour choice (medium to honey blond) although I may change up the colour the goal stays the same. I will post on my progress and pass on information for anyone else that wants grow or maintain their own healthy hair. I will also make posts on how to build a basic regimen as well as information for caring for colour and/ or chemically treated hair. I may also feature a beauty treatment or method that interest me. Please leave comments and I will try to respond as best I can .