Monday, September 1, 2014

30 Days of Moisture

September is shaping up to be an awesome month with this month's 30 day challenge focus on moisture . . . and maybe I'm more than a bit bias because it's also my birth month lol. Whether relaxed or natural, hair needs moisture in order to be as healthy has possible. When I first started my HHJ, my hair struggled with  dryness and I saw a huge improvement in my hair when I introduced weekly deep conditionings into my life.  Fast-forward 5 years and keeping my hair moisturized has become the center of my regimen.  I hope you'll join Jay of Relaxed Thairapy and I for this month's challenge!

  • Deep conditioning weekly with a moisturizing conditioner. 
  • Use my steamer when pre-pooing or deep conditioning.
  • Co-wash.
  • Moisturize and seal at least every other night.
  • Use protein as necessary to prevent moisture overload.

  • Four ways to restore moisture to dry hair
  • How to deep condition property
  • What to look for in a moisturizing deep conditioner
  • Moisture overload
  • Homemade deep conditioner recipes


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Wash Day Experience | September Themes

KLP of Saving Our Strands and I are back with some fun themes for September's wash day link up.  These weekly themes are not mandatory but we hope you'll give a couple a try and share your experience with us!  For week 1, I'll be giving Bobeam's Coco Honey & Amla Conditioning shampoo bar a first time try. Can't wait to check out your wash days and read about your "uncharted territory" on Wednesday.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wash Day | Flat-Iron, Trim, & Length-Check

[1] Pre-pooed with Hairveda Red Tea Nourishing Conditioner + safflower oil on top for about an hour.
[2] Co-washed (in 6 sections) with Carol's Daughter Hair Milk Cleansing Conditioner.  I realized during this wash day that I've never shared what my hair is like when soaking wet/co-washing so here it is, in all it's deceitfulness, and you'll understand what I mean by this if you scroll down to the pictures of my straightened hair below.  When soaking wet, and especially when co-washing, my new growth clumps together making my texlaxed hair look so darn thin, but when straightened, my hair doesn't look as desperate for a trim... see? So deceitful!
13 months + 4 weeks post relaxer
[3] Tea rinsed with black tea (for more on the benefits of black tea, check out this post).
[4] After wrapping my hair with a towel for 15 minutes to soak up all excess liquid, I deep conditioning with HairVeda Sitrinillah Deep Conditioner for 45 minutes under my heating cap.
[5] T-shirt dried for 40 minutes, and the applied my leave-ins (Komaza Care Matani Leave-In + Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum), detangled, and stretched my hair using the tension method (with cold air).
[6] Once my hair was completely dry, I sprayed my hair with CHI 44 Iron Guard (heat protectant) and flat ironed my hair with my Sedu Revolution Flat Iron (1 inch plates).  I used the comb chase method, something I've done only a handful of times in my life, to make I got my hair as straight as possible for an even trim.
[7] Once my hair was done, I grabbed my hair shears and cut off 1.5"

My flat iron results
As much as I love my fluffy stretched hair, I reeeeealllllyyyyy missed wearing my hair straight and out. But regardless of how much I missed it, flat ironing my hair is SO NOT happening often. Carefully blow drying my hair to be as stretched and sleek as possible, then flat ironing gently with the comb chase method just took way too long.  At the time I was giddy because I was all like "oooo look at my hair!" But afterwards? When my arms started aching? Yeah, no. I came to my senses and resolved to stick to my simple ways.  Maybe I'll got back to rollersetting?  Don't hold me to that though lol.

My hair laziness aside, my hair has never responded well to frequent uses of direct heat and thrives when I flat iron 3-4 times a year. A few moments of giddiness are not enough to make me fall off my healthy hair wagon.  Direct heat isn't evil, but it should be used infrequently in order to prevent breakage, heat damage, dryness, and split ends.

I broke my tripod so it's been hard to take proper length check photos from the back so here's my valiant attempt to show my straightened length.  I'm back to grazing waist length (and remember, your natural waist is the smallest part of torso, which for me is right at my belly button ... not to be confused with your hips).

I finished up my wash day by doing something I haven't done in a couple years: I "doobie wrapped" my hair. I gave up this traditional method of wrapping because it caused more breakage than I was comfortable with but for some reason, I decided to do it . . . and was quickly reminded why I should stick to cross-wrapping when I saw the broken strands in my sink.  I'll be cross-wrapping forever.  "Doobie wraps" are forever banned around these parts.

Enough of my blabber, tell me all about your wash day!

Monday, August 25, 2014

"Lemons & Lemonade" | Simple Styles To Save Bad Hair Days

This weekend's bun on flat-ironed hair that fluffed up due to humidity.
Tamm asks:
Hi Jen, saw your IG post-humidity bun, love it! Buns are usually my go-tos as well but just wondering, what other styles have you done to turn lemons into lemonade and save a bad hair day? Or any style that you [might] try but haven't ????? Thanks Jen!

[1]BUNS Hi Tamm! A bun will pretty much always be my first go-to style on days when my hair misbehaves . . . well to be honest, they're my go-to style for any given day of the week :)  Buns are a great way to save a bad hair day because you can either wear your hair in a simple low bun, a sleek high bun, they can be super chic and classy or messy and fun, as well as dressed up with accessories.

[2]OVERNIGHT FLEXI RODS ON DRY/DAMP-ISH HAIR This works well for spicing up straight hair styles that have started to lose volume, or frizz, or when you're simply tired of the pin straight look. The style pictured below: I remember coming home from the gym and my hair looked a mess. I didn't have time to co-wash and detangle so after moisturizing and sealing, I grabbed 10 flexi rods (purple) and set my hair. I left the rods in overnight and the next morning these curls were born.

[3]HALF-UP, HALF-DOWN STYLES If you're a long time JGA reader, it'll come as no surprise to read that I love half-up, half-down styles.  Over the last 5 years they've definitely come in handy on bad hairs, especially when my curly styles start took frizzy and droopy.

The style below was achieved after moisturizing, sealing, finger-combing through the curls to loosen and divide them for a fuller look, applying a little gel (I think I used aloe vera gel) to my edges, and then simply pinning the sides back with my flexi clip.

[4]WIGS I don't wear or own any wigs but there have been many bad hair days I wish I did. Wigs are a very easy way to tuck your hair away until your next day all while changing your style.

What are your favorite "bad hair day" styles?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014

Product Review: Culligan Filtered Showerhead

This review was two years in the making so at least I can safely say I have thoroughly reviewed this shower filter :) 

Price: $22-$35 (price varies depending on where you purchased it. I purchased mine for $25 but it is currently listed on for $22)

Promises: "With the powerful filtration system of the Culligan Level 2 Wall-Mount Showerhead, you can reduce the chemicals in your water for a cleaner shower and softer skin. Featuring an anti-clog rubber spray nozzle and sleek chrome finish, this showerhead offers the choice of five spray settings. The Culligan Wall-Mount Showerhead provides filtration against sulfur, chlorine, and scale for up to 10,000 gallons of water, and it meets NSF standards for water safety. Reduces Chlorine and Scale Buildup for a Softer Shower The Culligan Level 2 Wall-Mount Showerhead offers a refreshing shower experience by reducing harsh chlorine levels and damaging scale buildup. The filtration system removes up to 99 percent of chlorine, as well as the impurities within water that can damage hair follicles and result in dry, itchy scalp. Additionally, by reducing the amount of scale (a hard, filmy residue created by minerals in water), the showerhead is able to give you more of the hydrating nourishment your skin and scalp need. Five Spray Settings to Suit Your Mood -- In addition to offering a cleaner, more nourishing shower, this showerhead offers five spray settings to suit your mood. Choose from a full-body spray for maximum water coverage, to an invigorating pulse for a relaxing muscle massage."

My Assessment: Moving from a soft water area to a moderately hard water area took a toll on my hair and skin.  Prior to installing this showerhead, the hard water in my apartment would make my skin very dry and itchy and the minerals in the water would cling to my hair. Over time, the mineral build up would prevents conditioners and moisturizers from penetrating into my hair making my hair dry and dull.  I started using this showerhead in March, 2012, and it has been a life saver.  After showers my skin is no longer dry (and if I use a good moisturizing soap, I'm able to skip lotion afterwards) and my moisturizers and conditioners no longer have to try to fit their way through mineral build up.  I still use a chelating shampoo (Redken Hair Cleansing Cream Shampoo) to remove minerals (and product build up) that may still cling to my hair but my hair feels worlds better than when I used to wash my hair with hard water.

Installing this showerhead was very easy to do and took about 5 minutes from start to end.  Check out my full post on how I installed it here.

The showerhead filters water for six months (or 10,000 gallons) before it needs to be changed.  Thankfully Amazon's nifty "Subscribe & Save" feature helps me stay on top of buying a replacement filter every six months by automatically deducting the cost of the replacement filter from my account (at a discounted price courtesy of the "Subscribe & Save" feature) and shipping it out to me.  The price tends to fluxate a bit (as all Amazon items do over time) but I've paid between $9-$12) for the filters over the last 2 years.

Lastly, this showerhead is backed by the manufacturer's limited five-year warranty but over the last 2 years I haven't had any issues with it.

Have you tried this filtered showerhead? Or another brand?

Disclosure of Material Connection: Items in this post were purchased with my own funds. I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wash Day

[1] Pre-pooed with L'Oreal Total Repair 5 Restoring Conditioner for 15 minutes under my steamer.
[2] Co-washed with Carol's Daughter Milk Hair Cleansing Conditioner.
[3] It's been a while since I did a protein treatment (and I had some broken ends to prove it) so I applied Silk Dreams Mocha Silk Infusion to my hair for 10 minutes, and then rinsed.
[4] After wrapping my hair in a towel for 15 minutes to soak up all excess water, I applied Hairveda Sitrinillah for 15 minutes under my steamer.
[5] After t-shirt drying for 40 minutes, I applied my leave-ins (Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Milk + Giovanni Frizz Be Gone Serum), detangled, and (barely) stretched my hair using the tension method + cold air.
[6] Once my hair was fully detangled, I finished up my air drying my hair in a bun.

This was definitely one those wash days where I lacked nearly zero motivation, which is starting to feel like the normal to me because I feel like I've been transitioning forever. I started off transitioning from bone straight relaxed hair to texlaxing and then I switched to transitioning to natural... see what I mean about being on a never-ending transition?

My style for the week has been a simple bun. I move the location of my bun daily to avoid breakage. Sorry for the quality of the photo, I snapped this bun yesterday morning with my phone as I headed to work.

Join our healthy hair tribe (and pick up wash day tips) by joining our link up!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Don't Forget To Seal After Moisturizing!

For more on the Sealing Experiment, check out this post.
For more on the LOC Method, check out this post.

Have a great Sunday!