General hair thoughts

Hello all!

I have been noticing that I'm needing to change up my hair routine just a little bit; I've been noticing a huge increase in static, which I'm sure you're tired about me lamenting, and because of that I've been oiling more heavily which means I can't go as long between washing.  I've pretty much decided that this is probably because of one of two things: either it's because I'm showering at night now or because I dyed it.

SO!  I've done a deep treatment and will continue to do so on a biweekly basis or when I have time and today I washed my hair in the morning instead of night today.  I'm hoping that this will cut out the static and maybe make it so I can stretch my washings again, but I've been thinking about that.  Why exactly am I trying to stretch my washings?  Well, I know there are some actual legitimate reasons, those being to save money since my hair products are more expensive, to keep my hair healthy and not dry, takes up less time, things like that.  But I also know that part of it is because I feel like I should be stretching them as much as possible for some unknown reason that I can't pinpoint.  Right now, I wash it, wait four days and wash it again, but this morning I washed it after only three days and as ridiculous as it sounds I feel guilty for it!  How dumb is that?! I am feeling guilty because I chose to wash my hair when it needed it.  If I hadn't I would have oiled it down, put it up and not felt very good about my hair. I chose to do something because I wanted to look good with my hair.

This is reason why I cut it last time, because I was becoming slave to my hair routine and forgetting that it was there for myself, not myself there for it.  I like obsessing over my hair, but I'm recognizing that I'm starting to get antsy and frustrated with it because I'm trying to do everything in such a particular way that I am loosing what the whole point of long hair is; as something special for myself.

So I'm going to try doing something different.  Even though I take my showers at night, I'm going to wash my hair in the mornings and I'm not going to obsess on how often; when my hair looks like it needs it, then I'll wash it.  I'm not going to freak out because I'm washing it every three days instead of every four or five or seven or one or whatever.  It's my hair that I have for myself and it's not the other way around!

I don't know if anyone else has ever dealt with these issues or not, but it would be awesome to get input.  Honestly, I know that our hair is a lot more able to deal with stuff than we give it credit for.  I know some people that can wash every single day and not have an issue; never give it special treatments or use hairspray or tease or what have you and their hair is fine.  I'm going to try and find a better balance.  My husband reminds me all the time that I'm an extremist; I'm always hot or cold, black or white, and I just can't do that anymore.

Well, that was a boring post, but I wanted to get my feelings out there; it's time to stop freaking out on something so trivial and just enjoy it for what it is.  I will still give my hair treatments and oiling, but I'm not going to obsess on the level that I have been lately.

Okay, all done!  As always, I would love input or additional thoughts if you have any or if you've found a way to not obsess haha :) Healthy hair obsessions are okay, but not when they start controlling you.


Homemade hair masque: Avocado banana

Hello all,

Well I have been dealing with a huge amount of static lately and I know some of it was due to the fact that I broke down and used a box dye and another part was that the WEN that I was using just isn't a good regular use product for me, but I wasn't able to get rid of it entirely.  I decided to try a hair masque that I made me for mom last week to see if it would help.                                                            

Avocado Banana Hair Masque
1 Avocado
1 Banana
2 Big spoonfuls of honey
1 Spoonful of mayo or plain yogurt
Drizzle of olive oil

I put all of these ingredients in a food processor and blended it until it was yogurt consistency.  Then, I applied it to my hair which I had oiled earlier in the day.  It actually felt really really good going on!  Once I got it all mushed up on my head as best as I could get it and pushed it in my hair, I wrapped it up in a plastic bag and put a towel over that and let it sit for almost an hour.

Washing it out was a bit tricky; there were small bits of either avocado or banana that didn't get blended (they were dandruff size) and those wouldn't rinse out very well, but I did the best I could and shampooed and conditioned as normal.   I towel dried it, combed, applied my anti frizz and then flung over my pillow and went to bed.

I really, really like how my hair feels today; it's really soft and has body and is very shiny, but like everything out there there were a few cons: I couldn't get those itty bitty pieces out of my hair so I had to wait until it was dry and shake them loose; otherwise it would have looked like I had dandruff.  Next time, I will dunk my entire head in a bin full of water before I start my normal rinsing/washing process.  The only other con I found was that after a while you got the old banana smell while it was on your head, but when I rinsed it off it was fine.

Also be aware that if you do this treatment you are getting protein from almost everything in the masque so your hair will feel not as malleable.  This will go away once it's dry, just use caution while you're combing your hair out, and rinse rinse rinse otherwise you'll have avocado bits in your hair.

There you have it!  I will keep you updated as to whether this got rid of the static.



The pros and cons of 'cones

I decided to write about my opinion concerning silicone in today's conditioner.  Most commercial conditioners, and even some of the less well known conditioners have a product in it that ends in "cone".  This means it is a silicone of some kind. Today's conditioners use this 'cone' product to help give your hair slip.  It also boasts to help hide splits and damage.

There are basically two different schools of thought concerning silicones in hair products; you are either okay with them, or you are against them.  There are some people that fall in the middle, but for the most part hair people tend to lean one way or another.

I am part of the former group.  I am completely, 100% in favor of silicones for my hair.  I think this is the biggest issue we run into.  So many people are either one way or the other because it works for their hair, but they forget to take into consideration that their hair care will most likely (note, I'm saying most likely, not even possibly, or perhaps) not work for another person.  That's because each of us are so unique and different is too many ways to count that we couldn't possibly assume that a regime that has been formulated specifically for one individual could work for another.  It just doesn't go that way.

For example, my sister with beautiful, thick, black, wavy hair (think this - I'm not kidding....*jealous*) and she washes her hair everyday, uses heat, brushes, hairspray, SLS shampoos, cone conditioners and I can't find a single split in her hair.  BUT a women with delicate, long curly hair would probably have a heart attack if she were to try using those methods I stated above.  Now, granted, there are many things that will work for a person, like oiling hair, but to be fair let's just assume from now on, in this post, I'm talking about my personal hair needs only.

I have tried to go without cones, I tried using the shampoo bars with aloe gel, vinegar, honey, other humectant like products and I even tried a cone free Giovanni conditioner and I just couldn't get past the static, and the constant tangling.  I just couldn't deal with it.  So I had to switch back.  Honestly, I could probably go back to an SLS shampoo too and be fine, but knowing how sensitive the rest of my body is to it, I've voted to never try it again.

Having been both cone full and cone free, I've decided to write out a pros and cons list based off my experience.

Pros to cone free:
More natural approach
Doesn't "hide" your hair behind product
Doesn't build up on your scalp as quickly
Allows you see more damage for Search and Destroying (also known as dusting, which is just putting your ends up against a light and trimming the splits off to help maintain healthy hair.)
If you're using the CO method you won't need to clarify as often

Cons to cone free:
Hair will not have as much slip, so it will tangle more easily
Hard to find a product without cones that isn't expensive (I know there are some cheaper products out there like Vo5, but I don't like it.)
Less shine

These are just the main things that I've noticed.  Honestly, I've never viewed cones like I have SLS; I haven't really found a whole lot on them that could cause me a huge harm.  That is just my opinion though, and I know a lot of people have found that a cone free lifestyle is absolutely best for them.

I follow a youtube guru called "torrinpaige"  and she has a post on using cones in her hair and she and I share much of the same opinion.

On the other hand, if you visit "loepsie" she is cone free and has very lovely hair as well.

It just depends on your hair and who you are.  I like cones, I live in a dry climate and they work well for me, but it all depends on you and your hair!


WEN hair care review

Hello there! 

Well I know it's been forever and I think it's high time for a super girly, silly hair product review.

If you at all interested in taking care of your hair then I'm you've either heard, used, seen, or been told about Wen hair care by Chaz Dean. 

Straight from the website, it reads: WEN® Cleansing Conditioner is a revolutionary new concept in hair care. A 5-in-1 formula, this one product takes the place of your shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner, de-tangler and leave-in conditioner. It cleanses hair thoroughly but without lathering and all the harsh ingredients that may be found in ordinary shampoos—it is designed so it won't strip your hair and scalp of their natural oils. Your hair is left with sheen, moisture, manageability and better color retention.

Now, I've never been one for gimmicky products, especially when they are as ridiculously expensive as WEN is, but my mom let have one of her bottles of Sweet Almond Mint so I decided to try it.  Keep in mind this was a year ago, around this exact time actually.  I also have only used the cleansing conditioner because I don't use any other products in my hair other than the Giovanni anti frizz and natural oils for conditioning. 

Also, keep in mind that this WEN product is just someone monopolizing on an already very popular washing method; CO - or conditioner only.  The concept is that when you wash with only conditioner, many people prefer 'cone free conditioners, you will not strip your hair of its natural oils like you would with shampoo.  I have never been able to use the CO method; and my hair HATES being without 'cones, which is another topic I'll address later and I for some reason, even with using a cone free conditioner, could never get my hair to acclimate   It also tended to get really greasy and full of static at the same time, so I took it as a hint and dropped the CO method.  So this concept is not new, this company just decided to make money off of it.  And honestly, the product is a good product and if you use it sparingly, the price isn't that bad.  I've managed to make my wen bottle last about 6 months. 

The first time I used it was after using bar soaps and small amounts of conditioner at the end of my wash, so I immediately freaked out with the amount of slick I was feeling.  When I rinsed it out, however, I didn't notice any extra greasies, which was good because at first I thought that the product wasn't really going to clean it was just going to slick my hair to an oblivion.  During the wash, I actually diluted it much as I do with any conditioner; in my old shampoo bottle with water, shake and pour over my head.  When I was massaging it into my scalp per instructions, I noticed a nice clean smell and feeling; I think they put menthol or tea tree oil in their product.

After towel drying, combing was a breeze, but there was an incredible about of hair shed, which was one of the biggest online complaints.  I wasn't too worried about this because when you're using a product that doesn't have any serious cleaners in it you're going to need to massage it in and rinse well, which is going to loose a lot of already loose hair and make it come out.  I still took care to note how much I lost though, just to keep track. 

When my hair was dry, I loved it; it was soft and smooth, and just overall felt good. 

So, for the pros: 
Rich, creamy mixture
Smells good
Silky and smooth hair as result

Now the bad parts: 
I have tried using WEN as my only cleanser without any other cleanser and I found that my hair was getting oily really fast and my scalp was starting to itch.  I would not recommend this product by itself.  I have a longhair friend who uses it with her shampoo first and then uses the WEN like a deep conditioner every time she washes, so I decided to try this as well and see if that would remedy my issue. 

It did, yay! BUT, it also gave me an INCREDIBLE amount of static, which, if you know anything about me, I hate hate hate hate hate hate....did I mention I HATE static??  UGH, it was awful!  So I oiled down my hair every morning to keep it tamed.

it's also really expensive, and the problem with going through the actual WEN website is that they force you into one of those, "buy this product and unless you cancel we'll send you more and charge you more."  I just don't go through WEN that fast, so I tried talking to customer service and they wouldn't offer me an alternative.  I did discover, however, that Sephora's website sells the Sweet Almond Mint online as a one-time purchase, so I bought from them and gave them glowing reviews. 

So for the cons: 
Can potentially make your hair really staticky 
Can make scalp itch and greasy if used exclusively
You lose a lot of hair per washing

My final opinions?  I still like WEN, because when I need a deep cleaning conditioner I can use it without any shampoo once in a while, or if I need to wash my hair two days in a row (I typically only wash it every 3 or 4 days) this is a great way to clean without stripping your oils.  However, as much as I thought I would like using this product regularly, I'm just much more happy with my Giovanni products; they keep my hair clean without drying it out and I have NEVER, ever experienced static while using it. 

If you have the money, I would recommend getting a bottle as a nice deep cleaner without having to oil the night before, but it's not a product that I think one couldn't live without.  There are many, cheaper and nice conditioners out there than can be used instead. 

Okay, all done, but as a bonus, I curlformed my hair again and dressed up 1940s style for a work program, but I thought I would share my hair results with you, since they looked pretty good: 
I put this one in a black and white format because you couldn't tell my hair from my sweater.

Candid photo of me putting on lipgloss...lovely.  At any rate, even though I'm bent forward a bit, this gives you a good idea of the length when it's curled and the red.  Oh! I died my hair red again; I'll post about that later on.


First Friday Feature Fun! #1

Alrighty, here it is: Feature Friday! Our first reader is miss Sarah, I hope you enjoy! 

Name: Sarah (ibraidhair.wordpress.com)

Hair character/type:
natural curly, medium/coarse texture, medium-thick, dry, prone to split

Natural hair color: dark brown with reddish highlights

Starting length (if growing): hmmm.... It hasn't been above my shoulders since I was a
toddler.  When I started growing with purpose, it was 28" I believe (a couple inches above my waist).

Current length:  about 4

Are you currently growing your length or maintaining?  If growing, how long have you been growing your hair?  If maintaining, what is it about your current length that makes you happy?: Kind of both. My hair is so prone to breakage that I have to work pretty hard just to maintain this
length. If I gain a little in the process, I'm happy.  I've always liked hip-length hair on other women and thought it was the most attractive length.

As a fellow hairaholic I find it very interesting to hear what exactly about hair it is that others find fascinating.  What started your interest/obsession with hair?:
My parents both wanted my hair long when I was growing up (my mom has long hair also). My favorite dolls were always the ones with hair I could style. It's been a life-long thing for me. I became obsessed with my own hair when I was 20 years old. I was desperate for new styling ideas and began searching the internet. I came across a website dedicated to long-haired women, with a forum full of amazing people (some with floor-length hair!) who had a wealth of knowledge. I haven't been the same since. :)

As with any hobby, there is always something that irks us just a little bit. What are some of your frustrations/pet peeves as a person with a hair hobby, be your hair long or short? (i.e. nasty comments, getting stuck in doors, hard to take care of, styling, etc.etc.):
Because I have a hair hobby, I get asked a lot of questions from people wanting advice on hair care, styling, etc. It really irritates me when people ask my advice over and over and over, and never actually do anything I recommend.

If money, damage, social stigma, etc. where not a factor, what is the one thing you would love to to try out?: Coloring my hair bright
fiery red.

What do you love about your hair: the color, the length, and the curls... I really just
 have learned to love my hair the way it is.

What do you hate about your hair:
I have a love/hate relationship with my curls. I really do love my curls and I would be devastated if they suddenly started going away! But at the same time, I can't help getting frustrated because it makes it so much harder to style my hair and keep it healthy. Also, it makes my hair very unpredictable.

What’s something you like to do as a “treat” to your hair?: deep conditioning tre
atment with avocado

What are your favorite products?:
My favorite is probably raw shea butter, it's super conditioning for my extremely dry ends. (and I don't have to worry about anyone changing the formulation! lol)

What are you currently using?: Yes to Carrots Shampoo, Yes to Cucumbers Conditioner, Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel, TRESemme Curl Locking Spray, Giovani Styling Gel, raw shea butter

What’s your hair care routine? (In a nutshell; I know most of us have pretty extensive hair care regimes): 

My basic routine is this:
-I shampoo about once a week with sulfate-free shampoo, then follow with silicone-free conditioner. I CO wash every time I take a shower.
-I clip my hair up and leave conditioner in during the whole shower, then detangle with a wide tooth comb as I rinse it out at the end of the shower.
-I scrunch raw shea butter into the ends, then "plop" with a t-shirt for 15 minutes or so, then air dry.
-When my hair is mostly dry, I smooth on aloe vera gel (or styling gel) and scrunch with the t-shirt. Sometimes I spray a light coat of hairspray on after it's dry.
-To refresh my curls, I use a little lime juice in water and spray my hair to dampen it and smooth out the frizz, then apply more aloe gel.

Many of us have one thing that we will never, ever do to our hair no matter what (i.e., bleach, curl, straighten, color) what is that one thing for you?: bleach

If you have a favorite hairstyle, what is it?: It would proba
bly be a low side bun.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received regarding taking care of hair?: Throw away
the brush.