Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Product Review: Sofn'free GroHealthy Nothing But Intense Healing Mask

          Over they years I have strayed away from different products that are not as natural as others. I like to purchase as clean clear products as possible. I thought it was very odd when I came across a product that claimed to contain no petrolatum, mineral oil, sulfates, parabens, colorants, or phthalates. Those are a lot of agents that can cause different issues for some natural hair growth. With locs I don't want certain chemicals in my hair attaching to my locs. Chertian particles attract dirt. If you do not get perms, relaxers, texurizers or permanently dye your hair frequently, then your hair will not be around too many major chemicals anyway. 
           To be certain about the chemicals in this product I looked it up n the EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. The product rates moderate in its hazard like some products due to its content. The worst ingredient in this is the high amount of fragrance or "parfum". What this ingredient is is not discussed. It does rate 8 meaning it does that the potential to cause allergies in some. Majority of the product has a low to moderate hazard. The product isn't literally hazard, but does contain other chemicals that may cause allergies in some people. Its cancer rating is low. 

Cost: $10.00
Smell: Low Mint Smell to No Smell (ddd for the amount of fragrance in the product)
Texture: Creamy, Thick
Rating: 7/10

    I rate this 7/10 due to the odd amount of fragrance. Other than that I love the way it makes my hair look and feel, It also mixes well with other oils as well as hair products because it is so basic. I can almost instantly feel it coat my hair with its version of nourishment. It also washes out well.

For Locs:

        I do not put this directly in my locs. What you see in the picture is the product diluted in water. I then pour that mixture over my locs. I then put on a shower cap as i would for a dep condition. I leave that in for 20 minutes and then I rinse it out of my locs. I will explain about this process more in a later most. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

About My Locs Pt2

Growing Back My Hair

The front of my hair was shot to hell. But how did I go from damaged broken hair to thick locs? How did I go from no hair to hair? A hair care regimen of course. There are several key things I did things that aided in my hair growth. 
As you can see on the left the hair on the top of my head was
 very thin. Hair that usually went to my hair line is gone.
My locs were short as well as choppy and thin. On the
right you can see my hair is fuller and has grown back.
  1. Leave My Hair Alone: That is one of the number one things that you can do to your hair. The way that I leave my hair alone is by putting my locs in braids. I braided my locs for the first 5 months of my loc journey. Manipulating thin or damaged hair will only cause the hair to break. When hair is very traumatized, sometimes the follicles release the hair strands. 
  2. Wash Your Hair: Hair needs to be washed frequently, especially black hair. When your hair is unwashed the pores have the potential to be clogged. That can slow hair growth. Washing hair also circulates blood. Blood circulating is how hair grows, more blood to the area, more hair growth, 
  3. Moisturize Your Hair: I apply my shea butter mixture to my hair which is full of essential oils to aid in hair growth. 

     These are the only things that I did. Hair grows at 6 inches per year on average, On your hair journey you are trying to hold on to that obtained length. Locs are a unique style that allows you to lot only keep all of the hair you are growing, but also the hair that you would lose in shedding. Locs also flourish when they are left alone.This made it easier for me to grow my hair back.  

Monday, December 15, 2014

Loc Washing 101

          After I got my locs installed I put braids over them for the first 3 months. After I took out the braids I washed my hair at least 3-4 times a week without retwisting, I did this for a month. Then I put my locs back into braids. After another 2 months I took my locs out and I continued to wash my locs 3-4 times a week. If I did not fully shampoo them I would rinse them or cowash them. My locs got wet almost EVERYDAY. In the beginning it is very important for you to wash your hair. When you wet your hair your break the hydrogen bonds apart. When your hair is dry, they reform. In the first months of locing you want to break and reform those bonds. That way the hairs can manipulate and loc around each other. In my loc journey I learned several things about washing my locs.

1. DUST YOUR LOCS: Dusting your locs is literally that, getting dust out of your locs. You can use a mirror for the larger pieces. But take your hand and brush it back and forth over your locs while your head is tilted over. You will notice, skin, dust and dirt particles falling from your locs. All of these things is what makes locs ashy, smelly, and full of lint and dirt. If you wash your hair without dusting it, the dirt can potentially get trapped in the locs. 

2.  POP YOUR LOCS: If you are free forming, or semi free forming this is more important for you. When your hair is untwisted the roots will start to loc together. You must go through your head and pop your locs, which is pull them apart. Wet your hair at the root after you dust it, and pull your locs apart. You may hear the hairs, POP. :)

3. DO NOT PUT SHAMPOO DIRECTLY IN YOUR HAIR: Locs are packed hairs that are hard to penetrate. Thick shampoo will not glide easily in and out of your locs. Some of the shampoo may get caught in your locs. Diluting your shampoo in a spray bottle and spraying it in your hair will make a nice thin solution that can move in and out of your locs easily grabbing dirt on the way out.

4. DO NOT USE COLORED OR LOADED SHAMPOO: Shampoo like leave in conditioner as well as other products leave stuff behind in your hair. If you notice moisturizing shampoos are thicker and make your hair "feel" different after use. That "feel goo" is particles being left behind. These are particles you do not want left behind in your locs because this can add to buildup. 

5. DILUTE EVERYTHING:After I shampoo my hair, I mix my favorite deep conditioner in water and I pour it over my locs. I let it sit for 15 min under a shower cap and I rinse. Again, putting thick products in your locs can lead to buildup. 

6. RINSE: This is thee most important factor of them all. Water is very pure and lifting. It can break down and dilute a vast amount of chemicals. Make sure you rinse and squeeze your locs empty. I like to taste the water running out of my locs. If it tastes like pure water then I know my locs are fully rinsed. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Yarn Braid Do's & Don'ts

      When I was natural I was looking for another style. I was tired of twist outs, fros, mowhawks, all of that. I wanted something fun and different, One thing I did know is that I wanted to loc my hair. I wasn't quite ready to loc my hair so I searched for a style to imitate locs. I came across this photo of yarn locs. They were tiny and beautiful, There were so many of them and her hair was very full. I at the time wanted small locs so I thought this was perfect.

There was general information that I did discover in my search. One of the most important bits of information was... ACRYLIC YARN ONLY. Cotton and wool yarn were once alive, so it will crave moisture and the intricate fibers will loc to your hair.

    Ok, so don't used sheep back or tree poop, got it. I rushed to Micheal's and purchased two 1lb bundles of black yarn and for three days, I went to work. OMG! It was so worth it. 

       Yassss. I gave life in these braids. I felt like I lived through them in a sense. I had gotten a million compliments on the style and the older it got the better it looked. I was in love. So in love that I had these braids in for 6 months. In the six months I discovered several things:

Do Not Let A Style Go To Your Head- That is number one. I knew it looked really good but I should have taken them out. I advised others on how to properly take care of theirs, but I really had a yolo moment. 

IF You Go Swimming Rinse & Condition First- I was working out with this hair in and at times I had to get in the pool. Whether you have permed, natural, locs, weave, whatever, rinse your hair for 5 minutes with pure water first. Then if you can rub a little conditioner in your hair. Chlorine is very damaging. The molecules int he chemical will want to enter your hair shaft, but because your strands are now swollen with water and protected with conditioner, the chlorine will be less penetrating. You will notice a nice condtioning when you get out of the pool. The chlorine's ph would open your hair cuticle and the conditioner would adsorb nicely and before any chlorine. 

Do Not Wet Your Hair Frequently- When you wet your hair frequently the bonds in your hair break and your hair is limp and pliable. When your hair  dries the bonds reform. If you have in yarn braids, you will constantly be breaking and forming bonds around these very fibrous pieces of yarn making it easier for your hair to "loc" around the yarn.

Do Not Use Small Amounts of Hair- Do not install to many. They smaller the braid the less strands their are to support the weight of the yarn as well as the build up. Yarn can be rough to some hair types and can cause breaking over long time wear. 

Moisturize Your Hair Nicely as You Install- The acrylic yarn will not absorb the moisture and it also makes they yarn more slippery and less damaging to your hair, This will keep your hair moisturized for a good 3 weeks into your style. 

Moisturize with Spritz and Minimally- Due to build up at the root as well as they fact that you have a blanket on your head you do not want too much product in your hair it will cause the yarn to mush together with the build up at the base of the braid. 

AND THIS REALLY APPLIES IF YOU HAVE THIN OR WEAK HAIR. This style needs a good amount of strands per braid. I suggest if for people with average hair thickness. Thin hair takes more surface area per braid, so they style may come out thin, if the hair is not strong. You can have thin hair with very strong strand and this style will work for you, however if your hair is weak in anyway this style is not for you. 

Soooooo I have average hair with veeerryyy thin temples. They are my stress points and my father is some sort of caveman with that c thing going around his hairline. After keeping these braids in for 6 MONTHS a lot of them had loced together at the root. It was so tedious and tiring to take them out that in some areas that were the worst, I ripped them out. The ending result was horrifying as you can see. I completely ripped my head to shreads. So I ran to the salon and demanded locs. No more playing around in loose natural hair. It is very delicate and sensitive, quite frankly, I don't have time for that. This is the second time since I've went natural that I had to start over. All I want is long black hair. This was the tipping point for my journey. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

About My Locs pt1

Starter Locs on Average 4b/4c

My main and solo aim is to have long black healthy hair by any means necessary. In June of 2013 I gave myself very small yarn locs. I did not take care of my hair while it was in this style. As someone that does hair as well as knows it down to a science, I often neglect my own hair due to personal laziness. I ended up keeping the tiny braids in for 5 months! Never do that. Some hair types can keep them in that long, but my hair type was definitely not one for it. These braids took huge clumps of hair out of my head and a lot of the natural growth, which I now cannot remember. Lol. I always knew I wanted locs but I wanted to see how large I could get my fro. After I took those braids out, swerve, I went straight to the loctician.  I started my locs in December 2013 with comb coils. I had about 150 locs.


           I did not like my locs what so ever. I thought they were disgusting little worms. On top of the fact that while I was taking out my braids I got annoyed and I literally started ripping the braids out. From me doing that it caused my hair to be thin at the top of my head, I kinda look like I am balding. I did not want to go through the “ugly & bald” stage so I decided to braid my over my starter locs. Braiding my started locs helped me in several ways:

Physically (lol)

The braids helped but however at this stage in my loc process They may have paused my loc development. When my locs were in the braids they stayed together and they also tightened up. The braids also gave my hair time to grow back where I had ripped them out. The braids did not allow for my locs to naturally swell and shrink as they would have if they were free.

     For the 6 months of my locs I wore braids.