Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dry, Itchy Scalp Woes

I have Psoriasis and always have a rough time with it during the winter months.  It causes dry patches on my skin and flaky, dry scalp.  It can be really embarassing because my kinky, curly hair clings to everything which makes the flakes harder to get rid of.  I was in a minor car accident recently and since I'm having trouble with my back, I thought it would be easier to wear my hair straight.  I figured, I can oil my scalp and keep those flakes under control. 

I tried this theory out and boy was I wrong!  Not only did I see more flaking, but the itching was out of control!  I flat ironed my hair twice this month so that means five days of no washing each time I wore it straight.  I have come to the conclusion that until my scalp issue is under control, I have to wash my hair and scalp more frequently.

Sulfate free Shampoo to remove buildup
and Castor Oil to treat my dry scalp
For the first wash after wearing it straight, I knew I would have to oil my scalp one last time so that I could soften those flakes a bit (gross...I know).  Then I applied coconut oil to my hair to prep it for the shampoo I was about to use.  I washed with Everyday Shea's Moisturizing Shampoo in Lavender which is sulfate free.  Afterwards, I deep conditioned using my new favorite, Tresemme Naturals Conditioner with Aloe and Avocado.  I put on a plastic cap and sat under the dryer for about 30 minutes.  Already I noticed a big difference in how my scalp felt.  After detangling, I dried my hair with a t-shirt, oiled my scalp with Castor oil and applied my leave-ins.  Then, I just wore it pulled back in a simple braided bun.

Today, I co-washed and applied leave-in conditioner.  I used Coconut Oil to seal and then Palmer's Coconut Oil Replenishing Hair Milk to define my curls.  I then did a simple puff and let it air dry. 

I'm going to continue with this process of co-washing each day through the rest of the week and see how it goes.  It's possible that my usual washing twice per week routine is what my hair and scalp likes best.  I can't seem to go more than 3 days without wetting my hair or else major itchies.  Hopefully this works and will get me back on track.  

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wintertime Wash n' Go

This time of year is always very harsh on my hair and skin due to the dry climate here in Colorado.  I decided to start doing deep conditioning treatments twice a week for added moisture during the winter months.  The wash n' go style is perfect for this because I'm usually done with the style after two or three days.  Plus, I've been reading and watching how other naturals noticed significant growth while wearing the wash n' go because of the more frequent washing.  I tend to believe that a clean healthy scalp is one contributing factor to this but also the introduction of moisture multiple times per week.  Thing is, it's winter in Colorado!  Leaving the house with wet hair is not happenin' right now.  

Instead of waiting until the spring to rock my curly fro, I looked at a few videos by one of my favorite naturals, anaturalbeauty3.  She's been natural for 2 years and is currently residing in Cali.  Her video on her night time routine illustrates how she puts her curly hair up at night to stretch it out.  I sent her a message asking how she went about reviving the style in the morning.  She replied back that she scrunches her hair with Shea Moistures' Curl Enhancing Smoothie to wake up the curls.  This was a light bulb moment!  Once I realized that there wasn't any need to leave the house with a dripping wet head I was on it. 

The Curl Enhancing Smoothie product is not available locally so I decided to try my Palmers Coconut Oil Replinishing Hair Milk.  I thought it would work because of it's creamy, but wet texture.  I know it plays well with Eco Styler Gel so it was worth a try. 

After a few attempts, I was able to come up with a routine.  The trick is to apply my usual products for my wash n' go in the evening.  Once it has air dried for a couple of hours, I use the diffuser to get my hair completely dry.  This sets my curls before I wrap it up.  Then, just like in the video, I pull my hair back and secure it with a hair tie.  Any short strands can be pinned down.  I then wrap it with a satin scarf and put on my satin bonnet.  In the morning I just take my hair down, scrunch in some product and that's it.  I'm so glad to have found this method because it has resulted in hair that is soft, moisturized and easy to style.

CLICK HERE To See how I do my wash n' go

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Review: Tresemme Naturals Conditioner w/ Aloe Vera and Avocado


Tresemme Naturals Conditioner
in Aloe and Avocado

I'm constantly on the look out for good conditioners that are budget friendly.  Since I co-wash, deep condition and detangle my hair on a weekly basis, I end up going through a lot of conditoner.  Thing is, it also has to be something that my husband feels comfortable using as well.  Let's face it, his hair is way longer than mine and he is just as concerned about his tresses as I am (well maybe not that much).  This rules out anything that will leave him smelling like pina colada when he leaves the house.  We're also picky about the ingredients so, no silicones. 

I was glad to find that Tresemme has a new Naturals line where the conditioners are silicone free.  Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not afraid to use silicones.  I just prefer to co-wash with something that is silicone free for a nice clean rinse that doesn't leave anything behind.  I picked up a 25 oz. bottle of the Tresemme Naturals Aloe Vera and Avocado conditioner for just under $5 USD.  I was surprised to see that it had a thick and creamy texture; not watery.  This has proven to work really well as creamy base for my moisturizing deep conditioning treatments.   It has a mellow citrus scent that doesn't offend (I'm sensitive to scents that are overpowering).  Co-washing with it is similar to using a VO5 Moisture Milks in that I can feel it defining my curls while adding slip to each strand.  I would say that detangling with it is about what you would expect from any conditioner in this price range (i.e. Aussie Moist, Sauve Naturals etc.) 

Overall, I consider this an excellent value for the amount of product you get.  The fact that it doesn't have a bad reaction when I use it as a leave-in under Eco Styler gel has put this on my staples list.  The Naturals line can be found at Target, Walgreens and Walmart.  We are currently workin' on our second bottle of the Aloe and Avocado conditioner.  It's a winner in my opinion and is definitely worth a try.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Rockin' My Fluffy Fro

Early on in my natural hair journey I started trying styles that I could do at night.  I was finally understanding that my hair would thrive if I could just stay away from the flat iron every morning.  Little did I know that there would be a lot of trial and error.  The braid-out style has always kept me guessing because I could never get it quite right.  Either I chose the wrong products, separated the sections too much or it simply wasn't dry in time. 

I've come to realize that every braid-out I do is different depending on so many different factors.  So instead of cringing at the first sign of poof, I'm learning to just go with it.  In the end, the technique is altering my tight, curly fro and stretching my hair.  This helps with tangles and those nasty little single strand knots.  While I am pleased when the style results in lots of definition and curl, I'm also learning to accept the big fluffy look I sometimes
get.  Most importantly, I rock it in public so that others can see that big hair is beautiful and it's here to stay.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Braid-out Success with Palmer's Coconut Oil Replenishing Hair Milk

Normally when I do a braid-out I end up with frizzy ends.  I always make sure to be very careful when taking the braids down but it just hasn't been working out.  Another thing that I wrestle with is getting my hair to air dry completely.  I usually spritz my hair with my Aloe Vera juice spray mixture and apply shea butter or some other heavy moisture for hold.  By morning my hair is always damp and we all know what happens if you don't wait until your hair is completely dry...frizzy, puffy hair.  

Now I'm learning to just start out with dry hair and apply moisturizer to set the style.  This is sometimes my current go-to Palmer's Coconut Oil Replenishing Hair Milk, or just plain leave-in conditioner.  I like the Hair Milk because it also helps to reduce frizz and lists shea butter as one of the main ingredients.  I then seal the moisture with one of my favorite oils.  

For my most recent braid-out, I used small satin rollers on the ends.  Only this time I wound the last 2 inches of hair around the roller (like a corkscrew) instead of rolling it up flat like I normally do.  The end result was a fabulous, full style with waves and spiral curls.     

Here are some pics

Most recent with curly ends
My Braid-out before with
straight, frizzy ends


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