Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Olive Oil Pre-Poo for Dry Hair olive oil pre poo shampoo dry hairJust thought I would share that my hair is making a turn around thanks to my new bestie Extra
Virgin Olive Oil.  This stuff is amazing!  I'm so glad because I was really beginning to worry about where my tresses would end up without some major TLC.  One of the ways I have incorporated the oil is demonstrated in my video below.  I'm learning how important a good pre-poo treatment is if I'm going to continue using shampoo.

I have used mild shampoos and sulfate free versions in the past.  I noticed though that they didn't always remove all of the product from my hair.  Last summer, I was using shampoo all of the time because we were doing lots more swimming.  It all caught up with me and resulted in dryness that my natural hair is not accustomed to.  Also, the dryness that comes with the Colorado winter weather doesn't exactly help either.  So, I'm super excited that the olive oil is working for me.


Also, my braid outs have been looking a lot better since I've started using the olive oil.  I first apply leave-in conditioner, which lately is Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in, and then put a little oil on the section. Then I braid it up and finger coil the ends.  My hair is turning out a lot softer using this method because I'm moisturizing the hair from root to tip.  So it's olive oil for the win!  I'll be using this in my regimen for the next few months and post an update on how my hair is doing.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Straight Natural Hair: Prepping My Hair for Heat  Straight Natural Hair
"Platform" Flat Iron with 1" plates
by FHI 
I am proud to say that I'm finally coming to the end of my four month No Heat Challenge.  The challenge started on October 1st of 2013 and ends on February 1st, 2014.  I was able to get through the holiday season without using heat to style my hair.  This is a first for me because I'm known for wearing my hair straight for special occasions.   This challenge taught me that there are plenty of other styles for when I want something more exciting.

In my no heat challenge video I explained that I would be straightening my hair and doing a length check in February.  Then I will see if giving my hair a break from the heat resulted in more length retention.  Now that the day is fast approaching, I've been thinking of ways to fortify my hair so that it will be ready for the heat.  My first thought was to use the Aphogee 2 Step protein treatment because it is known for it's ability to strengthen the hair.  I've been experiencing some breakage though so I thought maybe I would address that issue first before doing such a strong treatment. Straight Natural Hair
Aphogee 2 Step Protein Treatment for
extra protection against heat and breakage
That led me to thinking about some of the things I did in the beginning of my journey when I had fewer problems with my hair.  Back then, I used a whipped shea butter mix that I made myself.  I was also a huge fan of olive and coconut oils for deep treatments.  Another thing I did were deep conditioning treatments one time per week, without fail.  Well, my regimen has gotten a little simpler but I think that some of these things were working for me so I'm bringing a few of them back.

Whenever I had dryness or breakage before, I always did moisturizing deep treatments twice a week until the issue was resolved.  After that, I would go back to once per week.  In that fashion, I deep conditioned last week using Tresemme Naturals Conditioner, for moisture, under a hooded dryer for about 30 minutes.  A few days later, I co-washed and  then used the new Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Strong version.  I would consider this conditioner a light protein treatment.  I wanted to alternate the moisture and protein treatments for balance.  Thankfully the Aussie conditioner also gave excellent slip so detangling was a breeze.

This week I still may do the Aphogee 2 step treatment but then, the day before straightening, I plan on doing nothing but moisture.  For this, I revisited an old video by Patchouli85 where she explains how to deep condition with coconut oil for moisture and honey for shine.  It's a pre-poo treatment so you end up washing it out before using the heat.  The last time I did it my hair was so shiny and soft.  That's exactly what my hair needs.

It's so funny how right now the best thing for my hair is what I started doing at the beginning of my hair journey.  I'm just glad that I'm finally getting back on the right track.

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Benefits of Using Coconut Oil as a Pre-Poo Treatment coconut oil pre poo on natural hair
Getting ready to Pre-Poo with
Coconut Oil
After recently purchasing extra virgin coconut oil for the first time in ages, I have been on the huntpatchouli85 on Youtube.  Fast forward to this month where my hair is longer but in need of repair.  I have already been experiencing dryness and breakage so I can't afford to make any more mistakes.
for more information on how to use it.  Years ago, I used the oil to combat frizz when my straight natural hair started to revert.  Later, I was inspired to try it in a moisturizing deep conditioning treatment mix demonstrated in a video by

I knew that there were a lot of benefits to using coconut oil but wasn't exactly sure how to work the product into my weekly routine.  While looking at some Youtube videos on the subject I found out how great coconut oil is for pre-pooing.  Again, this is when you apply something to the hair, oils or conditioner, prior to using shampoo.  This helps the hair to retain moisture during the washing process.  Coconut oil has a molecular structure small enough for it to penetrate the hair strand.  When using it to pre-poo, you are helping the hair to hold onto it's moisture.  In addition, the oil has the ability to prevent hygral fatigue.   This is when the strands swell and de-swell from constantly going from wet to dry.  This stretching and contracting can be damaging and even lead to protein loss.  Lately I have been wetting my hair and cleansing it often so, without this added protection, my hair is vulnerable.

I really want to retain as much length as possible this year.  I'm finally understanding the negative effects of shampoo (or any cleansing agent) and the toll that it is taking on my hair.  I'm hoping that the coconut oil will help my hair bounce back so I can start retaining more of my length.  I have included a link to a video by  GreenBeautyChannel that further illustrates the benefits of using coconut oil as a pre-poo.  Check it out!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Fighting Hair Breakage with Olive Oil and Coconut Oil fight hair breakage olive oil coconut oilIf you follow my Instagram page@mitchellzee, then you already know that I have been experiencing some breakage lately.  I have already taken steps to help strengthen my hair with protein.  For this I went back to my trusty Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructor but I also picked up some Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in.  Both products claim to help strengthen damaged hair so I figured they may be what my hair needs right now.

When I started examining my hair regimen over the past couple of months though I noticed that I had been shampooing more often.  Now, I'm not afraid to cleanse my hair with shampoo because I'll sometimes use an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse afterwards to help restore my hair's pH level.  Recently though I was skipping this step altogether.   I also started using a cheapie Suave shampoo with sulfates and silicones instead of my staple, Elasta QP's Creme Conditioning shampoo.  I like using shampoo once per week because my scalp does not feel as clean with other products.  That's why I decided I should start using oils to give my hair extra moisture and protection from the drying effects of the shampoo.

First, I used the Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructor in the shower for a few minutes after cleansing my hair with Suave's Almond Shea Butter shampoo.   The Aphogee products are protein based so I used this to help with breakage and split end prevention.  I hadn't used it in a while but I remembered having the best results on clean hair.  After that I did a moisturizing deep conditioning treatment using coconut oil and Tresemme Naturals conditioner.  I sat under the dryer with a plastic cap for about thirty minutes.  Aftwerwards, my hair felt like buttah!  It was so much easier to detangle than before so this was definitely a winner. fight hair breakage olive oil coconut oil
I'm using Olive and Coconut
Oils for moisture and conditioning
The following week I tried a pre-shampoo (pre-poo) treatment with olive oil.  This was just to ensure that my shampoo wouldn't strip my hair during the washing process.  I also applied the oil to my scalp and massaged it in thouroughly to treat any dryness or flaking.  After using shampoo and conditioner I used the olive oil again with the Cantu Shea Butter leave-in and put my hair into plaits.  The resulting braid out was fab-u-lous!

My hair this week is feeling much more pliable and moisturized than before.  Right now I'm looking for a new shampoo that is not as drying.  Otherwise, I will continue to use the coconut and olive oils consistently over the next few months.   I really want to start retaining more of my length this year.  I can see that the oils will play a big part in helping me achieve my goals.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Easy Up-Do on Stretched Natural Hair stretched natural hair style
Easy Up-Do on Stretched Natural Hair
There are all sorts of ways to stretch natural hair and I've pretty much tried them all.  Thing is, I am always stuck trying to figure out how to style my hair once it's stretched.  Enter the Up-Do.  After watching plenty of videos on the subject, I can finally say I've got a few tricks up my sleeve.

The Crown Braid style that I demonstrated in my french braiding video is a favorite of mine.  It can last several days if I keep it wrapped up at night.  Lately though I wanted something with a little more pizazz and found this look that was also really easy
to do.

This is similar to the look that Teyonah Parris rocked on the red carpet at the SAG awards last year.  I like that you can change this into a mohawk style or go with a simple bun.  This is truly where stretched natural hair shines because the texture gives fullness to the style.

Here's a pictorial of how I achieved this style.

I first sectioned off my bangs with a u-shape part stretched natural hair style

Then I split the rest of my hair into two sections parting from ear to ear.  Next, I pulled each section into ponytails using elastic bands to secure. stretched natural hair style

Now it's time for some bobby pins.  I just took the bottom ponytail and split the hair into three.  I finger rolled my hair like I was pincurling it and bobby pinned the hair down towards the base of the elastic. stretched natural hair style
Finger Rolling stretched natural hair style
Roll down toward the base of the elastic stretched natural hair style
Pin Down with a Bobby Pin

 I took the other two sections and did the same thing, pinning them around the sides of the elastic for a full bun effect. stretched natural hair style
This ponytail was split into three sections

I did the same rolling and pinning on the second/top ponytail and then moved on to the bangs. stretched natural hair style

 The bangs can be pinned back into a pompadour or swooped forward.  This is usually where I freestyle a bit until I get the hair how I want it. stretched natural hair style
Swooped bangs

I finished the style by smoothing the sides with a soft bristle brush and there you have it.  So Easy! stretched natural hair style
The finished look

This Up-Do is too easy to pass up.  Let me know if you give it a try!



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