HUGE Hair Announcement … The End of My Natural Hair Journey!

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After 5 years and 9 months of struggling with my natural hair, I have made the decision to texturize my hair! I did not make this decision lightly and have come to this conclusion after much research and angst. I decided to go with the Silk Elements Texturizer for Sensitive Scalps. This is a no-lye, no-mix, texturizing system for people with sensitive scalps. Watch the video below for more information, explaining my decision. I’ll post a video of my results in the coming weeks.

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Fermented Rice Water Rinse for Hair Growth: 3-month Results

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This is the third month I have used fermented rice water rinses. It has really transformed my hair for the better … My hair has never felt smoother, shinier, or silkier! You can read my posts on my month #1 results and month #2 results for more detailed information on how fermented rice water rinses have improved the overall condition of my  temperamental, multi-textured, fragile hair.

I like to use organic brown rice, but you can use organic white rice (or any other rice you prefer).  I go into the nutrient break down between the two HERE. For the general recipe and instructions for how to make fermented rice water, read this post HERE on the subject.

After 12 weeks of using fermented rice water, am I still receiving positive results? Watch the video below to chart my experience with using fermented rice water over the last 3 months …

 

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Fermented Rice Water Rinse for Hair Growth: 2-month Results

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Thank you for your support!

 

 

This is the second month I have been doing fermented rice water rinses and, so far, I love it! It has really helped to improve the condition of my hair, both in terms of how it looks and feels. This is no trivial accomplishment for this multi-textured head of fine, fragile hair.

I like to use organic brown rice, but you can use organic white rice (or any other rice you prefer).  Just keep in mind that all white rice begins its life as brown rice. However, white rice has been processed to remove it’s husk, bran, and germ. Although this increases its shelf life, it means that white rice has to be artificially fortified with nutrients. This is why I prefer to use organic brown rice. Here is a basic breakdown of some of the nutrients between the two from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database (based on ½ cup of raw long-grain rice) …

Because  rice does contain protein, I like to clarify my hair once a month with bentonite clay to prevent any build up. My sister likes to add a little apple cider vinegar to her fermented rice water  rinse. For the general recipe and instructions for how to make fermented rice water, READ my first post HERE on the subject.

After 8 weeks of using fermented rice water, my hair feels significantly stronger and less fragile. I have also noticed that my strands seem to be much smoother and silkier! Rice water has been a complete game changer for me and is really helping me with length retention. Want more detailed information about my experience over the last two months? Watch the video below …

 

 

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Fermented Rice Water Rinse: Can It Grow YOUR Hair?

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Historically, in China, Japan, and other southeast Asian countries, rice water has been used for skincare (e.g., to bathe in) as well as in various hair care routines (i.e., in lieu of shampoo). The Yao women of the Huangluo village in China are a testament to the wonders of this simple liquid. They have been entered into the Guinness Book of World Records as “the world’s longest hair village.” The average hair length of the women in this village spans 6 ft. long!  What do these women have in common? They all use fermented rice water to rinse their hair. According to them, this practice keeps their hair black, silky, shiny, and long. A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Chemists found that the use of rice water as a hair care regimen aided in the reduction of surface friction on hair follicles and helped to improve the overall elasticity of hair. This means that those lengthy detangling sessions could be a thing of the past … Goodbye, breakage!

So, how do we obtain gorgeous locks from rice water? Rice contains inositol, a carbohydrate. Thanks to a specialized imaging technique, we know that inositol can help repair damaged hair.  This is because inositol not only remains on the exterior shaft of the hair but has the ability to gradually penetrate into each strand’s cortex (the middle), even after rinsing, offering continued hair protection. As a result, rinsing or washing your hair with rice water can improve manageability and, as a bonus, prevent any future damage. Besides, the amino acids, B vitamins, minerals, and vitamin E found in rice is thought to help strengthen the hair’s roots, add volume and lustre to the hair, and make hair silky smooth. With such amazing hair benefits as these, it’s no wonder the Yao women can obtain 6 feet of healthy, long, beautiful hair.

In addition, rice water is also believed to create flawless skin due to its cooling and soothing effect. Thanks to its moisturizing, antioxidant, and healing properties, it is also believed to improve overall circulation, prevent signs of aging (i.e., age spots and discoloration), soften and smooth skin, and ease inflammation. A study conducted at Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium found that taking rice water bath  increased damaged skin’s ability to heal by as  much as 20%.

General Recipe

There are two ways to make rice water, with heat (via boiling water) or without heat (sans boiling). My sister likes to boil her rice  water, but I prefer the no-boil method (to keep as many of the rice’s nutrients in tact).

To make rice water, you will need:

Instructions

1.    To make rice water, first rinse the rice with water (to remove any dirt or impurities).

2.    Place the rice in a container and cover with (distilled) water.  I used a glass bottle with a flip-top lid to create a vaccum seal  and to prevent contamination (i.e., from something inadvertently falling into the vessel). Let the rice soak for 1 to 2 days at room temperature.  (The warmer the room, the faster the fermentation process will be). Occasionally swirl the water around to help the vitamins and minerals seep into the water. Over time, the water should slowly become cloudy, creating a nourishing rinse for your hair and skin.

3.    Once 1 or 2 days have passed, strain the rice water out into a clean bowl and then transfer it into a spray bottle (for ease of use).  Your rice water is now ready to use. It will smell slightly sour  (i.e., reminiscent of yeast when making bread).

4 .  Store your rice water in the refrigerator to stop the fermentation process. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.

NOTE: You can always use unfermented rice water, however fermenting the rice water provides enhanced benefits. (i.e., traces of pitera, a substance produced during the fermentation process that is believed to promote cell regeneration and help skin stay young and beautiful). Also, keep in mind that fermented rice water is very potent. As a result, you may need to dilute it with a cup or two of  water prior to use.  I didn’t need to, but everyone’s hair is different. So, simply adjust the ratio according to your hair’s needs (e.g., dilute with more water if you find the rinse too drying for your hair).

How to Use Fermented Rice Water

After shampooing your mane, use a spray bottle to saturate your hair with rice water. Make sure your strands are coated from root to tip. Then, gently massage the rice water into your scalp, and cover your hair with a processing cap. Leave the rinse in for 20 to 30 minutes. Next, rinse your hair thoroughly with (distilled) water. Use this fermented rice treatment once a week as a final rinse. It should be the last step in your hair routine prior to moisturizing and styling your hair.

What I Noticed

Fermented rice water really helped to do the following:

  • condition my hair
  • soften my hair
  • balance my scalp’s pH
  • increase the shine of my hair
  • strengthen my hair
  • help my hair grow faster (and retain the length I grew)

After 4 weeks of using fermented rice water, my hair felt softer, stronger, and super silky. Also, I noticed that my strands seemed much smoother. Rice water really works! Want more detailed information about my experience? Watch the video below …

 

 

Read about my 2-month results HERE.

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Moisturizing Aloe Vera Hair Cream with Rosemary & Tea Tree

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  1. Place 3 TBSP raw, unrefined shea butter in a double boilerI like ivory shea butter best but, if you like, you can also use yellow shea butter. They both come from the nut of the Karite tree. However, yellow shea butter has Borututu tree roots (a medicinal plant) added during the milling process to give it a golden color and to make it slightly more firm.
    • NOTE: If your shea butter is pure white in color, it is refined. As someone who is 67% West African, in my family, buying refined shea butter is a cardinal sin! It’s just not done. Besides, the refinement process (i.e., bleaching, deodorizing, etc.) can leave harmful toxins in the final product. It also tends to remove most of the beneficial properties of shea butter, which pretty much defeats the purpose of buying shea butter in the first place.
  2. Add 3 TBSP of avocado oil. Once butter and oil melts, remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. 
    • Avocado oil is rich in Vitamins B and E. It works at the cellular level to help protect and strengthen hair, repair scalp damage, prevent hair loss, and promote healthy hair growth. Avocado oil nourishes and rejuvenates dehydrated skin and hair to improve texture and appearance by controlling frizz, adding shine, and fighting split ends.
  3. Add ¾ cup aloe vera gel to butter/oil mixture. 
  4. Add ½ tsp vitamin e oil
    • Vitamin E is an antioxidant that reduces scalp inflammation and helps to repair damage to hair follicles.
    • It also helps to extend the shelf life of the product. I like the Sundown Naturals brand.
  5. Whip all ingredients with an electric hand mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes.
    • I remove one beater (i.e., only use one beater) for this whole process to avoid overcrowding the bowl or having to use a vessel 10x larger than necessary.
  6. OPTIONAL: Add essential oils.
    • 10 drops rosemary: stimulates blood flow to scalp, prevents inflammation, and regulates the scalp’s sebum production.
    • 10 drops tea tree: has antibacterial, antiseptic, and antioxidant properties that prevents hair fall and nourishes dry, itchy scalp.
  7. Refrigerate for 30-40 minutes to congeal and gently stir.
    • Finished product does not need to be refrigerated.
    • You can also leave the product at room temp to congeal on its own, but this will take at least 3-4 hours. Refrigeration speeds up the process.
  8. Transfer contents into an 8 oz. jar. Product is now ready for use.
  9. Happy styling!

 

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Fact or Fiction … Can a hair serum grow your hair 2″ in ONE week?

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Have problem hair that just won’t grow? Well, I may have stumbled across a solution. While browsing YouTube a while back, I meandered upon a video from one of my favorite YouTubers, Melissa Erial. She makes absolutely stunning hair tutorials. If you’ve never watched any of her flawless hairstyle creations, you’re missing out! One video in particular intrigued me. It was entitled, “GROW your hair 2 inches in just 1 week – Hair growth serum!” Needless to say I was instantly fascinated. Here’s the original vid that caught my eye …

 

The Recipe

  1. Extract 7 oz. of aloe vera gel from an aloe vera plant and place it into a blender (or bowl).
  2. Add 3 TBSP of Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO).
    • I used “extra strength” organic JBCO from Simply Organic.
  3. Add 1 tsp of vitamin e oil.
  4. Combine ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth.
    • Or, you can just add the ingredients to a small or medium bowl, like a did, and use a hand mixer.
  5. Transfer contents to an 8 oz. applicator bottle.
  6. Enjoy!

The Method

DAY #1: Start out on freshly washed (e.g., shampooed, conditioned, deep conditioned, etc.), detangled, damp hair. Shake mixture prior to use (if necessary). I didn’t have to do this because my hand mixer did such a good job of combining all of the ingredients. Next, part hair and apply mixture directly to your scalp.Or, you can just randomly apply the concoction all over your mane. When done, massage your scalp for 5 minutes. Comb mixture through hair. (I finger combed!) Then, style your hair as desired.

DAY #2 – #7: Co-wash mixture from prior day out of your hair. Once hair is clean, apply serum all over scalp and hair, repeating the process for each subsequent day as before (on day #1).

The Process

I decided to run a little 7-day experiment to see if I could obtain similar results as Melissa Erial. Here’s what happened …

 

 

The Conclusion

I think this strategy might work better for someone with relaxed or type 1 or 2 hair. Although my hair felt soft, stayed well-moisturized, and had phenomenal curl definition, it didn’t do much in the way of hair growth. (Sigh.) On to the next experiment …

 

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SugarBearHair Vitamins: 3-month Results

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SugarBearHair Vitamins (3 Month Supply)INGREDIENTS:

Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin B-6, Folic Acid, Vitamin B-12, Biotin, Pantothenic Acid, Iodine, Zinc, Choline, Inositol, Glucose Syrup, Sugar, Water, Pectin, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Natural Flavors, and (for Colors: Titanium Dioxide, Blue 1), Coconut Oil, and Carnauba Wax.

 

DIRECTIONS:

As a dietary supplement, adults take two (2) gummy vitamins per day. Chew thoroughly before swallowing. Do not exceed recommended dose. Keep out of sunlight. Store in a cool, dry place. Color may fade over time. Color changes do not affect the safety of the vitamins.

 

I just finished up month #3 of my three-month trial of SugarBearHair Hair Vitamins. Go HERE to read my initial review and to watch a video of my first impressions. You can also chart my two-month progress HERE.

So far, these hair vitamins still taste, feel, and smell just as amazing as on day 1. The fact that this hair supplement comes in gummy form makes them a hassle-free addition to my morning routine. I love that!

According to the company website, the active ingredients of this hair vitamin complex will (1) increase circulation while cultivating the proper moisture balance of one’s scalp, (2) expedite hair growth while preventing hair breakage and curbing hair loss, and (3) improve hair strength and elasticity while encouraging an overall boost in energy levels. After 3 months, I have yet to experience any increase in my energy levels. However, I have noticed that my mane isn’t as dull as it was prior to consumption of these hair vitamins. In addition, my hair doesn’t seem to break quite so readily and seems denser throughout.

I also observed in month #1 and #2 that my hairline wasn’t nearly as sparse as it had been in the past and had filled in rather nicely. This, in combination with the fact that they helped me to reverse stunted hair growth that I had encountered in the last year or two, has made SugarBearHair Hair Vitamins something of a marvel. Unfortunately, though, I didn’t experience expedited hair growth everywhere. In fact, some months, certain parts of my hair didn’t grow at all (or only grew ¼”) while other segments of my head were showered with ¾” to 1″ of growth! Although my hair growth hasn’t been consistent from month to month, with the help of these little teddy bears, I have finally moved out of my long-term hair non-growth slump and started to retain some length. So, thank you SugarBear!

 

PROS

♥ Vitamins helped me to get over a long-term growth stunt.

♥ Vitamins filled in my hairline.

♥ Vitamins strengthened my hair.

♥ Vitamins provided my hair with much-needed nutrition.

♥ Vitamins encouraged new growth.

♥ Vitamins made my hair more voluminous and thicker at the root.

♥ Vitamins are vegetarian, kosher, cruelty free, gelatin free, gluten free, and soy free.

♥ Vitamins come in a gummy form (no hard-to-swallow large, smelly pills).

♥ Designed for all hair types and genders.

♥ Contains 15 vitamins and natural ingredients.

♥ Flavored from real berries and citrus fruits.

♥ Vitamins are hormone free and won’t affect body or facial hair.

♥ Vitamins can be taken any time of day, together, separate, and with or without food!

 

CONS

 Inconsistent hair growth.

 No increased energy levels.

 Vitamins are quite sweet.

 Vitamins are expensive (if not purchased when on sale).

 

Want to know more of my thoughts about these hair vitamins after three months’ of use? Watch the video below to see my three-month length check and to see how these gummies helped ignite my hair growth.

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