Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Inversion Method for Hair: Grow an Inch of Hair in 7 Days?

FTC Disclaimer
This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.
Thank you for your support!

Warning Sign - READ ENTIRE POST

What would you do to grow your hair? Eat super healthy? Take a basketful of vitamins and supplements? Drink eight to ten glasses of water a day? Buy expensive hair products or growth aids? How about a handstand?

Yogi Handstand Sketch

Creative Commons License by flickr
Photo shared by formulapuff            
Photo Adapted

What if it would give you an inch of hair growth in only seven days? Ok, maybe not a handstand, but you get the point … Don’t laugh. Inversion therapy has been around for thousands of years.

Egyptian Dancer, a pubic domain image from Wikimedia. Source: Artist unknown; an ancient Egyptian ostraca found at Thebes, now in Turin Museo Egizio.
Public Domain Mark 1.0 via Wikimedia.

During an archaeological dig, archaeologists found ancient stone seals from 3000 BC that revealed various yoga poses. Yogis have used inverted poses to rebalance the mind and body from time immemorial. Some research even suggests a history much earlier than 3000 BC.

In 400 BC, Hippocrates, sometimes called the Father of Medicine, used a complicated system of ladders and pulleys to hang his patients’ upside down to relieve back pain and pressure on the spine.

Early Greek Traction Device, a pubic domain image from Wikimedia.
Source: Artist Unknown.
Public Domain Mark 1.0 via Wikimedia.

The treatment, which involves inverting the body upside down or at a slightly inverted angle, supposedly relieves tension as the weight of your body naturally “stretches” the spine. Proponents say that it not only helps ease back pain but also slows the aging of the spine. In addition, many claim that it increases circulation, stimulates the brain, enhances glandular system functioning, and relieves pressure on the abdominal organs. Hair aficionados, however, suggest that the same increased circulation that is generated from an inverted position to ease back pain can also accelerate hair growth.

Conditions that Don’t Mix Well with the Inversion Method

  • If you have any of the following conditons, you should avoid inversion COMPLETELY: pregnancy, hernia, low or high blood pressure*, recent stroke, heart or circulatory problems, glaucoma, conjunctivitis (“pink eye”), detached retina, spinal injury, swollen joints, osteoporosis, unhealed fractures or injuries, ear infection, obesity, or are otherwise unhealthy.

* Ladies, be sure to avoid attempting the inversion method during menstruation when your blood flow is already being manipulated physiologically. 

Degree of Inversion

  • A common mistake when attempting inversion therapy is inverting at an angle that’s too severe. This especially applies to beginners, who should start out at a very slight angle.
  • In addition to inverting at a slight angle, beginners should also be sure to have someone “spotting” them. Inverting for the first time can cause dizziness, so it’s important to have someone close by to assist you (if necessary).
  • If you have any concerns about attempting the inversion method, or just to be on the safe side, check with your doctor before you begin the inversion method.

I discovered the inversion method for hair growth while searching online for a growth aid. The whole concept of inversion to grow hair seemed completely ridiculous to me at first. In fact, I think I LOLed at the search engine result as soon as it populated. But, something about the title and the introductory video pic made me curious, so I clicked on the link and watched the vid. (You can read the original Hairlista post HERE.) After watching several videos and reading the initial Hairlista post, I decided to do my own research. I was surprised by the number of women who received positive hair growth results. So, starting today, I am officially taking the inversion method 7-day hair growth challenge. What can I say? I’m feeling adventurous! Here’s what you need to know …

The Steps

  1. Massage an oil of your choice (that has been warmed in hot water) onto your scalp. Olive oil is recommended, but you can experiment with any oil you have on hand.
  2. Do a simple inversion for 4 minutes. (Suggested positions: (i) sitting in a chair or on a couch and lowering your head slightly toward your feet as if you are painting your toenails or (ii) standing at the kitchen sink and lowering your head as if you are getting ready to wash your hair.) For more detailed positions, check out this video:

    Caution Border Pale PinkIf at anytime during the inversion you feel dizzy,

    drowsy/sleepy, or abnormal in ANY way, 

    SLOWLY move out of the position.
    Caution Border Pale Pink

  3. Let the oil sit on your scalp for at least two hours. Co-wash to remove excess oil (only if necessary).
  4. Repeat EVERY day for ONLY 7 consecutive days (i.e., Sunday to Saturday).
  5. Wait AT LEAST weeks between each attempt. Otherwise, your body gets used to the extra blood flow, and the method won’t work as well, if at all. Or, at worst, you become susceptible to some dangerous health risks. So, only attempt to do this over 7 consecutive days once per month. No more!
  6. Enjoy your new growth!

Additional Tips & Info.

  • IF YOU ARE LESS THAN 18 YEARS OLD, don’t forget to GET YOUR PARENTS’ PERMISSION BEFORE USING THIS HAIR GROWTH METHOD!!!
  • IF YOU HAVE TYPE 1 (STRAIGHT) OR TYPE 2 (WAVY) HAIR: You will likely have to rinse or co-wash the oil out after only 2-3 hours. Avoid using shampoo daily because NO ONE (regardless of ethnicity or hair type) should be shampooing their hair every day. It’s unhealthy and is just too harsh for ALL hair types.
  • IF YOU HAVE TYPE 3 (CURLY) OR TYPE 4 (COILY/KINKY) HAIR: You will likely be able to go several days before needing to rinse or co-wash your hair. Since I have a combination of type 3 & 4 hair, I personally apply an oil of my choice every day for 7 days. I co-wash my hair on day 4. After inverting for 7 days, I assume my normal weekly wash routine of shampooing, conditioning, deep conditioning, and styling my hair on my “wash day.”
  • USE ANY OIL OF YOUR CHOICE. Although you can use any oil of your choice, I would recommend using 100% natural oils (e.g., olive oil, grapeseed oil, castor oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, etc). It’s up to you whether you want to go the extra mile and use organic and/or extra virgin oils. I usually do, but you don’t have to. It’s completely up to you.
  • DO NOT COMPLETELY DOUSE YOUR SCALP WITH OIL. You shouldn’t be using 6 ounces of oil in a week’s time! If you are prone to being heavy handed, use an applicator bottle or a Roots Only bottle. I usually use 4 to 6 ounces of oil in a month’s time, just to give you a barometer of how much oil to use. That equates to about 1 to 1.5 ounces of oil a week. And, I apply daily! Keep in mind, you DO NOT want your scalp drenched, just lightly oiled.
  • MINIMIZE THE AMOUNT OF PRODUCTS YOU USE on your hair while utilizing this method. You don’t want product build up.
  • DOCUMENT YOUR STARTING LENGTH by measuring your hair from the side, back, and front/crown of your head. You won’t know about your fabulous results unless you measure first!
  • DO NOT OVERUSE THIS METHOD. You can utilize this method a maximum of 1x per month for as long as you want the expedited hair growth. However, not every one will be able to do this. For instance, if you notice any symptoms (i.e., migraines) from doing the inversion method every month, try every other month or once per quarter. Better to be safe than sorry!

FAQs

(Frequently Asked Questions)

  • IS THIS METHOD JUST FOR WOMEN? SOME OF US MEN WANT TO GROW OUT OUR HAIR, TOO!   No, this method IS NOT gender-specific. There’s only one requirement: the desire to grow your hair!
  • DO I NEED TO HAVE A CERTAIN HAIR TYPE TO USE THE INVERSION METHOD?  The inversion method works on all hair types (from type 1 to 4c), regardless of lineage. All ethnicities and hair types welcome!
  • HOW DO I HEAT UP THE OIL?    To heat up any oil for a hot oil treatment, take a mug and fill it about halfway with water. Heat the cup of water in the microwave for 60 seconds or until hot. (I just use my Keurig.) Place an applicator bottle (that contains the oil of your choice) in the mug of hot water. It won’t take more than a minute or two for the oil to heat up. Once the oil is very warm/hot, lightly oil your scalp. But, make sure the oil IS NOT scolding hot.
  • DO I HAVE TO USE OIL? I DON’T WANT TO LOOK LIKE A GREASE BALL! 😯 I did a little experiment, back in October (2013), covering this very topic. Check it out HERE.
  • CAN I USE THIS METHOD IF I’M WEARING A PROTECTIVE STYLE  (I.E., BRAIDS OR TWISTS)?  Absolutely! However, if you DO NOT have full access to your scalp, it may be best to skip the oil altogether. I used the inversion method without massaging my scalp or using oil of any kind. You can see my results HERE
  • WHEN WILL I NOTICE HAIR GROWTH? I WANT RESULTS … NOW! 😡 I usually have measurable results (about 1/4″ give or take) after day 3 or 4. On day 8 (when I measure my hair), it’s a 1/2″ longer (or more) than when I started. If you don’t seem to have any growth after 7 days, perhaps try the method while using a hair growth aid/oil to boost your results.
  • WHY DO I HAVE TO WAIT 3 WEEKS BETWEEN EACH INVERSION?  CAN I USE THE INVERSION METHOD TWICE IN THE SAME MONTH? I WANT LONGER HAIR YESTERDAY! As always, you can do whatever your heart desires. However, it IS NOT recommended. If you overuse the inversion method, your body will adjust to the improved circulation directed toward your scalp, and you will have minimal, if any, growth. Overuse can also make you prone to headaches and weaken you physiologically. The reason the inversion method produces such stellar results is because it localizes blood flow toward your hair follicles. However, as they say, too much of a good thing can be bad. So, don’t overdo it. You’re already getting a month (or two) worth of growth in one week, so don’t be greedy or impatient. It’s not worth putting your health at risk for quadruple hair growth when you’re already getting double or triple doing the inversion method 7 days a week once a month.
  • I MISSED A DAY! AM I TOTALLY SCREWED?  No, as long as you are consistent the remaining days. Consistency is key. If you miss more than a day or two, you might still get results … just not as much or as visible.
  • CAN I ONLY INVERT 1-2 TIMES OVER 7 DAYS FOR ONLY 1 MINUTE? I HAVE A CERTAIN LIFESTYLE TO MAINTAIN!  😎 You can modify the inversion method any way you see fit to suit your hair type and lifestyle/schedule. However, I think it’s important to keep things in perspective. Rules are meant to be followed. If you do not intend to follow the rules, that’s fine, as long as you also modify your expectations. Don’t expect to see gargantuan hair growth if you only intend to follow 1/5 of the guidelines!

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS? DON’T HESITATE TO LEAVE A QUESTION IN THE REPLY BOX BELOW. JUST REMEMBER TO READ AND/OR SEARCH THE COMMENTS BEFORE POSTING YOUR INQUIRY. I MIGHT HAVE ALREADY ANSWERED YOUR QUESTION!  😉

FYI, I will post my results (good or bad) in a week. See you then!

Advertisements

920 Comments

Filed under Hair Regimens

Not So Mini Twists on Short Natural Hair

FTC Disclaimer
This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.
Thank you for your support!

 

On Sunday, August 18, I installed mini twists on my 6-inch natural hair. They took me just under 3 hours to complete (2 hours and 46 minutes, to be exact). However, since I knew I only wanted the style to last for two weeks, I decided on medium-sized twists instead of the popular super tiny ones. I also opted to go the two weeks without washing or co-washing my hair. Although I normally am a strong believer in weekly washings, because my hair has a tendency to “lock up” and get matted and tangled when water is added to certain low-manipulation and no-manipulation styles (especially protective styles worn over an extended period of time), I made the decision not to wash my hair while in mini twists. In addition, I didn’t want to have to worry about stretching my hair daily and putting unwanted stress on my strands. So,  I decided to ditch the water all-together.

However, I took certain precautions. First, I shampooed with a sulfate-free shampoo, conditioned with a moisturizing conditioner, and deep conditioned my hair under a hooded dryer for 20-30 minutes. Afterward, I spritzed my hair with a leave-in conditioner and sealed in the moisture with my shea butter glycerin soufflé. Then, I let my hair air dry for a few hours until about 80% dry so that my hair would be as stretched as possible. If your hair is longer, you may need to blow dry it until it is about 80% dry, especially if air drying will take too long.

Because of the length of my hair, I didn’t feel the need to section off my hair in quadrants but, if your tresses are longer, sectioning your hair off in quadrants and then parting each quadrant into smaller sections may be necessary. Here’s what I did:

  • I shampooed, conditioned, and deep conditioned my hair.
  • I spritzed my hair with a water-based leave-in conditioner.
  • I sealed my hair with my homemade shea butter glycerin soufflé.
  • I let my hair air dry until about 80% dry.
  • I sectioned off my hair at the base of my neck and clipped the rest of my hair out of the way. (Parting is optional. If you don’t care about having clean parts, you can just grab random sections of hair like I did.)
  • I grabbed 1-inch sections of hair. (You can grab more or less hair, depending on the size twists you want to make.)
  • I applied a small dab of some of my homemade Eco Styler custard.
  • I two-strand twisted the section, making sure to twist as close to my roots as possible. When I got to the end of each twist, I twirled the bottom of each twist around my fingers to give each twist a slight curl (and also to prevent each twist from unraveling).
  • I repeated this process until I twisted my whole head.

To maintain my twists, I did the following:

  • I spritzed my hair every two days with my DIY glycerin spritz.
  • I slept in a satin bonnet each night.
  • Every 4-5 days, I let the steam (not water) of the shower moisturize my twists and then resealed with my shea butter glycerin soufflé.

Day #1 of My Twists

Day #7 of My Twists

For additional info on mini twists, check out Naptural85’s YouTube video below.

2 Comments

Filed under Hair Styles & Tips

Miss Jessie’s Curly Buttercreme

FTC Disclaimer
This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.
Thank you for your support!

There is so much hype about Miss Jessie’s hair products that I finally caved in and decided to see what all the fuss was about. While I greatly admire Miko and Titi Branch, the stalwart and savvy sister duo who co-founded Miss Jessie’s, their Curly Buttercreme left me feeling like a bandwagon fool!

Instructions: Apply a nickel-sized dollop to instantly soften dry, crunchy curls. Excellent for taming hairline edges, moisturizing pony puffs, two strand twists, coils, braids, cornrows, naturals. Great for: 2 Strand Twists, Pony Puffs, Braids, Hairline Grooming Creme, Short Naturals and Fades, Growing Out Natural Hair.

First, if you are sensitive to strong scents, beware! This Buttercreme is spiked with the essence of peppermint and is strong enough to double as smelling salts! Although the consistency of the product is creamy and plenty thick, you will definitely need more than a nickel-sized dollop, even for short hair. Second, you should not put too much stock in most of the claims. The product failed to define my curls and also failed to tame my edges.

The first time I used the Buttercreme, I followed the instructions as directed. Although my natural hair felt soft, it didn’t feel any more soft than usual. Neither did I feel like it hydrated my curls and coils. In fact, only an hour or two later, my hair frizzed up like I was a Berenstain Bear!

The second time I used the Curly Buttercreme, I was more heavy handed. Mistake! Don’t over-saturate your hair! My hair felt greasy and downright gross. The product seemed to just sit on my hair instead of actually moisturize it.

The ingredients also left much to be desired: acetylated lanolin, mineral oil, and petrolatum, to name a few. On top of all this, the curly buttercreme costs $9.00 for a meager 2 oz. container, a whopping $32.00 for a mere 8 oz. jar, and a staggering $58.00 for only 16 oz. of product!

Have you picked yourself up off the floor, yet? Don’t worry, I’ll wait … Honestly, I do not understand why this product is so expensive, especially for less than mediocre results.

My advice? Don’t fall for the hype. Or, if you feel you absolutely must try this buttercreme, order a free sample BEFORE you decide to invest in one of the larger sizes! Otherwise, your pocketbook will be (justifiably) upset with you, and your hair will cry, “Foul!”

Me? I’m moving on. I suggest you do the same. Seriously. If I see any of you in Target putting this in your hand basket, I’m going to tackle you and pin you to the ground until you shout, “Uncle!” 

1 Comment

Filed under Product Reviews

Quick Tip #1: How to Fake a Perfect Mani Pedi

FTC Disclaimer
This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.
Thank you for your support!

Quick Tip

                                    Creative Commons License by flickr
                         Photo Shared by Dan Hogben Photography

Ok. We’ve all been there … painting our nails only to end up smudging varnish all over our skin. Not cute! And, then there’s the dreaded aftermath of spending 20-30 minutes scrubbing your paint-stained flesh, trying to neaten the mess you’ve made. So, if you’re like me, and have been tempted to pass off your poor excuse of a manicure or pedicure as an haute couture rendition of a Jackson Polluck painting, this quick tip is for you!

You already know that imitating nail salon perfection can be tricky, especially for those of us who are color-in-the-lines challenged. But, with a little light prep work, you can fake a perfect mani pedi like a pro.

Before you start attempting to paint your nails, especially if you are using a very dark, bright, or highly saturated hue (e.g., navy, blackhot pink, or rose red), take a q-tip and gently dip it into some petroleum jelly (i.e., Vaseline). Outline the surrounding skin of each nail (or toe) with the q-tip, avoiding the nail bed. Then, varnish your nails as neatly as you can.

Still manage to color outside the lines? Don’t despair. Just wipe off the excess with a q-tip lightly dipped in polish remover. Clean-up will be a breeze!

Leave a comment

Filed under Hair Styles & Tips

The Baggy Method vs. The Greenhouse Effect

FTC Disclaimer
This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.
Thank you for your support!

The Baggy Method
The Baggy Method is a hair care method that offers a creative solution for dry hair by seeking to promote hair growth by trapping in much-needed moisture. It allows you to prevent damage to your delicate tresses, especially your ends. If you suffer from dry hair or split ends, simply apply a moisturizer (or your favorite leave-in) to the ends of your hair. Or, if necessary, (or depending on your preference) to your whole head. Then, add your favorite oil or butter to seal in the moisture.

Place a plastic processing cap over your whole head. If only baggying your ends, you can use saran wrap or a ziplock sandwich bag and then secure it with a ribbon tie or an ouchless hair elastic. Just make sure the tie or elastic is on the wrap or bag and NOT your hair! For additional nighttime protection, add your usual satin scarf or silk wrap. Keep covered for 3-4 hours, or overnight, if you wish. Then, remove the wrap/bag and style your hair accordingly.

The Greenhouse Effect
The Greenhouse Effect (GHE), unlike the Baggy Method, DOES NOT use moisturizers or leave-ins. It encourages the use of shampoos and conditioners that are 100% natural. And, instead of using commercial, chemical-based products, the GHE relies on body heat to stimulate the sebum production of your own scalp.

To use this technique, simply apply an all natural oil and/or butter to dry hair. To jump start the process (or if you do not produce enough body heat on your own), you can also lightly mist your hair with water prior to adding an all natural oil or butter. Make sure your hair is damp, not wetPlace a plastic processing cap over your whole head. Secure the cap with a satin scarf or silk wrap. Add another satin or silk wrap, or a knit cap or beanie to produce even more body heat. The steamy, tropical environment will encourage your hair to stay moist and retain length. You should see water droplets on the processing cap when you remove it in the morning.

The next day, after you remove the cap and scarf/wrap, you can style your hair any way you choose. Just let it air dry. Or, you can prep your hair the night before (i.e., with braids/twists) prior to using the GHE for a braid- or twist-out the following morning. The choice is yours. The key is frequency. The more you do it, the better your chances for optimum moisture and growth.

Some Helpful Tips
Tip #1: Either method is suitable for both natural and relaxed beauties alike. So, take your pick! These techniques will help naturalistas retain more moisture while making the new growth of relaxed divas more manageable. Options, anyone?
Tip #2: Use a processing cap instead of a grocery bag. Grocery bags have chemicals and toxins in them that are not worth the risk. Besides, you can get a bag of 15 processing caps from Wal-mart for only one buck! Parlez-vous good deal?
Tip #3: Don’t overdo it! Start with 2-3 days a week to see how your hair responds, then build up to 4-5 days a week (if necessary). Remember, you cannot baggy your hair 24/7.Your hair needs to breathe. Otherwise, your strands will weaken, become overly elastic, and break. Who wants that?

P.S. I started a growth challenge on the first of June, using a combination of these methods. I will post my progress after three months (in September). Stay tuned!

22 Comments

Filed under Hair Regimens