Tag Archives: co-wash

The MAX Hydration Method … Modified! (A DETAILED OVERVIEW)

FTC Disclaimer

This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon or eBay), 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!
After my successful experiment with a baking soda scalp treatment back in August, I finally decided to take the plunge and try the Max Hydration Method (MHM). This strategic hair moisturization method was created by (no longer active) YouTuber Pinke Cube. The MHM was originally designed for type 4c low porosity hair, but it has been used by those with type 3 and even type 2 hair hair. The theory is that once maximum hydration is obtained, your dry, frizzy, and undefined curls and coils will be fully hydrated, well-defined, free of tangles and single strand knots, less prone to breakage, and therefore more easily able to retain length.
Dry, tangled hair has plagued me since the beginning of my second year as a natural. Needless to say I was intrigued! I did extensive research and quickly realized there was more involved than I had thought. The MHM involves an intense 4-step process over the course of 7 days. See the traditional MHM below.

TRADITIONAL Max Hydration METHOD

    1. CHERRY LOLA TREATMENT: If this is your first time attempting the MHM, you are supposed to start with a Cherry Lola Treatment (CLT). This protein treatment was created by UK natural hair blogger Cherry Lola in 2009 to help strengthen hair follicles and prevent damage. Because I saw recipe after recipe with ingredients like bananas, molasses, and the like, I knew immediately that I would skip this step. However, after a super deep research dive, I found out that the original CLT only has 3 ingredients (see the original recipe below). The other ingredients likely are an amalgamation of the CLT and a DIY Carmel Treatment. The original Carmel Deep Reconstructing Treatment is by E’TAE. To apply the CLT, mix together all of the ingredients and apply it to your entire head of hair. Leave on for 20-30 minutes, and then rinse out completely. This protein treatment should be done bi-weekly (every two weeks), monthly, or how frequently your hair requires (i.e., once a quarter).Several people who use the CLT, especially those with high porosity hair, reduce the baking soda and liquid amino acids to 2 TBSP each.
      NOTE #1: (OPTIONAL) OVERNIGHT DEEP CONDITIONING TREATMENT—Some MHM users do an optional overnight deep conditioning session (after the CLT) to further encourage increased hydration.
      NOTE #2: The NEXT STEPS are intended to be done EVERY DAY for 7 consecutive days!
    2. CLARIFY: After an initial CLT, you must then clarify your hair. This is usually done the next day (after the CLT). You can either do an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse (with a 50:50 ratio of ACV to distilled water) or a baking soda treatment (with 2 TBSP of baking soda, 2 oz. of conditioner, and 4 oz. of distilled water). Allow the ACV rinse OR baking soda treatment to sit on your hair for 20-30 minutes. Recommended conditioners include: [i.] Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-in Conditioner/Detangler, [ii.]  Kinky Curly Tiny Twirls Detangling Conditioner, [iii.] Curls Curl Ecstasy Hair Tea Deep Conditioner, [iv.] Curl Junkie Beauti-Curls Leave-in Hair Conditioner, [v.] Curl Junkie Curl Rehab Moisturizing Hair Treatment, [vi.] Jessicurl Aloeba Daily Conditioner, [vii.] Jessicurl Too Shea! Extra Moisturizing Conditioner, [viii.] Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment in Citrus Lavender, Island Fantasy, or Unscented, [ix.] Botanical Skin Works Leave-in Conditioner, [x.] Giovanni Nutrafix Hair Reconstructor, [xi.] Giovanni Direct Leave-in Weightless Moisture Conditioner, and [xii.] Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner with Peppermint and Eucalyptus.
      NOTE: If you have high porosity hair, opt for the ACV rinse. If you have low porosity hair, do the baking soda treatment instead, using one of the recommended conditioners!
    3. CO-WASH & DETANGLE: Use one of the “approved” conditioners (above) to co-wash your hair. Also, gently detangle your hair during this step.
      NOTE: 
      (OPTIONAL) OVERNIGHT DEEP CONDITIONING TREATMENT—
      Some MHM users do an overnight deep conditioning session (in lieu of co-washing) to further encourage increased hydration. However, under the original MHM regimen, this is an optional step. 
    4. CLAY RINSE: After co-washing (or deep conditioning) and detangling, apply a clay mix thoroughly to your hair and allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes. Recommended clays include: [i.] Bentonite clay, [ii.]  Rhassoul (aka Ghassoul) clay [iii.] European clay, and [iv.] French green clay. However, if you don’t want to create your own clay rinse, you can buy a pre-made clay hair wash by Terressentials. To make the clay rinse, combine 1 cup of clay with 1½ cups of ACV (or warm distilled water), 1 TBSP of honey, and 1 TBSP of olive oil.
      NOTE: The clay rinse recipe (above) provides rough measurements as the exact amount will depend upon the length and density of your hair.
    5. MOISTURIZE & STYLE: Apply your leave-ins to soaking wet hair in sections from root to tip. Mist your hair with water if it starts to dry out. Recommended gels/stylers include: [i.] Giovanni L.A. Natural Styling Gel, [ii.] Herbal Choice Mari Hair Styling GEL for Him & Her,  [iii.] Beautiful Curls Curl Defining Gel, [iv.] Epiphany Naturals Curly Creme with Argan Oil, [v.] Kinky curly Curling Custard Natural Styling Gel, [vi.] .Koils by Nature Herbal Curl Defining Gel, and [vii.] Camille Rose Naturals Almond Jai Twisting Butter. Style your hair according to personal tastes (i.e., in a wash ‘n go, twist-out, or stretched style).
      NOTE #1: With the MHM, products must be layered onto the hair via the Liquid Cream Oil (LCO) or Liquid Cream Oil Cream (LCOC) methods. A botanical gel or curl definer can then be applied on top as the final layer. Because oils are occlusive, it is believed that the LOC method should NEVER be used as it could prevent water-based moisturizing products from penetrating and hydrating your strands. 
      NOTE #2: 
      Repeat steps #2-#5 DAILY for 7 consecutive days (or at least every 2-3 days), depending upon your hair’s needs. Once your hair reaches “max hydration,” you can scale back on how frequently you utilize the MHM. For more detailed information about the traditional MHM, read this post from the creator Pinke Cube, herself, in the Black Hair Medium forum.

 

MY MODIFIED Max Hydration METHOD

  1. CHERRY LOLA TREATMENT: Now that I know the CLT only contains plain yogurt, baking soda, and liquid amino acids, I may try my hand at the treatment sometime in the near future. However, for the month that I chose to do a modified version of the MHM, I elected to skip this step entirely. I did this to save time and because I had already successfully given myself several intense baking soda scalp treatments.
    NOTE: To save time, I performed all of the next steps TWICE a week instead of for 7 consecutive days!
  2. CLARIFY: Because I have have low porosity hair, I did the baking soda treatment (instead of an ACV rinse) by combining 2 TBSP of baking soda in a large spray bottle with 2 oz. of conditioner and 4 oz. of distilled water. Because I didn’t have any of the “approved” conditioners on hand in my stash, and I already had more product than I care to admit in my beauty cabinet, I didn’t want to purchase any new product. As a result, I just used what I hand on hand: VO5’s Tea Therapy Blackberry Sage Tea Revitalizing Conditioner. The combination of the Blackberry Sage Tea Revitalizing Conditioner with the baking soda was life-altering! LIFE-ALTERING, I SAY!!! All I did was divide my hair into quadrants and apply the concoction to each section (from root to tip). I smoothed it all over my strands, secured each quadrant into a large Bantu knot (to keep it from tangling and to help me work in manageable sections), and left the mix in my hair for 30 minutes. After half an hour, I hopped in the shower, and rinsed the mixture from each quadrant. My hair was instantaneously tangle-free, smooth, and more defined. I finger detangled my hair while in the shower, but there was truly no need. My fingers literally glided through my hair from root to ends! I was super excited because this was only the FIRST step! Honestly, even though this was only the beginning, I was already sold!
    NOTE: If you have high porosity hair, an ACV rinse is recommended. If you have low porosity hair, do the baking soda treatment instead (like I did), using one of the recommended conditioners (listed above under step #2 for the traditional max hydration method).
  3. CO-WASH: Because my hair felt so silky, I opted to skip this step every time I used the MHM. I went straight to the deep conditioning step (after clarifying my hair with the baking soda treatment).
  4. OVERNIGHT DEEP CONDITIONING TREATMENT: Although an optional overnight deep conditioning session is recommended to expedite the hydration process, unless I am utilizing the Baggy Method or the GHE to correct a specific hair issue, I don’t believe in overnight hair treatments (i.e., where product is left in your hair for hours on end). Also, scientifically speaking, after a maximum of 30 minutes, your hair has adsorbed all that it can, so there is no need to deep condition past the 30-minute marker. I rotated a moisturizing deep conditioner with a hair mask that contained light protein to maintain the integrity of my hair. So, on MY FIRST HAIR WASH of each week, I would use my ion Summer Deep Conditioning Treatment, and on MY SECOND HAIR WASH of each week, I would use my ion Keratin Smoothing Masque. I felt that this balanced my hair appropriately. Each time, I applied the deep conditioner to my hair in quadrants and secured each quadrant into a large Bantu knot. Then, I donned a processing cap and sat under my stand bonnet dryer for 30 minutes before rinsing each section. At this point, my hair felt twice as hydrated as it did in the clarifying step, and I can hardly believe it.
    NOTE #1: Both my ion Summer Deep Conditioning Treatment and my ion Keratin Smoothing Masque contain “dimethicone.” Under the MHM, silicones generally are not permitted due to the tendency to have to use harsh cleansers to remove them fully from one’s hair. However, because I have fine hair, I’ve experienced no difficulty with removing any buildup from my hair. By step #5, I’m pretty confident my hair is completely free of all product and residue.
    NOTE #2: Here is the full list of “banned” ingredients: (i.) hydrolyzed wheat protein/peptides—considered “bad for low porosity hair and most kinkier Type 4 hair,”(ii.) panthenol/pro-Vitamin B5—because it “acts like protein” and can cause build-up, (iii.) triethanolamine (TEA) and other ethanolamines such as MEA, DEA, etc.—because these are drying alcohols derived from ethanol, which can cause long-term damage to the integrity of one’s hair with prolonged use, (iv.) mineral oil and petroleum jelly—because the residue they tend to create is difficult to remove without the use of harsh shampoos, (v.) silicones/polyquaternium—often require sulfate shampoos to remove product buildup and residue, (vi.) salts and sulfates—leave hair parched and dehydrated, and (vii.) lye, i.e., sodium (NaOH) or potassium (KOH) hydroxide—permanently damages hair after prolonged use.
  5. CLAY RINSE: I like to use bentonite clay because it is inexpensive and easily accessible. The original rough measurements for the clay rinse call for 1 cup of clay with 1½ cups of ACV (or warm distilled water), 1 TBSP of honey, and 1 TBSP of olive oil. Because I have fine hair, I used ½ cup of bentonite clay with 1 cup of very warm distilled water), 1 TBSP of honey, and 1 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil. This makes enough for two generous applications (for me). However, if you have very thick (or long) hair, I would suggest starting out with the larger measurements from the original clay rinse recipe. I apply the clay to my hair in quadrants and once again secure each quadrant into a Bantu knot when I am done. I leave the clay in my hair for 30 minutes and thoroughly rinse each quadrant, making sure not to miss my front hairline and the nape of my neck. By this time (after just ONE application), my curls are popping! Even the stubborn 4B coils above my ears and near my temples! My hair felt soft, looked SUPER defined, was COMPLETELY tangle-free, and even slightly elongated.
    NOTE: NEVER use metal bowls or spoons when using clay as it absorbs the metal and makes the mix less effective.
  6. MOISTURIZE & STYLE: After rinsing the clay thoroughly, while my hair is still wet, I applied my leave-ins of choice via the LCO method. I use the following: (i.) a mist of additional water, if necessary, or a DIY leave-in like my multi-use beauty spritz or super moisturizing lavender spritz. Then, I add (ii.) a creamy product like Care Free Curl Activator or Naturally Silk Elements Whipped Curl Cream. Last, I use (iii.) a natural oil like extra virgin olive oil or castor oil, or a serum like Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Miracle Dry Oil.
  7. Repeat steps 2-6: I utilized the MHM twice a week (about every 3 days) due to my busy schedule, lifestyle, and complete lack of patience in utilizing this effective but time-consuming method every day. Despite not using it every day, I used it twice a week for an entire month, and I received amazing results. if you have extremely low porosity hair like mine or hair that seriously struggles to remain hydrated or retain length in spite of your most Herculean hair care efforts, I would definitely recommend giving this hair regimen a try.

 

GENERAL GUIDELINES & TIPS

  • If you choose to try the TRADITIONAL MHM, I recommend doing this on the weekend (or your day off) so that you can get a true sense of how long it takes you (from start to finish) to do all of the steps. It takes me 3-3½ hours to do the MODIFIED version of the MHM. So, try not to start it unless you have the time to dedicate to the requisites of the regime.
  • The CLT IS NOT done every time you do the regimen. However, it can be done at any point, after starting the regimen (i.e., monthly or quarterly), depending on your hair’s needs.
  • If you have high porosity hair, consider reducing the amount of some of the ingredients or diminishing the timing of each step (i.e., instead of 30 minutes, try 15).
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Dark & Lovely’s Au Naturale Anti-breakage Super Softening Hair Butter 

FTC Disclaimer

This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon or eBay), 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!

 

SoftSheen-Carson Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Length Retention Super Softening Hair Butter, 8 oz

Ingredients:

Aqua / Water / Eau, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cocos Nucifera Oil / Coconut Oil, Stearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Parfum / Fragrance, Steareth-100, Polyacrylamide, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbic Acid, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Steareth-2, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey, Laureth-7, Mannan, Xanthan Gum, Paullinia Cupana Seed Extract, Methylisothiazolinone, Citronellol, Citral, Geraniol, Benzyl Alcohol, Linalool, Ci 19140 / Yellow 5, Ci 15985 / Yellow 6, Ci 14700 / Red 4, Ci 17200 / Red 33, Ci 42090 / Blue 1

 

Directions:

After shampooing and conditioning with Tension Release Hair Wash and Strength Restoring Conditioner, apply a quarter size amount of Super Softening Hair Butter to damp or dry hair. Do not rinse. Use daily or as often as needed.

 

Dark & Lovely’s Super Softening Hair Butter from their anti-breakage Au Naturale line is pretty phenomenal! Even though coconut oil is the third ingredient, my hair was left soft and moisturized. I think this might be a first for me after using a commercial product with coconut oil within the first 10 ingredients! I’m kind of shocked! My biggest hurdle in my natural hair journey has been length retention and preventing split ends. I have spent most of my time either experiencing breakage or trimming off single strand knots (SSKs), mid-shaft splits, and split ends. Because the ends of our hair are the oldest part of our mane, they are quite fragile and, therefore, more prone to breakage than the rest of our hair. After using Dark & Lovely’s Root to Tip Mender with great success, I set my sights on trying their Hair Butter to develop a plan of attack against hair breakage and damage BEFORE it has a chance to even begin!

It claims to reverse dry, damaged hair and transform it into moisturized strands that are supple and full of shine. This Hair Butter also promises to reconstruct damaged strands sans drying alcohols, mineral oil, parabens, or petrolatum … talk about beautiful hair without compromise! After using the Hair Butter for a few weeks now, I am quite pleased! It worked well in an uber moisturized twist-out and even gave me an angelically soft bomb wash ‘n go—no gel required! I liked this Hair Butter so much that when I saw a Dark & Lovely coupon in my Sunday paper for $2 off, I immediately purchased a second jar despite still having half of my first jar left.

Dark & Lovely’s Super Softening Hair Butter has a similar fresh, clean scent as the Root to Tip Mender (except milder).  The product is extremely thick and creamy. I can turn the entire jar upside down without fear of product waste. However, it doesn’t weigh down my fine hair or make it feel oily! Even after using it every day for an entire week before washing my hair, I had zero product buildup on my scalp and absolutely no residual “gunk” on my hair follicles. Honestly, this works light years better than any SheaMoisture leave-in I’ve tried, and I’ve tried quite a few! So, I have ZERO complaints.

The Super Softening Hair Butter contains guarana root (aka paullinia cupana seed extract), a caffeinated berry, which helps to stimulate blood circulation in the scalp. It also contains honey, a natural humectant that helps to regulate and retain moisture in the hair. As a result, when the Hair Butter is combined with the Hair Wash and Conditioner, it will aid in preventing hair breakage so that each strand can grow healthier, stronger, and longer.

Although this Hair Butter  is a hair moisturizer Dark & Lovely specifically designed to quench dry, breaking transitioning hair, I find that it has worked wonders for my parched, extremely low porosity, natural hair. And, if used in an appropriate quantity, I think it would work equally well for relaxed hair, too.

This anti-breakage Au Naturale line also has an Anti-breakage Tension Release Wash (a shampoo free of sulfates, parabens, and silicones), an Anti-breakage Strength Restoring Conditioner (a 2-in-1 rinse-out conditioner and deep conditioning treatment free of mineral oil, parabens, and petrolatum), a Length Retention Melt in Softness Detangling Co-Wash (a co-wash free of mineral oil, parabens, and petrolatum that promises to gently melt away both brittleness and tangles) , a Length Retention Inch by Inch Strengthening Balm (a product free of mineral oil, parabens, and petrolatum that rebuilds hair fibers by reinforcing weak strands from the inside out), a Length Retention Nice & Neat Braiding Custard (a styler free of mineral oil, parabens, and petrolatum that claims to keep braids looking fresher longer), and an Anti-breakage Root to Tip Mender  (a hair treatment free of mineral oil, parabens, and petrolatum that resuscitates frazzled, frayed hair back to life by eradicating split ends and breakage before it has a chance to begin).

Try one or all of the products … But, the Super Softening Hair Butter pairs extremely well with the Root to Tip Mender.

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Dark & Lovely’s Au Naturale Anti-breakage Root to Tip Mender

 

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This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon or eBay), 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!
Dark and Lovely Au Natural Anti-Breakage Root to Tip Mender, 4 oz (Pack of 2)

Ingredients:

Aqua / Water / Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Aminopropyl Triethoxysilane, Parfum / Fragrance, Cetyl Esters, Amodimethicone, Behentrimonium Chloride, Lactic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Isopropyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey, Hexyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Alcohol, Trideceth-6, Linalool, Paullinia Cupana Seed Extract, Limonene, Cetrimonium Chloride, 2-Oleamido-1,3-Octadecanediol, Coumarin, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Geraniol, Isoeugenol, Citronellol.

 

Directions:

After shampooing and conditioning with Tension Release Hair Wash and Strength Restoring Conditioner, apply Root to Tip Mender to roots and pull through to ends. Proceed with your styling regimen. For a daily moisturizing treatment, follow up with our Super Softening Hair Butter.

 

Dark & Lovely’s Root to Tip Mender from their anti-breakage Au Naturale line is amazing! My biggest hurdle in my natural hair journey has been length retention and preventing split ends. I have spent most of my time either experiencing breakage or trimming off single strand knots (SSKs), mid-shaft splits, and split ends. Because the ends of our hair are the oldest part of our mane, they are quite fragile and, therefore, more prone to breakage than the rest of our hair. This  Root to Tip Mender promises to allow you to “skip your next snip appointment,” by preventing hair breakage and damage BEFORE it has a chance to even begin! It claims to resuscitate “frazzled, frayed hair” back to baby smooth strands.

I must say the Root to Tip Mender lived up to the hype. I have been using this product for almost two months now, and since dusting my ends, I have noticed 75% fewer SSKs and split ends. Now, keep in mind, I have VERY fragile, super fine, low porosity hair that tends to become dry, frizzy, and broken at the gentlest whisper of the wind! So, this is NO small feat. In fact, I liked my Root to Tip Mender results so much that when I ran out, I purchased a pack of 4!

I love the fresh, clean scent of the Root to Tip Mender. The product is light enough to moisturize my parched ends yet thick and creamy. However, it doesn’t weigh my fine hair down or make it feel greasy! Honestly, my only complaint is that it comes in such a small bottle (4 oz. to be exact). As a result, I don’t think it’s exactly conducive for “root to tip” use. If your natural hair is anything like mine, it would soak up the product in a couple of weeks if used all over your head as suggested by the moniker on the label. Instead, I use it exclusively to combat split ends and mid-shaft splits. And, so far, the Root to Tip Mender has worked wonderfully for that purpose.

The Root to Tip Mender contains guarana root (aka paullinia cupana seed extract), a caffeinated berry, which helps to stimulate blood circulation in the scalp. It also contains honey, a natural humectant that helps to regulate and retain moisture in the hair. As a result, when the Root to Tip Mender is combined with the Hair Wash and Conditioner, it will aid in preventing hair breakage so that each strand can grow healthier, stronger, and longer.

This anti-breakage Au Natural line also has an Anti-breakage Tension Release Wash (a shampoo free of sulfates, parabens, and silicones), an Anti-breakage Strength Restoring Conditioner (a 2-in-1 rinse-out conditioner and deep conditioning treatment free of mineral oil, parabens, and petrolatum), a Length Retention Melt in Softness Detangling Co-Wash (a co-wash free of mineral oil, parabens, and petrolatum that promises to gently melt away both brittleness and tangles) , a Length Retention Inch by Inch Strengthening Balm (a product free of mineral oil, parabens, and petrolatum that rebuilds hair fibers by reinforcing weak strands from the inside out), a Length Retention Nice & Neat Braiding Custard (a styler free of mineral oil, parabens, and petrolatum that claims to keep braids looking fresher longer), and an Anti-breakage Super Softening Hair Butter (a hair moisturizer free of alcohol, mineral oil, parabens, and petrolatum that is specifically designed to quench dry, breaking transitioning hair).

Try one or all of the products … I’ve got my sights set on the Anti-breakage Super Softening Hair Butter next!

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The HONEY BLOWOUT Honey Treatment on Natural Hair

FTC Disclaimer

I received The Honey Blowout Honey Treatment for free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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 Honey Blowout Honey Treatment was created by Philadelphia native, Carla Clarkson, (aka “The Hair Maven”).  Honey Blowout is a treatment for all hair types whether straight, wavy, curly, or chemically treated (e.g., permanent hair color, relaxers ,etc). It can be used as a (1) pre-shampoo, (2) co-wash, (3) conditioner, or (4) deep conditioner.

 

Ingredients: water, honey complex, aloe complex, ethal, pure honey, honey/miel, essential oils, vitamin e oil, mild fragrance, natural coloring

Directions: Shake well. Apply from ends up to root on wet hair. Comb through using a wide tooth comb. Apply sulfate-free hydrating shampoo* on top of treatment. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Last, apply The Honey Blowout and comb through. Let sit for 3 minutes. Blow dry and style. 

*Honey Blowout will still work with a regular moisturizing shampoo.

 

 

If used as a deep conditioner, apply the Honey Blowout to wet hair, comb through, add a processing cap, and sit under a bonnet dryer for 20-30 minutes. If you do not have a bonnet dryer, use your body heat to allow the product to penetrate your strands and let the product sit on your hair for an hour. If used as a co-wash, apply to wet hair, massage scalp, and work though product with a wide-tooth comb (or smooth curls with fingertips). Rinse thoroughly with cool water. Repeat if additional cleansing is needed.

According to the company website, best results are achieved when the Honey Blowout Honey Treatment is layered underneath the KeraCare Sulfate-free Hydrating Shampoo. Clarkson recommends following up with the Matrix Sleek Look Smooth Conditioner, blow drying the hair, and then finishing with the H2Pro Professional Ceramic Flat Iron by flat ironing the hair via small sections.

In an effort to prevent premature damage to my fine, fragile hair, I haven’t flat-ironed my hair in 2 years! So, I opted to use the product as a pre-poo and final conditioning treatment prior to blow drying my hair. As a result, I saturated my hair with water with my Waterpik handheld shower head, applied the Honey Blowout from ends to roots, then I layered on my Pantene Moisture Boost Shampoo. I gently lathered both products, rinsed, and repeated the process. Next, I applied my Pantene Moisture Boost Conditioner. Finally, I applied the Honey Blowout one more time, let the product sit on my hair for 3 minutes as a light conditioning treatment, rinsed my hair thoroughly, and then blow dried my hair. if you’re blow dryer-challenged like I am, watch this tutorial. This is the blow drying method I now use, and it works extremely well, especially for fine or kinky hair.

My hair felt soft and silky after only one use. After the second repetition, my hair was 50% detangled. I also noticed that the product seemed to slightly elongate my curls, so I think this would work well even if I left my hair in its natural kinky, coily, curly state. However, the instructions are a little confusing and contradictory, depending on where you look. Even on the company website, the instructions vary. The following video (from the product’s creator) is probably the least confusing one that I found, explaining how to use the product.

Pros

  • pH balanced
  • Adds shine
  • Moisturizes hair
  • Strengthens and fortifies hair
  • Has a built-in heat protectant
  • Smooths hair and prevents frizz
  • Contains no parabens or preservatives
  • Can be used with color-treated hair
  • Can be used with sulfate-free or SLS shampoo
  • Great for ALL hair types (straight, wavy, or curly)
  • Can be used to condition and revive extension hair
  • Can be used for multiple purposes (e.g.,  (1) pre-shampoo, (2) co-wash, (3) conditioner, or (4) deep conditioner)

Cons

  • Cost ($25 for a 12 oz bottle)
  • Instructions are a little confusing
  • Label isn’t water-repellent so it smears after being left in shower after only 1 use

Although this product is a little pricey, considering I only used about ½ an ounce of total product after two lathers and one final conditioning treatment, I think the  price offers great value. Even if you blow dry your hair weekly, one bottle should last you at least 3 months. Since I have fine hair, I will likely get about 6 months of use out of one 12 oz bottle (if used weekly). And, given, how great this product performed for a blow-out, I’m confident it would work wonders on flat ironed hair as well as on curly/coily hair textures as a deep conditioning treatment.

Want to see my entire process? Watch the video below …

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2016: A Year in Rear View

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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!

Creative Commons License by WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Photo shared by Famartin
Photo Adapted

2016, for me, was a year of setbacks. After more than half of the year was over, I discovered that most of my hair’s lack of hydration was due to the fact that I live in a hard (to very hard) water area. Ever since I purchased a new shower filter, I have noticed an exponential reduction in split ends and single strand knots (SSKs). However, after gaining and retaining an additional three inches in length during the last quarter of the year, I lost it all (and more) due to a foolish decision to put my hair in mini twists. After that, my hair’s health declined dramatically. It’s been an uphill battle ever since to recover from fragile, damaged ends and extensive hair breakage (I lost as much as 5″ in some areas)! I’ve dusted my ends multiple times to try to get back to the status quo for my hair.

When my hair growth continued to stall and I observed that I still had split, scraggly ends, I bit the bullet and chopped off an additional 1″ – 1 ½” (around the beginning of December 2016). Unfortunately, that meant losing more length on top of what I had already lost due to breakage, but I wanted to start fresh in the New Year. Plus, I always choose the health of my hair over the length of my hair. So, I’m not afraid to get scissor-happy when necessary. 😉 Besides, only a month later, it has proven to be the best decision I ever made since my hair grew (and I retained) 0.5″ in the last 30 days (finally)!

As a result, in 2017, I will be focusing predominantly on restoring the health of my hair and length retention. It’s back to basics for me … Moisture! Moisture! Moisture! I will continue to moisturize my hair twice a day (in the morning and at night before I go to bed). I am thinking of reincorporating the GHE method back into my regimen on a more consistent basis. I totally failed to do this last year, which I think only exacerbated my dry hair woes. I also plan to experiment with a few more hair growth aids and styling products to make up for lost time. 😉

So far this winter, the main struggle I’ve noticed is that my natural hair is in this awkward stage where the length of my hair, when down, (i.e., in wash ‘n gos and twist-outs) sometimes brushes up against my clothes, especially after day 4 or 5 when my shrunken freshly washed hair starts to loosen and become more voluminous after repeated stretching from twist-outs or general styling. I think that might have contributed to a lot of breakage as well. So, I hope to twist AND pin my hair up or do more roll ‘n tuck styles. Because my fine strands do not like being in protective styles over extended periods of time, I’m going to try to minimize over-manipulating my hair. In addition, at night, I have been loosely bunning my hair or tucking in my ends and pinning it in place to better protect the oldest part of my hair.

I’m also toying with the idea of ditching shampoo altogether and co-washing exclusively. If that doesn’t work, I may add a pre-poo or oil rinse to my regimen. I haven’t thus far to try to keep my hair wash day as minimal as possible, but I definitely think my current hair regimen needs a revamp, so I will be tweaking it from time to time as I start the journey of finding new products and methods that will work for my hair’s current needs. I’ve already incorporated a mid-week co-wash back into my routine. I used to do this when my hair was relaxed and I was transitioning to natural. So far, my hair seems to like it. Because I exercise an hour a day 6-7 days a week, I think an additional wash may be necessary to better maintain my hair’s moisture and to keep my scalp free from bacteria (i.e., from sweating during workouts) and excessive debris.

Here are the current measurements of my hair. As you can see, I lost 6-8″ in overall length from the continued breakage I experienced from hard water, the damage I suffered from wearing my hair in mini twists, and much-needed trims (to cut away fragile, split, tangled ends).

Current Measurements

FRONT: 14″

SIDES: 11.5″ (LEFT); 12″ (RIGHT)

CROWN 14″

BACK: 11.0″

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Head & Shoulders Moisture Care for Textured Hair

FTC Disclaimer

I am a BzzAgent, and I received Head & Shoulders’ new moisture hair care line for Textured Hair from BzzAgent.com for free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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!

 

I am always on the hunt for a great shampoo and conditioner that will treat my sensitive scalp. While I usually only have a few seborrheic dermatitis flare ups a year, a good scalp care line is key to calm the inflammation and irritation I usually experience. For the last two years, my scalp cure go-to has been Aveeno’s Nourish + Dandruff Control line. While I still like this particular product, I recently swapped it out for Head & Shoulders’ new moisture hair care line. My sister told me about the line first and had been raving about it non-stop for weeks, so when I had an opportunity to try it as well, I jumped at the chance!

Their new moisture care line consists of the following products:

  1. Shampoo
  2. 2-in-1 Shampoo Conditioner
  3. Co-wash
  4. Scalp Soother

Formulated specifically for “textured hair,” I excitedly tried Head & Shoulders’ 2-in-1, their co-wash, and the scalp soother. Admittedly, I’m always a little reticent to use 2-in-1s. They usually tend to cleanse my scalp really well and leave my strands über dry or are overly moisturizing at the expense of leaving my scalp still sullied with a week’s worth of product and debris. Ick! Who wants that? Not me! So, I have to tell you, I didn’t expect too much from this particular product. In fact, I knowingly had a moisturizing conditioner at the ready prior to taking a shower so that I could ensure that my strands received the moisture they needed. To my surprise, I never needed it! The 2-in-1 thoroughly cleansed my scalp, yet my hair felt extremely soft. I’m not sure how they did it exactly, but my hair was cleansed, moisturized, and conditioned all in ONE step. Talk about a hair care time-saver! In fact, my tresses felt so amazing, I even skipped my usual deep conditioning session! I’ve never had a product that allowed me to do that … Ever!

The only other thing I did was use the scalp soother. Unfortunately, the first time I used the product, I doused my scalp with the product (since I had been experiencing a really bad seborrheic dermatitis flare up for the last two weeks). After applying the scalp soother, my scalp felt like I had started a bonfire on my head! Once the excruciating, burning sensation ended, I still felt uncomfortable … like I had emptied a case of peppermint patties on my crown. I immediately texted my sister to ask if she had experienced the same thing. When she texted back and said that she hadn’t, I panicked!

I reached for the scalp soother bottle so that I could read the instructions. (Yes, I know I should have done this prior to using the product so liberally.) According to the instructions, I was only supposed to use 15 pumps. However, I had expelled closer to 25! I was in such a panic, I almost started to rewash my hair. Fortunately, I was able to tough it out, and my scalp returned to “normal.” The next time I used the scalp soother, I actually followed the instructions and COUNTED the “pumps.” This time, the product had a cooling, calming effect on my scalp that I enjoyed (instead of feared)! So, definitely don’t go overboard like I did the first time. Believe me, 15 pumps is MORE than enough, even if you have a scalp condition like I do.

The following week, temps where I live soared to the high 90s, and the heat index was almost 120! Due to the immense humidity, I had used much more product than I ordinarily do just to get my hair to behave. As a result, I decided to try Head & Shoulders’ co-wash mid-week to “refresh” my hair prior to my normal weekly wash. I really liked it. My hair felt amazingly hydrated after using it. The co-wash is my sister’s personal favorite! She enjoys using this throughout the week in-between washings as well.

I like how all of the products contain vitamin E, almond oil, and coconut essence. I love that they are also pH-balanced and gentle on chemically treated hair. Relaxed and colored divas rejoice!

As a result, I definitely plan to buy more of the 2-in-1co-wash, and scalp soother prior to running out. And, as soon as I polish off the last of my Aveeno Nourish + Dandruff Control, I intend to replace it with the products I tried from this line permanently. They work that well!

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Whip it Up with Pantene’s Pro-V Silky Moisture Whip

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 Pantene® Pro-V Silky Moisture Whip from their Daily Moisture Renewal Collection is ahhhmazing! This two-in-one product is a moisturizer and styler that claims to help hair feel moisturized (up to 48 hours), protect against heat damage (by erasing the damage of up to 100 blow drys), and regulate hair’s moisture (by delivering silky tresses that shine). These are pretty big claims for such an ostensibly simple and unassuming hair line. So, I approached the product with skeptical optimism.

Label Instructions: Shake well and dispense into your hand. Beginning at the ends, distribute it to damp hair and comb through. No need to rinse out, just style as usual!

I used the Pro-V Silky Moisture Whip on freshly co-washed hair.I gently towel-blotted my hair and applied a light oil. (I used olive oil, but you could also use grape seed oil or any other oil of your choosing.) Then, I distributed a medium-sized “dollop” of the whip  into my hair. Because my hair is so short, I only needed two dollops for my whole head, but if your hair is longer you may need more.

I’ve never been a big fan of the wash ‘n go look (for myself). I admire it on others, but I hate the way it looks on me. Admittedly, I am probably still not used to having such a short mane, but this product makes me rethink the style.

The Moisture Whip  has a pleasant, alluring scent. It felt light, creamy, and soft in my hand, not sticky like other mousses. In the past, when I have used similar products, my coils were defined but my tresses felt crunchy and overly dry. Pantene’s Whip  had the opposite effect. My hair truly did feel moisturized, soft, and silky. It also didn’t weigh my hair down and completely defined my curly, coily locks and smoothed away all frizzies. This hair whip has given a whole new meaning to the “wash ‘n go.” Even after letting my hair air dry 100%, it still felt soft and pliable. I was pleasantly surprised.

Pantene‘s® Pro-V Silky Moisture Whip  is excellent for dry, frizz-prone hair (like mine), especially during the summer (or if you live in a high-humidity climate like I do). The best part? There’s no build-up or unpleasant residue in-between washings. A huge plus for au naturale curlies! And, you can also use it  as a heat protectant before you blow dry. So, go ahead and whip  it up, Pantene style!

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