Tag Archives: natural hair growth

Swanson Bamboo Extract: 2-month Update

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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!

I first started using bamboo extract two months ago. I had mixed one-month results. I bought two bottles. Each bottle contains 60 vegetarian capsules and will last 2 months since you only need to take one pill a day. Given that I purchased both bottles for less than $20, this supplement provides pretty good bang for your buck.

After taking this supplement for 8 weeks, my nail health has made a complete 180 turnaround. My weak, brittle nails normally break daily. This bamboo extract seemed to strengthen and lengthen them from the inside out. After only 2 weeks, my nail growth expedited exponentially. In a month’s time, the extract had lengthened my nails to the point of becoming an annoyance (needing to be cut much more frequently than before). After 2 months, I’ve noticed that the condition of my nails have improved drastically. My nails have not just become LONGER but have now become STRONGER as well.

While my hair’s thickness and volume have increased, I have had zero to staggering results. This is likely due to the fact that I have 3 different textures on my head! Watch the following video for a quick summary of my experience after taking bamboo extract for two months.

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18 Months Natural: How to Flat Iron Medium-length Hair

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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!

So, I have officially been natural for a year-and-a-half! To celebrate, I decided to straighten my hair for the occasion. Here’s what I did:

  1. SHAMPOO & CONDITION. Because I have experienced several seborrheic dermatitis flare ups in the last month or two, I used my favorite product line from Aveeno: Nourish+Dandruff Control shampoo and conditioner. It’s great for sensitive scalps, as well as people with scalp conditions, like myself. I love this shampoo and conditioner because it soothes my scalp, prevents inflammation, and is still gentle on my color-treated hair! A win-win-win!  🙂 Click here for a more detailed product review.
  2. DEEP CONDITION. My absolute favorite deep conditioner is Lustrasilk’s Aloe Vera Cholesterol. It makes detangling sessions a breeze! I usually saturate my hair with the product to make sure all of my strands are coated. I gently finger detangle as I rake the product through my hair. Afterward, I cover my hair with a processing cap and sit under my hooded dryer for 20-30 minutes. Then, I rinse my hair and prep it for the next step.
  3. BLOW DRY. I spray my hair with Optimum Advanced Keratin Sealing Leave-in Conditioner. I gently comb the product through my hair and blow dry my hair with my Chi Rocket pro hair dryer on medium heat. I finish by turning on my “cool shot” button to smooth the cuticle of my hair.
  4. PRESS ‘n IRON. To further protect my hair from heat, I spray my hair with TRESemmé‎’s Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Protective Spray. I press my roots and then I flat iron my hair. I try to limit myself to two passes with my Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium flat iron, but if necessary I do a maximum of three passes. However, if a third pass is necessary, I mist my hair first with ApHogee Keratin and Green Tea Restructurizer.
  5. NIGHTTIME ROUTINE: I brush my hair to one side and wrap it around my head. I mist my hair with Julep Top Coat for hair. Then, I add a mesh wrap to keep my hair from unraveling . I secure it with a satin scarf, and top it with a satin bonnet for good measure!
  6. THE NEXT DAY: I mist my hair with Julep Top Coat for hair to prevent frizz. Then, I slowly unwrap my hair and style it.
Next Day Results ...

Final Results …

Next Day Results ...

Final Results …

Next Day Results (after unwrapping hair) ...

Next Day Results
(after unwrapping hair) …

Next Day Results (after unwrapping hair) ...

Next Day Results
(after unwrapping hair) …

My hair remained pretty straight for two days and mostly straight for seven days. Given that the temperatures have been in the upper 90s (and beyond) with a heat index over 100, I think I received pretty good results. I “touched up my hair” once because I had an event to go to and the humidity started to swell the cuticle of my hair but, after that, I let my hair do what it wanted to do and just added some heatless curls to stretch my hairstyling capabilities.

Want more details? Watch my video here to see me prep my hair in action: 

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Ancient Secrets’ Hair Growth Oil + Detangler

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Ancient Secrets provided me with a 4 oz. bottle of their hair growth oil and a 8 oz. bottle of their detangler for free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Company logo and images are used with written permission from Ancient Secrets.

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!

When: February 14, 2014 – March 14, 2014
Coverage: Scalp
Frequency: Daily (every night)
Starting Length (FRONT): 9.75″
Starting Length (CROWN): 10.50″
Starting Length (RIGHT): 9.5″
Starting Length (LEFT): 9.5″
Starting Length (BACK): 9.5″
Adjusted Length: Cut 0.50″ off my whole head on February 23, 2014 due to SSKs.
Ending Length: My hair grew 1-2″ in my crown; 1″ on sides of hair; 0.75″ front/back of my hair.

Ancient Secrets' Hair Growth Oil

Ancient Secrets’ Hair Growth Oil is an all-natural, organic, kid-safe product that can be used on natural, texlaxed, or relaxed hair. Made with ingredients that have been used in Ancient Egypt since 2000 BC, this oil is not only great for stimulating hair growth but can also be used as a hot oil, to moisturize the skin, soothe eczema, reduce dandruff, and add shine to hair. In addition, each bottle is formulated to prevent skin irritation. The growth oil includes aloe vera, tea tree oil, jojoba, ginger, organic coconut, Egyptian basil, Egyptian fennel, olive oil, and other all-natural ingredients.

The oil should be applied daily for expedited hair growth. When using the product, it is recommended to wash your hair once a week. Since I already do this, I followed my normal wash routine. According to the company website, you should start to see results within a week or two but should give the growth oil a full 30 days to fully stimulate hair growth.

Roots Only Applicator Bottle

The oil came in an opaque, black bottle with a pour spout. I removed the spout and exchanged it for my Roots Only comb attachment. It was a perfect fit! I applied the oil to my scalp every night, using the Roots Only applicator tip, and massaged my scalp for 2 minutes. A few times, I applied the oil but forgot to massage my scalp. But, most nights, I remembered to do it. And, out of the 4 weeks I used the oil, I only missed applying the oil twice. I only had two days in the month where I forgot to use the product at all. So, I used the product daily and fairly consistently.

The oil is clear and has a non-distinctive, mild scent. The fragrance isn’t floral or medicinal. For me, it is relatively neutral. The oil is also neither viscous nor thin but definitely leans toward liquidity, which was a feature I admittedly disliked initially.

The first time I used the oil, my scalp was feeling a little agitated. After only one use, my scalp instantly felt soothed. And, when some of the oil got onto my hands, I rubbed it into my skin and was surprised by how well it hydrated it. The first time I used it, I applied the growth oil to my scalp, lightly misted my hair with my DIY multi-use spritz, layered on some of my DIY Eco Styler Custard, and flat-twisted my hair. The next day, after undoing my twists, I noticed how much softer the oil made my hair and how great it made my scalp feel. My scalp wasn’t oily or dry. It was perfectly balanced. I’m not usually one to constantly touch my hair throughout the day, but my hair felt so moisturized and soft that I honestly had a hard time keeping my hands out of my hair … a first for me!

After only a week of use, I had to cut 0.50″ off my hair due to another bout of single strand knots (SSKs). I made the mistake of trying to wear a wash ‘n go for a week. I know, I know. I promised I would say, “No!” to the wash ‘n go, but I have been having a hard time saying goodbye. It has been my preferred style for a while now, so styling my hair in other ways has proven more difficult than I imagined. In addition, I had family in town, and it was the quickest way to style my hair. I think if I co-wash my hair two to three times during the week when I want to wear a wash ‘no go, that might solve my SSK problem. But, I have decided to wait until I retain a little more length before I experiment with various possibilities. I actually mean it this time. Honest! Thankfully, this oil helped my hair to quickly recover …

I received 4 oz. of the hair growth oil. When applied daily, I usually use 5 oz – 6 oz. of oil over the course of a month. So, I was a little skeptical whether the bottle would last until the end of the month. To my surprise, it not only lasted, but I had about 1 oz. of oil left over after using it for four weeks! On top of this, a 4 oz. bottle of the hair growth oil retails for only $5.00 (plus shipping). No, that’s not a typo. The hair oil retails for only five bucks! Pretty impressive, considering how well the oil works and how long it lasts. Moreover, all of their products and product packages are under $25.00! Such a rarity for a natural hair care company, especially one that uses all-natural and organic ingredients.

After using this oil for 4 weeks, my hair grew 1.75″-2.0″ in my crown (where my 3C curls are), 1″ on the left and right side of my hair, and 0.75″ in the back. Considering I retained at least 0.75″ of growth after battling once again with dozens of SSKs, I am ecstatic. However, I would be curious to see how well the hair growth oil works in conjunction with Ancient Secrets’ organic shampoo and detangler, and what long-term benefits this oil has when used over several months.

Although I still wish the oil was slightly thicker (mostly to avoid spillage), all in all, I am quite happy with the results. Here is the length check I made prior to using the Ancient Secrets Hair Growth Oil:

Here are my results (@ 2:52) after trimming 0.50″ off my hair and using the oil daily for a month:

I also used Ancient Secrets’ 8 oz. Detangler. It is a (mineral) water-based, liquid leave-in. It has a very fruity, tropical scent. My only gripe is that it came in the same type of bottle as the hair growth oil (with a pour spout). So, you will need to transfer the product to a spray bottle for greater ease of use. Luckily, I had an empty 8 oz. bottle with an atomizer in my beauty cabinet.

I instantly liked how light this detangler is. It plays nice with other products. I found that it layered well under oils and a whole host of styling agents. Even the next day, my hair didn’t feel weighed down. It remained airy yet still felt moisturized. And, I loved how soft my hair felt.

When used strictly for detangling purposes, it did a good job. While I tend to prefer creamy leave-ins, this is a great detangler, especially for those with relaxed or transitioning hair (or naturals who like light, water-based, liquid leave-ins).

For additional company or product information, or to place an order, go to the company website HERE

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Flat-ironing My Medium-length Hair: 12 Months of Natural Hair Growth

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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!

I have been natural for 12 months now. Woot! Woot! In honor of my one-year naturalversary (February 6), I decided to flat iron my hair. The last time I straightened my hair was September 2013 (five months ago). I had been natural for seven months and was curious what my natural hair would look like straightened. This time, I did a few things differently. Here’s what I did …

STRAIGHTENING STEPS

  1. I sectioned my hair into quadrants, lightly misted my hair with water, and detangled.
  2. I applied a 50:50 ratio of coconut oil and castor oil to each section and then two-strand twisted each quadrant into one chunky twist (for a total of 4 twists).
  3. I shampooed my hair with a sulfate-free shampoo (Pravana Hydrating Shampoo). I used very warm water and then rinsed all of my hair with cold water.
  4. I used a light protein treatment (Aphogee 2-Minute Protein Treatment). I added a processing cap, left it in for 5 minutes, and rinsed it out with cool water.
  5. I wrapped my hair in a microfiber turban and let it air dry for 30 minutes.
  6. I untwisted each section and applied Softsheen Carson’s Optimum Advanced Keratin Sealing Leave-in Conditioner to each quadrant. After that I sprayed Julep’s Top Coat for hair (a heat protectant and shine spray) to each section.
  7. I blow-dried each quadrant with my Chi Rocket hair dryer.
  8. I applied TRESemme’s Heat Tamer Spray (a heat protectant) and another dose of Julep’s Top Coat to each section.
  9. I clipped three of the quadrants out of the way, parted each quadrant into smaller sections for the sake of manageability, and then flat ironed my hair using my Babyliss Nano Titanium 1¼” flat iron. I set my flat iron to 410 degrees.
  10. It took me about 2 1/2 hours (from start to finish).

MAINTENANCE

  1. I originally planned to wrap my hair before bed. But, less than 24 hours later, I already started to miss my coils. LOL! So, I decided to pin curl my hair instead with Dove’s Leave-in Smoothing Cream and a little bit of my Roots of Nature Butter Whip Coil Cream (for a light hold). 
  2. I added my satin bonnet and slept on a satin pillowcase for extra insurance.
  3. In the morning, I lightly coated my hair with coconut oil, and unpinned and separated my pin curls. I misted my hair with my DIY multi-use spritz and then layered on some Julep Top Coat for extra shine.
  4. I coated any stray, frizzy pieces with a dab of coconut oil, twirled the wayward strand around my index finger, and then gently released it.

THE RESULTS

In these pics, my hair measures about 9.50″ long.

Flat-ironed natural hair at 12 months

Flat-ironed Natural Hair at 12 Months

Pin Curls

Pin Curls

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Will the Inversion Method Work without a Scalp Massage and Oil?

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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!

Caution Border Pale Pink  Before Attempting the Inversion Method,

  Read My First Post Describing the Method

HERE Caution Border Pale Pink

When: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 – Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Oil Used: None
Length of Scalp Massage: 0 minutes
Length of Inversion: 4 minutes 2x per day (4 minutes in the morning and 4 minutes in the evening/night right before bed)
Frequency: 7 consecutive days
Inversion Position: Laid on bed with chest and head hanging off bed (toward floor) with hands on floor for support.*
Starting Length: 6.50″
Ending Length: 7.00″**

After experiencing a minor hair setback, I decided to try the inversion method again to jumpstart my hair growth. I started the inversion method on Wednesday morning (October 2). I inverted twice a day. Once in the morning for four minutes and then again at night (right before bed) for four minutes. After inverting, I donned a satin bonnet and went to bed. I didn’t even use the GHE or baggy method! I repeated this procedure for seven consecutive days. My starting hair length was 6.50″.

**I gained 0.50″ by the end of the week (the same amount as my first attempt). However, this time, my hair growth was more even … front-to-back and side-to-side.  Even the top of my crown experienced growth. And, I didn’t have to worry about co-washing or styling my hair multiple times during the week due to excess oil. Woo-hoo!

BEFORE

AFTER

Update: I DO NOT recommend inverting for more than 4 minutes TOTAL each day. I did this as an experiment to see if massaging my scalp and using oil was necessary. However, I did not like the way I felt when I inverted twice a day. Inverting for more than 4 minutes a day is too much, I think. Also, if you notice, I received the same amount of growth whether I inverted with or without oil or with or without massaging my scalp (0.50″ in 7 days). I’ve tried several variations, but each time I received the same amount of growth. So, I think limiting inversion to 4 minutes each day is the healthiest and best option.

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Flat-ironed Natural Hair – 7 Months of Growth

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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!

I have been natural for seven months. I wanted to see what the length of my hair really looked like, so I decided to flat iron my hair. I initially wanted to straighten my hair for my six-month naturalversary, but time crept up so quickly, I completely forgot. I didn’t remember until it was almost a full month after my mid-year mark. Oops! Crazy how fast time goes by … Anyway, it’s been so long since I’ve seen my hair straight, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. But, I am pleased with the results. Even my family members were astonished. Mostly because I think they remember how short my hair was when I Big Chopped. LOL. Here’s what I did …

STRAIGHTENING STEPS

  1. Shampooed my hair with a sulfate-free shampoo.
  2. Conditioned my hair.
  3. Deep conditioned my hair.
  4. Rollerset my hair with water (no product) to help my hair have plenty of body.
  5. Let my hair air dry for two hours and then sat under a dryer for 20-30 minutes to finish drying.
  6. Spritzed each roller section with a heat protectant and flat ironed my hair using my Babyliss Nano Titanium 1.25″ flat iron. I didn’t want my hair “bone straight,” so I set my flat iron to 375 degrees.
  7. It took me about a leisurely hour to straighten all of my hair.

MAINTENANCE

  1. Because I live in a very humid climate, the next day (before wearing my hair out), I layered on some of my homemade shea butter glycerin hair styler, about a half of a teaspoon of castor oil, and then sealed it all in with raw, unrefined shea butter. This helped to prevent the humidity from reverting my flat-ironed hair without overly weighing it down.
  2. Prior to going to bed, I wrapped my hair. Because my hair is still too short to wrap around my whole head, I had to secure my wrapped hair as I went along, pinning it in place to prevent it from loosening as I slept.
  3. I added my satin bonnet and called it a night.
  4. Throughout the week, after I unwrapped my hair each morning, I added more of my homemade shea butter glycerin hair styler, castor oil, and raw, unrefined shea butter as needed.

THE RESULTS

In these pics, my hair is 6.50″ – 7.00″ long.

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My Natural Hair Journey – 6 Month Check-in

It’s hard to believe that it has been six … no, wait … seven months since I big chopped back in February of this year. In honor of my six-month natural hair journey to healthy hair, I created this video summarizing my transition from relaxed to natural hair. I know. I’m a month late (ahem), but better late than never. Right? Enjoy the vid!

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