Tag Archives: tangled hair

Quick Tip #17: Use Coconut Oil CAUTIOUSLY!

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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.
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Fresh Coconuts (Set of 3)

Ok, scientifically coconut oil IS NOT a protein but, in a sense, I feel like it behaves like one because it contains lauric acid (a medium chain fatty acid that binds easily to protein in hair). Because of this, coconut oil has the ability to penetrate the hair shaft (due to its low molecular weight), reducing protein loss and strengthening the hair’s structure. It also creates a “hardening effect” due to its ability to change viscosity so quickly (i.e., from a liquid to a solid state) at low temperatures. As a result, harsh winter winds, for example, can create stiff hair very quickly. In addition, repeated use of coconut oil can cause protein build-up, drastically reducing hair’s elasticity and causing follicles to become dull, dry, brittle, easily tangled, and more prone to breakage.

Have you been overusing coconut oil? If so, consider utilizing a deep conditioner or moisturizing hair mask to restore the protein:moisture balance of your hair. Need a complete restart? Try a reconstructor instead.

 

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Filed under Hair Styles & Tips

Wild Growth Hair Oil

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!

When: April 1, 2014 – April 30, 2014
Coverage: Scalp & Hair
Frequency: 3x each week
Starting Length (FRONT): 10.50″
Starting Length (CROWN): 12.75″
Starting Length (RIGHT): 10.50″
Starting Length (LEFT): 10.25″
Starting Length (BACK): 9.75″
Ending Length: My hair grew 1.5″ in my crown & front of hair; 0.50″ on the sides of my hair; 0.25″ in the back of my hair.

I’ve heard a lot about Wild Growth® Hair Oil. Mostly complaints concerning the awful smell and the one thousand and one ways to cover it up! But, I also read a great deal of buzz about how effective this product is as a hair growth aid. So, after about a year and a half of going back and forth over whether to buy, I finally decided to press the “purchase” button! Wild Growth® Hair Oil is an all-natural, non-hypoallergenic product that is great for all ethnicities and hair types. It promises to condition the scalp, reduce hair breakage and split ends from root to tip, and turn dry, tangled, and hard-to-manage strands into softer, fuller, and healthier hair … that grows.

According to the instructions on the bottle, the hair oil should be used three times per week plus after washing hair (up to 4 times per week) for a hair growth boost. Persons with type 3 (curly) and 4 (coily/kinky) hair should apply the product sparingly to their scalp with the applicator tip. Then, hair should be divided into quadrants and a quarter-sized amount applied to each quadrant. Those with short hair should use less product.

Persons with type 1 and 2 hair should only apply 5-15 drops of the hair growth oil directly to their scalp. The product should be used on damp hair (after every hair wash) and then allowed to air dry. Many straight- and wavy-haired consumers recommend leaving the oil on for a few hours (or overnight) and then washing or rinsing hair later that day or the following morning.

The hair oil comes in a 4 oz. bottle with an applicator tip. I applied the product three to four times each week (usually only three times), massaged my scalp for 2 minutes, and then prepped my hair for bed/the next day. After 2 weeks, I did an unofficial mini-length check to see how the product was working, and it didn’t appear that my hair had grown at all! But, to be fair, I decided to continue to use the product until the end of the month so I could see how well the oil worked within a month’s time (a full 30 days). I never missed any of my applications.

The oil is a deep amber color with a light, citrus scent that I adore. Not sure what all the hullabaloo was about with the many posts I read about the horrible fragrance, but I think the negative feedback concerning the smell of the product is grossly exaggerated. It smells amazing to me, and it isn’t overpowering in the least. In addition, the oil has a good consistency, not thin or thick … a happy medium in between the two that makes application quick and easy.

The first few times I used the oil, I noticed how the product soothed my scalp. I did, however, have a hard time gauging whether anything was coming out of the applicator tip. Several times, I stopped to check to make sure that it was. In the future, when I use this oil, I think I will just pour it into my Roots Only bottle to ensure more even scalp coverage. I never have any problems knowing whether any product is coming out whenever I use my Roots Only bottle!

I spent $8 for this oil, but depending on where you live (and where you go to buy this product), it sells for between $8 and $14. For 4 ounces of oil, that seems a little pricey unless it delivers. But, after a month’s time, I still have half the bottle left. So, this isn’t a bad hair growth investment. After all, that’s two months’ worth of use for only eight bucks … That’s not bad at all!

After using this oil for 4 weeks, my hair grew 1.5″ in my crown and in the front of my head (where my 3C curls are), 0.50″ on the left and right side of my hair, and 0.25″ in the back. As my hair gets longer, I have definitely started to notice a trend among the three different hair types on my head: My 3C curls grow at an above-average rate (0.6″ – 0.75″/month without the use of a growth aid). My 4A coils grow at an average rate (about 0.50″/month without the use of a growth aid). My 4B kinks grow below average (about 0.25″-0.30″/month without the use of a growth aid). Nevertheless, considering how much the hair in the front and crown of my head grew, I am happy with my results. I am also interested to see how well this oil would work long-term or when used with my Roots Only bottle.

Watch the vid below for the length check I made prior to using the Wild Growth® Hair Oil as well as to see my final results.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, during my second month of usage, I had to discontinue my use of this oil as I started to develop an allergic reaction to it. I had gifted a bottle each to my mom and sister, so I checked with them to see how they were faring. My mom didn’t experience any side effects. But, my sister, before I could barely get out the words “Wild Growth® Hair Oil” said that the oil made her scalp itch like crazy. She said she had to rinse it out of her hair after only a couple of hours. When she tried to use the oil again, she experienced the same extreme unbearable itching. So, if you have sensitive skin like we do, you may want to do a skin patch test first. It’s such a shame because I really liked this oil a lot (in terms of smell, consistency, and results). Sigh.

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Filed under Length Checks, Product Reviews

Single Strand Knots: Woes and Cures

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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!

Single strand knots (SSKs) are exactly that … knots that form on a single strand of hair. Still don’t understand? Well, consider yourself blessed. The tangles they create are so pesky that they are often called “fairy knots” because the knots are so small that only an evil fairy could manage to tie them! They’re actually quite common among naturalistas because of the texture and coily structure of natural hair.

I never really experienced them very often until my hair started to get a little longer (around the 6″ to 7″ mark). But, even then, I only saw one or two. Recently, though, they’ve been appearing a lot more. Those fairies have really been working overtime!!!

I mostly ignored them, but the more I did, the more I noticed a flux in the growth and length retention of my hair. One month my hair would be 7″, then a week later only 6.75″. I thought I was out of my mind until I was detangling my hair a couple of days ago before bed and felt my comb snag at the end of my hair. That never happens! So, I immediately looked closer to investigate. And, lo and behold, I saw a fairy knot. I rolled my eyes in annoyance until I realized that what I thought was a single knot had many cousins. In fact, my head was FULL of them!

I’m not going to lie. I panicked. I tried the needle method to try to untie each knot, but it was too cumbersome, and each knot was next to impossible to unravel. So, I took out my shears and did what I knew I had to do. I’ve always believed in the health of my hair over length. So, numerous snips later, the knots are gone, but my hair is a lot shorter … almost a full inch shorter, in fact! I basically lost an entire month of growth! Thankfully, my hair grew a full inch in December. But, those dangerous SSKs took my hair from 9.0″/9.25″ to 8.25″/8.5″  in just one day. YIKES! Needless to say, I was incredibly disappointed, especially since I have been babying my hair and only using a minimal amount of heat (only twice in 2013).

So, what causes SSKs? And, how can you learn from my fairy-induced hair woes? Unfortunately, in all the research I’ve done, I have yet to come across a method that can claim to completely eliminate SSKs all-together. But, there are ways to minimize and prevent them. Here’s what you need to know …

Fairy #1

SOME CAUSES

  • Wearing your hair “out” too frequently
  • Not “stretching” your hair after you have retained a certain length
  • Lack of moisture (dry ends)

YOUR OPTIONS

  • Ignore them: Ignorance IS NOT bliss! Ignoring SSKs can damage your hair! The longer you ignore them, the greater the tendency SSKs have of latching onto neighboring healthy strands. When SSKs become entangled with other hair, the size of the knot and the number of knots can increase. Your hair will become more difficult to detangle and more likely to break mid-shaft (by snapping above the knot). Ignoring them can also create rougher edges and make your hair more prone to develop split ends.
  • Unravel them: If you have the patience (and the skill), you can try to unravel SSKs with a needle by slowly releasing the hair trapped within. However, this IS NOT as easy as it sounds. Moreover, constantly jabbing at your strands with a sharp object can put undue stress on your strands.
  • Cut them: This is the easiest option and also the most effective for preventing future damage since SSKs can cause your hair (especially the ends) to fray.

Fairy #2

DEVELOPING A PLAN OF ATTACK

  • Choose the Right Shampoo. Most shampoos contain harsh detergent agents that strip the hair of their natural oils. Your hair should never feel “squeaky” clean. If it does, the cleanser has likely raised your hair cuticles too much, which makes it more fragile and prone to breakage. So, try to use sulfate-free shampoos whenever possible.  
  • Consider Using a Pre-poo or an Oil Rinse. Saturate your hair with an oil of your choice prior to shampooing (pre-poo) or just after shampooing (oil rinse). This will provide extra “slip” by creating less friction between your strands during the washing process.
  • Section Your Hair. I’ve seen many people wash and style their hair in sections, but I always thought that was for naturals with 20+ inches of hair. But, truth be told, once your hair reaches shoulder length, you should probably consider sectioning your hair, especially if you have thick hair. Depending on your preference, you can wash your hair in quadrants of chunky twists or loose braids. Doing so will discourage SSKs and prevent tangles.
  • Use Low Manipulation Hairstyles. Protect your ends by tucking them in (a.k.a. any style where the hair is not worn loose). This includes braids, twists, bantu knots, buns, etc).  While protective styles will not make your hair grow, they can help you to retain precious length. This is because they require little manipulation of the hair over an extended period of time. So, protect your hair from potentially damaging elements (i.e., the weather or even shirt collars). Natural hair tends to thrive the less it is manipulated. Less manipulation equals minimal tension and fewer tangles. Just, don’t forget to moisturize and seal your hair before protective styling.
  • Baby (and S-T-R-E-T-C-H) Your Ends. The ends of our hair are the oldest and driest part of our hair. As a result, they are delicate and need to be handled with love and care. Moreover, shrunken curls and coils are a breeding ground for SSKs. Moisturized ends are smoother, more manageable, and less prone to breakage. Stretching your hair also reduces fairy knots and keeps them from readily forming. There are multiple ways to stretch your hair: (1) with heat (via blow dryers or flat irons), (2) flat or two-strand twists, (3) braids, (4) bantu knots, (5) roller sets, etc. Use the method that best works for you, your schedule, and your hair type.

MY SELF-DIAGNOSIS

I think the primary cause for my mountain of fairy knots was created from wearing my hair “out” too much. I literally wore my hair in a wash ‘n go every day for the last three to four months! So, from now on, I will be saying, “No!” to the wash ‘n go. Instead, I will be washing and stretching. This doesn’t mean that I will no longer wear my hair down, but I will try to be more cognizant of how often I do. I think balance is key. I now know for certain that wash ‘n gos increase the number of tangles and SSKs in MY hair. As a result, I plan to section my hair more frequently (during the wash and styling process) and start to use protective styles.

Have you ever fallen victim to SSKs? What’s your plan of attack?

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Filed under Hair Regimens, Length Checks