Daily Archives: June 20, 2011

Dabur Vatika Hair Fall Control Cream Review


I am a heavy shedder, but felt that I was losing more hair than normal over the last year. So, I’ve been looking for solutions for the last several months. About two months ago, I was at my local Indian grocer for some Dulhan Henna. Now, as you may or may not know, I’m a PJ. So, being in the Indian grocery hair aisle is like little PJ heaven. I start reading the bottles and boxes looking for my next fix. Then, I saw this Dabur Vatika Naturals Hair Fall Control Styling Hair Cream for $5.99. It claimed to help reduce “hair fall,” or shedding as we locals call it;-).Ingredients: EVOO, cactus extract, D-Panthenol and perfume (It’s the cactus extract that is supposed to reduce hair fall.) … “Okay, okay. Not bad, not bad.” As I’m a PJ and a fan of Vatika oil, this was a no-brainer.

The instructions indicate that it should be used to coat the hair from root to tip 15 minutes prior to washing. It also states that a small amount should be used on hair after washing. I’ve been using this cream for about two months now as a pre-poo in place of Vatika oil. I generally separate my hair into four sections, coat each section with the cream (more like saturate) while gently and lightly finger detangling, then twist each section, don a plastic baggie and a winter hat and either hit the sack or the basement for a workout.

Both the bed and the exercise provide a nice, little heated pre-poo=). Anywhere from an hour or a day after I pre-poo, I shampoo, condition to fully finger detangle and then DC. My initial impression of the cream was that it provided tons of slip, seemed to encourage wave/curl, but made my hair feel a little “hard” when I saturated it with water for a co-wash. However, the hard may have been a good thing in that henna/protein strengthening way. My hair didn’t feel dry or brittle, just harder. And, as soon as I put on conditioner, it softened. The second time I used it, I slept in it overnight and then bunned my hair for the day as I didn’t have time to wash it. When I got home at the end of the day and took the bun down, the cream had soaked into my hair and it wasn’t at all greasy. My waves/curls were sooo enhanced, a very desired effect as henna has loosened my curls and I want them back (another post for another day;). I’ve used the cream about four or five times now with consistent results and purchased two more jars of it on my last trip to the Indian grocer. However, in regard to the shedding control claim, I didn’t notice any appreciable reduction from using this product. So, I give this a thumbs up as a moisturizing pre-poo that provides nice slip for “dry” detangling, but a “meh” as a “hair fall” control cream. Stay tuned for my Shedding post later this week to find out what finally did work for me!


Exercise and Natural Hair


If you read My HairStory, you know that the primary deciding factor in my journey to natural was related to my exercise regimen. I was wearing my relaxed hair curly (with the aid of Frizz Ease Hair Serum and L’Oreal Pumping Curls) because it was far easier to maintain than straight hair with a 6 day a week exercise schedule.

I began exercising between my sophomore and junior years of college. Prior to that, I was very inactive, about 15-20 lbs. overweight and the heaviest of my sisters, who were always athletic, petite and thin. However, something clicked that year when an aunt told me to”make sure you can fit down the aisle” as I was going to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. I think I just decided I was sick of being the “fat one” and constantly being chastised about my weight by the older members of my family. It was a challenge and I had something to prove. So, the summer of  1992, I began working out, lost 15-20 lbs. and have been exercising ever since (with some hiatuses-see below;). I even competed in five all-natural bodybuilding competitions for 2 years in my late 20s, placing in all of them.

However, from 2009 through the end of 2010, I pretty much fell off of the wagon with only a few brief stints of working out and eating right. I was under a lot of stress, started eating badly and gradually began putting on the pounds until I was 25 lbs. over my ideal weight by the end of December 2010. So, a month before the Grow Out Challenge (GOC) began, I knew it was time to get myself back together in regard to my diet, exercise regimen and nutrition. Then, the GOC came along and helped to further motivate and focus my health goals. As of present, I have lost 24 pounds with 1 more to go to be at my ideal weight of 120 lbs (I’m 5’1″) by the end of the GOC, which is over at the end of July.

To get here, I’ve been exercising 5-6 days a week, as previously indicated (see My Regimen under “About Me,” if you are interested in my diet and exercise routine). Although natural hair is far easier for me to handle, that is not to say that it is without its own unique set of challenges with a regular, very sweaty exercise routine. However, it is doable. As I often see questions on the hair sites/blogs/pages about what styles to wear and how to preserve styles when one works out regularly, wanted to provide some suggestions based upon my own experiences.

  • Wear protective styles like cornrows, flat twists, braids and/or two-strand twists. If your braids or twists are hanging, pull them up into a bun or high ponytail so that they are off of your neck. Tie a satin/silk scarf around your hairline and then a wear a cotton bandana or a sweatband over the satin/silk scarf. The silk/satin scarf with keep the hair smooth and keep your hair protected from the moisture robbing cotton of a bandana or sweatband. But, the bandana/sweatband will absorb the sweat, unlike the scarf.
  • When wearing a TnC, BnC (Braid and Curl), WnG or Twist/Braid-Out, put the hair in a high, loose pineapple with a satin scrunchie. If your hair hangs a lot like mine, fold the ponytail over towards your face and place another satin scrunchie (no wrapping) around the base, leaving the ends out to preserve the curls. Then, tie a satin/silk scarf around your hairline and put a bandana or sweatband over it.
  • When wearing a bun, again tie a satin/silk scarf around the hairline and then don a bandana or sweatband.
With any of these options, once you finish your exercise routine, remove the bandana or sweatband, but leave the satin/silk scarf until hair dries. You may decide to replace the sweaty scarf with a dry satin/silk scarf until your hair dries so that it dries more quickly. Two more option that you can use instead of the scarf/sweatband combo are the Dri Sweat Edge Women’s Headband or the Dri Sweat Active Wear Protector Cap  (if you wear a low ponytail/bun).
You can pick both of these up at Sally’s for $3.99 each. I purchased the cap a few months ago, but rarely wear a low ponytail. So, I wasn’t able to use it that often. However, I picked up a couple of the headbands this past week after being reminded about them by fellow GOC blogger JadeKoi. They work pretty well and I really needed something very absorbent, but less bulky and hot, for hot yoga.

Hope this is helpful. However, as you all know, what works for one curly may not work for another. I don’t and have never really experienced a flaky, dry or itchy scalp. So, I only wash once a week with no rewetting or co-washing between wash sessions. When I wore WnGs the majority of the time, I did co-wash during the week to refresh/re-style, but not due to scalp problems. So, if you do experience a flaky, dry or itchy scalp or dry hair, you may not be able to go a week without washing or co-washing. However, if you wear a style that exposes your scalp, an option may be to swab your scalp with an astringent mix and then oil during the week. You’ll have to decide what works best for you.