Tag Archives: detangling natural hair

(Hair) Lessons Learned 2013

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2013Haircollage

A couple of weeks ago, Michelle of Radiant Brown Beauty did this post about what she discovered about her natural hair in 2013. I had been thinking about doing something similar and her post was the incentive I needed to write down my (hair) lessons learned.

As she said, these are things I learned about MY hair and may not apply to others. But, they are things that I found helped improve my hair and will hopefully allow it to get better in 2014.

So, here is what I learned in 2013.

  1. Inadequate consumption of water and dehydration is not only bad for the body/skin, but it can cause excessive hair breakage and shedding too. I had a bout of bad breakage last winter all over my head and I believe it was very much related to my unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, excess caffeine, and insufficient water consumption. My hair is recovering and regrowing, but the breakage was bad, creating a fuzzy halo of “flyaway” hair over my entire head. So, I try to make certain I get at least 48 ounces of water a day to ensure that I’m hydrated from the inside out. (Note: I’ll be doing a post on this topic soon!)
  2. My hair does better with wet detangling only. I lose a lot less hair and am able to detangle just fine without thoroughly finger detangling during a dry pre-poo. When I pre-poo now, I just smooth and smush the oil/conditioner down my hair with some minimal separation to make sure I coat each section.
  3. Using a comb and/or shampoo brush after finger detangling results in a less stressful detangling sessions the following wash day. It also makes for smoother, more defined braid/twist-out sets. So, I reincorporated these tools into my regimen.
  4. My hair LOVES goat milk in styling products and deep conditioner!!! My hair has been rejuvenated by it, especially my ends, which were starting to feel pretty rough. My stubborn crown has softened and become more supple and stronger!! My shedding and breakage have been drastically reduced. And finally, the straighter “tail” of my nape that used to hang now holds a curl when I set it on perm rods!! The goat milk DC has replaced Aubrey GPB as my light protein conditioner of choice (note: I also use Joico K-Pak conditioner on wash day, which also provides light protein).
  5. Cosmetic grade aloe vera gel works great for setting my hair in twist/braid outs and for smoothing/setting my edges.  It provides flexible hold and softness without product build-up. (I think this gel began to work well for me because my hair started behaving so well once I incorporated goat milk products into my regimen).
  6. The braid n’ twist n’ curl is my new go to style because the braids keep my roots smooth, but the twists gives me the fullness I desire. As the braid at the roots result in three sections once the set is released, I don’t need to separate my hair any futher to get fullness, which also means less manipulation and frizz. Also, the BnTnC dries more quickly than a braid out.

And that’s what I learned about my natural hair in 2013. Here’s to better hair in 2014! Onward and upward my friends!!

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What did you learn about your hair’s likes and dislikes in 2013?

Something New: A Shampoo Brush

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As you know from my post yesterday, I pre-pooed with a mix of Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose conditioner and Vatika Oil from Saturday into Sunday. On Sunday night, after finishing cleaning the house (with the exception of the dishes, because Wei always says he loves washing dishes, so I didn’t want to steal his joy;)), I hit the shower and shampooed. It had been a while since I clarified and I debated between Ion Curl Defining Shampoo, a sulfated, yet moisturizing shampoo, and the unopened bottle of Lavender Garden Terressentials Mud Wash under my sink. The Ion shampoo won and I diluted it in water before applying.

After shampooing, I used Herbal Essences Hello Hydration to finger detangle under the shower stream. Now, this is where the something new comes in.

I picked up this shampoo brush at Sally’s for $0.99 about a year and a half ago. I very rarely use it, but Wei gives it a work-out! *lol* Well, I’ve been getting a lot of tight, little knots caused by shed hairs. I’ve had to resort to the scissors at least once every wash day the last month or so. That got me to thinking that finger detangling hasn’t been sufficient lately. And, I’ve read of some who finger detangle first and then use a wide-tooth comb, Denman brush, Tangle Teezer, etc. to finish the job. So, I decided to use the shampoo brush to comb through my hair as a final step before rinsing my conditioner. Yup, I used the shampoo brush!

You see, when the Tangle Teezer (TT) was the craze early last year, someone wrote that this cheap little shampoo brush was just as good, if not better. If I remember correctly, they said that this was because the teeth on the shampoo brush aren’t as sharp as the TT and it they don’t have seams.

So, anywho, after doing a thorough finger detangling, I took the shampoo brush in the palm of my right hand and the ends of my hair in the left. Then, I slowly combed through my hair, working up from the ends to the roots. If I met any resistance as combing, I stopped to remove the “obstruction” with my fingers, then resumed combing. The brush really glided very easily through my hair when it was fully saturated with conditioner and I allowed the water stream to flow over it. It also made my curls clump nicely. But, I don’t know if I’ll use the shampoo brush every wash day. Maybe every other. And, I’ll be keeping an eye on my ends as I used the TT for a hot minute after a big “trim” and noticed an inordinate amount of splits almost immediately. So, if that happens, I’ll stop using it immediately.

Back to wash day. To finish, I applied Aubrey Green Tea Rinse directly over the HE HH and rinsed with cool water. Then, I set my hair in six braids for a braid out with Wonder Curl Get Slick Smoothie and Butter Than Love Pudding, using the shampoo brush again to evenly distribute the products through my hair.

As it was about 8 pm by this time, I knew that there was no way that my hair would dry overnight. So, I decided to finally take the Salon Dryer on Wheels, which I got over 2 months ago, on a test drive!!

I realized pretty quickly that I needed to do something with those hanging braids if I wanted more than my scalp to dry! So, I secured them across and against my head with large bobby pins.

So far so good! The dryer is pretty loud though and I used the timer, which sounds like a ticking time bomb. But, it seemed to be doing a decent job of getting my hair dry. I sat under it for about an hour. My hair didn’t dry entirely, but I’m hoping that it will finish drying overnight *fingers crossed*. I’m writing this post Sunday night, so I’ll have to comb back with the final results later! Sorry for the delayed gratification!! But, I’m sure you’ve been there before ;).

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If you finger detangle, do you use a comb or brush as a final step? What hair tool works best for you (wide-tooth comb, Denman, Ouided Double Detangler, etc.)?