Tag Archives: hair regimen

Hair Crush: Nappturally Nessa’s HairStory

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IMG-20120619-00113Vannesa of Nappturally Nessa

Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
I’m currently living in South Carolina, but originally from Oklahoma. I enjoy church and collecting almost anything butterfly-related as I am OBSSESSED!! lol

How long have you been natural and why did you chose to go natural?
I will have been natural 3 years in Feb 2013, Lord willing. Prior to that, I transitioned for about 8 months.

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Shortly after BC in 2010.

How did others (family, friends, colleagues) react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? How do they feel now?
I didn’t receive too much negativity in the beginning. I had some naysayers who didn’t like my length or my styles. But, in their defense, I wasn’t very good at styling :). It’s like, now that my hair is longer, more seem interested in going natural. But, then you have those who think that you’ve always had long hair or it’s easy for you to be natural and grow longer hair because of your texture. My hair is pretty kinky and I love it! But, it’s usually stretched. Some think that it just grows out like that … it doesn’t. lol

What is your current regimen? Has it changed in any major way since you first went natural?
This is my basic regimen,I have a different routine for when I wear small twists;

Wash Day with Soap

  • Finger detangle with oil.
  • Twist hair (16-20 twists).
  • Band the ends of the twists to make 4 sections.
  • Apply soap mixture to scalp using applicator bottle.

Wash Day with Water Rinsing

  • Finger detangle with oil.
  • Twist hair (16-20).
  • Band the ends of the twists to make 4 sections.
  • Rinse hair and massage scalp with warm water for 5 or more minutes.

The next steps are the same regardless of whether I’m using soap or water rinsing:

  • Squeeze out excess water.
  • Saturate hair with conditioner and deep condition with cap for 1 hour or a previously heated conditioner for 30 minutes.
  • Completely rinse out hair with cold water.
  • Squeeze out excess water.
  • Let hair dry under a t-shirt or a microfiber turby.
  • Seal “dampish dry” hair with a cream.
  • Put hair in about 10 braids for stretching.
  • The next day, when braids are dry, take down each one, lightly finger detangle, spritz with aloe vera juice and re-braid for further stretching using less braids or style.

What are your Holy Grail and staple products?
Some of my favorite products are: Crisco, aloe vera juice, and Yes to Carrots/Cucumbers Body Butter. I’ve just discovered that body butter and I’m totally in love with it!!

And as long as there is air in this body, Crisco and I will always be BFFs!

Do you have a “hair crush?” If so, who?
I have a few hair crushes: Ms. Lala, Cipriana from Urban Bush Babes, Longhairdontcare2011 and, of course, the amazing blogger Hairscapades!!!

What are your hair plans/goals?
I plan on reaching waist length by my 3 year nappiversary, but we shall see!!

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What advice would you give someone who is contemplating going natural and/or becoming discouraged with their natural journey?
The best advice I can give to anybody on a healthy hair journey 
or thinking of starting one is to research and find what works best for you. I’m pretty sure we’ve all heard that before, but it’s true. And, once you’ve figured that out, stick with it and be consistent. Only change your regimen if it needs to and not, “just because.” Also, respect what others choose to do to their hair. You may not agree with it, but if it’s working for them, it’s best to just let it be. We can all learn something from each other. 🙂

Where can we find you online?
http://nappturallynessa101.blogspot.com/

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Hair Care Rehab and a Giveaway! *CLOSED*

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Does Your Hair Need an Intervention?
Tips for an Easy 5-Step Rehab

Between blow-drying, teasing, flat-ironing, highlighting and lowlighting— there are many ways to change what Mother Nature gave us. But whether you’re regularly straightening curls, lightening darker hair or vice/versa, there may be a price to pay for rebelling.

But most women don’t think twice about the hair habits they’ve had for years and years, says longtime hair-care advocate and health scientist Audrey Davis-Sivasothy.

“Lackluster, frazzled, overworked hair—that’s the price we pay for handling our hair like a pair of jeans. Hair is a fragile fiber that needs to be handled more like a silk blouse,” says Davis-Sivasothy, author of “Hair Care Rehab,” (www.haircarerehab.com). “Oftentimes, the style we feel the most comfortable with reinforces our bad habits. It’s a problem with all the earmarks of an addiction.”

Substances of choice include:

  • Toxic chemicals (perms, relaxers & colors)
  • Hair OCD (excessive combing, brushing & heat use)
  • Environmental lifestyle (too much exposure to sun, surf, bad air and water)
  • Nutritional/dietary (fad diets, smoking, low water consumption)

As with a drug addiction, once you’ve kicked your habit, you’ll liberate your bad hair, unlocking new dimensions of hair potential, says Davis-Sivasothy, who has also authored the popular “The Science of Black Hair” (www.blackhairscience.com).

She offers a five-step rehab for damaged hair:

  1. Chelating: Products containing oils, conditioners, serums and pomades (or minerals), which make you feel better in the short term, can build up and actually prevent your hair’s ability to hydrate. That’s why the first step in detoxing hair is the use of chelating shampoo, which is typically clear and lifts stubborn buildup from products and hard water. While many chelating shampoos are sulfate-based, there are more sulfate-free products entering the market to accommodate sensitive scalps and hair. Clarifying shampoos are a good substitute when chelating shampoos cannot be found. Moisturizing shampoo should be used for general use after detoxing is complete.
  2. Deep conditioning: After chelating, deep condition for 10 to 15 minutes. This should be done every seven to 10 days using moisturizing conditioners such as instant and cream-rinse, deep conditioners, protein treatments or leave-in conditioners. To go the extra mile, consider an apple cider vinegar rinse to close the cuticle and enhance your hair’s shine.
  3. Moisturizing: This step adds a layer of leave-on protection. You can use either leave-in conditioner or a dedicated moisturizing product, or both. For thick, dry or curly hair, this step hydrates and adds “slip.” For fine or oily hair, these products should detangle strands while encouraging volume.
  4. Sealing: This is the last major step in your hair intervention. Sealing with an oil or butter product locks in moisture and solidifies the gains of rehab. It smoothes out the cuticle and keeps hair moisturized for a longer period. Always use sealant on slightly dampened or misted hair, or pair the product with a water-based moisturizer to maximize the benefits. If you have naturally oily hair, you can skip this step.
  5. Styling protectively: Imagine wearing a favorite sweater every day; washing, drying and ironing it several times a week – it would look pretty worn out after a few years! This is exactly what happens to hair that is bleached, colored, blown dry with artificial heat, ironed, weaved and on and on. Don’t do this anymore! There are several measures you can take to preserve the health of your hair, including wearing it up more often, cleansing it cautiously, detangling strands with a large-tooth comb, protectively using blow-dryer heat, reducing chemical use and not coloring your hair more than three shades lighter or darker than your natural color. In general, be gentle. Do not pull to hard or rapidly when styling it, too; be slow and steady.

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About Audrey Davis-Sivasothy
Audrey Davis-Sivasothy is a Houston-based freelance writer, publisher and longtime, healthy hair care advocate and enthusiast. Sivasothy holds a degree in health science and has written extensively on the science of caring for hair at home.

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GIVEAWAY

Now the author behind The Science of Black Hair is back with her newest book, Hair Care Rehab: The Ultimate Hair Repair and Reconditioning Manual!

And, guess what? Yes! That’s what!! I’m giving away a copy!!! LOL!!

To enter for your chance to win your very own copy of Hair Care Rehab, simply tell us why your hair needs an intervention in the comments below!

Deadline for entry: Tuesday, December 18th. 

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*No purchase necessary. A winner will be selected at random the week following the close of the giveaway. In accepting the prize, the winner acknowledges that Hairscapades.com may not be held liable for any loss, damages or injury associated with accepting or using this prize. This contest is subject to all federal, provincial and municipal laws. Contest open to Continental U.S. residents only. One entry per person. Claiming of prizes requires an e-mail response to hairscapades@gmail.com from the winner within 5 days of being notified of winning. Failure to respond shall mean that the winner forfeits the prize and an alternate winner will be selected.

How I Retain Length – Part Two

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Last week, I did this post on the three mainstay components of my regimen that I believe have allowed me to retain a lot of length: Moisture, Protection and Strength. I’ve shared how I do these three things over the course of the last year through a variety of posts. Well, I thought it might be a good idea to put the links to these articles all together in one place. As new readers come to discover the site and “old” readers want to find a post that they know they read, but just can’t find, thought it would be helpful to have a “Library” for quick reference. I hope that you agree!

So, here is Part Two of How I Retain Length with links to core posts related to my regimen!

1. MOISTURE

The first step in moisturizing for me is pre-pooing:
My Staples – Virgin Coconut Oil & Vatika Oil
How I Pre Poo (w/Video Tutorial)

Next is deep conditioning, which I’ve recently discovered a new way of doing:
Deep Conditioning Tricks – Cool & Seal (now for post henna or post-wash protein only)
Pre-Wash Deep Conditioning

Let’s not forget the all important leave-in conditioner:
The Power of pH

(I use the Kimmaytube recipe, but modify it to use less oil for my fine hair: 2 tbsp Kinky Curly Knot Today, 2 tbsp aloe vera juice [food grade-whole leaf], 1 tsp jojoba oil or Jamaican black castor oil; the “regular” recipe includes 2 tsp jojoba oil & 2 tsp castor oil.)

And finally, I have to seal all that lovely moisture into my hair:
My Staples: Jamaican Black Castor Oil (JBCO)

2. PROTECTION

Protection starts with gentle handling in my book:
Finger Detangling
Tools of the Trade (gentle tools & accessories)

Next is protective and/or low manipulation styling that hides away those ends from environmental and mechanical damage:
Protective Styling … Boring?
Style Library: Updos

Then I protect the ‘do at night:
A Bonnet for Every Occasion

3. STRENGTH

I have truly realized the importance of treatments that reinforce and strengthen the hair strand.
Henna – My Two Step Henna/Indigo Process
Moisture & Protein, Finding the Balance
ApHogee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor
ApHogee 2 Step Treatment (my first time review and process)
I ♥ Aubrey Organics (new product)

And that’s it! Enough isn’t it?! I’m nothing if not thorough ;).

(p.s. I’ll add new articles to this post as I discover and incorporate new techniques/products into my regimen.)

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How do you moisturize, protect and strengthen your hair?

Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day … and Neither Is a Regimen

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Tips & Tricks: Number Five

Last week, I received this question on my YouTube Channel wall:

Hi, I love your hair and the fact that it’s very similar to my hair texture. I’ve been trying to nail down a hair routine, but it’s just so overwhelming viewing all the natural hair blogs and tubes. I have a few questions for you and hopefully you can help! How often do you trim your ends? How often do you blow dry your hair? What do you think is the best practice in growing out the ultimate hair length? I have read several blogs and everyone has various opinions. I’m curious as to what your thoughts are?

I answered the question as best and briefly as I could (if you know me, that’s not too briefly;). But, it got me to thinking about my current regimen and I how I got here. You see, what I do now, I wasn’t doing a year ago. And what I was doing six months ago, I’m not doing now. Well, not exactly. I think the same would probably be said by almost everyone with hair regimens. The thing is, just like we (hopefully) grow and evolve through life experiences, trial and error, successes and mistakes, so too does a hair regimen. Not to be too grandiose, but neither maturity nor a hair regimen happen overnight. As many of you already know, I’ve been natural for 11 years, but only discovered CurlyNikki and this online natural hair community a little over a year and a half ago. Prior to April 2010, I probably co-washed weekly, used a No Poo when I felt like my hair needed more cleansing, detangled in the shower with lots of conditioner and a wide-toothed comb, tried to deep condition once a month and styled in WnGs with a mix of gel and a moisturizer. I also got a professional trim twice a year, usually on straightened hair. And that was my regimen (though I didn’t think of it as one at the time!). And, my hair did fine. It was healthy and grew long.

But, I got bored, had layers that I didn’t like and went through a bad break up (y’all know how we do). So, after reaching BSL (or maybe even a little longer), I chopped my hair to ear length … straight. Then, I started all over again.

Sep. 2008: About a year after the short cut.

By February 2010, my hair was back to the length it was prior to the cut. But, I was bored again and annoyed by an ongoing problem. Mushroom/mullet hair. My nape hair is the straightest on my head and my crown is the curliest … and never the twain shall meet. A Ouidad cut in the past had worked to address this, but it also removed the volume that I love and resulted in a shorter layer underneath my longest length. I was also experiencing significant breakage at my crown, specifically down my center part.

It was at this time that I discovered CurlyNikki and I began to learn more about my own hair. A new regimen began to evolve. First, I learned about protein sensitivity that can cause brittle and dry hair. I had suspected that the breakage I’d experienced was due to a new gel I was using for my WnGs (going outside with wet hair in the middle of Winter probably didn’t help either). I even told a friend who complimented my hair when I used this gel, “It looks good, but it doesn’t feel good.” So, I stopped using it, but not after the damage was done. Well, sure enough, the gel had protein in it! I had finally diagnosed the root cause of my hair’s reaction to certain products, so that I could avoid the issue in the future.

Next, after about two months of reading just about everything on CurlyNikki and Mehandi.com about henna, I purchased my first “stash” of Jamila henna. After my second application, I tried my first TnC with ho-hum results. A week or so after my third henna, I tried an ACV rinse to restore bounce. It worked, but my hair felt overly dry, so I discontinued that. Next, I tracked down a local Indian grocer (wooh hooh!) and purchased some amla to add to my henna treatments in order to preserve/restore my loosening curl. I eliminated the amla a couple of months later after experiencing a constantly itching scalp and excessive shedding. Sometime in the midst of all of this, I tried shea butter, then virgin coconut oil and by July 2010, discovered my Holy Grail, Jamaican black castor oil (JBCO) for sealing.

In October, I tried the Kimmaytube leave-in recipe for the first time and decided that was a keeper. In November, I discovered that the coconut oil that I didn’t like for sealing, was great when added to my DCs and as a pre-poo! Vatika oil turned out to be a cheaper and even better alternative. In January, I started doing roots only applications of henna and added black tea rinses to my regimen to combat excessive shedding. In February, after not noticing any appreciable reduction in my hair fall and reading an article on CurlyNikki that indicated too much caffeine could cause the reverse effect, I discontinued the rinses. Since then, I’ve become a regular protective styler, finger detangle exclusively, modified my Kimmaytube leave-in as too much oil weighs down my fine hair, added Biotin to my supplements, then MSM, and discovered zizyphus (an ayuverdic herb) as an alternative to amla for rejuvenating curl. I could go on, but I suspect that you are all sensing a pattern here and want me to get to the point;).

The point is, a regimen isn’t built overnight. It isn’t built in a day or a week or even a month. It is a living thing and requires experimentation and observation. I don’t believe that there is a “one size fits all” regimen. Each one must be customized for you, your lifestyle, your hair and your goals. And, even those things can change for an individual, so there isn’t even a “one size fits all” for each person! We have to be prepared to adapt as life happens. However, there are five steps that I think that one should take in order to build a regimen that works for you.

These steps are as follows:

  • Assess the current state of your hair. Is it excessively dry or well-moisturized? Smooth or frizz prone? Shiny or dull? Are your strands strong or breaking? Riddled with single strand knots or splits? Is your hair difficult to detangle or relatively easy? Evaluate every aspect of your hair that you can.
  • Identify and document your current regimen. What are you doing and using now? How are the techniques and products impacting the state of your hair? How do they make your hair feel and look? Do you see any commonalities (i.e. ingredients) in the products or techniques that work and don’t? If you do, this will help to inform your future handling practices and product choices as you’ll know which techniques/ingredients to seek out and which to avoid. If you don’t, try searching for reviews on products that do and don’t work for you to see if others have similar results. Someone else may have done the job of diagnosing the holy grail and/or “offending” ingredient(s) for you!
  • Introduce new techniques and/or products no more than one or two at a time so that you can determine what specifically is working and what is not. If you try to revamp your entire routine in one shot, you’ll never know if it was that oil, pre-pooing or those additional deep conditioning sessions that gave you those wonderful or horrible results!
  • Listen to your scalp and hair! Now that you are introducing these new products and techniques, pay attention to how your hair responds to them. Never give more credence to the rave reviews of others than to your own hair. If something isn’t working for you, stop using/doing it! You may want to give products and techniques a couple of tries and use them in different ways in order to fully assess the results prior to discarding them entirely. However, that being said, if all of your hair starts falling out or your scalp catches on fire, it’s safe to say that those products don’t get a second chance ;).
  • Adapt your regimen, as needed, to suit the current needs of your hair and lifestyle.

Finally, there are a few things that I would recommend that everyone try:

  • Deep conditioning: Though this has become a controversial topic, I think that everyone should try deep conditioning to determine if it is of benefit to their hair. How often is up to the individual.
  • Sleep with a satin bonnet/scarf and/or on a satin/silk pillowcase.
  • Use a leave-in conditioner.

So that’s that. Until it’s not ;). I’ve achieved my longest hair in the last few months and have perfected my TnC. But, I’m sure that within the week, I’ll learn about some new science or old product or clever technique that will alter my current regimen in some way despite its success. And, I’m fine with that. Because, a regimen, like Rome, isn’t built in a day.

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How did you build your regimen? Has it evolved over time? How and why?