Do You Have Hair Like Mine?

I know a lot of ladies out there have hair like mine and have asked me what type of maintenance I do for my hair.  I've decided to put them all here, in once place for you to view. 

Roller Set and Flat Iron Straightening Routine

If you have naturally curly or coarse hair, then I'm sure you are looking for the best way to straighten your hair. Applying excessive heat to your hair can be very damaging and can eventually lead to permanent damage.

Sometimes I just do a regular roller set and sometimes I flat iron it afterward.  I go through many steps to prepare my hair for straightening in order to make sure it does not get damaged. I have listed my full regimen below.

First, the night before I straighten my hair, I apply 100% organic, virgin coconut oil to my entire hair and scalp.

Next, I sit under a hooded dryer for 5 minutes then place a plastic cap over my head. I leave the oil on overnight (or for at least 6 to 8 hours). If you do not have a hooded dryer, you can use a blow dryer.

The next morning, I rinse my hair under warm water which rinses most of the oil out. Then I shampoo one to two times.

After Shampooing, I apply Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Replenishing deep conditioner to my hair, then sit under the dryer as directed per the instructions.

After rinsing out the conditioner, I do a roller set. Depending on the style I'm going for, I will either wear the roller set curly, or I will flat iron my hair after the roller set if I want it straight.  Using the Eco Styler Gel to roller set my hair gets it very straight...and it looks better than when I blow dry it! When roller setting my hair, I sit under a hooded dryer after putting the rollers in.

If your hair is curly or wavy, but not coarse or kinky, then regular setting lotion should straighten your hair just fine with the roller set. The gel should be used however, if you have coarse, kinky hair (Black/African American hair).

In the pictures, my hair is flat ironed after the roller set.

Shea Butter For Pre-Washing Hair

Doing a pre-wash treatment before washing your hair can work wonders. Since I've started doing pre-wash treatments, I've noticed that my hair feels a lot better after I wash it and less hair comes out. Using all natural, unrefined, 100% shea butter is an excellent way to give hair moisture and improve its overall health. Shea butter is definitely one of my favorite things to use in my hair. It is great as a leave in and as a pre-treatment, and I've used it for both.

How to do the treatment:

-Scoop out about 4 tablespoons of shea butter and place in a measuring cup or similar heat safe, container.

-Fill a saucepan or small pot with 3 cups of water, then bring to boil.

-Once water starts to boil, reduce to low heat then place measuring cup (or container) in water.

-Take a spoon and slowly stir the shea butter around until it completely melts.

-Once the shea butter is melted, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water and stir.

You can leave out the water if you choose, but shea butter doesn't completely penetrate through the hair shaft, therefore adding water is a good way to add moisture.

-Pour the oil into a dye bottle or squeeze bottle if you choose. Using a dye bottle makes it easier to manipulate.

-Put the oil all over your hair while dry (do not wet your hair) until all of your hair is fully covered with the oil.

-Sit under a hooded dryer (or use a blow dryer) for 5 minutes, then place a plastic cap over your hair.

I leave it in overnight and wash my hair in the morning, but you can leave it in for the amount of time you choose. I suggest leaving it in your hair for at least an hour.

Doing this on a weekly basis should improve your hair.

All Natural Hair Strengthening Mask

This mask provides protein and strengthens the hair, and can be found at practically any grocery store. So what is this, you ask? It is none other than Knox unflavored gelatin!

Yes, Knox gelatin is a great thing to use in order to strengthen the hair.

What I do:

I mix 1 teaspoon of gelatin powder with 1 cup of warm water until the powder is fully dissolved. (It will still be a liquid)

Once I have the water and gelatin mixed, I then proceed to washing my hair.

After I wash my hair and fully rinse out all of the shampoo, I pour the gelatin liquid over my entire head making sure to coat all of my hair.

Once all of my hair is covered, I massage the liquid into my hair (also massaging my scalp) then I twist my hair up into a bun on the top of my head.

I leave the mixture in my hair, uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes until my hair starts to feel somewhat stiff. (It will not actually be hard)

After leaving it in for the allotted time, I rinse out the gelatin with warm water. The hair will feel stiff when it first starts getting rinsed, but then it will start to get softer and softer the longer it is under water. (This is how you will be able to tell all of the gelatin is out of your hair.)

Once I have fully rinsed the gelatin out of my hair, I then apply my conditioner.

After applying then rinsing out the conditioner, I style my hair as usual.

*Since this is a type of protein treatment, be sure that the conditioner you use is a moisturizing one.

I would not recommend doing this more than once a week because you can run the risk of damaging your hair by giving it too much protein.  Also, depending on your hair type, you may only want to do this once or twice a month. 

Tackling Dry Hair

I think it's safe to say that one of the biggest complaints that most women have about the winter is dry hair. If you live in an area where the climate is very cold in the winter, I'm sure you probably have suffered with dry, winter hair at one time or another.

There was a time that I would dread the winter because my hair would be so dry it was ridiculous! The last few years or so were the worst. My scalp would constantly itch and my hair would constantly break because it was dry. But to make matters worse, the dryness lasted for about about a year or so-- from Winter 2009 until the end of Autumn 2010. I was determined to figure out why my hair was so dry. I understood why it was like that in the winter, however, once spring came, then summer, then fall and my hair was still very dry...I knew that it couldn't be weather related and that it must have had something to do with the products I was using.

Well, I was right. The products I was using were completely drying out my hair and I didn't even know it. In this post, I will share with you what I have done that has completely made my hair "normal" again. I no longer deal with dry hair or a dry scalp. My hair usually feels very moisturized and is usually very well hydrated.

Common Ingredients That Dry Out Hair
Mineral Oil

The first two products I got rid of were mineral oil and petroleum. Mineral oil is derived from petroleum. What these products do is block the hair's moisture (skin too). They coat the hair and give it a fake sense of moisture. It will usually feel moisturized at first, but then will get dryer and dryer.

After I got rid of products with those two ingredients, my hair felt much better but it was still very dry. I couldn't understand why my hair was so dry since I was no longer using any products with mineral oil or petroleum. I kept searching for the answer and realized that there were two more culprits... alcohol and silicones.

The 3 most common alcohols found in hair products are cetyl, cetearyl and stearyl. These ingredients, like mineral oil and petroleum also provide a "fake" topical moisture. However, they will not actually block moisture from getting into the hair. I've noticed that I only have a problem with my hair being dry when I leave products with these alcohols in my hair. I can use a rinse out conditioner with 1 or all of these alcohols and not have a problem at all. That's a good thing because most rinse out conditioners have cetyl alcohol in them! So I got rid of mineral oil, petroleum and stopped using leave-ins with alcohol but still had dry hair. I finally found out the last piece of the puzzle which was silicone products.

I didn't realize until towards the end of last year that almost every single hair product I owned had silicone in it. The most common silicone in hair products is dimethicone. It is usually in leave-in conditioners, rinse out conditioners, gels, mousse and other styling products. It also coats the hair and eventually blocks out any moisture. Silicones are very popular in heat protector products. Since it coats the hair, it works very well at protecting hair against heat. It also makes hair look very smooth and shiny. The problem with silicones is that the product will continue to build up if used regularly, causing the hair to get VERY dry! Most silicones do not easily wash out of the hair. Therefore, you can wash your hair regularly and may still never get it all out of your hair. The only way to really get silicone out of the hair is to wash it with a clarifying shampoo. But as I'm sure you know, clarifying shampoo should not be used regularly because it is meant to fully strip the hair. It makes hair very dry by stripping it of all its natural oils. Clarifying shampoo should only be used once a month at the most. Therefore, if you are using silicones every week (or everyday!) and washing your hair with a regular shampoo...the silicones are just building up on your hair making it dryer and dryer!

Now that I've finally completely gotten rid of mineral oil, petroleum and silicones; and only use cetyl, cetearyl and stearyl in rinse out conditioners, my hair has really thanked me for it!

So if you are suffering with very dry hair or dry scalp (or both), try eliminating some or all of these ingredients from your haircare regimen. It might just be the thing to save your hair! 

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