Thursday, December 31, 2009

BSL Challenge of 2010

I joined the BSL / BSB challenge on LHCF. Here is the link. BSL The purpose for joining this challenge was to maximize my growth potential. I do not think I will be doing anything special for this challenge just following my reggie.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Cones

I think this information is helpful to people who are just starting out on their healthy hair journey. I found this info on LHC and it have been invaluable to me. So I am just passing alone my findings.

Cones List

Water Soluble
Somewhat Water Soluble
Not Water Soluble
Solubility Unknown

Amodimethicone- Trimethylsilylamodimethicone- A non-curable amine silicone fluid for hair care products and decorative cosmetics. Provides water resistance.

Amodimethicone (&) C11-15 Pareth-7 (&) Laureth-9 (&) Glycerin (&) Trideceth-12-
An amine functional micro-emulsion for clear, aqueous-based hair products.

Amodimethicone (&) Trideceth-12 (&) Cetrimonium Chloride- Cationic emulsion for hair conditioning.

Behenoxy Dimethicone

Bisamino PEG/PPG-41/3 Aminoethyl PG-Propyl Dimethicone- Provides excellent hair conditioning without build-up. Ideal for use in products designed to treat colour, perm, sun and heat-damaged hair.

Bis-Phenylpropyl Dimethicone- A colourless silicone fluid with high RI, low viscosity and volatility, shine enhancement and luxurious feel.

C30-45 Alkyl Dimethicone- Superior compatibility with both silicones and organics. Can be used as a thickening agent which gives a unique silky skin feel.

Cetearyl Methicone- A soft, waxy material; excellent lubricity and spreadability.

Cetyl Dimethicone- Occlusive film forming for skin conditioners.

Cetyl PEG/PPG-15/15 Butyl Ether Dimethicone- A silicone emulsifier for use in the preparation of water-in-oil emulsions. Also offers good emulsification of paraffin oils and vegetable triglycerides.

Cyclomethicone (&) PEG/PPG-20/15 Dimethicone- For formulating water-in-oil emulsions, particularly water-in-silicone emulsions. Excellent aesthetics.

Cyclopentasiloxane- Cyclomethicone D5- Provides improved efficacy in antiperspirants and wet combing in hair conditioners.

Cyclopentasiloxane (&) C30-45 Alkyl Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer- Provides a unique feeling during rub-in followed by a soft powdery feel for an extended period. Ideal for cream to powder formulations.

Cyclopentasiloxane (&) Cyclohexasiloxane- Available in three different proportions offering low viscosity, a relatively high volatility and a cyclic structure.

Cyclopentasiloxane (&) Dimethicone- The basis for hair serums. Conditioning without build up.

Cyclopentasiloxane (&) Dimethicone/Vinyldimethicone Crosspolymer- An elastomer dispersion resulting in a smooth, highly viscous gel with a unique silky feel on application.

Cyclopentasiloxane (&) Dimethiconol- Provides a smooth, velvety feel without greasiness. Useful for skincare and hair conditioning.

Cyclopentasiloxane (&) Trimethylsiloxysilicate- Silicone resin blended with Cyclopentasiloxane. Provides water resistance.

Cyclotetrasiloxane- Cyclomethicone D4- A volatile silicone for improving skin feel in applications such as anti-perspirants.

DEA PG-Propyl PEG/PPG-18/21 Dimethicone- Enhances the performance of shampoos and conditioners with improved gloss, manageability and moisturizing properties.

Diisostearoyl Trimethylolpropane Siloxy Silicate- Highly substantive to skin, has good lubricity and spreadability. Compatible with organic oils and waxes.

Dimethicone Copolyol

Dimethicone (&) Laureth-4 (&) Laureth-23- Non-ionic silicone emulsion for 2-in-1 shampoos.

Dimethicone (&) Trimethylsiloxysilicate- Water resistant, non-tacky film, ideal for sun screens.

Dimethicone (from 1 to 1,000,000 cs)- The original silicone 'oil'. A complete range is available from the highly mobile 1-20 cs, the popular 50-500 cs and the heavier 1,000-1,000,000 cs.

Dimethiconol (&) Sodium Dodecylbenzenesulphonate- An anionic emulsion for leave-in hair products. Disperses well in aqueous preparations and gives the hair good texture.

Diphenyl Dimethicone- A heat-resistant silicone with good film-forming properties. Used as a skin conditioning and anti foaming agent.

Disiloxane- Volatile replacement for ethanol in APs and aerosols.

Hydrolyzed wheat protein/hydroxypropyl polysiloxane and cystine/silicone co-polymers- A combination of protein and silicones that posses a complex polymeric structure which cross-links on drying to form a conditioning and protective network providing protection against blow drying and heating. They also protect the hair against environmental pollutants as well as mechanical damage and can aid temporary repair of split ends.

Lauryl Methicone Copolyol

PCA Dimethicone- Functional over a broad pH range and offers excellent smoothing, conditioning and emolliency properties in many different applications.

PEG/PPG-20/15 Dimethicone- Previously referred to as Dimethicone Copolyol. A very versatile, water soluble polyether modified silicone for use in skin and hair products.

PEG-12 Dimethicone- Previously referred to as Dimethicone Copolyol. A very versatile, water soluble polyether modified silicone for use in skin and hair products.

Phenyl Trimethicone- A very popular high gloss silicone for spray-on hair products. Also provides emolliency and water repellency in skin care products.

Polysilicone-18 Cetyl Phosphate- Color-retaining conditioner for hair products. Also offers thermal protection and a slick, soft after-feel. Excellent solubility and compatibility with most surfactants.

Silicone Resin Spheres (2, 5 & 6 micron)- Fine, white spherical particles give slip and lubricity in pressed and loose powders.

Simethicone- A mixture of Dimethicone and hydrated silica, used as an antifoaming agent. Available in two grades.

Stearoxy Dimethicone

Stearyl Dimethicone

Trimethylsiloxysilicate- A solid silicone resin for decorative cosmetics. Provides water resistance.

Trisiloxane- Anti foaming and skin conditioning agent


One of the first things an aspiring longhair learns is that s/he is using cones. "Huh What? What are cones?" might be one of the first question the (wannabe) longhair asks.
Cone is short for silicone - not to be confused with silicon (esp. important for our foreign members)! Silicones actually consist of silicon, but I'm not going to get more chemical than that.
Silicone refers to a group of chemicals which are very commonly used in beauty products, be it your face cream or your hair conditioner. They are hydrophobic, are used as sealants and to provide slip. Those of you who have tried a drugstore face cream (usually with silicones) and an organic cream in comparison know the difference.

Silicones come in different types and their names reflect the different chemical structures they can have. In the ingredient list, one can identify silicones usually rather easily. They are called "Amodimethicone", "Dimethicone", etc. and now you can see why they are often abbreviated with "cone". But a "Cyclopenthasiloxane" or a "Dimethiconol" can be a cone too. Those are the cones most commonly used and if a product doesn't contain one of them, it is likely that it doesn't contain any cones at all. There are other cones which, unfortunately, don't have as easy names, but since I can't find reliable sources I won't add them here. There is also a claim that says that there are "water soluble" and "non water soluble" cones but again, since I don't have reliable sources and since I wonder how "water soluble cones" are supposed to work, I omit that too.
Different cones have different qualities I'm not going into here either, but I wanted to mention that.
Guess you have to ask a chemist for all that...

The second thing an aspirant longhair learns is that cones are teh evil. Usually, the advice goes along the lines of: "You are using [insert popular drugstore brand here], which is full of cones - you should switch to products without them".
Aspirant longhairs do that and their results usually are pretty good with their new routine. The tale about the cone-devil is therefore true.
Is it?
Usually the people do change more than just their products, so the good results they see afterwards are not necessarily caused by the fact that they now stopped using cones but because of many different factors which all benefit the health of the hair. Still, many many people believe in the evil of the cones and it causes quite a bit confusion among wannabe longhairs which is why I write this article in the first place.

To understand the thing with the cones, one has to know what cones are designed for and what they do.
Cones are widely popular and can be found in a very large selection of hair care products. They have many different purposes. In shampoos, they help provide slip, so it gets easier to massage the shampoo in. In conditioners, they help with detangling the hair, keeping static down and preventing breakage by smoothing down the surface of the hair which also provides shine.
It is also said that cones are able to glue split ends (temporarily!) back together.

Sounds good, doesn't it? Where's the catch?
The problem with silicones is the fact that they aren't water soluble. It varies a bit from cone to cone, but as far as I know, all require a detergent of some kind to get removed from the hair. Some cones might require a sulfate shampoo for that, other can get removed with milder cleansers as well. It seems that this is depends on the hair itself a bit, but as you surely know, when you want to grow your hair long, it is recommended that you stop using shampoo on the length of your hair. Therefore the silicones don't get removed anymore, since only water or conditioner aren't strong enough. If you now keep applying cones to the hair, you'll inevitably get "build-up". The cones build up (hence the name) on the hair and will lock out moisture from the hair shaft. The hair will dry out, gets tangly and dull - just what you didn't want! Some people also claim that silicones "hide" the damage you are doing to your locks, so you don't know how bad it actually is until it is too late. I don't believe that, but I don't want to conceal that I'm in a minority with that.

So cones are evil after all!?
Well, the answer isn't quite as easy.
The speed in which the cones will build up on the hair varies greatly from person to person and from the products used (amount of silicones in them / type of silicone - -remember, the higher an ingredient stands on the ingredient list, the more of it it contains). For me, it takes ages - I think about 6 months or so. For other people, one application is enough and their hair is gunky.
Also, if you get build up it doesn't mean that you have to stop using cones for good - you can usually clarify the hair (for instructions how to do this look through the forums) and all is well again.

The direct opponent of the silicones are (vegetable) oils. Oils are very popular among long haired people because they address the disadvantages of the silicones. Oils can build up on the hair too, but 1) you'll notice that right away (because your hair is greasy ) and 2) oils are very easy to remove. Depending on the kind of oil (lighter oils are easier, heavier oils are harder to remove) all it takes is a good CO and the build up is gone, which is much easier on the hair than clarifying it.
Still, some people report problems when using oils. The hair gets crunchy and dry instead of soft and silky. I suspect that the application on dry hair is the problem here - the hair itself doesn't have enough moisture in it and the oil locks further moisture out. In contrast to that, silicones are usually applied on wet hair, so it is ensured that there is plenty of moisture which is locked in. Still, on some people's hair, even the application on damp/wet hair does no good.

To sum it up - the pros and cons of cones, which might or might not be true for everyone:

- provides slip
- prevents tangles and breakage as a result
- makes the hair shiny
- locks moisture into the hair

- is likely to build up on the hair
- cannot be removed without detergents
- can lock moisture out of the hair (obviously...)
- might not work for everyone

To use cones or not frequently ends up in heated discussions (not here of course!) where one side wins and the other loses. But, as is everything in hair care, it is completely up to you and what your hair likes - there is no ultimate answer which is true for everyone!
Maybe you prefer oils, maybe you prefer cones and maybe you like to use both, alternating or together. Don't be scared away from either one by people who don't like oils/cones for various reasons.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

CWC Method

CWC means "Condition, Wash, Condition"

This is a method I came up with to help my hair grow longer:

The CWC Method
1. Apply conditioner allover on dry hair and let it sit for 30 minutes or more
2. Rinse conditioner for hair
3. Apply shampoo to scalp and head area
4. Rinse shampoo from hair
5. Deep condition hair with a light protein based conditioner
6. Sit under dryer for 25 minutes.
7. Rinse

This is about the easiest way for me to do my hair on wash days. It also help to give different methods a try and journal the result so that you will have a written record of what works.

Co Washing

A few things to keep in mind: Conditioner Only (CO) washing is a method of washing your hair using only conditioner instead of/in place of shampoo or whatever else people wash their hair with.

First – Conditioner Only washing will not make/leave your hair dirty. It might not be a “strong” enough cleaning method for your hair (CO is not for everyone), but for many people it is the perfect balance between moisture and cleansing. Conditioners contain surfactants that gently lift oils and dirt from your hair and scalp, instead of stripping and drying your strands like many shampoos do. Even if you normally don't get conditioner on your scalp because it makes your hair greasy faster or makes you break out, C/O may still work for you - for some reason the result can be totally different. Some people with scalp troubles (itchies/flakies) may find that simply switching to CO washing can alleviate those issues because they are no longer stripping out all of the oil with a detergent shampoo.

Second – CO washing does not (usually) result in a “clarifying” or “chelating” wash. If you use lots of heavy products in your hair or products that use silicones, you may need to clarify and remove build-up before you begin experimenting with CO, so you can start with a “clean slate” so to speak. You can use a clarifying shampoo to do this, or just mix a bit of baking soda with your regular shampoo. For people with less build up, a cone free shampoo with some of the more cleansing sulfates may be enough.

Third – CO washing takes some adjustment. If you are used to washing your hair with a shampoo twice a week the CO wash method may be much gentler and less stripping. One CO wash might give you an idea of how your hair will react, but it takes several washes and several different “hairdays” to determine whether this washing method is for you! Keeping a journal can really help you manage what you do or don’t like about different haircare methods, and CO washing is no different. Just give it time, try out new things, and remember to not make too many changes too suddenly! One wash won't give you the full answer, you'll have to do a few of them and find out. Also, remember that not everyone's hair likes CO washes.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Henna Gloss

I absolutely love henna. I love the way it smell and I love the way my hair feels after I use it. I love doing a henna gloss on my hair because it is a lot less messy than using straight henna. I also get a very subtle color boost.

My henna gloss recipe
2T of BAQ Henna
a splash of red wine
enough chamomile tea to make a paste.

I usually let that set for about 12 hour or long enough for the dye to release.
Then I mix a lot of cheapie conditioner and apply the concoction to my hair and I will leave it on for about 3 hours.

I will rinse after time has lapsed and continue with my regimen. I like to do henna glosses every 4 weeks. This is a great protein treatment for the hair.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

APL Challenge

Officially Begins October 2, 2009 - October 2, 2010 Starting Picture ----------------->

My goal is to reach APL during this time frame. How I plan to reach my goals?

1. Follow my regimen down to the last period. I will not try out any new bandwagons and I will be patient.

2. I will stretch my relaxer between 12 - 14 weeks.

3. I will clean up my eating and exercise 3 times per week.

4. I will drink at least 64oz of water daily.

5. Wisdom: A watched pot never boils. I am just going to have fun with it.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Wave Nouveau Coffure

Wave Nouveau Coiffure Product Review

I love to use this product on wash days as my moisturizer of choice. It is great for relaxed hair to help in retaining moisture. It is very light and makes the hair feel so soft. It never leaves a greasy feel. A little goes a long way. I use about a quarter size amount in the palm of my hand and I distribute it evenly throughout my hair. The bottle says that is is good for permanent waved hair and natural hair. This is a must have product if you are a relaxer stretcher. This keeps the roots moisturized at the line of decarnation and helps reduces breakage.

Generic Value Products

Generic Value Product moisturizing Conditioner ~ Generic Humectress

This is a daily rise out conditioner and it best used as a co wash conditioner, pre shampooo or pre poo conditioner, or leave-in conditioner. This product is not a deep conditioner because it coats the hair shaft. When the product is rinsed out of the hair most of it is rinsed out in the final rinse. The directions state to leave this in the hair for 3 minutes and that it can be used as a leave-in. I use it sparingly but I do like to have it around. It has a mild scent and it is light. I would recommend this product but not as a deep conditioner.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

ORS Replenishing Conditioner Product Review

Many people are often misled to believe that this product is a light protein conditioner. The first ingredients listed in this product is water and glycerin. I use it weekly in conjunction to other products. This is one of the best moisturizing conditioner that I have ever used. It get rave reviews.

Hair Mayonnaise Product Review

Silk Elements Revive & Restore Hair Mayonnaise

This product claims to be a damaged hair treatment but I beg to differ. I do believe that this product is a balance of protein and moisture in one. The directions states to use weekly. Cover hair with a plastic cap and sit under the dryer for 15 minutes. I use this product quite differently. I do use it weekly but I use it in conjunction with other products to make it better. This product would be considered light protein / extreme moisture. In my opinion, there is not enough protein in it to constitute it being a protein treatment. I would not recommend this product as a deep protein treatment but it would be best to apply to the hair to re moisturize after a protein treatment.

Care Free Curl Instant Moisturizer Product Review

This product has glycerin and protein. Glycerin is a humectant so it has the ability to absorb moisture. Protein is normally for strength and rebuilding. This product has hydrolyzed wheat protein which helps aide in the retention of moisture. This product is strictly for achieving a certain level of moisture in the hair. Many people may not know this about this type of product but it is actually very good for relaxed hair because is gives relaxed hair the much needed moisture that it need to thrive. The product is very light and it doesn't weight the hair down. A little will go a long ways, so you need not be heavy handed with this product. I like to spray a dime size amount in the palm of my hand and spread it through out my hair to the ends. This is a very good product to use if you are baggying the end. IF you are growing your hair out then it is imperative to keep the ends moisturized to keep them from breaking. I recommend this product to aide in moisture retention.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

How to Grow Hair Long

1. Frequent washing ~ shampooing / co washing ( at least twice a week)
2. Scalp conditioning ~ MN, MTG, Cell Ovation Therapy, Mega Tek
3. Low Manipulation ~ Keep your hands out of your hair
4. Protective styling ~ wig, phony pony, braids
5. Relaxer stretching ~ 12 - 16 week
6. Balance moisture / protein levels
7. Deep condition at every wash
8. No trimming ~ dusting is allowable
9. No / low heat ~ blow dryers, flatiron
10. eating a balanced diet
11. Sticking with a regimen that works / consistency
12. Patience
13. Supplements ~ multivitamins, iron
14. Drink plenty of water
15. Sleep in a silk / satin scarf at night
16. Keep ends moisturized by baggying ends
17. Hot oil treatments
18. Prayer

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Protein Guide

Here is a handy guide for understanding the different types of protein products.

All proteins are strengthening proteins to some degree but here are the more specific characteristics of these proteins:
Collagen Protein--known for increasing elasticity in the hair Silk Protein--known for softening the hair

Wheat Protein--a moisturizing and strengthening protein. known for increasing the hair's ability to maintain & receive moisture also.

Keratin Protein--responsible for keeping the hair strong and pliable. This is the strongest of the(hair product) proteins and is actually the one that hair is made from. This one re-structures hair that has been damaged or broken down by chemicals. It helps to replace the amino acid cysteine which is the main one lost during chemical processing. This is the heavy duty protein. If you see the following as an ingredient

*Vegetable protein -- Vegetable protein absorbs more easily into the hair shaft [than animal protein] and does not create build-up, leaves the hair very shiny, radiant, luxuriant, and healthy.

*Animal protein -- Animal protein breaks down into fatty acids, which coat the hair and create residual build-up.

Silk Amino Acids/Protein--Natural silk is the strongest, natural fiber known to mankind. Discovered in Japan and has been used for centuries in all kinds of products that require durability. Silk has a tiny molecule that can penetrate the entire hair shaft deeper than all other proteins without adding any weight leaving the hair feeling clean and non-greasy
Keratin protein More Indept:

*a) Keratin protein--this will re-structure and strengthen the hair cuticle (the outer layer only & the most important layer) The keratin in some reconstructors should not leave your hair hard like the Aphogee Treatment for damaged hair (which contains hydrolyzed animal protein). This treatment hardens on your hair for a reason and is used with mild heat. A moisturizing conditioner is a must with this in order to soften like Keracare's humecto. Reconstructors that contain keratin and other proteins are supposed to have enough moisture to soften the hair therefore leaving your hair with a nice protein/moisture balance."

* b) Hydrolyzed Keratin Protein or Keratin Amino Acids--this means that the Keratin molecules have been broken down and are small enough to go beyond the cuticle and penetrate the hair shaft. It will strengthen all 3 layers of the hair. That is why the term "deep conditioning" technically only refers to this kind of treatment using penetrating proteins.

*c) Hydrolyzed Human Hair Keratin--This is an exact match for the keratin your hair has (or has lot due to chemical processing). This is the highest quality and most potent keratin that can be used in hair products.

Friday, July 17, 2009

My Regimen

********** Subject to Change *************

My Regimen

Shampoo 2 x per week

d/c 2 x per week moisturize

2 x per day or 1 x per day after 8 weeks.

I wash my hair twice a week on Tuesday and Saturday. I am doing my Maximum Growth Challenge and will stretch between 10 and 12 weeks with the help of protective styling. I clarify when needed. I think I am getting this regimen thing down pat. My hair is getting use to the routine. My hair type is a 4w a category all of my own. It grows thick, full, woolly, wiry, and coarse. My protective styles of choice are full wigs.

Products that I'm using:

Relaxer SE Megasilk Regular Lye

Shampoo any shampoo the is formulated for dry, damaged, or color treated hair.

moisture d/c: I mix the following products

ORS replenishing conditioner & SE R&R Hair Mayonnaise


Mendex SE & R&R Hair Mayonnaise


Ion Effective Care &Hot Oil Treatment

Other Conditioners that I use Queen Helene Cholesterol & Nexxus Emergencee

** note **

I am also using Mega Tek so I don't need a protein d/c. I am focusing on balancing moisture with the mega tek. I will also be adding Ayurvedic Powders and Oils to my regimen this year. This is my basic hair care regimen.

Motions Weightless Conditioning Shampoo

Product Review

This shampoo seems to be gentle. It doesn't strip the hair and leaves the hair feeling clean. The bottle states that it is oil fee and has not build-up. It also state that it smoothes and detangles. I did not have any problems with detangling my hair while using this products.

Pros: gently cleanses, oil free

Cons: none

The Basic: A Regimen for Newbies

This is the basic regimen that I recommend if you are just starting out on your hair care journey. I call myself trying to keep it pithy so this is it without all of the other wordiness that you find when you vist other sites.

1. Shampoo the hair 2 times per week. The rule of thumb is to shampoo every 3 or 4 days. When choosing a shampoo you want to go with a shampoo that is for damaged, relaxed, permed, or color treated hair. These shampoo are the gentlest for hair that have been chemically processed and will not strip.

2. Moisturize the hair 2 times daily with a cream or spray moisturizer.

3. Deep condition hair after every shampoo with a combination of protein and moisture.

* Check out the product list that I have compiled from various sources. I have done a product review of all of the product that I have used.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ion Silk Drops Product Review

Ion Silk Drops

I highly recommend this product. I like to use the silk drop after a rollerset. It is a very light weight serum that improves the managability and condition or the hair. You only have to use a dime amount because a little goes a long ways. It fortifies normal to dry hair, infusing it with silk for shiny, smooth, silky hair. It is safe for color-treated, relaxed, or permed hair. I thelps to prevent styling damage and breakage. This serum is for normal or dry hair with hydrolyzed silk proteins for exceptional shine. Ion Silk Solutions Silk Drops smoothes and conditions while adding incredible shines. This formula instantly makes hair silky, smooth and shiny. It conditions and detangles dry, damaged hair, prevents frizz and helps prevent breakage.