7 Regimen Shortcuts Without Sacrificing Healthy Hair


Over the past few weeks, I’m learning what it is like to not have the 4 hours I used to have to do my hair. I used to be able to take all morning washing, conditioning, sitting under the dryer…all at my leisure. Now I’m in spritz and go mode and scratch it as it itches haha. But I have developed some shortcuts that may be helpful to someone looking to shorten their hair routine. 
1. The most significant change I made was to wear my hair in a twisted updo. I still wash and condition every week-week and a half or so, but I keep it up and out-of-the-way so the only thing I have to style in the morning is the bang. I was surprised that detangling my hair was not so bad after not washing my hair for almost 2 weeks. I did have about double the shedding I normally have, which still was not a lot of hair. Keeping my hair stretched in this protective style has helped with the detangling I think. I keep my spray bottle close when I need to spritz and re-twist my protective style.
2. To save time on styling my hair into the protective style, as I detangle my hair, I place my partings where I want them in the style so I don’t have to re-part my hair after I put my curl cream on. Re-parting can cause the hair to shrink and curl back up and results in lost time trying to re-stretch the hair.
3. The next discovery I made in the salon…My edges were out of control, and I just wanted something to tack it down. So I used the American Crew pomade for men that I had in the salon. Did the trick! Why buy an expensive edge control gel when you may already have something that works in your home (or salon)?
4. The next thing I did was to trim my ends. I want to make sure that even though I don’t have the time to do certain things to my hair, I need to stick to the foundation of what will keep my hair healthy. So I just put my hair into 4 sections and trimmed about a 1/2 inch off each section. I’m not concerned about layering and all of that since my hair is up in a protective style.
5. I also colored my hair back down to a level 4-I thought it was going to have a brighter red/violet look, but that’s alright. By going back to a tone that is close to my natural level, I don’t have to worry about coloring it for a while, which saves me time. And it allows my hair time to grow and come back healthy when I’m ready to color it in the spring.

6. Use sample sizes as travel sizes and keep your most useful styling product handy in case of an emergency. Jane Carter Solution was gracious enough to send me samples of their Curl Defining Creme and their Nourish and Shine, and I keep one of each in my purse! They give just enough product to smooth and place a set style to keep it looking finished.

7. Try head wraps! I received my Fanm Djanm headwraps last week, and they were right on time. I followed the YouTube tutorial on how to tie it, and within a minute or two I had a professional, attractive style for work.

As we know, there are things you just can not skip, like thorough washing, conditioning well, and using the right products to keep your hair moisturized. That is non-negotiable.
 But everything else can be managed. Even on shorter hair, headbands and hair ornaments go a long way to make a style look polished. I hope these tips were helpful, and if I come up with any more, I will update the post.
Please feel free to comment on this post! ❤ Ally

 

 

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Proof Positive-The Driest Hair Can Be Revived With The Right Product Line For Your Hair Type


This is my daughter Jasmine :). She will be 16 and is as stubborn as a mule. But thankfully for me, she has always wanted her hair natural. She has 4C texture hair and it is low porosity. She has been using store-bought products which, as you can see, have left her hair extremely dry. I was at my wits end when I remembered that I had tried a sample pack of Qhemet Biologics products over a year ago, and I knew it was designed for her hair texture. So I ordered some for the salon and as soon as I got it, I strapped her down in the chair like a patient (jokes) and went to work.

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The Picture of Product Buildup 

The Qhemet Biologics line got it right with moisture-rich products that are not thick and gummy. I used to be under the misconception that a conditioning product had to be heavy and thick to work. Not so with this line. My daughters hair has the tightly closed cuticle, so the lightness of Qhemet Biologics conditioning ghee and detangling ghee allows the product to penetrate deeply to separate and detangle the  hair. Then we applied the heavy cream and massaged it into her hair, sat her under the dryer for 15-20 minutes, and finished with a shine spray. Her hair is back to life!!!

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Products Used: Qhemet Biologics Moringa Tree Conditioning Ghee, Qhemet Biologics Cocoa Tree Detangling Ghee, Qhemet Biologics Amla & Olive Heavy Cream

She agreed to let me care for her hair every week. She may even let me give her regular trims, but I won’t press my luck. Teenagers, gotta love ’em!

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My girl ❤

 

Please let me know what you think! Contact me for information about Qhemet Biologics in my salon! ❤ Ally

The Wonders of Wet Styling


 

Wet styling is a great way for your hair to get the moisture it needs after thermal styling or periods of dryness. There is a big difference between wet styling and overnight conditioning and at home styling and professional styling.

With wet styling, the hair can be styled in the morning, and it has the whole day to air dry, especially at the roots. With overnight conditioning, a fertile ground for potentially breeding bacteria and fungi is created by the moist, dark conditions. Wet styling also allows air to circulate through the scalp while the hair absorbs the moisture. When I freshened my daughter’s style this morning, I could tell her hair is completely recovered from the thermal styling of the past 2 weeks.

Wet styling can certainly be done at home. I have done twists and braids on wet hair on my own. But little children will certainly need help with styling. The professional stylist can plan the style and execute it with great precision…something to consider.

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Products Used: Jane Carter Solution Wrap & Roll, Jane Carter Solution Curl Defining Cream

Another benefit of wet styling is that your hair is done! I cant wait to hear what all the kids say about my daughter’s hair! This style only took 2 hours from start to finish with deep conditioning under the dryer and in-between iPhone games 🙂

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Lauren Happy To Have Her Hair Done

Please let me know what you think! ❤ Ally 

Protective Styling Season


Everyone needs a break from their hair. Protective style options are a great way to take a break. However, if your goal is to grow long natural hair, I suggest transitioning out of added hair and have your own hair put into a protective style once it reaches a medium length. As the hair grows, the protective style braids, twists, etc should become bigger. Less parting equals less stress points on the hair. Less weight in the hair equals less stress on the hair.

 When I went to Lake Tahoe for a few days with my kids, I twisted my hair up because I did not want to deal with it on the road.
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When I took the twists down, I had a nice wavy twistout that was elegant looking. Once I washed my hair, it was more dry than normal from the blowout. But the recovery, shedding and hair loss were close to normal, and what I would expect for the twist style. I have never had hair added since I have been natural. It is my preference not to add the hair. For me, it would be too tempting to leave the style in for too long and risk my already thirsty high porosity hair falling out. So many protective styles can be achieved on the hair we have. I plan on experimenting with some throughout the fall/winter months, and of course, I will share the results!

Please let me know what you think! ❤ Ally

 

Mixolo’G Scalp Massage, The Free Growth Stimulator


I pulled out my Cosmetology book from school to refresh myself on how they teach scalp massages. When I turned to the page, I couldn’t help but laugh…The technique they teach would NOT work on natural hair as thick as mine. Also, I have tried to massage my head before shampooing with oil, and that just turned into a scratching session for me. So I devised my technique, the Mixolo’G Scalp Massage Method. The most significant benefit of a scalp massage is increased blood flow to the head, which for me, has stimulated the growth of my hair.

Mixolo’G Scalp Massage Method

1. The hair should be shampooed, conditioned, and detangled first. With conditioner (preferably deep conditioner) and plastic cap on the head, sit under a warm hooded dryer for at least 30 minutes until the hair is warmed through.

2. Remove dryer heat from the hair. In a sitting or comfortable position, insert fingertips to the base of the scalp and begin to massage the scalp in an upward circular motion. Massage in the direction that the hair is detangled in to avoid creating tangles.

3. Perform the scalp manipulation until most of the heat dissipates from hair, 10-15 minutes. Place the plastic cap back on the hair and sit in a relaxed position for another 15 minutes to allow blood flow to return to normal.

4. Rinse conditioner from the hair and proceed with normal styling routine.

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My Hair After Scalp Massage With Conditioner

Caution

Do not perform a scalp massage if there are any scalp disorders or broken skin. Use the best judgement to decide what amount to massage pressure to use…It should feel good! Consult your physician if you have any medical concerns. There is no guarantee that scalp massage will lead to hair growth.

Please let me know what you think! ❤ Ally

Toning It Down For Fall


Summer to Fall Hair

After a summer of heavy bleach abuse on my hair, it was time to take it down a notch. I still find it incredible that when my hair was relaxed, any time I tried to color it, my hair would be breaking off the next week. Now, I can lighten and color, all with care and proper moisture balance, and still have a healthy hair journey.

Color Preparation For the Hair

To prepare my hair for color, I deep conditioned my hair two days before I applied the color filler, as explained below. I put a small amount of leave-in conditioner on my hair, but no curl cream because it could impede the color from processing correctly.

2-Step Color Process in Detail

I achieved this more natural hair color look in a 2 step process:

1. Use a color filler for highlights so the dye will hold in the hair.

When lightener is applied to the hair, the lightener removes the pigmentation in the hair strand, causing it to become blonde over the processing time. In order to darken the hair again, a preliminary filler should be used, which replaces some pigment by processing it back into the hair strands.

My filler was a level 7 dark blonde color with 10 volume developer applied to the highlights only. I allowed that to process for 30 minutes, rinsed, shampooed and conditioned, and allowed to air dry. The following day I applied the final color, explained in the next step.

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Hair with Filler Color Applied

2. Allow filler to set and apply final color process.

After 24 hours, the filler color was sufficiently set into my hair. Because I used low volume developer, a second color process would pose a minimal risk of damage to my hair. For the final color, I used a combination of level 5 color for my new growth and feathered it into the midshaft, and a level 7 color for the ends to give the hair some natural dimension with 10 volume developer. After 45 minutes of processing time (for those stubborn grays), I washed my hair normally and prepared it for styling.

Styling and Care for New Color

Before I colored my hair, I cut more layers into it by using the controlled-shape trim method . After a color process I do not like to band my hair tightly or restrict the hair from drying because it may adversely affect the color. After applying my curl cream, I banded my hair very loosely and allowed it to air dry. I removed the bands when my hair was damp and wore it out the rest of the day. I loosely banded my hair into a pineapple for overnight care. The hair should not be washed for at least 48 hours after a color process to allow the color to set into the hair. I’m loving the color and shape of my hair more and more as it grows!

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Please let me know if this information was helpful! Ally

Goldwell Anti-Brassiness Shampoo


 

 

I created a blog for Naturals who love color! Check it out at and follow at http://naturalhairhues.wordpress.com/.

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Uncompensated Review

Goldwell’s Anti-Brassiness Shampoo claims to neutralize the tone of highlights while protecting the color from fading. The purple color of the liquid acts as a complimentary color to the brassy tones, effectively canceling them out. I have used this type of shampoo on other clients before, but never on myself. I began by using my normal shampoo to wash out the product build-up on my hair. I then applied the Goldwell as directed.

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Front view before and after

I applied about a quarter-size amount on each section of my hair and the shampoo immediately formed a thick lather. I let the lather sit on my hair for 15 minutes and rinsed my hair and followed the rest of my normal wash routine.

Highlight Toner Shampoo

Back view before and after

As my hair dried, I immediately noticed a difference in the tone of my hair. In the picture of the front view of my hair, the curls look more blonde and the natural red undertones of my hair were muted. In the picture of the back view of my hair, the highlights are more uniform in the yellow tone.

I am very pleased with the overall results of the toning of my highlights after one shampoo. The bottle is a little over 10 ounces and it should last a while because this type of shampoo is used on an as-needed basis.  I would recommend this toning shampoo for use after a highlighting service for a professional finish.

The Goldwell Anti-Brassiness Shampoo is for sale on my Facebook page under the products tab.

Please feel free to ask me any questions about this product! ❤ Ally

How to do a Controlled Shape Trim (Mix’G Trim)


I’ve read various methods for trimming the hair, from the “fairy knot search and destroy” to the infamous Deva Cut. The goal of those types of trims is to remove the oldest hair that may be prone to damage or splitting. The end result is refreshed hair that probably has multiple random layers.

For a time, as my hair was growing, I would just section my hair into four, put my hair into ponytails with banded ends, and cut the ends off easily. It worked very well, but as it grew, I did not like the shape it was taking.

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Before the Controlled Shape Trim

My hair had the “Sideshow Bob” look in my opinion. The bangs were too long, and the top was too heavy, although my hair was healthy and moisturized. I wanted a more evenly layered shape, so I decided to go back to my cosmetology principles with a twist. I would use angular directional cutting to shape my hair with banding to control it.

Cutting Angles with Direction

If you have ever had your hair layered and watched the cosmetologist cut it, they lifted your hair to some degree and made the cut. They may have even pulled your hair in a certain direction to add or remove weight in an area of your hair. Those general principles are all it takes to create shape in a hair cut. Curly hair has the added challenge of coiling at the ends, making an accurate cut very difficult, so banding is necessary to control the hair.

Banding for Control

It is a challenge to cut curly hair when it is wet. Even hair with a gentle wave can throw off the evenness of a haircut. To shape natural hair, use a no-snag elastic to hold the hair in place for better control when cutting. Be sure to plan your cut first and think of how each section of the hair is to fall on the head, so that every section falls into place once the bands are released.

Step-by-Step Instructions for a Controlled Shape Trim

To achieve my layered look, I took the following steps.

1. After the normal wash routine, apply a small amount of leave-in conditioner and section wet hair into four.

2. Take each section of hair and detangle it by combing it to the crown (top) of the head.

     By pulling the hair to the crown of my head, I was giving direction to the hair to have shorter layers around the              crown of my head and longer layers around the periphery.

3. Pull each section into a ponytail and used a no-snag band to secure the hair at the base of the head as well as the ends of the hair. With four ponytails at the top of the head, the hair is ready to be cut.

4. Take each ponytail and pull it straight up to the ceiling. Cut the ends of the hair past the rubber band about a half-inch, making sure all the lengths of the ponytails are relatively even with each other.

5. When done, release the ponytails, added curl cream, and style.

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After the Controlled Shape Trim

The resulting shape was better suited for my face and was not so heavy in the front. I trim my hair about every 4 months, or after every other color retouch. I plan on keeping this shape for a while and see how it looks as it grows out.

Please let me know if this information was helpful! ❤ Ally

3 Rules to Break When Coloring Natural Hair


I am extremely pleased with the way my color and highlights turned out this time around. But I realized that I didn’t follow three of the most of the cardinal rules of coloring hair. My main interest is in preserving the integrity of the hair and I take every precaution when I use color. The rules that I broke to achieve this look actually benefit the hair!

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My newly highlighted locks

As a cosmetologist, I only use professional color on my hair. The range of options of color are infinite with a good color line and skilled use of lightener. I would advise anyone considering a major color change to have a consultation with a licensed cosmetologist.

Rules to Break!

1. Always Perform a Shampoo Cap or Demi-Permanent  to Prevent a Line of Demarcation

When retouching the regrowth (roots) of the hair with the same level of color that has been previously applied, the rule is to apply color to the regrowth and then either do a shampoo cap or demi-permanent matching color to refresh the previously colored hair. This is to prevent a line of demarcation to show between the freshly colored regrowth and the previously colored hair at the midshaft and ends. That rule can be broken for natural hair! I break this rule for 2 reasons. 1. Overlapping color was causing my hair to become dry and brittle. 2. My hair is high porosity, and it would absorb a lot of expensive product. I tried retouching my regrowth only, and I found that there is no detectable line of demarcation because my hair has a curl pattern that hides it! This is one great way that I save money and save product.

2. Always Thin Weave Hair for a Natural Look

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Image is from a Pinterest site, I do not own this image

Normally, I am not a big fan of stripe highlights or thick weave highlights. Stripe highlights, as shown in the picture above, are created by highlighting alternating partings that are one-quarter to one-half inch thick in the “mohawk” section of the hair. Weave highlights are created by taking one-quarter to one-half inch parting of hair and “weaving” it to break up the harsh stripe line. This can be done in a thick or thin pattern. On straight hair, the rule of thumb is the thinner the weave, the more natural the resulting highlights will look. However with natural hair, I break this rule to get the effect I am looking for. There are 2 reasons why I break this rule. 1. Parting natural hair in a dry state must be done carefully. 2. It is easier to weave, pull apart and control thick weave in natural hair than thin weave in natural hair. The curl pattern of the hair blends the thick weave  and gives the hair a more natural look. This is a great method to get the highlight you want without causing excessive breakage, damage, and tangling.

3. Use Higher Volume Developers to Achieve More Lift in Color

This rule to break is totally a personal rule for my hair that I have arrived at through trial and error. I do not use any developer over 10 Volume in my hair when applying hair color. I have found that at higher volumes, my hair gets extremely dry and damaged. I just know my hair and it’s limitations, and I can live with the trade-off of less color choices to protect the integrity of my hair.With lightener, I was taught that the hair will lift with the lowest volume developer, but it will just take longer to achieve the level desired. In the picture of my hair, I achieved the lightest blonde streaks with lightener and 10 volume developer.

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Hair care is a family affair

I hope you benefit from my rebellious streak and take a chance on hair color!

Please let me know if this information was helpful! ❤ Ally

Lite’G Castor Oil Finishing Spread Pomade


My youngest daughter, Lauren, was just not having any more of being the guinea pig to test my products, so I had to step up to the plate. I mixed up a light (Lite’G) spread pomade to use for dry-twist/braid styles and flat-ironing for 4A and 4B hair. My goal was to make a product that didn’t end up feeling sticky on the hair, but is able to achieve great finished styles.

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Bantu Knot product test

I call it a “spread” because it’s not as heavy as a butter or cream, but it melts in your hands and is easy to spread on the hair in small amounts. I am very pleased with the weightlessness of the product in my hair. I have a bantu knot in the bang area now, and I am psyched at how it turned out!

 

Ingredients

1 tablespoon castor oil

1 tablespoon safflower oil

1 teaspoon emulsifying wax (trial-size available)

1 teaspoon Brahmi Herb Mix (see below for recipe)

 


 

Brahmi Herb Mix 

1 teaspoon brahmi powder (trial-size available)

¼ cup water

 

To Make

Use a ratio of 1/4 cup of water to 1 teaspoon of the dried herb powder. Pour boiling water over herbs and allow to steep 2 hours or until cool in a closed container. Strain herbs with a coffee strainer and discard. Use remaining liquid.


 

Lite’G Castor Oil Finishing Spread 

To Make

Make brahmi herb mix in a separate pot and let cool to warm. Mix castor and safflower oils with the emulsifying wax in another pot in a small double boiler. When the water in the bottom pot of the double boiler reaches the boiling point, the emulsifying wax will dissolve in the castor and safflower oils, about 1 minute. Remove castor and safflower oil from the heat and place on a potholder. Immediately combine the warm brahmi herb mix with the hot grapeseed oil (If you do it the other way around you will lose oil) in a 2-cup capacity container and use a wire whisk to blend 2-3 minutes. The mix should be a creamy consistency at this time. Allow the mix to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate. Use immediately.

To Use

I recommend blowing out hair with  Low-Heat Protection Lotion. To achieve the bantu knot look, apply the castor oil finishing spread in a pea-sized amount or smaller to thin sections of hair and pass over with a flat-iron no more than 2 times. Then spray lightly (do not saturate) with a holding spray or alcohol-free hair spray and twist and wind the hair into a bantu knot. Allow knots to set overnight. Unwind, separate, and style the hair.

Caution

The liquids in the recipe are at scalding temperatures. Mixolo’G, Natural Hair Mixology is not responsible for the assumption of risk in the execution of this recipe.

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Finished mixed textures look

I would love your feedback on this recipe! ❤ Ally