Wednesday, December 10, 2014

In Review: Shea Moisture's Purification Masque

This morning I posted a video on my Youtube channel showing my first impression after using the Purification Masque by Shea Moisture.  The product claims to relieve itching from dry scalp caused by conditions like dandruff, eczema and psoriasis.  I suffer from scalp psoriasis which thankfully is a lot better after taking my vitamin supplements and eating healthy.  I still have a little bit of an itchy scalp so I thought I would try this product to see if it would help.  Check out the video to see what I thought!


MY REVIEW ON SHEA MOISTURE'S PURIFICATION MASQUE


Also, be sure to take a look at my recent posts on how I deal with my psoriasis.  It is an autoimmune disease that tends to flare up during the fall and winter.  I talk about how I cleanse my scalp without causing too much stress on my hair and also how diet and supplements help me to get my skin back
to normal.  

Friday, December 5, 2014

How I Clear Up My Psoriasis with Diet and Supplements

www.curlyincolorado.com combat psoriasis diet supplements

Psoriasis is a dry skin condition that can result in flaking skin on the body and scalp.  I have suffered from the auto immune disease for nearly 10 years now.   In my last post I described my current routine for cleansing my hair and scalp.  In my case, the psoriasis also shows up on my skin in little flaky patches that can leave unsightly scars.  Each year, I do my best to keep the dry patches to a minimum by changing my diet and taking supplements.  I am finally discussing it here on the blog in hopes that my experience may help others.


Initially I sought treatment from a dermatologist who prescribed steroid creams for my skin and scalp.  They only made my condition worse.  After prolonged use, the flaky dry skin, known as psoriasis plaques, spread out over about eighty percent of my body.  It was very embarrassing and disheartening.  I also got headaches every time I used the prescription scalp ointment.  This made me question the drug based treatments and I decided to search for a more natural approach.  I picked up a book at my local library called, The Psoriasis Cure, by Lisa LeVan.  In it, I found information on my condition as well as a long list of vitamins and supplements.  It also suggested that I follow a healthy diet and a regular exercise & sleep routine.  I had gone the medical route for long enough and thought it was worth a try.  I followed the routine outlined in the book and was surprised to see signs of my psoriasis clearing up after only three weeks.  I still follow this method somewhat but have made some changes over the years.  Here are some things that work for me.

Healthy Digestion
Since Psoriasis is an auto immune disease I find that a healthy digestive system is the key to my success.  The digestive tract makes up around 70% of the immune system.  When this area of the body is working properly it shows through our hair, skin and nails.  I use probiotics, increased hydration and foods rich in fiber to help in this area.  My current choice for a probiotic boost is a fruit juice called, Good Belly.  Otherwise, yogurt or probiotic capsules work as well.  For fiber I reach for fresh fruits and vegetables.

Whole Body Cleanse
This step is prescribed in the book so initially I purchased a cleanse kit that wound up being too harsh for my system.  Since then, I have used healthy green juices to detox my body.  Drinking juice from green vegetables helps to cleanse the body of toxins while also delivering much needed vitamins.  Green juices work best when consumed on an empty stomach because then the body can quickly absorb all of that green goodness.

Vitamin Supplementation
It turns out I was not getting enough vitamin D and Omega 3's. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to bouts with psoriasis.  Vitamin D is something that the body produces through sun exposure which can be harder to come by during the fall and winter months.  That is why my psoriasis shows up around this time of year because my body is not making enough vitamin D on its own.  Also, people with darker skin or who use sunscreen are potentially not getting enough of this important vitamin.  I take around 4000 IU with food each day and have noticed much improvement in my skin and scalp.  Omega 3 vitamins promote healthy hair, skin and nails.  I take fish oil capsules to supplement for this.  I also take a vegetable based multi-vitamin for women for all of the other vitamins I need.  

Lower Sugar Intake
Psoriasis is inflammation of the skin.  Through my own research I found that sugar is highly inflammatory.   In my case, cutting back on sugar made a difference in my skin.  I'm not just talking sweets though.  Other foods that convert quickly into sugar like wheat based products (i.e. bread, pasta etc.) are also culprits.  Once I went wheat free for six weeks and noticed my skin was much clearer.  That's a hard one for me though so I try to at least limit my sugar intake by making healthy substitutions (wheat bread instead of white or no bread at all) and eating more clean foods like fruits and vegetables.  

Sleep and Exercise
I can't forget this important part.  Some of what my body is going through is just that I sometimes don't get enough sleep and exercise.  The more you exercise, the more restful sleep so the two work together. This can also help with stress relief.

Disclaimer:  I am not a physician and do not have a medical background.  The aim of this post is to share my experience.  Please seek advice from your physician before taking any supplements or making changes to your physical health routine and/or diet.



Monday, December 1, 2014

Scalp Psoriasis and Natural Hair

www.curlyincolorado.com scalp psoriasis natural hairThe fall and winter tends to be the time of year when we hear more about protective styling.  With the colder temperatures and drop in humidity, a lot of naturals will do this in order to protect their tresses.  I admire all of the different styles from braids to twists and pretty up dos.  However, this is usually the time when I really just want to hide my hair from view.  That is because I suffer from scalp psoriasis which tends to last over a long period, beginning in the fall and lasting into the winter.

There is plenty of information online regarding psoriasis.  In my case it shows up on my scalp and skin in small spots that spread out over time.  Years ago, I sought treatment and advice from medical professionals who unfortunately did not help me to understand the condition.  They prescribed steroid creams which led to my worst spell with psoriasis ever.  Later, I found out that psoriasis is an auto immune disease which means the immune system is out of whack somehow.  Since the digestive tract makes up about 70 percent of the immune system, I tend to focus my efforts there.  I do this by eating a diet rich in clean foods and focus on staying hydrated.  I'll explain more on my diet and supplements in another post.

The tricky thing about having scalp psoriasis while having thick, curly, natural hair is that the flaking that develops can be hard to get rid of.  Using oils can reduce the appearance of flakes but can also increase the production of them.  This means I end up cleansing my hair and scalp more often.

I try to stay away from harsh shampoos during this time because the frequent washing is already a lot of manipulation on my hair.  Sulfate based shampoo leaves my hair feeling stripped and can lead to tangling.  When I cleanse my scalp with a sulfate shampoo I try to follow it up with a pH balanced shampoo or an apple cider vinegar rinse.  I'll do this once a week and then use a sulfate free shampoo on other days.  I end up cleansing my hair and scalp up to three times per week in total.

As far as protective styling goes I've found that wearing hats and wigs are the most comfortable for me right now.  I don't have to worry about flakes being visible when I'm out which is a boost for my confidence.  Other times, a wash and go style is my go-to because it is quick and easy.  I also don't worry as much about the frequent washing because I usually refresh the style every two or three days.

Read Here for  How I Clear Up My Psoriasis with Diet and Supplements

Thursday, November 13, 2014

In Review: Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love Moisture Milk

www.curlyincolorado.com camille rose naturals curl love review
Camille Rose Naturals
Curl Love Moisture Milk
Earlier this year I celebrated 5 years on my natural hair journey and realized that I've pretty much stuck with the same products.  I am usually one of those gals who like to use affordable products that can be found locally in stores.  Once I figured out what worked for me, I stopped looking.  Still, I couldn't ignore all of the rave reviews that circulate in the natural hair world.  For this reason, I decided maybe I could tweak my routine here and there.  Who knows?  Maybe I'm missing out.

My Curls after using the Curl Love Moisture Milk
and Eco Styler gel
I was eyeing the Camille Rose products at my local Target store for some time and decided to try something from the line.  I needed a moisturizer for when I do my wash n' go so I grabbed the Curl Love Moisture Milk.  You get 8 ounces for about $15 dollars USD which seemed reasonable considering it contains all natural ingredients.  The product claims to,"nurture your tresses and aid in preventing breakage, shedding and styling damage."  The label also states that it,  "…will provide shine, protective anti-oxidants and long-lasting moisture to enhance the driest hair."  This sounded like something that would certainly provide my hair with the moisture it needed under a heavy styler like Eco Styler gel.  I love how gel makes my curls pop but I'm sometimes left with dry hair a few days later.

 I first tried it on wet hair after cleansing and conditioning.  Then I decided to use a little grapeseed oil to seal in the moisture.  Lastly, I sprayed each section of my hair with water before applying Eco gel.  I was very surprised to see how much my curls clumped together.  My hair also appeared to hang more than my usual wash n' go.  I let it airdry and realized that maybe adding the grapeseed oil was making my hair a bit too heavy.  The next trial I decided to skip the oil and use the Curl Love as my sealer because it contains Castor oil.  In this case I used Aussie Moist as my leave-in conditioner and then followed the same steps as before.  The result was okay but my curls weren't as juicy.  The combo that worked best was when I used a leave-in conditioner, grapeseed oil to seal then the Curl Love all before applying the gel.  This basically meant I was using the L.O.C. method (leave-in, oil, cream). 


Overall, I found that the product does what it claims by allowing my curls to hang more when I use it to do a wash n' go style.  It definitely feels moisturizing and leaves me with much softer hair after using the hair gel.  I did notice however that if I stuck with sulfate free products to cleanse my hair, the product would build up.  I am back to using a sulfate shampoo for when I need to clarify so this is no longer an issue
for me.

www.curlyincolorado.com camille rose naturals curl love review
Moisturizes and gives my curls hang time!
I agree with the price point considering I am still on the same bottle a couple of months later.  I realized early on that you don't really need to use very much of the product in order to moisturize your hair.  I even use it on my kid's hair and feel like we've gotten a lot of use out of it.  I would definitely purchase this product again in the future.

HAVE YOU TRIED THE CAMILLE ROSE NATURALS LINE?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Back to The Curly Girl Method & Switching to Wetline Xtreme Gel

www.curlyincolorado.com curly girl method wetline xtreme hair gel
My new wash and go product line-up
I recently decided to make some major changes in my hair routine as far as my products go.  After using chemical hair dye to semi permanently cover my gray hair, I switched to a sulphate free shampoo.  When I did this, I noticed that my beloved Aussie Moist conditioner was causing a lot more build-up.  This was because it contains a silicone and sulphate free shampoo isn't capable of removing heavy silicones.

This change in my cleansing routine meant that I needed to go back to silicone free conditioners or at least lighter silicone versions that were easier to cleanse out.  I decided to go with my old favorites Tresemme Naturals Conditioner for detangling/conditioning and Paul Mitchell's The Conditioner as a leave-in.  This basically put me right back at Curly Girl status which is fine but what about the gel?

I really like to use a heavy gel after I apply my leave-ins for
extra curl definition and hold.  It also guarantees me a wash and go style that will last a few days.  Normally, my gel of choice is Eco Styler gel.  However, my hair was not liking the product very much lately.  It was like it kept zapping the moisture from my hair no matter what products I paired with it.  The other day I went to reach for it to do my hair, but realized I was completely out.  I usually stay stocked on this product so that was surprising.  Then I remembered that I still had some Wetline Xtreme gel leftover from a trial I did this summer.  It was all I had so I had no other choice but to use it.

www.curlyincolorado.com curly girl method wetline xtreme hair gel
My wash and go still has lots of definition
after using Wetline Xtreme gel
I used it three times the first week and I still can't believe the difference!  My hair feels way better than when I use Eco gel and all I have to use is my leave-in conditioner and grapeseed oil underneath.  With Eco I had to also use a third, moisturizing product.  I think it has something to do with how Wetline gel is protein and glycerin free.  I have often suspected that I might need a glycerin free product but it's possible the protein was causing problems as well.  The other plus is that I still get the same curl definition as before.  I am so glad that I stumbled upon this discovery.  I'm pretty sure that my hair is too!

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