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Letting Go of Heat Damage

Naturally curly hair can take some getting used to.  When I first went natural I did all that I could to learn more about how to grow my hair longer and stronger.  Since I hadn’t worn my natural hair  since I was a pre-teen, I was very new to the idea.  Because of this my hair journey began with a lot of trial and error.  Heat damage ended up being on of my biggest mistakes early on.  I created a regimen for myself that included straightening my hair once a month.  Of course, I knew about deep conditioning and heat protectant but still didn’t know hwww.curlyincolorado.comow MY hair reacted to heat.

At the time I was of the mind that hair of my type required at least 400 degrees or more for straightening.  I later found out that using the right
technique also plays a huge role in how smooth my hair turns out.  Also, I was of the mind that having natural, unprocessed hair meant that my hair would withstand heat and manipulation differently.  This mindset eventually led to my misuse of heat on one occasion that left a section of my hair heat damaged. Continue reading “Letting Go of Heat Damage”

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Straight Natural Hair Talk: Thoughts on the Texture Manageability System (TMS) by Beautiful Textures

www.curlyincolorado.com straight natural hair reversion tms beautiful textures
My straight natural hair

After spending several months wearing heat free styles, I decided to wear my hair straight for a few weeks.  A couple of months ago, straightening my hair seemed silly because I would only get to wear the style for a short period of time.  My psoriasis was in high gear so my scalp needed attention every couple of days.  This meant cleansing my hair and scalp multiple times each week.  At the time, it seemed necessary because my scalp was sometimes unbearable and had to be dealt with.   Once my psoriasis calmed down, I decided that I would finally straighten my hair.

Wearing my hair straight during the summer heat may also sound silly but I can get away with it here.  In Colorado we have a very dry climate so there is little to no humidity on most days.  Still, reversion is always possible with straight natural hair.  I have been hearing about the Beautiful Textures Texture Manageability System or TMS.  This product claims that you can use it on natural hair to help with straight styles over a 4-6 week period.  After a few weeks and multiple washes, the hair will supposedly return to its natural state.  Well, after reading this article by The Natural Haven blog I’m not so sure.

www.curlyincolorado.com straight natural hair reversion tms beautiful textures
Half up half down style
on my straight natural hair

The article gives a breakdown of what happens to the hair structure when using the product.  It appears as though the hair bonds are effected but not permanently broken.  So yes, the hair does return to a textured state after using the product.  However, the product also seems to slightly change the protein bonds.  This makes me wonder what would happen after using it multiple times.

www.curlyincolorado.com straight natural hair reversion tms beautiful textures
Back to curly after wearing it straight

It would be nice to have straight natural hair that lasts longer but I think I’ll stick to my current routine.  I use several heat protectants including grapeseed oil, IC Fantasia’s Heat Protectant serum and Tresemme’s Heat Tamer Spray.  The serum helps to combat reversion while the spray and grapeseed oil protect my hair from heat damage.  While it’s straight I use things like Herbal Essences Split End Protector to moisturize and grapeseed oil to seal.  I also do either pin curls or wrap my hair at night to preserve the style.  When I’m ready to go back to curly, I use Aphogee’s 2 Minute Reconstructor to give my hair a light protein treatment.  My curls seem to always bounce back just fine with this routine so why change now?

What are your thoughts on the TMS system by Beautiful Textures?  Please share below in the comments section.

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Straight Natural Hair: Prepping My Hair for Heat

www.curlyincolorado.com  Straight Natural Hair
“Platform” Flat Iron with 1″ plates
by FHI 

I am proud to say that I’m finally coming to the end of my four month No Heat Challenge.  The challenge started on October 1st of 2013 and ends on February 1st, 2014.  I was able to get through the holiday season without using heat to style my hair.  This is a first for me because I’m known for wearing my hair straight for special occasions.   This challenge taught me that there are plenty of other styles for when I want something more exciting.

In my no heat challenge video I explained that I would be straightening my hair and doing a length check in February.  Then I will see if giving my hair a break from the heat resulted in more length retention.  Now that the day is fast approaching, I’ve been thinking of ways to fortify my hair so that it will be ready for the heat.  My first thought was to use the Aphogee 2 Step protein treatment because it is known for it’s ability to strengthen the hair.  I’ve been experiencing some breakage though so I thought maybe I would address that issue first before doing such a strong treatment.

www.curlyincolorado.com Straight Natural Hair
Aphogee 2 Step Protein Treatment for
extra protection against heat and breakage

That led me to thinking about some of the things I did in the beginning of my journey when I had fewer problems with my hair.  Back then, I used a whipped shea butter mix that I made myself.  I was also a huge fan of olive and coconut oils for deep treatments.  Another thing I did were deep conditioning treatments one time per week, without fail.  Well, my regimen has gotten a little simpler but I think that some of these things were working for me so I’m bringing a few of them back.

Whenever I had dryness or breakage before, I always did moisturizing deep treatments twice a week until the issue was resolved.  After that, I would go back to once per week.  In that fashion, I deep conditioned last week using Tresemme Naturals Conditioner, for moisture, under a hooded dryer for about 30 minutes.  A few days later, I co-washed and  then used the new Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Strong version.  I would consider this conditioner a light protein treatment.  I wanted to alternate the moisture and protein treatments for balance.  Thankfully the Aussie conditioner also gave excellent slip so detangling was a breeze.

This week I still may do the Aphogee 2 step treatment but then, the day before straightening, I plan on doing nothing but moisture.  For this, I revisited an old video by Patchouli85 where she explains how to deep condition with coconut oil for moisture and honey for shine.  It’s a pre-poo treatment so you end up washing it out before using the heat.  The last time I did it my hair was so shiny and soft.  That’s exactly what my hair needs.

It’s so funny how right now the best thing for my hair is what I started doing at the beginning of my hair journey.  I’m just glad that I’m finally getting back on the right track.

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Fighting Hair Breakage with Olive Oil and Coconut Oil

www.curlyincolorado.com fight hair breakage olive oil coconut oilIf you follow my Instagram page@mitchellzee, then you already know that I have been experiencing some breakage lately.  I have already taken steps to help strengthen my hair with protein.  For this I went back to my trusty Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructor but I also picked up some Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in.  Both products claim to help strengthen damaged hair so I figured they may be what my hair needs right now.

When I started examining my hair regimen over the past couple of months though I noticed that I had been shampooing more often.  Now, I’m not afraid to cleanse my hair with shampoo because I’ll sometimes use an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse afterwards to help restore my hair’s pH level.  Recently though I was skipping this step altogether.   I also started using a cheapie Suave shampoo with sulfates and silicones instead of my staple, Elasta QP’s Creme Conditioning shampoo.  I like using shampoo once per week because my scalp does not feel as clean with other products.  That’s why I decided I should start using oils to give my hair extra moisture and protection from the drying effects of the shampoo.

First, I used the Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructor in the shower for a few minutes after cleansing my hair with Suave’s Almond Shea Butter shampoo.   The Aphogee products are protein based so I used this to help with breakage and split end prevention.  I hadn’t used it in a while but I remembered having the best results on clean hair.  After that I did a moisturizing deep conditioning treatment using coconut oil and Tresemme Naturals conditioner.  I sat under the dryer with a plastic cap for about thirty minutes.  Aftwerwards, my hair felt like buttah!  It was so much easier to detangle than before so this was definitely a winner.  

www.curlyincolorado.com fight hair breakage olive oil coconut oil
I’m using Olive and Coconut
Oils for moisture and conditioning

The following week I tried a pre-shampoo (pre-poo) treatment with olive oil.  This was just to ensure that my shampoo wouldn’t strip my hair during the washing process.  I also applied the oil to my scalp and massaged it in thouroughly to treat any dryness or flaking.  After using shampoo and conditioner I used the olive oil again with the Cantu Shea Butter leave-in and put my hair into plaits.  The resulting braid out was fab-u-lous!

My hair this week is feeling much more pliable and moisturized than before.  Right now I’m looking for a new shampoo that is not as drying.  Otherwise, I will continue to use the coconut and olive oils consistently over the next few months.   I really want to start retaining more of my length this year.  I can see that the oils will play a big part in helping me achieve my goals.

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Countdown to Thanksgiving

I’m making my list and checking it twice.  We’re having a few family members over on Thanksgiving which means that I have a lot on my to-do list this week.  I can’t forget about my hair though.  In the past I have done curly styles for special occasions like roller sets and twist-outs.  For this Thanksgiving I’m gonna go ahead and wear it straight.  I’ve been participating in a couple of Growth Challenges with the ladies at K.I.S.S. and can finally take this opportunity to check my progress. 

This month I also started doing deep conditioning treatments twice a week.  This is another challenge that was started last year or the year before.   Someone on K.I.S.S. decided to get it going again.  Basically, I’m doing it for the extra moisture my hair needs during the winter months.  This week though, since I’m going to use heat on my hair, I’m probably going to make sure and do something with protein.  I have the Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructor which works good but the ingredients include Mineral oil and silicones.  While I’m out buying my turkey and veggies for Thursday, I may just pick up the GPB conditioner by Aubrey Organics.  I have always liked their Honeysuckle Rose conditioner for when I need moisture so I’m pretty confident that this one will work for me as well.  Either way, I always like to prepare my hair with a deep treatment so that I won’t end up damaging my curls when using heat.  Hopefully I can find the time for all the cooking and cleaning and still get dinner done on time.  Wish me luck!