Grapeseed Oil for Hair

www.curlyincolorado.com grapeseed oil for natural hair
I use an old Hot Six Oil bottle
to store my Grapeseed oil

In the natural hair world we always hear about using oils for our hair but I’m beginning to learn more about how they work.  I’ve mentioned in recent posts how coconut and olive oils are both light enough to actually penetrate the hair shaft.  For this reason, they tend to make great moisturizers but not sealants.  It’s important to moisturize the hair and then seal it in with something heavier.

In the past, I reached for castor oil to seal with because it has a very thick consistency.  However, it left my hair feeling really heavy so I thought I would give grapeseed oil a try.  Grapeseed oil is heavy enough to use as a sealant after moisturizing but is lighter than castor oil.  An added benefit for me though is that it has a high smoke point meaning I can use it when I use heat on my hair.  Now, I’m still not sold on the idea that it can protect against heat damage, but I have noticed a difference.

SEE HOW I STRAIGHTEN MY NATURAL HAIR

www.curlyincolorado.com grapeseed oil for hair
My straight natural hair after
using Grapeseed oil and a serum
for protection against heat

I recently used it when I straightened my hair and I was very happy with the results.  Sometimes after heat styling I’m left with hair that is dry and crispy feeling but I didn’t get that when I used the grapeseed oil.  My hair felt very soft and moisturized after using my flat iron on a heat setting ranging from 370 to 400 degrees.

The only drawback is that I’ve read that other naturals noticed that their hair reverted quicker after using the grapeseed oil as a heat protectant.  For this reason, I also used a silicone based serum by IC Fantasia to help keep my hair straighter longer.  I was able to go a full ten days and probably could have gone longer but it was time to cleanse my scalp.

I‘ve decided to continue using the grapeseed oil in my hair routine for oil rinses, sealing in moisture and for added protection against heat.  I prefer the Napa Valley Naturals brand which I found at a local health food store.  If you haven’t tried it I say give it a go!

Saying Goodbye to Heat Damage

In the last couple of videos that I posted to YouTube, I discussed my straight, heat damaged bangs and how I styled them so that they would blend in with the rest of my hair.  Shortly after posting those I started a six week Wash n’ Go binge and wore my hair curly the whole time.  For a while I was fine with pushing the straight pieces back or braiding the hair into a headband.  During this time I was also reading the Curly Girl Handbook by Lorraine Massey and learning more about my curls and how to work with them.  I kept looking at my damaged hair and wondered, why was I holding on to the straight pieces?

Using small perm rods to camouflage the straight pieces

After much contemplation, I finally decided to break out the shears.  I already knew that I had curly bangs in my future so why not just get on with it?  First, I wet the hair that I sectioned off for the cut.  This made it easier to tell where the textured hair met the straight ends.  Then I placed a long metal clip across that line of demarcation and cut.  I thought that would do it but the straight pieces were still another inch into the length of my bangs so I snipped again.  I was surprised to see a small, one inch section where my hair was just blah; not really curly or straight.  The rest of the bang was curling up the way I expected.  I ended up with a Betty Paige style look which for me was just fine.

AFTER
Short Bangs
BEFORE
Straight Pieces in Front

It’s been about a month and a half since the mini chop and I have to say that for the most part, the bangs are fine by me.  The curls are in good shape even after wearing my hair straight a couple of times.  I refuse to use my flat iron on that area because the 400 degree temperature is just too much.  Instead I use my Gold n’ Hot Curling Iron which only gets up to 300 at best.  I’m also liking the Paul Mitchell Super Skinny for my heat protectant these days.

I do wish the bangs were a teensy bit longer though so that it would be easier to braid them down into a cute headband.  Of course this is possible with a little help from my Eco Styler gel.  I’m also realizing that I won’t be able to slick all of my hair back for awhile.  For now though, I’m just enjoying the new look and loving the curls.

Used a metal clip to section off bangs
Bye Bye Heat Damage
Bangs before cutting a bit more
Check out my post on how I treated my Heat Damaged Hair

How I Style My Heat Damaged Hair for a Wash n’ Go

A plait in front helps to
blend the straight pieces
with the rest of my curly hair
Even though the majority of my hair is still nice and curly, the front of my hair is practically straight when I wear a wash n’ go because of heat damage.  I’ve been doing lots of braid outs and twist outs to help add texture to that area.  I finally figured out how to blend the straight pieces in with the rest of my hair when I wear my natural curls.  I feel so silly for not figuring it out sooner but hey, better late than never.
Gel of Choice
for my Wash n’ Go styles
Basically, I apply product to my hair the way I normally would for a wash n’ go.  I use leave-in conditioner on wet hair (usually Suave Coconut Conditioner) and then seal with oil.  Right now I’m lovin’ African Royale’s Hot Six Oil, which is a Bronner Bros. product.  Then I apply Argan Oil Eco Styler Gel to my hair in medium size sections starting with the back and rake it through.  When I get to the front, heat damaged area, I still apply products in the same way.  Then I take that section and braid it up in one plait.  Sometimes I’ll do a two strand twist with a roller on the end.  Since I start my wash n’ go’s at night, I usually pull the rest of my hair back into a puff and cover my hair with a satin bonnet.  The next day I take down the puff and spritz with my leave-in spray mixture.  Then I shake my hair out to bring the curls back to life.  Lastly, I take down the plait or twist, which is usually a bit damp but is now wavy in texture and blends in better with the rest of my hair. 
The front now blends with the rest of my hair
Wavy bangs are better than straight for this look
Back/Side View

Heat Damage Again. . .Really?

If you watch my channel, mitchellzee, on YouTube, then you probably already know about the heat damage I have in the front section of my hair.  When I do a wash n’ go, I just braid that part up to give it enough texture to blend it with the rest of my hair.  My hair just seems to be really fine in front so even after using 3 different types of heat protection every time I flat iron, I still end up with straight pieces. 

My hair after washing and deep conditioning
No curls; just a mess
So, I was pretty upset when I found even more heat damage after the last time I wore it straight for Easter.  I knew it wasn’t the initial press but a touch-up later in the week that did it. 
My rules for avoiding heat damage are as follows:

1.  Always cleanse the hair thouroughly prior to using heat
2.  Do a moisturizing deep conditioning treatment before and after the use of heat
3.  Always use heat protectant
4.  No more heat styling the rest of the time (i.e. styling by wrapping, roller setting, bantu knots and braids instead of using the flat iron again)

The first time I gave myself heat damage I broke rules #1 and #3.  I thought that I could get away with using heat after a braidout left my hair nice and soft.  I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if I could just straighten it now without the blowdrying?”  Well, yes and no.  You can use braids to stretch your hair prior to straightening as long as you don’t use any oils which can cause damage when you apply direct heat.  I used a mixture of castor, coconut and olive oils to do the braidout so when I applied the heat….sizzzle!  Also, I didn’t even bother with heat protectant and ended up with a piece in front that not only did not revert back, but was straight like relaxed hair.  I eventually cut it off which is why I now have bangs.  This was 3 months after I did the big chop.

This time, however, was a huge dissapointment because I KNEW better!  I broke my own rule #4; no more heat the rest of the time I wear it straight.  I moisturized my hair and sealed it with coconut oil everyday so I knew for sure this had something to do with the new damage I noticed.  Not only that, I oiled my scalp with Wild Growth Oil and it ended up coating my strands from root to tip.  I could have used my Caruso Rollers, to style my hair but was pressed for time and pulled out the flat iron again.  After shampooing and deep conditioning, my poor hair was a hot mess!  I didn’t have curls just a shrunken puff ball (see picture above).  The damage looked like it was pretty serious and I was really scared that I wouldn’t see my curls again.

Find out how I got my curls back in my next post “Recovering from Heat Damage”

Recovering from Heat Damage

After my most recent bout with heat damage, I wasn’t too sure how to go about getting my curls back.  I wore my hair straight for Easter Sunday but decided to use the flat iron again later in the week after using oils in my hair.  My curls did not revert back like they normally did when I wore my hair straight and I was afraid that the damage was permanent.  Was I upset?  You damn skippy I was!  I couldn’t believe that I let this happen again.  Not only that, I just chopped off 1/2″ of damage at the start of the year which gave me curls galore.  Now I was right back where I started and worse.


What did I do you ask?  Well, I did what I always do when I need answers, I went to the internet.  I was pretty certain that what I was experiencing was permanent heat damage but I was really hoping that someone out there had a magic remedy.  I stumbled onto a YouTube video that I remembered watching by Taren916, where she used the Aphogee 2 step Protein Treatment to help repair her heat damage.  She showed a before shot where her hair was limp and not so curly and another after the treatment when her hair had more texture. 

After watching that, I went to the hair forums and read articles for more info on how the protein treatment worked.  Basically, heat can cause significant damage to the cuticle layer of the hair strand.  This is the protective outer layer (imagine tiny shingles that overlap one another).  Once these cuticles are damaged, the hair is vulnerable and more prone to dryness and breakage.  The protein in the Aphogee treatment helps to fill in the gaps where the hair strand is missing these important little pieces. 

So, the very next day, I shot over to Sally’s and made a B-line for the Aphogee products.  I still wasn’t too sure if this was all I needed so I grabbed a silicone based conditioner (the GVP version of Paul Mitchell’s The Detangler) and said a prayer.  After the application and rinsing it all out, I was very surprised to see curls where there was once very non-descript strands.  The treatment actually worked, but the curls were still looser than before (as you can see from the photo).  My hair was still much thicker at the roots.  Afterwards, I decided to go back to an old regimen I employed when I used to use semi-permanent color on my natural hair. 
Damaged hair regimen:
  • Deep condition 2x per week- 1x with moisture; 1x with protein
  • Stay away from heat…lol
  • Protective styles to avoid further damage
  • My curls 4 weeks after the treatment.
    Using braids to protect hair from too
    much manipulation
  • Silicone based conditioner for detangling and co-washing
I added the silicone conditioner because the primary reason for using silicone in hair products is so that it can help mask damage incurred by heat styling, hair color and chemical treatments.   Thankfully, my hair is back to being nice and curly but is just a bit more stretched than before with a few lazy curls here and there.  Some people use heat for this effect but that was never my intention.  Needless to say, me and my curls are stepping away from the heat for a good, long while.