Sunday, December 12, 2010

Winter Hair

Just found this amazing blog called "Curly Nikki," created by a psychotherapist and natural-hair diva. She is incredibly dedicated to hair and finding good products and practices for transitioning to and maintaining natural hair. Check out her 2010 Winter Hair Regimen, which includes twice-monthly wash/conditioning and then clip-setting the hair for twist styles. (This concept of "stretching" the hair after a wash to prep it for a style is new to me--I need to try it!)

Sadly, I haven't been keeping up with my playing with hair projects, nor have I been experimenting with styles or new products. (Though I did reintroduce princess-leia puffs the other day.) And lately, as winter settles in, I've noticed that my hair is asking for more moisture. Whatever I've been using as a leave-in conditioner isn't quite cutting it. I'm not sure what I expect from a hair product before I use it--I still feel like I haven't quite reached my best hair potential--but I know when it's not working. The frizz factor sets in after a wash. If I don't blow-dry the roots immediately after, they stay wet and pressed to my head while the rest frizzes into the wind. Chunks of it continue to matte near the roots. I seem to be at a stopping point with length--does that mean it's just the length my hair's meant to be, or is breakage happening without my notice?

My hair is about 15 different textures depending on where it sits on my head, which probably means I should be using more than one product on it (I'm not.)

It's time to kick it in gear! Which is why I was grateful today when a new friend brought me a bag of hair goodies--products she'd bought for her natural hair transition that haven't worked for her. (How many friendship seeds have been planted by random hair conversations in my life? I can think of at least 4.) Here are the goodie bag products that I'll begin testing soon--my hope is that by breaking it down by ingredient I'll figure out which exact oils/minerals work best for my hair:

  • Creme of Nature leave-in conditioner. Featuring lemongrass and rosemary.
  • Mizani hairdress. Shea and cocoa butter.
  • Garnier "Survivor" putty. Cactus extract. 
  • Surf Head texturizing paste. Mainstream chemical stuff + beeswax. 
  • She also turned me on to KinkyCurly's Knot Today leave-in detangler and Curling Custard gel, which I've started to use. It's gooey! Horsetail, chamomile, nettle, aloe, marshmallow, agave nectar, mango, lemongrass. As for effectiveness, the jury's still out.

Right now I use, at varying frequency:

  • Dark and Lovely Peppermint Shampoo. Though it contains tea tree oil, the sodium lauryl sulfate is too harsh and usually leaves my hair with a "stripped" feeling.
  • Palmer's hair milk with olive oil and vitamin E. Doesn't do much. Doesn't hurt, but doesn't seem to help the dry-curl either.
  • Curls quenched curls moisturizer. This spray works great, especially after a shampoo, for keeping my hair smoothed and moisturized. White tea extract, corn starch, pomegranate seed, wheat germ, bean tree, chamomile extract, "amino acids." 
  • Curls curlicious curls shampoo. Mainstream chemicals + silk amino acids, carrot seed, sage leaf, horse chestnut. Works well--though not without the conditioner--and smells great. 
  • Curls curl ecstasy hair tea conditioner. Aloe, mango butter, shea butter, green tea, chamomile, ho shu wu extract, soy protein. The tea might be what really makes these Curls brand products work. I remember when my "hair father" Alphonzo gave me Paul Mitchell Tea Tree cleanser/conditioner, and I was born again. It treated my over-processed hair so well that, along with Alphonzo's help, I gained the courage to go natural.
  • DevaCurl No-poo cleanser and One Condition conditioner. Chamomile, mint, peppermint rosemary, hops, grape seed, wheat amino acids, oat aa, soy aa.
  • Deva Heaven in Hair deep moisture treatment. Doesn't work as well as the other Deva products--includes more butters than oils. No grape seed or amino acids. 
  • Carrot oil. Alone it doesn't do much but make my scalp smell like V-8 Splash.

There it is. Curly Nikki has inspired me to pay heed to hair as I should. I hereby pledge to keep up on my hair experimenting and will report back with product updates in the coming months. An addition to my New Year's resolution list!


lakiya said...

hey girl!!! your blogg is awsome and very interesting!!!! i hope the products work out for you!!! i am too learning about what workes for my natural hair.. my mom relaxed mine at age 8.. i am a 3c,4a,4b,4c hair girly!!! so many textures to love... Im finding out what my hair likes and

goooooo natural hair!!!

Joan said...

Thanks for the review! I may have to give that daily leave in conditioner a try. My hair is so dry so I need a daily moisturizer badly!