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Friday, April 17, 2015

Why I prefer the LCO over the LOC method

LCO - LIQUID CREAM OIL         VS       LOC - LIQUID OIL CREAM

Liquid

I have 4c Natural hair, which means my hair is the kinkiest of the kinkiest. It coils around itself naturally, has high shrinkage, is low porosity and very hard to moisturize. Low porosity hair has a hard time obtaining moisture, which means that it takes a while for moisturizers and water to penetrate the hair shaft. However, once the hair is moisturized it stays moisturized for a long time. Unlike porous hair which is very easy to moisturize but loses moisture quickly.

Cream
The LCO method completely changed the game for me. LCO refers to liquid, cream, and oil. It refers to the way you layer your products. You start by spraying your hair with a liquid to lift the cuticle, adding a cream to moisturize and then sealing with an oil. Because my hair has a hard time getting moisture It would not make sense for me to do the Liquid oil cream method. With the LOC method you spritz the hair with water, seal with and oil, and then add you cream moisturizer. However, the problem I have with this method (LOC) is that once I spray the liquid and seal with the oil, the oil not only blocks the moisture from leaving my hair but it also blocks moisture from getting into my hair. Therefore, adding cream after the oil, simply makes no sense for me because the moisturizer will not absorb into my hair.
oil

On the other hand adding the Liquid, cream and then oil allows for the moisture from the liquid and the cream to penetrate my hair and the oil then seals all that moisture in. With this method, I can go up to ten days without having to re-moisturize my hair when it is exposed to the elements.

How do you moisturize your hair?
Have you tried the LCO or the LOC method?
Which do you prefer and Why?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Super Light Jumbo Box Braids with Toyokolon Hair


This is not a tutorial, my hair was coming out great and I wanted to share. This is my first time doing box braids. I used the New York Braid Supreme Ultra Light Toyokolon hair. I ended up using about 8 packs of hair. When I was done I dipped the ends in hot water. I only wish that the hair was longer, but overall I love how it came out.

Friday, April 10, 2015

MY NATURAL HAIR ISN'T GROWING

I have been natural since June of 2010, so that's a whopping five years of being completely natural. You would think by now that based on all the hair gurus on youtube and bloggers on the internet who have been natural for this long or less, that have hair down to their ankles that I would come here and say that I at least have waist length or at the very least mid back length hair. However, that is sadly not the case.

I did not make a conscious decision to go natural, after years of kitchen perms, sew ins and stress my hair fell out from the root. I literally would run my hands through my hair and clumps of hair would come out with the root attached. I started to research (google) ways to grow my hair back quickly so I could perm it again. However, I discovered youtube and blogs with women who had beautiful, long and healthy natural hair and I was curious. I wanted to know if my hair could be healthy and grow to such lengths. I received my first perm at twelve, I'm the one that asked for it, I was going away to boarding school and had no idea how to care for my hair. My hair was neck length, it never seemed to grow past that length especially after the relaxer. It wasn't healthy either, I always had breakage and it was always dry. Now, after five years of being natural I'm grazing arm pit length, literally grazing. Meaning that if I trim my hair I can no longer claim arm pit length.

Hair is supposed to grow an average of 6" per year. I have never had a problem with growing my hair but clearly I have a problem retaining length if I'm only grazing arm pit length after five years of being natural. I've analyzed my hair care regimen, done my research and have made some changes to my regimen. I have compiled a list of all the things that I have done wrong over the years that have contributed to my lack of length retention.

  • Hair Breakage
    • This has been my biggest issue over the last five years
      • My breakage has been caused by
        • Protein Overload: The hair benefits from protein, it strengthens it and actually helps to protect against breakage. However, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. There were plenty of times that I did protein treatments way too often. My hair became dry and brittle then broke off.
        • Detangling Tools: It seems that I have tried every detangling tool on the market. The denman, tangle teezer, combs, paddle brushes etc. I've noticed that no matter how much slip a product has these tools always break my hair. 
        • Protective styles: Yes some of my protective styles have led to breakage. My hair mattes very easily. I love mini twists but I find that leaving them in too long and wetting the hair to re-moisturize exasperates the matting. Flatwists also lead to breakage, I got a lot of breakage from parting my hair to get the perfect style, I usual styled my hair while dry so that may have lead to it breaking.
        • Tangles have also contributed to my hair breakage. I have tried solely finger detangling in the past and I've gotten a lot of tangles from that especially at the root. Finger detangling is great, it works but I was definitely impatient.  I didn't take my time so after months of poorly finger detangling my hair was extremely tangled. I would then use a comb and rip through all the tangles out of frustration. I also got a lot of tangles from letting my hair go too long without detangling. Mainly because I wear a lot of protective styles and I keep them in for about 4-6wks.
  • Constantly Trimming

    • I feel like I always have split ends, so I'm constantly trimming
      • I've used the tangle teaser before and it completely destroyed my hair. I had splits all the way up the hair shaft. Its taken a year to completely get rid of the damage.
      • Mini twists have also lead to damaged ends. I would leave them in too long, usually up to three weeks, then my hair would matte so when I took them down my ends would cling together and not knowing better I would rip them apart.
      • Also, after removing styles like Marley Twists I would have a lot of single strand knots. Probably because I didn't stretch my hair properly before installing the braids so some of my ends would be exposed.
  • Disastrous Salon visits.
    • I think I've been to the salon twice since I was natural and both times were epic failures
      • My first visit was just a month shy of my two year natural anniversary and I was past collar bone length on my way to arm pit length. I decided to go in for a wash, condition, treatment, trim and style. The whole visit cost about $80, I left with a cute style. But after the visit I had hair as short as an inch, 2 inches, 4 inches, and some sections were their original lengths. You get the picture. The stylist went Edward scissor hand ham in my head
      • I can't remember when my second visit was but I went in for an updo and came out with heat damage. She tried to give my 4c hair a blowout with a paddle brush, needless to say that didn't work so she used a flat iron on my partially wet hair. I figured, she's a stylist she knows what she's doing right? Wrong! lol
  • Chronic Dryness
    • I suffered from chronic dryness my first three years natural. This was mainly because:
      • I didn't know how to moisturize my hair. I didn't know how to properly layer the products. I was just putting stuff in my hair not knowing that there was a proper way to do it for optimum moisture.
      • I was also not using the correct products. When I first went natural, I thought that products that had natural in the title were great for my hair. I quickly realized that even though a product may say natural it may not be truly natural. Some products say that they contain natural ingredients but are loaded with synthetics. Some people use synthetic products and it works wonders for them. I personally find that my hair stays moisturized and healthy when I use all natural ingredients. I was never able to obtain moisturized hair until I started using natural products. My hair was dry and unhealthy in my relaxed days as well and prior to being relaxed. For some, myself included ingredients really do matter.
      • My hair was also dry from heat damage. I sustained heat damage from my last salon visit and I also tried to heat train my hair after that with a blow dryer. My hair became even more dry.
I have since seen the error of my ways and I am currently on a hair growth journey. Tell me about your natural hair journey. What were some of the highs and lows? What advice would you give someone who is newly natural? If you would like to be a guest blogger please go to the contact me tab and fill out the form. I would love to hear from you.
 I will be doing several posts on how to get and maintain healthy natural hair.