Updated Natural Hair Regimen Pt. 2

In Updated Natural Hair Regimen Pt. 1, I shared my blowout styling technique and talked about my favorite products for maintaining that style.  That post served as an update to my Hair Story series that I started back in 2008.  Today’s post, part 2, shares my routine for maintaining my hair in its naturally kinky state.  I’ve been growing out my shorter tapered cut since part 1, but yesterday I decided to cut my hair short again.

If you’re looking for a natural hair stylist in the St. Louis area, check out my stylist, Chi-Chi.  She does all my haircuts.

My New Haircut

Products Used for this Look

When I’m wearing my hair in its kinky state, I wash using Kinky Curly Come Clean, deep condition using  Darcy’s Botanical Deep Conditioning Mask and moisturize using Darcy’s Botanicals Coconut Lemongrass Transitioning Creme).  I always use my staple bone super rattail comb to detangle, part, and style.  Croc clips come in handy for sectioning my hair when styling.  For the curlier look above, I also used Komaza Care Coconut Hair Pudding to twist my hair.

Since part 1, I’ve added a couple products to my regimen.  One of them is the Darcy’s Botanical Pumpkin Seed Curl Moisturizing Conditioner, which I use on days I don’t want to deep condition my hair.  This product works well as a deep conditioner too though.  I’ve also started occasionally using the Daily Cleansing Conditioner Cream to gently wash my hair during the week if my hair feels grimy after a workout.  I do still shampoo my hair once a week.  I’ve recently started using the Darcy’s Botanicals Peppermin Scalp Elixir, but I primarily reach for an oil when my hair is blown out.

When my hair is longer, I use the same routine.  My hair tends to naturally fall (instead of fro) when it gets to a certain length and is worn in a stretched style.  The image below shows my twist set and twist-out on my longer hair.  The images were taken back in June.

Updated Natural Hair Regimen Pt. 1

Back in 2008, I started a hair series called “Hair Story” to talk about natural hair.  I’ve been natural since 1998 when I ‘big chopped,’ following a 5-month relaxer-free transition.  I shared my favorite hair care products in a few of those hair posts and I’ve since tweaked my regimen, so this post serves as an update.

Essential Hair Products
I’ve simplified my routine and hence reduced the number of products I use.  Every week, I wash (using Kinky Curly Come Clean), deep condition (using Darcy’s Botanical Deep Conditioning Mask), moisturize (using Darcy’s Botanicals Coconut Lemongrass Transitioning Creme), and then style.

Expanded Product Stash
Occasionally, I use Trader Joe’s Nourish Spa Conditioner when there’s no time to deep condition.  I use jojoba oil on my hair when wearing a blow-out. I apply Komaza Care Coconut Hair Pudding after moisturizing if I desire curlier hair.

Hair Styling Tools

I’ve been using the bone super rattail comb for years.  I detangle, part, style, and do everything I need with that comb.  I use a pick comb to hide my parts when wearing a twist-out.  The croc clips come in handy when styling.

Wash Day

I wash my hair without taking any pre-wash steps (no pre-poos for example).  Once my hair gets wet, it’s instantly moisturized.  I then apply my shampoo to my scalp using my finger tips and allow it to work throughout the hair.  I shampoo once or twice depending on how my scalp feels and then apply my conditioner. 

The shampoo step is not pictured above, but I did and always shampoo before deep conditioning.
After applying the deep conditioner, I wear a plastic cap for 20 minutes. 

After rinsing out the deep conditioner, I loosely wrap my hair with a towel to absorb the excess water.  I then section, detangle, and moisturize (using the DB creme) my hair in preparation for a blow-out.  I apply jojoba oil after blow-drying for shine.

I’ve received many questions about the high-end dryer I reviewed, which is amazing.  My favorite
lower priced dryer (which I used to achieve this blow-out) is the Conair Pro Silver Bird.  I especially
love the comb attachment.  BTW, I always use a comb attachment when doing a blow-out.

Heat protectant?  No, I don’t use a product marketed as a heat protectant because in my experience as
long as my hair is conditioned, which I achieve with the other products I use, then my hair is
protected when blow-drying.

Before bed, I flat-twist my hair (no additional products applied).  I use my fingers to part and add about 9 large flat twists for a loose wavy style the next day.  I apply additional moisturizer on day 3 (sooner if my hair feels dry).  Adding moisturizer will cause some shrinkage because of its water-base, but my twist-out will be much curlier like in this post.

I flat-twist my hair every night when wearing a blow-out to maintain the stretched look.

Coming next: Updated Natural Hair Regimen Pt. 2 (Rocking the fro)

Disclosure:  I have no material connections to the product companies mentioned in this post.  All of the ideas and opinions expressed are my own.

Review: HANAair Professional Hair Dryer

A few months ago, I received a HANAair professional hair dryer for review from the folks at Misikko.com.  I was eager to try the Hana because its reviewers have dubbed it the best blow dryer on the market.

The HANAair professional dryer is a pricey tool, retailing for $334.99 (currently on sale for $194.99).  It boasts several cool features, including ion technology and tourmaline & titanium oxide technology.  But, would this professional dryer perform well enough to justify its cost?

Hana hair dryer comes with a concentration nozzle, which I use to stretch twist-out styles.  For blowouts, I prefer
to use a comb attachment (not included with Hana)

The Verdict:  I’ve been using the Hana for a few months and it’s the best performing dryer I’ve ever used.  When I use this hair dryer on its highest heat setting (it has 3 heats settings and 2 fan speeds), I get stretched and smooth hair with body in half my usual drying time.  The results are particularly impressive since I have such a short hair cut right now.

This hair dryer is so powerful that my hair got really straight with just the dryer.

I was wearing the fresh blowout in the Maxi-mize Your Spring/Summer Style look featuring the look below.

Blowout using Hana hair dryer on tapered cut afro.

If you’re on the market for a salon grade hairdryer, check out the Hana and other professional hair straighteners  at Misikko.

Disclosure:  I received the HANAair dryer free of charge for review purposes.  No monetary compensation was received for writing this post.  As always, all the ideas and opinions expressed are my own.

Dove Nourishing Oil Care Hair Products

Many of you have commented favorably on my hair lately.  I was invited to participate in Dove’s “Make Friends With Your Hair” campaign.   So, I received the entire line of Nourishing Oil Care products, and I’ve been testing them on my hair.

I use mostly natural products on my hair, but I’ve had such great success using the Dove sensitive skin products that I was willing to try the hair products.  The new Nourishing Oil Care line was appealing, too, because it promises to address the needs of extra dry hair.

First Use:

When I first tried the products, I used a combination of the shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner, and anti-frizz serum.  The shampoo left my hair (and scalp) feeling clean, but not stripped.  I wasn’t immediately fond of the conditioner because it seemingly lacked slip.  Detangling my hair with the conditioner in it, though, was quite easy.  I was surprised.

The leave-in conditioner was my favorite product.  It made my hair feel smooth and slick, and once applied, it was so easy to comb my hair in preparation for blowing it out.

Dove Nourishing Oil Care products  and tools used to achieve look below.

After blow drying my entire head on a low-heat setting, I applied the anti-frizz serum, and blow dried the hair one more time on a higher heat setting.  My hair was left shiny and smooth.  I then flat-twisted my hair, went to bed, and loosed the hair in the morning to achieve the following look:

Flat twist-out on blown-out hair using Dove Nourishing Oil Care products.  The result was light and fluffy hair.

Second Use:

The second time I tried the products, I used a combination of the shampoo, daily treatment conditioner, leave-in conditioner, and the anti-friz serum.  This time, I wanted to see what the products would do for my hair without using heat.

The Daily Treatment Conditioner worked similarly to the other conditioner.  My hair didn’t feel slick and smooth, but it was a breeze to detangle.  These conditioners have the consistency (really thick) of deep conditioners.  So, they could possibly be more effective if I let them sit on my hair for a few minutes.

Conditioning with Daily Treatment Conditioner.  Working it through hair.

I used the leave-in conditioner to moisturize my hair, then two-strand twisted it while wet.  After I completed the twists, I applied some of the serum over the twists.  The next morning, I loosed the hair, and saw the following result:

(1)Twists using leave-in and serum  (2)Unraveled twists show great definition.  (3-4): Fluffed out hair after further separating twists.  Shiny and soft.

Final Thoughts:

Pros:  Overall, this is a good, low-cost (each product is under $5) line of hair products.  They smell great.  The products aim to nourish extra dry hair.  My clear favorites are the shampoo and the leave-in conditioner.  I’d surely use the leave-in conditioner again because it coaxed my hair really well, and after using it to wet set my twists, my hair had good definition and it was soft.

Cons:  The hair-healthy ingredients like sweet almond oil appear near the end of the list of ingredients indicating that they are in low concentration in the products.  If you’re a natural product enthusiast, these products also contain ingredients like SLS and dimethicone.

Be sure to check out the Make Friends With Your Hair Contest on facebook and vote for your favorite candidate until December 12.  I voted for Brittany D because her entry was hilarious and I’d like to see the Dove professionals work with her hair.  The winner will appear in the next Dove TV ad.

Disclosure:  I received all of the products reviewed free of charge.  No monetary compensation was received for doing this post.  As always, all the ideas and opinions expressed are my own.  For the review, Dove products were used exclusively.

Economy of Style Feature on Dime on a Dime

It’s finally here!  Anniversary day!  Details on our celebration are coming soon.  So, surely stay tuned!

In the meantime, check out an Economy of Style hair feature over at budget blogger extraordinaire, Dime on a Dime’s blog.  It was a pleasure chatting with Vee, the owner and creator.  Stop by her site and look around too because she knows how to whip a budget into shape.

Read the full story at Psyche’s Story.