Wednesday, February 22, 2017

To Blow Dry or Not to Blow Dry. . . That is the Question!

When I first did the big chop, I did it based off emotion, though I had already stopped perming but at that moment, my hair didn’t matter to me whether it was long or short and so, I just went with cutting it all off and started again from scratch.

Photo by Linda A Strobert

It was easy then for me to just wash and go and that was my thing. Then I stopped shampooing so much, yet still used conditioner on a daily basis during my morning routine. I had no hair and so, I had no reason to use heat products in it. Trying to blow dry or even curl my locks would have been crazy because it was too short to even section with a comb.

Then my hair started growing a little bit and so, every four months or so, I would head on over to the salon to get a deep treatment and professional blow dry. I don't do anything strenuous on my own. Everything other than washes, co-washes and picking my hair out are done at the salon. They straightened my hair a few times since I cut it and it always looked so beautiful. Yet, from 2015 to 2016, I started leaving the heat alone and only blow dried my hair once and I decided to keep that as a routine; once a year or less.

Once a year? Why?

The last time I blow dried my hair, it looked pretty but started to dry out quickly and smelled burnt; even after I washed it twice afterwards, the burnt smell lingered. I think that is why it took such a long time to blow dry it again. But three months later, some of my hair is still straight from when my stylist used the heat in my hair and I can’t figure out why I lost the beautiful curl pattern that I used to have prior to that day. 

Still conditioning almost every day but I increased my shampooing a little bit because I am thinking and hoping that my curls will somehow come back to the way they were, unless blow drying stretches it and the hair just becomes longer and straighter over time when you do it; I am not sure.  

And so, when Influenster sent me the Glam Vox Box and it had Shea Moisture products in it, I was thrilled because I am familiar with the brand and tried their products many times. This particular one that I got free was Shea Argan Oil Shampoo, Shea Argan Blow Out Creme Conditioner and a coupon to purchase from their line whenever I run out of products; which is quite often for me being that I co-wash almost every day.

Wash and Co-Wash

So I got in the shower and shampooed with the argan oil, which I noticed was nice and creamy. It lathered my hair and made my locks and my scalp feel nice and clean. 

I followed with Herbal Essence Totally Twisted Curly Conditioner, left it on my hair for about five minutes and it added extra moisture to my curly afro. I will say that I have no real preference for conditioner because I find something beneficial in almost all of them. I use inexpensive. I use expensive. I use non-organic. I use organic. I use sulfate and paraben free and I also use with sulfates and paraben though I prefer the former. I usually go for what is on sale and then there are times when I just go for a specific product. And so, I have tried products from the Shea Moisture line many times before and liked it. Sometimes I  use L'Oreal or Suave. It depends on the day and my mood. But, I still haven't found that one must use everyday product. But I will! 

After Wash

I dried off some of the excessive water in my hair with an old tee-shirt. I find a regular towel to be harsh on hair and so, I use an old shirt or a hair scarf to dry it. 

I started clipping my ends with a hair scissor on days that I use shampoo and so, I clipped my ends before applying moisturizer. Since I do not use heat in my hair and usually let my hair air dry all but the once a year that I am switching to, I applied the blow-out crème to my hair anyway which I found to moisten my hair really well.  It did not build up in any one area at all. It felt clean in my hair and brightened up the dullness of it.

I feel that if this product protects from heat and heat damage, that maybe it will repair it as well. It has marshmallow extract & cherimaya. It is said to improve style, control and speed. I love that it contains organic shea butter, argan oil and almond milk. The protein factor strengthens. It has no sulfates, no parabens and it is a great product for my natural hair. So I will add it to the list of the many products that I use and can’t wait to take advantage of my coupon on my next shopping trip.

So tell me . . .

Do you think that my hair is heat damaged and is it repairable? Is it normal for your hair to be straight in some places and curly in others? What are you using that might benefit my hair? What is your hair routine? Please share!  

Disclaimer: I am not employed by Shea Moisture and will not be compensated for writing this blog post. I however,did receive the product free to try and to share my thoughts on a separate app than this blog. These are my real thoughts, unguided or scripted based on my usage of the complimentary items received. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

My Hair Product Crush

On a regular day, my shower includes condition washing my hair.  

I have been caught up in the grip of the addiction of adding water and conditioner to my locks every day since I did the big chop almost three years ago, and never looked back.

The overall concept is to be able to manage my hair. I experience moments of intense pleasure when my hair is soft and my curls look nice and beautiful. In a myriad of ways, this is one of the many things that make me who I am. When I venture forth to the supermarket or local pharmacy, I usually leave with a new bottle of conditioner because I can go through about two bottles a week.

But what makes a difference in manageability and look is the after process. It is what I decide to put into my hair to keep it moisturized. I can admit that word of mouth, Pinterest and YouTube discussions on natural hair products are all worth the consideration. I am like a turn taker, trying everything and anything until I find the one that I crush over.

I am a bit biased on why Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie became my product of choice. The very first time I started to use it, I noticed my curls came out looking so pretty. I went out that same day to hang out with my favorite guy and he kept complimenting me on how good my hair smelled. And this was on every occasion that I put it on and we were together. The scent elevated his attention and it was more than a narrow attention but a general interest. I guess you can say that is from an effectiveness standpoint to wear something that someone you want around will enjoy being around because he liked it.

But much more than that. It enhances my curls. It has silk protein and neem oil in it which makes my hair just a little bit stronger than it was before using the product. It hydrates and protects it from breakage. My hair feels silky smooth all the time and that is something I appreciate about it.

It keeps my hair healthy. It is sulfate free. It is paraben free. And I like that I feel confident about a product I am using, though if used wrong and you just apply it without massaging it into your hair, it will leave white gunks of residue all over your hair. But, I love it and I think that it was made just for me and as destiny would have it, Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie became my product of choice. Other things I use in my hair every now and then that I really like are Pure Shea butter, Coconut oil and Castor oil.

But this is my story and my song. What is yours? Share your hair product crush with me.