P is for Pre-Poo!

Before going back to my natural hair I had never heard of the word Pre-Poo.    I was like…What is that?  It sounded weird, like some kind of slang  that somebody made up to describe who knows what.  So lets get the meaning of the word out of the way so we can move forward.

Pre = Before   and   Poo = Shampoo

So now the question is, what should you be doing before you shampoo, right?  

A pre-poo treament is the act of applying a

  • an oil
  • conditioner & oil
  • a whole mixture of ingredients that includes oil

To your hair prior to washing.   The key ingredient in a pre-poo is oil. Applying a pre-poo treatment to your hair will prevent it from  losing too much moisture/drying out too much once it is washed. This is a great way to begin your wash day routine.  It is especially important for naturals who still choose use shampoos with sulfates and parabens in it, which strip the hair of it’s natural oil.     Pre-pooing helps protect the hair follicles, and it is super at taking the struggle out of detangling, with additional benefits of  adding shine to your strands.  Pre-pooing can also be helpful in defining your natural curl pattern long before you have even applied any styling products to your hair.

Pre-poo treatments allow plenty of room for variation because you can base it on your own individual hair needs.  It can be full of protein, or it be a conditioning pre-poo if you prefer.

You can purchase a pre-made treatment or masque for your pre-poo, or you can whip up your own in the comfort of your own home! Your pre-poo can even be just be the oil of your choice.

Great oils to use are:  Coconut Oil,  Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Baobab Oil,  or Sweet Almond Oil

If you prefer more ingredients in your pre-poo try one of the below combinations:

  1. Conditioner (water-based) and any Oil.
  2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Coconut Oil and  Honey
  3. Coconut Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  4. Coconut Oil and Peppermint Oil.
  5. Coconut Oil and Tea Tree Oil
  6.  Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, and Tea Tree Oil

In the below YouTube video I decided to go with combination #6.  Watch I whip up a batch, apply it to my hair, then later style my hair once wash day was complete.

Do you Pre-Poo?  If you don’t, I’m interested in knowing why.  Let me know and always don’t forget to like, comment, share, and subscribe  to my blog & YouTube channel so you never miss out!

To Gel or Not To Gel?

Oh, has hair gel developed into a more efficient and healthy product than in earlier years. Back in the days it seemed like every gel had alcohol in it, and because we were trying to be cute we started losing hairs from our beloved edges. Then there was the issue of flakes forming because it dried our scalp out so much. We just had to make our edges look as if they grew out of our scalp straight and tamed! Trust me, I was guilty of this too.  Anyway, we were all elated when Let’s Jam came out. In my opinion it was the perfect combination of gel plus hair grease. Even better it smelled like candy! Also I used to think that the Brown Ampro Pro Styl gel  worked wonders & it was more importantly available at Dollartree!  The downer was that it left a brown residue once it dried.  After that I noticed a lot of Naturals were using Eco Styler Olive Oil gel and were getting great results. It appeared to be a favorite!  So, of course I gave it a try, and course I loved it!  I got no residue, or flaking.  Also I could purchase a huge jar of it for a decent price at Sally’s, Amazon, or my local Walgreens.  Now recently I have found out it may not mix as well as I would like it to with some creme leave in conditioners, but that’s another topic for another day.

Why do we choose to use hair gel when it is not always good for our hair?  Is it because it assists in molding our hair in ways leave in conditioners can’t?  More times than not, you will be able to whip your hair exactly into the shape you want in. Who doesn’t want their curls to behave, or at least attempt to make them behave. Hair gel helps tame the frizz and fly-aways.  It also slicks, and sets your hair in place. Formulas can range from a light hold to an extra hold. Just think of it as a hair spray that you don’t actually spray, but instead apply with your fingers.

A good gel will enhance your curl definition and give a great shine to your hair.   If your gel makes your hair look ashy then it’s time to trash it!  Ash belongs in a fireplace, not in your hair!  A great gel will create a cast or armor over your hair.  But with any armor it must come off at some point so you want to make sure your gel rinses off well with water, shampoo, or co-wash.  You also want your gel to last for at least 3 days without having to re-apply it. You should be able to add a little water to your hair where the gel was originally applied, then gently smooth  it down with fingers or toothbrush.   Next tie your hair down with a silk or satin scarf until dry for hold that is as good as the first day you applied the gel.  Look for gels with added vitamins, nutrients, and oils.  Just say no to gels with harsh chemicals because usually your hair or scalp will pay a hefty price sooner or later.

From my own personal experience, you must experiment a little to find what gel works for you. Just because you think you have the same hair type as your best friend, who uses a certain gel, doesn’t mean that same gel is going to work for you.  I strongly suggest you just pay attention to your own hair.  Curls are like business.  It’s better to mind yours, not everyone else’s.

The #1 rule to remember before putting any gel on your hair is to make sure your hair it thoroughly moisturized. Also, the #1 moisturizer is water, even a water based leave-in conditioner will do. Do you use gel in your hair?  Why or why not?  What product line has the best formula in your opinion? Talk to me, and remember to like, comment, and Subscribe!


Bye Brittle Hair

How is everyone doing? I hope all is well.

This winter has been rough on my hair! Cold weather is very drying to the hair strands, and because of that it is a good idea to begin using thicker oils like olive oil or castor oil to coat the hair. Due to the dreaded snow and freezing temperatures we have had in the Pacific NW my strands need extra TLC. My poor hair doesn’t like anything cold unless it’s the cold rinse I give it after conditioning to add shine and close the hair cuticle.

Since I have run out of most of the pre-made conditioning products I have in my hair stash, I decided it was DIY time.  So earlier this week I decided to make up a new DIY recipe for a deep conditioning mask.
The ingredients used were:

• Hempseed Oil
• VO5 Extra Body Conditioner
• Olive Oil

Hempseed oil is made of Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 fatty acids, which are excellent for stimulating new growth in hair. It improves blood circulation to the scalp, and it also supplies nourishment to the hair follicle. Without our wonderful hair follicles, we would all be walking around here bald!

As I said in a previous post, ‘Kitchen Oil On Hair?’, Olive oil is composed of more than 80% of oleic acid. Oleic acid is an omega-9 fatty acid, and we all know how good omega-9 is for the heart! Olive oil is also easily absorbed through the skin. It’s been known to heal damage, reduce wrinkles and improve the texture of skin. It is a great moisturizing oil that naturally penetrates the scalp and hair shaft when used with water. It is great for dry scalp/dandruff, as a hot oil treatment, deep conditioner, pre-poo, and when added to leave-in conditioners for extra moisture.

VO5 Extra Body Conditioner is an affordable, classic, conditioner that has been around since forever! It is paraben free and silicone free. The only issue I have with this conditioner is that the only thing natural in it is water! But I just can’t pass up the fact that I can purchase it at the Dollar Tree, it has lots of slip, a detangle master, and super for a deep conditioning. Might I also add, it is the only co-wash I used for the first 6 months after going back to my natural hair!

Anyway, below is what I did for this week’s deep conditioning treatment:

And here are the results after styling:

What are you doing take care of your hair during the winter? Have you tried any deep conditioner DIY’s?  What products do you use to deep condition?  Let me know!  I am always curious to know what other naturals are doing to maintain their hair.  And as always don’t forget to like, comment, share, and subscribe!

DIY Clarify with ACV

It’s that time of month again.  Time to clarify these strands of mine.  Since I’m all about using what I have at home if possible, I decided to clarify with an ACV Rinse.  In case you are not familiar with the term ACV stands for Apple Cider Vinegar.

Now it’s been a long time since I’ve done an ACV rinse.  Like about 2 years ago, shortly after I did The Big Chop.  Prior to that, I did it all the time while I had dreadlocks.  Back then it was the only way I washed my hair because it kept my dreadlocks nice and clean.  I also remember it did a great job at keeping my dandruff under control!

Currently my hair is color treated so I did wonder how my hair would be affected by the ACV since it is highly acidic.  According to my research, there seems to be an ongoing debate within the hair community on whether  ACV affects the color in color treated hair.  There are mixed reviews.  Some people think it strips hair of color.  While others believe it makes the color more vibrant, for example in red hair.  Either way I wasn’t going to let my worries stop me.  I’ve been maintaining my own hair since 11 years old.  So I did what I always do, I tried it for myself.  I truly believe the best way to learn is through experience.  I mean it’s just hair, right?

So, I got out my spray bottle and filled it using the dilution ratio: 1-part ACV into 3-parts water.  Next I sprayed my hair and scalp with the mixture, then covered it with a plastic grocery bag for about 5 minutes.  (The plastic bag is not necessary, it’s just something I do).  Then I washed the ACV rinse out using warm water. The red color in my hair did not bleed at all! , I had no reason to worry. After that I continued on with my normal washday activities. 🙂

Benefits of doing an ACV Rinse:

  • Helps with detangling
  • Helps hair maintain moisture
  • Balances pH in hair                                         
  • Clarifies hair by removing product buildup, minerals, and metals without stripping the natural oils
  • Helps treat hair thinning/hair loss
  • Reduces frizz by smoothing hair cuticle
  • Helpful with eliminating dandruff
  • Treats dry/itchy scalp

Disclaimer:  Remember everyone’s hair is different.  Just because something worked for me, does not guarantee it will work for you. Do not use if you have sensitive skin/irritated scalp.  Also I not recommend doing an ACV rinse more then once a month. 

Have you done an ACV rinse before?  What is your opinion on using ACV while color treated?   How do you clarify your hair?   Let me know, and don’t forget to like, comment, share, and subscribe!

Kitchen oil on hair?

Check your kitchen for oil, but let me stop you right there, I’m not talking about vegetable oil.

Still don’t believe me?  Ok then, pay attention. Yes ma’am/sir you read right.  You need. To check. The kitchen.  What does that have to do with natural hair you may ask? Plenty.

The day I knew it was time to go back to natural hair, I didn’t have the beloved coconut oil and I was broke. I already determined I was going to do the Big Chop that day so I knew I needed an oil for my hair.   I also knew the hair grease I had in my bathroom was not going to do.  So I walked into the kitchen, opened a cabinet and there it was, Olive Oil.  Aww, problem solved!  I previously read great things on Pinterest about the benefits of olive oil used on natural hair.  I also remembered that is worked wonderfully on my scalp when I had dreadlocks in the past. So I knew I had found a winner!

When the air turns cold and dry, there are a few ways you can keep your hair looking and feeling it’s best. Adding oils into your winter hair regimen is a great way to boost the health of your hair & scalp, improve shine, and increase manageability.

Are you with me now?

Olive oil is a fat obtained from the olive (the fruit of Olea europaea; family Oleaceae), a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. The oil is produced by pressing the whole olives.   According to Wikipedia, Olive oil is composed of more than 80% of oleic acid. Oleic acid  is an omega-9 fatty acid, and we all know how good omega-9 is for the heart!  Olive oil is also easily absorbed through the skin.  It’s been known to heal damage, reduce wrinkles and improve the texture of the skin.  So of course it would be good on the hair!  Right?

Also when doing research for this post. I learned something new.  I read that according to WebMD it’s a good idea to:

Check the bottle for a label from the North American Olive Oil Association (NAOOA), a trade group that tests olive oils to see if they measure up to the manufacturer’s claims. The trade group tests olive oils to determine if they are what the labels say they are — and not adulterated or a mislabeled product. The International Olive Council (IOC) is the worldwide body that sets quality standards for the olive oil industry.

This is a great tip because who wants to put fake olive oil in their hair!  I guess that’s why it’s important to do your research!

hmm….No Label

As I mentioned before, I used olive oil on my scalp in the past (I also use it now).  It is a great moisturizing oil that naturally penetrates the scalp and hair shaft when used with water. It is great for dry scalp/dandruff, as a hot oil treatment, deep conditioner, pre-poo and when added to leave-in conditioners for extra moisture.

Olive oil is available everywhere.  Whether you make your purchases online or in person, you will never have a problem finding it. So instead or pouring coconut oil all over 2017, we may need to switch to olive oil! Is olive oil in your spray bottle? What oils are you using on your hair?

1st Product Review

Who/what is Jane Carter Solution ??  Let me tell you.  Jane Carter Solution, the brand – was created by Jane Carter, who is the founder/CEO & Sole formulator.  She has been in the hair care business for over 20 years as a professional stylist/salon owner.  But what drew me to her vast array of products is the fact that she has been a colorist for over 20 years as well.

“At Jane Carter Solution we believe hair isn’t defined by ethnicity or race, it is defined by hair type and texture…fine, medium or coarse, straight, wavy, curly or coily.  Our goal is to help you to simplify your hair care routine and love the hair you wear!”  Jane Carter, Founder & CEO

Since my hair is color treated, I  wanted to purchase products from a master of color of course!Jane Carter Solution

So when I noticed Jane Carter Solution was having a sale on their Curl Defining Cream at 75% off in December 2016 I did not dare pass it up!  I ended up purchasing both the Curl Defining Cream and the Revitalizing Leave-In Conditioner.

Once my package arrived I was immediately impressed by the way the products were individually shrink wrapped, ensuring the customer the product wasn’t tampered with.  The label is cheery and inviting in the color yellow with a sunflower.  Before I had a chance to smell the products already assumed the scent would be floral because of the sunflower.

I liked how the conditioning spray, sprayed out evenly for a thorough distribution.  But let me tell you the smell of the spray was indeed  floral. In my opinion it took me by surprise because I wasn’t expecting it to be so strong….but….if you enjoy floral scents/perfumes you will be just fine with it (thankfully the scent dissipated quickly).  Anyway I did like the way the spray made my hair feel. It felt soft and moisturized.  After looking at the list of natural ingredients I felt really good about my choice in product.  I mean you can’t go wrong with aloe, chamomile and orange (to name a few). Right?

As for the Curl Defining Cream,  I absolutely love the applicator! I love the fact that I don’t have to hold the container in my hand at all to get product out.  I can just pump out the amount I want and apply it to my hair. The consistency of the cream is thick so you don’t have to worry about the product being too runny or watered down. I applied the product to my hair using the praying hands motion and was pleased to see it did not leave a white residue on my hair!  I was also overjoyed that it had a pleasant clean scent that was not overpowering. My hair was soft, hydrated,  shiny and bouncy without looking weighed down.

So I then braided my hair into 5 braids And the next day had a lovely braid-out! Overall I am very pleased with my purchase.  So if you are looking for something new, check out Jane Carter Solutions!  Have you tried Jane’s products before?  What are your thoughts? Let me know, ok?