Monday, May 26, 2014

Frizz Free Straight Hair for Multi-Textured Hair

We often see information about caring for textured hair, straight hair, curly hair, wavy hair, etc.  It is rare to hear of care of multi-textured hair.  Over the past 5 or so years I have let my gray hair grow in in all of its glory.  If you think it is difficult to find information on multi-textured hair, try finding info on gray hair care.  Thankfully, gray hair is weaving its way into the style  magazines but gray hair care information is very slow to follow.  Gray hair can be thicker, more coarse, wavy and sticks out in places creating a woozy halo effect around the face.  Sometimes, I will give in to the curl and other times, I wish for a softer and more manageable look.  There are many shampoos out there for gray hair care.  They address the need for brightening the hair, or, removal of any yellow discoloration in the gray/white hair.  The thing is, I stopped using lathering shampoos long ago, opting for conditioner only methods of washing my hair.  (I will use the brightening shampoo maybe once a month and follow with a deep conditioner such as "As I Am Hydration Elation")  There are no products out there to specifically shine gray hair.  It is impossible to go down the isle of your favorite beauty supply store and find a product that will address all of your needs.  Gray hair is different.  When you color gray hair, it tends to soften it and it retains a shine and glow about it.  Natural gray hair does not reflect the light in the way that your conditioned, colored locks will.  When I decided to let my hair be its natural self, I also decided that I would attack the issues with my own hair.  Determined that I would solve my problems and finally have more good hair days than bad!  I will admit, even with my vast access to professional products that my Cosmetologist license allows me, this was not an easy task.  I found that I had the same issues with professional products as I did with drugstore brands.  Through the years of my natural hair care I would conditioner only wash with Mane and Tail Original Conditioner.  Very affordable and worked very well.  They grayer my hair became, the more difficult it was to get any sort of shine on my hair.  Recently, you have seen me start to blog about the AS I AM product line.  It was not designed around my hair type at all.  That said, I LOVE THIS LINE!  Some products in the line I loved right away, others, I needed to take the time to figure out how to make them work for me.  My hair is very fine but my gray hair has a mind of its own.  There is a curl/wave to my still dark hair but the gray is certainly more curly than the rest of my hair.  When I wear my hair curlier, I still deal with a halo of fuzz.  When I wore my hair straighter, smoother in a more tame wavy style, I would still have the halo of fuzz.  Oh how I wanted to have some sort of glow back to my hair.  No way was I willing to go back to using color.  When I started to use the AS I AM product line I was aware it was not designed for me.  I love to experiment though and I am SO glad that I did.  I won't repeat myself explaining the product line here.  Look back through my blog and you will find additional info on the individual  products that I have tried.  One product that I overlooked deeming it too heavy for my hair is the moisturizing hair milk.   I have found that the products in the line, for example the Coconut Wash, work wonderfully on their own.  However, when paired up with the other products they greatly enhance the
effects of each one.  After the Coconut Hair Wash I always use the leave in conditioner.  After that I would spray the coco spray  moisturizer into my hands and apply to the outside of my hair while it is still soaking wet.  Not too much.  You will need to experiment with the exact amount needed for your hair.  Do not give up if you used too much one time and not enough another time.  You will figure out what your hair needs, and your needs may change throughout the year depending on the climate, etc.  After completing these steps I would find that I was ALMOST where I wanted my hair to be but still, some halo!  I dug into my cabinet and pulled out that Moisture Milk that I had previously banned from my hair for being to heavy.  I used the tiniest of amount, the size of a pea!  I let it melt between my palms as I gently moved my hands together so that I could use my hands to apply the smallest touch of product where I thought I needed it.  The key here for me was to do this WHEN HAIR was still soaking wet.  Immediately, after washing hair I would apply the leave in conditioner and comb through.  I would then use the coco spray as I described on hair that is still soaking wet.  THEN, I comb my hair into the shape I will be wearing while dry.  I put my part in and comb my hair into the place it would be when my hair is dry.  I did this so that I could address the area that I know to fuzz up when dry.  I gently touched the fuzz areas around my face and around my head with my palms that were coated with that pea sized amount of Moisture Milk.  I did not use it anywhere else.  Then, I took my 3 row comb and combed my hair straight back off of my face and left it to air dry.  I should have mentioned earlier that I do not use hair dryers or curling/straightening appliances.  I do not touch my hair throughout this process.  My hair dries in place and I gently loosen it from underneath with my fingertips and it is soft and shiny.  I waited a bit of time before writing about this in my blog as the weather is starting to heat up and I was wondering how this would hold up to the humidity in the air.  This is working out great so far.  I will update if anything changes.  If there is a new product that I try I will write about it if I love it.  The As I Am line has been life changing for me as far as my hair care goes.  It allows me to be who I am, as I am naturally.  Best of all, it is affordable and EASY.  I realize that everybody's hair is different and that what works for me will not work for everyone.  I put this out there in the hopes that it may help or inspire someone else to come up with a plan that will work for them.  Do not give up.  I chose products that are not filled with protein.  My hair is not damaged in my opinion and I do not use appliances in my hair nor color it.  If you use too many protein products in your hair or, use them too often, you will cause your hair to be dry and brittle.  Please be aware of the ingredients.  I will use a protein deep conditioner maybe once in a month if necessary.  (For instance, after using a brightening shampoo that I hate to use because they are harsh  - I will soften the blow by using a deep conditioner as mentioned above)  You can read more about the moisture milk here: AS I AM Naturally Website

ADDITIONAL NOTE:  I do not think I made it clear that I have multi textured AND graying hair.  My hair is completely natural, no dyes, perms or chemical straighteners of any kind.  Also, with what I have described above, I actually can get second day hair!  I have never had second day hair.  (Though I do prefer to do my hair daily.  With these gentle hair products, it's fine to wash my hair daily.  Especially since I use no heat or appliances on my hair.  When I need to skip a day due to time constraints, I can.). I have found through my experimentation that gray hair is dryer and for sure curly/wavy hair needs more moisture.  The smallest pea sized amount of the moisture milk works for me, but I have fine hair.  It will be different for everyone depending on your individual hair texture(s).  Sometimes things work for me for one day or another, but what I have described in this review above, has worked for me for some time now, yay!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Curls Are Back! AS I AM Hair Products are AMAZING!

I'm BACK!  Been away for a while - hope that you missed me :0)  It's also been a while since any product inspired me to write a review.  You will only read rave reviews here as I only write about products that I love.  I have no interest in disparaging products that I do not enjoy because I know that others may love them.  My writings are all about things I adore in the hopes that you might find a product of use to you.

This morning I will be writing about the AS I AM hair product line.  Click here to visit the AS I AM Website.  I have been using their products for about a year now.  These products were designed for more coarse hair than I have, however, they have made a huge difference in my hair and I adore the line.  It is very affordable and contains quality ingredients.  Nothing in them coats or dries out the hair.  Smells amazing but the scent dissipates quickly and will not interfere with your perfume choice of the day.

 My most used and most favorite product in the line is the Coconut CoWash.  It is non lathering.  You will need less than you think you will.  It is in a tub as shown in photo.  Some do not like the container but I love it.  I can get every last drop of product.  Even in the shower I just hold onto the container and place the lid on the corner shelf upside down (to keep water out of the lid).

 I apply the product to my hair quickly and replace the lid onto the tub.  Then I work the product through my hair.  I concentrate on my roots and scalp and then squeeze through the length of my hair.  Comb through your hair, while the product is in, with a wide tooth comb.  Massage throughout the scalp.  Leave it in your hair while you wash up and complete your shower.  Rise out completely.  You hair will feel soft as if already conditioned.

*After washing with the CO Hair Wash, I shut the shower off and gently squeeze out the extra water in my hair (do NOT towel dry).  Then I flip my hair over and shake it out a bit especially at the roots.  I grab my bottle of the AS I AM Leave In Conditioner and applying right away while my hair is still soaking wet.  Apply the Leave In Conditioner to the palm of your hands and rub your palms together a bit before applying to your hair.  I glaze over the outside of the hair before working it through the rest with gentle squeezing up towards the scalp.  Then I use that wide toothed comb to comb it through (sometimes I skip the combing if I wish to have more fullness).   After I comb it through I Scrunch hair upwards towards my scalp using a bit more of the Leave In Conditioner and only my hands (no towel!) without disturbing the hair pattern too much. You want it messy.  Do not rub hair, just gently squeeze upwards.  The hair will make squishy sounds
because it is soaking wet.  When I leave out the step of combing the Leave In Conditioner through the hair I sometimes get a deeper wave pattern.  After I have scrunched/shaped the hair, I lift my hair up and back to normal upright position gently, slowly.  I do not whip/flip it back so as to not disturb curl pattern.  I arrange it a bit around my face taking care that the part is not straight.*  Take advantage of the scattered part appearance.  This will give you more volume when dry.  Let it air dry!  Do not mess with it, comb it or touch it too much.  If you notice some frizzing while it is drying squeeze in a bit more of the Leave In Conditioner only to those areas.  I tell you it never builds up in my hair.  It stays shiny and works for my fine but multi-textured hair perfectly.  When it is dry I gently flip my hair over again (upside down as you do when applying Leave In Conditioner).  I place my fingers in the scalp area and just very gently loosen the hair at the root area.  Again, do not disturb your waves/curls too much or they will frizz.  Ease the hair back to upright gently, do not whip it back.  Hair should fall into a full, beach wave but touchable arrangement.

**If you would like to scrunch some additional water out of your style, so that it will dry a bit faster, proceed as follows after you have completed the steps above marked by * through *.  Put on a pair of all cotton gloves or, use an all cotton T-shirt and gently flip hair over, taking care not to disturb the hair too much.
Scrunch hair upward from bottom gently towards the scalp with your hands in the ALL cotton gloves.  If you are using an all cotton T-shirt you can scrunch it upwards as you would with a towel.  Do not use a bath towel to do this as it creates frizz.  Do not rub or be too aggressive or even the all cotton gloves/shirt will create frizz and break up your curl pattern.  I get my all cotton gloves on Ebay!  Very inexpensive.  I purchased several pairs of coin/jewelry gloves.  They are normally used to present jewelry etc. to prevent fingerprint smudges.  Be sure to get an all 100% cotton pair.  They sell microfiber gloves to use for this purpose but I find microfiber doesn't work as well as 100% cotton.  Microfiber feels too harsh for my hair and doesn't seem to pull water out well either.

When I first started to use these products I used EVERY product that I could get my hands on that pertained to my hair type and situation.  I also like the Curling Jelly but find I get better waves/curls/texture and frizz control with using the Leave In Conditioner as my styling product (as well as using it as a leave in conditioner).

Once a month I will wash with the AS I AM cleansing pudding.  Shown here, it is in a tub.  Mine arrived in a tall bottle like my Leave In Conditioner pictured above.  It is a bit difficult to get out of the taller bottle and I would prefer the tub.  It is non lathering but designed to remove buildup on the hair.  I follow that with the Hydration Elation.  I go through the Leave In Conditioner quickly because I use it as a styling product as well as a leave in conditioner.  At  Walgreens Website you can catch a deal with free shipping and grab several of the AS I AM products to try with the free shipping at $25.00 deal!  Or, you can order directly from the AS I AM website for free shipping at $35.00.  Sallys Beauty Supply carries this line as well as many other retailers but my best price has been Walgreens.  I have also ordered from though the deals are rarely as good.  I have noticed a few products that might be new additions to their line on their website!  I may need to give them a try soon!

I have tried the smoothing gel and I found it left my hair dull and sticky.  It is really meant to hold down the hairline which I do not require.  I keep it in the event I wear an up-do ;0)

I have written the company in the past to tell them how thrilled I am with their products and to mention to them that, although the products were meant for a different hair type, they leave my fine, long, partially gray hair looking in the best shape it has in years.  However, I never heard back.  Not even a thank you :0( sadness.  Oh well, I still love AS I AM!  This line tops my Mane and Tail review listing elsewhere on my blog!  You can search my earlier posts for that review if you have interest.

Feel free to write with any questions.  When I get excited about a product I can forget to mention something important!  I will be glad to get back to you.  Please do not post spam messages, they will get deleted before they post.