Growth Update!
Monday, February 08, 2010 | 6 comments

It's been two months since the last update! Sorry for the hiatus, lovelies. We'll be updating more frequently now. Anyway, I am one month away from my first year ful...

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Sooo, after I ran out of my precious Suave Humectant because of my last co-wash, I was devastated. I had no way of getting any to co-wash my hair. But I decided to shampoo my hair anyway. I washed my hair with my Nexxus Therappe and looked for anything that could condition my hair after. I saw honey, glycerine, shea butter (doesn't work for me), and Organics Organic Conditioning Smoother & Polisher. But THEN! I saw my body lotion... Playtex Baby Magic... It had everything a conditioner had. I was desperate. So, I applied it, rinsed it out, put a little glycerine in my hair and BAM! My hair was soooo soft!! Probably the only flaw in the lotion was the mineral oil. But it's amazing and full emollients and humectants like glycerin (glycerine). If you're ever out of conditioner and need one fast, just look at your body lotion.

Here are the ingredients:

Water, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Mineral Oil, PEG 100 Stearate, Lanolin Alcohol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Fragrance, Lanolin, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E Acetate), Tocopherol, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D), Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Panthenol (Provitamin B5), Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Benzalkonium Chloride, Diazolidinyl Urea


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There are many types of hair conditioner ingredients, which help the hair:

Moisturizers, whose role is to hold moisture in the hair. Usually these contain high proportions of humectants.

Reconstructors, usually containing hydrolyzed protein. Their role is to penetrate the hair and strengthen its structure through polymer crosslinking.

Acidifiers, acidity regulators which maintain the conditioner's pH at about 2.5–3.5. In contact with acidic environment, the hair's somewhat scaly surface tightens up, as the hydrogen bonds between the keratin molecules are strengthened.

Detanglers, which modify the hair surface by pH as acidifiers, and/or by coating it with polymers, as glossers.

Thermal protectors, usually heat-absorbing polymers, shielding the hair against excessive heat, caused by, e.g., blow-drying or curling irons or hot rollers.

Glossers, light-reflecting chemicals which bind to the hair surface. Usually polymers, usually silicones, e.g., dimethicone or cyclomethicone.

Oils (EFAs - essential fatty acids), which can help dry/porous hair become more soft and pliable. The scalp produces a natural oil called sebum. EFAs are the closest thing to natural sebum (sebum contains EFAs).

Lubricants, such as fatty alcohols, panthenol, dimethicone, etc.

Sequestrants, for better function in hard water.

(From Wikipedia)


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"I see my hair growing like crazy, but it stays the same length! What the hell?"

re·ten·tion /rɪˈtɛnʃən/ [ri-ten-shuhn] –noun 1. the act of retaining. 2. the state of being retained. 3. the power to retain; capacity for retaining.

A lot of women, especially teen girls, hair stays the same length (shoulder length for most). Why? Because we damage our hair unknowingly. How? Having our hair down for days after a fresh relaxer/wash, tight ponytails, buns made out of cotton socks, constant styling with heat, sleeping with cotton pillowcases, the list goes on. The thing that we as black women seem to forget is that our ends are fragile and vulnerable to damage. Yet we manipulate them so much that they slowly break and we're stuck at the same length year after year.

Protective styles help with retention. What are some types of protective styles? Braids, twists, ponytails, sew-ins, rollersets, french/indian braids, and buns. I do braids after the bun and ponytail thing gets boring. The whole point of protective styles is to keep your hair off your clothes and things that can damage your hair. If you do decide to do a ponytail as a protective style, just make sure it's high enough that it won't come in contact with your clothes. Clothes, especially cotton based clothes, suck up all the moisture from your precious ends. Just picture your hair as a sponge and your clothes as the Sun. What happens? The sponge dries up!

Another way to retain length is by keeping your ends moisturized! Moisture is the key for retention. Just imagine it, if your ends are dry, what happens? They start to break off and you see the poor little guys on your shirt. What's a good way to keep them moisturized you say? The baggy method is the best since the moisture gets trapped in. You also have to make sure that you're pillowcases are hair-friendly. Satin/silk pillowcases are the best for your hair. But if somehow you can't get a satin/silk pillowcase, try using a satin/silk bonnet or scarf.


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Biotin... Oh, how I hate to love you... LOL. Anyway, let's talk about this vitamin. Biotin is helpful in cell growth, the production of fatty acids, metabolism of fats, and amino acids. It is used as a natural product to counteract the problem of hair loss in both adults and children. Biotin is also used to help with seborrheic dermatitis. But the only flaw is breakouts it causes. I started taking GNC Women's Nourish-Hair and noticed sudden breakouts. I found out that I should lower my dosage and up my water intake to minimize the occurrence of breakouts. Now, I take one tablet every other day so that my body can get used to it. I will start taking one everyday in a couple weeks and then the recommended two in a few months I guess.


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Hair damaged to the point of no return? Relax and drop the scissors... Next time you want to deep condition your hair, try using Silicon Mix. Apply it after co-washing and place a plastic cap on your head. Leave it on for 45 minutes while under a dryer. Rinse it out and style your hair or add a leave-in. It works wonders, trust me. I wouldn't lie to you! When my stylist uses it on me, my hair (which is tough as rocks) always comes out as soft as air. It's an amazing product that I plan on buying so I can deep condition my own hair.


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Okay, I was on BHM today as usual and a member posted this. I thought it was interesting and needed to be shared. I don't use any of the products below; Thank goodness.

The following is a list of products that have previously been found to contain hormones:

  • Placenta Shampoo
  • Queen Helene Placenta cream hair conditioner
  • Placenta revitalizing shampoo
  • Perm Repair with placenta
  • Proline Perm Repair with placenta
  • Hormone hair food Jojoba oil
  • Triple action super grow
  • Supreme Vita-Gro
  • Luster's Sur Glo Hormone
  • B & B Super Gro
  • Lekair natural Super Glo
  • Lekair Hormone hair treatment with Vitamin E
  • Isoplus Hormone hair treatment with Quinine
  • Fermodyl with Placenta hair conditioner
  • Supreme Vita-Gro with allantoin and estrogen plus TEA-COCO
  • Hask Placenta Hair conditioner
  • Nu Skin body smoother
  • Nu Skin Enhancer
The majority of these products contain placental extract, placenta, hormones or estrogen. As early as 1983, Dr. Devra Davis (epidemiologist and director of the Center for Environmental Oncology, part of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute) and co-researcher Leon Bradlow advanced the theory that xenoestrogens, synthetic estrogen imitators, were a possible cause of BREAST CANCER.

Davis also says, "most cases of breast cancer are not born, but made and the more hormones a woman is exposed to in her lifetime, the greater her risk of breast cancer."

We need to be more cautious of the products that we use on our hair and our bodies and demand that more information about our health is shared. Ladies and gentlemen beware.


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After experimenting with my peppermint oil, I finally found a good oil to dilute it with... My Wild Growth Oil! So far, I like it. The tingle's great. My WGO was half empty (half full, whatever) and I added 120 drops of peppermint oil to it. I rub the oil onto my scalp and then bend my head down so I can get blood flowing to my head. I then do a scalp massage for 10 minutes and voila! I'm done.


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Cold, dry air dehydrates your precious hair strands. If you haven't already, make sure you get a moisturizing shampoo/conditioner if you shampoo/co-wash your hair.


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A lot of people starting on their healthy hair journey don't know what the hell to do with their hair. I know when I first started I was confused and was using anything on my hair. My hair was dried, breaking off, and I didn't know what to do. I read a lot of threads on forums for about a year to find products. But the products helped the poster's hair; not mine. I finally started experimenting with different products and found what was good for my hair. So to help you out I made a list of what you'll need, you just have to find what's good for your hair.

01. Moisturizing shampoo
02. Moisturizing/protein conditioner
03. Moisturizing/protein treatment
04. Leave-in conditioner/treatment
05. Moisturizer *water based*
06. Natural/essential oils
07. Satin scarf/bonnet
08. Seamless comb
09. Plastic bag or sandwich bags
10. Vitamins
11. Empty spray bottle *for your own hair concoctions*

Moisturizing Conditioners
Aussie 3 minute Miracle Deep Moisture Treatment
Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose
Nexxus Hydra Sleek
KeraCare Humecto
Miss Key 10-en-1

Moisturizing Leave-Ins
S-Curl "No Drip" Activator Moisturizer
Neutrogena Triple Moisture Silk Touch
Giovanni Direct
Lacio Lacio
Nexxus Humectress (Diluted with water)

Protein Conditioners
Nexxus KerapHix
Aubrey Organics GPB
Mane N' Tail
Silicon Mix
ORS Hair Mayo

Protein Leave-Ins
Infusium 23 Repairologie
Salerm 21

Reconstructors
Affirm 5-in-1
ApHogee Two Minute Reconstructor
ORS Replenishing Pak

Sealants
Coconut Oil
Jojoba Oil (aborbs very well)
Sweet Almond Oil
Olive Oil
Jane Carter Solution Nourish & Shine
Shea Butter


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...turn the temperature of the water down the coldest it can get. Cold water seals the cuticle which keeps moisture in. This helps your hair stay soft and keeps bacteria and debris out of your hair.


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Stress can be a big setback for your hair's ability to grow. Stress can cause hair loss and that ain't good. Try getting some rest or find some relaxing hobbies to de-stress your body. Deep breathing exercises are the best for stress. You not only relax your body, but you get oxygen flowing which is vital for your hair!


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Ok, let's get right down to business. I was on BHM today and a newbie was confused on how to do the "baggy" method, so I decided to just make a quick tutorial on the matter. So... what is the baggy method? Baggying is when you moisturize your hair and/or ends, seal it with oil, and then apply a plastic bag over. This method is very good because it locks in moisture which is a must for growth and maintaining growth. It's an extremely easy thing to do and you can even wear phony ponies/buns over your hair!

Step 1: Prepping
Apply about a dime size amount of your favorite moisturizer to your hand. I use S-Curl since it's so damn good. You can use anything under the sun. Wave Nouveau Moisturizing Lotion was a favorite of mine 'til I fell for S-Curl. You can also use The Best Damn Hairspray Period (in Hair Products) or the glycerine/water mix.


Step 2: Application
Apply the moisturizer onto hair, concentrating on the ends. I seperate my hair into two pigtails (ponies, whatever). I then apply either coconut oil or almond oil for sealing. Sealing is absolutely important! It helps the moisture stay in place since oil is made up of larger molecules than moisturizers.


Step 3: Baggying
I braid the hair loosely and apply a small sandwich bag over. I then tie it with an elastic to keep it secure. I do the same with the other side and cover my whole head with a satin bonnet.




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Last night, I co-washed with my good ol' trusty Suave Humectant and decided to do my first roller set! Yep, I did it! My hair was getting itchy so I sectioned my hair into four ponytails and applied the Suave Humectant on my dry hair. I then applied some almond oil to seal it in and let it sit on my hair for 45 minutes (No heat). I washed it out and thus began my attempt to roller set.

So, What did I do?
  • Sectioned the hair mohawk style.
  • Parted the hair 1" for the first roller and rolled towards the ceiling.
  • Continued 'til I was finished with the middle. It took seven rollers I believe.
  • Rolled the sides the same way but perpendicular to the middle rollers.
  • Used S-Curl to keep my hair wet.

It took about 40 minutes for me to finish my whole head since I got a big ass head. But it came out okay. I let it airdry overnight 'cause I love how thick my hair is when I airdry it with rollers. Anyway, I probably will start roller setting more often just 'cause I can now.


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When I first started learning about hair, the one thing that always bugged me to the bone was conditioner washing, a.k.a co-washing. Isn't that gonna dry up your hair and make it break? I thought when I read threads from girls raving about co-washing. But the more I found out, the more I wanted to do it. So, when I got my twists in, I began co-washing daily. I LOVED IT!

What's so good about it?

When we use conditioners, we typically use them to put moisture back into our hair strands after shampooing right? Why? Because the shampoo cleanses our hair and strips just a little moisture from our hair, even if it's a "moisturizing" shampoo. Moisture helps immensely when it comes to growing hair, just ask anyone who's had a jherri curl. They'll tell you that all that constant moisturizing made their hair grow like crazy. This is the point of co-washing. Co-washing keeps your scalp clean, which helps hair grow faster since there's nothing clogging the hair follicles, and keeps your ends moist.

But all that moisture? C'mon now, Belle!

It is good to wash with a moisturizing conditioner, but it is also better to balance the moisture with a light protein conditioner in my opinion. Too much moisture can make your hair very stretchable (elastic is a better word) and prone to breakage. So, washing hair with a moisturizing conditioner one day and a LIGHT protein conditioner the next day would be good.

Popular moisturizing conditioners: Nexxus Humectress, Nexxus Hydra Sleek (I have it!), Suave Humectant, Lacio Lacio, Salerm, etc.

Popular protein conditioners: Aubrey Organics GPB, ORS Replenishing Pak (I love this!!), Any Suave Conditioner w/ an egg (courtesy of Divine Tresses)


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Do you scratch your scalp? I know I used to do this a lot. I even used to scratch before I got my hair relaxed like an idiot. But that’s another story. Anyway, scratching your scalp IS NOT good. I don’t care what your mom or granny said. It’s baaad. Scratching cuts your scalp making it susceptible to a whole assortment of bacteria. If you have an itch, fight it! I use a dab of moisturizing lotion when I need to itch. But using a dab of witch hazel or any sort of astringent can also give your scalp some relief.


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Stretching?! What the-?

Ok, first off let's talk about what stretching is. We all know that stretching means to basically pull something until it's longer, right? This little meaning can apply to your hair too! Stretching, when it comes to hair, means to go a while without a relaxer. For example, if you have in braids and plan on keeping them for let's say a month and then plan to get a relaxer after you take them out, you're STRETCHING! Most people, because of advice from their stylists, stretch for six weeks. I, like a lot of hair junkies, stretch my hair for twelve to fourteen weeks.

How do you do it?


Most women stretch their hair with protective styles (i.e braids, buns, twistouts, phony ponies, etc.). Braids by far are the best way to stretch in my opinion since that's how I stretch my own hair. You can also use carmelization to stretch. This treatment is all natural and you apply it like you would a relaxer so your new growth is soft. Another great way to stretch is to get blowouts from a Dominican salon.

Moisture & Protein vs. Hair Breakage

Keeping the hair moisturized AND protein-ized -- I know, I'm stupid hehe-- is vital when it comes to stretching. Use moisturizing sprays like S-Curl or Glycerine Mix (70% glycerine & 30% water). As for protein treatments, I use Infusium 23 (Repair)ologie. But you can use whatever you think is good for you. As long as it doesn't have petroleum or mineral oil. You can also co-wash (washing your hair with a conditioner) with a moisturizing conditioner like Suave Humectant one day and then co-wash with a LIGHT protein conditioner like ORS Replenishing Pak. But make sure if you feel like you're getting product build-up that you use a clarifying shampoo to cleanse your hair so that you can go back to your routine. And make sure that when you do moisturize your hair daily, you seal the moisture in with a natural oil like olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba, almond, etc.

That's all, folks!

That's pretty much all I have to say on this subject. Remember that your hair grows at it's own rate so be patient! Also, take your vitamins (or food supplements which are better), massage your scalp with essential oils, and have faith!


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Okay, let's talk D.L. The demarcation line is the point between your virgin hair and your chemically treated hair. This is the most fragile part of your hair since your virgin hair is thicker and your chemically treated hair is not only thinner but also weaker. The best way to keep your relaxed hair from breaking off from your natural hair is to do protein treatments. The protein will keep the line of demarcation strong and your hair breakage-free.


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Are you breaking out on your back? It might be the panthenol in your hair products. Yep. According to CHI Magazine, it causes acne on your back.


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Okay, I was reading a few pages from Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You To Know About and the author talked about all-natural honey. He said that honey has a helluva lot of nutrients that even scientists are baffled by. I'm gonna start taking a tablespoon a day for hair and especially body health.


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The number of hair that grows on the scalp, which grows at about ½ inch (13 mm) a month, averages at about 100,000-150,000. The hair shaft is composed of a protein called keratin, the cuticle, the medulla, and the cortex.


The cuticle is the thinnest layer. It is transparent and consists of overlapping scale-like cells. It protects the cortex from chemicals.

The medulla is the core of the hair shaft and contains soft keratinised cells, which is key in helping to give hair its elasticity.

The cortex is the middle layer. It contains 75% to 80% of the hair’s protein structure. It is also where moisture and melanin (natural pigment) are held.

Hair is formed by cell division at the base of the follicle, and is a part of a cycle of growing, resting, and shedding. The growing cycle can be as short as 2 years and as long as 10!


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This is the best I could do with resizing the first image so you can see the growth. I'm excited, I know. Anyway, I think my hair looks a lot glossier (?) than it did before. I also noticed that all that co-washing that I was doing when I had the twists stopped dandruff completely! There was no dandruff whatsoever.


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After a helluva lot of new growth and a carmelization treatment that kinda worked, I got my hair relaxed! I went to the salon at 1:00 and didn't get out 'til about 6:30. Yes five and a half hours. My hair was coarse as hell! My Dominican stylist, whom I love to death 'cause she's so good, said that my hair was so thick that she thought it wasn't going to take. So after taking out the rollers, blow drying, and flat ironing, my hair finally made it to APL! Yay, me! The picture is a little smaller than the first one if you haven't noticed. But yeah, I'm happy that it's healthy!


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I finally took out my braids! Yay me! My hair was a big poufy afro when I took them out so what did I do? I mixed up a homemade version of E'Tae's Carmel! I applied it and am still waiting to take it out. Yes, I haven't even had it on my head for 20 minutes but I'm hoping for the best. When I applied it, my hair reached APL! But I know shedding and detangling will probably changed that. Anyway, I'll post results and the recipe if this goes well.

*UPDATE*
It was ok. It wasn't great, but it softened my new growth enough. I plan on going to the salon pretty soon to get my hair relaxed. As for the recipe, I just eyeballed everything. Honey, Olive Oil, Molasses, etc.


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After reading a thread on BHM about carmelization, I've decided that I wanna try it. Carmelization is basically putting a mix called Carmel (made of honey, olive oil, molasses, and other helpful things) in your hair like you would a relaxer. It's natural and softens your hair, which slows down the need to put a relaxer. If done right, you can make your hair look like it got relaxed. For more info on the Carmel product, go to: http://www.etaeproducts.com/products.htm. But for the homemade version, click here.