Saturday, May 5, 2012

My Routine

I get questions about my routine from time to time and I thought it would just be easier to put it in a post.  This is more information then you could possibly want.  Just skip to the parts you are interested in.  If you are unfamiliar with the styling methods mentioned, check out this post.

I have fine to very fine, thin (not thin enough to cause problems), naturally porous (40% kinking), 2b hair with normal elasticity.  My hair needs a lot of encouragement to clump.  Ecostyler is a magic clump maker for me.  My modified super soaker method also helps me get clumps.  When my hair was shorter then shoulder length I would plop in a microfiber towel to encourage curl, and then use a combination of the Smaster's method and Pixiecurl diffusing.  Biosilk Rock Hard Gelle (BRHG) gives me fantastic hold.  BRHG helps hold hair in place while it drys and therefor helps encourage curls.  When my hair got longer then shoulder length, I no longer use the Smaster's method because it didn't make much difference. 

Prewash coconut oil treatment-  I do this when I have time and when my hair seems dry.  Sometimes I do my whole head, sometimes I only add oil from the ear level down. I add enough oil to make it look like I've had the flu for a week and haven't felt well enough to wash my hair.  I leave it in for a minimum of 20 minutes, but usually for an hour.  If my hair seems very dry I'll leave the oil on overnight.  Be sure to sleep on an old pillow case or wrap your hair in a scarf to prevent staining your sheets.

Washing:  In the winter (very cold, low dews)- I cowash with Suave or water wash.  I use Renpure shampoo (low poo), red bottle, or Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo about once every 10 days (as needed).  I condition with Renpure conditioner, red bottle.

In the summer (normal dews)- I low poo with  Renpure (red bottle), Shea Moisture Moisture Retention Shampoo, or water wash.  I make a diluted version of the Renpure or Shea Moisture by diluting it with water and using xanthan gum to thicken it.  I make small batches and store it in the fridge.  When I add a Pedaheh's Recipe page to this blog, the recipe will be included. I use Renpure (red bottle) to condition. I'm looking for a medium moisture conditioner to use some times.  The one I was using had a formula change.  I usually condition from the ears down.  Sometimes I'll mix some Ion Effective Care (from Sally Beauty Supply) with my conditioner to boost the protein.  Sometimes I will use Ion Effective Care Treatment as a medium moisture, protein conditioner.

I finger comb to detangle with conditioner in my hair.  Then I use a wide tooth comb and part my hair with the conditioner in.  I'm careful not to disturb my part as I rinse out conditioner.

Once a month I shampoo with Ion Swimmer's Shampoo to remove hard water build up.

Modified Super Soaker:  If you are not familiar with the super soaker method, read this link and watch the video on page 2.  The video should help explain what I'm talking about.  I rake a pea size of leave in conditioner into my hair.  I use Renpure Organics Conditioner (red bottle).  I may just skip the first few inches of my hair or I may add leave-in only from the ears down.  If I'm smart enough to remember, I rake my hair up and away from my scalp.
The next step is to cup my hands together and fill them with water.  I bring my hands to my roots, gathering hair in them on the way to my scalp. When I remove my hands, I will have lovely dripping clumps.  I do this for my whole head.  When I'm done, I scrunch out as much water as possible.  Then I scrunch in a 50/50 mix of ecostyler and flax seed gel ( in normal dews) or salon care aloe gel (sally beauty supply) and flax seed gel (in low dews).  I scrunch out as much water as possible with my hands.

Plop:  I plop into an aquis microfiber towel.  I owned this towel before starting CG and haven't tried other ones.  I do prefer microfiber to t-shirts or flour sack towels because microfiber dries my hair more.  I plop 20 minutes-ish.  When I take down the plop, my part is still there.

Diffuse:   I pixie diffuse around the perimeter of my hair for about a minute per section.  Then I wet my hands and scrunch in a dime size of Biosilk Rock Hard Gelle.  (Smaster's method).  I go around the perimeter of my head again, pixie diffusing.  Then I either air dry to finish or sit under a hooded dryer in the cold winter.

Second Day Hair:  I'm lucky, because second day hair is very easy for me.  I finger comb.  I mix a pea size each of FSH and Renpure conditioner or use only Renpure conditioner.  I scrunch this into the ends of my hair.  

Treatments: I do a protein treatment (PT) once a week.  I usually shampoo before a PT, but sometimes I cowash instead.  I alternate between my version of the gelatin PT (the original gelatin PT recipe is on the (recipe page of Science-y Hair Blog) and Ion Effective Care.

Gelatin PT (My more moisturizing version)
1 tsp + 1/8 tsp gelatin (half packet)
1 T water
1 T honey
1 T oil (half coconut and half olive)
1/2 T conditioner (renpure)
1 T yogurt
1/8 tsp citric acid

I warm the water in the microwave.  This takes only seconds.  Keep an eye on it because it will boil quickly.  Dissolve the gelatin in the water.  Add honey and oils so they will melt/dissolve.  Mix in the rest.

To begin with, I shampoo or cowash.  Then I towel dry hair and apply PT.  I leave this on one hour, but you can leave it less time.  Read the original recipe for more options.  Rinse and towel dry.  Add either Renpure for 10 minutes or Curl Junkie Repair Me for 30 minutes to 1 hour.  I only need Repair Me in the dry winter.  Rinse and style as usual. 
On the alternate weeks, I use Ion Effective Care as my PT.  I leave it on 15 minutes to an hour, depending on how much time I have.  Sometimes I need to follow with a rinse out conditioner (renpure), and sometimes Ion Effective Care is moisturizing enough on its own. 

What do I do in high dews?  Updo and/or tears. :)  Sealing doesn't work for me and I'm still trying to figure out how to cope with high dews.  Luckily for me, there aren't many high dew days where I live.

The Products:
Coconut oil-  This is a Holy Grail (HG) product for me. Helps moisturize dry hair.  Coconut oil also helps prevents hygral fatugue. The link takes you to a blog called The Natural Haven.  The Natural Haven has great info on coconut oil (do a blog search for coconut oil to find the info).  My blog post on coconut oil.

Renpure Orgaincs Shampoo (red bottle)- I haven't tried a ton of non sulfate shampoos, so I can't really judge them fairly.  This one works fine and doesn't strip my hair.  It has amodimethicone toward the tail end of the list.  I don't worry about it since I use the Ion shampoo once a month.  In theory, the Renpure shampoo itself should remove the amodimethicone.  This product is getting hard to find on the ground.  I'll probably need to find a new shampoo.

Ion Swimmer's Shampoo-You can buy this at Sally Beauty Supply.  I use this once a month to remove hard water build up.  I don't use it more often because my weird hair actually prefers some hard water build up .  This contains C14 16 Olefin Sulfonate.  Some people find C 14 16 Olefin Sulfonate to be as harsh or even worse then any sulfate.  I haven't had any issues, but I only use this once a month.

Renpure Organics Conditioner (red bottle)-  When I started, I had very dry hair.  I found three conditioners that worked for me.  One is no longer CG.  The other conditioner I liked was Sally Beauty's  GVP Conditioning Balm (generic version of Biolage, I give it a 7 out of 10 for moisture).  I like Renpure a little better because it is slightly more moisturizing for me, 8 out of 10.  This product is getting hard to find on the ground.  I may go back to GBP conditioning balm.

Ecostyler Krystal-This is another Holy Grail (HG) product for me.  It is a magic clump maker.  You can find this in the ethnic section of Sally Beauty Supply or CVS.  Sally Beauty has a tub for about 4$.  It goes on sale for about 3$ almost every other month.  This product feels weird on hair.  I'm so used to the way it feels, so I can't really describe the feeling.  Ecostyler Krystal has both glycerin and wheat protein.  Some hair doesn't like wheat protein and you may want to avoid glycerin (humectant) in high or low dews.

Salon Care Firm Hold Gel with aloe-I ordered this from the Sally Beauty Supply website.  IDK if they have it in brick and mortar stores or not.  I must warn you that this gel has an unpleasant smell.  Luckily, the smell doesn't linger at all for me.  This gel doesn't work as well for me as Ecostyler, but it works.  Since it does not contain glycerin, I can use it in the dry winter.

Flax Seed Gel (FSG) -It is hard to quantify what FSG does.  It sort of coaxes my hair into behaving.  It tames it.  It adds moisture and shine.  I add a lot of extras to my FSG for more hold.  I'm still playing with my recipe. My post on FSG.

Sweet Curls Elixirs Crazy Curly Hard Hold Elixir-  This aloe and flax gel magically makes my hair curly in the winter.  I can use this on its own or along with Biosilk Rock Hard Gelle.

Biosilk Rock Hard Gellee (BRHG)-  HG product. If they ever stop making this gel, I will cry actual tears out of my eyes over gel.  I won't be proud of myself, but I will probably cry.  I love this stuff so much.  It has the strongest hold of any gel out there.  People often mix this with their gel or use a pea size over another gel.  I use about a dime size.  This gel holds my fine, hard to encourage curls in place as they dry.

Gelatin Protein Treatment-  HG product. This protein treatment completely changed my hair for the better.  I use my own version (see above recipe).  It helps my hair retain moisture by closing the "holes" in my cuticle.  If your cuticle has lots of "holes:, moisture escapes through the "holes".  I used to have to work really hard to keep my hair moisturized before I started using this PT.  The gelatin PT makes my hair feel more like hair.  It adds elasticity.  It shores up the inner structure of my hair so it can better support itself.  I just flat out love it.
My gelatin PT post.

Ion Effective Care- I use this in several ways.  I use it as a protein treatment, I use it as a rinse out conditioner, or sometimes I mix this with my rinse out conditioner to add protein. 

Curl Junkie Curl Rehab-  I have a love hate relationship with this one.  It does a fantastic job of moisturizing my hair.  You only need to use a small amount, so you don't go through it quickly.  My hair is not a fan of shea butter.  It seems to leave my hair coated.  IDK if I'll buy this when I run out or look for another deep treatment. 

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