Thursday, July 28, 2011

Scalp Air

This is a silly post, but one I think many will "identify" with.

So in the relaxer days I often went two weeks between hair washings. By the end of week 2 my hair was usually behaving splendidly. My wrap was set, my loose wrap waves etched in the stone that had become my trained hair.

But then, every so often, a well intentioned breeze would hit me from behind and blow my "scalp air" to my nostrils.

Good gracious! peee eeewww!
Is that me? (yes) Can other people smell that? (probably) I wonder if my scalp is OK (naw heifer!)

Flakes and irritation were something to be kept at bay with grease and oil, maybe a stocking covered brush. And even though I was accessing my scalp every day - brushing and combing through my straightened hair - my scalp usually betrayed all of my good grooming habits (which omitted water, in any form, entirely).

Skip forward to the natural hair days. I know now that my hair and scalp were not healthy, but going natural didn't immediately shed light on the issue. I did, however, become keenly aware of the 'scalp' smell of other women and pledge not to be her any longer.

My scalp could now be "washed" and amidst my exhaustive hair research I learned that some flakes can be caused by organisms and other more serious conditions. Oh hell no.

So using Sulfer 8, and tea tree and rosemary, and sometimes some Zinc pyrithione in my products, I got my scalp under control over a few years.  I don't need to "grease" my scalp or even use oils that often to keep any dry scalp at bay.  I think alternating co-washing with washing with shampoo also helps keep my scalp from drying out or suffocating under product.  (I like castor oil and tea tree between cornrows and twists if I am keeping them in a while.)  But the most important outward result is that  my "scalp air" now mostly literally smells like juices and berries lol.

I was in the lobby of my job the other day, in the elevator banks.  A well intentioned breeze swam around the little wind tunnel created by the open doors of the building and the wide hall I was in and I began to smell a sweet herby/fruity smell and I was like "hu?"  OH it's this Lavish Curls spray (meh- hardly ever use thus not used to the smell) and my abike shea butter (♥!) all up in my 4 day old hair.  niiiice.  lol

Then woooosh all my memories of scalp smells came back and I found myself countering the sense of fear I used to have, with my current sense of security and unawareness.   Thus this post.

the end.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Multi Purpose Products

I was talking (chatting) with Nuri the other day and I realized that I do quite a bit of non-hair related things with my hair things.

I often find myself in the possession of one too many bottle of conditioner, or a full bottle of shampoo that I just don't like, or won't possibly use up before it has collected some dust.  I like to try my products in multiple ways in my hair before I write them off, but sometimes it can't be helped- it's a fail.

First, I do try mixing conditioners I don't like together, or using one weak one to dilute a thicker or more expensive one.  If it's a gel I will try mixing it with oil, and most leave ins I'll try on wet and dry hair.  So what if the results are fail, fail, fail?

Sometimes, depending on where you got the product you can bring it back for a refund.  If not, you can try swapping it locally or with your friends (I got 2 almost full jars of KCCC that way!) But if you don't feel right giving someone a dirty, (don't judge!) half full bottle with a torn label, here are some other ways I use my products to get my money's worth.

  • Particularly V05 yummy smelling variety (blackberry/sage - .88cent nom nom) - I use conditioner mixed with water in a spray bottle as wrinkle releaser.  About 10:1 or so is usually diluted enough to smell good and work well without feeling like more than a mist.  Spray it on wrinkled clothes (except silk and polyester) shake or smooth them out and skip the iron.
  •  Shaving lotion.  I have not purchased shaving lotion in years and years.  This works with almost any conditioner, and even shampoo if your skin is not sensitive.  I like to use shampoo to shave my armpits because even after soap- sometimes you get a deoderant deposit that clogs the razor blades.  Shampoo does well to cut through, and conditioner melts the texture of any hair, much like it does the hair on your head.
  • In the summer if you swim, a rich slathering of conditioner before you hit the pool can help your hair stave off some of the drying chlorine and salt.  I rinse most of it out (cloudy pool halo is not cool!) but the softening and preparing to be wet WITH conditioner seems to work for my hair far better than just plain ole water.  And because this is a conditioner you will apply liberally- and not long enough for a deep condition, it doesn't really matter what it is.
  • Pedicures- yes I do my own.  conditioner and a pumice stone get my feet soft and smooth and I don't need to put lotion on afterwards.  Plus most conditioner smells great and I find less irritating to my skin than heavily scented gels and lotions.
  • If you have a peppermint or mentholated conditioner the smell can help tremendously if you have allergies or a cold. I once paid a grip for a mentholated body wash that my skin didn't even like.  I got Suave's rosemary/mint conditioner and my hair was like meh.... but my allergy prone sinuses opened right up.  That bottle went quickly squirted and spread haphazardly about the shower lol
At less than a buck a bottle, the suave and V05 conditioners live in my cabinet for co washing and all the uses above.  Sometimes I just grab them when I see them on sale or in the scents I love (did I say V05 blackberry/sage?) 

Here are a few other things I re-purpose:
Shampoo- degrease your tub after co-washing, remove grease spots from clothes, clean hair brushes or spot clean upholstery, clean sneakers or shoe insoles (by hand-doesn't irritate skin very quickly), wash hair curlers and other accessories that build up products.
Oils- Lotion, oil cleansing, mild sunscreen, cooking, insect repellent.

And we all know about aloe vera gel and the butters right?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Checking in!

So how about I want to cut my hair again!  lol.

I feel like the front is too long.  Like right behind the bang area is still really hangy instead of stick uppy. I'm trying to wait a bit to see if the feeling passes. Here are some recent picts of how I've been wearing it. 

I've actually mostly been using Eco styler gel, and I found a new gel that I like a lot! I got this from Kmart.  I had never seen it before and it was cheap (like $3), so I grabbed it.  Ultimate Organic Therapy Olive Oil Polishing Styling Gel. (I tried to find a US purchase link for this but can't!)

The very first picture above is how my hair looked styled with that and castor oil.  It reminds me of a more moisturizing version of IC fantasia's polishing gel.  I like it a lot!

I've been maintaining it at night as in this video, and getting about 3 days out of my wash and goes out.  I then pull it into a puff until I can co-wash it.  Other products I am in the middle of trying out and like include Trader Joes Tea Tree tingle shampoo, the Trader Joes Nourish Spa conditioner and Safi hair care's hairsickle. I am loving all of these products and they have been my summer staples for the past 3 weeks.

I have also tried the Organix Argen oil formula conditioner (found it half off at CVS!) and aside from the smell, which is great, I am not sure I am all that impressed.

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