Tag Archives: maintenance

Results of the Quick Hair Recovery High-Texture TWISTOUT (mini product review)

There are so many different ways to rock a twistout. You can achieve many different textures and looks just by adjusting the manner in which you prepare for the twistout. In this twistout, my goal was not to be super defined  or to smooth out my kinks.  I really love how my texture is on full display here. This twistout came about because a few days ago I did a style called, “puffy twists pinned back.” I created the style out of necessity because my hair had been in a puff for a while and was really dry and tangled. So, I had to figure out a way to add moisture and still be cute until it was time for a wash. Here are some additional tips and thoughts about this style.

Note: Since the twists were pinned back and some were twisted up, I had to correct some parts of the hair once I unraveled it. Some parts were sticking up or out and it was looking kinda crazy. To fix that, take the piece of hair that is sticking out and gently tug on it a few times downward. Kinky hair likes to intertwine within itself. So, pull apart pieces of that section and tuck them into the sections that are laying down correctly.

Another reason the hair is highly textured is because I used lots of water (which swells the hair). I also did not use a gel or pudding to smooth out the hair. I used SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie and peppermint oil to seal in moisture. In my experience, the Smoothie is great at really enhancing my texture, but not so much for highly defined twistouts. That’s why it’s great to know your hair and just work with your unique texture to create different looks. Don’t get all bent out of shape over your hair…just go with the flow. #HappyStyling :)

What do you think? You may comment in the section below or under the image on Facebook or Instagram @LoveYourNaps.

Product Review: Miss Jessie’s Super Sweetback Treatment

Find online at Target

I have to start by saying that I was long overdue for a deep conditoning. As part of my hair goals for this year (see them here), I want to maintian deep conditioning every 2-4 weeks. I decided to try Miss Jessie’s Super Sweet Treatment. Miss Jessie’s makes a lot of claims (with a hefty price tag), so I wanted to put it to the test.

You know we all love “smell good.” This conditioner actually has a very sweet smell, though the term “sweetback” has nothing to do with smell…Anyway, I slathered a golf-ball size (recommended) of product on my hair from root to end. I used a wide tooth comb and my fingers to detangle my hair prior to getting under the dryer. I sat under a hooded dryer for about 20 minutes with a plastic cap on my head. The directions suggest that the growth properties are amplified with a stream treatment or under a hooded dryer but it’s written to be optional. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there on how long to deep condition or if applying heat is necessary. A general rule of thumb is just to follow the directions on the package. One thing I would suggest that Miss Jessie’s clarify in the directions, is that it says so leave on for 30 minutes, but doesn’t explain how. I suppose you could detangle for 30 minutes straight. Or, just walk around for 30 minutes with a shower cap.  The other method they suggest is to allow the steam from the shower penetrate the hair for 15 minutes. Looking back, I think I will try that method next time since it is much less cumbersome and may add more moisture.

My thoughts about this product:

  • The product promises elongated curls…ummmm…I don’t have curls. I have kinks. So, my shrunken afro didn’t seem any longer than before.
  • My hair felt soft after using it.
  • I didn’t struggle as much installing my mix of wet two-strand twists and flat-twists.
  • Days later, my fluffy flat-twistout was still fluffy (Of, course I would retwist every other night.)
  • I was delighted to find that this product also contains shea butter and centella extract which pormotes hair growth.
  • As I always say, every hair type and hair need is different. Try it for yourself. You can find it in the store or order online at Target.com.

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Growth Chronicles Part 2: How Hair Grows, and why Black Hair is Different

Do you have problems with hair growth? Have you ever wondered why your hair does not grow as fast or has seemed to stop growing? In our part 1 of this series, I shared my personal story with hair growth. Now, I personally want to take my hair to the next level…but can I? Will highly textured, tightly coiled hair grow free outside of braids and locs? I think that an understanding of why and how hair grows and why Black, afro-textured hair is different may ease some of the frustration. For some of you natural hair vets, this may seem elementary. Of course, I will put my spin on it, so here goes.

The Basics: What is hair?


Hair growth begins inside the hair follicle found under the skin. The only “living” portion of the hair is found in the follicle. Other structures of the hair follicle include the oil producing sebaceous glands which lubricate the hair. What we think of as the hair that grows out from our head is the hair shaft. Once the hair shaft (hair) grows out from the follicle it is considered “dead” because it has no biochemical activity. The living part of the hair is bottom part of the shaft surrounding the papilla called the bulb. This bottom part is the only part fed by the capillaries (blood supply). The cells in the bulb divide every 23 to 72 hours, faster than any other cells in the body.

The hair shaft/strand is roughly divided into three zones: the cuticle, cortex and medulla. The cortex, the middle layer is the main structural component of the hair. It is primarily made up of the keratin protein and is the primary source of mechanical strength and water uptake. The cortex also contains melanin, which gives the hair color.

The phases of growth
Hair production occurs in phases, including a growth phase (anagen), and transitional/cessation phase (catagen), and a rest phase (telogen).

Anagen phase: Anagen is the active growth phase of hair follicles. The stem cells of the hair are dividing rapidly, adding length to the hair shaft. During this phase the hair grows about 1 cm every 28 days. Your hair can stay in this active phase of growth for 2–7 years. The amount of time the hair follicle stays in the anagen phase is genetically determined. At the end of the anagen phase an unknown signal causes the follicle to go into the catagen phase.

Catagen phase: The catagen phase is a short transition stage that occurs at the end of the anagen phase. It signals the end of the active growth of a hair strand. This phase lasts for about 2-3 weeks.

Telogen phase: The follicle then goes into the Telogen or resting phase for two to four months, during this time the hair still does not grow but remains attached to the follicle. Approximately 10-15 percent of all hair strands are in this phase at any one time. Therefore, all the hairs on your head are in different stages of growth.
 What makes Black hair different?

A study by the British Journal of Dermatology showed that Afro-textured hair is not as dense as other textures. Specifically, the average density of Afro-textured hair was found to be approximately 190 hairs per square centimeter. This was significantly lower than that of straight hair, which, on average, produces approximately 227 hairs per square centimeter. Further, the study found that Afro-textured hair grows at an average rate of approximately 256 micrometers per day, while straight hair grows at approximately 396 micrometers per day.

Our hair texture can range anywhere from pin-straight to extremely curly. Follicles that are round in cross-section give rise to straight hair. Those out of which curly hair grows are oval. Very tightly coiled hair is due to the nearly flat, ribbon-like structure of the follicles. This hair texture is very common in people of African ancestry. Afro-textured hair is wiry, tightly coiled and often coarse. And though Afro-textured hair produces the same amount of oil as straight hair, due to the tight curls, the oil fails to spread evenly along the hair fiber.

Without lubrication, the fibers become very dry. This causes the brittle strands to flake and roughen, resulting in hair that is coarse to the touch. The brittleness of Afro-textured hair adds to the illusion that it cannot be grown long. The tight curls create stresses at each turn in the hair fiber. The hair strands become weak and fragile, making them prone to breakage. As a result, tightly coiled hair tends to stay quite short. This is why moisture and oil is so important to combating breakage.

So, now what?
Don’t be discouraged. Black hair does grow. It may just grow a little slower and take a little more TLC. If your hair has reached a plateau in growth it could possibly be in a state of rest. In which case, keep taking care of your hair and eventually growth will accelerate on its own. If your hair is not growing, then you may want to look at dermatological, medical or even emotional reasons. Take an honest look at your hair practices and regimen to see if that may be the source of the problem. Please subscribe and check in as we discuss more reasons for sluggish hair growth, stimulation, genetics and healthy hair practices.

Web References
African hair growth parameters – Loussouarn – 2001 – British Journal of Dermatology – Wiley Online Library

My Hair Goals for 2012

I think I did pretty good maintaining my hair in 2011. Yet, like many women, my hair was usually the first thing that I put on the back-burner when life became too busy. This year, in 2012, I want to make me a priority which includes taking my hair care regimen to the next level. With any goal, it helps to write it down. Writing things down gives you clearer focus like a roadmap. I’m not going to stress out about it, but just work on my list little by little.  Here are a few of my top goals and hair concerns.

Water is my friend (Say it with me)
Water is so essential to life and the health of your hair and preventing breakage. I really don’t know why we struggle so much with water intake. Maybe it’s the taste or the hassle of having deal with wet, dripping hair. Most likely it has to deal with our culture of wanting to have hair that is neat, plus the fact the many of our favorite hairstyles take hours to do. My goal this year is to make water my ally in styling and not the enemy. I hope to do this by putting water on my hair at least once a week and washing every two weeks. I think I will return to my habit of carrying a water jug with me to remind me to drink more water.

Deep condition every 2-4 weeks
Again, it’s one of those time consuming, yet necessary things. It’s much easier to wash and condition in the shower instead of pulling out the hood dryer, etc.

Armpit length (APL) in 8 months (the 8 month is my birthday)
Okay. Maybe this one is a little ambitious. I say this because I can’t be certain of what phase of growth my hair is in. However, I figure that if I concentrate on the problem areas of my hair like the sides and back and keep praticing good habits then this goal may be attainable. Hopefully by setting this as a benchmark, it will make me think twice about doing anything destructive to my hair.

Get my hair professionally blown straight at least once this year
I really just want to do this out of curiosity and get a true length check. Of course, knowing my stylist, she’s going to want to trim at least a half inch off my ends…:( Plus with heat styling, there is always a risk of breakage and heat damage. (So much for APL…lol)

Do something with this 2-toned color in my head
Salt-N-Pepper got away with this back in the day, but it’s really not cute. I have at least 3 inches of new growth and 3 inches or more of color. I may need an intervention from a stylist to give me a new color. I thought I could hold off (being cheap) a let the color grow out, but I can’t wait too much longer. It really distracts from my styles.

So, how about you? What are some of your hair goals/concerns?