Thursday, April 28, 2016

Study || Pumpkin Seed Oil for Hair Growth

Previous studies on pumpkin seed oil (PSO) for hair growth have been demonstrated on rats. This 2014 study demonstrates PSO on human male patients as a suitable treatment for mild to moderate androgenetic alopecia. Read on for more details.

1. The study: methodology and experiment

Pumpkin seed oil (PSO) was absorbed into the body in the form two pills in the morning and two pills in the evening.  The participants were randomized into a test (intervention) group and control group (which took a placebo).

76 (84.4%) participants were enrolled. After taking baseline measurements, participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups: the intervention group (n = 37), members of which received 400 mg of PSO (Octa Sabal Plus®) per day in the form of capsules, or the control group (n = 39), members of which received a placebo. Two capsules (100 mg per capsule) of PSO were taken by subjects in the intervention group 30 minutes before breakfast and dinner (total of 4 capsules per day) for a period of 24 weeks. Subjects in the control group were given the same quantity of placebos two times per day for 24 weeks.

One of the methods for measuring success was hair analysis by phototrichography.   Other methods included statistical analysis, self assessment, and investigator assessment using photographs.

Hair changes including hair counts and diameters were assessed after 12 and 24 weeks of treatment versus baseline by phototrichography (Scalp & Hair Polarizing system, KC Technology, Seoul, Korea). Hair analysis using a phototrichography was performed by one technician. At baseline, the most severe site of baldness was recorded as target area of hair changes and the center of the phototrichogram probe was placed at this site. After 12 and 24 weeks of treatment, hair analysis was performed with confirmation of recorded target area. Hair counts were then recorded using a ×60 lens and the thickest hair diameter was recorded using a ×150 lens.

2. The findings

The results of the study showed that pumpkin seed oil (PSO) had a pronounced effect on hair growth compared to the the placebo. In particular, use of PSO increased the hair count (i.e., number of hairs) but had no effect on the hair thickness (i.e., thickness of the strand).  The increase in hair growth is "due to the possible effects of 5-reductase inhibition in patients with mild to moderate male pattern hair loss".  Here is a snapshot of the phototrichography results:

There were statistically significant differences in hair count changes during 24 weeks in the intervention group and the control group (P = 0.004). However, changes in hair thickness during 24 weeks were similar in the groups (P = 0.991). At 12 and 24 weeks, there were 30% and 40% mean increases in hair counts from baseline in PSO-treated men and 5% and 10% increases in hair count in placebo-treated men, which resulted in significant net increase of 25% and 30% (both, P < 0.001) at weeks 12 and 24, respectively.

Young Hye Cho, Sang Yeoup Lee, Dong Wook Jeong, et al. "Effect of Pumpkin Seed Oil on Hair Growth in Men with Androgenetic Alopecia: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial". Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014. 

5 More Beautiful Braided Styles for Healthy Hair Growth & Retention

Here are some more photo inspirations for French/Dutch braid styles! Again, you can add extension hair for thickness.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Healthy Hair || Maria's Amazing Length Retention and The Regimen That Got Her There

Maria Antoinette

Get your pens/pencils and notebooks, ready!  If you've been struggling with length retention, you are going to want to watch this video by Maria.  But first, here's a little background from the lady:

"I FINALLY took out the time to record my current regimen!!! This regimen is what has worked for me over the past 8 months. Chime in below and share what works for you and thumbs up if you want more chit chat type of videos sharing tips and tricks on health and beauty."

Recap of her products:

Giovanni 50/50 Balance Hydrating - Clarifying
Cantu's Sulfate-free Cleansing Cream Shampoo

Creme of Nature Straight from Eden Natural Oil- Infused Hydrating Conditioner - (I use for Pre-poo)
Enjoy Instant Reconstructor
Cantu Sulfate-free Hydrating Cream Conditioner

Design Essentials HCO Leave-in Conditioning & Blow Drying Lotion
it's a 10 Miracle Leave-in Plus Keratin
Cantu Smoothing Leave-in Conditioning Lotion

Solaray B-Complex 100
Solaray Vitamin C
Barleans Fish Oil Omega-3 EPA/DHA
Country Life Biotin 5mg
Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal ( Use while on my Cycle to counter my anemia)
Children Vitamin Rainbow Light Kid's One Food Based Multivitamin"

Thursday, March 3, 2016

How I Keep My Ends from Tangling, Knotting and Breaking

You see, while some naturals make major hair care mistakes and then learn, my experience was quite different.  I went into my natural journey prepared with all the tools (e.g., information from hair care forums, fotki albums, and veteran naturals) I needed to retain length.  I retained that length and ultimately hit my goal.  Then I threw almost everything I learned out of the window so that I could have more fun with my hair.  Now, I am back to my tried and true practices and on my second journey to healthy, growing hair — including my ends.

Last year, I wanted to play more with my longer hair. I left my strands loose majority of the time in the form of braid-outs. I colored and bleached and colored my hair again. I manipulated my hair weekly, which included braiding and comb detangling.  I cut here and there to remove knots, tangles, and split ends. By the beginning of 2015, my hair had lost so much length that it was no longer touching my waist. It was now at my armpit.  Losing that length was not a revelation, but rather, confirmation of what my hair needs best.

My hair, especially my ends, thrive when they are stretched and bound in the form of twists or braids.  Shrinkage is the biggest contributor to my hair’s propensity to tangle, knot, and break. Thus, why stretching and protective styling work for me.  Another property of my hair that contributes to its inclination to break is coarseness; my strands are mostly medium, and those strands fair fine.  However, the fine regions in the back of my head need no-to-low manipulation in order to stay strong.

Additionally, I do have a few must-have products to reduce tangling, knotting, and breakage of my ends.  For one, a thick moisturizing conditioner that contains keratin is a must.  My favorites are Aphogee 2-Minute Keratin Reconstructor, Renpur√© Originals Brazilian Keratin Conditioner, and OGX (formerly Organix) Brazilian Keratin Therapy Conditioner. (These are not to be confused with the BKT.)  For two, my ends cannot do without shea butter mixed with oils (grapeseed, avocado, coconut, olive).  Also, moisture is key to keeping my ends pliable, but too much of it can mean shrinkage and tangling of my ends.  Moisturizing my strands once a week and keeping wash days to a minimum work well for me.  Lastly, at the bare minimum, you will find me sleeping on a satin pillowcase if I’m not wearing a bonnet or scarf.

5 Beautiful Braided Styles for Healthy Hair Growth & Retention

Here are some photo inspirations for French/Dutch braid styles!  You can add extension hair for thickness.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Vlogger Jasmine Rose’s Story: From Losing Her Edges to Hair Restoration Surgery with A Dermatologist Who Looks Like Her

Jasmine Rose. Source
Reposting from BGLH.

Jasmine Rose is a loc’ed YouTuber who recently had her edges restored through a procedure performed by black female dermatologist, Dr. Osei Tutu.  Her story is one of insecurity and eventual transparency on a platform — social media — that does not always lend itself to positivity.  Nonetheless, the courage to share her story has already helped a few black women and can hopefully help more through this medium.

Gorgeous, manicured locs and hidden edges

When I see Jasmine Rose on Instagram and YouTube, I see a beautiful dark brown woman with gorgeous, healthy locs.  Her hair reminds me of deep black obsidian in its color and sheen.  Her locs are long and perfectly formed.  Little did I and other viewers know that some of what we saw contrasted with Jasmine’s reality — that her hair was, in fact, not entirely healthy.

Losing her edges to overdone loc retwisting

The loss of Jasmine’s edges was gradual, and she attributes it to overdone retwisting.  She began her loc journey in 2007 and twisted frequently (and tightly) to maintain a manicured appearance.  It was in 2010 that Jasmine noticed “a drastic change in her hairline area” and learned that she had traction alopecia. She stopped retwisting as frequently and consulted with two dermatologists (both white and male) who gave her regular cortisone shots to no avail and did not seem to understand her hair and insecurity.  She then tried numerous natural remedies, including emu oil and castor oil, to regrow her edges, but nothing worked.  Jasmine eventually resigned herself to concealing her hairline with black eye makeup while feeling like an ‘imposter’ YouTube hair guru.  Essentially, she went into hiding while in front of the camera.

Jasmine Rose before surgery. Source
Finding a solution in a dermatologist who looks like her

In 2013, Jasmine decided to find a dermatologist who looked like her — black and female — in hopes of finding one that truly cared to understand her problem; this was when she found real help.  After another round of unsuccessful cortisone shots, her new doctor performed a hair restoration procedure to bring back her edges earlier this year.

Jasmine could have kept this entire experience to herself, but she chose to be transparent to her viewers.  Since revealing her story, some women have voiced, not only their support, but how much she has helped them.

Jasmine Rose months after surgery. Source
If you are interested in hearing more about Jasmine’s dermatologist, Dr. Osei Tutu, then check out this video interview:  

 Additionally, you can hear Jasmine’s full story in this video:

Protective Style Lookbook || Goddess Braid

By popular demand, this is a series showcasing various protective hair styles.  Protective styling does not have to be boring. :o)

Model: Ebony Evonne

Difficulty level: 2/5

Description: Hair is braided along crown and towards the nape of the neck.


Monday, October 12, 2015

Healthy Hair Feature: Kerdisha

Tell us about yourself:
My name is Kerdisha St.Louis hailing from the nature isle of the Caribbean, Dominica.I am 21 years old and I am an Information Assistant for the Government of Dominica (my aspiration someday is to be a Reporter).

What made you go natural?  How long have you been natural?
I’ve been natural for about three years now. Going natural was something I decided to do in college. I was all about discovering myself and loving myself for who I am so embracing my natural hair felt right at that time.
I chose to transition. I wanted to grow out my natural hair because I was not sure how I would look with really short natural hair. Hence a lot of protective styling braids being my favorite.

Did you transition? If so, for how long?  
When I started my transition it was relatively easy. I wore my hair in protective styles so it was low maintenance and it gave me the opportunity to find out what worked with my hair or not which made eventually dealing with my natural hair a whole lot easier.

What is your Healthy Hair routine?
My hair regimen is pretty simple. Every two weeks or so I detangle my hair with a cheap shampoo (Vo5) and water  put it in large loose two strand twists and cleanse my scalp. I do this with diluted sulfate free shampoo . Then I will rinse everything out and do a deep condition for an hour with either a protien or moisturizing deep conditioner,depending on what I think my hair needs.

After a brief session in an old tee-shirt to absorb most of the water ill moisturize with  Giovanni Direct Leave in conditioner, add a light oil such as sweet almond oil or Jaydee’s Naturals Whipped Shea Butter from my friend Jodie.
After this I let my hair dry in braids to stretch it out and proceed to style for the week after it has dried to about 95%.

I will moisturize during the week using the lco method with a mix of aloevera juice and spring water, Giovanni Direct,  and seal with either an oil or whipped shea butter.

My favorite products are the Giovanni Direct leave in and Shea butter. They go awesome together in my hair.
My go-to hairstyle is definitely a high puff or a bun.

Do you have a Healthy Body routine?  If so, what is it?
I dont have a healthy body routine per say but i do try to eat as healthy as I can, drink lots of water and stay active

What advice/tips do you have for naturals?
My advice for naturals is to take your time to discover what goes with YOUR hair and have patience.

Where can we find you?
I do have a blog its where i write about hair,makeup,DIY's and more.

Pinerest: @thekschronicles

Reader's Question: Updated Regimen?

READER'S QUESTION:  Hey! I enjoy reading your articles on BGLH. Was wondering if you have an updated regimen you can post.

MY ANSWER:  Thanks!  To answer your question: Yes and no.  I know that sounds like a strange response, but rock with me ...

Everything about my regimen is more or less the same except that I now:

  • do jumbo twists because I don't have the patience for medium, small, or mini twists anymore. 
  • wash my hair weekly because I work out (and thus, sweat) more these days.

In terms of products, those have not changed either except for my conditioner.  I now use protein (particularly, keratin-based) conditioners like Aphogee 2-Minute Keratin Reconstructor, Organix Brazilian Keratin Therapy Conditioner, or Renpure Originals Brazilian Keratin Straightening Conditioner, depending on which is most accessible.  (Each of these has hydrolyzed keratin listed amongst the top ingredients; hydrolyzed keratin will bond to the hair and minimize breakage.)

Also, with it now being colder and me wanting to leave my hair alone, I'm currently in braid extensions for 2-3 months.  With that, my regimen will be to wash and deep condition my hair every 3-4 weeks using a dry shampoo and moisturizing regularly (about weekly) in between washes.

I hope this answers your question!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Protective Style Lookbook || "Flat" Twist (Not Quite) Updo

By popular demand, this is a series showcasing various protective hair styles.  Protective styling does not have to be boring. :o)

Model: Naturally Michy

Difficulty level: 2/5

Description: Hair is rolled and two-strand twisted into an elegant undo. Model: NaturallyMichy


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