Monday, July 21, 2014

Protective Style Lookbook || Textured Updo with a Scarf

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



Model: VeePeeJay

Difficulty level: 1/5

Description: Chunky twist out into a textured updo with a scarf.

Study || Cherries Reduce Abdominal Fat?

I was eating some cherries a couple weeks ago and thought, "Hmm, I wonder if there is any research out there on cherries and fat".  Up until that point, I thought the fruit was pretty useless other than being a fix for my sweet tooth.  Well, guess what? There is research out there, one of which associates a regular intake of cherries with a reduction in abdominal fat weight, percentage fat mass, and more.  Check out the abstract: REGULAR TART CHERRY INTAKE ALTERS ABDOMINAL ADIPOSITY, ETC. (2009).

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hair Diary || From Copper-Blonde to Purple Haze


After my fun with copper-blonde highlights (see this previous post), I have gone to purple haze.  All I did was apply a color (from Manic Panic) on top of my previous highlights, and voila!  As for my hair routine?  It has basically consisted of weekly washes with twist outs and braid outs over the past month.  For now, I've returned to big twists.

And now for more hair pics:
After depositing the color.
After depositing the color. (Before twisting.)

After depositing the color.

Chunky twist out.

I believe this was a braid out.

Mixology || Castor and Coconut Moisturizing Mist

The beauty of distilled water is that it is “soft” water; it does not have the negative effects (e.g., stiffening of the hair strand[1]) like hard water.  Meanwhile, castor oil can improve the shine or sheen[2] of your natural hair, which is a plus for you castor oil lovers out there.  As for coconut oil?  Well, you all should know about its strengthening and moisturizing benefits by now.

Ingredients:
2 oz distilled water
2 tsp extra virgin coconut oil
1 tsp castor oil
a few drops of essential oil (e.g., lavender, jasmine, orange)

Directions:
Pour all ingredients into a spray bottle, and shake vigorously to blend.  Store in a refrigerator until ready for use.  Shake before each use.  SHELF LIFE: ~2 weeks.

References:
[1] Evans AO, Marsh JM, Wickett RR. “The structural implications of water hardness metal uptake by human hair.” Int J Cosmet Sci. 2011 Oct;33(5):477-82. 
[2] McMullen R, Jachowicz J. “Optical properties of hair: effect of treatments on luster as quantified by image analysis.” J Cosmet Sci. 2003 Jul-Aug;54(4):335-51.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Healthy Hair Feature || Izzie


1. What made you go natural?  How long have you been natural?
 I went natural because I saw baby pictures of how long and thick my hair was and wanted to try and get back to that. I struggled with a lot of self esteem issues and figured that the best step to having a higher self image was to learn to embrace myself as I naturally am, and that meant natural hair. I have been natural for one year and 8 months . I got my last relaxer right before I started my first year of college. 

2. Did you transition? If so, for how long?  
I transitioned for 11 months. From September 2012-August 2013. My big chop was spontaneous. I washed my hair, saw the curl patter and got excited and just cut off the relaxed ends. I had planned to transition for at least a year and a half while chopping off small amounts at a time. 


3. What is your Healthy Hair routine?
I co-wash my hair once a week. Before I wash, I do a pre-poo of honey, a rinse out moisturizing conditioner and coconut oil. Then I deep condition with heat. Once a month, I do a clarifying wash and a protein treatment.  I moisturize my hair three times a week with a water, glycerin and aloe vera mix. Then I seal with olive oil and a butter. 

4. Do you have a Healthy Body routine?  If so, what is it?
I am a student athlete at university, so during my season I train for professional track and field.  I go to the gym 3 times a week and run every morning, whether sprint intervals or a cardio work out. When I'm on holiday, I do 30 mins of cardio and then do yoga. I drink water throughout the day and try to eat as healthy as possible. I eat fruits every day, mostly for breakfast. I incorporate vegetables into my lunch and dinner. 

5. What advice/tips do you have for naturals?
Embrace your natural hair. Its who you are. Also, moisture is important when trying to retain length. Moisturize as soon as your hair needs it. 

6. Where can we find you?
Instagram: @izziebadsuh

Reader's Question: Alopecia, Regrowth, and Hair Styles

READER'S QUESTION:

I have been following you for a while and I admit I am a huge fan of your articles. After carrying locs for 7 years, I big chopped in January to start a new nappy journey. Unfortunately, my hair start to shed heavily beginning of March. I believe it is because of an alopecia post-partum. (My daughter was born end of December). I even have bald spots. Having short hair and severe alopecia on the edges is quite a tough moment. I would like to know if you could make an article on this topic and give some advices to treat the alopecia and above all to style hair...I find it very hard to style my hair. Thank you in advance for your support. Cheers.

LOO'S ANSWER:
Gathered from what I've read as well as seen firsthand, this sort of alopecia can begin 2-5 months after childbirth (Eastthum, JH. Postpartum alopecia. The Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 2001) and should be temporary.  However, definitely consult a physician, especially if you are noticing more bald spots or no hair regrowth in the next few months.  In the meantime, I don't mind sharing the following:

TREATING POSTPARTUM ALOPECIA:

Time and patience.  I know that this is not an answer one wants to hear, but it's true.  Postpartum alopecia usually resolves itself, so just give it time.  In the meantime, it wouldn't hurt to massage the affected areas to help (a bit) with circulation and regrowth.  I do NOT recommend using essential oils, though, merely because some are not a good idea while breastfeeding.  However, you can consult your physician if you wish to use them.  
HAIRSTYLE IDEAS:

Finding hairstyles that mask the postpartum alopecia are difficult, but you can do your best to make things work until your hair grows back.  Some women (e.g., my sister after giving birth to her child) opt for cutting their to make it all closer to the same length.  Others go for wigs.  The two videos below provide additional options: 1) Fold N Tuck hairstyle for hiding bald spots or thinning areas and 2) a temporary spray-on color for visible bald areas.  I do wish you well and a belated congratulations on the birth of your daughter!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hair Diary || Wash and Going It + Finding a Use for Gel

My hair boredom is officially cured! I guess all that I needed was to "play in my strands" for a month AND get more highlights.  So, now it's time for me to return to my usual twists, right?  ... Eh, not quite.  Because the summer heat is forcing me to wash my hair 1-2x a week, I would have to re-do my twists more frequently.  Given my schedule, that is NOT happening.  So what to do with my hair?  Wash and going it for now!

Oh, and gel is coming in handy at the moment ... but not for attempting to bring curl definition my undefined coils and kinks.  Rather, the gel is for "freezing" my coils and kinks in place so that they do not tangle as easily.  This then allows me to extend my wash and go to day two or day three (if I'm lucky).

And now for more hair pics:
Flat-ironed hair getting frizzy.

Let the wash and go begin.

After raking it through with some gel (for hold NOT definition).

The front.  I don't bother attempting to make my puff look
neater than this since I don't want to cause tangles.

Study || Antioxidants from Artichoke and Rice Reduce UV Damage of the Hair


Extracts of artichoke and rice to protect our hair from sun damage?  While researching information for a different post, I came across a study which addresses this topic.
"Natural antioxidants obtained from artichoke and rice applied to pretreated hair improved mechanical properties and preserved colour and shine of fibres, coating them and protecting them against UV. .... Furthermore, the lipidic peroxidation of the protein degradation caused by UV was reduced for some treated fibres, suggesting an improvement in fibre integrity. "
Interesting, huh!  Here are some notes I made detailing some of the findings a bit further:
The rice extract was better at preserving the hair's tensile strength.  (It is believed that this is because "the rice extract has biofunctional peptides with high substantivity for keratin".  These peptides can "penetrate and protect the hair from the inside".) 
Both artichoke and rice extracts protected the hair from protein degradation.  The artichoke extract showed a higher protection, "probably due to the strong antioxidants such as hydroxycinnamic derivatives in the extract." 
Both artichoke and rice extracts protected the hair from UVB damage, with the rice extract providing more protection possibly due its composition. Rice extract contains phytic acid antioxidant and medium molecular weight peptides that "may form a protective layer on the hair's surface."
Etc. 
To read more details on the study, check out the full article (only abstract is available below)!

SOURCE
EFFICACY OF ANTIOXIDANTS IN HUMAN HAIR (2012)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Healthy Hair on YouTube: Pure Estrogen


I just LOVE her channel for her elegant hair style tutorials. I call her the queen of stretched styling -- from bantu knot out updos to Curlformer chignons to textured high buns.  She also has some product reviews. Check her out if you're looking for either.
 

Protective Style Lookbook || Natural Hair Chignon

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


Model: Meskie

Difficulty level: 2/5

Description: Low bun with twist embellishment.

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