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

Study || Peppermint Essential Oil for Hair Growth

The use of peppermint oil for hair growth is not new at all to the natural hair community. Search the archives of hair care forums and blogs, and you will find at least one thread or article devoted to it. Nonetheless, there has not been a concrete study on peppermint oil for hair growth … until now.

1. Let’s talk about previous research of peppermint oil
Over the years, the benefits of peppermint oil have been evidenced in other regards.
“… peppermint has been reported to show anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antifungal activities as well as strong antioxidant activity, and antiallergenic and antitumor actions. Several clinical trials examining the effects of peppermint oil (PEO) on irritable bowel syndrome have been reported. However, experimental trial of PEO in its hair growth activity has not been fully reported.
In December 2014, a thorough study on the growth benefits of peppermint oil was finally published.

2. The study: methodology and experiment
“The aim of this study was to address the therapeutic potential of peppermint oil (PEO) for hair loss via the comparative analysis between PEO and minoxidil.”
Some of us are already familiar with minoxidil for hair growth, whether first-hand or through hearing the experiences of others. Research also supports this use and doctors widely recommend topical minoxidil (Rogaine®) to treat some forms of alopecia.
This particular study was aimed at analyzing the effectiveness of peppermint oil versus the widely used and researched treatment for hair loss, minoxidil. For the experiment, 100% pure peppermint essential oil was diluted in jojoba oil (a carrier oil). The mixture was then applied topically once a day, six days a week, for approximately a month.
The experimental design was as follows:
“This study investigated the effect of peppermint oil on hair growth in C57BL/6 mice. The animals were randomized into 4 groups based on different topical applications: saline (SA), jojoba oil (JO), 3% minoxidil (MXD), and 3% peppermint oil (PEO). The hair growth effects of the 4-week topical applications were evaluated in terms of hair growth, histological analysis, enzymatic activity of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and gene expression of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), known bio-markers for the enhanced hair growth.”
3. The findings
The results of the study showed that peppermint oil had the most pronounced effect on hair growth compared to the other three compounds. Additionally, the oil showed significant increases in follicle count, or hair density. Here is a snapshot of the results:
- “At week 4, PEO showed hair growth at about 92%, whereas MXD about 55%
- “The depth, size, and number of hair follicles were also markedly increased in PEO treated skin.”
- "PEO showed remarkably increased IGF-1 mRNA expression at week 2, whereas MXD at week 4.” (NOTE: IGF-1 supports cell growth and survival while also playing a role to increase hair thickness.)
4. So what does this mean?
For those of you who use peppermint oil for hair regrowth, you might actually be onto something!
“In conclusion, our experimental data suggest that 3% PEO facilitates hair growth by promoting the conservation of vascularization of hair dermal papilla, which may contribute to the induction of early anagen stage. In addition, PEO effectively stimulated hair growth in an animal model via several mechanisms and thus could be used as a therapeutic or preventive alternative medicine for hair loss in humans.”
Ji Young Oh, Min Ah Park, and Young Chul Kim. "Peppermint Oil Promotes Hair Growth without Toxic Signs". Toxicology Research, Volume 30, Issue 4 Dec. 2014, pp. 297–304.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Do You Need Chunky Twists/Braids Inspiration?

Here are a few that I found on Pinterest.  Who says twists and braids have to be boring!?!

Mixology || Henna-Infused Coconut Oil Whipped Shea Butter

Do you want to get the essence of henna without the hardening effect?  Then check out the following henna-infused coconut oil whipped shea butter recipe by Curly Proverbz!

virgin coconut oil
shea butter
essential oil (for fragrance, optional)

1. Heat and stir henna and herbs in a heavy-based pan over lowest heat setting for about five minutes.  (For her DIY details on henna-infused oil, check out this video.)
2. Add extra virgin coconut oil to the pan and keep stirring until melted.
3. Strain out henna with a cheese cloth.
4. Leave oil alone for a few days or weeks to infuse.
5. Crumble shea butter into small pieces into oil.
6. Mix together then whisk until whipped.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Traycee Talks "Embracing My Natural Hair The Rollercoaster While Transitioning and Going Natural"

I got emotional watching this video and could relate to much of what she said.  I promise you this will not be a waste of 11 minutes at all.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Smoothie || Beets, Banana, and Sweet Potato

Sometimes, when I make my smoothies, it is an effort to finish some leftovers or me just working with what I have.  Thus, this morning was born this "medley" smoothie.  The ingredients were eye-balled, so this breakdown is just an estimate.

1/2 cup beets (previously roasted)
1 large banana
1/2 cup sweet potato (previously boiled)
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1 1/2 cup water

Blend all together and voila!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Protective Style Lookbook || Pin Curled Chunky Twists

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

Model: NaturallyNellzy

Difficulty level: 2/5

Description: Pin curled chunky twists.

Study, Skin Care || Turmeric for Hyperpigmentation and Wrinkles?

I am subscribed to tons of YouTubers, and one of them is Farah.  She has several videos discussing the effectiveness of turmeric against hyperpigmentation.  While I have not tried her homemade mixtures, I did view this is an opportunity to find any research on turmeric and hyperpigmentation.  What did I find?
  • In one study, turmeric demonstrated effectiveness against hyperpigmentation and other UVB-induced skin damage in mice.  It specifically prevented the following: an increase in skin thickness, a reduction in skin elasticity, formation of wrinkles, and formation of melanin induced by chronic UVB exposure [1].  The mechanism by which turmeric accomplishes this is believed to be via the "inhibition of increases in metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) expression caused by chronic irradiation". 
  • Curcumin, an active component of turmeric, "protects skin by quenching free radicals and reducing inflammation through the inhibition of nuclear factor-kappa B [2]".

One of Farah's many videos on using turmeric for the skin: 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Healthy Hair on Youtube: Geri's Journey from TWA to Waist Length

Geri is one of my favorite naturals because of her hair texture, health, and growth.  Additionally, she is one of many Type 4s who continues to demonstrate that long lengths are achievable.  Check out her beautifully done video on her natural hair journey from TWA to waist length!

Mixology || Whipped Mango Shea Hair Creme

1/4 cup shea butter
1/4 cup melted mango butter
1 tbsp coconut oil (penetrates and protects the strands against combing/styling breakage)
2 tbsp olive oil (moisturizing; possibly penetrates the strands)
3 tbsp avocado oil (moisturizing; possibly penetrates the strands)
2 tbsp grapeseed oil (to protect against moisture loss; sealing oil)
few drops of lemon essential oil (optional, for added fragrance)

Break the shea butter into small pieces and place in a bowl.  Using a hand mixer, whip the shea butter until fluffy and the chunks are gone.  (If your shea butter is too hard, melt it only slightly to soften it a bit.)  Add in melted mango butter and whip.  Finally, add in the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly with the hand mixer.  Finito! 


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