Pre-pooing : Under the Microscope

Hello Ladies,

I have written many educative blog posts about hair.  Over the years Hairducation has grown and a lot of its new readers may have missed some informative posts.  I will be revisiting some of these posts to give the new readers a chance to catch up and also to share visuals I wasn’t able to prior to me getting my hair microscope.  This way my day-one reader can still benefit from the topics I am revisiting.

I figured a good place to start would be at the beginning with pre-pooing.  If you don’t know what pre-pooing is, didn’t read my first post about it or would like to read it again please click here.  It will help you make better sense of the rest of this post.  In this post, I will share a reminder of the benefits of pre-pooing and show you pictures that prove these benefits.

Side Note Since I decided to begin sharing microscopic pictures on Hairducation I’ve learned something new about myself.  I feel uncomfortable sharing up close and personal pictures of my hair.  Why? Because it feels too personal, I feel over exposed and somewhat vulnerable.  However, I am also able to get over myself and out of that state of mind when I remind myself of the purpose of this site: to educate.  If I have to be the guinea pig then so be it :).  I am happy to take one for the team.

 

Benefits of Pre-Pooing

  • It helps to soften dirt and debris on hair fibres so that it slides off easier during the washing process
  • Applying the pre-poo whilst detangling will lubricate your hair which will make removing the knots and tangles easier. It reduces breakage whilst detangling by softening the hair fibre and making it more elastic.
  • Helps reduce cracking and damage to the hair cuticles. When our hair is being washed, it absorbs water and expands/increases in size. After washing our hair returns to its normal size however when doing so the outer layer (the cuticle) can crack as our hair dries.  Over time and several washes, it can result in damaged and roughened hair cuticles..  This is called hydral fatigue. Applying coconut oil as a pre-poo can help to reduce how much water our hair absorbs as it is being washed.  This reduces how much our hair will swell during washing and thereby reduce the risk of the cuticle cracking as our hair dries.

 

Microscopic Pictures That Show The Benefits of Pre-pooing.

  • The picture on the left was taken on my wash day after I had moisturised my hair. I had not yet applied any oils to seal.  You can see the tiny specs of hair products on my hair fibres.
  • The picture on the right was taken a week after my wash day, I had moisturised sealed several times during the weak and as you can see, it  had become greasy from the accumulation  of products and oils.

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For clarity, I have circled and pointed out the lumps and bumps of the product residue in the pictures below.

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After taking the picture on the right above, I applied coconut oil to a small section of my hair and analysed it with the microscope.
The first image below was taken with a regular camera and as you can see my hair is oily but not dripping with oil

 

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It was amazing to look at this same section of hair under the microscope video, I could actually see the tiny droplets of the oil dripping and running up and down on my hair fibres.  You can see a droplet of the coconut oil in between the two hair fibres in the left picture below.

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As you can see in the picture above,  the lumps and bumps of product residue have been melted by the coconut oil and the hair fibres are now smooth.  This will make it much easier for the dirt to slide off the hair when it is being washed.

You can also see that the hair fibres are very well lubricated and oily, this will make detangling a lot easier because the hairs will slip past each other  easily rather than catch/latch unto each other like dry hair tends to.  Also, any tangles in my hair will also be much easier to unravel than if the hair wasn’t oily.

 

Pre-pooing is one of the hair care practices which technically isn’t essential, but I hope these pictures help you see its benefits of pre-pooing.  I am not able to show how pre-pooing helps prevent hydral fatigue which was benefit 3 discussed above.  I need a much more advanced microscope for that.

 

I have some major, major, MAJOR announcements to make soon.
So come back soon to see and read all about it.

Happy valentines, happy hair journey.

x

Lade

Learn| Change| Grow|

 

Tips to help you plan your hair care for the year

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You know the saying if you fail to plan, you plan to fail, well, it certainly applies if you are on a hair journey. A practical tip I would like to share in this post is that at the beginning of the year it is good to have some idea of what you intend to do with your hair in terms of styling and maintenance over the course of the year.    I don’t have a keep a hair dairy, I am not that organised, rather I keep a mental note of all my major hair moves for the year.

I think some ladies may find this approach helpful and I have set out the major points you should keep in mind when deciding what you will be doing.

Long term protective styles braids, crotchet braids, cornrows and sew-in weaves)
If you are a lady with virgin hair (natural hair), decide how often you will wear extensions in the year and leave adequate intervals between each of such styles to ensure your hair and scalp have adequate time to recuperate.   Try to leave 3 weeks to one-month intervals between taking out extensions and re-installing new ones.
If your hair is relaxed or texlaxed, in addition to the above, if there is any period in which plan to wear braids or a weave ensure it does is not fall around the time you have relaxed your hair.
As an example, don’t relax your hair today and install a weave tomorrow because you are a bridesmaid at your besties wedding.  Plan in advance so that your hair is relaxed a minimum of two to three weeks before installing braided hairstyles or weaves.

 

Exams/periods of intensive study
I don’t know about you but when I am really busy either with work or studies, hair care usually takes a back seat.  Finding time to finger detangle, moisturise and seal and generally fuss over your hair on a daily basis may not be possible in such times.  Abandoning your hair and letting it become a dry and tangled mess is a sure path to a setback.
If you know there will be periods in the year when it may be best if you put your hair in a long term protective style and/or wear wigs during those busy periods.  I must stress however that although such styles may reduce the day to day care requirements, you must still complete some hair care practices when wearing extensions.

 

Chemical Processes such as relaxing or colouring your hair
Decide how often you will colour your hair or how often you intend to relax it.  Avoid completing these chemical processes in times when you are extremely busy.  This is because you need time to prepare your hair for such processes and you also have to be consistent in caring for your hair afterwards so that it is strengthened and well-conditioned.

Please remember, if your hair is chemically relaxed don’t even think about getting a permanent chemical hair colour.  Having two types of chemical treatments will result in severe levels of damage and breakage.  You either relax or colour your hair.  Don’t do both.

 

Availability of your Staple/must-have hair products in your location
Now this point is probably more relevant to us ladies in Nigeria and other African countries where finding your staple or go-to hair care products can feel like mission impossible.  You can find yourself running from store to store looking for a particular product to no avail.
It is great that there are now many African brands that produce good quality hair care products which are relatively easy to find.  The reality however is that there may be some products manufactured internationally which works like a dream on your hair but isn’t readily available in your location.
So what do you do? If and when you do find the product and you have a little spare cash, stock up!!! Don’t just buy one.  By two and if you are a bit extra like me by three.  Also don’t wait until you have run out completely to restock.
Using myself as an example, I intend to texlax my hair twice this year and I have already purchased the relaxer I will use for both sessions.  I cant let what happened to me last year re-occur, I went to at least 7 stores and could only find the super-strength relaxer and there was zero chance of me putting that in my hair.  This was part of the reason I ended up stretching for 6 months instead of the 5 months I had intended.  Luckily my sister had some of the normal strength left and that’s I used.  I learned my lesson and already have all the relaxer I need for 2018.

 

I hope you find these tips useful.  Try to be as realistic and flexible when making your hair plans for the year, we all know how life goes.

What are your long term hair care plans for 2018? 😊

 

X

Lade

Learn | Change | Grow

New Year, New Toy, Better Hairducation

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Hello Ladies,

One of the many ways I intend to improve Hairducation this year is to make the blog more fact or science based.
When I started my hair journey years ago, scientific facts about hair directed what I did to my hair and time and again with my clients I can see that science works.
I believe that the more scientific facts I am able to share with readers, the more value I will able to add to their experience of Hairducation as a blog. I want you to come here and truly learn and in 2018 I intend to improve the quality of how you learn.
And how do I plan to do this? Meet my new toy; a 5,0MP hair and scalp tricoscope which is able to magnify hair x 200. I have wanted this bad boy for such a long time and I am glad to finally own one because I still love learning about hair and being able to see it up close and personal is such a trip.

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How will this improve Hairducation?  I will be able to provide evidence of how good and bad hair practices affects hair by showing you actual images. I can show you the facts, rather than just talk about them. Pictures are far more convincing than words alone. Rather than having to draw a single strand knot or split ends or trying to describe a clogged hair follicle or the bulb you see at the end of a shed hair, I will be able to show you actual images of them. Am I the only one who is excited about that??????

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At this point I should say that some people, myself included, find magnified pictures of hair really creepy to look at. When I first used the scan, I couldn’t even look at the screen straight on, I’d turn my head away from the screen and look at it with the corner of one eye, the images made my skin crawl 😊
I am used to it now though and you’ll get used to it too, I hope.  These types of images will not be in every blog post so you won’t be inundated with them. I’ve taken a few images (of my hair) which I have shared below.

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Check out the broken hair in the top right hand picture….

 

The picture on the right is of a single strand knot I found in my hair. I wrote a post on single strand knots a while back and had to use yarn wool to explain what they looked like …..not anymore. I can show you the real thing now : )

 

Are there any types of magnified images you would like to me to take and share or is there a particular way you would like me to use the machine on Hairducation? If yes drop your requests in the comment section.
My next post will be an educative one about long term hair care planning. That is something that is very easy to do, very helpful on a hair journey and many ladies don’t do it. Come back soon

X

Lade

Learn | Change | Grow

Harmattan, Winter and Your Hair

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Happy new year ladies,
I am surprised I haven’t written a post about this subject until now but better late than never I suppose. This year I intend on getting straight to the point in my blog posts so jumping right into it, I will be discussing the effects of winter and harmattan on our hair and steps we can put in place to reduce the risk of hair loss in cold weather.

How Harmattan and Winter Affects Our Hair?

Winter and Harmattan tends to leave our hair and skin feeling dryer and more brittle than normal. Some ladies’ skin and scalp becomes very flaky as a result of the cold dry weather. In harmattan, the high levels of dust in the air makes our hair get dirty much quicker than normal.

 

Why Should You Care?

You should care because dry brittle hair has a very high chance of breaking. Off course your hair won’t get shorter in just one day but if your hair is breaking in small amounts daily over the winter and harmattan months you may have lost a few inches by the end of the cold season.
In addition to this, hair grows best from a clean and healthy scalp rather than one clogged with dirt, dust and dead skin flakes. A clogged scalp may not be able to grow hair as fast or as healthy as it should be able to genetically.

 

What Should You Do

1) – Increase the frequency of your wash and deep conditioning
If wearing your hair out (ie without extensions) and you normally wash your hair every two weeks, you should consider washing and deep conditioning it once a week. This will ensure your scalp is kept clean and flake free. The contact with water and deep conditioning will also boost the moisture levels of your hair and scalp. Ensure you use a sulfate free moisturising shampoo rather than harsh shampoos that contains sulfates as these will dry out your hair even more.

2) – Be consistent with moisturising and sealing
If you sometimes skip on moisturising and sealing your hair, try to be much more consistent during the cold months. Moisturising and sealing regularly will keep your hair hydrated and give it the elasticity it needs to fight breakage.
Some ladies find that they need to moisturise and seal their hair twice a day during winter/harmattan. You may also need to review the products you normally use to be sure that they are still effective. Some ladies switch to using heavier/thicker moisturisers and oils/butters during this season.

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3) – Long term protective styling (wigs, braids and crotchet braids, weaves)
For ladies who may not have the time or simply do not want to wash and moisturise their hair more often, another option is to wear long term protective styles for some of the cold months. Long term protective styles usually involve using extensions to create a style that can be worn for 3 to 8 weeks depending on the style. Putting your hair into a long term protective styles will reduce the amount of time you spend on your hair daily however please note that long term protective styling can very easily lead to severe hair loss if correct procedures are not followed before installing, whilst wearing and when taking out such styles. To learn more about wearing long term protective styles safely click here and read the relevant posts.

Please also note that if your hairline and hair is very damaged and/or breaking, you should stay away from long term protective styling.
If you cannot wear a long term protective style for various reasons such as religious beliefs, you’re still in school and are not allowed to wear such styles, cash constraints (most of us have been here at some point, lets keep it real in 2018 😊) or if your hair is too weak or damaged to wear such styles, wear your own hair in short term protective styles that hide the ends of your hair and prevent them from drying out too much. If you love wearing hats and head scarves, wear them to the max (safely) in these months.

* Image source- Pinterest

 

If you are a regular on Hairducation you’ll know that I am a huge fan of wigs like the u-part I have on in the pictures in this post.  I wear them all year round and that is how I get through the winter/harmattan months. I am way too lazy with my hair to fuss with the way I would need to if I wore it out in cold weather. I make my life easier by simply putting it away in a style that I know my hair and hairline can tolerate….and in my case, that is wigs but I make sure I follow good hair care practices whilst wearing them. How do you care for your hair in winter/harmattan? Which of the options do you think you’ll adopt going forward?

In my next post I will share the first of many new additions and upgrades to Hairducation this year. Let’s just say we will be looking at hair in much more up close and personal way, some might find it a little bit too up close even but we will all learn soooo much from it. It’ll make much more sense when you read the post so come back soon.

X

Lade
Learn | Change | Grow

 

Where I’ve Been and Why I’am Back

Hello ladies,
I have missed you and blogging so much. Me being away for many months was as much of a surprise to me as it may have been to you. I have taken unannounced breaks in the past but I have never been away for this long.

Keeping it short and sweet and in the spirit of openness, here’s what I’ve been up to.
I moved to the UK temporarily in March this year, this was mostly a career related decision and I figured I would be able to keep up with blogging and the business aspect of Hairducation (my work with my consultation clients) without too much difficulty.
I started work with a great organisation and everything was working out okay initially, I kept the blog updated and still took on new consultation clients. However, I went from working on one project to working on four simultaneously. Having four times the workload than I initially had meant long long days at work and only having the weekends for essential life administration.

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I literally did not have the time and blogging and running a consultation service requires just that. I could have created and put up some half-hearted posts however, I like what I do and I am proud of the content I create, I just wasn’t willing to compromise and let my standards drop just so I could have a post up. I would rather not blog at all, than put out poor content. Blogging went out the window as did many of my other passions and seven months later I reached a point where I had to make a decision. I could either carry on with my job and give up Hairducation for a year or I could end my contract early, return to Lagos and grow Hairducation. Well, I am back in Lagos 😊 so you know what I chose.
The amazing thing is that a week after I made my decision and was at complete peace with it, an amazing opportunity presented itself which would require me to be in Lagos exactly when I had my return scheduled in for. The grace of God!!!!
At the beginning of 2017, I was confused about where I wanted to take Hairducation, I wasn’t sure how or if I was adding value to its readers, I didn’t have a sense of direction, I didn’t know what next. The whole thing had began to feel stale and I didn’t know how to make it better. Now as 2017 is rounding up, I am amazed by all the things coming up next for Hairducation and the opportunities I have to gain even more in-depth knowledge about hair. The more I learn, the more I can share with you all.

I am not at liberty to share the details of whats coming soon at the moment but will as soon as it is possible for me to do so. In the meantime, I am back to my regular once a week blog posts and taking on new consultation clients worldwide…..I am glad to be back in my happy place but with so much more to come.
My next post is one that was requested on Instagram by a reader who wanted some tips on how to care for hair during the harmattan (colder weather).  Personally I don’t think the harmattan this year is that bad, I’ve hardly even noticed it but I suppose some tips on hair care in cold climates will always be useful information to have.  That post will be up soon :)

x

Lade

Learn | Change | Grow