Hard Water and 3 Things You Can Do About It

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Hello ladies,

Something that my hair has been battling with since my return to the UK is hard water.  It has made my hair and skin care a little more challenging.  As many of my readers are based in the UK and the US where hard water is quite common, I thought it would be good to explain what hard water is, the effects it has on hair and how to combat its effects.

 

What is Hard Water

Hard water is water that contains dissolved minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, silica, etc.  The minerals in the water bond to the hair strand and creates a hard coating on the hair which makes it difficult for it to absorb moisture.  The more damaged and open your hair cuticles are, the more the minerals in the hard water will cling to your hair.
One way of knowing if the water in your home is hard is by looking at your taps and shower heads.  If there is a hard white-ish build up on your taps and shower heads. There is a likely chance that the water in your area is hard.

 

Effects of Hard Water on Hair

The minerals in hard water which bond to our hair can have the following effects:

  • It makes hair feel very dry, brittle and very prone to breakage
  • It makes hair more prone to tangling which often leads to breakage.
  • It can alter the natural color of your hair and give it a dull appearance.
  • It can dry out the scalp making it very flaky
  • It can make conditioning and moisturizing your hair difficult and less effective

 

Three Tips for Reducing the Effects of Hard Water

  1. Vinegar Rinse
    Diliuted apple cider vinegar has been used in hair care by many black women because it helps to return hair to its natural PH levels.  This helps to smoothen our hair , boost its shine as well as make it less prone to tangling.
    Apple cider vinegar also helps to remove the mineral build up in hair. Simply dilute a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into one cup of water.  After shampooing and conditioning, pour the mixture over your hair as a final rinse.
    Pay attention to how your hair reacts, if you don’t like how it makes you hair feel you should either use a more dilute mix or stop using it completely.
  2. Shower Filter
    Another way to avoid the effects of hard water on your hair is to buy a Shower filter. This will reduce some of the minerals from the water that comes out from your shower head.  There are many options to pick from online.

 

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  1. Clarifying Shampoo
    Another way to remove mineral build-up from your hair is to use a clarifying shampoo. Clarifying shampoos contain ingredients which can remove stubborn products and mineral residue that have been left on our hair and which mild sulfate free shampoos cannot.Clarifying shampoos should contain chelating ingredients such as Disodium EDTA  or Tetraacetic Acid).  A shampoo that contains chelating ingredients and is widely available is Ors Creamy Aloe Shampoo.  I use this to wash my hair every 2 to 3 months.Chelating or clarifying shampoos are quite harsh and should not be used for regular/weekly washing even if you live in a hard water area.

I hope you have found this post educative and I hope it helps if you think you have hard water issues.
My next post will be a hair care from within one because how we care for our bodies can have a big impact on the hair our body grows.  So if you’d like to learn what you can do to boost the quality of the hair you grow, come back soon!!

X

Lade

Learn | Change | Grow

My Updated Hair Regimen

 

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Hello ladies,

Something I try to stress often is that consistency with your regimen is important for ladies who are on a hair journey. Creating a regimen that your hair responds well to is the first aspect of a hair journey but you will not see significant improvements in the health, length and thickness of your hair if you are inconsistent with your regimen.
There will however be some points on your hair journey where you need to review and update your hair regimen and hair products.
Some examples of when it would be a good idea to review your regimen includes –

  • When your hair has grown significantly – techniques and styles that what worked for you at one length may not work as well at a longer length. Using myself as an example, when my hair reached bra strap length, I had to begin washing it in large braids to prevent tangling and matting during the washing process.
  • If you decide to transition from relaxed to natural or vice versa
  • If your products no longer seem to be working on your hair or you discover new ones that work better on your hair.

Over the years, my regimen has evolved in some ways.
I have changed some of my practices and techniques. I have also made some changes to my staple products. I will discuss what those changes are below but if you would like to see my full updated regimen click here.

 

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Changes in My Techniques and Practices

My Hair Regimen

  • I relax my hair every 20 weeks.  I now relax my hair every 24 to 27 weeks due to my increasingly busy schedule.  After relaxing my hair, I wear it out for about 8 weeks. From week 9 I switch to my wig regimen but leave my hair out occasionally when following my wig regimen.
  • Shampoo 1x a week (wash hair in 10 calabar/box braids) When I am wearing my hair out, I now wash it every two weeks. My hairs length and thickness makes wash day quite time consuming so I made a lifestyle choice to switch to washing every two weeks. I try to keep up with moisturising and sealing to prevent dryness and breakage.

My Wig Regimen

  • Hair kept in 20 16 box braids under Hair by Type 4 wigs. I decided to make the box braids slightly bigger.
  • Shampoo every 3 weeks.   I now wash my hair every two weeks when following my wig regimen. My hair is more texlaxed now than it was when I initially began my journey and I noticed that when I leave the box braids in for three weeks my hair is quite matted and tangled which means I used to have more breakage than was necessary. I decided to begin washing my hair every two weeks to prevent this tangling and breakage and it seems to be working well so far.
  • Moisturise and seal the box braids twice a week lightly every day. Over the years moisturising the box braids just twice a week was no longer able to keep my hair adequately hydrated so I began to moisturise and seal lightly every day.

 

 

Changes to My Hair Products

  • Shampoo
    Elasta QP Crème Conditioning shampoo. This is still a great product but I have switched to Cream of Nature Argan Oil Sulfate Free shampoo. I prefer how the cream of nature makes my hair feel.
  • Deep Conditioner
    Moisture:- Motions Moisture Plus Conditioner I have recently switched to using Aussie Miracle Moist as my moisture deep conditioner. It works better for my hair than Motions Moisture Plus.
  • Leave-in Conditioning
    Protein:-Aphogee Keratin and Green Tea Restructurizer I still have and use this product occasionally but my go to protein leave in conditioner is now the Cream of Nature Strength and Shine leave in conditioner.
  • Daily Moisturizers
    Mixture of Cantu Shea Butter Conditioning cream and Lusters S-curl I also use Cream of Nature Strength and Shine leave in conditioner during the week. I use whichever one my hand gets to first…. :)
  • Oils/Sealants
    Nutiva extra virgin coconut oil (sealant) Currently, I use olive oil or grapeseed oil as my sealant.
  • Extras
    Braid spray
    (to mist the box braids when wearing my wigs) I now use Lusters S-curl for this purpose because it was easier for me to find the S-curl in Lagos. I only use a small amount daily to prevent moisture overload.

 

And those are the changes to my hair regimen ladies!!  I don’t know when next I will review and update it but for now, my hair is very happy with all of the above. Like everybody else, I just have to try to remain consistent.
Please note that if you review your regimen and are happy with your current products and practices you don’t have to change it. Stick to what works.
Have you made changes to your regimen lately? What change did you make and why?

The next post will be an educational one about the challenges of thin/fine hair strands and tips to maximize your hair growth if you have fine hair. Come back soon ladies.

X

Lade

Learn | Change | Grow.

Aussie Miracle Moist Conditioner – Product Review

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Hello ladies,

If you are familiar with my hair regimen you will know that I use either normally use either Motions Moisture Plus or Herbal Essence Hello Hydration as my moisture deep conditioners.

These are the moisture products that have worked best on my hair…..until now. I recently ran out of both and for some reason couldn’t find them in the stores I went to.  I decided to try a product that I have been aware of since the beginning of my hair journey but never tried out…. Aussie Miracle Moist!!!
My hair tends to feel a little dry even after I deep condition….but for the first time EVER and I really mean ever, my hair felt very hydrated and soft before I applied any leave-in conditioner.
The minute I rinsed out the conditioner I knew something was different in the best of ways.
In this post I will share more information about this product and how I use it in my regimen

 

What is Aussie Miracle Moist

Aussie Miracle Moist is a moisture conditioner which is designed for dry and damaged hair.
Like all good moisture products the first ingredient it contains is water/aqua.   It also contains a lot of moisturising ingredients such as Cetyl Alcohol and Cetearyl Alcohol.  These types of alcohols are fatty alcohols and are good for hair unlike some alcohols like Ethanol, SD Alcohol, Propyl or Isopropyl which can be drying to hair.

It does contain some silicones which some ladies prefer to avoid but my hair happens to love and by using a clarifying shampoo every few months I am able to remove potential build-up of silicones from my hair.
I can’t recall how much this cost me but it was very cheap which is great because the 250ml bottle will only last me 3 washes max.

How I Used It

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The product bottle does not give clear directions on how it should be used, it simply states that it should be used after shampooing and rinsed out.
I always deep condition my hair with a mix of protein and moisture conditioners.  Over the years I have learnt that this is what works for my hair.  Whenever I use moisture or protein deep conditioners alone, my hair protests by either being too hard and brittle or too soft and weak.  I always need a mix of the two to keep my hair in order.

On this occasion I mixed equal amounts of the Aussie Miracle Moist conditioner with Vitale olive oil conditioner ( my go-to protein deep conditioner).
I applied it to my hair as generously as possible and covered it with a plastic steam cap.   I used my heat cap for about 40 minutes and then I rinsed it out.
Like I mentioned above my hair felt amazing afterwards, it felt strong and soft and smooth. I was pretty sure it would feel great after I air dried and I wasn’t disappointed. I did use my Creme of Nature leave in conditioner but my hair already felt great even before I applied the leave in conditioner.

I normally have to moisturise and seal my hair on wash day or by the next day at the latest otherwise my hair can begin to feel a little brittle.   After deep conditioning with the Aussie, I didn’t have to moisturise and seal for several days after my wash day.   I should have but my hair just felt so good and I was really short on time but going forward I plan to stick to my regular moisturising and sealing schedule.
I don’t co-wash my hair but I know that Aussie is very popular with ladies that co-wash and I can see why.  It is light weight but highly moisturising so it is ideal for co-washing.

 

I hope you have found this post helpful.  Do you use Aussie Miracle Moist or have you used it in the past?  How did it make your hair feel?

I have made slight changes to my hair regimen over the last few year and so my next post will be a regimen and hair product update.  I’ll probably do a hair update in that post as well.
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See you soon ladies, I am so glad I am back to regular blogging at last.

Happy Hair Journey

x

Lade

Learn | Change | Grow

Penetrating versus Partially Penetrating Oils

 

Me: Do you moisturise and seal your hair regularly in between your wash days?
Client: yes I do, very regularly
Me: That’s good, so what products do you use to moisturise your hair?
Client: coconut oil
Me: oh!!!, I mean before sealing with the coconut oil what do you use to moisturise your hair?
Client: well, the label of my coconut oil says it can be used to moisturise hair so I just use it alone
Me: Erm…….

 

Hello ladies,

My post this week is inspired by the conversation I had with one of my consultation clients.
I recall before my hair journey, I would spend what felt like a lifetime in the hair product aisles trying to find a product to stop the extreme breakage I was experiencing. Reading through the product descriptions, many claimed to do it all…. give your hair strength whilst making it soft, stop breakage and repair split ends, protect my hair from heat damage and so on….all in one product.
Each would present itself as the messiah to all my hair problems and I would leave the store with my purchases hopeful that I’d found the holy grail product. Well fast forward many years later, I know better and many of you do too.

It is better to know what hair needs and what product ingredients are able to meet these needs. This is the best way to avoid being misled by product labels. In this post I will be talking about penetrating oils (which some people refer to as moisturising oils) and partially penetrating oils. I will also give advice on how best to use them in your hair regimens.


Penetrating Oils and Their Benefits

In general, each strand of hair has three layers, the cuticle (the outer most layer) the cortex ( the middle layer) and the medulla ( the innermost layer).
The structure of some oils allows them to penetrate through the layers of our hair strands gradually over time.  So when used on our hair as a sealant, they initially form a good seal however these oils will gradually sink into our hair fibres and the seal will not be as good, ie moisture will be able to escape from or be absorbed into our hair when the sealing effect is reduced.
Penetrating oils do have some moisturising properties however please note that for black hair care purposes, used alone, they may not provide adequate hydration for our thirsty locks.

Benefits Of Penetrating Oils
Hair absorbs water when being washed and it often swells to the point that the cuticle layer will begin to crack and split with regular washing.   This is known as hydral fatigue. Hair that has damaged cuticles tends to look rough and frizzy and will be more prone to tangling.

The key benefit of penetrating oils is that they helps to prevent hydral fatigue when used as a prepoo. Coating your hair with a penetrating oil like coconut oil and giving it an hour or two to penetrate into the hair fibres will prevent your hair from absorbing too much water during the washing process.

Using a penetrating oil as a pre-poo reduces the risk of hydral fatigue thereby preserving the hair fibre and helping to prevent protein loss. This helps hair remain healthy looking and keeps it feeling smooth.

Penetrating oils can also be mixed in with your deep conditioner and used for oil rinses.

 

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Partially-Penetrating Oils and Their benefits

These oils only penetrate the outer layers of hair fibres and for this reason they tend to work really well as sealants. Partially penetrating oils tend to give hair shine and lubrication so that it tangles less. Some examples of partially penetrating oils are olive, avocado, grapeseed, argan oils, etc.

If your hair tends to get dry very quickly after you have moisturised and sealed you may want to try a partially-penetrating oil because it creates a more long lasting seal, it will trap the moisture in your hair for longer.
I hope you have found this post informative and helpful. What oils do you use for your pre-poo and as a sealant? Are there some oils that work better for you than others? Please share.

The next post which will be my hair update post will be up next. See you soon

X

Lade

Learn | Change | Grow

 

 

Have You Read My Latest Post On Bella Naija

 

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Hello Ladies,

For anyone who is interested in learning about lye versus no lye relaxers and wants tips on which one may work better for their hair and scalp, read my latest post on Bella Naija by clicking here.
I am sure it will be helpful to so many ladies out there.

Happy reading

x

Lade

Learn | Change | Grow