BLACKSTRANDS

Hair Over Time: My Natural Comparison Pics

Brandon Christopher Warren/ flickr

I’ll try to keep this short… Below are my wash and go comparisons, as well as straightened.

Natural: Day of Big Chop (beginning of October)

– dried at salon under hooded dryer

– stretched some when nearly dry with blowdryer and diffuser

– used Hair Rules Curly Whip

Natural: 4.5 Months later

– air dried

– Herbal Essence Long Term Relationship Leave-in & coconut oil

I didn’t straighten until a month after my big chop, so these straight comparison pics are over 3.5 months time.


Side Comparison:

Back Comparison:

Things are going along steadily, I’m pleased.

Lately I’ve been trying different methods to stretch my hair before flat ironing: ponytail rollersetting (will do a post on this later), and this time I air dried overnight in braids then lightly pressed with a traditional stove top hot comb (very light, like a straight afro) – followed by flat ironing.

I think I’m going to do a light trim/dusting in a few days. I’m not far from, if not at the length I was at before I did the chop….things should only get better from here.

Filed under: My Hair, ,

Reviews: Qhemet Biologics Burdock Root Butter Cream

beautifulcataya/ flickr

This stuff really is awesome….but I have to be honest – I haven’t used this product for any of the things I thought I would. I originally purchased this to moisturize my hair during the winter and to possibly use for braidouts.

While it does soften my hair and moisturize it, I’ve been religiously using it on my scalp. This winter weather has been kind of hard on my hair, and I’ve had to tweak my normal routine a lot. And one of the most annoying issues I’ve had is  dry/irritated scalp. This was one situation that my coconut oil couldn’t remedy (Trust me, I tried).

I decided to try the burdock root cream on my scalp one day, and after a few minutes my scalp irritation had completely died down. Very soothing. My grandma has even been using it on her scalp and she loves it too.

Later I researched the benefits of burdock root oil extract – and I found out that its a great natural remedy for a number of scalp conditions.

If you’ve been struggling with scalp dryness or irritation this winter (or its a reoccuring issue for you in general), I’d highly suggest you try this. A major plus, is that you could always use it to moisturize too.

Ingredients from QB site:

Contains Pure Mediterranean Olive Oil for softness and emollience, extracts of Burdock Root, Nettle Leaf, Oatstraw and Wheat for their conditioning, scalp nourishing, shine enhancing and hair growth properties. Vegetable glycerin for its humectancy and MSM sulfur for nourishment and healthy hair growth.

:: hope this helps ::

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Reviews: Hana Elite Flat Iron

bloomsberries/ flickr

My verdict on the Hana Elite 1″ iron…

Grade : A –

Pros:

– lightweight iron; easy to do styles like  flips, curls, spirals, etc

– adjustable heat setting; heats quickly

– NO smoky or burning smell even on high settings (I ironed on about 370-375 degrees)

– straightens hair and gives it a silky/shiny finish. With previous irons, I would could get very straight hair (FHI platform) but not as much shine and swing.

– You can hold onto the plates; ample covering. With my Sedu, for instance, I would nearly burn my fingers when I wanted to hold the plates to style, because of the thin casing that enclosed the plates.

– 100% ceramic plates; important because you don’t have to worry about ceramic coating that eventually wears off – this could create “hot spots” that could fry/burn your hair.

– Two year warranty

Possible Drawback:

– Kind of pricey, but I think its worth it, considering the price of some other 100% ceramic irons on the market (i.e. like the FHI Runway)

Overall Opinion:

Worth the money because of the results, ease in straightening (took me 45  mins, instead of the normal 1.5 hrs) and added protection of 100% ceramic plates. I didn’t give it an A or A+ because I haven’t tried other irons that are comparable models of the Hana Elite.  Currently, this iron beats out the others in my possession. I’m very pleased with the results :)

Results/ Pics – taken same time as my hair comparison pics – all done with the Hana Elite :)

Filed under: My Hair, Reviews, , ,

Special Delivery: Hana Elite Flat Iron

Jek in the Box/ flickr

I’ve been researching for quite awhile trying to find the best flat iron. For awhile I was eyeing the FHI Runway, but they pulled the iron from the market due to issues they were having with the iron’s cost vs. its durability.

After awhile I came across the Hana Elite Flat Iron which has gotten some pretty great reviews, has  100% ceramic plates (NOT just ceramic-coated plates  like many irons- which eventually wear off) and is over $200 cheaper than the Runway. hmph!

I received my package today, and so far I’m highly impressed with the customer service (I got mine from Misikko.com). I was called upon putting in my order, my package came ridiculously fast, and I also received a letter from the seller along with gifts (outside of my order set, pictured below) thanking me for my business.

Silicone mat, case, heat protectant serum, hana elite iron, heat pouch

So far so good.

But, the true test will obviously come after I put the iron to the test. If all goes well and as expected, I’m selling my other flat irons (Sedu & FHI platform). I rarely go to the salon, so I’m really trying to build up my at-home arsenal so I’m never forced to go to the salon if I don’t want to. Hopefully this iron is all it claims to be, or its going back!

Stay tuned for my review and pics. Should be up by Tues or Wed.

:: Grow on ::

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Visualize Your Sexy: Spring Hair

flickr/ Ruben Bos

flickr/ Ruben Bos

In case you hadn’t noticed yet, I’m a warm weather girl.

I enjoy walking out of the house with damp hair, I detest having to be consious of biting winds that could dry out my ends – I pretty much can’t wait for spring to arrive.

So for now, I’m left to envision my Spring hair:

1. I’ll be about 6-7 months post BC once the warm weather strikes again – That’s about  a year and a half  of being relaxer free!

2. I intend to try wash and gos again (not too frequently), but it will be fun to see my progress even with shrinkage.

3. I’m praying I’ll be able to do my protective updo on curly hair by spring/summer as well. Right now I can only get my layered hair in the front to stay back when its straight.

I’m also planning on doing comparison photos of my length in the near future. I’m not sure yet if I want to do them this month or next, so stay tuned!

What styles are you dying to do this spring?  Please share!

:: Grow On ::

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Hair Mavens: Noémi Lenoir

French model Noémi Lenoir is a striking inspiration for beautiful and bold hair. She made her way into the fashion industry at only 16 (when she was signed to Ford Models), and her modeling career has flourished from one campaign to the next. You’ve seen her face in ads for L’Oréal, Gap and Victoria Secret – just to name a few.

In 2007, Lenoir took a rather noticeable hair stance and cut her gorgeous curls– bald. She’s great inspiration for any ladies who have no intention of transitioning. Confidence is key, and Lenoir shows this well!

Filed under: Hair Mavens, , ,