Saturday, July 30, 2011

Fierce Twist Hawk - Howl

My Fiercest Twist Hawk
 Utubehaircare's contest giving away a coach bag ends on the full moon, and all the hair wolfs are howling.  I just saw my skincare guru's natural hair tutorial, (it was cute too). The competition is wild, and all the viewers will benefit. My style pulls way back into my hair show fan bag of tricks. A lot of great hairstylist are being drawn out of the wood work by the scent of a coach bag in the air. It can only be described as blood in the ocean, watch out for sharks! 

Give Me that Coach Bag!
It seems that two popular formats dominate the competition either a mohawk or puff.  Most of the You Tube hairstyle gurus have thick, long hair, so when the style is replicated upon our work-in-progress manes, it just doesn't look as fabulous. The videos submitted for this competition represent all different lengths, textures and amounts of hair, there is thick, thin, and medium hair, so it is a great opportunity to find a new style. The contest closes July 31, 2011, and today is the 30th. I just found out today, if you follow me on twitter, you would have gotten my Saturday morning contest tweets. Snap, snap, get that video together. You better bring it, if you are going to snatch that coach bag from me. 

Hair Wolf Caught the Scent of a Coach Bag 

Claw, jaws, and teeth; what this twist hawk is made of. Firstly I wanted to bring punk rock back into the Mohawk. The Mohawk was the original sign of a crazed rebel. It was scary, wild and fierce. I had been eyeing afro hawks with envy, because most twist hawks look like 1940's office hairstyles. A true hawk needs to have hair sticking up in a I do not care what you think of me because I am fierce, dare to ask me a question! A punk rock edge is mandatory. My big head was just spinning upon how to make the twist hawk fierce, very happy with the results.

  Start by sectioning the hair into three parts. Try to go straight back like the lines on a football helmet. Next twist the middle into individual twist. On each side of the head use flat twist that go straight up, make sure that you do not twist them going back because the flat twist are used to create the pompadour.


I took twigs from my ivy vine and broke them into varying size pieces, washed them in a good soap to make sure they were clean. Be sure to pick relatively smooth twigs, so that your hair is safe. After a foundation is created by tying two flat twist across the head it is time to start putting the style together. Take the individual twist and tuck them into the foundation until they are a length that will stick up. Do not worry if the hair falls down, the twigs will fix that. Now twist the ends around the twigs and arrange them for the style. It looks fierce, go to the the hair wars and let everyone drool over the wildness.

Flat Twist 

Here is a close up of the foundation created by tying the two flat twist across the head, and looping the individual twist into it from the top. It looks pretty, and much more complicated than it is.

Twisted Twist
Add a basic pompadour by saving the front layer of hair; fold the bang over itself and loop it underneath the tied front flat twist. After this is done just arrange the puffed front to the most flattering.
View from the front
 Finally accent the style with artfully placed twigs of varying lengths. Twirl twist around the sticks until they are almost covered. Add a few bare branches to complete the look. Have fun with this style, wilder is always better. 
Front Side Close Up
In the back a few twist are left out to shake to the beat of the music in your head. Sticks can also be place in a few of the long twist to add extra bite to the style.  
Back Side View
 Wear this style on Saturday night and see what happens. A wild combination of pretty hair techniques combined to create a great week end club look. What make this style work is personal confidence, be subtle, let the hair speak. Separate the haters from the fans with fierceness.
Side View Pompadour

Detail View

 Are you brave enough to unleash my fiercest twist hawk ever ?

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hair Growth Aid Wars Man Vs. Nature; Episode Onion Vs. Sulfur

Each time I hear someone discussing the benefit of onions for hair loss; they invariably say, it has sulfur in it. Individuals often suggest that one could simply replace the whole food onion with the manmade chemical sulfur and achieve the same results. The reason individuals wish to substitute a manmade chemical with the onion is often due to its pungent smell in comparisons to unscented sulfur. We are about to delve into the mysterious onion and determine if the chemical sulfur and onions are interchangeable for hair growth and alopecia. Let us start out by realizing there is a lot more to an onion than sulfur. The resilient onion contains antioxidants', phytochemicals, and vitamins. The two main antioxidants in onions are of course, sulfur and quercetin. In addition to antioxidants, there are several powerful phytochemicals, disulfides, trisulfides, cepaene (anti inflammatory), and vinyl dithiins. Onions also contain vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, folic acid, calcium, iron and have a high protein quality (ratio of mg amino acid/gram protein). Does one chemical property do all of the work or could it be that the whole cast of antioxidants, phytochemicals, and vitamins work as a team?
 Sulfur is a mineral found in every part of the body, with the highest concentration in the nails, hair, and skin.  This beauty mineral helps cells to be born, and repaired.  Because hair is made of 35% sulfur, it is needed to produce healthy keratin protein in the hair. It assist with cell regeneration, and fights against hormonal imbalances. Hormones like DHT and testosterone, are thought to be a culprit in male pattern baldness, hair loss, and female Alopecia. Antioxidants repair cells and help restore balance. There is evidence that naturally concentrated sources of sulfur compounds stimulate hair follicle re-growth. Only natural sulfur compounds have been demonstrated to regrow hair follicles with topical application. The mineral dissipates when processed, so minimal processing and fresh use is recommended. Good sources of sulfur are eggs, onions, and cabbage. Manmade sulfur compounds have been shown to stimulate hair growth. The mineral sulfur should be the same whether it is man made or natural, so there must be something to the compound portion of a natural sulfur compound other than sulfur.

 Quercetin is the famous antioxidant flavonoid in green tea. This anti-inflammatory is active in the skin, so it can help with eczema, and hives. Recently green tea has been found to strengthen hair, reduce hormone imbalance, and prevent excessive hair shedding. Quercetin is more effective when accompanied with vitamin C. We are able to absorb two hundred percent more quercetin from onions than from green tea. We do not produce this flavonoid in the body, so we must get it from food sources. Quercetin can be concentrated by light cooking, but lost with overcooking. Onions are the highest source, followed by tea, then apples. Another piece of the puzzle is coming together. Natural food sources of sulfur such as onion usually contain a vitamin C compound; Vitamin C increases the ability to utilize the antioxidants quercetin and vitamin C.

 One of the signs of vitamin C deficiency is hair that is dry and splitting. Vitamin C is necessary to have healthy teeth, and bones because it helps assimilate calcium. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that fights free radical damage to hair, repairs/manufactures tissues, and wound healing. The vitamins C in onions increase the absorption of its sulfur compounds, calcium, and quercetin. Most fruits and vegetables contain some vitamin C, but good amounts are found in white potatoes, red peppers, pineapples, citrus fruits, and watermelon. It is now thought that vitamin C may aid in the treatment of alopecia, and other hereditary hair conditions such as male pattern baldness, and hirsutism.
 Aromatherapy is not normally associated with an onion, but its scent has the ability to produce some powerful reactions. The gas produced from cutting an onion makes us cry. Not tears of joy or pain, just a natural reaction to the gas propanethiol S-oxide effects upon the onion. This gas couples with onion enzymes and creates a passive sulfur compound. I want you to understand that it is a combination of onion enzymes, and a gas that create passive, not active sulfur. This is a very gentle sulfur compound in comparisons to manmade ones. Furthermore we don't need to be chemist to tell that the sulfur is active, we are fully aware that it is working, based upon an immediate reaction from our body. The water produced by the tear ducts combine with the gas and produce sulfuric acid. Immediately relieving dry eye. Scents have some powerful properties. The scent of a cut onion has the ability to cause us to cry. We can only imagine what other chemical reactions are occurring within our bodies.

  Upon looking at how certain attributes are valued it should become clear that both onions and manmade sulfur have a lot of benefits in a hair care regime. The benefit of onion outweighs sulfur in this article because onions are cheaper; safe to have lying around children, and stimulate the growth of new cells that result in thicker hair. If a person was not concerned with bald spots, thinning hair, cost, or children, sulfur might be a better choice. Of course there is something to be said for the safety of a vegetable that can be grown in the yard, eaten, and picked up at the local market. The use of sulfur for topical application is best left to a professional, whereas onions are quite safe to mix with products at home. A chemist could tell you the saturation of sulfur in a home remedy whereas one whiff of onion will tell if the sulfur has been processed out or activated. Onion has vitamin C known to increase sulfur absorption in addition to flavonoids, calcium, and phytochemicals. It might be while before science catches up with mother nature.

The Onions Win!

+ Onions +
- Sulfur -
Safe/Con Overdose
Natural Sulfur
Vitamin C
Hair Growth
Works Quickly
Onions are Messy
Hair Follicle Birth
Ease of use
Hair Growth

Thicker Hair

Freshly Made




For How to Make a Follicle Stimulating Hair Mask
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Friday, July 22, 2011

A Good Pair of Scissors is Hard to Find

The first thing I need to do a good trim is a pair of scissors. It is time to proceed to the next leg of my journey. While studying my choices on the web, there is a barrage of information. The occasional warning that a bad pair of scissors will result in ripped hair and a head full of spilt ends. A comment so terrifying it stirs me to proceed with caution toward the knife. At the end of the day, this should improve the quality, reduce the amount of moisturizer, ease styling, and improve the look of the hair. With full awareness that cutting hair is counter intuitive to growing hair, it feels like the right choice at this time.

Firstly I must choose German or Japanese style shears. The German design is a razor sharp instrument, which requires skill. The hairs can avoid the blade creating a condition known as chasing the hair. Chasing the hair results in an uneven cut. The benefit of the German blade is that it is a study tool that with proper maintenance will last a lifetime. Japanese blades use convex techniques akin to micro serration, in order to catch each hair in the blade for a smooth cut. The detriment to Japanese blades is that they are fragile; any mistake like accidentally dropping them, and the blade can be permanently ruined. Deciding between the long lasting German blade, (which requires a learning curve), and the ease of use in the Japanese blade, (easily damaged)

 Here is an annalistic of how I plan to use this pair of shears. I am interested in performing search and destroy hair trimming instead of precision haircuts. It occurs to me that hair chasing would probably be encountered more so while trying to cut a hairstyle. Simultaneously, I am concerned that I might not understand enough about shears to know if I damaged a pair. Simple deduction has gotten me to understand that I want a pair of German designed shears because my main desire is to have a pair of shears that I can rely upon to be sharp. 

Secondly, being a fashion werewolf, Neiman Marcus last call sale is my full moon; I am concerned with the cuteness of the shears. The minute I realized shears cost more than five dollars, I wanted them to look good. My mind is thinking of all sorts of cute things I can do to dress up my shears, while maintaining functionality. Drab silver is out, there are pretty coatings, and swivel handles, even sparkles. Of course, I want the best pair in my price range, but preference will be provided to the cutest best pair.

Finally, I get to the meat of the issue. The feel of the pair of scissors in my hand is most important. A clean smooth cutting motion is a high priority. Perhaps a feather light pair of shears is better. Still deciding upon the best blade length for a clean cut. Sharp shears that feel awkward could cause a setback. Imagine accidentally sniping off a chunk of hair because the blade slipped.

Now I have figured out what I want. I am interested in a pair of razor sharp German style shears that are cute, and fit my hand perfectly. Hopefully I will find my set soon. I want to do a protective twist style after I deep condition, and would like to use those twist to practice some trimming. There are a variety of techniques out there. Over a period of trying them all; the best one should reveal itself. Just thinking about having a thicker head of hair relatively free from knots and splits is wonderful.

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Why I Must Learn to Trim My Own?

Two months ago I pulled out a pair of shears from the 99-cent store and bravely began to chop off three inches of damaged hair. My hair was full of knots, and brittle parts, it was snapping off in the shower. Everywhere I went there was a trail of hair left behind like Hansel and Gretel breadcrumbs. Frustration was mounting, with each shed or broken hair. Now I have begun to pull together regiments that I can be proud of. I am in the driver’s seat of my hair growth and retention journey. Now it is time to take hair trimming seriously. One day I hope to be able to regularly trim and cut my own hair. It has taken so much effort to grow the healthy hair on my head, that I am not willing to risk a stylist chopping it all off on a whim.
Shower Steaming

When we work hard to achieve something so elusive as growing a head of long beautiful hair against seemingly insurmountable odds, there is an emotional attachment. This is not just hair, this is hours of cooking up home made flax seed gel, blogging with Internet friends, protective hairstyling, making my own shea butter mix, and using the Kimmaytube conditioner.  This is scalp massage, Oh ValeriesMonCheries potion, the grow 3 inches in 7 weeks challenge, knowing what the PH is. How can I convey that I close all the windows in the bathroom, and turn on the hot shower because I do not own a Huetiful hair steamer? The moment I began bending over the bathroom floor scavenging for hairs so that I could meticulously smooth them was based upon an epiphany. Secretly, I am contemplating purchasing a powerful magnifier so that I can really check the hair bulb.  Whenever I go to a crowded place I search the crowd for the best natural hairstyles, then break my neck getting pictures of them. Each time I detangle, I collect my hair in a ball so that I can compare the size of the shed hairball to last weeks. I was at a jazz concert, and saw a hairstyle that I must try, so I walked up to this diva and asked her if I could take a picture of her hair. She smiled until I asked her to turn around so that I could get the back. There have been so many twist and turns on this journey, sometimes hair growth, and sometimes retention. My edges are full of newly grown hair, and the middle of my head has filled in nicely. 
Weekly Hairball Check
The wielding of the comb is a hair person's resume. It tells us the level of experience. How many teeth are in the comb, and what technique is used upon a tangle. If we hear a crackle, see a jerk, or tug, you have just been placed in a starting position on the hair manipulation hierarchy. We are eagerly scanning for a ripping motion. Do not be alarmed if all conversation pauses for a moment in our exuberance. Hair care is our sport, and we are its fans. There is the gentle coaxing technique, the long stroke, finger massaging, wet combing, moist combing, and oil combing.

How can one explain the first day gently combed? After watching several you tube videos of ladies combing their hair, I got it. First of all take a breath. Our shoulders lift as we get into position. Then we place the comb in the hair, with the thumb upon the strands, the other hand holds the hair, slide the combs ever so tenderly, chased by the other hand. Simultaneously, we slowly exhale; our mind is fully engaged in the task. We are ever conscious of the texture, and prepared to stop at the slightest tangle. The ears are alert for the sound of a crackle. The eyes roll up as we envision the hair of our dreams. A feeling of hair worth matriculated. In the end I could feel the difference in my own touch. The energy of a million hair gurus was inside of me. The rhythm of hair caressed with a finger. The power in knowing exactly when to comb, condition, and let be, cumulated in gentle combing. The visual/tactile message that there is something precious here slowly conveyed from heart to hair. Anyone present could sense the holiness of this moment.
Moist Combing

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Are You Ready For the Big Chop Quiz?

Are You Ready For the Big Chop? Find Your Alter Hair Ego Quiz

It would be prudent to access the current hair care regime prior to making any drastic length changes? Find out if your hair is ready for the big chop by taking this fun quiz.

1. How often do you wash or co wash your hair?
A. Every two week I pamper myself at the salon
B. When ever I get my weave/braids taken out
C. I co wash twice per week

2. How long does it take to detangle your hair?
A. This revolutionary new brush I just bought can detangle my hair in 5 minutes.
B. I never need to detangle because I have my hair flat iron trained.
C. Since I pre poo and place my hair in box braids before I wash, then carefully detangle each section, it can take 30 minutes, healthy hair is worth it.

3. What is your beverage of choice?
A. Sweet Tea
B. Sex in the City Cosmopolitan
C. Alkaline Water

4. What type of supplements do you take?
A. I often take the kids Flintstone chewable to save time.
B. That depends on what herbs classify as a supplement
C. To ensure I get all of my nutrients I take an age appropriate vitamin; prenatal if childbearing age and female.

5. How do you prepare your hair for bed?
A. At night I treat myself. First Boar bristle brush scalp, wrap with paddle/Denman/teaser, smooth with a fine toothcomb, bobby pin, then roll the ends.
B. I just wrap my hair up at night, tie with a silk scarf, and sleep on a silk pillow.
C. Each night I moisturize with favorite oil, wrap in a silky scarf, and then sleep on a satin pillowcase.

Wild haired mavens please count the number of time you answered A, B, or C.
If the majority of your answers are A, your alter hair ego is Jackie the Hair Ripper.
If the majority of your answers are B your alter hair ego is Nero the Hair Burner
If the majority of your answers are C, your alter hair ego is Lola the Hair Flaunter
Jack The Ripper In Action

Jackie the Hair Ripper
Jackie, you own a Denman, tangle teaser, shower comb, Ace Comb, paddle brush, boar bristle, and a fine tooth comb. Still when you look around the bathroom sink, there is hair everywhere. Attacking your hair in order to quickly style has caused all those spilt ends.

Sea monster says right now you take care of everyone but yourself; you are just tired of the kids pulling on your hair, practice slow gentle detangling techniques with a wide toothcomb. Don't even think about using a brush. You are not ready for the big chop. After two weeks of protective hairstyles try again.

Nero Fiddling while Rome burned

Nera the Hair Burner

Nera, You once got a ticket for flat ironing while driving.  You look sleek and flawless but even the most expensive ceramic iron will cause heat damage over time. You once stayed in the house all spring in order to avoid a sprinkle. Your hair is thirsty.
Sea monster says use a heat protectant, and quit feeling your scalp for a nap at the club. You are not ready for the big chop. Spritz your hair with water, seal with oil, and roller set for a month, and then try again.

Lola the Hair Flaunter

Lola, you keep a set of your favorite products at your desk. Your hair whether relaxed or curly is always properly moisturized. At least once per week you wash your hair with a gentle shampoo or co-wash.

Sea Monster says congratulations you have taken the time to develop healthy hair care practices.
You are ready for the big chop. Please post your gorgeous big chop pictures on my blog, and enjoy your natural hair journey.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Assess Your Hair Life Style

We had quite a chat on Transitioning at my club meeting, ‘Wild Haired Mavens’. Transitioning is the most important hair stage to master. People normally think of transitions as the time period dedicated to transitioning from permanent/relaxed/keratin to a natural non-processed texture. Let’s broaden that definition to include, all changes that affect the hair, puberty, menopause, aging, pregnancy, stress, weight gain/loss, exercise, health, medication, and seasonal. It is easy to see we are in constant transition, whether it be a change in age, hair texture, length, thickness, thinning, weight, or the basic seasons of the year Everything that we eat, or drink effects the hair we grow at that time. Additionally, stress can have a large impact on hair; large amounts of stress can cause hair to fall out.  Seeing your hair fall out in clumps is stressful.  Exercise can affect the hair on our head. Even the weather outside has its part to play in our hair.  The most important part of a hair regime is taking proper care of hair in transition.

Firstly, the minute a person wants to improve their hair, we think of cutting off the old hair. Commonly referred to as the big chop.  We just want a new start with better hair. Has it occurred to anyone that the hair care patterns that lead to the current hair choice still exist? Therefore cutting off that ‘bad’ hair, prior to developing a new hair care strategy might be counter-productive. Each day I hear from someone who cut off all their hair thinking they would have short healthy hair, only to have short, brittle hair.  This is one of the main reason I would like for us to broaden the definition of transition.  Take a look at what is going on, before you chop. Recognize that each hair length comes with a new and different set of obligations.  Take responsibility for the current state of your hair by accessing it.  Write down your diet, exercise, vitamins’, current hair care, note any stressor such as a new job, baby, newlywed, downsizing, new products, moving, age, season.  The first step to improving the condition of the hair should be finding out how to care for your hair not cutting it off.

There is a lot to discover by assessing the hair life style.
Take this brief hair life style quiz.

Do I wrap my fragile hair in a satin scarf every night?
Do I drink water?
Do I exercise?
Do I moisturize my hair daily?
Do I yank my hair with combs, brushes, and my hands?
Do I use choppy motions when combing my hair? Am I a nervous person? Do I eat a balanced diet?
Do I massage my scalp?

If the vast majority of answers to the question above are no, spend a few months improving your life style before doing anything drastic. The results and benefits of improving your lifestyle will make everything easier.