Showing posts with label Hair care. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hair care. Show all posts

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

How I get defined curls

I'll be honest my hair isn't always defined. Some days it's a big ball of frizz and I've learned to love it either way. That said, I do have my method down for when I want definition and here's a few things which work best for me...

Wet hair 
My hair lacks definition if it's dry (like most curls) and for best results I'll apply any and all leave-ins whilst in the shower. I've tried applying on dry or damp hair but I always end up having to re-wet sections to really see definition. My hair is low porosity too so the water gives my hair moisture and the heat from the shower actually allows it to penetrate instead of just rolling right off. Product then also has a chance to absorb and as my hair is wet I don't have to use a lot.

My hair doesn't stay curly on in it's own and is naturally frizz-prone so I'll always rely on leave-ins. I tend to start with a leave-in conditioner like  (£5.75/240ml) or (£10.99/236ml). Both are pretty similar in terms of results so I usually rely on one or the other and once applied that's when I go in with a defining product. Not all defining products are made equal so if you've found one you absolutely love stick with it. I've found these types of products can be hit and miss - many giving me crunchy or limp strands with the definition only lasting a day. As a result for months I rejected these types of products altogether and just used a moisturiser but I have settled on a few favourites. I love  (£23.50/250ml) most as it doesn't weigh down my hair. It's pricey but as I apply wet I don't use a huge amount and I can usually get away with just rewetting my hair the next day to reactivate the product if needed.  (£10.99/340ml) is another favourite as the definition lasts but this can make the hair a little sticky if you use too much.

Scrunching, smoothing and finger coiling 
I'm really lazy with my hair so most days I simply apply the product and smooth or scrunch into the hair. I very rarely use combs or brushes so I tend to work in the product or rake through with my fingers. I see the best results when working in really small sections so I'll start at the back and slowly work my way up. When I've got more time (and patience) I'll coil tiny sections around my finger to make my hair more spring-y.

Air drying or diffusing
My hair and blowdryers don't seem to get a long so I prefer to airdry which means on wash days I tend to run around with wet mop of curls and a microfibre towel draped over my shoulders. Not ideal I know, so if airdrying isn't an option I'll reach for my blowdryer and use with a diffuser. Diffusers gently dry curls without disturbing the pattern too much and using these on cool or low heat will limit damage.

Piling all my hair into a loose ponytail on top of my head (like a pineapple) is the only thing I do to help my curls last past the first day. I try to make sure my hair has dried fully first (otherwise my hair can look a little like a mushroom when I untie it the next day) and I'll use a  (£4.75) or similar as these don't leave a noticeable dent in the hair. Sometimes I'll use a satin scarf but mostly I sleep on a satin pillowcase to stop my hair drying out. The next day my hair usually just needs a little shake and it's as good as the day before and I can usually do this for a couple of days before needing to start the process again.

Christine Stewart x

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Sunday, 10 April 2016

Hair Update | April 2016 [Video]

It's been a while since I just sat down and talked about what's going on with my hair so I thought a hair update video was due. Let me know what videos you'd like to see next.

The Video:

What have you been doing with your hair lately? 

Christine Stewart x

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Thursday, 4 February 2016

Hair | How I Detangle [Video]

I've had a few questions on how I detangle my hair so I put together this video. The key things for me are only detangling when my hair is moisturised or dampened slightly with an oil or conditioner and working my way in small sections from the ends to the roots. I do most of my detangling on wash day so I've shown the exact process I usually follow below.

The Video:

How do you detangle?

Christine Stewart x

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Sunday, 31 January 2016

Haircare | Spot Hair Conditioning

I've always had such great success with conditioning certain areas of my hair separately, specifically my ends or my edges. Mid 2010 was the first time I started applying conditioner only to the last couple of inches of my hair as it was in such a terrible state that I hoped it might curb the breakage. It became a great pick-me-up for my strands, and targeting problem areas in this way really helped with overcoming some serious hair damage.

I recently spent a week skiing in the snowy French Alps and one day it was -14! My ends suffered so much from the cold even with daily moisturising whilst the rest of my hair stayed relatively hydrated. I was only able to fully condition my hair once whilst on holiday (due to having limited product) and eventually I had a lightbulb moment. I could have focused the conditioner where it was needed most - my porous, dry ends.

Since I've been back home (in a marginally warmer climate) deep conditioning my ends more than I would do my whole head has really injected some life back into them. It's so much quicker than having to deep condition my whole mass of hair just to keep my pesky ends in shape. My ends dry quickly too so I'm not always having to go to bed with a wet mop of curls post-wash. I'm definitely going to continue this method in between wash days for the rest of the winter.

Key things to remember when spot conditioning...
- Identify the most damaged or dry areas of your hair (if any). This method is not intended to replace regular conditioning but add extra attention to areas which are weaker than the rest of your hair.
- Rinsing areas with water first helps remove some product build-up but be sure to let it dry a little before application to maximise conditioning.
- You can spot condition with a regular conditioner, deep conditioner, heated oils and even henna.
- Apply a generous amount of product and leave on for at least 15-30 minutes. You can do this overnight if you prefer.
- Covering the hair after application helps it stay warm during the process for better conditioning.
- How often you condition depends on your personal hair needs and lifestyle.
- Consistency and patience are key so you may have to try this a few times before you see results!

Have you tried spot conditioning?

Christine Stewart x

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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

5 Ways to prevent single strand knots

Anyone else plagued by the killer that is single strand knots will understand how frustrating these can be. They're a natural feature in coily and kinky hair and I've been getting them ever since I started transitioning to a curly texlaxed texture last year. There are ways to prevent single strand knots though and here's how I minimise how many I get.

1. Keep hair moisturised
It's always when my hair is at it's driest when I start to see the knots appear as my hair is more likely to tangle around itself. Staying on top of moisturising and applying a little extra oil to your ends is key to keeping them smooth and knot-free.

2. Stretch it out
I don't ever remember having a problem with single strand knots when my hair was fully relaxed and the more stretched I keep my hair the less I find my hair knotting. This doesn't mean you have to use heat or wear it straight, but try rocking a twist or braid out instead of that wash and go constantly to see an improvement. Keeping your ends stretched and tucked in with protective styles like buns, braids and ups dos will minimise knots too.

3. Detangle regularly
So technically I don't detangle as often as I should but allowing my hair to get tangled is usually what causes my knots in the first place. I'm definitely trying to make an effort to lightly detangle throughout the week now and not just on wash day to avoid the knots. Always detangle from ends to roots to gently remove the knots and prevent snagging on the hair.

4. Swap cotton for silk or satin
Cotton bedding and clothing saps the moisture from your strands causing friction and frizz. You can avoid this by making the switch to silk or satin which is a lot more gentle on your hair. For years I've been using satin pillowcases, bonnets and scarves to protect my hair whilst I sleep or to protect my hair from clothing. My hair remains moisturised for longer as a result and doesn't get tangled whilst I sleep.

5. Trim
Hair that is split or weak is more likely to knot. If you've tried all of the above sometimes you just have to reach for those shears. By giving your hair a little trim you can prevent the knotting and cut off those that have already formed.

How do you prevent single strand knots?

Christine Stewart x

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Monday, 22 June 2015

Review | KeraCare Overnight Moisturizing Treatment

I've been using a lot of KeraCare products over the last year and the Overnight Moisturizing Treatment(£10.95/115g)* has become one of their products I couldn't do without.

When I first heard of this product the name and the apricot '2' on the packaging had me thinking this was a rinse-out deep conditioner but it's actually more like a moisturiser. KeraCare describes this product as 'a moisturizing nightcap for dry hair' and it really does soften my thirsty strands whilst I sleep. This is one of my favourite KeraCare moisturisers, second only to the Natural Textures Hair Milk. It's a creamy consistency which provides the right amount of moisture without overloading the hair with product.

When I first used this product nightly as directed I didn't notice a huge deal of difference the following day. With regular use over a couple of weeks however, my hair became much softer and easier to manage. As much as I love how much volume my hair gets naturally (as it makes an awesome high bun without any padding) it's cotton-like texture can lead to a lot of tangling and matting, especially at the roots. Even when wearing buns daily my hair (which creates most of the matting issues) when I'm using this product I've noticed a lot less tangling. 

When moisturising I generally split my hair into 2-4 sections (depending on how dry my hair is) and I stick to applying no more than a walnut sized amount of this moisturiser to each section. The product is quite rich and as it's a small tub too I try to use it sparingly. I now mostly use this product in combination with something else to make it stretch further. My typical routine is to use a milk-y product or conditioning mist first and then apply a little of the Overnight Moisturizing Treatment before styling my hair for bed. I keep my hair in place by sleeping in a silk scarf or on a satin pillowcase and this routine has definitely made my mornings smoother and less hairy (pun intended).

Have you tried any KeraCare products? 

*sample - read my disclaimer here.

Christine Stewart x

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Hair | Styling with Curlformers

I bought a  Styling Kit (long and wide version) way back when I started taking caring for my hair seriously in 2011. I was into all things 'heatless' and Curlformers seemed like the ideal way to style my hair without causing any damage. If you're not familiar with Curlformers, they're like long coily rollers which you hook your hair inside to create perfectly shaped curls. You can get Curlformers in different varieties of lengths and widths and the two colours indicate which direction the curls bend in (left or right).

You're supposed to use these on wet hair, allowing your hair to airdry so there's no heat involved. I used them twice before giving up on Curlformers for almost 4 years! I couldn't fault the curls they created, which were perfect, but I couldn't stand having to use them on wet hair (as mine can take hours to dry) and I didn't like having to drag my tangle-prone hair into the curlers. I also have a lot of hair on my head and even when it was short it would take hours to put these in as they need to be small sections to dry evenly. I was about to throw them out, but curiosity made me try the Curlformers on my wig and the results are just beautiful.

This is now the main way I style my wig. It takes little to no time to prep and the curls can last for a few days before I need to repeat the process. I only spray the ends of my wig with a little water and hook small sections into the Curlformers. I then leave the hair to airdry on my mannequin head overnight.

The pictures here are from the first time I tried them last week. The curls held up for most of the day before dropping into loose waves. I didn't use any product on the wig, only a little water, and these shots were taken at the end of the day. I'm definitely going to continue using Curlformers on my wig as it doesn't cause any damage to the hair and the results are so pretty.

Have you tried Curlformers?

Christine Stewart x

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Sunday, 16 November 2014

3 ways to avoid dry hair this winter

The winter season sucks out moisture from even the most luscious strands and sometimes you have to do a little extra to keep your tresses hydrated. Here's how I'll be avoiding dry hair this winter.

Hot Oil Treatment
Never underestimate the power of a hot oil treatment as it's the easiest way to inject some life into winter-beaten strands. There's a plethora of hot oil treatments available on the market like or but I prefer to make my own using natural oils. I like using Coconut Oil most, and usually warm it up in a bowl of hot water or stick it in the microwave for a few seconds (I have a video on how I do my hot oil treatments on my YouTube channel ). Recently I've been doing a hot oil treatment on my hair on every other wash day which has helped massively with dryness. It's also made detangling my coily roots a breeze!

Deep conditioner 
I can't ever write a haircare post about dryness and not state the importance of using a deep conditioner regularly. Since I started using an intensive treatment on every wash my hair has been transformed from dry and dull to smooth and silky so I couldn't recommend it enough. I don't think using specific brands matter as long as you pick something which is a good match for your hair type. When looking for a good deep conditioner ensure it is an intensive treatment and not just a regular conditioner (a deep conditioner will need to be left on the hair for anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes). Also look for quality ingredients, which will help specifically with parched strands, like humectants and natural oils. To increase the effectiveness of your deep conditioner, use with a plastic cap, hooded dryer or steamer.

Protective Styling
Prevention is better than cure right? Shield your hair from the wintery atmosphere as much as possible to prevent your hair getting dry and brittle in the first place. My go-to protective styles are buns and plaits but wigs, weaves, extensions, braids and twists all keep the hair tucked in and away from the elements. You can also wear silk-lined hats and scarves for added protection.

How will you be preventing dry hair this season?

Christine Stewart x

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Sunday, 12 October 2014

How-To | Hot Oil Treatment [Video]

The temperature has dropped so much in the UK that I'm relying on my hot oil treatments more than ever to give my hair a little 'pick me up'. I thought I'd put together a video tutorial for on how I do a hot oil treatment using my favourite oil currently - Coconut Oil.

The Video: 

Have you tried a hot oil treatment?

Christine Stewart x

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Saturday, 20 September 2014

Black Beauty & Hair Aug/Sept 2014

The latest issue of Black Beauty & Hair actually came out a little while ago but where I took a small step back from blogging recently I didn't get around to posting about it until now. The issue came out in the height of summer and as a result this issue is jam packed with tips on keeping your holiday hair in shape, how to battle cellulite and as ever hundreds of hairstyles to try. This issue also focuses on natural hair so whether you're thinking about transitioning or just need a few tips on how to care for your 'fro check it out.

My article this issue was on keeping your hair happy during the summer - and if you're lucky enough to still have some sun where you are there's loads of tips on how to keep a cool head. There's a sneak peek of my article below.

Have you got your copy?

Christine Stewart x

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Friday, 1 August 2014

Styling Short Relaxed Hair

This is one of my most read posts that I decided to revamp as the most common question I get from readers is how to style short hair in ways that don't cause damage. I started my relaxed hair journey in August 2010 with broken, uneven neck length hair. I couldn’t do much with this length, and having longer hair has made it easier to do low manipulation styles and generally let my hair be. That said, though styling short hair in healthy ways can be tricky, it is possible. You just have to be a lot more creative when finding work works.

Go heatless
Cutting the heat is really important and I know more than most that it's hard to give up those hot tools. The quicker you ditch them though, the easier it will be to prevent breakage. If you want straighter styles try roller setting to keep the heat to a minimum. If you're hair is too short to use rollers wet wrapping will be your best friend! When my hair was relaxed bone straight I didn't need to reach for my straighteners at all. I found simply smoothing the hair back with a gel (such as Aloe Vera) also really helped me disguise new growth.

Roll with it 
Instead of trying to work against your natural texture, work with it. This will make it easier to disguise new growth and I promise you won’t be fighting with your hair (as much if you’re anything like me) when it comes to styling. There are plenty of heatless styles you can try such as bantu knot outs, pin curls, twist outs, curlformers, bendy rollers and braid outs. I styled my shorter hair mostly like I do now - a lot of braid outs styled into messy buns. When I was at my shortest I would create a textured quiff or fringe (bangs) and use bobby to keep my ends off of my shoulders to protect them. You’d be surprised at how some careful pinning makes it look like you’ve got more length than you actually have.

Wig It
If you’re reluctant to do the above with your hair, extensions, half-wigs, drawstring ponytails, weaves, braids or twists are all an option to prevent hand-in-hair syndrome until you’ve got more length to work with. If you're going to rely on extensions etc please don't forget about your own hair underneath! There's a fine line between low maintenance and neglect - and I know about that all too well. 

Experimentation is key when it comes to finding the magic formula, and I’ve had my fair share of bad hair days (still do too) before landing on what works for me. As long as you’re not damaging your hair there’s no reason why discovering what works for you shouldn’t be an enjoyable experience. Have fun with it and take lots of photos! My one wish is that I took more photos when my hair was at it’s shortest.

Here are the few examples I could find of my hair in damage-free styles

(clockwise from left) Slicked back into low bun | Curlformers | Pincurls | Bendy rollers | Rollerset | Bantu knots

How do/did you style your short hair to keep it healthy?

Christine Stewart x

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Monday, 10 February 2014

Relaxing | Self Relaxer Preparation

This how I self-relax my hair with a no lye relaxer. Everything detailed here is a combination of my own personal experience with relaxers, what I've read online and from books. I am not a professional.

DO NOT relax on hair that is breaking or damaged.
If you are going to relax take the time to get your hair at it's best so you have the best results.
Do not try applying a relaxer yourself if you are not confident, please go to a professional instead.

Now let's begin, this is a pretty long post but I didn't want to miss anything...

The week before the day of your relaxer

3-7 days before relaxer day clarify to remove product build up and do the necessary conditioning treatments.
Relaxers break the hair's protein bonds, so it's good to do a protein treatment before relaxing.
Test porosity as low porosity hair might not relax and porous hair might be relaxed too easily. 
Hair needs to be fully dry and detangled 2 days before relaxer day as the scalp needs time to build up it's protective barrier (by producing sebum) to prevent scalp burns.
Do not comb or scratch the scalp as this causes damage leading to burns. 
Patch test. Section off about an inch of the hair, apply relaxer to the new growth and neutralise as normal. Take note of the results to guide how the relaxer will be applied on relaxer day.

Before the applying the relaxer

Read relaxer instructions!
Gather your tools before mixing the relaxer to make sure you have them all. You will need: plastic sectioning clips (not metal), an applicator brush/sprush, a plastic mixing bowl (optional), Vaseline or a protective base for the scalp, a thick conditioner or oil to protect previously relaxed ends, gloves and of course the relaxer kit. You will also need a timer and a old towel to put around your shoulders. 
Section the hair into 4 sections as shown in the relaxer instructions. You can make sections within the four sections to make the application process faster. 
Apply the protective base to your whole scalp but not on the hair as it will stop it from relaxing.
Apply oil/protective cream to previously relaxed hair.
Decide on your method of application i.e. self-relaxers might add oil to the relaxer in order to slow the process down and give themselves more time or have someone apply the relaxer to the back sections whilst they do the front. I use the half half method which involves relaxing half of your hair at a time. 

Applying the relaxer

If using no-lye, mix the relaxer until its a creamy, uniform consistency (usually for 1-2 minutes).
Start the timer!
Apply to the new growth only, one section at a time.
Start in areas that take longer to process. For me it's the middle so I start with one of the back sections and apply top to bottom. Try to rotate where you start relaxing i.e. if you last relaxed the left side first, start with the right side on your next relaxer.
Apply relaxer to the hairline/edges and nape last as these areas are the most delicate.
Most home relaxer instructions state to spend just 8 minutes in total applying the relaxer so you have to work quickly for an even result. 
SMOOTH SMOOTH SMOOTH. It's the smoothing process that makes the hair straight.
Aim for 80% straightness as 'bone straight' hair leaves the hair weaker.
Do not leave on until you feel burning! Your scalp should never burn.
Rinse with water and make sure ALL visible traces of the relaxer are gone before neutralising.
OPTIONAL: Before neutralising you can apply a protein treatment (leave 5 minutes extra to do this step).
Neutralise (with the shampoo that came in your relaxer kit). For the first use keep it on the hair for 5 minutes giving it time to neutralise. Rinse and apply again. Neutralising locks the hair in it's current state so keep smoothing the hair straight. Rinse and apply again. By this point you don't have to keep the hair straight.
Make sure all traces of the relaxer are gone before doing anything else. Some relaxer kits come with a colour indicator shampoo which I personally prefer as these let you know if the relaxer is still in your hair.
Protein step! As you've just broken your protein bonds by relaxing put it back to keep your hair strong.
MOISTURE MOISTURE MOISTURE. Use a moisturising deep conditioner after protein.
Test porosity. Relaxers dramatically lift the hair cuticle and porosity may have to be corrected.
Apply moisturiser/leave-in as normal and you're done!

Try to be gentle with your hair for the next week or so and monitor how well the relaxer process went. Another protein/moisturising treatment might be needed. Try to avoid heat as this could cause damage whilst your hair is in a weakened state.

By following these guidelines you should experience minimal breakage or damage.
Please don't use a relaxer before knowing how to apply it correctly and seek the advice of a professional. Relaxers are damaging, but it's the improper use of relaxers or not caring for your hair afterwards which can cause more problems.

Christine Stewart x
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Post updated & reposted 10/02/14

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

5 reasons your hair is breaking

I get a lot of emails usually from women who can't figure out why their hair is breaking. In most cases it relates to an imbalance of protein and moisture within the hair can be quite tricky to address. However there are also other common ways hair breakage occurs and it's usually simple tweaks that can limit the damage.

1 Rough Styling
Plain and simple, if you detangle too roughly or force your hair into tight styles it's going to break. Breakage tends happen along the nape and crown as the hair here is more delicate. Vary the positions of your ponytails and buns as wearing it in the same place day in day out creates tension which weakens the hair. Be careful to detangle from ends to roots to prevent snagging or snapping the hair too. Wide tooth combs or your fingers will do the least amount of damage so I rely on these more than brushes. Also be careful not to manipulate your hair too much when it's wet - as this is when it's most fragile. I tend to leave my hair alone completely until it's about 80% dry.

2 Hair tools
Certain clips, combs and hair bands can break the hair. It's usually styling accessories which are made with metal - bobby pins, clips, headbands - as these all have sharp edges which can catch on the hair. It's up to you if you continue to use these (I personally still use bobby pins) but be careful to put them into the hair gently. If you want gentler alternatives, look for products made of soft fabrics like hair bands made of silk or satin or you could just put a bit of oil or leave-in conditioner over your usual accessories.

3 Chemical processing
Overprocessing the hair with relaxers, hair dyes or perms will weaken the hair making it more likely to break. It's hard to reverse damage from overprocessing but increasing deep conditioning sessions will help. To avoid breakage reduce the amount of chemicals you put on your hair and how often you use them. For example, if you relax your hair every 6 weeks, try to wait until 8 weeks instead.

4 Heat abuse
You love the perfect blowout, smoothed out style or bouncy curls delivered from a barrel tong but too much heat styling wreaks havoc with those tresses. It depletes both protein and moisture levels and often we don't replenish these with enough deep conditioning sessions. If you must use heat regularly also do the necessary conditioning and moisturising to keep your hair in tip top shape. Limit your heat usage to once per week or less and you'll notice less breakage.

5 Thinning ends
Thin ends are often very fragile so break easier than the rest of your hair. Unfortunately once your ends are thin you're kind of limited with how much thickness you can regain. This means that often you have to cut out the thinness. I know first hand that it can be hard to let go of thinning ends, but once you cut them off you'll notice an instant improvement in breakage.

Of course there are other ways that breakage can occur but these are the main ways I've noticed

How do you prevent breakage?

Christine Stewart x

Thursday, 23 January 2014

DIY Hot Oil Treatment

There's now well and truly a chill in the air and the cold can be so harsh on our bodies, especially our hair. Each time the winter rolls around I rely on hot oil treatments more and more to inject some life back into my winter-beaten tresses. They're inexpensive and you can use as many oils as you like. I like to do hot oil treatments before shampooing on wash days - though you can use them as a deep conditioner too.

All you need is an oil of course, some bowls and a shower cap - oh and some time to spare too!

1 Grab your oil(s) of choice and measure out about 1-2 tablespoons into a bowl. My favourite oils to use are a mix of Coconut, Avocado and Sweet Almond oil

2 Warm the oil by placing the bowl it into another bowl filled with boiling water or you can just stick it in the microwave for 20 seconds

3 When it's cooled slightly so it's not too hot pour the oil a little at a time into your palms. Apply the oil generously to your ends and then start spreading to the rest of your strands. I tend to keep the oil off of my scalp as mine gets quite oily naturally. If your scalp is dry using oil can help nourish it and protect it from over stripping shampoos. 

4 Once applied clip your hair up and put on a shower cap to keep the heat in - or sit under a steamer if you have one

5 After 10-15 minutes rinse off and follow with shampoo and your usual wash routine

Have you tried a hot oil treatment? 

Christine Stewart x

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Post updated & reposted 23/01/14

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Coconut Oil

I started using Coconut Oil at the beginning of my hair journey back in August 2010. I barely used it and I knew so little about oils then that when winter rolled around and the Coconut Oil solidified, I threw it out because I thought something was wrong with it (FYI Coconut Oil is solid when kept at temperatures less than 75°F/24ºC)

Fast forward 3 years and I finally decided to buy it again. I now I can't imagine my hair regimen without Coconut Oil and feel so stupid for ever throwing this precious stuff in the bin. It has so many uses, for the hair, skin and body, but this post concentrates entirely on it's benefits on those tresses.

The Good Stuff
Coconut Oil is packed with vitamins which help keep the scalp and hair nourished. Coconut oil is one of the few oils which can actually penetrate the outer layer of the hair strand. It effectively holds in moisture and prevents protein loss. Coconut oil greatly benefits damaged or high porosity high, as these types absorb the oil when wet more readily than healthy hair. It is also claimed to help with hair growth and slow hair loss. I especially love that this oil provides all these benefits whilst being very lightweight and leaves the hair with a gorgeous shine.

Cold Pressed, Virgin, Unrefined?
You'll often see these terms to describe oils. The Coconut Oil I use is Virgin Coconut Oil which is unrefined and has been extracted using a cold pressing technique. Essentially what this means is nothing has been added to the oil - it's pure and totally natural. Cold pressing allows the oil to be extracted without any of the goodness being lost. Generally, if you want to get the most from your oil, I'd say go for something that is as close to it's natural form as possible by having the above qualities.

How I use it
I like to apply Coconut oil to damp hair before shampooing to protect my hair from the process. I love to scoop about a teaspoons worth into the palm of my hands and rub it together to warm it up. After it's melted, which usually takes a few seconds, I apply it to my hair. I start by generously saturating my ends with it and then move up to rest of my hair before giving my scalp a quick massage. I leave this on for 10 minutes or so, often with a plastic cap on to warm up the oil with the heat from my head.  

I love to use Coconut Oil pre shampoo as it prevents the hair strand from taking up too much moisture. When the hair is washed it swells to take in water and it contracts as it dries. I always emphasise the need for moisture in the hair but this repeated swelling and contracting of the hair strand during the washing process can cause damage over time. Coconut Oil therefore protects the hair from overswelling making it an effective pre shampoo treatment.

Where to buy?
Coconut Oil can be found in supermarkets or health food stores. I'm currently using The Groovy Food Company Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (£6/260ml) which I purchased from

Do you use Coconut Oil?
Christine Stewart x

Thursday, 2 January 2014

What is texlaxing?

Instead of processing my hair bone straight I purposely underprocess my hair to leave some texture which is called 'texlaxing'. Texlaxing is done with a relaxer, there isn't a product I'm aware of called a 'texlaxer'.

Why did I start texlaxing?
I first started texlaxing my hair by mistake in 2011. I wanted healthier hair and I was so scared of overprocessing I started leaving the relaxer on for less time. The result was slightly textured roots. At first I hated my texlaxed hair. To me it looked odd and, weirdly, damaged next to my bone straight hair. It was actually healthier than my straight hair, but I ended up trying to 'correct' it by reapplying a relaxer to the underprocessed parts. I did this several times but I never managed to successfully correct the texlaxed areas. The same areas even now are still texlaxed and this led to an impromptu transition to texlaxed hair. I love my texlaxed hair now and eventually want to cut off all the bone straight parts. 

What are the benefits of texlaxing?
Texlaxed hair is stronger than bone straight relaxed hair. When you relax your hair bone straight all of the protein bonds are cut and this leaves the hair significantly weaker than in it's natural state. This means when you reach for the heat, style roughly or neglect it, the hair can be damaged more easily. By leaving your hair with some strength it can resist damage better. Also, the point where your texlaxed and new growth meet (line of demarcation) isn't so pronounced so it's less likely to break.

What are the cons of texlaxing?
(These apply to those who choose to transition from relaxed to texlaxed hair)
- 3+ textures which can be difficult to blend
- Moisturising regularly is key or you might see breakage where the different textures meet
- Texlaxed hair is different to the bone straight ends so may require different treatment or products
- The texture (or lack of) of your ends might make them look thinner than the rest of your hair

How do you texlax?
- Use a mild relaxer rather than super or medium strength
- Put oil on your hair or in the relaxer itself to prevent it processing fully
- Leave the relaxer on your hair for less than the recommended time
- Skip the smoothing process which makes the hair straight
- Use only some of the activator liquid for no-lye kits

Have you heard of texlaxing?

Christine Stewart x

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Post updated & reposted 02/01/2014