Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Giveaway Winner + Product Recommendations For Transitioners

 [Photography by: Ajani Truth - Styling: Kia Chenelle]
First I would like to announce the winner of the Rachel Stewart Giveaway! *Drumroll Please* YaHighness 
Please contact me at: with your mailing address to claim your prize! - A big thank you to Rachel of Rachel Stewart Jewelry for hosting, and everyone who entered!

Also, I am doing a series of posts [Guest Blogging] for Wedding Soiree! A fabulous wedding site founded by a group of premier wedding planners in Atlanta. Check them out, and check out my newest post: The Four Week Wedding Boot Camp Your Hair Will Thank You For - I hope this comes in handy for any bride to be out there!

---------------------- Now On To The Deets

The needs of relaxed and transitioning hair is different from the needs of hair that is natural. This is due in part to the structure of the hair. Hair that has been chemically treated is susceptible to a bevy of issues; most notably keratin loss, cuticle damage, and hair that is overly porous. Due to these changes in the structure of the hair, some products formulated for natural hair may leave your relaxed or transitioning hair with less than desirable results [sticky, stiff, matted, dry]. Because of this, I decided to comprise a short but useful list of products to ease your transition period.

Co-Washing Conditioner
Some of you may already be familiar with the term co-washing. For those that aren't, co-washing is a method of cleansing the hair without using shampoo. Shampoo on the relaxed portion of your hair could cause excess tangles, matting, and dryness. Because of this, a conditioner is used in lieu of shampoo to gently cleanse the scalp while imparting moisture to thirsty strands. How often you co-wash depends on the state of your hair [is it fine and oily or thick and dense?]. Some transitioners opt to co-wash every other day [I co-washed every 3-days] which can get expensive if you are using moderately priced conditioners.

Stocking up on inexpensive yet effective brands can save money in your pocket, as well as ease some of your transitioning woes. - My favorite co-washing conditioner [and the favorite of many transitioners] is V05 Strawberries & Cream Moisture Milks - For $1.00 a bottle [and less in many stores], you can stock up on an effective co-wash conditioner without the guilt.

I recommend using an actual shampoo about twice a month while transitioning. This is because the agents from the conditioner can cause buildup on your tresses. As we know, buildup can create a barrier along the hair shaft locking moisture out, which makes for dry, stiff and brittle hair. This is the last thing you want whilst transitioning, as the line of demarcation [where your relaxed hair and natural hair meets] is very delicate and prone to breakage if not properly moisturized. However it doesn't stop there, for best results seek out a shampoo that is sulfate free, this is a lot better for your transitioning hair as it gently cleanses your strands without stripping it of it's natural oils. 

As you can see, the underlying theme here is moisture. You need to keep your transitioned hair as moisturized as possible to prevent unnecessary breakage. I highly recommend Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo.

Shampoo Tip: Focus on the scalp while shampooing. The scalp and new growth tends to have a lot more oil versus the relaxed hair which has a tendency to be a little on the dry side. As the water rinses away the shampoo, it will gently cleanse the shaft of the hair as well. Lightly agitate the shaft of the hair while rinsing to distribute shampoo. 

You can opt to use your co-washing conditioner, which is great if you want to simplify the amount of products in rotation. Or you can choose another conditioner which is a bit more moisturizing; my favorite for transitioning hair is Aussie Moist. It does a wonderful job at delivering moisture to your new growth making it soft, moisturized and easy to manage. Aussie Moist also hydrates your relaxed hair and improves combability which is a major plus.

Deep Conditioner:
Deep conditioning treatments are essential to every effective total regimen. I have a lot of relaxed & transitioning friends who swear by Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose. So much so, that I decided to give it a try as well [review soon!]. Honeysuckle Rose is extremely thick  and ultra hydrating which is a no-brainer that I would recommend this as the deep conditioner of choice. Use this product once weekly with heat to intensify the moisturizing benefits. 

Protein Treatment: 
One of the single most important products you will buy [aside from a moisturizer] is a protein treatment. This will fortify the hair near the line of demarcation which helps prevent breakage. The line of demarcation has a tendency to be more fragile than the rest of your hair, and can break-off just from combing and styling alike. Protein treatments helps replenish protein lost from chemical and thermal services. After a protein treatment, your hair will temporarily mimic that of healthy hair [at least until you need another treatment]. A good protein treatment would be the Aphogee 2 minute product. It's tried and true, and strong enough for to properly fortify your relaxed hair.

Leave-In Conditioner:
Keeping with our theme of moisture, it's imperative to have a hydrating leave-in. Again, for those wishing to simply and save on cash, you can use your regular conditioner as a leave-in. A word of caution if you do this, go easy on the product. Too much could easily cause a white filmy residue on your strands leaving you with hair that lacks body and attracts dirt. My absolute favorite leave-in for relaxed hair is Rusk Smoother, Passionflower and Aloe Leave-In. This product is light enough to wear under free flowing styles [like braid outs and twist outs], yet hydrating enough to leave your hair touchably soft and manageable.

This is the product you can use in between co-washing & shampoo sessions to make managing your hair on a day-to-day basis a lot easier. While moisturizers obviously impart moisture to your strands, they can also help prevent breakage and splitting from mechanical damage [mechanical damage= Damage due to combing, brushing and excess manipulation] by easing manageability. It may sound strange, but one of my favorite moisturizers to use on transtioning hair is S-Curl Curl Activator. I promise you won't look like Darryl from Coming To America. It hydrates your relaxed hair without leaving it gummy, sticky and hard like a lot of moisturizers formulated for natural hair tends to do. S-Curl Curl Activator will leave your new growth soft, shiny, manageable and ultra moisturized along with the relaxed section of your hair.

In order to keep your hair hydrated longer, reach for an oil to seal in the moisture. Oil creates a barrier on the hair shaft which greatly improves moisture retention. Jojoba Oil is a wonderful choice for both transitioners and natural's alike, as it is light enough for daily use and it most closely resembles the structure of sebum [the oil your body produces to nourish and lubricate your skin/hair] .

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  1. Yay! I'm getting married August 2011 ;0) I'm going to read your post on wedding hair as I plan on doing mine myself since we are having a destination wedding and I don't want to leave my style up to chance with the hotel stylist ;0? lol


  2. Great recommendations; we all need to find what works for us in the end. I'm transitioning and it is a challenge to find what my natural & relax hair likes; and can both thrive on, but I'm getting to that point. Thanks.

  3. Excellent transitioning tips. :) Although I have not fully and completely bought into co-washing, I did purchase a cleansing conditioner that I like. It is Curl Junkie Cleansing Conditioner. It's rather pricey, but, it works.

    Re: S-Curl Activator: I've contemplated this product, along with Sta-Sof-Fro. I might just have to visit my local BSS and purchase a bottle of S-Curl.

    Re: Jojoba oil: Of all the oils with which I have experimented, jojoba oil has given my transitioning hair the best results.

  4. Dope!
    Hey Nik,
    My friend styled this pic...yeah yeah!! lol

  5. Nikole, the post on Wedding Soiree is dope!! Thanks! It helps for a bride-to-be like me!!! Keep it up!

  6. I so appreciate your website! I'm in the 4th month of transitioning and I log onto your site every day! I always find helpful information. Thank you!!! :o)

  7. trader joe's nourish spa is good for cowashing.

  8. OMG! THATS MY COUSIN IN THAT PICTURTE~!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'M Calling her right now to tell her shes on your blog!!!!!

  9. @Lipstick Diva; Congrats on the upcoming wedding! I feel you on that. Your wedding day is definitely not the time for experimenting with new hairstylists!

    @Tanisa (Olivia) Rossi; Thank you! And you are right about that, we definitely have to find that rotation of products that works for us. Best of luck on your journey.; Co-washing is definitely not for everyone. There are some people that love it, and some people that find it's more trouble than what it's worth! A cleansing conditioner is definitely a great alternative! - Try out the S-curl product and see how you like it, for a couple of bucks you can't beat it.

    @jeneen nicole; Word? What's her name? I absolutely love everything piece the model is wearing!

    @LaTisha; Thank you! And congrats on the upcoming wedding!

    @robinsonm727; Thank you very much for supporting! I truly appreciate it! I am glad you are able to find information here to help you on your journey!!

    @simplychic; that stuff is really on my radar right now!

    @Stewvell WHAT??!?!?! She is GORGEOUS!!!

    @Quinnii; I absolutely LOVE this photo of you! You look amazing! I hope you have a blog I could stalk! LOL If you do have a blog or website, let me know and I will link this photo back to you :-)

  10. She is quite gorgeous. When I lived near her, she used to help me shop and picked out my clothes. lol I'm fashionably challenged. I was seriously excited to see her picture on your blog...which is one of my favorite blogs by the way. ^_^

  11. can I use S-Curl Activator in the fall and winter months?

  12. This is so helpful. I just about gave up hope on my hair :-/


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