Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Giveaway Winner!

The Firelina winner as drawn at random  is comment number 6 - Shirley C! Congratulations, please email me your postal address. Find my email in the About Section to the right!

You must send it to me within one week to claim your prize!
 

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Long 4c Natural Hair Case Study: MsTanish1

Tanish of MsTanish1 on youtube is the featured case study. She is one of those long term naturals having had her natural hair for over 10 years. She is one to play around with weaves and wigs as well as rocking her own natural hair.

I do find it amazing that she manages to fit all of her natural hair under a weave...the great part though is that if you want to know how she does, there is a video for it!

She is definitely generous when it comes to sharing information and you will find answers to her routine and methods in videos or within the descriptions attached to the videos.

Here are her stats in the usual case study format!



Long 4C Natural Hair Case Study: MsTanish1

HAIR PROPERTIES
Hair Length Between BSL and Waist length
ShrinkageMedium to Low (BSL to Shoulder Length)
Strand Thickness  Thick
Overall Hair Density High Density with some medium density at the nape
Time Taken to Reach Longest Length No clear point. Intentionally started growing her hair in 2009 but has been natural for 10 years


HAIR MAINTENANCE
Styling for Length Retention Protective style - generally twisted styles worn for about 4 - 5 weeks at a time.
Moisturising Routine Moisturises hair in twists by applying a small amount of water, leave in conditioner and oil. This is done 1-2 times a week guided by how dry hair feels.
Detangling Method Dry finger detangling and conditioner combing with a wide tooth comb.
Washing Routine Once every 4-5 weeks. Never washes her hair while in a protective style. Never co-washes
Trimming Routine Dusting only


TRIED, TESTED AND FAILED
Washing hair in loose two strand twists Caused tangling


Embedding is disabled on  the video I really wanted to show you but here is a link to it. It is one of her most detailed and helpful videos on her method of maintaining her 4c hair.

Tanish's Length Retention Regimen

As a substitute, here is a video of her styling her loose two strand twists.



The data in the table above is compiled from the following sources
1. MsTanish1 on Youtube


*Disclaimer: Please note that hair typing is NOT a science, for the purpose of this series, the people featured are identified solely by me (Jc) as having 4c hair characterised by a tight curl and high shrinkage. Many people with 4c hair may identify their hair as 4a/4b if they are following the actual book reference for hair type which does not include 4c. 4c was created by natural hair forums to describe high shrinkage hair

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Can you really wash your hair with bentonite or rhassoul clay: A science experiment

After the previous experiment on co-washing, my fellow blogger and natural hair afficionado Milan suggested that I should do the same experiment with bentonite or rhassoul clay which are available on their own or as components in the popular mudwashes! Thank you Milan, because any excuse to break out my microscope is fantastic.

I promptly (literally the next day) purchased my clays from my local UK store Sheabutter Cottage (waves to the wonderful Akua!) and I finally got the results last night after a bit of bother with the microscope which needs a light bulb replacement, darn thing!

The Experiment
I used my own shed hair and imaged it:
-on its own without any washing
- washed with shampoo only (2 minute water rinse, 2 minute shampoo wash, 2 minute water rinse and air dried for 4 hours)
- washed with shampoo only (2 minute water rinse, 2 minute shampoo wash, 2 minute water rinse and air dried for 4 hours)  
-washed with bentonite clay only ( 2 minute water rinse, 2 minute bentonite clay wash (pre-mixed clay with water), 2 minute water rinse and air dried for 4 hours)
-washed with rhassoul clay only ( 2 minute water rinse, 2 minute rhassoul clay wash (pre-mixed clay with water), 2 minute water rinse and air dried for 4 hours)


The Results

1. The Controls - Oily Hair and Shampooed Hair

I redid this two controls for this experiment because you always have to have a baseline of what the hair looks like prior to washing and what it looks like with a proper wash. You can therefore judge the clay washes in context of dirty and clean hair.

Unwashed hair - Oily hair for comparison

Shampooed Hair - Clean hair for comparison



2. Bentonite Clay Wash

Never having used bentonite clay, I was really surprised by how it felt, almost silky when you mix it into a paste. The cleanliness level was approximately the same as a co-wash with most of the oil layer removed and a few remnants still visible.

Bentonite clay washed hair  - Most of the oil is removed with some remnants indicated in the white circles


3. Rhassoul Clay Wash

Rhassoul did not really turn into a silky paste in the way bentonite clay did but it pretty much had a similar cleansing level. I would also rate the oil removal from hair by rhassoul clay as similar to a co-wash with most of the oil removed and some remnants visible.

Rhassoul clay washed hair - Most of the oil is removed but some remnants (white circle) remain


Conclusion
You can indeed clean your hair or to be specific, remove oil from your hair with bentonite or rhassoul clay and the level of removal is similar to co-washing!

Additional notes:
Running warm water was used for all washes. In each wash or rinse,  hair was rubbed gently to simulate normal hair washing. Hair conditioner - L'oreal Eversleek Smoothing Conditioner, Shampoo - Herbal Essences Dazzling Shine Shampoo.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Giveaway: Firelina Clothing

THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED

Here is another giveway for you this Monday. This giveaway is open worldwide! Firelina is a clothing company which makes graphic shirts and hats. Some of the designs are based around natural hair themes and some are just pretty graphics. Here are the business details:


The Business: Firelina
The Owner: Regina Roberts
Location: NYC, USA
Where can you find the products: firelina.com

This giveaway is for one t-shirt (image below) from Firelina. The shirt is available in US sizes S-XL and the winner of the giveaway may pick the shirt size of their choice

Firelina Graphic Tee


Rules

1. Firelina ships worldwide and therefore this giveaway is also open worldwide!
2. You must be over 18 or have the permission of your parent or guardian if you are under 18 to enter this giveaway. Only one entry per person.
3. You must follow this blog to to be eligible to enter. Twitter, facebook, google connect and bloglovin, feedly are all acceptable.

How to Enter

To enter the giveaway simply leave a comment on the blog with a one sentence reason of why you want to win AND also how you follow the blog, for example:

'I would like a new t-shirt for summer. I follow the blog on  twitter.'

Closing Date and Winner
 
This giveaway will close at 10pm (UK time) on Monday 3rd Mar, 2014. The winner will be selected at random and announced on Wednesday 26th Mar, 2014. The winner must provide their shipping address within one week via email. Firelina will send you the products directly.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Long 4c Natural Hair Case Study: Chery818

Chery818 is a youtuber of Haitian descent who has catalogued her natural hair for several years. I have selected her as the case study feature as her shrinkage is quite atypical for 4c hair. Her hair will shrink but because she controls it very well (e.g washing hair in sections and in twists, styling in stretched styles), she does not really ever showcase complete tightly shrunk hair.

She is also the author of one of the most detailed finger detangling videos which is a must have for anyone attempting to finger detangle for the first time or intending to try it exclusively. She does not by any means vlog on a set schedule but the few videos she puts up are always informative and honest.

Here are her stats in the usual case study format!



Long 4C Natural Hair Case Study: Chery818

HAIR PROPERTIES
Hair Length Between BSL and Waist length
ShrinkageMedium to Low (BSL to Shoulder Length)
Strand Thickness  Thick
Overall Hair Density High Density
Time Taken to Reach Longest Length Not clear because she has been natural for approximately 9 years but no fixed point when she started growing her hair long intentionally


HAIR MAINTENANCE
Styling for Length Retention Protective style - generally twisted styles worn for about 2, 3 or 4 weeks at a time
Moisturising Routine Does not have a set routine, but states it is important
Detangling Method Dry finger detangling exclusively (does use combs for parting and styling)
Washing Routine No set schedule, Generally once every 2,3 or 4 weeks
Trimming Routine Only cuts knots or split ends (search and destroy)


TRIED, TESTED AND FAILED
Medium and fine tooth combs and detangling wet hair Caused knotting and breakage

The selected highlight video from her channel, definitely has to be her finger detangling video!




The data in the table above is compiled from the following sources
1. Chery818 on Youtube



*Disclaimer: Please note that hair typing is NOT a science, for the purpose of this series, the people featured are identified solely by me (Jc) as having 4c hair characterised by a tight curl and high shrinkage. Many people with 4c hair may identify their hair as 4a/4b if they are following the actual book reference for hair type which does not include 4c. 4c was created by natural hair forums to describe high shrinkage hair

Friday, 21 February 2014

Does co-washing really clean your hair? A scientific experiment!

Shampoo is designed to remove oil and dirt ( dirt in the form of particles, dust, lint etc stick to the oil coating on hair). In the process of doing this, shampoo can make hair feel dry. This effect has prompted some naturals to take up conditioner washing or co washing as it is popularly known and even go as far as just washing hair with water only. There are constant questions about whether co-washing or water only washing can actually clean hair. I therefore decided to crack my microscope out again in an attempt to answer this.

The Experiment

I used my own shed hair and imaged it:
-on its own without any washing
-washed with water only (5 minute wash and air dried for 4 hours)
-washed with conditioner only ( 2 minute water rinse, 2 minute conditioner wash, 2 minute water rinse and air dried for 4 hours)
- washed with shampoo only (2 minute water rinse, 2 minute shampoo wash, 2 minute water rinse and air dried for 4 hours)

The Results

1. Unwashed shed hair
I use a crazy amount of coconut oil because I like it, use it daily and swim and wash my hair 3 times a week. I knew before imaging that my hair would be the ideal oily hair sample because I have been imaging my hair for a while now! I did not add any additional oil to my hair prior to imaging (can you believe that!)

Unwashed super oily hair

My oily hair



2.Water wash only

Water washed hair actually seemed just to spread the oil more evenly over the surface of the hair. It really did not look any less oily than unwashed hair. I guess you may even say it is a good method to moisturise hair by spreading the oil evenly over the hair (oil rinsing perhaps?).

Hair washed with water only. An oily film is clear to see.

3. Co-washed hair
Conditioner washing cleaned hair to a pretty good level. Overall the thick oil coating of unwashed hair was gone. There were portions where you could see remnants of oil but I would say that 90% of the visible oil layer was gone.


Co-washed hair - within the circle are visible oil deposits

Co-washed hair - For the vast part, very free of the oil layer

4. Shampooed hair
Shampooing resulted in the cleanest hair with no visible oil deposits left on the hair strands.

Shampooed hair - oil free and super clean

Clean shampooed hair
  
Conclusions
I am pretty surprised that co-washing could actually provide a pretty decent level of cleaning. While, I was expecting some cleansing, I did not think it would be as good as it came out. I would however say that build up in the form of hair conditioner deposits is not visible under my microscope but can happen over time, so, even if you are a firm co-washer, the occasional shampoo will not do you any harm.

Shampoo remains the best way to cleanse oil from hair while water washing is pretty ineffective.


Additional notes:
Running warm water was used for all washes. In each wash or rinse,  hair was rubbed gently to simulate normal hair washing. Hair conditioner - L'oreal Eversleek Smoothing Conditioner, Shampoo - Herbal Essences Dazzling Shine Shampoo.

Please do note that under the microscope we can see oil layers but we do not see small deposits on hair e.g hair conditioner deposits (well you actually could see them with specialised instruments but not with my microscope!). Strictly speaking this experiment will answer the question, how well will washing method X remove oil from hair.


So which method are YOU going to choose to cleanse your hair ?

Friday, 14 February 2014

Long 4c Natural Hair Case Study: Chinwe - Healthy Hair and Body

Chinwe or Loo of Healthy Hair and Body is our long 4c case study of the day. She is one of the most versatile 4c naturals that you could find and styles her hair seemingly effortlessly in every style from twists, twist outs, straight hair, buns, updos and even the absolute no no for most long 4c naturals.....the wash and go!

She has an active blog and is a really good researcher too. She cites scientific journals all the time and has even beaten me to new information several times! She is worth a look both for the gorgeous hair and her great content!

Here are her stats in the usual case study format!


Long 4C Natural Hair Case Study: Chinwe - Healthy Hair and Body

HAIR PROPERTIES
Hair Length Waist length
ShrinkageVery High - Waist length to around 4-5 inches long
Strand Thickness  Mostly medium and some fine
Overall Hair Density Medium
Time Taken to Reach Longest Length Approximately 4 years


HAIR MAINTENANCE
Styling for Length Retention Protective style - generally twisted styles worn for about 3 weeks at a time
Moisturising Routine Avoid midweek wetting of hair unless necessary. Utilise a good wash and leave in routine to maintain moisture for a week at a time
Detangling Method Once every 3-4 weeks. Mainly use a wide tooth comb with fingers used to separate initially but not as main detangling method
Washing Routine Pre-shampoo with oil (8hrs+) . Hair washed weekly in twists and once every 3-4 weeks, twists are fully undone to wash hair.. Hair washed in sections.
Trimming Routine
Mostly a dusting routine but does trim if hair growth becomes stagnant.



The data in the table above is compiled from the following sources
1. Chinwe's blog - Healthy Hair and Body
2. Her fotki page


*Disclaimer: Please note that hair typing is NOT a science, for the purpose of this series, the people featured are identified solely by me (Jc) as having 4c hair characterised by a tight curl and high shrinkage. Many people with 4c hair may identify their hair as 4a/4b if they are following the actual book reference for hair type which does not include 4c. 4c was created by natural hair forums to describe high shrinkage hair