TreLuxe Natural Hair Product Review

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I'm a product junkie.

More specifically, I'm a small business product junkie.

Ladies, there are some AMAZING products out there that I've covered consistently on the blog and even shared on NaturallyCurly.com. I will always and forever continue to support natural hair small businesses because I believe in them. Not only are the products incredibly unique, well thought out, and crafted with love, but they are made by women (and some men too) who know our hair best -- because they are naturally curly too. They know and understand what ingredients we don't like, and what we look for products to be able to do. And many of them are involved in initiatives beyond natural hair, aimed at making our communities (and world) a better place:

Like TreLuxe.

TreLuxe is a socially conscious natural hair and beauty care brand founded by husband and wife duo Courtney and Kiprono Sigali. They have focused their brand not only on natural haircare, but on community-based initiatives to educate, support, encourage, and meet the needs of girls and women beyond hair.

TreLuxe hair products are designed to give ladies with natural hair a premium upscale product experience, combining wholesome ingredients and Active Botanicals to alleviate our hair woes -- from dryness to curl definition. Currently, the TreLuxe line consists of four products -- Untie the Knot Nourishing Leave-In Conditioner, Curl Supreme Styling Cream, ReFlex Curl Styling Serum, and Hi! Definition Curl Enhancer Styling Gel. I was too excited to try out the TreLuxe line -- so let's get on with the review.

To learn more about TreLuxe and their Untie The Knot Leave-In, ReFlex Curl Serum, Hi! Definition Curl Enhancer, and Curl Supreme Styling Cream, head on over to NaturallyCurly.com!

Max Hydration Method Update: Days 4, 5 and 6

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Sometimes, the pictures really do speak for themselves.

I can't believe it's almost day 7!!! Currently, I'm on day 6 of the MHM, rocking my 2nd day wash and go hair. I started off a skeptic, but now I'm a believer! My hair looks great, feels healthy, and I was ble to cut my wash day down to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Yes. I decided to lump all of these days together, because they were well, kind of a blur. They all worked in tandem to bring my hair to the point it's currently at. Keep reading for more!

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And to think, just a few weeks ago this was a fuzzy, undefined mess that tangled and broke like the dickens!

Pros:
1. My problem areas are almost solved. I went into the Max Hydration Method Challenge seeking some sort of help for my dry, rough ends, my frizzy front/center area, and my definition-less crown. Immediately on day 1, my ends were whipping themselves into shape. By days 2 and 3, the crown and front/center were getting themselves together. Now that I'm at day 6, the front/center area's problems are virtually solved. The area still shrinks more than the back half and sides of my hair, but it isn't as disrespectful, the frizz is abated, and it has even started to curl. Yes, curl. I used to think the front/center of my hair didn't curl at all -- that it was just some awkward deep wave. But I guess there was a curl somewhere in there waiting to be let out!

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Look right above my necklace. It's curling!!!
The frizzy, breakage-prone crown area of my hair is almost totally defined, which baffles and astounds me. I had always written that section off as un-tameable, and to see it almost completely defined (minus the last inch and a half or so closest to the root) has me shocked and taken aback.

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Yes, that's a stain on my shirt. Yes, I always spill food on my clothes. But them curls though!
2. Definition is off the chain! My hair has never really been super difficult to define, I just used to have to use the WHOLE DANG BOTTLE of curl definer just to get it to act right. Seriously. In my stash, I've got at least 4-5 bottles and jars where there's only a corner or a few pumps left, because I practically emptied the container on one wash and go. My hair ain't that darn thick, or that darn long. It just took a lot of product to beat some of my frizzy problem areas (up there in #1) into submission. But as I've continued on this MHM challenge/journey, I've noticed myself using a whoooole lot less product and getting a whooooole lot more definition. For example:

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2 wash & go's  and a spill later...and I've still got ALL THIS!
Yes, that's the new Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker. Yes, it does cost $22. But with me using less product, this actually becomes affordable, because I only need to buy it every 2 months -- and that's only if I use it every time. In totality though, a little bit of product is certainly going a long way in creating tons of definition that lasts.

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Day 1 wash & go with the new Curl Maker, about 80% dry (my roots were damp)

3. I think I found my HG definer (gasp!) Speaking of Curl Maker....I can't believe what I'm about to say. I think I might have found *the one*. I'm lollygagging and filibustering even writing what comes next, because I don't want to believe it. But I guess it's true -- I've found my Holy Grail curl definer. For now. The one product I've used most consistently and gotten the best results with is the new Curl Maker. This doesn't mean I don't love my other curl definers (I'm looking at you Obia, Kurlee Belle, and TGIN), it just means that....I love the new Curl Maker more. In all honesty, I hated the old Curl Maker. I couldn't pair it with anything without getting frizz, flakes, and dry-feeling hair. New Curl Maker? Total opposite.


So yeah, it's my number-one go-to right now, and for the forseable future.

4. My products are lasting, and it makes me happy and sad. I'll be honest -- I'm saving tons of money here. Diluting Tresemme Naturals Conditioner (which only costs like $5 anyway) with water and adding baking soda (a whopping 67 cents) is like, a frugalista's dream. The bentonite clay, which lasts forever is under $10. My deep conditioners and curl definers may cost a little more, but they last so much longer. I'm having a real crisis here -- I'm barely able to empty out containers anymore. The Tresemme moves regularly, because I use it twice each wash day (diluted with baking soda, and again after rinsing my clay for added softness). But I JUST emptied one Eden BodyWorks Jojoba Monoi Deep Conditioner on day 5, after 4 uses. 4 very, heavy-handed thorough uses. I used to get 2 uses per each jar, now they're lasting twice as long. The end result? I CAN'T BUY NEW PRODUCTS! From a financial perspective, it's great. From a product junkie perspective, it's horrible. Creating space for new products in my stash is a painstakingly slow process. I want more deep conditioners, but I have ABSOLUTELY NO ROOM. Ditto for definers. Woe is me. 

Cons:
1. Frizz tones down the volume and "big hair" look. Because my hair is so well-defined, the frizz that created so much volume is virtually nonexistent. But I guess that's a good problem to have, right? I could diffuse, tease, or just wait for day 2 and 3 to get extra bigness. I'm not big on teasing, so I diffused on day 5 just to create some extra oomph on first day hair:

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I like diffused hair, I just lack the patience to do it regularly.
Related: I diffused my hair, and I liked it!

2. I might have to let go of some of my beloved products. I think this might hurt more than my products lasting longer. At the end of the Max Hydration Method (I'm giving myself until the wash day after day 7 to think about it), I'll be making some tough-ish choices about my regimen. Can I make it without silicones? Will I really be getting rid of some of my faves? I'm on the fence. If I get rid of cones, I'll be eliminating like half of my product stash. That means no more TGIN Triple Moisture Replenishing Conditioner or Honey Miracle Hair Mask. No Eva Nyc Therapy Session Hair Mask. No Hydratherma Naturals Amino Plus Protein. No TGIN Shampoo. No LRC Shake & Go. No Infusium. No ApHogee. No Ouidad Moisture Lock Leave-In. Lawdamercy!

And finally, what would this update post be without a few tips and hacks that I've uncovered to make going through the Max Hydration Method a little easier?

MHM Hacks


1. Vinyl Gloves. For the love of Jesus, please invest in a box of vinyl gloves. I picked up on this tip months ago from +PrincessLinzz on Instagram, incorporated it temporarily, and forgot all about it. Then, I found myself watching a +Monica Stevens video where she used vinyl gloves on her friend's hair (something about curl restoration I think) and went digging in my closet. Aha! Yes! Vinyl gloves to the rescue! Vinyl gloves are great, because they enhance the slip of any product you're using, decreasing the resistance and eliminating snagging between your fingers, the product, and your hair. I was able to do my baking soda cleansing and detangle my hair in 22 minutes. That Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea Masque that has like, no slip? I was able to work that through my hair drama-free, and the gloves even made it feel like it had slip. Same thing with the clay. Vinyl gloves contributed significantly to cutting down on the amount of time wash day took me.

2. Multitask. If you can, organize tasks you need to complete around wash day. Day 6 for me was actually Sunday morning before church -- the ultimate time crunch challenge. I didn't let the baking soda rinse sit in my hair for extra time, because it was sitting in my hair the entire time while I was detangling. While deep conditioning, I made my bed and began organizing what I was going to wear to church. Instead of sitting around with the clay in my hair, I slapped it in and hopped in the shower. While showering and washing my face, I let the clay sit and take in the steam for about 15 minutes before rinsing. From the moment I started with the baking soda conditioner concoction, to styling with my leave-in and gel, I completed wash day in 1.5 hours. That's a wash day record, period. Max Hydration Method, or otherwise.

3. It's OK to skip a day. Remember back on day 3 when I skipped a day, and hoped I didn't have to start back over? Yes, my hair was a bit of a mess on the day I did skip, but the good news is that I didn't have to start all over. So if you have a day where you need to wash and you've run out of clay, or don't have time for all the steps, you can pick right back up where you left off on the next wash day without any major setbacks.

Stay tuned for day 7 and my final thoughts! I'll also be doing a Max Hydration Method FAQ and Myths & Facts, so we can get everything straight!

Related:

4 Things All Transitioners Should Do for Healthy Hair and Less Breakage


As you all know, I'm not a tremendous fan of regimens. Never have, and I probably never will be. There's something incredibly banal about using the exact same products, in the exact same order, the exact same way, on the exact same day every week. One way or another, some thangs have got to switch up! Even while I'm on this Max Hydration Method journey, I still find ways to keep it interesting -- whether it be through switching up my leave in, curl definer, or deep conditioner.

But that's neither here nor there. This post is all about transitioning! I'm keeping my Q&A series going with the following question I got via Instagram (thanks @princess_dejaaaa):

What regimen should transitioners follow in order to 
keep their hair healthy and have less breakage?

Although I just told ya'll previously that I don't believe in regimens like that, I do believe there are some general parameters transitioners should follow to treat the line of demarcation with care, avoid breakage and further damage, maximize growth, and strike a healthy balance between trimming and length retention.Without further delay, here is my list of 4 things all transitioners should do on a regular basis (with suggested time frames for each):

Rehydrate Hair Between Wash Days (daily - every 2 or 3 days)


Properly hydrated hair is stronger and more elastic, which helps prevent breakage and allows your transitioning tresses to better withstand the manipulation caused by texture blending styles (like twist & curls, bantu knots, braidouts). Properly hydrated hair also frizzes less, because the hair is not looking to grab water from the air, because there has been enough absorbed into the strands already. How do you make sure your hair is continually hydrated between wash days? Here are my 3 favorite methods:
1. Q Redew: As a transitioner (and now as a natural), I love to gently rehydrate with the Q-Redew. The steamer is perfect for gently infusing moisture into the hair without making it wet all over again. After using the Q-Redew, locking the water in with a creamy, water-based moisturizer helps seal the deal. I recommend Camille Rose Naturals Fresh Curl or Curl Love Moisture Milk, TreLuxe Curl Supreme Styling Cream, Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea Pudding Souffle, and CURLS Creme Brulee.
2. DIY Spray & Seal: If you don't own a Q-Redew, this is the next best thing. A DIY, water-based spray mixing water, your favorite conditioner, and a light moisturizer (essential oils optional) is perfect for waking up, refreshing, and rehydrating transitioning hair. My personal recipe is (in a 2oz spray bottle): fill the bottle 3/4 of the way with water, add in 1 short squeeze of Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner, and 3 pumps of Camille Rose Naturals Fresh Curl. Shake and enjoy! This recipe is enough to last for a few days. I don't recommend making more than 2oz at a time, so as to not impact the preservatives in the products. Lock in the hydration with any of the products mentioned in option #1.

3.Store-Bought Spritzes: My favorite spray for rehydrating right now is the Ouidad Botanical Boost. Prior to embarking on this Max Hydration Method journey, I would also use ApHogee Curlific Moisture Rich Leave-In and It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin. But the last two have cones, which I must avoid for the time being. Just like options 1 and 2, following them up with a moisturizing and sealing product like the ones mentioned in #1.

Deep Condition Regularly (weekly - every 2 weeks)

Every time you wash your hair, you need to deep condition to maintain strength, elasticity, and water levels inside of the hair. Deep conditioning will also help smooth cuticles and make hair softer and more manageable while preventing breakage. It can even temporarily repair damaged patches in your relaxed/heat damaged ends (it won't make them curl, but it it will keep them from breaking off). Of all things, deep conditioning is the single step that will practically guarantee the improved and sustained health of your hair. You don't have to deep condition every single time you cleanse your hair, but I do recommend that you take some time out (20 - 30 minutes max) at minimum every two weeks to deep condition. Need a good deep conditioner? Here are some of my faves from my transitioning time and currently:
Strengthening Treatment (monthly)
I started using henna before I even began transitioning, because I was looking for an emergency/miracle fix to "cure" my thinning and breaking hair. Clearly, this was before I accepted the fact that my hair was heat damaged beyond repair. But once I got that through my thick scull, I kept henna in rotation because it helped relieve some of my scalp psoriasis symptoms. Fast forward over 2.5 years, and I'm still henna-ing once a month. Why? It doesn't do too much for my scalp anymore (psoriasis adapts to treatments...that finnicky bugger), but it works wonders for my hair. Beyond red cellophane-like stain, henna binds to the shaft of the hair, creating a permeable, protective coating (that is light weight, but some folks will claim it makes their hair heavier and curl looser). This coating makes the hair stronger, and feel a little thicker.

Related: My Henna Mix

You don't have to use henna (it's worth a try if you have protein-sensitive hair), but I do recommend regular strengthening treatments for transitioners to balance moisture and protein, strengthen the line of demarcation, and ward off breakage. Any strengthening mask, concoction, or treatment with hydrolyzed proteins, ceramides and/or aminos will replenish and restore strength to the hair. I recommend Hydratherma Naturals Amino Plus Protein Deep Conditioning Treatment (a transitioning favorite), Ouidad 12 Minute Deep Treatment (super expensive but can be used sparingly), and ApHogee Curlific Texture Treatment. Of course, the ApHogee 2-Step Treatment is an option, but I only recommend that if you are under the care of a hair professional. That stuff is scary, and can snap your hair right off.


Trim (every 2 - 4 months)
As your new hair comes in, getting rid of your weathered, damaged ends is a part of the process. How much and how often you trim is up to you, but if you have no trim schedule whatsoever, aim for every 2 - 4 months. This is more frequent than you'll be trimming once completely natural, and that's because your damaged hair is, well, damaged. Damaged cuticles, splits, and weathered ends are a more frequent occurence due to the fact that your old hair has been subjected to repeated relaxing and heat tools. With this in mind, being preemptive in ridding yourself of the most damaged 1/2 inch or so of hair regularly can help ensure that the rest of your hair doesn't suffer.

Related: How and When to Trim Transitioning Hair


That it, ladies! From my experience long-term transitioning, these 4 things helped keep me sane and my hair relatively healthy. What are some things you did to maintain the health of your hair during your transition and prevent breakage?

More for Transitioners:
How Do I Transition to Natural Hair?
The Difference Between Breakage and Shedding
Preventing Breakage
Detangling 101
How to Build a Regimen for Transitioning Hair

The Blogs Made Me Do It: Some of the Worst Natural Hair Advice and Information on the Web


Also featured on Black Girl with Long Hair!

(note: This is in no way a jab at The Blogs Made Me Do It, a wonderful DIY blog. Try her orange pound cake sugar scrub recipe --it's amazing.)

The internet is a beautiful monster. We have instant access to a wealth of knowledge, information, people, and resources. Getting the word out about anything is only a few clicks away.

But there is a dark side.

There are no fact-check filters or internet police to dictate what is regarded as true or ill-informed. I'm sure we've all Googled at one time or another, seeking answers to some of our burning natural hair questions. Results from various blogs all over pop up, and what do we do? Take take that advice as gospel and run with it.

Until we realize that advice was off base, ill-thought out, or just plain bad.

If you're anything like me, realizing how ridiculous you were for not knowing better garners a good chuckle or two. And ladies, don't take offense if you used to believe any of these things were true. I've done some crazy and outright ridiculous things to my hair (like dump oat flour in it) based on Google search results. Get ready to laugh, because without further delay, I present some of the worst advice and myths circulating the web (some of which I feel victim to early in my transition):


1. Never trim your ends.
Have you been seeing the hashtag #teamnoscissors everywhere? I have. Just to be clear, these ladies aren't hiding the shears for months at a time, they're doing away with them permanently. As in never trimming their ends. The ends of your hair are the most damaged and weathered due to age, mechanical stress, and how little sebum they receive from your scalp. Old ends split, cuticles crack and lift, or outright break -- leaving you with jagged, uneven, rough-feeling, and thinning ends that cause detangling nightmares. While there are no set guidelines for when to trim, the idea is that at some point you have to rid yourself of those ends. It can be every 3 months, or even once a year. But it has to happen some time.

2. Dirty hair grows faster.
I don't know where this tidbit of "advice" originated, but it's well past time to lay it to rest. There is absolutely nothing about leaving your hair full of dirt, sweat, buildup, and oils that accelerates growth. I believe this misinformation may be confused with the results of length retention while protectively styling. Less frequent washing means less frequent manipulation, which leads to less opportunities for breakage, tangles, and damage. We all know the benefits of protective styling several times over -- but absolutely none of those benefits stem from not washing your hair. In fact, not washing your hair regularly may cause more problems than it solves.

3. Your hair can be "heat trained".
The notion of heat training comes up every so often in the natural hair community. Heat training is often articulated as regularly applying direct heat (i.e. flat ironing) to hair, and over time the frequent application of heat affords the hair the ability to be straightened and sleek with ease and minimal reversion. Now here's where things get fun: heat "trained" hair often mimics the behavior of relaxed hair. It does not revert to its natural state, and is either bone straight when wet, or has a limp/loosened curl. Relaxers chemically alter the protein bonds in the hair, re-arranging them into a straight shape. Repeated high heat use from a flat iron does the same thing -- with the added feat of irreversibly melting the proteins in the hair. Hair altered in this manner is damaged -- there is no other way around it. Heat trained hair is damaged hair. Even if it's not splitting, breaking, or thinning, it is damaged. Doesn't curl or kink back up like the rest of your hair? Damaged. Sorry ladies, this one may be a tough pill to swallow -- but take it from someone who transitioned for 21 months from severe heat damage.

4. Trimming your ends will make your hair grow faster.
On the opposite end of the #teamnoscissors spectrum is the #teamscissorseveryotherday. I'm kidding, I made that hashtag up. But there are is a circle (albeit small) of ladies who believe regular trims accelerate your hair growth. Let's put this one to bed right now: the scissors in and of themselves will not make your hair grow any faster. Regularly trimming your ends and ridding yourself of damaged, splitting and breaking ends does boost your ability to retain length -- provided that you take care of your hair and ends post trim. Since the ends will no longer be there to split up the shaft, thin, or break, you will be able to retain more length -- giving the illusion that your hair is growing faster. Plus, evenly trimmed ends just look healthier.




5. Your hair will become immune to products if you use them for too long.
Your hair is not a living, breathing organism. Aside from the bulb at the root, it engages in no biochemical activity. Your visible hair that you wash, deep condition, style, and share on Instagram (maybe that's just me) is actually no more than a collection of dead cells and keratin. In spite of the fact that some days it appears to be to the contrary, our hair does not literally possess a mind of its own (some of you may beg to differ...lol). Therefore, it stands to reason that our hair cannot grow immune to to a particular product, or set of products. If it seems like your hair product has randomly "stopped working", more than likely something else is at hand. Maybe the manufacturer switched the formulation and didn't tell anyone (or maybe they did and you ignored it). Or, you began using the product differently, or as a part of another product combination and the new combination doesn't mesh. A more likely possibility is that your hair is suffering from a cumulative buildup effect from your products, and needs to be clarified/cleansed. Sometimes, we get so caught up in the love for the product that we neglect other areas of our regimen.

For example, I have an on again, off again affair with Aussie Moist Conditioner. I love it for about a month and a half, then hate it. The moment I start hating it, I realize that it has been over a month since I've used shampoo, and my hair probably needs a deep cleaning to get the gunk up so I can start fresh. Which takes me to my next point...

6. Never use shampoo.
Back in ye olden days of the online natural hair community, shampoo was to be avoided. Practically any shampoo you could get your hands on was laden with sulfates that stripped the hair, rendering it dry, crispy, fuzzy, and prone to breakage. In 2014, we can seriously say that the tide has turned in terms of shampoo. There are TONS of sulfate-free shampoos and shampoo bars that can be utilized to gently and thoroughly used to cleanse the hair. Beyond that, hair can benefit tremendously from a thorough shampooing every so often to rid the hair and scalp of product and oil buildup. Besides, did you know that shampoo makes your conditioner work better?

7. You can use products to create texture or "get your curl back".
One of the most common questions I get when I share photo grids of my transition is, "I did xyz to my hair and now my curl is gone. What can I do to get it back?"

My answer, although articulated more gently and thoroughly always starts with "nothing". I don't care who told you, but there is absolutely nothing you can do to get your texture back after it has been heat damaged. Particularly if you've been damaging it at high temperatures, on a regular basis, for long periods of time. No product, deep treatment, rinse, or reconstructor is going to bring your hair back. The only thing you can do is start anew, adopt healthy hair practices, forgo the heat, and be patient while new hair grows. Now, if you made a one-time mistake and want to deep condition, rehydrate, reconstruct, and send your hair into bounce-back ICU, be my guest. In some rare cases, it *may* work. But if you've been flat ironing your hair like crazy for the past 5 months, and decided you want your curl back, you're likely out of luck. My apologies if this seems rude or harsh, but it is something that I see plenty of folks dance around and recommend products for. As much as I love being a product junkie, I cannot in good conscience recommend products/treatments to undo heat damaged hair -- because there are none. #teamhonestlyspeaking

8. You have to follow xyz method to the letter or else it won't work.
Whatever method, whatever routine or regimen, whatever philosophy -- none of it is set in stone. More often than not, bloggers and vloggers (myself included) are simply sharing what has even effective for them personally. None of it is to be taken as gospel. Every head of hair is different. Some of us have more time to tend to our hair than others. We all have different product budgets and preferences. Taking all of that into consideration, why would you follow so and so's method to the letter, without a second thought? There's more than one way to deep condition, trim, and do a roller set. Make this natural hair journey work for you!

9. Baking soda relaxes the hair.
This myth stems from the notion that because relaxers have a high pH (10) and baking soda has a high pH (8-9), they will serve the same function. Well, if that were the case, relaxer sales would have plummeted further than they already have! From a scientific perspective (nod and high-five to Jc of The Natural Haven) hair exposed to alkaline products (like baking soda and shampoo bars) does exhibit some changes (cuticle lifting). This change is corrected unaided within 45 minutes to 3 hours, but can also be rectified with a rinse out or deep conditioner. Even with the cuticles lifting, the hair will not be relaxed or loosened.

10. Black hair doesn't grow.
Umm, yeah. Okay. This website isn't called Black Girl with Long Hair for nothin'. The next time someone tells you that Black hair doesn't grow or can't grow past a certain length, tell them one word: Naptural85. Boom. #dropsmic


What is some of the most terrible or outlandish advice and information you've ever seen, read, heard, or been given? Sound off in the comments!

2014 Updated Flat Ironing Routine: Sleek, Straight, Natural Hair WITHOUT Heat Damage

straighten-natural-hair-without-heat-damage

FINALLY.

Ya'll have NO idea how much of a long time coming this video and post has been. I've been trying to edit this video for WEEKS. Every single time I opened the video, files corrupted, footage was lost, and narrations disappeared. I felt like somebody was working REALLY hard to get me to not put this video up! But it finally came to pass, and I am excited!!! Thank you all that have been soooo patient with me while I've been trying to work out the kinks in my janky @$$ Samsung laptop. I really appreciate it <3.

For those of you that have been asking, here is the full breakdown video of how I straighten my natural hair.  I have managed to successfully straighten my transitioning and natural hair WITHOUT HEAT DAMAGE since I began my natural hair journey in 2012.  Everything is pretty much the same as it always has been done, I just recently incorporated roller setting into the mix to mitigate blow dryer damage and also began upping my temperature setting as I realized what my hair could handle.









The products may change, but the purpose behind them doesn't. I always use shampoo to cleanse prior to straightening, and I always use a deep conditioner that contains cetrimonium chloride (to improve tensile strength). Heat protection is a must, and I always rely on silicone-based serums in that department.

When it's time to revert back to natural hair, using the same shampoos and deep conditioners I began the process with is a vital step. The hair must be stripped of all the silicone buildup that helped straighten, heat protect, and prevent reversion.

All of the steps are outlined in the video, but here they are with the products used included:

Step 1

tgin-shampoo-lrc-shampoo-eva-nyc-therapy-session

Shampoo twice - once with TGIN Moisture Rich Sulfate Free Shampoo and the second time with Lawrence Ray Concepts Complete Cleanse Shampoo. This ensures that any dirt, oil, or product buildup is long gone from my hair prior to straightening. It also preps my hair to receive the Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask for deep conditioning -- it contains jojoba, proteins, and cetrimonium chloride to hydrate and strengthen my hair, which will help prevent heat damage.

infusium-miracle-therapy-garnier-frizz-defy

Step 2

aphogee-keratin-green-tea-style-wrap-mousse


Roller setting - I applied a moderate amount of ApHogee Keratin and Green Tea Restructurizer Spray, followed by ApHogee Style & Wrap Mousse and Garnier Marvelous Oil Frizz Defy serum to provide heat protection, tame frizz, smooth my hair, and add shine. I used approximately 18 of the Annie brand jumbo rollers/perm rods with the elastic fastening ends. My hair air dried for about 3 hours.

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I don't know what that black comb thingie is. I just used it to detangle, lol.
Step 3

conair-ceramic-paddle-brush

Blow dry - since my hair was still damp in some places, I used a type of tension blow drying method to achieve a straighter blowout with less direct heat. I applied the Infusium serum, removed tangles with my paddle brush, and then blow dried. Using medium heat and high speed, I moved the blow dryer along the shaft of my hair, keeping a safe distance while simultaneously pulling the hair taut through the paddle brush. The end result is a straighter blowout that took less time and heat to achieve, which helps safeguard against heat damage.

Step 4

long-locks-hair-care-glam-iron

Flat iron - in super small sections using the chase method. My Glam Iron is heated to 212 degrees Celsius, which is about 413 degrees Ferenheit. Feel free to adjust your iron to whatever temperature works for your hair. In each larger section, I apply more Garnier Marvelous Oil Frizz a Defy serum before  parting off smaller sections to flat iron. I make only two passes with each small section - once with the Glam Iron by itself, and the second time with the fine tooth comb ahead of the iron, so the iron is "chasing" the comb down the length of my hair. This guarantees super sleek, smooth, frizz, and tangle-free results that last.

Step 5

glad-cling-wrap-silk-wrap-natural-hair

Silk wrap - wrap hair in the traditional old school way with the paddle brush, then secure cling wrap around the hair, pressing out any air pockets. Over that, I put on my satin scarf and sit under my Softhood Dryer for 45 minutes to an hour. Sitting under a traditional hooded dryer works the same way. This step locks in the straight hair and helps prevent reversion, which helps me be able to wear my straight hair longer.

deluxe-softhood-dryer-ion-pomade-wax
Step 6
Take down and enjoy! I use the Ion Pomade Wax to slick my edges back for a polished look without reversion. Werk!

straighten-natural-hair-without-heat-damage

Product & Tools 411:

Lawrence Ray Concepts Complete Cleanse Shampoo, $26 www.lawrencerayconcepts.com
ApHogee Keratin & Green Tea Restructurizer Spray, $7.99 Sally Beauty

ApHogee Style & Wrap Mousse, $5.99 CJ Beauty Supply (for my LA folks that's in Inglewood on Crenshaw & Imperial #alittlehood)

Annie Cold Wave Rods, $1.99/pack CJ Beauty Supply

Garnier Fructis Marvelous Oil Frizz Defy, $4.99 Target 

Infusium 23 Miracle Therapy Leave-In Treatment Serum courtesy of Infusium 23 (not sure where to find it in stores, but any comparable silicone-based serum will do)

Conair Ceramic Paddle Brush, $10 Target

Long Locks Pro Hair Care Glam Iron, courtesy of Long Locks Pro Hair Care(not sure of the price, and the online store is currently down -- sorry ya'll!), www.longlocksvirginhair.com

Hairflair, Ltd. Deluxe Softhood Dryer, $15.95 www.curlformers.com

Ion Pomade Wax, $7.49 Sally Beauty

Any questions about the video? Drop em' below!

More on heat straightening:
Ingredients you need to know before you flat iron your hair!
6 Heat Protectants that Won't Break the Bank
My 2013 Heat Straightening Routine

Max Hydration Method Update: Day 3

100% dry hair -- day 3 of the method, day 1 of this wash and go.
As I type this, I am sitting underneath my hooded dryer with Eden BodyWorks Jojoba Monoi All Natural Deep Conditioner slathered on my hair, and it is day 4. I was hoping to be a little further along in the MHM by now, but life happened over the weekend. Before I get too far ahead of myself, let me backtrack and go over day 3.

With every baking soda cleansing, deep conditioning, and clay mask, my hair has become more awesome -- less breakage, less, frizz, easier detangling, more hangtime, and enhanced curl definition. Here's a few flicks from my day 1 and 2 hair with the method:

 What I'm loving now is that I don't even bother pinning my hair back as it dries, because my shrinkage is so significantly reduced. In the photo above, my hair air-dried unstretched, and I gathered it in a loose ponytail for the gym. The result is a minimally elongated version of how my hair actually dries. I band at night, but not with fifty-leven scrunchies like I used to. Before MHM, I was using 8 scrunchies on two banded sections (4 each section). Like this:

This pic shows 3 scrunchies each, which is what I used after chopping. Since my hair had grown, it upped to 4 scrunchies.
Now, I gather ALL the hair into one big ol' section and use 3 scrunchies. Not because my hair is thinner, but because it doesn't require such drastic measures to keep it stretched. I still have shrinkage at the front and center, but it's just a little rude instead of all-out disrespectful.

For my day 3 MHM wash and go, I stuck to my mantra of using products that aren't approved, but work for me and have ingredients I trust. I used Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner, coconut oil, and Obia's Curl Enhancing Custard. I seriously have not had a bad wash and go since doing this method. What I'm most excited about is how the front of my hair that tends to be really dramatic is starting to actually, umm, curl. Yes, like, curl! Not this random tight wave foolishness, but an actual curl. See! In this picture my hair was still a little damp, and not completely done air-drying.

My day 2 wash and go (on day 3 of the method...that's still a little confusing lol) hair with the Max Hydration Method was totally epic. Like I said previously, bad hair days are long gone. I'm still using a lot less product to achieve the same, if not better styling. I had a corner of Obia Curl Enhancing Custard left in one jar, and I didn't even use it all up! I'm also digging the versatility of the Tresemme Naturals conditioner too. I can use it as a part of my regular conditioning routine (I always add a little in after rinsing my clay mask out -- I either rinse it all out or leave some behind), as a leave-in, to do my baking soda doohickeys, and make my refresher spray.


There is no day 3 hair, because well, it didn't last. Not because it couldn't, but because of Mr. Samuel's birthday. We had a relaxing, tranquil spa day at Glen Ivy, tucked away in the hillside of Hot Springs in Corona. Of course I took to the mineral waters, the vista pool, saline bath, and the lap pool. While Samuel got a rubdown, I got some laps in. What I did notice about my hair is that it seemed to take up less chlorine than normal -- it wasn't tangled and matted (even though my scrunchie fell out during one lap), and didn't feel stripped and dry. So I guess the method is working! When your hair is properly hydrated, it's not looking to soak up moisture from everywhere else. 

Just a snippet of Glen Ivy gorgeousness...#takemeback
Needless to say, when it was time to hit the steam room, I slathered my hair down in Glen Ivy's herbal-y conditioner and gave myself a steam treatment. The steam and conditioner proved to be enough to keep my hair soft, but I felt the pangs of missing another MHM wash day when at the hotel. I didn't want to take blogging on the road with me, so I didn't bring baking soda, bentonite, ACV, and oils with me. I assumed my hair would be fine for a day or two.

Boy was I WRONG! My next wash and go was a shrunken mess. I guess because my hair hasn't completely taken to the method and completed 7 days, it was vulnerable to dehydration and reversion. I used Tresemme Naturals to cowash and TGIN Twist and Define Cream to style (I thought it had cones in it, but it doesn't -- yay!). My curls were cute, but talk about shrinkage city! Compare that hair at the top to this:

Shrinkage is a beast!!!

Needless to say, I've filed this lesson away in my memory bank. I won't be skipping a day mid-cycle again. Hopefully, as day 4 rounds out, my hair will rebound and pick up where it left off. Fingers crossed that I don't have to start from scratch!!! 

Have any of ya'll stopped mid MHM cycle and picked right back up?

Related:

5 Sulfate-Free Clarifying Shampoos for Natural Hair

sulfate-free-shampoo-natural-hair

Don't be fooled!

You don't have to sacrifice soft, hydrated kinks and coils, for cleanliness.

Many naturals and curly girls hate clarifying because it causes so much drama. You wreck your hair and strip it of natural oils, softness, and hydration for the sake of a clean slate. Even after intense deep conditioning, your hair doesn't start "acting right" for another two weeks, and by that time, you're able to get another good week and a half out of your hair before it's time to clarify all over again.

Break the cycle.

These shampoos offer you the chance to deeply clean without stripping, and to clarify without causing drama. Get clean, healthy, shiny, soft, and moisturized hair with these cleaning powerhouses that don't contain harsh sulfates like SLS:

1. Ouidad Superfruit Renewal Clarifying Cream Shampoo, $18 (pictured above)
Ever since Ouidad relased this gem, I've been in love. This rich, creamy, clarifying shampoo is everything you need it to be, and nothing you don't. It is free of SLS and other harsh sulfates, and is nothing short of a miracle worker. It offers clarified, clean hair that doesn't feel stripped or dried out. Plus, you can detangle with it! Yes, this shampoo has slip! (Insert praise emoji here). It is gentle enough to use weekly, but the fragrance alone will have you sniffing the bottle daily (don't judge me). Superfruit Renewal Clarifying Cream Shampoo is also silicone-free, and curly girl friendly! For a full review, click here! $18 Ulta, www.ouidad.com

For the rest of the list, head on over to NaturallyCurly.com!

8 Words That Have a TOTALLY Different Meanings when You Go Natural

natural-hair-lingo
At some point, somebody should actually do this. #justsayin

In the naturally curly world, we have a lot of our own lingo--so much so, that that a newbie natural may find herself looking for the Rosetta Stone of the natural hair world. Hopefully, we can help shed some light on a few terms that meant something else before you went natural. Here are 8 common terms, translated naturally curly style:


natural-hair-lingo1. Cones: Not the bright orange construction markers, or even the geometric shape. "Cones" is the abbreviated natural hair lingo for silicones, the styling and conditioning ingredient that many naturals and curly girls tend to avoid. Cones appear to improve the condition of the hair, creating a silky, shiny, lightweight microfilm around hair strands. Cones also help tame frizz, block humidity, and smooth rough cuticles. So why do cones get a bad rep? They can build up and don't always get effectively removed using the gentle cleansers we naturally curly girls lean toward. Ultimately, your decision to use or not use cones is up to you!

natural-hair-lingo
2. DC: If you see a naturally curly girl say "DC", you can bet she isn't talking about the Capitol. "DC" means Deep Conditioner -- which in the straight-haired world, means "optional", but for textured ladies is a must. 






Ready for the other 6? Head on over to NaturallyCurly.com!

New Theme for September & TreLuxe GIVEAWAY!


New month, new theme, more giveaways!

For the month of September, I'm teaming up with TreLuxe, Hydratherma Naturals, Kurlee Belle, and more feed your inner product junkie!

That's right -- every week, you'll be able to enter to win my hand-picked favorites from some of the most amazing small business brands!

Hang on to your hats, product junkies -- this month is gonna be FUN! Reviews, recommendations, chit-chats, giveaways, product demos, and more!

And now for the first giveaway -- sponsored by TreLuxe!

Remember this picture?






This GREAT hair day was courtesy of TreLuxe's Curl Supreme Styling Cream and Hi! Definition Curl Enhancing Gel. Enter to win this duo and have an epic hair day of your own!

Curl Supreme Styling Cream is an incredibly hydrating and nourishing cream that tames frizz, smooths and softens the hair, and encourages curl clumping and definition. It works wonderful as-is, as a moisturizer, or as a part of a wash and go combination (like with Hi! Definition). Hi! Definition is a nutrient-rich, non-drying, super potent curl defining gel for natural hair. It creates and holds curl definition that won't flake and last for days, without being crunchy or drying.

Both Curl Supreme and Hi! Definition are silicone, mineral oil, petroleum, drying alcohol, artificial fragrance, and paraben free. They both contain TreLuxe's patented Active Botanicals, including a comprehensive 360 Curls Complex with tomato extract among other botanicals, oils, and extracts. I'm doing a review soon (yay), but in the meantime you can check out the full ingredient lists at www.discovertreluxe.com!

Excited about the products? Me too! Keep scrolling for 411 on entering this week's giveaway!


All you have to do is:
1. Follow @maneobjective and @discovertreluxe on Instagram
2. Take a picture of your hair product stash and upload it to Instagram with the hashtags #ShowYourStash and #LuxeManeGiveaway
3. You can enter once per day, through Saturday 9/6 at 11:59pm PST!

Winner announced Sunday, 9/7! 

Good luck everyone!!!

About TreLuxe:

TréLuxe is revolutionizing the industry of hair & beauty with its innovative, 3 dimensional approach to self-expression and personal style! We go beyond healthy hair care products…we promote the elegance and distinction that only comes from cultivating the unique beauty within, that every woman has to offer.

All modern day brands should inspire confidence, be socially conscious, and contribute responsibly to society. These “3 C’s” of the TréLuxe Philosophy provide the foundation for all of our offerings. By empowering women to cultivate beauty from the inside out, we aim to help people everywhere to DEFINE themselves, ENHANCE their lives, and INSPIRE others.

Through its products, community, and initiatives, TréLuxe empowers women to approach life with full confidence; presenting to the world an image that is consistent with each woman’s unique character and personal style. It is our personal passion to inspire modern day women to discover and magnify the true beauty found within, and thereby empower them to inspire others. TréLuxe reaches women from all walks of life who share our commitment to healthy natural beauty, confident self-expression, and social consciousness. To further our mission, we continually support the causes that promote individual growth and local community development.

8 Ingredients that Aren't Nearly as Scary as They Sound

Photo courtesy of WiseShe.com
Before dropping a product into your basket at Target, Ulta, or in your cart on CurlMart, how much time do you spend reading the ingredients? At this point in the game, probably more than you have in your entire life. Whether you're an ingredient snob and only purchase products made with the best of the best, a clean living curly who believes in eating and using only whole and natural products, or a natural newbie just taking it all in, there's one thing we can all agree on -- ingredients can sound confusing, scary, and like you need an advanced degree in material science to understand how to pronounce them.

Luckily, everything that looks bad and sounds bad isn't really bad at all. So relax, naturally curly girls -- and take in these 10 ingredients that sound all sorts of naughty, but are really pretty nice!

Behentrimonium Methosulfate: Because of how harsh traditional shampoo and cleansers can be, many of us turn away from anything that has the word "sulfate" in it. But the truth is, behentrimonium methosulfate is a far cry from the sodium lauryl sulfate that dries out and damages our kinks, coils, and curls. In truth,  behentrimonium methosulfate is neither drying nor a sulfate. It is actually a super gentle surfactant made from non-GMO (imagine that!) rapeseed (canola oil), and is one of the mildest detangling ingredients out there. It doesn't cause buildup, or irritation to the scalp. You can find this gem in products like Kinky Curly Knot Today, Camille Rose Naturals Fresh Curl, and Lawrence Ray Concepts Shake & Go.

Head on over to NaturallyCurly.com to catch the rest of the not-so-scary ingredients!

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