Doing the 'do, hair, Healthy Ends Challenge

Winter protective style #1: Braids

Yesterday, I finally got my hair braided as part of the Healthy Ends Challenge and as a winter protective style. As the weather’s been getting colder waiting until the end of the month to get my hair braided felt like forever and a day. Normally, I would let my braider wash and moisturize my hair, but because my scalp is so particular and I’m not sure what’s in many of the products they are using at the salon, I decided to do that myself.

On Friday night — I got started a little later than I had planned because my friend, Dear Auntie Social, was over cracking jokes with the Hubby and I — I washed my scalp thoroughly with Country Rose Soap Co.’s natural liquid shampoo in Spring Blossom. Here are the ingredients:

Formulated with a blend of olive oil and castor oil, distilled water, herbal extracts of rosemary, soapwort, nettle, rosemary, sage, horsetail, chamomile, comfrey, marigolds (from our organic gardens) plus true essential oils chosen for your hair’s specific needs. Spring Blossom has lavender, ylang ylang, orange sweet and cedarwood essential oils.

My scalp gives me issues and I’m concerned that it will start to revolt with the braids in it. I washed the scalp three times. I know! That’s a bit excessive, but my scalp was acting up this week and I wanted to make sure that it was as clean as possible, so that there would be no build up or dirt sitting under a braid causing the itchies. My hair was dry and a bit tangly after the shampoo, but my scalp was clean.

It was getting late and I was getting tired. I was planning to do a deep condition with heat using my Miss Keys 10 en 1 mixed with QP Elasta’s DPR-11. That didn’t happen. At lunch, I had bought Organix Vanilla Silk conditioner. Folks, I’m in love. The scent alone is heavenly — and it’s a pretty good conditioner too. Here are the ingredients:

Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Bethentrimonium, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Jojoba Oil, Panthenol, Silk Amino Complex, Organic Vanilla Bean Oil, Shea Butter, Vitamin E, Terasodium EDTA, Fragrance, DMDM Hydantoin, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone.

The conditioner does have silicones in it, but I’m not one to let silicones keep me from a good product. My hair doesn’t seem to hate them, so it’s all good for me. Now, some folks say that this is a cheapie conditioner. I beg to differ because at $7.99 CDN, this ain’t cheap. It’s not expensive — far from it, but it’s not cheap. I plan to use this as a conditioner during the time I have my braid in, so I decided to try it out a day early. I liked it — not as much as I like my Blended Beauty conditioner, but it’s not bad for something that I can pick up at my local Rexall.

I left that in for about 10 minutes and rinsed — not all of it, maybe 90% or so. Next, I used my beloved Kiss My Face Whenever conditioner as a leave-in. I wanted something thick, not like my usual Infusium-23 which is very watery and makes me wonder if it’s actually doing something. Finally, I moisturized with my super moisturizer and sealed with olive and castor oils. Next, I twisted my hair in about 10 very rudimentary twists, tied everything down and went to bed. My hair appointment was at 10 o’clock the next morning.

I untwisted when I got to the salon and here’s what it looked like:

SDC10716

Nothing to write home about, but my hair was soft, moist and ready to be braided up. My braider started my hair at about 10:30am, impressed that I had done all the preliminary work. In about 45 minutes this was the progress:

SDC10717

I was finished at about 2:45pm (I would have finished earlier if my braider didn’t stop to finish up another person’s head. I won’t complain because I finished earlier than normal and could do some window shopping with my sister-in-law). How does it look?

SDC10719

I love, love, love my hair! I think it was the type of hair that I got — it was from my Barbados trip in May where I carried home half of the island’s beauty supplies. I believe that this month’s trip to NYC will be similar. What I loved is that I only used a pack and a half of hair out of three packs. So, I can definitely re-braid once more with this hair. I think I’ll try something different in January and do these braided twists again in March.

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