Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Defined JUICY Long Lasting Braidout: The FOUNDATION


So many juicy looking braidouts, so little time. I've seen Braidouts using butters, gels, oils, lots of different products have been tested successfully. 

What could be the cause of some braidout attempts being exactly what was intended, and others being a flop? Well, for one, it depends on what the "stylist" (usually myself) was going for. Was I looking for a braidout with fullness, a fluffy braidout, or maybe a well defined, sharp braidout. Did I want maximum length? Did I want waves or crimps? There are so many different ways that simply braiding ones hair can make the released braidout look.

Being able to control the outcome is when I consider that I've "mastered" my braidouts. I've played around with products and techniques with good results. I need to add one more requirement for braidout/twistout mastery: MOISTURE

I used to think that moisture was easily added by simply spreading product evenly onto the hair shaft in sections, prior to braiding my hair. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

For me, adding a moisturizing product to hair suffering from dryness will not always solve my moisture problem enough to ensure that I get the best results for my braidout. Wet hair can be added to the list of hair suffering from dryness. 

Let me give an example that I'm sure we all can relate to. Have you ever had dry, cracked lips that you kept licking in an effort to moisturize and fix the problem? All of the licking would be to no avail. Under those wet lips, still lies cracked, dry skin. Once the wetness evaporated, you were again left with dry, cracking lips. Sometimes it even took DAYS to put the proper moisture in order to get rid of that dry, cracked skin. Days of exfoliating, healing, and moisturizing. Well, this is exactly what is sometimes needed in order to get hair moisture to the proper levels in order to be successfully moisturized.

Self proclaimed product junkies may not be interested to hear this, but there is a way to determine which products or ingredients will give your hair shine, define, luster, and all of the highly sought after results! I've found that establishing a "baseline" enabled me to figure out what products work best for my hair, as well as what products I need to stay away from.

It doesn't hurt that I keep video journals of products that I've used in the past, and how my hair looked and felt after each product or ingredient was used. But that won't be necessary for you.

It's easy to establish a baseline for your hair care needs.

First, it's a great idea to check out the porosity of your hair. Hair's porosity explains how moisture (water) is absorbed/retained by the hair. It describes specifically the condition of the cuticle layer of the hair. I will link a great video on hair porosity below.

The next thing I did was to cleanse as needed. If I knew that I used synthetic products that were going to coat my hair strand (product buildup), then I would cleanse with either Apple Cider Vinegar Mix (1 tablespoon ACV to 2 ounces of water) or a clarifying shampoo. If I didn't have anything on my hair except oils, I would cleanse with Amla Paste. If I worked out a lot during the week and wanted to get the salt/sweat off, then I would either rinse with water---or co-wash with an all natural conditioner.

Then I did a deep conditioning treatment. One that would allow my hair to air dry without tangling. I love home-made treatments. They can provide a deep level of conditioning without (any or many) synthetic ingredients. The idea is creamy, oily, and add some form of heat--to open up the cuticles so that it will accept the moisture deep and infused.

Once I cleansed and deep conditioned (sometimes I deep condition and then cleanse--depending on what styling I will be doing), then I had a "clean palate" head of hair to do whatever I chose. THIS IS MY BASELINE. From there, I select 1 ingredient or product to try to achieve define, shine, long lasting braidout. I don't forget to seal with oil. 

Next up post....................CHOOSING 1 PRODUCT/INGREDIENT for maximum braidout results. Don't you want to save money? Cut down on the product junkie stash? Have a "for sure" guaranteed product that will work EVERY TIME..NO FAIL? 

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