Monday, March 3, 2014

Inversion Method Review

Hi all! This post will be a review of my first time trying the inversion method, which was done about two weeks before this post was made, give or take.

What is the inversion method?

The inversion method is pretty much where you hang upside down off of the side of a bed or chair for up to four minutes, every day for up to a week. Four minutes doesn't sound like a very long time, but when you're hanging upside down, lasting the full four minutes is hard. This inverted position causes increased blood flow to the scalp which stimulates hair growth. Most people also pair this with scalp massages using their favorite oil or pomade, but I did not use any oils or scalp treatments during the week I tried this because I wanted to judge this method on its own. I started out a week and a half post-relaxer, with absolutely no new growth whatsoever. My new growth doesn't really start to show itself until the end of week 3/beginning of week 4, so I knew that any new growth I had at the end of the week would more than likely be from the inversion method alone.

So how much growth do you get from the inversion method, anyway?

The inversion method is supposed to give up to an inch of growth by the end of the week. Yes, you read that right, a whole inch. A full 2.54 cm. If you don't believe me, check YouTube! There are plenty of vloggers out there who have used the inversion method and gotten very successful results.

Did I get a full inch of growth? No. I measured my growth in two places: my edges, which grow the slowest, and my crown, which grows the fastest. At the end of the week, I had a quarter inch of growth at my edges and a half inch of growth at my crown. I expected not to get the full inch because I used this method alone, without any other growth aids. I'm still really pleased with my results, though. The average rate of hair growth is half an inch per month, so using the inversion method got me those results in half the time for my edges and 1/4 that time for my crown! That's still pretty amazing!

Here is a picture of the growth I got at the very front of my hair. Word of advice: don't put a measuring tape anywhere near your hair. That metal thing at the end is a breakage machine. My scalp was so thirsty at the end of a whole week with nothing on it that I went overboard with the castor oil, so excuse the greasy appearance.

 And remember, this picture was taken just after one week of the inversion method alone, without any additional oils or growth aids.

Wow, that's amazing! So can I do this all the time, then?

Not quite. Hanging upside down can really mess with you, causing headaches and vertigo and whatnot. Not to mention that if you do this too often, your body will adjust to it and then it won't be as effective anymore. Most of my research (i.e., what other bloggers had to say) suggests a minimum wait time of once a month.

And that's pretty much all there is to it! Have you tried the inversion method? How much growth did you get from it?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

New Year, New Hair

This should've been posted at the beginning of the month, but I wanted to wait until my next relaxer to be able to include pictures. And, this was originally going to be in a video, but I have a hard enough time taking good photos, so a video really isn't on my radar at this point.


A few months ago, I made BSL and had set my ultimate hair goal as making MBL, or even hopefully WL, by the time I was supposed to graduate this upcoming May. Due to unforeseen health issues, I am now on medical leave from my school and will not be graduating on time, so there's no point in setting a goal for that time frame anymore.

In addition, I cut my hair to NL shortly before Thanksgiving. At this point, I'm not really sure if I want to start trying to grow my hair back right away or if I want to enjoy my current length a little bit. I have to figure out the pros and cons to each scenario before I make my final decision. As you can see from the picture, it's uneven and the left side is longer than the right. I'm going to wait until my hair grows out a little bit more before I cut it, or hopefully I can find someone that I trust to even it out without going overboard. I'm not sure what to call this length. It's a little past NL, but it's not quite SL yet.

The casualties of cutting your hair in the dark. =(

Right now my primary focus is getting better, but I'm definitely not abandoning my hair or this blog. My next post will most likely be a review of the inversion method, which I've really been anxious to try ever since I heard about it.

Happy new year, everyone!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Protect That Nape This Winter!

I've made a lot of progress with learning how to take care of my hair over these past two years. But for some reason, my nape just didn't seem to want to be healthy like the rest of my hair. I've tried babying it, giving it extra super duper moisture, using extra conditioner when I DC, everything. It would be fine during the summer and then each winter, it would just fall apart and the hair there became really dry and rough. So naturally, the hair there hasn't done much growing since I started my HHJ. I didn't know what it was because I'd sewn a satin lining onto all of my hats and I couldn't think of whatever else could be causing it.

This makes me want to cry.

This weekend, my family came to visit me at school and it was pretty cold. I was in CVS checking out hair products with my cousin and she said to me "You should probably be careful with those scarves. The hair at the back of your neck looks pretty dry." 

o.0 How did I not think of that???

You see, I'm a huge fan of those $5 scarves they sell all over NYC and they're pretty much the only scarves I wear in the wintertime. Of course those cheap scarves would be damaging! I'd never even thought about the fact that they'd be touching my nape. I was just trying to stay warm.

The culprits!

For now, my plan is to oil my nape every day until I can afford some nicer scarves or until I think of a better plan. Even if the scarf sucks up all the oil, hopefully it'll provide some protection for my hair.

Also, I'm going to be massaging in my "Big Kahuna" sulfur/MN mix there every day to accelerate the growth (shameless self-promotion of my product, lol).

And if anyone out there has any other suggestions about how to keep this area protected, SEND THEM MY WAY!!

I Got 10,000 Pageviews???

I logged on today to write a new post (which will follow this one) and I noticed something weird:

There, there! See it??
Truth be told, I have no idea how that happened. I honestly don't think my blog is that good. It's been seriously neglected due to not being very high on the "important things I need to my senior year of college" list. I upload a new post, what, once a month?


I got 10,000 pageviews!!! ^.^ So I guess someone thinks my posts are worth reading. So thanks! It means a lot to me!

So since this is a hair blog, I should probably talk about my hair, right? As I am writing this post I'm trying to get the hang of pincurling my hair. Usually, when I try any type of heat-free style on dry hair it's an epic failure but I'm using the ulovemegz video as a tutorial and so far, so good!

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Mixing Your Own Products Is Easy(-ish)!

I got an email from someone who saw my post about making my own conditioner, and she wanted to know how I did it because she was thinking of making her own too. I thought it'd be a good idea to create a post about my experience in case anyone else wanted to know too. Once you get started, it's a really fun process. But before you do, you're probably going to want to ask yourself...

Why do you want to make products from scratch?

The reason why I wanted to make my own conditioner is pretty well-known by now.  I had a bad experience where I purchased a jar of my favorite conditioner and I was eventually led to believe that this jar was counterfeit. So I just said "Whatever, I'll make my own." I didn't want to go through the trial and error of having to try out different products until I found a new DC that I liked just as much as the old one. Some people may have different reasons. Maybe you want to start your own product line. Maybe you just like experimenting and mixing things.

Research, research, RESEARCH!

What kind of ingredients are going to go in your product? Well...that depends. Is the product going to be all-natural or not-so-natural? What ingredients does your hair like? What does it hate? How much mixing do you want to do? How much money are you willing to spend? How easy to make do you want it to be? How much are you going to make at once?

These are all things I had to think about. I decided to go the not-so-natural route. My main objective was to create something that could mimic how my old conditioner felt on my hair, which gave me a starting point with ingredients. I already knew my hair liked this mixture, and since it wasn't all-natural, I figured there was no point in trying to make an all-natural product. There are pros and cons to each, but I'm the type of person who doesn't really care about what's in a product as long as it works which is why I chose the ingredients that I did.

 If you're not sure which ingredients your hair loves/hates, think of products that are staples. What ingredients do they have in common? Then look at products your hair has hated. What ingredients do they have in common? I went through every single ingredient that was in my old conditioner to look up what it was, how it worked, and whether I needed it or not. Wikipedia is a great resource for this step. You should also look into which ingredients are interchangeable. For example, I had to learn the difference between stearyl alcohol and cetyl alcohol because they were both in my old conditioner.

Another thing you want to consider is shelf life, which ties into how much you can make at one time. If you choose not to use a preservative, you're going to only be able to make a small amount of product at a time. You want to make enough so that you'll be able to use it at least once without having to scrape the last bits of conditioner out of the jar. I made 8 oz, which lasted me two uses because I'm pretty heavy-handed. It's not only important to consider the shelf life of the finished product, but the ingredients as well. They're going to be shipped in greater quantities than you'll use at once, so you want to make sure you're using things that will keep until the next time you need them.

If you're the health-conscious type, or the environmentally-friendly type, or into human rights, those are also things you want to look at. Some examples would be "Parabens are linked to cancer, do I want those in my product?" or "Some paraben substitutes supposedly release formaldehyde into the body, which is the lesser evil?" or even something like "Palm oil production has been linked to deforestation and social conflict, am I going to feel good about using it?"

And lastly, the price. There are plenty of websites (some of which I list at the end of this post) that sell small quantities of cosmetic ingredients at low prices. However, not a single one of these websites (that I know of) has shipping for under $10. In my case, I ended up spending $10 on three ingredients (cetearyl alcohol, behetrimonium chloride, and a preservative mix) and another $10 on shipping. For some people, that might be no bueno.

And that's just all the research I did for ingredients. Some other things you'll need to research are storage situations (clear bottle or amber?) , mixing procedures (will I be able to stir things with a spoon and call it a day or do I need to use my blender?), and how the product will be used (if you use an egg as your protein source, I think it goes without saying that you won't be DCing with heat).

Experimentation Time!

Now that you've spent all that time looking into what to use and how to use it, you get to mix! Be fully prepared for something to go wrong the first couple of times. I use herbs in my conditioner, and when I made my first batch, I forgot to strain them out before mixing the whole thing together. For the rest of the week, I was combing little seeds and leaves out of my hair. It helps to have a journal (or a blog) where you can write down what you did to each formulation and what you thought of it. It can be a time consuming process if you're only testing things out on yourself. But if you have friends whose hair likes similar products as yours, and they trust you enough to put something you made in their hair, it can really expedite the fine-tuning process.

And that's pretty much all there is to it! If you're reading this right now and you're thinking "Well I kinda do have an idea for a _______ that I want to make," go for it!

Websites that sell cosmetic ingredients: