Friday, August 21, 2015

water's relationship with our hair (hair art)

Posted by Yahya at 12:35 PM 13 comments

Water and hair that frizzes has an irregular relationship. Outside of our little online hair care niche, there's still many colored girls that believe that water is the enemy. Even for us that know otherwise, we might not want to jump head first for fret of messing up our preserved hairstyle or having to go through the task of washing out the sea salt residue later. This is a dilemma that relaxed heads, naturals, and everyone in between are eligible of facing. I'm not saying there's anything wrong in missing the occasional pool party or beach trip, it's when it gets to the point where it feels like you're being tied down by your own hair.

Hair shouldn't hold you back from enjoying life. I love swimming. Being able to float when completely enveloped in water just gives a sense of letting go, and for me, that feeling is worth having your hair turn wild afterwards. It's a mark that you enjoyed yourself.

Summer is almost over, so if you haven't hit the water yet, this might be your last chance. Just don't forget to prep your hair first. Make sure it's already wet with fresh water, coat it with some conditioner and oil, and tie it up before diving in. That way it's harder for it to absorb the chlorine or sea salt. And if you have the choice between the pool and the beach, from experience I believe the beach is the healthier option. Salt, though usually in smaller amounts, actually aids in conditioning. When I coat my hair in conditioner before submerging in salt water, I hardly notice drying when coming out.  

The number of days counting down goes for me, too. Yes, I"m one of the ones you hasn't gotten to hit the water yet, summer just went by so quick! So this is my last post for August, cause I'm going to Florida. See ya!

This art piece started in pencil, was scanned, then colored in and shaded on Gimp.
(If you haven't noticed, I've been having fun with gifs lately.)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

henna gloss & tea rinse (wash day)

Posted by Yahya at 2:43 PM 20 comments
I did quite a few things my last wash day.
  1. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I suddenly decided to try bangs. 
  2. It was protein wash day, so I continued my protein layering regimen.
  3. And lastly, I did a tea rinse (with garlic) to decrease shedding.  

With my current schedule my wash days have been on Thursday, so this'll be a recap. It's been about three weeks since the start of my Protein Layering challenge, and accordingly, I did a protein treatment on the bottom half of my hair last wash. The protein layering method I've been doing is applying protein by gradually working up the hair length every protein wash day (visit here for an illustration).

Aside from protein layering, I've also been focusing on reducing shedding my last few wash days. I've been having an increase in hair loss lately (nothing big, but noticeable) and from analyzing the loss strands I see the majority is shedding. Not sure if it's a seasonal thing or change in my diet, but I've been doing tea rinses to try and combat it (that and trying to remember to take garlic supplements).

Here is what I used on my wash day
  • Tea Rinse/ Prepoo - Created a tea rinse made of fennel tea, hibiscus tea, nettle tea, peppermint tea, and juiced garlic and poured it over my head, focusing on my scalp. That sat for about an hour. 
  • Cleanse - Shampooed with Creme of Nature's Argan oil Shampoo
  • Oil Rinse - Poured some grape seed oil over my hair while still in the shower, wanting it to be damp and a little oily before applying my henna gloss. 
  • Protein - Did a henna gloss and allowed it to sit for about an hour
  • Condition - Deep conditioned with Aubrey Organic's Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner for about two hours
  • Moist - Finished of with my diluted Kimmaytube leave-in and Vatika Frosting

If you follow the henna gloss link above, you'll see I use Aveda's Black Malva Conditioner in it in attempt to get darker undertones. I have never updated how this idea worked for me because, well, I still don't know if it works. I've been having a dilemma of trying to take before and after pictures of my hair's undertones. From what I can tell from the before and after pictures I attempted to take this wash, there isn't much of a difference. Maybe next time I attempt it I'll do it more like a two step henna treatment, using the black malva instead of indigo. 

The hair care knowledgeable might have noticed I didn't use black tea in my mix, when it's the most known tea to help combat shedding. Black tea rinses have helped me in the past when I noticed an increase in shedding, but recently, not so much. When I first started doing tea rinses to combat this period of increase shedding, I was only using black tea. I wasn't noticing any improvement this time, not sure why. With the fennel, nettle, and garlic juice mixture I have now, however, I have noticed slight improvement. I plan on continuing to change it up though, until I find the tea rinse recipe that works best for me.  

The Wash Day Experience

Sunday, August 16, 2015

how to make a braid that protects your ends

Posted by Yahya at 2:20 AM 10 comments

This is a style that I came up with about a year or two ago, and it has become one of my most frequent go to styles. I love low manipulation styles, like a easy single braid or two Pocahontas braids, because my hair stays tangled free for long periods of time. The down side, however, was that I didn't like to braid all the way down, I liked the look of my ends out--but at the same time, having my ends exposed would bother me (especially when my ends were thin). After seeing the East Indian inspired paranda braids some girls make from yarn, I was inspired to use scarves (which is better for your hair than yarn) for a time. After wearing scarf braids for a while a light bulb turned on and I had the idea to use synthetic hair.

I've never worn a wig, weave, or any kind of fake hair, so I guess I was hesitant at first. I'm so glad I did follow through on my idea now. What makes this style so great is that it's low manipulation and a protective because it keeps your hair from tangling and your ends are tucked in. Plus it gives you a slight length booth, and for those with thin ends, make yours ends look fuller.

step one - Have your synthetic hair and a hair tie handy.

step two - Braid your hair until the point where you want to insert the synthetic hair, which should be where the ends of the synthetic hair ends a little further than your real ends when aligned.

step 3 -  Insert the synthetic hair by holding it at the middle and placing it against two of the three strands being braided (I usually pick the thinner or shorter looking two strands).

step 4 - Continue to braid the hair like normal until you near the end.

step 5 - For the one strand of hair that doesn't have synthetic hair blended into it, borrow synthetic hair from one of the other two.

step 6 - Finish braid until there is only synthetic hair left out and then secure with the hair tie.

And that's it! Writing it makes it sound more complicated then it actually is, hopefully the animated gif helps. I bought my synthetic hair at a local beauty supply for $2-3. The label says 'Glance: Yaky Pony Braids,' and the color is 1B--natural, brown undertone black. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

colored girls with japanese straightening

Posted by Yahya at 12:25 PM 17 comments
There aren't many of us colored girls with Japanese straightened hair, but over the years I have bumped into a handful. There are those who have made their presence known to me because of my blog, and then there are those I happen to come across--usually on YouTube. 

Very recently I was just lurking around YouTube when I saw a familiar face and head of hair. If you follow Nadege from Relaxed Hair Health you might remember this face, too. Stunned by this girl's long and flawless hair, Nadege couldn't help but ask what the girl did to her hair to get it to be like that. This would be her first time hearing of the magical wonders of Japanese straightening. This is actually what led me into becoming a guest blogger on Relaxed Hair Health--to shed light on what Japanese Straightening really is. 

Well apparently this mystery girl actually had a YouTube channel. She goes by the name Gabbie and seems to be a well established make-up/ beauty guru. 

Now Megan Bowen, I've been subscribed to her channel for a while now. She is an English teacher in Korea and has her hair permed with Korean Magic Straight--which is essentially the same thing as a Japanese Straightening. The main difference is that Japanese straightening is better at straightening, giving you more of the pin straight look. Korean Magic Straight is beneficial if you're looking for more body. Megan introduces her straightened hair in the first video and gives a tour of the actual process in the second.

Lastly, we have Brittany from My Beauty Marc. She does a good job of properly explaining how Japanese straightening works and is one of the scarce Black girls with Japanese straightened hair I've come across that does her treatments at home. Brittany is always changing her hair up, however, so I am not sure if she is still a thio relaxed head.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

protein layering challenge

Posted by Yahya at 11:00 AM 4 comments

Hey guys, I started a Protein Layering challenge on Hairlista. If you're interested in trying out the method, or already doing it, please join us! The group will be active until the end of November. The only real rules is to create a starting posts explaining your protein layering strategy and to keep your protein and moisture balance stable. To help show examples of different ways protein layering can be done, I made the below animated gifs.

  • This one is my main method. It involves working up the hair every protein wash day. You start with solely protein deep conditioning your the first wash, then working up to two-fouths the hair length the next scheduled protein wash day, then three-fourths the next one, and then your whole head the final one. Then the cycle repeats.
  • This one is inspired by Nadege's method, and unlike the one above, one cycle is done on the same day. The protein treatment is first applied solely to your ends, then a diluted version is applied to the 'lower class' level of the hair. As you work your way up the diluting and letting it sit in your hair steps just repeat for the 'middle class' and 'protein rich' levels of the hair like shown.

Friday, July 31, 2015

some site updates (and a big reveal)

Posted by Yahya at 8:40 PM 1 comments
  • You might have noticed the new widget on my blog's right column. Well, PHS is now on Instagram! Follow me to keep up with hair photos, PHS stuff, and shots of my life. It's to commemorate me finally gotting my hands on a descent camera (you might have also noticed the better quality in recent pics). 
  • Next update, you know how I sensor my face a little with my meeko stamp? Well no more! From now on I'll be showing my face. Click on the image below for the reveal (starts drum roll).
  • Lastly, I plan on joining KLP's and Jeni's #washdayexperience to motivate myself into documenting my wash days more thoroughly and sharing it with everyone. Now that the majority of my hair is Japanese straightened, it seems to be needing a lot less.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

protein layering (for even strength)

Posted by Yahya at 7:18 PM 9 comments


Like my first legit infographic? Protein layering is a method, or rather a concept, still stapled to my hair regimen. It has helped my suffering ends with the transitioning from lye relaxers to Japanese straightening. Since sharing this idea, the method has been coined 'protein layering', but technically you don't have to layer protein product in your hair to do it. As shown in the illustration in the link above, I have mostly been doing it by protein deep conditioning my ends one week, then half my hair the next protein wash day, then my whole head the next protein wash day.  

Because all heads of hair has this natural protein hierarchy, protein layering is something everyone can benefit from. Relaxed and fighting a line of demarcation. Natural and afraid of doing full on protein treatments too often. Lye relaxed transitioning to Japanese straightening. Or just wanting even strength throughout your hair length. Protein Layering is also beneficial to individuals that have dry ends who find methods like baggying doesn't work. Such a case would mean that even with the added moisture, the ends have nothing to retain it because of the protein loss.

Below are links to other bloggers that do protein layering. Visit their posts to see examples of the different ways protein layering can be done.


Lesley from Fresh Lengths incorporates protein layering into her regimen by doing a protein deep conditioning solely to the bottom half of her hair between normal washes.

KLP from Saving Our Strands uses the concept of protein layering in her protein conditioning by applying a moisture conditioner only to her roots and then using a protein conditioner from the line of demarcation down.

Nadege from Relaxed Hair Health really follows the concept, applying a heavy protein conditioning mix to her ends and then leaving it in for about 15 mins. She then proceeds to dilute her mix and apply it to the rest of her hair.

Petra from Black Hair Information suggests a number of ways to incorporate protein layering into your regimen depending on what your hair needs.

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