We’re entering into a new season.  Whenever fall rolls around, I always think about the status of my hair journey.  First of all, we’re only left with 3 months before the year ends. So now is the time to get laser focused so we finish the year off strong. Secondly, hair growth rate slows so we need to do whatever necessary to promote length retention. 
The first action I’ve taken to combat winter hair woes is to restock on my favorite hydrating conditioner of all time.  Now that I have a brand new tub of Kanechom Shea Butter in my possession, I’m thinking about ways to balance its ultra moisturizing properties by pairing it with strengtheners. 
 I sent the mental energy into the atmosphere and the solution was soon revealed.

There’s this 3 ingredient hair mask that kept showing up on my Pinterest feed.  Everyone was practically begging me to give this all natural hair mask a try.  If I simply mixed a combination of an egg, some mayo or coconut oil, and honey, all would be right with the world. 
Obviously, by taking a look at the ingredients, you can see that this is a protein strengthening treatment.  Eggs do a decent job of depositing protein on the hair strand providing a barrier of protection.  This is probably why you’ll notice a tangible benefit following the treatment. 
Coconut oil has been shown to help your hair retain protein so adding it to the mix could help the newly deposited protein to “stick.” 

Adding honey helps to balance out the mask by incorporating a moisture promoting ingredient.  This would, hopefully, help you avoid the unintended result of “protein hair” that feels stiff and unmanageable.

I’m going to experiment with this mask. But since my hair isn’t really that damaged at the moment, I may tweak it a little.  I’ll start by spreading out the frequency of how often I do this.  If your hair isn’t breaking/shedding excessively, there’s no need to make this a weekly thing.  Once a month or every 6 weeks might be more reasonable.

  Secondly, we need to include a little diversity in the types of protein we use in our regimen.  Egg-derived protein stays mainly on top of the strand due to its particle size. That’s not a bad thing because protein on the exterior of the strand does serve its purpose.  But we should also remember to include hydrolyzed protein into our deep conditioning routines.  Hydrolyzed protein delivers small enough particles so that the interior of our strands is benefited.  The best approach is to experiment with incorporating both types of proteins and see how your hair responds.

Have any of you tried this mask yet? What’s your final verdict?

The other day, I contemplated treating myself to a set of lash extensions.  It’s  been quite a while since the last time I had extensions and I thought I’d try something different. Just as I was about to make schedule the appt and invest $150.00 into the experience, I came across a video of a woman with amazing lashes boasting about the results from diligently using lash serum.

I have met several women in real life who have incredible lashes thanks to the daily application of GrandeLash.  Some of these girls had barely any lashes when I first met them. This further solidifies that these lash serums do indeed work.

This week I had a revelation regarding how lash serums work and how we can apply the secrets of lash growth serums towards the length and retention goals we have for our hair.

The thing with lashes is their short lifespan.  This is why we’re often told that lash treatments such as the lash lift or extensions only last 4-6 weeks.  Within 30-45 days, your lashes have gone through their growth cycle, meaning they’ve reached their intended length.  Once optimal length is reached, your lashes transition into resting phase for a certain number of days before they eventually shed causing the cycle to repeat itself.

Lash serums work because they have the ability to extend the growth (anagen) phase of the lash life cycle. The more time the lash stays in anagen phase, the longer it has a chance to grow.  The person who consistently uses lash serums can experience the longest lashes of her life.  Like I said, I’ve seen the transformation in others with my very own eyes.

Then I got to thinking…….

Could we utilize the same theory to impact our hair length and retention?  I think it’s possible.  Because just like our lashes, our hair goes through all the same phases.  Genetics (and ethnicity) has a lot to do with potential hair length but I also suspect the duration of the anagen phase plays a big factor.

The anagen phase of our hair strands is between 2-8 years.  THAT IS A HUGE TIME WINDOW.  A person who enjoys a longer anagen phase never has to worry about achieving length.  Even with a few setbacks here and there, you’re still gonna be alright.

The million dollar question one has to ask is “can we do anything to lengthen the anagen phase?” Because if we could, that could mean a difference of a few inches.  And when we’re talking about hair growth, a few inches is absolutely everything!

So I did a little digging to see if there’s anything we can do to lengthen the hair growth window. The first, and the most common way to extend anagen is by taking MSM.  For those who aren’t familiar, MSM is a sulfur that you commonly find in most hair, skin & nails supplements.  Some who add MSM to their regimen may notice less shedding.  Perhaps because fewer hairs are in the exogen (shedding) phase.

Most people are aware that MSM can prolong the anagen phase but, if you recall, I wrote about another product that was also shown to increase the duration of anagen.  What I’m referring to is peppermint oil.  In clinical tests, peppermint oil demonstrated it’s ability to induce a rapid anagen stage.  This might mean that it speeds up the actual growth rate of the strands.  But they also implied that peppermint oil can help the strand enter anagen phase faster than usual.

Lastly, I believe scalp stimulation can influence anagen.  Maybe not in duration but in the speed of growth during that stage.  But in the rate of growth during anagen.  This study eludes to the scalp massage and anagen phase connection.  A healthy scalp with adequate blood flow will absolutely impact the health and length of your hair.

There’s a reality show I watch with 2 women who have long hair.  One of them has extremely long hair (maybe tailbone length, while the other has hair close to waist length).  In one conversation, the one with waist length said “yeah I have long hair, but my hair doesn’t get as long as hers.”  In my observation, the one with the tailbone length hair as a lengthy routine of brushing out her long strands every night.  Probably because she wears it in a very messy bun which creates tangles.  I’m sure the girl with waist length hair also brushes hers, but from what I observed, hair brushing isn’t a nightly and morning ritual like in the case of her longer-haired roomie.  All of that scalp brushing is direct stimulation that invites blood flow promotes faster growing hair.

So what will I do with all of this information?  For one, I gotta make sure to stay consistent with my supplements.  Next, I have to whip up another batch of MSM water and add a few drops of peppermint oil to increase scalp stimulation. I’ll mist my hair and scalp with the stimulating MSM water as part of my daily moisturizing routine.  Lastly, I need to always remember to maintain adequate blood flow to the scalp, especially as we head into the fall & winter season.