I already have several flat irons in my arsenal. But yesterday I made the last minute decision to purchase yet another one.  This new flat iron will come into my life because it's quite different from everything else I own.
For one, this is new iron is 2 inches in width.  I'm hoping this cuts my flat ironing time in half.  The biggest draw that made me click the purchase button is that this iron has infrared technology.  I'm a huge fan of infrared in haircare.  Years ago, I picked up the Jose Eber infrared iron. Basically, it uses infrared technology to boost the effectiveness of your favorite conditioning products.  The conditioning tool works great. But, to be honest, I really don't use it enough.

Spring is fast approaching. Soon, I'll be dealing with excessive humidity and frizz.  I'm looking for something to help seal my cuticle layer.  An infrared flat iron may be just the thing I need.  I sincerely hope that the combination of ceramic plates, infrared light, and the right heat protectant can seal my strands without causing too much damage.

I'm crossing my fingers in hopes that a flat iron with infrared capabilities will give my hair that slight edge.

While researching, I also learned about the existence of infrared hair dryers.  Many of them are referred to as hair processors (used during a coloring treatment).  I'm not fully certain if they actually have the ability to completely dry the hair or if they simply enhance the coloring process by allowing the color to penetrate deeper.  Even if it doesn't fully dry the hair. It seems like a viable option for a "deeper" deep conditioning session.  Infrared uses an inside-out approach which allows the hair to heat evenly.   Basically, it breaks apart the water molecules on the surface of the hair for fast absorption into the strand.  The end result is softer, more manageable hair.

I'm not gonna lie, I want one.  Or, at the very least, I want to experience it.   I've got my eye on a handheld infrared dryer but I rarely blow dry so one of those infrared processing dryers would be ideal.   If I find out that they actually can dry the hair in a healthier way, I'll definitely have one before the year ends.

I've been hooked on micellar water ever since my first bottle.  This powerful cleansing water truly a beautiful thing.  What makes micellar water so amazing is the microscopic oil molecules ("micelles") that have the ability to attract and lift all the dirt, makeup and grime off your skin without  any tightness or over drying.

It dissolves all the bad stuff leaving your skin perfectly hydrated.  The origin of this wonderful creation stems from French women who sought out an alternate approach to cleansing their faces.  Their water is harsh so they needed a suitable workaround to maintain beautiful skin.  To me, micellar water is a must have beauty item if you want to cleanse often but don't want to overdry with harsh ingredients.
Basically, micellar water is perfect.  So it only makes sense to incorporate it into a hair product.
DevaCurl is the first to bring micellar water into the hair care game.  On Valentine's Day, they're launching a micellar water cleansing serum called "Buildup Buster."  This cleansing serum will take the place of your shampoo on wash day.  It'll cleanse without over stripping using micellar technology.   From there, you condition and style as usual.

Because micellar water is so powerful, the Buildup Buster may actually qualify as a clarifying treatment.  That's really exciting news because I've been avoiding clarifying for a while for fear of drying out my hair.  Dry winter air has been a struggle and I don't want my shampoo to add to the misery.  Thanks to DevaCurl, I'm going to experiment with clarifying with a micellar cleanser.

Since we have to wait a little while longer for Buildup Buster to launch.  I'm going to play around with a DIY version.  Perhaps, I'll water down a little shampoo with micellar water.  Or maybe I use micellar water in a spray bottle to help detangle my hair prior to a co-wash.

I'm also brainstorming the possibility of misting my scalp with a little micellar water after a workout. Which reminds me, I need to grab a few travel size bottles.  I'll toss one in my everyday bag and keep a couple on hand for when I travel. I can always refill the bottles when I run out.

This could be a game changer.

When it comes to anti-aging, fighting oxidation should be your number one priority.  Free radicals are the enemy because they promote accelerated aging over time.  Not to mention that certain age-related diseases are also linked to oxidation & free radicals.  Even though oxidation is the devil, it's also a natural by-product of our body's natural functioning.  Just the simple act of breathing creates oxidative stress on our body.

But since we can't just stop breathing, we take a different approach. And that approach involves consuming antioxidants that neutralize those free radicals.  We're pretty familiar with the standard antioxidants on the market like vitamins C & E.  There are also some whole foods known for their antioxidant content.  Health enthusiasts urge us to include blueberries, green tea and leafy greens in our diet.  But no one is talking about the most powerful oxidant fighting food in the world.  This superfood contains far more antioxidants than anything else on the planet.  Nothing compares to its vitamin C content.  You need to know about this!

But don't you worry, I'm here to spill all the details.
Actually, you may have already heard of this fruit, but you may not be aware that it holds the title as the ultimate superfood.  I'm referring to alma (a.ka. Indian gooseberry).  Just one of these little tiny fruits has around the same amount of vitamin C as 30 oranges.  Not to mention that it's also rich in beta-carotene and vitamin E.  In ayurvedic medicine, amla is referred to as a "divine fruit" because of all of its healing qualities.  It's also sometimes referred to as "the elixir of life."  Amla's antioxidant value is far, far greater than pomegranates, goji berries and even acai.

There are a long list of health benefits associated with amla. Anytime I'm introduced to such a high-quality ingredient, I start brainstorming ways to implement it into my daily life.....then I run over to Amazon.   After a brief search, I quickly learned that I could enjoy amla is both powder and pill form.  Amla supplements are interesting but I'm more intrigued by the organic alma powder that I can easily add to my a morning smoothie.

Another possible benefit to having alma in powder form is that we can introduce amla to our hair regimen.  One of my favorite pre-poo treatments (back in the day) was Dabur Amla Oil.  My hair loved that stuff!  Which reminds me, I need to restock.  I think I might try creating a "hair paste" of sorts using amla powder and coconut oil. Amla does produce a mild darkening of the hair so if you have lighter color hair, this may not be for you.  And if you are looking to create darker strands, simply mix in a little amla with henna and you'll enjoy healthy jet black hair again.

If you want to consume amla for internal health, make sure you grab the food grade powder.  Then you can give this powder a try to experiment with your hair.

I've been taking full advantage of the lower humidity in recent months. This means lots of curly hairstyles that don't require heat to last all day.  Last week, I played around with setting my hair on large drinking straws and loved the result.  That day, I pretty much swore off flexi rods forever!

The next day, a video came into my life that reignited my love for flexi rods again.  Our nasty breakup lasted only 24 hours thanks to fate's divine intervention.

One look at the video's title and I knew I was in for a treat.  YouTuber NaturallyChea promised to show us how to achieve the perfect "heatless wand curls."  You might remember how I recently expressed my love for wand curls.  The end result is just so perfect.  Sometimes flexi rods are a hit or miss, but I can always count on my wand curls to come through for me.

Creating perfect waves (without heat) is now possible if you follow Chea's flexi rod technique.  Her tutorial is short and to the point.  To hold the curl, she uses Shea Moisture's Curl Mousse and Curls Blueberry Twist & Shout Cream.

Chea's technique is ultra precise as she rolls her hair around the rod.  Pay close attention to the movement of her wrists because that's a major key.   If you can master that motion, you can achieve the most beautiful flexi rod waves of all time.  I've applied her technique and loved the results.

Check it out.

This morning, I did something that I haven't done in a long while.  It was long overdue but it had to be done.  Today I refreshed my shower water softener.  I bought this thing years ago after learning about the damaging effects on hard water on the hair.

Back then, it seemed like whatever I did, nothing could make my hair behave.  Even though I deep conditioned like mad, my hair still remained stiff and dry.  Not long after applying moisturizer, my hair seemed dry again.  Not to mention how dry and itchy my skin felt after stepping out of the shower.  I had to do something. Finally, I came to the conclusion that my water was the culprit and I had to act fast.
That was years ago. Since then my urgency around dealing with hard water seemed to decline a little. And that probably has impacted my length retention over the years.  But this morning, I stumbled upon a study on the impact of hard water on the hair and suddenly, I'm fully recommitted rewarding my hair and skin with soft water once again.

We already know that hard water chemical deposits on the hair create a barrier layer that prevents moisture penetration and retention.  This mineral absorption could impact the structural properties of the hair without our knowledge. But did you also know that your hair type can determine how much mineral content is absorbed into the strands?

Let me explain what I mean by hair type.  I'm not referring to curl texture but the condition of the hair.  I'm talking about the condition of the hair.  According to the article I read, "the popularity of hair treatments that alter the chemical nature of hair, e.g.. coloring, bleaching, and relaxing, suggests that even more consumers are susceptible to an uptake of mineral absorption if they are exposed to water with any degree of hardness ions." What this means is that has been chemically altered was found to absorb more minerals from water versus virgin hair.  Although they didn't mention this in the article, I suspect that damaged virgin hair  (from heat or other factors) could attract more hardness ions than healthy virgin strands.

This still holds true no matter what part of the country you live in.  If your water isn't that hard, your hair will still "attract significant levels of metal from water that has even a low degree of hardness."  So don't get too comfortable if you live in the blue or green area of the map.

Your only saving grace if, you fall under the chemically treated hair territory, is to look into products that prevent mineral absorption.  The most obvious choice is soft water unit.  I didn't want to invest in a whole house unit so I picked up the Shower Stick.  This thing is awesome and does its job wonderfully.  But sometimes I get a little forgetful when it comes time to refresh the unit.  So I took a look online and I think I've found a product alternative.  A brand called Malibu has a water demineralizing product. Women with well water flock to this product to help restore life back into their hair.  Another option would be to use chelating shampoo to help strip the strands of hard water deposits.  Mizani has a chelating and neutralizing shampoo in one. I'm all out of neutralizing shampoo so I'm gonna purchase this as a replacement.  I love the fact that it's pH balanced so it neutralizes the strands while helping remove hard water build up at the same time.  It's absolutely perfect.