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VIDEO: Innersense Detailed Review & Routine

Sunday, May 17, 2020
This blog contains affiliate links. Click here for a full disclosure.


The review you've all been waiting for... Innersense Organic Beauty!
So many of you have asked me to try this brand out, and it's definitely a tricky one. These products are unlike anything I've tried, and it took me a while to get a good routine down, but my results have been worth it!

Innersense is a fully organic brand, and the ingredients are packed full with natural extracts. The formulas are concentrated and have a very low amount of water, making them potent and high quality. This took some getting used to for me, as I typically use a range of drugstore and higher end brands. I find that you need a lot less product when working with these concentrated products, and you can really customize the look.

Products Shown:
Here's some thing I learned with all the trial and error:
  • Start with less product, and slowly add more to customize your look
  • Use water when styling to dilute products that are hard to spread such as the gel
  • Section off the hair when applying the product for even distribution
  • Make sure your hair has enough moisture by starting with the cream or leave-in before gel
  • Avoid mixing the I Create Volume with the I Create Hold
I really recommend talking with a hairstylist if possible to learn how to use Innersense products and which products are best for you. I talked with Molly from Botticelli Curls Hair Studio and she was so helpful! I also watched a couple other stylists who share their tutorials and tips.

To see how I refresh on Day 2, you can watch my recent Work From Home Morning Routine video where I shared an easy refresh routine.

Other videos mentioned in the routine:
How to Cocktail Curly Hair Products
How to Get Volume & Prevent Flat Roots

Innersense Review & Routine for Curls

Check out my latest video:

-How to Correct Protein Overload
Carol's Daughter

VIDEO: How to Correct Protein Overload | Protein vs. Moisture 101

Monday, May 11, 2020
This blog contains affiliate links. Click here for a full disclosure.


As part of the Curly Haircare for Beginners video series, I knew I had to cover one of the most important topics: protein vs. moisture. It's a daunting topic, because it involves science-y terms that can be confusing and overwhelming. I'm here to break it down for y'all and summarize my research to help you easily achieve healthy hair.

Hair that has a balance of protein and moisture is happy hair.

How to Correct Protein Overload & Balance Curly Hair

What is protein when it comes to hair?
Hair is made up of mostly protein, amino acids, and keratin. Protein gives hair is structure, strength, and elasticity. It even keeps the hair moisturized by helping it retain water. Hair products often contain protein ingredients to help with curl definition, strengthen the hair, and help it retain moisture.

What are some common protein ingredients?
Look for ingredients listed directly containing the word "protein," hydrolyzed, amino acids, collagen, keratin. Many products will also claim on the labels to be strengthening, restructuring, rebuilding, etc.
Typically naturally-derived protein ingredients that have been hydrolyzed are: rice, wheat, soy, oat, corn, quinoa, casein, and wey. These tend to be stronger protein ingredients and can lead to overload when used too often depending on the hair type.
Smaller proteins such as hydrolyzed silk, amino acids, keratin, and collagen can penetrate the hair and are more tolerable for most hair types. These can be used more frequently.

What protein ingredients are right for me?
It's important to understand that protein ingredients vary in molecular weight, so some are good at penetrating the hair's cuticle, and some are larger so they sit on the surface. Larger proteins are great at filling in the hair's cuticle, especially if it's damaged, porous, and high porosity.
Lower porosity hair can sometimes be protein-sensitive, and higher porosity hair tolerates protein more easily. The type of hair you have also plays a role, so knowing whether you have fine, medium, or coarse hair is important. Coarse hair is more likely to experience protein overload because it's already larger in diameter and stronger.

How often should you use each type of protein?
It depends on your hair type. Refer to the chart below for a helpful guide on how often to use both small and large proteins.

Best Protein Ingredients by Hair Type Chart

What is protein overload?
When hair that is healthy and already has enough protein receives too much protein from products, protein treatments, and/or masks. Large protein ingredients can buildup on the hair's surface and cause it to become brittle, break, and dry.

What are signs of protein overload?
  • Dry, straw-like feeling
  • Frizz
  • Stringy ends that won't hold their curl
  • Tangles
  • Breakage
  • Excess shedding

How to do a stretch test on your hair:
You can also perform a stretch test on a strand of hair. Take a hair dry, clean hair that has already shed, and gently stretch it between two fingers. 
  • If it snaps immediately than you need moisture
  • If it stretches some then breaks, you have a balance of protein & moisture
  • If it stretches and stretches far, then you need protein and may have hygral fatigue

How to you fix protein overload?
Add more moisture and reduce the use of proteins in your routine to balance your hair. Depending on the severity of your imbalance, it may take more than one wash day.
  1. Apply an oil as a pre-poo treatment and gently detangle dry hair
  2. Wet your hair and apply a deep conditioner to gently detangle again
  3. Clarify your hair to remove build up
  4. Apply a deep conditioning mask that does not contain protein
  5. Use a heat cap to help the mask penetrate the hair
  6. Rinse with cool water
  7. Style using a cream and/or leave in conditioner that is moisturizing
  8. Seal with a gel or a mousse

Products Used in the video:


What's the best way to incorporate protein and re-introduce it into your routine?
Avoid having protein in every product of your wash day routine. If your shampoo or conditioner contain protein, skip it in your styling products. If your gel has protein, avoid protein in your cream or leave-in. Also check where the protein ingredient is on the label, because if it's towards the end of the list it may be low enough in concentration to not throw your hair off balance.

Gradually adding back in one product at a time each wash will allow you to see how your hair reacts to each protein ingredient. This will help you determine which ingredient your hair prefers most.

More resources:

Leave any further questions in the comments below. Let me know if you'd like to see a video on moisture overload and hygral fatigue.

Check out the full Curly Haircare for Beginners playlist for more.

Check out my latest video:
-How to Cocktail Curly Hair Products

Amika

VIDEO: How to Cocktail & Layer Curly Hair Products

Sunday, May 03, 2020
This blog contains affiliate links. Click here for a full disclosure.



Have you ever tried out a new product combination and didn't get good results? Maybe your hair had flakes, a sticky residue, or was weighed down. Some products just aren't compatible due to the ingredients, and since we're not scientists or product formulators here, how can we tell which ones pair well together? There's a simple test you can do on your hand.

How to Cocktail Curly Hair Products

Mix a bit of each product on your hand, and blend together.

Signs the products don't work well together:
  • Mixture has a thick, chunky texture
  • Separated and not blending
  • Sticky or gummy texture
  • Mixture dries up instantly and forms a dry, white, lotion texture
  • Rolling up or flaking on your hand when wiped off
Signs the products do work well together:
  • Blends easily
  • Mixes and forms into one
  • Milky or clear color
  • Wipes away easily
  • Feels smooth and creamy
It's important to note that sometimes even if a product doesn't mix *perfectly* together, that they can still be used together. I recommend doing the layering method, applying the cream or leave-in first, then the gel or mousse. However if you experience flakes or stickiness then don't combine them.

What's the difference between cocktailing and layering?
A product "cocktail" refers to mixing the products together in your hands and then applying them at once to you hair.
Layering is the most common method of applying styling products, where you start with a leave-in conditioner and/or a cream, and then apply a gel or a mousse last.

When purchasing hair products, the easiest way to know if they're compatible is to purchase products from the same brand or product line, because they're designed to be used together.

Products shown:

Check out my latest video:
-Work from Home Morning Routine + Innersense Refresh
Amazon

VIDEO: Work from Home Morning Routine + Innersense Curl Refresh

Sunday, April 26, 2020
This blog contains affiliate links. Click here for a full disclosure.


What does a typical morning look like for me when working from home? I'm bringing you along my morning from my 7AM wake up call from my dogs, to beginning my work day at my corporate job. Many of you know I also work a regular 9-5 job, as a digital marketer. I typically worked from home a couple days a week. Now that we're all in quarantine, I'm working from home daily.
I know many of you may also be working from home now, so I wanted to share some of my tips for productivity.

I also share my simple morning skincare routine, light natural makeup look, comfy loungewear outfit, and how I refresh my curls quickly. I've been testing Innersense products on my hair, and this was the first time I had refreshed using them. More to come in a couple weeks!

Hair Products:
Skincare:
Makeup:

Outfit:
Others:

Healthy Oatmeal Recipe:
  • Oats
  • Vanilla almond milk
  • Chia seeds
  • Mixed berries
  • Honey

Work from Home Morning Routine


Check out my latest video:
-Differences between Clarifying, Shampooing, & Co-Washing
Carol's Daughter

VIDEO: Differences between Clarifying, Shampooing, & Co-Washing

Sunday, April 19, 2020
This blog contains affiliate links. Click here for a full disclosure.


When you're first starting out with taking care of your natural curls, all the terminology can be so confusing! You likely have heard about co-washing, sulfate-free shampoos, and clarifying. If they're all meant to cleanse your hair, then what's the difference? When you do need each one, and how often? I'm breaking it down for you in simple terms, and sharing some of my favorite clarifying shampoos, sulfate-free shampoos, and co-wash.

What is clarifying?
A clarifying shampoo is basically a deeper cleanser compared to shampoo, that is designed to remove buildup on the scalp and hair.

How often should you clarify?
It depends on your hair and the products that you use. If you use products that contain ingredients that are known to cause buildup, such as silicones, polyquats, heavy butters, and oils, then you'll need to clarify more frequently. If you use very lightweight products are not prone to buildup, once a month should do the trick.

How do you know when you need to clarify?
If you hair feels sticky, curls are limp and weighed down, roots are flat and/or oily, scalp has build up or flakes, it's time to clarify.

When do you use basic, sulfate-free shampoo?
Whenever you need to cleanse, but don't have major buildup going on. Some shampoos can remove buildup, but most are more moisturizing and simply remove product from the hair and cleanse the scalp. I shampoo once a week, and alternate with a clarifying shampoo.

What is a co-wash?
Co-washing, or "conditioner washing" is a gentle form of cleansing. The product is thick and creamy like conditioner, and doesn't lather up much. Some co-washes give a mild suds when scrubbed and rinsed out under water.

When do you use a co-wash?
Co-washing is great for a quick wash and go, when you want to re-style your hair but you're not due for a deep cleanse. Perhaps your scalp is not oily yet, and your hair is feeling tangled, dry, or has too much product in it from refreshing each day. Co-washing gently cleanses the hair and allows you to detangle and rinse away product. Co-washing is also ideal for those that have very dry and damaged hair, and are in the transitioning phase.

Is co-washing alone enough?
In my opinion, no. I think for optimal scalp health, a shampoo that produces a lather is necessary to keep your hair follicles clear. Some say that buildup can lead to excess shedding and hair loss.

Is it necessary to have all 3?
Not exactly. I think a basic sulfate-free shampoo is essential for weekly cleansing. If you didn't want to purchase a clarifying shampoo, there are other methods to remove buildup such as apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinses, dish soap, or a sulfate shampoo. Having a co-wash on hand is mostly helpful if you struggle to go long in between your washes and want to re-style mid-week.

What is the best clarifying shampoo, sulfate-free shampoo, and co-wash?
See some of my recommendations below!


Products Shown:

How to clarify curly hair & remove build up with ACV
Curly Girl Method Simplified for Beginners

Clarifying vs. Shampooing vs. Co-Washing

Check out my latest video:
-Easy, Clean Skincare Routine

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