Beauty, Hair Care, Living Your Best Life North of Forty and Fifty Plus

Hair In Progress-Spotlight on Curls

In 2020 the pandemic put trips to the hair salon for regular trims, hair coloring services, a wash, and set, or a blowout on pause. We were forced to pivot and turn our bathrooms and makeup tables into an in-home salon on the fly.  While most of us are knowledgeable when it comes to our own hair, many of us still found ourselves going through a process of trial and error when it came to finding the right products for our hair type. Moreover, age can play a factor. Many women who are north of forty and fifty plus are dealing with changes in their skin and hair as a result of hormonal fluctuations, perimenopause, and menopause.

As a black woman who is north of fifty, I found this to be especially challenging after I stopped relaxing my hair. My decision to go natural was the result of getting older and from having an autoimmune disease (MS) for twenty-plus years.  However, my relationship with Ms. Clairol was safe. I made the transition with the guidance of a skilled hair professional who took care of my hair every two weeks. I received a combination of services including deep conditioning treatments, hair coloring, and styling.

When the pandemic forced salons to close, I had to figure it out. At first, I was able to wash and blow my hair out at home. I worried about the use of heat weakening my hair. So, I decided to embrace the curls I’d been avoiding for most of my life. It didn’t take long to discover that finding the right products for my curls was going to be a challenge. Nevertheless, it was a challenge I was willing to accept.

From time to time I will post my experiences with different products. I will review the products, provide price ranges, product effectiveness, and more all in an effort to give you as much information as possible.

 

Rating Scale

Poor *

Fair **

Good ***

Excellent ****

My first review is Mark Anthony True Professional Hydrating Curl Cream. 

The pitch: Extra Frizz Control! This Sulfate-Free Curl Cream is a hydrating blend of Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, and Biotin that help de-frizz and add moisture to your dry brittle curls. It provides extra curl styling control with humidity resistance. Curls are now shinier, more defined, and tangle-free. Lightweight enough to use daily after shower. Color safe.

Usage: Apply to wet or damp hair. For my purposes, I applied after I washed and conditioned my hair. I section my hair in two. Then I use about a half-dollar size amount of cream in my palm and work it through from the roots to ends with my fingers. I try to follow my curl pattern and repeat on the other side. I let my hair dry naturally, but you can use a diffuser to blow it dry as well.

Results: I’ve found that my curls have great hold while still feeling soft. I’ve found that some products with coconut oil and shea butter can make your hair smell like a tropical fruit salad, which if you live in a warmer climate, or it’s spring or summer, can be tricky once you go outside. Bees don’t know the difference. Marc Anthony’s hydrating cream smells nice and it’s not overwhelming.

Cost: The cream ranges in price from 8.99-9.99 (depends on where you purchase it)

Available at: Walgreens, CVS, Target, Walmart, and Rite Aid. Check online to see which stores in your area have it in stock

Overall Rating ****

Price Rating ****

Beauty, Beauty, Hair Care

How’s Your Hair Doing? Pandemic Hair and Beyond

For men and women alike, the pandemic brought our regular barbershop and salon appointments to a halt. For the majority of 2020, we had to figure out how to handle caring for our tresses at home, which was cool if you were a barber or hair care professional. However, for the rest of us, it was a lot of trial and error. With a whole lot of errors seen online with posts of self-cutting hair attempts gone very wrong. At least it happened across the board for everyone. Even celebrities were committing hair infractions left and right too.

However, according to L’Officiel How Hair Care Became The New Skin Care (01.13.2021 by Hannah Amini). Skincare and other wellness routines have become a source of therapy and experimentation.

When the access to hairstylists was limited, many took and are taking otherwise daunting treatment regimes into their own hands.  With many people purchasing the products and equipment needed to maintain their hair. Everything from rinses to permanent and semi-permanent hair color, hair treatments, and more are taking place at home.

There is more interest in maintaining healthy hair through natural products they purchase or raid their pantry for, such as mayonaisse or avocado to make deep conditioning hair masks for healthy and shiny hair. There’s been a boon of tips to be found on social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram, with some influencers gaining followers and sponsors who pay them to try their products. Moreover, there is a wave of hair-based entrepreneurs with  homemade products for every hair type from natural to color-treated, with every type in between, available for consumers to purchase.

For women who had chemical processes like relaxers, perms, Brazilian keratin treatments, and Japanese straightening. Then there was the matter of hair weaves, extensions and heat treatments too.

According to Go natural, try a new style or panic? How black women in the coronavirus era deal with their hair (Los Angeles Times, Arit John April 11,2020)  Many black women found themselves trying to figure out what to do with their hair during the pandemic. Salons, beauty supply stores and stylists that cater to black women adapted by revamping their digital presence with instructional videos and the sale of products online. Felicia Leatherwood, a celebrity hairstylist who has worked with Issa Rae of “Insecure” and director Ava DuVernay, said some black women are experienced “anxiety on top of anxiety” during the pandemic.

“They have anxiety about what’s happening, and then they have anxiety about discovering their hair and working with it and realizing that they actually have not liked their hair, never really liked their texture,” said Ms. Leatherwood.

As a black woman who decided to go natural several years back, I can attest to the nervousness I felt when the pandemic shut everything down. However, I grew up with a mother that loved hair and had no problem trying out products and keeping a supply of haircare at home. I went through trial and error to find out what worked best for me after having my hair relaxed for the majority of my life. I never had an issue with my hair’s texture, but when I was growing up, there wasn’t any product for my curly hair. Nowadays, it’s an embarrassment of riches.

Now, 18 months later as some states have allowed salons to re-open, and with many of them still following Covid protocols, we can safely go back to our hair salons and barbers. Nevertheless, it’s important to maintain your hair in between appointments and not let the lessons learned during lockdown go to waste.

 

Here are some tips for all hair types. Shampoo 101: Choosing the Right Shampoo for Your Hair Type (byrdie.com

Experts for the article

MEET THE EXPERT

  • Sharleen St. Surin-Lord is a board-certified dermatologist based in Maryland.
  • Shab Reslan is a trichologist and hair health advisor at HairClub. Trichology is
    the branch of medical and cosmetic study and practice concerned with the hair and scalp.

A good at-home haircare system should include

  • Shampoo based on your scalp.
  • Oily Scalp- If you have very oily hair, avoid hydrating shampoos that will weigh your hair down. You need something to help clarify your hair and to build volume.
  • Dry Scalp- Avoid shampoos with sulfates that dry hair out. Look for shampoos that promote moisture, hydration, smoothing, or curls.

For Hair Care based on hair types

  • Fine Hair: Look for volumizing shampoos that can boost your strands without weighing hair down.
  • Thick Hair: Hydrating or moisturizing shampoos are great for adding moisture, shine, and smoothness to thick hair that lacks moisture.
  • Straight Hair: Smoothing or straight hair shampoos are typically rich in extra moisturizers and smoothing agents that help seal the cuticle and provide a great start for straight and smooth styles.
  • Wavy Hair: Balancing shampoos are typically a nice middle-of-the-road option. They’re not too moisturizing but won’t dry your hair out.
  • Curly Hair: Look for very moisturizing shampoos that contain ingredients that reduce frizz without weighing down the curls.
  • Damaged/Colored/Brittle Hair: Strengthening or fortifying shampoos are good for damaged, over-processed, highlighted, weakened, or brittle hair, as they usually contain extra protein to improve hair’s condition.

Shop Around for the right haircare.

There are a lot of products on the market, look to the internet to research and get  reviews from other people. Whether you’re back at your salon or not, it’s good to ask your stylist for tips and recommendations. a good stylist wants to help you feel and look your best. When you take care of your hair too, it makes them look good as well.

Look to beauty influencers online to see what products they are touting. Naturally, keep your perspective. Many are paid to hawk the products, but if they are using them with good results, delve into a little. Many new companies offer samples to get you started. This way you don’t waste money investing in something that may not work and just wind up taking up space in your bathroom.

Finally, make sure you keep it fun too. Haircare is serious health business, but it’s all about your crowning glory. Find what makes you feel like your most authentic and beautiful self.

 

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For more information check out the following sites for a more in-depth look at haircare.

 

https://www.byrdie.com/shampoo-101-choosing-the-right-shampoo-3517815

https://www.latimes.com/lifestyle/story/2020-04-11/coronavirus-black-hair-care-natural-braiding

https://www.lofficielusa.com/beauty/at-home-hair-care-covid-trend