MY HAIR REGIMEN FOR 2014!

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Aceey's hair

Hey everyone, I just wanted to have my updated hair regimen in one place!

Wash Day – Once or twice a week:

***SPECIAL NOTE*** I normally part my hair in six sections before washing and conditioning if I am roller setting my hair.

– Pre-treat hair with coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil for one hour or overnight. This protects my hair from the harsh effects of shampoo.

– Clarify hair with clarifying shampoo or neutralizing shampoo 1x. My favorite is Suave Clarifying Shampoo.

– Use moisturizing shampoo– Right now, my favorite is Silk Dreams Go Moist Shampoo.

– Protein Treatment for 20 mins. with plastic cap or I sit under the dryer for 10 mins. with my favorite protein treatment: Silk Dreams Mocha Silk Infusion. I use protein once a week to keep my hair strong, as I am relaxed, color treated and use heat.

– Moisturizing Conditioner for 10 mins. I sometimes do a steaming treatment (apply conditioner, apply hot wet turban on head followed by a plastic cap, then sit under a dryer for 10 mins.). I always follow-up my protein treatment with a moisturizing conditioner. ***Special Note*** I comb my hair with a shower comb while under the flow of water from the shower to detangle my hair before styling. I do not towel dry my hair before roller setting. 

– Rinse hair and apply a leave-in conditioner.  I mix Silk Dreams Mocha Silk Hair Milk with Motions Foaming Wrap Lotion (for extra hold and curl retention). I normally set my hair in rollers or plait my hair with small rollers on the ends (braid-out style). I sit under a hooded dryer for about 45 mins.

– Apply Silk Dreams PRE oil to new growth. Flat iron new growth only. *** I do not comb through the curls or apply heat to the ends of my hair.

Aceey's Hair

Nightly:

– Massage scalp with Njoy Essentials Long and Healthy Hair Growth Oil.

– Apply a small amount of Silk Dreams Almond Buttercream to length of hair, especially to ends. Tie hair with scarf.

-Seal with Silk Dreams Nourish Oil, sparingly.

Every 3-4 months – Color Day

– Mix approximately 150g of henna with black tea and let sit in bowl overnight before applying to hair in sections. Then apply plastic cap. I normally let this sit in my hair for 2-3 hours or sit under the dryer with it.

– Rinse with the assistance of VO5 conditioner. I do not use shampoo to rinse dye from hair.

– Mix 100-150g of indigo with water+2 teaspoons of iodine-free salt  and immediately apply to hair. Apply plastic cap. I do not wait for the indigo to change color before applying to the hair. Rinse with the help of VO5 Conditioner.

Aceey's hair

Every 5-6 months – Relaxing Day

– Wait at least 4 days after washing hair before relaxer day. The night before relaxer, I apply oil or a grease to my scalp for protection (basing scalp). I also apply conditioner to the previously relaxed hair.

– Apply relaxer to new growth only, smoothing with fingers only.

– Rinse relaxer after processing and immediately apply neutralizing conditioner or protein conditioner. Wait 5 mins, rinse and repeat until hair has no relaxer residue. I find this protein step very beneficial for hair– it gives it volume and body!

– Wash hair with Neutralizing shampoo with color alarm until suds are white. Condition hair with moisturizing conditioner for at least 10 mins.

– Rinse, apply leave-in conditioner and style. Sometimes I relax and color my hair on the same day.

My Favorite Products

Shampoos

  • Suave Clarifying Shampoo
  • VO5 Clarifying Shampoo
  • Mane n’ Tail Original Shampoo
  • Silk Dreams Go Moist Shampoo
  • Silk Dreams Whip My Hair Cleansing Cream

Protein Treatments

  • Silk Dreams Mocha Silk Infusion
  • Joico K-Pak
  • Generic Joico K-Pak (Sally Beauty Supply Store)
  • Aphogee 2-Minute Keratin Reconstructor

Aceey - How I typically wear my hair when it is down.

Moisturizing Conditioners

  • Silk Dreams Vanilla Silk Moisturizing Conditioner
  • Silk Dreams Razzberry Coconut Affair
  • Mane n’ Tail Original Conditioner

Detangling, Rinse-out Conditioners

  • VO5 Conditioners
  • Suave Conditioners
  • Silk Dreams Destination Hydration
  • Mane n’ Tail Original Conditioner

Leave-in Conditioners

  • Silk Dreams Mocha Silk Hair Milk
  • Silk Dreams Wheat Germ Butter Conditioner
  • Motions Foaming Wrap Lotion (usually mixed with one of the above leave-in conditioners)

Moisturizers/Sealants/Oils

  • Silk Dreams Almond Buttercream
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Virgin coconut oil
  • Dabur Vatika Hair Oil
  • Silk Dreams Nourish Oil
  • Silk Dreams Mocha Bling Butter
  • Silk Dreams End-tegrity Ends Oil
  • Silk Dreams PRE
  • Njoy’s Long and Healthy Hair Growth Oil

Other Products

  • Alter Ego Linange Shea Butter Relaxer (The best relaxer on the planet)
  • Alter Ego Linange Shea Butter Neutralizing Conditioner
  • Karishma Henna – For color
  • Godrej Nupur Henna Power with 9 Herbs – for color
  • Zenia Pure Indigo Powder (found online)

Websites

So… THAT’S why I Don’t Go to Salons!!

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Image <<—GRRRRRRR! 

Please excuse my contrary tone. This is my first time posting while upset so I won’t go into great detail… just know that I’ve been into hair care for nine years. I apply my own lye relaxers; I apply my own color (a couple of times I had a friend, Maggie do it); I style my own hair, roller set, and flat iron.

I’ve been to my fair share of salons but I’ve found that Dominican Salons are the best (do a Google or Youtube search and you’ll find out why). When I move to a new city, I make it a point to look for a Dominican stylist for my styling needs and for hair care products (i.e., Silicon Mix, Capilo, Nacidit, Miss Key). 

I had always heard that there was one Dominican stylist in the Phoenix area named Melania. She is mentioned on the Long Hair Care Forum and also on the Dr1.com forum. I heard she was fan-tab-ulous! For over two years I heard about it. It was about time I give her a call.

I knew she would be busy because she’s the only Dominican in town so I called her just to schedule a meeting. I SCREEN MY STYLISTS after a four-inch “trim” some stylist gave me years ago. Here’s the initial phone convo:

Ace: Hi is this Melania?

Mel: *thick Morena accent* Yes this is Melania.

Ace: I have heard that you are the best in the city from several of my internet friends. I would like to know if I can stop over one day and look at your work before setting an appointment. 

Mel: Yes, but not today.Very busy today. Booked until next week. I come in tomorrow from 6:30 am – 5:00 pm. 

Ace: No, that is no problem. When is the best day that I can watch you work from start to finish?

Mel: Saturday at 3:30. Do you want to set an appointment?

Ace: No, but I would love to see your work first at the shop on tomorrow. I’ve heard great things about you and I look forward to seeing you!

She took down my name and I was excited! She also mentioned she uses products from the Dominican Republic such as my beloved Silicon Mix. Yay! Dominican! 

I did a roller set on my hair this morning and kept it in rollers, Dominican style before driving over to the shop. The salon location was beautiful, inside an upscale salon boutique building in Glendale.

It took me some time to find her suite/room. I saw two rooms– one shampoo room and one stylist Room. Melania was the Morena who was in the styling room. She had three clients at once; one client in the styling chair. One client either under a salon hair dryer or just sitting down in a chair (I don’t remember if I saw a hood,” and one client with a spacesuit on! When I say spacesuit, I mean a soft bonnet hair dryer that wraps around the neck (too lazy to copy what one looks like). I was unsure if she was in rollers or was just getting a steam treatment.

My first thought was: Oh no! I know she is not going to try to dry my hair in that itty bitty hooded dryer (because I use big rollers) or that soft bonnet spacesuit because the hair at the crown will not get dry.

I peeked through the door and asked, “Melania?” and the Morena replied, “Yes, I am Melania.” Her hair was short, neck length and kind of choppy. Now, I have bad hair days too, don’t get me wrong. But most Dominicans I know have their hair done and it is not short or choppy. And I have a stigma… I can’t have anyone with short hair do my hair, unless they are a man. I don’t care if they keep it short on purpose. 

I introduced myself as the one who asked to sit and watch her work while she did hair, which seemed very awkward, as she had four clients in her area. I didn’t have a place to sit. I could tell she didn’t remember the conversation as she looked at me as I just landed from Mars. She gave me her card and told me that she only works by appointment. I explained again that I didn’t come to get my hair done, that I only came for information (such as pricing, the products she uses, her hours, if she had a picture portfolio). I was upset that I was unable to see any of this. 

I really wanted to see her work. Should I call for an appointment just to be able to have a seat in the salon so that I can ask her questions? No. This first impression just left me with a sour taste in my mouth and I am thankful that I know how to do my own hair. I now have her email address so maybe I can just interview her first that way. 

I’ve decided not to let her do my hair but I’d still want the info. —> END RANT!! 

 

Ode to McKenzie’s Bakery and My Tribute: Aceey’s Big Stuff Turtles!

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McKenzie's Bakery Sign

When I was younger, I lived four blocks away from one of the best bakeries in the world, McKenzie’s! I miss them so much—often imitated but never duplicated! They were all over the New Orleans area and they had the best desserts!


Above is a clip of a documentary which featured McKenzie’s Bakery! Delish!

 They had everything… and more!

fresh donuts – my favorite was the Bavarian crème filled donuts with powdered sugar on top.

mini pineapple upside down cakes.

buttermilk drops – fried round donuts made with buttermilk and glazed with sugar syrup.

wine/rum cakes with rum syrup, whipped cream, and a cherry on top! Yum!

-One McKenzie’s bakery sold chicken… in a box! YES!

Chicken in a Box in the 7th Ward

Chicken in a Box off Foy Street - New Orleans

blackout cake – chocolate cake with frosting made with chocolate pudding, covered in chocolate cake crumbs.

-and my favorite… Mckenzie’s Turtles!

Thinking of McKenzie’s brings back so many fond memories, with my favorite being spending quality time with my mother. When I was a little girl, she would take me to McKenzie’s and buy a mini wine cake, beautifully decorated and enclosed in a sugary, rum syrup in a white gift box. We would then walk a couple of blocks down to the Mississippi river, sit on the grass and indulge. She didn’t know that she made me feel so rich! I’m salivating at the thought of all that butter I had as a kid!

Emeril's tribute to McKenzie's Turtles

Emeril's tribute to McKenzie's Turtles

Turtles were little shortbread cookies with ground pecans baked in, with a dollop of chocolate frosting in the shape of a Hershey’s Kiss. They look a little like turtles, especially if pastry chefs put three pecan halves at the bottom of each shortbread cookie before baking (two pecans halves for the “feet” and one pecan half for the “head.”) As a kid, being greedy, I would buy four turtles, being able to eat only two at a time because of the extreme amount of butter in the treats.  Eating them was a ritualistic science: I first licked all the chocolate off, then threw the whole cookie in, melting it in my mouth (IT WAS THAT SERIOUS!). Needless to say, I was never the smallest kid in school due to my daily addiction to McKenzie’s bakery (I was 4’11” and 185 lbs thanks to my daily fix of McKenzie’s).

A ton of variations of the Turtle cookie has been presented both online and in many bakeries all over the world. And I made my own… which I have amorously named the “Bruce Banner Turtles!”

Aceey's Big Stuff Turtle Cookies

Aceey's Ode to McKenzie's, "Big Stuff Turtle Cookies"

Why did I name them “Bruce Banner Turtles?”

-The cookies are HUGE! Each one is the size of the palm of my hand. Usually turtles are about 1 ½ inches in diameter butI got tired of carrying so many around, I decided to make them larger than life.

-Bruce Banner’s alter ego is green. Sea turtles are green, lol! And I am corny. 🙂

“The Incredible Hulk Turtles” sound silly… yeah, I know “Bruce Banner Turtles” sound silly, too. Ok Ok, I’ll call them “Aceey’s Big Stuff Turtles” then, hahahha! 😀

Did I mention that my cookies were gluten free and organic? You know me, I love mixing the healthy with the sweet!

How did I do it? Sorry pookies, I didn’t measure for this recipe but here is a list of the ingredients:

Shortbread:

  • all purpose flour
  • a ton of butter
  • vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • ton of sugar
  • ground pecans

Frosting:

  • cocoa powder
  • vanilla extract
  • tapioca starch
  • a ton of powdered sugar
  • milk
  • Extra pecans for garnish

I formed the dough into large cookies and baked. Then I used a plastic sandwich bag as a piping bag to make the dollops on each cookie. I wanted to add my own fattening, personal touch to the cookie so I added pecan halves on the top instead of the bottom of each cookie.

These cookies were so good that I made a vow to never ever make them in the house again due to the fear of eating them all… no self control! lol

If you are fromNew Orleans, I wonder what was your favorite McKenzie’s moment. I’ve got too many to count. Take care! 🙂

Aceey's Big Stuff Turtle Cookies

P.S.: Still need help with this blog.

What Your Cosmetologist Didn’t Learn in School About Your Relaxed Hair Part 1

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Aceey's Relaxed Hair

Aceey's Relaxed Hair - Yes, I was due for a color treatment too, lol.

The Relaxer Touch-Up Edition Part 1-
There is so much that I have to teach cosmetologists and students about taking care of chemically relaxed hair when I go to beauty schools. Cosmetologists are only really trained to cut, perm/relax and color hair. “We’re not in the business of helping people grow hair,” said one cosmetologist. Whether you are in school, a cosmetologist with years of experience, or just want some tips on growing healthier relaxed hair, I made this blog post just for you!

1. Tools of the trade are very important!
Here are some tools and products that I don’t see to many cosmetolgists use when relaxing:

  • Additional oil to add to the relaxer.
  • Conditioner to be applied to the previously relaxed hair. Relaxer Base (to protect scalp, hairline and ears).
  • Plastic Clips (for sectioned hair).
  • Neck wraps and plastic capes for client and for the  shampoo bowl.
Shampoo Funnel

The shampoo funnel is perfect for protecting your clients hair, especially if they are disabled and unable to lean back into the shower bowl. I recommend it for all clients!

2. What the client and cosmetologist should do before and during the chemical relaxing process.
Protecting the previously relaxed hair- Most cosmetologists will not add oil to your relaxer, nor will they usually protect your previously relaxed hair with conditioner or oil.

If you are not relaxing your own hair, it will be your responsibility to base your own scalp the night before your relaxer and applying an oil or conditioner to your previously relaxed hair to prevent overlapping.

Do not part your hair with a sharp tipped edge (i.e., rattail comb) as this may irritate scalp and cause burning. Avoid caffeine before your relaxer process (may cause scalp irritation). I recommend not washing the hair at least 72 hours before a chemical process.

I always recommend adding 1 tablespoon of oil to the relaxer cream before applying to the hair (not necessary if you are using Linange Shea Butter Relaxer). This slows down the relaxing process but also helps condition the hair while it is straightening.

Many cosmetologists are trained to comb through the relaxer with a rat-tail comb all the way to the ends of the hair or pass the the new growth. I am strongly against this, as the chemicals in relaxers are strong enough to straighten hair with just using fingertips. A lot of people have fine or thin hair and may not even need that step I just mentioned.

Relaxer timing is very important. I have very resistant hair and it takes me about 23 minutes for my hair to be relaxed straight. Of course, if you are using a relaxer brand for the first time your cosmetologist should perform a strand test on a small section of your hair before applying the chemical to the full head of new growth. The hair should never be relaxed bone straight.

3. Neutralizing Conditioners, Rinsing, and Neutralizing Shampoos Rinsing once with Neutralizing Shampoo after processing the hair is not enough. I highly recommend using a neutralizing conditioner first before applying shampoo. The conditioner lowers the pH of the hair and keeps it soft before adding the harsh shampoo.

Most shampoos and conditioners have high pH. Chemical relaxers are very basic (pH of most relaxers is 10-14). This raises the pH, causing the hair shaft to swell and be very fragile. A neutralizing conditioner lowers the pH of hair, closing the cuticles so that the hair can be soft, supple, and ready to take on washing and styling.

If you don’t have a neutralizing conditioner, using a reconstructor is highly recommended before applying the neutralizing shampoo. This builds back the protein lost from straightening from using a relaxer. This process also closes the cuticle, creating softer, stronger hair.

After using the neutralizing shampoo, always deep condition with a conditioner that has a good balance of protein and moisture. I see a lot of cosmetologists skimp on this step or charge more for deep conditioning. I’m one of those people that want a deep conditioner with every shampoo and set and think that it should be included in the price, lol.

4. The Leave-in Conditioner One stylist tried to set my hair on rollers without even using a leave-in conditioner! This is an important step to not miss, especially since most people heat style their hair after having a chemical process. Make sure your stylist is using a moisturizing leave-in conditioner on your hair. Note to the clients: I highly recommend washing your own hair with neutralizing shampoo or neutralizing conditioner the day after a cosmetologist gives you a relaxer. This minimizes the chances of chemical damage.

A Note About Chemical Burns: a relaxer should not burn your scalp at all, or be on your scalp! If you are victim of a chemical burn after a relaxer process, be sure to not pick at the scab. Apply a local anti-biotic such as Neosporin to the scalp daily. Another recommendation is to apply petroleum jelly mixed with one drop of tea tree oil on the burn daily, or Camphor Phenique. Not taking care of the scalp after a relaxing process may cause permanent scarring and possible bald spots. Here’s my complete relaxing regimen:

Aceey relaxes every three months.

Running my fingers through my hair.

Aceey’s Relaxing Day Regimen – Every Three Months

1. The night before, I base scalp with grease or oil.

2. Relaxing day: Section hair in four parts and cover ears, hairline, and nape with a petroleum base.

3. Coat previously relaxed hair with conditioner, being sure to not apply to the new growth. My favorite conditioner for this step is La Bomba Conditioner but any thick conditioner will do. (This step can also be done with your favorite oil: Coconut, Olive, Grapeseed)

4. Apply Linange Shea Butter Relaxer to the new growth only, smoothing each section with fingertips. I do not comb through the relaxer through the new growth.

Linange Shea Butter Relaxer

Linange Shea Butter Relaxer is the only relaxer that gets my hair straight. It is well worth the investment!

Linange is my favorite brand of relaxer and I highly recommend it, especially for people that have resistant hair. If I don’t have this brand, I use Vitale Super or Revlon Realistic Super and mix 1 tablespoon of oil in the relaxer before applying to hair. This weakens the relaxer so that my hair gets straight but is left with volume (I hate flat hair). My hair does not like any lye relaxers.

5. After hair is processed, I rinse thoroughly and apply  Linage Neutralizing Conditioner to my hair, carefully following the directions that are listed on the bottle. Notice that I didn’t say “shampoo?” 😉 This Conditioner acts like a shampoo in that it lathers slightly but really keeps the pH of my hair down so that my hair cuticles can lay down flat. The conditioning properties of this product are amazing.

Linange Neutralizing Conditioner

This neutralizing conditioner restores the natural acid mantle to hair after professional chemical services.

If I do not have the Linage Neutralizing Conditioner, I apply a reconstructing conditioner to my hair and let sit for 5 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.

6. Apply Neutralizing Shampoo with a color alarm and keep washing and rinsing until the suds are white.
Favorite Neutralizing Shampoos:

  • Elasta QP Stop Action Shampoo
  • Isoplus Neutralzing Shampoo

7. Apply Deep Conditioner that contains protein. Let sit for 10 minutes then rinse.
Favorite deep conditioners:

8. Apply Leave-in Conditioner and style:
Favorite leave-ins:

Usually, the next day, I wash my hair again with neutralizing shampoo and neutralizing conditioner just to be sure I got all the relaxer out, followed by a deep conditioner.

In the future I will be posting about coloring hair, my secret weapons for hair maintenance,  and other tips that are are not taught in Cosmetology School. None of these tips are secrets so please share this information freely. I am on a quest to make sure everyone has healthy hair! Be blessed! 😀

PS: Still new at this blog thing, please excuse any mistakes, lol.

Hello, World!

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Hi! I made this blog because I have so much to say and Facebook just was not doing it for me, lol. I’ll be talking about a lot of subjects in my blogs– from cooking to foreign policy. I am very new to blogging so please watch your step as I try to learn all there is about sharing stories with people all over the world. Have fun learning about me and please feel free to share your thoughts with me too! 🙂