Monthly Archives: December 2012

Using the L.O.C. Method on my Natural Hair

Figuring out how to keep my hair soft and moisturized has really been a challenge in my 18 months of my natural hair journey, and being older with somewhat resistant hair, it has definitely been a challenge. In the winter, the air is drier and adds to drying out my already dry, kinky, coarse hair,  plus the harsh winds and harsh materials that we use to keep warm can give our curls and coils a beating.

I was watching You Tube and came across one of my favorites to watch “Ms. Rosievelt” and she was talking about using the L.O.C. method, which I had never heard before, so my investigative instincts took over and I got to work. I also found a few forums and other videos talking about the application of the L.O.C. method, so I gave it a try.  The past two days have been great and the method seems to be working.  My hair feels deeply moisturized and I have great shine. I’m only on the 2nd day, but last night I didn’t moisturize my hair and today it still feels lovely. Tonight I will remoisturize using the this method and give an update.

I don’t know if this method will be ok for the summer, I might get moisture overload, so I will have to wait and see, and although I’m in the beginning test stages, this looks like it will truly benefit all hair, especially in the drier seasons.

The LOC Method

  1. First apply water (or a water-based leave-in) to moisturize the hair.  (I simply diluted my water based leave in to a water consistency).
  2. Lightly seal that layer with your favorite oil. (I used my combo oil mixture, oils that I believe, or are known to penetrate the cuticle layer of the hair).
  3. Next, seal that with a butter or cream and style. (I used my favorite cream to date).

So Ladies, there is the method. It is a layering type of method using a combination of Liquid, Oil, Cream, thus the creation, “L.O.C. method”.  The idea behind this method is to put sealer upon sealer upon sealer. Give it a try and let me know how your hair feels. Lets keep our hair, moisturized, soft, silky, and stress free this winter. Kinky Girl, OUT!

STOP GLAUCOMA FROM TAKING YOUR SIGHT

  By Neyal J. Ammary-Risch, MPH, MCHES

I was searching across the internet for some info on eyesight for the aging adult and came across this article. It’s a lot of great information and thought I would share.

You lock away your valuables to keep them safe. But there’s one valuable you may have forgotten: Your sight. If you are African American age 40 or older, have diabetes, or have a family history of glaucoma, you are at higher risk.

Glaucoma is a group of diseases that can damage the optic nerve of the eye and result in vision loss and blindness. Primary open-angle glaucoma is the most common form. In this condition, fluid builds up in the front chamber of the eye, and the optic nerve is damaged by the resulting increase in eye pressure.

“Glaucoma affects more than 2 million people nationwide and is a leading cause of vision loss and blindness in African Americans. In fact, African Americans are at risk of developing it at an earlier age. Glaucoma has no early warning signs or symptoms, and most people don’t know this,” said Dr. James Tsai, chair of the Glaucoma Subcommittee for the National Eye Institute (NEI) National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP). “It’s very important that people don’t wait until they notice a problem with their vision to have an eye exam.”

As glaucoma progresses, a person may eventually notice his or her side vision decreasing. If the disease is left untreated, the field of vision narrows and vision loss may result. “Most studies show that at least half of all persons with glaucoma don’t know they have this potentially blinding disease,” said Dr. Paul Sieving, director of NEI, National Institutes of Health.

“Glaucoma can be detected through a comprehensive dilated eye exam. NEI encourages all people at higher risk of glaucoma – African Americans age 40 and older; everyone age 60, especially Mexican Americans; and those with a family history of glaucoma – to get a dilated eye exam every one to two years, because early detection and treatment may save your sight.”

A comprehensive dilated eye exam is a painless procedure. Drops are placed in your eyes to dilate, or widen, the pupils. This allows your eye care professional to see inside your eye and examine the optic nerve for signs of damage and other vision problems.

If you have Medicare, are African American age 50 or older, and have diabetes or a family history of glaucoma, you may be eligible for a low-cost, comprehensive dilated eye exam through the Medicare benefit for eye health. Call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit www.medicare.gov for more information. To find out about other possible financial assistance for eye care, visit www.nei.nih.gov/health/financialaid.asp.

Keep vision in your future. For more information about glaucoma, visit www.nei.nih.gov/glaucoma or call NEI at 301-496-5248.

Neyal J. Ammary-Risch, MPH, MCHES is the director of the National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


-END-

Dictionary for the Natural Hair Community

I’m creating this Dictionary/Recipe  type of list to assist all my natural friends who are concerned about the products they are putting into their hair and onto their body. I’m just getting started, so new additions will be added daily. It’s in alphabetical order and I hope it helps. make-recipe-book-480X480

Ceramides
Ceramides are lipid molecules found in the membrane of skin cells that are credited with helping to prevent moisture loss. “Natural or synthetic ceramides will help maintain and restore skin barrier function, so that moisture is sealed in,” explains Ava Shamban, MD, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at UCLA. Studies have shown that people who have eczema and psoriasis have significantly fewer ceramides than people with normal skin. By using products that contain, you shore up the skin’s own moisturization defenses.

Essential fatty acids
Also known as healthy fats, essential fatty acids are the fuel that cells require to undergo biological processes, like moisturization, that keep skin healthy and glowing. The body doesn’t produce essential fatty acids on its own, so the nutrients must be absorbed from a person’s diet or from skin creams. “Olive oil, avocado, almond oil, and shea butter are all essential fatty acids that will help lock in moisture,” says David Bank, MD, president of the New York State Society for Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery. Omega-3 fatty acids are present in such foods as salmon, mackerel, walnuts, soy, flaxseed, and safflower oil.

Glycerin, glycols, and polyols
These three ingredients are members of the humectant family — they “cause skin to draw in and bind extra moisture,” says cosmetic chemist Jim Hammer. For example, if you left glycerin out in the open, it would slowly but steadily absorb water from the air until it became about 20 percent water and 80 percent glycerin. That potent ability to pull in and retain water makes it a common ingredient in hydrating soaps and cleansers that are formulated to gently cleanse skin without stripping it of moisture. These humectants can appear in numerous variations on ingredient lists; two of the most widely usedr versions are propylene glycol and butylene glycol.

Hyaluronic acid
This is perhaps the most impressive of all moisturizing ingredients. “The hyaluronic acid molecule absorbs about 1,000 times its own weight in water,” Dr. Shamban says. That quick and effective hydrating action keeps collagen and elastin moist and functioning, and therefore helps skin look supple and youthful. And for oily skin that easily breaks out from the use of heavy humectants, hyaluronic acid is a lightweight, nonoily ingredient that is “safe” for even the most acne-prone complexions.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate     Talk to many health-conscious consumers today about personal care products and one of their main topics of concern is use of the allegedly dangerous shampoo ingredient, sodium lauryl sulfate. The Journal of the American College of Toxicology notes that this ingredient has a “degenerative effect on the cell membranes because of its protein denaturing properties.” What’s more, the journal adds, “high levels of skin penetration may occur at even low use concentration.”

  • Carcinogenic nitrosamines can form in the manufacturing of sodium lauryl sulfate or by its inter-reaction with other nitrogen-bearing ingredients within a formulation utilizing this ingredient.
  • Other studies have indicated that sodium lauryl sulfate enters and maintains residual levels in the heart, liver, lungs and brain from skin contact. This poses the question whether it could be a serious potential health threat from its use in shampoos, cleansers, and toothpastes.
  • Still other research has indicated sodium lauryl sulfate may be damaging to the immune system, especially within the skin. Skin layers may separate and inflame due to its protein denaturing properties.
  • Although sodium lauryl sulfate is not carcinogenic in experimental studies, it has been shown that it causes severe epidermal changes in the area it is applied, indicating a need for tumor-enhancing assays.
  • Additional studies have found that sodium lauryl sulfate is heavily deposited on the skin surface and in the hair follicles. Damage to the hair follicle could result from such deposition. Damaging effects of sodium lauryl sulfate on eye health are also of concern. In experimental, acute eye tests, a solution of 10 percent sodium lauryl sulfate “caused corneal damage to the . . . eyes if not irrigated or irrigation was delayed.” A solution of 5.1 percent “caused mild irritation.” This report is extensive, but all in all this chemical ingredient in our everyday products promotes a high hazard to our health.

Sodium palm kernate – This is a natural salt derived from palm kernel oil, which is in turn derived from the kernels (seeds) of the oil palm. Sodium Palm Kernelate is used in various commercially produced soaps and cleansers. It is a ‘surfactant’, which means it helps make the product have a smoother and more ‘spreadable’ consistency.

Sodium PCA
Sodium PCA, another type of humectant, is found naturally in the proteins of human skin and binds water to cells. “Sodium PCA has excellent water-absorbing properties,” says Hammer. While water weight may otherwise be the last thing we want to hold onto, it’s exactly what you want in a moisturizer to guarantee the longest-lasting hydration. Sodium PCA is commonly found in moisturizers for the skin, though it’s also an excellent ingredient to look for in hair care products if you suffer from static — the hydrating molecule soothes hair and prevents fly-aways.

Silicones – According to a recent publication by Dow Corning, 82% of new hair care products introduced in the USA contain silicones. The reason for the popularity of silicones in products for the skin and hair lies in their molecular structure. Rather than being made up of a carbon-based backbone (organic), silicones (inorganic) are made up of a backbone of repeating units of silicon bonded to oxygen.

This makes the films formed on the surface of the hair very “breathable.” The films that are formed are noted for their lightweight, emollient and silky feel, and thus these materials are used as conditioning agents in many products. Silicones also have a high refractive index which makes light reflect off the surface of the hair, making it appear shiny and glossy. Silicones are also used in rinse-off conditioners, intensive treatment conditioners and leave-in conditioners, where they reduce combing friction, provide an emollient effect, impart gloss and reduce static charge between hair strands. In styling products, their primary role is to add a softening effect (called plasticization) to the sometimes brittle polymers used to hold the style. Some forms have been found to aid in color retention, to boost foaming of shampoos and to enhance curl retention. There are many different forms of silicones. It should be mentioned for practitioners of the “Curly Girl method” that only the PEG-modified ones or the dimethicone copolyols are water soluble.  Cyclomethicones – These are low molecular weight silicones. They have been found to provide very light conditioning effects as well as to speed drying time after a wash. These molecules are volatile and will thus evaporate from the surface of the hair, leaving behind no residue. This volatility may perhaps make delicate, curly hair feel drier, but that is the opinion of the writer. DimethiconesDimethiconolsPhenyl TrimethiconesAmodimethicones

Penetrating Oils – Put simply penetrating oils are oils that have the ability to enter the cortex of the hair shaft

1. Coconut Oil – Once coconut oil enters the hair shaft it actually has the ability to patch and protect the hair from the inside out. It is light in weight and non greasy and one of the highest recommended oil for promoting healthy hair. It’s an excellent conditioner, helps prevent dandruff and is wonderful for scalp massages

2. Olive Oil – A light oil that also penetrates the hair shaft. Main benefits include sealing, reducing split ends, strengthening hair from the inside out, and conditioning. Olive oil can be added to shampoo to protect the hair from getting stripped it is also great as a pre conditioning treatment before shampoo (prepoo).

3. Avocado Oil – Comprised of beneficial nutrients such as vitamin A, E and D, protein, copper, magnesium, iron, folic acid, and amino acids. All these nutrients are vital for hair growth and health; it also conditions the hair and helps with moisture retention.

Coating Oils– These oils Do not have the ability to penetrate the hair shaft, however they sit just outside and ‘seal’ whatever the shaft has in it, this could be water or hydrolyzed protein. These oils are high in polyunsaturated fats which cannot be absorbed by the hair shaft

4. Castor Oil – This is heavy oil that is one of the best sealants because of its structure. It conditions the hair giving it the strength and resilience it needs to stand up to daily care. It promotes hair growth, moisturizes the hair, hair appears thicker with consistent use, and helps tames frizz.

5. Grape Seed oil – Also known as a carrier oil for other essential oils, in other words you can add any strong essential oil that may need to be diluted to grape seed oil. Grape Seed Oil is used to nourish the scalp, prevent against dandruff, it contains Vitamin E and linoleic acid and can also be used as a natural heat protectant due to its properties.

6. Jojoba Oil the structure of jojoba oil is the closest to the makeup of the sebum that is naturally produced from the scalp. This makes the oil highly superior for nourishing the scalp; it has anti bacterial properties which keeps the scalp and hair healthy.

Dictionary for the Natural Hair Community

I’m creating this Dictionary/Recipe  type of list to assist all my natural friends who are concerned about the products they are putting into their hair and onto their body. I’m just getting started, so new additions will be added daily. It’s in alphabetical order and I hope it helps. make-recipe-book-480X480

Ceramides
Ceramides are lipid molecules found in the membrane of skin cells that are credited with helping to prevent moisture loss. “Natural or synthetic ceramides will help maintain and restore skin barrier function, so that moisture is sealed in,” explains Ava Shamban, MD, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at UCLA. Studies have shown that people who have eczema and psoriasis have significantly fewer ceramides than people with normal skin. By using products that contain, you shore up the skin’s own moisturization defenses.

Essential fatty acids
Also known as healthy fats, essential fatty acids are the fuel that cells require to undergo biological processes, like moisturization, that keep skin healthy and glowing. The body doesn’t produce essential fatty acids on its own, so the nutrients must be absorbed from a person’s diet or from skin creams. “Olive oil, avocado, almond oil, and shea butter are all essential fatty acids that will help lock in moisture,” says David Bank, MD, president of the New York State Society for Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery. Omega-3 fatty acids are present in such foods as salmon, mackerel, walnuts, soy, flaxseed, and safflower oil.

Glycerin, glycols, and polyols
These three ingredients are members of the humectant family — they “cause skin to draw in and bind extra moisture,” says cosmetic chemist Jim Hammer. For example, if you left glycerin out in the open, it would slowly but steadily absorb water from the air until it became about 20 percent water and 80 percent glycerin. That potent ability to pull in and retain water makes it a common ingredient in hydrating soaps and cleansers that are formulated to gently cleanse skin without stripping it of moisture. These humectants can appear in numerous variations on ingredient lists; two of the most widely usedr versions are propylene glycol and butylene glycol.

Hyaluronic acid
This is perhaps the most impressive of all moisturizing ingredients. “The hyaluronic acid molecule absorbs about 1,000 times its own weight in water,” Dr. Shamban says. That quick and effective hydrating action keeps collagen and elastin moist and functioning, and therefore helps skin look supple and youthful. And for oily skin that easily breaks out from the use of heavy humectants, hyaluronic acid is a lightweight, nonoily ingredient that is “safe” for even the most acne-prone complexions.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate     Talk to many health-conscious consumers today about personal care products and one of their main topics of concern is use of the allegedly dangerous shampoo ingredient, sodium lauryl sulfate. The Journal of the American College of Toxicology notes that this ingredient has a “degenerative effect on the cell membranes because of its protein denaturing properties.” What’s more, the journal adds, “high levels of skin penetration may occur at even low use concentration.”

  • Carcinogenic nitrosamines can form in the manufacturing of sodium lauryl sulfate or by its inter-reaction with other nitrogen-bearing ingredients within a formulation utilizing this ingredient.
  • Other studies have indicated that sodium lauryl sulfate enters and maintains residual levels in the heart, liver, lungs and brain from skin contact. This poses the question whether it could be a serious potential health threat from its use in shampoos, cleansers, and toothpastes.
  • Still other research has indicated sodium lauryl sulfate may be damaging to the immune system, especially within the skin. Skin layers may separate and inflame due to its protein denaturing properties.
  • Although sodium lauryl sulfate is not carcinogenic in experimental studies, it has been shown that it causes severe epidermal changes in the area it is applied, indicating a need for tumor-enhancing assays.
  • Additional studies have found that sodium lauryl sulfate is heavily deposited on the skin surface and in the hair follicles. Damage to the hair follicle could result from such deposition. Damaging effects of sodium lauryl sulfate on eye health are also of concern. In experimental, acute eye tests, a solution of 10 percent sodium lauryl sulfate “caused corneal damage to the . . . eyes if not irrigated or irrigation was delayed.” A solution of 5.1 percent “caused mild irritation.” This report is extensive, but all in all this chemical ingredient in our everyday products promotes a high hazard to our health.

Sodium palm kernate – This is a natural salt derived from palm kernel oil, which is in turn derived from the kernels (seeds) of the oil palm. Sodium Palm Kernelate is used in various commercially produced soaps and cleansers. It is a ‘surfactant’, which means it helps make the product have a smoother and more ‘spreadable’ consistency.

Sodium PCA
Sodium PCA, another type of humectant, is found naturally in the proteins of human skin and binds water to cells. “Sodium PCA has excellent water-absorbing properties,” says Hammer. While water weight may otherwise be the last thing we want to hold onto, it’s exactly what you want in a moisturizer to guarantee the longest-lasting hydration. Sodium PCA is commonly found in moisturizers for the skin, though it’s also an excellent ingredient to look for in hair care products if you suffer from static — the hydrating molecule soothes hair and prevents fly-aways.

Silicones – According to a recent publication by Dow Corning, 82% of new hair care products introduced in the USA contain silicones. The reason for the popularity of silicones in products for the skin and hair lies in their molecular structure. Rather than being made up of a carbon-based backbone (organic), silicones (inorganic) are made up of a backbone of repeating units of silicon bonded to oxygen.

This makes the films formed on the surface of the hair very “breathable.” The films that are formed are noted for their lightweight, emollient and silky feel, and thus these materials are used as conditioning agents in many products. Silicones also have a high refractive index which makes light reflect off the surface of the hair, making it appear shiny and glossy. Silicones are also used in rinse-off conditioners, intensive treatment conditioners and leave-in conditioners, where they reduce combing friction, provide an emollient effect, impart gloss and reduce static charge between hair strands. In styling products, their primary role is to add a softening effect (called plasticization) to the sometimes brittle polymers used to hold the style. Some forms have been found to aid in color retention, to boost foaming of shampoos and to enhance curl retention. There are many different forms of silicones. It should be mentioned for practitioners of the “Curly Girl method” that only the PEG-modified ones or the dimethicone copolyols are water soluble.  Cyclomethicones – These are low molecular weight silicones. They have been found to provide very light conditioning effects as well as to speed drying time after a wash. These molecules are volatile and will thus evaporate from the surface of the hair, leaving behind no residue. This volatility may perhaps make delicate, curly hair feel drier, but that is the opinion of the writer. DimethiconesDimethiconolsPhenyl TrimethiconesAmodimethicones

Penetrating Oils – Put simply penetrating oils are oils that have the ability to enter the cortex of the hair shaft

1. Coconut Oil – Once coconut oil enters the hair shaft it actually has the ability to patch and protect the hair from the inside out. It is light in weight and non greasy and one of the highest recommended oil for promoting healthy hair. It’s an excellent conditioner, helps prevent dandruff and is wonderful for scalp massages

2. Olive Oil – A light oil that also penetrates the hair shaft. Main benefits include sealing, reducing split ends, strengthening hair from the inside out, and conditioning. Olive oil can be added to shampoo to protect the hair from getting stripped it is also great as a pre conditioning treatment before shampoo (prepoo).

3. Avocado Oil – Comprised of beneficial nutrients such as vitamin A, E and D, protein, copper, magnesium, iron, folic acid, and amino acids. All these nutrients are vital for hair growth and health; it also conditions the hair and helps with moisture retention.

Coating Oils– These oils Do not have the ability to penetrate the hair shaft, however they sit just outside and ‘seal’ whatever the shaft has in it, this could be water or hydrolyzed protein. These oils are high in polyunsaturated fats which cannot be absorbed by the hair shaft

4. Castor Oil – This is heavy oil that is one of the best sealants because of its structure. It conditions the hair giving it the strength and resilience it needs to stand up to daily care. It promotes hair growth, moisturizes the hair, hair appears thicker with consistent use, and helps tames frizz.

5. Grape Seed oil – Also known as a carrier oil for other essential oils, in other words you can add any strong essential oil that may need to be diluted to grape seed oil. Grape Seed Oil is used to nourish the scalp, prevent against dandruff, it contains Vitamin E and linoleic acid and can also be used as a natural heat protectant due to its properties.

6. Jojoba Oil the structure of jojoba oil is the closest to the makeup of the sebum that is naturally produced from the scalp. This makes the oil highly superior for nourishing the scalp; it has anti bacterial properties which keeps the scalp and hair healthy.

Front Post Double Crochet Cap

Tfront post crochet cap w/earringshis cute hat, I made for my granddaughter, which led me to create it for my customers in adult sizes, as shown in the pictures, with matching earrings.  This set of instructions is for the youth size and can be adjusted to adults. Good Luck with your caps and I hope you’ll give feedback on your own caps if you should choose to make this cap. Happy Crocheting!! Pattern from leisure arts which I adapted for youth. 999_0002FrontPost1

With MC, ch 4; join with slip st to form a ring.

Rnd 1 – Ch 3, 11 dc in ring, join with slip st.front post pinwheel cap tutorial1 image

Rnd 2 – Ch 3, work FPdc around same st. (YO, insert hook from front o back around post of st, YO and pull up a loop even with loop on hook (3 loops on hook), (YO and draw through 2 loops on hook) twice. I found a picture to show this. *dc in next dc, work FPdc around same st; repeat from * around join with slip st to first dc. CC if desired.

Rnd 3 – Ch 3, dc in same st, work FPdc around next FPdc, *2 dc in next dc, work FPdc around next FPdc; repeat from * around; join with slip st to first dc; 24 dc and 12 FPdc

Rnd 4 – Ch 3, 2 dc in next dc, work FPdc around next FPdc, *dc in next dc, 2 dc in next dc, work FPdc around next next FPdc, repeat around from * join with slip stitch

Rnd 5 – Ch 3, dc in next dc, 2 dc in next dc, work FPdc around next FPdc *dc in next 2 dc, 2 dc in next dc, work FPdc around next FPdc, repeat from * around, join with slip stitch. front post pinwheel cap tutorial5 image

Rnd 6 – Ch 3, dc in next 2 dc, 2 dc in next dc, work FPdc around next FPdc, * dc in next 3 dc, 2 dc in next dc, work FPdc around next FPdc, repeat from * around, join with slip st.

Rnd 7 – Ch 3, dc in next 3 dc, 2 dc in next dc, work FPdc around next FPdc, *dc in next 4 dc, 2 dc in next dc, work FPdc around next FPdc; repeat from * around; join with slip st

Rnds 8-12 – Even though the instructions went to 12, I ended up with 18 rounds according to my grandbaby’s head measurements.                                         Ch 3, dc in next 5 dc, work FPdc around next FPdc, *dc in next 6 dc, work FPdc around next FPdc, repeat from * around, join with slip st. front post pinwheel cap tutorial9 image

Rnd 18 –  I altered my pattern and didn’t decrease, simply because I wanted to add elastic in rim, ear flaps and a cute reverse crochet finish to brim: How to Decrease (*YO, insert hook in next st, YO and pull up a loop, YO and draw through 2 loops on hook; repeat from * once more, YO and draw through all 3 loops on hook (counts as one dc).
Ch 3, decrease twice, dc in next dc, work FPdc around next FPdc, * dc in next dc, decrease twice, dc in next dc, work FPdc around next FPdc, repeat from * around, join with slip st to first dc

Band (If desired, can add a few rows to create a Band front post pinwheel cap tutorial12 image

Rnd 19-21 – (Band) Ch 3, dc in next 3 dc, work FPdc around next FPdc, * dc in next 4 dc, work FPdc around next FPdc, repeat from * around, join with slip st

Rnd 22 – Decorative Edge – Ch 1, sc in same st and in each st around, join with slip st to first sc. In addition I added another row of reverse sc to give an added touch to cap, and as you can see it was the perfect touch. You can now finish off.