- RSS Channel Showcase 9744123
- RSS Channel Showcase 3944215
- RSS Channel Showcase 9643385
- RSS Channel Showcase 1430836
Articles on this Page
- 02/04/16--08:49: _Easy Natural Hair P...
- 02/04/16--13:30: _The Ingredient You ...
- 02/05/16--08:16: _5 Oils You Should T...
- 02/05/16--08:35: _Easy Short Natural ...
- 02/05/16--08:35: _SHOW AND TELL- FIER...
- 02/08/16--02:43: _Winner Winner Chick...
- 02/08/16--08:26: _Blue Ivy’s Fro Stea...
- 02/08/16--08:40: _7 Natural Hair Styl...
- 02/08/16--09:07: _Conditioning Basket...
- 02/09/16--08:29: _Beyonce's Formation...
- 02/09/16--08:31: _3 Reasons Your Todd...
- 02/09/16--08:43: _Natural Hair Care 1...
- 02/09/16--09:00: _How to Rope Twist: ...
- 02/10/16--09:25: _Moisturizing Natura...
- 02/10/16--09:37: _How to Determine Wh...
- 02/10/16--09:38: _5 Benefits of Steam...
- 02/11/16--05:34: _Dayna Is Naturally ...
- 02/11/16--05:46: _The Amazing Benefit...
- 02/11/16--05:59: _Top Tips for Losing...
- 02/11/16--09:00: _Transitioning Hairs...
- 02/04/16--08:49: Easy Natural Hair Protective Styles That Anyone Can Do!
- 02/04/16--13:30: The Ingredient You Need for Your Softest Natural Hair Ever
- It can hold onto water helping to increase the water levels in the hair
- Natural hair with glycerin can sustain higher levels of force before it breaks
- 02/05/16--08:16: 5 Oils You Should Try for 4c Natural Hair
- Hot Oil Treatments
- Scalp Massages/treatments
- Adding to conditioners/deep conditioners
- Adding to your spray bottle mix
- Sealing in Moisture
- 02/05/16--08:35: Easy Short Natural Styles
- 02/05/16--08:35: SHOW AND TELL- FIERCE FRIDAY!
- 02/08/16--02:43: Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! (January Basket Winners!)
- 02/08/16--08:26: Blue Ivy’s Fro Steals the Show #Formation
- 02/08/16--08:40: 7 Natural Hair Style Tutorials for a Glam Valentine's Day!
- 02/09/16--08:29: Beyonce's Formation Inspired Hair
- 02/09/16--08:31: 3 Reasons Your Toddler’s Natural Hair is Breaking
- 02/09/16--08:43: Natural Hair Care 101: Moisture Overload Is Real.
- 02/09/16--09:00: How to Rope Twist: Natural Hair Basics
- First, section off a small piece of hair like you would if you were twisting normally and secure the rest of your hair so that it doesn’t get in the way.
- Split that section into two equal pieces.
- With one hand, twirl one section using your index finger and do the same to the other piece in the other hand and hold the sections securely to ensure that they do not unwind.
- Once done twirling both sections, twist them together as you would a normal twist ensuring that the twirled sections do not unwind. Once you get to the end of the twist, use your index finger to spin the hair around the finger to coil the ends and prevent them from unraveling.
- And there you have it: one rope twist.
- Makes a twirlier twist because of the method used to create it.
- Lasts longer because the hair is wound first then twisted, so it’s more bound and therefore harder to unravel midway down the twist like normal twists would do after a few days.
- Reduces frizz because the hair is first twirled before twisted. Thus, it is tightly bound reducing frizz. Normal twists are known for frizzing out after a few days or a wash, but this method will help to combat this.
- The twists are more stretched, hang better and are shinier.
- 02/10/16--09:25: Moisturizing Natural Hair: The Most Effective Methods
- 02/10/16--09:37: How to Determine What Your Natural Hair Needs
- 02/10/16--09:38: 5 Benefits of Steaming Natural Hair
- 02/11/16--05:34: Dayna Is Naturally Glam!
- 02/11/16--05:46: The Amazing Benefits of Grapeseed Oil for Natural Hair
- 02/11/16--05:59: Top Tips for Losing Less Hair After a Protective Style
- 02/11/16--09:00: Transitioning Hairstyles For Black Women
- TWA- do the Big Chop and just wear a Tweeny Weeny Afro
- Braids or SisterLocks- SisterLocks can be started with as little as 1-1/2" of new growth at the scalp.
- Two Strand or Comb Twists- simple yet effective. If you decide to cut your hair, you can just use some styling gel (like Black Earth's Lock It Up Gel) and part your hair into sections. Either twist on a comb or take two strands and twist them around each other. Your hair can be worn like this for several days before having to re-style. CAUTION: Hair that is left twisted for too long can begin to lock. So, unless you want locks, take it down every once in a while.
- Straw Set- this is a great style if you want to keep your permed hair. The tight curls make the different textures (your roots and ends) less noticeable.
- Crinkle Set or Twist Out- by braiding or twisting your hair using a setting gel, you can create a wavy/crinkly look that minimizes the different textures of your hair. This is a very simple and very cute style. You can wear your hair in twists or braids for a while, then remove them and wear the "twist out" look.
- Flat Twists- basically the same as cornrows. The difference is you use two strands of hair instead of three.
Learning how to style your hair, especially as a new natural, can feel like attempting to solve a Rubik's cube. Styling can be pretty discouraging. Here are some very simple styles that are guaranteed to alleviate protective styling frustrations.
Here is an easy flat twisted halo style by AlleySinai. Her technique is nice and simple. I also love how she is sure to tuck her ends away. Be sure to protect your ends too!
Have a sensitive scalp and delicate edges? Check out Christine Emmanuelle's video on her simple way of installing Marley aka Havana twists without causing stress to your hair.
KaliKashmere created a very simple tutorial on how to do box braids. Her tutorial is a nice foundation. Create braids of any width and length you prefer.
Rocking braids is boring? Said no one ever. Check out MyBlackHair's many styles for her braided hair.
Another way to protect your hair is to do regular single braids or twist with your own natural hair. Just because you're wearing a protective style doesn't mean that it will be boring. AfricanExport, from YouTube, shows that you can always accessorize your hairstyles. Here her hair is simple single braids that are pin curled. Pop on a hat, scarf, bow, flower, etc... and you're good to go!
I recently modified my hair care regimen and the results blew my mind. There was an incredible softness to my hair that I had never really experienced. My hair is not usually soft at all. So you understand my delight. And all from adding in one, relatively inexpensive products. And what was it?
Given all of the rules, regulations and restrictions of natural hair care, if you’re one of those women who has been taught and believes that glycerin dries out your hair and makes it hard then you probably should stop reading this article. Or maybe you should continue – to discover that truth, that is.
If your hair is incredibly dry and brittle then you’ll definitely want to keep reading.
Stop Hating Glycerin
I’ll never really understand why anti-glycerin campaigns are common among some naturals. You’ll read the blogs and view the videos of some women who state that glycerin shouldn’t be used or to look for products that are glycerin free and all sorts of “interesting” information.
And while I completely understand that each person’s hair is different and requires specific types of ingredients and products to look and feel it’s best, all hair types have one specific requirement that is a foundational requirement to looking and feeling its best: Moisture.
If you hair is not “moist” then it’s dry, brittle, breaking, flaking. You name it, your hair experiences it when it’s not properly hydrated. A key set of ingredients in getting your hair to be moisturized is to humectants.
Why You Need Humectants
Humectants are used in hair and skin care products to promote moisture retention. They have the wonderful ability to attract water from the atmosphere. Many different molecules have the ability to be effective humectants and how well they do this depends on how many water-loving sites they contain for hydrogen bonding with water molecules. The strength of this bonding between the humectants and water improves moisture retention by slowing down water loss due to evaporation. Because of their water-binding abilities, humectants are ideal for dry, thirsty hair. That was so nice, I’ll state it twice.
Because of their water-binding abilities, humectants are ideal for dry, thirsty hair.
Humectants can be a curly girl’s best friend or worst enemy depending on the situation so you need to know when and how to use them. The most important influence of how humectants will behave in your hair is the climate.
While the topic can be quite complicated it’s important to note that for the sake of hair care and the use of humectants, there are two main weather conditions: low humidity and high humidity.
Low humidity conditions are those such as cold, dry winter air. In this case, if you use products that contain a lot of humectants, there is not a lot of water in the air for the humectants to attract to the surface of your hair. What can occur is that the humectants in your products may prevent the evaporation of water from the hair into the air. Ultra-moisturized hair from humectant use ALONE in this type of climate isn’t going to happen. In fact there is a chance that humectants may remove moisture from the cortex of the hair into the air. Moisture will move from areas of high concentration (in this case the hair) to areas of lower concentration – the air! This can result in dry, icky feeling hair. Not cool! Don’t panic. Humectants are still necessary but you’ll need to add something extra to ensure your hair lock in moisture as long as possible and feels soft and moisturized. You’ll need to use an oil to seal.
With high humidity conditions such as warm or hot summer air, there can often be A LOT of moisture in the air. Some moisture is good; a lot of moisture – not so much. If your textured hair is dry, damaged and overly porous it can absorb a lot of water from the air. This can lead to swelling of the hair shaft, lifting of the cuticle, tangling and frizz. Combine this situation with a product that is high in humectants (especially glycerin) and you have a situation where a lot of water is attracted to the surface of the hair. This can lead to hair that always feels wet, takes forever to dry and is a sticky, tangled mess. In other words, cotton candy hair. Not hot at all! Again there is a way to tame the frizz.
There are several different types of humectants found in skin and hair care products.
A few examples include:
I’ve used various humectants and my absolute favorite is glycerin. It’s available, relatively inexpensive and extremely effective.
Here are a few interesting facts about glycerin:
So how do you use it? Here are a few tips:
Don’t use straight glycerin. Mixing 1 part glycerin with 4 parts water is a good formula to start with. You’ll need to find that glycerin “sweet spot” (no pun intended) for your hair, so experiment!
As we all know, natural hair and oil are pretty much the perfect match. When it comes to Type 4 hair, particularly 4c, this match becomes especially important. Oil can be used for a multitude of purposes for natural hair, including:
1. Coconut Oil (Pure & Unrefined)
Properties: You’ve probably heard all the rage about coconut oil by now. Well, it doesn’t disappoint! This oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E, which both help promote hair growth and length retention, decrease breakage, and strengthen the hair. Coconut oil has a low weight (which helps seal the hair) and consists of hydrophobic properties that allow it to draw moisture from the atmosphere into the hair, which helps the hair retain moisture.
Uses: Coconut oil is definitely one of the best and most versatile oils for natural hair and can be used for all of the purposes we listed at the beginning. It’s great to use as a prepoo or mixed into your favorite conditioner because it will naturally help melt the tangles out of your hair. You can apply coconut oil to your scalp to assist in alleviating dandruff, or simply apply it to your hair to style, add shine, combat frizz, moisturize, and seal.
2. Castor Oil (Jamaican Black)
Properties: Castor oil consists of unsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, protein, and minerals that work together to make it one of the best oils for boosting hair growth. You’ve probably heard of using Jamaican Black Castor Oil to help regrow your edges or simply to kickstart your growth journey. The rumors are true: this unrefined and nutrient-rich oil increases blood flow to the scalp, resulting in thicker, stronger, and longer hair. This is because castor oil has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that remove dead skin cells from the scalp and stimulate hair follicles for growth.
Uses: Take caution when applying castor oil- especially if you plan on wearing your hair out. This oil is super thick so a little goes a long way. And if you don’t like it at first, don’t give up on it: you may just have been a little too heavy-handed with the product. Apply it to your edges to get them in tiptop shape. If you find that your hair is dry, brittle, prone to breakage, or balding in any areas, Jamaican Black Castor Oil is a great natural way to combat all of these issues.
3. Olive Oil (Extra Virgin)
Properties:Olive oil is its own natural conditioner: it penetrates the hair shaft better than some other oils and nourishes, softens, and strengthens the hair. Olive oil also has an anti-inflammatory property that helps rid the hair of dandruff and product build-up on the scalp. It also assists in reducing hair loss by fortifying the hair against any kind of wear and tear.
Uses: Make sure you purchase extra virgin olive oil from your local grocery store for best results. Olive oil works very well for scalp massages: it will help you stimulate hair growth and maintain a healthy scalp. Add it to your spray bottle mix to help keep your hair moisturized throughout the week. Since olive oil penetrates the hair shaft, it also works great for hot oil treatments and will result in hair that looks and feels softer and stronger.
4. Avocado Oil
Properties: Jam-packed with vitamins A, B, D, and E, protein, amino acids, magnesium, iron, copper, folic acid and fatty acids, avocado oil is superb for protecting and preventing damage to the hair. It also helps the hair lock in moisture and protects your strands against sun damage. Avocado oil has an even higher content (72%) of monounsaturated fats than coconut oil: these fats provide nourishment and make your hair super shiny.
Uses: Adding avocado oil to your shampoo will treat dry, itchy scalp and adding it to your conditioner will give you excellent slip to make detangling a breeze. It’s not heavy enough to be ideal for being used to seal moisture into the hair, but it does actually help moisturize the hair so always keep it handy to fight dryness.
5. Jojoba Oil (Pure & Unrefined)
Properties: Jojoba oil doesn’t always get as much “shine” (no pun intended) as it deserves. Much like avocado oil, it is great for addressing dry scalp but also hair loss, and in preventing split ends. But unlike any other oil, jojoba mimics your hair’s own natural oil (sebum) which causes your strands to respond quite positively by absorbing it into the hair shaft, which results in more moisturized and shinier hair. It contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, and E, which work together to protect against damage. It has an even higher content of monounsaturated fats than avocado oil (98%!) which of course make it excellent for strengthening the hair against breakage. It adds volume, encourages hair growth, and helps the hair revert from damage.
Uses: Jojoba oil also works great for scalp massages because it gives you great benefits without weighing your hair down. It is excellent when used in deep conditioners because it helps the hair bounce back, especially from heat styling.
The best thing about oil for natural hair is that you don’t need them all at the same time but the more you have, the better! All of them are versatile and beneficial for the hair. Try one, try them all, and watch your hair prosper.
Short hair does not mean 'lack of options for natural hair'. As a matter of fact, you have tons of styles to rock that are simple, elegant and easy. I am always here for the easy as I am a lazy natural (not neglectful) and never want to spend too much time on my hair.
We love videos and as I will be creating some of my own (coming up soon!) I wanted to share three that share cute twisted updos that can be created on short to medium hair (right out of the TWA) that will be protective and easy for the flat twisted lovers.
Learning how to flat twist is a must for these styles but all three videos show close ups of them creating their styles so you can pick it up pretty quickly. With a few pins, and some braiding hair for the first one these styles can be yours within a few minutes.
TheChicNatural shares a flat-twisted updo that is a great protective style and should last at least a week or even longer. With a few pins, braiding hair and some moisturizer and gel for slickness, this style boasts of elegance, creativity and lasting charm. Cover at night and you've got a favorite protective style in your hairstyle arsenal.
Traeh gives us a easy, sexy flat twisted updo that works great on all hair lengths. Her halo crown takes only a few minutes to create and is a lasting style for up to a week if covered at night to protect. A protective style needing only a moisturizer, pins, gel for slicking down edges and a brush to aid the gel.
MyCurlyArmy gives a twist on a twisted updo with a back ponytail and twisted bangs. With Tangle Teezer in tow, we see her create another protective style that is cute, unique and easy to maintain with a scarf for nighttime and a few pins, a headband, moisturizer and gel to create.
Here are three simple, elegant and lasting protective styles that can be easily achieved on short natural hair longer than a TWA. Some would call this the awkward stage but that's only if you haven't a clue what to do with your hair. I think we've proven any length can rock sexy styles that will last and keep your morning short and sweet.
p.s. US only!
“I like my baby hair with baby hair and afros.”
Indeed, Blue Ivy’s fro took over the Internet this weekend and for good reason: she’s embracing her head of hair and she doesn’t care what you have to say about it.
Beyonce has been ridiculed for “not grooming” her Blue Ivy’s hair since the beginning of time—even sparking an online petition to “comb her hair.” At one point, there was even talk that Beyonce was finally going to “succumb to the pressure” and give Blue Ivy a relaxer.
In fact, if you Google “Blue Ivy Carter,” you will find images of her hair categorized as “done,” “combed,” and “nappy.” It’s actually quite sad how much time and effort has been invested into criticizing a child’s hair.
We’ve seen Blue Ivy’s hair loose, in fros, twistouts, buns, puffs, and adorned with accessories. (And her “Coming to America” look? Adorable!) Never has Beyonce apologized or made excuses for loving her daughter’s hair just the way it is.
Well finally, we can put all of that nonsense to rest because clearly, Beyonce’s not fazed by all of the negative attention her daughter’s hair has received. In Beyonce’s new video, “Formation,” Blue Ivy sports her blowout with pride and grace, showing young girls everywhere that they can and should, too.
Volume and va voom are what these seven YouTubers are giving us with their seductive styles. Your mate will have to fight off the stares of onlookers with all these alluring curls and updos when you go for a night out on the town.
Bigger is always better and another pompadour options is the Statement Pompadour by Naturally Curious. Depending on the length of your hair, this style may also require stretching.
I'm giving away 6 Conditioning Baskets(worth ~$90 each) this month (February 2016) to question askers and answerers!
If you see a curly-in-need who has asked a question under a post, answer it! If you are a curly who has a question that needs an answer, ask it! Not under this post, on all the posts!
The first three baskets will go to the three curlies with the highest number of posts this month (2/1-2/29, comments from previous months don't count) and the next three will go to three randomly selected commenters. Past winners are eligible!
Which posts/articles count for the contest? All of them! Good luck!
*contest ends February 29th, 2016 at 5pm EST*
*Please only post comments that spark conversation and further discussion. Free products are EVERYTHING but this is really about strengthening our community and helping other naturals!*
*US citizens only
When Beyonce does a style you actually can recreate...you recreate it, duh. I saw her new video, Formation, and immediately created this insired look. I mean, it's not everyday the Queen B drops a video rocking a style for us 'simpletons'! Check it out and give it a try!
So we all know that infant hair snaps right off if the wind blows too hard, but what about toddler hair. Do you feel like your toddler’s hair is breaking or balding? I know my toddler was and that is why I had to really sit down and see what was causing her hair to snap off instead of grow out long like I thought it should be.
After thinking through our routines and looking at our habits I finally figured out 5 reasons that my baby girl’s hair was more prone to breakage. I definitely wanted to share them because I know I couldn’t be the only mom dealing with toddler hair breakage.
Tying a head scarf on a toddler before bed and expecting it stay on is like tying floss around a boat and expecting it to stay docked at the harbor. It just doesn’t work. So to get around this nonsense, I have opted for child size hair bonnets and I also use satin pillow cases on Mackenzie’s pillows now. So even if she somehow slips out of her bonnet which usually happens, she will still be laying her curls on a satin pillow case so we’re all good there.
When she was sleeping on cotton pillow cases, I noticed that her hair at her nape was very dry in the mornings and roughed up. Now it’s much the same as when she went to bed.
Your toddler may need more protective styling. I used to go for the two huge puff balls because hey let’s be honest, they are easy to do in the mornings when I am rushing. Those huge puffs were leaving the back portion of her hair so vulnerable though. So when she laid down at daycare, she was creating friction on the hair at her nape and then the puffs were also easily becoming tangled, so it was basically a mess.
Now I style Mackenzie’s hair on Sundays. I install small two strand twists in the back of her head and then do three ponytails in the front and twist that hair up as well.
I had to finally take a look at products. So when I was doing those puffs on Kenzie’s hair, I was using a few spritz of leave in on her edges just so I could smooth her hair up into the puffs. It was definitely not doing her hair any justice. Now when I twist her hair up for the week. I thoroughly cleanse, condition and moisturize her hair and then throughout the week, I mist her twists with a good leave in to make sure they are still moist and not drying out.
I am really focusing on a low manipulation healthier care routine for her hair now and I am anxious to see the results of this change. Taking a moment to really think all aspects of her hair situation over allowed me to really take stock of the various factors that were hindering her hair growth or causing breakage so now I think we are well on our way to Rapunzel style hair.
Surprisingly enough, the answer is yes. You can actually over-moisture your hair and cause more harm than good. Over-moisturizing has a name, and it’s hygral fatigue. Hygral fatigue is when our hair swells when wet, then shrinks as it dries, and that back and forth as you try to keep it constantly moisturized causes breakage. Besides constantly spritzing your hair with water, deep conditioning your hair well beyond the time recommended by the manufacturer or even overnight on a regular basis can cause over-moisturization as well. Totally avoiding protein can also result in hygral fatigue.
How do you know if you’ve gone to far and are suffering from hygral fatigue? Here are some signs to look for:
*Low elasticity.If you have a hard time stretching your hair when it’s wet and it does not return to its natural state after pulling, your hair likely has low elasticity. Elasticity is a balance of moisture and protein in the hair, so when you eliminate protein completely from your hair care routine, it can result in hygral fatigue.
*Limp, gummy or mushy hair. If you hair feels limp, gummy or mushy when wet, that is a strong indication that it is over-moisturized.
What to do:
If you think you are experiencing hygral fatigue, seek the assistance of a hair care professional. You may think that going straight for a protein treatment is the best solution, but too much protein can make the hair brittle, also resulting in breakage. A professional will be able to ascertain the appropriate treatment for your hair.
Preventing hygral fatigue is fairly simple, and some of these things you may already have as a part of your hair care regimen. Applying oils like coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil which are known to penetrate the hair shaft before shampooing can reduce the amount of swelling your hair cuticle experiences. Avoid keeping your hair constantly wet or saturated with moisturizing products, and allow products to dry thoroughly, especially if you like wash-n-go styles.
Remember, the key to healthy hair is balance. Balancing moisture and protein is the key to improving hair elasticity, which helps prevent breakage.
by NaturallyChelsea via NaturallyCurly
I bet you didn’t know that, besides the regular method of twisting, there is another way to twist your hair called rope twisting. It’s really simple and easy, yet so much better than simply regularly twisting your coils. If you haven’t already been clued in on this method, here’s a simple how-to that will have you rope twisting like a pro in no time.
Rope Twist vs. Ordinary Twist
Some of you may be wondering what the difference is between rope twisting and ordinary twisting. The twist on the left is a normal one, and the twist on the right is a rope twist. As you can see, a rope twist:
Tina Munzu has an excellent video that will walk you through exactly how she twists using this technique. She uses the Camile Rose Coconut Water Style Setter.
This pre-shampoo treatment, is done by adding oil to your hair before washing. It helps to protect and nourish the hair and also helps the detangling process. I like to use grapeseed oil or sweet almond oil.
To do this method, you simply apply a water based leave in conditioner and place a plastic cap on for 10-15 minutes. This method helps to trap the moisture in your hair. Check out my post on the baggy method here.
Deep Condition Regularly
How many times have you heard about deep conditioning? Well there is a good reason you keep hearing about consistent deep conditioning. Deep conditioning is used to help moisture and nutrients penetrate the hair strand. Make sure that you are not putting the conditioner on your scalp. This can be a reason that you notice build up after a few days. To get the most out of your deep conditioning session, use a plastic cap and sit under a hooded dryer or steamer. Which brings me to my next method--
Use Heat or Steam
Steaming helps add moisture back into your hair. I absolutely love steaming! I also use heat when deep conditioning to help the conditioner penetrate my strands. Check out a post on steaming natural hair here.
I use the LOC method every time I wash my hair. This method helps your hair stay moisturized by sealing in the moisture. The L- is for leave-in (I usually use a liquid based leave-in), O- is for Oil, and C- is for Cream.
What's up guys?! I hope your hair care process is going smoother and simpler? Stress-free haircare is the motto for this article... well, for this life!
Today, I'll be sharing some tips to bridge the communication gap between your hair and you.
We've all heard the saying, "Listen to your hair and do what it says"... but how can you listen to it when you don't understand the language it speaks?!
For starters, it doesn't have a visible mouth so we are pretty damn sure it can't talk!
Plants can't talk either but how do you know they are unhealthy?
How do you know they aren't getting the nutrients they need?
You do so by watching out for the signs.
That browning leaf, that withered stem, the failure to thrive... but how do you even know what these signs mean?
There are plants that naturally have brown leaves, there are plants that naturally have disfigured stems, there are plants that are naturally small...
To know, you need to have an idea of what the healthy plant looks and behaves like, that way you can easily tell when there's a problem.
It's the same thing with hair. It doesn't speak but it shows signs. You need to know what the healthy state for your hair type and texture is.
If you have naturally fine hair, you can't conclude that your hair isn't healthy because it is not as thick or as full as that of a naturalista with thicker, denser strands.
If your hair is naturally brown in colour, you can't conclude that it is unhealthy because it is not jet black and super sheeny.
If your curls are naturally tight and dense, you can't conclude that your hair is hard and will be difficult to manage.
The first step to understanding the signs of trouble your hair shows you is to know exactly how your hair behaves in its healthy state.
If you're not a trichologist or a seasoned hair care specialist, it may be difficult to tell off the bat what the healthy state of your hair looks like.
What if your hair is thin? How can you conclude you have naturally thin hair? What if your hair thinned out due to traction alopecia?
Well, here are simple tips to understand the language of your hair.
1. Go to the past.
If you have pictures of your natural hair when you were younger before every thing went downhill, take a look at them. Observe the natural shape of your hairline, observe the natural density of your hair. Yes, other factors such as aging will definitely affect your new crop of hair, but at least it will act as a clue.
I had always battled with my irregular hairline and on more than one occasion had it "sculpted" (shaved off Chinese monk style!) until I came across a picture of me when I was younger and saw that I had never had a defined hairline!
Now, my hairline and I are at peace.
2. Give your hair 1-2 months of tender loving care (TLC).
Improve your water intake, eat healthy (fruits and veggies and all the orishirishi), swap your haircare products for gentler ones, deep condition once a month or more, give your hair a styling break, play the good guy with your haircare and take note of the feel and look of your new growth.
Is it thicker? Is it shinier? Is it darker?
3. Note how it looks and feels on washday
A quick way to know if your hair is happy is how it feels after you've washed, conditioned and deep conditioned it.
Does it feel softer?
Do your curls pop?
What do they look and feel like when wet?
What do they feel like when damp?
What do they feel like when dry?
4. Re-evaluate your regimen.
So you've been protective styling to grow your hair longer. After two months of this regimen, does your hair look and feel better and have you retained any length?
So you've been shampooing weekly? Does your hair feel supple or does it feel drier?
So you've been spraying your oil mix, does your hair feel more hydrated than before you started spraying your oil mix?
Give your routine 3 months and carefully observe if there's a difference. Stop that routine for a month and see if your hair feels the same.
This could help guide you in understanding when your hair has a problem and give you clues to what the solution might be.
Is your natural hair extremely dry? Hair steaming may be just what the “hair doctor” ordered when it comes to healthy, moisturized coils and curls.
What is hair steaming?
It basically means adding moisture in the form of moist heat (steam) to the hair strands. This can be done in a number of different ways such as using a handheld hair steamer, a standing steamer or even enjoying the steam after a long warm shower.
Why should you consider steaming?
1. Helps reduce breakage: the steam helps to add moisture and thus can make dry, brittle and thirsty hair supple, hydrated and healthy.
2. Lifts the cuticle to allow product/ingredient absorption: the warmth from the steam helps to raise the cuticle of our hair, which means that products/ingredients are more easily absorbed into the core. This can be particularly helpful for low porosity naturals that find it hard to get moisture deep into the core of the hair or products to be fully absorbed by the hair.
3. Enables hair stretching, less shrinkage and tangles: because the hair is hydrated, it usually means that there is less shrinkage which in turn means less tangles and knots. This makes it easier to detangle and can also lead to less breakage!
4. Refreshes curls without having to start over: you get to add moisture without having to soak your hair with water. This can be especially beneficial for those that suffer from dry brittle hair during winter and do not want to add water in the morning/night and perhaps risk getting a cold!
5. Helps clean the scalp and promote hair growth: the warmth from the steam can actually help fight through some product build-up/dirt on the scalp, making it easier to keep your scalp clean. A clean scalp is a healthy scalp and a healthy scalp means healthy growth. The warmth also helps stimulate blood flow in the scalp which again helps with hair growth.
When and or how often should you steam?
It really depends on how dry your hair feels, how often you need to wash your hair and how difficult/easy it is for products such as deep conditioners, leave-in conditioners etc. to penetrate your hair strands. In all likelihood, you will not require daily hair steaming however you might feel that 1 – 2 times a week gives you happy, hydrated hair that looks and feels lush, plump and truly hydrated.
Tell me about yourself!
My name is Dayna. I am a wife and mother. I work full time at the corporate office for a large sporting apparel brand. Outside from my full time job, I blog abut fashion and natural hair on my blog CHICNaturalistas. I am originally from Cleveland Ohio, but I currently reside in Baltimore, Maryland. My hair texture is thick, kinky and coily. I have tight curls and kinks. My motto: Keep it simple yet significant
What was your journey like?
I have been natural for almost 3 years now. This year, I cut my hair to its shortest length and I fell in love with my hair all over again. I found the style that fits me best. I am so happy with my hair and journey so far. I call my style effortless, fierce, and chic. I love minimal pieces but with an added pow! I also love to mix in a little tailored fashion for a little tomboy chic. The verse that inspires me the most is Psalms 46:5, God is within her, she will not fail.
CHICNaturalistas was created by my best friend Brittany and myself. We both started our natural hair journey together and we both have always had a great sense of style. We decided that we wanted to share our natural hair journey, our style, as well as the style and journey of other naturals in hope to uplift and inspire other women.
Who is your curl crush?
My fashion and hair icons are Solange and Lupita because they both embrace their natural hair in so much style and grace! I loved how Solange went about her natural hair journey. She did it at a time when natural was not the 'popular' thing to do; despite such criticism and judgment, she embraced it so gracefully. Lupita is just simply stunning with her hair. I love how she switches up her short cut. Both ladies definitely have iconic hair and style that I admire.
What's your current hair routine? What are your favorite products?
My favorite products right now are CURLS Twist and Shout Cream. This product gives my twist outs great hold, without the crunch or any flaking! TGIN Honey Miracle Masque is amazing. It is a great deep conditioner, my hair always feels so soft after using it. The Creme of Nature Argan Oil line leave in conditioner! This product is great at refreshing my coils and curls.
My other favorites include virgin coconut oil and just plain water! As for my regimen with these products, I try to wash and deep condition my hair at least once every two weeks and style in a twist out. Using these products my twist out can last me a good 4 to 5 days before I have to re-twist!
Where can folks find you on the web?
Follow me @ItsDaynaDane
Through years of research, it has been found that grape seed extract has several health benefits (it may prevent cell damage caused by free radicals, strengthen the immune system and protect your body from risks of diseases such as dementia and even cancer-- National Central of Complimentary and Integrated Health).
Lightly Lubricate and Nourish the Hair
Tired of using jojoba oil and other common oils? Consider using grape seed extract as a lubricant. Grape seed oil has a light texture and won’t weigh your hair down like thick non-polar oils such as castor oil. Use grapeseed oil once or twice a week to nourish your hair throughout the week.
Reduce hair fall
Grape seed is rich in antioxidants, containing 95% of OPCs. This is the most of any other antioxidant extract. This lowers production of dihydrotestosterone DHT, known to contribute to androgenic alopecia. Grape seed extract is also high in proanthocyanidins, antioxidants that stimulates the production of cells in the hair follicles.
Naturally seal your hair
In a search for a light natural oil to seal in moisture? Look no farther. Grape seed extract works as a natural sealant to help lock in moisture and protect your hair from becoming dry and prone to breakage. Apply your favorite leave-in-conditioner and follow up with grape seed extract.
Deeply treat your hair
If you feel that you’re not getting enough out of your hot oil treatment, consider adding grape seed extract. Grape seed extract is a light and odorless and can be used alone or with essentials oils. Unlike other natural oils, such as jojoba oil, grape seed extract is also inexpensive, so you don’t have to spend too much money for a DIY hot oil treatment.
Protective styling is a great way to grow your natural hair and reduce chances of breakage from daily manipulation. When removing styles such as braids, twists or most extensions, there can be a lot of breakage. When the hair has been up for a period of time, there can be clumps of buildup and even matting. Here are my tips to minimize causing unnecessary hair loss on your post protective style wash day.
1) Lightly Detangle
After removing your braids, sew-in or any type of long term style, always use a detangling pre-conditioning treatment. This is a key step to avoid excessive hair loss. Here are some simple options.
Flaxseed Detangling Gel
This is a very simple recipe. Takes minutes to do and only requires 2 ingridents-- flaxseeds and water. Need to know how to make it?
-1 plastic or glass bowl
-2 cups of distilled water
-1 cup of whole flaxseeds
1. Add the seeds to the water.
2. Then turn the stove on to a medium setting. Let it boil and stir constantly.
3. Allow it to thicken. When you notice white frothiness that resembles egg whites it's done.
4. Strain the gel from the seeds.
5. Pour into an airtight container.
6. Let it cool completely without closing the container.
7. Pour the gel into a dye applicator bottle for easy use. Only pour the amount that will be used for the current detangling session.
*For future use: I pour the remaining flaxseed gel into ice cube trays. The night before I plan to wash my hair, I put a few cubes in a bowl to thaw. It is melted, room temp and ready to use by morning.
Pour your gel into a dye applicator bottle and apply it directly to the hair. Rub it in with a smoothing motion. It has tons of slip making it easy to remove any build up, tangles and shed hairs.
Cheap Condish & Oil Prepoo
-Blend 1 cup of any inexpensive yet very slippery conditioner of your choice with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
-Apply the mix very liberally. Work it through each section individually. Be sure to remove any matting, build up and loose hairs with your fingers.
2) Thoroughly Detangle & Cleanse
-Use a very wide tooth comb to more thoroughly detangle the hair. Always start from the ends and work your way up to the root.
-Rinse the prepoo from your hair and shampoo as normal.
3) Deep Condition
Now it's time to deep condition. Always show your hair some extra love when deep conditioning after any protective style. It doesn't need to be an all day process. Check out my fav moisturizing diy deep conditioning recipe below. It can be done in 30 mins or less.
Moisture Reviving Deep Conditioning Mask
-2 tablespoons of raw honey or agave nectar (vegan option)
-1 tablespoon of budding butter treat or any butter of choice*
-1 jar of banana baby food
-1/2 - 1 cup of a moisturizing rinse out conditioner**
*Use a very emollient butter such as avocado, mango, shea or soy. They have wonderful conditioning properties.
**Adjust the amounts used according to the length and density of your hair.
1. Blend the ingredients together until well incorporated.
2. Apply to the hair, cover with a disposable cap and wrap with hair turban.
3. Leave the mask in for 15-30 mins.
4. Rinse out very well with cool water.
5. The mask ingredients with ingredients that will leave your hair feeling soft, smooth and revitalized.
*Tip: If any of the mask is left over it can be stored in the freezer for use on your next wash day. It will spoil in the refrigerator.
Give these tips a try and share your results!
Transitioning from permed or relaxed hair to natural hair should be an exciting time for you. It should not be a time of intimidation or of a feeling of loss. Many women face objections from boyfriends, husbands, family and even in the workplace. While we can't help you with those social and political pressures, we can give you some tips on what to expect and how to make the transition as easy as possible.
How Not to Make the Transition to Natural Hair
Transitioning to natural hair in other ways, like pressing the natural hair as it grows in underneath the relaxed hair, are going to make your hair prone to breakage and can damage the natural hair you're trying to grow in. Products that claim to revert permed hair might make it frizzy, but are not going to really make it natural. You do not want to put chemicals on top of chemicals in your hair. You will only end up damaging the hair and get even more breakage than you would experience otherwise. While transitioning, try to find a style that will accommodate the new growth coming in like twists or braids.
Finding a Natural Hair Transition Style
This may be the biggest challenge of all about going natural (besides the comments from your friend and co-workers). How do you style your hair when it's very short or when some of it is nappy and the rest is straight. There are several options. Here are a few:
How To Do a Straw Set
As your new growth gets to about an inch or so, you'll really begin to notice the transition between the natural hair and the permed hair. This hair style protects the hair by minimizing strain on the place where the hair is most vulnerable because you can just "finger comb" your hair. It might take a little while when you first try this. But, as you get practice, this style doesn't take that long to do.
You will need:
* A pack of plastic drinking straws (For slightly larger and looser curls, use small perm rods- available at many beauty supply stores)
* End papers
* Bobby pins
* Black Earth Crinkles & Curls or other setting lotion (make sure it's alcohol free)
* Light hair oil
Step 1: Shampoo and condition your hair and blot dry with a towel.
Step 2: Part you hair into 1/4 to 1/2 inch sections
Step 3: Place end papers on to ends of your hair.
Step 4: Roll your hair onto the straws or perm rods and secure it with a hair pin.
Step 5: Repeat steps 2-4 until you have finished your entire head.
Step 6: Dry your hair under a hooded dryer.
Step 7: Gently remove the straws and separate the curls.
Step 8: Spray with a light oil and continue to spray with oil on a daily basis.
How To Do Flat Twists
You will need:
* Black Earth Crinkles & Curls or other setting lotion (alcohol free please)
* Bobby pins
1. Shampoo and condition your hair and blot dry with a towel.
2. Part your hair using a rat tail comb to make the parts clean and straight.
3. Put styling gel onto hair for greater hold.
4. Separate the section into 2 strands at the hairline.
5. Wind one strand over the other, picking up hair as you move down the section.
6. Secure the twist with a bobby pin placed parallel and underneath the twist.
7. You can either twist right to the back of your head or leave hair out at the ends and roller set or straw set.
How To Do the Twist Out Look
You will need:
* Setting lotion (Black Earth Crinkles & Curls or Treasured Locks Locks of Curls Pomade & Gel are perfect for this)
* Hair Oil (any good hair oil will do- Treasured Locks H2G Hair Growth Serum, Hair & Scalp Elixir are great)
1. Wet hair
2. Add oil
3. Braid hair or twist it using the setting lotion
4. You can wear the braids or twists for a day (or two or three)
5. Remove the braids and leave the hair crinkly for a few days
6. Wear a cap at night or rebraid to maintain the style