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With the best articles on caring for natural hair, Curly Nikki is your source for inspiration and advice. Find out about the latest styles and trends today!

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    by Michelle Thames of HappilyEverNatural.com

    Looking to avoid breakage during your transition? Are you transitioning to natural hair and scared of breakage and any other unforeseen hurdles? Trust me I’ve been there, I was a long-term transitioner of 24 months and it wasn’t always pretty.

    Continue!>>>


    The line of demarcation is the line where your new growth meets your relaxed hair. This portion of your hair can be very fragile. You need to be extra gentle to your hair during your transitioning period. How you care for your hair has a major impact on the health of your hair as well as how you retain length.

    Use Minimal Heat
    During my transition I couldn’t wait to see the growth of my hair. I went to my stylist every 2 weeks to have my hair blown out and straightened. Don’t be like the old me, I had no idea what I was doing so the stylist was the only thing I knew. Frankly, straightening seemed like my only option. Heat can sometimes be a bad thing especially with your two different hair textures. I would use minimal to no heat during your transition.

    Moisture is Key
    That line of demarcation can be weak, brittle, and very dry. You want to make sure that you are always keeping your hair moisturized. Try misting with water daily and adding a little oil (like jojoba or almond oil) for refreshing and lubricating your hair daily. Also, make sure that you are focusing on your ends since they are the oldest part of your hair and the most fragile. If you experience extreme dryness, I would consider trying the baggy method.

    Be Gentle When Detangling
    I know we can be in a rush sometimes to get through our long wash days but it's important to take our time especially when it comes to detangling. You should ALWAYS detangle your hair while it is wet. I finger detangle my hair most times, or I am really careful with the wide tooth comb. Find a really good leave in with slip so that your detangling process is smooth sailing.

    Deep Condition Often
    I know you are tired of the deep conditioning preach. But listen here, deep conditioning your hair is so important! By deep conditioning on a regular basis you add extra moisture and prevent breakage to your hair.

    Protective Styling
    Protective styling is your friend when it comes to preventing breakage. When you are protective styling you are tucking your ends away so that you are not constantly messing with your hair. I love to wear my hair in mini twists for a few days then wear it out, then put it right into a high bun after.

    Are you transitioning? How are you avoiding breakage?

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    by Jessica of heygorjess.com

    If you’ve been natural long enough—you know that shrinkage can be cray! It can rob of you hard earned inches!  Personally, my hair shrinks up at least six inches (probably more… I don’t have a tape measurer otherwise I probably would check). Some people hate shrinkage, while others don’t mind it at all. When I first went natural I hated it... a lot. Especially because I wanted my hair to look longgg–not be like an afro! Not that anything is wrong with afros at all—just wasn’t my personal preference.  Plus, back then being natural wasn’t really accepted. So I just got made fun of and got called Macy Gray and what not all the time *sighs*. But some people love their shrinkage! They love the versatility of it and never fight it. So if you are in that category, then this post isn’t for you (but share it with a friend or something)!

    So there are a few ways I stretch my hair to get rid of some of the shrinkage. If I didn’t do these things, my hair would probably look a lot shorter and poofier.

    Read On!>>>

    1. Blow Dry Your Roots
    When my hair is at least 90% dry, I pull my hair and then blow-dry the roots with medium heat. I don’t blow-dry them straight, but just enough to stretch my hair a little bit to give it some length. It works wonders! And only takes a couple minutes to do! You can really manipulate your hair with the blow dryer.

    2. Put Your Hair In a High Bun
    If you are #teamnoheat or just don’t want to use a blow dryer, you can stretch your hair a little bit by putting your hair in a high bun when your hair is almost dry. I wouldn’t do this while it is wet because it could mess up the way your curls dry. I do this when I don’t have access to a blow dryer. I’ll put it in a bun for an hour or so or keep taking it up and down until I get the length I want, lol. Make sure it is tight enough to pull your hair, and loose enough that it won’t make any creases!

    3. Use A Lot of Product
    Product weights your hair down, so that will help it to be a little longer. This is something you would have to play with to figure out what works best for you. Depending on what product you use and how much, it could make your hair look flaky or flat. So I use just enough to take away the frizz and fro and make my hair lay down a little bit.

    4. Wait For Your Hair to Grow
    I know some of ya’lI rolled your eyes at this! 'Cause we are all impatient and hate waiting for our hair to get to our ideal length. And that’s okay because I’ve definitely been there! But don’t worry! The longer your hair gets, the less shrinkage you’ll get! Length can loosen your curls and weighs down your hair. So naturally it’ll stretch.

    5. Embrace it!
    Instead of fighting it and getting frustrated, accept and embrace it! It is apart of the natural hair journey and it can’t be avoided. Now that my hair is longer and the length weighs it down, I have embraced my shrinkage and don’t mind it at all. It makes my hair look fuller and bigger, which I love! Even though I do stretch it a little bit, I couldn’t even imagine my hair without shrinkage now. I feel like it wouldn’t be me!

    How do you cope with shrinkage? Are you #TeamSrinkage or #TeamStretch? 

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    IG @thejanellewatkins

    by Dr. Aziza Glass of Azizaglass.com

    So your hair looks amazing and luscious…and then you look at your ends. Or maybe just less than 24 hours after spending all the time and effort into moisturizing your hair…it feels rough and sounds crunchy. If this sounds familiar, it’s most likely you have dry and damaged hair. Thankfully this is not the end of the world and you can bring your hair back to its luscious glory.

    Continue!>>>


    1. Look at your ingredients!
    It is a moot point if you are putting moisture in your hair and you are simultaneously using products that are designed to have a drying-out effect. You will frustratingly find that no matter how much moisturizer you add or oil treatments you use to seal in the moisture, your hair will remain crunchy and brittle. Read the ingredients. Remove products that contain alcohols, sulfates, mineral oil, and sodium. Other ingredients that are more debatable include glycerin and silicones.

    2. Cut your losses – Snip those split ends. Once a hair strand has begun to split, it will continue climbing up the shaft. Products marketed as split end sealers only supply a band-aid solution and not a resolution. It is better to purchase a pair of good hair shears and cut the split ends. Damaged hair does not necessarily mean your hair has split ends. So actually look at your hair and identify the appearance of the strands. If your hair is truly split, it will have a barbed wire appearance. I know it’ll be hard to take scissors to your hair. I’m not recommending that you go scissor happy. Just remove the amount that’s damaged. It will grow back.

    3. Deep condition – This phase of the hair regimen is crucial for treatment of dry and damaged hair. However, you have to find a good conditioner that is good for your type of hair. Try going for a product that is marketed as a mask (they tend to be thicker) and is designed for dry and damaged hair. Use a shower cap and sit under a hooded dryer for at least 20 minutes. Sometimes, afterwards I even leave the conditioner applied overnight. After you wash the conditioner out (in COLD water) make sure you apply a good leave-in conditioner. **Tip: if you want to be economical, take 1-2 tablespoons of the same conditioner and add lots of water to dilute it in a spray bottle. I recommend that you repeat this process once a week for four weeks. You’ll feel the difference in your hair each time.

    4. Find a moisturizer that fits YOUR hair – Once again, not every product works for everybody. My hair is much thicker than my sister’s, and the products she rants and raves about last two seconds on my curls. This might take some trial and error (and money) on your part, but it’ll be worthwhile. Once you discover the characteristics of the perfect moisturizer for you, it will help you further customize and tailor your hair regimen.

    5. Decrease your shampoo time – I am a huge proponent of co-washing. The only time I believe it is necessary to shampoo your hair is after swimming in a chlorine pool, significant product build-up, your scalp is dirty, or you’ve used silicone products (they can only be removed from hair by ingredients commonly found in shampoo). Other than that, using just water and a good co-wash is enough to clean your hair. You already have dry and damaged hair, and you are trying to bring it back to life. So let your hair have as much moisture as it can. Don’t make it harder on your curls.

    6. Satin – This material will be your best friend in your quest to resuscitate your curls. 100% real satin retains moisture and doesn’t break off your hair. Most satin products that are sold in stores are not real satin. If you can hold the material toward a light and see thru…it’s not satin. The transparency of the pseudo fabric means there are many tiny holes that are allowing the light to pass thru. All those holes provide perfect areas for not only your ends to catch and break off, but also moisture to either escape or absorb into a drying fabric. The material should also feel silky smooth and have a slight sheen. Do not cut corners when it comes to your hair bonnets, ladies. If you don’t want to go the bonnet route, invest in a satin sheet and pillowcase bedroom set. **Tip: I’m wary of the satin bonnet that feature an almost cotton blend elastic band since I really care about my edges, but it’s to your discretion.

    *********************************************

    In 2008, Dr. Aziza Glass transitioned from relaxed to natural hair and began the journey of self-discovery. Literally. Since then, she has become a fierce naturalista and proud HBCU (PVAMU) and Ivy League (Cornell) alumna. Dr. G is currently a veterinarian, entrepreneur, and TV personality.

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    IG @thetalentedicia 

    by Sabrina Perkins of SeriouslyNatural.org

    Many of us want those laid tresses. Yes, we may love our coils, curls and kinks, but a sexy, sleek straight look is still coveted and can look amazing! While, many steer clear due to fear of heat damage, others try and find newer ways to get that sexy look without damaging the hair. Well, the newest thing out here that is getting much love is Thermal Relaxing.

    Continue!>>>
    Thermal Relaxing is a process that merges the effectiveness of a pressing a comb and a flat iron together. While the title is misleading, there is no real chemical processing going on, but it gives the straightness and shine of a press and a flat iron. Also, it looks like you relaxed your hair with no chemicals involved. The Feather Flat was invented by a black man named Milstan Nash. It is the thinnest flat iron available.

    Greatest Straightening Technique
    YES IT IS. Makes your hair slayed for the Gods. It doesn’t matter if your hair is coarse or thin it gives it a nice polished looked. It’s a very quick and easy technique to do, especially if you have multiple textures. In addition, it won’t leave your hair prone to humidity. The heat is contained within the iron so that when it’s pressed close to your scalp, you don’t feel the heat unlike a regular flat iron.

    Glorified Heat Damage
    It does what many call heat training since it lasts much longer than a regular flat ironing session. That is, just glorified heat damage as the application of water, humidity or sweat should revert the hair. The stylists who create this style claim it can withstand even 2 or 3 sessions of working out without reverting, which to me is alarming. Also, if you continuously apply the heat to your hair you can create heat damage and we should not be using heat too often because of that reason.

    Here is the video below giving some history about the creation of the flat iron as well as the technique.


    I have not personally tried it, nor have I seen anyone who has to give me a first-hand account of what this does to one's natural hair. Despite that, I am sure we will be seeing more of this style. Remember, heat damage is irreversible and should be avoided at all costs by using the lowest setting of heat possible, using a heat protectant and not using heat regularly.

    Are you willing to try the Thermal Relaxing technique or have you already tried it? Share below!

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  • 04/25/16--09:03: CurlyNikki's #AskAway Monday


  • Hola Chicas!

    It's Monday and I'm on the roof!  If you've got hurr, life (or whatever and what have you) questions, ask below!

    I'll do my best to get to them all!

    Later Gators,
    Nik


    PAST PICS!

    2-22-2016
    the result of a chunky twist-out on dry hair (old roller set) using Jane Carter's Twist-Out Foam-- I was super impressed... great definition, shiny and not flaky or crunchy! I didn't add any water or any other product-- just one or two pumps per twist (I created 15 twists and rolled the ends on skinny flexi rods).  xoxo

    2-29-2016
    Curlformer set on the Boogie using a little coconut oil + JC's Twist-Out Foam and Set it Free on the ends.  #OnTheGrow 

    3-7-2016
    #RioAgain #Lapa

    #RioAgainTho

    3-21-2016

     that paragraph before 'bliss, joy and happiness', tho
    *Silence of the Heart - Robert Adams* 

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    Photo from Yelitsa’s Spotlight

    by Ariane of BlackNaps.org

    Weaves can be used as a protective style to help you retain more length. However, it is crucial that you take breaks in between protective styling with weaves for the health of your hair rather than installing them back to back or even worse keeping them in for way too long.

    Continue!>>>
    Many of you are probably familiar with the viral video that a hairstylist shared of a client who actually kept her sew in weave in for 6 months. The results were moldy and broken off hair. Under no circumstances, is keeping a weave in for 6 months ever okay, 2 months should be your max (on average I keep mine it for 1 month to a 1 month and half).

    IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE DON’T GET TOO SUCKED INTO THE EASE OF WEARING WEAVES TOO FREQUENTLY BECAUSE WE ARE NOT ABLE TO MOISTURIZE, CLEANSE AND CONDITION OUR HAIR AS WELL.

    You also run the risk of thinning your edges out or even getting conditions like traction alopecia if too much tension is constantly applied to same area of your hair.

    A GOOD NATURAL HAIR CARE REGIMEN IS BALANCED.

    I must admit, I love the convenience of styles like crochet braids. They aren’t too heavy, they don’t give me the itchies, the style lasts for ages, and they look very natural. In the mornings, all I have to do is moisturize if needed and go. Crochet braids will continue to be used as a protective hair styling strategy for me for length retention, but I will always, always take breaks to give my hair the proper care it needs and avoid excess tension.

    TAKE THE TIME TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR HAIR.

    Sometimes, the last thing I want to worry about is my hair these days but I definitely see the value in taking time to learn more about my hair. After taking a break from my beloved crochets, I learned how I can effectively wet style my hair, which is something I thought previously was totally impossible for me. When our hair is tucked away in extensions we are not getting a deeper understanding of what works for our hair because we aren’t seeing much of it.

    My hair wet set in flat twists

    Enjoy the freedom of creativity and ease of weaved styles, but don’t forget what’s important. Love and care for YOUR natural hair.

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    ​Pictured, Black woman counting down to her second bathroom break

    by Mike Orie of www.theconscioustip.com

    In hip hop music; the breaks are when the extra instruments drop out and the track strips down. Usually causing you to reflect or to add deeper emphasis on a particular instrument or moment in the song. Just in case you’re not following me, it’s 2:50-3:00 on Juvenile’s ‘Back That Thang Up’. But in life, sometimes we add lots of breaks into our daily soundtrack. Smoke breaks, lunch breaks, bathroom breaks, Facebook breaks, second bathroom breaks, Beyonce breaks, snack breaks, and walk over to your coworkers desk breaks. We've somehow justified a different break for every hour of our 8-hour work day.

    Read More>>>
    Have you ever been on one break, but you spend it thinking about the next one? During your coffee break, “Man… I can’t wait for lunch.” The sad thing… it’s the same thing you ate yesterday. Because you’re trying to eat healthy so you made chicken breast, white rice and threw in some kale. It's the meal prep starter kit. "Cook whatever you normally eat, and throw in some kale." But the thing is, by the time you get to your lunch break, you microwave your chicken, but the chicken's dried out, and now that all-purpose fat free seasoning (that's a thing right?) you used tastes like you didn’t season it at all. Or like, when you make spaghetti and mix the sauce and the noodles all together, and forget to add the extra sauce on top so that when you reheat it in the microwave, the noodles don’t dry out. And by the time you've made it taste halfway decent, your 30-minute lunch break is over. So it’s got you thinking about your favorite break. Happy hour. Where you justify a cheat meal because you ate kale for lunch. You could probably use a break from cooking anyway. It’s taco Tuesday. Which is how you've been able to justify those weekly margaritas for the past six months.It's four o'clock and you've just put off all your unfinished work until tomorrow. Time to pour up.

    Well, this new column is happy hour; combined with coffee break (probably lemonade for the next couple of weeks) and that unnecessary trip to your coworker’s desk where you talk about the same thing you just talked about through G Chat. I may not be able to nod and text at the same time like your uninterested coworker, but hit me in the comment section and we can work it out. I honestly don’t know what I’m going to talk about. So I guess I’ll have to find out too. But I just spent the last hour writing this though, so I guess it's time for my break. Stay tuned.

    ***********************
    Mike "Orie" Mosley is a freelance writer/photographer and cultural advocate from St. Louis. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts, Entertainment & Media Management from Columbia College Chicago and a Masters in Higher Education Administration from LSU. He is also the co-founder of music and culture website www.theconscioustip.com. In his spare time, he's probably listening to hip hop & neo soul music, hitting up brunch or caught up in deep conversations about Black music. You can follow him on Twitter @mike_orie or on Instagram @mikeorie

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    Yikes! I’m super late to class and it’s only the first week of college! I heard my professor precisely locks the door at 8 am and I refuse to get dropped from my English class. I’ve got fifteen minutes to make it to class on time and not get embarrassed. That means 3 min to brush my teeth and throw water on my face, 2 min to dress, 5 min to do something with my hair, and 5 min to scurry through first-year freshmen with maps. Wait a minute…five minutes to do my hair? The same hair I haphazardly slept on because I was too tired to do anything thing with? Yes, it’s time for a hot bun without looking like a hot mess.


    Messy Bun on Short Hair

    Erica has a great video on how to do the messy bun that could work on any length. She works that messy bun quickly and perfectly with little improvising. She uses Eco Styler Gel, Beautiful Textures Tangle Taming Leave-in Conditioner. Before you know it you will be out of your dorm room and off to class in a flash.

    You Will Need: 
    • 6 bobby pins 
    • a head band
    • 2 hair ties 
    Steps: 
    1. Part your hair into 2 parts 
    2. Secure it in the front, take the back section and secure it with an elastic hair tie. 
    3. Take the front half, combine it with the back section and secure that with an elastic. 
    4. Loosely pin your hair in different sections starting from the back and then create your top knot. 
    5. You can either use elastics to keep your baby hair down, or slick it down with edge tamer. 

    Simple Low Faux Bun

    You Will Need:
    • moisturizer
    • silk scarf
    • alcohol free gel 
    • brush
    • ouchless hair bands
    • braided weave
    • bobby pins 

    Steps: 
    1. Start with dry, semi stretched hair.
    2. Add moisturizer and brush it in, working to smooth down your crown area.
    3. Smooth on alcohol free gel.
    4. Tie your hair back with an ouchless band into a small bun.
    5. Ad a silk scarf to lay down your edges and flyaways.
    6. Using a weave ponytail that's already braided, wrap it around the bun clockwise. 
    7. Tuck in the weave with bobby pins to make sure it's clean. 

    Textured Bun

    AskpRoy shows us how to get a gorgeous top knot bun within minutes and with only a few headbands and some bobby pins. This style is definitely for the late natural who doesn’t even have time to add product to her hair. Yes, it can be that way sometimes. Those extra headbands are super cute but they serve a purpose of getting those flyaways under control instead of using gel. You are rocking the perfect top knot within minutes!

    Steps: 
    1. Start with textured hair. 
    2. Part it front and back, and secure the back with a hair tie. 
    3. Take the front half of your hair and combine it with the back section to make one big ponytail on top of your head. Secure it with a hair tie. 
    4. Loosely pin your hair in different sections starting in the back. 
    5. Wrap it around to create a big top knot. 
    6. Use the two hair bands to keep your edges down without any product. 

    Low and Simple

    Yes, the banana clip has resurfaced and for good reason, as it gives an elegant yet quick look that will have you out the door within minutes. MsRosieVelt sprays some water, applies Creme of Nature with Argan Oil Perfect Edges, and uses a Denman brush to help smooth her hair back into a low ponytail. If you have ultra-thick hair I suggest purchasing a better quality banana clip, as the cheaper one pop open with little to no effort. You could stop there or you could do like Rosie and pin it up to make an elegant protective style.

    Steps: 
    1. Start with stretched hair that has been moisturized and sealed with the LOC method. 
    2. Spritz your hair with water to smooth it back in place. 
    3. Use your hands to smooth some edge control gel to provide light hold. 
    4. Use a denman brush to smooth the hair back even further and create a low ponytail.
    5. Hold all your hair with one hand and open the banana clip with another hand.
    6. Secure the hair with a banana clip.
    7. Take the ends of your hair and twirl them around, tucking under to preserve your ends.
    8. Pin it with bobby pins to create a protective style.

    High and Simple

    All you need are two headbands and an afro pick for this super quick, super big messy top bun for the medium to long-haired naturals. Raven Tiffanee' uses no product and just places the first headband on and then picks out her hair to achieve extra volume. She then places the second headband over the top and captures the hair into a big bun. Tuck all the extra hairs in and you have a messy top bun that will have you out the door within minutes.

    Steps:
    1. Make a puff and place it high on top of your head. 
    2. Secure it with the first head band. 
    3. Use the pick to pick your hair for volume, and the fluff the hair on top. 
    4. Use the second head band to wrap over your puff.
    5. Tuck the hair that sticks out into the head band. 

    Side Bun

    Allthatsgold achieves this super quick look with minimal tools and products. Water, Eco Styler Argan Oil Gel, a brush, bobby pins, and an ouchless rubber band gets you all glammed and out the door within minutes. This is perfect if you are not trying to look like you just rolled out of the bed (even if you did!).

    Steps: 
    1. Spray your hair with water. 
    2. Brush hair back to make it as sleek as possible. 
    3. Use edge tamer to smooth flyaways. 
    4. Secure your hair into a low ponytail with a hair tie. 
    5. Instead of leaving hair out, tuck the ponytail into a bun. 
    6. Tuck any remaining pieces with bobby pins. 

    What's your quick go-to style?

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    by Sabrina Perkins of SeriouslyNatural.org

    As the New Year rolls in big, many naturals and curly women are focusing on hair health...but let’s get real. Hair growth is ALWAYS on the list of things we want too. Now, healthy hair most often reigns supreme but scores of women, myself included, wants to get maximum hair growth in a year.

    
Nothing wrong with that and in fact, many products or ingredients that can give you optimal hair growth that also possess benefits like anti-fungal, anti-bacterial properties that will aid scalp ailments or other hair problems.

    Read On!>>>
    Hair growth is constant despite what some may think. When they see their hair not growing past a certain length, they are getting hair growth confused with length retention.  Hair on the scalp grows about .3 to .4 mm/day or about 6 inches per year and there are three stages of growth and shedding: anagen, catagen, and telogen.

    
Hair retention is retaining the hair instead of losing it through breakage. Hair is always growing in one of the three phases mentioned above but you may not be seeing it if your hair is breaking off at a certain point.  So, working only on hair growth is not the best way to have long hair. Excellent hair practices, eating right, exercising, drinking plenty of water, and protecting your strands will do that!

    Biotin
    Biotin or vitamin B7 is used by the body to metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and amino acids. It is a highly popular vitamin for hair, skin and nails and can be taken as a supplement alone, or in a multi-vitamin most often labeled as a hair, skin, or nail vitamin.
    
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are not recorded side effects reported for biotin in amounts up to 10 milligrams a day but always consult with a medical professional to determine if this is a vitamin you need or can take and the dosage.  Some people complain of skin breakouts but usually upping your water intake with combat that and I have personally tried it and it worked.

    
Caffeine
    According to MNT, caffeine is "a bitter, white crystalline xanthine alkaloid - a term used for substances produced as end products of nitrogen metabolism in some plants." This substance stimulates our Central Nervous System and can be found in over 60 plants. Now, the FDA DOES classify caffeine as a drug and a food additive but did you know it also encourages hair growth?
    
Caffeine can interact with the hair follicles, and even regulate hair growth so it can promote it and thwart hair loss. You can just keep drinking your morning cup of Joe to gain that benefit or you can take it a step further (like I do) and enlist in a coffee rinse from time to time.
    
Just brew a strong coffee or espresso and allow to cool. Pour over your head after you wash and condition.  Leave in for 20 minutes and then rinse out. I just pour it over my head after I condition, add my deep conditioner, and let the mixture set under my thermal cap for 30 minutes before rinsing out. I LOVE the smell of the coffee mixed with my deep conditioner.

    
Garlic Oil
    Garlic oil contains essential elements including sulfur, copper, vitamin C, selenium, and minerals which are highly beneficial for hair growth. Garlic has antimicrobial, anti-fungal, and antibiotic properties and it is said to stimulate blood flow to the scalp which in turn encourages hair growth.

    You can add it to your shampoo or conditioner, use it in a scalp massage with another oil, or use it as a hair massage all by itself. I am unaware of the smell factor with using the oil but it might be better to try prior to wash day or when you have no plans for that day.

    
Hair Vitamins (Hairfinity & The Mane Choice)
    Hair vitamins are nothing new but with the natural hair movement, they have become a permanent fixture in healthy hair care for quite a few. There are plenty of hair vitamins on the shelves on or online but a few stand out as some of the favorites like Hairfinity and The Mane Choice.

    I have personally tired Hairfinity and it does work but several naturals have praised The Mane Choice touting real hair and nail growth. I experienced both as well on Hairfinity as while the biggest complaint seems to be breakouts, upping your water intake seems to fix that problem.

    Now, mind you, the hair on your head is not the only hair that will grow and many have said they noticed growth in their eyebrows and even chin and upper lip. All I can say is make those appointments for waxing and keep it moving.

    (Essential) Mustard Oil
    This very popular oil on the Indian Subcontinent and is either extracted by cold compression of mustard seeds or from steam distillation of mustard seeds soaked in water. The essential oil has the purpose of massage, and will also stimulates circulation and best if not consumed orally.

    Mustard oil has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties but it is becoming known as a hair revitalizer. With the oleic and Linoleic fatty acids, it has stimulating effects that increase blood circulation to the scalp which nourishes the hair follicles and encourages hair growth.

    Rogaine for women
    Rogaine for women is a topical hair regrowth treatment for hereditary female pattern hair loss or thinning. It prevents further hair loss and is clinically proven to regrow hair.  The active ingredient is minoxidil, which is a vasodilator that used to be prescribed for high blood pressure but is now thought to increase the size of inactive hair follicles. This allows them to resume production of thicker, longer strands of hair.

    Reviewers are saying it works but know this is for women with hereditary pattern hair loss or thinning so if your hair loss or thinning is from chemicals, over-manipulation of styling products or heat, then this is not the product for you.

    OK, I threw a lot of information at you but plenty of women have tried and found these ingredients and hair products to aid in optimal hair growth. Remember that no product or ingredient can beat eating right, drinking plenty of water, protecting your hair and having a solid hair care routine.


    Which ingredients have you had success with?


    CN Says:
    Biotin, MSM and healthy fats have always been my go-to.  I'm also big into gut health (to set the foundation for everything else) and therefore recommend a probiotic.  Finally, all the water and cardio.  The only juice I drink is pure cranberry (which is a great source of vitamin c, also a good hair growth vitamin).  These things keep me on my healthy hair growth game :) 

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    Hola Chica,

    I've got a quick and easy process that will change your whole entire life situation for the better.  It's not even a process, really... 'cause it's as simple as flipping a switch.  It'll only take you seconds to learn, and you'll see results instantly, like... right now!  All you have to do is commit to changing one little thing.  Sound good?

    Continue!>>>
    3 Steps to Doper Living 

    1. Think of someone you love, a lot-- Look at a picture, or bring up a memory, and conjure up that love and really feel it.  It should be a visceral experience-- difficult to describe but definitely real, present, energy in your body (maybe in your chest area).  You'll know you've got it when you're smiling a little.  Don't try, don't think too hard, don't think at all! Just do it! Feel 'love'.

    2. Memorize that experience-- Notice how relaxed your body is, feel the warm, tingly, gentle bliss or joy in your heart or upper stomach area, feel the mona lisa smile on your face.  Notice how you can you turn 'love' on like a switch and how it feels different from your baseline feels. You can go from 'regular you' to 'new You' with the simple intention to 'feel love'.  Go back and forth between 'regular you' and 'new you'a few times to really experience the difference.

    3. Choose 'new You' in every moment of your life-- While you're driving, love. When you're working, love. When you're feeling happy, love. When you're feeling sad, love. When you're arguing, love.  Switch on 'love' while you're engaged in 'pleasant' circumstances. Paste 'love' all over the 'unpleasant' circumstances.  You'll be amazed that while in the throws of a heated discussion with your partner, you can feel love.  It just takes a new level of awareness  :)

    That's it!  At first it will feel like a lot of effort.  You're changing your sense of 'I am' from blah to Hell yeah! But eventually, it'll become second nature and you'll realize a few things--

    1. You don't have to conjure up love. You don't have to try to feel love.  All you have to do is relax and notice love.  It's already there, all the time.  Just allow yourself to feel it. Remember when HE said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you"?  That.  Love is your birthright.  It's who and what you are.  The kingdom of God is within you and God is love and that love you're feeling (even when everything appears to be falling apart) is your communion with him!  It's your connection to the ALL THAT IS.  Keep it on.

    2. I just told you to 'keep it on', but in reality you can't turn it off. It is YOU.  All you have to do initially is be mindful of it.  Keep turning to it.  Remember to remember love, in every moment.

    3. Love is not just 'inside' you, it's everywhere and everything. It's unconditional, it's whole and the nature of your real SELF.  It's not contingent upon things or stuff of the 'outside' world. It's not love for a person or a thing.  But love for a person can lead you to love of SELF.

    So, just switch from'regular you'to'new You' every time you remember throughout the day.  Alternatively, you can sit and feel love for like 5 minutes, 3 times a day.  I do both.  It took me a few days to remember to make 'love' my top priority (I set a timer on my phone to go off OFTEN) and a few weeks for it to become my new baseline.  All you have to do is make the commitment to yourself to be about your light!

    So what does LOVE have to do with creating your best life?  LOVE (or happiness, joy, bliss, natural good feels) is the first manifestation of your intention!  Whether it's health or wealth, LOVE is the first sign that you're on your path and that your blessings (which are perfect and timed just right for you) are on their way. So what is there to worry about? What is there to be afraid of?  Feel love and watch your life unfold in magnificent ways!

    Later Gator,
    Nik

    p.s.  LOVE, in my opinion, is the Holy Spirit, it's Eckhart Tolle's inner body, it's Abraham Hick's vortex, it's Frank Kinslow's eufeeling, and Richard Dott's magic feeling.  Different terms for the same experience.  Oh, and feel free to swap happiness, bliss, peace, joy for love.  It's all the same.

    p.p.s.  if you need another way to tap into love, like if you're feeling 'nothing' when you turn within, message me below and I'll share some other activities you can try that may resonate better for you!  

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    by Dr. Aziza Glass of Azizaglass.com

    Just imagine someone walking up to you…and touching you…without your permission. **Can someone say “STRANGER DANGER?!”** This has happened to me on several occasions and each time I have to take a breath and decide how I will proceed.

    Continue!>>>
    Step 1 -- Mood: I admit the foundation on how I will proceed with this encounter is entirely dependent on my mood. I have a millisecond to decide if I want to take this moment to educate people on the proper etiquette of personal space or look at them like they are crazy and call them out on their rudeness. If it’s been a long, arduous day…it is not looking good for you.

    Step 2 -- The assailant’s intentions: There are some people who mean well but due to their lack of exposure in the world, stumble like a toddler learning to walk. Others are rude and they know it. The former are more likely to be receptive to constructive criticism, and it’s easier for me to have empathy. The latter are more likely to be insulted because you are insulted for having your personal space violated. *insert side eye*

    Step 3 -- Aggressive scale: Pretty straightforward. Did the assailants timidly reach out and pat your hair as if you’re a poodle, or did they grasp a tendril or fistful of kinks and yank it as if they are testing to see if you’re wearing a wig? With the former, I’m more likely to watch you as you’re reaching toward me, and believe me I’m looking at your facial expression. I might see genuine childlike curiosity, but then again I might see hateful malice. The latter will result in a reflex counter punch. *Not apologetic*



    Step 4 -- Verbal comments: After you assault me, your words can be the nail in the coffin or your lifesaver. You could say something like, “It’s so beautiful” and mean it! I’ll still look at you crazy, but then I’ll agree with you (because my hair IS beautiful) and I’ll give you a pass. Do not say, “How do you comb it?” or “Wow it’s softer than what I thought” or “OMG, it looks like a brillo pad.” Guess what? These are offensive and you’re implying that my hair must be dirty because YOU have no idea how to manage it. That’s why I have #BlackGirlMagic and you don’t. Besides, I don’t think you would like it if I asked if you have lice or commented that your hair resembles limp and oily spaghetti. *woo-sah*


    This is a lot to go through your head in just a second, but it is a necessary evil. What is your process?



    *********************************************
    In 2008, Dr. Aziza Glass transitioned from relaxed to natural hair and began the journey of self-discovery. Literally. Since then, she has become a fierce naturalista and proud HBCU (PVAMU) and Ivy League (Cornell) alumna. Dr. G is currently a veterinarian, entrepreneur, and TV personality.


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    by Sabrina Perkins via GlobalCoutureblog.net

    After extensive hours of research on this topic, the answer is yes and no. I bet you’re wondering how that could be. It should just be yes or no, bet’s break down everything first so you get a better understanding of what I mean.

    Continue!>>>


    What is Henna?
    Henna is natural reddish-brown dye that is made from the powdered leaves of a tropic shrub that can be used to color hair (and/or decorate the body)

    Is it safer than manufactured dyes?
    YES! That’s why many naturals use it because it can color their hair without damaging the cortex of the hair. Please make sure to use 100% henna when doing the process. Altered henna has additives that will cause damage to your hair kinks/curls/coils or add to damage that has already been there.

    Why do people use it?
    Naturals use it because it’s safer than traditional dyes and many naturals prefer natural ingredients. Also, users can get different variations of red depending on where it was grown ranging from auburn to cherry. Henna is known to highlight your hair. If you hair is jet black more than likely henna won’t show up after the first treatment or it may have a reddish shine in the sunlight.

    Also, after using henna your hair is stronger, shinier and healthier because it fills in the weak areas of the hair strand hence it’s a great conditioning treatment.

    NATURAL HENNA DOES NOT DARKEN YOUR HAIR AT ALL, if it says that it does then DO NOT BUY IT. The product has been altered which can damage your hair.

    Does Henna Loosen Hair Pattern?
    Although Henna is safe and it is safe on hair, why do many naturals claim it alters their pattern? Hennaworks different for every natural’s hair. It seems that Henna changes the weight of the strands through plant deposits although it is not changing the chemical structure of the strand. Henna also fills in rough spots on the cuticle and makes hair softer and smoother for many who use it.

    Various hair blogs/forums have different naturals not seeing any difference to their hair just that it shines in the sunlight. Other who have looser curl patterns reported this after using henna continuously (about the 5th treatment).

    Really & truly it just depends on how our hair takes the henna or how often you use it and the only way for one to know if it will alter their hair pattern is to try it. All we ask is to ensure it is 100% henna you are using!

    Have you tried Henna and did it alter your hair pattern or texture? Share below!


    CN Says:
    I started henna'ing to beef up my situation. My strands are nearly transparent. Like, very VERY almost disrespectfully fine and quite fragile. When I'm on my henna game for real (once a month), my hair is shinier and stronger. It's less prone to breakage and splitting and the overall health of my hair is improved. I also experience a smoother texture with less shrinkage. The red glow is ridic and it gives me the big hair look, I couldn't otherwise achieve. ----> more here

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    by Mike Orie of www.theconscioustip.com

    I haven’t listened to Lemonade yet. But the day it dropped on Tidal, I bragged to all my friends about my $11.99 subscription and how I was finally starting to get my money’s worth. But before I got a chance to listen to it, a few of my female friends told me they could never date the same after listening to the album. Not really ready for that type of pressure, I decide to save my listen for another day.

    Continue Reading>>>
    But just when I thought I was escaping the wrath of Beyoncé, it hit me right in the face. Yesterday, I met up with this chick from Tinder for the first time. We linked up at a bar in LA during happy hour. I had to use the bathroom, but tell her to order me the same drink she orders. And when I return, it’s a cold glass of lemonade. Who orders lemonade during happy hour? It wasn’t even half price. Ladies, if a guy invites you out somewhere between the hours of 4-7 pm, you gotta follow the happy hour etiquette.

    So I try to put aside my feelings for this full-priced cup of lemonade with no free refills. I ask her how her day was. She replies, “Today was amazing. I felt irreplaceable.” I wanted to ask her more details, but I wasn’t sure if it was because I asked her on a date, or if she just got promoted at her job. Besides, I didn’t want to bruise my ego, so I smiled and took it as a compliment. We order some food. We’re at this soul food spot, so they’ve got some pretty good chicken. Pretty stereotypical I guess, but if you go there, it’s basically what you order. It would be like going to Popeye’s and getting catfish. Who does that? So immediately, when the food arrives, she pulls out her keys with a travel-size Louisiana hot sauce container and pours it on her chicken. The thing is, there was already the same hot sauce on our table. I wasn’t sure whether to ask her if she had another one for me, or why she had it in her purse in the first place. She’s a cute white chick (don’t hate me). So I also wasn’t sure if she was pandering, or if she really keeps her personal hot sauce right next to her mace at all times. Same question I still want to ask Hillary. The chicken was great, but something was missing. So being the true gentleman I am, I asked if I could try some of her hot sauce. You know, make her feel good about her life choices.

    Eating chicken is good, but if you eat it right, it gets messy sometimes, especially with hot sauce. Thinking she’s testing my Beyoncé knowledge. I ask her to pass some napkins. She doesn’t see them, and falls right into my trap. I point and sing, “to the left, to the left.” At this point, she starts talking about building sandcastles. She tells me how her how boyfriend cried when she walked away. I’m curious. So I ask her why she walked away from her boyfriend while they were building sandcastles. I wanted to ask why her boyfriend started crying, but I’m a sensitive guy sometimes, so I give him a pass. She then tells me, “Every promise, don’t work out that way.” I was confused, because I just picked up on the fact that she said boyfriend and not ex, and that she used the word don’t for the first time all night instead of didn’t. Who is this chick? At this point, I reach for my cup, and realize that I drank all of my lemonade.

    Not sure if I was planning to stay long enough for a second cup of $6.99 lemonade, I ask the waiter for water instead. But before I finish, she cuts me off and says “Hold Up.” Again I’m thrown off by the replacement of her usual words, “one moment please.” Then she starts speaking gibberish, stuff that doesn’t quite make sense to me. She asks me, “What’s worse? Looking jealous or crazy?” Before I can answer, she tells me it’s a rhetorical question. She continues. “It’s such a shame. You let this good love go to waste.” I’m thinking, ‘never trust a girl who wears a sundress in her Tinder profile’. But she’s looking off in the distance. So I’m thinking she’s just having a moment, but I turn around and see what appears to be her boyfriend sitting a table away from us. I know, because she pulled out a picture of him when she started talking about sandcastles. Before I can confirm though, she asks me again, “What’s worse, looking jealous or crazy?” At this point, I’m pissed, because every time my ex-girlfriend’s been jealous, she’s always looked crazy too. It felt like a trick question. So I give her a taste of her own medicine, and do what every guy does when he’s missing his girl. I start quoting lyrics from Ne-Yo’s “So Sick.” “It’s been months. For some reason I just can’t get over us.” It felt like a love scene in a bootleg movie. Right when it gets to the good part, some of the scenes start going in and out. I continue before she has a chance to react. “So done with wishing, she was still here.” At this point, she cuts me off and says, “OMG, you’re going through a bad break up too?” I’m like, “Nah, but my dog passed away last week.” Finally we start to break ground, and she reaches in to hug me over the table. I’m thinking I had just sealed that first date kiss. But before she sits back down, she says, “You can taste the dishonesty. It’s all over your breath.” I’m confused though, because we had the same hot sauce. So I’m wondering if it was the Black-eyed peas I ordered instead of her French fries. I was rushing and left my mints at home. Rookie mistake. I apologize, and tell her that she’s right. “I lied. I actually had a cat, but I was just too embarrassed to tell you.

    Our waiters picked up on my birdcalls at this point, and returns with both water and the check. $38.47 for (2) two-piece chicken dinner plates and (2) glasses of organic lemonade. I only budgeted $40.00, cause the happy hour drinks were 2-for-1 and the appetizers were only $3.00/piece. Being a gentleman, and trying to make a good first impression, I tell the waiter to keep the change. At this point, I’m even more pissed, and she sees it on my face. So she says “I ain’t sorry. I ain’t sorry. Nn naw.” Did she just paraphrase the N word? Didn’t she learn the white chick that dates Black guys etiquette? The fact that she repeated it twice to the beat of Rick Ross’ “F*ck with me you know I got it,” helped me allude to the fact that it was probably more lyrics. So I stand up and start repeating lyrics of my own. “I’m walking away…. from the troubles in my life. I’m walking away. Gonna find a better day.” I don’t think she was hip enough to realize I was reciting Craig David lyrics, but I was just glad to have made it out okay.

    An hour after our date, I noticed that she unmatched me from Tinder, but followed me on Snapchat. It was like she was trying to tell me I can’t have feelings for you, but I still want to keep my eye on you. You know how crazy chicks are. But I learned my lesson. Anytime women order lemonade on a date within the next year, text your homie “level 10 emergency”, and have him call you right away. So here I am. Headed home at 6:45 p.m. having spent twice the amount of my usual taco Tuesdaybudget, but without the tequila. There's still time for last call on happy hour, but there's a $10 debit card minimum. Plus, I feel like my Craig David exit wouldn't have the same effect. So fellas, this is why you always Facetime a girl from Tinder before you meet up. My female friends were right. Needless to say, I may never date the same again. Thanks Beyoncé.


    *This may or may not be a true story. *



    ***********************
    Mike "Orie" Mosley is a freelance writer/photographer and cultural advocate from St. Louis. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts, Entertainment & Media Management from Columbia College Chicago and a Masters in Higher Education Administration from LSU. He is also the co-founder of music and culture website www.theconscioustip.com. In his spare time, he's probably listening to hip hop & neo soul music, hitting up brunch or caught up in deep conversations about Black music. You can follow him on Twitter @mike_orie or on Instagram @mikeorie

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    Hola Chicas!

    Many naturals, at some point in time, have rocked a TWA, which is short for “teeny weeny afro.” For most, the image of someone following the Big Chop is what comes to mind when they think about a TWA. But when is a TWA no longer a TWA?

    Simply put, a TWA’s length can range from about a quarter of an inch to two inches.
    Once it grows past that point, it is in medium afro territory. The fun news is that along with more length comes more styling options.

    Do you have more versatility in styling? “When you have some more versatility, you don’t have a TWA anymore,” according to Jahmeela Bolade, the owner of Houston’s Strictly Roots Natural Hair salon.

    “When you can braid your hair, grab it from the root and actually twist it or something, [it’s not a TWA]. You can do more with your hair,” explains Tikur Leoul, who sports a large afro.

    Also, more effort has to be put forth in terms detangling sessions and overall upkeep. “Either way, it takes a lot of maintenance, because you need to take care of split ends. But it’s more work when the hair is longer,” says barber Roy Long of 3rd Ward’s Finest Kutz in Houston.

    Sometimes the illusion of a TWA can be created for those with hair much longer than two inches, thanks to shrinkage. This would lead some to believe that they may have a TWA although it doesn’t appear as one when stretched with styling.

    “As far as how the hair looks, even though it shrinks, it doesn’t diminish the amount of hair you have,” says Leoul.

    More resources for TWAs: 
    Are you in the TWA stage? Or medium afro stage? 

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    IG @nappyese 

    by Dr. Aziza Glass of Azizaglass.com

    There is something about a melanin infused woman who walks into a room and has the nerve to have hair that defies gravity. This woman can’t become a wallflower even if she tried. This is #BlackGirlMagic in action.

    continue!>>>


    Black women are fascinating. Regardless of the numerous derogatory comments we hear and receive, “the proof is in the pudding.” Women (and men) spend money and voluntarily endure pain to grasp a couple more straws in their efforts to resemble us. This fascination can significantly increase when Black women rock their natural curls…and sometimes it results in an invasion of personal space. During these moments I have to ask myself the following question, “Do I want to make a personal investment into creating an educational moment for someone else?”

    The concept of this question provides me with the opportunity to gain something from the encounter. Besides a temporary regain of control, I can force the aggressor to become aware of his actions. Like flipping a house, I can flip the moment from someone treating me like a living exhibit to a one-on-one round table discussion. Without it, the uncomfortable and rude moment will come and go with the assailant fulfilling the goal of copping a feel, while I am left with the feeling of being violated. By answering “Yes” to this question, I can quickly create a platform where correcting the person can lead to the prevention of future attacks on the next Black woman the assailant meets. After all, the number one (defensive) response when confronted is, “I didn’t know it was a big deal” or “No one ever told me that.” Theoretically, it sounds like the correct thing to do. However, let’s break down what that actually entails:

    1. MY patience
    2. MY time
    3. MY energy
    4. MY intellect
    5. A receptive mind from the person I am addressing

    As you can see from the list, it’s a big effort on MY part. Now imagine that I am having to make a big effort on my part…every day. It gets exhausting. I am all for talking out problems, because that’s the number one way of ending ignorance. But when it is constantly on my shoulders to do the educating, it gets old. Additionally, with all the investment on MY part, there is no way of tracking if the return on my investment (ROI) is satisfactory. Unlike the daily data that one can track when investing in stocks, I can’t determine if my personal investment has any value. Ideally, my ROI would be satisfactory if I have changed the thinking of an individual in a positive way. Since I don’t have a way of determining the long term effects of my investment, I have to rely on faith.

    So the next question becomes, “Where do I draw the line?” Meaning, do I create a quota for myself? Do I pick an arbitrary number so that when I get annoyed with someone making a stupid comment or invading my personal space I don’t have to feel guilty about being angry and annoyed in that moment because I “helped out” ten lost souls for the month? Or do I continue until I get burned out? It’s a balancing act and one that is dynamic and fluid. So far, I haven’t found a golden formula for this algorithm of life, but it is one that needs solving.

    What do you think?

    *********************************************
    In 2008, Dr. Aziza Glass transitioned from relaxed to natural hair and began the journey of self-discovery. Literally. Since then, she has become a fierce naturalista and proud HBCU (PVAMU) and Ivy League (Cornell) alumna. Dr. G is currently a veterinarian, entrepreneur, and TV personality.

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    IG Moe_DaDiva

    by Mai Curls via Globalcourtureblog.net

    Sometimes we have products that we like but are just missing that one element to help give it the “umph” to make it a favorite. There are also a few steps you can take to help make your hair routine just a little bit easier. Here are a few really quick and easy tricks that you can do to potentially give your products and routine that something extra!

    Continue!>>>
    Carrier Oil to Shampoo
    – if your shampoo just takes the cleansing part a step too far (leaving you with a squeaky clean/stripped feeling) try adding ½ a teaspoon of any of your favorite carrier to your hair before applying the shampoo. This will limit the amount of stripping from the shampoo. (Be careful not to slip in the shower because of the oil)!

    Humectants to Conditioner
    – for those whose hair loves humectants (e.g. honey/glycerin/agave nectar/Aloe Vera Juice) add 1 teaspoon of your choice of humectant to your favorite conditioner (in a plastic bowl) before applying it to your hair for extra moisture!

    Adding Slip to Conditioner
    – add 1/8 – ¼ cup of home-made Flax Seed Gel (there are tons of recipes online) to the amount of conditioner you usually use. The Flax Seed Gel will provide you with extra slip along with moisture and nourishing elements!

    Ease Detangling with a Hot Oil Treatment
    – use one/two/a combination of your favorite oils and lightly warm them up (no direct heat)! Instead double broil method the oils for no more than 3 -5 minutes on low heat. First spritz your hair with water, then apply the warm oils (make sure it is not hot just slightly warm) and cover with a shower cap. 30 minutes later, gently finger detangle your hair and then proceed with your wash routine. P.S if you are looking to grow your hair do a gentle scalp massage while the oils are on your scalp.

    Infuse Carrier Oils
    you can infuse your carrier oils with things like coffee beans to stimulate hair growth (keep in mind this might darken your hair due to the coffee beans), dried rose petals for antibacterial, anti-inflammatory properties and scalp irritations, dried lavender to sooth an itchy and dry scalp…the infusion options are endless!

    Have you tried any of these hacks?! Share your experiences!

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    IG @themindofmutiny 

    By SoIntoCurls via BlackNaps.org

    So you’ve got split ends and they need to be removed, like yesterday! How can you go about doing this? There are three ways to accomplish this task that won’t require you to lose too much length:

    Continue!>>>


    Dusting


    Divide your hair up into 4 or more sections. Secure the sections with some butterfly clamps. Make sure you are working with your hair in sufficient lighting and clip away only about 1/4 inch of hair. When you are done the ends that you have removed should be so insignificant that they resemble dust. Get it? Dusting!

    Search and Destroy: Cut only the ends of hairs that have splits.



    I do have to admit that this requires very close scrutiny and a great deal of patience, but it can be a great way to keep your length until you are ready to perform a complete trim. I actually did this while I was transitioning and it enabled me to buy some time before performing a perfectly even trim on my ends.

    Braid or twist your hair then cut the split ends that are sticking out.


    Closely examine the braid for split ends and then cut them off. To increase the chances of you removing the maximum amount of split ends, you may want to re-section and re-braid the hair to remove any other split ends that were revealed. Usually where you have a bad case of the splits towards the end of the braid it tends to get really thin. It would be in your best interest to trim some or all of this portion of the braid away. Unorthodox? Yes. But it does work.

    If your hair is severely damaged, these last two trimming techniques should not be attempted. In such a case, a complete trim or better yet, a full cut, would be a much better, healthier choice. But if your hair is fairly healthy overall, all three of these trimming techniques are viable alternatives for girls who are trying to maintain as much length as possible while managing their hair’s health.

    Do you cut your own hair? What's your method?

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    by Mike Orie of www.theconscioustip.com

    This week was a moneymaking week for the music industry. But while somebody's making all the money, somebody else has to be spending it. And I can tell you one thing, it's not me.

    Read more>>>
    My Tidal bragging rights got me through the first half of the week, but now that it's the weekend, I'm wishing I still had my Apple Music account. But if you're a freelance artist like myself, you've got to make some important decisions. Tidal or Apple Music. Mashed potatoes no gravy. Soul food no side items. (Still bitter about that Tinder date). It's like when you go to the food court at the mall and you keep trying samples while you’re allegedly trying to make up you’re mind. Well I just need enough to get me through the weekend. Overtime you get smarter about the game. I’ve upgraded to Trader Joe's and Costco. There’s nothing more satisfying than gluten-free, fat-free, organic Mac and cheese samples.

    Drake dropped Views last night, and since I don't believe in illegally downloading, I've been plotting a solution on how I'm going to listen to it since it’s still only available on Apple Music. The plan is to throw an album listening party. I'll bring my Bluetooth speaker and one of my friends will bring their Apple Music account. Fair trade right? Don't act like you aren't sharing your Netflix account with at least three of your friends as we speak. You know it's gotten bad when the four of you have established a group text to see which two of the four can use it for the night. Last night was my turn, so I’m forced to look for creative and free things to do for the weekend.

    Living in LA is far from cheap, but I’m learning how to beat the system. Rule #1: RSVP for every single free event, even if you’re not sure if you can make it. When you’re deciding on plans for the night, you’ll always have options. Always show up early to make sure you beat the line and to find one of the free parking spots before they're gone. I've gotten so good at being early to one venue that I get to fill in for the bouncer sometimes when he's running late. Rule #2: Dollar tacos. Since moving to LA, I've seen twice as many taco trucks as I've seen McDonalds golden arches. And while you can't eat them everyday, dollar tacos can be your best friend in a time of need. See, here's why you have to choose between Tidal and Apple Music as a starving artist. $12 worth of dollar tacos can last you two days. If you've got a big appetite like me, I'm eating three tacos twice a day. And if you're smart, you always take extra sauce to go for a rainy day. On the weekends, if I'm feeling good, I'll cop some tortilla chips and catch the NBA playoffs at my neighbor’s house. (Remember that bartering system we talked about?) Don’t be Felicia from Friday. Rule #3: Always bring cash. When you go into a place with a fixed amount, you’re more likely to be more accountable. Either that, or you won’t be able to pay your bill. Rule #4: Learn to say no sometimes. People don’t always have to know that you’re broke, but instead just that you’re not in the mood to go out. Step #5: Learn the barter system. Anybody willing to trade his or her Apple Music account for my Tidal for the weekend?

    ***********************

    Mike "Orie" Mosley is a freelance writer/photographer and cultural advocate from St. Louis. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts, Entertainment & Media Management from Columbia College Chicago and a Masters in Higher Education Administration from LSU. He is also the co-founder of music and culture website www.theconscioustip.com. In his spare time, he's probably listening to hip hop & neo soul music, hitting up brunch or caught up in deep conversations about Black music. You can follow him on Twitter @mike_orie or on Instagram @mikeorie

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    IG @abigail.martina

    by Toia B. of luvtobnatural.com

    We’ve all got those remarks that make us cringe when we hear them. Well, instead of the mini rants that I tend to do among friends or on my own Instagram page via perfectly-crafted memes, here’s a lil roundup of the natural hair comments many of us would rather not hear!

    “You’re not REALLY natural because…”

    Ugh. Who made these people mayor of Natural Hair Town? Okay, okay… true. There ARE certain situations where women are out here claiming their hair is “natural” when it’s plain as day that it isn’t. There are even some cases where, when you break it down, their hair isn’t technically natural (another post for another day). But, look, who am I to tell someone that they can’t be down because they do x, y, z to their hair? Who has that kinda time? Certainly not me. And, really, if they didn’t ask you, zip it.

    “I like your hair better when you…”

    If there’s one thing I hate, it’s an unsolicited comment (see last sentence of above paragraph). Listen, you may not understand why your daughter/wife/girlfriend/sister/BFF/coworker decided they don’t want to chemically relax their hair anymore, but she’s got enough to worry about when it comes to her hair. She certainly doesn’t need you telling her what you prefer, especially if she didn’t ask you! Do you really think that because you state such an opinion that she’s gonna run to the nearest salon and slap a relaxer in her hair? Please. It’s not about you. Nine times out of ten, we don’t care.

    “Natural hair isn’t for everyone!”


    Are you actually telling me that the hair that naturally grows out of your scalp is not FOR… you?! Ummm.

    Okay. Maybe y’all just aren’t saying what you really mean, ’cause that can’t be it. That’s like saying your dark skin, brown eyes or that mole on your cheek isn’t “for you”. Maybe what you SHOULD say is, “I don’t think I (or “not everyone…”) can handle the upkeep and maintenance of natural(ly textured) hair”, or something to that effect. But if it grows from your head, surely you’re physically capable of wearing it that way. The question is, do you want to?

    Some just don’t feel like dealing with it… and that’s fine. Most times, it’s just about learning what your hair can do, the options you have. One look at Instagram under #naturalhairstyles and you’ll see just how versatile naturally textured hair is! And upkeep doesn’t have to be as involved as you might think. With some research and a dose of patience, you can do it!

    “I can’t go natural because I don’t have ‘good hair’.”

    …or “because I don’t have 3F, 2P, Q, R, S, T hair”. Ugh! I’m so done. I’ll speak on what I think about hair typing at a later date but please, staaaahhp! This comment actually makes me a little sad. Thanks to years of society telling us (either directly or through mainstream media) that tightly coiled, kinky, spirally hair is not beautiful, many have been left feeling like they can only wear their natural hair if it has a certain type of curl.

    Chile, boo… whatever curl pattern you have on that head of yours is beautiful. God didn’t make any mistakes! Sure, it may take some time to get used to dealing with a texture of hair that you probably haven’t seen since you sported pigtails but I assure you, all hair is good. ALL!

    “You’ll never get a man with your hair like that!”

    Pause.

    This has got to be one of the harshest natural hair comments yet. With all the men — of various races — who love, appreciate and often times would rather a woman who wears her hair in its natural state, I can’t believe this is a thing. Are people really still saying this?! I just…


    I’ve had one too many friends and acquaintances tell me that they’ve heard this comment from… their mothers!



    Really, mom?! C’mon. How about some encouragement? I get that there’s this whole generational thing and in your day (post 70s, of course) the thing to do was get those kinks out if you wanted to look “presentable”. But, what a thing to say! No. Guess what? It’s a brand new day! If a man can’t appreciate and accept a woman with all the things that make her who she is then he’s not worthy of her anyway. *drops mic*

    I’m done… for now. LOL!

    Let’s chat.

    What are some natural hair comments that you just can’t STAND to hear? How have you dealt with them?

    *************************


    Toia B. is a Corn Flake-loving wife and mom from Brooklyn, NY. In addition to hair, she writes about style and mommy life at LuvToBNatural.com. Since embracing her natural hair texture in 2009, Toia's aim has been to share what she's learned to help others embrace their own natural beauty.

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    by Sabrina Perkins of SeriouslyNatural.org

    Hair loss is a serious subject that far too many women face. Couple that with the recent study findings presented at the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting that black women are more prone to hair loss and you see why we cannot seem to stop discussing it.

    This new treatment is called PRP, or Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy and requires no surgery, no drugs and no expensive or messy ointments. While this treatment is new, the process of Platelet Rich Plasma is not. According to ABC News:

    "PRP starts by drawing blood from the patient. The blood then goes into a machine that separates out the platelets filled with growth factors.

    Those growth factor-filled platelets are then injected into the scalp to stimulate new-hair growth, decrease hair loss and make the hair grow thicker.

    Producing platelet rich plasma is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The PRP procedure is not yet approved but there is a clinical trial underway now."


    Women in the study right now are seeing vast improvements and this was even discussed extensively on Good Morning America a few days ago. The treatments cost around $400 per session and the preliminary results look good but right not they are still just in the clinical trials. We can expect doctors to increase those prices enormously if all goes well with the trials.

    You can find out more here: ABC News

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