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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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  • 11/19/15--09:53: Fatou Is Naturally Glam!

  • Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like?
    I initially planned to do at least 2 years of transition, but was too excited to see what my natural hair would look like, so after 9 months, I chopped it all. After 8 years being natural, I big chopped again last month, due to severe heat damage I experienced last year after straightening my hair.

    READ MORE>>

    Had you always embraced your texture?
    Before starting my natural journey, I never really noticed that I had a texture. I had my first relaxer when I was 13 and didn’t know much of my natural hair until I was 18,  that’s when my sister started her transition which got me researching about natural hair and joining natural hair communities on the internet.


    How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? 
    My sister did her big chop before me and was my biggest motivation to go natural, so I had 100% of her support. My parents did not mind the natural part, but my mom was absolutely upset because I had short hair. Actually, I think most people were more concerned by the fact that I had the “nerve” to cut my hair because as they said I was lucky to have long hair for an African girl.

    I think the worst I heard was that I stop relaxing to do like white people because of course, black people are not supposed to let their hair out without putting anything on it. Smh!

    Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
    In between coarse and fine and thick.

    What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair? 
    Nothing, I’m always too afraid to mess it up. I considered coloring it once, but was too afraid of the damage it could do.

    What’s your biggest hair related regret?
    My biggest regret was not enjoying my short hair and trying different styles with it. I honestly didn’t experience much with them until the end of 2010 when I discovered that using the right techniques, I was able to achieve a twist out and it became my favorite hairstyle ever since! I big chopped last month and this time I plan on enjoying the short hair!

    What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? Favorite products! Deets! 
    When it comes to routine, I have to admit I’m sooo lazy and so not consistent at all! I usually stick to a routine for 1 or 2 months then I get bored and skip most of it especially when my hair is in Senegalese twists.   I will cleanse once a week with any moisturizing conditioner that I have, and deep condition whenever I feel like my hair needs it. But most important, I try to moisturize daily and my holy grail is coconut oil!

    Who is your curl crush?
    My favourites are Fusionofcultures and Naptural85.

    How do you maintain your hair at night?
    I spray my hair with a moisturizing hair spray and I seal with an oil (my favourite is Coconut oil), then never ever go to bed without my beloved satin scarf!

    How do you maintain healthy length?
    Don’t hold on to damaged ends! One thing I’ve learned is that hair will grow, so let go of the split and damaged ends. Also deep conditioning and daily moisturizing is a key to maintaining healthy length.


    What's the best thing about being natural?
    Versatility! Indeed it’s the best thing about being natural, straight hair, twist outs, afro puffs.

    Where can folks find you on the web?
    You can find me on Instagram: thefdesta!


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    by Charlene Walton of TexturedTalk.com

    Installing perm rods is by far one of my favorite styles for my natural hair. For starters, the style can last up to five days which cuts down on how often you have to manipulate your hair. Secondly, I haven’t met a woman who doesn’t look fabulous with a head full of curls! So how can you achieve a perfect perm rod set on natural hair every single time? Keep reading…there are 9 easy steps you must live by.

    Read On!>>>


    1. Always start on freshly washed and conditioned hair. 


    Products respond well to clean hair and removing additional buildup will allow you to also achieve bouncy, voluminous curls once you have taken the perm rods out at the end. You can also opt to use a cleansing co-wash product if you do not need a full shampoo session. Starting a perm rod set on natural hair that is soaking wet will also allow you to have a great foundation for the curls to set.

    2. Pick styling products wisely


    Once your hair is clean and conditioned next up are the styling products. My choice is to use a setting lotion for slight hold, a cream based product for moisture and softness and a little bit of oil to seal the moisture. Each product plays a different role in the process, but it’s totally up to you which products you want to use.

    3. Apply products effectively


     

    Work your way through your hair with products section by section. Don’t try to apply the products all over at once. Navigating your hair section by section will allow you to ensure all product are evenly distributed throughout. For this style I’m using all the Creme of Nature for Natural Hair Argan Oil products because they have a leave in hair milk and foaming setting lotion that works well together. In total, I used the Creme of Nature Argan Oil Shine Foaming Mousse, the Creme of Nature Leave-In Butter Milk (actually used this as my leave in conditioner), and the Creme of Nature Butterlicious Hydrating Curl Creme. You can easily find these products at your nearest Sally’s. 

    4. Take it slow and go small 


    Use small sections for each perm rod set. Small sections will allow you to twirl your hair around the rod more effectively and help to ensure each section of hair is smooth along the rod. My rule of thumb is about an inch wide for each section. This also will help with your drying time later. For this installation I twisted the hair a few times at the root, then twirled the hair around the rod.

    5. Focus on the ends


    Use extra products on the end of each perm rod section where your hair stops. The ends are the most important part. You want to make sure the hair doesn’t unravel so an extra pump of foaming lotion or dab of cream right here goes a long way.

    6. ALLOW AMPLE TIME TO DRY!


    I can not stress this enough. Be aware of your schedule before installing perm rods to ensure you have plenty of time to allow your hair to dry. This WILL determine the success of your perm rod set. Hair that is still slightly damp will become frizzy as you unravel and the style will not last as long. Here are a few drying options…
    • Drying overnight: If you choose this option I like to sit under the dryer for at least 30 minutes to set the hair, then sleep in the perm rods overnight to ensure they are dry by the morning
    • Hooded dryer: Typical time for my hair to become 100% dry while sitting under the dryer is 2 hours. So cozy up with a good book and get comfortable!

    7. Test the waters before you separate and unravel completely


    Remove hair from each perm rod first, BEFORE separating the curls. After you’ve removed each rod, search for areas where your hair could still be a little damp. If your hair is still a little wet, you can continue to dry while the hair still has the form of the curl for a few more minutes. Once you are 100% dry it’s time to separate!

    8. Separate Strategically


    Once the hair is completely dry, separate with a light oil of your choice. If you love big hair, you might choose to separate 3 times for each section. If you want the style to last up to 5 days, I suggest separating 1-2 times and naturally allow the curls to separate further as the days pass.

    9. Fluff, style and slay!


    Fluff your roots with a pick, style to your liking and slay!

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    Hola Chicas!

    Looking for an all-natural/organic substitute for your shampoo, facial, leave- in conditioner, body lotion, and natural hair moisturizer?!  We got you.  Check out the quick and easy recipes below via CurlMix.

    Watch Now!>>>

    1. Lavender Leave - In Conditioner (Hair)
    This leave in conditioner is a light weight hair moisturizer, to be used before styling.

    2. Honey Lemon Mud Wash - Hair Cleanser & Facial Mask (Hair & Skin)

    This mud mask extracts impurities from your hair and skin.

    3. Whipped Mango & Black Currant Butter (Hair & Skin)

    This Mango butter moisturizers your skin and locks moisture into your hair.

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    by Amanda Starghill of NaturallyCurly

    Deep conditioning is an essential element in which coily hair thrives. Coily hair requires enriched moisture reinforcements due to its high potential to experience dryness. Because the circumference of coily hair is smaller than that of curly hair, the sebum from your scalp takes longer to travel down the hair shaft. Since sebum takes forever to get from roots to ends, you need to take measures to avoid dryness and breakage. Deep conditioners are filled with proteins, lubricants and oils to help your hair maintain elasticity, prevent breakage and restore strength. Here are six top tips for deep conditioning and washing your coils.

    Read More!!>>>

    1. Use All Natural Conditioner

    Deep conditioning is the time to rejuvinate your hair from manipulation and weather elements. Selecting a deep conditioner that is free of non-soluble silicones, non-permeable oils and drying alcohols will allow your hair to absorb more nutrients and decrease the rate of product build-up. No one wants to wash their hair just to experience dryness two days later. Natural conditioners are the best route to prevent decreasing your strand’s absorption capacity.

     2. Look for Behentrimonium Chloride

    This cationic surfactant is an awesome lubricant that helps to give your hair slip as you detangle. Coily hair is bound to become interwine, especially when activated with water. The last thing you want is to be excited for wash day, hop in the shower, run water on your hair and apply a conditioner that doesn’t have any slip. That’s the formula to an extremely matted mess! Slip is a must. Behentrimonium chloride provides slip that is equally effective as silicones minus the product build-up.

    3. Add Penetrating Oils

    Avocado oil, coconut oil and olive oil are three oils that penetrate the hair shaft and reach the cortex. Because coily hair has a tendency to dry out, oils help to slow down the rate of moisture loss. Check out these deep conditioners rich in oils: 


    4. Be Sure to Look for Hydrolyzed Proteins

    Hydrolyzed proteins are proteins that have been altered to seep into the cuticle and fill in the cortex. They help coily hair to regain strength from daily wear and tear by replacing proteins that are lost through manipulation. CurlyNikki’s Finding Your Perfect Deep Conditioner – The Ultimate Guide is a great reference for a list of hydrolyzed proteins and more information.

    5. Use heat

    Deep conditioning with a processing cap under a hooded dryer for a minimum of 15 minutes is just divine. It is possible for your hair to absorb nutrients from conditioners without confined heat, but it will take longer. Not only does using heat expand the hair shaft to give the conditioner more access to seep through, but it also helps certain ingredients bond to the cuticle.

    6. Rinse with Cool water

    Rinsing your hair with cool water after deep conditioning helps to close the cuticle. By rinsing with warm water, you re-open the hair shaft and possibly lose nutrients that were just put into the hair.

    Whenever moisturizing and sealing don’t work and your hair keeps laughing at your co-wash conditioner, it’s probably time to deep condition. Your hair thrives when it starts with a good foundation. A great analogy is your body’s need for hydration. To some, a Coke sounds great on a hot summer day, but the body is not truly hydrated without water. Your hair is the same. Product build-up and synthetic ingredients are like that false sense of hydration. You keep drinking looking to quench that thirst until you finally drink water. Deep condition your coils with the best of the best and you will definitely see a difference.

    How often do you deep treat? What's your process?  

    This article was originally published on August 2012 and has been updated for grammar and clarity.

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    If you frequently do-it-yourself and have thought about creating a replacement for your shampoo, try this easy recipe from Naturally Fit QT. It uses African Black Soap, a natural cleanser made from the ash of roasted plant materials such as plantain skins, cocoa pods and the leaves and bark of palm and shea trees. It is especially great for those with sensitive, dry skin or conditions like eczema and psoriasis. In general, African Black Soap tends to lather, so a little goes a long way with this shampoo.

    Read On!>>>
    Mixing Tools
    • medium cooking pot
    • large glass mixing bowl
    • wooden measuring spoon
    • grater (optional)
    • 8 oz. airtight storage bottle (preferably with a nozzle applicator tip)

    Shampoo Ingredients
    • 5 oz. raw Black Soap
    • 2 cups filtered water
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons pure honey
    • 2 teaspoons vitamin E
    • essential oil of your choice
    Directions
    1. Grate or break the black soap bar into pieces and place into large mixing bowl.
    2. Bring your water to a boil.
    3. Remove your water from the heat and pour it over the soap in the bowl.
    4. Stir slowly and then let the mixture sit until it is totally melted.
    5. Turn off the stove's heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature.
    6. Add 10 drops of vitamin E, 10 drops of essential oil, and the honey to your mixture. Once it reaches room temperature, some of the ingredients will settle or separate, so gently stir it with your spoon till it mixes again.
    7. Store away in your airtight container for later use during your next wash.
    If you'd like to create more than one of these shampoos for friends and family, you can purchase raw Black Soap in bulk online at madinaonline.com or Amazon.

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    by Emilia Obiekea of AdoreBotanicals.com

    I enjoy making and creating products when I have free time. Ayurvedic herbs are wonderful for the hair and skin.   

    "According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Ayurveda is considered one of the oldest healing sciences that have a holistic approach to health. It is designed to help people live a long, healthy, and well-balanced life. It has been practiced in India for at least 5,000 years. It has recently become popular again in western cultures and is used to treat illnesses and maintain balance in the body, mind, and consciousness through proper eating, drinking, and lifestyle.  Our hair, which is a vital parameter of external beauty, can also benefit from Ayurvedic treatments to maintain its health and look beautiful. These time-tested herbal hair care remedies have been the backbones behind the healthy and long hair of Indian women. Whether dealing with scalp problems, nourishing the hair follicles, or trying to steer clear of sulfates, parabens, or ingredients you cannot pronounce, Ayurveda can bring health and beauty to your tresses."
    I am sharing my own recipe for a home pre-poo/conditioning treatment that encourages healthy hair growth.



    The ingredients are as follows:

    Cassia Seeds
    Benefits: Gives hair a beautiful sheen.
    Nothing like cassia powder. Mostly used as a hot tea.
    A low key favorite of mine. Many use the powder but don't know about the seeds.
    Amount: 3 tablespoons
     

    Fenugreek Seeds
    (optional ingredient)
    Benefits: Prevents hair loss, promotes hair growth, helps strengthen hair shaft, light protein.
    Note: It has a very strong aroma. If you find it unpleasant just leave it out. Those that use it love it. 
    Prepare: Should be soaked overnight prior to using. It's beneficial but not necessary for most. 
    Amount: 2 tablespoons
    Soak in 1 cup of distilled water

    Whole Amla (dried)
    Benefits: Stimulates hair growth, has wonderful conditioning properties, strengthens hair at the roots.
    It is my preference to use Amla whole. It is fine to use powder. Use what you have of course.
    Amount: 3 or 4 pieces 
      
    Dried Rosemary
    Benefits: Stimulates the scalp, encourages growth, provides relief for irritated scalp, proves a nice sheen to the hair.
    An inexpensive, easily accessible herb.
    If pregnant it is recommended not to use this herb. I'm not a doctor.
    Amount: 2 tablespoons

    Dried Hibiscus/ Sorrel Flowers
    Benefits: Conditions hair from its softening effects due to the yielding of mucilage, promotes healthy hair growth, prevents hair loss, thickens hair. 
    Gives a nice rich red tone when in liquids. If your hair is light in color (ex: blonde) substitute this with Chamomile or another floral of choice to avoid any staining. Hair in the browns, reds and black tones benefit by using this floral. It adds a rich tone and has a light amount of slip for detangling. 
    Amount: 4 or 5 flowers

    Dried Mint 
    Benefits: Soothing scalp stimulant that is wonderful for dry scalp.
    Use any kind you like. Most people use peppermint. 
    *I use a mix of my favorite mints for my mint blend. I love the warm scent and the bit of tingle it gives my scalp.
    Amount: 2 tablespoons

    Neem Blossom Honey
    Benefits: A humectant that provides moisture and and shine when used. 
    Use any type of honey that you have readily available.
    *This is one of my favorite honeys. It is costly but this brand isn't very costly.
    Amount: 2 tablespoons

    Goat Milk  
    Benefits: Soothes irritated scalps and softens the hair.
    Can use coconut milk, soy milk, almond milk, etc...
    Amount: 1/2 cup

    Distilled Water  
    Amount: 1 cup of water
    Benefits: Pure water without any chemicals or additives. The simplest and best moisturizing component of any regimen.
    "Can use coconut milk, soy milk, almond milk, etc...
    Note: add the distilled water if fenugreek step was skipped.
    Photo Credit (Google)
      
    Process Steps
    1. Add 1 cup of distilled water to the Fenugreek seeds. Let it soak overnight.
    2. In the morning, warm the goat milk slightly. Then add the cassia seeds, hibiscus, amla, rosemary and mint.
    3. Cover and turn off the heat source. 
    4. Let it steep until it is mildy warm. 
    5. Strain the herbs from the infused milk. 
    6. Add honey to the milk and stir until the honey has dissolved. Adding it at this time helps to maintain the integrity of the honey. 
    7. Once the honey is full incorporated add the fenugreek water/ plain distilled water (if you skipped the fenugreek step). If you like to use the mashed fenugreek to infuse your water you can use it that way as well. 
    This solution is very nice for the hair. It can  be used as is, as a prepoo, as a post wash rinse (if using fenugreek follow up with something that smells nice to get rid of the scent) or added to your favorite conditioners. 


    Emilia Says
    Once everything is fully incorporated, I pour it into a dye applicator bottle. I apply the mask to my hair for 30 minutes to an hour and then rinse.  If using this as a prepoo/ pre-shampoo conditioner: I apply it to my unwashed hair, rinse, then cleanse and deep condition with another product.
    If using this as a conditioner, I apply it after my hair has been cleansed.  

    Enjoy!  
    Comment and let us know how you enjoyed it as well!


    *Disclaimer: I am not a physician. I love DIY and to share with others. If you are allergic to any of these ingredients do not try it. If you are unsure if you should consult a physician, of course.

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    Hola Chicas!
    Fierce Friday is a way to celebrate our natural hair, displaying our dopest styles and best hair days... for inspiration and motivation. Wanna be featured? All you have to do is upload your favorite pics to Instagram with the tags #FierceFriday and #CurlyNikki. Be sure to share a brief description of the style, where you were headed, why you felt amazing, etc.!

    Tbt #naturalhair me at 5 years old and me now at 35 #kinkychicks #nhdaily #teamnatural #CurlyNikki @sdw8029

    | #TBT #BirthdaySlay @posh_syd



    #naturalhaircommunity #naturalhairdaily #teamnatural #naturalhair @simplyterri925


    Natural Hair Versatility @butter_curls




    Tried. Some different curls today. #flexirods #naturalhair @niece426


    Back to basics! Sunday night wash day was a success even though we can't find our favorite conditioner nowhere in stores! We tried the Aussie moist and it was pretty decent. Now I have to see how it responds to my hair. #kinksandcurls @thisisgugu




    Loved my braid out from the other day. #braidout #naturallycurly #naturalhairrocks #curlynikki #naturalhair @ilikeweirdos35


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    Jensine ofYouTube.com/junglenaps writes:

    A few months ago, in a wine-induced Amazon shopping spree, I bought four packs of Kanekalon hair. In the 12 years that I've been natural, I've never worked up the nerve to install Senegalese twists on my own hair. Sure, I've paid many stylists to do them for me, but I've never done them myself. In the past, I'd always been nervous about whether I had the right "skills" to take on the task.

    So, with a little liquid courage, I jumped the gun and anxiously waited for my Kanekalon hair to arrive in the mail.

    Read On!>>>

     It turns out, there is an easy method to install Senegalese twists. It involves using the "invisible loop," which allows you to twist your hair into the Kanekalon hair, giving you a more natural look at your roots. With a little practice, the installation became so easy that I couldn't believe I'd put it off for so long.

    This experience helped me to learn not to be afraid to try new styles with my natural hair, regardless of how complicated they might seem. So, if you're a beginning braider like me, the following video tutorial will help you achieve beautiful Senegalese twists.


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    Damage is a barrier that will prevent you from seeing hair growth. Your hair is actually growing all the time, but with damage in the way, your hair is breaking off at the same rate it is growing, which is why there will appear to be no growth progress.

    You have to slow down the rate at which you damage your hair. Reduce is the word of choice used because it is impossible to eliminate all damage. Your hair is damaged to some degree every time you wash it, detangle it, and even touch it.

    We will concern ourselves with the 4 types of damage that can occur and how to prevent these sources of damage altogether:

    Read On!>>>
    Manipulation of the hair

    The more you comb, style, or touch your hair you are causing damage to it. If you have particularly fragile hair, like 4b or 4c hair, this type of damage is easy to come by.

    Even if you are chemical free and you do have a good moisture routine, damage from manipulation will get in your way. To resolve this issue you have to be gentle with your hair.

    You might be thinking to yourself, well I am gentle! Well, if you are experiencing breakage you are not being gentle enough.

    As stated before you want to reduce the amount of damage that you experience, because you cannot eliminate it completely. You still have to wash your hair, you still have to style it, and detangle it.

    The key is to cut down on the manipulation of your hair. How much manipulation is reduced will all vary from person to person.

    For particularly fragile hair types you will want to keep your hair in protective and low manipulation hairstyles 80% -90% of the time and instead of detangling with combs or brushes you may want to try finger combing instead.

    During the length retention phase where you are trying to gain length, maintaining styles for 2 to 3 weeks at a time will help you to hold on to the hair that would have normally broken off had you worn a style that requires daily styling.

    However for some naturals this is not practical, wearing styles for 2 to 3 weeks at a time may simply be unnecessary. Only you can determine this.

    Nevertheless, even for naturals with looser curls and more resilient strands protective styles help to protect hair from damage.

    Hair Dryness

    Dryness of the hair will lead to hair breakage and split ends which ultimately prevent hair growth. You have to have a good moisture routine if your goal is to have longer hair.

    One problem is many people do not know how to effectively moisturize their hair.

    Let’s first start with defining what a moisturizer actually is!

    A moisturizer is a water based solution. Which means oils, greases, and butters are not moisturizers, they are sealants, so in other words they help to keep moisture in your hair but they are not moisturizers.

    So every time you set out to moisturize your hair, you should lightly be misting with water or a water based product first, then sealing in that moisture with an oil and or butter.

    When you moisturize you should moisturize all of your hair, but you want to pay close attention to the ends of your hair because they get particularly dry and they are the oldest and most delicate part of your hair. This will also help to prevent your split ends from getting too severe.

    You may need to moisturize each day, every other day, or even once a week. This is all specific to your hair. You will know what works for you by the look and feel of your hair.

    Heat Damage

    While heat is a useful tool for giving us gorgeous stretched out styles, it is also good for sucking the moisture out of hair. Does this mean you can never use heat? No it does not, but if you want healthy hair you should cut down your usage of heat down to the bare minimum.

    When you frequently use heat, you will also find that you will have to trim your hair more often, which again results in lack of hair growth progress.

    You also have to keep in mind that you may not have a consistency in style if you continuously heat style your hair. High heat will cause permanent straightening of hair strands for some naturals.

    If you are transitioning this is why you should avoid flat irons and hot combs altogether until you are fully natural. You wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between relaxed hair and the hair that has been permanently straightened from heat damage.

    If you must have heat in your regimen do not use it more than every 2 to 3 weeks. Try to stretch out the time you use heat as long as you can!

    I encourage you to try going 6 months without using heat styling tools in your hair. You will see a big improvement in your hair’s health.

    There a other methods for stretching hair such as braids, twists, and banding, if you want stretched out hair.

    Chemical Damage

    Relaxers, Texturizers, and Hair Dyes will all cause some form of damage to the hair, because of the drastic changes that it does to the hair’s structure.

    If you are a transitioner, you will notice that your relaxer may even be breaking off on it’s own. This is most likely due to the differences in the two hair textures that you have on your head, (the curls and bends represent weak points) and your ends are weathered from time while also being weakened from the relaxer.

    During your transitioning stage, you will want to practice all of the above: protective styles, no heat, and moisture. As time goes on you will slowly trim away your relaxed or texturized ends.

    Hair dye, especially if you are going to a lighter shade is drying to the hair. Which is why if you decide to permanently color your hair you will have to be strict with your moisturizing and conditioning routine. Otherwise, your hair will become dry and ultimately break.

    What to Expect

    Remember you have to be consistent with good hair care practices. You cannot use heat daily, constantly manipulate your hair, and then expect for it to grow just because you slapped some moisturizer on your strands.

    Give your hair a few months or so of using good hair care in order to see significantly healthier hair and growth. Progress will not happen over night.

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    If you have a head full of natural hair like myself, wash day can be a bit intimidating if your new to the healthy natural hair scene. A bit of water touches your hair and you're instantly introduced to shrinkage, tangles and knots. Knowing how to wash your natural hair is priceless. I'm going to give you my top tips for getting through wash day with natural hair.

    1. Prepoo With Oil

    If you need to familiarize yourself with the details of prepooing click here. I try to do a prepoo before every single shampoo, especially my clarifying shampoos since the entire process of washing can be very rough on the hair. Applying a natural oil to the hair from root to tip about 30 minutes before a shampoo can be nourishing and give a protective shield to the hair. I recently found out that coconut oil applied to the hair at least 20 minutes before shampooing can reduce stress known as hygral fatigue on the hair. So prepoo with coconut oil before hand to give your hair a fighting chance.

    Read More>>>

    2. Section And Wash

    If you have 6 inches or more of natural hair length, washing the whole head of hair loose may not be the best way to do things. Try sectioning your hair into 4 or 6 sections that twisted or braided. Remove one braid or twist at a time and wash that particular section only. Re-twist or braid the section when the section is washed. This process takes a lot longer, but fewer tangles, knots and breakage is totally worth it.

    3. Lather Once With A Sulfate Free Shampoo

    Shampoo is for cleaning the scalp, and the run off of water and suds work to clean the length of hair. If you get the scalp and hair sufficiently wet, you should be able to get shampoo right to the scalp and work a good lather. Rinse well with lukewarm water and your hair should be clean. If you feel like you need another wash, opt for a conditioner wash (co-wash) instead.

    4. Follow Up with Conditioner

    Don't forget to always follow up your 'poo with an instant conditioner and if you're really feeling yourself, hop out and deep treat right quick with a gentle heat source! You will need to replenish the moisture back into your hair, as well as detangle your hair with a moisture rich conditioner. Check out this list of best products with slip.

    5. Dry Hair With A Microfiber Towel or T-shirt

    Traditional cotton towels can really tangle and break hair due to the structure. Try a microfiber towel or plain t-shirt to dry the hair instead. Be sure to squeeze and blot the water out of the hair and avoid rubbing.

    Just remember that a little bit of breakage while washing or doing anything to the hair is inevitable, but be sure to keep an eye out for excessive breakage. Give yourself a good protein treatment, balance your hair out with moisture and assess your diet in this case. When all else fails...consult a physician. Doctors (sometimes) know best!

    How do you wash your natural hair? Let us know in the comment section below.

    This article was originally published in May 2013 and has been updated for grammar and clarity.


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    Hola Chicas,

    I'll be on the Dr. Oz Show throughout the month of November, including TODAY!  Please tune in to learn about what your hair brush might be trying to tell you!

    Later Gators,
    Nik

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  • 11/24/15--06:00: Nikeenah Is Naturally Glam!

  • Tell me about yourself!
    My name is Nikeenah Dockery. I am a 32 year old married mother of two. I currently reside in the Denver, CO area, but I am an east coaster! I graduated from Norfolk State University with a degree in Kinesiology. I love teaching, and was afforded the opportunity to teach last year, and serve as an Assistant Principal. Currently, I enjoy being a homeschooling mother to my lovely daughters. In my free time, I lead an exciting life promoting Christian Hip Hop and Community Outreach through our company On Faith Entertainment.

    READ MORE>>
    Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like?
    I was a big chopper! My natural hair journey was rich with inspiration drawn from my close friends Erin, Juanita,Tracey, and the ladies of bloggirlfriends.com.


    Had you always embraced your texture?
    Growing up awaiting my next relaxer treatment, I always wondered about that wavy new growth sprouting up. I was intrigued, but never brave enough to resist the relaxer. Hair has always been a measuring stick in my community. If you had long manageable hair, you were thought to be beautiful. So, even if my mane was broken off or damaged by the years of home relaxers, in my mind, it was better than having unruly hair.

    How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? 
    As an adult, I started going to the hair salon to receive relaxers professionally. I was able to attain great length and maintained regular hair trims. I first talked to my husband, Roy, about my decision to go natural. He was very supportive, which was a plus because I was a little nervous. He reassured me that if I had a lumpy head under all of my hair I was free to rock his fedora...lol. Thankfully, most of my family was very supportive. Once I sent out photos and posted the pics on Facebook I had some very close family members who thought otherwise…"You’ve lost your glory! “NOOOOOOoooooooo!” Smh! It didn’t last long though. Now they are natural!


    Describe your hair.
    I would describe my hair as thick and with a normal porosity.

    What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair?
    One summer day I was being lazy managing my wash-in-go style. I decided to wait a week before detangling. I spent the next 4 days and nights trying to untangle my hair. I felt so horrible, and was very tempted to shave it all off. Thankfully, I was able to navigate through the matted hair!

    What’s your biggest hair related regret?
    My biggest hair related regret was growing my hair out so fast. I was so focused on getting my hair to grow out like all my YouTube hair crushes that I didn’t take time to really explore having a TWA. I could have kept it trimmed up, or even tried out a cool shaved look.


    What's your current hair routine?
    Now that I live in Colorado, my hair has taken on different characteristics. On the east coast, I constantly had frizz and my curls didn’t stay defined for long. Since Colorado has significantly less humidity I enjoy my styles for longer periods of time.  I really like washing and conditioning with Kirkland shampoo and conditioner sold at Costco's. I like using it because it’s sulfate free, 100% vegan, paraben free, and gluten free. I like using Herbal Essence Coconut Hello Hydration for deep conditioning and finger detangling.  For my Bantu Knots and Twist Outs, I like to apply Carol’s Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey Shine Pomade and ECO Olive Oil gel for styling.

    What’s your favorite hairstyle? Where do you get hairstyle inspiration?
    My favorite hair style is the Bantu Knot Twist Out. I mainly get hairstyle inspiration from YouTube, and other naturalistas.

    Who is your curl crush? 
    My hair crushes are Diana Ramsey of Sisters With Beauty SWB, Jo Michelle, and Natural Neiicey.


    How do you maintain your hair at night? 
    I like to sleep in a bonnet with hair in Bantu Knots or up in a pineapple.

    How do you maintain healthy length?
    I maintain length by staying away from combs, finger detangling and routine trims.

    What's the best thing about being natural?
    The best thing about being natural is simply being who God created me to be. I had so much unnoticed stress in my daily life and was overly consumed with how my hair looked. I have memories of walking on campus, and soon as I found my way inside the building darting to the nearest bathroom to make sure the wind hadn’t blown my hair crazy. By far the best thing about being natural is the constant affirmation to my daughters that you are beautiful with your curls! I grew up in a time when your hair had to look a certain way to be accepted. I am proud that we are in an age where natural hair is celebrated and is valued!


    Where can folks find you on the web?
    I have several social media outlets. I can be found on
    Facebook @NikeenahDockery
    Instagram @nldockery
    Twitter @nldockery
    www.onfaithent.com

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    Photo Courtesy of Natalie Live

    by Amanda
    When it comes to hair growth, the concern is not so much how to make your hair grow, but rather how do you retain length. Breakage is a result of excessive manipulation, heat usage, chemical application, and wearing certain hairstyles. When you want to retain length past your shoulders, it is important to first evaluate your regimen. Then, you should consider your hair type. Density and curl pattern affect whether your hair grows out or down. Sometimes it will begin to grow out and then grow downward as you retain length and gravity takes over. Some textures, especially afro-textured hair, will always hover above the shoulders in a shrunken state, even though it could be kneecap length when stretched. Regardless of texture, if you are concerned about retaining length, evaluate these three areas in your regimen. 
    Loose hairstyles
    Everyone loves wearing their curl hair big and loose, including me, but doing this consistently can come with a cost. The friction from your hair rubbing against your clothes or hand-in-hair syndrome encourages can cause split ends. The more you protect your ends, the less you have to trim. Try incorporating some updo styles every once in a while. If you prefer to completely protect your hair, consider wearing headwraps or protective styles like extension twists and braids. Remember that you want to protect your hair not neglect it. Make sure your extensions twists are properly installed, maintained, and removed with sufficient breaks in between.
     
    Chemical and mechanical manipulation

    Over manipulation will be the death of your strands. Whether you are processing your hair with permanent color or bleach, applying it improperly and too often can cause excessive dryness, which then leads to breakage. Using permanent color requires lifting the cuticle, and the damage caused by that process is irreversible, so be mindful of your hair’s state and how often you use chemicals and heat styling tools. The finer your strands, like most afro-textured hair, the less chemical and mechanical manipulation your hair can withstand. Consult a licensed cosmetologist to about color services or at-home coloring, keep your heat tools temperatures low (below 400 degrees), and do not use chemicals or heat often.

    Everyone loves a voluminous twist out and braid out, but make sure you are not handling your hair everday. Some naturals swear by re-twisting their hair every night, but this can cause your hair to break off in wisps and porous ends over time. For overnight maintenance, put your hair in chunky twists or coif your hair into a pineapple before bed.
    Skipping conditioner
    Using a shampoo and skipping the conditioner is always a bad idea. Shampoo is formulated to slightly lift the cuticle and thoroughly cleanse away debris from product buildup, sweat, excessive sebum, and elements from the air. When you proceed to style without apply a conditioner or deep conditioner, you neglect to close the cuticle, making the hair dry and susceptible to breakage. Whether you use a daily conditioner, deep conditioner, or leave-in conditioner, always condition your hair.

    Follow Natalie Live (pictured above) here:

    How did you maintain length past your shoulders?

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    **Updates**


    CN Says:
    CN commenter, Tinycurls, straight up #Matlocked the situation, so I headed over to BootsUK to check it out. I grabbed the only SheaMoisture product in my arsenal (Coconut Hibiscus Curl and Style Milk) and compared the ingredients on my bottle to the ingredients on the site (click image to enlarge):
    top: ingredient list on BootsUK for Curl and Style Milk 
    Bottom: ingredient label on my bottle of Curl and Style Milk


     This appears to be a completely different product?  

    *in my Katt Williams voice* If I should just so happen to put GLYCERIN in my hurr, uh... there will be some effects.  I clicked through a few other products and all of them had glycerin listed in the top five ingredients. #ICannot 

    Of course I'll withhold judgement until I hear from a SheaMoisture rep (maybe this is how they roll in the UK? Are these throwback ingredients, or nah?). 

    Check back for updates,
    Nik
    ************************************************************


    Original Article-- 11/24/2015

    by Cree Brown

    SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie 
    vs 
    SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie?

    So, when I heard that SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie was now being sold in a family size jar, I knew that was the size I needed-because my hair loves it. I went to Walmart and purchased the family size and immediately knew something was amiss when I opened it. It had the consistency of the Curl and Style Milk (Huh!? What!?), it was runny, not thick and creamy. I assumed something was wrong with it and no way was I putting it on my hair. I took it back to the store because I was sure it was a bad batch-I mean it just had to be. To my surprise and chagrin all of the family sizes on Walmart’s shelf had the same consistency when I shook the jar.

    Read On!>>>
    I was absolutely confused, so I compared the ingredient labels on the regular and family sizes. The ingredients were exactly the same and in the same order. But clearly it’s not the same product. I can only assume the ratio of water to the remaining ingredients has changed. But there was nothing saying new formula on the container.

    What is a girl to do?! SheaMoisture is playing with my emotions. I was sure I was getting four more ounces of thick and creamy goodness for my hair for only one dollar more, but nope!

    Have you noticed a difference? 


    CN Says:
    I tried so hard to love the smoothie but its sticky consistency always left my fine, highly porous strands disrespectfully coated and dry, yet greasy somehow.  Perhaps a watered down version would bode well for my curls... 

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     photo courtesy of Beemore


    Lecithin is an essential component of every cell in our bodies. Lecithin is a basis in the structure of cells that prevents the hardening of cell membranes. It is a fat that can also be found in several foods including soybeans, meats, vegetables, and egg yolks. According to Drugs.com, “Lecithin is the common name for a series of related compounds called phosphatidylcholines.” Healthy cells lead to a healthy body and maintaining a body’s resistance to many diseases that take advantage of damaged cells. One of the most well-known benefits of lecithin is supporting cardiovascular health, but some even say it aids in weight loss and relief of arthritis. Lecithin is natural-occurring in the body. It can also be consumed either through foods or as a supplement. The majority of commercial lecithins sold in the market today are from soybean, sunflower, and grape seeds.

    Read On!>>>
    How does lecithin help with hair?
    Lecithins are emulsifiers that are surface-active and water-loving. These fatty substances are often found in hair and skin products because of their main nutrients: choline and insotil. Choline and inositol are both important for healthy hair growth, as they are part of the B complex vitamins. Lecithin supports and enhances the required amount of protein for hair growth while improving the texture and look of hair by adding shine or luster. Its high concentration of fatty acids creates a barrier on the skin and hair that effectively captures and seals in moisture.

    This moisturizing benefit makes lecithin perfect for persons suffering from dry, brittle hair. It adds shine, seals in moisture, and restores hair’s natural protective coating often damaged by styling, chemical applications, heat, or environmental changes. This is often why we find shampoos and conditioners utilizing lecithin to help improve the look and structure of damaged hair. Lecithins also help control the viscosity of liquids and help with product absorption into the skin or hair. They are highly conditioning and moisturizing for hair conditioners and masks. Not just for conditioning and moisturizing, lecithin helps to prevent fly-away hair for our straight-haired naturals.

    There are dietary supplements of lecithin and of course food sources, but if you want the benefits of this natural-occurring ingredient, then you can benefit from these products below that use the emulsifying and moistening power of lecithin in their formulas.

    Products with lecithin
    LUSH Jungle Solid Conditioner
    Blended Beauty Happy Nappy Styles
    Curlisto Repair Styling Cream
    Mario Badescu Lecithin Nourishing Shampoo
    Regenepure Nourishing Treatment Hair Thickening Shampoo for Hair Thinning Treatment
    Jessicurl Too Shea! Extra Moisturizing Conditioner

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    by NaturallyChelsea via NaturallyCurly.com

    Oh, to be newbie again! I can only imagine the things that I would have done differently. I can remember only too well the many, many hairstyles that were spoiled from not having a good curly hair care routine at night.

    This post is for all the curlies out there who just want to sleep in and not spend an hour in front of the mirror on a morning redoing a style. It is possible, there is a way and now you can master it!

    Preserve a Wash and Go - Option 1 

    The first popular method involves keeping the curls moist so that they do not dry in an awkward position while you sleep. Remember those days waking up to flat hair on one side and smooshed curls? Well, no longer! All you will need for this method of preservation is a spray bottle and a shower cap.
    1. Lightly spritz your hair with water then cover it with a shower cap. 
    2. Once you’re finished, put on your satin bonnet or scarf and hop into bed.
    The slight moisture and your body heat create a green house effect, helping to keep your curls moist so you can simply fluff and go come morning.
      StyleNook user Alia.Varzea

      Preserve a Wash and Go - Option 2

      Another way to preserve a wash and go is to plait the hair. I know it sounds weird to plait your hair when trying to maintain the curl, but loosely plaiting the hair helps to not only get rid of first day crunchy hair, but it also helps to stretch it to get rid of the Jherri curl look. And because it’s done loosely, the curl pattern will be left undisturbed.
      1. Grab large random sections of hair and braid it loosely remembering to leave the ends (an inch or two) undone to preserve the curl at the end. Use ouchless headbands to secure the braid if it begins to become undone.
      2. Put on your satin scarf or bonnet and tuck yourself in for the night.

      StyleNook user Latee14

      Preserve a Twist or Braid-Out

      Second day hair for a twist or braid out seems to be somewhat of a myth or only enjoyed by a select lucky few.
      Keeping in mind that the style may never look as defined, frizz free and gorgeous as day one, it is indeed possible to preserve it and get at least two days from a set with the right curly hair care methods!
      1. Begin by applying pomade or gel to your hairline and tie a scarf around it. This will help to keep your edges down so come the next morning, there will be no battle to get them to behave and no need to pull out your hairline’s arch nemesis, the bristle brush.
      2. You can then either loosely twist the hair in large sections or pineapple it. In order to pineapple the hair, bend at the waist and gather your hair at the very top of your head.
      3. Secure it loosely with a satin scrunchy. Ensure that you do not tie your hair too tightly as it will leave a dent in it that will be difficult to remove in the morning. Put on your satin bonnet and hit the sack.
      And, voila! Your twist or braid out is ready for day two!

      Press and Curl Maintenance

      1. Grab each curl, and going in the same direction that it was formed, loosely begin to wrap it around your finger. When you have reached your scalp, grab a bobby pin and pin the wrapped curl to your scalp. Continue to do this until all your hair is done.
      2. The following morning remove the pins and style your curls as desired.
      StyleNook user kismet1

      Straight Hair Maintenance
      1. Grab a wide-toothed comb and boar bristle brush (the boar bristles are less damaging to your hair). Part your hair from the centre of your forehead going back till the centre of your head.
      2. Using your wide-toothed comb, begin to wrap your hair starting from the part going in either direction. Use the brush to smooth your hair down as you go along and continue to brush and or comb until your hair lies smoothly against your head.
      3. Once done with wrapping, put on your satin scarf. Do not forget to wrap even the small hairs at the hairline to prevent them from reverting.
      Tips: To really prevent reversion while you shower, opt for a shopping bag instead. Small shower caps simply don’t do a good enough job of keeping the humidity of the shower out and aren’t big enough to cover your entire hairline in the front and back. So grab a plastic shopping bag and tie it on your head. Then pull the front and back down to ensure that every last hair is tucked away.

      Above all else, remember to cover your hair at night. The cotton fibers can leach the moisture out and create friction causing frizz. Also, wrapping your hair can help to keep it in position, especially for updos. For those of you who want to reserve the right to maintain your sexiest even while you get your REM, then opt for a satin pillowcase instead.

      So until next time: love, peace, and curly haired bliss!

      What's your current night time routine?

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      Appreciate every single season of your life.  Whether the season is hard and you wish it would hurry up and pass, or the season is amazing and you're terrified that it will end.  No matter what it is, give yourself to it, and trust that you are experiencing exactly what you need when you need it. 

      If you had to give a name to the season you are going through right now, what would it be?

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    1. 11/26/15--04:52: Tammy Is Naturally Glam!

    2. Tell me about yourself!
      My name is Tammy and I love my hair! When I stopped relaxing my hair, I only wore two strand twist until all of the relaxed hair was gone.
      I used to go to a stylist, but decided to save money and manage my hair on my own.

      READ MORE>>

      Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper? What was your journey like?
      I was a transitioner. Ten years ago I didn’t know about any blogs or websites to help me with that move, so it was rough. I went to a salon for two strand twists and they looked horrible. Since my hair was full of relaxed hair, it looked like a thin scraggly mess in the beginning. Every month the stylist would cut off about an inch of the relaxed hair. As my roots got thicker, I started to enjoy the journey.

      Had you always embraced your texture?
      No. I was raised with relaxers since I was thirteen years old. When I was in my twenties and I started traveling, I would often get braid extensions. I started to positively think about my real texture when I took out the extensions and my hair would look and feel “fro-ish”.

      How did family and friends react to your decision to go natural? What was your response to them? 
      My family and friends were generally supportive. But on my first day at work with my new scraggly thin twists, a male co-worker asked, “What happened? Did you have a fight with your hairdresser?” I wanted to hide under my desk for the rest of the day.

      Describe your hair (fine or coarse, thin or thick, highly porous, low, etc.)
      It is fairly fine and highly porous. I have to give it plenty TLC.

      What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to your hair? 
      See my wedding hairstyle. I got married during the week of Hurricane Sandy. My stylist had big plans for taking out and styling those cornrows. But on my wedding day, she had no electricity and since all the gas stations around us were closed, we couldn’t get to each other. I opted for the partial braid out, There were many things going on that day. I couldn’t even focus on my hair.

      What’s your biggest hair related regret?
      I regret that I didn’t embrace my natural texture when I was much younger.

      What's your current hair routine? How often do you wash, condition, and style? Favorite products! Deets!
      I don’t have a strict wash schedule, although I should. My favorite shampoo is Terressentials Lavender Garden Pure Earth Hair Wash. My weekly mid-week routine is to detangle my hair by putting it into 16 sections for two strand twists. I spray each section with water, apply coconut oil, and Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream. I keep it twisted until Saturday or Sunday, then I wear a twist out. I’ve been experimenting with hair wraps lately. During the summer, I often wear my twisted out hair in a high ponytail.

      What’s your favorite hairstyle? Where do you get hairstyle inspiration?
      My favorite hairstyle is the twist out. Aside from Curly Nikki, I follow other hair bloggers such as Naptural85.

      Who is your curl crush?
      Lauryn Hill. I especially love her styles from the late 90’s.

      How do you maintain your hair at night?
      I use a satin scarf and a satin pillowcase.

      How do you maintain healthy length?
      It isn’t as long as I’d like. But since I have been following the routine described above, I can see that it is growing.

      What's the best thing about being natural?
      I love giving and receiving compliments and hair tips with all the other natural ladies I meet. I love the sisterhood!

      Where can folks find you on the web?
      Facebook: Tammy Lane Martin
      Twitter: @MrsTammyLMartin


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      Hola Chicas!

      I'll be back on the Dr. Oz show on Tuesday, December 2nd talking home dye vs. salon dye (and I of course throw in a good word about henna).  Oh, and that would be my Dad... he may have been a wee bit proud :)

      My dad had never been to NYC, let alone a TV set.  So I brought my Daddy to work and Dr. Oz's team gave him an all access pass!  His face got stuck in that grin.

      on the way to the studio
      His first impression of Manhattan traffic and pedestrians?'Where in the hell are all these people going?!'

      front row selfie in the audience (he watched the segment from behind the camera man, tho... couldn't tell him nothin')

      #FlickFlick

      Time Square, then dinner and we were back to DC! #DaddysGirl 

      Later Gators!
      Nik

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      by Charlene Walton of TexturedTalk.com

      One of the most frequently asked questions from women embarking on their natural hair journey has to be “What is my curl type?” but, there are so many things to know about natural hair besides the common letter and number 3c/4a, etc. Aside from wondering why their natural hair is so dry…wanting to know their curl pattern and type is usually the burning question. Unfortunately, this often boxes women into a category and sadly sets the stage for curl discrimination – yes there is such a thing. On the one hand, I strongly believe in identifying a curl type and pattern. This allows you to relate to other hair bloggers and vloggers and draw inspiration for styling as well as get insight on new products to try. However, our curls are more than just a number and letter. Here are 4 things to know about natural hair besides the curl pattern.

      Read On!>>>

        
       4 Things to Know About Natural Hair

      Texture (Width)
      Texture describes the width of each individual strand of hair you have. Hair textures are classified 3 ways: Fine, medium or thick. You’ll often find people refer to thick hair as coarse. Because fine textures are delicate this texture is also more prone to breakage. This is especially true if you manipulate often such as constantly twisting, braiding, touching etc. I am an actual victim of this! Thicker textures where the width of your strand is larger is often stronger and can sustain more manipulation without as much damage. Understanding your texture will help in re-evaluating your common hair regimen, better help you understand which products to purchase and also which natural oils work best for your texture.
       
      Density
      Density relates to how many individual strands of hair you have in total. An easy way to think of this is how many strands you have per square inch. Extremely dense hair can easily achieve big voluminous styles simply because the hair is more compact per square inch. Ever wonder why that one amazing blogger’s twist-out or wash and go is so popping but your results were just so-so? Here’s the catch….you guys could both have the same hair type number (3c/4b) however; the density could be dramatically different. As a result, the same style will look differently on both of you. For low-density hair, try fluff your curls more at the root for volume. Also, use lightweight products like serums and gel-like products to define your curls so it doesn’t weigh your hair down.

      Porosity
      Porosity describes your hair’s ability to absorb moisture. I strongly believe this is one of the most important things to know about your natural hair. The 3 types of porosity levels are low, normal, & high. Low porosity hair is harder for moisture to enter; however once the strands are fully moisturized, the moisture is locked in tight. High porosity hair absorbs moisture quickly but can also lose moisture just as fast. Once you understand the porosity of your hair a whole new world of caring for your natural curls well emerge. Correctly sealing moisture for your porosity level will lead to more moisturized hair over time, length retention and growth. Ask yourself: does my hair need light oils or heavy butters to seal in the moisture?
       
      Elasticity

      Elasticity measures the “stretchiness” of your hair. If your hair has a hard time stretching when wet and does not return to its natural state after pulling, your hair more than likely has low elasticity. Low elasticity also will result in increased breakage because the hair is so fragile. Research shows elasticity cannot exist when there is an imbalance of moisture and protein. For low elasticity, hair search key protein ingredients in your hair care products for strengthening. However, if you have a protein overload opt for more moisturizing conditioners to maintain the balance.  

      What are the key things to know about your natural hair that has helped you along your journey? Comment and let me know!

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