Blog

Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

“Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate”, my coach repeated this statement every single day, at every single practice. I would always think to myself yes coach we got it, we need to stay hydrated; but then one day I really thought about it. I thought about how important hydration was for the overall health of our bodies, and I understand now why he emphasized that phrase so much.

I mean think about it… How hard could it actually be to keep the body hydrated. Ha now that we’ve all laughed we can get back to reality. On a serious note it is very important to consume water daily. Water hydrates the body and helps regulate the circulatory system, which feeds the hair follicle, which then stimulates hair growth.

f0a993134cc5f97ca9df06a2d0cd30c5
“Allow your natural beauty to be just that, natural.”

If your hair roots are deficient in adequate water levels your tresses will eventually become dry, brittle and may stop growing. It is recommended that we consume at least 6 glasses of water per day (this differs depending on the weight, height, and activity level of the person).

You can take plenty of hair vitamins and other hair growing supplements, but if you are not consuming an appropriate amount of water to meet your body’s daily H2O requirements, the cells which are responsible for hair growth will not be able to grow and reproduce and as a result, your hair will become extremely dry and withered. This can stop the natural growth cycle of your hair.

So, please remember to always hydrate, hydrate, hydrate and let your hair be great.

 

Why I Went Natural

f27dbd14bfc1489b743ae189ac6285ff
When I was a little girl I had very thick, curly, and long hair. My hair was very hard to manage. My mother didn’t know much about how to do my hair because my older sister had a different hair texture than mines. My sister had very thin straight hair, which was much more manageable.

My hair would tangle and mat very easily if not combed through properly or taken care of; and it didn’t help that I was tinder headed. The slightest little tug or pull of a strand of hair would feel like the worst pain ever. I would cry and scream whenever I had to get my hair done.

Desperate for help my mom decided straightening my hair would be the best option. So she turned to perms. A perm is a highly toxic chemical that many people put in their hair to change their original hair texture to their desired hair texture. This method is damaging to natural hair and can become a drug for the hair. If the natural hair is permed, the hair will not return to it’s original state because the chemicals in the perm have damaged the hair shaft. This is the reason why many people who ‘go natural’ will do the ‘big chop’, chopping off all of their hair as a way to start from scratch.

My experience with perms was terrible. When you get a perm there is a burning/tingling sensation that you must sit through until the perm has set completely. After that the perm can be rinsed out. One day I was getting a perm and it set for too long, and it resulted in a chemical burn to my scalp, forehead, and face because of how fast the burn spread. For years my scalp and skin were severely damaged and I was one of the lucky few whose skin complexion returned after the sight of the burn; and my scalp luckily did not seal.

That became on of the worse experiences of my life, and after that I told my mom that I wanted to go natural and she agreed. I did not chop my hair off, however, I went through transitional periods. I did a series of protective styles to grow out my hair and as my hair grew I would cut the dead ends (the permed hair) off. This process took a full year to complete but it was definitely worth it. I don’t blame my mom for perming my hair, but I am happy that I was able to learn how to take care of my hair and embrace my natural hair so that I could share my experience with others.

Please think twice about what products you choose to put in your as well as in someone else’s.

Heat Damage

originalPlease, please, please, try to avoid using heat! Using heat on your natural hair can cause permanent damage to your hairs’ natural texture. I know many of us like to take breaks from our curly hair looks, or we may want to simply straighten our hair for easier management but it’s a big risk we take in order to do so. How we treat our hair has a direct impact on how healthy or unhealthy our hair will be.

Straightening your hair can cause your hair to have split ends, and straightening can also make your hair more prone to breakage. However, if you “absolutely must” straighten your hair you should do so by using methods that will not cause a lot of harm.

First, it is important that you know your hair and its heat tolerance because everyone’s hair is different. For example, softer/finer hair can be more easily damaged by heat. When starting to style your hair using heat it is important to first deep condition and moisturize your hair. This ensures that the hair cuticle is closed and coated. Another important product use for straightening your hair, is heat protectant. Using the heat protectant will create a barrier between your hair and heat exposure.

Excess heat can be very detrimental! So if you are going to apply heat to your hair I recommend that you do no more than once a week. Less if your hair is easily damaged. Start off with a small amount of heat to see how your hair reacts or only use a medium to low heat when styling.

Lastly, if you are really looking to rock that cute straight hair look and you aren’t properly sure how to do so without damaging your hair I recommend going to a stylist that knows natural hair who could be of service. A great alternative to a regular flat ironing that stylist will do for naturals is the Brazillian Blow-Out. I have had this done to my natural hair a few times and it has never harmed my natural hair and it allows the hair to be silky, straight, and smooth and still return back to its natural curls without damage.

I hope this helps!

Wash Day!

Many naturals like myself consider wash day to be a bit of a chore so I’ve decided to think of some methods that could make my wash day less of a hassle and I hope the ideas I came up with could help you as well. I understand that there are many different hair textures but hopefully, you can use some of these steps as a general natural hair wash day guide. e20056cce3b09450e7fc1d75c2aec6e2 (1)

First, before the hair washing process even begins, try to detangle your hair. You can detangle with any of your favorite moisturizing products or oils. When detangling your hair it is best to either finger-detangle or use a wide tooth comb as these are the best options to prevent breakage.

Next, you want to apply your shampoo directly to your scalp. This will help loosen any dirt from your scalp. After, you have applied the shampoo to your scalp, twist or braid your hair loosely in sections. Doing this will help prevent tangles and knots when the hair begins to shrink during the washing process.

Then, rinse the shampoo out of your hair and apply a deep conditioner. Leave the deep conditioner in your hair for 15-30 minutes under a plastic shower cap. Doing this will allow your hair to retain moisture and feel soft. This is a very important step in the washing process. The main purpose of deep conditioning is to keep your hair hydrated and well nourished.

Following the deep conditioning, rinse your hair off with apple cider vinegar; granted it doesn’t smell the best but it does work wonders for your hair. You’ll need 2-3 tablespoons of the apple cider vinegar and a glass of water. (This step will help restore your hair’s pH balance.)

Lastly, squeeze out the excess water with a t-shirt and apply your leave-in conditioner, hair butter, and oil to seal.

Wash day is always an extensive process, but I do hope this is a wash day process that will work for you. You can do it!

 

 

Trimming

wakrinsecycle

The myth that cutting hair can make it grow faster persists because, in fact, regular trims can improve the look and feel of hair. Trimming unhealthy split ends, will allow your hair to have less breakage, making it look thicker and even shinier. Healthy hair should have a steady appointment to be trimmed at half an inch every six to eight weeks, although this is true it is not something that we often do. Natural hair is high maintenance but we have to be willing to keep up our hair care routine if we want long lasting healthy hair; and yes that means trimming.

Healthy hair will have no damage or breakage if regular trimming and conditioning occur. It is fine to wait longer than eight weeks for a trim, but it is important to watch for split ends. Hair naturally begins to split around 3 months. To prevent any permanent damage from these naturally occurring split ends, you should schedule a trim with your stylist every quarter. Scheduling a trim every 3-4 months or 12-16 weeks will help to keep your hair healthy, strong, and split free.

It’s important to keep your hair neat and tidy, and a quick trim can do the trick. Keep up your annual cuts and your hair should continue to flourish!

 

Protecting Your Crown

The act of protecting things that are valuable to us is a common shared belief amongst our society, so the main reason for wearing protective styles is to preserve something valuable to us from harm. Protective styling is a concept that reduces ongoing manipulation of your hair, encourages growth, and protects the ends of your hair while also reducing knots and tangles.There has been a misunderstanding within the natural hair community about protective styling and what it is. Let me explain why protective styling is so important.

Failing to incorporate protection into your natural hair routine is one of the reasons that several naturals experience excessive hair breakage and fail to retain their desired hair length. Usually, when we refer to the concept of protective styling, we are specifically talking about the various protective hairstyles that can keep your ends safe and tucked away. Some people think of protective styles as styles that are damaging to the natural hair. This is partially true, failure to take care of your hair even while it is in a protective style can still result in damage to your crown.

Protective Style: Cornrows/Braids
Cornrows/Braids are a common protective style. This style allows for less day-to-day manipulation of the natural hair while allowing for a fun cute look.

However, protective styling is only one component of your natural hair protection journey. You must focus on your entire natural hair regimen and look for ways to incorporate more protection across the board. Protective styling is about increasing the number of good things that you do for your hair and decreasing the number of bad things that you do to your hair. If you fail to take your time with your hair and be gentle, it is easy to stress your hair strands and cause unnecessary breakage. Here are a few vital tips for protection:

  1. Be sure to comb your hair with a wide tooth comb starting from the ends to the root to avoid tangles and breakage.
  2. Only comb your natural hair when it is wet/moist.
  3. If you are going to rock protective hair styles don’t forget that you still have to take care of your hair. Continue to oil your hair while your hair is in its protective style to retain moisture.
  4. Do not rock protective styles that are going to be damaging! If you get braids make sure they are not too tight so that you can avoid pulling out your hair.
  5. Do not apply heat to your natural hair! If you must, be sure to apply heat protectant spray and do not apply excessive heat at extreme temperatures. This should be done rarely.

Be sure to incorporate a few protective styles and tips into your daily hair care routine and continue to push through your natural hair journey. You got this!

Fitness Equals Fluff

28firstperson-master768

Your genetic makeup is usually the main factor in hair growth, but exercising can also promote and maximize healthy hair growth. While exercise is a great way to maintain a healthy and properly functioning body, the improved blood circulation allows for smoother transportation of nutrients and oxygen to your hair follicles, which is essential for growth. Where there’s adequate blood flow, there is stimulation and growth!

Exercise is very beneficial to our entire bodies. Regular exercise strengthens our cardiovascular systems, reduces the risk of illnesses, and medical conditions that may affect hair growth. Having a healthy body is a good basis for growing healthy hair. Exercise can lead to an increase in hair growth and retention because exercise reduces stress. Stress is a major factor in stunted hair growth as well as in premature hair loss. Stress increases cortisone, which is the hormone that is responsible for hair thinning. However, exercise naturally lowers cortisone levels while increasing serotonin, the hormone that allows you to feel energized and happy.

So, all those sayings you hear about ‘health is wealth’ and ‘being healthy is being happy’ are true. If you would just try exercising at least 30 minutes a day and even eating healthier, you will not only feel and look great but your hair will flourish.

Be sure to get out and exercise for a healthy body, a healthy mind, and healthy curls!

Caring For Your Curls

Caring for your curls is a must when you’re natural. It is important to keep your natural curl pattern healthy and intact. Here is a simple tip that will help maintain your curls beauty.

Curl Care Tip: Twist-Out6e231a3b5e62543b892890e18f257b55

A two-strand twist is a great way to keep your curls fresh and maintain your hairs elasticity. When twisting your hair it is important to use some type of moisturizer because dry hair can easily become damaged hair. Be sure that your hair is moistened well and then proceed to sectioning your hair. Sectioning will allow the twisting process to run smoothly. To perform the two-strand twist you take a strand of hair and separate it into two then slowly coil the two strands around each other. Continue that process throughout. After you have completed your twisting process wrap your hair up for the night… if your doing this over night. If not feel free to rock your twist throughout the day, and for the best twist-out results feel free to rock them for a few days. Then, untwist your hair from the ends up to the root to be sure not to damage your hair or your twist. Do this until all your twist are out. Once they are out, you can adjust your curls to your liking. I always fluff mines up some by spraying a little water on my hair and using my hands to maximize my hairs volume. Oil your hair for a nice shiny finish and lastly go out, take the day by storm, and enjoy the results of your beautiful twist-out.

The Struggles of Shrinkage

shrinkage2

For all of my naturals out there with beautiful coils and curls, I know how dealing with shrinkage can be a bit frustrating. For those of you who are not aware of what shrinkage is, shrinkage can best be defined as the contraction of hair (in this case). My shrinkage and I have a love/hate relationship. Some styles just don’t look right, but seeing people’s jaws drop when I show them how long my hair really is never gets old. Shrinkage can be deceiving, but I guess that goes back to the hate part of it. Although irritating, shrinkage can be a good thing because shrinkage in curly hair means healthy hair. You read that correctly! The fact that your natural hair is able to shrink back to its normal state after being stretched by whatever means indicates that there is a measure of health and strength in those strands. Isn’t that what we want? Sure, it doesn’t really help when you’ve spent all night achieving a fierce blow-out and here comes a day of 99% humidity to shrivel up those kinks! I’ve been there. But you’d better be glad your hair snapped back the way it did! Bottom line: If your hair is healthy, it will grow to whatever length it’s going to grow to. In the meantime, embrace your hair and ALL of the beautiful characteristics of your God-given mane whether curly, coily, or kinky, and rock what you’ve got. This is what natural hair does. Accept it. You’d be a much happier natural if you did.

What can I say, shrinkage happens. *Shrugs*

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑