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Natural Hair Care

Tips For A Clean System For Healthier Natural Hair

28th August 2017
healthy natural hair tips

Life in this day and age moves fast and seems to speed up a little bit more every year. Which is where fast food culture and getting what you need on the go reigns supreme. Although at times these little habits are unavoidable they do begin to take their toll on things like our energy, waist lines and our hair. These easy tips will help you keep on top of the health of your hair while you’re moving and shaking in the world because after all healthy hair starts from within.

 

Water intake

This tip is a great big duh these days but it’s amazing how many naturals are not on top of their daily water intake (myself included). This is essential for several reasons, not only does your hair draw from the water content in your body but it also benefits from the detoxifying properties of your body cleansing itself. Everything that we consume shows up in our hair and the more water we drink the better our bodies are at ridding themselves of impurities. After I began putting better effort forward with my water intake I saw results in the way my curls felt after taking down a protective style and in my curl definition down to my edges!

 

Natural Detoxes

I wasn’t too convinced at first on this one because there really isn’t any concrete research on how effective this is for hair growth but through my own experience I found that natural detoxes gave my body an excellent boost and my hair and nails responded accordingly. I use aloe vera juice and water to flush my system out, there are other awesome natural detoxes but this one is an easy favorite of mine. I recommend this for those who have a diet high in animal protein. Although protein is essential for building strong hair, protein in take from animal meat requires a cleanse here and there to keep the colon operating at full capacity. The colon aids in nutrient absorption so keeping this area running smoothly will have a direct impact on the functionality and health of your natural hair.

 

Vitamins

Vitamins are essential and honestly do the entire body good. Vitamins A, B and C are all excellent to add to your health regimen. Vitamin A is essential for cell growth point blank, cells can’t do their thing without this little gem you can get it from carrots, spinach and kale. Vitamn B better known as Biotin is the best vitamin for hair and nail growth hands down! I loved using this but didn’t like what it was doing with the rest of the hair on my body that’s already thick enough on it’s own. You can find vitamin B in liver, fish, crab and red meat. If you’re vegetarian consider a supplement instead. Vitamin C helps to create the protein collagen which is apart of the very structure that makes up each strand of hair on your head! Great sources of this vitamin include peppers and citrus fruits like oranges.

 

The More Fresh Foods the Better

Last but certainly not least is the amount of fresh foods you’re eating on a daily basis. Your body needs fresh foods and vegetables every single day to keep every part of you healthy. It’s easy to get fast food throughout the week when your schedule calls for it but making a mental note to eat something freshly prepared everyday should be the goal. I’d say implementing this step in the foods you snack on will yield great results especially for those who experience hair loss and breakage. Look for snack foods that promote healthy hair and cell growth like broccoli, brussel sprouts and strawberries. The list goes on!

 

Once you find your stride in eating more and more fresh ingredients everyday your body will feel amazing and you’ll never look back. We must remember to take care of ourselves as we make our way through this fast paced jungle we call life. We must battle the push of fast food, quick and cheap fulfillment and everyday distractions, take care of your body and it will take care of you!

 

Natural Hair Care

Why Combing Your Natural Hair Can Become Harmful

27th April 2015
combing natural hair

As natural’s we must obtain extremely hydrated and tangle free curls to maintain the health of our hair. The detangling process can lead to over combing causing many issues. Here is a list of causes and reasons why every natural should be weary of just how much they comb their curls.

 

Damage To the Hair Cuticle

The hair strand is far from singular and is made up of different layers, the outer most being the cuticle layer. The cuticle layer of the hair is responsible for letting moisture in and protecting the hair from damage. The cuticle layer is made up of scale like layers that lift up to let moisture in and down to seal it in. The individual bristles of a brush can abrasively rub against the cuticle layer causing cracks and wearing the layer down. Causing the protection to thin and creating extreme damage to the hair strand and the layers inside.

combing natural hair

 

Breakage

If you’ve ever gotten braids before and they were too tight you’ve probably experienced sore spots and even blisters which led to hair loss. Combs can cause these same problems as well, they pull and tug on the scalp and unnaturally stretch and re stretch your curls. The twist of each curl pattern is gorgeous but is also very weak because they can twist and bend in all directions and once those areas are being tugged at they will snap off. Now advocate this happening daily and you’ll have a ton of unnecessary breakage. Combing your hair while wet will cause less breakage but won’t totally stop it from happening, the water is just a buffer for what is still occuring.

 

Slowed Length Retention

As naturals we love seeing new growth and the only way to keep seeing new growth is by really taking care of our hair. The simple fact is if you comb your hair everyday you will see more breakage especially at the ends. When most of us work our way through a section of hair to detangle our kinks and curls we’re combing through a jungle of hair strands that are pointed in millions of different directions. When you’re raking a comb through your hair you will be pulling at tightly wound curls and hairs that might be twisted around each other causing them to knot and then become broken apart by the teeth of your comb. Doing this everyday will take away length in several areas and cause knots to form.

 

The simple fact is if you’re natural and have curly or kinky hair (all of us) you shouldn’t be combing your hair everyday or even every other day. Even if you’re not visibly seeing breakage why even open yourself up to the possibility? Combing is a resourceful and time saving tool but it has it’s down sides and they are steep. If you’re a natural that loves her comb and cant detangle without it, be sure to use wide tooth combs with hard plastic teeth and finger detangle as much as you possibly can before hand!

Natural Hair Care

Do You Know Your Natural Hair’s Porosity?

14th April 2015
natural hair porosity

Hair porosity simply means how well your hair holds moisture. Your hair is unique to you and factors such as hair porosity play a huge role in the behaviour of your hair. Here are some reasons and facts about why knowing your natural hairs porosity will make a big difference in your journey.

Your Hair’s Cuticle

Your hair is formed of layers the outer most which is the one that is visible to the eye is called the cuticle layer. This layer is made up of scale like layers that operate like shingles, moving up and down. This layer is what protects your hair and controls the intake of water. The cortex is where water is housed.

natural hair porostiy

Function of The Cuticle

The shingle looking layers lift up to take in water and moisture and then lift back down again. How often they lift and just how much moisture they let in is based on genetics, your surroundings (hot cold weather), diet and the chemicals that you use.

 

3 Types of Hair Porosity

Your hair’s porosity can be one of three categories low, medium (normal) or high.

 

What’s Your Hair’s Porosity?

Determining your hair’s porosity can be done by testing a few strands of hair. Make sure that these strands are clean hair with no product on them whatsoever. Drop the strands of hair in a glass of water and let them sit for about 3 to 4 minutes. If your hair floats for a while and is slow to sink that means your hair has a very low porosity. If it lingers in the middle then it is of medium (normal) porosity, if it quickly sinks to the bottom then your hair’s porosity is very high.

natural hair porosity

Low Porosity & Care

If your hair floated amongst the top of the glass then you have low porosity hair meaning the shingle like layers that make up your cuticle are very tight and for one reason or another are less prone to lifting and letting a lot of water, moisture or products in. That just means you have to use other methods to lift those shingles when needed like steaming and using products with metals like alkaline which cause the cuticles to swell and lift. Remember you can use all of the moisture rich products and hair regimens out there but for us low porosity chicks it won’t matter unless those shingles are open. Before my wash days I sit in my bathroom while the water runs hot and soak up the steam it creates then I put a shower cap over my head with my conditioner on it for deeper penetration.

 

Medium (Normal) Porosity & Care

If your hair strand lingered in the middle of the glass your hair is of medium/normal porosity. First off good for you!! This means that your cuticles (shingles) lift regularly to let plenty of water and moisture in. Keep up with whatever you’re doing to maintain this porosity and enjoy the natural shine of your natural hair.

 

 

High Porosity & Care

If your hair strand sank to the bottom very quickly then this means your hair is of high porosity. This entails that your hair cuticles (shingles) for several reasons contain a lot of cracks and openings that let a lot of water flow through. Hair with high porosity absorbs moisture and also quickly loses it. The best way to care for hair of this type is to use a lot of thick and creamy products like butters and oils for sealants. There really isn’t a way to repair the gaps and cracks but using methods like protein treatments and even aloe vera gel which bond to hair strands can fill in those cracks temporarily. The key is sealing every drop of moisture in and replacing it immediately once it’s gone.

 

Things To Be Cautious Of & Remember

While people with low porosity hair may want their cuticles to raise to absorb more water you do not want to drastically raise them by causing too much swelling. This can cause drastic effects to your hair. While you want your moisturiser and products to be able to penetrate, they will do so simply because they are of the right size and chemical structure to fit underneath the cuticles while they’re lifted. Conditioner causes the cuticles to lay down and shampoos that contain non ionic surfactants open them so if you co-wash try doing it on damp hair in the presence of steam. Your hair’s porosity can change based on products that you use and your diet so eat healthily and be careful of products that cause these changes (products with sulfates).

 

natural hair porositynatural hair porosity

 

Now that you know what your hair porosity is you can adequately choose products for your hair and see better results. Do your own research and constantly search for products that work best for you. My hair’s porosity changed because I used a product containing awful chemicals and sulfates don’t let this happen to you! Read those labels ladies. I’ve recently found powdered clay containing silica, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, lithium called Rhassoul that i’ll be adding to my hair regimen! Hopefully it will help lift my low porosity cuticles, I will post an update of the results soon.

 

 

 

Little Naturals

Easy Hair Wash & Detangling Method For Natural Haired Kids

12th April 2015
Natural-Hairstyles-Kids

Detangling a child’s natural hair can be an absolute ear numbing and patience thinning process. This step by step detangling method for children with natural hair can actually help from start to finish and will hopefully put an end to the kicking and screaming we all love hearing so much.

Preparation: Stretching The Hair

A few days before wash day style your child’s hair in a way that will stretch out their curls. Great hairstyle’s for stretching the hair are bantu knots and any style of twist or braids. Be sure to use a thick styling product that moisturises for those who have little one’s with thicker hair. This will coat the hair strands and weigh them down stretching them further more.

 

Before The Wash

Before you begin washing spray their entire head heavily with water and use a light oil to finger detangle and remove big knots and kinks. After you’ve semi detangled the entire head coat the hair with whatever co-wash or shampoo that you’re going to be using and place the hair in sections of two stranded twist.  This will gather small sections of hair together and effectively coat and condition.

 

During The Wash

During the washing place their head under the water and take down one twist and rinse through with water twisting the hair back directly after you’ve washed it. Continue to do so for each individual twist finger detangling as you go. Be sure to twist each section of hair back as the water is running over the hair this ensures that the hair is completely weighed down and detangled.

 

Conditioning: Deep/Leave In

If you’re doing a deep conditioner keep the hair in the twist and coat the hair with the deep conditioner and carry on with your usual deep conditioning regimen. If you’re applying a leave in conditioner do so by untwisting the hair coating it with the conditioner and twisting it back. Next, place a plastic shower cap over the head for 45 min- 1 hour. This will open the pores and give the conditioner a chance to penetrate, set and soften the hair.

 

Take Down

After your child’s wash is completed leave the hair in the twist and place a t shirt over the hair, this will help with frizz and soak up any excess water. Remove the shirt and allow the hair to air dry a bit and become more damp then wet. Next take down the twist one by one and add a sealant  to retain the moisture from the water followed by a styling cream if the hair is minimally damp.

 

Finish

Voila you’ve successfully washed, detangled and moisturised your child’s hair smoothly and with little effort and tug on the hair. This is a comb free method that works and helps with moisture retention and removing all knots and tangles. Using a hair funnel and shampoo rinser are great inexpensive ways for minimising water splatter and removing products. The hair should have more slip and be easily manageable and soft with no tears and no fuss!

 

wash day products shampoo rinser and hair funnel

Hair Funnel & Shampoo Rinser Attachment for Your Sink

 

Natural Hair Care

Natural Hair & Kinky Clip Ins Q&A

3rd April 2015
Kinky Clip Ins

Natural Hair & Kinky Clip Ins Q&A

Experimenting with different styles is something everyone does but when it comes to trying clip ins it can be a little tricky especially when it comes to finding them. I tried to do a lot of research on this before and I couldn’t find much. Luckily I’ve been wearing clip ins for almost three months now and what I’ve found is that there are a few things worth pointing out that aren’t so obvious. Here are some tips on finding, and correctly matching kinky clip ins.

What Curl Pattern?

Clip ins will most likely be presented in a bundle of hair, if this is the case go for the curl patter that your hair can achieve i.e. how you hair looks after a twist out take down. If you’re looking for a less defined look so that you won’t have to worry about blending go for a bundle that has defined ends and densely compacted hair with little visible curls or an afro textured bundle.

Different lengths = Different Hairstyles

Take into account the kinkiness of the hair and that it is susceptible to shrinkage. I bought a bag of 12 inch and 14 inch hair but in person they looked more like 10 and 12 inch hair. If you’re looking for at least arm length hair I suggest going with 24 inches and up. If you’re wanting a shoulder length curly fro a bag of 12 and 14 inch hair is ideal and for a fuller TWA 10 inch hair.

Where Do I Find Them?

Kinky clip ins aren’t the easiest to find but there are several online businesses owned by naturals who sell them. They’re great quality but most that I’ve seen are a bit pricey but are more than likely exactly what you’re looking for. A couple of good one’s are Curl Sistas and Heat Free Hair. For the natural that is looking for quality on a budget, there are several other sites that carry these clip ins. I found mine on ebay by searching “kinky clip ins”, I was suspicious but it was great quality hair and would buy from them again. This is a market after all simply find the one offering good hair at competitive prices.

For Full Looking Shapely Hair

If you’re wanting a look that has a lot of body buying hair at different lengths is ideal. If you want a full looking fro then buying a bundle that is two inches shorter than your other bundle is key. When you think about it the fullest looking natural hair has layers galore that give it that distinctive afro shape.

How Much Do I Need?

If you’re looking for a full head of hair then buying two bags/bundles is definitely necessary. It’s not one of those things that you might be able to pull off without that second lot, trust me!

Does A Person’s Natural Hair Length Matter?

Yes and no, these clip ins have tiny clips on the weft that can attach to almost anything. What needs to brought into length configuration is if your natural hair when wet can cover the weft of the track. I’d say if your hair length is just above your ears then you can definitely wear clip ins. (10 inch hair really does compliment a TWA)

Texture Does Matter

When shopping for hair pay attention to how soft in appearance the hair is. One thing I’d change about my clip ins is the texture. My hair blends the best with the clip ins after a fresh wash and l.o.c method which is frustrating at times. Natural hair doesn’t appear soft in texture so avoid hair that looks soft and overly shiny.

What To Avoid

Soft hair textures, shiny hair textures and shady looking websites. That’s why I chose to buy my clip ins through ebay at least with this company if there are any issues you can dispute them and expect quality due to regulations.

Keyword Searches

Kinky clip ins, afro clip ins, curly clip ins (for my looser curled ladies).

How Long Do They Last?

As long as you’re willing to take care of them, much like you’re hair they’ll need moisture and light detangling. These clip ins do require work.

Hairstyling Methods That Really Blend

Two strand twist (all sizes), flat twist, three strand twist and braids

Are They Right For Me?

If you’re looking for a semi low maintenance hairstyle that you won’t mind putting in a little work for then yes they’re right for you.

When I was searching for my clip ins these are things that I really wanted to know but couldn’t find simply because there isn’t much information being shared to go on at the moment. Hopefully these helpful hints will aid you in your search! If want a reference for the company I bought mine from send me a message and I’ll post a link!

Kinky/Curly Clip Ins

Kinky Clip Ins From Ebay

 

 

Natural Hair Care

Protective Styling Do’s & Dont’s

2nd April 2015
Woman with Afro Hair

Protective Styling Do’s & Dont’s

Protective styles are amazing for length retention and provide a low maintenance way to wear your hair. When choosing the right protective style it is beneficial to know exactly why you’re doing it and what steps you can take to ensure that the up keep of your protective style doesn’t create breakage or dryness. Protective styles should be chosen based upon a realistic idea of what works for you. If you don’t like using a lot of gel or tend to forget about moisturising when your hair is up and out of the way, go for a style that compliments that fact. Having a realistic and holistic approach to protective styling can allow your hair to rest and flourish.

What Are Protective Styles?

Protective styles are hair styles that require low maintenance and pull and tuck your hair out of the way. Length retention can be hard to achieve for some because the tighter the curl pattern the more you have to do to tame it and sometimes this causes breakage and stress on the hair. If your hair is left alone for longer periods of time the growth process isn’t being hindered in any way.

When Should I Use A Protective Style?

Protective styles should be used when you notice extreme breakage, when the hair is exposed to harsh cold weather, periodically to give your hair a break or simply when you want a break from styling.

What’s Cold Weather Have To Do With Anything?

Cold weather is stingy, our hair absorbs moisture from the air and winter air contains a lot less moisture and leads to frizziness and dryness making us want to do more to tame our hair for styling purposes leading to stress and hair loss.

Be Mindful of Your Edges

Most up do’s require gel to smooth the hair down and not all gel’s are created equal. Most of them leave your hair feeling dry and can cause an itching sensation especially around the edges. Since your hair is pulled up there is already some stress around the edges of your hair and for the sake of upkeep many won’t want to add water to moisturise so they lightly scratch. This is fine but repetitive scratching can cause breakage and scalp irritation. Using moisturising gel’s help and also taking your hair down and moisturising it after wearing the style for a few weeks can help as well.

Bristle Brushes For Smoothing

Bristle brushes for many are key in smoothing down hair and creating that slicked down look your protective style calls for. Styling with them isn’t a real problem but using them for maintenance and up keep on certain styles is. When your hair is pulled up using this brush to smooth down a few hairs that weren’t tamed overnight under your scarf can be counter productive to the health of your hair. Bristle brushes are densely packed with bristles that find and catch onto every curl pulling them outward like fingers in an unbaling fist. With your ends tucked into a pony tail and the rest of your hair being combed by these bristles you could cause knots and breakage. Instead use coconut oil and smooth upward with your fingers before bed and tie your hair down. This oil moisturises and is great at coating strands for smoothing.

Longevity in Wear Isn’t Always Better

The longer you wear a protective means that you’re leaving your hair alone and that’s always a good thing. However depending on the style this can cause negative effects. Mainly with up do’s the longer they’re worn the more likely we’ll have to smooth down fly away hair’s and add ton’s of gel and product. Taking down these styles every two to three weeks to replenish your hair’s moisture is key.

Don’t Forget Your Ends!

The ends are the oldest and most fragile part of the hair so tucking these away will be top priority. However if you haven’t prepared your ends properly they will become very dry. If you’re going for a style that involves tucking your ends away use a heavy strengthening oil as a sealant like olive oil. Olive oil is good at sitting on top of the hair and not moving which can seal in moisture effectively.

How Often Are Wash Days Needed?

Depending on the style you’re rocking wash days can be cut down for the sake of leaving your hair alone unless your hair feels dry. If you’re using loads of products for upkeep but only in a certain area of your hair then wash days can become infrequent (every three weeks) however if you’re thinking of doing this then implement a deep conditioner when you do wash. If your ends are dry then a take down and co-wash should happen asap.

Examples Of Protective Style’s

Wigs, half wigs, twist outs, bantu knot outs, buns, pompadours, up do’s, and braids. If you’re looking for some unique protective styles I have a few on my youtube playlist Natural Notebook  that are quick and easy. The youtube channel Tiffany Nichols Design has excellent protective styles that are docile and affordable.

I wore a protective style for six months and through trial and much error discovered a few key points in correctly protective styling. During that time I experienced tremendous growth while enjoying the benefits of low maintenance hair care. Protective styling is beneficial for everyone especially those with busy lifestyles and with the endless choices available there’s a style for everyone!

 

Natural Hair Care

The Natural Hair “Lingo” Guide For Newborn Naturals

30th March 2015
natural hair words

Okay so you’ve gone natural or are transitioning and after much research you’ve probably come across some forums that left you scratching your head as to what these people were talking about and being faced with all of these new things can make you feel like you’re in your first day of school again. Here are a few words along with definitions and even tutorials on the endless wonder that comes with being natural.

Big Chop– A phrase meaning the removal of relaxed hair by cutting or trimming so that all that is left are natural hair strands. “About to thug it out and go ahead and get my big chop over with.”

Bantu Knot Out– The practice of sectioning off your hair and taking one of those sections and twisting the hair until it spirals around into a resting snake like position.

Bantu Knot Out– A hairstyling method used to stretch the hair creating the appearance of loose waves. Watch a tutorial here.

Co-wash– A hair washing method where the use of shampoo is replaced by a good conditioner to retain more moisture and natural oils in the hair. Here is a good hair/co-washing method for wash day.

Creamy Crack– This phrase is a nickname that refers to relaxers.”I ain’t mad that you went back to the creamy crack.”

Faux Locs- A hairstyle that uses kinky hair to mimmic the appearance of dread locks.

Flat Twist Out– Styling method that entails creating a two strand twist that lays flat to your scalp, this style is great for more defined curls that also give definition at your roots.

Froin– The act of wearing the hair in an afro or afro based hairstyle. “Don’t feel like doing a twist out, guess i’ll be froin today.”

Locs– An abbreviated term for dread locks where the hair is continuously twisted and sealed at the ends with wax. This style is excellent for growing your hair out uninterrupted, however this look is permanent and must be cut off to be changed.

L.O.C Method– This acronym stands for Leave in Conditioner/Liquid, Oil and Cream and is a hair care regimen. This method is used after the hair is freshly washed or dry to retain moisture using the three listed products in the other stated.

Protective Style– This phrase means the practice of styling your hair in very low maintenance styles where your hair is either covered (i.e. weaves wigs) or left alone for long periods of time. “This winter weather is drying out my hair, I really need a protective style to wear.”

Moisture/Moisturise– When this word is used by a natural they usually mean that they’re going to, or need to apply water to their hair. “Does anyone know where my spray bottle is I need to moisturise my hair.”

Sealant– When this word is used it usually means the use of an oil, conditioner or cream that is applied after the moisturisation process to seal in the water. “Make sure that you use olive oil as a sealant after you moisturise.”

Slip-This phrase is in reference to the feel of one’s hair after or during the wash process or while using products. This entails that the hair strands are smooth and together and not frizzy or tangled. “After using that conditioner my hair has a lot of slip.”

Stretched Hair- When this phrase is used it is in reference to using a hairstyling method that greatly loosens the curl pattern creating nearly straightened hair. Bantu knots are usually used for this method. “Instead of using heat to straighten my hair I’ll just stretch it out.”

Three Strand Twist Out A Styling method that entails taking three strands of hair and creating a revers braid like plat. This style is great for looser looking curls. Watch a tutorial here.

Two Strand Twist Out– A styling method that entails the use of two sections of hair that are then taken and twisted around one another (much like platting) until you reach the ends of the hair. This style is very easy and basic for creating springy curls. Watch a tutorial here.

TWA– An acronym which stands for Teenie Weenie Afro. This is the phrase that women usually use when they’ve just had their big chop. “I’m not playing with this TWA today, short hair don’t care!”

Wash and Go– A hairstyling process used to greatly accentuate one’s natural curl pattern. This method is usually done on freshly washed wet hair. Watch a tutorial here.

I used a few sentence examples for the trickier words but overall most of these are pretty straight forward. Hopefully the next time you’re doing some research for your next hairstyle or new hair regimen you’ll feel more in tuned and apart of the natural hair community! If you’ve come across any unlisted words anywhere on the web please just ask!

 

Natural Hair Care

Q&A, Tips & More On How To “Go Natural”

28th March 2015
yolanda-spivey_black-woman-pretends-to-be-white-to-get-job1

If you’ve made it here then you’ve probably made up your mind, or are thinking about stopping the relaxers and going natural. The process of going natural is yours to choose and can be a difficult and confusing time. Here are some helpful tips and answers to most major questions on going natural that will hopefully make the process a lot easier.

After You’ve Stopped Relaxing Your Hair, What’s best?

This is the biggest turning point for a lot of transitioners, most would’ve gone most of their lives with relaxed hair so not knowing what to do is perfectly natural. The best thing to do after you’ve stopped relaxing your hair depends on how much new growth you have. If you have a lot of new growth and your comfortable with short hair then go ahead with your big chop. The big chop is what’s referenced to in natural land as cutting off all of your relaxed hair. If you don’t have much new growth then I suggest wearing braids or sew ins until your hair has grown out a little and can be cut.

Do I Have To Cut Off All of My Relaxed Hair?

Yes, simply because of the fact that once your hair has been touched by harsh chemicals such as those that are found in relaxers it will never be the same. More than likely your natural curl pattern has been stripped and will not match your natural hair in appearance or health and this will cause breakage because you virtually have two very different hair patterns in your head. After you get to know the beauty and luster that your natural hair holds you’ll want to cut those chemically processed strands off anyway.

My Densely Compact Natural Hair Grown Out With Sparse Straight Ends. Not A Good Look!

My Densely Compact Curly Natural Hair Grown Out With Sparse Straight Relaxed Ends. 

Your New Growth Is Your Natural Hair

As your hair grows out and your new growth begins to become more prominent take a moment to appreciate it. The new growth you see is your natural hair that many probably haven’t seen since they were little. Once those relaxed ends are cut you’ll be able to completely see your curl pattern and texture and this will be so exciting, especially after your first styling session.

Hair Styling During the Transition Period

If you’re wanting to wear your own hair during the transitional period then take heed that you might be subjecting yourself to unnecessary breakage. Your roots will be curly and wavy while the rest of your hair will be straight. The point where the new growth meets the chemically treated part of your hair strand is very weak and will more than likely break off (might as well go for the big chop!). Many naturals, as well as this one would suggest braids or a sew in, basically some sort of style where your hair can be left in peace to grow out.

Straightening New Growth To Match Your Relaxed Hair

Your natural hair responds very differently to heat, you will get to know this as you get to know your hair. While this may make your roots blend in a bit better with the rest of your hair for whatever style you’re wanting to wear it is not a good idea. By doing this you’re putting your natural hair at risk in very many ways which could majorly set you back when you’ve finally gone completely natural. Applying heat to your natural hair can permanently strip your curl pattern or change it. A straggly curl strand will stand out in a head full of tighter curls I have mine to prove it! You could also encourage dryness and breakage and during the transition period this could mean breaking off your natural hair that you’re trying to grow out.

Upkeep Of Hair While Transitioning 

The best way to take care of your hair while transitioning is to leave it alone and keep it moisturised! Especially your new growth. At this point it is still okay to grease your scalp.

What Will My Curl Patter Look Like?

Your curl pattern is due to many things such as your family background and genes. Don’t expect you hair to look like that naturalista’s on youtube that you oh so admire. Keep in mind that every curl pattern is beautiful from the loose S curl to the tightest wound coil. Another interesting fact is the curl pattern and texture of your hair will more than likely change as years go by of being natural. The longer you’re natural the more fruitful your hair becomes in sense and once it’s been nurtured enough it will blossom into it’s healthiest form. Also as your hair grows gravity comes into action and will put weight on your curls loosening them up the longer it grows.

Do I Still Have To Use Grease/ Grease My Scalp?

You will be pleased to know that the days of parting your hair in sections and lathering on sludgy grease is over! Your scalp needed to be greased because of the harsh chemicals from the relaxers you were using. Relaxers steal a lot of moisture from your hair and hinder the natural oils secreted from the scalp. Due to your hair being natural those oils will be released and uninterrupted.

Sooooo, Just A Few More Questions About Grease!

You can still use grease on your hair but there are some things to take into account as well as some downsides. Grease is a very effective moisture sealant but it is not a moisturiser, meaning it doesn’t add moisture to the hair it keeps whatever moisture that is already there sealed in. Grease also contains petroleum jelly and mineral oil which is somewhat difficult to remove from the hair and attracts dirt which will lead to you having to use a heavy shampoo to remove it. Doing this will clean your hair but as a natural you don’t want moisturising components to be totally removed in the shower from heavy cleansing this will lead to dryness and breakage. Oil’s do exactly what hair grease does with none of the downsides. Check out my post called 6 Praiseworthy Oil’s For Natural Hair to learn more about moisture sealants and their benefits.

Is Natural Hair Right For You?

Going natural is tough for some everything they’ve ever known about taking care of their hair is no longer applicable this is a new area that you’ll be entering into that will require a lot of work. For many their natural hair was unpleasant to see growing through as they were trying to maintain their relaxed hair which mentally results in many cases thinking that it’s ugly or and undesirable look. After I went natural my eyes were opened to the beauty of my natural hair and it changes a lot of your opinions on what is “normal.” If you’re willing to put in work and learn a lot about your hair then going natural will suit you just fine.

It was nearly four year ago when I decided to go natural, I stopped perming my hair and just wore weaves so that my chemically treated hair could grow out and it was one of the best decisions that i’ve ever made. The growth and beauty that comes with this process is almost spiritual and will change you as an ethnic woman. There is a lot to learn but there is a fabulous natural hair community that is behind you and dying to share information. Be sure to check out my post “6 Praiseworthy Oil’s For Natural Hair”, “Natural Hair Beginner’s Tool Kit, What’s Needed?, and “What All Newborn Naturals NEED To Know. These are all very informative and will truly enrich your journey. If you have more questions PLEASE feel free to ask!

Natural Hair Care

How To Achieve The Perfect Fro

28th March 2015
afro-lili

The art of the afro is a delicate and soulful skill that can be mastered by any head of hair. Here are some ways to take your natural curls and turn them into an amazing afro that has a life and style of it’s own!

Step 1: Pick your shape

The shape that your hair takes when it’s fro’d out is key, if your hair doesn’t take on the shape of an afro then it certainly won’t look like one. At this point it’s definitely beneficial to trim or have your hair cut in a style not only will this give you a great afro but it will also benefit you when styling your hair many other ways. This gives your hair a nice shape that will further accentuate your curls. A good trim & shape does every natural justice. The classic afro is perfectly round which means it’s proportionate on the top and on the sides. Then there is the shorter on the sides and the longer on the top for a more modern afro (my favourite). With so many options you won’t have any trouble finding the right shape that fits you best!

 

The Many Forms of The Fro

The Many Forms of The Fro

Step 2: Pick Your Style

There are many styles of afros out there but picking the one that suits you best is important. If you seek an afro with a hint of defined curls two strand twist or a bantu knot out are the way to go. How defined you want your curls to be is up to the size of the twist or bantu knot, always be aware of where you’re placing the two strand twist. It is possible to interrupt the shape of your afro by parting your hair incorrectly this will be explained in the last step called head layout. If you desire very defined curls then a flat twist or the use of rollers is the most ideal and there are some really great tutorials on youtube. The video that helped me learn how to master the flat twist is on my youtube playlist titled Natural Notebook which contains many other helpful tutorials.  http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPCaDfIU7RLP7tC7Ncp-hSVihCE_wa4O-

If you seek an afro with a hint of defined curls two strand twist or a bantu knot out are the way to go

Step 3: Moisturise your hair

This is a pretty obvious step but the way that this step is done can interrupt a certain style that you might be going for. These styles include the modern afro (longer on the top short on the side) and the not so defined afro. These two styles look best on semi stretched hair so if you’re using a lot of water due to dry hair or any other reason use a styling cream that doesn’t contain water. An abundance of water causes shrinkage and will tighten up your curls and effect the over all look of these two styles. However when styling your hair for the modern afro spraying the sides of your hair with more water than the top can cause just enough shrinkage to give that tapered effect on the sides and really bring out the unique shape that makes the modern afro stand a part.

This is a pretty obvious step but the way that this step is done can interrupt a certain style that you might be going for

Step 4: Define Your Ends

Defining your ends in the styling process can actually compliment the shape of your afro even further. I’ve experimented with defining my ends on both a defined and undefined afro and I found that curly ends looked great on both styles! One way of defining your ends is taking a bit of defining product and twirl the ends of your hair around your finger this method works best if you’re using the two strand twist, flat twist method or bantu knot method. Flexi rod rollers are also great for defining your ends as well.

Defining your ends in the styling process can actually compliment the shape of your afro even further

Step 5: Tamed Edges

Your edges are the somewhat gatekeepers to your hair and if those gatekeepers have on wrinkled uniforms then it can actually make any hairstyle appear unfinished and unpolished. Depending on the style you’re trying to achieve experimenting with styling products on your edges could really set off your afro. I achieved some of my greatest afro’s by defining the curl in my edges or gently slicking them upwards. I found that both of those methods looked great on different styles of afro’s that i’ve tried. The modern afro looks best with edges smoothed upwards and the more defined afro looked best with the curl defining method on my edges. Two products that helped me attain both of those methods were Dr. Miracles Edge Control (For slicked down edges) and Creme of Natures Perfect Edges (for curled edges). They’re both thick wax like products but yield very different results. I love these products because they’re affordable and smell lovely!

Argon Oil Perfect Edges, Dr. Miracles Edge Control

Argon Oil Perfect Edges, Dr. Miracles Edge Control

Step 6: Head Layout

The last and most important step is knowing the layout of your head i.e. the shape of your head and where your hair falls. I like to think of the head being divided into different sections, this helps when i’m styling my hair and does make a big difference in hair results. Mentally I imagine my hair in four sections, and within these sections I especially need to be sure that all of my twist, knots, braids are going in the same direction and are the same shape. I noticed that before I used this styling method my twist would come out in disarray in some areas and the curls on either side of my head wouldn’t be matching. Overall the shape of my styles came out a little flawed. Thinking of my hair in a diagram has helped tremendously and has improved the outcome of all of my styles 100%.

4 Sections Of the Head Layout

4 Sections Of the Head Layout

Using all 6 of these steps has led to some of the best afro’s i’ve ever worn and really brought out the inner beauty of such a soulful embodiment of natural hair in one of it’s most raw forms. Capturing the afro is an art and skill that can be gained by anyone and can really make you feel beautiful. I see this hairstyle as an athem to my ancestors and a bold I love being black statement. Hopefully these 6 steps will enrich the afro experience and give you great results! Here are my 6 Step results!

My 6 Step Turnout

My 6 Step Turnout

Natural Hair Care

Cute Accessories For Fro’d Out Hair Days

28th March 2015
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Cute Accessories For Fro’d Out Hair Days

We all have those days where we just want to get up and go. That’s why having quick styling accessories that can substitute a morning of untwisting and picking out are very useful for every naturalista! Here is a list of accessories for all styles of natural hair that can really save time and add loads of style! I will include some images from my instagram and other’s from the web.

The Bandana

Not only can it be used to quickly smooth and contain edges but it can be used when you have a head full of old twist that are beginning to fro out. Just tie it around your hair but upwards so it’s not around your front edges and take out the hair you want exposed in the front. Quick and easy!

Bandana With Front Twist Out

Bandana With Front Twist Out

Black Bandana With Tails

This specific style of scarf was hard to find but here is the ebay link to purchase it. (Be sure to cut the elastic band part off of the headband for complete stylistic freedom). This is great for days when your hair is fro’d out or on an old twist out and you want something quick and easy. I’ve used this bandana to create mohawk looks and several others and because of the long front ties you can easily cover and manipulate your hair and create cute bow looks.

Old Twist Out, Mohawk, Afro Pompadour Created

Starting From Top Right: Old Twist Out, Mohawk, Afro Pompadour Created

Loose Afro Hair

This takes some prep time the night before but you can start by slicking all of your hair up and leaving your fro’d out ends in a ponytail and tying it down for the next morning. When you wake up just untie your hair and take your loose afro hair and two strand twist it. From there you can wrap or twist the hair around your pony tail until you find a desired look. Pin the afro piece into place for security and go! Find the wonderful tutorial for this style by Mo Knows Hair on my youtube playlist Natural Notebook.

Braided Mohawk Using Kanekalon Hair

Braided Mohawk Using Kanekalon Hair

A Pair of Stylish Big Rimmed Glasses

Big framed glasses look great on every facial structure and with endless style choices out there you can take your pick. I’d rock these on days when my hairstyle was old and froing. I’d get out of bed spray my hair with water add moisturiser and fro out my hair some more and put these glasses on and go. Natural hair truly goes well with big rimmed glasses.

Big Rimmed Glasses

Big Rimmed Glasses

A Black Spandex Band

These thin black headbands blend into your hair very easily and get lost in the fro but smooth your edges down and accentuate the shape of your fro without using a brush or anything for your edges. Just moisturise your hair with water and a sealant and go. (For good sealants see my blog post 6 Praiseworthy Oils For Natural Hair)

Spandex Band

Pushed Back Afro From Spandex Band

Colourful Patterned Scarves

These scarves can bring out colours in an outfit as well as being used to manipulate and add volume and style to your fro. You can twist and tie these accessories for any desired look and jazz up whatever style you’re going for on that day!

Colourful Scarf Style

Colourful Scarf Style

Big Statement Pieces

Statement pieces for your hair range from giant bows to headbands with some big flashy addition on the side. I’ve never been one to go for gaudy accessories like these but they really do go superbly well with afro’s and give you that extra finishing touch of style.

Statement Pieces For Hair

Statement Pieces For Hair

All of these accessories are super affordable ways to give your hair that extra little something when you just want something quick and simple to go with your un styled or post styled gorgeous afro hair.