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Natural Hair Care

The Facts About Hot Oil Treatments

5th September 2017
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Hot oil treatments are such an underrated practice but a universal one at the same time. Most of us have been getting them since we were little with our candy bows and relaxers but did you ever know exactly what they’re  for in the first place? In researching you’ll probably find that there’s a lot of myths and unknown facts on just how beneficial hot oil treatments really are. After weeks of research & personal experimentation I am pleased to share my knowledge on the subject. Here are some facts and busted myths about hot oil treatments.

 

What’s the purpose?

Hot oil treatments are used to deeply penetrate and strengthen the hair. When you heat an oil and apply it to the hair and scalp the heat causes pores to open and the outer layer of your hair shaft to do the same. Thereby letting the beneficial properties the oil that you’re using contains to distribute and penetrate effectively which is where the magic happens.

How do they help the hair & scalp?

In the way that every natural needs, it’s a super moisturizing tool! Different oils have different strengths and benefits so be sure to do your research so that you can give your hair it’s perfect match depending on what your curls need. For an itchy scalp try peppermint infused castor oil, argan oil or almond oil. Peppermint works very well at stimulating the scalp while the other two oils mentioned are light weight moisturizers that effortlessly move through the scalp. Especially almond oil, this stuff ran down my forehead so much that I had to carry a towel with me until I tweaked my portion control. I live in Texas ya’ll ain’t nobody got time for that!

Do they really make your hair stronger?

Yes! The simple fact being that certain oils carry hair strengthening properties and once you add a little heat to the equation it can penetrate the hair all the better. Oils like Jojoba oil, extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil have wonderful strengthening properties.

Do they actually make your hair grow longer?

Hair growth is attributed to many different things one of those being the health of your scalp. Hot oil treatments are highly beneficial for the scalp so yes, yes YES!

How often should you do them?

You can do them as little as twice a month or once every week. It is a treatment so like any other process depending upon what your hair needs, giving yourself a treatment once every week is a great start. Going forward, let your hair’s response be the judge. If there is vast improvement every two weeks should be enough but at the end of the day give your hair what it needs. It will definitely let you know what it likes. Keep in mind that you are using heat so moderation is always key!

How do they specifically help natural hair?

Curly hair is thirsty and the thicker it is the more TLC it needs. It’s difficult to get the much needed oil that we produce naturally (sebum) evenly dispersed over every strand so we need a little more effort to effectively moisturize. A Hot Oil Treatment is a powerful tool when it comes to feeding your hair the moisture that it needs making this method the ultimate cheat code in our fight against dry and brittle hair!

What oils are best?

For Maximum hydration:

  • Raw shea butter (this needs to be melted beforehand for best results)
  • Jojoba oil
  • Argan oil (trial first for thicker hair as this is more of a match for 4a hair and up)
  • Almond oil

For stronger softer hair:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Castor oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Organic coconut oil

**There are many, many others but I’ve only listed the ones that I have personally used and witnessed actual results from repeated use. Happy experimenting ladies there are too many other great oils to stop here!

 

How do I do a Hot Oil Treatment?

Now that you have a little more info about the benefits and process we can finally get to the how to!

  1. Shampoo your hair, your hair needs to be clean so no clutter is causing a barrier between your hair/scalp & the oil
  2. Next, depending on how dry your hair is or feels after your shampoo use a deep conditioner, this can be your favorite product or mix of natural ingredients. Wash out well!
  3. Heat up your oil, you can do this by placing it in a container and setting it in water that has come to a boil.
  4. After you’ve heated your oil, take your oil and apply it to your scalp massaging it in with your fingers or scalp massager. Apply the oil from root to tip being sure to take your time to administer the oil evenly.
  5. Choose your method of heat. I prefer placing a bag over my head and sitting under a steamer if you’re thinking of performing the treatment weekly to give your hair a little cushion against the frequent heat. You can go the traditional route and sit under a dryer as well. Whichever you prefer.
  6. Next, set a timer for 20 minutes and relax!
  7. Rinse out the treatment well and proceed with your next few wash day steps.

Thicker oils may be hard to wash out and could leave residue to combat this use a bit of diluted apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle to help loosen up the oil. Performing this practice consecutively will yield excellent results and improve the health, look and feel of your hair. Rememeber to explore and experiment with oils they truly are a natural’s best friend!

 

 

 

Natural Hair Care

Was Your Winter Regimen Moisturising Enough?

11th April 2016
natural hair winter regimen

As we proceed to enter into the warmest part of the year (gladly) it will be easier to tell where we were lacking when it comes to our entire body. For me, if I didn’t moisturise my skin properly while it was cold it shows up underneath the blazing sun in the form of overly dry lips and rough skin. However, your hair has a mind of it’s own and will in its own way send you signals on it’s health and state. Here are subtle signs to look for that will suggest if your winter regimen wasn’t  moisturising enough for your natural hair.

 

Itchy & Dry Scalp

Even after you’ve washed your hair and conditioned it your scalp feels itchy. This could be due to a number of reasons but if it’s happening out of nowhere then it usually means you’re lacking moisture and often it starts with what you’re doing in the shower. Try to stay away from cleansing shampoos and be sure to use oils with your co-wash.

 

Dry Uncurling Ends

Your ends will always be a tell all when it comes to the health of your hair. They’re the ones that need the most attention and act as a compass for whatever routine you’re currently into. If they’re not curling up at the ends when styling that twist out that’s usually fabulous then it’s a definite moisture problem. Try mixing up some natural ingredients and placing them on the ends of your hair. Follow up by placing a bag over it to really penetrate your ends. A great mix would include anything with avocado, banana, honey, and shea butter or all of the above!

 

Highly Porous Hair 

If your hair’s porosity has changed it could mean a few things but if you notice it during the changing of seasons then it points to moisture loss. Your hair’s porosity is a very important factor and can tell you exactly what’s going on. If you’ve recently had tons of moisture loss your hair will go into survival mode and begin to hold in whatever moisture it gets meaning, that getting more moisture to the hair shaft can be harder. Read up on a previous post to learn more about  your hair’s porosity and why it’s important.

 

Easily Tangles

Depending on how tight your curl pattern is tangles and knots are more prone to happen but one sign of moisture depraved hair is hair that tangles even when wet. Your hair shaft can take on many appearances but the most prominent one is when its fighting for moisture. The hair won’t be as likely to slip because any products as well as water will just sit on the top of your hair due to drastic changes of  moisture intake= highly porous hair.

Change In Definition When Styling

It wouldn’t be easy to tell with this sign, especially if you kept your hair tucked away in a protective style for most of the colder season but as soon as you take it down and proceed to style your hair you’ll def notice this difference straight away. Moisturised hair is easy to style and is extremely agile and open to manipulation. This will be one of the first signs to be noticed if your hair hasn’t been properly moisturised for a while. It will limply hang in a twist out and will barely have any definition and will appear overly frizzy.

The Feel of Your Hair Is Different

Lastly, every natural that really pays attention to the health of their hair knows when something’s off. When your hair begins to feel different it’s always time to reevaluate what you’re doing with it. A tell all sign for my hair is when I put products on it and it feels like the equivalent of oiled straw. It’s like I can feel my hair through the product in a way. This is a very important sign and should NEVER be ignored. I find that not using harsh cleansers and just co-washing weekly and doing a deep conditioner with a steamer does the trick.

 

These signs are all equally important and should be handled with a “sure thing” solution. I hope that none of you natural will be witnessing any of these as we emerge into afro and twist out season!

Natural Hair Care

Easy Hair Practices For The Lazy Natural

21st October 2015
easy natural hair regimen

If there’s one thing that does not go together it’s natural hair and being lazy . The same fun and funky curls that frame and compliment our faces are the same curly, poofy and knot prone strands we battle with most days.  I’ve currently found myself experimenting with different methods that could be beneficial for me during a lazy spell and came up with this regimen. Here are a few practices that keep my natural hair moisturised, flourishing and growing when I’m in a lazy state of mind.

Starting with the most important thing that lays the very foundation for any of this to work, I cowash and steam every other week. When you’re not doing much to your hair it’s not going to get terribly dirty too fast so there’s a little wiggle room in how often you’re washing it. Normally  I wash my hair every week and steam it every other week while washing with shampoo once a month. Whenever I do cleanse my hair I have to make sure that everything is evenly distributed, locked and sealed in. Steaming is great for helping products and oils to penetrate the hair strand, read about more of the benefits of steaming here. In doing this my hair remains soft for long periods and doesn’t easily dry out and tangle.

I’ve gone through so many different looks and hairstyles but putting my hair into a bun has become my favourite and  most important practice. I bun it all of the time! I mean literally when I’m done washing my hair I allow it to dry follow with my oils, leave in conditioner, a little styling gel and put it into a bun. I keep my hair tied up at night with a silk head wrap and take my bun down once a week to moisturise my hair. When you do take it down there will be tons of strands coming out because they weren’t shedding freely. Do keep an eye out for globs of hair as this could be a sign of something more.

Simple enough isn’t it? Ah yes, the glory of doing hardly anything and reaping the benefits can make you feel like you’re getting away with something. Just a few things to be specific about and then hopefully you’ll try these out on yourself. When it comes to my washday here’s everything I do to make sure that I can keep up my laziness successfully for months at a time.

1. I apply whatever I’m co-washing with to my roots and spray water on top of it working it in with my finger tips to break up whatever needs to wash out. I also pull downwards on my hair with my other hand to keep my hair from tangling while I’m rubbing the co-wash into my roots. Sometimes if I feel my hair could really use a boost of moisture I heat up my conditioner using this cool mini-frying pan I bought. There are more simple ways to do this but I just love using the frying pan, seriously check it out.

 

 tresseme naturals natural hair conditionerMini frying pan natural hair

2. I then heat up and melt a chunk of raw shea butter in my mini frying pan and massage it into my scalp and my hair. This feels so good and it’s an amazing hot oil treatment. Raw shea butter comes in chunks and is very thick in its solid state so heating it up melts it like butter and makes for easy and even distribution. After this step I plat my hair and place Mamado Organic coconut oil over them and put a plastic bag over my hair and a beanie on top to let everything set in. Or instead I just use my steamer for 15 minutes.

raw shea butter natural hair  natural hair coconut oil mamados

3. Whenever I’m done washing everything out of my hair I use an old t-shirt to dry up some of the water and once it’s damp I coat my hair with Jamaican Black castor oil using a bottle with a long nozzle (due to how thick the oil gets on your hands after a while) and then I follow up with Palmers coconut oil. I find this coconut oil as opposed to Mamado’s brand is a lot greasier and coats my thick hair a lot better. However Mamado’s is great for hot oil treatments.

Image result for plastic long nozzle bottlepalmers coconut oil natural hair

4. Finally, when putting my hair into the ponytail I use castor oil to generously coat however much hair is in the pony tail. After I do this I simply wrap my ponytail in a circular motion until I get my desired bun shape. When I tie my hair up I do so with a scarf that I tie specifically to wrap around my bun snugly and then place a satin cap over it. This is just a little extra security to dissuade product transfer onto my pillows.

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All that’s left is making sure you’re taking your bun/hairstyle down to detangle and moisturise if you need to. My hair has grown so much and I’m keeping all of the length because I’m not messing with it! This practice carries over into any protective style and for the lazy natural knowing how to cut corners without sacrificing your hair is important. I love my hair but sometimes I just want to do the bare minimum and still have gorgeous hair and this has absolutely worked for me.

Natural Hair Care

Why You Should Be Steaming Your Natural Hair

30th April 2015
steaming natural hair

After using a product on my hair I discovered that it had changed my natural hair’s porosity  causing it to change from normal to low. My hair had a hard time letting moisture in and led to my moisture retention dropping so low that I had issues with dryness. After researching I began experimenting with steaming my hair and the results were astounding! As promised in a previous post I will now share those results with you!

 

I followed my normal wash day regimen only changing the part where I deep conditioned with a plastic cap/bag. Instead I used a steamer that I’d bought online a few days ago. Compared to most available on the market I went with the cheapest option. I was unsure how my hair would take to it and didn’t want to end up with an expensive piece of equipment that did nothing for my hair. I stayed underneath it for exactly 25 minutes and washed out my conditioner. I used Tresemee Naturals with aloe vera juice and then sealed with castor oil.

After I’d washed everything out I noticed right away that the look of my hair was different. There was no frizziness and my hair had a natural shine to it! My curls were also very defined and my hair felt soft, not the faux softness you get from ingredients either. Basically I had all the signs of very nourished, healthy and moisturised hair. I applied my castor oil to my hair to seal in the moisture and twisted my hair into sections to let it finish drying. A few hours later I noticed that unlike my hair had been behaving before, the castor oil wasn’t just sitting on top of my hair but was being soaked up along with my leave in conditioner as well!

I started working on my protective style and completed it within 15 minutes and headed to bed. The next morning I woke up to find that my hair was shiny and still soft and most of the product I used was absorbed into my hair. I am now on day 7 of my post wash day and I can say that I’m a firm believer in steaming your hair, especially if you have issues with dryness and absorbing moisture.

What Steaming Your Hair Does

Steam is a natural way to lift up the cuticle layer of the hair that is cover in scale like shingles that lift up and down to let moisture in and out. Steam causes those cuticles to swell and lift letting in the molecules of whatever you’ve coated your hair with to easily enter into the hair shaft. That’s why it’s important to follow with a sealant because the inner layer of the hair also makes the cuticle layer lift to release the moisture back out again. If you have issues with getting moisture in your hair steaming is a great way to give your hair a better chance at changing that very fact. This could also lead to changing your hair’s porosity and ultimately the moisture retention you experience.

 

If you’re going to experiment with steaming your hair for the first time I’d recommend trying it out on a cheaper alternative like a steamer cap. The one that I bought online at ebay.uk was £9 and if your hair responds well to steaming with this cap then it will do so even further with a full on steamer. It’s cheap and the writing is in Chinese but it works! I recommend letting it heat up for 45 minutes on the highest setting before use as it takes a while to accumulate steam. Do not use the low setting on this model it will barely get hot enough to create steam. Also depending on which country you’re buying this model from be sure to purchase an adaptor for the appropriate wall socket based on your country. Also try amazon as well for this model.

steam natural hair

 

Things To Know About Steaming

1. Never steam your hair longer than 30 minutes it can actually begin to break down the bonds on a molecular level that give your hair the curl pattern you have and cause your hair to become relaxed.

2. Wear a towel around your neck as your conditioner will begin to run down after a while

3. Seal in the moisture you’ve received from your deep conditioner with a sealant after you’re hair has dried a little and has become damp.

4. Never steam your hair more than twice a month, while steam is better for your hair it is still a form of heat.

 

When steaming your hair be sure to use products that are as natural as possible. Include moisturising agents like aloe vera juice or ingredients found in DIY deep conditioners soft nourished hair. You can even deep condition with castor oil alone (hot oil treatment) as it is amazing at coating the hair and is pumped with nutrients that your hair loves and needs. I love steaming my hair and have now added it to my hair regimen! My hair is so much softer now and I don’t have to apply products to my hair everyday for hydration and softness. I recommend steaming to every natural especially those battling dry hair. I guarantee your hair will thank you!