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how to moisturise natural hair

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

My Natural Hair Care Regimen, Trade & Steal These Tips

9th May 2015
natural hair regimen

Every natural has their own rituals and regimens that they’ve created or borrowed from within the community. We must keep this silent tradition going by continuing to share secrets and trade information. So in the tradition of things I will now share my regimen that has allowed me to retain all of my hair growth and put an end to my dry hair streak!

 

Daily Regimen

I start by spraying my edges and putting castor oil on them, specifically for this oil’s nutrient rich hair growth promoting properties. My spray bottle contains aloe vera juice, tressemee naturals conditioner and argan oil. Lastly I apply castor oil to my ends (if my hair is out) and work it through with my hands.

 

Nightly Regimen

I wear a lot of protective styles so at night I apply a bit of coconut oil to the sides of my hair and on the back of my hair. These areas are where I lay and some of my products soak through my satin cap and rub off. I then wear a silk scarf over my hair then use a satin scarf to place over that one to lay down my hair (I try not to use a lot of gel in my hair) and then place a satin bonnet over it to keep my protective style in place.

 

For My Itchy Scalp

If I feel that my scalp is itchy but my hair is moisturised I usually take my hair down and spray my hair lightly with aloe vera juice and massage it into my scalp. It seems to really hydrate and quench my scalps thirst. I then massage either coconut oil or argan oil through my scalp and style my hair back again.

 

If My Hair Feels Dry

There are certain levels of dryness that tell me what’s going on with my hair because I pay attention to my curls very closely. If my hair itself feels dry but doesn’t appear very frizzy I know that I just need to hydrate the hair strands and use the L.O.C. method. If my hair looks feels and sounds (crunchy) dry then I know I need a co-wash as major moisture needs to be restored.

 

Things I Avoid:

Coming my hair more than 3 times a month (combs cause breakage)

Using too many styling products (build up, yuck)

Going more than a month without protective styling (leaving your hair alone is key to length retention)

Trimming my ends often (you just don’t need to)

Finger detangling on dry or damp hair (always have my hair wet)

 

Things That Have Made BIG Differences:

Steaming my hair twice a month with my own DIY conditioner mixes

Putting castor oil on my ends and edges

Using aloe vera juice on my scalp

Protective styling often

Not using combs hardly ever

Co-washing with Tressemme naturals

 

Key To My Healthy Natural Hair:

Steaming

 

All of these things have really helped my in my journey and have caused me to retain serious length and have healthy hair. My regimen isn’t full of tons of product but oils and natural supplements. If it’s found in the earth naturally then I love it and use it frequently. I’m not product junkie but I love my little regimen and it has done me justice because I see the effects in my hair everyday! 

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).

 

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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.

 

 

 

Natural Hair Care

4 Simple Daily Practices That Will Keep Natural Hair Moisturised

12th April 2015
Moisturised natural hair

Dry hair is a battle that we all face due to the properties of natural hair however implementing these 4 daily practices into your natural hair regimen will keep your natural hair more moisturised and feeling soft. Keeping your natural hair moisturised has never been easier.

Water & Spray Bottle Recipes

Using water everyday certainly keeps a steady flow of moisture coming towards your hair and having an excellent spray bottle recipe will further more add to that. There are some amazing spray bottle recipes that benefit natural hair in several ways. See an excellent list here.

 

Oiling Your Edges and Ends

Edges are important for fuller looking hair and your ends are what retain hair length. Keeping these two important parts of your hair moisturised daily will help combat single strand knots and kick start the regrowth of your edges. Oil’s excellent for strengthening and moisturising are coconut oil, jojoba oil, castor oil, olive oil and avocado oil.

 

Drinking Plenty of Water

Our bodies use water for everything from lubricating our joints to hydrating our skin. Everything we ingest will show up everywhere especially in your hair. That’s why drinking more water on a daily basis will make a big difference in the moisture, look and feel of your hair. The more you put into your body the more your hair will have.

 

Bagging

On days where you don’t have anywhere to go or you’re wearing a style that doesn’t require stretched hair wear a shower cap for a few hours while lounging around the house. Especially if you use sealants daily this will help lift your hair cuticle and allow all of those oils and products to really penetrate your hair.

 

These 4 simple practices will help your hair by retaining moisture and in time train your hair to expect that level of moisture and not going into emergency moisture retention mode.