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natural hair tips

Natural Hair Care

Why Stimulating & Massaging Your Scalp Is Important

10th May 2016
scalp stimulation natural hair

Ahhh, the scalp. Probably one of the most forgotten about parts of our hair which is actually where healthy hair begins. I’ve recently began exploring just how important this is and making a few changes and I must say the difference is pretty noticeable! Read on to learn why it’s important to stimulate your scalp and how it can hold the golden spot in your natural hair care routine.

What it does:

Stimulating your scalp helps circulate blood flow which in turn causes hair growth. There is a network of capillaries (tiny blood vessels) all over your scalp that act as a collection and distribution point for vital nutrients. Therefore by stimulating your scalp you increase blood flow and that constant supply of nutrient rich supplements to your hair.

 

 

How You Do It:

The key here is to massage the scalp I’ve found that using a Denman Shower Brush works best for me instead of my finger tips. If I’m using this in the shower I pull down on the hair and place the brush at my roots and rotate my hand in a circular motion using my fingers to make the teeth of the comb rotate like a spinning top. I do not recommend picking up the brush and physically moving it in circles the brush should not leave your scalp let the teeth do the work! I go around that section of my head twice. For use on dry hair section off your hair and use this method. This video is simple and easy to follow and uses the same method that I use in the shower. Many also use essential oils like peppermint and almond oil which invigorates the scalp and helps to kick start stimulation even further.

 

The Denman Shower Brush Itself:

The brush is small and very good value for money, I bought mine for less than £4. I’m not sure how much it would cost in dollars but I believe that they are more than fairly priced. It also comes in several colors and slips right onto your hand easily for a comfortable fit. The bristles are a hard plastic like material and are extremely flexible, they also soften under warm water and feel amazing when used in the shower especially. You will become addicted to using this brush!

 

Image result for denman shower brushImage result for denman shower brushImage result for denman shower brush

 

 

Benefits:

  • Softer hair from root to tip: I noticed this one after I got done massaging an area of my hair in the shower, I’m not sure if it loosened up some of my own natural sebum and caused it to run over my hair in the shower but whatever it did my hair feels softer all over!
  • Excellent Shampoo/Conditioner distributer: Using this tool after I’ve applied my shampoo and conditioner caused the break up of buildup on my scalp and gave me that fresh super clean scalp feeling.
  • It feels Amazing!!!! I can’t describe how good it feels but I did start salivating in the shower that should say enough. You can also feel the blood flow increase to your scalp which feels equally just as good.
  • Sparse areas will begin to fill in: As the paragraph above states it does have a direct effect on hair growth if you don’t want to go through the trouble of an entire head massage at least do it to the areas of your hair that are sparse or thinning the results will astound you.
  • Helps with itchy scalp: Most of the time your scalp itches from either a load of buildup on your scalp or from lack of moisture. This brush helps clear buildup away and distributes conditioner really well. Two birds, one stone!

 

How Often Should You Do It:

I’ve read some articles that recommend scalp stimulation as much as up to twice a day! I however, do it whenever I feel like it. I would say a regular scalp massage with finger tips can be done up to twice a day, if you’re using this brush maybe a few times a week or spaced out throughout the month it’s all about how your own scalp reacts to it.

Precautions When Using This Tool:

For those with a tighter curl pattern I do not recommend using this as a normal brushing tool even in the shower. The tiny teeth of this brush rake through and can cause tangles. Overall, try it out and see if it can work for you. Also be aware of the circular motions you should not be lifting the comb off of your head but rather rotating the teeth on your scalp. Last but not least always detangle before using this brush and remember to pull down on loose hair so that your curls won’t get pulled upwards into the circular motion.

This practice is great for anyone that is looking for a new addition to their natural hair care routine. Keep track of your results and let us know we’d love to hear if this tip worked out for you and the health of your hair!

 

 

Natural Hair Care

How To Get Super Defined Hair

29th April 2016
defined wash and go

As naturals the health of our hair thrives on a strict moisture routine that most of us have down perfectly. Each of our regimens maybe slightly different but they all serve the same purpose; to keep our curls juicy and soft. Recently while watching one of my favorite natural hair Youtubers Naptural85 I noticed that depending on the style she was going for she would apply certain hair products directly after she washed her hair while she was still in the shower. Naturally, I then adopted this practice and noticed that it actually works really well! Read on to discover how to achieve super defined hair by applying products while your still in the shower.

 

1. This trick works best if you wash your hair in sections and plat or twist them back up as you go. Wash your hair as normal and after your hair is clean apply whatever oil you would use to seal with directly afterwards. Olive oil works the best for me as it leaves a nice shine and leaves the hair feeling soft and easy to detangle. Be sure to rinse out excess oil for best results!

For the next following steps it just depends on your desired style:

Read steps 2A. and onwards for a wash and go, or 2B. and onwards for a style that will require twisting.

Wash & Go Styling Steps:

2A. After you’ve applied your oil that seals next you’ll want to apply a curl defining cream that gives you your best definition be sure to focus on your ends especially. If your hair feels pretty soft at this point you can skip this step but place a bit at your ends.

2A1.Next apply whatever gel you would normally use to top off your curl definition and as usual with a wash and go you’ll want to apply the gel generously. Be sure to really work it in from root to tip. If your hair starts to become dry wet it again under the shower head. Once your hair begins to dry frizz will appear, the objective is it to coat the hair with gel while it’s wet, defined and frizz free!

2A2. Next step out of the shower, you should now have generously wet hair that’s full of product and your curl pattern should be highly visible. If you spot frizz your hair may not be completely clean or have enough gel. Grab an old t-shirt and place it around the sections of your hair, try not to rub the hair but pat and dab it dry. 

2A3. Next you can either use a diffuser or just let your hair air dry. If you’re a heat free natural and will not be using a diffuser use bobby pins to hold down areas of your hair for less shrinkage. If you’re using a diffuser be sure to do the same to fight shrinkage by pulling down on your roots as you dry your hair. After your hair has dried you should have a very fluffy and defined twist out!

 

Twist out Styling Steps:

2B. After you’ve applied your oil that seals and have rinsed out any excess oil your next step will be to apply a styling pudding to your hair use a comb to gently rake the product through the hair from root to tip. Do this all over each section of hair.

2B1. Next, apply whatever gel or holding pudding you’d normally use as the final step of your twist out paying special attention to your ends. It’s best to stay near your shower incase your hair becomes dry as you will need to wet your hair again to eliminates any frizz.

2B2. Begin twisting your hair in your desired style being sure to flat twist (<<start video at 1:28) at the roots to stretch the hair for maximum length.

2B3. Once you’re done twisting wrap your hair in a t-shirt depending on how wet it is for 20 minutes or until moderately damp. If your hair feels not so damp skip this step. Tie your hair up as usual once you’ve removed the t-shirt and voila you’ll have a super defined twist out!

 

These steps are an ingenious way to truly eliminate frizz and take your next hairstyle to the next level. I plan to start keeping oils and styling products in the shower with me from now on. I hope this styling practice works out as great for you as it has for me!

 

 

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

Knot Again! 4 Steps To Keep Knots & Tangles Out of Your Afro

4th April 2016
afro maintenance natural hair afo

The weather is heating up as spring has crept upon us to give that pre summer tease. This also means no more hiding those ends in a low maintenance protective style you’ve been rocking all winter, that’s right. It’s afro season again! I felt bold in the cold this year and wore my afro out and I was loving every minute of it! I had to battle some harsh dryness because of this but I’m thankful because it led me to find and create some simple tips and tricks that kept my curls less prone to knots, tangles and breakage. Read on to learn how I keep knots and tangles out of my afro for longer wear with these 4 simple tips.

 

1. Start an afro from an old twist out or bun where the hair has been stretched and your curls are still clumped together.  This is something I’ve always done, not only will this help with knots but your hair will have easily achieved uniformity. Old twist outs are great because you won’t have to do much to puff out your hair and clumped together curls are less likely to tangle or become tangled. An old bun hair style works as well because this hair style stretches the hair and leaves it tangle free because every strand was going in the same direction.

 

2. Before I go to sleep at night I put my hair into two sections with two pony tail holders and bantu knot the ends. This not only stretches my hair but also keeps my curls going in the same direction and away from one another so I’m not mashing them down when sleeping on them and creating tangles as I toss and turn. After a few nights I no longer bantu knot my hair instead I loosely twist the hair and wrap them around the pony tail holders. This keeps curls fresher lookingmand gives the ends a nice curl which makes for a cute afro. I also place a scarf around my hair covering the two puffs as well and then follow up with a satin bonnet cap.

 

3. In the morning I take my hair out of the two sections and put oil and curl definer on my hands  and take bits of my hair from each section and moisturise them as I go, essentially shaping my afro. For those with longer hair I suggest using castor oil on your ends or whatever oil you usually use to seal with. This will create a barrier between your ends and your clothes.

 

4. Lastly, when wearing my hair in an afro for prolonged amounts of time I never use picks or combs. Every time I’ve ever used one they’ve caused knots to form as well as breakage. My curl pattern is very tight so when I use a pick or comb all it does is removes any clumped curls and causes them to frizz out. Don’t get me wrong an afro is all about using the frizz to create big beautiful hair but hair that is clumped together doesn’t become tangled so when you remove those clumped curls you allow more strands to do their own thing. This is where the knots and tangles are introduced.

The afro is big bold and beautiful and the ultimate expression in natural hair styling and if you treat it right it will return the favor. I hope these 4 tips help you as much as they’ve helped me!

afro maintenance natural hair afro

Natural Hair Care

How To Shorten Your Wash Day

10th March 2016
shorten your wash day

With this practice your next wash day could be a breeze with this simple and easy method that leaves your hair feeling fully moisturised, soft and easy to manipulate. There’s that moment in everyone’s wash day routine where you have to choose between spending those much needed hours carrying out your routine or an activity. However, what would happen if after you’ve washed your hair, you did nothing but slap on a bag, found something to cover it and followed with a cream or oil a little later? Here’s how to shorten your next wash day:

1. First you start off with your co-wash, I used a little olive oil with my conditioner to be sure that my hair had ton’s of slip and was softened. This method may not yield the same effect on shampooed hair.

2. After your hair is washed and put a bag on along with a beanie or scarf over it to make sure that there is very little air escaping and you can get going to your engagement.

3. Next, you’re free to leave the bag on for as long as you’d like! Be sure to make sure that your hair is only allowed to dry enough to feel damp.

4. After you’ve left the bag on for a while (1-4 hours/after your engagement is over), follow up with your favourite oil and cream. A leave in-conditioner isn’t necessary but if you really want to, feel free to apply it before you place the bag on. Applying a leave in may effect the way your hair feels and dries. For those with thicker hair be sure to use a cream or oil that is thick enough to fully coats your hair. I used Elasta QP Olive Oil & Mango Butter followed with Almond Oil and Coconut Oil.

That’s it! Your hair will feel soft and extremely agile.

 

This method is great for when you’re prepping to rock a bun! I usually twist my hair up into sections while applying my hair products and once my hair is coated I wrap them into bantu knots. By doing this your hair will be very stretched, soft and ready to be pulled into a fantastic bun. This method will make your hair super soft and moisturised for when you don’t have enough time for a full days work on your hair!

 

Natural Hair Care

Natural Hair & Bun Maintenance

29th February 2016
natural hair bun

The cold weather is biting at your ends and you’re probably  doing the best you can to holding on to every drop of moisture you’re putting into your hair. This winter has definitely been a season full of buns and I was amongst that crowd. I’ve been wearing a ninja bun for more than a few months now and have discovered some quirks and mistakes that you wouldn’t think of at first glance. Keeping up natural hair is work but after you’ve fought with your coils and curls to get them into that bun you’re probably going to want to keep it up for as long as you can. Here’s what I’ve learned as far as bun maintenance with my natural hair.

 

Super tight buns are the devil

At first I was after that super sleek look where not a single hair was out of place so I kept my hair in a tight bun. As time went on I began to discover breakage but only in specific areas of my head/hair. I kept my eye on it and realised that the breakage was coming from pressure points where my hair would naturally be tightly pulled from the pressure of the hair band. These areas included the hair growing above my temples, middle of my forehead and at the back of my head. So instead I began to set my bun not so directly in the middle of my head but more towards the front . This alleviated pressure and looked even more stylish.

 

natural hair bun

Breakage points caused by stress from tight buns

 

Use a boar brush to reduce frizz

Boar brushes are great for achieving sleek hair with little frizz but overusing them can also be harmful and cause the hair to break due to how harsh and rough the bristles are. When I use this brush I make sure that I do so on very moisturised and detangled hair. Otherwise you’ll end up pulling hair upwards and causing knots to form where the curls aren’t stretched and detangling will be a nightmare.

 

Achieving & keeping sleek flat hair

For those with super thick hair getting it all into a bun can be frustrating enough but the key is to weigh your hair down from root to tip. Use a hair lotion as well as a cream, the thicker in consistency the better. My favourite product to use, while not containing a ton of natural ingredients is Organic Root Olive Oil Moisturising Hair Lotion. It lays my hair down like gel and once I brush it through it leaves my hair flattened, agile and easy to manipulate. Keeping your hair from getting frizzy is a matter of  how you tie up your hair, I use two scarves one that I tie frontwards and the other backwards for extra hold.

Getting that classic bun look

The key to getting the hair that is sticking out of the hair band into a bun is making sure that it is poofy and that there are hardly any defined curls. This will ensure that your hair can be easily manipulated into creating your desired bun. I find that working with hair that isn’t super weighed down in product at the ends makes it easier (depending on how voluminous your ideal style is). Remember the more weighed down your hair is the smaller the bun will be.

 

These tips are very simple yet very effective, and will hopefully lead to an amazingly well kept bun. The seasons are changing and soon it will be the perfect weather for afro’s and bikini’s but until then keep those ends moisturised and tucked away!  

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Natural Hair Care

Say Goodbye To The Twist Out That Didn’t Dry

28th October 2015
twist out

It’s close to bedtime and  you’re on your final twist, it’s a lot later than you expected to finish but you hope for the best and get some sleep. Looking into the mirror the next morning you take down your hair only to discover that 4 out of 12 twist have dried and set. The truth is super thick hair shows absolutely no mercy when it comes to drying. Using heat to set your hair works wonders but it’s simply not practical for the health of your natural hair. I began to think to myself, why do I need to load my hair down with styling products anyway? What exactly do they do that my hair couldn’t do on its own? One wash day I accidentally stumbled upon something that would change the way I did my hair forever. Here is how I get great results without a ton of products leading to twist outs that are always dry and defined. Note: This method works best on freshly washed hair.

 

The way to a great twist out is excellent definition but how do you expect to get it when you’re loading your hair down with products that would probably take your hair (depending how thick) around 1-2 full days to dry? One day after I’d gotten done washing my hair I twisted my hair off into sections to apply my hair products. As I went on and took down the twist I realised that my hair was setting to the point where there was excellent definition with only my leave in conditioner in it. You’d be surprised at just how agile clean hair really is. Styling products are great but all they do is help to eliminate frizz and coat your hair strands so they’ll bind together easily and the kicker is that clean and moisturised hair actually does all of that on its own.  So on that note I’ll break down exactly what you should do on your next twist out.

  1. After you’re hair has been washed apply your leave in conditioner and allow your hair to dry until it is damp. The most important part is that your hair is damp and not wet. If you can grip your hair and have wet hands it’s still too wet.
  2. A lot of naturals use the L.O.C Method at this point to seal in moisture but this will cause your hair to be too weighed down. You are still following that method except you won’t be applying any cream after the oil which is why it’s important to use an oil that seals in moisture really well.  Next you’ll want to go ahead and section off your hair into the layout for your twist out.
  3. The next step is to apply your oil to a section of hair, once you’ve done so it is important that you twist it immediately. To combat shrinkage since fresh hair causes your curls to revert I would recommend using this method for twisting you hair as done by youtube natural hair guru Naptural85 it’s really simple and involves flat twisting your hair at the roots which will stretch your hair. I also apply styling cream only at the ends of my hair and twist it around my finger to create a nice curl at the end.
  4. Once you’re done twisting leave your hair uncovered for as long as possible this will help your hair to continue drying from its damp state.
  5. When taking down your hair the next morning it will be dry and moisturised. When untwisting your hair coat your hands with a greasy or thick oil to help with any frizz depending on your hair type. You should now be the proud wearer of an amazing twist out!

Final Notes:

  • This method works for thick hair but depends greatly upon whether or not your hair was cleansed and moisturised properly.
  • A great way to test out and see if it will work on your hair is when letting your hair dry twist up a section of hair where the curl pattern is the tightest (for those who have several textures of curls in their hair) and leave it until your hair has dried for a while. When taking down the twist look for how frizzy the hair is and how deeply the curl has set. If there’s tons of frizz or twist has not set at all then your hair probably won’t turn out very well using this method.
  • The biggest secret of natural hair is it doesn’t need a lot of different substances just the right amount of the right things. As long as your hair is  moisturised and loved it will show that love back!

What you want in a twist out is stretched hair, definition and neatly styled waves and every time I use this method my results reflect just that! Styling products get the job done but remember you do not NEED them, I hope this easy styling method works and eliminates the days of undried twist outs.

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

Is Oil Washing For You?

3rd August 2015
oil washing

Oil washing is probably one of the most creative methods I’ve seen amidst the natural hair community and it intrigued me greatly. Naturally, I did some research took to youtube and discovered that quite a few people were doing this and they all were having different experiences. I couldn’t wait to try it out and I’m glad that I did I learned so much more about my hair! Here’s exactly what happened during my four week trial of oil washing.

What is oil washing? It’s a method used before washing your hair or in between your shampoo and conditioner application to retain moisture and to soften the hair. You coat the hair generously (depending on your hair type) with a heavy or light oil and then wash it out like normal. From my research people were mainly using olive oil which is due to the fact that most of the women had thick densely compacted tight curls. Olive oil is thick enough to coat without the greasiness like coconut oil leaves behind. Watch an oil wash in action here via the NappyChronicles youtube channel for a visual.

I began oil washing once a week for 4 weeks. I applied oil in my hair after cleansing with a conditioner and a light cleansing co wash shampoo at my roots to loosen any dirt or product build up. After doing this I applied olive oil to my hair and let it sit for 15-20 minutes under a bag. I then washed out as much as the oil as I wanted. I always left behind a good amount because it made my hair a lot softer and much more manageable.

I began seeing results after week 2. I noticed that my hair was a lot shinier and was beginning to soften! As far as moisture retention I saw no difference even after my 4 week trial had ended. Looking back on it now I understand why I didn’t, with all of the oil that I was placing in my hair it probably affected how much sebum my hair was producing. I think that if I were steaming my hair or doing hot oil treatments the moisture loss I was experiencing would’ve been cut in half. After all that olive oil was just sitting on top of my hair and probably creating a bit of a barrier between my hair shaft and the water that could’ve provided more moisture.

 

What I learned:

Oil washing isn’t necessary for my hair

It made my hair SUPER shiny to the point where people noticed & the shine was gorgeous!

It did nothing whatsoever for my moisture levels

It made the feel of my hair softer because the oil was able to distribute wonderfully & work its magic

This method is more of a beautification process for my hair rather than constructive to my hair’s health

 

 

If You’re Going To Try This:

Be sure to use an emollient (an oil that softens the hair) otherwise kind of a waste

If you notice you’re losing more moisture than normal don’t oil wash as often & if you’re using a cleanser like a shampoo or co washing shampoo make sure that you’re replacing that moisture loss

Don’t apply directly to your scalp as this might affect the level of your own naturally produced oils

It’s a pretty messy process but your skin will feel so soft if you wash in the shower

Let the oil sit on your hair for a while before washing it out

 

Overall if I ever needed my hair to be shinier or was looking for an easy to do method that would make my hair super easy to deal with after a wash I’d do an oil wash. Otherwise, I’ll stick to my steaming and hot oil treatments.

Natural Hair Care

6 Tips On Straightening Your Natural Hair

6th May 2015
straightening natural hair

As naturals we love our fierce curls and kinks that make our hair gorgeous and full of body. It’s a given that we’ll want to change up our hair style every once and while and rock straight hair (mainly for the length checks). However when straightening your hair you should know a few things that will keep you from a number of negative outcomes that could effect the health, look and feel of your hair.

 

You must prepare your hair properly especially if you’re straightening your hair after you’ve just washed it. A good way to lift your cuticle to absorb more moisture is by using a steamer with your deep conditioner as well as a good sealant. This will pump way more moisture into your hair and avoid dryness. Also try to avoid blow drying and straightening in the same setting as this will increase your chance of moisture making whatever products you’ve put in your hair beforehand a non factor.

 

The golden rule every natural should follow is always straighten your hair on low heat, you may want sleek and straight looking hair but using high levels of heat will cause damage. Remember straight hair will last only a few days and is not worth messing up years of work that you’ve put into the health of your hair.

 

Never straighten your hair without a heat protectant. There are many out there that work brilliantly in coating your hair strands and repelling heat penetration to the cuticle layer. I left this step out of my regimen when I straightened my hair a few years ago and stripped my curl pattern along the back of my neck. Heat protectants are inexpensive and normally come in a spray form and cause a lot of steam as you straighten your hair because they act as a buffer between your hair and the heat.

 

Always be aware of just how many times you’re going over a section of your hair with your straightener. Even with a heat protectant on your hair too much heat is still too much heat. During the straightening process the ultimate goal is to get the look you desire with very little heat damage.

 

Never attempt to fully straighten your roots. Your roots are where your new growth peaks and this hair is fragile as it is the newest and most under nourished part of your hair. You could strip your curl pattern and create straggly unnatural looking curls as well as cause the hair to weaken and break off.

 

Lastly, protect your ends by applying the heat protectant evenly and by properly moisturising your hair beforehand. Failure to do so will certainly result in dry and brittle ends that will lead to the loss of length.

 

Overall keeping these 6 tips in mind will lead to a much healthier straightening process. There is no sure way to stop heat damage from happening as using high levels of heat will always effect your moisture levels. Never hold unrealistic goals for your natural hair remember that it will look a certain way (poofy with a hint of kink) and will not be bone straight. Use light weight products that promote sleek looking hair like argan oil. This will help weigh down the hair even more and give a healthy finish to your look!