Browsing Tag

new to natural hair

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!

 

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. 

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

6 Praise Worthy Oils For Natural Hair Health & Growth

23rd March 2015
o-PEANUT-OIL-facebook

6 Praise Worthy Oils For Natural Hair Health & Growth

When it comes to retaining moisture in the hair, oil’s are one of the biggest helpers in doing just that. They are excellent sealants because of their ability to coat the hair and slow the release of moisture (water). Implementing them into your routine is a must but the biggest questions that everyone will ask themselves is which one(s) should I use? Here is a list of the top 6 major oil’s that are not only excellent sealants, but also bring nutrients and strength to the hair.

Coconut Oil

Raw Coconut Oil

Raw Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is extracted from the kernels of the coconut and is quite a heavy oil. It also reduces protein loss in hair and is high in calcium which is just one of the supplements a good head of hair needs. I frequently use this in my hair care regimen and noticed that due to it’s thick consistency it coats hair strands with ease and acts as an amazing sealant which led to my hair retaining more moisture. This will in a sense train your hair to become more absorbent and less dry.

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is the liquid that is produced in the Jojoba plant and is medium-heavy in consistency. This oil is known to be one of the only oil’s found in nature that contains a lot of the same properties that are found in the oils produced by the human body for the hair. This oil contains a few vitamins and is a great sealant. Due to it’s heavy consistency it can weigh down the hair so it is more often recommended for people who have medium to extreme issues with hair dryness.To fully reap the benefits of this oil be sure that it is unrefined, in this state it will appear golden in colour. If it is refined it will appear both colourless and odourless.

Olive Oil

First Pressed Olive Oil On Left

First Pressed Olive Oil On Left

Olive oil is pressed from olives and is fantastic if you’re looking for something that will add a natural looking shininess to your hair. This is one of the lighter oil’s that doesn’t require too much of it to coat the hair, a little does go a long way. I’ve continually used olive oil for over a year and noticed that it left my hair looking naturally shiny and stronger! There are a lot of different types of olive oil so here are a few factors to take into consideration when buying.First, the different labels i.e. Extra Virgin and Virgin Olive Oil simply mean the degree of which it was processed. These do matter but have very little meaning when it comes to benefiting your hair. Second, what DOES matter is which press it is. As I stated previously, olive oil is pressed from olives so what you want is the first press. You can easily spot these batches by colour, the first press of olive oil will be a deep green colour and will contain all of the benefits that you want for your hair.

Avocado Oil

Avocado Oil

Avocado Oil

Avocado Oil is pressed from the fruit of an avocado and is medium heavy in consistency. The deep green hue of this oil is a symbol of the nutrients it naturally contains, one being chlorophyll which can actually re-start hair growth. This is another great sealant that actually makes your hair texture softer due to the high level of sugars it contains. Sugars are great for your hair which is why glycerin (another sugar) is in many hair products. This oil is pricy but well worth the extra money.

Argan Oil

Argan Oil

Argan Oil

Argan oil is a very light oil that is produced from the kernels of the argan tree. This slippery like oil is great for use as a heat protectant that won’t weigh the hair down. My personal experience with this oil was extremely positive. One benefactor that I noticed after continued use was that it made my hair more elasticised and added a very nice shine to it. I’d recommend this oil as a sealant for hair that isn’t prone to dryness and isn’t very thick. This oil is super light weight and has a very nice smell to it and contains a lot of fatty acids which is great for hair growth.

 

 

 

Grape Seed Oil

Grape Seed Oil

Grape Seed Oil

Grape seed oil is pressed from the seeds of grapes and is medium in consistency. This light weight oil is packed with Vitamin E and is easily absorbed into the hair. This oil is great for hair that isn’t prone to dryness and can help contain frizz. Due to the nature of this oil it is the ideal sealant for hair types with looser curl patterns.

Remember oil’s do not moisturise the hair but are great for sealing in moisture and thus leading to hair that is a lot softer and less prone to dryness. When used in the correct way they can be a real gem in your hair care process. I’m sure that there are a few other oils out in the world that didn’t make this list that could do wonders for your hair but that is up to personal experimentation. 

Natural Hair Care

Why You Should Fearlessly Rock Your TWA

20th March 2015
Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 19.04.34

Story Time:

She wakes up every morning to the same thoughts scenery, the only thing that has changed is what’s underneath her slightly sunken in satin cap. She stands in front of the mirror boldly releasing her hair from the clutches of the cap. Small tightly curled morsels of hair cover her head and she notices the true beauty of her natural hair for the first time. She reaches for her coat and steps out onto the street preparing for a brisk walk to work in icy weather. A woman walking a dog turns the corner and an awkward repositioning of their paths happens. The woman with the dog looks at her and smiles as she crosses in front of her and to the other side. She carries on around the street corner where she sees a group of girls sitting on a park bench aimlessly staring at their cell phone screens. One girl on the bench looks up to meet her gaze and giggles. She nudges the other two girls and points her finger slightly upwards in her direction. They all begin to giggle sending her in a frenzy of thoughts, she knows that it’s about her hair and immediately begins to feel self conscience. Her smile fades as she hurries her pace to walk past the girls feeling her confidence sinks lower with every step. She meets the two front doors of her office and pushes them open a stranger in the waiting area looks up at her with a smirk and looks away before she believes she’s noticed. She gulps hard as she heads to her cubicle for her big reveal of her new hair style and begins to plot an early start home for later. She places her bag on her desk and gives eye contact to no one as she shoots down into the confines of her cubicle. Taking off her coat she turns and meets the eyes of one of her colleagues  forcing her to fake a smile. She greet on another and her colleague drops back down within her cubicle and begins laughing. Anxiety ridden she stands up and looks over her colleagues cubicle and notices that she’s going through her hand bag. Her colleague looks up and notices her angry stare. “Something funny?” she says attempting to dull down the anger in her eyes. Her colleague giggles again and hands her the mirror.  She cocks her eyebrow as she reaches for it preparing for her next comeback at whatever ridicule will surely follow this gesture. She opens the compact in front of her and stares deeply into the mirror. The look of disdain on her face is prominent and leaves her feeling regretful. Her colleague motions for her to move the mirror higher and she does so. In doing this she notices a small crumbled up piece of tissue standing directly up in the middle of her hair. A smile spreads across her face as they both burst into laughter. She thanks her colleague and hands the compact back to her. Staring at her reflection through her blank computer screen she smiles and notices the beauty that she’d seen this morning realising that she could see it even clearer now.

The Reality:

Many black women have been in this woman’s shoes at the start of going natural. Seeing a woman with short hair is different but give her thick kinky hair and it’s interesting. There are several reasons why I use the word interesting, one being that curiosity ties into the word interesting. Through curiosity we find most of our revelations and form our own opinions. So what is the revelation of many when it comes to very short natural hair? Of course it varies but the very root of it will spawn from life experiences linked with personal choices, some unique and many generic. How your hair is viewed boils down to one thing, your genuine feelings. Being confident simply isn’t enough, even the most grounded people break. It’s about disregarding what has been presented to you as the truth. The ideal woman derived from the media is a lie and we all claim to know that but why do some people still indulge in it? Could it be that the fear that is felt about wearing natural hair derives from comparison to what is ascetically acceptable beyond our own homes?

There are many things that you can choose to do, not for anyone else but for yourself and this should be one of those things. Whenever I decided to begin wearing my natural hair for the first time I couldn’t even put into words how unsure I felt. My mind kept racing and going over every possible scenario of what could happen but as soon as I stepped outside I felt something. That thing I felt was a liberation I’d never experienced before that changed my whole life. Although I felt this amazing thing I was still wearing my paranoia like a bad weave. I couldn’t help it, but as time went on I began to evaluate why I felt like this. I discovered why during a casual visit to a Walmart makeup isle. I looked for my favourite tube of mascara and began looking at the pictures of the models. They all had straight, wavy or heat induced curls. Even the black model had a relaxer. At that moment I realised that we as women in the world actually set the standard. The people posting the ads can only present what they know will be accepted. I challenge you, whoever you may be struggling with your confidence and anxiety to set the standard and release your cares because you’re worth as a woman embracing her natural form is so much more than you’ll ever know. You could walk by the right person and change their day by the confidence and the dance of your tightly curled short hair.

The bottom line is if we tell the world what the new norm is they have to sit down, swallow it and shut up. I don’t know about you but in case you haven’t been paying attention to any of the new beauty ads the black women are curlier and more relaxer free than ever. Progression comes in many forms and it could start with you. So rock your TWA and do so fearlessly.

Natural Hair Care

Natural Hair Beginners Tool Kit, What’s Needed?

19th March 2015
shampoo-aisle

Natural Hair Beginners Tool Kit, What’s Needed?

Whether you’re starting from a T.W.A or an inbetweensie afro setting yourself up with the correct tools is very important. No matter your hair type there are certain essentials that you truly need as a natural that simply work and save so much time.  I let my hair grow out a lot before I went natural  to eliminate the “BIG” factor in big chop so my teenie weenie afro stage was short lived. However I’ve done my research on which of these products were the most helpful for the TWA. Here is a list of the top 12 things that should be in your hair care kit making anyones transition butter smooth.

                                                          A Spray Bottle

Spray Bottle With Grip

Spray Bottle With Grip

As I’m sure you know by now after tons of research and youtube surfing water is going to be one of the top priorities and the key to length and moisture retention. The easiest way to administer water hands down is a spray bottle, when purchasing keep in mind that grip is everything as your hands will become slippery from products while styling. Preferably I go for plastic simply because of the wipe clean surface as these things can get a little homely from everyday use. TWA Approved

Good Moisturising Cream

Olive Oil Sooth Hold Pudding

Olive Oil Sooth Hold Pudding

Knowing what your hair needs is key in finding this product, I learned this through trial and error.This product is important because it will next in line to be applied after water. A good moisturising cream is essentially your sealant. Since it will be applied so often try and look for a light almost fluffy consistency. My product of choice is “Olive Oil Smooth N Hold Pudding”. I love this cream because when all of my other products were running low it literally replaced all of them combined. In searching for the right cream remember to apply the “does it do it all” factor i.e. curl defining, moisturising, hair absorbency. TWA Approved

  An Oil That Strengthens

Palmers Coconut Oil

Palmers Coconut Oil

 Oils are amazing for coating hair strands and protecting them against moisture stealing cold weather and breakage. However this is not due to the hydrating factor of oil because quite frankly oils aren’t hydrators. They’re important because they coat the strand and add on another layer of protection ultimately strengthening the hair. My choice is Palmer’s Coconut Oil, the brand is amazing but coconut oil in general is one of natures miracles. Personally, it’s one of the only oils that actually coats all of my hair and leaves it feeling soft days later. I apply it after my water and cream as a third layer and it does                                                           wonders, especially if you have problems with frizz.

                                                                                                Wide Tooth Comb/ Brush

Deep Wide Tooth Comb

Deep Wide Tooth Comb

Wide Teeth and Smaller Teeth

Wide Teeth and Smaller Teeth

Due to the nature of natural hair a wide tooth comb with depth is a must, they prevent breakage and can aid in evenly dispersing product through your hair. However your combing method is everything, many still see breakage even with a wide tooth comb and it can be worrying. Make sure that you’re combing from the ends first in sections. Simply running the comb through will spark a battle with curls that will fight back and break off. Once you’ve combed through and all is detangled I suggest a wide tooth comb with a set of smaller teeth, they’re great for curl definition at your ends. TWA Approved

                                                            Conditioner

Tresemme Naturals Conditioner

Tresemme Naturals Conditioner

Washing your hair is important and having the right tools in the shower is even more crucial so finding a great conditioner should be top priority. There are a lot of products out there to choose from but ultimately it’s up to what your hair needs and responds to. Notice how much slip it gives your hair, meaning is your hair a breeze to comb through after your wash? The feel of your texture is important as well if your hair doesn’t feel soft under running water as your washing it out then the cleanser is too strong and your conditioner isn’t hydrating enough. Many suggest washing your hair solely with conditioner (co-washing) as many of the times washing leaves our hair too clean and robbed of moisturising supplements that our hair needs. I use a few conditioners but my favourite is “Tresemme Naturals” it has the “does it all factor” and moisturises my hair enough to set me up for my after wash regimen. TWA Approved

                                                             Stick On Mirror For Your shower

Shower Mirror

Shower Mirror

Wash days, can seem endless depending on which stage of hair growth you’re in. One thing I found that helped with my washing process is a shower mirror. When you can see everything you’re doing it helps reduce tangles and produces a more accurate result when washing out conditioners and shampoos. They’re also great for length checking as the running water stretches down your curls. Shower mirrors are a simple yet powerful addition to any naturals hair care arsenal. TWA Approved

          Bobby Pins

Various Sized Bobby Pins

Various Sized Bobby Pins

Bobby pins have come to be a great addition in my hair styling routine. No matter how good your hair style turned out there’s always that one curl that is stubborn and wants to curl away from the rest. They encourage shape retention and are great for stretching out curls. I always suggest using the larger one’s because they don’t get lost so easily and won’t break your hair off for those moments when you’re doing your hair in a rush. They also have more reach and strength behind them for larger fro’s and delicate up-do’s.

                                                       Spandex Hair Bands With Grip

Spandex Hair Bands With Grip Inside

Spandex Hair Bands With Grip Inside

A key ingredient with retaining length and minimising breakage is to implement easy styling methods that don’t put too much strain on your hair. Quite frankly the simpler the better. Spandex hair bands are perfect for that and can push back the hair amplifying the shape of your fro. However be cautious of how tight they are, your edges are very fragile and can break if pulled too tightly. I suggest wearing spandex bands that have coating on the inside to help balance slip and strain around your edges. They look better as well because the coating allows the band to nestle into your hair creating an effortless look for low maintenance hair styles. TWA Approved

                                                           Deep Conditioner

Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque

Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque

Most naturals will have to combat dryness on a daily basis due to the fact that some hair is naturally dry. A good way to keep dryness from becoming more of an issue than it needs to be is finding yourself a good deep conditioner. Not only do they penetrate but they can improve your hair texture. Hydrated and not so hydrated curls differ in appearance greatly meaning they need a little extra love and attention that most products just aren’t equipped to give. A great choice is “Shea Moisture’s Deep Treatment Masque” The improvements are seen almost immediately and you won’t have to use nearly as much product to make up for hydration that simply needs replacing by a good deep conditioner. You’ll know when you’ve found a good one because you won’t have to use it very often. TWA Approved

                                                   Satin Cap

Jumbo Satin Cap

Jumbo Satin Cap

The satin cap was important when you were wearing relaxer’s and it’s important now. These moisture retaining caps are amazing but you don’t have to stop there. A silk scarf or anything along those lines will be of great use depending on your hair style. If you tend to lean more towards using a lot of oils a scarf is better for minimising product from being transferred onto pillows and sheets. I personally use a jumbo satin cap with an elastic band around the edges. I never have to worry about it slipping off at night and due to the size they can better contain a vast amount of hairstyles, especially for those lazy nights of sleeping on your fro which I hope are few and far between. TWA Approved

          Hair clips

Large Hair Clip

Large Hair Clip

Styling your hair should be one of the times when you’re most cautious due to the fact of during this time the most stress and breakage occurs. When sectioning off your hair the best way to minimise all of these negative factors is using this style of hair clips. Not only do they easily partition off larger sections of hair but they also push hair down and out of the way and contain fly aways. Cloth bands are of great use as well but they easily allow tangles and knots to form and sometimes breakage from taking them on and off.

    Scissors

Scissors With Smaller Blades

Scissors With Smaller Blades

All of the curls present in your hair aren’t super containable as you very well know so knots are expected. Having a pair of scissors on hand to eliminate damage from knots that will only cause more tangles and dry ends is essential. Using a pair of shears like hair dressers use isn’t the only option. I usually use a pair of cuticle scissors to cut my ends and have been doing so for over a year now. I haven’t noticed any adverse reactions and when you think about it they’re designed for skin removal which means that the blades are smaller and will deliver a clean cut that won’t fray. All in all different types of scissors are pretty much the same except for the blade. Shears have a similar design to cuticle scissors but have a different handle for styling purposes but the most important goal is the removal of those pesky knots.

All of these products and tools are things that every natural should have because they’re proven to aid in the most miraculous ways in the up keep of our hair. However the very specifics of these tool and products are up to you and the needs of your hair so don’t just take my opinion for it. I encourage every natural hair to be choosy and try it for themselves and if it works great! If it doesn’t remove it from your hair regimen and keep searching. Your natural hair is much too precious to not discover the best possible methods for your hair type!

Natural Hair Care

What All New Naturals NEED to Know To Transition to Natural Hair Smoothly

18th March 2015
Woman with Afro Making Face

What All New Naturals NEED to Know

Going natural is probably one of the hardest and most freeing experiences a woman can do for herself. The initial insecurity and uncertainty are all apart of the process that will leave most feeling dazed on what to do next. However with your natural hair care genie at your side you’ll have real hair care advice from a real natural. As a newborn natural you’ll find that there’s a lot of information out there but finding what you NEED to know in the beginning in one place can be troubling. Save yourself the trouble of trial and error and learn what I wish someone would’ve told me from the beginning.

Your Hair Is Just That, YOUR Hair

You’ll probably be wanting to hit up every hair care blog and youtube channel on the web which is all the more enlightening and is very necessary but becoming engulfed in another natural’s journey can be damaging. My post big chop hair style was a bantu knot out, it turned out beautifully looking back on it now but then I was secretly freaking out. I thought “Am I really going to leave the house looking like this?” Looking at my true texture boldly staring back at me in the mirror was overwhelming. I have always had thick hair so my mother had me in relaxers by the time I learned how to tie my shoes. I had gotten use to the fantasy of my “straight hair” and completely broke away from my natural hair roots. I forgot what it was like to be kinky and most importantly that it was okay. I began to look to the web for other bantu knot styles and began to identify with the ones that turned out the best. I mimicked they’re technique, hair care products, and hair regimen and found that most of the time my natural hair didn’t look like theirs. Was it even suppose to? Of course not, I am me and they are them, we share the same journey and that Is all.

I had gotten use to the fantasy of my “straight hair” and completely broke away from my natural hair roots. I forgot what it was like to be kinky and most importantly that it was okay

First Bantu Knot out

Post Big Chop Bantu Knot Out

Get Used to Putting In A Lot Of Work

Everything that needs to be done in preparation for the correct way to take care of and handle your hair is yet to be learned. For example all that I had ever known was centralised around my processed hair. I needed to make up for absolute years of getting the bare minimum of moisture  if my hair could speak it would’ve slapped me and yelled “I’m thirsty and I been thirsty woman!” Your hair will need constant attention especially if you were a life long relaxer wearer like I was. It will be challenging to moisturise everyday but once you’re in the swing of things the amount of work you put in will just seem natural. While your hair may seem like it’s fighting you back and that twist out didn’t twist out correctly don’t put too much strain on your hair. The putting in of “work” really means moisture. Note how your hair responds to the level of product in your hair and you’ll soon know the prefect level that will keep your curls happy.

Don’t put too much strain on your hair. The putting in of “work” really means moisture

Get to Know Your Hair

Getting to know your hair is so essential, at first it’s natural to feel like a stranger to the new you. Get to know what your hair texture needs, what It truly needs. The worst thing that a newborn natural could ever do is to put her hair in a newly yielded categoric box and ignore their instincts. If your curls look sad but the woman on youtube said that it happens and it’s okay then one of you has to be wrong. In the beginning it is an absolute must that you familiarise yourself with your hair at it’s healthiest and at it’s daunting stages so that you can recognise when something’s up and begin to retain length. Call me crazy but I let my hair go without moisture for a few days just to see both ends of those spectrums. Once you get to know the ins and outs of your hair a hair care regimen will naturally occur and beautifully luscious and more obedient hair will follow.

The worst thing that a newborn natural could ever do is to put her hair in a categoric box and ignore their instincts

Water Water and More Water

Water is the most moisturising substance for kinky hair on the planet but because it evaporates so quickly it needs to be sealed in by using a moisturising cream over it or else your hair will just become dry all over again. Try an experiment for yourself just so you can truly see how big of a difference adding water to your regimen makes. Apply products without first applying water one day and then the next day apply them with water and the results will be visible. Not only will it improve moisture retention but it will also reduce the risk of tangles which can be detrimental. Getting tangles can lead to knots forming near your ends and ultimately halting length retention. Your hair should never be combed while dry for detangling purposes! Water is all powerful in weighing down those tight curls and giving them the moisture they need so before you apply any creams or oils spray it baby!

Not only will it improve moisture retention but it will also reduce the risk of tangles.

Experimenting With Products Is Necessary 

There are so many natural hair care products on the market that claim many things and will do so but for different heads. Your hair is unique to you due to heritage, diet and many other factors. From one natural to another you will find some products that are absolutely  terrible for your hair. You just have to get back on the horse and do your research. Look at the products that do agree with your hair and notice the ingredients and apply that to your product searches. Some will be ridiculously cheap and some very expensive but ultimately price based on value isn’t really plausible in this arena. I’ve found 4 dollar creams that gave me some of the best twist outs I’ve ever had. Trial and error are the name of the game and if it doesn’t work then throw it out of your regimen and move on.

Price based on value isn’t really plausible in this arena.

Expect People To Be People

This natural hair movement is a strong one and hopefully one day it will be accepted as the new norm for black women in society. However not everyone is on the bandwagon and many people won’t agree with it no matter what facts you throw at them. One of the initial comments I had from a family member was “when was I going to relax my hair again?” I almost choked on my gum with laughter at the fact of rocking my natural curls was unnatural to her. Not everyone is going to think it “looks good” but as long as you think it does then it does!  Remember there is an entire community out there supporting and doing exactly what you’re doing. This liberating decision you’re making isn’t for anyone else it’s for yourself. With some it’ll be a generational thing and others it will be sheer jealousy, no matter the jabs and snide comments your natural hair is beautiful and is not NAPPY.

Understanding Your Kinky Hair As A Whole

I thought something was wrong with my hair for the longest. No matter what I did to it or how many days straight I’d moisturise it, it remained feeling dry. You have to look back on the relaxer days where you had to grease your scalp and your hair would look slicked down and stiff. I dare you to try and grease your scalp with natural hair and assume that the same will happen. It boils down to the very strand of your hair, that “I just got my hair greased slick em’ down” look was due to the product being able to completely coat your hair strand because it was straight. However due to the kinky, curly, or zig zagging shape of your hair strand getting a product to completely coat your hair will be a lot trickier. Using water will weigh down those curls forcing them to loosen up and take to the products you’re using. Really paying attention to your ends is a must as well. They are after all the oldest parts of your hair and will be the hardest to keep moisturised. They’re the first part of your hair that your hands and clothing touch so they have it the roughest. Also your curly hair is naturally prone to dryness and frizziness but both of those things can be handled with proper use of product and care.

Once you embrace all of these factors your attitude will change towards your hair for the better. I always say that once you’ve had your first bad twist out and you can still doctor up your hair and leave the house with sheer confidence you’ve truly transitioned. I hope I’m not the first but if I am, I would like to welcome you to the natural hair journey!