Friday, April 4, 2014
Sew-ins are great. They keep your hair away so you don’t have to style it. They give your hair a break from the elements. However, it is not a hairstyle that allows you to be lazy. Neglecting the hair underneath is a big mistake many women make when wearing sew- ins. Not paying attention to the hair underneath the weave can leave you with a mess once you take the weave down. However it’s not that easy to access the hair underneath the weave. Washing your hair, moisturizing your scalp and of course scratching become ten times harder when wearing a sew-in. How can you take care of your hair without your weave becoming greasy and product heavy? I have some tips that may help, especially if you maintain your sew-ins without the help of a beautician.
Monday, March 10, 2014
Moisturizing natural hair can feel like a “complex art” at times, and moisture-related myths certainly do not help the situation. Here are a few of those myths that I want to debunk today:
1. Protein conditioners are a no-no Protein conditioners can actually help damaged hair – or even just older ends of the hair – retain moisture. Here is how: Your cuticle layer acts as a protective layer for the inner cortex of your hair strand. When the cuticle layer is damaged – e.g., broken cuticle scales, missing cuticle scales, lifted cuticle scales, etc. – moisture retention becomes difficult. Protein conditioners can help by temporarily patching up this layer, thus helping to “seal” in moisture in a way.
2. Moisturizing daily is a must Moisturizing daily is not an automatic requirement that comes with being natural. Believe it or not, there are some of us out here who can go anywhere from a few days to a week without re-moisturizing our hair. How long you can go between moisturizing sessions depends on several factors, especially the characteristics of your hair, the style you are wearing (protective vs. loose), AND the effectiveness of your products and method. Moisturizing daily is not a must for every natural.
3. Hair without shine = dry hair Even though I want to say that this myth has already been debunked, there are still naturals who believe that hair that lacks shine equals dry hair. Truth be told, shine is a function of a few factors, including what products you use and how stretched or straight your hair is. When light reflects off of this “flat” surface, (i.e. the stretched/straight hair) it can cause the shine we see. Oils and other products can enhance this shine even more. Now naturals who have very tight coils and kinks may have sheen – a soft luster – when their hair is moisturized, but not necessarily a shine… and that is not a bad thing. So how can you tell if your hair is dry? Well one attribute of moisturized hair is pliability.
4. Products that contain alcohol will dry out the hair … it depends on what the alcohol is. I have heard some people adamantly say, “I refuse to buy a conditioner with alcohol in it,” believing that cetyl alcohol is a drying alcohol. The truth is cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol, just to name a few, are “fatty alcohols.” Fatty alcohols are not at all drying like the rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) you would put on a wound. (Actually, many fatty alcohols are waxy.) The inclusion of cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol on an ingredients label is usually due to use as one of the following:
a) a thickener or thickening agent
b) an emulsifier
c) an emollient. And guess what? Emollients can help to soften the hair!
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Some of these tips are no-brainers and techniques that we already
practice. So, I think it’s probably best to pick and choose the techniques that are likely to work for you and modify as needed:
Don’t over-manipulate the hair at the nape with brushing and/or combing.
Be very gentle when detangling the nape area (finger detangling is recommended).
Wear styles that prevent your nape hair from rubbing your clothing as excessive friction can cause damage and breakage.
Avoid placing a lot of tension on the nape hair with overly tight weaves, braids, bun and ponytail styles.
Protect the nape at night with a silk/satin scarf and/or bonnet ensuring that this area is fully covered.
A satin pillowcase adds yet another level of protection in the event that your headgear is prone to “slippage” like mine.
If you use commercial permanent colors, apply dyes to the nape last so that it is processed for less time or don’t treat this area at all.
If/when you use heat, reduce the temperature and ensure the hair is adequately treated with a heat protector.
Moisturize and seal this hair more if hair it is prone to dryness. This applies to using additional conditioner through the wash session (regular conditioner, deep conditioner) and moisture during styling (leave-in, styler, sealing).
Massage the scalp to promote circulation and growth. (I use an essential oil mix that has been proven to stimulate growth.
Braid the nape hair into a horizontal cornrow and thread the length through the cornrow to protect it.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
A Spray Bottle is a Natural Hair Necessity. If you do not have a spray bottle, get one! It is one of the best investments you can make. Spritzing the hair with water is the best way to refresh those curls in between washes.
Sunday, February 16, 2014
1. Don’t touch your hair
It can be tempting to play with your new hair growth, but excessive manipulation causes breakage. Keeping your hair back and out of your face (in braids, buns, twists, etc) will help relieve some of the temptation to touch your hair. If you want to keep it, don’t touch it!
2. Lay off the heat
Every time you use heat on your hair, you are damaging it. Try going six months without using heat and see what happens; your hair will be much healthier and you will have better length retention. Cutting back will still make a difference—if you usually use heat every day, try only using it once a week.
3. Protective Styling
Protective styles are great for length retention—they require little to no manipulation and your hair will be protected from environmental damage. But you can’t completely forget about your hair when it’s in a protective style. Remember to continue cleansing moisturizing your scalp and hair on a regular basis.
4. Finger Detangling
Finger detangling is best for fine hair or hair that’s prone to breakage. But there is definitely a fine line when it comes to detangling—as I mentioned earlier, you want to avoid excessive manipulation. You should detangle as little as possible, while keeping your hair as untangled as possible. Protective styling is a great way to keep that balance, and you should use natural oils or conditioner in the detangling process to avoid breakage. And of course, patience is key!
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
There are many reasons as to why you should choose a silk pillow case instead of a traditional cotton pillowcase. Over the recent years, silk pillowcases have gained increasing popularity not only as a beautiful and opulent addition to your bed, but also as a beauty product for healthy and great looking hair. Here are the top three reasons why a silk pillow case is good for your hair:
You spend a lot of time on your pillowcase at night. There is no other material that your hair is in contact with for so long as that of your pillowcase. Therefore, the properties of the material used in your pillowcase are very important for beautiful and healthy hair. The moisture-wicking property of silk is one of the features that make silk pillowcases a good investment in the beauty of your hair. Silk can absorb up to 30% of its own weight in moisture - which in your case is perspiration - and still remain dry. Moisture will be wicked away from your hair for a comfortable sleep and keep your hair looking great longer.
Cotton pillows have a coarser texture that can cause your hair to break and tangle, matt, and get frizzy as you toss your head or rub it against the pillowcase every night. Unlike cotton, a silk pillowcase is made of perfectly smooth fibres. This means that sleeping on a silk pillowcase will cause no mechanical irritation to your hair. More importantly, silk fibres have a very similar structure with that of the human hair, containing 97% amino acids and 3% waxy and fat fibres. This helps reduce hair damage, such as split ends.
Among the many wonderful properties of silk, you can include its chemical-free composition. This means that your hair will be healthier and happier when you sleep on a silk pillowcase.
Your pillowcase is one of the most important parts of your bedding as it stays in contact with your hair and skin for long hours. What more appropriate material to use for your pillowcase than silk, the most luxurious fabric on the planet? A silk pillowcase is a great investment that can offer you healthy, smooth looking hair, soft and hydrated skin, a comfortable sleep, and, of course, a luxurious feeling that no other man made material can match.