On some forums or hair sites, I see people asking or saying that so many woman are going natural now and they are doing so because it's the "in thing to do". I think that statement is so wrong in many different ways.
So....here is MY point of view on the whole "Going Natural" thing.
1.) God gave US this hair! We were born with this. It is the hair that was intended for us- Enough Said
2.) For the most part, relaxers were used because many people or their parents couldn't manage their natural hair. Now there are wealth of resources to help teach us and guide us in caring for natural hair.
3.) Many woman I see on YOUTUBE, HAIR BOARDS or BLOGS (Not in real life, because the majority of woman I see out here in real life are still relaxing if they weren't already natural heads all their life) are going natural because:
a.) They are tired of the Chemical Damage
b.) They were able to grow healthy relaxed hair and realized they can do the same with their natural hair
c.) They like the versatility of Natural Hair
d.) They Started off stretching their relaxers and realized they were able to manage their natural hair texture as well as their relaxed and saw no point in continuing to relax
4.) More people are now seeing the beauty in natural hair. I'm not saying it wasn't seen in the past, but I feel like people were trying to conform with the "European" standards of the straight, silky hair. Now more and more woman are seeing how beautiful curls or "kinky" hair are.
Saying "going natural is the in thing to do" is like saying "Not wearing make-up is the in thing to do"
Side note: I was given a relaxer at a very young age, I was either 10 or 11. Before then, I had beautiful, thick, long natural hair. I wish I was never introduced to a relaxer, I mean NEVER. I was the little girl that always cried when I got my hair combed. So I was given a relaxer to help "manage" my hair, but all it did was BREAK my hair off time and time again until I discovered all of the hair care resources online. I went natural a few times in my life, by way of braids/weave, but only for my damaged relaxed ends to break off and to grow enough hair to relax again and start all over again.
The ONLY thing holding me back from going natural is the whole "Starting Over" thing. It will take me at least 3 years to get to the length I am at now and I'm an impatient person.
I decided to stretch my relaxer longer then 16 weeks. So far, I am 13 weeks post relaxer and I may go another 13 weeks. Yeah, I think I'm going for another 6 month stretch. To be honest with you all, I have been thinking about going natural for the last few weeks, but I still don't think I'm ready for that. For some reason, I think the only way I will go completely natural ,with no hesitation, is if I suffer a lot of breakage(knock on wood). So for now, I am going to stretch my relaxer out as long as possible and see what the future holds.
This is my new growth at 13 weeks post. (Don't mind the bad part)
And this is how I have been wearing my hair for the last week. A Bantu-Knot Out
I got some new hair sticks to help style my hair.
Hair sticks are a great tool for protective styles such as french rolls and buns because they add little tension to the hair yet holds the style really well. I usually use wide bobby pins or a cute hair clip, but I'm also going to use sticks from time to time.
*The plain ones in the middle were purchased from Sally's for about $4 and the other sets were purchased at the Dollar Store for $1 each set. Why is that I like the ones for a dollar better? Haha
I detangle my hair once a week. Meaning I thouroughly comb my hair to ensure I have no tangles in my roots and ends. The only other time during the week a comb touches my hair is if I co-wash or wash my hair. Usually after I apply my leave-ins, I would lightly comb my hair to distribute the products. Other than that I usually finger comb my hair through-out the week.
Detangling my hair takes about 1 hour total...it's somewhat of a chore..but in order to avoid matting I need to do it.
I do it once a week because less manipulation works better for me
So to detangle, I-
* Separate my hair in 4 sections then part each section into smaller sections
* Spray my roots with moisturizer mixed with water and apply the same to my ends
* Start Combing with a Wide Tooth Comb from the bottom to the top.
* Then spray my roots a little more then take a medium to small tooth comb and only comb my roots down, if it tangles a lot, I use a wide toot comb to clean up the mess
* Then I take my Wide Tooth Comb again and make sure that whole section from root to tip is fully detangled
Note- I usually detangle after washing my hair or the day after. BUT I'm going to try detangling before washing my hair and see how it goes. ( How many times can I say detanlge in one Post...hahahaha)
****Above picture is all hair lost during my last detangling session.Those are mostly shed hair and the typical amount of hair I lose without a week of coming. UGH!! I hate losing hair!!!!!
For your reading pleasure.... :-D I will touch on some of the facts in future posts.
Most people have around 100,000 hair follicles in their heads. You cannot increase them. You are born with it and no products can make it grow more follicles. However some people might have more due to genetic reasons. Some examples
Red heads - 90,000 hair follicles
Black hair - 110,000 hair follicles
Blond hair - 130,000 hair follicles
Your hair turns gray because the pigment cells known as melanin in your hair follicles are not working properly. The hair bulb usually degrades in production as you age or when you are stressed.
Stress is a major cause of hair loss and can cause Telogen Effluvium. Fact #3
Forty percent of women by the time they reach menopause will have female pattern (hereditary) hair loss. Over 50% of men by age 50 have male pattern hair loss.- Ummm scary! haha
As you age, the ANAGEN or growing phase shortens. If someone with a five-year ANAGEN can grow to a length of 60 cm before it enters the shedding phase. If their ANAGEN period drops to three years as they age, their hair will then grow only to shoulder length before it falls out or is brushed out.
Usually people will only notice that you are balding when you have lost almost 50% of the hair in your scalp. When you reach that stage, it might be too late to recover back all your hair.
When you are born, you have around 1000 follicles per square centimetre. When you reach 25, it falls to around 600 per square centimetre but can vary depending on the individual. By your mid 30s to 40s, your hair follicles will reduce to around 300 or less. After that, there won't be any significant drop.
Each follicle can grow many hairs over a lifetime: on average, each grows a new hair around twenty times.
When your hair is wet, it can increase its length by up to 30% and still return to normal length after it's dried. If you stretch your hair too often (while wet) you can damage it and cause breakage to the hair shaft.
Depending on the individual, the hair follicle can grow up to 1 metre in length before it stops growing.
Waist-length hair is 80-90 cm long, and will have taken about seven years to grow. Shoulder length hair will have taken only about three years. Thus only people with long ANAGEN times can expect to grow their hair down to the waist.
If you damage your scalp, your hair follicle will start a new growing phase. Cuts and wounds will cause the hair to grow around them provided that there is no scarring in the hair follicle
The width of the hair shaft is determined by your genes, and is not affected by anything you do to your skin or to the hair shaft itself.
Next to bone marrow, hair is the fastest growing tissue in the human body.
Your hair is made of keratin, the same ingredient as your fingernails. Keratin is a type of protein generated by your body's stem cells.
A strand of hair has a thickness of roughly 0.02 - 0.04 mm, so you'll need around 20 to 50 hair strands combined together for 1 milimetre of thickness.
Your hair's strength is equilavent to a wire of iron. You can only rip it by applying a force of approximately 60kg after stretching it to about 70%
Usually East Asians hair are often very straight and always black in color. Caucasions have the most varied form of hair. They range from the fair-skinned people of north-west Europe to the widely varying peoples of the Indian subcontinent. Their hair may be either wavy or straight, and the diameter varies widely too. The color ranges from black to a pale blond that is almost white, including just about every possible shade in between. People with African origins usually have black and curly hair. It tends to be dry and woolly. - Not feeling that word..haha
You can't repair split ends on your hair. The only way to get rid of it is by cutting it.
If you pluck out one of your hair, a new hair will start to grow from the hair follicle.
Hair loss by changing shampoo is one of the most asked hair facts.Shampooing frequently can result in more hairs in the TELOGEN phase to fall out faster especially if the hair is shampooed more energetically than usual. This is why, whenever there is a change in the shampoos or conditioners, or a move to new brushes, loose hairs are often found for two or three days after the change.
The extra hair loss has nothing to do with the product and will settle in a day or two. Usually, you will find that the hair that you lost will start to grow back almost immediately.
First I would like to thank all of my readers...old and new... for your continued support! I have only been blogging since May and I must say I love it. BUT during the Holidays..I will not be able to post on a normal basis. It's a very busy time of the year(work and my personal life) for myself and I bet for you too. I have well over 200 posts...so if you miss me(lol) feel free to go back a little.
As for my hair.. To make things easier for me, I take my creamy moisturizer and add a little rosewater and distilled water in a spray bottle...then I just spray all through my hair then bun or clip it up. I sometimes seal with oil..but I noticed that at times I don't even need the oil. I don't suggest this method for those who wear their hair down...but it's been working for me. I still use my new-growth spray daily to help with my 11 weeks post new-growth...but that's about it.
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! Stay Blessed :-)
As the year comes to an end I have several goals for 2011. Every year I would like to see some kind of improvement in my life, progress is necessary. I have career goals, personal goals and of course some hair goals. Last year I didn't really have any hair goals so I don't have anything to go back to...but for this year I have a list of goals I will strive to achieve.
So here they are:
1) Reach Full APL by end of January 2011-Made it in May
2) Have Thick Hair from Root to Tip- Basically I will maintain Full APL by my 2 year Hair Journey Date (May 22, 2011), So I will cut off 1/2 inch every month until the end of May- I did make full and somewhat thick APL by May
3) Relax NO MORE than 4 times a year- Relaxed 4 times this year
4) Spend NO MORE than $300 lets make that $500 for the year on hair products- I will be tracking this-Yeah right! Don't think I made this goal. But I will tally up my posts and see what I come up with
5) Limit amount of Products- hmmm I think I may have more products than last year
6) Come up with more creative hair styles- I will track this on my blog too :-) - Didn't do, but there is always next year.
7) Only Wear MY hair (No weave, braids, half wigs)-Wore single braids and cornrows with extentions. What can I say, they help me retain length
8) Become my own Stylist- No Salon Visits- Went to the salon twice. Both were complete fails!
9) Reach BSL by December 2011- I don't think I made this goal, but length check will be on Dec. 23 or 30th
10) Make this the last year I actively grow my hair out. My main goal is to be BSL so I will maintain that for years to come- This IS my last year trying to grow my hair out regardless the length I end up with
Once I finish up my Coconut Oil, the next oil I will purchase is Avocado Oil. I heard many great things about this oil and when I was going grocery shopping the other day, I was so tempted to purchase it. Like many other oils, there are a number of vitamins and nutrients found in Avocado Oil that can aid in hair related issues. I will use this oil as a sealant and if I decide to do any hot oil treatments.
Here are some of the benefits of Avocado Oil:
Rich in nutrients, amino acids, and essential fatty acids, this nutritional oil is excellent for enhancing hair health. It supplies vitamins A, B, D, and E to nourish both hair follicles and the scalp. Vitamin E also acts as a protective antioxidant. It has natural humectant properties, adding and locking in moisture. The monounsaturated fatty acids will give hair a glossy shine and silky texture. The amino acids will promote the growth of new hair cells.
Anyone will benefit from an avocado oil hair treatment, but it is particularly useful for damaged, chemical-treated hair. Dry, brittle locks are a sign of a nutrient-deprived hair. Avocado oil is a simple, natural, and inexpensive solution to replenish hair with the nourishment it needs to recover and thrive. Frizzy hair also benefits from avocado oil, as it will relax chaotic strands.
For many people that frequent hair boards, you see challenges which help curbs one "Product Junkieness".
One challenge that I see a lot is called "Use One, Buy One". Basically, once you use up on of your products whether it be a conditioner, moisturizer, deep conditioner or so forth, that is when you buy one to replace it. For some that may seem normal...and your probably like "duh, I do that anyway". But, for some...trust me, it's not. I have like 3 different Deep Conditioners sitting in my house, 2 different shampoos...I just have a lot of products that I do not use on a consistent basis that I'm trying to get rid of. Although I do have staple products, that I will always re-purchase, I still find a need to purchase something else in hopes it may be better.
So, I have a new challenge for myself....I said this before...but I need to have this in writing(again) so I stick with this. I will not buy anymore products until I absolutely need them, hence the title "Use One, Buy One".
I'm starting off slow, so I will make this a 4 month challenge for myself and hope I can continue on for the rest of my life. haha
I am now 10 weeks post relaxer and this is the point when my new growth really starts to come in.
To avoid any type of breakage, I have to make sure I keep my new-growth very moisturized along with the rest of my hair, but I pay extra attention to my demarcation line.
For the last 2.5 months, I have been using an Aloe Vera Mix which was originally made as a "growth aid", but now it's a perfect solution to keep my new growth moisturized as well. I use this mix at least once a day, usually in the morning and I would just finger part my hair and spray. This will definitely be a staple in my regimen.
I put my mix in a 4 oz spray bottle to avoid any type of dripping when sprayed on my scalp/new growth and it consists of:
Up to Pink Line: Castor Oil
Up to Black Line: 99.9% Aloe Vera Juice
Above Black Line: 8 drops of Rosemary Oil and 10 Drops of Eucalyptus Oil (if pregnant please consult with a physician before using any type of essential oil)
I shake before every use.
I haven't written about castor oil, so see below for a little bit of the benefits. For the Aloe Vera, Eucalyptus and Rosemary Oil benefits, feel free to click on the links I placed above.
Castor Oil prevents hair loss and regenerates hair
The anti-bacterial and anti-fungicidal properties of Ricinoleic Acid in castor oil protects the scalp and hair from infections which can cause hair loss. The Omega-9 fatty acids in castor oil also nourish the hair and prevent the scalp from drying.
Rubbing castor oil on your scalp and the roots of your hair will regenerate new hair growth within months. This will also thicken thinning hair
My face/skin has always been a sensitive issue for me because I am the only person in my immediate family that suffered from acne, hyperpigmentation and dark spots. I have been going through this since the age of 14 and after trying out every product under the sun and many doctor visits, I have finally nipped most of my issues in the bud. I stopped using any topical medications and decided to try to battle my skin issues the "natural" way.
One thing that really has helped me was increasing my water intake and taking multi-vitamins daily. I noticed a change in my skin immediately.
On top of that, I changed my products(to more natural ones) and so far..knock on wood..my skin is to my liking. It's not perfect, but I have come a long way and I am very satisfied.
My Regimen is as follows:
Wash hands(of course) Rinse face with Cold Water (Thanks to Tola , I will now be rinsing with warm water first to open up the pores)
Apply Face wash- Dr. Woods Black Soap with Shea Butter Rinse off with Warm water - (Thanks to Tola , I will now be rinsing off with cold water)
Blot skin with the softest yet non flaky toilet paper( I used to use wash cloths, but I feel like they breed bacteria unless I use a new one every single day which is too much for me)
* This is the point where I used to tone my face, but the toner I used I believe was irritating my skin..so I skipped it for the last 3 weeks,
Apply Nadinola Discoloration Fade Cream to dark spots only with Q-Tip
Apply Mill Creek Aloe Vera Gel as a facial Moisturizer( Aloe Vera gel is very moisturizing for my skin and it restores the PH balance that was depleted by washing.)
Twice a Week
I follow the above but I add Baking Soda to the face wash, apply to skin then let it sit for like 10 minutes then I rinse off- This somewhat exfoliates my skin
*I always wash my face before I go to the Gym
Wash hands(of course)
Rinse face with Warm Water
Apply Face wash- Dr. Woods Black Soap with Shea Butter
Rinse off with Cold Water
Blot skin with the softest yet non flaky toilet paper( I used to use wash cloths, but I feel like they breed bacteria unless I use a new one every single day which is too much for me)
Apply Mill Creek Aloe Vera Gel if skin is dry
She grew her hair long by doing weekly blow drying/ flat ironing.....but for some reason that causes breakage on my hair.
She grew her hair long by doing weekly roller sets...but I'm too lazy for all that.
She grew her hair long by only washing her hair once a month....but I work-out at least 2-3 times a week and like a sweat free scalp, so I co-wash and wash more often
She's able to wear her hair down every single day with no protective styles and still has long hair....but when I did that, my hair never grew past shoulder length
She doesn't moisturize her hair often, yet it still looks healthy....but if I didn't moisturize and seal my hair daily I would have excessive dryness and breakage
Do you see the pattern yet? It goes hand in hand with my title. Different strokes for Different Folks. What works for some may not work for others. The whole point of a hair journey is to find what works for you. Yes, I do believe if your trying to reach a goal you never reached before you should try out techniques that worked for a large # of people, but if what your doing is working perfectly fine...then keep on doing it.
As you can see, Bantu Knot Outs have been my style of choice lately. Their quick and easy to do, so I have been lazy and just do those. As said before, in 2011 I will have much more creative hair styles.
It's always good to try new things with your hair, even if others aren't necessarily liking it(others meaning me). I actually like the side view of this hair-do, but not really feeling it from the front. None-the-less, Alicia Keys looks great, especially for having a baby not too long ago!
Protein is very important for hair growth. Because hair is protein, consuming an adequate amount of protein will result in improved hair growth(if you feel like your hair is not growing at it's maximum potential). I read up and found that adults should consume no less than 30 Grams of Protein a day, 50 Grams is ideal.
Here is an example of my breakfast and lunch schedule to make sure I get enough protein. For dinner, I usually have some sort of chicken or fish, so I am guaranteed to receive at least 10 grams of protein for dinner.
2 Boiled Eggs- about 12 grams of protein
Cheese( I looove Cheese. Like really love)- 6 grams of protein
Banana- 1 gram of protein
Tuna Fish Sandwich - 15 Grams of Protein
Turkey Sandwich- 8 Grams of Protein
or Ham and Cheese Sandwich- 11-14 grams or Protein
Sometimes I would have pizza or fried chicken(I know, not healthy), but I am bringing my lunches to work now because it's getting cold out and I hate leaving the building.
Peanuts or Almonds of some sort- 6-8 grams of Protein
Common protein rich foods can include:
Lean Meats, Fish, and Poultry
Beans, Tofu, Lentils, and other Legumes
Grains, including bread and pasta
Nuts and Seeds
Some ideas for high protein foods that can combine more than one protein rich food, such as a cheeseburger, which includes meat, cheese, and a bun, include:
Tuna Fish Sandwich
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
Macaroni and Cheese
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
I had my hair out yesterday and most of last week due to the Holiday season. I rarely have my hair out, so I doubt any damage was caused, but I am back to buns for the remainder of the week.
I NEED to come up with more creative protective styles with my own hair which is a goal for 2011. But for now, I am doing the regular boring bun.
Why Are Buns or Protective Styles Important- If you have Shoulder Length or longer hair and are trying to grow your hair longer...Not only do you need to keep your ends moisturized, but you also need to keep the ends protected/tucked in. When hair is loose, it rubs against clothing which can cause unwanted split ends and it's also prone to break off easily.
Bun Made with just 2 bobby pins, nothing else
Oh and now I know another reason why I don't wear make-up like that...it adds more time for me to get ready in the morning! So, I'm going to experiment more on the weekends and stick with what I know best and have learned during the work week.
Also, the jet black hair I had from the Henna and Indigo is fading, could be because I Henna-ed only again on Saturday..haha..I will do a full Henna and Indigo treatment before the end of the year.
Now, those who know me...know I barely ever wear make up. If I do, it's some mascara, a little eyeliner, lip gloss then I'm good to go.
But..when I went home for Thanksgiving, my mother gave me a boat load of eyeshadow pallets and brushes! Now, I'm interested in perfecting my make-up technique by watching You-Tube videos and reading tips online.
For now, I'm only doing my eyes because I was never a big fan of concealer/foundation. I have very sensitive skin, so I was afraid of break-outs and also I always felt like I don't want to mask my face from the world.
What you see is what you get!
But, when I visit my sister soon, we're going shopping for some MAC make-up and I'll use the concealer/foundation sparingly.
Anyway..Here's my Work Friendly Look for today. As you can see I am a COMPLETE BEGINNER!
This is my first time using more than one shade of eyeshadow..so be easy on me. hahaa
I'm working with a 3.2 Mega Pixel phone camera here..haha..so the pics don't show the colors that well
First I added somewhat of a Primer (for now I'm using this Milani Concealer that I just bought and so far it seems to work well. I will purchase a real primer soon) Eyelids- A light gold color Crease and up to brow bone-Shimmer Brown Highlight(under my eyebrow)- Shimmer white
Used a blending brush to get rid of harsh lines Top of eyelid- Liquid Eyeliner Eyelashes(top and bottom)- Mascara * Sorry, I don't know exact colors of shadow, my pallet is at home
1.) It's healthier for my scalp - No matter how mild the
relaxer is and how much I base my scalp, my scalp always ends up burning. It may not be a serious burn where my scalp is peeling or what-not, but it's enough to make me want to wait a little while until my next touch-up.
2.) I am able to manage my two textures - Many people relax at 6 or 8 weeks because either they are conditioned to or they see tons of breakage and shedding if they wait any longer. For me, I am able to keep my newgrowth moisturized to avoid breakage, my relaxed ends strong because of protein and shedding is to a minimum because of my Aloe Vera Spritz. I also used to use braids as a way to assist me in stretching for a month on and off, but this stretch I wont be doing so.
3.) I Love the Surprise Ending- When you stretch for longer than 8 weeks, you will most likely accumulate more than an inch of growth. During the stretch if your not straightening your hair, you will not know the true length until you relax. My shrinkage from my new growth is crazy and I rarely straighten my hair, so when I relax I see the length I gained which is a pleasant surprise.
4.) My Hair Gains a Little Thickness- When I used to relax 8 weeks or sooner, my hair was thin because of overlapping. Now that I wait a while, I have enough new-growth to avoid overlapping. I am able to only relax my new-growth and not previously relaxed hair.
5.) Saves me Money- I'm trying to be a complete do-it-yourselfer, but I was going to a salon for my touch-ups. Ya'll know those are one of the most expensive services. By stretching a relaxer, instead of paying $70-$1**? Every 8 weeks, I would spend that amount every 12-16 weeks.
I am not ready to take the natural hair plunge, so for the time being I'm more comfortable stretching my relaxers and receiving less chemical treatments yearly.
I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving!
I decided to stretch my relaxer to 16 weeks. Currently, I am 8 weeks post relaxer and my new-growth is very manageable, so I'm like heeey..I can go another 8 weeks. This leaves me relaxing my hair around January 18th.
I told myself that I would not relax my hair no more then 4 times a year, so if I were to relax in December which I originally decided, I would be relaxing 5 times this year. Which is the number one reason I plan on stretching to 16 weeks. Also, I realize my hair is the most healthiest when I stretch to at least 16 weeks.
My Hair Yesterday to show some of my newgrowth
Last night I did a mild protein treatment, followed by a moisturizing deep conditioning treatment..let my hair airdry for an hour..sectioned my hair..applied heat protectant to each section..then Blow Dryed my hair with Medium heat.
I used this Andis Ionic Blow Dryer which I purchased from Target for $20.00 and used the wide tooth comb attachment.
This was my first time in 7.5 months blowdrying my hair. I mainly blow dryed because halfway through parts of my hair are texlaxed areas...so I wanted to get those areas straight so I can dust my hair evenly, which I dusted about a quarter of an inch. My hair felt a little dry after blow-drying, so I'll make sure if I continue to do so..I will keep it at a once a month maximum kind of thing just to dust my ends evenly.
On average a person has between 100,000- 110,000 hairs on their head.
Keep in mind us Colored Folk (I would say African American..but not every1 is American..haha) have the most fragile hair even with-out chemical treatments.
If you see about 5-6 broken hairs a day...there should be no need to stress or be worried. 6 Strands a day would be about 2,190 pieces of hair out of how much strands on our head? Granted there is shedding in between that, but the only reason you should be alarmed is if you have excessive breakage. Like hair all over your sink, floors, clothes...you know what I mean...and if you have a noticable broken areas of hair
..If that's the case then you need to get your moisture and protein balance in check, which I have various posts on.
The reason I posted this is because I even freak out if I see a broken hair and I'm sure others do too. So, don't freak out and I'll try not to either.
There are many ways to accessorize your hair..you can do so with a cute clip, a flower, headbands, scarf and the list goes on.
Remember, Hair Accessories are not only for children! They are an easy way to spice up any style you have.
So...if you get a little bored with your hair, don't be afraid to accessorize!
These are just a few of the hair candies I have. Some are used for buns(the satin scrunchies which I use as a base then wrap my hair around it), some are for when I wear my hair down(I like to clip my left side back). If you look at my older posts, I usually wear a headband of some sorts to add a little something to my do.
...is the distance from my shoulders to my armpits. I love being tall(6ft to be exact)...but I swear everything about me is extra long. I have a long neck, long torso and extremely long legs. The fact that my neck and torso are so long...it takes me a little while to reach all of my goals. So, I reached full Shoulder Length in January and had about an inch cut off March 26th which left me back at SL. On average, hair grows about .5 inches a month...so if I am able to retain most of my Length and my hair grows at it's maximum potential..I think I will reach full APL by January. My original goal was December, but I have to be realistic about my goals and the fact that I want a trim to even up my hair doesn't help either.
To make sure my hair grows at least .5 inches a month, I will
* Do Scalp massages at least 3 times a week * Up my protein intake- This is more for my fitness goals but it will help with my hair as well * Maintain a clean, healthy scalp * Take vitamins daily (Multi,Omega 369, MSM) fyi-I'm taking a break from Biotin and Super B-Complex * Drink at least 1.5 liters of water daily * 3 days a week of cardio or weight training
I also have to retain my length and will do so by
* Moisturizing and sealing daily * Protective styling- Keeping my ends tucked away * No heat
Whether your hair is short, long, relaxed or natural..the main concern should be the health of your hair.
In my eyes, good hair means to have healthy hair so if your hair is damaged...you need to work on repairing the damage first and foremost.
Here are a few tips to get your hair healthy and keeping it healthy. One thing you have to remember is that it doesn't happen over night but after a few months you should see a drastic change.
Cut off any dead, damaged, split ends- I prefer to cut hair when its completely straight and dry. This is where you see the true length and state of the hair
Take some time and do a search and destroy method over your whole head of hair- This is where you examine the long and short strands of your hair and cut off any split ends you see.
Wash Day(once a week or every other week)
Clarify your Hair- by clarifying or washing your hair, you are removing any residue and products from hair. This is giving you a clean slate to start from.
Deep Condition- If you hair is extremely elastic and damaged..I suggest you start of with a protein treatment. For serious cases of Damaged hair..Aphogee has a 2 step Protein Treatment that I heard works wonders. The first step is the hard protein then the next step is the balancing moisture. Or you can whip up an egg into your favorite conditioner, apply and leave on hair for 15-20 minutes and follow up with a moisturizing deep conditioner. If your hair is just really dry, then do a moisturizing deep conditioning treatment.
Always apply a Leave-in Conditioner- This is to ensure your hair dries with moisture locked in your strands and a good leave-in will help combat frizziness
Cut back from Direct Heat such as blow-dryers and flat-irons- Try drying hair with a roller set, a wet wrap if your hair is freshly relaxed and detangled properly or air-drying
Day to Day Maintenance
Moisturize your strands when you feel you need to- I do this daily...but some people do every other day or 3 times a week. Remember, dry hair will cause breakage and split ends. You need to keep your hair moisturized at all times
Seal with Oil- I always use a natural oil such as coconut, jojoba, grapeseed or castor oil(which is really thick sometimes too thick) to seal in the moisturizer I apply to my hair. Some people use a grease to seal in moisture. Because Grease does not moisturize hair it can be used as a sealant. It's your preference. As long as your hair feels moisturized through out the day and you see no damage...do what works for you
Always wrap hair at night with a Silk/Satin Scarf- Cotton can be drying to the hair and can cause unwanted breakage and split ends so by using a satin/silk scarf you will be able to retain moisture better
Take up Protective Styling- Wigs, Weave, Braids, Buns and so forth help protect the hair especially your ends. You just have to make sure you still take care of your hair when doing so.
Health- Healthy Hair starts from the inside
Take a Multi-Vitamin every day- We sometimes don't get the needed vitamins from the foods we eat. A multi-vitamin will keep your body in check
Drink Plenty of Water- I try to drink 2 liters a day. We all know water is good for us...try up your water intake.
Don't forget about your Yearly Physicals- Self Explanatory. A healthy body produces healthy hair. A lot of women have low iron levels for example, this is a big cause in hair breakage, your doctor will be able to detect this and provide medication/pills/vitamins(whatever) to fix it.
Exercise- Whether this is once a week or 3 times a week, like I said a healthy body produces healthy hair
Don't Stress!!!!- Stress is a leading cause of hair loss. Find a way to combat stress. Pick up a book and read, meditate, take walks, talk to a friend, go out dancing..just don't stress too much.
Stretch your Relaxers- If you are relaxed. The less chemical treatments the better. If you usually relax every 6 weeks, try to bump it up to 8 or 10. This will help prevent overlapping/overprocessing.
Research- There are many resources for black hair care now-a-days. Use your due diligence and research issues you may have and suggestions to fix it
Stick to What Works Best - Many people suffer set-backs when they try new things that they don't even need. If what your doing seems to work well for you, stick with it. Consistency is Key!
When washing your face or applying any type of moisturizer always do so in an upward circular motion. By doing so, you will decrease the chance of early wrinkles in the future.
*You never want to pull your skin down!
I know everyone out there has one part of their hair that grows faster then the rest. For me, it's the back/nape middle of my hair. It looks like I have a tail in the back of my head and whenever I cut it off to even out my hair, it still grows back just as fast and looks exactly the same. I can't cut/trim my hair now, because I am 7 weeks post relaxer and not using heat until the end of December, so if I were to cut I may end up with very uneven hair. I would love for my sides to catch up with the back, but I don't know if that will happen. So for now I have to deal with my tail which I am not dealing with much because my hair is either up or in a braidout/bantu-knot out.
Damp Hair- 60% Dry
*I wasn't supposed to take any more hair pics until December, but I just wanted to see if I was close to my goal.
It may seem like I do a lot of Rihanna posts, but she's forever switching up her hair.
It looks like she's sticking with the Red hair for a little though.
She stated in a recent interview that she decided to go Red because her new Album name is "Loud" and red is a loud color.(this is not verbatim)
Not sure how I feel about the hair, but Rihanna looks beautiful nonetheless.
Who Didn't love Rudy's hair on the Cosby Show? I sure did and always thought and still think she has beautiful hair!
Here is a little of advice she offers for healthy hair.
Clutch: Your hair always looks amazing, do you have any tips?
Keshia: Well, I must say I don’t put any chemicals in it at all, and I just think that when you’re healthy and you eat good food and workout and take care of yourself, those are the places that it shows first.
I said this many times, but I have not used any direct heat in my hair since April 2nd. That's a long time for me because the first year of my hair journey, I would get Dominican Blow-outs every other month. Now that I think of it, that may have hindered my journey. In April, when I saw how my hair looked slightly thin..I decided to give up direct heat and the hair salon for a while until I gain my thickness back.
It's hard to wear your hair straight without the use of heat, so for now..I can only rely on Bantu-Knot Outs and Braid-Outs when I want to wear my hair down.
So for today...I am wearing a braid-out done with 2 Cornrows.
After air-drying my hair yesterday..I just put a little moisturizer in my hair...then put some Shea-butter mixed with Coconut Oil in my hand/fingers while I braided my hair...
In the morning, I just added a little straight coconut oil to my braids then un-braided....
I know a few people who don't feel comfortable washing and styling their own hair, so they rely on their Stylist for the healthy hair they would like.
Here are a few tips for those who go to Salons on a normal basis.
1) Pre-poo your hair the night before going to the salon- Meaning Apply Oils or your fav conditioner mix to your hair from root to tip. By doing this, you are preparing your hair from the drying ingredients in whatever shampoo they may use
2) Lightly Detangle Your hair while you have the pre-poo in your hair- I say to do this, because at times, some stylists can be rough when combing your hair. When you detangle it yourself, you can avoid major hair loss while at the salon
3) If needed, bring your own products- Sometimes the Salon does not have what works well for our hair. For instance a lot of salons I have gone to do not use Porosity Control. If the one you go to doesn't and your hair is porous, bring one and ask for them to use it as a final rinse. If you have a particular Deep Conditioner that works well on your hair, bring it. If they are using a shampoo that you feel like is stripping your hair and you have a sulfate free one you like, bring it. Don't be afraid to use your own products.
4) SPEAK UP!- If something is being done to your hair that you do not like, speak up. IT'S YOUR HAIR! You have to live with it, not them. You are paying for a service that should be done to your liking!
5) Take Care of your hair in between visits- Wrap your hair at night and make sure to moisturize and seal. Just because you went to the salon does not mean your hair does not need to be taken care of during the week.
6) Make sure you still maintain your Protein and Moisture Balance- This is important in having healthy hair especially for those who relax. What I suggest before doing a deep conditioning treatment at the salon, ask them to do use a 2 minute Reconstructer in your hair first. Or just speak to your stylist if you believe you need protein and see what they may suggest.
(Go into the search field and type Protein to see my other posts on Protein)
7) For a Touch-up always base your scalp and coat previously relaxed ends with oil or vaseline- Some salons don't do this and this will help with burning and overlapping/overprocessing.
If there is anything anyone thinks I may have missed, feel free to let me know!
I was getting tired of my buns that I wear almost every day:
So I decided to do a Bantu Knot out for today.
After the gym last night, I co-washed my hair, applied my leave-ins and let it air dry. When it was about 90% dry, I sectioned my hair off, moisturized and sealed with Shea-butter mixed with Coconut Oil then put in 6 Bantu Knots. I secure them with these small ponytail holders
This Morning, I un-did each knot:
Then I separated my hair a little:
Dang my hair looks short, let me make sure I still have some length..haha
All done, and ready to go to work.(YES, those are stained glass windows in the background. I live in an old church so I am constantly BLESSED!)
I tried to take texture shots of my hair so you can see what hair type I am. I think like most, the texture of our hair varies depending on what part of the head we're looking at. For instance, the middle of my hair is more course than any other part(so about 4C) the front is a tighter curl(4b) and the back is a looser curl(about 4A).