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