Growing Hair out through Flat Twists

26 Jan

Managing your hair while it is in flat twists is easier than if it was out, but that does not mean you can neglect your hair while it is in twists. It is in a protected style and your hair is protected–but it still needs daily TLC! Without giving it proper moisturizing, it will dry out and be tangly and worse off than when you begun. So all that hard work for nothing!

image08Start off by deep conditioning your hair for 1-2 hours minimum. Use your favourite, moisturizing conditioners, deep conditioning masques and oils–or whatever else you fancy during your deep conditioners (I mixed coconut milk, paraben and sulfate-free conditioner with Castor oil today). Once you are ready to rinse, be sure to detangle your hair with a wide tooth comb or your fingers before washing out the conditioner completely. This is the easiest time to detangle your curls and kinks. Once your hair is detangled, rinse out your deep conditioner and air dry your wet hair. While it is damp, add your moisturizers. Be very liberal when lathering in your oils and creams! Remember your hair will be in twists so you will not be able to reach every strand later on. Coat EVERY strand of hair with your moisturizer. Try coconut oil, Shea butter or some jojoba oil. When your hair is fully coated and moisturized, begin to twist your hair.

Every day, be sure to massage a bit of oil into your scalp. Don’t go crazy now–you don’t want a very oily, blocked dirty scalp that itches you. Try castor oil or some olive oil. Spritz some water on your flat twists to dampen it and add a lightweight oil like avocado or grapeseed to the hair–focusing particularly on your ends. If your hair dries throughout the day, repeat again at bed time. Using a hair serum like argan oil or even some Tea tree oil is helpful overnight. Repeat every day until you are ready to undo your twists–and enjoy! 😀

Not a Competition

26 Jan

It seems everyone these days is in a rat race to have the thickest, curliest most lush kinky ‘do for the summer. Who has the nicest natural hair? Well, we ALL do. It’s not a race, or a competition but rather an expression of our cultural diversity and our natural beauty. By displaying our coils and kinks in every way possible–top knot box braids, soft and shiny twists, knock-out braid outs, retro Afros and updos and braids of all kinds–we are showing the world that we love our hair and are proud to show it off. It should not be about judging our fellow sisters and making natural hair seem intimidating and daunting for new naturalistas or transitioners. Whether very short and new, or enviably long–natural hair is beautiful because it’s OURS. We can swim, work out and dance at the clubs without worrying about sweating out a relaxer or being the one with the tumble weed on the dance floor.

I know I want to have the best, biggest hair but I also know when I see other naturalistas I am happy and proud for them, too. I spend a lot of time and cash on my hair’s health and look and I hope it’s well-invested, but I know other women are patiently growing out their hair chemical-free and want to enjoy their hair without cattiness. So let’s just smile at our sisters and hope this summer brings out naturals everywhere!938803-lush_locks

Protecting My Hair

26 Jan

Spring is ALMOST here. It is almost time to rock bright fuchsia printed dresses and cute flowered ballet flats. It is almost time for cardinal yellow jumbo necklaces, sunshine-y afternoons on the patio and strolls in the park. It’s almost time to rock wash-n-go’s and twist-outs again!!!

And the way my over-processed, very damaged bleached hair is going–I’m nowhere near ready to show off my naked hair. I decided to do some S.O.S today and buy a Half Wig that looks very similar to my real hair and texture and keep my hair flat-twisted and well oiled underneath until the end of March when the temperatures start rising. This gives my hair a MUCH needed vacation and allows me to rest from manipulating it. I hope that with weekly deep conditioning, the vacation will help my hair gain back some of it’s lustre, softness and manageability.

While I know that wigs are not natural, using one short-term to benefit my natural hair seems like a wise choice! It gives my hair a break and will help it in the long-termImage

Overnight Deep Conditioning for Damaged Hair

19 Jan

My hair is currently being pampered after I tried to bleach my darkened roots. I over-bleached them, consequently frying my hair and leading to a lot of breakage and damage. To help nurse my fragile tresses back to health, I did an overnight deep condition which was recommended by a natural friend who has stunningly shiny, healthy hair. I used J/A/S/O/N conditioner, a Pantene Pro-V damage deep conditioner, coconut milk and rosemary oil to battle the dry, damaged hair on my head. It has been over a week since I washed my hair, while I kept it in secure twists (secured with elastic bands at the end to hold the twists) and regular moisturizing.

This weekend I am keeping my hair parted in four with four big Bantu knots. I will keep this ‘do until next Friday when I will take it out for another overnight deep conditioning. I plan to purchase coconut oil (yes I ran out..yikes!) which has been a magical ingredient in my natural hair journey. Nothing is as effective as extra-virgin coconut oil–my Shea butter can’t even come close!

The best thing to do if you have damaged, natural hair is to really pamper it and keep it in protective styling–wash minimally and moisturize properly EVERY day…which means water first, oil second, sealant last. 🙂Image

Falling in Love with Textured Hair

5 Jan

We are so used to caring and maintaining our natural hair on a daily basis, but how often do we stop to appreciate we have grown a full head of hair that belongs to us individually? The beautiful crown on our heads does not come in a package, from a store with a price tag on it. It is ours. Realizing this will make us love our hair even more and accept it for what it is-in all its versatility, complexity and mysteriousness. There are many times when I feel frustrated, hapless and frazzled by my hair. But there are other days when it amazes me, surprises me and makes me feel confident and beautiful. Our hair is beautiful–it makes us beautiful.

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Adding Shine to Dull Looking Hair

5 Jan

I seen a biracial girl with gorgeous curls come into my work yesterday and the first thing I noticed was how shiny her hair was. Her curls were literally shimmering. I was in such awe I decided to find out ways to add shine to natural hair. My own hair lacks shine so it doesn’t look like a glamorous shampoo model’s hair. Ever. Hopefully some of these solutions can work for me too!

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Vinegar is a great solution to amp up your dull hair. Vinegar helps close the hair cuticles, which as we already learned, helps reflect light.

2. Eat more Vitamin E

Vitamin E is essential for shiny strands. Eat your way to healthier hair by including sunflower seeds, almonds, olives and leafy green vegetables in your diet.

3. Finish your Hairstyle with an Essential Oil

Some of the essential oils like jojoba oil, grape seed oil, olive oil, coconut oil and broccoli seed oil can be effectively used to add shine to hair. You should rub a few drops of any of these hair shining oils in your palms and then gently finger-comb through your dull hair to add shine to it.Thick-to-Coarse-After-Curly-shiny-brown-299x300

4. Oh, Honey

Since honey is a great natural moisturizer, you can use it successfully for adding shine to your hair. Adding a few drops of honey to the bottle of your conditioner and using it as usual can help you a lot in adding shine to your hair.

5. Natural Gloss and Shine Products

I checked Sephora for highly rated products to make your shiny and found ALTERNA’S Bamboo Luminous Shine Mist ($22.00) that gives hair polish and shine. It is formulated without parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes, pthalates, GMOs and triclosans. Bumble and Bumble Let It Shine is slightly more expensive at $26.00 and boasts a high shine glossing mist as well. Carol’s Daughter has a Macadamia Oil Shine Mist for $18.00 without all the chemicals like ALTERNA and also moisturizes and conditions the hair. Ouidad has a shine serum for $20.00 and I find it is a good brand for curly hair. Whichever product you use, make sure it is as natural as possible! s1345297-main-hero

New Love: Scarves

1 Jan

In my last post, I spoke of how trendy and protective a scarf is for your hair. I had felt intimidated by scarves as I never wore one outside the house before. I did not think it would look good, and I did not know how to tie it but it was surprisingly easy and looked chic. I put my hair up in a bun and wrapped the scarf around, leaving out some tendrils in front to frame my face. Not only did it keep my head warm from the wind but it protected my hair from the elements, too. I could have my hair in big, lazy twists or a bun and wear a scarf. It’s fabulous.

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Just because you cannot see your hair under a scarf does not mean you should not make sure it is moisturized and healthy. I feel I could live with a scarf on my head, but I know I need to make sure the hair and especially my dry ends have a daily dose of moisture via a spray bottle with water + rosemary oil and Shea butter. Take advantage of the coverage to keep your hair braided/twisted and leave the high-maintenance hairstyles for days when you aren’t wearing a scarf.

 

DSC_0173To rock any style, all you need is confidence. I did get a few stares today in the pharmacy but then again, I live in a predominately White neighbourhood where they do not see much exposure to Black women in headscarves and natural hair, or to even understand about protective styling.

The reasons why I love headscarves is because of the protective it offers, the way it makes it seem like you have a lot more hair due to the voluminous fabric, the bright cheerful colors that complement dark skin tones and the vintage style it offers–especially when paired with shades or nice earrings.

Scarves are here to stay!