Archive | December, 2011

Wearing a Hat During Winter

31 Dec

In my last post, I was frustrated with how much time/effort it took to get my hair soft, moisturized, shiny and strong. And then I realized I’m trying to make my hair pretty but I cannot wear it because it is too cold outside. I have to protect my hair, like I protect my hands from the cold with mittens.

And then it dawned on me (DUH) to don hats during the snowing, dry winter months and the wet, rainy spring months too-A CUTE HAT for kinky hair, like a beanie or beret. Hordes of natural sistas have already thought of this (SMART) but it helps protect my hair with elements and also I don’t have to worry as much about styling it every day. I can wear an old twist out and not really care if it looks crappy because 80% of the hair will be covered anyways, only the bangs will show.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look how cute she looks in her hat! It’s possible to protective style AND look cute :)!

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Sheen-y Hair

31 Dec

Who doesn’t love having sheen in their hair? There is much debate about natural hair being “dull” or lacking shine, but I seen so many naturals, famous and ordinary, with really sheen-y hair. Their hair just exudes with a natural, subtle shine. I have a natural sheen if I don’t dry my hair right out of the shower, and also after I undo twists from my hair. Other than that, my hair is quite dull.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natural hair is a fickle thing and you have to know what does what, and what goes with what product in order to ensure a successful hair day. We know lemon and vinegar give us shine. How do we know what works for US? I have tried so many products, and invested so much time doing things to keep my hair moisturized, soft, shiny (natural sheen) and strong. I just want a simplified routine that can do all 4.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For 2012, I really want to cut down on the labour and time it takes to get my hair looking/feeling like it does above (which is after using a shitload of natural products, spraying it will water daily, moisturizing it, and twisting it.

Isn’t there an easier way to achieve the same results?

I searched again and again online for a simpler routine I could follow.

I generally just want to use basic, quick ingredients so I did this:

MY NEW HAIR REGIMEN:

Deep condition hair once a week,

Slather with Donna Marie Coconut Pomade and Castor Oil directly after

Wear my hair in twists-outs/Afro puffs

Keep my hair moisturized with my chamomile-coconut oil spray bottle (distilled chamomile water, with melted coconut oil ) and my ANU oil for the end of my hair.

In the summer, I will add molasses and avocados to my deep conditioners.

Some Hair TLC

31 Dec

At the advice of Naturallycurly.com on taking EXTRA care of my dry kinky hair this winter, I did a hot oil treatment and a deep conditioning treatment. I used a mixture of my ANU oil blend, EVOO and EVCO (Coconut) oils and heated them, distributing it through my dry hair with a squeeze Gatorade bottle. I covered my hair and left it in there for 12 hours (from 8:00pm to 8:00am) overnight with a plastic cap and a towel. I shampooed and washed my hair and did a deep conditioner with shea/bamboo conditioner, olive oil and a touch of apple cider vinegar. I left it in for 45 minutes and rinsed, then slightly dried my hair and moisturized very well with a handful of my Donna Marie Coconut pomade and a teaspoon of castor oil.

Results: My hair was very shrunken with little definition (probably from the hot oil treatment!) and I lost a LOT of hair for some reason. There was sooo much hair in the bath tub and in the sink, and in my comb!!!!!! Probably it may be better to do a hot oil treatment on wet hair next time? It was a lot of work and it was uncomfortable sleeping. I wanted to have super soft, super moisturized hair and the hot oil/deep conditioning duo did succeed in this respect. Since I wanted to do finger curls, I cannot because of the amount of oil in my hair needed to moisturize it.

  I didn’t use any humectants, which would make my hair drier in the winter (like honeys, molasses, aloe vera, etc) but I would’ve loved my hair to have more curl definition! It is New Years Eve (yay 🙂 and I am keeping my hair in very tight curly bantu knots until this evening when I will attempt a wash-and-go look! I will likely fail though 😀

Routines Get Easier

29 Dec

This is the second time I’ve done a “Twist Challenge” which is keeping my twists in for as many days as I can. The first time last week was 4 days and this week I managed 5 days and counting. I no longer feel like I need to stay in the house when my hair is all in twists. I put a nice sparkly scarf on, do my makeup and go about my business! 🙂 It has become so much easier, like a routine, to keep my hair twisted in for long lengths of time. As I stated in my last post about my Twist Challenge, there is soooo much benefits to your hair when you keep it in twists or braids for a week or two like length retention, stronger hair, etc. When I do take my hair out, I’ll likely wear it in an Afro Puff for one or two days and then give myself a Hot Oil Treatment and then wash it…and put it back up in twists for another week.

You see, it’s snowing outside and with the combination of snow, wind and dry cold air—its not good for natural hair to be exposed to that. When I do go outside, I always wear a hood. My hair is never exposed to the elements. And why would I want to expose my head? It’s freezing outside!!! 😛

I have been reading a lot of natural hair blogs ,following posts on Twitter and checking out vids on YouTube and there is such a plethora of information out there, it’s staggering (in a good way!) From how to use baking soda to how to use hot rods, summer styles and winter styles–it’s ALL out there!!!

My hair isn’t something I’m obsessed about. I twist it and forget about it, or put it in an Afro Puff and let it be for the day, but the knowledge I’ve attained has helped me take better care of it and grow it healthily. I used to do some very destructive things to my hair, get frustrated and chop it all over….OVER and OVER again in a vicious hair cycle.

I used to dye my hair with blonde hair dyes (the worst for your hair), use relaxers, use a straightening iron and use tons of hair sprays and gels. I would never cover my head before bed, and would wash it frequently with unnatural shampoos like Dove and John Frieda.

A lot of black women still do those things regularly, but I hope that with the exposure of social media…they will come to find hair tips that can help them create their own hair regimen to healthier, stronger and longer hair!

Dressing Up Natural Hair

27 Dec

So many naturalistas ALREADY know these keys to dressing up our natural hair, but it took me a while to clue in! Just like stylists recommend redheads wear green…natural hair has a thick texture to it and can be played up with…

Jewellery! Earrings that hang by our chin doesn’t make our face seem so bare, or large. Big jewellery, or very ornate or brightly coloured earrings help spice up a mundane hair do. Just because our hair isn’t naturally doesn’t mean we can’t shine with a little glitter and gold 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Naturally, our hair is black. A lot of women dye their hair, obviously but think about what colors raven-haired women wear. I see a lot of light colours–silvers and golds and whites and creams. Wearing a lot of light/bright colors lets your hair shine.

Hair bands, flower clips, jewel-encrusted barrettes and feather clips always make hair more ornate. Go for contrasting colors that will STAND out against the black kinks—like vibrant, shiny red or key-lime green.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last but not least, natural kinky hair and Afros look really cool with a pair of big, faux geek chic glasses. I LOVE seeing these style personally, and it really brings out the trendiness. If you can pull it off, finding these non-prescription geek chic glasses are easy to do–they should be everywhere. Think LMFAO, not Steve Urkel.

Get It Natural!

27 Dec

Last winter, I schlepped through the snow in Toronto’s China Town to the sort of hidden Kensington Market–well known for their cannabis shops and natural, vegan lifestyle stores side by side on two side streets in the downtown core. Amidst bakeries and shops selling hookahs (that’s for sheesha..not hookers!) I managed to find 2-3 stores selling tables of raw, natural and organic Shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oils….EVERYTHING a natural would need right from the source from the hardest to find essential oils to the biggest bottles of organic shampoos. Instead of spending a bundle at a hair shop, I found these unprocessed gems in health food stores in Kensington Market!

The prices aren’t too shabby either with most jars costing from $6-$15.00 depending on the brand/size. Even though I live up the street from known health food stores Qi and, and Noah’s Health Food Store–these hole-in-the-walls nameless stores in Kensington have better prices (and a much larger variety!) I love Essence of Life, which has endless supplies of organic, natural hair, skin products from Burt’s Bees to Aubrey Organics…and all these Seran-wrapped yellow shea butter containers. I really DO need to go back and get essential oils and a ton of shea and cocoa butters!

I love that a lot of natural hair brands are emerging…but to me, it doesn’t make sense that the price is double what mainstream brands charge for a similar product, like a leave-in conditioner. At the pharmacy, a spray bottle of that stuff costs between $8.00-.$12.00 but at my natural “ethnic” hair store it costs between $20-$30.00! So, it seems like a good idea to go back to the source and get it from nature 😉

Playback..

26 Dec

My hair in June 2011….after I began using natural products but before I started knowing what I was doing 😛 LOL.