Hair LOVE

Today I made a visit to Huetiful Salon to get my hair straightened and trimmed. When I walked in, I was excited to hear that my hair looked great and that it had grown tremendously. Unfortunately, I only got to hear one of those things. Thanks to the Mane Choice vitamins, my hair has grown considerably. However, that is the only reason it has grown.

I am sure we all get lazy sometimes when it comes to catering to our curls; and, that is exactly what has been happening to me lately. Because my hair shrinks so much, I can’t wear wash-n-go’s, and definitely can’t go a day without twisting my hair at night. Due to my recent laziness, my hairstylist had to give me a little lecture. It is hard to hear that you aren’t doing what you need to be doing when YOU think you’re doing everything right. I have been moisturizing hair daily and washing it on a regular basis; however, I haven’t been showing it the love that it so desperately needs.

I was not only neglecting my curls, but I was also using products that have done nothing for my hair. Today, in the midst of the lecture, my stylist recommended two products that would moisturize my curls and help them retain that moisture. Those two products that my stylist recommended were Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo and As I Am Double Butter Cream. Because I haven’t really been seeing much result with the products I am currently using now, I am definitely going try these products out and put an end to the laziness!

 

So, the moral of the story here is: ALWAYS show your curls love. If you do, they will show you love in return and GROW!

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Maintaining Your Curls

In the hot months, our curls can easily lose moisture and begin to break off. The best way to avoid this and protect our tresses is by hiding the ends of our hair. Up my sleeve, I have four simple, but cute, protective styles that will give your hair that much needed break. Check them out!

1. Decorative Scarf

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Leaving most of the hair in twists or braids, and just a little bit of the hair out in the front, tie the twisted/braided hair down with a nice scarf, and leave a little hair out in the front to add a little funkiness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Mini Twists

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Mini twists are my favorite protective style, and are one of the best ways to hide and protect your ends for a long period of time. They are so versatile and extremely cute! Here, I have the back pinned up and the front out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Tuck and Roll

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With the hair in small or medium twists, tuck and roll the back of the hair to create a cute pinned up style, with the front of the hair in a slight pompadour. This style allows for double protection. It hides the ends of the hair, first, with the mini twists, then with the tuck and roll.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. The Faux Bun

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The faux bun is such a fun and easy style. To do it, put your hair in a ponytail, grab some Marley or regular braiding hair, place that hair in its on ponytail holder, then wrap that ponytail holder and the hair around your tresses until you create the perfect bun! This style is cute and it hides the ends of your curls, giving them the break they deserve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There you have it! Four easy, DIY protective styles that will hide those ends and keep your hair healthy!

Get Yourself a Daily Routine!

After getting your wash routine down, it is imperative that us curly girls create a daily routine. The daily stress to your hair that includes, styling, and other ailments such as the hot sun or the cold wind can essentially strip the hair of moisture or cause breakage. That is why naturals need a daily moisturizing routine to shield the hair from this kind of damage. One the first things I learned when I became natural was the best way to lock in moisture on a daily basis. To lock in moisture, use the acronym LOC: Liquid, Oil, Cream. Liquid is essential to keeping natural hair moisturized. For naturals, water is our best friend. Similar to the way our bodies need water to stay hydrated, natural hair needs water to stay moisturized. Like water, oil is also an essential part of the curly hair daily acronym. When I use oil on my hair, I do not use a lot because it will clog the pores within our hair which causes build-up. I usually use virgin olive oil to “grease” my scalp and raw shea butter to hydrate my hair strands. The raw shea butter I use acts as my cream. However, you can use any product that has a creamy base. Using this acronym as a daily routine will not only add moisture to your hair, but it will retain the moisture and promote healthy hair growth.

So, You Found the Right Products. Now What?

After you find the right products, at least for the time being, the next step is deciding on the right daily and wash routine.  When I became natural, it took some time for me to find the right wash and daily routine that kept my hair moisturized, soft, and healthy. A wash routine usually includes shampooing, conditioning, and then styling. This was the wash routine I used while relaxed. However, since being natural I realized I couldn’t keep that same routine because my hair was in a different state. Meaning, unlike my relaxed hair, my natural hair needed much more TLC and moisture in order to grow and remain healthy.  So, I had to slightly change my wash routine. Now, washing my hair is an all-day project.

The first step to developing a wash routine is to decide how often you need to wash your hair. For me, my hair tends to get dirty fairly quickly because I work out several times a week. So, instead of washing my hair every two weeks like I did when it was relaxed, I now wash it every week. Some may believe that washing your hair every week strips it of all its moisture. However, that is not necessarily true. As naturals, we use a lot of products to keep our curls moisturized and healthy. When we use those products everyday, they tend to cause what I call “product build-up,” which is basically dirt and oil in the hair. Because we have this product build-up, the hair must be washed often enough to rid it of the dirt and oil that prevents it from being able to breathe.

Deciding how often to wash your hair is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to developing your wash routine. What is most important is what is included within the routine. For instance, my natural hair wash routine includes shampooing, conditioning, and deep conditioning. This routine is the typical one for several naturals. However, every once in a while I include pre-pooing in my wash routine. This pre-pooing part of my wash routine, gets the hair ready for the shampooing, conditioning, and deep conditioning treatments to follow. It essentially moisturizes the hair follicle so that it can endure the rest of the wash treatments that come after it. Pre-pooing does not need to be a necessary part of your wash routine; however, it is a good thing to do every now and again. The most important part of a naturals wash routine, for me, has to be deep conditioning. Just like pre-pooing prepares the hair for the manipulation during shampooing and conditioning, deep conditioning prepares the hair for the daily manipulation.

As curly girls, it is imperative that we develop a wash routine and stick to it! Our hair needs love, and a wash routine that is well thought out, and repeated, will keep our curls healthy! Now that you have the scoop on my wash routine, stay tuned for my daily routine tips and secrets all right here, on The Natural Hair Diary!

To Do or Not to Do? That is the Natural Hair Question.

Natural hair is no mystery, if you know the do’s and don’ts. It is true that being natural is hard work, but what can make the journey a little less difficult is being knowledgeable about what you definitely shouldn’t do and what you absolutely must do. Being the natural hair guru I believe I am, here are the most important do’s and don’ts I believe all naturals need to know.

Do’s:

  • Do moisturize daily!
    • Moisturizing natural hair daily is a must! Natural hair loves moisture and it lives and feeds on it. In order for your hair to stay healthy and retain growth, moisture is key! To moisturize, you can use cream based moisturizers sold in stores, mix up your own, or use regular ‘ol H2O, it is the best moisturizer out there for natural hair.
    • Do LOC in moisture
      • LOCing in moisture is something that many naturals do not do; even I have slacked on this very important part of my daily routine. LOCing moisture in is essential because it does exactly what it advertises; it locks in the moisture. To LOC in moisture, follow the acronym. First use a liquid on the hair, preferably H2O, then follow that with an oil like olive oil or jojoba oil, and then finish with a cream based substance like a twisting cream or a moisturizing cream.
      • Do use a satin cap or satin pillowcase when sleeping:
        • Using a satin cap or pillowcase at night to protect the hair is extremely important to the health of natural hair. Cotton hair ties and pillowcases can easily cause breakage or cause natural hair to lose its moisture; thus leading to unhealthy hair that does not grow.
        • Do deep condition
          • Deep conditioning the hair every time you wash is a must in a natural hair wash routine and should never be skipped. When you deep condition, it prepares the hair for the daily manipulation it might endure; thus adding an extra layer of protection.
          • Do embrace your curls!
            • Embracing your naturalness is the most important Do! It is the glue that holds you and your natural hair together. Never forget to embrace and love your natural hair every, single, day.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t over manipulate the hair
    • Be patient with your hair and don’t do too much. Natural hair is fragile and can only take so much. If you are tired of it and don’t know what to do with it, put it in a protective style and leave it alone. That way your hair can rest and so can you.
    • Don’t use too much heat:
      • Heat is one of the things that can cause the most damage to natural hair. It is dangerous if used too often. Using too much heat on the hair, and using it without first coating the hair with a heat protectant, can alter your curl pattern and cause your hair to become permanently straight instead of curly. This alteration of the curl is referred to as heat damage and can only be reversed by cutting the damaged hair off.
      • Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a product that works for someone else will work for you:
        • Being natural, it is imperative to know that not all natural hair products will work for your hair. Every natural is unique and not all naturals have the same hair texture. One product that works for your friend may not work for you!
        • Don’t mistake shedding for breakage:
          • There is a huge difference between shedding and breakage. Shedding usually involves the falling off of dead hair. These hair strands that shed are long and have a white, noticeable bulb attached to them. Breaking hair on the other hand, is short hair strands that have no white bulb attached to them. Shedding is healthy and a growth tool for natural hair. It’s just the hair ridding itself of dead hair that no longer aids in the growth process.
          • Don’t use products with sulfates:
            • Sulfates can be the death of natural hair! Well, not really. But sulfates can be really damaging. Products with sulfates can cause natural hair to dry out and lose all of its moisture; thus causing the hair to break. So, when buying products, especially shampoos, read the label and make sure the product you choose contains absolutely no sulfates!
            • Don’t comb natural hair while it is dry
              • The biggest thing that can cause breakage to natural hair is combing it while it is not wet! Natural hair is very coarse when it is dry and tangles very easily. Trying to comb through it will only make you tired and make it break. The best time to comb natural hair is when it is drenched with water.
              • Don’t get discouraged!
                • Being natural is a long and difficult journey. However, it is extremely fulfilling. Even though sometimes you may want to creep back to that “creamy crack” don’t let it pull you back in. Stay encouraged and love your natural hair!

Winter Madness!

Georgia is an extremely confusing place to live when it comes to weather. One day it’s 50 degrees and sunny, the next it’s 7 degrees and snowing. I don’t get it! But fortunately, what I do get is natural hair and how to maintain it during the freezing cold temperatures. The hardest thing to do in this cold weather is keeping natural hair moisturized. So, here’s natural hair secret number one. To keep your curly tresses moisturized during the colder months, try spritzing them down with water every night before going to bed. Water is the most important moisturizing agent for natural hair. Also, make sure to always moisture the scalp with a light oil such as olive oil. Lastly, try using what I like to refer to as a “locking agent” such as shea butter to “lock” in the moisture daily.

There you have it, the first secret to maintaining your curls!