Protective Style Challenge…Accepted!

The protective style challenge has been showing up all over social media for a while now. However, I haven’t really taken a real interest in it, until now. I love the fact that naturals are taking the time out to appreciate their hair, and themselves, and give it a break. Recently, I have been on a mission to treat my hair with as much love as possible. But, sometimes I get sidetracked by my own laziness. I have been lectured by my hairstylist about this laziness that I can’t seem to shake when it comes to maintaining the healthiness and happiness of my curls. So, to protect myself from anymore lectures, and to keep my hair healthy in this cold weather, I have decided to take on the protective style challenge!

Making the decision to accept this challenge was the easy part. Deciding what style to start with is a little harder. There is so much that I can choose from. I mean there is braids, twists, weave, pin-up styles, and so much more. Lately, I have been leaning towards diving into the world of curly/kinky weaves. The only problem with this is, I’m afraid I will get tired and frustrated with not being able to scratch my scalp. I have had weaves only two times in my life, and each time I took them out within a few weeks. Nonetheless, I am tempted to try again and see if I can actually hang with a weave for more than a couple weeks.

Because I am so indecisive, I would love some help deciding on which protective style I should start with. What style do you think I should try first? Drop your choice in the comments below!

Advertisements

Mane Choice Vitamin: Six Week Update

It’s been six weeks since I’ve been taking the Mane Choice Vitamins. In my last update, I was raving about the vitamins; and, I still am. I am pleasantly surprised, and extremely pleased, with the amount of growth I have seen since I first started taking them. Currently, I have yarn twists in that I’ve had in for about a month now. Since I’ve had these in, I have maybe about an inch of new growth. My hair has never grown that fast any other time I’ve had a protective style in. I believe, I owe most of this growth to the vitamins. I am planning to take these twists out in a few days and am excited to see what my curls look like! The only con I’ve experienced while taking the vitamins is a break-out on my cheeks and forehead. Fortunately, the break-out has cleared up, and hopefully it won’t happen again. Despite this, I plan to continue to take the vitamins!

 

Have you been taking the Mane Choice Vitamin or something similar? Tell me about your experience! Pics coming soon of my new growth! Stay tuned for that and more, all right here on The Natural Hair Diary!

2 Week Update

As many of you know, there are several hair growth vitamins being produced today. Per my hairdresser’s advice, I decided to try one of these vitamins. I have been taking the Mane Choice Vitamin for about 2 1/2 weeks now, and I have to say, I have seen some growth. My curls have started to drop and I feel as though my hair is a little healthier than it was before I started taking the vitamins. Since starting the vitamins, I have not changed my hair routine. I still moisturize daily with water, olive oil, and shea butter. I have admit, I was skeptical about taking the vitamins at first; however, now I’m happy I did. I’m so excited to see what type of growth I will get once I have reached the one month mark.

Stay tuned to see how  my healthy hair growth journey is going!

The SECRET Behind Avoiding Breakage

When I was relaxed, I dealt with a ton of breakage; which is one of the reasons why I’m natural today. So, when I became natural I did tons of research on ways to avoid breakage. One of the many things that were stressed in my research was moisturizing the hair on a regular basis. Now, moisturizing the hair can mean a lot of things. It can mean deep conditioning every time you wash. It can mean, doing hot oil treatments once a week, it can mean applying a moisturizer to your hair daily, or it can mean giving it a much needed dose of H2O on a daily basis. It doesn’t necessarily matter what your moisturizing routine is, as long as you have one. If your curls are moisturized, they will be stronger and will be able to keep the breakage at bay. Unfortunately, I have had to recently deal with breakage. A while back, I decided to color my hair. I did everything I thought I should to avoid breakage due to the color. However, the one thing I didn’t do right was allow a professional to color my hair. I know we all want to save money; but, it is definitely worth spending the money to get a professional to color your hair. It saves time on the maintenance you will have to do if your tresses begin to break due to the color. So, if you do decide to color your curls, make sure you let a professional do it.

In addition to moisturizing and allowing an expert to color your hair, decreasing the manipulation of the hair will also minimize chances of breakage. Many naturals, like myself, like to play in our curls. We like do several styles that call for the usage of headbands, ponytails, and other cute hair accessories. To compliment these accessories, we like to do twist-outs, updo’s, braid-outs, and other cute styles. There is nothing wrong with wanting to do several different things with your tresses; after all, that is the fun in having natural hair. However, playing in your hair too much may cause breakage. When I first became natural, my hair was so short that I tended to wear a lot of headbands. Well, in doing research, I found that wearing headbands too much can cause the front edges of your hair to break off, producing bald spots. Once I found this out, I limited my use of headbands. One way to avoid manipulating your hair so much is doing protective styles. Protective styles allow the hair to rest; thus allowing it to grow.

The secret is out! Now, you know how to avoid breakage. But, what if this has already happened to you? Well, I have a secret for that too! Stay tuned! 

The SECRET Behind Shedding

One of the many things that tend to freak a natural out is shedding. Many women, not just naturals, believe that shedding means their hair is breaking. Well, let me ease some of that worry. Shedding does not, I repeat does NOT, mean your hair is breaking. When hair sheds, it is ridding itself of hair that is done growing, or dead hair, which may stunt the growth process.  When shed hair stops growing and falls from the scalp, it brings with it a tiny white bulb that can be easily recognized on the tip of the hair. This tiny white bulb is the easiest way to distinguish shedding hair from breaking hair. Hair that has reached the end of its growth cycle and is shedding is typically longer than a piece of hair that has broken off. Hair that breaks off does just that, breaks in small pieces. A piece of hair that has shed is long because it has had time to grow fully.

When the hair sheds, it may take some time for a new piece of hair to grow and replace it. However, the main thing to realize and understand is that hair that has ben shed will grow back, and grow back healthy. Because we feel as though our shed hair is unhealthy or shedding too much, we may try and find certain remedies or treatments that can reduce the amount hair that sheds or stop the shedding completely. But, no matter what remedies or treatments are used, it is important to remember that shedding is a natural process and is something that cannot be stopped or prevented. Our hair will continue to shed, and it may shed more during one period than it may during another.

Since I’ve been natural, I have gone through that period where my hair sheds more than I “think” it should. However, from doing research I realized that natural things such as having a menstrual cycle can cause my hair to have an increase the amount it sheds. I can admit that during this period, I found myself doing protein treatments and other remedies that could aid in decreasing the amount of hair that was being shed. After some time of doing these remedies and seeing no changes I realized that it was normal. I learned how to tell the difference between a hair that had been shed and a hair that had broken off, and in doing so, I became much more comfortable with the natural shedding of my curls. Just like at times we may need to let go of certain things or people in our lives to continue to mature, our hair needs to let go of certain tresses that can no longer provide our curls with substance so that they can continue to grow.

Let’s Play a Game. The Product Game.

There are a lot of products out there made for natural hair, but not all of them actually work. Every two weeks I am going to present a natural hair product that didn’t work for me and one that did. In doing this, I figure I can help my fellow naturalista’s by guiding them to a product that may work for their hair even if it did, or didn’t, work for mine. Now, here’s the catch; you won’t know what product did or didn’t work until I reveal it the week after. So, keep your eyes peeled; great products are on the way! All right here on The Natural Hair Diary.

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!