7 Ways to Properly Detangle Your Hair and Fight Off Breakage.

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Detangling curly hair can be a long and sometimes frustrating task! For some women it can take up to 2 hours (depending on their length and hair type), and honey ‘aint no body got time fo dat’. However, proper detangling should be a very important part of your haircare routine because this will ultimately reduce breakage and increase length retention.

Many women lose length every month due to tangles, knots, and improper detangling. So if you have a hair length goal in mind then you must use proper detangling techniques to reduce damage.

Tips to Properly Detangle Your Hair

  1. Water.

My number one tip is to use water! Water equals moisture, and moisture equals elasticity. Water provides the hair with elasticity which allows the hair to be flexible, and this in turn prevents excessive tangles and breakage. Wet the hair with water,  apply a conditioner (if you wish) then proceed to finger detangling. Conditioner along with water provides extreme slip and lubrication to the hair which allows the individual strands to glide very easily on top of each other without tangling or knotting.

Trying to detangle matted hair when it’s dry  will only cause damage. In its dry state, the amount of elasticity in the strands decreases due to reduced moisture, and the rate of breakage increases.

2. Detangle in sections

Not only is trying to detangle your whole head at the same time overwhelming, but it can cause you to create a lot more damage to your hair. Separating your hair in small sections will make your detangling so much easier, and it also reduces the chances of you ripping your hair out. After separating your hair in small workable sections, apply your water and/or conditioner to each section and start the detangling process with your fingers. If you wish you may use a wide teeth comb to further detangle your hair. I would recommend putting your hair in clips or loose twist after completing each section to prevent the hair from tangling.

3. No small combs!

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Hide your strands!! Those little skinny small teeth combs will create havoc and ragged ends on your curls if you use them to remove tangles. Those combs don’t have enough space between them to let your hair through without causing breakage, so I would recommend that you stay away from those. But if  you insist on using them then I would suggest that you thoroughly finger detangle first, use a wide teeth comb, then proceed to your hair’s death wish. Lol just kidding guys! But those combs aren’t good for your hair.🙂 Continue reading “7 Ways to Properly Detangle Your Hair and Fight Off Breakage.”

My natural hair Journey (October 2015- September 2016)

 

My natural hair journey has been somewhat of an uphill battle, and at the same time it was one of the best decisions that I’ve made regarding my hair. Initially, I thought about  transitioning to natural hair because the ends of my relaxed hair were getting very thin. I was also experiencing a lot of dryness and breakage, and regardless of what I did I just couldn’t figure out a solution. However, I didn’t start my transition right away because I didn’t have the slightest idea of how to care for natural hair, and I still loved my relaxed hair.

I was relaxed for 10 years (ages 12-22), so taking care of relaxed hair was the only thing I knew how to do. My hair grew to mid back length before it started to get very thin at the ends, and I got very frustrated with it. I started to look for other options, but the only thing I could think of was just cutting my hair off and starting fresh (becoming natural). But like I said, I didn’t want to do it right away.

The thing that really pushed me to go natural sooner rather than later was a video that I watched on Youtube. I can’t exactly remember the name of the Youtuber , but she was taking about the effects of relaxer on your hair, scalp, and body. The video actually shed some light on the chemicals in relaxers and how they can cause scalps problems and other health issues. And that my friends is what gave me the push that  I needed.

On October 7, 2015 I got my last relaxer. I decided that I was going to try this natural hair thing and hoped for the best. I began watching a lot of naturalistas (such as journey to waist length, naptural85, nappy fu, etc) on Youtube to get as much information that I could on transitioning and natural hair.

I did a lot of protective styles throughout my transition, and that helped me to have a really smooth journey. The problem would start when I took my protective styles down. I have very thick hair, so it was hard to deal with two textures. Apart from that I enjoyed that phase of the journey. Continue reading “My natural hair Journey (October 2015- September 2016)”

The Basics of Moisture Retention.

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Natural afro-textured hair tends to be more susceptible to dryness due to the structure of the strands. Due to the many twists and turns in the hair shaft, moisture and sebum does not travel down the strands very easily. However, dryness is not a condition of the hair, it’s simply a state of being. Many women believe that their hair is doomed because they might experience dryness at some point. But in fact, if the hair is properly moisturized then dryness will not be a factor.

Structure of the Hair

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Let’s talk about the structure and function of the hair. To figure out moisture retention, you must learn about the hair structure, its function, and what affects the hair’s moisture level.

The hair is primarily made up of the protein keratin (approx. 97%). It also contains amino acids and chemical bonds that holds the hair shaft together. The hair shaft has 3 layers, the medulla (inner layer), the cortex (middle layer), and the cuticle (outer layer).

The Medulla. This is the innermost layer of the hair that consists of cells, and is found in mostly thick and coarse hair. Thin hair may not contain this layer.

The Cortex. This makes up the bulk of the hair strand, and approximately 85% of the hair’s total weight lies within the cortex. This is also the part of the hair that produces your hair color.

The Cuticle. This is the layer that provides all the protection for the hair. The layer is composed of overlapping scales (like a fish) that faces downwards on the strand. It determines what products penetrate the strand, and it controls the water content in the hair.

Moisture Retention.

 

water

 

Water equals moisture! Not oil, not butter, not cream, but WATER. All moisturizing products on the market lists water as its first ingredient because in reality water is the only element that provides true moisture.

Keeping afro-textured hair moisturized is like art! There is no one definite way or a map that tells you how retaining moisture in the hair is done. Everyone’s hair is different and has its unique properties, therefore, you have to play around with different products and techniques to find the right balance for you.

However, one thing is constant when it comes to moisturizing the hair and retaining that moisture. WATER! Yes water always play a huge role in keeping the hair hydrated. Continue reading “The Basics of Moisture Retention.”

7 Wonderful Benefits of Having Natural Hair.

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A lot of women are going natural today to experience the different benefits of being natural, and for the chance to grow long, healthy hair. I believe that all hair types and textures are gorgeous, and I also fully support any woman who chooses to wear her hair however she pleases. It’s a choice that should be made solely on what pleases the individual.

On the other hand, in the time that I’ve been natural, I found that natural hair has given me a lot of flexibility and joy that I didn’t experience before I did the big chop. There are many benefits to having natural hair, and if you are on the fence about finally taking the leap then I hope this helps you along the way.

  1. Self-Acceptance.

Going natural doesn’t necessarily mean that your life will suddenly change forever. What it means is that you’ll have the chance to see yourself in your natural state which will help you to accept what’s in the mirror. That is exactly what it did for me.

I know a lot of women struggle with accepting their hair in its natural state because they are used to wearing their hair long and straight, or they are used to seeing beauty advertised as long, straight haired, beautiful women with fair skin. It may be a struggle in the beginning, but it is so worth it in the end.

I remember feeling like I made the wrong decision for a couple of weeks. I felt like my hair wasn’t going to grow long, and I stayed inside for a couple of days.  After about a month I felt the exact opposite. I finally accepted myself as I was, I disregarded other people’s negative opinions, and I just loved me!

So ladies, if you accept and love yourself you can conquer the world.

P.S. Your hair will grow!🙂

Big chop day May 2016 (6.5 months post relaxer) vs my hair 4 months later.

    2. Thicker Hair.

Having thicker and fuller strands is a huge benefit of rocking your hair in its natural state. Your hair will be free of any chemicals or concoctions that may cause hair loss or thinning hair. By no means am I saying that one can’t damage their hair in its natural state, but any damage that may be caused by relaxers, color treatments, texturizers, etc is eliminated. Continue reading “7 Wonderful Benefits of Having Natural Hair.”

Understanding Length Retention.

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Are you wondering why your hair isn’t growing? Are you frustrated with your lack of progress after all your hard work? Well you are not alone. A lot of women are throwing in the towel on their natural hair journey because they have yet to see the growth that they expect. Well I personally love that more women are going back to their natural hair and beauty, so I’m going to share with you some ways you can retain your length and grow your hair long.

Length Retention

Everyone’s hair grows! Hair grows on average 1/2 inch per month, but some may grow a little less (1/4 inch) and some a little more (3/4 inch).  The rate of hair growth is genetic, therefore your hair will not grow at the same rate as Becky’s. The only way that your hair doesn’t grow is if you have a medical condition that affects your hair follicles and scalp.

Length retention refers to the amount of hair you are able to retain/keep as your hair grows out. Length retention and hair growth are not the same thing. As I’ve stated before your hair is always growing. So theoretically if your growth rate is 1/2 inch per month then by the end of the year you should expect to have about 6 inches of hair (minus the trims and/or setbacks).

If you notice that your hair isn’t the length that it should be (based on time) and you don’t have a scalp condition, then your hair is breaking off as rapidly as it is growing. This tells you that you have an issue with length retention.

Tips to maximize Length Retention.

   1. Baby Your Ends.

Your ends are the oldest and most fragile part of the hair strand. They have been around the longest, and I don’t know but sometimes it seems like they don’t want to stick around. Have you noticed that too?  :) .The ends of your hair have been through the most manipulation, so they need the most T.L.C if you want to keep them happy.

Always keep your hair moisturized and sealed. I would suggest that you pay special attention to your ends by sealing them with a thick butter or cream to keep the moisture in. Also try not to put harsh hair accessories on your ends (or any part of your hair).

2. Protective Styling.

Protective styles give the hair a break while also keeping the ends off the shoulders and drying materials. While wearing protective styles, your hair will be free from manipulation, environmental damage such as extreme heat/cold, and your little fingers. Don’t be a hand-in-hair junkie! Continue reading “Understanding Length Retention.”

5 Things you should know Before Going Natural.

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While the decision to rock natural hair has been around for years, a lot more women today are consciously ditching the weaves and ‘creamy crack’ to embrace what they were born with. They are using their natural ‘juices and berries’ to keep those tresses moisturized, healthy, and growing long. Unfortunately, there are challenges that many black sisters face both internally and externally when it comes to their natural hair, and often times they wonder if they’ve made the right decisions.

But I’m here to let you know that all the different types of hair is good hair, and all hair is beautiful. Now let’s jump into it!

  1. Self-consciousness.

I decided to start with this one because I believe that what you think about yourself is so much more powerful than what other people think about you. Going back to when you decided to go natural and after your big chop you realized that you started to feel uncomfortable with your new look . You thought you made the wrong decision because you felt uncomfortable with how your hair looked and how you felt about it.

You know how I know this? I went through the exact same thing. I did my bog chop at 6 months post relaxer (I had 3 inches of hair), and I felt super unattractive. In the moment I started to look at myself differently, I didn’t want to go outside my apartment without a hat, and I definitely didn’t like my appearance.

But guess what? This is only a phase. It’s about accepting who you are and loving yourself wholeheartedly. It’s a decision! You have to decide that you love your hair more than you care about people’s opinions. You are beautiful just the way you are!

2. You might be judged based on your hair!

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If you keep up with the ‘scoop’ in the natural hair community then you’ll know that there’s some controversy around hair type and texture. Unfortunately, not everyone will be receptive to your hair especially if it’s type 4  which is considered to be ‘nappy’. It’s no secret that women are judged based on their appearance especially in the corporate world, and I’ve read stories where women were denied jobs because of their natural hair.

People may also prejudge you based on the length of your hair. I’ve been told that my short hair gave the impression that I’m mean and bossy, and believe me when I say that couldn’t be further from the truth. But that’s just another reason for us to love and embrace our hair! Continue reading “5 Things you should know Before Going Natural.”

How To Get Rid Of An Itchy Scalp Naturally.

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I’m sure that you can agree with me when I say that an itching scalp can be the most annoying thing in the world. I used to scratch my head and do the “head slap” all day long trying to get some relief, and trust me when I say I almost gave myself a concussion. But I’m afraid that it only worked for a short while then it was back to usual business with the itching.

I was sick and tired of my dandruff and itching that I made it a point of duty to figure out what exactly was contributing to my little problem. It turned out that I simply wasn’t cleansing my hair enough. In this post, I’m going to share with you some things that contribute to dandruff and itching and what you can do about it.

What causes an Itchy Scalp?

  1. Seborrheic Dermatitis.

This is a skin condition associated with itching, redness, and flaking. It can affect any part of the body, but when it’s associated with the scalp, it is known as dandruff.

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Seborrheic Dermatitis.

2. Scalp Psoriasis.

Scalp psoriasis is a common skin disorder that makes raised, reddish, and often scaly patches. It can affect one part or the entire surface area of your scalp. It is not contagious. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Scaly, red, bumpy patches
  • Silvery-white scales
  • Flaking
  • Dry scalp
  • Itching
  • Burning or soreness
  • Hairloss
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Psoriasis.

3. Tinea Capitis.

This is a fungal infection also known as “ringworm” which can affect the scalp.

Fungi are germs that can live on the dead tissue of the hair, nails, and outer skin layers. Tinea capitis is caused by mold-like fungi called dermatophytes. Read more at MedlinePlus.

The fungi grow well in warm, moist areas. A tinea infection is more likely if you:

  • Have minor skin or scalp injuries
  • Do not bathe or wash your hair often
  • Have wet skin for a long time (such as from sweating)

Continue reading “How To Get Rid Of An Itchy Scalp Naturally.”