13 Tips To Regrow your edges.

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A lot of black sisters struggle with hair problems, but one of the most common problem that we face is thinning hair/edges. This can be very frustrating since we invest a lot of our time into making sure that our hair is healthy and beautiful. However, in the quest of having luxurious weaves, braids, updos, wigs, etc we sometimes sacrifice the health of our hair which in the long run creates thin hair and scalp issues.

Regardless of what type of hair you have (relaxed, natural, colored, etc), making sure it’s in great condition should be your main goal. Healthy hair is achievable through proper maintenance by using the products that are right for your hair and of course some T.L.C.

Anyone can experience thin edges. This problem isn’t reserved for women with relaxed hair, who wear weaves, or who are elderly. But what causes us to lose our hair?

What causes thin edges?

There are many causes of thin edges such as postpartum shedding, stress, vitamin deficiency, hypothyroidism, hormone imbalance, alopecia, etc.  Thin edges may be genetic for some women, but a very common cause/factor that plagues us all is tension from our hairstyles and hair accessories.

Styles that are installed too tightly will pull at the scalp and can remove the hair (sometimes permanently). So please be aware of the different ways that you can cause harm to your hair and try to steer clear of them.

Tips to regrow your edges.

  1. Visit your Dermatologist.

If you have been experiencing hair loss of any kind that you can’t rectify at home, I would suggest seeing a Dermatologist. There are some scalp conditions such as alopecia that are out of our area of expertise to deal with at home and we might find that it’s not really getting better regardless of what we do. So, I strongly suggest that if you find something strange happening with your hair and scalp then go on down to see your doc about it.

2. “Chill out wid di weaves mon”.

Yes we all love to switch up our styles from time to time, but if you want to grow your edges back then you’ll have to cut back on your hair installations (weaves, braids, wigs, etc). Wearing tight protective styles create tension on the edges that in turn remove the hair from the scalp and leads to receding hair lines and alopecia. The more tension applied, the more damage that is being done.

I know you want your style to look “fly” and last long, but you have to take into consideration the possible damage being done to your hair.

Traction-Alopecia
Traction Alopecia.

 

3.  Less brushes, more edges.

Brushing your edges back for a sleek look can be cute, but brushes can actually help to slow your regrowth. The brush bristles create tension on the hair and scalp that may cause further damage and can prevent the hair from growing back faster. Put all your brushes and combs aside until you notice significant progress.

4. Say no to ponytails!

While I love wearing a ponytail from time to time, I would not recommend them if you are trying to get your edges back. Pulling you hair back puts a lot of tension on your scalp and edges, and it will prevent the hair from growing back quickly. I would suggest letting you hair hang loose or put them in loose braids or twist to take the pressure off of your edges. Continue reading “13 Tips To Regrow your edges.”

Porosity: How to care for High Porosity Hair.

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Porosity can make or break your hair! Yes I said it, but what do I mean? Not knowing your hair’s porosity can be the reason your hair stays at the same length. Your porosity determines what products work for you to keep your hair moisturized and healthy.

Now, products do not grow your hair, but they help to keep your hair moisturized and strong to prevent breakage and damage. Their job is to aid in length retention.

What is porosity?

Porosity refers to how well your hair accepts and retain moisture. There are 3 levels to porosity: high, low, and normal. Porosity is affected by the outer layer of the hair called the cuticle which determines how easily your products penetrate the hair. Your porosity is genetic, however, it can be affected by other factors such as extreme heat and chemical processing.

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How to determine your porosity

(Float Test)

float test

 This test is very easy, and the first thing I recommend is having clean, product-free hair before you start. Hair that has product build-up may skew the results.

To start, get a glass with moderate temperature tap water and place it on a flat surface. Place one clean strand of hair (you can just grab a strand from your comb after detangling) in the water and leave it. After 3 minutes check to see if the hair strand is floating at the surface, has sunken to the middle, or if it is at the bottom of the glass.

If the hair strand is still floating at the top then it means you have low porosity hair – the hair barely absorbed the water so it is still light enough to float. If it sinks halfway down then you have normal/medium porosity hair, and if it’s at the bottom of the glass it means the hair quickly absorbed a lot of water, making it heavy enough to sink to the bottom. This indicates that you have high porosity hair.

High Porosity

Having high porosity hair means that you have strands with raised cuticles. The cuticle is the outer layer of the hair, which decides what products your hair will accept. Having raised cuticles mean that the hair will accept moisture readily and be moisturized, but it also means that moisture will leave the hair just as quickly. Continue reading “Porosity: How to care for High Porosity Hair.”

5 Protective Styles for Natural Hair.

Wearing our natural hair out is exciting and full of possibilities due to our diverse curls. However, sometimes we need to give our hair a break to recover from daily manipulation. But what exactly am I talking about? Yes you guessed it! Protective styling!

What is a protective style?

A protective style gives your hair a break by keeping your ends tucked away and prevents any manipulation for a period of time. The ends of your hair are the oldest and most fragile part of the strand, so from time to time it is necessary to give your hair a little break from styling.

Rocking protective styles will give you the opportunity to wear you hair in many different ways without putting too much strain or tension on your hair that could potentially cause breakage.

Protective styles.

  1. Braids.
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Box Braids

There are many variations to braids. They are versatile and allow you to create many different styles with them. I would suggest that you do not install them too tightly as this can remove your edges and hair in general. Some braid variations include:

  • Box
  • Cornrow
  • Two strand
  • Three strand
  • Ghana
  • Micro
  • French
  • Dutch
  • Waterfall

Here’s @forevercryssy demonstrating how she does her box braids.

 

2. Buns.

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Bun

Buns are incredibly quick and easy to do and is a great protective for you if you are in a hurry or if you just want a different look. They are cute and they keep you hair up, off your shoulders, and protected. Continue reading “5 Protective Styles for Natural Hair.”

Low Porosity: How to care for ‘Low-Po’ Hair.

natural hair

Hair porosity is a key element in growing your hair long and healthy, and it’s also very important if you are to effectively moisturize your hair. Understanding the characteristics of your hair’s porosity will ensure that you have a successful journey.

 

What is Porosity?

porosity1

Porosity refers to how well your hair accepts and retain moisture. There are 3 levels to porosity: high, low, and normal. Porosity is affected by the outer layer of the hair called the cuticle which determines how easily your products penetrate the hair. Your porosity is genetic, however, it can be affected by other factors such as extreme heat and chemical processing.

Low-Porosity

Low porosity hair is characterized by a tightly bound cuticle layer where the individual cuticle scales lie flat and overlap one another.

Characteristics of Low-Po Hair

  • Low porosity hair doesn’t accept moisture readily.  It’s quite important to figure out how to moisturize low-po hair properly.Start by using warm water (but not hot!) to raise the cuticles. Apply a light oil such as jojoba oil or coconut oil, and then seal with your favorite cream. You should also start to understand how to layer your products right. I wouldn’t recommend using a cream before your liquid as this will prevent the moisture from reaching the strands.
  • Requires heat to open the cuticles. Using a steamer or plastic cap/bag on the hair during the deep-conditioning process will help the penetration of the product in the hair.
  • Takes a long time for the hair to dry. While it definitely takes some coaxing to get your low-porosity hair absorb water, once the hair strands finally do accept moisture they hold onto it very well, which prolongs the drying process.
  • Does not accept color/perm treatments easily. This is due to the tightly closed cuticles which limits what the hair absorbs.
  • Takes a long time to get wet.
  • Does not like thick products as moisturizers. Due to the cuticles being closed, using thick butters or creams to moisturize will only coat the strand without allowing any product to penetrate the hair. Butters and creams have large molecules that are unable to penetrate the hair. It is best to use light/water based products to moisturize the hair.
  • Retains moisture well once it is moisturized. Although it is hard to moisturize low porosity hair, it does hold on to the moisture well for long periods of time once it does receive moisture. Again this is due to the cuticles being in the contracted state which holds in moisture.

Continue reading “Low Porosity: How to care for ‘Low-Po’ Hair.”

7 Top Tips for New Naturals.

nat hair

Transitioning from relaxed to natural hair can be a very daunting experience, but if you figure out the right things to do then it can be an easy transition. I had a hard time finding styles for my hair when I went natural, because I didn’t have straight hair that I could conveniently throw in a bun or a ponytail. I also didn’t know the best way to take care of my hair. I had to be very creative to get my hair to look presentable most days, so I will share a few tips that I believe can help new naturals make a smoother transition.

  1. Learn your hair.

This is my number one tip because it is the way to go to get your hair to the length you want. I would suggest learning your porosity, your hair density, and your hair type.

Porosity is an indication of how well your hair accepts and retain moisture. This information will help you to understand what type of products your hair will accept, and what methods you will need to practice in order to keep your hair strong and moisturized.

For example, if you have low porous hair then you will need to use heat to open your cuticles in order for your hair to accept moisture. If you have low-po hair and don’t know this then you can suffer from dry hair.

Your hair type and density go hand in hand and they can help you understand what styles and products are right for your hair. Thick, high density hair is able to hold heavier products while thin, low density hair requires lighter products.

Read here to know your hair type, density and porosity.

2. Keep it Simple Sista!

Create a good regimen and keep it simple. Simplicity is key in a healthy hair journey because this will help you to identify what is working and what isn’t. Try to keep no more than 6 products if you can (shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner, deep conditioner, protein treatment, and oils/butters).

If you have 20 different products and you experience breakage or protein overload then it will take you a vey long time to figure out what exactly caused the problem. You won’t know what to look for as the culprit.

Also try not to manipulate your hair everyday to avoid possible breakage. Don’t try every style and product in the books, try to find 2 0r 3 that you can use until you find your staple products and styles. Continue reading “7 Top Tips for New Naturals.”

16 Reasons why your hair isn’t growing.

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Why isn’t my hair growing?

Having hair that doesn’t seem like its growing can be very frustrating! Yes ma’am, I can agree with that. More than anything, we  want our hair to grow long and healthy, and we put in countless hours to care for our curls. So why isn’t it growing?

  1. Not enough moisture.

Afro-textured hair is very dry. We have this problem because our sebum doesn’t reach our strands due to the structure (twists and turns) of our hair. Not moisturizing and hydrating your hair enough will cause it to be very dry and brittle which then leads to breakage. Your hair will then break off at the same rate that it grows thus making it seem like it isn’t growing. Your hair is indeed growing, you just have a problem with length retention.

Amp up your moisture levels by moisturizing and sealing your hair everyday with a water based moisturizer/conditioner and an oil or butter. Make sure that you deep condition regularly to keep your hair pliable to resist breakage.

2. Too many trims.

While trimming the hair is quite important, cutting too much will only keep your hair at the same length. Hair on average grows about 1/2 inch a month. Some grow a little less (1/4 inch), and some a little more (3/4 inch). If you are removing the 1/4 or 1/2 that you grow every month then you are simply preventing your hair from growing to the length you want.

Aim to trim your hair only when necessary. The frequency of your trims should be determined by a few factors:

  • If and how often you use heat on your hair.
  • How often you manipulate your hair.
  • Products used in your regimen.
  • How often you moisturize your hair.

If you use too much heat, manipulate your hair everyday, and don’t take good care of your hair then you will have to trim more often.

3. Too much tension.

Protective styles do wonders for your hair when they are applied correctly. However, the style that you choose can be a nightmare and the reason why your hair isn’t growing.  Putting tight styles in your hair will overtime cause damage to your scalp and hair.  Tension will lead to the removal of your edges and may lead to traction alopecia.

Be gentle with your hair!

4. Too much manipulation.

I’ve said this in many of my articles because it is true. Too much manipulation will keep your hair short. Every time you comb or style your hair you are causing small wear and tear on your strands. Overtime, this may lead to massive breakage and you won’t retain length as much as you would if you leave your hair alone. I aim to comb my hair once per week and finger detangle between if needed.

If you style your hair often, opt for finger detangling instead of combing to reduce stress on your curls. Continue reading “16 Reasons why your hair isn’t growing.”

The Water Only Wash Method: Does it really work?

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You and I can both agree that this is a highly controversial issue in the natural hair community. Some women believe that it really works and live by it while others believe that it’s just another “thing” that pops up every so often. Does the water only washing method work? Maybe for some people. Is it ideal for your hair? In my humble opinion, No!

Before I tell you why I don’t believe that it is ideal for afro-textured hair (especially not for me), lets take a look into what it is.

The Water Only Wash Method Philosphy

The premise behind the Water Only Wash Method (I will refer to it as WOW from now on) is that shampoo strips the hair of its natural oils, so then using only water to cleanse the hair will decrease the removal of your sebum from your scalp to produce moisturized and shiny hair.

Shampoos contain sulphates that thoroughly cleanse the hair to remove build-up from the hair and scalp. However, they can leave the hair and scalp feeling dry after being stripped of is natural oils (sebum).

One would then make the argument that using a sulphate-free shampoo would be easier on the scalp and hair, however, the WOW method argues that you are still removing sebum from your scalp. It may not be as aggressive as using a sulphate shampoo but it does remove sebum.

The WOW method also takes into consideration cost of products and removing the use of chemicals from your hair. It also maintains that washing your hair with just water is the best way to go for moisturized hair.

Sebum

We have small glands on our skin known as sebaceous glands. These microscopic exocrine glands secretes an oily substance known as sebum which serves to lubricate our skin and hair. For women with straight hair, the sebum has a straight pathway down the shaft of the hair which coats the hair and make it oily. On the other hand, women with kinky, coily, or curly hair have the opposite problem. Due to the many twists and turns of the hair strands, the sebum cannot find its way down the hair shaft thus resulting in drier hair. Continue reading “The Water Only Wash Method: Does it really work?”