I try to capture my hair in all stages to document growth or if a twist out turned out nice. I chose some photos from my phone just to share. I’m lacking in the hair styling department. As you can see, my go-to is a headband. Lately, I’ve been just letting my afro be free and do what it do. A few weeks back I did a light blow out. It didn’t take long for my 4c hair to draw back up, LOL!
I’ve also been rocking headwraps, but I need some color in my life desperately! I’m working on getting some color and patterns in my life with my headwraps. 😉 I also tried my hand at flat twisting my hair. It wasn’t great, but it served its purpose for that day. My goal is to experiment more with styles for my hair. I’ll keep you posted!
~ Loving Your Hair With Natural Care ~
This is my first post of 2017! Hey now!
I stumbled upon a Facebook group called Type 4 Natural Hair. In this group, there is nothing but love and support for those of us with this hair type. Women from all over the world post pictures, seek advice, encouragement, and share tips. It’s such a supportive group and I couldn’t be happier that I found it and am now a member of its community.
Everyone in this group is in different stages of their natural hair journey, and it’s beautiful to read all the different experiences or some of the same frustrations that I once had when I first started. Women and men of all ages are in this group seeking advice and encouragement for themselves or their kids or grandkids. There’s no negativity allowed, no hair shaming or hair type shaming, and that is huge to me. This Facebook group is exactly what any kinky haired, tightly coiled, natural haired person with questions, concerns, or insights to share should want to be a part of. Check out Type 4 Natural Hair and request to become a member. You’ll love it.
…speaks volumes and sums up my feelings on my natural hair journey.
Hey, lovelies! So a few weeks back I posted a picture of Gabrielle Union with her gorgeous, free flowing twists with the hopes of getting them myself. Well, that didn’t happen. I thought my braider could re-create the look with the same or similar hair used for Gabby’s twists, but that wasn’t the case. I ended up getting my usual Senegalese twists. Yes, I’m totally bummed about that. However, a few lessons (and reminders) were learned from this experience:
- Not every hair braider can do every style you want. Have a backup plan in place, and by backup plan I mean other hair braiders and stylists. It’s ok to shop around and keep an eye out for other talented braiders. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been a very loyal customer to my beautician when I was getting relaxers, and I’ve been very loyal to my hair braiders over the years. When I find a good one, I stick with them and follow them wherever they may go…unless they go overseas which is what happened to one of my very talented hair braiders. That’s when the following stops, lol. But seriously, keep this in mind. There are other options out there.
- Braids are not cheap, and every woman who gets them can attest to that. That being said, we pay too much money to not be satisfied with the end product. That’s why it is so important that you find a braider that listens, not one who simply wants your money and gives you what THEY want you to have. Don’t be afraid to ask questions either. If they can’t recreate a style, are there any alternatives? Perhaps using a different type of hair or technique? If the shop provides the hair and they don’t carry the hair needed to do a certain style, offer to bring your own.
- There is no reason for your hair to be braided so tight until your scalp is in pain for days or weeks afterward. If your hair is constantly being braided tight, even after you tell your braider that it’s too tight, it’s time to look for a different hair braider. Heavy hands and tight braids will leave you bald around the edges and with bald spots throughout your scalp, and that is totally counterproductive (and unacceptable) to having braids in the first place. Braids are used as a protective style to us naturals to preserve what we have and to protect it from the elements and over manipulation. Keep that in mind when getting your hair braided. DO NOT allow a braider to damage your hair and scalp by braiding your hair too tight.
- Don’t be afraid to ask other women who did their braids. Trust me, that’s how I’ve found my hair braiders over the years. Word of mouth is a powerful tool. Just the other day at the grocery store, I complimented the cashier on her eyebrows. They were beautifully shaped and her make-up was beautifully done. It looked very natural and it wasn’t caked on. What I loved the most was she was a dark skinned young lady and she used all the right shades of makeup to compliment her beautiful skin tone. Anyway, she thanked me, and before I left with my groceries she handed me her business card. It turns out she’s an African hair braider and cosmetologist! She also has a YouTube channel that I will be checking out soon. But do you get what I’m saying? I now have another option to look into for my braiding and styling needs.
Too often because something is the “norm” we accept it. That should never be the case when it comes to our health, and it should never be the case when it comes to the health of our scalp and hair. Just because braids are typically done tightly doesn’t mean they should be. It also doesn’t mean that we should accept it. Remember, there are other options out there so don’t be afraid to explore them.
Not only are the styles endless for those of us with naturally kinky or curly hair, the hair accessories are endless as well. Some women feel that certain hair accessories are for little girls only. I beg to differ. These days the market is overflowing with so many different hair accessories to choose from that the young and old alike can rock the same thing. Headbands, bedazzled barrettes, ponytail holders, or vibrant African-inspired headwraps.
Having two girls, aged 14 and 12, helps me to stay on top of trends. (Along with my obsession with Pinterest!) My 14-year-old daughter is very picky, but she also has great taste. She’s very fashionable, so it should be no surprise that one of her favorite stores to shop is Forever21. She went from obsessing with flower headbands in various sizes and colors to now obsessing over the more bedazzled headbands. The cool part is, she wears both styles very well with her natural hair and braids. Her younger sister simply follows in her footsteps so she can look cute too. 😉
Here are a few hair accessories that I think are cute for naturalista’s young and old:
Don’t be afraid to play with hair accessories. Trust and believe, they come in handy! Like when your twist out isn’t the bomb or the new style you tried didn’t quite work out the way you had hoped, or you’re simply having a bad hair day. Or, how many of us simply didn’t feel like being bothered with our hair, and our easiest go-to accessory is a head wrap or a headband? Get creative and make your own hair accessories. Old (but clean) stockings make great headbands! Go to the fabric store and find some funky fabric and make your own headwraps. If you need help with getting those creative juices flowing, go to Pinterest or YouTube to get some hair-spiration!
As I take on the battle of breakage, bald spots, and very dry natural hair, I’ve gone back into research mode. I’ve stumbled upon Red Palm oil. There are so many benefits of using this rich oil from cooking with it, using it on your skin, or what I’m more interested in, using it on your hair. It contains the hard to find toctrienols, which are members of the vitamin E family. The common form of vitamin E, tocopherol, has long been used to treat many skin ailments and is found in many anti-aging products. Here are some of the many benefits of Red Palm Oil:
Red Palm Oil is loaded with the following phytonutrients:
- Carotenoids (alpha-,beta-,and gamma-carotenes)
- Sterols (sitosterol, stigmasterol and campesterol)
- Vitamin E (tocopherols and tocotrienols)
- Water-soluble powerful antioxidants, phenolic acids and flavonoids
Subsequently, the health benefits of palm oil include reduced risk of a variety of disease processes including:
What about the benefits for the hair, you ask? Well, it is a wonderful moisturizer especially since it’s loaded with vitamin E and other healthy vitamins. Red Palm Oil can be used as a pre-poo, deep conditioner, or a daily moisturizer. To use as a pre-poo, wet your hair with water from a spray bottle. Make sure you wear an old t-shirt that you don’t mind getting dirty because Red Palm Oil will stain. You do not need to use a lot of the oil unless you have really long hair. A little of this oil goes a long way. Section off your hair and work the oil through from root to tip, finger detangling as you go along. Make sure to massage the oil into your scalp as well. Continue this process until your entire head is done and then put on a plastic shower cap and let it set for 30 minutes to an hour. Shampoo with warm water 2-3 times to ensure that you get all of oil out and then proceed with conditioning.
Others use it as a daily moisturizer, some mix it with their favorite shampoo, while others mix it with their favorite conditioner. Either way your hair will reap the benefits of being very moisturized, soft and have a lot of body. Your hair will stay this way for at least a week or until your next wash.
I plan on incorporating the regular use of red palm oil in my pre-wash routine and then following up with the L.O.C. method every night. Consistency is key! No more being the lazy natural that I used to be. I’ll keep you posted on my results.
If you’re interested in purchasing Red Palm Oil, it’s available on Amazon and in most health food stores.
We’ve all done it: Tried something that we knew wouldn’t quite work the way we wanted it to, especially if trying it for the first time. I took my kinky twist braids down yesterday with the help of my two girls. After washing and deep conditioning, I blew my hair out just a little with the blow dryer to do a twist out. I wanted my hair stretched out a bit more, hence blowing it out just a tad. At the last minute I decided to do flat twists on my dry hair. I got on YouTube to look at tutorials on how to do flat twist outs on dry hair since I have thick 4c hair. Just about every tutorial I looked at required the use of hair gel. I HATE using gel in my hair, and I stay away from using it as much as possible. Needless to say, I tried it.
After putting JBCO (Jamaican Black Castor Oil) on my scalp, and my homemade mango butter mixture on my hair, I commenced with the flat twisting of my hair. Now mind you, I’m no expert on flat twists. I’m still learning and trying to get the technique down. I rolled up the ends with rollers to have extra curl definition.
This morning when I took my hair down, of course it did not lay the way I wanted it to. Again, I’m no expert at flat twists so I’m sure my technique and braid pattern had a lot to do with that. My hair was basically a curly mess. The one thing that bothered me the most was that my hair was also very, very HARD. But, like a true Naturalista, I went to my plan B hairstyle: I finger fluffed my hair as best I could (considering I had used gel in it) and grabbed a head band. Head bands have saved the day many times for me, y’all!
Don’t ask me why I broke the cardinal natural hair rule of never trying a new hairstyle without first testing it out – especially when you have to go to work the next day! It was on a whim, and I felt adventurous. I’m laughing at my mistake now because I knew better, and I did it anyway. Because of my hard headed “adventurous” ways, I’ll be washing my hair again tonight to get rid of the gel that has my hair feeling hard and crunchy. Yay me. <—- (sarcasm) This morning as I was taking my hair down from the flat twists, I couldn’t help but laugh at myself because deep down I knew it was going to be a hot mess. Oh well, lesson learned…even if it was a funny one!