Tag Archives: moisturizing

Breakage…again!

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clutch-the-pearls

I did not want to have to blog about breakage again, but here we go. I already know the cause of it:

  1. Not protective styling enough
  2. Becoming lazy when caring for my hair
  3. Using too much heat (blow dryer & straightening brush)
  4. Not moisturizing enough

It’s all shameful because I know better. I know better. However, I took a break from getting my hair braided this winter and I’m paying for it. I became a very lazy natural and now I have breakage as a result towards the back of my head. I noticed more than the usual shedding and unevenness. I have no one to blame but myself, and I know what needs to be done to fix it. I need to do the opposite of all four things I listed above!

I’m going to cut off as much breakage as possible (try to even out my hair back there), give it some extra TLC, and then get my hair braided. It’s time, it’s been almost six months since I’ve been to the shop to have my hair braided. I tried faux loc crochet braids recently (see picture below) but could only tolerate them for almost three weeks because the synthetic hair made my scalp itch horribly! But they were cute! As always, I’ll keep you posted on my breakage saga. 😦

sonya-faux-locs

Moisturizing My 4c Hair *Update*

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on-second-thought

Hello, lovelies! In a previous blog post I provided the following recipe for a daily moisturizing spritz:

In a clean spray bottle add:

  1. Half cup of distilled water
  2. Two tablespoons of aloe vera juice
  3. Two tablespoons of vegetable glycerin
  4. Two tablespoons of jojoba oil

Shake the bottle well and spritz hair with it. Style as normal. Feel free to adjust the amounts as you see fit, based on how your hair reacts. Always test new products on your skin first to check for any allergic reaction.

I want to update step 3. Two tablespoons of vegetable glycerin is too much. I would change that to one teaspoon. A little vegetable glycerin goes a long way. While the spritz  moisturized my hair, it kept my hair in a constant shrunken state. Case in point: I’d leave the house with a bomb afro. By the time I’d make it to work, my afro would be reduced to a small packed down fro. Not cute.

Apologies to anyone who may have used the previous recipe I provided with not so great results. Always feel free to adjust recipes to fit your hair needs. No two heads of hair are alike! *Kisses*

 

Moisturizing My Dry 4c Hair

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Taking my braids down this weekend made me start thinking about how I need to be more diligent about moisturizing me and my girls’ hair, especially with winter coming. I don’t buy a lot of products, so it made me start researching different moisturizing products. I also started to think about the oils I use in my daily or weekly routine and if I needed to make some adjustments there as well. Do I need to stop using certain oil(s)? Do I need to break down and buy a good moisturizer? Could I make my own moisturizer? The following is what I came up with. hair-care-regimen

Now granted, not everything here is new to me. It’s just new to my regimen.

Biotin – In addition to being great for hair and nail growth, Biotin or the vitamin B7  is great for skin health, energy, digestive, and nervous systems. I’ve been taking Biotin on and off for the past year and a half. No reason other than me being lazy and really bad about remembering to take them. 😉 I do notice results when I take them consistently.

Homemade organic mango butter with organic coconut oil*, vitamin E oil, and vanilla essential oil –  Mango butter is rich in oleic acid and stearic acid. These fatty acids act as emollients that soften and soothe the skin and hair. It has a high oxidative ability, wound healing, and regenerative activity. It is high in antioxidants and Vitamins A, C and E. Mango butter has similar qualities as shea and cocoa butter but it’s higher fatty acid content makes it a more intensive moisturizer. It  has a lighter feel than shea butter, so if you find shea butter too heavy, give mango butter a try. My family and I use my homemade mango butter concoction on our body and hair and it’s simply lovely.

Jojoba oil – Jojoba oil closely resembles sebum, a waxy substance produced by our skin glands, so it can act as a natural skin conditioner. Jojoba oil controls hair loss by helping the follicles grow new hair. Jojoba oil can easily seep into the follicles and dissolve the sebum buildup, clearing up the blockage and facilitating the growth of new hair. The vitamins and minerals in the oil can nourish the skin and improve the overall health of the scalp. I know jojoba oil is a staple for many naturals, and I’ve used it in the past but not consistently. I plan on changing that after reading about the many benefits this oil has for your hair and skin.

Vegetable Glycerin – Glycerin improves natural hair moisture and elasticity. It also helps prevent hair breakage, stimulate hair growth and improve hair strength. It has been proven that it is a great conditioner for brittle, dry or frizzy hair. There are debates as to whether or not it’s good to use vegetable glycerin during the cold winter months, and I’ll have to look into this more. Winter isn’t here yet, so until then I’ll continue to use it.

Aloe Vera Juice – Promotes hair growth, moisturizes the hair due to it being a humectant, restores the natural pH balance of the hair and scalp, reduce dandruff, naturally conditions the hair, reduce hair shed, promote hair shine, help heal an irritated, dry, itchy scalp. Another great product to use on natural hair.

Distilled Water – I keep a couple jugs handy at all times to use when I spritz me and my girls’ hair. It’s simply better to use than hard tap water that is full of minerals and other chemicals.

*I put an asterisk behind coconut oil because something hit me about coconut oil: I think it’s been making me and my girl’s hair dry and brittle. After reading article after article of the wonderful benefits of coconut oil, I think our hair doesn’t quite care for it. I’ve used it in every homemade shea butter or mango butter mixture I’ve made, and I’ve also used coconut oil by itself on our hair. After reading other naturalista’s experiences with coconut oil, which are similar to mine, I’m going to stop using it on our hair to see how our hair does without it. I’ll keep you posted.

Here is a quick and easy hair moisturizer you can make and use daily:

In a clean spray bottle add:

  1. Half cup of distilled water
  2. Two tablespoons of aloe vera juice
  3. Two tablespoons of vegetable glycerin
  4. Two tablespoons of jojoba oil

Shake the bottle well and spritz hair with it. Style as normal. Feel free to adjust the amounts as you see fit, based on how your hair reacts. Always test new products on your skin first to check for any allergic reaction.

 

Winter = Protective Styles

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Here in the midwest we’re in the midst of the dog days of winter. Since becoming natural almost two years ago, I had decided that as part of my winter hair regiment I would get braids during this time. For one, it gives my hair a much-needed rest. During the spring and summer months I primarily rock my afro. The dry, cold winter air is so damaging to our natural hair that you must cover it up and consider some type of protective style to keep it healthy and protected.

Around January 2nd I had crochet braids installed by my sister-in-law Gina. She’s the crochet braid queen in my book! She used Freetress Water Wave hair, 2 1/2 packs. The install from start to finish took about two and a half hours.

SJ Crochet Braids Crochet Braids Jan 15

The picture on the left is the night she installed them. The picture on the right was taken about three and a half weeks later. The hair still looks good, right? I kept these braids in for one month, which is about the length of time they typically last before this type of hair starts to get matted and knotted up at the ends – even with tying it up every night.

To keep my natural hair moisturized, I spritzed my cornrows underneath the crochet hair with a concoction of olive oil, avocado oil, peppermint essential oil, and water. Just put it in a spray bottle and spritz it once a day or every other day.

My second protective style for the winter: Box Braids.

I took down my crochet braids and decided to get box braids right after. It has been years since I’ve had box braids. I’m talking sometime in the mid 1990’s! I didn’t want them to be too big (ala Janet Jackson in Poetic Justice), so I opted for medium-sized ones. The install took about seven hours, and that’s mostly because my appointment didn’t start on time and there were a few interruptions along the way. The good thing about these braids is they’ll last for three months or more, and I typically keep them in for three months. You can still wash your hair with them in, but I wouldn’t recommend washing your hair too often as that will cause you to lose braids and cause too much pulling and friction on your hair. I use the same spritz I used with the crochet braids of olive oil, avocado oil, peppermint essential oil and water to keep my hair moisturized. While I love rocking a big fat bun, it’s not something I’ll be doing on a regular basis because of the pulling and friction it causes on your edges. I am team SAVE YOUR EDGES! LOL!

Black White Box

Banding/Stretching Natural Hair

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Natural Hair Banding1

Last night (Sunday) on a whim, I decided to try banding my hair. I had already washed, deep conditioned and moisturized my hair Saturday. Sunday night before I went to bed, I went to my girl’s room and grabbed their hair bucket and went to the bathroom to get to work. By the way, the above picture is not of me! 😉

What is Banding? Well it’s a process that many African American women with natural hair use to stretch their natural hair instead of using heat, either from a blow drier, flat iron, or any other process that requires heat. Natural African American Hair, especially 4c type hair, experience extreme shrinkage when wet or in humid conditions. With banding what you do is take sections of your hair and take a cloth rubber band and band it down the length of your hair. This may require using two or three rubber bands depending on the length of your hair.

Because I pretty much knew what the general procedure of banding was, I kind of did my own thing. I banded my entire head (and looked like Marlon Wayans from “Don’t be Menance While Drinking Juice In the Hood” – Google it if you have no clue as to what I’m talking about!) I then took my spray bottle that had coconut oil, olive oil, Jamaican Black Castor Oil and a little water in it and spritzed my hair and ends. Backwards method I know, but it was done on a whim and I will be sure to moisturize beforehand the next time I try this method. When I was done banding my entire head I tied my hair up with my head scarf and went to bed.

The next morning I took the bands off and boy was my hair stretched! I LOVED the results! I simply finger combed my hair and that left me with a big, beautiful fro that looked like it had been blown out with a hand drier. Banding definitely works, and considering I did it on semi-damp hair I think I got better results than if my hair was weighed down with a lot of moisturizing products. I had watched a few YouTube videos for banding and some people used a lot of different products in their hair while banding. My advice is to do what works for your hair and to achieve the look you want.

Here is the results of my first time banding. Sorry for the not so great picture. 😦

SJ Banding2

If you’ve banded please share your experience/photos. I’d love to hear about your methods and see your results!

I Think I Want to Color my Fro…..

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Red fro

I don’t know if it’s the fact that spring is here and soon summer will be here as well, but lately I’ve been tossing around the idea of coloring my fro. First you need to understand that I’m not a daring person when it comes to hair color. I’m daring when it comes to cutting off all my hair. I’ll do that in a heart beat without blinking! Color scares me. I’m always afraid that I won’t like the finished product. What looks good on someone else may not look good on me, and I feel this way even though I’m in the hands of a licensed, experienced beautician!

The two colors I’m interested in doing are a burgundy red or a golden brown. I’ve had a burgundy rinse before many moons ago, and it barely showed because it was a rinse, and my hair is so naturally black that it drowned out the burgundy color. I know a more permanent color will show and hold better. I’ve done gold/blonde highlights in my early 20’s when I was rocking my short hair, and once I did an all over gold permanent color. That didn’t last long because I kept my hair short and the color eventually got cut out of my hair.

Now that I’m letting my hair grow and do it’s own thing, I know whatever color I choose is going to be there for quite some time. I’m going to have to commit to this color. What I plan on doing is setting up a consultation with one of the beautician’s at a great shop that I know of. I’m going to let her know what I want, let her know my fears, and ask her what would be a good color to compliment my skin tone and then go from there. I know it’s very important to keep your hair well conditioned and moisturized when its colored, so that is already on my “better do regularly” list.

I have some questions for my readers: Have you colored your natural hair? Did you do it yourself or did you go to a beautician? What is the best advice you can give for taking care of color treated natural hair?

I don’t know when I’m going to take this plunge, but I want to be well informed before I do! As always I’ll keep you posted with updates and pictures. 🙂

~Sonya