Natural Hair Update: 2019 Plans

Happy 2019! We’re finally getting to the end of the first month of the year and I hope you have your goals and plans ready. I’m still working finalizing mine in a few days, but nevertheless, I hope you’ve gotten started at least! So, I was sitting at work looking at my Snapchat memories, and I noticed a photo a year from today I took, mainly focusing on my hair. I compared it to a snap I just took not minutes before and noticed some growth. I was impressed. The reason why I was impressed is because 2018 has been a very stressful year for me and I noticed my hair suffered from it. I had to trim very often, my hair was shedding more than usual, and my curls looked lifeless more days than I liked.

Regardless, I kept protecting, nursing, leaving the heat alone, instead of the alternative; cutting my hair off. And I must say, I’m very pleased with my progress! I also noticed, that my hair shrinks soooooo bad! But you know, the more shrinkage, the more healthy. So let’s talk about the changes that happened to my hair this past year. So many events lead to stress. Stress led me to mostly a sedentary and depressing mindset that it was hard to focus. I learned my anemia played a role because I wasn’t taking my iron pills, plus I wasn’t exercising. Remember, sedentary. I was a zombie for the better half of 2018.

I didn’t stay there long and I’ve been making small strides to get back on the horse. In such a small amount of time I noticed, small strides really helped me and I’m bringing them with me.

Rice Water//I used rice water ONCE and I immediately saw a difference. My hair was softer, and there was minimal shedding. I wanted to try because i saw mixed reviews, but I can honestly say, its something I’m going to add to my regimen this year.

More protective styles// I stand by this. This works. Less manipulation promotes growth, with the RIGHT protective style and the RIGHT technique. Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk about protective styling.

WIGS//You know?? I’ve NEVER tried a wig before. My mother in law kinda haste me when I told her I wanted to try them, but she doesn’t understand people who have beautiful hair wears them. Because I’m staying away from heat, I’ve been wanting to try a short straight bob, so stay tuned.

Professional trims//I normally do my own, but the last time I “trimmed” my hair, one side was longer than the other. There’s something invigorating when a professional cuts your hair.

More Protein Treatments//I can count on one hand how many times I’ve done last year and I realized I haven’t done enough. Most people can go every 6 months, but my hair desires it once every 3 months.

Workout Regimen/Iron Pills/////YEP! Hubby has already started helping me with a workout regimen to keep me consistent and motivated. Not only for the health of my hair but my body as well. We’ve learned that my body hates me if she doesn’t move. It will stiff like its no tomorrow and become sore. When I work out, the blood will flow and the oxygen levels will increase!

So comparing my regimen from last year, I’m pretty much doing the same, but I’m committing myself to including a healthier lifestyle including rice water and more protein treatments! I decided to do this instead of chopping it off like I normally do, since I know how to take care of my hair. So if you’re going through some tough time with your hair, lets add a new, different regimen to shake things up!

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Spring Twists in the Fall

So a few months ago, I was strolling through Instagram and saw these videos and posts on “spring twists” and how they remind me of a natural version of kinky twists back during my high school days. However, the twists look identical to your natural hair when in mini twists, with hair that looks like natural hair. I thought, this is cute! When I first went natural, I lived in mini twists and although it was a great protective style, I wanted a fuller look. So, me being the detective that I am, I’m gonna research before I ask, because beauty and fashion gurus tend to posts the things they love or use and links if they’re really nice. For some reason, this chick didn’t. It was like, you can either buy the hair from me or pay me to do it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for charging what your worth, but there are people in this world that can do their own hair. As someone whose been doing their own hair for over 20 years, I started hunting! I looked on Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram hashtags only to find that this hair can be purchased not only from hair boutiques, but from Amazon. Yes! Amazon. I know Amazon can be a hit and miss with hair but I read reviews and saw photos and videos enough for me to purchase it.

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As you can see, this brand has a 4.5 star rating! It comes in several colors and you can get yours right here. I purchased the 3 pack spring twist crochet hair in the color T1B27. And I ordered two packs. The brand is Beyond Beauty and they are $23.50 for each 3 pack. I bought two to be on the safe side.

Deets on the hair: 

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This is my first time buying from this brand and on amazon and this won’t be the last. I love this hair. It comes twisted so you can either crochet or do singles. I wanted to try color so I opted for an ombre effect, which I love. The hair is so springy and soft and can be easily separated. It has minimal shedding and doesn’t frizz or get tangled if you use water or hair products.

This hair blends perfectly with mine and IT DOES NOT ITCH! I normally soak all my hair in Apple Cider Vinegar/ water/ shampoo, but I didn’t have to for this and I have a sensitive scalp.

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I was able to use half of one bundle for the back because I separated the hair into two or three sections. When I realized that I would have more than enough and possibly leftover for another round, I use the whole pieces and realized that I only use an extra pack and three pieces from the 3rd pack. I decided to cut pieces in half to frame my face for a layer effect. I am very pleased with this hair and I hope you try it to. You can easily get away with just one pack. I will say, they are rather pricey (about $8/bundle) but it is worth every penny! You can also use this hair on your children!

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Natural Hair Update: Blooming

It’s been a while since my last update, February to be exact, and I thought it be robbery not to come give you guys one. As you know, I’m on my way to growing my natural hair out as long and healthy as I can and I talked about a few basic things I was doing to achieve that. (Feel free to click on the menu button and select natural hair and find all my posts on my hair).

 

My last post about my hair, was giving myself a very much needed trim. My hair wasn’t laying right, it was getting frizzy, not to mention knots and shedding. I gave myself an at-home deva cut, where I went through my curly hair and only snipped what needed to be snipped.  After that, I kept my hair in protective styling.

Wearing my natural hair out for my wedding wasn’t planned. I did a Marley crochet and planned to rod it, creating loose waves, but I couldn’t get past the detangling. So the night before my wedding, my now mother-in-law, and maid of honor, cut it out and I put rods in my own hair. 

After I can home from our honeymoon (part 1), I braided it back up for a month. I was filming an updated hair care routine when I blew my hair out for the first time this year and saw the length I retained. Although my hair is shedding a little in the back, I was amazed at the thickness of my hair from root to tip.

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I was so excited to be able to put it into a ponytail! I can do a sleek bun now and add some hair if I want! So its pretty clear at this point, guys. I’m starting to sound like a broken record because I tried to keep it low maintenance and basic during this process. Between protective styling, trimming when needed, scalp massages, and minimum to NO heat, I was able to restore my hair back to life. But this is where the plot twists.

My husband thinks I’m going to cut it, but to my surprise, with God’s help, I will not be cutting my hair for a LONG while.

For the next 90+ days, I will be embarking on a weight loss journey/eating healthy/drinking buckets of water for something exciting coming up in September. Prayerfully, with this start, comes with a lifestyle change that I can’t wait. Not only that, I definitely want to see if this plays a role in the health of my hair. Of course it would, but like I said…..I want to see. Stay tuned!

 

The Right Way To Protective Styling

Protective styling can be a good thing right? You’re giving your hair a break, allowing it to rest, maybe help with the growing process. But then, your edges are popping, hair is coming out, scalp is dry and brittle and it seemed like you lost more hair than you ever did while it wasn’t being manipulated. Why?

There’s levels to this protective styling thing and I get several questions about it. I’ve been protective styling since I was 11 years old. I’ve made mistakes in the past, BELIEVE ME, but I’m here to give you some advice on the right way to protective styling. Listen up.

Protective styling, in a nutshell, is doing a style that completely gives your hair a rest. You can do braids, crochets, sew-ins, or wear wigs. I’ve done 3 out of 4 (I’ve never owned a wig) and with 20 years under my belt let me give you some advice.

  • Always start with clean hair and scalp.
  • Make sure your hair and scalp is moisturized.
  • Are your ends trimmed and healthy? If not, trim them!
  • Clean your hair utensils (brush, comb, hairclips, etc).

Tips for Braids

  • Soak the hair in Apple Cider Vinegar and Conditioner until all that gunk comes up, then wash hair. Your scalp will thank you.
  • DO NOT BRAID TOO TIGHT. Your scalp will already be tender, don’t add any more strain.
  • The natural hair to braiding hair ratio should almost be the same. For example, you don’t want to braid 4 inches of weave onto a 1/2 inch of your natural hair. Your hair will pop.
  • Kanekalon hair is lighter and better for your hair. Not that synthetic hair. Why use 12 packs of synthetic hair when you can use 3 packs of kanekalon hair?
  • If your scalp is tender after braiding, put a hot towel on your head. Let them steam do its thing.

Fun Fact: I did box braids on my hair and I used 11 packs of synthetic hair. The hair was so heavy, it popped my hair out. I had to cut my hair off into a pixie hair cut. It was the thinnest I’ve ever seen.

  • Ease up sewing in the hair too tight. You may not feel it when you’re doing it, but I promise you, you will feel it later.
  • The longest you should keep your hair in braids is 4-6 weeks. You can keep them in longer if you wash your hair with the braids in (and you can).
  • Oil your scalp at least twice a week. Refresh your hair with water and add some leave-in conditioner.

I’ve never worn wigs but your wash regimen should be the same as if you don’t wear wigs. Do your regimen every two weeks. Take your time when taking down your protective style. Remember,  you have lots of build up and hair that needs to shed from your scalp. You don’t want to be harsh during the detangling process. SECTION your hair! You’ll thank me later.

This may sound redundant and you’re probably thinking, who wouldn’t know this obvious information, but there is someone out there that doesn’t know the right way to protective style or to even care before, during, or after. I’ve followed these steps for years and although I’ve experience my own horror, I found a way to correct my mistakes and maintained healthy hair while its resting. Now you can too!

 

Benefits of Deep Conditioning + My Favorite Deep Conditioners

One thing I learned as a fellow gal sporting my natural curly hair to keep my curls hydrated and moisturized aside from clipped ends. The key to moisturized curls is to deep condition. Deep conditioning allows your hair to soak up nutrients that aids in maintaining moisture. I get several questions on how I keep my hair hydrated and if I have any techniques that work. This isn’t a step that you should be skipping in your hair care regimen either. So what are the benefits of this process, you ask?

  • Less Breakage
  • Soft, hydrated and healthy curls
  • Responds well to hair stylers
  • Less shedding (as long as your ends are healthy too)

I can promise you, that your favorite natural hair guru DOES NOT skip this step and their hair flourishes. Deep conditioning works best when heat is involved. You can use a sit under dryer with your hair under a plastic cap (poke a couple holes in it) or under a hair steamer. The heat will open your hair cuticles and allowing whatever deep conditioning  product you’re using to seep into your hair feeding it all the nutrients.

When shopping for deep conditioners, look for products that will help with adding moisture, control frizz, enhance curls and increase shine, as well as nourish and strengthen. Products such as shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, raw honey, aloe vera, and argan oil. There are plenty more, but these products are loved by my hair.

Here are a few of my all time favorite deep conditioners. You’ve seen my rave about the SheaMositure Jamaican Black Castor Oil line plenty times on my blog. I’ve never found an entire line of products that I can use and my hair responds well to all the products aside from this line and the Crème of Nature Argan Oil Line. These are staples and I they’re always in my collection.

 

What’s your favorite deep conditioners?