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Care

How to Trim Your Natural Hair

image source: NaturalMe4C (youtube)
image source: NaturalMe4C (youtube)

Knowing when or how to trim your natural hair isn’t as difficult to figure out as you may think. There are many reasons why you might need to dust your ends. Uneven layers, split and knotted ends, lengthy detangling sessions, stunted growth and lack of volume or shape are key reasons why your hair might be in need of a trim.  You don’t have to cut your ends regularly but you do need to make sure you trim them when you spot breakage so you can keep your hair healthy, and growing. Here are 3 methods that are the most common options for trimming natural hair.

 

Two Strand Twist

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Frizzy ends are a good indication that you might be in need of a dusting. Twist your entire head into small or medium sized two strand twist. This method will allow you to see the hair that needs to be trimmed because it tends to stay frizzy instead of twisting into a nice curl at the end. When you’re done twisting, starting from the nape, and snip the frizzy ends of each twist.

 

Slow and Steady

This method takes more time and can be tedious. Split your hair into four sections. From this point, working one section at a time, take smaller sections of hair and examine for single strand knots and split ends. Snip the ones you find and repeat. The issue with this method is that you can possibly end up with uneven ends so make sure to remove the same amount from each section.

Stretch and Snip

There are a variety of methods to stretch your hair. Banding is a popular method. You can also do two strand twists, stretch them across your head and pinning them down. The cinnabon is a looser form of a bantu knot, twisting it loosely around itself. Split the hair into four sections, then, section by section, take smaller pieces and lightly stretch them between your index and middle fingers sliding them down to the visible damaged ends. Using your fingers as a guide snip the ends off and repeat.

 

Care

The Best All Natural Ingredients to Use for Your Hair

image source: curlsunderstood.com
image source: curlsunderstood.com

Many naturals have been getting into using all natural products in their hair regime. They can be mixed to create your ideal moisture retaining product or they can be used on their own.  Store bought products work great too and it is really up to personal preference but there are so many benefits to using natural products. They are free of parabens, safer for long term use, healthier for your hair and healthier for you. Here are a few great natural products that you should consider adding to your hair care routine.

Oils

Avocado oil, castor oil, grape seed oil, jojoba oil and olive oil are all amazing, nourishing and moisturizing oils. They are all great sealants to retain moisture in curls. Castor oil is among the heavy oils so they don’t penetrate the hair shaft but they do lock in moisture externally. It should be used sparingly so you don’t get too much build up. Jojoba oil is popular because it is so similar to the oils our scalp naturally produces. Olive oil and avocado oil penetrate the hair shaft and to help seal in moisture which is why they are usually recommended if you use the LOC Method for moisture.

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Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is one of the many beneficial oils like the ones listed above. But it’s so popular and diverse in its uses that it deserves its own section. Because of its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties due to fatty acids, it can prevent hair loss or scalp conditions that are caused by a bacteria or fungus build up on the scalp. It also prevents breakage and damage when applied as a pre poo and at post- wash and it reduces protein loss in hair. Each time you wash your hair you lose a bit of protein so a 15 minute pre poo treatment with low heat will keep this from happening reducing the amount of breakage and split ends.

Black/Green Tea

Hair teas have been growing in popularity recently. They are great for growth, length, shedding, shine and softness. They are rich in antioxidants, and amino acids and they calm scalp irritations and issues.  Green tea is rich in B5, C, D, and E. It stimulates blood flow and reduces shedding, increasing hair growth. Black tea strengthens the hair reducing shedding and brings out your hairs natural highlights. Steep 2-3 bags of green or black tea in in 2 cups of water and add 1 teaspoon of honey. While it cools to room temperature cleanse your hair with your product of choice. Pour it into a container and apply to dry or wet hair. Leave for 5-15 minutes and gently massage it into scalp. Then rinse with cold water. You can do this this on a weekly or biweekly basis.

Shea Butter

Shea butter is a rich, thick butter that seals in moisture and soothes dry itchy scalps. It absorbs into the hair strand and coats the hair shaft which makes it great for protection against heat. It also has a low SPF that can protect your hair against the suns ultra violet rays.  There are two types of shea butter, unrefined and refined. It is best to use unrefined because it retains all of the above benefits whereas refined shea butter, after processing, only retains some of its beneficial properties.

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera gel can be great as a natural gel for your hair. It smoothes the hair cuticle ,attracts and seals in moisture.  It has a mild hold but keeps your curls looking fresh through most of the day. Aloe vera is also a great leave in conditioner that provides a layer of extra protection under your styling products.

Self

Common Myths About Natural Hair That Are Just Not True

common-myths-about-natural-hair

Natural hair is becoming more and more popular. Appearing in the media, featured in fashion spreads and rocked by many popular celebrities, natural hair is everywhere. There are also tons of tutorials, articles and blogs dedicated to growing and caring for natural hair. Even with all of these examples and resources there are still many misconceptions about natural hair, preventing some of you from making the transition. Allow me to clear up some of those misconceptions for you.

It is Difficult to Manage

If you don’t have the proper knowledge in order to take care of it then it can be difficult. Keeping your hair moisturized with water or a leave in and sealing it with an oil of your choice makes natural hair much easier to handle, but it all depends on what your definition of manageable is.

 

You Will Be Treated Differently

Sure you will, but in the best way possible. Many who take the leap to go natural receive so many compliments and many from complete strangers. A constant showering of compliments is a nice change of pace.

 

Men Don’t Like Natural Hair

This is simply not true. Everyone has their preferences but there are plenty of men who love women with natural hair. Regardless, going natural is a choice you make because you want it and it should not be determined by what others may think.

 

It Won’t Grow

All hair grows, natural hair is no different. It is just harder to see the growth since natural hair, especially 4a/b/c, has a lot of shrinkage. To get a better idea of your actual length stretch out a curl. You can also do a twist out, stretching the individual twist across your head and pinning them down. When you take them out and style you will be able to see more of your length.

 

It is Super Strong

Natural hair is strongest when moisturized but it’s not indestructible. This is why it is so important to handle it with care and patience in order to avoid causing unnecessary breakage.

 

 It Won’t Look Good

It is your hair, of course it will look good on you! Maybe you’re not a fan of the basic short TWA fro. Not to worry there are many style options for short natural hair that will complement you. Check out this article for some ideas.

Care

Great Store Bought Natural Hair Products to Add to Your Regimen

image source: www.kinksarethenewpink.com
image source: www.kinksarethenewpink.com

There are tons of products on the market now dedicated to natural hair. This can be both amazing and terrifying, it’s great that you have all these resources but now you are completely confused and have no idea where to start. The whole process of finding your go to product is really trial by error, but it is all part of the fun journey of learning about your hair. Let me help you make up your minds about a few well know and less well known products that would be a good addition to your regimen.

Petal Fresh

What I love about these products is that not only is it can be purchased at a low price of $5.99  buts it’s ingredients are all derived from natural sources, and  its sulfate free and much more. They have a shampoo and conditioner in pomegranate, tea tree and lavender. Like most shampoos, it does leave your hair with a stripped feeling but a pre poo with your oil of choice lessens this effect. The conditioner is super moisturizing and will leave your curls feeling soft and bouncy.

Get it here

Note: This can also be purchased at a Harmon Face Value store, even though it isn’t on their site.

Beautiful Textures

I came across this line of products while looking for a lighter moisturizing cream that doesn’t cause a lot of buildup. Their Moisture Butter is a great addition to any regime if you’re looking for a little something extra to seal in that moisture.

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Kinky –Curly Knot Today

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Hello Instagram! #KinkyCurly

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This leave-in conditioner has great slip thanks to the organic slippery elm and marshmallow root. Because of this it is great for detangling.

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Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Gel

https://www.instagram.com/p/BJ-QTeRhiD2/

Gels are great for doing a chic slicked back fro look or just smoothing down edges. This gel has more of a light hold, is sulfate free, color safe and, like the whole Shea Moisture line, loaded full of organic ingredients.

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Gorilla Snot (Moco De Gorilla)

If you are looking for a super strong hold that keeps your style in place without having to use too much, then this product is for you. I know the name is kind of weird but it has a great hold, especially for the 4 a/b/c girls who’s only other option in Eco- Styler Gel. It is great for twist outs and laying edges and the price is amazing at $2.99 with no flaking. Just be careful with how much you use because it does build up quickly.

Get it here

 

 

Style

6 Protective Styles for Short Hair

style-short-natural-hair
Image Source: YouTube

I’m always talking about the importance of protective styles. They protect your ends, the oldest and most fragile part of your hair, from breakage allowing you hair to grow and stay healthy. There are the usual styles like box braids, Marley and Senegalese Twists, cornrows and even wigs. But in this article I wanted to give you some styles that you can achieve with just your hair with the option of adding hair to achieve more volume. Just remember protective styles protect the ends of your hair but, if left in too long can cause some strain on your edges so remember to give your hair a break in between styles.

Flat Twist Updo

 

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There are many styles you can do with flat twists. This updo is both easy and elegant.

High Bun

I know what you’re thinking but you don’t have to wait until your hair gets longer to do a high bun. All you need is some gel, a hair tie, bobby pins and some Marley hair. This style keeps your ends safe and tucked away under the bun, just make sure to give your hair a break every other week or so.

Halo Crown

This is one of my personal favorites. You can either twist or braid your hair into this beautiful style. If you want more volume add some kinky afro hair as you twist/braid.

Flat twists with a bun combo

This look allows you to get the bun without adding hair. This style can be achieved starting with an old twist out, some water, a brush and a headband.

Flat Twist Updo on Tapered Cut

I love this style because it gives the ladies with a short tapered cut a quick and easy protective style that looks beautiful.

Mini Twists

The best thing about this style is that it last for several weeks making your morning routine a breeze. Make sure to twist them tightly (but not tightly to your scalp) to avoid stray hairs and to make the style last longer.

 

Care Style

Preparing your Hair for a Protective Style

image source: https://www.instagram.com/p/BJqOVOEgoKY/
image source: https://www.instagram.com, @sandralambeck

‘Tis the season for protective styling. Protective styles are a great way to switch up your look while giving your hair a break. There is little manipulation and maintenance so you can keep them in for weeks allowing your hair to grow. However, there are a few steps you need to take to prepare your hair for your style.

Fix any preexisting damage

You want your hair to be in the best possible shape before putting it in a protective style otherwise the style can do more harm than good. If you are having a lot of breakage add a protein treatment to your regiment for a couple of weeks and see if there is an improvement. If you are experiencing dandruff, try an ACV rinse. Whatever damage your hair has will only be exaggerated without your usual regime for 1 to 2 months so make sure you repair it before styling.

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Cleanse your Hair

It’s always good rule of thumb to style on clean hair, making sure your scalp is free and clear of any product build up. You don’t need any particular products, you can shampoo, co-wash, ACV rinse or whatever method you normally use to clean your hair.

Detangle

To avoid breakage from styling it is a good idea to detangle. Do a quick detangling session with your fingers or a wide tooth comb and trim any knots. This way you can avoid the extra time, pain and breakage.

Deep Condition

Your hair is at its best and strongest when it is moisturized so you should get as much extra moisture into your hair as possible. If you rather skip this in favor of something quicker you can to a pre- poo or use a moisturizing leave in conditioner. Make sure to lock and seal in moisture with your preferred oil and butter.

Stretch

Stretching you hair makes it a lot easier to part and style reducing breakage and saving time. Heat will weaken your hair so use a heatless method like plaits, flat twist, African threading or curl formers.

Find a good Stylist

This is an important step if you don’t plan on styling your hair yourself. Not every stylist knows how to handle natural hair. For styles like weaves, box braids, and Senegalese twists make sure your stylist can properly braid or twist without causing you pain or ripping out your hair. If they can’t manage this find another stylist.

Take a break

Protective styles are great. They are low manipulation and low maintenance but your hair does need time to breath. You shouldn’t leave any style in longer than 1-2 months so give yourself 2 weeks to a month in between styles to give your hair a little TLC.

 

Style

10 Famous TWA Naturalistas

10-famous-twa-naturalistas

Celebrities are some of the most influential people when it comes to style. There are so many black female musical artists, actresses and models rocking their natural hair in the media. They are a great source of inspiration when you are looking for your next style or encouragement to do that big chop or transition to natural hair. Here is a list of a few women famous women with TWA’s to get you inspired:

Solange Knowles

Solange made headlines when she big chopped in 2009 and rocked a TWA. Her new style was met with both criticism and wonder from a society used to the usual weaves and silky hair on the red carpet. However, she didn’t let that deter her and she is still rocking her natural fro as a popular DJ, actress, model and business woman.

Lupita Nyong’o

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Accessorizing. @instylemagazine

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Lupita has been rocking a short fro  ever since we were first introduced to her as Patsey in “12 Years A Slave” and she’s been wowing us ever since. Her style is impeccable and she always knows how to freshen up her classic statement TWA with fun hair pins, and delicate headbands.

Viola Davis

Emmy Award winning actress Viola Davis first hit the red carpet with her TWA when she attended the Oscars in 2012. In a noteworthy scene in her hit show How To Get Away with Murder she removed her wig revealing her natural hair, something that has never been done before in a popular TV drama.

Rose Cordero

Dominican supermodel Rose Cordero hit the runway in the Max Mara spring/summer 2010 with an afro flattop bringing the androgynous style back to Vogue, Grace Jones style.

India Arie

Neo-soul artist Indie Arie is always switching up her look. But in 2014 she cut off her locs in favor of a short and sassy parted buzz cut, truly embodying the message in her song, “I am NOT my Hair”.

Chrisette Michele

https://www.instagram.com/p/BIk0tMTA_om/

This soul singer rocks many styles from box braids to weaves to a rainbow of colors. But the best style is her short natural hair.

Issa Rae

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😍 @issarae @thecut

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Jo-Issa “Issa” Rae Diop appears to be relatively new on the scene but she first found fame as creator of the 2011 web series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl”. In “Insecure”, a new HBO comedy co-created by Diop, stars Issa as the lead character, a 29 year old woman reevaluating her life, career and relationship. Issa rocks her TWA in both shows while being amazingly hilarious and relatable.

Samira Wiley

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#aboutlastnight #CFDAawards2016 w/ @millybymichelle

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Samira Wiley is best known for her role as Poussey Washington on Orange is the New Black. She dons a simple short tapered cut on and off screen that fits well with her fun, outgoing and loving personality.

Jennifer Hudson

In 2015 Jennifer Hudson slayed with her super-sleek cropped cut. It’s a big change from her choppy pixie style but the sleek crop was made for her.

Tamera Mowry-Housley

Tamera has worn her hair natural before in her hit 90’s sitcom “Sister Sister”, but in 2014 Tamera decided to do a big chop and flaunt her short natural hair on her he talk show The Real where she shared her big chop story.

 

Self

Natural Hair and Your Significant Other

image source: urbanbushbabes.com
image source: urbanbushbabes.com

Discussing hair with your significant other can be sensitive territory especially if you are making the leap from chemically straightened to natural hair. It’s a drastic change that you’re undergoing and you are going to need all the love and support you can get.  When it comes down to it, it is your hair and your decision but here are a few things to consider discussing with your significant other to help them understand your choice.

Discuss your choice

Not everybody likes surprises and having straight long hair one day and a short curly fro the next may not be the best way to introduce your boo to your new cut. Try talking with them about why you want to do the big chop. Some of your reasons may be you want to regrow healthier hair, or your looking for a change or maybe you want to learn more about your natural texture. Whatever your reasons are share them with your SO but most importantly mention that this is something that you are doing for you and how much it would mean if they were supportive.

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Your satin pillow

Your satin pillow is just that, YOUR satin pillow. All other pillows are fair game except this one. I know that is feels nice against the skin and it always has a cool side but if they don’t want your hair to be stuck in whatever misshapen form is was in while you were sleeping they need to pick another pillow.

Shrinkage

Even though your hair will be growing, as long as you keep it moisturized and healthy, there will always be shrinkage. No, you didn’t cut your it, it’s just the nature of kinky, coily hair. One day your curls are stretched making you hair appears longer the next shrinkage has taken over and your hair now appears to be half the length. Just stretch out a curl to show them that you didn’t cut it again and that should calm them back down.

Wash Day

Spending a whole day at the salon has been replaced by wash day. The actual washing won’t take the whole day but allowing your style to set and dry will definitely take all day and night. Maybe teach them your weekly routine so they at least know not to make any plans on the same day.

Protective styles

When caring for and growing out your natural hair protective styles are the way to go, and you will probably be trying a lot of them. Educate your SO with visual aids to help them better understand the different types of styles and looks that qualify as protective styles. Maybe they can even help you pick out a few.

The “No touching!” rule

As your significant other they are pretty much the only person you will allow to touch your hair without asking. However, we all know that when you achieve that perfect twist, coil or braid out the last thing you want is it getting ruined. Just explained to your boo that they can touch, feel and play but no ruffling allowed. Be gentle.

Acceptance

At the end of the day your natural hair is a part of you and having your SO on board can really help encourage you.  How you feel about your hair can affect the way you feel about yourself and if your boo loves you for you then they will love your natural hair.

Self

10 Reasons to Rock Short Natural Hair

image source: www.bellanaija.com
image source: www.bellanaija.com

Natural hair has its challenges and I’m sure you’re discovering all of them on your journey. With short natural hair there are so many cute styles and accessories to try, it is easier to maintain, and a huge time saver. Here are a few more reasons why you should embrace your short natural fro.

Sense of Freedom

https://baldblackbeauties.tumblr.com/post/94926696574

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You can’t help but feel liberated when you big chop. Even after transitioning and you finally cut off your straight ends, you feel a sense of relief because you no longer have to worry about two different textures.

Fun New Styles

https://shortnaturalhairstyle.tumblr.com/post/148639987663

At first you may think that your style options are limited when it comes to short natural hair but that is most definitely not the case. Natural hair is extremely versatile. There are many cute styles to choose from and tons of inspiration and tutorials to help.

Unique and Special

https://baldblackbeauties.tumblr.com/post/121593883245/missdontcare-x-samira-wiley-for-buzzfeed

The color, the texture, the way it behaves is all unique. Your curls are uniquely you and special, celebrate them!

Water is your Friend

https://www.instagram.com/p/BKcb0FijhZQ/

If you are new to the natural world one of the most important products you could use on your hair is water. You don’t have to run in between the drops or forgo beach days because you just got your hair done. Water is a natural moisturizer and your new best friend.

No Long Salon Visits

Because you are caring for your own hair you no longer have to block out a whole day for a trip to the salon. You don’t have to worry if your stylist is available because you are your own stylist. Through caring for your own hair you can gain a sense of pride because you know how to keep your curls healthy.

Change is Good

https://shortnaturalhairstyle.tumblr.com/post/147698642683/thegirlwithcaramelskin-the-finished-product-of

Transitioning to natural hair is definitely a big change. Even long time naturals looking for a change cut the hair short again. Short natural hair is where it’s at!

A Quick Routine

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@biotytips uses our lovely #hibiscusoil as part of her L.O.C method to seal in moisture, help her hair with shine, growth and thickness. . _ Ma L.O.C méthode du moment, mon trio gagnant: . _ Je commence en mettant le gel Kinky curly sur cheveux bien trempés. C'est à jour le meilleur gel que j'ai pu tester. Il hydrate et définit les boucles à la fois. _ Je poursuis en scellant l'hydratation avec de l'huile de graine d'hibiscus. Peu connue elle possède pleins de propriétés: accélére la pousse et prévient la chute des cheveux. Apporte brillance et volume. Redéfinit les boucles. Je la trouve top et non grasse. Vous pouvez la trouver chez @lecurlshop _ Et enfin j'applique ma creme bouclante de @soultanicals. Elle possède du BTMS mais je suis une quat friendly donc Ca ne me dérange pas. Elle redéfinit bien les boucles sans les alourdir tout en les hydratant. _ Pour styliser tout ca j'opte pour la méthode Rake and Shake. _et vous votre LOC/LCO du moment? ____________________________________ #lecurlshop#kinkycurly#kinkycurlycurlingcustard#hibiscusoil#sheabuttercottage#soultanicals#hair#haircare#locmethod#curlyhair#natural#naturalhair#teamnatural#teamnaturalhair#naturalhaircare#naturalhairproducts#curlyhairroutine#naturalcurlyhair#cheveuxboucles#cheveuxnaturels#soincheveux #naturalhairroutine#naturalhairdaily – #SheabutterCottagehibiscusoil

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The best part of short natural hair is how quick your routine is. Wash days are a breeze and styles take less time to achieve leaving you with more time in your day.

 It’s a Money Saver

Unless you are a product junkie, maintaining your short natural hair is nowhere near as costly weekly salon visits because you are doing your hair yourself. All you need as a shampoo, conditioner, leave-in, oil, cream and water and these products will last you at least two months if you’re not heavy handed.

Go Ahead, Break a Sweat

Gone are the days of sweating out your hair. With your short natural fro you can get your sweat on in the gym and just follow up with a quick rinse if you feel like you need it.

Tons of Compliments

Because natural hair is so versatile you’re bound to be changing up your look and a new looks usually comes with a ton of compliments. Soak in all the love.