Care

Staying Fit With Natural Hair

Image source: @curlyroxx38
Image source: @curlyroxx38

It’s important to keep you hair and your body healthy. But you shouldn’t have to choose between the two. You should be able to keep your fitness regime and keep your twist out looking fresh all week. With regular workouts your hair can become dry and brittle so you need to change your usual routine to keep your hair moisturized. Working out with natural hair can be tricky, but there are ways to combat the dryness while staying fit. Here are 5 tips to help keep you curls happy and healthy.

Clarifying

A great way to combat build up from products and sweat and clarify your scalp is with an ACV (apple cider vinegar) rinse. Washing your hair with a 2:1 ratio of water to ACV will get rid of all the sweat and product while smoothing your hair shaft making your hair smoother, shinier and easier to manage. Don’t worry about the smell, by the time you’re hair dries it will disappear completely.

Protective styles

If you work out often you should definitely consider wearing your hair in a protective style. Styles like mini twists, and braids are great options for short natural hair that protect your hair until wash day.

Deep conditioning

With your new workout routine your hair may require a little more TLC so regularly deep conditioning is a must to keep your hair moisturized. Deep condition your hair after washing once a week and apply heat for 30 minutes. This will provide your hair with the moisture it needs to keep your hair from drying out so easily after a hard workout.

Pre poo

Pre pooing is a great way to add moisture to your hair. The extra moisture it provides helps in detangling and reduces the likelihood of breakage. Pre pooing also loosens the dirt and build up on the scalp making it easier to thoroughly cleanse your coils.  This isn’t necessary if you normally co-wash but if you prefer using a clarifying shampoo pre pooing can help retain moisture and keep your hair from feeling striped.

Plan ahead

I personally need to plan ahead. It keeps me organized and centered. Consider making a schedule that includes your workout days and your wash days. Washing your hair once a week should be enough but do what is best for your hair. If you are a heavy sweater or you feel you need more, rinse your hair every other day to prevent serious build up or odor.

Style

Edgy Styles for a Night Out

image source: //www.naabw.com/
image source: //www.naabw.com/

“Just got paid, Friday night, Party hopping..” and those curls need to be poppin. Girls night out is a fun and often essential night, weekly or monthly, where you can go out on the town with your girls. It’s important to hang with your girls but it is equally important to look fly at the same time. You might be thinking your options are limited with your short fro but this is so not true. Here are some fun edgy ideas to give you some inspiration.

Dye it

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Temporarily of course!  There are a couple of tutorials on youtube showing naturals coloring their hair in a variety of ways. Some options are eye shadow, spray on temporary color, and chalk pastels. A product I used that worked great on my dark brown 4b/4c hair was Garnier Color Styler Intense Wash Out Color- Bronze Attitude. The formula is clay based and it comes with everything you need in the box. The great thing is you can control how bold the color is and there are multiple colors to choose from to go with your outfit.

 

Faux Hawk

We have all heard of the fro hawk but a faux hawk is a way to get the same look without the commitment. You can achieve this look by pulling the hair on the side of head towards the middle and securing it in place with a hair tie section by section from front to back. If you want to mix it up you can cornrow the hair instead and then pin it in place.

Perm Rod Set

Another fun look is a head full of super defined curls. All you need are some perm rods, your leave-in, and your go to butter or cream. To achieve the best result, style on freshly washed hair.

 

Slicked Back

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9MA6uYRnjE

This style might take a few hours but it is well worth it. All you need is your gel of choice, a tail comb to part your hair, and a boar bristle brush to work the gel in and create that subtle wave pattern. You can use your hair dryer to speed up the drying process.

 

Wig

A wig is no doubt the quickest way to switch up your look for your night out. A great option is the Marley twist wig. You get all of the style and none of the time commitment.  No need to worry about spending hours in the salon chair or attempting to do them yourself.

 

Bantu Knots

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Bantu knots are one of the more popular edgy natural hair styles. You can create small bantu knots or make bigger sections for chunkier look. Either size is fabulous and the best part is you can undo the style the next day and have a gorgeous bantu knot out.

Care

What to Know Before Coloring Your Natural Hair

image source: //baldblackbeauties.tumblr.com/post/122665952998/artbrains-tiki-instagram-tikicaldwell
image Source: Tumblr

A new season is approaching, fall! The leaves are changing color so why not your hair? Coloring your hair can be something exciting and new. It can make a bold statement and add a new level of fun to your look. But there are some things you need to consider before you take the leap. Darker colors and shades that are within the same range as your natural color shouldn’t cause too many issues. However, going bleach blond or any bright light color could present some problems. Here are a few things to consider before you add some spice to your fro.

Get Inspired

Pick a color, any color! Well maybe not any color. It’s important to pick a color that you like but it is also equally important to consider if the color would complement your skin tone and is the color appropriate for your everyday life. If you’re in a more creative field you may have more color options than someone who works in a structured corporate environment. No matter what look you’re going for the best place to start your search is social media with platforms like Pinterest and Instagram.

Test the waters

If you picked your color but are still hesitant you can try going a week with some temporary color to test the waters. A product I have mentioned before and I have used myself for a temporary fun new look is Garnier Color Styler Intense Wash-Out Color. They have a range of colors from bold and bright pink to subtle pop of bronze. Because the color lies on top of the hair follicle the color comes out nice and bright and will allow you to get a feel for the new color before committing.

Assess the current state of your curls

Before coloring your hair you really need to take a look at your hair and its current state. Is your hair dry? Are you experiencing a lot of breakage and your curls are in need of some serious moisture? If you are having any of these problems or your hair is processed of damaged, you really need to address these issues before coloring your hair. Permanently coloring your hair can cause your hair to be weaker and dryer and you really need to make sure that the hair you start with isn’t already weak and dry.

DIY or Professional

As naturals we are used to taking care of our own hair, but now with all these natural hair salons popping up you have another option other than DIY when it comes to coloring your hair. Because you are going for a permanent color and coloring your hair yourself could result in a serious disaster, it’s is a good idea to get it professionally done.

Temporary changes

For darker colors and highlights your hair shouldn’t have too many problems but if you’re going for a significantly lighter color than your natural hair you might encounter some significant changes. The chemical process used could result in increased dryness and a loss of some elasticity due to the dryness. The best way to combat this is to keep a strict routine. Regularly deep conditioning and protein treatments are essential to keep your hair healthy and happy with your gorgeous new color.

 

 

Care

Understanding and Caring for Your Natural Hair

shamelessmaya.com
Image Source: shamelessmaya.com

There is no right or wrong way to go natural. There are many tips ticks and guides out there that teach you about various methods and treatments that nourish and strengthen your hair but the reality is there is a lot of trial and error before you find what works for you. There is no set template or blueprint but there are some things you need to consider that will hopefully make choosing products and methods a little easier for you.

Determine your hair type

There is some controversy around hair type, which one is the best/worst? (hint: trick question because they are all amazing) However, knowing your hair type can really help you understand how to care for your hair and which products work best for you and why. For instance, women with type 4a/b/c hair, like me, find very little, if any, success using gel to define our curls. Type 4’s can use gel but it’s just better suited for slicking down edges and stray curls than for definition. In contrast, women with 3a/b/c hair have great success with using gel. Their natural curl definition is enhanced and held in place. Some women with type 3 hair don’t even need to use gel because their curl pattern tends to be naturally well defined.

Know your porosity

Porosity is your hairs ability to absorb and retain moisture. For most, porosity is genetic but it can also be affected by heat treatments and chemical processing. Knowing your porosity can help you chose the right products to keep your hair well moisture, protecting your hair from breakage. Low porosity hair is protein sensitive and requires moisturizers rich in emollients like shea butter, jojoba and coconut oil. Medium porosity hair requires an occasional deep conditioner containing protein, and high porosity hair can lose moisture easily so it’s important to use leave in conditions, moisturizers sealers and heavy butters.

Shrinkage

Shrinkage is almost inevitable, especially for naturals with more tightly coiled hair. There are some ways to stretch your short hair to maintain some of your length when styling. Bantu knots are great way to curl and stretch your hair at the same time. They achieve the same effect as banding and can also double as a style if you are in the mood or in a rush.

LOC, LOB methods

The LOC (leave in, oil, cream) method is the layering of products in a specific order to maximize moisture retention. The layer of moisture from the leave in is sealed in with two sealants, oil and a cream, to keep the water from the moisturizer from evaporating, which would otherwise leave you hair dry. Choose the products that work best for you, just make sure your leave in contains water and that the two sealants aren’t too heavy for your hair. If you find yourself needing a little more protection you can substitute the cream for a heavy butter.

Shedding

Shedding is a natural part of everyday life. The normal amount of shedding is specific to the person. If your hair is thicker or longer your 10- 15% of normal shedding is going to look like a lot compared to someone with shorter or thinner hair. Also if the volume of shedding is relatively the same on wash days then there is nothing to worry about. However, if you notice any significant increase in shedding with no external changes to your hair then you need to check with your routine. You might need to back off the regular protein treatments or maybe up the amount of moisture you add to your hair.

Protective styling

Protective styling is a great way to give your hair a break from constant manipulation from styling. It protects your ends, the oldest and most fragile part of your hair, and is great for growing out your hair. Some great styles are box braids, Senegalese twists, twist outs, braids outs and any other creative style you can come up with that tucks away your ends. Don’t forget to moisturize your hair on a regular basis so it doesn’t get dry. But remember, protective styling can have it drawbacks if you leave in the styles for too long, no more than 1- 2 months max. Your hair needs to breathe!

Care

How to Beat the Heat & Reduce Frizz

image source: //www.instagram.com/p/BJS9rzlg6dC/
image source: Instagram

This summer has been one of the hottest summers yet and depending on your location you’re also battling some serious humidity. The combination of humidity and harsh summer rays are the ultimate enemy of any curly naturalista. The humidity frizzes up your perfect twist out a mere 5 minutes after leaving the house and the intense sun leaves your curls feeling dry. Luckily there are some ways to beat the heat and keep your curls looking defined and frizz free for longer.

Size does matter

When you’re trying to achieve better hold and definition in your hair, the smaller the section is the better. When you twist or braid your hair in smaller sections it has a better hold and a more distinct curl. This allows your style to last longer in humidity than it would with bigger looser curls.

Wet or Dry

When styling your hair the night before it is best to start with wet or damp hair. The hair is more flexible when wet so any style will come out more defined. However, depending on your hair you might find that you might get better results with barley damp or dry hair. Test out both methods to see which one works best for you.

Protect those Ends

Protecting your ends is always a good idea but it’s more important than ever when your hair is being exposed to the harsh summer weather. Because your ends are the oldest part of your hair they are the most fragile so they need the most protection. Moisturize with a light leave in like 2:1 ratio of water and aloe vera gel and seal with a light oil like grape seed oil.

Use lighter products

In the colder months products like heavy creams and butters are essential for retaining moisture and protecting your coils but all that heaviness can really weight down your hair and cause some serious build up in the summer. Because there is more moisture in the air lighter oils and butters are your best friends in the hotter months.

Add some Gel

I know I just advised to use lighter products and gel doesn’t seem to fit the criteria but not all gels are created equal. Aloe vera gel is a great option that provides some hold and an extra layer of defense against the humidity without weighing down your hair.

Protective Styles

Protective styles are popular options for protecting your hair from harsh weather while looking fabulous. Some popular summer styles are cornrows, box braids, twists and flat twists. The best thing about theses styles is that you no longer have to worry about frizz protection saving you time that can be much better spent sitting pool side.

Avoid glycerin products

While glycerin is a great ingredient, in the summer weather it can work against you especially if it is humid. If you aren’t fond of frizzy hair, avoid products with glycerin and save them for a less humid time of the year.

 

twa summer hairstyles
Style

Summer Styles for the Lazy Natural

twa summer hairstylesLet’s face it when there is summer fun to be had the last thing you want to do is spend precious time on your hair. You need styles with low maintenance that can protect your hair from the harsh UV rays. You also need styles that can stand up to the humidity of sweltering summer days that often undo any twist out or coil out in minutes. A TWA is as easy as it gets but sometime you want some variety with minimal upkeep for your summer look.Here are some fun easy options that can stand up to the summer heat.

Hats

Hats are a great way to add some flare to your style and they also protect your curls from direct sunlight. A straw hat like a fedora or floppy hat are perfect for sitting pool side and the holes in the weaving allow for some much needed air.

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Wash and go

A wash and go is as easy as it gets. All you need to do is wash, moisturize, detangle and go.After a quick dip in the pool or ocean just make sure to wash your hair with shampoo to rid your hair of the harsh minerals and chemicals. You can give your strands some extra protection from the rays by sealing in moisture with oils like rice bran or raspberry seed oil.

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Poof/ pineapple

The poof, great for a TWA, and the pineapple, perfect for a tapered cut, are both quick and effortless options for the summer. For the poof all you need is a headband and some gel to smooth any frizzes. For the pineapple a small scarf is the best option. Since a tapered fro is already cut in the perfect shape for this style all you need to do is wrap the scarf around the back of your head and tie the two ends together in the front underneath the hair against your forehead.

//www.instagram.com/p/6zrMhxj2HU/

 

Protective styles

Protective styles like box braids, Havana, Marley and Senegalese twists, and cornrows are some of the most popular looks for the summer months. They are relatively low maintenance and they look amazing. Just be sure to regularly moisturize your scalp so that your hair won’t be dry and brittle when you remove the style.

Head wraps

Head wraps are a fun and colorful way to change up your summer look. They come in all sizes with a variety of patterns and, luckily, there tons of tutorials that teach you step by step how to wrap and twist them into different styles in under five minutes each.