Monday, December 20, 2010

Pin Pointing Hair Breakage...

Experiencing hair breakage is frustrating and can leave us feeling quite vulnerable.  If you've ever experienced hair breakage you know the results can put you in a desperate state, we will try just about anything to stop it! 

We will frequent hair salons and beauty supply stores all over town looking for a miracle hair treatment to stop hair breakage instead of trying to pin point the source. This is important because if we don't figure out what's causing the breakage, the cycle will continue.  But, narrowing down the culprit of hair breakage does not have to be a difficult task.  Below I've listed 4 of the most common reasons that lead to hair breakage:


If your hair is frequently treated with chemicals, such as hair relaxers and permanent hair dyes, your hair is extremely prone to breakage. Some believe that because their hair does not immediately show signs of damage that their hair is strong enough to handle the abuse. This is not true. Chemicals breakdown the outer layer of our hair shaft making it weaker and weaker,  over time will cause it to break.  It is also the source of a lot of unexplained breakage.

 Heating Appliances

The frequent use of flat Irons, blow dryers, curling irons, hot rollers etc, these  can all lead to hair breakage. Heat dries the hair out, lead to split ends, dulls the hair, it becomes limp and weak and then eventually show shines of breakage.  Finding hairstyles that does not involve using heat as much, will drastically improve the health of your hair and limit breakage. If you are relaxed limit heat to once a week, or less if you can. If you wear your hair natural most of the time, try to limit your heat styling no more than once a year.   


The frequent use of hair accessories with metal clips, tight rubber bands, tight buns, tight braids, weaves, combs and brushes can all cause breakage.  also constant handling and mamanipulation of the hair can lead to breakage. Be sure to give the hair a break from styling, through safe protective styling and be gentle when handling your hair.


This is a really big issue for ladies, and is often overlooked when hair breakage is experienced. When we are stressed it takes a toll on our skin, nails, and our hair! It's not worth it ladies.We must relax, increase exercise, and eat healthier diets to help  manage the stress in our lives. (Breakage from stress usually manifest in the temples and nape areas of the hair.)

**Pay attention to what you do to your hair, what you add to your regimen, and what you take away. And in most cases you will be able to trace back the cause of your hair breakage.   If you would like more information to help you pin point the cause of your hair breakage please don't hesitate to contact me! 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Heat Damage Story....

Meet Keisha,

Keisha  prides her self in growing beautiful healthy hair. And her results speak for itself!  She's made some tremendous strides with her natural hair journey, but due to a few missteps, she's had to go back to the drawing board.  Keisha would like to share her story, and how the use of heat can be very deceiving leading to irreversible damage of our beautiful tresses......


In October 2007 I began to transition after being relaxed for 11yrs.  At first I only wanted to be natural because of the versatility, but the longer I transitioned the more I felt this is how God made me & I’m not doing the chemicals any more. I transitioned for 8 months with cornrows & buns then I big chopped in June 2008. For someone, who has never had short hair before, the shock was overwhelming.  I didn’t like it at first but it grew on me.

 Although there weren’t many naturals here in WA people loved my hair. I always got compliments on, and people would ask if it was a weave. My fiancĂ©’ just didn’t like the whole short hair thing but overall I had support. 
During this natural stage I didn’t always wear my hair out, I was a fan of kinky twists so I wore those a lot. Keep in mind, every time I would get kinky twists put in, I would use heat to blow out my hair. In November 2009 I had been natural over a year & my fiancĂ©’ was leaving on deployment. He loved my straight hair so I got it straightened. It was nice, and once I washed, my curls popped back in place so there was no problem.

In March of 2010 had my hair straightened for spring break. My curls came back, although I didn’t notice it, my patterned had become looser.

(Notice bangs loosening)

 And In August 2010 aka dooms day, lol. I had my hair straightened again. I never complained about how much heat they stylist was using on my hair, she always said that my hair could take it, and more.  Well right after I straightening I decided to do a 1 year protective style challenge with braids, so I didn’t rewash hair. I wore my hair straight for a couple days & then just threw in my braids thinking my hair was fine.

In October I took my hair down for a wash & that’s when I saw it the HEAT DAMAGE! It was all over, the front was so bad it would not  curl anymore. Then I had straight pieces everywhere else?? I was so upset with

Loss of Curls

 So, because  I didn't want to look at the damage I'd caused, on October 27th 2010 I relaxed my hair again, and started transitioning all over again. I’ve been asked, if I needed to relax my hair in order to transition again, and my answer is no, I didn’t. But, I couldn't look at it. 

 So this time around there will be no BC for at least 2yrs. Although my TWA was cute I just can’t go back to short hair. Also, I will not be using heat to blow-dry or straightening for 2yrs.  If I ever decide to straighten again after that horrible experience, I will do it myself. That way I will know how much heat I’m putting on my hair. 
The point to my story ladies is everyone is different. Some people can straighten weekly & they won’t experience heat damage & some can’t. (Unfortunately you may not find out which one you are until it’s too late)
 Also be cautious of your stylists as well. I’m not saying their all alike but be careful of who you allow to do your hair.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My Braids: Winter 2010!

So, as I mentioned in a previous post, that I am a big believer in protective styles, and braids are my favorite.  I've tried tons of protective styles throughout my healthy hair journey. Weaves, lace fronts, 1/2 wigs, faux ponies, and none of them last longer than 2 weeks.  When I want to max protect, I need a style that will keep all of my hair completely covered, or it won't work. If I can get to my hair in anyway,  I'm going to mess with it!  Braids are really a healthy median for me, because my scalp can still breath, I can treat my scalp wash, condition, and moisturize my hair while wearing braids. Also, the styling options with braids very versatile, and the hair moves freely and unhindered.      

Braid extensions for some have gotten a bad rep. Braid extensions,  although known for helping retain length, has also been the blame for balding and thinning edges.  But, it is not the braids that cause thinning and balding edges, it's the application and neglect of them This same thing holds true for weaves.   There are several precautions that you must take when installing braid extensions, as well as, maintenance regimens that you must follow prior to going into braid extensions.  Your hair must be in the best condition possible prior to getting braids to ensure the strength, and preservation of your hair. There are 4 things that I attribute to my success with growing my hair out with braids. 
1. I have a strict regimen that I follow with my hair before going into braids.

2. I'm very vocal with my braider on how I "don't" want my hair braided  

3. I take care of my hair while they are in the braids. 

4. After 2 months I take my time and "carefully" remove the braids 

All of these things for me equals positive results after the take down. 

(The hair used in this winter's braid style is Freetress CozyDeep-No. 2)

**Healthy Happy Hair Growing.....

Monday, November 22, 2010

Goodbye to Glycerin for Winter?

Many of us in the Natural hair community have discovered Glycerin for a use far beyond the unforgettable Jeri curl of the 1980’s.  Glycerin is a humectant, and it holds on to water, reportedly up to 3 molecules.  Glycerin can help increase and maintain the moisture levels in our hair. It is also best used when mixed with water, for two reasons. Number one, glycerin can be thick or sticky and difficult to apply, and second mixing it with water can supply a direct source from which moisture will be constantly drawn. 

Most of you are probably aware that glycerin will pull moisture from the air and absorb it into the hair shaft; which is great news for naturaly dry hair during the summer months, where there’s typically more humidity in the air.  But, whether or not we should use glycerin on our hair during the winter months has been a subject of debate.  Many discontinue the use of glycerin because of the popular belief that because the air is drier during colder months, there is no humidity in the air from which glycerin can draw from, leaving the glycerin in the hair no choice but to pull moisture from the hair, which will dry it out.  However some natural hair scientist have found that when you mix glycerin with a significant amount of water,( 1 part glycerin to 3 part water or more) it is highly unlikely that it will abandon that water, for the moisture that you’ve added to your hair from other products. When we think about it, this theory does make sense. Have you ever seen a dry Jeri Curl, summer or winter?  

  In most over the counter products that contain glycerin, you’ll find water as the first ingredient. If your hair loves glycerin, you may not have to avoid it like the plague, on this winter; just make sure you are giving your hair enough water to work with.

What are your thoughts and experience with using Glycerin on your hair during the winter months? If you have tips, please share!!

and, to learn more about the benefits of Glycerin please visit the following link:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Protective Styling.....

Braid Extensions

With the winter season closely approaching, protective styling becomes extremely popular amongst healthy hair growers! Whether you protect your hair to shield it from harsh weather climates, to retain length, or simply take a break from styling your hair, protective styling is a must if you wish to grow and maintain a healthy head of hair.   

 To wear a protective style simply means to shield or cover. It is essentially keeping the ends of your hair tucked away. Our ends are the oldest and most fragile part of our hair.  The protection of our ends is imperative if we wish to grow and maintain a healthy hair length.  (You can also opt for ultimate protectective styling from heat and excessive handling due to styling by covering all of your hair.) 

Half  Wig

When we protect the ends of our hair, we have fewer to no split, or frayed ends.   Did you know, the more you protect your ends, the fewer trims you'll need, and the longer your hair will become? If you answered yes, then you're already ahead of the game! If not, then what are you waiting for?  It's time you made a healthy hair decision, and choose a protective style!

 Here are a few options:(most extensions should stay in no longer than 2 months at a time when you're protecting for health)

  • Braid Extensions(medium sized, not too tight )
  • Two strand twists extensions
  • Wigs (full cap or 1/2)
  • Full sew in weaves( not too tight please)
  • Scarves
  • All natural two-strand twists(in updo, or pinned)
  • Buns
  • Updo's
  • Faux Pony tails

What's your favorite protective style? (mine is obvious!)

Braids( in an updo)

*Happy Healthy Hair Growing!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

KinkycurlyHair- Keeping the Confidence

The decision to wear your hair in its natural texture is a personal and exciting journey. If you are like most African American women you were relaxed at a very young age and had little to no memory of what your natural hair texture was like before going natural.  However, once your hair's full identity was  revealed, you became amazed at the creativity of God, and begin to understand that He did not make a mistake when he created Kinks, Coils, and tight curls.  We soon become confident, and proud of who we really are, but for many, holding on to that confidence can be somewhat challenging.  

Here are some of the most common challenges reported by naturals, and tips on how you can keep the confidence while on your Natural Hair Journey:

  People’s reactions to your natural hair  
Others will not always share your same enthusiasm for natural afro textured hair.   Be prepared for mix comments and reactions to your hair. Many will love it, and some will hate it, and others will have no comment! Just remember, that no matter what the response this is “your journey.” People are entitled to their opinion, but in the end, it’s your head.  Do what makes you feel good about your hair, and stand by your decision. People will soon admire your strength and courage, and some of your biggest naysayers will become admirers. 

Moisture issues
Kinky, Coily, Curly hair needs more moisture than relaxed hair. Because our hair is tightly coiled or kinky, natural oils take longer to travel down the hair strands, leaving our hair dry. This is why we have to add moisture back into our hair.  Remember that water is your best friend. Co-wash or Hydrate  your hair at least 3 times a week to keep it moisturized.  Avoid using sulfate shampoos, and make sure all of your moisturizing hair products are water based.  Hair that is well moisturized is easier to manage, and it retains length.

Styling challenges
Styling for some naturals can be challenging depending on the texture and thickness of our hair. Also lack of styling skills can be a factor.  All naturals run into up’s and downs when it comes to styling their hair.  Whether you’re out of styling ideas or just down right tired of dealing with your hair, there is always a healthy remedy. You don’t have to look to chemicals to bail you out, patience and practice will yield results. Never give up on your styling goals. Visit websites like You Tube and for natural hair styling ideas. Also remember it’s okay to take a break, wear protective styles like braids and twists, this will also help you retain longer lengths of hair.    

Time maintenance
Washing, Detangling and Deep conditioning, it all takes more time with natural hair, so be patient. Invest in a good detangling comb or brush, and always wash and detangle in sections.  Realize that your afro textured hair is delicate and should be treated like silk. Give yourself enough time in your sessions to care for your hair. Also find styles that you can put in that will last a few days; such as twists, twist outs, braid outs, even wash n go’s can be refreshed for easy get up and go hair!  

Hair Envy
How many times have you longed to have hair like someone else? Hair that is fuller, shiner, curlier, thicker, wavier, anything but what is growing out of your own scalp?  Hair Envy can be very detrimental to your natural hair journey, and your overall self esteem.  You will never be able to appreciate the uniqueness of your hair, if you are constantly comparing it to every natural head of hair you see. Understand that no two textures are alike, and that everyone has their own unique set of challenges that come with their hair texture. Learn your hair, know what makes your hair fabulous, and hold your head up high. 

Love your hair, and your selves, may God bless you richly.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Natural Hair Confession

 "So, I don't know what side of the bed I woke up on, but it had me researching texlaxers & texturizers today. I know??? ugh I am as surprised as yall are? I loooove my natural hair, and I love the texture. But what yall don't see, is how much time I spend on my hair. It's insane? Last night it took me 5 hours to attempt this braid out style I was trying, ( it started out with a flat twists gone wrong) and by the time I finished I'd been in my head for 5 hours..5 hours..? I felt like I'd been in a boxing match!!? And then this morning when I woke up, it took FORever to get those plaits out, only to have it come out looking like I only spent 5 minutes on it? and I thought.. you know? This is too much time dedicated to hair it's crazy? If I texlaxed I'd get to keep some of my texture, still grow healthy hair, style it a lot quicker and get 1/2 of my life back.. so I am seriously considering it."

Does this sound familiar? Well if it does, congratulations you're perfectly normal! This was me not too long ago.. Natural hair is beautiful, but without patience and the proper knowledge it can leave you wanting to throw in the towel.  But ladies understand that you don't have to throw in the towel. Do your research, ask for advice from other experienced naturals, or just take a break and wear your hair in your favorite protective style. Do what ever you need to do to keep your Natural hair journey going in the right direction.