Monday, December 12, 2011

Amla Powder in the spotlight!

I love using Ayurvedic powders in my healthy hair care regimen. I started my experiment with these wonder herbs almost 3 years ago and have not looked back! I've found that there are so many wonderful healing, conditioning, and strengthen  properties in these eastern herbs that they are must in my healthy hair care regimen.  There's so much information out there about Henna, and a tad  bit about Cassia, but you rarely hear people raving about the benefits of Amla Powder. So I wanted to do my part and rave about it, because I think it deserves a lot more praise in the world of natural hair care. The benefits are amazing, and I can't see not adding it to all my other herbal treatments for optimum results!  So here's a very brief rundown of it's benefits... 

Amla powder is created from a gooseberry plant. With this powder you can make a paste that makes hair glossy, dark and Luxuriant! (Just add warm water to make the paste.)
Amla Paste

 (Post rinse: very dark and lush, my hair is not naturally black)
  Amla controls hair loss, stops hair fall, and prevents scalp infections. It also enhances waves and curl patterns in naturally curly or coily hair. (This is a plus for coily-curly haired naturals, and especially to those who have experienced  heat damage and loss of curl) 
Noticeable curl enhancement after 1 treatment, after years of flat ironing & heat damage

 Amla strengthens the roots of your hair and promote healthy hair growth.   Amla also prevents premature graying of the hair.  This is an amazing herb, for women or men with fine or medium density hair looking for more bulk,  because it keeps the hair strong at the roots,  the hair is resistant to unhealthy shedding.  
Fine to medium density( heat/color treated hair) post Cassia & Amla treatment

Fine to Medium Density hair..Post Amla
(The women in the above photos have very fine  to medium density hair, and often use Amla powder in their regimens. They enjoy fuller hair with more density and textured hair.) 
Most of my clients say they can see a noticeable difference after one treatment. You can use  Amla  as often as you like(however pay attention to how your hair responds of course and judge based on that) I use it once a month, along with my Cassia Obavota treatment.  Because the paste is pretty thick I always mix it in with my Cassia Obavota treatments since I do those monthly as well. (If you find the paste is too thick add more water and your favorite oil to loosen it up some.)   So that's my 2 cents!  If you can benefit from any of these properties, I'd suggest you give it a try. : )
For more information on Amla  powder visit
Until Next time, keep it Healthy and happy!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Big Chop: No more relaxers...

 Are you planning to big chop, in order to go natural, but you're just a little scared? Don't worry, it happens to a lot of us..
My Big Chop! (9.27.09)

It's hard to ignore that there are a lot of women going natural at the moment(or choosing to wear their naturally kinky-curly hair). Some are choosing to have long transitions, some short, and some not at all, they just buzz cut it all off!  Whatever you do,  or however long you choose to wait, it's something you will have to mentally prepare yourself for.  I've met very few naturals who were "not" afraid to chop off their relaxer, and unveil their natural kinky curly texture to the world!  I have learned that most of the fear is from within. What I mean by that is, we automatically think that most people will respond negatively to our newly  natural hair.  But I've found that more people were accepting of my  natural hair than what I expected.  (many others come to find that this is the case as well..)I transitioned for 9 months, with the intention of going a full 12 months) I was so ready to be 100% natural but I was definitely afraid of what my natural hair would look like because I had no idea. On the day of my big chop I was excited and very nervous.  I had strong convictions on why I wanted to be natural, so I knew nothing was stopping me.  During the transition I learned a lot that I didn't know about my texture, and I was ready to see it fully without the relaxed ends.  So I called over a friend and she helped me chop off, a LOT of hair, and what I saw starring back at me in the mirror was a little unsettling at first.  I mean wow?  I really didn't expect my hair to be that short, it was so short and cottony, that I didn't know what could be done with it. I immediately wondered if I'd made a mistake in cutting it so soon.(Chop only when you are ready, because your hair will in most cases be shorter than what you expect.) It only took me a couple days to get over how short my hair was. To be all natural was so refreshing! No more wasting time and product on the damaged relaxed ends. I soon became more & more intrigued with my natural hair. I couldn't stop staring at it, and I couldn't keep my hands out of it, I went from being scared to in awe of the hair  God has blessed me with. 
Days following my Big Chop

Many of us are afraid because we don't know. We don't know what our hair will look like, how "WE" will look attached to our natural hair, or how others will respond to this hair that is attached to our heads. But I'm hear to tell you that the accomplishment and the freedom you will feel after you decide to big chop or wear your hair 100% natural will completely wash away all of those fears.
Last week was so awesome I did 3 big chops.. count em, 1..2.3 in one week! (on 2 sisters, and a friend.)  They all had different reasons why they wanted to do the Big chop, and go natural.  They all were a little anxious, or nervous about it, but soon after ended up being in awe, and actually liking their newly chopped heads!     Here's what they had to say below...

                                          My Sister Lasharus....She transitioned for 1 year

"I typically wear a lot of wigs, so I wasn’t really relaxing my hair or found it necessary. So I decided why not go ahead and try to go natural. When it was time to chop it off I wasn’t really afraid to do it because I plan to wear my wigs during the growth journey. I think it’s the best of both worlds! My long term goal is to see how long I can grow my natural hair!"

   Sis N Law Jackie..she transitioned for about 19 mos

"I wasn't so sure about going natural in the beginning, because I didn't know what my hair was going to look like. My hair is baby fine, and I knew relaxers weren't good for it.  I would see my Sis n law Chan's hair, and knew I liked it, but didn't know about it for my self. I eventually just stop perming it, and that went on for almost 2 years. I was really afraid to chop it because I'm accustom to wearing my hair one way, back in a bun or ponytail. And with doing the BC, I  figured I may not be able to do that.  I stalled for a while, when I finally got enough encourage, I was glad I did it. I'm loving my new curls and I started wearing my TWA out the same day!, and I'm still wearing it.. I love it!"

                                              My Friend V. She  transitioned for 3 Mos.
"The reason I decided to  big chop is because once I decided to go natural the premed hair over my new growth or natural hair was beginning to become a nuisance, so the big chop sooner than later was the only option for me.   I wasn't sure about it at first because I had quite a bit of hair and I enjoyed my ponytails!  But now that it's done I feel completely liberated and I'm excited about my natural hair journey!"
* All of these women were  attached to relaxed hair, and or wigs. Neither of them thought they could ever chop off their relaxed hair to go natural, but they did. (And their hair turned out beautiful).  So see, there's nothing to be afraid of, according to the bible, we are all wonderful and fearfully made! So embrace God's wonderful creation, and that would be you and your hair! So, if  big chopping is really what you want to do, I'm here to say that you can, and 9 times out of 10 you'll look great!

Until Next Time.. Keep It Healthy and Happy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Product Usage/How to use heat: Chan Said Q/A Series

Heeey, Healthy Happy Hair enthusiast!..So, I'm really excited about this post.  It will be the first of many Chan Said: Blog Posts.   I came up with this post name through an inside joke that my friends and I have going.  Most of them have come to me for hair advice throughout their natural hair care journey, and whenever they share with their spouses or other people  in their lives what I've shared, It's Chan Said, this or that..  
a few of my natural friends

One of my friends said it became so frequent that her hubby start to make fun at her by saying.. Chaaan Said, Chan Said.....meddling her...funny right?   And then some of my other friends shared they were guilty of the same thing.. So it actually became quite funny in our circle of friends every time someone would say Chan Said, when sharing natural hair care tips.... I thought it was quite funny..  and since I'm ALWAYS getting asked so many questions, GOOD questions about hair care, I figured I'd start sharing what I said, with you! : )   So, I'm starting this sort of "Ask Chan" Blog Post series....

Other natural friends

  Most questions on healthy hair care, I feel I have solid supported answers for, and when there's an area I'm  not sure about, I research and give "my opinion."   Overall most people find the information helpful and I'd like to share their questions and my answers with you.  My answers will be comprised of personal,professional, and scientific data that I've collected, researched, and experienced.   But, most of us know that the best way to figure out what our hair like and does not like is to safely experiment with it, my info should always be taken as a loose guide, no natural hair police here! Do what your hair responds best to..period...SO with that being said, lets get started with my first  Chan Said:  Blog Post!

Anonymous:  " Hey Chan, What natural hair care products do you use, and when using heat, what temperature should  you set your flat iron to when straightening your hair out?"

Chan Said:  Hey Anonymous, My product selection, I use a lot of things.(because I love trying products)  But my favorites are:  Aubrey organics conditioners, Shea moisture curl enhancing smoothie & their deep treatment mask, and Shidnaturals Moisturizer..(I love Bee Mine also but Shida's is more cost effective for me)    

Heat Styling Temps:

That is a tricky question because it depends on each person's hair, (and their hair's current condition). But do know: that your hair should be clean and very moisturized before heat styling. Let it air dry first-(stretched, instead of blow drying to lessen the heat exposure).. use a heat protectant and try a very low heat first to see how your hair responds. Start with 300 degrees Fare. or 140 degress Cel.. If your flat irons don''t have these ranges just go round about or set to the lowest possible temp. The bonds in the hair start to melt at 233 C or 451 F(source: The Science of Black Hair)    I would not use a flat iron that does not have a temp gauge.. Also, if you are trying to transition to natural hair, it's best not to use flat irons to straighten your roots because it can affect your hair texture and maybe even damage it.  (Another great tip that I recently received from Anthony Dickey of Hair rules, is to wear wash a goes every day for a week leading up to a heat styling session to make sure the hair is extremely moisture conditioned)

I hope this Q & A session was as helpful to you as my Anonymous reader,

Until Next time beauties! Keep it Healthy and Happy!

If you have any probing questions, don't hesitate to send me a quick note: Your question very well may end up in the next Chan Said:  Blog Post!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Natural Hair Expo in Dallas and My Birthday!

Jane Carter(owner of Jane Carter Solutions)

Finally a natural hair expo close to home! Nappiology Dfw(a non-profit organization) had their 3rd Annual Natural Hair Expo, and I was more than happy to be in attendance. I've been dying to get to the one in Atlanta for 3 years now.  So it felt great to have one in our own back yard. 

Breakfast at the Cracker Barrell/Celebrating my Bday!

My friends and I entering the Expo

Me hanging out with my friends and attending this expo was basically my birthday gift to myself! It was so much fun, and we were really excited I don't think any of us had been to a natural hair meet up of this size..  They had a lot of good vendors  booths too.   But, Jane Carter was our Favorite! Her items were selling for $10 & $5.00 It was amazing.  Her booth stayed busy!

There were also a lot of informative classes and workshops, I was only able to attend  1 because all my friends wanted to do was shop. lol...I think next time we will attend classes before shopping, because they weren't trying to hear me on those classes, they had shopped themselves silly and tired!

Hair Rules..Anthony Dickey's Class

He was very informative regarding our hair texture, he also has years of experience with our hair.  I personally had a question about heat damage. He prides himself on helping our women experience the versatility of our hair from Coily/Curly to Straight successfully without heat damage. I was all ears because this really seems to be hit or miss with a lot of naturals. More of trial and error.  Anthony says, curly hair that's already dry and under moisturized is more susceptible to heat damage.  He recommend that you wear wash n go's at least a week prior to having a heat service done because the hair will then be moisture trained so to speak.  I got in there late, but I enjoyed the part of his class that I did hear.  I LOVE healthy hair Talk!

Hair Rules: Hair Model & Anthony Dickey

A little pose before leaving

I thoroughly enjoyed my entire day from my birthday breakfast, to the expo, to dinner at Bayou Cat.  We were so tired and hungry when we left that expo, that we had to stop by a local Cajun food favorite, to rest and fill our bellys!    

Mmmmmh, that fish was SO good!

Til Next Time.. Keep it Healthy and Happy!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Braiding for Health

(Braids done by: Designs by Jackie)
I've been getting a lot of inquires from my Braiding for Length Retention Blog Post and decided to post an addendum to that.  Although it's good to know that you can experience growth while in braids, proper hair care before, during, and after your braids are taken down also plays a factor in your long term healthy hair goals. One missed step in any stage can result in serious damage to  your hair.   Below is a response to an inquiry that I got a couple years ago regarding Braiding for Health. This reader was serious about braiding her hair for health and gaining length. (It's a lot to read, but it's very helpful!)

My Journal and response:

I had a person inquire about what they could be doing wrong when wearing braids to retain length, because their hair always broke when wearing braids. She noticed that my hair seem to flourish in braids and wanted to know what the difference was. Many women  don’t realize  that the condition of your hair prior to going into braids is a huge factor.   If your hair is already weak, thinning or breaking, going into a set of braids is the last thing you should do!  Work on getting your hair healthy first so you will have a great foundation to start with, prior to braiding up.  Their are 3 stages of braiding for health: Before, During, and After and they all work together  to maximize your hair health,  and length retention.   In addition to your hair being in good condition prior to braids, you must nourish while in them, and how you remove your braids also matters. Major damage can occur at every stage if neglected.  Wearing braids are low maintenance,  but it is not a time for you to take a full blown vacation from healthy hair care.
Hello *****gir1!  Thanks for stopping by today.  I'd love to give any advice that I can with your hair, and as it pertains to wearing braids. To  fully help you out, I will need to know what you do to your hair prior to getting braids, and what you do to it while it's in braids, and then once they are out. This way we can probably figure out what's causing the breakage. No, I do not do my own braids as of now, but I’m working on that! I have a really good braider that cares about the health of my hair. For example:  if I ask her not to braid my hair tight, or not to braid my edges, she listens. So that is important, you have to speak up because it's your head, and your money.

Here's what I did to grow healthy hair and retain length with braids extensions.. (Disclaimer: This is MY Regimen, so it's not the ONLY way to grow healthy hair while wearing braids, also  this is a lot of info but very helpful.)
 Make sure your hair is in the strongest possible condition prior to getting your hair braided up. (Please do at least one protein conditioning treatment on your hair prior to getting braids,  I also make sure that I've gotten in two moisturizing deep conditioning sessions on my hair for a at least 45mins with a heat cap) So it’s best to start doing these treatments 3 to 4 weeks before going into braids this makes your hair stronger, and is resistant to breakage. 

Golden Hot(soft) conditioning cap
  •  I apply a Henna and Amla treatment or Cassia within this 3 week prep time. This will coat the strands, and strengthen your roots,  This ensures that your strands are  strong and is resistant to being pulled out.  (Not to say that some braiders still won’t be able to yank your hair out, if they are a rough or braid tight...but it’s our job to speak up if our hair is being pulled too tight.)
 (On Braid day) makes sure your hair is blown out, or stretched and detangeled. (I had a lady once snap and pull my hair while she was making the parts, to put in my braids.  I'm sure some of my hair broke off, because my hair was not detangled well, and she of course didn’t care about the health of my hair) most braiders just want to jump in and start braiding, so make sure you assume the responsibility of  detangling your own hair. Leave no kinks behind, and blow outs are perfect for this.  (Use low heat and a protectant)

  • Please try to stay away from Micro Braids, although I’m sure it's possible to get through a set of micros without breakage, I would not chance it, it’s a BIG risk.  A heavier strand of artificial hair is being braided onto minute strands of hair. Once the added hair is on, your natural strands are compromised because it is already at a disadvantage. With healthy braiding, especially if they are individuals, its best if the amount of hair added is equal in weight and density.  With Micros, there's not enough support in such a small amount of strands with your own hair, remember there is strength in numbers!   Micros require such small pieces of your own hair that it's no wonder people lose their fragile edges when the try to style their hair while wearing them.  
  •  Choose medium sized braids, or braids the size of a pencil are a perfect size. Also, DO NOT let your braider braid your “baby hairs” or fine edges.  It is not necessary to braid up every single sprig of hair around your edges. That is how you lose them.  Prior to the braider starting, pull as many of those hairs out as you can, that hair is too fine and should not be pulled into tight braids. (apply a little gel afterwards if need be to keep them looking neat and groomed.)

  •  Use a good synthetic hair fiber to braid up with rather than human hair, I've found that human braiding hair  competes with the moisture in your real hair, which causes your real hair to dry out, and break. Human hair braids can also get tangled in with your real hair because the fibers are similar. Synthetic braids actually protects the hair better...and when it’s time to remove they slide right out! (Tip, before applying synthetic hair, make sure the hair has been presoaked to remove the alkaline base off of the hair)
  • While your hair is in braids, please DO NOT IGNORE your hair. You still have to take care of your hair while it's in braids. I clarify with ACV, Co wash, & deep condition my hair while in braids, every week. I have an album dedicated to that particular wash regimen(on name *Chan*).  Afterwards, I always use a leave in conditioner, moisturize, and seal it with oil, just like I do with my own hair when it's out. (Try not to put thick heavy conditioners in your hair, I always dilute mine with water to lessen the amount of buildup I get. Too much build up makes braids tougher to get out) Also when applying product you want to focus on the length of the braid and not the actual scalp so you will lessen build up around the base of the braid. (I do use a light oil to do my scalp massages as I remember to do them.)   Also, try not to let your hair dry out.  I spray my hair with water every single day so it will retain the moisture which prevents breakage.

  • Styling, give your hair at least 2 weeks before you start trying to pull your hair up into styles and ponytails etc. your braids are still taunt at the base and you could suffer breakage by rushing to pull your hair back too soon.  
  •  DO NOT LEAVE YOUR BRAIDS IN PAST 2 months! This is most important. Anything beyond two months and you are moving into dangerous waters. Also when your braids start to slide down around the edges, many women get theirs touched up to prevent breakage (TIP: Please wear a silk bonnet at night to keep the hair covered, even while you are in braids. it preserves the synthetic hair, and keep your natural hair moisturize.)

  • Once it's time to take them down, be patient. Give your self necessary time to remove your braids. If you rush this process you could break your hair while trying to remove the braids. Also there's usually some product build up and maybe even dirt..trapped..around the edges and nape.. apply a lot of oil to help slide that out. Once the braids are out... make sure you detangle your hair really well after you remove them. That is.. BEFORE you wash or wet the hair, get ALL of the shed hair out first, because if you don't your hair will  become severely matted and tangled. 
  • Then, give yourself a mild protein treatment after you take them out to help rebuild strength, and then follow up with a moisturizing conditioner, you can also give yourself another Cassia or Henna treatment!

*So, This is how I take care of my hair when in braid extensions. This is My experience and exposure to  the world of Healthy Hair Braiding, and it works for me. If your braiding regimen is different and it's been working for you, by all means, continue with what you're doing. But if you are seeking answers and need help with your Braiding for Health Regimen..This is a great place to start, and just in time for our fall and winter season!   Until Next time!

(Freshly washed and Conditioned Braids)


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Transitioning to Natural Hair? Need Help?

You Can do this!

My transition from Relaxed to Natural  @ 8 mos post

Congratulations on your decision to grow your natural hair! Like many you’ve probably grown tired of chemical relaxers and everything that comes with that, and if nothing else you’re just curious and want to know if you can really do it. Well I’m here to tell you, that you can!!

 It’s been over 3 years since I’ve made this decision for myself. I transitioned for 9 months, and as of today I’ve been natural for 2 years! Happy Natural Birthday to me! This was one of the best decisions that I could have made as it pertains to health and beauty. My idea of what beauty is has completely changed and so will yours!  I’ve learned that God didn’t make a mistake when he created kinky curly coily hair.  And if you want to wear your natural hair texture, all you have to do is embrace it, learn it, and nourish it.  Learn to work with your texture and not against it, and your natural hair will flourish, even with attached relaxed ends!  

Braid out on/rolled relaxed ends

Keep Roots Moisturized!
5 mos post

8 mos post
Moist roots & Relaxed ends about 8 mos Post relaxer

I kept my hair moisturized so it makes it less daunting, but let me warn you, the transitioning journey is not for the faint at heart.  (And especially, if you have very thick, tightly coiled hair, because the two textures on your head will be like night and day! There will be times when you will fill the urge to give up, but do what you  need to do to push past it! (braid up, trim back, add more moisture, but get through it)

 Chopped off 4 inches( a mini chop) to make it the rest of the way! 

You will find that accomplishing this goal will be very rewarding, and if you do your research and exercise patience, it won’t be AS difficult. When you nourish your hair it makes everything else you do with it much easier, and when it's over you're left with a head full of healthy beautiful natural hair!

Me, Newly Natural!(2 years ago)

SO HERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW: ( NOTE: This isn't an exhaustive list of all the things you should know or do, but it's a pretty good start to guide you through your journey! )     

DO NOT Straighten your roots to match your relaxed ends during your transition, this can damage your natural hair texture and, and can compromise what your true texture is, you don’t want to start off your all natural hair journey with heat damaged natural hair. (For Example some textures could come in straighter than your true texture, this is also known as heat damage, and heat damage can really put a damper or your all natural reveal!) 

DO try styles that will easily blend with your new growth like: braid outs, and twisted flexi rod roller sets. You can even wear ½ wigs or braids. (These are called transitioning hair styles)

DO use all natural products and oils as often as you can, they absorb easier into the hair shaft, and does not leave damaging build up on your hair.

DO Co-wash (conditioner wash) your hair often it softens your hair texture and keep it moisturized. (Try to eliminate the use of sulfate shampoos they are very drying, and especially on natural hair.)

DO NOT wear tight or tiny braids or wear tight weaves while transitioning, this can break your hair and give you balding edges, or bald spots in other places! (Not a good way to start out) 

DO NOT look at other naturals and wish that your hair texture will grow out to be like theirs. This is very important because everyone’s hair is different, even within the same family!  So, embrace the hair that begins to grow out of YOUR scalp. You will also notice that your texture will start to develop more and more as it grows. You are an individual, uniquely made, so embrace that!    

DO  Remember often, why you decided to go natural,(it has to be more than a trend for you)  get a REAL conviction about why you want to embrace your natural hair texture, and TRUST me this will keep you going.

DO ask God for help and for His strength. After all, He created this unique and wonderful hair texture, so he knows exactly what your hair needs. I did it, and it works!   

*Oh! And as it pertains to your Big Chop (cutting your relaxer completely off) it’s a personal decision. Do it when you are ready. I did one, but big chopping isn’t always necessary. You can simply grow it off by doing small trims as you transition. (I will do a separate post regarding the scary, and exciting choice to *BIG CHOP*, so come on Back!

My Big Chop 2yrs Today!!!

 Well until next time…..

Keep it Healthy, and Happy!  


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Product let Down: How to make the best of it!

(Greetings, Healthy Happy Hair care advocates! It’s been a little while since I’ve posted. (I didn’t post at all in August). We had a sudden and unexpected death in our family last month and we are just trying to stay focused.  My family is living proof that God’s strength is PRESENT in weakness. Although we suffered a significant lost we are still victorious because that family member did go on to live with Jesus! So advantage, us!  Alright, on to today's Natural Hair Care Tip! : )

Making your Products work for you

Have you ever purchased a product like say a Moisturizer,  or Deep conditioner and wish it really lived up to its promises…you’re probably thinking how many times?  We read all the hyped up reviews, watch endless you tube product reviews on how great it is, only to learn after purchasing that we are not a part of that satisfied customer club!   Whether you’ve purchased a product based on your own curiosity or on the suggestion of others the let down feeling you get is still the same, this cycle can lead to a lot of frustration and loads of wasted money.  

(My friends) All of us have different hair textures and & our product selection varies

Natural hair has infinite personalities and differs from person to person. This is why experiences with products can differ from person to person; it doesn’t always mean that it is a bad product.  Instead of trashing the product or giving it away, try tweaking it first to fit your individual needs. In most cases, if it’s an all natural product, anything that you add (that is all natural) should not cause any harmful effects. Of course, use your best judgment based on known allergies, etc. (Just because something is organic, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have an allergic reaction.  I know people who are allergic to Peppermint oil and Jojoba oil!?) But I have found these cases to be rare.    
 So here we go!

Moisturizers that aren’t moisturizing enough: Try adding glycerin and coconut oil to your mix. Vegetable glycerin is always a winner in the moisturizing department and Coconut oil will help carry moisture deeper into the hair shaft.

Deep Conditioners without slip or moisture:  Some conditioners can be so thick that it’s hard to distribute throughout the hair. Try adding Extra Virgin Olive Oil, it gives amazing slip and it adds extra shine! For added moisture mix in Glycerin and or Honey!  

Hair butters and Moisturizers that are too thick:  Maybe you have fine strands, and the product you purchased is just way to heavy, try diluting the product with a little Aloe Vera Gel! Aloe Vera is moisturizing and it helps maintain a proper Ph-balance in the hair.  The gel will also help give your Hair butter more of a souffle or whipped feel.

Shampoos that are too harsh: Maybe you purchased what you thought was an all natural shampoo and learned that it had sulfates or is still really drying. You can soften your shampoos by adding: Water, Aloe Vera, Vegetable or Seed Oil.

These are just a few tips that you can use to make the best of your investment!  You may feel you should not have to add anything to a product that you’ve spent good money on, but it’s better than letting it grow fungus underneath your bathroom sink, or throwing it away?  Worse case it still doesn’t work and you know not to purchase it again!  But, at least you’ve tried to make it work for you.  
I always add ingredients like Aloe Vera, Glycerin, and EVOO to my favorite products to give them an extra Kick!!  So this can work both ways.   I’ve found that individual hair textures, porosity levels, and technique has a lot to do with how our products behave in our hair.  Our job is to learn our hair, and then find a perfect balance when it comes to our products.  

Until Next time keep it Healthy and Happy!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

How to tackle Tangles and Knots

If you have  kinky tightly coiled hair, you know that tangles and knots come standard, and can be very frustrating.  A simple detangling session or styling mishap does not have to end with you pulling out the scissors.  With  patience and the proper technique you can remove almost any tangle or knot you encounter without having to cut all your hair off!
  Here are some tips on how to minimize tangles  
·         To minimize knots, first finger detangle your hair prior to wetting it. Remove as many  tangles as you can in it's dry state.  You can use oils and a slippery conditioner to help remove large tangles
·         If needed use a shower comb to assist in the detangling
·         Follow with a Denman brush or some detangling tool that will remove all shed hairs (leaving behind shed hairs can cause them to become trapped later which causes severe tangles, knots, and a not so smooth styling session.  
·       After a wash, plait the hair or place the hair in sections in a stretched state (when natural hair is in a stretched state it cannot coil upon itself and become knotted or tangled)
·         Allow the hair to partially dry in a stretched state and then proceed to style your hair
·         After removing protective styles finger comb all shed hairs out of your hair before washing (if you do not do this, once wet all shed hairs will become locked around the other hairs making them almost impossible to remove.

When you encounter Tangles or Knots
·         Don’t Panic, immediately saturate the hair with conditioner and oil, or something that will give you a lot of lubrication
·         Massage the conditioner and oil into the hair strands
·         Do NOT rake downward into the center of the tangle, but slowly pull hairs away from the center of the tangle until all of the tangles are out
·         Try to only use your fingers to remove most of it to cut down on breakage.  Once all the hair is free, you can follow up with your detangling tool to make sure all shed hair is out.
·         If you have a knot, press the product into the core of the knot(this softens and breaks it down), then try to pull hairs away from the center of the knot.
·         Work slowly and very patiently, if you’re frustrated or impatient get ready for the scissors!

To prevent this?

Remember: Detangle w/fingers First

Follow up w/detangling tool

Put into a stretched state

 I can count on one hand how many times I’ve had to cut my hair because there was a knot or tangle that I couldn’t remove.  In most cases, when you follow these tips you can save yourself from an unnecessary trim or hair cut due to  tangles or knots.     Until Next time, keep it Healthy and Happy!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Heat Styling: How much is too much?

Small heating appliances has always been key, in how most of us learned to style our hair. As  a teenager I’ve lost several locks, and even the entire temple area of my hair due to heat styling!  But like many, it wasn’t traumatic enough to keep me away.  I’d always find myself giving into the temptation to get that perfect curl or straight section of hair which always lead to a cycle of dry damaged hair. 

There are many naturals that love the versatility of going from textured to straight hair, but soon realize that their love for this versatility can come back to bite them in the rear if done too often

 Heat Damage or Heat trained hair is what the end result of this practice is often referred to.  
 Many are finding that once they wash their textured hair back in, or revisit their favorite all natural hair style, that it isn’t as textured or curly anylonger.

Natural hair that has been damaged or has its disulphide bonds broken down by heat is more noticeable, than hair that has already been broken down with chemical relaxers.  I’ve had people say to me, that they don’t use heat "often" to style their hair, but how often is too often? I am a witness that you can experience heat damage in just one heat session. So, make your decision of how often,  based on your long term  goals for your hair.  

 Ask yourself this question:  How serious am I about the health of my hair?  If you are natural, decide how much you really like your hair in its natural state. (For those with relaxed hair, heat damage manifests itself through dry lifeless hair, split ends, and breakage).  Naturals may lose their texture, resiliency, and curl pattern)  If you are a natural that love your hair straight and textured, and you’re serious about the health of your hair,  then decide which one you love the most, and adjust your regimen  accordingly. 

Remember, it's important to know that if you choose to heat style often, you may be gambling with the the texture, strength, and resiliency of your hair.  And just because you do something ALL the time doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to remain full proof. 

However, if you choose to heat style, and still desire healthy happy hair, here are a  few tips you can use to  help reinforce the strength of your hair’s natural bonds.  

*Be sure your hair is currently strong and healthy
-         Don’t use heat to style your hair if it is currently damaged, or weak. Heat will make it worse.     
*Increase how often you deep condition your hair, and DC the night before heat styling(alternate between moisture and protein conditionings to keep the hair balanced.)  

*Don’t blow the hair out prior to flat ironing, let it air dry in a stretched state.

* Use a good heat protectant

*Use irons that have precise heat settings, (fyi..temps above 300 puts the hair at higher risk.)  
These methods are not full proof, but may help lower the risk of damage.   As far as how often, is too often? That is completely up to you, and you will make this decision based on the quality of hair you want to have in the long run. 

Until Next time!!!!