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dry hair

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What’s Your Hair Type

Whats my hair type?… Am I a 4a, 3b,  or 2c?  Whether you just transitioned to natural, or you’ve been natural for years, knowing your hair type can rule out a lot of unnecessary problems when managing your natural tresses.  Knowing your specific hair type can help you determine what products and styles work best for your texture. This in essence will save you a lot of money spent on unnecessary products and headaches from styles that don’t last.  Experts from the Natura Staff  have composed a chart to help assist you in determining your natural hair type.

Im a 3C.. what are you?

Xoxo

Naturalia

to see the chart click here.

 

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Why Is My Scalp So Flaky?…. and What Can I do To Treat It?

 

Via EnjoyingTheJourneys; CurlyNikki

A dry flaky scalp can be caused by a number of things, including the weather and or the products you are using. Dry Scalp is usually treatable when you give your hair added moisture and eliminate certain products from your regimen. You will need to identify or narrow down what could be the cause of your specific issue before it can be dealt with properly.

What causes Flaky Dry Scalp?

Dandruff is not the result of dry hair, it is caused by an oily scalp. You can usually differentiate dandruff from dry scalp by the size of the flakes. Dandruff flakes are larger and white. Your scalp may itch but it will not be inflamed or tender. Treatment::  Increasing the frequency of shampooing your hair will help; use a shampoo that has ingredients to specifically treat dandruff. I’m an advocate of natural products so I’d recommend, JASON, dandruff relief shampoo. It has tea tree oil, neem and rosemary in it.

Product build up (especially products with mineral oil, petroleum and other pore clogging ingredients) can also cause flaky, dry scalp. These flakes are not dead skin cells at all, but gels, conditioner, hair grease, or other products you’ve used that are mixed with your skin cells. Treatment: Begin to use a clarifying shampoo to rid your scalp of the residual ingredients. Follow up with a moisturizing conditioner as clarifying shampoos strip your hair. ( makes it squeaky clean but also has a tendency to be drying)

Dead skin cells fall off and are replaced by new skin cells. When this process of shedding is faster than normal, you will notice flakes on your scalp. If your flakes are because of dry skin, you will most likely have dry skin on other parts of your body. The flakes are dry, small, and white. Not washing your hair often enough can lead to excess oil and more rapidly producing flakes. Treatment: Use a hydrating shampoo for dry hair and scalp. Gently massage your scalp, using only your finger tips not your NAILS, to remove the flakes and increase circulation to the area. (Scratching your scalp is never a good idea, it has a counter effect)

TIP 1 :  Never apply products directly to your scalp. Our scalp creates its own oils, no need to apply hair grease or pomades to it.

TIP 2: Our scalp can get sunburned; if you’ve been in the sun more than usual or take long hot  showers; limit both to see if it helps with your journey to a non-flaky scalp.

TIP 3:Cut back on drying shampoos- A lot of shampoos (not all) contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, an ingredient that can be drying if used in excess. Opt for co-washing, making sure to gently massage your scalp with your fingers to loosen any build up you may have.
TIP4: Moisturizing oils such as coconut oils can be enhanced further as a scalp treatment by adding essential oils such as lavender, rosemary, tea-tree, and peppermint, all of which help combat dry scalp. Using the pads of your fingers, apply the oil little by little to different parts of your scalp, parting your hair as needed. Using the pads of your fingers, work the oil into your scalp, using circular motions. Slow, deliberate movements are relaxing while steady but vigorous movement helps enhance energy and circulation. (Read more about the benefits of scalp massage here)

TIP5:– Make sure you’re drinking enough water, and consider taking supplements (I love my Trader Joe’s multivitamin) to ensure you’re body is getting the nutrients it needs to look and feel your best!

Finally, if you give your scalp a little more TLC and your flakes are still there, it may be time to call your dermatologist.

Naturalistas, have you had any issues with your scalp?.. If so what remedies or advice do you have to treat it?

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Permed Hair Easier to Manage?

Apart from fitting into the given standard of beauty, another reason for perming our hair was making it easier to manage and maintain. Our natural course hair was capable of breaking a comb and totally unmanageable!

After 15 years of permed hair and over 5 years with natural hair, I look back in retrospect and wonder if permed hair was really easier to manage or  just an illusion passed down from generation to generation.

In order to come up with a coherent answer, I had to analize the two experiences – Permed hair VS Natural hair.

Maintaining permed hair:

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  1. Roots have to be retouched at least every 3 months.  This requires going to the hair salon where you can find an experienced hairdresser. Since perming is “controlled damage” the possibilities of having your hair burnt by an amateur is pretty high.
  2. A visit to the hair salon at least once a week is required to keep your hair looking nice and sleek. That could strain your pocket in addition. But once your perm is nice and fresh, combing is made easy with finger slipping smoothly through your hair.
  3. After a fresh perm or retouch you mustn’t wash your hair within 48 hours. Washing with shampoo ( and even getting your hair wet)  can disturb the hair proteins as they are locking into their shapes in those first hours.
  4. Extra tender loving care is vital to maintain a healthy looking perm- shampooing, extra conditioning, extra oil and protein treatments. This is because perming, forcibly and permanently breaks down the protein in your hair in order to keep it straight.
  5. Permed hair is constrained to simple everyday styles without visiting the salon. There is a limited variety of things you can do in the comfort of your own home.

Maintaining natural hair:

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  1. Regular visits to the hair salon aren’t necessary for a retouch or treatment and the closest you get to burning your hair is bending over the gas cooker!
  2. Natural hair doesn’t need to be washed every day. It’s enough to wash it once a week or every other week with a detangling session. Once detangled and styled, combing every day isn’t neccessary. This guarantees peace of mind throughout the whole week.
  3. Nevertheless, combing and detangling can be an ordeal! You dare not comb your kinky mane when it’s dry. It must be damp with water or leave-in conditioner and sectioned into smaller parts before attempting to comb. Running a comb through your kinks is a no-no.
  4. Protein structure is retained in natural hair. This means, regular oil treatments aren’t a must and can be done in the comfort of your own home leaving you with a few  extra pennies at the end of the month.
  5. The versatility of natural hairstyles are numerous- flat twists, twist outs, high bun, high puff, two-strand twists, frohawk and bantu knots just to mention a few. In addition, you can wear it straight, wavy or kinky curly.

I used to have a perm for over fifteen years and I had a difficult time sticking to the rules of maintenance. I guess that’s why it stayed at shoulder length and never grew beyond.

I have been natural for over five years and hardly visit the hair salon. My hair has never been this long! It’s now bra-length and still growing. Keeping my hair moisturized seemed to do the trick. In my opinion, the myth of permed hair being easier to manage has been crushed. Natural hair rules! It’s easier, cheaper and more fun to manage! What’s your take on that?

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The Natural hair X-Files unveiled

Afro-textured hair is unmanageable, never grows long and needs to be relaxed. These are some of the many myths which have fortunately been busted!

Black hair IS manageable, black hair DOES grow long and doesn’t need to be relaxed at all.

But there are a few peculiarities about our natural afro-textured hair that I think belong to the X-Files.

Density illusion. Despite relatively fewer hair shafts compared to straight hair,  Afro-textured hair appears and feels thicker. This is due to its unique structure. This means that its density and fullness is very deceiving. What a trickster!

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I always thought my afro-textured hair was stronger and hence could withstand harsher conditions. Investigation revealed the truth was otherwise. Its unique spiral shape makes it more prone to breakage when combed or brushed, making it more delicate than straight hair! What an eye-opener!

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How does it feel to defy gravity? Any afro-textured girl should know. When combed up-ward, natural hair stays up (you dare not leave your hair out on a windy day). This is because the cuticles on afro-textured hair tend to be raised, and do not lay flat against the hair shaft. This gives it yet another illusion of gravity defiance. How cool is that!

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Do you know the best absorbent of moisture and the worst retainment of it? Just like a sunflower, afro-textured hair grows towards the sun and easily absorbs heat and moisture. Raised cuticles act like receptors and will suck up moisture like a sponge. This advantage works as a disadvantage at the same time. Afro-textured hair doesn’t retain moisture, hence leaving it dry and matte. Hair cream and leave-in conditioner usually do the trick of locking in the moisture. Smart!

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100 of styles to choose from! One Caucasian colleague made a joke about how lucky my husband was to have a “new woman” everyday! From Monday to Friday, I had a different hairstyle starting from braids into a twist out, then an up-do into a high puff and finally into an afro!  Some were in disbelieve and thought I had a wig on!

Many myths have been busted, but we must admit afro-textured hair has a lot of secrets which have been revealed. The beauty of it all is the continuous exploration and discovery of our afro-textured hair. Got and more cases which belong to the X-Files?

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Wig Chronicles Part 1

…And so begins my wig chronicles.

After weeks of attempting to convince myself that wigs were normal for people my age, I started to do my research and naturally it became obsessive. I looked at YouTube tutorials of what a “quick weave” was (essentially glued hair onto a cap for a quick wig), and “How-To Make a Wig” tutorials. It looked pretty simple, so I went to the local hair store. I’d decided a bob with a bang was the cheapest most do-able option for a first time wig-maker.

When I arrived at the hair store, the employee was completely taken aback by my lack of knowledge on everything that had to do with weave, I mean I am natural so she tried to be as not-frustrated as possible. She pointed me to the cheapest, but best quality 8”/10” hair, provided me with a pack of wig caps (2), 2 bottles of 30 second wig glue (as per my best friends instructions, and i trust her expertise)Wig & glue,a mannequin head (which I should have known… But we will get to that later) and a pat on the back for good luck.

My brave friend and I went back to her houseto get started and the excitement was buzzing. We pulledup multiple tutorials in multiples tabs, watched them for a little, but were overtaken by excitement and got started. We should have noticed all these women made their caps on their own heads. We did the first two tracks with one glue cap upon my natural headed braids, 1st mistake. We decided to move to the mannequin head, and it’s good we did (or was it?) because while attempting to take the cap off of my head the part of the cap where the tracks were glued was also, cruelly enough, stuck to my braids. After a couple minutes of peeling carefully we got the cap off of my braids with little to no damage.

This is where the first lesson in making a wig for you. Rule #1: If you are going to make a wig for yourself, protect your own hair.

Back to the story, so begins the long trek of gluing tracks to the cap on the mannequin head. We literally put the cap on the mannequin head and started gluing. We did four tracks on the base of the head then began going in a circle as to close at the top. It was easy enough, I cut, she glued, I laid on the head, repeat. We had laid a good amount of tracks to where it was clear this adventure was a good decision. Here is where things go sour….

Remember earlier, when I said you have to protect your hair from the glue? You have to protect everything from the glue. We struggled for 20 minutes, at least, trying to remove the cap from the mannequin head. The cap came off, withStyrofoam residue, of course. Rule #2: If you are using a mannequin head at any point, protect the mannequinhead, so your cap isn’t permanently glued to the mannequin.

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Once we finally got the cap off, we attempted to put the cap on my head, and here is where things went ridiculously, murphy’s law, anything that can go wrong will, type of sour…

My head is not the size of the mannequin head. How about this, Rule #1: Make the wig on yourself unless you know for a FACT this mannequin head is exactly the size of your head.

With that being said, the almost-finished wig did not fit; not even close to fitting. We turned to Google frantically hoping there was a solution of how to stretch it and after about five minutes I’d realized that we would have to start all over. We had spent 1.5 hours on a wig I couldn’t wear and I tried not to show my face of defeat while I packed up my things to go home.

Tip: Oil sheen hair spray takes anything bond-glued right off. Tracks peel right off if sprayed with oil sheen and let sit for 30 seconds.

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When I arrived home, now 12AM, I spent about 30 minutes removing every single track from the cap and thanked the Gods the store employee convinced me to get two glue caps. I ended up using paper towels and a washcloth to block the cap from my hair while I glued the tracks on carefully and methodically. After about an hour I was finished, with my wig! I cut my bob and my bangs, which I’d had endless experience in because that was how I wore my hair all through middle school into high school; bangs were my thing back then.

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I hope this post allows you to learn from my mistakes and brave the storm of the wig-world, but since I made my first wig I have brought three more and am growing my collection. I absolutely recommend wigs as a quick style and a protective style. They have yet to let me down!

 

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The Key Steps To Successfully Detangling

A heavy-duty comb

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A wide-toothed comb is the comb you need in order to detangle. If the combs teeth are too thin and close together you will break your hair and if the comb it too plastic it will snap and you will run through an entire pack before you finish your whole head. I personally love and reccomend the tan wide toothed comb and the denman brush, which can be found at any hair store/Sallys near you.Denman Brush 1 

(denman brush)

Hair utensils (scrunchies, clips, pins, etc)

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I’ll leave this up to your preference, but detangling becomes easier the better you are able to separate the hair. Most people begin with four sections and then break the individual sections into more sections using pins and scrunchies. Be sure to have these on hand to make your detangling process easier!

Spray Bottle of Water

Do not, I repeat, do not detangle dry hair. There is no easier way to damage your hair than detangling your hair while it is dry. Keep your spray bottle on hand to be able to spritz water as needed.

You will indefinitely need patience to be able to work with your hair without breaking it, damaging it or giving up on detangling. Work from the bottom up, but be sure to take your time.

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The World of Homemade Deep Conditioners

Coconut Oil Banana.Coconut Milk and Honey.homemade Deep conditioner for natural hair. crystal afro. recipe. IG. lbd4b

 

Welcome to the world of homemade deep conditioners, here are a few to get started….

The Classic: Egg Whites, Mayo, Honey

            1 cup mayonnaise

            2 tbsp honey

            1 egg (white)

Mayonnaise is stacked with oils and fats that help moisturize, soften and add sheen to dull dry hair; while honey adds sheen and acts as a natural way to prevent the loss of moisture.

To create, put all ingredients in a blender until smooth, then sit for 30-45 minutes under a shower cap and continue into a detangleone rinsed thoroughly.

And the variations: (Egg Whites, Mayonnaise and greek yogurt is a variation of this)

home-made-conditioner

Coconut Oil & Egg Whites

            4 tbsp of extra virgin coconut oil

            1 egg (white)

            2 tbsp of pure honey (optional)

This conditioner combines protein, moisture and strength that the hair needs to grow and thrive. Honey is always good to add in deep conditioners for your hair, as it is great for moisture retention.

To create, mix in a bowl, then sit for 30-45 minutes under a shower cap and continue into a detangle one rinsed thoroughly. You may need double the ingredients depending on the length or thickness of the hair.

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Avocado & Olive Oil

1 overripe avocado

            ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

            ½ cup of shea butter (optional)

2-3 tbsp of apple cider vinegar (optional)

This deep conditioner is great for detangling! This conditioner is made to lubricate thick curls and give weight to the hair for detangling. The apple cider vinegar works as a clarifier for your hair, as well, if you do choose to include it.

To create, put all ingredients into a blender, and add extra virgin olive oil to reach the consistency you would prefer. Sit for 30-45 minutes under a shower cap and continue into a detangle one rinsed thoroughly.

 Banana, Olive oil & honey (with optional glycerin)

            1 large banana (or banana baby food)

            4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

            2 tbsp pure veggie glycerin (optional)

            2 tbsp honey

Here, the banana, when mixed with other ingredients, minimizes shrinkage and softens the hair. Olive oil thoroughly contributes to the over all moisture of the hair (see last post about oils). This deep conditioner specifically helps with manageability.

To create, put all of the ingredients into the blender in order to avoid having banana bits. Sit for 30-45 minutes under a shower cap and continue into a detangle one rinsed thoroughly.

Small tip:

All of these ingredients, egg whites/yogurt/honey/banana/mayonnaise/etc., can all work alone as deep conditioners as well! Happy experimenting!

 

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A Review of Oils and What They Do for Your Hair

Also, these all promote healthy hair as they help seal in moisture, but remember, they are not the moisture, and they just help to seal.

First up, Olive Oil: I personally prefer this oil; it is the most accessible because we use this so much in the kitchen. Olive oil contains Omega 3s, Fatty Acids and Vitamin E. This oil is great as a conditioner for your hair to moisturize into your strands. This oil makes hair extremely soft and extremely shiny, while preventing hair loss and split ends. It improves hair elasticity, conditions your hair, restores vitality to dull hair, promotes growth and strengthens.

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Coconut Oil: This oil, lightweight and non-oily, contains vitamin E, which is very vital in the conditioning of hair. It penetrates strands and reduces protein loss. It is extremely moisturizing strengthens and thickens strands. It also prevents styling damage, is great for finger detangling and helps to eliminate hair frizz and dryness. (Hint: if you are struggling with dandruff, this should be your “go-to” oil)

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Almond Oil: Packed with vitamins A, E, D, B1, B2, B6, this oil promotes hair growth while preventing hair loss, shedding by soothing cuticles and breakage. This oil has a low penetration rate, though, but is extremely lightweight, works well for detangling and prevents breakage. This oil nourishes you hair and helps to make strands thicker, while increasing strength and shine. A bonus is that it smells really good! This is one of the few oils that can work as scalp oil without creating too much scalp buildup.

Aragon Oil: This oil increases hairs elasticity and smoothens the cuticles of hair. A bonus is that this oil is non greasy,while still sealing in the moisture of your strands. Aragon oil promotes natural shine and elasticity of hair in order to prevent breakage.

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Jojoba Oil: Another “go-to” oil for dandruff, Jojoba oil can work as a DIY dandruff and itchy scalp treatment, which works for eczema and psoriasis as well, as it mimics the scalps natural sebum, lifting dirt and exfoliating dead skins cells.It seals moisture into the strands very well, also. Jojoba contains antioxidants, vitamins E and B, silicon, copper and zinc, and is a very light-weigh oil.

Castor Oil: Reduces split ends and helps to thicken hair strands. This oil is very effective in promoting hair regrowth and preventing hair loss, because it reduces and prevents damage. Also helps with fullness, moisture and shine. Prevents thinning and is also great for scalp infections. This oil also builds hairs resilience to help it withstand styling.

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Avocado Oil: Because this oil is majority fat, it helps condition your hair and strengthen while boosting the shine. Containing vitamins A, E, B, magnesium and copper, avocado oil has all necessary proteins and fatty acids that nourish hair and promote fast hair growth. Avocado oil helps restore hair, softness and sheen, while being a great sealant for your moisture.

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TyLisa Tip: Hot oil treatments are the bees knees, take your favorite oil, or a group of them mixed well, heated up and massage into your hair strands and scalp. Let sit for 45 minutes to an hour under a plastic cap, for the best result!

 

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Tips & Tricks for the New Natural

These are little tips I have acquired during my time as a natural and during the research I did before my big chop! I wish I had a list like this for me, so I thought I’d provide one!

  1. Dry your hair with a t-shirt, instead of a towel, for less frizz when your hair finally dries.
  2. While we are on the topic of drying hair…….Pat dry don’t rub dry, to avoid frizz.
  3. I thought this was a myth, but no, really, invest in a spray bottle for your water – They were not kidding.
  4. You won’t need to clip your ends as much as you probably think. Trimming, if you are properly caring for your hair, should come as much as a blue moon. To retain length, trims should be very few and far between.
  5. Finger detangle because combs should be your last resort. We have pretty little combs attached to our wrists thanks for the Man above, use them!
  6. You really only need water, a butter, an oil (and possibly a gel) — All of the rest of the products are excess.
  7. Beware of the product junkie lifestyle, it is so easy to slide into if you don’t do you research first and control your habits.
  8. Take pictures of your hair, trust me with this, because you eventually will see the progress and be so happy you did! Staring at yourself in the mirror everyday you won’t notice growth as much as if you document with photos!
  9. Develop a routine, but know that eventually this will have to change. Be willing to adapt.
  10. Heat damage is not a myth. That is all.
  11. Denman brushes are a beautiful thing. For some reason, brushing through my hair with a Denman accentuates my curls and I get to look and adore them every time.
  12. Do not overuse shampoo. It dries your hair out, use sparingly.
  13. Be careful with those edges! Especially when doing buns and pull back styles.
  14. Coating your hands with an oil while taking down protective styles will reduce frizz.
  15. Get enough water to drink throughout your normal day, it helps with, not only your body, but also your hair.
  16. Though you want to protect your entire hair strand, focus on the end, which is the oldest part and most prone to breaking.
  17. Condition and wash the hair while they are in twists to be time efficient.
  18. A good way to judge if the water is too hot for your hair — If the water is too hot for the back of your hand, it’s too hot for your hair.
  19. Figuring out your hairtype can be mildly stressful, expect this and mentally prepare.
  20. Take your twists out at the bottom, then unravel, to reduce frizz.
  21. Take the time to learn when it is time to clip ends: I  mostly know by when they cant be tamed, are always puffy and dry, and I see physical splits.
  22. When you shampoo, it is 80% scalp and 20% hair strands. Once again, shampoo will dry your hair out, be weary.
  23. Experimentation is healthy. Be brave.
  24. Look for water based products.
  25. If I haven’t said it enough already: Water, water, water.

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5 Remedies For An Itchy Scalp!

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Via Kristin Richards

Anyone who has a dry scalp can agree that it is really hard to keep your hands out of your head. Scratching becomes a way of life and soon you find yourself frustrated and sometimes a little embarrassed. You know that you wash and take immaculate care of your curls, so what’s up with the itching?

A flaky, itchy scalp can be the result of a few different things. It may be due to products that cause buildup or it could be a sign of an allergic reaction. It could be a result of an exposed scalp from wearing braids or cornrows. It could even be a consequence of the changes in weather or excessive sweating. But, before you give up hope of an itch-free life, check out these tips to help you get this hairy situation under control.

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