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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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Fashion Style Spotlight: @igobyFrankie

Meet Frankie!

Meet Frankie!

Who Is She: So other than someone with awesome hair (like, it’s giving me life!), this eclectic French woman’s name is Frankie.

What Does She Do: She is a Fashion Blogger,

Personal Shopper for ASOS and Digital Marketer for Topshop and she has a way of putting unexpected pieces together and making masterpieces.

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                                  Where Can We Find Her: 

Blog-igobyfrankie.com

Twitter– @igobyfrankie

Facebook– I go by Frankie

Instagram– @igobyfrankie

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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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Ask Felicia Leatherwood: What’s With Straight Hair?

 

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Written By: Felicia Leatherwood

Can straight hair be considered natural? Or are all straight hair wearers doomed to be considered traders amongst the natural hair community?

 

Since I’ve been traveling around the world speaking to lots of naturals from Los Angeles to London, the question keeps coming up about straight hair mavens and do they have the right to be considered natural?

 

Some of the naturalista’s say that if a woman wears her hair straight she can’t be taken seriously as a natural, even if all she does is a flat iron or a blow out.

Naturals argue that once you put heat on your hair and change the natural curl pattern, you are no longer natural.

 

As a hairstylist that specializes in natural hair, I have to be open to what peoples’ decisions are when it comes to their hair and in all fairness, I have to say that I have never been anti-straight, but I am anti-relaxer.  I think that if you want to be considered natural because you don’t use chemicals on your hair, you have the right to do so!  I also think that natural hair is unfortunately not everyone’s cup of tea.

 

Consider this next time you side-eye a “straight hair wearer”… they may have circumstances that do not allow for natural hair-styles, i.e. husband, job or lifestyle.

 

Some women have written me telling me that going completely kinky curly has been quite a challenge for them and they just have not been able to catch the hang of it!  I can’t make anyone choose their own natural texture of hair if they are not ready for that experience, but I always try to encourage that they embrace their texture.

 

I have met women who have hair, that is 5 times thicker and coiler than most and I understand what a task it can be to start tackling your natural hair, especially if you have a big family and you are a 9-5 worker.  It can be a big commitment for you!  But you should give it a go at least once in your life before deciding it’s not for you.

 

Now back to the women who crucify you…

When I read thru some of the natural hair forums and some of the social networking sites, I see that there are a lot of negatives against women who straighten their hair, to the point that they are calling names and I don’t think when the natural hair movement resurfaced, it was meant for us to turn on each other in the way we have.

 

I remember a time when, if you didn’t have straight hair, you were considered poor or unkept and sometimes you would even get bullied for wearing your natural hair or braids or plaits and now it looks to be the other way around.  None of the chastising is acceptable because at the end of the day, you have to DO YOU and not be a follower.  But the meanness, the name-calling, the slurring all over the internet has been another form of black on black emotional crime!

 

How can we find other ways to encourage one another when it comes to our hair and not judge others choices with their hair?

 

Is it that some of us just have too much time on our hands or that being a mean girl is still encouraged and looked at as some form of power?  Do any of us really have the right to criticize or draw attention to what another woman chooses to do for herself as it relates to her hair?

 

Let’s take a survey!

Do you think that if you press, flat iron, or blow-dry your hair, it is no longer natural?

Or do you think that all hair is natural, just as long as you don’t use chemicals in it?

 

Tell us your thoughts…

 

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Revolutionary Invention: Make your pledge today!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1855194586/cwk-straight-plates-straighten-hair-without-heat

“Wait. Does this say what I think it says? That can’t be right.”

At that point I decided to watch the video to see if it matched with the clearly misleading title “CWK Straight Plates-Straighten Hair No Heat (AIRDRYING TOOL)” but it turns out it was not a misleading title at all. This invention is absolutely groundbreaking and is completely safe for our hair. This tool can be used with or without heat, but leaves hair soft, shiny and straight.

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The straightening plates, as shown in the video are extremely simple and leave your hair straight from root to tip through stretching.

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This is definitely a cause worth giving to! Will you make a pledge?

 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1855194586/cwk-straight-plates-straighten-hair-without-heat

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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.

Homemade-Coconut-Milk-Deep-Conditioner

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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Are You A Basic Or A Recessive Maintenance Natural? Lets Build Our Healthy Haircare Regimen

 

 

Whether you are relaxed, natural, or transitioning, it is very important to have a

Healthy Hair Care Regimen.   Throughout our lives, and as our hair goals change, we may

move in and out of one regimen  type or another—- sometimes  purposefully, and at other

times, without realizing it.  The type of regimen you need   to follow depends entirely upon

your goals– and your success with any regimen is determined by your ability to make the

required adjustments needed to satisfy the regimen(Science of Black Hair). In most

instances the maximum length that women of color obtain is about 12 in (shoulder length).

This is the length that most women dread, because they feel that their hair is in a stagnant

phase and has stopped growing. In actuality, the hair has not stopped growing, but

maintenance is not being fulfilled; therefore the hair is not  retaining length.  The difference

between ethnic hair texture and caucasian or asian hair texture, is that women with ethnic

textures have to invest more time and effort in maximizing the length and health of their hair in

order for it to prosper.  This is where the Healthy Hair Care Regimen comes into place, and

I’m going to offer you  some tips on forming the most realistic and healthy hair regimen

for your lifestyle.

Which type  of natural are you…. Basic or Recessive?

Basic Maintenance

  • Hit-or-miss product selection and often incorrect product use.
  • Very few moisture sources and/ or greases and oils substituting for moisturizers.
  • Infrequent hair cleansing and conditioning.
  • Direct heat used for daily ( or more than once a week).
  • High- manipulation styling with no protection of the hair shaft or ends.
  • Protein sources used in excess.
  • Moderate relaxer use, every eight to ten weeks
  • Hair-coloring abuse.
  • Infrequent hair trimming or abundant hair trimming that is not in sync with the hair’s growth rate.

Recessive Maintenance

  • Poor product selection and incorrect product use.
  • Extended periods of time between hair cleansings.
  • No moisture sources/ excessive use of protein sources.
  • Daily heat use.
  • Rough handling of the hair.
  • Color abuse: bleaching, multiple spins around the color wheel from one color to the next, too frequent coloring and/ or coloring hair already in poor condition.
  • Excessive relaxing (less than six to eight weeks between applications).
  • Improper neutralizing of relaxer chemicals.
  • Weave extension abuse.
  • Excessive trimming due to damage.

Healthy Hair Care Regimen

  •  Carefully planned and strategic product selection.
  • Optimal moisture levels maintained within the strands.
  • Moisture sources balanced with adequate protein sources.
  • Protection  of hair shaft and ends from heat and physical damage.
  • Low- manipulation hair styling
  • Natural hair— with no chemical processes. Or, chemicals administered no more than every ten to twelve weeks.
  • Diet  and body maintained at peak levels.

Everyone maintains different hair care regimens whether we realize it or not, but to promote

hair quality and growth you have to begin to invest the time to obtain results.  It is ok if you

don’t meet all the requirements of the healthy hair care regimen, but you must supplement for

whatever you are lacking.  For instance I currently wear a permanent color in my hair, but I

make sure that I get my touch-ups every 10-12 weeks so I don’t damage my hair,and I

keep my hair moisturized so that it doesn’t become dry and brittle.

What regimens do you ladies maintain?

Xoxo

Naturalia

Regimen listing via The Science of Black Hair

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Is It Ok To Grease My Scalp?!?

 

Ladies, I know we all went through the ” greasing your scalp” phase as little girls, because

our mothers or grandmothers thought it was the secret to moisturized, long tresses. I can’t

tell you how many times my grandmother would cake “Sulfur 8″ onto my scalp right before she

put TWENTY!!!! ponytails in my hair … having me looking like a hot mess and what not

(*rolls eyes)… WOO.. I just had a flashback LOL!!

But the point is , back then and even now women  believe that in order to keep our hair

moisturized and growing,  we need to ” grease our scalps”. Contrary to popular belief, placing

heavy oils on our scalp actually prevents our hair from achieving its maximum potential

Let me break it on down for you….

As women of color we naturally lack sebum(natural oils that our body produces) and due to

our naturally fabulous kinks in our hair shafts, the oils have a hard time being distributed,

causing the feeling of dry hair.

 

Problems With ” Greasing Your Scalp”

When applying heavy oils onto your scalp, it causes a build up that cloggs your pores and

prevents your scalp from breathing.

” The over production of sebum or oily products can cause scalp dryness and itchiness,

inflammation and shrinking of the hair follicle making it hard for hair to emerge out”

(The Science of Black Hair).

 

The Right Way To Hydrate Your Hair

1. Make sure that you frequently cleanse and condition your scalp.

* Cleansing  helps to keep your scalp clear, and the conditioning keeps it moisturized

Quick Tip: If you feel like you must grease your scalp.. and the whole cleansing and

conditioning regimen doesn’t work, then you should use Jojoba Oil or light plant based oils.

Do you ladies have any tips for dealing with dry hair?

Xoxo

Naturalia

 

 

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Wearing Weaves & Being Natural

 

Many natural haired women wear weaves for various reasons but mainly to protect their

natural curls during the transition process, and also to serve as an accessory; adding

versatility to their appearance.  Like with anything there are pros and cons to wearing a

weave.

But with these helpful tips you can assure the health of your extensions and your own

hair during the process.

TIPS

  1. The initial state of your hair is a major factor in the outcome of your weave experience. It is crucial that you receive a protein treatment before your weave is installed, in order to provide elasticity and strength to the hair follicle allowing protection during the 6-8 weeks that your hair is braided up.
  2. The option to choose synthetic or human hair is really a personal preference. However human hair is more durable and provides more versatility because it can be styled with heat. Whereas synthetic hair doesn’t last very long and it cannot be styled with heat because the hair fibers in it cause it to burn.
  3. Finding the perfect “ Weaveologist” is key to a fabulous head-turning weave.  When choosing a specialist you need to consider recommendations, skill, and how they care for the hair.  The last thing you need is some one ripping valuable strands out of your head while your trying to get it to grow.
  4. While having  your weave installed make sure that your stylist refrains from braiding too tight, because this can cause unwanted tension on the scalp causing minor to severe alopecia.

 

To view more tips check out the article I wrote in Natura Magazine here

Xoxo

Naturalia