Healthy Hair & Scalp Cleansing Regimin for Moisture, Growth/Length/Fullness and Healthy Hair Retention

I ran across this video in my YouTube updates list and wow, it was very revelatory! I am always searching for new and more economical and efficient ways to make my hair healthier. With four children, I’m not always able to go through the tedious steps of my traditional natural hair wash day regimin. One of my favorite long haired natural YouTube chic is HeyFranHey and she has some of the most beautiful, healthy, natural hair I’ve ever seen. In her video below, she showcases her healthy hair and scalp cleansing regimin for maximum moisture retention, growth, length and fullness.

 

What does your healthy hair regimin consists of? What products do you use? How often do you use or apply them?

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“Jazzy” Braid-Out On 4B/C How-To

I don’t do “braid-outs” and “twist-outs” on my hair often. Even more so, I hardly ever do wash-n-go’s either. I keep my hair in some form of protective style 80 percent of the time(trying to retain AS MUCH length as possible). But every now and then, I feel the need to “spread my wings” and wear my hair free! Its seems that the more coily the hair, the more limited we are in loose hair styling. Don’t get me wrong, natural hair is the most versatile and liberacious hair on the planet, but looser curl patterns tend to be more versatile when it comes to wearing loose styles. Fortunately, us coily chicks still have a few loose styles that we can wear and “rock” it! Braid Outs are definitely one.

This is a style that my hubby actually requested. I wore this a lot when I went natural the first time and it got me through a many “style absent minded” days.

How I achieved this style…

What I used:

My Shea Butter mixture(you can use any leave in conditioner, holding gel/cream, setting lotion, etc.)

Spray bottle filled with water and oil

Rat tail comb

Shower comb

Light oil

1. Begin on freshly washed, product free hair

2. Make sure to detangle(as best you can) making sure the ends are detangled(if you did not detangle while you were washing your hair, be sure to grab your detangling or show comb afterwards)

3. After you’ve washed/conditioned your hair and detangled, clip hair into 4-6 sections

4. Grab your rat tail/parting comb and spray bottle to begin parting the front in small sections in order to create your design pattern(use your spray bottle to “mist” your sectioned hair to prevent drying, for easier parting/handling).

As you can see here, my parting started to get, let’s just say “a little off”

5. Make sure to section the back portion and clip to prevent the portion left for the braid out, from getting tangled in with your reserved for cornrowing

6. Continue to part/cornrow the entire front and sides, making sure to braid as much as you can, leaving out a small portion to be later braided in with the back portion

7. After you’ve completed braided the front portion in the direction you desire, clip that away into it’s own section(you can either use a clip or ponytail holder).

8. Now, begin parting and sectioning the back. Use smaller sections for a more defined look and larger sections for a looser look.

9. Spray with your spray bottle, if its dry and grab your Shea Butter mixture, moisturizer or leave in conditioner(see above).

10. Braid your sectioned hair, making sure to braid as far down as you can but tightly “twisting the ends”. I prefer to twist my ends while doing a braid out, it helps make the taking down process easier.

11. After this process is completed, wrap hair with a satin scarf and allow hair to dry(I prefer to let my hair dry overnight because I HATE sitting under a hair dryer).

12. Once dry, grab a light oil, such as “grapeseed” or “coconut” and rub a little into the palms and on the tips of your finger to use while taking down your braids(this helps prevent over frizzing)

13. Gently “pull” each braid apart, making sure not to pull too much and loose the braid pattern. Continue to do this until you’ve received the look that your going for.

Some more photo’s of my final results…

Hopefully next time, I’ll have “less” frizzing!

Moisturizing Deep Conditioning Recipe

 This recipe is great! It works to seal or lock in much needed moisture, shine, strengthen and so much more. I use it on a regular basis(I love changing up my conditioner recipes). Natural hair craves moisture in order to thrive and grow. If you want to keep your hair moisturized(dry hair or not), retain length and prevent split ends, deep condition with this on a regular basis.

Moisturizing Deep Conditioning Recipe

1/2 cup Cheapie Conditioner(i.e. Suave Naturals or VO5)

1/2 cup of Honey

2-3 TB EVOO

2-3 TB EVCO

1 Egg

Directions: Mix egg, stir in remaining ingredients. Once mixture is mixed well, consistency will be slight runny. You can transfer into an applicator bottle, use your hand or applicator brush to apply. Apply mixture on clean, damp hair. Its best to apply mixture onto small sections of hair, making sure to work in from the root to the ends. Then, cover hair with a plastic cap. If using heat, leave on for 15-30 minutes. If not, leave on for 1 hour. Rinse out completely. Style

Trimming Natural Hair- A Quick Guide Tutorial

Let me start off by stating that split ends is the Achilles heal of the curly and natural hair world. It much easier for the strands of a curly haired individual to wrap itself around another, making hair more prone to split ends. The tighter or curlier the coil(see Hair Type Chart), the more prone. Cutting or trimming natural hair split ends will keep these little rascals at bay. Not doing so will not promote growth or help retain length. It’s the direct opposite. Hair grows at an average of 1/4 to 1/2 a month regardless of what you do. Some will see more growth by taking certain steps but all hair grows around the length per month. Letting split ends go without trimming in an effort to save or “salvage” your hair, will promote and increase breakage and further damage. If this happens, you will have to go to a professional hair care salon for them to do a major cut! Let’s take a look at what split ends really are.


Split Ends Are….

-hair strands that are split at the ends and continue up the shaft.

-formed when the inside of the hair shaft or cortex split, traditionally a the ends


Popular Causes of Split Ends Are….

-excessive use of curling irons, hot irons, electrical heat products, blow dryers, pressing combs and the likes

-stressful hair techniques, including improper or harsh detanglling and combing, excessive combing and brushing

-stressful hair styles, including wearing a particular style for long periods of time, example: wearing tight ponytails for an extended time-frame.

-Damage to the cortex and cuticle caused by harsh chemical treatments, such as relaxers, permanent dyes, etc.

-Faulty and incorrect use of barrettes and bobby pins.

-Hard water and swimming pool water. All of these are filled with chlorine and if used or done too often, it can damage the cortex of the hair strand, ultimately causing split ends.

 


Here is a photo of various types of split ends…

 

With natural or curly hair, sometimes, the split ends manifest is what we call “fairy knots“. I hate these little boogers. Fairy Knots or “single strand knots” are knots that are present on the hair strand. They can be found in various spots on the hair strands, including, the ends, middle or top. The upper knots are caused when the end of the shaft have already split up! These are a direct result of split ends. In order to keep these to a minimum, I recommend trimming them!


If asked, most believe the myth that there are miracle products that “get rid of split ends”. This is far from the truth. There are no product known to man that can get rid of these, regardless of what a product advertises. There are some that are on the market to help keep hair conditioned and moisturized, keeping wear and tear low, decreasing one’s chancing of getting split ends. Let’s see proven ways to avoid split ends on natural hair.


Way To Prevent Split Ends Are….

-Keep ends moisturized by applying a water-based moisturizer or water, then sealing them with an oil(grease, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil, castor oil, etc.) or cream sealant. Dry ends lends to split ends. By keeping hair ends moisturized, you can prevent or minimize split ends. I use my Shea Butter mixture recipe to seal my hair after either applying moisture, a water-based leave-in or Kimmaytube leave-in recipe. If you choose to wear heated styles, try styles that require less heat such as strawsets and rollersets.

-Stay away from excessive heat. Delete or keep heat usage to a minimum. I only use a blow dryer once or twice a year to do something different with my hair and I only flat iron once a year. Find a regimen that will avoid or keep it down!

-Wear protective styles! This has been a lifesaver for my 4c, coily hair. Protective styles are style also known as “leave it alone” styles. They are styles that you do where your ends are protected and or tucked away, preventing them from being exposed to the elements of nature, rubbing up against your clothing and they help to retain hair moisture. These include, buns, twists, braids, cornrows, updos, etc.

-Maintainence the ends of your hair. After initially trimming off the split ends of your hair, the job is not over! You should trim on a regular basis to prevent future split ends from occurring. Using these preventative measures will ensure the salvage of your delicate ends, thus improve growth retention. The ends of your hair are the oldest part of your hair and needs proper care, moisture and conditioning to decrease splitting and breaking. Be gentle with your hair,it will hate you if you handle it rough. When its feeling dry, try using deep conditioning treatments, your hair will love it!

-Seasonal weather protection. During the extreme heat of the summer and dry, harsh cold temps of the winter, our hair is extremely prone to becoming dry and brittle, which can lead to breakage.In the summer and winter months, take extra precaution by applying a moisturizer or leave in before leaving the house.

-Stay away from rubber bands!! Use Ouchless ponytail holders or elastics instead. Rubber bands lead to breakage.

-Dust in between trims. Some mistake dusting for trimming. Dusting is trimming only approximately 1/8 inch off the ends. Only do this if your ends are in good shape for maintainence and keep split ends from having the chance to form.

-Replace faulty bobby pins and barrettes immediately! If you’ve noticed that the heads of your bobby pins are missing, throw them away. When they get like this, using them will definitely cause breakage and split ends. You can buy a pack of 100 for around $2.


There are numerous ways that you can trim your natural hair. Many choose to go to a professional and let them do it but many, including myself, can afford often visits to the salon. I’m living on a budget! Also, so many naptural’s and curlies have went to the salon only to leave with a cut instead of a trim. Some stylists become “scissor happy” in my opinion. A decent trim is 1/4-1/2 depending on the amount needing to be trimmed or damaged. With that being said, you can trim your own hair just as efficiently as going to the salon. A trim


Four DIY Ways To Trim Split Ends

1. Braid and Trim: This involves braiding your hair into small or medium braids and trimming the ends. See a pic below of how to determine how much of the braid is actually split ends.


2. Twist and Trim: This involves putting hair into small or medium twist sections. This method is similar to the braid method mentioned above but using twists instead.


3. Search and Destroy: This is coined “search and destroy” because it involves searching your hair to find split ends on each curl. S&D’s are time consuming, tedious and not for the faint of heart. Furthermore, it should only be used if you have a visible curl pattern not coils. Those with looser curl patterns, like type 2-4a hair types, can really be successful at this method. Its harder for those of us with type 4b/c hair to do this only because its hard to actually see the split end at the end of each strand. Our hair is coily so its hard to see each curl.


4. Blow Dry/Straighten then Trim: Many prefer to blow dry or straighten their hair in order to trim the split ends. If you usually wear your hair straight, you might find that this is the best technique for you. This involves blow drying and or flat-ironing/straightening your hair, combing or brushing to the ends of small sections, holding the ends in your fingers then trimming the split portion.




Tips, Tips and more Tips!!:

*Always trim your hair with hair shears. Avoid regular scissors because they can cause rips and tears within the hair strand causing additional split ends or breakage.


*Sit up and sit straight when trimming so that your hair can be even all over. If you have shorter hair, ask a friend or family member to help, especially in the back.

*Take your time and be patient when trimming

*You can trim on wet or dry hair. I prefer trimming on dry hair, especially when doing the braid or twist and trim method. It’s makes seeing the split ends easier.

*Trim only the amount needed, as often as needed. Try to find a trimming regimen that works for you and your hair. I trim my hair once every three months, unless I see an increasing number of knots and ball.



Natural Hair Terminology/Dictionary

I know that will all of the abbreviations, slogans and jargon in the natural hair community, its often hard for newbie’s to fully understand it all. At hindsight, it can be very challenging and confusing. Here is a brief run-down of some of the most widely used, popular acronyms, topics, basics and jargon used within the natural hair community. Feel free to email me or comment to let me know if I left anything out.

ACV– Apple Cider Vinegar (used in a variety of regimens, recipes, products, etc.) It is famous for its effectiveness at sealing the cuticle. Often used as a final rinse.

 

APL– Refers to length– arm pit length.

BAA-Big A@$ Afro(excuse my french…)

Baggy – Refers to the “bagging” of hair with a shopping bag, shower cap or plastic rap, at night, after moisturization.

BC – Big Chop – cutting off all your chemically treated hair

BNC– Braid-n-Curl, simply plait or braid the hair and roll the ends on rods or flexis.

BSL– Refers to length– bra strap length.

BSS– Beauty Supply Store

CBL– Refers to length– collar bone length.

Co-Wash– Using conditioner to wash the hair instead of shampoo.

Caramel Treatment– A hair treatment that can be bought or homemade that is considered to be essential for moisture. Ingredients usually include bananas, molasses, and honey.

Cones– Are ‘silicones’, or ingredients found in hair care products that are not water soluble (i.e. you need shampoo to remove). Failure to wash out cones may lead to build-up, which may result in dry hair and breakage (due to suffocation of the strands).

CG– Refers to the “Curly Girl” method explained in the book by Lorraine Massey. It is a philosophy for curls that involves, no or low shampoo, cone avoidance, and conditioner washing…among other things. These are just a few of the basic tenants.

DT or DC– Is a deep treatment or conditioner. A DT is when you leave a moisturizing (or protein based, depending on your needs) conditioner on your hair for an extended period of time, along with a heat source to aid in penetration.

Dusting– Dusting your hair is a trim of 1/4 and inch or less. This method is also referred to as dusting because even though your hair is being trimmed evenly, it is so little hair, that it just looks like dust on the floor.

EO– Essential Oil

EVCO– Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (used in conditioning treatments) 

EVOO– Extra Virgin Olive Oil (used in conditioning treatments)

HG– Holy Grail (Products that are tried and true)

HIH– Hand in Hair. Its a disease that causes you to always be manipulating your tresses.

K.I.S.S-Acronym for Keep It Simple Stupid=doing minimal hair care for maximum results.

LC (Little Chop)-Cutting off a portion of the relaxed ends or chemically treated hair.Usually done prior to the B.C.(in preparation).

MBL– Refers to length– mid back length.

Nappyversary/Nattyversary – The anniversary of the day you became a natural

No-poo– It’s just that- no shampoo. Ladies who follow this routine are CG’ers and don’t use cones or other heavy/oily products that may need shampoo to remove. Instead of pooing, many ladies conditioner wash, or use conditioner in place of shampoo to cleanse the scalp.

Oil Rinse-a method that usually involves using carrier oils as a final rinse after shampooing and conditioning. This method is used to seal/lock in moisture after shampooing in order to maximize moisture retention.

Pineappleing– a type of sleeping technique that curlies with long hair use to
preserve or protect curls overnight so that they have great 2nd day hair. You gather all of your hair in a high, but loose pony tail at the top of your head and go to sleep on a satin pillowcase. In the morning you take it down and shake it out gently and all of your curls will have been preserved.

PJ– Product Junky or someone that buys any all hair care products in sight…forever on a mission to find the next best thing.

Plopping– A quick dry method. You use a t-shirt or a curl friendly material (terry cloth towel, paper towel) to dry your hair instead of rubbing a towel on your hair to dry it. It drastically decreases drying times.

Pre-pooing– A treatment applied prior to shampooing. It usually consists of oils and/or conditioners applied the night before the shampoo or immediately prior, with a heat source to help penetrate. This is usually performed to help the hair maintain necessary moisture during the drying shampoo process.

Protective style (PS)– A hair style that allows the hair to rest, while protecting the hair’s fragile ends. Being that the ends are not exposed, they are protected from various elements and rubbing against clothing. Also, this protects against “over manipulation” which can lead to breakage. They help retain moisture and various styles include: buns, braids, twists, cornrows and more..

Regimen (aka Reggie)-A product/hair routine done continuously or consistently in order to create and maintain your healthy hair and scalp.

Scab Hair-Natural hair that grows in an abnormally different texture from that which is normal. The hair is essentially a result of a damage from the relaxer and is not a reflection of true texture. This can also be due to heat damage. Scab hair is often dry and brittle.

Sealing– Is essentially sealing moisture in the hair, specifically the ends. For sealing to be effective, you must first use a water-based moisturizer (a conditioner or cream that has water as its first ingredient), and then seal with a butter or oil. The molecules in most butters/oils are too large to pass into the hair, so they stick to the outside of the shaft, trapping in the rich goodness of the moisturizer. Reversing those 2 steps will lead to dry hair. Sealing has saved my hair.

Search and Destroy (S&Ds)– Many natural swear by this method of trimming split ends. The process involves examining the ends of each hair strand, searching for single strand knots, splits or crooked ends and snipping it! Quality hair shears are recommended in order to prevent further splitting or tears of the hair shaft. Dull scissors can do more damage than having split ends:)

Slip– Used to describe how slippery a product is (usually a
conditioner or detangler). The more slip it has, the more effectively
it will coat the hair to aid in detangling.

SLS– Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (found in the harsher shampoos- the main reason that CG’ers avoid poo).

TNC– Twist-n-Curl. This is my signature style. I twist the hair and roll the ends.

Transitioning – This is the period of time since one’s last relaxer.

TWA– Teeny Weeny Afro

Twist Out – Two strand twist the hair, allow to dry either by air drying or sitting under a dryer, take the twists apart, and style.

Wash and Go– Simply shampoo or co-wash your hair, add a styler (gel, cream) and GO! You leave the hair to air dry or dry with a diffuser. Although this style is cute and easy, my ends couldn’t handle it. This is also seen as WnG, and W&G.

2nd day hair– Hair that looks good or least decent when you wake up the next morning and it doesn’t require a lot of work before walking out of the house. Some are blessed enough to get 3rd and 4th day hair!(Woo)

3abc/4a/4b/4c– A hair type classification system.

High Sock Bun Tutorial

I recently ran across this video and I must say, who knew that a regular sock bun could be high and cute at the same time. I am no particular fan of high buns(personal thing I guess) but after watching this video, I must really re-evaluate my opinion. Fusionofcultures made a easy, quick video that’s also simple enough for anyone to achieve this classic style, with a contemporary twist.

Love it!

How To Transition To Natural Hair WITHOUT The BIG CHOP!

In recent years, natural hair has grew in popularity, especially where I’m located. A friend of my mother told her that “I never seen so many women with natural hair”! I LOVED that statement. I believe that most women are turned off about the idea of going natural because they believe that would have to cut off all of their hair…..
 
 
Though so many have chosen this option, I could not bring myself to cutting off ALL my hair that I had worked so hard to grow. So here’s a quick layout of how to get hair like this….without doing the Big Chop or cutting off your relaxed or chemically treated hair!
 

1. Buy and use “Natural” hair products!

-depending on your budget, invest in quality products, designed to help natural hair, that also do not include harmful ingredients like, petroleum jelly, mineral oil and other harmful ingredients.

2. Wear Protective styles!

-there are many Protective Styles to choose from, including:

*Braids, Cornrows, Bantu Knots, Finger Coils, Plaits, Wigs, Puns and the likes..

3. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize!

-I can not stress the importance of this step. Curly, natural hair can be kinky, coily and brittle looking. This is due to each individuals curl strand. In order to keep hair from becoming dry and breaking(especially when transitioning, being that hair is in its most sensitive states), you should moisturize and seal natural hair on a consistent(preferably daily) basis, especially during this transitioning period.

Get regular trims!

-when I started my natural journey, I wore braids for a long period of time, never clipping or trimming my natural hair UNTIL I decided to cut the rest of my perm off. I believe that this was a BIG NO-NO! I would advise all transitioners to clip their relaxed hair on a regular basis in order for hair to grow even and healthy. Investigate the state of your hair to determine the frequency of clippings. Most importantly…

5. Be patient!

-patience is key to achieving a healthy head full of chemically-free natural hair! I understand the anxiety of getting rid of relaxed hair and obtaining a new head of hair but exercising patience will help the process run smoother and decrease the possibility of future disappointment.