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Q & A: Want straight hair…Natural to Relaxed

natural to relaxed Julie says: “I’ve had natural hair for about 10 years, and I am now looking to go straight.  Any suggestions on what type of relaxers work best for biracial hair?”

Hi Julie, I am a natural, so quite honestly I am no expert in relaxed hair.  Also, the fact that you say you have biracial hair does not tell me anything about the type of hair you have – whether or not it’s coarse, fine, dense, wavy, kinky, or curly.  Therefore, I cannot suggest any relaxers for you to use.  I haven’t relaxed my hair in about 3 years or so, but I do know some ladies with nice relaxed hair who may be able to help you.  Maybe you should consider joining a forum, or checking out Fotki or YouTube to get ideas from those whose textures are similar to yours.  Sorry I couldn’t help!

Julie says: “I’ve had natural hair for about 10 years, and I am now looking to go straight.  Any suggestions on what type of relaxers work best for biracial hair?”

Hi Julie, I am a natural, so quite honestly I am no expert in relaxed hair.  Also, the fact that you say you have biracial hair does not tell me anything about the type of hair you have – whether or not it’s coarse, fine, dense, wavy, kinky, or curly.  Therefore, I cannot suggest any relaxers for you to use.  I haven’t relaxed my hair in about 3 years or so, but I do know some ladies with nice relaxed hair who may be able to help you.  Maybe you should consider joining a forum, or checking out Fotki or YouTube to get ideas from those whose textures are similar to yours.  Sorry I couldn’t help!


Q & A: Trimming Hair for Thickness?

grow-black-hair-longRachel Asks: How often should we trim our hair to achieve thickness?

Rachel, it’s interesting that you pose this question.  Many believe that trimming the hair helps to make it thicker, however, this is not true.  The trimming of the ends often gives a thicker look to the hair when there are thin ends present.  The discarding of thin, sometimes see-through, ends makes the hair appear thicker overall.  Since hair grows from the roots, the thickness and density of the hair will start there.  The appearance of thickness and density throughout the hair overall may make it appear thicker based on a fresh cut or shaping of the hair though.

For example, a “bob” cut may look more dense compared to a long mane that one may choose to wear.  Ultimately, it depends on the nature in which you keep up your ends and your roots to determine how your hair thick your hair will be!


Q & A: Transitioning and in Distress

Debra explains: “I am trying to let my hair go natural and leave all chemicals out of it.  I have not put anything in it for close to three months, but my hair is so hard and brittle that it is falling out.  I do not want to go back to a relaxer.  What can i do?  I am desperate!”

Answer: Debra, although it may seem like it, going natural does not have to be a tedious process.  When I transitioned, I was just in a go-with-the-flow mindset at first.  I had only been relaxing twice a year anyway, so when I stopped relaxing my hair it was not too bad.  At first, I was blending the two textures of my hair by pressing it; but the constant heat on my hair was not what I had envisioned by going natural.

The phase of embracing the natural process did not begin until I discovered forums.  I joined a hair forum, blackhairplanet, and began to do my research.  I started off experimenting with styles, and my hair looked a mess at first; however, I kept working at it until I found my idea of near-perfection.

The hard and brittle hair signifies damage.  Try to use deep conditioning treatments that replenish the moisture into your hair.  Three months of transitioning is still in the early stages, however, you can try treating your “new growth” with some coconut oil to soften it up.

Overall, I would say be patient.  Patience and understanding is a virtue in transitioning.  You have to learn a whole new mindset as your true texture grows out, because natural hair care differs greatly from relaxed hair. Good fortune with your hair care journey!


Maintaining Healthy Skin: Cleansing

Maintaining Healthy Skin: Cleansing

Cleansing, toning, and moisturizing the skin are the three key steps to maintaining healthy, beautiful skin.  Ethnic skin care requires special attention because of the skin being prone to dark spots, combination skin (oily and dry in certain spots especially on the face), discoloration, and other conditions that affect the body’s largest organ.  This article will discuss some of the appropriate methods to cleansing the skin.

The skin, our body’s largest organ, requires the proper cleansing techniques.  “What cleansers should I use?  How often should I clean my face?  Am I supposed to exfoliate?” Some may ask questions such as the previously mentioned ones; I will attempt to address the questions and more in this article.

What cleanser should I use?
Cleansing with gentle cleansers is essential in order to remove build-up from the skin without stripping the natural oils from its surface.  One should cleanse the skin in a circular motion using mild cleansers.   Mild cleansers have low percentages of active ingredients and do not contain harsh detergents, dyes, and hardeners.  Mild cleansers may be natural or synthetic.  They are not drying to the skin, yet they do not leave behind oil and dirt, remove poor clogging residue.  Some examples of gentle cleansers include: Neutrogena Cleansing Bar, Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap(diluted), Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, Pond’s Cold Cream, and Olay Foaming Face Wash.

How often should I cleanse my face?

This actually depends on the individual.  Oftentimes, people cleanse their faces depending on the results that they observe.  Upon my research and evaluating my results, I would recommend cleansing the face twice a day, once in the morning and once at night.  This is not to be confused with deep cleanses, masks, etc.  The twice a day cleanses are the simple cleanses to be followed by a toner and a moisturizer.  Masks and deep pore cleansers should typically be used no more than twice a week, because if used more frequently, they could potentially be taxing to the skin.

Am I supposed to exfoliate?
Exfoliants are the elements that strip away dead skin cells.  Not to worry though; new skin cells develop after the exfoliation process.  Exfoliation is a healthy and safe process for the skin.  One should use mild exfoliants and avoid using harsh and/or abrasive surfaces that may scar and irritate the skin.  Exfoliation may be used to rejuvenate the skin.  You may choose to use a soft facial cloth, a sponge, or the tool of your choice to serve as a light exfoliant and to stimulate the process.  Examples of mild exfoliants are salts, sugars, grapeseed or rosehip seed powder, jojoba beads, poppy seeds, etc.

Always consult with your dermatologist before starting treatments and regimens for yourself.  This information is not a substitute for your doctor’s advice.


Bee Mine Growth Serum

Bee Mine Growth Serum

Mango Serum with Sulfur – Special Formulation 8 fl oz

100% Natural and Organic Hair Growth Serum Scent Mango 8 fl oz
Bee Mine cares about their customers and has a special formulation for those who suffer from the effects of high blood pressure and diabetes.

I have been using this product and it doesn’t smell like sulfur.  The product makes my hair really soft.

Ingredients: Organic Coconut oil, organic extra virgin olive oil, sulfur powder, essential oils, herbs & fragrance


Achieving Thicker, Fuller Natural Hair

Making the Hair Appear Thicker

I addressed a question recently regarding – “How to make hair appear thicker, naturally”.  Here are a few suggestions that I decided to share.

I recommend castor oil and/or henna treatments. Henna makes the hair appear thicker with consistent use. Castor oil has proven to promote growth and thickness with continued use as well.

Stop the use of harsh chemicals. Chemical services (such as relaxers and coloring) can take away from the hair’s natural density and thickness.

Don’t over-manipulate the hair. Constant combing and brushing the hair will often be taxing to the strands and may thin the hair out.

Watch your diet. Take a multivitamin and eat more green leafy veggies. This often helps the overall condition of your hair and wellness.


The Essentials – Products I Need for My Type 4 Hair

The Essentials – Products I Need for My Type 4 Hair

Shea Butter – heavy butter for sealing in moisture, softens hair

Aloe Vera Gel (AVG) – for hold, natural moisturizer, promotes growth

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (EVCO) – makes hair manageable, seals in moisture, pre-poo

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) – prepoo, sealant, carrier oil/mixes well w/other oils

Castor Oil – thickens hair naturally, sealant

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) – balances porosity, cleanses scalp, curl definition

VO5 Moisture Milks or Suave Naturals Conditioner – co wash conditioner, cleanses w/o stripping hair

Henna – natural thickener, strengthener, dye/colorant

These are the absolute essentials that I keep in my arsenal.  Other products vary – the DC and protein treatments of my choice.  As you can see, I focus on natural products that do the trick better than most synthetically constructed products.  Try these out and see if you get some of the same benefits as I have listed above. You can’t go wrong with them.  Most of them have multiple uses – which I love!


Suave Naturals Coconut Conditioner Review

suave naturals tropical coconut

Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut Conditioner Review

The conditioner promises to “ Replenish the natural beauty of your hair with this special formula combining humectants and vitamin E. Enjoy the fresh scent of coconuts as this formula helps nourish each strand.”

The promise is actually not far fetched. The Suave Tropical coconut conditioner has a fresh coconut scent. Furthermore, the humectants and vitamin E provide moisture, without drying out the strands. Also, the conditioner is easy on the wallet!

I use the conditioner as a co-wash conditioner. I used it for the first time to wash out henna. It did the job well! It rinsed the henna completely out of my strands. I continued to use it after that day, since I ran out of my VO5 conditioner, and the Suave does a pretty good job. (Note: I have very coarse, coily 4a/4b hair).

Quick Facts:

Doesn’t strip the hair

Keeps the hair moisturized

Hair feels squeaky clean after use, without sulfates

Great Value, Low Price

Wonderful Scent

Not for use as a DC

The conditioner can be found at your local pharmacy (Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid), bss, and markets (Kroger, Meijer, WalMart). I would definitely try it out. This won’t completely replace my VO5 Moisture Milks Conditioner (Strawberries & Cream especially), but it will definitely supplement my collection of co-wash conditioners!

Rating: 4/5

Product Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Cetyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Fragrance (Parfum), Distearyldimonium Chloride, Disodium EDTA, Glycerin, 2 Bromo 2 Nitropropane 1, 3 Diol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Propylene Glycol, Silk Amino Acids, Honey/Mel, Nettle (Urtica Dioica) Extract, Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) Extract, Coconut (Cocoa Nucifera) Extract


Are You Ripping Your Hair Out?

I was having a conversation with my mom and she was telling me how much breakage she had been experiencing.  She did not know what it was coming from; needless to say, she had become frustrated and fed up.  There are many who experience excessive breakage and shedding, but do not know what to attribute it to.  Sometimes it is not always a product or a condition that is holding us back from achieving optimal results for our hair, but we are sometimes the culprit.  After inquiring about her hair regimen, I found out precisely the cause of my mom’s breakage – she was!

My mom, who is a transitioner, after years of relaxing, has plenty to learn about hair care.  There are little steps that we must take to preserve our hair’s beauty and health.  The number one thing that most naturals know NOT to do – comb the hair while dry!  My mother had been combing through her dry hair, manipulating it, and styling it in its dry state.  Oh how I sympathize with her scalp and hair.  That is a Big No-No Ladies and Gents. Never comb through kinky, coily, curly hair that is completely dry; such behavior spells disaster! Also, when you do decide to comb through your dampened hair, always comb from ends to roots to avoid snatching the hair out.  Small tips like these will do you a world of good if you keep them in mind.

The proper way to Detangle post is coming soon!  Happy healthy hair growing!


Henna – Nature’s Colorant

Henna – Nature’s Colorant

henna powderSome of you may ask, “What’s henna?” Others have heard of henna, but are wondering, “What does henna have to do with this blog?” A few of us actually know its relevance to our hair, but are thinking, “I have been curious what my hair will look like after trying henna…” Hopefully all of your questions will be addressed momentarily!

Henna has been utilized in the Middle Eastern community for years in body art and temporary tattoos. Most of us had an idea of this just from walking through an amusement park or going to a local festival; henna tattooing is almost as popular as those funny caricature drawings nowadays. Middle Eastern women have found its usefulness in coloring the hair, just as much as they have with its staining the skin.

Henna is a powder created from the leaves of its plant. It naturally dyes the hair. In its natural form, henna will combine its reddish-orange pigmentation with your hair’s natural shade when used as a colorant [if your hair is very dark, you will only be able to see the reddish/auburn tone in the sun…henna does not have a bleaching agent – it’s natural]. However, many have altered the red-orange color by mixing in different herbs to achieve a variation of shades. I have been fascinated with henna since the moment I heard of its effects on the hair. Henna has been found to leave one’s strands feeling conditioned, thick, and silky. Not only is it a dye, but henna has proven to be a strengthening treatment to most. It is imperative that you use the 100% natural henna that is absent of all additives and metallics, in order to reap the total benefits of the powder, and to prevent damage to your natural waves and curls.
Henna may be used on all hair types, (yes even those 4a/4b curls – my hair type). Body art quality (BAQ) henna is the most potent of its type, and the safest to use on the hair. After applying henna to the hair, you must be sure to do a moisturizing deep conditioner on the hair in order to replenish any moisture that may have been extracted during the process.

I do henna applications on my hair faithfully.  I am actually due for one within the next couple of weeks, and I am too excited! In order to see my results, you must read my future blog post for more info and pics! In the meantime, you can check out this wonderful site hennaforhair.com for a wealth of information. Until next time all…happy hair growing!!!