When it comes to being able to achieve big, and fabulous natural hair the main thing many people want to be able to do this without using heated tools like blow dryers, and I have found that one way of doing this is by banding your natural hair.
Now for anyone that is not familiar with banding natural hair, this is when you use hair bands to stretch out your natural hair. Before, you apply the bands to your hair I would suggest that you apply your leave in conditioner and any styling products that you want to apply to your hair.
This is very important as hair bands tend to absorb the moisture from your hair, so the more moisturized your natural hair is the better. This will ensure that once you take the bands off your hair will still be moisturized and will be easier to style.
So, after you have moisturized your hair the next step is to put your natural hair in sections (while it is wet) and then apply metal free hair bands to these sections (I put at least 4 bands on each section on my own hair so, be sure that you have many, many hair bands ready) and leave your hair alone to let it dry.
Then once your natural hair is dry you then, take the bands off and apply an oil on your hair and then gently separate your hair to achieve the big hair look that you desire. If you wanted even bigger hair you could use an afro pick to gently comb the root of your hair, this will give you more volume.
Or you could actually comb your hair, I myself have not yet found a comb that my hair loves, that will separate my hair coils without giving me massive amounts of frizz, tangles and knots. So, I just separate my hair and comb the roots of my hair to give my natural hair more volume.
This method of stretching your natural hair is great for all those ladies and guys out there who, may not like to braid or twist their natural hair but still want to be able to stretch it out.
Here are some awesome video tutorials that can help you even more:
Hope this helps beauties ….
In this week’s podcast I went over how you can use hair vitamins to grow your natural hair faster. Hair growth vitamins have become really popular in the last couple of years with brands like Hairfinity and Manetabolism gaining more and more popularity especially since you can see them being recommended by so many celebrities.
So in this episode we are going to go over these brands, which vitamins and minerals they have, whether they are safe for pregnant and breast – feeding women, as well as, vegans.
But most importantly which vitamins you need to have great natural hair like the ones below:
- Vitamin C – this helps produce collagen in connective tissue, strengthens capillary walls, speeds healing and helps battle environmental stress and toxins;
- Vitamin D – slows premature aging, enhances bone mineralization and Calcium absorption;
- Vitamin E – protects tissues of skin and eyes, slows premature aging, blocks formation of tumors, may decrease scarring, promotes red blood cell formation;
- Iodine – Aids in healing infections (skin), increases oxygen consumption and metabolic rate in the skin, helps prevent roughness and premature wrinkling;
- Silicone – Aids in collagen formation, keeps skin taut, strengthens bones and skin tissues, helps prevent wrinkles;
- Silica - helps to strengthen blood vessels and improve circulation, which can stimulate the blood flow to your scalp and encourage growth and is a vital component of connective tissue;
- Sulphur – this is called “beauty mineral” as it helps keep skin smooth and clear
- Zinc – Aids in healing wounds, promoting cell growth and boasts immunity;
- Omega 3 – Softens and aids in healing eczema, psoriasis and balances sebum production (remember the oil that lubricates our natural hair);
- Omega 6 – Promotes smooth, healthy and moisturized skin and proper joint function and flexibility;
- Omega 9 – Helps boost the immune system
- Water – Helps keep the hair moisturized and supple
- Vitamin F – Is needed for normal growth and behavior and help with healthy cell membranes, and helps skin, to be supple and a youthful appearance and natural hair becomes more shiny and healthy
- Vitamin K – heals damaged scalp and skin and keeps hair healthy
- B Complex Vitamin Which as vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, Biotin, Folate/Folic Acid, B12, Pantothenic Acid,Vitamin C and Vitamin E- is needed for a number of biological functions, including metabolizing food for energy, helping your nervous system and liver work properly, maintaining healthy eyes and contributing to healthy natural hair
And what what you can do if you are not a fan of talking tablets and vitamins but, you still want to have super yummy, healthy and happy natural hair.
Hope this helps beauties….
The one thing that I am finding a bit challenging with my blog is finding a way to share more of me as well as, giving you beauties amazing beauty tips whether it is about natural hair, skin care of health or anything else.
So it is all about baby steps, so I am going to start with sharing my thoughts and opinions about the whole Curly Nikki and white women with natural hair thing.
If, you are bit in the dark a while ago Curly Nikki ( a very well known and respected hair authority in the natural hair community), featured a young woman by the name of Sarah as one of her natural hair features, you can read her story here.
After Sarah’s story was featured, many women were upset by the fact that Curly Nikki’s site, which for years has been a haven for black women with natural hair to learn, accept, understand and appreciate their natural hair was featuring a loosely curled white woman on this site.
Being a black woman from Africa, who rocks her natural hair I can understand why some women were taken aback by this story. As, I have seen the lasting effects that colonialism can have, many generations after a country has been given its “independence”, while the lasting effects of colonialism still stubbornly linger on in the minds of the citizens.
Even in Africa, there is still a mentality that many aspects of African beauty, or culture should not be accepted and more Eurocentric versions of beauty should be the norm, even for women that will never be able to achieve them. Purely because we were not born that way, so trying to attain a standard of beauty that is unattainable is a lost battle.
But, I cannot speak on other women of colour who are from the Caribbean, Europe, or the United States who have to deal with many race issues that exist where they are from, and how this affects how their beauty is or is not accepted or is perceived.
So, going back to the whole controversy about the white young lady that was featured on Curly Kikki’s site. After people got upset a few Youtubers started to speak on the whole controversy like one of the ladies of Natural Hair Sisters.
And even Ebony magazine wrote a very scathing article about the whole issue, which you can read here. Which in my opinion was a bit mean to be honest, they kinda dragged Nikki Walton through the mud, which I don’t believe was necessary. But, on the other hand we are all entitled to our own opinions and this includes Ebony magazine.
“To be fair to Walton, her site is not about Black hair or Black power. The “About” page states “CurlyNikki.com was created to serve as an online ‘hair therapy session’ for those struggling to embrace their naturally curly hair.” Her mission is clear: affirming those who wish to embrace a certain hair texture. But I think it’s worth considering what sort of precedent could be set here if more bloggers embrace an inclusive approach to natural hair.”
“Personally, I don’t expect hair bloggers to be Black Nationalist feminists simply because they rock Afros, but I do hope they all know the consequences that often befall folks who cease to dance with the folks who brought them to the party. Hair is emotional territory for many Black women and while we may be able to share products with White women, we needn’t share a movement that should be centered on overcoming the unique challenges that are thrown our way because of White people.”
After, Curly Nikki saw the Ebony magazine’s article she responded here and reminded everyone including the magazine, that sites like her’s were championing the whole natural hair movement from the beginning and that she has less than a handful of non-black natural hair features compared to the dozens of black women on her site.
“Now, unless you’ve been in the natural hair game for less than 15 minutes, you know this whole argument is old as hell. I’ve come down clearly on the side of inclusion before. The reasons are simple, but I’ll state them again. Success in the natural hair movement is defined by the total acceptance of our hair by ourselves, and then ultimately, others. I and other bloggers have been working hard to make the natural hair movement popular. It’s obvious now that our impact on the hair care industry and popular culture has been tremendous. Generally, this has led to good outcomes like a crap load more product options, and a warmer reception among friends, family and colleagues. Without popularity, none of this would have been possible. However, we can’t have popularity without sacrificing privacy. Is it worth the trade? Hmmm…who knows. As a practical matter, what I do know, is that it is difficult to try to make something popular and accepted by not sharing it with others. #WhereTheyDoThatAt
Curly Nikki’s site and Black Girl With Long Hair.com have been on the forefront of natural hair care information for almost a decade, especially when a lot of major black beauty magazines were not creating that space for us at that time. So to call out Curly Nikki’s site as not being a place for black women and their natural hair is not fair.
I understand where the writer from Ebony is coming from, but, at some point we as women need to accept that ALL women go through self esteem, self acceptance, and self love issues. Mind you, women of other races may not have as deep an understanding of what many women of colour go through, but, we are all dealing with our own issues.
But, does that mean that we should exclude women who are not black who may have had issues accepting their own curly hair. Here are I am not sure ladies and gents, I think many women like Curly Nikki and many others have been paving the way for the natural hair movement and many other women like myself are joining.
But, does that mean that we should exclude other women, I understand that this space that we enjoy is mainly for us, but, where do we draw the line. As it is many people feel that more natural hair looser curl patterns are popular compared to tighter coilier natural hair textures.
I have found that when it comes to excluding people it is a fine line of who gets included and who does not, and who gets to decide.
At the end of the day we should feel proud that us #teamnatural ladies and gents have created this amazing space where we celebrate our natural hair and other people are looking to it and want to be included.
It’s like we are throwing an awesome house party with cocktails, bbq chicken and potato salad and people are jumping the fence to get in.
We should feel honoured, we got here on our own, the community is growing and natural hair is here to stay.
When I first went natural, all those years ago, the one thing that appeared to be shouted out from the mountain top was the importance of natural hair types and knowing what your specific hair type was and how this knowledge could help you to grow your hair.
But, is knowing what your natural hair is a pure waste of your time. The reason I ask is because when you look at natural hair types from a distance they are basically the way your natural hair curls, nothing more, nothing less.
If you look at the image above you can see the most common curl types that are found on men and women who are African, African-American or of African descent.
Mind you, we all have more than just hair type on our heads, meaning that you could natural hair that ranges from 3b all the way to 4b on the same head. So, if you take this into consideration one, wonders how can knowing what your hair types is help you to look after your hair.
Well, the one thing to consider with knowing and being able to identify different natural hair types is that it, can help you have healthier expectations of what your hair will look like when it is wet.
I remember when I first went natural and I would look at Youtube videos and I would see these amazing natural hair gurus with their amazing natural hair who had a very nice loose looking curl pattern. And instantly I thought to myself that is what my own natural hair is going to look like and boy was I wrong and a little disappointed, when I saw my coily, kinky natural hair.
I mean I had been wearing curly human weaves for years and had not had to look after my own natural hair, so for some reason I expected that same curly weave look on my own head.
Thankfully there are many more ladies on Youtube now who have 4a-4c natural hair, and by seeing these women on the screen it can give people a wider vision of what their own natural hair could look like when it is longer, especially if they have the same texture.
Not only that but, by being able to identify natural hair types it gives you an idea of the different styling options that are out there. There are some natural hair styles that require a bit more work on kinkier and coily natural hair types like 4a and 4b (which are shown in the images above) and these are wash and gos. Depending on your hair a wash and go could be awesome and easy or a nightmare and a pain to do.
I have found that with my own hair that does not like wash and gos, if I do these I am asking for tangles, knots and a very lengthy and painful detangling session. But, I have learnt that my hair loves to be stretched and if I want to grow it then I need to keep it stretched out ALL the time.
Also, with coilier and kinkier natural hair, using rollers may require an additional step like stretching your hair first with heat or without heat, in order to get a more defined look.
Also this 4a/4b natural hair type needs more moisture as it tends to be much drier than all the other natural hair types, so looking for product reviews from women who have the same hair type will help here.
So there are benefits of knowing what your hair type is but, I think focusing on it too much on natural hair types can give you a too narrow perspective of what you can achieve with your natural hair. I have come to learn that 4a/4b natural haired ladies and gents can achieve a wash and go, but need to do it a bit differently.
I think it is great to consider natural hair types but, to not to the exclusion of all other hair types as you never know where your natural hair style inspiration will come from.
Hope this helps beauties…
The one thing that hinders growing your natural hair to greater and longer lengths is hair breakage and if you are not sure whether or not you are experiencing breakage then here are some signs:
- short and broken hair strands that you will find on the floor all over your house;
- hair that looks limp, or weak;
- hair that feels feels rough and dry;
- having split ends; and
- hair that looks dull and just an off – dirty dish water colour.
So, if you are going over the above list and you are finding that you have more than one of the above then, you are experiencing hair breakage.
If you are wondering what on Earth is causing this hair breakage then, there are 3 basic causes of natural hair breakage which are:
- the lack of moisture in your hair;
- the lack of protein in your hair; and
- basically over styling or physical manipulation on your natural hair.
Okay, so now that we have covered the causes of why you may be experiencing hair breakage, let’s get into the solutions:
- In order for your natural hair to suffer from less hair breakage you need to make sure that you have an adequate amount of protein and moisture in your hair. Now, if you are not sure what that looks like I , would suggest that you write down what your wash day looks like, this will give you an idea of what you are doing and not doing on a regular basis. This way you will be able to see whether you are deep conditioning your hair every time you wash it and if you are doing a protein treatment once a month;
- Make sure than you are moisturizing and giving your natural hair protein as well.
- I would also suggest that you have a look at your hair products to see whether they are mainly moisture based or protein based or both. And this applies to ALL of your products including leave-in conditioners, conditioners, gels, stylers, basically everything and anything that you put onto your hair. If you are using more moisture based or more protein based products on your hair rather an a balance of both then, this will cause an imbalance in your hair which will lead to hair breakage;
- Minimizing the use of dry heat tools like blow dryers, curling irons, curling wands and the like. These heat tools will take moisture out your hair, which may cause an imbalance in your hair;
- Do more protective style on your natural hair and this will keep your hands out of your hair and this will also stop and prevent hair breakage due to the lack of daily manipulation.
So, there you have it beauties, if you want to minimize the hair breakage that you are experiencing, then all you need to do is consider the above.
I hope this helps..
I have come to realize that one of the most important things us curly haired guys and gals can do in order to have amazing natural hair, is to deep condition our natural hair every single time we wash our hair.
Now, if you are wondering what I mean when I say “everytime you wash your hair”, I am talking about every wash day. Mind you, if your wash day schedule is a bit irregular, then I would recommend that you deep condition your hair every 7 – 10 days.
The reason deep conditioning your hair is important is because curly, kinky, coily natural hair tends to be much drier than ALL the other hair types out there. So it needs a whole bunch of TLC, and your hair will become amazing once you start deep conditioning your hair especially if you have a whole bunch of issues with your hair.
If you are wondering what issues I am talking about well, if you are having issues with your natural hair like dryness, brittle ends, then deep conditioning your natural hair will definitely help.
Deep conditioning your natural hair even if it is damaged, it will prevent any further damage and will actually help your hair to look and feel better.
If you want to amp up your deep conditioning session then you may want to deep condition with heat. Which is when you apply your deep conditioning and then go under a hair dryer for at least 30 minutes. Or if you do not have a hair dryer you could put a hot towel on your heat and leave it on for the same amount of time.
But, if you have colour on your hair, then deep conditioning with heat may actually fade your hair colour so please be careful.
Over the years of me growing my natural hair I have noticed that deep conditioning has actually helped to keep it to become softer, stronger and longer. Deep conditioning helps to create a baseline what your hair looks like when it is healthy, so when your hair becomes a bit unhealthy you will be able to tell. But, if there is no baseline, then becomes very hard for you to tell when your hair needs more love than usual.
So the next time you think of skipping deep conditioning your natural hair to save time, just remember that your hair is going to look healthier, will be softer and will be stronger if and when you deep condition it.
Hope this helps beauties…
When it comes to having oily skin it can be awesome to have as, people with oily skin tend to look younger than they actually are. But, the hard thing is knowing how to look after oily skin so, that you do not have breakouts or so you don’t have super shiny looking skin.
The main thing you need is to achieve the above is having a good moisturiser that will moisturize your skin but, not leave you looking oily and shiny. And this is something that I wish I know when I was much younger like when I was a teenager when my skin would be super shiny especially my forehead.
I wish I had photos that I could post so I could show you beauties how super shiny I was. In fact, I remember one friend in highschool made a point of telling me when I my face would be super shiny (which was most of the time), and all I would do is swipe my face and the oily would just return.
Fast forward a decade, I am much less camera shy but, I still have oily skin and I am a lot less shiny these days.
So what changed well, I changed my skincare routine, I changed what I used to wash my skin, as well as eliminating certain products as well as, including other products and changing what it was that I used to moisturize my skin.
So, today I am going to share with you beauties, all the things you need to know in order for you to be able to a better moisturizer for your oily skin as well.
The Best Moisturizer For Oily Skin Tip # 1 – Stop Using Strong Skin Cleansers
I am sure you are thinking “Nyasha, what the heck do cleansers have to do with moisturizing my skin”. Well, if you use super harsh cleansers that clean your skin a bit too well then your skin will be more likely to produce even more oil to replace the oil that was so viciously removed by your skin cleanser.
I am just joking about the viciously cleanser thing but, the thing about our skin is that it runs like a very well tuned system and when the oil levels on our face become too low, a signal is sent to the oil production department screaming “SEND IN MORE OIL!!”. And this additional oil, over your even oilier skin will cause breakouts, shiny skin and so much more.
Not only that but, these harsh cleansers will actually damage your skin over time.
So the idea is to look for skin cleansers which are:
- Oil binding liquid cleansers;
- Or are a gel cleanser which has been made specifically for oily skin; as well as;
- Avoiding cleansers that have oily ingredients like cocoa butter, cleansing cream or lanolin.
If you are not sure whether a specific product you are looking to buy is going to work for you, then I recommend looking up reviews online, to see what people are saying. This way you will have some form of certainty that it will work for you before you buy it.
The Best Moisturizer For Oily Skin Tip # 2 – What To Look For In Your Moisturizer
Okay, when it comes to knowing which specific brands are best for oily skin here, it all depends on your skin and how much it likes or dislikes a specific product.
But, there are some tips to help you pick out a good skin moisturizer for your skin:
- Look for moisturizers that have humectants, which are substances that draw and hold moisture like glycerin, sodium pyrrolidoncarboxylic acid aka PCA;
- Look for moisturizers which are lotions meaning that they are thinner in consistency compared to creams. Lotions are much lighter than creams so they tend to have less oil and are less likely to clog your pores.
The Best Moisturizer For Oily Skin Tip # 3 – Have More Than 1 Moisturizer
Yes, I know that this might sound a bit random but, it is important to have more than just one moisturizer. It is great to have a day and night moisturizer.
It is important to remember that our skins repair themselves at night, so having a slightly thicker night-time moisturizer is great as, this will enable your skin to get extra nutrients and moisture to help heal itself overnight.
The other great thing to consider is that in many other cultures when it comes to skin care, they use several different types of moisturizers like serums, lotions, essences, eye creams, skin masks and so much more. In fact, Japanese and Korean skin care routines can contain 11 steps and more than two thirds of these steps are dedicated to moisturize their skin.
So clearly, moisturizing your skin is very important and if you are interested in finding out what the Korean or Japanese skincare routine entails then have a look here.
Either way the more your moisturize your skin the better.
Hope this helps beauties….
For many of my readers, it is summer time on their part of the world. But, the nice thing is that the Sun shines everywhere so whether you are experiencing a nice warm summer or you are in the midst of a cold winter.
The one thing is that we constantly need to protect our natural hair from the elements especially the harsh effects of the Sun (which can actually bleach hair) if you want your hair to be healthier and to grow to longer and stronger lengths.
So how does one protect their hair from the Sun, if you are not a fan of wearing hats.
Well, there are actually oils out there that have the natural SPF, that’s right, there are oils that can protect your hair from the Sun and act like natural sunscreen. How cool is that mind you, I found out that oils like this existed when I went to my local Lush store (who else loves Lush out there) and as I was playing with their makeup line which is really cool by the way, one of the ladies there told me that her own mom used oils instead of store bought SPF.
So, I decided to find out for you beauties which oils out there had the best and highest SPF so that we can ALL protect our luscious manes all year round. Mind you, for anyone that lives in a place with harsh summers like Australia knowing, how to protect your hair from the Sun is important thing to know, as I have often spent too much time in the Sun to find myself with dry, Sun bleached hair and an oily scalp.
So, let’s get started on these amazing oils that will keep your natural hair protected from the Sun.
Natural Sunscreen Oil #1 – Carrot Seed Oil
This oil is great because it has high levels of Vitamin A, as well as anti-oxident, and antiseptic properties. But, that is not all in fact according to a study in the “Pharmacogynosy Magazine” which was published in 2009 it has an SPF of between 38 – 40.
Natural Sunscreen Oil #2 – Red Raspberry Seed Oil
Our next oil is red raspberry seed oil, and does the image above just make your mouth water. Any, way this oil actually has a very high SPF which ranges from 28 -50, according to the book “Oils of Nature” by Anthony J. O’Lenick. Not only that but this oil has omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, but it also has anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory benefits as well as vitamin E.
Natural Sunscreen Oil #3 – Wheat Germ Oil
Our last oil is wheat germ oil and this oil has a natural SPF of about 20, which is still pretty high. But it also has vitamin E, vitamin K, B vitamins and choline as well as, anti-oxidant properties as stated in the “Pharmacognosy Magazine” in 2009.
So as seen above wheat germ oil has a lot of benefits.
And that is it guys, if you were to use these oils you are surely going to protect your natural hair from the harsh effects of the Sun.
Mind you, there are other oils that have much lower SPF below 10 like avocado oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil and olive oil.
But, I believe that if you are going to protect your hair from the Sun then you will need the oils which have a higher SPF like the ones mentioned above and you can get any of these sunscreen oils for your natural hair on Amazon.com, be sure to get only the oils that say 100% natural oil.
I hope this helps beauties…