Hair Styling tools: Do’s and Don’ts

Now that your hair is growing beautifully and you are pleased with the results so far, it is important to do everything you can to protect your precious tresses so as not to undo your hard work.

Hair growth and length maintenance is a combination of good hair care, good nutrition and also using the right styling tools and accessories. Believe it or not, the styling tools and accessories you use could make or break your hair, literally.

Let us have a look at some of the things you need to avoid if your aim is to grow long, strong healthy hair.

DO NOT use any metal tools or accessories on your hair, they WILL destroy your hair. The sharp edges will snag and tear your hair.

Metal hair picks will snag at your hair which will lead to damage.

So instead of this:                                                                                      Use this:

Plastic hair picks are gentler and do not snag at your hair. They will help you preserve your locks. Watch out however for worn and damaged teeth, these are not safe for your hair and should be replaced

DO NOT use metal brushes on your curly hair.

So instead of this:                                                                                  Use this:

                                                      

The popular Denman brush is your best bet when it comes to choice of brushes. The plastic bristles that are flexible and widely spaced will ensure that your hair stays where it is supposed to be, on your head and not all over your bathroom floor.

DO NOT use metal hair clips, choose plastic hair clips instead. Metal clips tend to have sharp edges which will lead to hair breakage if used.

Hair clips are very useful when styling your hair. They can be used to hold your sectioned hair which makes it easier for you to work on your hair without “stray” strands getting in the way.

So instead of this:                                                                                 Use this:

                                                         

Plastic hair clips are much gentler and will not damage your hair when used correctly.

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Has it been 6 months already?

Hi y’all, I have been MIA for a while, been so busy with life. I have been following my regimen and my progress is amazing.I can’t believe it has been 6 months since I put a pair of scissors in my hair and got rid of my relaxed hair. Below are comparison pics.

My hair after the big chop September 2011

Wow, look at that thickness and growth!! I really wanted to wear a puff on my birthday, and I did!

Am I the only one who has been a natural for half a year?

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How to prepare an avocado+yogurt hair mask (video)

I just made my very first Youtube video y’all!! It’s how I made my hair mask this week and I just wanted to share it with my readers. I made it early in the morning so I was still a little groggy. Hope you enjoy it, and don’t forget to leave a comment ..please be nice 🙂

The result

I kept the mask on for about 3 hours then rinsed it off with my vo5 conditioner. The hair already felt stronger while rinsing it, my curls felt more defined and the hair was definitely stronger. If there is anything I have learned about avocado masks is that less is more. Keep the ingredients simple. I loved today’s mix, I only had 4 ingredients and one could also entirely leave out the yogurt, I only used it because I wanted some protein in my hair. All in all I loved the mask, and I will do it once every two weeks. I think I will stick to this recipe from now on.

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A hair mistake I will never repeat

I love my hair and I have a very good relationship with it, but just like any other relationship, things do go sour sometimes. As you all know, I am a sucker for hair masks and I love to experiment with them, but sometimes experiments turn out to be disastrous, which is exactly what happened last night.

I ran out of treatment last week and I haven’t had time to go get some more, so I decided to make my own treatment in the kitchen. I mixed avocado, plain greek yogurt, honey, flour, olive oil, grapeseed oil, castor oil, coconut oil and cayenne pepper oil. Now I must admit I was a little trigger happy with the cayenne pepper oil. I mixed all the cayenne pepper oil I had left because I was planning to make a new batch. The mix was amazing, it went on beautifully and smelled amazing. I shampooed my hair and slapped the mix on my hair. I kept the stuff in my hair overnight. At around 6 am I was woken up by a strange headache (scalp ache more like) and I knew it had to be the hair mask. I immediately washed my hair with African black soap, conditioned it and combed it as usual. My scalp felt so tender to the touch and weirdly dry. By midday I noticed I was getting scabs on my head. I was actually picking them out of my hair all afternoon.

Lesson learned
After evaluating the ingredients in my mask, I think the cayenne pepper did me in this time.I had somehow managed to burn my scalp with cayenne pepper oil. I love how it makes my scalp tingle but I would not leave it on too long.

What hair bloopers have you made?

Happy reading!

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10 reasons why you are still single

Speaking as a single woman, I can definitely tell you that when it comes to quality men, the pickings are unfortunately rather small. I admit women are complicated creatures, and it takes a real man to decipher us and conquer us. I am no relationship expert but I’ve kissed a whole lot of frogs, so I know what I’m talking about.

Every woman secretly hopes to find a man who has the ability to do just that, conquer her heart. I have oftentimes seen a good looking man who seems to have everything going for him, but can’t hold on to a relationship longer than a week. You will be spending Christmas alone if you are doing one or more of the following no-nos.

  1. Coming on too strong
    Some men come on way too strong and that can be a huge turn off for a woman, There is a fine line between showing a woman that you like her and creeping the daylights out of her. Take it down a notch with all the text messages and phone calls. In this case, less is more. It’s ok to let her know that she is on your mind, just don’t smother her while at it. 
  2. Unsolicited poetry
    Please don’t break out your love poems on the first or even second date, you do not know enough about her yet to inspire poetry. When you do that, it only makes us wonder how many women have heard those tired lines before. Be yourself, hold a normal conversation and get to know her instead, you can read her all the poetry you want on your wedding night.
     
  3. Imma take you home to mama!”
    There is nothing wrong about taking your special lady home to meet your family, but timing is very important. Get to know her and let her get used to you before you unleash your family on her. Meeting mum can be very unnerving, so in my opinion, having a strong relationship with her will help her get through it.
  4. Too much flowers and candy
    Girls are suckers for flowers and candy, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Don’t scare her off by showering her with too much “love”,instead keep her on her toes by surprising her once in a while, it will mean more to her.
     
  5. Extra long phone calls, too often
    It’s ok to call her everyday, in fact you should, just don’t keep her on the phone for hours on end unless you both really want to. When you hear a lot of “uh huhs and yeahs” chances are you are boring the heck out of her and she is just being polite. I love text messages for this reason because it never gets boring, so get a-typing!
     
  6. Me, myself and I
    There is nothing wrong with telling her about you, but remember there are two people in this conversation, don’t let it be about yourself. Engage her and and ask her things about herself, you are trying to get to know her too. And don’t underestimate the power of laughter, you will be more memorable to her if you make her laugh, but again, moderation is key, so don’t be clowning all through your date. Jim Carrey is still single for a reason!
     
  7. Just plain boring
    Stop boring her! See above.
     
  8. Whiny baby
    Always whining about everything is not the way to a girl’s heart. Complaining about how expensive restaurants have become and how the gas prices are shooting through the roof will only send her scrambling for the nearest door out of your life. Make her comfortable when she’s around you and let her feel like you have everything in control. Too much whining will make her feel like she is inconveniencing you and that will not win her heart. Save the whining for your mommy.

  9. Going dutch
    Okay, this just infuriates me, why in the world would you make a potential girlfriend/lover pay for her own dinner on the first, second or even third date?? Style the heck up! nuff said.
     
  10. Confessing love too soon
    Don’t freak her out by confessing your love too soon. It will mean more when you tell her after getting to know each other and she feels the same way about you. Opening that box too soon will not pay in the long run, let things take their natural course and you will be reaping the benefits for a long time to come.

If you avoid doing the things mentioned above, you will be sweeping your lady off her feet in no time and you will emerge a winner. Now go get her!

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Home made hair mask (Improved)

Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo

I went to Trader Joe’s the other day and got me a bottle of their Tea Tree Tingle shampoo and I couldn’t wait to get home and try it out. The ingredients are mostly organic and the best part is that the shampoo has no sulfates although it is a clarifying shampoo. I washed my hair with the shampoo and it does have a mild pleasant scent to it, and it lathered on quite well. I did my usual conditioning and styling but after a few hours my scalp started to itch like mad, I have never itched that much. I immediately knew it must be a bad reaction to shampoo that I had had. I think the shampoo had dried out my scalp or something. My verdict: I hate this shampoo, never buying it again, I will stick to my Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three.

I had to undo the damage caused by the wretched shampoo and put moisture back into my hair. The solution, another hair mask! This time I tweaked it up a little, added some things and took away others.

The Ingredients

  • 2 tbl spoons Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 tbl spoons Honey
  • Flour (adds shine to hair)
  • Olive oil
  • Castor oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Dabur Amla oil (stinky but muy bueno!)
  • Cayenne pepper oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Jamaican black castor oil
  • …and basically any other type of oil you want to add

Whisk all these ingredients together, you can add a bit of water when mixing in the flour. Wash your hair to get rid of build up and apply the mixture. Leave it on for an hour or two, but don’t sit under a dryer otherwise you will be baking your head! Remember to use shampoo when rinsing off the mix otherwise if you use plain water your hair will stink since the ingredients are organic. After washing be sure to condition your hair with a moisturizing conditioner.

The Results

My hair felt amazing, I could almost feel each individual strand, but best of all my scalp stopped itching. I love hair masks!

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Common misconceptions about natural black hair

Black hair is unmanageable
This is a common misconception that black hair is unmanageable. This does not have to be, armed with the right tools and knowledge, black hair can be and is very manageable. There is so much information about black hair care online and in books like “The Science of Black Hair”

Black hair needs to be relaxed to look good

Relaxer damages hair, period. No hair should ever be subjected to such torture, but that’s just my opinion. Learn to love your kinks and coils and your hair will love you right back!

Black hair does not grow

Black hair DOES grow!! The reason why black hair does not appear to grow is the fact that we have so many curls and coils and our hair tends to shrink as it dries giving it an illusion of “short non-growing” hair. Hair generally grows 6′ inches annualy. With proper care, our hair can grow to waist length and beyond.

Black hair “breaks”combs

Well this one is true, IF YOU DO NOT MOISTURIZE YOUR HAIR! One thing you need to remember is that you should never attempt to manipulate your hair in it’s dry state. The best time to detangle your hair is in the shower with conditioner in your hair which lends it “slip”. Use a water bottle to spritz your hair with water which will soften your hair making it easier to comb it without torturing your hair and damaging your styling tools..

Black hair is ‘bad’ hair

Okay, I will say this only once,the only “bad” hair there is is damaged hair. Black hair can be very beautiful if it is well taken care of .Love your God-given tresses and take good care of it, you will be turning heads in no time.

Black hair is expensive to maintain

This is actually true. Black hair can be expensive to maintain if it is relaxed it or weaved. A good weave can cost anywhere between $100 -$200, more if you are looking for the high quality stuff. Getting a relaxer touch up every 8 weeks can also do quite a bit of damage on your bank balance. But taking care of natural black hair is no more expensive than taking care of any other type of hair. We have to shampoo, condition and do treatments just like anybody else. Since I went natural 5 months ago I have spent less than $100 on products, I don’t go to hair salons so I am spending even less!

What other natural hair myths have you heard about?

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Overnight oil treatment challenge

After the amazing results I had with the prepoo oil treatment, I have decided to take it one step further and see what else I can do with oils. I suffer from dry scalp and it’s worse around my hairline. So for one whole week I have decided to do overnight oil treatments and see what happens. I started doing it last night and I am just keeping my fingers crossed. I used:

  • 1 tbl spoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tbl spoon Coconut Oil
  • 1 tbl spoon Castor Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper Oil

(I did not use Dabur Amla simply because of the stench, I only use it when I know I will shampoo my hair in the morning)

So basically I mixed all the ingredients in a small microwaveable bowl and microwaved the mixture for about 30 seconds. Using my water bottle I prepared my hair by making it damp and soft, not dripping wet. I then massaged the oils into my hair for a while and out a plastic cap on. I then put a head scarf and my sleeping bonnet and that’s it! In the morning when I woke up my head was rather warm. So I got into the shower and rinsed off the oils with a little conditioner. I then dried off my hair and put my usual products and styled my hair as usual. For the first time my hair was not crackling dry by evening, it still felt somewhat soft and fluffy. I will experiment with other oils as well.

I am hoping to get even better results with time so if it works well in the one week, I will keep doing it. So stay tuned for the next update in one week!

I’d love any advice or words of warning you have. Keep reading!

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My nappy is finally happy!

I would have never thought in a million years that I would ever wear my hair au naturelle. I wore wigs, weaves and perms. I was almost ashamed of the way my hair looked and felt in its natural state that I did everything I could to cover it up. The first time I did my big chop was about 3 years ago due to damage caused by relaxer. I could not wait for it to grow long enough for me to put the “creamy crack” right back into my hair. In the meantime I wore hats and scarves to hide my “nappy hair”, it was torture! As soon as my hair got to neck length, I bought a box of relaxer and relaxed my hair all over again. This time I was determined to keep my hair healthy, and I did.

Now when I think about it however, I realize how ignorant I was. But who is to blame? Certainly not me, society made me ignorant, I was only going with the flow. I learned the hard way though, and thank goodness for that.

For most of us, it is our mothers who introduced us to relaxers, but in their defense, they didn’t know any better, they were only doing it thinking it was “good” for us, that it would make our hair more manageable. There was not enough knowledge out there about our kind of hair, so I am not mad at my mother (I love you mum!) The one thing I absolutely still thank my mum for however is the fact that she warned me about using cosmetics at an early age, I still remember her words, “I don’t want you to look like me when you get to my age, I wish my mother had warned me” Those words have stuck with me all these years. My mother and the girls she grew up with, in search for beauty, used harsh facial creams that have long been banned on their faces.These creams had adverse effects on their skin, giving them blotchy complexions. The only thing I used to fight acne as a teenager was good old calamine lotion. So I know that her heart was in a good place when she gave me my first perm.

Fast forward 21st Century (or is it 22nd?) We are so much more educated about the effects of the chemicals used to make relaxers, we are fully aware that relaxers only “kill” our hair. We are learning to embrace our kinks and curls and even loving them (I know I love mine). I love my natural sisters, and I hope that even more relaxed sisters will join us. Do not be fooled however, taking care of natural hair is not easy, it takes time, patience, products and strategy- but it’s all worth it when you watch your hair grow healthy and long. So what are you waiting for? Get that pair of scissors and do the big chop already, cross over and join us, you won’t regret it!

What’s your hair story?

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Prepoo (chuckle!)

I must admit that the first time I heard the word “prepoo”I couldn’t help but giggle a little. I have never really thought about actually doing it, however I have heard the word bounce about in the natural hair forums and Youtube.
So last night I did a prepoo treatment without even realizing it. My scalp has been feeling itchy and somewhat dry and stretchy the last couple of days, so I decided to do something about it. In the middle of the night I was running around the house gathering all types of oils to put in my scalp. I made a concoction of Olive oil, Coconut oil, Dabur Amla oil (hate the smell!) and Castor oil – I mixed them all together in a small container and microwaved the mixture for about 30 seconds, then smothered the mix in my hair completely saturating it. I then wore a plastic shower cap and a scarf and went to bed. In the morning when I woke up I shampooed my hair using a clarifying shampoo. Normally when I clarify my hair feels squeaky and stripped, for the first time I did not experience the squeakiness one gets after a clarifying shampoo. I attribute that to the prepoo oil treatment I did last night.
Needless to say, my hair felt soft and fluffy even after the shampoo and I officially love prepoo treatments! I did a deep conditioning treatment afterwards and my scalp now feels amazing and my curls are popping all over the place! I’m in love..

Do you prepoo?

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