Monday, September 30, 2013

Cleansing your scalp while wearing braid extensions

Small box braids

If you are not fortunate enough to have the time or skills to braid your own hair extensions, then paying a professional braider can  cost you hundreds of dollars. Sure you can get someone to braid your hair for $50 dollars but in order to get a quality service that will last, that will cost you over a hundred dollars. No complaint here about the prices as long as the style looks good, doesn't harm your hair and it lasts for at least 10 weeks. 

So you have just paid $150 for a beautiful set of kinky twist extensions, your braider instructs you to wait a week or two before you wash your braids. Some braiders tell their clients not to wash their hair at all while wearing the extensions, and that is a huge mistake. The same way your body needs to be cleansed regularly, your scalp also needs to be cleansed on a regular basis. Daily your scalp accumulates, salty sweat, pollutants from the air and cars, dead skin cells, sebum and germs from your hands touching your hair throughout the course of a day. Now you have several good reasons to clean your hair on a weekly basis.

Never sacrifice keeping a style for the health of your hair.
---Ms Vee's Natural hair rules

So what does one do?

How do you take care of your hair but get your moneys worth out of an extension style?


3 ways to cleanse your braid extensions:

Apple cider vinegar wash
Braggs ACV is the best but any organic will work

Supplies needed: 
Braggs organic apple cider vinegar 
one gallon of spring water 
1 large cup 
1 water bottle
   Mix 1/2 cup of ACV with 1 cup of filtered or bottled water. Put the ACV wash in a spray bottle, spray wash over your scalp and gently massage wash into your scalp. Allow the ACV wash to sit for 3 minutes, then using the large cup pour spring water over your braids to remove the vinegar wash.
   This works to keep your scalp clean and properly PH balanced. Although water is used, the water pressure is very low from you pouring the water over your hair, than submerging your braids under water running from the shower or sink. The pressure from the water plays a big part in lifting your braid extensions prematurely. Using a ACV wash once per week will work to replace shampooing but after 3 weeks it is recommended to go ahead and shampoo gently.

Diluted shampoo wash
Is it shampoo time again?

Supplies needed: 
a non sulfate shampoo 
water bottle
large cup 
one gallon of spring water.
Mix 1/2 shampoo with 1/2 water (you decide how much) in a water bottle. Apply diluted shampoo to scalp and gently massage through the braids, then take a large cup of spring water and rinse hair over sink. to remove shampoo.
   This modified shampoo method can be used for the whole duration of your braided style. Once you have applied oils and leave in conditioner tie hair down asap, so it will dry with less frizz.

ORS Herbal Cleanse

Use ORS Herbal cleanse:
You can find this product at most beauty supply stores and drug stores, it is by Organic Root Stimulator. This is a dry shampoo in the form of a gel, so it is not messy. It is easy to apply straight from the bottle. Just apply to your scalp massage in gently and proceed with the manufacturers instructions located on the bottle. No water or rinsing is necessary with this product. You scalp will tingle and feel alive when you finish. It does not dry your scalp out and has  PH balance of 6. This is a product I have used for many, many years. One bottle should last the duration of your extension style, if you use it no more than twice a week. 

Tired of not reaching your hair length goals? Tired of having hair setbacks? Tired of seeing others with long beautiful hair, but not yourself? If any of these describe you, then you could benefit from a personalized Hair Growth Coach. Start today! Here!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cleansing your hair with clay

Moroccan Red Clay mixed and ready to use

You may have seen lots of post from women who say they wash their hair with clay or mud. You probably think, the whole purpose of washing your hair is to remove dirt, not add more dirt. Yes, that is true the purpose of washing your hair is to cleanse it of germs, product buildup and dirt, and certain types of clays help you to do just that.

These products are commonly called, mud wash or clay wash. There are companies who make packaged herbal clays ready to use straight out the bottle, these clay washes also contain additional herbs and ingredients which aide in the cleansing and conditioning of your hair and many are costly. Most people who decide to try clay washes will opt to purchase pure dry clay and prepare the clay wash when you are ready to wash your hair. Purchasing your own clays and making them yourself is very easy and much more cost effective.
Red clay applied to hair

What do clay washes do that shampoos and conditioning cleansers do not?

Clay washes are completely organic when you prepare them yourself, so this is perfect for the woman who is avoiding chemical filled products with names you cannot pronounce. Clay washes unlike shampoos or conditioning cleansers, improves the elasticity of the hair, your hair texture, defines your coils better, conditions and softens your hair 50% better than non sulfate shampoos or conditioner. With some clay washes you do not have to deep condition because it leaves your hair so soft. This decreases the amount of time you spend shampooing your hair.

There are several different types of clays you can cleanse your hair with, but in this article I will deal with the two best clays, which are bentonite clay and Moroccan red clay.

Moroccan red clay aka red clay or rhassoul clay
This clay consists of a natural mineral silicate.
This clay is the best of the best clay, because when you cleanse with this clay your hair is left clean from all dirt and product but extremely soft, your coils will be stretched but pronounce and you will not feel the need to deep condition your hair. This clay works wonders by itself with only water being added to it. The Moroccan red clay as the name implies is found in Morocco and commonly referred to as detox in a bottle. If you are the type who likes to clarify their hair once a month you can throw away your harsh shampoo and replace it with a mixture of red clay and filtered water. The red clay will clarify and condition your hair in one step. You will see that you have less tangles because of the stretch it gives your hair. It gives the right balance of cleansing and conditioning, and it is all natural. What a deal!

Bentonite clay mixed and ready to apply

Bentonite clay:  A natural calcium bentonite
This is one of the most popular clays because it is very inexpensive and lasts a long time. This clay is highly absorbent, it will clarify your hair the best but your hair will not feel stripped or dry. Remember these clays are rich minerals from Morocco to France and Asia and other places with mineral rich dirt. This is not dirt you find in your back yard. So as it absorbs all the bad stuff from your hair it also feeds it good minerals, which leave your hair soft and supple. Unlike the Moroccan red clay, when you wash with the bentonite clay you will need to deep condition afterwards. The bentonite clay does not contain as high amounts of potassium, magnesium and silica as the red clay does. So I found that deep conditioning was still necessary after a bentonite clay wash.

More comparisons between the red clay and the bentonite clay.
Because the red clay contains a higher percentage of calcium, potassium, magnesium and silica, you will find that it costs more per ounce than the bentonite clay.

While both clays can also be used as face masks, the bentonite provides more absorption and tightness you would look for in a face mask, especially if you have oily skin. The bentonite clay is a better choice for doing your face masks, and you can use it everyday with no irritations, when you just use the bentonite clay and filtered water. I used it everyday for weeks, so you be your own best judge.

Bentonite clay mask applied to hair & face! Ultimate beauty treat!

What to expect the first time you mix and use your own clay wash:
You will have to work and rework your recipes to get the right consistency.
You want your mix to be like a thick conditioner, not runny.
Because you are dealing with mud you will have some splatter until you get use to it.
The thicker you make your wash the less the splatter.
Bentonite clay turns out green but it does not stain at all.
The red clay did not stain my sink or clothes the many times I have used it, but some claim that it does. For sure it will not stain as henna or at all, but just be conscious of this.
Yes it is okay to massage it into your scalp, although it seems weird it will clean your scalp also.
More than likely you will make more than you will use in one application, you can store it in the fridge for 2 weeks and also use it for facials.
When using the bentonite clay as a face mask, it dries really tight, really tight.
Mix your clay wash slowly to prevent splatter.
It is better to start with less water and add more to a to thick mix, than to use to much water and have to add more clay to thicken your wash.

Clay wash recipes:
Please know there are many mud wash recipes out there, different combinations which utilize other natural ingredients from aloe vera, herbs, apple cider vinegar and much more. For beginners it is best to keep it simple, so here is a recipe which works really well.

*For beginners with shoulder length hair or longer, and normal porosity
Put 1 cup of bentonite clay into a bowl with 1/4 cup of spring or filtered water and mix.
If the mixture is to thick add another 1/4 cup and mix (with  wooden spoon) until you remove all the lumps and get the consistency of a thick non runny conditioner. If your mix turns out to watery, then add more bentonite clay by stirring in one tablespoon at a time. Remember this takes some practice to get it right, so do not get frustrated if it is to watery.
* I recommend bentonite clay for beginners because it cost less, so until you get the hang of mixing it you will not throw away as much money. The Moroccan red clay cost more per ounce, and because it is a rich red color it can be messier for beginners. In addition if your hair is normal healthy porosity meaning you have no issues retaining moisture on your hair, then you do not need to add anything else to the clay wash.

For those with overly porous hair, hair which has a hard time staying moisturized.
I recommend using the Moroccan red clay, because it is more moisturizing than the bentonite clay. The red clay will transform your dry hair by cleaning it and making it soft with more elasticity.
Mix 1 cup of red clay with 1/4 cup of spring or filtered water in a plastic bowl. Now get a wooden spoon (no metal) and slowly stir the mix to blend and remove all the lumps. Now add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (it will sizzle) and mix together again with your wooden spoon. If you mix is to thick then add a little bit of water and stir, keep adding a small amount of water until it is medium consistency. Try your best not to make your clay wash runny it will still work just fine, but you will have more drip to clean up.

You apply your clay wash to your hair by smoothing it through your hair as you would conditioner, but you want to use small sections. So it is best to section your hair before you start your clay wash. Once you have massaged it into your scalp and hair you can then rinse your hair with medium temp water or you can cover your hair with a plastic cap and allow the clay wash to remain on your hair for 30 minutes then rinse.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Faster hair growth from Scalp Brushing

 Have you heard  that brushing your hair, 100 strokes a day, increases hair growth? One hundred brush strokes daily over a period of 3 months, will increases your hair growth. How does brushing your hair for 100 strokes daily affect your hair growth rate. As the brush strokes through your hair each stroke applies just enough stimulation to your hair root, when the scalp is stimulated blood rushes to the hair root and meets up with the nutrients in your body and growth is then stimulated to push up from the hair root.  The problem with this technique is that while brushing that much may be okay for straight hair, it is not good for Afro curly hair. Not even relaxed Afro hair. 

Brushing Afro curly hair leads to broken spaces in the hair shaft, these hairs become weak over a period of time, and they break or become thin. If you are on a healthy hair journey put your brushes away, even a modified brush (a brush in which some bristles have been removed) is not acceptable for a healthy hair journey.

But I have an alternative for you, a soft bristle or medium bristle tooth brush. That is right a toothbrush. Some of you may already have an toothbrush you use to lay your edges down. But for this technique you want to make sure your toothbrush is clean and completely free of product. Purchase a toothbrush with white bristles, so you can see if you are pulling any hair out as you brush your scalp. If so,  that means you are being to rough or that your toothbrush bristles are to hard.

How to use a toothbrush for scalp stimulation: Start with dry but moisturized hair

1. Lubricate your hair with a natural oil of choice.
2. Parting you hair with your fingers apply oil to your entire scalp then smooth through your hair strands.
3. Pour a little oil onto your soft bristle toothbrush.
4. Part hair with your fingers then take your toothbrush and brush scalp in short downward motions, the same as you would with a regular brush, except you concentrate on the scalp only.
5. Do not brush in circular motions, this creates knots and tangles.
6. Again your brush strokes are short downward strokes in sets of 3's.
7. Once you do your 3 downward short strokes on your scalp pick up brush from scalp (do not drag brush against scalp) and move to next area on your part, keep on your part until you have reached the end of your part. 
8. Gently part the next section with your fingers and repeat your 3 downward strokes through the part once again. 
9. Once you have brush stroked your entire scalp, go back to your starting part and repeat the same steps over again. 
10. When you have repeated the scalp stimulation treatment twice over your scalp, then gently massage your scalp with your finger tips (not nails) to cool the scalp down. Do the cool down for one minute.


Please read instructions well before starting this treatment.
Concentrate applying brush strokes to scalp only.
Do not use brush stroke stimulation on your hair if it is already breaking or weak.
Do not apply brush stroke stimulation on wet hair.
As you do this treatment be conscious of how your hair behaves.
If you feel popping or breaking, ease up on the amount of pressure you are using.
If after easing up on the pressure you still feel popping, then stop the treatment.
During you scalp brush stimulation, randomly check your brush to see if you are pulling any hair out. If you see more than 5 hairs in your tooth brush ease up on the pressure or maybe your toothbrush bristles are to hard and you need a softer one. 

Cleaning your stimulation brush:

Clean brush after each use
Clean toothbrush with a anti bacterial soap or shampoo, removing all shed hairs from it.  
Allow brush to air dry
Or you can store brush in some alcohol in a cup  when not in use.
Rinse thoroughly before each use.

Other benefits:

Helps to stimulate natural sebum flow.
Provides body and shine to your hair.
Keeps build up off of scalp.
Exfoliates the scalp.
Improves hair growth rate.

Usage period:

You can do this scalp brush stimulation treatment 3 times per week, or every other day.
You will see increased hair growth with continuous treatments over a  5 to 12 weeks 

***Be sure you are subscribed to this blog and be on the lookout for my article on how I gained almost 2 inches of hair growth in 36 days. You do not want to miss this article! No product you have to buy and it requires very little of your time. NEW MOON TRIMMING

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ten steps to increasing hair growth and retention

1. Shampoo your hair with a non sulfate shampoo or conditioning cleanser, instead of a conditioner.

2. Rinse  your shampoo out with medium hot water, this will help to open your hair cuticle to receive the deep conditioner.

3. Always deep condition  sitting under a hooded dryer or steamer for at least 20 minutes once per week.

4. Apply your leave in conditioner while hair is still soaking  wet, then once you blot the water apply a little more leave in conditioner.

5. Stop using your current comb and purchase a seamless comb, you will retain more length with a seamless comb. You can search for my article on "No more breakage" for more details.

6. Read my article on "Growing your  fine, fragile, coily hair long" it makes no difference if you hair is not fine, but read the tips there and add them to your regimen.

7. Apply a natural oil to your scalp daily, it can be a different one each day as long as it is extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil or castor oil. Start with 1 tablespoon of the oil of choice, then apply more if needed. (choose one)

8. Three times per week massage this duo mix into your scalp. 1 tablespoon of castor oil with 3-7 drops of pure peppermint oil. Start with 3 drops and if that is not enough use more.

9. Increase your water intake, be more conscious of how much water you are drinking, write it down do not guess or leave it to your memory. With water we always drink less than what we think.

10. massage your scalp for 10 minutes each day. (do this as you apply your daily oils)

* making these changes will increase your hair growth from the root and your length retention. Provided these changes are already being used in combination with a consistent and good hair care regimen and provided there are no underlying health issues which may be retarding your hair growth. If you think this to be the case, then consult your doctor asap. 

Visible results within 3 weeks of doing this regimen, better results the longer you continue this regimen.

When purchasing your naturals oils, quality means a lot, if the oils are not of good quality then your hair does not benefit from the full nutrients of the oils. Cold pressed oils are the best. Extra virgin and unrefined.

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Truth about Petroleum usage on Afro Hair

Natural hair is a movement that show no signs of stopping any time soon and I am happy about that. A large percentage of the African American community has decided to embrace what grows from their scalp naturally. This natural hair movement has also found our sisters in Africa, Jamaica, Haiti and throughout the UK also returning to their lovely curly coily roots. Although many of us have gone back to our natural curl pattern not everyone opts to take the journey using only natural products. But across the board most black women are avoiding parabens, sulfates and mineral oil. Even the hair products companies have taken noticed and use, no paraben, no sulfates, no mineral oil or petroleum on the front of their products, this makes the product more marketable, although it is still not completely natural. Not containing these things is enough to satisfy the average curly coily woman.

One of the most common discussions and questions that pop up continuously on various hair care forums and youtube is, the use of petroleum. You will see these types of  questions. I still use grease on my scalp is that okay?  Does mineral oil or petroleum clog your hair follicles and keep your hair from growing? The answer to the first question is, yes it is okay to use grease on your hair. The answer to the second question is, no petroleum does not clog your hair follicles and therefore cannot stop your hair from growing to its potential. Black women of all cultures have used grease for years on their hair and black women have had long hair way before this natural hair care movement.

Petroleum is found in the earth, so essentially it is natural, because it naturally occurs in the earth. Mineral oil is made from distillate of petroleum. Mineral oil is a non vegetable source derived from petroleum. Baby oil is a perfumed mineral oil. When you go to your local drug store you will find mineral oil on the medicine isle, because it is commonly used for constipation and skin moisturizer. Crude oil makes petroleum and mineral oil is a liquid by product of petroleum.



The Petroleum Facts:

The molecular structure of the grease is to large to clog your hair follicles.

Petroleum is number one at keeping bacteria out of products

Petroleum does not attract dirt more than any other oil product.

Petroleum grease does keep moisture from the air, from entering your hair strands as quickly.

Petroleum offers you no nutritional advantages of using it on your scalp.

Although it will not clog your pores there are dozens of other good oils to use instead of petroleum.

The conclusion of  petroleum (grease) usage on the hair.

Grease is good to use on your hair if you have pressed or flat ironed your hair and you want to keep it from reverting as quickly. The grease will block the moisture from forming in your hair, thus keeping your hair from reverting. Apply it to your hair only.

If you work in a dirty dust filled environment or outdoors applying grease on your hair will keep bugs and bacteria away.

If you are one of those who must grease your scalps instead of using petroleum try, castor oil, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed and there are many more you can research. These oils feed the hair with nutrients and make the hair better. Petroleum has no nutrients for the hair. 

Grease is fine to use but in moderation, if you are on a healthy hair growth journey. 

Use grease on your hair and not the scalp.

Remember the grease is repelling moisture so be sure you apply a good amount of leave in conditioner before you apply grease. Do not continue to pile on grease day after day, apply it once and style your hair and leave it.

 You should shampoo, not co wash,  your hair once or twice a week.

So for my CoilyQueens out there who still love to use grease but you were not sure if you should or not, now you have the freedom to use grease knowing that you are not clogging your hair follicles nor retarding your hair growth. 

So the next time those natural snobs start to tell you how bad petroleum is and how it is not natural you will be able to school them.