Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Common mistakes naturals make (Pt 1)


 
You will frequently see people comment that your natural hair journey is about trials and errors. Personally I want to avoid as many trials and errors as I possibly can. This is not just in reference to hair but my whole life. Why? Because some errors have long lasting consequences. Personally I would want to know if the bridge is out ahead.

As  black woman I have already gone through lots of  trials with my hair, so any future trials that I can avoid, I will. So I have put together a list of errors I see people make in reference to their hair care. Many of these practices cause unnecessary breakage because they weaken the hair.




HEAT RELATED ERRORS

Blow drying or flat ironing the hair in order to check the length.
Afro hair stretches that is one of its characteristics. You can easily stretch your hair to check the length. You are on a healthy hair journey so why add heat in order to check your progress? Blow drying or flat ironing is adding  unnecessary trauma to the hair. If you plan on wearing your hair for a week in a straight style then that is different. Save the heat for when you are actually going to rock a straight style.

Blow drying or flat ironing, in order to get the hair braided.
If your braider cannot braid your hair in its natural untangled state, then find another braider. Afro hair is made to be braided. Blow drying or flat ironing will not make your braids look any better. It will make your hair dry out faster under the fake hair, then it will break off. The second cause of extensions causing breakage is the natural becoming dry and brittle while the fake hair lays on top of it. Starting off with heat is a bad way to start.

Straightening hair during the hot Summer months.
Let's face it we perspire more in the Summer time. Sweat equals moisture and salt. Moisture makes Afro hair coil up. Knowing this why waste your time, money and trauma to the hair. Avoid trying to hold a press in the Summer time. Anti humectants can only do so much. As the saying goes, we cannot mess with mother nature.

Going to a Dominican salon for a Dominican blow out.
The particular blow out they do is very damaging to Afro hair. Yes it is pretty, but at what cost? This service consist of  lots of heat while blow drying with a round brush. Then more heat with the flat iron. The blow drying method is the way many white women get their hair blown dry. It will look good for awhile, but eventually it will thin and break your hair. If healthy hair is your goal stay away from this type of service.

Blow drying the hair before you straighten it.
When you get ready for a flat iron or a press, eliminate using a blow dryer. Why use two stresses on the hair at one time? Remember your goal is healthy hair, so eliminate extra stress where you can. You can put your hair in big plaits and sit under a hooded dryer. To totally eliminate any drying with heat, put the hair in medium plaits and allow hair to air dry.  




Using grape seed oil as a heat protectant, when flat ironing the hair.
No matter what you have read this is not a good ideal. When you get ready to do something as harsh as squeezing your hair between two very hot plates you need to use something strong to protect it. Grape seed oil is not a good enough heat protectant. Choose a silicone based heat protectant. They work the best in protecting your hair. 



Not prepping weeks in advance of  straightening the hair.
Straightening is one of the harshest things you can do to your hair. The main cause of heat damage is using harsh heat on hair that is not properly hydrated. If you are having trouble retaining moisture then do not straighten your hair. Before pressing your hair, you should do a series of moisturizing treatments, to ensure your hair is hydrated enough to take the heat. You should do a protein treatment to ensure your strands are strong enough to take the heat. Always use a silicone based heat protectant when you straighten your hair. 

For a moisture regimen to prepare hair for straightening click here.


Not all errors can be avoided, but avoid the ones that you can.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

DIY Scalp PH balancing serum


Slow  hair growth?
Do you have a dry itchy scalp?
Irritated scalp?
Product builds up easily on your scalp?
Currently wearing braids and need a scalp refresher?


This CQR Scalp PH balancing serum will take care of those issues and more.

Use the serum in three different ways:
1. Use twice a month to prevent build up on the scalp
2. Use once a month to help clarify the scalp.
3. Use weekly to keep follicles clear, while wearing braid extensions.

Ingredients:
Fresh aloe vera plant from the grocery store
Jojoba oil
Sesame seed oil
Tea tree oil

Squeeze 1/2 cup of aloe vera gel from the leaf
Add 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil + 1 tablespoon of sesame seed oil + 1/8 teaspoon tea tree oil. 



 
 





How to use:
Use this serum on freshly washed hair. After you have rinsed out your deep conditioner, apply CQR scalp serum to your scalp and massage gently. Do not rinse out. Proceed with your leave in conditioner and styling. The tea tree oil can have a strong smell to some people, but once you apply your leave in conditioner, that will mask any scent from the serum.

How it works:
The aloe vera gel is soothing and continues to work at PH balancing the scalp. When the scalp is properly PH balanced, it is less itchy, less irritated and hair grows better. 
Jojoba oil, removes cholesterol and balances your sebum. It moisturizes and nourishes the scalp.
Sesame seed oil: prevents infections of the hair root. Treats hair thinning, relieves scalp irritations, and gets rid of dandruff flakes.
Tea tree oil is antiseptic, anti fungal, anti viral. This oil is helps you be proactive in stopping scalp infections which can lead to hair loss.



You can find aloe vera leaf at any Mexican or International grocery store. You will find it in the produce section. The aloe is huge. It will last in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. I recommend slicing it in 2 to 3 inch squares, putting it into a freezer bag and freezing. It freezes well. This serum calls for fresh aloe leaf, not the aloe vera gel you buy in the store already bottled.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Grow longer hair with New Moon Trims (March & April dates)



Tired of slow hair growth? 

Trying to grow out a short cut?

Recovering from hair loss?




Stimulate your hair growth rate by trimming your hair during high energy days. Each month, there are certain high energy days based on the position of the moon, in which hair growth is optimal. For healthy hair you should have a regular trim schedule. The Coily Queens regimen recommends trimming every 4th month, this equals 3 time a year. It only takes one new moon trim to stimulate your hair growth rate, this is not something you must do each month.


FOR MORE INFORMATION ON NEW MOON PHASE TRIMMING, GO HERE.


DO A 40 DAY NEW MOON TRIM CHALLENGE, HERE.



MARCH DATES:
23rd
27th
28th

APRIL DATES:
2nd (super energy day)
19th
23rd-25th
28th-30th

 Also use the new moon phase to start a new hair treatment. Getting ready to take a new hair vitamin? Start taking them on a high energy day.

Try new moon phase trimming when it is time for your next trim. All you have are dead ends to lose.



Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Achieving moisturized, defined, elongated twist outs



The twist out is the most popular style amongst Afro naturals. Once you perfect your twist out it is also one of the most easiest styles to create and maintain. The Coily Queens regimen has a conditioner pyramid it recommends for styling. This conditioner pyramid allows your twist outs to remain hydrated and defined, yet still have awesome elongation.. The conditioner pyramid helps you keep shrinkage to a minimum. Following the conditioner pyramid enables you to have good coil definition while still showing off your hair length.


DO NOT FOLLOW THIS IF YOU ARE DEALING WITH VERY DRY HAIR AND LOTS OF KNOTS AND TANGLES. CORRECT YOUR DRY HAIR ISSUE FIRST,  THEN REVISIT THIS STYLE METHOD. 

FOR HELP WITH YOUR DRY HAIR SEE THE DRY HAIR CHECKLIST, TO GET YOUR HAIR ON THE RIGHT TRACK.

THE COILY QUEENS 4 DAY CONDITIONING PYRAMID 
(For those who shampoo twice a week the CQ way)

Wash day:
Set your two strand twists with a thick creamy leave in conditioner or curl cream. It must be a cream product.
 2nd day:
When you re-twist at night use a hair milk or lotion conditioner. Follow with a natural oil. Doing the flat twist method is suggested for even better stretch.  
3rd day:
Set your twists with a non water based  conditioner, followed by a natural oil.
4th day:
Time for Coily Queens to wash their hair. But if you choose not to, then continue to set your twist out with the non water based conditioner, followed by a natural oil. Repeat until wash day. 




THE COILY QUEENS 7 DAY CONDITIONING PYRAMID

This is a style technique for those who want elongation with their coil definition

Wash day:
You will set your two strand twists, with a thick creme leave in conditioner or curl cream. It must be a creme product
2nd day:
When you set your hair at night only use a natural oil such as avocado or EVOO.  
3rd day:
Set hair with a lotion leave in or hair milk. It must be a lotion product. When you set your twist out it would be best to flat twist than two strand twist. Reminder:
You will apply a little natural oil everyday as per the Coily Queens Regimen.

4th day:
You apply a non water based product to your hair when you set your twists. You can follow with a natural oil as usual. EACH DAY YOU WILL NOTICE MORE STRETCH TO YOUR TWIST OUTS, YET YOU ARE NOT DRYING YOUR HAIR OUT. USING DIFFERENT TYPES OF CONDITIONERS TO NOURISH AND LUBRICATE KEEPS YOUR HAIR FROM DRYING OUT.
5th day:

If you feel like you are in need of extra moisture then use a liquid leave in conditioner to set your twists at night. If you feel your hair is doing fine with hydration then only apply a little of the non water based conditioner followed by a natural oil.   Repeat day 5 instructions, daily until you wash your hair.

Whether you follow the 4 day pyramid or the 7 day pyramid both of these will give you nice elongation without sacrificing hydration or coil definition. Follow each suggestion as listed for the best results.

For a list of product suggestions go here

HAPPY TWISTING!!!

The leave in conditioner


 
Afro hair is curly hair and curly hair thrives on moisture. The hair care regimen of those with curly hair must consist of products which feed the hair moisture and products that are properly PH balanced for the hair. There are 3 categories of  hair care: cleansers, conditioners and stylers. Conditioners are the most important of the three. There are different types of conditioners such as: deep conditioners, rinse out quick conditioners, protein treatments and leave in conditioners. The leave in conditioners is the most important product in your hair care regimen. The leave in conditioner is comprised of ingredients which can remain on the hair to provide continuous conditioning to Afro curly hair through out the day. The leave in conditioner was created for your Afro curly hair.



If you are on a budget, the leave in conditioner is the one product you want to splurge on. A good leave in is essential to longer growth retention.  Be sure to invest in a leave in conditioner that is not made up of ,a ton of harsh ingredients. Remember this product remains on your hair until washing, what goes on the hair eventually seeps onto the scalp. Consider this when you shop for your leave in conditioner. 

SEVEN QUALITIES TO LOOK FOR  IN A  LEAVE IN CONDITIONER:
1. PH not over 5.0
2. Water as the first ingredient
3. Contains natural butters, oils,  and extracts
4. Least harsh ingredients
5. Economically priced ($1.50 or less per ounce)
6. The colder the touch of the product the more moisturizing   I find it to be. 
7. Does it leave the hair moisturized for 2 days or more?

THE WRONG PH BALANCED PRODUCT CAN CREATE A MESS!
The PH of the product is very important because if the PH is over 6.0 that product stands a good chance at raising the hair cuticle. When the hair cuticle is raised higher, moisture quickly escapes the hair. This leaves you with dry, hard hair that forms knots when you manipulate it.  You can keep piling on moisturizer but it will feel as though your hair is soaking up the product yet is still not any softer. In reality the product is just sitting on top of your hair shaft causing buildup, this also causes your hair to dry out even more. Day after day you have applied this high PH product to your hair, and after a week you have a huge brittle mess! This is why PH is so important.

ROTATE THREE LEAVE IN CONDITIONERS
The Coily Queens regimen suggest you have at least 3 leave in conditioners you rotate within your regimen. WHY? Well the needs of our hair changes from time to time,  for various reasons. It is very common to have an awesome product you love and then one day it just no longer works the same. If you rotate your products this is less likely to happen. 

A PRODUCT DOES NOT HAVE TO SAY "LEAVE IN CONDITIONER" ON THE BOTTLE, IT ONLY NEEDS TO CONTAIN INGREDIENTS THAT CONDITION AND CAN BE LEFT ON THE HAIR.

A GOOD LEAVE IN CONDITIONER WILL ALSO DOUBLE AS A STYLER. 


LEAVE IN CONDITIONERS I LIKE, THAT PERFORM AS CONDITIONERS AND STYLERS.

SHAMPOO 1st DAY RICH CREAMY LEAVE IN CONDITIONERS>>>>>>>
Shea moisture curl enhancing smoothie

Cantu Shea Butter leave in conditioner

Afro Stretch creme by 4Naturals

Shea moisture restorative conditioner
Elasta QP Olive oil Mango butter curl pudding
Taliah Waajiid curl defining creme
AS I AM DOUBLE BUTTER CREAM (for 1st day conditioning use the As I am leave in under it)  

Read my review on the As I am double butter cream here.
 
These are great 2nd or 3rd day  lotion conditioners>>>>>
As I am leave in conditioner
Shea moisture milk
Karen Body Beautiful sweet ambroisa leave in


Green magic cream by Liquid Gold products

Shea butter blend of peppermint and orange. Stimulate your hair follicles with this yummy blend. Great 3rd day styler to keep hair elongated.


These products are great for 3rd day styling. These products keep the hair soft, defined and lubricated while giving the hair more stretch. You get less shrinkage and more elongation for your twist outs. 

Nikki's Naturals Shea butter peppermint-orange blend
Green Magic cream
As I am double butter cream



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