29 Sep

Hair Products My Fine Natural Hair Loves

fine natural hair

When it comes to natural hair, no two heads of hair are alike. The curl size, circumference and textures vary from head to head. However, with these difference, there can also be similarities amongst hair types.

As a fine haired natural, I discovered that there are just certain types of hair product that my fine hair loves. I won’t list specific products because I don’t want to get you caught up in brands.

On the contrary, it’s more about the ingredients and types of products. You can find various brands containing the ingredients I’m about to share. Without further ado, here are the ingredients my fine hair seems to love and thrive on:

Anything with Protein

Protein is a fine haired ladies friend. Because our individual strands can be a little “light-weight” (I refuse to call them puny!), a regular regimen of protein application helps keep them strong.

Some ladies have reported that they are “protein sensitive.” I will forever disagree with this because hair is mostly made of protein so it doesn’t make any logical sense that one would be sensitive to what makes up their own hair. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  “It’s like saying you’re allergic to oxygen.” Check out this article that exposes the Myth of Protein Sensitivity.

Respectively, the type of protein you use on your hair can make all the difference. My fine hair likes all types of protein but for one person, their hair may thrive on wheat protein; Another on collagen; Another on milk protein. The key is discovering the right type of protein treatment for your hair. There’s also a appropriate time for protein use. You don’t want to consistently build protein onto your hair when it’s not deficient of it. Fine hair doesn’t typically have that problem. At least my fine hair hasn’t. I successfully use protein treatments on a weekly basis and this is what keeps my fine natural hair nearly free of breakage.

Light oils

Light oils like Jojoba Oil keep my strands flowing freely without weighing them down. This greatly cuts down the amount of single strand knots I experience. I’m also able to cut through tangles that do form rather easily by applying a light weight oil.

Henna

Forever a henna head, henna helps to condition and strengthen fine strands. Some say it mimics a protein treatment. That’s because the results are quite similar….stronger hair.

Others have reported that henna made their hair hard. I’ve never had that experience. My fine hair feels like cotton after use. It’s important to balance out the henna treatment with a deep conditioning moisturizing conditioner sans protein. This will restore any elasticity that may “appear” to be lost during the henna application process.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a great source of moisture. It helps to impart extra moisture and strength while also encouraging hair growth. Aloe vera contains enzymes that help to exfoliate the scalp of dead skin cells that may be blocking up the hair follicles.

Aloe vera also helps to close the cuticle and balance your hair’s pH after washing, leaving it smooth and shiny.

– Goat’s Milk

Goat’s milk is rich in protein, calcium, phosphorous, and potassium.  I’ve been using goat’s milk mixed with natural oils and honey to strengthen and condition my hair for about 6 months as of the writing of this post. It rapidly became a staple after just a few uses. It has given my fine hair added strength and immediately after using it, my hair is shiny and manageable.

You can add goat’s milk to your conditioner, or mix it with all natural oils and honey (a humectant) as I have done for a balance of protein and moisture. Read more about my goat’s milk experience here.

A Word on Styling Creams vs. Styling Butters

natural hair cream

While the items I just shared are more ingredient oriented and can be found in various types of products, I thought it was important to note that when it comes to using hair styling products, my experience is that fine hair tends to prefer lighter weight creams over butters.

Hair butters may be very nutrient dense for the hair but they are also very heavy and can weigh fine hair down causing it to look limp and lifeless. So, if you’re looking for a styler and your hair is fine, you may appreciate lighter weight creams over their heavier butter counterparts. That’s not to say you can never use butters. On the contrary, in the winter time, I love using shea or mango butter. It weighs my hair down a little but also protects it from the harsh winter climate. Again, an appropriate time.

What types of products does your hair like? 

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24 Sep

10 Natural Ways to Treat Eczema

natural eczema remedies

Many people with Eczema have tried conventional ways to get rid of and tame the condition. If you are reading this article and are anything like me, then you are fed up with the so called traditional Eczema treatments and all the side effects associated with them. While I have never personally suffered with Eczema, my daughter has and so have her cousins.

As an alternative to conventional treatments, there are natural remedies for Eczema that you can find success with. If you are seeking natural treatments for eczema, you have found the right source for information. Below you will find a nice list of options you can try. You can try them alone or in conjunction with on another. Just keep at it until you find success.

Natural Remedies for Eczema:

  • Take a bath with pure oatmeal soap or fresh steel cut oatmeal to aid with itching.
  • Avoid rubbing your face – this can make the condition worst. Always pat your skin dry with a clean towel.
  • Apply pure therapeutic grade Juniper essential oil. It’s been known to reduce the severity of eczema.
  • Only use non-drying and non-irritating products without alcohol and harsh chemicals in them.
  • Take shark cartilage capsules to help control itching – you can get these from a health food store.
  • Apply Pure vitamin E to your skin. Open the capsules and apply directly to your skin. Do not buy synthetic. It must be pure.
  • Apply the extract of blueberry leaves which are naturally anti-inflammatory – you can also get a lotion from your local health store or an alternative medicine provider.
  • Take two teaspoons of Flax Seed Oil daily as a preventative or along with other treatments to reduce the itching and swelling associated with Eczema.
  • Make a smooth paste by mixing nutmeg seeds and hot water and apply to your affected skin.
  • Purchase certified organic coconut oil and apply directly to your skin – this can also be obtained from a local health store or alternative medicine provider.

My Daughter’s Alternative Remedy for “Curing” Eczema

While everyone has different skin, different severities of Eczema and may respond differently to natural remedies for Eczema, I’d like to share the one that worked best for my daughter.

When my daughter was younger, she would get Eczema patches on her skin – arms and behind her ears. We tried a number of pharmaceutical products. While topical steroids were effective, they did not come without cost – thinning, discolored skin.

We began to seek out natural remedies to treat her Eczema. By total accident, we discovered the addition of sweet orange oil to shea butter. Sweet Orange essential oil is soothing to dry, irritated skin and supports collagen formation which is necessary to have healthy skin.

My daughter’s arm still has some discoloration from the initial steroid use but the skin is finally smooth and no longer itches. Fast forward, and she’s apparently either grown out of it or the Shea Butter with Orange Oil did the final trick. I don’t profess to be a doctor or have the “cure” to Eczema but this alternative treatment worked for her.

Do you suffer from Eczema? How do you Manage It?

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23 Sep

How to Choose Good Hair and Skin Moisturizers

Isn’t it frustrating to purchase what you think is a good effective moisturizer for your skin or hair to later discover that they are crap?

 

moisturizers for hair and bodyMany so called moisturizer creams and lotions available on the market will actually dry out your skin and hair. If you are anything like I was, you wonder why. After all, the skin and hair moisturizer packages say that they are moisturizers. So, then why is it that after applying these so called moisturizers, you find that your hair and/or your skin is dried out very quickly? Or even more disappointing, you discover that after applying the moisturizer, you don’t see or feel a difference at all. You’re left with the same dry hair or the same dry skin.

I’ve discovered that just because a product label says the word “moisturizer” on it does not mean it is a good effective moisturizer or really a moisturizer at all! You have to investigate further before you buy any product that you are seeking to moisturize your skin or hair with, for any real length of time. This is where the ingredient label tells it all.

Effective Moisturizer Requirements

For a moisturizer to be effective, it MUST contain water (or a wetting agent such as aloe vera juice) as the FIRST ingredient. If the first ingredient is anything else (ie. an oil) you may as well put it back on the shelf. It will not do the job no matter what the product manufacturer says.

I am an African American with dry skin and dry hair tendencies and have found that water in my moisturizers is not optional. It is required. This holds true for skin moisturizers and hair moisturizers. The first ingredient must be water/aloe vera juice. Why

It’s simple. These ingredients hydrate. Just like your internal organs require water to be hydrated, so do your skin and hair. However, water alone does not make a moisturizer effective. Right next to and after water on the ingredient list should be an oil. Pure Olive oil, Jojoba oil, Coconut oil, Aloe and Shea butter are all great oils to formulate your skin and hair moisturizer.

Ineffective Ingredients

In contrast to water and an oil being the first two ingredient on the list for an effective moisturizer, there are three ingredients that may very well make your moisturizers ineffective. These would be:

Petroleum and Mineral Oil – These are lubricants that sit right on the surface of the skin or hair and do not penetrate either of these surfaces which is required for true moisturizing to take place.

Isopropyl/Benzyl Alcohol – Alcohol in general is very drying. Remember, before there were acne creams, people used to use alcohol to dry out their pimples? Enough said.

Of course there are certain chemical ingredients that you should also avoid because they are no good for you, but for the sake of this article, which is to point out the ingredients that make a skin and hair moisturizer effective, I won’t get into those.

Three Moisturizer Ingredients with Big Benefits

Once you’ve found a moisturizer with water/aloe vera juice as the first ingredient, oil as the second ingredient and none of the above bad ingredients, there are other ingredients that prove beneficial for the hair and skin. These would be Vitamin E, Keratin and CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10 – generally found in skin care products) are antioxidants and help revive dull, damaged hair and/or skin. Keratin helps to stimulate the growth of cells to produce additional collagen which is required for smooth, supple skin.

So, the next time you go shopping for a moisturizer (which may be when you are done reading this article), make sure that the ingredient label (cream, lotion or spray) reads with water/aloe vera juice as the first ingredient, oil as the second ingredient, no petroleum, no mineral oil and no alcohols. This is essential for good, effective moisturizers. Your hair & skin will notice and feel the difference.

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