24 Nov

Winter Hair Care Myths Debunked

winterhairmyths

I’m thankful to no longer be a veteran where caring for my natural hair is concerned. I’ve invested time into learning how to care for my natural hair, discovered what it is that works for my hair as well as some of the myths that are keeping others in bondage. OK, bondage is probably too strong a word but you get my drift.

When it comes to busting myths, today I’m focusing on winter hair care and those things that people have been led to believe that just aren’t true. Here we go:

Myth #1
Hair breakage happens more in the winter

Hair is prone to breakage at any time you have abused your hair. While the winter serves us up a colder climate that can dry your hair out, that dry climate isn’t any more responsible for hair breakage than the summer climate. You can get just as much breakage in the summer as in the winter. Chlorine from swimming, over exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays and neglecting to do any protective styling when it’s warm out (because you think you don’t need to), can all cause hair breakage.

Myth #2
You can care for your hair in the winter the same way you care for it the rest of the year.

While this is certainly something many ladies choose to do, your hair really does need a lot more love in the winter months. For example, replacing oils with butters for sealing is quite beneficial in the winter. It helps to protect your hair’s moisture levels.

Myth #3
You have to protective style throughout the winter to retain length.

Protective styling is a good practice to have year round but you don’t have to do it 100% of the time just because it’s winter. You can certainly wear your hair out from time to time without breakage. One way to do so is to put your hair up while you are outdoors and while commuting. Then, take your hair down and let your tresses “shine” when you get to your destination.

Myth #4
You should wash your hair less often in the winter to prevent it from drying out.

Washing your hair does not dry it out unless you are either using products that dry it out or you are neglecting to protect it from hygral fatigue (damage caused due to swelling and contracting of the hair during the wash process). Washing your hair imparts moisture.  Applying a pre-poo can help prevent hygral fatigue. You should wash your hair more often when you use lots of product (remember those butters?) and that could very well be in the winter. Washing it less often when it needs to be washed could actually yield a negative effect due to product build up.

People come up with all sorts of do’s and don’ts as it relates to hair care. However, many of the don’ts are simply myths. Don’t allow anyone to put you into “bondage” (there goes that word again).  Discover what works for your hair and if it’s working, don’t stop doing what you’re doing just because someone said you should.

What do you think is a myth as it relates to hair care in the winter?

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24 Nov

Those Who Have Helped My Natural Hair This Year

Toward the end of each year I write a post sharing lessons I learned about my hair throughout the year. This year I decided to share something a little different.
2014-hair-influencersToward the end of each year I write a post sharing lessons I learned about my hair natural hair throughout the year. (Check out last year’s hair lessons) This year I decided to share something a little different.

While my natural hair and I have been getting acquainted for a little over 10 years, we are just really coming to the point where we relate a lot more easily (Am I the only one that sees my natural hair as a living being apart from myself? LOL)

The process of caring for natural hair can range from being a delight to a daunting task. Discovering what products work best to cleanse, condition, moisturize and style your natural hair can often take some time to figure out. And, then there’s the techniques

I was fully natural for about 6/7 years before I actually discovered how to do more than flat iron it. When I set out to learn how to care for my natural hair, I spent a lot of time on natural hair blogs, watching videos and attending natural hair meet-ups. It’s just about all I did –  Eat, sleep, and breathe natural hair.

It may have seemed excessive to some but I really wanted to learn how to care for my hair – independent of the professionals. In other words, I wanted to eliminate the need for weekly/bi-weekly trips to the hair salon. Besides…the hair salons I was acquainted with didn’t really know how to take care of natural hair. So, my journey began.

Fast forward to 2014 and I believe I have this natural hair thing nailed. Yet, the beautiful thing about having natural hair is the learning never ends. There’s always a new (well, new to the one discovering it) way of styling or improving your hair care that tends to be revealed.

This past year, I began focusing my efforts more on length retention and stimulating hair growth. To accomplish each of these goals I discovered that I needed to tweak how I style my hair on a daily basis as well as the additional efforts I needed to take to grow my hair beyond it’s normal 1/4 inch a month.

I learned a lot from the following ladies and each of them have impacted my journey in a positive way:

Cassandre Beccai

cassandra beccai

Cassandre has beautiful tail bone length, afro textured hair. While our hair types are not the same, the information she’s shared in her videos and webinars have helped me  get past my length plateau. I’m finally inching past bra-strap length in the back and past arm pit length in the front. I felt like I would never pass these lengths but after some tweaks to my regimen (thanks to Cass), my hair is showing promise.

Chime Edwards

Chime Hair Crush

Also known as Hair Crush, Chime has shared many simple hair styles that I’ve been able to incorporate into my regimen so that I would have more variety with styling. Some of the styles are protective and others are low manipulation. Chime’s sophisticated updo’s are a lot to be desired. They look classy and don’t require much.

Curly Proverbz

Curly Hair

Farida aka Curly Proverbz on Youtube shares a lot of herbal methods to care for natural hair.  Shikakai and Amla are natural herbs that I have incorporated into my hair routine to stimulate growth and protect length. Her simple DIY tutorials have helped my hair tremendously.

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17 Nov

8 Protective Styling Ideas for Length Retention

bun with twists

It’s no secret that protective styling helps with length retention. How you protective style however, can determine if you retain 20%, 50%, 80% or 90% more healthy length. Add the challenge of these cold, frigid temperatures to the mix and protective styling is pretty popular right now.

That’s because as the weather gets colder, we have to be more diligent about protecting our hair from damage. This is true for all but especially for those with fine hair. If you have fine hair, it’s even more susceptible to breakage if not protected adequately. That means adding hot oil treatments, increasing the amount of protein/moisture added to your hair and protective styling more often.

One of the fast and hard rules I follow when it comes to protective styling is the style I choose needs to be easy to do (the less manipulation the better) and it can last no longer than two weeks.  For this cause, I avoid hair extensions, weaves and long term protective styles. Since I have fine hair, the simpler the better. Yet, there’s still one goal in mind. Protect those ends.

If you manipulate your hair a lot to get your hair into a protective style, that could curtail your efforts for length retention. If you are protective styling with a new style, every day that could also hamper your efforts for length retention. Here are some protective styles that I do that require little manipulation, are easy to maintain and can last from 2-3 days if tied down at night:

 For longer lasting styles, a little more manipulation is required but you won’t have to do your hair as often. Here are some styles I have worn that protect the hair and last from 5-10 days (at least in my head lol):

 Protective styling is a very effective “tool” for length retention but sometimes you are at a loss for how to style your hair. Hopefully, some of the styles I have shared will help. At the very least, I hope you’ve been inspired :-) For more protective styling ideas, check out my Fotki.

Do you have a go-to protective style that helps you retain length?

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