Feature: 7 Survival Tips for New Naturals

My first featured post! (not me being featured…me featuring someone else LOL). My new friend Rolande Sumner wrote a very helpful post for new naturals over at her blog, Our Kinks and Curls. Here’s an excerpt (click the link at the bottom to read all of it!):

7 SURVIVAL TIPS FOR NEW NATURALS

by Rolande Sumner

tips for new naturals1. BE PATIENT: Your hair is a different texture and it will take time to learn how to work with it. In addition, hair takes time to grow. The average amount of growth is ½ an inch a month. So be patient with yourself and your hair.

2. ADJUST YOUR EXPECTATIONS: You may need to adjust your expectations and perception of beauty. If you had a Big Chop or transitioning slowly, your look may change. This is especially so for women who frequent the salon for their bi-monthly creamy crack session. Remember that it isn’t your hair that makes you beautiful. It is your smart mind, sense of humor, compassion and strength. Your hair, eyes and other physical features just enhance it. Take a good look in the mirror and really look at yourself and know that God made no mistake and that meant you. You are not your hair and you are beauty, fierce and wonderfully made.

3. GATHER YOUR TOOLS AND KEEP EXTRA ON HAND: Before you go natural gather the basic tools most naturals use. Thick tooth combs, spray bottle, satin/silk scarf/bonnet, conditioner, hair clips/Barbie pins/ head band are items that most naturals use at some point of their journey. These items can get you out of a bind on a bad hair day. Having extras will help you keep your coif tight no matter where you travel.

4.  BECOME A PRODUCT JUNKIE:  Until you find your favorite product line(s) you’ll need to give different items a try. Check out YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and different blogs on product reviews. Purchase a subscription to a beauty box such as CurlKit.com. Beauty boxes will allow you to try out different products without spending a great deal of money. Many beauty boxes are $10-$20 a month and provide full and sample sized products. Many also give you more product than you pay for so it makes a good investment. If and when you start to develop a collection of items you don’t care for, you can swap with another natural and save a bit more.

Read the remaining 3 tips here.

If you are interested in writing a guest post or sharing a post that you’d like me to reblog, contact me here.

brown beauty gal

The Baggy Method vs The Green House Effect Method

baggy method vs green house effect

I’ve been receiving a lot of questions about the difference between the Baggy Method and the Green House Effect. While I can see the blurred lines between the two, there are definitely some differences in the two hair care methods so I figured an answer to the question would make for a good post!

Below you will find in the simplest of explanations the main goal of each of the two hair care methods along with how to do them.

The Baggy Method

baggy method Read the post this image was taken from here

Main Goal: Keep the hair well moisturized and conditioned to prevent breakage. Length Retention is the main goal.

How It’s Done: On clean dry hair that’s been placed in a ponytail, braid, twists or a bun, apply a conditioner (leave in or rinse out). Then, cover the ends of the hair with a plastic  baggie or plastic wrap. Some ladies  baggy on freshly washed hair and don a plastic cap or shower cap over their entire head. However, this method typically focuses on the ends of the hair.

The Green House Effect

greenhouse-effect

Main Goal: Stimulate the scalp’s natural sebum using your body heat. Increasing the rate of hair growth is the main goal.

How It’s Done: On dry hair, apply a natural oil. Avoid putting anything on the scalp. Then, throw on a plastic cap, followed by a scarf and a satin bonnet or hat and sleep in it over night. In the morning when you remove all the various head coverings used to produce a sort of steaming method, you can opt to apply a styler which will seal in any moisture generated. Some ladies only leave their head covered for a few hours. Either way, the entire head must be covered.

As you can see, there are some similarities between the two hair treatments. The medium term goals are slightly different but the long term goal is the same – longer hair. For Baggy-ing, it’s length retention. For the Green House Effect, it’s acceleration of hair growth. The two methods work on opposite sections of the hair. Scalp vs. Ends but as I mentioned – at the end of the day, the long term goal is to achieve longer hair.

Regardless to if you use the Baggy Method or the Green House Effect in your hair care regimen, consistency is the key.

Have you tried the Baggy Method or The Green House Effect?
What were your results?

brown beauty gal

2014 Complete Natural Hair Care Regimen and Products

natural hair regimen

It’s been a heck  of a year. 2013 is on it’s way out and as the year comes to a close so does another season. Summer flew by and now it’s fall. Then, winter. With all of these seasonal changes, our hair’s needs change as well.

When I first began getting in touch with my natural hair about 4 years ago (I was natural for about 5 or 6 years prior and had no clue what to do other than flat iron), I purchased almost every product another natural said was good. I figured if it worked for them, it would work for  me. WRONG.

Fast forward to today and I get it. I really get it. What is it you wonder? My hair of course! I get what my hair likes, doesn’t like and most importantly what it needs. Specifically, moisture and protein. Both are important.

New Hair Regimen

While I get that hair can change over time, I’m pretty confident that my new and simplified regimen will remain the same. At least, for a while. You never know until your hair stops responding to certain products. That’s why I’ve simplified and am keeping it 99.9% natural with the products I use.  My hair loves all natural products.

Now, before I share the products let’s take a look at the new simplified regimen:

Monthly

- Pre-poo and finger detangle with personalized mixture (I will share it in the near future).
- Co-wash hair (I’ve never felt the need to clarify so for now I won’t)
- Apply protein treatment followed by moisturizing deep conditioning treatment
- Apple cream rinse or diluted apple cider vinegar
- Seal and style (twists, braids or a wash ‘n go)

Biweekly

Only if necessary, I rinse my hair with water in the shower and then chase it with a small amount of Grapeseed oil to seal in the moisture. This includes a light finger detangling session.

Daily

- At night, employ the Greenhouse Effect method 5x a week. On the other nights, put hair in a bun and cover with a bonnet
-In the morning, seal in the moisture accumulated from doing the Greenhouse Effect throughout the night
- Apply a little moisture to ends of hair in the mornings I don’t use the GHE

In addition to these simple hair routines, I will continue to henna my hair as needed (aka when the grays pop up!). I will also dust my ends as needed (usually, it’s about twice a year). I don’t plan to get a professional trim for a couple of years. I want to reach my goal length (however, uneven) first. It doesn’t bother me much that my hair isn’t completely even since I wear it in it’s curly state most of the time.

Hair Care Products That Remain in My Regimen

As I mentioned, I was a PJ (product junky), purchasing everything under the sun looking for the magic product that would make my hair cook, clean and make money. Dang, that’s a husband. Wrong wish list.

Anyhow, now that I’m no longer a PJ (limited products makes my bank account happier), I’ve settled on a pretty short list of hair care products:

  • As I Am Coconut CoWash
  • Aubrey Organics Glycogen Protein Balancing Conditioner (in pre-poo)
  • Shea Moisture Anti-breakage Masque (protein treatment)
  • Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner (for rinsing) or
    • Shikai Natural Everyday Conditioner (for rinsing, clumping  and after a henna treatment)
  • Aubrey Organics Green Tea Cream Rinse (for final rinse)
  • Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie (for twists, moisture and soft set wash ‘n go’s)
  • Bee Mine Bee Hold Curly Butter (for twists)
  • Wonder Curl Get Set Hair Jelly (for firm set wash ‘n go’s)
  • Aloe Vera Gel (for twists & moisture)
  • Natural oils (for sealing & lubricating): Jojoba, Grape Seed, Pumpkin seed, Sweet Almond, Coconut, Avocado, Argan
  • Mango Butter (for sealing)
  • Henna

This list is extremely short compared to what I used to use. You’ll also notice that some of the products are for rotation and many from my previous hair care regimen are no longer with me. I just don’t need them.

This is it for me. Everything on this list is 100% natural except for the Bee Hold Butter, Shikai condish and Trader Joe’s condish. Each have a small amount of preservative (toward end of the ingredient list). I checked out these  ingredients over at the EWG Cosmetics Database and they are reported as being safe in small amounts.

Stay tuned for a future post where I’ll be sharing my new and improved pre-poo mixture. I’ve had to reformulate this puppy a few times to determine the most effective mixture. I need my pre-poo to detangle easily as well as contain ingredients that fortify my hair and scalp.

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brown beauty gal