Hair Regimen and Styles

Natural Hair Trends: Why they don’t matter

Lately, I’ve been noticing some pretty crazy natural hair trends on youtube and all over social media. Some of them may work, some of them don’t, others are just dangerous. I’m going to break down a couple of these trends, explain how they claim to work, and most importantly, talk about why they are not worth your time.

The Max Hydration Method:

Ah, yes, the max hydration hooplah. This intrigued me because those of us with curly and kinky hair textures are always looking for ways to moisturize our hair. The very basis of our hair care is centered around this idea. The MHM is a 5 step process that involves multiple rounds of conditioning, deep conditioning, bentonite clay application, and more conditioning. All of this work will lead up to the possibility of a wash and go for 4c textures, especially.

I’ve tried the MHM and it does work, but who on earth has time for that! The reason why it works is because you’re literally conditioning your hair every day. Of course your moisture content will improve if you do that. I’ve been wearing wash and go’s every day for the past few weeks and opted not to do the Max Hydration and my curls have been just as defined over time as the MHM. The key is to improve your hair’s moisture content in the long term, rather than finding a quick fix leave-in conditioner. So, don’t worry, you don’t have to give up a week of your life just to achieve a wash and go…that’s just disrespectful.

The inversion method:

This is probably the most foolish thing I’ve ever heard of. The inversion method involves a combination of scalp massages with oil and flipping your head upside down to promote blood circulation to your scalp in order to stimulate hair growth. People have claimed to grow one inch of hair in a week and have documented their week long “journeys”.

I have not tried this method because I’m a rational human being. Here’s why it’s not worth your time or your health. It’s simply dangerous to regularly be upside down for 5-10 minutes at a time for a week straight. You can become light-headed, faint, and alter your blood pressure. Not a good idea, especially in the name of hair care. Most people that struggle with hair growth are really struggling with length retention. You can’t rush nature. You can, however, be gentle with your hair, keep it moisturized, avoid breakage, and before you know it, you’ll notice more hair on your head. This trend is the perfect example of seeing something too good to be true and it actually being too good to be true.

This last one is a little less of a fad and more of a common practice that I think isn’t necessary: long term protective styling.

The basics of natural hair care is centered around retaining moisture. If you retain moisture, your hair won’t break and therefore, retain length. One way to retain moisture and avoid breakage is by simply not touching your hair at all! So, put in a protective style for 3 months and let the magic happen.

Here’s why I don’t like this: it’s BORING!!! What if I want to wear my hair out? what if I want to change my style after a week? Sure, if I wear my hair in protective styles for 4 years my hair will grow all the way down to my ass, but there must be another way to enjoy my loose and free? I’ll say it again, I’ve been wearing wash and go’s. It involves very little manipulation, I get to wear my hair out, I moisturize my hair in the best way possible (by soaking it in water and conditioner), I can easily switch to a different style, and it’s fast! Protective styling can be beautiful and creative, but they’re not the only thing necessary to retain length. The key to retaining length is one thing: moisture. If your hair is truly moisturized, you can retain length even if you regularly heat style. What causes breakage is dryness. Yes, it’s easier for some textures of hair to retain moisture than others, yes, all of these trends, styles, and challenges are meant to provide new ways to retain moisture. My point here is that natural hair care should be easy, not complicated. You don’t need to get caught up in all the trends, they might cause more harm than good. Just be gentle, patient, listen to your hair, and it will retain length. It’s pretty much that simple.

Here are a couple of resources I’ve used to help simply my hair routine:

Anthony Dickey from Hair Rules Salon in N.Y. has revolutionized the wash and wear and broke down a lot of common beliefs about black hair care.

A lot of naturals stand firmly against heat styling. I myself, love to rock my curls more than anything, but there were a lot of things I didn’t know about heat styling and why it can become so damaging. Anthony Dickey has demonstrated how moisture can transform the health of your hair and make it more flexible for heat styling.

 

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Hair Regimen and Styles

How to do two strand twists on Natural Hair

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One of the most basic styles and techniques for maintaining natural hair is the two strand twist. It’s a great protective style, it helps your hair retain moisture, and it looks badass.

Recently I’ve been making some subtle, yet, significant changes in my natural hair regimen in order to prevent breakage and keep my hair healthier.
So, I’m going to explain step by step how I achieved these 2 strand twists.

I started out with freshly washed hair to ensure that I didn’t have any product build up from previous styles.

Next, I sectioned my hair so that it would be more manageable.

Section by section, I started twisting small pieces of hair. With each piece, I added some Moroccan oil intense hydrating cream, some argon oil, and finished off with the kinky curly curling custard.
when applying the products, I smoothed my hair with the pads of my fingers. I didn’t rake them in. This way, there is a lot less breakage as I worked through my hair. This technique also rids shed hair and detangles your hair. I knew my hair was fully knot free when that section feels equally sleek from roots to ends.
I also twisted my hair very loosely and twirled the ends rather than twisting the ends. This ensures that they’ll readily accept moisture later in the week when I reapply product.

So let’s recap: with each piece of hair, I smooth in (with the pads of my fingers) Moroccan oil intense hydrating cream, followed by argon oil, followed by kinky curly curling custard.
I twisted my hair loosely leaving room at the ends for a gentle finger coil.

and one more thing: avoid stealing a couple strands of hair from one side and switching them to the other just because your hair isn’t even. Later when it’s time to take the twists down, your hair will be much less tangled and you’ll have little to no breakage

So there you have it! This is how I do my two strand twists 🙂

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Hair Regimen and Styles

How to Care for Natural Hair

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Hey everyone!

I have recently been using an entirely new line of natural hair products. I’ve noticed that over the past few months, I’ve been having a lot of trouble dealing with the amount of build up I was getting by the end of the week. After taking a visit to Too Groovy Hair salon, they brought it to my attention that the products I was using were actually not doing me any justice. So, I cleared out my whole cabinet and bought the entire line from Moroccan Oil. Natural hair care shouldn’t be so difficult. All I need are a clean scalp, moisturized strands, and to minimize manipulation.

So, this is my new routine. When necessary, I wash my hair, condition, and deep condition, then I seal my ends with argon oil. During the week, I usually have my hair in a protective style and moisturize it with water daily. If my hair is really dry, I’ll add a dime amount of jojoba oil and scrunch it into my hair.

There are a few techniques that I have also implemented to help make my products work better and last longer.

  1. When washing my hair, I make sure that I massage my scalp first with water and drench my hair completely before applying shampoo. It allows it to distribute much easier throughout my hair and I’m not just wasting product.
  2. After rinsing the shampoo out, I scrunch out excess water from my hair so that it can better absorb the conditioner. Once again, it saves product and my hair stays moisturized a lot longer.
  3. When my washing session is over, I wrap an old t-shirt around my hair for about 10 minutes while I do my make up, moisturize my skin, etc. It speeds up the air-drying process. Now my hair is usually completely dry within one or two hours.
  4. If I wear my hair in a wash and go, I use a soft hold gel and apply it in my hair in small sections at a time. Throughout the week I apply water and jojoba oil  and scrunch it into my hair to make sure my ends are sealed. With this regimen, the detangling process by the end of the week is much easier and this routine is actually pretty low manipulation since I’m not retwisting, styling, pulling my hair very much.
  5. I also incorporated trimming my ends. I have noticed that keeping my ends fresh has helped me retain length over all as long as I’m only taking off 1/4 of an inch every 8 weeks or so. It avoids tangles and breakage and it’s a lot easier for me to wear wash-n-gos.

Hopefully these techniques will be useful for you-guys. Don’t forget to ‘like’ Naturals United on facebook 🙂 and follow us on instagram.

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Hair Regimen and Styles

How to Moisturize Natural Hair and Reduce Frizz

One of the most important components in maintaining natural hair is moisture. It can be hard to do that without over manipulating the hair and causing a lot of build up. I still struggle with this every day even after being natural for over 3 years. Recently, however, I developed a new trick that really makes the moisture last a lot longer and reduces the amount of product that I use. This is especially good if your hair is in any sort of protective style. It’s low manipulation, seals your ends, and it takes no time at all!

So, this process works best assuming that you have a good moisturizing routine after washing and conditioning/deep conditioning. I like to describe it as starting off on the right foot for the week.

What I do is after unraveling my satin scarf in the morning, I spritz my hair pretty generously with water. Next I take about a dime sized amount of jojoba oil (any light oil that you know 100% absorbs into your hair will work) and gently distribute it throughout my hair towards the ends (avoiding my scalp).  Then, I wrap my scarf around my head again for about a half an hour (or however much time you have to get ready). So, this is the first thing I do before I even wash my face. That way, while I’m getting ready, the moisture is on an accelerated path to absorbing into my hair strands and not into the dry air. This also works really well for reducing frizz. Just don’t forget to take the scarf back off before heading out the door! 🙂 By the end of the week, I have little to no product build up, and my hair behaves wonderfully for my next wash/co-wash session.

Well, I hope this helps you guys with extra extra read-all-about-it dry hair, like me.

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A Little Inspiration

Short Natural Hair is Awesome

Ladies, I know sometimes when we’re on a hair growth journey, it’s easy to get frustrated and feel like your hair is never going to retain that length. A big part of embarking on your natural hair journey is trial and error. So, while you’re figuring out what works for you and what doesn’t, don’t forget to enjoy every minute of it. Short natural hair is awesome! The time will pass a lot faster if you just have fun with what you have now. Nothing is more boring than watching a pot of water boil, right?

Here’s a bit of TWA inspiration to remind you that it’s not a race or even a marathon. It’s just hair 🙂

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