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Natural Hair

Natural hair care tips and videos to assist you in achieving and maintaining healthy growing kinks.

The Harmful Effects of Protective Styling for Natural Hair

Protective hair styling has become a major part of many natural hair journey’s. These styles are supposed to protect your hair and minimize manipulation that can cause hair breakage. There are many hairstyles that can be considered protective to the hair strands and then there are some that are not as protective as you may think.

Many naturals choose to lean towards extensions for protective styling options. It is a process to get extensions installed. I am going to discuss two not so protective styles that includes extensions.

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Braids

Braids are a popular protective style choice. They are worn by all cultures, sexes and ages. With the warmer weather gracing us with its’ presence, we can expect to see many braid styles as many flock to the beaches, lakes and waterparks to have some fun in the sun.

Braids are beautiful, but they can also cause hair loss if they are done too tightly. One thing I have noticed with natural hair is that many believe they must grip the hair tightly to catch every curl and edge. This results in a painful scalp, itching, reddening, bumping up and hair loss.

Our hair can shed almost 100 strands a day, so you may notice hair within your braids once you take them down. There is no need to worry. If you notice your edges are itchy and bumpy and you have headaches because of your braids, they are too tight and can not be considered a protective style.

Micro braids and twists used to be one of my favorite go to protective styling options. Even though my hair was popping off around the edges, I would still get them for convenience. I ignored what was taking place with the health of my hair for the sake of convenience and beauty. I can not name one person that is OK with losing hair around their edges. If your braids are too tight, they can not be considered a protective style.

Glue in Weaves

Quick weaves and partial leave out weaves using glue can take a toll on your natural hair. Glue is placed on your crown as an adhesive. When I was a natural hair stylist, I had a customer who had recently gotten a quick weave as a protective style by another stylist. Hair glue was throughout her afro and it was very difficult to get it out. There was also breakage from where the glue would not come out easily.

Chemicals in glue can also be irritating to the scalp and cause itchiness and inflammation. This can delay your healthy hair growth cycle.

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These two hair style choices are the most common choices that I have encountered with other naturals. Protective styles should protect and not cause harm to your hair strands and follicles. If you notice irritation or pain from a hair style, I suggest removing it immediately. I know installments can cost a good penny, but the goal is to have a healthy hair growth journey.

I am not against extensions, however, I am not in favor of the harm that it could possibly do to your hair strands and follicles therefore causing you to have to keep covering the damage up with more extensions. If you go to a hair stylist, I always suggest picking one that has the health of your hair at heart first! You want to be able to rock your natural and it be healthy as well as rock your protective styles knowing your hair will still be healthy after taking the extensions out.

 

 

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How to Moisturize Low Porosity Hair

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It can be challenging to moisturize low porosity hair- if you do not know how. Many naturals say that dry hair is their biggest problem. Dealing with dry natural hair can be very frustrating. Who does not want moisturized, healthy growing hair?

Porosity is defined as the hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture. Hair porosity is divided into three categories, low, medium and high. When I come across low porosity naturals, they are usually in the hair type 4 category. Their hair is kinky, coily, has major shrinkage and is dry. Dryness sucks! If the hair is left dry for prolonged periods of time, this does more damage than good. Breakage can begin to occur.

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How would you know if you have low porosity hair? Take a test. The test that I am going to share with you is the water test.

You will need:

  • A bowl or cup
  • Water

Directions:

  1. Fill your bowl or cup with water (leave at least 1-1/2 inches of room from the top).
  2. Take your hair strand and place in the water.
  3. Wait 4 minutes
  4. Check where your hair strand is in the water.

If your hair is still floating on top of the water, this is a great indication that water is unable to get into the cuticles of the hair strands. This can also be contributed to products being on the hair. If you think you may have product build-up, doing a bentonite clay hair detox can remove it.

I have low porosity hair, what now?

There isn’t anything wrong with having low porosity hair so do not panic! I also have low porosity hair, so I can vouch for the following techniques.

Heat

Incorporating heat into my hair care regimen has helped a lot with my low porosity hair. When I say heat, I am not referring to the flat iron or anything of that nature.

Here are some great ways to make heat work for you:

  • Warming your conditioner before applying is a great way to help open the cuticles of the hair strands to let moisture in.
  • The Green House Effect is a great way to trap in your own natural body heat. Before I became locked, I would apply my moisturizer to my hair and place a bag or plastic cap over my head and do house work or other things for an hour or so. My hair always turned out soft and moisturized. I did not have to keep moisturizing my hair throughout the day.
  • Sitting under the dryer with conditioner on your hair or other conditioning natural concoctions, can help to open the cuticles of the hair strands therefor allowing moisture in.
  • Hot oil treatments are beneficial as you are applying warm oil to the hair strands. Penetrating oils like coconut oil, Jamaican black castor oil and olive oil are great for hot oil treatments. This is a double plus because you have heat working for you and penetrating oils penetrating the hair strand.

Low porosity naturals must also be attentive to how the hair reacts to products. Some products may contain drying ingredients, like alcohol. Take note as to whether your moisturizer is really moisturizing or leaving your hair dry. I know we just want things to work, especially if we have spent top dollar for it, but sometimes things will not work no matter how many times you try it, and we must accept that. A great way to get rid of those products is to product swap with someone.

Low porosity hair can be challenging but by incorporating these easy techniques, you can master your low porosity hair and rock your natural in confidence.

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How to Achieve a Wash and Go

During warmer temperatures, you will begin to see more naturals rock the wash and go hairstyle. Achieving a wash and go can be as easy as wetting the hair and going or wetting the hair and spending time adding product. This depends on your hair type.

Wash and go’s are worn mostly in the warmer temperatures because many naturals choose to air dry their hair. No one wants to walk out into cooler temperatures with wet hair!

Who can wear a wash and go?

You can! There is a preconceived notion that kinkier type 4 hair textures can not achieve a wash and go because there is no visible curl pattern. Type 4 hair textures usually almost always appear in an Afro like state. I have type 4 hair and was able to achieve a wash and go for the first time after doing a hair detox. I will share how to do this momentarily.

What You Will Need to Achieve a Wash and Go:

  • Holding product (mouse, gel, custards, etc.)
  • Denman Brush (optional)

How to Achieve a Wash and Go

  1. Start with freshly washed hair (hair must be wet)
  2. Apply a leave-in.
  3. Part hair into 4 sections- ear to ear and middle of forehead to the nape. (optional)
  4. Apply holding product to smaller sections to lock in the curls
  5. Use Denman brush or your fingers to shingle and define your curls.
  6. You may shake your hair vigorously to help volumize the hair – if possible. This depends on the length of your hair.

Your hair may appear white at first until your product dries. If this will not work for you, you can use a hand-held dryer with a diffuser attachment. You may also sit under a hooded dryer. I preferred to let mine air dry.  If your product dries white, you may need to try a different holding product. Applying a leave-in before the gel can also contribute to the product drying white. Before tossing your holding product to the side, you may want to try it without your leave-in to see if that could be the problem.

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I Can Not Achieve a Wash and Go

Does this sound like you? This was me years ago too. To achieve a wash and go, I had to do a bentonite clay detox on my hair. Bentonite clay is a healing ash that can remove impurities from the body. Detoxing my hair removed product build up that I did not know I had. I learned that my curls were weighed down. Doing this detox allowed me to start fresh.

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My daughter’s curls are poppin’ after her bentonite clay detox.

How to Detox Your Hair

Exact measurements will not be provided as this varies depending on your hair density and length.

You will Need:

  • Bentonite Clay
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Towels

Related Article

How To Detox Your Hair with Bentonite Clay and Apple Cider Vinegar

Steps:

  1. Wet hair
  2. Combine bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar and stir to achieve a pancake consistency.
  3. Apply to hair
  4. Leave on hair for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Rinse out

It is ideal to attempt your wash and go after detoxing. Waiting a few days to attempt a wash and go can leave room for more build up and you may use products that can weigh heavy on the curls therefor not allowing a defined curl pattern.

After detoxing my hair once, I was able to achieve a wash and go at anytime throughout the next few months. I became mindful of what products were weighing my hair down.

 The product that I used to achieve my wash and go was Honey Curl Custard by Design Essentials. This product gave my hair life!

Depending on the density of your hair, you will need to choose the right holding products to help you achieve the fullness you desire. If your hair is low density, you may not want to use a heavy holding gel and may opt for a volumizing mousse.

Wash and go’s are the “it” for warmer temperatures! Will you be rocking this style?

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Kick-start your natural hair journey with this beginner’s guide! Learn how to transition to natural, what do to after you big chop, determine your hair type, density and porosity, product knowledge, natural hair care recipes and more!

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How to Do a Braid Out

A braid out is a great style that gives definition to natural hair. This style can also be worn as a transitioning to natural style to help disguise the two different hair textures. This style is great for kinkier textures as it can help you to achieve an altered textured appearance to the hair. Kinkier textures are mainly in an afro state so for versatility, doing hair styles like a braid out can give you a different look.

 

 

You Will Need:

  1. Detangling brush or comb
  2. Holding Product
  3. Perm Rollers

 

Holding Gels:

Honeydew 100% Natural Hair Gel

Aunt Jackie’s Don’t Shrink Elongating Gel

Eco Style Gel Black Castor Oil & Flaxseed Oil

 

Directions:

Start with damp hair.

  1. Part approximately 1-inch parting or bigger (this is up to you).
  2. Detangle section from the end towards the root with detangling brush or comb.
  3. Apply holding product.
  4. Braid the section.
  5. Place perm roller on the end of the braid.
  6. Air dry overnight or sit under a hooded dryer.
  7. Take down once dry and style as desired.

Tip 1: Pour a little olive oil onto your fingers before taking down your braids to help minimize frizz.

Tip 2: Use a pick to lift roots and to close hair partings for a fuller appearance.

This style can be worn many ways throughout the week. You may choose to wear it flowing freely, at first. The older your hair gets, the fluffier it will get and the definition will no longer be as defined as the first day or two.

Wash day is not always convenient every time a style “gets old” so this is the perfect time for you to get creative with your hair. As your hair becomes fluffier over the week, you can incorporate hair accessories and updos to keep a fresh style for any occasion.

Braid outs are great for transitioning to natural as it keeps you away from the flat iron that many use to disguise kinkier hair with relaxed hair. This is something that I have seen many times in the salon. Relaxed hair is weak and natural hair is fragile. Constant heat to blend the two textures will only cause more damage. It may appear beautiful but your natural hair is not given the chance to flourish! A healthy natural hair growth journey consists of removing things as much as possible that could stunt your hair growth and health. Constant flat ironing is one of those things that can damage your hair.

A braid out is a great style for any occasion. Give it a try!

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Naturalista4me Show

 

Naturalista4me now has a show that will debut Sunday May 6, 2018 at 5pm CST on the Naturalista4me Facebook page. On this show I will be sharing with you all things holistic health, natural hair and lifestyle. I will be LIVE every Sunday!

On our first show we have guests Tonya Miller Cross of Accented Glory and Loronda C. Giddens, Keynote Speaker, Author and Founder of EnerPeace Creations, LLC.

 

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How to Wash Locs with African Black Soap Video Tutorial & Product Review

African soap is beneficial for its ability to gently cleanse. It is an antibacterial and many use it to care for skin conditions such as acne.

I am always up to try natural ways to cleanse my locs, so I gave African soap a try.

 

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African Black Soap Raw Organic Natural Pure 1lb 16oz

 

 

 

Holistic Journey To A New Me

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         Patricia Marie- Christ Follower | librarian | writer | editor | runner

Naturalista4me Contributor

Holistic Journey To A New Me

There comes a point when the heaviness of life begins to weigh us down. We question who or what is the cause, and we search for answers and relief. My story is simple. I hated my life, felt I had no purpose and waited for the moment that God just flipped the switch and saved me from this hell hole.

On the outside, so many would wonder what craziness I was feeling. How could I be so unhappy? They saw a beautiful, single, 34 year old successful woman with no kids… living life. But, what they couldn’t see was the heaviness I struggled with in my mind: Depression.

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It’s not a week of pms. It’s not a bad hair day. It’s not a season of a breakup. Depression is this unexplainable sadness and lack of hope to keep pressing forward. No matter how successful you are. No matter how much money you make. No matter how desirable you are. Depression will disregard all of that and slap you right across your face. It’s a heaviness that holds positive perceptions hostage. But, I won’t dwell on that. I just want to share how I escaped.

In the past I would start a new regimen. It would work for a few days. Then, out of nowhere depression would creep its head around the corner and say, “Well I hope you enjoyed that, ‘cus I’m back with a vengeance.” This time around, I am happy to say this happy bubble I’m in is real and not a mirage of my imagination.

Related: Naturally Combat Depression

 

There were a few things that I can say are playing a major part in my holistic healing journey.

  1. First off, I quit my prescribed antidepressant. The side effects were not worth continuing the prescription. I replaced them with an all natural supplement called 5 HTP. Within days I felt like a brand new person. I thought maybe it was a fluke and would be one of the many things that only brought happiness for 3 days then back to the hell in my mind I’d go. 30 days later and I’m steady climbing the peace and happiness ladder.
  2. I also increased my spiritual regimen. I bought a sage kit to begin healing my surroundings. The kit included White Sage and Palo Santo wood to burn while, blessing and or cleansing myself or my home.
  3. Thinking that practicing more self love would help with my healing, another healing step that I took was purchasing a Yoni Egg set. Yoni eggs are created by forming healing crystals into the shape of an egg. When inserted, they can help to heal in many ways. Even though I have only had a few sessions with my first egg, I have begun to feel more beautiful and have become more aware of my body.
  4. Research has shown me that sound therapy is very beneficial and can even help with mood enhancement. Binaural beats are my go to when I need a quick pick me up or if I just want to simply meditate for a few minutes. These specialized sounds may just sound nice and relaxing, but they are playing in a certain frequency that can help with anxiety, depression, concentration, and even pain.
  5. One last item that I have added to my holistic healing regimen has been an Essential Oils Set. As a form of aromatherapy, these oils can change your mood and even heal certain ailments. I place the oil into a diffuser or they can even be used topically.

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All in all, I have felt so amazing the past month. Healing takes time and effort. As I continue this journey, my prayer life will expand and my intimacy with God, the Most High, will be untouchable. I pray that I have encouraged someone today and would love to share more details with anyone that is interested.

Instagram: writtenlady
Youtube: Patricia Marie

How to Choose the Best Jamaican Black Castor Oil

How to Choose the Best Jamaican Black Castor Oil

There are many Jamaican black castor oils on the market, so it can become overwhelming to know which one to purchase. What is the difference anyway? Are they created equal? I am here to help you make the best decision.

As with all products there are ingredients. I have learned that the longer the ingredient list, the more complex and diluted the product usually is. I tend to lean more towards limited ingredient products. When it comes to oils this standard also applies because I do not want to use diluted products if I can help it.

Take a moment one day while you are in the grocery store and look at the olive oils and coconut oils. You will notice there are different brands. You may also see terminology such as refined and unrefined. Is there a difference in these terms? Absolutely.

Organic Turmeric Curcumin

There are products that are diluted and/or stripped of most of it’s nutrients, for example, Shea butter to turn it from yellow to white. I want my products as natural and closest to it’s purest form as possible so that I can get the most benefit from them. Products that are in their purest form, for example, raw Jamaican black castor oil, will have a strong scent. A little goes a very long way. When using diluted products, I notice that I use them quickly.

Organic products may cost a bit more than non-organic, but I am here to tell you that it is worth the investment. We spend a lot of moolah using diluted products because they run out so quickly. On top of that, we are not getting the nutrients we could get if the product was not diluted or stripped of it’s nutrients.


Garden of Life Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil – Unrefined Cold Pressed Coconut Oil for Hair, Skin and Cooking, 14 Ounce

When choosing an olive oil from the grocery department, I look for a rich, thick and darker in color oil. When I am choosing coconut oil, I use organic or unrefined. Unrefined means it has not been stripped of most of its nutrients. I apply the same standards when choosing other oils.

Jamaican black castor oil is a powerful oil that is beneficial for fighting scalp fungus, improves hair growth, fades scars and soothes skin. I have tried many castor oils and I can honestly say they are not created equal. Some of the castor oils I purchased were a blend of oils and was diluted. I came across a company by the name of Rooted Treasure and I fell in love with their castor oil. The ingredients are plain and simple, one word. This oil is not in stores and must be purchased online.

http://www.rootedtreasure.com/

This oil is rich, thick like maple syrup and dark brown. The scent is nutty. This nutty smell is missing in many diluted oil blends so that is the first indicator that you have a diluted, stripped of its nutrients, castor oil.

To get the most benefit from your castor oil, you want to make sure it is as close to it’s purest form as possible to achieve better results. Invest in a product that is created to help you and give you the most nutrients possible!

Probiotics and Hair Growth

I must be honest and say that I have been through the most when it comes to dealing with an unhealthy gut.  If my diet is not as it should be, it surely reflects and makes me miserable. I now incorporate natural ways to support my gut health and give natural relief.

Why is gut health important?

Our digestive tract plays a major role in the detoxing and immunity of the body. If your gut health is not good, other complications may arise like constipation, bloating, cramping, fatigue and decrease in mental clarity.

If there is an imbalance in the immune system of the body, this makes us vulnerable to the many toxins we come into contact with daily. Diseases can begin to manifest in the body.


Nordic Naturals Nordic Probiotic 12 Billion Live Cultures

What does probiotics have to do with hair growth?

Our gut consists of good bacteria and bad. We experience problems when there is an imbalance and hair loss can be a result. If the gut is healthy, the blood in our body will be cleaner and this blood nourishes our hair follicles.

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Full course antibiotics can kill the good and bad bacteria in your gut. If you are prescribed antibiotics, you can incorporate probiotics into your diet to support a healthy gut. It can take up to a year for our gut to return to good health without taking probiotics, so it is a plus to support our health now. Toxins accumulate in our gut and over time you may experience symptoms such as fatigue, nausea and most of all, for me, an alteration of mental clarity.
Hair loss is largely influenced by your diet, lifestyle, and environment. Hair follicles that are subjected to malnutrition, inflammation, and environmental pollutants cannot sustain hair growth activity and, as a result, die off.

Probiotics encourage healthy flora in the gut and this improves health. Your body will be able to ward off toxins and other conditions that could result in hair loss. Probiotics can increase hair growth and thicken hair. They also have a positive effect on your blood pH levels, thereby resulting in a healthy shine.

 

Which probiotic is best?

The most commonly used probiotic in modern studies is lactobacillus. When choosing a probiotic supplement, make sure that is the primary strain. You can consume probiotics by supplementing with capsules, consuming foods with live cultures such as yogurt and drinking probiotic drinks.

We should take preventative measures internally to support healthy growing hair!

 

 

 

 

**Disclaimer: All information shared on Naturalista4me.com is for informational purposes only. Please consult with your physician about any medical concerns you may have.

Is detangling your hair really necessary?

Is detangling really necessary?

Detangling can be very time consuming especially if you have thick course hair. Many have chosen to toss the combs and brushes and finger detangle while others have found an oh so wonderful brush to make their lives a whole lot easier.

It is important that you detangle unless you are wanting to transition to a freeform loc journey. Over time, your hair may begin to lock. I experienced this with my two daughters. I would wash their hair and rush through to detangle somewhat and this went on for a couple of months. Our lives seem as if they are on turbo since relocating from our country bumkin hometown to Tennessee. Taking time and doing hair was the last thing on my list of things to do.

My daughters rocked afros, frohawks and puffs for the most part. I finally took the time to go through their hair and detangle it and I trimmed their ends. Their hair looks and feels so much better. In the crown area of both of their heads, their hair had begun to intertwine. Curly, kinky hair can easily begin to lock as it intertwines.

I like to use brushes and my fingers to easily detangle my children’s hair. There are many brush choices out there. Your hair type and texture will determine which brush will work best for you. How are you supposed to figure that out? I gotcha! Hang tight.

There are different hair types and textures. You may have heard about this before as we become researchaholics when we are thinking about returning natural or just recently began our journeys. I surely did this sun up to sun down admiring all the long curly haired youtubers. I couldn’t wait for mine to get there!

Curly textures are type 3a to 4c. Type 4 hair is kinkier and more course than type 3 hair. Be mindful of the bristles on the brush and whether or not it is tugging and ripping at your hair.

Here are some brush options.

ArtNaturals Detangling Brush

This brush is one that I have personally used on my children. My daughters have two different textures. My youngest daughter is a type 3c versus my oldest daughter is 4b. It worked better on the type 3 texture best. It kept getting caught in the type 4 texture.

My oldest daughter’s hair is very kinky. She does have coils that form at the root and get lost in the afro bush as you continue down the hair strand towards the tip of the hair. This brush worked great for her.To detangle with this brush, began at the end of the hair strands and make your way up the strand towards the scalp/root.

I will give this brush another try on my daughter with type 4 hair with a conditioner that has great slip.

 

Wet Paddle Brush
This brush is one that works great for my daughter with type 3 hair. To easily detangle with this brush, part hair into smaller sections and detangle in sections. This makes the process easier and less painful due to tension for you or your loved ones.

Our hair sheds 50-100 strands of hair a day so do not be alarmed if you see hair in your brush. Take your time detangling.


Denman Brush
This brush is one of my favorites as it works great for both of my daughter’s hair types and textures. This brush can be used to achieve a wash and go style for those who have more defined curlier textures. You may say that your texture is not defined but if you notice a defined curl pattern while your hair is wet with water or covered in your favorite conditioner then you can achieve a wash and go!

If you do not notice a curl pattern when your hair is wet, try a natural hair detox like a bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar hair mask. This natural mask can remove product buildup that could be weighing your curls down. This mask also conditions while cleansing.
Learn more about it here.

Whatever brush you choose to use is up to you. What works for you may not work for others and my daughters are a great example of that. This also applies to products and hairstyle choices. We must find what works for us.

Detangling is very important if you are not ready to go on a loc journey or experience the process of cutting knots out of your hair. Taking preventative measures is important!

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