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Natural hair journey

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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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

 

 

 

How To Make Flax seed Gel, Chemical Free

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Many consume these very beneficial seeds to support the overall health of the body but did you know that you can make your own hair gel from it?

Who in the world would want to make their own hair gel from something that you can eat? You may find yourself getting the DIY bug after reading this. 🙂 .

More and more people are becoming more health conscious and are doing things differently. Many people are changing their diets as dis-ease is at an all time high. Chemicals that we place in and on our bodies, are throwing our body systems out of whack. Not to mention the medications that we are prescribed once we become unbalanced.

With so many people having the “hurry syndrome” DIY’s may be the farthest thing from your mind. I get it, who has time to consider what every ingredient is on a product. With everything being so fast paced today, many want to grab and go. If your favorite YouTube blogger tells you it works, you believe it may work for you and you purchase it believing in that product. I am not completely free of the use of chemicals. I do have a shampoo and conditioner that consists of chemicals that could be harmful, however, I rarely touch it and find other ways to cleanse my hair as much as possible. If I do not feel like whipping up a natural hair cleanser, then I will use it. Balance is very important here. Our bodies are created to fight off everyday toxins you may run into but are we helping ourselves by overloading our systems with toxins?

I am familiar with many gels as I have styled hair since I was a teenager and it wasn’t until about two years ago that I began to look deeper into the ingredients of products. My favorite hair gel was a dark brown gel and so many swear by this gel due to it’s ability to give a great hold. As I think back over the years that I used the gel on myself, I can remember times when it would burn once I applied it. I never understood why that was so then, but I know now. Many gels contain alcohol. Alcohol burns when it is put on damaged scalp. During the time I would use it, it would be after I had relaxed my hair and I would slick my edges (the main part that burns when receiving a relaxer) with this gel. I would also do updos and ponytails by slicking my hair up on the sides. Do you’ll remember that popular hairdo, snatch back ponytail? This style consisted of a bun in the front and a long ponytail positioned on the crown or mid back of the head. I just knew I was going to turn heads with my fresh snatch back hair do.

My scalp would burn like crazy, but I took one for the beauty team anyway. I was willing to let it burn for the sake of the look.

Alcohol is also very drying to the hair. I always discuss products with the ladies and men that come to me to style their hair. Little things like alcohol being an ingredient can make a big difference in the health of your hair.

You can make your own natural gel using flax seeds. Flax seeds has many benefits for internal and external use. Many use flax seeds in their salads. I love to add it to my smoothies for digestive health.

Flax seeds are one of the riches sources of omega 3 fatty acids and fiber. The omega 3 supports healthy hair growth by strengthening the hair, can prevent alopecia, reduces dandruff and aids in the prevention of baldness for men and women.

If you do not want to use them on your hair you can just eat them!

How to Make Flax seed Gel

You will need,

  1. A small saucepan/pot
  2. 2 cups of water
  3. ½ cup flaxseeds
  4. Stocking or mesh strainer (anything to strain the finished product)
  5. Essential oil (optional)

Directions:

  • Place water and flaxseeds in a pot over medium heat
  • Bring to a boil (stir occasionally to prevent sticking of the seeds to the pot)
  • Continue stirring until it reaches an egg yolk consistency (white and frothy)
  • Turn off heat
  • Strain into a cup, bowl or container of your choice using stocking or strainer object
  • Add 3 drops of essential oil of your choosing

Tip- Get creative and add more to your gel to fit your needs. You can alternate essential oils and even add aloe vera. 

Natural flax seed gel does not have a long shelf life as it does not contain chemicals/fillers to prolong the shelf life. The average length of time that I have been able to keep this gel is 2 weeks by keeping it in the refrigerator. If there is a sour smell to your flax seed gel, this is a sign to throw it away. Do not use if it stinks or you will be stinky. Hehehe….. No, I don’t know if you will be stinky, but I have smelled old flax seed gel before and it is not nice.

Watch Video: How To Do A Braid-Out With Flax Seed Gel & Unrefined Shea Butter

It feels good to know that you are making something natural and healthy for your hair. You know exactly what you have put in it so there are no guessing games as to how this gel can be harmful to your health. Flax seed gel does not dry out your hair. I look at it like hair food.

I love flaxseed and keep some in my pantry. I use it for hair, skin and I consume it often.

Give it a try!

Let It Go Sis

Let It Go Sis!

 

Holding on to your split ends is trouble……

Too many times I see women dealing with damaged hair as they are afraid to cut/trim it because they will lose length. They are willing to deal with the damaged hair for the sake of length. If we are so worried about length, does this not subliminally suggest that we believe it is hard to grow our hair or that short hair is not beautiful? Why do you think many Sista’s hold on to hair that is damaged for dear life?

 

When I was between the ages of 7-15 I had hair that was shoulder length and this made me feel beautiful. Long slick hair was admired by many in school and it felt good to receive compliments. I have always had long healthy growing nails. They are not long curly nails, but they grow out long, healthy and strong. My mother once cut off my nails as my sister and I got into a sibling fight and she chose to cut my nails because I left a scratch on my sister. That crushed me to the core but oh well, that is the past. So, what was my attachment to the length of my nails? What was my attachment to having longer hair? It made me feel important, worthy and beautiful. Wow! As I am typing this I can tell that I have really come a very long way in how I think about beauty and feeling important.

 

My hair began to break off around 16 years of age as my mother gave us relaxers every now and then, but she didn’t have the time to do our hair as often as my sisters and I needed due to her strenuous work schedule. My grandmother owned a salon and my mother also did hair in that salon when I was younger. I used to walk around watching the stylists do hair and my grandmother would also teach me different things like how to do waves, a jerry curl, roller sets and updos. I had to take what my grandmother taught me and apply it so that I could keep my hair up as well as my siblings. I asked my auntie if I could use one of her manikin heads and she let me use it and I taught myself how to braid. I then began to braid my mom’s hair, my sisters (sometimes) and myself. I did my own micros for my graduation pictures.

 

I began to practice hairstyles on my already damaged hair. I loved rocking a ponytail. You know that old style of slicking your hair up with gel into the center of your head and adding some weave with glue or bobby pins to the ponytail. What about those microwave curls? You know, the ones that you roll up and put in the microwave to dry to achieve a roller set look. That was the ish……until I began getting sores from the bobby pins that were digging into the center of my head. Nothing is more aggravating then having a bobby pin in your head that you can’t get to. This caused more breakage in the top of my head. Enough was enough and I decided that I should cut my hair, so I did. I cut off those split ends and ended up with a bob of some sort and would just rock a butterfly clip on it.

I believe that during that time I really let go of the long hair is the only beautiful mindset. Cutting my hair improved my growth until I started slapping in that creamy crack every 6 weeks that weakened it.

So many are transitioning to natural and one common thing that I notice when I ask them why not just big chop is their fear of having short hair. Even if it was just a matter of cutting off 2-3 inches therefor leaving a lot of hair, they still felt uncomfortable about it. They say they do not want to lose their length they have worked so hard to achieve.

So, let’s talk about how we can be our only hold up by being afraid to cut our hair in any way because we do not want to lose length.

 

Split ends can prolong your hair growth goals. Many do not go and get trimmings because they are afraid that the stylist may cut too much, and/or you are not ready to lose your length. Does the length of your hair define you as a person?

Split ends are at the end of your hair strands and it is a damaged part of the hair strand. If you do not get your trimmings when it is time, split ends can travel up the strand of the hair causing more damage to the entire strand.

I had a blow out done once since I have been natural and when my stylist showed me a picture of the back of my head, my hair was a little past my shoulders. All the hair that past my shoulders needed to be cut because of the split ends. I ended up with a bob like haircut again, BUT my hair began to flourish. I am sure if I would have gotten my trims when it was time instead of prolonging it for years, I may not have had to cut off so much hair.

Do you want a healthy hair journey? If your answer is yes, then do not be afraid to let go of those split/damaged ends. Do not be afraid to cut off the damaged hair. Well, what about those who say their head is too big for short hair (that was me in the beginning too). I would say accept and embrace yourself no matter what. So, what my head looks big! I will soon have a big ole afro to cover this big head.

We need to remove the unhealthy attachment that we have placed on what beauty is. Beauty is not just long hair. It is not just short hair. You are beYOUtiful no matter how you rock your hair! Healthy growing hair is the goal.

It is time to let go of those damaged ends so that you can experience a healthy hair journey.

 

Are you holding on to damaged hair?

5 Reasons Why You Should Not Do Length Checks on Your Natural Hair

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR

1. YOU CAN BECOME IMPATIENT 

Are you newly natural and binge-watching YouTube slideshow videos of 3-month, 6 months and 1-year length checks? I have been there. I found myself getting so caught up in achieving growth (based off where my favorite youtuber’s hair was) that I began to get on my own nerves. I was length checking after every protective style- every two weeks. Lol!

When you are wanting your hair to grow so bad, you can get to the point of length checking every opportunity you get. It can become discouraging. This takes me to #2.

 

 

2. YOU CAN BECOME DISCOURAGED

Why isn’t my hair growing? Why is hers so long at 6 months and mine isn’t? Something must be wrong with me. I must not be using the right products. Let me go and buy the whole line of (fill in the blank). I am just going to return to the relaxer -as you post this in your state of aggravation in a natural hair group on Facebook. Whew! Posting that you are returning to the relaxer in a natural hair group will get you a lot of comments. Lol! I have seen some ladies attack a Sista like a pack of wolves on that type of post. It went something like, “ok”, “do your thing”, “you must want some attention”, “noooobooodddyyyyy cares”.

As you are being so focused on these length checks, you set expectations that if you do not reach in the timing you expect, you become discouraged.

 

3. YOU MAY BEGIN TO COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS

Why oh why my dear are you doing this to yourself? First it starts with comparing length then it starts with comparing textures and whatever else. I have seen it. I have worked with so many women one on one and they would show me picture after picture of women, their length and texture. They were admiring their hair AND complaining about how terrible theirs is compared to the lady in the picture. As a natural hair blogger and stylist, it is so hard to encourage someone to accept where their hair is at the time and to be patient when they have it already set in their mind that something is wrong or it’s’ just not meant for them to rock their natural crown. We can’t force anyone to love their hair. Rocking their natural hair must ultimately be up to the them.

HAPPY NEW YEAR (1)

4. YOU JUST MIGHT STUNT YOUR GROWTH

You read it right. Stress can eventually make its’ way into your life as you worry yourself like crazy over why you are not achieving your desired growth. Stress can cause you to lose your hair. So much for length checks huh? It’s not worth it AT ALL. Not only can you lose your hair stressing, you can put your health at risk. Stress causes so many dis-eases. So here you are stressed, then you end up having stomach issues or aches and pains. Now you must visit a doctor and they prescribe you medications because you got your blood pressure high and high blood pressure pills can cause hair loss. It isn’t worth your health. Stress is a killer. #teamnostresszone. Just breathe………

5. YOU MAY NOT EMBRACE YOUR BEAUTIFUL UNIQUE JOURNEY

Your hair is like no other. You are unique so your journey will not be like anyone else’s. As naturals we may experience some of the same problems like dryness and knots but your hair may not react to the same products that are working great for others. You may have more shrinkage than those you are comparing your hair too. When I let go of the attachment of the idea length based on how long I have been natural, my hair just flourished. I look back over my pictures and I am like wow. I don’t take the time to length check. I just be therefore I can love it every step of the way. Letting go of expectations has been one of the best things I could’ve ever done for my natural hair journey. I just take care of my hair and go on about life.

I went from big chop, to thick afro, to tapered cut (with shaved sides) to semi free form locks. My hair is growing like crazy! Others tell me that my hair has grown so much. I only notice my length as I am popping myself on my neck or in the face because I think something is crawling on me. Lol! Seriously, I have done that one too many times as I must get use to the length of my locks.

 

If length checking is only going to add to your frustration, DON’T DO IT! It isn’t worth it. Simply embrace your length every step of the way. Before you know it, you will have reached your hair goals minus the stress.😃

 

 

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Naturalista Sharlayne

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Hi, my name is Sharlayne, I’m a freelance producer and writer and I also run an art collective for POC called Project Noir. I live in London.

I’ve been natural for 2 years now. I big chopped last November and it was the best thing for my hair once I got rid of those straggly straight ends. My hair is flourishing and growing incredibly fast! I think I was afraid of looking a bit boyish, but I love my fro.

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I returned natural because I’d been chemically straightening my hair since I was 14. It was generally healthy until a bad dye job and it was never quite the same so after a bit of confidence building I took the plunge. This is my 3rd time and this time its sticking! I love straight hair too but ultimately my hair is healthiest natural.

I would tell someone who is thinking about returning natural to do it! You won’t regret it; your hair will thank you and it will literally change your whole mindset on beauty and accepting your true self.

I really have simplified my routine since going natural. I only really use coconut oil, either in a spray bottle with water or scrunched through my hair. Other than that, I have Shea Moisture shampoo and Lush R&B which smells delicious and is nice for a lil boost of moisture. I slick my baby hairs with aloe vera gel from Holland and Barrett – it’s natural and can be used on hair and skin.

My favorite go to natural hair style is a quick afro puff with a silk scarf or I wear my hair in braids.

 

 

I don’t use any heat on my hair. I scrunch it with a cotton t-shirt and let it air dry. I also finger comb as much as possible. The key is the less you manipulate your hair the better.

 

Connect with me!

Social media -@love_layne and business @projectnoirhub pics and vid attached xx

 

Naturalista Jamellia

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My name is Jamellia McFarlane but friends call me Millie. I was born in Queens New York but raise in Florida. I’m 27 and a social worker. I have been natural since Nov 2011- so 6yrs.

I returned natural because I had shaved the side of my hair and wanted to start over. I was doing weaves, but my hair was so uneven and had damaged ends, I needed a fresh start.

 

 

If someone is thinking about returning natural I would say to them that we should have never left but everybody has their own journey. When I was growing up, I was a box braids baby because I had thick hair, was tender headed, and my mom didn’t know what to do with my hair because I would always cry when it was time for it to be done. Side note, my mom has dreads currently. But anyways, eventually I begged her to perm it. Yea perms made my hair kind of manageable but also lifeless because it damages the curl pattern. Plus, if I knew how to take care of my natural hair, stopped looking at other cultures hair, and wishing/trying to reach their hair goals, my hair would be so different. Shoot I should have just locked up anyways because I was wearing braids all the time but that wasn’t my mindset, so then I became dependent on weaves until my big chop in 2011.

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I feel as black women we are creative, and weaves are as a craft to us, but we shouldn’t be so wrapped up or dependent on it that if we don’t have it, we don’t feel beautiful. Our hair DOES GROW, it just needs some patience, less expectations, as well as sun, water, and oil. We have the definition of beautiful hair.

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P.s if I would have locked my hair when I was younger, it would have been down my back by now. Probably would had higher self-esteem because my hair was a low point of me. But I’m happy where I am now, and this hair journey I’ve been on. I wouldn’t change it for anything. In 2 yrs., my hair has grown tremendously with locks. I’ve found a way to finally care it by patience, self-acceptance, and love.

 

 

I’m always down for new oils but my go to’s are Coconut oil, Jamaican black castor oil, tea tree, and water lol.

My favorite hairstyle is half up and half down.

 

Connect with me on:

Facebook: Jamellia Millie Mcfarlane

Ig: jahsmindgarden

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

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Bragg USDA Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, With The Mother 16 Ounces Natural Cleanser, Promotes Weight Loss – Pack of 2

Naturalista Pearline

pearl

My name is Pearline Jean-Charles and I’m from Brooklyn New York. I have been natural since 2012, so let’s just say 4 years.

I returned natural because perms weren’t working for me. My hair was just too course for it. My hair always had a hard time taking the relaxer and  boy was I tired of getting burned.

pearl2

My advice that I would give to someone who is thinking about returning natural is to go for it and thank me later lol; but for real though, it’s a beautiful journey. Some days are easier than others but it’s well worth it.

On your natural hair journey, you learn a lot about yourself. It’s not as hard as people make it look but not as easy as people make it seem either. One more thing, don’t get caught up in how other people’s hair look. Your journey is your own.

Some of my favorite products are: Eden’s Body’s Works Coconut Shea line, As I Am Co Wash and Eco Styler gel (the pink one). These are just to name a few.

My favorite go to natural style is a braid out.

 

 

Connect with me on Instagram: Pearlsperfectlyflawed

 

 

 

Want to share your natural hair journey to inspire someone? Email us at naturalista4me@gmail.com, SUBJECT LINE- Feature Me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Naturalista Chinaza

My name is Chinaza Favor. I’m 20 years old and  I am 6’1Ft tall. I’ve been natural for two years and four months now. I had my hair cut because I used flat iron on my then natural hair and it got damaged so I had to start afresh.

To anyone thinking about returning natural, I advise that you don’t hesitate to do that as it’s going to be the best decision you’ve ever made for your hair. It’s also fun because you’ll be experimenting with different ingredients and the styles that you can make with your natural hair is unlimited.
My favorite products are Nature’s Gentle Touch Shampoo Castor oil and recently, I got this conditioner that I love so much, it’s XHC Tea Tree Moisturising Conditioner. Not to forget WATER.
My favorite hairstyle is ponytail, all packed to the back and Afro. There are so many tips for natural hair but I’ll give just a few; Spray water on your hair everyday, don’t comb your hair when it’s dry( it’ll break), try to deep condition your hair at least every once a month, take your hands off your hair!  By that I mean, don’t always touch your hair and lastly, avoid over manipulation of the hair and very tight hairstyles. Drink enough water, just enough.
You can get in touch with me on Facebook with the name Chinaza Favor.
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