We’ve been warned of the dangers of bad ingredients in hair products. Since going natural most naturalistas like to avoid products packed with chemicals that dry the hair, and may eventually cause breakage. We scrutinize product labels to look for those offenders which are usually hidden among a long list. But what happens when typically good ingredients become detrimental to the health of your hair? How many of us even know to suspect these ingredients; when everyone is telling you they are great or even essential for your hair? As with everything, we all have our differences. No matter how wonderful a product is, it may simply not work for certain individuals. So what are these products or ingredients that may be doing more harm than good?
Afro textured hair is typically perceived as thick and voluminous. However, all hair types whether: European, Asian or Afro textured include thick, medium or fine variations. Some of us have fine strands but high density hair, or thick strands with low density. Density refers to the number of strands a person has on their head. It varies from person to person. A person with voluminous natural hair may have fine strands and be required to be extra gentle with their hair, even though they have a high density of strands on their head. Although they have thick hair, they may still experience more breakage than a woman with thick strands. Here are some tips to ensure your hair is at its maximum volume and you don’t lose volume unnecessarily.
Glycerin is found in most hair care products; such as leave in conditioners, deep conditioners and styling creams. It is a humectant so it draws moisture from the air to coat the hair strands. Products containing glycerin usually soften the hair leaving it more manageable and nourished. It also gives the hair great shine and can help bring out your natural curl pattern. Glycerin is great for detangling as it provides an oily, slippery feel. Vegetable glycerin for instance is produced from plant oils such as palm, soy and coconut. My experience of using glycerin has been both positive and negative at times. It is an ingredient that should be used according to the needs of your hair or style.
There is nothing more annoying than coming across a single strand knot or a horrendous tangled mess, especially when you are trying to style your hair. It’s tempting to yank a comb through it, pull the knot off with your bare hands or cut a huge chunk of hair off. Some tangles are the equivalent of having chewing gum stuck in your hair. As Afro textured hair is usually delicate, dealing with tangled hair in an aggressive manner will lead to finer, frizzy, less manageable hair. So how do we deal with knots and tangles?
Twists and braid outs are staple styles for afro textured hair. They help to achieve stretched curls, volume, and are low manipulation. However, results vary depending on the products, hair type and method used. The typical method involves putting damp hair into twists or braids, allowing the hair to dry, then undoing them. For shape and volume, the next step would be to separate the twists, more than once. The more the twists are separated, the more definition is lost and the more frizz created. For some women this can be frustrating. There are simple techniques that can be used to create definition and minimize frizz.
Natural hair is so versatile, there are many new styles and techniques to try. The most popular styles of course are braid outs, twists outs, perm rod sets, flexi rods sets or bantu knot outs to name a few. However, when you try these styles for the first time, you may not know how to maintain them, especially when you go to bed. During the relaxed hair days most of us were used to wrapping our hair at night, but this will not work for curly or kinky natural hair. Here are some methods for maintaining your hair at night.
Wash day can be just that, a whole day. However, we shouldn’t have to draw a line through the day just to wash our hair. I am now able to wash my hair and go out to dinner within the hour. Washing your hair should not have to result in a night in front of the TV, waiting for our hair to dry in twists. Some of us avoid swimming because of the time spent washing and detangling our hair afterwards. Here are some styles that are appropriate to do after washing. They allow you to wash, style and go. Plus, they have the added bonus of stretching the hair, making it easy to re-style the next day.
I sometimes cringe when I remember my mindset during my ‘creamy crack’ days. Due to a lack of knowledge, many mistakes were made. This confined me to hair that never seemed to grow past a certain point or risked severe damage. Here are 8 common mistakes made with relaxed hair that you may have been guilty of practicing. Flat ironing relaxed hair Using heat on relaxed hair is discouraged by hair care experts, as relaxed hair has already been stripped of its elasticity. Therefore it is weaker than hair in its natural state. The use of heat is likely to weaken the hair further and cause breakage. Any use of heat should be minimal. Using heat to combat new growth is futile. as any slight moisture on the scalp will simply cause the hair at the roots to revert. This may lead to an excessive use of heat, which causes dry and damaged hair. Instead, embrace styles that allow the new growth to blend, such as twist outs or braid outs. Relaxing every six to eight weeks I use to relax my hair every six weeks with super strength relaxer. Hair care experts suggest relaxing your hair every 10 to 12 weeks or even less frequently. The more your hair is exposed to the harsh chemicals of relaxers, the more prone it is to over processing and weakening over time. Check out vloggers Ebony and Erica of TwoLaLa. They relax their hair as infrequently as once a year! Now I don’t think I could have gotten away with that, […]