Monday, 31 October 2016

Natural hair shrinkage

Some people hate shrinkage, while others don’t mind it at all. When I first went natural I hated it... a lot. Especially because I wanted my hair to look long. If you’re wearing your hair natural there is almost no way to avoid shrinkage.  And many of us have just learned to embrace it. Fighting shrinkage can really damage your hair especially if too much heat is involved or too much tension is placed on the hair and scalp.
But here are some ways to at least minimize shrinkage or stretch your hair:

Banding is the process of using ponytail holders to gently stretch out wet natural hair.  The hair is divided into sections then the holders are wound tightly down the section from root to tip so that the hair stays stretched as it dries.  If you are going to try this method, be sure to use ouch-less elastics made without the metal piece that can snag your strands. Be careful with this one because it can lead to breakage and thinning edges if too much tension is applied to hair.  This is also true if you use rubber bands or elastic bands with metal closures.

African threading:
The same warning from above applies. Thread is wrapped around strands of hair from just above the roots all the way to the ends. This wrapping is not just stylish, but also protective in many ways, hence its increasing popularity in the natural hair community over the past few years.

Recently, Curlformers have been the go to heatless natural hair stretcher. But sets in general stretch natural hair whether its a straw set, roller set, flexirod set etc.

Bantu knots:
Bantu knots are done by take a section of hair and wind it in one direction. Take the wound section and continuously wrap it around and around, forming the knot. Tuck the very ends of the hair underneath the knot to secure it. For finer hair textures, use a bobby pin to hold the knot in place and to keep it from unraveling. For extra elongation twist or braid sections of hair, then make a bantu knot with the twist or the braid.

Lastly it’s great to just embrace it! Instead of fighting it and getting frustrated, accept and embrace it! It is a part of the natural hair journey and it can’t be avoided.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

How to deal with an itchy scalp

Yes. We’re all victims of it. We’ve been spotted in places where we thought no one was looking, combing through our tresses, patting furiously at the top of our heads. An itchy scalp can be extremely uncomfortable. But what causes this annoying feeling?

One of the most common reasons for an itchy scalp is dandruff. It is a condition that is caused by the overgrowth of yeast on our scalp, which triggers inflammation at our roots and itching. The most noticeable downside of dandruff is flaking, or the peeling away of dry layers of the scalp.

Another reason, which is most attributed to braids, is the tight contraction of the skin and lack of moisture and fresh air.  If your hair is pulled too tight during the braiding or weaving process, inflammation of hair follicles can develop. When hair is trapped under a net or mass of hair for days without moisture, the scalp gets ridiculously dry, creating a spread of that fiery itching feeling.

How can you make that burning sensation go away:

Consistently moisturizing the scalp is a must. Don’t be afraid to spray your scalp with water. Also find a good nozzle that can be used to get a moisturizing hair cream down to the root of your scalp.

Let it breathe:
Let your tresses hang free. Capping it down, wrapping it up, tying it up with a scarf—you name it, there are several moments throughout the day that we seek to protect our hair. Protection is a great thing, but sometimes all your scalp might need is some breathing room. If you find yourself in a raging itch battle in the middle of the night, try sleeping with your hair bonnet off –  use a satin pillow case instead - the air will help soothe the scalp and reduce the pain.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse:
Mix 1/2 cup of ACV with 1 cup of water. Put the ACV mix in a spray bottle, spray it over your scalp and gently massage it into your scalp. Allow the ACV mix to sit for 3 to 5 minutes, then using a large cup pour water over your braids to rinse out the vinegar.

Don’t pile on too much product:
While you definitely don’t want to skip out on moisturizing your hair, you want to avoid piling too much product on your scalp as this can make the itchies even worse. Concentrate your efforts on moisturizing your hair by spritzing with water or a water-based product.

Don’t be afraid to wash your hair
Yes, overtime washing will make your braids look less fresh, but in the long run your scalp will thank you. More often than not your scalp is itching due to product buildup, sweat, and elements from the outside. Washing your hair will give you some relief and allow your scalp to breathe easier.  Dilute your shampoo to prevent residue in your braids.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Goddess faux locs inspired by Meagan Good

I have been wanting to try this hairstyle for quite a while so last weekend I decided to just bite the bullet. As you probably noticed my version looks a bit thicker and curlier. To achieve this style I used the following steps:

Step 1: I twisted my hair into chunky two-strand twists (about 100 twists).

Step 2: Using curly braids, I braided small strands of curly braids onto the ends of my twists.

Step3: Using Marley hair, I wrapped large strands of Marley hair onto the twist, tightly wrapping (not twisting) it around the hair until I reach the curls. Also to secure the Marley hair at the root so that it doesn’t unravel – I used a crochet needle and pulled the Marley hair through the root of each twist. To seal the Marley braids, I did not burn the braids (as I didn’t want to burn my own hair in the process) but once I reached the curly ends of the twist I simply twisted the Marley hair in an upward motion until there was no longer any hair to twist. 

This style took me 8 hours to install (yes, 8 HOURS I’m not kidding!). So it is definitely not a quick in-and-out kind of style. Granted I might be able to do it in half the time if it were on a client, but that will still take a good 4 hours to complete. Let me know in the comment section what you think of the results.