Anonymous asked: I love your blog and your hair is simply gorgeous. I"ve been following you for a while, and over time it seems like the thickness of your hair has almost doubled :) What do you think has made the difference? And, like you ( or like you once did) I have heat damage :( I like the length, but I know its not healthy, however, I feel like cutting it would useless because the next time I decide to straighten again, it will get damaged again. I have really fine hair, and I only straighten 2x/yr!
Thank you so much for the support!! <3
And you are absolutely right, though my hair is still fine, it has definitely gained some ooomph over the last couple years. I think it’s a combination of the following:
- Cutting out heat - this has helped to reduce the protein lost during the straightening process and the mechanical damage caused when I straighten
- Adding protein - this has helped plump up my hair tremendously by filling in the holes that my porous hair has
- Henna - this has also filled in my hair gaps and coats my strands with its natural dye, which makes it less prone to breakage and thickens it
- Deep conditioning - don’t have a particular reason why I believe this has helped, but it’s helped with the overall health of my hair and my hair tends to plump when well moisturized
So that’s it!! I definitely think those are the top four reasons my hair has more volume and body than it did before. Regarding heat damage…that’s tricky. I chose to grow mine out because I had so much…if you have a lot as well, I say trim it down gradually. Holding on to heat damaged ends can sometimes be counterproductive because that hair tends to be weaker and more prone to splitting. So pay attention to those ends and don’t fight to win the battle and end up losing the war.
And why have you just resigned yourself to having heat damage every time you straighten? The more in depth I get into this hair game, the more I realize that heat damage is nearly completely preventable. Have fine hair? Do a protein treatment a few days or a week before straightening, lower the heat, make sure your hair’s moisturized before you add heat. If you’re not willing to make the changes necessary to minimize/eliminate your heat damage risk, then just make sure your hair practices the rest of the year help keep your heat damaged hair as healthy as possible.
atucke10 asked: Hi, I recently did my big chop after transitioning for about nine months. My signature style is defining my curls with eco styling gel. So my routine has become me washing my hair every two or three days to put some leave in conditioner and eco styling gel. I truly do not know what else to do with it. I've watched youtube and I am horrible at styling but I like my defined curl look. My question for you is, if washing and styling my hair this way so often is unhealthy for my hair?
Hi! Congrats on your successful transition and BC! Welcome to the natural world lol.
Hmmm….doing your hair two to three times a week.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with your current routine….there are many curlies out there that wash/co-wash/do their hair that often and have healthy, beautiful hair.
I am not one of them lol and depending on where you live, it may not be a viable option for too much longer (colder weather).
Have you tried braid-out’s or twist-out’s? With five inches or so of hair that may be a decent alternative and they’re pretty simple to do (I’m like you lol a tad bit ‘styling challenged’). That may be a way to do it in these winter months.
But, as is, you’re fine as long as it’s working for your hair.
Each of our hair is different, so things may work for you that wouldn’t work for me. You just have to pay attention to your hair and make sure that you’re not experiencing hair loss, breakage, split ends, tangles, etc. If you’re not seeing those, then you’re good.
Hope this helps!
Anonymous asked: Hi, can you please explain in detail how you do a high bun or low bun hairstyle? I'm transitioning and when my hair isn't straight, my hair is thick and my curls are really hard to detangle. They create waves when I try to brush my hair back and it looks uneven. I have to do my hair everyday so I need a quick, easy, protective style like the bun. Also my edges won't stay and it's hard to get the bun up at all when I can't manipulate the hair due to daily tangles and thickness. Any suggestions?
Hmmm…let’s see, let’s see. First off, as you know, for curly haired girls, most times the less we’re in our hair, the better. So it’s awesome that you’re looking for a protective style. If you do it right, you can leave your hair in a bun for up to a week (three days for me though lol but I’ve seen ppl leave the style for a week).
Re: detangling, it’s important that when you’re bunning, that you’re going into it with detangled hair. You say your hair is hard to detangle, are you pre-pooing? Are you detangling it in sections? Are you doing it when your hair is lubricated? Try those things out and that may help.
Re: your edges, If you’re not outside lol they should be tied down. If your edges are particularly stubborn a tip/trick is to wet your edges before you tie your hair down. This ‘reactivates’ the gel and helps it lay them down.
So now we can move on to high buns!
Here’s my high bun post.
And I don’t really do low buns, but if I did, It’d be the same routine as the post, sans the ‘high pony’ part.
Hope this helps!
sweeetly-broken asked: Hi! I recently started following your blog and I absolutely love it. I transitioned for about 8 months & went natural last friday. I've been keeping my hair moisturized & have been taking good care of my hair. However, these past couple of days my scalp has been itching like crazy! I washed my hair on Monday so I don't get it. I tried coconut oil & keracare twist & define cream yesterday for the 1st time so maybe that's it or maybe due to stress. Is this normal or should I be worried?
First off, Yaaay! Congrats on a successful transition. Welcome to the world of naturals :) and thank you for your compliment on my blog!
It sounds like you’re definitely off to a good start. You ALWAYS want to listen to your hair, because responses like itchiness are going to tell you something about what you need to do next. I’d say that an itchy scalp may have been caused by one of two things: 1) a reaction to a product, or 2) dry scalp.
I’d suggest trying to use your new products one at a time, that way you can identify if one of your new products is the culprit. If you switch the new products in and out and find that you still have an itchy scalp, it may be dry scalp.
In order to prevent/treat dry scalp, I’d suggest co-washing v. shampooing, and giving yourself scalp massages with an oil (jojoba, grapeseed, etc. - do some internet research re: the best one for you. I don’t have dry or itchy scalp so I can’t give you ‘tried and true’ recommendations).
Hope this helps and good luck on this journey!!
Anonymous asked: I was wondering, have you ever experienced any unexplained breakage? And If so, what did you do about it? If you haven't, do you have any tips you could recommend? I am having some sever breakage around my edges and its no longer something I can hide :( (Tiffany)
Ugh, unexplained breakage.
The foe of all who desire strong, healthy hair.
For me though, it’s rarely (if ever) unexplained. I’ve had breakage when I used new styling tools, or new products, or tried new styling options, or just generally when I did something to my hair that I KNOW I shouldn’t have. But I’ve never had hair loss that I wasn’t able to pin point the cause of.
Since you’re experiencing breakage around your edges, I’d question your 1) products, 2) process, 3) tools, 4) style, 5) stress. All of those things can lead to breakage at your edges.
- Excessive use of gel (I did that)
- Styling too tightly (you know I love my buns - so I’ve done this too)
- Using a product that has an ingredient that doesn’t agree with your hair (this is why I can’t use ecostyler gels - too much protein)
- Using heat could also be the culprit. Esp. if you’re prone to use more heat at your edges
- Brushing your edges with a brush that’s too hard, or
- Just stressing too much (I can’t point to any science, but for me when I’m stressed my hair not only sheds/thins, but I feel like my hair actually weakens and breaks more easily)
I guess bottom line, I’d say that nothing is ever unexplained. There’s always a reason. Paying close attention to your regimen, process, products, styling, and stress can help all of us be able to identify a trigger or culprit when our hair starts to break.
Breakage sucks, but this is all a learning process. The best thing we can do is learn from it, incorporate that knowledge into our routines, and have healthier hair in the long run.
Hope this helps!
Anonymous asked: hi my hair has been natural forever and i have regular curly hair and my hair is all diffrent lengths so please tell me what salon that i shoud go to to get it fixed thanks! sierra10 yrs old
Let me first say how much knowing that I have young readers warms my heart :) <3
I’m so happy you’re embracing your natural hair and learning how to care for it! Now, on to your question.
- Are you in Indianapolis? If so, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll try to give you specific suggestions.
- Cutting curly hair can be a little tricky. Many stylists aren’t familiar with curly textured hair, so they may not have much experience in cutting it. To combat this you should try to find a salon that specializes in natural hair. If this is not possible, I’d suggest you go to a local hair salon that gets a LOT of traffic (hair cuttery, great clips, etc.) and ask if someone has experience in cutting textured hair.
- If you can’t find someone, I’d say get on youtube and see if there are any tips to ‘shaping’ your own natural hair, then find an adult who’d be comfy trying their hand at it.
Good luck :)
Anonymous asked: hi my hair has tight curls and it's so thick when i were it down it poofs up on the top what do i do?
Hello Hello :) Thanks for submitting a question.
I’d first say that poofing up has to do with your hair absorbing the moisture in the air, not necessarily the tightest of your curls.
I’d have to ask next, what holding products are you using? If you aren’t using any at all, I’d say that if you want to decrease frizz you need to use a holding product. This usually means some kind of pudding, custard, or gel (or quasi gel). You’d want to layer this over a lite moisturizer.
If you are already using a holding product I’d suggest you try out some that have a stronger hold.
Lastly, I’d ask how porous your hair is. If your hair is porous then it will absorb and release moisture easily. To decrease porosity, you can add protein to your regimen. This may help your hair not absorb soo much humidity from the atmosphere.
Other than that…..I’d say just embrace the frizz/poofiness. I know I do ;). In the summer it’s better to just go with what your hair does, than to fight it.
Hope this helps!
Anonymous asked: Hi! I'm sort of new to the ''natural world'' I've been natural for about 2 year. But I was wondering how and when do you know your hair's "cycle"? Like how often it needs to be washed if we should trim it and if so how often... things like that?
Hello Hello :)
Thanks for writing in….this is definitely a worthwhile question.
Unfortunately, you’re probably not going to like my answer because it’s so cerebral. There really is no trick to it or even tips for it because it will be so dependent upon your own hair and your own products and processes.
I do my hair when it makes sense to either because 1) it’s dirty due to product buildup or 2) I used a product that attracted dirt/dust or 3) because I’ve been out and about and I’ve been sweating day in and day out, or 4) I’ve been in a place that has terrible wind w/debris and dirt…..so pretty much when the circumstances call for it.
And the same with moisture and protein. I do protein treatments when my hair feels gummy, or stretches too much when wet, or before/after the use of heat, or when I’ve had a particularly brutal detangling session. I add moisture when my hair is feeling less silky. I have fine strands so if I rub over my hair strand and it feels anything other than silky, that means I’m in need of some better moisture…so I add it by either using a heavier deep conditioner, or I do more midweek moisturizing.
There are some weeks where I go two weeks without even cowashing, and barely touch my hair and other times when I shampoo two weeks in a row! It just depends on what’s going on with my hair.
Regarding trimming, I look at my ends all the time. Lol like seriously all the time. And I trim strands when I see that they’re thin or split or knotted. Every three or four months I self-trim or go get a professional trim just for good measure. For me, because my heat damaged ends are on their last legs, trimming is more important for me. If I didn’t have these ends I think I’d need to trim even less frequently.
Bottom line: Just listen to your hair :) If you’re two years in you should be hitting your stride soon. Just stick with it and monitor what you’re doing and how your hair is responding.
Hope this helps!
Anonymous asked: First off, I love your blog! I have a quick question. I have 3C that's a little bit past my shoulders without stretching. I normally use Shea Moisture products (the pink line) on my hair but I picked up a jar of Organix keratin masque about a month ago. I'm starting to notice that my hair is becoming thinner, straighter even- but only in the middle. My ends are split, too. What should I do?
Thanks so much!!
And I love the coconut and hibiscus line! The curl milk and the curl enhancing smoothie are both awesome….and I’m set to try the shampoo soon. I’m not really familiar with the Organix keratin masque so I can’t say what effect it’s having (if any) on your hair….but protein should reinforce your natural curl pattern, not obliterate it. So ‘thinner, straighter’ pieces and split ends shouldn’t be the result of the hair masque.
So let’s try to figure out where that could be coming from…..
Thinner and straighter are classic signs of heat damage. How often are you using heat? Both thinner hair and split ends can result from mechanical damage, meaning whatever tools or techniques you’re using to detangle or style your hair are either causing excessive shedding or are damaging the strands (and over time this will cause thinning). Is the middle part of your hair the most dense or curliest part of your hair? That may explain that area being more susceptible to damage. So think about those things and recalibrate accordingly.
Now….on to ‘what should I do’….here’s what I’d suggest:
- Like I said above, evaluate your heat use and detangling/styling of that particular section
- I’d also say get a good cut….it could be as little as snipping off those split ends, all the way to cutting more of a new style to get those straight pieces in the middle (I’m assuming the crown of your head?)
- Lastly, I’d say maybe take a break from any new products until you figure out what the culprit is
Hope this helps and good luck!!
Anonymous asked: I want to grow my hair baq to its natural state idk wea to start i have had a perm mayb a month ago. My hair is very thin on dha sides to the point it looks bald ;( will it grow baq once i go natural? I wash my hair every two wk wid aphogee of herbal essence shampoo is that good? I wear alot of weave sew in and glue but my sides neva seem to grow liKe dha rest of my hair :( HELP ME PLEEEEEEASE i really want something curly and pretty ! P.s you were tweetin me on twitter.
Thank you for reading and writing in!
I’m sorry to hear about the thinning of your edges. I’ve only worn added hair once and it was sewn in, so I’m not too familiar with glue-in weaves….but I’ve only heard negative things about them. Depending on what damage has been done it could be something as small as breakage due to stress (the mechanical stress of the added pieces or braiding for the weaves), all the way to the worst case scenario, permanent follicle damage. You’d have to see a dermatologist in order to make that determination. But if it is thinning that is not permanent, then I’d suggest doing the following during your natural hair journey:
- Cut back on styles that cause stress to your hairline - this may include styles that include braining that section, styles that tug on that section, styles that do anything other than let your hair breathe
- Get a good trim - I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, every hair journey should start with a good trim. This one may be Esp. important if you’re experiencing thinning due to breakage
- Give yourself routine scalp massages - focusing on that area
- Reduce mechanical damage - be careful when you detangle
- Use castor oil - many ppl find that this helps thicken the hair
Now, regarding washing your hair every two weeks, I can’t exactly say. You ultimately just need to wash your hair when it needs it. So this will depend on your lifestyle. Do you workout often? Do you sweat from your scalp? Do you use products that build up? Etc., etc. Pretty much just listen to your hair (really scalp) and use shampoo when you need it.
Starting a natural hair journey can definitely be arduous, but highly rewarding. Good luck!
Anonymous asked: I am currently an on-air personality and find myself continusously putting heat on my hair to keep it straight. I've been permless for about a year now (and would like to grow it out completely), but find it hard to keep the roots down! My natural hair texture is very similar to yours, any sugestion on how to keep hair straight and health?
Thanks for asking! This is actually a great ‘Ask’ because I often times get this question (or some variation of it) when people are considering going natural.
"How do I keep my hair straight….while transitioning/while natural?"
So I will answer it now and forever hold my peace.
Here is my answer:
If you want to wear straight styles as your ‘go to’ and maintain healthy hair, then I’d suggest doing the following:
- protein treatments every 3 or so times you flat iron
- use the lowest heat settings possible
- deep conditioning every time you do your hair
- use a good anti-humidity serum (I LOVE got2b’s serum)
- keep your edges tied down at night
- Do not put heat on hair that is not clean - this is a huge no no.
Bottom Line: If you plan to wear your hair straight more than 50% of time and your hair is not naturally straight or wavy, ‘going natural’ or ‘being natural’ may not be for you.
Your hair is fighting you by ‘not staying down’ by ‘frizzing’ by ‘reverting’ because that’s not what your hair wants to do lol. It’s just not. So if you’re going to want to wear a style that fights with (or that is in opposition to) your natural hair texture and pattern, then what’s the point? Why not have a relaxer and just take care of your relaxed hair?
Healthy hair does not necessarily mean natural hair and natural hair does not necessarily mean healthy hair.
Anonymous asked: Do you have an updated flat ironing method now that your hair is long? Thanks!
I haven’t done my hair on my own for probably a year now…so nope, no updated routine as of yet. I’m thinking of cutting down even further on my trips to the salon by learning how to give myself full (interior and exterior) trims and also flat ironing it myself.
I hadn’t even thought about doing this until I started researching the costs of getting everything done on my length hair. The closest natural hair salon to me charges extra for any length longer than shoulder length…and won’t let you come in *just* for a trim….sooooo yeah lol. And my tried and true stylist is so hard to get into that you have to plan forever in advance to see her (which is not my style).
So all in all, no I don’t but trust that soon enough I’ll be on way to updating it! Esp in the cooler months (now there’s not really a point since it’d be a poof ball in like two seconds lol).
Glad you asked this and I look forward to having you guys there with me when I flat iron it myself lol (Initially I was going to pay someone to do it in August…but I may try to do it myself instead).
Anonymous asked: Hii. What a wonderful blog you have. I have a question :). I've been natural all my life. (18 years) & for the first time I decided to straighten it at a hair salon. After I washed my hair.. I realized I have heat damage.. Some parts are bone straight :(. I don't know what to do.. Please help ! It took me soo long to get to this length :(.
Oh heat damage, heat damage…..Here’s what I’d suggest:
- Figure out what you’re working with. Are the pieces really stick straight? Are they just looser curls? Is the heat damaged section breaking off/brittle, or relatively healthy other than the change is texture/pattern?
- Unfortunately, you really only have two options and depending on the answers to those questions you’ll have to figure out which of the two is best for you. You either cut it off, or grow it out.
- If you decide to grow it out (as I did) you need to make sure that the heat damaged area is properly moisturized and given the right amount of protein. Styling wise you can do braid outs/twist outs to try to blend the textures, or you can perm rod the ends (if the heat damage is localized)………but in order to ‘keep the length’ you’ll be trying to ‘keep it healthy’ and ‘keep it blended’ for awhile.
I’ve done it though…for two years lol so it’s completely possible. You just need to pay special attention to keep those areas healthy, and also you’ll have to find styles that blend or conceal the heat damaged parts of your hair.
There are more ‘heat damage’ questions in the archives, scan through the question and answer page and you may find some other ppl who had similar issues.
Hope this helps!
Anonymous asked: Hi I am currently as SL and wish to be BSL by December 2012. Do you have any tips i could use to achieve my goal in a shorter time period?
This is quite a common question in the AA community….even the natural hair community. Everyone wants to gain length. And by gain length I of course mean retain it. I say retain, b/c unfortunately there is no ‘quick fix’ when it comes to growing hair…..and most products that promote themselves as ‘growing hair quickly’ are just there to take your pennies (i.e. swindle you lol).
Your hair grows on average an inch every two months…some peoples hair grows more in that time, others less. So what you’re going to want to do is just work on retaining the three inches of hair you’ll grow by December 2012.
Outside of the regular healthy hair practices I talk about on here, you can do the following:
- Keep ends healthy and trimmed
- Use jamaican black castor oil on your scalp and hair
- Drink tons of water (half your body weight)
- Give yourself scalp massages
Hope this helps!