We love to have our natural hair flourish under the protection of weaves, twists and braids, but a lot of times these styles hurt! Are braids tooooo tight? Here are a few ways that you can beat the pain caused by protective styling. Take a look at this great video by Essence Tierra.
Braids tooooo tight
- Opting out for knotless braids instead of traditional box braids with a knot can make a world of difference. The concept involves parting the hair how you would with traditional box braids, but allows you to feed in braiding hair after you’ve started braiding the natural hair for added thickness and length. Though knotless braids can take a little longer than traditional box braids, the style can last anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks.
- Taking pain killers an hour before, and after you’ve gotten your hair braided is another way to combat pain from braiding.
- Using an oil of your choice and giving yourself a scalp massage will also loosen braids and twists to relieve pain.
- Placing a steamy washcloth that’s been soaked in hot water and wrung out over tight braids can help loosen them. Boiling a pot of water, and using the steam to loosen those braids are another way to help with pain caused by tight braids. But be careful not to burn yourself!
5. Slowly rotating box braids and twists can help loosen tension caused at the scalp by heavy hair.
DIY Hair Steaming Procedures
If you are not able to visit the salon frequently for hair treatment or you prefer to treat your hair yourself, there is a Do-It-Yourself solution that is just as effective as a salon treatment
Here’s how to do your steam treatment
- Wash and detangle your hair and then saturate with conditioner
- Get a shower cap, steaming cap or plastic bag that is big enough to cover your hair entirely
- Get a turban towel or absorbent towel and soak it in water
- After getting in wet, place the towel in a microwave and heat for a few minutes until it is warm
- Twist towel/turban lightly and wrap it around your head
- Cover your head with a steaming cap or plastic bag
- Use your hooded hair steamer for 30 minutes to 1 hour. If you don’t have a dryer, allow your body heat to do the work
- After an hour or two, rinse your hair with very cool water to seal your hair cuticles and lock the moisture in
Hair Screaming for Natural Hair
From time to time, your hair might get dry and lack moisture and you might get confused as to what to do with it. Absorbing other products will be difficult as well as the hair and scalp would refuse to cooperate
This is where steaming your hair comes in as the remedy to dry hair; it creates a humid environment and moisturizes your hair and scalp. It also replenishes the moisture that your hair has lost because of activities and exposure.
One beautiful thing about steaming your hair is that it is not too time-consuming and you don’t have to make it an everyday ritual. But the results are amazing.
Heat steamers use water vapor and heat to open your hair cuticles and allow moisture from water and conditioner to penetrate your hair and scalp.
If you are wondering what steaming has to offer your hair, here’s what you need to know about this hair care practice
Advantages of Hair Screaming
- Hair Elasticity
A healthy curly hair should be able to stretch without breaking or snapping, but sometimes dry hair would damage.
Steam treatment moisturizes the hair so much that it can stretch without snapping or breaking.
- Opens clogged pores
Steaming your hair and scalp regularly opens all the clogged pores that prevent and reduces the growth of your hair.
Steaming opens up your pores, releases the toxins blocking it, and then cleanses them, leaving your scalp healthy and free.
- Healthy Scalp
Steam therapy cleanses the scalp of all toxins and increases collagen production in the scalp.
Collagen production alongside increased blood flow ensures that your scalp is healthy and naturally shiny even without using artificial hair products
- Increased moisture retention
If you have natural hair then you know that your ability to retain moisture is very important in maintaining and styling your hair into twists, nuts, cornrows, and the likes.
Without adequate moisture retention, your hair will be unable to maintain its definition and lose shape in no time
- Easier to manage
Steaming your hair makes it easier to manage, style, comb, and plait.
Well-steamed hair will not pose a problem when detangling or styling. It will also be easier to stretch and treat.
With hair steaming, you would spend less time on every other activity you used to carry out that would take you lots of time. You also spend less on other hair products
The Art of Shampooing- how to do the basic
As funny or strange as it might sound there are a right and a wrong way to shampoo your hair.
Shammpooing your hair wrongly can give you less of the benefits while shampooing correctly can leave you hair at its healthiest
Curious about how this works? Let us look into the art of shammpooing, and see the best ways to shammpoo your hair
Why Shampoo your hair?
When washing your hair water can remove most visible dirt but will fail to eliminate odors, dirt, debris, or oily deposits. The shampoo helps to remove dirt and debris effectively.
Shampoo contains chemicals called surfactants that remove surface debris from the hair and scalp and perfume that also expels odors
Basics of shampooing your hair
- Wet your hair before Shammpooing
Ensure that you rinse your hair properly and get it wet before applying shampoo. This is because of shammpoo lathers and spreads better when the hair is wet. The wetter the hair, the less shampoo you use as well.
- Rinse with warm water
Use warm water when rinsing your hair before applying shampoo. Warm water helps open up the hair cuticles to better absorb the shammpoo and easily remove dirt from the hair
- Mix Shampoo with Water
Don’t use shammpoos directly on your scalp, but mix it with little water to ensure it spreads evenly through your scalp. When you mix shammpoo with water you also use less shampoo than when you apply it directly
- Pay More Attention to the Scalp
The roots of your hair are the dirtiest and oiliest so they need more attention than the hair
Shammpooing the ends of your hair can make it drier because the ends are comparatively dryer than the scalp
- Avoid Abrasive Washing
Scrub your hair gently with your fingers and palms and avoid scrubbing your scalp with your nails as it can wear away the outer surface and attract infections.
Also, avoid washing your hair in circular or back and forth motions as it can cause your hair to break or tangle
- Don’t Shampoo Twice
People believe that shammpooing twice makes the hair cleaner but what it does is to wash off the natural oil your hair needs to grow and stay healthy.
Only shammpoo twice if you had previously added artificial oil to your hair and it isn’t coming off.
SHAMPOO INGREDIENTS TO AVOID
The African American hair is both beautiful and unique in appearance and structure. It is a standout feature that complements the natural beauty of black women. Sadly, this hair type is especially fragile and prone to damage and injury. A good number of black women continue to cite hair loss or thinning hair as a major problem.
What many black women and even hair care specialists in the black community may not know is, there are a number of hair care products containing harmful ingredients that have damaging effects on black hair.
Shampoos are amongst hair care products commonly used by black women, hence this article will briefly look into some of the most harmful ingredients in shampoos that black women must avoid.
In no particular order, here are 5 ingredients in shampoos to avoid:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
SLS is a surfactant that is present in many cleaning products. It is typically used as a foaming agent in shampoos, soaps, and detergents. According to findings by the American College of Toxicology, SLS can penetrate the skin and stay in the body for several days. SLS can also dry up the hair and skin moisture, and this can lead to hair damage.
Triclosan can get stored up in fat cells and leave your body in a state of toxicity. It can result in endocrine disruption, organ system toxicity or eye, lung, and skin irritation. Apart from having damaging effects on the hair and skin, there are studies that have linked this chemical to heart-related problems.
This chemical is a type of silicone that is used in a ton of hair products like shampoos. The build of this substance on your hair can make it feel greasy. Since it serves as a protective cover on the surface of the hair, it prevents nutrients and moisture from going in; instead, it allows dirt and residue to gather. It can block the pores on the scalp and cause hair and skin damage.
Fragrances can come from over 3,000 chemicals, many of which are harmful. Many of these chemicals can cause hair damage, allergies, headaches, brain fog, organ toxicity, and a host of other problems. As stated by the Environmental Working Group, fragrances are usually a blend of up to 14 chemicals. Since many of these chemicals are trade secrets, they are usually not disclosed on the labels of hair care products.
Cocamidopropyl betaine is another chemical that is used as a foam booster. Although this ingredient is derived from coconut oil, it can have some negative effects. It is a surfactant that is used in hair products along with dimethylaminopropylamine, which can cause scalp irritation, rosacea, allergies, and eczema.
How to Go about Growing a Natural Hair
Are you ready for the Big Chop?
The big chop is one of two major ways you can go back to your natural hair. It is the method of cutting off all the relaxed hair at one time and then beginning to groom relaxer-free hair afresh.
We know that there is a special kind of emotional attachment that everyone seems to have with their natural hair. You don’t have to cut off all your long hair if it’s hard for you, although this seems to be the quickest way to begin a journey to natural hair because it is believed to grow faster.
Doing the big chop means that you would have to go all over from short locks. So the big chop might not be for you if your love for long hair will make you uncomfortable.
How about the Grow-Cut, Grow-Cut?
Okay, if you have decided that the big chop isn’t for you, it’s fine. You can decide to transition gradually to natural hair by using the gradual grow-cut, grow-cut method. This affords you the room to grow out your natural texture before trimming off the relaxed ends over some time. Then as time goes on, the relaxed hair would be lost gradually until you’re left with only your natural texture.
So while you are doing your gradual grow-cut, grow-cut, you can choose to have different styles with the process. For instance, you can settle for the braid out style. You can check out trending braid styles such as cornrows, crochet braids, tucked French braids, boxer braids, or two-stitch braids (if you would some extra length for your braids).
There are so many other options that you can check out; such as roller sets, twists (Senegalese, Havana, Marley, etc.), fake ponytail curls, high puff, knots, wigs and so many more. All of these are options that you can look up and make your choice.
What’s our final note?
Remember that going natural is not as easy as it appears on the surface. So if you have made up your mind to go natural by either doing the big chop or transitioning gradually, be ready to go through all its intricacies. We wish you well on your natural hair journey!
Natural Hair: Going on a Natural Hair Journey in Today’s World
Natural hair is one of the leading hair-dos in today’s fashion world. That said, I hope that you are not thinking what many people usually think about natural hair – that it is a chemical-free hair? It might surprise you that you have forgotten about the fact that the common water (H20), which you must use to wash your hair from time to time, is as a chemical in its own right. This brings us to defining natural hair as simply a relaxer-free hair rather than chemical-free hair.
Making the Decision to Go Natural
No doubt, giving yourself the desired hair-do can be quite demanding, but it is often worth all the efforts and resources invested if you can identify what is best for you, and then going for it without hesitating.
On the surface, it appears simple enough to just wake up one morning, and decide to go natural with your hair, but it might surprise you that you could argue with yourself for so long before making the move. Most times, you need to take some time to decide whether it’s actually what you want to do and whether it’s something you can sustain into the future because it is indeed a difficult decision. Hence you have to be bold while taking this first step of deciding to keep your hair natural without getting relaxers.
Why would you need to keep natural hair?
If this thought has ever run through your mind for once, then you are right to ask yourself that because every decision never goes without its consequence, right?
Natural hair has its pros. For instance, it can make your hair blacker, thicker, fuller, or curlier.
It also seems to grow faster and sheds less than relaxed hair.
Then there is the fact that it is more versatile to deal with.
On the other hand, there are also cons to going natural. One such con is that it requires more attention for good upkeep and care. You will need to make it a routine to wash and moisturize the hair with good conditioning and moisturizing products.
Let us not also forget that it is not an easy task to shampoo or detangle natural hair when compared to relaxed or straightened hair because natural hair is often dry and shrinking.
Worst of all is the fact that you have to be willing to face a lot of negative comments which you must learn to handle.
If after considering all the cons, you are still convinced that what you want with your hair is going natural, then you can read further to see how you can do it. But if you cannot deal with all those, then you are advised to go on with your relaxed hair and save yourself the stress of reading further into the next segment.
Discovering Type 4 Hair
Type 4, on the other hand, is known for the kinky outlook with the usual S-shaped patterns.it is also categorized into type 4a, 4b, and 4c, respectively.
- Type 4a hair has extreme coils and shows an S-shaped pattern. It varies with many individuals because, for some people, it is smooth and well-textured, while for other people, it is tough and bubbly.
- Type 4b hair texture displays a Z-shaped pattern and has short, coarse, and tightly wounded corkscrews. This hair type is almost the same as 4a, but with less moisture.
- Type 4c hair texture is one of the most challenging hair textures to manage because of the dull, rough, and dry corkscrews that are tightly packed and difficult to brush, let alone style.
Discovering Type 4 Hair For this hair texture, we have discovered that the best option is to use wooden combs. These combs make it easier for African Americans to comb and manage their hair. This sort of hair can be easily styled by making use of good hair mousse.
If you want to know how type 3 hair looks, on the one hand, it has S-shaped bouncy curls that are slightly rough, dry, and well defined. The type 3 hair texture can be further divided into three different types, which are type 3a, 3b, and 3c.
- For you to understand type 3a, it has a springy and curly look with the usual S shape that justifies every class of African American hair.
- Type 3b, on the other hand, ranges from corkscrews that are longwinded and tightly wounded to springy ringlets.
- Finally, the 3c hair has a rough and wiry corkscrew outlook, which is difficult to straighten and hard to entangle as well.
The complexity of the 3c African American hair can only be improved by using hair products that contain ingredients like shea butter, soy protein, and other organic ingredients.