Time for Protective styles!

♥Protective Styling♥

Winter is almost here and the cold weather means dryness for our hair and skin.  We do have options to protect our fragile hair from the elements though.  Most of you may have heard of a “protective style” before, but for those of you who haven’t I will tell you what a protective style means to me.  It’s a style that completely protects the ends of your hair which are the oldest part therefore the easiest to damage.  It also means that you are not manipulating your hair very often, giving it a chance to rest and grow.  The more we manipulate our hair, the more room we allow for breakage.  Things as simple as brushing and combing our hair can cause breakage.  Last but not least there is no heat involved in a protective style as far as I’m concerned.  Heat damages and so to protect my hair I do not apply heat to achieve my protective style nor do I use heat while my protective style is in. The less damage that you cause to the ends of your hair, the less you have to trim it therefore you will start to see your hair grow longer and longer.  If you really want to see growth, in my opinion, protective styling is a great way to go!

Protective styles can look many different ways and can even be camouflaged with a wig or a weave.  A bun is probably one of the easiest protective styles i can think of, but with short hair it’s not always achievable.  I prefer cornrows, you can also do flat twists and 2 strand twists, what ever is easiest for you to achieve, just know that when it is cold out, your hair is not going to keep the moisture the same as it does in warmer weather so protective styling is ideal.

It’s very important to keep our hair moisturized on a regular basis, this is every 2 to 3 days for me, but could be more often depending on your type of hair.  Very tightly coiled hair has a tendency to be more dry because the moisture has to find its way through the coil, so if this is your type of hair make sure that you are pulling the product through to the ends of your hair and it may help even more if you apply your moisturizer in sections using the shingling method which is like parting your hair in 4 sections then taking smaller subsections of each and adding the product one subsection at a time (if you’ve ever had a relaxer done professionally they “shingled” the chemical in using a small applicator brush).  When your hair is in a protective style that you cannot take down nightly such as braids or a sew in weave, just apply your moisturizer carefully focusing more on your hair and less on your scalp. If you can find a moisturizer in a spray pump bottle that would be ideal.  Find a good moisturizer that works for you and make sure you apply it when needed.  It’s always good to follow-up with an oil to seal in the moister when possible.

Here are a few pics of my protective style, I did this Monday (6 days ago)and have been keeping it under my satin bonnet all week because I haven’t had to go anywhere special.  When I leave the house I just slide my stocking cap back to the crown of my head and put on a knit hat or beanie. I plan to keep it in for 14 days or more if possible.

Be sure to protect your hair while you sleep with a satin scarf, bonnet, or pillow case(NEVER COTTON!!).  The slightest brush against other fabrics can cause damage.  I put my bonnet on the headrest in my car to keep my hair from breaking in the back.  If you can put a satin cover over your couch cushion where you sit most that can benefit you greatly. It may seem like a bit much, but if you want to retain length stopping breakage and split ends is a necessary step.

Let me know what some of your favorite protective styles are. Please leave a comment and rate this post!

A breakdown of oils for our hair

Essential Oils & Carrier Oils

This is a guide to essential oils & carrier oils for kinky-curly, or natural hair of African descent. Your hair can benefit from two types of oils. These two types of oils are essential oils and carrier oils. Essential oils are fragrant oils that are actually the concentrated essence, or ‘life force’ of a plant. Essential oils are light and do not feel like an oil. They evaporate quickly. You would mix essential oils with a carrier oil before you put it on your hair to prevent skin irritation. Carrier oils are oily in consistency. They can be oil from a vegetable, a fruit, a nut, or even a seed.

Essential Oils for Natural Hair

All essential oils are not created equal. Look for the highest grade you can find. Only buy Complete Essential Oils or Genuine Grade A Essential Oils. These are oils that contain the most natural oil and the least amount of additives and chemicals. Some essential oils for the hair are:

Basil♦stimulates the scalp.

Cedarwood ♦an astringent, antiseptic, balances production of sebum, and stimulates the scalp. Sebum is your hair’s natural oil.

Chamomile ♦adds sheen and conditions the hair.

Eucalyptusremoves dandruff and has antiseptic properties.

Frankincense ♦used to get rid of dry scalp.

Jasmine ♦often used for fragrance.

Lavender ♦used for dandruff and fragrance.

Lemon ♦cleanses the hair and scalp and improves hair elasticity.

Myrrh ♦used for dry hair and scalp.

Orange Oil ♦helps the hair by regulating the production of sebum. Sebum is your hair’s natural oil.

Palmarosa ♦helps the hair by regulating the production of sebum. Sebum is your hair’s natural oil.

Patchouli ♦treats dandruff and oily hair.

Peppermint ♦stimulates the scalp.

Rose Oil ♦used as fragrance and to sooth the scalp.

Rosemary Oil ♣(DO NOT USE IF YOU ARE PREGNANT!) stimulates the scalp and treats dandruff.

Sandalwood Oil ♦an astringent, an anti-inflammatory, as well as an antiseptic. Use sandalwood oil to soothe a dry and irritated scalp.

Tea Tree Oil ♦used to treat dandruff and kill lice. Tea tree oil balances production of sebum and stimulates the scalp. Sebum is your hair’s natural oil.

Ylang-Ylang ♦balances production of sebum, stimulates the scalp. Sebum is your hair’s natural oil.

Carrier Oils for Natural Hair

You can use carrier oils with essential oils or by themselves. A popular, readily available, and inexpensive carrier oil is extra virgin olive oil. Other carrier oils for the hair are:

Almond Oil ♥a light, non greasy, fast absorbing hair conditioner.
Apricot Kernel Oil ♥used for dry hair. It makes your hair shiny and moisture rich. It contain a large amount of linoleic acid which is essential for cell health.
Avocado Oil ♥a light, protein and vitamin rich. It include vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, and potassium.
Castor Oil ♥a humectant. Humectants attract moisture into your hair.
Grapeseed Oil ♥odorless and vitamin rich. It makes your hair shiny and moisture rich. It contain a large amount of linoleic acid which is essential for cell health.
Hazelnut Oil ♥fast absorbing and medium weight. It contain a large amount of linoleic acid which is essential for cell health.
Jojoba Oil ♥simular to sebum, which is your hair’s natural oil. It can be used with or without an essential oil. It is often used 50/50 with another carrier oil to massage the scalp. Continue reading

Breast Cancer Awareness

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month I thought it would be appropriate to post an article on the subject matter.

A large study of women in Washington State finds that those who take fish oil supplements have a lower risk of breast cancer.  Other studies had shown a diet rich in essential fatty acids from fish to be protective against heart disease, but this is the first to suggest that fish oil may help prevent breast cancer. The study followed more than 35,000 post-menopausal women who answered questionnaires about their use of “specialty” supplements (nonvitamin and nonmineral).  After six years, researchers determined that those who took fish oil were about half as likely to develop the most common form of breast cancer.  Several other supplements were looked at, but only fish oil was associated with a lower risk of breast cancer.

Fish oil may suppress breast cancer by inhibiting inflammation, according to Emily White, PhD, an epidemiologist at the University of Washington and a coauthor of the study.

For more than 25 years the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) organization has promoted breast cancer awareness and raised funds for research into the cause, prevention, and cure of the disease.

Sources: “Fish Oil May Fight Breast Cancer” by Nathan Seppa. Science News 7/8/10 ♦ “Fish oil Supplements Linked to Reduced Breast Cancer Risk” by Sharon Kirkey, Canwest news Service 7/8/10 ♦ “Specialty Supplements and Breast Cancer Risk…” by T.M. Brasky etal., Cancer Epidemial Biomarkers Prev, 7/10

My Current hair Regimen

When i first did my b/c (big chop), I had watched thousands of hours of youtube natural hair videos and had been inspired to cut my relaxed hair off.  It was like i never realized there was a whole community of people who were “going natural” and were on “natural hair journeys”, while I was just tired of the way my hair felt and looked with a relaxer, anyway I want to share my hair regimen with you 8 months post b/c .  I could have very easily become a product junky had I took in every single persons advice that I watched on youtube, but I knew better.  I wanted to find a product that worked for my hair.  I chose Taliah Waajid’s Black earth Products. Here is my Regimen

  • Wash every two weeks with Taliah Waajid’s Total body black earth shampoo, I condition using Taliah Waajid’s Enhancing herbal conditioner, then pat my hair dry with a soft baby towel and add her Protective mist bodifier. Recently I have been using a recipe I learned from a woman on youtube named Kimmaytube. It contains 1 part Aloe vera gel, 4 parts leave in of your choice,  2 parts Castor oil and 1 part Jojoba oil (I use olive oil). I section my hair a shingle this mixture through each section.  I usally style my hair while its wet or just pull it back and let it air dry.  I like to use Crinkles & Curls styling lotion (also made by T.W.) I find that it give me a great hold and leaves my hair feeling super soft when it dries. I really like that it does not cause flakes or the white stuff that gel sometimes leaves.
  • If my hair is not in a protective style I will wash it once a week
  • I have Co-washed in the past, but found that its not necessary for my hair
  • Between washes i saturate my hair using a spray bottle with a mixture of glycerin and spring water then I shake it out and apply extra virgin coconut oil throughout.
  • I try to keep my hair in a protective style most of the time only letting it out for special occasions and to wash or condition.
  • I deep condition once or twice a month with Elasta Qp’s DPR-11, this stuff works wonders for my hair and I like it because it is a true deep conditioner.
  • Tip-True deep conditioners should say to leave it in for at least 15 minutes in the directions and most times also say to sit under a dryer

Let me know if you have any questions or if you want to share your regimen with us.

I want to feature YOU on my blog!

So i’m sitting here trying to think of some ideas for my blog while i don’t have any subscribers yet and the thought came to me to add a section where i can feature natural beauties! You can be featured for a style or for transitioning or maybe you just want to drop some knowledge on the rest of us. Whatever the case may be send me an email with pics and/or a description of why you want to be featured. Send emails to: iprefer2benatural@yahoo.com and make sure to put “Feature me” in the subject line.

Here is a guide you can follow to help you get started

1. Tell us why you decided to go natural

2. Tell us when you did your big chop or when you started transitioning

3. Tell us if anyone influenced your decision and how

4. Tell us how you felt the first time you felt your natural hair

For styles

1. Tell us how you achieved this style (if you did it yourself)

2. Tell us what products you used

3. Tell us where you are going

For transitioners

1. Tell us when you decided to transition and how long its been

2. Tell us how you have been managing the 2 textures so far

3. Tell us if you plan to do the B/C (big chop)

4. Tell us if you are being influenced by anyone to make this choice for your hair

Transitioning or New to Natural hair and frustrated?

Are you transitioning and have come to the point where you feel you can’t do anything else with your hair? Have you just done the BC (big chop) and can’t figure out where to go from here? I’d like to hear about some of your frustrations. I want us to be able to help each other because the natural hair journey has many bumps and potholes in the road. I’d like to share what I’ve learned and hopefully learn even more from others.

Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts or questions on the subject. Please subscribe to keep up with the up and coming articles.