Camping was a foundational part of my childhood. Every summer, my extended family would plan two to three trips to the beautiful provincial parks of Alberta. We would either stay in our tent trailer, an Alpine Club of Canada hut, or tents depending on how remote our campsite was. Access to water was quite limited and we had to pack light, which meant no room for extraneous items like hair care supplies.
Whether your regimen is minimalist or high maintenance, every naturalista needs her holy grail kit to keep her curls popping. But when you've got to choose between packing camping essentials and your fave styling gel, it's a no-brainer: the hair stuff stays home. This generally wasn't a big deal for our shorter trips. My hair would usually be tucked away in box braids or cornrows ― styles that could survive a weekend without fuss. Longer trips took a bit more planning, though. If we were going away for a week or two, I'd try to get my hair done as close to our departure date as possible to maximize the longevity of the protective style. This way, I wouldn't need to touch it up during the trip and could get away with shampooing just once if necessary.
If you're going camping or travelling for an extended period of time, I recommend sticking to the easiest styles and simplest products you can find. The last thing you want to do is spend hours detangling your hair in the woods when you could be enjoying the gorgeous scenery. Here are some suggestions:
Buns are fantastic for short trips because you don't have to spend any time installing them, and they do a decent job keeping your coils out of the way. Big cornrows, flat twists, and Bantu knots are better options if you don't want to restyle your hair every morning, but because they won't last longer than a few days before getting fuzzy, you should consider medium to small ones for week-long trips. Most naturalistas are able to keep braids, twists, and weaves in for anywhere between two and eight weeks, making them ideal for trips longer than seven nights.
Of course, some lucky people get to travel for months and months at a time. Should you be on the road for over eight weeks, I would suggest braids or twists ― but only with your own hair. Taking down extension hair in the wilderness is very difficult and time-consuming. You can literally shave hours off this process by braiding or twisting your own hair, taking it down after a few weeks, giving it a good wash, and reinstalling the style while sitting by the campfire.
If you're wondering why I haven't mentioned twist outs, braid outs, or wash-and-go's, it's because those styles are wayyyy to high maintenance for camping. Moreover, you'll be in big trouble if it rains or you decide to take a dip in the lake! That said, I'm sure many people have no issues travelling with their afros out and you're certainly welcome to try it if you want, but I prefer to keep the number of things I need to worry about to a minimum.
No matter what you decide, make sure you're doing what you can to keep your hair healthy while you travel. Remember to moisturize regularly and protect it from the elements. And try not to worry about it so much! It'll keep growing no matter what, so just relax and have a fantastic vacation.
How do you keep your hair healthy while travelling? Share with us in a comment below!
Because kinky, coily afro hair is prone to dryness and breakage, it's super important for us to keep it well-oiled and moisturized. Regularly sealing in moisture with oils is critical to any healthy natural hair regimen, and the benefits can be super-charged with weekly or bi-weekly hot oil treatments. But many naturalistas complain that they don't have time for hot oil treatments, which can last anywhere from half-an-hour to overnight. If you're short on time but still want to give your hair a boost, keep reading.
WHAT'S A HOT OIL TREATMENT?
Oils like coconut, castor, and jojoba are fantastic for locking moisture (water) into natural hair. They do this by repelling water molecules, thereby trapping them inside the hair shaft. When oil is heated, it helps the cuticles (scale-like coverings) along the hair shaft open up so the hair can better absorb the water and nutrients in the oils.
WHAT'S THE POINT?
As previously mentioned, hot oil treatments encourage our hair to absorb moisture and nutrients. If you use a light enough oil you might not have to rinse it out after, but one of the main advantages of doing the treatment is that it serves as an excellent pre-poo. A pre-poo is a treatment that's done before shampooing. Many shampoos contain ingredients that are very drying and strip the hair of too much oil, which can weaken the strands and lead to knotting and breakage. A pre-poo, such as a hot oil treatment, ensures enough oil remains in the hair and on the scalp to prevent dryness.
SO HOW DO YOU DO ONE?
There are many different ways you can do a hot oil treatment, but generally you want to use at least one carrier oil and, if you like, one or more essential oils. A carrier oil is necessary to dilute essential oils, which can be so potent they can burn you if used in high concentrations. For this reason, you only need to put a few drops of essential oil into a tablespoon of a carrier oil, such as extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil, etc.
Speaking of burns, be careful to not heat the oil too much. Ten to fifteen seconds in the microwave or 5-10 mins in a hot water bath should be enough. If it's too hot to touch with your fingers, wait for it to cool down. Spritz your hair with a moisturizer like water and/or aloe vera juice, then apply the hot oil treatment to your hair and scalp. Most people typically leave the treatment in for at least 20-30 mins, and some even wait until the next day to rinse it out.
WHAT IF YOU'RE SHORT ON TIME?
Waiting around for the oils to work their magic can be a deal-breaker for those of us on tight schedules. Here are a few ways you can speed up the process:
This may seem like a lot of steps, but with practice you'll likely be able to do the whole process in under ten minutes. Depending on how your hair is styled, you might even be able to get away with not taking your hair down before applying the treatment. Just make sure you focus on your scalp and your own hair, rather than any extension hair, and rinse it out properly to avoid product build-up.
How do you save time in your regimen? Share your tips in a comment below!
Everybody's into podcasts these days. Whether it's to learn how to start a business or cope with mental health issues, there's a show on any topic for any audience. If you like listening to podcasts and can't get enough of natural hair, check out this list of shows. They're all informative, entertaining, and hosted by super charismatic and smart women. Enjoy!
"Snatched Edges is a podcast all about hair health. Expect to hear tips on how to solve common hair and scalp issues, how to tackle hair loss and the best ways to style your hair. Whether you are loc'd or loose, natural or relaxed you are sure to hear something to keep your hair flourishing."
The Natural Hair Weekly
"Join our Global Editor and Curator Jahdusha V Shines, for a 'natural conversation' (and some laughs) exploring elements of the natural hair lifestyle with special guests from around the world in entertainment, health, wellness, business and life."
Grow it Long & Strong: Natural Hair Radio
"Learn to grow your afro, kinky or curly textured natural hair hair with ancient techniques, modern science and inner wisdom like never before. Discover why the products you have been using have or have not been working, what are the best styles to retain hair length and how to promote better hair health from the inside out for long lasting results."
The Nappturalite Radio Show
"Calling all Nappturalites! Whether your hair is naturally kinky, curly or wavy, this show has you in mind. The Napptualite Radio Show is dedicated to the love of all things related to black natural hair care. We will discuss natural hair topics, interview natural hair specialists, give you the scoop on the best hair care products and share resources that benefit Nappturalites everywhere. Airs M-W at 3pm EST and on Thursdays at 7pm EST!"
Long, Healthy Hair - Natural Kinky and Curly Hair
"This channel is designed for people that have recently gone natural and need a few quick tips on a) how to maintain the health of their hair and b) how to make sure it grows to its maximum potential."
Natural Hair 360
"A weekly podcast about everything that has to do with Natural Hair, its care, maintenance, trends, etc. Review, rate, and subscribe."
Natural Haircare News
"Just two sisters doing our thing! Join us as we have "real" conversations about everything from the perceptions and attitudes that black women and the community have about natural hair - both positive and negative, to natural haircare tips and strategies from A thru Z. Show us some love and leave a review on iTunes if you like our podcast, then check out our blog - NaturalHairCareNews.com"
What's your favorite natural hair show or podcast? Share it with us in a comment below!
Rihanna's new makeup line, Fenty Beauty, has utterly blown up in the last few weeks — and for good reason. Unlike the vast majority of brands, Fenty Beauty products boast a wide variety of shades and tones designed specifically for Black and Brown complexions. Darker skin tones have always been an afterthought (if we get thought of at all), so the arrival of Fenty Beauty isn't just exciting, it's an important move towards more inclusivity in the beauty/fashion world.
Of course not everyone is into makeup, but if you're looking for beauty products that will simplify your routine, check out these Fenty Beauty finds:
What's your favorite Fenty Beauty product? Tell us in a comment below!
One of the best pieces of advice you will receive as a natural is: never do your hair in a rush. When we hurry through processes like detangling and washing, we risk damaging our hair by causing unnecessary tangles, snags, and breaks. However, we're all busy ladies and sometimes it's hard to set aside hours and hours to do a thorough job. That's why I've been researching the quickest ways of maintaining natural hair. Stretching your curls can be particularly time-consuming, but after some digging I've determined the following three techniques to be the most efficient.
What you'll need:
2. Twists + Bobby Pins
3. Roller Sets
What's your favorite method of stretching your hair? Share with us in a comment below!
MORE TIPS FOR YOUR NATURAL HAIR
Lemonade braids are still trending!
Five Ways to Grow Thicker Hair
Seven Dashing Ladies Who Are Taking Yarn Braids to the Next Level
I don't know about you, but in the last couple of weeks my newsfeeds have been full of Lemoade braid awesomeness again. If you're wondering how to rock the look, check out any one of these fantastic tutorials.
IAMBSoUnique1 (child-friendly braids)
1. Grace Jones
2. Idris Elba
5. Halle Berry
6. Mary J. Blige
How cool is Viola's off-the-shoulder halter gown?
Feathery pastel dresses are billowing down tonight's red carpet.
GET INSPO FROM THEIR GOWNS
Singer Tinashe is at the Grammys tonight showing off her toned bod in a satiny black cut-out dress. I love that it ties in the front instead of the back, making it that much edgier.
TV personality Zuri Hall rocked a sleeveless golden dress last night. The geometric art deco pattern is so eye-catching and classy!
Kerry Washington was statuesque in an off-the-shoulder sheer white textured gown on last night's red carpet. I love that she kept her neck and shoulders completely bare to let the dress speak for itself.
Ah, nothing like a classic pony with laid edges, am I right? This is Us star Susan Kelechi Watson nailed it with this simple but sophisticated look last night.
Actress Ruth Negga, from the poignant film Loving, graced last night's red carpet in shimmering metallics.
Tracee Ellis Ross of Black-ish fame kept her hair and makeup simple so she could go absoltuely CRAZY with knuckle rings. I love her unappologetic approach to fashion--and life! Congrats to her for winning Best Actress in a Musical/Comedy TV Series. <3
Want to rock her boss look? Click here to shop knuckle rings.
In case you haven't already heard, Moonlight is one of the most beautiful and powerful movies of all time and it won the Golden Globe for Best Drama Motion Picture last night! Congrats to the cast and crew--nobody deserved it more. <3 (Also, Janelle Monae slayed in both Moonlight and Hidden Figures AND she looked so precious on last night's red carpet. Can't keep up with her!)
Scandal star Kerry Washington dominated last night's red carpet with a regal dark lip and lashes for days.
Comedy genius Issa Rae has arrived! She started off posting a web series to YouTube a few years ago and look at her now--securing a nomination for her hit HBO show Insecure! What an inspiration. <3
Congrats to the indomitable Viola Davis for winning the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in Fences!
Actress Naomie Harris looked elegant on last night's red carpet with bold lashes and a subtle lip.