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!
Nothing is more aggravating than an itchy scalp. Whether it's caused by dehydration, allergies, or tight braiding it can be super embarrassing, and lasting solutions are often hard to come by. It's is an issue I've struggled with for years so I decided to put together this list of tips in case you're also looking to soothe an angry scalp.
It might be a few weeks before you start noticing results, but stay persistent and hopefully you'll get some relief. If nothing helps, though, definitely consider seeing a dermatologist.
Do you have a trick for soothing your scalp? Share in a comment below!
The other day a friend of mine opened up to me about one of her fears. She explained that although her hair is healthy now, she heard it will likely get thinner when she's older. It turns out a lot of people have this concern. Female pattern hair loss isn't uncommon and can occur for many reasons, including natural causes like pregnancy and aging as I covered in a previous post. To some people this may seem like a frivolous thing to worry about, but the state of your hair can actually indicate a lot about your overall health. Luckily, there are a few simple ways to grow stronger hair while taking care of your general wellbeing.
1. Seal with Castor Oil - Many naturalistas swear by the effects of castor oil because of its ability to lock in moisture. Moisture is necessary for both softening hair and strengthening it against breakage. Because it's a thicker oil, it's easier to apply when slightly warmed up. Just make sure you use it only when your hair and scalp are damp in order to maximize its benefits. Castor oil is also known to treat skin problems like acne and dryness. Some people also use it for constipation and menstrual cramps. (HomeRemediesWeb.com)
2. Use Gentle Tools - One of the easiest ways to promote thicker hair is to prevent breakage while detangling and styling. Using your fingers and gentle tools like wide tooth combs and ouchless hair elastics will minimize the amount of tugging and snagging that each strand endures. The less stress your hair is under, the more it will flourish.
3. Practice Protective Styling - Another method of avoiding breakage is to keep your hair tucked away in long-term styles, such as braids, cornrows, and twists. These hairstyles greatly reduce the amount of manipulation your hair undergoes by allowing you to rock the same look for several days or even weeks at a time. Not having to fix your hair each day gives your scalp and strands a much-needed rest, thereby encouraging growth.
4. Get Your Fluids - We're all aware of how crucial it is for mental and physical health to stay hydrated, but did you know drinking water is an easy way to maintain healthy skin and hair? That's because the cells in the hair follicles at your roots require water to function properly. Water also staves off dandruff, itchiness, and other scalp-related issues by keeping the skin moisturized. While you may think it's enough to regularly spritz your hair with a water-based solution, it doesn't hurt to moisturize from the inside out, too, by drinking fluids and eating juicy fruits and vegetables.
5. Eat a Balanced, Protein-Rich Diet - Hair is made of keratin, which is a form of protein. Your body needs to take in protein regularly to grow new hair, and contrary to popular belief, meat isn't your only option. Broccoli, asparagus, kale, almonds and soybeans are all high in protein. (MindBodyGreen.com) You can also opt for fortified foods like soy milk and yogurt that have added protein, or try protein bars or supplements.
How do you keep your hair healthy? Share with us in a comment below!
I don't like to make generalizations, but I must say that Black women (and some Black men) really don't like to get their hair wet. Regardless of whether we're relaxed or natural, water simply doesn't play well with our kinks and coils. Even a humid day can wreak havoc on our painstakingly-achieved curl definition, not to mention the extreme shrinkage many of us experience if our hair gets completely drenched in the shower. When you consider how devastatingly quickly moisture can undo hours of hairstyling it's pretty easy to understand why people with afro-textured hair try to wash their hair as infrequently as possible. Of course there are other reasons we postpone wash day, including the fact that our scalps don't readily accumulate oil or dirt. We can't leave our hair unwashed forever, though. At some point we have to give in and get it wet... or do we?
Enter dry shampoo. Even though dry shampoo seems to have taken off in the last couple of years the concept has actually been around for centuries! According to Toni&Guy, Asians were applying clay powder to their tresses back in the 1400s. Dry shampoo has been commercially available for decades and has become popular as more people discover the convenience and styling advantages it provides. However, many of the people who love it so much tend to have type one or two hair (meaning their hair is quite straight). I Googled to see if I could find any curlier-haired people who have tried dry shampoo, and the results were interesting. While many ladies said they liked the product, I noticed four issues with the way it's supposed to be used and how it actually works.
PROBLEM #1: Dry Shampoo is Designed to Cause Dryness
The whole point of dry shampoo is to remove excess oil. This is a huge benefit for those whose hair gets oily quickly. However, the curlier your hair is the less likely it is to get oily, especially if your hair is long. This is because sebum, the nutrient-filled oil produced by your scalp, has a harder time sliding down the hair shaft. Applying dry shampoo to tresses that are already dried out will consequently strip them of what little protective oil they do have. I should mention there are dry shampoos that might work for people with dry hair, but I would only consider it if I had a tonne of product build-up and absolutely could not wash my hair.
PROBLEM #2: Dry Shampoo Must be Brushed or Blowdried Out
Because our hair is so dry, it's also quite brittle. It's a good idea to avoid manipulating it too often so it grows healthy and strong. Manipulation involves anything from braiding and brushing to twirling your hair out of boredom. Any kind of tension or friction exposes the hair shaft to the risk of breaking. That's why you should be careful about how often you change your hairstyles and the tools you use. The trouble with dry shampoo is that it can't just sit on top of your hair. It works best when evenly distributed by either brushing or blowdrying. Even if your hair has been straightened, brushing your hair too regularly or applying heat through a blowdryer can cause irreversible damage over time.
PROBLEM #3: Dry Shampoo Can Cause Itchiness
Your scalp might get agitated and itchy if you accidentally spray dry shampoo too close to your roots. Some people say their scalps get itchy if they apply excessive amounts of dry shampoo to their hair, too. One way to alleviate the itching is to massage your scalp with a light oil, but ironically, the best solution for a super agitated scalp is to actually wash it with water and conditioner!
PROBLEM #4: Dry Shampoo is Supposed to Add Volume and Hold
This is less of an issue and more of an undesired feature, in my honest opinion. My hair grows upwards and outwards instead of downwards because it's so kinky. You've probably noticed that your hair has a natural tendency to grow large if you also have type four curls. Unless you have very fine strands or you want even bigger, badder hair, you probably don't need a product to add more volume to your afro. Similarly, our hair texture is fabulous for holding styles without requiring much product. Whereas people with straight hair need cans and cans of hairspray and a million bobby pins to hold their hair up, ours pretty much stays put wherever we leave it. As such, I think the volume and hold dry shampoo provides are wasted benefits.
With all this in mind, dry shampoo doesn't seem ideal for afro-textured hair. I'm not a hair expert, though, and I'm not trying to refute any existing reviews of dry shampoo; if it works for you, great! I just wanted to write this post because there isn't a lot of information online about how dry shampoo truly works on kinkier hair and drier scalps. If you still really want to avoid washing your hair, check out my other post on how to keep your hair and scalp clean between washes.
Have you used dry shampoo before? Share your experience in a comment below!
Hair loss, or alopecia, is incredibly common and can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it's caused by aging, other times it manifests as a result of improper styling techniques. Those of us with afro-textured hair already realize what a challenge it can be to keep our hair healthy and strong due to its complex kinky and coily structure. Our hair is naturally quite dry and prone to breakage, so when alopecia creeps into the mix it can be even harder to get our hair back on track.
The good news is that because thinning hair and balding affect so many people, there's a bunch of treatments out there to relieve, and sometimes even reverse, the symptoms. I've seen everything from creams and medications to injections that promise to restore hair growth. To be honest they all sound great, but some of them contain ingredients that might not suit the lifestyle of a naturalista. By this I mean that many of us opt to wear our hair in its natural state to avoid the use of chemicals and synthetic ingredients. I know this isn't the case for everyone, but for a lot of us going natural implies an effort to treat our hair more gently. We commit to regimens that are more delicate on our tresses to encourage healthy growth, and if you're like me, part of that means using DIY recipes and products that are exclusively made of all-natural ingredients. So what are some natural ways you can treat alopecia? After a bit of research, I've found three popular methods.
FRESHLY SQUEEZED JUICES
Aloe vera juice is known for its versatile healing properties. It can be used for just about anything, including sunburns, joint pain, and weight loss. (StyleCraze) When it comes to hair care, aloe vera juice is a great addition to shampoos, conditioners, and moisturizing sprays because of its ability to stimulate hair growth. If you're feeling more adventurous, onion juice is another popular treatment for alopecia. It can be massaged directly onto the scalp to encourage blood flow. (StyleCraze) The increase in blood to the scalp enables more nutrients to be delivered to the follicles, which in turn helps more hair to grow.
BLENDED ESSENTIAL OILS
According to a study referenced on About.com, massaging a combination of essential and carrier oils into the scalp on a daily basis can lead to enhanced hair growth. For the study lavender, rosemary, cedarwood and thyme essential oils were used, as well as grapeseed and jojoba for carrier oils. Feel free to leave out any oils you are allergic to, or substitute in oils that have worked for you in the past. If you'd prefer a ready-made solution, the Alopecia Hair Loss Treatment by Just Natural Products conveniently contains all the essential oils that were used in the study.
Do you know of any other home remedies to treat alopecia? Share in a comment below!
I really do love me a good hot oil treatment. By coating my strands in rich, nutrient-packed liquid gold and letting the warm oils soak in, I'm ensuring my hair stays as strong and healthy as possible. I like to heat up a blend of coconut oil, grapeseed oil, castor oil, and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and sit with the mixture in my hair for thirty minutes to an hour. I rinse it out afterwards and either shampoo or co-wash.
That was my weekly routine until about two months ago when I got box braids. Knowing how messy hot oil treatments can be even on short hair, I asked one of my hairdressers what she thought about continuing the treatments with the extensions in. She stated, "I wouldn't recommend it." I figured this made sense because the oils would probably be wasted slipping down the length of the extensions rather than focusing on my hair. So when it came time for me to do my regular hot oil treatment, I skipped it and instead went straight to co-washing.
I did this for about two weeks, but then I noticed my scalp was starting to dry out. It was flaking without the boost of nutrients and moisture from the oils. Even regular spritzing couldn't alleviate the problem. Despite getting professional advice against doing a hot oil treatment I couldn't ignore what my body was telling me, so I gave it a shot. I did tweak some things, though. First, I used much less castor oil than usual. This is because castor oil is incredibly thick and I was worried it might be hard to wash out of the braids. To make up the difference, I added a little more grapeseed oil and EVOO; they're not as viscous. When applying the oils, I focused more on my scalp and first inch of hair. This allowed any excess oil to travel down to the ends of my natural hair without bogging down my braids.
Unsurprisingly, I noticed relief within a few days. My scalp retained more moisture after co-washing and soon the flakes were gone. I'm glad I figured out a way to continue my hot oil treatments while protective styling, otherwise I'd probably have to take down my box braids after only a couple of weeks!
How do you switch up your regimen when protective styling? Share in a comment below!
Like a fine evening gown, kinky hair neither requires nor can handle frequent washing. Most naturalistas recommend cleansing no more than once a week, and some go as long as four weeks between washes! Personally, I need to at least co-wash my hair every seven days otherwise the itching drives me bonkers. It must be a combination of product slowly building up coupled with the gradual drying of my scalp, because by the end of the week all I can do is fantasize about what new oil mixture I'll use in my deep conditioning treatment. But what if there was a way to extend time between washes?
I've been researching ingredients to figure out what can combat the effects of product build-up and dryness, and it turns out there are quite a few. The best part is they're all natural, so you don't have to feel bad using them as often as you like - or even eating them if you dare! So without further ado, here are the top six scalp refreshing ingredients that you can add to your spritzes, deep conditioners, and salads.
I should mention that an oily scalp can still be considered clean. That's because your scalp needs a certain level of moisture in order to be healthy and facilitate hair growth. A clean scalp has just the right amount of nutrients to encourage growth without being so oily or full of product build-up that it starts to get itchy or flaky.
How do you keep your scalp clean between washes? Share your tips in a comment below!
Chapping and windburn and frostbite ﹣ oh my! If these are the effects winter can have on your skin, imagine what it's doing to your hair. Fortunately there are easy ways to avoid incurring any serious damage, and the first step is knowing what the causes are. In my experience, natural hair has had to fight against three enemies in particular:
1. DRYNESS - I've got a relatively thirsty head of hair. Daily spritzing has done it wonders, even with high humidity during the summer. If your 'fro shares the same personality, then moisturizing in winter is especially crucial. Denying it the hydration it needs leaves it more susceptible to splitting and breakage. This is because moisture boosts the strength and elasticity of each hair strand. Dry hair is especially vulnerable to the next two enemies, so don't skimp on the deep conditioning!
2. COLD TEMPERATURES - While the lower temperatures in and of themselves probably don't hurt my hair, I have noticed that many of the products I use function differently in cold weather. The best example I can think of is liquid coconut oil. It melts gloriously into my locks if I apply it while it's warm. However, if I don't stay indoors long enough for the oil to properly moisturize my hair, it slowly begins to solidify and become more like a gel! I sidestep this by making sure I only use coconut oil at night in the winter so that by the time I awaken, pretty much all of it has been gobbled up by my hair. Some of the products you use may also be temperature-sensitive, so it's important to tweak how you use them in the winter in order to continue achieving optimal results.
3. FRICTION - I'm wearing a toque as I write this blog post knowing full well that it could be breaking my hair. This is because wool, cotton, and other fibres that make hats and earmuffs warm are also notorious for tugging at kinky hair. The friction these cozy accessories cause by rubbing against our strands dries out and weakens our hair. If you like chunky cable knit scarves like I do, be sure to protect the hairs at the nape of your neck by hiding them away in braids or twists. Right now I'm wearing my hair in flat twists and I've got them wrapped up in a silk scarf underneath my toque ﹣ just to be safe!
Got a winter hair care tip? Share in a comment below!
Did you remember to turn off the stove? Lock the door? Feed the hamster? Life throws a lot at us to remember, and sometimes it's a little overwhelming to keep track of it all. As I learn more about keeping my hair healthy, it seems like the list of products, methods, and tricks only continues to grow. Despite keeping my routine as low-maintenance as is socially acceptable, there are three things I often forget to do to take care of my hair.
1. Drink Water - I'll give you a second to grab a glass of water before you continuing reading.... Alright, now that you've got some hydration let's talk about how immensely important it is. You've no doubt heard over and over that roughly 70% of the human body is made up of water and that it constantly needs to be replaced due to bodily functions such as sweating and urination. Of course your internal organs take priority, but did you know that some of the water you drink actually makes it all the way up to your scalp? That's right. And when it gets there, it works hard to combat dryness and keep your strands from growing brittle. The body sure is a wonder.
2. Seal in Moisture with Oil - So let's say you're drinking your eight glasses of water a day. What use is all that hydration if you let it evaporate? The same holds true for spritzing your hair or washing it with conditioner. They key to locking in moisture is applying an oil or butter afterwards. Here's an awesome video that scientifically explains why this works.
3. Trim as Needed - When's the last time you trimmed your hair? If you have no idea, you should probably get on that. Regular trimming prevents split ends from traveling up the hair shaft so each strand remains strong and length isn't compromised. Your ends are the oldest and most delicate part of your hair, so the longer you go between trims the more likely your ends will start to suffer. This is when you'll start noticing dryness, frizz, and other unsightly issues. This is a great guide you can use to properly trim your hair.
How do you stick to your hair care regimen? Share in a comment below!
If you live in the northern hemisphere of this beautiful planet, it's time to get serious about your winter hair routine. It's never too late to ramp up your hair care regimen -- even if the snow has already begun to fall -- but the earlier you prepare the better. Last winter was something fierce here in Toronto. I was introduced to a chilling phenomenon called a polar vortex (they couldn't have come up with a scarier name) in which the frozen air chewed vigorously on my delicate tresses. Temperatures were often below -30ºC (-22ºF) and humidity was high, which meant moisture could easily seep into each hair strand... and then freeze! Having never heard of deep conditioning back then, it's no wonder I experienced so much breakage. This year I am older and wiser. Here's a list of preventative measures I'm taking to keep my hair strong this winter.
How do you prep your hair for cold weather? Share in a comment below!
Many people mistakenly believe that all oils are created equal. Because the vast majority of them are plant-derived and do an excellent job of sealing in moisture, it's commonly thought that any one oil can be substituted for another. However, each oil has properties that make it unique. Characteristics such as the viscosity and ability to penetrate the hair shaft can determine whether or not an oil is right for you. It's getting colder outside, and the weather can also have a big impact on the effectiveness of certain oils in your hair. Keeping that in mind, here are the top oils to use for your natural hair this winter.
What is your favourite oil to use when the temperature drops? Tell us in a comment below!
I'm a huge fan of DIYs and homemade products. Below is a formula that will assist in the post-wash detangling process and to keep my hair moisturized and temptingly soft long after it dries.
If you have oilier hair, skip the jojoba and olive oil. That way you'll get the moisture without weighing down your strands or overwhelming your scalp.
THE FUN PART
If your coconut oil is solid, warm it up in the microwave or in a hot water bath until it liquifies. Combine all ingredients in a squeezable bottle or a bottle with a pump so that you can easily apply the mixture to your hands. Give the bottle a rigorous shake until all the ingredients have blended together. Because this mixture is fairly oily, a little will go a long way. If you have a TWA (teeny weeny afro), you can probably get away with a penny-sized squeeze for each section of your hair. For longer hair or large sections, use up two bottle pumps.
I wasn't able to finish the whole bottle, so I stored the remainder in my bathroom cupboard. It's important to keep essential oils away from sunlight so they don't lose their helpful properties. Because there's aloe vera juice in the mix, I'm also going to try to finish up the bottle within the next couple of weeks so it doesn't go bad. Nobody wants a stinky bathroom!
What's your favorite DIY hair product recipe? Tell us in a comment below!
We're always hearing about how fragile our natural hair is. "Don't comb it when it's wet or it'll break." "Don't comb it when it's dry or it'll break." "Don't comb it at all — only finger detangling can truly prevent breakage!" Everyone's talking about all the "don't"s, so I decided to make a list of "do's" to help you on your path to stronger hair.
1. Hot Oil Treatments and Clay/Powder Masks - This is one of the easiest ways to fortify your tresses. By administering hot oil treatments and/or masks routinely, you ensure that your natural hair is receiving the nutrients and moisture that it requires to thrive.
2. Regular Trimming - The ends of your hair are the oldest and therefore the weakest. This is compounded by the fact that the natural oil your scalp produces to protect your hair has a harder time reaching your ends, especially if you have very kinky hair like I do. The best way to keep your hair strong is to trim your ends as soon as you notice any knots or splitting. This will prevent these problems from getting worse and causing hair loss.
3. Quality Conditioner - Regardless of whether you're riding the pre-poo bus or the no-poo train, conditioning your hair is very important. Good quality conditioners will minimize frizz and assist in detangling, which will save your hair from damage.
4. Protective Styling - I can't say enough about the benefits of reducing manipulation through protective styling. Keeping your hair in braids, twists, etc gives your strands a much-needed break from daily pulling and tugging, which in turn prevents breakage.
5. Drink Water - Moisture is essential to the health of your hair and scalp. Daily spritzing and the LOC/LCO method are great ways of preventing dryness. However, did you know you can also deliver moisture to your follicles by drinking water? That's right: what you put inside your body is just as important as what you put on it, so be sure to stay hydrated in order to guarantee your natural hair is receiving as much moisture as possible!
What do you do to grow healthier hair? Share in a comment below!
It seems every naturalista and her cat is touting the benefits of hot oil treatments. Regardless of hair type or length, they are a fantastic method of deep conditioning, restoring moisture, and adding shine to your natural hair. The process is simple: once a week you warm up a combo of some of your favourite oils, apply them to your hair and scalp for 30 mins, cover your hair with a warm towel / steamer, rinse with warm water, then condition your hair. Hot oil treatments aren't just good for your hair; the whole experience can be quite therapeutic and luxurious. While many natural hair experts insist on weekly hot oil treatments, though, there are times when it might be better to wait. The three worst times to administer a hot oil treatment are:
1. Right after you've gotten a protective style installed. This is because your scalp is still tender, and rinsing out the oil will agitate it. Moreover, washing your hair will age the hairstyle prematurely. Doing a hot oil treatment right before you visit your stylist is a great idea, though.
2. When you're short on time. The ideal amount of time to leave the oil in your hair is 30-45 minutes, after which you need to hop into the shower as soon as possible. Some people claim leaving it overnight has the most benefit, but the majority of sources agree your hair is usually already saturated by the 45 minute mark. If you don't have time to rinse out the hot oil you risk experiencing product build-up, and your hair might start to smell bad (especially if you're using castor oil!).
3. If your last hot oil treatment was only a few days ago. This may vary from person to person, but generally you shouldn't be deep conditioning your hair with hot oil more than once a week to every two weeks. The main reason is because you must thoroughly wash your hair following the treatment, and washing your hair too often will leave it dry and brittle. Secondly, the treatment works best if it's given time to work on your hair. If you're constantly saturating your scalp and strands in oil, you won't give them time to truly benefit from the treatment.
When's your favourite time to do a hot oil treatment? Let us know in a comment below!
Having grown up in the hot, dry Canadian prairies, I know firsthand what it's like to struggle with dryness. If you're living in a desert-like climate with high temperatures, relentless sun, and limited humidity, this post is for you! Years of experimentation have revealed to me three main tricks to keeping natural hair moisturized in dry summers.
1. Spritz Regularly
You can't afford to cut corners on this one, even if you're worried about shrinkage. You don't need to douse your hair completely, but applying a mixture of water and aloe vera juice with a spray bottle every so often will definitely help quench your hair's thirst. I do this once a day to every other day because my hair dries out fairly quickly. You may only need to spritz once or twice a week if your hair more readily holds onto moisture.
2. Use Light Oils
As I mentioned in The Best Natural Hair Oils for Hot Weather, you should opt for runnier oils during the warmest months of the year. Coconut and jojoba oil are two examples of light oils that are great at sealing in moisture without weighing your hair down. In the heat, thick oils like castor oil will feel heavy on your scalp and clog your pores. (Remember to apply a small amount of oil after every spritz, otherwise the water will simply evaporate leaving your hair as dry as it was before!)
3. Avoid Humectants
Humectants are products like vegetable glycerin and honey, which absorb moisture from the air and release it into your hair. Sounds good, right? Usually yes, but when humidity is low it can spell disaster. This is because humectants also transfer moisture from your hair into the atmosphere if humidity is low. They do this to create balance, shifting moisture from an area of high water content to an area with less. That's why humectants can be your worst enemy in dry weather － they can literally suck the moisture right out of your hair!
How do you combat dryness in the summertime? Tell us in a comment below!
Did you know our hair grows slightly faster in the summer than in the winter? But before you scrap oils and butters from your natural hair care regimen, realize that not all oils are created equal. Some oils are very light and they run like water. Others are so viscous you need to heat them up in order to pour them. If the temperature is hot where you live, be sure to opt for lighter oils. Some of the best options include:
Each of these oils will lock moisture into your hair without suffocating your scalp during the warmer months. As such, they are also less likely to cause product build-up.
What oil do you use on your natural hair during the summer? Let us know in a comment below!
Did you know that most of the damage your hair sustains is likely caused by UV radiation? Natural hair is pretty susceptible to the elements. Even under the best conditions it still requires a lot of TLC, and if you live in a sunny clime you must take extra precautions to avoid frizz, dryness, and even bleaching (unless you're striving for that look, in which case a hair coloring product might be a healthier option).
Ultraviolet radiation weakens the external part of the hair shaft, which is made of a protein called keratin. Keratin is sensitive to UVB rays and thus begins to degrade when overly exposed. You might notice your hair isn't as shiny anymore, and it may seem less elastic. Not only is this bad news for the structural integrity of each hair strand (hello split ends!), but the accompanying UVA rays can also strip the hair of melanin, which is responsible for giving hair its colour. The ultimate result is dry, brittle hair that looks fried.
Luckily this damage can be avoided. Here are a few tips to keep your hair safe while you have fun in the sun:
How do you keep your hair sun safe? Tell us about it in a comment below!
WRONG. Well, yes it is, but it's not healthy to think of it in such limited terms. Just because it's dead doesn't mean it can't be affected by the environment. Moreover, your scalp is very much alive and if you're abusing your hair, chances are you're abusing your scalp too.
Due to the often steel wool-esque nature of kinky-coily hair, many people mistakenly assume it's the toughest, most durable hair type. However, all the curls and kinks actually serve to make afro-textured hair the most brittle of all. There are a couple of reasons for this:
How do you minimize tangles and knots? Share in a comment below!