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10 Dos and Don’ts for Natural Hair in the Fall

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Keep these tips in mind when you care for your natural hair this fall.

  1. Do deep condition your hair regularly. Deep conditioning ensures that your natural hair remains moisturized. Moisturized hair is less susceptible to breakage and split ends.
  2. Do style your hair in protective hairstyles to protect your ends
  3. Don’t wear woolen hats, caps, or beanies as they will cause dryness
  4. Do eat healthy amounts of vegetables, fish like salmon, and fruits
  5. Do take a multivitamin, biotin, or Omega 3 supplement to aid in hair growth. (Always consult your doctor before taking a supplement)
  6. Do hot oil treatments regularly to prevent dry scalp and dandruff
  7. Don’t neglect to wash your hair regularly as this cleans clogged pores which prevent hair growth
  8. Do use a microfiber towel, old T-shirt, or pillow case to dry your hair after washing
  9. Don’t forget to moisturize your edges or any part of your hair exposed to the weather. Condition your hair with heavy creams and butters.
  10. Do use a humidifier to keep moisture in the air in your house. You can also steam your hair regularly for extra conditioning.

How do you plan to take care your natural hair this fall?

Recipe: Nettle Leaf & Lemon Balm Tea Hair Rinse

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Drinking herbal teas is a great way to provide your body and natural hair with essential nutrients from the inside out. You can drink herbal tea along with your breakfast or after dinner regularly to improve the health of your body and kinky hair. The great thing about herbal teas is that because they are natural you can use them as a daily drink or a natural hair tea rinse.

This nourishing Nettle Leaf & Lemon Balm tea from Mary Banducci of Sweet Roots features herbs like oatstraw and horsetail which contain vitamins ideal for strong, healthy natural hair.

  • Nettle leaf: “excellent source of vitamin A and K, calcium, iron, and chlorophyll”
  • Lemon Balm: “helps calm and soothe the nervous system”
  • Oatstraw: “high in calcium and magnesium and helps to maintain healthy hair, skin, and nails”
  • Horsetail: “high in silica and calcium and promotes strong nails and bones”
  • Raspberry leaf: “contains calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium, vitamins B, C, E”

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Dear Love Natural Sunshine: What is Your Natural Hair Routine?

As requested, I am sharing my natural hair routine that I use for my 4b, kinky, fine hair.

at0micbl0g writes…

“Can you post ur regimen and products u use?”

I usually update my hair care regimen monthly based on my hair’s current needs and my hair care goals. For my current routine I wash my hair every two weeks (14 days).

The Washing Routine

  1. I pre-poo with sesame seed oil. This is a highly-nutrient oil that makes my hair stronger and soft.
  2. I wash with either Terressentials Mud Wash OR Chagrin Valley Babassu Marshmallow Shampoo Bar. I alternate between the two monthly because the bentonite clay in the Mud Wash can be drying when used over long periods of time. Read about how I store my shampoo bar.
  3. I rinse my hair with a mixture of ½ cup Aloe Vera Juice and ½ cup cold distilled/filtered water OR if my hair needs extra clarifying, I rinse my hair with ¼ cup of Apple Cider Vinegar and ½ cup of cold distilled/filtered water.

The Styling Routine

  1. I apply grape seed oil to my freshly washed hair and scalp
  2. I use the “Satin Braid Out” method to set my hair overnight
  3. The next day I moisturize my hair with Qhemet Biologics Burdock Root Cream. This leaves my hair soft and malleable
  4. I style my hair with my Homemade Cream.

Hope this answers any questions! If you would like me to go into further detail on any of these steps in my routine, let me know.

photo courtesy of Coily and Cute

What is your hair care routine?

Herbs, Oils, and Spices Series: Sesame Seed Oil

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Origin: Sesame seed oil is extracted from sesame seeds, which are “tiny, flat, oval seeds with a nutty taste.” Sesame seeds come in various colors including “white, yellow, black, brown, and red.” Sesame seed oil is traditionally used in Asian and Indian cooking.

Botanical name: Sesamun indicum

Characteristics: Moderately oil to the touch, strong, nutty aroma, dark brown color

Benefits for hair: Sesame seed oil is high in many nutrients and vitamins that aid in healthy kinky hair including magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, and zinc. Sesame seed oil strengthens the hair cuticle and naturally increases elasticity. Sesame seed oil is also resistant to going rancid easily.

  • Nourishes dry, brittle hair
  • Protects hair from harmful UV rays
  • Heals scalp infections; anti-bacterial
  • Prevents dandruff, dry scalp, and fungus
  • Strengths hair from the inside out, improves elasticity

Sesame seed oil is great for fine and coarse naturally kinky hair as it does not weigh fine hair down and provides sheen and “luster” to dry hair.

How to use:

  • Pre-shampoo (pre-poo) treatment
  • Deep Condition with plastic shower cap
  • Apply to scalp and ends of hair after washing

Special Note: Always store oils in cool, dark places like kitchen cabinets. Do not store in the bathroom as this can decrease the shelf life of the oil.

Sources: The World’s Healthiest Foods & Rockin’ it Napptural

photo source: eatseed.com

Chemicals to Avoid in Hair Products: Sodium Laureth Sulfate

Stephanie of Bubble and Bee gives the 101 about the chemical Sodium Laureth Sulfate, commonly found in hair shampoos, conditioners, and washes. Learn about why you should avoid this chemical in your hair products and how it can be damaging to your health.

Today’s Chemical:

Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)

EWG Risk Score (Cosmetics Database):

3

What is it:
A widely used detergent and surfactant. It can be derived from coconut oil or petroleum by-products. It is commonly used as an industrial “degreaser.”

Why is it a risk?
 

  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate is an ethoxylated compound. When it’s created, it’s processed with ethylene oxide, a known carcinogen. Traces of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane (another known carcinogen) can be found in the detergent. (Source)
  • Sodium laureth sulfate is a known eye and skin irritant. (Source)
  • SLES is found to be a penetration enhancer (Source)

Check to see if you have this chemical in your hair products!

AfroVeda Totally Twisted Ginger Almond Butter Review

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This is a product review for AfroVeda Totally Twisted Ginger Almond Butter. I used the Totally Twisted Butter to style my hair into a twist out. Afterwards, I noticed that the twist out had good definition and my hair felt soft. However, the Totally Twisted Butter left a sticky residue on my hair. By the end of the first week of using the Totally Twisted Butter, my hair clumped together and felt “coated” with product. The Totally Twisted Butter left product build up on my hair, did not smooth my frizzy roots, and shrunk my hair.

AfroVeda Totally Twisted (for my hair) did not…

  • Smooth down the hair shaft
  • Provide stretch for my hair

Ingredients:  Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Rice Milk, Water, Sweet Almond Oil, Sunflower Oil, Ayurvedic Botanicals of Ashwagandha Powder, Bhringaraj Powder, Brahmi Powder, Amalaki Herb and Neem Leaf; Bay Leaf, Horsetail Leaf Extract, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Nettle, Jojoba Oil, Neem Oil, Xanthan Gum, Glyceryl Stearate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, (an edible, natural, ultra-mild self-emulsifying wax), Gluconolactone (and) Sodium Benzoate (a natural preservative), and love. Essential oil blend of Ginger and Lime.

Price: $15.50

Size: 8 oz

Claim: Maximum growth, manageability, softness and shine are achieved with this old-fashioned recipe. It provides a soft, gentle hold for styles like braids, twists, straw sets and more. Naturally curly hair is softened and moisturized as definition is added to the curl. Oh….and it smells good, too!

Fragrance: Strong, bitter-ginger fragrance that lasts for some time after use.

Consistency/Color: The AfroVeda Totally Twisted Butter has a tacky, sticky consistency similar to un-baked cookie dough. The product is thick and takes time to work into the hair.

Results: The Totally Twisted Butter left product build up on my hair after use. Although it gave my twist out good definition, I could not use it to style regularly because of the residue it left. The Totally Twisted Butter is good for sealing moisture into the ends of the hair. I would recommend that AfroVeda make the product 4oz instead of 8oz, since its best quality is moisturizing the ends of the hair. I would not repurchase this product again because I only have one use for it, which is sealing my ends and this is something that I can do with any natural butter.

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I give this product 3 out of 5 sunstars.

Customer Service & Packaging: I purchased this twisting butter from a local natural hair shop and did not have to pay shipping and handling. The labels at the time of my purchase were ink-jet labels.

*All products were purchased by me. 

Photo courtesy of AfroVeda

4 Definitions Every Natural Should Know

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The terms humectant, humidity, cold pressed, and emollient are used frequently on natural hair sites, forums, and blogs. Many times these terms are not defined and yet understanding what they may mean is important in caring for natural hair.

Read on for the definition of each word and why it is important to know in relation to your hair.

Humectants

Humectants, as defined by Tonya McKay of Naturallycurly.com, are “used in skin and hair-care products to promote moisture retention. These hygroscopic compounds possess a chemical structure that attracts water from the atmosphere and binds it to various sites along the molecule.”

In other words, humectants draw the moisture from the environment into your hair. This can create puffy, frizzy hair on warm day or dry hair on a cold day. These two environments that affect your natural hair are called high humidity and low humidity.

Natural humectants:

  • honey
  • jojoba oil
  • shea butter
  • aloe vera juice
  • vegetable glycerin

Read more: Humectants: What They Are via Chocolate Hair Vanilla Care

Humidity

High Humidity occurs when there is an increased amount of moisture in the air. High Humidity usually happens during the summertime or warmer months. The moisture in the air can cause the natural hair to become puffy, frizzy, bloated, and tangled.

Low Humidity occurs when there is a low amount of moisture in the air. Low Humidity usually happens during the wintertime or colder months. Using a humectant based product can cause moisture to leave the natural hair.

Read more: Humidity, Humectants, and Hair via Naturallycurly.com

Cold pressed

Cold pressed is usually used to describe carrier oils and refers to the “extraction” process. The process of “taking” the oils from their original source, like plant leaves, is called extraction. Through the cold pressed method oils are obtained by using “high pressure to squeeze” the plant’s leaves or to “crush” the plant’s seeds.

Cold pressed oils are ideal for hair care because they retain important nutrients and vitamins.

Emollients

Emollients are oils or synthetic chemicals that are used to provide sheen, prevent moisture loss, and to soften the hair. Natural emollients, like oils, are best to use in hair care because are less likely to cause irritation, fizziness, and product build up. While synthetic emollient hide the damage hair strands may have suffered by covering the hair, natural emollients nourish the hair over time.

For a list of synthetic and natural emollients read: Let’s Talk Hair Emollients for Shiny Hair via All Things O’Natural

More Resources:

Humidity, Humectants, and Hair via Naturallycurly.com

Humectants: What They Are via Chocolate Hair Vanilla Care

What is a Cold Pressed Oil? via Livestrong

source: Soaps, Creams, and Herbal Gels by Marlene Jones

What hair care words or “terms” do you not know? Share them with us for answers!

Recipe: Cucumber Deep Conditioner

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Is your natural hair in need of a good deep condition? Try this refreshing deep conditioner made with cucumbers and Greek Yogurt. Cucumbers are high in vitamin A and promote hair growth. Greek Yogurt is great source of protein and moisture for your hair while also aiding in detangling. A special thanks to Rockin’ it Napptural for the inspiration behind this recipe. Follow the steps below to achieve soft, conditioned hair.

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