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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?

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!

Sunshine Moment: Use Your Fingers

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When it comes to taking care of your hair, your hands can be your biggest help or your ultimate downfall. Many naturals are too rough when handling their hair and when applying products. Hence the term “heavy-handed,” which is coined by naturals who excessively use products. I like to think of my hair as something that is fragile and therefore needs to be nurtured with care. The best tool to use when detangling, styling, and grooming your tresses are your fingers. Yes, combs and brushes are helpful, but using your fingers allows you to be more gentle with your hair. Also, when applying products, use what I like to call the “finger test” to measure the amount of products you put in your hair.

  • For moisturizers, creams, or butters, I use a dollop the size of my pointer finger (close to the size of a dime).
  • For gels, pomades, or other sealants, I use a dollop the size of my pinky finger to measure the correct amount.

Once I started finger detangling, I found out that using a comb was not always necessary. Sure, I still have my collection of various detangling combs and picks, but in the end I love knowing that my hair can survive without them.