I just watched the video below from one of my favorite natural hair vloggers. She has been making a slow transition to vegan for over 3 years and decided to share her story on YouTube. It’s very similar to mine and it had me thinking – could going natural (with your hair) be the start of a vegan journey? I’ve always seen the correlation between learning to care for my hair to learning to care for my body. I had no idea it would lead me to becoming vegan but it has. The more I learn about the things I’m putting on and in my body, the better it inspires me to do the right thing for myself.
Healthy hair is a great marker of overall health. Experts agree that a healthy diet with the right mix of protein, iron, and other nutrients like vitamin E, selenium, copper, and magnesium can help improve the health, look, and feel of your hair.
With genetic hair loss, you lose your hair gradually, and hair loss increases with age. Non-genetic hair loss occurs when once healthy hair suddenly and noticeably begins falling out. A typical scalp has about 120,000-150,000 strands of hair, and sheds about 50 to 100 strand per day. Most people don’t even notice that small amount.
Any vitamin deficiency will cause hair loss. At any given time, about 90% of your hair is in the growing phase. For each individual hair, this growing phase lasts 2 to 3 years. At the end of that time, hairs enter a resting phase that lasts about 3 months before they are shed and replaced by new hair. If you don’t get enough protein and nutrients in your diet, a disproportionate number of hairs may go into the resting phase.
I’ve been vegan for a little over a year and it has served my hair well so far. I hate to admit it but it’s been about a year since I’ve trimmed my mane and when I went to my stylist he only had to trim off 2 inches, which is awesome for a year of growth. In addition to great hair care maintenance, I owe my locks to a well-balanced diet.
It’s pretty easy to get the vitamins and nutrients you need for healthy hair and body on a vegan diet if you’re consuming enough food. Vegan foods are practically bursting with nutrients to make your hair, skin, and nails look fantastic, not to mention your mind and body.
If you’re considering including more plant based foods in your diet to improve your locks, check out these 18 vegan foods for gorgeous hair.
Did you know that it is better to dry your hair with an old cotton t-shirt vs. a towel? Drying your hair with those thick and fluffy towels cause breakage, rough hair and split ends. Micro-fiber towels are another alternative if you have a lot of extra cash for hair products but the longer your hair gets the more material you’ll need using a micro-fiber towel.
A cotton t-shirt is smooth and therefore causes less friction when drying your hair, which will lead to less split ends and breakage. This is the only way I do it! I wrap up my clean, wet hair in a t-shirt for 5-15 minutes, take it down and then apply my styling product. It dries quicker with less frizz and sometimes a bit less shrinkage.
Are you using a cotton t-shirt, towel, micro-fiber towel or something else to dry your hair?
As with any journey, transitioning to from relaxed to natural presents its own unique challenges. While everyone’s experiences are different, it can be helpful to see how others have navigated through the process. It’s been a little over 5 years since I transitioned, but I can remember a time when I was struggling to figure out what to do with 2 different textures on my hair.
I often hear; “I tried the natural thing for a minute and it didn’t work.” I’m a believer in the fact that everyone shouldn’t do the same thing but I’m also a believer that God didn’t make any mistakes when creating you as you are naturally. So if you’re considering going natural or already in the process, check out these 5 mistakes to avoid.
Overuse of Heat
I know when I was transitioning; I would sometimes flat iron my hair multiple times a day to blend the two textures. That is the one thing I regret not knowing prior to starting this journey. Overuse of heat can and will ruin your curl pattern and damage your hair. Try blending the two textures with styles such as twist outs and bantu knots and just use a roller to twist the ends of your hair that may still be straight.
Many women feel that their hair growth has come to complete halt. I’ve said this many time before but the fact is, unless you have a medical condition, your hair is always growing but you may not be retaining what you’ve grown. In other words, just as fast as it grows, it breaks, creating the illusion of stunted growth.
Here are three things to consider:
Lack of Moisture
Because our strands have twists, bends and curls, it’s much harder for the natural oil, sebum, to travel the entire length of the hair shaft from root to tip. Remember the only form of moisture that exist is water. So be sure to apply a leave-in or oil on your hair every few days or as your hair needs it, paying special attention to the ends (oldest part of your hair). Hair that is properly moisturized will have a nice elasticity to it and will be less likely to break, thereby allowing you to retain what you grow. Those whose hair may have low porosity may need extra help with steam or products that will help open up the cuticle to allow moisture in.
Be sure you’re drinking plenty of water and limit your fast/junk food intake. If you eat nothing but junk, your hair/scalp is gonna reflect that. Water plus a balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables will help your hair to thrive.
Wash day rolls around and you sigh in preparation for a few hours of prepooing, deep conditioning, washing, conditioning, styling, and drying – all in the hopes of a perfectly defined mane. Here are a 3 tips to help you get the most out of your curls on wash day.
Deep Conditioning– You’ll achieve the best definition on healthy moisturized hair and I always get the best hair days after deep conditioning treatments. If my schedule permits, I deep condition at least once a week. Invest in an in-home steamer, to get the most moisture and penetration from the deep conditioner. Also, make sure your deep conditioner has the ingredients to provide a protein moisture balance that’s right for your tresses.
Finger Detangling – This helps me to not only achieve better definition but also improves length and volume retention. I have bigger and longer hair when I religiously opt for my 10 digits over any brush or comb. As far as detangling, it’ll take a bit of practice to master the technique. Just remember to do it in small sections, working from the ends up in a gentle manner. Don’t pull or rip at your hair, but gently remove shed hair and tangles. I suggest starting on wet hair that’s soaked with conditioner in the shower. The power of the shower stream and slipperiness from your conditioner should make finger detangling a cinch.
Women are constantly asking me for tips on how to grow longer and stronger hair. The fact is, unless you have a medical issue your hair is growing. So it’s all about creating habits that will allow you to keep the hair already of your head and prevent it from prematurely breaking off.
Below are 7 things you can do to improve the health of your hair for longer, thicker, stronger hair.
If you want longer or bigger hair, there isn’t a magic pill to take. You have to focus on keeping the hair already on your head healthy. There’s not much you can do to force your scalp to grow hair faster, but you can focus on hair care habits that prevent breakage. Here are three important things to do to handle your coils with care.
1. Hold your hair while you comb or brush
Remember when your head would jerk in the direction your mom ferociously brushed it? Don’t relive those tortuous moments! Since our natural hair coils and springs back into place when we let it go, it’s even more important to hold the section of hair we’re detangling. You want to detangle your hair from ends to root, so hold your fingers a few inches above the ends, detangle, and then move up a few more inches until you’ve reached the root.
2. Sleep with a satin scarf or pillow case
Maintaining healthy natural hair is all about moisture. It’s easy for our coils to snag on rough fabrics, so switching to a softer textile like satin or silk will prevent your hair from snagging.
3. Try protective styles
I’m not a huge fan of protective styling. I figured since I grew this hair I need to wear it out whenever possible. But protective styling is a great technique to prevent breakage. The more we tousle our hair around, the more opportunities we have for tangles and breakage. Try to fight Hand In Hair Syndrome and opt for twists, braids, buns, etc.
How do you prevent breakage with your natural hair?
As you read in my last post about natural hair, I’m always on a plane and traveling while curly can be a daunting task. Considering I’m on a plane every other week, I think I have the travel essentials down to a science. Check out these 5 items that you need for perfect hair days on vacation.
- Satin/Silk Headscarf– It’s one thing to have good 1st day hair but in order for your ‘do to last all weekend or week, you need to protect it. Satin/Silk fabric is closest to the fibers of our hair, and will help you retain moisture. Cotton fabric which is typically on hotel bed sheets will absorb all the moisture.
- Satin/Silk Pillow Case– I always bring one satin pillow case. As a little germophobe this makes me feel better than sleeping on a pillow case that’s been slept on by thousands of people and it’s a good to use as a back-up in case your scarf comes off, or if you want to sleep without a scarf.
- Leave-In Conditioner– Leave-In conditioner is a curly’s best friend. It will help detangle, clean, and style your hair. You can use it as a co-wash and follow it up as a styler. To save on space, I typically mix a little oil into my leave-in conditioner, therefore I don’t have to carry oil separately.
- Styling Tools– Be sure to bring a wide tooth comb or denman brush if you’re planning to detangle (I’m a 5 finger kind of girl, myself). Consider the styles you want to use and bring the proper items including; soft-bristle brush, rollers, bobby pins, and headbands. My go-to is always the scrunchie. When all else fails, my hair goes directly in a bun.
- Empty spray bottle.
You’ll definitely need to refresh your curls while on vacation and the spray bottle is the best way to do so.