I’m constantly on a plane traveling one place or another and I’ll admit that the idea of traveling while natural is daunting, particular for trips longer than a weekend. Between the TSA guidelines, luggage weight requirements and the need for amazing hair for your vacation Instagram photo, TWN (traveling while natural) can be stressful. But armed with the right tips, you can have a great experience. Below are some essential things to remember prior to and while traveling with natural hair:
- Call Al Roker
It’s important to check the weather conditions, of your destination before you pack. Particularly you want to check the level of humidity and dryness in the new environment. For example, a shift from very hot and humid weather to cold dry weather would call for a reduction of humectants like glycerin that can strip moisture from the hair and leave you with the lion king effect.
- Keep it Simple
Now that my hair is a little longer, I’m good with 2 pigtails for the plane or a long road trip. When I get to my destination, all I have to do is take the braids out and I have a great braid-out for the weekend. You can also do any simple twists or other hairstyles and cover your hair with a cute beanie, hat or headscarf. TSA has never asked me to take off a beanie but with headscarfs be sure to tie it in an easily removable style, just in case.
Continue reading “5 Tips for Traveling While Curly”
It’s summer and you may be out and about more often, so you may be thinking of changing your style a bit. I get the urge every few years to change up my hair color. Fortunately, there are a ton of ways to change up your hair color. Remember, dyeing any type of hair may involve a chemical process that should be taken seriously. Check out a few options for coloring your curls below:
Permanent Hair Color
There are 3 main types of color—permanent, semi or demi permanent, and temporary. Permanent color requires the hair cuticle to be lifted and alters the proteins that give us our natural hair color. If you’re doing a permanent color, you may only want to go 2-3 shades lighter or darker to avoid some risk of permanent damage. However, if your hair is naturally dark, coloring hair very light is always a risk.
With permanent color, hair must be bleached, usually with ammonia to “decolorize” the hair, then add the lighter color to the “blank slate.” Hair that is dark typically bleaches to an orange or yellow stage and the colorist must have a grasp of color theory to know what colors to deposit on hair to remove the unwanted yellow or orange tone. This is pure chemistry and a good reason why it’s advised to get permanent color done by a professional.
Continue reading “Coloring Curly Hair”
Porosity is a measure of how easily water and other substances can enter and exit the hair strand. Low porosity hair is hydrophobic, which means it repels water from the surface. This type of hair results in flat, tightly sealed cuticles that is more resistant to moisture loss and absorption. Knowing your hair’s porosity will help you make better product purchasing decisions and adjust your regimen accordingly.
To determine your porosity, gently pull a strand of your hair (maybe more strands if you have multiple textures) and drop it in a glass of water. If it floats to the top then you have low porosity curls, if it sinks to the bottom of the glass then you have high porosity hair and if it stays in the middle then your hair is considered regular.
If you have low porosity hair, check out these techniques for getting moisture into your strands:
Continue reading “5 Tips to Moisturize Low Porosity Hair”
To achieve healthy natural hair it takes consistent, diligent, and purposeful care. Average hair growth across all races is approximately ½ inch per month, totaling six inches a year.
Most people tend to fry, dye, weave up and blow dry their hair, which ultimately causes damage. This can cause hair to break off at the same rate as its grows. The difference between hair that doesn’t go past one’s shoulder and hair down one’s back is length retention. Here are 5 tried and true tips for optimal length retention.
Continue reading “5 Tips for Long Healthy Hair”
Many naturals have a problem with keeping their hair moisturized and trying to maintain a particular hairstyle for more than one day. For those with normal to high porosity hair (your hair quickly absorbs moisture) the LOC method may be the solution for you.
L.O.C simply means Liquid, Oil and Cream. This shows the order of application of products to maximize moisture retention. First apply a liquid (water or water based leave-in conditioner), then seal in with any oil and then apply your hair cream/butter/pudding/styler.
Both oil and butter are praised for their ability to create a layer along the hair shaft that helps to prevent water from being evaporated in the atmosphere. The layer of moisture is effectively sealed in by two products which are both known to be excellent sealants: oil and butter. This should help with keeping your wash ‘n go or style for at least 2-3 days.
Now you may be going back to science class in grade school and thinking that oil and water don’t mix. That’s still true and if you aren’t using oils that penetrate the hair its best to use your cream before your oil or LCO Method. But certain natural oils have the ability to penetrate the hair shaft and bind with the hair internal structure or protein. These oils are coconut and olive oil.
Make sure you try it out for at least three wash sessions before deciding if it works. If you’re trying out the LOC method, let me know how it works for you in the comment section below or use the hashtag #VeggieCurls on social media.
When you begin learning how to care for natural hair, a word you will hear often is moisture. It’s true that you must moisturize your hair to keep it healthy. This is especially true for those with curly or textured hair because the curls and waves of the hair make it more difficult for that natural oil your scalp produces to travel to the ends of your hair.
While it is important to consistently moisturize your hair, it is important to note that it is possible to overdo it. Over moisturizing your hair can make your strands just as weak and prone to breakage as dry hair. Dry hair usually looks and feels; dull, straw-like and easily breaks when pulled or combed. Over-moisturized hair tends to look limp, oily, damp and mushy.
It’s important to always be conscious of your hairs’ condition. Everyone’s hair is different. If your hair feels dry every day, then by all means, moisturize daily. However, there are some people who can go days before re-moisturizing, because their hair doesn’t feel dry on a daily basis. If your hair doesn’t feel dry, leave it alone. Or, as they say, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.
Continue reading “Are You Over Moisturizing Your Hair?”
Summer is right around the corner and it’s the perfect time to add a little pop of color to your hair. While there are plenty of different options to color your hair, there are a few tips that you should take note of in order to maintain healthy color treated hair.
It’s recommended that you don’t transition your hair more than a few shades lighter or darker than your current hair color. Making an extreme transition will increase your chances of permanent damage to your hair. Also, you do not wash your hair before you dye it. The natural oils in your hair protect it during the dying process.
Consult a Professional
The at home kits are tempting because they are cheap and quick, but when you are making such a major change you definitely want a professional to handle the job. A professional should have the experience to mix the right colors for your skin tone and make any corrections throughout the process if necessary.
Continue reading “5 Tips for After Color Hair Care”
I found this great infographic on Pinterest that outlines how to create a healthy hair regimen. For more details on creating a healthy hair regimen, check on my post from earlier this year.
There is a delicate dance that exist between protein and moisture that must be mastered in order to have and maintain healthy hair. The two components are co-dependent and neither can work well on its own without the other. The hair breakage we experience is most often the result of an imbalance between the protein and moisture elements that make up the hair strand.
Protein + Moisture
Water molecules bind easily to a sound protein structure within the hair. Hence, moisture is absorbed better when the hair’s protein needs are sufficiently met. Consider your hair to be a garden and the hair a plant. Moisture would be the water and protein the dirt. If for any reason there is too much or too little of water or dirt, the plant can’t grow. It’s the same synergistic relationship that moisture and protein have together, and keeping the hair balanced between the two is very important.
Achieving the right balance involves using the right combination of moisture and protein on your hair. Which means you have to get acquainted with your personal hair needs. No hairdresser, family member, friend or natural hair blogger knows your hair better than you. You have to experiment with different products, methods of application, and frequency to see what works best for your hair.
Continue reading “Maintaining the Balance: Protein & Moisture”