A How-To Guide to Thicken Natural Hair

Young black woman, afro hairstyle, in urban backgroundWe all want what we can’t have. Those of us with fine strands of hair want thicker hair and those with thicker hair would jump at the chance of having finer hair. I’m constantly asked about ways to thicken natural hair, both by strangers and family alike.

Let me just start by telling you that if you aren’t suffering from an issue like Hypothyroidism, thinning hair or other serious hair condition, you can’t really thicken up your hair. You can give the appearance of more volume, but normal to healthy hair remains physically the same as far as number of hair strands and thickness.

When you were being formed in your mother’s womb, your genetics determined the exact number of hair follicles or “roots” that you will ever have. Yes, there are products on the market that claim to thicken hair, but most will give off the appearance of thicker hair because again you can’t change the number of follicles you have. But that’s not to say a curly girl can’t dream. If you incorporate one or more of the tips below, you can give off the appearance of more volume.

Here are 7 ways to give you the appearance of thicker hair, naturally:

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A How To Guide to Moisturizing Your Natural Hair

African woman mad at her hairMoisture is arguably the most important part of a healthy hair regimen. Without moisture you end up with dry, frizzy hair that splits and breaks off.  Water is the only form of moisture that exists. However, water alone isn’t effective in keeping moisture in your hair due to evaporation. Here are a few things you need to know about effectively moisturizing your natural hair.

Sealing

Our scalp naturally produce sebum (oil) that is designed to coat the hair strand. But those of us with curls and kinks, have a hard time with sebum naturally running down the path of the hair strands, to coat and moisturize the hair. So we must moisturize and oil our strands manually.

After adding moisture (water) to your hair, you should seal in that moisture with naturally penetrating oil such as olive oil or coconut oil. You can seal with oil alone and/or with a leave-in that has these oils listed in the first five ingredients. These oils help by creating a barrier at the cuticle, preventing the water from evaporating off of your strands at an accelerated rate.

Effective Sealing

With all parts of a hair regimen, you have to find out what works best for your hair. Sealing can vary from person to person. For some, sealing with oil may not be enough. Those with thicker hair may need to add either a watery leave-in conditioner, before sealing, and/or a oil-based, creamy leave-in conditioner, after sealing, for their hair to remain properly moisturized after it is completely dry.

After washing and sealing with oil, ask yourself, “Does my hair still feel soft and moisturized after it is fully dry?” If the answer is no, you may need to tweak your regimen to effective seal your strands. You can test by applying different sealing methods to each side of your hair after washing.

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6 Steps to Properly Wash Your Hair

Cute African American using shampoo

Washing hair seems like a concept that most people know how to do, but that’s not always the case. If you’ve haven’t been properly taught how to wash your hair, you may not be doing it in the most effective way. Here are 6 steps to properly washing your hair.

  1. Rinse:

Rinse your hair with warm water for 1 minute before applying your clarifier of your choice. The warm water will open your cuticles to prepare them for cleansing and 60 seconds under the shower stream will drench your hair enough to get fully clean.

  1. Shampoo the Scalp:

Add your shampoo or clarifier of choice to your scalp, not to the ends of your hair. Gently massage the shampoo into your scalp for a few minutes. Then Rinse out your hair. The shampoo will run down the length of your hair, cleansing the ends. The ends are the oldest part of your hair and has therefore been clarified more than the new growth. Too much cleansing can cause damage to weakened or older hair.

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7 Ways to Stretch Your Curls

African woman mad at her hair

Patience is not a characteristic that many naturals possess. Many people want long hair quickly and the dreaded shrinkage of natural hair can be the bane of a curly girls existence. Many curly girls pull, stretch, and find different styling methods to show the length of their hair.

First, let me say that shrinkage is great. It’s an indicator that you have strong, healthy hair. If you pull your hair and it springs back without breaking, it’s a sign of great strength and elasticity. Also, keep in mind that fighting against shrinkage can really damage your hair especially if too much heat or tension is applied to your hair and scalp. So use the following methods of stretching your curls with caution.

Thoroughly Detangle

This may sound like a “duh” statement but if you simply thoroughly detangle your hair in the conditioning and styling process, you will have more stretched curls. When hair isn’t fully detangled, it may mat up and tangle around itself, causing shrinkage.

Blow Dry Roots

I would advise using any heat with caution. Blow drying your roots can be a quick and easy method of stretching your curls. After washing or wetting your hair, let it air dry until it’s about 85-90% dry. Lightly tug on your hair and blow dry the roots on medium heat.    Don’t blow dry them straight, just enough to stretch your curls slightly.

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5 Facts about Heat & Natural Hair

Attractive woman drying her hair.

Heat has become an essential element in how most people style their hair. You have flat irons, blow dryers, curling irons and more to achieve a desired look. Unfortunately, heat can wreak havoc on beautiful natural curls and can permanently damage healthy hair. To limit damage to your hair and to use heat successfully, it’s important to be equipped with the facts. Consider these 5 facts below when adding heat to your styling routine.

1. Heat Damage Can’t Be Repaired

Heat damage can be prevented or treated but not repaired. When your hair is damaged by heat or any other source, it’s permanently damaged. High or excessive heat can permanently break the bonds within hair strands. Products that are on the market that promise to repair damaged hair are misleading. The simply act as a serum that give the hair the “appearance” that it’s not damaged but doesn’t actually reverse the damage.

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5 Naturally Romantic Hairstyles for Valentine’s Day

Most women like to do something special with their hair for holidays and special occasions. These events provide the perfect opportunity to show the versatility of your natural hair. Check out a few styles to consider for Valentine’s Day this weekend.

Adding a romantic hair accessory like a headband or flower can easily spice up your braid out or twist out.

vday1 - B vday1

Swooping your hair to the side always creates a romantic look. Check out this tutorial:

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Veggie Curls Logo

Welcome to Veggie Curls

I’ve been hesitant to start a personal blog for a while. After managing several corporate blogs, I’m a little tapped out of the social media space. However, since I’m in a constant state of answering the same questions repeatedly regarding my hair and food choices, I thought 2015 would be my year to dedicate time to answering those questions in one place.

My Hair Story:

Around the age of 7 or 8 I was given my first relaxer by my aunt and was bound to the “creamy crack” since that time. I never cared for the whole process of getting a relaxer so by the time I was graduating from college in 2009, I made the conscious decision to stop. At this time I hadn’t seen the movie “Good Hair” and had no idea I was going “natural”. I just knew I despised getting relaxers. As I transitioned I was introduced to great blogs like Curly Nikki, Quest for the Perfect Curl, Hey Fran Hey, and Black Girl Long Hair. These blogs educated me and gave me the encouragement to know that there were other women who looked like me going through the same triumphs and tribulations of this natural hair journey. In 2010, I cut off the rest of my relaxed ends and the rest is history.

natural hair collage

Becoming “Veganish”:

I started going vegan about 6 months prior to starting this blog. I wouldn’t say that I’m a full vegan. I would classify myself as veganish. Vegan for me is not consuming any meat, milk, or eggs. I eat a complete vegan diet in my home and conform to vegetarian eating when I’m out socially.

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