Here are SIX of Mahisha’s summertime tips to help put damaged, split, brittle, frizzy hair at bay!
1. Before entering a pool, lake, ocean, or any body of water, drench your hair with water and apply a coat of conditioner to protect and coat the hair. See below – Mahisha’s At-Home Milk & Honey Tress Smoothie (a pre and post conditioner). Made from pure coconut milk, avocado, olive oil and honey, this delectable delight will fill up the gaps in your hair shaft and act as a barrier from the chlorinated water.
2. Immediately after swimming in chlorinated or salt water, purify your curls with a clarifying shampoo. CURLS Pure Curls Clarifying Shampoo was formulated to rid the hair of these curl killing chemicals. It is the ideal summer cleanser to gently, and effectively remove chlorine. Pineapple extract nourishes as grapefruit extract adds sheen while removing buildup from unwanted chemicals. Follow up with a deep conditioner.
3. Over-shampooing and under-conditioning are common culprits to dry and frizzy hair…especially in the summer months. Shampooing more than 1x a week is not recommended on naturally curly hair. On "shampoo-less" days, simply do a conditioning rinse - rinse hair to remove styling products (this is when using the right products that are water soluble come in). Apply an ample amount of your favorite Conditioner (CURLS Curl Ecstasy Hair Conditioner), comb through, rinse, and proceed with styling. Doing so will pump much needed moisture back into your hair without stripping away essential nutrients, rinse away unnecessary dirt and oil, and give you a fresh, clean start.
4. Avoid products that contain synthetic oils such as mineral and/or petrolatum oil, as they sit on the hair, blocking out moisture further dehydrating your hair. Also avoid products that contain drying alcohol, such as hair spray, mousse and some gels. Instead, opt for a curl creams and lotions.
5. Pay special attention to the ends of your hair; after all, they are the oldest part of the hair. Mix a bit of a conditioner with a natural oil, apply, and comb through ends; leave in for extra protection.
6. Hydrate curls DAILY...this is very important! Quenched Curls Moisturizer is excellent as it softens the hair, eases comb ability, moisturizes and conditions, preps it for the next step, and leaves a little goodness behind. This product can be used daily under any styling product you use. Consider this "underwear for your hair. It is a great “2nd day hair” reviver as it tames “bed head.”
Mahisha’s At-Home Milk & Honey Tress Smoothie - Pre/Post Swim Treatment
- 1 can of pure coconut milk (rich moisturize - hydrates, conditions and de-frizzes hair)
- 1 ripe avocado (natural source of protein - chlorine robs the hair of protein)
- 2 tablespoons of pure honey (conditions and adds sheen)
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil (hydrophobic oil that acts as a barrier to chlorine and salt water)
Add ingredients to blender. Mix at high speed until your concoction reaches a smoothie consistency. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
You can warm up your hair smoothie in the microwave before next application.
Instructions for Use:
- Section hair into 4 segments.
- Generously apply evenly to hair, from root to ends concentrating on ends...as they are the most prone to damage.
- Smooth hair into a protective style (e.g. braided ponytail, or bun).
- Enjoy your day at the pool, lake, or ocean!
Als Simmons (http://lion-essence.blogspot.com)
Where are you from?
St Vincent, Caribbean but living in London, UK since 1998
How long have you been Loc'd?
Loc’d since January, 2001
Tell us your hair story. Why did you decide to loc?
Locs Locs Locs… I’m always on the look out for new tips and hair style ideas. I actually started locs on the spur of a moment. I was washing my hair and I really couldn’t be bothered to go through the process of clearing and combing etc and so I called my big sis in the bathroom and told her to cut. I went from having 6 inches of hair to less than an inch. For the first time in my known life I had no hair to cover my high forehead. I looked like a boy. In a weird way, it was liberating. That was September 2000 and I finally decided to twist them in the New Year. Back then, there was hardly any good information online on how to start or do locs and care for natural hair. Well, if you count a couple web-links on how to backcomb and create locs, but those were catered for the whiter audience. Luckily, I found an advert in the newspaper of a natural hair shop and so I went there and got them started. My mother and friends were horrified and shock, but I had the determination to keep going no matter what people might say.
What do you like most about being loc'd?
I love having locs. Now, so many people have or want to have them. A couple of friends have told me that they now want locs after seeing mines. At work, I always stand out. I love how my locs look and love taking care of them. The fact that my hair is protected and well cared for and also they are allowed to have in some way a life of their own in a way. I like my locs being slightly messy and wild. I love the freedom! I’m not a fan of neat looking locs. The thing is now that they are longer; my scalp is too tender of styles, so I leave them free to blow in the wind.
What technique has helped you the most?
I do my own hair and have been doing that for the past 4 yrs. But, I normally treat my hair every 4 months or so to a trip to my favourite loctician, Jay from www.locs4life.co.uk. I get them oil steamed/condition and styles. Sadly, the style normally last a day because my scalp is too tender. At home, I wash and condition while in the shower and then hand twist. I let my hair air dry. What has helped me the most is that at the start; I went to Jay’s salon very frequently and watched how she did my hair so now I can do my own real good. I’m always reading lots of blogs and websites to find out the best hair products. I normally mix my own oils.
Your advice to the readers
My advice to all readers is to learn to care for your own hair and love it, if you don’t. Continue to publish your hair stories and recommendations on your blogs because I love reading about what’s happening with you and your hair. I have gained so much knowledge from your blogs. Continue to be comfortable in your own skin because your love and respect for self is greatly helping another generation of black women and men. Stay bless and thanks for reading!
Feel free to discuss this further in the comments!
Black Hair, Still Tangled in Politics
by Catherine Saint Louis
For many people no matter their race or hair texture, accepting yourself “as you are” is a high bar. The history of beauty is one of dissatisfaction and transformation: brunettes become blondes; white women get their curly hair Japanese-straightened. To go from short to shoulder-length and back again, celebrities from Britney Spears to Queen Latifah use weaves, which require a stylist to sew or to glue someone else’s hair into tracks on the scalp.
So why, asks Brian Smith, who runs TreasuredLocks.com with his wife, Tywana, is a hairstyle a “political or social statement” primarily among African-Americans? He has had customers implore him to stop giving hair-care advice to people who use relaxers because “you’re helping these women sell out.” But he and his wife, who now twists her hair herself after years of relaxing it, don’t take sides.
The term “natural” is itself problematic, said Professor Banks, the author of “Hair Matters: Beauty, Power, and Black Women’s Consciousness.” She recently spent 14 months in black-centric salons in five cities researching a future book. Natural hair salons don’t offer chemical straightening or weaves. But she found “a great deal of coloring in natural hairstyling, thereby challenging the ‘chemically free’ label.”
Oddly, Patricia Gaines, the founder of Nappturality.com, a pro-natural Web site, points out that dyeing one’s Afro puffs or double-strand twists blond isn’t viewed as conforming to a Euro-centric look. “It’s never been about color with black women,” she said, referring to the tint of one’s hair. “If it’s blond hair and it’s nappy, it’s still nappy.” (A term she uses proudly, though some use it as a slur.)
Read the full article...
Would you change your hair's current state to please your significant other?
(i.e Would you go natural or relax just for them?)
Sometimes the haircut can say a lot about the person. The cloud of hair around someone's head seems to be not only a hair style but a type of manifest of a person's "self".
Recently I have decided to set up an ongoing photo project portraiting Afro-headed people.
I placed an ad on the Internet and some of the people who responded were invited to stand in front of my camera. The following portraits display their individuality, style and character.
If you're in the UK or planning on visiting the UK, you can be apart of this project! Be sure to drop him a line: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 1. Make a paste by mixing olive oil, 1 tablespoon of Manuka honey and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Apply and massage on the scalp and leave it for 15-20 minutes. Wash off and repeat it for 3-4 times a week.
- 2. Mix one tablespoon honey with one small glass of brandy or vodka and onion juice; rub mixture into the scalp every night, cover with a cap and shampoo in the morning.
- 3. Combine 1/4 cup of onion juice with one tablespoon of raw honey, and then massage the scalp with the mixture every night.
- 4. Massage into the scalp and hair honey with egg yolk. Leave for a 1/2 hour, then wash. This is a common natural cure for dull and dry hair.
Pumpkin Honey Mask
- 4 tablespoons of peeled pumpkin
- 4 teaspoons of corn flour
- 2 teaspoons of aloe vera gel
- 2 teaspoons of mashed pineapple
- 1 teaspoon of green tea
- ½ teaspoon of sunflower oil
Apply the mix on the face and neck and leave on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse off with warm water and pad dry. This amount is enough for 4 applications. Keep it in a glass jar, tightly closed and refrigerated. It is not to be used after 2 weeks.
Hawaii Face Mask
- ½ of ripe papaya
- ½ cup of fresh pineapple
- 2 teaspoons of honey
- 2 teaspoons of green tea.
Apply the mask on clean face (you could use a facial steam to remove impurities). Apply the mask on the face and leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse the face with warm water and pat dry.
This mask can be used within a week, simply keep it in a glass jar, tightly closed and refrigerated.
Oily Skin Honey Parsley Mask
- 4 teaspoon of honey
- ¼ of a cup of chopped parsley.
Anti aging Honey Mask
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 1 teaspoon of glycerin or vegetable oil.
Relaxing Honey Mask
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 2 tablespoons of sour cream
- Oatmeal or wheat
Honey hair loss remedies:
Honey for the skin:
Considering the Brazilian Keratin Treatment? As with all methods of straightening natural hair, caution should be taken. Here's a little piece of interesting information from Dr. Ali Syed's blog regarding "keratin", "formaldehyde-free", or "aldehyde" BKT:
The truth is that they are actually using formaldehyde and in concentrations that exceed the legal limit. Two of the brands use 1.0% formaldehyde and the third one uses about 4.0% formaldehyde. The legal limit is 0.2%.
All of these brands pose serious health risks as the fumes generated during blow drying and flat ironing can cause headaches, irritation of the breathing pathways, eyes, and mucous membranes. Prolonged exposure can cause even worse problems.
Just remember to be careful and do your research before considering BKT or a relaxer.
The 'fro is getting bigger.
My hair defines more.
Finger-styling simplifies my life.
I'm loving natural products!
The ends of my hair can tangle if I manipulate it too much.
I'm nearing 4.5" in the tighter areas and 6" in the looser parts.
In a hairstyle rut? Here are some of our favorite hairstyles that you can rock for the fall!
- The Supa High Supa Fly Puff
- Natural Hair Updo's
- Curly Updo
- Finger Coils
- Flat Twists
- The Fro Hawk
- The Mega Bun
- Wet Twistout
- Dry Twistout
Is it relaxer-free hair?
Is it hair free of all chemicals (i.e. permanent hair color)?
Here are the ingredients as followed:
- Yogurt - 2 parts
For the protein and the conditioning properties.
- Baking Soda 1/2 part
To make the hair more porous.
- Amino Acids 1/2 part
To see what they did.
For more on The Cherry Lola Treatment, check out her website!
Price Range: $9.99-10.99 (11 oz)
Company: Aubrey Organics (http://www.aubrey-organics.com/)
Catch Phrase: The sweet smell of success for your hair. Trade those dry, thirsty tresses for vibrant, touchably soft hair with this moisture-intensive conditioner. Restorative herbal emollients detangle and rehydrate to leave hair ultra-silky and irresistibly fragrant. Also recommended for bleached or highlighted hair.
I got this conditioner along with the GPB. After rinsing my hair with baking soda and water, I DC'ed with the GPB and followed with the Honeysuckle Rose... my hair felt rough to the touch. A few days later, I tried the Honeysuckle by itself and my hair felt incredibly soft. The GPB made my hair strong so the Honeysuckle didn't really do much. But by itself, it's awesome. Try it for yourself! Has anybody tried it? Share your experiences!
Ingredients: Coconut Fatty Acid Cream Base, Organic Aloe Vera, Organic Shea Butter, Wheat Germ Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Rosa Mosqueta® Rose Hip Seed Oil; Extracts of Fennel, Hops, Balm Mint, Mistletoe, Camomile, Yarrow, Chrysanthemum, Angelica, Forsythia and Magnolia; Honeysuckle Oil, Carrot Oil, Aubrey’s Preservative (Citrus Seed Extract, Vitamins A, C and E).
This season on The Tyra Show we’re taking it to the next level and getting more real than ever before by encouraging women everywhere to own and rock what they’ve got and be proud! For the Season 5 premiere, I will be doing just that - no fake hair, I’m rocking my REAL hair. This will all be going down on September 8, 2009, which we’re declaring National Real Hair Day! We welcome everyone to go natural with me!
Once you bleach, she explains, you've altered the strength of your hair, making it weaker. If you add blow drying and styling on top of bleaching, you can really damage your 'do, causing hair breakage, a dull look, and split ends.
2. Perms - "Perming refers to either a chemical straightening or a chemical curling," Mirmirani says. "It works by breaking the inner bonds of the hair and re-forming them back together in a different way."
Like bleaching, it weakens your hair, leaving it dull and damaged over time so that instead of luxurious curly locks or shiny straight tresses, your hair looks brittle and dry.
3. Highlights and coloring - Highlights and semi-permanent dyes aren't as damaging as bleach, but they aren't without consequences, Mirmirani says. They can also change the inner structure of the hair, causing a lackluster look and dryness, especially if you frequently color to hide roots or gray hair.
4. Flat iron and blow-drying - "Heat causes temporary changes to the hydrogen bonds that hold hair together," Mirmirani says, and that can make hair look dull.
Over time, the temporary changes can lead to more permanent damage if you tend to blow dry or iron on a daily basis.
5. Ponytails and braids* - "Ponytails and braids can cause hair to break, especially if your style is pulled tightly," Mirmirani says. "If you wear it that way every day, permanent hair damage can occur."
Braiding or putting your hair in a ponytail when it's wet can cause damage sooner because wet hair is more fragile.
6. Over-brushing - Think 100 strokes a day will make your hair shiny and full? Think again.
"Over-brushing your hair can cause split ends and breakage, with the over-brushing causing just too much consistent friction for hair to handle," Mirmirani says.
Cheap brushes don't help either, causing snags and tangles that are hard to get out and resulting in broken hair and split ends.
7. Over-shampooing - "The goal of shampooing is to cleanse the scalp and remove oil buildup on your hair," Mirmirani says.
But over-washing can wash away your hair's natural moisture that helps your hair look healthy, making your hair dry. Although a significant amount of research has gone into making shampoos beneficial for your hair, you can still get too much of a good thing.
"The less vigorous you are in washing your hair, the less damage you'll do to the cuticle," Mirmirani tells WebMD. "And find a frequency to washing your hair that works for you ... whether it's a few times a week or every day."
How do you know when you are overdoing it?
"I have African-American patients who wash their hair once a week to avoid drying it out," Mirmirani says. "You can tell when it's too much if it starts to get dull, which means it's time to scale back on the shampooing."
8. Extensions and weaves* - Extensions and weaves are a lot like ponytails and braids. Over time, they can leave hair broken and brittle. The difference is the damage is at the roots where it is harder to cut out.
"If you have a discomfort or ache in the scalp, that indicates that what you've done to your hair is causing too much pressure at the roots," Mirmirani says.
Worse, traction alopecia is a serious hair loss condition caused by wearing tight hairstyles like extensions for too long a time period. So either keep it loose, or try growing your hair instead of going for instant length.
*If too tight, these styles are damaging. If done correctly, they work as great protective styles.
It's best to add oils and conditioners to your relaxer right before applying it.
Janine Cofield/Handmade design
Where are you from?
How long have you been Natural?
I have been Natural for about 7 years.
Tell us your hair story. Why did you decide to go Natural?
I actually had been natural most of my child hood. I got a perm in the 3rd grade and it took my hair out and then I got another perm in the 7th grade because I got picked on because I had natural hair.
When I 16 years I really wanted to go natural again but was really scared of what people might think. So in 2002 when I was a sophomore in college, I decide to stop perming my hair, I really didn't like the way I looked with it, but I kept weave in it like all the time and when I didn't have weave I had a wig. It's really funny because I had been with my boyfriend for about 2 weeks when I decided to cut my perm out. It just wasn't leaving fast enough. I woke up one morning and went to the bathroom and just start cutting it out. It looked a hot mess! So I went to the hair dresser and she said that a texturizer would look great on me cause of this new afro I just created on my head. It was the worse thing ever. My afro was lopsided because she cut my hair with scissors and not clippers and hair was too juicy and it was never even. Very Gross! I had this for about three weeks.
But because I have never really cared for natural hair I didn't know what to do with it. My boyfriend did my hair for about a week and brought me a pick and showed me how to use it. Well then he finally told me to go to a barber to fix it. When I did it was the best thing ever. He chopped it all off. I had a fade. I was beautiful! Now it started to grow again I still didn't know what to do with it if it wasn't short, so I locked it up and colored it. I had dreads for about 4 years and love them so much. Who knew with my hair being natural it would grow so long, and I use to twist them up myself, my cousin taught me how to do it. I just recently decide to cut them off. So now I am back to my afro and now I know how to take care of my hair a little better. I will never go back I love the way I look way too much.
What do you like most about being Natural?
I really love the way I look and how I don't have to worry about curling it everyday just to look nice. My hair is health and it grows better. When I had a perm I could barely get it to grow. I feel like me.
What technique has helped you the most?
Well since I have had my afro I have to wash it at least once a week and condition it right after. No heat!
Your advice to the readers:
I am still figuring out how to care for my hair properly. Going Natural is a process, weather it's the big chop or slowing cutting out the perm an, it is not only about hair. It's about being comfortable with the way you look with the natural hair God gave you. You beautiful. You just have to see it.
Where are you from?
How long were you Natural before?
I've been natural on and off for 12 years. I decided to stay natural for good (lifetime) in 2006 as a promise to myself to live as naturally and healthy as possible. I shaved my shoulder length hair back then and have been growing it out since. I recently did another big chop (shaved my shoulder-length hair again!) because of damage from a harsh permanent dye color job. I am enjoying my short and easy 'do and look forward to the styles I will rock as my hair grows back.
Tell us your hair story. Why did you decide to BC again?
I always loved lighter-colored hair...I just think it looks good on me and so I would dye my hair using Feria products, usually a light blonde color. However when you dye (bleach) your hair a blonde color you must remember to moisturize your hair and condition it even more than you would normally, and with my schedule and commitments I failed to do that so my hair was seriously dry and damaged...so I knew a BC was necessary. In addition I am recent MBA graduate and going to interviews I would straighten my hair at my fave Dominican salon, straightening my hair ever 8-10 weeks caused me to lose my natural curl pattern; so between that and the damage from the hair coloring I decided to start "from scratch" all over again.
What do you like most about being Natural?
I love the versatility of hair styles that are so easy to obtain with natural hair... I can straighten if I want to (though I don't plan to do that more than 4-5 times in a year), I can rock it curly, wavy, knots... and I love the feeling of showing my "true" me
What technique has helped you the most?
Deep conditioning and wearing a plastic cap overnight 2-3 times a week with a leave-in conditioner has helped me tremendously. Also braided-twist out that I moisturize daily is great low-maintenance style that is easy to maintain, condition and style.
Your advice to the readers:
If you decide to color your hair a significant level of shades lighter than your natural color don't do it yourself, seek a professionals advice, help and care, and then speak to them about products that you can use at home to make sure your hair stays in its top condition. And moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!
Price Range: CC $29.99-31.99 (16 oz) KT $11.99-13.99 (8 oz)
Company: Kinky-Curly (http://www.kinky-curly.com/)
Catch Phrase: CURLING CUSTARD™ gives moisture and curl definition, hold and brilliant shiny hair all in one product! KNOT TODAY™ is a creamy herbal conditioner and detangler designed to smooth the cuticle and remove knots, snarls and tangles from thick curly textured hair.
Okay, I really wasn't willing to spend 30 bucks on a product that may or may not work. Even the cashier woman at Whole Foods told me, "You do know this is a thirty-dollar gel right? I wouldn't buy it." Ha ha. So, over the next few days, I used only the Curling Custard and Knot Today... best decision EVER! The products work sooo well together and I love the coil definition I'm getting. The only downside is that I'm almost done with the Knot Today Conditioner. I can finally see why so many women swear by these products; they're wonderful. I seriously love the feel of my hair. I added some pictures and if look, you can see that my hair clumps together better. Has anybody tried it? Share your experiences!
Ingredients: (KCCC) botanical infusion of water, horsetail, chamomile, nettle and marshmallow, organic aloe vera juice, agave nectar extract, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin e), pectic, citric acid, potassium sorbate and natural fragrance (KCKT) organic Mango fruit extract, organic slipper elm, organic marshmallow root, organic lemongrass, cetyl alcohol, behentrimonium methosulfate, citric acid, phenoxyethanol and natural fragrance.
And here's the official trailer for Chris Rock's documentary, "Good Hair" -- the doc features Paul Mooney, Raven Symone, Meagan Good, Nia Long, and other famous celebs!
Over the past few months I've been seeking as much 'knowledge of self' as possible. In these studies, I wanted to dissect as much about myself as possible. Find the why behind everything. In terms of the food I chose to eat, the activities in which I chose to indulge, etc etc, leading into me and my hair.
When delving into the issue of hair... I researched the origin of the relaxer, dissecting why we relax our hair, questioning why do we choose to assimilate, the messages we send when we wear relaxed hair etc etc. But 'on the surface' it didn't make sense either. Why are we letting someone (who HAS to wear gloves) put a CHEMICAL on the closest pores/follicle to our brain!?! Why do we 'hate' our new growth?
From there, the decision was made! I had to immediately cut it off. I didn't feel comfortable in my own skin until I cut it. My barber and I chose to wait for a full moon. So I waited for about a week and a half before the actual cut: felt like a month!