Black Women's Transitions to
By Del Sandeen, About.com Guide
When you want to return to your natural hair, you have two choices on how to get there: cut all of the processed hair off (also known as doing the "big chop") or transition, cutting off the straightened hair bit by bit while your new growth comes in. While cutting off all of the relaxed hair may be easier – it will certainly get you used to dealing with your natural hair in a hurry – not every woman wants to go that route. You may not like how you look with short hair, you may worry about other people's reactions or you may simply prefer longer hair.
To make it through the transition phase with a minimum of frustration, try these tips: >> continue reading
***Here are some definitions and natural hair terms to help you get to know your natural hair. Listen to your hair, learn what your hair likes and what it doesn’t like, what works for one natural might not work for another. Experiment and always try and keep it simple, this will help you on your hair journey***
Aloe Vera Gel: Conditions the hair adding moisture and shine. It is also known for aiding in hair growth for people with hair loss. Aloe gel can replace many gels that have bad ingredients.
Almond Oil: Moisturizes and softens hair. Softens dead skin on the scalp, making the skin easier to remove.
Amla Oil: This is part of the Ayurvedic regimen. The oil comes from the Indian gooseberry and is very nourishing for the hair and scalp. It strengthens the hair, adds shine, and is said to promote hair growth, prevent premature graying, and hair loss.
APL: Arm pit length
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): This is diluted with water and used as a rinse to clarify the hair and scalp, removing build up and preventing dandruff. ACV also corrects pH balance of the hair, which closes the hairs cuticle, making it smooth with less frizz and giving you ultimate shine. For your ACV mix you will need 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and 2 cups of water.
Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ASL): Found in most shampoos, and is an ingredient to stay away from because it is very drying. . . Learn More>>
Natural Hair 101
In order to have a successful natural hair journey, you must first understand exactly what the term natural hair really means.
There are several different definitions of the term, but below I’ve provided the most common definition, and the one that we will talk about most often on the blog:
The term natural hair is defined as relaxer-free hair, which is different from chemical-free hair. Chemicals, on the surface, are often considered dangerous, but this is often times not the case at all. Most chemicals that you encounter on a daily basis are perfectly safe and harmless. For example, water or H2O is a safe chemical.
Black natural hair is sometimes labeled as nappy hair that needs to be corrected by a relaxer. We’ve heard of situations where women have been discriminated against in the workplace due to having natural hairstyles, which are deemed unprofessional by some employers. . . continue reading >>
The Getting Started Guide
1) If you don't know much about natural hair care start by getting an understanding of the structure of hair and how it grows.
2) Study your own hair and analyze your hair characteristics to determine the curl pattern, porosity, density, and texture. This will also help you determine what you need to do to meet your individual hair needs.
3) Do not be a hair follower. Focus on learning what your hair likes and dislikes through trial and error. Use the advice of others but do not take it as the gospel and do not do things just because everyone else is doing it; this even includes tips you get from me. Just because it works for MsLala doesn't mean it works for everyone.
4)Avoid information overload. There is so much information out there. I encourage you to go through the hair care section of this site first. Then you may want to check out some of the books and other recommended resources.
5) Acronyms and terminology can become overwhelming. Visit hair terms if your come across a word or acronym that you do not know.
6) As you try different techniques and products with your hair you can then begin creating your regimen. Many times people want to jump right into >> continue reading
400 Years Without A Comb
by Willie L Morrow 400 Years Without a Comb studies the effect the denial of sufficient hair care tools had on African slaves in America. Willie Morrow has written more than 5 books and created more than 20 videos on barbering, styling, and the history of Black hair. 400 Years Without a Comb locates the origin of the good hair/bad hair argument in the days of and following slavery. Willie L Morrow. 400 Years Without a Comb: The Untold Story. San Diego, CA: California Curl, 1973. (220 pp.) *The book is out of print, but is available at major county, university, college/community college libraries. If you don't live by any of these institutions, an interlibrary loan can be processed at your local library.
Oils Explained: Essential Oils & Carrier Oils For Hair
There are several oils that can be used in hair. By now we know that using mineral oil and petroleum oils and their derivatives is not necessarily the best thing for hair as they seal out moisture, thus contributing to hair dryness in the long run. If like me, you were a bit confused as to what the best oils are for hair and when you should use them, this article offers a look at what the major oils are and which ones are especially good for hair.
Essential Oils Essential Oils are also called EOs. Oil is considered “essential” in the sense that it carries a distinctive scent, or essence, of the plant from which the oil is extracted. Essential oils are volatile, and are usually derived from the non-seed parts of the plants. Essential oils are generally extracted by distillation.
Essential oils are very useful in homemade hair care products and many of them are very good to treat scalp conditions such as tea tree oil for dandruff, rosemary to grow hair faster, lavender for dry scalp, and peppermint for itchy scalp and to stimulate hair growth. If you are a ‘do it yourselfer’ you can create some very beneficial hair care products for your hair or you can enhance your store bought products by adding a few drops to them for added benefits. >> continue reading