Winter Hair Care

Oh goodness it’s almost that time of year again where we look at ourselves in the mirror and can’t recognize our own hair. It goes all crazy on us! It’s dry, brittle and breaking and we have no clue what to do with it…. Yes ladies…. You got it…W.I.N.T.E.R!!! It is fast approaching, and there is no avoiding it. The best favor we can do for our hair right now is to be PREPARED. Proactive as opposed to reactive…. Actually this applies to life in general, but I will stick to the hair stuff. J

Funny enough our winter temperatures here in Zim are nothing compared to other countries… but at the same time our hair is used to warm climate so any change will definitely affect us even if we don’t have snow! So what must we do to prepare NOW so that when the temperatures drop we are ready….

I recommend three key things to do ….

Read

Winter is like exam period for our hair. You will need to have healthy hair care info at your fingers tips if you are going to make it through. So read read read ladies! The more you understand what you need to do to your hair and WHY, the more likely you are to look after your hair and the more effective your efforts will be.

Apply

All the info you’ve been reading will have to be put into practice through during winter. You can’t get away with reading but doing nothing to help your hair afterwards. The cold temperatures and dry winds are no friend to our hair ladies so having knowledge without action is a big NO NO. Your hair will definitely break… so let’s not be left wanting.

Build a winter regimen

This is a combination of the first two points. It’s your action plan/game plan for the winter. The winter regimen that you will build will be centered around key hair issues that arise during the winter like dryness and breakage and doing everything you can to prevent them. It’s really quite easy…. Your regimen should be centred around moisturising and protective styling to keep your hair hiden away from the elements and to facilitate length retention. If you were not a protective styler before, the winter is definitely the time when you need to become one. Now it’s time to do your reading and put your thinking caps on for a new regimen. If you have anything interesting that you want to try and share please let us all know… the more we share ideas the better off we are so I’ll be waiting for the comments….

 

Start a hair Challenge

A great way to stay motivated over the winter is to start a new hair challenge. Give yourself some goals and go or them! It’s even more fun when it’s a little competitive too. So I’m thinking a tHs WINTER HAIR CHALLENGE would be fun and beneficial to help all of us stay motivated over the winter period. With prizes at the end of course… All those in favor “SAY I” … Well…. in the form of a comment. I’d love to get a feel of how many people are willing to get involved…. So don’t be shy ladies. Post a comment “I’m in” on the tHS Winter Hair Challenge post to enter 😀 “Healthy hair is for us ALL” and this is how we will get there…

~XoXoXo~

K.

 

 

 

 

 

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Tale of the Tufts-: Nape Care

Back in high school my friends and I would always tease each other about having tufts of hair that couldn’t be tied in a ponytail or any style for that matter. Without hair gel there was nothing to keep them down and they were great at making any hair style look scruffy and unkempt in no time…. Lol. Are you having flash back ladies? Or maybe this is what you are still dealing with on a daily basis? Either way it’s something that needs to be discussed because it is a very common hair issue for us black women. Just like hairline our nape need extra care because it can thin out, break, become uneven…the works…good thing though is it can be fixed 😀 I have been working on mine for a whillllle now. and it has not been easy  especially if after my relaxer incident. Any way lets get in to it…

The photo below is a random one I found on the internet of those tufts…. I must say though that those tufts are quite full… some people are thin and even or even balding like the hairline….. this can be avoided.

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What is your Nape?

The back of your neck and the hair that is in that area

Why our nape is so sensitive to breakage?

Ø       * Structural differences of hair

This I believe is the main reason why. Structurally you know now that our type 4 hair is structurally weaker anyway and usually the hair around our nape and hairline is a lot softer/weaker with a different curl pattern to the rest of our heads. This hair and scalp is very sensitive on MY head around my nape. It needs a lot of TLC as it will be the first to break off as a result of manipulation, friction and stress from styling. However all is not lost. There are a number of things that we can do to reduce the breakage along our nape and retain length.

 *Sensitive scalp

If you are anything like me you know alllll to well about this. The aching of the scalp, the bumps, the constant relaxer burns… ugghhh. It’s no fun, and because my scalp is sooo sensitive I have to be even more cautious with my scalp and pay special attention to the sensitive areas like my nape or else BREAKAGE. I baby my nape as much as I baby my hair line…It’s VERY NECESSARY and luckily it’s yielded the results…hard work pays off 🙂 if you have your jbco and are doing the castor oil challenge besure to massage it into you scalp along your nape.

What causes breakage along the nape?

Too much tension – When we braid our hair too tightly we cause a lot of stress to our strands that become weaker and break. There’s no need to have your hair extremely tight when braiding. It looks nice and ‘neat’ to tart out but give yourself a few months and there will be no hair to braid. Even a simple bun or pony tail when put in too tight is detrimental to our hair.

Lack of moisture – Our hair needs to remain elastic, so that when we brush it, it doesn’t not snap off. Rather it should stretch and spring back into place. Dry hair WILL break.

Heat damage – Our hair is structurally weaker than other hair types and constant exposure to direct heat causes excessive breakage at the nape as the hair becomes dry, thin and brittle. 

Over brushing– Our hair likes to be left alone and so when we constantly brush and manipulate it we experience breakage.

Tight hair accessories – From head bands, head scarfs to hair scrunchies all of these things can be of detriment to our sensitive nape as they pull and tug and cause tension and friction.

Friction – there’s a lot of friction between our nape hair and whatever we are wearing ALL day long. It’s the first point of contact, so whether it’s scarfs or shirts when our hair comes in contact with it, eventually it weakens and breaks off.

 

So what shall we do to stop breakage?

The opposite of all the things that cause breakage! Lol

 

but…Here are a few key things that have worked for me…. and I have the results to show it…. My nape is not perfect but it’s definitely good work in progress…and I can tie a good pony tail without worrying about “tufts” anymore….I can pull my nape hair in all directions as it’s growing along with the rest of my hair *fist pumps
IMG_5984
……Pictures of my nape hair taken today… (I even photo edited a little for fun 🙂 )

Caution when relaxing

Now that we understand how relaxers work from my post on hair teams, I don’t need to go into much detail on the impact of chemicals on our hair. Given the hair around the nape is a lot softer/weaker breakage is most likely to occur here if the hair is not pre-treated before relaxers and well maintained after.……..When I relax my hair I apply the relaxer to my hairline and nape right at the very END. This is something I decided to do recently after I read more about differences in hair texture and I was sick of constantly getting burns on the base of my scalp. I also drench the hair in an oil or vaseline to slow down the relaxer process on my hair.(texlaxing)

Make your nape your baby…

The same way your sensitive hairline needs TLC is the way our nape does too! It’s just as sensitive and yet people tend to forget about it until they want an up do and alas, their hair doesn’t reach.lol… When washing your hair be gentle. Don’t use harsh aggressive strokes, rather gently create the lather in the shampoo using circular motions and gently rise out. Carry out protein treatments and always keep the hair free of tension and moisturized. Also be gentle when combing, detangling…finger combing IS your friend!

Also one more random thing…. when you shower/ bath… try not to yet your nape get wet. This is something that happenes to alot of us when our hair is in protective styles. I say this because our nape get dirty very quickly and so that contact with water makes our hair get matted together. then the day come to un do out hair and we experience stuck matted hair that’s impossible to detangle/comb….BREAKAGE!!….

Remember ladies ….”HEALTHY HAIR IS FOR US ALL”

~XoXoXo~

K.

❀❀ tHs Castor Oil Growth Challenge :Cycle 1 ❀❀

Challenge Guidelines:

 

  • tHs Castor Oil Challenge Cycle 1 – **23 October 2013 – 15 January 2014**
  • Challenge 1 Goals – Hairline growth AND increased hair thickness**
  • Protective style – Wig or Weave. NO BRAIDS during hairline challenge.  (email me for consults on personalized wig/weave regimens)**
  • Take starting pictures and submit by the first day of the challenge to kundayimawema@gmail.com
  • Follow challenge regimen for three months taking note of any problems or improvements
  • Submit final pictures after on the last day of the challenge for final review of results
  • Challenge winners announced on tHs the following week

            *1st place winner of challenger will receive 1 bottle of Jamaican Black Castor Oil. 8oz

             *2nd place winner will receive 2 bottles of an essential oil TBA

 

…WHAT TO DO….

Oil scalp with JBCO and MS 4x week

  • Heat 2-3 teaspoons of JBCO until warm and thin, NOT HOT.either heat in microwave or sit the bottle in hot water to warm the oil
  • First apply JBCO to the hairline and gently but firmly smooth product in using fingertips. JBCO is sticky so be gentle and smooth in ONE direction as you don’t want to pull out.
  • Next apply JBCO to the rest of the scalp in sections using your finger tips (between lines of cornrows if using a weave and between parted hair if using a wig)
  • Massage scalp deeply for 5minutes focusing on problem areas
  • Lightly moisturize  the length of your hair and the use JBCO to seal in oil. I recommend that you use the product residue from your scalp for the sealing.

Wash hair and do a deep conditioning treatment after 2weeks

  • Shampoo/co-wash hair every 2 weeks. 
  • Follow up with deep conditioner with heat – Add 3tblsp JBCO to your conditioner and sit under a heat cap OR cover hair with a plastic shower cap and warm towel Sit with this treatment for 30-40 mins then rinse out with cold water

 

Challenge Details:

~The tHs Challenges will run for 12weeks/ 3 month cycles throughout the year. With a 1month break in between each to give people a chance to re-group, re-visit their hair goals, and restock on product.

~All challenge participants will be required to take starting pictures of their hair before the start of the challenge. Focus on specific areas e.g the hairline or any thinning/balding areas as well as the length checks. Submit pics to kundayimawema@gmail.com with your name and the date of the picture by Friday 25th October 2013 to be eligible to enter the challenge. Then take pics of the same areas after 3months of the challenge and submit to the same email at the end of the challenge i.e by Friday 17 January 2014.

~Start and end pictures submitted by challenge participants will be reviewed to determine winners of the challenge. The winners will be chosen based on the most improved hair, length thickness, growth etc.

  • 1ST Prize- 8oz Jamaican Black Castor Oil
  • 2nd Prize- 2 Bottles of an essential oil

~Every challenge will have a goal/s in mind to help direct our efforts consistently and track specific results.

~There will be use of protective styles during the whole challenge– one that does not go against your hair goals.

~There will be no use of relaxers or flat irons during the challenge. Only blow drying on cool setting on wash days.

**Important- Any Castor oil that is NOT 100% pure is NOT acceptable for the challenge.

Only use Jamaican Black Castor Oil on your hair, pharmacy castor oil is not considered for the challenge as the benefits are not the same..

~Deep condition with heat every 2 weeks and add JBCO to the conditioner to maintain moisture, elasticity and strength of our hair throughout the challenge

~Winners of the blog will be featured as tHs Hair Story Feature: Castor Oil Challenge Winners, as well as anyone who would like to share their results.

Tea Rinses

After reading my washday feedback or just the title of this post I’m sure there are a lot of you wondering what exactly is TEA RINSING?!? Yes it refers to the tea we drink, who would have thought! I found it odd at first but when it comes to my hair I’m like ok, if others are doing it and getting results then I’ll give it a shot. So let’s talk about it.

 What is tea rinsing?

Rinsing your hair with black, green or other herbal tea mixes. You can apply the tea by either pouring it onto your hair and scalp from a bowl/pitcher, or using a spray bottle to apply it directly to the roots and shaft of your hair (I use this method)Tea rinses are done on freshly washed or co-washed hair.

 Why do tea rinses?

To reduce the impact of shedding and increase thickness

Black and green teas contain caffeine which suppresses the release of Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT.  DHT,is a chemical derivative of the testosterone hormone and is present in both men and women. It restricts the follicles ability to sustain and produce hair growth. Therefore healthy hair cannot survive and shed hairs are not replaced in the long run. Teas also contain essential vitamins that stimulate hair growth and reduce dandruff

 How I made my Tea rinse

I boiled four Freshpak green tea bags in two cups of water for about thirty minutes and then let it steep and cool completely while I was de-tangling and co washing my hair.

*You can use more or less tea bags depending on how strong you want you mix to be. The choice in tea bags is yours.

How I did my tea rinse

  • After co-washing I left my hair in the 6 big braids
  • Poured cooled tea mix into small spray bottle

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  • Sprayed tea mix directly onto my new growth and along the length of the braids
  • Massaged tea into my hair and scalp
  • Added a mixture of protein treatment and moisturizing masque to my hair
  • Put on shower cap and sat under my heating cap for 35mins

*Tea rinses, in particular black tea tend to leave hair feeling hard and matted together. This is a big challenge especially for transitioning hair and those stretching relaxers. To curb the effect you can carry out a deep conditioning treatment at the same time as your tea rinse to add moisture back to the hair and maintain softness.

 Benefits of Green and Black tea

Green Tea Benefits

Black Tea Benefits

Helps stimulate hair growth

Helps with dandruff and psoriasis

Vitamin C which guards against UV radiation

Vitamin E which restores dry hair

Contains panthenol which strengthens hair and prevents split ends

Blocks production of DHT Hormone

Helps thicken and strengthen hair

Darkens hair and adds shine

 Other teas you can use and why:

Sage tea – Reduces oil build up on your scalp
Nettle tea – Prevents dandruff and increases circulation to the scalp which could also benefit hair growth

Chamomile tea – Accentuates your hair’s natural highlights
Rosemary tea – As with rosemary oil it promotes hair growth and soothes the scalp

As I said this was my first time and so I am yet to see the results, I am waiting for my next de-tangling session to compare the amount of shedding. The benefit of snapping a lot of pics during a hair journey is that you get to compare before and after pics. It’s very rewarding 🙂

Here’s a picture of my shedding this weekend. Now to wait and see if it reduces over time

Shedding: 24/08/13

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I hope you all try this out and add it to your regimens, I definitely am.

~XoXoXo~

K.

 

How To: Wrap Hair

photo

You may or may not know about wrapping hair. I had no clue a few years ago but once you start you never look back. Wrapping is part of our night time care for our hair and must be a core part of every HHJ. What we do to our hair when we sleep is especially important, all our efforts at length retention can go down the drain just because of one simple thing we fail to do.

Unfortunately, our type of hair as black women does not afford us the luxury of just rolling in to bed and falling asleep with our hair all over the show. We will beasking for breakage and boy will we get it! LOTS OF IT!

So what is wrapping?
The name is self-explanatory. Simply put wrapping is brushing hair so that it wraps around your head
 
Why wrap hair?

  • To smooth hair and maintain straightness of our hair overnight. eg from relaxers, blow drying or flat ironing
  • To retain oil and moisture in our hair overnight
  • To protect our ends from breakage while we sleep
     
    Types of wraps I use
  1. Doobie wrap or just ‘the wrap’
  2. Cross wrap

What you will need when wrapping hair (as shown in photo above)

  • Daily moisturizer and sealing oil
  • Silk/ satin hair wrap
  • A wide tooth comb and soft boars bristle or paddle brush
  • Hair clips or bobby pins (optional)
    *can you tell that purple is my favourite colour 🙂 lol

 Doobie wrap/wrap

*This is how I do it. It’s not the exact text book method but it’s close enough

  1.  Moisturise and seal hair
  2. Using a wide tooth comb gently brush you hair downwards from the centre of your head. Your hair should look be all around your head in your face etc
  3. Go to the top of your head where the centre part is and slowly start to brush hair in a circular motion around your head.
  4. Continue this process working down your head and hold hair in place with free hand as you do. There should be more hair the lower you go so make sure you are combing from the roots and getting all the hair securely wrapped around. Use your free hand to smooth the hair and secure it by using clips or bobby pins.
  5. Hair that is newly relaxed or layered might fall out of place so you will need a few more pins
  6. Use your boars bristle brush or paddle brush to smooth hair and get rid of any bumpy areas
  7. Get your satin scarf tie it securely on your head. Don’t ruin the wrap and do not cut of blood flow to your head by tying too tight! Finally you can slightly twist your satin cap in the direction of your wrap to stretch the hair a bit more if you feel your wrap is a bit loose.

Removing wrap:

  • Remove head scarf and bobby pins if you had not slipped them out before sleeping
  • GENTLY loosen the wrap from the end by pulling hair in the opposite direction to which it was wrapped. I usually shake my head a little to further loosen, finger comb slightly and then gently brush my hair into a desired style.
  • Your hair should be straight and falling naturally into place
  • Same removal method applies to the cross wrap.

 Cross wrap:
This wrap is a lot less involving than the doobie. I do it more especially when I have lots of new growth coming in which makes it hard to comb through my roots. I also just do it to minimalize manipulation of the hair, thus reducing breakage.

Personally I prefer the results of the doobie on my hair more than this type of wrap. However my scalp prefers cross wrapping as all the brushing for doobies tends to aggravate my scalp.

It’s also my go to wrap when feeling lazy 🙂

 How to cross wrap

  1. Moisturize and seal hair as usual
  2. Part hair down the middle using fingers
  3. Securely grab hold of both sides of your as close to the root as possible- hold left side of the hair with your right hand and vice versa and cross the hair over each other
  4. Pull hair across to opposite side and up around the side of your head and secure it down where the hair ends using a clip or bobby pin
    Do the same for the other side
  5. When both sides are secured cover hair with satin/silk scarf for the night

**I don’t like the indent of bobby pins in my hair and so I slip them out while my scarf is on.
 

Things to note

Wrapping is not for everyone. Some people simply put their hair in a loose bun overnight and wear their satin scarf. The main thing is to have your hair secured and protected while you sleep.

Wrapping for me helps with straightness. I hate having bumps in my hair so I do the wraps

Cross wrapping require little or no brushing so it is better for hair, especially when it has growth. There is less manipulation of the hair involved which is great and put less strain on the hair.

The length of your hair will determine what wrap works best for you. Obviously a cross wrap will not work if you have NL hair and doobies are a bit impractical with MBL hair.

DO NOT pull too tight when wrapping. it must benefit not harm your hair

If you are doing the doobie, don’t always brush in the same direction, alternate

Doobie wraps tend to make MY scalp and edges rather sore if do them continuously so I will cross wrap more often. However everyone is different. I will post pics of how I wrap my hair next week when I have my wash day

Happy wrapping!!! And be sure to post comments and let us all know how your first wrapping experience goes! If your arent a first timer, what do you do to your hair at night and how is it going for you?

 ~XoXoXo~

K.

 

What you didn’t know about your Cotton Pillow Case

satin pillow

A lot happens to our hair on these pillow cases of ours at night. If we are getting as much sleep as we should, our hair will spend up to 8hours every day pressed up against our pillow cases, and if it is not protected this can be a serious cause of damage to our hair. The biggest problem is that most of us don’t realize it!!

 I’m sure we have all gone to bed at least once with well moisturized hair only to wake up the next morning with our hair feeling rather dry we are left with a big question mark as to why…. Well just take a look at what you are sleeping on. Yes your lovely pillow.  If I’m not mistaken it’s probably got a cotton pillow case too, yes?  Well there you have it. Cotton is a highly absorptive material. Not only does it easily absorb water and other liquids. It sucks up the moisture and oils from our hair when it comes in direct contact with it.  Contrary to how it feels cotton is not the smoothest of materials, it is made up of fibres that are a more rough than other fabrics like silk or satin. Hence every time we toss and turn at night, our hair gets tangled and rubs against the fabric causing friction which makes for a perfect breakage of our oh so delicate ends. You may have experienced seeing pieces of hair left on your pillow case when you wake up in the morning- you can tthank your cotton pillow for that. This breakage and when left uncorrected it will only get worse. We MUST protect out hair at all times and especially at night. 

 “Moisture sucking cotton + plus 8hours contact/friction with hair = BREAKAGE”

 So what can be done?

1)      Wrap your hair at night with a silk/satin scarf

2)      Change your pillow case to a silk/satin one

*Silk and satin fibres are much softer than cotton, the do not absorb moisture easily and therefor they are less harsh on the hair and cause minimal breakage. hair will glide over it as opposed to getting caught on it. 

 

ps that’s a satin pillow case in the photo

Hair Length Chart

Hair Length Chart

Where are you now and where do you want to be?

When I did my last length check in March 2013 I was at APL and my hair goal is to reach MBL by February 2014 next year!

Please post comments letting us all know your current hair length and what your hair length goal is.
We can track progress and encourage each other!

~XoXoXo~
K.