Thursday, January 5, 2012

Four Healthy Hair Tips we relaxed heads can learn from naturals

Has this ever happened to you? You're watching Youtube videos or browsing a hair forum where someone is sharing their progress pics after a big chop which seems like it was just yesterday. All of the sudden they have a head full of thick, healthy, beautiful, long hair. It's as if every millimeter of hair growth is retained. How does that happen?! Sure, the most obvious reason for the amazing progress is due to the fact that the hair isn't compromised but I think it goes a little deeper then that. Some of us know some women who've worn their natural hair for many years without attaining much length so what do those who do retain length have in common?



-Naturals tend to use natural hair products
If you check out the ingredient list of most products geared towards naturals, what similarity do they all seem to share? They focus on natural ingredients. As a matter of fact, many of these products are 100% natural without additives or artificial fillers. So what benefit are there in using natural ingredients? Think about our bodies and the way it absorbs nutrients from foods. Fruits and veggies assimilate easily into through digestive system bringing valuable ingredients into the bloodstream. If we ate a diet full of processed, nutrient deficient, foods, our bodies start to suffer. Giving your hair only processed, artificial ingredients, all the time doesn't create healthier hair. We know our hair strands have the ability to absorb natural oils, respond to ACV by sealing the cuticle, etc so providing our strands with some natural based products is a must.
So here's the first tip we can learn from our natural haired sisters.

Tip #1: Seek out natural products to incorporate into your regimen!

-Moisture, Moisture Moisture
One topic that is constantly on the minds of naturals is maintaining moisture levels. Some of them even co-wash several times a week or daily to make sure their hair is receiving adequate levels of moisture. Humectants rank high on the list of products they prefer. Many of them swear by the benefits of using of hair steamers on a regular basis. It's not surprising to hear talks of spray bottles with natural moisturizers that are used daily to keep the hair hydrated. So basically, anything that draws moisture into the hair scores high points for women with naturally curly hair. Virgin hair tends to have adequate strength levels adequately, but moisture must be provided otherwise the hair suffers. If women with naturally healthy hair seem to obsess with moisture, shouldn't we do the same (if not more)? They understand that excessively dry hair appears unhealthy and can cause breakage or can tangle up during manipulation. This is what separates the naturals who successfully retain length from those who seem to have setbacks and little progress. Sometimes we look at our breakage and think "I need more protein" but perhaps more moisture is what our hair is asking for. So take a lesson from the rule book of healthy haired naturals and manage your moisture!

Tip #2: Obsess with moisture!

-Their hair is whole
Yes. One of the the most obvious benefits of natural hair is that, by definition, the hair is essentially healthy. No chemical processes where done that compromise the integrity of the follicle. So the hair is healthy by definition. Obviously, the hair still needs to be cared for but it's safe to say that part of the reason why retention levels are high is due to the natural strength levels of the hair. We women with relaxed hair should strive to recreate the integrity of hair that is whole, to the best of our ability. This means having an array of products that nurture the hair at all levels. It's not just protein that we need to be concerned about, we need to focus on moisture, protein, ceramides, and sealing the strand. We should also consider varying the types of proteins we incorporate in our regimen since they have varying molecular weights which means they are assimilated into the strand at various levels. So switch it up between keratin products, wheat protein, silk amino acids, coconut oil, etc. You guys are always hearing me stress the importance of drinking water, taking fish oils, and eating healthy. This is because my aim is to grow hair as healthy as possible so it can better hold up to the stress I put my hair through. If an illegal drug can show up in a hair strand months after someone's consumed it, why not put beneficial ingredients inside you so it can benefit you months later in your new growth.

Tip# 3: Strive to bring the hair back as close to whole as possible!



Tip #4-Keep things simple and limit the amount of manipulation to your hair!

Some of the similarities in the regimens of naturals I've noticed are that they always air dry. Simple styles like wash n gos or twist outs are pretty much the staples of curly haired women. I've glanced over the regimen of one of my hair idols "Hair Crush" way before she had a Youtube chanel. She admitted it herself that she pretty much washes and twists the hair to air dry......and that's it. No roller setting, no flat ironing, just a twist out air dry. If you studied the regimen of other naturals, you won't find much difference in the technique. Once they've achieved curl definition with a product or by twisting, they leave their hair alone for fear of tampering with a perfect twistout. And, for the most part, many naturals reserve the heat of a curling/flat iron for very special occasions. Naturals are notorious for protective styling which does a world of good for retention. Even a twist out protects the hair from excessive manipulation. So what I learned from this is not to over manipulate. I try to finger comb whenever possible and this does a decent job of removing shed hairs throughout the week. The real detangling comes on wash days when I have the help of oils and conditioners to preserve my hair. Take a moment to assess your weekly regimen. Would you describe it as a fairly simple routine that preserves the health of your hair? If not, then work to simplify it without cutting out the most beneficial aspects of your regimen.





  1. I do achieve the look in the first photo? Did she use flexi-rods? DYING TO RECREATE.

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  2. @MJB- The first style is a twist out. The best way to recreate would be to set the hair on flexi rods. But the way you set it is important. Notice the coil pattern which would be achieved by twisting the hair around the rod. This style would also look better on hair that is at least 3 months post so you can utilize the new growth to help create volume. I would probably set my hair while damp (instead of wet) so I can capitalize on the additional volume.

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  3. I will be doing variations of all of these things this year, especially points 1 & 2. While I won't be going completely natural with my products, I am tweaking my regimen a bit to include a sulfate-free shampoo, and I'll be using ORS Loc & Twist Gel as a smoothing product for my hair (which includes water and coconut milk as the first two ingredients)...little steps, but they're a start. Also, my water intake has and will continue to increase. Love your blog Nadege, hope you have a great year ahead!

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  4. Great post. I think that relaxed ladies can learn a lot from naturals. I am relaxed but I subscribe to several natural sisters.

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  5. My best friend is natural and I have learned so much about working with my hair from her hair journey. I began following this blog and working on bringing my hair back to health in June and my hair is looking much better. Just by being more attentive and conscious of how I am combing, washing and drying my hair has made a difference. And I use LOTS of products that are advertised for naturals, but they work wonderfully for my hair-- and smell divine!!!

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  6. I love this post. I am natural but I visit your blog because you post about natural things sometimes.

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  7. I am proud to say that I have embraced all on this list and I am happily reaping the benefits. Ashamed to say that for the last 4 months or so I had gotten lax with my hair but as usual a timely post to remind and encourage me to get back to what works before I suffer a setback! On that note I better go drink some bamboo tea:)

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  8. I have a friend with natural hair. She would go to a hair styling salon just to have a new hairstyle. I'm going to share this to her. She'll be very happy!

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  9. nice blog. If you want to make your massage more effective, just warm your hair oil little bit before start champi and keeping your hair well-nourished and you, relaxed. apart from that you can eat lots of green, leafy vegetables. Avoid sweets and oily, fried foods.

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  10. It just clicked! I am big on eating clean / whole foods. My body thrives on produce and unprocessed foods. For some reason, I did not make the connection. I knew there were products that I shouldn't use because they are not good for the hair, prevent moisture penetration, etc., but WOW - all I have to do is treat my hair like I do my body...and keep it simple. I agree with all four points, and I am obsessed w/ naturals YouTube videos. lol. Great blog!

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