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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

HOW TO DETERMINE IF YOUR HAIR IS LACKING PROTEIN...




Black hair is prone to breakage. Some amount of hair loss is natural, but most hair loss in black women stems from mistreatment or a disproportionate amount of moisture or protein. Many stylists who focus on healthy black hair will tell you that your hair demands a balance of moisture and protein. Nothing else that you do to obtain a head of healthy black hair will matter if you that balance is thrown off. Follow these steps to test your hair.



Instructions
 
1.  WET YOUR HAIR
 
It is best to do this test after you have shampooed your hair. While it is still wet you will need to grip about an inch of your hair between your fingers.
 
2.  STRETCH THE WET STRANDS OF HAIR
 
Take the inch of wet hair and run a comb through it. Make sure that it is not tangled when you do this - you don't want to harm your hair. And remember, it is always best to use a wide-tooth comb in black hair
 
3OBSERVE
 
Pay close attention to the way that the hair strands react after they have been combed. Healthy black hair strands will stretch, but they will not break unless they are under an extreme amount of stress. Again, what you are looking for in this step is to see how your hair reacts to the wet stretch.
 
4.  DIAGNOSE
 
If your hair stretches just a little, then returns to its normal length without breakage, your hair is balanced. Good job, you're done!
 
If your hair exhibits any of the following tendencies, you need to focus on moisturizng:
 
Does not stretch at all, then breaks



 Is extremely rough and brittle

If your hair exhibits any of the following tendencies, you need to focus on protein:

Is limp and gummy feeling/looking



Stretches a long way then proceeds to break off

5.  TREAT

After you have found out which problem is affecting your hair, you will need to address it. Any stylist will tell you that lack of moisture is usually the problem for black hair. But, there are times when lack of protein is the issue. In either case, here is how you can solve each problem:

Lack of MOISTURE:

This one is simple. Black hair needs a great deal of moisture because it is very porous. Look for moisturizing conditioners or moisturizing creams, then make sure to seal in the moisture with a light oil sheen

Lack of PROTEIN:




There are many protein treatments for black hair. You can also get protein based leave in conditioners as well.

6.  RETURN TO YOUR NORMAL HAIR CARE REGIMEN

Once your hair is balanced you can return to your normal hair care regime. If you have completed the comb/stretch test, but you are still not sure whether your hair lacks protein or moisture, it is best to shoot for the moisture issue first in black hair.

                                                                                                               ENJOY!!!







Tuesday, September 29, 2009

HOMEMADE HAIR MASKS FOR FRIZZY HAIR...



Frizzy hair is the foe of many women. Trying to tame and treat frizz can be expensive and tedious. Instead of going to the salon and wasting money on overpriced products, try a few simple homemade recipes to tame your do, and keep it shining.  

Banana Almond Mask

A popular recipe, the banana almond hair mask enriches hair and creates shine. Simply take one ripe banana, and mash it up with 1 to 2 tbsp. of almond oil. Apply to hair, and leave on for 15 to 20 minutes. Then rinse out, and shampoo and condition hair as you normally would.

Another Banana Mask

A variation of the previous recipe, here you use banana and avocado to make a mask. Mash together a banana and an avocado. Comb through hair, allow to sit for 15 minutes, then rinse. For extra conditioning, or to thin out the mask, add 1/3 cup of cream before applying to hair.

Mayo Mask

Mayonnaise is a real frizz-buster. Apply about ½ cup of mayo to hair from roots to ends. Wrap up in a shower cap, and wait 15 minutes before shampooing and rinsing. Since the smell of mayo can be overwhelming, try mixing in 2 to 3 drops of scented oil.

Honey Mask

Honey is effective in treating damaged hair thanks to the humectants it contains. It also smells nice, and will leave hair with a sweet after-scent. Mix 1/3 cup of honey with 2 tbsp. of olive or almond oil. Carefully apply the mixture through hair, and wrap hair in a shower cap. Leave on for 30 minutes, then rinse.

Hot Oil

Hot oil treatments enrich and repair frizzy hair. Mix 4 to 5 tbsp. of olive oil with 2 to 3 egg whites. Apply mixture throughout hair, paying extra attention to scalp. Wrap your head in a warm, damp towel. The heat from the towel will help the oil infuse into your hair. Rinse after 20 minutes.



Tips
 
Depending on hair length, you may need to adjust the amounts in the mask recipes. Play around with ingredients to create your own mask. Just remember that oils moisturize and fatty ingredients add moisture and strength. If you want to use fruits and veggies, stick with those that are high in minerals and vitamins and easy to mash up. Make sure to rinse well.
 
                                                                               ENJOY!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

CARING FOR OUR AU NATURALES DURING THE WINTER MONTHS...




Hey ladies, here in the states the colder weather is approaching.  And because of this our hair may began to behave differently.  Hair can easily become dry during this time of the year.  Indoor heating devices are the reason why air becomes dry. A humidifier can help by adding moisture to the air. You can simply leave a pot of water on your stove, and waters steaming into the air, this will prevent dandruff as well. But it’s just the one from many things that could help to keep your hair more healthy.

Here are some more tips for your hair protection during wintertime: Cold, snow, strong winds are very harmful for your hair. Therefore always wear a scarf, hat or cap to protect your hair from all damaging winters’ effects. But make sure that all headdresses worn are not  tight this could restrict circulation in your scalp, also do not use hats without protecting your hair with a silk scarf. Before you put on a hat, always remember to put on some nourishing conditioner. It will be like a conditioning treatment.

Adding moisture to your hair is especially important at this time of year. Look for products with cetearyl and cetyl alcohols. Both are structurally similar, derived from coconut. They are the best moisturizing agents for conditioner, shampoo. If your hair is very damaged or dry, you should use a moisturizing shampoo as well. After using a good product that does moisturize hair you want to be sure to lock that moisture in. A cold or cool rinse helps close the cuticle down and seal in the moisture.

Deep conditioning is vital and irreplaceable for parched winter locks. Most stylists recommend deep conditioning minimum once a week. Choose a moisturizer rich in humectants and natural oils. Use a conditioner daily. Concentrate the conditioner on hair ends. Wash it under the shower, than leave it hanging down. As part of your hair care, do a final rinse in cold water – it’s a secret for extra shine to your hair.

 Don't rinse your conditioner out purely. Leave in about 25 - 30 % of the conditioner; also leave a little conditioner in the ends. Be careful not to satiate the hair too much with hair care products. And remember, never brush your hair when it is wet and also never go outside with your hair wet, you risk breakage!

Don't wash your hair too often during the winter season – you are risking depleting natural oils. If usually you shampoo every three days, so in wintertime shampoo once a week ( if you use shampoo at all in you regimen). Advisable massaging the scalp with light oils like jojoba, olive, avocado or shea tree butter. Massage a quarter teaspoon of warm natural oil through your hair once a week. Leave on overnight.

Avoid taking hot showers or washing your hair in hot water, because it’s making your hair dry out and became damaged. Use warm or cool water instead. longer hair has to be trimmed to bring life back to limp hair and to stay healthy looking; do it every six weeks and you will ensure your split ends won't travel up the hair shaft. Drink a lot of water for internal hydration and take vitamins, specific to hair health.

                                                                                              ENJOY!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

HOW TO STEAM YOUR HAIR WITH OUT A STEAMER...



So you’ve started to really take care of your hair and it’s thriving. You’ve bought all the things you think are necessary to keep your locks looking at their best

You certainly don’t want to become a product junkie buying every hair tool you can find only to use it once then realize that it’s not absolutely necessary. A steamer is not absolutely necessary if you already own a hooded or bonnet dryer.

The idea of the steamer is to infuse moisture into the hair with the aid of heat. The steam method is especially ideal if your hair is in need of extra moisture or you have a treatment in your hair that requires a steamer. Great results can be achieved just as easily with a couple of handy household items and if you already own a hooded dryer, a steam treatment is well within your reach without breaking the bank!

What you will need:

2 face cloths



A bowl full of hot water (not boiling)


2 plastic caps or plastic bags


A hooded/bonnet dryer
 
Prepare your hair first by washing and applying the conditioner or hair treatment. Soak both face cloths in the hot water. Wring some of the water out of the first face cloth. The cloth should be wet but not soaking. Place the cloth over your hair and immediately cover with one of the plastic caps/plastic bags. Wring the second face cloth and apply this over the plastic bag already on your head and immediately apply the plastic bag/cap. Ensure that the last plastic bag is tied securely around the hairline to prevent water dripping down your neck. Both bags should be spacious enough to allow the steam to form.
 
                                                                                                       ENJOY!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

COCONUT AND LIME TREATMENT FOR AU NATURALE'S



If you have natural black hair chances are that you are already in love with your texture and wouldn’t change it for the world. As well it should be! But like anyone else, you don’t mind the occasional bout of ‘the grass is greener on the other side’ and would like to change your look temporarily.

If you have natural very curly/kinky hair, particularly 4a/b hair types, you will appreciate that it will take more heat to get ‘relaxer straight’ results when you flat iron your hair. The downfall of using too much heat on your hair is that it may damage it irreparably i.e. burn it straight! Nobody wants to risk the health of their hair for the sake of straight locks for a week. An alternative is required.

This is where the coconut and lime ‘relaxer’ could help you. The ‘straightening’ effect achieved is most noticeable in slightly wavy hair. In African American (black) hair, the results are more subtle and with continued application, it results in loosening or elongating the curl pattern which makes heat styling much easier. This technique is by no means new; it has been used for years by Asian women to straighten their curly hair safely without the use of chemicals

The original recipe involves mixing coconut juice with the lime juice and leaving in the fridge overnight until a cream forms on top. This cream is then applied to the hair and left for a few hours then rinsed off. The remainder of the mixture is then discarded. The main issue with this recipe is that even though the coconut milk with solidify slightly when put in the fridge, the natural heat from your body once applied to the hair will make it runny again and you may find that a lot of the treatment will end up running down your face and neck! Another problem is the wastage involved as only a small percentage of the coconut milk is being used

The recipe below is a version of the original allowing both for the dryness of natural black hair with minimum wastage of the ingredients.

Here’s how to make the treatment:

1 tin of coconut milk
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons of lime juice
2-3 tablespoons of cornstarch


Empty the coconut milk into a saucepan add the extra virgin olive oil and whisk until well blended. Coconut milk varies in consistency by brand so depending on how thin the mixture in the saucepan is, add 2-3 tablespoons in a separate bowl and mix this with the lime juice until the mixture is lump free then add to the coconut milk & olive oil mixture. Put the saucepan over a medium heat whisking constantly. The purpose is not to cook the mixture but to activate the cornstarch which will thicken the mixture to a ‘conditioner’ type consistency. This should take a couple of minutes. If you find the mixture is still too thin then add a bit more cornstarch or if you get a brand of coconut milk that that is very thick to begin with, you may omit the corn starch altogether.

Apply the mixture to your hair in sections to ensure it is evenly covered. Cover with a plastic cap then under a steam cap for ½ hour to an hour. If you don’t have a steam cap you can use a hooded dryer( optional).

Depending on the length and thickness of you hair, the mixture will be enough for 1-2 applications. Place any remaining treatment into a plastic jar/container and freeze until you require it next.

Proceed to shampoo the mixture out of your hair thoroughly then proceed to deep condition as usual with an ultra moisturizing conditioner. Remember, the final rinse should be done with cold/lukewarm water to close the hair cuticles and seal in the moisture.


Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

WARNING ABOUT CONES...



Hey ladies, well to my disappointment I had to depart with my beloved " Cantu shea butter leave in conditioning repair creme " .  A couple of weeks ago I had been noticing that my hair had not been at its best.  Knowing it was product related, I began a serious product investigation on the products used in my daily hair regimen.  After reading and realizing that my cantu has trimethylsilylamodimethicone ( notice the word cone in the ending).  My hair had started to become frizzy,& appered dry looking.  After doing some research I learned that anything with cones in it will surely affect the health of the hair.  So bye, bye to cantu shea butter.  Below I've posted a article I found on the dangers of using products with any type of cones in it:



.Most of the highly commercialized lines of hair products (Pantene, Garnier Fructis, Aussie, Tressame, Sunsilk, etc.) contain silicones. These are ingredients that generally end in -cone, -conol, or -xane. If at all possible avoid silicones and also waxes in your hair products. Short term, silicones will make hair look sleeker and less frizzy, but in the long run they will coat the hair shaft of porous curly hair and seal out moisture, causing the hair to become straw like, less defined, and frizzy. Hence, silicones make quick fixes for frizz, but over time, they are truly damaging your hair. Sulfates get rid of silicones, but at the expense of completely stripping your hair of all of its natural oils! The solution to these problems is to eliminate both sulfates (in your shampoos) and silicones (in your conditioners and styling products). An exception to this rule: if a silicone has "PEG" in front of it, it is water-soluble and will not cause product build up.

Silicones that are not soluble in water and build up on the hair: Cetearyl methicone, Cetyl Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Stearyl Dimethicone, Amodimethicone (and) Trideceth-12 (and) Cetrimonium Chloride, and Trimethylsilylamodimethicone. Note: Trideceth-12 and Cetrimonium Chloride are only considered a silcone when both are combined with Amodimethicone

Silicones that are slightly soluble in water and will build up on most types of curly hair: Amodimethicone, Behenoxy Dimethicone, and Stearoxy Dimethicone.

Silicones that are soluble in water and safe to use (they are not listed with PEG in front of them): Dimethicone Copolyol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein Hydroxypropyl Polysiloxane, and Lauryl methicone copolyol.

I than realized  how much my hair really enjoys leave in conditioner's.  I than did a little searching for something else to use in my hair in the place of the cantu shea butter leave -in.  And than I found  a very simple and effective homemade leave in condtioner recipe.  Which consists of the following:

1-8 ounce pump bottle

2 ounces of leave in conditioner ( preferably a thick condtioner such as Suave Humectant, Eluence.  I used vo5 moisture milks strawberries & cream it worked just as well)

1 1/2 ounces of water

1/8 cup oil ( Avocado, coconut, or olive oil )

1 tablespoon of vegetable glycerin

1 tablespoon of silk peptide powder ( optional)

fragrance oil for scent ( optional ) Apple, Vanilla, strawberry, mango.
Double and or substitute  ingredients as needed.  This should be a pretty thick mixture, and should be  applied to soaking wet or damp hair at best.  You will not need to use much !  I love, love love this recipe.  It has provided my hair with sheen, softness, curl definition, moisture and nice fragrance.  It has not left any build up on my hair at all, which is always a plus.  REMINDER: if using Suave Humectant or Eluence conditioner.   Vegetable glycerin or any other oil will not need to be added, because  included in those condtioners  is
( shea butter) with the exception of the vo5 conditioner.

I am a girl on a budget , a mother of 5 children & a husband .  This recipe was right down my  alley.  Resonable in price, effective, and It can be made in less than 5 minutes.  Love it , love it, love it !

                                                                                                   ENJOY!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

TWIST SET ON NATURAL HAIR...



Black hair comes in a variety of textures from lose s-curls and corkscrew curls to very tightly curled pen springs and kinks. Defining your own texture is easy with leave in conditioner, some gel or a variety of curl defining products on the market, but sometimes you may want something different. Also if you have no definable curl pattern in your hair, you may want to add texture without resorting to chemicals. An easy way to do this is with the twist set

Here’s how you can achieve this style



1. Begin by washing and deep conditioning the hair. Add some leave in conditioner and seal the hair with your favourite oil.
 
2. Starting from the back begin to section the hair into about 2 inch sections and apply a little setting lotion or gel to the section. Create a fairly firm 2 strand twist with the hair. This is created by twisting the 2 sections of hair in same direction then twisting them over each other in the opposite direction. If your hair is natural then there will be no need to secure the ends as the hair should hold the twists quite easily. If your hair is relaxed then secure the ends with small rollers which also leave the twist set with a natural look
 
3. Sit under the dryer ( optional) for about 1 hour or until the hair is completely dry.
 
4. Starting from the back again, begin to unravel the twists. You should have dry and defined twists once you have unravelled them all.
 
5. If your twists were small enough then there will be no need to separate them. In actual fact, the twist set looks better and lasts longer if it is not separated. All you have to do to make the hair look fuller is to use a pick to lift and fluff out the roots.
 
6. If your twists were a bit larger then carefully separate them to create volume without losing too much of the curl definition. Use a pick to lift and fluff out the roots. This hides the parts and creates a fuller look.
 
7. For the upkeep of the twist set put a small amount of moisturizer in the palm of your hand, rub your hands together and dab and scrunch through the hair to distribute evenly. Try not to disturb the curls too much.
 
8. Pin up your hair to avoid the curls drooping overnight and cover with a satin bonnet.
 
9. In the morning just fluff out the hair and you are ready to go.
 
10. Another way of saving the style if you are planning to wear it more than 3 days is to moisturize the hair and re-twist the sections every second evening. In the morning take down the twists and fluff out the roots.
 
once my hair gets just a bit longer, I must try this !
                                                                                                                       ENJOY!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

NATURAL YOGURT HAIR CONDITIONER...




If you are like many women, you have tried just about every hair care product on the market to get soft, beautiful hair. The beauty section of your local supermarket is full of products with fanciful promises and high price tags, particularly those natural conditioners. But now you can make your own yogurt hair conditioner. It's fast, easy and fun and less expensive than anything you can buy in a bottle.

INSTRUCTIONS

STEP 1: Place a half a cup of whole yogurt in a blender. Yogurt is not only the creamy base of your conditioner, but is a gentle cleanser, working to clear the pores of your scalp and promoting hair growth. Yogurt is also naturally high in lactic acid, an element that will help to shine and smooth tangled hair, making it easier to comb, leaving your hair soft and beautiful.

STEP 2 : Beat the egg until frothy and pour it into the blender. Raw eggs are said to strengthen and increase the elasticity of your hair, preventing damage and premature hair loss. Egg yolk especially is a deep penetrating moisturizer and will leave your hair silky and manageable.

STEP 3 : Add one whole banana to the blender. The skin of the scalp has a natural protective layer of fats that are meant to keep the skin moisturized to protect it from the elements. Often this layer is damaged with harsh chemical treatments and shampoos as well as other elements. Banana helps the skin to rebuild its own moisture level, protecting the scalp and hair and helping to cure dandruff due to dry flaky scalp.

STEP 4 : Squeeze about one teaspoon of lemon juice into the mixture. Lemon is a natural astringent and will help to clean the hair of product buildup without damaging or drying your hair

STEP 5 : Include one teaspoon of Vitamin E oil into the conditioner if you have problem dry hair, or if you have oily hair, add 3 or 4 drops of tea tree oil.

STEP 6 : Blend the conditioner and apply after shampooing, massaging gently into the scalp to the end of the hair. Allow the conditioner to set for about 15 minutes before rinsing well with warm water. Apply as often as necessary for soft, healthy and manageable hair


This recipe makes approximately two applications depending on hair length. The extra should be kept in the refrigerator for no longer than 3 days

This recipe sounds pretty good , once trying it I will keep you ladies posted. If any of you ladies try it , please share your results with us here at AuNaturale.

ENJOY!!!








Friday, September 18, 2009

BRADING THE ROOTS OF NATURAL HAIR TO GET A DEFINED CURLY STYLE..



If you have natural black hair, chances are you are quite often looking out for ways to wear your hair out without it tangling and also for a way to define the curls and keep them that way. The braided roots look is perfect for natural hair wearers and is an excellent way to define curls as the hair is forced to remain ‘clumped’ together in the braid. The other benefit of this style which cannot be overlooked is that it prevents tangles. The small amounts of hair confined in the braid is not enough to tangle and as the braids are separate, the hair is unlikely to get tangled like in free flowing styles.

This style works best with hair that is shoulder length or longer.




Here’s how to achieve it:

1. Start with clean freshly deep conditioned hair. Do not add any leave in conditioner or moisturizer as you will have to wet the hair again anyway

2. Starting from the back begin to braid the hair. The size of the braids will depend on your natural curl pattern. If your hair clumps up naturally after it has been washed and detangled then the braid should be the size of 1 or 2 of your natural clumps of hair. If your hair does not clump up naturally but you have a curl pattern when product is applied then approximately ½ inch sections of hair should be enough.


3. Braid the hair down about 3-4 inches. Natural black hair does not slip easily so the braids should stay put without you having to secure the ends of the braids with anything.




4. Once your have finished the braids, go back into the shower to rewet the hair making sure it’s completely saturated.

5. Apply whatever product that you usually use to bring out your curl pattern. Some use a moisturizer then gel on top of it. Some use a variety of milks and curl activators and conditioners to achieve defined curls but this depends on the curl pattern already present in hair. In any case, it is important to work in sections to get even product application and maximum curl definition. To avoid ‘crunchy’ hair, make sure you apply some sort of moisturizer before applying a gel product or setting lotion. The hair will set but after it is dry, it will remain soft and pliable.



6. Brush the hair with a suitable brush to define the curls. If you do not have a natural curl pattern then simply do two strand twists or individual braids with sections of your hair and secure the ends with a small roller.

7. Without disturbing the curls sit under a hooded dryer ( optional)  until the hair or twists are completely dry or you can pratice patients and allow your hair to air dry.

8. You may also find that your hair has shrunk considerably. There is an easy way to elongate the curls: Starting from the back, grab a section of hair or twists and clip the rest out of the way. Holding the ends stretch out the hair to the desired length. Blow a warm hair dryer ( optional) over the length of the hair until it remains at the desired length once you let go of the section. Make sure the hair dryer is not hot because it will straighten out the curl especially if your hair is not in twists. Also remember that the more you stretch the less curl definition you will have! Fluff out and separate the curls for a full look.

9. Take down the twists/braids if you used these, fluff and separate for a full look.

For the upkeep of the style, or if the curls lose definition, just repeat steps 4-8, in fact this can be done every few days when you wash and deep condition your hair to keep it looking as good as new. Remember to re-braid the hair after 1 month to avoid matting which may cause tangles.

                                                                                                                   ENJOY!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

HOW TO WORK WITH SHRINKAGE IN NATURAL HAIR...




Shrinkage in very curly or black hair can be a friend or a foe. Depending on the size and degree of curl, shrinkage can be 50% or even up to 75% of its true length. Hair that falls to the mid back when straightened could shrink up to just below the ears when it dries naturally after a wash! It’s no wonder that some black women turn to relaxers and texturizers to ‘loosen’ or straighten out the curls and kinks. The only problem is that chemicals are notorious in their ability to weaken the hair during the straightening process which makes breakage imminent.

The hair industry is currently length obsessed as evident in the success of the hair extensions market today but shrinkage doesn’t have to be a bad thing. There are plenty of stylish ways that curly hair can be worn in its natural state without resorting to heat or chemicals to straighten it out. Heat every once in a while is certainly not a bad thing but applying heat on the hair too often and especially when the hair has not been freshly washed and deep conditioned can be detrimental to the health of the hair.

Another positive aspect about shrinkage is that it allows for versatility that straight hair does not have. You can go from long flowing locks on one day to a short bob style the next without chopping your hair off!



There are a variety of techniques that some people use to stop or reduce the shrinkage of the hair
 
1. Twist or braid the hair in sections when it is wet - This is the most common technique for reducing shrinkage. The braids or twists are undone once completely dry imparting a beautiful texture on the hair or leaving it relatively ‘stretched’ out and ready for the next step of the styling process.
 
2. Hair treatments – There are various treatments that you can give your curls to leave them elongated when dry. The most popular of these are the dairy based ones like yogurt treatments, sour cream treatment or plain milk treatment. The common denominator in these 3 is the lactic acid that seems to stretch out the hair and some have reported up to 40% less shrinkage after using the treatments. Like anything else, this is a process of trial and error. Some people’s hair seems to respond to different treatments better than others. The fact that these are only temporary effects (lasting until the next wash), is also appealing to most as there is no damage to the hair. The caramel treatment is also worth a mention. It involves the use of molasses, honey, bananas and some vinegar blended together to a caramel consistency. This is an excellent moisturizing treatment and it also leaves the curls hanging lower even after the hair is dry.




3. Banding – this involves sectioning hair when it is wet then tying a series of hair bands from root to tip hence the hair remains stretched as it dries. The bands are then taken down and hair is styled as usual
 
4. Natural oils – Avocado butter is quite effective in stretching curly hair. When hair is twisted or braided with the butter, it will generally have much less shrinkage than without it. Shea butter is another good example
 
5. Stretching and blow drying – This can be done after the hair has been styled when wet then air dried which will leave the hair shrunken. To get back some of the length, a section of hair is taken and pulled (stretched) to the desired length then a warm hair dryer is blown over the length of the hair until it remains at that length when you let it go. To avoid any possible heat damage, the hair dryer should never be on a hot setting and should not be applied too close to the hair
 
With a good hair care regimen, you can grow your hair to a length that you are comfortable with when it is shrunken to increase your styling options. When styling naturally curly hair, work with the shrinkage rather against it. It is the way the hair was meant to be!
 
Once I read this article I found it quite interesting.  Along with some really good tips.  If any of you ladies know of any techniques that can be used in helping to aid against shrinkage , please share them with us.
                              
                                                                                                             ENJOY!!!

QUICK TIPS TO DETANGLE HAIR...




If you have naturally curly, brittle, or overly dry hair, use these tips to minimize tangles. Managing the comb out properly can lead to you retaining more of your hair growth. Black hair will grow long with proper care.

Untangle

If you have natural or relaxed hair that tangles easily, untangle all of your hair starting at the bottom and working your way up. Use natural oils like olive, castor, coconut , or shea butter to help with the knots. Use your hands, do not attempt to comb through tangled dry hair. After your hair is untangled put into several large braids or twists. This is a great time to apply a hot oil or deep conditioning treatment. Do chores, tidy up a bit, while you let the treatment sit on your hair. After at least twenty minutes get ready to wash your hair.

Tools

The best combs to use for combing out your hair in the shower are the Jilbere shower comb, K Cutter comb, wide tooth bone combs, or any seamless wide tooth comb.

Look for a moisturizing shampoo that does not contain sodium Laurel sulfates, which dry out the hair. If you prefer a natural alternative to shampoo, use apple cider vinegar diluted with water to rinse the scalp.

Put the shampoo into a cup with water. Swish around a bit, and gently massage through your hair, and directly over your scalp. Rinse.

Moisture

No-poo is washing your hair with only conditioner. Conditioner washing can be done daily without drying out your hair. The conditioner you choose does not have to be expensive. Any conditioner for dry hair can be used. If your hair is extremely tangled , add olive or another nourishing oil to the conditioner. Generously apply conditioner to each section. Let it sit for just a minute. Unravel each section, comb out when directly under the shower head, and braid or twist back immediately. Repeat with all sections of your hair.

Apply a creamy oil based leave in conditioner, or natural oil while your hair is damp. Putting the products in your hair while it is damp seals in the moisture. Re-braid, twist, or style, or band to stretch hair out. In a few hours when your hair dries, it will be soft, and ready to be styled.

Treat your hair like it is an expensive piece of silk every time you touch it. Sleep on a silk pillow case, or tie your hair up at night. Do not wear cotton bandannas, they eat away at the hair. Wear protective hair styles regularly. Always give your ends extra care with nourishing oils. Stay away from products that contain petroleum. Follow these great steps for healthier hair.
                                                                                              by, Working Gal

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

MAINTAINING HEALTHY HAIR & RESTORING PROTEIN...





Keratin is a protein that is the primary ingredient in hair. To maintain healthy, glossy, full hair, the body must receive the proper amount of protein internally through a balanced diet as well receive regular treatments of protein from the outside.




Step 1

Eat a diet rich in healthy proteins, such as eggs, lean meats like chicken and beef and green leafy vegetables. Soy and low-fat versions of dairy products keep the body in proper protein balance. The average person should eat between 40 and 60g of protein per day; athletes and nursing mothers require slightly higher amounts


Step 2

Include complex carbohydrates in your diet to maximize the metabolism of the protein you eat. High-fiber foods such as beans, whole grains, and fresh fruit and vegetables provide the best source of carbohydrates to use protein. A diet rich in vitamin B12, folic acid and minerals such as zinc and iron also is required to process protein and grow the healthiest hair.

Step 3
Stick with natural or organic shampoo and conditioners that contain ingredients such as wheat germ, keratin, jojoba and vitamins A and E. Massage the scalp when shampooing to increase circulation and promote hair growth.

Step 4

Rinse hair after washing and conditioning with a protein rinse. Protein rinses are especially helpful to bring a healthy sheen back to dry, brittle hair and hair damaged by processing and coloring


Step 5

Make a homemade protein rinse with whey, oatmeal or wheat germ. Put about 4 tbsp. of one of the powdered substances in a muslin bag. Tie the bag and soak is in 1 pt. of water for about three hours. Squeeze the moisture out of the bag and use to rinse hair.


Step 6

Use protein-enhanced shampoos and conditioners to add even more protein externally to your hair. Products such as glycogen protein balanced hair products contain milk protein and glycogen from oyster shells. Most health food stores carry lines of protein-enhanced hair products.




I found this article to be   quite beneficial, I hope you ladies find it of benefit as well.
                                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                ENJOY!!!



Sunday, September 13, 2009

AN ALL NATURAL TREATMENT YOUR HAIR WILL LOVE...




Hey my beautiful AuNaturales,  I found an article about a treatment called " The Carmel Treatment ".  It sounds really great, here I've posted a little about "The Carmel Treatment ".  The Carmel Treatment is a treatment with an all line up of ingredients from honey, banana's, to olive oil.  These ingredients delivers the ability to seriously soften and hydrate the driest and roughest hair textures.  It helps AuNaturales by softening it's textures for easier detangling and manageability.


This treatment should be done monthly for contnued benefits.  There has been reports of loosening of the hair texture as well as less shrinkage after treatment.


No doubt this treatment is excellent, due to it's natural nature of all involved.  All of the ingredients needed can be found in the average kitchen or grocery store.  Below you will find the purpose of each ingredient.  So that you can adjust the recipe everytime made , depending on your hairs needs.


Honey - An excellent humectant good for moisture







Olive Oil - For lubrication and helps with moisture retention






Bananas - Good for moisture and some protein benefits as well






Molasses (Treacle) - Another excellent humectant with some protein benefits






Water - This is the best natural moisturizer and is used to thin the mixture






Apple Cider Vinegar - For the shine it imparts to the hair






Cornstarch - For thickening purposes






Wheat germ oil - For added strength and lubrication


Here outlined is a simple recipe based on the ingredients above:


Honey - 6 tablespoons







Olive Oil - 6 tablespoons






Bananas - 2-3 overripe and very soft






Molasses (Treacle) - 3 tablespoons






Water - 4-6 tablespoons






Apple Cider Vinegar - 1 tablespoon


                                                                                                                   ENJOY!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

BLACK WOMEN RETURN TO THEIR NATURAL HAIR...



For years, African-American women have had to choose whether to leave their hair natural or to wear relaxers. This is because the notion that straight hair is the only socially acceptable choice has been ingrained in many black women since childhood. So much so, that many young girls automatically assume that a relaxer is a part of growing up. They don’t even entertain the notion of just caring for and wearing their locks the way that they were created. They view the “first perm” as right of passage, never even questioning the reason why they desire to change their hair texture.







Why does this happen? The media has a lot to do with it. Black women are typically seen with long, straight, flowing hair. Until recently, women who chose to go natural were often portrayed as eccentric. Or they were dismissed as being afrocentric. Also, some biased beliefs dating back to slavery still survive today. During that period of bondage, African-American hair was viewed as dirty and unkempt. So, many blacks were shamed by their hair and eventually found ways to change its state. After awhile, it just became the social norm for black women to have relaxed hair.






This has caused natural black hair to be viewed as an oddity. Often, a woman who chooses to maintain her true texture is considered to be going against the grain. Some even believe that this type of hair is not appropriate in the business world. Thankfully, there are laws in place to protect from this type of discrimination. But that hasn’t changed the negative perception that many have of African hair.






This was not always the case. For a brief period in history during the 1960’s -1970’s, natural hair became a source of cultural pride. The Civil Rights Movement caused many to esteem their heritage, including their locks. It was common for men and women to wear afros or other natural styles. However, as the Movement died down so did these displays of diverse African-American hairdos. Many returned to using chemicals or heat on their tresses to achieve a straighter look.


But today the tide is once again changing. Many women of African descent are returning to their natural roots. In recent years it has become more and more common to see blacks on television with cornrows, braids, afros, and many other culturally unique hairstyles. Women such as Macy Gray, Erykah Badu, and Kim Fields-Freeman wear their hair unapologetically.







And what is there to be sorry for anyway? It would be odd for Caucasians or other ethnicities to feel inferior because they were born with straight hair. After all, it’s natural for their hair to grow that way. That should also be the prevailing attitude regarding African textured hair. The way it grows out of scalp is the way it was designed to be. And once again many black women are realizing this fact and embracing what’s naturally theirs.

Written by, Cookies Domain

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

SHAMPOO FREE..




Why go Shampoo Free?



Going shampoo free is easier on your hair's health, your wallet, and your time. For $5 you can purchase enough baking soda and apple cider vinegar to take care of your hair for months, whereas $5 could barely buy you one bottle of commercial shampoo! When done correctly, your hair won't smell, feel oily or dry, and be healthier and happier then when you were using shampoo. It will be easier to manage and stay clean for much longer (some people don't experience greasiness ever again once they've returned their hair to it's natural state). Anyone with small children who hasn't used baby shampoo will be aware of how, even after days and days of toddler mayhem, even after playing and sweating, their hair does not get greasy. I know I'm always amazed that even after waking up sweaty Tempest's hair can be soft, silky and smell nice.






Your hair is a very important part of your body that's often overlooked. On top of accentuating your style and appearance, your hair can give you clues to your health. Greasy, limp hair can be a sign of bad diet while brittle and dry hair can be a sign of malnutrition and undernourishment. If you're anemic, deficient in calcium or other vitamins, your hair and fingernails will give you some of the first clues. Taking proper care of your hair and returning it to it's natural state may be one of the best things you can do for your appearance, you may find you'll learn a lot more about your hair that you never realized you could know!



What's so bad about shampoo anyway?



Shampoo is a detergent, just like laundry detergent, dishwashing powder and the stuff you use to clean your bathroom. It cleans out the dirt in your hair, but is very harsh and also takes the natural oils that make your hair shiny, soft and strong. Shampoo wasn't introduced until the early 20th century, before that many people used soap. Soap can wash your hair without removing as much of the natural oils that shampoo does. Unfortunately, it doesn't stand very well in alkaline water. When mineral levels in water began to rise, that made soap a messy, poor item to wash with. It causes 'soap scum' rings around your tub and on your shower doors. Alkali (hard water) makes the scales on your hair stand up, feel rough and get tangled. When washing with water with a higher alkaline content and soap, the "soap scum" gets all tangled up in your hair, is much harder to wash out, and creates a big mess. Shampoo came out on the market just in time, displaying it's only real benefit: it behaves similarly both in hard and soft water. Therefore it was a "Superior" product to an old favorite, soap. But it didn't come without problems. Because shampoo is harsh enough to strip the natural oils from your hair, you need something to replenish them. So, conditioner was born. You need to wash your hair every day not because it gets dirty, but because the oils from the conditioner don't last and need to be replenished.







The oils in your hair come naturally out of your scalp to nourish it. Stripping them away causes damage, and breakage over time. In a way you do need conditioner, if you use shampoo - because it covers up the damage that's been done. But you don't need shampoo in the first place, all you're spending your money on is a big bottle of perfumed detergent.






Most shampoos contain mineral oil. A byproduct of the distillation of gasoline from crude oil, mineral oil is what's left over. It's so abundant that it costs more to dispose of it then it does to package and sell it, so it ends up everywhere. It's added to shampoos and conditioners to give hair an artificial shine caused by coating it with a thick oil. Mineral oil cannot absorb into your skin like other oils do, so it sits on top and forms a barrier preventing oils and toxins from being released as a normal part of your skin's lifecycle. This is one of the reasons you'll find that the more shampoo you use, the more often you need to use it. In the long run, coating your hair with mineral oil makes it weaker, and more prone to damage.






If mineral oil doesn't bother you, maybe the other ingredients will. SLS and SLFS (sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate) are skin and eye irritants that also acts as a foaming agent in soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, dishwashing liquid. and just about anything that produces a foamy lather. The Materials Safety Data Sheet cautions to avoid body contact with SLS, it also puts infants and children (whose eye are developing at a more rapid rate) at risk for improper eye development when it's absorbed through the skin and accumulates in eye tissues. Because of residual levels in internal organs, it's questioned how safe our current rates of exposure are. "Debunkers", and companies who sell products containing these ingredients claim that the short exposure (shampoo and rinse) isn't enough for it to build up, and that by itself, in the dilution present within the product, the ingredient won't cause damage. This is basically true, however neither take into account recent reports (within the last five years), exposure due to the amount of products which contain SLS/SLFS and how often we use them, and the known chemical reaction with other ingredients commonly found in these products. While not carcinogens, both these substances, when mixed with other ingredients commonly found in shampoo bottles, may cause carcinogenic nitrates to form. Using it in moderation, and even in high amounts probably isn't going to kill you - but it's certainly not improving your health. The suggested safe percentage of SLS or SLFS to be used in products like shampoo and toothpaste isn't adhered to as often as it should be.


Previously, I've done a complete extensive post on the dangers and ingredients in most ( not all ) shampoos.
I find this topic to be one of importance, for hair and health reasons.   So I've included it in this post also.



How do I go shampoo free?


Use one tablespoon of baking soda per one cup of warm or hot water. You can double or triple the recipe if you have very, very long or thick hair. But do not use more baking soda, your hair will become hard, dry or feel brittle if you use too much. You can put this mix in a recycled shampoo bottle, and apply to your hair with warm water.



The mix should not feel gritty, and should be a liquid. If you have very short or thick hair, you may find it easier to make a paste with a tablespoon of baking soda (or less) and sprinkle it over very wet hair and massage in. Otherwise, spray or pour the mixture onto your hair and work it in. Let it sit about a minute, and then rinse. I personally find it easiest to make a liquidy paste in the palm of my hand with about half a tablespoon, and then sprinkle and massage into dripping wet hair. I have very short hair, so I use less. Experiment and see what works best for you, there are no official rules.






For a typical rinse, make up a solution of one to two tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) per cup of water. Apply to wet hair, massage into scalp and rinse off with cold water. Please note, you don't always have to apply a rinse with every wash! I personally find I only need to do a rinse every 2-3 washes.


What do these ingredients do?


Apple cider vinegar is a mild acidic made from fermenting apples, the acid content is usually only around 3-5% in store-bought ACV. It has a lot of health benefits when taken internally, too! When used on your scalp, it helps promote circulation, acts as a natural antiseptic, and dissolves excessive fatty deposits and reduces scaling or peeling of the skin. As for use on hair, it helps to clarify, de-tangle, balances hair's pH level and seals the cuticles. Some people are bothered by the smell, but be assured that the smell should dissipate within a moment or two of rinsing. If it doesn't, you're using too much in your solution!







Baking soda is the weakest alkali of sodium compounds, it would take using a lot to do damage to your skin or hair. It has a lot of useful properties like deodorizing, leavening (for baking), whitening, polishing and clarifying. You only need a little bit, regardless of what you're using it for. Just like with vinegar, a little goes a long way. Plain water can remove almost all the dirt you can get in your hair, but a little baking soda can not only remove the rest, but take care of the build-up from hair products, shampoos and anything else you might pick up. Some people find that over time, using baking soda in their hair will lighten the colour - although most agree that if this happens you're using it too much, and perhaps not using enough ACV. Once or twice a week is fine, even less if your hair is in very good condition or easy to manage.






Use warm water to wash or clarify, this opens up your hair cuticles and helps your conditioner or rinse penetrate the hair. Use cool water on low pressure to rinse to close the cuticle, cut down on frizzes, soften hair and enhance curls.


Help! This isn't working!


Long Hair:


Comb your hair from scalp to tips before you go into the shower to loosen dirt and de-tangle. You may need to use a bit more baking soda in your mix (one tablespoon per 250mls/1 cup of water. If you need more, use two tablespoons and two cups, or three tablespoons and three cups. Don't overuse your baking soda, or you will end up with dry hair! Less is more


Frizzy Hair:

You're probably using too much baking soda, or leaving it in your hair too long. Try adding honey, or rubbing a little bit of moisturizing oil onto your hair (coconut, jojoba, sweet almond, extra virgin olive oil.).

Greasy Hair:


Some people experience an adjustment, or "de-tox" period of greasiness as they transition to no-poo. Do not over-wash, it will pass soon! If you've been using your routine faithfully and experience greasy hair, try using less ACV in your rinse, cut out honey if you've been using it, try switching to a citrus rinse, or use a comb instead of a brush to style your hair.







If you have greasy hair and need a quick fix on a day when you're not washing your hair, try applying a tiny bit of cornstarch to your scalp and combing through to the ends. Remember, greasy hair does not mean dirty hair, it probably doesn't need to be washed!


Dry hair:







If your hair is very dry, you may have used too much baking soda and should lesson the amount. You may also need to use more ACV in your rinse. Also, try smoothing a tiny bit of oil into your hair either after you shower, or in the morning. A tiny bit is all you need. Coconut oil works well, and smells great!



If you find your hair is chronically dry, and you like the idea of a hot oil treatment every so often, you can follow one of these recipes, the latter is best for dry hair and the former is a hot oil treatment for occasional use :






-- 1 teaspoon soybean oil


-- 2 teaspoons castor oil


Combine ingredients then warm on low heat. Massage mixture into the scalp and hair. Wrap hair in a hot towel for 15 minutes. Shampoo & rinse out.










-- 1/2 cup of dried rosemary leaves


-- 1/2 cup olive oil


Combine ingredients then heat up until warm. Strain. Coat the entire scalp and ends of hair with the oil mixture. Wrap hair in saran wrap and a towel over that, leave on for 15 minutes. Wash hair twice to remove the oil. Use this treatment twice a month or when your needs a deep conditioning. Leaves your hair shiny and re-hydrated.






If you want, or need the occasional deep condition, especially if you have very long hair with breakage at the ends, you can try a mix with one small jar of real mayonnaise and 1/2 of an avocado. Mash them together in a bowl with your hands until it's a minty green colour, then smooth onto your hair. Put on a shower cap, or wrap your hair in saran wrap and leave on for 20 minutes before thoroughly rinsing clean. If you're using this only for the tips of your hair, or for very short hair, half the ingredients.






If you swim regularly in pools, or have very chlorinated water you may find your hair dries easily. To help prevent chlorine damage after you've gone swimming, try mixing one egg, one eggshell's worth of olive oil with one quarter of a peeled cucumber. Blend together, spread evenly onto hair, leave in ten minutes and then rinse well. See also [I have hard water!]






If you regularly blow-dry, stop! Scrunch with a towel and then let your hair air-dry. Curling, straightening or kinking your hair using hot irons can also attribute to drying and breakage. You can also try using a boar-bristle brush to brush your hair with, this will distribute your hair's natural oils evenly. Though be warned that you don't need to use it all the time, and using it too much might actually make your hair feel more oily then usual!






White Build-up:


You're probably using too much baking soda! Remember, you only need one tablespoon per cup (250mls) of water, for long hair, you only need a maximum of 2-3 tablespoons. It doesn't seem like much, but it goes a long way. For easier distribution, keep a little cup with some baking soda in the shower and take a pinch and apply to wet hair, then rub in.






Itchy hair/scalp:


Try infusing your rinse with tea tree, rosemary or lavender essential oils (only a few drops at the most!) Try changing your rinse routine. Add a bit of honey, try a rosemary tea rinse. experiment! For itchy scalp caused by build-up or dryness, try adding a few pinches of brown sugar (not white, as it will dissolve) to your wash and rubbing it through. Be sure to rinse thoroughly. If you use any oils on your scalp (like jojoba, or coconut), stop and see if that makes a difference. See also [I have hard water!]






Dandruff:


Skin cells flake and slough off the body all the time, normally skin go through the cycle of dying and being replaced once a month. If this process is sped up and the skin cells aren't removed, you get dandruff. Although the real causes of dandruff are still unknown, most theories involve the sebaceous glands being plugged, or overproducing.






To help control dandruff you can use a mild acidic solution on your scalp, before shampooing, about twice a week.






-- 1/2 cup Water


-- 1/2 cup of White Vinegar


Combine ingredients then apply directly to the scalp. Use before shampooing. Apply twice a week.






If you're using any oils on your scalp (coconut, jojoba, etc - not essential) stop and see if that helps. Also try adding some brown sugar to your baking soda wash and massage it into your scalp to help slough away flakes. Don't use white sugar, it will just dissolve.






Limp or weak hair:


You are over-conditioning! Cut back on how often you use a conditioning rinse. If you're using hot oil treatments, try going a little longer between them. Think about which moisturizing ingredients you're using in your routines, and cut back where you can.






I have hard water!


There are several things you can do if you have hard water, which can be very drying and cause damage to hair. If you can afford to install a water softener, which range anywhere from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars, have it done. If you can't, use distilled water or boiled water to wash your hair with. It won't remove all the impurities, but it can make a difference.


I currently do not use shampoo of any kind on my hair.  Instead I simply co -wash with my favorite conditioner with a touch of baking soda and extra virgin olive oil.  I looooove it and my hair loves it as well.


                                                                                                            ENJOY !!!!

MAGIC FOODS FOR BEAUTIFUL NATURAL HAIR...


Our hair is the external manifestation of how and what we eat. External hair beauty is a direct reflection of internal health.







Popping daily hair vitamins and minerals is a wonderful way to strengthen and enhance growing hair follicles. Unfortunately vitamin supplements may not be enough. It’s essential to get proper nutrients directly from the foods that we eat.






Hair Is 98 Percent Protein


Nutritionists advise healthy hair seekers to eat well-balanced diets that incorporate healthy proteins along with foods high in vitamin B, C, E, A and K.






Hair instantly responds to the addition of protein rich foods such as meats, eggs, cheese, seeds and nuts. Fish packs a double punch of protein combined with health building essential fatty acids and natural oils. Start each morning with a protein powder drink for instant protein gratification to jump start straggly stands.






Vitamin B


Scientific studies have shown B vitamin deficiencies in the diet can lead to hair problems ranging from mild to severe. Add B vitamin supplements to your daily supplement plan in addition to incorporating B complex food choices.






Jumpstart hair health by chowing down on green vegetables, beans, sunflower seeds, nuts and peas. These foods are all high in the B complex family which includes thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, niacinamide, pyridoxine, and pantothenic acid, cobalmin, folic acid, biotin, choline, inositol and para-aminobenxoic acid.






Although less popular, raw wheat germ, brewers yeast, kelp and desiccated liver are fabulous hair foods that offer a great source of rich vitamin B.


Vitamin C



Vitamin C is a great antioxidant promoting tissue and cell repair and growth. It also strengthens the overall immune system, and assists in metabolizing B vitamins and amino acids into the body.






Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, melons and berries (including black currants) are power packed sources of C. Brussel sprouts, red peppers, kale, cauliflower, tomatoes and cucumbers are additional choices for adding vitamin C foods to your diet.






Vitamin A - Bugs Bunny Had It Right


Bugs Bunny was on the right track with his lust for carrots. Load up on these orange beauty aides for super shiny tresses.






There is nothing better than a sweet mix of freshly squeezed carrot juice mixed with a little lemon or grapefruit juice to cut the sweetness. Whether you eat them raw or juiced, carrots are low in calories and chock full of great cell building Vitamin A.






If you’d rather leave all the orange goodies for that famous cartoon rabbit, you can substitute other Vitamin A rich foods such as sweet potatoes, squash, broccoli, cantaloupe or apricots.






Vitamin E


Vitamin E is known as the "heart healthy" vitamin. It also provides lots of benefits for growing vibrant hair. Add E to your diet by consuming foods like avocados, rice bran, nuts, dark green vegetables, legumes and whole grains.






Vitamin K


This lesser known vitamin helps to maintain healthy bones, teeth, gums, hair and muscles. Food sources of Vitamin K include seafood, dairy foods, figs, brewer yeast, asparagus, broccoli, lettuce, brussel sprouts, cabbage, dark green leafy vegetables, egg yolks, oatmeal, rye, soybeans, liver, wheat and yogurt.






Iron


Healthy hair requires a balanced source of iron in the body. Acquire iron naturally by eating eggs, fish, liver, oysters, meat, poultry, whole grains, green leafy vegetables and blackstrap molasses.






Magnesium


Magnesium deficiencies have been linked to hair problems. Incorporate a proper supply of this important mineral by eating foods that include dairy, meat, fish, fruits, nuts, brewer’s yeast, whole grains and green-leafy vegetables.






Potassium


Bananas are the best source for potassium which is important in nutrient transfer through cell membranes and is essential in hormone secretion. Potassium is found in dairy, fish, meat, poultry, dulse, kelp, blackstrap molasses, oranges and Tortula yeast.






Water


Eight to ten glasses of water a day are absolutely necessary to nourish healthy hair. Chemicals, pollutants and toxins all get trapped in the body. Water helps all chemical wastes, pollutants, toxins and other impurities be whisked out of the body. When you keep yourself well hydrated and clear of toxins, your live is free to help process all the proper nutrients that your body needs.






Essential Fats (EFAs)

Along with proper diet healthy hair needs two essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6, that are not produced naturally by the human body.






Omega-3 fats are found mostly in algae, cold-water fish, dark-green vegetables, hemp oil and pumpkin seed oil. Flax oil is consider the most concentrated source of omega-3 found in nature.






Omega-6 fats include borage, evening primrose oil, safflower oil, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, corn and pumpkin seeds. Other foods rich in essential fatty acids include English walnuts, kidney beans, navy beans, soybeans, and evening primrose oil.






Cold-pressed vegetable oils are also essential to a hair healthy diet. Lack of these oils causes dull, lifeless hair along with parched, rough skin. Add a teaspoon to your fresh daily salad and your hair will instantly benefit.






Fun Food Groups To Avoid

Not all foods are created equal in their ability to help grow scrumptious strands. Some foods actually harm your body’s ability to develop lush locks. Eating dead foods can lead to lifeless hair. Sugars and starches, soft drinks, and bad-for-you snacks compose the dead food categories proven to trigger body chemistry imbalances.






Caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and recreational drugs will also rob the body of important hair growing nutrients. Smoking has been conclusively proven to damage many important nutrients while nicotine of any type will destroy Vitamin C.






If you can’t completely eliminate foods that are not good for your hair consider cranking up your hair vitamins and at least cutting back on the unhealthy habits.






Knowing What To Eat


Combing a well balanced protein based diet with fresh seasonal fruits and veggies is a great insurance policy for growing fabulous hair you can flaunt. Most seasonal fruits and vegetables cover the full range of vitamins, minerals and trace elements needed for good health and great hair.






Consuming foods rich in copper, zinc and other natural food elements is also helpful. Raw nuts, seed and grains are the safest foods to select for maintaining and growing healthy hair. They furnish hormones, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, many of which are not contained in cooked and processed foods.






Sample Healthy HairFood Plan


Use the example of a healthy hair food plan listed below as a general starting point for building an individualized plan that you can live with to help grow gorgeous strands. If you have a sweet tooth try substituting honey and molasses for sugar. Vegetable oils are great substitutes for butter and other fats.






Note: Please consult with your physician before undertaking any long term nutritional plan.






Breakfast


Select from one or more of the following:






10 ounces of fresh squeezed juice (carrot, apple, lemon, orange)


half of grapefruit, melon or cup of fresh fruit


eggs cooked any style with turkey sausage or bacon


whole grain bread or toast


protein drink


1 Tbs of raw wheat germ


green tea as desired


2-3 glasses of spring water






Morning Snack


Select from one or more of the following:






Sunflower seeds


fresh carrot


apple or other fresh fruit


walnuts, cashews, raisons


green tea as desired


2-3 glasses of spring water






Lunch


Select from one or more of the following:






Garden fresh salad


Turkey, chicken, meat or fresh fish


grains


1 serving of beans or asparagus or broccoli or brussel sprouts or cabbage


green tea as desired


2-3 glasses of spring water






Afternoon Snack


Select from one or more of the following:






1 cup of yogurt


pumpkin seeds


fresh avocado


cup of watermelon chunks


1 banana


green tea as desired


2-3 glasses of spring water






Dinner


Select from one or more of the following:






Fresh garden salad with olive oil dressing


Baked fish or turkey, chicken, meat or fresh fish


green beans, asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts or cabbage


green tea as desired


2-3 glasses of spring water


Bedtime Snack


Select from one or more of the following:






1 cup of yogurt


pumpkin seeds


fresh avocado


cup of watermelon chunks


1 banana drizzled with a little honey or molasses


green tea as desired


2-3 glasses of spring water






Before you reach for the Cheetos consider reaching for a hair healthy snack. Grapes, cherries and apples are full of fabulous enzymes with proven health building value and they are sweet, filling treats. Raw nuts, seed and grains contain iron, silicon and sulfur that are additional aids for growing and keeping healthy hair.






Conclusion


While popping daily hair vitamins and minerals is a great way to help strengthen and enhance hair follicles, it is also important to eat hair healthy foods. Protein rich foods succulent fresh fruits and vegetables as well as other live foods like wheat germ, honey, molasses and yogurt instantly crank up the health and shine on your mane.                                                                                                         

Once reading this article, I found it to be very beneficial, I hope you ladies will find benefit from it as well.

                                                                                                           ENJOY!!!

                                                                                                                        

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

GROWTH TO CURLY LONG HAIR...



Can my natural hair grow long?

it is possible to grow your hair long even if your hair is tightly coiled or kinky curly, this is because it all depends on keeping healthy hair and retaining length through protective styling and using natural hair care products on your hair that will help promote growth instead of causing damage and breakage. Some tips on how to help grow your hairstyles is found from the hair specialist who have learned through trial and error what works best on naturally curly, kinky, wavy hair.



Henna can help condition hair and promote hair growth


Some have used Henna for hair growth as a natural color curly hair product. Using it as a way to condition the hair and get it healthy and moisturized. Henna has a muddy texture and can be added to honey, aloe vera and green tea. Henna requires that you leave it on for several hours, some even go to bed with it still in their hair covered by a plastic cap until the morning, and then they rinse it out several times.



Hair Growth New Growth tricks

Our hair is constantly growing so its important to keep the ends of you hair healthy and reduce breakage. Top things to do to promote hair growth is to tie your hair up at night with a silk covering and reduce friction while you sleep, also preventing hair loss is possible by using protein treatments, reconstructors, deep conditioning, limit use of heat on your hair and do not comb hair while dry. It is a labor of love for those who want to have long natural curly hair, it is not going to happen overnight it will take time, but it is possible to keep your hair in a state that actually causes it to continue to grow longer, not that it will actually make it grow.   I've found that researching the ingredients in the hair care products you use to be vital, this to can add to successful hair growth.

                                                                                                           ENJOY!!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

COLORING NATURAL HAIR..




Natural hairstyles dying your hair


when selecting your hair color for your hair is a big step especially if you are naturally curly, if you have decided to avoid chemicals and wear your hair natural choosing to bleach or dye your hairstyle color hair or not to color is a option for many especially if you want a safer way to color your hair. First you want to pick a color that will compliment your skin tone. If you choose the wrong color you may end up looking older, which is not good, and if you pick a color that has the wrong shades of green, reds or yellows it could make you look sickly instead of healthy


Where to get your hair color



The best place to go if you are considering coloring your hair is to a beauty salon, hairstylist are trained to know how to mix hair dye to fit the clients skin tone as well as to achieve the color that the client wants with minimum damage to the hair. If you choose to dye your hair at home you may find that you have picked a color that is too strong and may cause serious damage and breakage to your hair. Revlon, Clairol, Redken, Loreal are just a few of the many choices of hair color, that can prevent hair loss while dying at home


What condition is your hair in?



Take in consideration the condition of your hair, is it strong and healthy? It is one of the key things to measure, if your hair is brittle and dry it would not be best to color your hair because you may face hair loss. Also it is recommended not to go past 3 or 4 shades lighter or darker than your natural hair color
Making dark hair lighter



This poses a challenge for those of us who have brown black hair, it is the darkest of hair shades and usually if you choose to go lighter it will be more than 3 shades to get the look you are going for. Other issues include fading hair color, most people complain about how fast the hair color fades and if they are trying to cover gray hair, it is almost impossible to go longer than three weeks before the gray hair comes back.






Coloring hair at home



When you decide to color or dye your own hair it takes practice as well as patience, Clairol hair color is a popular brand that has color in many shades. Even if you are only trying to add highlights to your hair you can use semi permanent hair color or demi permanent which works well if you know you will need to refresh your color often.






Over the counter products come in a range of prices and quality, it is possible to find one product that will not damage your hair, you just have to read the ingredients and look for organic hair color or natural hair dye such as henna. If you are coloring curly hair you will have to use two boxes of color and you will need to start at the ends doing the hair close to the scalp last.






Hair color activates faster at the scalp that is why some people experience lighter shades at the scalp making their color for natural hair uneven. Vegetal bio colour is 100% herbal hair coloring this is good if you want to be free of harmful chemicals such as ammonia and peroxides. If you really want to save a few bucks you can make your own natural hair dye.


How to make natural hair dye



Natural hair dye is safe and non toxic to the environment, more people are socially conscious and are looking for hair color ideas and ways to use more natural products on their hair.


Henna natural hair color



First you will use henna powder it comes in a variety of shades from auburn to black, then you will add golden seal root, vinegar and hot water to turn it into a paste, this will help keep your desired color for up to 3 months with out damaging your hair but just conditioning it making it softer. Add safflower oil to your scalp after a co-wash and then add the natural herb hair coloring, leave it on your hair for up to 8 hours to achieve darker results. Wash out and rinse henna out of your hair then allow your hair to dry naturally, repeat until you reach the desired hair color that will flatter any haircut.




Adding highlights to your hair



When it comes to picking a color hue for highlights you will have a wider selection of colors to choose from, such as chestnut, cinnamon, beige brown, light brown, auburn, strawberry blonde, golden brown, light ash blonde, dark ash blonde, honey blonde, golden blonde, beige blonde. If you are starting out with a dark almost black natural color, you will have to bleach your hair first in the places that you want the lighter highlights, then you can use a semi or demi permanent color in the sections that have been bleached, because lighter hair shades will not take on dark hair color.




Bleaching dark hair



You will have to strip your hair color first and make it a pale yellowish color first. Every one hair has stages or phases of color already and it is just lifted up or out to achieve the look that we want. Deciding to be a home hair colorist requires that you learn these phases of hair coloring transition with dark brown black hair having a blue violet primary color, while medium light browns have a red, violet, orange primary color, whereas dark to light blondes have a orange, yellow primary color and light blondes has a pale yellow to white primary color, so you see there is a long list of color palettes one must go through before they can achieve a light hair color from a dark hair base.


CAUTION : I STRONGLY SUGGEST TO CONSULT WITH A PROFESSIONAL HAIRSTYLIST, BEFORE ATTEMPTING ANY USAGE OF HAIR BLEACH TO LIGHTEN OUR HAIR , REMEMBER THEY ARE PROFESSIONAL'S.

                                                                                                         ENJOY!!!