This is The Best Way to Increase Hair Growth

Hello Lovely,

Everyone is looking for the secret to hair growth. If you're like me, you've probably tried and tested over a dozen myths for stimulating hair growth. Whether it's brushing your hair 100 times a day or standing on your head to increase blood flow to the scalp, I'm sure we've all done something silly thinking it'll make our hair grow faster. But has anyone ever thought of simply eating well and exercising? While most people work out in order to lose weight, get fit, or relieve stress, many fail to consider how exercising can affect your hair health. There's still a lot of untruth out there but there are a few undisputed facts.

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Stress Reduction

An element that most adults can benefit from, stress reduction is important for every healthy, well-adjusted adult. A fairly well-known fact, exercising regularly has the ability to improve one’s mood as well as keep mental disorders such as seasonal depression at bay. Moreover, given that an abundance of stress is said to cause hair shedding, by reducing your stress levels, you will also be inadvertently reinforcing your natural hair health. Stress is stressful for your hair. When you are stressed, your body produces stress hormones (cortisone). Stress hormones affect your whole body, and may also cause hair loss. 

How important is exercise for healthy hair?

Exercise is one of the Important Key for good health and good hair. When we exercise we sweat. Through sweat, toxins and waste substances are flushed out from the skin pores, giving us a fresh and radiant skin. Likewise, when we sweat from our scalp, it helps to unclog the hair follicles, giving enough space for the new hair to grow. Exercising also increases blood flow to our muscles, skin and scalp. The increased blood flow brings with it more nutrients and more oxygen. This provides nourishment to the hair roots, and thereby promoting healthy hair growth. Some of the effects of exercising are comparable to effects of oil massage. Both exercise and oil massage can increase blood circulation, open clogged pores and has relaxing effect over all. 

The effects of exercise are not just limited to hair, but your whole being will feel happy and healthy. Plus not exercising and eating healthy is like applying oil on the scalp and leaving it on without massaging. Its doesn’t help much. So even if we may we eat healthy, by not exercising we deprive our muscles, skin and scalp of effective nutrients exchange. The result is lifeless skin and hair.

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People generally think exercising is very time consuming

There are lot of myths associated with exercise. Firstly you don’t have to go to gym and exercise for hours. You can exercise at your very home or nearby park or ground. You can start with 5 minutes of brisk walk and then gradually build up on that. Secondly shun the stereotypes and find an activity that you enjoy like dance, martial art such as Taekwondo, Tai Chi, or any sport or physical activity. It’s all about reprogramming your thoughts and having fun with it.

Hair growth is affected by many different factors but in the end, there is still one universal truth: Exercise is beneficial for all-around growth. So get active and watch the changes!

My Natural Hair Journey: 2 Months After My Haircut Nearly Ruined My Life

Hello Lovely,

This month makes two years since I big chopped making me officially a naturalista! I was hoping my hair would have been longer by now, but after bleaching it twice, really not understanding much about natural hair (I seriously just found out what TWA stands for about a month ago) and after undergoing to worst, most unexpected haircut back in April, I basically spent two years just to have about 4 inches of hair.

I would like to think that I was strong enough to rock my hair regardless but I was really embarrassed. I about about to meet my future mother-in-law in St. Croix who has really long hair and I didn't want her to think ill of me. Yeah, I was that self-conscious. Also I was going to be on vacation in a foreign country with lots of visits to the beach and I did not want to have to fix my hair so I went with box braids.

It looked great but I really was ashamed the entire time. I ended up leaving the braids in for 6-7 weeks and experienced a lot of breakage when I finally took it out. Which added more feelings of shame so I had my mum flat row the front for me.

Since the haircut, this was honestly the first time I looked at my hair and actually liked it. The style looked great, everyone liked it and it also hid the length because everyone thought it was just shrinkage. But of course, it didn't take long for my hair to dry out and I was back to feeling like nothing would ever work for my hair.

After doing some research, I learned that I had low porosity hair. And being the hypochondriac that I am, I am grateful for every diagnosis I can get because it helps me to come up with a practical solution, rather than sitting in defeat. That's when I came across this amazing Honey & Aloe Hair Treatment that I shared last Friday on the blog. 

Yesterday was my second time trying it. I didn't feel like going outside to cut the aloe plant so I used my aloe vera juice and honey, which I'm sure works the same way. I combine about 1/2 cup of aloe vera juice (because my hair is still shoulder length it doesn't require much) with 1 tablespoon of honey and stir until the honey is completely dissolved. You'll want to pour it over dry hair and really make sure it's fully absorbed into the hair. Then I put on a plastic shower cap and left it on for an hour because I don't apply heat to my hair.

After that I rinsed it out with hot water, then did a final rinse in cold water. From here I allowed my hair to dry 80%, before starting my LCO. For the L, I used coconut milk. In the past my hair has responded really well to coconut milk. My supply is diluted with water and a little bit of aloe vera juice. Then I have to wait for my hair to dry 80% again.

After this, I'll section my hair into relatively small sections and apply my C, Aunt Jackies Seal it Up, Hydrating Sealing Butter and then apply my O, Olive Oil before detangling and styling. I used to use olive oil when I lived in Tampa, so going back to it felt like the right thing to do and I really can't remember why I ever stopped. The first time I did this LCO after the aloe and honey treatment, I was genuinely surprised by how much shine and bounce my hair had. It also lasted about four days before it started to feel dry again, so I think my new regimen will be to do this entire process every 4-5 days, shampooing twice per month.

I'll definitely keep you guys up to date with how this goes for me. I think I've noticed about two inches of growth since the haircut, which I think we can all agree is better than nothing! I can't tell you how many selfies I took yesterday because I was just so happy with my hair! For growth? Who knows. It may have been the tea tree oil, it may have been the lavender essential oil. Maybe even a combination of both. Either way, I'm satisfied!

What has your natural journey been like? Share any tips you may have for others who may be suffering or struggling with low porosity hair!

How a Trip to the Salon Nearly Ruined My Life

Hello Lovely,

It's funny how one day before I was supposed to do something to cheer up my soon-to-be step-sister, I was in desperate need of cheering up myself. Wait, what? You're probably wondering what happened and who this soon-to-be-step-sister is. Calm down! Let's back-track shall we?

So I work in a school as a secretary. Not glamorous but it pays the bills. My dad's girlfriend, now fiance, has two daughters who both go to this school. They're only a little over a year apart with the youngest daughter being 13. Ouch! I know! Very difficult years to navigate! Well on Friday the youngest came into the office to call her mum because she had a bad day. After she hung up, I pulled her to the side to talk. Now I know it would be very easy to ignore this situation as we are nothing to each other. But I'm the bigger (older) person and I have to set the tone for how our 'relationship' will be, i.e. whether or not we'll even have one. I should mention that before this, we had never spoken. Even during the photo shoot, I just took their pictures and communicated through my dad. I didn't expect her to say much of anything to me (she's a teen, they're tough to talk to). But as soon as we were alone, she immediately opened up and began crying. Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm awkward around tears (despite also being an MFT Intern). I either start crying too, or completely ignore you. I listened to her, shared some of my own relevant experience and in a last minute effort to win her over, I offered to come by on Sunday after church to do some craft projects with her. This really got her excited and we even hugged on it!

I was really proud of myself for answering God's call to lend a helping hand to someone in need. But this joy didn't last long. On Saturday, I went to my mum's hairdresser for a wash and TRIM. I emphasize the word trim, because it seemed simple enough, yet I walked out of there with more than three inches less, than what I walked in with. As angry as I was with her, I was angrier with myself. I knew that she tends to cut instead of trim, but I still went to her because the service was being paid for by my mum. I had a feeling that she was cutting off more than she should have, but I didn't stop her. I didn't demand that she turn me around so that I could see in the mirror exactly how much she was cutting off. I didn't speak up.

And trust me, I have watched enough episodes of Law and Order SVU and read enough textbooks to know that the victim always blames herself even though it's never the victims fault, but I couldn't help it. I cried all night. Even when I thought I was over it, I cried again. My mother, dad, brother, boyfriend, best friends, even my boss (when I ran into her after the incident) tried to console me and shared in my anger. I think what made this even more difficult was that back in 2009, after getting my heart broken by my first real boyfriend, one of my best friends helped me to dye my hair at home, and then like an idiot only one month later, tried to perm it at home. You're probably thinking it couldn't have been that bad, could it? Oh it was bad trust me! The bottom right side of my head was bald and the rest of my hair was thinning out. I had no choice but to cut it in one of the ugliest haircuts I have ever seen (a little on the top, practically nothing at the back). That was definitely in my top 5 traumatic experiences ever! So when my hair got cut again, it definitely brought back flashbacks and major PTSD. I was ready to skip out on Church and the crafts on Sunday, but I made a promise to her and at her age, broken promises make you good as dead to them.

So on Sunday, I wrapped my head in a scarf, ready to hide my shame, gathered my craft supplies and headed out the door for church. I wasn't crying any more over the haircut, but a dark cloud still loomed over me. But get this. When I stepped outside, I noticed that the Hibiscus tree was in bloom. And so were my mother's Lilies. Fresh flowers that weren't there the day before! It was a miracle. I knew instantly that, that was God's way of smiling down on me and letting me know that everything would be okay. Imagine. While my world was in chaos, the outside world was still functioning and better yet, BLOOMING! My mother's lilies hadn't been in bloom in about a year. I was struggling with my outer beauty, when there was so much beauty around me.

Sure I still had an anxiety attack at church and practically ran out of the room before crying again, but that was the last of it. Having dinner with my step-family and bonding over painting mugs and bowls was really therapeutic as it allowed me to get to know them better and create something beautiful. 

Now I am not an expert artist. Painting is not my forte. Nor my step-sisters. But we had a blast fudging our way through it. I think my mug turned out pretty decent and I'm proud I was able to produce a bowl to match. Sure the bowl looks a little tribal, while the mug is more like a cow skipping through an asymmetrical garden. But everyone loved the design and I think my grandmother will love it as a Mother's Day present! (I was originally going to give it to my mother but she reads my blog so that would totally ruin the surprise).

This is the beauty of healing through art therapy. In art therapy, words are not always necessary. A mere lump of clay or a blank canvas can be far less threatening than giving voice to painful feelings, words, or images. The simple act of a scribble on paper can likely bring light to darkness, ignite conversation, or be a release for a depressing thought. I leave you with this verse to encourage you throughout your week:

Isaiah 41:10

10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

If Your Natural Hair Could Talk What Would It Say?

Hello Lovely,

When I got an email from Black Hair Information with this title, I thought, "What a silly title". But then I got thinking, this would make an excellent game to play! So I posed this question to the wonderful people in a Natural Hair group on Facebook and they sure did have fun with it! I was excited to see what their responses would be, and it would overwhelmingly positive. I was so happy to see so many black women loving their hair, and even making jokes about it. 

Now I know everyone doesn't talk to their hair, but everyone really should. Here's what the ladies had to say about their hair.

Aisha: My hair IS saying.. Look, I over stand the struggle, but on the real you ain't showing me no love. Can you please wash me already???!!!! 

Aisha: My hair IS saying.. Look, I over stand the struggle, but on the real you ain't showing me no love. Can you please wash me already???!!!! 

Antanette: Mine would say, thank you for ending the torture of chemical straightening, and constant heat. You take so much better care of me now I appreciate that!

Antanette: Mine would say, thank you for ending the torture of chemical straightening, and constant heat. You take so much better care of me now I appreciate that!

Mine would say .....dis gal is jus to care free......put me in 1 plz ....kml

Mine would say .....dis gal is jus to care free......put me in 1 plz ....kml

Camille: Mine would say, "I can get used to these twist outs" 

Camille: Mine would say, "I can get used to these twist outs" 

Charmaine: This could be us but you playing!

Charmaine: This could be us but you playing!

Chiara: So it's like that huh?!

Chiara: So it's like that huh?!

Marie: Mine would be like this does Not look like that YouTube tutorial smh

Marie: Mine would be like this does Not look like that YouTube tutorial smh

Me:  Mine is saying, "Okay you think you bad cause your hair still straight? Watch for you when you finally wash me!"

Me:  Mine is saying, "Okay you think you bad cause your hair still straight? Watch for you when you finally wash me!"

Nelly: Mines would say hello beautiful thanks for always keeping me protected from the heat and wind

Nelly: Mines would say hello beautiful thanks for always keeping me protected from the heat and wind

Rae: Mine would say "waaaater! Waaaaaater!" Lol

Rae: Mine would say "waaaater! Waaaaaater!" Lol

Reah: Mines would say get to together. Not everyday has to be a bad hair day, you can't rock every YouTube hair tutorial style all at once!

Reah: Mines would say get to together. Not everyday has to be a bad hair day, you can't rock every YouTube hair tutorial style all at once!

Regina: Mine is saying, I love you just as much as you love me! thank you for treating me so well.

Regina: Mine is saying, I love you just as much as you love me! thank you for treating me so well.

Sandena: My natural hair: How dare you cover me up under your weave?  Me: I'm only trying to protect you boo boo

Sandena: My natural hair: How dare you cover me up under your weave?

Me: I'm only trying to protect you boo boo

Sydra: Mine would say, "sooooo u allowed me to go back natural just to throw crochet braids on me?!" 

Sydra: Mine would say, "sooooo u allowed me to go back natural just to throw crochet braids on me?!" 

Tejada: My hair would say: shrinkage you bi...

Tejada: My hair would say: shrinkage you bi...

Tiffany: Mine would say, "Who asked you for colour? Ya too fresh and ya better not cause me to drop or else!"

Tiffany: Mine would say, "Who asked you for colour? Ya too fresh and ya better not cause me to drop or else!"

Ynise: Mine would say, "Hello, loverrrrrr!....FREEDOMMMM!!!!"

Ynise: Mine would say, "Hello, loverrrrrr!....FREEDOMMMM!!!!"

If you want to join in the fun, feel free to submit your selfie and caption!

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XoX,


Turn Up The Volume!

VOLUME

In my second instalment of Hair Education Week, we're talking Volume! And in this instance, more is definitely more! Volume refers to combination of your hair density and the diameter of your individual strands. How many hair strands you have per square inch (2cm) of your scalp determines your density. We wouldn't recommend counting but suffice to say density relates to your hair’s volume. The width of your individual strands, porosity and hair texture also play a part in your hair’s volume.

We decided to organize content on the site by Volume meaning you can find content related to your hair’s overall appearance in “Fine,” “Regular” and “Thick”.

• In the Fine section you’ll find content pertaining to naturals with a combination of low density and/or thin individual hair strands.
• In the Regular section you’ll find content pertaining to naturals with a combination of medium density and/or average diameter hair strands.
• In the Thick section (this is where I fall under) you’ll find content pertaining to naturals with a combination of high density and/or coarse individual strands.

Hope we haven’t confused ya! If not let’s get to it. How do you determine your hair’s density? Read on…

FINE

There’s two ways to check whether your hair has low density and therefore is on the finer side. If you’re a straight natural and your hair is long enough to get into a ponytail, measure the circumference. If it’s 2″ or less then you have Fine hair. For curly naturals, take a look at your parts the next time you do two strand twists. Can you see your scalp easily? If so, you have less hair follicles per square inch hence the ability to see your scalp easily. Finer haired naturals should go easy on the amount of product they use when styling. You don’t want to weigh your hair down. To create the illusion of more volume, pinned up hairstyles are your best friend!

REGULAR

When examining your scalp to determine your hair density it’s always best to do it when your hair is dry. Wet hair can look thinner / limper than it really is. Don’t play yourself! The average person has 2,200 hairs per square inch – this is where you guys fall. When your hair is in two strand twists you’ll probably only see your scalp here and there. As like before, straight naturals can throw up a ponytail and measure its circumference. Two to four inches is considered Regular / average in terms of density. You aren't too limited with the products you can use or the hairstyles you can achieve – you lucky dog!

THICK

Now my Thick sistas have a lot going on up top. When you do two strand twists the parts are tight and narrow. Hardly any scalp is visible. You have way more than 2,200 hair follicles per square inch. We’re talking 140,000 hair strands total on your entire head (100,000 is the average / 80,000 is less than average). Now you know why it takes so long to do those darn twist outs! If your hair is straight then your ponytail’s circumference is 4″ or more. You may need to use heavier products to hold all those curls in place. You can cut your hair into layers to reduce some of the volume.

Swimming With Natural Hair: What You Need to Know Before Hitting the Beach

I have never been one of those girls that refused to get my hair wet whenever I was going to the pool or the beach. I never had difficulty washing my hair. In fact, my only problem was drying. I always ended up with a huge frizz ball for hair. Even now that I’m natural, I still don’t have problems washing my hair. Maybe because it’s not as long as when it was permed, it’s not a hassle. Detangling takes a while yes, but once we’ve got a rhythm going, things tend to move rather smoothly. I think at this point, my only concern is protecting it from damage. So because I was going to the beach today with some friends, and considering that my hair is now purple, I decided to look up some tips on how to protect my hair from damage from the salt water. It’s actually so simple, and doesn’t take much time at all. Some people were saying I would have to soak my hair in a bunch of different oils, and wrap my hair… I wanted to scream! I can’t imagine putting too much oils or products into the ocean. These tips helped me today, so hopefully, they can help you too:

 

  • Saturate your hair - sounds silly right? Why do I need to wet my hair BEFORE I get in the water? Quick answer – wet hair will soak up less chlorine (or sea salt) than dry hair will. Think of it like a sponge. A dry sponge will absorb as much liquid as it can. But a wet sponge is so full, it can’t absorb any more.

  • Apply coconut oil (unrefined is best) prior to getting in the water (preferably the night before). Hair will absorb the coconut oil strengthening the hair shaft thus providing extra protection against the chlorine. I used organic extra virgin olive oil.

  • Coat hair with conditioner - this will seal the cuticle and help create a barrier between your strands and the chlorine. *some choose to forego this tip because fellow swimmers may end up wearing it and tasting it! I didn’t do this step. I figured the coconut oil would be enough.

  • Do not leave your hair out - one big braid or a bun will keep hair from becoming matted or tangled. My hair is currently in a twists up-do.

  • Wear a swim cap – it may not be sexy and you can certainly skip it, however, the more barrier between your hair and the chlorine the better.

 

Post Swim:

  • Rinse with water then shampoo – there are several swimmers shampoos out there. Try Ions Swimmer Shampoo (100% vegan and sulfate free) or Triswim Shampoo (paraben free). I used Garnier Fructis Color Shield Fortifying Shampoo.

  • Condition as normal (deep condition if you feel it’s necessary). I used Cantu Leave in Conditioner.

How do you prep your hair prior to taking a dip?