Tips For Maintaining Natural Hair While Wearing Braids Or Twists

 

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This summer, plenty of naturals are giving up their weaves and extensions as protective styles, and are wearing braids. Not only are braids easy to manage and versatile, but they are trendy and unique to each individual’s preference. Although braids are an easy protective style, after enduring the long hours it takes installing them, your natural hair still needs to be taken care of. This article will give you tips on how to get braids and how to maintain your natural hair under braids.

 

A Tip When Getting Braids Or Twists

 

Make Sure Your Edges Aren’t Braided Too Tight

– A lot of us feel that when we get braids, our edges should be slicked into a braid and that the hair braider should braid up hair we didn’t even know we had! Not only is that painful, but it’s harmful to your hair. If you look at the braids along your hairline and see hair with little white bulbs at the roots, then your braids are too tight and you’re unintentionally pulling out your hair- causing you to not retain length and potentially setting yourself up for central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (which centers on the crown, or hairline, of the scalp and spreads along the edges).

 

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Tips For Maintaining Natural Hair With Braids & Twists

 

Don’t Neglect, Just Modify, Your Hair Regimen

– Yes, being able to get in the pool, or going to the beach for a day, without having to worry about styling your hair the next day can be fun – and a relief- but don’t forget your regimen. A hair regimen is basically just a routine you follow when it comes to your hair. Some people’s regimens include detangling, conditioning, hot oil treatment, etc… Well when you have braids, you can’t particularly do everything you did to your hair in it’s natural state. Find out what’s best for you, and stick with it. Only you can determine what works for your hair and what doesn’t.

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Moisture! Moisture! Moisture!

– Seawater and Chlorine can dry your hair out. Salt, which is abundant in seawater, automatically dries out your hair. Sebum is a natural oil produced by the hair, and chlorine, commonly found in swimming pools, removes the sebum from your hair causing your hair to not be protected by natural oils, inevitably leading to split ends. Ways to tackle the negative effects of seawater and chlorine are to shampoo and deep condition your hair as often as you do when its in its natural state. For those of you who don’t use shampoo, practice the co wash method. As long as your hair is maintained, and moisturized, you will retain length and  experience hair growth while protective styling for the summer.

 

Eau de Curly Girl: Perfume For Your Hair

       Thanks to Andrea from one of my new favorite YouTube channels, AndreasChoice, I have recently been on a dedicated search for a hair perfume. I didn’t even know hair perfumes existed, but now that I do I most definitely cannot pass up the opportunity to have a fragrant fro. As of late my go to body scent is Bath & Body Works Amber Blush. I’m all about warm scents with hints of citrus and amber, so I want a hair scent that falls in line.
Selecting a hair perfume is a little different than selecting a body fragrance. For one, you definitely have to make sure the fragrance doesn’t clash with any of the hair products that you use. If you’re not, you could end up emitting an overwhelming or unpleasant scent. I have also been cautious of the ingredients that they may contain, aiming mainly to avoid alcohols, sulfates, and parabens. I want my hair to smell lovely, but not at the cost of dryness or extra build up. You can find various brands of hair perfumes at stores like Ulta and Sephora, as well as online. I have found that many popular perfume lines include a hair fragrance, including Angel by Thierry Muegler and Pink Sugar by Aquolina. I have yet to select the perfect scent, but below are a few options that us curly girls balling on a collegiate budget can afford.

UO Apothecary Hair Perfume (Urban Outfitters,$6.95)

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Urban Outfitters has a surprisingly dope selection of natural hair and body products. Their hair perfume is alcohol and cruelty free, plus its comes at an awesome price! It comes in various scents such as Red Currant and Woods & Turberose. You can purchase an 8oz bottle in Urban Outfitters stores or from their website.

Mane Teeze Hair Perfume Collection (Mane Teeze, $35)

(photo credit: http://www.maneteeze.com/#!product/prd1/453938661/hair-perfume-collection-3-x-50ml)
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The women behind Mane Teeze offer a diverse collection of hair perfumes that come in three scents: Haute Mess, Black Widow, and Social Butterfly. The line is sulfate, paraben, and cruelty free and they claim that the fragrances are subtle enough not to conflict with your body fragrance.  They are sold individually in 50mL bottles for $35 or in a set of three for $85 on ManeTeeze.com.

Black Amber & Lavender Scented Hair Perfume (Sugamommy, $14.95)

(photo credit:https://www.etsy.com/listing/182866873/black-amber-lavender-scented-hair?ref=related-0)
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Black Amber & Lavender scented anything is right up my alley, so I was excited to find Sugamommy hair perfumes on Etsy. There are various other scents and they are full of great ingredients such as Organic Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Ecocert Beet Sugar Extract,  and Algae Extract. This line of perfumes is also awesome because they are custom made to order and you can add in various finishes including oil, hydrating mist, or shine.

No. 5 The Hair Mist (Chanel, $68)

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This is definitely a splurge item, but I decided to include it because Chanel is such a classic fragrance, plus we should all treat ourselves every now and again. This hair fragrance comes highly recommended by various beauty bloggers and Oprah’s beauty team because it has a light but lasting scent, and its oil based and alcohol free. Chanel offers their hair mist in many of their other signature scents including Coco Mademoiselle and Chance. If I ever feel like embodying Marilyn Monroe, but with a fro, I’m sure I’ll reach for this.

Delicieux Hair Perfume (Yummi Hair Care, $10)

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Yummi Hair Care’s Delicieux hair fragrances come in various scents including Pomegranate Daquiri and Raspberry Splash. They are filled with healthy ingredients such as grapeseed oil and silk amino acids. It’s reasonably priced and alcohol free. You can purchase a 4 oz bottle at the Yummi Hair Care Etsy store.

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Werk It Out, Frizz It Out Playlist

Listening to music is a crucial part of working out nowadays. It sets the mood for the workout, and pushes you harder. Not being able to find the perfect playlist or songs for your workout is a thing of the past. There are tons of pre-made playlists on Spotify, or you can pick your own station on Pandora. I recommend the Beyoncé station, it’ll bring out your inner Sasha Fierce. Here are a few songs that I recommend adding to your playlist that will give our workout a little bit of an edge, and help you get in the zone.

Problem (feat. Iggy Azalea) – Ariana Grande

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She’s been dubbed the mini Mariah, but when Ariana sings, “I’ve got one less problem without you,” it’ll have you agreeing that you’ll have one less problem without that extra [insert trouble area here]. This song will give you the energy to keep going and put you in a good mood with the jazz vibrations and saxophone in the background.

 

 

 

Lemonade (feat. Tyga) – Danity Kane

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They might be called “DK3” now, but Danity Kane is back and telling their haters to drink lemonade. And soon you’ll be telling your haters to wipe that sour look off their faces when they see how good you look from working out to this song. Like Tyga says, “Are you mad, my chick bad?” Lemonade will make you wanna get up and dance those pounds off.

 

 

 

Talk Dirty (feat. 2 Chainz) – Jason Derülo

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No matter where you’re from, Jason Derülo wants you to talk dirty to him. And what better way to talk dirty to someone than to train dirty. Speak the language that the boys love. I mean, who doesn’t love a girl who can hold her own in the gym. Talk Dirty has the upbeat vibe that will allow you to go harder and train dirty.

 

 

 

My Girl (feat. Trevor Jackson) – Diggy

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Little Diggy Simmons is all grown up, and he’s looking for his girl. But in case you haven’t seen his Instagram page lately, I’m pretty sure he’d love a girl who can workout with him in the gym – be his “swolemate.” My Girl has that smooth, easy on the ears sound that is perfect for your cool down. It’ll keep you on pace, yet relaxed, bringing your workout to an end.

 

 

Fancy (feat. Charli XCX) – Iggy Azalea

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Now what female doesn’t wanna be fancy? Iggy Azalea will have you focused on being the fancy and fit girl inside of you. The hip-hop sound of Fancy will help you keep your eye on the prize while you’re in the gym. It’s so catchy that you’ll leave the gym singing it. Like Iggy said, “remember my name,” which people will from all the hard work you put in at the gym.

 

 

Wiggle (feat. Snoop Dogg) – Jason Derülo

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Yes, Jason Derülo is so good that he’s on this list twice; his songs are made for the gym. This time he gives words of reassurance when he says, “you know what to do with that big fat butt.” Of course you know what to do, do some squats! Wiggle will have you focused on gaining or maintaining the perfect lower backside which is most girls dream (especially since it’s bikini season). So get to it!

Should You Totally Ditch Shampoo?

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Constantly I hear the pros and cons of people raving about co-washing your hair vs. shampooing and conditioning your hair. In this article I will discuss the my point of view on co-washing your hair vs. shampooing your hair.

Why I Support Shampooing Natural Hair

 

  • Some people only wash their scalp with shampoo and allow the shampoo to clean the rest of their hair when they rinse their hair and the water/shampoo slides down the hair shaft.
  • Eventually you have to do do something to decrease product build up on your scalp whether you use shampoo or a cleanser.

 

Why I Support Co-Washing Natural Hair

 

  • Who doesn’t love the idea of constantly conditioning their hair?
  • With this method you may not experience that squeaky clean feeling you have after washing your hair with shampoo because the essential oils in your hair, produced by your sebaceous glands, didn’t get removed.
  • Might promote hair growth by increasing length retention.

 


People On YouTube That Only Use 1 Of The Methods Above & Their Results

iKnowlee: http://youtu.be/mMqJhV372mE

Jaleesa Moses: http://youtu.be/mMqJhV372mE

Alicia James: http://youtu.be/clONWsJIsS4

Yolanda Renee: http://youtu.be/JK5OmwDZMy0

Photo Source: http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/washinghair.png

 

Using the Co-Wash Method only or the 2 step process of using Shampoo and Conditioner, is completely your choice. Some people experience product build up quicker when using only cowash method and some people experience tangling and more knots when using shampoo. As long as you keep your hair’s moisture and protein levels balanced, choose whatever method suits you best.

Hairfinity Hype

Length. Length. Length. It’s one of the most coveted things in the natural hair community. There’s articles upon articles, and remedies upon remedies on “how to achieve long natural hair.” But the question is, do they really work? There is also the excitement over Biotin, which is a vitamin that has proven to be beneficial to promote hair health, and more importantly length. But, I’m sorry to say that Biotin is a pill of the past.

The natural hair community has moved on to hair vitamins that have been said to promote hair health, thickness, and length. Let’s see, there is Hairburst, formerly known as HairVits, and the oh so popular Hairfinity. Now Hairfinity is said to nourish your hair from the inside out. It’s the newest craze in not only the natural hair community, but the hair community in general. If you peruse their Instagram page, you’ll find women of all colors, textures, lengths, and backgrounds confessing their love for this product.

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Hairfinity not only talks the talk, but walks the walk. There are testimonies overflow on their website and their Instagram. But I think their greatest testimonies are in the celebrities and natural hair bloggers that have jumped on the bandwagon and proven its success. Just to name a few: Kendra & Kelsey Murrell (check out my article “Curly Qs: Natural Hair Bloggers & Gurus), Angela Simmons, Naturally Neiicey, Taren Guy, Keshia Knight Pulliam, and Toya Carter Wright.

Now, with all this, how could one not fall into this trap and want to see what all the hype is about? Well, I fell, and I ended up on the Hairfinity journey. I started in January of this year, and I am currently on my sixth bottle. I started the Hairfinity journey with the hope of gaining length. So far, I’ve seen my hair increase in health, but also in thickness. My hair was already thick to begin with, but now it’s even thicker! I have also gotten way more compliments about my hair since taking the vitamins.

I’m hesitant to say that I have not received length because I have, but not as noticeable as I would have thought, or liked it to be. I also cannot say no because with my type 4 hair, shrinkage is real. But let this not discouraged you, I do believe Hairfinity does work. Patience is key. We all know natural hair can be a pain sometimes, but it doesn’t hurt to try new things.

Once I finish my seventh bottle, in celebration of not straightening my hair or using heat for seven months, I’ll straighten it to see how much growth I have gained. And then I will truly be able to see if I have gained the length I have been striving for.

So in conclusion:

  1. Hairfinity does work! But like anything else, it works different for different people
  2. Keep up with me and my Hairfinity journey! Follow me on Instagram: @MoneBrianna

So are you game to join the Hairfinity journey?

 

 

Photo Credit: http://keturahariel.tumblr.com/post/85663235288/1-15-hairfinity-digital-paintings-ive-been, http://mydreamisnear.tumblr.com/post/86319492783/embrace-your-journey-on-we-heart-it

How To: Curl Form Your Hair Using Curlformers

 

 

1. Wash & Condition Your Hair  

Photo Source: http://bit.ly/1jlZEAK

 

 

 

– If you don’t use shampoo, just practice the no poo method and co wash only. The objective is to get the hair as clean as possible without any products because you’ll apply products later in the process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Detangle Your Hair

 

– Detangle your hair thoroughly to get all of the knots and tangles out that you can. The less knots and tangles in your hair, reduces hair breakage when you pull your hair through the curlformer later in the process.

 

 

3. Part Your Hair In Small Sections

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The kinkier your hair ( I have 4a – 4c hair) the smaller your sections should be. The curlier your hair, sections can be bigger but don’t make your sections too big because if they are too big they won’t pull through the curlformer very well. When you part your hair into sections, twist the root just a little bit so the curlformer stick that comes with the curlformers can latch on to the twisted root of your hair. After latching the hair and stick together, pull your hair through the curlformer and you should have have a head full of curlformers when complete.

 

4. Anti-Frizz & Anti Humidity Products

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Use product on your hair that you normally use, although I wouldn’t use some hair gels because it might flake up and make the curls hard and limp. I suggest using a product that reduces frizz and protects the hair against humidity so that your hair doesn’t puff up as soon as you step outside.

      

 

 

 

 

 

5. Allowing The Curl To Set

 

Allow your curlformers to dry thoroughly under a hair dryer. If you don’t want to dry your hair under a dryer, sleep with the curlformers in your hair although it might be very uncomfortable. Sleeping with curlformers in your head might make you want to abandon your hairstyle throughout the night in trade for a good night’s rest.

 

 

6. After The Curlformer Dries 

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In the morning, slowly remove the curlformers and you should have big curls in the morning.

 


 

Curlformers come in different sizes and can be found at Sally’s, Ebay, Amazon, etc…

Photo Source: http://bit.ly/TQD86H

 

 

After trying out curlformers on myself, here are my results:

 

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– My hair became frizzy over time because initially I put no anti-frizz or humidity proof products in my hair and I didn’t let the Curlformers dry fully. Overall I like the results of the style, but it is time consuming.

 

If you decide to try Curlformers on your hair, share it with CurlyInCollege on Instagram under the hashtag #CurlyInCollege

And She Braids Too

High fashion powerhouse, Vogue, dropped an artful video featuring Lupita Nyong’o today, and just like every other time Queen Lupita does anything, the Internet went wild. This video didn’t feature Lupita performing a monologue or stunting on us with her fashion as usual, but it showed her engaging in one of her favorite hobbies: braiding hair. What can’t she do?!

In the short video titled “Braids,” Lupita tells us about how her aunt taught her to braid and twist, as she corn rows a friends hair on camera. All while looking fly, I might add. Her desire to learn the craft came from a disappointing visit to a braid shop in NYC while she was an undergraduate. Throughout the video she skillfully braids the hair of her six closest friends, and shares some of her views on braiding and hair with a subtle passion that is genuinely beautiful. In her eyes, braiding someone’s hair can be “intimate”. She saw it as her “side hustle” and a hobby that gave her the opportunity to connect with others. The short clip is a cute look into her life that adds to her enigmatic presence in pop culture, but also humanizes her, and makes her more relatable. As an African woman myself, it was great to see her doing something that so many women in my family do in their day to day lives. Hair braiding is a cultural symbol that is engrained in the community of black Americans and Africans throughout the Diaspora that has recently been co-opted by sources of high fashion media. As braids show up on runways and fashion spreads, they are becoming trendy, and people who are blind to elements of black culture have believed it to be a “new” hairstyle. In some ways this video helps take ownership back, all while embracing the art form of braiding and natural hair itself.

In cultures across the world, hair is a woman’s crowning glory. To me it’s a physical expression of oneself and identity. Natural hair, and the beauty of black women in general is often chastised and belittled in our society, and that’s one of the many reasons Lupita has been such a breath of fresh air. She is a different picture of “black womanhood”, and to many the physical manifestation of the black woman that is often forgotten in mainstream media. “Braids” is a simple but poignant embrace of the beauty of black hair, African culture, and Lupita herself. I loved it and I encourage you to watch it here!

photo credit: http://hiphollywood.com/2014/06/braided-up-lupita-nyongo-reveals-haircare-hobby/

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Natural Hair Stylist: First Visit Tips

There comes a point in every natural’s journey where they must visit a salon. Some people choose a salon that offers Dominican Blowouts, some choose all natural salons that cater specifically to naturals, and some will only enter a salon just to get their ends trimmed. Whatever the reason may be, knowing what you want when you walk into the salon is key.
Continue reading Natural Hair Stylist: First Visit Tips

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Hair Crush: Tracee Ellis Ross

Actress, comedian, online sensation, and my personal girl crush is this week’s hair crush, Ms. Tracee Ellis Ross. Tracee not only gets her curly q’s from her famous mother, Diana Ross, but she rocks and embraces her curls too. She’s a free spirit who didn’t let society define her. Her big personality is only complemented by her big hair, which makes her a powerhouse, and overall crush worthy. In an industry that “celebrates” straight hair, Tracee embraces her “different” hair. Her hair is now her trademark, it’s what she’s known for. What’s peanut butter without jelly, or Tracee Ellis Ross without her big hair.

Check Tracee’s video on her hair journey, and loving and accepting her own hair.

CurlyinCollege Summer Reads

Daughter of a Librarian and “wannabe” intellectual that I am, there are always a myriad of books on my list to read during the summer. In my opinion, Summer time is the perfect season to kick back and expand your perspective by reading great books. Here is a peek into what’s on my Summer 2014 reading list.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Americanah is a story of love, life, and cultural relations as it follows Nigerian blogger and academic, Ifemelu. Reviews on this book have been done to death in the blogosphere, so I wont give you any of that, but I will say that reading Americanah was an unforgettable experience for me. I actually read it last summer and recently started re-reading it for a reading circle. I had never read a book from the perspective of an African woman living my experience. I could connect with so many of the characters and see the scenes as if they were scenes from a movie illustrating the lives of me and so many woman I know, All in all, it’s a great read and I have been encouraging everyone I know to read it.

Afro-Vegan by Bryant Terry

By no means am I vegan, but foodie, food justice advocate, and nutrition enthusiast are all things I call myself. All of those things in addition to being a proud Liberian American, made Chef Bryant Terry’s book, Afro Vegan right up my alley. Afro-Vegan is a recipe book that reads like an engaging non-fiction history book. It shares an infusion of vegan African, Caribbean, and Southern recipes that are vegan. Terry presents a great narrative about food in the history of the Diaspora, and I adore that he gives readers a dose of culture by providing a song and/or book recommendation for every recipe. My favorite part of the book thus far are the first two chapters, which are dedicated to recipes for making your own spices and sauces. Plus the recipes look so tasty that even non-vegans will enjoy them. I’m looking forward to testing out many of the recipes during cookouts and parties this summer.

#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amorusa

This summer I’m apart of the tribe of young women around the country who are reading Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amorusa’s new book, #GIRLBOSS. There’s been a lot of hype around #GIRLBOSS for months and I was very excited to pick it because I wanted some inspiring and empowering words post graduation. Although it can come of a little cheesy at times, its been one of my favorite reads of the year because Amorusa has had a fascinating experience finding her way in this world and she does a good jobat telling her story. The book tells the tale of how she came to start and sustain her online clothing store, Nasty Gal. Early on she states that this book isn’t meant to be a memoir or a self-help book, but it definitely comes off as such. And that’s not a bad thing. The format of #GIRLBOSS makes it an easy read that still offers substance to readers. All in all it’s fashionable, empowering, and inspiring and I have been enjoying reading it.