Working Out With Natural Hair

Between school work, extracurricular activities, working and having a social life, going to the gym can seem to be a tedious task and having to consider your hair can also make it pesky. As someone who avidly and likes to work out multiple times a week (I try for daily but no promises), I an assure you that working out and keeping your hair clean and healthy is not as difficult as it may seem. It’s taken me a while to figure out what works for me but figuring what works out for you and your hair is always a trial and error process. Here are some things that have proven to be successful for me in balancing hair and body health:

  1. Stay Organized: In order to incorporate gym trips into your weekly schedule, you will need to know how your week is going to run. If you have a planner, map out what you plan to do each day and see when and where you can fit in times to visit the gym. Once you have that set up you should consider your weekly hair routine and what hairstyles will last the best throughout your gym trips.
  2. Keep a Moisturizing Hair Mist: Your hair will be more prone to dryness due to your sweat so creating a DIY or buying a moisturizing spray is highly recommended. If you want to make your own spray, mixing water, your favorite hair oil and a cheap conditioner to mist your hair with after each workout will keep your hair hydrated and fresh.
  3. Tie Your Hair Back: A loose bun or ponytail or even braiding or twisting your hair back to keep it out of your face will prevent your hair from getting frizzy and tangled from your workouts. It will also stop you from playing with your hair or constantly brushing it aside which causes breakage. I personally like to keep my hair twisted back into a low ponytail because the style that I wear my hair in most of the time since it’s shorter now. When my hair was longer I would always go with a bun. Be sure to use ouch-less ponytail or satin ponytail holders!
  4. Hair Rinses: The most that I ever wash my hair, whether with shampoo or with conditioner, is once a week. If I find that my hair has gotten really dry or just needs to be completely refreshed after a workout, I will simply rinse my hair with nothing but water. This helps clear my hair of sweat and restores moisture into my curls. After a hair rinse, I usually style my hair in bantu knots or flat twists with a light conditioner and style my hair the next day.

All in all, your hair health shouldn’t take precedence over your overall health. Working out often has caused me to keep a simple hair regimen that doesn’t require a lot of time or products. Let me know which tips helped or what you found to be a better alternative!

Related Post

Evolution of my hair regimen

Over the past year or so, the questions I have been getting are “what products do you use on your hair?” and “what is your natural hair routine?” It is always difficult for me to answer these questions because I have tried so many products and switched up my routine several times. At the beginning of my natural hair journey, I only used products that my friends suggested. Well, eventually I realized that everyone’s hair is not the same, and what works for one person does not work for the next. However, I was willing to try all of the products as a source of trial and error, so that I could learn what did and did not work. Although I usually answer the question with the products that I currently use on my hair along with my current hair regimen, I tell them about the products I have tried that did not work for me and why they did not work.

When I first started wearing my hair natural, my hair regimen was very complicated simply because I was doing the most with my routine, especially when I did not know why I was using the products I was using and had read about the somewhere.

My routine consisted of:

  1. Washing my hair with Bronner’s Castile Soap
  2. Deep conditioning with 1 egg and mayonnaise for 30 minutes
  3. Rinsing my hair with Apple Cider Vinegar
  4. Taking three hours to do a twist out with a leave in conditioner, shea butter, and coconut oil
  5. Adding the shea butter and coconut oil mixture to my hair as my hair started to dry out throughout the week

I stuck with this routine for about a year. I learned a lot from the products I was using. I figured out that the protein from the egg and mayo really helped to grow and strengthen my hair. On the other hand, I learned that the coconut oil was drying out my hair; therefore I started mixing olive oil with the shea butter, which really helped to keep my hair moist.

When I saw that my hair was progressing in growth, I switched products and changed my routine.

This routine consisted of:

  1. Co-washing with Tresseme Naturals Conditioner
  2. Using the Paul Mitchell Leave in Conditioner
  3. Styling with up do’s using the shea butter and olive oil mixture

I reduced my regimen when I realized that I only really needed to keep my hair moisturized, and it would grow. However, I switched from this routine when I discovered my hair type. I started using products that suited my hair texture.

My current hair regimen consists of:

  1. Co-washing every two weeks with Tresseme Naturals Conditioner
  2. Shampooing with Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap
  3. Styling using Shea Moisture’s Curl Soufle and olive oil

The evolution of my hair regimen has taught me that my hair texture will constantly change depending on how I care for it. I have also learned the level of moisture my hair holds depending on the products that I use.

How has your hair routine changed? What have you learned about your hair over time?

Related Post

4 Must Haves for Healthy Hair in 2015!

I am quickly approaching my third year of being natural, and with that being said I think it is safe to say I have found a hair care regimen that works well for my hair and fits into my busy lifestyle. With the beginning of the new year and new year resolutions, I thought maybe a few people have hopes for healthier hair in 2015 so I have decided to share a few must haves for healthier hair in the new year!

1. Co-Wash When I first heard of the concept of co-washing I was not completely sold on the idea of washing my hair with conditioner. It was not until I began to co-wash my hair on a weekly basis that I began to see the results for myself. My hair was able to retain moisture much easier and it did not dry out as much.

2. Sulfate free shampoo I am extremely obsessed with keeping my hair adequately moisturized, especially during the winter season. I learned of sulfate free shampoos around the same time I was introduced to the concept of co-washing. I thought well since I am washing my hair with conditioner regular shampoo obviously isn’t good for my natural coils and kinks, and after a little research I found my initial thoughts to be accurate. Shampoo with sulfates strip the natural oils from your hair causing it to be more susceptible to breakage and other types of damage. My favorite shampoo has to be Shea Moisture’s African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo because my scalp feels really clean after every use.

3. Leave in Conditioner What good is a good wash and condition without some leave in conditioner as a follow up? My favorite leave in conditioner is Cantu’s Shea Butter Leave in Repair Cream. This leave in is amazing because it detangles, hydrates, and protects my hair. How great is that?! It’s a product every natural should consider trying because it makes my hair care regimen less time consuming as it helps to keep my hair healthy and extremely manageable just in case I decide to style my hair.

4. Essential Oils Oils are a huge component in my hair care regimen. I actually only use three oils for my hair and they are Dax’s Coconut Oil with Vitamin E ,Organix’s Extra Penetrating Argan Oil, and any brand of  Jamaican Black Castor Oil. I use Dax’s Coconut Oil for everyday use in order to keep my hair moisturized and I use Organix’s Extra Penetrating Argan Oil when I am in need of a deep conditioning. I tend to use JBCO if I am experiencing any breakage or thinning because it helps to stimulate blood flow in the scalp, thus encouraging new growth.

I hope that my hair care regimen for 2015 reaches you all in good spirits, and I wish you all a prosperous new year! 🙂

 

Related Post

Straight Hair

Did you get a perm? The answer is No!!! I get asked this question often when I get my hair straightened. I receive more compliments when my hair is straightened than when my hair is natural. Although I do not have a problem with the compliment situation, I just believe that straight hair is accepted more by the society. However, I do not let the society deter me from doing what I think is best for the overall health of my hair. I understand that everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion, and I respect that. Since natural hair is becoming a trend, kinky textured hair is becoming less of a BIG deal.

I get my hair straightened every six months. Unfortunately, I have not mastered straightening my hair on my own. I go to the salon, and my beautician uses the hot comb to straighten my hair. I wish I could get my hair straight with just a blowout and flat iron, but my hair is a little too kinky for that and needs a little extra heat.  I have 4b/4c hair, so it takes more time, and it is a little more difficult to straighten my hair, especially if I want it silky straight.

I choose to get my air straightened every six months to help prevent heat damage. Heat damage causes a setback in the natural hair journey, and I am looking to move forward in mine. I also use this time to get my ends trimmed. Since I only get my hair straightened twice a year, I am not opposed to having straight hair more often. I just like rocking the kinky hair look most of the year. I know that it is probably just a mind thing, but I feel that my hair grows faster when I wear it natural.

I usually leave my hair straight for about three to four weeks. I maintain it by wrapping my hair every night using and Denman Brush and a wide tooth comb. Then, I put on a mesh wrap and a satin scarf to hold it in place. After my hair usually start to puff up after a week, I use Alikay naturals heat protectant spray and curl my hair using my Conair flat iron. This process puts the body back into my hair. I only do this once; when my hair puffs up again, I either find other styles or wash it and begin wearing it natural again. Maintaining my straight hair is easier than maintaining my natural hair, simply because all I have to do is wrap every night and take it down every morning.

Yes, I prefer my kinky hair over my straight hair. There is a lot more I can do with the kinky texture. However, having straight hair gives me a break with the daily maintenance of the kinky hair. I love the versatility of natural hair. It allows me to explore my options and express my individuality.

Do you prefer the kinky texture or straight hair?

Related Post

“Why don’t you comb your hair?”

I love big, wild, curly hair. I always have. Watching old(er) school actresses like Tia and Tamera Mowry from Sister, Sister and Tracee Ellis Ross from Girlfriends was probably a big part of that. But, it was not until recently that I found the courage to wear my hair that way. Up until a short time ago, I thought the only way to wear my texture hair was in a slicked back bun or in two-strand twists. Even though these women were a part of what I saw often on TV, I never thought that my hair was “pretty” enough to be let down like that. In my mind, those styles were for the mixed girls with “prettier” hair.
 tia_tamera
It was not until my final year in high school when I started my hair journey that I was able to let go and let it out. I had been researching a great deal on natural hair; how to care for it and how our hair differs from other textures. I was also looking at different twist out and braid out techniques and saw how beautifully some of them came out. It was a couple months before I finally decided to try one.
I prepped my hair over night: moisturizing and sealing and meticulously placing the hair in chiney bumps (or bantu knots as Americans call them). Then, I took it down in the morning. It did not come out exactly how I wanted it to, but I worked with it and wore it to church. The whole time I was walking on the road and sitting in church I felt incredibly self conscious, like everyone was staring at me (mostly because they were).
At the time, the natural hair movement had not really hit my section of Jamaica yet. Many persons still believed that you either had relaxed straight hair, or you control your natural hair so it looks relaxed. I was one of the first girls in my town who did not have loose, silky ringlets to dare to wear my hair out.
After church, one of the older ladies took me aside and asked me “Why didn’t you comb your hair before you came to church?” My face fell. I was already self conscious and this lady was not helping at all. I mumbled some lame response about trying something new and scuffled away.
All I could think was “I spent hours on this hairstyle, it is combed!” I was genuinely hurt. I had gotten a few complements throughout the day about how thick and nice my hair was, but this was the only one I remembered. As much as it hurt my 18 year old self esteem, I did not try to tie my hair up to make it look more “presentable”.
For the rest of high school, I tried different protective hairstyles that I found on YouTube and more than once persons who asked me “You couldn’t comb yuh hair?” To be honest, my first tries at many styles were not too hot, sometimes they would come out frizzy or lopsided, but I was trying. Eventually, I started getting the hang of it and I felt more confident. It was worth it though, because the moisture and the new found care I had with my hair had it growing longer than it ever was before.
When I got to college, I realized that there were so many other naturals wearing their hair out and wild and I loved it. I was able to accept that my hair is beautiful and now I wear my hair out more often than not. Every now and again there is a noob that asks me why I don’t comb my hair, but now it does not even affect me. I love my wild mane way too much for that.

Related Post

Time Stops for No Fro

As a student, I’m always on the run, but one of my goals for this year is to make sure that even when in a rush, I dedicate myself to taking care of my body. So here’s to the one of the parts of my body, and likely yours, that needs some of the most TLC—the hair.

Between wash days, there are times when it seems like there is nothing we can do to care for our hair. With all the spritzing of water and slathering of products, it can seem like nothing will do the job but another wash day, thus comes the Baggy Method. After applying water (just enough to dampen and not to soak the hair) and the product or oil of your choice, place a shower cap or a plastic baggy over your head and just wait. Whether you’re eating dinner, working, or even sleeping, you can use this method to quench your hair with moisture and to reduce manipulation to it. Not only is this method great for home, but it can also be a great way to care for your hair on the go. As you leave your house, simply grab your baggy or shower cap, slip a small portion of hair out to make a flat twist or a bang, throw on a hat, and TA-DAH! You’ve just successfully multitasked, getting out of your house quickly and caring for your hair all in one swift move.

Not a fan of the baggy method? Or want something a bit more suitable for the winter months? Try looking for new methods to getting your hair detangled and styled quickly. For instance, vloggers like Naptural85 have great videos on quick detangling methods. As seen in Naptural’s 25 Minute Cowash + Detangle video, she provided a quick and easy way to get hair ready for styling without all the hassle of a dry detangle. Couple her method with a few chunky twists and a head wrap, and you cannot only get to bed earlier, but you can have a nice twist out ready for the next morning. As you get more comfortable with this method, you can begin to experiment on days when you are more free so that you optimize your time for future washdays. Just remember the more you do your hair, in simple or complex styles, the easier and quicker becomes the process of doing it.

Although, all days will not be perfect hair days, sometimes you can turn them into one. If you’re not finished with your hair, simply take the part that is not done and make a flat twist out of it, and then add on to the hairstyle over the course of the week and people will actually think you’re changing it up. When you want to take care of your hair, but don’t have the time to do a lot, try pushing your hair up into a bun, moisturizing the ends of your hair and tucking them into the bun for a fun protective style. By putting your hair into this style, not only do you create a quick style to go, but you also stretch your hair, which can be useful for setting yourself up for future looks.

So all this is to say, no worries, “everything little thing is going to be all right”… literally! By taking small steps to take care of your hair each day you ensure that big things like sleep and work get done too, and more so that your hair is knows you’ve got it’s back, or strands.

 

Good luck,

Kayla

 

photo credit: http://bit.ly/1tZK5S5

Related Post

My Go To Protective Style

 

My favorite go to protective style is so simple: flat twist with bantu knots to make the ends curly. I included a picture below. I like this style because it can be worn anywhere and it’s easy to do. It takes less than an hour to do, and after a day of Chemistry and Calculus… you need the least time constricting hairstyle possible!

20140718_043807

 

Here are a few pictures of me wearing this style on my campus (AGGIE PRIDE!)

 20140709_105226   20140709_105220 (1)

20140709_14291620140709_143020
20140712_231703 20140712_231734

 

 

20140709_004922 20140712_204147

 

 

Do any of you have your favorite protective style that you always go to? If so, share in the comment section below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hairfinity Hype: 7 Months Progress

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.

This is an excerpt from an article I wrote about a month ago about my experience with Hairfinity. To read the whole article, click here.

So far, I have been taking Hairfinity for 7 months. And during those seven months, I have been alternating between my natural hair and protective hairstyles. Most of the time being in protective hairstyles (my favorite being Marley twists).

Finally the moment of truth, the reveal has come. This past weekend was my twentieth birthday, and I decided to celebrate by straightening my hair. I have used no heat for seven whole months. This is a big deal for me, usually I straighten my hair every time I take out one of my protective styles. Having a perm for two to two-and-a-half years, and then transitioning but still straightening my hair, I developed an admiration for straight hair. Not dependence, but admiration. I did not fully accept my natural, curly, kinky hair until I had to fully learn how to deal with it without the help of my mother when I got to college.

Fast forward to Hairfinity, I started my journey in January 2014, and it’s now August 2014. Let’s talk hair progress:

  • Length – As I said before I have type 4 hair. When I straightened my hair, I found there was growth, mostly in the back. The back of my hair grows way faster than the middle and front of my hair, so that was expected.
  • Volume – My hair has been thick my whole life, and Hairfinity has only added to that thickness. My goodness! I thought my hair was thick before, so if you have thin hair try taking Hairfinity.
  • Texture – Right now, my hair is in an ombre state because last May I dyed my hair bright auburn using the Shea Moisture hair dye line. So ultimately, my hair is two different textures, which is more noticeable when straightened (but only by feel, not look). My hair has been healthier since using Hairfinity, and looks glossier.
  • Curl Pattern – From using Hairfinity my curl pattern has changed. It’s become a bit looser and more defined, curl wise, which I don’t mind.

Here are pictures for comparison, pre and post Hairfinity with straightened hair:

1274409_10151881000834732_1715536227_o
October 2013, Pre-Hairfinity
10597420_818968274810660_1747562102_n
August 2014, 7 months w/ Hairfinity

 

The Association Between Hair Relaxers and Fibroids

“There may be a link between hair relaxers to uterine fibroids, as well as early puberty in young girls.

Scientists followed more than 23,000 pre-menopausal Black American women from 1997 to 2009 and found that the two- to three-times higher rate of fibroids among black women may be linked to chemical exposure through scalp lesions and burns resulting from relaxers.

Women who got their first menstrual period before the age of 10 were also more likely to have uterine fibroids, and early menstruation may result from hair products black girls are using, according to a separate study published in the Annals of Epidemiology last summer.”

This is a snippet of an article I found on blackdoctor.org and here’s the link to that article: Association Of Fibroids & Relaxers

 


First, let me start off by defining what uterine fibroids are. Uterine fibroids are noncancerous tumors that develop in the uterus, a female reproductive organ. Fibroids can range in size – anywhere from the size of a pea to a melon. Fibroids have become more prevalent in the Black Community among young females. This is an alarming statistic because there are only 3 main ways to surgically remove fibroids, and one of those surgical procedures – Hystorectomy – involves the removal of a woman’s uterus inhibiting her from having kids later in the future. Now if you already have 5 kids, this may not bother you, but when teenagers lose the ability to have children because of a relaxer – something not thought of as harmful – that is a problem!

One alarming thing that I learned from this article is that the hair industry isn’t monitored or regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). This means that no one is determining how harmful the chemicals we put in our hair are and the effects they’ll have on us in the long run.

Good news, on the other hand, is that their is not a direct distinguished correlation between relaxers and fibroids. Researchers say that they have to research more to be able to tell if it’s a direct cause and effect matter.

 

 

Hidden Naturals: Celebs Who You May Not Know Are Natural

Being natural does not always mean wearing your hair in its natural state, whether that’s curly, kinky or wavy. Protective styles work wonders for naturals who choose not expose their hair frequently or at all. Protective styles can include, braids, weaves or twists. In other words, styles that cover and protect your hair from the elements and damage. These styles are also known for assisting with hair growth, if done and taken care of in the right way. Now, I know there is a debate as to whether or not if one wears weaves and such, if they are considered natural. But I bet if you take a look at these celebrities that you may or may not have known are natural, they might change your mind.

Angela Simmons

Photo Source
Photo Source

Reality TV star and fashion designer, Angela Simmons has never been shy about switching up her hairstyles, or even colors. But most might not know that Angela is natural.She hasn’t been shy about showing her long, natural hair on Instagram. Angela also just recently started her Hairfinity journey as well, a hair vitamin, that is all the rage in the natural hair community nowadays.

 

 

 

Nicki Minaj

Photo Source
Photo Source

 

Beneath all the wigs, weaves, and gimmicks, Nicki Minaj has beautiful hair! She revealed her real, natural hair to the world last year via Instagram. This rapper is full of surprises. who would have thought that all this luscious hair was under the pink wig.

 

 

 

 

Tia & Tamera Mowry

Photo Source
Photo Source
Photo Source
Photo Source

The world was first introduced to these biracial beauties when their hit show, Sister Sister aired. And back then, bigger meant better, well in regards to hair. We saw their big, long natural curls, and vivacious personalities. But as with anyone in the entertainment industry, it takes a toll on your hair. Tia & Tamera Mowry are getting back to their roots with their natural hair. Tia [R] big chopped first, then Tamera [L] following suit shortly after. Tia’s son, Cree is even a naturalisto. His hair is amazing.

 

Keke Palmer

Photo Source
Photo Source

Keke Palmer is not just the youngest talk show host ever, but she’s also a naturalista! Keke debuted her natural hair a few years ago on Instagram, and of late, she’s been embracing and showing her followers some of her hair secrets. She’s showed them how she wraps her hair, and some of the products she uses for hair care. Let’s just say, this girl is not afraid to show off her hair in whatever state it’s in.

 

 

 

Sanaa Lathan

Photo Source
Photo Source

She’s an A-list actress who’s starred in movies such as, Love & Basketball, Brown Sugar, and The Best Man Holiday. Sanaa Lathan has rocked short weave, long weave, curly and straight weave, but it is only to protect her natural hair underneath. Check out her healthy, blown out head of hair.

(P.S. She’s also has famous natural friends like, Taraji P. Henson and Gabrielle Union.)

 

 

 

Oprah Winfrey

Photo Source
Photo Source

 

The queen of media has millions of dollars to spend on getting her hair done, but she chooses to be natural? That’s right Oprah loves her natural hair.

 

 

 

 

Brandy

Photo Source
Photo Source

Brandy stepped on the scene as a singer and actress who rocked braids for many years. Well wearing those braids did her some good, as she rocks her natural hair nowadays, well in between her various weave selections. Brandy had also been known for rocking havana twists, and kinda starting that trend in the hair community.