4 Great Ways to Stretching Natural Hair


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The quickest and easiest way to stretching my natural hair is to use a blow dryer. But a few months ago I was told by Trichologist (hair/scalp specialist) Teresa Angelina that I blow dry my hair too much. In my head I was thinking...she doesn't know about the shrinkage I have to deal with when my hair gets wet. Those with at least 75% shrinkage can relate to my pain.

How can I possibly get my hair to stretch to it's full potential without the use of heat? Of course the first thing I did, was jump onto my computer and start to do some research. Thankfully I discovered that i wasn't alone and there are so many different ways to stretching your hair without using your blow dryer. You've got to love the internet.

Here are 4 great ways to at least minimise your shrinkage or stretch your hair.

1 / Washing hair in braids

Before you shampoo/cowash, put your hair in braids or plaits, as it's a great way to minimise shrinkage and to reduce tangles. 

Check out the video below which illustrates how this method keeps your hair nicely stretched during the cleansing process. 

2 / Twists and Braids

Doing two strand twist or flat twist on wet/damp hair is a great way to stretch out length and prevent shrinkage. Alternatively you could use braids, as they create a little more stretch or tension than twists, giving you a little extra in length. 

I currently use a mixture of braids and flat twists to air dry my hair. This allows me to achieve as much length as possible and also keeps my hair really moisturised. Here are the steps that I take in order to stretch my hair...

  1. After my hair has been shampooed/cowashed and then towel dried with my microfiber towel. I then spray my Creme of Nature argan oil leave in conditioner throughout my hair.
  2. I then section my hair into 8 sections (4 on each side of my head) and complete my LCO (Liquid, Cream and Oil) method.
  3. Liquid - Creme of Nature Argan oil leave in conditioner (which has already been applied). Cream - Giovanni Direct Leave-In Conditioner or a oil moisturiser. Oil - Coconut/Jojoba/Olive/Argan/Grapseed oil to seal it all in.
  4. Each section is braided and then I create bantu knot at the ends to ensure maximum length and to prevent dryness.
  5. Once my hair is dry, I take down the twists, detangle and then do two large braids (one each side of my head) to give it one last stretch overnight.

The following video is very similar to the regime that I follow. It's also great for those transitioning.

Another great way to stretch your hair with twists...

3 / Hair Sets

At the moment Curlformers are a very popular heatless natural hair stretcher and you can stretch out hair of any length with this set. But sets like straw set, roller set, flexirod set etc generally stretch natural hair.

The following video shows you how to stretch short natural hair using Curlformers.

4 / Banding

Banding is the process of using ponytail holders to gently stretch out wet natural hair. The hair is divided into sections then the holders are wound tightly down the section from root to tip so that the hair stays stretched as it dries.  If you're going to try this method, be sure to use elastics bands made without the metal piece that can snag your strands. 

 

 

What's your favourite method for stretching your hair? Share your comments below...

 

Source: http://hollistics.com/2012/07/09/preventin...

My Two Year Natural Hair Journey


Can you believe that two years ago today, I started my journey to natural hair? Whooza! How time flies? I did spend most of that time transitioning but I'm all natural now, so It's all good.

I had to share the image below because its a true reflection of my hair journey. And i'm sure you can all relate.

In April this year I finally did a mini chop (cutting the relaxed ends off) after transitioning for a total of 18 months. God only knows how I went for so long, because dealing with two textures wasn't easy. It became even more frustrating as time went on, so I knew it was time to let go and fully embrace my natural hair.

Like many long term transitioners, I was apprehensive about cutting the relaxed ends off. How was I going to deal with losing length? Will I be able to create my favourite styles? Will I even like my own texture?

I'll keep it real with you, it was a bit of a struggle working with shorter hair after the mini chop. My twist outs didn't sit as nicely as they used to, my up-do's didn't look as fabulous, my hair lacked shine and my curls weren't as defined as i'd hoped them to be. BUT I was all natural and this is what god had blessed me with.

I spent the follow months getting used to my texture, experimenting with different products, adjusting my daily regime and learning to except my hair for what it was...Beautiful.

I've put together a gallery of hair photos taken over the two years. Hopefully this will encourage, inspire and help someone on their journey to natural hair.

 

 

How did you find your journey to natural hair? If you're transitioning, how is your journey going? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments box below.

Need Help With Transitioning to Natural?


My natural hair journey hasn't been easy but I have no regrets. Now that I've chopped the relaxed ends off my hair (blog post coming soon), it feels great to have made it through to the other end.

I thank god for my family, friends and the Internet, because my transition from relaxed hair to natural hair would have been a complete and utter nightmare. Don’t get me wrong, I still have moments where I want to just wrap my hair and jump into bed. But having the freedom of working with my own hair and getting to a place where my hair is healthy and wasn't dependant on the white, creamy, addictive stuff. Was waaaaay more important to me. 

I often get asked the following questions...

  • What did I do with my hair whilst I was transitioning?
  • How did I deal with two textures?
  • How did I combat breakage/shredding?
  • What styles did I use?
  • What products work best for transitioning hair?

So I thought I’d create this post for all those lovely ladies who are losing hope and need to be reminded that getting back to your "natural" beauty is a beautiful thing and an interesting road to self discovery.

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KEEPING YOUR HAIR HEALTHY

Keep your hair hydrated

The biggest struggle with transitioning your hair is preventing breakage due to damage and dryness. Do what you can to keep your hair hydrated by drinking lots of water. It's also important that you keep your hair moisturised by using a moisturiser/leave-in conditioner on a daily basis. Apply some to your hair before you style it, paying careful attention to the demarcation line (the point where your new growth (natural hair) and relaxed hair meet). 

Before washing your hair, try a pre-poo this will help to keep moisture locked into your hair. 

Mo's leave conditioner: Giovanni Direct Leave-in Conditioner Weightless Moisture Conditioner and Teresa Angelina Leave-In Protector

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Use a deep conditioner regularly

Deep conditioning treatments take adding moisture to a new level. Although they are typically only used once a month or so, transitioning hair needs extra conditioning and can handle the treatments more frequently. Purchase a deep-conditioning treatment from your local beauty supply store, and apply it to your hair once a week. Alternately, you can also choose to visit a salon and get deep-conditioning treatments regularly.

A great alternative to a deep conditioner is mayonnaise. Although this may sound a bit crazy and unappealing, it can work wonders on adding moisture to your hair. Apply it to your hair once a week for 30 minutes to an hour.
 

Mo's deep conditioner:

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Stay away from heat

In general, hot tools should be avoided if you’re trying to protect your hair. Using curling irons, flat irons, and blow dryers can stress your hair and cause breakage, specifically at the demarcation line. 

If you absolutely must use hot tools, limit there use to only one day a week at most. It's also important that you use a heat protector before applying any form heat in order to avoid heat damage. Please remember that healthy hair should always be your ultimate goal.

Mo's heat protector: ORS Olive Oil Heat Protection Serum

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Give yourself a hot oil massage

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Waiting for your hair to grow out is often the most frustrating part of the growing-process. Rather than waiting idly by, you can promote new hair growth by giving yourself frequent scalp massages. Use a bit of oil (coconut, olive, jojoba, etc.) warmed slightly to massage your scalp. This will stimulate the hair follicles and help the strands to grow a bit faster. Hot oil massages can be done as frequently as you would like, but should be done at least once a week for the best results.

Mo's hot oil treatment: How to Make a Hot Oil Treatment for Hair

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Promote hair growth with supplements

Maintaining your vitamins and minerals is important to general health (in addition to hair health), but taking certain supplements can speed up hair growth and strengthen your hair extra fast. Some doctors recommend taking biotin or viviscal - supplements specifically used for hair and nail growth - to increase the speed at which your hair is growing. Additionally, making sure you have enough vitamin D, B and A will help your hair out as well.

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Purchase new hair products. 

As it turns out, not all hair products are created equally. With a huge variety on the market, it can be difficult to find products that will work with your hair and your wallet. When transitioning your hair, it is vital to get transition-friendly hair supplies. Look for sulphate-free conditioning shampoos, as well as other hair treatments advertised specifically for use in transitioning or dry and damaged hair. Although these won’t necessarily change the appearance of your hair, they will work hard to prevent further damage and reverse current damage in your hair.

Mo's favourite products: 

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Avoid adding chemicals to your hair.

Try and stay away from hair dyes and bleach, as these cause significant damage to your hair, causing it to break and become frizzy. Look for all natural alternatives to chemicals you typically use, as these will be much safer on your scalp and strands than harsh chemicals are.

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How to keep relaxed ends moisturised

Cleanse your hair at least once a week. If your hair tends to be dry, co-wash (wash with conditioner or co-wash product alone) instead of using a shampoo. When you shampoo, use a sulfate-free product.

Weekly washes help to prevent relaxed hair from becoming too dry. Daily or as needed, apply a water-based moisturiser to your ends then seal the moisture in with a natural oil. Do NOT use hair oil/grease products made with petrolatum/petroleum or mineral oil. These will actually cause or worsen hair dryness and breakage.

Mo's cowash: As I Am Coconut Cowash

Mo's shampoo: Creme of Natural Argan Oil Moisture and Shine Shampoo 

 

CHANGING YOUR STYLE

Consider the ‘big chop’

It is common for people transitioning their hair to go ahead and do the big chop - that is, cutting off all the relaxed hair, leaving a short amount of new growth near the scalp. This is certainly the best option for creating healthy growth, but not everyone wants to start their journey with short hair. If you’re bold enough to try a new look, the big chop is an excellent choice for immediately getting rid of all your relaxed hair and creating an immediate full transition to natural hair.

Check out these beautiful TWA's (teeny weeny afro) for inspiration...

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Try using braids or twists

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Braids/Twists outs are a great way to add interest to your hair without damaging it. Mastering each style can be tricky, so spend some time finding which works best with your hair and personal stylistic preferences. Try not to do them too tight as to avoid stressing the strands of hair. Your hair is most fragile at the demarcation line, so be particularly gentle when styling it around this point.

Check out these transitioning styles for inspiration: 

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Trim your hair regularly.

Relaxer's are permanent, so whatever parts of your hair that has been in contact with a relaxer will never grow back naturally. Therefore, at some point in time your hair must be cut off to above the demarcation line. If you’re not willing to go for the big chop, the next step is to do regular trims of your hair. Over time you’ll have removed all of the damaged, relaxed hair to above the demarcation line, allowing your natural hair to grow more strongly.

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Avoid dealing with your hair too much.

Although it can be tricky not to, the more you touch and style your hair, the more likely it is to break and become frizzy. Try not to brush your hair too often, and avoid styles that put strain on your scalp. 

I hope this helps ladies. 

xx

 

How are you finding transitioning to natural hair? What advice would you give to some transitioning? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Source: http://www.how-to-go-natural.com/how-to-no...

Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Cleanser


Whether you're a naturalist or transitioning, you've more than likely heard about Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). It has long been used as a natural hair care product to promote healthy hair in both men and woman. Its acidity is close to that of natural hair, it’s a good conditioner and cleaning agent.

When I first heard about ACV as a hair cleanser, I thought it sounded pretty weird. But as you all know I've used all sorts of ingredients from my kitchen that has done wonders for my hair, so surely this can only do good. After doing some research, I figured it was worth a try, and I'm so glad I did. This stuff leaves my hair super soft, smooth, and very shiny. Plus my scalp is left feeling really clean and healthy.

Hair is on the mildly acidic side of the pH scale and has an ideal pH of 4.5 to 5.5, which is close to that of an apple cider vinegar rinse (pH 2.9). An ACV rinse is great for bringing the pH back to where it's supposed to be after shampooing has increased the pH. 

Benefits

  • Removes product build-up without stripping hair of its natural oils
  • Contains antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that will combat itchy, dry scalp
  • Natural hair loss treatment
  • Home Remedy for head Lice
  • Smooth the hair's cuticle which help to prevent split ends
  • Locks in protein and moisture 

My ACV Cleanser Mix

  • 1 part apple cider vinegar
  • 1 part water

How I Make My ACV Cleanser

  1. Pour 1 part ACV and 1 part water into a water spritz bottle
  2. After shampooing, part your hair into 4 sections. 
  3. Within each section spray the mixture onto hair and scalp. Focussing mainly on your scalp. Make sure you place a towel around your neck so that you don't get too wet.
  4. Then gently massage it into your scalp.
  5. Let the mixture sit for about 3  minutes before rinsing fully with water.
  6. Then condition as usual.

 

Have you tried ACV on your hair? What natural hair cleanser would you recommend?

Source: http://www.apple-cider-vinegar-benefits.co...