Friday, January 4, 2013
Curly hair has special needs and one of the most important things you can do for your curls is to keep them hydrated! Look for a botanical conditioner if you’d like to hydrate your curls. Botanicals should contain high concentrations of plant-based ingredients such as mint, lemongrass, and rosemary. They will help maintain a photo protective shield around hair shafts. And many botanicals offer specific benefits to curly hair such as adding moisture. Make sure that the plants used in the product are listed in the first half of the ingredients list. If they’re not, the amount is most likely too negligible to be helpful.
Look for conditioners that contain:
- Emollients soften hair and reduce frizz by smoothing the cuticle. There are hundreds of emollients, but some good ones for curly hair include Shea butter, vegetable oils, olive oil, walnut oil, and jojoba oil.
- Humectants absorb water from the atmosphere and hand on to it. They’re absolutely crucial in a conditioner for curly hair. Some to look for include panthenol, vegetable glycerin, and sorbitol.
- Moisturizers add softness and control to curly hair. Look for amino acids, aloe vera, olive oil, balm mint extracts, and propylene glycol.
- Steer clear of products that contain silicone! This synthetic material is the active ingredient in many conditioners and 99% of shine products. Often used in manufacturing rubber, plastics, and polishes, it’s actually made to repel water! Therefore, any product with silicone in it will act as a seal around the cuticle, preventing the absorption of moisture. Silicone can also weigh down your curls, preventing their natural shape from emerging.
While many products claim to be natural, organic or botanical, not all claims are regulated. This means that any company can add those words to sell more products! The only way to know if a product is organic is if you see the USDA Organic seal, which means that 95% of its ingredients are organic.
I’m finally starting my “length journey” this year after finally growing out and cutting away all the damage! I’ve experimented with different techniques to help my hair grow faster and wanted to pass them along. First, let’s differentiate between hair growth and length retention. Length retention goes hand-in-hand with hair growth but speaks more specifically to minimizing damage in order to retain length; both are important.
So, here’s the skinny on length retention. To minimize damage and retain length for natural hair, deep conditioners are crucial – especially during winter! I typically DC at least once a week and leave it in overnight. Be gentle with your hair and maintain a daily care regime that respects your natural texture. Avoid heat styling at all costs unless you’re using a diffuser on low heat! Exercise tender loving care when detangling, keep your hair moisturized, and protect ends by sealing with the natural oil of your choice. Last, but not least, trim off dead ends to avoid breakage.
Now, let’s get down to the basics of hair GROWTH! First, let’s talk about the obvious; your hair grows out of your scalp! Therefore, attention to your inner environment (i.e.; nutrition, stress, etc.) and caring for your scalp is a must. Here are four things that I’ve been doing consistently that have accelerated my hair growth.
1. You are what you eat – and so is your hair!
Hair is largely composed of keratin, a protein made up of amino acids. To grow new hair, your body must produce more amino acids, which it can only do from consuming protein. Healthy protein sources include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, beans, and soy products. Ensuring you have enough protein in your daily diet, the protein will literally give your body the building blocks for new hair growth.
Also, don't be fooled into cutting fat out of your diet! Healthy fats are indispensable to hair growth. Without fat in your diet, your body cannot maintain healthy hair. Fat is also essential to the body because it helps assimilate vitamins that are necessary for hair growth, like Vitamins A, D, E, and K. Be sure to limit your fat into to a healthy level and focus on unsaturated fats and fatty acids such as Omega 3.
- Maintain good general health and avoid stress. Eat well, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep to reduce general physical stress levels.
- Incorporate daily headstands or handstands to encourage growth
Exercises such as headstands and handstands contribute to healthy hair by increasing blood flow to your scalp – which can in turn promote hair health and growth. When you spend time upside down, it increases the amount of blood flow to your head. This, in turn, may increase the circulation in your scalp, which can improve the health of your hair. Doing inverted poses can also relieve some of the tension in your neck, which can indirectly promote hair health and growth.
- Scalp massage for hair growth
And only use pure, natural oils for your massage! Some of my favorites are coconut, olive oil and jojoba oil. For an extra boost, add 2 drops each of essential oils such as sage, rosemary, lavender, cedarwood, sandalwood, peppermint, and thyme essential oil.
I hope you find these suggestions helpful! Keep me posted.
I hope you find these suggestions helpful! Keep me posted.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
First, I want to thank all of you who responded to my rant about my heat damaged hair! I appreciate all your feedback so very much!
Jessica decided it would be best to give me a shape up instead of a big chop! She used the DevaChan technique and cut my hair dry. Overall, I'm pleased with the shape and am looking forward to eventually getting it 100% healthy! If you live in Richmond or any of the surrounding areas, I highly recommend you visit Imago Hair. They're awesome!
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Okay, so I'm getting really frustrated with my hair. Between the heat damage and my dry ends from the color I think a big chop may be the only solution. This is very frustrating because I was so excited to see my hair growing. At the same time, I want my hair to be healthy and easy to manage. Well, I'll let you know how things turn out tomorrow!
Monday, January 30, 2012
The Jane Carter Solution Revitalizing Leave-In Conditioner and Hair Nourishing Cream are simply fabulous. While the Nourish & Shine is a bit heavy for my hair, it is an excellent skin moisturizer. I love the fact that Jane Carter Solution is all natural and made with natural butters, pure essential oils, botanicals, and vitamins.Jane Carter Solution can be purchased at Whole Foods, Vitamin Shoppe (on the ground or online) and at www.janecartersolution.com
Biotin is purported to help hair grow faster. But does Biotin really work? What is Biotin? It is actually a member of the Vitamin B family. It is true that Biotin assists with maintaining the health of many bodily functions (including keeping the hair and nails healthy). However, the answer to whether or not biotin products actually help hair grow faster is a little more complex. Currently, no scientific evidence exists to support the claim that biotin helps the general public with hair growth.
Biotin is available in both oral supplement form and within hair care products that are applied topically, like shampoos and conditioners. If Biotin does have any effect on hair growth, then your best bet is to take it in a vitamin form. Most evidence points to biotin not being able to penetrate the scalp, thus making its use in topical hair products ineffective.
Since biotin does contribute to overall health by helping both with metabolism and the manufacturing enzymes, it can be a helpful supplement. Best of all, since it's water-soluble, there's virtually no risk of overdosing.
Read more: Does Biotin Help Hair Grow Faster? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4571723_biotin-hair-grow-faster_.html#ixzz1krWLHtb7