Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Natural Hair Care Regimen

Natural or Relaxed! Straight or Curly! Hair is Hair and It needs love and care. Ever wonder why some women have beautiful long hair? What is it that they are doing? Maybe it's genetics or maybe it's their hair care routine. 

You can't lose weight without working out and eating healthy. The same applies to growing healthy hair. In order to get long beautiful healthy hair you need a hair care regimen (and like exercising you must stick to it for it to work). "Yea I know some people can eat crap and stay thin...and some don't take care of their and it's still grows." Life isn't fair right? :) 

Someone once told me "Treat your hair like a million bucks and it will treat you back"

For decades we've had varying hair care practices like: only washing our hair every two weeks or greasing our scalp. These habits were passed down from generations. Just how some things get better with time some things DON'T.......and that includes our outdated hair care regimens. 

I want hair like hers...so here is what you should do: 

#1 Cleansing

Weekly cleansing is very important to get rid of product buildup, bacteria, dead skin cells and dirt that clog our pores. Cleansing the hair and scalp allows our hair to breathe and in turn grow. If you use products that contain mineral oils or petroleum then you may need to use a sulfate shampoo to rinse away the synthetic ingredients. If you use products with natural ingredients then a sulfate-free shampoo is recommended. 

Just so you know....Shampoos containing sulfates can strip the hair of its natural oils leaving it dry and dull looking therefore it is not recommended for weekly use... A sulfate-free shampoo can be used weekly.

How do I know if my shampoo has sulfates? Look for words that are a variation of the following:  sulfate, -fate, laurel, lauryl, and sulfite. 

#2 Protective Styling

The key to growing long and strong hair is protecting it especially the ends. Pay special attention to your ends by trimming them and being extra careful when detangling. Protective styles like bantu knots, braids or the occasional sew-in are good ways to give your hair a break. The ends are the oldest part of the hair and therefore the most fragile. Sebum produced by the hair follicles have a harder time reaching the ends of curly hair because of its spiral like pattern. This means that the ends are more suspetible to dryness. 

Given the hot and humid temperatures of this summer, protecting your hair against UV rays is a must. The less time you spend in the sun the better your hair and skin. Wear a hat, scarf or UV protection products on days when you expect to get extended sun exposure. 

#3 Deep Conditioning

Deep conditioning is important because it allows the conditioner to penetrate the hair shaft. It's also a great way to have a "Pamper Me Party" where you can treat yourself to your favorite magazine or catch up on reading. When purchasing deep conditioners look for products that contain natural ingredients like avocado, honey, vegetable glycerin or olive oil. Stay away from mineral oil or petroleum because these ingredients do not penetrate the hair follicles only build up on them. A good practice is to deep condition at least once a week, wet hair, apply deep conditioner and sit under a hooded dryer for at least 15 minutes. The results should be soft, shiny and manageable hair. 

#4 Daily Moisturizing

Our hair texture requires more moisture than any other hair texture because of its kinks and spirals. Therefore, daily moisture is key to keeping our tresses happy. Since water is the only substance that can penetrate the hair follicle it is important to seek water based moisturizers. Moisturizes make the hair more elastic, soft and manageable. As a result the hair is less dry, brittle and does not break easily. Spray the hair with 100% H20 nightly or before styling to get your daily moisture fix. 

#5 Night time Protective Wraps

Protecting our hair at night time is key to our hair care routine. Since our hair is susceptible to dryness it is important to cover it up while we sleep. Sleeping without a scarf on a cotton pillowcase causes friction between the hair and the fabric. This friction results in the moisture being removed from our strands and sometimes breakage. Have you ever looked at your pillowcase and wondered why so many hairs had shedded during the night? It's because of friction. At night, wrap your hair with a silk or satin scarf or bonnet. These fabrics reduce friction and allow your hair to retain moisture while you get your beauty rest. 

Start your journey to long, beautiful, healthy, natural hair...Let me know how it goes. 

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