Thursday, May 30, 2013

My O'Natural Regimen (2013)

Greetings, Greetings, Greetings, Ladies and Gents. I pray all is well with everyone. Ok, so I'm updating my regimen and wanted to keep you all abreast to the goings on of my world of O'Natural hair. Not much has changed, but I feel it's always a great thing to keep you all updated. As always, I love to stress that my regimen is not the end all be all, so always tweak the method for what is convenient and what works for you, or simply use my regimen as a guideline. As always, I hope this helps.

  • PRE POO: Products of Choice: Natty Moist, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil or Sporty Afros Ayurvedic Oil . I usually choose my Natty Moist for my pre poo method and if I opt to do a hot oil treatment, I will use the Sporty Afros Ayurvedic Hair Oil. For my Pre-Poo Method and the benefits of this method, check it out here .
  • CLEANSE: Products of Choice: ( I must say, I have a few items that I love to alternate and cleanse with: Dudu Osum Black Soap Shampoo, Terressentials Pure Earth Wash, Bobeam Shampoo Bars, or Chagrin Valley Ayurvedic Shampoo Bar (any of these items work extremely well for me and my family). I will also do a special treatment using Bentonite Clay. Feel free to check out my Bentonite Clay Treatment. All of these items are known as Clarifying cleansers which are great for removing buildup from the hair and scalp. Buildup is one of the key things that cause dryness and ultimately breakage to the hair. Due to the natural products that I use, I do not accumulate much buildup, so I cleanse about every 2-3 weeks using one of these preferred cleansers. When absorbing the excess water from my hair, I ALWAYS use an old t-shirt versus a towel to dry. Towels create dryness, cause frizz and increases friction in the hair, which can lead to breakage.
  • IN BETWEEN CLEANSE (LIGHT CLEANSE): Products of Choice: Natty ACV Hair and Scalp Mist . With my Natty ACV Scalp Mist, I spray a nice amount onto my scalp to ensure that I keep my scalp clean and protected from dirt, debris and other contaminants. Since ACV is a mild clarifyer, it helps keep the product buildup at bay and allows me to stretch my actual need for a thorough (clarifying) cleanse for 2-3 weeks. It's especially awesome after a workout for helping to remove sweat buildup. I simply spray the mist, massage into my scalp and either leave in or hop in the shower and allow the water to rinse away the dirt.
  • DEEP CONDITION: Product of Choice: Natty Cupuacu & Rhassoul Deep Conditioner: Talk about a yummy treat for my tresses. I absolutely love treating my hair to my chocolatey smelling conditioner. I deep condition my hair each time I do a thorough cleanse. I opt to use my conditioner with a steamer or heat cap due to my hair being of 'low porosity'. The heat helps to lift my cuticle and ensure that my tresses retain its due moisture. After conditioning and rinsing, I mist my Natty ACV Hair and Scalp Mist to help close my cuticle back. This helps to protect my hair from dirt, debris and other environmental contaminants. Also, when the cuticle is closed, it gives the hair a smoother (less frizzy) shinier appearance.
  • MOISTURIZE: Product of Choice: Natty Moist leave in conditioner or Natty ACV Hair and Scalp Mist : After Cleansing and conditioning, I will use both my Natty ACV Hair and Scalp Mist and then my Natty Moist as my leave ins. Throughout the week when I need to re-moisturize my hair, I will apply my Natty Moist and/or Natty ACV Hair and Scalp Mist to hydrate my hair. Any time I finger detangle, I apply a thorough amount of the Natty Moist or thoroughly wet my hair with my Natty ACV Mist. For my how to video on using these two products, check it out Here .

  • SEAL: Product of Choice: Natty Butter: Hands down, no matter the oils or butters I have tried, this is my absolute favorite product to seal/lock in moisture for my hair. It is extremely important to understand that butters and oils are not 'moisturizer' but instead to understand that they are 'sealants'. A sealant is like a protection in that it locks in moisture to prevent it from escaping so quickly. To seal my hair, I 'first' apply a moisturizer of choice (my Natty Moist or Natty ACV Mist)..Then, I apply my Natty Butter to lock in the moisture. Using this method has helped me keep my strands moisturized and healthy, minimize breakage and retain length. I normally do not have to re moisturize my hair for about 2-3 days. 
  • TRIMIt is very important to keep those ends trimmed. While building your regimen, you may incorporate how often you wish to gradually trim your ends as you draw closer to returning completely natural. This time can range from 1/4 to 1/2 inch per month, two months or a little longer time period. If you are not comfortable trimming your own hair, it is very important to find a stylist that specializes in natural hair care and have them trim your hair for you (one who understands trimming vs. cutting). I normally trim my hair every 2-3 months removing about 1/4 inch of hair from my ends. This has helped keep not only my ends but overall hair healthy and thriving. 
  • PROTECT: Item of Choice: Satin/Silk Scarf, bonnet and/or pillowcase. One of the key factors of retaining moisture into the hair is protecting the hair at night using fabric that help hold in moisture versus removing moisture from the hair. Cotton absorbs moisture from the hair. Silk and satin help to retain moisture. After I moisturize my hair, I cover it with my silk or satin scarf and sleep on my satin pillowcase for extra protection.  

  • DIET: I always stress that healthy clean eating is one of the major factors of achieving and maintaining healthy hair. We must remember, what we put into our bodies affect what comes out of it. Our diet consists of a pescatarian diet, which includes some fish, plenty of fresh fruit and green leafy vegetables. I also incorporate tons of herbal teas such as Dandelion (cleanses the liver), Organic Moringa Leaf, Green Tea, Chamomile, Chai Tea and others. I don't take vitamin supplements as I've always felt that the best way to receive needed vitamins and nutrients is directly from our food source.
  • EXERCISE: Because exercise helps with blood circulation, it's an extremely factor in overall health including healthy hair.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Greetings, Chicas/Chicos...Let's Talk TRANSITIONING
Oh, to chop or not to chop, that is the question..

Many times as we ponder the thought of returning to our natural crowns, we dabble in thought of whether we wish to chop all of our hair at once or not chop all of our hair at once..Well, either way, we support your decision and are here to help. For those who wish to keep more length and not chop their hair all at once (known as a Big Chop or BC) and rather, wish to gradually trim their relaxed or straightened ends and slowly transition into returning completely natural, here are some tips that may help.


When detangling the hair can be a task fit for a surgeon when handling hair of two textures and carefully avoiding or minimizing breakage. The key to easier detangling is ALWAYS detangle hair when wet and slippery with conditioner. Pay special attention to the line of demarcation (the line where the new growth meets the relaxed or straightened ends). Also, if the hair is long enough, detangling while the hair is in sections, then twisting or braiding, helps keep the hair from re-tangling. Many transitioners have found success with first finger detangling, then using a wide tooth comb, such as a Jilbrere Shower Comb or detangling brush to detangle. 

These treatments should be a transitioners best friend!! A balance between protein and deep conditioning is key to minimizing breakage. With protein, it is used to strengthen the hair, 'temporarily' repairing the hair that is damaged from chemical treatments, colorants and heat use. Be mindful, protein treatments have a tendency to make the hair feel harder than usual, which is why it is very important to follow up with a deep conditioner afterwards to soften the hair once again. You can choose commercial brand protein treatments, henna (works much like a protein treatment and does an excellent job of strengthening the hair. Be sure to look for BAQ or Body Art Quality Henna as it's the easiest to rinse out) or a DIY (Do It Yourself) protein treatment. Protein treatments can be done bi-yearly. Also, incorporating Ayurvedic herbs into your remedy helps to strengthen hair. Check out some DIY Ayurveda treatments here: Let's Talk Ayurveda. Deep conditioners are best as regular treatments, such as weekly or at least bi-weekly. 

It is oober important to keep tresses moisturized, as natural hair can become a bit dry. However, this can be a double edged sword as the hair that is relaxed or have the straightened ends can become water logged easily therefore making the hair weak and break easily. Transitioned hair usually fair well being moisturized every few days or weekly (each person will vary). Remember, over moisturizing transitioned hair can create weakness leading to breakage.

When styling hair with two textures, it is of the utmost importance to handle with kid gloves. Remember that line of demarcation is very fragile. Using styling tools, such as wide tooth combs and brushes designed for detangling are key. Treat transitioning hair very gently..I repeat, treat very gently. Protective styles, such as twists, braids, plaits, buns are great for transitioners and minimizes the amount of daily styling applied to the hair. There are a plethora of amazing styles for transitioners such as Twist n Curls, Bantu Knot Outs, Flexi Rods, Perm Rods because they do a great job of blending the two textures.

Ok, now while I don't encourage you to follow someone else's regimen exactly, I do encourage regimen building that suits your needs. Building a regimen is helpful with understanding products and helping to understand what may or may not work for you..this way, when you have completely transitioned and returned to natural, you are more comfortable with what works and have a better understanding of how to care for your tresses. Though your products may or may not change, the consistency of how you care for your hair may not and as the days go by, you will be more comfortable with maintaining your hair. Building a regimen also helps with aiding your hair in becoming used to your regimen that is comfortable for YOU. 

It is very important to keep those ends trimmed. While building your regimen, you may incorporate how often you wish to gradually trim your ends as you draw closer to returning completely natural. This time can range from 1/4 to 1/2 inch per month, two months or a little longer time period. If you are not comfortable trimming your own hair, it is very important to find a stylist that specializes in natural hair care and have them trim your hair for you (one who understands trimming vs. cutting)

Very important tip is protecting the hair at night. Covering hair with a stain (especially charmeuse satin) cap, scarf or pillow is extremely helpful for retaining proper moisture and minimizing breakage. If you feel your satin scarf, bonnet or pillowcase alone are not enough, double up. You can cover your hair with a scarf or bonnet and sleep on a satin pillow for a double dose of protection. 

When drying the hair from cleansing, try using an old t-shirt to dry instead of a towel. Towels can be very rough on the hair and cause friction on the hair leading to dryness and breakage. Once you have rinsed your hair, cover with a t-shirt, just as you would with a towel and leave until hair is just slightly damp. Complete your regimen as normal.

Research, research, research!! The power of the internet can be an awesome tool for seeking out what other naturals have been through in regards to achieving and maintaining healthy hair. It's also helpful for learning what may or may not work for your hair and how to become creative with how to style your hair. Sites such as Youtube, Facebook, Blog sites, Instagram and Pinterest, to name a few, have been extremely helpful with helping many on their journey to returning to natural. The power of networking with others who have returned to natural is extremely helpful with the fear and frustration of the journey.

Remember, you hair is only an accessory of you. There is no such thing as bad hair, no matter who has tried to define it. Each person will have different results of styles, regimens, hair growth, etc, but the beautiful thing is that we are all unique. Yes, you may deal with shrinkage. Yes, you may deal with breakage. Yes, you will definitely deal with shedding (natural part of the growth cycle). Yes, you will deal with not being able to master every style or a particular style...And all of that is A-OK! Get excited about Your hair texture, no matter what texture it is..Remember, there is NO SUCH THING as bad hair and don't allow the definition of society nor others convince you that there is. Never lose site of how beautiful you are.

As always, I hope this helps..Have a Happy Natty Day!!