5 Signs That Your Protective Style Has Been In Too Long

Protective Style

Protective Styling has become the best friend that many of us have always wanted or are privileged enough to actually have. She holds us down whenever we need her. She’s reliable, consistent, and she’s good for our overall wellbeing. Having her around just makes us feel better! Like all friendships, however, she needs to be maintained. Unfortunately many of us are guilty of  taking this precious friendship for granted. Have you? Here are 5 signs that your protective style has been in too long……..

 

1. Your family and close friends have forgotten what your hair looked like loose.

Anytime your style has been in so long that your husband and kids have forgotten what your hair used to look like…….it’s time to take it down. When your style has been in so long that even you have forgotten your own hair type and texture then, I repeat……..it’s time to take it down.

 

2. Your hair has began to loc and it wasn’t intentional.

Enough said……

 

3. Half the day is spent scratching your scalp.

Anytime you find yourself frantically looking for the nearest long, sharp object (whether that be a pen, pencil eraser, straw, paper clip, a fork, your fingernails or perhaps maybe even someone else’s) to stick in your head and scratch until you gain relief, you know it’s time. Scalp itches, much like back itches, travel on contact. So as to save yourself the embarrassment of involuntarily going in on your scalp in public in a desperate attempt to calm the itchies, just do yourself a favor and shampoo your hair. You can always restyle it afterwards ;-)

 

4. Your hair begins to have an odor. 

This may seem self-explanatory but unfortunately, for some its not. I’ve had new clients come to me and say, “my hair has an odor and I don’t know what’s causing it” and then I look at their hair and its in this protective style that looks like its been through 3 menstrual cycles………literally………..come on now ladies. We can do better, I know we can!

Sweat, dirt, and debris get caught in our hair and scalp and cause bacteria and odor, sometimes even fungus to start growing. Let’s not allow place for such nonsense by keeping our protective styles in for the right amount of time for our hair. For instance, a woman that works out regularly and sweats a lot may need to take her style down, cleanse her hair and scalp and then redo her style a bit quicker than say, a woman who rarely works out. But I know that we are all going to try to do better about working out so let’s just say protective styles should be kept in, at most, 4-6 weeks. Healthy hair grows from a scalp that’s properly cleansed and gets proper oxygen.

 

5. Your style is no longer recognizable. 

You know that you started off with cornrows cascading into a two-strand twists updo, but at this point, you’re the only one who still knows that. Anytime your hair has began to look like unchartered territory, it’s time to call it a day and send the workers home…it’s over. When your protective style has become overgrown and no longer is a “style” then it has lost all ability to be “protective.” Do your hair a favor and give it a fresh start!

 

Protective styling really is a great option for some types and textures. However,  just remember if you are going to put your hair in a protective style these 5 important things:

  • Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize every. single. day. Don’t let a day pass where you don’t apply some form of moisture to your hair. Sone ladies are worried about frizz, if that’s the case simply hold a spray moisturizer a good distance from your head and lightly spray over your hair and scalp so as not to cause too much direct contact.
  • Keep your style in, at the most for 4-6 weeks.
  • Don’t pull your hair too tight as you don’t want to cause breakage around your hairline or bumps at your roots.
  • If you do protective styles often, switch up the style so you don’t over manipulate any one particular area. This helps cut down on breakage as well.
  • Always sleep in a satin or silk scarf or on a silk or satin pillowcase. This will protect the style and keep it fresh!

Have you ever kept your protective style in too long? What is “too long” in your opinion? Let us know!

 

Top 4 Lint Busting Tips For Natural Hair

short natural hair

short natural hair

 

 

Its wintertime again and chances are, you, like many of us, are bundling up trying to stay warm in all this cold, windy weather. Hats, scarves, and hoods are great for shielding ourselves from the cold winter air but are horrible on our natural coils. Here are the top 4 ways to minimize the amount of lint your hair picks up this winter season.

 

1. Sleep in a satin/silk scarf or on a satin/silk pillowcase

Yes, we know this goes without saying, but many of us are guilty of just turning in at night with absolutely nothing on our head. Then there are those who do put something on their head to protect their hair but unfortunately what they are using is a cotton scarf. Cotton scarves much like their bigger, wide-hipped cousins, cotton pillowcases are moisture sucking, lint producing machines. If you want to cut back on lint then by all means, cut out the cotton headgear and pillowcases.

 

2. Buy 2 large satin bonnets

Okay, so you have your silk/satin scarf or pillowcase for bedtime, but you will also need a large satin bonnet to put on your head before putting on any type of hat,wool beret, or tam. Cotton and wool hats attract lint and when you put them on that same lint then gets stuck to your hair. So protect yourself and wear your satin! Now as for the second bonnet……

 

3. Cover your car headrest with a large satin bonnet

If you have leather seats in your car, great! If you have cloth seats in your car, great……just make sure you put a large satin bonnet over your headrest. Cloth car seats are notorious for attracting lint, stray hairs and dust. Vacuum your car semi-often (I say semi-often because who really has time to do that often?) as this will cut down on the amount of lint on your interior. If you are concerned about looking crazy with a bonnet on your headrest then try to find one whose color matches the interior of your car. If you can’t find one that does then look at the bright side, at least you are cutting down on the amount of lint your hair is exposed to! Another added benefit of this is that the ends of our hair are very fragile and the more we can protect those ends from snagging and rubbing against cotton or fabric materials, the more length we can ultimately retain.

 

4. Be cognizant of where you lay your head

When we are ready to relax, oftentimes we plop our heads and hair down anywhere we can find a soft surface. Stop it! Check to see if the surface you plan on laying your head is clean and free of lint and debris. Sometimes we like to ball up a cozy blanket or fleece throw (especially when its cold) to lay our head on while watching t.v. or reading. We may also like to wrap up in said blanket or throw as well. When these moments arise, go find either your large satin bonnet or our bedtime scarf and put over your head before plopping down. Fleece throws, cotton blankets, knitted quilts and the like are fabulous for comfortability but horrible for keeping lint out of your hair.

Just remember the old adage, “If you lay down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas” only this time it’s, if you lay down with cotton, fleece, (or any other fabric that is not satin or silk) you’ll get up with lint.

Along these same lines, keep unwashed hands (whether they are yours or someone else’s) out of your hair as this practice contributes to unnecessary lint and dust getting into your hair as well.

 

So, along with these top 4 tips to minimizing lint , also remember to keep your hair constantly moisturized as this will help keep it healthy and believe it or not will help repel lint. I’m not quite sure why, but lint will inevitably find its way to and take up residence on dry hair a whole lot quicker then it will on well moisturized hair.

 

Have you tried any of these lint-busting tips before or do you have some of your own? Let us know!!

 

Master Your Kinks Hands-On Natural Hair Workshop

Darcy's Botanicals Feb. Event 2013

Here’s What You Need To Do:

  • Register online at: http://masteryourkinksworkshop.eventbrite.com. You pay only $25 and you will receive upon your arrival a natural hair styling kit containing two full size Darcy’s Botanicals Products and the styling tools needed to complete your style.
  • Shampoo and Condition your hair at home and come with your hair clean and in a plastic cap.  (shampooing services will not be available the day of the event)
  • Show up at the Darcy’s Botanicals Boutique on Saturday, February 2nd, 2013 at 1:00pm and be prepared to learn how to Master Your Kinks!

What To Expect:

  • Patient step-by-step instruction from Licensed Professional Natural Stylists!
  • Natural Hair Education!
  • Styling Tips Galore!
  • Gift Bags!
  • Giveaways!
  • Free Appetizers, Snacks, and Beverages!
  • Exclusive Sales on all Darcy’s Botanicals Products just for you!
  • Opportunity to meet new people and make some new friends!
  • Positive, fun, and intimate environment to learn, grow, mingle, and de-stress after the holidays!
  • Free, Safe Parking!

Sign up today for this fabulous event!

We hope to see you there!

Elle Varner’s New CD — Perfectly Imperfect Is Here!!

Okay so generally our focus is hair and fashion and beauty and all that other good stuff. Well today we deemed it necessary to bring you all three wrapped up in one beautiful package entitled, Perfectly Imperfect. Elle Varner’s debut album dropped today and honestly, it’s quite amazing.

We’re really into music but rarely ever write music reviews. Listening to this CD today though just made me want to boot up my laptop and go to work on a music review.

Elle’s lyrics are refreshingly youthful but at the same time oh so grown. The lyrical quality of the album is the best I’ve experienced in years. Its just honest. As a young woman I can totally relate to the lyrics. These songs are not over  anyone’s head, they are not speaking of abstract ideas that no one but the artist can truly understand. They are not speaking of a lifestyle that most of us have never experienced. No, this album comes from a very real, imperfect, down-to-earth, yet very inviting place. A place where you can take your heels off and put your house shoes on. A place where you can plait your hair in 5 big twists in preparation for tomorrow’s big event and leave your  head scarf off. A place where you can be vulnerable yet strong. A place where its okay to admit your dreams and also the fact that sometimes we get a little scared when it comes to love.

Not only is the atmosphere of this album inviting but the girl can really and truly sing! As I listened to her CD, I could so vividly imagine Elle performing each of the songs live with a band…… even touring with the likes of Maxwell and Jill Scott. Yes, I believe she’s that talented. The raw emotion and sincere feeling with which she sings each song is something very uncommon in today’s hip-hop and R & B scene and she is a much welcome change.

If you haven’t heard her album yet or didn’t realize it had come out, then please, do yourself a favor and go check it out because it is a true classic. The type of CD where you could just let it play all the way through and then press repeat and do it all over again. Oh and as always her hair is on superfly status!

My personal favorites on Perfectly Imperfect are:

*I Don’t Care

*Leaf

*Not Tonight

*Welcome Home

I hope you enjoy it as much as we are! If you already have it, let us know what you think about it and what your favorite songs are!

Top 5 Summer Hair Tips For Your Little Girl’s Curls

 

Summer is a little over a month away, the Farmer’s Almanac says it’s supposed to arrive June 20th. Depending on where you live though, it may feel like it’s already here! With the bright sun and hot days come more outdoor activities, water sports, good food, traveling and so many other great things. However, summer also tends to bring more humidity, dry hair and skin, and chlorine damage, especially for our little ones since they seem to spend more time outdoors than us adults. Check out the following 5 hair care tips to protect your little one’s precious coils this season:

1. Keep Her Hydrated On The Inside       

Make sure you keep your little girl hydrated from the inside out. Meaning that as she’s playing outside make sure she has plenty of water to drink. This not only helps her to ward off dehydration but it also keeps her body and hair follicles moisturized.  Always remember that moisturizing the inside is even more important than moisturizing the outside of our bodies.

2. Keep Her Hydrated On The Outside

Make sure that you are moisturizing your daughter’s hair everyday using a water-based high quality natural hair moisturizer. Two of my favorites are Darcy’s Botanicals Peach Kernel Hydrating Milk and Koils By Nature’s Moisturizing Shealoe Leave-in Conditioner. Both of  these moisturizers contain hair-loving, natural ingredients that will infuse your little one’s hair with moisture and keep it soft throughout the day. These will also protect and strengthen her hair as well as keep it healthy as she plays in the summer sun.

3. Seal The Moisture In

After applying the water-based leave-in conditioner or moisturizer, follow that up with a good hair oil so as to seal the moisture into the hair shaft. Sealing moisture in is a great practice because the oil forms a barrier between the hair strand and the outside elements, whatever they may be at the time. Many times we will complain about how we put some moisturizer on our hair and then hours later our hair is dry again and dull in appearance. Well, by sealing the moisture in, we minimize or completely alleviate that problem. So, here’s how we do it, after applying the moisturizer, take a dab (small amount) of natural hair oil like Tropic Isle’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil,  Coconut Oil or an oil-based pomade such as Darcy’s Botanicals Madagascar Vanilla Styling Creme and  smooth over the hair from root to tip. Especially focus on the ends of your daughter’s hair as these usually take the worst beating as they are the oldest part of the hair strand. After doing this style as desired.

4. Thoroughly Cleanse and Condition Her Hair After Swimming

Chlorine is a beast when it comes to drying out our hair. Make sure you thoroughly cleanse and condition her hair after every swimming pool endeavor. Use a natural, conditioning, sulfate-free shampoo that also acts as a detangler.  Then follow up with a natural, moisturizing, creamy conditioner. This is so important because you don’t want to leave the chlorine in your baby’s hair to continue to wreak havoc, wash it out asap! If your daughter is swimming in a salt water pool or any other water contraption that doesn’t contain chlorine then a simple co-wash (shampooing the hair with just conditioner) will do just fine. Just make sure you follow this process up with your moisturizing leave-in conditioner and seal that in with a good hair oil.

5. Style Her Hair With Simplicity in Mind

During the summer months try styles that will keep your little girl’s hair up and out of her  face. Opt for easy protective styles like buns, braids and twists that can be pinned up in cute designs, or even easy wash and go styles that can be pulled back with a soft, not-too-tight headband! That way she can be free to play as much as she wants without you having to worry about her hair getting damaged in the process. And definitely don’t forget to buy her a silk or satin scarf and/or pillowcase to sleep on at night so as to keep her hair soft and moisturized. Cotton tends to suck the moisture out of natural hair so opt for silk and satin instead.

Try these summer tips out and visit our boutique:  http://mamochanaturals.com/shop/ to pick up the fabulous natural hair products mentioned above. We hope you and your little girl have a wonderful and happy summer!!

 

4 Cheap Ways To Rock Your Natural Look More Confidently!

confident natural haired woman

Going natural and staying natural is a lifestyle. What does that exactly mean? Well it means that “being natural” includes more than just wearing our hair in a chemical free state. It also embodies our diet, our exercise routines, and our attitude and mindset….. well at least it should anyway. Why do I say this? Well, how many times have you seen a woman with a fly natural hairstyle but for some reason the overall visual was still off? It could have been that perhaps she just wasn’t carrying herself in the most confident way. It could have been that although her natural hairstyle is gorgeous, she just doesn’t believe it herself yet so is therefore very self-conscious. Whatever the case, our level of confidence does not come from how fierce our hairstyle is but rather it comes from within. With that being said, there are some things we can do to help build up our inward confidence and therefore rock our entire natural look a lot more confidently. Here are 4 cheap to free ways to do so:

1. Stare At Yourself In The Mirror      Price: Free

Take a moment every day, preferably in the morning before you embark on your daily activities, to stare at yourself in the mirror. This is NOT a time for thinking negative thoughts, possibly wishing something was smaller, bigger, nonexistent etc. Rather this is a time where you only say positive things to yourself. Compliment yourself on your eyes, how smart you are, your nose, your lips, your skin, your hair etc. Really focus on picking out things that you really love about yourself. Doing this every morning will train you to start the day off with positivity, boost  your confidence as well as put a little extra pep in your step! Try it, it really works!

2. Do your Naomi Campbell Walk      Price: Free

Are you going places in the world? Then walk like it! How many of us shuffle through life? I mean seriously, how many of us are constantly rushing from one task to another? How many of us are dragging ourselves from one task to another? Whether we are rushing or dragging, neither is ideal. Do you ever notice how confident models look on runways? It is all about the walk. A model could have on the most gorgeous dress, makeup is on point, shoes are ridiculously hot, hair is amazing but if her walk is off, the whole look is off!  So take a cue from Beyonce who told us years ago, to do the Naomi Campbell walk, and yes walk across the room like Naomi Campbell. You remember that? Good, now get to it! Walking like a model has less to do with how you look and more to do with how you carry yourself. So, stand up straight (you’re probably humped over right now, I know because I am), pull those shoulders back, bring that stomach in, and stride with one foot in front of the other. Don’t be stiff with it but rather loosen up and sway as you walk, not too much though as losing your balance and falling would surely detract from your overall “look”.  Also remember that walking like a model is not contingent upon footwear. Yes it is generally perceived to be easier to model walk in heels, however, you can don a confident stride in sneakers, flip flops, or even barefoot. Just remember to keep your head up, shoulders back, back straight, stomach in and one foot in front of the other. Walk like you’re going somewhere in this world and even if it doesn’t feel natural starting out, eventually you will begin to believe it too and this will boost your confidence!

3. Tighten Up On Personal Hygiene & Care    Price: Free

If your knees are ashy and your breath is tart, somehow no one is going to care how well your wash and go looks this morning. Sometimes because we get busy, we might tend to let some things slide. Although this can happen to the best of us, some things just need to be given priority. When we take that extra time to take good care of our bodies, it makes us feel better as women. When was the last time you took a relaxing bath and added a few bath salts or even some nice bath oils to your water? When was the last time you just sat and polished your nails…….not because you were going somewhere but just because you wanted to? When was the last time you actually took time to massage a nice body butter or lotion onto your feet? When was the last time that you turned on your favorite songs and just danced all by yourself? When was the last time you knew you weren’t leaving the house and took your head scarf off anyway?  If we make taking care of ourselves physically a priority right along with everything else, we will be subconsciously telling ourselves that we do matter and we will feel better about ourselves in general. Remember to do it for you, not for anyone else.

4. Buy Yourself Something Fun On A Regular Basis       Price: $10 or less

Why is this important? Well, when someone buys you a gift, how do you generally feel…. happy right? It usually is very exciting and gratifying to know that someone was thinking about you. It just makes you feel good!  Well why wait for someone to buy you a gift when you can buy yourself a gift? It doesn’t have to be anything expensive. In fact set aside $10 each week and buy yourself something nice. Remember that a lot of us spend this amount just on buying lunch, so take your lunch with you to work at least one day each week and use that money you would have spent on lunch, on yourself instead. What nice things can be bought for $10 or less? A lot actually….you could buy: a new lip color, a new nail color, a cute and cheap piece of jewelry like a costume ring or necklace, that new scented body butter or lotion we discussed previously, some bath salts, a new headband, a hair flower, a new healthy snack to eat, a new pair of flip flops, a cheap scarf, a new air freshener for your car, or even a new houseplant. The options are endless but one thing that is for sure, is that if you make this a regular habit it will put a smile on your face, it can add a little more excitement to your life (I mean this because when you have on a new pair of flip flops it really goes a long way…..seriously), and it will remind you weekly that yes you are truly worth it! You can’t buy happiness and you can’t buy confidence, but you can definitely increase both with a little spontaneous gift from you to you!

 

These are my 4 tips to rock your natural look more confidently, what are yours?

 

Top 5 Habits of New Naturals

Natural hair TWA

Congrats to all the women who have just taken that momentous step and decided to get rid of the chemicals!! You are now 100% natural!! Your first few weeks and months as a new natural can be exciting, frustrating, fun, scary, even liberating. Sometimes you may even feel all of those emotions in the same day! Those of us who have been natural for years can definitely relate. We remember the anticipation as well as the fear, because for quite a few of us, this was the first time we had ever dealt with our hair in its natural state! So, with that in mind, I asked myself as well as some of my natural haired friends, “What were some of our habits/behaviors when we first went natural?” and “Which of these if any are we still doing now, years later?” With that information in mind, these are my Top 5 Habits of New Naturals:

1. You get really excited when you see other natural haired women in public.

You know it’s true. We’ve all been there. You are newly natural and you’re at the grocery store, in the checkout line, and that’s when you spot a beautiful twist-out walking through the doors, pushing a cart. Yup, that’s right, it’s not even about the person wearing the twist-out; it’s just about the twist-out. If you weren’t the next person in line, you would follow the twist-out and ask it what was used on it and how long it had been natural. Yes those were the days! When you are newly natural you are always aware of everyone else in a 5 mile radius that’s natural too.  Crossing paths with other naturals while running errands, is so exciting when you’re a new natural, that you actually go home and tell other people, “Guess what?  I saw 2 natural haired women at Subway today while I was on lunch. One looked like she had a wash and go and the other……” Remember those days?

2. You spend an inordinate amount of time on YouTube.      

Clothes need to be washed, dinner needs to be cooked, your mama is waiting for you to call her back, even your favorite show is on right now, but that doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters in this moment (and every other moment that you’re not sleep or working) is whether or not that new natural hair product worked on Natural Chica’s hair and how long her style lasted. She also just got some new hair accessories, so now you need to find out where you can pick those up at as well as how to use them properly. And wait…she just announced she’s doing a giveaway…..hold up! :-)  Sound familiar? When you first go natural, YouTube is your absolute best friend. It is where you find out about new products, new styles, listen to people chat it up about their hair or lack thereof, it’s just a hub for all things natural. This is generally a pretty harmless habit until it starts encroaching on more important activities, like feeding your family. Yes, YouTube can become addictive!

3. You are constantly taking pictures of your hair.

When you are newly natural, anytime is a good time for pictures. You know you’re brand new when you have absolutely no plans to leave the house but yet you dress up from head to toe and apply a full face of make-up for the express purpose of taking pictures of your TWA. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a digital camera, a smart phone, an iPad, or a disposable camera (yes those still exist, as I just used one last month), Olan Mills and Glamour Shots have nothing on you! New Naturals capture their hair in all poses and circumstances……side shots, front shots, close-ups, distance shots, pre-workout shots, post-workout shots, in the car shots, in the sun shots, you name it and we’ve got a picture of our hair to fit it. Honestly I wish I still took pictures of my hair the way I used too when I first went natural. It’s nice looking back and documenting the growth as well as your hair journey in general. I’m going to start doing this again, who’s with me? :-)

4. You’re super cautious about everything regarding your hair. 

New Naturals soak up information like sponges, which is a good thing because at this stage we need all the knowledge we can get. They are generally very meticulous about their hair care routine and sticking to it. As time goes on we sometimes start getting a little lax about our hair practices….forgetting to deep condition, going to bed without re-twisting, forgetting to moisturize every day. We get busy and sometimes we just stop dotting our i’s and crossing our t’s as it were, in regards to our hair care routine. Not new naturals though, they make sure they take extreme care with their hair, they take time with their hair, they research every ingredient in their hair products, they test the PH of their hair products, they check the humidity and the dew point before heading outdoors, they take their hair seriously. I think we could all use a little more of this in our lives……just a little bit.

5. You want to convert everyone you know and meet into being natural.

When you first go natural it’s almost like you become a self-appointed natural hair spokesperson. Everywhere you go, you find yourself encouraging other women to go natural. Anyone who puts up any kind of resistance gets a rundown of the damaging effects of chemical relaxers and in-depth details of the brainwashing that has occurred for centuries regarding our natural hair textures. Although I must admit this is pretty good information, it can sometimes fall on deaf ears. I say this because when you are newly natural, you have so much passion about going and being natural that it can sometimes scare people, but then on the other hand it just might be the encouragement that some women need to make the leap and actually go natural. So it really just depends on who you’re talking to.

I was like this to a degree when I first went natural. I felt and still feel like it’s a great choice to make and I wanted every woman I knew to experience the freedom of being natural. I learned though, that actions speak louder than words. You can talk about how great being natural is all day long and people will be like yeah whatever, but they will be watching you. And what they are looking for is to see if you truly believe what you’re telling others. They also are looking at your hair. How many times have we had people say, “I would never go natural, I don’t know why you went and did that to your hair.” “Your relaxed hair was so beautiful, why did you go natural?” Some even talk about you behind your back and laugh at your hair, but have you noticed that once you really get the hang of handling your hair and it comes into its own, so to speak, that people who made those comments start coming around giving you compliments? What’s even funnier is when they come to you and say that they’ve always wanted to go natural but were scared and then start asking you for advice!?!

With that being said, I’m so happy to say that many of my friends and family have now gone natural, even those who swore that they would never give up their relaxers. So being a natural hair spokesperson really can work, just be encouraging and teach by example!

So that’s our list, what’s yours? What are/were some of your habits as new naturals? Which of these newbie habits are we still doing years later for better or for worse?

 

No Flaking Allowed: Is there peer pressure in the natural hair community?

natural haired woman in thought

We are grown right? So this type of stuff doesn’t happen right? Wrong! Peer Pressure can be felt at any age and in a variety of different circumstances. So, I ask, is there peer pressure in the natural hair community?

Well, frankly I believe the answer to that question is yes. Here’s why: At Ma’Mocha Naturals we offer Beauty Confidence Consultations for women who are dealing with confidence issues related to their natural hair. In doing this, I’ve heard time and time again that they are feeling pressure. Pressure from who? Well some are experiencing pressure from family and friends who just can’t seem to wrap their minds around the fact that they no longer want to relax their hair…. we expect that though right? Yup, pretty much. We all understand that sometimes it can take a little while for our loved ones to get on board with our decision to go natural and that’s cool. Unfortunately, some may not ever get on board….. and well that’s fine too!

However, one constant and quite disturbing issue that I’ve been hearing is the fact that a lot of women are experiencing (what can be perceived as being) negative peer pressure right from within the natural hair community. One thing that makes this type of pressure more disturbing than most is that it oftentimes is completely unexpected! You would think that with other naturals you would receive the encouragement that is so sorely missing in other circles, but for some women that is not the case.

Many of us go natural to get rid of all the chemicals as well as embrace who we truly are inside. What can happen along the way though, is that we could begin to feel like we need to fit in with all the other naturals that we see at meet-ups, online, in our social circles etc.  If this happens, we are actually forgetting one of the main reasons we may have went natural in the first place—individuality. Don’t get me wrong there is absolutely nothing wrong with being inspired by other women’s hair, fashion, confidence etc. Inspiration is great, however the problem comes when we feel like we need to be just like these women or when we feel like new naturals need to be just like us. I’m sure you’ve seen or heard it….. a woman goes natural and another natural tells her, “girl, all you need is some make-up and some earrings, and you’ll be fine. I wear (insert make-up brand of choice here) and I found these earrings I have on at ………” Honestly, whoever said that just because you’ve went natural you now need to start wearing more make-up than you ever did before or start wearing more accessories than you did in the past? Now, if that’s what YOU want to do then fine, have at it, but if you would rather not, then don’t. That may sound simple but for some women, it is a lot easier said than done.

A friend of mine told me that she felt like when she went natural she now needed to listen to more neo soul music  and dress more bohemian. Really? Granted, it does seem like there are a lot of natural hair videos out there with neo soul and conscience rap playing in the background and that’s completely fine because that’s their personal preference. If you hear something you like and want to add that to your music collection,  great you should do it! If rock is more your thing, that’s fine too. I mean honestly who are you trying to please? I personally love neo soul music, and I feel this way not because of my hair, but just because I really like it. I also like Foster The People (love their song, call it what you want!), which is like light alternative I guess. Would I hesitate to play them in the car with my natural haired friends? No. Why? I like it, it’s my car and if you don’t like what’s being played, you can get out. Just kidding. For real though, why is it that some of us feel like just because we have natural hair that we all must be the same?

Another area that sometimes breeds conformity is choice of hairstyle. Why do some of us feel like no one wants shrinkage? Is shrinkage really that bad? One woman I spoke with told me that she loves her wash and go styles because her hair shrinks up and it looks really cute. She went on to relate that her friends on the other hand, hate it. They are natural as well. She says that they keep trying to style her hair in different ways to elongate it but she says she never likes any of the styles as much as she likes her shrunken fro. This seems like an easy answer……just rock your shrunken fro, right? Wrong, these ladies are her best friends and she said they are obsessed with achieving bra strap length natural hair. As a result, they want her to jump on the bandwagon with them and stretch her hair out to maximum lengths. She could care less about length, she just wants a cute, simple style. What’s a girl to do right?

Just be yourself! Take inspiration from other women and make it your own. When we were sporting relaxers we all weren’t wearing the same hair and fashion styles, so why should we start now? We honestly have to do some soul searching and find out what we really like in terms of our hair, fashion, and overall style. We also need to determine what looks best on us. After all, what makes another woman’s style superior to yours? Nothing at all. It may also be helpful to remember that at the end of the day when we look in the mirror we need to be happy with the woman that is looking back at us. If we don’t love and appreciate her for who she really is, then how can we expect anyone else to? Just a thought.

Do you feel like there is peer pressure in the natural hair community and if so, what kinds?

 

Dear Ma’Mocha: I’ve got dry natural hair…..Help!!

Dear Ma’Mocha,

I’ve been natural for about 8 months now. At first, my natural hair was growing great after my big chop. It was healthy and it was just doing really, really well. However, recently, I have begun noticing that my hair is starting to break off and it is also very dry. Lately, since my hair has grown longer, I have been doing more two-strand twist sets; whereas before, when my hair was shorter, I did more wash and go styles. I really want my hair to grow longer, be moisturized, and stop breaking. Help me!!!

Tianna

 

Hey Tianna,

So sorry to hear about your dilemma. The good news is though that the issue can definitely be fixed! Many times as our hair grows longer, we think it requires a new set of rules just because we have obtained a bit more length. However, this is NOT always the case! Oftentimes it is best to keep doing what we’ve been doing up to this point because after all, whatever we’ve been doing has actually gotten us to this point. Hope that made sense ;-)  

In other words, examine what has changed in your hair routine. You mentioned that you  began two strand twisting your hair as opposed to wash and go styling. This may be one of the reasons you are dealing with dry hair. Generally when we wear wash and go styles, we are moisturizing our hair more often then when we wear other styles. This constant moisture keeps our hair soft and supple as well as healthy. When we cut down on the amount of daily moisture we give our hair, we will start to see and feel a difference. It’s just like drinking water. If we drink lots of it, we will just feel better, our skin will look better, we will feel more internally hydrated, have more energy, be more regular…just all kinds of good stuff. However, if we were to dramatically stop drinking the amount of water our bodies need on a daily basis, we would definitely feel a difference. Likewise, our hair needs constant moisture so always remember to moisturize your hair daily! Do this morning and night regardless of the style it’s in, if you are dealing with extreme dryness. And make sure you are moisturizing with an all natural water-based moisturizer that will really get in there and go to work for you. This could be a light spray leave-in conditioner or it could be a creamier leave-in moisturizer. Whatever the case use it daily and focus on applying it to your hair’s ends especially! To follow that up, make sure you seal the moisture in with a great natural hair oil as well. Believe me, it really makes a difference!

You may also want to consider HOW you are handling your hair while styling. Now that you are twisting your hair more, make sure you handle your hair with extreme care. I don’t mean massaging it strand-by-strand (really who has time for that?) but rather I mean not attacking it. Take your time when detangling your natural hair and use either your fingers or a wide-tooth comb to do the job. Also when sectioning your hair off for twisting, make sure the clips you use are curl friendly and not pulling and snagging hairs out of your scalp. Be aware of your own hands while twisting as well. Make sure you don’t have any hangnails that are wreaking damage. 

Another point to remember in regards to minimizing breakage is to make sure your hair is being strengthened regularly. This start on the inside. Make sure your diet contains good sources of protein and also foods that are high in amino acids. This is important because our hair is made up of at least 19 different amino acids joined together. A really good seasoning that I use quite often is Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. It tastes like soy sauce but better. It also has A TON of amino acids in it. You can use it as a seasoning over breakfast foods, lunch, dinner, you can even use it in smoothies! It’s really good!

You can also focus on strengthening your hair from the outside too. This can be done by deep conditioning your hair at least once a week with an all natural moisturizing conditioning treatment. If you are having severe breakage, use a conditioner that is high in protein and then follow it up with a moisturizing treatment. Do this protein treatment every other week until you notice a decrease in breakage and shedding and then just use it once a month for maintenance.  

By remembering to :

  1. Moisturize your hair daily
  2. Seal the moisture in with a natural oil
  3. Handle your hair with care
  4. Strengthen your hair from the inside and outside 
you can help your hair to stop breaking, stay moisturized, and retain length!
If you have any natural hair questions you would like answered by our Professional Team of stylists at Ma’Mocha Naturals then please feel free to email us at DearMaMocha@MaMochaNaturals.com.
Also if you have anything to add that you feel like would be of assistance to Tianna and her hair then please share your comments. Thanks!

 

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...