Thursday, March 20, 2014

Hair Tip #62: 10 Tips to Growing and Retaining Long Natural Hair

Hello ladies! I would like to give you my top ten tips that helped me to grow long natural hair! I hope that this is helpful to you. Be sure to comment below and let me know what helped you to grow your hair.

1. Deep Conditioning 

Deep conditioning is a MUST if you want to grow your hair. Our hair needs to be pampered, conditioned and moisturized. Deep conditioning restores moisture and keeps your hair strong and healthy.
Deep Conditioning in 2010

When I began to transition my hair, I was diligent about deep conditioning once a week. I honestly believe that is what got my hair through the transition period without falling and breaking off as much as it could have.

2. Moisture

The #1 ingredient to moisture is... water! If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I am an advocate of using water in our hair. There is nothing that moisturizes better. Spritz it in the morning before you style, and spritz it before you tie it up before bed. If you do this everyday, you will begin to see a difference in your hair.

When I moisturize my hair, I use water then apply a leave in and seal in the moisture with oil/butter. However there are some women who utilize the L.O.C. method. This is using a liquid (water), oil/butter and then a cream (leave in conditioner). So find what works for you! But whatever you do, keep those tresses moisturized!

3. Finger Detangling 

I didn't add this into my regimen until a few years ago. But it has definitely been a game changer. It takes a bit more time to do, but I experience less breakage, shedding and ripping out of knots. With your fingers you can feel every little tangle and gently work it out without ripping out your hair. With a comb, you are just blindly running through knots and pulling out hair unnecessarily.So if you can add this to your hair regimen, I guarantee you will begin to see a difference in hair retention!

Click here to read more about how to finger detangle.

4. Minimal Heat

Obviously I do use heat on my hair but it is very minimal. And I make sure my hair is protected. If you want to see the best results, you cannot use heat all the time. I know that my hair has grown the way it has because I am not applying constant heat. This has been huge in my journey! I have passed up (length wise) many women whose hair has always been longer than mine. I believe this is because many of them straighten their hair once a week. This is not what our hair was meant to do! Am I totally against heat? No! Its fun to wear a blow out, or a straight style. But if you want healthy, long hair, it has to be a special occasion type of thing!

5. Protective Styling 

Do it, do it, do it! Ya'll know that I wear them 99% of the time.

They don't have to be boring, they can be cute, fun, professional, chic.. make them your own.

A protective style is when your hair is up, and the ends are tucked under. It protects your hair from the elements, from drying and it definitely helps it to grow!

6. Tying Up My Hair at Night

This is a must! The few times I have neglected to do this, I woke up with a SUPER dry afro!! And it was a pain to restore moisture into my hair. If you are one who doesn't like scarves or bonnets, purchase a satin pillowcase and sleep on that. Tying up your hair allows your hair to retain moisture. It also preserves your cute styles!

7.  Variety of Styles

While I am an advocate of protective styling, I believe that our hair benefits from just being out and free too. You have to learn how to be sensitive to your hair needs. Too much of anything is never good. If you always wear your hair out, you will experience dryness.

If you always wear it up, your edges may suffer. So try to keep as much variety in your styles as possible.

8. Consistent Regimen 

I cannot stress this one enough! Find what works and stick with it. Pick a wash day, pick a conditioning day, pick a styling day, pick your products.. etc. This has helped me immensely!

Click here for help with establishing a regimen.

9. A Support System

The support and encouragement at others has been all that has kept me going at times. There have been so many times that I just wanted to give up on natural hair. It was hard, I couldn't style my hair how I wanted to, etc. But having support helped me so much!! My husband has been a jewel!! Without him I wouldn't be natural.. that is for sure.

Whether its a friend, this blog, your church family, a spouse, etc, have someone that can encourage you along the way!

10. Patience

There is no special ingredient, pill, or product that will guarantee long hair. But with patience, your hair will grow. Don't get discouraged or frustrated.

If you are doing all the right things, your hair will grow and flourish! One day you will look back and think WOW!!!

Have any of these things worked for you with natural hair? Tell me your favorite tips!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Naturally Professional: Heatless Curls on Straight Hair

Here is an easy style for the office if you happen to be wearing your hair straight. 10 perm rod rollers and a little coconut oil go a long way! I just rolled my hair in a spiral motion and tied it up. I am so pleased with how my curls turned out .. Totally cute and business appropriate. What do you think?

Would you rock this style? Have you?

My outfit?
A hot pink vintage blouse
Pleated black shirt
Cheetah print peek a boo heels

What are you wearing to work today? Have a blessed day!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Straight Hair, Please Share: (Part 5)

So I did it again.. what do you think??

Progress of my hair growth from 2010-2014
Dec 2010

Apr 2011

Dec 2012
Aug 2013

Mar 2014
What do you think about my results?  

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Healthy Hair, Healthy Lifestyle: 20 Healthy Snacks

Do you ever get in a rut when eating healthy? Find yourself reaching for the donut in the office just because its there? Its time to mix things up and give yourself some delicious, quick and powerful snacks that will give you energy and keep you slim and trim!

20 Healthy Snacks
A chicken salad with strawberries, kale, cucumber and balsamic vinaigrette!

  1. Whole wheat crackers with peanut or almond butter
  2. Slice up a banana in a bowl and add granola
  3. DIY trail mix – Almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts and dried cranberries
  4. Hummus and pita bread
  5. Fruit salad – Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and grapes, yum!
  6. Whole wheat bread with peanut butter, sliced banana and raw honey drizzled on top
  7. Fresh dark green salad topped with dried cranberries, walnuts and feta cheese
  8. Diced cucumber, red onion, tomato and cilantro drizzled with lemon juice. Eat as is or scoop it up with organic tortilla chips
  9. Steamed organic kale with diced garlic, pink Himalayan  salt and lemon pepper. Prepare this while your coffee brews and have it with your lunch. Its tasty and an awesome alternative to salad!
  10. Frozen green and red grapes. A tasty treat when you are craving chocolate!
  11. Organic cinnamon raisin bread with a thin layer of raw honey
  12. Sliced raw carrots
  13. Sliced boiled egg with sea salt and pepper over spinach
  14. Granny smith apple with drizzled raw honey and chopped walnuts 
  15. Greek yogurt topped with berries and granola
  16. Steamed milk with 1 tbsp of vanilla. Delicious and keeps you full for a while
  17. DIY chicken salad – sliced apples and pears, fresh dark green salad and sliced grilled chicken
  18. Baked sweet potato fries with Cajun seasoning and organic garlic salt
  19. Fresh salsa topped with lime juice. Scoop it up with organic tortilla chips
  20. Organic whole wheat bread with sliced mozzarella cheese, 1 sliced tomato and Italian seasoning. Place in the toaster oven and enjoy a hot and healthy treat

Who said eating healthy has to be boring?! What kind of snacks do you eat to curb your appetite?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Naturally Professional: Classy Bun

I love my new job! It is such a blessing... everything about it. One of the things I love is dressing business professional. So I thought why not start a series to give you some hairstyle and outfit ideas for dressing professional, chic and modest.

Today I am wearing a simple low bun with the front section twisted back. This is a simple style but the hair being pulled back shows off that beautiful face! Let people see that radiant Holy Ghost glow!

My hair is stretched from a bantu knot out I did on Monday night. So it has good volume and is very stretched. The leftover curls make my bun look a little more festive. Curls always make your style look like you tried more!

My hair was moisturized when I washed it on Saturday with Giovanni Direct Leave In and Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. Monday night I spritzed with water and sealed with coconut oil. My hair is still very moisturized today!

Is this a style that you would wear to work?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hair Tip #61: Getting Out of a Hair Rut

Been natural a while and find that the “thrill Is gone”? Are you lacking inspiration to keep your locks looking beautiful and stylish? Here are  a few tips to get you re-inspired

Find Some New Styles
Go online and find some new hairstyles that you would like to try. Do something new, or something different that you have not tried. If you typically wear your hair down, try a new up do. If you always wear protective styles, let your hair out for a while. 

Try a New Product
Sometimes when I get bored with my hair regimen, I find a new styling product to try. I love doing this because it gives me a chance to experiment without becoming a “product junkie”. Often I end up finding an awesome product that can replace one that I already use! Change can be good. As your hair grows, what it needs and responds to changes as well. 

Have a Hair Spa Day
This weekend I took a long time to treat my hair to a deep condition, scalp massage, cleansing and conditioning session. Then I took time to finger detangle and moisturize. I found that I developed a fresh and new appreciation for my hair. Something about taking time every now and then reminds you that your hair is beautiful and loves some good old fashioned TLC. 

Opt for a Long Term Protective Style
If you just want a break for a while, protective styling is awesome. December through January was basically a long term protective style fest for me. I wore my hair in curl sets or mini twists because I didn’t want to bother with it for a while. It worked out nice! So whip up some mini twists, mini braids, or rock a curl set. It will keep your hands out of your hair and give you a rest.

Reminisce on Your Hair Journey
When I look back through pictures of my hair journey, it inspires me all over again. It reminds me that hard work, and patience pays off in the long run. It reminds me that I need to just keep loving and caring for my hair.
My hair in 2009
My hair in 2013

What do you do when you find yourself in a rut with your hair? Share some of your tips in the comment section below!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Apostolic Natural Hair Seminar?

Hello ladies! I am thinking about talking to my pastor about hosting a natural hair seminar. It would include:
  • Hair care information
  • Tutorials - demos on hairstyles
  • Product samples, reviews, etc
  • Testimonials
  • A chance to meet other naturals and share
I think it would be awesome, but of course, only if it would be a blessing and a help!

Location: Ontario, California (not Canada!)
Date: Summer 2014

If this is something that you would be interested in attending, please leave a comment and let me know! The response I get will determine if I actually host this event!