Feminine Fall Braid on Natural Hair

Did a little experimenting with my hair on an old twist out and actually kind of like it. This look is perfect for fall days. I left a little hair out to frame my face and completed the braid by using large sections of hair. I think this kind of style works best on an old stretched out style.

I’m thinking this just will also be my hospital style, pulled back and low maintenance.

photo 2(6)photo 3(3)photo 1(6)

What are your favorite fall styles?

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To Henna or Not to Henna?

Basic Overview

(for more detailed information check out the free Ebook, Henna for Hair: http://www.hennaforhair.com/ or for a basic overview: http://www.hennaforhair.com/faq/)

Remember I AM NOT a HAIR EXPERT and will not go into great detail on the subject. =)

Henna is harvested from the leaves of the henna plant. It’s been around for thousands of years and is not new to the beauty world. It’s primarily used to stain the hair and cover grays. The dye is activated by mixing it with an acid base (e.g. lemon, orange juice).

There are three types of henna, “neutral” cassia, “black” indigo and reddish/copper “henna”. Cassia will not dye dark hair, but can give a more golden hue gray or blond hair . If used on dark hair, it can be used as more of a deep conditioning treatment. The effects aren’t as long-lasting as regular henna, but could be an alternative for those looking for the benefit of henna without the permanent color.

Diagram from http://www.hennaforhair.com Ebook, demonstrating how it dyes the hair. (Lawsone is a red-orange dye found in henna leaves).

Benefits of henna

Henna is known to strengthen the hair as it fills or closes gaps in the cuticle. It  imparts amazing shine. It is a natural remedy to graying. In afro hair henna has been shown to do all the previously mentioned things and to loosen the curl pattern. Whether that’s a positive or negative, depends on your outlook. For me, it’s a negative.

My hesitation

Since I’ve gone natural, I’ve debated many times whether I should henna my hair. For one reason or another, I’ve always decided not to do it. I have tried cassia in the past a couple of times when I first went natural. It was hard to wash out and I didn’t experience mind-blowing results.

I’ve seen bloggers report amazing results with continued use of henna. Initially, I was more concerned about permanence of henna. I know many people say it only gives dark hair an auburn/copper glow in the sun, which isn’t noticable under normal conditions. However, I just couldn’t get past the idea of doing something so permanent. Additionally, now that I know my hair is low porosity and what works for some doesn’t always work for me. I’m definitely more closed off to the idea of hennaing my hair.

I can not say with 100% certainty that low porosity hair and henna don’t mix. I can say that I have a sneaking suspicion that it might make moisturizing the hair more difficult, since it seals the cuticles to bind with keratin in the hair shaft. For low porosity hair, the goal is to get moisture into cuticles, sometimes lifting them slightly. I’m afraid further sealing of an already compact hair shaft wouldn’t be beneficial.

This leaves me with the decision that I will likely not henna my hair, for fear that the aftermath will be much harder to reverse. Even with all the wonderful feedback from others who have tried it.

What do you have to say? I’d love to hear from other low porosity bloggers who henna, have hennaed or perhaps thought about. What’s your take on this topic? Do you henna your low porosity hair?

Do you DIY?

Sometimes healthy shiny hair doesn’t require a trip to the store. Many times a simple trip to your cupboards or refrigerator is all you need for a nice effective do-it-yourself hair treatment. I’ll share one of my favorite DIY treatments and would love to hear from readers. If you have any DIY treatments that have worked for your low porosity hair, be sure to comment and share your recipe in the comments section.

Olive Honey Hair Mask

  • Olive Oil (or oil of choice) amount depends on hair length and thickness. I use about 1/8 c.
  • 2 TBSP of honey

Instructions:

  1. Warm olive oil on low heat for about 3-4 minutes (you don’t want it hot, just warm), mix in honey and pour this mixture into a bowl or applicator bottle.
  2. optional: mix in a small amount of your favorite conditioner
  3. Apply to freshly washed hair. Plastic cap. Sit under hooded dryer 20-30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and condition, if needed.

This leaves my hair shiny and soft to touch.

What are your favorite DIY hair treats?

Product Review: Dabur Vatika Hair Fall Control Styling Cream

Price: Amazon has it listed as 7.99, you may find it cheaper at your local Indian beauty supply store.

What’s in it: According to the ingredient list on the jar: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Cactus Extract, D-Panthenol, and Perfume. However, there were comments on Amazon about many sellers issuing a fake version of the product loaded with artificial ingredients, so be weary.

What it claims to do: Gives complete nourishment, strengthens hair and fights shine.

Instructions: For best results use before and after hair wash. As a prepoo: before shampooing, massage cream into dry hair from root to tip,leave on 15 minutes and wash as usual. After wash: apply a small amount to damp hair for protection, shine and to ease styling.

How I used it: I’ve tried this product three times and have never used it as a prepoo only as a post wash styler and moisturizer. I mostly apply the product to my ends and only partially to the rest of my hair.

My 2 pennies:

+ Leaves my hair incredibly shiny once it dries.

+Makes my ends curl right up.

+Leaves my hair feeling soft and moisturized, but not greasy and this last for a few days.

+A little goes a long way.

+Soft creamy texture that absorbs quickly.

-The smell is WAY too  strong. Makes me suspicious about the ingredients list, even if the jar only lists 4 ingredients. Would much rather hair a perfume-free or an essential oil fragrance.

-I didn’t notice whether it really works to reduce hair shedding. I find this is a strong claim to make. In any case, it’s difficult to say exactly what reduces hair shedding, as I use different products in my regimen. My hair doesn’t shed a lot as is (thank you pregnancy, but I am fearing the post-pregnancy shed showdown).

Here’s my hair using the product on a twist out. I don’t think the results greatly differ from when I use my usual products. I will say it stayed defined a lot longer. However, this could be due to my doing a twist out and not a braid out.

Would I buy the product again?

Meh, I’m not ready to stock up on this product like I do with KCKT. However, I’m happy to use it while it remains in my medicine cabinet. I’m not a fan of the fragrance so even if it continues to give consistent results, I just can’t handle that chemical smell.

Has anyone else tried Dabur Vatika products?

Night-time Regimen

How you care for your hair at night has a huge impact on styling your hair the next day and maintaining the health of your hair. I’ve been guilty of sometimes just calling it a day, throwing my hair up and hitting the pillow. However, I usually try to stick to my nightly regimen.

Now, what works for me may not work for everyone and a lot of what one does at night depends on the thickness and length of their hair. During my TWA phase, I simply threw on a satin bonnet or slept on a satin pillowcase. The in-between/awkward phase (i.e. afro mullet phase) was the most difficult for me. A night-time routine that worked for me during that period was to put my hair into multiple “pineapples” or mini pony puffs. The next day, I’d release, fluff and separate. Now that my hair is past the awkward phase –  here is what I do:

My hair is usually in some sort of stretched style (e.g. braid out). I put two braids on both the right and left side of my head to frame my face, then I pin the braids down. The back of my hair, I divide into two sections and make two very loose french braids. When I get to the end of my braid, I usually twist my hair, then pin it to the opposite side. In total that’s 6 braids (four semi-tight in front and two loose in the back). This takes me a total of 5 minutes. If my ends are dry I add a little leave-in and light oil. Throw on a satin scarf and there you have it.

I’ve included pictures of my hair after unraveling my braids on the first day and of my hair on day two. I actually prefer my hair on day two (it’s a little less defined and fluffier than day 1). I tend to like the bed head look.

What is your night-time regimen?

Updated Fall/Winter Hair Regimen

As the weather cools off, the air becomes drier and autumn days gradually turn into winter, my regimen also changes a bit with it.

After being without my beloved rhassoul clay for a little over a month, it’s finally back in my life and I must say, there is no other product out there that I love more (besides my Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-in Detangler).

For a thorough look at my current regimen, please see the page “My Regimen”. I’ll just give you a short overview of what I’m doing now.

Wash + detangle: Once per week: rhassoul clay mixture (distilled water, rhassoul, vinegar)

I haven’t used my baking soda rinse in a long time. I haven’t really felt the need to, because moisture and build-up have not been major issues. I think I’ll rely on that as a clarifying/moisturizing treatment, when my hair really needs it, but for the moment, it hasn’t.

Condition: Reverse oil rinsing is now part of my weekly regimen, I’ve had great results doing this and it’s a keeper. Sometimes, I sit under my dryer if I need a deep conditioner. Other times,  I just let it sit on my hair a few minutes, while I finish my bath routine and then rinse. Either way, I get stellar results each time. I apply a moisturizing conditioner and on top of that an oil of choice: grapeseed oil (LOVE THIS STUFF!), coconut, avocado oil or olive oil.

Moisturize and seal (ends): KCKT diluted with water, seal my ends and frizzy areas like my crown with a small amount of oil, right now I’m loving grapeseed oil.

In fall/winter I tend to avoid humectants, such as glycerin and honey, as the climate where I live is dry. These products yield great results in the summer, however.

Style: 12 braids or twists, 45 minutes under my hooded dryer, if dry, untwist, if still a little damp, I’ll let it air dry some more.

After giving birth, I’m sure this routine will change drastically (i.e. Wet n go + Mom bun). This is one of the main reasons I’m on a growth mission, to be able to leave my hair in a bun for weeks and chase behind a little person. Speaking of birthing process.My hair will be the furthest thing from my mind during that time, but I’d like to look semi-sane for a post-birth picture. Right now, I’m thinking bun with a scarf tied around my head. I don’t want to spend money nor time on braids, even though they’d probably be the most practical option. I thought I’d ask readers with children: what was your child birth hair style of choice?