Archive | February 2013

7 Simple Things You Can Do To Grow Your Natural Hair Fast

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I am just going straight to my seven points because I hate long, boring introductions.

  1. Commitment: Commit to a hair regimen and stick to it
  2. Patience: It is very easy to get bored and discourage when you keep doing the same thing everyday,  but it takes longer than a few months to see the results of your hard work when dealing with hair in general.
  3. Stop washing your hair with shampoo everyday: It is okay to wash your hair with shampoo to avoid product build ups, but using shampoo too often can be detrimental to your hair. Instead, co-wash your hair every other day with a good moisturizing conditioner, and use a good (sulfate free) clarifying shampoo when you have too.
  4. Use a wide tooth comb: A wide tooth comb will make it so much easier for you to detangle your hair, and , therefore, avoid breaking and shedding.
  5. Grease your scalp: Applying a good oil to your scalp every other day can minimize shedding, remove dandruff, and promote growth.
  6. Massage your scalp: Massaging your scalp provides circulation around the hair follicles and increase blood flow which carries vitamins and nutrients to the hair. 
  7. Keep your hair up: Keep your hair UP in a bun to keep it from rubbing against your garments.

9 Steps to Go Natural Without Doing The BIG CHOP

Before I start giving anybody advice I must say that I regretted doing the big chop. The TWA was not for me. I do not have the face for it. I started using protective styles right after the big chop because I did not like the way I looked with the Teeny Weeny Afro.
Below are nine (easy to follow) steps that you can use while transitioning to natural hair so you don’t have to do the big chop. Big chop means cutting all the relaxed hair off at once. You can also do a mini chop by cutting some of the relaxer off, and cutting the rest of the relaxed hair a few months later. These nine steps are for those of you who choose to transition for a long time.

  1. Stop relaxing your hair. Duh!
  2. Have the right products and styling tools: Wide tooth comb, Deep conditioner, Leave in condition, moisturizing shampoos and conditioners, oils for your scalp & moisturizing cream for your new growth. Organic Root Stimulator carrot oil is a great moisturizing cream.
  3. Moisturize your new growth with the moisturizing cream before you start combing your hair to avoid breakage.
  4. Moisturize your ends daily to avoid split ends and retain length. Remember to seal the moisture in by using a good oil after using the moisturizer.
  5. Do a deep conditioning treatment every month to strengthen the hair. Focus on the relaxed part or your hair when deep conditioning it.
  6. Choose protective styles that will work best for you – braids, wigs, weave, buns – any styles that will keep your hands away from your hair.
  7. Slowly cut the split ends off as your hair grows longer to avoid damage to the hair shaft.
  8. Avoid manipulating your hair. Stay away from heat. Towel dry your hair if you have to. Use a heat protector if you choose to use heat on your hair. I use Tresemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Protective Spay.
  9. Wrap you hair before going to be. Use a satin scarf, bonnet, or pillow case to keep moisture in your hair while sleeping. Your hair tends to break also when rubbed against a cotton pillow case.
Some women transition for as long as nine months. It is up to you how long you want to transition for. Follow these steps, and when you are ready to cut your relaxed hair off, you will still have hair to put a in bun. 

Thursday: Protective Style Tutorial ( Elegant Formal Twisted Up Do For Natural Hair)

I love this style because not only it is a great style for a formal affair, it is also a great protective style. You can wear this style for weeks; as long as you wrap your hair before bedtime. For those of you who don’t have long hair like me, you can always use kanekalon hair to complete the twists.

Local stylists not being trained in natural hair care, says salon owner

BY KIMONE THOMPSON Features editor — Sunday thompsonk@jamaicaobserver.com
Sunday, February 24, 2013 
              A salon operator has accused Government-funded HEART Trust/NTA as well as private cosmetology institutes of failing to educate students in the care of African-textured hair.
Dr Veronica Reid, who operates a salon in Kingston dedicated to African-textured hair, commonly called natural hair, said she has found that among the stylists she has met in her recruitment of employees, training is limited to chemical processes and there is no knowledge of how to care for African hair.
A section of the audience at Friday’s Hair Stories symposium at the University of the West Indies. (Photo: Joseph Wellington)

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“When I employ stylists, it doesn’t make any sense asking them about their qualifications, because there is no qualification for natural hair, even with a certificate from HEART,” she said.
“What they teach them is simple,” Reid, who has been in business for the past year-and-a-half, explained. “They might learn to cut, they might learn to colour, but in terms of actually caring for African hair, that’s not really part of the curriculum,” she added.
“What they’re actually taught is how to change our natural textures. So they would learn how to creme (relax) hair, how to put in weaves, how to braid; but in terms of learning how to shampoo us [natural hair clients] properly, what kind of products to use in African-textured hair, you’re not going to find that knowledge in people who are going to these schools.
As a solution to that, Dr Reid, who holds a PhD in marketing and who is working on her first book: Chances are, you’re not Natural, said she has created her own programme in African haircare and trains her staff herself.
“So when people come into the salon they will have certain skills, like cutting, etc, but I will help give them material about our hair. Even simple things like how to comb the hair, how to detangle, how to wash properly,” she said.
Reid was one of five panellists at Friday night’s symposium on the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies examining the “good hair” versus “bad hair” syndrome. The other presenters were part-time lecturer in Gender Studies Dr Imani Tafari-Ama, senior lecturer in the Department of Government Dr Clinton Hutton, lecturer in the Department of Government Dr Christopher Charles, and PhD candidate and activist Afifa. The event, which was staged by the Department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work as part of the university’s observation of Black History Month, was titled: “Hair Stories: Exploring pervasive attitudes towards hair and beauty within black communities”.
A major feature of the symposium was a screening of a part the documentary Good Hair by American actor/comedian Chris Rock. The film zeroes in on the preoccupation with hair texture among black populations, and the methods people use to appear more European in their looks, such as relaxing and wearing weaves.
But, arguing that the hair types of persons of African descent is as much part of the heritage of Jamaican people as is diet and the experience of slavery, Reid underscored the importance of focusing mainstream attention on the care of African hair.

Natural Hair: Growing Trend in the African American Community

February 22, 2013
 
It’s a growing trend in the African American community. Many women are saying “no” to chemical straighteners, weaves, extensions, wigs and heat and instead switching back to wearing their natural hair.
CBS19’s Stephanie Satchell takes a look at the trend that some people are now calling a movement.
For decades, African American women have been going to great lengths spending hundreds of dollars and several hours at a time to achieve straight hair.
Now after documentaries like “Good Hair” and books like “Better Than Good Hair,” the times are changing.
Women are putting down their flat irons, taking off their wigs and trashing their chemical straighteners known as relaxers. They’re going natural and embracing their curls.
“I feel free. I feel grown and free like a real woman. I feel good,” said Shalamar McKelvin, Big Chop Participant.
Dozens of women came out to Formula Salon in Richmond for something called the “big chop” party.
It was an event where women could have the chemical relaxer cut out of their hair.
With a “big chop” comes a new look. From a mini fro to the curly style called a “twist out,” women are leaving the world of straight hair behind despite what others may have to say.
“It’s so many stereotypes that make it seem like in order to be beautiful you have to have long straight hair, but it’s not that. You can be beautiful with any type of hair and it’s all in your personality,” said Louise Pontonporo, Big Chop Participant.
Lorna Kelley has been wearing her natural hair for most of her life and organized the “big chop” event to encourage and support new naturals.
“So, I think there is still somewhat of a stigma, but I think if we hold true to who we are then they’ll join us. Those who don’t agree will eventually have to succumb to what is just the general popular habit,” said Lorna Kelley, Owner, Virginia Natural Beauty.
Although, this movement is boosting women’s confidence, they say they have one main concern.
That’s how they’ll be perceived in the workplace.
“I’ve heard of women wearing wigs to interviews and then showing up the first day on the job with their natural hair. By then they’re hired and the employer is just looking at them like they are shocked,” said Kelley.
However, some women say their new look isn’t going anywhere and it’s something an employer will just have to get used to.
“I’m going to be me. If that means my curls are tight and kinky or if they’re long and wavy or whatever they are, that’s what I am. You have to take it or leave it,” MeKelvin.
From a medical standpoint, dermatologist Dr. Thomas Cropley and medical student Kourtney Weathersby say being natural is much healthier for the hair.
That’s because relaxers, heat and weaving can cause permanent damage.
“You’re born with a certain number of hair follicles and they’re supposed to last you for your entire life and if a hair follicle dies it can’t come back,” said Dr. Thomas Cropley, Professor and Chair of Department of Dermatology, University of Virginia Medical Center.
Weathersby recently completed research in a hair clinic at Wake Forest University and says the most common damage is traction alopecia which is often caused from weaving.
“So you don’t see hair or you see very short hair or very broken hair. You can also see the hair follicles exposed and you see follicular drop out which is when you have actual hair follicles missing because the scalp has been so damaged,” said Kourtney Weathersby, 4th Year Medical Student, University of Virginia Medical Center.
Chemical relaxers can also cause problems. Dr. Cropley says they can irritate the skin which may result in itching, redness, and a burning sensation in the scalp.
This is a processed that CBS19’s Stephanie Satchell has even questioned herself.
In 2010 she says she struggled with breakage while she had relaxed hair and eventually turned to weaves to achieve fuller and straighter locks.
But while she says she tried to make everyone else happy or comfortable with her appearance, she didn’t feel like herself.
Like the women at the big chop party, she made a choice to go natural. She stopped using chemicals, weaves and heat in her hair.
From now on you’ll see Stephanie in her natural state and it’s one that’s becoming a trend across the African American community.

Watch the video here

Not Another Natural Hair Debate

Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 21, 2013 21:02
Widnie Sainvil      

Jorge Rodriguez-Jimenez
Widnie Sainvil

In the black community, it seems very prevalent that we divide ourselves from one another among mundane issues. One day it’s light skin versus dark skin, the educated versus the uneducated and now popular natural versus relaxed hair.
For those unfamiliar with this issue, natural hair is hair that has not been chemically altered by a relaxer or a curly perm. In recent years, many black women have decided to return to their “roots” and stop chemically processing their hair. This has been referred to as the natural hair movement. Thus spawned the relaxed versus natural hair debate that has even sparked the good hair versus bad hair issue again.
From the dust arises the natural hair Nazi. She believes a woman who relaxes her hair is self-hating and complying with “white standards” of beauty by sporting straight hair. This individual also believes only natural hair products can be used in hair.
The relaxed community responds with the woman who turns her nose up at women with natural hair with comments such as, “I could never do that,” or, “Oh no, that is not cute at all.”
Hundreds of articles have been written discussing the movement. However, the arguments number in the hundreds as well.
Personally, I’m over it. Wearing your hair a certain way does not make a person better than another. Sporting natural hair does not make me any less insecure, nor does wearing it straight mean I hate who I am. What happened to judging someone by the content of his or her character?
The unemployment rate for African-Americans is twice that of the national average, black-on-black crime is running rampant in Chicago, funding for HBCUs is still a major problem and we want bicker over whose hair is better?
It shouldn’t matter if Michelle Obama chooses to relax her hair or that Gabby Douglas needs a perm because none of this affects who they are. The hair on their head doesn’t diminish their success or the barriers they have broken. As a community, we must stop trying to divide ourselves so much for futile matters. There is strength in numbers, and until this simple fact is recognized, the fate of the black community joining together as one is bleak.
 http://www.thefamuanonline.com/not-another-natural-hair-debate-1.2812647#.USdsVDdVzHt

           P.S: I believe that we should all support each other in whatever decision one wants to make. I personally chose to go natural because a relaxer almost burned my scalp. I did not do it because it was a trend. What encouraged me to do it though, was all the women on youtube sharing great ways to take care of natural hair. I was always afraid of going natural because I was not sure how to take care of natural hair. I have nothing against anybody who wants to use chemicals to make their hair straight. I would be a hypocrite to do such thing because I, too, had a relaxed head once. 

Get it off your chest: Do you have a problem with sisters who chose to relax their hair?.