Hair Won’t Kill My Vibe…

English: Birch Bay has some of the warmest wat...

English: Birch Bay has some of the warmest water on the Pacific Coast, making the crescent-shape bay a favorite place for swimming during summer season. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As the Summer season approaches there are some things to remember that will let you make it all the way to Fall without dry-outs or breakage. We’ll keep it short and sweet (We’re vacationing as well).

1. Water- Of course you need to drink it and often, but tis the season for getting in pools. Both chlorine and salt water pools will dry out your hair, but don’t let that stop your from enjoying yourself. Prior to getting in the water, take that Shea butter that we talk about and love and coat your hair well. Giving your hair this oil barrier will help slow the drying effects of the pools, lakes and oceans.

2. Riding- Plane, Bus or Car if you’re traveling this summer season, your head is on a seat and the moisture is being slowly sucked out. Stop by your local drug store in the hair aisle and next to the satin scarves you should be able to find a satin pillow case. Add this to your travel kit. We understand that you can’t always have on your scarf, sometimes the style is just too cute to keep under wraps, so place that pillowcase over the headrest and arrive in style.

Keep it simple, don’t think so much about your hair on holiday that you forget to have fun. Hair should not be a chore, just add a few good habits at a time. As always ask questions when it stops making sense. Enjoy!

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What’s The Deal with Shea Butter?

Vitellaria paradoxa (shea tree, karité), easte...

Vitellaria paradoxa (shea tree, karité), eastern Burkina Faso (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Everyone tells you to use Shea Butter… Why?

Vitamins A, E and F are present in shea butter. A and E help nourish the scalp, while the fatty acids found in F both protect and revitalize the hair. This product protects against split ends, weather damage and keeps the hair shiny and smooth.

Raw Shea is best for your hair, however I suggest a whipped version that uses olive or grape seed oil as a carrier to thin out the paste. In certain styling situations, un-whipped Shea may cause difficulty in achieving certain looks. Breaking up the paste allow you to not only stretch the product, but the consistency is a bit more manageable in my experience.

There are many products that boast intense moisture, but Shea is top of the list in overall benefits. Don’t forget, the fact that you are avoiding chemicals like parabens, methylparabens, EDTA and a host of other additives found in many over the counter products you are creating the optimal enviornment for growth without excessive breakage….or alleged cancer causing agents.

There are many products that contain a host of inorganic additives, read the labels and do a quick Google search on anything that seems out-of-place. Most of this journey is about discovery so ask questions when things stop making sense.

The first week after the big chop!

Lauryn Hill at Central Park

Lauryn Hill at Central Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Congratulations! You’ve taken a large step into this journey and you decided it was best to dive in head first. Depending on your curl pattern you may be experiencing straight patches and flyaway hair. If you conducted the ceremonial ritual at home, there’s a chance that you may need professional assistance soon. Some of the questions that I’ve encountered from people in this stage include:

Why doesn’t it look like an Afro?

Why isn’t it even, even though I keep chipping away at the stray pieces?

I love the curl when it’s wet, how can I keep that when it’s dry?

Answers:

This is the week of discovery. Freshly cut ends on any texture of hair need some time to settle. Increase your water intake, grab some Biotin and be patient. If you have the curl pattern that will produce a stunning Afro as pictured, this is where you pay your dues.

Try not to clip at the stray hairs, until your curl pattern starts to really reveal itself, which will probably be this time next week.Then it’s time to select an approach. The nightly care for hair that’s long enough to twist or braid includes moisturizing the hair and sectioning it off into braids to retain the moisture, the more you chip away, the more difficult that process becomes. If you’re not comfortable roughing it out, this may be a good time to get a braid style. Be mindful of the tension put on your hair. Some braid stylists, even now that natural is popular, put additional stress on the hair because it may appear to be difficult to manage. A professional will be sure to analyze your hair prior to attempting a style to be sure it is executed in a manner that does not compromise your hair health.

This is the time to observe your hair, your curl pattern is not ready to be diagnosed yet. I suggest holding off on purchasing an abundance of products until you see what you can come up with as naturally as possible. A whipped Shea butter product from a trusted Shea Processor will provide light-weight moisture which allows your hair to breathe and come into its own.

Hopefully this puts some of the first week jitters at ease. Leave comments and feel free to send questions. I’m here to help.

~Margaret Ellen