Ooh My Trip, Travel Log & Update (VIDEO)

We here at OohMyHair.com had one helluva (I love that version of the sentiment) anniversary celebration and thought that you should share in the joy that you’ve helped create.

This is a new phase of the blog,  the intent is to bring you much more content via videos and some interactive posts. Nothing can fully capture how appreciative we are for his long you continue to trust your lovely curls and kinks to the advice given on this page.  Enjoy the video and subscribe to the new YouTube channel!

~Love

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Good Groceries

 

Groceries

There you sit on wash day and your bathroom sink looks more like the church kitchen during a Repast.

All the Olive Oil, all the eggs…

You can freestyle if you’d like  especially if you enjoy experimenting,but here are some links to some great recipes.

 Leave-in /Refresh

 Cleanser

Deep Conditioner

If you find yourself frustrated and consequently hungry just remember you can go in with a plan. It’s ok if you don’t. Some of my favorite creations were Wash Day remixes (However, I create creams).  Try a few recipes at a time and come back to share!  I’ll be honest the majority of my  good groceries don’t make it to Wash Day  so I’m really interested to read about your success.

Enjoy!

It’s Our Special Day *sing that*

*Do you know what today is?
It’s our Anniversary!*

My deepest appreciation and gratitude for the support/ encouragement/questions/ feedback for the past 365 days. We’re babies in the natural hair blog community but you have shown SO MUCH LOVE! 

Thank You for trusting me enough  to ask questions. Thank you to my unofficial team that supports OohMyHair.com in the shadows.

S/O to The Natural Hair Blog Directory for pulling this hair veteran with a baby site into the fold. 

S/O to the mighty Google team for inviting me to be a member of the Helpouts community.

Last year I just wanted to share my story and help other people fall in love with their natural curls and kinks. The trajectory of this site brings me to my knees daily in Thanks. 

*Imagine me singing Whitney Houston’s  I will always love you*

image

My original natural hair^ 🙂 (it was slicked back in a press & curl)

Recovery Motivation

The wedding is over, it was absolutely gorgeous, and I get my hair back. There’s a phase that we all go through on the wash day after we know we’ve been acting funny towards our hair.

I went into instant heat damage detection mode. I watched every single strand that left my hair and freaked myself out. There’s no amount of knowing that your hair has a natural shed process that stops you from blaming yourself with every loose strand when you know you’ve done wrong. You reflect on every time you used the flat irons, every non-natural product you used, and every time your scarf fell off your edges while it was in such a delicate state.

I can laugh now because I’m looking at the extension on my diffused Fro, but last night I was sweating. I’m writing this knowing that there’s someone out there that feels like they are in a “backslidden”(made up church word) condition and you’re dreading that upcoming wash day to survey the aftermath of that crunchy up-do or that bone straight press that you touched up every morning all week. Here are a few words of encouragement for this point of the journey.

1.Be kind to your hair on the recovery and don’t freak out at shedding that seems a bit heavier than normal if you know you’ve done weird stuff to your hair. Use quality products with as little harmful ingredients as possible.

2. Try not to abandon your vitamins, but if you do (like I did, because I didn’t need my hair growing out like crazy) a couple of days before Wash Day get back on your normal dose.

3. Detangle with care. It’s ok to baby your hair. If you take your time you can avoid any further damage.

4. Forgive yourself. Every now and then we are called to pull up (get fancy) in a different way than we normally do and it’s alright to try different looks. If it’s not the creamy crack, you can always come right back.

TEAMMOH (2)Fro

 

Be Encouraged 🙂

Hair Braiding Consumer Basics

For decades in the black community you weren’t considered an official braider unless you just arrived from Africa. The laws were non-existent and there was a time that lots of people ran out of edges (hairline damage). Over the years there have been some attempts at regulation, but overall there are still people braiding hair using traditional techniques that however effective they may be, are not conducive to assisting in hair growth.

So how do you know when your stylist is taking you down a path of hair destruction?

1. Pain.
Not just a normal “tender-headed”(don’t you love how we just made that at thing) response, but pain that requires the use of a pain reliever. If you would have a problem with keeping your hair in a very tight ponytail overnight, why would you essentially put your hair in multiple tight ponytails and think that you won’t experience breakage. You are putting you hair in the same amount of stress if the braids are tight enough to cause real pain. Little white bumps are also associated with this section as they indicate the tension on the hair is too great. We know that there are some of you out there that are so used to getting your hair snatched around that you don’t feel the pain until your hair is nearly out of your head.

2. Unnatural new-growth appearance.
What good is having a very secure braid/twist if three weeks later you end up with a tuffet of hair puffing out underneath a crispy lock. Beyond the fact that it looks crazy, it creates a weak spot as discussed previously. One key to uninterrupted growth is keeping the curl pattern consistent.

3. No access to your scalp.
Some people are still getting cornrows, I know that some of my military sisters find it easier to stay within regulations utilizing cornrows and a bun. If your braids are too close together to be able to access your scalp, I wouldn’t suggest keeping them in for long.

Personal Tip: If I notice that the price sounds too high, and the time to finish seems too long, I take that as an indication that they are not interested in working on my head either or a lack of knowledge on the requested technique or they are compensating for overhead.

We try to keep it simple and easy to follow, but as usual, ask questions if it stops making sense.

Support the fellow YouTubers we post here.

2014 is the year of Unity in the Natural Hair Community! Enjoy!

 

Silk vs Satin

Silk

Silk (Photo credit: Cheryl Harvey)

So I’ve been pushing the use of the Satin bonnet, scarf and pillow case, but I noticed that Momma Kim Kimble has been promoting Silk.

I thought I’d take the time to give you a quick overview of why both are good options and let you hash it out in the comments, because overall, I’d like to know which seems to yield the best results, or if results vary by hair type. I also want to know if you agree with my theory.

Silk is a product that has the same properties as hair, excluding the disulfide bond. Meaning you cannot perm or relax silk strands. It’s that biological composition that drew many synthetic hair manufacturers to the use of those stands to create some of the weaves that we know as synthetic/ curling-iron safe. This also means that the nourishing oils that your hair requires are also carried on the silk strands. There’s no cuticle on a silk strand so it won’t “rough” your hair passing over it.

Satin however is a completely synthetic material. The benefit of it not being natural is that it will not share the oil with your hair, it will allow it to remain on your hair. The draw back is if you have oiled your hair and scalp beyond it’s need, unlike Silk the satin will not assist in balancing the moisture.

The decision on which to use comes down to these factors: desired style in conjunction with maintenance habits. If your desire is to have very lustrous hair, and you apply professional stylist recommended amounts of moisture a Satin bonnet may be a great fit. Alternately if you have that same desire but you are heavy with the moisture product, a Silk bonnet may help tame the excess oil.

Hopefully this helps you decide which path is best for your hair journey. As always, ask questions when it stops making sense marellewrites@gmail.com . Enjoy!

“I need a perm”

I’ve been gone for a while travelling for the summer. I had an opportunity to take in Caribbana in Toronto, Ontario and I’ve gone down south which wasn’t as much for travel, but I got kidnapped for a day by my crew in Atlanta and taken on a whirlwind vacation for a day.

In this time, I had my camera and business cards ready to capture some awesome natural styles and bring back some great things to share with you. I was sadly disappointed. There were considerably less hot natural styles in Toronto than I anticipated. This seems to have been the summer of the weave. You, our loyal reader, know that we are not on the anti-weave bandwagon here at OohMyHair, but it would’ve been nice to see a few hot braided, twisted-out, funky Afros.

So I did some observing via social media and gravitated towards posts about hair just to see how the conversations went. On multiple occasions I found women at a loss for what style to attempt next, being recruited by some of our fellow sisters in kinks and curls. The responses were mind-blowing:

 I just can’t..” “I have to get a relaxer my hair is rough…” “Girl, not this mess perm me up NOW!

 

 

Who told you that your hair wasn’t manageable? Who made you believe that what grows out of your head is unacceptable? Why do you keep selling this idea to yourself? Please understand that a natural is not only an Afro or braids.

As stated in many previous posts, there are professionals that are able to show you how your hair works. There is no difference in the learning curve, your relationship with the rain will most likely not change much. If any of the answers were simply “I like it this way.” I wouldn’t have the same reaction, however it’s time to break through the lies that society would have you to believe about your hair. There are so many things that you can do with your natural curls, and it’s beautiful! It all comes down to the beauty of the strength in character that is displayed when you’re comfortable in exactly who you are. Don’t let people’s opinions steal that away from you.

 

As usual, ask questions when it stops making sense, we love and support you.

 

 

 

Braid it up, Sew it in

English: Chameleon hair extensions, Smithfield...

English: Chameleon hair extensions, Smithfield Market, Winetavern Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland, January 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We received a great question from one of our readers this week that is natural, but looking to explore the wide world of weave.

“when you used to wear sew-in’s how did you take care of your hair? how did you wash it? i am considering trying it for the first time but I’m unsure about it.”

Let’s break this down into sections. There are two parts to care for in a sew-in. The hair that grows, and the hair that shows.

The hair that shows most likely comes with instructions for care. There are many types of hair extensions so for that, just be mindful of the packaging.

The hair that grows needs to start off strong. I suggest a deep conditioning treatment immediately prior. Throughout the life of the style, the scalp should not be left to dry out. Remember that the string in this style is most likely made of polyester which will absorb the moisture from the braids at the base. If you intend to keep the style over a long period of time, I suggest professional assistance when cleansing.

A sew-in is a great alternative when applied properly. Know the difference between secure and tight, and do not ignore the signs of undue tension like small white bumps at the hairline, severe pain, or the inability to make facial expressions (we’ve all been there).

Overall, a sew-in will provide the flexibility to style with heat, forget your scarf here and there and play a bit more without worrying so much about daily damage. This can count as a protective style, if it is applied correctly and professionally maintained. Try it!

Thanks for asking questions folks, keep them coming!

Heat and Hair

English: Hair Iron 日本語: ヘアーアイロン

English: Hair Iron 日本語: ヘアーアイロン (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Got a question from a reader this week that I thought would make for a good post.

“…is it ok to put heat in my hair if I’m trying to go natural? My last perm was 6 months ago…”

At the six month mark you should have at least six inches of new growth. This is a good time to consider clipping the ends and starting an Afro, as this is the fun length. Heat in natural hair is the same situation as heat in relaxed hair, you cannot un-burn your hair, so heat should be used in moderation. When it comes to building on your curl pattern, be aware that the more you straighten your hair, the more it will train itself to not curl. That exact situation is what caused my second/third “Big Chop” because although I did not have any relaxer to cut off, my ends became used to my straightening routine and my Afro went floppy. I suggest testing some low/no heat styles to see if you’re able to stay away from heat if your goal is to maximize your curls.

Keep the questions coming the answers may help someone else along their journey so don’t be shy. Thanks for reading!

Spray Bottle Love

English: A spray bottle.

English: A spray bottle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s a tip that I remember from my first summer of being natural.

Buy a spray bottle that will fit in your purse and each day fill it with your favorite leave-in conditioner and a small amount of water. When you’re wearing a English: A spray bottle.style that tends to dry out through the day, use this mixture to bring your hair back to life.

When I heard this piece of advice, the only thing that I could think or see in my head was the image of the 1980s Curl Craze epidemic that had people spraying activator on their heads constantly, tearing up the furniture. However, a take-away from that dark moment in Black History is the fact that we had a grasp of the importance of moisture in the growth cycle of our hair.

 

Here are a few spray bottle recipes:

In a 3 oz Sprayer-

General Upkeep

  • 2 oz. favorite leave-in conditioner
  • 1oz water
  • Shake and spray

 

Nussle in you hair Spray- (not for color treated hair)

  • 1/2 tsp Shea butter
  • 1/2 tsp cocoa butter
  • 4 drops of essential oil (pick your favorite scent) *remove this step is hair is color treated
  • 2 oz favorite liquid leave-in
  • shake and spray
  • Keep the mixture out of the sun to preserve the essential oil scent

 

Reset Button- good for re-styling the front on the go

  • 2 oz warm water
  • 1 oz favorite liquid leave in
  • small ball of Shea butter
  • Drop the small Shea butter ball in last and shake well while still warm

Hope these give you a few ideas. Try your own recipe. If you would like to use essential oils in your mixtures opt for a colored bottle to reduce sun exposure. If you can find a plastic amber-colored bottle or one that does not allow light to pass through in general. An aluminum bottle is suggested only if you have perfected your mixture in a see-through container. You want everything to blend well before you spray it to avoid clogs and uneven distribution.

As always ask questions when it stops making sense. Enjoy!