Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Should I Go Back to Using Henna On My Natural Hair?

www.curlyincolorado.com Using Henna on Natural Hair
My hair in Feb. 2014 when I still used
Henna and Indigo for black hair
For five years I was a faithful henna user.  I had a pretty good routine down so it wasn't a daunting task for me.  That was until I started doing the two step Henna and Indigo treatments to cover my gray strands.  It worked like a charm but the process seemed to take ages each time I did it.  That is why I decided to start using an ammonia free box color.

Switching back to an easy option for hair color was almost a no brainer.  I wasn't using something overly harsh and drying so it didn't seem to make a big difference.  It still doesn't but now I'm beginning to wonder if my hair was stronger when I used henna.  My original intention for using henna was for the conditioning benefits.  At the time I was having scalp issues and also wanted the added strength.  When I think back on how my hair felt when I was using it, I remember it
being thicker.

Many assume henna for hair is a protein treatment.  Technically it is not.  It is a plant based powder with an active ingredient called lawsone.  This attaches permanently to the hair making it feel stronger and thicker.  With multiple uses some have even noticed a changed in curl pattern.  Lawsone is also what gives the hair a shiny reddish tint.  I really never liked the red color but it wasn't that obvious at first.  At one point though my hair was burgundy which sent me on a search for indigo powder.  With the two step henna/indigo process you get black hair as a result.  Thing is, you have to use both treatments separately in one night in order for this to work.  We're talking seven hours of applying, waiting, rinsing and conditioning.  Not to mention the cleanup!  No thank you.  


WATCH ME PREPARE HENNA FOR HAIR DYE

That brings me to where I am today.  I keep thinking to myself that maybe it is time to get back onto the henna bandwagon.  I remember reading a suggestion for using henna after hair color over at hennaforhair.com.  It was said to help repair the hair after using chemicals.  My plan is to use the box color for root coverage and then follow up a few weeks later with henna.  I also want to add conditioners to my henna like coconut and olive oil.  These are things I avoided before because they slow the color process down.  The conditioning type of henna treatment is often called a henna gloss.  Hopefully I'll see thicker, stronger hair over the next few months.

Keep watching the blog for upcoming posts on my new, less complicated, henna journey. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Protective Style Challenge and Youtube Channel Updates

www.curlyincolorado.com protective style challenge

Here's my latest Youtube Video where I go over a few updates for my channel and natural hair
journey.  I even speak a little bit about what I'm doing with my hair now for moisture during the colder weather.

WATCH MY LATEST HAIR UPDATE ON YOUTUBE



My Protective Style Challenge 

This weekend I posted a video to help keep all of my viewers up to date on my protective style challenge.  I started wearing my natural hair in protective hair styles in hopes to retain more length this year.  I would like to see my hair at least a few inches longer so I thought putting it away would help speed things up.

One Name to Rule Them All

Last month I took the plunge and renamed my Youtube Channel.  It was something that I was contemplating for some time now.  It feels good to have one name across all of my social media platforms as well.  Just makes things so much easier for me.

Winter Hair Routine and New Products

Lately I have been playing around with a couple of moisturizers to help boost my curly styles.  I'm having great success and mention both in my new video.


Be sure to stop by my Youtube Channel for more hair tutorials and curly hair updates!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

5 Signs Your Natural Hair Needs a Protein Treatment

www.curlyincolorado.com natural hair protein treatmentA few weeks ago I realized that my hair needed a protein treatment.  This may contradict what we are told in the Natural Hair community where popular belief is that natural hair doesn't need additional protein.  A protein treatment is often used to give added strength to hair strands.  A lot of people think that since natural hair is free from chemicals that alter the texture, then the protein core is safe.   However,  there may be other times when a protein treatment is needed.  The following are things that I look for when caring for my own natural hair

5 Signs Your Natural Hair May Need a Protein Treatment

1.  Excessive Shedding

When the hair sheds you'll find full strands of hair with a white root bulb on one end.  Shedding is considered normal at a rate of 50-100 strands of hair each day for most people.  However, you may notice a drastic change in your rate of shedding that continues for a prolonged period of time.  A protein treatment may aid in reducing the amount of shedding.*

2.  Breakage

As I stated above, a protein treatment can give added strength to hair strands which in turn helps to protect the hair from breaking.  If you are seeing small pieces of hair breaking and it's not shedding  then this may help.
WATCH ME USE THE
APHOGEE 2 MINUTE KERATIN RECONSTRUCTOR 
PROTEIN TREATMENT ON MY CURLY HAIR

3.  Change in Hair Texture

This can happen after using heat.  The higher the temperature the more damaging the heat can be.  For this reason you may find your hair is not curling back up or reverting back to your normal texture.  I have experienced this several times and I always turn to a protein conditioner to see if that helps.  If not, the damage may be permanent but at least the protein gives the hair an added layer of protection.

4.  Excessive Split Ends

A few split ends here and there can be considered normal.  It's when you're seeing a significant number of splits that you should be concerned.  This calls for a trim and then maybe a light protein treatment to strengthen the hair and prevent further damage.

5.  You Use Direct Heat and Hair Color

Some naturals are relaxer free but use hair dye and direct heat to alter the look of their natural hair.  These can potentially lead to damage (cuticle layer damage or porosity issues) that can cause dryness and breakage.  

What to Use for a Protein Treatment

A protein treatment can be made at home with mayonnaise, eggs, coconut milk and or avocado.  There are also store bought conditioners that claim to fortify the hair with added protein.  Look for things that say, "Strengthening" or, "for Damaged Hair".  This means there is protein in the ingredients list that may be helpful for hair that is dry, damaged and/or breaking.   I like to apply a light protein conditioner to my hair and sit with it covered by a plastic cap for about twenty minutes.  Remember though, anytime you use protein treatment on your hair it must be followed by a moisturizing deep treatment.  Too much protein can make the hair feel brittle so the moisture will help to balance things out.  

NOTE:  If your hair is sensitive to protein then this may not be an option for you.

*Excessive hair loss can also be a sign of stress or a deeper health issue.  It may be best to seek professional help if the condition does not respond to the use of protein or other at home treatments

Check out my video on how I do a diy protein treatment.  

Friday, February 20, 2015

4 Protective Hair Styles in 4 Weeks

www.curlyincolorado.com protective hair styles

In January I started my own protective style challenge to see if it would help me with length retention.  Normally I enjoy wearing my hair out because I love how versatile natural hair is.  This made it a little bit harder for me to decide on a style for the challenge.  To keep it interesting, I decided to change up my protective style each week.  Here's a rundown of each style I wore for the first four weeks of the challenge.

WATCH ME PREP MY HAIR FOR MY VERONA GIRL WIG BY FREETRESS



Protective Style #1-Synthetic Wig

www.curlyincolorado.com protective hair styles
Verona Girl by Freetress
Synthetic Wig

I've been experimenting with wigs off and on.  I thought that the challenge would be the perfect time to practice my wig skills.  I braided my real hair into two dutch braids underneath my synthetic wig.  I found that this was one of the easier styles.


Protective Style #2-The Bun
www.curlyincolorado.com protective hair styles
Easy Low Bun

Now that my hair is getting longer, I can actually work it into a pretty decent bun.  For me this style works best on stretched hair.  I usually put my hair into a ponytail and split the ends into two sections. I twist each of them then wrap the twists around the base of the ponytail.  Then I use bobby pins to secure the ends.  I really like how this look can be worn for an everyday, casual look or dressed up.


Protective Style #3-The Puff
www.curlyincolorado.com protective hair styles
Low Puff; Low Manipulation

Technically this isn't a protective style.  However, it is low maintenance and keeps my hair off of my shoulders.  After cleansing and conditioning my hair, I detangle my hair and slick it back or up high using hair gel.  I use a ponytail holder or banana clip placed sideways to secure it into place.


Protective Style #4-Dutch Braids
www.curlyincolorado.com protective hair styles
Dutch Braids on Straight Hair

This has been a go-to style for me for ages.  I just part my hair down the middle and do a braid on each side.  In the picture my hair was straightened but this look also works on wet, damp or stretched hair.

With each protective style I like to smooth my edges with Eco Styler gel which is a staple for me.  I also found that my hair needed heavier moisture for styles that are meant to last a whole week.  I think my favorite was actually the puff style.  My ends were out but it took the least amount of effort.  Overall, my first four weeks went well.  I'm planning on going for another four weeks wearing some of the same styles.  What are some of your favorite protective hair styles?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

In Review: February Onyx Box Unboxing from We Are Onyx

www.curlyincolorado.com February Onyx Box Review
This month I was excited to receive another beauty box from We Are Onyx.  The monthly Onyx Box subscription service caters to women of color and is always a treat.

The theme for February is, of course, love but more like pampering yourself.  Items like these are a nice reminder that it's okay to stop and make time to take care of your hair and body.


The Products

www.curlyincolorado.com February Onyx Box Review

A beauty box service is a fun way to find out about new products.  This month, I am delighted to find shampoo and conditioner from a brand called Acure.  Both are made with all natural ingredients including Moroccan Argan oil.  I recently switched back to using ammonia free hair dye so it's nice to find a shampoo and conditioner that are color safe.

 I've always wondered how my curls would react to using flax seed gel for styling.  Now I can finally put it to the test with Carmella Marie's My Gel.  The product also contains jojoba oil which I understand is good for the hair and scalp.  I can't wait to try it!

Speaking of scalp health, there is also a So Posh Beauty Herbal Hair Tea in this month's Onyx Box.  It has a blend of natural herbs for a tea that conditions the hair and treats the scalp.  With peppermint and rosemary in the ingredients list you know it smells delish.  Another product that smells good enough to eat is the Coquito Bubble Stuff shower gel by Honeycat Cosmetics.  This is what pampering is all about!  With ingredients like coconut, honey and rum you can't go wrong.

To round out the offerings in this month's box of goodies we have hair products from Creme of Nature. There are two samples from the new Straight from Eden line as well as a full size container of the New Butter-Licious Curls Styling product.  All three products are made with natural ingredients and are mineral oil, petrolatum and paraben free.

Shop the Box!

www.curlyincolorado.com February Onyx Box ReviewThe February Onyx Box will be available through the end of the month so head on over to weareonyx.com to find out how to get started.  You can also find full size versions of these and many other products at weareonyx.com/shop

NOTE:  This month's box was sent to me courtesy of We Are Onyx.  I am not affiliated with any of the products and/or brands mentioned in this post.  Please visit weareonyx.com for more information.

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