All Articles Tagged "maintenance"
This article is for you if you’ve thought or said the following things:
“I have a child with a head full of hair and I don’t know what to do with it!”
“Oh baby, my child’s hair looks nothing like mine, what do I do?”
“Oh baby, my child’s hair is so dry/fine/curly/kinky/thick, I’m just trying to figure out how to keep it healthy!”
Are you a parent who is struggling to figure out how to deal with your child’s hair because they don’t have a similar texture to your own? You’ve mastered the art of your hair and then your bundle of joy comes into the world with a beautiful head of hair that you just can’t figure out. Or maybe you always go to the salon to care for your hair and it’s not a good idea to try and convince your two-year-old to sit still to get their hair done at the salon too. It’s a common problem that plenty of parents face, but I’m here to ease the struggle.
Father’s Day is Sunday and if you’re in search for a last minute Father’s Day gift,we have some splendiferous (no, that’s not a real word) options for you, and they’re all in the beauty category. Who says dad doesn’t need to take care of himself and try some pampering? Without much frill, here are four awesome gifts that will show the great man in your life some appreciation.
1. Shave Kits
This may seem passé, but shaving for men isn’t as simple as it looks, even if they do it every day. This is especially true for men of color who deal with coarser, curlier hair textures that are prone to ingrown hairs and razor bumps (and those little bumps are not cute). Gifting dad a quality shaving kit will go a long way with keeping his skin smooth and moisturized. You can keep it all natural with Shea Moisture’s Men’s Shave Collection, which is easy to find at any Target or Walmart. Or go luxurious with the Art of Shaving’s Professional Shave Bundle, available at Macy’s and Sephora.
Yes, skincare is different from the shaving kits. In between shaves dad still needs to take care of his face, even the low-maintenance Dial soap man. Carol’s Daughter Acai Hydrating Face Butter is a quality addition to a gift bundle for dad. It’s a great moisturizer (I’m a big fan) that doesn’t leave the face shiny. Dad can simply apply it to any dry patches on his face and keep his face manly and moisturized without the shine.
3. Body Care
Never underestimate the care your father puts into his personal hygiene. We may think our father’s are simple men, but if you place something in their life they may use it and add it to their daily regimen. Men tend to be hard on their feet and every man doesn’t feel comfortable going to get that regular pedicure. So slide dad some foot powder or lotion, such as the soothing Carol’s Daughter Peppermint Foot Lotion. Sending that his way with a fresh pack of socks (and even some nail clippers) is a cute gift that will help the simple man take a step into better foot care. Kiehl’s Cross Terrain collection is another fab option that includes a dry foot cream along with a face cream and body wash, available at Nordstrom.
4. Hair Care
Dad’s hair line and hair health is just as important as our hair. Long before natural hair was the trend, our fathers were the natural trendsetters. So if you are super stuck for a gift just look at your own inventory of hair products, especially if you and your father have a similar simple hair texture. Dad still needs to keep his hair and scalp moisturized so customize a gift bundle including your favorite moisturizing product along with personal sentimental items (a book he use to read to you, music he likes, etc.,). The best gifts are ones that require some thought, and we’re sure he’ll appreciate it.
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Before I go any further, I want to say that hair has been a very hard topic for me to grasp. Ever since I was a kid, I just wanted to take my hair and put it in a ponytail ALL of the time. Easier said than done.
But as we get older, we learn more about ourselves and how hair is in general. It’s funny sometimes. I often see moms with their biracial children, hair frizzy and in bows, beads that are clearly weighing down their possibly thinning hair, and gelled down curls. If they catch me looking at their child’s locks, they give the look, one seeking confirmation that says, “Hey, this doesn’t look bad does it?” No matter what I really think, the truth is, I can’t tell others what to do with their hair or what looks right, because guess what? I don’t even know what to do with my own hair. But if you read the comments on stories about biracial hair or listen to people every day on the streets, folks would think I had it so easy. Many people believe that because a person is “mixed,” they don’t have issues with their hair or that there aren’t different types within that spectrum. WRONG.
I’m a happy biracial butterfly: African American and Puerto Rican. Although I have four older sisters, my younger brother and I are the only mixed kids in my family. Growing up, I was constantly frustrated with my hair. It would take my sisters about an hour or so to finish their hair, but it literally took forever for me, and whatever style I chose would only last for a minimal amount of time. However, they used to tell me that I had nothing to complain about, and they had these delusions of versatility about how it was easy for me because my hair could be worn wet or blown out. (Fortunately my grandmother never really let that happen-if they had cornrows or box braids so did I–a funny but weird sight.) Easy wouldn’t have been my word of choice.
It wasn’t until I was in high school and college that I noticed the many types of hair textures that make up biracial strands. I met girls who were in the same ballpark as me. Either they couldn’t control their hair, or damaged it from experimenting too much. I knew that it wasn’t just me who had a problem with the politics of hair either. There’s the hair that never curls, curls that can’t be controlled, and hair that is either too dry or too oily. The combinations are endless and I can go on forever about it…but I won’t. In that time I learned from my friends and other women what I was doing wrong and how I could keep my hair nourished and healthy.
A lot of that nourishment and good heath starts with the products we use for our hair. Sometimes “mixed” products are too weak for the hair and you could just be harming it rather than helping it. Some of the best products are the ones you may be ignoring, like Aussie’s Deeeep Conditioner or Miss Jessie’s products (that is one investment I wouldn’t mind making because it really works!). It took a while after dabbling with different products, but with time comes growth.
I’m not ashamed, or feel bad about my hair anymore. I used a little gift that works for ALL types of hair in the end–patience! You’re going to run into a couple of dead ends, but those mistakes just show you how to improve. Yet and still, while I do appreciate my hair more these days, I don’t have this over-the-top sense of pride that my sisters thought I would have. You know, the mindset that because my hair is wavy it’s better than anyone else’s hair. In fact, I hate the term “good hair” with a passion, especially since no one’s hair is “bad.” In this day and age, if you still believe in good and bad hair, form your own opinions and don’t take definitions like “good hair” for face value because if it’s healthy and beautiful to you, then baby, it’s indeed good.
All in all, I share my story of struggling with my strands to say the following to those like me:
1.) Hair isn’t your identity: Many people who aren’t mixed are often targeted for saying things like my sisters did, but sometimes you are to blame too. Just because you’re mixed or you believe that your hair is “good” doesn’t mean it is. Step down from the high hair pedestal that society has given you and look around. You’ll see that everyone has awesome hair.
2.) Embrace your curls: If you’re a mom out there reading this, just know that you don’t have to kill the curls (flatten or press them to death) so your children don’t look different from other people. Different can be good, but just remember to mix it up!
3.) Don’t give up on your hair: At one point I did, and I realized I caused more damage (physically and emotionally) to myself and my locks by ignoring them. There are tons of tutorials online, and you can also request samples for products before you make a serious investment. While it’s a struggle, with patience and effort, your hair will surely be your crowning glory.
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Virgin Brazilian, Malaysian, Peruvian, Cambodian. Exotic hair is all the rage. But the price tag doesn’t quite work for a lot of folks. Don’t be ashamed if you’re still purchasing your hair from the local beauty supply store and can’t get the silky looks of the stars. No need to compensate by buying the most expensive hair in the store either. There are ways to achieve a great look without breaking the bank. Even synthetic weaves can look fabulous and cost you less than $50. Here are some tips on maintaining a weave that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Whether it’s synthetic or human hair, it’s going to look real and real good on you.
1. Cut the hair to shape your face.
Don’t just sew or glue in two packs of weave from the store and rock it, because it is going to look stiff and fake. You have to alter it to fit your features and the look you’re going for. The easiest trick to creating a more realistic look is by simply layering the hair and shaping it to your face. Rather then doing a blunt cut, shear the hair at an angle with a razor. Razor combs will do the trick and provide soft angles, even if you’re a novice at cutting your hair.
2. Be aware that your hair has a short(er) lifespan
Know that with a budget weave the longevity is short. Preferably, only keep in the weave for a month. With a little extra care you can stretch it out to about two months. You want to limit the product you put in it and wrap your hair with a silk scarf every night. The key word is ‘care,’ and that will largely determine the longevity of your weave. The less ‘care’ you put into maintaining it, the less time you can make that hair last.
3. Put down the product
Once again, the less products you put in your hair, the better. Product buildup is a sure-fire way to kill a weave. The most you want to do is condition the hair and oil your scalp. And you ONLY oil your scalp NOT the hair. When you’re wearing a synthetic weave, no product allowed. Put down the Let’s Jam! and ampro gel, and stick to light hair products.
4. Keep it short and sweet
Sorry to those who are dying to have hair down to their butts. At longer lengths, folks will already be searching extra hard for your tracks, but full, shoulder-length hair has a more realistic appeal, especially if you are using synthetic hair. The rule of thumb is bra-strap length, and remember to layer the hair.
5. Say no to flat top
All-in-one packs are very tempting, but they’re also too thin. We’re not even talking big hair, just make sure you have enough hair to make it look full and have body. The worst is when your weave is too flat on the top and you can see straight though the hair. You can do the all-in-one packs, just grab two. You should still be within budget.
6. To blend or to sew, that is the question…
Understand that you are purchasing hair that is of a lesser quality. That’s not particularly a bad thing. But attempting to blend your hair with synthetic hair can go all types of wrong. You may be able to get away with certain brands of human hair, but check the luster of the hair and meter if you want to really go through the daily pains of blending your hair. Full weave is usually the way to go. Just add an invisible part for a bit more dimension, and enjoy a fly style that fits within your price range.
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You’ve spent hours on YouTube, plowed through forum threads and admired all the glossy photos of women with natural hair. Then you took the plunge and jumped into the wonderful world of being a natural haired woman. No more creamy crack for you. You just knew that your natural coils would grow out into thick, shiny curly coils…just like all the images you’ve seen. You’ve bought all the products to moisturize and make your twist out turn into buoyant springs of luxurious curls and then reality hits–your hair is either not so thick, not so lustrous, not as shiny as you were hoping, or the curls aren’t holding like you were hoping. Reality settles in and you are trying to come to terms with YOUR OWN natural hair texture. Welcome to the club ladies. After five years of being natural and trying every product under the sun, I finally came to grips with my no-curl-to-be-found hair texture and found pride in my 4c coils. So here are some simple tips to ease you into the reality of your natural texture and help you find pride (with fly style) in your own hair.
1. Healthy hair is more than skin deep.
Most people go natural because they want healthier hair. Great. Truth be told, if you don’t care for your locks, they won’t be healthy in their natural state, and it doesn’t matter how many topical products you add, because the saying, “You are what you eat” applies to your hair too. Drinking water and keeping the blood flowing through exercise will help with healthy hair, faster growth and keeping your locks moisturized.
2. Washing your hair daily isn’t just for everyone BUT black women.
Okay, so maybe not daily because washing our hair is nowhere near a simple 15-minute process. However, don’t be afraid to wash your hair frequently, about every four days to a week at least. Use sulfate-free shampoos or just co-wash (washing hair with conditioner only) and you will definitely see growth in your hair. Even more so, it will help you train your hair to be manageable. You can even wash your hair with the twists/braids intact. Makes for a much smoother process.
3. The best products are found in your kitchen.
You don’t have to dole out tons of money on the latest hair products. There are definitely great products out there, but beyond a good conditioner, you can craft most of your hair products out of your kitchen. Coconut oil, grapeseed oil, extra virgin olive oil, mayonnaise, and eggs are all things I’ve used to create deep conditioners and moisturize my hair. Add some aloe vera juice/gel, glycerin and shea butter to the mix and you can almost create your own hair care line.
4. Patience and an open mind is key.
Really. Take a deep breath. Exhale. Pick up a wide tooth shower comb and take time with your hair. No two strands are alike. No two afros are alike. It’s going to take a minute for you to find your hair flow, but it will come. Don’t dismiss the vloggers/bloggers with a different hair texture. You might not be able to follow them to the tee, but you can take advice here and there to find what works for you. I learned how to braid from a white woman on YouTube and figured out that while twist outs are a definite no go for me, my 3a hair sister showed me that a flat twist out is supreme. Learn to love you and the hair God gave you and it will all fall into place.
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Dear silky and smooth hair bonnets,
Man, you and I go way back. We go back through my many hairstyles and states. You’ve been with me since I was rocking a relaxer with rollers in my head to keep my curls tight; You’ve helped me keep my texturizer moist, and when my natural fro was ready to cave in and get dry on my pillow, the thought of you woke me up out of my nap and beckoned me to throw you on my head. If it weren’t for you, why, I would look crazy as hell on many an occasion. Maybe that’s why I have three of you. I have a bonnet for every occasion. Depending on my mood, I reach for your color: black when my hair is clean and fresh, pink when I’m trying to hide my dirty hair, and purple for post scalp greasing (I know I’m not the only one who still does this). Your smooth bands have kept dents out of my forehead for years, and when I woke up after a restless sleep, covers all in disarray on the floor, pillow next to it, you still, somehow, stayed on my head. Tight head wraps often make my head ache, and smash my ears in, but you bonnet, you’ve kept me comfortable in a whimsical fashion that has let my hair breathe and stay beautiful. That’s probably why I have so much respect and love for you!
And maybe all that respect is why I can’t stand to see your a** on people’s heads on the streets. B0nnet! Baby! What are you doing to yourself? If you’re not on the head of a person running for their life during a fire, I would prefer not to find you on the head of some woman waiting for the bus by my place, working on an elliptical machine at my gym, or on the head of someone who was a witness to some sort of rachetness on the news. You are bold, and you are beautiful, but if you don’t stay your behind in the bathroom next to the bobby pins and hair spray and off the bus, I’m going to scream. I don’t know when people thought to make you the new it-fashion for when they didn’t want to finish their hair, but this has got to stop. You can camouflage yourself in any kind of color and/or design that you want, but that still doesn’t make you a hat! And while I can understand using you not to sweat your hair out sometimes, nor to have it be destroyed by humidity, there’s got to be another way! Maybe put a hat, or at least a nice scarf over you? But to be exposed to the world while accompanying something other than pajamas or lounge wear has forced me to resent you sometimes. YOU LOOK CRAZY! But alas, I guess you are a step up from the hideous shower cap that started feeling itself and became the alternative to umbrellas…
I know, it makes me sad too. I want you to keep your dignity. I want us to go back to the relationship we had before, when I loved to pick you up and plop you on my head. However, a part of me hates you because you don’t know how to stay in the damn house. I guess I should hold more blame with your owners than I do with you, but like the Rob Base song says, it takes two. Stop selling out just to sell yourself and stick to showing out and showing yourself off INDOORS. It would be much appreciated from this day forward bonnet. Peace…and hair grease.
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As the title says, my name is Victoria, and like many women (though they won’t admit it), I’m a natural hair product junkie. Or better yet, I was.
Just over a month ago, I made the decision to start locking my hair after a year of messing with, picking at, nurturing and loving my afro. With that change, I was instructed by my hairstylist, who is a big fan of all-natural, straightforward and basic products, to get rid of the creams, the greases, the curly puddings and more that were taking up all the space in both my large medicine cabinet, and the cupboard under my sink. When she told me to do that, I wasn’t really sure if I would. “NOT MY HAIR PRODUCTS!!!!!” I thought. They took me through my transition, they’ve kept my hair from looking a hot mess, and they’ve helped it grow. No, not my precious, precious products…
Then I realized how crazy my devotion to some KeraCare, Motions, Miss Jessies, and Kinky-Curl products was, especially since I had almost 20 products collecting dust in my bathroom. After some thought, I decided that yes, she was right. Those expensive products with their ambiguous ingredients had to go.
So last Friday, I walked into work, bag in tow, with hundreds of dollars worth of hair products. Like a black female Santa Claus, I gifted my co-workers an array of products I couldn’t use anymore now that my hair is transitioning into a new journey. As the Miss Jessies Curl de la Creme ($18) was taken, the stretch silkening cream ($22), the KeraCare daily milk ($20) and more were grabbed from my Barney bag (scratch that, it was a fragile Target bag instead), all I could think was the following: “It’s a damn shame that I spent so much money on products in general…”
Oh, the struggles of going natural. Trying to figure out what would work for my natural texture without drying my hair out or breaking it off cost me a pretty penny. And as one of those women who used to make a trip to the beauty supply store as a weekly activity, I was buying new curling creams and moisturizers as if they were perishable foods. Hot mess, right? But I’m not the only one. I know a lot of women with natural hair who can agree that in the beginning, your hair can never be too moisturized, too shiny, too bountiful, or too big, so one or two products is NEVER enough. You go through a wealth of products to see if you can get the results, and in the end, you low-key become a product junkie.
Even a trip to Wal-Mart for feminine products can turn into an opportunity to raid the sparse hair section for oils (OOOOOOOH tea tree oil!). Yes, I found that when you’re natural, buying hair products, taking hair recommendations from any and everybody, and bargaining with yourself about why paying $20 for a shampoo is an investment is all part of the addiction to hair products (and in reality, women of all hair types find themselves spending mad money on a bunch of products). And yes, I was one of those addicts, ready to snap when a friend or family member was trying to use my $18 tub of Carol’s Daughter mimosa hair honey.
But now that I’m on a new natural hair journey, I decided to get over the money I spent on hair products in the past, and get my Goodwill on by giving up the products that were taking up space in my bathroom and in my life (Okay, I’m being MAD dramatic). After having all those products in my bathroom, I’m now done to virgin olive oil, a tea tree oil hair spray, a Jane Carter locking spray, and some Jamaican black castor oil. I think that deserves an applause. Indeed, this product dependency is a struggle many women go through, and it can definitely put a dent in your pocket. But I recommend doing some research before you just walk in the beauty supply and experiment with an aisles-worth of products–that will save you some time, and of course, some money. Budget and be realistic about how many products you really need. Eventually, you’re going to find the few products that your hair can’t do without, and the rest you’ll be more than willing to hand off to another woman getting to know her own strands. Or better yet, won’t end up wasting all those dollars in general. But until then…good luck sistas.
This piece might seem a bit random, but I would love to hear opinions on hair hibernating in the winter…
A few months ago, like many other women, you could catch me in the shower shaving my legs every few days, my armpits every other day, and more (if you know what I mean) in the hopes of having hairless areas and those baby smooth legs that with the help of Shea butter, glisten in the summer sun. Any sign of stubble had to “get got,” and any and every sleeveless tank or top required a check up. Those shaving days required a bit more out of a chick in the morning and out of my morning routine, but when the weather was hitting 80 degrees, I wasn’t complaining about it.
I don’t know if you have checked outside recently, it’s colder than a polar bear’s toenail.
I’m talking cold even in places that are usually somewhat warm year round. I think I spend more time in the shower just trying to warm my bones and revive myself for the work day than I do worried about reaching for the Veet and doing some body lawn mowing. I’m rocking sweaters and jeans for the next few months, so I’ve decided to go on a shaving hiatus for the winter. I’m talking the whole nine yards. No razors on me, no more small nicks and cuts under my arms, just a trim in certain places, and I’ve heard many women say they opt out of the big shave during this time, too. So it so wrong of me? I guess it depends on who you ask.
I’m not trying to go for the Mo’Nique look or anything (though last I checked, she made a big leap and shaved), I’m just hoping to keep my legs from being any colder than they need to be as the temps hit 30 and lower. Not only can a good pair of thermals keep your limbs toasty, but so can a nice layer of womanly hair. And seriously, unless you’re talking about busting out some skirts (which I’m not–at least not without tights), going hairy for a month or two can’t really be that gross.
But there are negatives to doing such a thing also it seems. Some men don’t seem to be fans of Chewbacca chicks (go figure). I noticed when the question was asked on an answers site, a guy tried to claim there was nothing nastier than a woman with hairy legs. Really? NOTHING WORSE? It has always boggled my mind how a chick with a little bit of hair here and there can catch the ire and disgust of a guy whose pubic hair can resemble a wooly coat of fur for the nether regions. But as a single chick at the moment, I’m not too worried about any sort of backlash or reaction to it by a guy. If I have one coming to see me at house soon, the BIC will come out to play.
But on top of some negative manly attention, word on the streets is that shaving is supposed to help exfoliate dry skin that’s ever-present during the winter. If your legs are covered in hair, no matter what you put on your legs early in the day while you’re in get-ready-mode, they will probably feel and appear a bit more scale-y and look like they were dipped in powder after a few hours. And, as a friend of mine pointed out, a lot of hair can trap in heat, and heat can cause you to sweat, and sweating can of course, create must (or mustation as I would like to call it). I like to pride myself on smelling like a ray of sunshine thanks to my love for lightly scented baby powders and statement making perfumes, but it makes sense that the hairier, the funkier you could wind up. I can’t go for all that now…
I seem to struggle to get out of the house (and do so on time) more when it’s colder outside than when it’s warm, so despite the negatives associated with a hairy chick, I think I’ll let my hair grow for a few weeks instead of months, and if the mood strikes me, maybe I’ll shave sooner than later. But if I don’t? Well, I’ll just double up on the baby powder. Who’s with me!? Nobody? Awww man…
Do you often ditch shaving in the winter? Anything wrong with that? What do the fellas have to say?
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We’ve done a good amount of stories on things women can learn from men. The stories have been good and what not, but let’s keep it 100: there’s many things that women do that men should pick up on for their own benefit. Something important that men could learn from us is how to develop a better sense of hygiene. We’re big on getting our hair done, our nails done, shaving and plucking and primping to the point that it’s like clockwork. But somehow, someone told men they don’t have to do much to get by and get some. No one’s talking about picking the newest Jordans up or growing a devious but hot goatee–just keep it fresh and clean. Check out what we wish men would do better at–hygiene wise.
Even the most liberal limb of me has to admit that there are some great perks associated with being a woman, and even more when you’re a woman with a man. If I haven’t offended you yet, allow me to explain. While I still encourage independence, self- sufficiency and to be treated as equals, double-standards don’t bother me nearly as much when I am on the side of the freeway looking at my car do the “shoulder-lean” as the air slowly deflates from my tire. I surely don’t mind being a damsel in distress when I see a spider that has basically seized my entryway with his web basically making me a prisoner in my own home.
Like the show tune says, “I enjoy being a girl.”
At the same time, when the going gets rough and you find yourself without a guy to get going, sometimes you have to “man-up” and take care of business. It’s these times when you have to toss your fragile femininity on the shelf and get down and dirty. After mastering the following situations, you may even be able to teach these pretty boys a thing or two: