Search Results: Ashley Glenn

3 Pre-poos Light Enough for Fine Hair
Photo Courtesy of Getty Images
Our curls need love and care. Since curly hair is more prone to dryness, we have to take extra measures to keep it moisturized. One treatment to incorporate into your regimen is a pre-poo. A pre-poo is a conditioning process before you shampoo your hair. A pre-poo allows you to moisturize and condition your hair before you shampoo so that it can retain moisture. Shampooing your curls can be a drying process, so pre-poo treatments allow your curls to maintain moisture. It also enables you to detangle your curls prior to shampooing, which can accelerate your washing process. There are different ways that you can pre-poo your wavy hair, check out the options below:

1. Hair oil

Have you ever applied oil to your hair and found that it left your hair greasy or oily for the rest of the day? One way to avoid that, while still reaping the countless benefits oils have for your hair, is to use them in a “pre-poo treatment” before you shampoo. You can use your favorite oil and apply thoroughly to your hair. You can also incorporate a scalp massage to stimulate hair growth. Cover your hair with a plastic shower cap and leave the oil in your hair for 15-30 minutes before you shampoo. You can also apply the oil the night before your wash day if you prefer to wash your hair in the morning.

When it comes to pre-poo treatments, a lot of women with wavy hair avoid them out of fear of a greasy scalp that takes too long to cleanse, but that does not have to be the case if you use the right oil. For wavy hair, it may be best to try lightweight oil that will not weigh down your hair. These treatments are especially beneficial for wavies with color treated or heat-straightened hair.

Try one of these light oils as your next pre-poo:

  • Coconut oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Avocado oil

2. Deep conditioner pre-poo

If you find that deep conditioners feel too heavy on your hair, even after you rinse them out, then try moving them up in your regimen to before you shampoo instead of after. Just apply enough deep conditioner to saturate your hair and leave the conditioner on for 15 minutes – 1 hour before washing. Here are some conditioners that are great for wavy hair:

3. DIY pre-poo

Your kitchen is always a great source to find healthy ingredients for your hair. You can make a combination of your favorite ingredients to make a treatment that is natural and affordable.

Coconut milk pre-poo

Hairscapades shares a coconut milk pre-poo that has the following ingredients:
  • 4 tbsp. coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. each 3 of your favorite oils

If you are looking for a simpler recipe, trying using moisturizing ingredients such as avocados, Greek yogurt, honey, and bananas. Simply blend them together, sift the chunks with a rice strainer, and thoroughly apply to your hair. (Don’t skip the straining step, otherwise you’ll be picking chunks out of your hair for ages”>.

Always remember…

Now that you see the different ways you can pre-poo, you can choose the best option for you. You are one step closer to the pre-poo process, but before you start, here are some things that you should remember while pre- pooing:

  • Handle the hair with care. It is great that you are taking the time to treat your curls before shampooing. Handle your hair with care and do not rush the process. It will defeat the purpose of pre-pooing.
  • Detangle the hair with your fingers or a wide tooth comb. You do not want to cause breakage from using improper hair tool.
  • Apply the products thoroughly. Make sure you apply the treatment thoroughly to your hair, concentrating on your ends, as they are the oldest and driest part of the hair and the most susceptible to breakage. 

What are your favorite ways to pre-poo? Do you use oil, DIY treatments or a deep conditioner?

Try This to Better Avoid Heat Damage
Photo Courtesy of Natalie Live
Many curlies avoid heat styling to protect their curls from breakage, frizz, and an altered curl pattern. Avoiding heat styling is the best way to avoid thermal damage, however, there are ways to incorporate heat styling and still have your healthy curls.  Let’s start with the process of heat styling.

What happens when we heat style your hair?

Tonya McKay, cosmetic chemist and Naturally Curly writer, says, “Application of heat to the hair breaks hydrogen bonds, and the use of tension or pressure allows hair to be re-shaped so that the new hydrogen bonds form to support the new shape (straight or curled”>.” When heat styling, it is best to thoroughly cleanse your curls, use a heat protectant, and avoid high temperatures (over 400 degrees”> to protect your curls from damage.

Before you heat style

Before heat styling, it is best to shampoo and condition your hair to create a fresh slate. Product buildup will cause the hair to weigh down when heat styling. In addition, it can also cause a burnt smell. After you rinse out your conditioner, apply a heat protectant throughout your curls. When I heat style my hair, I use Motions Heat Styled Straight Leave-In Conditioner before blow-drying. It is best to section your thoroughly detangled hair into manageable sections before blow-drying, because it allows you to have more control. Lastly, blow-dry your hair with a comb attachment or a paddle brush for smoother results and to create a great foundation for flat ironing.  If you are flat ironing your hair, apply a heat protectant serum before styling. When I straighten my hair, I use Motions Heat Styled Straight Finish Sealer. When searching for a heat protectant serum, it is important to look for key ingredients like silicones. They will protect your hair during heat use and help moisture retention. Natural oils are not sustainable to high heat and you have to be aware of the temperature of hair tools. 

Read more: Why Oil Doesn’t Work as a Heat Protectant

It’s best to use a flat iron with a controllable heat setting. Depending on the width of your strands, the flat iron should not be used any higher than 400 degrees if you would like to avoid heat damage. The finer your stands, the lower the temperature should be.

After you heat style

When shampooing your heat-styled hair, check to see how your curls respond. Do your they revert back to normal? Are they looser, less defined, or frizzier? If your curls are responding different, use a strengthening conditioner to snap your curls back in place. It may take a few wash days for your curls to revert back. If your curls never revert, then you have two options: cut the heat damage from your hair or grow the heat damage out. Once the heat damage is done, there is no turning back. You can look back at your experience to see what you could have done differently and learn from it.

Searching for products to try on your next blow-out? Try these products!

Follow us on Instagram for inspiration.

How to Help Your Curly Hair Survive in a Dry, Hot Climate
daili perez summer curly hair

Photo courtesy of @dailiperez

Are you a curly that has returned from a sunny and dry climate? Did you have a fun vacation but once you saw your curls in the mirror, you are regretting how you cared for your hair while you were away? No need for any regrets! You can take these steps to repair your curls after your escapade.

Cleanse

If you live in a dry, desert climate it is important to cleanse your hair thoroughly to remove any sand and environmental debris from your hair and scalp. To do this, wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo at least once a month or more, depending on what your hair can handle. Choose a clarifier with peppermint oil or tea tree oil to stimulate the scalp and eliminate bacteria. Follow up with a moisturizing conditioner to avoid excessive dryness. If your hair tends to be dry, do a pre-poo treatment before you cleanse to prevent moisture loss.

Deep Condition

In dry environments hair is more prone to dryness and tangles. Deep conditioning allows you to revive your hair with moisturizing or strengthening ingredients. All women with curly, coily or wavy hair should be deep conditioning regularly, but if you live in a dry climate then it is a crucial step to maintaining your moisture levels. Many curlies even use moisturizing deep treatments to quench your thirsty curls every time they condition, instead of using a daily conditioner. If you have noticed that your hair is damaged from heat tools or color processing, or you are experiencing breakage, opt for a strengthening deep treatment such as a protein conditioner. If your curls are protein sensitive, you can try mixing a strengthening treatment with a moisturizing one (yes, even protein sensitive hair needs proteins“>. It is always important to maintain a protein moisture balance for your unique hair needs.

Hydrate

“Stay hydrated” is a phrase that you hear over and over again when it comes to beauty as well as your overall health, but it cannot be over emphasized. When you are in a dry climate it is even more imperative that you hydrate yourself to prevent dehydration. When you are hydrated, your body and skin benefit from it, so drink lots of water! A hydrated body on a nutrient rich diet is going to give you your best chances for growing longer, healthier hair – far more than any moisturizing hair product ever could.

Sun protection

Sunscreen is usually one of the first products that you put on your skin when spending time outside, but sometimes we forget our hair. Protecting your hair is important, as it is being exposed to the sun’s damaging rays daily. Luckily, there are products that include UV protection to help protect your hair from the sun. This is an important step in anyone’s regimen, but it is especially beneficial for color-treated hair. Check out these products that have UV protection:

Protective styling

When your hair is feeling particularly dry, try wearing your hair in a protective style to give it a break. This allows your hair to enjoy all of the moisture that you have been providing for your hair. Try styling your hair in a loose bun, braids, or two-strand twists rather than wearing it loose and out. Wearing your hair down makes it most susceptible to the environment with wind that creates tangles, sun, and rubbing on your clothes. Of course you want to be able to enjoy your hair, but when it’s so damaged and dry that it cannot seem to retain moisture, this is a good solution. You can also use your favorite summer hat to protect your curls from the sun. It is also best to avoid heat styling just to prevent any additional drying of your hair. If you prefer to heat style your hair, be sure to apply a heat protectant before heat use.

Conclusion

The steps above will help with your hair bounce back in no time, but when trying new reparative steps, be sure to take notes throughout the process to see what is working and what is not working. If you notice your hair is not improving, it may be best to book an appointment with a professional hairstylist to see what the issue could be.

Denman Brush for Natural Hair: Is It Worth It?

The Denman Brush is a very popular detangling tool among the curly community, it won this years Best of the Best , but it has also been known to be a controversial topic. It is used mainly to detangle natural Type 3c and Type 4 hair when wet.

Many curlies rave about the way a Denman can cut down their detangling time, and it also works to evenly distribute product in curly hair. In addition, the brush helps achieve curl definition.

However, as with any tool or product one size does not fit all. Some curlies find that the brush pulls out too much hair, and others have experienced frizz. Furthermore, the Denman has a higher price point than other brushes, ranging between the $10-$19.

So is a Denman Brush better than a regular brush?

It depends on your detangling preference.

Many curlies view the right detangling tool as an investment, and if you want to focus on curl definition and decreasing your detangling time, then a Denman may be for you. There are a variety of Denman Brushes to choose from, though it’s best to purchase a brush that uses 5-7 rows of bristles.

If the brush snags your hair, all is not lost! Don’t be discouraged if the brush doesn’t live up to your expectations on the first try, you may just need to modify the brush to suit your curls. Many naturalistas remove every other row of bristles to create what is known as a “modified Denman.” Also, be sure that you are using the brush slowly to avoid unnecessary hair pulling.

Prefer a cheaper alternative? Try generic brushes, wide tooth combs, and (the cheapest option”> finger detangling.

Detangling must-have

No matter what tool you choose for your detangling session, it’s essential to use a conditioner with “slip.” This allows the tool to easily slide through your hair.

While detangling, start from the end of your hair and slowly work your way to the root. Create sections and twist your detangled hair as you go to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Lastly, take your time while detangling your hair. Always schedule your detangling session on a day when you’re not in a rush to be anywhere. Rushing this process can cause hair breakage and pulling.

MORE:

Must-Have Detanglers for Curly Hair

6 Products with the Best Slip

5 Conditioners That Melt My Tangles Away

Do you use the denman brush? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

10 Deep Conditioners for Protein Sensitive Hair

A deep conditioner is a staple product in a curly girl’s product lineup. We use so many products and techniques that a deep conditioning session can help to rejuvenate our curls and bring them back to life. While searching for a deep conditioner, it is best to look at the ingredients. Some curlies are protein sensitive, which means that an overload of protein can strip the hair of moisture and make the hair stiff. Not sure if you are protein sensitive? Check out this article Are You Protein Sensitive? Find Out Now. On the other hand, if you are not protein sensitive and do use protein treatments, it is important to alternate between using protein and protein-free treatments so that you do not experience a protein overload. Here are 10 protein-free deep conditioners to help you find your balance.

10 Protein-free Deep Conditioners

10 Deep Conditioners for Protein Sensitive Hair

Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment

This deep conditioning treatment has shea butter and cocoa butter and will leave your curls moisturized and shiny. This conditioner also comes in three fragrance options, including fragrance-free. This is a great option for curlies who are sensitive to scents.

Great for: Scent-sensitive curlies

Curl Junkie Curl Rehab Moisturizing Hair Treatment

If your curls are burned out from too much summer sun, try a deep treatment with this product to see if your curls come back to life. The Curl Rehab Moisturizing Hair Treatment will rejuvenate your curls and give them the moisture they need. This treatment includes aloe, herbs, and butters for bouncy curls.

Great for: Rejuvenating damaged curls

10 Deep Conditioners for Protein Sensitive Hair

As I Am Hydration Elation Intensive Conditioner

The intensive conditioner will not only moisturize your hair but will also strengthen your curls. This will help with manageability, which is a great way to prep for your styling session.

Great for: Manageability when styling

 Bee Mine Bee-U-Ti-Ful Deep Conditioner

The cupuacu butter in this product maintains moisture and helps with elasticity. This product also provides protection from the sun.

Great for: Spending time outside

10 Deep Conditioners for Protein Sensitive Hair

Mixed Chicks Deep Conditioner

This deep conditioner has a good amount of slip, which is great for detangling. It will leave your hair free of tangles and moisturized.  A little goes a long way with this conditioner.

Great for: Detangling

Karen’s Body Beautiful Secret Weapon Restorative Hair Treatment

Looking for a pre-shampoo treatment? Try the Secret Weapon Restorative Hair Treatment. It can help strengthen and moisturize your hair before you even shampoo!

Great for: Pre-pooing

10 Deep Conditioners for Protein Sensitive Hair

OBIA Natural Hair Care Babassu Deep Conditioner

Babassu oil is formulated in this deep conditioner to help repair and strengthen the hair. The conditioner has good slip for detangling and has a mild scent for curlies who do not like overwhelmingly fragrant products.

Great for: Repairing and detangling

MYHoneyChild Honey Hair Mask

This hair mask includes honey, which will help with moisture. Are you experiencing a dry and irritated scalp? The honey can also help soothe the scalp.

Great for: Soothing dry scalp

10 Deep Conditioners for Protein Sensitive Hair

EDEN BodyWorks JojOba Monoi Deep Conditioner

If you are experiencing dry and brittle hair, try this conditioner. It includes jojoba, monoi, and coconut oil to help repair and moisturize the hair. This product also smells great!

Great for: Moisturizing brittle hair

SheaMoisture African Black Soap Purification Masque

This masque is another good option if you are experiencing a dry and irritated scalp. Plantain enzymes are included to help soothe the scalp. If you are experiencing product buildup or just want to detox your hair, this is a good choice.

Great for: Detoxing hair and scalp

Protein Ingredients

Not sure what to look for on your product label?

CurlyNikki provided this list of protein in her Identifying Proteins & Humectants in Hair Products article:

  • Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed casein
  • Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed collagen
  • Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed hair keratin
  • Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed keratin
  • Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed rice protein
  • Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed silk
  • Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed soy protein
  • Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed wheat protein
  • Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl silk amino acids
  • Cocoyl hydrolyzed collagen
  • Cocoyl hydrolyzed keratin
  • Hydrolyzed keratin
  • Hydrolyzed oat flour
  • Hydrolyzed silk
  • Hydrolyzed silk protein
  • Hydrolyzed soy protein
  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein
  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein
  • Keratin
  • Potassium cocoyl hydrolyzed collagen
  • TEA-cocoyl hydrolyzed collagen
  • TEA-cocoyl hydrolyzed soy protein
3 Reasons Your Hair is Matting (And How to Stop It)
woman detangling curly hair to stop matting
Image via Getty

When wash day crosses our minds, we think of the smell of our favorite shampoo and catching up on our favorite shows while our hair is deep conditioning. Sometimes we overlook one of the most important parts of this task: detangling. It helps make our styling session easier and last throughout the week. It also helps maintain the health of your hair to prevent any damage or breakage. Our curl friend, Jasmina, from Curly Q&A is tired of her hair matting and asked:

Question

Can anyone tell what are causes of matted hair? This is my main problem and I still can’t solve it…”

Answer

Matted hair can occur if the hair is not detangled. First, evaluate your current hair regimen. How often are you detangling your hair? Are you thoroughly detangling your curls with a generous amount of conditioner during wash day? These are practices that you should monitor and keep an eye out for and here reasons why you are experiencing matting:

1. Not Protecting Your Hair at Night

Protecting your hair at night does not only help preserve your hairstyle for the next day, it also protects the health of your hair. To preserve your style, place your curls in a pineapple, twist, braid your hair if you are preserving a twist out/braid out (try to not re-twist/braid every night”>. Sleeping with a satin scarf, bonnet, or pillowcase can help prevent your hair from matting and breakage. Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase without any protection on your hair will allow your hair to rub against the material. This can remove the moisture out of your hair and can also cause your hair to matt.

2. Wearing Protective Styles for Too Long

Protective styles are a great way to help retain length and ease the worrying about styling your hair. Even though protective styles are great, leaving them in too long can cause more harm than good. The protective style should be installed when your hair is freshly washed and moisturized. Protective styles can lasts between 4-6 weeks depending on the style and maintenance. Personally, I would not leave it in any longer than six weeks because it can cause matting if it is left too long. When removing the style, carefully wash and detangle the hair.

3. Not Detangling Your Hair Properly

If you style your hair when it is not thoroughly detangled, this can cause matting. During wash day, use a conditioner and detangle your hair. You can use a conditioner with a lot of slip if it will make it easier. You can also use your tool of choice, whether it is your hands or a wide toothed comb. Make sure to detangle your hair gently from the ends to the roots. Divide your hair in sections if needed to avoid not feeling overwhelmed. 

Read more: 13 Detanglers that Work Like Magic for Curly Hair

How to Detangle Curly Hair

If you are experiencing matting and your gentle detangling session is not working, it may be best to schedule an appointment with a professional stylist to help detangle or remove the knots by a haircut.

How to Prevent a Wash Day Disaster Before Swimming
sunita v summer curly swimming hair

Photo courtesy of Sunita V

Swimming is a great way to exercise and cool off from the hot temperatures, but you don’t want it to jeopardize your hair health. Since chlorine from the pool is damaging to textured hair, it is important to care for your hair before swimming. Taking the time to care for your curls before getting in the pool will not only prevent damage and breakage, but it will also make your wash day a lot easier.

Here are some tips to prevent a wash day disaster before swimming.

Detangle first

Before you swim, be sure to prep your curls. Thoroughly detangle your hair with conditioner. You can use a budget-friendly conditioner that has lots of slip.

Don’t rinse the conditioner out

After detangling, leave the conditioner on your hair. Applying a generous amount of conditioner will reduce how much chlorine your hair absorbs, and because of this you may want to invest in an inexpensive conditioner. If you prefer not to use conditioner, you can detangle with hair oil.

Check out some of our budget-friendly favorites from the drugstore!

Twist or braid your hair

After detangling your curls, twist or braid them.  Don’t worry about your hair looking polished. The purpose of twisting your hair is to prevent matting while you swim. If you can secure your twists or braids in a ponytail, that’s even better. 

Cleanse after swimming

Washing your curls right after swimming is necessary. When chlorine is left in your hair, it can cause breakage and damage. Shampooing your curls with a clarifying and moisturizing shampoo will gently yet thoroughly remove the chlorine. Cleansing your hair should be easier thanks to detangling and moisturizing your curls before your swim session. You will notice that your hair does not feel brittle from chlorine or even sun exposure.

Deep condition

Follow up with a deep conditioner. I suggest applying heat while you deep condition by using a hooded dryer, heated cap, or body heat (plastic cap and beanie hat”>. Rinse, apply a moisturizer or leave-in conditioner, and style.

Regardless of whether you decide to wash and go or do a braid out, make sure to apply and seal moisture for your hair. Now you can enjoy swimming without spending hours repairing your curls from the aftermath. The key is to keep them detangled and coat your curls with moisture so the pool water doesn’t get to chance to strip your healthy hair.

Do you have tips and tricks for preventing wash day disasters before swimming? Share with the curly community below!

This article was originally published in 2016 and was updated in 2018 to reflect new product recommendations.

Here's What I Use To Get The Most From My Vacation Hairstyle
IMAGE VIA @graciemercedes

Summer is made for vacations, but the preparation can be stressful. Flights, hotels, and activities can be costly. And getting everything organized is time-consuming. When our highly anticipated trip finally arrives, we are probably staring at our closets, trying to figure out the most efficient way to pack. Since vacations give us a time to relax, we want to look and feel good. Take these steps to make sure you are packing well for your curls.

Planning

Before you pack for your vacation, you usually plan your outfits in advance. You can do the same for your curls! Think about the place you will be attending and the activities that you will be engaging in. Are you going to the beach and plan to enjoy the water? Will you hike and undertake other outdoor activities? Your vacation plans should be a factor in your styling.

If you plan to be very active and enjoy the outdoors, you may want to consider wearing a protective style during your trip. This will allow you to spend less time on your hair and more time on your activities. You can choose from styles such as box braids, Marley twists, and cornrows. If styling your hair during your trip does not seem like a hassle, wear your favorite everyday style. This can include twist-outs, braid-outs, and wash and go’s. It is best to have an idea of how you are going to style your hair — that way you are able to pack properly.

Packing

Packing is already tough, especially when you are trying to squeeze all of your personal belongings into your bags. When packing, be sure to bring travel-size containers of your favorite products, especially if you are carrying your bag on the plane. Trust me, it will break your heart if airport security makes you throw out a fresh bottle of your holy grail leave-in conditioner! If you are not able to purchase travel-size versions of your favorite products, no need to worry! You can purchase travel-size containers or ziploc bags and fill them with your must-haves. These containers are affordable and you can find them at drug stores or online. To help you pack products that you will actually use, we’ve put together a guide to products you should bring based on the hairstyles you plan to wear on vacation:

Wash and go’s: Since there are multiple steps to a wash and go, you will have to pack more products. Consider packing a shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner, and curl definer. If you are running low on space, skip the leave-in conditioner and loosen the consistency of your conditioner by adding water. Before leaving for your trip, make time to perfect your wash and go method so you can have your desired results going to your destination.

Twist-outs/braid-outs: Pack a twisting cream and light oil, so you can re-twist/braid at night if needed. Also, consider packing accessories to brighten up your hairstyle. If possible, try keeping your twists/braids in when traveling. This will allow the most curl definition and less maintenance for your hair while you’re on the road.

Protective styles: You may want to pack hair oil and curl refresher to revive your hairstyle. Accessories such as hair ties, headbands, and scarves should also be considered if you want to switch up your look during your trip.

 What to pack

Need some inspiration for your travel bag? Check out my curly travel essentials:

When traveling, I usually wear my hair in a twist-out. Twist-outs are low maintenance for me, especially since I have already perfected my product combination and technique. While arriving at the airport, my hair is usually in two-strand twists to prevent frizz from traveling. When packing, I transfer my products to travel-size containers since I already have the containers in my home. I bring the following in travel-size jars:

Mielle Organics Brazilian Curly Cocktail Curl Cream

Mielle Organics White Peony Leave-In Conditioner

Design Essentials Natural Honey & Shea Edge Tamer

I use the leave-in conditioner, along with a fine mist of water, to refresh my curls with moisture. The curl cream is used if I need to re-twist my hair at night. I’ll use the edge tamer to smooth my edges for my hairstyles. In addition to these products, I bring my hair scarf, satin bonnet, stretched hair bands, and satin hair ties. These accessories allow me to maintain my hairstyle at night and also put my curls in updos. The “puff” is my favorite go-to if my twist-out is too old. It allows me to pull my curls away from my face and enjoy my vacation.

How will you pack your travel bag for the summer? Tell us in the comments section below.

And if you’re looking for more curly travel tips, check out 16 Packing Essentials for Every Curly Traveler.

Top 20 Carrier Oils for Hair

In order to use essential oils in a safe way, it is best to dilute them with a carrier oil. Many hair and skin treatments call for a carrier oil, and if you haven’t yet found your carrier oil of choice this comprehensive list will be your guide to finding the best one for you.

Not only do carrier oils carry your essential oil, they also enhance your hair and skin, by providing their own nourishing benefits. Here are the top 20 carrier oils to use along with your favorite essential oils.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include links to purchase all of the oils recommended.

20 Carrier Oils

Your Shortest Wash Day for Back to School

Photo by Suad Kamardeen on Unsplash

 

It’s time for school again. You’ll be focusing on your new classes and spending time on schoolwork. It’s normal that you will minimize time for things that you used to spend time on. You will watch less TV, spend less time with your friends, and potentially neglect your curls for a little while. But it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s easy to shorten your wash day in order to perform tasks in your daily routine. You can still provide your curls with tender love and care.

Pre-poo

Pre-poo is essential in many curly regimens as a way to prevent dried out hair. This important step keeps your curls moisturized without allowing shampoo to strip the hair’s moisture. If you’re super busy, it’s best to pre-poo your hair the night before or morning of your wash day. Grab your favorite pre-poo and apply to your hair. Follow up with detangling your tresses. It’s best to detangle now since it will be easy to wash your hair (which means less time washing and more time hitting the books”>. Throw your hair into a bun or an easy updo style. Your hair is away from your face and your pre-poo can do it’s magic.

Shampoo

Shampooing your hair can be a long task, but the pre-poo can help shorten the process. Apply shampoo to scalp and hair and stroke the shampoo in a downward motion. This helps to prevent tangles, especially after the hard work you did earlier with tangling. Repeat as needed, however, I find that two shampoos usually do the trick. You don’t want to shampoo too long, especially with your crazy schedule.

Conditioning

Conditioning doesn’t have to be long and dreadful. You only need two tools: conditioner and your preferred detangling tool. It’s best to use a conditioner with lots of slip to make detangling a breeze. Detangle in sections and twist after conditioning to make your styling easier. Want to deep condition but you don’t have the time? Grab a beanie and throw it over your plastic cap. You can go to class or run your errands and still look stylish. No one will ever know. You’re deep conditioning your hair while checking off your to-do list. Rinse each section of your hair and quickly retwist. Are you in a rush? Leave your twists in and thoroughly rinse each section. Don’t forget to moisturize afterwards.

Style

On a short wash day, it’s best to style your hair with something that your comfortable with. Moisturizing with your preferred method and style your hair. If you’re a busy curly, it may be best to protective style so you won’t have to worry so much about. Twists, braids, and Bantu knots are great options that can help you prep your hair for later in the week. It’s all about doing a style that you’re familiar in order to help you save time. 

On your mark, get set, wash! The key to a short washday is prepping little by little to make the next step easier. These tips can shorten your wash day and help you spend extra time on your studies, friends, and yourself.

How do you shorten your wash day in school? 

These Magazines Empower Me to Love My Natural Hair

In the beginning of my natural journey, I did not see many women that looked like me in the media. Televisions, magazines, and movies were filled with women with straight hair. Every now and then, I would see a woman with curls. However, I would notice that her hair was long and had a loose texture. Unfortunately, I did not see women with TWA’s, tight curls, or even coils. In order to see women who had similar hair textures, I would visit my favorite natural hair blogs and video channels. The online natural hair community provides support and comfort during my journey. 

Recently, Fashionista interviewed six beauty editors and inquired how they were bringing diversity to the publications. Ashley Weatherford, Associate Beauty Editor at New York Magazine’s The Cut states, “In 2015, I wrote a story called ‘The Year Black Hair Was Everywhere,’ where I talked about how black hair and all its different textures was featured in so many different mediums. It was all over runways, it was on television, we saw it in movies. We saw that black women have different textures that are all beautiful and worthy of being filmed or captured in some way.”

Currently, I have seen more women of color with textured hair in the media, but according to Fashion Spot “Just 29 percent of cover models in 2016 were non-white That’s only 196 women of color out of 678 cover appearances.” 

Yes, there is progress being made and I am excited to see the increase of textured hair in the media as time progresses and it makes me feel good that I am starting to become more represented, but here are a few of my favorite magazines that showcase black women and their powerful crowns.  

Essence

Essence is hands down one of my favorite magazines. Natural hair is shown throughout the magazine and I always see a variety of textures. The publication shares an array of hairstyles, hair tips, and product suggestions for curly girls. I also loved that the magazine has a section for 4C hair online.

EBONY

EBONY magazine also shows the different textures of black hair. One of my favorite sections of the online version is “You ‘Do What?” which allows women to share how they style their hair with the EBONY community. I enjoy reading the different hair regimens!

CRWN

CRWN is a hair and lifestyle magazine that shows the beauty of black hair. The publication includes quality content and beauty photos of a variety of black hair textures. I am looking forward to the next volume of this magazine!

What are some of your favorite magazines you find inspiration from? We’d love to hear from you.

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This is What I Discovered After 7 Days of Meditating
Source: @thevicstyles
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and is a great time to bring awareness of mental health and wellness. Meditation is a practice that I include in my mind, body, and spiritual journey. However, there are times when I do not practice meditation consistently due to my busy schedule. We have all experienced instances when our schedule changes and life happens, but we should take the time to check within ourselves and make sure we are physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy. I was presented with the challenge to meditate consistently for 7 days. Each day, I meditated for 30 minutes without any distractions and I can’t wait to share my experiences with you.

I was more focused

I was more focused after I completed a week of meditation. I have a busy schedule and my mind usually races with thoughts. I try to balance work, family, friends, and self-care. Meditation allows me to clear my mind and focus on the present. After my session, I am able to prioritize and complete items on my to-do list. It also presented me with a lot of clarity where I was able to complete my tasks effectively.

I felt less stressed

After meditating for 7 days, I realized my stress reduced. While meditating, I focused on deep breathing and my affirmations. What are affirmations?  Affirmations are words of encouragements and can be great pick me ups when needed. Need some basic affirmations to start with? I shared 3 simple affirmations on my blog that can assist you throughout the day. After my meditation sessions, I was no longer thinking about what was causing stress prior.

I was full of excitement

As the days went by, I noticed that I was looking forward to my meditation session that day. I was excited to unwind and relax from my busy day. I enjoyed that I was taking time out to practice self-care to make sure I am balanced mentally, physically, and emotionally.

You can do it your way

When you think of meditation, you may think of sitting with your legs crossed in a quiet room. It does not have to be that way if you don’t want it to be. Create a meditation set-up that is comfortable for you. I enjoy my sessions with candles, the glow of my Himalayan salt lamp, healing crystals, and soothing sounds of rain. 

Conclusion

I will definitely make sure to take time to meditate every day, regardless of the duration. I will no longer allow my busy schedule to be the excuse for me to miss my meditation sessions. Consistently adding this self-care practice allows me to balance my areas of wellness and enjoy the time that I was spending with myself. I was able to get reacquainted with the areas that I love about myself and with time, I will learn even more.

Have you tried meditating? How did you feel after your meditation sessions? Please share with the curly community.

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5 Products That Have Been Here Since the Very Beginning
It’s been six years since the beginning of my natural hair journey and so much has changed. The curly community has grown rapidly and the amount of support is remarkable. I have seen many curly girls in the media and also in my local community. There are more resources available to show how to care and style natural hair. There are even more products to choose from! With the increase of products that are available for our curly needs, there are some that have been with me since the beginning. Check out these products that are no strangers to the natural hair game:

Kinky Curly Knot Today

Kinky Curly Knot Today leave in conditioner was my first purchase as a curly girl. I was so excited to purchase a product that would work for my curly hair! This product has been in the curly community for some time and it is a product that will provide great results. It has great slip, which allows easy styling. The loose consistency also allows you to layer additional products during your styling session. Kinky Curly also provides a shampoo, styling gel, and even a children’s line. The packaging has remained for the past years.

Giovanni Direct Leave In Weightless Moisture Conditioner

I would often see this leave in conditioner in all of my curl friend’s cabinets. This product has much slip, which is great for detangling. The consistency allows easy layering and will provide your curls with moisture. This can be used in both the warmer months (without weighing your hair down”> and winter months (providing enough moisture”>. The Leave In Weightless Moisture Conditioner is affordable and easy accessible.

SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie

The Curl Enhancing Smoothie is well known in the curly community. This smoothie was definitely an item in my regimen that provided great results. This creamy styler will leave your twists-outs and braid-outs defined. The pleasant scent is long lasting and a little product goes a lot way during your styling session. SheaMoisture has created many collections to assist with your hair and skin care regimens. 

Jane Carter Solution Nourish & Shine

Nourish & Shine will provide your curls with much shine and moisture. I absolutely loved this product in the beginning of my natural journey.  I would apply this pomade to my fingertips so I would prevent frizz while unraveling my twists. My twist outs will come out shiny and defined. The smell is always sweet and long lasting. I would also carry this product in my purse because it can also be used as a moisturizer for the skin. Jane Carter has many products in her collections including a men’s collection. 

Ecostyler Professional Styling Gel with Olive Oil

This gel is still a stable in the curly community. Wonder why? It’s a product that is easy to access in stores, inexpensive, and you receive a lot of product for what you pay for. Ecostyler was in my holy grail during my TWA stage. I used it often for my wash and go’s and mini twists. It provides long lasting hold while keeping the hair moisturized. A little goes a long way, which is super budget friendly. Ecostyler has created other gel collections including Argan Oil and Flaxseed.

What products have been with you since the beginning of your natural hair journey? Please share with the curly community.

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How to Discover Your Perfect Product Cocktail
istock
You don’t always have to run to your nearest restaurant for happy hour! Creating curly cocktails is a great way to not only relax, but also make your curls look great. What is cocktailing? It is the art of mixing the perfect product combination for your curls. Yes, that means you can put your Shea butter and olive oil to good use along with your favorite products! Trial and error is necessary, but there are ways to successfully create these combinations.

Start with a good base

Textures play a huge role when it comes to cocktailing. The consistency of your products and ingredients will have to “play nice” with each other in order to create a great combination for your curls. When I am creating a cocktail for a leave in conditioner, I make sure to use a base that has a loose consistency because it allows me to easily mix my ingredients.  If butters are included in my mixtures, I make sure that they are softened or melted for an easy blend. When creating styling products, like curl definers, I create mixtures with a thicker consistency since my curls tend to enjoy that more for long lasting definition. 

Keep a DIY journal

Keeping a journal is essential when creating your DIY recipes. I am able to refer back to my book to keep track of which recipes did or did not work for my curls. It allows me to see the key ingredients that work best in my cocktails and which ones cause issues. I make sure to write down the combinations of ingredients that do not work for my curls so I know what to avoid in the future.

Use what you have

As curlies, we can often find ourselves running to the closest beauty supply store to purchase the latest product or oil; but over time, I’ve come to realize that the best curly cocktails were created with ingredients that I already had at home. Do not underestimate your cooking oils, eggs, and even produce. They can provide your hair with great benefits, such as proper nutrition for a healthy source.

My perfect leave-in cocktail

I created a cocktail that is the perfect leave in conditioner for my curls. It provides long lasting moisture, shine, and definition for days! Check out the recipe below:.

What you will need

Instructions

  1. Place 3 tablespoons of the leave-in conditioner in the bowl. If you have longer or thicker hair, please feel free to add more!
  2. Add a tablespoon each of shea butter (softened or melted”> and olive oil to the mixture.
  3. Mix thoroughly, and apply to hair. When applying to your curls, use which every application method works best for you (rake and shake, smoothing, etc.”>

Keep in mind that this recipe works perfectly for my curls and my lifestyle, but you will likely want to make tweaks to it to customize this for you. That is the beauty of cocktailing!

Do you create curly cocktails? What ingredients/products work best together for your curls? Please share with the curly community below.

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My Curls Have Given Me The Freedom To Express Myself
Photo via @ashleyglennblog 

My curls have their own story. Although we were re-acquainted almost 5 years ago, it feels like we were never apart. When I decided to start my natural hair journey, I knew I would learn different areas of myself and grow as an individual. I have balanced my mind, body, and spiritual journey. My health has improved and I took more control of the items my body consumed. My relationships with my family and friends, and myself improved. However, I also learned that there were certain areas of myself that I already knew. We just have to get familiarized with each other again and build a stronger relationship. My natural hair journey has helped me re-visit these areas within myself:

Self-Expression

I tend to express myself with my choice of clothing, make-up, and even my hairstyles. I have experimented with an array of styles that showcases the different pieces of me. When my hair is out and big, I feel more light and free-spirited. If I wear my hair in a topknot with a side bang, I am feeling sassy and ready to rock a bold lip. As a creative, self-expression is important to me and I make sure to take the time to actually enjoy it. 

Self-Acceptance

My natural hair journey has allowed me to accept and unconditionally love myself. My beginning stages of my journey was tough, especially when it came to my shrinkage. Now, there is not a YouTube tutorial in the world that will make me second-guess my absolute love for my curls. Not only am I able to embrace my hair in its natural state, I provide my hair with love and nutrients to nurture its health and growth. The multiple textures do not bother me at all, in fact, it shares the different stories of my crown.

Photo via @ashleyglennblog

Find Inspiration

Each day, I take the time to look at my surroundings. This allows me to find beauty in my environment to use it as inspiration within my style and work. Bold colors, prints, and textures stand out the most to me when searching for inspiration. I use those visions towards color palettes in my wardrobe and hair accessories. Searching for inspiration allows me to maintain my creativity and find new ways to make items beautiful. 

On those days that are a little more difficult than others, I take time to keep myself grounded during my natural hair journey. If I am frustrated and need to relax, I add a few drops of lavender oil to my oil diffuser. I will grab my DIY hair oil and give myself a scalp massage. Scalp massages are a great way to release stress and can even promote hair growth due to the circulation of blood. During my massage, I allow peace into my space and I feel better instantly.

How has your natural hair journey impacted you? Share your experience with us in the comments below. 

Read more from Ashely Glenn, here
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Why the Minimalist Product Lifestyle is For Me
Less is more! Minimalism is a trend that is allowing people to de-clutter in many ways including their wardrobes and moving into smaller homes. Although I am not at that point of my minimalism journey, I would consider myself engaging in the Minimalist Product Lifestyle.

When it comes to purchasing products, I am very selective. In a previous article, I shared that price, reviews, and brand reputation are factors when selecting products for my regimen. Using those factors allowed me to become more conscious with my purchasing habits. My product collection eventually decreased because I used all of the products that I currently had. My collection did not rapidly increase because I was only re-purchasing the products that my curls enjoyed. I noticed that my product junkie days were over and I was not tempted to purchase the latest product on the shelf. Are you putting your product junkie days behind you? Are you currently on a minimalism journey and want to add your hair product collection to your list? Below are reasons why I choose The Minimalistic Product Lifestyle:

Save Money

I enjoy saving money by purchasing products that maintain my hair’s health. When new products are released, I will research the ingredients and read the reviews online from curlies with similar hair textures as mine. This allows me to avoid any impulse buying and permits me to choose wisely with my purchases. When purchasing my products, I will take a glance at my e-mail inbox for any promotions at my favorite stores. That way I can get my favorite products for a great price!

Purchase Quality Ingredients

I choose quality ingredients over products. I am currently using Shea Moisture Manuka Honey shampoo and conditioner and TGIN Green Tea Leave-in Conditioner in my regimen. The rest of the items are natural ingredients that I have in my home. The oils, butters, and other natural moisturizers are ingredients that I use across my hair and skin regimens. I rather create my own treatments and styling products with those ingredients because I know which ingredients work for my curls.

Save Storage

Since my product collection is small, I am able to store them easily. This allows me to save storage in my apartment. During wash day, I can style my hair without having products all over the bathroom counter. I can place all of my products in one drawer and not worry about causing clutter. I am also able to quickly access my products whenever I need to.

Get To The Root of the Problem

If I notice any changes with my hair and scalp, it is easier for me to get to the root of the problem. During my previous product junkie days, I would experience issues with my hair and I would never know the reason why. I was trying different products and brands; it became difficult to figure out why I was experiencing the problem. Since I am currently using only three products, I can easily sort out the reasons why I am experiencing the issues.

Are you currently practicing The Minimalist Product Lifestyle? What tips and tricks work for you? Please share with the curly community.

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This is How You Can Encourage Girls to Love S.T.E.M.
Courtesy of @courtneymprivett

S.T.E.M., which stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, is an industry that is often underrepresented by women. According to the National Science Board, “In 2013, women constituted 50% of the college-educated workforce, 39% of employed individuals whose highest degree was in an S&E field, and 29% of those in S&E occupations.” Recently, the theatrical release of Hidden Figures, a story of African American women mathematicians and scientists at NASA, has also sparked the interest of girls pursuing careers in math, science, and technology. Aldis Hodge, an actor from the film, told The Cut “We’ve already seen that affect happen nationally, we’re constantly doing panels for STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math] and STEAM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Design, and Mathematics] all over.” 

Does your daughter love math and science? Does she have a love/hate relationship with those subjects in school? There are many ways that you can introduce and strengthen girls’ relationships with the math, science, and technology industry.

1. Enroll in programs

There are programs that are available to encourage girls to love S.T.E.M. These programs often offer learning sessions to teach skills within math and science. Some of these programs are also offered for free! Below are some math and science programs that offer programs for girls: 

Looking for S.T.E.M. programs in your neighborhood? Research your local schools, community colleges, and universities for information on S.T.E.M. educational programs.

2. Search for a mentor

If you are not able to find any educational program in your community, try searching for a mentor. This will allow her to build a one-on-one relationship with someone who is currently working in that industry. In addition, it can assist with gaining insights on real life experiences in math, science, and technology.

3. Encourage a fun learning environment

Learning does not have to be boring. Show that math and science can be fun. If her homework session is challenging, come up with a creative way to help with comprehending her homework easier. Conducting fun science experiments over the weekend is a great way to bond and strengthen her passion for S.T.E.M.

4. Expose her to success stories

There are many women that are breaking barriers in the s.t.e.m. fields. Teach your daughters about them by watching documentaries, going on trips to museums, or researching these trailblazers online. Simply exposing her to these women can give her a chance to see that hard work and dedication will allow her to achieve her dreams, whatever they may be. 

5. Be supportive

Encourage her when she feels discouraged, praise her for that awesome grade that she received on her science project, and ask her lots of questions about her future career path. Showing your interest will not only allow her to soar, but show that she can lean on you for support if needed.

How are you encouraging your loved ones to enjoy math, science, and technology? Please share with the curly community.

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How to Decide if That Product is Worth the $$$

In the world of curly hair, there are so many products to choose from. Nowadays, it seems like there are products released every month filled with promises such as defining curls, preventing shrinkage and providing long-lasting moisture. At times, it can be overwhelming finding a product that works for your hair type and you may feel the need to purchase every single product. So, how do you determine which products are worth trying without breaking the bank?

Ask yourself , what are the ingredients? What does my hair need? There have only been a few times when I exceeded my pricing threshold with products. Why? Because the products had quality ingredients and that was a major selling point for me.

How much does it cost?

Price is a factor when it comes to purchasing products. I enjoy using quality products that don’t break the bank, so I give myself a general threshold for my hair products. The maximum amount that I will spend is $20. If I am interested in a product that is more than that, I will have to ask myself the following questions:

  • What is the quantity, does the price reflect the size?

  • Do you have anything similar in your current inventory?
  • Does this product have what your hair needs?
  • Are the ingredients compatible with your hair texture and skin?

What do other curlies think?

Reviews can be helpful when you are not sure if you should purchase a product. I prefer selecting reviews from curlies that have the same hair type as mine. I am able to relate to the review more since our curls are similar and the product may respond to my hair the same way. I really enjoy detail orientated videos, tutorials and written reviews.

What makes this brand stand out?

Brand reputation is also an aspect when I am purchasing a new product. In my current inventory, I usually purchase products from the same brands because they help my hair thrive. When purchasing your products, think about you recent patterns. Are you purchasing from the same brands? Why do you enjoy this brand? What makes this brand stand out from others? For my products, I enjoy purchasing from a handful of brands due to ingredient selection, quantity of product, and accessibility to their product.

I am currently in my 4th year of my natural hair journey and I’m thrilled that my product junkie days are over. After much trial of error, I finally learned which new products are worth trying for my curls. 

Here are a few of my favorite products that work on my hair (Type 4″>:

Are you a product junkie? How do you distinguish if a product is worth trying?

Please share with the curly community.