Search Results: Sabrina Perkins

Tips for Soothing a Tender-Headed Child
Tips for Soothing a Tender-Headed Child
Image Source: @_family_chaos_

Maintaining the hair of a tender-headed child can be quite a challenge. You love your kids and express that love through proper guidance. Parents are the first teachers, and as you teach them self-grooming, many of those tasks fall on your shoulders when they are young, including hair maintenance.  

I vividly remember sitting between my mother’s legs as she combed, brushed, and braided my hair. I would slightly wince as I sat in my little rocking chair watching TV (this was back in the 1970s). My younger sister squirmed and cried as my mother did the same thing to her hair. Tender-headed was all my mother would say.

Image Source: @latyriab

Tender-headed means having a scalp that is sensitive to touch, especially any tension. This term is popular with little curly and coily girls, as we usually get our hair braided, combed, and brushed.

There are some tender-headed women, but most have worked through it with simpler hairstyles that require little manipulation. However, with children, there is no easy solution. Sad to say, many mothers are callous to their children’s whines, and this can cause a negative and excruciating experience.

No one wants painful memories, so here are some tips to make the experience less damaging to the hair and her spirit.

Distraction

Image Source: @thelovelystar

This was my trick with my daughter when she was younger, and I needed to wash her hair. Each time I laid her on the kitchen counter to wash her hair in the sink, she hated it and cried. My solution? I began singing “Jingle Bells” and made her sing with me. It was a huge success! Before the wash session, she had a tear-stained face, singing at the top of her lungs and smiling at me. It was extraordinary as we repeated the song until her hair was done.

Distracting your child is a big part of being a parent, whether at the doctor getting vaccinations or hiding their toys before Christmas morning. It’s our job to distract them as they cannot always understand or deal with some of the realities of the world. Having them blow bubbles or sing along to their favorite DVD are just a few ways to get them to forget, even for a moment, that what they are doing is not fun. If you’re lucky, they may start to associate hairstyling with something fun!

Use great detangling products

Tips for Soothing a Tender-Headed Child

Whether washing, conditioning, or styling, use water-based products and help your fingers or wide-tooth comb glide through the hair. It’s worth the extra money (if they cost more) to prevent your child from wincing and crying during detangling sessions. If shampoos leave her hair in dry tangles, try a gentler brand or a cleansing conditioner.

Try styles that tend to last longer

Tips for Soothing a Tender-Headed Child
Image Source: @k.a.i.a_3

Braids are a great style for tender-headed children. Sounds like just the opposite? Well, not really if you do not braid too tightly and understand that moisturizing and wrapping the braids in a satin scarf at night is the only maintenance needed. She may be willing to sit a little longer and not whine if she knows this happens once a week or once every two weeks. She’ll enjoy the breaks in between.

Be gentle and use proper tools

Take time when combing, brushing, or braiding your child’s hair. Sometimes, we rush to get out of the house or get them off to bed, but in our haste, we tend to be rougher and can create a harder experience for our children.

Image Source: @herbs_nlather

Take your time and use the proper tools (wide tooth comb, tangle teezer, etc.) so you have minimal tears streaming down your face and hair in the comb. We want their hair to stay a positive component within their childhood, so take extra steps to ensure it stays that way by being gentle to their beautiful tresses, and they will follow suit into adulthood.

A Post-Swim Routine That Will Protect Your Hair from Chlorine

Summer is almost here, and that means warmer temperatures, summer vacations, road trips, and summer camps. For many curly girls like my daughter, who’s a camp counselor, she has to find fun things for the kids to do every day. One of the biggest and best is always swimming.

A Post-Swim Routine That Will Protect Your Hair from Chlorine
Image Source: @ash.karat

Swimming is one of the best parts of summer, and while many of us only go a few times throughout the entire summer, some curlies have to take a dip in a chlorine bath every day. That is a load of harsh chemicals, heat, and sun for two or three months, and our NaturallyCurly community is finding itself in dire need of some help. 

Question

How do I keep my hair from drying while swimming every day? I work at a camp and have to swim every day, and wearing a shower cap is not an option. I am scared my hair is going to get so dry! Are there any options that I can do that will still get the chlorine out?

Answer

With as much exposure to sun, heat, and chlorine as you are getting, you will need to work harder than the average swimmer this summer. You will need to prepare your hair before the swim and care for it after to ensure you keep dryness at bay.

Wet and coat your hair with a conditioner (cheap ones work just fine) or coconut oil to prevent it from absorbing too much chlorinated water. Then, you can focus on a post-swim routine that will keep your hair gorgeous and won’t take much time out of your schedule.

Use a Chlorine-Fighting Shampoo

A Post-Swim Routine That Will Protect Your Hair from Chlorine

You must wash your hair after swimming to remove the chlorine and mineral buildup. This may require a shampoo with sulfates, EDTA or phytic acid. Curly favorites Ouidad Water WorksEDEN BodyWorks Peppermint Tea Tree Shampoo and Kinky Curly Come Clean contain sulfates, EDTA and phytic acid respectively.

A Post-Swim Routine That Will Protect Your Hair from Chlorine

You can also find shampoos specifically designed for swimmers, like Babo Botanicals Swim & Sport Citrus Mint & Passion Fruit Shampoo or Malibu Hair Treatment for Swimmers.

Put That Moisture Back Into Your Strands

A Post-Swim Routine That Will Protect Your Hair from Chlorine
Image Source: @chandacosta

With all the chlorine, sun and cleansing you have to replenish your strands and give them some real love nightly. Here you want to use products that will hydrate as well as soften and deter tangles like SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Leave-in Conditioner, which is a reparative leave-in that will soften, detangle and control your frizz.

Weekly or Bi-weekly hot Oil Treatments

Image Source: @chineykpopgirl

Your hair will be taking a beating with all the chlorine, and one way to rejuvenate it is to take weekly or bi-weekly hot oil treatments. They will not only help your strands but also help your scalp, which will be taking a beating just as much as your hair.

Coconut Oil Hair Mask

@studioanna

Quick diy hair mask (packed with moisture💦) you can do with things around your home🤍 Conditioner (perferably deep), eggs, & your favorite oils or even cooking coconut/extra virgin olive oil! ✨ #beauty #cute #curlyhair #curls #naturalhair #hairmask #diy

♬ Originalton – </3
Image Source: @studioanna
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • Plastic cap
  • Small microwave bowl
  • Plastic squeeze bottle (optional)

Combine oil and honey in a small bowl and mix gently before warming for 30-45 seconds in the microwave. Apply starting at the tips of the hair and working up towards the scalp. Once fully coated, place hair in a plastic cap for 10-15 min. Rinse out of hair and cleanse as usual.

This is just one of several hot oil treatments that will combat dryness from all the swimming you will do this summer. Applying it weekly, bi-weekly, or even a couple of times a week (if you find you have severe dryness) will help to keep your strands healthy and soft.

Enlist an Awesome Deep Conditioner

A Post-Swim Routine That Will Protect Your Hair from Chlorine

Deep conditioning should be done after every shampoo to close the hair shaft. Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Strengthening Hair Masque is a great one for deep conditioning, as it is an intensive antioxidant-rich product that will restore any dryness caused by avid swimming.

A pre-poo before your weekly or bi-monthly cleansing would help restore those strands and get them ready for cleansing is good to like Darshana Natural Indian Hair Oil.

Top 15 Curly Hair Serums

Most curlies and coilies have a love/hate relationship with silicones. They can weigh down your hair and even create buildup. I tend to steer clear of them, but sometimes, they are necessary and come in handy. Hair serums are silicone-based products that sit on top of the hair instead of oils that penetrate the hair shaft. Some of the serums in this list are silicone-free and alcohol-free, so don’t dismiss the list quite yet.

The variety of serums has increased, so I don’t think they all do the same thing. Some are for making your hair shiny, while others are for protecting your hair when you apply heat. They even have some that protect your hair from the sun’s UV rays and humidity. They protect in various ways, and they will make you rethink your reasons for steering clear of silicones.

Check out these serums to protect your hair during the summer.

1. CURLSMITH – Intense Treatment Serum

Top 15 Curly Hair Serums

It’s time to get intense about your haircare. Formulated with shea butter, avocado oil, and olive oil, you get a blended treatment as a leave-in treatment serum and wash-off treatment. Dry, dull, lackluster hair deserves this ultra-posh treatment.

2. Maui Moisture Scalp Care Soothe & Strengthen Hair Serum with Rosemary Oil

Top 15 Curly Hair Serums

Here is a high-gloss elixir fortified with tea tree, spearmint, eucalyptus, and aloe vera to help out your worn-out strands. Your hair will get a rich scalp treatment that transforms your hair into a manageable mane.

3. COLOR WOW Flo-etry Vital Natural Serum – With Naked Technology

Top 15 Curly Hair Serums

Dry scalp is so last year! This elixir mimics the hair’s natural oils to instantly plump and moisturize dry curls. The Profaxil-18 complex helps disperse oils throughout your hair strands, creating weightless, non-oily results.

4. Pantene Gold Series New Lengths Anti-Breakage Defense Serum

Top 15 Curly Hair Serums

Scalp care is a necessity for curlies to decrease the likelihood of experiencing breakage, dry hair, and frizz. This strengthening and protecting serum will control frizz, improve your hair’s health, and protect it from heat. This product is formulated with apricot oil that can also help with psoriasis and improve hair strength.

5. Mixed Chicks Straightening Serum

Top 15 Curly Hair Serums

Curlies want to be straight sometimes, too, and with this straightening serum, it can be possible. It’s made to keep your tresses straight and smooth with a wicked humidity-resistant formula that even halts your drying time. All you are left with is sleeker hair.

6. DevaCurl CURLBOND™ Re-Coiling Split End Serum

Top 15 Curly Hair Serums

Here is a featherlight serum that helps seal split ends, reduce frizz, and help re-link broken bonds. DevaCurl’s ingredients help improve damaged hair and repair future damage.

7. tgin Miracle RepaiRx Anti-Breakage Serum

Top 15 Curly Hair Serums

If your curls are in distress, then they need the Miracle RepaiRx Anti-Breakage Serum to bring them back to life. A sulfate, paraben, phthalate, and sodium-free serum/cream that’s chock-full of natural ingredients from all over the world. Retain more moisture, fight frizz, and reactivate your curls with this wonder in a bottle.

8. OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum

Top 15 Curly Hair Serums

Try this weightless serum containing coconut oils, silk, and keratin proteins. Together, they create a masterful silk repair therapy to refresh, moisturize, and nourish your thirsty strands. Treat your damaged, chemically treated hair with the serum it needs.

9. Kristin Ess Hair Weightless Shine Working Hair Serum for Dry Damaged Hair

Top 15 Curly Hair Serums

This serum will leave your hair softer, sleeker, and shinier than you’ve ever experienced. Prevent frizz by using daily and capitalize off this moisturizing condition serum that is made with an exotic blend of components.

10. Biosilk Silk Therapy

Top 15 Curly Hair Serums

BioSilk Silk Therapy is the hair therapy that reconstructs, reinforces, and revitalizes your tresses. It’s great on wet or dry hair and has hydrolyzed silk proteins for strength and shine. It is made with 17 amino acids that penetrate and aid in protecting and improving your hair.

11. Oyin Handmade Shine and Define

Top 15 Curly Hair Serums

You want the shine and definition that won’t strip the moisture of your strands like some alcohols will. This shine and define styling serum is formulated with vegetable sources to moisturize and soften your strands. A nourishing, soft, creamy serum filled with herbal infusions, aloe vera, flax seed extract, and all the goodness to give your hair what it thirsts for.

12. Olaplex No. 9 Bond Protector Nourishing Hair Serum

Top 15 Curly Hair Serums

This patented nourishing hair serum is a silicone-free antioxidant that instantly shields hair from pollution and protects against heat damage.

13. Moroccanoil Intense Smoothing Frizz Control Serum

Top 15 Curly Hair Serums

Morrocan Oil is great for shine, smoothness, and protection without sticky or weighty build-up. This serum is alcohol-free and will fight the frizzies and split ends with a vengeance. The moisturizing ingredients will work wonders on your overstressed tresses.

14. Aveda Elements Smoothing Fluid

Top 15 Curly Hair Serums

Aveda brought the good stuff with this fluid styling formula that will bring movement and shine to your distressed strands. This is formulated with plant-based ingredients that condition and smooth your hair while staying weightless. You’ll be left with soft, touchable hair.

15. The Body Shop Grapeseed Glossing Serum

Top 15 Curly Hair Serums

Here is a glossy serum made to add shine to your hair. This is great for moisture retention that otherwise gets lost during washing. It’s perfect for dry, dull tresses but remember a little goes a long way.

7 Leave-in Conditioners That Aren’t Too Heavy for Fine Hair

Carrying the world’s weight on our shoulders may be our burden, but not everyone wants the weight of a product on their curls. Some curlies have fine or thin hair, and heavier products just sit on their curls. This is a common problem since long curly hair tends to be weighed down, so adding a heavy product makes the problem even worse.

Question

What leave-in do you think would be good for me? I’ve been using Kinky-Curly Knot Today for a couple of years now. I like it, but sometimes it’s too heavy for my hair. Could anyone recommend a similar alternative that’s just a little thinner?

Answer

Leave-in conditioners tend to be thinner than daily conditioners. Rinse-out conditioners will coat the hair because their primary use is to combat the stresses of the shampoo, moisturize, and detangle. Leave-in conditioners are created for daily use for hydration and reduced friction. There are differences in leave-in conditioners, just like there are differences in all conditioners, and while they are lighter than regular conditioners, some are just not light enough.

One quick and easy way to solve the problem is to add water to your current leave-in to thin it out, and that may be all you need.

If you are just in the market for something new, we’ve listed five lightweight and may fare better for your hair.

1. OUAI Fine Hair Conditioner

7 Leave-in Conditioners That Aren’t Too Heavy for Fine Hair

This leave-in conditioner is a lightweight favorite among many curlies because it is not only lightweight but also extra moisturizing. It detangles and defines without a lot of fuss.

2. Maui Moisture Lightweight Curls + Flaxseed Conditioner

7 Leave-in Conditioners That Aren’t Too Heavy for Fine Hair

Another favorite of the lightweight lovers, Maui Moisture hair care uses the power of citrus oil and flaxseed conditioner for the ultimate curl enhancement and deep hydration. This is a leave-in conditioner or a rinse-out conditioner with natural oils and proteins to replenish lipid content while being safe for color-treated hair.

3. WEIGHTLESS HYDRATION ACONDICIONADOR DE CUPUAÇU FOR FINE/THIN HAIR

7 Leave-in Conditioners That Aren’t Too Heavy for Fine Hair

Creamy yet lightweight, this refreshing leave-in conditioner blends vegan keratin, cupuacu butter, and castor oil to quench tangled and moisture-deprived curls. Daily, it will transfer dull, lifeless strands into shiny, detangled curls.

4. It’s a 10 Haircare Miracle Leave-In Lite

7 Leave-in Conditioners That Aren’t Too Heavy for Fine Hair

Detangle, hydrate, and protect with this weightless detangler. It seals and will protect hair with lightweight ingredients that prevents split ends and breakage. This leave-in conditioner is a lightweight mist with the power to protect.

5. Marc Anthony Leave-In Conditioner Spray

7 Leave-in Conditioners That Aren’t Too Heavy for Fine Hair

Say hello to a ultra-rich leave-in conditioner that is infused with biotin, extra virgin coconut oil, and shea butter to help restore moisture and damaged hair. This line is great for nourishment, hydration, and helping to reduce frizz, split ends, and breakage with a power packed formula.

6. UNITE Hair 7SECONDS Detangler Leave-In Conditioner

7 Leave-in Conditioners That Aren’t Too Heavy for Fine Hair

This ultra-light formula is a favorite among curly girls, and rightfully so, since it is a truly moisturizing leave-in conditioner. It nourishes and detangles while breathing life into your dry, stressed curls.

7. milk_shake Leave-In Conditioner Detangler Spray for Natural Hair

7 Leave-in Conditioners That Aren’t Too Heavy for Fine Hair

This leave-in conditiner spray is hydrating, conditioning and super lightweight for fine hair textures. The blend of fruit extract and honey help to keep frizz under control without weighing down the hair. It can be applied evenly over clean or damp hair and styled as desired.

Create a DIY leave-in conditioner

An easy way to use what you love but make it work better is to alter your regular or leave-in conditioner a tad. Get a clean and empty spray bottle, add a small amount of your favorite conditioner, olive oil, jojoba oil, or almond oil, a few drops of your favorite essential oil, and fill the rest with spring or distilled water. Shake it up and give it a try. Tweak to your liking, you may have created the best and lightest leave-in conditioner for your hair.

Which leave-in conditioner do you plan to add to your routine? Let us know in the comments.

Don’t Scratch, Scrub: 5 Scalp Scrub Recipes

Many women go into exfoliating overdrive with loofahs, body brushes, exfoliating gloves, and their hands, removing dead skin cells to make their bodies softer, anew, and glowing. While we ensure our bodies are exfoliated from head to toe, we are missing a vital part that needs it just as much as the rest: our scalp

Why do you need to exfoliate your scalp?

As many curlies, wavies, and coilies use less shampoo to combat dryness and tangles, we may leave behind more than we bargained for. Dirt, oil, and product buildup are not exclusive to your strands. Livestrong says they can clog up the pores in your scalp just as easily as anywhere else on your body.

Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp, and as many curlies, wavies, and coilies use less shampoo to combat dryness and tangles, we may be leaving behind more than we bargained for.

Exfoliate for less

@lindseymariecolor_

It’s come to my attention that a lot of people think clarifying shampoo is a scalp exfoliator. Here’s the difference #hairtok #hairproduct

♬ original sound – Lindseymariecolor
Image Source: @lindseymariecolor_

Speaking of a bargain, many scalp exfoliating products are pricy and can be even more expensive if you go to a salon for this service. There are many clarifying shampoo formulas on the market to cleanse your hair and scalp, but to exfoliate your scalp, you may need a tad more to remove all those dead skin cells properly. The best part of scalp exfoliation is its simplicity and cheapness.

Just raid your kitchen cupboards and save yourself a few dollars!

1. Clarifying Shampoo + Cornmeal Exfoliator

Don’t Scratch, Scrub: 5 Scalp Scrub Recipes

Ingredients

Directions

Allure says to start with your favorite clarifying shampoo to properly cleanse and remove any product buildup, dirt, and oils. Mix equal parts of a mild exfoliate like cornmeal or ground almonds. Add a few drops of an essential oil like peppermint to stimulate the blood or tea tree oil, which is a natural antiseptic. Mix the ingredients in a bowl and massage the mixture into your scalp for three minutes using only your fingertips. Rinse and condition.

2. Olive Oil + Brown Sugar Exfoliator

https://www.tiktok.com/@nicole.rj/video/7058399500821548334?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id=7319876376193680927
Image Source: @nicole.rj

Ingredients

Directions

Combine both ingredients into a bowl and massage into your scalp with your fingertips for about three minutes prior to cleansing your hair. Rinse, cleanse, and condition as usual. This recipe and the one below come from Livestrong.

3. Brown Sugar + Conditioner Exfoliator

Don’t Scratch, Scrub: 5 Scalp Scrub Recipes

Ingredients

Directions

Combine ingredients in a bowl and massage it into your scalp with your fingertips for about three minutes prior to cleansing your tresses. Rinse, cleanse, and condition as usual.

scalp scrub
Photo by Arwin Neil Baichoo on Unsplash

4. Honey + Olive Oil & Sugar Exfoliator

Image Source: @official_jasminejohnson

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. organic honey
  • 1 ½ tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. brown or white sugar

Directions

Combine these ingredients in a small bowl and apply to your scalp with your fingertips. Massage in circular motions for about three minutes. Rinse, cleanse, and condition as usual.

5. Aspirin + Warm Water & Toothbrush Exfoliator

Ingredients

  • 6-8 aspirin
  • 4 tbsp. warm water

Directions

Place aspirin tablets in a bowl. Hair loss specialist Dr. Serkan Aygin says aspirins contain salicylic acid, which is great for acne and exfoliating skin. Next, pour warm water to dissolve the tablets. Use a toothbrush to stir the mixture and apply it to your scalp. Part your hair and gently scrub all of the scalp areas. Rinse, cleanse, and condition as usual. 

What are your favorite scalp scrubs?

This article has been updated from its original publishing date in 2022.

10 Ways to Respond to Negative Hair Comments

Although the natural hair movement is receiving widespread attention, it is not accepted by all. Some have averse feelings and claim it to be unprofessional and unaesthetic. Descriptions like “nappy” are still being referenced. While some are reclaiming it, others still associate the word with its original negative connotation, which tends to be further reinforced by the nuance of the speakers.

It meant our hair wasn’t up to par with beauty standards and, therefore, unacceptable. It meant we needed to alter our hair texture to assimilate to the Eurocentric standard and be like everyone else. Well, everyone else is taken, so it’s time to be like ourselves and not apologize for the honor.

We are in a culture where everyone feels they have a right to say whatever they want to whomever they please, and sometimes (oftentimes) it’s tactless and malevolent.

We will break down common hair comments we’ve all heard at once and how to respond to them.

1. “Why do you want to know?”

Image Source: @starterlocqueen

When someone asks, “Why do you wear your hair like ‘that’?” Just smile and ask, “Why do you want to know?” Most people don’t realize they’re being rude, and when you challenge the question, they tend to become aware and retreat.

2. “Why do you wear your hair like that?”

Another response is, “First, tell me why you wear your hair like that?” Retort the question and see if they like being questioned about a personal choice that everyone is entitled to. They will probably say they chose their style because it was flattering and befitting, and you can offer the same response. Believe me, it works.

3. “That’s your opinion, and I have mine.”

If you ask me, this is the perfect answer. It’s short, to the point, and causes most to fall back. It may seem not polite, but that’s the truth. We would not be in this predicament if they did not initiate being rude.

4. Ignore

I don’t think irresponsibility is the best decision because the person may not get the hint. Sometimes no response is perceived as consent to continue, but in some situations or circles it’s appropriate to ignore it…if you can.

@reannemechele

Like please keep it to yourself, not everything needs to be said #naturalhair #foryou

♬ original sound – R E A N N E
Image Source: @reannemechele

5. The stare

A long, non-blinking stare is enough to unnerve a strong-willed person. Most will get the hint that you are not acknowledging their remark and realize they have crossed a line. Even though nothing is being said, there is a sense of beautiful communication.

6. “I wear my hair as I like and not to be accepted by others.”

That’s the truth, and if your significant other loves your hair, you should also mention that. We are entitled to do what we want with our bodies and not care what others think!  

10 Ways to Respond to Negative Hair Comments
Image Source: @melaninmichie

7. “I like celebrating a unique part of my heritage.”

If you want to ward off many, this will be the one! Most don’t want to discuss heritage, ancestry, or culture, and as a result, they will immediately feel bad about not being socially conscious. It’s also a way to enlighten others on what you value, which could then lead to more understanding and acceptance. 

8. “My natural hair makes me beautiful.”

Loving yourself is never the wrong answer. 

9. “Sorry you feel that way, but I like it!”

There are many situations that call for this politically correct answer. It lets them know how you feel while also acknowledging their feelings. Hey, it’s the best of both worlds.

10 Ways to Respond to Negative Hair Comments
Image Source: @leniza_evy

10. “Screw you!”

This would not be a real list if this was not on here. Some people can be aggressively nasty and rude and no one has a right to make you feel bad about your body. This may not be the most kind response but I guarantee you will feel so much better after you say it.

Sabrina, founder of seriouslynatural.org and contributor to several online publications, is a freelance writer who engages her audiences on the relevance of natural hair, beauty, and style.

5 Steps to Prep Your Hair for Bleaching

Going blonde is fun, but it is not without its risks to the health of your hair. That goes double for anyone thinking about bleaching hair that is naturally curly, coily or wavy, or hair that has been chemically processed or colored frequently. You need to prepare your hair before color processing, and the preparation is often the difference between minimal damage and severe damage.

Get a color consultation

Image Source: @radicallycurlysalon

This is important because the stylist needs to see the condition of your hair and determine how much bleach is needed to get the desired color you want. A good colorist will tell you directly and inform you of what is going to happen during and after the color session. They may also have some specific tips and products to use before and after bleaching and when it will be time for a touch-up. This is a vital step and should not be overlooked or skipped and a good colorist will insist on it.

Read more: 4 Signs You Need to Walk Out of a Salon

Pump up your hair’s moisture

Image Source: @hairbynay247

The bleaching process is harsh, and the biggest problem you will face afterward is moisture retention. Bleach dries out your hair, and many suffer from straw-like strands that are brittle, frizzy, and dry. Using moisturizing shampoos, conditioners, and treatments before the appointment will help hair get into the best possible condition, which is necessary.

Don’t shampoo hair a few days prior to bleaching

5 Steps to Prep Your Hair for Bleaching
Image Source: @dye_me_a_river

There is this common misconception that dirty hair will not bleach properly, but according to American Board Certified hair colorist and hairstylist Monaè Everett that is simply not true: 

“While the natural oils produced in the hair act as a very thin buffer between the hair strands and the bleach, it is actually healthier for the hair to be dirty and have a little oil on the shaft. I have never seen hair with a normal amount of oil on the shaft not be able to be lighting with bleach. Also keep in mind that many of the top hair color lines add essential oils to their hair bleach in order to help keep the hair healthy while lightening.”

Not only is this not true, but the natural oils in your hair actually help coat the scalp and make the bleaching session less painful. When you wash your hair the day of or even the day before, you remove barriers from it, making your scalp susceptible to irritation from chemical processing.

Reduce your heating tools about one week prior to bleaching

5 Steps to Prep Your Hair for Bleaching

Eliminate heat a few days to the appointment. Heat styling could cause heat damage or, at the very least, dryness. You want your hair as moisturized and healthy as possible to combat damage that may or may not occur during the bleaching session.

Buy products specifically for bleached or color-treated hair

5 Steps to Prep Your Hair for Bleaching

These products are specifically created to prolong hair and prevent fading. They also contain extra moisturizers, proteins, and ceramides to keep hair healthier and stronger. Ask your colorist if they are using Olaplex with your color. It is a bond rebuilder that gets added to bleach and allows the color to be truer without compromising the integrity of your hair.

5 Ways You’re Damaging Your Locs

Locs is short for dreadlocks and replaces the word since many feel that the term dreadlocks carries a negative connotation. Locs are matted hair that can be organic or manicured and maintained regularly. One of the biggest misconceptions about locs is that they are neglected and never cleaned, but they must be cleansed weekly, and a lot of work goes into them. They can be free-forming, where they freely loc, or they can be formed through various methods that allow the wearer to control the shape and thickness.  

While others think locs are simple to master, others know there is real work to be done to maintain healthy locs. There are do’s and don’ts just like any other hairstyle, and then there are serious nevers that need to be instilled in the loc-wearer if they plan on having a positive loc hair journey. I sat down with Laurence (Fly Guy Locs), a loctician in Atlanta, to get the 411 on the top five things not to do with your locs.

1. Never Use Petroleum Products

5 Ways You’re Damaging Your Locs

Petroleum is your locs’ worst enemy! The whole purpose of locs is for them to lock, and petroleum has the very opposite effect. It is very greasy, causes your locs to fall apart, and slows the locking process. It is the worst for forming locs, so beware of some so-called dread or loc wax products because they may be using petroleum as the main ingredient.

Image Source: @maya.grantt

Petroleum leaves a residue behind, which is unwelcome because locs like to hold stuff. With unlocked hair, you can brush out or comb out the debris or dirt, but with locs, you cannot remove it easily. That causes the residue to build up and potentially mold. The residue will also lubricate the locs, so the knots will not tighten as much as they could without the residue. This is why using a good shampoo that will remove all residue is crucial in keeping locs clean and healthy.

2. Never Style Locs Too Tight

5 Ways You’re Damaging Your Locs
Image Source: @afroveydiac

Laurence is adamant about this, as many loc wearers love the intricate styles that can be created with locs that could potentially put undue added tension on the hair and cause thinning and traction alopecia, especially on the edges.

Laurence says, “Edges are the weakest point of the scalp. If you pull those locs too tightly, the edges are the first to go.” That is why you see many loc wearers with deep receding hairlines or bald edges.

This is a tidbit for all naturals, as tight styles will result in the same outcome, especially for braids, sew-in weaves, or lace-front wigs. Tighter styles may allow the wig to last longer, but your edges may suffer.

3. Never Sleep on Anything but Silk or Satin

5 Ways You’re Damaging Your Locs
Image Source: @curlfriend.collective

Laurence says sleeping on cotton sheets or pillowcases is detrimental to the hair. “Just look under a microscope at a cotton sheet. It looks like a cheese grater and will slice your locs up!” It will also rob your locs of moisture.

Protect your locs under hats with a silk or stain lining or a satin or silk bonnet or scarf. Wearing a silk or satin bonnet or scarf at night or sleeping on a silk or satin pillowcase is the best way to sleep with your locs and keep them protected.

4. Never Color Your Hair Yourself

5 Ways You’re Damaging Your Locs
Image Source: @niecey.locs

That means using a professional. If you are a professional stylist, then by all means, do it yourself, but Laurence warns of the dangers of coloring your locs when you do not have the training. He discusses how many loc wearers over-process their hair, trying to get blonder blondes or redder reds by keeping the developer on longer than required.

Another problem many face doing their color is a lack of an even color distribution because, by the time they get to the last part of their hair with the color, the first part has probably been processed longer than necessary.

He also warns of box colors and the consumer’s expectations. First, the hair color of the model on the box did not come from a box color…period. She had a professional use of professional-grade dye in a salon for her shoot.

5. Stop being so cheap!

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Many of us try to pinch a few pennies here and there, but if you plan on getting locs or maintaining them, get them done correctly and professionally. Laurence services too many people whose work he has to fix. “You cannot expect professional results sitting between your Auntie’s legs.”

Laurence is tired of seeing people who go to great lengths for the cheapest loc installations and retwisting by family members or friends who have no training but offer lower rates. They eventually end up in his chair, and he has to fix it.

He mostly sees this occurring when people start and want cheaper locs but collectively pay more because of the corrections. Look, it is your hair and your head, so if you want it done right, go to the professional to ensure you start with a good foundation.

What are some of your loc maintenance tips?

What is a Gel Cast? (And How to Break It)

We, curly girls, are a funny bunch as we easily talk in code amongst ourselves. Whether talking about a gel cast, TWA, WNG, rake and shake, or carve and slice, talking about curls can feel like its own language. If you are looking for more curl definition and less frizz, it’s time to learn about a gel cast. 

What is a gel cast?

What is a Gel Cast? (And How to Break It)
Image Source: @actuallyalicia.curls

During the drying process, after gel is applied to wet hair, the gel will harden around the curls, creating a gel cast. A cast is actually good for curl definition, but if you don’t know how to break it properly, it can be mistaken for hard hair, and you may feel you have a bad product. If you have ever felt that a gel or styling product made your curls feel “crunchy,” this was probably a cast. 

What are the benefits of a gel cast?

Image Source: @danielaapryl_

A gel cast actually helps to hold the curls in their natural formation until the hair dries while simultaneously protecting the hair from outside elements like wind, sun, and humidity. This is why we discourage touching your hair after you have styled it. The more you touch your hair, the more likely you are to disturb the curl, create frizz, and lose definition. This works best for me on wash day after I have cleaned my hair, deep conditioned it, and applied gel throughout it.

Ensure your gel has no drying alcohols so that your hair is not losing moisture. Another tip is if you have frizzier sections, pay more attention to applying the gel to every strand in those areas to fight the frizz fully.

How to scrunch out the crunch

Image Source: @honestizhere

Once your hair is dry, it is time to remove the crunch of the gel cast to release the hair from the protective barrier. Break the cast by lightly scrunching upward. I usually take my finger into my hair to reach my scalp. This helps release the gel while lifting from the scalp to heighten my hair. You can rub a few drops of your favorite light oil between your hands to keep your hands from causing friction in your hair and disturbing the curls.

You end up with softer curls and fully moisturized, frizz-free curls that can give you second-, third–, or even fourth-day hair. I cover hair with a Loc Soc (you can pineapple), spritz with some water in the morning, fluff, and go.

The Best Gels for Curls

If you’re looking for a styling gel that works, here are the best gels for curls, coils, and waves.

Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel 

What is a Gel Cast? (And How to Break It)

Best for: Wavy Type 2 

This gel is the perfect anti-humidity protector and is Curly Girl Method-friendly. Wavies love that it gives them defined, soft curls without drying them out.

Curls Sea Moss Sea Slip Mineral Infused Slime Hair Jelly

What is a Gel Cast? (And How to Break It)

Best for: Curly Type 3 

This gel is a go-to for curlies because it creates great definition and extends their wash-and-go for days. However, it will create a cast, so make sure to master your scrunching skills. 

The Doux Bee-Girl Curl Enhancer

What is a Gel Cast? (And How to Break It)

Best for: Coily Type 4

This gel also won the award for Best Gel for type 4 coily and tighter textures because of its hydrating custard formula. The super charged honey and aloe formula is great for growth, fighting frizz, and shine.

Many curlies also DIY their gel using natural ingredients like flaxseed gel, sea moss gel, and aloe gel.

Is a gel cast part of your styling routine? Let us know in the comments!

This article has been updated with new products and resources.

7 Hair Products That Are Oil-Free

Not every curly girl loves oils. We have all kinds of curly girls among us, and it is only fair we discuss the options for those who steer clear of oils in their hair products. Sometimes, the ingredients in those products will agitate the skin, whether it is on the scalp, face, neck, or the rest of your body.

Many have nut, soy, dairy, or gluten allergies, and ingesting them is not the only way to come into contact with them, nor is it the only way they can affect someone allergic to them, and if you have small children, accidentally ingesting hair products is not unheard of during wash day. 

@naomiscurlyclub

Replying to @Kendra hey love! Heres a regimen of olive-oil free products we would recommend for your daughter ♥️ #naturalhair #naturalhairtok #naturalhairtiktok #naturalhairstyles

♬ New To You – Calvin Harris & Normani & Tinashe & Offset
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Brands are becoming more diligent in finding ways to accommodate consumers with certain allergies, which can also help the curly girl who chooses to steer clear of certain ingredients. Hair products can be just as effective in creating shine, fighting frizz, and strengthening hair without the beloved oils.

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Here are a few oil-free hair products for those with allergies and looser textures who crave more lightweight products.

MopTop Gentle Shampoo

7 Hair Products That Are Oil-Free

This oil-free shampoo provides salon-quality results with a light cleanse that can remove dirt, oil, and buildup. Kelly Foreman is the founder behind MopTop, who desired to create natural hair products that could help tame frizz and make curls more manageable. Your curls will love the sea botanicals and honey-infused blend that enhance your hair’s natural slip.

INNERSENSE Organic Beauty – Natural I Create Hold Styling Gel

7 Hair Products That Are Oil-Free

We love a natural styling gel that helps create a great hold and shine that can be used for any hair type and texture. Innersense incorporates hydrating ingredients like eucalyptus and rooibos tea to help increase flexibility and strength. As a honey-based styling gel, your curls, coils, and waves will love the definition, hold, and shine.

Kinky Curly Come Clean Natural Moisturizing Shampoo Sulfate Free

7 Hair Products That Are Oil-Free

Kinky-Curly’s Come Clean Shampoo is specially designed to remove hard-water materials, leaving your hair and scalp feeling clean and moisturized. This shampoo is free of alcohol, sodium-lauryl-sulfate, and parabens, making it gentle enough to use daily. The subtle infusion of mandarin orange extract and sea kelp will ensure your hair is fresh and smelling great.

The Doux Mousse Define Texture Foam

7 Hair Products That Are Oil-Free

This defining mousse won’t weigh down your curls with oils or silicones. It has the perfect blend of hold that will give your curls and coils lots of volume without any crunch or flaking. The natural humectants and silk protein are fantastic for keeping humidity away and creating a touchable hold.

Not Your Mother’s Naturals Weightless Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner Set – (Coconut Water & Blue Sea Kale)

7 Hair Products That Are Oil-Free

You get two for one with this Not Your Mother’s combo pack! The coconut water and sea kelp ingredients help to gently cleanse and hydrate your curls without weighing your hair down. Your curls will love the weightless hydration as a cruelty-free, sulfate-free, and vegan line.

Living Proof No Frizz Nourishing Styling Cream 

7 Hair Products That Are Oil-Free

Living Proof is back again with another oil-free asset to your hair arsenal. Fight frizz without oils or silicones with rich conditioning and smoothing styler with the impressive OFPMA ingredient.

The Right Rollers for Every Hairstyle & Curl Pattern

Hair rollers are used to achieve curls and waves without using a curling iron or wand. There are different types of rollers, including heated, and they vary in length and width. Many who use hair rollers love the lasting hold they give, especially when creating a wet set. Roller sets also give volume to your tresses and a uniform look if you have different types of curls on your head. 

Many often believe that curly-haired women do not want or need rollers, but that could not be further from the truth! Curly girls use hair rollers for the same reasons straight-haired women do: for a uniform, sleek, curly style that lasts. Also, women with coily hair can use them to loosen their curls, and women with looser curls and waves can use rollers to achieve tighter curls.

There are several ways to curl your hair, but rollers seem to give smoothness like no other curling tool, and the type of roller to use depends on your curl pattern, length, and desired look. If you have hair on your head, we can find a roller that will give you the style you crave.

Cold Wave Rods or Perm Rods

Image Source: @_harrisjanae_

Most associated with older women opting for curly perms, perm rods are a big hit with the naturals because they offer numerous styles. They come in several sizes, from the thickest rods to give loose curls to the smallest rods, giving the tightest curls possible. The thin ones are great for curly styles when your hair is in the teeny weeny afro (TWA) stage. They are easy to use because you curl your hair around the rod and then secure it with the rubber banded tip. They are great for a twist and curl, curly fro, and just a traditional roller set. These perm rods can actually be used on natural or relaxed tresses.

Flexi Rods

The Right Rollers for Every Hairstyle & Curl Pattern
Image Source: @mskarendavis

Flexi rods are long, flexible, cushioned rods designed to create spiral curls without pins, clips, or pain. They give consistent, sleek, bouncy spiral curls, although it may take some time to get used to them with their odd shape. These should be used on wet, detangled hair to get the best look, especially tighter-coiled textures. You section the hair into 1-inch sections and wrap the hair around the flexi rod, rolling the rod up toward the scalp. The tighter the desired curl, the smaller the section, and the opposite is true for bigger curls. They do come in varying widths for curl sizes.

Magnetic Rollers

Image Source: @victoriacasalinoo

These are the smooth rollers in several colors according to the size of the curl desired. They create smooth, voluminous curls but must be used on smoothed and detangled wet hair. They can be tricky to use since they require pins to stay in place and, if not properly installed, can leave wavy, curly, or bushy roots. These are sometimes used by naturals to stretch their hair as a preparation for straightening or a substitute for straightening. You want to use the biggest rollers that work for your length to achieve the best results.

Curlformers

The Right Rollers for Every Hairstyle & Curl Pattern
Image Source: curlybelle_co

The newest and revolutionary curling tool created in 2008, Curlformers are orange and pink aerated tubes with a hook rod for installation. They create barrel curls that are smooth, sleek, and great for curly girls who want to rock spiral curls. Naturals have fallen in love with these hair rollers, and although it may seem intimidating at first to use (the hook is long), the hair is not damaged if you use the hook correctly. You get better with each application, and the hair is smooth and curled into a spiral or barrel curl perfectly. One of the best parts of this is the ends of your hair (if fully encased in the Curlformer) are smooth and not frayed.   

Velcro Rollers

The Right Rollers for Every Hairstyle & Curl Pattern
Image Source: @shope_nepal

They sound painful but are great for the coarse, wavy ladies. This roller is also perfect for short hair, and when used correctly, it will not damage your tresses. Just remember always gently to unroll them until they release all the hair and they can be used on damp or dry hair.

Heated or Steam Rollers

Image Source: @keyunah_01

Great for quick fixes and all hair types. Heated rollers just need to be heated up and then applied, but if taken out when completely cold, they can get entangled in your tresses. Trying the steam rollers may be a better option since they are better for your hair but take longer to heat up. They are available in varying diameters and used on dry hair to create long-lasting curls and minimize frizz. Heated and steam rollers are still better than curling wands and irons.

Which are your favorite hair rollers? Let us know in the comments!

Does the Tingle Mean It’s Working? Or Irritating Your Skin

“The tingle means it’s working.” Have you ever heard that before? Two tingling oils that are popular with curly girls are peppermint oil and tea tree oil, and while they both sound like great natural oils to use for hair and scalp, what do we actually know about their tingling effects? Let’s first find out what they are and can do.

What is peppermint oil?

Does the Tingle Mean It’s Working? Or Irritating Your Skin

Peppermint oil derives from the peppermint plant, a hybrid species of spearmint and water mint. It is historically used for medicinal purposes, it has a long history in even Chinese and Japanese folk medicine. Peppermint oil contains calcium, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, and omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A and C. It is also quite useful for headaches, muscle pains, allergic reactions, itchiness, scalp, and hair.

Image Source: @aliciaanelsonn

Peppermint oil has that cooling effect that most are aware of, and with its antiseptic, regenerative, and stimulating effects, it is quite often used in relieving scalp irritations like dryness and dandruff. Those stimulating effects make it popular with hair loss sufferers for increasing blood circulation to the scalp and creating a healthier environment for hair growth.

What is tea tree oil?

Does the Tingle Mean It’s Working? Or Irritating Your Skin

Extracted from the leaves of the tea tree or Melaleuca alternifolia. This oil is known as a cure all and I have used it for gum issues and dandruff, so I am a believer in it. This natural oil is particularly effective against bacteria, fungi, and viruses and has antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial, stimulant, and cicatrisant properties. It is used for acne, toenail fungus, ringworms, psoriasis, and dandruff and can be used on small cuts.

Image Source: @angela.onuoha

Tea tree oil is excellent for hair and scalp, namely for relieving dandruff. Before I was using the CGM, I had a dandruff problem and hated using medicated shampoos. I started adding a few drops of tea tree oil to my palm when using my regular shampoo. Tea tree oil also has stimulating properties, which help increase blood flow to the scalp and create a healthy environment for hair growth. Just like peppermint, it has that cooling or tingling feeling when used on the scalp and hair. It is one of the natural oils quite often used for removing lice and soothing dry flaking scalps.

Is the tingling stimulating or irritating?

According to American Board Certified hair colorist and hairstylist Monaé Everett:

Does the Tingle Mean It’s Working? Or Irritating Your Skin

“Peppermint and tea tree oils are highly concentrated essential oils and it is suggested that carrier oils are used to dilute them. If applied to the skin or scalp alone, the tingling sensation could be a sign of irritation. So test your level of sensitivity to the oils first. Otherwise, the tingling feeling these oils create when diluted properly is a result of the antiseptic and stimulating properties of the oils.”

It is not advised to use peppermint or tea tree oils without diluting them in a carrier oil or product such as a conditioner unless instructed by a physician or cosmetologist. These oils are highly concentrated and still effective when diluted with carrier oils or hair products, so using them alone is unnecessary. With peppermint oil and tea tree oil they are just as potent and advantageous in conjunction with oils and products.

Do you like hair products with a tingling sensation? If you’re interested in learning about more hair oils that can help improve your texture, read how Chiara Scuderi discusses the benefits of rosemary oil.

Top 15 Products for Low Porosity Hair

Curl patterns, density, width, and even porosity affect your tresses’ look, feel, and manageability. Even with identifying those parts of your hair, it takes trial and error to get it right, so when you discuss hair porosity with a newly natural, you can see why they immediately have a blank look on their face.

MORE: 15 Products for High Porosity Hair

You can have low, medium, or high porosity strands, and the category your tresses fall into lets you know which products are more likely to give you the best results for styles and keeping your hair healthy. Naturals with low porosity have a tightly bound cuticle layer that lays flat and can be hard for products to penetrate and get the good stuff in! Low porosity strands resist moisture and are protein-sensitive, so it is ideal to steer clear of protein or use it sparingly.

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Low porosity hair requires moisturizers rich in emollients such as shea butter, jojoba oil, and coconut oil. It also benefits from humectant products, which attract and hold moisture to your hair. Choose lighter, liquid-based products such as hair milks that won’t sit on your hair and leave it oily or greasy.

Here are 15 products that will not leave stubborn strands weighed down.

Top 15 Products for Low Porosity Hair

1. Aunt Jackie’s Curls & Coils In Control AntiPoof Moisturizing & Softening Conditioner 

Top 15 Products for Low Porosity Hair

Aunt Jackie’s is here to help tame, nourish, and deep-condition frizzy, hard-to-manage, dehydrated, brittle natural curls, coils, and waves with natural extracts and proteins. Gentle humectants moisturize and hydrate. It’s gentle enough to be used daily after shampooing or as a co-wash.

2. Mielle Organics Pomegranate & Honey Moisturizing and Detangling Shampoo

Top 15 Products for Low Porosity Hair

This ultra-moisturizing shampoo will strengthen your hair and will be left clean and with serious moisture and shine.

3. As I Am Rice Water with Forbidden Black Rice

Top 15 Products for Low Porosity Hair

This scent-free spray is great for anyone sensitive to fragrant products and wanting to avoid protein overload in their products. The dynamic formula can help promote healthy hair growth by fighting breakage.

4. Softsheen-Carson Care Free Curl Gold Instant Activator

“Softsheen-Carson

This is no longer just for the Jherri Curl! Many naturals, especially ones with low porosity, are singing the praises of curl activator for moisturizing their tresses. Never greasy or stiff, this dual conditioning product gets it’s notch on the list for its glycerin and water.

5. Carol’s Daughter Almond Milk Restoring Conditioner

Top 15 Products for Low Porosity Hair


Daily damage from heat-styling tools, coloring and even harsh environmental aggressors can leave hair extremely damaged, feeling porous and rough. Improve hair’s condition with this nourishing cream that restores weakened, over-processed hair and ends signs of damage.

6. SheaMoisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie

“SheaMoisture

Full of the good stuff, this curl smoothie will define your curls while hydrating those strands with coconut and hibiscus. This product does not contain sulfates, parabens, or phthalates, but it is full of nutrient-rich vegetable butters that will not weigh your hair down.

7. Ceremonia Guava Hydrating Leave-In Conditioner

Top 15 Products for Low Porosity Hair

This award-winning conditioner is great for low porosity hair reliever because of it’s ability to deeply hydrate and repair the hair cuticle. The cuticle opens, the hair shaft moisturizes, and you end up with healthy, smooth, manageable curls.

8. Olaplex No. 4C Bond Maintenance Clarifying Shampoo

Top 15 Products for Low Porosity Hair

Your hair will love this clarifying shampoo that removes product buildup, excess oil, hard water minerals, and heavy metals and pollutants.

9. Kinky-Curly Knot Today

“Kinky-Curly

It is a great detangler filled with a host of botanicals that are great for all hair types and has a wonderful slip. Chock-full of organic mango extract, organic slipper elm, and organic marshmallow root, it is no wonder your hair will be tangle-free within seconds.

10. Mixed Chicks Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Top 15 Products for Low Porosity Hair

Your tresses will thank you for a shampoo that is mild and won’t strip your hair of its natural oils. Mixed Chicks brings a sulfate-free shampoo that features avocado, sweet almonds, and aloe to any texture.

11. Oyin Handmade Honey Hemp Conditioner

“Oyin

This conditioner is enriched with aloe vera gel, honey, and hemp oil that has incredible slip and some serious moisturizing power. This conditioner is great as a pre-shampoo conditioning treatment and an amazing leave-in.

12. Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Hydrating Shampoo

Top 15 Products for Low Porosity Hair

Say goodbye to sulfates with a shampoo that will hydrate and cleanse the hair without stripping your hair of the natural oils you need. Rice amino acids help seal the hair cuticle and prevent frizz and humidity.

13. Naturally Drenched Rebalance

Top 15 Products for Low Porosity Hair

Every curly needs a treatment but with this gem you get a prewash curl conditioner that works as a protective shield against harmful chemicals in your hair products. Naturally Drenched uses bamboo extract and almond oil to lock in moisture and strengthen hair follicles.

14. Kreyol Essence – Rosemary Peppermint Haitian Black Castor

Top 15 Products for Low Porosity Hair

If you need a deep oil treatment then Kreyol Essence has you covered with a rosemary peppermint castor oil formula that helps to fight dandruff, alopecia, and dry scalp. This can be easily blended with your favorite conditioner or left as a hot oil treatment overnight leaving hair soft and manageable.

15. GIRL+HAIR Deep Conditioning Hair Mask Pouch

Top 15 Products for Low Porosity Hair

Low porosity hair will fall in love with this moisture hair masque that provides hydration for dry, damaged, and brittle hair. It can be used to deep condition and improve hair textures after just one use.

Have you taken the porosity test? Let us know in the comments what your results were.

Top 10 Co-Washes and Cleansing Conditioners

Naturally curly, coily, and wavy hair is like a delicate flower that is both beautiful and needs loving attention. As the weather has become cooler, many realize the importance of moisture retention by combatting the dry heat from indoors and the arctic blasts from outdoors. It is a challenge when you add wearing cotton and wool that whisk away the moisture in your hair on contact.

During this time of the year, many use cleansing conditioners to stave off the harsh results of some shampoos. Co-washing or conditioner washing cleans the hair with a botanical conditioner that tends to be gentler on textured hair. Many curlies following the Curly Girl Method (CG method) by Lorraine Massey use this method and have found it quite effective at reducing frizz and retaining moisture.

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I am not here to give shampoos a bad name, as cleansing is necessary for a healthy hair regimen. Shampoos are used for cleansing our hair, but many have harsh surfactants like sodium laurel sulfate or a blend of several surfactants, and they tend to rob the moisture from our tresses. I personally only use cleansing conditioners year-round, with a couple of exceptions for coloring my hair and a clarifying shampoo whenever necessary. Many others do the same, but this is a great time to see how your hair responds to them, even if you do not.

Now that the weather is required, we take extra care to keep our moisture intact. If you are considering it, we have a list of the top ten that are sure to please.

1. As I Am Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner

Top 10 Co-Washes and Cleansing Conditioners

One of the 2013 Best of the Best 2013 and my personal favorite, this cleansing conditioner is made with water, coconut, tangerine, fatty alcohol, cetrimonium chloride (emulsifier), and castor oil. This cleansing conditioner spreads easily, gently removes product buildup, and makes detangling a breeze. Great for color-treated hair and will retain your hair’s precious moisture.

2. tph Hustle & Co

Top 10 Co-Washes and Cleansing Conditioners

Taraji P. Henson is bringing a conditioning wash that can be used for curly and coily textures. It’s infused with olive oil, sage extract, and shea butter for a refreshing cleanse that can soften and boost hair’s manageability. Whether you want to extend your wash day and use this after shampooing or by itself for additional hydration, you’ll love the moisture in this product.

3. SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Co-Wash Conditioning Cleanser

Top 10 Co-Washes and Cleansing Conditioners

A highly favored hair care line came out with its sulfate-free conditioning cleanser with water, coconut oil, shea butter, mango seed butter, olive fruit oil, and wheat germ oil. You can remove all the impurities without stripping the hair of its necessary natural oils, reduce frizz, and leave your hair bouncy and light.

4. Aunt Jackie’s Coconut Creme Recipes Coco Wash Coconut Milk Conditioning Cleanser

Top 10 Co-Washes and Cleansing Conditioners

Aunt Jackie’s conditioning cleanser will leave your hair clean and free of impurities, while feeling touchably softer. Blended with other essential ingredients including Avocado and Shea Butter, Aunt Jackie’s Coco Wash is excellent therapy for all hair types and textures, Gentle enough to use daily.

5. OUIDAD Coil Infusion™ Drink Up Cleansing Conditioner

Top 10 Co-Washes and Cleansing Conditioners

Ouidad created a formula specially designed for coils needing moisture, slipping, and looking to reduce breakage. This multitasking formula can be used as a conditioner or a co-wash and can help strengthen hair and reduce breakage.

6. Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea Cleansing CoWash

Top 10 Co-Washes and Cleansing Conditioners

Water, aloe vera leaf juice, fatty alcohol, shea butter, and coconut oil create this sulfate-free, no suds gentle cleanser. Remove residue and buildup for a healthier hair environment. Here is a conditioner that penetrates the hair shaft to improve hair’s strength, flexibility, and hydration.

7. Flawless by Gabrielle Union – Hydrating Co-Wash Cleansing Hair Conditioner

Top 10 Co-Washes and Cleansing Conditioners

Gabrielle Union released a co-wash cleansing conditioner that can help remove dirt and product build-up with Coconut, Castor Seed, Passionfruit seed, and Rice Oils. Ingredients like coconut oil, castor seed oil, passionfruit seed oil, rice oil complex, shea butter, and marshmallow extract blend to detangle, hydrate, and condition hair.

8. Herbal Essences Naked Cleansing Conditioner

Top 10 Co-Washes and Cleansing Conditioners

Water, fatty alcohols, stearamidopropyl dimethylamine (replacement for silicones and adds slip), rosemary leaf extract, and peppermint oil make up this cleanser that will renew your senses with an herbal mint fusion. It is a low-lathering conditioner that brings nourishment and smoothness while gently cleaning and giving you touchable soft hair.

9. Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner

Top 10 Co-Washes and Cleansing Conditioners

Water, fatty alcohol, glycerin, and agave tequilana stem extract combine to make a sulfate-free gentle cleanser to wash away the impurities without giving you a tangled mess of curls and coils. Fight frizz and tangles with this incredible moisturizing cleansing conditioner.

10. The Doux One Love CoWash 

Top 10 Co-Washes and Cleansing Conditioners

Your curls, coils, and waves will thank you for this co-wash that can help detangle, cleanse, and condition hair in one wash. The Doux brings us a scalp cleanser and deep conditioning treatment that uses hydrating ingredients like jojoba and grapeseed oil to reduce friction and provide heat protection.

Which cleansing conditioner or co-wash do you plan to use this season? Let us know in the comments.

Is Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate a Sulfate?

Cleansing our hair and scalp is crucial to keeping healthy hair. No matter how well you think you care for your hair, if you are not properly removing dirt, pollutants, product buildup, and sweat, you are doing a huge disservice to your hair. Many curly girls do not care for shampoo (me included), but I know the importance of cleansing and the vast array of product options. Clays, shampoo bars, cleansing conditioners, and more are available to cleanse the hair and scalp properly, and while we need those precious oils to stave off dryness, surfactants are still necessary for cleansing. 

What is a Surfactant?

Surfactants are one of many different compounds that make up a detergent that removes dirt, product buildup, and pollutants. Their job is to break down the interface between water and oils and/or dirt. They hold the buildup or dirt in suspension to allow for removal through rinsing. As we learn more about the formulas in our favorite products, it only makes sense to discuss some of the more common ones, and we are starting with sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate.

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What is Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate?

Sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate is an anionic surfactant often found in bath, shower, and hair care cleansers. It is a mixture of long chain sulfonate salts prepared by sulfonation of C14-16 alpha olefins. It can be derived from coconut and produces a copious foam.

Read more: Top 30 Sulfate-Free Shampoos

Is Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate a Sulfate?

The name may be misleading, but sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate is not a sulfate. Sulfonate is related to but not the same as sulfates. In a sulfonate the sulfur is linked direct to a carbon atom where as a sulfate is linked directly to the carbon chain via an oxygen atom. They have similar qualities when it comes to the propensity of irritating skin, but sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate is not a sulfate.

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There’s a lot of talk about #shampoo ingredients. Here’s a quick take on 3 very common options. #garnier #sls #hairwash

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Pros

It works tremendously well. A rather strong cleansing agent with the ability for high foaming and a well-emulsifying surfactant. It is safe for personal care products that mix well with water to remove dirt, oils, and pollutants so they can be rinsed away. This is an excellent addition to clarifying shampoos.

Read more: 20 Clarifying Shampoos Gentle Enough for Damaged Hair

Cons

It can be drying and irritating for the skin and scalp, which may pose a problem for persons with sensitive skin or dry scalp and/or hair. Some curly girls find it too strong and too drying but to offset the potential for dryness or sensitivity issues, secondary surfactants are sometimes used with this agent to minimize the negative impacts on the scalp and hair. As for the consumer, a pre-poo may also combat the drying effects of this cleansing agent. Also, remember to always condition or deep condition after using a shampoo, especially a clarifying shampoo, to ensure the cuticle gets closed. An open cuticle leads to dryness, which could then lead to frizz and breakage.

The Takeaway

Sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate may have a drying effect on one’s scalp and hair, but if you need a strong cleanser to remove buildup or dirt, then this agent may be the one for you. It is a safe and excellent surfactant to use, and here are some products that have sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate formulated in it.

Top 20 Protein-Rich Products

No matter your hair type, all hair needs protein and moisture balance. The protein is called keratin, and we tend to see breakage whenever that delicate balance is off-kilter. Like anything in life, you can’t have too much of one without affecting the other, and our hair needs protein, moisture, and nutrients to stay healthy and look great.

So many obstacles are in the way of healthy hair, like pollutants, dirt, harsh chemicals, and even hard water. Keeping that balance in check needs assistance, and many naturals are quick to add moisture but rather hesitant to add protein. Protein is necessary for a healthy hair regimen to undo the damaging routines and products we’ve inflicted on our tresses. Finding the proper protein treatment depends on your hair’s needs and maintenance, so we’ve brought 20 great protein-enriched products to help your strands stay strong and damage-free.

Top 20 Protein-Rich Products

top 20 protein rich products

AG Hair Recoil Activator

This is a rich curl cream with herbal extracts and natural corn starch as well as magnesium sulfate, silk and keratin protein, and panthenol. It’s earned the coveted 5-curl rating from NaturallyCurly’s team of experts and is guaranteed to bring your curls to life in a way you haven’t experienced before with fantastic definition.

Aunt Jackie’s Curls & Coils Softening Conditioner

Tame, nourish, and deep condition frizzy, hard-to-manage, dehydrated, brittle natural curls, coils, and waves with natural extracts and proteins. Gentle humectants moisturize and hydrate. It’s an excellent restorative treatment for any type or texture, including natural, colored, relaxed, and texturized hair.

Aphogee Curlific! Texture Treatment

Wavy, Curly, or Coily hair types are more susceptible to damage than straight hair due to structure and styling resistance. This treatment restores elasticity and life to damaged, textured hair and helps eliminate hair loss due to breaks and splits.

Aphogee Hair Strengthening Kit

This kit is a convenient way to help stop hair breakage for weeks and to prepare hair for any chemical service. This two-part system strengthens with protein and then softens with moisturizers and emollients. It’s effective on even the most damaged hair, works in minutes, and lasts through multiple shampoos. Depending on hair type and care regimen benefits last 2-3 weeks per application.

Briogeo Don’t Despair Deep Conditioning Mask

Fortified with ultra-hydrating avocado, sweet almond & argan oils, strengthening keratin protein, power-conditioning rosehip oil, soothing aloe, and super hair-essential vitamins B5, D, A, E, and biotin. This unique targeted ingredient complex helps increase hair elasticity and moisture to prevent breakage, promotes healthy shine and luster, and replenishes strength.

Curlisto Stuctura Lotion

This hair lotion promotes manageability and body without stiffness and contains proteins to improve strength and pliability. It is recommended as a styling aid for hair that needs extra body, definition, and texture.

Curl Keeper Silk Conditioner (Formerly Curly Hair Solutions Silk Protein Deep Moisturizing Treatment)

Curl Keeper Silk Conditioner is a moisturizing daily conditioner with Silk Amino Acids to strengthen hair. Use daily to help your color last longer and keep your hair moisturized.

Curl Junkie Curl Rehab Treatment

Give your hair the moisture it deserves with this moisturizing deep treatment conditioner. Let your hair drink in a wonderfully rich cocktail of aloe, herbs, healing butter, and oils to rejuvenate and restore your precious curls!

DevaCurl Intense Moisture Treatment

DevaCurl Heaven In Hair is an intense moisture treatment for all curl types. Try this one out if you hair seems really dry and needs a little extra TLC. Hands down, one of my faves for my long wash days when I need to deep condition.

DevaCurl One Condition Delight

This do it all product gives the perfect amount of hydration, while also touting a super light and moisturizing formula. Made with rice proteins, lotus flower and a chia-flaxseed blend, it fights frizz, detangles, and sets you up for a defined, wavy look that lasts.

Elucence Extended Moisture Treatment

Elucence Extended Moisture Repair Treatment infuses a surge of moisture to the inner structure of the hair, fortifying weak, damaged follicles and improving elasticity and strength, leaving hair full of body and shine and helping to repair damaged ends with wheat proteins and plant polysaccharides.

Especially Hair Deep Treatment

Looking for a more straightforward solution for conditioning your hair? Try this multi-purpose deep treatment that may be a leave-in conditioner or rinse-out masque. It is ideal for all curl types, especially Types 3 and 4; it has a light citrusy scent and a honey yogurt-like consistency.

Flawless by Gabrielle Union Restoring Oil Treatment

Deeply hydrate, nourish, enhance shine, and smooth split ends with our silicone-free 5-oil blend. It absorbs quickly and smoothes rough cuticles for shinier, frizz-free hair, all thanks to its infusion of Argan, Marula, Avocado, Coconut, and Macadamia oils for strengthening, hair repair, and increased elasticity.

Genedor Beauty Superfruit Antioxidant Shampoo

Cleanse hair gently and effectively using this sulfate-free shampoo, featuring a nourishing blend of honey, proteins, goji, acai, mulberry, pomegranate, tea flower, and coffee seed extracts that penetrate the strands resulting in hair that is anti-aged, moisturized, strong, and shiny.

Honey Baby Naturals Sweet Softening Conditioner

This hair-softening conditioner utilizes a unique blend of milk Protein and honey to leave hair ultra-soft, strong, and manageable. Milk protein works to strengthen hair and help prevent breakage during combing, while the gentle formula hydrates each hair strand & binds in moisture to help maintain healthy soft hair.

Jamaican Mango & Lime Conditioner

If you have locs, this one is for you. This formula provides a firm hold and soft finish for re-twisting locs without flaking and causing build-up of traditional gels.

Coconut Restore Keratin Intensive Masque

This Repair Masque is enriched with extra virgin coconut oil and keratin to renew, rebuild & protect your hair from root to tip. The formula restores hair’s natural elasticity, helping to repair hair damage and helping seal cuticles and split ends.

OGX Anti-Breakage Weightless Healing Oil

The best defense against harsh elements and daily styling is inner strength. Rich, fortifying oil infused with keratin proteins and argan oil helps hair resist breakage while conditioning your strands and adding that extra shine.

Tropic Isle Protein Hair Conditioner

Jamaican Black Castor Oil is a great oil that will penetrate beneath the scalp to produce healthy hair follicles and increase hair growth and thickness. Try out all of the different scents they have, including Eucalyptus and lavender!

How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?

It seems simple, right? Take a shower and wash your hair daily. Wrong! Washing your hair may seem simple, but you would be surprised how many people do it incorrectly.

Washing your hair incorrectly can lead to scalp irritation, dandruff, and other scalp issues. How often someone decides to wash their hair is a personal choice, although a standard can be set according to lifestyle and hair type. I wash my hair with shampoo once every two weeks and co-wash it weekly to refresh my strands. I can do that because of the products I use and my lifestyle, but that can change with changes in my habits, too. Certain hair types and textures only require washing once a week, while others feel best when washed 2-3 times a week.

Thick, Coarse Hair or Tight Curls and Coils

How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?
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With this hair type, shampooing can be the last thing on your mind since you need to wash your hair no more than once a week or once every 2-3 weeks if your hair does not feel dirty. Daily washing is a bad idea as this would be too drying for your hair.

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Try co-washing your hair with water and conditioner or water wash to refresh between washes. Water washing means you massage your scalp using water, not shampoo, cleanser, or conditioner. Some people do this in between their co-washes and shampoos.

Medium Curls and Waves

How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?
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You can afford to shampoo once a week. If you skip a day or two, no need to worry because your curls will look great with a little refreshing. Curls can work well when they have a small amount of oil. You may need to co-wash in between shampoos if you work out frequently. You can also water wash between co-washes.

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Fine Curls and Waves

How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?
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With a fine texture, your hair may seem oily by the evening, mainly when you use styling products daily. Depending on your scalp, you may find that co-washing makes your hair appear oily the first few times you do it. Experiment with co-washing over time, and you may find that the oiliness subsides. If it’s not for you, try to prolong the time between shampoos using dry shampoos or sticking to light stylers and refreshing with water rather than a product. At the very least, reduce daily shampoos and minimize your wash days to once every 2-3 days.

Of course, your hair type is not the only contributing factor to how often you should wash your hair. For example, your porosity and your city’s water quality will also affect what might be best.

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There is never one correct answer regarding hair care – which can lead to confusion. We constantly get questions on this topic, like this one from our reader posted this question in Curly Q&A:

“How often should I wash my hair? I usually wash my hair once a week, my hair doesn’t stink, it doesn’t feel dirty, it doesn’t look dirty…..I don’t really like it. Also, I wouldn’t say I like to do anything like twisting or just anything new until the day before I wash my hair or the day I wash my hair (Saturday). So is washing it once a week necessary?” –NaturalDude

When Should You Wash?

No, washing weekly is not necessary for everyone. That weekly standard is for people who find it fits into their lifestyle. Here are three easy rules to guide you towards a wash day decision.

1. Wash when hair is dirty

There is no need for a wash day schedule just because we are used to one. Wash your hair when it is dirty, and that can be anywhere from 1-3 weeks for some, although for many, two weeks are just fine when you have oily hair. “Washing” means cleansing with a shampoo or cleansing conditioner, not just re-wetting hair and running conditioner through it. Many run conditioner through their hair to refresh it and to keep it going until cleansing is necessary. Some months may require more washing (when you are working out more, swimming, etc.), so do not need to stick to a wash schedule if it does not work for you.

2. Wash when you have buildup

The buildup is not always dirt. Oftentimes it is product buildup. Like putting hair in twists the day before wash day, I do something similar when using silicones. I know it will cause buildup by day two, so I do not use it until I wash my hair. I don’t want to walk around with buildup for a week, so I schedule certain hairstyles according to my wash schedule.

3. Experiment with washday schedules

The best way to determine if two weeks would be a better fit for you is to try it. If washing weekly is too much, stop and go longer, like a week and a half or two weeks. Going longer than that may be such a great idea, but knowing that just because you are not washing so often does not mean you cannot wet your hair and moisturize it. Do not lock yourself into a regimen out of habit but more out of a fit into your life. If your hair is not dirty, go an extra week and see how it fares.

This article was originally published in 2011 and has been updated for grammar and clarity.

10 Best Water-Based Leave-in Conditioners

Moisture is our curls’ life force. Our hair thrives off the proper balance of moisture and proteins, and despite knowing that we have to keep this delicate balance, it is hard to maintain. Nature’s source of moisture is water, but many are still unaware of the importance of water in a curly girl’s regimen. Some are under the impression that oils moisturize hair, but they do not; they seal moisture in. Hair moisturizers are big business — however, many on the market have tons of emollients and oils but lack the water. The best moisturizers are water-based, so if you are suffering from dry hair, ensure water is a main component of your moisturizing regimen. 

Some are under the impression that oils moisturize hair but they do not; they seal moisture in.

I love water and use it as my main moisturizer with only a hint of lavender oil, but many curly girls prefer those moisturizers with a little more oomph to bring their hair back to life. Moisturizers are excellent for revitalizing second, third, and even fourth-day hair, so jumping back into the shower is not the only way to revive those strands, and not everyone chooses to go the DIY route for a moisturizer. Spray leave-in conditioners are great for looser textures and fine strands that become easily weighed down. Lucky for us, the hair care market has flooded us with options for already-made moisturizers, though it can be challenging to find the right ones, so we are sharing some of the best liquid moisturizers (water-based) that curly women love.

1. Mielle Organics White Peony Leave-in Conditioner

A holy grail amongst many curlies, it’s known to seal in moisture, smooth the cuticle, and tame frizzies and flyaways. It’s great for natural and transitioning hair and protects from heat damage. It won a NaturallyCurly Best of the Best Award for Best Leave-In Conditioner as voted by thousands of NC community members. 

2. RENPURE Coconut Whipped Creme Leave-In Conditioner

With over 17,000 reviews on Amazon and a 4.5-star rating, curlies have used this product for years as a lightweight solution for dryness and frizz. The number one ingredient is water, but this is not a cone-free product, so Curly Girl Method followers should opt for a different leave-in. 

3. SheaMoisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Leave-in Conditioner

This lightweight, milky leave-in refreshes with a sweet coconut scent that softens hair and improves styling manageability without leaving behind product buildup. 100% extra-virgin coconut and shea oils, coconut milk, and acacia senegal combine in this restorative formula that rehydrates hair, detangles, and acts as a barrier against heat while reducing frizz.

4. Aunt Jackie’s Curls & Coils Quench! Moisture Intensive Leave-In Conditioner

This is not a spray formula, but has a light, watery consistency that leaves hair slippery for easy detangling thanks to ingredients like aloe and marshmallow root. Type 2 Wavies, Type 3 Curlies, and Type 4 Coilies alike love the moisture they get from this leave-in. Just know that this has a thin, watery consistency, so if you love a thicker moisturizer, this will not be it. 

5. As I Am CocoShea Moisturizer Hair Spray 

This unique moisturizing hair spray will delight your curls and coils while protecting them from UV rays. Water, coconut oil, and shea butter will protect, soften, and seal in moisture with this well-loved leave-in treatment.

6. Curls Lavish Curls Moisturizer 

Water, glycerin, emulsifiers, silk amino acids, and emollients make up this excellent second-day curl refreshing moisturizer. Get frizz-free curls without sulfates, silicones, parabens, or mineral oils.

7. Soultanicals Hair Sorrell Knappylicious Kink Drink 

Looking for the perfect curl refresher to perfect your twist out? This moisturizing blend of hibiscus leaves, sweet ginger, agave nectar, and ‘superfruit’ sea buckthorn gives you a fruity, nourishing tropical hair treat! Perfect for warm summer days, this hydrating blend will transport you to exotic locations with every spritz.

8. OBIA Naturals Curl Hydration Spray 

A pH-balanced hydrating spray to detangle and impart shine on thirsty curls. It has water, vegetable glycerin, argan oil, rose, and coconut oil, aiding in a powerhouse moisturizer that will not leave buildup or residue.

9. Oyin Handmade Juices & Berries 

Water infused with shavegrass leaves, lavender buds, nettle leaves, and chamomile flowers, this oil-free moisturizer by Oyin is wildly popular. Your thirsty curls, coils, and waves feel therapeutic effects with the perfect blend for a daily pick-me-up without the weight.

10. adwoa beauty Baomint Leave In Conditioning Styler

Water is the number one ingredient of this minty moisturizer, yet it has a creamy consistency for those of you who prefer a thicker formula. This recently launched product has quickly become a Holy Grail for being exceptionally moisturizing. And if it’s new to you, you can buy it in a mini-size to try it out! We love a mini-size. 

What’s your favorite water-based leave-in conditioner? Let us know in the comments below.

This article has been updated with new links and products.