Monday, 25 November 2013

What I Learned From Burning Off My Hair

Some of you may recall from My Natural Hair  that due to inappropriate use of heat, I burnt off my hair – sad times. At university I started to wear weaves and these were straight weaves that needed to be blended with my natural hair. I therefore straightened my leave out consistently and I did this without the use of a heat protectant. I don’t know what I was thinking, I must have temporarily lost my mind or believed my hair was made of metal! Anyways, I burnt my hair on one side and then other when I switched the parting because obviously once was not enough for me. This prevented me from putting my hair into a bun because there were fuzz bits poking out from everywhere and this was not a good look =(

I knew I had to do something to get my hair back to normal and the only thing I could think of at the time was a full head weave to let my hair rest.
I HATED it! It didn’t feel like I was looking at myself in the mirror and so I had to take it out. My hair was still short, but I had to find a way to nurse it back to health without scaring myself when I look in the mirror. I knew I needed to stop touching it and checking to see if it had grown because it was making my hair unhappy.

I learnt that my hair was dry and needed intense moisture and protection from combing and brushing. I also learnt that I needed to be patient. My hair had had a shock and was sulking from me accidentally burning it off so it needed recovery time. It was not going to grow over night and I just needed to leave it and let it do it’s thing. Patience is key with regard to hair growth in general including growing back fuzzy burnt off bits of hair  - so keep it in mind. ♡

Monday, 18 November 2013

Help! My Hair is Not Growing!

I used to think ‘textured hair’  did not grow and it got to the point where I thought it was normal for hair to only grow up to the shoulder and it was some kind of miracle if it grew more than that. Now I know I was WRONG! Textured hair has the potential to grow and grow and grow if it is looked after properly.

Why is your hair not growing?

It IS! Unless you have a medical condition that is preventing your hair from growing, it IS growing. There are just things happening that are hindering length retention. Think about it, if your hair was not growing, you would never need to retouch, there would never be ‘new growth’ in relaxed hair and trimming over time would result in no hair and this is not the case.

Here are a few things that disrupt length retention -

Breakage – this is one of the biggest reasons for people thinking their hair is not growing when in reality, hair is growing from the scalp, it is just breaking off at the ends. The ends are the oldest part of the hair and they need to be treated accordingly. Breakage results in the appearance of no growth. In order to minimise breakage, hair needs to be moisturised and sealed and handled with care.

Split ends – this is when a strand of hair is split into two or more strands at the end and they can cause a lot of damage to the hair if they are not dealt with. Split ends cannot be ‘fixed’. If the hair has split apart, there is no way of getting it back together, so it is best to remove the damaged hair as soon as possible. This is done by trimming off the split end and creating a healthy environment for your hair.

Product build up – too much product in the hair means heavy hair that is unable to breathe and this is not a healthy environment. If the hair and scalp are unable to receive the nutrients they need, the hair is not going to thrive. So make sure the hair is clean and not weighed down under heavy products.

Your hair is angry with you – Yes, you do need to listen to your hair, because if you don’t, it will let you know it is not happy! If your hair does not like a product you are using, it will protest. It might become dry or tangled and this is going to prevent it reaching its maximum potential. Therefore, make sure the products you are using agree with your hair or else!

So give your hair some love and watch it grow ♡

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Eat Your Way To Healthier Hair!

What we put into our body is important to how healthy we are and how healthy we look – this also applies to hair. Now, I’m not saying we have to live on celery and government juice (water), but there are some things that we can include in our diet that can improve the health of our hair. Here are some things that could help your hair.

Protein – Our hair is made up of protein so it is important that we have enough protein in our diet to ensure that the hair is strong and healthy. Lack of protein can result in dry and weak hair and that is never a good look. Good sources of protein for the hair are chicken, fish and dairy products.

Dark Green Vegetables – Dark green vegetables are packed full of nutrients. They also contain a high percentage of water which is essential for keeping our hair hydrated. Green vegetables have the wonderful vitamin A which in turn leads to less breakage. Vitamin A is also needed to make sebum (the natural oil in the scalp). Lack of sebum can result in an irritated scalp and dry hair.

Iron – Iron is a very important mineral for the hair. Lack of iron disrupts the supply of nutrients to the hair follicle. This may have a negative impact in the cycle of growth and could even result in hair loss – eeek! So keep your iron levels up with foods such as red meat, fish and leafy green vegetables.

Omega 3 – These are fatty acids that we get through our food as we cannot create them ourselves. Omega 3’s keep the hair and scalp hydrated and can be found in foods such as salmon and avocado.

Zinc – This is an important mineral that is said to slow down hair loss and thinning - always helpful. Zinc can be found in nuts such as walnuts and cashews.

So there you have it. Stuff yourself with goodies and eat your way to healthier hair!

Monday, 11 November 2013

Winter Care For Natural Hair

BRRR it’s cold in here! Here in the UK the cold weather is coming back with a vengeance and my hair routine needs to change to accommodate this. Here are some tips for caring for natural hair in the winter time. 
   1: Protect the hair. Winter can cause the hair to be dry and fragile. Protective styles could help reduce this. Styles such as buns and twisted updos can help protect the hair from breakage.

2: Use a heavy sealant. In a harsh winter environment, the hair is more susceptible to becoming brittle and breaking off. Using a good moisturiser and sealing it in with something that will lock it in for a long time are important for long lasting moisture.  A heavy sealant such as shea butter will work well.  Click here to read how much I love shea butter!

3: Use a good deep conditioner. Deep conditioning is important all year round but more so in the winter. The cold and wind don’t make my hair very happy, so it needs some extra TLC in the winter.

4: Be careful with humectants. What is a humectant? A humectant is something that pulls water from the atmosphere. This can be brilliant in the summer because it gives the hair a boost of moisture as water moves from a high concentration (humid summer air) to a low concentration (the hair). In the winter, this is not so good because it will draw water from your hair to the dry air which is a big NO NO. I know sharing is caring, but on this occasion you need to be selfish! Examples of humectants are honey and glycerin.

5:  If you are a co-washer (wash your hair with conditioner), do it with vigour in the winter. It is a great way to boost the moisture level of your hair and this is needed most in the winter.

You are now ready to take on winter! ♡

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Take Your Hair to Work Day

I hear the question is natural hair professional? pop up a lot and I wanted to add my two cents =). I have to wake up at 5:30am to go to work (puke, I know) and I am just about awake enough to make myself look appropriate for outdoor viewing. Therefore, I have to keep my styles nice and simple. I currently do two braids at the front and put the rest into a low bun; this means I can do it the night before! My hair is neat and ready to go in the morning.

As to whether natural hair is professional, the short answer is yes! Natural hair is not a ‘hairstyle’ it is the hair that grows out of my head so why shouldn't I wear it to work? As for hairstyles, there are professional and non professional styles, but this applies to all hair, not just natural hair. Hair should be styled appropriately for the job and the situation. So you might not want go to work with your hair like this!

If you have never worn your natural hair to work, it may feel like a big step initially, but give yourself a 'Take Your Hair to Work Day" and see how you feel – you might surprise yourself.

Monday, 4 November 2013

I Cheated On My First Love! (Butter love)

I’m about to tell you something personal and you are the first to know about it. Here goes . . . I cheated on shea butter! I know, how could I? But let me explain. I was doing some research because I want to add a new product to my collection and I stumbled across this wonderful butter called Tacuma butter. Tacuma butter comes from Brazil and it is great for dry/damaged hair. It is solid at room temperature and melts on contact. It has a sweet but strange smell and it is not as heavy as shea butter, so it is good when you want something a bit lighter to seal in the moisture and still do a good job.

Shea butter will always be my first butter love for so many reasons. It helps with scalp problems (dandruff and dry scalp), protects against heat and is an excellent sealant. It is filled with vitamins and conditions the hair helping prevent breakage. Shea butter makes my hair feel so soft and keeps it moisturised for a long time without weighing it down. It is heavier than tacuma butter so it is brilliant when your hair needs a sealant that packs a punch. Shea butter will continue to work magic in my Luxury Hair Butter but stay tuned for a new addition to the family!!

*BREAKING NEWS!!!* Sheni-kare is on INSTAGRAM!!! Follow @sheni_kare for updates, pictures and more.