3 Ways to Step Up Your Hair Moisturizing Game

Greetings Daizies,

Fall season is on it’s horizon and with that comes the problematic split ends and chronic dryness that can come upon us all with natural hair. It’s time to take moisturizing to the next level as we prepare for those cold times. Here’s how to make sure you don’t slack off this season and pay for it later.

Keep it Simple

The best thing to do is keep it nice and simple. There are 2 popular methods for daily moisturizing. The LOC method and the LCO method. LOC stands for liquid, oil, cream/butter and LCO, a different order, liquid, oil, cream/butter. I’ve used all sorts of order combinations and for my hair I can’t say I’ve found a difference. I recently used OLC and I don’t think that’s even a thing lol but I typically use the LCO method because oil seals the moisture in my hair more effectively. The first step of coating the hair with a water-based leave-in conditioner or plain old water to simply hydrate the hair. Then the next step of oil or a cream is to seal that moisture. The last step is to close the cuticle with the oil or cream. 

For the SIMPLE part, choose your 3 products to hydrate, seal, and coat your hair. Have these 3 products in an easy to find place to eliminate the struggle of figuring out what you’ll us each day. Ideas for your LOC or LCO method.

Liquid:

  • Put water in a spray bottle and spritz hair
  • Leave-In Conditioners 
  • Hair milk or hair lotion
  • Hair pudding

Cream/Butter:

  • Shea Butter
  • If water was used as the liquid, leave-in can also be used as the cream

Oil:

Keep it Regular

Make daily moisturizing a habit. I choose to do this every night before showering (so I can rinse all of the oil off my hands/arms) but try to do it a few hours before bed so I don’t end up just sleeping. If it helps, put a daily reminder on your phone so you don’t miss your ideal time to do your hair.

Keep it Fun

Maintaining natural hair can be a time-consuming. Keep it fun by catching up on your favorite show. This can also help motivate you not to spend too much time or lallygag by setting a goal to finish by ‘x’ amount of episodes. For me, I try to finish my LCO within 1 episode of ‘Insecure’ and for a full on twist out, within 1 episode of ‘Power’.

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Overall, maintaining a consistent moisturizing routine is one of the most crucial keys to healthy natural hair. If you’ve been slacking it’s never too late to step up your game. For more questions pertaining your moisturizing regimen, comment below and be sure to follow my blog and Facebook posts for more updates. 

As always,

-POP (1)

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The BEST DIY Hair Masque for Defined 4b/4c Natural Hair

Hello Daizies!

I’ve discovered my absolute favorite DIY hair masque for my 4c/4b natural hair. I wanted to use it twice to make sure my reaction to the masque was consistent. Each time I’ve used this for my hair I am amazed with how many curls just come out of nowhere as I’m washing it out of my hair. If you haven’t tried Indian Healing Clay/ Bentonite Clay+ Apple Cider Vinegar for your hair, you need to stop what you’re doing and try it NOW!

What You Need:

Indian Healing Clay $9

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Apple Cider Vinegar $5

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In a plastic bowl or cup, pour a generous amount of clay into the container. Mix about equal amount of ACV to the clay so that it forms a creamy mix.

I used about 40-50% of the jar within one use lol! I plan on using it more sparingly next time so I can at least get 3 uses out of it. I plan on doing the clay masque at least once a month.

How to Use it:

This clay is a cleansing clay and takes out all of the dirt, toxins, and metals in your hair so it’s purpose is more of a deep cleanser.  I first section my hair into 4 sections and then start with one section by first making it damp using a spray bottle. Breaking the sections into even smaller sections, apply the mixture to each strand of hair from root to tip. I make sure to massage my scalp as well. Now if you’ve used Indian healing clay as a face masque, you know that it gets really hard and dry fast. But you can feel the tingly and pulling feeling so you can definitely tell it’s working. On your hair it will feel dry at the time but don’t let that stop you from completing the masque. It takes about an hour for me to apply the clay to each stand and I then cover my hair with a plastic bag for about 30 minutes. I use the remaining clay for my face for the last 10 minutes of the time.

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After the 30 minutes are up I head into the shower to rinse it out with warm water. The clay just melts from my hair and I can immediately feel hundreds of super defined curls! I can feel my hair super moisturized and with more curls than I ever feel after using any other type of cleanser or even deep conditioners.

Lastly, I follow up with a conditioner to make sure I get any remaining clay from my hair and scalp. I seal with coconut oil to lock in all of the moisture. I am always amazed with the results!

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I usually never wear a wash and go because I feel like my curls dry up and get too tangled or frizzy., However, with this masque my curls remained defined and in tact the next day so I finally wore a wash and go. I never knew my hair was this curly and I love that this DIY masque brings all of the coils and curls to light.

Stay tuned for more updates and my very special grad photoshoot coming soon!

As always, remember to…

-POP

Easy Bedtime Routine for Natural Hair

Hey Daizies!

Times have gotten so busy and flying by faster than ever. I took out my braids because they were getting a lil raggedy and I was high-key missing my fro. This quarter I’ve had consistent late nights in the lab finishing coding for my Information Systems class, so spending two hours on twist outs just aren’t doable right now. But I’m still keeping my hair moisturized with an easy, time efficient routine.

  1. Divide hair into 4 sections
  2. One section at a time, distribute shea butter from root to tip. I pay special attention to the ends of my hair, especially since the weather is getting colder. I bought a gallon of shea butter while I was in Ghana (the most authentic ever), but you can get shea butter from most beauty supply stores and even on Amazon. I LOVE shea butter because it’s thick, soft, and has just enough of an oily finish to coat the ends but not too much to where my hair feels weighed down

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    Shea Butter from Ghana
  3. The next step is to seal with an oil. For this part I usually use castor oil and/or coconut oil. I often spend a few minutes massaging my scalp with coconut oil to help stimulate blood flow which ultimate helps with hair growth. When managing my hair I only use my fingers to detangle. I’m able to accurately locate knots and soften them with the shea butter and oils
  4. After coating with shea butter and oils, I twist my hair in four sections using a hairband and wrap with a satin scarf.
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Go-to hairstyle

Nowadays, I am wearing my hair in a high-puff or a low side bun with a twisted bang. Fridays are usually the days where I where my fro out loose since wash day falls around the weekend. Honestly, don’t have as much time but still enjoy taking care of my hair. This routine takes around 10-20 minutes depending on how quickly I’m trying to go to bed. In the mornings, my hair is still pretty moisturized from my night procedure so just a tad of leave-in conditioner does the job.  Next up in natural hair is TRIM SZN! More updates to come.

Xoxo,

-POP

3 Years of Natural Hair: 2 years Post-Big Chop Update!

It’s been a little over 3 years since starting my natural hair journey and it has been filled with so much learning and discovery of not just my hair, but of myself as a person. My last update was at the 2 year mark and I finally had some length going on and I was extremely proud of my progress. Since passing the big chop, and short/long stage, I am now at a length that was my ultimate #goal when I first went natural. While there are things I want to work on, I finally have that carefree Solange inspired healthy and thick afro that I always wanted.

Protective Styles of the Year

  • Box braids

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I LOVED this summer style last year. I used 4 1/2 packs of Xpressions hair in the color 1B and some highlights of the color 2. They lasted for about 2 months before I moved on to my next style.

  • Marley twists

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There’s just something about dark brown and honey blonde twists that I just LOVE! Definitely one of my favorite styles ever. This style was low maintenance and great for traveling.

  • Fro out & Loose Styles

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I had a lot of fun styling my hair this past year. The new length was always exciting. Within the last year, I embraced my natural 4c hair by wearing it in its natural state and realizing I don’t always have to do twist and braid outs that mimic a looser curl pattern to have a good hair day. This was the year of loving the way my hair is and not trying to force curls that just aren’t always there. When I first went natural, I had the 4a/4b hair texture in mind and longed for the loose spirally curls. After the big chopped I soon realized that my hair is only 4c around the edges but for the most part I would be dealing with 4c hair. I kept my kinks and coils masked in twist outs that made my hair look wavy, and rarely wore my hair out unless it was manipulated in some way. This year, I gained the confidence to wear my hair as it was in loose fro’s and other styles that didn’t always require curl manipulation and enhancement. There’s always more to the journey, even 3 years into my path.

  • High Puff

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Once I figured out the headband method and my hair was of length, you couldn’t tell me nothing with a high puff. This is the style I always wear one day post wash day. It allows my hair to dry and stay out of the way to reduce tangles.

  • 2 stand twists

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At first I didn’t think my hair would stay twisted and would unravel, but when I finally tried wearing two strand twists as a style, I was so thrilled. It’s a great style in between wash days and lasted 5 days of traveling when I was in Barcelona. I like to add some golden puffs as an accessory as well as some head wraps. The best part is that you can untwist them for a 2-in-1 protective style.

  • Hair wraps

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Headwraps have saved me so many mornings of stress and chaos. If I was ever in a hurry, I knew that head wraps could always save the day. Even when I’m not in a rush, I loved wearing bold patterns and vibrant colored head wraps and looked up different ways of wearing them. I formed a collection when traveling and now have an assortment of wraps to choose from. I’m glad I hopped on the head wrap train!

  • Freetress waterwave crochet

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Crochet made its way back into my life with my birthday wavy style. I’m not a strong French braider so its great that I can cover the base braids with whatever type of hair I choose. This time I wanted to try a short wavy bob.

  • Straight hair crochet

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I was interested in wearing straight hair without actually straightening my own so once again crochet for any and every hairstyle wish! I was surprised with how long the style lasted. With Janet Collection kanekalon hair, the crochet lasted 6 weeks.

  • Wigs!

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After weeks of researching wigs, I finally purchased my first units from Aliexpress and Same beauty. My favorite is Veronica (first image) because the closure easily blends with my natural hair. Full review can be found here: https://youtu.be/eK6UPnzItJs

  • Silk press

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I finally went for it and got my first silk press and a long overdue professional trim.

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And most recently, I tried crochet Havana twists and this style was a 3-in1. From wearing it in long twists, to unravelling, and then cutting it short, I loved the versatility this one style had to offer.

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With all of the growth and changes, it’s amazing to see how far I’ve come. This photo was 1 year post transitioning and 4 months post Big Chop.

Favorite Natural Hair Products

I still have my favorite brands that were solidified last year. I select my products based on ingredients and my hair needs of frequent moisture. My all time favorite products are from Trader Joe’sCantu, , Shea Moisture, and Taliah Waajid.

 

How My Routine Has Changed

Wash and go’s just had to go. I used to be able to co-wash my hair the day of class or work and just go, but with more length to my hair the shrinkage is harder for me to manage. I prefer to go through the entire process of detangling before and after wetting my hair, and so with the 3rd year of my journey, I stopped doing wash and go’s.

I now stretch my hair every week which has helped minimize matting and tangles. After wash day, I typically wear my hair in a puff while it dries. Then I braid my hair in about 8  large braids and wear my hair in a stretched braid-out. I found that keeping my hair stretched allows for quicker nighttime styling and for the detangling process when wash day rolls around.

My recent blog post’s of prepooing and using apple cider vinegar, shed a light on my favorite new additions to my haircare routine. During my first couple of years through transitioning and after the big chop, I often went straight into the shampoo process of wash day. I now make the prepoo/detangling process a necessity for wash day.

Furthermore, I figured out the right proportions that make apple cider vinegar rinses work for me. I had tried ACV in January of 2016 and I didn’t like it at all but it was because I basically used almost half the bottle of ACV within one rinse. After I figured out the 1/4 ACV to 3/4 water proportions, the mix has changed my scalp game forever.

Things I wish I knew

I got my first professional trim since my big chop in 2015. Going into my appointment, I was just sure that the stylist would barely have to cut any hair off. After my hair was blow dried, I was shocked to witness the dead and split ends with my own eyes and ended up having almost 1.5 inches of hair cut off. I know I hadn’t trimmed my hair every 3 months like I should have but I still thought I was doing a job trimming my hair at least every 4-5 months. Cutting my hair when it was fully blown out with a dryer helped make the split ends more visible and I decided in May that I would only cut my hair when it was blown out. Three months later I held up that goal and recently trimmed my hair by myself. I still plan to get a professional trim at least twice a year now, so that I’m not in for a shock later down in the line.

My Updated Hair Goals

I am now on my quest for waist length natural hair but this time without in a specific time frame. After my first silk press and trim in May, I stared at my collarbone length hair and got very sad once I realized I wouldn’t reach waist length natural hair by the time I graduated. That was always my goal, and I had this illusion before flat ironing my hair, that I was almost there. After the trim of dead ends, I faced the reality that I wasn’t quite there. I thought to myself, what in the world have I been doing wrong? I had been moisturizing, deep conditioning, doing hot oil treatments, protective styles, you name it! But still, I was only at the length I had when I had my hair relaxed.

What got me out of this  funk, was looking at  my old throwback pictures from 2015 of my big chop. Even looking at the pictures from last year, I can tell my hair has grown so much! My deep conditioning sessions weren’t in vain because even the stylist noted how moisturized and healthy my strands were. Like I said at the beginning, my hair right now  is what I dreamed of when I first went natural. This is what I had to remind myself because what I have now is what seemed like would take forever to get to. One day I will have waist length hair, it may take a few years but I know one thing…I HAVE TO GET FREQUENT TRIMS!

I love the path I am on and the dedication I have to caring for my hair.  My hours of deep conditioning and massaging my scalp are also a form of self care because. Seeing my hair grow and thrive is exciting and I’m ready for this next year of healthy hair and life!

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-POP

DIY Prepoo & Detangler for Under $5

Hey Daizies! Detangling has made my wash days so much easier as my hair continues to grow. Detangling is the process of unraveling the tangles from root to tip of each section of your hair. This process allows my hair to not got extremely tangled when the water touches my hair and shrinks up. Your hair is in its weakest state when its wet, and tangles ultimately lead to breakage. I want to maintain length and healthy ends, which is why I always detangle before any part of wash day.

The term prepoo alone involves lathering your hair with a conditioner so that less nutrients are stripped during the shampoo process. While you can always buy sulfate-free shampoo, the process of manipulating your hair and using water still can strip a little bit of nutrients from your hair.

I combine both methods by using pre-poo ingredients and the action of detangling at the same time. There are tons of detangling products you could buy but I’ve come up with a DIY detangler that’s worked great for the past year.

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The first ingredient is Vo5 conditioner. I can’t believe this dollar tree staple of childhood would find its way back into my hair care routine. Because you can find it at the dollar tree, you probably would overlook it but you don’t always need to break the bank to maintain your hair. This conditioner is great for detangling because it is thick, creamy, and has great slip. It’s nourishing formula is provides an ample amount of hydration that is needed while I’m manipulating my hair and therefore, the strands won’t be prone to snapping when I’m going through them with my fingers.

The ingredients:Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Cetyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Stearalkonium Chloride, Stearyl Alcohol, Steareth-21, Glyceryl Stearate, Prunus Persica (Peach) Fruit Extract, Soy Molk, Passiflora Incarnata Flower Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Biotin, Niacinamide, Polysorbate 20, Ascorbic Acid, Panthenol, Propylene Glycol, DMDM Hydantoin, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance (Parfum), Red 40 (Ci 16035), Red 4 (Ci 14700), Orange 4 (Ci 15510).

Nothing amazing stands out in the ingredients but there aren’t any red flags among the formula.

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The next step that takes the Vo5 to the next level is Extra Virgin Olive Oil. EVOO is a penetrating oil and really gets through the shaft of the hair strand. This extra moisture is an excellent prepoo ingredient and the more moisturized my hair is, the easier it is to detangle as well. You can get olive oil in the oil and flour section of your grocery store for around $3-$4. It doesn’t really matter what brand you get since the ingredients should be the same.

I mix together the conditioner and oil with water and shake together in a spray bottle.  You can also use a plastic bowl you don’t care about, but the application is easier for me if I use a spray bottle. I then section my hair in 4 parts and begin the process of detangling which takes me about an hour on a good day.

What is your favorite DIY detangler?

-POP

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Natural Hair

 

I’ve mentioned ACV in a few blog posts before but haven’t made a specific post detailing how I go about using it in my hair routine. My love for ACV came about during the times when my scalp just doesn’t stop itching. Usually, this happens every few months and seems although I deep condition every week and shampoo every two weeks, there are times when there’s still too much build up and my scalp becomes irritated. I reach for ACV and then these problems cease.

The benefits of ACV seemed too good to be true. When I first heard of using the vinegar for hair I was wondering what could be so great about apple cider vinegar and why was everyone raving about it. Well, for starters ACV has pH balancing properties. Before I thought pH balance was only something internal but I had no idea your scalp had a pH balance and this prevents the growth of bacteria and dryness. Basically pH balance is an important part of scalp health and ultimately hair growth. It acts as a natural cleanser and removes product buildup and dirt from gels, leave-ins and other daily products. These properties explain why my hair and scalp feel so relieved after using the rinse.

When using ACV it is important to use the right portions to reap all of the benefits. You don’t want to make the mistake of using too much of the ACV. I had the tendency of pouring too much ACV into my bottle of water just because I wanted to make sure it REALLY worked. However, when I used the portions of half water and half ACV, my hair felt harder and drier and my prior deep conditioning treatment seemed pointless. ACV is an acidic ingredient so dilutting with water is crucial. The measurements I use for my 4c and prone to dryness hair is 1 parts ACV and 3 parts water.

  • 1/4 cup of ACV and 3/4 cup of water

Easiest Way to Use ACV

I’ve tried using ACV before and after I condition, as well as using only ACV as a rinse and following with a leave-in conditioner. I typically use the rinse method when I have a protective style that has a lot of hair ie: crochet braids, twists, etc. When I have more time on my hands I use ACV as my shampoo and then follow with a conditioner to reapply the moisture.

To apply the ACV it is easiest to use with a spray bottle. You can spray the mixture directly onto the scalp or open the bottle top and rinse it throughout your hair. This process usually takes about 5-10 minutes. I then let the mixture sit on my hair for at least 5 minutes and then I rinse thoroughly with cool water.

I use ACV monthly or when an itchy scalp scenario arises. It’s not a weekly type of treatment due to its acidic nature. It’s been about a year since I first started using ACV and I gladly hold it in my arsenal of top DIY products for natural hair.

  Learn more about the benefits of ACV in detail here. 

-POP