BLACKSTRANDS

Get it, Got it? Good : Coconut Oil

Brandon King/ flickr

Brandon King/ flickr

Over time, I’ve been trying to comprise a list of “ultimate buys” for great body and hair care. The latest and greatest products are always great…but sometimes we don’t always have the latest and greatest kind of money :-O

So, the post of the moment is Coconut Oil.

It’s cheap, its simple – and its a great conditioner for the skin and hair. In many countries (India in particular) women coat their hair in the oil as an excellent means of conditioning and repairing/protecting their tresses. Coconut oil also gives the hair an added luster and shine.

I found numerous articles on the benefits of coconut oil, but here is a list I pulled together from a Wellsphere.com source:

– repairs damaged, dry hair and ends

– a natural treatment for dandruff

– can be used in place of body lotions/creams to moisturize dry,cracking skin

– protects skin from sun exposure and aging spots

– can help prevent (and treat) premature graying of hair

– a means of treating eczema

– a great lip moisturizer

savorsoaps.com / flickr
savorsoaps.com / flickr

Since this list could really go on and on and on, I think its safe to say that coconut oil is one of nature’s best beauty ingredients.

I’m definitely into trying new oils, conditioners and moisturizing products – but I also firmly believe that simple regimens and products are sometimes the best!

So please ladies, if you are in the dark – find the light :O>

:: Happy Styling ::

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Tips for Textured Hair: Combing and Brushing

flickr/ raynfree1

flickr/ raynfree1

See that pretty mountain of combs and brushes??

Well most of them are a big no-no on black/textured hair :OP

A lot of people swear by either strictly combing their hair – or only using a brush. Some even resort to only finger combing their strands. While I don’t intend to advocate combing over brushing (or vice versa), I do think its a good idea to be aware of how you treat your hair during daily grooming.

Personally, I comb and brush my hair, because I think it’s more a matter of what comb or brush you use combined with your technique – rather than which method you use. Now, if your hair thrives with your current method – please stick to what works for you. But if some of you are wondering “what’s the big deal?” or how you can treat your hair a little better, I’m happy to offer some advice….

First Fact?

Black strands are fragile so you should always handle your hair as delicately as possible (no matter what you’re doing – washing, towel drying, grooming, etc).

With that being said, here a just a few combs/brushes that I have and use quite often:

1. I LOVE my Denman D31 – I use this in the shower, to detangle my hair when its full of conditioner (which, at the moment, is a mix of some honey and Suave Tropical Coconut conditioner)

2. I use a wide tooth comb – the Jilbere shower comb is great great great for transitioners, naturals and relaxed ladies who want to comb without snagging.

3. I also have a 100% Boar Bristle brush for smoothing my edges down (it’s a wooden Ricky’s brush that’s on the larger side – like a paddle brush). Boar bristles are a lot softer than plastic or nylon bristles.

All of these styling tools are great options for black hair because they are more gentle on tresses (as long as you are gentle while combing/brushing) and they don’t pull at -or pull out- the hair. One of the biggest threats to healthy textured hair is breakage, so I think any of you ladies could benefit from having these styling essentials.

flickr/ lanabelle

flickr/ lanabelle

**Another note **

Try to comb and brush hair in sections when detangling your hair! Trying to detangle a mass of hair can result in you losing more than you gain…literally.

If you’d like to read more about combs and brushes (and techniques) that are best for black textured hair, click the link to read a great article at MotownGirl.com that talks a lot about options for maintaining healthy tresses.

–> “Combs and Brushes” article

:: Happy Styling ::

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Homespun Spa: Avocado Conditioner

flickr/ j9

flickr/ j9

Hello ladies!

Here is a simple, nutritious fruit that anyone can add to both their diet and beauty regimen.

Avocados aren’t only great for facial masks, but they can also be used to perfect your at-home conditioning experience. Every now and then we like to treat ourselves to something special, so I think this fruit would be a great natural way to enhance your staple conditioners-or create your own!

Summer is coming up- and I don’t know about you, but I will be co-washing my hair (washing with conditioner) about every other day when the heat is on! I even found some great recipes, along with some great information on the fruit’s benefits, at HUB pages.com

Here goes:

The avocado is native to Central America and considered by many to be an almost perfect food, full of potassium, Vitamin A and rich in antioxidants

. Add to that anti-fungal and antibiotic properties and you’ve got yourself one glorious fruit with talents galore. So, it’s no wonder that people from all over the world, have had remarkable success in using these magical properties. Problems such as digestive and circulatory disorders, difficulty in softening rough itchy skin and the sometimes annoying painful rashes are all added bonuses when soothed properly with avocado. The amazing avocado is therefore, exceptionally moisturizing and luxuriously effective when used in scalp treatments.

When choosing the best avocados, opt for the the ones that are brighter in color, which translates into the highest beta-carotene. The avocado is an exceptional natural emollient and one of the best ingredients you can utilize when creating the perfect homemade hair mask.

In the article, there was also a list of recipes that can help you incorporate avocados into your beauty routine.

flickr/ jocelyn
flickr/ jocelyn

My personal favorite from the bunch?

I’d like to try the Coconut-Avocado hair mask

All you need to do is mix in a ripe avocado with 4 ounces of Coconut Milk, leave on for 15 minutes, then wash and go!

Click the link to read the entire article –> Avocado Beauty – Best Homemade Conditioners

:: hope this helps ::

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Your Fav Hair Maven

traceetoppic

Well, I’ve been following you ladies’ favorite posts, and by far the most popular one is the hair maven’s post on Tracee Ellis Ross.

SO, for your viewing pleasure and for further hair inspiration, I’ve reposted the January thread for all the BLACKSTRANDS readers out there. Enjoy!

Well what do ya know? I was looking at an old BET.com interview from Tracee Ellis Ross and its looks like she’s on the hair mayo bandwagon too. In the interview, Ms. Ross talks a bit about her hair regimen (including tips for detangling, deep conditioning and bringing out her natural curl pattern):

Once a week, usually on a Sunday, my trick is that I go to the steam room and I fill my hair up with conditioner. There’s three different conditioners that I’ll use, that’s my deep conditioning day. I wash it once a week, sometimes twice depending on how many products we’ve put in my hair because if you wash it too much it gets dry. There’s a really cheap product called Hair Mayonnaise, it’s an organic product that you can buy at health food stores. It’s a big tub and it’s like a hair growth product [and] really good conditioner. Rene Furterer makes a conditioner called Karite Nourishing Conditioning Cream for dry hair ($22, 3.4 oz.). It’s expensive but good, but I say that the Hair Mayonnaise is just as good and cheap.

In terms of products to get my hair curly during the week, the trick is the Denman brush, a D4 ($17) or the industrial one, it’s the key to curls. [While in the shower,] wet your hair, fill it up with conditioner. I split my hair into six sections, bottom section split it in two, brush it over the shoulder, next section, brush it over the shoulder, etc. Leave the conditioner in. After I’ve brushed it out, I put a little more conditioner in my hair and (shaking the hair gently) I try to make the curls happen. You can see them develop at that point. Put the hair up in a clip, wash the body, do what you gotta do, rinse it out.

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Why Natural? Why Transition?

flickr/ Osei

flickr/ Osei

Every woman does not want natural hair- and every woman doesn’t prefer to be chemically relaxed.

It’s really up to that individual to decide whats right for them.

With that being said, I’d like to explain why I made the decision to go natural over the last several months…

As many of you know, I’m currently transitioning to natural (I’m in my 6 month of being relaxer free), but some of you may be wondering why? Or what’s the big fuss?

Well, here’s a very contemplative list that I put together for you. These are the pros of going natural from my perspective and opinion. I’ll call it MY TOP 8:

1. Relaxers have always burnt the heck out of my scalp. One day I had to stop and ask myself – why are you even doing this?

2. I was never religious about getting relaxers to begin with (every 6-8 weeks was more like every 3-5 months for me)

3. I want to know what my natural texture actually looks like! Its been years since I’ve had a full head of natural hair.

4. I started doing more research on natural/organic living – and I begin to see that I was miles behind in my haircare and hair products.

5. CHEMICAL RELAXERS ARE CAUSTIC TO THE HAIR AND SCALP!

6. I think natural hair will give me tons of style options. I can wear my hair straight if I wish, or I can wear it curly/kinky- and wash or condition as frequently as my heart desires!

7. My hair is thicker, fuller and more textured without the relaxers

8. This transition has helped me to become more independent. Most of time, I style my hair the way I want…and I’ve also learned how my hair works. Sounds weird, but a person’s hair texture is like their thumbprint- it’s theirs and only theirs. You may find someone with a similar texture (and get helpful advice on regimens for your own hair), but at the end of the day, transitioning has made me more aware of me!

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Beautiful Bed Heads

flickr- BriceFR

flickr- BriceFR

One thing on my “do it or lose it list”  is definitely a satin pillowcase. Black hair, especially, is fragile and prone to damage – so I think every woman should be sleeping on one (or have a silk cap or scarf). If any of you sleep like me, caps and such may come off – or you just forget to put them on to begin with :OP

Therefore, a satin pillowcase would be a best bet in the long run.

Cotton rubbing up against your hair, can mean terrible friction and damaged ends (middles and everythings). This is on my “do it or lose it” list because its a small tip that can give you very noticeable results.

Many of you that sleep on satin, probably know the difference between what your hair looks like on cotton vs. silk days. lol

So lets get our beauty rest the right way! Invest in something that feels better (and only takes a few of your dollars) and leaves your hair looking better. Trust me, there will be less stress in the morning :O>

:: Hope this helps ::

Filed under: Dani's Do it or Lose it List, , ,