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10 Hair Tools Every Natural Should Have

Whether relaxed bone straight, 137% natural, transitioning, texturized, kinky, curly, colored or cut, there are some supplies every woman should have in her haircare arsenal. The great news? None of the tools cost over 3 bucks (if you do it the right way). Oh, now you’re excited! Read on…

10. Tattered Rags

Whether they be old towels you bleached to kingdom come that one time on accident, or old faded t-shirts from an ex, having cloths you don’t care about are beneficial to any regimen. From drying hair post-shampoo, to protecting your sink/floor during a messy henna treatment, these tattered rags come in super handy — because you don’t care if they get dirty or discolored.

9. Plastic Caps/Grocery Bags

Clear plastic caps are great for protecting a style in the shower, and holding in moisture for a deep or overnight conditioning. They are usually no more than $2 a pack, and hold up pretty well. Cool bonus: recycle your plastic grocery bags! They work just the same as plastic caps, if not better. Just pile your hair in, use the handles to tie the bag closed, and ta-da!

8. Butterfly Clamps/Clips

These clips are a lifesaver when its time to detangle, separate, or style hair. They’re cheap (around $2 bucks for a 12 pack at Sally’s), easy to use, and easy to clean.

7. Banana Clip

Super throwback, right? I have recently fallen in love with this hair blast from the past all over again. The banana clip has officially replaced my scrunchie for buns, ponytails, and other styles. They are easy to use, secure hair well without tension, and are incredibly versatile. Cop yours at Wal-Mart for $3 for a 3-pack.

6. Applicator Bottle

Sure, you could use it for its original intended purpose; mixing and applying hair color. It’s also a great tool for moisturizing your scalp. If you tend to get heavy handed with the oils like me, a narrow tipped applicator bottle will become your saving grace. It allows for precise application of oils to your scalp or hair, which is a bonus while rocking a straightened style (bye bye greasies). Just remember: the harder you squeeze the bottle, the more your product comes out!

5. Spray Bottle

Cue the soul glow! Nah, I’m kidding. Sometimes, products come in packages that are more of a pain than purposeful (like Infusium 23 Repair & Renew Leave-In). Or maybe you want to moisten your hair with water, without dunking your head in the sink. Or maybe you think a certain product is too thick, and you need a way to water it down and disseminate it evenly throughout your hair. All of the above and more are great uses for the spray bottle. Grab yours at Sally’s or Target (in the travel sized bottle section) for a few pennies over $1.

4. Bobby Pins

You can never, ever, EVER have too many bobby pins. Large, small, colored or not, these little fellas are a life saver. From faux hawk sculpting, to bun securing or just keeping my growing out bangs in place, bobby pins add dimension and variety to any style. I am known to have bobby pin stashes in my house, car, work bag, gym bag, and purse if I am carrying one (I hate purses… especially big ones. All they do is allow you to carry around unnecessary junk. Tell me I’m lying!). But the point is, bobby pins are incredibly useful and multifaceted.

3. Wide Tooth Comb

Once your hair reaches an inch long, a wide tooth comb becomes somewhat of a staple in your arsenal. I know, most short hair ladies use rat tail or fine tooth combs. I’m not knocking you if you do but, how much of your hair ends up in the sink? At least use a wide tooth comb to prep your hair for whatever you’re doing…before reaching for that denman or rat tail comb. Right now, I’m rolling with my Target special aka Conair wide tooth comb that hit me for around $3.

2. Satin Scarf/Bonnet

Do I really need to explain why sleeping on anything less than satin is a bad idea? Didn’t think so.

And theeeee most important tool of all……… Drumroll, please!

1. A Hair Journal

Huh? What? How is this #1? Let me explain. If you’re anything like me, you can’t remember what you wore to work yesterday….let alone what combination of products and procedures you used on your hair last week. So keep a journal. Put an app like colornote on your phone, keep a literal journal, or heck, keep a blog! This blog is just as much for me as it is y’all. The point is for you to record what products your hair loved, hated, and everything inbetween. No need in making the same mistake twice, or forgetting how to do that dope style from two Mondays ago.

Are there any tools you can’t live without?

Source: blackgirllonghair.com

5 Ways to Bring Peace into Your Day

Take A Moment for Yourself

As soon as you wake up, it begins. You have meals to make, kids to dress, and a to-do list that never ends. Even your phone is delivering calls, text messages, emails and “Angry Birds” that keep pulling on you for attention. Does this merry-go-round world ever stop?

Here’s the good news: your life may not slow down, but you can. Moments to refresh and recharge are all around you. From the busy soccer mom to the over-worked executive, everyone can take advantage of these easy-to-do tips and tricks to bring more peace into your day.

Mute the Commercials

Unless you have a DVR, you’re ingesting a lot of ads with needless noise that you’d rather not see during your favorite television shows. When the commercials start, mute the sound. It gives you 30 seconds to a minute of peace and quiet.

Breathe

I know you think you’re breathing right now and you are. However, I’m talking about deep breathing – the kind that lifts your chest, fills your lungs and then exhales the body into relaxation. Breathe before a big meeting. Breathe while you’re in traffic. Take a moment as often as possible to close your eyes and take deep breaths.

Use Mouthwash

Okay, stay with me on this one. Most mouthwashes recommend that you swish the liquid around for 30 seconds. You have to be careful not to swallow it, while still making sure it hits all the corners of your mouth. It takes some focus; it’s difficult to do anything else and use mouthwash at the same time. If you’ve ever wanted to practice mindfulness (the art of being fully and singularly dedicated to whatever you’re doing in the moment), using mouthwash is a great start. Stand still, close your eyes and really feel the mouthwash between your cheeks. When you’re done, you’ll not only have a fresh mouth, but a calmer mind.

Nap

Feeling stressed out? You might just need a nap. Millions of people don’t get enough sleep, and if that’s you, it affects every area of your life from your weight to your emotions. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes, find a spot and take a nap. The snooze will do your body good.

Go to the Restroom

Who among us has not escaped to the bathroom for a moment of solitude? Whether you’re at home, the office or in a crowded restaurant, it can buy you at least a minute or two of privacy to collect yourself. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed and you need a moment, excuse yourself. Put the “rest” back in restroom.

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Three Cheers For The Transitioner!

by Bennii Blast of The Culture Pine 
A Transitioner knows that transitioning and patience go hand in hand. Her hair is constantly changing throughout the process to natural hair, and it can take a full tank to get through that detangling session that awaits her each time she washes her flourishing mane. So yes – a Transitioner may moan about her matting incidents occasionally, but she never gives up the fight for her emerging curls, kinks or coils!

A dedicated Transitioner takes the time to learn whether her hair favours Olive Oil, Jojoba Oil or maybe one of those beautiful butters she has the pleasure of choosing from. She doesn’t resent her new growth but, loves it no matter what texture it is, giving it the love and affection it desires.

Having to deal with people trying to ‘keep it real’ about how they feel about her new hair is not rare for the Transitioner. They may catch her of guard at times, but she remains composed and lifts her head high because she is confident in her decision to go natural – this isn’t a fad, to please the next person, and definitely not a cry for help (I hope!).

The passionate Transitioner worries about being labelled as a so called ‘Natural Hair Nazi’ when all she wants to do is shout from the rooftops all the reasons why she gave up the relaxers. Seriously, transitioners are generous creatures who only want to share their happiness with you – they mean no harm!
A transitioner knows what she wants to achieve, and even though that anticipated day when she cuts all ties with her relaxed hair can sometimes seem so far away – she keeps on going.Why?
Because she knows that good things come to those who wait!
There are upsides and downsides to transitioning; just like anything else in this world. It is how you deal with those bad times that matter. So…three cheers to every transitioner who triumphs on with perseverance!
Source: Curly Nikki

The Many Stages of Our Natural Journeys

Tammy Goodson of CurlyChics

You’ve somehow been introduced to the natural hair world, whether it was through your stylist or perhaps you admired the way a close friend rocked her bold afro with such confidence; either way your curiosity was piqued. That curiosity turns into the decision to take action and so the journey begins.

Stage 1 – The Dive
You make the decision to “go natural”. You dive right in, head first, literally, with the big chop or proceed subtly by transitioning. You’re excited because it’s the beginning of something new yet apprehensive because of any preconceived notions you may have about the process.

Stage 2 – Still Unsure
If you’re transitioning, you’re dealing with multiple textures, finding the right products through process of elimination which also means elimination of lots of cash, and looking forward to the day when those relaxed ends are persona non grata! If you big chopped, in addition to similar frustrations of a transitioner, you are contending with the stark contrast from your normal look and no longer hiding behind your hair.

Stage 3 – Arrived ….ehhhh?
You’ve finally arrived, no more relaxed ends and it feels great, but now what? Your big chop has now become its goal length (whether that’s a twa or longer) but you haven’t quite discovered your mane’s true personality. There’s a whole new head of hair to get familiar and bond with and you can quickly get overwhelmed. You take to the blogs and vlogs for more information than you even know what to do with and continue the business of figuring it all out.

Stage 4 – Seasoned Vet
After some time of experimenting and self matriculating, you are that unapologetic natural girl that everyone confers with, the one to whom new naturals look to for guidance and inspiration. Have you mastered all things natural? No, there are always lessons to learn, but you’re a lot further than you were a few years ago and even more comfortable in your own skin. It’s when you learn that starting any journey can be taxing and frustrating and contained in those frustrations are possibilities of awesome results.

*Note – these are my experiences, coupled with testimonies of other naturals I have interviewed. Of course, not everyone goes through these stages in the same order and some phases may be combined and/or omitted.

Can you relate? What stages did you go through or are you currently going through? 

Sharing hairstories and life experiences from a curl’s perspective. Find Tammy at her blog, Curlychics, on Twitter, and Facebook.

Source: Curly Nikki

Transitioning: Ignoring The Urge To Return To The Lye

by Bennii Blast of The Culture Pine

I often see a lot of transitioners appearing to be at their wits end when they reach that point in their transition, where the call to reach for the box of relaxer is looking like it is about to be answered. Although I have surprisingly not had the itch to go back to relaxing yet, I have had this dream, well nightmare, where I accidentally relax my hair. How one accidentally relaxes their hair I do not know, but I remember being pissed in my dreamworld and waking up feeling for my hair to make sure everything was as it should be. That sigh of relief I tell ya…pure madness! It just reminded me of how much work and patience goes into transitioning, and how mad I would be at myself if all that commitment went to waste. It confirmed that going back to the creamy crack is a definite no no for me right now!

Anyways…I wanted to be of aid to those who have reached this point in their transition and may just need some encouragement to keep moving forward with their journey:

#1 Don’t spend HOURS looking at photos where you were relaxed

There have been moments where I catch myself looking at old photos and I have to remind myself to keep it moving. If you are experiencing a weak moment, don’t torture yourself further by bringing out those old photo’s where you were still relaxing. This could stir up emotions you felt at the time of the picture where you may appear happier, and because your hair happens to be relaxed in the picture, you may wrongly connect the two an make an irrational decision. Instead, start collecting new photo’s of your transitioning hair (especially when you have successfully pulled of a new style from that YouTube tutorial!) so that you can look to those for encouragement to keep going!

#2 Try an alternative

Instead of making such a drastic change as returning to the use of chemicals, why not try something less permanent such as flat ironing occasionally or roller sets? This may help you to overcome this part of your transition without having to give into that urge!

#3 Reward Yourself!

Transitioning can be a roller coaster of a journey and requires more patience than some of us even knew we were capable of having! So instead of focusing on the negatives, try celebrating the positives by rewarding your accomplishments so far. Acknowledge the efforts you have put in already, and allow yourself that new lipstick you have had your eyes on!

#4 That ‘Good Hair’ documentary

As cheesy as it sounds, watching this documentary was the kick up the backside I needed to finally start my transition, and I know I’m not alone in that! When you are at a low point, watch the documentary and hopefully it will stir up those emotions that made you want to kick the relaxers out of your life. Remember the coke can? Sheeesh!

#5 Spend time looking at naturals and fellow transitioners

Happiness can be infectious! If you spend some time surfing the web reading the testimonials of those who have been in your shoes and are now completely natural, seeing how happy they are with their decision will no doubt rub off on you and remind you that this thing is not impossible. Collect some pictures of smiling naturals whenever you feel that relaxer urge coming on!

#6 Write a list of all the reasons why you decided to transition

As you get further into your journey, the reasons why you started it in the first place may become blurred along the way. This can make you question whether continuing to go any further with your transition is really necessary. For those times where you feel you may be reaching for that box of chemicals, make a list of all of those reasons that you decided to start transitioning. This will keep your goals fresh in your mind and motivate you in achieving them.

Feeling like you are ready to go back to relaxing does not make you a terrible transitioner! We all have our weak moments and sometimes just need some encouragement to keep the wheel spinning. At the end of the day, you have to remember that doing what is best for you is what is most important!

Happy Transitioning =)

Source: Curly Nikki

 How do you stay motivated during your transition?

Transitioning To Natural Hair On A Budget

Tips and tricks for making the transition to natural hair easy and affordable.

Don’t Opt For Expensive Cons

Quality isn’t always determined by price!

Transitioning on a budget all depends on what works best for you. There are many expensive hair products marketed towards transitioning to natural hair, but most drugstore brands work just as well and cost more than 50 percent less! That being said, try all of the affordable products before you work your way up the cost scale. As long as you know what you are looking for and follow a couple of guidelines, the cheaper products will work just as well as the expensive products.

Finding The Right Product

Don’t be a product junkie!

For hair types 2, 3a, and 3b, a good clarifying shampoo and deep conditioner should definitely be on your list. Pricing for both items can be as little as a couple dollars apiece. Often times, transitioning to natural hair calls for a remedy such as a deep conditioner. An easy way to enhance a cheaper conditioner is to add special oils or ingredients to make it even richer. Try adding oils such as rose oil or coconut oil.

Type 3C and 4 hair will require a bit more maintenance, especially after a chemical relaxer or straightening treatment which can cause excessive damage to your hair. Many women recommend braiding, twisting,  or adding extensions to your hair while waiting for it to grow out. All of these work, but you need to be gentle since kinkier hair has more of a tendency towards breakage. Be sure that you are deep conditioning often, and either reducing the amount of time you wash, going with the no-shampoo method.

Use At Home Remedies

Convenience is cheap!

There are plenty of easy, inexpensive, homemade hair treatments that you can make simply using what is already in your kitchen. One great treatment for your hair is a homemade hot oil treatment. All you need are  essential oils including extra virgin olive oil. Heat up a quarter of a cup of oil in the microwave until warm and work it through damp hair.

The real question is not whether it will work (because this remedy will), but the price in comparison. It really depends on every person’s experience with transitioning to natural hair. A decent bottle of extra virgin olive oil can cost between $7 and $20. However, you aren’t using the whole bottle for your hair, and you can still use it for cooking. Pre-made conditioning products, on the other hand, can cost $2 or more.

Deep Condition Often

Regardless of your hair type, it’s important to not only deep condition, but to also do a deep conditioning and hot oil treatment for your hair.

When you do this, wet your hair first. This will help to seal the moisture in the cuticle, strengthening the hair and causing less frizz.

Most importantly HAVE FUN with it. Experiment with different products and styles to find what works best for you and your hair. And last but not least don’t forget to Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize!

Source: Naturally Curly

10 Tips for Transitioning to Natural Hair

So for the past 5 months I have been transitioning from relaxed hair. My last relaxer was February 2012 and I plan to do the “BC” A.K.A  Big Chop on August 4, 2012. I honestly have been enjoying the experience thus far and I can’t hardly wait to FULLY see my natural curls. I actually have a girlfriend who has been natural for 10+ years who talked to me about her experience of going natural. One thing from our conversation that still rings clear in my head is when she told me,

“Once you get into it & fully go natural. You are going to ask yourself, What took me so long?”

And she is so true. I am Soooo In Love with my hair! Even my Sweetie says he loves my hair better natural. Who Knew? So to all the transitioners and the ones who are considering going natural this post is for you.

10 Tips For Transitioning To Natural Hair

1. Make The Decision To Go Natural

Want to go natural with or without doing the Big Chop? Transitioning to natural hair is a simple process of growing out your natural texture before cutting off the processed or damaged ends.

But don’t set a time just yet. You don’t have to know when you’ll rock your 100% natural hair right away! Give yourself about 4 months. By then you should have enough growth to get excited.

2. Find Your Go To Transitioning Style

The goal is to blend two VERY different textures of hair into one. Try a bantu knot out or a natural girl’s favorite: the twist out.

3. Detangle When Hair Is Wet

Always detangle when your hair is wet and slippery with conditioner with a wide-toothed comb. Start at the ends and work your way up.

4. Keep Your Scalp Clean

You’ll have to do some experimenting, but cleanse your scalp anywhere from every 2 days to every 2 weeks.

5. Keep Your Hair Moisturized

Dry hair breaks. Nothing beats water when it comes to moisturizing hair, but you can also add your favorite natural hair products on top to seal it in.

6. Get Use To Deep Conditioning

Hair masks are no longer a special treat! Naturally curly hair usually doesn’t lack protein, so stick with deep moisturizing treatments.

7. Wind Down Your Heat Usage

No need for a blow dryer or flat iron any more. Try air drying all of your styles instead.

8. Protect Your Edges

Avoid transitioning styles that put too much tension on your temples and the nape of your neck. The hair there is usually finer, thinner and more delicate!

9. Be Gentle!

The point where your natural texture meets your straight hair (it’s called the line of demarcation) is THE weakest part of you hair. Take your time when you detangle and style your hair.

10. Gradually Cut Your Processed Or Damaged Ends

Depending on the length you had to start with, get a good trim each month. Remember to use hair shears and not regular scissors!

Remember: NOT all hair is created equal. What may work for me may be different for you. Use different hair products and styles until you find something that works for your hair type and texture. These tips are designed to nurture your naturally curly hair, because in the end, THAT is what you’ll be keeping. Good luck and congrats on going natural! I’m here to help!

Source: Naturally Curly