Thursday, January 26, 2017

Microfiber Turban for Bath Time.

Don't you just hate it when you hop in tub, take a nice refreshing shower, then hop out only to make that horrifying discovery that your hair somehow got wet. Whether or not you are natural, that discovery can end up ruining your hairdo. Just the thought of it brings back unpleasant memories of my wedding day hair tragedy caused by the shower. Anyway...let me leave that memory exactly where it should be.....behind me.
So like I was saying.......the regular plastic shower caps somehow seem to slip or shift during the process of taking a shower causing one or more sections of my hair to get wet or slightly damp. Being natural, unless I'm wearing a wash and go, if water is introduced to my hair it will cause shrinkage and mess up a perfectly dope twist out, at least in the section where the mishap occurred. If your hair is twisted while showering, in anticipation of taking them down after you shower, you dare not get those babies wet because you best believe you will have to spend extra time drying those twists before taking them down. Failure to do so will cause that damp portion of hair to lack definition if you unravel while still damp.

I find that using a microfiber turban is a more secure alternative as it keeps the hair fully covered and the turban pretty much stays in place. Its soft, wool-like feel also helps keep your hair protected while you do your thing. It is easy to put on and has a button towards the back to secure it. They come in a variety of vibrant colors and is pretty inexpensive. I purchased mine at a local Ross store for $2.99, which in my opinion is a steal, considering that it is not disposable. 

As a bonus it can also be use on wash day in lieu of a towel to remove excess water from your hair. Regular towels tend to be rougher on the hair and can result in excess drying or friction. The soft, delicate microfiber is definitely a natural's gem. A must have.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Hanging Bantu Knots

Hey fam. I am always on the lookout for new techniques that improve my natural hair journey. How can I retain moisture, retain length, or achieve that bomb twist out? Those are just a few questions that I ponder from time to time. Upon discovery of a tip or trick that can up my natural hair game, you already know that I have to share it with my Namix Clan. 
Sooooo...without any unnecessary delay or idle chatter, let me get straight to it. The technique that I recently discovered (and yes, I know I'm late to the party) is commonly referred to as the Hanging Bantu Knots, or as I like to call them, Pendulum Twists.  
The magic about this twist technique is that it not only seals the ends of your twists, protecting it from potential breakage, but it
 also leaves your twist outs with a smooth, spiral like finish at the ends that is just bomb!! For naturals who wear their hair twisted a lot, this technique will be sure to protect those ends that would ordinarily remain exposed and subject to friction.
To achieve the Hanging Bantu Knots, just simply do a regular twist all the way to the ends of your hair. Once that is done, start wrapping the last inch and a half of the hair around itself in an upward motion. This will form what looks like a ball at the end of your twists. Theses will pretty much stay in place for the most part, One or two may come undone but just wrap them back in place and you are good to go. For best results, ensure that you add moisture especially to the ends of your hair before twisting. This technique will forever change your twist life......give it a try.      

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Monday, January 2, 2017

5 Signs you need a Trim

If you are natural, chances are, length retention is an ongoing goal for your hair. It is also one that seem futile and ever fleeting. Why isn't my hair growing you may ask. Truth is, your hair is in fact growing. Except in cases where there are illnesses and treatments that result in hair loss, every living being experiences hair growth on an ongoing basis. Everyone may not enjoy the same rate of growth but in general, hair grows at an average rate of 1/4" per month.
The quest to achieve very long hair often lead naturals to avoid trimming their hair at all cost. This mindset may very well be the reason why your hair doesn't appear to be growing. The beauty about natural hair is that if you listen keenly enough, you will hear it communicate with you, letting you know when its time to trim. Here are five signs that are an indication that your hair needs a trim:

1. Hair feels rough or crunchy on the ends.
Natural hair has a tendency to react to its environment, and it also almost always sends a signal when it is in need of some TLC. Over time, overexposure to heat, excess manipulation or just the harsh elements in your surroundings, can cause hair to become weathered. The portion of hair that is more easily susceptible to such damage, is the ends, since it is the oldest and most exposed part of the hair. One tell tale sign that your hair may be damaged is how the ends feel. If your hair is rough, hard, or overly dry to the touch, then chances are, you need a trim. Repeated use of heat can cause your hair, especially the ends, to get scorched. Protein, although good for the hair if used properly, can in some cases  cause protein damage resulting from protein overdose. The can result in very dry, coarse feeling hair. In most cases there is no hope for reversion, and the only option is to trim or cut off the damaged portion.

2. Hair ends are way thinner than the roots.
The thickness or fullness of your hair can be an indication of how healthy it is. Don't get me wrong, hair can be thick and voluminous and yet be unhealthy, The problem arise when the thickness is not consistent throughout the entire length of hair. If the ends of the hair is visibly thinner than the roots, trimming may be inevitable. Trimming away those thinner, less healthy portion of  hair will allow it to thrive as the stronger, thicker parts of the hair would no longer be compromised and at risk for damage .

3. Ends are splitting.
Split ends can be nuisance regardless of the length or texture of your hair. Sadly, there is really no quick fix for split ends, and left unchecked they will continue to split further and further upwards, potentially damaging the entire hair strand. Once a split end is detected, it is best to start snipping, as failure to do so can be detrimental. Split ends are an obvious indication that your hair needs a trim. Cutting them off will prevent you from dealing with the headache of having to cut more hair off if it is allowed to get out of control.

4. Breakage on the ends.
Have you ever combed your hair and seen those tiny pieces of hairs on your shoulders, the counter or
the floor? It is the undeniable evidence that your hair is breaking. Breakage can be caused by various reasons usually the result is the weakening of the hair. Since the ends are the oldest part of the hair, it will be more susceptible to breakage. Getting rid of those weaker ends should correct the problem and enable the stronger portion of the hair to thrive.

5. Single Strand Knots.
The issue of single strand knots was somewhat of an unexpected, unpleasant surprise to me once I went natural. It was foreign to me because it was never something that I remember experiencing when I had a perm. I soon discovered that these were formed when the hair forms a loop at the ends of the strands and form a knot or a ball. It is usually more prevalent in hair textures that are more coily in nature. The spiral like or zigzag pattern makes it easier for the hair to form loops and make knots called single strand knot, These pesky and plentiful knots seem relentless and all attempts to reverse them will prove futile. The only way to remove them is just remove them. Trimming usually solves the issue but be careful because they can easily return.

Length retention is high on the list of priorities for naturals, but the truth is, if your hair is long and unhealthy then it profits you little. Healthy hair is much more likely to thrive and realize growth. Pay attention to your hair and the signals that it gives, indicating that it is in need of a trim. In the short term it may be that you are losing inches, but in the long term, your hair will look and feel all the better for it,  Just remember, the scissors is not the enemy, it may very well prove to be your best friend.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

My Current Product Faves

There are more and more natural hair products flooding the market to meet the mounting demand by the steadily increasing number of naturals. There is a wide cross section of products designed for natural hair and if you are not careful, the selection process can become quite frustrating. "Should I get the butter, smoothie, souffle or creme jelly?"  Are some of the questions that are not easily answered. Knowing what will work on your hair is often determined solely by experimenting. Too often I have heard girls swear by certain brands or particular products, and I gladly go by their testimony only to face much disappointment when I don't experience the same results that they do.
I wouldn't say that I'm by any means a product junkie, but I have tested and tried quite a number of products and have found a few faithful favorites that work like a charm for my 4b/4c hair type. These are my current faves and are likely to change if I discover something else that gives me better results. Each product listed is used for a different purpose in my hair care regimen. So here goes:

Co-Wash - My DNA Hydrating Co-Wash  
The term Co-Wash is short for Conditioner Wash and is used primarily in the natural hair community. It is a less drying alternative to cleansing with shampoo. My DNA is my fave because, of all the Co-Washes that I have tried, this one is the most moisturizing and at the same time it is very cleansing and actually allows me to work up a lather, which in my own weird way I feel is necessary to get squeaky clean hair.

Shampoo - Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo
I'm not a big fan of shampoos at all and I spent a great deal of effort during the first couple years I was  natural, trying to find one that didn't leave my hair feeling crappy. After much trial and error,  finally I found and fell in love with this shampoo from my beloved Shea Moisture line. It leaves my hair feeling soft and manageable. The hunt was over, I was done. I'm not saying there aren't some better shampoos out there and I'm sure I will try others in the future but for now....I'm quite contented.

Conditioner - Suave Professionals Almond + Shea Butter Conditioner
If you are natural then you already know that conditioners, not diamonds, are a girl's best friend. Regular conditioners are useful for multiple purposes. Pre-Poos, detangling, or just for a good ole wash day conditioning, are just a few of the uses of conditioners. There are many great conditioners on the market, but my measure of greatness is determined by their thickness and creaminess, as well as the amount of slip they provide. The Suave Professionals Almond + Shea Butter conditioner not only meets, but surpasses my expectation of a reasonably priced conditioner. This very affordable conditioner can contend with just about any deep conditioner on the market. It infuses moisture into my hair and leaves it feeling soft and silky. I believe it will always have a place on my product fave list.

Deep Conditioner - Dark & Lovely Moisture L.O.C. Deep Conditioning Delight
Deep conditioner I would say is the most important product in my wash day regimen. Your deep conditioner can make or break the whole wash process, especially in cases where damage is being experienced. It is prudent to use an effective deep conditioner that will repair and restore your hair. Very few deep conditioners make the cut for me , but then again there are still a whole host of brands, formulated for naturals, that I am yet to try. I can only speak to those that I have personally experienced, and as of right now the Moisture L.O.C. deep conditioner provides the best results for my 4b hair. It has a thick, creamy consistency and provides amazing slip, which allows for easier detangling. As the name suggests, it indeed locks in moisture, and for me it is really a delight to have discovered this product.

Leave-In Conditioner - Kinky Curly Knot Today

This leave in conditioner has been tested and tried and proven to be the real MVP of leave ins. From day one, I have been using this product and no matter how many other products I try, I always end up back with my holy grail. I am not a big fan of the scent of the product but its effectiveness in adding moisture to my hair,  makes it easy to ignore that minor flaw for the sake of a greater good. I especially love the fact that it can double as a styler/moisturizer. Since moisture is very high up on my hierarchy of needs, this leave in will remain one of my favorite hair products of all times,

Styling Product - Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil 
Strengthen, Grow & Restore Styling Lotion

This product is fairly new to the market and was an instant winner from the very first time I tried it.  I don't know if it has anything to do with the fact that Jamaican Black Castor Oil is a favorite of mine but I can tell you this much, the product keeps my hair moisturized for days. Jamaican Black Castor Oil is know for its hair growth and hair strengthening properties and as a "Yardie", I am proud that an ingredient originated from my homeland is so highly regarded in the natural hair community.  This styling lotion is indeed one of my favorite daily moisturizers and styling product.

Styling Gel - Wet line Xtreme Professional Styling Gel

I am not very picky when it comes to Styling Gels. As long as it doesn't flake I'm good. For the longest while I was on the Eco Styler band wagon but my quest to find one that is protein and alcohol free led me to this brand. It is light, smells amazing, and provides the perfect hold to preserve my hairstyles. It is very affordable, which for me is the icing on the cake.  

The plethora of hair products at the fingertips of naturals, can be sometimes overwhelming. Most times it is through a process of trial and error that you will determine the products that are a best fit for your hair. I can assure you, as sure as night follows day, that there are people who will try or have tried the products I mentioned and not enjoy the same results that I am raving about. Over time as you learn your hair more, you will begin to understand what works for you and what doesn't. Don't get frustrated, the perfect combination of products is there for you, and you will get that aha moment when you find them. Stay committed to the journey.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Beauty Redefined

Oh how refreshing it is to see a deviation from the traditional definition of beauty, especially beauty of Miss World proportion. The image of a beauty queen with long, flowing, silky hair have somehow become commonplace.  The thought of a beauty contestant with a head of dreadlocks was absurd to say the least. 

If there were any such cases in the past, they must have few very few and far between. Winner of the Miss Jamaica World 2015 competition Sanneta Myrie changed the game and pretty much crushed the notion that the title is only reserved for those who fit a particular image. 

I agree that all locs are not equal. Left unkempt, they can look quite unpleasant to the eyes. In Sanneta's case however, there is no doubt that her hair is well groomed and properly maintained. Her victory is a testament to the fact that the scales are being removed and true beauty is being embraced for what it is.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce Representing with Green Braids!!!

I had to stop in, I feel like its my obligation and my civic duty to give a shout out and extend maximum respect to my girl Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce for taking the gold in her women's 100 meter race. She defended and retained her title and proved in no uncertain terms that she is indeed a World Champion.
Y'all know this is a hair blog so it would be remiss of me not to mention how dope her green braids are as a part of the representation of the colors on the national flag of Jamaica, Black, Green and Gold. As an owner of a beauty salon in Kingston, Jamaica,  Shelly could do no less than to make a bold statement about her intentions through the art of hairstyling. One would think that the length of those braids would present a challenge with maintaining her speed. That wasn't the case. She came, she saw, she conquered!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Girls Gone Grey!!!

We seem to be living in a era where its all about flipping the script and  stepping away from the norm. This new hair color trend is no different as the once dreaded grey hair that is typically an indication of age, and is usually limited to those considered to be old, is now a hot and popular trend in the beauty industry. Who would have thought??? Prior to this new trend, the norm was that grey hairs couldn't pop up fast enough for ladies to slather that hair dye all over it to erase any possible trace that it naturally exists. For the younger crowd who are not necessarily at the age where greys would be expected, if God forbid one strand should rear its ugly head, it would send the unfortunate victim in an immediate state of panic and

Far be it from us to comprehend the new craze that has surfaced,where young girls are now altering their natural hair color to achieve  grey, silver-like, whitish hair. As with most trends, the grey hair trend originated with top fashion designers and it soon became noticeable among celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Pink and Rheanna.

Weaves, braids or just some hair color spray, many women are opting in where this hair trend is concerned. I am a bit surprised at this trend as it goes against the ever present quest for women to take whatever steps are necessary to remain looking youthful, but I am always respectful of people who are willing the step out of the box as it relates to their appearance and especially since wearing grey hair makes a bold statement that they are not willing to be defined by the normal standards of beauty. What are your thoughts about this trend, would you be caught wearing it or nah?

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