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How to Protect Your Hair While Swimming

How to Protect Your Hair While Swimming
Swimming is fun and relaxing whether you’re doing it for exercise or just to cool off. You don’t have to limit your pool time for your hair, but you do have to take some extra precautions. Chlorinated water and constant friction from swimming will take a toll on African American hair. Spend a few minutes before and after swimming to help your hair survive the summer.Key Tips
Rinse your hair with tap water before you get in the pool.
Don’t wear a swim cap if it pulls too tightly or rips out your hair at the hairline.
Always shampoo after you swim, chlorine does not rinse out.

Step 1: Always rinse your hair in the shower before getting in the pool. If your hair is “filled up” with clean tap water it won’t be able to absorb as much chlorinated pool water. There’s usually a shower right near the pool that you can use to rinse your hair before and after diving in.

Step 2: Apply a thorough coating of a silicone serum to your dripping wet hair. The serum will help protect your hair from the force of the water. Choose an inexpensive serum like John Frieda Frizz-Ease Original Serum, $7.50.

Step 3: (Optional) Put on a swim cap. Many swim caps are so tight that they pull your hair out when you take them on and off. Try a Speedo Silicone Swim Cap, $7.99. If a swim cap causes you to lose hair, don’t use it. Just let your strands hang free instead.

Step 4: After you swim, rinse your hair with tap water again. It’s best to wear a hat if you plan to stay in the sun after you exit the pool.

Step 5: Always shampoo your hair after you’re done swimming for the day. It’s important to use a shampoo that gets rid of chlorine and mineral build up. If your regular shampoo contains EDTA or Phytic Acid it will provide thorough enough cleansing. If your regular shampoo doesn’t contain EDTA or Phytic Acid, buy UltraSwim Chlorine Removal Shampoo, $15.21 for a pack of 4 ($4.99 each MSRP) for pool days.

Step 6: Continue with your usual shampoo and condition routine. You must take the time to condition your hair every time you shampoo it, even if you swim every day.

Step 7: When you style your hair it would be best to avoid direct or high heat. Try to limit your use of heat to a blow dryer with a diffuser attachment or a bonnet dryer on low.

From Curlynikki.com

http://googlehair.com/Blog/337_How-to-Protect-Your-Hair-While-Swimming.html

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Best Oils for High Porosity Hair

Best Oils for High Porosity Hair
Hair needs moisture to stay healthy and beautiful. If you have high porosity hair, your strands may be able to absorb moisture without an issue. The real challenge for your hair is keeping that moisture locked in place. This is where oils come in since they offer a concentrated dose of moisturizing properties and seal the cuticle to help keep moisture locked in. How do you choose the right oils for your hair porosity? With this list of the 5 best oils for high porosity hair, of course!
1. Coconut Oil
This deeply nourishing oil comes from the meat of coconuts and has high levels of vitamin E. This is a vitamin known to supply intense moisture to hair. Since it is also one of the heavier oils used on hair, it’s often the first line of defense for those with damaged hair.

2. Jojoba Oil
Another one of the best oils for high porosity hair is jojoba oil. With a reputation for being the closest natural thing to the oils the scalp naturally produces, it comes from a shrub called Simmondsia chinesnsis. This slightly nutty smelling oil is good for high porosity hair since it is slightly waxy, but not too waxy. It will help seal in moisture without a residue.

3. Olive Oil
This oil does more than lock in moisture for high porosity hair. It is rich in fatty acids that make it nourishing for the scalp. It can help with dry scalp, dandruff, and dry strands all at once. Heavier than jojoba or coconut oil, it is super moisturizing and seals strands with ease!

4. Castor Oil
Extracted from the castor bean plant, this oil is healing and fortifying making it one of the best oils for high porosity hair. This oil is not only great for sealing strands, it has some benefits for your scalp. Castor oil is naturally antifungal and antibacterial which can help clear up scalp issues while giving you the moisture you need.

5. Hemp Seed Oil
From the seeds of the plant called Cannabis sativa, this oil has a high fatty acid content that makes it great for high porosity hair. It can help in several different ways. Hemp seed oil is great way to add sheen, elasticity, and moisture retention to your hair. It can also serve to strengthen hair since it has fatty acids that help with keratin bonding.

While there are other oils, these are the best for hair that is high porosity. Incorporate them into your routine to lock in the hydration your curls deserve!

From Curlynikki

http://googlehair.com/Blog/334_Best-Oils-for-High-Porosity-Hair.html

Nettle Tea for Healthy Hair Growth and Thickening

Nettle Tea for Healthy Hair Growth and Thickening

Hola Chicas!

In an attempt to resolve my post nasal drip, I’ve been dairy, wheat and alcohol free for 3 months. THREE MONTHS! The bad news is that the drip is still here, the good news is that it’s clearly not the wine… so… *cheers*
At any rate, on this journey to restore health I’ve seen several doctors and allergies, sinus issues, reflux and undiagnosed dietary tolerances are all off the table. I’m healthy as shit with no other symptoms. It all started in August of 2011, which just so happens to be precisely the same time we moved to Pennsylvania… so maybe I’m just allergic to this Happy Valley situation.

After the traditional medical route failed to produce results, I went the alternative route- did the human pin-cushion thing (a story for another day), thought positive thoughts, recited affirmations, meditated on it, prayed about it, downed herbal remedies and tinctures and ish… you name it. In fact, as I sit here typing this article, I have a mouthful of cold pressed, unrefined coconut oil.

Yep, I’ve officially lost my damn mind.

If you haven’t heard of it, it’s an Ayurvedic ritual called oil pulling and other than fatigued cheek muscles, I’m not sure what else I’m getting. I’ll give it a few weeks. It’s also touted as a healthy hair remedy since it detoxifies your body and streamlines other bodily processes to free up energy to grow hurr.

Another experiment (and the reason for this article), hasn’t stopped the drip, but made me think of you gals. NETTLE TEA! It’s championed as the fountain of youth as it’s high in vitamins A, C, K, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron and chlorophyll. It’s good for anemic folk (that’s me!), people dealing with respiratory, digestive and urinary tract situations and excessive mucus (that’s me too!). It’s a natural anti-histamine so it may help in alleviating allergy symptoms. The kicker is that it encourages hair growth by improving circulation and reducing shedding and detoxifies your body and skin to help you get your glow on. It’s actually a common ingredient in many natural hair care products. So yeah.

I can’t say definitively if it’s helping my hair or skin (it’s only been a couple of weeks), BUT, that rude pimple situation that pops up every 28 days resolved rather quickly yesterday. It never even came to a head, which is bizarre. Although I’m drinking it (with a little manuka honey) several times a day, white folks rinse with it (final rinse before applying styling products), and they find it helps to stimulate their scalps for some pretty awesome thickening results! Don’t let the deep green color fool you either, it has a grassy taste, but it’s light, almost floral and totally palatable. I buy it loose from my local natural market and brew my own. As I’m #HairLazy right now, I’ll continue consuming it on a regular basis and keep y’all posted!

From Curlynikki

http://googlehair.com/Blog/335_Nettle-Tea-for-Healthy-Hair-Growth-and-Thicke.html

3 Delicious Foods for Healthy Skin and Hair

3 Delicious Foods for Healthy Skin and Hair

Outside of the brownies I made Monday night I’ve been pretty strict with my new diet. I eat a salad each day either for lunch or dinner, start my morning off with a fresh green juice and oatmeal and get my run in usually mid-afternoon. My skin is loving me and my hair has never been more moisturized. Although I feel pretty healthy, I often feel the need to remind myself to stay on top of my nutrition game for truly healthy body and even better hair and skin.

Discover below the best foods for keeping your hair and skin aglow as the summer gets off to a great start…

1. Salmon

I’m a Northwest girl who grew up on seafood so getting salmon in regularly isn’t a task for me. It’s a delectable weekly treat. Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, this protein is also filled with vitamin B-12 (great for maintaining energy) and iron. If you’re a vegetarian or simply not a seafood lover you can also get your omega-3s via flax seeds. Your skin and hair will glow and shine with energy and life. Stick to wild Alaskan and Pacific salmon which contain the lowest amount of Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) — a neurotoxic, hormone-disrupting chemical.

2. Dark Leafy Veggies

Whip out those collards, spinach, broccoli, and swiss chard for a great source of vitamins A and C, both of which your body needs to produce sebum (your natural oils). These veggies help to keep your hormones leveled (I had to eat a lot of them as prescribed by my acupuncturist when I was being treated for polycystic ovarian syndrome) not to mention a great natural internal beauty fix to keep hair and skin naturally moisturized. Skip out on adding too much salt or bacon to the mix and opt for steaming or gently sauteed to keep the nutrients. If you’re brave enough you can also juice these and add ginger and lemon for a health drink. Be sure to get all of these veggies organic!

3. Citrus fruits

Black doesn’t typically crack but it is possible. And because anything is possible we should all step up our antioxidant game with Vitamin C from kiwifruit, oranges, lemons and lemons. And because these fruits are the least contaminated by pesticides (see the Environmental Working Group’s list for the clean 15) you don’t have to dish out the extra cash on going organic.

From Curlynikki

http://googlehair.com/Blog/332_3-Delicious-Foods-for-Healthy-Skin-and-Hair.html

Health Fix: Eating For Healthy Hair And Skin

Health Fix: Eating For Healthy Hair And Skin
During my transition, I have made it a priority to nurse my hair not only from the outside, but condition its health from the inside too. There are so many great foods available to us that can aid us in eating our way to healthy hair and skin, so their is something for everyone to enjoy! Here are some of my top choices that I am eating at the moment:

Salmon and Mackerel
Both of these fishes are high in Omega 3 fatty acids which can act as an anti-inflammatory, a great protector of the skin and strengthen our hair. Oily fish such as these are great if you are experiencing dry hair and skin, as they promote moisture. Vitamins like B12, which is found in Salmon an Mackerel, helps to prevent hair loss and premature ageing. Protein is also a must for growing and repairing our hair and skin, and these babies contain plenty!
Porridge
Porridge not only fills you up in the mornings and is fairly inexpensive, it also contains Protein, Vitamins, antioxidants, and a number of nutrients. It is great for preventing flaky scalp and skin, maintaining a youthful appearance and avoiding hair loss, as it contains Vitamin B7[Biotin]. Porridge can be eaten plain, but is great with either; fruit, honey or Jam. Porridge is also great if you are trying to loose weight, as it is high in fiber and makes you feel full without the extra calories!
Green Beans[String Beans] and Kidney Beans
These beans are packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrients such as; Vitamin B1, B2, A, C,K, Beta Carotene, Calcium, Fiber, and Folates. These, along with all the antioxidants present, protect the skin and maintain its health. The Biotin contained in beans help to prevent brittle hair. They also contain some part of Protein, which when eaten with grains, or meat, provides a complete protein. Rice and Peas is a staple dish in Caribbean cuisine and I have been eating this before I could talk! It’s a great way to combine Kidney Beans with a grain  and yummy too!
Eggs
Eggs are complimented as being the  ideal protein. Not only are they cheap to buy, the dishes you can make with them are endless! As well as containing all the amino acids and the benefit of only a few calories, they also contain a number of the B Vitamins and Iron. Eggs are a great food for maintaining beautiful skin and hair.
Grapefruit
Our hair and skin need Vitamin C to help our body make use of the Iron that we intake. Grapefruits and other citrus fruits help us to absorb Iron which prevents our skin and hair from becoming dry. They also speed up your metabolism! To get rid of the bitter taste, I always eat mine with some honey.

Loving your hair and skin through the food you eat as well as your favorite face masks and hair treatments, will boost the health of hair follicles and skin cells. Lean meat, oily fish, pulses, dark vegetables and a variety of fruit all have really great beauty and health benefits, where as junk food can have bad results for our hair and skin. Remember – hair grows on average 1/4 – 1/2 inch a month, so it will be a few months before you really see any improvements.
You don’t have to immediately empty your cupboards and replace it with the entire contents of Whole Foods, but gradually adding some of these foods into your diet is a good place to start. After all…what’s not to love about food that tastes good AND benefits your body so greatly?

From Curlynikki

http://googlehair.com/Blog/333_Health-Fix-Eating-For-Healthy-Hair-And-Skin.html

Dry Hair: Causes and Solutions

Dry Hair: Causes and Solutions

After having a recent conversation with a fellow natural about hair care, I decided to do a series on natural hair care and maintenance. The focus of this post is dry hair. Naturally curly hair is prone to dryness because of the structure of the hair. The natural oils produced by the scalp of those with curly/kinky hair are not able to travel all the way down the hair shaft because of the twists and turns of the curls. Dry hair is a set -up for breakage and breakage ensures that you will not “see” hair growth! Other problems can also exacerbate this dry state of affairs. Listed below are some common causes and solutions.

Dry Hair

Dry-Hair-Causes-and-Solutions

Possible Causes

Shampooing too often
Use of ‘poos with harsh sulfates
Use of products with alcohol which can also be drying
Not drinking enough water
Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase or using a cotton scarf, which rob hair of moisture
Overly porous or low porosity hair
Not using water based hair moisturizers
Not sealing moisture in with an oil or butter
Improper hair pH
Excessive use of heavy products w/out proper cleansing (build-up)
Chemical Damage such as relaxers or other chemical straighteners
Color treated hair (notorious for dryness)
Using too much direct heat (blow dryer, flat iron, curling iron, etc. on a consistent basis)
Too much chlorine (from swimming pools or tap water)
Salt (from ocean water)
General weathering from the elements
Mechanical damage from over manipulation (which leave the cuticle vulnerable)
Solutions

Dry-Hair-Causes-and-Solutions

Increase water in-take
Pre-poo with an oil that can penetrate the hair shaft like coconut oil
Cleanse with moisturizing poos or ones that contain milder surfactants like Coco Betaine, and always follow up with a conditioner that moisturizes well
Use a water based leave-in conditioner after your wash and conditioning routine, and seal it in with a butter or oil while damp or wet
Explore protective styling to help retain moisture
Use deep conditioners weekly. Some may need to apply indirect heat through a shower cap, steamer, hair therapy wrap, etc., while deep conditioning
Evaluate if your water is hard or soft and if it needs to be treated
Protect your hair, when going swimming, with conditioner and a swim cap or use of a product specifically designed for sun/chlorine/salt, such as Ouidad Sun Shield
Determine the pH of the products you use in your hair and adjust the ratios/products accordingly
Always use a heat protectant when styling with heat.
Sleep with a satin pillow case and/or satin scarf
Be patient and gentle when handling your hair
When you’re in windy or sunny conditions, bun or don a hat
The take away is this: Find out WHY your hair is dry. After you establish this, you can determine how best to combat the issue. Remember, the goal is to always keep your hair well-moisturized. Well, as best you can anyway! A well moisturized head of hair is a happy one!

From Curlynikki

http://googlehair.com/Blog/331_Dry-Hair-Causes-and-Solutions.html

Your Hair is What You Eat

Your Hair is What You Eat
We’ve all heard the expression you are what you eat. If you are what you eat and your hair is an extension of you, your hair is what you eat too, right? This thought came about as I was thinking about how to make a homemade hair treatment. I thought about mashing some avocado with extra virgin olive oil, and then I quickly thought about how I would love to eat some guacamole, lol. So what’s more effective eating good food to promote healthy hair or applying it on the surface of the hair?
I’m not proposing that we start cooking with jojoba oil; using oils to protect our hair from the environment stress is very necessary. Seriously, though as women we spend a whole lot of money and time researching the latest product that is promised to grow our hair and is loaded with vitamins and essentials oils. And hey, there is nothing wrong with those products, I use them myself. All I’m asking is, do we invest as much time and energy in selecting what we ingest, read, watch and listen to?When we feed our body, we feed our soul, which then affects our inner spirit. Yes, your spirit is you, all of you.

Healthy hair starts with a healthy you! Physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. Be mindful of what you eat, read, watch and listen to…. be like a tree that is planted by the rivers of water that flourishes and bears good fruit!

From Curlynikki

http://googlehair.com/Blog/330_Your-Hair-is-What-You-Eat.html

Dangers of Relaxing Your Hair

Dangers of Relaxing Your Hair
For many women, choosing to embrace your natural hair is a journey of self-acceptance long overdue. For those still using relaxers from time to time, this information may make you rethink that decision.

According to a study published in American Journal of Epidemiology, there are several reasons to consider skipping the relaxer. The report states, “Hair relaxers can cause burns and lesions in the scalp, facilitating entry of hair relaxer constituents into the body. The main ingredient of “lye” relaxers is sodium hydroxide; no-lye relaxers contain calcium hydroxide and guanidine carbonate, and “thio” relaxers contain thioglycolic acid salts. No-lye relaxers are advertised to cause fewer scalp lesions and burns than lye relaxers, but there is little evidence to support this claim. Products may also contain hormonally active compounds, such as phthalates, which are not required to be listed separately as ingredients and are often reported under the term “fragrances” or “perfume”. Not only do these products damage the scalp, the harmful chemicals in the relaxers can actually make their way into your blood stream and affect your health. Anything you put on your skin has the potential to be absorbed much deeper than that the layer of epidermis. The Center for Disease Control has already published a list of chemicals to avoid because they increase the risk of certain cancers. Many hair products, including relaxers, are not as closely regulated by the FDA, so manufacturers could still be using several potential harmful ingredients in their products. A study published in Carcinogenesis, a leading cancer research publication, reported a higher increase of breast cancer in for women using hair dyes and relaxers. While studies are still being performed to examine how these products affect a woman’s health, many have chosen to avoid the risk altogether and embrace their natural hair.

Aside from the dangers of the chemicals found in relaxers, they also have a tendency to dry out hair which can result in damage such as breakage. It can also have an effect on your natural curl pattern leading to a loss of definition after it wears off. From the medical concerns to the hair health issues, there are plenty of reasons to consider skipping your next relaxer treatment.

From Curlynikki

http://googlehair.com/Blog/328_Dangers-of-Relaxing-Your-Hair.html

Detangling Natural Hair- Frequency and Length Retention

Detangling Natural Hair- Frequency and Length Retention
Detangling
For many of us, it might as well be a four letter word. Some of us avoid it until our hair is on the brink of disaster, while others may do some form of it a few times a week or even daily. We all know the dangers of pushing detangling sessions too far back — from breakage and matting to cutting out clumps of knots. But what about detangling too frequently? Is there a such thing as doing too much detangling?

There’s an old adage that says, too much of anything is bad for you. By and large, that tends to be true. Detangling is great for releasing shed hairs, making the removal of buildup easier, and not to mention, it is the cornerstone of every fabulous natural hair style. But when done too often, detangling can lead to the following:

HYGRAL FATIGUE
Every time we douse our hair in water, the shaft expands to accommodate the uptake in water. As it dries, the shaft contracts and returns to normal. This is a regular thing for all hair, and does not typically cause damage–except for when done in excess. Constant expansion and contraction (from doing daily wash and go’s or daily soaking wet detangling) can cause damage to the cuticles and cortex of the hair, weakening them to the point of premature breakage. This does not mean that you should avoid moisture at all costs — just pull back to spritzes of water or a refresher, or light moisturizers and creams instead of dunking your hair in water. The best way to tell if you have hygral fatigue is to take a few strands of hair the next time you wet it, and pull them gently. If your hair springs right back to its kinky, coily, or curly self, then you’re good to go. If the hair takes a while to retract back (like an overstretched scrunchie), or just breaks in your hand, you’ve got hygral fatigue.

EXCESSIVE CUTICLE WEAR/THINNING ENDS
Another pitfall of excessive manipulation via detangling is wear on the cuticles — especially the ends. Every time we touch our hair, we take a little cuticle with us. So even if you’re doing the most gentle, coconut oil-only, 3 hour painstakingly slow detangling session, you’re still causing your hair damage. When done on a regular basis (not excessive), the results should not significantly impact your hair health and length retention. But if your hands are in your hair detangling constantly, expect every move of a comb, fingers, or denman to chip away at the cuticle of your hair. You may not notice it at first, but gradually the ends will begin to thin out and look wiry.

You may even find that your hair is having difficulty retaining moisture, because excessive detangling/combing has led to chipped cuticles along the shaft, causing moisture to be lost. If it’s not too late, cut back on detangling and combing sessions now. To prevent further damage, begin incorporating protein treatments (like Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask, Hydratherma Naturals Amino Plus Protein Deep Conditioner, or ApHogee Curlific Texture Treatment) into your deep conditioning regimen, and use leave-ins with protein (like It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin, and ApHogee Keratin & Green Tea Restructurizer Spray) to help patch up the cuticle.

From Curlynikki

http://googlehair.com/Blog/329_Detangling-Natural-Hair-Frequency-and-Length-.html

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