Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Motivation: The Big Deal in Big Chop

The route to naturalhood could be via transitioning for a long period of time or by simply being brave and cutting off all your chemically treated hair.  Now, the latter seem to frighten a lot of ladies looking to go natural.  The journey to healthy hair is one you need to be comfortable and confident to pursue.  How about I do my bit to relax you about your Big Chop scare, eh :)?  Take a look at these ladies in the limelight:

Alek Wek

Solange Knowles

Lauryn Hill

Raven Symone

Chrisette Michele
Won't you agree they look stunning with their cropped natural dos?  See, there's nothing to it.  If you'll still prefer a bit more hair after Big Chopping, wear instant weaves or extensions for length.  Hey, there's absolutely nothing wrong with faking it till you make, alright?  Accessorise, enhance your facial features with make up, put on a smile and work your TWA, girl :)! 

**Click the Jargons Tab for explanation of the terms highlighted**

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Hair Care: Healthy Hair Diet

Growing healthy hair is not all about the products that you put on your tresses.  You may be following a strict regimen of pre-shampooing, co-washing, and deep conditioning every week, but still show signs of poor quality hair.  It's about what you put in your body too.  The foundation of healthy hair is the nutrients we eat.  Remember the saying, "you're what you eat"?  In this case, your hair is what you eat.  You may need to step out of the shower and into the kitchen :).

Image Source
Instead of buying all the products on the market, practise a well balanced diet that includes plenty of proteins, omega 3 fatty acids, iron and vitamins for healthy hair and growth promotion.

Healthy hair nutrition must include eating enough protein.  Protein is the building block of every part of our body.  Hair is almost entirely protein.  The more protein you eat, the healthier your follicles will be.  There are many low fat foods packed with protein without having to worry about saturated fat.  Foods like chicken, red meat, turkey, fish, and eggs are excellent sources of protein.  However, try to use as little butter or oil in their preparation.  Vegetarian?  Don't despair, get your protein from Tofu, legumes like beans and lentils.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Essential Omega-3 fatty acids are vital in supporting scalp health.  Absence of adequate Omega-3 fats can cause hair to feel brittle and dry, and encourage flaky scalp.  Some of the foods rich in Omega-3 Fatty acids are flaxseeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, cabbage, broccoli, and cold water fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, and herring.

Iron deficiency can be detrimental to your hair.  Research has shown that lack of iron in the body can cause hair shedding and thinning.  Eating dark green, leafy vegetables like broccoli, spinach, watercress are excellent sources for Iron.  Other foods are whole grain cereals fortified with Iron, dried fruits like raisins, apricots, and dates, beans such as chick peas, butter and kidney beans.  Animal foods rich in Iron are liver, egg yolk, kidney, red meat, and oily fish.

Vitamins help in the production of follicles.  Vitamin C improves the absorption of Iron into the body, while Vitamin A helps in the production of oil (sebum) to lubricate hair and scalp.  Vitamin B5 stimulates cell growth and repair.  Foods such as dark leafy vegetables, carrots, citrus fruits, brussels sprouts, bell peppers, cauliflower, tomatoes, milk, cheese, and meats should be on your grocery list. 

Image Source
To add to the above, you must keep your body hydrated.  Drinking eight glasses of water a day is absolutely necessary for healthy hair - I can't stress on it enough.  It flushes out toxins and keeps your hair moisturised.  Certainly, there are other nutrients which may contribute to the health of your hair.  An overall balanced diet should be practised for healthy hair and beauty.  Plus, you'll get all the other nutritional benefits that these foods have to offer for a healthier and stronger cells in your entire body.  

Monday, 2 January 2012

My Hair, My Story - So Far.

Old twist out puff.

My natural hair journey was SO not planned!  Therefore, there are no pictures from when it all began - rather unfortunate.  I mean, I had no idea that's what I had embarked on, anyway.  The decision to let my chemically treated hair (relaxed) grow out was meant to be temporarily.  Until, I had figured out why my hair was speedily deteriorating in length and volume.

After my last relaxer in February 2005, I decided to wear braids and weaves just to let my hair grow.  The plan was to give my hair a break from relaxers for sometime, then apply the treatment again.
6 months post relaxer, I was boasting of about 2-4 inches of new growth.  At this point, it was difficult dealing with the two textures (natural roots, relaxed ends) I had going on.  My hairdresser suggested snipping off the relaxed ends.  The thought of short hair as opposed to my long tresses was not appealing.  In October 2005, I braced myself and Big Chopped , as it later became known to me.  I thought, I'll give my natural hair another six months, then relax it.  All I was interested in at the time was regaining the mid back length of hair I once boasted.  Surprisingly, after rocking my natural texture for a year, coupled with the compliments I received, the thought of relaxing my hair never crossed my mind again [hallelujah].  

A good couple of years into being Natural, I was still struggling with maintaining and caring for my hair.  I'll wash, blowdry and rock my TWA as that.  I put extensions in just to save me from dealing with it altogether.  Late 2008, alas, a saviour!  I found YouTube with all the lovely Naturalistas!  I couldn't be more happier.

March '09.  Early stages of mastering two strand twists.

July '09.  An attempt at Wash & Go.  Rather shrunken, but I LOVED it!

Today, six years and two months after I BC'ed, I stand before you as a full-fledged Natural :).  It's been such a learning curve and I've loved (still love) every bit of it.  What's your story so far?

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