Tag Archives: dry hair

My Albatross: Darker Than Brown’s Edges

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Nneka1by Nneka of Darker Than Brown (dtb)

Hey Shelli,

It’s me Nneka. I’m finally sending in this story that has been sitting half finished on my computer for many months. 😦 I want to talk about my hair albatross, which is length retention at my edges. Since childhood, I have had “issues” with my edges.

Nneka4

For some reason, my mother was never able to retain much hair in those two areas of my head. In fact, growing up, I swore everyone had edges like mine. Around grade school, where I was teased for having peaszy edges (sp), I started to realize that was not the case. We all know kids can be vicious at that age!

I was grateful when my mother began to chemically relax my hair, because it appeared the problem had corrected itself. Imagine my disbelief when I started my natural hair journey, only to realize how bad off my edges still were. Don’t get me wrong, I do have hair there. But, the first two inches into my hairline is extremely short. Looks like I get it buzzed at a barber shop, but I do not. Of course, my high school micro dot/braids faze didn’t help matters much. I would get a skilled girlfriend, to “catch” the small amount of hair, and tightly hang human hair around it. Then I had that short, but detrimental lace front wig obsession.

Nneka3

Now, I want my edges back, and I am open to suggestions. I have tried just leaving them alone and that didn’t work. I tried messaging both areas with regular castor oil for two months … and that didn’t works. Then I tried massaging the area with Jamaican black castor oil … and no, that didn’t work either. I think the area needs moisture. It does look excessively dry. I have started a new challenge on my blog. I will spray my edges 2 times per day and then seal with a thick sealant. Other than that, I don’t know what to do. Part of me believes it may just be hereditary and there’s nothing I can do. However, the vain girl deep down in me, can’t just let it go.

Can you or your readers be of any help?

Nneka2

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Hey Nneka!! First, sorry it took me a month to get this up lady!! Second, I saw your Natural Hair Style Icon story on BGLH a little while ago!!! Awesome!! You looked gorgeous! Third, I just checked out the recent posts on your site to see how you are doing with your planned regimen. I see that you recently got a significant cut that removed damaged hair, are using a hand-held steamer a minimum of three times a week to instill and lock moisture into your hair, and are moisturizing your “sitch-eeation” nightly ;)! I also saw that you used sulfate shampoos in the past and are now co-washng instead. So, it sounds like you are on the right path to retaining moisture (though I would suggest using a sulfate free shampoo at least once a month to cleanse your scalp).

In regard to additional advice, as you indicated above, your thin edges might be genetic. But, when has that ever stopped us from trying to beat Mother Nature ;)? If you know that your hair hasn’t been properly moisturized in the past, I don’t think it’s a confirmed fact that your shorter edges are at their terminal length. Also, if the strands are fine/fragile and you have been tugging/stressing them with extensions, weaves, braids, wigs, hair accessories, hair tools like brushes or combs, they may have not had a chance to be all that they can be.

That being said, here are a few things that you might be able to add to your arsenal:

  • Deep condition weekly with a moisturizing conditioner using my Cool & Seal Deep Conditioning Trick (you may want to use lukewarm water rather than cool/cold as it seems you may have low porosity hair). Also, check out my post, Moisturized Hair: It Starts on Wash Day.
  • If wearing a protective style, do not pull your fine edges into braids or weaves and protect them with an appropriate cap if using wigs.
  • Watch the edges of your satin bonnets. If your bonnet is moving around on your head at night, the elastic may be putting stress on your edges and breaking off your hair. So, try wearing a silk scarf under the bonnet or instead of a bonnet to protect your edges. If you find a scarf doesn’t work, some find that wearing their bonnets inside out preserves their edges. Or, you can may want to ditch the bonnet and opt for using a silk/satin pillowcase instead.
  • Try massaging Wild Growth Hair Oil or the essential oil mix found here into your edges 3 days a week for 30 days and see if you notice any improvements.

Good luck lady and I hope to read/hear good news from you soon!!

Now I’m turning it over to you ladies!! Have thin edges been your albatross? Were you able to successfully grow perpetually short edges? If so, what did you do to regrow them? The cry for help has been raised!! 

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The L.O.C. Method

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by Jackie of Engineering Natural Beauty

Dry hair is a problem for many natural ladies. I suffered with dry hair for the first 11 months of my natural hair journey. I couldn’t go more than 2 or 3 days without having to moisturize. I experimented with everything to try and keep my hair moisturized: olive oil, coconut oil and every type of butter you could think of! It also doesn’t help that I have low porosity hair.

Before

But one day, while perusing the Curly Nikki Forums, I came across a thread for keeping hair moisturized. The women in the thread were discussing using the L.O.C. method and how it helped them keep their hair moisturized for 4 to 5 days! Each letter in the title makes up the steps:

L-Liquid: You first use a liquid on your hair.

O-Oil: You seal the liquid with an oil or butter.

C-Cream: You then put a cream over the oil and liquid.

The purpose is for each layer to seal the layer before it, i.e. the oil seals in the liquid and the cream seals in the oil.

Knowing my situation, I wanted to look into this method more to see if it could work for me. So, off I went to YouTube to find a tutorial and more information. I landed on the Trendy Socialite’s video and decided give the method a try.

via TrendySocialite

I will be honest, I was skeptical. Nothing else had worked before. However, after my first application, my apprehension turned into excitement. It worked!! My hair stayed moisturized for a week … A WEEK! I hadn’t been able to go more than 2 days without having to moisturize. I started using the L.O.C. method in November and I haven’t looked back.

When I first started, the products I used were water, Jane Carter Nourish and Shine and Bioteral Curl Creme or Lacio Lacio! High Shine Leave-In Conditioner. Since then, the products I use have changed as I no longer like Lacio Lacio because it contains silicones and I no longer use them in my hair anymore. Being the product junkie that I am, my products are constantly changing and I’m forever experimenting to find the right combination. I’ve used:

  • Oyin Handmade Whipped Pudding and Burnt Sugar Pomade as my oil
  • PuraBody Naturals Murumuru Moisture Milk, Oyin Handmade Hair Dew and Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk as my cream.

The one thing that has never changed is using water as my liquid. Water is always the best moisturizer for hair, so there’s no need to mess with a good thing. But, no matter what I’m using, I always do the L.O.C. method.

Before

After

Love and hair grease curlies !

Dry Hair: Causes and Solutions

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by M of Hair and Other Stuff 

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  (# 1 in a series) 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

Possible Causes

  • Shampooing too often
  • Use of products 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
  • Low porosity hair
  • Not using water based hair products
  • Not sealing moisture in with an oil or butter
  • Improper hair pH
  • Excessive use of products with silicone’s which can cause build up and lock out moisture
  • Chemical Damage such as relaxers or other chemical straighteners
  • Color treated hair (notorious for dryness)
  • Using too much  direct heat (Blow drying, flat iron, curling iron, etc. on a consistent basis)
  • Too much chlorine (from swimming pools or tap water)
  • Salt (as if found in ocean water)
  • General weathering from the elements

Solutions

  • Increase water consumption
  • Pre-poo with an oil that can penetrate the hair shaft like coconut oil
  • Find a product that moisturizes well, then seal it in with a butter while damp or wet
  • 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

The take away is  this:  Find out WHY your hair is dry. After you establish this, you can determine how best to combat the dryness. 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! 🙂

Stay Tuned for Part 2 in this series.
~M

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How do you combat dryness and keep your hair moisturized?

GOC Update: Luv.Lyfe

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Luv.Life (Seventh Wave) tells us about her efforts to combat dryness and excessive shedding.

My same old bun after a bit of finger detangling.

by Luv.Lyfe of My Lyfe My Growth

Here’s my update!

Fitness:

My fitness program has almost been nonexistent; however, I have kept up with good eating habits … for the most part :). Not much to say in this area, but I will get it together!  My fitness regimen will be improved by the next update!

Hair:

I have spent this time trying to learn my hair and I’ve done all that I can to get to know these strands of mine. I figure it makes sense to learn it before I can grow it to my goal length. Well this was a costly lesson. I have had to deal with some serious shedding and excessive dryness. I then read somewhere that shedding can be caused by dry hair.  Duh!!!! Well, it now made sense to me as I had noticed my hair was very, very dry. I attributed it to the henna treatments (I’ve done three in four weeks) and thought it came with the territory. Although I deep conditioned after every henna, my hair was always strawlike after each treatment. To combat the dryness, I deep conditioned and applied Kimmaytube, sealing with different oils (jojoba oil, coconut oil or olive oil), but nothing helped with the excessive shedding or the horribly dry hair I dealt with on a daily basis.

After reading the post regarding moisturizing to combat shedding, I decided to try something new until I find a good leave-in conditioner. I pre-poo with coconut oil, then co-wash with Aussie Moist or Herbal Essence Hello Hydration once or twice a week. It may sound weird, but I am using a shea butter and HE HH mixture as a leave-in and it has helped tremendously. Until I can find a good leave in, HE HH is working just fine this week.  I’m not sure if it will prove to be a benefit in the long run, but I love the way my hair feels now.
By the way, I am beginning to see the the effects of the henna.  Luv it!
Let’s grow!!!

A failed flat twist 😦

Back to my bun shortly after a co-wash.

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Glad you’ve found something that is working to restore moisture to your hair Luv.Lyfe! Did the dry hair start after you began using henna? If so, what type of deep conditioner and daily conditioner were you using? Were either protein-based? Those might contribute to dry, brittle hair. Also, not everyone does well with henna. But you indicated that you are starting to see the results! What are you experiencing?

Has persistently dry hair been your Albatross? Were you able to remove the bird from around your neck? If so, what do you think was causing the dryness and what did you do to fix it?
Do tell!!