Category: how to look after a teeny weeny afro

4 FroHawks That Will Make Your Mouth Drop

I just love a frohawk!

Why?

Well, it’s easy to do, looks am-a-zing and is perfect for the slightly colder months and the humid months where it’s easy to get frizzed up.

Here are 4 gorgeous frohawks that will leave you in awe.

Check them out below and if you like them, leave a comment below sharing what your favourite hairstyle is.

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Jourdan Dunn Slays The Cover of Vogue Brasil

A few years ago it was a rarity to see women of colour gracing the covers of international fashion magazines and when they did, they sported straight hair that ran down their backs.

It’s great to see that things have changed so much and it’s now becoming increasingly common for black actresses, supermodels and musicians to rock their natural kinks, coils and curls on the front pages of acclaimed publications.

Recently, the beautiful Jourdan Dunn graced the February 2016 cover of Vogue Brasil and looked stunning with her short TWA (teeny weeny afro).

jourdan dunn afro vogue february 2016

Although I love a big ‘fro just as much as the next girl, it’s refreshing to see Jourdan wear a short, soft afro. It suits her well and just goes to show that natural hair is as classy and beautiful as you make it.

I also love the fact that her afro is perfectly shaped which gives her a halo-like appearance.

What do you think of Jourdan’s look? Do you think it’s a good thing that more celebrities are going natural? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Victoria xo

 

The Final Word On Leave-In Conditioner

If you’ve been reading about maintaining your natural hair for any length of time, you will have surely come across the innumerable articles and mentions devoted to a simple, yet unavoidable, accessory – leave-in conditioner.

natural hair

To the uninitiated, the dizzying array of jargon and marketing lingo can be at best baffling and at worst wholly off-putting.

Read on below as we attempt to separate the kinks from the kooks and decode the mystery of leave-in conditioner once and for all.

1. What good is it, anyway?
Leave-in conditioner was created in order to reinforce the hair’s natural oils with strength and / or moisture – providing increased ease of styling and assisting in detangling along the way without the usual downsides of weighing down the hair and creating a visibly unappealing buildup on the scalp.

Of course, these aren’t goals singular to the leave-in brand of conditioner: nearly every other natural hair product you’ll see on the shelves of your local Boots will promise the same, often in as many words.

The difference with leave-in conditioner is that the concoctions are manufactured to be lighter as well as conducive to frequent, daily usage – without the unwanted side effects so irrevocably linked with daily hair care.

It’s best used as a third step in your routine, as a means of rinsing out the deeper and more chemical-heavy conditioners that can only be applied during the washing process itself.
What’s in it?
There are five main ingredients in any leave-in conditioner worth its salt.
1. First and foremost on the list is water – as the most efficient hydration agent found in nature, it should come as no surprise that aqua tops the list. Water typically makes up in excess of 60% of the final formula of the conditioner, and for good reason: your hair simply can’t get enough of it!
2. Jojoba oil is about as pure as a natural oil can get; a quality made clear by your hair’s ready acceptance of it upon application. As well as being hassle-free, this nutrient-rich wonder ingredient has been reported to solve a whole host of problems – dandruff, dry scalp problems, thinning hair and hygral fatigue chief among them.
3. Olive oil may seem like a counter-intuitive choice, as its history of use in the preparation of food leads us to imagine our hair becoming greasier than the Italian takeaway down the road.

Fear not, however: by penetrating the hair shaft and retaining moisture, olive oil adds softness and strengthens the hair follicles themselves. We recommend starting out with a tablespoon or two until your hair grows used to this interesting addition to your haircare toolkit.
4. Castor oil is the be-all and end-all when it comes to maximizing your natural hair’s volume. Owing to its high levels of Omega 6 and 9 fatty acids (the beneficial kind!) as well as an exceptionally healthy ricinoleic acid ratio, castor oil is a must-have for anyone who wants to take their natural ‘do to the next level.
Whew! Pretty tiring, right? All those chemicals can get to a gal – and that’s before we’ve even put anything into our hair! While it’s important to understand what it is that makes up the product you’re massaging into your scalp every day, it’s as crucial to try not to be put off by all the scientific jargon.

We encourage your own research into the brand of your choice, as well as consultation with your physician if any extraneous problems rear their ugly head. If you begin to feel daunted, however, do your best to remember leave-in conditioner cannot be that chemically heavy, purely by virtue of its needing to be light and airy in order to effectively cleanse your scalp of the chemicals you just washed it with.
Leave-in conditioner can be a powerful weapon in your haircare arsenal – don’t let the “wall of noise” phenomenon that can arise from too much information put you off and make you miss out on something that could be a potential game-changer for you and your hair.
Do you have any experiences with leave-in conditioner you’d like to share?

Let us know in the comments below!

How Can I Find Out The Texture Of My Hair?

How do I figure out my hair type?

I have no clue what my hair type or texture is, help!

Is my hair 4b, 4c or 4a? I have no idea!

These are just a few questions that many naturalistas ask when it comes to the whole hair type debacle.

We recently came across a brilliant chart by the folks at BuzzFeed that makes finding out your hair type super quick and easy!

Take a look at it below and in the comments tell us what your hair type is based on the chart!

 

hair type chart by buzzfeed

Hair Type Chart by @BuzzFeed

PS. It’s perfectly normal to have several hair types! Mine varies from 3b to 4b which means I have a lot of textures to deal with, understand and manage. It’s not always easy dealing with multiple hair textures but it is a lot of fun 🙂

Here’s to knowing more about your hair and loving every inch of it!

As always, if you have a burning hair care question tweet it to us @mycurlsuk and we’ll answer it in an upcoming blog post.

Victoria xo

Hair Overwhelm: Has The Natural Hair Movement Has Caused More Harm Than Good?

natural hair overwhelm

As much as I love being a naturalista and I’m incredibly proud of how far the natural hair scene has progressed over the past decade or so, I can’t help but sometimes feel very overwhelmed by the amount of information, advice and trends that constantly crop up. The hardest thing is the fact that much of the advice is contradictory.

Some naturals claim that it’s great to detangle with a wide-toothed comb whilst others say that we should abandon combs all together!

Some say that brushes are best whilst others say that our fingers are the only combs we need. Which is it? What do you do?

To comb or not to comb? That is the question!

Then there are the claims about naturals who’ve achieved rapid hair growth through regimens like the LOC and inversion methods.

If you’ve tried either, you might have found a hair growth panacea that works for you or you might have discovered that too much of any regime simply drives you and your hair nuts!

I’ve been natural for several years now and I’ve been following the natural hair movement for probably around 8 years (yes, it’s been that long). Back in the day there were simply a few forums that catered to women who wanted healthier, longer hair but nowadays, there are thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of blogs, websites, forums, Instagram accounts and Facebook pages that share a plethora of advice on natural hair care.

Whilst it’s great that we have so much more information available, it also has a downside.

Namely, the fact that when there’s too much information, you don’t know where to look or where to start.

It can be difficult.

So this begs the question, how do naturalistas find both balance and clarity in a wold that’s filled with contradictory advice and too many options?

How do we avoid becoming the victims of a choice paradox?

How do we find our own unique path to healthier hair? 

What’s the solution?

Now, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the overload in hair care information?

How do you deal with it?

Leave a comment below sharing how you feel.

PS. This might have been my most honest and open blog post yet but I’ve come to realise that honesty and vulnerability are catalysts for personal growth. I hope that in sharing how I feel, I’ll open up discourse for other women who might be feeling the same way.

Here’s to hair happiness,

Victoria xo.

4 Simple Steps To Longer Natural Hair

Before I started my natural hair journey, I found myself often becoming envious of other people’s hair. I remember looking at girls with natural hair and thinking “how did she grow her hair so long?”
how to grow longer natural hairOn top of that, throughout my childhood and early teens I’d constantly been told that “afro hair doesn’t grow,” OR “black girls can’t grow long hair” which led me to believe that growing long hair was simply impossible for a girl like me.
After deciding to go natural, doing the big chop and spending ages digesting everything there is to know about natural hair care, I was able to grow my hair to the longest length it’s ever been.
Now, don’t get me wrong, growing long hair isn’t just about length, it’s about having healthy hair. In my opinion, healthy hair is what all women (regardless of ethnicity or hair texture) should aspire to,
So how can you as a curly haired naturalista grow longer hair?
Here are 4 simple yet highly effective steps.
1. Moisturise
I’m sure you’ve heard it a thousand times before but moisturising your curls is absolutely vital if you want to grow long, healthy natural tresses. When it comes to moisturising, you should opt for products that have a high percentage of water because moisture comes from water. To get the most out of water, mix water, leave-in conditioner and a natural oil like jojoba and pour it into a spray bottle. Spritz your hair with this mixture a few times each day. This will help to keep your curls in top shape throughout the day. It’ll also aid growth because you’ll retain more hair as a result of keeping your hair moisturised.
 2. Dust, don’t trim.
Years back, I heard about ‘dusting.’ I thought it sounded a bit crazy but it works. The idea is simple; rather than trimming or cutting large chunks of hair every 6-9 weeks (as recommended by hair stylists), instead choose to only ‘dust’ or trim off unhealthy ends. Dusting simply involves searching for splits, knots and tangles and cutting them off every time you spot them. The minute you see one strand that’s visibly unhealthy, trim it. This saves thousands of healthy hair strands from being trimmed off and enables you to only get rid of the exact hairs that are damaged or split. It’s a hair saver!
3. Apply heat once or twice a year.
As much as I love the look of my hair when straightened, I have seen incredible results by simply not straightening it more than twice a year. In fact, I avoid applying heat to my hair unless I really, really need to. Whilst heat-based styles can look great for special occasions, they can also wreck havoc on your curls. Instead of using heat, try using your blow dryer on the cool setting, towel drying your hair and rocking gorgeous formal styles using nothing more than your
natural curls and hair accessories (think flowers, hair bands, ribbons etc).
natural hair accessories

Opt for hair accessories like ribbons, scarves and flowers rather than applying heat to your hair.

 4. Exercise.
This is one that many of us miss because we’re so busy. However, exercising regularly not only boosts your body’s health but it also aids hair growth by stimulating the scalp and increasing blood flow to it. Even if you despise working out, try simply walking or doing fun activities that don’t feel like a workout. Zumba, hiking and swimming are some great options and they’ll leave you in top shape as well!
So there you have it, my 4 top tips for growing healthier, longer hair this summer.
If you have any extra tips to share, please let them in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter at www.mycurls.co.uk for more hair tips and a chance to win free products.

How Often Should Curly Hair Be Washed?

Do you sometimes wonder whether you’re washing your hair too rarely or too often?

As a curly or afro haired girl, it’s important to have a regular hair regimen which will make your hair easier to manage.

Keeping a good, healthy hair regimen will also enable you to look after your hair even when you’re super busy and pressed for time.

how often should you wash curly and afro hair?

How often should you wash curly and afro hair?

So, how often should you wash your tresses?

Firstly, it’s important to remember that there are two types of hair washing.

Shampoo washing (simply washing your hair with shampoo and then conditioning it)

AND

Co-washing (washing your hair with conditioner only e.g. no shampoo required)

If your hair is out (not in braids, weave or plaits), you should co-wash it once a week using a silicone-free conditioner.

Typically, you should shampoo curly hair once a month and co-wash in between shampooing.

However, the looser your hair texture is, the more often you need to shampoo it. For example, if you have wavy textured hair, you’ll need to shampoo either once a week or once every 3-4 days.

If however, you have afro textured hair, you’ll only need to shampoo once a month. If your hair is mixed (e.g. contains a mixture of hair textures that vary from wavy to tightly curled or afro) then you’ll need to do a bit of testing to see how your hair responds to being shampooed less often.

You can then adjust your hair regimen to meet your mixed hair’s needs.

As a rule of thumb, you should shampoo once a month and condition once  a week.

Now you might be wondering why shampooing too often is bad. For curly and afro textures, our hair has a tendency to be more dry and vulnerable to breakage. It’s therefore essential that we are cautious with it and handle our hair with care.

When you over-shampoo curly, mixed or afro hair, the hair’s natural oils are depleted which causes dryness, knots, split ends, frizz and tangles! In essence, it’s not good!

In contrast, if you condition your hair regularly, you’ll restore lost moisture whilst also keeping your hair tangle and frizz-free. Conditioning is quite simply one of the best things that you can do to your hair which is why it’s recommended that you condition once per week.

If your hair is in braids, a weave or any other ‘covered’ style then you’ll only need to wash it when it’s out. However, your hair is likely to be dirtier than usual because the dirt in your hair will have built up over time.

How often do you usually wash your hair?

Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

Victoria x

Natural Hair Treatments: 4 Natural Ingredients Afro Hair Loves.

curly hair craves

Do you envy girls who hop out of the shower with silky straight hair while you remain tangled in your curly labyrinths?

Then, youíd be surprised to know that if you have curls like ringlets, you own one of the most enviable crown of heads.

Those girls you envy spend hours to get what you have been naturally gifted. So, instead of fighting those curls, work with them and make them stunning.

If you start adoring your hair and follow four simple tips provided herein, curly hair can make you look like a goddess every day.

Natural Oils
Oils are curly hairís best friend and although itís tempting to ditch the traditional regimen of oiling, nothing soothes your hair more than this session of a few minutes. Sometimes curlies have difficulty finding oils that don’t give their hair the appearance of being dunked in a grease fryer. Certain oils mentioned here would help you combat the havoc:

  • Extra Virgin Coconut Oil – What it does is that it penetrates hair shaft; this is why it provides moisture.
  • Grapeseed Oil – What it does is that it protects your hair temperature. You can also use it to fight dandruff.
  • Sweet Almond Oil seals in moisture and soothes the hair shaft, which is an addition to highly porous hair.
  • Jojoba Oil – It balances the production of scalp’s sebum.

Although olive oil and castor oil are heavy oils that are popular in the naturally curly hair community, these highly beneficial light oils can also be used for healthy hair.
Moisturize and Condition
Curly hair requires regular moisturising so that they do not break or frizz with dryness. The most important requirement is to find the right product that suites your hair. A shampoo that would suite one set of curly hair may not suite the other. Also, conditioning is a must after every shampoo.
Protein
Another significant treatment is to maintain the protein balance of your curls. A protein treatment has different protein properties that attach directly to the hair follicle and harden the cuticle layer. This places a barrier around the follicle, which protects it from further damage. There are four types of protein conditioner treatments: protein packs, re-constructors, deep penetrating treatments, and light protein treatments. The hair’s current condition will decide the type of protein conditioner needed for treatment. Use a re-constructor for severely damaged hair. For moderately damaged hair, use a deep penetrating treatment. For slight damage and routine treatments, use protein packs or light treatments. There are a lot of products in the market but only trustworthy ones should be used.
Heat Free Styling
Heat Styling Tools such as Flat Irons or Curling Irons do nothing but damage your locks and, turn your hair into a dry, brittle, unhealthy mess since you are basically frying your hair when using them. So the first thing you should do is get your split ends cut off, you can get this done at your local hair stylist of even do it yourself if you dare. As a curly haired girl, hopefully you already know that unless it’s Halloween and you’re in need of an afro, you should avoid blow drying or brushing your hair because it will just go Poof! To save the embarrassment, you can use styling products such as serums and gels and work them gently with your fingers.

Love is always reciprocated. When you love your hair and follow the above four simple techniques, they love you back by giving hassle free good and gorgeous hair days.

If your curls are in need of some TLC, head over to our online store to find a product that your tresses will love.

How To Look After A TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro)

Whilst there’s a lot of talk in the natural hair community about growing long hair, many women aspire to have beautiful short kinks and curls.

Reasons for choosing a shorter do can vary. Some women love the convenience and versatility that short hair brings whilst others rock a short hairstyle whilst transitioning from relaxed to natural.

Opting for a shorter hairstyle is also ideal for women who are busy, pressed for time or just simply look better with shorter hair.

How do you maintain short natural hair? How do you style it? What do you do to keep your kinks or curls in great condition?

Here are some tips to help you to nurture your gorgeous afro.

#1. Keep it nourished.

Natural afro hair needs moisture- lots of it! And just because your hair is sure that doesn’t mean that you can get away with not moisturising it. To keep it in great condition, apply a natural hair lotion and oil (such as coconut, olive or jojoba oil) to it daily. If you neglect to moisturise it you’ll be faced with super dry hair that is brittle, fragile and will eventually break. Moisturise is a natural girl’s BFF. Don’t forget that.

how to maintain a TWA teeny weeny afro #2. Spritz it.

In a rush to work? Pressed for time? We’ve all been in those situations where our hair was the last thing on our minds because we quite simply had a lot of on our plate.

However, it’s no excuse to not take care of your hair. One way to keep your curls in impeccable condition (even if you’re time short) is to grab a spray bottle, apply a mixture of water, conditioner and your favourite oils and then spray it on your hair each day. Spritzing your hair is a fantastic way to ensure that it looks great and stays in top notch shape.

#3. Accessorise.

From pins to bows to flowers and headbands, there are so many accessories that you can use to add some pizzazz to your hair. What I love most about hair accessories is that they allow you to look girly and dolled up even if you’ve put little to no effort into styling your hair. They give you that ‘quick styled look’ in seconds. How great is that? Accessories are also really affordable and you can find some wonderful items on Amazon, Ebay and Etsy.

#4. Style it up.

Whilst pins, bows and flowers are great, there are other options for styling your TWA. You could add a side-part or have your stylist cut/shape your hair into a particular style. Another way to style your TWA is to play around with hats and scarves which can give you a variety of new looks.

#5. Co-wash your curls. Co-washing (which simply means washing your hair with conditioner rather than with shampoo) should ideally be done once a week or once every two weeks. Co-washing is great because it ensures that your hair is clean without stripping it of it’s natural oils (like shampoo often does). To get the best results, co-wash your hair with a silicone free conditioner that contains ingredients like coconut oil as this will help with adding moisture and will keep your hair is excellent condition.

Finally, remember to be confident with your hair no matter what it’s length, shape or texture. Confidence is beautiful! For more hair care tips, join our curly community. Have a fab day.

Victoria. Founder, My Curls.