Thursday, December 18, 2008

On hiatus! Back on January 5th, 2009! Gone fishin' ya'll.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

How to Strategically Seal Natural Afro Textured Hair

Many people like to seal their natural, afro-texured hair. Sealing is defined here as holding in the moisture on your hair. This helps to reduce breakage and split ends caused by chronic dryness. I like to seal my hair as well. Once I began to seal my ends, I was able to retain length on my hair. I use a three step strategy. I seal with water, oil then an emulsified cream.

The cuticles on the hair strand operate like a vent. The cuticles lift and then lower. Cuticles lift naturally from certain products such as with soaps and surfactants. Cuticles are then lowered from the perfect balanced vinegar rinse and other conditioning types of rinses.

When you have finished washing and conditioning your hair, ideally, you want to have cuticles that are lowered and closed tightly over the hair strand. Tightly closed cuticles reflect more light, and thus looks shinier and healthier.

With this in mind I like to seal my hair strategically after washing and conditioning.

  1. Apply Water Based Moisturizer - Directly to the freshly cleansed and washed hair. My concoction usually has panthenol, aloe vera and water. Panthenol moisturizes the hair clear down to the scalp. This mix provides moisture and nutrition to the hair.

  2. Apply Oil Based Moisturizer - Directly over the water based moisturizer. It traps the water and nutrients on the hair shaft, slowing down the evaporation of the water based moisturizer. It keeps the moisture on the hair shaft longer.

  3. Apply Emulsified Based Moisturizer - You can usually recognize and emulsified based moisturize because it is usally thick. These are usually thickened with gums (guar gum, gum arabic, xanthum gum, etc) or waxes (beeswax, soy wax) or petrolatum (vaseline, hair grease) or un-petroleum jelly. I prefer the kind thickened with guar gum or the kind with plain old vaseline. Emulsified based moisturizers provide the best sealing properties. They do not stop the evaporation of moisture from the hair strand completely, but they slow it down considerably. Vaseline allows for the least amount of evaporation.
What are you using on your head to seal? Do you use anything to seal your hair?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tired of the Back of the Bus Treatment for Afro Textured Hair

Yes, I know that it's a new day, otherwise we wouldn't be seeing the changes that we are seeing in the White House. In America, I know that folks are not relegated to the back of the bus anymore, either. I wish I could say that about hair.

I was over on because I love to check out the new books on hair care. There is a number one book in the category. The premise of the book is fantastic. It mentions how to cut, color and style your hair to look your best. Then the dreaded back of the bus comment shows up:

"This book will show you how to: Identify your hair type... including ethnic hair."

What? I thought the book was for hair, all hair. Why is it that when something pertains to people of color, we are lumped into the 'ethnic group' or section? Isn't EVERYBODY part of some ethnic group?

This is what I mean by back of the bus treatment for afro-textured hair. It is hard enough for us to stretch when we look at these books and magazines because very rarely are their many flattering pictures of afro-textured hair within the covers. So we stretch and overlook it and try to glean what we can from the information that we can apply to our hair.

What adds insult to injury is that not only are there very few pictures, we get the, "Oh yea, by the way we got something for you, too honey. It's in the Ethnic Section".

You can keep your book, and I will keep my money. Who wants to be an afterthought, a secondary focus, another channel to expand their market for money sake? Not me.

You and your afro-textured hair are an economical powerhouse. Can you say 600 billion dollars strong? Would you ignore or treat a market that spends 30% more on personal care products than some groups combined, with 600 billion dollars worth of change jangling in their pockets?

It is time to stop accepting the back of the bus treatment for afro-textured hair. Sit in the front, better yet, get off the bus and purchase your own ride- in cash, of course!

Want to learn more about the powerful African American female consumer?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Stressors Chip Away at Your Beauty

There are things on which we focus and turn them into stressors. What are those stressors?

Our hair.
Our bodies.
Our finances.
Our jobs.

It is important to focus on what you control. We cannot control our children or our significant others. We can control how we treat our hair, our bodies, our money, our job and ourselves. It really is about balance. Sometimes though, you have to focus exclusively on one aspect in order to strengthen it. The hard part is trying to maintain the rest while you have your focus on managing the stressor you can control.

Pick something on which you would like to focus. Let me see...I pick hair and hair care! Then go from there. Develop and master one area, maintain the others, then master the next area and keep going from there.

Who wants to have great hair but an unhealthy body? Or a great body, but be broke all the time? That's why it is so important to have balance. Please don't think that I am saying that I have all or any of the answers. I am here just like you, though. Together, bit by bit, we can find our way, right?