Single Strand Knots – Problems of a Natural Girl with Kinks and Curls

Single strand knots are in the top 10 of the most annoying things about natural hair. I could go in depth on this topic, but I’ll keep it light. Here are just a few to-the-point mentions regarding this natural hair problem.

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Problems:

  • Interferes with length retention and hair health
  • Can lead to breakage and split ends
  • Causes difficulty with combing and detangling

How it can happen:

Dry hair – If your hair is dry, it is prone to knotting easily when combed.
Wash-n-go – When your hair shrinks to dry, it curls up into its curl pattern and can coil onto itself easily creating knots and tangles.

Prevention Methods worth trying:

  1. Oil Rinsing – After shampooing or cowashing, lightly to moderately saturate your hair with oil and conditioner. Then rinse.
  2. Oil Daily – If you spritz your hair with water or AVG daily, add some oil to the mix to aid in detangling and add lots of slip
  3. Wash-n-Stretch – instead of wash-n-go, try separating, detangling, and twisting your hair to dry. It will prevent the hair from curling and coiling on itself.
  4. Stretch, Seal and Protect Ends – Stretched ends are much less likely to curl up on themselves. Sealing them with an oil and/or butter helps smooth down the frizzies and flyaways. Twisting up and tucking away or other protective styles help prevent your ends from knotting on themselves also

One of the simple benefits of using oil for the prevention of single strand knots is the slippage it gives to melt tangles-to-be away and calm frizzy ends.

In my opinion,
Sarah Dee
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References and Related Articles:

How To Prevent Single Strand Knots By Hollis
http://hollistics.com/2012/10/11/how-to-prevent-single-strand-knots/

Ask CurlyNikki: How Do I Get Rid of Single Strand Knots By Nikki Walton of CurlyNikki
http://www.essence.com/2013/02/28/ask-curlynikki-how-do-i-get-rid-single-strand-knots/

Natural Hair Moment

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It’s Springtime and my hair has bloomed and come out to play! No more winter-wearing-warm-hat-wiging! Low manipulation and length retention was been a priority and goal for the past few months, now I must get into a routine of styling my own hair once again. Now, since I have attained a new, longer length, I have more styling versatility. I will have to get use to maintenance again since it has been a while, but nonetheless, I am excited and ready to have fun with my tresses!! =D

My Hair Routine – Seasonal Cycle

I’ve created a seasonal pattern with my hairstyles. Since I started wearing wigs, I found it to be easy and low maintenance.

{End of Fall- All of Winter – Beginning of Spring}

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Living on the East coast with harsh winter weather, I prefer to wear my wigs as my hat and helmet to my own natural hair. Natural hair, in my opinion, is not made to endure such brutal cold temperatures. The wigs protect my hair strands from the cold and dry air and also keep my head warm. Also, I don’t have to protective style my own hair with twist outs, etc. which often require water. Twist-out preparations can also be time consuming and messy; in the winter time, I can do without those two factors. Low maintenance, quick styling wigs are a win win situation in my book.

I like to begin wig wearing at the end of Fall because that is when the crisp cold winds begin to pick up. Sometimes I will opt for a protective style involving twists or braids, or even my natural hair in flat twists. But by the end of the fall season, I cease all twist outs and afros. Then all Winter long I continue to wear my wigs. And the beginning of Spring, I continue to wear my wigs and plan upcoming styles for my hair when it gets warmer. My routine is not at all rigid, sometimes I take off my wigs for an occasion where I need to style my natural hair into a bun or updo which lasts for as long as a week before I put my wig back on.

Also, when it comes to the lengthy wearing of a wig, I make sure to wash my hair and scalp once every week and a half to two weeks. It is important to have a clean scalp because buildup will block your scalp from properly breathing and promoting growth. An unclean scalp can probably lead to bacteria scalp infections, mold, hair fall out and some other nasty stuff. (don’t quote me, do your research) So, I make sure that my scalp is cleansed often because a healthy scalp helps grow healthy hair.

 

{Mid Spring – All of Summer – Beginning of Fall}

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This is my favorite time, when it’s warm, because I can finally wear my hair out! The air is moist and temperature is warmer. My hair and scalp love both of those things. I can take my time to style my natural hair and this is the time where I bring out the twist outs and afro. This is when I most excited about the new growth acquired from the protective styling, low maintenance seasons. This is when I can wet my hair whenever and as often as I want. This is when I am obsessed with my hair! =D

So there goes… My Hair Routine for the seasons. I am sure a lot of naturals have something similar going on in their routines as well. And if you didn’t know what to do for the seasons, well I hope I helped you gained some routine inspiration from above!

 

x0x0
Sarahdee

MAC Makeup Haul!

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I finally invested in some great eyeshadow colors for everyday wear! I went to the MAC store to create a 15 color custom palette of primarily matte and neutral colors.

The purpose of this palette is for everyday wear by using different shades of brown to match my natural lid color, lighten it or darken it, depending on the look I am going for. Also, a few of the colors are meant to be transitioning colors to soften the edges of a bold look, or to add dimension to a look. I own a few other palettes too, but they are all shimmers and colors that aren’t meant for daytime/everyday wear. I carefully researched and decided on the colors in my palette before purchasing because this was an investment. I am satisfied with my color choices and have a use for each shade of brown. This palette now completes my eyeshadow collection and I will probably use it the most.

Here are the color names and swatches below:

Colors (left to right)

Row 1 – Brule, Soft Brown, Expensive Pink, Soba, Chrome Yellow
Row 2 – Rice Paper, Texture, Brown Script, Cork, Print
Row 3 – Arena, Saddle, Brown Down, Sumptuous Olive, Steamy

My MAC Custom 15 Color Palette

 

Swatches (left to right) – Brule, Soft Brown, Expensive Pink, Soba, Chrome Yellow, Rice Paper, Texture, Brown Script, Cork, Print, Arena, Saddle, Brown Down, Sumptuous Olive, Steamy

*The top half eye shadows are without a primer or a base, meanwhile, the bottom half has Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer underneath.

There isn’t much of a difference between the two in terms of pigmentation, density and true tone of the color. However, do keep in mind that this is picture taken and colors are not exactly true in images. Additionally, this was not taken in natural light. If you plan to purchase any of these colors, be sure to test them out on yourself.

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In the past I’ve bought and tried eye shadows in different shades of brown but when applied to my lid, would look grey, or sometimes wouldn’t show or look darker than it is in the pan. I have a Loreal quad of matte browns and highlight for an everyday look but it doesn’t show up on my skin with a true brown pigment. It almost seems like baby powder on my skin and the darkest color is a brown for cool undertones skin. I also have a Sephora 3 color wheel of browns and highlight and it is better quality version of the Loreal quad because it is also for cool undertones. These MAC colors on the other hand, are very pigmented and true to their color when applied to my lid; they are a perfect match for my warm yellow undertone and tan/light brown skin tone.

It was in February of this year that I realize that I my skin tone was warm with yellow/golden undertones. It is important to know, when it comes to foundation and neutral eye makeup, what colors are right for your skin tone. The benefit of higher end make up, especially eye shadows is that most likely, you are able to test them out before purchasing to see if they are a good match for your skin tone. I suggest going into one of your favorite make up stores to inquire about what make up best matches your skin tone and undertones, and also have fun testing out different shadows. After all, you want the best for your buck and to have a little fun shopping around. All in all, I probably won’t purchase eye shadows for a while until I run low, and I probably would be very hesitant to make my first stop the local drug store. Sometimes, investments are worth the money because it may save you a buck or two than the costly trial and errors of drugstore brands. Just my two cents. =)

 

xoxo
Sarahdee

 

Peruvian Straight Birthday Hair!

A couple months ago, I started making a wig for my birthday, I used close to 4 bundles of Peruvian straight hair (18″ 20″ 22″ 24″) which I purchased from an Aliexpress vendor called Hot Hair. The quality and construction of this hair was not the best. I almost didn’t wear it for my birthday because I was very unhappy with it.

I also added a Peruvian straight silk based closure to the top for styling versatility.

The wig is made onto a breathable cap which I also purchased from Aliexpress.

These caps are by far my favorite for wigs because my scalp and hair can breathe underneath it. I’ve used mesh caps, and spandex caps before, and now I’ve finally made a wig on a breathable cap. It makes washing and moisturizing so much easier than any other cap. The main reason why I prefer this cap above any other is because I sew my wigs on. I do not like having to take on and off a wig every night at all, nor do I like it clipped onto my hair because it pulls and gives me headaches. I prefer low maintenance protective styles and therefore I sew my wigs on and take them off when it’s time for a change weeks to months later.

Currently, I am still rocking this wig and making the best of it. I will keep up with this low maintenance protective style until the weekend of May 10th which marks 3 years since my Big Chop!! I plan to finally straighten my natural hair (carefully), for the very first time then, to celebrate the occasion! =D

I didn’t want to make a long post this time, so the rest of the details on on my Peruvian straight Birthday hair can be found on my newest Youtube upload here.

xoxo
Sarahdee

Black Women: Hair and Money Talk!

Source: Pinterest

Image Source: Pinterest

Whether the statement above is true or not, the intended purpose (for this post), is to shock and to awaken one’s subconscious and unconscious mind to utter focal awareness.

The hair business today, is a lucrative and rapidly growing industry. Since the natural hair boom, there has especially been an overabundance of products that share a majority of ingredients, claims and perform the same kind of performance on one’s hair and are sold by many companies. large and small…the same goes for the selling of virgin hair for extensions.

It is overwhelming and it has caused many of us naturals to become “product junkies,” testing out every and anything! Our main excuse which is our downfall is that we must continue to try products until we find what works perfectly for us. Then, we add that product to our “staples,” and continue the hunt to find the rest of products to complete our hair care routine. This justification is only self-enabling, with prospects not so great for our pockets, especially if we took a look back at how much we’ve spent on products that didn’t work for us and have gone to waste. Personally, I know that to date, I’ve spent more than a thousand on hair products and virgin hair.

Companies are profiting majorly from this. There isn’t much they have to do to get us trying an entire line of products or different kinds of virgin hair. Good marketing, attractive packaging, and bold and believable claims are good enough to grasp our attention and interest and lure us in.

I believe that this statistic of our spending on products will soon decline. I say this because, and I will use myself as an example, I was once a product junkie once I returned natural, and since doing research and being conscientious of the ingredients in my products, I can easily weed out the good from the bad. Nowadays, I’ve simplified it even more–I don’t jump for the big company products much anymore–I prefer to get the straight and natural stuff.

For example, before, I would buy a brand name type of essential oil blend. In my intermediate stage, I would check the ingredients for fillers and unnecessary or bad chemicals and opt for an essential oil blend that contained recognizable ingredients (not chemical compounds with big names that don’t seem like English). Now, I just buy the oils that I love and that work for me, such a organic coconut oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond, etc. I can create my own oil blend and I know exactly what is in my blend and it lasts much longer than store brand blends, which essentially makes it the cheapest investment. The same goes for some styling products, moisturizers, deep conditioners, etc. However, I relapse from time to time and end up buying some new product to try, hoping that I would love it, and add it to my staple products and hair care routine.

As for hair weaves, I consider that an investment, and I expect them to last forever and therefore reuse them over and over. I do not plan to purchase new hair for the rest of my life, let alone, after this year. I hope to attain my hair length goal by next year, and be able to have more versatility when rocking my tresses. From time to time, I will switch it up with wigs I create from the hair weaves I have, and also utilize protective styling with synthetic twists and braids.

Overall, my excessive product bingeing days are over. I have better control over my spending and am conscientious of what I look to buy. As I continue to narrow down by using up most of the products I already have, I try keep my hair regimen as simple as possible. It also helps that I can do my own hair, so I don’t have to go to a salon and get it washed, treated and styled, or have braids and twists done. That process in itself saves a ton of money. I also do some small money-saving things such as reusing synthetic hair (marley hair) from Havana twists. Anyhow, to conclude, I am heading towards the clear from this statistic. My goals are to simplify my hair care routine/regimen to look like this example I’ve created below:

1 sulfate poo
1 sulfate-free poo
1 conditioner/cowash
2 or 3 hair mask combos/DC treatments e.g.: a protein, a moisture/hydration, etc.
homemade essential oil combo
1 cream/butter (pure shea butter)
1 gel (friendly ingredients)
1 edge control (optional)

Ultimately, I do not want to have more than one product that does the same job in my hair closet.

I hope that this post can help other naturals or relaxed women become aware of their spending on hair products and conduct an assessment to determine whether they are spending excessively on products. Collectively, we DO spend more than we should on our hair, not that is is our own fault entirely. We need to cut down in this area of our lives and be more conscientious of our spending. Other aspects of our life will appreciate it!

We put so much into our appearances that sometimes we don’t realize the value of that dollar we spend.

Below are links to a couple topics off on a tangent which I found to be interesting reads. Thought I would share with you all:

Why do Korean beauty supply stores succeed while Black Ones Struggle (blackinfrastructure.wordpress.com)

Why Do Korean Beauty Supply Stores Outnumber Black Owned Ones? (Blackhairinformation.com)