How Do You Wash Your Hair?

Did you know there is a plethora of ways to wash your hair that involves very minimal usage of shampoo? Here are three ways of washing that you probably knew little to nothing about.

Water Only Washing

I stumbled across this video on YouTube about washing with water only. With me having really short hair I wash with only water all of the time. However, I had never thought about it in regards to longer hair. I was thinking: “How does that work out?” I mean, there is product build up happening. After watching the video I read a blog post that also talked about washing with water only. Obviously this is a thing and maybe I should partake in this “thing” as my hair grows out because washing my hair is serious business. So I need something that is effective and does not take all day. I have taken the liberty to bless you all with the blog post so you don’t have to search for it. http://blackgirllonghair.com/2015/08/can-water-only-washing-improve-natural-hair-growth/

Co-Washing

What is co-washing? Co-washing is short for “conditioner-only washing.” It means skipping shampoo and relying solely on conditioner, whether you’re a daily or a weekly washer. The result is something between squeaky-clean and second-day hair—that is, smoother, softer, and easier to manage. Co-washing may not be for everyone, but I like it. It does cut down on wash time and is not this arduous process. See, the thing with co-washing is that it does not totally clean your hair. However, it is great for in between wash days for when you semi clean hair, but you also need to get up and go. It is also good for detangling your strands before shampooing.

Dry Shampoo

I will admit that I was a little skeptical about dry shampooing. In my mind, it’s like putting dirt on top of dirt. Apparently that’s not what it is. Basically, it’s a powder or spray formula that works to soak up excess oil, water and residue from your scalp and hair, leaving your hair with a refreshed smell and texture. It’s pretty much a spray wash-n-go in a bottle. The bigger question would be: Can black women use dry shampoo? We can and we should. If you are a woman who works out a lot then dry shampoo would be very beneficial for you. Here is a great article that explains dry shampoo and gives recommendations on some good products out there on the market. http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2014/05/15-dry-shampoos-black-women-should-try/

What’s better than using dry shampoo? Making it yourself. Here is a link to making your own dry shampoo: http://www.thirtyhandmadedays.com/2015/05/diy-dry-shampoo/

Dry-Shampoo

What other ways of hair washing do you know of?

Pre-pooing and Hot Oil Treatments: Are they essential to your hair care regimen?

Pre-poo-350x420

Firstly, what is the difference between pre-pooing (pre-shampoo) and hot oil treatment? They are very similar and virtually serve the same purpose of adding and retaining moisture to dry hair and maintaining a healthy scalp.

IMG_4098

Pre-pooing is great for all hair types especially 4c hair which tends to tangle more during any type of manipulation from styling or prepping for you wash day. Pre-pooing is essential when you use shampoos. Most shampoos have a tendency to dry your hair out because it strips the natural oils from your hair. This can more so be determined by how often you shampoo your hair. Do you wash everyday, every other day, once a week? I personally shampoo about once or twice a month to get rid of any product build up that has accumulated on my hair from styling and what not. If I choose to shampoo more often I use a moisturizing shampoo such as, Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Shampoo w/Shea Butter & Apple Cider Vinegar which does not require me to pre-poo when I use it. Black castor oil and shea butter help to seal in the moisture while apple cider vinegar aids in clarifying and regulating pH levels of the scalp. I only pre-poo when I am using a clarifying shampoo.

My personal pre-pooing products that works for me in this exact order are as follows:

  1. WATER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You can use a spray bottle with water in it to saturate your hair and then apply your pre poo ingredients. The key to moisture is always water.
  2. Burt’s Bees Avocado Butter Pre-Shampoo Hair Treatmentburts bess
  3. Jamaican Black Castor oilJamaican-Black-Castor-Oil
  4. Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oilcoconut oil

 

I like to let it sit for about an hour, then sit under a dryer with low heat. I may also sit outside to allow the heat to penetrate through for about 20-30 minutes, then rinse it out and proceed on with shampooing my hair. There are a variety of combinations that you can use for your pre-poo regimen. I have tried many different ways and my hair responds best to these three products.

We will touch on hot oil treatments in our next post. Stay tuned………

What is your pre-poo regimen?

March marks a new beginning: Spring is in the Hair!

275BF73B-AAD0-4982-BD4C-060C748CD0DA

Spring is approaching for us folk living in the Northern Hemisphere! Although Spring is literally known for the seasonal change to warmer weather and longer days; it also represents transition, a new beginning, rejuvenation, and growth. The upcoming season may have you thinking about making a change. You’ve read all of our February blogs on how to physically, mentally, and spiritually love your self and now you are ready to apply this by giving yourself a new look. Maybe you have been toying with the idea of cutting your hair or as we call it, undergoing the BIG CHOP, for quite some time. Alternatively, you may not be quite ready for that drastic step, but are interested in taking a break from the salon and trying your hand at maintaining your natural tresses. Or you may be already wearing your hair naturally but are not quite sure you have the right regimen and are looking to try different products. Wherever you are on your readiness for change spectrum, Iyami Naturals is challenging you to make the change NOW! Spring is in the Hair! Just as this season marks birth and new beginnings, our content this month will focus on the beginning of hair care basics so you will have the tools to successfully make the transition. So don’t fret and make the change! There is no time like the present!

Hair type
Photo Credit: Keturah Ariel

Self-love and Spirituality: Practice Makes Perfect

Having a spiritual basis is a fundamental component in the journey toward loving yourself. It defines your morals and values as well as your sense of purpose and meaning. Your spiritual connection also shapes how you perceive and interact with the world around you. Given that spirituality is the foundation to loving yourself, it becomes extremely important to cultivate it during your voyage toward a better you. How might you continuously nourish your spirit?

As the old adage goes, Practice Makes Perfect!

practicemakesperfect

You must intentionally, purposefully, and consistently practice in order to spiritually grow. Spirituality is not a concept that once you proclaim it—then voila! That’s all you have to do for the remainder of days. Just like anything else in life, if you want to be good at something, you must continuously work at it. Therefore, Iyami Naturals wants to provide a few tips to help you grow spiritually no matter what faith you profess.

  • Be real with yourself: Take inventory of your strengths and areas of opportunity. Write a list of your values and other aspects of life that are important to you. Where do you want to be in the next 3 months, 6 months, or a year? Periodically completing this assessment helps you focus your practice and also tracks your progression. Many people will do this exercise at least once around the New Year; however, I encourage you to do this at least 2-3 times within a 12 month period. Block off time on your schedule, grab your journey (or ipad), and visit a park, beach, or other scenic location to spend some uninterrupted time reflecting on your spiritual growth.

woman-writing-in-journal

  • Make time for your spiritual practice on a daily basis: Carving out time in the day is an important step to cultivating your spirit. Whether you say a prayer, recite your favorite mantra, practice mindfulness exercises, or mediate, you must take time out of your day to center your thoughts and be thankful. We make time for many things in our life, growing spiritually should be the #1 task on your daily check list. I carve time out in the morning by reading, The Word for you Today from Angel on My Shoulder usually after I get dressed but before I dive into any other task and my daughter wakes up. It only takes a couple minutes, but the results are long lasting.   I’ve been more focused and changed how I perceive work and life stresses just by incorporating these daily readings.

time

  • Practice with others: Have 1 or more accountability partners that will help you along your spiritual journey. Exploring this journey with others fosters belonging and keeps you on track with your spiritual development. Yes, this journey can be very personal but sharing it with others can help you expand your perspective along the way. My team includes my mom, Sheree, and sister, Avianca (fellow Iyami Naturals cofounder). We talk to each other for a few minutes every morning on our way to work to discuss the meaning behind the word of the day. It’s great to share each other’s perspective of the word and how it applies to our lives. It also provides another opportunity to focus on our values and how we want to center our actions throughout the day.

avi and me

Part of my spiritual team: Avi and I enjoying the St. Thomas Carnival in May 2015

  • Find a spiritual coach: It is also equally important to check in with someone that is further along in their journey. He or she can be a great mentor when you are struggling or need an expert opinion. As Shane Raynor from Ministry Matters  stated, “While it’s important to have peers to help you practice, there’s no substitute for spiritual mentors. Getting guidance from people who have ‘been there before’ helps you make sure that your entire spiritual growth strategy doesn’t turn into a case of ‘the blind leading the blind.’ A mentor will help you see possibilities for improvement that you didn’t even know existed.”

coaching

Developing your spirituality can be a huge task, but the beauty of it is that you don’t have to figure it out in a day. However, you must make daily deliberate efforts if you want to spiritually flourish. Whether you choose to use more religious based practices through a church, mosque, synagogue, or Buddhist temple; more philosophical approaches; or a combination of the two, you will only grow by consistently practicing to be a better you.

Self-love: How I came to love wearing my hair in its natural state

Reading the Buzzfeed article, 17 Reasons Why Natural Hair is Not a Good Look, reminded me of all the reasons why I didn’t initially choose to wear my hair in its natural state. I work in health care operations management and as a fairly new administrator at the time, I always wanted to maintain what I thought was a professional image. I just didn’t see how wearing my hair naturally would fit into that image and as a result would alternate my hairstyles between hair extensions, chemically relaxed hair, and other protective hair styles.

My hair journey didn’t start with me making a declarative statement of going natural with long healthy hair or that I wanted to stay away from chemically treated processes for health reasons.  It took time and significant hair loss for me to realize that I needed to make very different choices about how I managed my hair.

My journey manifested around 2013 a few months after having my daughter, Ella.   As I review old pictures, I noticed that my hair slowly lost its volume during that year. I essentially ignored it and continued with my usual methods to style and maintain my hair.   It wasn’t until January 2014 that it was more obvious to me that my crown was in trouble.

By February 2014, it was evident from my birthday pictures that I was holding onto a bad relationship that clearly should be over. But just as bad relationships go, I was the last one to realize it.

I waited until April 2014 to finally cut my hair. I don’t have a picture to show my tresses at its absolute worse (as it my birthday pictures weren’t bad enough), but by this time, I probably had about as many long strands of hair as the onions do in this picture.

onion

Yes, it was that bad. I visited my stylist,TaLauna Beverly, to undergo the BIG CHOP and her response was “ Girl, what happened to your hair?!” What did happen to my hair? The combination of hormonal changes; the stress of trying to balance being a first-time mom and working full-time in a demanding job; continuing to expose my strands to tension and chemical relaxers; and then not using proper techniques to care for my hair left me with very little to take care of.

I was initially angry that I had to cut my hair. I had never worn it naturally short on purpose in my life. I worried about what the surgeons, staff, and senior leadership would think about me now that I had very little hair. I felt insecure, less attractive… Would my husband like it? How would I manage this? How soon could I perm my hair so I could go back to my usual routine? Those were the many questions that circled through my mind as I learned to deal with this new short hair scenario. I was so out of my comfort zone.

I had reached the crossroad in my hair journey and had to make a decision which path to follow. I could perm my hair again and eventually return to the same way I was managing my hair or I could explore the unfamiliar path of wearing my hair in its natural state. I decided to try a more natural approach especially since my current predicament was a result of my “status quo hair care practices”. I quickly realized that I had to let all of that initial self-doubt and insecurity go! Internalizing those types of negative thoughts would only make me appear insecure, self-conscious, and unhappy. Moreover, they had the potential to totally ruin my life if I were to let them.  I decided that I would OWN my current hair state and focus on finding a regime for healthy hair, no matter the length.

July 2014
July 2014

And so I made a conscious decision to only wear my hair in its natural state. I washed my hair at least once a week using Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter shampoo and conditioner and style it with various curl custards or crèmes from Shea Moisture, Miss Jessie , Kinky Curly, and Jane Carter Solution to name a few. I would also deep condition my hair at least once a month with Kinky Curly Stellar Strands thanks to my sands, Monique (shout out to Monique for giving me those samples!). My current regime includes Shea Moisture shampoo/conditioner/gel soufflé, Coco Girls Moisturizing Style Cream, and the Kinky Curly deep conditioner.

As to be expected, my hair grew but it’s now healthier, fuller, and longer than my hair has ever been. I won’t say that I will never wear hair extensions or protective styles again, but I will always place more emphasis on the health of my hair and not jeopardize that just to meet a certain standard of beauty. My advice to those considering the natural transition or if you are like I was, holding on to unhealthy hair and maintenance practices, let go and make the transition! There are so many resources and hair products available to make the transition less awkward. If you have doubts that it will look good, it will—you will do all that you can to make sure you’re fly rocking your hair in its natural state. If you think your hair won’t curl a certain way, it will— you will find the right products to enhance your curl pattern. Ultimately, I’m here to tell you that all the self doubt and insecurities you may feel about wearing your natural hair will eventually be unfounded once you decide to travel down that road. So Just do it!

Jamila Dainty