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Hair Care

How to Promote Hair Growth and Retain Length

When I first started taking better care of my hair I was instantly frustrated with what I saw as “no hair growth”. Little did I know that my hair was damaged from constant hair dying and flat ironing. One day, I decided to just cut it off. Yup. I cut my hair right to height of my jaw. I started deep conditioning more often and using protective styles. I stopped flat ironing and treating my hair like a rag doll. I learned what products my hair loved/hated. I experimented and had fun! These guidelines are what I have learned over the years to help me to promote hair growth and retain length. Hope they work for you all!

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  1. Deep Condition Like It’s Nobodies Business! Deep conditioning for me has really been a lifesaver. Every Sunday (Deep Condition Sundays!!), I treat my hair to a deep conditioner. By no means is deep conditioner a fix-all for damaged hair but it gives your hair MOISTURE! I stay away from deep conditioners that are not natural because (1) I don’t want chemicals sitting on my scalp (2) nothing seems to moisturize better than my own mix of oils!
  2. Moisturize Your Scalp! Moisturizing your hair does not just mean spraying oil sheen on the ends of your hair. Think of your hair as a unit. The roots need love, too! On my Deep Condition Sunday’s, I warm a bowl of olive oil (carefully!!) and apply the oil to my scalp in four sections. This not only moisturizes your scalp but the stimulation is so very beneficial for hair growth! Plus, the warm oil feels so nice!
  3. Use Conditioner As Often As Possible! Going to the gym 4 days/weeks means more hair washing for me. Whenever I shampoo, I always condition after. Leaving the shower with squeaky-clean hair is a problem. The shampoo most likely stripped your hair of its moisture so it needs the conditioner to replenish it! A great tip I got from a hairdresser is to leave a tiny bit of conditioner in your hair when rinsing it out!
  4. Throw Away That Bristle Brush! They are no good! There are 2 things that I use to comb my hair: my fingers and a wide-tooth comb. If you are going to use a bristle brush to smooth down your hair for a certain style that should be okay. As long as you aren’t running the brush through the ends of your hair.
  5. Don’t Play With Your Hair. I am so guilty of doing this! Some mornings I just can’t decide on a hairstyle so I style it 3 or 4 times! This continuous manipulation will not only frizz your hair but will promote breakage. Stick to one style and let it be. Also, stay away from styles that put a lot of stress on the hair like tight braids or buns.
  6. Protect Your Ends. I like to keep the ends of my hair hidden as much as I can. If I decide to do a bun, I make sure that the ends of my hair are snug and hidden away. If wear twists or braids, I choose styles where the ends aren’t visible.
  7. Trim Your Ends (as necessary). There is so much debate about how often we should trim our ends. Rather than trim every 6 weeks, I use the “search and destroy” method: find the knots and split ends and cut them one by one. This process is tedious but it’s the best way I have found to retain my length without cutting everything!
  8. Deep Condition With Protein Every So Often. Protein is great for strengthening your hair, but only a couple times a month. I use ‘Giovanni Smooth As Silk Xtreme Protein Hair Infusion’ 2x a month (in between regular deep conditioning) to help strengthen my hair. Using protein too often can actually dry out your hair!
  9. Do Apple Cider Vinegar Rinses! This is something I think everyone should try at least once. After shampooing & conditioning, I rinse my hair with 1 part ACV and 3 parts spring water. Honestly, my hair always feels amazing after. The ACV matches the pH of your hair, helping to close the cuticle, improve shine, and fight frizz! Feel free to rinse your hair after but its not necessary as the smell with eventually fade.
  10. Hydrate From Inside Out! I try to drink at lest 2 liters of water everyday. By staying hydrating internally I notice that my skin is suppler and my hair is less dry!
  11. Use Leave-ins! Leave-in conditioners are my lifesaver. I always make sure to put a leave-in in my hair after shampooing and conditioning. Even if I plan on throwing my hair in a bun, I know that my hair is moisturized by the leave-in. Stay away from those mousses and gels with alcohol, which only dry out your hair. If I do feel like using a gel, I make my own flaxseed hair gel!
  12. Comb Your Hair When Wet! The only way I comb my hair is when it is sopping wet and full of conditioner. The slip of the conditioner makes the detangling process so much easier. I start by dividing my hair into 4 sections, applying conditioner to each section. Then, I begin combing from ends to the roots, working my way up. This way does take a bit longer than combing in one huge section, but your hair will thank you!

When promoting your hair growth and retaining length focus on creating healthy hair. Once you have a healthy hair regime, the growth will come naturally. I am still learning about my own hair growth/retention journey and would love to hear your hair growth stories below!

Peace, Love & Coconuts!

-Zeena

Flaxseed Hair Gel Recipe

Flaxseed hair gel is absolutely AMAZING. I made a small batch last night to test it outcurls1 and my hair has never felt so soft! It is so easy to make and is a much better alternative to other hair gels full of chemicals and alcohol (yuck!). I will definitely be making this gel more often, especially when I start to run out of my other leave-ins.

Benefits:

  • VERY soft hair
  • Well-defined curls
  • Easy to style hair
  • Shiny hair
  • No residue
  • Voluminous hair
  • Clean, fresh smell
  • Easy to make
  • CHEAP!!

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Flax Seed Hair Gel Recipe

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup flax seeds
  • 1 drop rosemary essential oil
  • 1 tsp. olive oil

 

 

Bring 1 cup of water to a rapid boil. Add ½ cup of flaxseeds, stirring frequently.

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Allow flaxseeds to boil for 5-7 minutes, or until a white mucus-looking layer forms on the top. The goal is to form a gel like consistency.

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Remove from heat and use a strainer to separate flaxseeds from gel. This may take some time but be patient and use a spoon to help push the gel through the strainer.

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Once strained, add your oils. I added olive oil for a bit of moisture, as well a drop of rosemary essential oil to promote hair growth.

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Allow to cool for a few hours. I let mine cool overnight. The gel should last you 1 week but may last longer with other essential oils.

*Yields ¾ gel or enough for 1 use

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I loved the results!! My curls are super bouncy and feel amazing. Definitely give this recipe a try!

Peace, Love & Coconuts

-Zeena

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Castor Oil for Hair Growth

Okay so let me just say that at first I was hesitant about using castor oil for hair growth. I began using it a few years ago as a moisturizer and as a part of my deep conditioner but never solely for hair growth. The idea that one oil could actually promote growth seemed a bit absurd and impossible.

castor oil for hair growth

But…let me just say…
Castor Oil
is AMAZING!!

A month ago I overwaxed my eyebrows to the 9th degree. I love my thick brows so I was a bit bummed out. 🙁 I decided to let them grow out but was very impatient…

Fast forward a day or so and I recalled reading about Castor Oil as method for hair growth. I have a bottle of Heritage Store Castor Oil (about $9) so I thought “why not??” I lathered up my brows a few hours before bed, around 7pm. By the time I washed my face around 10pm the oil was mostly absorbed.

I had planned on using the oil every night for a month, but lets be frank, I forgot. I ended up putting castor oil on my brows about 3 times a week for a month.

That month is now up and I am so pleased with the results!!

Castor Oil for Hair Growth Results:

Before 1/15/13 (first application of castor oil)

castor oil for hair growth

After 2/15/13

castor oil for hair growth

My brows are so much thicker now and are filled in where I struggled to grow hair before using castor oil!

I am so happy with my results that I will continue to use castor oil for hair growth on my brows and on my roots!! I am definitely going to stock up on bottles online since its much cheaper there than in stores.

I can’t wait to report on my continued results! 😀 Castor oil is a miracle hair grower in a bottle!

Note: Be sure to only use cold pressed, pure castor oil.

-Peace, Love, & Coconuts….& castor oil!! 😉

-Zeena


Skincare Guide

Broken

One of the most common hair issues folks deal with is breakage. You may be trying to grow your hair out or even just keep it at the same length, but for some gosh darn reason your hair is getting shorter and shorter.

Let’s talk about what causes breakage…

There are 2 types of sources: internal and external

Internal

  • Nutritional deficiencies in the following vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids can 1significantly contribute to breakage:
    1. Vitamin B
    2. Vitamin E
    3. Iron
    4. Omega 3
    5. Omega 6
  • Stress and medical conditions could be potential sources as well.

External

  • Dry hair: Weather (aka cold temperatures) and products containing alcohol and sulfates can significantly dry your hair out.
  • Over-processed: Using relaxers, hair dyes, and straighteners can put significant stress on hair follicles and can make the hair shaft more prone to breakage because it lifts the hair cuticle.
  • Overworked: Hairstyles and constant physical manipulation can literally pull the hair shaft a part. Typical culprits are braiding, weaves, daily manipulation with hands, and hair wrapping.

How to STOP or reduce breakage:

Make sure you are eating a well balanced diet and if necessary, consider taking a nutritional supplement after consulting with your doctor.

Stop using products that contain alcohol and sulfates. There is a growing market for shampoos that do not contain such harsh ingredients, but still do a great job of cleansing your hair and scalp.

Some great brands are:2

  • Giovanni
  • Desert Essence
  • Avalon Organics
  • Kinky Curly
  • Beautiful Curls
  • Aubrey Organics

This may be a new opportunity for you to rethink your hair. Perhaps give your hair and scalp some time off from braids, weaves, and straightening. As an alternative, try opting for a protective style such as a bun, or gentle, loose twists. You could also just do a “wash n’ go.” A wash n’ go consists of just washing your hair, put in the styling products and let air dry (try not to touch!)

  • Try an apple cider vinegar rinse after you condition your hair in order to seal the hair cuticle and increase shine.
  • Use more oils in your hair care regimen.
  • Deep condition with coconut and olive oil
  • After you style, seal the ends of your hair with a little bit of coconut oil

Hair breakage can be annoying and upsetting but try not stress about it, as that will probably only make it worse. Take your time in finding out the cause and working out potential solutions. Now take a deep breath and remember,

Peace, Love & Coconuts!

– Nalani

Simple Homemade Deep Conditioner

Deep conditioning is so important for our hair! It helps to restore moisture, strengthen hair, and promote shiny, healthy locks. Deep conditioners can be very expensive so I prefer to make my own with simple ingredients! Here is one of my favorite recipes that can be easily modified depending on your hair:

  • Deep ConditionerAny natural conditioner (I use EO French Lavender)
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Castor Oil
  • Aloe Vera Gel
  • 2 or 3 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil

Simply mix all ingredients together. I like to use the natural conditioner as a base. The amount of oil I add varies depending on the level of deep conditioning I want.  Some days, I even choose to use purely oils.

After Deep Conditioning

My hair after deep conditioning!

After washing the deep conditioner out of my hair, I like to seal the hair cuticle with a mix of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and spring water. Add a few tablespoons of ACV to a bottle of spring water and pour the mixture over your hair (Feel free to rinse your hair again). Don’t worry, the smell fades!

This deep conditioner combined with the Apple Cider Vinegar rinse leaves my hair feeling silky smooth! 

– Zeena

Winter Care for Your Hair

Maintaining natural hair during the cold weather months can really become frustrating especially when our much needed accessories like hats and scarves can be detrimental for our hair! Here are a Winter profilefew of my favorite Do’s and Dont’s for maintaining my natural hair in the winter while staying warm…

Do

Moisturize hair every day! (Well, at least a few times a week). This can be as simple as using an oil based moisturizer or leave in conditioner. I prefer to use a moisturizing leave in like Kinky Curly or Giovanni Direct Leave-in everyday to maintain moisture. I like to spritz some water on my hands before adding any leave in creams which makes it easier for me to  work it into my hair.

Don’t:

Blow dry hair everyday. Although this is the easiet route to avoid leaving the house with wet hair in the winter it can be really trying on curly hair that is already prone to breakage. The heat from the blow dryer only damages the hair and may result in unwanted frizz. This combined with the cold weather will only reake havoc! I find that doing my hair first thing in the morning gives it sometime to dry before I leave.

Do:

Use protective styles! Protective styles are wonderful because they allow you to protect your hair and have a cute hairstyle! I love wearing my hair out but the thought of it breaking from the cold air kills me! Protective styles are great for locking in that moisture and protecting your ends from any breakage! Some great styles I use daily are buns, twists, and braids.

Don’t:

Leave the house with wet hair! This step may seem ridiculous but it’s so very important! I try to get my hair ready the night before so it’s partially dry in the morning. If your wet hair is continuously being frozen every morning you step out of the door, you can only imagine the breakage that will result! If you must absolutely leave with wet hair, make sure it is wrapped up with a satin scarf and kept warm by a cozy winter hat!

Do:

Wear a satin bonnet underneath winter hats. This will not only prevent your hair from frizzing because of the hat but will also prevent your hair from breaking as a result of the friction. I also try to only wear winter scarves if my hair is up. This will prevent the ends of my hair from rubbing against the scarf causing breakage. But if the weather is just too cold, I drape a satin scarf over the back of my winter scarf to protect my ends. This seems tedious but my hair always thanks me at the end of the day!

Do:

Deep condition as often as possible! My hair loves a great protein deep conditioner. I love using Giovanni’s Nutra fix, especially since it has great slip and smells delicious! I deep condition every Sunday and my hair always feels so moisturized after! During the week I love doing oil treatments on my scalp and ends to add some moisture before shampooing. The cold winter air can really suck the moisture out of my hair so the deep conditioners are very important.

Following at least a few of these steps during the winter will really save your hair from unnecessary damage and breakage! Hope you all enjoy these tips! 🙂

– Zeena