Priya Odette

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Natural Hair Journey Mini Guide: Part 2

In part one of my mini guide I covered co-washing, deep conditioning, styling and curl patterns. How do you feel about oils? Using an oil in your hair can help promote growth, seal in moisture and keep your curls healthy. You could also use it as a  treatment or as part of your curly routine. For example if you use the LOC method to apply products (Leave In, Oil, Conditioner) then you can consider one of the following:

  • Coconut Oil - Strengthener
  • Jojoba Oil - Promotes hair growth
  • Almond Oil - Nourishing
  • Macadamia Oil - Helps damaged or frizzy hair 
Next we have a very serious decision to make - Air Drying vs Diffusing. This is the one thing that many of us curlies find it hard to decide on. Whilst air-drying is better for your hair it does mean that you will be walking around with wet hair for a fair bit of time (not the ideal look if you're going on a date). Whereas diffusing is quicker and could potentially take between 30mins-1hour depending on your hair type- and saves you from the wet hair scenario. However it can cause heat damage and dry out your hair when used over a long period of time.

I personally prefer to air dry my hair but in all honesty if I'm heading out to an event or to meet someone then I will diffuse my hair once it's 70% dry. The next thing to figure out with diffusing is whether you should use low heat on a low setting or cool air on a low setting. Truthfully which one works best will depend on your hair type. For me cool air does nothing but take forever and cause unhappy curls, so low heat on a low setting it is. But having said that I know many people who it does work for and some people even use a fan instead of a diffuser - who knew!

Volume. We all like a bit of volume and there are a few ways that you can help your curls stay be big and bouncy such as using an afro comb, scrunching, lifting your roots with your hands or generally giving everything a good shake. Again which method works best for you is dependent on your curls but I think it's unanimously agreed upon that it's best to wait for your hair to dry before you go digging around because you may end up with more frizz. Ladies and gentleman I have no shame, I will lift these roots and give my hair a good old shake in public any day of the week!

So we know what to do during the day but what about at night? Preserving your curls during the night is essential to keep them looking healthy. A few handy nighttime buddies are a satin cap, silk scarf and a satin or silk pillowcase. Satin or silk are better for your hair as cotton has a tendency to suck the moisture and remove essential oils from your luscious curls. If your hair is at a length that you can tie it up then definitely get yourself some plastic spiral hair bands as the design ensures that the band doesn't pull on your hair and reduces chances of breakage.

Finally when choosing products whether it's a leave in conditioners or styler, try to use one and then move on to the next if it doesn't work. There are so many beautiful products and brands to try out,  it's really quite easy to get carried away and stroll down the product junkie lane. But your hair does take time getting used to products so swapping and changing every two minutes will not give you the best results that the product can offer. Even more so I prefer quality over quantity - when I first started researching the natural journey I noticed so many people using up to 4-5 products in their styling routine alone (that's not including their wash routine) and I automatically assumed I would need a cabinet full of products to tame my mane. But it isn't always that case. Everyone's hair is different so if you find one, two or even three products that work well for you - then stick with it. Obviously there will be some that don't work for you but the trick is to give it a good go first and see what happens. It will also be a lot cheaper for you as well and we all like that..

Et Voila - A mini curl guide complete! This was a brief insight into what I think you should know whilst travelling on your natural journey to healthy hair. I hope it was useful and please let me know how your big chop/transitioning/new you - get's on! 

Friday, 19 May 2017

Natural Hair Journey Mini Guide: Part 1

When I first started my natural hair journey I was absolutely clueless. Thankfully now hair brands are better known and social media has become a haven filled with advice for naturals. Now I'm no expert but I've learnt a few things along the way. So I thought I'd dedicate this post to anyone who is considering going natural or is already on their way..

Big Chop? Transitioning? Big decisions. Either way you will need to keep your hair conditioned and nourished. Co-washing (ditch the shampoo and just use conditioner) will help you to maintain healthy natural hair. You will know when your hair needs a wash due to the product build up over time, for example I co-wash once a week to remove any products that I have applied. A good technique you may want to consider whilst washing is finger detangling... Have you ever looked at your hairbrush and thought uh oh that's a lot of hair stuck between the bristles? Well finger detangling reduces the hair shedding during your curly routine and helps you to distribute products evenly. Brushes aren't a complete write off though, a lot of curlies turn to the trusty Denman brush as it is known to glide through hair without causing too much frizz or static. It also comes in different sizes to suit your curl pattern!

Next up is deep conditioning treatments. Using a deep conditioner at least once a week is a great way to keep and maintain healthy curls. Always check how long you are meant to leave the product on your hair as it can become brittle if left on for too long.This is because the product continues to work until it's washed out thoroughly.

Leave in conditioners are also an excellent go to for your hair routine. They can be used as the base of your routine and the first product you apply when styling you hair. You can use a leave in conditioner as a styler or you may decide that you want more hold which is something you will get from adding a creme or a gel to your styling process. Dependent on your hair type some gels may dry out your hair so pairing it up with a leave in conditioner will help you to keep the moisture locked in.

The Jargon and no this isn't algebra:  2a, 2b, 2c, 3a, 3b, 3c, 4a, 4b, 4c. They are all curl types and don't worry you probably have more than one of them on top of your head. It's good to know your curl type as it's helpful for when choosing products and finding the best way to look after your hair. You will notice a lot of hair brands and Youtubers make reference to hair types online. Don't panic! There's a diagram below to help you out a little in case you're wondering what I'm on about.. For the record I place myself between 3b-3c.


And there we have it, a few tips and hints for the natural hair journey.
Keep updated with my posts on social media as Part 2 of my mini guide will be up soon!
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