Showing posts with label Haircare. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Haircare. Show all posts

Monday, 24 July 2017

Hair | Braid maintenance

Braids are a great protective style and every Summer the humidity has me itching to try them again. I had my hair cornrowed at Salon* recently (see my last style here) and it's been good to give my natural hair a break from daily styling. The fro is back now, but my hair feels so much better after being tucked away for a couple of weeks. I don't change my routine massively but I've outlined a few ways I care for my hair whilst it's braided up below.

Keep styling light
Hair that's braided doesn't tend to need as much moisture as when it's left exposed to the elements. When using products I find it's best not to oversaturate the hair or use heavy products as this only results in build-up. A little of a light moisturiser spritzed over the hair daily is usually all that's needed to give the hair moisture - look for milky rather than creamy products so it can be absorbed easily by the hair. I've been using  (£9.00/236.5ml) * or (£26/100ml)*. Both make my hair feel refreshed and I only need to spray a little over my braids. You can also just dilute your usual moisturiser or conditioner by adding a little water to it in a separate spray bottle. The idea is to give your hair a boost without overdoing it. I also like to apply a little of the (£6.99/120ml) with a toothbrush to smooth my baby hairs/edges but again I don't overdo it to prevent build-up.

Cotton sheets tend to soak up moisture and can cause friction on the hair as you move about whilst you sleep. To keep braids as smooth as possible whilst I sleep I'll protect them with a satin or silk scarf or pillowcase as these materials are gentle on the hair. I purchased most of my satin pillowcases from H&M but you can pick them up in a few places and scarves/headwraps can be bought from most Afro/Caribbean haircare stores.

Avoid scratching
Sometimes that itch creeps in and getting my hands up in my scalp for a good scratch is so tempting but it will cause braids to loosen and could damage your scalp. Instead gently pat or try applying a little of a natural oil or an oil mix into your scalp for relief. I like to massage in a little of the  (£7.60/120ml) or  (£21.50/30ml)* following moisturising.

Dry Shampoo
As a curly I've been engineered to be wary of both of these words so I avoided using dry shampoo on my curls for a long time. The right dry shampoo can refresh when you can't wash - look for one that's moisturising and doesn't leave residue. I've been using (£4.49/200ml)*. I spray a small amount throughout my roots and gently massage in. It smells so good and gives a quick refresh.

Deep cleanse
Cleansing with water too frequently can make the style loosen quicker - especially if your hair had to be blown out or straightened to braid in the first place. I'd much rather be comfortable and have a clean scalp so I'll remove any buildup after a few days but it's up to you how often you cleanse. I don't use any special shampoos or conditioners for my braids, only what I use normally - but I dilute everything I use with water in a separate spray bottle before applying as this makes it easier to remove from the braids. I tend to only concentrate on my scalp so this is the only area I'll get wet and then I use a damp cloth to wipe away any residue / build-up on the length of the braids.

*samples and complimentary hairstyle - read my disclaimer .

How have you been styling your hair?

Christine Stewart x

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Thursday, 16 June 2016

How To | Hot Oil Treatment [Video]

Hot oil treatments are the only thing that seems to help keep my hair from frizzing as much so even though it's warmer I've been relying on these treatments almost every week. I last made a video on hot oil treatments back in 2014 so I thought it was about time I did an update. In the video I take you through the two ways in which I do a hot oil treatment. Both methods are so easy and hot oil treatments can work well on all hair types, you may just have to adjust the oils you use or where you use them depending on your needs.

The Video:

Do you do hot oil treatments?

Christine Stewart x

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Thursday, 10 March 2016

DIY Hair Growth Oil [Video]

Until recently I haven't really been concerned about the length of my hair and I stopped doing all of the things which helped me get longer hair in the past. It wasn't a conscious decision but where I obsessed over hair growth for 4 years, when trying to reach waist length relaxed hair (see ), I naturally took a step back and just enjoyed my hair for what it is. I've been pretty scissor happy lately too, chopping randomly at my ends since I completed my transition (to ) back in  last year. As a result I haven't retained a lot of length in the last 6 months but I would love to have a little more hair to play with since the shrinkage is a killer!

I used to regularly rely on an oil mix containing natural and essential oils to promote growth when my hair was fully relaxed. I'd apply it with a massage every few days and mix a little into my shampoos and any conditioners which needed a boost. In past year I've only really been using or and I've merely used them to detangle or as a pre shampoo treatment.

I've been loving Fiona's () posts on hair growth recently (found and ). She reminded me how beneficial natural oils can be for the hair, especially essential oils like peppermint, and detailed a really interesting study regarding its effect on hair growth in her post. She suggests putting a mix of peppermint essential oil and carrier oils in every product which comes into contact with the scalp to boost growth which is such a great idea. I've now gone back to making my oil mix which includes peppermint oil and I'll be applying it to my scalp regularly. I'll probably add it to certain products like shampoos, conditioners and hair gel too, but I haven't tried this yet.

The below video details the oils I use and how I mix them together. I'm relying on oils I've always used in the past so feel free to make substitutions if you try this or let me know what your favourites are if you already do this. I don't have an exact ratio for my oil mix but I always ensure there's enough carrier oils in the mix to counteract the potency of the essential oils included as they can cause irritation. If you've not used them before, definitely test the essential oils on the inside of your forearm first in case it results in a negative reaction.

The Video:

How do you boost your hair growth?

Christine Stewart x

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Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Haircare | Gentle Products To Dry Hair

I air dry my hair about 95% of the time and my blowdryer barely sees any use. I have a video on my air drying process  and a key part of this process is relying on cotton materials or microfibre towels to dry my hair without damage and minimal frizz.

Why avoid using a normal towel? A regular bath towel has fibres which are far too rough for drying delicate wet strands. Even with gentle patting motions, this material tends to rub up against the hair cuticles which can cause breakage and, it sounds strange, but regular towels also tend to remove too much moisture from the hair. This makes hair (especially if it's curly) dry and frizzy. In comparison, cotton has a flat surface and microfibre materials aren't as fluffy or thick which allows them to remove moisture without causing too much friction on the hair cuticles. As a result, I never reach for a standard towel when it's time to dry my hair.

I've found that you do not need to buy any particularly special products to dry your hair. You probably already have something you can use which won't cost you anything! I personally use old cotton t-shirts (pictured right), sheets or pillowcases.

If you don't have anything you could use but don't want to spend much, you could use try browsing the sale section of any cheap fashion retailer or a charity shop for options. A large mens t-shirt is usually big enough for thick and long hair. If you get a t-shirt with sleeves or straps it's also easier to keep it secured to your head whilst your hair dries if necessary.

There are gentle products specifically designed for drying hair available too. I have purchased microfibre towels in the past (pictured left), some of which are available at little cost from the  and in supermarkets. If you don't mind spending a bit more  has various options like Towels, Cloths,  towels or Hand Dry Hair Gloves. Most of these retail above £15 so it really depends on your budget.

I made the switch to cotton and microfibre materials years ago and seeing the benefits for my hair means I'll never go back to using a regular towel.

What do you use to dry your hair?

Christine Stewart x

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