Amla: Miracle Oil or Too Good to Be True?!



Where Does it Come From? 
Among the many botanical based ingredients currently popular in hair care routines, amla is perhaps the one that seems the most mysterious, at least from a chemistry point of view.

Amla is derived from the fruit of the Indian gooseberry or Phyllanthus emblica L., a deciduous tree found in both the tropical and subtropical portions of the Indian and Southeastern Asian countries.
The lemon-sized fruit is greenish yellow with attractive vertical striations and has a bitter, sour, and sweet taste. While amla fruit is primarily composed of water, it also contains a variety of sugars, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, minerals, and contains very high amounts of ascorbic acid (vitamin C). For many centuries it has been prized by practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine as well as many other groups for its reportedly amazing medicinal attributes as well as for its beneficial properties for hair and skin.

What Does it Do? 
Advocates who support topical use of amla for hair claim that it is has many uses:
  • cleansing agent
  • deep conditioning treatment
  • dandruff remedy
  • prevents graying of hair
  • darkens hair without use of dyes
  • imparts shine
  • improves hair growth
Read On!>>>

Understanding Your Hair Texture: Width and Pattern


by Susan Walker of Earthtones Naturals

First things First – Hair Width

Regardless of if your hair is straight, wavy, curly or kinky we all have 3 basic widths: fine, medium and thick which can also be called coarse. Width is not how the hair feels but describes the thickness of each individual strand of hair. The comparison is typically to a piece of thread. If your hair is fine, it’s thinner than the thread, medium hair is usually the same width and thick or coarse strands are thicker than the piece of thread.

Characteristics of Each Hair Width

Fine Hair

Fine hair is the most fragile texture and can be easily damaged. Contrary to popular belief, people with finer hair tend to have more hair than people with thicker hair strands. Fine hair can tend to be oilier than other hair types. For those of you with fine hair you may find difficulty holding a style; your hair is light and can fall flat against your head. Volume is often desired but not often attained. Structurally fine hair has two hair layers – a cortex and a cuticle.

Read More!!>>>

Healthier Natural Hair By Skipping Shampoo? (The Science.)

IG @ab.k_

Question: Is No Poo a good way to clean hair?

Allie asks…What’s the deal with this “no poo” craze? Does the hair get more healthy because of the natural oils you use? I’ve seen on Pinterest people talking about using baking soda as a cleanser and apple cider vinegar as a conditioner.

To answer Allie’s question we review several alternate ways to wash your hair.

The Ultimate No Poo
This means you don’t clean your hair AT ALL. Not even rinse it with water.

Does it work? Sure. You don’t actually have to shampoo your hair. Of course, it won’t be clean either. It will be less damaged and probably look more shiny. However, it may also look and feel greasy, smell funny, and be difficult to style in any way except laying flat on your head.

Shampoo free poo
This is rinsing your hair with water.

Does it work? It will certainly refresh your hair but it won’t remove heavy styling residue. (And, as we’ll explain, you’re still damaging your hair even without the shampoo.)

Read On!>>>

Use THIS to Rinse Frizz Away! #EasyButton

IG @nicoleelise 

by Emilia Obiekea of Adorebotanicals.com

Frizz can be caused by many factors such as humectant heavy leave-in products and using items that are very alkaline. This causes the cuticle layer to open and swell. Tired of the hot and humid weather causing your wash n go's, twist outs and braid outs to look tragic by midday? A simple solution to this common problem is carbonated water.

Continue!>>>

Does Clay Washing Actually Clean Hair?



Joneen asks:
I have a question about rhassoul clay. I’ve heard great things about using it as a shampoo. My concern, though, is mineral buildup. This is one of the results of hard water that has a negative impact on hair, and something I am currently experiencing and want to avoid in the future. I know rhassoul is largely silica and aluminum, but it does have some calcium and magnesium in it, the very same minerals that hard water contains that are so problematic.

Read On!>>>

Is It Safe to Melt Coconut Oil in the Microwave? #GeekOut



Lindsay Girl asks: I have used extra virgin coconut oil in my hair as a deep conditioning treatment once a week for several years now. I melt the oil in the microwave. This morning I was reading in an article on the naturallycurly.com website that the author of the article “heard” that you shouldn’t warm coconut oil in the microwave because that will “alter the bonds” in the oil. What say the Brains? Can I safely put the coconut oil in the microwave to melt it? Or is there a better way?

The Beauty Brains responds:
When LG raised this question in our Forum we said “no problem.” But after further consideration we realized that there is some risk involved with heating coconut oil in a microwave oven.

The danger of microwaving coconut oil

Coconut oil penetrates hair because of its size and the configuration of its carbon chain. Unless you’re heating it above the point where it will decompose, microwaving it should cause no problems. In other words, “melting” it is just fine. BUT you need to be very careful when using this approach. Here’s why:

7 Reasons Why Your Natural Hair is Breaking.

IG @Joyjah

by Charlene Walton of TexturedTalk.com

You would be amazed at the many things that can cause breakage on natural hair. There are several things we do daily, which may not seem like a bad idea but can actually do more harm than good. I guarantee it, if you stay away from these 7 deadly sins then you will be A-ok! Let’s begin!

Continue!>>>

New Study Finds That Black Women Are More Prone To Hair Loss


by Sabrina Perkins of SeriouslyNatural.org

A new study presented a couple of weeks ago at the American Academy of Dermatology's 74th Annual Meeting in Washington show that black women are more prone to hair loss.The also found that even though we are prone to hair loss, we are less likely to seek professional help about the problem. 

The Best Way to Deep Condition for Maximum Moisture - Part II



Part 2: The Ingredients and the Methods

by Susan Walker of Earthtone Naturals

How do you know if your deep conditioner is good or not? Do you rely on price? Not necessarily as an expensive product doesn’t mean the product is good, nor does a cheap product mean it doesn’t work. So what should you look for? The answer to this question is to become ingredient savvy. Having an understanding of ingredients will help you determine, at least at first glance, if a deep conditioner is going to be effective for you or not.

Look for ingredients that attach onto to the hair

Remember we discussed the fact that conditioning agents ADSORB to the hair? ADSORBING means that the ingredients attach to the surface of the hair. This phenomenon is responsible for helping to soften the hair, temporarily repair the hair, smooth the cuticle and reduce flyways.

The main types of ingredients you’re looking for are cationic surfactants, cationic polymers, emollients, oils and silicones.

Read More!!>>>

Here's Why the LOC Method Didn't Work...



by Ariane of BlackNaps.org

Ask about how to keep your hair moisturized and you are guaranteed to hear about the LOC Method for moisture. Tried it and it didn’t work? It happens, here are a few possible reasons why your outcome was less than pleasing:

Continue!>>>

Top Detangling Conditioners for Natural Hair Care

Photo Courtesy of Natasha Leeds

by Amanda

About a year and half ago I decided to start detangling on damp hair instead of soaking wet hair. When our strands are saturated in water the hair shaft swells, making it weak and vulnerable to breakage. Since my 4a coils are fine in width, I know that even though wet detangling in the shower was easier, it is not the best approach to prevent breakage. After parting my hair in six section before removing tangles and shed hair at the sink, I reach for one of these five conditioners (daily conditioners and leave-in conditioners) with slip that eliminate all friction between my strands for smooth application.

Are Fatty Alcohols Actually Good For Natural Hair?


by SOINTOCURLS of BlackNaps.org

Are fatty alcohols good for natural hair?  It depends. It is true that fatty alcohols are an improvement over short short chain alcohols like SD alcohol, alcohol denat and isopropyl alcohol.

Fatty alcohols like cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol – just to name a few – tend to have lubricating properties that in the short term, seem to make hair more pliable and more flexible.

In contrast, short chain alcohols are extremely lightweight and very drying. Additionally, these alcohols break up oils that they come into contact with. That is precisely why they are so pervasively used in hair products that are marketed for people who have oily hair. Unfortunately, short chain alcohols are also prominently featured in African American and natural hair care products, rendering hair that is already naturally dry and non-pliable even more dry.

Continue!>>>

Highly Porous Hair? Try Coconut Oil!

by Sunshyne of Hairlicious Inc

Is your hair feeling dry, rigid and rough? You may be suffering from overly porous hair! Not sure what porous hair means? It's your hair's ability or inability to absorb and retain moisture.

To learn more about porosity and to test your hair's porosity, click HERE.

As for treatments, coconut oil may be the natural remedy for you!

Since coconut oil is able to bind to the natural protein structure of the hair, this helps the hair retain its natural moisture content and reinforces the hair fiber, making it stronger.

Read On>>>

The Best Way to Deep Condition for Maximum Moisture


by Susan Walker of Earthtone Naturals

Deep conditioning is an extremely important practice for many naturals and as a result there are various ways women deep condition their hair. But what is the proper way to deep condition the hair? Why are some methods more important than others and what is a complete waste of time. The purpose of this article is to sift through all of the information to give the real truth about this process, and how to get the results your looking for.

Why Deep Condition?
What you’re trying to accomplish with conditioning is to restore or maintain the elasticity of the hair so that it’s better able to withstand combing, brushing, cleansing etc. without too much damage. Conditioning can also improve the appearance of the hair causing it to appear healthy.  Conditioning in general should accomplish the following:
  • Ease combing (both wet and dry)
  • Increase softness to the hair
  • Minimize flyaways
  • Reduce the porosity of the hair
  • Improve the manageability of the hair

THIS is What's Causing Your Hair Damage.


by Sabrina Perkins of SeriouslyNatural.org

We are naturals right? We are conscious about everything that we do, so much so that we feast on all forms of advice and information we can find that will give us the edge we need for healthier, longer, shinier tresses. The problem with that is, we do not all have the same problems, needs or techniques that actually work and will benefit us.

Even the so-called experts have problems or make dire mistakes in their journeys and the honest and smart ones will share their failures to help educate others. My motto is nothing is a mistake if you learn from it, so I share in hopes of saving someone else the grief I have put upon myself.

Continue!>>>

Can I Reduce Breakage Without Getting a Trim?


by Amanda

Q: How do you reduce breakage/shedding other than trimming?

A: Let’s start by discussing the difference between shedding and breakage.


What is hair loss?
"When your hair naturally falls from the root, you are experiencing hair loss. Some amount of hair loss normal and to be expected.

In fact, while you may not be aware of it, you’re likely losing up to 100 strands each day. The “100 strands” theory is based on the assumption that we have approximately 100, 000 hairs on our scalp and lose around 1% of them daily.

Additionally, the rate at which you’re losing hair can vary based on gender, diet and genetics.

What is hair breakage?

Curly hair is especially prone to breakage. You may experience breakage when combing, detangling, or styling your curls. Breakage is most noticeable when brushing or combing your hair, removing a hair band, or in the shower.

Continue!>>>

Steaming for Too Long Can Relax Your Natural Hair?



Q: I was looking online for a hair steamer. I did some research and found a site that said there are not many studies for hair steaming. Is this true?

Continue!>>>

Does Plucking One Gray Hair Make More Grow Back?

embrace the gray like our curl friend, Omisade!

by Sabrina Perkins of SeriouslyNatural.org

This has GOT to be one of the most asked questions in hair and beauty! To pluck, or NOT to pluck? I am talking about gray hairs, you know, those little ones you get around your hairline?  Whether you have a few grays or a ton, you have definitely thought about it, talked about it with a girlfriend or may have even seen your mother doing it. No matter where you stand, the 10 million dollar question remains:

Does plucking a gray hair REALLY make more grow back in its place?

Continue!>>>

3 Easy Ways to Prevent Split Ends for Healthy Hair


Source: Tamullar (Long Hair Community)
by Shelli of Hairscapades

Did you know that there were this many kinds of split ends? Pretty nasty, right? Well, I can attest to the validity of this chart. Because, about 2 1/2 years ago, I saw just about every split end on it (except the white spots) in my own head of hair. It was bad y’all. I mean, baaaaaddddd! That’s when I took to carrying around purse scissors … so that I could take split ends to task at a moment’s notice, any time, any place (seriously, I was out of control)!

2011 NYC CurlyNikki Meet-Up: Told ya!

But now the split ends are few and far between and have been for quite a while. Let’s put it out there. I have fine strands. So,  I’ll probably always get split ends no matter how protective I am of my hair/ends (unlike my compatriots with strong, thick-strands ). But, now I generally only see the vanilla variety, single “split” end … and they tend to be far rarer and very small.

Read More>>>

4 Things to Know About Natural Hair Besides Curl Type

by Charlene Walton of TexturedTalk.com

One of the most frequently asked questions from women embarking on their natural hair journey has to be “What is my curl type?” but, there are so many things to know about natural hair besides the common letter and number 3c/4a, etc. Aside from wondering why their natural hair is so dry…wanting to know their curl pattern and type is usually the burning question. Unfortunately, this often boxes women into a category and sadly sets the stage for curl discrimination – yes there is such a thing. On the one hand, I strongly believe in identifying a curl type and pattern. This allows you to relate to other hair bloggers and vloggers and draw inspiration for styling as well as get insight on new products to try. However, our curls are more than just a number and letter. Here are 4 things to know about natural hair besides the curl pattern.

Read On!>>>

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