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      KeraVada Natural Hair Blog

      Natural Hair: Not Knowing Your Hair Type Could Be Your Problem

      Natural Hair: Not Knowing Your Hair Type Could Be Your Problem

      Hair typing for African American hair tends to be such a mystery for most of us.  I can't tell you the number of times that we have had someone ask our team "What do you think my hair type is?"  Now we want to demystify the hair typing system most used for African American hair as it is a good start to understanding your hair and therefore providing proper care.

       Andre Walker Hair Typing System

      Celebrity hairstylist Andre Walker introduced his typing system in his 1998 book Andre Talks Hair. Now it’s the unofficial standard within the Curly and Natural communities.

      That’s because it’s solely based on hair texture. And that’s important to women with curly and textured hair who are battle-weary from personal and social pressures to manage their woolly, cottony and billowy manes in a society biased toward straight hair.

      This hair typing system that best represents African American hair is the typing system using 4 main categories. 

      Types 1-4  with each type having its own level of a type from A B or C.  

      So what does this mean? It actually means the following:

      Hair is divided into 4 main types: 

      Type 1 Straight

      Type 2. Wavy

      Type 3. Curly

      Type 4. Coily or Kinky

      Then, he adds subcategories — A, B, and C — to identify various curl patterns.

      So fully straight hair (typically European, or Asian) may be defined has a Type 1A with the 1 representing that the hair is straight while the "A" represents how straight or the pattern found within the hair (if any).

       If you were to take a strand of hair out of your head and view its texture you would be able to simply compare it to the following chart.

      hair-types diagram-300x203

      When African American hair is cared for the hair type can tend to change which is why you can get an African American male that has type 4 hair to brush his new growth and achieve a wave pattern.  

      You will also find the same result of women that care for there hair and keep it moisturized and ph balanced with products that help to maintain moisture.

      Photo courtesy of http://thehairsmoothie.com/hair-typing/

       

       

      Discovering Your Hair Type

      Most women aren’t just one hair type.  Through experience and observation, you may find sections of your hair differ in texture than others. For example, using Walker’s Hair Typing as a reference, a 3-inch wide section of my hair encircling my skull from my temples to my nape is 3c.  My bangs — from both temples just before my crown — are 4b. My entire crown — the majority of my hair — is 4a.

      So, don’t be rattled if you have weird hair. Most of us do. It’s what gives your hair its unique character.

      Some of us who’ve lived a lifetime hiding our natural hair texture needs to be reintroduced to it. We must shake hands with our hair and have a conversation with it rather than dictate what we think it should do. So, take your time with this process.

      It’s the beginning of a journey with your true hair … and yourself.

       Sources:

      “Andre Says,”  http://andresays.andrewalkerhair.com/

      “Decoding Hair Texture: Hair Typing Systems 101,” http://www.curlynikki.com/2012/08/decoding-hair-texture-hair-typing.html

      “What is My Hair Type? The Andre Walker Typing System,”  Black Hair Media, http://blackhairmedia.com/natural-hair/what-is-my-hair-type-the-andre-walker-typing-system/

       

      http://www.loreal.com/research-innovation/when-the-diversity-of-types-of-beauty-inspires-science/expert-in-skin-and-hair-types-around-the-world.aspx

      “Hair Types: Hair Classification Systems,” http://healthyhairdimensions.com/?page_id=71

      Growing Your Hair Faster (Advanced Guide)

      Growing Your Hair Faster (Advanced Guide)

      Did you know your hair is always growing, even though at times this may seem as though it is a far cry from what you see in the mirror?  

      The amount of hair growth you see depends on 3 Key Factors: 

      1. Your Hair Care Regimen

      2. Your personal hair growth rate (Genetics)

      3.  Your ability to retain length (Keeping what you grow)

      If you are wanting to get maximum growth then it would be best not to focus on one individual factor but to focus on all of the factors that you can control.  While many women love to brag on their genetic predisposition to grow longer stronger hair, this is only 1 factor contributing to the overall growth of your hair.  Let's take look at one that you can control.

      Your Regimen:

      If you are having problems with breakage or shedding, then any hair that you grow will be lost in the process.  This is even worse if we don't care for our hair when it is in the early stages of its growth, which may lead it to break later (awww..).

      If you decide to consistently utilize heat, hair dyes, tight styles, shady growth products, trim too aggressively or perform other activities that could affect your length retention, then you may cause a setback and quite possibly make it even more difficult to reach your hair growth goals.  

       

      To retain length use scalp nourishing products.  These products should create an environment of health so that when the hair is in its early stages it remains healthy so that when it reaches its point of maturity it is less prone to breakage or shedding.  (See Article: Hair Growth Starts at the scalp)  Either way, most African American women tend to have hair that grows about a half-inch minimum to a maximum of 1 inch per month (rare). 

      How long it takes you to get to that ideal styling length for that perfect hairstyle you have been watching in the latest YouTube videos will depend on how well you retained that growth.  

      So bare in mind, the length of your hair may not be a testament to how fast your hair is growing but it may just reflect the products you use (or do not use) in your regimen leading to how much hair you keep.

      How to get best Twist Out Results

      How to get best Twist Out Results

      How do you get your hair so big?
      When I take my braids/twists down, I separate each twist in about 4-6 pieces. This creates more volume, and also keeps it from appearing too "piece-y". Don't be afraid to rake your fingers through your hair to mess up the curl pattern a bit, this makes it more of a natural wave or curls instead of crinkles.
      To add even more fullness, and a slightly funky effect, invest in a paddle brush. Simply take sections of hair and lightly brush the roots of your hair for more fullness. You can brush further down the hair as well, but take care when brushing towards the ends of your hair, you don't want too much frizz.
       
      Did you cut your bangs yourself, if so how?
      Yes, I did, I cut my hair while it was wet because I didn't want to straighten it [my hair has a tendency to get semi-straight when it's wet]. I wouldn't recommend this for someone with extremely curly hair, as it will be hard to gauge where the bangs will fall on your head. Instead, lightly blow out your hair, then cut. Be sure to take shrinkage into account when determining the length of your bangs, for instance, if my hair were straight,, my bangs would hit the tip of my nose. 
      I didn't do any fancy cutting techniques, I just made a u-shaped part, and cut my hair in one snip. Be sure to have a firm grip on your hair so that you get a nice even cut. 
      Is there a particular way you take your twists/braids down?
      I make sure I have a little Monoi De Tahiti Oil, or Vatika oil on my fingers [Coconut Oil will do], not too much because you don't want your hair sticking together too much [as it will decrease the volume], then I begin to take the twists down. 
      Here lately, I started taking my twists down from the bottom-up, and I like the results a lot better. The ends of my hair can get really frizzy if I start at the top of the twist. Just that little tweak has made all the difference in keeping the ends of my hair silky. 
      How long do you leave your hair twisted/braided before you take them down?
      I leave my hair twisted/braided until it is completely dry. If I don't have time to wait, I will sit under my Pibbs dryer for about an hour, then take it down as usual. If I take my hair down when it is still damp, my twist-out will only last about 2-3 days MAX, to get long-lasting results, allow your hair to dry completely.
      How many twists/braids do you do for your braid outs/twist outs?
      The best results for me have come by way of 10-15 braids/twists. Smaller twists/braids give me more of a crimped, skimpy look, while fatter twists/braids give me more of a thick, bushy look.
      Any tips/tricks for a good braid out/twist out?
      -Detangle thoroughly before twisting/braiding; if you can, invest in a Denman brush and smooth the hair out prior to twisting/braiding by lightly brushing the hair. I find that doing this makes for a silkier "set", and prevents the "rough" look.
      -I prefer to air-dry my sets versus sitting under the dryer because it makes my hair a lot softer/silkier. If you are pressed for time, use a lower heat setting [I use the 40-degree setting]
      -Go easy on the styling products, using too much product can cause a dry, stiff-looking braid out/twist out. I generally use about a dime-size amount to be on the safe side.

      Styling Your Natural Hair without the fuss

      Styling Your Natural Hair without the fuss

      I have had my share of hairstyles that never saw the light of day, they are usually hidden under a hat, or pulled back into a makeshift bun. These mishaps usually happen when I try a new product, fail to detangle properly or skip adding conditioner to my hair [really bad move]. 

      • For styles that are free-flowing such as braid outs or twist outs, I like to use minimal amounts of products that are lightweight. This makes for fluffier, shiner, hair with lots of body. Now you can use a combination of products, however, use them sparingly, and choose them wisely. Too much product can yield "dull" hair appears weighed down, and lacks movement. 
      • Get the hair uber CLEAN before styling, whether you use bentonite clay, sulfate shampoo, herbs, or baking soda, make sure the hair is free from residue before styling. Your hair will be shinier and have more body if you start with a clean palate.  
      • Detangle hair only while loaded with conditioner. I usually condition for about 15 minutes to let the moisturizing properties penetrate my strands, THEN detangle, and finally sit back under my dryer for another 15 minutes. 
      • Make sure hair is detangled and conditioned thoroughly prior to styling. Also if you are braiding or twisting your hair, do so with caution; split ends galore surely awaits you if you aren't careful [believe me, I have been there and it 'aint pretty]. 
      • If you have tangle-prone hair, try shampooing and conditioning while in (4) fat braids or twists. This has helped me out IMMENSELY, and I know it has played a major role in length retention. Less hair loss and split while detangling = more retention. 
      • When you are shampooing your hair, use your fingertips not your nails to gently cleanse your scalp. 
      • Don't overdo it on the shampoo [because of the potential drying effects sulfates], keep in mind that some professional products do not produce a lot of lather. Try getting into the habit of using dime-sized portions or less for each round of shampoo. Not only will you benefit by using less shampoo, but you can also save your tresses from sulfate overload. 
      • If you have hard water as I do, it may be necessary to add an additional step to your regimen like an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse [do this after rinsing out your conditioner]. This gently gets rid of minerals and deposits left behind from your water. Other bonuses include restoring the PH balance of your hair, adding sheen, and sealing the cuticle which aids in tangle freestyling.

      Hair Growth Starts At The Scalp

      Hair Growth Starts At The Scalp

      HAIR GROWTH STARTS WITH A HEALTHY SCALP... BUT HOW?


      Did you know that maintaining a healthy scalp is essential for the overall growth and health of your hair? Your scalp is responsible for sending sebum [natural oils] and nutrients along the hair shaft resulting in hair that is properly hydrated and nourished.
       
       
      How many of you exfoliate your scalp? Did you know that exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells, product buildup, as well as excess sebum? Dead skin cells, buildup and the likes can all cause inflammation [aka; an itchy, flaky scalp], which can later lead to thinning hair, and even hair loss [in fact, inflammation is one of the number one causes of hair loss in women today].
       
      Another culprit for hair loss is products loaded with PETROLEUM. Petroleum "seals" off the scalp, thus trapping dead skin, bacteria, and perspiration under the layer of petroleum, which can also result in inflammation of the scalp; and later hair loss.

      What Can You Do?

       
      Pre-Shampoo - A pre-shampoo treatment is necessary as shampoo is water-soluble, therefore it will not remove sebum [sebum is oil-soluble], toxins, and pollutants that are lodged in your hair follicle. Oil dissolves oil, in our case; the oil from your pre-shampoo treatment will dissolve excess sebum, and other oil soluble residue on your scalp. (pre-shampoo 1x weekly)
       
      Tip: Formulate your Pre-Shampoo treatment with herbal infused oils to deliver nutrients deep inside the hair shaft, as this will strengthen the hair and nourish the follicle.
       
      Here's A Great Pre-Shampoo Recipe:
      Add 1/2 cup Coconut Oil to a Crock Pot set on low; drop in 1 teaspoon each of the following herbs: Horsetail, Rosemary, Sage, and Burdock Root. Allow herbs to steep in the oil for about 20-30 minutes. Remove the herbs from the oil and let cool. Apply herbal infused coconut oil to unwashed, dry hair and follow your normal pre-shampoo routine.
       
      About This Formulation:
      • Horsetail: Purported to speed hair growth, clear skin inflammations, and strengthen hair follicles
      • Rosemary: Rosemary is purported to stop hair loss, add sheen, and impart shine and nutrients
      • Sage: Sage is great for clearing up skin inflammations Burdock: Imparts shine, strengthens hair at the follicle, and nourishes hair with essential fatty acids
       

      Massage your scalp at least three times weekly with the balls of your fingertips for about 10 minutes, as it stimulates blood flow to the follicles and promotes hair growth. .

       

      Exfoliate.... Exfoliate.... Exfoliate....

      Exfoliate Your Scalp Once Weekly - You can also gently exfoliate your scalp in lieu of pre conditioning treatments.
       
      Here's A Great Scalp Exfoliant Recipe:
      Mix 2 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar + 5 tablespoons of Jojoba Oil and 2 drops of Tea Tree Oil in a small bowl. Massage the exfoliant mixture gently onto scalp with the balls of your fingertips [do not scratch] for about 1-2 minutes. Rinse well with cold water, then follow up with an ACV rinse to remove any additional product residue.[exfoliate 1x weekly]
       
      Nourish & Stimulate Growth                                                                                                                    
      Scalp Massages - Massage your scalp at least three times weekly with the balls of your fingertips for about 10 minutes, as it stimulates blood flow to the follicles and promotes hair growth. Using a natural bristle brush, brush your hair to distribute natural oils along the hair shaft. Brushing your hair stimulates the scalp as well.
       
      Enrich Your Scalp Massage Oil With Nourishing Essential Oil                                                             
      Add 3 drops each of the following essential oils to 1/4 cup of Jojoba Oil: Tea Tree, Rosemary, Lavender. Mix well then add 3 drops of Vitamin E oil. Add to a dark amber bottle, and store in a cool location.
       
      Tip: Store all products formulated with a large amount of essential oils in dark, amber colored bottles [like these]. As light has a tendency to damage essential oils. Storing your formulation is bottles is also recommended, as essential oils can degrade plastic containers.
       
      About This Formulation:
      • Jojoba Oil: Jojoba Oil is non-greasy and most closely resembles the skin's sebum. It's antibacterial properties help to clear and prevent skin inflammation on the scalp. Purported to help aid in speeding up hair growth. Removes the buildup of sebum and other oil-soluble buildup.
      • Tea Tree Oil: This natural anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal essential oil is highly effective when it comes to preventing skin inflammation, and keeping bacteria at bay.  
      • Lavender Oil: Stimulates circulation which aids in hair growth, and also helps eliminate drandruff
      • Rosemary Oil: This essential oil nourishes the scalp, slows down premature hair loss, imparts mega-shine, and also helps eliminate and prevent skin inflammations.
      • Vitamin E oil heals the scalp, and also helps protect the hair shaft from harsh environmental elements

      Or Try This: KeraVada Super Ego Oil

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