Eczema

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Sad news. My 3 year old’s eczema was recently exacerbated by the use of a naturally exfoliating sea sponge. I didn’t realize how detrimental the natural sponge was in his sensitive skin until too late…now it’s been a painful battle to get rid of the angry rashes all over his upper body. I’m not about to use no steroid creams on his delicate skin. This is my plan:

1. I replaced his hypoallergenic Tide Free & Clear laundry detergent with the brand Nature Clean. I also stopped using fabric softener sheets.

2. I switched from buying synthetic clothing to organic cotton and blends. I like Mini Mioche and WeeWoolies.

3. I switched from a hypoallergenic  baby wash to bathing him in oatmeal powder and rinsing with water infused in chamomile .  (The bathtub is also getting scrubbed with lemons, ACV and baking soda. I was formerly using Method eco spray  and Lysol wipes).

4. My son loves toast so I’m looking for an affordable gluten free bread. We will cut out gluten. I’m also adding a tablespoon of flax oil to his smoothies. It could take weeks to have effect on eczema though.

5. For itching relief, I bought :  tea tree oil ,  emu oil ,  organic coconut oil and Shea butter . Apparently grapeseed is really good for eczema but I cannot find a pure, cold-pressed grapeseed oil .  Applying chamomile tea bags on his back while he sleeps has helped as well .

6. And lastly ,  I threw out the rugs because of the risk of dust aggravating the eczema .  My son loves to roll on the rugs!

The best part about these natural eczema fighters is their versatility .  So many oils can be used for hair and skin (like flax and emu and grapeseed ) .

If you can’t eat it, it shouldn’t be on your child’s skin. If you are a veteran eczema fighter, please leave a tip or two in the comments below! How do you deal with ever ?

 

 

 

 

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Twist believer

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What if twists and braids was the way our hair was originally meant to be in? Obviously we are not born with our hair in neatly parted two strand twists, but it’s without question across the natural haircare world that African hair thrives in twists and braids .  It may just be the default for our hair.

I have kept my hair in “default ” twists for about 8 days now and I’m slowly loving it .  My 4B hair doesn’t dry out as quickly ,  holds more sheen and softness and doesn’t get unpredictable in wind, humidity and rain.

Twist’ s beauty is also underrated. The spiral shape of twists is like art. You can style twists in as many styles as our natural hair left out. We love twists for their twist-out definition and volume.  Can we love twists just for twists?

 

Wait and See

It’s Wash Day! I had my twists in for 7 days and unraveled them today to see my hair felt very thick and soft. My hair was clearly thriving under ‘twisted’ conditions .

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I pre-pooed my hair with melted cocoa butter then shampooed with a gentle co-cleanser before utilizing apple cider vinegar and condish. I ended with a quick 3 minute steam and a LOC method of grapeseed oil ,  Shea butter and a cheap hair cream. Now my hair is retwisted until next Wash Day. The only thing I’d do differently now is make my twists bigger and moisturize the crown of my head more.

But in  just one week of keeping my hair twisted 24/7, there has been a noticeable improvement in the texture and thickness .  It feels good!

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Twist Challenge Day 4

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If you didn’t read my previous post ,  I am keeping my hair in twists for 6 months mainly to grow it. After 4 days, I redid my front row of twists because they looked fuzzy. You know how it go.

I don’t love having my hair in twists .  I guess I’m not used to a non-Europeanized version of myself .  It’s taking time to feel comfortable and confident in twists. It does not give the illusion that I have a lot of hair. And hair is a woman’s crowning glory .

But darn ,  after only 4 days I can attest to less breakage and split ends. I have less hair all over my bathroom floor! The hair itself is silkier .  The key is to habitually spray it moisture whenever I go to brush my teeth ,  and rub coconut or grapeseed oil to the ends.

These are thirsty roots. Even in twists, the hair dries out faster than spittle in the desert. It’s imperative to get in a habit of untwisting ,  moisturizing  (I use a mix of jojoba, rosemary ,  Shea butter and cocoa butter )  and immediately retwisting .

I can probably stick  with it thanks to headwraps and cute hats. I said my hair would be in twists. I didn’t say anyone would see it! 😉

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Twist and Learn

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I am embarking on a 6 month journey to keep my hair in two strand twists for the entirety of that time, except when immediately retwisting.

I am not a big fan of twists as a hairstyle .  Twists have always been an at-home protective style solution .  I’m on Day 3 of wearing my twists and it’s taking time to get used to them. There is something grounded, low-key and lovely about the spirally coils. I’m used to big Afro puffs and sweeping side bangs but it’s still possible to have bangs with twists.

The reason I am doing this is for the health and growth of my natural hair .  I want to grow my hair and I want it to be moisturized and protected. Keeping it in twists has cut down on the time it takes to do my hair at night and in the morning .  Life is busy. I also love that it is an originally Black hairstyle my hair is kept in.

I was concerned with how dry and unpredictable my hair was if I left it out (in a bun ,  ponytail ,  etc). I was having some ridiculously bad hairdays. It was time to try something new .  And I live in a small, racist town where I am all but invisible to these people anyways. I might as well grow my hair while I am out here!

I love my fellow natural sisters for their own honest journeys and self-love. It’s too soon to tell if this experiment will produce shoulder length could but if you kept your hair exclusively in twists for a long period of time ,  let me know how it went ! !!20170916_160202.jpg

Thirsty Roots

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Natural hair lights up a room. African skin is golden and magnificent, as deep as it is warm. Shades of cinnamon and ochre, not to be ignored. Ostracized. But majestic like mountains, rising like our hair. Regal like an eagle. Soaring above on our ancestor’s wings.

Never feel less than because your hair is different. It’s thirsty. You have thirsty roots. Like a mind thirsty for knowledge. Let it saturate in the oils of nature’s bounty. Do not neglect it in self-hatred, wishing it to be something else. An eagle can never be a tamed chicken, though it has been beaten and trained to cluck. Free it, and it will soar above. Naturally.

Have a blessed week!!!!
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What I Learned

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Greetings, phenomenal sisthren and brethren. I’m here to give you the 5 lessons I have learned from my hair journey this year. The more time you spend being comfortable with your hair, the more it reveals to you (or hair bloggers reveal..ha ha!). I’m not a new naturalista but we all can keep learning from our beautiful, coily hair and each other!

1. Focus TCL on the back of your head.
This portion is the part you cannot really see most of the time but if you pay more attention to it than your front, it will get longer and make your ponytails and other hairdos look longer too. Don’t forget the back of your head!!!

2. Take time to create tight, moisturized twists at night.

If you don’t just hurriedly put some doo-foo twists in the night before , you’ll find styling your shiny, soft hair so much easier in the morning!

3. Keep protective styles in for 2-3 days and wear a headscarf.
This really helps hair growth. The key to this working is to still keep the twists/braids/buns well moisturized!!!

4. You don’t need a million new hairstyles. Honestly, just clipping your hair up for a classy look or rocking a twist out will always be effortless and look timeless. Don’t worry about having the same hairdo for a few days or a week.

5. Switch up hair products with the seasons.

This is my most important lesson. Grapeseed oil and a water- based hair dressing is terrific for summer, as well as aloe and honey. But come dry winter, bring out the big guns. You know what I’m talking about: castor oil, Shea butter, EVOO, coconut oil and those necessary hot oil treatments!

I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know what your tresses taught you this year!
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Not Any Less Professional

I am interning in the healthcare field and I’m 1 of 2 Black women at my facility. I am also the only Black student in a class of 17 White females, and 1 Swedish male. My instructor told us, on the first day of clinical placement at the hospital, to wear our hair back and out of our face. My face fell in disappointment. My signature style was a big, out-there twist-out. Maybe a few Bantu knots in the front to shake things up. But I detested wearing my hair tamed down because, my hair didn’t like to be tamed down!

The other girls came to the facility in sleek ponytails, sensible buns and one in a cute Dutch braid pinned up against the back of her head. I came with a Crown Twist but I had grappled that morning with the idea I should straighten my hair and wear it in a bun to be taken more seriously and professionally by the legion of doctors, physiotherapists, nurses and patient’s families that I would see every day–and the patient’s themselves. I struggled to feel competent in the sea of blonde ponytails and chignons. I know this is not just my struggle.

Many Black women contend with the idea of proudly showcasing their natural Afro hair, but also the understandable desire to be taken seriously in their profession. How you look matters. I have a Black female acquaintance working for a prestigious Canadian business who has shiny, straight long black weave. She always slays in power suits and red lipstick, and I sometimes wonder if she would have that high-powered job without the weave? On the other hand, I have an acquaintance who is a Black female doctor in California who wears her Afro proudly, or twists, and dons African earrings and is extremely intelligent and influential. She did not let herself become defined by European standards of beauty, in fact, she was hellbent on addressing racism and sexism and calling it out for what it is.

I’m not going to straighten my kinks to be taken more seriously. My intelligence stems from my brain, not my scalp. When eyes roll or nurses pretend to ignore me, I will speak up. They’ll learn I’m a force to be reckoned with. Afro hair and all. Let’s not get into the professional world and then take a turn down European lane, ladies. Up here, it’s even more important to stand our ground and shape our Black identities. PROHAIR

POW!ders

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Thank goodness there is an endless resource of natural products to use in our beautiful, thick Afro hair. And who knows what waits to be discovered next?

Well, today, I’m here to discuss adding powders as a hair mask. You can make a paste using yogurt, goat or coconut milk, or even plain water (oils like coconut oil work well too). You can make it as thick or as thin as you prefer.

So what powders are beneficial for African hair?
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TURMERIC

Turmeric is a cheap powder you can find easily and is a great anti-bacterial, dandruff-fighting powder thanks to its high levels of curcumin. This orangey-yellow powder promotes hair growth by counteracting hair loss. It’s also staining so find a way to protect your vanity while applying it in front of your mirror and wipe any that falls immediately! The results will be worth it.

GINGER

You can use ginger powder in a hair mask! It’s a powerful spice that can promote hair growth, reduce hair loss and makes your hair soft and shiny. Thrown in a tablespoon or two to your regular hair mask for great-smelling action.

TRIPHALA

Triphala powder is a bit more expensive. I found some at the health food store for $7.99 but it smells earthy and lovely, and prevents hair loss. It is also full of nutrients and contains three ingredients: amalaki (amla), haritaki and bibhitaki. Amla is a very nourishing Ayurvedic herb and can be purchased separately. It’s usually a pale green and has a similar aroma to that of Triphala. Amla is known as the “superfood for hair”. It is known to add thickness and shine to hair, and has a high concentration of amino acids and antioxidants including quercetin and gallic acid and contains about 17x more antioxidant power than pomegranate. It’s worth a try! (Side note: I notice amla loosens my curls. Great to try before a Wash ‘n’ Go!)

CINNAMON POWDER

Mixing cinnamon and honey is a well known hair remedy for hair growth as its meant to stimulate the scalp. To make the mask easier to apply, add olive oil.

ALL SPICE POWDER

This is the powder of the Pimento Officinalis tree berries. It is antiseptic and promotes hair growth. All spice will open up your blocked pores in the scalp to help oil get through. Using this before a hot oil treatment is beneficial. Using all spice will also remove bacteria from your scalp and hair. It also smells wonderful with the aroma of cinnamon, cloves and juniper.

BRAHMI POWDER

Another nourishing Ayurvedic hair powder that can be used with other great hair powders like Neem, Amla or Tulsi.