everything I've learned about growing, maintaining, styling, and loving long hair

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it’s a boy!

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quick update

IMG_7301bJust looked at my blog and thought, “Wow!  Has it really been that long?”  I’ll be 40 weeks pregnant tomorrow, so yeah…. it’s been that long.  I had several ideas of things to post about and every intention of doing so, but this pregnancy has really drained my energy!  I haven’t forgotten about this blog or decided to stop posting, I’ve just needed to focus my efforts on other areas and conserve my energy for more important things.  I hope to get my health back in order after I have the baby and be able to return to a more normal lifestyle.

As I said in my last post, my hair has suffered simply because I don’t feel like messing with it.  The last half of the pregnancy has been better, but still not my usual routine.  It’s been so long that I almost feel like I’ve unintentionally created a new routine.  I think it will be difficult for me to get back to where I was before.  But that’s my goal.

Don’t give up on me!  I have things I want to post about and questions from you girls that I haven’t had a chance to address.  I will do my best to get to it soon.  In the mean time, thanks for stopping by and continuing to send new people my way!

new photo

Took a preggie pic today.  Thought I’d share it since it shows my hair pretty well too.  Hennaed and flat ironed 4 days ago.

I admit, I’ve been extremely lax in my hair care since I got pregnant.  I went through a phase of about 2 months (at least) where I really didn’t care what I looked like.  I felt that bad.  Putting on makeup, fixing my hair, painting my toenails, lotioning after a shower…. all things that I normally am very particular about, a thing of the past.  There was even a period where I didn’t even put gel on my hair after I showered!  If I wasn’t going anywhere, what was the point?  Too much trouble. lol

My hair was badly in need of a DT but I couldn’t seem to gather the energy.  I was also badly in need of touching up the henna, it had grown out at least 6 inches.  I’ve been feeling much better the past couple of weeks and finally got around to doing both.  My hair felt so dry that I was afraid to henna without first doing the DT.  I was afraid it would be too harsh on the ends.  I decided to try coconut oil this time.  I’m really pleased with the results!  I hennaed a couple days after, also with good results.  It feels good to be getting back into the swing of things.

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tangle teaser

A few weeks ago, while I was in the process of writing the last post, a friend actually bought a Tangle Teaser for me as a gift.  I very rarely brush or comb my hair while it’s dry, so I finally took the opportunity to try it out today.  In preparation for a deep conditioning treatment, I wanted to detangle my hair so I could get the oil through it easily.  It was rather more tangled than usual, and I’m still having quite a bit of fall-out which makes the process a little more difficult.

For comparison, I divided my hair in half and used my wide-tooth horn comb on one side, and the Tangle Teaser on the other.  The side with the comb took about 5 minutes to get it completely detangled.  The Tangle Teaser worked through the tangles much quicker, but it was difficult to get it through the thicker parts of my hair.  I had to divide the half into more sections to make sure I didn’t miss anything in the middle.  It felt quite good on my scalp…. when I could feel it.  Again, I had to divide my hair into sections, especially around my crown area where the hair is thickest, to be able to reach my scalp with the brush.  Then, I felt the need to do a once-over with the comb to make sure I got it all (because the teeth of the comb will reach all the way through my hair).  Because of all this, it ended up taking just as long as using the comb, and (in my opinion) was more trouble.

My conclusion:

  • I think it may work well as part of a process…. such as using the Tangle Teaser when I encounter a knot during the combing process.
  • If you have issues with tangles, do give it a try!
  • You may like it better than I do if you don’t have really thick hair.

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tangles & knots

I don’t personally have a lot of experience with tangles, so I’m probably not the best source of information on this topic.  But I’m still going to share with you what I know because many times tangles is what keeps you girls from growing your hair long, or makes you want to cut it off.  If you are the type to brush through your hair, ripping out the knots as you go…. imagine me slapping your hand and saying “NO!” :)  Believe me, that’s the worst way for you to deal with it!  Few things make me cringe more than a child crying out in pain as her head is being yanked around by a brush in her mother’s hand.  The mother always saying, “She just hates having her hair brushed!”  Many times I have asked for permission to take over, and the little girl sat calmly and quietly as I detangled her hair.  No, she doesn’t hate having her hair brushed, she just hates the way you do it.

Like I said, I have limited experience.  I have been blessed with hair that simply is not prone to tangle.  I think it’s because it’s more on the coarse side.  However, I have dealt with a lot of different types of hair on other people, including very fine hair, tightly curled thick hair, and children’s hair.  Please keep in mind that different hair types have different needs.  These are just some basic principles that I have discovered to work well for me.

Tangles are very damaging to the hair and cause weak spots and breakage.  Here are a few rules to follow to avoid tangles, and to deal with them when they do happen.

hair1.  Avoid letting your hair loose on a windy day.  If your hair tangles easily, please follow this piece of advice!  I knew a girl who had to cut her knee length hair off at her waist because she spent a day outside enjoying the feel of wind in her hair.  She ended up with a huge knot.  Three different people worked on it over the next few days with very little success.  She cut the knot out, but it left a gap that was too noticeable, so she cut it all off.

So put your hair up or in a braid if you’re going to be out on a windy day.  The same goes for riding a motorcycle, riding in the car with the windows down, etc.  Don’t let the wind whip your hair.

Note:  It is a good idea to always put your child’s hair in a protective style (braid, bun, etc.) when she goes out to play.  Especially if she has very long or very curly hair.  Why subject your children to long, unpleasant detangling sessions when it can be prevented?  It will save you and her a lot of time and frustration.

2.  Condition!  I know you’re going to get tired of hearing me say this.  You’re probably thinking “that’s her cure for everything!”  Well, you’re not far off.  :)  If your hair is dry or brittle, it will be much more likely to tangle.  A good conditioning routine can take care of this.  Proper hydration means your hairs are smoother and less inclined to catch on each other and knot together.

3.  Use a wide tooth comb.  This is something I started doing about 20 years ago and I never looked back.  I know there are many different types of styling brushes.  If you want to use a brush for styling, ok.  But don’t use it to detangle.

4. Start at the bottom and work up.  Never start combing or brushing at the top, even if you don’t think you have any tangles.  This can create tangles.  Also, work in sections.  If your hair is very tangled, smaller sections work better and you don’t get frustrated as easily.

Something that I found to work really well for my hair is to always detangle in the shower while my hair is soaking wet and conditioner applied heavily.  I usually stand under the shower head so the water runs down my hair while I’m combing.  You’ve probably heard that you’re not supposed to comb/brush wet hair because it will stretch and break the hairs.  It’s different when it’s coated in conditioner.  The comb slides through without stretching the hair (unless you run into a knot, at which point you will immediately stop and pull out the comb, then gently work on the knot).  It’s much easier for me than combing it dry.  By all means, do whatever works for you.

I’ve heard good things about the Tangle Teezer.  I have never personally used one, but 3 of the hair girls I watch on youtube rave about them.  If you’re not opposed to using a brush, it might be worth a try.

my current favorite style

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My new favorite way to wear my hair lately has been a high messy bun with a big flower toward the front.  I normally wear a flower toward the back or near my ear, so this is different for me.  This way feels more fun and playful.  I love it as a summer look!

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growing out curly hair

I happened across this video today…. It was on my “recommended for you” list on youtube.  I thought her advice was great and I wanted to share it with all of you.  I know your first reaction might be “I don’t have African hair, this won’t help me.”  Trust me, it’s not a matter of race, it’s all about hair texture.  I figured out a long time ago that products and techniques African women use for their hair will many times work perfectly for me!  Straight hair and curly hair are cared for and maintained in different ways, sometimes the information will even contradict between the two.  That’s ok.  Methods will even differ depending on how curly your hair is.  Choose what works best for your hair type.  So if you have curly hair, her tips will be helpful to you.  I do almost everything she lists here.

I browsed her youtube channel and found it interesting that she had been relaxing her hair since she was a child because her mom didn’t really know how to care for it.  She grew up not even knowing what her natural texture was!  Her hair wasn’t super damaged from it, but out of curiosity she cut off all the relaxed part and started fresh and has been growing it for two years.

I think this is a great example of what has been happening for ages with curly girls.  Especially when the mom has straight hair, she has no clue how to deal with a curly haired daughter.  She treats the daughter’s hair the exact same way she treats her own straight hair.  And it doesn’t work!  I see this a lot and it makes me sad because the daughter grows up hating her hair and thinking the only option for making her hair look good is a flat iron or blow dryer.  Ladies, do your daughters a huge favor….. If their hair is a different texture than yours, learn about how to care for it properly and teach her how to as well.  Don’t help her grow up hating her natural hair!

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