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My Hair Is Challenged!

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No matter your hair type or texture, there are some challenges that are experienced by everyone with a head of hair.

Challenge #1 – DRY/DULL/FRIZZY HAIR

These are the most common complaints amongst individuals when it comes to their hair. Dry hair is a problem that every one of us has experienced at one time or another. Causes of dry hair can range from a too little water intake to too much product buildup to harsh chemicals in hair products. The first question I ask of persons who complain about dry hair is “are you drinking enough water?” To which most people answer “I don’t really drink water”. If this is you and you are experiencing dry hair, this is where you need to start. According to Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D, the average adult human body is comprised of on average 50 – 65% water. The percent of water depends on your hydration level. Thirst is a key indicator that you have already lost 2 – 3% of your body’s water. If your body is dehydrated, so is your hair… as within, so without. Remember water = moisture.

If you know you are consuming adequate amounts of water and are still experiencing dry hair try the following:

  • Be careful not to use too many alcohol based products.
  • Deep condition regularly.
  • Read your product ingredients and investigate if your hair might be having a negative reaction to one or more of them (for me personally Shea butter and my hair do not combine well)
  • Add natural oils to your styling regimen. I always apply my oil to wet hair either before or after my leave in conditioner. The oils I have found work well for me are coconut, jojoba, sweet almond, avocado and grapeseed.
  • Clarify when necessary to dissolve product build-up which can make the hair appear dull and dry.
  • When using protein treatments, be sure to follow up with a deep conditioning treatment.

Challenge #2 – HAIR GROWTH

When it comes to hair growth, I believe that less is more… the less you do to your hair the more it will grow. Remember that hair normally grows ¼ to ½ an inch a month. These are the key practices that can aid in regular hair growth:

  • Maintaining a clean scalp.
  • A healthy diet and proper nutrition consumption
  • Handling your hair gently
  • Proper hydration (drink 8-10 glasses of water a day)
  • Trim hair to avoid split ends

Challenge #3 – SPLIT ENDS

Scheduling a regular trim (every 3 – 4 months) with your stylist will help you to prevent split ends and also aid in maintaining the shape and style of your hair. In between trims it’s a good idea to protect your ends by sealing them daily and wearing protective styles when necessary.

Challenge #4 – DAMAGED HAIR

Your hair is your crowning glory, it is precious and so you must handle it carefully. When detangling your hair be gentle. I recommend using your fingers to detangle but if this seems like an impossibility for you, you want to remember to detangle gently using a wide tooth comb. Be sure to start at the ends of the hair and work your way up to the roots. Remember that hair is more fragile when it is wet so take care to be gentle with it.

Author: Denika Penn Carothers, Natural Hair & Hair Products available at Amazon or at http://www.gethealthyhairnow.com

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What Is The Difference Between Hair Loss and Hair Shedding

Hair follicles on the scalp do not continuously produce hair. They cycle through a growth stage that can last two or more years then regress to a resting stage for up to two months before starting to grow a new hair fiber again. At any time on a healthy human scalp, about 80% to 90% of the hair follicles are growing hair. These active follicles are in what is called the anagen phase.

Hair loss is what we refer to when the hair has stopped growing. The medical term associated with this condition is anagen effluvium. The most common causes of hair loss include:

  • Hereditary hair loss
  • Immune system overreacts
  • Some drugs and treatments
  • Hairstyles that pull on the hair
  • Harsh hair care products
  • Compulsion to pull one’s hair out

If you are experiencing “hair loss”, your hair will cease to grow until the cause for the hair loss stops. Persons that undergo chemotherapy or radiation treatments often lose a lot, if not all of their hair. When the treatment stops however their hair tends to grow back. Likewise persons on certain types of medications, for example antidepressants or thyroid medication, tend to lose hair which may appear to stay lost as long as they are on the medication.

However, hair normally sheds 50 to 100 strands of per day. If you are a “naturalista” and you do not comb or brush your hair in between washes, the amount of hair shed you experience during your washes might frighten you. You have to remember that if you do not comb your hair in between washes for 7 days, you have shed 350 – 700 strands of hair, which might appear to be a lot. However in these cases there is probably no need for alarm because it’s probably just a normal shed. Additionally if your hair strand density is more on the thicker side, 100 strands could look like 300.

If you are concerned by the amount of hair falling out, you don’t need to suffer in silence. You can turn to a dermatologist or more specifically a trichologist (one who specializes in the hair and scalp) for help. A dermatologist or trichologist can tell you whether you have hair loss or excessive hair shedding.

 

Author: Denika Penn-Carothers, Natural Hair & Hair Products,

http:// http://www.gethealthyhairnow.com

 

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Why Should You Deep Condition Regularly?

Deep Conditioning Denika Penn Carothers

Let’s first address the difference between a regular or surface conditioner and a deep conditioner. A regular or surface conditioner is formulated and designed to smooth the surface of the hair shaft. A deep conditioner is formulated with ingredients that are able to penetrate the hair shaft and follicle to deliver moisture to the hair from the inside out.

Examples of Regular/Surface Condtioners are:

Aussie Moist Conditioner
Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Hair Conditioner
Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner
Nzuri Kra-Z Hair Grow Conditioner

Examples of Deep Conditioning Conditioners are:

Palmers Coconut Oil Protein Pack
L’Oreal Paris EverSleek Smoothing Deep Conditioner
Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner

The most essential benefit that your hair strands will get from regular deep conditioning treatments is an infusion of the nutrients that it needs to stay healthy. Hair requires nourishment, just like any other part of your body. Your hair needs protein to replenish protein lost due to external conditions and the normal wear and tear that we put it through. Deep conditioning can provide the necessary vitamins and antioxidants needed to repair any damage sustained on a daily basis.

Each strand of hair on your head has an outer layer called the cuticle. The cuticle serves to protect the inner layer called the cortex. Another advantage that regular deep conditioning provides is to keep the overlapping scales of the hairs cuticle lying flat and properly sealed. By giving your cuticle what it needs your hair will have a more smooth and shiny appearance.

Because our hair goes through a rigorous experience of hair styling, from chemical and color treatments to excessive heat styling, deep conditioning can shield your hair from damage and aid in repairing whatever damage has been sustained.

Remember that it is just as important to supply the nutrients your body needs by consuming nutritious foods and supplements because what goes on inside of the body will also be experienced outside of the body. When your hair is well-nourished, it is stronger and healthier.

If you want to have beautiful hair, it is essential that you deep condition it regularly. Deep conditioning your hair keeps your tresses soft, shiny and healthy. My highest recommendation is weekly deep conditioning treatments however you should get into the habit of doing deep conditioning treatments at least twice a month.

Author: Denika Penn Carothers, Natural Hair & Hair Products available at Amazon or at http://www.gethealthyhairnow.com  http://www.gethealthyhairnow.com/companyspotlight2.html

 

 

What’s In Your Hair?

What I have found with my hair is that the way I combine my products is key and I need more moisture in the winter than I do in the summer, but when I use less products combined it works better for my type of hair. In the past when I used too many products at one time I would experience a very itchy scalp and slower growth. My current regimen is as follows:

1. Co-wash every other week with Pantene Pro-V Natural Hair Co-wash Conditioner and shampoo every other week with a moisturizing sulfate free shampoo.

2. If I co-wash I skip the conditioning step, however when I shampoo I ALWAYS use conditioner, even though I deep condition.

3. Deep condition every week with a store bought deep conditioner or my own homemade concoction that I always add honey and olive oil to. I separate my hair into four sections and apply my deep conditioner to each section and then I two strand twist the section ending up with four two stranded twists. You can sit under a hooded dryer or heat cap for 30 minutes to allow for deeper penetration of the product or you can follow my method which is two cover with a plastic shower cap and leave it on for at least an hour, but usually two.

4. I ALWAYS rinse the conditioner out in cold water (in the winter I usually do cool water lol). I then re-twist into either four twists or two twists (top half and bottom half) and use a microfiber towel that I twist turban style, to remove the excess water from my hair.

5. I then apply my styling products. When applying my styling products I work it in one section at a time. I firstly apply a leave-in spray conditioner.

6. My second step is to apply coconut oil (or my own homemade oil concoction). Some people don’t like the smell of coconut oil. If you are one who doesn’t, you can use either, grapeseed, jojoba, sweet almond or avocado oil or a combination of them. You want to be sure to use an oil product that has a small molecular structure which will penetrate the shaft and not sit on top of the strands.

7. I then work a conditioner into the hair (this product can be either a “leave-in conditioner” or you can just use the regular/surface conditioner that you use after your shampoo. A dime to nickel size amount should be sufficient for each section. If you have longer hair you might need more. Let your hair tell you how much it needs and try not to get too much product on the scalp.

8. I then apply a gel product and smooth it through with my hands from root to tip to work it in there good. At this point, if I am working with four sections I will re-twist the section while I apply product to the rest of my hair. If I’m working in two sections (which is usually when I am short on time), I don’t re-twist. I will apply the product to the lower half of my hair first and then the top section.

9. Once all of my styling products are in, if working in four sections I will then un-twist each section and gently separate the hair (or just shake my head lol) to achieve great curl definition. In the summer months I usually just wear wash and go’s and this is my wash and go method.

For more tips and tricks follow me on Facebook @ gethealthyhairnow.

Author: Denika Penn Carothers, Natural Hair & Hair Products available at Amazon or at http://www.gethealthyhairnow.com

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Straightening the Hair without Chemical Processing

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TextureNourishing is a process by which the hair’s cuticle is sealed by way of a strategic technique similar to flat ironing the hair using HerbalNature styling pomade.  It is EXCELLENT for anyone desiring style and versatility with natural hair or hair that is in transition from chemicals. This process may also be used on chemically treated hair.

TextureNourishing is a heat technique (press and pull) over the application of HerbalNature styling pomade or hair oil (www.theherbalnatureway.com).  This process produces a dramatic change in the texture and health of the hair.  The hair has a smoother, more tamed texture and the benefit is a healthy and nourished head of hair. 

Understanding your hair’s texture and needs is important.  This process on some textures will require a more firm application and more heat than on others.  It is important to note that if you are transitioning, your new growth is stronger and more resilient than the chemically processed hair and will require more heat and a firmer application of the process; the new growth is the superior hair.  The chemically processed hair is more fragile and only requires a modest application in order to protect it in its delicate state; the chemically processed hair is the inferior hair.   This process is an excellent way to blend the two hair textures if you are transitioning from chemicals without doing the “big chop”. 

 The process can be done as follows:

  1.  After cleansing the hair with either sulfate-free shampoo or by way of co-washing you can choose to air dry your hair in a few plaits or do a blow out process using a handheld blow dryer.
  2. After your hair is dry, section your hair into small pieces and apply the HerbalNature styling pomade or hair oil from ends to root to each section being sure to apply it evenly.
  3. Using your flat iron go down the entire length of the hair shaft being sure to apply more pressure to the new growth than to the processed hair (you may need to go over the new growth 3 -4 times)  During the pressing process you are infusing the oils into the hair with the heat.   

Proper application will seal the hair’s outer cuticle and lock the bonds straight creating a barrier to moisture which prevents it from reverting to its virgin appearance until hair becomes wet.  The natural oils and waxes in the HerbalNature products safely styles the hair straight without compromising the integrity of virgin hair. 

This is an excellent alternative for chemical-sensitive individuals or anyone desiring to eliminate the use of chemical processing on their hair.  With proper technique and care TextureNourishing can:

  1.  Tame open cuticles that cause frizzy, dry-looking hair
  2. Allow straight hair styles to last with out reverting
  3. Elongate tight curl patterns with natural styles
  4. Blend textures of hair in transition – new growth and relaxed hair
  5. Add style versatility to natural hair without damaging its integrity
  6. Create polished, sleek, shiny hair with body and movement
  7. Transition to natural hair without having to do the “big chop”
  8. Make hair resistant to moisture, wind and static

Regular application of this process may result in the elongation of the hair shaft and the natural wave pattern in the hair may appear longer.  This occurs as a result of the heat process and the nourishing effect of the products penetrating the hair shaft and retraining the bonds to appear smoother.  The hair becomes tamed and uniformed in texture and appearance, while closing the cuticle to encourage shiny, strong and healthy hair. 

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To Go Natural or Not? That’s the question – Get Healthy Hair Now

Okay,  so after more than 20 years of relaxing my hair I have decided to go au natural and wear my hair long.  I went semi-natural for about 12 years (semi-natural meaning I didn’t do a full out perm I just texturized my hair) but I was wearing it very short during that time.  I have never had the nerve to wear my hair natural and long before because my hair is so thick that it would just poof out whenever I didn’t relax it.

My mother (who is caucasian) started perming my hair when I was very young because she couldn’t manage it because of the thickness.  When I was in high school I stopped perming if for a while but I was pressing it with a hot comb so I have always (except during the time that I wore it short) worn my hair straight.  I was introduced to HerbalNature Alternative Hair Products about 2 years ago when I decided that I wanted to grow my hair back out.  I was tired of the short look and wanted a new “do”.  Using the hair oil on my scalp helped my hair to grow out very quickly.  I  grew about 7 inches in 1-1/2 years but chose to go back to relaxing my hair.  At the time I was only using the hair oil but then of course as I’m sure we all do, you hear about another product and decide to try it and then another product and decide to try that.  I did this for about 7 months.  My problem with all of these other products was they would weigh my hair down and so after about 2 days of wearing my hair with a little bounce it would get heavy and not swing the way I like it to so I would end up washing my hair often.  How many of you know dealing with thick hair is not easy, so imagine washing, conditioning, blow-drying and flat ironing every 2 – 3 days.  It would take me literally 3 hours to get my hair the way I wanted it from start to finish every 2 days – that’s alot of time!!

The time invested in doing my hair was bad enough but then my hair started to break and shed alot.  decided to put down all that other stuff and go back to what I was having success with HerbalNature Alternative Hair Products.  The Hair Tea was the first product I started back with and then I decided that I needed to stay away from heat for a while and so I incorporated the hair pomade into my regimen.  I absolutely loved the way my hair felt and looked.  After the first tea application I felt a difference in the elasticity of my hair, and after using the tea for one month consecutively I decided to do a flat iron and the first thing I noticed was that my hair was not popping when I pulled it with the flat iron. 

Needless to say I was soooo excited and decided that maybe I wanted my hair to grow a little longer.  After just two months of incorporating the hair oil back into my hair regimen my hair has grown out 1-1/2 more inches.  I’ve decided to  see how long my hair will grow.  I just love the look and feel of my hair again and I am able to wear it in so many natural styles that I never knew about before, but I am loving it and get so many comments on my hair.   Oh let me mention that using HerbalNature Alternative Hair Products affords me the opportunity to transition from chemicals to natural without having to cut my hair off.  I will explain that process in another blog.  Follow me on my journey of Getting Healthy Hair Now!

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