Coconut Oil: Maybe You Should Get Some!

Coconut oil is one of many food products that have recently become popular hair products in the natural community. Several of my friends and family members use coconut oil on their hair, and they swear by it!

Personally, I’m all for using food in the hair! Natural hair appreciates products derived from natural sources, but it appreciates a natural source even more.


For example, I’ve been adding olive oil to my hair conditioner since I was in middle school! It adds moisture, shine and softness. I’ve also started using honey as a deep conditioner. All you have to do is cover your hair with honey, put on a plastic cap, wait 30 minutes, rinse and thank me later.


The coconut oil bandwagon is one that I haven’t jumped onto just yet, but I have purchased a jar for myself. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve heard nothing but good things about coconut oil. I just haven’t had the time (or the energy) to try it out.

In the meantime, I compiled a list of coconut oil uses so that when I do open the jar of magic, I’ll have a plan of action.

  • Use coconut oil as a deep conditioner. Starting with clean hair, coat your hair from root to tip with coconut oil. Put on a plastic cap, and wait at least 20 minutes. Rinse, and feel the difference.
  • Or, simply add a bit of coconut oil to your favorite deep conditioner for added softness and shine.
  • Use coconut oil as a hot oil treatment. This site has a great video that demonstrates how to warm the oil to the perfect temperature for your scalp!
  • Use coconut oil as a daily moisturizer. Just apply a small amount to your hair, starting at the ends and working your way to the roots. You can also add a bit to your favorite daily moisturizer.
  • Coconut oil can be used to fight dandruff, too! Just warm the oil so that it is liquefied, put it in a squirt bottle, and apply it directly to your scalp.
  • I’ve never had to deal with them, but this site says that coconut oil is also a great remedy for head lice! I’m not sure if I’ll ever need it for that purpose, but it’s still a cool fun fact.

Even though the items in the list I’ve compiled only deal with using coconut oil on hair, it is also great for dry skin and of course, for cooking with. I plan to try a few of these ideas in the near future. Please believe, I will be back here to report my results!

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HEAT DAMAGE… A Natural’s Worst Nightmare

For about a year now, I have been struggling with a crucial hair decision. Cut my long curls that are so dear to my heart, or keep bunning my hair away to hide heat damage? Yes, you read that correctly. My hair has been heat damaged, and I’m the only one to blame.

I have never gone to a salon to have my hair straightened, because I have deep trust issues when it comes to my hair. It tangles, it shrinks, and it looks relaxed when I straighten it. I know my hair like no one else does. Its like sending your child to daycare. Except you have to sit in a chair and look in the mirror at yourself giving up control of your baby! Like I said, trust issues….

But now, I wish I had paid the price to sit in someone’s chair and had handed over the reigns rather than doing it myself and causing irreparable damage to my own hair…. This is a sad song I sing!

So now, I’m in the position of having to deal with frizzy, damaged, unruly hair, or having to chop it all off. As hard as this is for me, I don’t want to see any of you all having to make that same decision!

So let’s discuss the infamous HEAT DAMAGE.

According to Curly Nikki (one of my favorite hair bloggers), heat damage occurs when the keratin protein in the hair is heated to over 419 degrees Fahrenheit. At that temperature, the hair is permanently altered on a molecular level. This is why heat damaged hair does not conform to your natural curl pattern and seems to be more dry than usual.

That being said, I suggest that you use flat irons, curling irons and blow driers that have temperature settings instead of the standard “HIGH/MEDIUM/LOW” settings.

I have used a CHI flat iron for years now. I assumed that because the iron was so pricey, and because it has no setting besides “ON” and “OFF,” it would be safe to straighten my hair with no threat of damaging my hair. SO WRONG! 

I assume the makers of the original CHI flat iron discovered this design flaw, because it is no longer listed on their website! The new CHI G2 has temperature settings up to 425 degrees, so that’ll be my next investment!

I know there are a lot of you out there who, like me, rarely straighten their hair. DO NOT THINK YOU ARE EXEMPT! I straighten my hair once or twice a year, and it happened to me. All it takes is too high a temperature or too many passes with the iron.

Be careful ladies! Keep those curls healthy!

Hair Emergency? No One Has To Know!

You wake up one morning and realize that you are about 15 minutes from being late to an appointment! You throw together a decent outfit. You find matching shoes. You find matching earrings. You run to the bathroom to address your “bed hair,” and then it hits you…. You do not have time!

If you’ve ever found yourself in a similar situation, then you need an emergency hair kit! One thing I’ve learned on my journey to becoming The Sagacious Natural is that you MUST keep certain items handy in case of an emergency.

I’m going to list three hair essentials that may come to your rescue one day. This list is not definitive, so feel free to add and subtract what you like!

  1. Hair ties! For my naturals with curls long enough to be pulled back, you should always keep a stash of hair ties on hand. I have them at home, in my car, in my purse, and even in my backpack that I take to class! You never know when you might need them. 6D Hair Ties offers a great selection of cute hair ties that you can keep handy.
  2. Headbands! For my naturals with curls that aren’t long enough to be pulled back, I suggest you keep some of these with you! For those with longer curls, it may be wise for you to have a couple, too! When all else fails, natural curls can always be spruced up with a headband. I like to get the flexible ones that are like giant hair ties, because they are easy to shove into glove compartments and purses without destroying them! ULTA Beauty has all kinds of headbands, so check them out, too!
  3. Scarves! Even if you don’t like to wear scarves around your neck, keep a few handy to wear around your head! Of course, I’m not talking about wool scarves (though I have seen it done), but scarves made from cotton or a silky material. This video demonstrates 15 ways to wear a scarf on your head. I see all 15 as potential life savers!

Go ahead and stock up! You’ll want to have these items before your next hair emergency! Most people don’t realize they’re windshield wipers are useless until it rains… Save yourself the trouble, and get new wipers while its still sunny 🙂


SIDE BAR: I know I said last week that I would be posting about my flexi rod set this week, but I must confess… I have yet to try it! But don’t give up on me yet! I promise it will be up by next week.


Anyway, I hope this helps you through your next hair crisis! Thanks for reading!

My Next Hair Project…. Stay Tuned!

In the days leading up to my birthday, one thing that I’ve been more concerned with than usual is my tresses! I’ve said it a million times before: hair for me is usually an after thought. But with my birthday closing in on me, I’ve found myself spending much more time in hair supply stores than normal.

I’ve spent so much time stressing about my tresses, that my birthday is now here, and I am still rocking my classic BUN! This is a no go! My hair must be addressed today.

So, now I’m going to share with you what I plan to do with my hair later tonight. If my readers have any suggestions, feel free to leave them…. I’m kind of winging it here!

I plan to do a flexi rod set on my hair for my birthday. If you don’t know what that is, check out this other hair blog for more information on exactly how its done. When I finish, I will definitely be posting a step by step tutorial on how I did my set, pictures included.

Until then, here is a list of the products I will use to do my flexi rod set…

  1. My DNA Hair Butter
  2. My DNA Hair Custard
  3. My DNA Leave-In Conditioner and Detangler

cremesleave in

All three of these products can be purchased at Sally Beauty Supply. Of course, you can use whatever products you like best. I have found that MY DNA products typically leave my hair soft and moisturized, so I gravitate toward that brand.

SIDE BAR: I don’t typically mix brands when it comes to hair products. I’ve found that most hair care lines create products that work well together. Mixing products from different brands can possibly leave residue and buildup in your hair due to ingredients that just don’t mix well. A good rule of thumb is to mix a little in your palm first before layering products from different brands, but that’s another post!

rods

Back to the subject at hand…. I also bought my flexi rods from Sally, but they can be found much cheaper at your local beauty supply store (or wig shop!). I got a medium size because my hair is pretty long, but you can get whatever size you prefer!

 

Check here next week for the results!

4C, 3B… What’s My Hair Type? Do I Even Care?

Naturally curly hair is so interesting because it can vary so much from head to head. While some people have very tight kinks and curls, others have looser waves.

Nonetheless, all naturally curly hair can be tough to tackle if you don’t know how to handle it. Figuring out your hair type can make it easier to learn about keeping your hair healthy.

Hair types are classified under three divisions: Type 2, Type 3, and Type 4. Type 2 hair is typically fine with very loose waves. Type 4 hair is very thick and course with kinks rather than curls.

Now, each hair type is also divided into three parts: A, B and C. A denotes the looser end of the spectrum, while C represents the tighter end of that hair type, as far as curls go.

With that being said, the hair types are listed as follows: Type 2A, 2B, 2C, 3A, 3B, 3C, 4A, 4B, or 4C. And of course, none of these are concrete, so it is possible for your hair to be a combination of hair types.

2A = Loose, fine waves. 4C = Tight, course kinks

Take a look at this chart and try to see which hair type your own hair is closest to. My hair type is 3C.

The reason why discovering your hair type is so beneficial is because different hair types require different care.

For example, someone with Type 4C hair should use heavy creams and oils to add moisture since their hair is typically more porous and prone to losing moisture. Meanwhile, someone with Type 2A hair should stay away from heavy creams and oils because their hair would not be able to absorb as much of the moisture, which would only weight their hair and make it look dirty.

For more information about how to care specifically for your hair type, check out this site! They have a great list of do’s and don’ts for each hair type.

If you’re having problems managing your curls, hopefully this information will make it easier for you to create a plan of action. The more you learn about your hair, the less intimidated you will be by your curls.

I know sometimes it can seem like our hair has a mind of its own, but I assure you it does not! You can conquer your curls!

PRODUCT REVIEW: ORS Olive Oil Edge Control Hair Gel

ORS Olive Oil Edge Control Hair Gel

In the land of natural hair, “laying down the edges” seems to be a task that most of us are plagued with at some point or another.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term edges, a simple definition is the short, fine hair around the hairline, specifically, the hair found around the forehead. Some people refer to these shorter hairs around the hairline as “baby hair” because it tends to be softer than the rest of the hair on the head.

Though the edges are softer, they are just as curly, if not curlier than the rest of the hair. This can make taming your edges a little bit more difficult.

I have tried many products that claim to do the trick of tying down loose edges, but I admittedly have my favorites. ORS Olive Oil Edge Control Hair Gel is one of them, without a doubt.

After looking at other product reviews, I get the feeling that Edge Control has gotten a bad wrap in the natural hair community. I also gathered by reading reviews that many people aren’t using the product properly, which may account for their dissatisfaction with it.

Let me tell you how it’s done, then I’ll show you how smooth your edges can be if you use the product in the best way.

  1. Act normal. Before you open the jar, go ahead and apply whatever other products you will use on your hair that day.
  2. Add water. I always say water is one of the best moisturizers on the planet. Dampen your edges to prep for the Edge Control. This step is very important to how evenly you will be able to distribute the Edge Control.
  3. Only use the tips of your fingers. This is not the type of hair gel that you rub between your palms before applying. Edge Control must be applied in small amounts. You will notice that the gel is waxy, and difficult to spread anyway.
  4. Application. Because you dampened your edges with water, the Edge Control will loosen up and spread more evenly. Without the water, it is likely to form clumps in your hair that are hard to spread and even harder to remove.
  5. Brush it to finish. After the Edge Control is on your hair, use a stiff brush to direct your edges. Edge Control gives you the control to shape your baby hair however you so choose!

Edges are laid!

My Hair Journey

When I first decided to stop getting relaxers, I had no clue that there was a term for it — transitioning. I had been natural for about four years before I ever read anything about natural hair. I’m what I like to call a self-made natural.

When I was about 16, still relaxing the life out of my hair, I decided to try a short pixie cut. After that, I used relaxers even more because it didn’t take long for my curly roots to steal the show, ruining my short and sleek style.

I can remember the moment I decided to stop routinely frying my hair….

I used store bought relaxers back then because I rarely have the energy for sitting in a hair stylists chair, but that’s another post! I had been begging my mother for weeks to relax my hair, and for weeks, she had been blowing me off.

Then one night, my mother came home late from work.

“Hi, mom. You’re late getting in today,” I said.

“Oh yeah, I had to go to your grandma’s house after work,” said my mom.

“What for? Is everything OK?” I asked.

“Yeah everything is fine, I just had to put a relaxer in your cousins hair. She needed one really bad and no one else would do it for her,” my mom replied.

Her tone was so nonchalant that I almost thought she was doing it purposely.

For a few moments, I stood there looking at my mother in sheer disbelief. I was expecting for her to realize that her daughter also “needed one really bad” and had no one else to do it for her.

She never realized that, and I never asked her to relax my hair again.

At first, it was out of defiance. If my mom wouldn’t relax my hair, then I didn’t want her to!

No one knew I was transitioning, because like I said, to me, it wasn’t a thing.

I was so good with a flatiron, that no one but my mother knew I had stopped relaxing my hair. My hair was growing, but still very, very short. I kept my hair straightened until my natural curls made up about half the length of my hair.

The other half of that length was still straight and damaged, and it was clear where the healthy hair ended and the relaxed hair began. So I decided to cut it off. I didn’t know then that there is also a term for that — the big chop.

After the big chop, which was about two and a half years into my hair journey, I started wearing my hair curly instead of straightening it.

Looking back, I wish I would have done more research about how to deal with your hair while transitioning. I also wish I would have documented my hair growth.

So to all of you who want to go natural, don’t worry about doing it wrong. I made it, and had no clue I was even trying to go anywhere!