A Black Girls Guide to Haircare

“Is that all your hair?”, “Is that your real hair?”, “How do you do your hair?”, or  “What products do you use on your hair?” Are questions I get asked A LOT. I always stray away from talking about my hair or giving tips because hair is so unique to the individual. What works for my hair may not work for others. –Literally me and my mother can not even use the same products. Her hair is nothing like mine– I have gone to war trying to figure my hair out and what works for it. Sure, I’ve looked to youtubbers, like the Glamtwinz, and stylists to help, but ultimately it is trial and error.

As black women our hair is our crown. We hold a lot of pride in the way our hair looks. We spend hours to perfect it- or days cause lord know washing my hair is an all day process-. I used to be ashamed of my curls because growing up natural curls were the standard of beauty. I am a self proclaimed pseudo-natural, meaning, I’m completely natural, but use heat to manipulate my curl pattern to straight. I’ve always been natural, but I’ve been heat styled since the age of 8. Though my curl pattern has loosened since then, my curls are still intact and my hair is healthy. I love that our natural curls and coils are being more accepted now, however, the maintenance isn’t for me. I absolutely love the look of it, but I simply cant put the time and energy into maintaining my natural curls- more power to those that can I envy you!– I hate that its assumed that since my hair is straight that it must be a perm, I must be mixed or that my curl pattern is wiped because that simply isn’t true.

I’ve recently reconstructed my whole hair care routine because my hair started breaking off and wasn’t reacting in the way I was used to. I completely went down to the basics and started from there. 

Hair changes all the time depending on your age, your diet, your water intake, the medication you take, and the vitamins you consume. It’s really hard to pinpoint what may be causing your hair to thrive or fail. I have found that these basics are my necessity. I have found that whenever I skip these or remove them from my routine, my hair isn’t happy. 

1. The Products

It’s really important to know what your hair porosity is and the texture of your hair to find the right products. I have low porosity with a fine texture on one side and a course texture on the other. z

For my hair, its a must that I prepoo with heat. I usually do a cocktail of oils, jojoba, olive, coconut, shea butter, tea tree, and argan oil, in a warm bath and massage that into my scalp. I let the prepoo sit on my hair either with a steam cap or under a hooded dryer for 20 mins to an hour ( an hour with the steam cap, 20 mins with the hooded dryer) 

I wash my hair every 2-3 weeks in the Summer or hotter months and every 3 to 4 weeks in the Winter or colder months. For shampoo and conditioner, I always use Joico Moisture shampoo and conditioner or Kpak shampoo and conditioner line. I don’t get too specific with the shampoo and conditioner. They aren’t in my hair long enough to do anything to it. I try to keep the shampoo and conditioner as simple as possible. Where I do get product happy is deep conditioners. I loveeeee deep conditioners. My holy grails are Shea Moisture Intensive Hydrating Manuka Honey deep conditioner, Joico Kpak intense hydration, Joico intense moisture, Cantu Intense deep conditioner 

Prior to blow drying using a spray leave-in conditioner is key. I use a spray over a cream because it doesn’t weigh the hair down while keeping the hair protected. The 2 I love are It’s A 10 and Aphrogee. Since I have thick hair, a blow drying spray that will cut down the time to dry is vital. The two I toggle between is OGX Blow dry spray and Kenra Blow dry spray. They both have many benefits and it’s an added layer of heat protectant for my hair while blow drying.  A heat protectant prior to flat ironing I like is Tresemme. I have been looking for other alternatives due to the chemicals that are in it, but honestly my hair loves it and I haven’t noticed any negative effects. I also use a light oil like argon or jojoba oil before the blow dry process and to finish and put back some moisture and shine.

2. The Base

 The key to get the perfect silk press is a solid bow dried foundation. I part my hair in 4 sections. In the section I’m getting ready to blow dry, I will apply my leave in,  blow drying spray and then I will detangle the section. I then blow dry that section on the lowest heat setting possible, starting from the bottom and working my way to the root with the fine comb attachment. After I have finished all 4 sections and they are 80% dry, I will add a small amount of light oil to my hair. I then blow dry on the highest setting possible to get it a little straighter for no more than 2 minutes. 

If I’m going for a silk press, I’ll part my hair in 4 sections, set my flat iron between 360-380 and use the chase method with a brush to flat iron. 

If i’m not silk pressing, but i want it to look uniformed and be easy to maintain, i’ll set my flat iron to 350 and curl large sections 

I try to get my hair trimmed every 3 months, it just curls better when it’s trimmed.  Due to medication I’m on I have to drink a lot of water or else my scalp gets really dry and looks like the before in the head and shoulders commercial.- and that ain’t sexy at all

I recently purchased 2 Babybliss flat irons. I use one for the silk press and the other for curling when I don’t do a silk press. The blow dryer I use is an Andis. I love this blow dryer. It’s easy to hold and gets the job done quickly- and the price point is the chefs kiss!

3. The Wrap

Protecting your hair at night and while doing sweaty activities is how to get your hair to last! It’s important for me to wrap my hair with a silk scarf. I use 2. One to hold my wrap in place and save my edges, and the other to contain the rest of my hair. I always lightly oil the ends of  my hair before I wrap it and I’ll spray it with a light oil once I have completed my wrap. 

If I am working out or participating in something that will most likely sweat my hair out -achem- I will pull it into a pony or a ballet bun and wrap the edges – if I’m trying to be sexy I will do this after said activity. This helps lay my hair back down. If it’s completely sweated out I will run the blow dryer through it on a low setting with the comb attachment. 

This is just a small glimpse of how I care for my hair. Though the most important tip I can give you is to take care of yourself from the inside out. Make sure your body is getting what it needs to thrive. Make sure you are getting your water intake, enough rest and the right vitamins. If you’re on medication check with your doctor to see if that could be affecting your hair, skin and nails.

What are you hair care tips? Lets talk about it!

And remember,

dont be bitter,

Be better!

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Blinx into Mink Lashes and Hair Extensions

I love stories that inspire! Stories that motivate you to go after your passion, after all, the only thing stopping you from your dream, is you! What I love even more are people who all willing to risk everything to see their dreams come to fruition for a cause. I had the pleasure to interview a very driven talented lady, who is working hard to make her dreams come true and build a brand/business.

Blinx is an upcoming hair and lash line owned by Toya Simmons. What I love about her business is not only does it promote feeling beautiful but a portion of the proceeds go to help fight a major cause! After a little research, I had to hear from the source. So without further delay, catch the interview below

blogger-image-1524985140First, can you explain to people, that may not be familiar with your brand, what it is?
Blinx is a luxury lash and hair extension line that caters to everyone from the everyday workingwoman to the high maintenance housewife.

Blinx is an interesting name, how did you come up with that name?
Well, when I initially decided to venture into the beauty industry I wanted to do Mink lashes only. I played with names that rhymed with Mink and had to do [with] eyes…naturally the first thing that came to mind was blink and I just put my spin on it with the x to replace the k… Surprisingly it has transitioned well with the integration of the hair as well.

That’s actually very creative! Why did you choose hair and lashes? Will you develop more in the beauty avenue?
I spend 90% of my life in weave lol and about 60% in lashes. So this is my passion. I walk, talk, eat, and sleep all things hair and lash so it just made sense. The fact that the hair industry is expected to gross 16 trillion dollars this year didn’t hurt either. I want to get my brand solid, make it a sisterhood name, and once I get this foundation built solid, …the correct way, I most certainly plan to develop more in this stream.

I, for one, will be very interested to see more. More requires help and you have a solid team behind you, which is rare to come by. What do they do and how did you come across such a solid team?
OHHHH MY GOD I do have an amazing team…they aren’t my team they are my family. The REAL kind and they do any and everything I need. There are no set roles amongst us, if it needs to be done, and I cant get to it, I rest assure that somebody is there to help and vice versa. I can’t ever thank them enough or properly convey just how much they mean to me, but I do try. Let me try to give you a quick rundown on everyone though…
Kristy Bowers is my wig maker. Any image you see from our initial shoot is a wig. She also helps me with marketing.
Samone Simon is my on set hairstylist, alongside Kristy.
Trecie Tharpe is my personal makeup artist (she’s retired from makeup now and only does it when I call her) she also helps with my branding and marketing.
Netra Thompson is my other makeup artist and she’s awesome!!!!
Tiffany Johnson is my spiritual advisor and motivator J . She helps me keep my Zen lol.
Oh and the most important part of my team isn’t a lady …he’s a guy and he’s my guy! Lol Chase Carpenter has done allllllllllllll the behind the scenes work from building the website, getting the IG page up and running smoothly, to scheduling the meetings necessary to get the launch campaign up and successful.
The models are called BLINX CHIX and they are Brittany, Mandy, Sharra, Sherria, Dev, & Ri’an and they are amazaeballs…

Everyone I mentioned I met in one form or another on a social media [site].

blogger-image-187133525Speaking of social media, I saw on Instagram, I believe, that a portion of the sales go to help find a cure for lupus, which I think is awesome; this is also something that is personal to you right?
Yes, a portion of the proceeds from every pair of the Butterfly lash will be donated to aid in fnding a cure for Lupus. Its very personal for me because in 2003 I was diagnosed with systemic lupus, and this is something [that] is very prevalent in young black women, yet no one has any real solid answers on it, and for me that’s a problem
I think that’s pretty dope, being that I recently just opened up about PMDD, which I was diagnosed with a few years ago, though not quite as severe as what you deal with, I think important to raise awareness to things that affect us, especially the African American community. My blogs all have a theme about purpose, inspiration, and following your dreams and goals. Was this always a dream or goal and what made you really push to see it to fruition?
My dream has always been to work for myself and be successful enough in that work that I can take the people most important to me and make their situation better. I have tried my hand at several different ventures, but none feel like this, none have come together so effortlessly like this lol, so I think this might just be it!
blogger-image--1449650033Well, I can say that everything I’ve seen looks really nice, so I think you may have stumbled upon something there! I think anything that sends the message that you are beautiful and your dreams matter in a positive way is something that the youth needs to know. What advice would you give to anyone struggling to follow his or her dreams or struggling to feel beautiful?
YOU matter. Don’t let your dreams and aspirations sit stagnant, feed them, nurture them, and watch them grow. GO FOR IT.
And Go for it indeed! I want to give a special thank you to Toya for allowing me the pleasure to feature her business on my blog! I’m excited for you! Good Luck on your launch, it’s going to be amazing I’m sure! Blinx launches on April 15,2016. Follow them on Instagram at @SheBlinx and hit up their website to get best quality of hair and mink lashes at http://www.sheblinx.com

blogger-image-1809092819Need a wig made after you purchase the hair? No worries they got you covered, Kristy is their in house wig maker, as Toya said any wig you see for the promos were made by Kristy, you can see her work below and also follow her on IG @Kustomzbykb