What I looked at to identify the structure of my hair

Hey Maicurlies,

One thing us naturals can agree on is (our hair needs moisture scratch that) OUR HAIR THRIVES ON MOISTURE. If you are able to get moisture to penetrate the cuticle of your hair, reach the core and (fingers crossed) retain the moisture then chances are your hair will be a happy camper.

I was recently asked to make a video showing what my hair looks like when it is product free after being freshly washed. The lovely lady who requested the video stated she was having issues with her hair and wanted to see what my hair looked like. I will have that video up soon.

Product Free Hair

                      Product Free Hair

First I want to point out I am not a hair expert nor am I professional I am however aware of what my hair likes/doesn’t like and can pretty much tell by the ingredients in a product if my hair will respond positively or negatively to it (most of the time not always).

Our ability to grow healthy hair has to do with knowing how our hair is structured such its porosity & width but also the ingredients in the products we use. Some of you might already be aware of this however, if you are newly natural or unsure then I hope this post will be helpful :)

I’ve previously mentioned that I wrote about porosity and hair width for Global Couture and have linked the two articles below: 

How to Find the RIGHT Products for Your hair (Part 1: Porosity)

How to determine the right products for your hair (Part 2: Hair Width)

I was able to identify that I have medium/high porosity with it leaning more towards high porosity and fine hair strands. If you are unsure of how to do the tests to determine your porosity and width there are simple testes you can do at home which you can read about here

Porosity – How your cuticle is laid. There are 3 main categorizes:

Hair porosity by Maicurls

  • Low Porosity – difficult to absorb moisture due to closed cuticle but once moisture is in the core it is well retained.
  • Medium Porosity – easy to absorb and retain moisture due to optimum laid cuticles (lucky people!)
  • High Porosity – easy to absorb moisture but also to lose it due to highly raised cuticles.

My Hair Porosity

I could not only tell from the results of the porosity test but also because of how quickly my hair absorbs anything I apply and how quickly it can become dry if I do not seal my hair properly. Moisturizing and sealing my hair during the week is necessary if I want it to remain moisturized and avoid breakage. After doing a deep condition I will dilute ACV & water run that over my hair and then do a final rinse with cool water (not always pleasant) but necessary.

In the past I have only ever used oils after moisturizing because I did not have access to butters however all that has changed now. :) With that said, I also have to be careful of how I use my products and how much I use. If I am not careful I can weigh down my curls due to the fact that I have fine hair strands (will be covered below). 

It is all about layering products for me so I moisturize (water + leave-in) and the seal (oil and/or butter). 

Hair width - Identifying you hair’s width allows you to not only determine which products to use but can also help you with length retention and healthy hair growth. Hair width means finding out how thick or thin your individual hair strand is.  There are 3 main categories of hair width:

Hair Width Examples by Maicurls

  • Fine – The hair strands are thin and can be weighed down if a lot of heavy or thick products/ingredients are overly used. The hair is fragile and extremely susceptible to breakage if it is not handled with a gentle hand and care.
  • Medium – The hair is neither thick nor thin and is able to handle both heavier and lighter products/ingredients but should still be used in moderation.
  • Coarse -The hair strands are thick and might require you to “work in” products/ingredients in order for them to be dissipate in the hair. It is said to be “strong” but still requires a gentle hand when manipulating it in order to retain and grow your hair

My hair Width

As mentioned I have fine hair and yes a little too much of ANYTHING can weigh down my hair. I like to refer to it as “mousy” (when my hair is damp/wet). I literally look like a wet cat  and detest going out like that! So even “good ingredients” such as creams or butters can really make my hair look lifeless, flat and greasy. 

While I need to follow the steps of moisturize and seal, in the back of my mind I always have to remember too much of a good thing can be bad. This also applies for styling products.

When it comes to handling my hair I have to be extremely careful. Rushing through detangling is just screaming for breakage which, I have done more than I’d like to admit. So I also look to strengthen and thicken my hair with the help of my Henna treatments

How do you take care of your hair based on your porosity and hair width? I would love to hear from you.

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

 

Porosity & Hair Width Tests

The tests below are not an exact science but can help give you an idea of your porosity and hair width in order to better understand how to care for your hair.

Porosity Test

photo credit: by claire via photopin cc

photo credit: by claire via photopin cc

Drop a strand of freshly washed (product free) shed hair in a glass of lukewarm water. After 2 minutes check to see if it is still floating towards the top of the water, hovering in the middle or sank to the bottom of the glass. If it:

  • Floats = Low Porosity
  • Hovers = Medium Porosity
  • Sinks = High Porosity 

Hair Width Test

photo credit: funadium via photopin cc

              photo credit: funadium via photopin cc

Take a piece of shed hair and compare it to a piece of tread for a thickness comparison. If your hair is:

  • Thinner = Fine 
  • Equal = Medium
  • Thicker = Coarse

For more details on what your results can indicate please read here.

Maicurls

Maicurls

What are some reasons people have given you why they “CAN’T? go natural?

Hey Maicurlies,

I have a new contribution article on Global Couture and this one can be considered as a “debate” (a constructive one I hope).  

Global Couture asked the question “What are some reasons people have given you why they ‘CAN’T’ go natural?” on all of their social media platforms to start a little healthy discussion. 

What are some reasons people have given you why they "CAN'T" go natural

What are some reasons people have given you why they “CAN’T” go natural

Now, I have to say I am NOT one to force anyone into anything they themselves do not want to do and that includes going back natural. Going back natural should be a personal decision made for the right reasons, basically doing it because it is something you want to do. If you try and force someone to go back natural and they are not ready chances are they will find it even harder, they might regret their decision and who knows they might actually resent you because they feel like you pressured them. So “peer-pressuring” is a no no!

However, I have come across people who have the funniest comments as to why they do not think they can go back natural. If someone says “I do not want to go back natural because I just do not want to and it is my right”. I completely agree with that instead of some of the “funny” comments I’ve heard/read.

Anyways, in the article Global Couture collected the most popular 15 “reasons” that naturals have said others told them why they can’t go natural and provided a few responses to the comments. 

You can read the full article here

Have you come across similar statements? I would love to hear from you!

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

Dressing up Jeans

 

Hey Maicurlies,

So one of my favorite pieces of clothing is jeans. I always have and always will be a jeans girl. With a few different tops and accessories you can pull off different looks with just a pair of jeans and a jacket. Adding a little color and bold earrings can jazz up the look or you can keep it simple by using plain colors and cute accessories. So much love for a good pair of jeans and a nice top :)

Dressing up Jeans

Topshop crop shirt
nordstrom.com

Linea Weekend brown biker jacket
$88 – houseoffraser.co.uk

Athleta clothing
athleta.gap.com

ONLY slim fit bootcut jeans
$80 – only.com

White Leaf rhinestone earrings
$21 – psyche.co.uk

Pieces black jewelry
$36 – pieces.com

Charm necklace
strandedtreasures.com

ALDO bracelet bangle
aldoshoes.com

Bead jewelry
maurices.com

Deco bracelet
modcloth.com

Coconut Oil & Vitamin E – Update

Hi Maicurlies,

eyelashes and brows

It has already been 3 months since I started applying Virgin Coconut Oil with Vitamin E to my nails, lashes (and brows) and  it is high time for an update (this is late)! In case you missed my posts about how I used the oils as a mini challenge you can read about it here and watch part 1 below.

My application process was: 3x at night for my nails and (nearly) every night for my lashes as well as a little on my brows.         

So did I noticed any progress? Yup! I have my update video here: 

Nails

My nails are definitely growing a lot quicker than before, I have to cut them a lot more because of their growth (I like long nails but not claws :) ) They also became stronger. The sides of my nails is where they usually are the weakest and what I noticed is that my nails would get brittle and then form layers because of:

  1. The way I filed my nails and
  2. The file I used 

You are supposed to file your nails in one direction, which I was not doing and I was not using the best file for my nails either. Not all metal files are bad this one just was not working for me.

Metal Nail File

Metal Nail File

So apart from using Coconut and Vitamin E Oil I also changed how I file my nails and got a new file which is made out of glass and has made a big difference for me (see below):

Glass Nail File

Glass Nail File

Overall though the oils definitely did work. 

Lashes

My lashes have really taken off! I had this little section of lashes on the inside corner of my left eye that seems to have stunted growth LOL. I do not know why but the lashes there just liked to remain short. I made sure to pay particular attention to that area and they are now equal in length to the rest :). Apart from that, my lashes are longer and stronger, meaning they do not fall out as often as before. I am really impressed with how my lashes took to the oils! They are really shiny and moisturized (if that makes sense), they just look healthy. I think they are even a little fuller! So for my lashes it is a yes yes yes! 

Brows

My brows and I have an interesting relationship. I must admit I have naturally quite thin eyebrows and always over plucked my eyebrows. I use to get them threaded  a lot but have become too lazy to go to the beauty parlor to get them done so I use tweezers at home. I used the oils because I wanted to get them to be fuller and then “reshape” them properly. Did my brows thicken up? Yes…but the process of letting them fill up makes my already funny looking brows look even worse LOL. I have random bits of brow hair growing so I am just plucking the really oddly placed hairs while still letting the rest grow out. Overall it has helped to thicken my brows …slowly. 

Verdit

I have said this before and I will say it again, a healthy diet and lifestyle really really helps! It is not only about making changes externally but also internally. Getting enough sleep, drinking water, eating healthy (vegetables, fruits, reducing sugars & fats etc), getting enough calcium (at least for me) and having the right vitamins (I prefer getting my vitamins directly from the source instead of taking pills) all play a role!        

In terms of the Coconut and Vitamin E Oil I would have to say it helped and I would suggest them if anyone is looking  to improve their nails, lashes and brows. 

Future plans

I have decided to use Castor and Vitamin E Oil for my next mini challenge. I will use them in exactly the same way as I did with the Coconut oil and then will monitor my results. Depending on which I prefer I will stick to using either coconut/Vitamin E or Castor/Vitamin E Oil. 

I would love to hear from you if you use either Coconut or Castor oil for your nails, lashes and brows! 

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

 

1 year blog-aversary

photo credit: ecstaticist via photopin cc

                        photo credit: ecstaticist via photopin cc

Yes it has been one year that I started my blog and wrote my first post! It has gone by so quickly and I have enjoyed every single minute of it!

I first want to say a big THANK YOU to all of you following my blog, people who have taken the time to read my posts, those of you who were kind enough to leave me feedback and comments and the Emails I have received. It means so much to me that you would take the time to even just give my blog a glance. I can not say THANK YOU enough! :D    

photo credit: ADoseofShipBoy via photopin cc

                                   photo credit: ADoseofShipBoy via photopin cc

I hope the second year will be even better! I hope to grow as a blogger, cover more topics that interest you, cover topics I still am missing (a few pages are still missing…terrible I know…shaking my head at myself) and just develop a great relationship with all of you. 

I am also so grateful to all the bloggers out there who have reached out to me, those that have accepted me into their circle and those I collaborate with. It is amazing the connection we can make that starts off with the love for our hair! The support and advice is greatly appreciated and I hope to connect with even more bloggers…you can never have enough friends right? :)    

So once again thank you and here’s to another successful year! :) 

Thanks

Maicurls

Maicurls

*Reminder* The Natural Hair Blog Directory GIVEAWAY!

Hey Maicurlies!

The NHBD Giveaway

This is just a quick reminder that you still have a chance to enter the Natural Hair Blog Directory Giveaway  which ends on August 16th!

The lucky winner will get: 

  • Raw Shea Butter from AntiguaBarbudaGirl
  • T-shirt from Aphrodite Kinks
  • Aussie Moist Conditioner and Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie from Lovethyintrovert
  • Curlkit by Nappyfu.com
  • Waist Beads from Natural Hair Junkies
  • 2 Eden BodyWorks products from Naturally Glam
  • BYOB tshirt from The Confetti Collective
  • Jewelry from Fro and Bro
  • Design Essentials Stimulations Super Moisturizing Conditioner from Natural Nicole
  • Sample sizes of Motions Light Styling Foam, Phyto Specific Moisturizing Styling Cream, Parnevu T-Tree Shampoo, Parnevu T-Tree Ultra Deep Repair Conditioner, and Parnevu T-Tree Cream Glosser from Tresses and Treats
  • Maxi Hair Bows from Yellospace
  • Natural High T-shirt from The Natural High Blog
  • Jewelry from Overxposedkc91

The Natural Hair Blog Directory (NHBD)  has been running for 6 months and in celebration of already reaching half of their intended goal (to get 500 blogger/vloggers registered) the NHBD is doing this giveaway as a Thank You! 

To enter all you have to do is:

Tell them how you found out about the giveaway and subscribe to the NHBD! To enter, click the link below to get to the NHBD page and follow the instructions there.

http://www.thenhbdirectory.com/happy-6-month-giveaway.html

P.S. is you happen to have a blog/vlog channel or know of one that has not been registered on NHBD get it listed! The listing is for FREE!!! :) 

Good Luck to all those that enter the giveaway! 

Maicurls

Maicurls