My favourite 2016 products

My favourite products for 2016

It has been three years since I’ve done a favourite products post. Although a lot of time has passed and I have tried a few products (not many) here and there, I still go back to my faithful few. As my hair grows, I have less and less time and  desire, to wash, detangle and style my hair but I can always depend on these tried and true products.

Once again I share my six favourite products for 2016

  1. Water

Water still tops the list as my favourite product for my hair. I use it for detangling, washing, moisturizing and styling my. Clean, tangle free, well moisturized hair is a must to see a healthy mane. Just spraying the hair with water is sufficient for me, in order to keep it moisturized. Water is my number one friend, from wash day to moisturizing. A little water go a long way and it makes a big difference.

  1. Herbal Essence Hello Hydration conditioner

This product is still one of my staple products in my hair care regimen. I use it as a detangler on damp hair, as an instant rinse out conditioner (which it is) and also as a deep conditioner. Although it is not designed as a deep conditioner, it does help in keeping my hair moisturized and soft. I also use it as a cowash and as a leave in conditioner. This is still my all in one conditioner. It has a lot of slip, and just like water, a little goes a long way, it is moisturizing, inexpensive and smells great.

  1. As I am coconut cowash cleansing conditioner

I have been using this cowash for years now and I am still impressed with it.  Since following the curly girl method, I have grown closer to this product. It is light weight, does a great job at cleaning the hair and scalp without suds, I am able to detangle my hair with the product in it and it is moisturizing.

To learn more about the As I am coconut cowash by kindly seeing my product review post, click the link below

https://antiguabarbudagirl.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/product-review-as-i-am-coconut-cowash-cleansing-conditioner/

  1. Raw shea butter

This product is still multipurpose for me as well because I use it on both my hair and skin and in my home made deodorant. Although this product is a butter, it is not heavy on my hair once I’m not too heavy handed with it. It is quite moisturizing and helps in reducing dark spots about the skin. I have been using shea butter for years and it is still my go to product , even after trying other products.

  1. Grapeseed oil

Grapeseed oil is still my all time favourite oil to use. I use it to seal in moisture in my hair and skin. It keeps the hair and skin moisturized, soft to the touch without the greasy after feeling. Grapeseed oil is light weight with a very subtle scent that quickly disappears after applying it on the hair or skin.

  1. Eco styler gel (clear)

Eco styler gel comes in different types, with protein (black), pink, blue, with olive oil (green), yellow, with Argan oil (dark yellow), crystal (clear). I am yet to use them all but my favourite is still the clear eco styler gel. It does not make my hair hard, it keeps down the edges while maintaining a soft hold. Although there can be some amount of product build up with continuous and excessive use, it’s not flaky in my hair and it is easy to rinse out.

That’s it, feel free to share some of your favourite products as well.

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Hair Tip: Tips for transitioners (part 2)

Tip # 6
Protective styling
Protective styles are my favourite styles to wear and are the best way to wear your hair in order to deal with the two textures of hair. These styles vary from buns, updos, 2 & 3 strand twists, cornrows (rope), braids, weaves, wigs, flat twists etc. It is important to note that you must still moisturize and care for your hair when they are in these protective styles, making your transition easier.

Tip # 7
Protein Treatments
Protein treatments are aimed at strengthening the strands of your hair and should not be done more often than every 6 weeks. Although optional, they can be extremely useful if you are experiencing excessive breakage during your transition. There are many home remedies and store bought products that can be used to help make those weak strands a little stronger.

Tip # 8
Be very patient
Your hair will not grow over night even if you are not transitioning. It will take time. It is essential that you be patient when you are transitioning, especially those of you who are long term transitioning as I did (for a year). It can be frustrating waiting for all of the chemically straightened hair to be gone, but I urge you to be patient as it will be all worth it in the end.

Tip # 9
Learn to style your own hair
You don’t want to be completely dependent on a stylist or someone else to style your hair. There may not always be someone available. Learn to do styles that suit you and your personality.

Tip # 10
Enjoy your hair
Do not get caught up with the length of your hair or what are the best products to use or what others are saying. It is your hair and it was uniquely designed for you and your personality so enjoy it. Enjoy the styles you can wear. Enjoy every stage of your transition because everybody’s experience is special and different.

Hair Tip: Tips for transitioners (part 1)

You don’t have to cut your hair to become natural. It is possible to go completely natural without cutting all of your relaxed or texturized hair. You don’t have to do the big chop (bc) as others have done. Many persons transition for various reasons, for instance, they are not ready to part with their hair. They are not comfortable or not used to wearing short hair or don’t know how to style it. They are fearful about what others would say. The list goes on and on. But there is hope for persons that do not want to cut their hair, TRANSITIONING!
You can choose to do a short term transition that can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few short months. Or you can long term transition as I did for a year and there are persons who have gone up to two years allowing the chemically straightened hair to grow out gradually snipping off processed ends until it has completely grown out. Here are a few tips to help you on your journey to transitioning.

Tip # 1
Handle hair gently
Natural hair on its own is fragile by nature but the area where the natural hair ends and the chemically processed hair begin, which is called the point of demarcation is the most fragile part of the hair. If extra care is not taken when manipulating the hair, it will break at that point leaving the end of your hair ragged. This will eventually create a split end if it is not trimmed. Any time you must handle your hair, whether washing, combing or styling take all precautions not to damage the strands.

Tip # 2
Treat all of your hair as if it is completely natural
It can be very frustrating when transitioning to deal with the natural texture of your hair and the chemically straightened hair especially if you are not used to it. But the best way to deal with that is by treating both textures as if they are the same and in time you will get used to it. It will make the transition to understanding and caring for your natural hair easier rather than going cold turkey, as it were, by doing the big chop.

Tip # 3
Moisture moisture moisture
Kinky and kinky curly hair is dry by nature because, due to the coils and curls of the strands, moisture is not able to travel the length of the hair effectively on its own from the sebum that is naturally produced by our scalp. We must manually add moisture in the form of water or water based products to our hair, depending on how much moisture our hair craves. For some people, that can be as often as twice a day or as far between as once a week. But one thing is clear. Hair must be kept moisturized and it is very important to seal in that moisture with a heavier product if you are having problems retaining moisture with an oil or cream.

Tip # 4
Minimal manipulation
When transitioning, the less you manipulate your hair the better. Since the hair is so fragile, especially the point of demarcation, you want to handle hair only when necessary, that is when washing and when styling. It is advised that you wear styles that do not require much manipulation and wear it as long as you can before the next wash day.

Tip # 5
Keep hair clean
There is a misconception that dandruff or dirt “makes your hair grow”. That is quite the opposite of the truth. Hair must be kept clean so that it can absorb and retain moisture which is critical in the overall health of your hair, particularly when transitioning. If you have an underlying condition that causes build up on your scalp, please consult your physician or hair care provider to treat that problem as it may require that you use special or prescribed products and medication.

Hair Tip: Styles for short hair

These are some of the styles I wore when my hair was shorter.

Create the illusion of a puff even if your hair is too short to go into a ponytail. Using a long headband, pull hair together to achieve your puff. You can also use hair pins or a knee high stockings to replace the headband. This puff was done on an old twist out but it can also be done on freshly washed hair.

Mini twists are one of my favourite styles to wear. They can be created as two strands, three strands or braided at the roots and twisted at the ends as shown above.

Put a little umf to your mini twists by adding a headband or an accessory

Who can go wrong with an afro! Let it fall where it may or pick it out for a more even look

Protective styles are great for shorter hair lengths and those in the transitioning phase. Flat twists are great substitutes for cornrows.

Turn those old twists into a new style by creating a twist out that can last another day or two before wash day

Braids or are great for creating a more defined curl. Leave them out or pull hair up in a puff as shown above

Hair Tip: 10 ways to create a Bun

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Buns are great and can either be dressed up or down, with or without accessories depending on the occasion. They are styles that anyone can wear whether natural, transitioning or other. They are personally one of my favourite styles to wear and you do not need to use many tools or a lot of hair products to achieve these looks.

A simple bun suitable for any occasion, is my go-to hair style. This bun was achieved on freshly washed hair that was moisturizer. Two scrunchies were used to create this bun but you can also use hair ties.

The banana clip is great for creating a big bun even without a lot of hair length. Place the clip horizontally, put the hair around it in sections and secure with some hair pins. It will give the illusion of a big bun.

The side bun is a quick and funky style to rock to go to the movies or at the beach. Push hair into a ponytail to one side and form bun with hair pins.

Best on stretched hair the high bun is great for a more classy look. Want to see how I created this style, go to my youtube channel, link below
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMy5tFWl808&feature=g-upl

This twisted bun was created on an old twist out, leave a small section out in the front for more effect.

The puffy bun is great on old or well stretched hair. Create this bun on those lazy days before wash day

Create a beautiful bun with mini 2 strand twists. Tutorial on my youtube channel, link below
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kh57Docc4c&feature=g-upl

Change up that simple bun by creating it with a front middle part

Accessories are always a great way to spice up your bun. This bun was achieved with a side part and feathered headband

Hair combs are great alternatives for hair pins. Use a hair comb to achieve a more finished look for your bun

Hair Tip: “Don’t wash your hair too often because it won’t grow…”

This is another very common phrase that I still to hear to this day.

Hair must be kept clean in order to retain moisture. When your hair is dirty, there are different factors that take place. Firstly, dirt and hair products will build up on both the scalp and hair. When the scalp is dirty, just as it is with your skin, it cannot breathe Neither can it absorb the nutrients or moisture it needs. You wouldn’t go three months without bathing, so why would you want to do that to your hair. Treat your hair like you would your body. Keep it clean, handle it gently and keep it well moisturized, you will surely see the difference. Hair that is dirty looks dull and dry because the strands are covered and weighed down with dirt and/or hair products and cuticles become coated which prevent moisture from entering. Keeping hair clean ensures that the strands are not burdened with products or debris and moisture will be able to penetrate the strands, giving it a shiny and healthy grow.

There are many different types of hair cleaners that can be used. Since every head of hair is different, sometimes it can be a trial and error game finding what is best for your hair. What works for one person’s hair may not necessary work for another, even though both may have similar hair textures. There are many debates about what one should use to get hair cleaned and how often it should be cleaned. Whether it is a silicone or sulphate free shampoo, be it organic or homemade or just a conditioner to clean your hair, one thing about which we can all agree is that hair must be cleaned and be kept clean in order to retain moisture effectively and to have healthy strands.

Hair can be cleaned with a shampoo or a conditioner so create a wash routine and keep your hair clean, your hair will thank you

Hair Tip: “Brushing your hair will make it grow”

The media has a very strong influence on a lot of the things that we do and believe. Who hasn’t seen a movie scene in which a lady is sitting in front of the mirror, counting stroke after stroke as she brushes her hair, seeing it supposedly grow as a result. I must admit that I too sat in front of my mirror brushing my hair and counting, in hopes that it would get longer. In my eyes it actually seemed to be getting longer and shinier, but it was simply an illusion, not reality.

Nothing is wrong with brushing your hair; however, the problem lies in the type of brush and the way in which it is used. When you brush your hair, you are creating friction with the hair cuticles. This could lead to damage and sometimes removal of the cuticles if the brush is used incorrectly.

Since the cuticle is the protective layer of the hair strands, it must be kept intact to preserve the integrity of the strand. If the cuticle layer is damaged or destroyed it will be very difficult for your hair to remain moisturized and your hair will feel dry and look dull. Use the brush as little as possible, only when necessary.

Use a soft bristle brush to reduce the friction on the strands especially on the edges which are the most vulnerable. When using a hard bristle brush, tilt the brush at an angle and use very gently. In time you will see the difference in your hair.

The palms of your hands are good substitutes for brushing where and when possible, or try tying a satin scarf around your edges for lying down those troublesome baby hairs.

If you too have been brushing and counting, think again, you could be causing more harm than good, because brushing your hair will NOT make it to grow.