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Going Natural: Moisture is key

Going Natural: Moisture is key

Transitioning to a healthy, natural hair care routine

Sometimes, life catches up to us, and we may not have the time to focus on our look. But a “new do” can often make a woman feel confident and beautiful again. There’s nothing more beautiful than a woman embracing her natural look. For a natural style, try a moisturizing shampoo, one that doesn’t have ammonium or sodium lauryl sulfates, so your hair isn’t left tangled, or stripped. Try using a  moisturizing shampoo once or twice a week.

Along with a great moisturizing shampoo, moisturizing deep conditioner should be included as well. It usually follows the moisturizing shampoo after every wash. Deep condition your hair once a week for up to 20 minutes with a hooded dryer, if you have one. Once you’ve built your hair care routine, try using protein-based treatments and conditioners that will help rebuild hair strands. If you notice your hair is dry and breaking, hold off on using protein conditioning.

A leave-in-conditioner is also beneficial to a healthy hair regimen; it helps with hair detangling after shampooing and conditioning. Other tips for healthy hair include using a deep moisturizing conditioners. The best water-based moisturizers contain emollients and humectant that moisturizes and softens the hair.  Natural oils such as Black Castor and Coconut Oil can be used to enhance shine to the hair. Black women should also consider protective styles that reduce combing and cut back on the use of heat. 

Protective styles such as wig, weaves and braids can also be an option during your natural hair journey. They not only allow you to give overtreated tresses a much needed rest, but also offer flexibility and versatility. 

No matter which style you choose, remember healthy hair is happy hair!

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Self Care Sleep

My Best Defense: A good night’s rest!

Before radio and television host Steve Harvey’s talk show ended its on-air run, the 62-year-old was under fire for his comments concerning sleep. During one of his shows Harvey commented:

“Rich people don’t sleep eight hours a day! You can’t live in L.A. and wake up at 8 o’clock in the morning. It’s 11 o’clock on the east coast. The stock market (has) been open for two hours. They already making decisions about your life and you were asleep.”

Harvey’s remarks on sleep caused an uproar on social media, especially from Black Twitter. For many, Harvey devalued the significance of sleep, which plays a massive role in self-care. So, what is self-care? Self-care is an activity that we do to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. However, the term is easier said than done and for many. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults should get about seven hours of sleep or more per night. 

In a recent article written by Neima Jordan for Essence  Magazine, “Why Black Women Need More Sleep” Jordan noted that insomnia is more common among Black women than any other group. Although research suggests that adhering to a consistent self-care regimen with adequate sleep is vital to living a balanced life, it may be challenging for many— especially Black women living in major urban centers and leading busy lives.

Below are some self-care tips that will help you feel inspired and empowered:

Mental Health Matters

Mental health is a vital aspect of self-care. Take a day or a couple of hours to reflect on your life, write down the things you’re grateful for and that which you wish to improve in your life. Read a motivational book that is uplifting and inspiring, even take a walk outside to get a breath of fresh air.  If you often seem stress due to the weighty expectations of life, seek a therapist or other mental health support services that will help you cope, vent, and take the edge off.  

Just move! 

If your body shuts down, there is no way that you will be able to function and complete your tasks. Take a minute to yourself to breath by inhaling and exhaling. Try stretching your body when you wake up in the morning to help with blood flow and consider starting your day with a 1-  minute exercise. Before bed take a warm bath with Epsom salt. On the weekend, treat yourself to a massage or a nice bubble bath. 

Eat  this, not that: Healthier food choices

What you put in your body will make a significant difference in how you feel. Your digestive and nutritional health affects your brain health, said Rachel Kelly, author of The Happiness Diet. For a healthy and balanced diet, fill your plate with fruits and vegetables for  a great source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. When cooking, try herbs and spices to help lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Herbs and spices also boost the immune system and improve brain function. Also consider nuts, seeds, and natural yogurts. Be sure to eat regularly throughout the day to keep your metabolism up, limit sugar intake, swap out white pasta for whole wheat pasta, and eat food that will help you sleep better such as bananas, potatoes, almonds, seeds, and whole-grain oats. They are rich in tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that is involved in the synthesis of melatonin, the sleep hormone.

Sweet Dreams

Despite the comments from Harvey that rich people don’t sleep eight hours a night, you NEED to sleep eight hours. Start setting an alarm so you can train your body to go to bed at a decent time for a full seven to eight hours of sleep. You need this time for your body to relax. Plus, sleep helps to increase productivity throughout the day. Without the proper amount of sleep, a person could increase their chances of high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, heart attack, heart failure, and stroke. Sleep deprivation can also affect your appearance, sex drive, and cause depression. 

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“Caring for Your Wigs, Weaves & Extensions” Tips from the Pros

Today many women use hair extensions as a way to express their unique personal style or simply as a lifestyle solution. Unfortunately, when it comes to the pros and cons of getting a weave, myths and rumors abound. Below professional stylist and entrepreneur, Maja Sly, offers practical tips on how to purchase and maintain healthy and fabulous weaves.

Soft” does not (necessarily) mean “good.”— Don’t be fooled by the feel. During the hair selection process, many buyers mistakenly assess hair quality based on its softness. This is not necessarily true. Ask your hair retailer for a small swatch to shampoo. If it frizzes and sheds immediately after, think twice about your purchase. It may be treated and not truly “virgin hair.”

Higher prices do not guarantee high quality— A common misconception is that premium quality hair is always expensive. The truth is that prices have a huge range depending on the brand, hair type and what’s available based on your location. Compare prices and online product reviews before investing in expensive hair.

Invest in the right at-home haircare products – Proper at-home maintenance for wigs, weaves and extensions differs from how most women care for their natural hair, especially African Americans. This means tweaking your regimen to ensure you protect and moisturize your scalp. Also consider using a hair freshener between washes to keep your hair fresh.

It looks great so it can stay in longer– Beneath your weave, your hair and scalp still requires maintenance. Even if your weave looks fresh, be sure to remove it to shampoo, condition and trim your hair every 6-8 weeks. is will prevent unnecessary hair loss, protect hair from locking and preserve the overall health of your natural hair.

Wearing weaves makes a woman “fake” – Hair certainly does not make the woman, but it can make her life easier. In addition to offering versatility and style, wigs, weaves and extensions are a smart alternative for women who live busy, active lifestyles. It is also a viable option for women who are transitioning to natural from relaxers, color or some other chemical process.

“The key is for women to understand how extensions fit into their lifestyle and budget,” Sly commented. “With proper research, the help of a trusted stylist and access to quality hair, every woman can achieve the look she desires.”

Did you know?
The back hair care industry generates an estimated $500 billion each year
51% of black women say it’s worth it to spend more on hair care products to achieve the best results
39% of black women say they like to experiment with new hair care products, including weaves and extensions

Want to find the best products for care and maintenance of your wigs, weaves or extensions? Click here to take the Isoplus Hair Quiz.

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