Wigs & Braids~ How to Keep Your Hair Healthy

I wore my wig faithfully for years. It was to the point the wig was more important than taking care of my hair underneath. It was fast, convenient and I honestly had damaged hair from relaxers. My edges suffered as a result from daily wig wear, they became thin to almost bald.  Although more women are becoming natural, wigs are still in high demand. Wigs can be a confident booster or help with hair loss. When I wore my wig,  I transformed into someone else. I looked in the mirror and the person staring back at me was a new person.  It also boosted my confidence. I can’t believe hair was making me feel like this. I didn’t feel attractive when I wore my natural hair. I grew bored with the same daily look of my flat damaged hair. I like having different looks time to time, so wearing wigs were great. Wigs can be a confident booster but we shouldn’t let it come to a point where we can’t live without them. You can wear wigs, but you will need to protect your hair underneath to keep it healthy. I learned the hard way how wigs can damage your hair if don’t take the proper care of your natural hair. I want to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes as I did. There are many wigs to choose from: human hair, synthetic, lace front, full cap, the list can go on depending on the style you want to accomplish. You can go into most wig stores and try on your wig and have someone style and cut it for you. Take your time and be patient when choosing your wig. Find a wig that is natural looking even if it’s synthetic hair you choose. The cost of wigs can be from $20-$1000’s of dollars. Here are some tips when wearing your wig.

  • Shampoo and condition your hair as a normal routine. Do not NEGLECT your hair! 
  • Scalp Massages to your head should be done when your remove your wig. Wigs tend to be tight and cause less blood flow when attached.
  • Protect your hairline and wear a barrier between your hair and the wig to protect your hair. Using a silk liner is preferred. Stocking caps can cause breakage or dryness along the hair-line.
  • You should remove your wig if possible and not sleep with it. Your scalp need to breathe and the wig can be tight and damage your hair and cause hair loss. Moisturize hair, keep ends trimmed and pay close attention to your hairline.
  • Take a break and let your hair breathe. You should not wear wigs for weeks or months without cleaning them. Wigs can accumulate build up from sprays and moisturizers and should be washed like you would do your natural hair.

Wig Looks

 

Braids been around for years but have become more mainstream. You see braids in the workplace where before it was forbidden because it was considered a street or a ghetto look. Now women of all colors are wearing braids and loving it. There are even debates of who should wear braids. There was an uproar when Kim Kardashian West wore braids and renamed them, “Bo Derek Braids” and some were referring to the style as “boxer braids”. I still chuckle when I hear or see this word. Black women from all around took to social media to voice their opinion. As an African-American woman, I been wearing braids since I was a little girl. My mother wore braids and her mother and it goes on. We get our braids from our ancestors who brought this hair style to life. The history of braids date back 5000 years. It’s a part of many cultures including, Africa, Asia, Greece, Egypt, Europe and the Americas. Hair was believed to be the conduit for gods and spirits to reach the soul. There are even superstitions when it comes to hair. Some African tribes believe, hair should be cut on a full moon for it to grow longer; two people braiding a person’s hair at the same time could result in the death of one groomers; pregnant women should not braid others’ hair; hair should not be combed or braided in the open. 

The same maintenance for wigs goes for braids. You must protect your natural hair. If you plan to wear your hair in braids for a long period, shampooing and conditioning your braids is a must. Wearing a silk scarf or bonnet is recommended to keep braids from becoming dry and creating frizz. Keeping your hair moisturize with natural oils like coconut oil or almond oils is soothing to the scalp. Protect your hairline with using gels like Edge control to keep edges slick. Reduce the pulling of your braids when putting them up in buns. When getting your hair braided if the stylist is pulling your hair too tight make them aware of this. Braids should not cause you pain to where your scalp is pounding. I had my hair braided in the past and came home to take my braids out days later because they were too tight. Speak up and don’t sit there if you’re uncomfortable.

 

I hope you enjoyed this article. Always PROTECT your hair when you’re wearing the wigs and braids.

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The Transition… Relaxed to Natural

Transitioning from relaxed hair to natural is a big step to consider. In the beginning the process can be frustrating.  You may want to cave in and go back to a relaxer, but I’m here to tell you that  going natural will be the best decision that you ever make. The first step is to decide if you want to make the big chop and cut off all your hair with no traces of your relaxer. Or if you want to cut out the straight hair up to your new growth where your hair is at it natural form. You will then decide, “how will I wear my hair”? There are many different styles to choose from depending on your hair texture and the style you want to achieve. You can can try hairstyles from braids, twist outs, rod sets and the list goes on.

YouTube is a great place to see different styles with tutorials, to help you along the way. During the transitioning phase you should avoid heat (air dry hair after washing) and no straightening of your hair. You should use a deep conditioner once a week to avoid breakage. Trimming your hair, drinking plenty water, taking vitamins or maintaining a healthy diet. We are what we eat and our hair is apart of our body.  When it comes to keeping your hair moisturized and shining. You can use the following oils for healthy hair growth: coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, argan oil, jojoba oil and tea tree oil. You can mix the following oils together or opt out of some of the oils. I would recommend doing a skin check for allergies.

Good luck on your transition and the key is to “Be Patient”. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hair Shaming

There’s been a big debate over straightening young girls hair and the comments been harsh.  I’m a mom with a young daughter who has curly thick hair. I told myself, I would never put a relaxer in her hair and to keep it healthy as possible. I do the ponytail styles and twist her hair at times. (She did not like her hair braided with multiple braids)  When she was in kindergarten she asked me several times to straighten her hair and the answer was always no. Her dad also was against me straightening her hair, with fear of it not coming back to it natural state. Time went on and I did some research. I first thought it would be best to have a licensed and professional hairstylist do her hair. I searched for someone who specifically specialized in natural hair. I didn’t want to take her to a salon where they spent the whole day relaxing people hair. I wanted someone who knew the importance of taking care of natural hair. I took her in and they washed, deep conditioned, trimmed and straightened her hair. She was so happy with the outcome. She was swinging it all over the place, not that she didn’t do it before with her ponytails. I maintained her hair with daily moisturizer with natural oils and after a few weeks it was time to wash her hair. It went back to her natural hair of being curly and I twisted it back to the styles I did.

We recently moved to a predominately Caucasian area where there is about 1% of African-Americans. She is the only black girl in her class and she came home from school  one day and asked if I could straighten her hair again. My first thought was, “did someone say something to my baby”. I began to think, did she want to look like the other girls in her class who had straight hair? It was time for me to have “the talk” with her. It was going to be more than talking about hair. I was about to talk to her about different races. (We previously lived in an African-American community and her classmates were all black). I told her she didn’t have the same hair like the other girls in class and that she was African-American and our hair was a different texture. I told her that she was special and beautiful, I told her she should be different from other people and not to want to look like everyone else. I told her some kids who hair is straight, wished that their hair was curly. I tell her everyday that she’s a queen and she beautiful. I tell her it’s okay to look different. I believe if we teach our children about confidence and how to love themselves daily they will have positive self-esteem for themselves. 

I believe and we all have our own opinions, that if you decide to straighten your child hair it shouldn’t be done on a daily basis and if you do straighten it, keep it healthy. Everyone has the right to wear their hair the way they want as long as they’re taking a healthy approach to it. I recently asked her why she wanted her hair straightened? She told me”I just want to wear my hair different”. I was fine with that. She see me with different hair styles. I wear my hair natural, with braids, and wigs. Why do I change my hair? “Because I want my hair to look different and I get bored with the same hairstyle.” 

I think parents shouldn’t be hair shamed over their choices. I believe we need to teach the importance of having healthy hair. I believe it’s okay to want to change your look. 

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