Faith Amour Hair Care

Archive for February 2011


Importance of moisturizing your hair

Retaining moisture in highly textured hair is one of the most common concerns for people of African descent. Oils naturally produced by the scalp may not be able to travel easily down the length of the hair, putting the ends of the hair at increased risk of breakage and dryness. Regularly infusing the hair strands with moisture is the key to preventing damage and promoting long, healthy hair.

Steam Treatments
According to Black-Hair-Growth.info, steam treatments are an effective, economical way to revitalize and moisturize the hair strands. Resembling a hooded hair dryer, a hair steaming unit emits mists of steam that penetrate the hair shaft and add sheen and softness while hair is under the steamer unit. Many salons offer steam treatments to clients, although portable steam treatment units can be found in beauty supply stores and range in price from $100 to $300, as of 2010. Steam treatments are best used with plastic shower caps; you can recreate the effects of hair steamers by allowing the hair to sit under a plastic cap or saran wrap during a hot shower.

Moisturizing Conditioners
There are a variety of moisturizing conditioners available that will help add moisture to the hair. Many of these moisturizing conditioners contain silicones that coat the hair strands, though. Over time, some may find that their hair is actually more resistant to moisture treatments due to silicone buildup coating the strands. For this reason, moisturizing conditioners that contain silicones should be used sparingly in black hair care. If products with silicones are used to moisturize the hair occasionally, LongHair.org recommends you use a clarifying product to prevent product buildup and brittle hair.

Healthier Hair Accessories
Retaining moisture in black hair can be difficult because of the spiraled or coiled structure of the hair strands. Avoid cotton hair accessories as they tend to leech moisture from the hair and may damage the strands. According to LongHair.org, satin and silk hair accessories are much better options that help the hair retain moisture and integrity.

Protective Styling
According to Black-Hair-Growth.info, protective styling is an indirect way to keep the hair moisturized. Simple yet elegant protective styles such as braids, twists and buns are common mainstays in black hair care routines that will help ensure healthy hair. Buns and braided protective styles should not be worn too tightly, as this will eventually lead to breaking, dry and brittle hair. With protective styles, the objective is to maintain the integrity of the fragile ends, so take care to ensure that the ends are kept from excessively grazing against the shoulders and clothes, both of which contribute to moisture loss and damage.

Overnight Moisturizing
According to LongHair.org, moisturizing the hair overnight–or deep moisturizing–is necessary for hair lacking optimal porosity. There are many deep moisturizing treatments that can be purchased inexpensively at local supermarkets. Homemade deep moisturizers often work just as well as commercial products. One inexpensive deep moisturizer is the avocado. Rich in nutrients and fatty acids, an avocado hair mask can nourish dry, brittle, or damaged hair. Simply mash a medium or large avocado until it is the consistency of baby food, then apply to hair and leave on overnight.


Buchu Essential Oil

Properties: Anti septic, anti rheumatic & anti arthritic, carminative, digestive, diuretic, insecticide and tonic.
Health Benefits: Protects against septic, treats rheumatism & arthritis, removes gases, facilitates digestion, increases urination & removal of toxins, kills & repells insects, tones up body


African black soap, also referred to as black soap, is made from harvested and air-dried plantain skins, palm leaves, cocoa pod powder, and various oils and butters; coconut oil, Shea butter, cocoa butter and kernel oil. The plants used in black soap are dried in the sun and roasted in clay ovens to produce ash. The ash is added o water and filtered to produce African black soap. The roasting process produces a deep, dark brown color with black specs throughout, hence the name African black soap. African black soap is rich in naturally occurring vitamins E and A and antioxidants.

Black soap is available even in America but the authentic kind is made mostly in Western Africa. African Black Soap is a soap made mainly in Ghana. Ghana, or The Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. The difference in the soap quality lies in the preparation itself. The genuine product is made by first burning leaves and barks of a variety of tress and includes banana tree leaves, plantain skins, palm tree leaves and cocoa pods among others in a big vat. The ash residue is then mixed with water and filtered out. To this mixture, ingredients like coconut, palm and palm kernel oils, shea butter and cocoa butter are added to make the soap. Women actually hand stir the concoction for an entire day and then the soap is set out for curing for a period of 14 days approximately.

The soap is comprised of the ashes from burned cocoa bean pods and plantain peels, palm oil and shea butter. It is unlike any other soap in the world because it is free of lye. Lye, also known as potassium hydroxide, is used in soaps, and has been known to cause irritations to the skin.

African black soap recipes are handed down from generation to generation, and you will find that each region has its own unique recipe for making the soap. For example soap made in the coastal areas has a higher percentage of coconut oil but soap made in the interior regions will have more shea butter.

Black soap is often referred to by a variety of names. One of the most common is Ose Dudu; ose meaning soap and dudu black.

African black soap can be applied to the hair as a gentle cleanser; it contains no sodium lauryl sulfate, a lathering agent that strips the hair of its natural oils.

African black soap can be used to treat and prevent dandruff; the anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties contained in African black soap are beneficial for prohibiting bacterial growth on the scalp and relieving minor scalp irritation. If you are experiencing excessive dandruff or itching of the scalp, please contact a trichologist, a professional skilled in treating scalp disorders.

African black soap can be converted into a liquid form when it is added to water for several hours. Add small pieces of the African black soap to a disposable container; cover them with water and leave them overnight. You can use the liquid form as you would the solid form.


How to Condition Afro Textured Hair

An important part of knowing how to wash black hair is using a quality conditioner. Shampoo gets your hair clean but conditioner makes it look healthy.
1. Apply a generous amount of conditioner from roots to ends. Concentrate on the last 1/4 of the length since this is the oldest part of your hair.
Avoid getting conditioner on your scalp, especially if you have flake issues.
2. Leave conditioner on according to instructions. Use a shower cap and heat for a deep penetrating treatment.
3. Rinse, but don’t over rinse. You want to leave a tiny bit of conditioner in your hair.
4. Gently squeeze the water from your hair.
5. Gently blot the water from your hair. Never rub your hair with a towel because that causes damage.
6. Dry and style your hair. If time and your hair texture allow, the best option is air drying.

Never skip conditioner after shampooing your hair. Moisture needs to be put back after the oils have been stripped out with shampoo.

NOTE: When I wash my hair it is usually in the shower. I do it in the shower because the steam opens the cuticles and allows for a deeper wash and condition. I always part it into four sections because it is easier to wash for me so I twist each section so they are out of the way before I enter the shower. I apply shampoo to one section at a time. I do this by working the shampoo into my scalp first them running my hand down the shaft of my hair, rinsing at the same time. I do this because my hair easily tangles. Plus, running my hands down the shaft prevents splits in my hair. After I have shampooed one section twice, I apply conditioner the same way. Then twist it up and move on to the next section. It takes about 5 minutes per section so after I am all finished the conditioner will have been in each section about 20 minutes. I untwist all my hair and rinse in cool water about 2 minutes to close my cuticle. Rinsing in cool water also traps in the moisture from the conditioner. I usually rinse out all my conditioner because I always apply a leave-in conditioner and/or heat protectant before styling.


BRAIDS
A braid (also called plait) is a complex structure or pattern formed by intertwining three or more strands of flexible material such as textile fibres, wire, or human hair. Compared to the process of weaving a wide sheet of cloth from two separate, perpendicular groups of strands (warp and weft), a braid is usually long and narrow, with each component strand functionally equivalent in zigzagging forward through the overlapping mass of the others.
The simplest possible braid is a flat, solid, three-strand structure in some countries/cases called a plat . More complex braids can be constructed from an arbitrary (but usually odd) number of strands to create a wider range of structures: wider ribbon-like bands, hollow or solid cylindrical cords, or broad mats which resemble a rudimentary perpendicular weave.
Braids are commonly used to make rope, decorative objects, and hairstyles (also see pigtails, French braid). Complex braids have been used to create hanging fibre artworks.
Cornrows (or canerows) are a traditional West African style of hair grooming where the hair is braided very close to the scalp, using an underhand, upward motion to produce a continuous, raised row. Cornrows are often formed, as the name implies, in simple, straight lines, but they can also be formed in complicated geometric or curvilinear designs.
Often favored for their easy maintenance, cornrows can be left in for weeks at a time simply by carefully washing the hair and then regularly oiling the scalp and hair.
Cornrowed hairstyles are often adorned with beads or cowry shells, in the African tradition. Depending on the region of the world, cornrows are typically worn by either men or women.
Unlike the simplest form of three-strand braid, in which all of the hair is initially divided into three sections which are simultaneously gathered together near the scalp (also known as an “English braid”), a French braid starts with three small sections of hair near the crown of the head; these initial sections are braided together toward the nape of the neck, gradually adding more hair to each section as it crosses in from the side into the center of the braid structure. The final result incorporates all of the hair into a smoothly woven pattern over the scalp. If the main mass of hair is initially parted into two or more sections along the scalp that are kept separate from one another, multiple French braids may be created, each in its own section.
Compared to the simplest form of hair braid, a French braid has several practical advantages: it can restrain hair from the top of the head that is too short to reach the nape of the neck, and it spreads the weight and tension of the braid across a larger portion of the scalp. Its sleeker appearance is also sometimes viewed as more elegant and sophisticated. However, a French braid is more difficult to construct than a simple braid because of its greater complexity; when performed on one’s own hair, it also requires a more prolonged elevation of the hands above the back of the head, and leaves more tangled hair along the scalp when unbraiding.


Borage Seed Oil

Botanical Name: Borago officinalis
Aroma: Light and Sweet.
Viscosity: Thin to Medium.
Absorption/Feel: Penetrates Well, But Leaves a Somewhat Oily Feel to the Skin.
Color: Light Yellow.
Shelf Life: 6 Months.

Notes: Borage Seed Oil is a prized oil in skin care for its noteworthy essential fatty acid content, consisting primarily of the omega-6 EFA gamma linolenic acid.
Borage Seed Oil has been used in aromatherapy and natural skin care to aid many skin conditions including eczema.
Borage Seed Oil is expensive and is usually blended in a small (often 10%) dilution with other carrier oils. By their nature, essential fatty acids deteriorate quickly. Borage Seed Oil, therefore, goes rancid rather quickly.


So I have decided to curl my braids with flexi rods. They are soft rollers that you roll up and fold together. They were 9 dollars at Sally’s which are the cheapest I could find. I used the purple color which are medium-sized and I bought 2 packs. I took random sections and just rolled it up any old kind of way. I used all but 3 rods so hopefully the will come out. To prep my hair I sprayed on my leave in braid and weave spray that I made and also some Chi Keratin Strengthener. And just to say, I am doing very well on my challenge to moisturize daily. Making my own braid spray and hair oil helps with this goal. I will sleep on them during the night and put on my silk bonnet to protect my hair and to also protect my pillow from the products used on my hair.
And, I found this picture of Tanika Ray and turns out, she used flexi rods to achieve this look! Ummm hummm… That’s what I said. It’s just a few days old but I am feeling this style!!! What you think?!?!?


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