It's early in the morning. The alarm goes off and you need to get out the door, FAST. You just noticed your hair isn't bouncy and pretty like you'd want it to be. Of course, there’s always the coveted "bed-head" look. Maybe not so coveted for work, though.

Any of these scenarios are common for you curly girls? There’s a quick, soothing fix...lavender mist. Not only is a lavender mist easy to make, it’s beautiful fragrance and carries medicinal properties can do wonders for your mind and your hair!

Lavender promotes a hair growth; it's amazing for your scalp. Its anti-inflammatory properties ease dandruff issues, too. Lavender has been known to bring about a more tranquil state of mind and lessen anxiety. A good scalp massage with a few drops of this oil can do wonders for a stressful day.
Ok, so what if you don’t wake up with bouncy, happy curls? No fear! Your mister bottle and clips should be near!

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WHAT YOU'LL NEED
  • Water bottle
  • Lavender oil (you may get this at a health food store)
  • Distilled water
  • Duckbill clips
DIRECTIONS
  1. Using a water bottle, add 5-8 drops of lavendar oil to 1 liter of distilled water and shake well.
  2. Gently spritz your curls so they are damp.
  3. Using duckbill clips, twist your hair into 4 sections.
  4. Squeeze each section so that the oil penetrates.
  5. While you apply make-up or just have your morning coffee, allow the clips to work their magic for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Remove the clips and allow your new coils and curls to look radiant!
If you have less time, you can make smaller bottles of the spray to carry with you--one for your bag, car, office, etc. Instead of clips, you can twist curls with your fingers after apply the spray. Making a lavender mist for your pillow or room is another great way to incorporate this relaxing scent into your routine.

Pillow Spray

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

  • 8 Ounces of distilled water
  • 15 Drops of lavender oil
  • 10 Drops of chamomile oil (shake well)
You can decorate the spray bottles you make your mixtures in and give them as gifts too. Get creative with some glitter, markers and paper punches for tags and decorations for your mister bottles!

Do you use lavender oil in your routine? 


My name is Angela. I’m from Southern California and I’m a social worker.

How long have you been natural?
I’ve been natural my entire life but I didn’t take great care of my hair until approximately April of 2011. I had three perms during my childhood and straightened my hair many times throughout high school and undergrad years. Although I stopped straightening my hair in 2006, I dyed my hair like crazy until April 2011.



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What motivated you to transition? Were you a transitioner or a Big Chopper& why?
Honestly, it wasn’t until I dyed it three times within 4 months (I know, terrible) that I finally realized how damaged my hair was becoming. My hair broke off like crazy and it never grew. My hair was very dull and flat; it lacked personality and I was starting to hate it!

I wasn’t bold enough to do the big chop, so starting April 2011, I would trim off 1-2 inches every month or two. I did this for approximately 6 months until all dead ends were gone. My hair stayed shoulder length for several months but to see my hair curl like never before was all worth it.

How would you describe your hair?
My hair is very, very, VERY thick and easily tangles! I’d like to say that my curls are very needy lol. I have loose curls as well as tight curls, and love it. My hair requires lots of thick conditioners to retain moisture.


What do you love most about your hair?
Well a few things I love: I love that my hair has the ability to get HUGE. I love that I can wear it as is on a daily basis and not have to worry about fixing it. I just love the versatility of my hair. It’s definitely the best!

What has been the most memorable part of your journey?Has it been easy or difficult or both?!
In the beginning it was definitely difficult because I was the type to hold onto my length despite the damage, so to trim continuously and have the same length was hard…

With that said, the most memorable part of my journey is seeing the results. To see where my journey once was in 2011 & 2012 compared to today, is amazing. It actually motivates me to continue until I reach my goal which is tailbone length.


What are were some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles?
I mainly wore the wash and go during those times. I’ve always loved letting my curls loose vs tying it down. Plus, during those times braidouts and twistouts always failed me, so I stuck with what my curls loved the most and it was the wash and gos.

What have your experiences been as a ‘natural.’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
I’ve had positive experiences. People would stop me just to give compliments about my hair, and still do. However recently, I’ve had some negative comments from women who refuse to go natural and men who don’t like the natural hair look. I’ve had to accept that people who don’t understand the natural hair journey will not understand why we do what we do and the process. Oh well…

What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
My regimen consist of the following:

Deep condition: store bought mayonnaise, coconut oil OR cholesterol plus once a week and for at least 45 minutes.

Shampoo: Selsun Blue moisturizing. I unfortunately do not cowash like I used to because my scalp doesn’t respond to it well anymore.

Detangling Conditioners: Tresemme Naturals, Organix Tea Tree, Or Suave.

Leave-in conditioner: Aussie Moist, Organix Coconut Milk, Tresemme Naturals, or Giovanni Direct.

I also add to my leave-in, either Curls Unleashed Defining Cream OR BelleButters Mint Chocolate butter.

Sealers: Eco Styler Olive Oil or Argan Oil gel OR Aubrey Organic Aloe Vera.

I deep condition & wash my hair once a week. After detangling my hair I apply my leave-in conditioner while still In the shower. Once out of the shower I then apply my cream or butter in four sections. Afterwards I let my hair air dry and do not touch hair until it’s dry. Recently I started diffusing my hair, which I’ve done maybe three times now. Although I get amazing results I want to avoid using too much heat on my hair, BUT I’ll definitely diffuse once in a while.

At bedtime, I pineapple my hair and wear a satin ebonnet which was custom made by ebonicurls. The next day I take my hair down, fix it a bit and rock it out!


What are some of your favorite natural hair websites,YouTuber’s, or blogs?
Gosh, let’s see… HeyFranHey, Afroista, MahogonyCurls, TaraLindaaa, Eclark, chime, to name a few.

Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
The thing I’ve said to many women who started their natural hair journey is, be patient and learn your hair; what is likes and don’t like, AND pay attention to the responses your hair gives you… ANYTHING is possible with time, patience, and proper hair care

Where can people find you for more information?
Instagram @ MsBeautifulCurls AND Questions: [email protected]


Global Couture is trying to spread the word about embracing your natural hair. Love your HAIR, if it is wavy, curly, kinky or coily. See more at http://www.globalcoutureblog.net/ and Follow us onFacebook,Twitter,Instagram. Are you naturally fierce? Email us to share your hair journey at [email protected].

by Susan Walker of DrWalkerWellness.com


Quite possibly one of my favourite foods because of the distinctive, nutty flavour it gives to dishes and smoothies (yum!) is coconut. It seems to be en vogue these days as consumers are realizing the benefits of this wonderful superfood and food companies are meeting the demand to provide it in various forms. We have the whole food coconut; but now we’ve been introduced to coconut flour, coconut sugar, coconut milk, coconut yogurt. You name it, the food companies have created it. And that may be not such a great thing. But that’s another post for another day.

What I really want to discuss is the application of coconut – and more specifically the oil – to hair care.

Coconut has been used for thousands of years by people native to the tropical areas coconut is found. So it’s nothing new. It’s just new to the North American culture. And “newly” discovered by many naturals, even though our parents and grandparents were using it on our hair for years.

So what is the REAL deal with this unique oil? Why is it such an important ingredient to use in hair care?

It all has to do with its fatty acid composition. All fats and oils are composed of molecules called fatty acids. There are two methods of classifying fatty acids. The first is based on saturation which many of you have probably heard of. You have saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats.

Another system of classification is based on molecular size or length of the carbon chain within each fatty acid. Fatty acids consist of long chains of carbon atoms with hydrogen atoms attached. In this system you have short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), and long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Coconut oil is composed predominately of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), also known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT).

The main fatty acid in coconut oil is lauric acid. In fact it’s about 44-52% lauric acid. What’s so special about this fatty acid? It has an affinity for hair proteins. This means that lauric acid LOVES, LOVES, LOVES hair protein. It has a low molecular weight and straight chained structure. This means that it can penetrate INTO the hair shaft.

The cuticle of the hair shaft is the outer protective covering. It consists of flat overlapping cells or scales. It is the hair structure that allows substances like water and oils, into and out of the hair. It also protects the delicate proteins which is great.

However the cuticle can become damaged. And it textured and curly hair, this damage occurs at less force compared to Caucasian and Asian hair textures. Cuticle damage is evidence by broken scale edges several cm away from the scalp caused by weathering, mechanical damage, combing, brushing and shampooing. The longer the hair is, the older it is and the more cuticle damage it has sustained. This is one of the reasons the ends of your hair often feels dry, brittle and hard compared to the middle sections or those sections closer to your scalp. The cuticle is especially susceptible to damage from combing the hair when it’s wet.

If you have long natural hair then good for you! We’re talking 25 cm or longer. It took a lot of work, care and likely some protective styling to get you there. However you may want to keep in mind that the structural integrity of your hair may be impaired because of chipping away of the cuticle. This leads to split ends and fractures and can limit the length you can actually retain, how shiny it is and how smooth it looks.

Before discussing what may be the most important step in your hair care regimen, I want to touch on an important practice that could make a huge difference in how your hair looks and feels after it’s washed and conditioned.

Coconut oil has been known to lead to healthy looking long hair and it likely prevents damage to the cuticle when combing and brushing or using any procedure that involves abrasion. The lubricating effect of the oil on the hair fiber reduces friction which in turn will reduce damage from any abrasion.

Okay so what else? Any oil can do that right? Yes and no. all oils are not created equally and each oil has its own unique ability to penetrate into the hair shaft. Or not. And those oils that do penetrate will actually increase the softness and manageability and hydration of the hair. Those oils that can’t penetrate won’t.

So let’s discuss – in some detail – the effect coconut oil has on hair damage and in order to understand this you’ll need to know a little bit about the cuticle.

Structure of the Cuticle
The cuticle is the outer part of the hair shaft. It is a hard shingle-like layer of overlapping cells, some five to twelve deep. It is formed from dead cells which form scales that gives the hair shaft strength and do the best job of providing protection for it. The hair cuticle is the first line of defense against all forms of damage; it acts as a protective barrier for the softer inner structure. The cuticle is responsible for much of the mechanical strength of the hair fiber. A healthy cuticle is more than just a protective layer. The cuticle controls the water content of the hair fiber; it allows water into and out of the hair.

Here is a description of each layer:
  • Epicuticle — This surface layer of the cuticle is made up of lipids and proteins and is also found on the bottom of the stacks of layers.
  • A-Layer — This layer is comprised of proteins very high (35%) in cystine, which enables the layer to be highly crosslinked. This layer gives toughness to the hair and also provides physical protection from heat and other factors that can damage the hair.
  • Exocuticle — This layer has approximately 15% cystine, so it is less strong and tough than the A-Layer, but provides similar protection. This layer is cross-linked as well.
  • Endocuticle — This layer contains only 3% cystine, and so is only very lightly crosslinked. This means that this layer is the only cuticle layer to swell in the presence of water. This causes the entire cuticle to swell and lift away from the hair shaft, resulting in a ruffled cuticle that allows the passage of material both into and out of the hair.
  • Cuticular Cell membrane Complex (CMC) — This layer is made up of polysaccharides and several lipids (fatty acids). This layer acts as the glue that holds the cuticle together and holds it to the hair shaft.
Let’s go back to the exocuticle for a moment. Because of this cross-linking this area of the cuticle is brittle and doesn’t swell. The endocuticle and the cell membrane complex have less cross-linking. As a result they swell a lot which increases the tendency for the surface cuticle cells to curve upwards and break when combed.

Cuticle chipping from friction due to combing or friction between hair strands is a major factor in hair damage. The proteins that make up the cuticle cells are lost during combing the hair wet.

Keep in mind that the protein loss that occurs is mainly from the cuticle and not really from the precious inner parts of the hair. However with the understanding that the cuticle’s role is critical in maintaining the hair’s healthy appearance and the integrity of the hair structure, the loss of it can be bad. Really bad.

Here is where the use of coconut oil gets really interesting. If you’ve read my articles or have heard me present you know I’m all about the “why”. Even if you’re not interested in “why” I am because then I can more accurately assess the issues that may be going on with my clients’ hair make intelligent recommendations based on this assessment.

We want to prevent or reduce the chipping away of the cuticle right? We’ve established that in naturally curly hair – especially afro-textured hair – less force is needed for the cuticle to be damaged compared with other hair textures. You know that damage to the cuticle can lead to split ends, breakage and damage because the integrity of the hair fiber is compromised. So what needs to be part of a healthy natural hair regimen is to maintain the cuticle structure as much as possible. This is where coconut oil rises the the occasion and outperforms other oils. Coconut oil, when used as a PRE-WASH treatment, helps to reduce protein loss from the hair.

So when it comes to breakage from combing the hair when wet, here is the take home message:
Preventing or minimizing the swelling of the hair shaft IS MORE important than the hair being lubricated.
This is likely a huge reason why women who are part of the 7 Day Hair Rehydration Challenge have experienced less breakage.

Coconut oil also has the great ability to reduce what is called the Water Retention Index (WRI). What is this exactly? It’s the propensity of the hair to swell. The repeated swelling and contraction of the hair damages the cuticle so….minimizing this is a good thing!

How much does the WRI get reduced by? In UNDAMAGED hair, it’s as much as 44%. In DAMAGED hair this value is much higher. Another point for coconut oil!

Okay now for the mechanism of HOW coconut oil protects the hair.

So how does coconut oil work exactly?
As a pre-shampoo treatment or conditioner it coats the hair and blocks the entry of water into the hair. A small amount of coconut oil is absorbed into the hair during washing when the hair fiber is swollen. Oils are hydrophobic or “water-fearing”; they repel water. So coconut oil on the hair reduces the swelling tendency of the cuticle. This reduces the UPWARD CURVING of the surface of the cuticle. This in turn reduces the CHIPPING AWAY of the cuticle. This reduces PROTEIN LOSS.
It’s important to understand that the reason coconut oil is able to have this powerful effect on the hair is because of its linear structure and low molecular weight, which allows it to actually penetrate into the cortex.

**This is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: NOT ALL OILS HAVE THE ABILITY TO PENETRATE INTO THE HAIR DUE TO DIFFERENCES IN STRUCTURE!**

One of the great things about being natural is the ability to use various types of ingredients and oils on your hair. However not all oils are created equally and each oil will have a different effect on the hair.

Have you been using coconut oil for healthy hair? Share your experiences below!


My name is Keshia and I reside in Atlanta, Georgia. I am 25 years old. I am a graduate of Tuskegee University with a Bachelor’s degree in Sales and Marketing. I have been working in corporate sales for the past two years. Some of my favorite activities are singing, dancing, reading, and cooking. I have been natural for five years and I transitioned for seven months. I did the big chop in March of 2009 and haven’t looked back!

How long have you been natural?
I have been natural for five years. Prior to doing my big chop, I transitioned for seven months.

What motivated you to transition? 
I decided to go natural because my hair was damaged. I grew up getting my hair pressed at beauty salons, faithfully, every two weeks. I did not even know what my natural texture was like. I got my first perm during my senior year of high school at 17. When I got the perm, I had long, thick hair that was bra-strap length. After getting the perm, I immediately noticed a difference in the thickness of my hair. My hair became thin and damaged. I had to get haircuts at the salon regularly to remove the damaged ends. Beauticians also treated my hair with protein treatments, advising that they would help repair the damage. However, nothing worked and my hair continued to break off. After having a perm for three years, I decided that going natural was the only way I could return to my thick, healthy hair. I transitioned from August 2008 to March 2009 using roller sets. I used this style because I am prone to having a dry, itchy scalp, so braids and weaves were never practical for me. I also liked it because it made it easy to hide the new growth of my natural hair. I big chopped after seven months of transitioning.


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How would you describe your hair? 
I have a kinky, curly hair texture in the 4A/4B category that is moderately thick.

What do you love most about your hair?
I love that my hair is BIG! I absolutely love the big hair look that I am able to achieve with my own natural hair texture. I think big hair is beautiful and fierce!


What has been the most memorable part of your journey? Has it been easy or difficult or both?! The most memorable part of my journey was the beginning when I was learning how to style and care for my hair. Every time I found a new product or tried a new hairstyle (that actually turned out right), it was like a milestone achievement to me. The most difficult part of my journey was learning to be more confident in myself and who I was inside and to not place my self-worth on the hair on my head. I was so used to being the girl with long straight hair that having a small afro was a huge change for me. After building myself up from the inside, I finally became comfortable in my own skin with my natural, God-given hair texture.

What were some of your favorite transitioning hairstyles? 
My favorite transitioning style was a roller set because I styled it to look like a curly fro. It gave me a preview of what my hair was going to look like once I did the big chop.



What have your experiences been as a ‘natural.’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
In the beginning, some of my family members and a few male friends had negative reactions to me going natural. My dad and grandmother would always tell me I needed to “get my hair done” and would offer to pay for it. (That still makes me laugh out loud.) Some of my male friends would ask what was wrong with my hair. Keep in mind that this was back in 2009 when the natural hair movement was just beginning to gain momentum, so they were not used to seeing many women with short natural hair. Despite the criticism, I had hair goals in mind, so I ignored their comments, and stuck to my plan to obtain thick, healthy hair.

What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
I complete my wash routine every two weeks. I used to do it every week, but that got tiring and too time consuming as my hair grew. I wash it thoroughly in four sections, detangle it section by section, and then deep condition it under the dryer. I usually style my hair using twist-outs or rod roller sets. On special occasions, I’ll curl hair that has been stretched with a twists using a curling wand. My favorite product line for washing/conditioning is the Carol’s Daughter Manoi Collection. My favorite products for styling are the Entwine Couture Butter Crème Hydrator and the Crème Jelly Styler and As I Am Naturally Twist Defining Cream.


What are some of your favorite natural hair websites,YouTuber’s, or blogs? 
My favorite natural hair YouTubers are Kimmaytube, Ms. Vaughn TV, Meechy Monroe, and My NaturalSistas. My favorite natural hair blogs are CurlyNikki.com and Black Girl Long Hair.

Anything you want the readers to know? Inspirational words?
Do not become discouraged during your natural hair journey. Your journey will be filled with many lessons and ups and downs. Through it all, just remember your hair goals and do not allow negativity from others to bring you down. Seek out support when needed through friends or online blogs and forums. There’s a community of women with natural hair on the web who are beautiful on the inside and outside. Be confident in and stand strong in the truth of who you are!


Where can people find you for more information? 
I have a blog called Queen Life that covers the topics of fashion, beauty, natural hair, health, and happiness. The link is www.queenlifeblog.com. I can also be found on Instagram and Twitter @queenlifeblog. My Facebook page is www.facebook.com/queenlifeblog1.


Global Couture is trying to spread the word about embracing your natural hair. Love your HAIR, if it is wavy, curly, kinky or coily. See more at http://www.globalcoutureblog.net/ and Follow us onFacebook,Twitter,Instagram. Are you naturally fierce? Email us to share your hair journey at[email protected].