Via naturalhairslays on instagram
By Mary Wolff

Curls are beautiful in all their variations. While they are beautiful, they may require a good amount of care to stay healthy and looking their best. One of the biggest problems in curly hair, especially for those with thicker hair, is shrinkage. Shrinkage can make your strands look smaller, shorter, and flat. When it comes to preventing shrinkage in natural hair, here are a few tips to help you keep hair looking its best.

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1. Blow Dry Roots 
Heat is a tricky thing for curlies. It can damage hair when used too often and without properly moisturizing strands. When dealing with shrinkage, it can be your best weapon of defense.  Blow drying at the roots is a good way of preventing shrinkage in natural hair because heat causes hair to expand. The key here is to let your hair mostly dry on its own before using the blow dryer. You will get the best anti-shrinkage results if you blow dry roots that are only slightly damp as opposed to soaking wet.

2. Blow Out
With the same principle as blow-drying roots, a complete blowout might help prevent some shrinkage. This will help show off your length, but you should use this method in moderation to avoid long term hair damage. Also, make sure you use a heat protectant to be on the safe side. One of my favorites for this is Every Strand Coconut Oil & Pure Shea Protective Leave-In Hair Treatment because it is a two-in-one moisturizing treatment and heat protectant.

3. Banding 
If you want to forgo heat altogether, another option is banding. This is a method that uses hair ties to gently stretch out either wet or damp hair. You simply section hair and place the hair ties from root to tip to stretch out hair.  Let hair air dry and wrap in a satin scarf to help with fizz. It is important to note this method can lead to breakage so only use it occasionally.

4. Pull it into a High Bun 
This method of preventing shrinkage also uses the same principle of stretching hair. When you pull your hair into a high bun, you are essentially stretching the hair to avoid shrinkage. You want to pull the bun tight enough to give a good stretch but not so tight that it hurts or breaks your strands.  After a few hours in the bun, take hair down and be shrink-free!

When dealing with shrinkage there are few ways to handle the matter. With these tried and true methods, never worry about shrinkage again!


By Mary Wolff

It isn’t a secret to any naturalists that nature has given us lots of soothing ways to care for our curls. With a DIY herbal hair rinse, you can combat a range of hair issues from dryness of the scalp and lack of blood circulation to adding extra hydration to strands. Here a few DIY herbal hair rinse recipes to give a try when your hair needs a little boost.

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Lavender Mint Rinse

This is a good rinse for when things seem a little off or you have a lot of buildup. The vinegar will act as a strong yet gentle cleanser while the lavender will work on circulation and clearing the scalp of any impurities. The mint gives it a nice smell and a pleasant tingly sensation.

Ingredients


  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh or 1 tablespoon dried mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh or 1/2 tablespoon dried lavender leaves
  • 1 cup boiling water

  • Combine the vinegar and herbs in a bowl and pour the boiling water over the mixture. Let it sit until cool before straining the herbs out. Transfer mixture to a clean container. Apply to hair after shampooing and rinse out.


    Rosemary Thyme Rinse

    This DIY herbal hair rinse has antibacterial properties that will help with any scalp issues you may be experiencing. Rosemary and thyme are both known to help improve circulation which can also help with hair growth to stimulate the follicle.

    Ingredients


  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves or 1/2 tablespoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 tablespoon dried
  • 2 cups boiling water

  • Combine the herbs in a bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Allow them to steep until the mixture is cool. Strain into a clean constrainer. Apply to hair after shampooing for best results.

    Chamomile Rinse

    This rinse will give hair a healthy dose of sheen while soothing the scalp of any irritations. Chamomile is an herb that has been used for dealing with scalp issues such as dandruff and general dryness for generations. It is also super relaxing in terms of aromatherapy!

    Ingredients


  • 2 tablespoons dried chamomile
  • 2 cups boiling water

  • Pour boiling water over the herbs in a glass bowl. Allow to steep until cool and then strain. Transfer to a clean container. Apply to hair and scalp after shampooing. Since this one focuses more on the scalp, make sure you massage it into the scalp in circular motions for the best results. Rinse out when done.

    Sources
    http://www.motherearthliving.com/natural-beauty/body-and-soul-herbal-hair-rinses-rosemary-thyme-rinse
    http://www.motherearthliving.com/natural-beauty/body-and-soul-herbal-hair-rinses-refreshing-lavender-mint-rinse
    http://blackgirllonghair.com/2013/11/7-herbal-rinses-for-natural-hair-and-scalp/
     Finally Fiona
    By Mary Wolff

    Heat can be useful in achieving certain styles. However, heat often comes at a price to your strands. When you overuse heat tools, you can weaken your hair and dry it out leaving it a frizzy, damaged mess. Whether you are going totally heat free, or just looking to cut back on your usage, these heatless natural hairstyles give you great looks without compromising on the health of your curls.

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    1. Heatless Waves

    When looking for a style that lets you create a wave pattern, this one is easy and heat free. Best of all, it’s super easy to achieve. This hairstyle gives you full body similar to a blowout, but without the damaging effects of heat. To find out more, check out this quick tutorial.

      

    NaturallyChea

    2. Halo Curls

    Since a lot of naturalistas wrap their hair at night to avoid damage to their strands, this method of achieving halo curls is perfect. With tools you already have on hand, including an old t-shirt, follow a few basic steps, and wake up with gorgeous curls full of body sans heat.


    3. Heatless Faux Wand Curls

    Using a heat wand can give you perfect ringlets. When looking for a heatless option to achieve the same look, flexi rods are your new best friend. They help you get that perfect curl without potential damage and they are super easy to use.

      


    4. Heatless Curls Updo

    Wearing your curls down in fun, but sometimes you might want an updo instead. This style uses curlformers to help get the desired shape without the use of heat tools. The updo is easy to do and the face frame pieces give it a laid-back vibe perfect for a casual style.


    5. Bantu Knot Out

    Another easy option you can wear overnight and then wake up with beautiful curls, this style gives you two looks in one. Wear your bantu knots out for girl’s night and then the next day take them out for beautiful full-bodied curls to last all day.


    Sooooo, what style will you be trying?
    Photo: nftips.com
    By Mary Wolff

    We all want long, healthy hair. When it comes to generating new growth, it can feel like a slow, painful journey. Many naturals turn to supplements as a way to get the results they want with a little more speed. However, a lot of what you read online may just be hype or hearsay, neither of which really do you any good. When it comes to supplements, there are several which are touted as hair miracles. What about zinc? Does zinc help hair grow longer?

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    Zinc is a nutrient the body uses in several ways. According to the National Institutes of Health fact sheet on zinc, “It helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses. The body also needs zinc to make proteins and DNA, the genetic material in all cells. During pregnancy, infancy, and childhood, the body needs zinc to grow and develop properly. Zinc also helps wounds heal and is important for proper senses of taste and smell.” While the correlation between this nutrient and health have been long established, the effect it has on helping hair growth is still under investigation. Studies are finding that it looks promising that zinc can help with hair growth. In fact, a pilot study was performed by researchers in Thailand to examine the effects of zinc for hair loss in women. The results were published in a journal called Hair Therapy and Transplantation with the researchers reporting that, “For the patient self-assessment, it showed that 55.5% of patients had significantly improved, 27.7% had moderately improved and 16.7% had minimally improved.” These women also showed signs of hair growth which makes the connection between zinc and hair growth. There are other studies currently being done to continue this line of investigation into the powers of zinc and hair health.

    Regardless of the research, we all know a proper diet with all the essential nutrients is key to healthy hair. So, how do you make sure you are getting enough zinc? While everyone is quick to reach for a supplement, it may be smarter to look at your diet. Most nutrients are more powerful when absorbed through diet. Zinc can be found in foods such as beef, lobster, spinach, chickpeas, cashews, and more. Overloading on zinc can lead to health complications so you want to check with your doctor before making any sudden or drastic changes to your diet or adding a supplement to your routine. Getting too much, whether through diet or supplements, can lead to nausea, vomiting, headaches, and other side effects, so you want to be very careful with this one.
    Sources
     
     By Mary Wolff

    Choosing your next hairstyle can be tricky. You obviously want something that is stylish and easy to care for, but you probably also want a look that will last a few weeks. When it comes to these 5 inexpensive ways to freshen your hairstyle, make your look go the extra mile without spending a lot of money.

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    1. Add a Gloss

    One of the easiest ways to change things up is to add a gloss to your hair. This is usually more affordable than a full-on color job and can add new life to your hair. Most last for only a few shampoos so they are also non-committal for those not sure if they will like it. Best of all, you don’t even need a trip to the salon! There are products that let you add gloss to your strands in the comfort of your own home such as John Frieda Clear Shine Luminous Glaze.

    2. Get a Trim

    This is a great way to freshen up your hair while keeping it healthy and happy. Whether you choose to do a blunt cut style trim, dusting, or step into the salon for a layered trim, cutting your hair is an inexpensive way to give things a new vibe.

    3. Add an Accessory

    When you are just tired of your hair in general, a great way to bring back the fun is with a stylish hair accessory. From sleek headbands and flower clip ins to elegant head wraps, there are a ton of affordable hair accessories to help set a new style for your hair.

    4. Create Bangs

    If you have ever wondered how you would look with bangs, but are too scared to take the plunge, create them without ever using the scissors! This look is easy to do and can make you feel like you have a whole new style. Here is a quick tutorial on how to achieve this look, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOOrNzTsjDw

    5. Add a Few Highlights

    If a full color job is a little too pricey at the moment, adding a few highlights is a more budget-friendly solution that can make your hair feel different and fresh. When choosing this option to freshen up your locks, aim for a few face framing highlights to really create a new look.