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Protein and Your Hair

Protein. It’s good for your body and it’s good for your hair. There are so many benefits to getting it onto your tresses but some women still don’t understand how much protein can help them reach their hair goals. That goes for processed and natural hair.

The natural hair movement is a powerful force that has taken the black hair world by storm over the last several years. It is now the thing to do; to forgo the creamy crack and embrace your hair for exactly what it is. Now, while there are those that fall off and on the wagon, the ones who are steady and consistent know that it takes more than just washing your hair with good products and sleeping with a satin bonnet to ensure natural hair’s growth and health. Protein is an important aspect of the hair care process that can give you the boost you need.

I know what some of you are saying- but my hair is protein. While that is mostly true in that it is made up of protein filaments commonly known as keratin, exposure to the wrong products, harsh chemicals, and the elements can break that down and cause brittle, dull, and damaged hair over time. That’s when it becomes necessary to use products that add protein back into your hair. Doing so serves to help keep your it vibrant and strong.

So let’s look at a few ways to get some protein in your life.

 

Deep Conditioning Masks

You can never go wrong with a good deep conditioner mask. This is a must for those who put their hair through the ringer throughout the year. Your hair gets tired, just like you, so it needs to be rejuvenated. Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair is a really good deep conditioning mask. While it is a bit on the pricey side, research shows that it can reduce breakage up to 81%. If you deal with dull hair and wonder why it’s breaking off, this $36 mask from Sephora may help.

 

Overnight Protein Treatments

If your hair is in need of some big-time tender love and care, then trying an overnight protein treatment can help tremendously. The hustle and bustle of things can sometimes cause unintentional neglect. In those moments, don’t dwell on what you did or didn’t do and actually take action. Palmers Coconut Oil Formula Deep Conditioning Protein Pack is ideal because not only is it a great product with no sulfates, parabens or dyes, it can be left in overnight. It’s super affordable too and you can find it at places like Target.

 

Reconstructors

This may be a new term for some people, but a reconstructor quickly works wonders for hair that needs an instant boost. This is especially true if you have processed or colored hair. Aphogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor and Aphogee 2 Step Reconstructor are excellent choices as they both work effectively and powerfully to get the job done. Using heat with these infuses the product into your hair, which helps reduce breakage significantly.

 

Intense Protein Treatment

If you tried the overnight option and found that it still doesn’t do the job, then you may need something a little more intense. Most treatments are just one step. There are some two-step treatments and then there are some with more steps like Dr. Miracle’s Miracle Repair 3 Step System. This one is for natural and relaxed hair and includes a non-lathering conditioning shampoo, a reconstructor, and an intense moisturizing masque.

Protein is a building block of nourished and robust hair. If you need some in your life, try these out for size.

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Foods that Combat Dry Skin and Hair

Your hair is important to you because ya know, why shouldn’t it be? You go through a lot to keep it healthy, strong, and vibrant. Whatever your hair goals are, you work hard to make them happen. The winter season is one of the hashes times of the year for your hair so you have to take extra care to ensure that your regimen is up to pare. Along the same lines, winter is also the time of the year when people experience hard to deal with bouts of dry skin.

Clearly, there are lotions and creams that you can use, but those don’t always do the job the way that they should. Depending on the kind of dry skin you have, you may go through a few before you find the one that works for your particular needs. The same rings true for your hair. Nonetheless, the great thing about this situation is that there are foods that you can eat that not only help with your hair but also work the same wonders for your skin. And with winters seeming to get worse and worse for those in places like the southeast, finding relief is a must. How convenient is it that you can find it through natural remedies that are good for your whole body?

Here are some foods you can eat that naturally combat dry skin and hair.

 

Fish

This food is delicious and can be cooked many ways. No matter how you like to consume it, fish is good for you inside and out. The fatty fishes like salmon, herring, and tuna all have the much sought after omega-3 fatty acids that help retain moisture in your skin’s barrier. That helps to keep it hydrated and supple.

 

Avocado

There are so many ways to eat avocado and there is no denying that the food is rich in all kinds of antioxidants, which work for your hair and your skin. The monounsaturated fat found in the fruit works to keep your skin moist and reduces inflammation in your body. Eat it on toast, tacos, in a smoothie, in a salad and so many other ways. You can also apply it directly to your hair for amazing benefits as well.

 

Oysters

Some people like them and some people don’t. Regardless how you feel about oysters, there is no denying their skin and hair properties that can work in your favor. They are super high in zinc and that’s a good thing because it repairs the collagen in your skin. They are good by themselves or in comfort dishes like dressing. The benefits founds in oysters are also found in crabs and lean meats.

 

Cucumbers

There is so much you can do with cucumbers. They contain silica, which works to increase the moisture that gives your skin elasticity. Cucumbers are water-rich and have vitamins A and C. Those two components soothe skin and fight damage. They are excellent sources of potassium, manganese, and biotin; the latter of which a favorite because of how it positively affects the skin, hair, and nails.

 

Spinach

Popeye the Sailorman had the right idea. Spinach strengthens so many areas of your body. It is an anti-ager thanks to beta-carotene. The nutrient is great for moisture retention for the epidermis (outer layer of your skin) and that’s good to prevent wrinkles and remove the dead skin that can cause unsightly problems. To really take advantage of spinach’s ingredients, pair with a food that’s high in vitamin C because it will help you better absorbs all that the vegetable has to offer.

These are just a few of the foods that can naturally improve your hair and skin. Try them and live better in 2018.

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What to Look for in a Natural Hair Stylist

The hairstylist. It is something that has been known to women for centuries. A noble profession to some that for sure can work miracles, there is nothing like having someone you can go to and trust that is going to give your hair the care and life that it needs. That’s why making sure you have the right kind of natural hair stylist is so important.

I love natural hair. It has become a movement in the black community and rightfully so. Rocking the natural state of your hair and keeping it free of the harmful chemicals found in relaxers and other straightening products just does a body good. But when it comes down to it, finding the right person to help you take care of your hair is not always an easy task because not all natural hairdressers are created equal. It takes more than just having natural hair to know how to manage, style, and nurture it.

So, if you are in the market for a new stylist who really knows what they are doing when it comes to natural hair, here are some things to remember in the process.

 

Top Notch Expertise

You want someone who knows what they are doing because they have put in the time to study and learn the science of it and not just because they personally have natural hair. Natural hair is delicate and takes knowing a lot about it. That means knowing what ingredients work better together, tips on how to care for it at home and having an all-around understanding of the inner workings of hair in its natural state. It’s so important to have more than a working knowledge. A good natural stylist will live, breathe, and eat natural hair.

 

Live the Life

I don’t know about you, but it just seems more authentic when someone who is working on my hair has hair that looks like mine. A stylist who has natural hair means that taking care of it and making sure it looks good is something that they look for every day. They will know more and have better tips and suggestions because they work with kinky, curly hair daily.

 

Quality Work

Make sure that the person you choose to ultimately guide you in taking care of your natural hair does quality work. There is nothing like going to someone to get your hair done and the results are less than desirable. When you are natural, sometimes you may think that it’s better to have someone else do it because they know a little bit more than you but save your money if what they do doesn’t impress you. The work needs to be there in order to get the best short-term and long-term results.

 

Shop Around

When dealing with natural hair, it’s important to find the person that’s going to give you and do for you exactly what you want and need. So, if you have to, shop around. It’s like looking for a church. It’s easy to go to one because you feel the need to, despite whether or not you really get something out of it, but is it really beneficial to you? It’s the same thing when looking for the person who is going to take your natural hair all the way to its max potential. Don’t stop until you find them and trust your instinct. You will know when you do.

Having a stylist that works on natural hair is very important to some individuals. If you are one that believes you need someone to work with you on a regular basis to help grow and maintain your tresses, take these tips into consideration so that you find exactly what you are looking for.

 

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Hair and Beauty Benefits of Rice Water

Women try a lot of different things to keep their hair and other beauty aspects of who they are up to date. From wanting long, strong, and healthy tresses to looking for ways to have beautiful nails and clear skin, there are many things out there to help in these areas. While the conventional routes involve using products formulated for various beauty needs, there are some less mainstream traditional avenues to explore if you are looking for something different to incorporate into your hair and beauty routine. Enter rice water.

It is a method that has picked up more attention in the last few years and it is very simple – use rice water for everything from your hair to your skin. It is something that you can make at home yourself so it’s fairly inexpensive. Just rinse the rice to remove dirt, place it in a bowl, cover and soak for up to 30 minutes and then you are ready to go. It may sound strange, but countless women have reported having amazing results with rice water. In fact, there are parts of the world where women use rice water for their daily hair care regimen and have long, flowing healthy hair. It is an age-old tradition that many Asian countries use and it is one that can greatly help naturals who are looking for an extra hair boost.

Here are a just a few of the benefits you can reap.

 

Fermented vs. Regular

There are two ways to make rice water. You can soak rice for the 30 minutes mentioned above and then use the water immediately, or you can ferment the water for an added kick. Fermented rice water is extremely potent and some suggest diluting before using it. You can make it by letting the water sit in a room temperate climate for 24 to 48 hours. To measure, once it’s slightly sour, that means the fermentation process is underway and it’s time to use. For even more concentrated rice water, you can boil the rice and then use the water for your hair and skin. Finally, you can store rice water for up to a week in the refrigerator.

 

Contains Good Vitamins

Your hair needs vitamins too! Rice water is said to be loaded with Vitamin B, C and E. There are amino acids that work to regenerate your hair and that is always a good thing in my book. Just like your body needs vitamins to help function properly, so does your hair.

 

Softens Hair

If you have been dealing with dry, brittle hair and wonder what you can do (because everything else you have done hasn’t worked) rice water might be worth trying. For many, it is like a protein shot for your hair because of all the great things it contains. The amino acids found in rice water “fill in the gaps” in damaged hair especially, so it can also lead to shinier hair as well.

 

Helps with Skin Problems

One of the worst things as an adult is having to deal with acne. A lot of people will face this problem and while there are many products you can buy; rice water is said to help with skin allergies and other skin ailments. It is especially good for fighting inflammation and also helps reduce redness that can occur due to irritations.

Trying new things is a great way to discover avenues to improve your hair. If you are looking to take your hair and skin care to the next level, then rice water may be a much-appreciated addition to your efforts.

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Body, Skin and Hair Care: Tips for 2018

Going into 2018, there is one thing that everyone will be putting down on his or her list of things to do in the New Year – work out. This is so important and I encourage everyone who makes this his or her goal to commit and do it. Even if you say you’re going to year after year and somehow, someway, end up falling off the boat, it doesn’t matter, keep pushing, press forward and one day, you just might get there.

I am a firm believer in bettering oneself. The world we live in can beat us down so much and at times, it can seem hard to find our way. But if you take it one step at a time and make a plan, you can work through anything. We talk about hair here, but the idea is to have an approach to life that motivates and promotes a lifestyle of good health, wealth, and success. And three areas that are great starting points to focus your life are your body/mind, skin, and hair.

So, because we are nearly knocking on next year’s door, here are some ideas and tips on how to work out better, take care of your skin and have dope natural hair in the New Year.

Find A Workout You Love

This is really the key to sticking with your workout routine in my opinion. When things are boring and stale, who can really bear doing the same thing over and over again? I suggest finding a workout that is fun for you so that it doesn’t really feel like your putting in work at all. It’s not cheating, it’s smart because it’s more ideal to do something you enjoy and gives you results than to do something you hate just because it gives you results. Cycling is fun, Zumba is great and dance aerobics helps pass the time away. The great benefit of working out too is that it opens up your pores, which is great for your skin and excellent for promoting circulation in your scalp.

Drink Your Skin into a Glow

I have said it before and I will say it again, water is your friend. H2O is the thing that is going to naturally give your skin what it needs to win at life. It will flush out the toxins and boost your energy. And in the same way, it can give your face an organic facelift (of sorts) it can do the same thing for your tresses. Because remember, what you put into your body has a major effect on your hair so why not knock out two birds with one stone and up your water intake in 2018.

Take Care of Your Hair

There are two kinds of naturals in this life – the one with a routine and the one without. No matter where you are in having a hair regimen, you can always start or update what you do for your tresses. I cannot stress enough how important it is to know exactly (or relatively) what you plan to do to and for your hair on a weekly and even daily basis. Go into 2018 with a commitment to do better by your hair in every way that you possibly can.

Your body, your skin, and your hair are the first things you present to the world when you go out into it every day. No matter what you’ve done or haven’t done in the past in these areas, you can get on the right track (or a better one) starting now. Think about where you are on these things and make adjustments accordingly.

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How to Keep Hair Hydrated

As much as you try, sometimes your natural hair just doesn’t want to stay hydrated. There are many reasons for this. The weather is harsh on the hair, your routine may not be working anymore and other reasons can be the difference between beautiful, healthy hair and dry brittle tresses. Needless to say, there is a lot that goes into keeping your hair adequately soft and moisturized.

As you can see, your hair is just as much in need of getting the right kinds of nourishment as the rest of your body. Your regimen is a big factor as to how well your hair is hydrated but the products you use as well as methods are just as important. You have to take all of that into consideration when thinking of ways to ensure hydration. It can seem overwhelming but once you get the hang of things, it will be nothing to you.

So, to help those of you who might have run into a rut when it comes to hair hydration, here are some tips and tricks on how to restore the moisture.

Products

It is no secret that getting the right products on your hair works wonders. For naturals, the more organic, holistic and pure the ingredients are, the better off you will be in the long run. It can be very easy to go with cheaper items because of how you think it will affect your wallet, but let me break something down for you – the cheaper you buy, the less the stuff will work and thus, the more you will end up spending. There are some great products out there that will be the aid you need in keeping your hair hydrated. Qhemet Burdock Root Butter Cream is a great one. It is on the more expensive side, ranging from $19 at Sephora to $41 at Amazon.com, but it works. You can never go wrong with Shea Moisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil line, TGIN Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer and Miss Jessie’s Leave in Condish; all excellent products. Remember, the products you use are the foundation of hydration.

Method

This aspect of the situation can be tricky. Method here involves what processes you use to maximize your efforts. I like to suggest deep conditioning, which can involve everything from letting a good deep conditioner sit on your hair for a few minutes, to sitting under a dryer to really penetrate your hair shaft. You want to do this at least once a month, depending on the needs of your hair. Ultimately, my advice is to not neglect this step. It is one of the most important.

Routine

Nothing defines your hair more than your routine. Of course, you wash and condition your hair, but that is not the extent of the care that your tresses need to be great. What is the point of putting in all that work to get the moisture you need into your hair and then not doing the upkeep to maintain it? You want to have a daily moisturizer, whether it be a leave in or an oil, that you use to maintain the nourishment. This can be used every other day or as needed. You want to tie your hair up (or down) at night with a silk or satin scarf. This helps keep the moisture in and, ideally, leaves you with less styling come morning. A good way to do this is too is pineapplingwhich is simply pulling your natural hair into a loose high ponytail, which helps to keep your crown comfortably surrounded by the nourished parts of your hair.

Healthy, hydrated hair is within your reach. Try these tips and see how they can work for you.

 

 

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Perfecting the Wash-N-Go

Being a natural is something to be very proud of because in today’s world, the natural elements of who we are don’t get celebrated enough. It is something to take that step in your life and say “no more chemicals, I’m going natural.” It is definitely a process and can test everything you thought you knew about yourself, but if you can make it through the ransition stage, you can make it all the way. And once you do get to the place where your hair is healthy and beautiful in its natural state, there is something that you will want to master that countless naturals have learned to do flawlessly – the wash-n-go.

It is probably the easiest hairstyle for a natural to rock, but it also one of the hardest to perfect. You can get out of the shower with your hair looking amazing only to suffer from shrinkage, dryness, and more an hour later. Believe it or not, there are all kinds of tips and tricks you should learn if you really want to get to a place where you can walk out of your house, confidently, wearing a wash-n-go. From products to technique to method, there are things you can incorporate that can help you better manage.

So, if you haven’t quite gotten it down pat and want to be amongst the scores of naturals that can wash and go, here are some tips on how to accomplish that hair goal.

The Right Shampoo

All hair cleansers are not created equally. There are some that work better than others and knowing which they are comes down to knowing your hair. Understanding how it functions will help you choose the right shampoos, which serves as the foundation for a killer wash-n-go. I like Shae Moisture’s line of porosity based shampoos and conditioners because they affect your hair according to its porosity.

The Right Method

One of the ways to maintain your curls’ pattern right out of the shower comes down to how you dry your hair. Most folks just use a regular bath towel to remove the excess water from their hair after washing and rinsing it. There is a growing trend, however, where naturals are drying their hair with a plain cotton t-shirt. This method is said to retain the curls better as well as the moisture in your hair. Most of those that use this method tie a long sleeve cotton tee around wet hair for about 15 minutes then let it air dry.

The Right Leave-in Conditioner

This is one of the most important (some argue the most) aspects of nailing the wash-n-go. You want to get something that is going to set your hair in just the right way. The product should be one that leaves your hair soft, shiny, moisturized, and in place. The leave-in conditioner also serves as a sealant, so it’s pretty important to make sure you get one that functions as such. This aspect of the process is trial and error as you may have to go through a few leave-ins before you find the one that really works for you. Nonetheless, to give you an idea of what’s out there, Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft CurlsShea Moisture Curling Souffle, and Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner are some good places to start.

Extra Tips

The above are basics that will serve to give you a nice wash-n-go. You can also use a blow dryer in a low setting to help set your curls. This is especially true for those whose hair is more prone to frizz. Another important thing to remember is tying your hair at night. It’s not a good idea to just go to sleep without covering your head. Make sure to use your silk or satin scarf to maintain your hairstyle.

Having the best wash-n-go is within your reach so make sure to keep these things in mind.

 

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Reviving Natural Hair

There is a lot that goes into maintaining natural hair. In fact, there is so much that some might say it is an around the clock job ensuring that natural hair looks, feels, and acts right. Nonetheless, all the effort that you put into your hair does not go unnoticed. And even if no one tells you that your hair looks great, just knowing that you take care of it should be assurance enough that your natural hair is everything it could and should be.

With that, while I am sure that you put in work to make your hair look amazing, there are times still where a rejuvenation is necessary. Let’s face it, things happen and even if you don’t accidentally neglect your hair, sometimes routines need to be reevaluated and updated. This doesn’t mean that you’ve done anything wrong it just simply means that things change and you have to change with them. So as much as you feel you have your regimen down to a science, maybe there is something you can learn to take your hair to the next level.

Let’s look at some suggestions on how to rejuvenate your tresses.

It’s in What You Eat

We know that what we put into our bodies affects our whole bodies. Make sure to put good things in so good things, like enviable hair, will come out. Drink the water, eat the veggies, and cut back on the bad stuff. All of that plays a role in how your hair acts and looks and you will see the difference. A great way to make what you eat positively affect your hair is by consuming foods high in vitamins B, A and C. The latter of which gives you a collagen boost that helps keep the hair strands vibrant and healthy. Eat citrus fruits and things like red peppers to get this important vitamin naturally.

Mix Things Up

Sometimes, it’s a good idea to mix up a healthy hair concoction with the items you have in your fridge. Avocado, eggs, mayonnaise, and honey are all good items you can use, along with olive or coconut oil, to give your hair a little something extra; something different. You can whip them up as deep conditioners that you leave on for a few minutes to really get the benefits of the ingredients.

Get a Trim

This is one of the best ways to improve the overall function and look of your hair. Trimming your ends is something that you should do every two to three months in order to maintain healthy hair that acts right when you want to style it and that appears strong and pretty. It may seem counterproductive to some people, but getting those ends cut makes a big difference in so many areas pertaining to your hair.

Take a Supplement

Hair vitamins are very popular nowadays. They definitely have their advantages. Taking supplements specially formulated for the hair is a great way to give it nutrients that it may not get through your regular regimen. There are all kinds out there you can try and as with other things, it comes down to doing research and then trying products to see what works for you. Hair vitamins are an ideal way to add some rejuvenation to your tresses. Some good supplements to try are biotin and niacin.

It never hurts to add things to your routine that only serve to boost your hair. Try some of these and see how they work for you.

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Managing Gray Hair

As life carries on for all of us, there is one thing that just about everyone will deal with at one point in this existence – gray hair. Some people, believe it or not, embrace it and that is something to admire. But while there are those who say, “Bring it on life” there are many, many others who don’t like the idea of gray hair because it is a sign that they are, indeed, getting older. There is also the notion of aesthetics. For some folks, they just don’t like the way gray hair makes them look.

If you are a person who prides yourself on your locs and wants to fight gray hair as much as possible, of course, there are things that you can do. You can color your hair, which is what majority of people do to hide the fact that they are going gray. But if you want to get rid of and or limit a number of grays that you get, there are a few natural ways to do just that.

Let’s look at some tips and tricks on what you can use to ease the grays without using harmful chemicals that could end up hurting your hair in the long run.

Onion Juice

This vegetable is not just good for hamburgers and salads. Onions have some amazing healing properties that are beneficial for a plethora of things. They are high in sulfur and allicin which makes them great for getting rid of ailments like infections and yes, helping to better manage gray hair. The main way it does that is by decreasing inflammation and removing hydrogen peroxide, both of which are known factors that cause gray hair.

B12

Too many people walk around with all kinds of deficiencies. B12 is one of those vitamins that most folks don’t get enough of. If you are deficient in this area, it can be a cause of your hair turning the color that so many dread. B12 gives you energy and without enough of the vitamin working in your body, it can definitely cause premature graying. If you find that your gray hairs are increasing in numbers, check to see if you are deficient in B12. If so, get you some supplements or eat foods high in B12 (fish, soy, milk, and eggs just to name a few) so that you can get what you need to stop the gray.

Amla

If there ever were a superfood for hair, Amla is one for sure. Known as a hair tonic, this berry packs a huge nutritional punch. The way that Amla works is that it strengthens the hair follicles and stabilizes the free radicals that are the culprits of gray hair. Who doesn’t want to have this working for them?

Vitamins

You can never go wrong with taking a good vitamin. Nowadays, there are all kinds out there to help with whatever you want to address in your body and you can best believe that there are more than enough that deal with graying hair. Now, if you have never taken vitamins before, it will behoove you to do your research because it can be overwhelming. But trust and believe there are also kinds to help, stop, prevent or slow the graying process. Along with B12, you can also try VB9 for folic acid benefits and B5.

Going gray doesn’t have to be a bad or scary thing. If it matters to you and if you want to keep it under control, these are just a few of the things you can do to achieve your goals.

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Four Reasons to Trim Your Ends

In the world of natural hair, there are some dos and don’ts that people follow according to, well, how they feel. But is that really the best thing to do? In my opinion, not always because when it comes down to it, there are some tried and true tips that can really help women with natural hair. One of the best pieces of advice that too many do not like to follow is trimming of the hair. It may seem counter-intuitive but adding this process to your routine can work wonders.

I get it. For too many black women, cutting the hair does not make sense especially since a lot of you work so hard to get the little bit of length that you have. But when you consider the many reasons why it’s a good idea to get a regular trim, you might change your mind about the whole process. Cutting your ends is not about taking away your length. That has nothing to do with it. It is a maintenance measure that will go a long way when performed regularly.

So let’s look at a few instances in which trimming your ends is necessary and helpful.

Uneven Layers

If you see that your hair has uneven layers, then you may need a trim. Too often a lack of trimming will cause your hair to appear lopsided, uneven and formless. Getting it trimmed will give you shape and will make your hair more manageable. From holding curls better to maintaining a style better, getting rid of the dead hair will tremendously give your tresses a boost.

Raggedly Looking Hair

There is no getting around the fact that when you have raggedy ends it affects the overall look of your entire hair. I have seen this time and time again with women who refuse to cut their ends. This happens a lot too if you apply heat to your hair often. Over time, it damages your hair and makes it extremely hard to deal with. It also makes it not so nice to look at as well. Trimming your ends does so much more than you realize.

Lack of Growth

This is one of the main reasons to trim your ends. Not doing so can greatly stunt your hair’s growth. If you find that your hair does not grow or that it has been stuck at one length for a long time, then you may just need a trim. Damaged ends are a great hindrance to healthy and strong hair. The potential that your hair has to reach its max length will never fully be realized when you don’t trim your ends.

Split Ends

These are never fun. Who really wants to walk around with split ends? The frayed look that so many have as a result of this is unattractive and makes doing your hair a hassle because no matter what you do, it just doesn’t want to act right. Now, if you think getting a trim is going to stunt your growth, just imagine what happens when you don’t and then have to deal with breakage. It’s a real thing that many don’t understand can happen. Split ends are a major cause of so many bad things that happen to your hair.

Try not to look at it like cutting your hair. Instead, consider trimming your ends as a means to achieve the real hair goals that you want and deserve.

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