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Using Your Fingers to Detangle Your Natural Hair

One of the greatest hindrances to retaining length with natural hair is a lack of proper detangling. It is probably not always at the forefront of your mind but it most definitely should be. There are many ways to detangle and most naturals use a wide-tooth comb. This is the go-to because, hey, it’s pretty convenient and gets the job done in a decent amount of time. But if you want to give your hair even more tender love and care, consider using your fingers to detangle it.

It has become more and more popular to detangle natural hair this way and that’s because it is less stress on your tresses. When you pull and comb your hair, you always run the risk of causing some kind of breakage that can lead to damaged looking hair. Using your fingers to detangle takes time, but if you are willing to put in the effort, you will reap the benefits of your commitment. Countless women have had major results, longer and healthier hair, with this method of detangling.

So let’s look at how to finger detangle the right way.

Shampoo Your Hair

Before you get to running your fingers through your dry hair, know that this method is intended to be used on wet hair. It is also best to do it on clean hair. While you are in the shower, shampoo your hair to prepare it for the detangling process. It is never a good idea to try detangling your hair when it is dry. This will most certainly and without a doubt lead to breakage. You can also opt to wet it or dampen it with a spray bottle and detangle that way.

Condition Your Hair

After washing it, add conditioner. This is where the process really begins. Whatever you use to condition your hair is the product that will prepare it for detangling. A good conditioner is the best kind of product to use because it is slippery enough for your fingers to easily glide through your strands. You want to minimize stress to your hair as much as possible during this process and the conditioner will definitely do that.

Section Your Hair

Some people do a quick detangle in the shower and that is perfectly fine, but to really give your hair the attention it needs when you’re finger detailing, it’s best to do it outside of the shower in front of a mirror and in sections. If you don’t want to stand and watch yourself go through strand by strand, just know that in the moments when your fingers get stuck because of a knot, you do need to see what you are doing so that you don’t make the situation worse. Also, sectioning off your hair allows you to completely detangle every inch effectively. Finally, I suggest leaving the conditioner on your hair as you sit (or stand) and detangle. You cannot beat the leverage it gives you. Just do a rinse after you’re done and then you can easily and quickly run your fingers through your hair afterward and style per usual.

Points to Remember

This detangling method is meant to benefit your hair in a way that combing just cannot. If you find that it is too hard to use your fingers, or if your hair is very course, you may need to do it in smaller sections or go ahead and use a wide-tooth comb.

There are so many tips and trick to remember when handling natural hair. If you’ve never considered this method of detangling, it may be worth the time and effort to see how it works for you.

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How to Care for Hair After Protective Styling

Protective styles are staples in the black hair community. A lot of women wear them during summer and just as many wear them all year round. Protective styles serve many purposes. From allowing a woman to transition (going from the creamy crack to chemical free hair) with ease to allowing the hair a break from all the tugging, pulling and stressing that many women put on it, protective styling is a no-brainer.

There are several ways that you can incorporate a protective style into your life. By far wearing any form of braids is the most popular. They last long, vary in length and are fairly easy to maintain. In essence, protective styles rock but sometimes those who wear them fall short of taking care of their hair underneath. That’s where your hair care routine comes in after you are done with your protective style. If you keep braids in for three months and never oil or wash your tresses, they will need major tender love and care.

So here are some tips on how to treat your hair after wearing your protective styles.


This is non-negotiable. Many times, your hair can become filled with knots that need to be taken care of before you shampoo. It is not a good idea to wet your hair for any reason if it contains knots because you are going to have a killer time trying to safely comb them out. I am going to tell you now that it usually doesn’t work and you end up majorly damaging your hair. Use a wide-tooth comb and detangle in sections if possible.


This is always a good idea, regardless if you’re doing it after having a protective style or not. I suggest doing a hot oil treatment to help add some moisture back to your hair. This can be done by taking your favorite oil, heating it up, applying it to your hair and letting it “simmer” under a heating or shower cap. This will get your pores open and ready for the next stage of your hair care regimen.

Use a Clarifying Shampoo

Most of the time when you wear braids, you aren’t able to cleanse your hair the way it needs to be cleaned. That’s why you can’t just use any kind of shampoo when you finally have the chance to do so. You need to use one that’s clarifying and free of harmful ingredients like sulfates. After protective styling, you will usually see significant hair growth and you want to capitalize on that by using the right products to get the job done.

Deep Conditioning

Your hair is going to need some deep conditioning. After you shampoo, it’s time to condition it with a good product meant to give your hair the nutrients, balance, and moisture it needs after going long periods of time without it. I suggest during this time that you apply your product, wrap your hair and sit under a dryer to make sure your hair shaft is penetrated properly. Staying under the dryer for at least 20 minutes and no more than 30 minutes will give your hair the good deep conditioning treatment it needs to stay strong and look great.

There is an important process after you take down your protective style; a process that you no doubt want to do. Giving it the time it needs is paramount to maintaining the progress you’ve made thanks to the protective style.

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Black Beauty Boxes to Try

Are you a product junkie? Do you like trying new shampoos, lipsticks and face creams? If you have natural hair, one thing is for sure- Naturals run through products. You know how it goes; your shelves are lined with product after promising product. You want to know what works for you and sometimes finding that out means going through a number of items before you find the one that changes your life. Wouldn’t it be great to sample them before you buy?

Well, thanks to the culture we live in (instant gratification) we can do just that. The big craze right now is subscription boxes. From ties and cufflinks for men to perfume and body lotions for women, there is something for everyone, including black women looking for their next go-to miracle worker hair product or sexy lippy.

Subscription boxes are ideal because you pay a minimal monthly fee for a box of samples that give you the option to try things out without wasting a fortune on products that do nothing for you. The great thing about them too is that they are usually very specific. That means you can find almost anything you are looking to test.

Here are some beauty boxes for women of color to try now.


With this subscription box, you can discover hand-selected products created specifically for curly hair. For only $20 every month, you get four or more quality products from selected brands that are trusted names in the natural hair world, including DevaCurl, Shea Moisture, Clairol, Palmers and more.


Another great one for the ladies with curly hair is Curlkit.  With products like Cream of Nature, they boast themselves as the “single best way to try before you buy.”  Their boxes include mini and full-size options and many times they give free celebrity samples and subscriber-only discounts. In business since 2011, Curlkit will run you around $25 a month.

Essence Beauty Box

Yes, the magazine is getting in on the box subscription action. Their $15 a month beauty box will bring you five products, a mixture of skincare, hair and fragrance items.  And because they know how it is to be a black-owned brand, they include at least one product of an independently own business in every box.


Created by Dana Hill, a woman who has worked in fashion and entertainment for a number of years, Cocotique is a deluxe beauty box that includes fivw to eight sample and full-size hair and skin care products from brands that are trusted in the natural hair community. For $20 a month, you get items from companies like Radiance, Aikay Naturals and other black brands that work hard to bring quality products to women of color.


This box not only includes all the same kinds of goodies as the others, it also includes, yep you guessed it, sass, in the form of accessories and everyday gadgets. For $25 you get this unique box; so along with the products that make you look the part, things like eye masks with the slogan “Today has been canceled,” help you be the part. Sass is an art, and with Sassboxx you can have it down pat.

No matter what you are looking for, you can find it in any of these or countless other subscription boxes. For those who like new things and to experience different products, this is definitely a great avenue to explore.

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Hair Color: Best at Home Products

One of the best things about summer is the fashion. There are a lot of things that fall under that umbrella. Beauty, makeup, and yes hair, all go hand in hand. We change it up with our clothing, that’s a given. And now more and more women are changing things up with their hair as well. So let’s talk about color.

The summer months are one of the best times of the year to try something new.  We like to take chances with our outfits so why not spice things up with our hair? It’s fun, it’s exciting and for countless women, it’s a way to find a new aspect of themselves they never even knew existed. Now I know that for some, getting their hair done at a salon is not always in the budget. But if you are one that doesn’t mind the risks associated with doing your own hair, why not consider coloring your tresses yourself?

Hey, it’s just hair, right? If you mess up you can always cut it off or wear a wig. In all seriousness, adding a pop of color to your hair is a great way to update your entire look. So if you don’t mind taking matters into your own hands, here are some great at-home coloring systems to try that work nicely on all kinds of black hair.

Shea Moisture Hair Color System

When it comes to creating products that work, Shea Moisture is a master. Their Hair color system is formulated to nourish your hair and contains neither ammonia nor sulfates. Their chestnut brown is a beautiful color that will boost your hair color for sure.

Adore Creative Image Hair Color

Let’s go red! This sexy color is a popular one amongst naturals. Maybe it’s because red is enticing and energizing. Whatever the reason, it never grows old. From Ronald McDonald red to auburn, there are so many shades and tone from which to choose. Adore Creative Image Hair Color’s 52 French cognac will give you a nice vivid color to rock all summer long.

Manic Panic Vegan Hair Color

Remember I mentioned taking risks? Most people stick to what they know- blondes, reds, browns- but there are some who like to rock the boat and go for the gusto. I would definitely say dying your hair any shade of blue is going for the gusto.  And when a product like Manic Panic Vegan Hair Color has an amazing deep navy, you really can’t lose. Their semi-permanent hair color cream “after midnight” is a super deep blue that will give you the perfect black-blue blend.

Clairol Texture & Tones

This hair brand has been one of the top names in the game for nearly one hundred years. With a product line that provides items for a variety of hair textures, it is a go-to for a lot of women. And with celebrity stylists like Kiyah Wright, who has worked on everyone from Gabrielle Union to Mary J. Blige, endorsing Clairol, an increasing amount of black women are catching on to what they have to offer. Their Texture and Tones collection is natural hair friendly and doesn’t use ammonia or other harmful ingredients in their formula. With their vast color options, you are sure to find something that works just for you.

Coloring your hair doesn’t have to be expensive. There are some aspects of the process that definitely need more attention than others, but there is nothing that you can’t learn in this day and age with a little help from Google and YouTube. If you’ve been wanting to spruce your hair up, but are limited monetarily, taking the time to learn the basics and doing it yourself may not be a bad idea.

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Hair Shrinkage: How to Manage It

When you go natural, there are a lot of things that people tell you. They say, “It’s a great decision, all the chemicals in relaxers are harmful to the body. They inform you that, “Being natural is empowering and gives you a new found sense of pride.” These things and so much more are very true; being natural is a beautiful thing. But of all the insights and tips that people give, there is one aspect of the lifestyle that many do not mention- shrinkage.

If you don’t understand what I mean when I say shrinkage, here is a very simple definition: It is the difference in the look of your hair when it’s dry (usually shorter and less defined curls), vs. when it’s wet and gently stretched. It is very real; just ask any woman who has been natural for a few months. While people experience different degrees of shrinkage, it can be frustration nonetheless. Especially after getting out of the shower having just washed your hair and seeing how the curls hang. They may sway at your shoulders, but by the time your curls dry, they have shrunk to your ears.

There are things you can do to help with the shrinkage and a lot of naturals employ different methods and techniques to maintain your length. Here are a few things to try.


Many natural hair products promise a lot of things. From moisturizing your hair to keeping it strong and healthy, there is a cream, spray or lotion for just about everything. With that, you can find items on the shelves of your local department store and online, of course, that will help prevent shrinkage. Au Naturale  Anti- Shrinkage by Dark and Lovely is a good one to try.


This method is a popular one. When it comes to combating shrinkage, twisting your hair will definitely give you more natural length. Just section off your hair into 4- 8 segments and make sure you use a good product to help the hair twist better.  You want to let your hair dry a little bit too because twisting it straight out of the shower will take a long time to dry. And what’s worst than shrinkage is a damp twist out. You will not get the results that you want.


Depending on the type of length you want, you can use rollers to combat shrinkage as well. I suggest doing it while your hair is damp because your hair will set better. You can use rods or plastic rollers, it’s up to you. Your hair won’t have the coiled curls, but you will not have to worry about shrinkage, which for a lot of naturals is what they most want to prevent.

The Roots

One of the best ways to stop shrinkage is to blow dry your roots. What this does is open up your cuticle making it easier for the cuticle to expand. Lifting the roots will tremendously help with shrinkage. You want to make sure, however, that you don’t use too much heat. If you are one who doesn’t mind a little bit of heat (some naturals stay away from it completely) then this is a viable option that may give you the exact results you are looking for.

When it comes down to it, working with your hair is all about trial and error. If you experience shrinkage and wish you didn’t have to deal with it as much, these are just a few ways to help you better manage your hair.

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Beach Days- How to Protect Natural Hair

The summer months are upon us and you know what that means- beach days. From now until sometime in September, naturals will be flocking to beaches across the world. Most women probably don’t think about how the ocean will affect their hair, but if it’s not on your radar, it’s a good idea to consider your tresses in all of your beaching plans.

There are a lot of things naturals have to remember about when it comes to hair maintenance. Yes, it is great to have the versatility, but for a lot of naturals, it is a constant struggle to take proper care of your hair. Whether you forget, don’t know how or just don’t feel like it, what you do and don’t do will always show. That’s why it’s so important to have a beach routine for your hair. Yes, that is right; here is yet another routine you have to remember in order to ensure healthy hair that doesn’t succumb to the elements of the ocean and the sky.

So here are some suggestions to help keep your hair in tip-top shape during the hottest months of the year.


This can be done with a good oil. Coconut oil is ideal to use the night before because it’s known to lock moisture into your hair. It can also create a barrier for your hair that helps keep it hydrated, which is extremely important when being in the sun for extended periods of time. Doing it the night before is the best way to give your hair the pre-beach treatment it needs to remain strong.


There are some leave in conditioners out there that have SPF. This is a great option because just like your skin needs protecting from the UV rays of the sun, so does other parts of your body, including your hair. Look at it as sunscreen for your hair. Sun Bum 3 in 1 Leave-In Hair Conditioning Treatment is a good one.  It has everything from coconut oil and quinoa protein and is paragon free. It’s a winner all around and can greatly help your hair during your next beach party or pool gathering.

Protective Style

This is a good idea to prevent tangling. I personally don’t believe that a protective style can really protect your hair from elemental damages. A lot of times, these hairstyles can make you lackadaisical in caring for your hair. When it comes down to it, it is just as important to rinse/wash your hair afterward if you are wearing braids at the beach, as it is if you’re not. But sometimes naturals forget that. Nonetheless, a good protective style in this situation is a high bun, which allows for less of your hair to be exposed to the salty ocean water.

Wash… Immediately

Do not wait hours after coming from the beach to wash your hair. Just like you have a pre-beach routine, you need to have a post-beach one as well. This should include using a clarifying shampoo and a moisturizing conditioner. You can even do a deep conditioning treatment to really help replenish your hair.

Going to the beach is fun, but dealing with the after effects of what the activity does to your hair can be a hassle. However, if you take the proper precautions and implement some of these suggestions, your hair will be in much better shape after it’s all said and done.

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Doing Right By Our Daughters: Tips for Managing Their Hair

Let’s talk about our children. They are the light of the world. Hey, they are the future! We have to teach them well and let them lead the way (okay I’m done). One of the best things we can do for our kids, especially for our daughters, is teach them how to take care of their hair. In today’s world, more and more mothers are opting to forgo kiddie perms (relaxers) by keeping their girls hair natural. This, in my opinion, is the best thing to do. However, while you are trying to keep her hair chemical free, are you doing the right things to it? Are you making mistakes that can damage her hair in the long run?

It is tough, I know. You want to give her every chance to have healthy, strong hair. Starting your girl off young with the right routine and habits will only serves her in a positive way as she matures into doing her own hair. In the process, you learn things that you pass on to her, but isn’t it better to know some things not to do in the first place?

Her are some tips to help you better manage your daughter’s hair now in the hopes that she will learn how to take care of it later.

No Weave

This is my biggest pet peeve with mothers. As an adult, your hair is stronger and just different from your child’s. This means it can handle certain things that hers cannot. One of the moves to reconsider is putting weave in her hair. I know it may seem like a good idea and she may even beg you to do it, but trust that the better option is to wait until she is older. I suggest around 10-years-old. More times than not, adding weave to her hair will break it off and definitely affect her edges. I cannot tell you how many young girls under the age of 10 I’ve seen with thinning hair because their mothers keep weave in it. Protective styling is important, but it can most certainly be done without the use of weave. Period. It is just something to consider.

No Neglect

Your child’s hair is still growing and with that, it needs to be nurtured. I know that it can be hard to give your daughter’s hair the attention it needs when you have your own to worry about, but hey, that’s life. Being an adult means making sacrifices for your kids. That may mean staying up later, buying better products and putting in extra time on the weekends. Whatever it means, just do it.

Yes Scarves

If you let your kid go to sleep without covering her head with a satin or silk scarf, you are doing her a disservice. Just like this kind of neglect can have adverse affects on your hair, it will do the same or worse for your daughter. If you find that a scarf usually comes off in the middle of the night, then get her a satin or silk pillowcase.

Yes Products

Don’t use cheap products on her hair. If you would not use them on your hair, why do it to hers. I know that you may think she needs less or feel like, “It doesn’t take all that” because she is a child, but that is not true. Her hair needs the same if not more, tender love and care that you give to yours.

Your daughter is looking to you to do what’s best for her hair. Don’t let her down. Take care of her crown.

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How to Have Good Hair Days More Often

In the world of natural hair, this rings true for a lot of women- good hair days can be hard to come by. Sure, we have times when we know without a doubt that we nailed a twist out or wash-n-go, but those don’t last. Usually, we have to go back, retouch or re-braid, and who really has the time to do all of that?

While the coveted good hair day seems to elude a lot of naturals, it doesn’t have to be that way. There is so much that goes into maintaining natural hair. From the products we use to the routine we have in place, pretty much everything is strategic to ensure optimal results. But what if there are things you can do to guarantee good hair days more often?

Okay so maybe guarantee is a strong word, but knowing tips and tricks to make doing your hair a little easier and last longer can make all the difference in the world.

So here are some ideas to help make every day (or just about) a good hair day.

Plan For It

It should come as no surprise that this is number one on the list. Like everything else in life, you have got to plan to have a good hair day. This means doing the prep work the night before. When it comes down to it, you really can’t be lazy as a natural. Routine is key here. You hear us talk about it a lot because there is honestly no way around it. Having a regimen in place takes the stress out of doing your hair. Think of it as a map by which you travel the realms of your natural hair journey. It will guide you, protect you and keep you and your hair moving in the right direction.

Wrap it Up

Too many naturals go to sleep without wrapping their hair. This is never a good idea. You want to go to bed with a satin or silk scarf on your head no matter your hairstyle. Not only does this keep the hair in place, it also protects it. Friction between your tresses and the pillowcase can lead to breakage. It can also dry out your hair, so do the right thing and protect it at night.

Travel with Products

You know how you have a mini makeup bag with you to ensure that your face remains beat throughout the whole day? Well, it is a good idea to do the same thing for your hair. You can buy some travel size containers that you can transfer some of your favorite products into and keep it moving. When it really matters, and you know it always does, this is a fail proof way to make sure that your hair stays on point. The key here is to be ready at all times. Having your products with you will ease your mind and knowing that your hair is still in place will keep your confidence high.

Use the Right Products

Speaking of products, using the right ones are paramount to having the kind of hair day naturals dream about. You have to learn what is good for your hair; you know, what makes it tick so to speak. Understanding that aspect of the process is more than half the battle. Once you find the shampoos, oils, conditioners, etc. that work for you, keep them close at all times.

Everyone wants a good hair day. The notion may happen more often for some, but that doesn’t mean the idea is unreachable for everyone. Use these tips and you’ll be amongst the ranks to walk out of the house with the confidence that your hair has already won the day!

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Cherish Your Hair From the Earth

Let’s face the truth: all the haircare products in the world cannot replace the necessary nutrients and essential vitamins needed to grow your locks and keep your follicles beautiful. That’s why we’re going to be providing you with tips to completely change and positively enhance beauty and overall health!

Did you know that nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans) are a great source of biotin? Biotin promotes hair and nail growth; also oysters, eggs, salmon, chia & flax seeds, sweet potatoes and avocado are all fantastic sources of protein, zinc, iron, Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin A, B and E. Protein is the building block of every cell and tissue-hair is not exempt. Protein, combined with essential vitamins, not only grows hair; the health, shine and strength is maintained by Vitamins B and E, fatty acids-found in avocados. Vitamin A, found in sweet potatoes, prevents brittle and dry hair, while Omega-3 fatty acids provide important nutrients for hair and skin

Of course, this should be used in conjunction with a well balanced diet and always contact your health professional before starting any new regiment.

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Protective Style Maintenance: Best sprays and oils for Braids

One of the best things about being a black woman is the ability to rock braids; long or short, beautiful, colorful braids. Our hair texture, whether relaxed or straight, is the perfect type for a hairstyle that is so much more than an ode to our ancestors. It’s a remembrance of our homeland culture. Braids, in short, are everything!

They are considered a kind of protective style within the natural hair movement. If you are not familiar with the term, simply put, a protective style gives your hair a break. Braids are a tried and true way to do that. They are simple, fun and super versatile. You can really never go wrong with them. Except for when it comes to caring for braids. A lot of women don’t take the time to properly maintain the style or clean their scalps and that can cause problems. From smell to feel, to look, you have got to give your braids some attention.

Now you can wash your braids. That is perfectly fine as a lot of women do that. The main issue with doing so, however, is that it can age them before you’re ready to take them out. The best way to clean and maintain your braids and keep your scalp healthy is with oils and sprays.

So here are a few for you to try.

Carol’s Daughter Mimosa Hair Honey Clarifying Scalp Treatment

This is a great product. Carol’s Daughter is a trusted name in the hair care community. Her line includes all kinds of products for a variety of needs. Thank goodness she has one for braids, giving them the benefits of a stellar brand. Her Mimosa Hair Honey Clarifying Scalp Treatment is the perfect scalp cleaner with its fragrance and effectiveness. It will cost you about $12.

Phyto Phytopolléine Botanical Scalp

This is a powerful product that will benefit your hair in a big way. With all of its botanical ingredients, Phyto Phytopolléine Botanical Scalp clarifies, soothes and calms the scalp, especially if it’s irritated or dry. It’s a good choice and will cost you $40 at Sephora.

Aesop Sage & Cedar Scalp Treatment

One of the things that many braid-wearers experience is a dry and flaky scalp. I don’t need to emphasize how embarrassing and irritating that can be. The best way to combat flakes as you wear your protective style is to keep your scalp moisturized. Aesop Sage & Cedar Scalp Treatment is ideal as the herb-infused oil hydrates in all the right places. This little piece of heaven will cost you about $35.

Curls Blueberry Bliss Hair Growth Oil

Formulated with blueberry extract, the Curls brand is an excellent option when it comes to the tools you should have in your hair regimen. Their Blueberry Bliss Hair Growth Oil repairs and restores your hair and is so good to your scalp. It has certified organic blueberry extract, pomegranate seed, Argan and gardenia flower in it and will cost you about $9.

Vernon Francois Scalp Nourishment Braids and Locs Spray

The goal when you have braids is to give your hair a break while also making it grow. Vernon Francois Scalp Nourishment Braids and Locs Spray is nice for this with its dry-finish. The non-greasy formula locks in moisture and works wonders on braids and locs. It will run you $24.

Braids are a fan favorite. Just as you take precautions and put effort into maintaining your hair without the braids, you have to do the same thing when you have them. It all goes a long way.

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