Gray Hair and How to Care for it

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Hello Ladies

From the emails and comments I receive, I have come to realise that many of Hairducation readers have gray hair and would like to learn more about it.  Even if you don’t have gray hair at the moment, reading this post will help you know what to expect in the future.

In this post, I will explain how hair gets its colour, what causes hair to become gray and how hair changes when it becomes gray. Finally I will give some tips on caring for gray hair.

 

How Hair Gets Its Colour

Each strand of hair has three layers, the cuticle (outer most layer), the cortex (the middle layer) and the medulla ( the inner most layer).
Each  hair grows out of the hair follicle (the root of the hair).  In the hair follicle/root, there are some cells that produce colour pigments.  These colour pigments are distributed within the cortex layer of hair as it is growing out of the follicles.
This means that the colour we see when we look at our hair is actually in the middle layer of each strand and not in the outermost layer. The colour pigments in our hair acts as a protection of Ultra Violet (UV) rays from the environment. Basically colour in our hair acts like a sunscreen.

 

What Causes Hair To Become Gray

As we get older, the cells in the roots produce less colour pigments which makes the hair growing out of the follicle lighter.  Gradually the cells eventually stop producing colour pigments and die.  At this stage the hair growing out of the follicle turns white.

 

How Graying Affects Hair

There are many effects of loss of hair colour.

  • It will feel drier and more wiry
  • It will have less elasticity and strenght
  • It becomes more difficult to process with chemicals such as hair colours or relaxers. ie it may take longer for the the chemicals to work on gray hairs.
  • It becomes more prone to damage and breakage. This is because the colour pigments protect our hair fibres and when it loses this in built protection fromUV rays, it becomes more fragile.
  • Some ladies notice that their gray hairs changes texture, it may become more curly or may become
  • straighter than usual.
  • It may appear duller because gray hair does not reflect light as well as hair with colour pigments
  • The strands that are gray may look thinner because it contains less protein than hair with colour. Our hair is mainly made up of protein which gives hair its bulk hence it looks thinner when it loses some of its protein when it becomes gray.
  • Gray hair tends to absorbs chemicals from the environment and can turn yellow.

 

Tips for Caring for Gray Hair

  • Use products that are designed for gray hair. Products formulated for gray hair help to combat some of the effects of graying.  Shampoos for gray hair tends to contain ingredients which help to prevent yellowing and also helps to protect the hair from the effects of UV Rays
  • Cut back on the use of direct heat (blow driers, straightners and curling irons)
  • Deep condition and moisturise and seal regularly Gray hair needs to be hydrated regularly to help combat its dryness and brittleness.
  • Protect your hair from excessive exposure to the sun. If you intend to stay under the sun for long periods protect your hair from the UV rays by wearing a hat, scarf or head wrap.

I hope the information in this post will help you care for your gray hair well either now or in the future.
The next post will be my relaxer update post.  I stretched my hair for 6 months and a week.  This has been my longest stretch ever and I plan to share all the pros and cons of it in my next post.

Come back soon and happy hair journey

x

Lade

Learn | Change | Grow

 

Growing with Social Media

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Hello Ladies

Technically this post is more hustle/passion related than hair related but it is just in time for International Women’s Day.
I attended a panel discussion at Social Media Week Lagos a few days ago. The discussion called “ Hair We Go!! Technology and the Natural Hair Movement”. The aim of the discussion was for social media gurus and top professionals in the hair care industry to share tips on using social media to grow your brand, create influential content and turn your passion into real income.

So many of us ladies, in addition to having careers, have other passions we blog about or would love to turn into a successful business. Often, it is more about purpose and fulfilment than making money.
Whatever your reasons maybe, it is becoming increasingly impossible create a brand/business without social media.

When I created Hairducation, I just wanted to spread the gospel of good hair care and have somewhere to send ladies who had questions about my hair. It was and will always be a passion first thing for me.
It has however been a blessing that in addition to me writing and hopefully helping ladies with their hair, I am able run an international hair care consulting service. I certainly would not have this opportunity without technology and social media.

I think it is important, almost a responsibility to encourage and uplift other ladies in the way that so many do for me. With this in mind, I thought I would share some of the notes and lessons I took from the panel discussion and I hope you find it as beneficial as I did.

To all my ladies working hard to make their passions and dreams come alive and flourish, I see you and this post is for you.

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How to grow your blog, brand, business, side or main hustle through social media

In no particular order;

1) Consistency and Quality
Try to have a consistent or regular schedule for releasing your content. Be consistent in the type of content you put out but don’t make the mistake of putting out poor quality material just to be consistent. You should always strive to maintain or improve the quality of your content.

2) Anticipation
Take the time to figure out what your readers/followers want to read about or see and let them know it’s coming soon. Give them something to look forward to and they will keep coming back for more.

3) Respond
It is important to respond to as many comments/questions that you receive. Build a rapport with your readers/followers.

4) Identify your niche
You have to figure out what your niche is.
It could be a specific area such as hair care in my case or something broad that encompasses a variety of things such as life style or even business consulting. It could be anything!! No matter what you are into there is community out there that is interested in what you have to offer or share.
Make sure it is something you enjoy and have real passion for otherwise you won’t get very far before the stress of blogging/business gets too much for you.

Don’t be all over the place. Try to figure out what you want to talk and stay relevant. For instance, wouldn’t it be off key if you came here and saw a blog post about celeb gossip!!

5) Put out genuine information.
You don’t want to risk losing your credibility by putting out information which is incorrect. Take the time to verify or research your information before posting it on your site or social media pages.

6) Try to avoid mixing up your private life with your brand.
This is a personal favourite of mine but it is becoming increasingly difficult to have a clear defined line and in some cases the two are interlinked.
For instance, a lifestyle blogger will probably share his or her personal lifestyle or a religious blogger will probably want to use their own spiritual walk to show how much they have grown.
I think what has worked for me is deciding from the onset how much of my personal life needed to be out there (fortunately for me, not a lot) and how much I was willing and comfortable to share.

7) You DONT have to be on every Platform
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Tumblr, Google+, and whatever major platform is coming up soon……
It may be tempting to create pages for your brand on all these platforms, if you are able to do so and put out great content consistently on all of them, great!!!
Unfortunately, if you create and publicise pages/platforms but literally have almost zero content there it can come across as lazy It is better to pick just a few that you can focus on being great at.  Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

8) Choose a virtual mentor
We don’t have real access to the people we would love to learn from but thanks to social media you can follow their pages.  Learn from them and be inspired by them.

9) Collaborate
Collaborate with others in your field. This is a definite win win situation that exposes your brand and work to many new readers.

10) Hash tag Power
Learn the power of using hash tags. Hash tags help expose your brand and work to anyone searching for the terms you have used and it is also great for promoting events you are involved in or giveaways you are hosting. I didn’t realise how important hash tags were until recently and it’s something you certainly shouldn’t sleep on like I did.

11) Make that money – Learn how to turn your followers into clients
Create a product or offer a service that solves a problem, need or want of your readers. Inform your readers/followers of your services or products but don’t overdo it. If every post feels like a marketing pitch it can be major turn off.

If you have a passion for something and do it well (and often free) for long enough, the offers will come rolling in and opportunities will present themselves.
My advice however, is that you should be selective and careful with “HOW” you make money. Try to do it with integrity and in a honest and open way that does not exploit your readers or take their trust for granted.

I made sure I got a professional certification before I began offering my coaching service and have plans to do even more in-depth courses in the near future. Professional qualifications give you a leg to stand on.
I have lost track of how many endorsement offers I have turned down because I know the quality of the products would do nothing for my readers hair.
In my opinion, Hairducation’s biggest assets are its readers and followers on social media. I would like to think I have worked pretty hard to earn your trust and Lord knows I plan to keep it.
I hope you have learned something good from this post. I am working on the first educative post of the month which will be all about grey hair; embracing it or covering it.

Happy international women’s day ladies ……

See you soon

x

Lade

Learn | Change | Grow

February Up-do of the Month

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Hello ladies

Thanks to Solange Knowles, beaded braided hair styles are popular again.

I decided to create a hair style inspired by her for the February updo of the month post. I certainly wasnt going to braid all of my hair but I decided to somehow incorporate the trend into an updo.  I ended up with this bun and 4 box braids combo.
I was concerned that the beads would feel heavy but suprisingly it was comfortable however I only had the style in for a few hours so i am not sure what it would feel like after a day or two. When I moved or walked around the beads would crash againt each other and were a little bit noisy…and for some reason I enjoyed the noise.

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I actually really loved the style and I am looking forward to texlaxing in a few more weeks just so I can wear it again.

 

Happy hair journey ladies

x

Lade

Learn | Change | Grow

How to listen to your hair

Listening to your hair is an essential part of the journey

Hello Ladies

Something that I heard a lot when I began my hair journey and I find myself saying to my clients all the time is; listen to your hair.

There are so many varying techniques and products used by ladies when caring for their hair.
At the beginning of a hair journey, you probably learn from hair care blogs and YouTube and it can be tempting to try every technique and develop a severe case of product Junkie-ism.  And you know what, it’s okay..actually…… I would say it is important to experiment a little or a lot at the beginning of your hair journey but if you are not listening to your hair, you will be wasting your time, your money and stressing your hair and scalp out.

In this post, I will share how to listen to your hair and when to listen to your hair.

 

How to Listen To Your Hair

Listening to your hair simply means to see how your hair feels and how your hair reacts, for example does it feel dry and brittle, is it too soft and weak, did it seem to break more when you tried something new. If you are able to assess/review how your hair feels and understand the principles of hair care, you will then be able to make adjustments in your regimen accordingly. The way your hair feels will act as a guide that will tell you what

So for example if your hair feels too soft or too weak, you will know that you may need to use more protein in your regimen or you may be moisturising your hair too. You may not be able to find an immediate solution but the point is seeing or reviewing how your hair feels will help you identify or narrow down where the problems may lie and you can make adjustments until your hair starts to feel just right.

 

When To Listen To Your Hair

To be honest you should always have a rough idea of how your hair is doing however two very good times to listen to your hair is:

  • When trying out a new product
    See how your hair feels when you use/apply a new product to your hair. When you applied the product did your hair become easier to work with or did it make your hair matt, tangle, feel brittle, etc. I once added aloe vera juice to a homemade spritz some years ago and immediately I applied it to my hair it began to tangle badly. I tweaked my formula so many times but it just was not working for my hair so I knew I had to let it go. Even though many ladies love how it made their hair feel, my hair was having none of it. A helpful tip I should share at this point is to avoid trying too many new products at the same time. Perhaps try one or two at a time. It will make it easier to determine how compatible the products are with your hair.

 

  • When experimenting with a new technique
    If you are trying a new hair care technique or method, eg co-washing, washing in sections, washing in braids or twists, the LOC/LCO moisturising and sealing methods, pre-pooing etc. Always see how your reacts during and after the process. Off course somethings take some practice before you get it right but if you have tried something 3 or 4 times and it just not working for your hair, go back to what you know does works for it.

 

  • When Starting A hair Journey
    This is the most important stage at which listening to your hair is essential. Unfortunately most ladies new to hair care don’t know how to judge the way their hair is feeling. Also many ladies new to hair journeys have very badly damaged hair and it can take several months before their hair begins to show signs of improvement. My advice for ladies in this position is that your hair should feel soft as opposed to brittle like dry grass. It shouldn’t sound very crunchy. Also your hair should feel strong as opposed to feeling limp and weak. Try a few new things and gradually you will begin to notice what seems to be working for you hair., ie what makes it feel soft and strong and makes it more manageable.

I hope you have found this post worth reading. My next post is this months up-do of the month which involves a whole lot of beads (thanks for the inspiration Solange).
x

Lade

Learn | Change | Grow

 

The Benefits of Scalp Massaging

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A practice which is optional in hair care but  is one that I always recommend is scalp massaging.
From my own personal experience I know that my hair tends to look and feel better when I have been massaging my scalp regularly. I am also convinced that it boosts my hair growth rate and there are a few scientific studies that back this up.
In this post, I will be sharing the benefits of scalp massaging, the science behind how it works and setting out the steps of a good scalp massage.

 

Benefits of Scalp Massaging

  • It helps to promote scalp health by helping to keep the scalp toned and conditioned. A healthy scalp is necessary for hair growth.
  • It stimulates the hair follicles and encourages new growth
  • Some studies have shown that it can increase hair thickness
  • It enhances the strength of our hair follicles ( roots)
  • It helps in the removal of toxins from the scalp by helping with lymphatic drainage.
  • It is great for relaxation and overall well being.

 

How It Works

The manipulation/kneading/massaging of the scalp opens up the blood vessels which increases blood flow to the scalp. This is where the magic happens.
The blood that reaches the scalp helps to deliver oxygen and other nutrients to the hair follicles in the scalp.  All this goodness (oxygen and nutrient) being delivered to our scalp at increased levels or more regularly because of scalp massaging is what leads to all the benefits listed above.
The use of essential oils for scalp massages has been shown in a number of studies to help boost the effects of the scalp massages. Essential oils have also been proven to have positive effects when used in the treatment of alopecia areata.

 

How to do A Scalp Massage

  • Step 1 – select your oils.
    You should choose the carrier oil and the essential oil(s) you would like to use.
    A few examples of carrier oils that can be used include Jamaican Black Castor Oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, grapseed oil.
    Some of the essential oils that have been shown to be good for scalp massages include rosemary, peppermint, lavender, thyme, cedarwood, etc. For my scalp massages I tend to use one teaspoon of carrier oil mixed with 4 to 6 drops of essential oils.

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  • Step 2 – Dip and Apply
    Dip the pads of your finger tips into the mixed oils and apply it to your scalp

 

  • Step 3 – Knead or manipulate
    Use the pads of your finger tips to knead/manipulate/move your scalp in a gentle circular motion staring from the front at your hairline and working your way back towards your nape.
    Apply gentle pressure with your fingers during the massage.
    Do not tangle or rub the hair on your scalp, the aim is to move/knead the scalp not the hair on the scalp. The scalp massage should last between 5 to 10 minutes.

 

As always I hope you have found this post helpful and I encourage you incorporate regular scalp massaging in your hair regimen. When I ‘am being good, I try to massage my scalp twice a week and I would do it often if I had the time.
Do you already massage your scalp regularly?  If yes what oils do you use and how do you think its improved your hair?

My next post will be another educative post about how to understand what your hair is telling you.

See you soon

X

Lade

Learn | Change | Grow