New Year, New Toy, Better Hairducation

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Hello Ladies,

One of the many ways I intend to improve Hairducation this year is to make the blog more fact or science based.
When I started my hair journey years ago, scientific facts about hair directed what I did to my hair and time and again with my clients I can see that science works.
I believe that the more scientific facts I am able to share with readers, the more value I will able to add to their experience of Hairducation as a blog. I want you to come here and truly learn and in 2018 I intend to improve the quality of how you learn.
And how do I plan to do this? Meet my new toy; a 5,0MP hair and scalp tricoscope which is able to magnify hair x 200. I have wanted this bad boy for such a long time and I am glad to finally own one because I still love learning about hair and being able to see it up close and personal is such a trip.

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How will this improve Hairducation?  I will be able to provide evidence of how good and bad hair practices affects hair by showing you actual images. I can show you the facts, rather than just talk about them. Pictures are far more convincing than words alone. Rather than having to draw a single strand knot or split ends or trying to describe a clogged hair follicle or the bulb you see at the end of a shed hair, I will be able to show you actual images of them. Am I the only one who is excited about that??????

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At this point I should say that some people, myself included, find magnified pictures of hair really creepy to look at. When I first used the scan, I couldn’t even look at the screen straight on, I’d turn my head away from the screen and look at it with the corner of one eye, the images made my skin crawl 😊
I am used to it now though and you’ll get used to it too, I hope.  These types of images will not be in every blog post so you won’t be inundated with them. I’ve taken a few images (of my hair) which I have shared below.

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Check out the broken hair in the top right hand picture….

 

The picture on the right is of a single strand knot I found in my hair. I wrote a post on single strand knots a while back and had to use yarn wool to explain what they looked like …..not anymore. I can show you the real thing now : )

 

Are there any types of magnified images you would like to me to take and share or is there a particular way you would like me to use the machine on Hairducation? If yes drop your requests in the comment section.
My next post will be an educative one about long term hair care planning. That is something that is very easy to do, very helpful on a hair journey and many ladies don’t do it. Come back soon

X

Lade

Learn | Change | Grow

Harmattan, Winter and Your Hair

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Happy new year ladies,
I am surprised I haven’t written a post about this subject until now but better late than never I suppose. This year I intend on getting straight to the point in my blog posts so jumping right into it, I will be discussing the effects of winter and harmattan on our hair and steps we can put in place to reduce the risk of hair loss in cold weather.

How Harmattan and Winter Affects Our Hair?

Winter and Harmattan tends to leave our hair and skin feeling dryer and more brittle than normal. Some ladies’ skin and scalp becomes very flaky as a result of the cold dry weather. In harmattan, the high levels of dust in the air makes our hair get dirty much quicker than normal.

 

Why Should You Care?

You should care because dry brittle hair has a very high chance of breaking. Off course your hair won’t get shorter in just one day but if your hair is breaking in small amounts daily over the winter and harmattan months you may have lost a few inches by the end of the cold season.
In addition to this, hair grows best from a clean and healthy scalp rather than one clogged with dirt, dust and dead skin flakes. A clogged scalp may not be able to grow hair as fast or as healthy as it should be able to genetically.

 

What Should You Do

1) – Increase the frequency of your wash and deep conditioning
If wearing your hair out (ie without extensions) and you normally wash your hair every two weeks, you should consider washing and deep conditioning it once a week. This will ensure your scalp is kept clean and flake free. The contact with water and deep conditioning will also boost the moisture levels of your hair and scalp. Ensure you use a sulfate free moisturising shampoo rather than harsh shampoos that contains sulfates as these will dry out your hair even more.

2) – Be consistent with moisturising and sealing
If you sometimes skip on moisturising and sealing your hair, try to be much more consistent during the cold months. Moisturising and sealing regularly will keep your hair hydrated and give it the elasticity it needs to fight breakage.
Some ladies find that they need to moisturise and seal their hair twice a day during winter/harmattan. You may also need to review the products you normally use to be sure that they are still effective. Some ladies switch to using heavier/thicker moisturisers and oils/butters during this season.

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3) – Long term protective styling (wigs, braids and crotchet braids, weaves)
For ladies who may not have the time or simply do not want to wash and moisturise their hair more often, another option is to wear long term protective styles for some of the cold months. Long term protective styles usually involve using extensions to create a style that can be worn for 3 to 8 weeks depending on the style. Putting your hair into a long term protective styles will reduce the amount of time you spend on your hair daily however please note that long term protective styling can very easily lead to severe hair loss if correct procedures are not followed before installing, whilst wearing and when taking out such styles. To learn more about wearing long term protective styles safely click here and read the relevant posts.

Please also note that if your hairline and hair is very damaged and/or breaking, you should stay away from long term protective styling.
If you cannot wear a long term protective style for various reasons such as religious beliefs, you’re still in school and are not allowed to wear such styles, cash constraints (most of us have been here at some point, lets keep it real in 2018 😊) or if your hair is too weak or damaged to wear such styles, wear your own hair in short term protective styles that hide the ends of your hair and prevent them from drying out too much. If you love wearing hats and head scarves, wear them to the max (safely) in these months.

* Image source- Pinterest

 

If you are a regular on Hairducation you’ll know that I am a huge fan of wigs like the u-part I have on in the pictures in this post.  I wear them all year round and that is how I get through the winter/harmattan months. I am way too lazy with my hair to fuss with the way I would need to if I wore it out in cold weather. I make my life easier by simply putting it away in a style that I know my hair and hairline can tolerate….and in my case, that is wigs but I make sure I follow good hair care practices whilst wearing them. How do you care for your hair in winter/harmattan? Which of the options do you think you’ll adopt going forward?

In my next post I will share the first of many new additions and upgrades to Hairducation this year. Let’s just say we will be looking at hair in much more up close and personal way, some might find it a little bit too up close even but we will all learn soooo much from it. It’ll make much more sense when you read the post so come back soon.

X

Lade
Learn | Change | Grow

 

Where I’ve Been and Why I’am Back

Hello ladies,
I have missed you and blogging so much. Me being away for many months was as much of a surprise to me as it may have been to you. I have taken unannounced breaks in the past but I have never been away for this long.

Keeping it short and sweet and in the spirit of openness, here’s what I’ve been up to.
I moved to the UK temporarily in March this year, this was mostly a career related decision and I figured I would be able to keep up with blogging and the business aspect of Hairducation (my work with my consultation clients) without too much difficulty.
I started work with a great organisation and everything was working out okay initially, I kept the blog updated and still took on new consultation clients. However, I went from working on one project to working on four simultaneously. Having four times the workload than I initially had meant long long days at work and only having the weekends for essential life administration.

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I literally did not have the time and blogging and running a consultation service requires just that. I could have created and put up some half-hearted posts however, I like what I do and I am proud of the content I create, I just wasn’t willing to compromise and let my standards drop just so I could have a post up. I would rather not blog at all, than put out poor content. Blogging went out the window as did many of my other passions and seven months later I reached a point where I had to make a decision. I could either carry on with my job and give up Hairducation for a year or I could end my contract early, return to Lagos and grow Hairducation. Well, I am back in Lagos 😊 so you know what I chose.
The amazing thing is that a week after I made my decision and was at complete peace with it, an amazing opportunity presented itself which would require me to be in Lagos exactly when I had my return scheduled in for. The grace of God!!!!
At the beginning of 2017, I was confused about where I wanted to take Hairducation, I wasn’t sure how or if I was adding value to its readers, I didn’t have a sense of direction, I didn’t know what next. The whole thing had began to feel stale and I didn’t know how to make it better. Now as 2017 is rounding up, I am amazed by all the things coming up next for Hairducation and the opportunities I have to gain even more in-depth knowledge about hair. The more I learn, the more I can share with you all.

I am not at liberty to share the details of whats coming soon at the moment but will as soon as it is possible for me to do so. In the meantime, I am back to my regular once a week blog posts and taking on new consultation clients worldwide…..I am glad to be back in my happy place but with so much more to come.
My next post is one that was requested on Instagram by a reader who wanted some tips on how to care for hair during the harmattan (colder weather).  Personally I don’t think the harmattan this year is that bad, I’ve hardly even noticed it but I suppose some tips on hair care in cold climates will always be useful information to have.  That post will be up soon :)

x

Lade

Learn | Change | Grow

 

 

Hard Water and 3 Things You Can Do About It

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Hello ladies,

Something that my hair has been battling with since my return to the UK is hard water.  It has made my hair and skin care a little more challenging.  As many of my readers are based in the UK and the US where hard water is quite common, I thought it would be good to explain what hard water is, the effects it has on hair and how to combat its effects.

 

What is Hard Water

Hard water is water that contains dissolved minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, silica, etc.  The minerals in the water bond to the hair strand and creates a hard coating on the hair which makes it difficult for it to absorb moisture.  The more damaged and open your hair cuticles are, the more the minerals in the hard water will cling to your hair.
One way of knowing if the water in your home is hard is by looking at your taps and shower heads.  If there is a hard white-ish build up on your taps and shower heads. There is a likely chance that the water in your area is hard.

 

Effects of Hard Water on Hair

The minerals in hard water which bond to our hair can have the following effects:

  • It makes hair feel very dry, brittle and very prone to breakage
  • It makes hair more prone to tangling which often leads to breakage.
  • It can alter the natural color of your hair and give it a dull appearance.
  • It can dry out the scalp making it very flaky
  • It can make conditioning and moisturizing your hair difficult and less effective

 

Three Tips for Reducing the Effects of Hard Water

  1. Vinegar Rinse
    Diliuted apple cider vinegar has been used in hair care by many black women because it helps to return hair to its natural PH levels.  This helps to smoothen our hair , boost its shine as well as make it less prone to tangling.
    Apple cider vinegar also helps to remove the mineral build up in hair. Simply dilute a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into one cup of water.  After shampooing and conditioning, pour the mixture over your hair as a final rinse.
    Pay attention to how your hair reacts, if you don’t like how it makes you hair feel you should either use a more dilute mix or stop using it completely.
  2. Shower Filter
    Another way to avoid the effects of hard water on your hair is to buy a Shower filter. This will reduce some of the minerals from the water that comes out from your shower head.  There are many options to pick from online.

 

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  1. Clarifying Shampoo
    Another way to remove mineral build-up from your hair is to use a clarifying shampoo. Clarifying shampoos contain ingredients which can remove stubborn products and mineral residue that have been left on our hair and which mild sulfate free shampoos cannot.Clarifying shampoos should contain chelating ingredients such as Disodium EDTA  or Tetraacetic Acid).  A shampoo that contains chelating ingredients and is widely available is Ors Creamy Aloe Shampoo.  I use this to wash my hair every 2 to 3 months.Chelating or clarifying shampoos are quite harsh and should not be used for regular/weekly washing even if you live in a hard water area.

I hope you have found this post educative and I hope it helps if you think you have hard water issues.
My next post will be a hair care from within one because how we care for our bodies can have a big impact on the hair our body grows.  So if you’d like to learn what you can do to boost the quality of the hair you grow, come back soon!!

X

Lade

Learn | Change | Grow

The Challenges of Fine Hair and Tips For Caring For It

Hello ladies,

One of the many terms that ladies seem confused about is hair fullness versus strand thickness. I hope to clarify this in today’s post. I will also share the characteristics of thin/fine hair and some tips on caring for it.

 

Hair Density or Fullness

Hair density is about the overall fullness of your hair, ie, the amount or number of strands of hair you have on your head.  As black women, we have an average of 100,000 to 110,00 strands of hairs on our heads.  Of course some ladies have a lot more or less than this

Hair density or fullness can be classed as

  • low density ( a lower than average amount of individual hair strands),
  • medium density (a moderate/average amount of individual hair strands)
  • high density ( a lot of individual hair strands).

Strand Thickness

The thickness of hair strands refers to width or diameter of each individual strand of hair. Strand thickness can be classed as

  • thin/fine,
  • medium or
  • thick/coarse.

Please note that it is rare to have perfectly even hair. Many ladies have a mixture of strand thickness and density.  So it is possible to have a mixture of fine, medium and thick strands on the same head although usually many ladies will have one predominant type.
Using myself as an example, I have mostly thick/coarse hair strands but the nape section of my hair has a mixture of fine/thin and medium strands of hair.

 

 

Characteristic and Challenges of Fine or Thin Hair Strands

Ladies who have mostly fine hair tend to face some challenges with their hair because of its thin structure. Some characteristics of fine hair include:

  • it tends to feels softer and more fluffy than thick hair
  • It may be harder for it to hold some styles because of its softness
  • It is more susceptible to breakage. The cortex layer( the middle layer) of hair is the part that gives hair its stiffness and structural strength. Fine hair has less cortex and more cuticle layer ( outer layer) and this is why not as strong and able to resist breakage as thick strands of hair.
  • Fine hair can become too soft and weighed down when heavy oils and products are put on it making the hair look stringy and difficult to style. Fine hair can be easily overwhelmed with hair products in comparison to thick hair.
  • Fine hair is more prone to tangling. When the cuticle layer of hair is raised and damaged from age, heat styling, use of chemical colors, relaxers, aggressive styling, etc, the raised cuticles tend to latch and wrap around each other causing hair strands to matt and tangle. As explained above, fine hair has more surface area/cuticle layer than thick hair so it is more prone to tangling. The more tangles a lady experiences the more risk there is of breakage.

It is more challenging to grow fine hair to very long lengths because of these characteristics.

 

Tips for Caring for Fine Hair

The following tips are also useful for ladies with medium or thick hairs however they are especially important if you are a fine haired lady.

  • Don’t skip your protein deep conditioning sessions.  Protein hair products boost hairs structural strength.  If you have fine hair, it should give your hair more body and stiffness so it can hold styles better too.  I am not saying you should only use protein deep conditioners though.  You should still aim to have protein and moisture balance.
  • Be consistent with your hair care. Fine hair is less forgiving to lack of hair care than thick hair is. Basically a lady with thick hair can get away with bad hair care practices more than a fine haired lady can. Ladies with fine hair have more challenging hair journeys unfortunately and lack of consistency will only make this worse. The sections of my hair that have fine hair are way more challenging to manage than the areas with thicker hairs and when I haven’t been good to my hair, that is the section it is most evident in.
  • Avoid using high levels of direct heat which will deplete your hairs internal moisture making it even more prone to breakage. Try to air dry as often as possible if you have thin hair strands.
  • Protective styling is especially important if you have fine hair. Fine hair tangles easily but protective styles will keep your hair in a confined or fixed state so that it is not able to move around and tangle as much.
  • Detangle your hair regularly and always finger detangle first before combing.

I am sure this post will help someone out there and I hope your hair benefits from it.  Do you have fine or thin hair strands?  Which of the challenges listed above do you experience and how do you manage it?

My next post will be another educative post about hard water, its effects on hair and how to overcome them.
See you soon

x

Lade

Learn | Change | Grow