Lifestyle Tips For Healthy and Long Hair : Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt covered with a few yummy things

Hello ladies

I have decided to start a new series in which I share some lifestyle tips which actually play a very important role in healthy hair growth.

There are two parts to having a healthy head of hair,  there are the internal factors such as diet, exercise, adequate water and sleep, etc, these help to ensure that our hair grows at the speed and  has the quality it is genetically supposed to.  Basically a lack of these can result is slower hair growth or of hair that is drier or weaker than it is naturally supposed to be.   The second part is hair care which helps to prevent damage and breakage of the hair we have already grown so that we retain length and thickness.
A vast majority of the posts on Hairducation focus on hair care and I thought it would be good to start this series focusing on the internal factors.  I hope the series will remind us all ( most especially myself) how much of our lifestyle choices can affect the quality and speed at which our hair grows.
The series will mostly focus on dietary tips but also include advise about exercise, and how adequate rest and water intake affects our tresses.

So without further ado, let me get on with the first post.

 

Greek Yogurt and Why Its Good for You and Your Hair

Since my return to the UK I have rekindled many of my old habits which looking back, I believe may have contributed to the success of my hair journey. I have a breakfast ritual that every family member of mine knows I do not go without….plain greek yogurt. If you are wondering what greek yogurt has to do with healthy hair growth please keep reading.

A balanced diet is great for our bodies and this alone is enough reason to try to eat sensibly but an added bonus for us ladies living this hair journey life is that it is great for our hair too.

Greek yogurt is beneficial to hair because is a very good source of protein.  Our hair is made up of protein and so a body lacking in protein is less likely to grow hair as fast or as healthy as it would if it is given adequate supply of it.
If you don’t have enough protein in your diet, the benefits of the little amount you consume will be diverted to support your essential organs and this of course does not include your hair follicles.  Having enough protein in your diet will ensure that your body is able to use some of those nutrients for hair growth.

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Greek yogurt mixed with honey and chia seeds topped with golden kiwi. So its not pretty to look at but its pretty good for my insides

In the past I struggled to eat enough protein because I wasn’t to keen on meat so I looked into alternative sources and found that greek yogurt was a great option.  Because at the time my protein intake was low, I believe it may have contributed to the lack lustre nature of my hair. I made a conscious effort to eat better and ensured I had enough protein in my diet around the time I started my hair journey.  I think this could have contributed in some way to the improvements I noticed with the strength and health of my new growth.

Please note that if you are already eating enough protein, increasing the amount in your will not increase hair growth.  But if for example you are trying to cut back on the amount of meat in your diet, then greek yogurt would be a good substitute.

 

Tips For Including Greek Yogurt in Your Diet

Greek versus Greek Style  Yogurt
A mistake I made for a while was buying greek style yogurt instead of traditional or authentic greek yogurt.
Original greek yogurt contains more protein than greek style yogurt and tends to be all natural. Greek style yogurt sometimes contains artificial ingredients such as thickeners.
Original greek yogurt, depending on the brand you buy can be packed with 10grams of protein per 100grams. This is quite good considering that the average adult women needs about 46 grams of protein daily.
I tend to have greek yogurt as my main breakfast most days and therefore tend to consume approximately 200 grams of greek yogurt every morning. It goes a long way in helping me reach my daily protein intake goals.
Switch It Up, Make It Fun and Top Up Its Goodness
Plain unsweetened yogurt can be is very boring and bland but resist the temptation to by the flavoured brands that may be packed with artificial flavours, colours and sweeteners.
What I recommend instead is that you buy the plain brands which you can sweeten with a little honey and top with fresh fruits like strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, mangoes, bananas, etc for added flavour.
To boost the benefits of my greek yogurt even more, I like to top it up or mix in a variety of seeds and nuts like the following two which I purchased from Holland and Barrett. ( This is not intended to be promotional for any brand and all items mentioned were purchased with my money)

This is what I had next to the strawberries in the first picture

I hope you have found the information in this post helpful. Please comment below to let me know if you think this is a good series or if you think I should scrap it :)
For ladies in Nigeria or any location where it may be  a little difficult to find greek yogurt,  I see you and I have many more posts coming up in this series with tips that will be easy for you to get into.

My next post will be a hair update/hair accessory pictorial. See you soon.

X

Lade

 

 

Lessons from my 6 month stretch and my texlax results

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Hello ladies

You may know that I relaxed my hair almost three weeks ago and I have shared some of the pictures on Instagram but this post is crammed with loads more.

I stretched for 6 months plus and I certainly learned a few lessons along the way which as always, I hope you can benefit from.   I will attempt to keep things short and sweet and jump right into it.

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The Cons of My 6 Month Stretch

 

It was time consuming and got increasingly difficult

The longer your hair and the longer the stretch, the more time and effort hair care takes.   I am usually quite good at stretching but I really struggled on this stretch and absolutely dreaded wash days.

Even though my wig regimen usually makes my stretches more bearable, I struggled to be consistent and patient with my hair.

I think I also found the stretch challenging because I was quite busy with work over the last few months and just really didn’t have the time that was needed to manage my hair as well as I would have liked.
Breakage at the line of Demarcation

I noticed that I had more breakage at the line of demarcation. The breakage occurred more in the areas that have thinner and weaker hairs. This reminded me that everyone’s hair is different and some ladies may not be able to stretch for long periods as it may do more harm than good. I usually notice some breakage on my 5 month stretches but the breakage on this stretch was more than I felt comfortable with. This is the main reason I doubt I’ll stretch for 6 months in the future.

 

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The Pros of My 6 Month Stretch

 

My hair feels healthier than it does after shorter stretches.

At several points on this stretch, I felt as though my hair was becoming quite damaged as a result of my struggle to manage the two textures. The length of my hair added to the difficulty of it all.

To my genuine surprise, when I texlaxed eventually, I found my hair to be in the best shape it has ever been since I began my hair journey. This reminded me that the less we expose our hair to harsh chemical processes the healthier our hair is….so long as we remain consistent with good hair care practices.
My ends are the best they have ever been

A long term hair goal of mine was to have even blunt or full looking ends.

I don’t want to create unrealistic hair goals.  It is normal for hair to be a bit thinner towards the ends because with age and wear and tear, the cuticles of our hair gradually chip off and results in thinner hair especially towards our ends which are the oldest part of our hair.  I however felt that because I was no longer letting my hair get longer by cutting off approximately 6 inches a year, with normal hair growth, good hair care and regular trims I would eventually have thicker ends.

Towards the end of my stretch, my hair began to look very uneven and I became discouraged about the stretch and I ended up cutting off two inches just so that wouldn’t look so bad.
When I eventually texlaxed my hair I could see that my ends where nowhere near as bad as it looked but I still cut off a further inch and half after my texlax.
I have trimmed off a total of 3 and half inches and my ends are currently in pretty good shape. I hope to maintain this by being consistent with my regimen and trimming as and when necessary.

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If you are on a long term stretch, it is normal for your ends to begin to look very thin and lifeless in comparison to your thick new growth. Try to hold off trimming until your next relaxer and if for whatever reason you can’t wait that long, try not to get too scissor happy and cut too much off.


Despite the positive aspects of this stretch I don’t think I will stretch beyond 5 months in the future. I simply don’t want to work as hard as I had to on this stretch.

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Have your recently ended a stretch? How did you manage the stretch and were you happy with your results?
My next post will be a simple hair style pictorial after a much needed wash day.

See you soon.

x

Lade

Learn | Change | Grow

 

 

Three Techniques That Helped me “Grow” My Waist Lenght Hair

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Hello Ladies

In this collaboration post with the lovely full haired Tonkabelle of Wura’s Secret Hair, we intend to share our top tips that have helped us grow our own hair to our desired length.

As many of you may know, I offer a hair care consultation service. The first session I have with my clients involves me asking a series of questions so that I am able to advise them accurately. One of the questions I ask my clients is; what do you want for your hair or what are your hair goals? Do you want to guess what the number one response is???? Length!!!! is without a doubt the top answer I receive.

The fact is although there are now so many ladies who have grown their hair to their desired goal, there are by far many more who “seem” to have stunted hair growth, still move from one set back to another and generally are not happy with the length and health of their hair.

There are many practices that have helped me turn the state of my hair around. I choose the following top three because they are the ones that were a major change in how I treated my hair.

 

Three Techniques that Helped me Grow my Hair

Before I get into the three techniques, because I have quite a number of new readers (hey ladies!!!) I have to start by explaining that hair grows longer when we are able to prevent damage and breakage of our existing hair, ie, the hair we have already grown.

What I find is that so many ladies trying to grow longer hair become obsessed with how fast their hair grows. Many don’t realise that what they should be focusing on is caring for the hair they have already grown.   Because no matter how fast your hair grows, if it keeps getting damaged and breaking off you won’t get the long hair you are looking for.  If however you are able to prevent breakage and keep/retain the hair you currently have then with time your hair will get longer. Retention is the key or secret to longer hair.

If you haven’t already please read the section of Hairducation called How To care For Black Hair for general hair care advise that will help you prevent breakage and damage and help you retain/keep your hair so that it grows longer. Off course I share all my own techniques in that section too.

Now if I had to pick three things that really made a huge impact in me retaining/keeping my hair and growing it to its current length it would be the following

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1) Reducing Manipulation

Manipulation in this sense can include combing, styling, playing with or generally physically handling your hair.
Black hair is fragile so must be manipulated gently and excessive manipulation should be avoided. Many ladies who have been successful on a hair journey note that they were able to retain more hair when they cut back on unnecessary manipulation because it often leads to breakage. Simply put; leave your hair alone.

Before my hair journey I would comb my hair several times a day…just for fun. I would experiment and change hair styles very frequently. I loved playing with my hair but all that excessive combing and styling was leading to breakage and shorter hair over time. Now I comb my hair once or twice a week max, I avoid experimenting with hair styles too often, instead I experiment with wig styles and extensions rather than my own hair. I basically try to leave my hair alone as much as possible.

 

2 Reduce the Use of Direct Heat

Direct heat such as blow driers, curling irons or straightners when used regularly dries out our hair internal moisture making it brittle and prone to breakage.
I used to wash and condition my hair often prior to my hair journey but I would blow dry it on very high heat settings every single wash day, I would style my hair using curling irons several times during the week, sometimes daily.
Now I avoid direct heat as much as possible and only use indirect heat (heat from steamers or hood driers when deep conditioning, rollersetting). If don’t have time to air dry my hair I will use a blow drier but only on the cool air setting.

 

3) Moisturising and Sealing

Surprisingly, before my hair journey I was aware of many good hair care practices, I simply ignored them because I didn’t think they made an actual difference.
Moisturising and sealing however was a practice I had never ever heard of before my hair journey. I would apply leave in conditioner to my hair on my wash day and nothing else until my next wash two weeks after. My hair was always dry and brittle and if it began to break badly I would apply a hair grease.

Hair that is well hydrated will have good elasticity which helps it fight breakage.  Black hair tends to be drier than other hair types and needs our help to stay hydrated and fight breakage. We do this by moisturising and sealing our hair regularly.

Prior to my hair journey I never EVER moisturised and sealed my hair. When I started my hair journey my hair was in such a bad state I had to moisturise and seal twice a day. As my hair became healthier ot retained moisture better and I began to moisturise and seal once a day. Now because my hair is in quite good shape I moisturise and seal every other day.
The other practices which I know also contribute to me retaining my hair length is protective styling and moisture/protein balancing.  I hope you have been encouraged by this blog post.

Don’t forget to go check out Tonkebelle’s tips on how she retains her hair on her blog Wura’s Secret Hair.

I relaxed my hair on 20th March and if you follow me on Instagram you may have seen some of pictures of my results already but I have loads more to share as well as all the things I learned from my 6 months stretch.

I hope you’ll be back soon.

x

Lade

 

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