Ready Steady: Preparing your Hair for Relaxing and Permanent Hair Colours

 

Hello Ladies,

‘My hair is breaking!! I don’t know what happened, its been breaking so much and I don’t know why’ .
Lade, can you tell me how to make the breakage stop?

This is a question and scenario I have heard and been in so many times.   Each time I am faced with this question, I take a deep breath and ask myself, where do I start from? How do I explain that there are so many things that can cause hair to break and in most cases it usually isn’t one thing.

I will write more posts about breakage, the numerous things that can cause it and how best to prevent it.  In this post, I will discuss one of the most hidden reasons for damage and breakage and how to avoid it.

One of the biggest game changers and key contributors to my success on my quest for healthy and long hair was learning that hair must be prepared for relaxing or colour processing.    When I began my hair journey and took every aspect of it seriously, I stopped the habit of removing my hair from extensions and relaxing it the same day or the day after.   I did the right things instead.  Keep reading if you want to learn more 😊

 
Why Hair Should Be Prepared for Chemical Services
Relaxers and chemical hair dyes break down some of the protein bonds in the cortex layer (inner layer) of our hair and unfortunately this makes our hair weaker.  Relaxers and hair dyes are harsh processes and if done on hair that isn’t strong enough to withstand the process, will result in more protein breakdown than would have occurred had the hair been prepared correctly.  So yes relaxers and colours weaken the hair but the weakness will be a lot worse if you don’t complete some steps 4 to 7 days prior.

Now if you don’t prepare your hair for a chemical service your hair will not disintegrate or fall apart on relaxer or colour day.  As a matter of fact, it may even look great and feel great on relaxer or colour day and in the initial weeks afterwards.  Overtime (months and years) however, the hair will become so weak and damaged it will eventually break  and each strand will become thinner too. So ladies if you notice that your relaxed or coloured hair is beginning to break more and more and you can’t figure out why, note that incorrect preparation for the chemical process may be just one of the many reasons your hair is breaking.

My hair after my Ready Steady wash day. PS – excuse the corny hand on shoulder pose. I was hiding my underwear :)

How to Prepare Hair for Relaxing
For ladies who are new to Hairducation, I’d like to make it clear that contrary to popular belief, hair should not be very dirty before a chemical process.  Preparing hair for relaxing should begin 4 to 7 days before the relaxer or colour treatment.  A cleanse to remove build up from hair should be completed and this must be followed with a conditioning treatment that will fortify the keratin levels in the hair.  In other words, it isn’t your regular wash and condition day. This is one of the many reasons why we offer a variety of wash days at Hairitage.  We have a wash and condition treatment called Ready Steady which was designed specifically to be completed by ladies in advance of their relaxing or colouring services.

After the wash day, wait 4 to 7 days before you proceed to relaxing or colouring your hair.   You should leave your hair alone in those 4 to 7 days and avoid any intricate hair style that may stress or irritate your scalp.  A simple bun or goddess braids would be ideal.  Essential oils should be avoided that week too.
I will be relaxing my hair very soon after almost 7 months and I have completed my own Ready Steady wash day.  Cannot wait!!!!!

Do you prepare your hair for relaxing or permanent colour treatments? Yes or no??

My next post will be my relaxer update post and I’ll be sharing a bit about some major challenges I’ve faced with my hair over the last year and how I have overcome them.  Come back soon ladies!!!

Happy hair journey

x

Lade

 

 

The Benefits and Challenges of Natural and Relaxed Hair

Image source: Pinterest

 

 

Hello ladies,

I wrote a post while back about the differences between natural and relaxed hair regimens to help readers understand that there are many similarities in caring for both hair types.  If you would like to read that post please click here.

Working with so many ladies on their hair journey over the years via my consultation service, I have noticed the high volume of ladies transitioning from relaxed to natural.  A new thing I’ve noticed however is the increasing number of ladies going back to relaxing after being natural for a few years.  I get the feeling that in a few of these cases, some of these ladies are looking for a way out of hair care and think that swapping one hair type for the other will release them from the task of caring for their hair.

The reality is that both virgin and relaxed hair have their challenges and, in this post, I set out some the benefits and challenges of both hair types.

 

Benefits of Virgin (Natural) Hair

1) Natural hair that is well cared for is structurally stronger and healthier that relaxed/texlaxed hair that is well cared for.

2) Natural hair has a high level of elasticity which helps it fight breakage.

3) Natural hair fibres tend to have better volume, body and bounce than relaxed hair.

4) Versatility – Natural hair can be worn in straight hair styles and if healthy should revert to its kinky, coily and curly state when washed. Please note that the excessive use of heat can alter the texture ofnatural hair and in some cases, the hair may not fully revert to its original texture.

5) Natural hair has a  beautiful and unique hair texture

 

Challenges of Virgin (Natural) hair

1) Although shrinkage is an indicator of healthy hair, natural hair that is left in its shrunken and compacted state for an extensive period will form knots, tangles and single strand knots.  Trying to detangle hair that is badly tangled and knotted usually results in some breakage.  For this reason, it is important for natural hair, when being worn loose, to be stretched out regularly.

2)  The structure of natural hair makes it prone tangling and knotting on itself and this makes it more susceptible to breakage from manipulation.  Combing and styling of natural hair must be done gently and only after being moisturised and detangled to reduce the risk of breaking.

3) Natural hair can be a bit more time consuming to detangle, comb and style than relaxed hair.  A key factor is the need to first stretch the hair before many styles can be created.  Some styles also require the use of many heavy gels and products to make edges sleek or make coils/curls pop however not all natural ladies go for that look.

4) Ladies who chose to wear their natural hair straight often achieve this look by using high levels of heat and this can result in heat damaged hair.

 

 

Benefits of Relaxed/Texlaxed Hair

1) Relaxed hair is less prone to knotting and tangling on itself because the relaxing process removes majority of the kinks and bends in natural hair fibres.  This reduces the risk of breakage from manipulation and some ladies find it easier to retain length when their hair is relaxed.

2) There is less risk of single strand knots forming and there is no need to continually stretch relaxed hair. Although relaxed hair, especially if texlaxed does experience some level of shrinkage, it is not at degrees as high as that of natural hair.

3) Relaxed hair is less time consuming. Simple styles can be created without the need to stretch the hair first.

4) Relaxed hair is faster to detangle and comb.  Please note that texlaxed hair, depending on how much texture is left in the hair and the length of the hair can be time consuming to detangle.

5) Versatility: relaxed hair when texlaxed can have the appearance and features of natural hair but can also be sleek and smooth like relaxed hair using very little to no heat.

 

Challenges of Relaxed/Texlaxed Hair

1) Relaxed/texlaxed hair is structurally weaker than natural hair.  The relaxing process breaks down the protein in hair fibres and this weaker structure increases the risk of breakage.

2) Relaxed hair has lost some of its natural elasticity and this also increases the risk of breakage.  Ladies who relax their hair should never allow their hair to become 100% straight when relaxing.  The maximum level of straightness should be approximately 80% so that there is some elasticity left in the hair.  The more texture you leave in your hair, the more of its natural strength and elasticity you will retain.

3)  Relaxed hair that is over-processed can have a flat and lifeless look and feel.  As already mentioned in the point above, not letting the hair go beyond 80% straight will help prevent the hair from becoming too limp.

4) Relaxed hair is easier to manage but more complicated to care for.  Relaxed hair often has multiple porosity levels.  It is difficult to determine the levels of protein and moisture balance that is right for each ladies relaxed hair.

What I hoped to achieve in this post is helping readers see that black hair has so many great qualities however it can be somewhat challenging to care for in both it’s virgin or relaxed/texlaxed state.  It is possible for both to thrive so long as you put in the work required to get the results you desire.  I hope this post has encouraged you in some way.

Do you think any hair type is easier than the other in terms of care?  Lets have an open non-judgmental conversation about this :)

 

My next post will be an educative one about a cause of breakage most ladies are not aware of.   I’ve drafted it already so it should be up this week.   See you soon.

x

Lade

Learn | Change | Grow

New Year, New Toy, Better Hairducation

2018-01-14 20.51.13 (3)

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.

DSC_4010
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??????

2018-01-14 21.04.06 (2)

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.

pixlr_20180115002435938

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

2018-01-03 23.05.59

 

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.

2018-01-03 23.04.02

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

 

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.

DSC_1163

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