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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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