Gray Hair and How to Care for it

2017-03-24 14.20.41

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

 

The Benefits of Scalp Massaging

DSC_8424

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.

DSC_5332

 

  • 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

New Hair Style Series

DSC_9773

Hello ladies,

Last year, I forced myself to get out of my hairstyling laziness/rut by starting a bun of the month series.
I tried to come up with simple and easy to do bun hairstyles each month that were different from the everyday super plain ones I usually wear.

The bun of the month series went down well and this year I’ve decided to start an up-do of the month series.
Now here’s the thing….. I love up-does…. but I love them more on other ladies.  I actually do like creating them but the reality is that I will probably keep wearing my buns or faux bobs when I have my hair out because I prefer them for myself.   I’ll probably save the up-does for special occasions.

And on that note, here is the first up-do of the series.

Please look past the facial expression and focus on the height of the style :)

 

I absolutely loved how much height the front/top of the style had (thanks to my new growth and all the texture left in my texlaxed hair). I don’t know how I managed to forget to take a picture of the back of it.   I’ll do better ladies, I promise.


Please come back soon for the educative post about how scalp massaging boosts hair growth.

x

Lade

Learn | Change | Grow

Tips for transitioning from relaxed to texlaxed

One of the benefits of texlaxed hair is how thick it makes your hair look. This picture was taken right after I finished blow drying my hair on my texlax day in March this year.

 

And just like that, December is upon us. 2016 has been a special year in so many ways and I feel blessed to have plenty to be grateful to God for. I hope your year has been fruitful and filled with more happy times than sad ones.

I often get inspired on what topics to write about from the comments and questions I get from so many of you. Today’s post is about texlaxing which I have written about a few times already but I clearly left some stones unturned since I still get many questions about this.
I thought I should  answer the most popular FAQ’s I get about texlaxing and also add links to my previous post about texlaxing. I hope this will make things clearer for any oldie or newbie who has questions about texlaxing.

If you would like to know what texlaxing is, methods of texlaxing, products used for texlaxing as well as the pros and cons of texlaxing please click here and here.

 

FAQ 1 – Do I need to do anything to my relaxed hair before I start texlaxing ?

No, there is no rite of passage for switching from relaxed hair to texlaxed hair. There isn’t any special product to be used or processed to be completed before a relaxed lady can begin to texlax her hair. You simply start under processing your hair instead of letting it become fully straight when next you relax.

 

FAQ 2 – Am I supposed to cut off all my relaxed hair when I start texlaxing?

This is entirely up to you. When you begin texlaxing your hair, you can decide to cut off all your relaxed hair or you can have a more long term transition by trimming off the relaxed hair gradually over a few months or years even. Whatever works best for you.

 

FAQ 3 – How do I manage the two textures in my hair ( texlaxed texture and relaxed texture) whilst I am transitioning to full texlaxed hair

You may find it difficult to manage texlaxed hair initially especially if you normally relax you hair bone straight.
The look and feel and maintenance of texlaxed hair may take some ladies a while to get used to depending on how much texture is left in your hair.

When it comes to managing hair of different textures some tips that never go wrong include moisturising and sealing regularly to ensure that both textures are well hydrated and flexible which will help reduce the risk of breakage.

Detangling and combing in sections, texlaxed hair tends to feel and look much fuller than relaxed hair so working in section will help you ensure you are more thorough with detangling and applying products. It also allows you to comb your hair more gently. Again this helps to reduce the risk of breakage.

Embracing the natural look and natural hair inspired styles also helps. You have to mentally adjust and be ready to embrace styles that work with your textured roots rather than recreate the extremely sleek looks you might have gotten away with when your hair was fully relaxed straight.

 

FAQ 4 – I have type 4 hair, will texlaxing give me type 3 hair?

Texlaxing does not convert your hair from one curl type to another especially if you have type 4 hair. The look many ladies with type 4 hair achieve with texlaxing is that of blown out natural hair.

 

I hope the contents of this post and the links to the older posts about texlaxing answers your questions and demystifies texlaxing once and for all. If however you have more questions about texlaxing please comment below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Please feel free to encourage other readers by sharing your own experience of transitioning from relaxed to texlaxed.

The next post will be a wig related/hair update/wig safety post.

Come back soon

X

Lade

Learn | Change | Grow