Mrsphatandnaptural Turns 3 years old today! Whoo hoo! I may not be where some have risen to in 3 years, but I’m still here! Over these 3 short years I have found many new friends both online and in person. I’ve attended, held, and hosted many events. I’ve even traveled to 2 states that I had never been to for just to attend Plus Sized Fashion and or Natural Hair events. I’ve have also been featured on a few online sites, namely Essence.com.
Still I’d have to say the biggest “get” from the last 3 years of blogging has to be tapping into a supportive sisterhood that I didn’t even realize existed. They are an encouraging, loving, creative bastion of knowledge and experiences that I can’t seem to go a day without…( okay so I’m a social media junkie) lol. That aside I love being apart of this collective!
As I move forward with Mrsphatandnaptural some things will change. In the spirit of serving those who need what I’m cooking up, I will commit to staying honest, current, and open to God using me. I will continue to give you all the tips tricks and styles of the latest conversation. I will do the product reviews and include you into my battle with this belly! But I will also share with you my love for God and all things good for your soul!
Remember to celebrate yourself! And just know God doesn’t make any mistakes, and that includes you!
Spring is now upon us, and this is the perfect time to wear protective styles. In most cases your hair grows the best, and you retain more length in the warmer weather. That being said, here are a few tips to maximize your hair growth while wearing protective styles. When I wrote this post, I was thinking of Braids and Weaves, but there are quite a few ways to do protective styles. These tips apply to them all.
1. Make Sure Your Scalp Is Clean & Healthy before Install. – This should kind of be a no brainer. None the less, if you have bumps, redness, soars, are anything like this, wait until your scalp is healed. Likewise always start with clean dry hair (trimmed if needed) to get the best results.
2. Deep Condition & Moisturize Your Natural Hair. – If You are going to keep this style in for a few weeks, you want to make sure you are taking care of your natural hair so it doesn’t break off during this time.
3. Avoid Excessive Pulling And Or Tugging. This is so important! Your hair is not permanently attached to your head. Too much pulling and tugging will cause your hair to rip out right at the root. It could even cause you to lose sections of hair. If it hurts bad, take it out!
4. Massage Your Scalp Daily- This is to keep circulation going, and promote a healthy scalp. I use my favorite oil, but it works even if you just use your finger tips. This is part of my nighttime routine any way. But I just do it a little longer when I have a protective style.
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5. Keep Your Hair & Scalp Moisturized and Free From Build Up. – It’s important to maintain a clean scalp at all times but especially when wearing protective styles. This will help you prolong your style, and avoid itching. There are several ways to keep your scalp build up free, even if you suffer from flaky scalp. The easiest way is to take a wash cloth with warm water,and a little shampoo if you prefer and simply wipe between the twists or braids freeing and removing debris from your scalp. You could also do this same technique with baby wipes. Or for a deeper clean you can mix some Apple Cider Vinegar with some water, put it in a nozzle bottle and apply it in the parts of your hair. This does require rinsing. I usually put the hair in 2-4 buns so it doesn’t get all wet, and when I rinse I try to only let the water rinse my scalp. Also there are lots of brands that make products for what they call “under care” it means your hair under your protective style.
6. Cover Your Head When Sleeping- Simple and plain. This helps to preserve your style, as well as protect your natural hair while you sleep. After all, that is the point of protective styling right!
7. Put Your Hair In A Bun Whenever Possible- this helps to reduce the tress on your natural hair. The more you keep it up, the less weight you have pulling on your tresses. And of course the obvious, it looks so cute!
8. Clean Your Hair & Scalp Regularly- I mean actually wash your hair. I’ve detailed and ACV rinse for your scalp above, that can also be used on your hair about once a month. I usually was mine about every 2 weeks. I take the shampoo ( right now I’m loving Eden Body Works Peppermint Shampoo) and massage it directly on my scalp. Then I put my hair in 2 buns and rinse it out when I get in the shower. You can let it air dry or you can sit under a hooded dryer.
9. After 6-7 Weeks A Protective Style Can Cause Damage. Now I know some people women who leave their weaves and braids in for up to 12 weeks or maybe even longer. However this is a very dangerous practice. After 6-8 weeks the hair begins to week and damage and breakage begins to occur for most people.
10. Carefully Remove & Detangle When Uninstalling- After one week two weeks are even 12 weeks, your hair has been shedding, (about 100 hairs a day) but the hairs have stayed in place because you haven’t manipulated it. Now the dead or shed hair can and will break loose when you remove the protective style. The hair shaft itself is in a weakened state so you want to be careful not to break off any more hair than has to. I normally remove my hair in sections, detangle and apply a prepoo all in one step. This helps me get ready to wash and deep condition shortly after I takedown my protective style.
Any questions? Lol, just remember wearing a protective style is all about maximizing your hair growth periods. In the past women wore them specifically for that reason. Now sometimes it’s about style, sometimes it’s about ease of lifestyle, or just plain laziness. What every your reason, these tips will help you make the most of it.
I can’t front, I’ve definitely had to put these tips into practice. This is one of those posts that was built from experience. Now this post is a direct follow-up to the 101 Natural Hair Tips: Transitioning Back To Natural. In case you missed it (click here) .
Trying to find the right product is no easy task. You get so frustrated thinking you’ve tried everything and nothing is working, when really you just need to find the right thing for you and stick to it for a while. So that was the bonus tip now let’s get into the rest.
1. Read labels: The reason I start with this is because you can all together avoid certain products. Such as if I see something with coconut oil in it, most times I avoid it. I know that coconut oil doesn’t work for my hair so I just avoid products with it in the first couple items on the ingredient label.
2. Get to know your hair: I always say listen to your hair. If you use a product and it agrees with your hair, stick to it. Read that label and use products like it.
3. Don’t believe the hype: Every few months there is a new buzz word or super ingredient. Many times this item has been on the ingredient list the whole time, but now that it’s the IN thing they put it on the label. Also I’ve learned that they nearly have to put in a few drops of the said miracle ingredient to have its claim on the label.
4. Read Reviews – Now this is different from number 3, these are actual reviews from people who have legitimately used the product. I know everything isn’t for every body, but if you see a lot of favorable reviews, you may want to give it a try. But on the other hand, if no one has good things to say, maybe you should let that one slide by you.
5. Ask questions – There are so many Curltalk, CurlfriendChats, and Twitter Chats, use them to your advantage. That’s what they are there for. Just about every brand subscription box and a lot of bloggers have some kind of Q&A session in rotation. Or if you belong to a Facebook Group for natural hair, throw your question into the forum.
6. Try to get samples: That way you can test it out and see if you like it before buying it. Now when I first found out about the natural hair community, the “natural hair meetup” was the thing to do. There you could meet local Naturalista, brand owners, and emerging socialprenures. Additionally these meetups would be sponsored by brands and they would give out swag bags full of samples and free full size bottles. The meetups aren’t as popular any more but they are still around.
7. If you have it use it: This one is a no brainer, avoid the hoard! Plain and simple, why keep piling up products when you haven’t used what you have.
8. If it doesn’t work pass it on: Again this one is a no brainer for me. I frequently pass product along to my family members that doesn’t work for me. We all have different hair textures and different products work on their hair that may not work on mine and vice versa. So I don’t hold on to the products that I know don’t work for me. Thereby making room for other things that will work.
9. Limit the available space: Unless you’ve been there you can’t imagine how quickly the hair products can and will take up every inch of space possible. I don’t know it’s almost like they reproduce while your sleeping or something **insert mischievous laugh*** . No but really, I have a three draw bin and I’ve committed to only keeping as much as can fit in those three draws.
10. Purge every 3-6 months: This keeps your product fresh, and limits the habit of holding on to that last little bit (I’m talking to myself here). As I said above this makes room for product that you want to try. Besides if the product is organic it may have an expiration date, and you don’t want to use old product or hold onto something that’s useless.
It’s almost inevitable that most naturals have a little product junkie in us. Besides the fact that it’s expensive, it could also lead to self-defeating hair journey. Not to mention as with any guilty pleasure it takes some of the joy from the experience. Don’t let the junkie monkey get you down!
First things first…confession time. As much as I love my hair, I am not a lover of the wash day tango! I’ve heard the argument.
” If you don’t love your washday, maybe you need to change your regemin”.
I think there may be some truth to that statement, but in my case I can’t agree. I’ve never liked washday, even when I was a kid. My hair has always been very thick and adding water is my kryptonite! Unfortunately for me there is no way around it, to have hhealthy hair, you have to keep it cleansed. Since returning to natural I’ve found a few tips and tricks that help cut down on time and stress to my tresses. BT dubs, this is also post 3 in series of 10 billion on 101 Natural Hair Tips. For now check out our washday tips and I’ll link the other post ( Natural Hair Basics 1 and 2) at then end of the post.
21. Detangle Hair before washing.
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, but it’s the number one tip to reduce hair loss and cut down on wash time. Section the hair into as many sections as needed ( usually 4-6). Depending on how tangled my hair is I sometimes start with as many as eight and combine a few of them in larger chunky twists as I go along. Try added some conditioner and water to aide in the process. Use a clip to pin up the completed section.
22.Detangle using a wide tooth comb, detangling brush, or your fingers.
My fingers are my magic tool of choice. When using your fingers, you get to feel the hair as you are detagling. However I also love detangling combs and brushes. The wider the tooth the better. Make sure your comb or bush doesn’t have any missing or broken teeth. They could snag or pull on your hair and cause damage to your strands. I usually end up with 4 sections.
23. Start detangling from ends and work towards the root.
There is one very simple rule in place here. Don’t comb from the root to tip. By starting at the ends and working your way up the shaft it minimizes hair loss. The most effective technique that I have found is to add the conditioner, and finger detangle under running water.
This simple step will avoid retangling your tresses. Apply the shampoo at the root and work towards the ends. Make sure to cleanse the scalp, by gently massaging the scalp with your finger tips. Then work the later down the twist to the ends. Avoid using a circular motion this can encourage tangles and clumping of the hair.
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25. Use sulfate free shampoo, cowashs, or ACV rinses to cleanse your hair.
Now I’m not hear to agrue for or against either method. I’ve used all three and they all work. However, if you find that your normal products aren’t working you may need to do a clarifying shampoo. I do one every 2 or 3 months.
26. After shampooing spray hair with olive oil.
After shampooing but before conditioning, run some Olive oil through your hair. I find this helps with manageability and softness,especially between deep conditioning. Rinse all the shampoo out. Run some Olive oil through your hair. Work down the shaft, the rinse.
27. Apply conditioner with praying hands method.
I know it sound weird but just give it a try. It will decrease the opportunity for tangles, as well as coax the cuticle to lay flat. The cleaning process raises the cuticle, and now we need to make sure it starts the process of closing to lock in the moisture.
28. Deep condition with heat.
Adding heat helps to penetrate the hair shaft increasing the effectivness of the product. If you don’t have a hooded dryer, use a plastic cap, or plastics bags and use your own body heat.
29. Be careful of protein overload.
Although protein is good for your hair, you don’t want to over do it. I’ve read if the label says “repair” wither its a DC or a leave in, it has protein in it. Too much protein will cause excessive drying and damage. It’s almost as bad as heat damage, which ironically protein prevents…but that’s for a future post.
30. Document The Process !
I can’t stress this enough. I can’t tell you how much impact this will have on increasing the amount of good hair days. It’s like cooking from a recipe verses cooking from memory. By keeping a simple hair journal of what products you used and how you used them, you’ll easily be able to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
Now here’s to an easier washday! For more tips click the links below.
With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season upon us, we have to be careful to make time to keep ourselves spiritual strong. Sometimes we women loose ourselves trying to meet all the needs of those around us. We serve our husbands, children, bosses, and communities and we forget or are just too tired to serve ourselves. I know for me, doing things for myself makes me feel a little guilty at times. But when the guilt starts to seep in, I just remember who I am. I remember that I can do anything and everything I decide to do. My grandmother use to say ” you just have to set your mind to it”
You do know you are what dreams are made of right? You are magic! You have that thing that only you have that makes you special! That’s your magic! You can’t let fear, doubt, guilt, are anything else take your magic.
I love words of affirmation, so when I found this poem It reminded me of the beauty I posses. Everyone should feel this way about themselves.
My Pledge of Allegiance to Me
Written by Letitia L. Hodge
There’s more to me than the human eye can see.
I’m a woman of purpose and destiny.
A perfect design, I’m special and unique.
I won’t be identified by the parts that make
up my physique.
My beauty is not defined by my skin or my hair
and my soul has more value than
the clothes that I wear.
I’m not a symbol of pleasure or sex appeal;
I have the natural ability to comfort
and the power to heal.
When God made me, He created a gem
because He fashioned me in the likeness of Him.
I refuse to do anything that will put God to shame.
I deserve to be treated with reverence
and called by my name.
I can’t be purchased or sold at any price
because I’ve already been bought and paid
for by the precious blood of Christ!
I praise You because I am fearfully and
Ya feel me? Better yet do you feel yourself? Stay in your magic and Be blessed💋
Honey, Aloe Gel, Olive Oil! My Favorite Summer Hair Products For Shiny Healthy Natural Hair!
If long healthy natural hair is your goal. Summer is Gods gift to you.
Most people retain more hair in the Summer. Due to the warm weather we naturally do things like drink more water, get more activity, and wear lower manipulation styles. Just doing these 3 things will increase your hair growth potential.
Now add in 3 of natures Summer gems and your on the way to waist length. Maybe not that long but you’ll definitely see added growth.
Honey– You can use raw honey, organic honey, or I just grab the same honey I put in my tea. Honey is a humectant. This means it naturally draws moisture out of the air into your hair. So use it as a pre poo ( recipe below), add it to your shampoo, or you can even use it as a great DIY deep conditioner.
Used to: Prevent or remedy dry hair. Increase manageability, and add shine to the hair.
Tip: if you use too much your hair can get soggy. It will be so soft that it won’t hold braids or twists.
For more information and my deep conditioning recipe click here – Honey Be Natural
Olive Oil- Again I use the same olive oil that I cook with. Olive oil is high in vitamin E which strengthens the hair shaft. Also the oil is good for the scalp. Most of the time I use it to seal the moisture into my hair after I wash it. Also it can be put in a spray bottle with some water and use it to re-twist at night. Or you can heat it and apply it to your hair as a hot oil treatment.
Used to: Seal in moisture. Add shine and coat the scalp. Tip: properly moisturized hair reduces the occurrence of single strand knots, a decreases detangling time. If you have a problem with single strand knots, try oil rinsing.
Aloe Vera Gel- I use Aloe Vera gel, but you can get the juice or cut open the plant. Aloe has many benefits for hair. The biggest is its packed with amino acids which strengthens the hair shaft. It increases circulation to the scalp which stimulates hair growth. It’s also a natural humectant, so it draws in the moisture from the air. And the super benefit is, it has anti bacterial ingredients which helps to combat dandruff and other bacteria that can form on the scalp. Used to: balance ph in hair. Add moisture and shine, promote hair growth. Cleanse the scalp.
Tip: if you have an area that is slow to grow try massaging the area 2-3 times per week with some aloe Vera gel. This will stimulate circulation and increase hair growth to that area.
Here is my Summertime Fine prepoo recipe:
4-5 tbsp. aloe Vera gel
3 tbsp. of olive oil
2 tbsp. of honey.
Mix everything well and apply this on your hair from end to edge. The ends of the hair is the oldest part, and furthest away from the natural sebum the comes from your scalp. Leave on for about 20-25 minutes then shampoo and proceed with your normal routine.
This is a hydrating hair mask. If your hair is dull and dry this is just what the hair doctor ordered.
You can use this about once a month or as often as you deep condition which shouldn’t be more than 2 times per month.
now if you are not a DIY’er you can find commercial products with these ingredients in them. Or as I said earlier you can also just add them to your favorite shampoos, conditioners and or leave-in. (don’t add honey to your leave-in, it needs to be washed out).
Do you prefer to buy or are you a mixologist? Either way this is a simple and easy way to increase moisture and shine to your hair this summer! We’d love to hear some of your favorite DIY beauty recipes! Please drop us a comment.
If there was one thing you could do that would make your natural hair journey easier would you do it? It’s so simple, yet so many naturalistas miss this valued resource in the natural hair community. Better yet, even more don’t even know it exist! The one thing you can do is attend a natural hair meet up. It’s better than buying all the products in the isle, binge watching your favorite YouTube vlogger, and reading blog posts til your eyes are tired.
How many times have you watched a YouTube tutorial, followed all the steps, and didn’t get the desired result? Or read a blog post, ran out and bought the product, followed all the steps only to fail? If this has ever happened to you, you need to go right now and buy a ticket to the next meet up in your area!
Now I could go through a laundry list of reason why natural hair meet ups are a valued resource, but I’m gonna pick my top three reasons.
Face 2 Face Education
Yes that’s correct many of the local bloggers and vloggers, attend, host and guest speak at meet ups. So what’s better than a one on one conversation about your issue? Depending on the topic, and focus of the meet up there may be a panel discussion / Q&A or better yet they may just be mingling and you could ask them your questions personally. Not to mention there are usually tons of fellow Natralistas that have had the same problem you have and are more then willing to share their solutions with you. Very often natural hair meetups have:
Usually one or more full sized product will be included in the swag bags! All thought I’ve never been to one like this, but at the very least you will get samples and valuable discounts towards the purchase of products. I’ve always gotten between 1-5 full sized products as well as samples. This is a low cost way to build your product stash. The investment of the ticket purchase is usually a lot lower then the cost of product you will receive. Also, there are usually great give away sponsors, for prizes, raffles, and games.
And the very last but yet equally as important resource that natural hair meetups provide is access to the your local Curlfriends! There’s no substitute for surrounding yourself with like minded Curlies! They not only provide support and encouragement but also much needed comfort in the journey. I have meet so many wonderful young ladies that I would have never met in any other circumstance. Some are business owners, bloggers, long term naturalists, hair stylist, and so on.
There one last thing I feel is important to mention, you have to support your local natural hair community! That’s how brands decide if they are going to sponsor events, and or sell products in your area. If you don’t have a natural hair community in your area why not start one ?
Are you apart of a local natural hair community? If so give them a shout out in the comments! If not and you are looking to join one, drop a comment and we’d be more that happy to get you connected!
Please follow us on Facebook , Instagram and Twitter for more information, and inspiration!
1. Make sure you are speaking the love language of your hair. How, you ask? By knowing your hair’s porosity level.
Trying to love on your hair without speaking its language:
not exactly the ideal love huh?
2. Wine and dine her with tender vittles! Not literally the cat food, but lean proteins like eggs, Salmon, nuts, also brightly colored fruits and vegetables, and Greek yogurt. Just remember what ever you put in your mouth, will show up in your hair. Some of my favorites are spinach, salmon, and almonds.
3. Pour on the love potion, Water! This is the only way to truly add moisture. Drink it, spray it, look for it in your products.
4. Communication is the key! Learn to listen to your hair. You will be able to feel when it needs a trim, or extra attention.
5.Turn up the heat! Wash your hair with higher temperature water, this helps to open the cuticle.
6. Be cool! Rinse your hair with cooler temperature water. This helps to close the cuticle sealing in the moisture .
7. Be gentle. The best thing to dry your hair with is a t-shirt. Using a towel can pull and tug adding stress to your tresses. As long as you are not dying your hair it will not ruin the shirt, so yes its reusable.
8. Some times you have to go deeper. Deep condition every 4-5 weeks. You don’t need to do it every week, but you should at least do it every month to a month and a half.
9. Be clear! Cleanse your hair every 6-8 weeks with either a clarifying shampoo, or ACV Rinse.
10. Get trim. Now the time line depends on your hair and its condition. At least every 8-12 weeks is a good ruler.
11. Profess and protect! After 6 weeks your protective style has lost its protection.
12.Seal the deal! Coat your ends and your edges with a good oil. Castor Oil, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, these are the three most commonly used.
13. Loc it down. Employ the LOC Method: Liquid ( Water or water based leave -in) Oil ( Oil or butters in the winter) then last- Cream ( cream based leave-in / styler/ alcohol free gel)
14. Lay it on thick! In cooler temperatures replace your hair oil with a hair butter.
15. Trust the process. Love takes time and so will your hair love affair.
Lol I hope you have enjoyed our 15 steps to a love affair with your hair! Humor aside, we know, discovering how to love your hair is the key to a healthy and happy hair journey. What are some of your love gestures to your hair? Did we leave anything out? Please comment and let us know what you think!
As I was writing this, I thought about how it makes me happy that my sons kiss me as soon as they see me. The other day I was trying to make a YouTube video (for the first time) and my middle son walked in and kissed me as I was taping. Before I could get upset, I laughed at myself. Even though I fussed at him, he came right in, kissed me and kept talking on his phone. I told him later that I was trying to tape and that his kiss was in the video and he thought it was so cool. Even now thinking back on that day it brings me Joy.
Now; for the business of “Cultivating Joy”, the term cultivate is usually used in an agricultural since. One definition means to nurture or help grow. So we are growing Joy here!
1. Acknowledge- See the little beauties that are with you every day. Experience the world through the eyes of gratitude. By taking time to be fully present in the thing you are doing, you are allowing yourself to experience the joy..
2. Connect- Surround yourself with the people, places and things that make you happy. If talking to your BFF or even your BF makes you happy, make an intentional effort to connect with them. If you took a vacation that was your favorite, print out the pictures and hang one or two of them up somewhere that will remind you of the fun!
3. Laugh- In today’s world of social media, there are more than enough Vines, Videos, and Snaps, that you can look up just to get a laugh! I know I love when someone shares a funny clip in the morning! That’s a sure way to get me on your page all day!
4. List Your Loves- it’s just what it sounds like. A list of things you love, it’s almost like a play list. I actually have a love list of bloggers that I can always get inspiration from. I also have a love list of quotes, bible scriptures, and of course songs.
5. Put It On- I used to be a holder onto(er) lol. My favorite perfume, clothes, shoes, what ever. For some reason I would hold onto my favorite things and not use them. I still don’t get why, but what I do get is, I don’t do it anymore. Now I wear my favorite perfume everyday! When I’m feeling a little glum, I get glam! That perks my right up.
For some of us joy is a fleeting emotion. Or something that can only be attained by others. Very often we attach our since of joy to certain accomplishments. These events can contribute to the feeling of joy, however to cultivate authentic joy, you have to look within. Only you can make you happy. What are some ways that you cultivate joy? Tell me in the comments below!
Here we are Christmas is just a few days away! I’m sure you’ve done all your shopping and finished up like a boss, right? But wait you missed your favorite curly girl, what now? It’s LITERALLY LAST MINUTE! No worries, I gotcha! Here’s my top LITERALLY LAST MINUTE gifts for the naturals in your life:
I know you’re probably like really, a comb? But as a natural we appreciate the value of a good comb. We also lose and damage them more often then you think so this is an awesome gift. There are even decorative comb sets to make the gift even more special 😉
The beauty of being natural is all about hair acceptance. So help her crown her glory with a new hair accessory. Every kinky curly girl needs a goddess band, you can find these at your local beauty supply place or even Walmart.
A silk scarf can make or break your healthy hair, literally! Every girl absolutely loves scarves, wraps and bonnets especially big ones. Printed turbans have been making a huge statement these past few years. I bet she will more than appreciate it!
Being a kinky girl is very costly. We try very hard to stretch our products! If you’re not a naturalista you probably don’t understand the value of this gift. But any natural girl may just jump up and kiss you if you purchase her favorite product and/or shampoo!
This is a little more personal then a commercially available product. Your curly will understand the time and energy you put into making her an oil or hair butter! Maybe even some aloe or flax seed gel! Follow us on Pinterest to check out some DIY’s!
Christmas is basically here, but it’s never too late to grab some last minute treasures! The great thing is, all of these are accessible to at your local drug store right down to Christmas Day! Now if you are the curly girl and you want to let your givers know what you want, send them this link lol! Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest! Leave us a comment if you have even more last minute ideas!!!