Articles By Allison Cooper

Bun

Suffering from cancer and having to deal with the horrible side effects of chemotherapy treatments can be very overwhelming. One of the most difficult and noticeable side effects is chemo hair loss or hair thinning.

Given that our hair helps to define our self of self and our identities, this aspect can be quite maddening. But being brave enough to take that step forward and actually “bare your bald” can bring on the rejuvenating feelings for which you have been yearning. That’s right – baring your bald can give you your independence back!

Bare Your Bald

The actual act of “baring your bald” is the invigorating act of showing to the world that you're not afraid or ashamed of having lost your hair. You go about your life, living on your terms and not worrying about covering up your bald head by hats, scarves, or any other hair adornments. You are proud of the person that you are and the experiences that you have gone through, essentially molding you into the person that you are today.

Women who “bare their bald” are confident and comfortable in their own skin — no matter the circumstances.

The Emotional Side

Baring your bald will bring along a wide array of emotions, so you need to prepare yourself for how to deal with them. All in all, the emotions that you are dealing with are all in your head (no pun intended), and you need to choose what you are going to let bother you or hold you back, and what gives you the drive to keep going. It is all about how you feel and what you choose to make of the situation.

Too many people associate beauty with our appearance, but once you overcome the association of hair with beauty, you will be able to look deeper into your true self — and others will too. It’s important to be proud of the person that you are and show that off to the world. You are still the same person, and this change in your appearance is not going to change that.

Others' Reactions

The people in your life who know and love you will accept you no matter how you look. People who see you outside may stop and look at you, which is one of those things that you will get used to and find a way to handle on your own.

Blogger Katie Evans, of The Bald and the Beautiful, stressed the fact that once you experience chemo hair loss, you will need to find your own “normal,” which will include an array of emotions that you undergo regarding being bald and beautiful.

“I still get stared at, but keep in mind, I’m 6 feet tall, queen size is an understatement, and I’m bald; people are going to stare. In the beginning, the staring didn’t bother me because I was very conscience of being bald; I was checking myself out in a mirror every chance I got. But as I got used to my baldhead and strangers continued to stare, I kind of got annoyed. I wanted to go over to them and say, ’Yes, it’s cancer,’ but instead I just kept walking. It took me a while to realize that not everyone staring was doing it out of ignorance, I’m sure some were looking at me thinking of a loved one who had gone through chemo, and maybe others were thinking that I was brave leaving the house with my bald head uncovered.”

Want More?

Baring your bold is totally a personal choice, and a tough one at that! For those that want to embrace their new life, but keep strands on their heads, try curly wigs!

Final Thoughts

In the end, every situation’s outcome is what you make of it. Take the time to grieve your chemo hair loss in a healthy time frame, and then move forward to live your life in the most fulfilled way possible.

 


Bun

With October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it isn’t uncommon to see people everywhere sporting pink ribbons pinned to their outer clothing to show their support. As the years have gone by, there has been an overwhelming following of this trend from many different charities, organizations, and companies, including the NFL!

The trend has gotten so large, in fact, that you can’t even be sure that what you are buying is actually going to breast cancer awareness and research. Often times, that pink ribbon you picked up at the local gas station is just a petty way of making money, and not a fundraising effort at all.

Breast cancer awareness scams have become such an issue, that concerned citizens have started Think Before You Pink, an organization dedicated to researching breast cancer awareness fundraising fraud.

Think Before You Pink

Think Before You Pink was the first to take a stand against all of the products branded with the pink breast cancer ribbon that weren’t necessarily giving back to the cause. Starting in 2002, they created numerous campaigns that generated a buzz about investigating products that we purchase because of the pink breast cancer ribbon.

They realized that there were many “pink products” on the market, such as hair products and groceries, that claimed to be giving to breast cancer awareness and research, but that many of these brands weren’t, in fact, living up to their promises.

Often times, that pink ribbon you picked up at the local gas station is just a petty way of making money – not a fundraising effort.

Think Before You Pink is considered the watch dog for the entire breast cancer movement and the organization often get the truth out about many different products claiming to the associated with breast cancer organizations and charities, that are not. They have launched campaigns with well known companies such as KFC and Yoplait.

Fundraising Fraud

Think Before You Pink and their  efforts are so important because it raises awareness for consumers who think that they are purchasing products for a good cause. The organization encourages consumers to engage with the products and brands by asking critical questions about the role the brands are playing in breast cancer research and awareness. Many companies can be misleading with their messages, including charities and organizations who just want to make more money.

Think Before You Pink sheds light on the companies that are doing good things to support breast cancer, and makes consumers aware of companies that are trying to scam people for their money.

Before You Donate

Before buying any products that claim they are supporting breast cancer, it's important to follow-up on the product and do some research. Many of us want to give back in any way we can, often without causing much of a hassle to our daily lives and routines. However, by buying in to the pink merchandise scandal, our “best” efforts go unnoticed, and breast cancer funding is not increased.

Think Before You Pink encourages consumers to focus on five critical questions before they purchase any product sporting a pink ribbon:

  1. How much money from your purchase actually goes toward breast cancer? Is the amount clearly stated on the package?
  2. What is the maximum amount that will be donated?
  3. How are the funds being raised?
  4. To what breast cancer organization does the money go, and what types of programs does it support?
  5. What is the company doing to assure that its products are not actually contributing to the breast cancer epidemic?

Want More?

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Final Thoughts

Think Before You Pink is a great organization that puts their efforts towards a great cause. Throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the rest of the year for that matter, lets vow to apply these questions and methods towards the purchases that we are making!


Bun

I’m sure that many of you never knew that this method even existed, but the truth is that honey does work as a natural hair lightener according to the forums on LongHairCommunity.

Many people are used to using natural honey on their hair by adding it to their conditioner and shampoo on a daily or weekly basis to condition and moisturize hair in a natural way. The reality is that a honey hair treatment is a subtle, natural lightening process for your curls.

How Does Honey Hair Coloring Work?

This method works due to the natural hydrogen peroxide that is found in honey. We all know the affect that hydrogen peroxide has on hair. The iron that is also found in the honey oxidizes the oxygen free radicals that are released by the hydrogen peroxide.

The amount of lightening that you can achieve through using this method greatly depends on how well your hair absorbs the honey, or how porous it is.

Honey Hair Conditioner Recipe

Honey Hair Lightening Tips

  • Add a bit of peroxide for a more dramatic honey hair effect.
  • Add ground cardamom, ground cinnamon, coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil for a boost to the natural honey hair color.
  • If you have product or oil in your hair, wash it before applying the mixture.
  • This method requires zero additional heat. Do not apply heat to your hair with the honey in it.
  1. Pour 1/3 cup of honey into a bowl.
  2. Scoop a 1/4 cup of your favorite conditioner and put it in the bowl with the honey.
  3. Combine the mixture until you have the perfect combination and consistency.
  4. Apply the mixture to damp hair and cover with the shower cap. After this mixture has been sitting on your hair and scalp for 8 hours, you can take the shower cap off and wash the mixture out with water.

Honey Hair Lightening Method

  1. Mix honey and distilled water together. Use a 4 to 1 ratio of honey to water to make the mixture work properly.
  2. Apply the mixture to your hair and scalp and let sit under a shower cap for one hour under no additional heat.
  3. Completely rinse the mixture out of your hair and shampoo, condition and style as usual.

The overall outcome of this process will have your hair looking and feeling silky, shiny, and healthy. It will also have your hair looking a little bit lighter in a natural, non-dramatic manner.

This method takes time, and if you are using the honey for only lightening purposes, you may have to leave the treatment on longer, or do it multiple times to get your desired outcome.

Want More?

For more information about honey lightening methods, visit the forums on LongHairCommunity.

Final Thoughts

The honey hair lightening treatment definitely works. If you are looking to try out a natural way to lighten your locks so that you can have lighter hair, look no further than your kitchen cabinets!

 


Bun

While it can sometimes be difficult to look at the positive aspects of a hard situation, such as chemo hair loss, a positive outlook can make help make things better help you live longer! Everyone deals with chemotherapy in different ways, and being open and positive about it with the people that you love is a great way to accept what is going on in your life, and can even help you to overcome the disease!

Positivity Helps!

The American Cancer Society says that having a positive attitude towards having cancer and towards your chemotherapy treatment can have a lot to do with the way that your disease is handled. They are very clear that although your attitude won't change the diagnosis, it can be a great coping mechanism. You will have both good days and bad days, but the way that you handle them will help you to live your life to the fullest.

Flip Chemo Hair Loss on its Head

So, this is where we step in and help you see the positive side of chemotherapy hair loss. After all, let’s be honest, we have all spent years dealing with, often in frustration, our curly locks. So what do you do when they're gone? Rejoice in the silver lining, of course!

  1. More money in your pockets to do what you really want! Looking back, how much money have you spent on all different types of hair products? Keeping up with and maintaining different curly hair styles takes an awful lot of money out of our pay checks every week, no matter if we are using high end products or not. At the end of the day, it all adds up! Having the extra money that would be otherwise spent on hair products in your pocket will allow you to put it towards doing the things in life that you have always dreamed of doing! Fiction writing class? Horseback riding lessons? Finishing up that degree? Go for it!
  2. Take the opportunity to experiment with creative hairstyles. Sometimes we get stuck in a rut with our hairstyle, or are just too afraid to make any dramatic changes because, “it might look bad.” Now, you have the opportunity to get creative, step outside the box and experiment with different hair accessories that will help hide your thinning hair, or celebrate it! Try a bold new cut, or splurge on those accessories you never thought you could pull off. This is a new phase of your life, embrace it and enjoy it as much as any other.
  3. No more dealing with dangerous chemicals! Let’s be honest here, as women we are pretty much willing to put anything and everything in our hair to make it look good, despite any surgeon general or FDA warnings. Chemo hair loss will give you the opportunity to live a more natural lifestyle without adding extra chemicals that are unnecessary to our hair and scalps. Think of it more as an optional big chop and embrace the natural hair lifestyle, hair or not.
  4. More time to focus on the important things. How much time are you typically spending every day on your hair? What does this number then add up to in a week, a month, a year?  Once we objectively look back at our lifestyles, as chemotherapy allows you to do, you will see that all the time spent on your hair could be put towards numerous other activities like spending time with family and friends, the real positivity is all of our lives.
  5. Who's that lady? Losing hair will give you the opportunity to reinvent yourself — through wigs! Why not try out a color or style that you would have never otherwise tried out? Wigs are highly versatile and allow you to be anyone that you want, but most importantly allow you to be yourself if you choose. Nowadays, wigs are just as capable of withstanding heat styling as your own hair — except that when they get damaged, you can just take them off!
  6. One less thing to worry about! As women, we spend an awful lot of time worrying about things. Did the phone bill get paid? What am I going to cook for dinner? What will my boss think of the presentation? Not having to worry about what you are going to do with your hair each morning as your start your day is simply one less thing to stress over, especially at this particularly stressful point in time. Take chemo hair loss as an opportunity to appreciate not having to fuss with long strands, and rejoice in the ease that comes with scarves and shorter tresses.
  7. Networking opportunities galore! There are many different websites and support groups that are targeted towards women dealing with chemotherapy hair loss. This will give you the opportunity to network and meet new people who are dealing with similar circumstances and can help you cope through your struggles. And, you never know, one of those contacts may just add fuel to your career after the breast cancer is put to rest!

Want More?

Look beautiful and give back to breast cancer research and awareness with these curly hair products!

Final Thoughts

Positivity is key to facing the disease, chemotherapy and hair loss with ease, minimal stress and overall happiness. What tips and tricks can you share that help you to look past negative situations and see the positive?

 


Bun

Every curly girl knows the importance of knowing and understanding the type of porosity and density that your hair has. Hair porosity and density both play a key role in your hair care regimen, what curly hair products you use and how your hair looks overall on a daily basis. Having this knowledge gives you the power to better manage your loved tresses and transform them from dull to FAB!

Hair Porosity & Density Defined

Porosity refers to how well your hair is able to absorb moisture. Hair that is considered to be highly porous is typically damaged and separated from the cuticle. This can be a result of many different factors such as it being over processed to just simply having a need for more moisture on a daily basis. On the other hand, hair that is not very porous will be difficult to perm or perform any type of chemical treatment due to its inability to absorb.

Knowing your hair porosity will help you determine how much moisture your hair need on a daily, weekly or monthly basis to achieve the look that you are going for. In addition, you will be better equipped to make decisions regarding your hair products.

On the contrary, hair density looks at the number of hair strands that you have per square inch on your scalp. People with low hair density are said to have thinner hair, while people with high hair density have thicker hair. Knowing how dense your hair is will provide you with valuable information on choosing products that will help either increase the volume in your hair or tone it down.

Though these concepts are both quite different, they both work together to determine how your hair should be handled.

  1. Daily Care. The daily care of your hair plays a big part in your hair porosity and density. Combing, towel drying and shampooing can be done in a very rough manner that will damage the hair, creating breakage and cuticle damage. This will leave your hair looking limp and lifeless. Better managing your daily hair care as well as the hair products you use will greatly make a difference. If you have less dense hair, use lighter products. If you have dense hair, use heavier products. Porous hair will need more moisture, so that it doesn't suck it in from the air and frizz. Add these routines and products to your daily hair care routine to further enhance your curl.
  2. Overexposure to Light. Spending too much time in the sun or under UV light can be a huge stressor to your hair cuticles. This will lead to drying on the hair follicle and then breakage. Studies have shown that exposure to sunlight or UV light for 200 hours and beyond can start showing signs of damage. In order to overcome this problem, make sure that you are protecting your hair year round whenever you are outside with hats and scarves. Drying the hair out can change your porosity, which will cause your usual miracle products to stop working.
  3. Over-processing. Using too many chemical treatments, such as relaxing or bleaching, can cause low density and highly porous hair. One way to overcome this issue is to do weekly hair treatments that help restore moisture and reverse the damaging effects of the chemicals. Try at home methods such as the mayonnaise hair treatment or the apple cider vinegar rinse.

Want More?

Not sure what your hair porosity or density even is? Follow these simple steps to figure it out, test it out and start planning around it!

Final Thoughts

It is important to keep in mind that everyone’s hair porosity and density is different, even within hair types, so you must treat your curls on an individual basis.

Tell us how you incorporate your porosity and density into your curly hair care regimen!

 


Second day hair can be such a mysterious thing for us curlies. Some of us are able to achieve it, while others are not so lucky. And for those of us that can achieve it, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t!

Fortunately, second day hair success really doesn’t depend on the type of curly hair that you have, but rather about the way you try to get it.

What Exactly is Second Day Hair?

And why do we want it?

Second day hair is essentially the process of getting your curly hair style to last two days rather than just one. This means that you are able to save time in the morning, or during your daily preparation routine, by skipping the shower and adding a few products that help prolong the style of your hair an extra twenty-four hours.

With the crazy, fast paced world that we live in, and the time that us curly girls already contribute to our hair, having this second day option is very important.

Sleeping Arrangements

What to Do Before Bed

The key to getting second day hair rests in what you do on the night of first day hair, and how you take care of it.

By this, I mean that it's time to take out your coveted satin pillowcases and silk scarves and start sleeping on them or wearing them to bed, every night! A satin pillowcase, unlike cotton ones, will prevent your hair from catching, pulling and breaking during the night. This will leave you waking up in the morning with well-tamed tresses and will greatly aid in the ease of your morning regimen to help you achieve second day hair.

In addition to sleeping on a satin pillowcase, you can also try pineappling your hair. This method is where you take different sections of your hair and separate them by tying them with scrunchies. After the separation is complete, wrap with a silk scarf and go to bed! (Hint: this method even works on short curly hair!)

The Morning After

Getting the Most Out of Your Look

If you've woken up after spending the night on your satin pillowcase, then you're ready for a quick and productive morning routine. The morning after routine is a bit different for everyone because achieving second day hair is different for each hair type. The main ingredient for everyone, however, is moisture.

To keep second day locks moisturized and looking great, apply a small amount of oil (like coconut or rose oil), spray on a mix of water and gel and then apply a leave-in conditioner. Then, hands off! The more you touch your curls, the more they will frizz.

If your hair is already in a style, simply applying oil to the hair will combat fly-a-ways.

If Worse Comes to Worst

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

Everyone encounters those rushed mornings where nothing seems to be working and time is flying by. Here are some tips that can help you make if through those tough morning and come out looking fabulous!

  1. Use aloe as a refresher. Aloe vera gel is great for emphasizing wave pattern, reducing oily buildup if you have it, and for setting corn rows. Because aloe vera gel has so many uses, it spans the entire curl type spectrum, working just as well for a type 2A as for a type 4C. To use the gel, you can scrunch it in to your hair, apply it at the roots to soak up excess oil, or apply it directly to a set style.
  2. Dampen hair and reapply a sulfate-free conditioner. Leave-ins are great, but sometimes, the best cure for hair lacking moisture is regular conditioner, which can also be used as a leave in. Don't over apply the product though, and stick to only applying it to problem areas.
  3. Diffuse your curls. Your curls will form faster if you use a hair diffuser instead of letting them air dry. Length is an important factor as well. The diffuser works best on shorter bobs, or those with medium length.

Hard and Fast Tips

  • Remember that the secret to second day hair revolves around one major factor: the overall health of your hair.
  • Make sure that you are making healthy daily choices with your products, foods and lifestyle.
  • Always, always keep those curls moisturized. Dry curls are your enemy, and will never give you second day hair.

Want More?

Join the CurlTalk conversation and get or give advice about how to achieving the elusive second-day style!

 


No matter what hair type you have, we all struggle with flaking or dandruff from time to time. Having curly hair makes this situation a little bit more difficult because we are trying to avoid washing our hair on a daily basis, but sometimes, due to the itch, we have no choice. Unfortunately, by washing our hair on a daily basis, we can interfere with the style we are trying to achieve.

Turning to shampoos containing salicylic acid is one solution that many curly girls have found in order to remove build up, cure their itch and resolve the dandruff issue. Of course, there is a downfall: the drying factor that the salicylic acid has on our locks.

Is Salicylic Acid Shampoo Safe for Curly Hair?

Won't It Dry Out My Curls?

Salicylic acid shampoo is safe for curly hair on occasion. Since curly hair has different needs than non-textured hair, those needs must to be taken into consideration.

Shampoos that contain salicylic acid are typically designed to resolve issues such as dandruff. However, there are no conclusive studies that indicate the actual cause of dandruff, so no remedies have been proven to be effective.

Shampoos containing about 2% salicylic are often considered effective at treating itchy scalp and dandruff issues. Just use the shampoo until the problems is resolved, then switch back to your normal routine. Salicylic acid shampoo is safe for curly hair, but can dry it out even further if used too frequently, so use it only in small doses.

The only time that you should contact your doctor about using a salicylic acid shampoo is if you are pregnant, the person using the shampoo is under the age of two or you have any known allergies to it.

What is Salicylic Acid?

The Facts

Salicylic acid is a product that can be derived naturally from the willow tree, which is also referred to as salix. It is then chemically synthesized to treat many different medical conditions, including dandruff, acne and fungus.

Salicylic acid can also be produced in the laboratory by combining sodium phenoxide with carbon dioxide under high pressure. This is a more commercialized way of creating it rather than just turning to it in its pure and natural state from the willow bark.

Salicylic Acid Products

Salicylic acid can be found in numerous products at the pharmacy and in your own home. It is commonly found in aspirin or medications that control headaches, creams that ease inflammation, acne treatments, ointments and bath additives. It can also be found quite frequently in prescription form due to its dangerous nature if ingested in large quantities.

All you really need to do is start reading the ingredient labels, and you will be surprised how common this agent is.

Salicylic Acid Shampoo

When salicylic acid is added to shampoos, its job is to soften and remove the dead skin. This process is completed by the salicylic acid causing the area to which it is applied to swell, then soften, and eventually peel off. It will also open the pores.

Dandruff Be Gone

  • Salicylic acid shampoo can be quite beneficial to those suffering from dandruff or simply from an itchy scalp.
  • It should, however, only be used in moderation to avoid over drying the hair.

Want More?

Salicylic acid not your thing? Try these at homemade hair treatments for dandruff. 

 


Bun

As we transition from summer into fall, it is very important that we take care of our hair with the same enthusiasm as we do about extending our fall wardrobe. Healthy, well kept hair is always in style, and the most important accessory that everyone should attain as the weather goes from hot to cold.

Why Treat Sun Damaged Hair?

There are so many different reasons why curly hair care is essential for sun damaged hair. Keep in mind that hair can get sun damaged year round. No matter what the temperature is outside, they sun will still be shining bright. A damaged hair treatment should always be part of your curly hair care regimen.

It's important to treat sun damaged hair on a daily basis to keep your hair follicles and scalp healthy. Treating sun damaged hair will prevent breakage, uneven hair growth and improve the overall health of your beloved tresses.

It is no secret that if you have curly hair, your curly hair care regimen needs to have added moisture in it, at least in comparison to how much moisture those with straighter strands need. Curly hair tends to dry out much quicker and easier than other hair types, due to the shape of the strand. The sun only worsens this issue as it tends to act as a drying agent, and will strip your curly hair of necessary moisture.

Oil Ingredient Recommendations

  • Argan Oil: helps increase the suppleness and elasticity of the hair and provides emollience and softness
  • Jojoba Oil: an ingredient which can add moisture and help lubricate the hair shaft. It is quite beneficial in assisting and maintaining curl formation.
  1. Buy professional products. Using curly hair products with high quality ingredients will greatly assist in restoring your hair to its natural state. It may be a little bit more expensive, but it is a wise investment that will greatly pay off.
  2. Moisture, again and again and again. Since the sun’s rays will strip your curly hair of necessary moisture, it's important that you take time to replenish it. Using deep conditioning treatments, followed by six drops of oil (such as rosemary oil) and letting sit for at least 20 minutes will help bring your hair back to a manageable, moisturized state.
  3. Eat a balanced diet. Whether you believe it or not, the food that you eat on a daily basis plays a huge role in the overall health of your hair, as well as its resiliency and ability to bounce back after it has been damaged by the sun. Eating a well balanced diet, exercising on a regular basis, taking a daily multi-vitamin and living a stress-free lifestyle will all greatly aid in your curly hair care routine.
  4. Try at home remedies. There are many different at home remedies that will help to rejuvenate your hair and bring it back to life after a long, hot summer! Try out a mayonnaise hair treatment, olive oil for split ends, egg yolk treatment, henna or coconut oil. Applying these products to your hair, separately, and letting sit for 15-20 minutes will surely help your hair literally bounce back.
  5. Protect those strands! Being proactive about protecting your hair from the sun year round is very important. Just like we apply sunscreen to our skin, we need to protect our hair. By being conscious about prevention methods, you'll will limit the amount of restoration that you must do in order to get your hair back to its usual healthy state. Wearing hats and scarves whenever you are out in the sun will greatly help you to shield your hair from the sun's harmful rays. It's even important to wear a bathing cap whenever swimming; this will not only protect your hair from the sun, but from the chemicals in the pool as well.

Want More?

Your skin just as sun damaged as your hair? Try using retinol products to heal it!

Final Thoughts

As summer comes to a close and we start to realize just how sun damaged our curly hair really is, us curlies have to take matters in to our own hands! Take preventive measures, always, but when hindsight is 20/20, get your hands dirty and mix up your own homemade hair treatments.

Let us know which work for you!

 


Bun

Is your curly hair keeping you away from the gym? Are you nervous about ruining your hairstyle, not to mention throwing the money you just spent on that relaxer or style down the drain, by sweating and being active on a daily basis?

Well, it is time to stop fearing the gym ladies! Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin recently visited the Bronner Bros. International Hair Show in order to talk to women about this exact issue and to offer these curly hair care tips for the gym. After all, our health should be our number one priority!

Don't Be a Statistic!

Recent studies have shown that many African American women avoid the gym and other physical activities out of fear of ruining their hairstyles. Let’s be honest, it can be quite expensive to keep up with the expenditures involved with curly hair care, especially for those of us who are still relaxing it, and sweating does tend to change the hairstyle completely. But by putting our looks first and health second, we aren’t doing anything positive for our bodies, our selves or our health in general.

According to the American Journal of Public Health, “Benjamin's office cited two studies that examined why fewer than 30% of minority women in the United States get the recommended level of exercise." The reasons were lack of time followed by economic constraints, major life changes or traumas, safety issues, weather and environment, the hassle of personal care such as showering and keeping hair looking good.

Unlike many different kinds of hair, African American hair cannot be washed multiple times a day without draining the hair follicles of essential oils. It's understandable that an African American woman wouldn’t want to spend an hour at the gym whenever she has plans for a hot date later that night. But things need to change. With more and more people eating unhealthy and the rate of obesity growing, we need to put the excuses aside and get active!

Curly Hair Care Tips

Professional demands also rank high on the excuses to not exercise.
  1. Exercise at night. For many women, it's just much simpler to work-out at night. This way you don’t have to worry about impressing anyone — our families all love us no matter how sweaty we look — and can go home and go to bed. You can get up the next morning, co-wash and be on your way with a healthy body and healthy hair.
  2. Experiment with different hairstyles. There are many different hair styles that make working out much easier. Depending on your length of hair, you can try out braids and twists. Because braids and twists are meant to last for an extended length of time, they are ideal for the workout guru!
  3. Schedule washing your hair around your workout regimen. You don’t need to be working-out hardcore every single day. Spending an hour at the gym three days a week is adequate for staying in shape, as long as you are up and moving on the days in between. Therefore, scheduling the times that you spend at the gym with the day that you are washing your hair can be a great solution to this problem. After all, all life is about time management.
  4. Working out doesn't have to be sweaty! You don’t need to be breaking an intense sweat to reap the benefits of physical activity. Simply walking around your neighborhood for 30 minutes a day will increase your heart rate, work your muscles and lower your chances for multiple health risks associated with the lack of physical activity.

Want More?

Try these post-workout curly hair tips to keep you looking great after the gym.

Final Thoughts

Keeping your body and hair looking great doesn’t have to be difficult. You just have to figure out what curly hair care routine works best for your hair and your overall health.

Let us know what YOU do to stay fit and keep your hair looking great!

 


Health is becoming a huge concern for everyone right now, across the board. Obesity rates are rising, people aren’t eating as healthy as in previous years, and these bad habits are being passed down to our children.

Worse still, studies show that African American women are among the largest group suffering from inadequate exercise. The reason? Fear of “sweating out” their curly hair.

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

The Reasoning Behind the Fear

Let’s be honest, curly hair can be really hard to manage and take care of. We spend lots of time and money on creating the looks that make us feel good. So, whenever it comes to adding exercise to our daily routine, we start with, “I can’t exercise today because I just got my hair done.”

If that doesn't work, we conjure up other excuses revolving around the current demand of women in our society. We are expected to take care of the home, family, work, and exercise? This can seem quite overwhelming, but balance and time management is everything. Putting our health on the back burner now is only going to negatively affect us in the long run.

The Cold, Hard Truth

Shocking Statistics

According to Surgeon General Dr. Regina M. Benjamin, nearly 50 percent of black women over age 20 are overweight or obese, compared with 33 percent of white women and 43 percent of Hispanic women.

If that isn’t a wake-up call, then I don’t know what is.

In addition, research was recently conducted at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina that sampled 103 local black women, one third of whom blamed their kinky and curly hair for the fact that they are overweight and not hitting the gym.

Interestingly, many of the female doctors who assisted in different types of research regarding this issue are African American themselves and deal with the same issues.

”Being an African-American woman myself, I have to go through those same trials and tribulations when I exercise," said Dr. Amy McMichael, a dermatologist who led the research being conducted at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. "So I started to realize that this is probably a barrier for many women.”

This is a cycle that we need to change. Putting one foot in front of the other and becoming active and involved is the only way that we are going to change these statistics.

Let Yourself Have a Bad Hair Day

Overcoming the Fear

Dr. Benjamin recently released a message to all women concerning this issue: It’s OK to have a bad hair day.

We need to realize that looks aren’t everything, and that our health needs to be a priority. Breaking this bad cycle can be difficult, but we need to come together as women and figure out what works best for us. Whether it is working out in smaller increments on a daily basis, working out before bed, coordinating our gym days with the days we wash our hair, or even going out and trying out a new curly hair style that's gym friendly.

Take Home Points

  • Finding the right balance in this situation is key.
  • Regular exercise must be integrated into our regular routines so that it becomes a part of our lives.
  • Days at the gym can no longer be avoided, and are essential to our overall well being.

Want More?

Join CurlTalk's exercise accountability thread and get moving!

 



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