Articles By AshleyGlenn

natural hair blowout


To use heat or to not use heat? A question that many curlies face during their hair journey. It could be a curly girl’s worst nightmare for their beautiful curls to be damaged by heat tools. However, this doesn’t have to be a fear anymore. Using this blow-drying method and extra TLC can help overcome your fear of using heat.

The Tension method is a blow drying technique that allows you to minimize the amount of heat and manipulation that you put on your hair.

How does it work?

Part your hair in sections so it would be easy for you to manage. Hold your hair as if you are stretching it. Instead of using a blow dryer attachment or a brush, you move the blow dryer in a vertical motion along your hair. This allows you to dry and stretch your hair without over manipulating it and using an excessive amount of heat. While blow-drying the hair, make sure the blow dryer is not on the highest temperature setting. High temperatures can cause dry and brittle hair. In addition, it can alter your beautiful curl pattern. Along with using this technique, these following tips can help prevent heat damage and improve your overall experience with applying heat to your hair.

Next page: Step 1

coily hair1. Allow Hair to Air Dry

Before using the tension method, allow freshly washed hair to air dry. If you blow-dry your hair while soaking wet, you use an excessive amount of heat. Let’s also state the obvious, blow-drying your hair can be exhausting.

Relaxing a little longer and letting your hair air-dry can help the health of your hair. Read your favorite book or surf your favorite blog on the web to allow the time to past. If needed, use a microfiber towel or t-shirt to dry hair. Not only does it speed up the drying process, it also prevents frizz.

See what the community thinks of these hair towels:

Next page: Step 2

blow drying natural hair2. Moisturize and Protect

Apply a leave in conditioner to add moisture to your hair. Applying heat can cause dryness because moisture is taken out of your hair. Keep hair moisturized after the use of heat to replenish any moisture that was lost during the blow-drying session.

Next, apply a heat protectant serum. The serum can help protect your curls from heat damage that can come from heat tools. Heat protectant serum can also make your hair shiny and prevent frizz. It can also allow straight hairstyles to last longer.

PHOTO Kendra-Hair

More: After-Party Hair Repair: Treat That Heat Damage 

Next page: Step 3

head wrap3. Maintenance

After your blow-drying session, try not to use any more heat on your hair until the next time you plan to use the tension method. Again, you want to use minimal heat.

Try using a satin scarf, bonnet, or pillowcase at night to maintain your hairstyle and you won’t feel the need to grab a heat tool the next morning to fix your hair. Also try rocking a head wrap the next day to let your hair rest from styling.

PHOTO veepeejay

Read: EClark6's Ultimate Twist-Out Guide

army regulation hairRecent changes to the U.S. Army’s AR 670-1 have sparked a lot of discussions, especially in the natural hair community. According to The Stream, the U.S. Army has made changes regarding grooming and appearance in the AR 670-1 that took effect on March 31, 2013. These changes involve banning hairstyles such as dreadlocks and twists. In addition, the U.S. Army set limitations for braids and specifies sizing and spacing measurements that are considered acceptable.  

The Stream also states that the U.S. Army’s PowerPoint presentation about these new changes was leaked on March 20th.  The presentation included images of unauthorized female hairstyles. The full AR 670-1 lists the changes and descriptions for each hairstyle.

"It's very targeted because we all know who they're talking about even though they never explicitly say the world 'black' or 'African-American.' We all know who typically wears these types of hairstyles and then they went as far as to include pictures of black women in the PowerPoint,” U.S. Army Veteran, “Tonya”, told The Stream.

However, she isn’t the only one who expressed how she felt about the new changes.  Some U.S. Army women have found that natural hairstyles are easier to maintain while performing their duties. Now, their hairstyle choices are limited. They can choose from options such as hair extensions and wigs.

army natural hair regulationSince the change, the natural hair community has voiced their thoughts about the grooming standards over the Internet, including social media networks. Sgt. Jasmine Jacobs, of the Georgia National Guard, created the White House petition asking for the U.S. Army to reconsider the changes in the grooming standards. The petition states the following:

“More than 30% of females serving in the military are of a race other than white. As of 2011, 36% of females in the U.S. stated that they are natural, or refrain from chemically processing their hair. Females with natural hair take strides to style their natural hair in a professional manner when necessary; however, changes to AR 670-1 offer little to no options for females with natural hair. In the proposed changes, unauthorized hairstyles include twists, both flat twists as well as two strand twists; as well as dreadlocks, which are defined as "any matted or locked coils or ropes of hair." These new changes are racially biased and the lack of regard for ethnic hair is apparent. This policy needs to be reviewed prior to publishing to allow for neat and maintained natural hairstyles.”

In an interview with Army Times, Jacobs stated, “I’ve been in the military six years, I’ve had my hair natural four years, and it’s never been out of regulation. It’s never interfered with my head gear.” She also stated in her interview that she “kind of at a loss now with what to do with my hair.”

The petition was created on March 20, 2014 and has received over 13,000 signatures. The petition needs 100,000 signatures by April 19, 2014 in order for the White House to make a statement about the petition.

Click here to sign the petition and make an impact on our current military hair guidelines for ethnic women.

oatmeal for hair

Yes, that’s right!

Oatmeal isn’t just a breakfast cereal that we consume before we take on the day. It also has benefits for your hair. The next time you’re searching for a new hair product or you want to try something new with your homemade treatments, look for oatmeal and see the benefits for yourself.

Strength & Length

It can strengthen and help you maintain a healthy length.

Oatmeal can cause the hair to become more elastic which can prevent damage. As curlies, we are constantly manipulating our hair by using a comb or even braiding our hair. We need our hair to be elastic so it doesn’t snap. Oatmeal can be an ingredient in your daily strengthening conditioning treatment.  A strengthening conditioning treatment is necessary and can contribute to healthy curls. Daily use of oatmeal can lead to length retention and help you reach your hair goals.

Stop Itch

It can soothe an itchy scalp.

Think about it, oatmeal can used to treat dry and itchy skin. It’s also a popular ingredient for oatmeal bathes to help treat the chicken pox. It works so well on dry skin, of course it can help relieve a dry and itchy scalp! Oatmeal is a natural moisturizer and regular use can help treat a dry and itchy scalp. Also, if you’re having issues with dandruff, oatmeal is an ingredient that you should incorporate in your hair regimen.  Massage your scalp with your favorite homemade oatmeal treatment. Not only are you circulating blood flow in your scalp, you’re also exfoliating dead skin cells. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a great scent!


It moisturizes and softens your mane.

Lastly, oatmeal is also moisturizing.  It contains vitamin B and penetrates the hair which allows moisture retention. Oatmeal contains Polysaccharides which makes the hair soft. Even though we’re almost finished with the colder months, a moisturizing treatment should be stable for a curly girl’s regimen.  After using an oatmeal moisturizing treatment, seal moisture with your favorite leave in conditioner, oil, butter, or curl cream.


Don't want it in your hair? Just eat it!

Not interested in these ways of adding oatmeal to your hair regimen?  Do it the old fashioned way and eat a nutritious bowl of oatmeal. Just because you choose the old fashioned way of receiving your oatmeal benefits, it doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Add your favorite fruit topping! You’ll still receive benefits that will help you maintain healthy locks.


If you'd rather use a hair product with oat properties in it, try one of these curly girl faves:


MORE: 3 Steps to a Drama-Free Wash Day

Many curlies have a range of different curl patterns and textures in their hair. It’s more common than you think!

The multiple textures can cause a curly girl to be confused and unsure of the proper hair care for them. These textures can be difficult to manage and make you realize that certain things may not work for certain textures of your hair. The following tips can help you better manage the multiple textures in your hair. 

QUIZ: What's My Curl Pattern?

Pay attention to texture

This can help you realize what type of hair care those textures will need. This leads to the best hair care regimen for your curls. Paying attention to what your hair needs can help you learn more about your hair. Neglecting certain textures that you’re not familiar with can cause damage to your hair. It may take some time to get accustomed to, but it will help you learn how to properly take care of those textures. During moisturizing and detangling sessions, section your hair in manageable sections. This allows you to pay attention to areas of the hair and to notice what certain sections need.

Apply product accordingly

Some sections may need a heavier hair product to cause the hair to hang and to blend in with loose textures of your hair. Those with areas of tighter curls may need extra moisture and a butter sealant than those with loose curls. In addition, you may need more patience with detangling more coarse areas of the hair than more loose areas. This can help you select particular products and routines for your hair care regimen and make you aware of areas that you have to pay a little more attention to.

Style for consistency

Styles such as wet sets, rod sets, twist outs, and braid outs can help blend the multiple textures. For some, the difference in curl pattern (and therefore length due to shrinkage) can be severeThese styles can allow more consistency and won’t make the multiple textures as noticeable.

For loose curl patterns, try a twist out and rod the ends with a perm rod. Even though the hair is loose, the tight curly ends can help blend in with the other textures of your hair. In addition, up-do styles allow you to tuck in your hair. These protective styles minimize the exposure of your textures and will be easier to manage.

Acceptance is the first step

While learning to better manage multiple textures of your hair, acceptance is one of the best ways to manage them. The many curl patterns can cause frustration and leave you puzzled, but always remember they are yours and no one has the exact same texture as you do. Our textured curls are what make us stand out! Embrace your many textures and love them. Your textured tresses are one of the many things that make you so special and unique.

MORE: Do You Have Multiple Curl Personalities?

The Denman Brush is a very popular detangling tool among the curly community, but it has also been known to be a controversial topic. It is used mainly to detangle natural Type 3c and Type 4 hair when wet.

Many curlies rave about the way a Denman can cut down their detangling time, and it also works to evenly distribute product in curly hair. In addition, the brush helps achieve curl definition.

However, as with any tool or product one size does not fit all. Some curlies find that the brush pulls out too much hair, and others have experienced frizz. Furthermore, the Denman has a higher price point than other brushes, ranging between the $10-$19. 

So is a Denman Brush better than a regular brush?

It depends on your detangling preference.

Many curlies view the right detangling tool as an investment, and if you want to focus on curl definition and decreasing your detangling time, then a Denman may be for you. There are a variety of Denman Brushes to choose from, though it’s best to purchase a brush that uses 5-7 rows of bristles.

If the brush snags your hair, all is not lost! Don't be discouraged if the brush doesn't live up to your expectations on the first try, you may just need to modify the brush to suit your curls. Many naturalistas remove every other row of bristles to create what is known as a "modified Denman." Also, be sure that you are using the brush slowly to avoid unnecessary hair pulling.

Prefer a cheaper alternative? Try generic brushes, wide tooth combs, and (the cheapest option) finger detangling.

Detangling must-have

No matter what tool you choose for your detangling session, it’s essential to use a conditioner with “slip.” This allows the tool to easily slide through your hair.

While detangling, start from the end of your hair and slowly work your way to the root. Create sections and twist your detangled hair as you go to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Lastly, take your time while detangling your hair. Always schedule your detangling session on a day when you’re not in a rush to be anywhere. Rushing this process can cause hair breakage and pulling.

MORE: Must-Have Detanglers for Curly Hair

It happens often, you spend time styling your wet hair for it to eventually shrink up to a shorter length. You may feel frustrated because you want to show off the length that you worked hard for. Shrinkage is normal for curlies, especially those with Type 3 and 4 curls. These tips can reduce shrinkage with hair.

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