Articles By Jenell Stewart

Oils are great for your hair and skin in more ways than many curlies understand. We all love oils because they seal in the moisture and add shine to our coils, but hair oils have much greater benefits than they sometimes get credit for.



Woman smiling with big coily afro and hands behind her head

Clean hair is happy hair, and happy hair grows long, strong and healthy. Cleansing your hair removes dirt and grime particles that end up in your hair during day-to-day activities and removes the residue left from your favorite products. Not cleansing your hair can lead to product buildup, itchy scalp, lackluster and weighed down hair.

There are a few cleansing options we coily-haired girls can use to give us clean, happy and healthy hair. Shampooing your hair is the traditional form of cleansing. You can also follow a no-poo regimen to cleanse your hair. Experimenting with homemade recipes can give you clean happy hair as well.

Shampoo

Shampoo is a hair care product used for the removal of oils, dirt, skin particles, dandruff, environmental pollutants and other contaminant particles that gradually build up in hair. The goal is to remove the unwanted build-up without stripping out so much sebum as to make hair unmanageable. For coily girls, shampoo doesn’t always achieve this goal which leads some of us to follow a no-poo regimen. I shampoo a few times a month with SheaMoisture shampoos. Their shampoos are sulfate free, ultra moisturizing and very affordable. When I want a moisture boost, I use the SheaMoisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo.

No-Poo

No-Poo simply means, not using shampoo. Another word for this is co-washing, which is how we coily girls refer to the conditioner only wash method. A co-wash is easy to do, just wash your hair with conditioner instead of shampoo. It sounds really bizarre and it may take you some time to wrap your head around how is it that a product that is meant to restore and add moisture to your hair can also cleanse your hair at the same time. The simple explanation is that most commercial conditioners have mild detergents in them, meaning that your conditioner is capable of cleaning your hair. However, if you’ve recently used gels or products with silicones, petroleum, mineral oil or lanolin, then you may want to use shampoo to effectively cleanse your hair first, because conditioners just don’t have the same cleansing power as a shampoo.

Homemade Recipes

If you open your pantry and fridge, aside from finding options to ease your growling stomach, there are many healthy hair staples. Some of  your food items can double as a homemade hair cleanser. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a common food item often used on hair to help clarify the hair and rid it of build up caused by the use of hair products and natural elements we encounter on a daily basis.

Baking soda, mixed with warm water (a teaspoon to one pint of water) can cleanse your coils much like a shampoo. It can also help clarify your hair from all the unneccessary build up. This is a great option for coily girls with extremely oily hair.

Similar to conditioner, ACV and baking soda have limitations in their cleansing abilities. The health of your hair relies partially on how clean your scalp and hair are. Make an informed decision about how to cleanse your coils and how often to do it. You should cleanse often enough to keep your scalp healthy and hair free of buildup, but not too often so that your coils can flourish with enough of their natural oils.

How do you cleanse your coils?


Whether your hair is curly, coily, or wavy, you will probably have a love hate relationship with establishing and keeping up a hair regimen. But let me just tell you that if healthy long hair is something you're longing for, then you better get your regimen together ASAP.

What is a regimen?

According to Dictionary.com, the word regimen means, “a systematic way of life or course of therapy.” What this means in terms of hair is creating a system to care for your hair that you follow on a schedule.

Why should I have one?

The greatest benefit of establishing a regimen is the positive effect it can have on your hair. Your hair needs care and lots of it. A regimen gives you a plan of action to follow when caring for your hair. A good hair regimen gives your hair exactly what it needs – moisture.

How do I create a hair regimen?

Every curly will have a different regimen because our hair is different and has different needs. Another reason why our regimens will differ is because our lifestyles are all very different. However, whether you're transitioning to natural, are newly natural, or have been natural for years, there are basic steps we all need in a regimen.

  1. Shampoo: The detergents in shampoo break down oils that accumulate into tiny droplets on our hair. Once broken down, water can rinse the oil as well as dust, flakes of skin and dirt out of the hair and down the drain. The detergents used in shampoos are able to access and clean tiny crevices found in hair, the hair shaft and scalp by reducing the surface tension of the water.
  2. Condition: Hair conditioners contain different types of moisturizing and softening ingredients that make hair softer, shinier and glossier. The main ingredients include moisturizers, fatty oils, surfactants, glossers, thermal protectors, detanglers and lubricants. Most of these ingredients such as moisturizers and fatty oils coat the hair with humectants that lock in moisture and prevent the hair from becoming dry and brittle. Conditioned hair tends to be shinier, bouncier, softer and sleeker.
  3. Moisturize: The key to moisturizing your hair is to drink water — lots of it! In addition to drinking lots of water you should include topical moisturizers and oils to soften, seal and add shine to your hair.

How often should I follow my regimen?

Follow your regimen on a weekly schedule, but also create a daily schedule to care for your hair. Your weekly regimen would include the whole enchilada, from washing, to conditioning and moisturizing. Your daily regimen will focus on moisture and protection, whereas your weekly regimen will focus more on cleaning. Decide on how you plan to moisturize your hair in the morning or at night. Come up with a night time plan to keep your hair from drying out and to keep it from becoming tangled.

Final Thoughts

When starting a new regimen, I would suggest sticking to it for a few weeks to give your hair enough time to respond to the changes. Don’t change it, tweak it or switch it up at all. After a few weeks, evaluate the state of your hair and then decide on what new products and methods should be introduced.

 


Try boho hairstyles if you're looking for another quick and easy hairstyle that can work for being casual or for an effortless look for a night out. You won't need a lot of tools or products for this one either. Just grab some bobby pins and clips or hairbands to hold back your hair while you style, watch this tutorial and get started!

Twisted Boho Hairstyle

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Get more tips and tricks for your curls, coils and waves on NaturallyCurly’s YouTube channel.

 


Want a new look with a throw-back twist? Take your look from day to night, from casual to sophisticated with this modern-inspired 40s hairstyle! All you need for this easy, quick hairstyle is your curls, coils and some bobby pins.

How to do a 40s Hairstyle

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Get more tips and tricks for your curls, coils and waves on NaturallyCurly’s YouTube channel.

 


Need a quick updo for a night out or another hairstyle to try on a tired twist out? Look no further! Jenell demonstrates how she creates a fun and easy look that you can add to your hairstyle arsenal!

Funky Roll, Tuck & Pin with Bangs

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Get more tips and tricks for your curls, coils and waves on NaturallyCurly’s YouTube channel.

 


Are you worried about your slow hair growth? Does it seem like everyone else’s hair is growing faster than yours? What gives? Have you evaluated your diet?

It would be nice if the solution to the health and growth of our hair was bottled up in some miracle-working product that you could find at your local beauty supply store, but it’s not about what we put on our tresses that counts — it’s about the overall way we take care of ourselves. Did you know that there are many foods that stimulate hair growth by providing your body with vitamins, minerals and many nutrients? Improving your diet will boost the health of your hair, encourage growth and the rest of your body will benefit as well.

Improve Your Diet

The foundation of all new hair growth is the nutrients that we eat. For maximum hair growth and health, step out of the bathroom and into the kitchen. Now, let’s be real — if you were born with fine, thin hair, you’ll never have super thick hair no matter what you eat. But a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of growth-promoting protein and iron can make a difference. Eat more beans — they are a great source of biotin, which is known to combat hair loss and promote the growth of healthy hair. Incorporate leafy, green vegetables into your diet. They are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, which work together to produce sebum. By keeping hair conditioned, sebum prevents hair from breaking off so that it can grow longer. Nuts are a natural source of zinc, a mineral that promotes scalp health, which in turn can help hair grow longer faster.

When it comes to healthy hair, what we put IN our bodies is just as important as what we put ON our hair. Many of the nutrients essential to healthy hair are found in fruits and vegetables. But, why worry about if produce is in season or not? Frankly, “fresh” fruits and vegetables aren’t always fresh. By this time that out of season fruit or vegetable has traveled hundreds of miles to your grocer’s shelves, the nutritional value has greatly diminished or disappeared.

Eat Fresh Foods

When it comes to healthy
hair, what we put IN our bodies
is just as important as what
we put ON our hair.

The advantages of seasonal eating are that you eat foods that are picked when they are ripe or very close to the peak of ripening. They spend less time on their way to the supermarket, so they are at their optimal nutritional value. It is also budget-friendly, because you buy the food without the shipping cost.

  • Asparagus: Asparagus is rich in protein, vitamin C, vitamin A, and folic acid. It also contains fiber and iron. Asparagus stimulates hair production and is also a good source of silicon for healthy hair. vitamin E also works toward healthy hair and can be found in asparagus.
  • Broccoli: Ounce for ounce, broccoli contains more vitamin C than an orange. Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, which your body needs to produce sebum. Vitamin C is great for your hair as it aids in circulation to your scalp.
  • Collard Greens: Collard greens are an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, iron, copper, and calcium. Incorporating these greens will give your body the extra boost it needs, and in turn allows you to improve the chances of growing hair.
  • Honeydew: Deficiencies in folic acid can cause hair loss, so it is vital to hair growth that you consume folic acid in your diet. Honeydew melons contain folic acid.
  • Mango: Ripe mangos hold the largest amount of beta carotene. Mangos contain sources of vitamin E, which improves circulation to the scalp by enhancing oxygen uptake.

Final thoughts

The list of foods that will help your hair and body could go on and on. These are just a few of my favorites. The most important lesson here is that you understand the importance of your health for the growth your hair.

Are you on a healthy hair diet? What healthy hair habits do you practice?

 


If you're running out of ways to easily freshen up your look for a night out or just for fun, this is for you! For a quick and simple style to change up your twist out or coily fro, check out Jenell's flat twist headband tutorial.

Quick & Easy Flat Twist Crown Headband

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Get more tips and tricks for your curls, coils and waves on NaturallyCurly’s YouTube channel.

 


Are you looking for a quick style to freshen up your day look for a night out or a special occasion? Don't have a lot of time to do it? No problem. Jenell shows us how to do this quick, sophisticated, French roll hairstyle with some bobby pins and a 3-day-old braid out!

French Roll Hair with Bobby pins

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Get more tips and trick for your curls, coils and waves on NaturallyCurly’s YouTube channel.


Jenell Stewart

Are you an easy-going girl with a simple regimen? Or are you really high maintenance and your hair is no exception? Regardless of how much time you have or don’t have for your hair, hair oils are amazing additions to any healthy hair regimen. If you aren’t sure which oils work best or give the best results, I highly suggest you add these three to your arsenal.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is made up of a class of saturated fatty acids, which help in smoothing the scalp and keeping it soft. A moisturized scalp promotes hair growth because then there are no dead or dry skin cells to clog the hair follicle. Coconut oil can also help reduce hair breakage because the oil adds to the strength of hair shaft. This is a particular benefit if you have dry hair. When hair breakage is reduced, there is a good chance of the hair reaching longer lengths and growing healthily. Due to its benefits, coconut oil is used as one of the primary ingredients in many of hair care products.

Coconut oil is a staple in my hair regimen, because it treats my hair like a Princess, gives me amazing shine and smells like an exotic island. When shopping for coconut oil, be sure to get unrefined coconut oil with no additives or other ingredients. You can get large quantities of coconut oil at a low cost.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Pure Argan oil for hair does not come cheap, but its effects are nothing short of spectacular. Many problems such as dry hair, rough hair, dull hair and frizzy hair can be solved with the use of this wonder oil.

Extra virgin oil is rich in high levels of mono-unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which is good for hair growth. Both mono-unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E are good for moisturizing, protecting and nourishing hair. Olive oil makes hair grow stronger and its emollient properties prevent hair loss. If that’s not enough, olive oil helps in battling dandruff, which can be one of the reasons for hair loss. Olive oil doesn’t re-grow your hair, it just makes the existing hair stronger which leads to less breakage.

I’ve enjoyed using extra virgin olive oil in my pre-poo treatment and also for hot oil treatments. This oil coats the hair very well, and when coupled with conditioner, leaves my freshly washed hair feeling extremely soft. When used daily, I find that it leaves my hair feeling greasy.

Argan Oil

Pure Argan oil for hair does not come cheap, but its effects are nothing short of spectacular. Many problems such as dry hair, rough hair, dull hair and frizzy hair can be solved with the use of this wonder hair oil. It is rich in vitamin E and contains omega 3 and omega 9 fatty acids that provide nutrition for hair. In addition to these, it also contains Linoleic and oleic acid that helps to hydrate and moisturize hair.

Argan oil is able to penetrate the hair shaft and repair damaged hair follicles. It is immediately absorbed by the hair and it restores the lost moisture. It increases shine of lackluster, dry hair by locking in the moisture. One of the greatest things about argan oil is that it is non-greasy, and won't weigh down hair or make it limp. It is ideal for taming rough, dry, frizzy and unmanageable hair. Since it is light and almost weightless, there is less probability of build up. It restores the lost luster from too much hair straightening and other chemical treatments, helps keep the color vibrant and to prevent dryness in color treated hair, acts as a shield from harmful UV rays and protects the hair from environmental pollution.

Argan oil is very effective for hair growth, but it is very expensive. If you can get your hands on pure argan oil, go for it. It’s a great investment. I love rubbing argan oil on my hair before taking down my twists because it goes on smooth as silk and gives my hair amazing shine.

These are just three of the many oils that are great for you hair. You can use them solo or mix them for a luxurious oil blend.

Are ready to go on out and get some oil, or do you already have some in your cupboard? 



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