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When I was first introduced to shea butter by a friend, it was presented to me as the "and all be all" hair care product right up there with coconut oil. I've been using it on my hair lately and it has inspired me to write about it. A few questions came to mind: What is shea butter? Where does it come from? How can it be used?
After some extensive research, I found that shea butter is defined as a fatty substance obtained from the nuts of the shea tree, used chiefly in cosmetic skin preparations. Shea trees are found in East and West tropical Africa. The shea butter comes from two oily kernels within the shea tree seed. After the kernel is removed from the seed, it is ground into a powder and boiled in water. The butter then rises to the top of the water and becomes solid.
According to WebMD, shea butter can be used for just about anything skin related from eczema to acne. So, how did shea butter become a go to hair care product? Our scalp is skin that needs to be nourished too. A healthy scalp can produce beautiful kinky, coily, and curly hair.
Before I began using shea butter, I looked for content on how I could best use it for my own hair. To remedy my dry hair woes, I use shea butter as my cream in my L.O.C. (liquid, oil, cream) method. I personally like to cut out extra steps when doing my hair, so I mix my oils with the butter. The butter act as a carrier for the oils. Shea butter helps to lock the oils deeper into my hair and roots. I've really been loving the results; my hair stays moisturized longer, feels soft and looks healthy.
Have you used shea butter in your hair care regimen? What were/are your results?
Ria's Beauty Collection is a local brand of whipped shea butter here in my hometown! Check them out on Amazon Handmade for their handcrafted products.
Cierra - AKA Accessory Diva
Hi Accented Glory Fam! Do you have a hair goal for 2018? Do you want to take better care of your hair in the new year? If you answered YES to at least one of these questions, I want to invite you to join Accented Glory's Hair Goal Challenge! The challenge is taking place in our Facebook natural hair group Accented Glory Naturals. Below is a quick video that outlines the structure of our group challenge. Click here to join the challenge and let's make 2018 an Epic Year!
Tonya - Visionary of Accented Glory
Our visionary, Tonya Cross, is now a regular contributor to Dear Curl Friend. Dear Curl Friend is a digital platform for women to connect about their natural hair and receive beauty tips. See excerpt from her article below titled "4 Tips For A Healthy Scalp".
In 2014, the Accented Glory Naturals Facebook group hosted a healthy scalp challenge. Healthy scalp is the foundation of healthy hair. Like a vegetable garden needs good soil to produce good crops; a healthy scalp yields healthy hair.
Properly caring for your scalp can also be beneficial for your overall health. Scalp care is relaxing and relieves tension. Check out 4 questions at Dear Curl Friend that we answered for our Facebook group members from the challenge!
Our visionary continues to provide advice to fellow naturals. She shares 4 tips for maintaining your summertime protective styles. Click AOV to submit a question to her and she'll answer your question in a blog post on Accessory Diva!
Summertime is upon us! During this time of year, many naturals choose low maintenance hairstyle options known as protective styles. Protective styles give naturals the luxury of not having to style their hair daily. This frees up time when preparing to go out and gives natural hair a break from the pulling and tugging that comes from regularly styling your hair.
Two of the most popular protective styles are braids and twists. Thanks to innovation, many naturals can now opt for crochet braids or twists that are time savers when creating these protective styles. Below are some tips on how to keep your braids and twists looking fresh while keeping your hair healthy.
1. Cover your hair before going to bed. Using a satin bonnet or wrap is a staple step in natural hair nighttime routine. A loc cap (pocket bonnet) works best for braids and twists so you can have full coverage of hair.
Click above photo or caption to view a pocket bonnet on Amazon! Read here for affiliates disclosure.
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2. Moisturize your scalp and hair with water and oil 2 to 3 times a week. Want to save time? You can use a spray bottle to apply water and your favorite oil at the same time by simply mixing the two together in the bottle. Just remember to shake the bottle well before applying to your hair to ensure oil/water mixture blends thoroughly.
3. You can also wash your hair while it's braided and twisted. It's important to remember to dilute your products (shampoo, conditioner, etc.) with water to ensure products rinse out easily. To dry your twist and braids, you should squeeze water from strands with a towel. Doing this helps you to avoid frizz.
4. If your edges begin to get frizzy before you're ready to fully let go of your protective style, you can redo or request to have rows closest to edges redone by a stylist with single braids or twists. Another option is to simply use a headband to cover your frizzy edges especially if you have a crochet protective style. Accented Glory's headbands are perfect for the job!
Executing these quick tips will greatly assist in maintaining your summertime protective style, so you can spend less time styling your natural tresses and more time enjoying fun in the sun.
Tonya - Accented Glory Visionary
What other tips would you add to maintaining your summertime protective style?
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Click here to purchase our styling with hair accessory guide!
Our visionary has answered another question from "Ask Our Visionary"! Check out her recommends to a fellow natural that's experiencing a thinning hairline. Click AOV to submit a question to her and she'll answer your question in a blog post on Accessory Diva!
I'm getting some great questions from AOV! A fellow natural asked how can she avoid and resolve thinning edges. Assuming that a medical condition or medication is not her culprit; below is my advice to her.
Too Tight - Too tight hairstyles can wreak havoc on your edges. Braid/twist protective styles can put stress on your hairline. Thanks to innovation, braid/twist crochet styles are replacing traditional styling techniques and cause less stress to hairline. Too tight hair accessories can be bad news for your hairline as well. Many naturals use tight fitting hair accessories to lay down their hair. I recommend using hair gel to achieve this look instead of too tight accessories.
Uncover - Regularly wearing hats, wigs, or headwraps can also wear out your edges. I recommend taking breaks to avoid placing on going stress around your hairline. In addition, your scalp also needs to breathe. A sweaty scalp can be breeding ground for fungi. Uncovering avoids this and a healthy scalp is the foundation for healthy hair.
Black Castor Oil - I have had much success with black castor oil for thinning hair and highly recommend it. This oil is known to stimulate hair growth and repair damaged hair. You simply massage the oil into your scalp with your finger tips. Massaging your scalp also stimulates hair growth.
Click above photo or caption to view my favorite black castor oil on Amazon! Read here for affiliates disclosure.
I'm team "Save The Edges"! I welcome opportunities to encourage fellow naturals to take the necessary steps to minimize damage to their tresses. So remember, avoid too tight hairstyles/accessories, take breaks from covering hair, and restore thinning hair with black castor oil!
Tonya - Accented Glory Visionary
Feel free to comment below with any additional advice you would like to add!
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Since being natural I have been able to love and appreciate myself more! I have learned to love my hair for what it is - kinky, coily and a little frizzy! It has been an awesome journey learning my hair and making the right choices to bring my hair to its healthiest. Though I have had some difficult moments with my hair, overall being natural is the best thing I could have done for my hair - it is healthier, thicker, longer and stronger and the last time I recall my hair like this, I was a young child. Then, I did not really appreciate my hair type but now I have embraced its uniqueness. I know to some, maybe many, it's "just hair" but being able to truly love and accept my hair has boosted my confidence and creativity and I'm excited to be able to encourage others to experience this journey as well!
Morgan (Instagram: The4cProject)
Being natural my entire life has given me the opportunity to experience versatility in hairstyle choices over the years and especially in most recent times. However, I can easily recall when salons were inundated with Cosmetologists providing a variety of hair relaxers/perms, hair straighteners and chemical treatments to their clients and being natural was rare.
Growing up, I was happy that I didn't experience the horror stories that my friends shared about scalp irritation, head sores, chemical burns or hair breakage after they acquired a relaxer or chemical treatment. However, I have been burned a few times on my ear and scalp by the notorious pressing comb. During those times, being natural provided me with a uniqueness that heightened my self-esteem. Possessing natural hair wasn't the norm and I liked being different.
I take a holistic approach to my health and being natural is part of it. I love looking for healthier alternatives for my hair, skin and food intake. Products/ chemicals that we put on our hair and scalp, over time, in addition to the food we eat, can negatively/positively impact our overall health and appearance of our hair. Natural hair responds well to the organic oils in my kitchen and I love it! Being natural, though not always popular, has truly been a blessing and I am thankful for my mother passing the torch from her mother to be natural and stay natural.
Even though the process of washing and styling my hair has increased in time, I feel my hair is much healthier. I also feel like my skin looks better without the relaxer chemicals being applied to my scalp. I get complimented much more on my hair now then I did when it was relaxed.
Growing up I always wanted a relaxer. It was not until high school that I got my very first perm! Boy was I happy about the outcome but not the process at all.
After years of relaxing my hair...it was not until 2005 that I had a reality check. Taking medications and being diagnosed with lupus, I knew I had to make some changes. Getting rid of chemicals in my hair was the first one on the list.
I have not regretted it one bit and I have embraced my natural hair with pride. In fact, I have received more compliments being natural than when I was relaxed. My hair is fuller, longer and healthier than ever before. I even have more styling options and able to save money even though I still get my hair washed and conditioned biweekly. The natural hair journey has been an awesome one for me and if I had a daughter she would be on the journey as well. I will continue to embrace what God has given me naturally.
We NOW have "Embrace Greatness"
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Regaining and maintaining hairline edges is all the “buzz” in the natural hair community. As Naturals, we must be mindful when choosing hair accessories to protect our hairline. We don’t want to choose accessories that can damage our hair. Accented Glory’s blog series of best hair accessory features for Naturals will assist in choosing proper accents.
We all desire those “fleek” edges with the baby hair and lying flat. Often time we use too tight ties, bands, or scrunchies to achieve this look, all along causing damage to our hairline. Unfortunately, hair accessories get a bad rap because we choose to wear too tight styles.
How do you know if your hair accessory is a proper fit? It doesn’t hurt. Your hair accessory should not cause pain or headaches; it should be a comfortable fit. Our adjustable headbands at our online store allows you to control the tension. You avoid headband headaches and protect your edges with our hair accessory design. With Accented Glory’s designs you can be stylish without pain and keep your edges.
Cierra has been a part of Accented Glory since its launch in June 2013. Outside of being an "Accessory Diva", she's a college graduate who desires to pursue a career in law.