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Loc Maintenance

by HealthyLocs on August 19, 2014

Maintenance for natural African American hair is important. We take pride in our hair, and the best way to show how much we love our natural locs is to develop some type of hair maintenance routine. Now, we can search Google all day and watch many YouTube natural hair gurus break down their hair regimen; however, I’ve learned over the years that what works for  some may not work for most, so it may take some trial and error to get a maintenance routine that works best for you. No matter the methods and products you use to maintain your healthy  locs, the heart of every loc maintenance routine begins with moisture.

Remember, our natural hair is a kinky garden, and with any garden you have to keep the roots moisturized. The methods in which you choose to keep your hair moisturized is completely up to you. Our hair doesn’t have to be washed everyday; however, you can retain hydration by simply keeping your scalp lubricated using your favorite natural hair friendly essential oils and conditioners. Because I’m a low maintenance kind of guy, my go-to hair pick me up is a combo of a few essential oils mixed with purified water in a spray bottle. My little concoction allows me to hydrate my scalp, all while working in my favorite oils to condition my locs. If you must wash your natural hair in between appointments, you could try co-washing..

Co-washing means to wash your hair using conditioner instead of shampoo. Co-washing your hair allows you to keep your hair clean without stripping your natural hair of the good oils that keep your locs feeling healthy and soft. Make sure to use conditioners that are natural hair-friendly and free of any ingredients that add to the build up you’re trying to lessen while cleansing your locs. Most conditioners are detanglers, so you have to be careful using conditioners with ingredients that aid in detangling your locs. Another route is to wet your scalp and locs, then saturate your head with a few essential oils, such as coconut, put your hair up in an insulating shower cap, wait for about 45 minutes to an hour, then wash as much oil out as you can. This way, your scalp is lubricated and your locs have been penetrated with enough oil; all you’re doing is washing out the excess oils. To finish off your loc maintenance is the fun step of styling, specifically protective styling.

So, you’ve gone through your tried and true hair regimen, but you’re in between appointments or you just don’t feel like trying to retwist all of your locs, what can you do? Well, there are many things you can do! Your hair is feeling lovely, clean, and soft, so you have a kinky playground to do as you wish. For me, I usually just ponytail it, then wrap it all into a tight awesome ball, then tie a durag or scarf around the rest of my dome. No fuss, no muss. I’m good to go to sleep, go to the gym, go to the store, etc. If you’re feeling inventive, go for some Bantu Knots or do a few hanging braids. Really, protective styling is all about keeping your natural hair protected from the perils of Mother Nature when you just don’t feel like letting your locs flow free, especially during those colder months. If you should want your natural locs to flow, but have some new growth that needs tending to, only re-twist the more noticeable locs, leaving the the rest as is.

Maintaining healthy locs can be simple and fun. A few key things to remember is to keep your scalp moisturized and your locs hydrated. Make sure to use essential oils or natural hair-friendly conditioners to aid in moisture retention. Keeping your hair styled in a protective manner will reduce any type of damage due to weather as well as lessen the amount of debris that may accumulate within your locs. Finally be proud that you have developed a personalized maintenance routine that suits your needs and your hair just fine.

– Kevin L. Tarver

Nyesha Samuel, Publisher/Master Loctician for healthylocsblog.com

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Best Products for Locs

by HealthyLocs on July 7, 2014

The best products for healthy locs doesn’t have to be name brand products you find at a high end beauty supply stores. Even those top products may contain not so loc-friendly ingredients may do more harm to your hair than good. You can achieve healthy locs using simple and affordable products that benefit your locs without all the extra chemical ingredients. The goal here is to work with less chemicals and additives found in those products by singling out the product’s selling point, and only using that particular ingredient. In other words, instead of buying a brand of coconut hair gel with one part coconut oil and the rest hard to pronounce chemical compounds, why not just buy 100% coconut oil from your grocery store? You get all the benefits of the coconut oil without worrying about other ingredients that work against your hair and health. Also, you’ll probably end up getting more for your money with a product that will last longer than the little tub or bottle that costs around the same price.

 

You can find a majority of these products at your local grocery store, your farmers market, your pharmacy/health food store, or you may even find these products in the cabinets of your own home. What’s even better is that many of these products can be used all over your body. Again, the best products for African American natural hair are minimally processed with no harmful chemicals added that will add any further build up to your locked hair. Axe the wax, my friends! No sulfates, please. Locs may be considered dead hair, but you’re very much alive, so keep the formaldehyde for those going to meet Glory. Your overall health is what makes for healthy locs, so always read the ingredients of any natural hair product before purchasing. Better yet, why not just buy your own ingredients and create a concoction that is chemical free and great for your natural hair?

The following details below are items I have found in places like the ones listed above. Most are affordable and simple to use on your hair. It’s broken down into these categories: oils, butters, and cleansers.

Oils

Oils are plentiful, many offering the same benefits; however, they work even better when combined with one another or other essential oils. You can use these products to condition your natural hair. No worry about much build up, and when mixed with purified water in a spray bottle, you have the best moisturizing hair refresher in town! Check out some of the following oils below. These are just a few out of the many oils that will keep your locs healthy.

● Coconut oil – Penetrates and conditions your locs, leaving them smooth and soft.

● Olive oil – Aids in retaining moisture as well as keeping the outer locs protected and shiny.

● Almond oil – Provides good vitamins and good fats that’ll aid in strengthening your locs, and it may also aid in hair growth. If it can do wonders for your body, imagine the good it can do for your natural hair.

● Tea tree oil – Helps eliminate dandruff with its antifungal and antiseptic properties because it refreshes and cleanses your scalp. If nothing else, always keep a bottle in your cabinet. A few drops in a spray bottle of purified water goes a mighty long way.

● Jamaican castor oil – Boosts natural hair growth in those spots that just don’t seem to ill in; however, it takes time and patience. If you can wait for your hair to loc, then you should have no problem waiting on those edges to come to form. Your edges will be happy!

Butters

When you think of butters for natural hair, only two may stick out. One is shea butter and the other is cocoa butter. These butters are versatile when purchased raw. They can be whipped, melted, and blended with some of the essential oils listed above. A little bit goes a long way when used correctly. Keep in mind that since both butters get clumpy when solidified, build up in your locs will occur, so use caution when handling these products. Most people use these butters as twisting agents for their locs. Bonus to these butters is that they benefit your skin in so many ways. Stretch marks be gone!

Cleansers

You don’t need shampoo full of parabens and sulfates when you can use natural cleansers that get the job done just as well without the hard to pronounce chemicals stealing the spotlight. Also, these cleansers are a bit more gentle on the hair and scalp. For example, castile soap is a gentle, multi-purpose cleanser. You can also use black soap as well. For tougher jobs, when gunky build up takes over your locs, you may opt to do an apple cider vinegar cleanse. This method goes different ways. Some saturate their scalp and locs with ACV, wait a few minutes, then wash it all out using castile soap. Others use a combo of ACV and baking soda in a sink or tub of water, then soak their locs until squeaky clean. Consequently, all this acid will strip your hair of all oils, and possibly color if your hair is dyed. I would only recommend this method if you’re transitioning away from using waxes to twist your locs or any other product that has caused too much build up in your natural hair. Also, only do this at most twice a year, and be sure to follow up this cleansing with a deep conditioning using a combination of the oils mentioned.

Healthy African American hair can be achieved using many of these products, while hopefully saving you a few bucks. These products can last for quite a while and are usually not hard to find. Switch it up from time to time to see which products work best for you. The good thing about trying each product is that you KNOW what’s going in your natural hair, so there’s no need to worry about any damaging effects on your overall health. Tell me, what products or ingredients do you consider best for your locs?

– Kevin L. Tarver

Nyesha Samuel, Publisher/Master Loctician for healthylocsblog.com

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My Loc Extension Journey

by HealthyLocsMay 2, 2014

We all know how fun, or not so fun, it can be transitioning our loose natural tresses to a fully loc’d form. It takes a lot of hard work, and most importantly, it takes patience. However, with everything in life, we tend to want things instantly with little to no hassle whatsoever. Basically, if we […]

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The Essentials You Need: Natural Hair Tools Of The Trade

by HealthyLocsApril 16, 2014

So you’re loving your natural hair, but it could do well to have a little daily moisture and maintenance to keep it as fabulous as possible. Well consider our natural hair care essentials list the next time you head to the beauty supply store. Remember a small batch of products sure does go a long […]

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Natural pain relievers are underused for chronic muscular pain and joint problems

by HealthyLocsMarch 25, 2014

Many conditions associated with chronic pain involve the musculoskeletal system.  Myofascial problems and joint swelling are chief among them.  There are several forms of arthritis that can lead to debilitating pain in all areas of the spine, as well as the various joints of the arms and legs. Joint pain, myofascial pain, arthritic pain and […]

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Sea lettuce may help fight prostate cancer

by HealthyLocsMarch 24, 2014

Men are generally very fearful of being hit with prostate cancer. The American Cancer Society notes that other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer which American men suffer from. Approximately one man in six will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Doctors Health Press reported on Sept. 30, 2013,“The Weird Thing That […]

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Love for Nyraju !

by HealthyLocsMarch 17, 2014

Big thank you to one of my clients Belinda for this glowing review of our Nyraju hair care products !  If you have used our  products (hair care, skin care or body care) and would like to share your story, please email me at healthylocs@yahoo.com and include a photo Healthy Scalp, Healthy Locs Nyesha Samuel, […]

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We need books celebrating black kids’ hair!

by HealthyLocsMarch 13, 2014

African-American children’s books are a growing area of publishing, but we need even more selections for this burgeoning market — particularly black children’s books that celebrate black kids’ hair. Why? A harrowing experience was inflicted on my son when we tried to access basic black children’s hair care services — at a black establishment. The day […]

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Breastfeeding support scarce in Black communities

by HealthyLocsMarch 13, 2014

Very few of the maternity wards that have won a seal of approval for providing breastfeeding support are located in communities with a significant population of African Americans, a Women’s eNews analysis finds. Breast milk is the most local of all foods and one that can have an outsized impact on the health of mothers […]

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Natural ways to get rid of back pain

by HealthyLocsMarch 13, 2014

As a person with scoliosis this article definitely hit home for me. I’m going to try some of their suggestions and see if they help. Leave a comment and let me know what you think Regardless of whether you suffer from chronic back pain or just feel it sometimes, a change in lifestyle could help […]

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