Sleeping Beauty

If you’ve ever gone on an overnight trip with a Black girl (or if you’re in a relationship with one), then you know that she’s not hitting the sack until she’s tied her hair up with her beloved hair tie.  As I mentioned in a previous postthe head tie is a Black girl’s most prized possession– for a number of different reasons- one of which is to keep her hairstyle intact while she’s sleeping.  But in case you didn’t know already, wearing a head tie also protects Black hair from breakage caused by tossing and turning on cotton pillowcases.

red_and_blue_bandannasI grew up tying my hair down with a cotton bandanna and/or a nylon stocking cap, which I now know are big natural hair no-nos! Cotton absorbs the moisture and oils from natural hair, leaving it dry, and subject to breakage; while nylon stocking caps can snag your hair if they are too tight, and can also damage your edges. In any case, by the time I got to undergrad, I had graduated to sleeping with a (much more sophisticated) satin-y bonnet (I say “satin-y” because it was actually one of those polyester ones from the Black beauty store). And ever since then, it’s been all about the bonnet (thanks, Spelman sisters!); I only really opt for the head tie when I’m trying to keep my frizzies down for a sleeker look.

Note: I know many ladies complain about their bonnets falling off at night; so, try to find one that is snug enough to stay on, but not so tight as to damage your hair.

20160914_160131 However, before I got married, I often wondered what my husband was going to think about my beloved bonnet.  After all, a bonnet that makes you look like Mother Goose is not exactly the sexiest thing in the world…but, then again, neither is having damaged hair!  Thankfully, my husband never let the bonnet bother him, lol; but for those times when I’m feeling extra romantic, I have discovered a better alternative: a satin or silk pillowcase (that way, I can protect my tresses and preserve my sexy at the same time!)

For the longest time, I had been using (again) a cheap polyester one from the Black hair store…

 

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Those lint balls alone show how gentle this cheap stuff can be on your hair…

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…but I decided to invest in a real silk one (from London Ivy Products), and I don’t think I could ever go back- it feels so good!

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Also, apparently, sleeping on silk is not only good for your hair, it’s good for your skin, tooso, double-win!   

I believe every queen should protect her crown! Black hair is fragile and therefore requires tender loving care; so, remember to be gentle with your hair, even when you’re in bed, Sleeping Beauty! Avoid cotton and nylon, and treat yourself to some silk or satin- trust me, your hair (and skin) will thank you!

If you’re looking for real satin bonnets, check out: Earthtones Naturals – Satin Bonnets

Or if you prefer silk pillowcases, check out: London Ivy Products – Silk Pillowcases

How do you preserve your beauty while you sleep?

 

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Rehydrated, and it feels so good!

20160103_175408It’s been a week now since I completed the Earthtones Naturals’ 7 Day Rehydration Challenge, and I’m pleased to report that my super-hard-dry-breaking hair is now rehydrated, and it feels so good! (For more on my dry hair ordeal, click here) It’s soft and supple again, and almost back to its original state (Thanks, Susan!)

OGX Argan Oil of MoroccoMy regimen began with a pretty involved wash day (well, “pretty involved” for a lazy natural like me, lol), which consisted of:

  1. Pre-pooing my hair with coconut oil, putting on a plastic cap, and then sitting under my hooded dryer for 30 mins (since I couldn’t find my heated cap);
  2. Washing and conditioning my hair with OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Shampoo and Conditioner, (the natural-hair-friendly shampoo/conditioner that I’ve been using lately);

    Curl Condition Deep Conditioner

     

  3. Deep conditioning with Earthtones Naturals’ Curl Condition Intensive Hydrating Deep Treatment, covering my hair again with a plastic cap, and then sitting under my hooded dryer for 30 mins;
  4. Rinsing out the deep conditioner;
  5. Moisturizing my hair with Earthtones Naturals’ Curl Quench Hair Butter;

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    Curl Quench Moisturizer

  6. Detangling sections of my hair and plaiting them;
  7. Putting on a plastic cap again, covering it with my satin headscarf, and then heading to bed.

 

For the rest of the week, my regimen consisted of undoing my plaits in the morning, and then braiding my hair into two big French braids (my go-to protective style when I’m pressed for time).  At night, I would undo my French braids, spray sections of my hair with a mixture of water and glycerin (4 parts water + 1 part glycerin); plait those sections; put on my plastic cap; tie my headscarf over it; and off to bed I’d go.

In the morning, my hair would be moist and supple from having slept with the plastic cap on- and it managed to stay moisturized for the remainder of the day.

20160103_175208After the 7 days, my hair felt pretty much back to normal.  Mind you, I was still (and still am) experiencing some breakage, but definitely not to the same degree as I was in 2015.  My curl definition is back (during my bout of chronic dryness, no matter what I did, my hair would not keep its definition- my twist-outs/braid-outs would almost immediately frizz-out, and then get matted out of nowhere and turn into fairy-knot central).  And it has not felt this soft in months

If only I had known last year what I know now, I would have saved myself a lot of frustration and anguish (I even shed a few tears one day because I just didn’t know what to do!) Nevertheless, in retrospect, I can say I’m glad that I made those regimen mistakes in 2015 because my problems forced me to do research to try to fix them, which in turn taught me things I didn’t know before about my hair.  For instance, I discovered that I have low porosity hair, which requires some extra attention to keep it satisfied.

 

I now know that these are a few of my Type-4-low-porosity-hair’s favourite things:

  1. Hydration– my hair needs a lot of water and moisturizer!
  2. Heat– low porosity hair needs heat to help lift the cuticles and let moisture in; so my heated cap is my new best friend!
  3. Deep conditioner– the only time I used to deep condition my hair in the past was if I was experiencing serious breakage; now, I will be incorporating deep conditioning into my regular routine as a preventive measure, rather than a remedial one!

If your hair is suffering from severe dehydration like mine was, take the 7 Day Rehydration Challenge; and if you do, please don’t forget to let me know how it worked on your hair.

For more information on Earthtones Naturals products, visit www.earthtonesnaturals.com.

What are your secrets for keeping your hair hydrated and happy?