Foundation for a Bomb AF Wash and Go

"They" don't want type 4 hair to do a wash and go so we gonna do a wash and go.

The wash and go out in full effect

The wash and go out in full effect

Once upon a time not long ago I was afraid of wash and gos. I was afraid of the shrinkage, the detangling time, the inevitable weird looks I would get because Tracee Ellis Ross I am not.

Fast forward to summer 2017 and I'm pretty sure this the only thing I want to do with my curls until September. Seriously it's so EASY. That being said, healthy hair is the foundstion for a successful wash and go. What is healthy hair?

Believe it or not type 4 Hair can do a wash and go!

Believe it or not type 4 Hair can do a wash and go!

Healthy Hair is Moisturized

Have you ever neglected your hair and stopped moisturizing? It's okay: It's happened to the best of us. The aftermath is horrendous. The breakage. The fallout. The dryness. It's terrible. Ever tried to do wash and go on dry hair. Double trouble. Dry hair will leave you more prone to tangles and your curls will not be on point.

Healthy Hair Has Healthy Ends

Trim Ya Ends! This is every natural girl's struggle: keep those dead ends and flaunt that length or cut it and be patient enough for the healthy hair to flourish. Just cut it.Almost every style will look bad with janky ends: wash and gos, twist outs, and perm rod sets will expose that a** and your dusty ends.

Healthy Hair is NOT Heat Damaged

If I was shady (I mean I am but even my petty knows SOME bounds) I would screenshot and post all of the heat damaged wash and gos that I see stuntin' on the gram, at the mall, and on YouTube. I'm not the natural hair police so do what you do BUT I often wonder if these people knew how bomb their style would be after a good heat rehab. I have endured heat damage before and when I attempted a wash and go I had the most crispity, crunchity, dead to the bed, and limp and lifeless curls. Moral of the story: transition out of that damage with some cute rod sets and THEN try your hand at a wash and go.

Honestly my hair is the healthiest that it has been  since I returned natural and that is why my wash and go styles have been flourishing.

5 Natural Hair Mistakes NOT to Make This Winter

Winter is coming...

it's (almost) the most wonderful time of the year: everyone is wrapping up in large knit scarves, wearing Ugg boots and drinking Pumpkin Spice Lattes even though it's still a smooth 75 degrees outside. Everyone, that is, but me. Why, might you ask? Because the fall and winter months wreak havoc on my hair.

After five full years of having natural hair, I think I've mastered surviving winter . And because i'm feeling generous (and because it's actually the reason I started blogging), I figured I'd share what I've learned with you.

Wigs are great protective styles for the winter months.

Wigs are great protective styles for the winter months.

5 Natural Hair Mistakes Not To Make This Winter

1. Using too much heat... Winter may as well be called silk press and roller set season for those of us who wear our natural hair. After all, the cold months are the most ideal time to straighten your hair: there is little to no moisture in the air, everyone wants to look fancy for holiday/ family events, and we all want to see the length and process we made. That's all well and good but don't get overzealous! We all know that using too much direct heat can cause heat damage, breakage, and dryness which would be no good once you want to wear your hair curly again.

2. Neglecting hair while in protective styles... Just don't, okay? Yes I know you're wearing a wig... you still need to wash your hair. But my box braids look so clean and dirty hair grows faster... no it doesn't. Oh and by the way...

3. Deep Condition For Your Life.... for real. DC ing is not optional. I don't care if you're protective styling or wearing it out you have to deep condition regularly. I switch from bi weekly during the summer to weekly during the winter just to make sure I have enough moisture in my hair to outlast the harsh temperatures.

4.  Going out with wet hair... your mother told you that it would make you sick and while that's not completely true it can damage your hair. Imagine walking around with wet hair in below freezing temps. What do you think will happen? There's a possibility that your hair could freeze and break and that's not cute.

5. Don't "Overprotect" your hair.... if you're like me then you would probably keep your hair in protective styles all winter long. But back to back to back high manipulation protective styling can put a ton of stress on your hair and edges. I try to give my hair a break of at least seven days between styles so that it can recover from what was possibly a long period of stress.

Let me know what your tips are for maintaining healthy hair during the winter are!

Curls Unleashed Shea Butter and Honey Curl Defining Creme

The natural hair snob is humbled by a product she never thought she'd try...

I'm a snob. Well Only when it comes to my hair. I'm definitely the girl that can stand in the beauty aisle for an hour reading every single product's ingredient label, checking my phone for reviews, smell testing, texture testing, etc. It's a bit of the problem.

After a six month long no buy during which I vowed to use up my embarrassingly large product stash I looked in my bathroom cabinet to discover I had no styling products. THE HORROR! I need a fix and fast so I decided to go to Wal-Mart. Again, THE HORROR (I'm a Target girl). With low expectations I went to the "ethnic beauty" section (more on that later) and started my usual routine. I read, and tested, and analyzed, and finally decided that for the price of just under ten dollars, the Curls Unleashed Shea Butter and Honey Curl Defining Creme would do.

Maybe it's because I wasn't expecting much but this product really blew me away. My initial choice was based on those first five ingredients that I'm always obsessing about (the first five being the ingredients used in the largest quantities in the product and thus the most effective.); water, coconut oil, shea butter, and soybean oil were all right there. Color me impressed. But still, I was cautious. I mean this was a five dollar product.

Using this creme left my hair soft, fluffy and moisturized. The fro was definitely on point. After using it to install some mini twists I had seriously juicy and well moisturized twists. At this point I was sold. The Curls Unleashed Shea Butter & Honey Curl Defining Creme (that's a mouthful) will definitely have a permanent home in my stash. I honestly feel like I've hit the proverbial jackpot in this affordable product especially for the price point.

Have you tried the ORS Curls Unleashed Shea Butter & Honey Curl Defining Creme? What are your thoughts?

Major Keys To Avoid Natural Hair Setbacks

Are you following DJ Khaled on snapchat? You should be.

I feel like I've heard this story so many times before. Girl (or boy goes natural), girl falls in love with hair, girl starts experimenting with some crazy styles and takes it a step too far, and then girl has to cut off all of her hair. Tears are usually involved. And then the cycle continues. Listen I'm the first one to tell you go out and be a hair ho and go ahead have fun with your hair; however, if your goal is length retention and health there are some ways to avoid natural hair setbacks.

1. Know Your Limits - Depending on your length or your hair's overall health, there are certain things that your hair just can't do. For example, as someone with about two inches of hair MAYBE a slicked back puff isn't for me. You see how I recognized my natural hair limitations? This saves me time, frustration, and inches.

2. Lay off the heat! Ugh I know. Everyone says no heat, no heat, no heat! Trust me, I'm not that girl. I love a silk press during the winter season as much as anyone else but I would suggest limiting direct heat to once a year. Many naturals like to use straighter styles to measure length. I would suggest combining your length check with your yearly flat ironing session. Now that we've talked about the much feared flat iron let's talk about it's evil side kick the blow dryer. This tool can cause just as much, if not more, damage as the flat iron. Naturals tend to feel safer using a blow dryer on high heat and with out any heat protectant. STOP DOING THAT! It's seriously the worst and will fry your hair with a quickness.

3. Get out of your head- Keep it simple and get your hands out of your hair. Your twist out doesn't need to be fresh every single day and a bun or low manipulation style is your best friend. Think of ways to stretch your styles: buns, puffs and even wash and gos are great low manipulation options for prolonging styles.

4. Protective Style with a plan - Naturalistas everywhere will tell you that protective styling is KEY but what they won't tell you is that long term protective styles can do more harm than good if your hair is not properly cared for. When I go into a long term style I like to have a plan: a start date, a take out date, and a hair care regimen that is easy to stick by. It sounds like much but having a plan of action keeps me on track for optimal length retention results. During my last protective style which lasted about 6 weeks I was able to grow and retain almost three quarters of an inch of hair which I mostly accredit to my regimen.

5. Learn from your mistakes. - When it comes to my natural hair, I've done everything wrong. And I do mean everything. I've over processed and I've had heat damage. I've over conditioned and suffered from protein over load. I've done the disastrous at home cut and I've kept my mouth shut in a stylist's chair when I should have spoken up. But guess what? I won't be making any of those mistakes (unknowingly) again. As it is in life, we have to learn from from the past in order to grow. Once you've had a setback, decide to see the lesson in it and be sure to remember it for the future.

So tell me about your natural hair setbacks. Have you had any? What did you learn from them? Sound off!

Until Next Time,

Joelle