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What is Hair Porosity?
Hair porosity is simply your hair’s ability to absorb water and maintain moisture. It is affected by the flexible outer hair layer called the cuticle, which determines how easily moisture and oils pass in and out of your hair. For most, porosity is genetic, but it can also be affected by external factors such as exposure, heat treatments and chemical processing. Knowing your hair’s porosity can help you choose the right products to keep your hair well-moisturized, supple, strong and shiny.

Determining you hair’s porosity is pretty easy, it is often referred to as the Float Test. Simply take a few strands, I recommend using freshly washed, clean hair so grab a few the next time you wash, and then place them in a glass/bowl of water. If the strand/strands sink to the bottom then you have high porosity hair. If the strand/strands float then you have low porosity hair. Knowing your hair’s porosity is important, especially if you struggle with maintaining moisture because it can at as another tool in helping to determine what products work best for you hair. So let’s break down the different porosity levels.

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DETERMINING HAIR POROSITY
There are two methods you can use to find out how porous your hair is:
• The Float Test: Take a couple of strands of hair from your comb or brush and drop them into a bowl of water. Let them sit for 2-4 minutes. If your hair floats, you have low porosity. If it sinks, you have high porosity.
• The Slip’n’Slide Test: Take a strand of hair and slide your fingers up the shaft (toward the scalp). If you feel little bumps along the way, this means that your cuticle is lifted and that you have high porosity. If your fingers slip smoothly, then you have low porosity hair.

LOW POROSITY
• Hair with low porosity has a tightly bound cuticle layer with overlapping scales that lay flat. This type of hair is usually considered healthy, and is often very shiny, especially when it’s dark in color. Low porosity hair repels moisture when you try to wet it and is hard to process since it resists penetration of chemicals.
• Low porosity hair is also prone to build-up from protein-rich deep conditioning products, which can leave it feeling stiff and straw-like. Stick to protein-free, daily conditioners with humectants such as glycerin or honey. Use moderate heat with protein-free deep conditioning treatments to help open up the tightly bound cuticle.
• Low porosity hair requires moisturizers rich in emollients such as shea butter, jojoba oil, coconut oil and mineral oil. It also benefits from humectant products, which attract and hold moisture to your hair. Choose lighter, liquid-based products such as hair milks that won’t sit on your hair and leave it oily or greasy.

MEDIUM POROSITY
• Hair with medium porosity often requires the least amount of maintenance. The cuticle layer is looser, allowing just the right amount of moisture to enter while preventing too much from escaping. Hair with normal porosity tends to hold styles well, and can be permed and colored with predictable results. Over time, however, these processes can damage your hair and increase its porosity.
• Occasional deep conditioning treatments with protein conditioners can benefit medium porosity hair, but proteins should not be included in your daily regimen.

HIGH POROSITY
• High porosity can be either an inherent property of hair or the result of damage from chemical processing, rough treatment or environmental damage. High porosity hair has gaps and holes in the cuticle, which let too much moisture into your hair and leave it prone to frizz and tangling in humid weather. Even simple acts such as bathing, swimming and shampooing can create more damage and breakage due to the sheer amount of moisture highly porous hair can absorb.
• Be sure to use anti-humectants in climates with high heat and humidity. This will help seal your damaged cuticles and prevent them from absorbing excess moisture in the air.
• Because highly porous hair can also lose moisture easily, it’s important to use leave-in conditioners, moisturizers and sealers. Layering these products will help your hair hold on to the moisture you’re giving it. You can even follow up with a heavy hair butter to help fill the gaps in your damaged cuticles and further protect your hair from losing too much moisture.

What is your hair’s porosity and how are you treating it?

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Genetics
Genetics play a huge role in hair growth. Everyone is always searching for that miracle product that will give them the long tresses, but the truth is hair growth is largely determined by genetics. Start by taking a look at the women in your family and see if you notice any kind of length pattern. Some people simply have genes that help their hair grow faster and longer than others. Do not get discouraged; genetics aren’t the end of the road. It is just something to keep in mind when you are comparing your hair to someone else’s.

Hair Growth Products
Many products have very little impact on hair growth. In addition to that, everyone has an optimal growth rate, which can be inhibited by things like diet, stress, etc. and promoted by vitamins, exercise, and eating healthy. However, there are very few products that will make your hair grow faster than your optimal rate — which varies from person to person. For example, Castor oil is known to have a positive effect on thinning hair, hair growth and is also used to thicken eyebrows and other variable natural oils.
• The key is taking extra time to ensure your hair is properly moisturized and wearing a lot more protective or low-manipulation styles (rod sets, straw sets, etc.).
• Hair that retains moisture, has more elasticity, breaks less and retains more length. Dry hair is more brittle, breaks off easily and prevents you from retaining length.
• Eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking adequate water, taking vitamins and exercising regularly have all been known to support hair growth no matter your ethnicity, genes, etc.
• Eating a lot of saturated fats and sugars can also prevent your hair from growing at its optimal rate.

Protective Styles
Protective styling does not help your hair grow any faster, but it helps you retain more length because you are not constantly manipulating your hair. The ends of your hair are the most fragile because they are the oldest part. So after all the combing, detangling, blow drying, and flat ironing, it is very easy for your ends to become damaged and if you don’t get your ends trimmed regularly, they will break off. So in order to keep your ends healthy, you have to continue to trim. The average person’s hair grows 1/2 inch per month, so if you are losing that amount or more due to breakage then it will appear as if your hair is not growing.
• Protective styles like braids, twists, up dos or any style that tucks away your ends and doesn’t require manipulation can help you retain more length.
• Natural hair is prone to snagging on clothing (especially wool), which can cause breakage and split ends, so keep that in mind during those cold months.
• Remember that just because your hair is in a protective style (yes, extensions count too), don’t neglect to moisturize it. Because when you take it down, you will have a lot more breakage due to the fact your hair has dried out.

Scalp Massages

Massaging your scalp for 20-30 minutes per day is a great habit to get into. It increases blood flow to the scalp area and can stimulate growth. This may be especially helpful if you have thinning edges from relaxers or weaves. If your hair is not permanently damaged, this could help your hair grow back. If you cannot sit and do the scalp massage all at once, do it several times per day in smaller intervals.


Photo Cred: @genstreetstyle

Tell us about yourself:
My name is Christelle Blanche. Originally born in Dominican Republic and as a military brat I traveled all over the world from ages 2-8, then my family moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina and that was where I was raised. I graduated high school a year early then moved to Charlotte to study fashion at the Art Institute. After realizing how boring NC was, I decided to move to Miami and transfer to the Art Institute there. I have been in Miami for about 3 years now finishing up my bachelors in the arts while doing freelance modeling. I loveee the beach which is why I know it will be hard to leave Miami to pursuit bigger dreams in NYC.

How long have you been natural? And why?
Because I moved to Miami and the humidity would not allow me to have my straight for more than 3 minutes I had to chop my hair and start wearing my hair curly. I had so much chemicals in my hair that when I would try to wear my hair curly it would come out looking stringy and just unhealthy so that’s why I decided to cut my hair. It wasn’t a huge chop but it was pretty big for me.


Photo Cred:@p.rarri

How would you describe your hair?
My hair is veryyy thick and coarse, that’s that Dominican in me lol. My hair goes from 3c to 4a. Certain parts of my hair are very soft and then other parts are not. I have loose curls and I have tight curls my hair is all over the place lol.

Photo Cred:@uhhmazing1

What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
I have gone through so many different products that I do not even remember which ones worked and which ones didn’t but I can say that I have been using the Shea Moisture brand for some months and I absolutely love it! It is perfect for my thick curls. I use their shampoo, conditioner, and hair milk.

Have you always liked your natural hair? If not, how did you come to embrace it?
I didn’t always love it, my natural hair only because I never knew what products to use and I also did not like the length. I felt like a little boy lol. Once I got the right products and my natural hair went from stringy curls to bouncy curls it was a wrap!

What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require extra care and attention?
Oh my god the middle of my hair is the WORST! Its just like a patch on top of my hair that I have to put extra product in it in order for it to not look frizzy and dry.

Photo Cred: @ftwtn

What are your staple hair styles?
I either wear my hair with a split down the middle, to the side or literally like an afro.

What have your experiences been as a ‘natural.’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
I get a lot of attention from guys. I mean not like I don’t regardless — hehe — but they just love naturally curly hair! I also have gotten a lot of jobs through my hair working with different beauty companies including Corioliss, Ouidad and Miss Jessie’s.

Photo Cred: @genstreetstyle

What is your hair goal?
The only issue I have with my hair now is that I want it to grow. It is at my shoulders but I have some pieces that are longer in the front than the back. So my hair goal is to grow it out past my shoulders.

Anything else you would like the readers to know? Inspirational words?
If you are someone who is thinking about going natural please research what types of hair you have first. There are some girls who go natural and their hair doesn’t grow as quick as anticipated or it just doesn’t grow back the same but then a majority of the women who go natural end up loving their hair. Research is very important in this process. I also encourage trying new products. Different products produce different results, you never know what you get until you try!

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?

www.christelleblanche.tumblr.com
IG: @miss.stelle
Twitter: @cocochristelle

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The Green House Effect Method is a natural and effective means of boosting hair growth due to the fact that it allows the hair to retain moisture more efficiently. The steam effect created penetrates into the scalp to increase average growth rate. The method involves covering your hair with a plastic cap after moisturizing and sealing in order to create a ‘steam’ effect on your scalp overnight.

How It Works:

The belief is that if you use the Greenhouse Effect, your scalp will thrive because it is moist. If you have a healthy and happy scalp, your hair will grow as well. They say that it can double and even triple your hair growth. You could also give yourself a quick scalp massage before covering your hair for the night to enhance the growth effect.

How To Do The Greenhouse Effect (Baggying Method):
• Use a spray bottle and spray your hair with water until very slightly damp.
• Apply oil to your hair (avoid getting too much oil on the scalp to prevent clogged pores).
• You can put your hair in a bun, ponytail, braids, twists or any other style.
• Cover your hair with either a plastic cap if you can find one big enough or a plastic grocery bag will work pretty well too.
• Cover the plastic bag with your scarf or bonnet making sure that everything is secure for the night.
• You can use this method anytime from one – five times a week, it is all about maintaining a healthy balance and finding out what works for you. Also,please note that you do not need to wash your hair after using this method.
• In the morning allow up to 20 minutes for your hair to dry or else use a blow dryer on a cool setting to get rid of the excess moisture.

Some benefits of using the GHE:
• Hair growth
• Naturally softens the hair
• Helps combat dryness
• Moisturized hair has more definition
• Easier to seal in the moisture.

For Best Results:
Doing the GHE method often for two to three months at a time will get you great results, you can choose how many days a week you want to embark on this challenge and do it. At least 3 to 4 days a week. You can alternate between scalp massages, which help improve blood flow in your scalp and also helps generate hair growth as well. You can also do a length check (take a photo) before you begin and choose to do one bi-weekly or monthly when it comes to this challenge. See if it is working for you and if it is helping your hair grow.

Have you tried the Greenhouse Method?

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Tell us about yourself:
Cynthia born in Maryland but raised in Douala, Cameroon until my teens when I moved to NYC.

How long have you been natural? And why?
Been natural about 3 years now, could be more, really haven’t kept track. My hair was breaking and damaged and I didn’t care for the way it looked relaxed so I slowly began a transition.

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How would you describe your hair?
I don’t particularly subscribe to hair typing; so don’t want to be inaccurate. I can say however that it is coarser and kinky, very tight curls that only show up when wet. It’s also quite dense in some areas and thinner in others.

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What is your hair regimen (including fav products)?
I’ve pretty much stopped experimenting and settled in to using Shea moisture products for shampoo and conditioner, also use Aussie moist 3 minute, I like Organix Coconut milk mousse in the place of gel for my twists.

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Have you always liked your natural hair? If not, how did you come to embrace it?
I didn’t think about natural hair as an option for years- wasn’t that I didn’t like it, I just didn’t see it as a viable option especially for someone with coarser hair like mine- call it brainwashed or what you may, it’s just the way things were. I’m very happy now and can’t imagine going back even when I have a bad hair day- those still happen.

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What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require extra care and attention?
I’m still very lazy about wash days- detangling isn’t always fun.

What are your staple hair styles?
Twists, twist outs, buns, Afro puffs, big big hair.

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What have your experiences been as a ‘natural.’ Any memorable reactions from family or others?
Everyone’s been great. I initially feared my mum wouldn’t get it but she loves it, the bigger the better she says.

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What is your hair goal?
None actually. I don’t have length aspirations or anything. Just take care of it, make sure it’s presentable always. Maybe a cut in the future.

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Anything else you would like the readers to know? Inspirational words?
Don’t stress your hair failures or woes… It’s a journey, enjoy every step, every length, every style.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
www.addicted2etsy.com

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Considering going natural and want to know the basic tools you’ll need just to get started? Then you may be wondering the following: Where do I get started? What tools should I use?
Beginning a natural hair journey can be daunting, there are so many different products and things to learn it can be hard to know where to start. In my natural starter kit series I’ll go over the basic items I think every natural should have at the beginning of her journey.

You’ll build on these items as you continue on and learn what works best for you. So let get started with the five tools you’ll need in your starter kit.
Most of these items can be found in your local beauty supply store, grocery store, pharmacy or natural food store. If you cannot find them around town, do a google search and purchase from Amazon or another reputable online retailer.

1. Spray bottle:
Water is your new best friend, and a great spray bottle is its perfect companion2. Wide tooth comb:
You’ll use it to detangle and help evenly distribute product through your strands. Make sure those teeth are wide enough for your curls to slide through without getting stuck.

3. Scarf:
Preserving your hair at night is a must! Weather you are using the pineapple method, or just securing your hair from cotton pillow cases that can suck the moisture out of your hair, and the friction can cause breakage. So wrap your hair in your favorite silk or satin scarf to avoid that damage. Also for girls who love smooth edges your scarf can be used to give that sleek look without harsh brushes. Using your favorite gel and the palm of your hand, smooth back your hair and tie it down with your scarf and allow to set for at least 15 minutes and you’ll be good to go!

4. Clamps:
From detangling before you shampoo, to putting your hair in sections while styling, claw clamps will help keep the hair you’re not working on at the moment tucked securely out of the way. These little clamps are going to make life a lot easier for you!

5. Bobby pins/Hair Pins:

When selecting your bobby pins you want to make sure they’re sturdy and well made. You don’t want the coating to peel off or the tips to come off. Bobby pins are great for styling, when your hair is short, rather than putting tension on your hair to try to get it into a ponytail holder use bobby pins to help secure your hair in place.

While Co-washing is a great method of cleansing your hair and locking the moisture in, once your hair starts to feel weighed down, greasy, or not being its’ usual self, then maybe it is time to clarify! All kinds of things are building up in your hair whether it is: gel, hard water, chlorine and chemicals from swimming pools; even the waxes and moisturizers in some shampoos and conditioners can leave build up on your hair over time. This build up can cause hair to appear dull, heavy, greasy, and even limp. And that is what we don’t want ladies! A clarifying shampoo can help remove those deposits, give your hair a fresh start, and restore shine.

Here are 10 Clarifying shampoos for natural hair:
1. Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle
little goes along way with this product. It does not strip hair as much as other clarifying shampoos and works well on thick hair. It also leaves a tingling sensation on your scalp and the smell of peppermint. This is ideal for buildup on the scalp. This shampoo is also sulfate free.

2. Aubrey Organics Green Tea
fast-acting clarifying shampoo deep-cleanses with just one application and rinses clean to leave hair shiny, bouncy and full. Herbal extracts deliver beneficial nutrients quickly and reduce drying time for fast and easy styling.

3. Shea Moisture
Smooths and repairs strands, leaving hair manageably soft. For dry, damaged hair. Heal, grow and strengthen. No parabens, phthalates, paraffin, gluten, propylene glycol, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, PABA, synthetic color, DEA, animal ingredients or sulfates.

4. Suave Naturals Shampoo, Daily Clarifying
This product is very affordable and does and excellent job at cleansing hair. It is better suited for very oily hair types and may strip dryer hair types. It doesn’t weigh hair down. It can be used daily but not for most hair types.

5. Ouidad Water Works Clarifying Shampoo
This product cleanses hair and helps maintain the shape of curls very well. It works best if you wash your hair in hard water. Otherwise I would not recommend it unless you are experiencing extreme buildup.

6. Curls Pure Curls Clarifying Shampoo
Pineapple extract nourishes as grapefruit extract adds sheen while removing buildup and you’ll get a no-lather, extremely gentle cleansing that removes buildup and preps your hair for a fresh ‘do. Its fresh, light scent goes along with its clear and clean appearance.

7. Kinky Curly Come Clean
The Mandarin orange extract cleanses your hair and scalp while the Sea kelp preserves the moisture balance. This alcohol-free shampoo doesn’t contain sodium-lauryl sulfate or parabens. It’s suitable for all types of hair. This shampoo is gentle enough to use every day.

8. Giovanni Cosmetics Shampoo Tea Tree Triple Treat
Invigorating ingredients deliver unmatched clarity and rejuvenation for hair and scalp. You’re left with something clean pure and incredibly stimulating. Increases scalp circulation for a refreshed renewed feel Strengthens hair with a three-organic-oil-b.

9. Avalon Clarifying Lemon Shampoo
Gentle plant-derived cleansers enriched with Vitamin E, Wheat Protein, Aloe, Chamomile and Lemon wash away dulling residue and impurities without stripping for instantly renewed color and shine.

10. Alberto VO5 Herbal Escapes Kiwi Lime Squeeze Clarifying Shampoo
This product combines the fresh fragrance of sweet kiwis and tangy limes with rosemary and lemongrass extracts to remove build-up. It is safe for all hair types.

Which clarifying shampoo do you use?

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Here are my top go-to 5 lipsticks for the summer:
I Also forgot to mention that these are all Matte Lipsticks 🙂

1). Sephora Lip-Stain Strawberry Kissed (03)
2). Wet and Wild (Cherry bomb)
3). Mac (So Chaud)
4). Mac (Honey Love)
5). Nars (Schiap)