How To Wash Your Natural Hair: Hot or Cold? (via Curly Nikki)

Sometimes we just have to take things back to the basics. I follow Curly Nikki on Twitter, and noticed an interesting article she posted this morning about the pros and cons of washing your natural hair in both hot and cold water. This intrigued me because I’m the girl who showers in nearly scolding hot temperatures because I love the tinge it leaves behind on my skin (you can relate right?). Often times I wash my hair in the same temperature, so naturally I was curious to read this article on the benefits and setbacks of doing so. 

Here’s what I discovered while reading:

Hot Water

PROS: Rinses Away Dirt and Oil 

-Hot water and steam naturally open the pores, which is great for exfoliating and removing the oil from your skin.  Warm water allows the dirt and hair product that has accumulated on your scalp to escape the pores and be rinsed away. 

CON: May Result in Overly Porous Hair

-Hot water opens up the pores and the cuticle of your hair shaft. That being said, rinsing your hair with hot water too often can leave the hair overly porous, causing it to be dry and brittle. 
-Just as hot water helps to rinse away oil and dirt, it also strips your hair of its natural oils. 

CON: Causes Frizz

-Heat causes frizzy hair, and hot water is no exception. No matter what your hair type, the hair needs moisture to stay frizz free. Because hot water can strip the hair of natural oils, moisture escapes the hair shaft and results in frizz. If your hair is especially prone to frizz, you might want to turn off the hot water. 

Cold Water

PRO: Seals The Moisture In Your Hair 

-Opposite of hot water, cold water closes the pores and prevents from entering and accumulating on the scalp. Not only does it close the pores, it also closes the hair cuticle, sealing in moisture from the conditioner that you applied to your hair. 
-Don’t forget, more moisture means less frizz! Cold water retains your hair’s moisture, leaving your hair less prone to frizz.

PRO: Increases Shine

-Sometimes stylists like to finish blow drying with a blast of cold air because it leaves the hair shiny. The same concept can be applied to a cold water rinse. Cold water is known to smooth the hair by closing the scales of your hair cuticle, which in turn prevents frizz and adds luster to your locks. 

CON: Flattens Hair

-Because cold water leaves the hair smooth, it can also flatten your hair if you have a naturally thin texture. If your hair lacks in volume, or if you live in a particularly arid environment, rinsing your hair with cold water might result in flat hair and curls with no bounce. 

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So what’s the verdict? Hot or cold? 

Curly Nikki says to use both. She says, “cleanse, condition, and detangle your hair with WARM water, not hot. You don’t want to burn your skin and scalp.” She also advises, “when you’re ready to rinse out the conditioner, turn the dial to COOL and run it over your hair for a final rinse.”

These are great informative tips from Curly Nikki! To check out the entire article, visit her site here

New Summer Hair: Blondie Locks

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For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen the new do! But for my ladies who don’t … let me introduce you to my new summer hair! It’s back to blonde baby ;)

I’ve been wanting to change my hair color for the summer, so after discussing with my stylist Stephanie (at The Suite Salon in Atlanta) what I should switch to, we decided to go back to blonde. I couldn’t be more pleased with the results! She did a mix of brown and blonde and in the back it’s still a dark brown, similar to my previous “ombre” look. 

Let me put a disclaimer out there. With a great stylist at hand who cares about the health of your hair, you can still get bold color and not have damage to your strands or curl pattern! My curls always bounce right back with no problem! I get my hair straightened almost every time I visit the salon, which is probably once every two months or so. 

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Here are a few tips on taking care of your hair with color:

1. Make sure you use a sulfate free shampoo. Sulfate free shampoos won’t dry out your color and it helps the color last longer.

2. Moisture. Moisture. Moisture. Deep conditioning treatments are very important because when you have color, your strands are thirsty! Always apply a leave-in conditioner and when wearing it natural, incorporate a “pudding like” styling product in your routine so you can make sure your curls are moisturized at all times.

3. Limit how much heat you add to your hair weekly. I put a flat iron only to areas that need a little touching up. Put your flat iron on a lower temperature setting so you don’t damage your hair and mess up your curl pattern. Using a heat protective serum before flat ironing also helps prevent damage.

4. Sleep on a satin pillow case at night. If you don’t have a satin pillow case, get one lol. I also sleep with a bonnet on just for added protection because I’m a wild sleeper and I don’t have time to wake up and my hair is all over my head! 

5. Get your color PROFESSIONALLY done! I get this question alllll the time, and I DO NOT, nor have I ever attempted at coloring my hair myself. When going many shades lighter than your natural color, you don’t want to leave room for mistakes then have to make a trip to the salon anyway for a color correction. Trust me. 

6. Make sure you’re going to a stylist who knows how to maintain the integrity and health of your hair! My stylist is all about healthy hair first! Go to a stylist who specializes in color to ensure a great color job. 

Now get out there and GO FOR IT! It’s just hair, it will grow back ;)

Who Says Natural Girls Can’t Straighten Things Out?

It was about that time ladies and gents! I needed a hair cut and my color touched up and for some reason blonde just keeps calling me back. Just wait until summer, I’ll probably be platinum again (or a version of it) lol. My motto, go big or go home!

Ever since I cut my hair short two years ago, it grows back like wildfire! Look at how long it was below when it was just blown out … all to cut it right back off again. This time I went for a layered bowl-esque cut and I couldn’t be happier with the results! 

I want to say something to my natural girlies. Just because you straighten your hair doesn’t always mean you will have heat damage. It’s all about maintaining healthy hair (especially if you have color!) buy having the right products and tools.

Tips:

1. If you have color processed hair (I get mine done professionally), always look for a sulfate-free shampoo. This will keep your color fresh, strong, and healthy.

2. To protect your hair from heat damage when using a flat iron, always apply a heat protecting serum. (Paul Mitchell Skinny Serum and Biosilk Silkening Serum are a couple of my favorites). 

3. Limit the times a week you run a flat iron through your hair. Tie it down at night with a silk scarf or sleep on a silk pillow case to keep your hair tamed and protected throughout the night.

4. If you’re thinking about rocking a short cut and don’t know where to start, take a picture to your stylist of a cut that you like. This way they can get a better visual of what it is that you want! Be confident and rock it girl!

xoxo

McKenzie Renae

FYI: I get my hair custom colored by a professional stylist at the salon! I do not color my hair on my own and I do not cut it on my own. So I cannot recommend store bought color products. Thank you :)