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Do’s and Don’ts of Hair Steaming

Steaming is one of THEEEE best things you can do to pamper your natural hair, but if you’re relaxed and/or color treated, steaming should be in your hair care routine as well. Steam sessions work to hydrate dry hair by leaving thirsty tresses juicy and happy. The moist heat from a steamer also encourages blood flow to circulate, which promotes hair growth.

A steamer works by lifting the hair cuticle allowing your treatments (deep conditioner, oils, etc.) to penetrate deeply into the hair shaft and healing damaged hair.

But like with anything else, a steamer will only work IF YOU USE IT. Read on for the do’s and don’ts of hair steaming:

moisture-hair-confetti-collective

DO steam often.

DO steam for at least 20 minutes per session.

DO ensure the ends of your hair are accessible to the steam. They’re the oldest part of your hair.

DO allow your hair to cool after a steam session before rinsing (if you used conditioner) or applying product.

 

 

DON’T steam more than every 10-14 days, it’s possible to over moisturize your hair.

DON’T be afraid to experiment with herbs in your steam. For example,¬†rosemary is great for strengthening hair and reducing breakage.

DON’T invest in a steamer before you know what your porosity is.

Steamers come in two types – handheld and hood. Depending on what your hair goals are, choosing the right one is key. Mo is a fan of the hood hair steamer, she uses the Huetiful Hair Steamer, you can see this steamer in action here.

If maintaining moisture is an issue for you, a steamer can be a great option for transforming your hair into it’s healthiest version. You’ll enjoy hair that is lush and luscious ūüôā

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Clothing and Self-Esteem

“It’s just clothes.”

Not really. Your clothing affects how other people perceive and respond to you. Your clothing affects how you think and feel about yourself, your clothing affects your self-esteem.

More so than wearing the latest trends Р being comfortable, looking poised and feeling self-assured begins (or ends) with the clothes you wear.

What comes to mind when you think of¬†the movie Pretty Woman? ? For many people it’s the scene where Julia Roberts goes on her shopping spree; and it’s not about the clothes. It’s about the transformation that the clothes will bring.

According to a study published by¬†The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology¬†fashion sense and clothing choices have an affect on a person’s emotional state. Whether you (want to) believe it or not, self-esteem is affected by your clothing and your clothing choices are affected by self-esteem.

 

Particularly for women, our clothing tells a story of who we are, how we’re feeling that day. For example, the all-white pants suit exudes power and authority. The peplum top could be displaying femininity. The pencil skirt says, “It’s handled” with a nod to the Gladiator-in-Chief,¬†Olivia Pope.

If you have no idea where to begin with choosing confident-boosting clothes, here are 3 tips:

Be comfortable. When you’re uncomfortable it shows on your face. Make sure that your clothing choices feel good on your body. It shouldn’t be something you have to tug on or adjust constantly, taking your focus off what’s in front of you. When you’re comfortable in your clothes you can show up in the full version of yourself

Show personality. Just like you choose wrapping paper for a present, think of your clothes as wrapping for your inner gifts. What are your statement-making giftspersonality traits? Are you creative, modern, open to adventure? Let that come out through what you wear.

Play up your strengths. Do your shoulders give Michelle Obama a run for her money? Do you have legs for days? Do people pay to have lips like yours? Those are your strengths, show them off!

 

We’re not saying that a cute outfit can cure self-esteem issues, but when you need a confidence boost, knowing that you’re presenting the best you that you can be is a welcome source of encouragement.

 

 

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Moisturizing Low Porosity Hair in a Protective Style

Knowing your porosity is the first step to maintaining moisture in naturally textured hair. Moisture is an essential ingredient in a healthy hair regimen, and low porosity hair requires a bit of TLC in this area, because it repels moisture.

(NOTE: moisture = water, you don’t drink oil when you get thirsty)

Low porosity hair is characterized by a tightly closed cuticle, which takes the hair longer to become saturated during shampooing, is often resistant to chemical treatments and takes longer to dry.

Moisture for #naturalhair = water. You don't drink oil when you're thirsty. Click To Tweet

Low porosity hair often doesn’t appear to have elasticity or volume.

Moisturizing requires effort. Under normal circumstances, moisturizing low porosity hair requires heat or some other method of forcing the hair cuticle to open. So how does low porosity hair get moisturized when it’s in a protective style???

A key to retaining moisture in low porosity hair is layering lightweight products to prevent buildup. To prevent mildew in your protective style, you hair has to have time to dry, particularly with protective styles like crochet braids and sewins.

Starting with warm water and/or a liquid leave-in conditioner to dampen and help open the hair cuticle to allow moisture in. Depending on your preferred LOC/LCO method and the type of protective style you’re wearing,¬†you might skip creams and butters and follow with a lightweight oil like almond, jojoba or grapeseed to seal.

If you’re wearing twists, braids or and updo you can opt for (again) a light moisturizing lotion, like Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Daily Hair Conditioner, Giovanni Leave-In Weightless Moisture Conditioner, or Kinky Curly Knot Today.

Since low porosity hair requires more effort to dry, it would be a good idea to sit under a hood dryer¬†to ensure that your hair you don’t end up with smelly head. An important part of your bedtime natural hair care regimen should also include sleeping with a satin hair covering or on a satin pillowcase. Cotton fabrics wick moisture from the hair and can cause frizz.

Note: You SHOULD be cleaning your scalp regularly while wearing a protective style, regardless of your porosity.

Natural hair thrives in moisture, and your chosen hairstyle shouldn’t prevent you from keeping your hair in its best condition to avoid breakage.

 

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Perfect Fit: Best Practices for Buying Clothes Online

Online shopping is super popular right now because people are pressed for time and don’t want to spend hours going in and out of traditional retail stores. It’s very appealing to hop online while in bed, buy the perfect top for your new job, your weekend festivities or your BFF’s new bundle of joy.

However, shopping online does come with its issues, but with a little upfront effort they can be overcome. Savvy online shoppers know how to navigate the internet shopping space, and we want to make sure you handle things like a pro from this point forward.

Here’s how to get the perfect fit when you’re buying clothes online:

Product Descriptions – Are you allergic to synthetic material? You might want to make sure your purchase is 100% cotton. Additionally, different fabrics “hang” on the body differently, so you should look for descriptions about the products, beyond how amazing you’ll look wearing it.

Testimonials/Reviews РWhat the people say?? Reviews are a very reliable source of information, pay attention to what past customers have to say about the product   and their experience with the company to help you decide.

Size Chart – Every woman knows that what constitutes a small at one retailer doesn’t mean the same thing at another. To avoid any headaches and extra work of returning a product, check the size chart for any item you’re considering purchasing. Also look for garment specifications that outline the measurements for each size so you can compare with your measurements.

Photos – ¬†While it’s nice to see the item worn on a model, it’s even better to see actual customers wearing it! Here you get a very good idea of how it looks on a variety of body types and shapes in real life AND you can get ideas for how to style it.

Return Policy – This is online shopping, remember? Be sure to check the store’s return policy before to buy. In the event you’re not satisfied with your purchase you need to know what steps to take in order to return your items.

With clothing labels and sizes being so different from store to store, it’s difficult enough to find the perfect fit when you do go out to shop. Use these tips to help you save time and gas on traveling to the mall, and make sure your next online purchase is the right one!

 

Inspiring Confidence,

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Crochet Twisted Mohawk Updo

It’s the hands-off benefits of protective styles with¬†the edgy sassiness of a mohawk…add in crochet hair and you’re done in 30 minutes or less!

The crochet twisted mohawk updo is your new favorite natural hair style.

Using your favorite (leftover) pre twisted crochet hair, you can create an updo that’s suitable for professional and/or elegant settings, styled in a mohawk ‘do that allows your individuality to shine through.

Check out the Crochet Twisted Mohawk Updo below, and get ready to

Hosting our 3rd Annual Southern AZ Natural Hair & Lifestyle Meetup allowed us the opportunity to partner with AfroVeda. Be on the lookout for more tutorials featuring these amazing products!

If you want to achieve the look of having a mohawk without shaving your head, this style is a MUST. Be on trend by adding a pop of color with your favorite extensions, and cornrows will add a few more wearable weeks to this style.

Are you rocking a mohawk/faux-hawk right now? Post your pics in the comments!

Inspiring Confidence,

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Protective Style Files: Crochet Senegalese Twists w/ Side Braids

crochet senegalese twists side braids

Crochet braids have made a roaring comeback into the haircare space, and naturalistas are having big fun experimenting with different types of hair and styles.

The beauty of crochet braids is that you can still change up your look while keeping your hair tucked away, depending on your style. If twists are in your future and you don’t want to sit for hours, consider crochet twists for your next protective style!

Senegalese, or rope twists are a great alternative to braids, and if you want to add an extra dose of sass and edginess, leave your side braids exposed and rock a look that’s versatile and on trend!

Check out this video tutorial of crochet senegalese twists with side braids:

 

Are you rocking crochet senegalese twists right now? Post your pic in the comments!

Oh, and don’t forget to sign up for the Protective Style Journey here, six months of exclusive emails, videos and behind-the-scenes tips, struggles and joys from Mo!

Inspiring Confidence,

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Small Business HERStory: The Confetti Collective

Picture it: southwest Georgia, early 2013.

We’ve featured several small businesses on the blog, it was time you knew the complete Confetti Collective story.

After being stationed at Fort Benning for almost 5 years Uncle Sam told my family that it was time to go. Go to Arizona.

The move to Sierra Vista, AZ¬†was pretty uneventful, after about 10 moves over the past 14 years I’d mastered the art of packing up my life into boxes before the movers actually arrived. Since I’d started my natural hair journey in 2008 and I couldn’t find any information online for resources where we were going, I hit up the World Natural Hair Show to snag as many deals as I could.

I was moving to the desert, remember???

Since then we’ve hosted events, returned to the ATL for the World Natural Hair Show to do some networking, sold natural hair products, introduced the brand from the stage, been featured in the local newspaper and magazine, written hundreds of blog posts, launched this¬†apparel collection, then this one, and most recently, rolled out our digital magazine newsletter.

What is The Confetti Collective?? The #business HERstory here! Click To Tweet

I decided it was time to make things official and share the story for real Рand make a small upgrade  to the website in the process. We recently published a new video for the About Us page where I made things official and shared The Confetti Collective story. You can check it out here:

We’re sliding into 4 years since the cross-country move that sparked this brand. I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish and I’m excited for what’s to come. There have been valleys that I’ve had to learn from, and peaks where we’ve celebrated. Whether you’re an OG reader or just got on board yesterday, I’m grateful to have you here.

I’m looking forward to more confetti on this journey, I hope you are as well.

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The BEST Exfoliating Polish for All Skin Types

Regardless of your skin type, exfoliating your skin is a MUST if you want to reveal smoother, more youthful skin so you can be your own beautiful and be more confident in all aspects of your life.

Exfoliating your skin is one of the key steps in a healthy skin care regimen. As someone with oily skin that has dealt with severe acne and inflammation in the past, I know how removing dead skin cells provides a boost to your regular skin cleansing routine and help products penetrate better.

Exfoliation is one of the key steps in a healthy skin care regimen. Click To Tweet

If you experience blackheads, whiteheads or breakouts, exfoliating your skin will help keep pores clean and unclogged, and if uneven skin tone is a concern, removing the dead and dull skin to maintain cell turnover keeps you putting your best skin forward.

It’s possible to over-exfoliate your skin, so look out for¬†redness, tenderness, and/or increased sensitivity to know if you need to reduce the number of skin sloughing sessions per week.

Exfoliating scrubs give you more control because you can vary the pressure you apply when you’re making those little circles. Using a scrub or skin polish¬†may allow you to exfoliate more ofter¬†if you’re using¬†lighter pressure.

I recently discovered a new exfoliating polish, and it was SO AMAZING that I had to make a video about it.

 

Don’t skimp on the exfoliation, people! ¬†Exfoliation is next to godliness…:-)

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The Box Braid Updo to End ALL Box Braid Updos

The warm weather is finally easing in – and soon we’ll be lounging by the pool and posting sun-kissed selfies on Instagram. The PERFECT¬†‘do for any naturalista to¬†enjoy the warm weather and waves is box braids.

Box braids are the ultimate versatile protective style – they can be worn in a variety of styles while having your natural hair tucked away in a low manipulation state.

I’ve installed by own box braids for years, partly because I’m so obsessive about my edges….and I tend to wear my braids for 8-10 weeks at a time. If you want to find out how I maintain my box braids, check out this vintage post about “shampooing” my braids¬†and this post about how I refresh my braids and prep for bed.

This #boxbraids updo is the GOAT. Click To Tweet

In this video tutorial I’m showing now of my most favorite ¬†box braid updos, I can’t wait for my next braid install…..

 

Do you have a favorite box braids style? Show me, drop a pic!

 

Living in Confetti,

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The Best Oil Mix for Long, Strong Natural Hair

natural hair oils

Hair grows an average of 6 inches per year. Many naturalistas don’t actually see that growth because their hair breaks off at a rate that is equal to or faster than the actual growth.

There are a lot of products that promise longer, stronger hair, but what if you could make your own product?? Oils are great for natural hair, and it’s easy to apply a little¬†common sense when choosing what to use..

Check out the tutorial below for my DIY hair growth (and strengthening) blend:

If you’re ready to start making your own blend, here’s the list of¬†what I used in the video (contains affiliate links) :

Amla oil

Neem oil

Jamaican Black Castor Oil

Wild Growth Hair Oil

This oil blend can be used as a prepoo, during your LOC, or as a scalp massage oil for your trouble spots. The key is, once you make it you have to actually USE IT consistently as a part of a healthy hair regimen.

Do you have a “Long, Strong Hair” blend? Let me know in the comments!