Friday, June 24, 2011

Stress Relief for your Natural Do: A N.I.C.E. Coaching Response

I received my first N.I.C.E. natural hair Coaching question today, which I am sharing anonymously, so I will provide ideas for your consideration, feedback and thoughts.  Please feel free to chime in and I hope my response is useful/helpful to others including and beyond the person who asked the question.  My N.I.C.E. response is found below the question.


"my hair is falling out at the crown and around edges making a widow's peak, do you know of any product tht i can use to bring it back? None of my parents or grandparents lost their hair so i think it's got something to do with my locks???"

N.I.C.E. Response:

It is possible that your concern has to do with your hairstyle of choice, namely locs (note that I use the term locs and locks, interchangeably).  As a locked sister myself, concerns that I am aware of are traction alopecia or tension hair loss, which I referred to in a previous blog post, which may result from twisting to tight or braiding or tension on the scalp from long dangling locs.   If you have had your locks for a very long time and they are long, the weight from the locks may cause you to experience some hair losss.  My recommendation is simple and all natural because as you know, Natural Is Cool Enough.  So, the first step would be to eliminate all usage of harsh chemicals on your hair and stick to natural products. You may want to visit your local health food store and find shampoos and conditioners that have generally, natural ingredients.  As a person who frequents Whole Foods, my suggestion is Aubrey Organics. It is also very cost effective to by the products on line.  As one who swims, I use their hair products that are designed for  swimmers but they have others as well. 

The Aubrey Organics conditioner is thick so I try other shampooing and conditioning  products as well, that have all natural ingredients. I put Aubrey Organics in my hair before I swim and then again afterwards, after shampooing.  I use other natural conditioners, which I may keep in my hair all day, for intense conditioning.

Recommendation # 2  is to keep your hair naturally moisturized.  Shea Butter is my recommendation for this (in very small amounts so it does not build up in your locs).  If you can find natural, 100% shea butter, that is the best option. Per the link below, you will find information which includes this detail: "Shea butter has been used for centuries in Africa before its beneficial properties was recognized by other countriesShea butter has many benefits some of which includes relieving dry skin...and restoring lost hair luster. Due to the healing properties of shea butter, it has been incorporated into many personal care products such as lotions, shampoos, conditioners, and soaps."
Shea butter link: http://www.prlog.org/11333844-shea-butter-natural-and-safer-moisturizer.html

My 3rd recommendation is that if you are coloring your hair, use only 100% natural coloring.  My recommendation is Henna pictured to the left.  Henna will also serve to condition and thicken your hair and the color will be beautiful.  If you don't like a red tinge then you may not want to use henna, because that may be the outcome.  The color may change a bit also when you are in the sun (a coppery red tinge may surface).   Again, you can find Henna very inexpensively in health food stores, including Whole Foods. Be sure to read the ingredients carefully because some products with Henna on the label have other added harsh chemical ingredients.

My 4th and last recommendation is to try to reduce tension hair loss by wearing your hair up as much as possible, not allowing your long and perhaps heavy locks to pull the hair from the scalp.  Put your hair into a lovely loose ponytail or wrap it in breathable cloth or hat when you can. You can do this in a very stylish way.  Also avoid twisting tightly to avoid traction alopecia.  Here are some examples of how to achieve this:

The bottom line is to be gentle with your locs at all times, particularly when they are fragile.  Occasionally, I will note that a loc or two will break off.  I don't fret but just let it happen and give that one or two that break off the opportunity to grow back from the root. It may lead to my hair being a bit uneven at times but why must it be even?  Just look at the beauty of plants and flowers that grow naturally...rarely do they do so evenly.  You can cut if you must though to achieve that look.  I rarely cut my locs, but go for it if you feel inclined to do so.

In closing, all of the above is about prevention.  If you have already lost hair, I think the suggestions above will help.  Hopefully new hair will grow where it has been lost and  all will be fine and that's N.I.C.E.

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