4C hair is magical. Despite what society, the beauty industry, advertising, or even people close to us say — our kinky coils are beautiful and versatile. Since I've been natural, I've tried so many different styles with my hair —from rolling it on rods (which I gave up because I was doing it to make my hair "acceptable"), wearing braids, twisting it out, slicking it back, wash and go's (which is currently my go-to), and the blowout.
I initially stayed away from blowing out my hair because I was afraid of heat damage. But now I've found the right tools and products that can be purchased at any drugstore to keep my hair healthy when I want to go for a full-on 70s vibe.
Here are the drugstore products and my process for getting the blowout look without damaging my hair:
Step 1: Wash hair
My stylist always said great hair starts in the shower. I think she was right. Having clean hair and a healthy scalp makes styling and maintaining 4C hair easier to manage. I always start with a shampoo like Eden BodyWorks Peppermint Tea Tree Shampoo that washes away build-up without stripping my hair.
Step 2: Co-wash
I then follow up with Shea Moisture's High PorosityMoisture-Seal Co-Wash. I've been trying a few different co-washing options, but I'm enjoying this one now since it makes it easy for me to detangle during my wash and leaves my hair baby soft.
Step 3: Deep condition
Deep conditioning each week with Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Treatment Masque is a weekly staple. I buy this in bulk because it truly keeps my hair moisturized and my scalp healthy. After I use my fingers to detangle my hair and smooth the conditioner through my coils, I cover it in a shower cap and wrap a hot towel around my head. I would typically use a hooded dryer, but I haven't replaced the one that broke a couple of months ago.
I leave it on for thirty minutes to an hour, depending on how much time I have and then rinse with cold water. On weeks that my hair needs a little extra TLC, I follow up my deep conditioner with ApHogee's Intensive 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor.
Step 4: Air dry and hydrate
After I use my AQUIS Lisse Luxe Desert Rose Hair Turban (which has become my new favorite thing) to get the excess moisture out of my hair, I part my hair into eight sections and secure them with alligator hair clips. Then, I spray each section with African Pride's Coconut Milk & Honey Hydrate & Shine Leave-In Conditioner. I wasn't sure if I was going to like this leave-in, but it makes my hair feel moisturized without weighing it down — and the price tag isn't bad either.
Step 5: Lock in moisture
Lastly, I lock everything in with Cantu's Shea Butter Super Shine Hair Silk. I typically try to stick with pure argan oil, but I bought this on a whim, and it has been a staple for me ever since. Some might think 4C hair can't be light and bouncy, but it can, and this product helps make the possible while protecting my hair from the heat of the blow dryer.
Step 6: Brush and blow dry hair
Then I blow dry each section on medium heat with my Denman Brush using the tension method. One thing I've learned along the way is that investing in the original Denman is the way to go. I've bought knock-offs and have had to stop in the middle of stretching my hair to put the brush back together. Using medium heat does make my process a little longer since each section dries slower than if I were using the highest level of heat, but I want the look without damaging my hair in the process.
Step 7: Wrap hair
Once each section is dry, I twist my hair Susie Carmichael style and wrap it up with a silk scarf although I need something that won't slip off my head at night like Grace Eleyae's silk-lined caps. I've woken up in the morning with my scarf covering on one side of my head, which makes me question what kind of sleeping I'm doing.
There are also no-heat ways to give your hair a similar look, but I personally enjoy having different options of stretching my hair. There is no one size fits all, and I'm no expert, but I think it is okay to use heat on your hair from time to time.
Happy Wash Day!
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This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
There’s nothing quite as humbling as navigating adulthood with no instruction manual. Since the turn of the decade, it seems like everything in our society that could go wrong has, inevitably, gone wrong. From the global pandemic, our crippling student debt problem, the loneliness crisis, layoffs, global warming, recession, and not to mention figuring out what to eat for dinner every night. This constant state of uncertainty has many of us wondering, when are the grown-ups coming to fix all of this?
But the catch is, we are the new grown-ups.
As if it happened without our permission, we became the new adults. We are the members of society who are paying taxes, having children, getting married, and keeping our communities afloat, one iced latte at a time. Still, there’s something about doing all these grown-up duties that feel unnaturally grown-up. Enter the #teenagegirlinher20s.
If there’s one hashtag to give you the state of the next cohort of adults, it’s this one. Of the videos that have garnered over 3.9M views, you’ll find a collection of users who are overwhelmed by life’s pressing existential responsibilities, clung to nostalgia, and reminiscent of the days when their mom and dad took care of their insurance plans.
no like i cant explain to her why i had to buy multiple tank air dupes from aritzia #teenagegirlinher20s #fyp
The concept of being a 20-something or 30-something teenager is linked to the sentiment of not feeling “grown up enough” to do grown-up things while feeling underprepared and even nihilistic about whether that preparation even matters.
It’s our generation’s version of when we ask our grandmothers how old they are and they simply reply with, “I still feel 45,” all while being every bit of 76 years old. In this, we share a warped concept of time while clinging to a desire for infantilization.
Granted, the pandemic did a number on our concept of time. Many of us who started the pandemic in our early or mid-20s missed out on three fundamental years of socialization, career development, and personal milestones that traditionally help to mark our growth.
Our time to figure out and plan our next steps through fumbling yet active participation was put on pause indefinitely and then resumed provisionally. This in turn has left many of us hanging in the balance of uncertainty as we try to make sense of the disconnect between our minds and bodies in this missing gap of time.
Because we’re all still figuring out what the ramifications of being locked away and frozen in time by a global pandemic will have on us as a society, there really is no “right” way of making up for lost time. Feeling unprepared for any new chapter of life is a natural rite of passage, pandemic or not. However, it’s important to not stay stuck in the last age or period of life that made sense to us because self-growth is the truest evidence of personal progress.
So whether you’re leaning on your inner child, teenager, or 20-something for guidance as you fill the gap between your real age and pandemic age, know that it’s okay to grieve the person you thought you would be and the milestones you thought you’d hit before you ever knew what a pandemic was. If there’s anything that the pandemic taught us, it’s that we have the power to reimagine a better world and life for ourselves. And if we tap into our inner teenager as a compass, we can piece together our next chapter with a fresh outlook.
Sure, we’ve lost a couple of years, but there are still some really amazing ones ahead.
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