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Looking For Hair Growth? It Might Be Time To Bring 'Blue Magic' Back

Sometimes, getting back to the basics is the key to getting the results that you desire.

Hair

Look, I already know that some people are probably gonna be all up in the comments section protesting how "irresponsible" this article is. I mean, how in the world can I promote anything that has—gasp—petroleum/mineral oil in it?! Don't I know that it clogs up hair follicles? Haven't I heard that it repels moisture? As a naturalista, how can I resort to something so low on the totem pole of hair products and then—gasp again—publicly write about it?

Uh-huh. I hear you. But before you try and cancel me, take a moment to look at the video below. That stunning Nigerian woman right there? On her socials (and YouTube channel), she goes by EfikZara and that outrageously gorgeous Afro? That is all hers, baby. Yeah, and do you see what she's holding in her hand? It ain't Aunt Jackie's or Shea Moisture; it's grease. Good old-fashioned hair grease. As I've been trying to figure out the perfect formula to get the natural hair results that I personally want, EfikZara is someone who has been influential in getting me to return back to what most of us used back in the day, thanks to her videos like "5 BIG LIES The Natural Hair Community LIED About GREASE!!" and "The TRUTH about GREASE + How I Use It To GROW Low Porosity 4c/4b/4a Hair".

Then, once I saw that there are more and more naturalista influencers who are rising up and singing grease's—more specifically, Blue Magic hair grease's—praises (you can check out a few good ones here, here and here), I was like, "Let me make a run right quick and cop me a jar" (which is more like a small tub).

The TRUTH about GREASE + How I Use It To GROW Low Porosity 4c/4b/4a Hair | EfikZara www.youtube.com

And y'all, I can't believe I left what my hair clearly missed and loves.

Not to diss the commercial—emphasis on "commercial"—hair care community or their findings. But when something works for you, sometimes you need to buck the system and stick with that. Basically, just like Jasmine Saunders, author of "Two Reasons Why Petroleum Is Used in Hair Products", penned at the end of her piece—" If your favorite natural hair products contain mineral oil, and you are happy with the results they produce then there is no reason to stop using them. I would just keep in mind the occlusive nature of mineral oil and structure your hair regimen accordingly." Yes. That right there.

So, are you ready to read why it can't hurt to put a little Blue Magic back into your own hair care regimen? Let's do this.

It’s Inexpensive AF

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Again, since I'm going to assume that at least a couple of people in the natural hair care industry are going to read this and not be too happy about this endorsement, when it comes to the (sometimes horrendous) price tag that comes on some hair products, I'll leave specific names out. What I will share is a quote from an article on the topic that stated, "It is estimated that the natural hair care industry was worth $684 million in 2012 and was projected to reach $761 million by the end of 2017." Bottom line—hair care is a business and businesses love to make as much money as possible. Therefore, it shouldn't be shocking that even natural hair care lines would want to do all that they can to put more money into their pockets.

And indeed, what a lot of people who are returning to hair grease are saying is perhaps we were convinced or even "scared" to leave grease alone because while a 12 oz jar of Blue Magic costs me $3.99, I literally have some popular natural hair care items that are $35-40 for a 6-8 oz jar. Not only that, but the latter hasn't worked nearly as well as the former.

So yeah, if there's no other reason to consider grease—or grease again—the second to none price tag would definitely be a very valid one.

If You’ve Got High Porosity Hair, It’s the ULTIMATE Moisturizer

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When it comes to length retention, what my own natural hair journey continues to teach me is if you don't know your own hair's porosity, you're probably not going to get (or keep) the inches that you seek. While I will probably do a full article on this at some point, if you're wondering what the difference between low, normal and high porosity hair is, I'll give a brief breakdown. When you have low porosity hair, that means your hair's cuticles are closed which makes it hard for moisture to get into your hair. Normal porosity means your hair gets and keeps moisture fairly well. Then there's my kind of hair; the hair that drinks up moisture with the quickness but two days later will look at me like it hasn't seen water in weeks. This happens with high porosity hair because there tends to be holes in the hair cuticle; this means that those of us who fall into this category have to be hyper-vigilant about keeping our tresses moisturized.

I'm telling y'all, I've tried creams, butters, the LOC method—you name it, and nothing has kept moisture in my hair longer than grease has. I literally wash my hair, deep condition it and while it's damp, apply some Blue Magic from root to tip and style. Afterwards, my hair remains soft and manageable until the next wash day (which for me is seven days later). The reason why is because there are two things that petroleum does for your hair. First, it locks in the moisture that you already have. Second, it prevents any more from getting in. The second point is why a lot of people claim that grease is bad for you. I'll get more into that in a sec.

It’s an Amazing Sealant

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If you're someone who believes deep down in your soul that Black women—particularly Black women with 4-type hair—can't grow long hair, please take a moment to watch this video, this video, this video, this video and this video. Other ethnicities (or hair textures) don't have the upper hand when it comes to gaining inches. No matter who you are, you typically grow between ½" to 1" of hair a month. The reason why a lot of us don't see the length that we want is either because 1) our shrinkage makes us think that our hair isn't as long as it actually is or 2) we aren't taking good care of our ends. This is why it is essential that you seal the ends of your hair on a consistent basis.

Sealing is basically one of the most effective ways to prevent the ends of your hair (which is the oldest part of your hair) from becoming dry, brittle and developing split ends (which you can't repair; you always have to cut off). Even if the thought of applying grease to your entire head seems like a no-no to you, at least consider applying it to your ends. Remember, petroleum locks—or seals—in moisture and the more protected your ends are, the easier it will be for you to see six inches of progress by the end of the year.

Grease Isn’t “Bad” for You. It’s All About Using It Properly.

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So, why is it that so many people frown upon good ole' hair grease? Why do a lot of them say that all it does is weigh their hair down, leave grease stains and actually result in hair being drier than ever? Don't blame that on the grease; blame that on not applying it properly. Since grease provides a barrier, it's not really the best idea to apply it to dry hair. You will get the best results if your hair is wet, has already been conditioned and you apply a leave-in condition before putting the grease on top of it. All of this might sound like a lot at first (sometimes it feels like it too) but trust me, as your hair dries, it will go from feeling "heavy" to feeling really soft and smooth. You just always have to keep in mind that since petroleum seals, it will keep the moisture that your hair has in, but it will also keep new moisture from penetrating. That's why oiling your hair with grease every day is usually counterproductive. Since your tresses are already dry, the grease isn't doing it much good.

And what about greasing your scalp? Eh. I don't use grease for that but some naturalistas sing its praises for soothing their scalp when they apply it on wash day. My take is to remember that your scalp is skin. If your skin doesn't show out when you apply Vaseline (which is also petroleum) then your scalp probably won't either. Still, I think it would be best to not apply grease to your scalp when your scalp is dry; seems like it would leave more residue than you are bargaining for if you do.

Your Mama (or Auntie) Used It When You Were a Child…Right?

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Hmph. I don't know about y'all, but I have some very distinct memories of being a little girl, sitting in front of a stove and getting my hair pressed with some good old-fashioned hair grease. You know what else I recall? My hair having some real length to it too. That's why I think the saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" certainly applies here.

Listen, by no means am I saying that you should toss your natural hair products or go on a personal boycott of popular commercial brands. My point is simply that grease IS NOT the devil and if it has personally worked for you in the past, I don't see why you should stop using it now. Because, again, do you see EfikZara's hair in the feature shot? Blue Magic helped to get her there. That's enough for me to add it to my regimen. And I have. And it's been all good on the mane tip ever since. My hair thanks me. My wallet does too.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

7 Essential Oils All Naturalistas Need For Their Hair

10 Things Your Natural Hair Needs In The Winter

These Foods Will Give Your Skin & Hair The Moisture They Crave

The Lazy Girl's Guide To Natural Hair

Feature image by Getty Images

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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