Our "Ask An Expert" series continues as we speak to LA-based natural hair enthusiast and protective hair stylist Kamara Brown Lewis of Raww Intuition Salon.
Starting a natural hair journey can seem intimidating and even scary. I understand why many textured hair women are apprehensive about letting our curls loose as we'd much rather have an easier fix. The thought seems overwhelming, especially when thinking of getting lost in the sea of hair products with one brand claiming to do the same as the other. As a "naturalista", I've learned to ask experts on my quest to find what's best for my hair type.
When I'm not wearing protective styles, I routinely "let my hair breathe" in an afro that's way more manageable than I would have ever expected. Even though I've been on my natural hair journey for three years, I'm still learning what formulas are best for my curl pattern and what I need for a healthier head of hair. While patience isn't my virtue, I'm learning to trust the process and let my hair take its time meanwhile discovering how to help it along its way.
Kamara Lewis, LA-based Protective Hair Stylist & Owner of Raww Intuition Salon
When wearing protective hairstyles, it's important to be conscious of taking care of our hair underneath. Maintaining a healthy scalp is vital for overall hair growth, keeping it moisturized and replenished often. With only a few principles to keep in mind, I want to encourage everyone that being natural is easier than it looks.
To give you the motivation you'll need on this journey, I connected with Kamara Lewis of Raww Intuition for her tips on properly caring for our hair and most importantly, where to begin.
Keep scrolling to get the natural hair advice you've been needing.
Try to Avoid Product Mixing
For those that struggle with dry itching scalp, Kamara suggests using Canviiy's ScalpBliss Itch-Calming Organic-Based Serum (which can also be great for protective styles in-between) and their ScalpBliss Soothing Scalp Purifying Foam Treatment. Both products are helpful with soothing the scalp while also getting rid of buildup. For deep conditioning, she recommends the NaturAll Club product line. She also notes brands like Design Essentials, OGX, Mizani, and KeraCare for must-have hair staples like moisturizing shampoos and conditioners, and curl refreshers.
Most of all though, it is important to stick with brands that are true to this and not new to this. When it comes to companies that have specialized in natural haircare since you were a young girl, it's those legacy brands that have a track record when it comes to getting the job done within the beauty industry. Also, Kamara suggests staying away from what she calls "product cocktails." Pick a brand and stick with the entire collection as "brands use formulas that activate a particular and achieve a particular look when used with other products from its product line."
You're missing out on the full effect when mixing products from several different brands.
"Sleep with a silk or satin pillowcase or bonnet. Protect your hair at night so you can have fresh and revitalized curls in the morning," Kamara shares another tip. "For those with longer hair, try the pineapple method at night, wrapping your curls up as they sit on top of your head to prolong your natural coils."
"Be patient with the growth process. It's not about how long your hair grows but how healthy it is. Stop combing your hair dry and pulling it in tight buns or even protective styles thinking your hair will be long and healthy. It takes time and it's important to make sure you're drinking lots of water and eating healthy before you dive into buying all these hair products."
Keep it Simple
Most importantly, keep it simple. Like most humans, we tend to over-complicate things. Managing your hair does not have to be a day long chore. "Keep your hair regimen simple and straight to the point so it's easier for you to be consistent and have an accurate understanding of what your hair needs," Kamara adds.
Featured image via Kamara Lewis
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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.
We all have a dream life that we spend our free time daydreaming about. You know, the one with a loving partner, high-rise apartment, thriving career, and endless abundance. But as much as we can dream about it, there has to be a little extra sprinkle of “magic” to make it become a reality, and that’s when manifestation comes in.
The uptick in manifestation techniques is nothing new to the internet. Since The Secret and the Law of Attraction became available on YouTube in the early 2010s and fast forward to today, where #manifestationtok and #spiritualtok surging in popularity, it’s clear that there are a number of different ways to get what you want out of life with the right action, affirmation, and visualization.
Still, with so many ways to manifest, from scripting to the 3-6-9 Method, it can be hard to know which one to lean into. But there’s one new technique that’s promising to yield “instant results,” and we’re curious about it.
The "I Am Sure" Manifestation
Replying to @A I M E E 🖤 lG: hothighpriestess 🤍 this is the “I am sure” method #iamsuremethod
The “I Am Sure” manifestation gained traction this summer by TikTok creator Sara Perl of @hothighpriestess, who initially introduced the method.
In her original video breaking down the concept, she detailed the steps to use the technique for those looking to “manifest overnight.” To do so, start by stating “I am sure,” followed by “your desired manifestation in the present tense.” If there’s a job, promotion, or text from a crush that you want, then you’d say, “I am sure that I got X job,” or “I am sure that I make a $100K salary.” Repeat this out loud 10 times, or for faster results, write them down on a piece of paper and say it back to yourself whenever the desire comes up.
Using your words and speaking in the present tense, affirmatively, “puts you in the frequency that has that desire,” as Perl states. “We know our thoughts create our reality, but our words create our reality even faster.”
No matter how you choose to manifest your dream life, there’s nothing like channeling a powerful affirmation and some faith to get what you desire. In every instance, though, allow yourself to dismiss any doubt that may try to cloud your hopes in good things coming into your life, and don’t hold too tightly onto the “how” or “when.” Trust the process and know that the “thing” that you desire is just waiting for the perfect time to enter your life.
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Featured image by Tassii/Getty Images