Quantcast

What Your Natural Hair Needs This Spring Season

If you want to get your hair ready for this new season, these 12 tips will do it.

Hair

Now that we're officially in the spring season, it's time to do just a little bit of switching up when it comes to our natural hair care routine. The awesome thing about all of the tips that I'm about to share with you is they're affordable, easy and things that you can do from the comfort and convenience of your own home. Not only that but, they work for all hair types and, if you apply them consistently, they can easily earn you, at least a couple of more inches by summer.

Are you ready to learn more about what that gorgeous mane of yours needs right about now? Here are 12 things that you should do.

1. Exfoliate Your Scalp

Shutterstock

Your scalp is the foundation of your beautiful natural hair, so you definitely need to make sure that it's straight. Not too long ago, I penned a piece about the importance of detoxing your scalp. If it's been a while since you've done that (or you've never do it before), do that instead of simply exfoliating it. But, if you do detoxify your scalp on a fairly consistent basis, take wash day as the opportunity to remove any dead skin cells, debris or build-up that your scalp may have on it, as well as to unclog your hair follicles' pores.

One way to do this is to make your own hair scalp scrub. One-fourth cup of brown sugar (it's a wonderful humectant), one-fourth cup of olive oil (it moisturizes the scalp and increases blood circulation), two tablespoons of cornmeal (its gritty texture will help to dislodge any build-up), and 3-5 drops of tea tree oil (it's a mega antibacterial and antifungal oil) will all work together to keep your scalp nice and healthy. Mix everything together, apply it to damp hair, gently massage your scalp then let the mixture sit for about five minutes and shampoo and condition like usual.

2. Try a Clarifying Shampoo

As I'm figuring out more about what works for my hair and what doesn't, I'm actually becoming less of a product junkie. But even routine go-to items can lead to build-up after about a week or so. That's just one of the reasons why it's a good idea to consider using a clarifying shampoo. It's the kind of shampoo that has the ability to remove grease, oil and other stuff like no other. Some other benefits of this kind of shampoo include the fact that it can remove hard water deposits (like chlorine), eliminate bacterial growth from your scalp, restore the pH level of your tresses, help to lock in moisture in your hair and, it's a great "prepper" if you plan on coloring your hair a lighter hue for spring.

Yeah, clarifying shampoo is pretty awesome. Just make sure that you use it, probably like every other wash (if not once a month). If you wash your hair with it more than that, it could end up stripping your hair of its natural oils which could lead to brittleness and breakage. For a list of some of the best clarifying shampoos for natural hair, click here.

3. Wash “Up and Out”

Shutterstock

Did you know that, the washing technique that you use while shampooing your hair can play a direct role in how well (and quickly) your hair dries? If you bend your head down and then wash "up and out", it can reduce the tangling and also make your hair more manageable until it's time to wash it again. Basically, what that means is not washing your hair in a way where it pats your strands down which leads to matting on your head. Instead, encourage the roots of your hair to move away from your scalp by using your fingers to massage your roots "up" (towards your forehead) and "out" (away from your scalp). Then rinse in warm water and you'll be ready for the next step.

4. Apply a Coconut Milk and Shea Butter Deep Conditioner

Something that you should always do, no matter what time of year it is, is deep condition your hair; especially if you just used a clarifying shampoo (or one that has sulfates in it). There are plenty of deep conditioners that you can buy, but if you want to save some of your coins, how about making your own? A really deep-penetrating recipe is a conditioner that consists of coconut milk and shea butter.

Coconut milk is high in lauric acid which will help to strengthen your hair's cuticles. It's also loaded with protein (which is what your hair mostly consists of) and vitamins B, C and E. Some other cool things about coconut milk is it can help to prevent hair loss, remove dandruff and soothe dry and irritated scalp. Shea butter? It contains fatty acids, it's got anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it's high in vitamins A and E and, it contains chemical compounds known as triterpenes; they help to produce collagen to strengthen your hair from root to tip. Another good thing about shea butter is it locks in moisture and helps to protect your hair from UV damage.

If you'd like to take a stab at making a deep conditioner at home, click here for a great recipe. Make it, immediately apply it to freshly washed hair, and leave it on for 45 minutes. Then rinse and style as usual. If you happen to have any left over and you refrigerate it, the deep conditioner should stay fresh for a couple of weeks or so.

5. Do More Air Drying

Shutterstock

I'm actually not someone who thinks that hair dryers are the devil. Matter of fact, blowing out my hair (on low heat) every wash day has resulted in less fairy knots, tangling and the need to manipulate my hair while styling it. But, now that the temperature is starting to warm up a bit, I tend to allow my hair to air dry more and then "one pass" with my dryer when it's about 80 percent dry. Even though I rock with heat, I am well aware that I have to be extra careful so that it doesn't "fry" my hair by blowing drying it on a high heat setting while my hair is super wet. The less water that's in my locks, the less that is an issue. So yeah, air drying is one of the best things about the weather going from winter to spring.

6. Use a DIY Humectant Spray

Dry hair is one of the main reasons why a lot of us don't see the length that we would like. Something that can step in to help with that is using a humectant because it's designed to pull moisture that's in the air into our hair—and since April showers bring May flowers, this is an ideal time of the year to use one. A popular humectant ingredient is vegetable glycerin, but if you would prefer an alternative to that, check out "5 Natural Humectants That Promote Moisture & Length Retention/Not Glycerin!". If you want to take a stab at making your own humectant hair spray, popular hair vlogger Maryam Hampton can totally hook you up with her DIY Aloe vera recipe.

7. Up Your Vitamin A & C and Iron Intake

Shutterstock

According to science, one of the main reasons why a lot of us struggle with hair retention is because we're lacking in certain nutrients, without us even knowing it. One of those is iron. In fact, reportedly, 10 million Americans are iron deficient and many of those individuals are Black women. Some other signs of iron deficiency include weakness, fatigue, headaches, brittle nails and cold hands and feet. If that is indeed the case when it comes to where you're at right now, you can always take an iron supplement; just keep in mind that, sometimes, those can lead to constipation. Another route to try is to get more iron via your diet. Pure red grape juice, lentils, dried figs and apricots, fortified cereals, chicken, red meat and molasses are all loaded with iron.

Two other deficiencies that can hinder hair growth are vitamins A and C. You can get them by taking a multi-vitamin. Or, to get more Vitamin A into your system, eat orange fruits and vegetables (like sweet potatoes, carrots and cantaloupe), spinach, broccoli, black-eyed peas and tomato juice. Citrus fruit, kale, kiwi, cauliflower, green and yellow peppers, Brussel sprouts and thyme are packed with Vitamin C.

8. Apply an “Energizing” Essential Oil

Something that can help to encourage even more hair growth is lemongrass essential oil.

Thanks to its antiseptic and microbial properties, it's a killer clarifying oil if you're looking for something to cleanse your scalp, reduce dandruff and decrease build-up. It's also the type of oil that can increase blood circulation and strengthen your hair follicles.

Something else that's cool about this particular oil is it's loaded with Vitamin C that will help to trigger collagen development so that your hair grows longer and faster. And, since it has such a stronger citrusy scent to it, adding a couple of drops to your hair (along with about a half teaspoon of sweet almond, jojoba or grapeseed oil) every other day can give you just the kind of pick-me-up that you need to stay in a good mood all day long.

9. Pull Out the Brightly-Colored Scarves

Shutterstock

I don't know about y'all, but I am good for having a headwrap, turban or even a bandana wrapped around my head; even more so when it gets hotter outside and I want to break out my brightly colored ones. Something that I've been doing more is either making sure that my "headgear" is lined or putting on a wig cap. The reason why is because I was noticing breakage around the front of my hairline due to the friction that the fabric of my wraps was causing. By rocking a wig cap underneath, not only can that help to keep your scarf (or hat) in place, it can also absorb sweat too.

10. Apply Some Monoi Oil Too

Flowers are on their way to blooming again; one that is in season is the gardenia. Well, monoi oil is an oil that comes from soaking the petals of Tahitian gardenias into coconut oil. Skin-wise, it's bomb because it is a hypoallergenic, antibacterial and noncomedogenic oil that heals acne and soothes the effects of eczema and dermatitis. The reason why it works so well on natural hair is because it helps your locks to retain nutrients and moisture, it strengthens your hair, and it reduces split ends and frizz as well.

One way to introduce it to your hair to the oil is to try it as a pre-poo treatment. Right before you shampoo your mane, pour a small amount of the oil into your hands and massage it into your hair, especially your ends (since they are the oldest parts of your tresses). Allow the oil to penetrate your hair's cuticles for 45 minutes and then wash and condition as usual. You should notice that your hair is especially soft, even after just one application.

11. Take Your Hair Up a Hue

Spring is the season when a lot of us want to lighten our hair color up a bit. If you're totally down for doing that, but you want to avoid as much damage as possible (girl, I know the feeling!), go with a temporary hair color brand. A Black female-owned one is Mysteek Naturals. It has shades like Assertive Auburn, Twerkin Turquoise and Royal Purple. The ingredients are all natural and the results are pretty stunning. Plus, the price is affordable ($9-$20) which is always an added motivator.

12. Eat In-Season Spring Foods

It doesn't matter what you put on your hair if your system is not getting all of the vitamins and minerals that you need. Foods that are in season this spring that are good for your tresses include arugula (it's rich in vitamins A and K and is a great detoxifier); mint (it's a powerful antioxidant); strawberries (its polyphenols aid in cell renewal); spring onions (it has antibacterial and antifungal properties); collards (they are loaded with Vitamin C as well as calcium); pineapples (they boost your immune system while reducing inflammation), and peas (which contains iron, folate and an off-the-charts amount of protein). If you eat lots of those and drink a ton of infused water, your hair will be just as happy about the spring season as you (hopefully) are. Enjoy!

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

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

10 Things Your Natural Hair Needs In The Winter

7 Essential Oils All Naturalistas Need For Their Hair

10 Natural Hair Products To Add To Your Routine

Feature image by Shutterstock

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

Featured image by Shutterstock

Lawd, lawd. I'm assuming that I'm not being too presumptuous when I start this all out by saying, I'm pretty sure that more than just a few of us can relate to this title and topic. I know that personally, there are several men from my sexual past who would've been out of my space a lot sooner had the sex not been…shoot, so damn good. And it's because of that very thing that you'll never ever convince me that sex can't mess with your head. The oxytocin highs (that happen when we kiss, cuddle and orgasm) alone can easily explain why a lot of us will make a sexual connection with someone and stay involved with them for weeks, months, years even, even if the mental and emotional dynamic is subpar, at best.

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

"Black men, we're in constant warfare. Every day is a fight outside of my house, so why would I want to come home to more fighting when that is the very place where I should be resting? There are loved ones who I don't speak to as much anymore because they aren't peaceful people. A huge part of the reason why I am happier without my ex is she was rarely a source of peace. The older I get, the more I realize that peace really is the foundation of everything; especially relationships, because how can I nurture anything if I'm in a constant state of influx and chaos? Guys don't care how fine a woman is or how great the sex may be if she's not peaceful because there is nothing more valuable than peace. If the closest person to me is not a source of it, that can ultimately play a role in all kinds of disruption and destruction. No man wants that."

Keep reading... Show less

This article is in partnership with Staples.

As a Black woman slaying in business, you're more than likely focused on the bottom line: Serving your customers and making sure the bag doesn't stop coming in. Well, there's obviously more to running a business than just making boss moves, but as the CEO or founder, you might not have the time, energy, or resources to fill in the blanks.

Keep reading... Show less

When Ngozi Opara Sea started Heatfree Hair almost a decade ago, curly and kinky extensions weren't the norm on the market as they seem to be today, especially if you wanted those textures in quality human hair. Beauty supply stores mainly sold synthetic curly hair, and there was a surge of renewal for women who were just beginning to embrace natural styles, taking to YouTube to experiment with new techniques and styles.

Keep reading... Show less

No one is excited about paying taxes, but for the most part, they're unavoidable for the working woman. Yet, not everyone has to pay quarterly taxes. You may have to get acquainted with quarterly taxes depending on how you earn money and who signs your paychecks. Not only is it essential to know if you should pay quarterly tax payments, but you need to know what your tax liability is and the deadline to submit your taxes — unless you want the IRS visiting.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Exclusive: Find Confidence With This Summer Workout Created By A Black Woman For Black Women

Tone & Sculpt trainer Danyele Wilson makes fitness goals attainable.

Latest Posts